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Posts Tagged ‘Right Now’

Reading: I’ve finally finished The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin, which is my first book of the year and my first book in a long time. I read only half of my 30-book target last year, a dismal performance that I hope to improve on this year. I’ve just started The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq (NOT the one by Alan Greenspan! and hope it won’t take me months to finish! Blogging and family events last year really sapped me of any reading energy or motivation, but this year I am already finding that I more time and enthusiasm for books and blogs. That makes me happy.

Watching: I’ve also just finished watching The Australian Open (tennis) every night, so I’m trying to get back to a more normal daily schedule. Before I got sucked into the tennis, I was binge-watching The Good Place, a fun comedy with equally fun plot twists that was just what I needed. There’s a lot of good quality TV about to start up. There are all the Oscar films to catch too. But with the hot sunny weather at the moment, it seems wrong to hide inside in the dark to watch a movie. Mind you, we might be seeking out the air-conditioning of a cinema soon.

Listening: I’m currently listening to the audiobook of Eddie Izzard reading his memoir Believe Me. It is really lovely. He’s reading the book, but he’s adding a whole lot of spontaneous footnotes, which are funny and often really touching. I am thoroughly enjoying this as I go on my walks around my suburb’s hills.

Following: I was following the tennis. There is summer cricket on, but I’m not really a cricket fan. And I’m fed up with politics, so right now I’m just following writers and people I know and like and admire, and on social media I am following a few photographers who inspire me.

Drinking: Lots of water. Today I’ve made some fruit iced tea (or it will be iced once it cools enough to add the ice) to keep me hydrated (and to replace lunch). We’ve enjoyed some of the scrummy wines we bought when in the South Island just before Christmas too. Brennan Wines is my new favourite – they do some lovely wines, and we had a nice vineyard lunch there too. Unfortunately, they’re a smaller producer so as yet I haven’t seen their wines here. (Note to self: Must go check out some of the wine stores.)

Eating: Seasonally. And of course, at this time of year, there is wonderful produce. My favourite summer vegetable medley is on the menu tonight, with eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, and cherry tomatoes dressed with mustard and balsamic vinegar. Yum.

Anticipating: We have a wedding anniversary next week (one that ends in a five), and so we’ve booked a favourite but expensive (so we haven’t been for a couple of years) restaurant for dinner. Then a week later we have a family wedding to attend, which will be nice because I’ll get to see my two nieces who live in Australia. And we plan to head over the hill at some stage to enjoy the vineyards and olive groves with friends. So February is looking like a happy month.

Contemplating: How I want to spend (and fund) the next five years or so of my life.

Loving: The relative freedom of the warmth of summer, the ability to get out in nature (we went for a walk on a new track yesterday), and the long summer evenings. Summer in Wellington doesn’t last too long, so we’re soaking it up (whilst complaining about the heat at night) while we can.

Still unashamedly copying Loribeth’s regular series.

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Right Now … (#4)

Reading: Poetry, as this month on our daily blogging group is Experimenting with Form month, and they are all much better poets than I am, so rather than direct you to my blog, I will commend Helen’s villanelle to you, and I guarantee the third line (at least) will make you laugh.

Watching: After finishing the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale, which was brutal but compulsory viewing, and after bingeing all seasons of the Game of Thrones, I caught up with Designated Survivor’s two seasons, and now I’m watching Counterpart, which is set in two parallel worlds, and really makes you think.

Following: The New Zealand Women’s Softball Team, aka The White Sox, is playing at the World Championships in Japan this week, and my 18-year-old niece is in the team (I think she must be the youngest there), and although they’ll struggle against bigger countries, they’re a team with a lot of heart; and I kind of wish I was there, but it’s been really hot, and so I’m glad I’m not.

Drinking: A lot of tea to keep me warm; maybe Earl Grey at breakfast, green tea at lunch or in the afternoon, and after dinner it’s chamomile tea, though I also throw in the occasional glass of wine, because I wouldn’t want to go cold turkey.

Eating: We’ve been going overboard with soup this winter, in an effort to avoid buying takeaways (eg fish and chips or pizza), and though I used to make a lot of pumpkin/butternut soup, and I’ve a recipe for a spicy carrot soup I want to try, this year I’ve been cheating and making tasty tomato soup from canned tomatoes, and eating freshly baked bread (sometimes homemade too) with it.

Anticipating: I’m looking forward to a week away in early September, thanks to some frequent flyer points I needed to use, and so I booked at the end of June (they expired 1 July), and we’re heading off to Aussie, and one of the great wine regions of the world, which will be fun, and make up for the lack of drinking we’re doing at the moment.

Contemplating: When underestimating your abilities is just an excuse for fear, and when overestimating your abilities is arrogance, and relating it to studies that have just come out

Loving: The winter, as although we haven’t had many really cold days, it’s always very cosy to hunker down inside when it’s raining, as it has been a lot the last few days (hence the binge-watching I’ve been doing this last month), and it is just starting to rain again (though fortunately it was fine this morning so I managed to go for a nice long walk), which is perfect timing for a lazy evening and a comfort food curry for dinner.

Still unashamedly copying Loribeth’s regular series.

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Right now … (#3)

Still unashamedly copying Loribeth’s regular series, I wrote a couple of posts in this series back in 2016, and completely forgot to do any in 2017. So here is my first attempt in 2018:

Reading: I’ve just finished The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel, the author of Life of Pi. Oddly, the last time I did a Right Now post, I was reading Night Train to Lisbon, so Portugal has been a theme. Eventually, I decided that life was too short to read Night Train to Lisbon. I just didn’t find it compelling. But I enjoyed the first part of The High Mountains of Portugal, though it was one of those pieces where you suspected the hapless main character was always going to do something wrong. The second part confused me a little, though I grew into it. And the third part is a fascinating conclusion.

Watching: At the end of last year, I had binged on (embarrassing admission) White Collar, and then The Good Wife (only embarrassed it took me so long to watch). So at the moment, I’m only watching a few things as they become available, rather than binge-watching anything. All my new 2018 projects are keeping me too busy.

Listening: I’m listening more often to audiobooks, when I go walking or when I’m editing photographs. I can’t listen to audiobooks at the same time as I write or read blogs, unfortunately. My most recent book was Two Brothers by Ben Elton, which was excellent.

Following: My camera course. And global politics, as always, though with less and less interest. I was going to write enthusiasm, but that left me some time ago.

Drinking: Chardonnay. I’m making the most of Pasta and Chardonnay Thursdays (aka The Husband’s Golf Nights). But as it is summer, and has been warmer than usual, I’ve been having the occasional beer too, on top of sauvignon blancs or rosés. And last week was our wedding anniversary, so there were a couple of glasses of champagne involved.

Eating: Zucchini noodles (trying to lose weight) to eat the zucchini from my husband’s little vegetable patch. Homemade ice-cream, because it is summer. And a new discovery, homemade beer bread.

Anticipating: Not too much. We had a big trip last year, so we won’t be going too far afield this year. My husband has a big birthday next year, so that might involve some travel. In the meantime, I just have to focus on little things. Anticipating having a clean office, via my decluttering project, is exciting!

Contemplating: How to make these difficult remaining years of my in-laws’ lives easier, without losing myself in the process. And at the same time, remembering my mother, as it was two years ago yesterday that we lost her.

Loving: My new blogging project, my decluttering project, and my camera course. But you know that already!

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Right Now … (#2)

I last did this in January, before all hell broke loose in 2016. Here’s my Spring version, on this first day of September:

Reading: Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier is next on my list. I just finished (this morning) Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga, which has left me feeling a little wrung out, so I might see if I can find something else light to read first. I still haven’t got back to Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings, that I wrote about in my January version of “Right Now.” I had to return it to the library (no option to renew this one digitally), and haven’t picked it up again!

Watching: Nothing specific. I’m carefully rationing the latest series of Suits, and late at night when I can’t get the energy to go to bed and there’s nothing else to watch, I’m ashamed to admit I turn to Say Yes to the Dress. I am amazed at the appalling wedding dresses some people will buy for thousands and thousands of dollars. The higher their budget, often the more hideous the dresses! As a feminist, I’m also more than a little disgusted at the immaturity of many of the brides, their overwhelming desire to be “a princess,” and the shamefully selfish and indulged “daddy’s little girls” even though they are supposedly mature adults, not to mention the appalling behaviour of sisters/friends and mothers trying to make it all about them. It’s frequently ghastly, but I think that’s exactly why I’ve been watching it!

Listening: Still listening to RNZ National, though not all the time now. One of the key interviewers has become far too fond of her own voice and has forgotten the art of asking a simple question and letting the interviewee answer it, so instead tells them what she thinks they should say! This started around the time she won a big international radio award as a great interviewer last year. Sigh. It is infuriating, especially as she interviews some really interesting people. Still, I learn a lot listening to the radio, but I’m learning more from reading these days.

Following: The US elections, which are so appalling that I can’t tear myself away. Also the burkini debate – I’m thinking of writing a post, even though I don’t necessarily have anything new to say, simply because I have such strong feelings about it.

Drinking: Lingering over coffee at cafes with a digital book on my iPad or phone, various teas (green tea with lunch, and chamomile at night), and the occasional glass of wine at night. Winter colds have meant we have cut down wine consumption quite a lot the last few months. Though I’m looking forward to pasta and chardonnay Thursdays starting again in a few weeks.

Eating: A lot of pumpkin, because my father-in-law has had some huge ones out of his garden. I made a large batch of pumpkin gnocchi and froze seven or so bags, and I’ve also just frozen a lot of roast pumpkin puree. So if I want, I can make some more pumpkin gnocchi, or pumpkin soup, or curried pumpkin on pasta.

Anticipating: I’m a bit scared to anticipate anything right at the moment. My husband’s contract is about to end, so that’s both good (we’ll have more time together, and can take some road trips) and bad, as the money will stop coming in. Hoping for a trip further afield next year, so looking forward to that, but we have to be able to afford it, so that will dictate the destination. But I’ve also just been referred to a surgeon, too, so I’m anticipating possible knee surgery, hoping that it will make me a little more mobile, but aware too that it may require a complete change in my workouts, including location, and I’m not thrilled about that. On a positive note, spring and summer are coming up, but I’m not really thinking about them yet.

Contemplating: Contemplating the future has been a bit harder this year, what with a number of things that have occurred. So maybe I’m contemplating the need to enjoy life when it is restricted, and what I need to change to be able to take more pleasure in that. Also, as always, contemplating how to make some money somewhere somehow that isn’t going to drive me insane.

Loving: My new phone – a Huawei P9 lite. It is so much faster than my old Samsung, the photos are so much better, and it just seems easier to use.

 

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  1. Yoga with Adriene is making me more flexible and stronger, though perhaps  some of that is due to …
  2. My new programme at the gym, and how strong it makes me feel.
  3. I’ve adapted to coffee without sugar easily, and I never thought I would be able to say that.
  4. My reading mojo has recently returned, and I’ve read (and I’m reading) some great books.
  5. My homemade Super Deluxe Chocolate Ice Cream is rich and delicious, though with summer coming to a close, my hips and heart need my personal gelateria to shut up shop soon.
  6. My screen saver thrills me when I return to my desk, returning me (briefly) to some of my favourite places in the world.
  7. I’m currently binge-watching Suits, a TV series I’d never heard of until it was recommended by my friend Peony, and having a wonderful time doing it.
  8. This long summer has seen some bumper crops of tomatoes – one of my favourite foods – and I’m reaping the benefits from my very elderly in-laws’ garden.

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Right now …

Reading: Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings. It won the Man Booker Prize, and I’ve managed to borrow it from the library, but it is not a quick easy read, and so I’ve already had to return it and then borrow again. (An extension wasn’t possible). I’m hoping to finish it in the next couple of weeks, but won’t be surprised if it takes me longer. It is satisfying reading though, taking me to a completely different time and place.

Watching: I have just finished binge-watching the two series of Mozart in the Jungle, after seeing that it had been nominated for and won two awards in the Golden Globes. I am officially in love – with the series, the music, and with Gael Garcia Bernal. He’s brilliant, and his character … well … fabulous! (You can watch the first episode free on Amazon. Try it!)

Listening: As usual, I’m listening to RNZ National. I spent the first few weeks of January dipping in and out of the Matinee Idle guys, who are hilarious. Now it’s back to regular programming, and I’m being a bit more choosy.

Following: Many international friends on Fb, including one on his visit home to Thailand, and another who is sitting at the bedside of her dying father. I feel for her, knowing it may not be long till I will be doing something similar.

Drinking: Summer wines – rosés and sauvignon blancs. We don’t always drink these a lot during the winter, so I’m loving trying different brands. Two Rivers has produced some lovely wines this year (both rosé and sauvignon blanc), and the Tuki sav blanc has quickly become a favourite.

Eating: I’m loving the summer fruit – the berries (sadly, as they’re my favourites) are ending, but the stone fruit is all coming in now. And I’m also having my usual love affair with summer vegetables, especially all the fresh tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, but also the aubergines and zucchini and capsicums (sweet peppers). I tend to buy seasonally, so rarely buy these vegetables in the winter, even when they’re available.

Anticipating: Some not very good things. Trying to be prepared, yet trying not to stress either.

Contemplating: My motivations. How I want to spend the next ten-fifteen years of my life. You know, just the little questions in life!

Loving: The summer weather – not that it’s been a great summer at all, it hasn’t! Just the freedom that comes with slightly warmer temperatures, the way my shoulders relax and my head is held a little higher.

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