Book Review: Heaven Is In Here by Hannah Imogen James

I actually bought this book because I am working on a similar project at the moment. I am working on a book where I combine pictures I have taken with short stories or poems I have written. To be honest I found the pictures in this book a bit mediocre. They seem more like snapshots rather than photographs that capture a moment. Capturing a moment is my thing, as you may gather from the title of my website/blog. I also found that some pictures did not really reflect what is said in the poem. There was a poem about a bicycle for example but the picture showed a flower. Well call me pedantic but I find that annoying.                     The book is fairly big and after a while the same rhyming pattern over and over can get very boring in my opinion and I found myself skipping long poems. Another thing is that not all pages are in portrait and for some you have to turn the book on it’s side. Again, this might be just me being pedantic or OCD, but I prefer them all to be in portaging, for continuity sake. I still find it inspirational that she had this idea and went and had a book published, which gives me hope that maybe one day my book with photographs and poems and short stories will be out there and it will all be in portrait I promise 😉

Ifs and buts

I may have told you in a previous post that in 2014 my best friend died. He was in fact so much more than my friend. He was my safe place, my light house, my family replacement, simply my everything. He supported me to get my degree. My aim to get my degree had always been to be a teacher. I taught German and French and later just German for six years and the year after he died I chucked it all in. Lately I have been thinking a lot about this choice I made in 2015 and I regret it. I was working in a boarding school and it was a lovely place to work. I really loved my colleagues and I even liked teaching games in the afternoon, even though at the time I may have said that I hated it 😉 I used to love the autumn term when we coached hockey and I liked the away games on Saturdays, when the days were drawing in and the autumn air was filled with a slight chill. I am thinking about those days and I have to say I miss them. If my friend hadn’t died I would have never dared to quit teaching. I feel like I let him down. I am longing for a job that will see me through to old age and I keep coming back to teaching. 

And here comes the big BUT. I hated teaching German. My passion has always been English literature, hence my degree choice. My aim had always been to teach English literature, but little did I know at the time about the prejudice I would come up against. I could see that if me, a German person, would apply for a job in a primary school to teach Englsih, that they may say my accent would get in the way. of course you don’t want the kids of a whole village talking with a German accent 😉  I am talking about discussing poetry and sentence structure, or analysing a novel or a piece of writing. Why would my German accent be in the way then? And to be fair I am probably better qualified than the average Englsih teacher because I have an MA in English Literature. I am digressing a bit. If he was still alive I would not have quit teaching! 

Why did I quit my teaching job? Because I was bored with teaching German. I was bored with explaining every lesson that nouns have capital letters. You could say that I could always come back to teaching. That’s correct. BUT I only have experience in teaching Modern languages and secondly I have begun to dislike teenagers a lot. That’s a big draw back. It was different in a boarding school and I wished I had never quit. If only he was still alive, my life would have been so different from what it is now. If only I could have pulled myself together and focused on the positives at the time I would still be at that school and soon be on the hockey pitch again. If only I knew what I am supposed to do next. If only he was here to guide me 💙⭐️

Work/Life

A very good friend of mine used this once to explain how work and life should be seen. I tried to draw a little sketch to make it clearer but I am not very good at drawing 😉 Anyway she said that work and life should be seen as two different bubbles. When you are at work you are in the work bubble and your privat life is in the other bubble. And when you are not working you are in the life bubble and should have time for hobbies, your partner and friends and really enjoy life. Lately my work bubble had gotten so big that it was squashing my life bubble almost into non existence. It got to the point were I did none of the things I enjoy and always worked. I didn’t have time for any of my hobbies, my partner or any of the things that bring life back into some sort of balance. I really enjoy writing and photography and having some time in the week to do either or even both has always been very important to me and made me feel like myself again. When I am constantly working I feel the real me gets lost and I just react and function and that throws me off balance. Due to a medical procedure I had to take today and tomorrow off and this has given me time for a breather and come back to me. Today I had the first real chat with my husband about how I have been in the past few weeks. He said that if I wasn’t working I was sleeping. He said that I haven’t laughed or done anything I enjoyed. He said I have cancelled hair dresser appointments and a pedicure, which I usually enjoyed and that he was getting worried that the Britta he knew was disappearing underneath a mountain of work and business. This chat has brought home to me that we should really work to life and not life to work. I should have realised that after the car crash. Lately all my blog posts have been a bit down. Hopefully that will change in the next few weeks, as I am trying to make room for the things I love ❤️ 

Book Review: The Other Side Of The Story by Marian Keyes

I bought this book because of the blurb on the back. It said something about a writer and a person that works in a publishing house and I thought this would be a great read and sort of say something about the reality about being a writer…Well what can I say…It wasn’t exactly what I thought. I like to read books that have a meaning or make me think or touch me on some sort of emotional level, but this book did neither. I mean this book falls straight into the category of chic lit. It was an easy read and lacked sophistication. It was good as a bedtime read, when I am not able to think much anymore 😉  You may say now that this is to be expected of Marian Keyes. I have never read Abeokuta by her before, but at least now I know what audience she is trying to address with her books.

The books is telling a story from three different perspectives. There is Gemma, an event organiser, who finds herself having to look after her mum when her dad suddenly and unexpectedly leaves her for a much younger model. Then there is JoJo a highflying Literary agent, who has an affair with a married man. And then there is Lily, a new author who has just brought a book out, with the help of JoJo. Lily used to be Gemma’s close friend until she ‘stole’ Gemma’s boyfriend and moved to Onodn with him.

I don’t want to give too much away. If you like Marian Keyes then I guess you will love this book. It wasn’t for me I have to say.