“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Wednesday 1 February 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Wednesday 1st February 2012

Outside my window...Sunlight has just reached the top of the trees giving them golden highlights. Before I opened my eyes this morning I heard the Magpies chortling away together discussing their busy day ahead.
In the branches of the tree in my garden a dove is cooing his partner...every days valentine's day in the dove world. The beautiful pink rose outside my bedroom window is just about to grace us with its presence. Blue skies with wispy white cotton wool clouds drift slowly by on the fresh breeze. Temperatures dropped yesterday and this morning is around 10 degrees at the moment.

I am thinking...I really need to make another cuppa. Hey...whose counting? This Daybook takes some time and a lot of thinking to create ~ taking me to places I probably wouldn't visit if I didn't write it.
I'm also thinking about giving up alcohol for the month of February...Yes, the WHOLE MONTH!
I don't think it'll be a problem (:-$) but we'll see. I only normally have a glass of wine with my meal and that's mostly at the weekend. I've challenged my hubby to join me, but he seems to have gone deaf all of a sudden!

I am thankful...for my blog award!!! Yes, I can't believe it either. I received the fantastic news this morning. I'm to receive an award. I'll be posting about it tomorrow but in the meantime please nip over to Laurie and have a look. She amazing and I'm not just saying that because of the award ~ truly : D

In the kitchen...Hmm...let me take a peek õõ ...some chicken defrosting for tonight's dinner (butter chicken curry's on the menu) my tea cup waiting for the kettle to boil. This weeks free local newspaper. A large bunch of lilies that unfortunately have past their best. Muffin's favourite ball waiting for her to finish snoozing and come and play. I may post a picture one day to let you see just how loved this ball has been, but I'm afraid that I may be reported to some animal welfare body due to its state! I'd have thrown it out years ago but she runs to get it when anyone enters the house  ^..^ "whoohoo...you've come to see me and to play?"

I am wearing...my toweling robe because its a little chilly with the windows flung open...but smell that fresh air!

I am creating...a few emails after this post hopefully. I need to contact so many people since the year started and I've not got to them yet. Please forgive me if your waiting...I'm on the case today :-$

I am going...to head outside and enjoy this cool spell before the summer temperatures rise again. I've got plants and pots needing my attention.

I am wondering...why my postman this week decided it was okay to fold an obvious birthday card in half. It must have taken some time and effort. It was slightly larger than the opening, but if he'd have only just nipped to the other side of the box, it has a large opening. I suppose he couldn't possibly get off his bike! To make matters worse inside the card was a framed photograph from my niece. Her first photo from her new BIG school. Thanks Mr Postie : (

I am reading... 'Rules of Civility' by Amor Towles

 My daughter started to read this book on her new kindle (Santa's gift ; D ) whilst she was staying with us and she recommended it to me. I've only just started to read it but its got my attention already. 
Despite the fact that I've never been to New York City or in fact alive in 1937, makes interesting reading especially when the writer Amor Towles transports you back there so effortlessly .
A statement by one of the leading characters protagonist, Katey Kontent, knew " how to type eighty words a minute, five thousand an hour, and nine million a year and that if you can still lose yourself in the first chapter of a Dickens novel then everything is probably going to be fine". With those two lines, I had already identified with Ms Kontent, . If you are a male reader, please do not click away now as this is most definitely not chick-lit. In fact, there is plenty of drinking (Martinis and Champagne, primarily), there are cars and even a few guns here and there. Oh, and jazz.

In brief, the plot revolves around Katey and her friend Eve; they meet Theodore `Tinker' Grey, a wealthy young man while celebrating New Year's Eve in a dingy jazz club and, without giving away the story, the encounter will change their lives for ever. A love triangle is among the central elements of this story, but the triangle changes shape at one point and anyway, this is a novel with a story, rather than a plot. It's about love, of course, but also about ambition, social mobility, and that aspirational quality that is quintessential to the mythology of New York City and that will inevitably bring up comparisons with F.S. Fitzgerald's 'Great Gatsby'. Indeed, it would be hard not to see the similarities between Tinker and Jay Gatsby - young men who pretty much encapsulate the American Dream of the early 20th century at the start of the novel and who, by the end, confirm that the dream is just that: an illusion.

A lot of `new' writers are too often hailed as The Next Big Thing to then only disappoint; but on the contrary 'watch this space' as they say. I am amazed at how Amos managed to create such believable and above all, likeable, female characters. And the male `cast' are equally memorable, none of them too perfect, none of them falling into the trappings of prince charming characterisation that could have taken this book down the pastel cover route.

I would be really surprised if 'The Rules of Civility' didn't become a literary fiction best-seller, as it ticks all the relevant boxes; great characters, gripping storyline, jazz, Martinis and a social commentary; it's peppered with literary references and quotes.  And when a book makes you want to read more books, to paraphrase Katey Kontent, `everything is probably going to be fine'.
I think it'll be one for our book club : ) 

About the Author:
Born in 1964, Amor Towles was raised in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale College and received an M.A. in English from Stanford University. He is a principal at an investment firm in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Mr. Towles is an ardent fan of early 20th century painting, 1950’s jazz, 1970’s cop shows, rock & roll on vinyl, obsolete accessories, manifestoes, breakfast pastries, pasta, liquor, snow-days, Tuscany, Provence, Disneyland, Hollywood, the cast of Casablanca, 007, Captain Kirk, Bob Dylan (early, mid, and late phases), the wee hours, card games, cafés, and the cookies made by both of his grandmothers.
His only other published work is a short story cycle called “The Temptations of Pleasure” published in 1989 in Paris Review 112.

I am hoping...that two peoples wishes in Edinburgh come to fruition. They both work so hard and deserve the rewards. I have my fingers crossed X
Also a family member is having to stay in hospital for a week or so...we all wish for a speedy recovery.

I am looking forward to...my sister-in-law visiting us here in April. She's never done a journey this far from Cheshire and is very excited already. In fact she's never visited us in any of our expat destinations, so this will be a biggy for her. I hope we don't disappoint. 

Around the house...Everywhere is quite tidy today because the drop in temperature allowed me to get up to date yesterday. Every bed was stripped and fresh bedding put on...don't you just love the smell and feel of fresh bedding. Especially pure cotton.

A favourite quote for today...well its not quite a quote but very profound...

The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

One of my favorite things...my book club meetings with friends. We'll be meeting up soon after being away for the Christmas/Summer holidays since early December...oh my that'll be an excitable meeting. You'll probably hear us....I'll have my work cut out trying to keep to our agenda.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Last week was so busy I'm keeping this week quite clear and just see where it leads...so far all good.
Oh I've just remembered I've a Doctor's appointment on Friday...yuk.

A peek into my day... my little lemon lovelies...we're just waiting for them to ripen

And there's lots more growing ....

And that's it for this week, I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to pop over to the The simple womans daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have fun : D

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