much to do

Not feeling much like writing this week because of being busy with life. Not overly busy, but just doing things. Here’s a run down:

I’ve been continuing with trying to learn Russian, but now I’ve decided to use two different websites instead of relying on just one. The one I’ve added (Memrise) has the benefit of having recordings of actual people saying the words and phrases, which you’d hope is more accurate and true to real Russian.

If I try to do even just a little bit of learning every day, I’m hoping I can get decent level in a few years or so. I have a book of Russian stories I’d like to be able to read one day, but I know that day is quite far away (unless I really dedicate a significant amount of time to learning).

As for other reading, after realising that I haven’t been sticking to my own advice to someone else about reading a little bit every day, I’ve been trying to make sure I read a bit whenever I can. Sure, it’s not quite back to a daily habit yet, but I think I’m making more progress with War and Peace than I was, say, a month or two ago.

Speaking of War and Peace, I’ve discovered that I’m more engaged with the book in the parts about the relationships between people, and their lives in Russia. On the other hand, my brain seems to tire more quickly from reading about battles and warfare. Only when there is some description of the individual human experience in the war, do I become more captivated. I think perhaps it’s just harder for me to picture the landscapes and battalion manoeuvres and whatnot than to picture a bunch of people sitting around a drawing room or dining table. 

Either way, I’m still enjoying the book overall, and am far enough along that I can start to have delusions of possibly finishing the book by the end of the year. Only thing I want to add is that I read in the introduction or blurb or somewhere that Pierre is the character most like Tolstoy himself. However, I’ve so far found Pierre to be one of the least likeable characters, which I think is confusing my brain because in Anna Karenina, Levin was the most autobiographical character, and he was my favourite.

Writing this post, I’ve really come to realise that I’ve given myself a lot of things to do that require consistent and frequent effort. The next on the list is piano. I’m very aware that I need to practise piano a lot more than I have been if I want to ever get any good at it, and be able to play the kind of music that I want to play. Of course, in this I have no delusions, as I seem to spend more time on learning Russian and reading books, which seem a lot easier.

Perhaps another area that has been a bit neglected is the garden. After all this rain, the plants are flourishing, but so are the weeds. And I think too much rain builds that complacency of “we don’t need to worry about watering the garden today”, and it quietly slips from the daily routine.

But the clouds have dispersed for now, and the sun has come out. It is the start of the week-end, and there is much to do!

raindrop sheep

Driving home from work in sub-pitter-patter rain that barely qualifies as rain, I glanced at my car dashboard. The fuel efficiency bothers me — I can’t get it down any lower. Mostly because of this traffic, not helped by the rain, as pitiful as it is.

I wonder, “why does this bother me so?”

I’m not driving far, I can afford the petrol, I don’t fill up that often anyway.

But it’s the perceived impact — the impact on a world that’s already dying. And yet, looking at all the cars around me, what difference does it really make?

My actions are a drop in the proverbial ocean — a piddly raindrop on the face of the earth. It’s the corporations that must change! It’s the governments that must enforce change!

Still, it’s not an excuse for inaction.

So what if I’m a raindrop?

Following the cars in front of me, I think how we’re all sheep. Raindrop sheep. 

(Sheep raindrops?)

But surely in a herd of sheep, you occasionally get one that breaks away from the group. Don’t you?

merry Monday

Well, as merry as a Monday can be, I suppose.

Today I had this joyful piece playing over and over in my head:

I find it quite merry and jolly, despite how fast and frantic it sounds. It quite matched the tempo of my Monday morning, anyway. One can be busy and in good spirits!

I’m quite chuffed that I now get classical music stuck in my head instead of run-of-the-mill pop songs. It’s certainly less irritating.

I’m also chuffed that I recognised this as something composed by Mozart. I guess they must play it on the radio quite a bit, but Mozart has composed so much that I thought my chances of hearing any singular piece enough times to recognise it as Mozart was quite slim.

Anyway, I think this Rondo Alla Turca has probably been used in TV and movies and whatnot, so maybe it might sound at least vaguely familiar to a lot of people, even if you aren’t a regular classical music fan.