It’s November. No wait, November is all but over! I don’t even remember what happened this month, it feels like one of those periods of time that is gone in a blur of confusion and amnesia. I know I got a lot of the Christmas present shopping done. I also attempted NaNoWriMo for the third time, and failed for the third time. I got to 10,000 words, about a week behind schedule, celebrated with a pat on the back and then just never went back to my story after that. When will I ever learn?
I’m also still in the early stages of the Michelle Bridges 12WBT program (Week 5 this week), and have been going so well with the exercise component of the program that I bumped myself up a level! I hadn’t missed a workout, until this weekend just past. We travelled interstate to the NSW mid-north coast to visit family over the weekend, which is a 6-hour drive each way once we factor in a couple of stops for the kids. It was also 40 degrees or so around the Sydney area on both days that we were in the car. I have been exhausted ever since we got back!
So here’s my monthly wrap-up:
I haven’t gotten in as much reading as usual this month, given my extra-curricular activities as mentioned above. And that has made me sad, because the books I have delved in to have been ones I’ve wanted to bury my nose in 24/7. You know the type!
I finally gave in to temptation and I bought The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, this year’s Man Booker Prize winner. I’ve heard only good things about this book, and I enjoy a bit of war history, so I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. However I only got through about 40 pages when I received a notification from my library that a book I had put a hold on was finally available for me to pick up, so I’ve had to put Narrow Road aside for the moment.
The library book I’d been patiently waiting to borrow is The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Book 1 in a fantasy trilogy, in a nutshell this story revolves around a student at a college of magic (sound familiar?) and the book series he loves, about “Fillory”, an imaginary world which a family of children can enter and have adventures (also sound familiar?). I’d been convinced to give this series a go by the ever-trusty Book Riot blog, and at first the similiarities to both the Harry Potter and Narnia series were so obvious, I thought the author must be having a laugh. On one hand it made me furious, but on the other, I love both of those series so I felt pulled to keep reading anyway. And I’m glad I have so far. I’m not even halfway through yet (the font in my borrowed edition is really small, it seems to be taking me forever to get through this book!) but the more I read, the more the story seems to be coming in to its own, and the darker it seems to get too. At times I am finding myself so far inside the head of the protagonist, I almost feel like I’m waking up from a dream when I finally look up from the pages. I am really enjoying this read, and I think I will definitely go on to read the following two books in the series too.
Speaking of Harry Potter, how amazing does this Universal Studios recreation of the wizarding world sound?
From Kate Takes 5, a succinct reminder to stop, just stop, and enjoy life and the ones we love. I try to remember this as often as possible, and find the more you practise at it, the easier it becomes.
This post about the constant and unrelenting churn of everyday life, from Practising Simplicity, really resonated with me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since becoming a mother (and there are many, many things I’ve learned!), it’s the acceptance that the to-do list will never be empty.
Tell me you are watching Sons of Anarchy? There are only two episodes left EVER, and this week is a break week. Why?! Torture! I have been biting my nails through the last two episodes, just waiting for it all to explode on itself. This is definitely up there with my favourite TV series of all time.
I’ve also started watching the Sonic Highways HBO doco series about the making of the Foo Fighters’ latest album. I will happily sit and watch anything to do with music history, even if it’s not in the genres that I usually listen to, so I’m quite enjoying this series. I love that it crosses over both music history and the social history of some of America’s cities, and how those are intertwined.
I’m also watching another doco series, The Memorial: Beyond the Anzac Legend, on Foxtel’s The History Channel. This series goes behind the scenes over the course of a year at the Australian War Memorial, covering both the everyday goings-on of the people who work there, as well as covering some of the amazing and heartbreaking stories told in its galleries. I love history, but my main interest in this series comes due to the fact that I used to work there for many years, and more importantly, that Big R still works there (Yes, that is how/where we met)! Perhaps it’s because of my personal ties to the place, but I’ve found there have been quite a few moments in this series so far when I’ve almost cringed with the cheesiness of it. I’d also like the show to tip the scales slightly more towards covering the good work of the Memorial staff, and what it really takes to keep an institution like that running to the highest standards. But I’ve only watched two episodes so far, so there’s plenty more to come.
Foo Fighters released their eighth studio album, Sonic Highways, on November 10. Because I am obsessed with the Foos, I picked up this album on the first day it was available and it’s been on high rotation ever since. There are a few great songs on this album, namely the first single “Something from Nothing”, “In the Clear” and “Outside”, but so far for me, the rest of the album is a little lacking. Perhaps it’s because of the forced nature of the songwriting on this album (briefly, each song is written about an American city after spending one week exploring its musical history, see the HBO series mentioned above for more detail) as opposed to a natural songwriting process. Or maybe I just haven’t broken it in enough yet. Either way, I still managed to score tickets to their show in Sydney this coming February and I literally did a HAPPY DANCE when I locked those babies in! Most stressful online ticket purchasing experience ever!
I also bought Alter Bridge’s 2013 album “Fortress“, just because I bought their “III” album a while ago and I really like their stuff, and it was time to hear more. If you like your music heavy, give Fortress a run. It’s a lot heavier than III, and I quickly proclaimed it to be one of my favourite albums in my collection. Play it loud!!
So that’s my fun stuff for November. Have you been reading/watching/listening lately?