Walhallavagen

Just an ordinary girl's life

{PlannerManiac} One Book July 2017: the setup

This is my 3rd year of participation in the challenge (you can see my post from 2015 here and from 2016 here) and I can honestly say I’ve learnt something significant about my planning habits each and every time. I’ve recently reached what in the planner community is referred to as ‘planner peace‘ so I won’t be concentrating much on the original version of the challenge (one book, one pen, one month) as much as on versions 2.0 and 3.0: project planning and go big or go home.

 

1.
The whole idea behind one book July is that of going back to basics – your system, your process, your workflow. I see this as an input to reduce every other distraction as much as possible and start looking again at my planner as a powerful tool to regain control over my time. This has proven particularly true for me as I’m in the process of moving city and having a trusted system has been really a life-saver during this last month.

My system at the moment comprises two planners, even though I consider them as one: a Paperblank slim weekly calendar for deadlines and appointments only and a Filofax Boston Compact for everything else (lists of every kind, to dos, notes, memos etc) based on the GTD system. During the last couple of years I’ve gone down the simplifying road by eliminating most of useless embellishments (washi tape, stickers and the like), but now I’m a in real quest for cutting the crap down and keeping it 100% simple and functional. This has brought a lot of clarity in my process, and I’ve been able to focus on the things I need to take care of a lot better. The two planners that I’m using don’t overlap in any possible way and are very easy to just slip in my purse. Their spines together are not wider than a regular size Filofax personal, and I also get to choose whether I want to bring them both with me or not when.

 

2.
Last year I was really excited about the idea of managing project planning, as it’s something I’ve never really been able to find a proper system for. It is also true that not al projects are the same so it’s quite difficult to find a one-fits-all solution – especially if you intend the term ‘project’ as David Allen does. In these cases I believe that the best way to proceed is to start small – yes, one project, one month. This year I want take from where I left in 2016 and narrow it down a little, using the same Kikki.k compendium to focus mainly on my Chinese study.

The go big or go home bit introduced this year has still to do with project planning, as I anticipated here. I’m going to start working seriously on my style notebook this month as a commitment with myself on dedicating more time to what is important for me as a person. July is moving month for me this year –  all the more reason to remember I owe it to myself not to get buried in the day to day to do list and to keep looking at the bigger picture. I’m using a Daycraft soft cover notebook for this purpose and I’m going to fill it in with notes on all my areas of interest (language learning, planning, time management, photography and so on).

My last undertaking for the go big or go home challenge has to do with MTN and travel journaling. I’ve been willing to use a Midori as my main planner for a while now, but now that I’ve found a system working so well for me I can’t see myself changing it anytime soon. So why not using the Midori for the purpose it was made for, a travel journal? I’ve an upcoming trip to Edinburgh this weekend so it looks like the perfect occasion to put this idea into action. This project has three steps that I need to complete in order to consider it accomplished: (1) plan the trip in advance (travel details, places I want to visit, shops, pubs, etc) (2) journal our adventures while on the spot (3) complete the reportage by pasting tickets, photos and any other mementos.

 

I’ll be updating (hopefully) week by week on my progress, I’m very curious to see what everybody else is doing this year 😀

 

{Books in a Nutshell} April ~ June 2017

 

Spring is usually the season during which I want the most to read amazing books, as well as the season I usually accomplish the less in terms of pages read. I guess this happens because May is, like December, a kind of non-existent month in my year.  Too much going around at that time in my family, and when I finally manage to go back to a somewhat normal schedule I always need some time to adjust. Still.

 

 Marion Zimmer Bradley – Ravens of Avalon
|Italian Translation|

Books from the Avalon series feature in my book reviews every single time (I actually have two today!). This was another good novel that I really enjoyed reading. Boudica is an interesting and extremely fascinating character, and maybe is the feminist that is in me but I love reading books featuring strong female characters. The plot is well crafted as always and if you’re into historical novels you really can’t go wrong here.

Rated 4/5 stars on Goodreads

 

 Clive Barker – The Scarlet Gospels
|Original Version|

Ok. This book was not for me. Definitely not for me. Don’t get me wrong, Clive Barker is a superb writer who knows how to use words to get the effects he wants. It’s just that either I have no idea of what urban fantasy means, or it simply isn’t my kind of thing. I don’t feel much comfortable when I have to deal with fountains of blood, excrements, body mutilation and such. But if you do, go ahead: it’s a great novel.

Rated 2/5 stars on Goodreads

 

 David Kushner, Koren Shadmi – Rise of the Dungeon Master
|Original Version|

I found this comic among the many role playing game related stuff that the plus one fills our house with. I appreciated the idea of telling the story of the creation and raise of the most iconic book in the genre (Dungeons and Dragons) through the media of a graphic novel (would I ever read a book about the history of rpg? Hell no). On the other hand, this isn’t much more than a simple chronicle of the most salient events that brought to the creation of the book and the role playing genre. I think a little more personal elaboration and engagement from the authors would have been needed.

Rated 2/5 stars on Goodreads

 

 Ranmaru Kotone, Makoto Shinkai – Your Name (君の名は)
|English Translation|

Despite my best efforts, I haven’t managed to get many manga read in the last couple of years. This is something that I miss enormously, but that for some reason I don’t bring myself to do. I’m happy a friend of mine recommended this anime about a month ago, because I actually watched it, loved it and thus immediately bought the manga out of it. It’s a very peculiar story and I’m super happy to finally find something that doesn’t have the usual already-seen feeling. Waiting impatiently for volume No 2.

Rated 5/5 stars on Goodreads

 

 Vanni Santoni – La stanza profonda
|Original Version|

This is another recommendation from the rpg-addicted boyfriend. It was an interesting reading, for two reasons. I really appreciated the chance to know a little more about this world, and honestly felt kind of envious for the level of harmony and team spirit this experience creates among the members of the group. I also have to say that the author knows his way and is skilled enough to create powerful images in the reader’s imagination. Too bad he overkilled it a little. I wish he could have stayed a little humbler.

Rated 3/5 stars on Goodreads

 

Marion Zimmer Bradley – Lady of Avalon
|Italian Translation|

I’ll be honest, as much as I love the Avalon books (see above), this is the one I enjoyed the less. The first half of the novel is honestly a little blunt, and it reminded me too much of The sword of Avalon. I enjoyed the second part more, as it talks about Viviana and thus gives insight into the further developments of The mists of Avalon (which is my fav book of the entire series). Overall, I felt like this was the only book that didn’t have any specific characteristics to distinguish itself from the previous ones.

Rated 3/5 stars on Goodreads

 

Summertime is going to be quite full of plans and things to do (like always), but not the kind of stuff that should keep me off reading, at least for a good part of it. Lately I’ve got the chance to put my hands on some very good stuff, so a succulent TBR list is about to come out soon.

 

Remembering The Hanzi / Day 24 ~ Lessons 49 + 50

Enjoying a sunny morning

Characters in these lessons that were new to me: 殸, 蒸, 馨.

Now that I’m discovering new unknown characters I start to feel curious about what book 2 may actually contain. Is it filled with 汉字 that I’ve never seen before? The challenge is intriguing.

Ahahahahahah, NOT GONNA HAPPEN. ALL RIGHT?

This is me and my damn confort zone again. As boring as studying only character may get, it’s still something I’ve grown accustomed to. I know how it works and I know what to expect from it – yes, it’s called comfort zone. And if my guts are telling me to keep indulging into this repetitive thus reassuring activity, this time I’ll have to follow my brain.

Because there’s no doubt on the fact that what I’m doing right now is not actually language learning. In my perspective it’s a preliminary activity, but it’s not like seriously studying and learning Chinese. I may as well being studying hieroglyphics for what matters. Characters and their basic meaning are completely independent from the actual grammar, structure and pronunciation of the target language – that’s why they can be used interchangeably in Chinese and Japanese, two languages that are so different under all other respects.

So, as I’m supposed to be studying Chinese, I have to let it go.

And now I start feeling scared, as this means I truly need to take charge of my own learning. Studying 汉字 was an intentional strategy, yes, but was also a way of putting my real study on hold while I was trying to figure out how to study solo. Because let’s be honest, after I stopped attending Chinese class I didn’t accomplish that much on my own.

And now it’s time to face it and see what I can actually do, after – a year? of almost uniquely studying characters. Not an easy task.

On Air: FM Attack - Magic
 Weather: windy

Hello July

June review

June goals

June has been an interesting month. It started a little off but I got better and better, especially in the second half. I think I’m finally starting to reap that which I sow in terms of productivity and time management. But most of all, I’m finally enjoying the process and I’m less and less concerned with the final prize. Probably because I’ve finally come to realise there’s no real final prize. Well, good for me. In June I’ve also actively worked to finish off some tasks that have been sitting in my to do list for too long, and I’ve also pushed myself to do things I usually dread doing. Overall I think I can say I’m kinda proud of myself right now.

How I spent my time

Blog 33h31m;
Chinese 4h59m;
Productivity 59h26m;
Wellness 7h12m.

I can definitely see an improvement in the amount of time I dedicated to the blog this month. I’ve also been able to complete many admin/everyday essential tasks and I’m finally starting to see my master to do list shortening. More effort on Chinese next month.

How I spent my money

June was ok about money. I spent quite a few ££ on books, both at Waterstones and Bookdepository (damn discount codes), but truth to be told I don’t feel guilty about that. Just one visit at Boots for face toner and shampoo (that I really needed) and not a single stop at Paperchase this month. I’m improving!

How I did with my Study

Not as good as I should have, but, as I’m a weirdly good mood about myself right now I don’t feel the need of flagellate myself. I honestly have been dealing with a lot of stuff in my personal life during this month so I don’t think I’m that much to blame. Plus, do we always have to live by imposing things upon ourselves? If I don’t feel like studying it means it’s not the right thing to do at that moment. Taking a step back to recharge and then go back to it is the best strategy, and in fact that’s what I did. I’m sure July would show the results of my renewed motivation.

Personal/Misc

I enjoyed immensely the non-summery Scottish weather, still wearing jumpers and sleeping with my duvet on, no kidding. I’m especially enjoying it since I know that at home they’re dealing with the usual 38-degrees Italian summer #evil. I haven’t had much chance to relax and have recreational time this month due to all the things that were going on but I’m kind of liking the way I’m growing and becoming a much more fearless person.

Books reading/want to read

  • J.K. Rowlings – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (re-read – of course!)
  • Clifford D. Simak – City (actually…. another re-read XD)
  • Richard Morgan – Altered Carbon
  • Rudyard Kipling – The jungle book

TV series watched/watching

  • Orange is the New Black S5
  • The OA S1
  • The Good Wife S7
  • A Good Wife (Taiwanese drama)

July’s goals

  1. organise a smooth and painless house move, as the plus one starts working in a new city in about a month
  2. finish RSH book. I’m currently at lesson 52 out of 55 so this shouldn’t be hard to accomplish
  3. finish watching A good wife, seriously, I can’t believe I’m still watching it
  4. create a cozy and warm home environment, as I’m a professional couch potato and I need to love the place I live in
  5. keep up with my reading pace, as I have too much amazing stuff sitting on my bedside table and I can’t wait to go through them all

Habit of the month : keep up with my evening/night routine (cooking + skincare + tv series + books).

Remembering The Hanzi / Day 23 ~ Lesson 48

So I’ve now reached the name/people/family lesson and I’m finding it kind of fun. I still ‘know’ almost all the characters (meaning that I remember having encountered them in the past), but it’s good reviewing those I already studied as well because there’s always room for confusion. And improvement.

For example, I think I never really noticed the difference between and . Studying the book has helped me realise that for some reason my approach to the characters (both in Japanese and Chinese) has always been pretty superficial. I have never really studied with the idea of keeping the radicals in mind, so an accurate knowledge of the differences between very similar characters has fallen through the cracks. This has prevented me from being truly prepared for character recognition.

And sadly I have to say this is true for my study process in general. I thought I was a very thorough and meticulous person, but it looks like that’s simply not true.

I’ve very good eyesight and I always notice any small change in the environment around me (like if someone has moved an object in the room or something is missing), but it seems this doesn’t apply to my study process as well. It may have to do with the fact that I usually find it hard to be concentrated on one single task: I want to learn more, to know more, so instead of being 100% in the present moment I tend to overthink and look for new things I could learn, new resources I could try.

I’m glad that language learning (and characters study in particular) is helping me figuring out better what kind of learner I am and what my main mistakes are. I don’t get the chance of feeling sorry for myself because I don’t have time to waste with pity and sorrow. What I get to do is the chance of being a better learner, a better observer and, in turn, a better person overall. I need to work hard, but who doesn’t?

Mid Year Goals Review

I talk a lot about monthly goals, weekly plans, daily to dos and things like that, because I’m mostly a left brain type and these things just make me feel more at ease.

I talked about the way I approach yearly goals back in January, and I believe in that approach even more now (I’m speaking only for myself, of course). So when I saw Alexis’ video on youtube on how to make a mid year review a couple of days ago, I almost immediately jumped in.

 

Rather than talking about how I’m doing for each area I had set goals for, I prefer taking into consideration all the things that can help me do even better in the upcoming months. When I think about it, the real reason why I’m not accomplishing my goals has (almost) nothing to do with the goals themselves but mostly with time management.

 

Things that I implemented and that are helping me right now:

(a) a night time routine; great for unwinding and unplugging, reducing stress and enjoy some me-time before sleeping. My current nighttime routine includes reviewing all the tasks on my to do list (checking off all the completed ones + re-assigning those that are not), sorting and tidying my desk, skincare routine, herbal tea and book reading.

(b) a clutter-free desk and room, which is the result of both purging and finding a place for every single item I own; this is helped by the night time practice of tidying up what I used during the day as stated above.

(c) a brain dump section in my planner; I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out, but it has been a huge a-ha moment for me and I honestly wonder how I could function before without it. I still have a digital brain dump section on my phone for when I’m out and about, but being able to write things manually has been an essential clear-out for my brain.

(d) unplug after 9pm; I don’t have any sleep problems so I don’t do it for the sake of a better night rest, but as much as I love (and use) technology everyday, I don’t like the way we often feel compelled to be omnipresent on line. I prefer to take some serious me-time away from what anybody else is posting on instagram or writing on twitter, and dedicate quality time to those activities that really matters to me like reading and relaxing with the plus one. 

(e) a trustworthy weekly calendar for writing things as both forward planning and reference; as much as I love planners and experimenting with different solutions/combinations, I still feel the need of having one piece of stationery I can trust and that meets my expectations well enough for me to use it all year around. I found this form of planner piece with my Paperblanks Slim Weekly Planner and it has worked out so well for me that I’ll probably go for it next year as well.

(f) a meal planning system; I’m not always able to stick to it 100% during the week but the simple fact of not having to think about what to eat everyday 3 times a day is a tremendous advantage.

(g) a constant physical review of my planner pages (to dos, projects, notes, brain dump), similar to GTD system.

(h) a predisposed day for all admin and finances (Thursday); sometimes the day of the week can change (often postponed to Friday) but the idea of one day dedicated to this specific task helps me avoid procrastination, as this is task number 1 that for some mysterious reason I dread doing.

(i) a almost streamlined blog workflow (finally), based on Trello + Wunderlist + handwritten notes.

(l) letting go when the things on my plate are too many; painful but also incredibly stress relieving.

 

Things are still lacking in my system:

(i) a morning routine: I have some things I ideally would like to do first thing in the morning but I almost never get to do them all, and most of the time I end up wasting a good chunk of morning even though I woke up pretty early. Things are not made easier by the fact that I have to relate to the significant other’s schedule, but I’m aware of the fact that this is just a side hindrance. The truth is I’m not taking responsibility for my own time and I’m acting like I’m not the one in charge.

(ii) a structured weekly schedule, which just pairs up with the point above; it’s ok to try to plan smart and leave some space to allow flexibility (considering I have to take other people’s schedule into consideration), but no structure at all is not a solution as well. I have to learn to take appointments with myself and stick to them if I really wanna start working properly towards my goals.

(iii) a structured daily schedule, again. This is especially important for exercising, because as much as I’m willing to find time for it in my day I often end up forgetting or procrastinating. Now even more I feel the need to find a balance between the things that I need to do, the things that I want to do and some healthy relax time. I’m still very far from reaching the right point of stability so I need to seriously start working on this because I know it’s gonna take time to adjust.

(iv) a more in depth knowledge of how my energy levels work, or more flexibility in adapting my schedule to them. It’s pointless for me to plan certain activities from 4pm to 7pm if I have a 80% chance of feeling drowsy and sleepy during that time frame. Learning how my body/mind reacts to food intake and tiredness is essential for all the other points listed above.

 

Next Action List:

(1) review old planners and to do lists (both paper and digital), transfer what is still relevant, discard the rest

(2) simplify my digital life (too many resources, too many lists that often end up kind either duplicated or forgotten)

(3) make a list of all my current open loops and work on finishing all the short term ones

(4) more use of what I already have and shopping the less I can (especially for stationery), which means less clutter around the house and more money on my bank account

(5) purge even more: clothes, shoes, kitchen items but also old planner/diary inserts that are really of no use anymore

(6) more discipline for food and sleep. I’m not bad at those (actually I think I’m better than the average people, from what I can see around me) but I could be even better so I should just stop playing in safety mode.

 

Making this list is helping me hugely in seeing what I really should be focusing on in the next 6 months. I think this was exactly what I needed at this point in life and I’m glad I took the time to think this through. Can’t wait to see what other people around the web are doing for their mid year review!

{Beauty} Special treatments and self-pampering products

Beauty products have been a soft spot of mine for a very long time, but it’s only recently that I can say I started using them with more knowledge and awareness of what my skin needs, likes and tolerates. They have also become a very important part of my self-pampering project, as they have the power of making me feel a lot taken care of.

 

So apart from my regular morning and night skincare routine, I like to keep at hand a few other products for both my face and my body (and hair, actually) for more in-dept and specific treatments. Here I have some products that recently became a staple in my advanced skincare regime.

1. Body lotion (Garnier Ultimate Blends Oat milk & Almond oil)

In the last couple of years I’ve developed an increasing dryness in my skin, especially on my legs, elbows and feet. I found that a good way of keeping it at bay is to apply a moisturising lotion every night or so before going to bed. Wearing pijamas and curling up under warm blankets right after applying the lotion ensures for the treatment to keep going all night long – and you can see the results with a super soft and plump skin the next morning. When I was still in Italy I kept up with this routine even during the unbearably hot summer months: I just used to put my body lotion bottle in the fridge a couple of hours before applying it and I ensured myself moisturising as well as a cooling effect. Here I’m using this Garnier body lotion (I love the smell of this line, I also have the hair shampoo, mask and conditioner with the same scent because I just can’t have enough of it), but of course any kind of lotion will do. For super dry skin during winter time I like to alternate a lotion with a richer butter.

2. Gel scrub (Bottega Verde Cucumber and Rice Face Scrub)

They say that exfoliating is the key to a radiant and dewy look, so I try to be a good girl and use a scrub a couple of times per week. I actually read somewhere that physical exfoliation (compared to the chemical one) is not really as effective as one may think, but there’s something about the word ‘chemical’ that really doesn’t appeal to me. I also have to say that for the moment I’m satisfied with the soft and smooth feeling my skin gets after using a regular face scrub, so I’ll just go with that for a little longer before being brave and decide to try something different. I recently started using gel scrubs instead of the regular ones as I find them less harsh on the skin and easier to remove. This one is from my trusted brand Bottega Verde and I’m having a very good experience with it.

3. Spot treatment (Boots Witch Hazel Night Treatment Gel)

I have never had specific acne problems, not even during my teenager years, but i still get a couple of pimps when I’m particularly tired/stressed or when the significant other decides to throw my eating-clean efforts out of the window stuffing me up with loaded nachos and Oreo milkshakes. When I feel like my skin is very irritated and ready to break out, I just apply this gel all over my face and neck and it helps soothing the inflammation process. It’s definitely not the Holy Grail of spot treatments, but for the kind of problems my skin is prone to encounter is effective enough. It contains alcohol in it – but it ranks very low in the ingredients list and it’s only a a short term treatment so I haven’t seen any specific damage for the moment. I won’t recommend using it everyday though.

4.  Hair, face and body oils (I Provenzali Almond Oil & Forsan Castor Oil)

As I was saying, dry skin is one of my main concerns for both face and body, and it gets really worse during cold winter times. As I often find that my regular moisturisers are not enough, I like to boost their effect by adding a few drops of a few selected, skin-friendly oils.  I use castor oil mainly on the ends of my hair to keep them soft and split ends free; I also use it on my eyebrows and eyelashes a couple of time a week to repair any damage makeup may have caused. I never use castor oil pure on the skin as it can have a drying effect (which is the opposite of what I want). I use a lighter and gentler oil like almonds’ on both my face and body skin (including feet), either pure of mixed with my current lotion or moisturiser.

 

As I’m reading a lot about skincare in general these days I’m very likely to add some products to my regimen and switch/ try out new things, but these products have proven really helpful so I’ll keep them for another while for sure.

Rembering the Hanzi / Day 22 ~ Lessons 44+45+46+47

These mini-lessons have been a total motivation-booster. It’s SO MUCH easier when you have only 15/20 汉字 to memorise each time, those 50+ new characters lessons were a nightmare for me. And apart from influencing the retention rate, it’s also a lot more gratifying.

Because essentially you get the feeling of progressing a lot faster. The brain doesn’t process the concept of ‘but I’m just learning 10 characters per day’, it only focuses on the ‘I’m studying a new lesson each day’ bit. And yeah, you’re probably also progressing faster as you don’t have to go back fifty times to review the same old lesson you never completely assimilated.

And when I say ‘you’, I’m meaning ‘me’. Just to be clear.

***

I think for the first time I found a character () that I never ever encountered before. This means that, even though on a very superficial level, in the years I’ve been studying both Japanese and Chinese I actually managed to ‘learn’ almost 1500 characters. It’s kind of amazing when you think about it. I never thought my connection with the language so indeed so deep. No wonder that after all this time they’re both still pretty much an essential part of my daily life.

***

I can’t wait to start reading and acquiring more vocabulary. I was considering whether it could be worth starting again with Memrise but I’m not much inclined to do so, at least for now. I think I’ve done enough out-of-context kind of study for now. Short stories/articles are what attracts me the most. Also going back to ChineseClass101 would be a not so bad idea, considering I’ve been willing to finish their Absolute Beginners Season 2 almost an year ago. Ouch.

***

On a non-Chinese note, I’m back reading and loving the Avalon series again. I’ve only one more book to go before finishing the entire saga and even though I certainly didn’t love all the books the same way, they were definitely a historical/fantasy cycle worth reading. They also spurred my obsession interest for ancient Britain’s religions, paganism and Wicca. I’m also still a lot into synth wave and new retro wave music, as I shared on twitter a few days ago. It really feels like the natural extension of the 80s passion I’ve been cultivating since 2011.

 

 

{Planner Maniac} Prepping for One Book July 2017

It’s almost that time of the year again and things are heating up on youtube as we’re all waiting for the challenge gurus to disclose the main theme for the 2017 version.

         My fav Kikki.k collection from 2014

 

Actually we’ve already been given a heads up by Miss Vicky Bee who has shared in her latest video the motto that will guide us this year: ‘Go big, or go home‘.

I was puzzled at first, as ‘going big’ felt in contrast with the whole concept of ‘one book one month one pen’; but then I realised that going big has so many possible interpretation that I started feeling kind of elated for all the nuances I could possibly give to the concept. So my mind’s wheels were already set in motion.

We still have 10 days or so to think about how exactly we want to structure our challenge for this year, and I’m also very keen to see the proper video introduction from Rhomany and Carie, but I already have a draft as a general rule of the things I would like to do/focus on this year.

1. The GTD system based planner

I’ve gone through a rough patch in terms of planners during the last 8/9 months, so One Book July is a very welcome occasion to do some sorting and mending. Back in September of last year I had set up a kind of GTD system in my planner that at the time was an Original Fluoro Pink Filofax in personal size, and it actually worked pretty well. I’m not a 100% pure follower of David Allen’s method but I do find value in many of the concepts he teaches + I think it pairs perfectly with the concept of ‘one book to rule them all’.

2. The Chinese / Japanese Learning Companion

Chinese is a staple in my personal growth, and I’ve recently shared how I want to go back to Japanese as well. Thinking about it, I came to realise that ‘go big’ is not necessarily about quantity or size, but it can perfectly be about quality – like, dream big. Last year I shared how I intended to use my project planning compendium, and, since unfortunately after July I didn’t have much occasions to update it, I think it would be very nice to start were I left and to give this challenge a kind of continuity.

3. The Style Book

So I was talking about going big, dreaming big and all that good stuff, right? Well, lately I’ve been intrigued a lot by the concept of style, not the Audrey Hepburn kind of thing (which is gorgeous, btw) but in the sense of the development of our own personal approach to things in life. I really want to develop a more ‘me style’ in virtually all sectors of my life, thus including planning, language learning, photography, writing and, yes, also fashion and the like. So the idea of an all-inclusive style book is really, really alluring right now – and I think I may seriously go for it this time.

 

I’m really looking forward this year’s challenge and I can’t wait to see what are people are going to come up with!

 

Remembering the Hanzi / Day 21 ~ Lessons 41 + 42 + 43

These lessons are quite easy to handle, lucky lucky me. I already knew some of the characters presented (like illness and ache 痛), while other have elements that I tend to mix up so it was a good chance to review some stuff and make comparisons.

Super motivated by the amazing Scottish weather this days 😀

 

Lesson this short are way easier to manage. I don’t know why the previous ones were so lengthy, it makes things a lot easier to be able to focus on a handful of characters each time instead of, for example, 60 faccina.

I still find many keywords hard to connect to the relevant character, especially when they are abstract (like decide 决: ice + guillotine. Uh?) and in a semantic field common to other similar words. A huge review at the end of the first book will be more than welcome as it will help putting some things into place. But I already know some confusion will remain, it’s just the way 汉字 work.

I’m so happy to be that close to the end of this project that I can’t help starting looking around for resources for my next learning step 😆 I’m trying to watch A good wife (I’m still halfway through it, I can’t believe it) even thought I’m finding it quite boring at the moment. It started really well but soon lost itself in the typical drama patterns and absurdities that always make me a little meh. Just other 8 episodes to go but I really have to kinda force myself to watch it.