Brace yourself, grab a large mug of tea, here's a diary of sorts (read: long rambling) of everything that's been going on over here in the past few months.
Chapter I: School
My school semester is finally over! I have one exam left in two weeks, for which I have to revisit some oh-so-favourite 16th century texts. That's what I get from wiggling away from my comfort zone for so many years, only to have to push myself to do the best I can with pre-19th century works now that I decided to do Honours.
I've been having somewhat of a 'future' crisis recently, as I realised I have one month to decide what I should do next year since I'll be graduating in the Spring. I'm still interested in doing a Master's, but I'm unsure of which direction I'd be taking, which exact authors I would like to write a thesis on. I do have a pretty clear idea of what interests me, but the notion of already specialising all of a sudden scares me, as if I was about to limit myself. My other option is to apply to do a certificate in translation, which I might do while I think things through and get a better sense of what I really want to do. As you have most certainly noticed, I've really been taken with my shop as of late, and while I'm secretly dreaming I might one day somehow live from it, I have difficulty keeping myself away from the academia. I often feel like I pigeon-holed myself without realising it the day I decided to take English Literature when I had never gone to school in English before. Had I taken my close second History, I could perhaps start to think about a teaching career of some kind, and that in French or in English.
Chapter II: Entertainment
I've been consuming a large number of TV episodes, all of the detective fiction kind. Perhaps that's what I should dedicate the rest of my life towards - could I make some kind of a link between Graham Greene's The Third Man, Paul Auster's New York Trilogy, Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, and just about anything by Agatha Christie for good measure? Anyway, for the sake of my, ahem, 'personal archive,' here's a list:
-Inspector Morse and prequel Endeavour (I absolutely loved both, and watched all of Endeavour twice)
-Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
-The last episodes of Poirot (yes, I did cry a bit)
-The Bletchley Circle (only one episode left to see!)
-The Sandbaggers (only two episodes in)
I should probably do something else with my free time but, you know.
Chapter III: Books I want to finish/books I plan to read
-(My friend) Norm Sibum's The Traymore Rooms
-Giuseppe Di Lampadusa's The Leopard
-Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited (I've seen the adaptation, I've read quite a bit of Waugh's work, but haven't read his most famous work!)
-Virginia Wolfe's Mrs Dalloway and A Room of One's Own
-Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles
-Thackeray's Vanity Fair
Chapter IV: Clothing, fashion, and style
I've been pretty uninspired by new fashion lately, and in response I've buried myself in vintage - that is, more than usual, taking solace in craftsmanship, unusual fabrics, and the plain old silly. I've grown tired of my boys' shirt + always the same skinny pants + huge cardigan combination, but I'm slow breaking away from its comfort and practicality. A few years ago, I would have been pretty happy not to have to think about what to wear, but things have gotten to a point practical dressing has become nearly boring. Trying to find new combinations without spending any money has all of a sudden become a very welcome challenge, and now that I have more free time (and a new, slightly different pair of skinny jeans on its way to me thanks to ebay), I'll be able to indulge in experimenting again clothes-wise. I've stopped reading quite a few fashion blogs recently since little has been stirring my love/gut feeling. I've been looking through four to five year-old archives from my favourite blogs (you know who you are by my ecstatic, albeit sporadic commenting!) to get a bit of a kick back into things. I'll keep you updated when I'll get my everyday, 'practical,' 'sensible' dressing groove back.
Suggestions are always welcome, concerning the other chapters too.
Chapter V: Random
-Aloysius Revisited (yes, this has to do with the aforementioned Brideshead)
-Baking super easy pumpkin pie with pumpkin purée, coconut milk, a tiny bit of soy milk, not much sugar. My friend helped me make one at her place last weekend, and I can't wait for my landlord to repair my oven.
-Repairing an amazing 1920s beaded dress. I just learnt the beads I'm working with may or may not be lined in mercury...
-Finding very fun and special Christmas presents for my loved ones. I make it sound as if I created a board game. It's unfortunately not the case, haha.
-Falling incredibly behind with discovering new music. Must work on that.
-The best beauty advice I've, erm, given myself so far: to stop using anything other than water, a facecloth, and makeup remover as means to wash my face. My skin had been a little too nostalgic for its 15 year-old self since the end of the summer, when I reacted to greasy sunscreen. I thought using a cleanser (and I tried a few) would give me back my 23 year-old face, but nothing happened until I just stopped really 'washing' my face.
Hope you're well!