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resolutions for 2011 - almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea
if I had to explain, you wouldn't understand
resolutions for 2011
Evening all. I trust you're all well?

I've been pondering some resolutions for the year, and have come up with this lot.

1. Read more 'classic' books
At some point this year I fully intend to acquire a Kindle. And Amazon have a goodly selection of classic literature available at either stupidly low prices, or free. I like free. Partially inspired by watching and enjoying the Just William programmes on over christmas. Plus I now have more time to read on my commute.

Suggestions for other books I might enjoy? I hear that Mr Dickens is widely regarded as a talented sort of fellow?

2. Take more photographs
I also fully intend in the very near future to avail myself of a new camera bag - followers on Twitter will no doubt be bored to tears by my musings on the subject. For those keeping score, it's currently between the Lowepro Pro Runner 300 and the Flipside 300. One has the advantage of also being able to store such things as a book. See #1.

3. Listen to more classical music
I like classical music, I really do. But all the numbers and concertos and D-Minors get confusing. So, I fully intend to listen to and find out about more classical music. An opera a month for 2011 should do it. I quite like opera - currently got The Barber of Seville on my ipod, which I can't listen to without thinking of that Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd cartoon, The Rabbit of Seville.

4. Write more
Yes, yes, heard it all before. However, this year I fully plan to plan out and write a *complete* Monty/Molly story. It might be a short story, but it will be more than a short snippet. Hijinks *will* ensue, I can assure you.

Oh, and I also intend to keep track of books read/films watched in 2011. I did try in 2010, honest guv.

Um. Can't think of any more. Other than the usual 'lose some weight' and 'go running' which one traditionally fills these lists with.
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miss_next From: miss_next Date: January 3rd, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC) (linky)
Mr Dickens was indeed a talented fellow, though if you can't stand doom and gloom you may want to steer clear of Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities, and if you can't stand unnecessary syrup you may want to avoid The Old Curiosity Shop. He was normally very good at drawing characters, but I find Little Nell irksomely unreal. On the whole, though, I love his books; my favourite is probably Martin Chuzzlewit. Also, I suppose you've read all of Jane Austen's? If not, the acquisition of a Kindle seems to me like a very good reason to do so.

Then there's always Tom Jones, which is a bit silly in places but still a thundering good read overall; pretty much anything by Anthony Trollope (and he wrote a lot, so he'll keep you going); several Russians - I like Dostoevsky quite a lot, and it's also worth looking out for a good translation of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin (no, Wilfred, that is not pronounced "one gin", tempting as it may be); The Moonstone and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins; and a whole slew of interesting Victorian women novelists, led by Mrs Gaskell - if you read nothing else by any of them, do get hold of North and South, which is beautifully constructed.

As for the classical music, I can give you a few pointers in the area of baroque and so can Mole, but outside that period I strongly recommend Rachmaninov, Dvorak (needs accents, but I've just realised I haven't yet put a shortcut to the character map on the desktop and it's getting late, so apologies) and Smetana. They're all very distinctive and recognisable, and they wrote some wonderful melodies. Also, rather than plunging straight into opera, you might prefer to try a bit of operetta first, which is frothy and fun. My personal favourites are Die Fledermaus and The Merry Widow, but there's also Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld (which you may well find under its French title), which is a hoot despite the subject matter (and has at least one melody in it that I guarantee you'll recognise and go "oh, so that's where it comes from!").

Have fun. :-)
dakegra From: dakegra Date: January 3rd, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC) (linky)
I have a dead-tree copy of Great Expectations somewhere, which I distinctly recall starting, but have no recollection of finishing. Hmmm.

Thanks for the recommendations - I absolutely love Pushkin. Favourite author when we were studying Russian literature at school. Him and Gogol. Never could get on with Chekov though.
hellziggy From: hellziggy Date: January 4th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC) (linky)
When you settle on a bag for sure let me know which one. Since I work at a camera store I may be able to save you money even factoring in int'l shipping.
dakegra From: dakegra Date: January 4th, 2011 10:10 am (UTC) (linky)
Cool, thanks! One of my flickr/twitter buddies sent me a 20% off coupon code for one of the big camera retailers here, so it'll probably end up just as cheap to get it here. That, plus I'm super-impatient when it comes to such things and want it now. If not sooner. :-)
caitirin From: caitirin Date: January 7th, 2011 03:29 pm (UTC) (linky)
*laughs* I can't stand Dickens, but GO FOR IT!! Elaby might be able to give better advice on that front.

Also YAY for writing. I've got a writing goal that I'm toying about with...
dakegra From: dakegra Date: January 7th, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC) (linky)
such classics have the added advantage of FREE. I like free. :-)

welcome back, btw. We missed you guys.
veronikos From: veronikos Date: January 14th, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC) (linky)


The Aeneid.
The Odyssey.
The Metamorphoses.
The Iliad.

If you don't read Greek or Latin, Allen Mandelbaum translated the first three of those into lovely poetic English. Sadly, he hasn't done the Iliad. But there is Stanley Lombardo, and W.H.D. Rouse (I would avoid Lattimore, Fagles, Fitzgerald).

I am a huge opera fan, too. A great one: La Cenerentola (Cinderella) by Rossini.
dakegra From: dakegra Date: January 14th, 2011 02:39 pm (UTC) (linky)

Re: Books

Thanks for that - I've read parts of The Odyssey, but it was many years ago and I'd love to re-read it.

I'll look out for La Cenerentola too. :-)
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