Sunday, 30 July 2017

I've read: Anansi boys

by Niel Gaiman


Another Neil Gaiman book, surpise surprise! 

This is the story about Fat Charlie, who isn't actually fat, a very normal guy who lives a very normal job, with a sweet girlfriend and a job he doesn't really like. When his estranged and embarrassing dad suddenly dies, in the most embarrassing way, he finds out he has a brother and suddenly his life isn't very normal any more. 


Strange stuff happens, all seem to be his strange brothers Spiders fault. Things start going bad for Fat Charlie, catastrophic even, and then take a turn for the worse. He tries to get out of trouble by traveling over the Atlantic (thrice) and talk his old voodoo-lady of a neighbor. 


It's no secret I like Neil Gaiman's books. They are always exciting, fun and smart. This is no different. I finished in just a few days and now I just want to read another one, just like it.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

I've read, The Shock of the Fall

by Nathan Filer


This is another book I just picked up based on the cover (as I guess most books are). It didn't turn out to be anything like what I had expected. In this book you get to know Matt. When Matt is a child, about seven I think, his older brother Simon dies. We get to follor Matt as he grow older, with him telling the story about his life, his brothers death and how that influences him. As I write it, it sounds like any other story about grief, but it is not.


It is in many ways a very sad story. An unusually touching story. And in my opinion extremely well written one. Not at all like what I usually read, but strange and in a way lovely. It left an impression.


You should read it too.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Swedish summer 2017

I'm now more than a week in to my two week long Scandinavian Holliday. And I've seen a lot, met a lot of people and eaten almost all of the things I've longed for. I'm not going to go in to much detail but at least I'll share a few photos.












Saturday, 22 July 2017

anxiety and fear

In my head, anxiety and fear are two completely different things. Anxiety is a feeling that creeps up on you, that get lodged in your chest and just sit there and fester. You might not always know the reason for it, or you might know the trigger but not why it makes you feel so bad. It can also be that thing that keeps you awake in the middle of the night or that suddenly just hits you right when you are about to fall a sleep. Why did I say that? Why did I do that? Did I remember to do that? What will happen now? Am I sick? 

I've been anxious a lot in my life. When I was younger I had anxiety about getting infected by parasites or getting blood clots in my legs. Bad enough to sometimes keep me up at night. But mostly I was anxious for stupid reasons that ended up not feeling all that bad the next day when I woke up. As a grown up, most of my anxiety have been related to my work. I've been anxious about making mistakes, that I don't know as much as I should or that I have forgotten something important. The past three years or so though, even this anxiousness have abated as I started to feel more comfortable in my position and with my tasks. And obviously I don't have any of those worries now! Most reasons for me being anxious these days are a light version of social anxiety, probably caused by the fact that I don't see people that often. Sometimes I just want to hide at home and not meet anyone.


But then we have the fear! And even though I have been a quite anxious person, I haven't really been that afraid. I'm not particularly afraid of being alone in the house at night. I can walk by myself late in the dark without feeling scared. I'm not totally comfortable with heights and wouldn't do a bungy-jump or skydive, but not in a way that influences my daily life. I'm comfortable with public speaking and I really enjoy trying new adrenaline-filled activities and sports. I even got over my long lasting and paralyzing aerophobia and can now fly around the globe without breaking a sweat. I'm not exactly fearless, but absolutely not fearful!

Funny though, the few things that really scare me now are still related to traveling. Because leaving home for a longer period makes me a bit scared. Not in a disabling way, but enough for me to start to worry after a few days away. So, what I am afraid of? It has all to do with the cats! I am afraid someone will break in (not an unrealistic fear here, sadly) and hurt or steal them (also not unrealistic, crazy how it might sound). I am also afraid there will be a fire and that they will die. I know they are "just" cats, but they are also my family and totally irreplaceable. We always have people coming to our house to feed and play with them several times a day when we travel, so the chance of something happening when we are gone isn't big, but it is there. And that is scary.

I'm also terribly afraid of octopuses, and always have been. Devil-spawn.

How about you, what are you afraid of? Clowns? The sea?

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

I've read: Nights of the Dark Moon

by Tutu Dutta


Nights of the dark Moon is a collection of folktales from Asia (and a few from Africa) that I picked up on an airport recently. I thought it might be fun to read something with a local connection for once.


And sure, there are fairy-tales from Indonesia, China, Japan, Korea in here (none from Brunei though). It's interesting to see the similarities (moralizing) and differences (cultural and settings obviously) to the legends and tales we know from Europe. And it was nice to read short stores too.


But generally I wasn't a big fan of this book. I don't think the prose was well enough written. And sometimes they ended a bit too abrupt. 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Digital declutter

When I'm on vacation, away from home, I always start planning what changes I want to make in my "regular life" when I get back. This usually takes the form of me writing lists... One of the things I've been thinking about lately is that I want to organize and change some things in my digital presence and on my devices. I imagine that will make life easier and maybe end up in me reducing my screen time... *hoping*

Here's what that list looks like so far!
  • Un-follow Facebook updates from groups and people I'm not all that interested in
  • Remove apps I never use
  • Find one proper news-app to use instead of several half decent ones
  • Un-follow some accounts on Instagram
  • Remove myself from various mailing lists 
  • Clean out dropbox and cloud
  • Double check Facebook privacy settings
Let's see if I can get this done before my classes starts in September!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

homecoming

In only a few hours I'll be on a plane, taking me on the first leg on a trip to Sweden. This trip back home was not in my original plans for the summer - having already traveled so much - but my grandfather passed away in May and I wanted to go back home for the entombment ceremony and to visit my grandmother.

As usual when I go back home, I'll go a little bit all over the place. As I haven't lived in my home country for about eight years (shit) I'm pretty used to this, although I have mixed feelings. Of course I want to see as many people as possible when I'm in Sweden, but it is also quite stressful to try and plan all of the logistics and to never really sleep in the same place for more than a few nights in a row. This time I have decided to add yet another stop to my trip, as I will be going back to Stavanger (in Norway) for a few days as well.

But it's going to be great. I'll get to see most of my best friends and all my family, and will even have a few days in Stockholm, completely unplanned! I'll try to spend those days just enjoying the Swedish summer, however cold and rainy it might be, and also make sure to do some of the shopping for things I can't buy here.



Now, I have already written a few posts that are scheduled to pop up here while I'm gone, as the Blogger app refuses to work on my iPhone since my last OS upgrade... I don't want it to be as empty here as it usually is when I'ma away. And let me just say, while on the topic of blogging, that I'm so happy for your comments and likes! I know I'm like the worst person ever to promote this place, but I'm still super glad that there are a few people coming here to read every now and then.

Oh well, now I'm off to pack my toilet bag! Always hard to decide what makeup to bring... I always just end up using a third of what I pack...

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

I've read: the Wonder

by Emma Donoghue


To be completely honest, I bought this book 95% based on the pretty cover. The blurb was promising, but not totally convincing, but I needed more books so... This story is about a nurse, Lib, taught by the legendary Florence Nightingale (so it takes place during the later part of the 1800s) and now sent on a mission to a remote part of Ireland. Only once she arrives she realizes that her job will not be to take care of a sick person, but rather to monitor a young girl who has stopped eating and now seem like - miraculously - she has survived without food, for over four months.


Libs job will be - in collaboration with a nun - to watch over the girl and make sure no-one is secretively feeding her. Is the girl a medical wonder, a holy person or a fraud? 


I didn't like this book to start with. I wasn't impressed with the main character or the set up of the story. But it grew on me, kept me really wondering, and in the end I really liked it! Not the best book I ever read, but as mysteries goes, quite unusual and interesting!

Monday, 10 July 2017

3 film reviews

Hello Bloggy!
I'm back in Brunei after almost 2,5 weeks gone, traveling in South Korea and Japan. I have about a billion of photos, and a bunch of fond memories from this trip, but as I'm not a huge fan of reading other people blog posts about travels I'm just going to summarize this trip (along with the other resent trip I made to Hong Kong) in a short travel guide. But that I wont do until I've sorted and edited my photos, and gathered my thoughts. I'm thinking these posts will show up in September or so. No hurry.

Today I'm just here to say HELLO and also to provide you with a very important service called film reviews! I saw three movies when I flew from Japan to Singapore on Saturday, all of them movies I had on my "to see" list. Read and decided if they should be on yours too. If you haven't already seen them, then just scroll on...

Life



This was NOT the best film to watch while in the air. It's not good to feel contained and stalked while on a plane. But that aside I think it was ok. Interesting to imagine what will have to be considered if life is ever discovered "close" to earth, even if it isn't life in the shape of little green men. When it comes to the actors... eh. Not bad, really, but I didn't grow that involved with any of the characters, although I liked I liked that the cast was so international.
Score: 3/5

Beauty and the Beast



Beautiful movie. I rarely watch Disney, but when it comes to live-action fairy tales I just can't stay away. And surprisingly I don't mind musicals! I used to have the Swedish Disney version of this story on audio tape when I was a kid and listened to it over. I remembered many of the tunes and most of the story but still loved this remake. The cast is impressive and the scenes and settings beautiful. I do kind of wish that the beast could stay a beast though. Now the ending is like, "if you are nice you can become pretty and then you'll be happy". Not cool.
Score: 4/5

Kong: Skull island 



Interesting historical setting, just by the end of the Vietnam war. As action movies go, where the plot isn't super important, this is exactly what I want from a movie. Cool actors! Jungle! A little bit of humor! Epic monster fight scenes! plus, lots of people dying spectacularly and surprisingly which keeps you on your toes. I did not like the last King Kong movie, but this one was better.
Score: 3,5/5

FYI the photos are from my phone, taken during the flight. The reviews are also written in flight. I was a bit bored by the end...