Lo and behold, August is already over! I know I haven’t been blogging for a long time – I just didn’t feel like it, I suppose. To make up for the lost time, here are some items that I thoroughly enjoyed in the month of August 2015.
- FutureLearn course: Literature of the English Country House, hosted by University of Sheffield
I got to look at different types of literary texts (Shakespeare plays, More’s Utopia, a poem by Ben Johnson, The Spectator, letters from Margaret Cavendish, Austen novels, Radcliffe’s Udolpho, a play and a short story by Oscar Wilde, and so on. They were fun! But the historical, cultural and economical contexts this course provided – now those were true gems. We of course focused on the English country houses and what they represent – politeness, or polite society – and how that changes through passage of time. I have the feeling I have come to understand the historical English society a little bit better, and that in turn will help me understand their literature better. I’m in love *sigh*
- Recipe: There are actually three recipes that I really liked this month but since I already knew two of them, I’m going to focus on the last one. It’s a recipe for rice and kale – but unfortunately, I couldn’t find kale in this time of the year, so I had to leave that one out. But even then, I was pleasantly surprised at how rice + chopped & fried garlic + bunching onion + soy sauce turned out to be. Because you fry the garlic and the bunching onion in olive oil first, the not-always-pleasant taste of them gets diluted and only the delicious aroma remains. Also, I’m constantly surprising myself every time I actually manage to cook a real meal from scratch just by following a recipe. Yay me!
- Album: It wasn’t the first time I listened to it, but: the “Begin Again” soundtracks are just great songs to listen to as I cook or clean the house or when I’m in the mood for something uplifting. The six songs I listened to again and again: “Lost Star” (Adam Levine version), “No One Else Like You”, “A Higher Place”, “Like A Fool”, “Coming Up Roses” and “Tell Me If You Wanna Go Home”.
- Song: One particular song from Owl City grabbed my fancy this month: “Dear Vienna” from the album ‘Maybe I’m Dreaming’.
- Movie/TV series: Hands down BBC’s Pride and Prejudice (1995)! (Sorry, Lu :P) I have a very fond memory of an afternoon with a pot of tea and my cross-stitching project on my lap. Coincidentally, I first watched the TV series six years ago (almost to the dot) and it induced me to read the original for the first time – my interest in (then limited to) English literature was awakened. And imagine, now I am thisclose to start studying English Literature at university! It’s a dream come true <3
- Tea: After the intense (and for me highly annoying) heat wave that had plagued parts of Europe for more than a week was over, I was able to enjoy my morning tea again. I found myself gravitating towards the English Breakfast Tea from Taylors of Harrogate (with milk, of course). Ah, I do have some fond memories of this particular brand of tea! It took me a year to finish the tea but finish it I did (almost).
- App: The most awesome app ever: DuoLingo! You can visit their website and start learning foreign languages there, too. And/Or you can download their app. If you are an English-speaker, they offer you free courses in Spanish, French, Irish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Turkish, Norwegian, Ukrainian, Esperanto, and they are developing even more courses!! I’m currently taking French (to prepare myself for the entrance exam), Dutch (working ahead a bit for my minor) and Irish (because, duh!!). Let’s learn languages together! My username is Eugine5 (there are four other Eugines already there…).
- Book: This post wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning a book, of course. I have to say, there wasn’t a book that really stood out to me but if I had to choose my favorite, I’d say A Little History of Literature by John Sutherland. But more on that in my August wrap-up(s)!
How was your August?