Tuesday, March 30, 2010

my writing desk

I have a penchant for voyeurism. It's what draws me to reality tv and fashion blogs, particularly "what's in my handbag" posts (coincidently - Yasemin from Primped posted a delightful one recently), amongst other things. One of my most recent voyeuristic discoveries has been Tara Moss' The Book Post: A writers blog about writing, particularly her "I've Shown You Mine, Now Show Me Yours" segment, in which she posts photos of various writers' writing desks. It's fun. And inspiring. So much so that I decided, on a whim, to post some photos of mine.

This kind of ties in with my last post. As my desk is where I spend most of my time, it is a reflection of things that make me happy - especially since a lot of things that cause me stress also exist there (i.e. my uni work), so a lot of compensation is required!
You can see my beloved laptop glowing in the corner there. It's an ACER - incredibly reliable, sturdy, light as air, skinny, with an 8-hour battery life. Perfection.

I recently bought my little whiteboard from Kikki.K. On it is my copy of L'Oeuf (as a reminder that I really have to read it for class!), as well as a Things to Do list (the process of writing lists calms and centres me) and some pretty postcards that I bought from Centre Pompidou in Paris over Christmas. You can also see my manila folders, on the stand, which I use to organise my notes for uni. They are much cuter close-up (they have a gorgeous mushroom print on them!) My French dictionary and exercise book are sitting there because I have a test tomorrow which I am frantically preparing for. I study French as part of my Law/Arts degree - simply because I love it (and the French/France [Paris] in general), not due to any talent in languages whatsoever. I am not very good!

My notebook is a Moleskine (which I feel silly about after reading this post on Stuff White People Like!) I have one for each subject, which I use for my tutorial presentations and lecture notes. I love cute stationary, and I just bought the clear stapler, tape dispenser and hole punch from Kikki. K - I saw them on display and had to have them!

e My beautiful lavender hand cream to keep my hands soft and nourished, and my gorgeous Malin & Goetz fragrance in Synthesised Lotus Root - it smells like Sundays, freshly washed hair and crisp white sheets (if that makes sense).

Just a few books, DVDs and CDs I like to keep nearby - the books (A Memorable Feast by Ernest Hemmingway and Norwegian Wood by Haruki Marukami), I desperately want to read; and the DVDs (Mad Men Season 2, 2 Days in Paris, Love Actually, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones' Diary) I have seen many, many times but never tire of. The CDs (John Mayer, Missy Higgins, Damien Rice, Xavier Rudd) are some of my favourites. I like to play them on the desktop computer (to my right) because it has a much better sound system than my laptop, and I can listen to them at the same time as lectures without them drowning each other out (did I mention that I simply have to multitask to avoid going crazy?)

My messy drawer, equipped not only with stationary but also cosmetics, for those days I am rushing to prepare for my tutorials and I have to make myself up on-the-go.

My special Swedish chair that makes me sit up straight :)
So that is my little corner of the world. Or one of them. For my fellow voyeurs out there!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

full of grace

The gorgeous Lou Doillon modelling Vanessa Bruno's lovely Spring/Summer 2010 Collection.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

be laura

Inspired by Sarah Wilson's latest column, I thought it would be fun to consider what makes me "me". And to embrace that, acknowledging that other people like things and activites that I never will, no matter how hard I try. And, ultimately, stop persisting at trying to find things those things fun, and instead focus upon doing things that make me happy.

So this is what I came up with.

I don't like Red Bull, drum and bass music, turning right on busy roads, being in a rut, narrow-minded people, horror movies, action movies, chipped nail polish, tutorials, other people tagging photos of me on Facebook, reading law textbooks, the mirrors and lighting in (almost all) fitting rooms, tabloid magazines, cleaning my car, chlorine, dry skin, beer, wine, Diet Coke, taking the bus, impoliteness, unwashed hair, bogan culture, tap water, organised religion, dishonest politicians and "deep" Australian novels.

I like reading High Court cases, fresh starts, doing (nice) people's makeup, perfect hands and eyebrows, a little French café near uni, long car drives, songs I know the words to, rereading my favourite novels, freshly blowdried hair, Obama, being inside during thunderstorms, bubble baths, food-based reality shows, salmon, Richard Curtis films, Melbourne, Paris, Zibibbo champagne, love songs, talking to myself in the car, French people, sitting down and talking at parties, multi-tasking, atheist humour, finding kindred spirits, green grapes and cashmere.

So I guess the moral of the story is not necessarily to avoid the things that I don't like at all costs, but to accept that they are things that simply don't add any enjoyment to my life, and that I don't have to pretend or try to like them. Instead, I should turn to those things that I know I do like for my happiness, and only subject myself to the other things for good reason - to make other people happy, because I can't possibly avoid it, etc.

“You can choose what you do, but you can’t choose what you like to do”.
— Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project)

Monday, March 22, 2010

ready, steady, go!

This performance should put a smile on your face and a spring in your step :)

(via @davidhepworth)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

life is good to live

I caught the end of this interview on Lateline with Leigh Sales and British philosopher A.C. Grayling a few weeks ago and I absolutely loved his insights into the pursuit of happiness.

LEIGH SALES: That sort of fits with what I wanted to ask you next which is about the idea of doing good. You in your book 'Thinking of Answers' have a chapter headed 'Happiness and the Good' and it's subtitled 'Does being happy make us good and does being good make us happy?' What is the answer to that?

ANTHONY GRAYLING: Well, the first thing that one has to remember is that the surest way of being unhappy is to pursue happiness itself. Happiness, when it comes - and what we need to do is analyse it and try to make better sense of what we're talking about there, and we're talking about something like a sense of doing things that are worthwhile, a sense of flourishing, a sense of being well-related to other people that we care about.

All that sort of thing, which is what constitutes happiness, is something that would come as a consequence of doing things that are worthwhile, of pursuing certain aims, moulded to our talents for achieving those aims, which are genuinely, intrinsically valuable.

Learning, trying to understand the world better, trying to do a bit of good for other people.

You know, they say if you want to be happy yourself, make other people happy. Well that means being externally directed, it means thinking about others, and it means getting up in the morning with a genuine desire to add something which you yourself recognise as valuable, always of course subject to the harm principle, as John Stuart Mill called it, which is you don't do harm to others or interrupt them in their endeavours to do this too.

And then as a kind of side issue, you get this feeling that life is good to live. And that's what happiness consists in.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

kindred spirits

"Instead of things I'm good at, it might be faster to list the things I can't do. I can't cook or clean the house. My room's a mess, and I'm always losing things. I love music, but I can't sing a note. I'm clumsy and can barely sew a stitch. My sense of direction is the pits, and I can't tell left from right half the time. When I get angry, I tend to break things. Plates and pencils, alarm clocks. Later on I regret it, but at the time I can't help myself. I have no money in the bank. I'm bashful for no reason, and I have hardly any friends to speak of."
— Haruki Murakami