Wolf Hall – TV series

I finished watching the first two episodes of ‘Wolf Hall’. I was filled with some trepidation when I heard the series was being made, because for the most part, tv and movie adaptations of beloved books never live up to the original text, in my experience. Either the casting is off, too many scenes from the book are left out or the emotions and atmosphere in the book just doesn’t translate on screen. But, as I watched Hilary Mantel’s  ‘Wolf Hall’ and the sequel ‘Bring Up the Bodies’ brought to life on screen, I was quite transfixed.

Mark Rylance makes a terrific Thomas Cromwell. He is restrained and mysterious, but still conveys vulnerability by the way he sits and sorrow or determination with his eyes. Damien Lewis makes a decent Henry VIII but Rylance steals the show, as he should. So far, the characters seem to have been cast well. While the first episode was a tad too slow for me, the second episode picked up the pace and was far more gripping.

I read online that many viewers had complaints about the dim lighting in the scenes where candlelight has been used. I thought it was atmospheric and portrayed the mood of the scene rather well. No complaints from me! I am looking forward to the rest of the series. I am also hoping that the last installment of the trilogy will be out soon: maybe to coincide with the end of the tv series? Fingers crossed!

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Reading

Just finished reading ‘Mukiwa’ by Peter Godwin. I love reading memoirs, especially ones about dysfunctional families. This memoir wasn’t about a dysfunctional family, per say, it was about growing up in erstwhile Rhodesia, in the last days before it became Zimbabwe. It made me smile,
it made me sad and  horrified me at certain points. Peter Godwin, was a journalist, so the writing has a journalistic bend to it and made for an interesting read. I bought the sequel, ‘When the Crocodile Eats the Sun’, but will read something else before I start on it.

The ‘something else’ I plan to read is ‘Sovereign’ by C.J. Sansom. This is the third novel in the Matthew Shardlake series. The historical mystery series, follows the exploits of Mathew Shardlake, a hunchback lawyer, in England during the reign of King Henry VIII ( a period I love reading about). I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series but I am hoping it doesn’t make a difference.

I have also been reading a lot of Paul Theroux. Travel literature is another genre I enjoy reading. I liked ‘ The Great Railway Bazaar’ and loved ‘The Last Train to Zona Verde’, didn’t enjoy ‘ The Kingdom by the Sea’ as much. I still have ‘Riding the Iron Rooster’ and ‘ The Elephanta Suite’ ( this one is fiction and consists of three novellas) sitting on my bookshelf.

I recently bought tons of second hand books from Blossoms in Bangalore and the husband bought me a couple of books for our anniversary. The bookshelves are creaking with the weight of books, but the sight of filled shelves makes me a very happy lady. Knowing I have so many lovely books to read gives me something to look forward to.

One of those days

I’m in a deep funk. I want to lie in bed, under a blanket, and have delicious hot meals brought to me at regular intervals. Instead, I sit on a couch, drinking lemon tea (I had to make for myself!) and write this blog post. I would like to blame this low mood on it being that time of the month. The couple of days when I tear up while watching advertisements, need to be hugged and my body just annoys me. I know that this mood won’t last long, and I know to expect it every month but it still doesn’t make it easy.

Here is to my first period of the year 2015.

Resolutions 2015

I am back and it feels apt to start with a post on my resolutions for 2015. Can I just say, how did it already get to be the year 2015?! I read this post somewhere that we are as far from the year 2030 as we are to the year 2000– it’s a pretty obvious mathematical conclusion, but it still freaked me out.

I know I am a little late when it comes to listing my resolutions for the New Year, but we are still in the month of January, so I think I’m okay.

Here goes:

1. Blog more and regularly. Considering my last post was months ago, this has to be my top resolution for the year. I need to make writing a habit, since freelance work doesn’t come by all the time blogging will also serve as an easy way to keep up with my writing and as an outlet for my angst as well.

2. Be  positive. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am a bit of a ‘negative Nancy’. I always expect the worst to happen, and worrying is second-nature to me. Somewhere I believe that if I expect the worst to happen, then I will always be prepared and more-often-than-not things won’t be as bad as I imagined. I know this is unhealthy and I am putting myself and the people around me under a lot of stress. I need to be calmer and identify and stop myself if I’m getting into one of my pessimistic moods.

3. Be healthy. I am clubbing together the cliche resolutions of working out more and eating well here. Though, I am happy to report that I have been following these two religiously for the past two weeks. I workout for 45-60 minutes a day/ 6 days a week, I am doing this to get fit and strong, more than to lose weight (though I wouldn’t complain if I did lose a ton of weight). Also, most nights I don’t have carbs for dinner. I am eating more vegetables and fruits and cutting back on sugar. It has only been a couple of weeks but I am being positive about these new lifestyle changes (that’s a check for resolution number 2).

4. Be less bitchy and gossipy. I love gossip, I enjoy hearing it, analysing it and invariably sharing it. I know this is very, very wrong. Who know’s what the subject of the gossip is going through or dealing with? I am going to try to be more empathetic and less judgmental. And shall not indulge in negative gossip.

5. Be patient. I have to stop skipping ahead to the end of the book I am reading to see what happens. I have this bad habit of sneaking to the last pages of a book to see who the killer is, or who dies, or if people end up living happily ever after. I need to stop doing that and learn to go with the flow. This might be the hardest resolution to keep!

6. Be more connected to family and friends. I am part of whatsapp groups with most of my close family and friends. But it’s sort of a cop-out. Sending random updates and sharing videos of cute puppies, links to articles and pictures from this-or-that party doesn’t really provide insight into what is happening in said friend or relative’s life. I am going to make more of an effort to call/skype/facetime with my loved ones and have actual conversations with them in the New Year.

7. Be less controlling. I like to control plans, people, situations and I get very emotional if things don’t go exactly the way I would like them to. In the process I never enjoy the moment and I end up being a ball of stress. I will learn to let go. To let people be. And to sit back and be in the moment.

Wish me luck!