Sunday, 26 September 2010

Salamanca is

We've spent a splendid long weekend in Spain for the "boda" of a dear friend.

To me, Salamanca is:

An intensely romantic castle to stay in and celebrate in

Tapas in the Placa Mayor with friends-of-friends, who just became friends

A happy bride dancing to "You're The One That I Want" in red Converse

Churros y chocolate for the morning after the night before

Some serious Gothic architecture

And some rather less serious surprises!

We loved it! Felicidades a B y J - muchas gracias para invitarnos, fue un privilegio.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Attention, please?

I am finding at the moment that I have a really short attention span.

Maybe it's down too much multimedia multitasking, of which I am often guilty, juggling laptop and TV and iPhone. Maybe it's down to tiredness at the end of the taxing day. Maybe it's just that modern malaise of being time-poor with 'Wonder Woman' syndrome, i.e. trying to have it all and ending up doing too much.

Whatever the reason, I have a buzzing brain and a true butterfly mind - flitting from flower to flower and never settling for long - these days. And to think I used to be such a "reflector"...

Time to embrace slow and train myself back into mindfulness and thoughtfulness.

As a countermeasure, I am keeping a journal where I try to think critically and analytically about my reading, recording impressions, thoughts and feelings.

I think it's working. Recent books have included Peter Ackroyd's Dickens biography (hagiographic, overly strained prose), Jenny Uglow's History of British Gardening (interesting on liberation and self-expression of women and working classes via gardening), and Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian (kids' classic, can't believe I never read it, moving and tough, emotionally honest). I certainly feel I am reading more deeply and responsively, and I find I remember the content better and more profoundly.

It hasn't stopped me reading several books at once though - currently Nights at the Circus, The Spirit Level (as Kindle eBook) and A Room with a View (on iPhone) - and the pile of material by the bed hasn't diminished any but it's a start.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

A weekend of making

It's been a hectic old summer, especially workwise, but this weekend I finally made some time for making.

I finished The Boy's bobble hat,

knocked up a very stylish (if I say so myself) knitting bag from an old skirt to prevent the cat from running around the house with my half-finished knitting in her mouth,

and baked this fantastic pistachio cake with cream cheese frosting, mmmmm:

Having swapped a creative marketing job for a responsible middle management job about two years ago, I really find these weekend things very satisfying.  I think it helps me bridge the gap between the "work me" and the "real me", which feel pretty separate these days. Now, to find a way to bring those two closer together ...


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