Things That Are Making Me Happy This Week

01. Eggs. I have the same breakfast every morning (one egg on a wholemeal English muffin). I usually get eggs from someone I know who has chooks. When the clocks change for daylight saving, her chooks go off the lay and I have to buy at the supermarket. Anyway, her chooks finally started laying again last week and the eggs are HUGE (pictured on left. On the right are the ‘large’ supermarket eggs). Continue reading

Olga by Bernhard Schlink

You know when a book is a three-star read and then suddenly in the last few pages it turns into a four-star? That, with Olga by Bernhard Schlink.

The story is set in Prussia at the turn of the 20th century. It is structured around a woman, Olga, who has been raised by her aloof grandmother. Olga fights against the norms and expectations of the time, obtains an education, and eventually trains to become a teacher. An important part of Olga’s story is her enduring love for Herbert, a local aristocrat. Herbert’s family have plans for him to marry someone of equal social standing, and to take over the family estate. However, Herbert’s love for Olga, and his own obsession with adventure and glory result in a different path for him – exploring foreign countries and periodically returning to Olga. Continue reading

Things That Are Making Me Happy This Week

No posts from me this week other than this – on Wednesday night COVID hit me like a tonne of bricks, and I spent three days in bed, hardly able to move an eyelash. Thankfully feeling vastly better today, and able to reflect on a few things, namely how ace the week started out (see no.1-5). I should emphasise that as I enjoyed no.1-5, I was fully masked (lucky in retrospect, because that is precisely when I was contagious) but my daughter and I were in the vast minority. It was stressful to observe so few people in indoor, public spaces without masks.

01. Staycation with my daughter at the W (picked for the pool). Continue reading

Higher Ground by Anke Stelling

It took me a month to read Anke Stelling’s Higher Ground. A month, not because I wasn’t enjoying Stelling’s writing, but because I was in the depths of a reading rut. So, I didn’t give this book the attention and focus it deserved. And, had I read it in my usual week, I’m quite certain that the key themes – class and creativity – would have made a much stronger impression.

The story focuses on Resi, a writer in her mid-forties, married to Sven, a painter. They live in an apartment building in Berlin, where their lease is controlled by some of Resi’s closest friends. Those same friends live nearby, in a house they have built together with others from their social circle – an experiment in communal living that the group dreamed about in their twenties. Resi and Sven were given the opportunity to buy a share in the communal house, but opted to continue renting, a decision driven by Resi’s childhood, and her sense of place in the group. Continue reading