Hello Sunday, I am not sure what the date is, or where we are in the hazy week between Christmas and New year which is a constant cycle of ‘I must exercise and eat less’ whilst eating more and doing no exercise. I actually had to work on Friday, boo. It did nothing for my Mental Health. Christmas was a hectic whirlwind, with split parents and a large family Christmas day is never a relaxing experience, it is built around snatched hours at various houses, none of which are my own and then to top it all off my sister and I had to cut the day short to get back to put the chickens away and the fox had already got them all. I walked out to a feather massacre on boxing day morning. We had shut them in just the fox had got in there first. Again another reason I hate the dark winters. I know it is part of life but it was still a sombre start to boxing day and then wham before I knew it I was back at my desk, answering emails and Christmas had gone. Two months of prep and worry for that?
Nonetheless, there were some real highlights of my Christmas days off which I thought I would share with you in a Christmas round-up bumper special before I jet off with my friends for a couple of days to celebrate NYE.
I will start where we should with a little bit of Christmas appreciation. This is mainly aimed towards my two sisters. Hannah made us all Christmas crackers out of recycled cardboard and even made homemade lip balms to go with them, her jokes were miles better than any we have had before. I was feeling uneasy about all the Christmas waste so I massively appreciated the effort she went to with these. Pip also made me a nut roast, despite suffering from norovirus on the days running up to Christmas so I could do a vegetarian Christmas. The three of us are unfortunately stuck in the same boat when it comes to Christmas being pushed and pulled from pillar to post, I don’t know what I would do without them. I am very grateful for my parents and their generous gifts as always but mainly for keeping me stocked in new books and my aunt who hosted a very drunk bunch of us for Christmas day and did an incredible job of Christmas dinner. What I really appreciated this year was how much more conscious of waste so many of us were, it was reassuring to hear so many people trying to do their bit.
I went a bit spend crazy during Black Friday and then read that all returns to major retailers end up going straight to landfill, it made me feel a little sick if I am honest. So I am trying much harder this year to avoid this situation. I am also going to try no spend (on myself January). I have however treated myself to this dress from Zara (which is now in the sale) for NYE. The first one arrived which I optimistically ordered in a small however it was still too big. I am no XS but the sequins are really heavy so I would recommend you size down for this dress if you buy it. How cute is this for a party dress? I thought it was worth the investment because I can wear it for years to come during the holiday season but I did read after I bought it that sequins will never decompose so this will be the last new sequin item I buy. Ever.
I am OBSESSED with a leather-look Topshop skater skirt I purchased from Depop in November (featured in the header photo). I can’t find the exact one but this is a longer version (mine is a mini) I am very keen to find this one as well as I love a longer skirt. This has been my most worn item of the winter and it is not looking like it will be replaced anytime soon. I receive so many compliments when I am wearing it, I have worn it to work, family meals, for casual drinks and nights out. I couldn’t recommend it more, there are so many leather-look products on Depop at the moment so make sure to check them out before you buy new.
The highlight this Christmas food was Pip’s nut roast she made me and the introduction of the infamous leek side which is now a Christmas staple. Before Christmas, I had only once tried one nut roast before and it was dry and bland, I wasn’t a fan, however, the one Pip made me on Christmas day has changed everything. I now finally get it. I was living off Nut Roast sandwiches for days following Christmas. I also learnt how to make the infamous leek dish I always bang on about so that is my January diet sorted. My uncle bought me the Jamie Oliver Veg book for secret Santa which I was thrilled about after listening to him on Table Manners podcast so I am going to make a big effort at the beginning of the year to tackle some of his recipes. Jamie Oliver books are the only cookbooks I have because his recipes are always so good and easy to follow.
I have been spoilt with books this Christmas which I cannot wait to tuck into, however, my Mum has been gifted the biography of George Michael which she left in the living room when she went away. I hate it when people try to read my books before my so I thought I would have a little sneak peek at and wait for her to finish it but unfortunately, 5 chapters went by and the book came home with me. I don’t usually read many biographies but I am really enjoying this one. I am going to try aim for my 52 books again, I made it to 37 this year which wasn’t ideal but I stuck at books I really didn’t enjoy reading so this year I am going to be more selective with what I choose to read and hopefully I can get there. This is going to include audiobooks as well.
It seems as though the entire country was watching Gavin and Stacy on Christmas day. I was eagerly anticipating it but I have to admit I was a little disappointed. I was at university in Cardiff when Gavin and Stacy started so I was always a massive fan but as much as I loved the familiar faces and some references to some of our most loved jokes I felt the episode was a little forced, the cast didn’t seem to gel as they did before, it was a nice way to round off the day but I was expecting better.
I haven’t had much chance to watch TV over the holiday, as mentioned before the OC has consumed my life of late but I cannot wait to go see Greta Gerwig’s adaption of Little Women, it is the first thing I am going to see when I am home from New Years. I don’t think there is a period drama story I love more than Little Women and I absolutely love Saoirse Ronan so I hope it lives up to expectations.
I am currently listening to My name is why on audible. I am so pleased I chose to listen to this book instead of reading it because it is read by the author Lemn Sissay, with his voice, you gain the emotion of the story that his story deserves. My name is why is a memoir by Lemn Sissay a courageous account of his time with a foster family, growing up as a black child in a white household and then his additional 6 years in the institutionalised care. The narrative is woven with reports from his social workers and school. It is a heartbreaking story but one I gained so much from, I am pleased Leman had the courage to share his story.
I have so many podcasts to catch up on which I am planning to keep me entertained at the airport. The podcast I am most excited by at the moment is the new release from Dawn O’porter titled So Lucky after her recently published novel. I love Dawn O’porter and this podcast won’t disappoint she kicked off with a very strong line up of some of my favourite guests from Matt Haig to Scarlett Curtis. I know it is going to be a perfect mix of humour, mental health and breaking down taboos because if anyone can smash those barriers it Dawn. For the most wholesome feelgood podcast of 2019, I urge you to listen to the Table Manners interview with Emila Clarke, I loved every second of it and I know it won’t be the last time I listen to this duo talk about the infamous chicken soup.