Saturday, 25 April 2015

What I've Been Reading Lately

I've read some good books lately on my morning commute, here's a few recent favourites.

My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff

This memoir details the year Rakoff spent after graduation, working for a literary agent in New York in the mid '90s. The agency is stuck in the past and rejects modern technology in favour of old fashioned methods such as dictaphones and typewriters. One of Joanna's tasks is to reply to all of 'Jerry's fan mail'. She eventually realises Jerry is JD Salinger, the famously reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye and other novels.

I really enjoyed this account, which at times reminded me of the work experience I spent at an art book publisher in London when I was a student.

Displacement by Lucy Knisley

Lucy Knisley is one of my favourite graphic novelists. Her first book French Milk documents a foodie trip to Paris with her mother, and her latest is another travelogue, this time recording the time she spent on a cruise with her ageing grandparents.

At first the trip seemed like a lovely idea, spending more time with her grandfolks who are both in their nineties, but the trip proves as challenging as it does rewarding.

Some parts of the story definitely reminded me of my grandma who sometimes seems to take quite a negative outlook on life and is obsessed by the weather!

Clothes, Music Boys by Viv Albertine

I loved Viv Albertine's biography. Albertine was a guitarist in punk band The Slits and her memoir is in a word - honest. She spares no detail as she explains what it was like to grow up during punk, from hanging out with Sid Vicious to staying with junkies in squats in Amsterdam. There's also a funny chapter about her liaison with actor Vincent Gallo! I heard that Albertine is now writing a follow-up which I can't wait to read.

Have you read anything good lately?

Friday, 17 April 2015

60 years of Miffy

Three years ago whilst on holiday in Holland, Tom & I took a day trip to Utrecht, and top of my list was a visit to the the Dick Bruna Museum. It was a wonderful place filled with original drawings of Bruna's famous bunny, Miffy. I'd certainly recommend a trip if you're ever in the Netherlands as it's such a fun, colourful museum (with an excellent shop!)

On 21st June Miffy turns 60! I was contacted recently asking if I'd like to review some Miffy books to celebrate her birthday and I couldn't say no.

Miffy's Garden (she learns to grow her very own carrots!), Miffy's Birthday and Miffy and Melanie ( a more recent tale in which she gets a visit from a penpal) are all sweet books that would make lovely gifts for younger children. (Or young at heart adults.. ahem). For even higher levels of cuteness visit the Miffy blog here.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Bits of my house

We've been in our new home for just over a month now, and despite one room being full of boxes we are starting to get the house into shape! This week I've had a few days off work and it's been lovely to spend time in the garden, planting seeds in the sunshine and hanging out washing - things that are quite everyday but are things we didn't have chance to do in the flat. 

Tom's been busy drilling shelves, while I've been scouring charity shops for mid-century furniture. I had my heart set on finding a dressing table and was happy to find a nice one in the British Heart Foundation shop in Nottingham. And of course we have made several trips to Ikea. We managed to find this orange armchair in the sale section as it had been discontinued, hurrah!

It's also been great to get the log burner going on the cold nights when we first moved in.

It's been fun exploring a new area now we are a few miles outside of the city. There are some nice little cafes here, two ace pubs, an abundance of charity shops and an amazing greengrocer called Fred Hallam's.

Moving house is certainly a challenge, but it's worth it now we have more space and a place that's all ours. There's still quite a bit to do, including sanding and painting a dining chair and table, painting the bathroom and making some cushions to match the armchair. I'll share more pictures as we progress!

And here's one last shot (because it's nice to see more realistic images on blogs these days...) of our box spare room. Argh! Right, back to unpacking..

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