I'll try to keep this post a little bit shorter than usual. Last weekend, I decided to decorate our apartment for Halloween. We're having a party and due to me not knowing how busy I'd be during the week (teaching, studying, cleaning and guests), it seemed like the best option. My SO helped me by drawing and cutting out the letters for our special banner, I then used some regular grey thread to string it altogether between two wall lights. The card was really cheap, I bought it in Carrefour a few weeks ago with the banner in mind. I blew up so many black balloons that my cheeks were sore and we've been walking into spiderwebs for about four days. The balloons are strung up in the same way as the banner, using regular grey thread. A darning needle through the knot works best when you're stringing them together but you have to be careful not to pop the balloon. Both the balloons and spiderwebs are from Party Box.
The party should be great, I've never organised a party like this before. I can't wait to see everyone's fancy dress costumes! Our Tesco delivery arrived today with enough food to feed an army, I bought a lot of goodies but forgot to buy alcohol... I think my SO and the guests will sort that out. I have a lot of sandwiches to make after work on Saturday.
My family and I went to the cinema when the film came out; I remember it being a thoroughly enjoyable experience. We went out for dinner beforehand, as was usually the case. It was a nice movie, a funny little fairy tale with a sweet ending. So, when Stardust was chosen as last month’s book, I felt quite enthusiastic.
I like a book which captures my interested long enough for me to ignore time or responsibility, Stardust is not that book. My excitement dwindled as I struggled to find time to read. Life got in the way of spare time. I eventually managed to get hold of an audio book so that I could at least listen as I commuted, tidied, organised and planned. As an expat (with nut-brown hair, and nut-brown eyes, and nut-brown freckles), I do appreciate fantastical stories set in Britain; a nationwide hankering for escapism is an interesting thought. The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and other books which allow us to access worlds deemed strange and unusual when compared to our own often still possess an air of familiarity. Whether accessed through a hole, a tree, a wall, a door, a looking glass or a wardrobe, all such stories enable us to imagine what could be.
The book is much more adult than the film, almost unnecessarily so. That being said, I feel as though had I read this as a teenager as opposed to reading it as an adult, I may have found the story more agreeable. We’re introduced to characters at the start of the book that seem only to exist in order to give us some background into how Tristran was brought into the world. Tristran Thorn (and Yvaine)’s adventures are relatively interesting but their overall relationship struck me as naive and a little strange. I didn’t like Victoria and Tristran’s relationship either, although Victoria’s reactions to Tristran seemed more realistic than the reactions of Yvaine. Perhaps it has something to do with Yvaine being a fallen star? It was easy for me to imagine Wall but Faerie could’ve done with more of a description as I struggled to envisage it as a location. I found the witches to be more absorbing as characters and their surroundings easier to picture.
Even though this wasn’t my favourite book, it wasn’t the worst I’ve ever read. It’s a fast paced fantasy, complete with lions, unicorns, mutton stew and pots of Shepard’s pie thrown in for good measure.
The audio book read by Neil Gaiman is about six and a half hours long.
If you're interested in taking part in the Infinite Variety Book Club: click here. If you would like to purchase a copy of Stardust: click here. This month’s book is Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini.
I haven’t posted anything for a while. I still have half a book review to complete. The reason for my lack of posts is simple, due to a series of unrelated incidents at work, I’ve been kept occupied. Schedules changing, university starting, new staff arriving, I’ve barely had time to think. I haven't been involved in any Twitter chats for a while either, I'm experiencing a creeping sense of isolation from within the blogging community.
On Monday, I started my PhD; I sat through my first lecture (logic) and a seminar on hermeneutics (I need to plan a presentation for next time). It went well, although, I realised that moving to Taiwan and then onto Poland straight after my MA may have caused me to forget a great deal of information I once considered of the highest importance; mainly the names of curators, directors, philosophers, institutions and everything else of significant relevance. I admitted to being better at writing than speaking, I am. As a teacher, I plan what I’m going to say and what I’m about to talk about meticulously. So, when a professor asks me to talk about myself, my anxiety kicks in and I blurt out how nervous I am before babbling on about everyone who has every written anything about art. Embarrassment level complete, I now feel intellectually inadequate and have to deal with this by making sure I read (and understand) all of the recommended texts for the course and figure out how to discuss them in a concise manner.
I’ve started working at a new school (as well as my old one) as part of the Primary Academy initiative. I taught there yesterday and although it wasn’t my first time teaching there (cover lessons), it was the first time I had my own classes. Maths and Science first lessons can be difficult when you don’t know what the students learned previously, one class had a full register of information, the other didn’t. I taught dinosaurs, it’s my go to first lesson for these subjects. Dinosaur Maths is especially fun as they relate it to dinosaur Science and enjoy it more than they would if it was just a regular Maths lesson. I taught Class 2 and 4, of course using easier (and less) material for Class 2. The projector didn’t work in the Class 2 room which was quite frustrating. They’ve removed a cable from it, on purpose I believe. Teaching Class 2 without songs or video clips can be a little frustrating. I managed to get them to sit in front of a laptop on cushions so we could watch the dinosaur songs from Storybots (YouTube).
My Kawaii Box giveaway was a success, congratulations to Sarah from the blog Ups & Downs, Smiles & Frowns! If you’re interested in learning more about Kawaii Box, please click here. I have also been sent a coupon from Pinky Paradise, they have 50% off all circle lenses before Halloween. I also have a number of subscription boxes arriving (woo, free stuff) so expect more unboxing and review posts in the future.
If anyone would like to write a guest post for me, or would like me to write a guest post for you, please leave your details in the comments or contact me via email. I recently moved to Diqus comments and lost a number of my old comments so hopefully it's worth it (being able to post GIFs is already a plus).