This week

By Vita Forest

A to Z challenge April 2016

A to Z challenge April 2016

This week I have been

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This week

By Vita Forest

A to Z challenge April 2016

A to Z challenge April 2016

Last week I didn’t do a This week but I kind of missed it. So here is what I have been doing This week.

WRITING for the A to Z challenge

READING Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (charming and delightful).

MAKING costumes from the 1920s for the school dance group (lots of tiny pieces of silver glitter and black sequins floating around my apartment).

SKETCHING people passing through Central station.

VISITING Narrabeen for a walk around the lake.

SALT WATER SWIMMING at Balmoral, Narrabeen and Collaroy (well, it was more like being pummelled at the last two, big surf.  Just like to point out its mid Autumn here and the water is still delicious).

ENTERTAINING my mates from work for high tea.

GETTING fit with work friends – Betty joined the gym!

CATCHING up with pals I don’t see much anymore.

HAVING dinner with Saskia at one of our favourite haunts.

What a great week!

 

When should you stop reading?

By Vita Forest

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So, for a few weeks now I have been reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.

The Luminaries… winner of the 2013 Booker Prize,

The Luminaries… set in the goldfields of New Zealand in the 1860s,

The Luminaries… over seven hundred pages long,

The Luminaries… which I am now about halfway through and which I am going to stop reading.

When do you give up on a book?  I used to struggle through, grinding my teeth if I found it excruciating.  Reading on til the bitter end.  Sometimes I still do.  If the book is two hundred pages long.  But this is a brick of a book.  I think if it hasn’t grabbed me yet, it is not going to.  And I’ve given it a goodly chance.  I’ve given it a few weeks of my life, as a pile of books I want to read sit unread on my shelf…

It’s not the length.  (Although that is not helping).  I relish spending as long as possible in certain books.  And sometimes do it again and again (Possession by A.S. Byatt, or WolfHall by Hilary Mantel, The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta).  But the story and the characters have not grabbed me beyond a very limp handshake.  I can let go without feeling loss.  I don’t really care what happens…

I am supposed to be reading it for a bookish meeting you see.  This is the good and bad thing about book clubs.  The good thing – you read books you wouldn’t normally read and discover wonderful authors you may not have come across before – Wallace Stegner, Diane Setterfield, Hilary Mantel.  The bad thing is – you read books you wouldn’t normally read and discover authors you never want to read again (not naming names, but

  • there was a certain book about a certain time travelling stone that involved a lot of very badly written caveman sex…  Yes, there is such a thing.  The girl who suggested it left the country soon after, we like to think it was due to the shame of having picked such a book.
  • And the very bad vampire romance with the main characters with the hilarious names with very bad spelling.  (Actually some of the club loved this one and went on to read the series, peopled with more vampires with mothers who couldn’t spell).

So I guess I will be one of those people who go to a book club without reading the book.  Someone who can add something to the conversation about the book, just not a whole lot.

Not that having read the book always matters.  We had a very spirited and funny book club meeting last night (another book club – you can never belong to too many), where a good portion of the attendees hadn’t read the book (All the Light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr – now make sure you read that one!)

How long do you give a book?

I’m letting this one go.

 

This week

By Vita Forest

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A beautiful day on Sydney Harbour

This week I have been

  • READING Eyrie by Tim Winton
  • WRITING
  • PRIORITIZING some time for blog writing (school work could devour all my time at this point of the year)…
  • WATCHING The Family Law on SBS (quite hilarious).
  • VISITING North Sydney Oval for Moonlight Cinema with Vastra and Saskia and Vaucluse House with Saskia, Sui-Sui and Alessandro.
  • MAKING a collaborative artwork in class with oil pastels and two large pieces of brown paper.
  • LISTENING to my class belt out Owl City’s Fireflies (can’t help but make me grin).
  • CELEBRATING my niece Pippi’s 6th Birthday.
  • RELAXING with some restorative yoga after an extremely hectic week (thanks Jade!)

This week

By Vita Forest

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Sydney in the rain

This week I have been

  • READING
    • The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
    • The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
    • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • WRITING
  • MAKING the knitted cowl for Lucy (nearly done).
  • WATCHING
    • my kids looking puzzled and then disturbed when Robert Wilson came on stage at the Drama Theatre at the Sydney Opera House to give the keynote address for the 2016 Sydney Festival and then proceeded to stand there without speaking for a good few minutes.  We had a good conversation about that later…
    • the new Star Wars movie (woo hoo!)
  • VISITING
    • The White Rabbit Gallery
    • Dresden Optics in Newtown – how fabulous are they?
  • DOING lots of yoga
  • TRYING not to get too wet (there has been a lot of rain in Sydney this week).

 

This week

By Vita Forest

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This week I have been

  • READING
    • The Boat by Nam Le
    • What Alice Forgot by Lianne Moriarty
  • WRITING
  • WAVING goodbye to my lovely class for 2015.
  • MAKING a long archway out of our raised arms for the students who are leaving our school to walk through.
  • VISITING Kiama and
  • SWIMMING in a rockpool with waves breaking over it…
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Markets along the harbour at Kiama

This week

By Vita Forest

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This week I have been

  • READING
    • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
    • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • WRITING
  • MAKING my Mum’s special Florentine biscuits for Christmas presents (might be a post there).
  • VISITING the Finders Keepers market in Eveleigh.
  • WATCHING The Fall Series 2.  Very creepy.