April. Remember April? Yes, it was a long time ago. May has been a doozy…but that is a story for next month’s Five Things – coming to you at the end of June, I guess, if current trends are anything to go by.
I have not felt like writing at all and I am paying the price now. Picking up my pen and working on this felt like turning a cog that’s rusted fast in place. Still, I want to write and although writing is often painful to the point of ridiculousness, the feeling of having written is a good one! Let’s try to capture that good feeling. Bear with me as I slowly start turning again…
1. Again, Rachel
So I love Marian Keyes‘ books. I’ll buy anything she writes indiscriminately; I don’t even need to know what it’s about. That said, I was thrilled she was writing another book about Rachel Walsh (Rachel’s Holiday being my favourite of her previous books) and pre-ordered it months in advance. Imagine my joy when it showed up on my Kindle. I absolutely devoured it, reading it within a couple of days, then going back a few weeks later and re-reading it in an attempt to show more restraint and take in all the little details I may have missed in my first furious intake. Then I read Rachel’s Holiday again, and probably, in a few months, I will once again read Again, Rachel. I loved it. I wouldn’t say I’m glad Marian Keyes had to go through the experience of battling alcoholism, exactly, but I will say I think she’s at her best when she’s writing overtly about addiction (I say overtly as I think the addiction mindset drives a lot of her characters, even those without a clinically-defined problem). Her characters are so strong and well-written and developed and so very real to me. Considering I’ve never met her, Marian Keyes means a lot to me, and considering she’s not even real, Rachel Walsh does as well. If you haven’t read any, or many, of Marian Keyes’ books, I cannot recommend them more highly.
2. The library
I bought Again, Rachel but I don’t buy every book I read, because otherwise we would be bankrupt right now. And for this and so many other reasons I just want to say that libraries are great. My favourite thing about them is how they’re a low-key fingers to the whole concept of capitalism, and unlike so many other things that threaten capitalism they’ve survived. Imagine trying to propose the concept of a library today if they didn’t already exist. You’d be laughed out of town. Visit your local library if you haven’t for a while! It’s not just a building with books, it’s a building with books that’s also sticking it to the man.
3. King Richard
This movie is so excellent! I knew exactly one thing about the Williams sisters before I watched this, and that is that they’re extremely good at tennis (to say the least). I had no idea their father planned for them to be champions before they were even born, and no understanding of the hurdles they faced in becoming so (like not having a safe place to even practise…imagine!). This is a long movie but the time flew. Writing about it now I immediately want to watch it again. Add it to your list!
4. Serendipitous fun in Takapuna
We spent a week of the April school holidays in Takapuna. We were working and Amelie was at a Lego day camp (shoutout to Bricks 4 Kidz – she had the time of her life!) but there was still plenty of opportunity for fun. I’ll write more about our experience of working ‘on location’ later but for now this is just a quick note to say that that, in the same vein as my note on the library, anyone who puts a publicly-accessible swing or Little Free Library outside their home is 100% awesome. We loved walking and running around the streets of Takapuna and coming across these little magic moments.
5. Lucky Book Club
This is a very book heavy post, it turns out! Amelie ordered some books through the Lucky Book Club recently. I don’t know who enjoyed browsing the catalogue more, me or her. It brought back so many memories of doing the same when I was in primary school. My parents tried hard not to spoil my brothers and me when we were little, and we definitely didn’t always get what we wanted, but books were always an automatic yes. I’ve brought this energy into my parenting also. And I love that the Lucky Book Club is still a thing!