Thoughts

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. 🙂

In Loving Memory of My Friend

Some time has passed since you left
Our lives since then have been bereft

Taken from us far too soon
I can still see you, the brightest star, the magical moon

It is shocking and it is sad
A son, a friend, a loving dad

You were one of life’s shining stars
Now I’m the one who worships from afar

The world is a much more lonely place
Without your laughter, without your face

But we’ll live our lives without you here
And I know you’ll always be near
Keeping us together, keeping us strong
With the love you gave us as we go along

One day in time we’ll meet again
On the golden shores we will remain
But until then my friend, good night, sleep tight, Amen!

Peace and Love Always ♥ ♥ ♥

Photographic Memories
Bangkok 2011

Thirty Questions

A found this idea on my friend’s blog. Check out Clare’s Cosmos

Here are just a few facts about me 🙂

What did you want to be when you were a kid? A vet and a soldier in no particular order. I couldn’t be a vet because I hate needles. God knows where the solider idea came from, but glad I didn’t pursue that career option

Which Friends character do you relate to most? Why? Phoebe; she’s creative, impulsive, curious, and open minded

Do you like your name? Why? Yes, because it’s the one I was given. But my mum told me years ago, she wished she’d called me Alex, after my granddad. I would have liked that. She was going to call me Sharon, but her family said “you can’t call her Sharon” (?), so I got Gillian

Are you messy or neat? Both, I’m messy when I work, but I generally like things to be in their place, although it doesn’t bother me if they aren’t

How tall are you? 5 foot 6 ½ inches

How tall were you when you were ten? I can’t remember

What is your guilty pleasure? Wine, but I never feel guilty when I’m drinking it

What are you saving money for now? To pay my credit card off, which is a never ending task (I must stop spending on it!) Then I will be saving to go travelling at the end of 2018

How many Pringles can you eat at once? I always stuff about 4-6 into my mouth

Tea or coffee? Black coffee, one teaspoon of sugar, once a day

Are you an introvert or extrovert? I’m both, it depends on the situation. When I was younger I loved being in the thick of things, but nowadays I like keeping myself to myself. I still have my moments though

What will be your Halloween costume this year? It won’t be anything, I hate fancy dress

Sweet or salty? Generally salty, but I have chocolate once in a blue moon, when I fancy it

Favorite social media? WordPress and Twitter

Who is the last person you kissed? That would be telling!

What is your favorite breakfast? At the moment, corn flakes and banana, but I love a good old English breakfast

When is your birthday? April 28

When did you start your blog? August 2013 and March 2015 (I have two blogs). I started my first blog because I wanted a place to document all the things I have done while travelling. The second is my photography blog, because I love taking photos and want to share them with everyone

What is your opinion on the Kardashians? I’m not interested in them

How would you describe your style? I would say I’m fairly stylish, but I don’t really follow fashion trends, if I do it’s a year or two after it’s been in fashion. I used to be a jeans and top kind of girl, but now I have extended my look to wear other clothes, like skirts and dresses. Overall, I’d say my style is simple, I know what I look good in and what I don’t

What color is your hair? Black

What color socks are you wearing? I hardly ever wear socks, it’s too hot where I live, but I love wearing furry socks when I go home to the UK in December, they’re so cosy

What is your dream job? Writer

Dogs or cats? Cats, they’re more independent

What makes you weird? I am weird

Celebrity crush? Robbie Williams, always have, always will. Idris Elba, Sean Connery

Opinion on cigarettes? I smoke, but know I shouldn’t for health reasons

Do you want/have any children? No and No

Three favorite boy’s names. Alexander, Leon, Aiden

Three favorite girl’s names. Alex, India, Grace

It’s your turn… copy and paste the questions and post in the comments section. Would love to get to know you a little more 🙂

Parents

Poem about mum and dad
Mum & Dad

Mum and Dad are such fabulous folks
I love them very much
It’s not just me, everyone who knows them, loves them
and says just how much fun

They always are

They love their holidays in the sun
And they live their lives being happy together
They like to play
And on most days
They’re up for a laugh
Keeps them young at heart

I miss them every second of every day
But weekly chats, to see their faces
To hear their news
To laugh with each other
Makes it all okay

Parents are the best
They love you until their dying breath
As a child you get unconditional love
And that love is returned to you
For all the things you do
And for all the things you say
This love is for you
Until the end of days

 

 

Sisters

 

 

 

To have a sister is a wonderful thing
And I feel blessed because I have two
Someone to share laughs with
To share secrets
To support, love and cherish

We’re different people
Have different desires
Our paths in life may diverge
But we’re not far from one another
And respect is always there

I love my sisters
I hope they live their lives to the fullest
To take risks
Do things that make them grow

You’re a mother, a daughter, and a friend
In my eyes you are amazing
Strong women, able to nurture
A role model, a coach, and a leader

Whatever you do
Wherever you go, you’ll always be loved
But take time for you, be happy and be free
My sisters

Indian Ocean

www.talkingthailand.co.uk/indianocean
Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka

Indian Ocean, blue and bright
Beautiful, but hidden might

Spanning the globe from the west
It touches the shores of Asia
And further east

The crashing waves
The calm of the tide
It has many guises
You need to keep it on your side

Indian Ocean you are so majestic
Hiding life, sustaining life
You keep some delights from sight

Mesmerizing

Awe-inspiring

Magnificent

Our Indian Ocean

Author
Gill Morris

Motivational Musings

BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE

If only we had the power of seeing into the future and seeing what our lives would be like. Then we could empower ourselves to be the best from an early age. Whatever you do, whether you’re in the school volleyball team, or you’re striving to climb the ladder in your career, always try to do the best you can. Don’t be afraid of what others might think. Their thoughts are their own business, not yours.

LIFE’S TOO SHORT

Why wait until the kids are grown up or the mortgage is paid off? Life is far too short to wait until…what? The right time? Before you know it, you might not be able to do whatever it is you want to do. Learn a new language. Travel the world. Get a degree. Start a new hobby. If there is something that you long to do, GO FOR IT! Take hold of the reins and just do it!  Don’t Wait!

BE POSITIVE

It’s easy being positive when your life is going well and you’re happy with your lot. Even so, sometimes negative thoughts and feelings come into play.
Being positive is a choice. Even if your life sucks, it’s still your choice to stay positive. Negativity breeds negativity. Don’t surround yourself with negative people, don’t let them bring you down. Concentrate on you! It’s your life and you only get one, so it’s up to you to choose.

CHOOSE HAPPINESS

Choose to be happy. People with a happy disposition won’t be moping around, letting negative thoughts hold them back. Happiness creates power. If you’re happy, you’re much more prepared to face the trials and tribulations that life may throw at you. Happy people can be the scorn of others, so remember people who make snide comments, or bitch about you are only saying these things because it is a reflection of who they are.

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS

When I was younger, I wanted to be a vet, an air hostess, a soldier, work with animals, the list is endless. None of these came to fruition maybe I didn’t dream big enough. In actual fact, in the end, I realised that these careers were not for me. However, one day, I decided that I was going to leave the safety of my comfort zone, travel around part of the world, and get a teaching qualification in Thailand. I dreamed of living there, so I did what I could to get there. And that’s where I am today. I dreamed of writing a book, I accomplished that, and now I’m writing another one. It’s not foolish to have dreams. If you have a dream, maybe a job you want, a place you want to visit, anything at all, do everything you can to accomplish the things you want in life. If it is what you want, and you dream big, success will be yours. Just don’t stop chasing your dreams.

KEEP WORKING HARD AND SUCCESS WILL COME LOOKING FOR YOU

Not my quote, but this speaks for itself. It is amazing how many people think they will be successful without working hard. No-one in this world gets something for nothing. A friend follows this motto in his working life, and his success has come in the form of many honours and awards. Why? Because he works hard every minute of every day. It’s not rocket science and it may be tough, but the effort will be more than worth it.

LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE

Live your own life, don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. The older you get the less time you spend trying to please others, or worrying about what others think of you. Who cares what anyone else thinks? Whatever someone might say about you, or whatever they think about you, it’s none of your business. Keep that in mind. Let them waste energy on being negative. YOU are in charge of your own life, not theirs. YOU can do whatever you want to do in life, so go and LIVE IT!

March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move towards perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life’s path. Khalil Gibran.

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Lao Tzu

 It always seems impossible until it’s done. Nelson Mandela

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. Mark Twain

 

Clouds

www.talkingthailand.co.uk/clouds

Looking out from a plane window the clouds are a sight to see

They look like huge ice formations sticking up from a flat, white landscape

Huge marshmallows, to eat

What if you could jump and bounce around on them? Laughter abound. What joy!

Next, mud-pools, bubbling away

And the tops of many mountains, all towering over the sky

So majestic

So calm

So serene

Clouds are beautiful

Above the layer that covers the land, it seems like a different world

It is the in-between part between earth and space.

Author
Gill Morris