The February Reading Review

The February Reading Review

I’m a little disappointed in myself that I haven’t read as many books this month as I did in January! However I am still very much on target with the 50 book challenge I started this year.

The books I chose in February seem to carry a mutual theme, that of strong women living inspiring lives and exchanging the socially acceptable in a struggle for empowerment and freedom. I’m not sure whether my choices were deliberate on a subconscious level or just random, but they made a good month’s reading nonetheless.

Read on…

The Quotes of the Week VIII

Sunday 20th

“It’s still very difficult for me to tell my family about my life being a lesbian. They know I am a believer, they know I am religious, but going as far as saying I am a lesbian is quite hard. I remember thinking this is the only time I am going to get married, and my family weren’t there.

That was constantly going through my mind – I am having an Islamic nikah, doing as much as I can through my faith, but my family weren’t there.”

Asra, a lesbian muslim woman who has married her partner Sarah through a ‘nikah’ or traditional Muslim wedding rite, despite the faith’s ongoing majority opposition to same-sex marriage

Read on…

The Star of Eärendil / I Galad Eärendil

The Star of Eärendil / I Galad Eärendil

Morning comes, yet all is dark
Over the plain of the Pellenor Fields
Rohan has emptied its men and its steeds
Noble men riding against evil
And in a dark cave in the Morgul Vale
Eärendil’s star shines into the black

Under the shadow, mist and despair
The flagging hopes of mankind
Under the sun, the battle finished
Let kin asundered be apart no more
For in a dark where all lights go out
Eärendil’s light has come again

Read on…

The Hobbit’s Riddle-book

The Hobbit's Riddle-book

Just a quick post today for all you LOTR Purists out there who want to prove themselves!

I hereby challenge you to the time-honoured contest of riddles; with a twist! I love riddle games, as all with hobbitish tendencies do, and I’ve written a good few that I’d like to share with you. All the answers to my riddles are found in either The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings or The Silmarillion.

Feel free to leave your guesses as comments here and leave your e-mail address if you would like me to mail you the answers! Highlight the text where it says ‘clue’ for a handy hint.

Read on…

The Elf Said What?!?!

The Elf Said What?!?!

Now that there’s a new Lord of the Rings film firmly on the horizon, I thought it was high time to be geeky again!

There are, in my eyes, two different kinds of LOTR geek. First, you have ‘the Purist’, and then you have what’s known as ‘the Ringer’. Ringers (like Trekkies) are fans who love the films and indulge in all-nighter bumper viewings of all the extended versions back-to-back, but perhaps haven’t read the books themselves. Purists are the kind of fan who won’t touch the films with a barge pole, on account of the grave departures in plot or character from the original books. Purists look down on Ringers as lacking some sort of intelligence, and Ringers think that Purists are a bit snobbish, actually.

It’s perhaps a bit ironic that I’m a bit of both. I love the film adaptations of the books, in spite of all their idiosyncrasies and deliberate differences from the original books. I believe both are amazing masterpieces in their own right. Although, it’s true that a very impractical part of me still laments the loss of Tom Bombadil. It also wonders why Elrond, one of the most important Elves in Middle-earth, travelled unaccompanied for thousands of miles just to give Aragorn a sword – when he could’ve avoided the journey completely by handing it over back in Rivendell. As he did in the book.

Read on…

The Annoying Thing About… Gyms

The Annoying Thing About... Gyms

The day someone came in with a ‘sniffle’ and everyone else left with full-blown flu.

A particular type of male which comes in packs and hogs a single weight machine by playing ‘who can lift the most stupidly heavy weight’ with his pals.

People who sweat profusely then refuse to wipe the evidence from the equipment after they’ve used it.

Attendants who seem to spend most of their time hiding, appearing in the actual gym once in a blue moon.

Two words. Hot seats. Euch.

Getting your shoelace trapped in the bike pedal and not noticing until it’s physically impossible to disentangle yourself without taking off your shoe.

Read on…

The Magic Brocade

The Magic Brocade

Think about the ancient civilisations of Asia, and if you’re anything like me, it won’t be long before you begin conjuring up mental pictures of beautiful men and women dressed in fabulously rich and decadent clothing; the iconic Japanese kimono [着物], the elegant Chinese cheongsam or qipao [旗袍] or perhaps even the Korean hanbok [한복]. The fabrics used to make these garments have long been popular trade commodities between the east and west – especially silk, which has been developed in China since around 3500 BC – and intricately decorated, through printing, dyeing, weaving and embroidery.

Silk brocade remains a popular Chinese export even today and its history goes back to at least the third century AD. Often mistaken for tapestry or embroidered fabric, brocade is in fact woven and is traditionally used for clothing, bedspreads, furniture and many other household items. The fabulous patterns and scenes depicted on brocade were often so intricate and beautiful that they appealed to the belief they were real…

Read on…