This week started pretty badly for me – I received my first assignment back at the beginning of the week and not quite achieving the sort of grade I was hoping for just added to the increasing stress of various deadlines and exams looming ever closer. I’ve still been attempting to take regular breaks, but running was put on hold which is such a contrast to last week when I ran almost every day! Occasionally it can be a little overwhelming, but at the moment I’m muddling through, and all the reading helps. I’ve had a pretty great weekend though – I went to the Peak District on a mini adventure yesterday with two of my friends from uni and we went for a long walk in the snow! But now for some notes on what I’ve been reading (/listening to) this week:
1 – I’ll start this post with the podcast I was listening to whilst walking to campus Thursday morning. ‘What Matters in the End’ is a podcast from On Being with Krista Tippet (26/10/17), featuring Atul Gawande. I guess it was pretty appropriate for the week I’ve been having, and it did help a little when I was considering the fact that “being alive is a fatal condition” (Krista Tippet), and that I have the power to chose what I do with my life – and therefore the power to chose to be less stressed by my deadlines and upcoming exams.
2 – I stumbled upon an article earlier this week on the National Geographic website; published in October 2013 and written for the 125th anniversary of The Photography Issue. The Power of Photography written by Robert Draper starts thirty-four years before the birth of the magazine and travels through to present day where photography is describes as “a global cacophony of free-frames” and discusses the nobility of the photographers in contrast to the assumed glamour of their lifestyle – “a great photographer can explode the totality of our world”. And ultimately finishes with the question “In a world seemingly benumbed by a daily avalanche of images, could those eyes still cut through the clutter and tell us something urgent about ourselves and about the imperiled beauty of the world we inhabit?”.
3 – My friend from back home came to stay with me last weekend. We had a great weekend chilling out at home; walking in the Peak District; having a picnic in the dark in the car; and going out to a gin bar that I had walked passed earlier in the week. On the Friday evening he handed me a tissue paper wrapped parcel – how exciting! I promptly opened the package and immediately fell in love with the beautiful publication inside. DRIFT is a biannual print only magazine devoted to coffee, with each new volume centred around the coffee culture of a different city. Volume 5 delves into Melbourne “one of the best places in the world to drink coffee right now” (Adam Goldberg, Editor in Chief). Honestly I read the full copy from front to back by the end of Tuesday, it was just so good; I cannot wait for Volume 6: Mexico City to be released! I don’t think I could pick just one article as my favourite, the quality of all the pieces printed is so high, and the photography is absolutely stunning. A few of the ones I have read again and again over the week have included Brekkie by Anita Surewicz (Photographs by Adam Goldberg); Everything on Toast, Q&A with Ben Shewry of Attica by Adam Goldberg and Daniela Velasco (the interviews are beautiful); and Starting Out and Breaking In by Leigh Mellington (Photographs by Daniela Velasco).
5 – Finally, I’ll tell you a little bit about the novel I’m reading at the moment. Written by Thomas Keneally, Schindler’s Ark is a wonderful book, published as a novel but woven as a beautiful biography documenting Oskar Schindler as the man who risked his life to protect Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland whilst remaining a profiteering womaniser throughout. I am allowing myself two chapters a night when I get into bed – I have too much work to do to allow myself much more – but I am thoroughly enjoying this time when I can light my candle and snuggle up under the covers with such a gripping, and historically accurate, read.
Oh, and we made a mini snowman whilst we were walking…