Summer vlogging #2: Books, Banking, Bonkers

Summer vlogging #2: Books, Banking, Bonkers

Books mentioned:
Big Sky – Kate Atkinson
The way we eat now – Bree Wilson
The familiars – Stacey Halls
Thinking on my feet – Kate Humble
The Growing Season – Helen Sedgewick
In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield
Emma by Jane Austen

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just sorting out the books that I'm returning to the library I'm first of all I'm returning Kate Atkinson speak sky I actually have not read it yet I thought I could read it before we go to Canada but I just didn't get around to it and it's obviously you know not renewable because there is a queue so I'm gonna return it now and you know got it I didn't get around to it but you know I can just reserve it again and it will get back to me at some point or I might listen to the audio because I actually think that the audiobooks four discs are really quite good then a book that I sort of dipped in and out of um is people since the way we eat now strategies for eating in a world of change I sort of I didn't read this cover to cover um so I never really spoke about it I didn't think there was anything new in it nothing that I didn't know I thought for the most part it was actually not very engaging he written um so I was not compelled to read the whole thing yes this is gonna go back and then the familiars i dnf'd it was just such a flat book I didn't think he dialogue I mean the dialogue in particular was what made me DNF it really terrible dialogue and and also just a whole tone of the book I mean we're told that it's set in the past and you know so but you know it doesn't feel like it is actually set in the past and yeah so I didn't really like it um yeah and then obviously gonna return thinking on my feet so I only have one book left out from the library noticed a growing season by Helen Sedgwick and although I don't not going to read it before we go away and I would like to pick it up when we get back and so I'm gonna keep that for now only gone really warm and I'm sort of just sitting outside waiting for the husband to cook dinner perks of him being off still sort of reading this three sort of stories left really enjoying it it's very snarky against Germans so she wrote it in 1911 and and then the publisher folded not because of her but just generally and another publisher approached her in 1914 when the war with Germany um you know started and she refused to have it published because she didn't want to add gasoline to an already burning fire that's my own metaphor not hers and and I really like her for that but I also can't say that she's wrong in some of her observations so yeah but I like it so I finished Emma yesterday and she really annoyed me I mean I still liked a book you know but considering that M I used to be my favorite when I was a teenager I can tell how much I've changed the book is the same it's just me that has changed and I just found her really annoying and actually a bit mean and you know I think the turnaround in the character in the end is quite nice you know that's sort of the redeeming factor of really the redeeming factor of the main character is quite good and I like the juxtaposition of the redemption in comparison of Emma to Frank Churchill I really like that I really like that kind of comparison but yeah you know not my favorite and I also finished cade Mansfield in a German pension mr. wrong way around and yeah I really liked those stories and that's on my first Mansfield um I read remember um but yeah I really liked Oh Sam some of our very biting others really dark and and some were playing weird so yeah but I highly recommend especially if you're German um certainly the first three stories very humorous anyway I'm off now for a blood test I have to get dressed and get myself to the hospital um to have my by animal blood test and yeah I'll speak to later so back in Harbin I always seem to be ending here I'm going to HSBC because I used to have an account with them and for the last 10 years I've been trying to close it and this is no joke every year they sent me a statement for tea account I have long since moved all the money out of the account there's only a few pennies in there because I couldn't completely empty it wouldn't let me do it and so there's like you know 5p in there or something like that and when I go to the bank and say I want to close down the account and they say the account doesn't exist yeah and it doesn't matter that I have sorry it was a message popping up um that I don't have you know that I have a statement it's been ridiculous so finally I got the Financial Ombudsman involved and you know and that took like nearly two years to kind of get to somewhere but now I finally have a letter from HSBC that I can take to the bank with my proof of existence that you constantly have to provide here in England and close the account and you know initially I thought oh do I really want to do that before the holiday but I thought well let's just do it the letter arrived yesterday and I thought I'm just gonna go today and do it because either it works and it's done or it doesn't work and I'm just gonna be annoyed but if I leave it until after the holiday I think but if I would have gone immediately maybe I would have worked anyway never bank with HSBC it's just like or never Bank in England if you can avoid it because it's hell so I'm full-on in holiday anxiety mode yeah I get incredible holiday anxiety it just happens it's just awful and yeah busy cleaning the house and doing stuff and finished reading for read around reading through the ages the girl the witch for Adler the witch from blackboard pond Sharon's her to cover really lighted fits T America's early settlement prompt and it was a really quick read and I also finished dustbin in house by Kathleen Lahiya which was published in 1908 and caused a scandal because it dealt with women and you know illegitimate children and you know I've really thought it was quite excellent actually there was a novella so yeah so I shall continue on with things now and yeah be busy and productive hopefully here's hoping


  1. In one of your last videos you've talked about getting dizzy if you look at someone playing Minecraft, I always get dizzy when you all of a sudden speed up your videos. What are you doing to me, Mel! I felt like being on a rollercoaster while actually lying on my sofa.
    And, oh my gosh, your daughter has so grown-up since the last time she showed up in one of your videos!

  2. Emma is the first Austen I've read, and I was quite appreciative to dislike her character.
    I think every company likes to make it difficult to close an account – I still think some of my grandmother's may be open and she's been dead over a year now.
    Completely understand the holiday anxiety. It's one of the main reasons I haven't gone away in two years. I'm sure you'll have quite the brilliant time though.

  3. I’m relieved to hear you found the character of Emma annoying. I’m in the middle of reading Emma and I think she’s obnoxious. I know she’s one of Austen’s most beloved characters, and I was feeling guilty about not liking her overly much.

  4. Ok, this is completely off topic, but in your walk around, after the bit in your car about the bank account, you walked past a business (?) called "Slug & Lettuce" is that a pub? I know its stupid, but now I can't stop wondering what kind of business it is if its not a pub.

  5. Interesting that the library has signed books! Too bad there were so many disappointing reads in there but at least you're not out the money. 😅 Didn't know that about Katherine Mansfield but that really makes me like her. I need to reread Emma next year for Jane Austen July – I read it when I was a teenager too although despite liking the book I wasn't particularly fond of her back then.

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