Well, we haven’t been here for a while, have we? I have booked some time off work to sit in the same place I sit in five days a week, what else is there to do except put pen to paper and finally try and get back into my weekly round-ups?
I can’t lie either, I don’t totally hate lockdown. There is a lot of shit of course, but I am still not over rocking up to my desk at 08:45 without having looked in the mirror, and the close range of snacks in the kitchen to my desk is not one to be ignored either. Lock-down has been made momentously better by my pal Fliss coming to stay with us for the last two months and her super cute Toy Poodle, she brings me tea throughout the day and chats non-stop, what else could I want?
I have now lost all concept of what a ‘typical’ December should look and feel like. Come 10 pm on New Year’s Eve I will be asleep, none the wiser that 2021 has snuck up on us without delivering on the promise of ‘next year will be back to normal’. We will still be here without even a ‘no drink without a substantial meal’ insight.
Don’t expect a 2020 round-up from me, it would be fucking depressing, there will be no goals I have achieved post from me either. Instead, I am going to share with you some of the things I have enjoyed lately.
I haven’t quite made it through my 52 books this year. I have decided if I can’t read 52 when I am locked down in a house I am not sure when I will be able to. I did continue with some books which were an absolute slog. The type which never gets better and I regret each and every page but I am not sure how I am ever going to get around that. I don’t like giving up and books are expensive. I dread to think how much I have spent on books this year. As I haven’t posted a blog in a long time there are many books I have read and loved which haven’t featured on here so please go and check out my Instagram stories, they are all listed on there. I have however recently finished Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones the author best known for her more recent novel An American Marriage. I enjoyed An American Marriage, it really did live up to the hype but I found Silver Sparrow much more gripping, I was hooked from page one. It is 100% worth the read if you enjoyed An American Marriage.
I am so glad for you all you didn’t have to read through these posts with me recommending The Queen’s Gambit. I watched it the day it came out, because I was lazy and it was at the top of my recommendations. Please don’t get me wrong I thought it was good but jeeezus, if I hear one more person recommend it! Instead what I am looking forward to this month is the new adaption of Little Women, on Sky Cinema. (You can get a free week sky cinema pass on NowTV, so if you have some days free I would recommend signing up and making the most of their new movie list). I saw Little Women at the cinema and it’s phenomenal, I would have stayed in the cinema watching it on repeat if I could have. I also watched Last Christmas, recently. It wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be. I love Wham and George Michael, I had some hope it was going to be as good as Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocket Man with a Christmas twist. It wasn’t. Nonetheless, despite the cheese, there were some lovely messages in the narrative which I enjoyed in the end, through my tears. I have found The Industry on BBC Iplayer, SO GOOD (sorry I can’t muster enthusiasm for a more developed vocabulary at the moment). The Industry is an 8 part drama based on a graduate scheme in the finance industry in London. Some of the storylines are ropey but It’s quite a unique series and a good, perhaps a little unrealistic look into the finance industry.
I have tried to keep up with buying local and from small businesses this Christmas, even my Christmas Cards I have purchased from an individual artist. My amazon prime is sitting gathering dust, which somewhat makes me happy although my love for This is us is stopping me from cancelling altogether. Of course, there have been a few presents purchased here and there, I have obviously treated myself to a fair few gifts. The perks of not having a partner to buy for means each Christmas I save a few 00 to spend on myself. I purchased a 6-month book subscription from Willoughby book club for my nephew which I am very excited about. I can’t share any more gift ideas as the rest of my family and friends can read and would probably ask to refund them before they arrive. I have also purchased a coat for a child in refugee camps via the Choose Love website. I have been doing this for a few years now at Christmas, they are £10 and will make a massive difference to a small child. If you are struggling to think of a secret Santa for anyone this year or would like to give to a good cause I cannot recommend them enough. I really want to do more for Charity in 2021 so if you know of any causes you would like to share please let me know!
I purchased the highly recommended book Attached on audible and whizzed through it. This book has been one of the most eye-opening books I have ever read/listened to. I am going to buy a physical copy as there are quite a few surveys in the book I want to do. The book looks at different attachment styles in relationships. Exploring where you sit within styles has really helped me look at relationships and how I treat people. It also identified how I allow other people to treat me etc. It is really informative and I think so many people will benefit from this book, it really has changed my perspective on so much.
Now we have waved goodbye to The Highlow (and no I am not over it) I have a list of podcasts I like to listen to, credit where it is due I do find these fill the void the Highlow has left behind. I love Adulting by Oenone, Shameless, an Australian pop culture conversational podcast between two women in their mid-20s, they speak as fast as a Leicester accent too so I don’t have to speed them up, Sentimental Garbage with Caroline O’Donague a fun conversation between authors discussing books which historically would have been tarnished as ‘chick-lit’. Happy Place with Ferne Cotton, (although I would advise not listening to the recent episode with Robbie Williams, how anyone lives with him and his ego is beyond me. The interview was painful). The How to Fail podcast with Elizabeth day is always a delight, I know I recommend some of these podcasts religiously but they really are worth listening to especially if you are missing the weekly updates from Pandora and Dolly.
All I know is that I have been eating far too many mince pies and I cannot, and won’t stop. Obviously, due to the dishing out of a lovely Tier 3 status, Borris gave to our Tiny Town I haven’t been out anywhere for dinner. I have however been making my way through take-outs. These are only going to be relevant for those living in South Leicestershire, so about 3 of you, and they are not groundbreakingly new, but I don’t have a lot to work with.
The first is my favourite Libertine burger, based in Rugby and Leamington Spa, They are really bloody good take out burgers, and the vegan options are amazing too. MSK opened recently in Lutterworth had has not disappointed. I have ordered bagels, hot chocolate, take out cocktails and burgers since they opened for take-out in November. They will be opening as a restaurant when Borris finally lets us socialise but for now, check them out.