Thoughts on Travels: Marlborough.

Let me tell you about Marlborough: There is nothing to do in Marlborough in the spring if you’re lazy. The merchants house is closed, so all you’ve got is the main street and the market. I’d shopped enough. There was nothing to do.

I stayed at this place called The Lambs Inn, which had the softest bed I’ve ever slept on. But the town was kind of meh. That is, in terms of travelling. It’s the sort of town I’d like to live in. But I wouldn’t travel there again on purpose.

There’s an old church you can’t go in, a bookstore, and a few cafes. The Green Dragon doesn’t have a single Lord of the Rings reference. WTH man!

I stayed here because I didn’t know what I was doing, and it was close, but different to where I had been. Plus trip advisor lied and anything of interest is a bit too far to walk. Anything interesting involved a car.

That said, there are no mistakes in Travel. (well they are, but they usually involve giving too much money to a taxi driver or something) It was still a good experience and it taught me to research a bit more before I blindly jump into a location. Rest days are fun, but they don’t make for good blog posts.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

Advertisements

Vinegar Girl | Anne Tyler

IMG_0922

The Book

The Taming of the Shrew. But modern. And a little bit Russian. Featuring: Adaptations, Green Card Weddings.

The Plot

– It was surprisingly interesting. Despite it being a 500 year old story that I literally studied in school.

– The introduction of the Green Card Wedding was an interesting way to do it and it wasn’t super Fake Married troupe.

The Characters

– Pyotr was an interesting character. It’s unfortunate that we don’t get to see more from his point of view.

– We see it from her point of view, and she’s actually nice. She’s not just mean and cranky. She’s relatable, and for real made me want to have a garden more than anything else I’ve seen or read.

The Conflict

– It was different than what I expected. I was wondering how she was going to do it and make it not sexist and Anne Tyler did a pretty good job of it.

– It was also pretty logical. The Green Card Wedding, and the main conflict. I didn’t suspend as much disbelief as I expected to.

Points of Dis/Interest

– I liked the Pyotr/Piodor variation.

– Kate wasn’t as shrew. Which is always nice.

Etc. Adaptations made classics more accessible. 

So, I had to read Pride and Prejudice in high school. Grade 11, 2011. I was so glad when I finished it, I thought I’d put it on my shelf and never look at it again. Then The Lizzie Bennet Diaries came out.

I had enjoyed the other two popular adaptations of Pride and Prejudice before, don’t get me wrong, but The Lizzie Bennet Diaries was an experience like nothing else, and seeing it unfold in real time is a thing I wish I could do over and over again.

After I finished TLBD I decided to pick up P&P again. All of a sudden, the people were straight, the plot was understandable and I could relate to the characters. When I read P&P now, years after the rush of TLBD has worn off I still hear Mrs Bennet (chairwoman of the 2.5 WPF club)  in her southern accent and Mr (Ricky) Collins talking about Winnepeg between the lines.

Watching an adaptation isn’t cheating. It’s finding new ways to better understand the text.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

Lived in: On Giving Up Versus Quitting.

I’ve been thinking about what constitutes giving up, and what constitutes quitting, or resigning. With one, there is the implication that you didn’t try hard enough, that you couldn’t be bothered. Whereas resigning holds the idea that there was nothing left to do.

The last thing I finished that wasn’t a book, or a film was a 6 month TAFE course for Aged Care. After I’d given up on two uni courses. So yeah, I don’t finish things. And now, I’m thinking of coming home early. The biggest thing that was holding me back from saying it was that I didn’t want to give up. I didn’t want to fail on this one thing in my life that I was excited about.

And my mum told me what I needed to hear. She told me that I wasn’t a failure. That I wasn’t giving up. And I started to realise that she was right. I tried this lifestyle, but since I am in a position to be happy in my life, since I don’t have to grab any job that comes my way with both hands, I don’t have to make this work.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up, I’m just recognising that ending early doesn’t mean failure. It means progression.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

The Girl with All the Gifts | M.R. Carey

IMG_0923

The Book

In a world where Zombies are called hungries, young child Melanie is different. Her and her classmates are kept in cells and brought out every week day where a rotation of teachers instructs them about maths, and English and such. But when a Doctor takes an interest to Melanie, she is thrust into a world where everything is new, and she is oh so very hungry. Featuring: Our zombies are different, the army.

The Plot

  • I found it a little slow moving, but gripping, like a zombie, I guess. It wasn’t about the zombies so much as the characters.
  • It was interesting and different because of this. It was less about a group of people dealing with zombies as they make their way to safe haven, but about a specific group of people dealing with the world around them and their place in it.

The Characters

  • Because it was character driven, the characters have to be well written, and in this case they definitely were.
  • M.R. Carey used a perspective shift to really give us insight into the different characters and indicate their motivation. So when they ultimately die, we actually feel something for them.

The Conflict

  • There isn’t as much straight up violence as I expected.
  • the main conflict comes through characters which is an interesting way to do a zombie novel.

Points of Dis/Interest.

  • I don’t know about you, but I was happy with the “romance” or lack thereof.

Etc. Futility.

Okay, spoilers, but in the end everyone in the world gets turned into Zombies. It was an interesting take because so often we see the opposite happening. Or something so that readers don’t feel completely let down by the novel. But with this everyone is turning into a zombie, and it’s not painted as this terrible thing. It’s just inevitable.

Just as the sun will expand and destroy the earth and any last trace of humanity on it, so too did the zombie fungus take over the world and kickstart the new species of humanity on earth. And for whatever reason, I really liked it.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

Thoughts on Travels | Highworth

So Highworth is about 10 minutes out from Swindon in Wiltshire. It’s quite a small town, boasting one high street and a market day on Saturdays. I spent about 3 days here between placements and I didn’t do much.

I stayed in the Inn above The Saracens Head pub. It’s a 400 year old pub. At that time I was still awed at how absolutely awesome it is to stay in a pub that’s older than White Australia. No biggie. Now I’m old hat at it. lol I’m kidding.

There’s a lovely old church that I was able to go into on my last day, unfortunately my camera (who I should really name) was already packed and so I couldn’t take any pictures. They were all set up for easter and they had this green house bit and stuff, which was pretty neat.

There’s a pretty large co-op in town, and a nice library, I spent a bit of time there.

It really got me started on the question of whether I should be spending all my time travelling or not. Because I need to have down time, but at the same time I feel like if I don’t spend my time travelling then it’s time wasted. I’ve come to the conclusion that I can do what I want, and I don’t have to travel every day if I don’t want to.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

The Lunar Chronicles | Marissa Meyer

Alternatively titled: Sometimes I play tricks on myself by assigning something and forgetting about it until I have to write it.

The Series

Cinder is a cyborg in New Beijing. Unbeknownst to her she is the long thought dead Lunar Queen. If only her Aunt would let her be. Scarlet just wants to find her grandmother and work on their farm. If only Cinders Aunt would let her. Cress just wants to get off her satellite and be in love with Thorne. If only her queen would let her. And Winter just wants Jacin. If only her step-mother would let her.

The Plot.

– Possesses a solid plot. The story progresses at a good pace and I never found moments where I needed to know what was happening elsewhere when our heroes were split up.

– Although the “bio-electricity” felt a little like Marissa Meyer wanted to have this feature and had to think of a science-y way to do it. That was the weakest part for me.

The Characters.

– I love them.

– I felt that their character arcs were strong and they didn’t progress too quickly or anything.

– Also their relationships to each other is just… amazeballs.

The Conflict. 

– Occurred naturally without excess.

– I feel like the conflict was only necessary because otherwise there would be no resolution, but I don’t think you’d miss too much without it. If that makes sense. The book holds it’s own without it.

I know I’ve done these books separately before, but I wanted to do them as a series because it’s an incredibly well written quadrilogy and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a new YA dystopia.

Get Reading. Get Travelling.

Ash

 

 

Lived in| Passive Growth Vs Active Growth.

A two weeks ago I started thinking about myself and what I want to get out of this trip overseas. I started comparing myself to fictional characters.

Often, fictional characters are thrown into situations and in order to get out of them, they have to grow and become better, either mentally, or physically. They need to master a skill or they need to change their attitude to win the girl. The stories that stick with us are the ones where the character changes.

So I’ve been thinking of myself. Do I want to go about like a character waiting for the situation to dictate my change? or do I want actively seek out situations that will cause me to grow up and become the person I would like to be at the end of this trip. Passive growth isn’t working. I still have no friends, and I’m still just stumbling around pretending everything’s alright.

So things are going to change, not necessarily too much with this blog, but with me. I’m going to start actively seeking out opportunities for growth. This means getting into uncomfortable situations. But this does not mean doing anything I do not want to do. If I want to find a partner, I can’t go around expecting it to just happen, I need to actively go to places where other people are also looking and I need to be open to opportunities that come my way.

If I want to get fit, I need to eat better and actually exercise, because this idea of closing my eyes and waiting for a wish just isn’t working. I told someone recently that I liked the idea of being a runner, but didn’t want to put in the effort to actually go running. Which is just laziness. If I want active growth I am going to have to start running. Great.

Get Reading. Get Travelling. Get Growing.

Ash