The Marble Collector ~ Reading

The-Marble-Collector-702x336

For some time I had been unimpressed by the books I picked up. Or maybe it wasn’t the books fault, it was me. I just wasn’t up for reading. Which is strange with me, but I will give the books a chance.

The other day while I was window shopping I picked up Cecilia Ahern’s “The Marble Collector”.

As with me lately, it took me about two chapters to get into the book. And then I was swallowed. I couldn’t put it down. I’d have my lunch at work in the office to read. I would read it in trains so full that I am sure I might have sneezed in it (oops!).

It took me two days and a half to get through it. I swear I would have finished on the first night if I had no work to go to or things to do.

The Marble Collector is a brilliantly told story. You will have the Fergus perspective and Sabrina’s. Maybe I related to Sabrina. Maybe I reading it this week had the same effect that finding the marbles had on Sabrina’s life. It’s the far too common feeling that you are comfortable in your life – maybe with the added extra work in your days, even though Sabrina does have kids and I don’t so in fact, she is in the lead with work – when everything is going well, or at least moving forward but inside there is something. Either it is a lack of drama, of too much routine that is slowly making you want something to happen. I was reading the other day about couples and how some people have crappy days and the partner doesn’t realize and the first person is hoping for them to do something wrong so it is justifiable for the first person to explode at them.

Anyway, this is a beautiful representation of how life goes on and moves forward and you are still you but could you be more? The fight within you is still there, but is there really something wrong?

Thank you, Cecilia, beautiful book. Loved reading about life in Ireland in the generation prior to mine – my partner is Irish, so I always find it funny when a story is placed there ah! – thank you for Fergus’s layers and Sabrina’s inner battles. Your book was my marble on a specifically difficult January.

If you have a chance, please read it; it is a fast pacing easy readable book that it will make you stay awake just for one more chapter and then another. Memories are a precious things and sometimes it is the little things that reminds us of another time.

Have fun reading! And me, I’m picking up the 100 year old man again!untitled

Claudia x

 

2016; what is wrong with you?

tumblr_o10jdzgzMz1t0ycj5o1_500

Seriously, two monumental people in the space of a week? Seriously?

Dear Alan Rickman,

Did you know that Robin Hood, where you played the sheriff of Sherwood, was the first VHS that I ever recorded from my television?

I saw Bruce Willis kill you. I saw Johnny Depp put a knife to your throat. I’ve seen you laugh in Sense and Sensibility. I have seen you love, cheat and regret in Love Actually. I have seen you love so much in Harry Potter. And yes I am that generation but that is probably the role I know you most from. Because strangely, I feel like I know you. Even if I haven’t met you. Now you will never be 80 and you will never be in your rocking chair reading Harry Potter. And somehow, that hurts.

Sorry to see you go Alan and be sure one of the wands pointing the night sky yesterday was mine.

Love,

Claudia x

tumblr_o10jo8OdGE1rr7c73o1_400

Thoughts aloud

large

People overthink. They will say ‘follow your heart’ or ‘ you have to do what it is best for you’. But when it comes for them? All the good advice go out of the window.

Why do people do this to themselves? Why do they have the need to validate a decision, or explain a relationship?

Why do people have to think if they are settling or worry if someone thinks they are just getting comfortable?

We always worry about what other people think and mostly what we think people will think. They are so good at evaluating others peoples lives and decisions and help them planning the next move. Sometimes, when they are actually very good at it that will make them overthink even more about their own decisions. ‘I was just telling so and so that they should do this, how will it look if I do the opposite’?

A the end of the day, it is you life. It is your happiness. Sometimes you will throw yourself at something that wont work out, and maybe you will know that in you heart. But if you want to do it it’s because something will be learnt. The experience will add something to your life. Tt is something you will need to go through.

I know, there are things you can’t change. We can’t all leave our jobs and go work and leave family or other things behind just like that. But little things, things that matter, do them for yourself.

So, live your life. Make your own mistakes. Do what makes you happy.

After all, it is your life. You are living for you. Love the others, listen to them. But live for yourself.

Be happy.

Love,

Claudia x

tumblr_nr9t2jbw3n1unkwybo1_540

Chapter Three ~ Reunion

3228087460_4876ea5a49_z1

Mr. Hawtrey adjusted his bag and got ready to leave the bus. Sixteen hours on a bus was not for him anymore. And poor Archibald, having to go to unknown places… the poor cat was definitely car sick. Mr. Hawtrey patted the cat carrier and Archibald meowed weakly.

– Don’t worry Archie, we will be there soon.

Archibald huffed, tired of hearing those words but not being able to leave his carrier.

When the bus pulled over at the station Mr. Hawtrey picked his bag and Archibald’s bag and slowly made his way out of the bus. ‘We are here now, Archie. Open your eyes, you will be able to stand soon enough’.

Mr. Hawtrey had but enough time to make a full circle around the waiting seats before he saw Jonah pulling over.

– Professor, Professor!

Jonah parked the car and gave Mr. Hawtrey a heartfelt hug. Pleasantries were exchanged and soon Mr. Hawtrey was sitting on the front seat and Archibald was curled on Cassy’s lap purring like the happy kitten he was.

Mr. Hawtrey looked much like Jonah remembered. Still dressed with a shirt and a pullover, but now he had allowed himself some jeans as opposed to the khakis he used to wear.

His hair had gone completely grey but still curled at the sides. He had changed glasses and funnily enough, they were now thinner than when he was teaching.

On the other seat, Mr. Hawtrey was doing pretty much the same with Jonah. The boy had put on some weight and lost some hair, but you could still say he had brown hair. He now had a small stubble that could almost be called beard. If Mr. Hawtrey had a say on it, he would tell Jonah to shave it properly – you either had a beard or you didn’t.

Cassy, Jonah’s daughter was a delight. She had lighter brown hair than Jonah and was petting Archibald like a pro.

– She is quite smart you know? – Jonah interrupted his thoughts. Yes, you would think so about your offspring, Mr. Hawtrey concluded. – She loves puzzles and is very creative in solving them. She loves to count and you cannot cheat her on cards.

– Oh? Maybe I should play with her sometime. Have you taught her chess?

– Catherine didn’t think it was appropriate because of her age, but she handles it better than Carson did back in Uni.

Ah, Carson was an old student. Mr. Hawtrey remembered him, his keychain was a chess queen. He often left it and lost it basically everywhere he went. Brilliant boy, but not so good with keeping track of his things.

– Carson actually is working in the same company, you know?

Jonah kept going updating briefly Mr. Hawtrey on what his fellow students were currently doing. Mr. Hawtrey found it curious, Jonah always seemed a bit like a loner in school, how is it that he kept tabs on so many people? This made Mr. Hawtrey think that maybe he had misread the boy. He was focused alright, but surely he must have had a social life outside the classroom.

It was mid-afternoon when the car parked by a yellow house on a quiet road. Mr. Hawtrey could see through the windows the woman he had to assume it was Jonah’s wife. Just as the car stopped, Catherine came to the door to welcome them and help Mr. Hawtrey get settled.

– You can stay in Cassy’s room, and as long as Archibald doesn’t mind dogs, the neighbour’s shouldn’t be a problem. Did you have a good journey?

No, not really. His legs were stiff and his knees hurt from being stuck on that bus. He was tired and didn’t take a nap like he had intended to

– Very pleasant, thank you. Just a tad too long for my age, I guess. You have a lovely house.

It actually was a very nice place. Catherine must love yellow because splashes of it where everywhere. And according to Mr. Hawtrey’s calculations, the sun would be hitting the kitchen in the morning and in the afternoon the living room. How cheerful!

Mr. Hawtrey was shown to his room. Unlike Catherine, Cassy liked purple. Purple curtains, purple bed throws. Purple lamps. Purple flowers on the wall and pillows.

– Mr. Hawtrey, I have purple bedsheets but mummy said you would prefer the white ones. But if you want you can have one of my pillows.

– That is fantastic Cassy. If I need I will let you know. I heard you are a great chess player.

– I am ok. Daddy likes to play it after dinner. Sometimes I win. Do you play? Maybe tonight I could play with you instead. I think mummy is making chicken roast. How old is Archibald? I think he likes me.

In all fairness, Archibald liked pretty much everyone as long as they petted him between the years and gave him food. Cats were supposed to be individual and little gods. But poor one eyed Archie liked people. Mr. Hawtrey often thought he had the soul of a dog. Which turned out good for Mr. Hawtrey. Archibald never failed to keep company although he could have a bit of a snobbish complex if ignored for too long.

Mr. Hawtrey encouraged Archibald to go down the stairs and after some bumps and stumbles on unfamiliar territory, they both made it downstairs.

Catherine was busy setting the table and making the last arrangements while Jonah was looking at some wine.

– I think this red will go nicely with the roast. – Jonah announced.

The four of them gathered around the table taking their seats. There was even a spot for Archibald by the kitchen door.

– You have a delightful family, Jonah. Well done.

– Thank you, I like them – Jonah winked at both wife and daughter. Cassy giggled while playing the peas she was definitely not going to eat. Catherine smiled, quite proudly, if Mr. Hawtrey could say so.

– So Catherine, where did you meet Jonah here?

– Well, I saw him first and thought he was crazy – always a great start thought Mr. Hawtrey – He was at the laundrette and was talking to himself wearing a shirt that for sure should have been included in the wash.

– She thought I was hilarious – obviously a story they had recounted before.

– I thought you were crazy. He didn’t notice me until I “accidentally” dropped the washing powder. He thought it was because I thought he was good looking, but in all honesty, I just didn’t want to be alone with someone talking to themselves for an hour.

Both Jonah and Catherine talked about how they started meeting and eventually moved in and how Cassy had been a blessing. Mr. Hawtrey liked Catherine. She sounded like a good match for Jonah. Cassy was a funny girl, she kept feeding peas to Archibald – who actually did not like them and kept taking them somewhere towards the kitchen.

Mr. Hawtrey loved dinner occasions. He was able to listen while enjoying food. He could not wait to see if Jonah had kept the numbers he had given him. At the end of the day, although he enjoyed spending time with Jonah and his family, he was ready for a little adventure.

 

___________________________________________________________

How do you like Archie?

Claudia x

Chapter 2 ~ Jonah

– So, who is this Mr. Hawtrey again? – Catherine asked for what it felt it was the tenth time that afternoon.

– He was my professor in University, he got me the job with Mr Pemberton.

Jonah had just thought about Mr. Hawtrey the other day. He still had the latitudes the Professor had given him years and years ago.

Maybe that is what Mr. Hawtrey called him about.

– Will he stay for long?

– I don’t know, maybe a couple of days? I told him he would have to share the room with Cassy and he was ok.

– Why isn’t he staying at a hotel? I swear nobody else I know harbours their old teachers.

– I know how it sounds, but it’s not like I was going to deny him a bed, was it?

In all fairness Jonah Stills really wanted Professor Hawtrey to come.They had sat together decoding codes and encrypted messages. Jonah had told Mr. Hawtrey all about the decoding passion he had since starting his classes and that creating them would be his life goals.

Mr. Hawtrey had taken him to meet Mr. Pemberton who was just expanding his company at the time. They were working with big enterprises around the US providing security systems and helping the informatics development in them. Jonah loved what he did. He got to drive around playing number combinations in his head. It was a job that made him think but still allowed him to relax.

It was just his luck that on that sunny morning he received a call just after breakfast. How long has it been since he had heard from Mr. Hawtrey? He hadn’t even come to his wedding. Catherine should like him well enough, Jonah thought. Maybe they could do a puzzle or two and meet Cassy, she would definitely find him funny.

Cassy was just 4 but her favourite play game was puzzles. Or match the tiles, just like Mahjong. She recognized numbers already and Jonah wanted to make sure her abilities were looked after.

– I better stop daydreaming and look at the road! – Jonah thought.

The truth was that he was intrigued and wanted Mr. Hawtrey to hurry and be there already. Tomorrow he would know what brought the old man to his part of town.

 

__________________________________________________

Share your thoughts,

Claudia x