A request was received for a reading project update.
My Romans reading: I am currently really enjoying the Imperium series of novels by Robert Harris. They are based on the life of Cicero, the Roman politician, lawyer and writer. As well as being interesting, lively and well written, they give you a real feel for his contemporaries: the unscrupulous Julius Caesar, the plutocrat Crassus and the warlord Pompey. Great fun.
America: I have finished the excellent Book on the Southern USA by Paul Theroux. It is impossible to read this book and not get angry. Not the Gone with the Wind South, the subsistence farming, racist, violent, gun owning, religious South. An eye opener and a call to action to help these people.
I have also read Cannery Row by John Steinbeck which I quite enjoyed. Beautiful writing and great characters but didn't really draw me in somehow. It reminded me that I read The Pearl in school and didn't enjoy it.
New Project: following on from my Stone Circles exhibition at work last year, next year I am on to Pictish Stones. After that, the Celts, maybe. Today I went to Aberdeenshire Council HQ to see the famous Rhynie Man carving displayed in their foyer and pick up some leaflets. Planning lots of reading, roadtrips and art projects around this too. More to follow.
So, after about three years of injury (knee and foot ligaments), physio and whatnot, I felt the time had come. I kept telling people I wanted to start running again and how I missed it and how I felt unfit and untoned (frankly, a bit flabby).
After a busy round of holidays, big events at work and weekends away I finally had a quiet day off today to start back on couch to 5k. It seems funny how I did this years ago and here I am again. But now I'm still fitter in my breathing and upper body.
Anyway, it was great. Ached a bit in my knee and foot but it wasn't actually hard. At first you run and walk alternately each minute for 20mins which was fine. It felt amazing to be buzzing along, listening to music and enjoying the scenery.
I enjoyed my old running route along the old railway cycle path and round Duthie Park which looked fantastic with all the flowerbeds and the restored ponds.
Music of choice today: ACDC, Donna Summer and Gwen Stefani on my new iphone with the couch to 5k app.
Just to flag up my latest sewing project. My sewing mojo is back! This is an original Butterick pattern from 1961, reissued. The early 60s patterns are much more reminiscent of the 50s, possibly a bit more relaxed. I love making retro patterns. An interesting period detail is the sleeves cut in one with the body. The dress has a sash that wraps across the front and ties at the back. I'm seeing a lot of dresses like these in the shops at the moment. I put pockets in because pockets are always good. The fabric is a very cheap poly cotton, but in a nice denim type shade.
Imagine my surprise and joy when this was the first thing I saw in Frankfurt. Emerging by the underground station, the medieval tower Eschenheimer Turm. Originally the city was surrounded by medieval city walls and towers, some of which survive. We found Bruckenheimer Turm by the university, it also features picturesque woodwork as well as a panoply of really fun turrets like something from a cheesy fantasy novel. Most of Frankfurt is quite modern, following heavy bombing during WW2, although they are now reconstructing large areas of the old medieval centre.
We really enjoyed our few days there. Although not one of the world's most beautiful cities, it has great shopping, lots of interesting museums and sights. Food highlights included the beer, the fabulous cakes and the currywurst. I am amazed no-one in Britain has thought of making a sausage based curry!
When the world feels in chaos, you sort what you can. Cue another giant wardrobe reorganisation.
Despair due to the EU referendum and despite the fact that pigs might fly before we can sell the flat now doesn't mean I'm giving up.
Some wardrobe reorganisation tips:
Get rid of all your excess hangars. About forty in my case, incidentally forming an interesting record of our shopping habits over the years...Casual Club at C&A anyone? Also those old style wood ones to crush things in and those spring loaded metal ones, which don't seem to be used any more. Ones from drycleaners can be returned and others might go to charity shops (I'm hoping).
Try on all your clothes and brutally purge anything that doesn't fit or is too young for you. I passed on some favourite things ( such as my decades old Laura Ashley black velvet dress) to a younger, thinner friend. We filled four plastic bags with clothes for Oxfam, my charity of choice. Anything you really love but cannot bear to part with can perhaps be letvout a bit or taken up or down a bit or otherwise tweaked. I am doing this with my much loved (but size 12 ) turquoise linen dress from Hobbs. It has these amazing feature pockets where you put your hands in and they meet in the middle. And rickrack braid trims. Sometimes you just buy something that is brilliant, not merely appropriate or useful.
Sort your clothes into either types or colours. I prefer types and have back storage in the spare room for out of season wear (although that's a loose category in Aberdeen) and special occasion wear. I segregated grown up tops and tshirts from my large collection of superhero, scifi and science themed tshirts. Today I'm wearing evolution of hominids tshirt, one of my favourites.
Throw away anything which is holey or disintegrating or cut up to make dusters.
Buy anything new you need. This is the good bit. Mostly skirts in my case as my waist is my most changing measurement, also tshirts as these actually wear out.