Tuesday, January 28

the loneliness of the long distance runner

i wanted to read this book because the title appealed to me, even though i normally don't really like collections of short stories (i prefer a good long novel). all these stories come back to the same, very interesting, themes though: loneliness and the life of the working class in nottingham just before the second world war. there's something very gripping about most of them. in an interview, alan sillitoe said: i realised that the quality of telling the story was the important thing. there are only ten or twelve plots in the world; it's how they're handled that matters. he surely handled them well.

Saturday, January 25

paint it black

the same decade as my previous read and a main character of the same age, but that's where the similarities end. i started out with a bit of an aversion to josie and prepared myself for a long hard read, since i make a point of finishing the books i start (my most notorious exception to this rule is james joyce's ulysses. after a few hundred pages, i just couldn't stand the idea of having to go through hundreds more without understanding a word. but i'm very sure i'm not the only one who left that one unfinished). eventually, this became such a wonderful read. it might even already be one of my favourites of this year. very powerful and not even depressing in spite of the tragic subject.

but she understood, even lies could be true, if you knew how to listen.

janet fitch ~ paint it black

Tuesday, January 21

new and not improved

a long time ago, i wrote about la chambre rose. a while back, i wanted to repurchase that lovely cream because i was longing for the scent and the memories of it. i should have known it was not availabe anymore. yes, something new and improved had come in its place. with a completely different scent and even a differently shaped jar that didn't do anything for me. perhaps i'm getting old, maybe i'm old-fashioned. but is this really what everybody wants? new and improved stuff to replace the old stuff all the time? so we can keep buying more and wanting more and believing this time things will be even better? when so many things are just fine the way they are.

Saturday, January 18

what not to use

so after finding out about this, i decided to investigate some more. let's take a random product that was in my closet: schwarzkopf gliss kur ultimate oil elixir conditioner. it has thirty ingredients (isn't that, in itself, fact enough...). it boasts about containing oil elixir. oils are generally healthy, i do know that much. the ingredient supplying named oil is argania spinosa kernel oil. that's good: it means that there's pure argan oil in this (but not much: it's the eighth ingredient on the list). 
what about the other twenty-nine ingredients? i went through all of them (using mostly the information on this and this website). nine are classified as irritants or worse (or are usually tested on animals - equally bad). and then quite a few lack enough research data to say much about them, have harmful effects on the environment or can only be classified when more information about the source is available. sigh.
so, what's the alternative? it's too simple for most multinational commercial companies to do anything with, i guess. oil. coconut oil, argan oil, you name it. the best hair conditioner you can find.

Monday, January 13

the marriage plot

i read middlesex and i watched the virgin suicides and i loved both, so i was curious what jeffrey eugenides' the marriage plot would be like. the first pages reminded me very much of david nicholls' starter for ten (in a good way - i loved that novel too, and i also saw the film some time ago by the way: wonderful). but it soon became something to work for. i had to get used to that, but all in all this was a lovely, touching read.

Sunday, January 12


i never know where to put postcards: i want them in a nice place but i don't want them cluttering up empty surfaces (i love my house to be without stuff, as you may have noticed. it leaves much more room in my head). so this is what i came up with.

Thursday, January 9


professor, is this all real? or is it just happening inside my head?
of course it's happening inside your head, harry. why should that mean that it's not real?

professor dumbledore in harry potter and the deathly hallows part 2

Saturday, January 4


this is a bit of a weird combination of an all natural product and a commercial, not quite so natural product. more on that in a later post. at the moment, i really like combining these two: in the mornings, i first use the oil all over (except on the face and belly) and then i spray the body splash on my arms and legs for a nice vanilla scent (since the oil is scent-free).

~ jojoba oil ~ an all-purpose, all natural oil that i am using for the first time and really like. it keeps my dry pregnancy skin very soft
~ the body shop madagascan vanilla flower fragrance mist ~ i love everything vanilla...

Thursday, January 2

the second day

things are back to normal. the holidays are over, the christmas tree is in the garden again. my nails still look festive though.

Wednesday, January 1

happy new year

still no new year's resolutions, but lots of little plans to realise and exciting things to happen for this year. let's make the most of it.