Illness and ‘Home Blend’

Drat! I have been taken ill quite recently and have taken my third day off this week! I went back in yesterday and you forget how much work you have to catch up with after missing one day, let alone two (and now three!)!

I woke up at 6.45am this morning again, after having a night of restlessness and breaking out in sweats, and I realised that there is absolutely no point forcing yourself if you’re really ill – so I’m officially off for the day. However I did force myself to wake up at 9am just to make sure I don’t get out of the routine of waking up early. I just dread how much other work I’m going to have to catch up on! I will probably go in tomorrow on the beloved weekend to do so.

So I have to say that today has been quite nice – I have read some more of ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ by John Kennedy Toole, as well as receiving a gift for all of us in the flat. This gift is a ceramic jar of Starbucks coffee grounds: ‘Medium/Moyenne, House Blend/Mélange Maison‘ as Starbucks put it. I have an unhealthy relationship with coffee. I know I do when I buy or receive a new brand of coffee grounds and smell them. Yes, that’s right. And now I don’t even think it’s for enjoying the smell, but for discerning whether it’s nice coffee or not! Trust me to be so ridiculous!

Now, what will I be doing today. Resting, reading, drawing, working, sleeping, drinking coffee, eating. Seems about the usual then. What really makes me sad however is that my cello isn’t in the flat so I can only play piano today! I wish I was as good at piano as cello, or even just a bit better. However today presents an opportunity for practising piano until my fingers bleed (instant reminder of Lex Luthor in ‘Smallville’). It’s just a shame that I live in a flat with people, because if I lived, say, in a field in the middle of nowhere, with no one, I could practise to death all night.

In the meanwhile, I will leave you with a piece of music that will cheer you up because it sounds so utterly ridiculous – a very fun piece indeed! It’s by French composer Darius Milhaud, and it’s called ‘Le boeuf sur le toit‘. I hope you find it entertaining!

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Daily Prompt: Fast Forward

E-bookIf you could fast forward to a specific date in the future, when would it be?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us FORWARD.

 Today I’m taking a very literature-related approach to the Daily Prompt. I am a big fan of paper books. I have never read through an e-book in my life, and I never plan to buy any. There is a whole experience to be had when you read books. As for me, I had just started reading ‘Neuromancer’ by William Gibson, the story on which ‘The Matrix’ was based on, but I had to put it away because I found it too dense a read for what I wanted. That’s an experience too, and not all experiences with books have to be positive ones.

However, sometimes negative experiences can lead into more positive ones. For instance, after I put down ‘Neuromancer’ I picked up ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ by John Kennedy Toole which, for the record, is a laugh-out-loud, down right hilarious book which, on several occasions even just in the first twenty pages I laughed out aloud!

I think that e-books lack half of the experience. Half of the experience is buying or picking up a book for the first time, smelling it, enjoying the size of it, the colour of it, the font, the thickness of it – these all make up part of the grand experience of reading a book. However some people I’ve talked to are convinced that e-books will take over at some point, on the basis that they are convenient, easy to carry around and easy to buy. But what I think would be interesting is what effect this would have on people.

If I could fast forward to a specific time I would fast forward to the time when (if it so happens to exist) when e-books “take over”, because I would primarily like to see what people get out of an e-book compared to a paper book. Reading books is a learning process, and there is so much to learn! But I wonder if the general experience, or lack of, has an effect on what we learn from a book.

Here are my thoughts. I remember as a kid I would go up to my bookshelf every night and pick up the oversized ‘Encyclopaedia of the History of the World’ and lay it on my pillow to read through. Even at a young age when I could only look at the pictures, these images and words that carried within a fountain of knowledge would helped me tremendously when I started school (notably on the history side of things!). Now would the same thing have happened if I had been reading it in e-book form? I don’t think so.  Reading off a screen at night, firstly, does not help you get to sleep – your brain is buzzing around with excitement from the bright lights! If I had been reading from, say, a Kindle at that age, I would have been far more tired which would result in lack of concentration, etc.

Even though these are just small things, cumulatively they make a pile of problems. I don’t think you can enjoy e-books nearly as much as a real paper book – I think there could be a whole fountain of knowledge going to waste, and I certain don’t think, even if I saw the future with my own eyes, that e-books are the way forward.