“I’ve never read a book”

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In a bookshop this afternoon I overhead a conversation between two teen girls as they approached the music book section. It went something like this:

Girl 1 – Do you think it is around here?

Girl 2 – I don’t know, I have never been here.

Girl 1 – Really?

Girl 2 – I don’t read books.

Girl 1 – Really?  Why not?

Girl 2 – I’m not interested.  (short pause) Well, I’ve read 2 books…

Unfortunately I don’t know if she said what those two books were as the girls moved away and I couldn’t hear them anymore.

Maybe some kids are not lucky enough to be read bed time stories or get books as gifts, but surely they are still learning literature and reading books in school. Or does that not happen anymore?

How can a 15-16 year old girl never have read a book? I know that compared to when I was a child there are many more sources of entertainment – computers, computer games, (spending the day) instant messaging friends and so on, but I cannot imagine how it is possible to go through those first years of life without books…

Daily Prompt: Musical | Reminiscences

What role does music play in your life?

Here are my random musical connections in response to today’s Daily Prompt:

– Apparently dancing on top of a café table when I was about three years old as folk music played on the TV

In my teens

– Singing so loud in the shower that my sisters would come back from the bus stop across the road to ask me to shut up so I wouldn’t embarrass them

– Singing “Stayin’ Alive” at the top of my lungs in our apartment’s balcony

– Singing ‘Flash’ for a whole day as I was sightseeing and visiting museums with my sister and a friend

– Pushing my parents until they finally bought me a guitar.  Then finding all sorts of reasons why I couldn’t play it

– Refusing to go out with my parents and sisters and instead spending winter Saturday afternoons, alone at home, watching operas on TV

– My dad often reminiscing about playing the concertina as a young man and dreaming about playing again. Eventually in his sixties he bought one – he couldn’t really play and the concertina rarely came out of its box. The good thing is that at least he fulfilled his dream.

As an adult

– For over 10 years, ‘singing’ and ‘dancing’ ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula’ to entertain my nieces ad nephews every time I visited (they kept asking for it after my first ‘performance’, honest ;-))

– Choosing the radio station on my car journeys, according to my mood – from pop to classical and often dancing (as much as it is possible while seated) and singing at the top of my voice.

– Having at least one song playing in my head most of the time – sometimes 2 or 3 at the same time!

Long live the music!

Another old house

The summer before last I went to a village (Alcaria, Portugal) to take photos of windows with my sister, as she was entering a photo competition run by the village council on that topic. The village has some newer housing but mainly it has very old houses with a number of them empty and decaying.  As in so many other places like this, the inhabitants are mostly older people and there is not much going on, however the county is actively trying to promote the area with events such as photo competitions and other cultural activities.

The window featured in my previous post belongs to a house in this village and these are some of the other photos I took of it. I did not have my wide angle lens with me so the views are limited, giving just glimpses of the spaces.

The house is on the edge of the village and at the back there is a low stone building and a brick building.  It is a very little house – it has a ‘kitchen’ area, a small living room and two miniscule rooms off of it.

ImageThis window is from one of the small rooms at the back of the house

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The front of the stone out building (barn)

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The side of the stone barn

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The house was open so I ventured in to take some photos.  This is the ‘kitchen’ area.

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The fireplace in the ‘kitchen’

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And some of the furniture and belongings left behind.

The other rooms were too dark so I didn’t take any shots of them.

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And it is for sale! No matter how cheap it might be, there is a LOT of work to be done to restore the house and other buildings.  I think it has electricity (ancient wiring) but there is no bathroom and probably no running water either.  However it was wonderful being able to look around and imagine how people lived there.

*I did not enter the competition but my sister did and actually won one of the prizes with a photo of the window with the ripped curtains shown above.