Thursday, June 16, 2011

A few of my favourite things

Not really into brown paper packages tied up in string, but rather:

My new Kindle, which was a great birthday present from D. I carry it absolutely everywhere, it slots into my laptop bag a treat, and it has allowed me to indulge my escapism in fiction despite long(er) hours and a distinct lack of quiet evenings at home reading. I have sadly fallen prey to Amazon's ability to increase the amount I pay for books tenfold (having been a keen purveyor of discount bookstores in my previous life), but quite frankly it makes me happy so who cares? I've been wending my way through more of the Peter Carey ouevre, most recently with Parrot and Olivier in America, and the True History of the Kelly Gang. He has the most extraordinary ventriloquism I've ever read, an ability to inhabit the mind and voice of his protagonists that is uncanny. It is a good thing he is so prolific as I have many more of his books to read. D has claimed veto rights on the Kindle (i.e. he is allowed to take it away when I start reading at dinner or whilst walking down the street or other such childhood habits which my mother had to deal with), which is probably a good thing!

Discovering ashtanga yoga, which I mostly do at a very lovely studio called Triyoga in Primrose Hill (with a couple of branches much closer to my work too). Sadly my favourite teacher has had to stop for the summer as she is due to give birth in about a week (was still demonstrating headstands with three weeks to go!), but I can pop into any other ashtanga class too. I love that it is a bit of everything, exertion, technique, philosophy, endurance, personal space, with a neverending challenge (I know this from one week accidentally wandering into a very advanced class which I should probably not go back to for several years!). When I'm not at yoga I try to make space to dance (contemporary, jazz, ballet, whatever!) or now that it's light late I run around West Hampstead and St John's Wood gawking at the mansion blocks, then I turn left into Kilburn and wonder if I should really be running through this council estate at dusk...

The variety of my work: this week I got to read and write about two large global metals and mining companies, a luxury hotel chain, a pharmaceutical company, a diversified company that does just about everything, a great technology company, and the list goes on. As I'm settling into work as well it's great to be feeling comfortable enough to start getting involved in things around the office outside of my actual engagements too -- I'm involved in UK PhD recruiting but probably more excitingly I am learning the static trapeze! No really -- for our office challenge this year we are putting on a circus! Who knows what a circus put on by a whole load of consultants is going to be like, but I'm having great fun learning to clamber around in the air (blisters, aching shoulders and all). Bonus, they just promoted me (nothing to do with the trapeze skills as far as I know), so feeling particularly positive about the whole job thing at the moment. Give me a few weeks and I may be on a new engagement which has me working all hours, and my tone will surely change...

Spending weekends with D. I like our rituals, coffee somewhere on West End Lane, dim sum at Phoenix Palace, a Sunday evening movie, rambles through the Heath; but I also like that weekends are often very different: I head when I can to Bath's Georgian teahouses (loving the fact that I don't have to get on a Tube for two days), we've gone back up to Cambridge often to do dance performances/graduate from PhDs/see lovely friends, and London often provides with randomness when you're out of ideas (a very urban beach/sandpit on the Southbank, the Wireless Festival in Hyde Park in a few weeks, canal walks through unexplored neighbourhoods yielding finds such as establishments selling meat pies and jellied eel).