My Weird Hobby

20140114-204630.jpgMost people spend their time doing productive things or worthwhile things on the internet like Reddit or cats or memes. I like to fawn over pretty china I’m never going to buy. These are some of my favourites.

  1. Cornishware – we already have this but it’s so expensive and we need more!
  2. Cath Kidston Mushrooms
  3. Cath Kidston Provence Rose
  4. Le Creuset breakfast set

Book Review: Moods by Lousia May Alcott

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During our wonderful trip to the States last year, we were able to visit the town of Concord. Not only is this town important because it is where the first shots of the American Revolutionary War were fired, it also boast a great deal of literary heritage with Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson all having lived in the town. It is also where my Auntie and Uncle live so we were able to spend a whole day exploring Old North Bridge and the Minute Man National Historic Park as well as taking a tour of Orchard House, the home of Louisa May Alcott. I love the Little Women series so was intrigued and impressed by the writer. I was deficiently inspired to read more of her work so I chose Moods first.

Moods is about first love and duty and I was utterly captivated by it. Beautifully written, understandably moralistic (although not in the least preachy), we are taken through the female protagonist Sylvia’s maturing from a tom boy, spoilt child to a sensitive and good-hearted young woman. She falls in love but the course of her love does not run smooth. I found it quite moving. Alcott has such a lovely way with words that makes her writing seem both antiquated and fresh at the same time. It is basically really lovely chick lit. Here is an example of her description when Sylvia is appreciating the man with whom she will fall in love:

She found [his face] full of a noble gravity and kindliness; candour and courage spoke in the lines of the mouth, benevolence and intellect in the broad arch of the forehead, ardour and energy in the fire of the eye, and on every lineament the stamp of that genuine manhood, which no art can counterfeit.

I will look forward to reading more Alcott; I have Hospital Sketches on my iPad which is the collection of letters Alcott wrote while volunteering during the Civil War and I would love to revisit the Little Women series.

Pressure

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Since this month’s NaBloPoMo theme is ‘pressure’, I thought I ought to write about it at least once this month and yet every day that I have come to write something I have felt reluctant. Maybe this is because ‘pressure’ is such a negative word and my word for 2014, as you know, is Positivity. Maybe it’s because I am bored by the constant pressure I am under and so feel no great urge to moan about all those things that life throws at me because I am a teacher or a working mother or a human being. I am not really sure I could write about this subject all month.

Then I thought about other applications of the word ‘pressure’ and tried to find positive ones. There is the cool kind of pressure that turns coal into diamonds. That kind of pressure is NICE. There is peer pressure which can be utterly horrendous but now that I am a proper grown-up person is instead supportive and appreciated. Thanks, Louise, for shouting NO! at me when I was about to reach for a chocolate without thinking in the English office the other day. Having someone like my work bestie Louise working with me and dieting with me is exactly the kind of pressure I respond to and apparently, even with my fully-grown status, something I really need to be an effective teacher/mother/human being.

 

Back to School

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Yesterday, I was back at school for teacher training and while this posts, I will be slap bang in the middle of a full day of teaching. As I went to bed last night, I was surprisingly calm (despite some last minute planning because it wouldn’t be me if I was *completely* prepared ahead of time) and was actually looking forward to seeing the kids again. I am sure by tonight this will have worn off. Tuesdays are my busiest day so I am quite glad to be getting it out of the way. It was a tough day of scary messages yesterday (Ofsted are looming and we HAVE to be ready!). I just want to get teaching now.

The Need to Capture

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I don’t know if it because it feel like time is rushing by like a flooded river but more and more I have felt the need to capture our lives whether that be through Instagram, this blog, in photo albums (it makes me feel a bit panicky that we don’t have any recent photos in print form) or on paper. I really wanted to start a Project Life scrapbook this year but I knew that right at the end of the busy Christmas holidays is not going to be the best time – it is definitely a summer holiday job.

Instead I found an old, barely-used Moleskine journal that I have converted into a 5 year diary for daily shorts. Using a ruler and my trusty date stamp, I have save myself a few pounds. I am of course extremely doubtful that I will be able to stick at it but I will give it a go. Some days it will be a quick overview, some days a thought on my mind. Some days something creative perhaps. I want it to be visually appealling although I do not have much in the way of artistic ability. Certainly nothing like these creative folks.

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I wrote a while back about using Day One, an iMac/iPad/iPhone app, for daily journalling. Whilst it was great for using when we were away on holiday, I found it didn’t work for me once I was back home. I will continue to use it as my travelogue and in that way, all our adventures will be recorded privately in one place which will be great. It is such a visually appealing app, I can see getting pulled back into using it from time to time.

 

True Grit

20140104-233934.jpg Last night, we watched True Grit at last and I was immediately transfixed. I fell in love with the characters, the script, the cinematography and the tone was unmistakably Coenesque. It has made me want to rewatch all the Coen brother films I’ve already seen and catch all those I haven’t got to yet. It also makes me want to read all of Charles Portis’s books as it was his novel that the film was adapted from. Like I need any more books to read!

A special mention must go to Hailee Steinfield who deserves every single accolade for her portrayal of the spunky 14 year old Mattie who really did have true grit. She blew me away.
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Time just gets away from us.