Random Chatter

5 Random Thoughts at the end of May

Since I don’t have a lot of bookish stuff to talk about at the moment… I thought I would do something completely random today. These are random opinions and thoughts I have had lately. They are not serious, just random bits of info and/or thoughts.

1. Just because I have lived in Britain, does not mean I am THAT interested in the Royal Wedding.

Related imageI went to see my grandma today and she had cut out an article for me on the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan whatever-her-name-is. Although I am like the Queen and the idea of the Royal family as a whole, in Britain as well as The Netherlands, I am not that fussed about Harry’s wedding. Soz!

2. Back to bootcut!

Image result for levis 715I wore my last pair of bootcut jeans the other week, for the first time in ages. I forgot how flattering a cut it is. It’s been skinny jeans for the last few years and I am a bit fed up with them. I am a medium girl that has a bum and thighs, and I have been happily wearing those skinny jeans, but man, I’m going back to the early 2000s and bootcut! So I went in search of a good pair of bootcut jeans. Not easy as they are not in fashion at the moment! (Give it a few years!) Finally got myself a pair of Levi’s 715s and I am in love!  Some wedged sandals and a cool top and they look amazing! They are just a tad expensive, so one pair will do. BRING BACK BOOTCUT!

3. Most children’s toys are rubbish!

Image result for doh vinciIt’s true. My 6yo daughter had her birthday party for her school friends the other day and she got loads of presents. Most look good, but when she actually starts trying them out, they are sooooo rubbish. An example: There’s this new thing called Doh Vinci (I know!), with which you put some clay in some sort of gun and you are supposed to make patterns with it. It looks lovely in the adverts and on the package, but I can’t make it look neat, let alone my 6-year-old. She just gets frustrated. And the same goes for a lot of things to be honest. The quality of today’s toys is pretty abysmal.

4. I sometimes hate that books and music influence my mood so spectacularly. 

Image result for sad emojiI seem to be very sensitive moodwise to outside influences. Not only other people’s attitudes can affect the way I feel in general, but also books and music. This can be positive, but also negative. The atmosphere of a book or music album can really creep into me and make me very sunny and happy or very grumpy and snappy.  It can cause minor things like reading slumps, but it can also make me snap at family members without reason, which is not so good. This was something I realised recently as I have been listening to particular new album, which I actually really like, but it’s a break-up album and somehow it makes me feel like I just want to be left alone. I have had the same thing with books before. Am I the only one who has this issue?

5. It’s actually okay to be less active on my blog for a couple of weeks.

I still find myself feeling guilty that I have not been posting so often. It’s that low mood that I have been talking about! I just feel less energized, I am reading less and I just do not have that much to chat about at the moment. And you know what, that is fine. I will be back to normal soon (that’s how these things go), so taking it easy for a couple of weeks is not a problem. Now you know, that is what I am doing 🙂

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Any particular things that have been on your mind lately?

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Random Chatter

What’s Up, Week?

Just a bit of Sunday chatter from me today 🙂

Friday was my most anticipated release of the year! And no, it was not a book. It was Ash’s new album Islands and it is superb! So yeah, I am spending all my time today listening to that and not doing much reading!

Ash - Islands

I adore my books and my reading, but sometimes other things come up that eclipse that for a while. Listening to new music is one of those. And since a couple of my favourite bands released new music in the past few weeks I have been listening to those quite a lot. I can read whilst listening to old music, but not whilst listening to new stuff. Odd, but true! I feel like I still want to pay attention to the music and the lyrics and all the nuances of this new music that I am falling in love with.

Beside that I have been writing as well. I used to write a lot, but not so much in the last year or so. I go through spells. Once an idea plants itself in my head I need to act on it and I am enjoying writing again at the moment. I don’t think I will ever complete a novel or anything like that, but I find the act of writing itself quite cathartic. I love writing about people and how they relate to each other, about love and friendship.  I think often it is a way to write away all the frustration or negativity into positive characters and emotions. But then, my characters can also be extremely angry and frustrated, but somehow they always manage to land on their feet.  It would not make a very readable story, and most of it is just a cheap form of therapy! But,  I enjoy it and that is what counts! Right?!

I had a messy week in general, between going along on my daughter’s school trip, going to a (fantastic) gig and dinner in Amsterdam and all sorts of big and small jobs that needed sorting. Even today, my other half and I did quite a bit of work out in the garden, which needs to be done before all the weeds and all sorts take over! (It’s a never ending epic battle, I swear)

I am hoping the weather will be better  today as we should be going to my bestie’s house for a barbecue. God, I love summer when it shows itself!

In terms of reading, I had a really strong start to the week but it kind of fizzled out after that! Monday was the first day my daughter was back at school after half term and I did spend much of a day curled up on the sofa with a variety of books. I finished Circe (which I adored), started and finished Little Beast (which was meh), started Lift, read some of Kingdoms of Faith and listened to a couple of chapters of How Not To Be A Boy. I was hopeful the rest of the week would be the same…. But no! I did manage to finish Lift, which was a fun sort of middle grade/YA novel about carousel ponies and read a bit more of Kingdoms of Faith, but that was pretty much it. For the last few days I have been reading Break (Clare Littlemore). I am about 30% in and so far it is not grabbing me like the first book (Flow) did. The plot development is just rather slow so far. Fingers crossed it will pick up soon, because I absolutely adored the first book.

What are have you been up this past week?

 

 

Random Chatter

Catch-Up: Spring on my mind…

Well, spring has well and truly sprung and we have had a gorgeous warm sunny weekend, the first of the year. We actually spent most of the weekend outside, which was just sooooo nice!

Last week we pollarded our four willow trees and yesterday we chopped up the thicker branches for firewood and used the rest to create a 14m long fence down one side of our future paddock. We just put pairs of posts in the ground and chucked (in a slightly organised way) the leftover branches between them.

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That was pretty exhausting, not to mention it took most of the day! Today we relaxed a lot and I had hoped to get a lot of reading done. I am reading The Fires of Heaven, which is book five of The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan. I am enjoying it, but it’s just taking me a while to get through. I did read a bit, but I could not concentrate on it and my daughter was a big distraction of course, wanting to play and explore with me, and how can I say no to that!

I love that first blast of warm sunshine each spring. My favourite time of year!

I have had a few slow reading weeks now and I have a feeling it may continue for a little while longer. I have quite a few things on and beside that, I am going through all the stuff we have and trying to throw out (or donate if possible) a lot of our stuff, as we have accumulated a fair amount of unneccessary junk (read: things).

I have already done my and my daughter’s wardrobes. I have already taken six bags of clothes to the clothing bank and I probably have at least another four ready to go. How bad is that! It feels good though. I should only be left with things in my wardrobe that I will actually wear, which is a great feeling. Everything that was unflattering, too tight, too big or just plain uncomfortable had to go. Good riddance!

I also did some of my kitchen cupboards, filled two donation boxes, and reorganised them.

I don’t know what got into me! I never had the spring cleaning bug before… It’s useful for our house – not so useful for reading! Though I have been listening to audio books whilst doing so.

Anyway, how was your weekend? Let me know! xx

Random Chatter

Random chat: Not Reading… much

Well, that’s not completely true, but I have been reading quite a bit less than normal the last few days. This is partly because my daughter has been on her school holidays, so I have been doing this with her, partly because I have been stressed (previously mentioned frozen pipes, which have now thawed out and so far no damage is evident – phew!), and partly because I just have not really been in the mood.

We have also been outside a lot. We have been skating on the frozen water (like wide ditches) around our house and today we have been cutting back a lot of trees etc that we can only reach when there’s ice. It could be a few years before we have ice like that again, so we had to take this opportunity. A lot of work that needed to get done got done, so now we are chilling with a glass of cider in hand.

I don’t feel like I am in a reading slump – I am just having a few days in which I am doing other stuff rather than reading. In the evenings I have been watching a movie with my husband or getting organised in my personal life.

Normally I would read about 100 pages a day, but the last few days it’s been between 25 and 50. I am sure I will pick up the pace soon. I have a lazy day planned for tomorrow for instance and Monday my girl is back at school and for once I have nothing on and I plan to do a lot of reading! Yay! I will miss her though – I always do when school holidays are over.

I was going to listen to my audio book on the way to the supermarket this morning, but my phone had either ideas and told me the book was not downloaded onto my phone, which was an absolute lie. It’s working again now. Maybe even Audible is susceptible to the big freeze.

I have a gig in Amsterdam to go to on Tuesday. I am seeing the wonderful Canadian band Alvvays with my husband. We saw them a few months ago as well and they were brilliant! We will have a nice meal beforehand, as it is my birthday on Thursday. My birthday itself will be low key, as always. I just don’t get excited about birthdays anymore – is that weird?

I also need to sort through my wardrobe, as spring is coming and I have no idea what’s in there! Something to do during the week… if I feel like it 😉

What have you been up to this Saturday and what are you doing tomorrow? Any exciting things coming up this week? Or unexciting things for that matter…

Random Chatter

What Trainspotting means to me…

Just a random post, as I caught the trailer of Trainspotting floating about the interweb today, saying it was released in cinemas 22 years ago. If someone asked me to pinpoint a movie that feels important to me personally, it would be that Danny Boyle masterpiece. It always brings back a lot of memories.

I was almost seventeen in when it came out and I had never seen anything like it. Culturally and sonically it fitted in with my ideas of what was cool at the time. It had a fantastic plot, great (mainly unknown) British actors, it was funny and dark and gritty and not to mention had a fantastic soundtrack. I just fell in love with Trainspotting as soon as I saw it. In fact, me and my friends were a bit obsessed with it for a while! We played the soundtrack all the time, we had the posters, we tried out the Scottish accent (with varying success) and of course we were all in love with Ewan McGregor (Renton) and Jonny Lee Miller (Sick Boy). Despite my love for Ewan, my favourite character was Spud, the adorable goof.

At the time there was a lot of hooha about it glamourizing heroin. Did those people actually see the movie? There was clearly nothing glamorous about taking heroin. Instead it is the best anti-drugs campaign ever made in my opinion. But it was never about the heroin for me, it was about friendship most of all. Trainspotting just came out at the right time and managed to to be an instant classic. It fitted in with cultural changes at the time, especially in Britain, but this was the movie that spoke to me like no other movie had ever managed to. I understood it and it understood me, a big thing for a teenager trying to find her own way in the world.

No movie will ever have the same impact on me and it will always have a very special place in my heart. I just cannot believe I first saw this movie twenty two years ago. And yet, the mid nineties were an amazing time to grow up. I guess a small part of me remains the quirky teenager I was back then.

If you have not seen it yet, please do so! Just be aware that there are graphic scenes of sex and drug taking, not to mention a shedload of swearing!

Random Chatter

Man, what a week!

I have been a little quiet around the blogoshpere this week, but I have hardly had time to read let alone blog! I have been busy splitting the wood of the nine trees that came down a couple of weeks ago on a splitting machine that we could borrow for a couple of weeks.  Since my other half works fulltime and does not come home till dark, it was my job (fair enough). And there have been lots of other chores that have come up this week as well. *sigh* One of those weeks!

There have been fun things as well, such as morning walks or coffees with friends and the like, but has all taken up a lot more time than usual and I feel absolutely shattered. Alas, I have to go and get in the pallet of wood that came in yesterday, as the wood we got from the trees will need to season for another couple of years.

Ah, the joys of country living.

1710 Clare Balding booksIn other news, I have decided to read Clare Balding’s children’s book The Race Horse Who Wouldn’t Gallop, which is just the sort of fun light hearted read I need when physically exhausted. I was keen to read it, as she based the horse in the book on a racehorse that used to be in her father’s racing yard. I think it was Lochsong, who would only train with another horse present. Her second book The Race Horse Who Disappeared is based on Shergar, a real life champion racehorse who is believed to have been kidnapped and was never found.

It is such a fun, classic rags to riches story and Clare really has a great voice (writing style) for children’s tales.

We have my grandmother’s 90th birthday dinner later and we still have that wood to bring in, so I better leave it at this.

Anyway, how has your week been? And what are you up to this weekend?

 

 

Random Chatter

The Christmas Tag

I saw this tag on Howling Libraries and felt it would be a lovely tag to do!

What is your favourite Christmas movie? 
For all its faults, I really love Love Actually.

I do also love The Snowman. Christmas is not Christmas without it.

What is your favourite Christmas song? 
I will offer one classic and a more out-there choice. So I would say Last Christmas by Wham! and Zombie Christmas by Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler.

Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
My daughter gets a stocking and opens some pressies on Christmas morning. The rest of us usually get some presents under the tree in the afternoon.

What is your favourite Christmas scent?
Mulled wine spices

What tops your tree?
A tacky golden plastic star.

Is your tree fake or real?
For the first time in years we have a real tree this year.

Have you ever gone Christmas carolling?
No no no. I have a voice like an old crow. No one would want to hear that!

White or coloured lights?
Coloured. I like my Christmas world to look like a unicorn has vomited all over it.

Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?
Eggnog is not much of a thing in Europe, so definitely hot chocolate.

Are you a ‘Buddy the Elf’ or ‘Ebenezer Scrooge’?
Somewhere in the middle. I love to give nice gifts and make the house look nice, but being sensible about it.

When do you put up your tree/decorations?
We put them up early December. We got a good deal on a tree, so were a little early this year.

If you could travel anywhere for the holiday season, where would it be?
Just like every year, we are off to England to see my husband’s family for a lovely old fashioned Christmas. I love being there over Christmas! I would not want to be anywhere else.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?
Yes, but I never take them too seriously!

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Please do this tag if you feel like doing so and comment with the link or ping back so I can read it!