Books

My Two Perfect Days

I’ve been thinking about what my perfect day would look like and I actually have two kinds; one where I stay home and one where I go out and about.

The One Where I Stay at Home

My perfect day starts early in the morning, usually on my day off, once I’ve dragged myself out of bed. I love to exercise and whether that’s a session in the gym, which is what I did this morning, swimming a few lengths of the pool, or running round the park or reservoir, I feel energised, most of the time 😉 and ready to indulge in my day.

Things to Do in Bangkok
Running at Nong Bon Reservoir, Bangkok

The next part of my perfect day is to have breakfast of cereal and coffee, while I catch up on emails and blogs that I follow and once that’s done, I sit done to write. Whether that’s for this blog or working on my book or writing up a course for work, I write, something. I love writing, and if I don’t do it, I feel kind of guilty, especially on my day off.

Things to Do in Freetime in Bangkok
Writing and Writing (not always with wine!)

When I’ve finished writing, I’ll potter around my apartment, making lunch, or deciding what to do next and I’ll listen to music. I try to listen to music every day and since I have iTunes on shuffle I am getting to hear songs by different artists, some of which I love but have forgotten about, like Pink Floyd, Simple Minds, and Prince. It’s a great pick-me-up and sometimes I’ll sing and dance along. I am a terrible singer, but it makes me happy. 😉 This is one tune I loved in the past, but had totally forgotten about it until recently..

I usually have more than one book on the go at any one time and there’s nothing I love more than to kick-back and read. I spend just an hour or two relaxing on the sofa reading my favourite books. At the moment, I’m reading River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh. He’s a really fabulous writer and I have a few of his books in my collection. I’m also dipping in and out of a few travel books, and Jaya, a retelling of Indian’s greatest epic; The Mahabharata.

Things to Do in Freetime in Bangkok
Perfect days reading

My perfect day ends with an evening out with a friend for dinner or drinks. I usually go to my friend’s house, here in Bangkok, for cocktails, or we’ll venture out to any of our favourite places to hang out. We always have loads of fun together and it’s great to spend time with my little partner in crime! There are a few more people back home that would fit this bill, and whenever I go home for holidays, I get to have perfect evenings with them too.

The One Where I Go Out and About

My perfect day out and about happened just last week. I started the day much the same, exercise, breakfast and catching up with emails and blogs, but then I left to go to an art exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, a huge building full of art exhibits and one I go to regularly. The exhibition was called ” Opera Omnia” and it displayed 40 masterpieces by Caravaggio, only they were HD reproductions of the incredibly detailed originals, which are currently housed in museums across the globe. Having just been to Italy, I wasn’t going to miss out on this. It’s a fabulous place to wander around and it’s one of my favourite places to spend time.

Art fix satisfied, my perfect day continued with a spot of lunch at a restaurant I was introduced to a few weeks ago by a friend. I had two favourite lunch places, both of which have since been closed to make way for new hotels and condos. I prefer going out during the day and I was struggling to find a place that opened all day, and one that had a 6-hour happy hour! Most places don’t open til 5 pm and they’re a little expensive to go to all the time, so I was thrilled when I found Monsoon. I’ve only been a couple of times so far, but it’s my new place to go for my perfect days out.

Things to Do in Freetime in Bangkok
Perfect days out

After lunch, I headed to Emquartier, one of Bangkok’s glitzy malls. As a rule, I hate these places, too many people and overpriced shops that you find anywhere in the world, but I by-passed all that and browsed around Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore that I like to go to for travel books. I love browsing around bookstores and, usually, I go to a much smaller one that has 4 floors with shelves and shelves full of second-hand books, but I wanted to buy The Rough Guide to Spain and I like those all shiny, new and up to date. I found what I was looking for, plus I made two extra purchases, a beginners guide to Spanish and a book about the history of art. Perfect!

Things to Do in Freetime in Bangkok
Kinokuniya, Bangkok

I arrived home and spent the rest of my day, watching TV, with a glass of red, or two, and chilled out before work the following day. A perfect end to a perfect day!

What’s your idea of a perfect day? 🙂

The Book Lover’s Tag

The Book Lover's Tag
The Falcon of Siam by Axel Aylwen
The Book Lover's Tag
The Kipling Reader: Selections from the Books of Rudyard Kipling

Every week, on a Thursday, I receive my much awaited blog posts from my friends who live all over the world. The topics they write about are so varied and interesting, it means I get to learn new things all the time. Once such blog was by Sarah from secretartexpedition.wordpress.com who is a talented artist and lover of art, nature, literature and a lot more. Her post was called The Book Lover’s Tag and she had been nominated by another blogger to answer questions about a favourite pastime of hers-reading. Just like Sarah, I love reading, so I thought it would be fun to consider myself tagged and answer the same questions.

Here goes:

Do you have a specific place for reading?

I normally settle myself on the sofa and read a chapter or two at a time. The other place I read is in bed at the end of the day.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I used to mark the page by folding the corner in the book but I don’t like to do that, so I have a bookmark that I bought in Goa, it’s simply handmade with a piece of card and colourful string wrapped around it and a longer piece that sticks out the book so I can easily retrieve my place.

Do you eat or drink whilst reading?

I do sometimes but I find eating is distracting because I can’t eat and read at the same time, especially when I’m lying on the sofa. I can just about have a swig of whatever I’m drinking and continue to read.

Music or TV whilst reading?

I can’t read and listen to music or watch TV at the same time. I find it too distracting and can’t concentrate on the words.

One book at a time or several?

In the past, I used to only read one book at a time but now I read more than one. I am currently reading two. One is a paperback and the other is on Kindle.

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

I love to read at home and I make time in my day to do that but I also love reading outside in the sun. I go swimming a few times a week and I always take my book with me, so I can read by the pool afterwards. I also like reading on the beach, although I find lying on the beach and reading rather uncomfortable, so a lounger under a tree is more preferable. Whenever I go out and about in my city, I usually end up in a bar having lunch with a couple of glasses of wine, so I like to sit and read there.

Read out loud or silently?

Silently, although if I read something I don’t understand I like to read aloud and slowly, it helps me to process the meaning in my head.

Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I never skip pages, unless it’s a study book or technical book and I don’t need to read everything. I have been known to read ahead but I soon realise I don’t want to know what’s going to happen, so I quickly get back to the point I’m at. I do this when I’m watching TV, read a spoiler and then kick myself that I now know what’s going to happen.

Break the spine or keep it like new.

I love the feel and smell of new books, so I like to try and keep them in that condition. I buy a lot of my books second hand and they can be a little tattered but it doesn’t stop me buying them. So, I’d say that I don’t go as far as breaking the spine but I don’t mind if they get a little wrinkled.

Do you write in books?

I used to write in my study books all the time and all over the place but I don’t with reading books.

What books are you reading now?

The Falcon of Siam by Axel Aylwen.  I am engrossed with this book, it’s such a fascinating tale about a Greek adventurer, working for the British East India Company, who finds his way onto the shores of 17th century Thailand and makes a name for himself working for the Ministry of Trade. It’s a fabulous read which incorporates historical fiction and great storytelling from the author. I can’t put it down.

The Kipling Reader by Rudyard Kipling. Wonderful tales like Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the tale of a brave mongoose and William the Conqueror, a love story of a girl, called William, during the British effort to provide relief to starving natives in famine-stricken Madras. There are a few more tales from this master story writer but I’ve only read the first three so far.

What is your childhood favourite book?

I enjoyed Enid Blyton’s Famous Five stories but my favourite was Ruby Ferguson’s Jill Series. Jill’s Gymkhana, A Stable for Jill etc. There were nine books in the series and I read every one. I was obsessed with horses back then, I still am. Most of the books I read, when I was younger, had horses in them.

What is your all-time favourite book?

This is a hard question to answer because there have been many favourite books of mine and I don’t have an all-time favourite but some of the books I have absolutely loved, in no particular order are:

The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
The Hobbit by J. R.R Tolkien
The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell

Thank you Sarah for your wonderful post, I loved reading about what books you enjoy 🙂 xx

If you enjoyed this post, I would like to extend the invitation to get involved with the Book Lover’s Tag, I’d love to hear about your reading habits. 🙂