After being away for so long, when you come home there are so many home comforts that you realise you take for granted. Its the smallest things that often you miss the most like being able to light a candle or taking a hot shower. The biggest thing for me was the ability to cook my own food, I was dying to cook when I came home! Today I thought I would write a list for everything that I am grateful for.
- Different groups of friends who I can share different aspects of my life with
- Central heating
- Employment because without that I would be super skint
- Having spent this year grasping opportunities with both hands
- Motivation and determination to achieve
- A clear head, full of positivity and happiness
- Efficient transport links because life is 50000x easier with efficiency
- Minimal rain
- Sleeping in my own bed with a hot water bottle
- Independence for me to do as I please
There are hundreds of things I could write on this list because I think I’ve got everything I need in life and more. Take a moment to think about all the things which we don’t even consider on a daily basis and let me know what you are grateful for today.
I’ve read a whole hoard of books recently mainly on my kindle so I thought I would share the best of the bunch.
Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie.
This is a classic murder mystery book by Agatha Christie. It follows the story of guests on a lavish journey on the Orient Express train. One guest is murdered in the night and Dr Poirot is trying to solve the murder mystery. It is a really easy book to follow as there are a small number of characters. Definitely a great read if you want something light yet interesting.
Harmless like you – Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
An absolutely brilliant read following the story of Yuki, a Japanese girl who stays in NYC with her friend when her family move back. It tells of her life growing up in an isolated and vulnerable position and how her life is shaped due to the characters that she meets. One of the best books I’ve read this year.
Autumn – Ali Smith
This was a book that I heard a lot about recently and wanted to find out more. The book contains lots of past memories of Elizabeth who is looking out for her old neighbour Daniel who is on the brink of death. These flashbacks tell a lot about the past friendship that these two had and consequently the effect these have had on Elizabeths life.
The lessons – Naomi Alderman
Another one of my favourites books I’ve read this year. This tells the story of James who moves to Oxford university. It describes the struggles of adapting to change, making new friendships and having new experiences. If there is one book you read this year make sure it is this one.
If you have any good book recommendations please comment below, I am always eager to know about any books that are worth a read!!
Truthfully I have been neglecting reading for a couple of weeks now, just with being so busy I don’t have time to read during the day and before bed I have just been waaaay too tired. I plan to get right back into reading this month and I have had a trip to the library to temporarily refresh my book collection.
There are two books which I am still reading; ‘Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and ‘Human’s of New York stories’. These are first on the list to be finished as I am enjoying both.
So the new additions are:
- ‘Confession of a Buddhist Atheist’ by Stephen Batchelor. This is a non-fiction book in which the author explains his own take on Buddhism and how he views both the buddha and the buddhist teachings. I am very interested in buddhism and this title really jumped out at me. Can’t wait to start this one.
- ‘The Cone-Gatherers’ by Robin Jenkins. This story is set during the war on a Scottish estate where two brothers work to help the war effort. They come across the gamekeeper when releasing rabbits from a snare and this gamekeeper commits some sort of heinous crime. Very intrigued.
- ‘After the Prophet’ by Lesley Hazleton. This is a factual book explaining the origins of the Sunni and Shia rift that is still present in Islam today. I am very interested to read this as I really like learning about the histories of religion.
- ‘Maps for Lost Lovers’ by Nadeem Aslam. This book tells the story of two lovers who go missing and the aftermath from their disappearance until twelve months later.
So before we get underway with the favourites, look at how beautiful the sky is in the photo above! Days like that make me feel like summer is on the way *touch wood*.
Favourite podcast: Serial. If you liked Making a Murderer on Netflix, you will love this. There are two series, each as good as each other. It’s fabulously gripping.
Favourite series: Call the Midwife. This series follows the work of a group of midwives in London’s West End in the late 1950s/early 1960s. You also get to know each of the characters through their joys and their sorrows. The Christmas specials are also on Netflix and are just brilliant.
Favourite singer: Leonard Cohen. An oldie but a goodie.
Favourite Youtuber: Lucy Moon. She talks about real life issues in a very educational and clever way. Lucy is not afraid of the truth and being blunt.
Favourite beauty product: Model Co. lipstick in Kitty. A really nice shade of lipstick, very reasonably priced and a lovely consistency. Only negative is that it doesn’t last as long as I would like.
Favourite book: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. This book is actually so interesting. It follows the story of Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation and her escape from this plantation using the underground railroad. It really does represent the horror and hardships that these slaves encountered.
Favourite clothing brand: Ganni. I LOVE their slogan t-shirts. It is very pricey but a girl can dream…
Favourite app: Fitbit. Obviously you need a fitbit for this app but it’s just amazing. You get so much information about sleep, how active you are and your fitness levels for your age. You can also log your weight loss goals (if you have any) and your water and food intake.
Hope everyone had a great bank holiday weekend!
Because reading more books is one of my resolutions this year coupled with the fact I was given lots of book tokens for Christmas I thought I would start the year with a list of books that I am dying to read.
- We are all feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr
- Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
- The danish girl by David Ebershoff
- The sellout by Paul Beatty
- All we shall know by Donal Ryan
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
- The girls by Emma Cline
Most of these books have been recommended via my friends or through YouTube videos that I have watched. Nowadays I tend to only read books which have been recommended because I have found in the past that there are a lot of books which I have chosen and not enjoyed.
Let me know if you have read any of these books and what you thought or recommend any other books that you have enjoyed.
New Year, new me. Not this year. 2017 will be a year of self-improvement in terms of health, habits and happiness. I do make new years resolutions for myself as a way of encouraging myself to get into better habits, usually they are slightly unrealistic. My resolutions this year have been well-thought out and hopefully *fingers crossed* I can keep to them. So here they are:
- read at least three books a month
- find ways to improve productivity and motivation
- exercise at least twice a week
- only eat meat twice a week
- limit takeaways and fast food to once a month
- make time to do things I enjoy
- learn french
Reading is something I love doing but I don’t actively make time to do it during the day. I also don’t frequently make time to paint, draw, go to art galleries or museums – all things which I love doing and need to make more time for.
Hope everyone has a wonderful 2017.
On Sunday, my favourite day of the week, I met up with my cousins and uncle at Winter Wonderland. I hadn’t been in town in ages but it was so pretty especially when dusk fell and all the lights become so bright. We had a nice little walk around the market looking at the stalls before eating copious amount of food and of course, hot chocolate. One of the highlights for me was the unbelievable delicious sugar roasted almonds.
I was desperate to go to ice skating but I think i’ll save that until another day. The only negative was that everything was just so expensive but I guess that its kind of expected. Also check out these adorable rescue dogs that we found! So soft and fluffy!