Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Cloud Atlas Review

So I am *still* working my way through the big pile of half-finished books as my New Year's Resolution. The latest was Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, which I finished last week.

All of these half-reads I have struggled to get into, and got bored of them. This was no different, and I actually didn't finish the first character's story (the book is divided into characters and their stories intermingle). Now, I studied English at university, and read classic literature, but sometimes I do find the classics a bit heavy going. I wasn't expecting to open the book and start reading an 19th century diary, which is why I got a bit fed up in the first place (I am also one well known for not trying hard with books and giving up before giving them a proper go). 

So eventually, I picked Cloud Atlas up again and made myself finish Adam Ewing's story. Except it didn't finish - it ended halfway through and there another began. NOW it became a page turner. There are seven characters/stories altogether, and trying to work out why and how they are linked is fascinating. 

There are many twists and turns which leave you yearning to know what's happening, and it really keeps you hooked. 

I also love a book with a good moral, and one that questions the way in which you lead your life. There are many questions about abuse of power and exploitation, and whether one person can make a difference, and it really made me think. With the recent Kony2012 campaign, it is a question that many of us have been asking ourselves; whether we alone can make a difference - and this book explores that. 

I would highly recommend reading this book, and I would highly recommend sticking with it all the way through, as I continued to struggle in places where I couldn't see where any of it was going, but it all unfolded in the end to a page-turning denouement.  

I now want to read more David Mitchell, but I must continue with my half-reads; hopefully it will turn out some more gems. 

Let me know if you have read it, and what you thought of it, or if you have read any other David Mitchell novels that you would recommend. 


Monday, 26 March 2012

A New Love

My Nanna always taught me to have CLEAN, well manicured nails, and I cannot abide dirty fingernails - unless they belong to Ben, whom I know to be clean but very hard-working at his very dirty job. I also dislike extremely long fingernails, and I think this is because my mother told me to steer clear of men with long nails and a pinky ring, as they would probably be perverts (I apologise if you have long nails and a pinky ring and are NOT a pervert, but your hands probably make people think you are). 

Also, one thing that never fails to cheer me up is nail varnish, especially buying a new one. This may have been why I accumulated a rather large overdraft during university - lots of time + being away from home = new nail polish almost daily. I do have quite an extensive collection, which continues to grow on a regular basis - my latest is Rimmel's 280 "Sunshine" - see, even the names cheer you up!

I like to express myself through what I am wearing whenever I can - I really do feel that what you wear is an extension of yourself. This is one of the reasons I have hardly any black in my wardrobe (1 pair of work trousers, 2 LBDs, 1 black cardigan (+ a multitude of black tights, which don't really count)); when I wear black, I don't feel like me. 

It is the same with my nails; when they are plain I feel a little bit naked, and a big bit boring. I look down at my plain, naked nails and think "Oh I wish I had painted you." Funnily enough, this doesn't seem to extend to my toes, as they are covered up most of the time. I will usually only paint these if they are going to be seen, and especially if I am going to my BFF's house as she has a strange disgust/fear of unpainted toenails. 

Colourful painted nails are not enough. I have now fallen in love with nail art. PATTERNS? On your NAILS? Yes please. 

There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube, and I am addicted to F*** Yeah Nail Art! on Tumblr. (I just had to have a quick browse after linking you).

My first attempt - an homage to Cath Kidston (Yes, that's her bedding too):

Second attempt:

I hope you like them! My blue nails, I realised after I'd painted them, accidentally match my new bicycle that I bought myself at the weekend! It is a sky blue Claud Butler Windermere, but with Claud Butler Cambridge handlebars and seat - with an added kickstand, wicker basket, a bigger bell and possibly a shiny horn. Oh I do love shopping local. Pictures to be uploaded when the bike has been customised for me!