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Another day, another year

Happy New Year to all and I hope that everyone had an excellent bank holiday season.

My Christmas was blighted by a very unpleasant virus, which hit me a few days before Christmas and came complete with a high fever, hallucinations, coughing, sneezing and all kinds of other general unpleasantness. I managed to make it back to the parental abode on Christmas Eve just about but spent most of my Christmas break either asleep, coughing or sneezing. All very special.

I'm kind of getting back to normal but can't seem to shake my cough, which is getting pretty old pretty quickly. I did manage to get a New Year as my mate S. invited me around to her place for zombies and junk food and we had a v. good time watching The Walking Dead and gossiping.

So ... Florida.

I'm going to take a leaf out of David Letterman's and captainsblog's books and do it in the form of top 5 lists.


1. Being mistaken for a Korean family's nanny: I was following a Korean family onto Space Mountain and got put in the same rollercoaster car as the father and 2 of his 3 kids. The mother disappeared with the push chair to wait for them when they got off and when we did all get off, the mother (holding youngest kid) rushed off with the 2 very excited older kids. Dad trailed after them, forgetting the push chair. A Disney employee then gave me the push chair and told me I'd better get after them. Cue strange look, which got stranger when the poor Korean father came back and found me holding his push chair. I think he was a bit offended that anyone would think I worked for him. Oh well.

2. Being asked if I'd been serving in Afghanistan: This was the product of a disastrous haircut prior to my holiday. At least that's the only explanation I've got for why anyone would ask me if I'd come back from a tour. To be fair, the gentleman who asked me did immediately realise that he'd made a mistake when he looked down and saw that there was no way I could ever be described as being in top combat fitness.

3. The American girl who thought my waterproof poncho was communal property: The log flumes and rapids rides are great fun in the height of summer when you can get soaked and have the sun dry you off 10 minutes later. In December though, when the temperature on a bad day is about 10c, you need the waterpoof ponchos. In fact, you really need a wet suit because those rides are designed to soak you and wandering around a theme park in damp knickers no longer holds the thrill that it used to. Anywho, coming off a ride I took off the sopping wet poncho, gave it a shake and then had a young American girl take it out of my hands and start making off with it. Cue a full and frank exchange of views in which I was told that I was "mean" (like we didn't know that already) and she was told where to insert her entitlement issues.

4. Discussing the fortunes of Liverpool FC with a family from Wisconsin: Pretty self-explanatory. Never expected to find a Wisconsin family of Liverpool fans in Disney but I did and we exchanged sorry shakes of the head.

5. Being the only person on a rollercoaster ride and being allowed to stay on for ride after ride: Okay, so the ride was Flight of the Hippogriff, but it was still pretty cool. And I got to ride up front. For those interested, it's like this:

This segues nicely into the

1. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey: It was absolutely brilliant - from the recreation of Hogwarts Castle to the ride itself, it really is a lot of fun from start to finish.

2. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: It's the feeling of weightlessness that made this a real blast. I kept giggling all the way through the 13 storey drop.

3. The Aerosmith Rock 'N' Roll Coaster: the whole pre-ride spiel is really cheesey and best skipped but the ride itself is a lot of fun.

4. Men In Black Ride: it's a shooting game but it's a lot of fun, particularly because it's one that people do get competitive about.

5. Expedition Everest Rollercoaster: fast, furious and another one that I was allowed to stay on because there was no one waiting in the queue. Wheeee!

All in all it was a good holiday and if you're child free, my recommendation would definitely be to go the week after Thanksgiving because the queues were non-existant - the longest wait I had was 60 minutes for a ride called Soarin' at Epcot at the end of the day. I'd definitely recommend staying at hotels at the sites if you're not keen on driving because all the transportation is laid on and you get a few hours extra in the parks.

I did all the rides except the kiddy ones that I was too big to go on (apparently). That included a Jurassic Park ride at Universal Studios where adults were only allowed on if they had a child and I couldn't find anyone to lend me theirs. Also, people react very strangely to being asked if you can borrow their child. And some definitely over-reacted.

Anyway, most terrifying rides I did were this:

and this:

So with 2010 over, I should give some stats:

1. The Hundred-Towered City by Garry Kilworth (STARTED IN 2009).

2. Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero by Dan Abnett.

3. Sixty-One Nails by Mike Shevdon.

4. Stolen by Lucy Christopher.

5. Rebel by R. J. Anderson.

6. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher.

7. Legend by David Gemmell.

8. Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

9. Fire by Kristin Cashore.

10. Death Message by Mark Billingham.

11. Smiley’s People by John Le Carré.

12. Pure Blood by Caitlin Kittredge.

13. Alone In Berlin by Hans Fallada.

14. Servant of the Underworld by Aliette de Bodard.

15. Self-Promotion For Introverts: The Quiet Guide To Getting Ahead by Nancy Ancowitz.

16. Meteorite Strike by A. G. Taylor.

17. Twelve by Jasper Kent.

18. Changeling: Blood Wolf by Steve Feasey.

19. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

20. The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh.

21. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.

22. The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas.

23. Need by Carrie Jones.

24. The Thirteen Curses by Michelle Harrison.

25. Look Out! The Teachers Are Coming edited by Tony Bradman.

26. East End Chronicles: Three Hundred Years of Mystery and Mayhem by Ed Glinert.

27. West End Chronicles: 300 Years of Glamour and Excess in the Heart of London by Ed Glinert.

28. Shadow Prowler by Alexey Pehov.

29. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

30. Timeriders by Alex Scarrow.

31. Fat by Rob Grant.

32. The Mermaids by Robert Edric.

33. Verdigris Deep by Frances Hardinge.

34. The Lees of Laughter’s End by Steven Erikson.

35. One Foot In The Grave by Jeaniene Frost.

36. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

37. The Left Hand Of God by Paul Hoffman.

38. Ash by Malinda Lo.

39. The Toymaker by Jeremy De Quidt.

40. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

41. The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.

42. The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson.

43. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce.

44. Mortlock by Jon Mayhew.

45. Vicious Circle by Mike Carey.

46. Crawlers by Sam Enthoven.

47. Witchfinder: Dawn of the Demontide by William Hussey.

48. The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan.

49. Blood Line by Mark Billingham.

50. In The Dark by Mark Billingham.

51. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima.

52. The Reach of Children by Tim Lebbon.

53. The Inferior by Peadar Ó Guilín.

54. Spellwright by Blake Charlton.

55. The Blackhope Enigma by Teresa Flavin.

56. The Lost Art by Simon Morden.

57. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

58. The Returners by Gemma Malley.

59. The Dead by David Gatward.

60. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

61. Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick.

62. The Ask And The Answer by Patrick Ness.

63. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness.

64. Desperate Measures by Laura Summers.

65. Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire.

66. Passion Play by Beth Bernobich.

67. A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis.

68. Unholy Ghosts by Stacia Kane.

69. Feed by Mira Grant.

70. The Fool’s Girl by Celia Rees.

71. Unleashed by Kristopher Reisz.

72. Tall Story by Candy Gourlay.

73. The Enemy by Charlie Higson.

74. Young Sherlock Holmes: Death Cloud by Andrew Lane.

75. I Kill by Giorgio Faletti.

76. Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell.

77. A Matter Of Blood by Sarah Pinborough.

78. The Demon’s Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan.

79. Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy.

80. Day By Day Armageddon: Beyond Exile by J. L. Bourne.

81. Mediated by Thomas De Zengotita.

82. Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

83. iBoy by Kevin Brooks.

84. I Spy: The Constantinople Caper by Graham Marks.

85. The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

86. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick.

87. Runemarks by Joanne Harris.

88. Eleven by Mark Watson.

89. Candor by Pam Bachorz.

90. Alien Storm by A. G. Taylor.

91. Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers.

92. Lord Peter Views The Body by Dorothy L. Sayers.

93. The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas.

94. Low Life by Ryan David Jahn.

95. My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon Edited By P. N. Elrod.

96. Bartimaeus: The Ring Of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud.

97. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

98. The King’s Bastard by Rowena Cory Daniells.

99. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare.

100. Before I Die by Jenny Downham.

101. Claire De Lune by Christine Johnson.

102. The Complaints by Ian Rankin.

103. A Plague Of Sinners by Paul Lawrence.

104. The Fall by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

105. Plague Of The Dead: The Morningstar Strain by Z. A. Recht.

106. Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay.

107. The Dead by Charlie Higson.

108. The Executioner by Chris Carter.

109. The Medusa Project – The Hostage by Sophie McKenzie.

110. The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

111. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

112. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

113. Angel by L. A. Weatherly.

114. Merchants of Culture: The Publishing Business In The Twenty-First Century by John B. Thompson.

115. Passing Strange by Daniel Waters.

116. You Against Me by Jenny Downham.

117. Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews.

118. Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days by Derek Landy.

119. Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil by Derek Landy.

120. The D.U.F.F.: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger.

121. Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar.

122. The Honourable Schoolboy by John le Carré.

123. The Pure in Heart by Susan Hill.

124. Hawkwood’s Voyage by Paul Kearney.

125. The Heretic Kings by Paul Kearney.

126. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl.

1. Sherlock Holmes (Cert. 12A)

2. The Wolfman (Cert. 15)

3. Iron Man II (Cert. 12A)

4. Kick-Ass (Cert. 15)

5. Prince of Persia (Cert. 12A)

6. Due Date (Cert. 15)

7. Love And Other Drugs (Cert. R)

8. The Warrior’s Way (Cert. R)

9. Tron: Legacy (Cert. 12A)

I wasn't going to do resolutions for 2011 because ... well they didn't work out in 2010. But if I don't have some kind of aim then I'll just wither, so I've come with:

1. Finish the bloody book.

2. Finish the bloody book.

3. I mean it. Finish the bloody book.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)
Next time you go I'll lend you the emperor. I've been looking for someone to devolve roll coaster/ ride duty too.
Jan. 1st, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
Deal! It would be a pleasure and an honour to accompany his imperial majesty on a ride. :)
Jan. 2nd, 2011 11:07 pm (UTC)
But didn't you already finish the book?... :-P

Jan. 5th, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
:shakes fist:
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


Caroline Hooton

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