Friday, 2 December 2011

Francoise Sagan

I've gotten a little obsessed with Francoise Sagan at the moment and the melancholic atmosphere and disillusionment she evokes in her books.  Her style reminds me a lot of Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night and also another book set in 1920's Paris by a woman author that I can't remember which is really bugging me.  (Reviewers also often link her as having similarities to J. D. Salinger which I'd agree with.)  I've just reread La Chamade (1965) and it spurred me to finally buy Bonjour Tristesse (1954) for 99p off Ebay which is on its way to me.  It was published when she was 18, and I should probably have read it before La Chamade, especially as it is supposed to have influenced Simon & Garfunkel's 'The Sound of Silence' which I love. 

The copy of Bonjour Tristesse I have bought is so pretty as well, which I am a bit of a sucker for:

Hopefully I can watch the film adaption of it soon after as well from 1958: 

Jean Seberg as Cecile in the film adaptation of Francoise Sagan’s, Bonjour Tristesse.

When I read Bonjour Tristesse it reminded me of how little I have read recently, but also how little I have really enjoyed a book in a long time (sleeping over reading has been taking priority).  Luckily since then, whilst waiting for Bonjour Tristesse, I have sunk my teeth into Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami and am loving every second of it.  It's been a long time since I have chosen reading over sleep on the train (which is awful really).  I won't ruin it but the book has talking cats in it, one even likes opera and BMWs.  Another great book from the last few weeks I have enjoyed is The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides third novel, which I felt like I was waiting for forever.  I didn't feel overly concerned about the characters within this book and although I do keep recommending because of the effort that is put into research for the book I did find the characters slightly unbelievable and one dimensional.

Now I am waiting with great anticipation for Audrey Niffenigger's third novel The Chinchilla Girl in Excile and Donna Tartt's third novel untitled as yet to be released in 2012.  Hurry up 2012!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Monday, 7 November 2011


Hello!  I have now finished my M.A. and have returned to the world of full time work.  I really miss my M.A. so have begun volunteering at National Trust Properties and local archives (but more about that in another post!) I miss the rummaging around in archives, and finding out secrets from the past.  I think I will have to try fill this in my weekends and evenings with book reading and museum/gallery visits.

My visit to Salcombe in Devon was amazing, but went so fast!  We stayed in a house on the sea front called Pitchford House (how nice is the kitchen!)

I loved that house.... we are going again next September!  There were stone steps onto a huge balcony that over looked the bay where we could drink coffee and eat Tom's birthday cake and watch boats go past.  I don't know if it was so idyllic because the weather was so so hot (hot weather in England in October!) but I can't wait to go back. 



Since finishing my M.A it is a little weird getting used to the fact that my evenings and weekends are mine again.  I am slowly realising that I can do whatever I want in this time.  There’s so much I want to do but I think I will split it over different posts (I want to go away at the weekend more, read more, watch more films, cook more!)  Firstly I want to start going to the cinema again more to see really great films.  Recently I have seen:


(I only managed to watch about thirty minutes of Snow Town.  It was too violent/sadistic for me... I'm not saying it isn't a good film I just couldn't keep watching it). 

In the next two weeks I should be seeing:

I can't wait! 

Sunday, 25 September 2011


Hello! I am now back.  I have completely finished my M.A. in Historical Research and should be getting my results in the next two months.  It all got really stressful towards the end... my dissertation was 25,000 words and I was also working 30 hours a week at my job.  I ended up getting 5am trains down to London to do last bits of research, and frantically writing every second of the day.  I hope I do okay.  I have also left my room at the university, my 'study corner' behind! 

The rooms on campus are all exactly the same, so I basically stuck postcards on everything.

But now I am finished and can start blogging again.  I will be working full time in my job at the university but aside from that I am looking forward to doing lots of fun things including being generally more healthy.  I have arranged to start volunteering at three places: two are National Trust houses, and the third is a county archive.  All three are history related and will involve me doing a variety of fun things to do with curating, archiving, and being generally nosy.  But more on those soon!  

For breakfast this morning I made myself porridge with chopped bananas, syrup and lots of cinnamon and have been lazing around reading my Kindle.  I love having no essays to write! 
I am also off to Salcombe in Devon next weekend so will post lots of pictures then. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Kendal Calling

Hello August!

I have just got back, well two days ago, from Kendal Calling.  We got to see Blonde... which made me very happy.  Tom lifted me up to see her and it was amaaazing!

Aside from that I have been on a camping trip and eating Bakewell tarts from Bakewell itself, procrastinating, saying goodbye to people, and thinking about getting some volunteering sorted for September for when I finish my MA and will be sad.  Aside from this I want to learn to drive, to cook, and to take more (and one day maybe even good) pictures.

On that note here are some pictures of Kendal Calling Festival (29th July-1st August 2011).

Tasty gingerbread snacks

We dressed up as zebras, a lion, and a man with extra seeing eyes...

Hello :)

KC has lots and lots of tasty vegetarian food and isn't ridiculously expensive.

Shisha and jenga

Fire poi
Right off I go. 

Monday, 25 July 2011


I spent this weekend in London trying and failing to get the last of my research done for my MA. Aside from that I looked around the V&A, ate a lot, wandered along the Thames, finally got to try Laduree macaroons (rose flavour oh yes!), waited at lots of tube stations, and had breakfast at Fortnum and Masons, yum yum.

My brother and cousin.

Thai food at Busaba Eathai in Soho. I remember this as being amazing last time, this time it was so so...


Rip off prices at the new M&'s shop in Oxford circus...
Breakfast... Along the Thames...

 Tomato and mozarella salad, macaroni in a pan and Pappardelle with Porcini Mushrooms at Kitchen Italia in Covent Garden... cheap, tasty, and yummy and a tiny bit chain like, even though they only have one other restaurant. Really good fast food though.

Laduree, Laduree, Laduree!

 Holland Park...

We never did find the peacocks...

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Bratislava & Brno

I haven't been very bloggy recently for lots of different reasons (and excuses!) but one of those is because I went away for two weeks.
We went to Bratislava, Brno, Prague, Cesky Krumlov, Vienna, Budapest and then flew back from Bratislava again.  I thought I would write a little bit about all the different places we went over the next few days so that I can relive the experience (taking my mind of my dissertation) but also write things down before I forget them!

I have been before but was excited to go back because it has such a beautiful tiny tiny old town.  I spent most of the three days we spent there hanging out right in the centre of the old town in the square.  We ate bagels, avocados, 50 cent yoghurt flavoured icecream, had massages, wandered up to Bratislava Castle (last time we went we got the bus to Devin Castle which I would definitely recommend) and drank beer mostly in our hostel which had a half Hostel - the film- theme and half Australian theme. (Hostel Possonium).  We also got to see the renactment of the coronation of Maria Therasa two hundred and seventy one years and one days after it happened.  There were petals all over the floor.

Then we hopped on a train to Brno, the second biggest city in the Czech Republic.  Brno was so relaxed! Fruit and vegetable market every day where you could go sit by the statue in the centre and bask in the sun like a cat and smell all of the amazing colourful fruit and veg, fresh coffee in our amazing hotel like hostel, the bar where you poured your own beer at your table.  Spilberk Castle (13th century) is worth a visit even if just to have an icecream and lie in the sun looking out over the city. I was alone and looking around the prison section (considered the harshest in the whole of the Austrian Hungarian empire) when there didn't seem to be anyone else there was slightly disconcerting! Although making the trip up the tower to look out over the city more than made up for it.  I liked Brno a lot.