What a strange middle-March we’ve had: not a harsh and cold winter month, but still far from Spring. We’ve had more rain than snow, and the ice on the lakes has long since thawed. But not even the crocuses are blooming yet. It is a waiting time. I am feeding the winter songbirds at the bird feeders: goldfinches, chickadees, sparrows and juncos – and hundreds of starlings are chattering on the bare branches of the trees nearby. I have arranged to get my car’s winter tires swapped out for the all-seasons in a few days, but we are expecting flurries for a week or two yet.
I laid low for most of March. I have not been shopping. I had 16 days with no discretionary spending. My personal spending for the month consisted of one work lunch, some snacks brought in for work, a take-out coffee, a haircut, two postage fees, tickets for skating at the rink, my $15 cell phone bill, my Apple music subscription, and one thing that felt like an indulgence, Uncut magazine’s David Bowie special edition.
I read far-ranging books this month, some mentioned in previous posts:
Sean Yates: It’s All About the Bike by Sean Yates with John Deering. Sean is a personal friend of Rom’s who was a professional cyclist and directeur sportif of Team Sky. I know nothing about that world. I wondered what he’d say about growing up in his hometown, so I read the book, and ended up engrossed in the world of cycling – quite a feat, since I don’t even ride a bike myself. I was impressed!
Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything by Randy Cohen
Chloe Sparrow by Lesley Crewe. A light, not-entirely-believable and somewhat fun novel, weighed down by a lengthy section about depression. I concede that depression does weigh one down, but it was disconcerting in an otherwise comic novel.
The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell
Where Did You Sleep Last Night by Lynn Crosbie. Experimental fiction about an abused teen who goes adventuring with a reincarnation of Kurt Cobain. I put it down many times because I tired of reading about drug use. A difficult but rewarding read.
Thinking in Systems: a Primer by Donella H. Meadows. As you would expect, an introduction to systems analysis.
I rarely watch movies these days, but I watched Big Eyes on DVD and liked it a lot. Now Rom and I are watching (last year’s) Season 5 of Game of Thrones!
I had 4 days off over Easter and it was nice to have a mini-break. I did an extensive house cleaning (which does not happen very often) and I feel another round of decluttering coming on. Meanwhile I have enough Cadbury eggs and jelly beans to last me a couple of weeks!
We are making plans for our upcoming trip to the UK, and will do a couple of day trips from London, rather than our usual Brighton run. Despite what anyone in the UK might say, it will feel more Spring-like to me: the forecast for our travel dates is 9-17C, whereas the prediction is only 1-9C here, and rain is inevitable in both places. I’m counting the days until vacation!
Over all, I felt that March was work-oriented, productive, and thoroughly normal. Not a bad thing!
How was March for you?
Spring is definitely here in the UK- birds are singing, flowers are up and I have been able to dry washing on the line! (The best thing about Spring). The dog and cats have been finding patches of sun to sleep in, a sure sign that winter has gone.
It might reach 17C tomorrow!!
That sounds wonderful!
Proud of your cleaning on the Easter break! Sounds like it’ll be (comparatively) lovely in the UK vs Canada – people thought we were mad going to the US in winter, but where we went was mild enough and I loved the cooler weather.
I’m also impressed your stash of sweets will last weeks – I reckon it’ll be before the end of the week that our mini Cadbury eggs are eaten up but the BF is impressed that I ate them so slowly – that’s what happens when you’re sick over Easter!
Sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling well. I bought a limited amount of candy, but received a lot as gifts! I really don’t house-clean very often other than daily necessities.
I’m really glad you liked the bike book! I’ve found a strange fascination and real enjoyment in reading lots of ‘sports’ related autobiographies. I know nothing about that world and I enjoy enormously getting an insight into the thrills, motivations, obsessions etc. of professional sportspeople.
I feel for you with Season 5 of GoT. I’m here if you need support!!!
My March was extremely overloaded with work; back-to-back 6o hr weeks. Making up for it now on vacation though!
Bring on your vacation!
I can’t recall ever reading a sports bio before! I’m short on time for GoT so will be binge-watching this weekend. Enjoy the rest of your time off!
Don’t do it, Dar! We barely made it through Season 5 in weekly episodes. I’m still not sure I can actually return for Season 6 (release date here is April 24th.) You will need therapy after this weekend!!
In the non-fiction department, I just finished Ken Corbett’s “A Murder Over a Girl” which is about the trial of a 14 year old white male teenager who murdered a black transgender teenager in school (California 2008). Well worth reading (not great writing, but a good analysis – he is a psychoanalyst by trade) for his insights into what is considered acceptable behavior in boys in this society.
Thanks for the recommendation – I will check it out.
Interesting books. Be Good and The a Year of Living Danishly caught my eye.
I am reading mostly nonfiction these days.
March has been fairly bi-polar in Toronto with really gorgeous spring days and then wintry wet snow days. It’s been hectic at work. I’m hoping to get my gear together and stop procrastinating on my tasks at home for April though.
I think I’m going to pick up the Chloe Sparrow book to read. Thanks for the recommendation.
Hi AP, We are still having some wintry days, and some rainy ones, but no sunny spring days yet. I am feeling the urge to go to Toronto but won’t be able to get there until Fall.
You have a (usually non-commenting, but I really enjoy your blog) Danish reader 😉 I haven’t read Russell’s book (yet), so I cannot say if her findings ring true for someone living Danishly on a permanent basis.
Hi! I don’t think I’d like to read a book about someone spending a year in Canada. I’m sure I would think it was full of stereotypes. But realistically, Canadians do have a lot in common with each other. There is a sort of “national character.” Same is said about the Danes. I would be interested to hear your opinion if you do read it!
My comment isn’t regarding this post specifically, but more as a general comment. I’m so glad to have found your blog; I feel like I’ve found a kindred spirit in respect to the tendency to observe, quantify, and evaluate! I’ve always been interested in reading others’ recordings of their day-to-day doings. I think I’ll start going through your archives but will have to ration myself to a set number of postings at a time.
P.S. I can tell you how much I spent on toilet paper in 2011 … haha!
Hi Freckles, Thank you for visiting and commenting. It makes me happy to think there are a few of us in the world who think alike 🙂 Keep up the bean counting. What would life be like without records and lists?!
Thought about you this morning while doing my weekly assessment of progress toward my goals. I wondered if you were doing weekly check-in with your goals now.
I’m making good progress on goals related to cleaning routines and organizing space. Not so good with my fitness goal. I need to step it up. I haven’t finished a book all year. (Must focus.) And – I can’t remember the last movie I watched all the way through. (Nothing sounds interesting to me.) I have been doing a lot of art though. Spending way too much time on YouTube has cut into my reading and movies.
I had a wonderful outing with my 3 sisters. Dinner and a great music show by Vocalosity – an a cappella group like none I’ve ever seen before. Great entertainment. I recommend it if you ever get an opportunity to see them. They’re based in NYC and did a US tour this past winter. We met a few of the performers after the show. Very nice people. We still talk about the show.
Hi Ginger, Glad you are well! I (curiously) didn’t set any goals this year. Nothing seemed urgent. However, I have made myself a set of checklists for getting ready for the work week, and a daily one, and it has really helped to keep me focused. I would have liked that music performance. My concert calendar has been bare for a few months except for recent vacation gigs. Reading lots, though. I tend to get sucked into Facebook rather than YouTube!
I like “year of…” books. Yes, there’d be stereotypes but the idea of people living differently for a year and journaling it and transforming that into a readable book, appeals to me.
Never heard of Big Eyes but have goggled it. And we have it at our local library. Might get it out.
I like them, too, but sometimes it’s a bit too blatant: “I’m going to try something for a year and blog about it and then turn it into a book,” especially if the blog-and-book-writing experience is part of the story! A bit too self-referential.