Halfway through January

We’re halfway through January. Nothing exciting happened. The days have passed and nothing new happened. Same old, same old.

I could go on like that for a while. I was not expecting anything dramatic to happen, nor for our life to change completely when the new year started. I was and still am fully aware that in order for something to happen, things need to be put in motion. The only way things will be put in motion is if we do something completely different.

We didn’t do anything different. We went around, doing our regular business. It is hard to change a pattern that has been going on for years. The sad reality is that the same pattern will go on for years to come. We might change a few days by doing new and different things, but at the core it will still be the same. 

It sounds depressing.

I would like to attribute this state of mind to Winter. 

It gets depressing this time of the year. It is way to cold. I dislike the fact that I have to wear so many layers of clothing. I dislike the fact we cannot go on road trips because it snowed so much, and the roads are not that good. I dislike having to stay indoors when we could be out and about. 

I am happy for one thing. I already applied for a vacation in March. A full week of freedom from work. I am not sure if they will approve it, but I am entitled to a total of 38 vacation days (because last year we barely got a few days off). All I can do now is to wait and survive work. 

A much needed Bollywood dose

Watching a Bollywood movie takes time. Most of them are at least 2 hours long. Imagine watching 3 Bollywood movies, after being on the night shift.

Yep, that’s what I did. 

I just didn’t want to waste my day sleeping. Weekends are short enough as they are.

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The movie selection process was done completely random. Usually, I would look up one of my favorite actors and see what new releases they might have. This time, I just went with whatever I found available. 

I was not disappointed.

My first choice was “Kidnap” with Sanjay Dutt, Imran Khan and Minissha Lamba. 

Sure enough, it had drama, action, eye candy (for both sexes) and the most important thing, a happy ending for everyone involved. Yep, a true Bollywood movie. Even the bad guy, Kabir Sharma played by Imran Khan) was off the hook for kidnapping Sonia (played by Minissha Lamba). 

The second choice was “I hate luv storys“. 

I think I picked this one because I liked Imran Khan in Kidnap. But, I also liked Sonam Kapoor in Saawariya. With this one the selection process was not so random. I must admit, I was just curious and I like pretty faces.

Usually, when looking for Bollywood romance I always go for old movies. All of them will be compared against “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (my all time favorite). With “I hate luv storys” I had moments where I skipped forward. This usually happens when I just don’t have the patience for certain scenes. 

It was cute, but not cute enough. 

The last one I enjoyed! I really did. I stumbled on it, and I am glad I did. It was “Chalo Dilli“. 

It was cute and funny. It was relaxing and it had a train ride! It deserves more than what it has on IMDb. This lil gem actually made my day much better. I considered my time (almost 8 hours, with breaks included) well spent. 

What struck me, is that all of these movies are old. 

Chalo Dilli was the most recent one. It came out in 2011.

I really need to get my sh*t together. My life is revolved too much around work. It should be the other way around. I should work so I can live, not live to work. That and I really need a new job, something that has nothing to do with Customer Service, Sales or anything related (if possible).

Bloody cold

I am just stating the obvious here: It is bloody cold!

Yes, I am aware it is winter. I am also aware, that we are in January and this is the coldest month of the year. I would not have any problem, if I wouldn’t have to take the dog out or go to work. 

This is the first year that we had to get Pluto doggy footwear. It wasn’t hard to convince Johnny to buy them. It wasn’t a want, but more of an urgent need for the poor dog. Pluto seemed to love them as soon as he was outside and he was able to run around. I was hoping he wouldn’t drag me along anymore, but that hope was soon lost on me.

[videojs_video url=”https://static.pocandpoch.com/uploads/2017/01/VID_137860223_103344_608.mp4″]

Taking Pluto out for short walks is fun, and we do get some exercise in. But, we do have those moments when enough is enough. Those are the moments that we slowly go back home. The moments when something warm is all that we want.

I do love winter, just not at the moment.

Maybe I am a bit grumpy, since I didn’t get enough rest in the last 2 days. All I know is that the bed is the best place to be at the moment. It is warm and comfortable. I also love it when all four of us are cuddling (Marlanu’ and Pluto like spending time with us as well).

Marlanu’ knows best since he seems to be sleeping more. 

A visit to the in-laws might cheer me up. After all, they have the good food and a soup would go perfectly.

2017 Must Read Books

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” – C.S. Lewis
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I don’t like to make plans when books are concerned. I like to have the choice of picking whatever I want, whenever I want.
Yet, there are a few books I keep for those moments when everything in the universe is perfect. Believe it or not, those moments do come, even if once in a blue moon.

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog's Purpose
This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here?

This one is a pretty obvious choice for someone like me. Most likely, I will be reading it in bed with Marlanu’ and Pluto sleeping beside me.

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
A long way home
I’ve been thinking about this day for twenty-five years. Growing up half a world away, with a new name and a new family, wondering whether I would ever see my mother and brothers and sister again. And now here I am, standing at a door near the corner of a run-down building in a poor district of a small, dusty town in central India – the place I grew up – and no-one lives there.

Another book that got itself a movie. I don’t know what to expect from this one. I really hope it isn’t a “feel good” book as Slumdog Millionaire.

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
A passage to India
When Adela Quested and her elderly companion Mrs Moore arrive in the Indian town of Chandrapore, they quickly feel trapped by its insular and prejudiced ‘Anglo-Indian’ community. Determined to escape the parochial English enclave and explore the ‘real India’, they seek the guidance of the charming and mercurial Dr Aziz, a cultivated Indian Muslim.”

I am a big fan of slow paced novels.

A Bride’s Story series by Kaoru Mori
A Brides story
Acclaimed creator Kaoru Mori (Emma, Shirley) brings the nineteenth-century Silk Road to lavish life, chronicling the story of Amir Halgal, a young woman from a nomadic tribe betrothed to a twelve-year-old boy eight years her junior. Coping with cultural differences, blossoming feelings for her new husband, and expectations from both her adoptive and birth families, Amir strives to find her role as she settles into a new life and a new home in a society quick to define that role for her.

This is a manga or a graphic novel (as many like to call them). The author is one of my favorite just for bringing to life the “Emma” series.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Me before you
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident.

What is life without a bit of romance?

Poirot and Me by David Suchet, Geoffrey Wansell
Poirot and Me
Through his television performance in ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot, David Suchet has become inextricably linked with the ‘little Belgian’, a man whom he has grown to love dearly through an intimate relationship lasting more than twenty years.

One of the few books that I own (not as a ebook or audio book).

An Autobiography by Agatha Christie, Robert Herrick
An Autobiography
Fans of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple and readers of John Curran’s fascinating biographies Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks and Murder in the Making will be spellbound by the compelling, authoritative account of one of the world’s most influential and fascinating novelists, told in her own words and inimitable style.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
North and South
When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women
Following the lives of four sisters on a journey out of adolescence, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women explores the difficulties associated with gender roles in a Post-Civil War America.

My reading list is pretty big. I am sure that if I read about 50 books per year, it will take me a lifetime to read at least half of my list.

January 1st, 2017

We finished 2016 with a bang, and started 2017 with a road trip. 

We both got the chance to see our favorite artists on the stage. We enjoyed the fireworks, and had fun last night. It was actually more fun than spending the New Years at home or at a restaurant. 

It was cold! But it was totally worth it. It was less fussy as well. No need to worry about guests and if they are having fun. No need to clean afterwards. No need to dress up for the occasion. For me, that was the best ever.

2017 had a good start. We had our January 1st road trip to our parents (at the country side). Pluto enjoyed himself. There was snow and he had playmates. The food was also good. In fact, in the last week we had only homemade food. I guess we’re starting the New Year with a few extra pounds as well. 

Pluto Snow

I actually had fun and even got the chance to rest. I couldn’t ask for more. 

Dogs in Snow

I hope the good times will keep on rolling this year and that we won’t stress out so much because of work. I hope that we’re going to make lots of happy memories. 2017 has a good start so far. I am very hopeful of what is to come. 

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