Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunday Summary

This week, I have mostly been...

Reading | Strange Meeting by Susan Hill

Watching | The Fault in Our Stars

I loved the book. OK, I know, a lot of people loved the book.

And the film, I'm very pleased to report, is a loyal adaptation of John Green's novel. The casting is pretty much spot-on (especially rent-a-villain Willem Dafoe as Hazel's fallen hero, embittered writer van Houten), the feel of the film, the narrative voice, mirrors the novel, and the few moments of ever-so-slight movie mawkishness are balanced with exceptional honesty and complexity.

Wept like a child particularly at the scene where Hazel struggles up the steps of the Anne Frank house with her oxygen tank.

And in humorously stark contrast:

Checking out | the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer

I honestly don't know what to say about this other than... uhm, I'd be interested to see just how comical/cringeworthy/surprisingly insightful and multifaceted this film is in full. From an academic, film-critiquing perspective, of course.


Yes, my friends, I'm at it again.

It may be ten months away but for me it's certainly not too early to start training for the London 2 Brighton 100k Walking Challenge, for which I'm raising money for the MS Society.

I'm currently in the market for the best, inexpensive yet reliable fitness tracker/pedometer but in the meantime I've been using MapMyWalk to track my evening jaunts around the local area and will be trying to build up my distance and time week by week (so 100k doesn't come as a shock)! And I've had some beautiful evenings in which to train. I should probably stop, er, stopping to capture the scenery and work harder to build up my stamina but when the locale is this pretty, who can resist?

If you think you might like to sponsor me between now and April (the minimum sponsorship cut-off point) please kindly please visit my JustGiving page!

{Thank you!}

Camping | and revisiting the past at a work reunion

...It was in-tents.

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

It was actually not so intense: it was joyous and liberating, and terrific in a positive way to see so many faces from the past.

Only slightly mindboggling was the fact that it's been nearly eight years since I last worked with a lot of these gorgeous people. In some ways eight years feels like an eternity especially when it's marked by marriages and births of babies for a good number of my friends. I don't have those particular milestones by which to measure the time, but I like to think that the QB of 2006 is very different from the QB of 2014, and enough has happened in that time to stabilise me a bit.

I'm very grateful to the previous-workplace crowd that even though I underwent a huge meltdown during my time with them (or, as the nice doctor-man called it, anxiety depression) they still welcomed me back with huge hugs, fond reminiscences, and a lot of very strong Pimms.

As for the camping, well, the good thing is, I had a fabulous two-man tent to myself (thanks, sis). I haven't been camping since 2005 when I clocked up an hour's sleep in Finsbury Park during The Weekend to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. In both this instance and last night someone else put up my tent. I just lack the skillz, peeps: the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award was a loooooong time ago and I just don't do camping.

And I had a fabulous cockerel well within earshot, crowing on a regular basis from about 3.30am onwards. I clocked up about two hours' sleep so that was an improvement on my previous record. But it was, y'know, OK! I'd rather wake up to a cockerel than a bleating alarm clock any day.

That said, I was also particularly grateful for all the coffee, bacon and eggs laid on this morning by an assortment of truly lovely people.

Speaking of coffee...

Rediscovering | home-made espresso

By some quirk of coincidence, I received not one but two lovely little espresso cups for my birthday from different folk. So I thought I would honour their arrival by reteaching myself to make stove-top espresso in my swanky little Italian jug:

using this simple method:

Result: a very excitable (OK, OK, wired) QB and some darn fine coffee.

Weekly Weblinks (brace yourselves, readers, it's been a linky ol' week!)

Literary Linkage

Non-literary Linkage

{Photo by Krista Long}

Cheerio, chaps.

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