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Posts Tagged ‘Right Now’

Right Now (#7)

Reading: I seemed to rediscover my reading mojo in Japan. In the last two and a half months, I’ve read a total of thirteen books, which is a huge number for me in the last ten or so years. One was even an actual, hold-in-your-hand paper book that my sister loaned me last week! I read it yesterday, all day. I’m reading books that just appeal, or hold my attention, rather than trying for “worthy” books, and I’ve been really enjoying the process of reading.

There’s been a real variety, set in Italy, England, Australia and the US, and ranging from Tudor times to the 1920s to the present day. They were largely three and four-star reads. These were probably my favourites:

Kill the Father by Sandrone Dazieri
Different Class by Joanne Harris
Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Watching: I’ve been through a crime phase. My husband and I binge-watched Line of Duty from Netflix, and when that was finished, I finally succumbed to his exhortations, and watched Shetland. I raced through it, and loved it. Netflix NZ only has three series, but there have been more made, so I’m looking forward to that. The first series (only six-eight episodes per series) was more like a classic crime series, essentially introducing all the characters. The second series though follows through one main case, and was gripping. I loved the scenery, and the accents.

Listening: I’m currently listening to Radio NZ National as I usually do. I went walking today, and listened again to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie which is brilliantly told. It’s his autobiography, and I am thoroughly enjoying it, but as it is a library book, I can see it’s going to expire before I can finish it.

Following: I’m trying not to follow global politics because it is frustrating. There are a few very interesting issues going through our Parliament at the moment, both of which will be conscience votes (rather than along party lines). I’m interested in the progress of both. The first updates to our abortion laws since the 1970s are being addressed, which is about time, if you ask me! A Bill looking at voluntary euthanasia is also being addressed. Having watched my parents and my in-laws, and thinking about my own circumstances, I have some strong opinions on this.

Drinking: I’ve been enjoying wine again, after seven weeks in Asia when we didn’t drink any at all. It was strictly beer and cocktails. I found myself surveying our hotels’ Mai Tais in Vietnam. The Hanoi hotel won, because the drinks were delicious, the air-conditioning was strong (it was 39C outside), and the lobby bar was elegant. But happy hour at the beach pool was good too.

Eating: Healthily, in bursts. It’s the middle of winter, so I’m enjoying hearty Thai curries once a week, and noodle soup occasionally for lunch. Now that I write this, I’m feeling the urge for a roast lamb dinner sometime soon.

Anticipating: Getting together with some friends tomorrow night. We haven’t seen them since we went to Asia, so it will be fun to catch up. Wellington restaurants are in the middle of August’s Wellington on a Plate, so we’re going to try one of the “Festival Dishes.” Then in the last half of August, the Burger Wellington competition will be in full swing. I love burgers, but hardly ever eat them, so I’m determined to get out and try a few of the offerings. There are lots of interesting versions with Asian flavours that sound fun.

Contemplating: The next few years, as the relative freedom I had expected to return to – and which I was looking forward to enjoying – after our trip has disappeared, and so I’ll need to refocus my plans.

Loving: The winter! Believe it or not, I’m relishing the cooler weather after the hot weather on our trip. Last week I was down in the cold south and loved the zero degree temperatures they get at night, and continually exclaimed over the snowy mountains I saw on the seven-hour road trip I took with my sister and niece.  Winter is great if I’m warm and cosy inside.

 

Still unashamedly copying Loribeth’s regular series every few months.

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Right Now (#6)

Reading: After months of reading very little in terms of books, I just finished Normal People by Sally Rooney, which I raced through in just a couple of days. Next, inspired by Lori’s review, and thanks to my library which bought an e-book copy only a week after I searched for it, I have started The Seed: Infertility is a Feminist Issue, by Alexandra Kimball. I’m looking forward to that.

Watching: Game of Thrones. Though I’m upset I will miss the last couple of episodes when we are away. I blame my husband for having an inconveniently placed birthday, though it is not really his fault! But also other favourites that have all been on again recently, like Killing Eve, Billions, Tin Star, Counterpart (the one where the worlds split in two).

Listening: To my Duolingo language app.

Following: The photos and tales from my sister-in-law and her family who have been visiting Japan.

Drinking: Tea. Lots of tea. Earl Grey when I’m cold, green tea for lunch, chamomile before bed, and every few days, other herbal and fruit teas to vary my liquid intake, when I’m sick of water.

Eating: Hot Cross Buns and Easter Eggs, and this weekend, for my father-in-law’s 90th birthday, slow roast lamb and a rich chocolate cake. So starting tomorrow, we’ll be able to get back to normal healthy eating.

Anticipating: Our trip next month, to two countries that are new to me, and one I haven’t visited since 1996. I’ll be excited once I get everything done here I need to do before I go!

Contemplating: What to do with relatively newfound freedom once we get back from our trip.

Loving: Autumn. More on that anon.

Still unashamedly copying Loribeth’s regular series every few months.

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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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