Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tennis..........some thoughts on the women's game.

So, world No1 Caroline Wozniaki is under fire for being in that position despite never winning a Grand Slam.  It's a valid point, but hardly the first time it's happened - Dinara Safina faced the exact same accusation.  I'm sat watching Wimbledon now, and it's made me think about the women's game......

My quick peruse of the WTA rankings show 4 players in the current Top 10 have won a Slam.  2 (Clijsters and Sharapova) are "old" players and have not been consistent due to injuries, and retirement and comeback in Clijsters case.  Li Na won her first Slam last month and Schiavone doesn't seem to be as effective in other tournaments as she has been at the French.  The only other former winners I can see in the top 30 are Ana Ivanovic (who dropped drastically after winning the French 4 years ago) and the Williams sisters..............who if they were injury free and played more would probably still be 1 and 2.

And herein lies the problem - to a layman like myself - the womens game is MASSIVELY inconsistent!  The only consistent players were Venus and Serena (but injury has scuppered them) and this has led to players who play the most being Number 1.  Wozniaki plays ALOT and accumulates more points.................and is therefore No1, but can't be consistent enough to play well at the big tournaments.  And the same can be said for the other top women.  Until a few of them step it up a notch (or Sharapova pulls it back together) it's unlikely that the No 1 will be a multi slam winner.

They need to take note from the Mens top 4..................
The Affinity Bridge (Newbury and Hobbes, #1)The Affinity Bridge by George Mann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn't think I was going to enjoy this - I'd originally bought it for Chris - so included it on my TBR Challenge for this year.  I'd had an earlier, relatively unsuccessful foray into steampunk so I approached this with some trepidation.....

It's London under Victoria's reign, but ground trains and electric hansom cabs run along the streets, and airships rule the skies.........and a plague like virus is making people zombie like (although for those of you who aren't zombie - or revenants as Mann calls them - don't fear, it's not the dominant story.  I really enjoyed the detective duo - neither of whom are perfect and both have their secrets and darker sides - and I loved the murky and dark setting of a slightly off kilter Victorian London.

I hadn't realised when I started, that this was the first in a series.  A quick internet search revealed that there are two more out there.  So, 2 more for the wishlist, and I'm hoping that the covers are as gorgeous as this one ('cos we all know how important a good cover is!)

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Casino RoyaleCasino Royale by Ian Fleming
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this!  I really wish I'd read it earlier.  Hard to believe that this is the book that sparked the phenom that is James Bond, and more so that it was first published in 1953.  This is a different Bond to the one we've grown up with - he's colder and more intense than we're used to, and being a book, we're privy to more insights than you get in the films.  I'm not sure I agree with everything he thinks tho - "He reflected that good Americans were fine people, and most of them seemed to come from Texas" ;)

Of course, there are signs of it's age - attitudes to women are decidedly different to now.  Bond refers to Vesper Lynd as "blithering women who thought they could do a mans work".  You've got to love it.

All in all - I'm really pleased I finally got round to reading it.  A great little spy tale that's decidedly darker than I thought it would be.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'm going to moan,,,,,you have been warned.

Is my body slowly but surely crumbling around me???  I've had terrible knees for years - probably down to playing netball for too long - but have got used to this, although it does come back to bite me now and again, most recently when I tried Body Pump at the gym and was in agony with squats and lunges.

I spent a good portion of 2010 with a badly sprained ankle.  A totally innocent accident which resulted in sprains to both the inside and outside of the ankle.  The fact that my parents were visiting at the time, it was the childs birthday the day I did it, and I went to a concert 5 days after all meant it didn't get the rest it needed and took 7 months to heal "properly" - I still feel it every now and again and if I run on the treadmill (admittedly a rare happening!) it doesn't like it!

Then in March of this year I hurt my back whilst helping Luke to ride his bike.  It's taken a while but it's pretty much back to normal, although I can still feel that pesky sciatic nerve now and again!

And now - I did warn you - I have an incredibly painful neck and left shoulder.  I thought it was our cheap pillows causing the issue, but I've switched to a memory foam pillow (not one of those contoured ones - I can't sleep with them - a regular one) and it's not helped.  If anything, it's worse...................what the heck is going on?!?!  I had a massage last week and have been putting heat on it as recommended, but nothing, zilch, nada.

I know my problems are minimal, but they're mine and I'm FED UP!

Thanks for reading............................sorry!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Catching up....

It's been 5 weeks since I posted and I intend to get back to blogging at least once a week, but for now, it's a quick weight update.  I fell off the wagon, and hadn't weighed (or followed the plan if I'm honest) since Easter (I stopped when I went to LA for a girls weekend and never started again).  So last week I bit the bullet and went back and had put on 6.4lbs.....................BLOODY HELL.

Fastforward to last night, and 2.2lbs of that gain has gone - thank goodness.  I'm tracking properly and have stepped it up a notch at the gym.  I started Bodypump last week and 24 hours after my first experience was walking like my 90 year old Nana!  It'll be worth it though.

Just quickly - here's a gorgeous recipe I made tonight (and all 3 of us loved it!) - thanks Weight Watchers!
Asian Quinoa Salad