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Books - I Listened/Read to Anne of Green Gables Book Series (11 books)

I've been having some thoughts after finishing 7 of Anne of Green Gables book series, that, we will eventually forget our childhood excitement. That we will become tired and hardly ever feel excited about everything anymore. Here's a good comic about what I'm writing about. 



Anne starts the book with so much joy and excitement towards life, she is innocent, she has an amazing imagination, great friends and she is a big-hearted person. She cares so much about people around her, the trees, the animals, the littlest things. Those are the things that make me adore Anne so much. 


After more than 20 years (I only read 3 books when I was in school), I decided to reread these series and finally finish them up so I listened to her story throughout July. 


Afterwards in the series : she went to school, she graduated, she became a teacher, she got married, she became a mother, she had many children, then WW1 happened, her children were big enough to get listed to the war and throughout the war, there were many sadness and war anxieties, later there were grief. Anne wasn't the same jolly kid she was, she grew up and grew old. In Rilla of the Ingleside (the last book in the series), Anne & Gilbert were hardly there, or mostly just in the background. I'm a bit surprised by how seemingly abrupt their life stories ended. Where was dear Marilla? Where was Diana ? I need closure.  


Anne is one of my favorite character. What happened to her in the end? Did she die old and content among her family and friends? Did they get over the grief? I felt like it wasn't fair, life isn't fair. She had so much hopes for life and I wanted her to be happy in the end. 


But, that was written around 100 years back and nothing could ever be changed now, can it? What can I expect from the war ? It was such a terrible time and it was fairly expected. Nothing good can come out from such sadness. 


**Books in the series (based on the publication order)

  1. Anne of Green Gables (pub. April 1908) - finished
  2. Anne of Avonlea (pub. August 1909) - finished
  3. Anne of the Island (pub. July 1915) - finished
  4. Anne's House of Dreams (pub. August 1917) - finished
  5. Rainbow Valley (pub. August 1919) - finished
  6. Rilla of Ingleside (pub. autumn 1921) - finished
  7. Anne of Windy Poplars (pub. August 1936) - currently reading
  8. Anne of Ingleside (pub. July 1939) - can't find yet

Short stories/poems compiled (about residents of Avonlea) :

  1. Chronicle of Avonlea (pub. 1912) - currently listening
  2. Further Chronicles of Avonlea (pub. 1920) - finished
  3. The Blythes Are Quoted (pub. 2009) - can't find yet


I wish we had more. 

I know the WW1 was a terrible time and L M Montgomery was writing during such a difficult phase in the 1900s. Imagine having to write something so hopeful and innocent in the early years and slowly turning into something darker and sad over time. The writer went thru WW1, battled through depression, survived 'Spanish Flu' and didn't even see the end of WW2. 


Her final note found on her bedside :
... I have lost my mind by spells and I do not dare think what I may do in those spells. May God forgive me and I hope everyone else will forgive me even if they cannot understand. My position is too awful to endure and nobody realizes it. What an end to a life in which I tried always to do my best."

😢


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Side note :

So as a mother I feel like I need to freeze these childhood moments. We decided to record and compile them in videos, so we can see them again and again, especially when things are tough and we forget these little things that make us happy or excited. Eventually all these little memories that we are creating for Sofi will be gone or forgotten, she wouldn't remember them when she is all grown up.


This is where we keep our videos - her first Ikea trip, her first Kidzoona, her first Aquaria, her first dinosaur park, etc. I love sharing these videos with my family especially. You have no idea how many times I've rewatched these videos myself. I'm that kind of mother, I love to rewatch Sofi's videos like any normal mother would. Even my mom loves to rewatch Sofi's video over and over again when I share them in our family Whatsapp. 

Mommy Post : Kids-friendly Places in Klang Valley

Places we went to in Klang Valley after the lockdown was lifted:

Note : Most of the places we went to are outdoor, we also opted for weekday and at the earliest time possible (right when it is opened) to avoid the crowds. Usually people start coming in around noon (11am+).


1. KL Bird Park 

  • Ticket : RM 35 (adult, Mykad) , RM 15 (children + senior, Mykad) , below 3 is free
  • Opening Hours : 9 am - 6 pm, open daily

Extra notes :
  • Wear light & airy clothes, it is hot, some places are shaded, some are open under the sun
  • Drink water, there is also several little cafes/shops inside.
  • The place is huge, we spent almost 3 hours inside the park
You can see the clip starting from 8:30 - KL Bird Park Outing from this video. During this time, it was our first proper outing and we didn't make any dedicated video for it :


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2. Farm in the City, Seri Kembangan 

  • Ticket : RM 39 (adult, Mykad) , RM 32 (children + senior, Mykad) , below 90 cm is free
  • Opening Hours : 10 am - 6 pm, closed every Tuesday (except on public & school holiday)
Extra notes :
  • Wear light & airy clothes, it is hot but mostly shaded. 
  • Drink water, there is also an indoor cafe in the farm to rest.
  • You can have direct interactions with the animals so wash your hands frequently, there are a lot of sinks in the farm.
  • You can buy foods for the animal/birds/fishes 
  • We spent 2 hours at the farm.
So far, this is the best farm/zoo experience that we had. It is not too big and not too small, it is hot but mostly shaded, there were a lot of direct interaction (we were in the huge cages with the animals), it is near our home, it feels very interactive and personal. 

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3. KL Tower Mini Zoo & Blue Coral Aquarium 

  • Ticket Zoo : RM 45 (adult, Mykad) , RM 35 (children + senior, Mykad) , below 3 is free
  • Ticket Aquarium : RM 15 (adult)
  • Opening Hours : 10 am - 9 pm,  Monday - Sunday
Extra notes :

    • At the zoo, wear light & airy clothes, it is hot.
    • Blue Coral Aquarium is a small aquarium, it is a bit depressing and dark, indoor but no aircond. 
    • Prepare yourself for the toy shop in the middle of the zoo
    • Love the entrance, direct interaction indoor petting zoo, that was fun

    We didn't really like it. It was hot and Sofi didn't cooperate much. There was a shop in the middle of the zoo and you know how kids react to toy shop - it was her biggest distraction and she started to throw tantrum because she wanted something. Usually toy shops are the last stop before we go out and it should be, with that exact reason. 

    Well, it wasn't a good experience for us.

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    4. Aquaria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur 

    • Ticket : RM 52 (adult, Mykad) , RM 42 (children + senior, Mykad)
    • Opening Hours : 10 am - 7 pm, closed every Tuesday (except on public & school holiday)

    This was one of the place that we went with 'many people', even though we went on weekdays at 10 am and after the school holiday ended. We couldn't avoid the crowd, so most of the time, we walked fast and didn't enjoy as much as all the other places that we went to before. But Sofi enjoyed the experience so far, there were a lot of sharks and huge fishes and it was her first big-tunnel aquarium experience. 

    Unfortunately we only spent around 40 minutes inside.


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    5. Kidzoona 

    • Ticket : RM 14 - RM 18 (kids, weekday) , RM 22 (kids, weekend & holiday)
    • Opening Hours : 10 am - 7 pm, closed every Tuesday (except on public & school holiday)
    Extra notes :
    • Need to bring your own socks, or buy at the entrance
    • Fill in a form before entering
    • Guardian can enter for free
    • Maximum 3 hours per entry
    We went to the IOI Putrajaya one, right after it is opened at 10 am. The place was empty, no kids except for Sofi. It was her first time so she explored the place first. The place was clean & very organized, all toys were arranged neatly, we even put them back nicely after play. I looooooved it and Sofi seems to enjoyed it too. We spent around 1.5 hours in there, oh, there is a massage chair inside as well, so I had the chance to get a short 10 mins massage when Sofi was playing. 

    Sofi at Kidzoona, IOI City Mall Putrajaya :


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    6. IKEA 

    • No tickets needed
    • Sofi explored and tried out the kids' room setup
    • We ended the playful exploration with soy ice-cream & frozen yogurt

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    Other places we haven't visited together with Sofi :

    • Pusat Sains Negara
    • Zoo Negara
    • Butterfly Park
    • Kidzania
    • Petrosains
    • KL Forest Eco Park

    Little Story 243 - The Pixie Cut

    Photo by Giorgio Trovato, Unsplash


    I am 35 and I pixie-cut my hair last month.


    I think it would me my first, it's my first time that the hair stylist ever used a hair clipper on my head. I still touch my hair behind my neck because it feels odd, new, alien. My hair is so short, and I'm still surprised when I look at the mirror (it's been 2 weeks). 


    It is so easy to wash my hair now, less shampoo and less maintenance. I don't have to comb my hair (well, I hardly do because my hair is naturally so straight and thin, I don't really need a comb before). This is so liberating. The short hair. The last time I cut my hair was during the first lockdown, it was shoulder length and done at home.


    When the hair stylist asked me for a sample photo, I showed her Zoe Kravitz's short hair. I said I needed a less maintenance hair, very-short, pixie, and I don't want to have to use products for a hair volume, but I needed my bangs to almost reach my eye-brow because I do still feel insecure about the wide forehead style. 


    But eventually I look more like Elliot Page than Zoe Kravitz, Af been jokingly calling me Elliot or whether I'm in a boy band. But I now have hair volume, something I've never had before because my my hair type and I appreciate the chance to see a hair volume on my head even though it does look like a boy's hair. 


    Ohh, and I also got hair wash and hair treatment (the firsts to everything). 45 minutes of blissful silence and I read The Inheritance Games the whole way. 


    It is still new and odd. 

    Sometimes Sofi come to me and touch the hair behind the neck, "short hair" she said. 


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    The hair salon to go : D Aura Spa Salon Muslimah, Putra Walk, Seri Kembangan

    Books - Halfway through 2022

    Photo by Cristina Gottardi, Unsplash

    It's July now, more than half of 2022 already.

    I still read and listen to books, almost religiously lately. 

    The book slump is over. 

    By now I've finished 53 books.


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    My current read :

    • physical book : just finished The Silent Patient by Alex Michealides
    • audio book : Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
    • ebook on kindle : Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown

    My favorite ones this year :
    • The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - I haven't enjoyed YA fiction for so long. This book is written in short chapter, so it was easy to keep on reading just to finish a chapter, nothing worth remembering, just pure entertainment. 
    • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller - Beautiful prose, simple innocent love story.
    • I'll Show Myself Out by Jessi Klein - Relatable mommy story, this book make me feel seen and connected and not alone. 
    • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara - Just a 700 pages of beautiful & painful stories of these 4 boys throughout their life.
    • Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman - Beautiful prose and a nice fiction to enjoy for the day, I think I finished it in a day or two. 
    • The Unseen Body by Jonathan Reisman - Nice anecdotes during his medical years, I love reading about medical-related experience. No medical jargon, easy to read for normal people like me. 
    • How to Make Disease Disappear by Dr Rangan Chatterjee - I love nutrition, I love his easy to follow guide in life, I followed his podcast on Youtube afterwards and enjoyed his free content there.
    • The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by VE Schwab - Same as Magic Lessons, it has a lot of beautiful prose and enjoyable fiction of the day. This book made me think for several days. 
    • Any non-fiction books by Ann Patchett - I read them all. 
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    I love it.
    I love the entertainment, I love finding good stories, I love reading beautiful prose, I love discovering great authors, I love anecdotes, I love the written words. I wish I can get access to any books that I want, I wish books are cheaper, I wish I can borrow and exchange books more than I've been doing now. 

    This year I read a lot of fiction, essays, parenting and health related books. 

    Moving forward, I want to borrow more books to read and possibly read more classics. I think I need more reader friends to exchange/borrow books. Anyone ?

    Books - Reading Slump and Random Stuffs Stuck in my Mind

     

    I've been stuck in a reading slump. After 'A Little Life', I haven't been able to enjoy reading. Sure, I finished 'The City of Mist' by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and 'After the Quake' by Haruki Murakami soon after, but I didn't enjoyed it. I'm also trying to continue my current books : 'Less' by Andrew Sean Greer and 'Love from A to Z' by S. K. Ali. But I can't seem to enjoy them.


    I hate reading slump.


    This usually happens after a great book. I feel like there is nothing else worth my time.


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    Random - 

    • It's raining heavily since 4 pm (right now it's almost 10 pm)
    • I'm tired everyday due to the fasting month. I don't do well with less food intake. I'm exhausted, I'm tired, and I'm cranky. My blood pressure is low, I feel like blacking out every time I stand up. Sure, I didn't lost that many weight, maybe just 1-2 kg. But if I lose more weight than that then I'll be underweight and I'm trying to avoid that.  
    • But my skin is clear, there is almost no acne. Actually, it was since February. Since I decided to change my skin care to Aiken Prebiotic, everything went smoothly. I stopped having random acne, and I'm happy. I don't really wear make-up so having clear skin is my dream (or maybe I'm just older now so I suddenly stopped having adult acne?). 
    • I've been watching 'This Is Us' new season on Hotstar+. It is so amazing. I always tell Af that I want to write stories about normal life and normal people, and this is the exact representation of what I imagined it should be. Complicated stories and daily dramas of normal people. I can't really share with anyone that I know about the series because I don't really know anyone that watches this. But man, I really love the series. The story and character developments are just amazing. 
    • And yes, I enjoyed Bridgerton Season 2 for the pure love of love-tension between those two. I enjoyed it so much too. I giggled like a school girl, I can't remember when was the last time I felt so excited with romance series (I bet it was in my school years). It's been awhile and I'm happy that I felt so entertained by Shonda Rhimes' creation again. 
    • I think I had 5 interviews and 2 design tests this month. I hate trying to prove that I can work, I hate selling, I hate having to explain. I'm not sure whether I should start working full-time again. I seriously don't want to prove anything to anyone. 
    • Well, it's 10 pm now. I'm sleepy and I am so tired. I'm glad we had this random chat. Good night.