Monday, 26 July 2010
AFTER I read Lionel Shriver’s book “We Need to Talk about Kevin” I decided that she’s an author that has to be added to my “looking forward to reading more” list.
I knew “We Need to Talk about Kevin” was going to be about school shooting (or a columbine monster - a new term for me) and as I’ve already read the famous Jodi Picoult’s “Nineteen Minutes” I expected it to be somehow similar. I wasn’t prepared for a thorough analyses of such a long chain of events that might have led a boy to committing dreadful crimes (the whole thing starts with his mother being not sure about having a child in the first place).
As the story is told by Kevin’s mum, in a series of letters written for her husband, there’s not a lot of direct speech and it made the reading a bit difficult. But all I can say – Lionel Shriver is a very intelligent woman, who succeeded in portraying how things can go wrong, no matter how badly you want to make everything right.
Nature versus Nurture
I’ve been always of the opinion that no one can be born evil. Is that possible? No doubt I would have always shouted: No! And thinking about it, even now I’d say that any dysfunctional behavior has it roots somewhere in the course of the upbringing. (This goes with Jean Jacque Rousseau’s theory that everyone at birth is like an empty sheet of paper.) That’s why it’s a bit peculiar that, without noticing how, reading this book I became sure that the main character - Kevin - was bad from the very first days of his life. I jumped on his mum’s side and was getting angry that no one else noticed the boys will to harm people. So if Lionel’s plan was to shake some strong believes, she’s done it.
To Have or not to Have
The other important subject in the book is fears concerning motherhood. In this day and age couples more often decide to postpone having children and the fears, that arise before the desicion to have a child is made, are really multiple: what if the child has some terminal disease, what if he/she is killed in an accident, what if the parents won't manage to provide for the child etc. But I've never thought of the one the author suggests - what if the child turns into a monster and causes so much grief for the others?
Well, if you decide to read this book, there'll be plenty to think about afterwards. And after you've read it, have a look at this inteview with Lionel Shriver, where she "discusses her chilling novel "We Need to Talk About Kevin," her fears about motherhood and how Columbine monsters are made":
Oh, and it seems that in 2011 there should be a film based on this book!
Saturday, 24 July 2010
Just before the storm hit it was quite hot (+31C), like on a normal summer day. Yes, it might have been a bit windy, but we needed that breeze, otherwise it would have been unbearable.
After a while the sky started turning grey and we could hear thunder in the background. I did a sensible thing (for a change) – got all the washing in. Usually I’m brave and leave it till the last minute, but this time I think I wouldn’t have cared if the washing got soaked. Huge rain drops started pouring for the sky, as if someone had just emptied an enormous bucket!
This rain must have whipped the plants badly… and now I’m scared to look how many got broken…
Friday, 16 July 2010
Meanwhile very early mornings and late evenings are devoted for watering the garden. And even though July seems to be a very pretty month, with lots of flowers in bloom, I can see this fading away soon – sadly the hotter it gets, the quicker our flowers wilt.
More and more often I get out with my camera and shoot, this time becoming a director for the documentary called “Summer 2010”. I hope that this way I’ll at least gain some more time for enjoying the spectacular colours of sweet peas and roses, calendulas and hydrargeas and will be able to say – yes, we definitely had a summer, a very hot summer!
Monday, 12 July 2010
While we still haven't left our cosy-lots-to-do-aroud house we dreamt we were somewhere else... lets say in Spain! Do you know a way how to make a dream seem at least a bit real? We decided our way would be to cook Spanish food. Tapas!*
I love sea food, but don't get to have it very often, so every time we have shrimps, muscles or squid it turns into a bit of an occasion! And if someone else is cooking and you don't have to worry about a thing... just look at the clock every five minutes and ask - is time yet? - the only thing I can do is exclaim - SPLENDID - in a strong posh English accent. (Thank you, Andrew!)
This is our famous prawn and avocado salad with a secret ingredient, that makes the sauce so special.
Put some oil (100ml) into a pan and make it real hot, so that when you add prawns (350g), finely chopped 4 garlic cloves and 1 chilli pepper (without the seeds if you don't like spicy food) they'd sizle. Wait till the garlic turns golden (this should take about 1 or 2min.) and pour everything into a bowl. Serve your gambas pil pil with white bread and lemon wedges.
Now close your eyes and imagine you are somewhere on the cost of the Mediterranean...
Tuesday, 6 July 2010
One of the Guests: Dovile - another victim of the BBQ (there must have been something wrong with the logs that night?). I must admit we were good and managed to finish what we've started, without moaning too much; although eating at midnight can't be very healthy.
Flowers: A nice bunch of colourful summer flowers. You must admit, it counts as a good reason to be happy that your Birthday is in the middle of the summer!
Cake: An even better reason to celebrate choosing the best time of the year to be born! Home grown stawberries + self picked wild strawberries, whipped cream and suckulent spunge... Well, it tasted as good as it looks (if not better)!
And nearly the whole of the company (somebody had to take photos) in the dunes; hiding from not so warm summer breeze, remembering funny stories from the past, wishing all the best for the years to come...
As I said before - just a perfect day! And still humming: "I'm glad I spent it with you..."