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text 2017-05-14 16:53
The Sunday Post: Clachnaben

Happy Sunday!

 

In a spontaneous turn of events, a couple of friends invited me to join them on a hike yesterday. I was at their house waiting for the tow truck to take my broken down car to the garage when they came up with the idea of walking up one of the many, many, many hills around this part of the world. So, of course, I was delighted - even tho the prospect of getting up early for outdoorsy exercise after a night of drinks and nibbles (it was Eurovision night last night!) was a bit daunting. 

 

I needn't have worried. I woke up freakishly early (you know that waking feeling when you're trying to decide whether a hangover will develop or not?), made sandwiches and coffee, and dug out my hiking boots.

 

I haven't been hiking properly for about two years (and am not the fittest of people), so this really was a bit daunting but the company was great and we got there early enough to have a lot of time to make our way up the hill.

 

 

Clachnaben (Gaelic for "rock on the hill") looks pretty impressive but it is still classed as a "hill", not a munro. The ascent, however, was pretty challenging - well, it was for me - and changed between wide paths to very narrow ones on the edge of steep slopes, from smooth to rocky steps and rubble.

 

 

By the time we made it to the top, I was done for.

 

 

The views made up for the effort, tho:

 

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review 2017-01-14 22:23
Listening To Dust - Brandon Shire

This was another awesome buddy read with my equally awesome friends Josy, Christelle & Lisa. While this was actually a re-read for me, having read it for the first time almost 2 years ago, it turned out to be no less of an emotional read now than it was then. I definitely stand by my original review.

 

Book Review: Listening to Dust

 

While I loved re-reading this book. I have to admit I was grateful for its brevity and I honestly don't think it's something that I will do again. This is not a cute, light or fluffy story it is heart breaking and I'll be the little puddle of goo over in the corner hugging her teddy and trying to piece herself back together again. Thanks & hugs to my awesome friends for doing this with me. I'll see you in two weeks over at Josy's place for our next buddy read, right? Life After Joe by Harper Fox yes, there will be more tears but ladies I promise the ending is totally worth it.

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review 2016-04-16 20:30
Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth
Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth (mouthmark series) - Warsan Shire

The first boy to kiss your mother later raped women

when the war broke out. She remembers hearing this

from your uncle, then going to your bedroom and lying

down on the floor. You were at school.

 

Your mother was sixteen when he first kissed her.

She held her breath for so long that she blacked out.

On waking she found her dress was wet and sticking

to her stomach, half moons bitten into her thighs.

I might need a minute to gather my thoughts and put into words the feelings I have right now...

Well...This was a phenomenal collection of poetry. I can honestly say that I haven't read anything like this before.

Each poem is a tale. A horrific, very graphic tale. Warsan Shire, the author, is a Kenyan-born Somali poet, who now lives in London. Her words about immigration need no comments:

They ask me how did you get here? Can’t you see it on my body? The Libyan desert red with immigrant bodies, the Gulf of Aden bloated, the city of Rome with no jacket. I hope the journey meant more than miles because all of my children are in the water. I thought the sea was safer than the land. [..] I hear them say go home, I hear them say fucking immigrants, fucking refugees. Are they really this arrogant? Do they not know that stability is like a lover with a sweet mouth upon your body one second; the next you are a tremor lying on the floor covered in rubble and old currency waiting for its return. All I can say is, I was once like you, the apathy, the pity, the ungrateful placement and now my home is the mouth of a shark, now my home is the barrel of a gun. I’ll see you on the other side.

Poetry is a very difficult genre to interpret most of the times. But I don't think you could read any of Warsan's poems and don't be affected by the raw emotion they will draw out of you.

This small collection of powerful poems is highly recommended..

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text 2015-12-27 13:20
2015 Reading Recap, Part 2: The Self-Interview
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
The Luminaries - Eleanor Catton
The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q - Sharon Maas
Shire - Sarah Wood,Ali Smith
The Sticklepath Strangler - Michael Jecks
Burmese Days - George Orwell
The Skeleton Road - Val McDermid
Hogfather (Discworld, #20) - Terry Pratchett
Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (Poirot) - Agatha Christie
A Place of Greater Safety - Hilary Mantel

Olga Godim came up with this creative way of summing up her reading year and challenged everyone to do their own.  Well, while I'm back here ... I'm in!

 

Olga writes: "Creatively, I decided to interview myself about my reading in 2015. The answers could only be book titles I read during the year. In the year 2015, what was your..."

 

Most Memorable Encounter

The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)

 

An old and treasured acquaintance, who still easily managed to outshine any and every other bookish encounter of the year.  Thanks again to Troy for making me seek him out again!

 

Best Vacation Spot

The Luminaries (Eleanor Catton)

New Zealand!

 

Most Exciting Adventure

Tie: The Secret Life of Winnie Cox and The Small Fortune of Dorothea Q (both by Sharon Maas)

 

Favorite Place

Shire (Ali Smith)

 

Least Favorite Place

Cloud Howe (Lewis Grassic Gibbon)

 

Worst Person You Met

Tie: Joseph Fouché (Stefan Zweig -- biography) and The Sticklepath Strangler (Michael Jecks, Knights Templar series)

 

Most Embarrassing Memory

Fifty Sheds of Grey  (C.T. Grey)

 

Worst Weather of the Year

Tie between the two extremes: Burmese Days (George Orwell) and Grey Granite (Lewis Grassic Gibbon)

 

Scariest Event

The Skeleton Road  (Val McDermid)

 

Funniest Moment

Hogfather (Terry Pratchett, Discworld)

 

Saddest Moment

Tie: Post Mortem  (Kate London) and The Gods of Guilt (Michael Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer series)

 

Worst Food You Ate

The Five Orange Pips (Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes)

 

Best Food You Ate

The Christmas Pudding (Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot)

 

... and a few additions of my own:

 

The Understatement of the Year

A Place of Greater Safety (Hilary Mantel)

The French Revolution, from Robespierre's, Danton's and Desmoulins's point of view.

 

Most Precious Acquisition

The Blue Carbuncle (Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes)

 

Favorite Garment

The Chinese Shawl (Patricia Wentworth, Miss Silver series)

 

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text 2015-11-03 00:41
Day Two -- Three Day Quote Challenge

Thanks to Murder By Death for the invitation to play.

 

Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. (see above)

2. Publish a quote on 3 consecutive days on your blog. The quote can be one of your own, from a book, movie or from anyone who inspires.

3. Nominate 3 more bloggers each day to carry on this endeavour.

 

This may be bleak, but I'm sharing it anyway. because it's beautiful.  And every time I see it, it makes me think:  What can I do right now to help someone, somewhere in some small way?

 

"i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?
it answered
everywhere
everywhere
everywhere.”
― Warsan Shire

"About the Author
Warsan Shire is a Kenyan-born Somali poet and writer who is based in London. Born in 1988, she is an artist and activist who uses her work to document narratives of journey and trauma. Warsan has read her work internationally, including recent readings in South Africa, Italy and Germany, and her poetry has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Portuguese." (Amazon)

 

 
like others are doing, I'm just going to say, Jump In, if you feel like participating. It's fun. But also, because it's nice to be invited . . . 

 

 Coffee2Words

 

Chaotic Readings

 

Denise

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