24 Festive Tasks: Door 8 - Penance Day - Tasks

Task 1:  “Confess” your book habits.  Dog-earring?  Laying books face down?  Bending back the spines? Skimming?  OR: Confess your guilty reading pleasure, or comfort reads.


I've commented on this before, and recently, but I do scribble in my books (only my own, not borrowed books!), so for this task I will focus comfort reads.

Comfort reads fro me can take various forms and genres - sometimes a Golden Age Murder Mystery does the trick, in which case Dorothy L. Sayers and Agatha Christie are my go to authors, along with more "recent" discoveries of Josephine Tey (if only she had written more!) and J. Jefferson Farjeon. 

Sometimes, I need a good, but not gory, suspense thriller (I'm still working through Highsmith's canon).

And yet at other times, I need a good non-fiction book. Those are also comfort reads to me. 


Task 2:  It’s “Pennants” day according to MbD’s husband:  post a picture of your favorite team’s logo / mascot and the last time they’ve won a championship (or not).


I like watching some sports, but I don't understand how one can be obsessed with a  sports team or even have a favourite sports team, because... well, I just don't get it. 

Even for the team sports I do like watching, my support depends on how they are playing - not that they are winning, but how well are they playing together as a team, and how are they conducting themselves overall - so I usually get the side-eye when I support a team that people wouldn't have expected. However, because this changes a lot and because I am mostly interested in sports on the international rather than the club level, this makes the task of choosing a pennant difficult, so bear with me as I am thinking aloud here:


Let's choose a sport first: The rugby autumn test are just underway and I am going to focus on rugby. I really like the Scotland team because they are fun to watch, even tho they don't win much. However, when Wales, South Africa or New Zealand are playing I have a very hard time deciding who to support. Luckily, fans aren't segregated into a home and away side in rugby stadiums, so changing your mind half-way through a game is no big deal.


However, ...


I'm going to have be arbitrary here and pick the French pennant:


Because no matter how you look at it, it takes some serious guts to wear an image of a cockerel in support of Les Bleus, and the French fans just excel at embracing the fun side of a poultry mascot.




Task 3: In centuries gone by, penance would often end up in what might be described as a very extended bad hair day (complete with sackcloth and ashes). Tell us: What’s a bad hair day to you – and what (if anything) do you do about it?


I have thin, straight hair that won't do much other than lie flat. So any day that the hair wins out and resists my efforts to keep it from falling in front of my eyes is a bad hair day.


Task 4: Early Christian spiritualists would sometimes do penance by spending time in the desert. If you’ve ever visited a desert region (or even live there), post a picture and tell us about it. Alternatively, post a picture of sand dunes (NOT with water in the background!).


In 2013, I was preparing to move to Dubai for a work assignment. This was cancelled at the 11th hour, but I still ended up going back and forth at least once a month for about half a year. I'm not the biggest fan of Dubai, so the change of plans was ok with me.

While I was going back and forth, I did try and make the most of my trips out there, which of course included trips to the desert.



As readers, you all might also appreciate that I was reading T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom at the time, and I got a special sense of the vastness of the desert and the heat when reading the book during that time. I know that the book is set in a different region, but the UAE was the closest I was going to get to the places described in the book.


Book:  Read any book concerning a man / woman of the cloth, a book about a character hiding a guilty secret or searching for absolution.


I'm going to use A Game for the Living for this book task, because one of the characters, Ramon, was so caught up in his religious guilt that he confesses to a murder that we, the readers, spend the rest of the book finding out whether he did it or not. Also, I'm not going to lie, the book was bad and I need some good to come out of having read it - so I am claiming this point!