birdienl: (Autumn 2)
[personal profile] birdienl
Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.
It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. sharing exciting plans for the weekend,
rants on things they've encountered during the week etc.)


Phew, it´s been almost half a year since I last did one of these ´Thoughts´ posts! High time for another random update of many areas of my life ;-)

1. Personally, I've been rather busy. After my PhD defense in June, I got an extension of my contract until the end of 2016. I was ofcourse really happy to still have a job! I've been working really hard as our group is trying to fit as much experiments as possible into these few months, before the project (and funding...) really ends. And ofcourse, at the same time, I have to keep on applying for new jobs as well. I've decided to take a 'sabbatical' in January and February. I need time to breathe, recharge and do things I've been wanting to do for years but didn't have the time for. So, who knows, I might post a lot of reviews in these months....

2. So, a few weeks ago, while I was asking myself 'Did I actually write a review about movie X, yes or no?', I decided to add a list of all my book, movie and tv-reviews to my blog. You might already have seen it, as it's now an extra page on my blog here. It also includes things I reviewed before 2013, only on my LiveJournal. It was quite interesting to go through all these old posts again and read about things I'd almost forgotten I'd read or seen!

3. In the last few months, I've been reading some non-fiction Christian books for the first time in years. Many years ago, I had a view dissapointments reading some 'easy-solution-to-be-a-perfect-Christian' books and gave up on these books altogether. But, I realized I do need spiritual wisdom, so dove back into the genre after getting reading tips from someone I trusted. I read and (mostly) enjoyed Patience with God by Tomás Halík and Walking with God through pain and suffering by Tim Keller. So, now my question to those of my readers who are Christians: what spiritual books could you recommend which are hopefull but still do justice to our messy modern lives and the confusion of being human?

4. I've been going through two classics the last few months as audiobooks. I reread Jane Eyre together with some other people with Hamlette as our guide through her read-along. It was great to read this book in this way and I discovered so many new angles to this 'golden-oldie' through Hamlette's chapter posts and the insightful discussions in the comments. On the other hand, I've been listening to Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope for aaaages. My goodness, is this story long-winded or what? When I wrote my review of the adaptation a month ago, I already mentioned the book leaned towards too long and now I can just say it IS way too long. Oh well, luckily I have enough dishes, ironing or cooking time to listen to audiobooks!

5. Recently, I went to a really great museum exhibition of works by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema. It's the biggest exhibition of his work ever and it's back in the place where he was born and raised: the province of Friesland in The Netherlands. It's funny, before this exhibition I knew the painter from British museums, but I never actually realized he was Frisian, though his name might have been a giveaway... Anyway, I'm proud we share the same roots, because I adore the style of his paintings. And did you know many classic Hollywood movies about classic times were actually inspired by his paintings? (Here's a link to a HuffPost article about the exhibition, figure that, a Dutch exhibition in Huffpost!)


6. Some news from the Medieval front ;-) My sword has a scabbard now. It was made specially for me by a friend and fellow-swordsman, who is great at leatherworking. I'm so happy with it and it's much easier and safer to transport my sword now!


7. Look, I love the BBC and ITV and most of what they produce on period dramas, but right now I want to tell them: 'Just stop for a year or so to let me catch up on everything!' I've been reading all your reviews on Poldark and Victoria etc, but haven't watched one episode myself and look at what's currently airing and also looks very interesting (it stars Hattie Morahan!)

Well, that's it from me again! (Tsssk, even after half a year I can't fill all 8 'thoughts'....) I hope you're all well and reading and watching good things!

Date: 2016-11-21 05:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lantairvlea.livejournal.com
Glad to hear you didn't have to do a frantic job search immediately after finishing your doctorate. I'm sure you've found that life finds new ways of staying busy after schooling is "done!"

Enjoy your break come the New Year!

Date: 2016-11-22 02:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdienl.livejournal.com
Hehe, I think it will be a looong time before I ever get bored! I have a habit of finding too many things interesting and wanting to do too much, not to mention modern life just IS busy!

Date: 2016-11-21 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moredetails.livejournal.com
That's great that you are taking a couple of months off in the new year! What are your plans?

Date: 2016-11-22 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdienl.livejournal.com
I'm going to a Christian study centre (L'Abri, there are also two L'Abri houses in the US) for at least three weeks. Also, my mum is moving house in the spring, so there is more than enough to do on behalf of that!

Date: 2016-11-22 03:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ringsandcoffee.livejournal.com
So many people recommend anything by Tim Keller, or even listening to his sermons online. I hardly read ANYTHING these days, but the last Christian book I read was Unoffendable by Brant Hansen. He's a radio DJ and has a podcast. Takes some getting used to, but I love him.


My friend really liked Doctor Thorn, and now that I have access to Amazon Prime, I am meaning to watch Poldark. Oh, and The Crown, and Victoria...However, sitting down to watch TV is really hard for me to do. Maybe I just need to commit to one episode every few days.

Date: 2016-11-22 04:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdienl.livejournal.com
Thanks, I think I definitely want to read more by Tim Keller. He explains things very well, but doesn't dumb them down, which I like.

I find it easier to commit to a period drama (or British series in general) than an American tv-series, because they are often >20 episodes long and I wonder: am I ever going to finish that....

Date: 2016-11-23 05:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] msantimacassar.livejournal.com
It's so nice to hear from you! :)

I'm glad things have been working out with you so far and I hope you are able to find the perfect next job as soon as you need it! A sabbatical sounds heavenly. I hope you have a wonderful, relaxing time!

I'm afraid I don't have any Christian non-fiction recommendations, but I will be interested to hear if you discover some good ones!

I had no idea Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema was Dutch! I love his work! That's so neat that you got to go to that exhibition!

Your scabbard looks awesome! I can't get over how cool your sword is! :D

I look forward to your reviews when you get around to all those period dramas! I didn't know about that show with Hattie Morahan, thanks for the heads up! :)

Date: 2016-11-30 10:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] birdienl.livejournal.com
Sorry for the late response, I've been really busy with work and this little thing called St. Nick preparations....

I'm looking forward more and more to my 'sabbatical' in the next year, even though it will be really strange to not work at my beloved lab anymore :-(

I can imagine you like Alma-Tadama's work, I think many people who love period dramas also will love his work!

Date: 2016-12-03 05:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] msantimacassar.livejournal.com
No worries! I've been quite swamped with school (finals week next week, ee!) myself. I hope you have a lovely St. Nick's! :)

I hope you find another lab where you can build that kind of community and happiness again!

Yes, it's so gorgeous!

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