What I’ve been reading

This post comes a little sooner as I have lots of things to talk about at the end of the month, with us being away at some amazing events and on a short holiday.

01

It’s unlikely I will finish another book by the end of the month anyway. As I finished 4 books this month, it brings the total of books read this year to 30. I had no idea I will read so much this year. I’m watching less TV and I also spend less time online, so it’s great. Not that watching TV or staying online is a bad thing, but I think I have a better ratio at the moment. Reading before bedtime helps me sleep better too.

 The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

The story of Mary, the other Boleyn girl, but in fact the first of the two Boleyn sisters to have a relationship with King Henry VIII. I loved the book, Mary is a likeable character, while Anne and George are portrayed less than nice. While someone who likes Anne might have difficulty with the image she has in this book, for me the book is perfect.
Mary is a lovely girl, in search for love, but manipulated by her family. She was married, but, even so, she had two children with Henry before he started his affair with Anne and put Mary aside. She married her second husband, William Stafford, in secret and they had a wonderful relationship. He was a second son, without any lands or wealth. They loved each other, she trusted him and he was in love with her. It’s a beautiful story.

I looked into the history of Mary and their love story seems like it was real. Mary wrote in a letter addressed to Thomas Cromwell: “I had rather beg my bread with him than to be the greatest queen in Christendom. And I believe verily … he would not forsake me to be a king.”. Heartwarming, isn’t it?

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Transformation

At Sudley House in Liverpool it’s a special exhibition called Transformation – One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobe. Both the museum and the exhibition are free.

Transformation - One Man’s Cross-Dressing Wardrobe

Peter Farrer was born in Surrey in 1926 and lived in Liverpool for many years. His father was a schoolmaster and a clergyman. He started cross-dressing from the age of 14. He died this year aged 90. He had an interest in women’s period costumes and he collected garments, evening dresses from the 30s to 80s. He liked dresses made from taffeta. The exhibition displays 21 garments from Peter’s wardrobe.

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How I prepare for 5k

For the last two years I went each year on a 5k race, both very enjoyable: Run or Dye and Color Run. This year I’m going on a serious 5k race: Women’s Running Race Series, sponsored by Roots Collective. I want to get a good time, so I have to prepare. I made a schedule that works with the other things I have to do. I allowed one month for training. I’m relatively fit to begin with, so I think a month is enough.

01 Roots

In this post I’m going to talk about the workouts, the food and drinks. These delicious blends by Roots Collective will help me get to my goals. If you follow my blog, you know that I try to eat as healthy as I can. Recently I blogged about 1 year of daily smoothies and a few months ago I’ve challenged myself to have 10-a-day for 1 week.

02 Program

This is the program I’ve created for this month. After I’ll finish it, I’m going to talk about the program again, to see how it went. I don’t think running is enough to get ready for a race, so I inserted a few Insanity cardio workouts in the program. I did Insanity back in 2012 and it felt great, it’s a hard working out regime, but it’s so good. When I say it’s hard, it’s really really hard. But this is how I can get good results in a short period of time, so it’s worth it.

I made sure I can do that workout in that day and I hope I can finish it as it is. So far I did what I planned and I’m very happy with the progress.

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Festus and the pigeon

On Father’s Day we spent some time in the garden with Festus. He had a couple of toys to play with. One of the pigeons who has his nest on our neighbour’s tree arrived for his breakfast. Of course, he wasn’t bothered by Festus. He is used to Festus and that makes me think he is the same pigeon that had the nest close to us a couple of years ago. I think they are more comfortable with Festus as there aren’t any cats in our garden. We make sure we chase any cats from the garden, as we don’t want them to come when Festus is in the garden. Unlike with the pigeons, Festus is very interested in cats.

01 Fandthep

Festus with the 3rd toy he played with that day.


View on youtube

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Why I love caravanning?

Last year we bought our first caravan without going on a caravanning holiday before. I wasn’t sure I would love it, but it was perfect for us and I do love it. So, considering most of us are thinking of holidays, I’ve decided to talk about my caravan and Why I love caravanning?

01 Why I love caravanning

Caravanning has an impressive history, that I found out by chance. Dr. William Gordon Stables started caravanning in late Victorian era. The first caravan ever built was called The Wanderer and it was made in 1884 by Bristol Wagon Works Company. It traveled tens of thousands of miles in its lifetime. Amazingly, that first caravan still exists and it’s displayed at a Caravan Club. The caravan was meant to be an land yacht and it was inspired by traditional horse-drawn Romany wagons, pulled by two horses named Captain Corn-flower and Polly Pea-blossom. The interior was made mahogany and maple wood, painted black and gold, in an Victorian fashion and it obviously had a bookcase.

If it wasn’t for him, for me, our holidays wouldn’t be as exciting as they are. I blogged last year about the Things I learned about caravanning, have a look if you fancy to read that post too. Let’s go back to why I love caravanning.

Freedom. We can take Festus with us without any problems and he feels at home in the caravan. We also have the freedom of going where we want. Also, it doesn’t matter if it’s London, Edinburgh or Anglesey, the prices are pretty similar.

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Ancient Egypt at Liverpool World Museum

I’ve been to see the newly opened gallery on the Ancient Egypt at Liverpool World Museum. The museum is free and so is the new gallery, so don’t miss it, it’s really interesting. The restoration finished earlier this year and now it’s UK’s second largest Ancient Egypt gallery after the British Museum.

 Ancient Egypt at Liverpool World Museum

The Liverpool in hieroglyphs is hilarious, but quite accurate I would say.

There are a few videos that are really interesting. I enjoyed the most the one about what happened when an Egyptian died. The process was quite complex, there were 42 gods and the dead had to say to each one a bad thing he didn’t do. If they had money to pay for talismans, those would have protect them if they would say a lie. After talking with the 42 gods, their heart was weight in and if it was lighter than a feather, they would go into a sort of heaven, where they would meet their relatives and spend their time sowing cereals. If they had effigies of servants, those would do their work for them. If the heart was heavier, they would have been eaten by the Cerberus and they would be gone forever. It sounds like a very complicated afterlife and with a lot of work without the servants.

 Ancient Egypt at Liverpool World Museum

The mummy room is so interesting. The thing that I found the most interesting is that one of the mummies has a relative at British Museum. I think it’s amazing that both are in UK and it’s known that they were related by DNA testing. The mummy room has warnings on both entrances that there are human displays. I think that is respectful both towards the visitors and the mummies.

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Let’s talk about money

I went through the remaining questions from the 365 Thought Provoking Questions to Ask Yourself This Year and picked the ones related to money. Last month I did a 100 Questions in 10 words or less and I enjoyed the twist of answering like that. So now I will talk about money. It’s a subject I don’t like to talk about, it should be personal. Also, what I consider a bargain can be deemed overpriced for someone else, while what they consider a bargain can be overpriced for me. We can have different values and priorities and that influences the way we relate to money. Anyway, I answered these questions and I enjoyed writing the post.

1. What can money not buy?
Not a lot of things. Money are important, from getting a place you are happy in to clothes, petrol and tickets for travels and sightseeing.
Loyalty, love, attention, these in theory can’t be bought. Showing love, appreciation is not easy without any money. You have to buy ingredients for a special homemade dinner, a card for an anniversary or a bunch of flowers. Some of these things might be only a few pence or a couple of pounds. Even if the gesture is more important than the value, but that still means money.

Let’s talk about money

2. What do you do with the majority of your money?
This is the sort of question I would avoid. So, my answer is: I buy things and services, can’t be more vague than that.

3. Other than money, what else have you gained from your current job?
Money are not the most important thing for me when it comes to jobs. Being able to be creative and loving what I do is more important than more money. I need a challenge and I have that too.

4. How much money per month is enough for you to live comfortably?
I think I live quite comfortably as it is, I have many things that make me happy. With more money I would pay my debts faster, get a newer car, I would do a bit more work to our house, buy lots and lots of crockery and kitchen tools&utensils. I might travel more. If I would get all those things, would I want to stop there or would I think I want another thing? I think it’s only human to strive for more and adjust the definition of what is comfortable to add a bit more.

5. If I gave you $1000 and told you that you had to spend it today, what would you buy?
I would book a weekend away with my husband and our dog. With the rest I might buy some kitchen stuff and shoes and maybe a dress and some makeup and a few books. Something for the dog and for my husband.

6. How would an extra $1000 a month change your life?
I would do a few of those items mentioned in question 4. The more important questions is what I would have to do to get those $1000 a month? If it means I should get a 2nd job, my life wouldn’t necessarily change for the better, as it would mean less time with my husband and less time doing other things that make me happy, like reading and cooking.

7. What things in life should always be free?
Why should anything be free? I think we appreciate more the things we work for and not those that come free.

8. What job would you never do no matter how much it paid?
I wouldn’t do a lot of jobs that would be against my values, too many to make a list.