MASKS

I stumbled upon the Pitts-River museum when looking for things to do on a day trip to Oxford. I went to the Ashmolean museum first and I honestly do not remember anything about it but the boredom I felt. Perhaps I was just not in the mood. I then hurtled off to the Pitts-River expecting a whole lot more and I was not disappointed.

The Pitts-River museum is the largest collection of archaeological and anthropological artifacts in the UK and it houses the artifacts for the University of Oxford. Once I stepped in, I was approached by a very helpful guide who informed me that the museum contained artifacts from every single country in the world except Luxembourg.

There was so much to see; clothing, weapons, jewellery, musical instruments, body decorations, piercings, beauty standards and a host of other things. All of these were arranged by subject rather than country/culture which I thought was a good idea.

There was so much to see, and I was especially fascinated by these NOH masks. I had never heard of them and I found them quite interesting (and somewhat amusing).

 

 

Learn more about NOH Masks here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PARIS IS BURNING!

What do I love more than learning about a time that existed before I did, the olden golden days if you please? What do I love more than entering people’s lives for an hour or so, absorbing all the details; the culture, the atmosphere, the vibe, the passion, the fear?

Cinnamon buns that’s what.

Oh but I love documentaries, books, films, letters; really anything that allows me a glimpse into another life. I particularly like how they expose me to other things. Whenever I watch or read something I jot down interesting names and details that I would like to read up on later. So often I find myself in a twenty tab rabbit hole wondering how I got there.

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Book Club: Half month review

Ever since the advent of the internet and Netflix, my love for books has been put on the back burner. I read voraciously as a child, mainly because I love entering diverse imaginations but also because there was little else to do but read and play with my friends. My love for books did not dissipate overtime, I just became one of those people who list reading as one of their hobbies but cannot remember the last book they read.

I have recently rediscovered my passion for books and have once again become the girl that is always reading. My new job means I have to travel often and so I spend a lot of the time on the train. This gives me ample time to read and boy have I read. So far I have read the following:

PIMP: Story of my life- Iceberg Slim
Girl on the train-Paula Hawkins
Beloved-Toni Morrisions
Ada’s Rules-Alice Randall
Girl in Times Square-Paullina Simmons
Queen of Wishful Thinking-Milly Johnson
Mr. Fox-Helen Oyeyemi
Portrait of Dorian Gray-Oscar Wilde
Mrs. Dalloway- Virgina Woolf
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman-Denis Theriault
Double Yoke-Buchi Emecheta
BridePrice-Buchi Emecheta
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime-Mark Haddon
The Miracle of Grace-Kate Kerrigan
Veronika must die-Paulo Celho

I only ever read physical books because: I would much rather read an actual book; I don’t have a kindle; what even is a kindle;I could not possibly survive the glare of an electronic device long enough to read an entire book. However if I keep buying books I may have no more space to put them. Reading aside, I derive pleasure from buying the books. I get suggestions from everywhere-a tweet about the book, a poster at the train station, a book someone else is reading, another book from an author whose work I am familiar with, and so on. I like to peruse Goodreads for quotes and sometimes a certain name pops up more than once and that sparks my intrigue and off I go to amazon to see what books the person has written. The act of sourcing the books, reading the reviews and then deciding to buy, the wait for the books to arrive and the excitement when I come home to see a package on the floor. Yay.

I buy most of my books on ebay and I try to get good used copies when I can. Sometimes I go through the sellers entire offering to see if anything interesting pops up, then run offer to goodreads to check out the reviews. Goodreads is a great source of literary information-what books to read, what are people saying about these books. I don’t take the reviews as law though-I can’t even if i wanted to as there are always good and bad reviews on each book. There have been a couple of books that had high ratings on goodreads but I did not like them.

Amazon is also is a good place to get books (of course) and occasionally I saunter into Waterstones and leave with something.  I have placed a ban on purchasing new books until I finish all the ones I have now.

I am currently reading my sixteenth book of the year, which is not bad considering I only ever read on my way to and from work.  I have already reviewed one of them here and will do posts sharing bits and pieces from all the books. This was initially supposed to be a summary review of all the books I have read as at half-year but I am easily distracted and it has taken me a week to type up these 300 or so words so I will do a series of posts instead.

I do not not have a goal of how many books I would like to read by year end, I just want to read and discover as many worlds as I can.

See ya on the flip side.

 

Bucket list

I am not one for bucket lists; I never leave my room and have no desire to climb any mountains and jump out of anything. A few years ago I created a ten item bucket list and have so far managed to not achieve anything on the list. Ha!

Yet here I am again, making another list. I’m not sure this is even a bucket list. I just finished reading a book in which one of the characters is diagnosed with Leukemia and is at the brink of death. Did this make me think about my life and how I ought to be getting more out of life? No.

This character made a living will in which she left her millions to her “man-friend”. My overactive imagination fired up and I thought: “If someone who knew me well enough was dying and leaving me all their money, what would they want me to do with the money?” and thus this list was born.

In my dream fantasy life, I am carefree, semi-adventurous, and fabulous; and I already do all the things below:

  1. Leave the house at least two weekends a month.
  2. Travel as often as possible. Go to all the places I want to go; Amsterdam, Morocco, Zanzibar, Cape Town, Brighton, Greece, go everywhere.
  3. Finally learn and perfect my French dammit!
  4. Go to Japan and immerse myself in the culture.
  5. Try something for the first time as often as possible.
  6. Become a certified Yoga pro, or just include yoga in my regular routine
    1. I really want to be toned and bendy and serene
  7. Become an expert knitter
  8. Learn to swim
    1. Get a pink pool floater in the shape of a flamingo and take lots of pictures
  9. Learn to ride a bicycle
  10. Finally get abs
  11. Write.

PS: How do people manage to make-and keep-friends? I have become bored of my own company. One can only go on so many solo outings before one starts to crave another to share the experience with. I can barely make it through a two hour stage play without falling asleep. Three hours into a museum trip and I feel tired and weird (perhaps what I need is a doctor not friends).

One unfortunate thing about life is how fleeting and fickle experiences are. I wish I could have fun and remember the feeling forever. In a way this would be possible if I had shared the experience with another with whom I can reminisce with. All the art and plays pale a bit without friends and family to share it with.

I still like to be alone; when I think of Nirvana I see myself in bed snuggled under a duvet in a cool room with the television on. From the moment I leave the house, I begin the countdown to when I can return to my bed.

I do not like to feel that I am wasting away precious life and there are so many things to experience and I have to leave my room for life to happen. For so long I have been content with going to the movies alone but not anymore, at least not all the time.

 

 

I have decided to marry you.

Sometime ago, I saw a clip of a woman being proposed to at her baby shower. Everyone was awwing and goalsing, but I remember thinking it was a little strange. Here’s a woman who is having a baby with a man and still shrieking in surprise that he would ask her to marry him. So weird. Surely at that point a proposal should not be a surprise or something to be blindsided by.

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Numb to it all

Take me back to the days when terrorist attacks were uncommon or preferably when they did not happen; back to the days of disbelief and oh my goodness woows what’s going on?.
The good old days when I could and would rant for hours about the cowardice and heartlessness of these evil perpetrators. The days when I still bothered to ask why,
Those days when these acts were still foreign to me. Back when I was still shocked and outraged.

A thousand and one hashtags later and the worst has happened- I have become numb.
The cycle is repeated too often and it seems we are acting a rehearsed play.
Attack happens. Activate mourning process: Rant about cowardice and evil; update the staple hashtag-pray for *insert city here*;change profile picture; attack Muslims; Defend muslims; remind people KKK are Christians and so were the Crusaders; complain that people only care about these attacks when it happens in the West and why didn’t we create a hashtag for the attacks in Somalia; say we will not let ISIS win; praise the solidarity; and scene. Forget all about the attack until the next one. Repeat cycle. 

I am tired. My heart is tired of the rigamarole and has retreated into its shell.
I have been tired for a while. I remember the moment the numbness set it. It was yet another attack and I wanted to rant and pour my heart out when I realised there was nothing I could say that I had not said before. The words were utterly meaningless. Rest in Peace lost meaning to me then- and it still doesn’t mean much. Pray for blah, rest in peace to the victims, we will not let blah win, Fuck Isis/Boko Haram/Blah- it all means nothing.

I am impressed that lots of people still display strong emotions and I wonder if they really feel the words they write, or if it just muscle memory/reflexes; the need to contribute something to the mournful outrage and not be left out of the dirge.

We never know when we are living in the good old days-it only dawns on us when things get worse. Rock bottom is a long way to go-you think you’ve reached it then something else happens and you realised we really are in a bottomless pit.

I wish people did not have to die in such a manner. I wish we did not have to live in fear. I wish the news of a bombing made me angrier, sadder-anything but this numbness and resignation, this what is the point of it all?

There is no place to run to.

The Wallace Collection.

I only first heard of the Wallace collection a little while back. I randomly came across pictures of it on the internet and immediately I was struck by how beautiful it looked. So when I got to go into London, there was just one thing on  my mind.

The Wallace Collection is a national museum containing works of art collected by the first four Marquesses of Hertford between 1760 and 1880. The 4th Marquess of Hertford, Richard Seymour-Conway, left it all to his son Richard Wallace, whose widow so bequeathed it to the nation on the condition no part of the collection should ever be removed from it not even as a loan to other exhibitions.  It is open to the public every day, completely free of charge- donations are of course welcome.

The Wallace Collection is just as beautiful as I expected. There is so much to see- armories, furniture, sculptures, miniatures, and my favourite- paintings. I spent almost three hours there and could not fully in take in every thing. I would enter a  new room and think wow there is still so much to see. The lighting is not the best and in some parts I could not take pictures at all, so I had to be content with mental images.

Art aside, the rooms themselves are so gorgeous. My absolute favourite room was the Great Gallery. Oh my. I took picture after picture and could not capture just how beautiful it is. I cannot say for sure what it is about it that took my breath away- the spaciousness, high ceilings, beautiful paintings adorning every inch-but I really liked it.

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The curtains and wallpaper (wall cloth?) are so regal. Each room was art. My camera (plus poor lighting) could not capture the rooms to my satisfaction but I remember walking into each room and just taking in and enjoying the beauty.

 

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The furniture was stunning as well. The mirrors and chandeliers were breathtaking.

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I smile every time I see this painting. The look on her face is precious.

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I was immediately drawn to this picture. The expression on her face is so captivating and sad. Strawberry girls were little “waitresses” who sold strawberries. Little children hawking or working to earn a living makes me sad.

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There were a lot of religious paintings, particularly of The Virgin and Child.

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Mary was truly done. “Not another picture!”

The whole thing was very ethereal and I am happy I went. There are literally thousands of things to see. The Wallace Collection is located at Hertford House Manchester Square Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN England.