I’m writing this in a really stroppy mood because it’s one of those days today, and I’ve just eaten 10000 calories in Crussh despite the fact that I’m supposed to be on a diet, SO let’s just get into the favourites shall we?!
Thursday, 28 July 2016
I don’t do book reviews on my blog very often. This is for a number of reasons.
Firstly, I think the books you read say more about you than almost anything else; that looking through someone’s book shelves is, for me, one of the quickest ways to learn anything about them – similar to the way I used to go on potential boyfriend’s iTunes top 25 songs when they weren’t looking. It’s somehow intensely private. And secondly, I read vociferously and endlessly and constantly, and while I’m not ashamed of that – I’m obsessed by people who read, they’re always the most interesting people to me – I also don’t have any particular interest in showing off about it. I studied English Literature, I like books, I read, I don’t want a fucking medal. Also, randomly, I spend a lot of time reading quite heavy science books (I read so fast that spending money on books is a genuine problem for me and they slow me down – I know that’s a weird problem to have) which I don’t think I will talk about!
However, getting to the point, lately I have read a few books that I would definitely recommend picking up if you’re going on holiday or just in the market for a decent read:
Friday, 22 July 2016
Wow, TGIF. That’s all I can say about this week at this point – to cut a long story short, I’ve been interviewing people for new roles within my team, which is REALLY tiring at the best of times – let alone when the weather is beautiful and all I want is to lie by a swimming pool with a cocktail in hand! It's still been a lovely week, so here are my little favourites...
Wednesday, 20 July 2016
I personally think that Victoria Park is the most underrated park in London. Wider paths than Hyde Park, less regimented than Regent’s Park, and more accessible than Richmond Park – well, for me, anyway! As England has finally realised it’s summer and the sun has got his hat on, my husband and I headed over there on Saturday. We hired Boris bikes (or as we should now call them, worst-foreign-secretary-ever bikes) and zipped down the canal (well. Ian zipped. I hadn’t cycled for like 2 years and turns out the old adage ‘it’s just like riding a bike!’ didn’t quite ring true for me!)
Friday, 15 July 2016
In a way, I was tempted not to write a life loves this week. What happened to France last night – the pain, the suffering – it makes me feel dark, as if sometimes there is nothing good left in the world. These terrible things are happening and I see no end to it. And yet, somehow, that is letting the darkness win. We must stay strong, unite together, find small sparks of light and ignite them.
My week has been a really good one, and the good things have consisted of:
Wednesday, 13 July 2016
My best friend hated London. She moved away three years ago and bought a house in Manchester, two up, two down, and got a husband, a cat and a baby, in that order. Every time I visit her there it rains. At Christmas it flooded and they have been living in a flat ever since, all piled on top of each other like presents under the tree. I told her, I don’t understand how you can like it here and she says, I hate London, I hated living in London. She describes it – expensive and dirty, crowded tubes and dodgy streets lined with dangerous eyes, pretentious bars, sleazy men in suits, hipster girls with nose piercings, sticky floors and high rent and endless Prets, urban sprawl as far as the eye can see. And that is her London. It’s funny. I see her London sometimes, glimpse it in TV shows, hear it in depictions from other people’s stories. But it is as far removed to me as the London from a Charles Dickens novel. I have never been there.
Monday, 11 July 2016
For a while now I’ve been writing these weekly lists about the things I’ve enjoyed in the week. I write them half for myself – I like reading them back, remembering the things I was doing in 2013, 2014; the make up I was wearing, the dinners I went for, not just the holidays or the 'big things' but the Nandos lunches and the new lipsticks and the other little, positive sparks that make up a life.
And yet recently I have been thinking that there are even smaller things. The black coffee I make every morning, the smell of the hot water mixing with the instant granules and filling the office kitchen. These little, insignificant rituals. Massaging Body Shop vitamin E cream into my skin. The smell reminds me, for no reason, of my mother. Seeing a homemade cheesecake laid out on someone’s desk with a sign propped up next to it – ‘Tastes better than it looks! Help yourselves!’ Buskers on the tube playing an Oasis song. Waking up with a cool breeze streaming through the balcony door.
These things, I realise, are nothing but the in between moments, taking me from one event to the next. Liking how your nails look as you slap your contactless card against the Oyster reader. A seat on the tube. Walking past a sausage dog puppy wearing a cone. These are the connecting pieces, the screws holding the shelves together. The way your favourite denim jeans feel on dress-down-Friday. Drinking a diet coke first thing in the morning. Picking up someone's card when they drop it on the street, their smiles of relief, your bubble of pleasure.
They might seem insignificant, these moments, but they are not; added together they are the summation of your life and they can make you happy or sad, richer or poorer, better or worse. Do not forget to take pleasure in your in between things – breathe in your coffee, brush your hair, stretch. Pad across cool floorboards and open the curtains. These little things, they matter, make them count. Because in dark times, when the big things seem too big, it is these moments that will save you. Your morning ritual, a moment of recognition with a stranger, the soup you like in Pret - these things will be there when all else is lost in the void. Life is what happens when you aren't looking. These moments, we should appreciate them more. They hold our lives together.
Friday, 8 July 2016
Another strange week, this one, filled with late nights and early mornings – I sometimes feel like when I’ve been home to my parents and stopped for a bit, London can be even more exhausting by comparison! Without further ado, things I’ve been loving this week…
Wednesday, 6 July 2016
30 years ago. George Michael was flying high in the charts. Maggie Thatcher was Prime Minister and Regan was President of the USA. The first Apple computer was just being created, a young lady named Diana was about to marry Prince Charles, punk was a thing and people had the worst perms you’ve ever seen in your life. And in a small town in Hertfordshire, at a stately home called Fanham’s Hall where, 30 years later, my sister would celebrate her own marriage, my parents got married. This weekend we celebrated their Pearl wedding anniversary.
Monday, 4 July 2016
It was a funny old week, wasn't it? Coming home from Glastonbury is always a bit of a shock to the system, let alone returning to a world that seems to have accidentally pressed the self destruct button. Not only that but my husband has been away with the ‘lads’ watching the football in France, so I’ve been left on my own for a week to stare at the television in horror for as long as I like (usually he’d be there, gently changing the channel and shoving a diet coke into my hand to cheer me up). However, there are good things in all days and here are the little things I’ve been loving lately...
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