Seasonal reset

September 12, 2016

Lately I’ve been:

  • Lamenting the end of summer and easiness (but not so much that I’m not willing sweater weather to arrive, September you are such a tease)
  • Spending sunny afternoons with lovely friends, lying in the grass at Richmond Park and discussing everything and anything but failing to get any good photos of the deer
  • Getting overly-enthusiastic about Bake Off being back (also read Sue Perkins’ autobiography, can’t recommend it enough)
  • Taking a break from accountability (but will be back at it soon)
  • Realigning some old loves with my current life (you know what I always hated? Bikinis. Why spend your precious gym/workout time thinking about them? Out they go. Also I never liked having ‘long’ nails, but I now love polishing them, so my stubby nails will be as red as I like. Oh and I no longer will be embarrassed about the fact that almost everything I like is now a Pinterest cliche. Screw it! I shall love those things anyway and decorate this autumn with ALL THE PUMPKINS etc etc)
  • Working slowly, slowly towards the development of a passion project <3
  • Marvelling that it’s nearly our 1 year wedding anniversary. How!? Wha-! And again, how!?
  • Trying not to think about Christmas
  • Or how much I would like a rabbit.
  • Being basic, cause PSLs baby!

 

Welcome in, Autumn…I am so ready for you!

TBRs

July 24, 2016

TBR Pile

When it’s a nice day outside and you should be enjoying it but you have wifi and a TBR pile and cold brew…

In an effort to not spend yet more money on books (having realised I had so many still to read anyway) I pulled all the books off my shelves that I’d either optimistically bought and never read (likely culprits: anything non-fiction) or presents that I really want to read but are hardback, so I had put off reading out of sheer laziness in having holding the things up to my face. Also dangerous: I rediscovered my library card recently, so I’ve been on a library book rampage…

On the TBR list (in no particular order):

Mud, blood and poppycock – Gordon Corrigan
Hack Attack, how the truth caught up with Rupert Murdoch – Nick Davies
We remember D-Day – Frank & Joan Shaw
John Yorke – Into the Woods
Animals – Sara Pascoe
Far from the Madding Crowd – Hardy
A History of the Middle East – Peter Mansfield
The Witches – Stacy Schiff
The Post-Birthday World – Lionel Shriver
Where my heart used to beat – Sebastian Faulks
A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson

Plus on reserve at the library: Maureen Johnson’s Burmudez Triangle, Sophia Amoruso’s #Girlboss and Station Eleven by E. Mandel.

So essentially I shouldn’t be buying any more books for a good three months, right!? Right?! What are you reading at the minute? Give me more recommendations for my library card…

? There’s a moment you know, you’re f-

June 26, 2016

still life

Isn’t this a nice scene while the country is falling down around our ears? Here, have some coffee and a bit of this peanut butter chocolate square (v. tasty).

If you woke up on the morning after the referendum, looked at your phone, and your first reaction was ‘I’m sorry, what?’, then your next reaction may have been to go straight on social media and vent about it.

Much like me. Much like most of my politically-minded friends.

There’s a lot to be said about social media bubbles. They engender a certain level of ignorance, they reflect our prejudices and privileges…and they give us a space to say, ‘oh thank God, you too?’ when something happens that is monumental to us. They also are terrible places for genuine discourse, and often incredibly binary and simplistic. We, all of us, know we’re unlikely to ever change anyone’s mind with a facebook ‘debate’. That doesn’t stop us trying.

I’ve seen a lot of cries of ‘sour grapes!’ from Leave voters who now think the Remain camp are just, well, making a bit of a fuss about the fact they lost this razor-thin vote that may indelibly affect their lives, and they should just essentially shut up and ‘accept’ it. Given the magnitude of what has happened and is continuing to happen, as the two main British political parties are essentially eating themselves right now, I think it is more than justified to be angry.

Even moreso as clips emerge of voters who voted ‘as a protest’ and ‘didn’t think their vote would count’ and ‘would vote remain’ if they could do it again.

Even moreso as evidence of racist behaviour across the UK is surfacing in the aftermath.

Even moreso as those of us who were forced to watch the Leave team conduct a horrifying campaign based on absolute lies, that preyed on xenophobia, and had no genuine ideas for what would happen if we left, now have to watch them turncoat hours after they win and refute that BS ‘£350 million a week to the NHS’ claim, refute the idea that we could possibly go forward without free movement of labour.

Even moreso, when you hear that many leave voters were upset with issues that had absolutely nothing to do with the EU, and also which leaving might make worse. By the way, if article 50 is actually invoked, let’s all enjoy continuing to pay the membership fee you all hated in order to be able to trade with the EU and yet have sweet FA say in the laws they will enact, or enjoy the realisation that we will be unable to stop free movement of people. By the end of it all – if article 50 is invoked – we will literally have done the exact opposite of ‘taking back our country’, whatever that meant in the first place.

When you think about it, if the 48% of the 72.2% who voted and lost weren’t angry, then there’d be something massively wrong with our society in general.

But no, it’s definitely sour grapes, because look at that petition they set up to try and force a 2nd referendum! Pfft. Can’t they just get over the fact they lost?

I’m not personally for a second referendum, but does it change your mind about the derided petition to know that it was set up by a Leave voter a month or so ago, because he thought they were going to lose? Or that Farage said back in May that he would fight for a second referendum because a 52-48 referendum win for the Remain camp would be ‘unfinished business by a long way’? (But now that he’s won, “it isn’t a best of three scenario”?)

But isn’t the worst of it the fact that those people who directed their anger at a lack of jobs, opportunity and perceived failings within the country’s social security safety nets, are now going to get a government that couldn’t give less of a crap about them or their feelings on these subjects? We’ll soon wake up to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his cabinet, with our only hope being that Nicola Sturgeon can somehow outmanoeuvre the Brexit. Or perhaps, as the media seem to feel Boris Johnson didn’t actually want a Leave win anyway, it could be the out he (or whoever ends up in that chair) needs in order to not have to invoke Article 50 and come away with some semblance of ‘dignity’ in tact.

Friday’s news has sent me, and most of those in my immediate circle, spinning through several stages of grief. Instantly I wanted to, online, push the space out around me to protect those stages of sadness and anger and denial in the direct aftermath of the news. If you’re keeping a more level head about it, then good for you. We’ll need that in the coming months. But in the immediate fallout of the vote, after a campaign that was so devoid of facts that the Pro-Brexit camp stated that they’d “had enough of experts” (and people actually went with them on that), I am holding square on mine (and other people’s) need to let it all out. There are many various forms of unfollowing and off switches you could push if you don’t want to hear it; it is that simple.

So here I am saying I’m sad for the state of our country right now; I’m sad for the racism that’s coming to the fore, I’m sad that we have no effective leadership in either main party, I’m sad that the drop in the pound makes my life that bit more difficult, I’m sad that people are googling ‘what is the EU?’ too late, I’m sad that the media bile is more readily accessed than informed and reasoned websites like FullFact.org, I’m sad for the people who thought they were voting for something completely different than they have woken up to.

I wish I knew what I could do to help.

But until then, we watch and wait, and eat peanut butter squares and get a sugar rush and blog about it. And hope that if it does all implode, something better can rise from the ashes.

 

Home nights

June 6, 2016

Sometimes you just really need a night with the girls who’ve known you since you had wire braces and a violin case and 4 shifts a week at the local carvery… Also, Leeds got pretty fancy while I wasn’t looking…

Bank holiday saturday

May 28, 2016

relaxing in bed with pinterest and a coffee

It’s raining on and off, but the husband made pancakes and there’s coffee and  Pinterest and things slowly happening on this Bank Holiday weekend. Hope yours is relaxing!

Sri Lanka: rewind to Sigiriya

May 16, 2016

Sri Lankan train

Let’s rewind these Sri Lanka posts back to the beginning…well, not the very beginning. That was Heathrow, and an old guy who proceeded to jab his finger into the little tv screen in the back of my chair for the entire flight to Doha. And it’s not the ‘beginning’ after that, our first hotel in Sri Lanka, where we sat at the bar on the shoreline and revelled in the colonial splendour of the hotel with a Lion beer (Sean) and a cocktail that wasn’t anything like it sounded in the menu (me), with its rapidly melting ice cubes and a perfectly sherbet sunset.

continue reading

#bucketlistsummer2016: strawberry coconut popsicles

May 8, 2016

coconut strawberry popsicles recipe

London has decreed it is officially summer… the sun is sunning, hayfever is hayfevering, and iced tea becomes the drink of choice. Also, I want to eat allll the ice cream. ALlll of it.

These lollipops (or popsicles if you are American/spend too much time on Pinterest) are a cinch to make and take about 15 minutes max to throw together. Also the first time I’ve used coconut milk in anything rather than dairy. It’s SO GOOD OMG.

coconut strawberry popsicles recipe

I used Sugar & Cloth’s recipe, but omitted the balsamic vinegar, and eyeballed the sugar because I haven’t tried the whole strawberry-balsamic thing and yeah it sounds nice, but I like my ice cream to be sweeeet… but maybe I’ll branch out soon >.<
coconut strawberry popsicles recipeIt’s time for a second one right? Ice cream for breakfast? All right then…