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Showing posts with label book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book. Show all posts

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Owl Guy: A new guest post segment by Dan!

Hello, I’m Dan, Candy’s husband and I am going to be doing occasional guest posts on here to give you a slightly different insight into some of the stuff we get up to. For my first post I am going to talk about reading.

couple reading in bed

I really love reading, and I used to read quite a lot. However, as a working adult it is pretty hard to find time to do all of the things you want to do and reading was one of the first ones of these that fell away, quickly condemned to the “not enough time” pile. Fortunately this story has a happy ending. Both Candy and I were sad that we couldn’t seem to find the time to read until we came upon a great solution. In our respective childhoods we used to read a lot in bed, before going to sleep. This stopped for both of us initially due to working late during university and subsequently because browsing the web on our smartphones in bed was just so easy. We made a couple of resolutions to have a little reading slot before bed, but the instant gratification from browsing the internet usually ruined these resolutions pretty quickly. Finally however we came upon a great solution, we could read out loud to each other. This solved the problem of distractions as well being a really fun “couple activity”.

Wise Children in bed

Initially we tried alternating who read each night but it felt a bit disjointed so now we alternate by book, the person whose turn it is to read gets to choose the book. Currently Candy is reading one of her favourite books to me, Wise Children by Angela Carter. I’ve been really enjoying it, Angela Carter’s descriptive flair is mesmerising and her characters feel so alive, helped, of course by Candy’s narration. Once we’ve finished that one, I’m going to read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides out loud to her, which neither of us have read but it looks really good.

This is Dan’s first guest post on my blog, so please show him a bit of love in the comments. Not too much love though - I’ll be watching you.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Overheard Conversations

I had to renew six books today as well as taking out five more, from two separate libraries in Cambridge today, so I decided to take a big "re-usable" Sainsbury's carrier bag, in which to carry my ridiculous pile of books. Having completed this errand, I was faced with a choice; to take my book-heavy bag back to my college on the bus, or to walk to town. I stared up at the departure board at the bus stop outside of the English faculty, and decided that nine minutes was just too long to wait, and that I'd have to walk to town (the opposite direction to my college/home). There was clearly some kind of masochistic subconscious thoughts going on, as I already had a splitting headache, and had sprained both of my ankles earlier in the week.
I set out in the direction of town, knowing as I went, that I had made the wrong choice, but relishing the schizophrenic rebellion that I was enacting. Walking through King's College, I was in too much pain to appreciate the little ducks pattering around in the bluebell covered banks on either side of the pathway, but I just about managed to smile at the daffodils that have all popped up out of nowhere. Every year I think to myself, "I don't notice the daffodils until they are flowering! Next year, I vow to notice them before they open their bright yellow heads!", but of course, I never do.
I got to town, and thought, "Now what?" as I really hadn't thought past getting there. I felt like window shopping to congratulate myself for having been so productive in renewing all of my library books, but I was in no position to do so. My head pulsated. Defiantly, I walked to the Post Office to buy stamps that I don't need, just because I could. I was on FIRE. There wasn't NOBAWDEH who could tell me what to do. I was my own man. Blowin' in the wind, etc. If anyone wanted to tell me to stop, they could SUCK MY BALLZ. You get the picture. I bought the stamps, twelve of them; an arbitrary number that I decided upon from a shortlist of seven, twelve, and fifteen. With that task completed, I felt empty and directionless, so I let my battered feet do the navigating. I limped to Boots to see if my friend Liv was working that day, and to buy some paracetamol to subdue my pounding brain. Liv wasn't working when I went there, but I managed to buy paracetamol, and summon enough saliva to swallow two of them, "dry". I couldn't really see in a straight line by this point, and all of the ground had turned into a series of rolling hills, undulating before me. I staggered to the bus stop, and sat waiting for the bus. As I waited, consuming a nut and grain bar that I had purchased on the way, I overheard the following half-a-telephone-conversation:

"...So now I'm in a load of shit, and they think I did it. Sarah's on my side, and told the others it weren't me, but I think they still think that it was...........yeah............ But now my mum's in on it too...............mm................ I refused to vote, I wasn't going to get involved with their bitching....... Just left............... Apparently they killed them, and dragged them all around Cambridge............. the gypsies............... Gypsies................ You know, travellers............ So they killed them, and dragged one of them all around Cambridge......"

You'd think that at this point, my ears would prick up further, but the haze of my headache made me zone out for a bit. When I tuned back in to this girl's conversation, I heard:

"...And threw them all on a fire............ At least one of them, anyway............ The gypsies............ And had a massive party.............. And I really, REALLY wanted to watch........... Like, really............ but I went home because I thought it was disrespectful............."

At this point, the conversation changed completely, to the girl talking about how her dad wanted to charge her £75 for driving lessons. I felt like I had experienced some sort of shift to another plane of existence, where people habitually had gypsy burning parties, and then slipped back into this dimension seamlessly, between bites of my cereal bar. It was odd indeed. I made it home, and tried to explain to my flatmates what I had experienced, but they didn't quite seem to understand. Dear reader, do you think that I am going mad?

I am sorry for the text-heavy posts of late. I will post more photos soon, when I have debugged my laptop. :)

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Procrastination.

Although I have a french exam tomorrow, a three hour long exam encompassing every piece of literature ever written about the Great War on Friday morning, and another exam on Friday afternoon, on the Old Testament, I am still procrastinating. This worries me greatly, it really does... But for some reason, finding artwork for every single song on my iTunes library seems like a priority at the moment. As does updating a blog that nobody reads, at 1 in the morning, the night before an exam en francais...

Alors, what has been on my mind most of all today (aside from my hideous inability to focus my mind on revision) are my plans for when these wretched exams are actually over. Here is how my summer looks at the moment:

June 19th: Last two exams! at 3 O clock, I will be free!!
June 20th-21st: A trip to Stratford to see some Shakespeare plays, as a little end of exams treat! A group of us are going, and staying in a B&B.
June 23rd: My friend Tasha is having her birthday party. It is a fancy dress affair, and I love to dress up. So I had better get cracking with my idea... SO EXCITING!
June 25th: My french group are going out for lunch with our teachers. Yay!
June 27th: The official school leavers' day, and the Ball! I have my dress for that already but i need to get it altered slightly, because it is slightly too long.
June 28th: Another party! I have a feeling this one might be quite exciting, because the girl's parents are mailing out the invitations...! Also, this is the day my Dad, Brother, Sister, and stepmum all move to France for ever. :(
June 30th-ish: My Grade 8 Oboe exam... and I thought the exams were over... I am so nervous about this one. today I did a hardcore oboe practice session, spending an hour on ONE Bach Study... :(
July 3rd-12th: Orchestra stuff! I will be on tour in Italy, and then home to do the final concert, and then up to Birmingham for the Music for Youth festival...
August 6th: It is my friend Eleanor's birthday. I have been at every single one of her birthdays for the last nine years, I think! Imagine that!
August 14th: RESULTS DAY. OH MY GOSH. I don't want to spend the whole of the previous evening checking the UCAS website to see if they have updated it telling me if I got my place at Cambridge, or not.
August 15th-(September 28th): I am going to Australia to visit my family! I haven't seen them since I was fourteen... Which is quite a while considering how much growing and changing as a person you do, between the ages of fourteen and eighteen.

So that is my summer... I hope it all goes to plan. I really do. The only other thing keeping me going through these exams, and the guilt at having not sufficiently prepared, is the thought of all of the craft activities I am going to undertake as soon as my exams are over. And the novels I shall read! I am planning to read the second book in The Cornish Trilogy. And I have been recommended 'The Master And Margarita', which was originally in Russian. I might read it, or I might not, depending upon how heavy going it is, and how frazzled my poor brain is! I want to knit a long long scarf! And I want to make a menagerie of felt animals, and a bag for myself, and a skirt...

Oh and here is the link to this woman's photos:

PaperNest

She gave me the idea of making heart shaped rainbow crayons.

And on that note, sleep beckons...