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July 26, 2015

New kicks

Ah man, these definitely make me a cliche, don't they? I was hoping my Free 5.0 v4s would last me another year, but the soles had worn straight through and I figured I should get a new pair for the good of my feet. Rebel was having a buy one get the second half price sale on shoes, and my mother really wanted to buy a pair (she heard about the sale and went and examined my old pair for defects, otherwise I'd probably still be in blissful ignorance right now). Since they didn't have them in beautiful blue and red, I went for a fail-safe black and white and the price worked out well.

To be honest, I still like my old pair better, but I'm just being sentimental and picky . I've only been for one run in these before I was struck down by a cold, but they're definitely feeling better on the feet than my last pair - so it was probably time for new runners anyway. I guess I'll keep my old pair to wear just for walking around on non-rainy days.

July 22, 2015

Grown-up reads

After bingeing on several YA series over April and May, I decided I should try to get back to a more intellectual line of reading. Hence the title.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. A re-read, I talked about here last year. I'd been wishing that I could un-read it so I could read it for the first time again, but a second read after a few months is just as good. You kind of know how the story's going to tie up its threads, so you pay more attention to the finer details of the plot and the clues earlier on. Definitely recommend this to anyone who doesn't mind a long slog through a fat book.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. I can't really give away the main spoiler/twist for the book, but it's about a girl who'd spent her childhood as part of a psychological experiment and the long-term effect that's had on herself and her family. I just couldn't get behind the main character - she was a first-person narrator, but she didn't seem to have a personality at all and the other characters seemed one-dimensional too. Very lukewarm about this book.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Set during WW2 and following the story of a girl, who's blind and relocates from Paris to Saint-Malo with her father because of the war, and a German orphan who finds his way out of the orphanage by joining Hitler Youth. I'm not usually one for stories set during the modern wars, but this one's beautiful and a heart breaker. I've seen it compared to The Book Thief due to the context and the magical feeling to the story, but the main difference is that I hated The Book Thief (the most ridiculous metaphors I've ever read in any book). But yes, this one I enjoyed, despite the frustrating almost-but-not-completely happy ending.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. Ah. So many Murakami fans out there, so many times I've said I'd read something by him! I picked this one because it's the highest rated of his works on Goodreads, and my friend had bought a copy and I was reminded of it. It's pretty much about a man and the weird stuff that begins happening to him - it weaves in and out of reality and dreams and is generally surreal. I was quite enjoying this at about halfway, even though I didn't understand what was going on. My interest was sustained for another quarter of the book, which is when I usually expect the tying up of loose threads to start to happen and which was apparently not going to happen. I don't mind some unexplained, fantastical plot points (like in The Luminaries), but I didn't get the closure I wanted. I guess I just have certain expectations of what I'm getting when I read a story.

July 15, 2015

Art and crepes and noodles

Last Thursday I felt like I deserved some fun so I went into the city after work in the morning.

First stop, MCA.

Energies by Haines and Hinterding is currently exhibiting. This was pretty cool - a massive screen and motion sensors so you could control the landscape that was projected.

A lot of the pieces incorporated audio. I actually found it a bit overstimulating.

Went upstairs to see what else was new.

Up on the sculpture terrace.

I had a hankering for crepes at this point, so I popped over to Creperie Suzette in The Rocks, which YY had introduced to me few weeks ago.

Apple and cinnamon.

Then I went for a shop around and met up with YY and Jenny for ramen at Ippudo. Definitely been ramen weather lately!

July 12, 2015

Major Life Update

It has been cold enough in Sydney lately to wear a scarf (aka the sarong I bought in Rio), and my wool winter coat purchase has finally been vindicated.

Yep, that's my major life update, because my life has been pretty uneventful lately. Sorry for tricking you into this post. I'm frustrated at how I haven't found the time to sit down to blog over the last month, even though I really don't have much other actual completed productive work to show for it. My one-week break has just ended and I'm not feeling well rested at all - I spent most of it scrambling to do things I've neglected, trying to fit in catch ups and working mornings because I really need more money.

I guess that can be my life update. The reason why I've been scrimping and scrounging this year is because I have big plans for this summer, which is when I'm doing my elective terms (like exchange for med students). I think I've mentioned I'm going to be in London in February, and now I've sorted out where I'm going in December - Arusha, Tanzania! In between I'm going to see a bit more of southern Africa, do a tour of Egypt (inspired by Jessica's visit last year) and spend a few weeks in Spain and Portugal. I'm also hoping to fit in a little bit of Scandinavia if I have the time (and possibly more importantly, money). I'm excited but I need to get through exams first - I'm leaving straight after them, might put a bit of a damper on things if I don't pass!