Five Good Things #2

30 Mar

1. A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush – Eric Newby

image from here

image from here

Perhaps it’s because the weather has been so utterly and intensely grey that I’ve found myself reading a lot of travel writing recently, allowing me to travel to far flung corners of the world without ever having to leave the comfort of my bed.

I’ve been curled up with Eric Newby’s A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush for the past few days. I have found myself not only transported to the Hindu Kush, a mountain range stretching between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, but also back in time to the mid fifties when Newby made his expedition. The book is charming, witty and, as Evelyn Waugh writes in the preface “intensely English”. There is nothing more I can say other than to agree with Waugh’s advice, “Dear reader, if you have any softness left for the idiosyncrasies of our rough island race, fall to and enjoy this characteristic artefact.”

2. This tumblr

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Yeah, I totally remember saying that.

I can’t count the number of times I laughed/cringed/sympathised when I read through this tumblr. Suzy of Chronicles of an 8th Grade Mallgoth posts her diary entries from 2002-2003 along with songs from that era and earlier. If you were a burgeoning rock kid during 2003 and still consider it to be one of the best years for music then you’ll love this blog. Fishnet, shag bands, The Ataris, spiked jewellery from Claire’s and crushes on rockstars; it’s all there.

There’s a dream about being proposed to by Kris Roe on there too, “His hair was dyed black for some reason” writes 8th grade Suzy. Unfortunately that actually happened. And then he shaved it off and started throwing drums at people. Oh Kris, if only we could go back to 2003. ❤

3. Thirty Whacks- The Dresden Dolls

I bought Amanda Palmer’s Theatre is Evil album and the Dresden Dolls’ A is for Accident earlier this week. The two albums are almost like two sides of a coin; A is for Accident came out in 2003 (it was a great year for music!) and is the first release by the Dresden Dolls, a duo made up of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione, whilst Theatre is Evil is Amanda Palmer’s latest solo album released in 2012.

I’m not a huge fan of Theatre is Evil, there are some gems on there (Olly Olly Oxen Free and The Bed Song for example) but for me it just doesn’t measure up to Amanda Palmer’s previous work. I’d heard a lot of the songs from the album beforehand so I was kind of expecting it. On the other hand the Dresden Dolls can do no wrong in my eyes so I was anticipating loving A is for Accident, I’m pleased to say that it did not disappoint. Several of the songs on the album can also be found on their self titled album and Yes, Viginia, albeit it as different recordings, and the recording quality is pretty poor but –ohmygosh– Thirty Whacks is incredible. The piano music is sublime. It’s exactly the sort of music I want from the Dresden Dolls and I can only keep my fingers crossed that Amanda Palmer might head back in that direction for her next album.

This cover is also worth a listen for the brilliant piano playing.

4. Fear/Excitement/Change

I’ve got a lot going on at the moment; a lot of change and a lot of uncertainty. I’m not generally a glass half full kind of girl but I’m trying to embrace the change and be excited about what might be around the corner. Change is good, right? (Right?!)

5. TEA!

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Picture (and wall stickers!) from here.

It’s true.

You know how they say humans are about two thirds water? Well, I’m two thirds tea (okay, there might be some gin in there somewhere…) This week I’ve mostly been drinking an unlabelled Jasmine from the Chinese supermarket and Twinings Lady Grey.

Do it right – teapot, loose leaf and a nice teacup. A nice cup of tea makes everything better.

About the writer: Catherine is a biology geek by day and cake baker by night. When she’s not in the kitchen you’ll be able to find her writing, tending to her tomato plant or curled up reading one of her many cookbooks.

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