Tuesday, 4 March 2014
I had an unexpected day off work today and it being too late to organise to meet up with anyone, I took the opportunity to spend some time by myself and walked around my local golf course. The weather was nice for the first time in ages and it was good to be able to spend an hour just thinking with no interruptions. I've always loved the view of my hometown from the top of the hill there, and today I stood there taking it all in and thought about how lucky I am to have grown up here. I know a lot of people can't wait to get away from their hometown but I actually really like mine: it's a nice town with lots of green areas and you can find respite in the countryside within minutes. And of course, it'll always be home to me.
My life is going to be changing hugely in the next few months, what with working and travelling abroad and leaving home to go to university. I'm flying out to Bangkok in less than four weeks which is crazy considering it was just a vague idea a few months ago. Leaving home is something that I've known was going to happen for a long time but as it draws nearer and nearer I'm becoming much more acutely aware of it and how little time I have left at home. Between now and September I'm hardly going to be spending any time at home and so I want to cherish the little time I have left by doing things like walking round the golf course as I often do on Sundays with my mum. Of course I am excited about all this change but at the same time, it's pretty daunting. I'm not someone who gets particularly homesick and I'm quite independent, but then the longest I've ever been away from home is a week so I don't know what I'll be like when I spend months away from home at a time.
My mum has just texted me saying that she's going to be finishing work early so we're going to have afternoon tea at a local farm shop. With my mum commuting and me finishing work at 7 most nights, we mostly seem to see each other in passing these days so it'll be so nice to catch up and actually spend some time with each other properly. It's little things like this that I think my younger teenage self took so much for granted, but now that I realise that soon I won't be able to do these things and see my family whenever I want, I think I'll treasure them so much more.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
(All images: Pinterest)
By the way, I was thinking of doing some posts about preparing for backpacking, i.e. what to pack and medication and stuff. Would that be interesting or useful? Let me know.
In summary, this post is a shameless plug for my newly minted Pinterest account. You're welcome.
Monday, 17 February 2014
Much as though I like to support high street shops like Waterstones, on a student budget I just can't justifying spending £7.99 every time I buy a book, especially because I read a lot. In the last year or so I've spent time perusing in Oxfam's dedicated bookshops and found so many of the books I want to read, often for less than half the price of a book in Waterstones! It's a win-win really because I get loads of books ridiculously cheaply and I'm donating some money to charity at the same time. A couple of weekends ago I went a bit mad in my local Oxfam bookshop and picked up a few of the books on my ever-expanding reading list (you can see that list on my Goodreads account). As inspired by posts on Bee's blog, I thought I'd share with you the books I picked up and why I got them. Let me know if you've read any of them or if there are any you think I should read!
This is such a classic that I was kind of ashamed as a prospective literature student not to have read this. I actually dressed up as Alex last Halloween despite having never read the book or seen the film! (Poor, I know.) One of my friends says it's his favourite book of all time so I wanted to see what the fuss was about and to be able to say that I'd read it. Since first drafting this post I have actually started reading this and I have to say, I'm really not a fan. The Russian-cockney slang it's written in is really difficult to read and the actual storyline isn't the kind of thing that typically interests me. That said, it's a really short book and I'm already over halfway through it so I'm going to persevere on and finish it.
The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis
I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I totally do - how lovely is this old-school illustrated edition? It occurred to me when I saw this in the shop that I have, as I'm sure is the case for many people, only read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from The Chronicles of Narnia series. I feel like the rest of the books in the series answer all of the unanswered questions from the first book and reveal the backstory so I'll be really interested to read the whole series. I was tempted to get the rest of them while I was in there but as I'd already got quite a few books in my basket I didn't think I could justify buying any more, even at such cheap prices! As I was in a show of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at Christmas I read the book again recently and I think you take so much more from it reading as an adult (of sorts, haha) so I was excited to read this. Again, since drafting this post I've already read this. I didn't love it as much as the series' most famous book but I did like it and I thought the ending was really sweet. I think C. S. has a great style of writing that is very easy to read and his stories are clever and clearly well-thought out.
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
I'll be honest, I know absolutely nothing about this book. I don't even vaguely know the storyline. Perhaps it's a political farm allegory like George Orwell's Animal Farm? I honestly have no idea! However, one of my friends who is also going to study English Lit in September has read it and enjoyed it so I thought I'd give it a go. We usually enjoy the same books so hopefully I'll like this too.
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Again, I picked this up because my friend said it was on his list of books to read. That said, it's constantly cropping up on recommended reading lists of books you should read before doing a Lit degree so I thought it would be good preparation for September. It's such a classic as well that I feel like it should be read at some point in a bookworm's life.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
In a similar vein, this is featured on loads of pre-university reading lists so I think it'll be a good one for me to read this year. I'm also quite interested to read it because I studied Nineteen Eighty-Four at A level and had to research other dystopian novels and this was always mentioned. I enjoyed Nineteen Eighty-Four so I'd be quite interested to read some other dystopian novels. I have heard pretty mixed reviews of this one though so I'll see what I think.
If you're a keen reader, I'd really recommend having a look in charity shops before you buy your books from a big book retailer - obviously you can't guarantee that they'll have the books you want or that they'll be in perfect condition but you can very often find good stuff and very cheaply. By the way, if you have done or are doing an English Lit degree, are there any books you would recommend me reading? Let me know!