Adventures, Uncategorized

New Title, New Blog!

Dear Followers,

A few years ago, we ceased our activity on Confessions of a Fancy Nerd. However, recently, we decided to start all over again. It’s the same idea, us writing about what we love—everything popular culture—but with a new title and new blog. So we are now calling ourselves The Fancy Nerds. Please follow us in our new online place of residence! Just click the image below, and you will be taken to it! Thanks so much!

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Adventures, Books, Movies/TV series

Mortal Instruments and Fatigue

Never judge a book by the movieWhen I’m super tired and struggling with my neck I tend to crave “quiet” weekends and retreat into other worlds.

Last Saturday, I went to The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones with my brother, Luke. It was a great movie of itself, but movie adaptations are rarely a good translation of the book. Especially where there are complex storylines that span several books, things are left out or altered for time and end up falling flat.

In saying that, they did portray the world/setting admirably. I adored the two main characters and I look forward to seeing Lily Collins in Love, Rosie, the movie adaptation of Cecelia Ahern’s Where Rainbows End.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was based on the first book of the same name, in a six book series by Cassandra Clare. I picked up the third book right after, wanting to be transported, in the way only YA Urban Fantasy seems to be able to do.

mortal instruments city of bonesClare has created a fantastic world filled with delicious characters. She weaves the subplot and main story together building toward an inexorable climax. Her protagonist—a young, powerful girl whose journey of self-discovery leads her to the centre of the action and the solution—is delightfully flawed. The conclusion was satisfactory in the kind of way that leaves you pleased and settled. When I told Luke how I felt—not compelled to read book four right now—he informed me that Clare originally intended book three to be the conclusion of the trilogy.

I don’t thoroughly hide during periods of increased fatigue; I’ve still walked the dog everyday and carried on, with a slightly reduced schedule. But I find inhabiting another’s psyche to be a nice holiday from my foggy brain.

Adventures, Fancy

Exploring in the Coromandel

Just over two-hour’s drive from where I live is the renowned Coromandel Peninsula. It is a body of land that stretches up from the Waikato Region and is separated from Auckland by the Hauraki Gulf. It is known for its beaches and its forests. Crazily enough, I hadn’t been there before.hot water beach

My boyfriend, Gershwyn, and I set off for this paradise at lunchtime on Friday and spent two glorious nights in the middle of a native forest – it was literally in the middle of a forest, we had to drive through a shallow stream after driving away from the main road and up a particularly narrow windy road for ages. There was no cellphone coverage. It was the middle of nowhere.

On our first morning, made our way to the Hot Water Beach – if you visit one hour either side of low tide then you can walk to the place where you can dig down to reveal volcanic heated water, wait for the waves to bring in the cold water – and you have your own ready made spa! We didn’t make it in time for the hot water, but it was the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. With brilliant blues (the sky and the water) and a cave, what else would you want?

Our next stop was a 45-minute bush walk to Cathedral Cove. It was an amazing combination of beaches and forest. Gershwyn made me spend much time posing so that he could perfect the settings on the camera to capture (many) photos, which resulted in a lot of pictures of me with the oddest of facial expressions (I deleted the worst of them!). The end result was some amazing photos that we will cherish for years to come.

On the second day, we went to New Zealand’s “quirkiest theme park” The Water Works – it was a lot of fun!

cathedral coveWe then carried on into the Coromandel Township and a little north to the Driving Creek Railway where we took the one-hour train ride up the hill through the forest. It was the most amazing experience, climbing up the hill in the little train to find the view of the gorgeous Hauraki Gulf. It was amazing to hear the mission of the owner to restore the forest and wildlife.

Driving home through the back roads along the coast it was hard not to feel sad at leaving this paradise behind. Two days exploring a beautiful, new area with my most favourite person and a forest on my doorstep was my idea of ecstasy. Leaving these things was the opposite.

Adventures, Fancy

Weekend Adventuring

So, I’m a bookworm, my ideal weekend involves a lot of coffee and books. But I ventured beyond the City’s grey borders this weekend and did a little adventuring with one of my most favourite people. Below is a pictorial round up from Matakana (1.5 hours north of Auckland, New Zealand) and the surrounding area:

Adventuring weekend in 16 June

From top left: We began the day at the Matakana market – I found a big photo book of Audrey Hepburn’s life in a very cute, proper bookstore in Matakana. A view behind the market. I found a comfy chair. Some food I did not partake in (I don’t tend to be adventurous with my food, but I did impress my lovely fellow adventurer with tasting both a sausage and a pickle at the wine tasting). We then drove out to a local winery for a wine tasting – A deliciously coloured countryside. The platter that came after the wine tasting. A very fancy chair that I want! A view of the winery. And the sign for the (apparently) world famous Matakana market. (Is it world famous? Has anybody outside of New Zealand heard of it?)

Adventures, Books, Fancy

The Legendary Hard To Find Secondhand Bookstore

Luke and I ventured out to find The Legendary Hard to Find Secondhand Bookstore today, and hidden in plain view on the main street of a small South Auckland suburb, we were duly rewarded.hard-to-find-bookshop-3

booklined stairsIt was like entering another world! We entered through a tiny door into what felt like a multi level cave of books! The far end was like a miniature of library stacks crammed with thousands of literary classics, the amount of Jane Austen books blew me away, if only they had held a copy of Pride and Prejudice in the first edition text.

This bookstore needs to become the setting for a book! Oh the things that could happen there! To one side there is a mezzanine, accessed by very steep stairs, packed with books on the history of different parts of the world and politics. On the other side, there is an equally steep staircase with a beautifully crafted handrail. There are books trailing the side of the stairs, so it is next to impossible to watch where you are going, which is problematic because it feels like you could fall through them at any moment.

But what is upstairs is truly worth the fearful trek! It was love at first sight! Rooms full of books! There was a room full of literary books: biographies of writers, short stories, plays, autobiographies of writers, collections of poetry. I very nearly purchased a biography about Audrey Hepburn, but alas, I had scarcely considered it when I was beckoned by Donne’s collected works.

I managed to walk away with only two books: The Watsons begun by Jane Austen before her death and finished by another and a short story anthology, Big Night Out 3, which includes Maggie Alderson, Candace Bushnell, Marian Keyes and many more.

Unfortunately, I can’t read them anytime soon because there are many books peering at me from their teetering stack beside my bed, beckoning me to read them every time I enter my room.

Adventures, Books, Fancy

A Visual Top Five from the Weekend: Books, walks and herbs

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Top five weekend April 7

I’m currently ruminating on how to review The Storyteller, it was a full, hard, beautiful read—so look out for that soon.

We explored another walkway within 15 minutes drive of our house, it was idyllic!

I tend to dramatically reduce the lifespan of plants by just looking at them, but I am trying an experiment: see if I can get herbs to live (and thrive), if that works I’ll move onto spinach and other vegetables. All part of my experiment with simpler living.

I hope you had a lovely, restful, book-filled weekend.

Adventures, Fancy

A Visual Post of Appreciation for Peace and Quiet Before the Long Weekend

Luke and I took my dog, Coop, to our favourite walkway the other day. In the quiet moments while walking or just sitting and looking, I was overwhelmed by a sense of peace. It was a lovely reminder of how much a quiet walk in my favourite spot can refresh me, and a gentle rebuke that I hadn’t been there more recently.

This little oasis is just ten minutes from our house, in one of many residential suburbs in a big city, in a small country (New Zealand).

 scrap book style for post

Adventures, Books

Fancy Nerd Finds Great Secondhand Bookstore

A delicious shelf of classics
A delicious shelf of classics

My weekend began with a perfect fancy nerd outing with my brother, consisting of great coffee and hours lost in a second-hand bookstore, Book Mark, in Takapuna (North of Auckland). I was lured there on the promise of a 20,000 strong collection of used books, and they delivered. I emerged from the stacks of aged and contemporary books with a Jane Austen biography that has been on my “to read” list for a while, Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin. Unfortunately I couldn’t source a collection of Donne’s poetry or a copy of Pride and Prejudice with first edition text, so they remain on the “really want to buy” list. They did have a beautiful, gold-edged paged omnibus of the Bronte sisters’ novels and an illustrated history of English Literature that I couldn’t liberate this time.

We followed this with a chaser of new books at a bookstore beside our parking spot, just because we were in a new area and are nosy!

A great start to the weekend!