I Dare Ya book tag

I’ve seen this little survey on various blogs – I got it from Kristin, but Tanya and Audrey have also done it. I wasn’t tagged by anyone, but I wanted to play anyway.

What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I have a lot of books I was given when I was little and I obviously can’t remember which one was first, but I’m going to go with The Wind in the Willows. I’ve linked to a random version. Mine has a different illustrator. Also, I’ve lost the dust jacket.

What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Currently reading The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler. The last book I read was Dead Wrong by Curtis Jobling, book two in the Haunt series. And as for next read… do you seriously expect me to know that already? Let’s just go with it will be one of these:

to-read shelves

Or one of the ones that have crept onto the shelf above because apparently two to-read shelves aren’t enough?

What Books Did Everyone Like, but You Hated?

The Catcher in the Rye – although I am starting to find a few other people who disliked it now. I spent the entire book waiting for the story to start but then nothing ever actually happened. I was in my 20s when I read it so maybe you have to be a teenager to understand? I also hated Wuthering Heights. I read half of it three times before finally finishing it then immediately giving it to a charity shop.

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

Most of the books on my non-fiction shelf. I am absolutely terrible at reading non-fiction, even if it’s a subject I’m really interested in.

What book are you saving for retirement?

Um, none. I mean I plan to read as much as possible once I retire but there are no books I’m saving specifically for that time. Maybe I’ll finally get to all those classics that really intimidate me?

Last page: read it first or wait ’til the end?

I have a colleague who always reads the end first then only reads the rest of the book if she likes how it ends. I just don’t get that. I would never read the last page before even starting the book!

Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink or interesting aside?

Hmm, I don’t think it’s a waste of paper necessarily but some of them are so long. If it’s like a little paragraph I might read it, but an entire page just listing random people? Eh, no thanks.

Which book character would you switch places with?

Lucy from the Narnia books. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but when I was little I was convinced Narnia was a real place and I was desperate to go there.

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (place, time, person)?

The Chalet School books remind me of my grandma’s house because that’s where I fist discovered them – one of my aunts had left a couple there from when she read them as a child and I found them one visit and devoured them. My grandma then let me keep and thus my collection was born. I have most of them now but there are still gaps. Also, Agatha Christie reminds me of my step-mum but that’s mostly because I inherited her collection. I never actually discussed them with her when she was alive or anything. They’re currently all in boxes at my dad’s house but I will get them over here one day.

Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

My dad used to work for a recycling plant, specifically on the belt sorting the stuff that could actually be recycled from everything else – you wouldn’t believe the crap people put in their recycling bins! And I don’t just mean as in “yes pizza boxes are theoretically cardboard but we don’t recycle things that are covered in grease and old cheese”. There are people out there who just use them as an extra rubbish bin – many dirty nappies came down the belt and my dad once told a story of a dead rabbit in a carrier bag. Like, what? Anywaaaay… many, many people throw their unwanted books in the recycling bin (😢😢) and my dad “rescued” tonnes of them from the belt. I got my pick of which ones I wanted. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett and Bridget Jones’s Diary are two I remember. Some were in not the best condition but others you could barely tell had been thrown away.

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason/to a special person?

I… don’t know? I give people books all the time. Almost everyone gets books from me for Christmas and birthdays. But for a special reason? Not sure. I was planning to give Jan Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada last Christmas as a silly joke present, but since there were no babies there was also no book.

Which book has been with you to the most places?

Presumably any of my childhood books that moved with us while we were in the army. Ooh, I’ve just remembered I have these two personalised books my grandparents got me – “Beverley and Father Christmas on a Sleigh Ride to the Moon” and “The Pussy-Cat’s Picnic” (I’m not 100% sure on the title of the second, but it’s something like that). My address at the time is mentioned in the stories and it’s the one from before me moved to Northern Ireland so those ones. And those should probably have been my answer for question one too. Oh well. Also I know I picked them up from my dad’s last time I was there but I have no memory of unpacking them or putting them anywhere so now I need to figure out what I’ve done with them…

Any ‘required’ reading that you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

I actually liked everything we read in high school. There are a few books other people read in high school that my class never did but I have read since and didn’t particularly enjoy – specifically The Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Flies, but they don’t count since I didn’t read them in school (and also still don’t like them). Ohh, wait… I hated Andorra by Max Frisch, which we read for A-Level German. I’ve never re-read it though so no idea what I think now.

Used or brand new?

I don’t mind, as long as it’s readable. Most of my books are used – I could never afford to buy all the ones I read brand new. Especially living in Switzerland! And I don’t own a Kindle, mainly because 99.9% of Kindle books on Amazon tell me they’re not available in my country.

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

My grandma bought Jan four Dan Brown books for Christmas one year so of course I read them all. I liked some better than others. They’re quick reads anyway.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

High Fidelity works so much better as a film!

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

The Chocolat books by Joanne Harris always make me want chocolate. Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier made me crave Indian food. Basically any book that has detailed descriptions of people making delicious food makes me hungry.

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

I have one good in real-life friend (who also happens to have a blog) always manages to buy me books I’ve a) never heard of and b) end up loving – one of my favourite books of last year was a book from her. I also always get loads of book recommendations from the Show Us Your Books link-up.

Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g. outside of your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

I very surprisingly ended up loving The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. It involves boxing. I could not care less about boxing. But I did very much care about the main character in this book. I would never have even picked it up if it weren’t for the BBC Big Read!

That’s all the questions. If you feel like doing this let me know and I’ll come and have a nosy – I would particularly love to see Kezzie‘s answers to these questions.

Unintentionally imitating art

As you will know if you read my last post, we recently came back from holiday. The final few days of our trip were spent in Lisbon, Portugal. Since we were travelling to hot countries, I had obviously taken summer clothes with me, but it wasn’t until I was actually walking around Lisbon that I realised the dress I had put on that day had a pattern that would have been perfect for one of the beautiful tiles that adorn many Portuguese houses. So, for your viewing pleasure, here is a selection of photos of Portuguese tiles and me blending in so well you’d think I’d done it on purpose…

(I was wearing blue and that seems to be the most popular colour, but not all the tiles in the photos below are blue.)

Lisbon

I’m not really sure how to end this post so uhh, just I guess that’s all folks?

Have a lovely day/week/evening/whatever.

Style Imitating Art: Bottles of autumn

So, funny story about my entry for this round of Style Imitating Art… I had my outfit all picked out, put it in the suitcase when we went away for a night, then we promptly left the suitcase on the train. Doh! On the plus side, when we went to buy a few necessary bits we found out that the supermarket in Yverdon les Bains sells bamboo tooth brushes. I had been planning for a while to look into ordering one (our branch of the same supermarket does not have them) but never got around to it. Silver linings. And the suitcase has been found – we can pick it up tomorrow. But anyway, I digress… with my original outfit gone, I had to think of something else to wear. Here is the inspiration art, chosen by Danael.

Pocket-flask-metropolitan-museum-of-art-public-access

It’s called Pocket Flask. I love the colours… so appropriate for autumn! And the patterns on the bottles are so interesting. Since we went out for the day today, I got Jan to take a photo of me with all the autumn colours of nature in the background, also so fitting for the inspiration. Here’s what I chose to wear:

SIA-5Nov18

This owl dress is by “Miss Style London”. I believe I bought it from DaWanda, which was the German version of Etsy (but stopped hosting shops recently and is now just a craft site). I’ve had it for about 8 years though so I’m not 100% sure! I thought the colours were really fitting and the patterns at the bottom and on the owls were a good imitation of the patterns on the the flasks. I’m also wearing green tights (not visible, but never mind) and a brown cardigan from Primark (purchased before our move to Basel, so three years ago at least). Some close ups of the owls:

I added some earrings to the outfit, both because the colours fit and they’re kind of glassy looking (although I think they’re actually plastic), which seemed appropriate. Below a photo of me that actually shows one of them plus one of just the earrings. They came from a clothes shop… no idea which one.

It’s already pretty late, but if you fancy joining in and can cobble together an outfit at short notice please do, and then send it to Danael at livingoutsidethestacks@gmail.com by tomorrow (Tuesday 6 November). A round up will go up on her blog on Wednesday and it’s well worth checking out what outfits other people came up with inspired by the art. There are always some amazing contributions!

Style Imitating Art: Kate Bunce painting

It feels a bit odd to go back to any kind of normal blogging after my last few posts, but time moves on and I will have to go back to writing about everyday things at some point, however strange it feels. An outfit post seemed like an easy way back into it.

Today’s style imitating art submission features a top that I literally bought yesterday! Last night, I thought I would at least check what the inspiration is this time, and when I realised the top I had purchased mere hours before was perfect it almost felt like a sign. Here is the inspiration:

Kate_Elizabeth_Bunce_-_Melody_(Musica)_-_Google_Art_Project

The painting is “Melody (Musica)” by Kate Bunce.

And here’s my interpretation:

SIA-21Oct

This photo is so dark… but with the window blinds open the window was too bright and I could barely be seen. One day I will find a good place to take these photos (and a better way to prop my camera up so I can!). The top looks blue here for some reason, but it’s actually dark green. Hopefully you can see it better in this photo:

SIA-selfie
Why am I so bad at selfies?

I absolutely love the flowers on it. Autumnal but still bright and cheerful.

I don’t have anything quite as blingy as the lady in the painting, but I thought this necklace worked, at least in terms of colour (and again the top looks blue… I promise it’s not!):

SIA-necklace

Colour-wise, my skirt doesn’t really fit the painting, but I thought the style worked… flowy and kind of folky (like her sleeves). Jan has a concert with one of his choirs tonight, and this is the outfit I’m wearing for that. It feels nice and autumny.

The top was purchased from C&A yesterday, I don’t remember where the skirt is from (I’ve had it ages) and the necklace was a Christmas gift.

If you have an outfit you think would represent this painting, put it together (you can either wear it or do a flat lay if you prefer not to have photos of yourself on the Internet) and send a photo to 14shadesofgrey@blogspot.com by Tuesday, 23 October. She will then round up all the submissions on her blog on Wednesday. You don’t have to do a blog post of your outfit or even have a blog to join in.

What do you think of my interpretation? Does it remind you of the painting in any way?

Style Imitating Art: Botanical prints

Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve joined in with Style Imitating Art – life just kept getting in the way. But for once I had some time. The inspiration this time was a collage of botanical prints by Anna Atkins:

annaatkinscollage

As soon as I saw the picture, my eyes were drawn to the feathers on the left. I love feathers and I immediately knew which T-shirt I wanted to wear. Then I just needed to find something to match. Here’s what I came up with:

SIA-ANna Atkins

The quest to find somewhere to take a decent photo continues… this one was taken in my spare room.The dark blue splodges on my skirt are actually slightly abstract roses and the lighter blue parts are vaguely flower-shaped. I should really have taken a close-up photo for you… sorry.

I did, however, make an attempt at a photo that shows the feathers on the T-shirt better even though I am useless at selfies!

feather T-shirt

The shoes and leggings both featured in my last outfit post and you can take a closer look at the shoes here.

I can’t remember where the T-shirt or leggings are from (the leggings may be Primark), but the shoes are Deichman, purchased in May and the skirt is from a shop called Orsay. I’ve had it for at least 8 years and it’s an all-time favourite because I had to buy it in a size smaller than my usual. Woo!

If you would like to participate in this week’s SIA, take a photo of an outfit inspired by the art (flat lays are welcome if you prefer not to actually appear in the photo) and send it to this edition’s curator, Jen at Librarian for Life and Style, on librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com by Tuesday, 28 August. Jen will then round up all the entries on her blog on Wednesday, 29 August.

Style Imitating Art: Picasso in shades of blue

I wasn’t going to join in with Style Imitating Art this time round, but then I got dressed this morning and realised my outfit was perfect for the piece. The inspiration this time was a Picasso painting entitled Two Acrobats With a Dog.

two-acrobats-with-a-dog-1905

The quest to take a decent photo of myself without a tripod continues.

SIA_Picasso

As you can see, the main reason I thought this outfit represented the art was the colours – this dress is different shades of blue. I was also wearing blue shoes, which are cut off in the photo above so here’s a closer look:

SIA-shoes

Finally, I took a close-up photo of my necklace for you. It’s more purple (and other colours) than blue but I thought the pattern on the pointy bits was similar to the taller acrobat’s clothing. There are also pink, golden and white squares that sort of match the colours in the painting.

SIA_necklace

This time I can even tell you where most of my outfit came from! Dress: H&M two or three years ago, shoes: Deichmann last month. Leggings… I don’t remember. Primark maybe? The necklace was a birthday present from my grandma a few years ago and I’m not sure where she got it from.

How would you dress to represent this piece? And what do you think of my effort?

If you want to join in, you have until tomorrow (19 June) to submit a photo to Salazar at 14 Shades of Grey (you can find the e-mail address on her blog).

Style Imitating Art: Memorial Day Poppy

I wasn’t going to take part in SIA this week but then I saw what the artwork was and couldn’t resist.

Jen from Librarian for Life and Style chose the botanical engraving “Papauer I ‘Morpheus’. [Memorial Day Poppy]”

memorialdaypoppy

Isn’t it pretty?

I feel like I’ve been interpreting the prompts very literally with my clothing choices, but as soon as I saw the picture I knew which top I wanted to wear, and once again it’s a very literally interpretation.

SIA_poppy

The above photo was the best of a bad bunch! I started off in the spare room because there was actually natural light there, but every single photo was either way too bright or blurry, so I moved back to by the front door. I have no idea what’s going on with my hands here or why there’s weird light on the right but this is honestly the best of about 20 photos! Ugh.

Like in the photo, I wanted the flower to be the only pop of colour against the background (although my background is black rather than white), so I kept it simple and paired the top with a long black skirt. I then added a bracelet featuring a butterfly that I thought looked just like the butterfly in the art.

SIA-bracelet

I wanted to try and show you a better picture of the top without my hands in the way, so here’s a selfie (which I am terrible at!). Excuse the suitcase in the background – I’m busy packing for our flight later.

SIA-selfie

This is the outfit I am wearing to run my errands today. I will get changed later before heading to the airport – I find long skirts get in the way while travelling!

I realised last time that most people say where their clothes came from on outfit posts. Unfortunately, for the most part I actually can’t! This top is about 10 years old and I know I bought it in Germany but couldn’t tell you where! The skirt was ordered online but I can’t remember which site. The bracelet I think came from C&A in Germany 5 or 6 years ago. Yep, I’m useless.

To participate in this round of SIA send a photo of an outfit inspired by this week’s SIA artwork — selfies and flat lays are also welcome — to this week’s curator, Jen, by emailing librarianforlifestyle@gmail.com by next Tuesday, 5 June. The SIA round-up will appear on her blog on Wednesday, 6 June.

And now I have to go and eat breakfast then take away some more recycling. I will post again on my return from England.