“Grandfather Sea has new eyes now”

The water is a mirror, I’m scared to break the surface,
but our boat just glides through the waves like it owns the place.
On the sea surrounded by sleepy gulls and my grandmother’s handwriting was not where I thought I’d spend my evening, but I’m glad I’m here.
My grandad is steering, like he always is.

Grandfather sea, the saltwater man.
I’ve written poems about him before, said he is like the ocean he grew up next to;
only now do I understand how right I was.

He’s not made of salt water so much as shaped of it,
unpredictable and stormy, wondrous and wild.

I look at how he grips the steering wheel, trained hands that know how to navigate rocks and isles and deep velvet oceans.
It is in his fingers, his eyes, his back,
like riding a bicycle is in my legs.

I used to compare him to the sea;

His heart forceful like the waves, voice quick like sea foam, all excitement and loud words and dark coffee spluttering in a coffee maker.
Now I see the ocean in him, in the pull of the currents towards his home.
I see the sea in how he glides through the ripples, I see the waves in his mind as tension in his hands.

He looks at old horizons with new eyes, navigates charted waters without her telling him where to go.

The water is a mirror, I’m scared I’ll break the surface,
but his surface is one i’m just starting to chip away at.

I went out for a little trip on the fjord with my grandad the other day, and had some time to reflect as we were … driving? We talked about stuff you can only talk about when there is water all around you, and we sat in comfortable silence, silence that felt like home. It all made me think of a poem I wrote about my grandad in my first year of uni, and how both my voice and his focus has changed a lot during the course of those three years, and especially this last year; a year filled with permanent changes that have affected all of us. All of this reflection resulted in this work-in-progress poem! I hope you like it!

Have a wonderful day,

-Andrea

WWW Wednesday June 27

Time for another WWW Wednesday, this wonderful challenge hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words!
I’m still really enjoying these, and I hope you are too, so let’s get started:

I just finished
Longbourn by Jo Baker

I know you’ve seen this picture before, as I wrote about this book a couple of WWWs before. On the original post, a couple of people left some curious comments about this book, and so instead of the blurb, I thought I’d put in a little mini-review here! If you do want to read the blurb, though, it can be found here.

The pacing of the book feels a bit slow and from time to time I was so infuriated with the various characters the reader gets to follow, but as a whole I really, really enjoyed this book. It didn’t have that “stiff-ness” that I’m struggling a bit with in Austen’s books (a time-thing, I know, I’m aware people wrote very differently in the 1800s than they do now writing about the 1800s), and I enjoyed the descriptive language and how Baker uses dialogue to show the character’s relationships and social statuses. Also great to get the Bennet family’s situation put into perspective by seeing the story from the servants’ perspective. On my many attempts of getting through Pride and Prejudice I’ve always enjoyed Lizzie’s character and how she doesn’t care about what people think of her, but while reading from Sarah’s point of view, I get how Lizzie’s free-spiritedness caused the servants a lot of extra work (i.e impossible-to-clean muddy underskirts and torn boots after the walk to Netherfield). Great book; a good historical read that can be enjoyed by anoyone, avid Pride and Prejudice fan or curious beginner.

I’m currently reading
TimeKeeper by Tara Sim

I may have been a little bit snobby about ebooks a couple of years ago, but this year I’ve really started using them. I one hundred precent retract and apologise for my snobbiness. Ebooks are wonderful! The reason why I’ve started using them are because my bookshelves are so full it’s not even funny, ebooks are a bit cheeper than physucal books, and a lot of the books I’d like to read aren’t as easily available here in Norway as they were in the uk. I’m of course not ever just gonna stop buying and reading physical books, but I’m excited to start using ebooks as an alternative to always getting the physical book.
When it comes to this specific book, I stumbled upon it and was completely captivated by the promise of a steampunk clocktower romance. I’m here for it.

Blurb:
An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.
A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.
A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.
A boy who would give anything to relive his past, and one who would give anything to live at all.
A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.

Next on the list is
Dammyr by Victoria Kielland

I have no clue what this book is about, but it’s  set in my hometown, in a “part” of town (Dammyr) I used to walk through almost daily. I’m intrigued to read about my home from the point of view of someone else, to see the town I know so well described and fit into the plot of a novel. Plus, the book looks really pretty.

Blurb:
It doesn’t have one, the cover’s really minimalist with only the title and the author’s name, plus a little embossed rose, I think? The back is empty.

So that was this week’s WWW! Sorry this post was a bit wordy, but I hope you either found some books you’ve read or some covers that peeked your interest. As always, please feel free to leave your WWW posts in the comments below, or fire any sort of book related comment at me. I love talking about books, and last week’s WWW post initiated a lot of great book conversations with lots of lovely people, which I absolutely loved!

Hope you have a wonderful day!
-Andrea

The Winchester Bucket List

Are you going to uni next year, and wondering how life will be as a student? Are you worried about working part time alongside your studies? Even better, are you going to uni in Winchester, UK, and are curious about new places to go, small nooks to discover and explore? For questions like these, the University of Winchester has created a student life magazine that focuses on simply living life as a student, no matter what course or degree you’re on.

Remember I told you about this article I was writing a while ago? The magazine it’s in has been available at the uni for a couple of months, and it’s been handed out to students at the open days for a while, but now I’ve finally got my hands on a copy of my own, and can show you guys!

My article is called “The Winchester Bucket List”, is featured on the front page, and I’m listed on the contents page as a “student contributor”, which I’m really happy and a little bit proud about!
Talking about the article; this one was a lot of fun to write for a lot of reasons:
Firstly, I was contacted and asked to write something for this! After emailing back and forth with the management and content team, we figured out that a “tour” of Winchester would be a fun thing to put in there.
Secondly, I got to pick out my favourite places in Winchester and write about them, and now I’ve basically got the perfect memento of the town I’ve loved living and studying in.
Thirdly, for the first time ever I did both the article and the pictures! The photos in this piece are all by me (except for the St Catherine’s one), and taking “proper” pictures that would look good in an article like this was an interesting challenge I’d never taken on before.

I sent this piece off with pride when I was done with it. Then I was told that it would be given three full pages, something I was not expecting but really, really appreciated! And, drumroll please, here is the finished piece:

Look how cool it looks!! I had no idea how the design would look, but I’m really proud of how it turned out. The whole magazine is available for free at the University of Winchester, and it’s filled with tips and tricks on how to survive life as a student, created and written by current students and recent graduates.

Question of the day: am I the only one who finds it really difficult to take pictures of grassy hills (i.e St Catherine’s hill)? Everything just turned out very green for me… Also, does anyone know how to put separate pictures together into a pdf file? Help and suggestions are very welcome!

Hope you have a wonderful day!
-Andrea

Journal #8

Shakespeare wrote about a Midsummer night’s dream, and on June 23rd (in Norway, at least) we celebrate midsummer night’s eve. Not the longest day of the year as I’ve always believed, but one day past the sun turning; when the night is one minute longer than it was the day before. We celebrated yesterday the same way we’ve always done, and I spent the day pondering how traditions stay the same, how we appreciate the things we’ve always done; my own midsummer night’s dream.

I dream of what I’ve always seen on an evening like this, of bonfires and burnt popcorn, of dogs off their leads and children learning to swim. I dream of grey haired locals playing saxophone from the back of a truck and gulls swooping down to peck at waffle crumbs left on the ground. I dream of shoes put away to dip our feet in the water and the taste in your mouth of knowing that you have all of summer in front of you, endless possibilities for tan lines and sun burns and morning teas on the veranda. I dream of post cards sent and letters received, breakfasts with the ones I love and skype calls with the ones I miss. My midsummer night’s dream is of those nights that never end; when you bring blankets and lanterns and candle light out into the garden, to watch sun sets and sun rise, when you watch the bats soar and smell the jasmine flowers, when life is floating and there is nowhere you need to be.

Midsummer’s night is a night when you remind yourself of how strong nature’s forces are, that we’re all part of nature, and in later years, that we can’t control it no matter how hard we try. On midsummer night’s eve we gather our families and celebrate that we’re out of the cold winter months and that we’ve got all of summer ahead of us. We sing songs passed down to remember that those we have lost are always with us, in the wind and the trees and the stars.
It’s a day where you pick wildflowers and put them under your pillow and where you’re grateful for what you have, what you’ve lost and what you’ve yet to gain.

We are a family of four, and my favourite time of all, is all of us together around the table outside. Yesterday, we sat there for the better part of three hours. There was tea, there were blankets being shared, words floating through the air. There is nothing you can’t talk about when it’s past midnight and it’s warm enough to never go to bed.
My midsummer night’s dream is a wish for many more eternal light like this one.

-Andrea

WWW Wednesday June 20

Thank you so much to everyone for how kind you were about the Bookshelf scavenger hunt! I’m so grateful that so many of you took the time to read it, and hopefully, it made you want to read some of the books!

On the topic of books, though; Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday!

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking On A World Of Words , and anyone can join. All you need to do is answer three simple questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading
Strange the dreamer by Laini Taylor


I can’t tell you how excited I was to get my hands on this book! Just the concept of a dream choosing its dreamer seems so fascinating to me, and it’s something I feel like I need to learn more about. I also read The daughter of Smoke and Bone years ago, and really like Taylor’s writing style. Only a 130 pages in or so but already hooked!

Blurb:
The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way aroundand Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

I just finished
Søster by Gro Dahle

About a hundred pages of Norwegian poetry about really wanting a sister. Dedicated to the bond between sisters; related sisters, book sisters, brothers who are sisters, or sisters who aren’t sisters at all. A rollercoaster of a book that I went from really enjoying to properly disliking as it turned angrier in the middle, to being in complete awe of the beautiful simplicity Dahle masterfully handles towards the end.

Blurb
En som vet om meg
som bare en søster vet om meg.
En som er i rommet
slik bare en søster kan være i rommet.
Et søsterhode.
En søsterrygg.
En søstervegg
å lene meg mot.

(Translation)
Someone who knows me
like only a sister knows me.
Someone who’s in the room
like only a sister can be in the room.
A sister head
A sister back
A sister wall
to lean against.

Next book on the list
On Love by Charles Bukowski

More poetry! So many people say that Bukowski is a must-read if you like poetry, which (clearly) I do. I’ve never read any of his work before, and I’m excited to see what it is about his voice that draws so many people to his poetry. This book is also another one of those I bought at an airport somewhere once and said “I’ll need something to read on the plane” while at the same time lugging along 4 books in my backpack. I like to be prepared.

Blurb:
In Our Love, we see Charles Bukowski reckoning with the complications of love and desire. Alternating between the tough and the tender, the romantic and the gritty. Bukowski exposes the myriad of faces of love in the poems collected here – its selfishness and its narcissism, its randomness, its mystery and its misery, and ultimately, its true joyfulness, endurance and redemptive power

So that was another week gone, and another WWW Wednesday done.
Last week I got to read so many people’s WWW posts and it felt almost like a little community. I loved it! So please please please, if you’ve done a WWW either now or in the past, drop me a link in the comments and I’d love to read it!

As always, have a nice day x
-Andrea

Currently listening to:

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/1152742552/playlist/2ePd46K3QMVYo9YqXuhJuu

The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt

It’s finally here; The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt!
Okay, I know it’s not “finally” for you, as I haven’t really told you about this, but I’ve been planning this post for ages.

The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt is quite an old challenge, created by TheLibraryOfSarah, but I’ve never done it before, and thought maybe this post could work as a loose recommendation post, to remind you of books you’ve left forgotten at the back of your bookshelf, or maybe the covers will make you curious and eager to try something new? I also hope this post can work as a reminder to myself about what these books mean and why I keep them around, that they’re not just a static collection on a shelf, but items I cherish.

This post’s gonna be a long one, so go make yourself a cup of tea and hit that “Continue Reading” bar and lets have a good chat about some books!

Continue reading “The Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt”