Stone walls

I think, since I quit school, I’ve had this desire to challenge myself intellectually, which has manifested itself in different ways through out the year. I don’t think I realized this when I was in school, rather its something I had to discover in its absence. Though, I’m still a lazy piece of shit that procrastinate. Some things don’t change I suppose. Or not just very fast.

The point is that my distance courses has begun. They’re lovely, all of them, especially since they’re subjects of my choice. I haven’t figured out what I want to become (isn’t it strange how we decide what people are based on their profession) as of yet, but I don’t feel the rush. Just a slight jealousy of those who have found their path.


Today is the election day. I’m not really interested in politics, but I enjoy the occassional discussion once in a while. Though I’m very intrigued of what the results will be, it being my first election I’m participating in, and the recent talk of a change of power between the blocs.

Once again

Autumn is here. Everyone’s starting something new, recreating themselves once and for all. Their final ascension into adulthood, until their very being is carved into stone. I wonder faintly if people stop changing, eventually. If they find so much comfort in what they’ve become that they won’t, can’t, move on.

I wonder why change is such a scary and thrilling thing.

I can’t say if I’ve changed or not. Surely, I would like to think so, but truth and self-perception has never been the minds strongest quality. I’ve finished school and only have higher education left to pursue, although that time has yet to come. I stopped reading almost entirely after the book challenge, sadly enough. It took a while, but I found my way back to the pages in February. I’ve been reading almost continously since then. Turns out that when it’s not as much as a “chore”, it is easier to lose yourself between the letters. And I’ve never been more thankful for the existence of libraries.

Honestly, I’m not much of a writer. I’m happy I managed to scratch down these sentences, the first ones in a year or so. We’ll see what might find it’s way here later.

Bread, to put it simply

I’m a horrible blogger. This post has been in the making for more than I month, but I haven’t been able to get my ass in gear and finally write it. So, here you go – this is what I’ve spent some of my time doing recently.

This is really out of nowhere. I’ve started to bake bread like a madman. And this is coming from the girl who has spent her teenage life eating the same dry and extremely dull piece of toast, that hardly contribute to my life in general. I’m not sure how this whole thing started but I can subtly recall myself  having a tantrum to why I subject myself to this. I have never had the energy to spend time when I’m eating my breakfast, and has therefore hardly enjoyed my first meal in the morning. I got so tired of eating that damn slice of bread, day after day, and I didn’t even enjoy it. So I kinda got mad at myself and, luckily, did something about it.

I think a started out with a recipe I ate on a restaurant that my father came upon by pulling some strings of his. It was a greater batch than I had imagined – we ate that bread  for weeks. Still, it was the best breakfast I’d had in long time.
From there on, it kinda continued. Now, I have a hard time eating normal bread from markets. It feels that if I do, it’s like I’ve admitted defeat. I did it once though, when I hadn’t had time to make something with school and everything. It tasted like rubber, or a sponge deprived of its taste. To put it straight, it was horrible. I only devoured it so I wouldn’t die of starvation in school (though that perhaps would’ve been a more pleasant turn of events), and the first thing I did when I got home was to prepare a dough. And there you have my story.

I don’t have pictures of every bread I’ve made so far (simply because the thought to actually record my creation hasn’t been able to keep up with the need of devouring it first), but here are some just to tempt you guys~

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This is how a dough can look the night before being baked…

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…and even something as untempting as this…

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…can become perfectly enjoyable in the end. Freshly baked apricot bread!

People often say that I’m so impressive and good because I actually make my own bread. However, I think this is a great overestimation – it’s not as hard as people believe. It’s quite simple, and if you’re a beginner like me, you’ll probably start out with the easy recipes anyway. It’s not time-consuming either. There are plenty of breads out there that take 8-12 hours to ferment, but the actual effort you put in is that of a quarter. Some of these breads are the best I’ve made, and one of them is the apricot bread in display above. Also, the joy of eating something you’ve made by yourself from scratch is exceptional.

(It’s also great for those who’re afraid of e-numbers and other things you have no idea of what they are and like to know what you’re eating)

I do think that it’s important to find a book to start with. I mainly use this one, but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been translated to english, and that is such a shame. It’s an incredible book for a beginner, and teaches you to understand what went wrong if you failed and to not  follow the instructions to the letter.

Finally, I would like to ask: is there still anyone out there? Or have you all abandoned me after the book challenge ended? I haven’t given up on books yet, so it will in all likelihood appear something book-related sooner or later! Until then!

Post book challenge thoughts

Unlike many of you might have thought, it’s not a relief to have finished this challenge. Not at all. I’ve been angst-ing more than usual this last week, knowing that I won’t read a book a week no more. I mean, there’s so much time I’ve put into reading this last year. What will I do with that time now? I’m sure it’s something useless and non-productive. The amount of time I’ve already spend reading though, I can’t even begin to imagine. Kinda proud of myself right now.

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I can’t believe I’ve already done this for an entire year. Even so, it feels like I didn’t get to read the books I wantedto read at all. Rather, it feels like my  “books I want to read list” has grown instead of shrunk. I mean, what the heck? That’s not fair. I guess when you really get into books you start to find new ones you want to read continuously.

Though, I do think the timing of the challenge end is great. I’m in my last year of school, no, not even that, way into the last semester of school, and I suspect I’ll need to time to finish all work that probably going to be coming my way in spring. Still, I will miss reading and rejoice. It could be such a pain if it wasn’t a book I necessarily wanted to read but had to since I had to choose something for this week, and/or it was short enough so I would’ve been able to finish on time (monday) even if I had school work to do. However, I got to read so many great books this year. Even those I didn’t like was worth reading, just for the experience. And let’s not forget, the ones the that completely blew your expectations away and stunned you. There’s not a single read I regret.
Well, the exception might be this one…

I can’t help but to feel a bit angsty though. I get stressed out when I think about not having finished a book until tomorrow. Really, it’s almost like I’ll burst into panic mode and crash my library now even if it’s long since closed. But, it seems I can’t get away from reading for a while. Just a few days ago, a friend practically threw a book at me and said “read this.” Apparently, I don’t have a choice in the matter? Youths today.

I might have complained so far, but in the end, it’s worth it. It was incredibly fun and enjoyable, and I wouldn’t hesitate into trying to make someone else do it. It’s loads of fun, and I can’t help but to wonder what I’ll spend my time doing instead of reading. Maybe I’ll find a new challenge in time, or I’ll take up this one again. Who knows.

 

Memorable books of 2012

Obvious as it is, I read a lot of books 2012. More than I’ve ever read before. I’ve watched my list of read books (on goodreads) grow with an alarming rate, much to my enjoyment. The reason why I began this book challenge was so that I could read more books, because there are millions, billions of astounding books out there, life stories and tales, made up or not, that I won’t ever read. I think, considering the minimal effort you have to put in, it’s a real shame. My book challenge will soon end (to my great distress) and while I do have read lots of books, some of them were more memorable than others. Not necessarily good books that have blown me away, also books that I’ve detested or simply found worth remembering.

Journey to the center of the Earth by Jules Verne

Oh gods, how I hate this book. I regret picking it up so much. This is the book I talk about when people ask me of the worst book I’ve read. It’s horribly boring, with a plot that doesn’t get fulfilled or have a true goal.

Carrie by Stephen King

This book made an impression on me. I can’t believe it’s Stephen King’s debut novel because its simply awesome, a perfect story of horror, cruelty and its consequences, also the lengths people would go to satisfy their desire for revenge.My bafflement of Stephen King writing about menstruation remains. A great introduction to horror in general which I would recommend to almost anyone.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Sometimes, I think of it and rage about it all over again. In contrary to “Journey to the center of the Earth”, it’s not hate, just energized ranting. Still, it’s the book I enjoy ranting about the most (I can’t explain this properly). It’s just that I don’t understand how the author thought when she wrote it, since its incomprehensible. However, I stick to my belief that it had potential.

the Perfume: the Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind

This could be the strangest book I’ve read. I mean, I still haven’t been able to fully let go of the orgy thing…I simply don’t know what to about say. While Grenouille indeed is creepy, I didn’t expect quite that ending. It’s one of few books that I couldn’t predict an ending to, at all. It was too odd and unexpected, particularly considering the plot and development of it.

the Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Dude, I absolutely loved this book. The magic still hasn’t worn off though it was a while ago I read it. While Todd’s worry of Viola can be somewhat bothersome, Manchee still breaks my heart. I think this counts as a YA novel, so I feel slightly childish when stating it’s one of my favourite series, but seriously, I’ll keep trying to force people to read this. It’s simply too good, and proves that some YA books has greater imagination than most adult fiction does. Definitely a favorite of mine that I’ll keep in my bookcase.

Kamikaze Girls by Novala Takemoto

2012 shall be known as the year I read and watched Kamikaze girls. I think this is the most humorous book out if this list. What I love about it is the concept, the tenacity of the characters and their originality. Vibrant and forceful, this books give a sneak peek of the Japanese society and two girls with completely different views and opinions, that will clash. This novel keeps you interested all the way through with the main characters supple narrating and quirky comments, all tied together with a Rococo perspective.

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

In addition to all the books I’ve read for the challenge, this autumn I read a whole lot of books that I haven’t written about. Dark Matter was one of them, and I read it for a course called “literature and literature studies” which can be explained rather simply by stating “you read books”. Anyhow, it’s one of the few horror books I’ve read (sadly). I love to read those books, but sometimes they scare the wits out of me. This didn’t really manage to rile me up close to the ending(I quote: “It could open doors. It could get inside”), albeit remaining creepy and slightly menacing through the story. Also, I was positively surprised due to my reluctance of the authors other books.

My library, which I wouldn’t have made it far without. Thank you library.

Opinions? Is there something I should read for this year? Tell me all about it.

Sickness, wildwood adventures and Christmas

After getting rid of my cold, which had me down an entire week, I’d had my share of sickness this month. No such look. I’ve been coughing like hell the entire weekend.
I went to my friend’s cabin this weekend. I don’t know if this is a global phenomenon but in Sweden, it’s very common to have a smaller house to go to and relax when you’re on a break. It could be in the woods, by the sea or a river, or just outside the city. Anyhow, my friend’s cottage was in the woods, in a very remote area. By that, I really mean remote. There’s like one or 20 km to the closest neighbour and deep in the forest, right in between two smaller cities/ villages. There’s even a two km slip road before you can even get there. Also, because it’s December and December is the month when it snows the most, no one had ploughed the road, we had to walk. In complete darkness with snow up to our calves. With only a flashlight as light source and a dog leading our way.

Anyway, I had a great time there although, even if the beginning might have been a bit discouraging to some. It was fun being away into nature and just relax for a while, and it had been such a long time since for me. My family did this a lot when I was younger – going away to ski, venture with our snowmobile or just walk somewhere with sandwiches and hot chocolate. It made me realize how much that I truly miss it.

I haven’t really acquired the feeling of christmas yet. It’s rather sad, considering it’s only two days left until everything is finished for this year. I only just bought my Christmas presents and succeed with the great task to only do so in three hours. New record, I believe?

With a christmas get-together that unintentionally though joyfully became a 12 hour stay at my friends yesterday, we celebrated our Christmas break with marshmallow Santa’s, tea, world’s end talk, music and a great deal of chattering.  Couldn’t have wished for a better start of this break that surely will be full of happenings, get togethers and probably a whole lot more tea.

Merry Christmas!