Spring is a time for all things new

Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and it’s a special time all round. Along with Easter, this time of year brings New Year celebrations for many South- and South-East Asian cultures – for my family it’s Tamil New Year.

Here in Aberdeen, skies are blue, and there’s to plenty to admire outside.

2017-04-13 Cherry blossom
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Hanoi

At the end of last year we were in KL over the holidays, and spent a few days in Vietnam over New Year. We had a great time in Hanoi, starting off almost as soon as we got there with a walking food tour.

We tried quite a few different things, but my favourite had to be good old chicken Phở – I can’t get enough of a noodle soup, especially if there’s lime and chilli involved.
2016-12-29 Hanoi Continue reading

International Women’s Day 2017

How is it March already?? Well, here we are, and here are some female driven film and literary things that have caught my attention.

The 2017 Bailey’s Prize longlist has been announced – an intriguing lineup here as always.

IMDB, quite probably the largest source of movie and TV information, has adopted the F-rating: a rating to show if films are written by women, directed by women, and/or feature women on screen in their own right. Admittedly, as this article points out, the rating isn’t featured on every film page, instead you can use their search tool to find movies that meet one or more of these criteria. I’m willing to give it time though, for this to be adopted fully on individual pages.

A shoutout to Scottish writers Claire MacLeary and Clio Gray, who I saw at an event during Aberdeen’s recent Granite Noir festival. Their books sound very interesting indeed, and are at the top of my list for upcoming reads. Claire MacLeary’s debut novel is Cross Purpose, set in Aberdeen City. Clio Gray, on the other hand, is a veteran writer (longlisted for the Bailey’s Prize last year), and her new three-part series begins with Deadly Prospects.

Meanwhile, I’ve been reading the Chronicles of St Mary’s series, by Jodi Taylor. It’s about historians who study historic events in ‘contemporary time’, i.e. through time travel. It’s got some dark bits, but overall it’s fairly light reading and good fun. I’d say it’s almost like a boarding school series, but featuring the staff.

The little things matter as much as the big things when it comes to changing the world. So let’s be proud of ‘little’ things like celebrating female authors and filmmakers, and equally let’s not be shy about ‘making a fuss’ when something’s not right. This year’s International Women’s Day theme, Be Bold for Change, is a good reminder of that.

Garden Birdwatching 2017

The RSPB held its Big Garden Birdwatch at the weekend, so I spent a fun hour on Sunday morning, looking out the kitchen window.

There were sparrows;
2017-01-29 Big Birdwatch Continue reading

Happy New Year (better later than never)

What a funny old year 2016 has been…I’m not even going to talk about what’s been going on in the rest of the world, but in my little world it felt like a very long year indeed; many other friends and family seem to have felt the same way too. Nothing bad has happened, in fact there have been many opportunities, particularly at work – they’ve just been quite challenging. One thing in particular is that in September I started a part-time course through work. It’s a certificate course at undergraduate level, in Petroleum Data Management – which is what I do, but after this I’ll have something official that says so 🙂 It’s been going well, but of course it does take up quite a bit of time in the evenings and weekends. It finishes in May, so more regular blogging and knitting will resume soon.

In the meantime we did get up to other things through the year:

An amazing honeymoon in Japan – did I mention there were cherry blossoms…?
2016-04-15 Nikko Continue reading