Tuesday, March 31, 2015

You Gotta Pin It

You might think that I am writing about pinterest, but the answer to that is "No" :)

It is an actual pin, that supports Hjerteforeningen - a society, that supports research etc. concerning cardiovascular disease as 1 out of 4 dies from that. They had a television show the other day raising funds to the society so the odds of not dying from a cardiovascular disease can be improved to better and more favorable numbers. It might be a tiny gesture when it comes to supporting the cause, but every amount counts and contributing just a little at the time leaves money for contribution to other causes as well.

More things can be pinned to my note board at home as I am using the pins there.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Me Before You

She narrows her eyes. "Dinner. With or without Mr. BlackBerry?"
"Mr. BlackBerry makes me feel like Mrs. Gooseberry." The pot again. "I feel like there's always a third person vying for your attention."

Will Traynor, loves extreme sports, traveling, successful business man with the finger on the pulse..... until a motorcycle accident changes everything. Suddenly he is a quadriplegic and has decided that he does not want this life and wishes to end it.

"Well, it comes to something when the best you can all say about my new career is that it's better than hauling chicken carcasses around the inside of an aircraft hangar," I said.

Louisa Clark lives in a world, where everything is the same until she loose her job at The Buttered Bun tea shop. She knows nothing about quadriplegia when she's hired to be a private care assistant (care and companionship) for Will. 

The book may start like any other chick-lit book, but it goes beyond that label as it also makes you think about bigger issues. How would you react if you suddenly ended up in a wheelchair or similar constantly needing help - where your body will no longer cooperate even though your brain works like it always has? If there are no hope for any recovering, should it be your choice if you want out: as in getting help to die?

My own MS diagnosis came rolling back into my mind as I was temporarily (the temporary part was unknown to me at that point) in a wheelchair, when a doctor told me, what is was wrong with my body. I was lucky that I manage to train myself out of the wheelchair, but what if I had not? One day you are fine and the next? No one ever really know what tomorrow brings.

The book makes to think. What if I was in a situation like Will - would I want to end my life? How would I find the slightest hope? What it was somebody close to me, that it happened to? Would it be selfish of me to wand a severely handicapped/sick person to live on despite his/hers wish to peacefully leave this life? I simply do not know what to think, as I see both pros and cons. Hope I never get in neither situation as I am at a loss what to think of this.

I began to compile a new list - things you cannot do with a quadriplegic.

1. Go on a tube train (most underground stations don't have lifts), which pretty much ruled out activities in all of London unless we wanted to pay for taxis.

Oh wait a minute. There is something the author might not have considered/known - and honestly, I had the same thought as above, when I was diagnosed with MS - two months before a planned trip to London - and still not out of the wheel chair. A English lady who was in the hospital bed next to me told me not to think underground but above ground. Answer: a red bus. Since then I have realized that she is right: a red bus have an automatic ramp that the drive can activate if a person in a wheelchair wants to get on/off the bus. and a lot of the sidewalk curbs at intersections/pedestrian crossings are at even level with the street to be easy accessible for a person in a wheel chair. If I am too tired to walk when in London I have started to get on the red busses instead - as there are more steps at an underground station that you realize, and if the escalators do not work to to have to walk up/down them there are a LOT of steps at the stations in central London.

I was told, that I would cry my heart out when getting close to the book's end - me, I usually never cry when reading a book.... but I did, and several times during the book. Another thing - the issues in this book really put your mind at work so I did not pick up another book for days as mind still trying figure out what to think. My expectations? Exactly what did I expect? Not sure as was curious about the book knowing it has sold a million-plus copies. I like the book, as it surprised me but also challenged me to think about serious issues even though I can not decide what to think.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Katie Fforde Binge Reading

Above is merely my collection of Katie Fforde books - actually all the titles she has published until now. One of my trips to London included a trip to Waterstones so I could buy the 9 titles that were missing on my book shelves - since then I have purchased the books when they were published but fell behind with the reading due to the sail trip last summer. My binge reading was therefore the 3 most recent published books.

The Perfect Match

Bella Castle wanted to start her life over hoping to forget Dominic Thane, a man she could not have and therefore broke her heart. She new stays with her godmother, Alice, who is more than happy for the company in her house. She has found work locally as a real estate agent and she is more than patient with indecisive possible buyers and engaged to her boss, Nevil, and everything seems picture perfect. Dominic suddenly turns up and Bella starts wondering if her heart really is with Nevil, or should she run again settling in a new place with yet another new beginning.

New beginnings - well sometimes I wonder about them. But I think those thoughts derives from the fact that I do not know if nor when the MS might put a limit to what I am able to do.

A Christmas Feast

A collection of stories - not all with a Christmassy theme but even though some of them being very short, one could eye the potential of a story.

My favourite was "From Scotland With Love": Daisy Allway wants to get an unfinished task done as her job as a PR girl for Athene Publishing is on the line so she travels from London to the author Rory McAllen's secret place in Scotland. A snowstorm strands her at Rory's house during the Christmas New Years break and with his reputation of being impossible to work with it seems to be a very long stay.
I would have love to have read this as a novel and not just a short story, as would have like to get to now the characters even better than we did

A Vintage Wedding

Rachel, Beth and Lindy are all single women in a Cotswold town, Chippingford, where everybody knows everybody. Beth has promised her sister to organize a cheap weeding, and the 3 ladies team up to arrange what they decide to call vintage wedding rather than a cheap wedding as they each can all contribute with some skills saving a lot of money. All three attracts the attention of men - everything may not be as it seems and others might be in for quite a surprise.

Enjoy the description of a small town having once lived in one myself. Also the possibility of turning a creative ability into something really useful wherein there might be a future way of earning a living.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

CPH Reads: Jane Austen


CPH Reads - a literature festival of 10 days filled with book events all-over Copenhagen earlier this month, and this year's theme was: love.

CPH Reads: Jane Austen-salon at Perch's Tearoom

I had invited an old friend to an event at a local tearoom that in co-operation with the bloggers at LoveBooks had arranged a lecture about the classic novel Emma by Jane Austen while drinking lovely tea and eating scones. She is a big Jane Austen fan and happily received the ticket as a pre-birthday present and had not heard of the event until I asked her to reserve some hours.

Lise Lotte Frederiksen shared her passion for Jane Austen in an openhearted and humorous way that made two hours fly away in was seemed merely a few minutes and captured the smiles of the audience, young to elderly. She was laughing a bit, as most think of the Jane Austen time of drinking afternoon tea, but her time was actually before the introduction afternoon tea, as the English were still regarding tea as medicine - but then again, she thought the venue were perfect for a Jane Austen talk.

I learned a lot from her lecture about details, that I would never have given a second thought, but were small "indicators" in Jane Austen's time about people's manners, wealth, education etc. so now on the lookout of an annotated edition of Emma so I can re-read the novel with attention to all the small details throughout the book. Never read Emma in Danish so purchased the newest translation at the event and have a hard time resisting just starting reading - but other books have priority at the moment.

Some photos from the event here: LoveBooks and Windblown Pages

CPH Reads: Embroidery Workshop: embroider your favorite Jane Austen quote

Could not resist that - have not done any embroidering in a couple of years and want to make some to use in connection with some yarn graffiti later this year. I am not fast at embroidery and we only had a couple of hours at the workshop, so did not finish mine at the event but that is OK as I got some great creative inspiration from the other ladies attending.

Maybe you have already noticed, but saw it fitting that the cover of Emma use in top of this post is an embroidered version - think that would make an awesome collector's item for Jane Austen fans if they were published with covers like that.

My chosen Jane Austen quote was:

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid

Monday, March 2, 2015

Murder of a Needled Knitter

Skye Denison is going for her honeymoon with her husband Wally Boyd (police chief in Scumble River) - a cruise in the Caribbean..... without knowing it they are on the same cruise ship as her parents where her mother is participating on a knitting trip, U-knitted Nations.

Skye stumbles across the body of the murdered Guinevere and is once again involved in a murder investigation. Skye's mother, May, becomes a suspect as she have had an argument in front of the knitting group... but soon they discover that Guinevere is not the most loveable person henve having a large number of enemies - Who did it? They are racing against time as the scene of the crime is soon occupied by other activities (The show must go on) and thereby loosing a traces/evidence etc.

Did not know that it was the 17th book in a series - Scumble River Mystery - the title alone lured me to buying the book :) The author had some knitting trivia, that I simply had to look up, as that was unknown facts to me, but have now looked them up. For instance, I knew that Eleanor Roosevelt knitted a lot, but did not known that she was called The First Lady of Knitting as she had encouraged American to knit for the troops.

This could easily have been part of a yarn-murder-mystery as Denise Swanson have some good insights from a friend to the world of knitting - enjoyed it, so might just start reading the other books from the first one and onwards :o)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

February 2015 in Books

9 books!! Yes that is the number of books, that I read during February. Honestly can not remember last time I have read that many books in just one month - believe last time must have been in 2002. The bar has now been set very high for my expectations for the rest of 2015 as I have "only" read an average of 2 books per month the past years.

Except for one, all the books are by Scandinavian (Danish and Swedish) authors - and most of of the books were from my to-read-piles on the floor - therefore the English titles in the brackets are not official translations, as they have to my knowledge not been published in English

Brobyggerne by Jan Guillou
Original title: Brobyggarna
(The Bridge Builders)

Murder of a Needled Knitter by Denise Swanson

Dandy by Jan Guillou

11 meters frihed by Christian H. Liebergreen 
(11 meters of freedom)

Pigen med sne i håret by Ninni Schulman
Original title: Flickan med snö i håret
(The girl with snow in the hair)

A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
Original Title: En man som heter Ove

Selvrisiko by Elsebeth Egholm
(Own risk )

Ikke at ville se by Jan Guillou
Original title: At inte vilja se
(Not wanting to see)

Personskade by Elsebeth Egholm
(Personal Injury)