Posts Tagged With: books

Imminent trip

In two weeks I’ll be off to Thailand for three weeks, and I can’t wait.
I’ve got a travel yoga mat ready to go. Rolls up really small but is actually heavier than a regular mat, but really grippy. My wife is using one on top of her regular mat which has lost it’s grip, and loves it.

I picked up what was going to be be one of my books to take, M Train by Patti Smith. The other was going to be Dirty Kids: Chasing Freedom with America’s Nomads, BUT I usually take books to read that I don’t mind leaving behind/passing on, and I don’t want to do that with these, so I’ll have a look in a charity shop and see if anything catches my eye.

I’ve been looking forward to this trip for months. We’ve got 10 days at Phuket, where I’m hoping to take some more surf lessons, after taking some in Bali last year. After Phuket, it’s on to Chang Mai, Bangkok, and finally a couple of days in Dubai on the way back.

I’m hoping to come back a calmer person, and be able to blitz the piles of dvd’s etc that I still need to clear out. I’ve been slacking on the downsizing front lately and need to get back on it.

I also have to get in touch with the tattooist to arrange to get more ink when I get back. I’m planning to go and see him before I leave to talk over the design, and book a date for getting it done.

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Additions to the “to read” pile

Yesterday I got a little letterbox droppage with two books. The first is Siddhartha by Herman Hess, on the recommendation of my wife who read it long before we met, and thought I’d like it.

The second is the Bhagavad Gita. I did have a go at reading this before, but the copy I had had been given to me by the Hare Kirishnas, and between the passages, was the original Sanskrit, and then an explanation of the meaning of the passage, which while I appreciated being given the book, made it a bit of an effort to read – skip the Sanskrit as I can’t read it, read the passage, then read the explanation before reading the next passage.
I wanted to read a straightforward translation and see what I got out of it, not what someone else said I should get.
So with that in mind, and after reading reviews of different translations, I went for one by Eknath Easwaren.
I’m looking forward to reading these.

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50 and counting

So last week I hit a landmark.  The 29th anniversary of my 21st birthday !  I think I was waiting for the sky to fall in, my back to give out, my joints to seize up, and my hair to fall out, when in reality, I just got another day older.

My birthday coincided with winning a new skateboard.  I haven’t been on a board in years, but earlier this year I bought a longboard, and now I’ve got another new board thanks to the facebook group SCUK (Skateboard Collecting UK).  I might have to get older, but I don’t have to grow up.

Still going yoga on my own at least 3 times a week.  I try to do it every weekday and give myself the weekend off, but I listen to my body, and if it doesn’t feel right that morning, then I give it a miss and don’t beat myself up about it.  Sometimes I miss out because one of the cats wants to play and I end up getting a later train to work and don’t have time for a yoga session.

I just finished reading the Russell Brand book Revolution.  I know he’s a bit marmite, and you either love or hate him – I like him – but regardless, the message is important, and it’s too important a message to get tied up in knots about whether you like the messenger or not.  Political change for the benefit of all, and he’s looking at it from a spiritual pov.  It’s definitely worth checking out.  Unfortunately I don’t think either of us will live long enough to see anything close to the kind of change he advocates.

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Keeping up the good work

I’m managing to keep up the cycling to work followed by a half hour of yoga before starting, and I’m feeling all the better for it.
Last night there should have been karate too, but I’ve done something to my foot, and it’s a bit painful to walk on, so karate was out.  Made up for it by watching 3 episodes of the X Files back to back.

I’ve finished reading the Bhagavad Gita, and I’m currently reading Revolution by Russell Brand.  I know he’s a bit marmite, but personally I like him, and I’m enjoying the book.  I’ve got a book on Kundulini meditation that’s next up on the “to read” list.  Slowly getting through the book pile.

I’ve decided that clear-out wise, the Tolkien special edition hardbacks of The Silmarillion/The Hobbit/LoTR should be the ones to go, as they take up way more shelf space than the paperbacks, and lets be honest, I’ll never read them, they were bought as collectables, to look nice on the bookshelf.  I’ve got them all in paperback, and LoTR on the kindle as well.  Also, the paperbacks of LoTR are slipcased, and I’ve had them since I was a kid, so they have sentimental value, a bit like the original three books in Asimov’s Foundation series that I’ve also got in a slipcase.  Had them since I was about 13, and even though I cleared out all my other Asimov books a couple of years back, I couldn’t part with this set.

The t-shirt collection is also due a major purge as well.  It’s just stupidly big at the moment.

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Books of late

So I’ve been multi-tasking on the reading front (a book at home, a book on the commute, a book in work, a book by the bed etc etc etc, the result of which is I’ve managed to finish a few books all within a couple of days of each other.

So here’s the tally:-

The Tao of the Dude by Oliver Benjamin

The Lanterne Rouge (the story of the last man in the Tour de France) by Max Leonard

The Eighth Court by Mike Shevedon

Porno by Irvine Welsh

So that’s cleared up a bit of a backlog and allowed me to start on Pulp by Charles Bukowski

Next up is either going to be Dance With Dragons Pt2 or some Neil Gaiman.


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Just having been on holiday has brought home to me just how little of all the stuff my life is cluttered with, I actually need.
Two books I read and loved while on holiday – In the Miso Soup, and Piercing, both by Ryu Murikami – I left lying in the hotel for someone else to discover, and hopefully love too. (if you love something, set it free 🙂  )
Now that I’m back, I need to up the ante and get serious again with the clutter.

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Things of late

The clearout continues bwahahahahahahaha!

I recently got an email from Amazon for a free ebook.  Since I use a kindle I checked out what was on offer.  Of the five books I could choose from, the only one I would have picked was Stardust by Neil Gaiman, which, I already have as a dead tree.  I took it anyway.  Which frees up the paper copy to pass on to someone else.  So with that in mind, I’ve decided to replace all my Gaiman books with the exception of Smoke and Mirrors, which I had signed when I met Neil at a convention.

I’ll probably do the same with Clive Barker, although the books have already moved on, I’ve just not replaced them yet, and also with some other SF authors.

There’s going to be a clothes purge as well, as I picked up a fair bit of new stuff over Christmas/New Year.

I’ve also been having a nosey at road/cross bikes, with mind to getting a second bike.  The plan is that the new bike will be my commute bike/going out for a run bike, and the existing one will be the weekend bike for environmentally friendly trips to the shops (when I put a rack on it), and bouncing about on easy-ish trails (when the rack isn’t on it).

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Book swap

Well it’s sort of clearing out.  I swapped some China Mieville books with a guy in work, for the Hunger Games trilogy, and the Guillermo del Toro “Strain” trilogy.

I’ve read the first of the Strain books, but not the others, and it ended up in a charity bag as part of a previous clearout.  I’ll read it again, along with the sequels, and then it’s off to the charity shop with them.

I’ve also got some role playing games that are going to go, Elric, Runequest 2nd ed (+ Cults of Prax supplement), Stormbringer (+Stormbringer Companion, and Second Stormbringer Companion), and Rolemaster.  I used to love gaming, but that whole social circle fell apart, and no-one games any more.  C’est la vie……

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Simpler living

I’ve begun the process of clearing out things I (a) spent years collecting – comics, (b) never thought I’d part with, and (c) haven’t read, looked at or taken out their storage boxes for years.  

I also have boxes and boxes of vhs tapes, and no longer have a vcr.  I’ve no idea why the hell I’m holding onto them, so they can go as well.

Then there’s the books.  I’ve a pretty large collection of SF, that just sits there looking very nice on the shelf, but not getting read.  Naturally there are some (about 50) that I’ll never get rid of – the Heinlen/Moorcock/Dick books for example, but there’s loads of random books that I’ve just gathered along the way and never passed on or got rid of.

Once all that’s taken care of, there’s a bit of disused ground at the bottom of the garden that I’ve earmarked for raised beds, and growing veg.

Go me.

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Windy bike ride

The commute to work on Friday was fun, thanks to a pretty decent tail wind.  The problem was that on the way home, that tail wind was now a head wind.  

Crossing the Bells Bridge, the wind was barrelling right up the Clyde, and it was a bit of a surprise when I noticed just how far over I was leaning into the wind, to stay on the bike.  Other than that, the other fun part was a small downhill which I always freewheel down.  This time, thanks again to that headwind, I was pedalling to keep moving!!  

In other bike related fun, I picked up a wee book at the weekend, with 40 bike routes in Central Scotland.  Some (only a few) are mtb only as they’re pretty much all off-road.  The rest are quiet road/forest track/cycle paths.  Can’t wait for the better weather to take the odd day’s holiday and go a wee run.



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