One embarassed Llama asking for help

I really hate to have to ask, but I’m in need of some financial help. I’m completely aware that the world is a dumpster fire right now and times are tough for everyone. So asking is horrible and I hate it.

My 10 year old car’s brakes aren’t great. He needs new brake pads and disks. The best quote I’ve got is £249. I am agoraphobic, he’s my lifeline and one of the few places I feel safe in.

I also need £280 worth of dental work. This is work that’s needed doing for about a decade, but I keep putting it off because I’m terrified of dentists. But it’s now got to the point where I NEED the work done – before I lose the rest of the teeth I have left.

I can cover one. Or the other. But it’ll wipe me out completely – empty my meagre savings and max out my credit card. I know times are tough for everyone right now. The world is a dumpster fire. I know. But if you can please spare even £5, to help Eliot get new brakes and to help a llama get their smile back it would be appreciated more than you could know!

book reviews · life

A Quick Catch Up

So, the news in brief and some reading roundups are

The not-COVID I had at the beginning of the month? Yeah, it turned out to actually be COVID. Li and I were both pretty sick for about 10 days, and completely exhausted for about another week. I still get fatigued pretty quickly but thankfully we were both triple vaxxed and survived in once piece.

I got my module result for this year of my degree – for A112 Cultures I received a distinction. 86%! As you can imagine, I am over the freaking moon. So that’s my first academic year complete, 120 credits. Only another 4 modules to go, starting in October with A229 Exploring The Classical World

I’ve been playing a lot of Stardew Valley, and Star Trek: Timelines. Li managed to bring home a Wii the other day, I rediscovered my Game Boy Advance, and we’ve also set up my old SNES. There has been much retro gaming and it has been wonderful.

Of course, a lot of gaming, a slight complete addiction to Pointless, and introducing Li to the Bridgerton Netflix show has meant I haven’t done a huge amount of reading lately. The bookx I have read recently:

Matt Haig – Reasons To Stay Alive
3/5, memoir, mental health, non-fiction, psychology
Bizarrely, as much as I thoroughly enjoyed the other couple of Haig’s books, this one didn’t gel with me. I found it a little too self-help-y, a little too twee. I didn’t connect with it and felt it bringing me down, rather than uplifting me.

Mary Beard – How Do We Look / The Eye of Faith
4/5, art history, history, non-fiction, philosophy, religion
Very interesting, would have liked it to have gone a little more in-depth in a couple of places but I do love her descriptions of the art and places she’s visited and writes about, and it helps bring it to life for me. Her passion also shines through

Mira Grant – Parasite
5/5, horror, medical, science-fiction, thriller
OMG y’all, I could not put this down. It had been on my TBR for ages, finally got it out of the library and sat and read the whole thing in one afternoon. I was reacting outloud and flailing and squeaking at Li… who picked it up as soon as I finished it, also read it in one sitting – falling asleep at like 1am!

My reserves of Symbiont and Chimera have just come in and oh yes, I will be starting Symbiont tomorrow!

Holly Black – Tithe
3.5/, faeries, paranormal, urban-fantasy, young-adult
This one is very much a case of ‘I liked it, but…’ – I was disappointed, really. It was enjoyable enough but there was something missing. It was a little predictable in places, the characters needed a little more rounding and the pacing was… hmm… uneven. And even though there are more books in the series, I don’t care enough to see if the library even has them.

Melanie Cantor – Life and Other Happy Endings
3/5, chick-lit, family, friends, library, read, romance

Such a weird read, and literally lost starts with every section of the story. So it started off as this great 5-star read about a woman who found out she had 3 months to live and was telling people the things she wanted to tell them etc… only then she wasn’t dying because of a test result mix-up, and she was back to being trodden over… only then she was pregnant and yawn. She was way more interesting when she thought she was dying!

Joanna Hickson – First Of The Tudors
4/5, historical-fiction

We’ve covered my love for all things War Of The Roses, yes? And this was no exception! The story centers around Jasper Tudor, his wardship of young Henry Tudor and his relationship with Margaret Beaufort, and the intricacies of the Yorkists, Lancastrians, Tudors, and Warwick The Kingmaker. I will be checking out more of Hickson’s work – she has other stories set in the time period.

Which brings me on to what I’m currently reading:


A Quick Catchup

Apologies for the lack of posting over the last week or so – I have been an exhausted Cassie. A huge project I’ve been involved in at work has completely imploded and I’m picking up debris left, right and centre. It’s been a month or so, and it’s going to be at least another month or so. Shit officially hit the fan and meetings are involving senior management (so I’m hoping that means some of the problems are going to be fixed but I’m not holding my breath).

School is also going fantastically. I got 81% for my English Literature assignment which was an essay on Twelfth Night and one on Jane Eyre. My feedback says ‘You have communicated your ideas, knowledge and understanding effectively using your own words. Your answer is reasonably well-structured with a good referencing and there is clear evidence of generally sound essay-writing skills.’ so as you can imagine I am beaming.
Next up is a short story of 900 words – we’re given 3 first lines to write, annoyingly all in first person so I’m thinking I’m going to write two versions: one following the first person, and one twisting it so I can write in third person. I’m not worried about that taking too long because in the free writing exercises we’ve been doing, I’ve been writing about 400 words in 15 minutes. The reflective commentary, on the other hand… ugh!

But what it does mean that by the time I’ve worked, cooked and studied, I am utterly exhausted and just flooping on the couch with a book. And, because I’m stressed, my ADHD is acting like a little bitch and I am starting a ridiculous number of books. I do seem to have started to settle on reading Bill Bryson – The Body: A Guide For Occupants and Sarah Penner

I have managed to finish a few lately though:3/5
Matt Haig – The Comfort Book – 4/5
Philip K Dick – The Impossible Planet – 4/5
Alok Vaid-Menon – Beyond The Gender Binary – 4.5/5
Edward Monkton – I Love You – 5/5
Carmen Parets Luque – A Handful Of Buttons – 3/5
Rob Jackson & Ricardo Gattas-Moras – The Rainbow Bee – 5/5
Mini-reviews to follow once I have more brain, probably next week after I’ve submitted my assignment