Blabbing April 2022

April was busy and slow at the same time, and I can’t believe we’re past one-third of the year already!

I started April at home in Nagykálló preparing for the elections. The weather was terrible (it was snowing on the 3rd!) and I was having a cold anyway. Election day (April 3rd) also happened to be the only day this year, when I haven’t done any yoga and haven’t read a book, since I was on my feet from 3:45am to 2:00am the next morning, having other things to do. I’ve had four days off of work, from Thursday to the next Tuesday, but it wasn’t so much of a rest. I returned to a rather busy period at work too that lasted all of April. Fortunately, we’ve had another long weekend due to Easter, which again I’ve spent with family (after three years!), so that helped a bit.

I read a lot of news (and analysis) after the elections, while still trying to make sense of everything else that’s been going on in the world, and started to figure out what’s next (still don’t have a plan). I made time to read three books in April. The first one was a book club pick and I hated it. Not like it was bad writing, it isn’t, but I hated the main character who’s the narrator, and I hated the story. I don’t remember if I’ve ever felt this way about a book. In bibliotherapy it’s thought that whenever you feel this strong about something you read, there is a reason there and you have to dig deeper and work with it. I haven’t found (didn’t even look for) mine yet, but (or because!) I was so eager to get over with this book just to get out of its atmosphere. The second one was a collection of anecdotes from Hungarian diplomats. It was on my shelf for so long that a part two came out in the meantime. I loved the first one, full of interesting, many times funny stories about the lives of diplomatic missions and the importance of knowing the culture of the country one serves in. My only complaint was that these gentlemen, the authors started (or were in the heights of) their careers in the socialist era, so many of the stories were from a very different age, and the rest weren’t very fresh either. I hope the second book will put that in balance a bit. My third read was Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy from John le Carré, which was on my list for a long time, and was recommended many times, but I have never read it (or anything else from its author). At first I thought I wouldn’t like this story, there were so many characters, when I only had time to read a few pages each night, it annoyed me to try to keep track of which one is which. Then at one point it just gets so exciting you must turn page after page to find out what happened. I really should read more spy novels! Also, it’s another book set in London, and the hotel Smiley stays in near Paddington is on Sussex Gardens, where our hotel was on my last trip to London. I now want to watch the movie too, just for the London of it! No, really, just for Colin Firth. But seriously, I am surprised I didn’t know about this 2011 movie, when even a few famous Hungarian actors starred in it. I have no idea where I was at the time, but I have no memory of ever hearing about it.

After last month’s post I realised I forgot about the podcasts, which is a shame, because besides reading those are my most consistent passtime these days, no matter how little time I have (I always have something on while getting ready in the morning). Still in March a mini-series about the Law of Treaties got uploaded to the Audiovisual Library of International Law, which I am subscribed to in podcast format. I love it, it’s a great material to refresh my memories on this subject. (Anyone else likes to do their make-up in the morning to the soundtrack of the law of treaties? No? Just me?) The other one is a recommendation for Hungarian speakers, it is a new series of my longer-time favourite Brain Bar Podcast about how technology fulfilled its promises. I enjoyed the first two about astronomy and astro-physics so much more than I thought I would, and the latest one about the internet was a very thought provoking conversation too.

In April I finally finished The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, I would seriously consider rewatching all the four seasons, if only I had the time. I almost finished Suits too, I am only one or two episodes out. I also started watching Parlement about a French assistant of a member of the European Parliament. It’s French/English, but mostly French, so I am learning the language, but it’s also funny. I don’t have time to binge anything these days though, so I never watch more than one episode at a time, I have too many other things to do. During the Easter weekend I was planning to watch movies, but I didn’t get around to it. I only watched the first movie of Downton Abbey. I never watched it when it came out, although it was planned (and I loved the series!), but now that the new one was about to come out I thought I had to. I wasn’t very pleased with the first one, I was bored almost the whole time, but I heard the new one is better.

I feel a bit behind with everything these days, I feel like I need to regroup and refresh my game plan after everything that’s happened recently. I have lots of ideas, but no plan yet, so I better start working on it.

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