Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Happy December Down Time!

Ovidia--every other Tuesday

Warning: hotchpotch ahead!

I'm happily nursing a minor infection, meaning I've been skipping yoga, pilates and the final round of proofs (not due till 15th Dec) with a clear conscience. And I'm really enjoying this down time!

The timing is perfect, since all my 'big' projects for the year are done (apart from those proofs) and I'm enjoying short walks, short swims and just being alive.

And I just got a gift from Ms Manja, my drosera binata--

--it's the first time she's flowered and I hope it doesn't mean she's going dormant!

I've also been catching up on reading, though I've still barely made a dent in my TBR pile.

Most striking: Ken Liu's The Hidden Girl. 

I found it weird and wonderful and surprisingly easy to get into, even with my tired brain. Old Chinese myths, internment of Japanese Americans, choosing the Matrix... I'll need to come back to this. What I found strange was, even though much dealt with the drastic ramifications of continuing on paths we've already started on, it ultimately left me feeling hopeful, simply because bringing these things up and playing with them helps us all survive them.

The other book that struck me most was Melissa Broder's Death Valley:

I was afraid this was going to be a depressing read--the writer protagonist is caring for a chronically ill husband while her father is in the ICU and she's trying to write in a Best Western in the desert the book's named after--and there's her grief and her fear of death--not of the moment of death, but of non-existence, something I totally empathise with. But it was comforting and cathartic, I felt like I'd spent time with an old friend, her offbeat tangents, bathroom humour and poignant observations--how 'love' is sometimes more a verb than an emotion--returned me to my own life feeling reassured that we're all just trying to figure out the best way to live.

And... I treated myself to the new Moriarty audiobook!

I didn't like the premise (Holmes and Moriarty working together? No...) But I got it because: Helen Mirren. And yes, she sounds super and horribly villainous here!

I've been listening to it while my eyes and hands work on other stuff, so I don't know what I think of it yet--

This is the crochet project--I'm almost finished, now working on the first of two sleeves of what's going to be a Christmas present/ next year's office cardigan for the Beloved.

This one, the waffle knit cardigan, is for myself! (cotton yarn, good for wearing in air conditioned rooms over sleeveless tops/ dresses)

I know playing mahjong is supposed to be great for mental and physical dexterity, but I'm hoping that listening to audiobooks while handcrafting will deliver some good too.

And Christmas is coming! The Christmas lights are up--

And the air plants are sharing space with  Christmas ball ornaments!

Happy December everyone, I hope you all get some great refreshing and recharging time!


  1. Glad you’ll be getting to do some reading, Ovidia. I probably won’t as I prepare for the 2024 Emma Djan release. Thanks for these great book recs though!

  2. I love this post, as usual, Ovidia. I have to say, though, I always think I'm going to have downtime through the holidays and somehow, it never happens, so I'm trying to manage my relaxation expectations this year. Hope you don't have to!