Sunday, July 22, 2012

The serenity of being the queen of my own bachelorette pad

Everyone needs a sanctuary. Some find it within their work, some find it with organised religion, and others find it in sport, music or nature. But I have found it within my cute little apartment with a view.

Here, I am the Queen Bee and totally happy.

Having survived some horror shared houses, my dream opportunity arrived where could live alone in my own place.

What I love about living alone is the peace and quiet. With work being a very noisy and full-on experience, it is so nice to come at the end to a tranquil piece of real estate which is my sanctuary.

In this sanctuary, there are no patients wanting anything, no nurses giving marching orders – just me, myself and I. I don’t have to come home pretending to love my job. I just have a cup of tea, regroup and take control of the time outside of work that is really my own.

 Often this means singing to my heart’s content without worrying about what people think and enjoying some random music without having to justify my choices.

As opposed to sharing with others, it is also nice to be able to potter around without feeling like you’re not intruding on the space of those whose house you’re living in. I can cook food without feeling I’m upsetting someone's delicate equilibrium or have to put up with psycho, eco-criminal landlords who just want the rent money but can’t stand anyone living in their house.   

But then again, the process of living alone can be seen as a rite of passage and a sign of having the financial security to afford your own place. No longer being a student or being in casual and insecure employment, I am now in control enough to be entrusted with a rent and bills; not to mention, my piece of paradise.      

So far there have been many wonderful Sunday afternoons reading a good book in the sun as well as a steady stream of friends around for dinner and cups of tea.   

Another thing I really enjoyed is what my Mum calls “nesting”. It has been great fun choosing things for the wall and making the apartment your own.  Deciding on photos and art work has been great fun and my little space seems to be a work in progress.

A bit of light reading from Noveltea Vintage

I can be at peace, let my guard down, read and think. Just me, myself and I. And Chloe.

Chloe is a new addition to the cute apartment with a view. While I grew up with her being in my parents’ bedroom when we lived in England, we have been separated since we came out to Australia.

It now that I discovered that she has a long, dark and mysterious past. My Dad picked her up when he was a student at Cambridge from a friend who had saved her from an old manor house that was being demolished. If only she could talk because I think she would have a few stories to tell.        

A common question is “are you lonely?” and the answer is no, not at all. It is not like I don’t have a life, friends or never go out. But because life can get so busy coming home to the peace and quiet is makes living alone so great.

While life is far from straightforward, the serenity of the bachelorette pad is what gets me through.  

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Don’t you love a good book?

Jane Austin in Bath
When I first started reading Death Comes to Pemberley (P.D James) I wasn't sure if I would like it since it is a sequel to Pride and Prejudice which one of my favourite stories ever. This means that you could either love it or hate any squeal, regardless on how well it is written. Thanks to James’ understanding of the story and the characters she actually pulls it off and offers up a story that even a complete fan of the 1996 BBC version like me could really enjoy. It does get a little wordy at times but on the whole it James’ writing is a fair extension of Austin’s style and storyline. If you fan of Pride and Prejudice like me, give it a go and see what you think.  

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) I loved this wonderful story of this American family that is grappling with the xenophobic attitudes of their time. I loved the wise father Atticus and how he tried to bring up his two boys to see past the status quo and to see Negros (as they referred to then) as the same as everyone else. The conversations between father and his children were an honest attempt to help them understand the subtleties and complexities of the injustice in their society. I thought that it challenged prejudice that is part of human nature and reminder to understand people from their point of view.         

The Book Thief (Markus Zasak) On the back of my copy of this book, the blurb describes the story being about the power of words to make worlds. How spot on this was!!

So many times during this story I felt so completely part of the story that I wasn’t in sunny Australia any more but in Nazi Germany. Plus a few occasions the story became so moving that I found myself holding the book and stroking it while being in complete awe. Some of the images of the story will stay with you for ages.  

I loved how death narrated the story and how it sounded like a bored bureaucrat who hated his job. It is defiantly one story you can't put down!!  

The Spare Room (Helen Gardener) This is quite a depressing story which is cantered around two characters – Nicole and Helen. Sydney Sider Nicole has terminal cancer and comes down to Melbourne to stay with Helen in order to attend an alternative treatment facility that charges a fortune but is largely ineffective.   

As the story progresses, we see the pressure that Nicole’s inability to accept her own mortality has on the friendship. With Helen having to take on quasi-nursing duties, she begs Nicole to contact the local Palliative Care team but Nicole is desperate to maintain hope in her recovery.

Despite the depressing nature of the story, The Spare Room is a relatively easy read which can be finished in a couple of hours. 

A Suitable Boy (Vikram Seth) starts and ends with a wedding and in between is a story of an extended family in 1950s India and their lives in this newly formed country. While the ultimate aim of the story is to find a suitable boy for young Leta (who struggles with her own choices of whom to marry) by her overbearing mother, you follow the characters as they engage with politics, campaign for re-election, get into mischief, start a career within a university while starting a family and struggling with health problems. It is about family dynamics as much as it is about finding a suitable boy and what it was like in India during that period.

At 1475 pages long, it’s a large book but it is easy to read. Seth’s vivid writing sometimes makes you feel like you’re there in the story. For example, at the curriculum meeting at the university and the party at Mr Justice Chatterjis’s house with its snippets of conversations that makes you feel like you’re mingling with the guests.  I also loved the description of the Performance by Saeeda Bai at Holi (a Hindi (?) religious day) and her relationship with the audience as well as the streets of old Brahmpur.

 Don’t get daunted by the size, it is well worth it!!  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...