For readers who are new to my blog, this is my third monthly wrap-up in 2019. My January wrap-up is here, and my February wrap-up is here. I plan to write a wrap-up for each month so I can look back and see how well the year has turned out.
In March I viewed three colourful outdoor and indoor art exhibits in my home city, one indoor art exhibit in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, and one outdoor art exhibit in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. There were also lots of beautiful art and architecture in Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Slovenia. Sample photos of the indoor art exhibits that I visited are below.
|Pratneker art exhibit in Ljubljana, Slovenia|
|Paintings and Blown Glass Arts in Toronto|
I wrote three posts in March before my trip to wrap up February, and to share my outdoor walks to Canoe Landing Park and Ice Breakers 2019. I didn't blog while I was traveling in Europe :-).
My thanks to everyone who have left comments on my blog and those who linked up with the Wellness Wednesday on March 13. A friendly reminder that our next Wellness link up is on Wednesday April 10. Optional prompt is Healthy Mind.
I read eight terrific books written by authors from Canada, Croatia, France, Sweden, and the USA. Most of the books are literary award winners or international bestsellers and are good reads.
|Books I read in March|
- Love Dishonor Marry Cherish Perish by David Rakoff, 113 pages. This is a novel in verse with witty words that weave the stories together.
- The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani, translated from the French Chanson Douce by Sam Taylor, 228 pages. Leila Slimani is the first Moroccan woman to win France's most prestigious literary prize, the Goncourt, which she won in 2016 for The Perfect Nanny. A journalist, she was born in Rabat, Morocco, in 1981. She lives in Paris with her French husband and their two young children. I enjoyed this book and picked up a second book, Adèle, by the same author from the Best Bets section in my local library.
- Adèle by Leila Slimani, translated from the French Dans le Jardin de L'ogre by Sam Taylor, 216 pages. Leila Slimani won the La Mamounia Prize in 2014 for Adèle. The book tells the story of a woman afflicted by sexual addiction that loses control of her life due to her addiction. In this book cover, it states that the author is a frequent commentator for women's and human rights, and she is French president Emmanuel Macron's personal representative for the promotion of the French language and culture.
- A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, translated from Swedish by Henning Koch, 295 pages. I've always meant to read this book and enjoyed reading it so much I couldn't put it down. I finished it in a day.
- Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill, 262 pages. This book won the 2017 Giller Prize in Canada. The book is set in Toronto with locations familiar to me. The story is about a woman's doppelganger and mental health.
- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, 90 pages. This science fiction novella won the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Novella and the 2015 Nebula Award for the same category.
- 419 by Will Ferguson, 399 pages. This book won the 2012 Giller Prize in Canada. It's about the insidious Internet scam from Nigeria, and how the characters' lives intersect.
- The Rough Guide to Croatia, 479 pages, written and researched by Jonathan Bousfield who lives in Zagreb, Croatia.
I attended three wonderful concerts at home before my trip:
• A Taste of Mardi Gras concert by Jordan Klapman, Gary Scriven, and Patrick Tevlin.
• Peace and Turmoil piano concert by Jialang Zhu.
• A classical piano concert by David Potvin.
FAMILY, FOOD & FRIENDS
In the first half of March, I met with one of my friends for a gym workout, and attended a fun social event that one of the yoga class participants organized to celebrate International Women's Day.
I spent the second half of March travelling with my sister. We had a wonderful time together in Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Slovenia. Our tour package covered all breakfasts, and we were on our own for lunch and dinner so we tried different eateries in various towns and cities that we visited. There were plenty of food and drink choices to choose from, plus delicious desserts.
In March, I meditated fifteen minutes daily, walked forty-five minutes or more every day. While at home, I completed ten strength workouts in the gym, five yoga classes, and three swimming sessions. On our trip, my sister and I walked on average three hours a day for sightseeing. I love my outdoor walks and when I get to see colourful art displays on sunshiny days, I'm a happy person :)
|Outdoor arts for my fit and fun walks|
I continued with my daily French and Spanish lessons on Duolingo, and learned about Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Slovenia before and during my trip. The tour leader and local tour guides gave us a lot of information about the three countries that we visited.
I watched two movies with my neighbours in early March (Instant Family, Ralph Breaks the Internet), and two in-flight movies (Venom, A Simple Favor). They were entertaining.
My sister and I visited Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Slovenia on a guided tour. The trip was wonderful with several stops along the Adriatic Coast and two capital cities (Ljubljana in Slovenia and Zagreb in Croatia). We also made one stop in Mostar, in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
We lucked out with the group size (only twelve people), and the weather (mostly sunny days and only one cloudy day). Our itinerary was similar to the snapshot below. We had a good mix of guided time and free time to explore on our own. I plan to share my travel highlights and photos on my blog once I get my travel materials sorted out.
Overall, March was a month full of new and fun experiences for me, both at home and abroad. I welcome April and look forward to enjoying the Spring season :)
How was your March? What good things happened? I'd love to hear your comments.
Hope you will share some more photos from your trip. This was just enough to leave me wanting more. Was the first piece of art a photograph or a painting. Oh, those colors and shapes. The slender trees and their trunks in contrast with the denser brush or bushes on the right of the screen. I had a printed canvas in college that had those same springy colors. Haven't thought of it in years.ReplyDelete
The cover of The Nanny has caught my eye. Need to add it to my Goodreads to-read list. Glad to read your positive review.
Hi Leslie - The first piece of art was a painting. That exhibit had about twenty large size beautiful paintings hanging in a courtyard. I'm interested in what you think of The Nanny book after you read it. I plan to share more photos from my trip so stay tuned :) Thank you for stopping by.Delete
Hi, Natalie - You continue to amaze me. I have no idea how you did all of this in one month. Even reading eight books alone would be enough to fill thirty days for me -- let alone adding in an incredible trip to Croatia, language lessons-- and all of the other things that you accomplished. : you are a true inspiration!! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Donna, for your kind words. I do my best to focus my time with the people and activities that I enjoy. It seems to work :) March was a longer month than February and it sped by.Delete
That looks like a great trip. We went to northern Croatia a couple of years ago and have booked to go to Dubrovnik in the autumn - such a pretty country. That list of books that you read this month is pretty impressive!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Deb, for your comment. Dubrovnik in the autumn sounds great! I heard that it gets very crowded in the summer months.Delete
I enjoy living my life vicariously through you and your wonderful travels and visits to art museums. Hoping to see more photos from Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia. I live in Europe but shamefully have never been to those places! Your book list is also interesting, I have only read one so far, Adele.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Gail, for your comment. I plan to write a few posts with photos on my trip to Croatia and Slovenia. Both countries are lovely.Delete
That reflection painting is gorgeous! I've got the Backman to read - read Beartown and just finished the new one. #MLSTLReplyDelete
That reflection painting was one of about twenty beautiful paintings on display. Thanks, Lydia, for stopping by.Delete
BTW, The artist's name is Gregor Pratneker. He's Slovenian and has won many awards for his art work.Delete
I loved a Man Called Ove! We also watched Ralph Breaks the Internet and Instant Family this month; I thought they were both pretty good.ReplyDelete
I'm glad I got A Man Called Ove book at my local library and enjoyed reading it very much. Thank you for stopping by.Delete
Happy April Natalie. Your trip with your sister sounds amazing! I look forward to hearing more about it and seeing some photographs which I'm sure you'll share here on the blog. I can't believe you read 8 books during March! Enjoy the rest of your week! xoReplyDelete
Happy April, Min! There was so much to see and enjoy on my trip with my sister. It was really fabulous. I'll share a few posts and photos later this month. Some of the eight books were not long so I could finish them before my trip :)Delete
Gosh I love your wrap ups Natalie and Croatia is such a beautiful place to visit. We did a cruise a few years ago which visited Dubrovnik and we also went to Bled in Slovenia - just gorgeous. My husband's Dad was born in Croatia and it is certainly a beautiful country. Enjoy your April and thanks for joining us and sharing at #MLSTL. Have a great week. xxReplyDelete
Both Croatia and Slovenia are wonderful discoveries. I'd love to cruise along the Adriatic Coast. Thank you, Sue, for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!Delete
What a fab month Natalie! I really enjoyed our trip to Croatia a few years ago where we went sailing and cycling around the islands, so much so we're planning to go back next year with some friends. I look forward to reading your future posts on your trip. #senisalReplyDelete
Hi Deb - Sailing and cycling around the islands in Croatia would be fabulous. I'd love to do a trip like that in the future.Delete
How cool was March for you, Natalie! Impressive travel locations and learning those difficult languages!Loved your gallery of the places you walked! Have a great week...coming to you from #MLSTL!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Terri, for your kind comment. March was fabulous. April is off to a good start so far :)Delete
Oh my goodness! What a full March! Very rich with books, film, concerts, traveling-you are really living the good life! Croatia is on my bucket list. Hope to go soon.ReplyDelete
I'm very much looking forward to hearing about your next adventures!
Thank you, Theresa, for your visit and comment. I hope you get to visit Croatia soon. I'm planning my next adventures :)Delete
Well you've certainly had another full month Natalie. I'm looking forward to seeing all your travel pics when you have them pulled together in a post. You certainly manage to get around the world these days!ReplyDelete
Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I've shared on my SM :)
Thank you, Leanne, for hosting and sharing. I enjoy exploring new places and plan to share my travel pics from Croatia soon. Have a wonderful week!Delete
Awesome catch-up, Natalie. Shared in my Social Media. @MLSTLReplyDelete
Thank you, Donna. I'm excited for you about your upcoming trip.Delete
So impressed with your reading list! One book a month is probably my limit. Such a slow reader. Ahh love Croatia - we visited in 2014 but seems like yesterday. #MLSTLReplyDelete
Thank you, Jo, for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed Croatia, too. Eight books may sound like a lot but some of the books I read in March were not that long :)Delete
Glad to see the summing up of another wonderful journey.ReplyDelete
Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week's optional prompt is Share Your Snaps. 15/51. Hope to see you there! Denyse.
Thank you, Denyse, for hosting. I look forward to see your snaps next week.Delete
What an exciting month, Natalie! I'm traveling this month and can't wait. Your trip sounds amazing!ReplyDelete
I'm excited for you. Bon voyage, SSG!Delete
I'm glad you're back - ducked over to your blog a few times to see if you were about - and am looking forward to hearing more about this part of the world. I loved that picture by Pratneker. I just googled some more if his work - reall atmospheric.ReplyDelete
Croatia and Slovenia are lovely countries, Jo. Just by chance that I got to see Pratneker's art exhibit. He's an award-winning Slovenian artist. His paintings are amazing.Delete
It sounds like you had a lovely month, Natalie. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of it with us. #MLSTLReplyDelete
March was wonderful. Thank you, Christie, for stopping by.Delete
Natalie, no one could say that you aren't living life to the fullest! You have accomplished a lot in one month! Your trip sounds amazing, I look forward to reading about it more in the future. About all I know of this region is the war, so I would love to learn about it.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Michele, for your kind comment. Croatia and Slovenia have moved on and are part of the European Union. I'll share a few posts and photos about my trip.Delete
What a fun month of traveling! Good for you for workingout so much! That's great, my goal is always to do 3-4 times a week at the gym. And 8 books, wow! That's amazing!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Sarah, for stopping by. March was wonderful. Here's to an enjoyable April!Delete
Once I start feeling better, I'd love to start going to concerts again!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jamie, for stopping by. I hope you feel better soon.Delete
I continue to be in awe of your commitment and motivation Natalie. Your trip sounds wonderful and how lovely to travel with your sister.ReplyDelete
I love some of the paintings from the Toronto gallery AND your exercise and meditation again makes me feel guilty. (Though I know there's no point in feeling guilty, I need to just do something about it!)
Thank you, Deborah, for your kind comment. I've seen how a sedentary lifestyle affects people as they get older, plus I like to stay active so I make time for my daily meditation and exercise.Delete
Talk about another very varied month for you, Natalie. Such amazing experiences home and abroad. It truly boggles my mind that you can keep up your meditation and language learning schedules while on vacation. It’s nice you managed to have some me-time while traveling with your sister. Walking and hiking while experiencing new cultures or places is my favorite exercise regime as well. :-)ReplyDelete
March was an amazing month for me too, since I mostly managed to do what I enjoy best: travel, sightsee, hike, take photos, indulge in my beautiful surroundings. I certainly need to catch up on blogging and other internet-related tasks as well!
Hi Liesbet - Glad to hear March was an amazing month for you. Spring is here and it's a nice time to do what you enjoy best.Delete
On this tour, we had plenty of free time and free wi-fi so it was easy for me to continue my daily meditation and language lessons on Duolingo. I allocate 15 minutes for each and can do them in the morning and/ or evening.
I really enjoyed A Man Called Ove. My book club picked it about a year ago. You have had a very busy month and I envy you your travels.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Victoria, for stopping by. I enjoyed A Man Called Ove, too. If you have a book to recommend, please let me know.Delete
Wow - sounds like you had a fantastic month! Hope you blog more about your trip. Croatia is on my bucket list. I've heard wonderful things about how beautiful it is. Thanks for linking up to Thinking Out Loud Thursday!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Penny, for your visit and comment. I'll blog more about my trip soon. Croatia and Slovenia are beautiful countries.Delete
I really like that painting by Gregor Pratneker as well. Also the portrait type paintings in the photo below it are interesting.ReplyDelete
Hi Jude - I was glad to discover Pratneker's art exhibit in Slovenia. The portrait type paintings are by Omar Ba who lives and works between Dakar and Geneva. His art exhibit in Toronto is on until May 12 so I'm thinking of going back a second time. It's an impressive exhibit with about 25-30 large and detailed paintings.Delete