You just have to watch this!
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Author: Jiro Taniguchi
Title: Min fjerne barndoms by
Original title and year: Harukana machi-e, 2004
Genre: Graphic novel
In five words:
Family, regret, youth, second chance.
"Forvirret og rådvill ble jeg stående og se meg omkring i en barndoms by jeg hadde trodd var tapt for alltid."
"Confused and bewildered, I stood looking around at a childhood's city I thought was lost for ever."
And because this is a graphic novel, another quote in context with the pictures.
Why did I read this book?
Graphic novels have never really been my thing. But this summer I picked up another one of Taniguchi's graphic novels, and was deeply moved by the story he told, both through the words and the beautiful drawings that convey a lot of emotion. So when I had this one in my hands to add it to the library catalogue, I could hardly wait for it to go through the system so I could check it out and enjoy it.
Why should you read this book?
If you like books by Haruki Murakami, this one will resonate with you as well. There is the obvious Japanese connection, but the magic realism in the story is also a common thread in their story-telling. I am so glad I have discovered graphic novels - there is so much more diversity than I thought! I suggest you give it a chance if you haven't already.
Books like this one:
Taniguchi's My father's diary is also translated into Norwegian, and is similar in both style and theme. I think this one is my favorite, but I will gladly recommend both of them.
For the curious ones:
- Buy the book in Norwegian.
- More about the author.
PS. This was my first attempt of a book recommendation column on the blog. The format is still in beta-mode I guess, while trying to find a template I can easily work with. I am very happy to receive comments on these posts. Maybe you have read the book?
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
After a nervous week of waiting, the TV finally came in the mail, and we had to rearrange our whole apartment to accomedate it. We got a new bookshelf and some new storage for the closet, and are both very happy with the results. The landscape picture on the wall is also pretty new. It shows the view from Alnes towards Ålesund and my home island Sula, and it is so lovely to have a piece of home to look at every day.
Picture from Alnes: Michaela Potterbaum.
New shelf: Skeidar
Monday, February 1, 2016
It is already a new month! January seemed to fly by with all the home cure assignments, and now the calendar shows February. This month I look forward to visiting friends, seeing a couple of plays, one of them starring my sister, and celebrating with my Valentine. So much love (and so much cheesiness). I also look forward to spending a lot less time cleaning the house.
Sunday, January 31, 2016
This is actually the fourth time I join Apartment Therapy's January Cure, and finally it feels succesful! Perhaps because I decided beforehand to be a little more realistic with my time, and not scrub every single inch of the bathroom ceiling and the inside of all the kitchen cabinets. I have done that earlier, and it made me give up halfway through the Cure.
Another thing that has been helpful are the actual asssignments we got. I think the tasks were more managable this year, and time restraints on some of the days were very helpful (Hello, 3-minute surface sweep). Plus, my husband has been involved much more than last year, which has been a great help, especially with the kitchen and hallway closet.
Our main accomplishments this Cure:
- Redecorating the living room
- Cleaning the big hallway closet (at least most of it)
- Getting some work done on the loft
- Being able to lighten up and purge a little bit in every room, especially in the kitchen cabinets that are no longer overflowing
- Weather strips for the door!
- Being reminded of how much cleaning can actually be done in 3 or 30 minutes. Getting started is often the hardest part...
Not everything on our list is done, but the apartment still feels so lovely. This weekend I only had to clean a big mirror, vaccum the floor and change the sheets. And I made cookies to celebrate! I must admit though, I am glad it is over. I really need to focus on my school work again.
PS. If you want to Cure your own home, it's not too late. All the assignments are still available on Apartment Therapy's page.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Remember the outbox? And lightening the living room? It is time to revisit both of these ideas and make som decisions.
I removed quite a few items from the living room to lighten it up, and today we were asked to evaluate and decide if anything should go back. I have to admit, I don't miss any of it, so the candle holders can stay in the cabinet till I actually use them.
The second task of the day was to empty the outbox. Earlier this week I took all the clothing (2 full bags, in addition to 5 from our closet cleaning) and dropped them off in the Salvation Army delivery box. It is right around the corner, and very handy. For all the other stuff I need to figure out if there is anywhere within walking distance that would want to take it. If not, we need to get help from a friend with a car... Or! Writing that last sentence prompted me to look up a local second hand store, and it turns out that they can pick up donations! I will have to call them next week. Perhaps they will take the mattress and chair we are trying to give away on Finn as well, that would be perfect.
During the Cure I have kept a suitcase for books and a box for things in the living room for things that we don't want to give away, but can be stored for later (when we have more space). So what we actually did today was to put those away in our storage loft. It is only accessible by ladder, so I wanted to make sure I was done with the purging before moving them. Now, the hallway closet and the loft room are still not finished, but it felt so good to get those messy items out of my sight, so I am happy with today's progress.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Here is a secret to keeping your home from overwhelming you: The surface sweep. How? Set a timer for 3 minutes and clean a room as fast as you can for only those minutes. Pick up and put away dirty dishes, straighten up pillows or sort the mail. Whatever is the problem in your room, pick things up and put them back where they belong. It is amazing how much you can get done in three minutes. Try using a commercial break or turning on a favorite (fast-paced) song.
Our house is looking pretty good right now, but I still took a few minutes to tidy up little odds and end: a cardigan, a couple of blankets, an empty tea cup, some shoes by the door. You know your own mess best, but I promise that this little trick will accomplish more than you think.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Apartment Therapy believes very strongly in a "landing strip" for the home. This expression refers to a system of organizing your entrance and dealing with everyting you bring through the front door. Spesifically, a place for shoes, coats, keys, bags, mail and whatever else might clutter up your hallway.
We rearranged our entrance a couple of weeks ago, and it actually messed up my system a little. There are hooks for coats (and hangers in the closet for more), a space for shoes, hats and scarves go in the closet, keys in a bowl, so all that's good. A new problem is: where to place things that are on their way out the door? For me that means books going back to the library, mail that needs to be sent, things to return and more. I just don't know what to do! Maybe I can make room on the shoe rack somehow?
Another issue is incoming mail. I tend to let bills, receipts and letters pile up, together with random pieces of paper, and there is no good system. In my mind I have a picture of a tray that could hold all these things, but I dont't have a tray like that. Etsy does though!