Three things for February 2020

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Good morning!  I’ve kind of been neglecting this space recently so I thought I’d do this as something fun that’s also quick and easy. Shamelessly stolen from Audrey.
Three things I liked about February
1. Our trip to St Gallen
2. Pancake day!
3. Watching Good Omens
 
Three things I’m looking forward to in March
1. Poland. We’re meeting my family in Krakow for a few days then Jan and I are going to Wroclaw.
2. Lighter evenings so I can leave the house after work without having to worry about people lurking around corners.
3. …I cant actually think of a third thing. Clearly I need to male some plans for March.
 
Three vegetables I eat the most
1. Carrots
2. Courgettes
3. Chick peas
 
Three grocery items I buy every week
1. Milk
2. Bread (for toast)
3. Chicken
 
Three things we go through like crazy in my house
1. Teabags
2. Dishwasher tabs. I seriously don’t understand how we got through so many with just the two of us living here.
3. Margarine
 
Three things I always have time for
1. Reading
2. Sending birthday cards
3. Catching up with other people’s blog posts
 
Three things I never have time for
1. Writing posts for my own blog
2. Housework (you may think I exaggerate but you haven’t seen the absolute state of my flat!)
3. Cooking anything that takes longer than 45 minutes total  (including prep). I want to but I just can’t!
That’s it. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. (P.S. The photo at the top has nothing to do with anything  – I just needed something to put there.)

Six degrees of separation: From Fleischman is in Trouble to…

This was fun last time, so I thought I’d do it again. This link up is hosted by Kate from Books Are My Favourite and Best. The idea is that everyone starts with the same book and then adds six more to the chain, each one somehow relating to the one before. Then we see where everyone’s chain took them.

This time around, the starting book is Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner.

Fleishman

I had never heard of this book before, but the synopsis tells me it’s about a man who has recently separated from his wife. One day, she drops their kids off at his place and disappears. This tells the story of him searching for her while juggling his job and parenting their two children. I feel like it’s quite unusual to read about divorce and relationship breakdowns from the man’s perspective, but here’s another book that does that…

Man and Boy by Tony Parsons. This is about a man who, on the eve of his 30th birthday, makes a stupid mistake, which results in his wife moving to Japan, leaving him to raise his son alone.

My next link is a little tentative as it’s based solely on a word in the title…

Swan Boy by Nikki Sheehan. I haven’t actually read this yet, but it’s about a boy called Johnny who has recently moved house, and therefore schools, and has to deal with a bully. Then a chance encounter with a swan sparks a series of events that result in Johnny playing the lead in a school ballet. There seems to be a magical element to it as well. It sounds like it’s going to be a fun read!

Let’s move on to another book featuring ballet…

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. I adored this book as a child and read it over and over (seriously, you should see the state of my copy!). This is the story of three sdopted sisters, Pauline, Petrova and Posy, who ended up taking ballet lessons and, later, performing to help earn money for the family.

My link between this one and the next book is adoption.

Greenglass House by Kate Milford. This is a fun children’s mystery set at a smuggler’s inn during the winter. The main character, Milo, is adopted and while the story is not about that, his being adopted does play on his mind a lot (although he clearly loves his adopted family and wouldn’t change his life for anything).

Another book featuring a hotel and a mystery is Winterhouse by Ben Guterson. Interestingly, the main character in this one is an orphan, so there’s another connection! Although according to the synopsis, Elizabeth Somers sadly didn’t end up in a loving family. I haven’t read this one but I really want to!

For my final link, I am going to go with a character name. As I’ve mentioned, Winterhouse features a girl named Elizabeth, which brings me to…

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. Elizabeth is not the main character in this Instead it’s the story of Maud – her best friend – who is suffering from dementia and has a few things muddled up but is determined to find out what’s happened to Elizabeth. The lengths Maud goes to to try and find her friend are really touching and I found this a really good depiction of dementia. I recommend this book.

And that’s six, which wraps up this chain. Go here to find out where everyone else’s journey took them (you can find all the links in the comments on the host’s post).

If you were to make a chain, what links would you use?

A Photo an Hour: 18 January 2020

Hello friends! As you can see by the fact that I’m posting this over two weeks after photo an hour day, reality has my firmly back in its grip. The time between finishing work and having to go to bed seems to go by in a flash, and honestly I just don’t want to go straight from working on the computer all day to typing up blog posts in the evening. I actually intended to post this on Sunday but the computer decided to be a pain. So I’m doing it now. Better late than never, right?

As always, Photo an Hour was hosted by Louisa and Jane.

10 a.m. It might be a new decade, but some things never change. Starting the day with tea as usual. And since Jana and Steph were hosting a SUYB readathon, also with a book.

11 a.m. Breakfast. Note the sultanas on the side… totally counts towards my fruit or veg with every meal goal!

12 noon. Getting dressed.

1 p.m. In town, where the sky can’t decide what it wants (it looks friendy-ish here, but right at the back you can see where the really threatening clouds start!). Also, construction.

2 p.m. Still in town. Next stop Aldi.

3 p.m. Home and eating a late lunch.

4 p.m. Back to my book… it *is* a readathon after all!

5 p.m. A break to boil the kettle.

6 p.m. Jan came home from choir practice so I got started with cooking tea.

7 p.m. So many pans all wanting my attention at once. Help!

8 p.m. Finally starting Good Omens. YESSSSS!

9 p.m. And back to reading.

That was the last photo I took, although I stayed up reading a while longer.

If you’re interested in taking part in a photo an hour, the next one will be on 15th February. Simply take a photo every hour and upload it to Twitter or Instagram… or save them all and use them to write a blog post later. Or do all three!

Six degrees of separation: From Daisy Jones & the Six to…

I came across this link up on stargazer’s blog and thought it was so fun! Basically the host – Kate – assigns a starting book from which all participants build a chain, adding six books, one at a time, with each having something in common with the one before it to see where they end up.

This month, the starting book is Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Daisy Jones

I haven’t actually read Daisy Jones yet (or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo… I know, I know. Am I even a reader?) but from what I am aware it’s about a singer called Daisy Jones and a famous rock band in the 70s. I’ve seen it compared to the actual story of Fleetwood Mac, which intrigues me. And now for my chain:

1. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett features a character whose father is a formerly famous punk rocker, so that’s a connection with musicians. Tentative? Maybe, but I’ll take it.

A major component of this book involves camping in the wilderness and stargazing, which brings me to…

2. Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass. Three teens are brought together at Moon Shadow, an isolated campground where thousands have gathered to catch a glimpse of a rare and extraordinary total eclipse of the sun. Two of the three teens in the story find out that they’re going to be moving, one to Moon Shadow and one away from it, into the city, where she’s terrified that she won’t fit in.

3. Ella on the Outside by Cathy Howe is another book involving a move. Ella is new in town and is trying her best to fit in at her new school. When a popular girl befriends her, Ella finds herself dealing with blackmail and lies, and has to figure out the right thing to do.

4. What Lexie Did by Emma Shevah also has a main character who is struggling to work out the right thing to do, and the difference between being honest and telling tales. When one spontaneous, jealous lie ends up tearing her family apart poor Lexie is more confused than ever. Lexie is part of a Greek-Cypriot family and there are many descriptions of food in the book that made my mouth water, which brings me to…

5. Born Confused by Tanuja Desei Hidier. This book is about a teenager in the US, Dimple Lala, who has spent her whole life rejecting her Indian parent’s culture. But now she’s in high school and suddenly everything Indian is trendy. Like with What Lexie Did, there’s a lot of food in this book and every time Dimple’s mum started cooking I honestly started craving curries and samosas!

6. The Girl in the Broken Mirror by Savita Kalhan. Finally, I come to another book about the daughter of Indian parents who is caught between two cultures, in this case in the UK. When Jay and her mother are forced to move in with Jay’s aunt and uncle, life becomes very difficult for Jay. Her aunt is very strict about what a good Indian girl should and should not do and would absolutely not approve of Jay having non-Indian friends. But as it turns out, that’s only the beginning of Jay’s nightmare. This is a hard hitting book that absolutely broke me when I read it last year. Without meaning to spoil anything, I feel like I have to inform you that this book involves a sexual assault.

So, there’s my chain. I hope I’ve done it right! I had fun doing it anyway. Somehow all of these books are children’s and young adult fiction, which is interesting (and unintentional)!

You can see the original post (and chain) here and also find other people’s chains in the comments, where you can also add your link if you decide to join in too.

My favourite season

autumn3

There are people out there lamenting the fact that proper autumn isn’t here yet. Apparently they actually want it to be dark by 5pm and not get light again until everyone has already started work the next day. They’re looking forward to never leaving the house without a rain coat or an umbrella. They’re excited about cloudy days and wet, slippery leaves. But for me, personally, this late summer/early autumn stage is my favourite.

♡ The days have cooled down to a bearable temperature so I can leave the house without a hat, 12 bottles of water and enough sun cream for an army but I only need a jacket if I’m venturing out early in the morning or late at night.

♡ I can go for a walk and neither roast nor freeze. You can call my Goldilocks because I like my temperatures “just right”.

♡ It’s dark by tea time so I can light a candle and curl up with a book after we eat, but I still have time to run out and grab some groceries after work before the evening draws in.

♡ Pumpkins and squashes are back in the shops (yay!) but I still have meal choices that aren’t “what’s the most warming thing I can think of because it is freezing today!” (Side note: why does all warming/comforting food involve so much peeling and chopping? Our evening meals take up so much more of my time on cold days).

♡ We get the ocasional rain shower but it hasn’t yet progressed to multiple days at a time of grey skies and wet feet.

♡ The trees are just on the cusp of turning and soon I will get to marvel over all the wonderful colours, but currently all the trees still have their leaves. (Within weeks of autumn foliage time the trees will be bare and won’t start to get leaves again until April. Is that what all you people who are demanding autumn colours *right now* actually want? Six entire months of depressingly naked trees?)

So all of you who are longing for real autumn, followed by winter, just be a little bit patient. You’ll get your cold, dark, damp days soon enough (and they will go on for longer than you think!) Just let me have these 4-6 ish weeks of “my” season. You may even find that we agree on some things.

*Disclaimer: while the descriptions of my preferences are true, this post in its entirety is thoroughly tongue in cheek. No offence at all intended to those who are looking forward to autumn/winter!

Style (badly) imitating art

Happy Monday friends. Jan came back from Italy late yesterday and then proceeded to snore and grind his teeth all night, so I’m tired today. Early night definitely in order tonight! Anyway, for the first time in ages, I actually remembered to check the inspiration for Style Imitating Art, and here it is (chosen by Kim from Fierce Fashion Blog):

Cordial Medoc

My first thought on looking at the poster was “I don’t have anything in those colours!”. Then I went beyond the colours and for some reason the way the grapes are laid out reminded me of a top I own, even though neither the colours nor the pattern match? Here is my outfit… let me know if you can see what I mean:

SIA_9-9-19

Here is a closer look at the top… with apologies for my utter uselessness at selfie taking! It’s mainly something about the way the green leaves are just kind of splodged on that reminds me of the grapes. (Splodged… technical term don’tcha know 🤣)

SIA-selfie

Finally, for those who are interested, these are my shoes, although those have very little to do with the inspiration. I just shoved them on because they kind of match the outfit. They have red and purple though, so they are at least vaguely similar to the colours in the poster.

SIA-shoes

Since this is an outfit post, the obligatory “where stuff came from”. The top is from Sainsburys, apparently (as in the supermarket) – I had no idea they even did clothes! My aunt bought it and didn’t like it, so she gave it to my mum who didn’t want it either and promptly passed it on to me! Skirt: Don’t remember. It’s about 9 years old and the label is gone. Shoes: Primark, about 5 years ago. (And the socks are H&M, although I’m sure no-one cares about those!).

So, what do you think? Am I completely crazy for thinking this is even vaguely reminiscent of the inspiration?

If you would like to join in, you have until tomorrow (Tuesday, 10 September) to send a photo of your outfit to Kim at fiercefashionblog@gmail.com (worn or just a flat lay), then check her blog on Wednesday for the full round up of outfits.

Three Things #2

I am feeling very uninspired at the moment, hence the lack of blog posts. I could finally write up my travels from… ummm… two years ago(!), but that would involve resizing photos and I don’t wannaaaa. So I guess I’m both uninspired and unmotivated. Anyway, here’s a little filler in the form of a post I stole from Steph. So much excitement! You’re welcome.

birds
The picture isn’t relevant to the answers, but there are three birds so…

Three films I’ve watched more than 20 times 
1. The Lion King (thanks to my little brother who was obsessed as a kid)
2. Grease (same little brother. When he was 2-3 years old he literally refused to sleep unless he had watched Grease!)
3. Alice in Wonderland (the Disney version) – it only seems fair that I add this, since this was my childhood obsession. I wore out our video cassette of it, and I’m sure my mum was equally as sick of the sight of it as I was of Grease!

Three things I don’t do
1. Run – stole this one from Steph, but it’s true. Jan keeps trying to get me to go jogging with him. Hahaha, no!
2. Anywhere near as much housework as I should.
3. Iron. Ever.

Three things I’m always up for doing
1. Pub quiz
2. Reading
3. A day trip

Three good things that happened this month
1. Meeting up with friends (and meeting their babies)
2. I got to stroke a tiny puppy on the train to work the other week
3. I discovered that Manor in Basel sells self-raising flower and Bisto gravy granules. It’s the little things…

Three things I wish everyone knew so well it was ingrained in their bones
1. The difference between there, they’re and their.
2. Nobody’s life is perfect no matter how social media might make it look.
3. If you think that you’ll be happy once you achieve one specific thing (whether it’s losing X amount of weight, finding the perfect job, meeting someone you want to spend you life with, buying your dream home…), you’re wrong. Happiness comes from within. If you’re not happy now, then once you’ve achieved that thing you will just move on to the next thing that is absolutely, definitely all you need to make you happy.

Three things I’m tired of
1. Brexit – sound familiar?
2. Never-ending housework
3. Infertility

Three things I’ll never tire of
1. Tea
2. Pointing out every dog I see to Jan
3. Books, of course

Three things I like to photograph
1. Bees on flowers
2. Basel
3. Scenery

Three things I can’t resist
1. Chocolate… unfortunately
2. Adding new books to my wish list
3. Cute jewellery from Etsy

OK, that’s all. Over to you… tell me your three things for one of the categories in the comments.