Photo Projects

21 Feb

Busy, busy, busy. I’ve been writing my dissertation, going on a little sojourn to London with Giles, going out and about, and working. I’m going to segregate my blogs by topic, so here is one on artistic things:

I have a new project in the works. In essence, it’s two projects- about the two towns/cities that I live in, Coventry and Romford (anonymity, where did you go?). Coventry can be a bit of a monster of concrete, which I find interesting. I’ve got a few places in mind to take photos- a subway, a building which I think used to be part of Coventry Polytechnic but now looks pretty condemned, and so on. The Romford part will be easier, having lived there for my whole life, of course.  I’m currently deciding how to go about the project though- whether it should be in colour or black and white, or a mix or both. I currently have an almost full roll of B&W in my camera, so it seems quite likely that I shall just use that.

I never like to talk about projects, mainly because I often don’t finish (or never get around to starting) them, and it makes me feel foolish when people ask about them. I’m also never sure what to do with them once I’ve finished, but I guess I’ll stick it up on here and flickr and people can look at them if they like. I’ve got lots of photos on my camera and my iPhone that I need to put up as well, so hold this space.

Bookish

8 Feb

Another busy, busy week for me! What week isn’t? Being busy is a bit of a curse. When I’ve got nothing to do, I feel bad moping around at home, like I’m not making the most out of life; but when I’ve got too much going on, I just want some time to do nothing. I wanted to write a bit about books! I really want one of the Moleskine Book Journals! I always resolve to keep a record of what I read and my impressions of it, and this seems like a really good way to do it- easy and quick and combined with good design. It reminds me a little bit of the book reviews that I had to write in junior school, though!  I remember that my folder was always massive, as I’ve always been a very quick reader. When I was in school, I used to regularly read six to eight books a week (eight being the maximum that I could withdraw from the local library)- I’m not sure how I found the time to do that, except that the books were shorter and a lot less complicated than my current reading material!

Nowadays, I tend to get most of my reading done on public transport. I’ve almost always got a book in my bag (I think I’m scared of being bored). When I’m working in London, and spending a solid hour or so commuting in, along with my super long hour and twenty minutes of break, I go through books at a ridiculous speed as I’m reading for at least three hours every day! While at university, I read quite a bit more slowly as I have less opportunities to. Unlike a lot of people I know, I don’t really like reading in bed. I don’t mind if I don’t have to get up early the next morning, but I tend to get absorbed in my book, and before I know it, it’s four in the morning and I have to get up at eight thirty!

I’m currently reading An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’ve only read the first seventy pages, but it looks like it will be quite interesting so far, and I’ll write more about it later. Ishiguro is amazing at creating an evocative image of a world, this one being that of late 1940s Japan, rebuilding itself after World War Two.

Prior to this, I read The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I’ve never read anything by her before, but her books have been consistently recommended to me. I found the book really gripping- I love fiction where the real story unrolls gradually, leading you on twists and turns, and leaving you waiting to understand who becomes who, and what caused the events the reader has already seen. In typical literary fiction style, there isn’t a great deal of “action” (one of the things I really enjoy about the genre, so not a bad point in this case!), but Atwood’s depiction of characters is amazing, allowing the reader to feel and empathise and agonise, while remaining an outsider- someone spying on another life. As I mentioned, one of the things I love about literary fiction is how the book doesn’t have to be filled with events upon events. A good writer can write about almost nothing, and still ensnare the reader. I’m not surprised that it won the Booker prize!

Anyway, I’m off to bed now, so I’ll have to tell you a little more about a few other things in my life another time!

The Past Week

30 Jan

It’s been a busy week! So I’m going to split up the things I’ve done into sections to make it easier. It’s quite a food-heavy entry, I’ve just realised, but maybe that’s because I’m hungry as I’m writing it!

Habibi

I’m a member of the Animal Welfare and Vegetarian Society at my university, and every week we go out for a meal to a vegetarian-friendly restaurant. This week we went to Habibi, an Arabic restaurant in Coventry. I’ve been there once before, also with the Society. It’s a really nice restaurant, and very atmospheric. However, I find that the food is a bit hit and miss. Last time I went, I ordered the ‘Batata Harah’, which a potato and pepper dish with garlic. It was pretty tasty. I also got falafel and rice with vermicelli and vegetables, both of which are so delicious! I ordered them both this time as well. However, I also ordered  ‘Loubia Bizet’  green bean dish, which was horrible! Definitely not a success. The restaurant has a ‘Beoudin tent’ outside, where they serve drinks (no alcohol though) and shisha. Last time I went, we had a rose flavoured shisha, which tasted like rose Turkish delight; this time, however, we just had some hot drinks. Although it’s outside, there is a brazier and heaters, which keep it surprisingly warm! I’d recommend it if you want something different, but the service is quite slow, so not one for a quick meal! Here is a link to their website. I’m really glad I joined the Animal Welfare society. The people I’ve met through it have all been lovely so far, and our socials are always really good fun.

The Animal Welfare society is also planning a ‘Go Vegetarian Month’, starting from the second of February, which is quite exciting! I get to have proteges, or ‘Veggie buddies’, as I should be calling them. I’m a little bit nervous about having lots of people I don’t know assigned to me, but I’m sure it will be fine. Fifty people have expressed interest on facebook, and it’s fantastic that this many people want to give vegetarianism a go. Giles had decided to go vegetarian for the month as well, which is also awesome. Although I don’t mind if my partner chooses to eat meat, I’d obviously prefer people I like to be vegetarian. Giles already doesn’t really cook meat for himself and only eats it when out (or on a pizza), so we’ll have to see how it goes.

Dissertation

Argh! I have so little time left to do it, so I really need to get working on it. However, I went and saw my dissertation tutor on Thursday morning, and he was really enthusiastic about my topic. The title I’ve decided upon is “How did the Grand Tour influence English interior design?”. I now need to finihish off my Art and Architecture essay, and get working on my dissertation, as it has to be in by the end of this term, which is just frieghtening.

Giles

Giles gets a whole section to himself (well, he has to share it with more food, predictably), because I’ve seen him quite a lot this week! He came round mine on Thursday evening, and I made us Thai curry. I usually just buy the ready-made sauce which comes in a jar, but this time I had to combine curry paste with coconut milk! I made enough for a small army, I think- loads of quorn, potatoes and vegetables, not to mention rice and naan. I thought it was pretty tasty though! Giles stayed round mine that night, and we watched Se7en, which we’ve been intending to see for a while. It was good, quite creepy in parts though! On Friday morning, Giles went off to Nottingham, while I went to my lectures and then onto Birmingham to do some shopping. We headed back to his that evening, and stayed up way too late and drank far too much (as I regretted this morning before work…).

Birmingham

Shopping time! I feel s0 shallow writing about what I bought, but here I go. I got Giles an anniversary card, and for myself, I managed to successfully achieve my two worst kinds of shopping- jeans and shoes. I bought some jeans from Gap, which I would post a picture of, but they’re not on Gap’s American website. They’re straight-cut and dark, and were relatively painless to find! The shoes are ballerina type shoes, that I will sort out a photo of when I get home. After I had shopped, I met up with Giles and we went for dinner in Pizza Express, where I had my usual, the Zucchine Funghi with no cheese. Delicious! It was really nice to spend time with Giles as well, although it always is. 🙂

Clearing skies…

24 Jan

The intention of this blog is to get myself blogging again. My old site has too many miserable posts, and I feel either frivolous or self-indulgent whenever I post on there. Prompted by my late night/early morning long think, I’ve decided to start afresh- in some ways, this blog is to chart that. I want to write about things I’ve done, things I’ve thought about, films I’ve seen, and books I’ve read, without having a lot of back entries which don’t relate to how I currently see myself. It seems that every few years, I jump to a new platform to cut away who I used to be. Well, here’s the next semi-jump. My aim is to keep up blogging regularly (at least twice a week, maybe more) until January 1st 2011 (my longer aim is to continue until 2020, but one of the things I discussed with myself last night was setting myself unrealistic goals). Here’s to this decade- my twenties!