Sunday, 6 February 2011

Little Miss Moody

It’s been almost a month since I last posted anything. It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say but whenever I thought “I should really blog about this” I didn’t have the time and when I did have some time, I just didn’t feel like it hence my subsequent silence.

To me blogging is like reading, I have to be in the mood. On average I do read a lot but not every day. Some weeks I’ll devour several books and other weeks, I’ll barely read a chapter. This is why my blogging hiatus is usually accompanied by a reading hiatus. I started several books in January and usually lost interest after the first chapter because I didn’t feel like it. I wanted to read but I just couldn’t find the right books to suit my mood, yes I’m that fickle.

The books that I did manage to finish were Emma Donoghue’s Booker Prize nominated Room, which I personally thought was a sure fire winner seeing as it got rave reviews and tons of publicity so I started the novel with some pretty high expectations. The story is about Jack, a five-year-old boy who grows up in a room and isn’t aware of the outside world. His mom was kidnapped, impregnated and forced to spend the remainder of her life in that room by Old Nick. The tale is told by Jack which takes a while to get used to seeing as it’s a five-year-olds vocabulary but ultimately I really liked the book although I was surprised (spoiler alert) that they get out of the room halfway through the book. I was expecting that that would be the end but it’s just the beginning. Although it was a good book, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

The second book was Dave Eggers’ The Wild Things. I was very skeptical about this one because writing a book based on a movie that’s based on a children’s book seems a bit strange to me but I was in the mood for light entertainment. I personally love Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and I’m still dying to see Spike Jonze’s adaptation but Egger’s version, although very good, just seemed obsolete. I just don’t get why he would write a book based on an existing story/book. Ok, he co-wrote the screenplay and thus had to elaborate on the original which is basically one long sentence, but write a book based on his own elaboration? If you don’t know the original, by all means give it a go.

What else? Well, one of the main reasons I haven’t felt like blogging is because Flanders Today has been keeping me on my toes and seeing as I spend a lot of time in front of my screen professionally, I tend to avoid it in my downtime. Besides my monthly column, there have been some other articles that were due last minute. Don’t get me wrong, I love it but if you get an assignment that is due in a couple of hours, the heat is on.

And then there’s my dear friend, Television, who’s been showering me with an abundance of quality fiction. I have become a slight addict the past few weeks but in my defense, there are some really good shows on. I’ve now finally started watching The Tudors: a period piece with loads of drama, sex, intrigue and violence, what more can a girl ask for? BBC 2 started airing the fourth season of Mad Men on a daily basis, enough said. I personally though this show was off to a slow start but trust me; it keeps on getting better and better. And finally, Boardwalk Empire, an utterly phenomenal show set in the prohibition era in the US starring the always great Steve Buscemi. Luscious sets, colorful characters, fantastic costumes, drama, you name it. It gives Mad Men a well deserved run for its money seeing as it’s simply sublime.

Besides writing a lot of articles and watching way too much TV, I’ve also spent a lot of time with my grandmother who hasn’t been doing too well lately. Seeing as I literally can’t imagine a world without her, I’m taking advantage of every moment. I know it sounds corny but we’re really close. We call each other every day, even when I’m on vacation, so the thought of losing her is simply unbearable to me yet becoming more real each day.

On a lighter note, my new vegetarian lifestyle is going really well. I also started doing pilates and yoga again so health wise everything is A-OK, except for my ear. I have a swollen eardrum, don’t ask me how I managed that, but the result is hearing your own heartbeat 24/7. Annoying, is just an understatement.

Last but not least, the Groene Waterman Prijs. On Friday this prize was awarded to Elias Khoury for his magnum opus, Gate of the Sun. The prize is award to a literary gem that has been overlooked by the mainstream media and his novel about the Palestinian struggles in 1948 is just that. We had a great ceremony at city hall and Khoury himself was there to accept the award. On Saturday he gave an interview in the Groene Waterman’s cozy basement and talked about his novel, Palestine and Egypt. It was really interesting and afterwards he signed some books, including mine. I’m intrigued by this novel but seeing as it’s a rather meaty topic, I’ll probably have to wait for the right mood to present itself.

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