Saturday, 30 March 2013

Making ready

Going to Germany for a whole week is causing me a logistical headache. I may spend the next two days naked as I strongly suspect I've blindly packed every item of clothing I own into a suitcase. This may or may not be an issue, depending on how far I plan to roam from my room.

My first lesson back with A was this morning, and it was amazing. We did English, and it was during this lesson that I learned why I keep hearing the aberration "different than." It is, of course, merely a question of style, and in the wider picture it is meaningless to even mention it but, all the same, it is abominable. Apparently it is entirely common in American English, which demonstrates that our two languages are simply growing further apart. In another thousand years they'll be completely different.

That lesson was a meaty three hours of hard grammar work topped off with a 250-word editorial piece. That was all the instruction that was given; no mention of how to write an editorial or what particular language one should use. Simply the command: "Do."

In any case, A came up with an interesting idea about coding, suggesting that it should be taught to children from primary school. He made a compelling argument (with a couple of stylistic nudges from me, I confess) and now we wait. He's promised to email me to let me know what the teacher thinks.

The rest of the day has been given over to shopping and sprucing the flat up. Mary's coming down, and I can't have her realising I live in a pigsty. Once again I leapt head first into a conversation with a shop assistant without knowing the vocab. If you've ever tried to mime "cleaning fluid"...well, I don't recommend it. It just looks strange and draws a small crowd of people all wondering why this deranged chap was wandering around by himself.

It was a very helpful crowd though. I am now equipped with the words for "cleaning fluid".

The clocks go forward tonight, that time of the year when the nature of time seems at its wibbly-wobbliest. To tie in with that Doctor Who is back on British screens this evening, and if I so much as hear a syllable of spoiler there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. And I look ridiculous when I wail and gnash my teeth.

My last item for today - I had an hour to kill while waiting for my bus and, since I'm a fan of urban fantasy stories The Dresden Files Amazon recommended me Crimes Against Magic, by Steve McHugh. According to my Kindle I've managed 42%, which simply shows my stubborn nature because I knew it was awful from 5% in, when the protagonist seduces a woman in (literally) two minutes and ten sentences, then knocks her out, steals a priceless artifact with effortless magic and then zooms off into the night in an Audi TT he'd stolen earlier.

Not even 5% in and he is the most unlovable character I have ever run into.

The plot progresses in an unsurprising fashion; turns out this Mary Sue is also immortal, a hit with two other attractive women and, to top it off, a martial arts expert with a cold heart and a calculating brain. Except when he's laying on the lovin', which McHugh does with toe-curlingly awkward aplomb.

Don't bother with this book. Even if it's free, your time has a value, and this book is not worth it.

I hate to be negative, I truly do, but this book was such a stinker that I had to mention it.

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To Germany!

Allons-y! Wait, no. Gehen wir!