Daisies

Saturday morning

This morning, I went outside to check on the strawberries. Five or six ready for picking, a few needing more sun before they become ruby red. I sat down on an old rickety deck chair, with my sketchbook and pencil in hand, and listened. I could hear a lawn mower in the distance, kids next door squealing, the iconic screech of the cockatoos; the general sounds of a sunny Saturday morning. Continue Reading “Saturday morning”

Common Scenes : 1

If you’ve been hanging around the traps for a while, you may recall I posted about wanting to notice the smaller things in life and capture them by taking photos. You may have also noticed that I never posted anything about that since. Well, that’s not true, I took a couple of photos on Instagram under the hashtag #mymomentoflovely but, other than that, not much else happened on the My Moment of Lovely front.

I’ve decided to change that. Hooray!

I learned a lot from taking part in the A Snapshot of Two Cities series with Isabel. I learned that I really do love taking photos. I also found that I LOVE capturing little things. You know, those tiny moments or details that you’d normally gloss over or maybe not even notice in the first place because they’re just so common and everyday. I love those – they’re the best! So I’m kicking some new life back into My Moment of Lovely and rebranding it slightly. Enter Common Scenes*.

Common Scenes = those ordinary, everyday things that are actually pretty damn awesome. These moments are everywhere, from a steaming cup of tea to watching your children (or plants!) grow. And the more you think about it, the more moments you see. It’s just common sense, really.

Here’s my first post:

Violet Queen succulent

Violet Queen in flower

I actually took this one a long time ago but it’s been a favourite ever since. It’s the flower from one of my succulents, a violet queen echeveria. Look how pretty and pink! Also, if you look really closely, there’s a very tiny dewdrop hanging off one of the petals. I do love succulents and seeing what flowery delights they spring up, don’t you?

So there’s the first installment of Common Scenes. I hope you liked it. I think I’m really going to enjoy cultivating a gallery of my very own little moments. Would you like to join in? Please do! I’ll be posting my photos on Instagram as well as here, using the hashtag (urgh) #commonscenes.

Jacquie

TL;DR: I want to take more nice photos.

*Credit for the name goes entirely to Mathew. I was brainstorming for hours on end and finding the process largely fruitless and incredibly frustrating. So much so, at one point I told Mathew I was seriously considering calling the series “NICE PHOTOS, BITCHES”. He said I might be alienating some people.

I’m Tired

Well hi there, friend. How are you doing? I hope you’re doing well. I’m pretty pooped myself. Tired, buggered, exhausted, or fair wabbit as my Pa might say (…I don’t know either…he’s Scottish.) And I don’t just mean temporarily. I’ve been feeling a bit over it all since before Christmas – and by “it” I mean blogging.

I think part of it is to do with feeling like I needed to write every week and to try and be innovative all the time. But part of it is just that I genuinely don’t really feel like blogging at the moment. I’ve got post ideas swirling round and round in my head, I’ve made multiple lists scattered all over the place, but when I think about sitting down and writing it out, my motivation takes flight and swoops out the window like some majestic ARSEHOLE because that’s my goddamn motivation d’you hear and I need it back!

*ahem*

My lack of energy towards blogging might have something to do with the fact that I’m (slowly) wrapping up my PhD and am knee-deep in writing multiple chapters for that, so the last thing I feel like doing when I come home is setting up my laptop to stare at the screen and start up typing again. I used to like doing it because it was something creative that could distract me from my various thesis woes. But right now, I actually want to do my thesis. GASP. I KNOW. (Don’t worry, I’ve made a doctor’s appointment later this week.)

My, how the tables have turned. I actively want to write my thesis and don’t want to write for my blog – handy, really, if a little unsettling. I’m trying not to question this new-found energy and focus in case it gets spooked and runs away so let’s just go with the flow and see where it takes us. This doesn’t mean I’m quitting my blog; it just means I won’t be posting all that frequently. I posted almost once a week for every week of last year and, for the most part, really enjoyed doing it. It’s just not feasible for me to continue with that during this last little sprint/slow crawl towards the finish line. One thing I do plan to try and maintain on a semi-regular basis though is my photography. I have a few photo-based series in the works and am quite keen to keep up with that.

So please bear with me as I don my adult pantaloons and prioritise the thing that will (hopefully) get me a job so I can finally have a house and a puppy and sewing room. Thank you!

Jacquie

TL;DR: I’m tired and won’t be posting very often.

Goodreads Reading Challenge : 2015

At the beginning of 2015, I set myself the slightly ridiculous challenge of reading fifty books in the year. You can read more about it here but my basic thought process was that I had a lot of books sitting on my bookshelves that I hadn’t read and I wanted to change that. I’d rather gaze upon my shelves and mentally check off the majority of them as read, rather than just seeing a looming, ever-growing “to read” pile. So set myself a crazy challenge I did. How did I fare?

Well, not so great. Actually, no, I think I did pretty damn well really. I read 41 of the 50 I was aiming for. I was on track for the majority of the year, in fact, I believe I was even ahead of schedule early on in the year. Then I started reading Game of Thrones.

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I know! I know! What a colossal cock-up that was. It meant I spent from August to December devouring that whole series, which was, let’s be honest, great because those books are awesome, but also not so great because it meant I fell very much behind on my read-one-book-a-week schedule. Around mid-December time, I realised that “Oh yes, that’s right, I said I would read fifty books this year. Huh. I wonder how far off I am.” *checks Goodreads* HAHAHA only 11 books HAHAHA. After realising this, my friend Laura and I had a conversation that went along the lines of:

Me: Man. I have 11 books to read to meet my challenge this year.
Laura: Bahaha. Go go, quick, you might manage it! It’s like one a day lol.
Me: Oh god, it practically is.

So yeah, it didn’t happen. I tried valiantly. Well. I say valiantly. I tried, kinda. I was just so exhausted at the end of last year that I often wasn’t in the mood to sit down and power through a book. I thought maybe I could just extend the goal into this year and finish reading the nine books I need to. But then I lost interest in that too and the more we entered January, the more it just seemed silly to try and drag out a challenge from the previous year. So I’m facing the fact that I just did not achieve my goal of reading 50 books. And that is more than okay. I still read a heck of a lot! I made a decent dent in my bookshelves! I’m pretty happy overall.

Enough chin wagging! Here are my thoughts on the 41 books I read in 2015:

Best book

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. So. Good. I’ve raved about it many times and will continue to do so.

Worst book

The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. So. Bad. I didn’t identify with the main character, Holden, and didn’t even like him. It felt as if there was very little point to the book; the plot got lost about halfway through it seemed. There was also very little character development in my opinion. It’s always a let-down when a classic turns out to be so dull, isn’t it? What do you think about this book?

Most helpful book

Craft for the Soul by Pip Lincolne. What a cracker of a book this one is. I found it full of handy tidbits from morning habits to creativity. Even months after reading it, my mind keeps drifting back to a lot of the points Pip made. I think I might re-read it and do a proper review on here sometime soon.

Most inspiring book

Very Good Lives by J. K. Rowling. Because apparently everything this lady touches turns to gold. Literary gold. It’s a short read as it is the speech J. K. made at Harvard University and covers things like dealing with failure, imagination, and creativity.

Most disappointing book

Paper Towns by John Green. Urgh. I was not a fan of this book, which greatly disappointed me. I anticipated that I would enjoy it as much as The Fault in Our Stars but no. I just could not get on board. I didn’t find any of the characters particularly likeable or interesting and the plot was a tad dry.

Most surprising book

Lost & Found by Brooke Davis. I did not expect to love this book as much as I did. I’d seen a few copies floating around some local op shops over the past year or so and picked it up and put it back down every time – not sure why. Then I read a review of it somewhere, and saw that quite a few people doing the A Year of Australian Writing challenge were recommending it and thought I’d give it a crack. So the next time I saw it, I grabbed it. I found it so refreshing and giggled out loud a lot. Highly recommend it.

So there you have it. Another year in books gone by. Crazy stuff. I have a different kind of reading challenge in mind for this year but will save that for another post. Looking forward to it though!

What have you enjoyed about reading this year? Have you read something you normally wouldn’t? What was your favourite book?

Jacquie