30 Nov 2017

book: the memory keeper's daughter by kim edwards

Commuting for my elective has meant that books get read at an extraordinary pace. One of these books was this offering from Kim Edwards: The Memory Keeper's Daughter.

It centres on David Henry, a doctor, who gives away one of his twins at birth. One twin is Paul and the other is a daughter called Phoebe. Phoebe is born with Down's syndrome and with David's worry of the possibility of her having heart defects that would limit her quantity of life, he opted to send her away with the nurse (and colleague) present at the birth.

The book follows David and his family through Paul's childhood and early adulthood. Occasionally, we get a glimpse into Phoebe's life too. Set at a time when Down's syndrome was perhaps less understood, the heartache that David went through over the years was really evident. We also learn about how David's past perhaps made him worry more about potential heart defects then the average Joe.

The ending is a little bit predictable but the plot itself is steady. The characters are likeable except from David's wife (at least to me). I'm not really sure what it is about her I dislike but it was hard for me to warm to her character.

Overall, a good, steady read and touching in parts. 7/10.

8 Nov 2017

planning a summer holiday: how I planned Vancouver

As a compulsive planner, I started planning my summer holiday to Vancouver back in February before jetting off in July. To do this, I borrowed my sister's guidebook and opened up a fresh new notebook: this Pantone beauty which was bought many years ago.

To begin with, I needed to figure out which dates I could go, a budget and also the essentials for this trip. This is all on the front page seen below.

Next: a packing list! I split this list into separate categories to ensure that nothing essential would be left behind when packing for the holiday and also when packing on return.

To help plan which clothes to bring with me, I planned each day's outfit on the left hand page and because I love recording absolutely everything about a holiday, I then wrote what I actually wore on the right hand side.

Next, planning my itinerary. First, I sat down and wrote a list of places and things I definitely wanted to do/see/eat. I have a few friends from Vancouver so this list was made up of recommendations from the guidebook seen earlier on and their recommendations. Then, these things were separated into the days of my holiday to ensure that there was a rough plan for the whole trip.

Finally, each day was recorded in the following manner: number of steps, distance walked and how many flights climbed. I then recorded as much of my day as I could remember. These entries can be really long or really short depending on how tiring the day was as they tended to be written before falling asleep.

Obviously, this means one holiday never fills a notebook but that's ok - this notebook can be continued the next time I go somewhere on holiday.