Sunday, 14 June 2015

Boop's Bookshelf: Close Range by Annie Proulx

Close Range checks off 'A book of short stories' in my 2015 reading challenge 

The Author

Annie Proulx is an American journalist and author. She writes several collections of short stories, and her most well known work would be Brokeback Mountain - which was adapted into a film. (However, many people who have seen the film wouldn't know it was originally a short story). Incidentally, Brokeback Mountain is included in this collection of short stories.
She has won several awards through her career, including a Pulitzer Prize, the Dos Passos Prize and the O. Henry Prize twice - both for stories within the Close Range collection. 
Proulx currently lives in Wyoming, the area in which Close Range is set.

The Synopsis
How does one write a synopsis on a collection of short stories? 

Close Range is a collection of stories all set in the Wyoming - a mountain region in the West of America. The stories are set at different time periods, however there are common themes throughout such as life as a rancher and the open spaces of Wyoming. All of the stories and all of the characters revolve around life in Wyoming.

My Thoughts
It's very rare that I read a book of short stories. In fact, I don't think I have ever read a book of short stories! Annie Proulx was able to create scenes in rich detail, no matter how short the story was. each of her stories were written differently, some very differently which I think is an impressive talent - usually an author has a recognizable style that comes through in their writing, but with Proulx this was not the case. I found that engaging and impressive.

The hardship and moral ambiguity of the characters and their situations really stands out through all of the stories. The immoral situations that they find themselves in are often written in as throwaway comments, and treated as normal or expected - especially the rape of women through the different time periods. It made an impact, and helped to make the reader understand how things were and the character's attitudes to life. It made an impact.

All of the stories really drive home the feeling of an open, sparse area where you don't come across many other people. The characters all seemed to be stuck in Wyoming, or always coming back to it.

My Rating...
3.5 stars

I enjoyed reading it, I admire the authors writing skills and it's a collection I may reread in future.

Friday, 5 June 2015

A New Thing

I have two blogs, this one, and my health and fitness blog. I usually try to keep them separate, and not post about weight etc on here. However, I have undertaken a big change as of Thursday, so it seemed relevant to write about it on here too.

After struggling to battle my weight on my own, I finally took the plunge and joined Slimming World. This is going to be a big overhaul and I'll be acclimatizing to different eating habits. I would go so far as to say this is a lifestyle change...I'm commiting to attending the weekly meetings every Thursday, and to following the Slimming World eating plan.

I'm going to have to put in a lot of effort to plan out my meals - especially lunches at work...

I feel apprehensive about everything at the moment, so I'm not entirely sure how I feel about doing this. A part of me is looking forward to it, another part of me feels apprehensive about sticking to a plan - I'm worried I will fail and waste everyone's time. BUUUT there we go. I'm doing it and changing my food choices.

Today was day 1 of Slimming World, I'm finding it a bit confusing to work out how many syns things are actually worth, especially when the starter pack book says one thing, and the website says another. Annoying...Anyway, that's what's been going on with me recently.

Happy Friday!

Monday, 1 June 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I hate being hairy. Yes, I am absolutely going there. When I have hairy armpits I feel like a icky man-lady. Over the years I've tried all kinds of hair removal...shaving, waxing, that stinky hair cream stuff...the only thing I haven't tried is the slightly more permanent laser hair removal (I can neither confirm nor deny that it may be next on my list of things to try...)

I thought it would be interesting to write about my experiences with each method...ENJOY

1. Shaving

The standard. Where more or less everyone starts out...


  • Feels great to get the hair off quickly and pain-free! 
  • Quick
  • Cheap
  • Easy
  • Can do it at home
  • Convenient
  • Itchy regrowth
  • Does NOT last very long. At all. 2 days max
  • Accidental slips or bad angles can cause uncontrollable bleeding and scarring
  • Razors quickly go blunt
  • Razor burn/razor rash
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Red bobbly skin

Krummometer says: 

P.S. Krumm is a character from a cartoon Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. It was always on Cartoon Network in the late evenings.
The convenience of shaving pushed it up to a 3 for me, and to be fair, I shave on my legs pretty much all the time. Though in other more sensitive areas - like armpits - it does not work very well for me.

2. Hair Removal Cream


  • Quick
  • Can do it at home

  • It smells gross
  • It doesn't work as well as I would like it to
  • It's gloopy

Krummometer says: 

I did not like this. at all. Gross and smelly with unsatisfactory results...Boooooo!

3. Epilator


  • Quicker than plucking each hair out
  • Cheap (once you have bought the epilator)
  • Reusable
  • Painful. All the pain.
  • Scary - there is no way I would use this on my underarms - legs are as far as I will go with this!
  • Too violent - sometimes it breaks the hairs and I'm left with stubble

Krummometer says: 

Another hair removal method I did NOT like. It's too painful and does not give very good results.... Having said that, the last time I used an epilator was several years ago soo it might be worth giving this another shot. Maybe. 

4. Strip Wax (Home kits)


  • Pulls the hair out from the root
  • Lighter regrowth
  • You can do it privately at home without the awkwardness of stripping off in a salon

  • Painful
  • Takes a lot of courage to pull off the strip yourself
  • Messy and sticky
  • It's hard to reach all the areas you want to wax 
  • Takes a lot of time

Krummometer says:
It's hard to pull the strips off - correctly - on your own. It's also soo messy and sticky...I prefer the smoothness of waxing, but I prefer the convenience of shaving over the mess of waxing myself

5. Strip Wax (Salon)

  • You don't have to do anything. Just lay back and let the beautician do the work
  • Lighter regrowth
  • Smooth results


  • Going to a salon every month can get expensive
  • Painful
  • Having to grow the hair out long enough to be waxed again is neither fun nor attractive...

Krummometer says:
I love the smooth, clean feeling after a wax. However, I have sensitive skin so I do sometimes come up quite red and sore in the stubborn hair areas.

6. Hot Wax
  • Gentler on the skin (no wax strips - just peels off)
  • Gets the shorter hairs that can be missed in a strip wax
  • Smells nice
  • hairless for longer
  • Grows back finer
  • Gets expensive going to a salon every month
  • Can be painful (but less painful than strip wax)
  • I haven't seen this in many places - few and far between!
  • Have to regrow the hair in-between treatments

Krummometer says: 

Pling Pling Pling! We have a winner. This by far is my favorite hair removal method. I prefer it over all other methods I've tried thus far! 

What method do you prefer?