February 9, 2016

Trying to Find Where I Am

Filed under: Music — Tags: — rvchua @ 3:51 pm

How To Be A Tudor

Filed under: Books — Tags: — rvchua @ 4:26 am

25622831Ruth Goodman who is one of the historians and hosts of Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm and Wartime Farm has a new book How To Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life set for release next week. This looks like an interesting read about the ordinary day to day lives of people who lived during Tudor times. I will be on the lookout for this though I still have a mile long book list.

I am reading more nonfiction these days. Also the shows that I have been watching are period pieces: Death Comes to Pemberley (need to download episode 3), Victorian Bakers (four modern bakers attempt to recreate the methods and conditions of a bakery during the Victorian era), Little Dorrit (I got stuck in episode 3), etc.

Ruth also has another book How To A Victorian.

February 4, 2016

Expenses Monthly Analysis (January 2016)

Filed under: Books, Food, Shopping — Tags: — rvchua @ 12:48 am

A new year meant I needed to buy new things to replace the old, broken ones. The highlights are:

  • Transportation (P150) and airport terminal fee (P200) when I came back to Cebu in January 1.
  • January 2 is the best time to go shopping. No crowds, no traffic. Bought a H&M sports bra (P599) which I still haven’t used. Black loafers from Payless (P1,250) which are now my work shoes. Several books (P420) for me and my nieces. A belated Christmas gift (P405) for a godson.
  • Dinner at Zubuchon (P616.34) and milk tea (P100) with a friend.
  • A cake (P375) for Vivien’s 12th birthday.
  • I bought a new iPad mini case (P599) because the last one was falling off its cover. With a new case, I may change my mind of getting a new iPad mini 4. I want to use my current one until I can no longer read anything from it.
  • Other expenses were food related. I went to Bo’s (P165) once for coffee and a blueberry something. I bought a box of Dunkin Donuts munchkins twice! Mostly because I went mad and suddenly craved for it.

Still not eating healthy, need to lessen my food intake.

February 2, 2016

Going Back to Yoga in 2016

Filed under: Yoga — Tags: — rvchua @ 12:57 am

After two months of no yoga, it was good and disappointing to be back. It took the entire class before I finally was able to lower my heels to the mat during downward dog. I lost any arm strength I had, all chaturangas had to be done with my knees down. I was dumping my weight during planks and I couldn’t get my head around side planks. I regretted not doing any yoga (even during weekends) last month when I finally recovered from my illness. Previously the longest time I took a break from yoga was two weeks and it was torture when I came back so I shouldn’t be surprised this time. I need to do as much yoga as possible this month but taking into consideration to having one day in the week wherein I don’t have to wake up early. Until I get my form back, there will be no headstand or wheel or anything fancy. However I still managed to do crow for a brief second.

Yesterday was the official opening of Yoga Yachtclub Mactan. The place isn’t finished yet but the scenery is precious. You do yoga while looking out at the boats and the Mactan channel. The weather was cloudy which for me is always the best weather in the beach. There is no more claustrophobia though the ceilings are lower. I love the wooden floors which was more organic than the ones at Yoga Tree. There is a toilet and shower though it was tricky to get inside, I wonder how it would work out later. The place is tucked away so that you feel you are far away from the hustle and bustle of MEPZ employees going or leaving work. I bought a 5+1 class card (P800), sadly I have no more free classes.

I am going back to my routine of leaving work early, hurrying home after yoga class, buying bread for dinner, airing out my towels, soaking and laundering my workout clothes, and finally preparing the clothes for next day’s class. Time to load up on detergent and finally buy new shirts for class.

During my two-month break I did not experience any lower back pain. But after a single yoga class yesterday, my back hurts. Can someone explain that? My right knee also hurts.

P.S. Why am I buying the 5+1 card? It should be the 3+1 card! The later costs P125/class while the former is P133/class. My brain must have flown off somewhere.

February 1, 2016

Books I Have Read (January 2016)

Filed under: Books — Tags: — rvchua @ 12:15 am

1. Timeless by Gail Carriger – I dawdled before starting this and I finished it in two nights. It was wonderful to be back in the world of The Parasol Protectorate. Since I did not read book 4 Heartless, I didn’t know that Professor Lyall is gay and was a lover of Alexia’s father. Also, Ivy is now an an actress, married and with twins. Alexia and Conall’s child is a metanatural and has been adopted by Lord Akeldama.And a mummy is a dead preternatural? There are other Gail Carriger books but I haven’t come across copies so far.

2. Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard Book 1: The Summer Sword by Rick Riordan – When I saw the movie Percy Jackson I found it too juvenile so I had no inkling to read the book. However when Magnus Chase came out, I heard a few good reviews from several booktubers. I am glad that I picked up this quick, enjoyable and funny book. The book is YA but it doesn’t feel like it though I know the main protagonist is an adolescent. The book mentions about the two Thor movies and Odin, Loki and Thor appears in the book as well. Odin is a PowerPoint obsessed All-Father while Thor uses Mjolnir to get HD reception of his favorite tv shows which include Sherlock and Game of Thrones! If they ever make this into a movie, it would be cool if Tom Hiddleston plays Loki. Magnus goes into a quest with a hajib-wearing ex-Valkyrie, a fashion conscious dwarf and a deaf elf. The book is fast paced and funny (you can do Bikram Yoga to the Death in Valhalla). It has been a while since I read a book whose main character I did not hate. The second book is set for release later this year.

3. The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia by Michael Booth – This was an informative look on how the world looks at Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden versus the reality. There were parts that were funny but I got confused when it started to talk about politics & economics. I am still confused which country is which: Denmark (former conqueror), Iceland (Bjork), Norway (hit the oil jackpot), Finland (Santa Claus & reindeers) and Sweden (Abba). Among the Nordic countries, I think Iceland has the most appeal with its dramatic landscapes (Noah, Interstellar, Game of Thrones, Prometheus, Thor: The Dark World). Also, I think it is time to read up on Scandinavian royalty.

4. Still Life by Louise Penny – I picked this up because Modern Mrs. Darcy keeps mentioning it in her blog. I whizzed through the first half of the book but I got lazy afterwards. I liked it but I was not totally immersed with it. However, I will read the next 2 books before I decide whether to continue with the series or not.

5. A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny – Another okay read from the series. I am going to read the third book still in the hopes that I will eventually love it.

6. The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny – Again another quick read. Thankfully they closed the side story about Gamache’s old case. Also, why do they have wonderful descriptions of food?

January 26, 2016

Because I Miss You Tom

Filed under: Tom Hiddleston — Tags: — rvchua @ 11:14 am

Are you sure you have nothing to lose?


January 25, 2016

The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate

Filed under: Books — Tags: — rvchua @ 11:51 am

72136377907566I read Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate ten years ago. I don’t remember the details but I didn’t like it. I hated the characters who had nothing better to do with their lives. I had to read from Wikipedia the synopsis of the story. There is Linda who immediately falls in love with the first age appropriate male who dances with her. She has nothing else in her mind except romance. She does marry Tony and has a daughter who she has zero interest. She later leaves her husband for a communist Christian Talbot and starts talking about her naive version of communism in public. She later leaves her communist husband when she realizes that he has more in common with someone else. Linda then starts having an affair with a very rich French duke who conveniently saves her when her train ticket to London expires and her money runs out. The duke dies during World War II while Linda dies giving birth to their son. Then there is Polly who marries her lecherous uncle-in-law soon after her maternal aunt dies. The marriage turns sour later and her baby dies soon after giving birth. Her husband Boy hooks up with Cedric the new heir to her parent’s title and fortune. Polly hies off with the elderly Lord Paddington.

These new Penguin covers look delicious (that is Cedric in the second cover), it tempts me slightly to read the books again. However, I would prefer to watch the 2001 Love in a Cold Climate with a young Rosamund Pike as Fanny (the narrator).

1995 Version of Persuasion

Filed under: Film — Tags: — rvchua @ 1:25 am

Persuasion1995coverThe 2007 version of Persuasion is one of the films I watch when I feel sad. My favorite scene is when Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth meet again, he barely acknowledges her. Then we see Anne crying while writing on her diary. However I hate the ending when Anne runs all over Bath looking for Wentworth and that awkward kiss in the street!

I have seen before the earlier 1995 version with Ciaran Hinds and Amanda Root. Last night I watched it again and was able to appreciate it better. This version is less polished and more subdued. Wentworth’s clothes are grimy when they are shooting pheasants. Anne’s clothes are plain and simple but they are better than the odious ones in the 2007 version. I am starting to think the Ciaran Hinds is the better Wentworth though Rupert Penry-Jones looks dashing in his costume. My favorite scene is Wentworth writing the letter while listening to Anne and Captain Harville talk about the constancy of a woman’s love. Wentworth reads out loud off camera, “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.” Oh my!

Interesting to note is that Anne’s sister Mary is played by Sophie Thompson who is the sister of Emma Thompson who starred and wrote the screenplay for 1995’s Sense and Sensibility. Also, Sophie Thompson is married to Richard Lumsden who played Robert Ferrars in the 1995 Sense and Sensibility. Victoria Hamilton who plays Henrietta Musgrove has also appeared as Mrs. Foster in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice and Maria Bertram in the 1999 Mansfield Park.

January 20, 2016

Lucy Worsley’s Empire of the Tsars

Filed under: Television — Tags: , — rvchua @ 1:39 am

I just discovered Lucy Worsley’s new 3-part tv series Empire of the Tsars. Lucy travelled to Russia to learn more about the 300 year reign of the Romanovs. The first episode started with Michael I and focused on Peter the Great’s westernization of Russia from dress to naval power. The second episode was about Catherine the Great’s grab of power from her husband though she was only a German princess who married into the Romanov dynasty, her numerous lovers and expansion of Russia’s colonies. The last episode airs this week and will likely focus on the decline of the tsars.

Lucy has another show A Very British Romance. So far I have only seen the first episode which talks about the popularity of love letters and the first romance novels from Samuel Richardson, Fanny Burney and Jane Austen.

So I have a lot of catching up to do. I really want to buy a book on the Romanovs but the reviews for a new one were disappointing. I would also like to read up on the last kings of France.


January 11, 2016

Downton Abbey Season 1 to 6

Filed under: Television — Tags: — rvchua @ 4:17 am

I haven’t done any reading since the start of the new year because I got enthralled with Downton Abbey. While I was in Iligan, I saw the last couple of episodes of the season 5. When I came back I was able to download season 6, the show’s last season. Previously, I only saw season 2 so I was familiar with the characters. However because the entire show spans almost 15 years, a whole lot must have happened between season 2 and season 6. So I read the episode guide in Wikipedia. After season 6, I watched 6 episodes of season 1 and then 4 episodes of season 3. So I was jumping all around.

Thomas used to be the bad guy but by season 6 I was rooting hard for him. Sybil’s death made me cry. I was surprised to find Violet and Isobel spending a lot of time together. There have been a lot of changes including Edith an owner of a magazine. Some servants have moved on including Molesley as a teacher and Spratt as an agony aunt. I think one of the best things of the show is the friendship between Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore, which has continued to go strong despite the former’s marriage to Mr. Carson. Both of them have become my favorite characters in the show. I also loved when the Dowager Countess gave Robert a new puppy before she left for France.

Tonight I will check if I successfully downloaded season 5. I want to finish that so I can finally start on my reading!


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