Monthly Musings (previously known as Words for the Week)

Before I start I must say that, yes, the change in title does mean the obvious. As well as going on a fic and meta posting hiatus whilst I study like a mad woman (see State of the Ficcery for a wordier explanation), I’m reducing my personal posting as well. From now on I’ll be sharing a roundup of the preceding month the first weekend of the next month, partly because of my limited writing time and partly because I doubt anyone would care for weekly posts of “I studied a bit and then studied some more and that’s it”. I do not wish to bore anyone. I won’t be completely MIA though, since there’ll still be theatre and film reviews and my WWI monthly posts popping up as and when.
Anyway, enough of the housekeeping, have some interesting stuff:
Venice was glorious. Lovely weather, good food, brilliant company (I’m extremely lucky in the parent stakes) and fabulous culture. Highlights were the Lace Museum on the island of Burano, the museum at the top of St Mark’s Basilica, the views from the Campanile in St Mark’s Square and the Querini Stampalia museum that was completely fascinating (and wonderfully free of crowds). Unsurprisingly I took a lot of photos. I won’t clutter up this post with them but if you click on caption of the photo below, it will take you to my Google album of the trip, where you can see the highlights!
Venice 2015
Plus I have two short videos I took whilst on the Vaporetto, one going up the Grand Canal and one going down.

I also got a bit overexcited with souvenir purchasing and am now the proud, if slightly poorer, owner of a significant number of guide books, postcards, some lovely drawings, and also – my birthday presents from Mum and Dad – a mask, a gorgeous rosewood and walnut chess set, and this beautiful owl:

I also had a Sherlock fandom moment when I saw this in the window of a glass shop and couldn’t resist:
The food was also fabulous, the Venetians really know how to do seafood and I made the absolute most being in a place where the chefs know how to prepare squid and baby octopus without turning them into rubber. I suspect most of you wouldn’t share my excitement about this but hey, it made me happy.
Returning home, although done somewhat reluctantly, was not as mood crushing as I’d expected, thanks to finding some belated birthday gifts from some lovely friends (thank you Sam, Katri and Chelsey) and a note from a friend letting me know that, in my absence, Judi Dench had been announced for The Winter’s Tale and Richard Madden for Romeo & Juliet and they’d booked me a ticket for each. So I’m SEEING JUDI IN NOVEMBER! Happy Kim is happy. Plus there were also several parcels from a certain person in NYC who is incredibly generous and often spoils me, which is how I now have quite a few bits of my Bilbo cosplay sorted out, including this little beauty:
I may have waved this around rather dramatically when I opened it, resulting in Dog giving me a significant amount of side eye.
Workwise, all the relevant departments formally agreed to my study request, so I’m all signed up for the Risk Management module and will sit the exam on 8th October 2015. I’m not panicking at all, in any way, about the amount of work I need to do between now and then, never mind remembering how to sit exams after all this time. I’ve already printed off all the course material, sorted out my office so that it’s study ready rather than writing ready, made a study plan and started working through the first unit this weekend, so I suppose I’m doing okay at the moment. In other happy news, I also got the official letter confirming my new job title and it contained an additional surprise – my new pay grade means that I qualify for a company car! Since Molly – my current car – was only purchased last year, I’ll be taking the car allowance instead, which might let me put a few pounds into my savings each month, which will be a novelty!
Get Your Words Out wise, I’m at 22,952 for the month and 80,079 for the year, which only goes to show what I can do when I’m on holiday, with just pen and paper, and not distracted by t’interweb. This firmly cements my belief that I need to severely limit my time on social networking sites in order to be as productive as possible and thus will probably be MIA a lot over the next twelve months as I focus on trying to not only pass both exams but achieve prizes in each. This will be last month I hit target but I’ll still keep a note of what words I do produce in my study breaks, so I’ll keep posting updates on this anyway. 
My monthly post on WWI went up at the end of April (unsurprisingly remembering Gallipoli) as did reviews for both Cinderellaand Avengers: Age of Ultron, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Finally, writing wise, last week I shared a book review for an anthology of stories about GLBTQI people during WWI and you can find out what I thought of A Pride of Poppies here.
And last, but never least, Dog is fit and well – if a little creaky with old age – and had a very lovely holiday with her favourite neighbours. As always, I have the obligatory pics of cuteness to share with you:

We had a lovely walk in the sunshine this morning and I’ll try and share some pics at some point. But now I must away to sort out dinner and do a bit more studying. Such is life!  

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