Because of looming exams I thought what better than to do a November favourites to cheer myself up from the revision slump. So here goes…
- Favourite song – Thats Not Me Intoxicated by Martin Solveig Vs Septa & JME
- Favourite app – Depop. I’m obsessed and I have start buying the majority of my clothes on this app.
- Favourite magazine – Monocle. I mean technically this is a man’s magazine but its brilliant, as well as the magazine the online website is very good too. It is very informative and they have a radio station and short films.
- Favourite TV show – Fresh Meat. It follows the university experience of 5 flatmates. It’s very funny and reminds me of my undergraduate experience at university.
- Favourite food – mince pies!
- Favourite online shop – Not on the high street. It is full of quirky gifts and beautiful jewellery and wall prints.
As it’s freezing cold, I thought that this week I would include my the books that are on my to-read list because whats better than reading a good book in a cute little cafe sheltering from the cold.
- ‘The Panopticon’ by Jenni Fagan. I came across this book whilst sitting in a cafe called ‘The Milkman’ in town who run a monthly book club. This was their book of choice this month and whilst I was sitting in the cafe the author happened to come in and signed my book! It tells the story of Anais Hendricks who ends up in a home for young offenders, however the girl cannot remember why or how she has ended up here. (On a side note, if you happened to find yourself in this cafe I recommend the Cloud Catcher Tea – it’s out of this world.)
- ‘Living Dharma’ by Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche. This is a book I bought from the temple which describes the buddhist teachings in a way easily accessible for all and how to incorporate these teachings into your daily life.
- ‘The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District’ by James Rebanks. For some reason, I have seen this book everywhere. On my copy of the book there is no blurb, but I have deducted that it is a memoir of the different seasons in the Lake District as told by a shepherd. This book just really interests me.
- ‘The Remains of the the Day’ by Kazuo Ishiguro. This book has been hiding on my shelf for years. I completely forgot about it but Ishiguro is my favourite author so I definitely am excited for what he has to offer with this novel. It is the story of a butler of Darlington Hall who takes a holiday to the countryside and discovers secrets of his past.
- Last but not least, ‘Dickens at Christmas’ by Charles Dickens. This is a book compiling Dickens’ Christmas books and seasonal editions of ‘All the Year Round’, Household Words and The Pickwick papers’. I just really want to read this before Christmas this year to fully submerge myself into the christmas spirit.
At the weekend I went with my sister to a course at the Kagyu Samye Dzong in Leith, Edinburgh which is a Tibetan Buddhist centre.
The course cost £20 and was essentially an introduction to buddhism. Ani taught us all about the history of buddhism and the fundamental beliefs and teachings. It is only run once a year and was very worthwhile, it gave a great overview of Buddhism in a very articulate and logical manner. It was a lot of information to digest as it was all day but it was food for thought. We sat in the temple on meditation cushions for the entirety of the day, which was actually more difficult than it sounds! We had two meditation session to break up the teaching and also a couple of tea breaks. The room that we sat in was beautiful, there were bold colours of blues, yellows, reds and green surrounding you as well as many photographs of important buddhist figures and of course, the buddha himself. We recited some dedication before and after we began learning and the room was filled with a lovely incense scent.
From the course I left with the message that Buddhism allows you to focus on yourself, to better yourself as a person and to find happiness and develop a strong compassion for others. I left with a desire to go away and read to learn so much more about it. After that one day course, I really want to explore Buddhism more, not as a religion but as a spiritual journey for myself. I am attending two classes this week to see how I get on with those and then hopefully I will have more of an idea whether Buddhism is definitely for me and how I want to continue the journey. If I find that it is not for me, I am extremely glad and grateful to the temple that I was able to get a glimpse into the wonders of Buddhism.
Last week mum and I went for coffee at a little place called the ‘Himalayan Cafe’. Everyday on my way into town I pass it and I’ve always been very intrigued by it, but never went in. My sister who studies Religion at university was doing some fieldwork with the cafe and asked us to go there and fill in a questionnaire to contribute towards her project so obviously we couldn’t say no.
I am very glad we went because it is the cutest little place. It is a Tibetian themed restaurant/cafe who raise money for Tibetan aid. The story behind the cafe is very interesting and there are leaflets telling you all about it in the cafe – before the owner had the cafe, she was working in the Scottish Parliament and was lucky enough to meet the Dalhi Lama who told her to ‘keep Tibetan culture alive’ and that’s exactly what she did. The cafe is not only a place for eating and drinking, this establishment also runs classes such as meditations and also sells various items as well as having a charity shop downstairs. Mum and I both managed to find something – mum a nice jacket and myself a playsuit.
Mum and I didn’t actually eat any of the food – it sounded wonderful but we had already eaten lunch. We did however sample the famous chai and have two of the cakes out the counter. The chai was actually amazing, it was SO cold outside and it was just perfect to help get some feeling back into your limbs and heat up your insides. The cakes were delicious aswell. I am definitely going to come back to this place to order some food – I’m very keen to try the Tibetan dishes!
If you are looking for a quiet, calm place to chill out and relax then I definitely recommend the ‘Himalayan cafe’. The serenity of the Tibetan music mixed with the delicious cooking scents and the most wonderfully friendly staff makes for a winning combination. And who knows, you might even pick up a charity shop bargain at the same time!
Last weekend I met up with some friends to go to the Stockbridge market. If you are not familiar with Edinburgh, Stockbridge is a small area close to the centre of town which is full of terraced houses, cute shops and nice eateries. Every Sunday Stockbridge hosts a market so we thought we would check it out.
We went on a really rubbish day for it. It was freezing cold and it started to rain which was really annoying so we didn’t stay long. The market was small but really cool. There was food places, a hot chocolate stand and my favourite stall, the dog treats. Of course, I couldn’t resist buying a packet for little Alfie.
After having a nosey at all the things being sold, we headed for a nice pint at a Stockbridge bar to finish off the day.