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Classic books become London benches

London as a new adventure ahead this summer. If you’re a bookworm (ahem, *raises hand*), this beautiful capital will become a playground wonderland with 50 benches scattered across town, each one representing a famous author or character that have a connection with the city. Divided between 4 trails, Bloomsbury, City, Greenwich and Riverside, you can get the maps here and all you have to do is find them!

Can I marry the person who came up with this ingenious idea?

From your childhood books such as Dr Seuss and Paddington Bear to literary classics like Great Expectations and Pride and Prejudice you can delight yourself by seeing them all here.

The ones that I definitively can’t miss are Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore FollyKatie in LondonMary PoppinsPeter PanShakespeare’s LondonThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Through the Looking Glass (which  has some of the originals drawings reproduced in it by Ralph Steadman, who illustrated the children’s classic in 1973).


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The benches will be displayed until mid-September and auctioned at the Southbank Centre on 7 October, to raise funds for the National Literacy Trust. The project includes loads of activities and the most exciting one is on my birthdayhonoring Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Unfortunately I won’t be in London by that time so I’ll probably cry myself to sleep.

You can check the full program here and get ready to be off to an adventure!

Penguin Summer Reading

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So June is almost coming to an end, and I’ve just realized that my bookshelves are filled with lonely books waiting for moi to read them.

During university time, I barely read three books per semester due to the lack of available time, but mainly due to the fact that my degree is very theory based so your academic life equals reading tons and tons of books, articles, thesis, etc.

So when I end up having a bit of free time, all my brain wants to do is everything but read. Nonetheless, as the free bird I am now I picked up a few books from my shelves and I have come up with a few Penguin books (well, my shelves consist 90% on Penguin books so it wasn’t that easy).

In my very humble opinion, Penguin always comes up with the most incredible collections. I adore every single one them and wish I could collect them all! *sigh*

The one on top of the pile is Little Women by Louisa May Alcott from the collection Penguin Threads. It tells the story of the March sisters and their coming of age experience during a post-civil war in America. This will definitely be the first one that I’ll read, it has been standing on my book shelve for far too long and I can’t wait to sit on my balcony with a cup of tea reading it.

The second one is Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and it belongs to the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition. I had already started reading a few pages back in the beginning of the semester but work and exams came along and it has never since been on my hands. The famous characters Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw come to live in this classic of English literature during the Victorian era.

The last two, on bottom of the pile, both belong to the Penguin English Library Edition. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins  is a 19th-century British detective novel that tells the mystery of a stolen Indian diamond at a party and unleashes unforeseen consequences.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is obviously very straight forward to everyone, as this horror novel portraits the life of the eccentric Victor Frankenstein and his famous monstrous creature.

Ode to Freedom

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Finishing your last exam is like running the last mile of a never ending exhausting academic marathon. Your body and mind ache, you have dark circles down to your toes, you “diet”consists on fast food, loads of chocolate and coffee to make your brain function and sitting for hours and hours in front of a computer or book. So you eat bad, don’t sleep or exercise.

Who ever said that being a student was a good thing?! 

Honestly, I can’t even tell how much I would love to go back to 1st grade and be a kid again. Days before my last exam, my brain is on denial, it just simply refuses to let any more information in. All I can think is crossing the finish line and raise up my arms, clear all that sweat and lay down on the floor because it’s over.

And when that moment finally comes, I can’t believe it. My mind can not grasp the idea of 3 months of freedom. No more group works, no more projects, no more late nights studying. I HAVE NOTHING DUE! I can wake up every single day thinking: I have nothing due to hand in, I have nothing to worry about. Oh boy what a feeling. 

I can enjoy waking up with an alarm; I can take great delight in not knowing if it is work days or weekends, because it won’t matter; I may not even know what month it is as long as it is SUMMER.

Oh Summer my friend. Sometimes I hate you because it’s 40ºC outside and the air is unbreathable. Nonetheless, you are the Ode to Freedom. When you arrive, it is the best feeling ever.

It means my birthday is coming up and that I’m going to travel a lot more! So for that, you are the Queen of Seasons. My brain is so tired after two grueling semesters and it seems it can not function by doing nothing. This is what university does it to you people.

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Oh boy, life fools you well. That moment when you realise you’re not a kid anymore and that through all your life everything had a plan: primary school, go to junior school, then high school, then university… AND THEN WHAT?

14 years of making people study and then it’s just blank? Job? What job? Every single day more and more people get unemployed and you expect me to have hope and find a job?!?!

And don’t even know what job I want.

I’ll figure that out when I’m older. I’m pretty sure I’ll know what to do with my life. Oh no, thing is – I’m old now. I should know by now what to do.

Masters could be an option, I like studying and learning new things. If I only knew what I would like to master in.

 

I should definitively go on a 365-days vacation. Let’s rob a bank!

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Harry + Hermione?

In a recent interview, J.K. Rowling stated that she made a mistake in having Hermione marry Ron at the end of her seven-novel cycle. I’m sorry, WHAT? According to BBC, Rowling said she could “hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans” of her work and that she hoped she would not be “breaking people’s hearts” with her revelations. YES YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT WHAT THE HELL! It’s just… no. No no no no no! Hermione and Ron always had a thing and Hermione certainly did not have feeling for Harry! Ever! I am not saying that Hermione needed to marry Ron or even have kids, but Hermione could not end up with Harry, not in a million years!

Seriously Joanne, get your facts straight.

Chinese New Year

There’s no New Year’s on January 1st for a university student. Until you finish your exams, you’re still stuck on the previous year and as you approach the end the semester, you gradually see a beam of light of happiness and relief as you say goodbye to exam’s hell.

As each exam passed, I could only think of that light of happiness – just to wake up one day and I have absolutely no work due today, or tomorrow, or ever because the semester is over! This incredible feeling that you get seconds after you hand in your last exam and be able to enjoy it’s like the absolutely tiring weeks you’ve been studying for exams that feel like they’re sucking life years out of you, suddenly you’re born and young again!

I know this feeling is good when you actually pass every subject, and I’m very proud to say that I’ve never failed a subject in my life (knocks on wood). So on January 15th, at 10.02 am I was finally a free bird really to fly to vacation city.

I thought that with all the free time in the world that I had for two and half weeks I would catch up on a thousand series, see all award nominated films, read an incredibly amount of books, go the restaurants I’ve been craving to go for months, etc etc etc!

Nope. Did nothing of that. So what did I do during all those days? Nothing, literally nothing. (I mean, I didn’t stare at a wall for two weeks and half, but lets procede). I went to the movies a couple of times, saw the Australian Open, read a few chapters of A Feast for Crows, was on Pinterest and Youtube for hours, and I can’t thing of anything else I did.

Yep, that’s true, that’s how I spent my days. You must be thinking, damn who the hell spends their vacation weeks like that. To be honest, the answer is quite obvious – my brain was so drained out from studying 24/7 for almost a straight month that all it desired was a good rest of doing nothing.

And all I kept thinking was, I should get something done, at least my New Year’s resolutions! But every single day that passed my brain didn’t want to, and I started to think, it’s almost February it doesn’t make sense to think of resolutions now…

But Chinese New Year kicked in today and it came as the perfect opportunity for me to truly start a new year (well, at least for my brain) even though I am not Chinese. So this year is the year of the horse. As I read on the Independent: Feng shui practitioner Raymond Lo told Reuters: “The upcoming Horse year is also a ‘yang wood’ year, when people will stick more to their principles and stand firm. So it is hard to negotiate or compromise as there are more tendencies for people to fight for their ideals.” That seems nice, and maybe it’s exactly what I should do!

Let’s make some resolutions shall we?

  • Be more positive
  • Don’t overthink
  • Be calmer
  • Eat healthier food
  • Exercise more
  • Don’t procrastine (Oh Lord…)
  • Write much, much, much more
  • Read more as well
  • Learn new things
  • Travel as much as you can
  • Don’t be so impulsive
  • Spend more time with your friends

But most importantly, I believe that the major change that has to happen this year in my life is to sometimes take more time to think and cherish all the amazing things and people around me and therefore be thankful for the blessed life I have.

Lets go February, I’m ready for you!