Monday, June 28, 2010

Adjacent to a busy one-lane highway, lies a circle of tranquility that I call home. In this circle are 20 houses unevenly spread, with tall, lush greenery to complement wild flowers and well-groomed yards of homes well-kept.

The thought of car wheels turning on their axle into the driveway, while crushing acorns and twigs from nearby maple and oak trees above, give-way to a lane lined with flowers that smell of Woodland Hearth. The home that makes all anxiety transpire, and dreams seem attainable, no matter how large.

After ascending the stairs to my loft, I am greeted with a familiar musk. The scent that reflects each season by taking on its attributes. Summer, a humid stale air, spring one that smells of flowers and budding greenery, the crisp Fall air, and Winter's refreshing and sometimes shocking coolness. I'm always comforted by the smell of familiarity. The smell gives way to the feeling of serenity that I always look forward to at home.

One of my favourite rooms - the library. In the library is a book that possesses some of my favourite things; islands, ocean, dolphins, California, and dogs. The Island of the Blue Dolphins is an easy read with a strong message - sustainability. It is about a young native girl who lived on an island with her family, a large tribe. Hunters end up killing the men over greed, and the rest of the tribe flees. Her youngest brother misses the boat off the island, so to the girl's dismay, she stays with him for a short time before he is killed by wild dogs. Her quest goes on to a tale of survival, friendships between animals on this island, and a mutual respect for wildlife and the nature surrounding her. Its a simple and beautiful story with strong and common messages, that never grow old.

Happy reading,
Ciar xoxo

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Far from the Madding Crowd

I often wonder what 'pop culture' existed in the years before ours... If gossip was as popular as we know it, without the obvious amounts of facets that it can be distributed by. Did people rely on newspapers for their daily fix of gossip? Of course the internet did not exist, so 'People' and 'Perez' were not an outlet so convenient to frequent... telephones did not exist, magazines were not quite available, and the television was certainly not an object to spend countless hours of wasted time in front of. Therefore, word of mouth and the print press would be what people were left to rely on. If I discount all of the aforementioned media tools, I am left to believe, that since word of mouth would be less often, peoples' gossip craving would be satiated much sooner than our modern day's minds would.

On that note, I move on to what I believe would be considered our modern day 'easy read'. The classic, "Far from the Madding Crowd" - Thomas Hardy (1874) is a tale of tragedy, love, death, pride and betrayal. The setting is in the English countryside on a sheep farm. Some feminists may argue the tale is quite ahead of its' time, speaking of an independent lady who is both a savy businesswoman/farmer and fiercely independent from men. In the novel Bathsheba makes mistakes that make readers cringe, yet exemplifies emotions that we can all relate to. Submissions of guilt after playing with a man's mind, which leads to the ultimate tragedy of the novel. Gabriel Oak's life speaks to having materialistic wealth, and losing it all with one small mistake. Feeling the true embarrassment proposing to Bathsheba and being rejected, leading to working on Bathsheba's farm after he had given her the first sheep she had ever owned. The irony and full circle theme with Gabriel relates well to the aspect of Karma. The other main characters such as Troy, Boldwood, and Fanny are interesting characters, but do not take the stage in the readers' mind alike Bathsheba and Gabriel.

The novel is centered around life, love and loss. The trials and tribulations of people in the 19th century as well as the things that are held most dear. The novel is beautifully written and and an enjoyable read. The descriptions paint a picture with bright gold pieces of barley stretched across a scenic English landscape with sheep dancing across the fields like mystic clouds in the sky. The words represent beautiful colous on a painters' palette that generate exquisite imagery in the readers' mind. A force to be reckoned with for something that may have been at one point in time, an 'easy read'.

Happy reading,
Ciar xoxo

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Back on the bandwagon

My month-long hiatus from reading has officially been broken. The book to attribute such graces would be none other than D.H. Lawrence's Sons & Lovers. Initially, I felt the book to be dry and true to its age (written in the 1800s). However, about half way through, it began to pick up and I started to understand what gave it its acclaimed status as one of the classics. The novel explores the strong love and bond that a mother and son possess. Such a bond can never be broken or replaced and in this case, almost destroys the son's opportunity to even find love outside his mother. The story is not a fairy tale and does not have a happy ending, although, I did find it refreshing. I think that the reality is, some people may never find 'love'. They may simply just find companionship with someone they may have known for a long time, or someone who they know loves them, but they may not return such favour.

An interesting theme to the novel was the idea of 'having someone'. By that, they mean the idea of having ones' heart. We are all familiar with the difference with lust and love, however, the notion of love vs need is another. My favourite quote which was painfully beautiful went something like this; "She loves me so much that I feel if she could she would put me in her pocket, carry me around, and ultimately smother me." It epitimizes the feeling of knowing how loved you are, but instead of feeling lucky to be so loved, merely feeling overwhelmed and smothered.

All in all, I feel this book was one that definately allows you to appreciate the bond with your parents, however, also the fine line that can ruin future relationships if you can not separate wanting to please your parents by being there and having their approval vs. accepting that others can love you in an obviously different but equally beautiful way.

With that, I'm off to find another novel to dream about.

Until next time,
Ciar xoxo

Monday, May 10, 2010

The First to Bite the Dust

Saturday was the official day that my first close university friend was wed. She looked fantastic and the day turned out to be beautiful. She wore a simple dress with nice beading that suited her style and personality. The idea of wearing an over the top gown, thankfully, was not exercised. The ceremony was short and sweet and seemed perfect length. The reception was a great time. Very low key and missing a few of the typical wedding cliches such as the throwing of the bouquet and a long and embarrassing first dance as a new couple. Sadly, I did miss those. You get used to these cliches and look forward to them! I did enjoy myself immensely though and danced my bum off! Also, danced with the adorable little flower girls for a good portion of the evening.

The wedding inevitably made me think of what my big day will be like and more importantly, how I can't wait to help plan my sister's wedding! I think the biggest thing was the small details that make a wedding and how it can be either sappy or a huge party!! I would like to think that somewhere in between could be just about perfect :)

Until next time,
Ciar xo

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Out with the old and in with the new!

Gone are the days of playing in the sandbox and worrying about when you would get a turn on the swing at recess. Now we are into the era of wedding vows and wee ones. For those of us not quite there yet, but witnessing friends going through that exciting phase of life, it is expensive!! For those who have the good fortune of a lot of friends, the wallet starts to weigh much less and the penny-pinching to accommodate starts to takeover in order to compensate. For every wedding and every shower, hundreds go missing in the bat of an eye. Not that is it not worth it, just a difficult pill to swallow when ends are barely being met!

On that note, I declare the next two months a spending detox in order to compensate for a baby shower, three wedding gifts, and a wedding shower.

Brokey McBroke xo

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I fell off the reading bandwagon for about two weeks and have come to miss it. I decided to try and get back on board with a novel entitled "Atonement". I must admit, this is not the best book to entice someone to read more frequently, rather it is a book that applauded my skimming behaviour when I sense that my eyes are glazing over and I'm about to take a nap. My critique of the novel was it's attention to detail. It is not often that people say that one must pay less attention to detail, but this is that exception. The novel focuses on meaningless details and provokes frequent napping throughout the novel. I believe that the novel itself has an enticing plot and story-line and could be better with a more 'to-the-point' style of writing.

Anyway, short but sweet.

Ciar xo

Monday, April 5, 2010

I have a confession...

I am a self-professed chocoholic. I eat chocolate and sweets with an uncontrollable appetite; an appetite that never satiates. With each bite, I figure that I'll stop after the next and that I will quit the next day. It is truly a never-ending, vicious cycle! So like any desperate individual, I am quitting cold-turkey. As of this very instant, I quit. I quit sweets for a few days to start and hope to take each moment as it comes. I suppose like any addict, you have to stay away, not tempt fate, and keep away from it!

That is my goal. Chocolate goodbye, celery, bring it on!!

Ciar xoxo

P.S. Happy Easter!