reading

South West Stillness

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I took this photo while fiddling with some settings in my bedroom this morning, but it seems a fairly accurate summary of life right now. Since moving out of London for a bit (SHOCK, GASP etc), life has slowed a great deal – despite the addition of a full-time job. In some ways this change of place and pace has been difficult; it’s hard not having a constant array of companions at your beck and call, and sometimes there just isn’t an obvious activity to occupy a Tuesday evening in Bath. But the benefit of this narrowing of life is that I think it may have given me a lot more space to think and to be. I’ve read six books in a month, listened to a lot of podcasts and shot a lot of 35mm. I’ve cycled for half an hour every day and explored two new cities, all the while feeling like I’ve had the time and the headspace and the freedom to do so. Even in the longest gaps between freelancing gigs, I had not felt that way since leaving university.

Again, perhaps this has nothing to do with escaping the Big Smoke and this is just what summer is like. Long evenings with beers and books and film-worthy golden hour light; I find I have always forgotten the pleasures of each season by the time they roll around again. But either way, my current state of affairs has really helped me out with my 2016 resolutions – next step is to find a West Country string quartet.

#BookBucketChallenge

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There’s a tag going round on Facebook that challenges you to list 10 books that have proved formative for you as a person and the reasons why. The idea of making a Facebook status about the literature that has shaped me seems absolutely too awful for words, but from a purely personal (and procrastinatory) level I still wanted to try and single out 10 books that I can point to for being particularly life-changing or enhancing. So I’m doing it anyway. As someone who spent most of their childhood buried in a book it was no easy feat to choose just 10, but here we go; I’d be jolly interested to hear the same from you too, and I’m going to nominate Jazzy for a start. So here they all are, in order of discovery.

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