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Notes from November

It's November and I'm already over the dark mornings. And the rain. At least my cat is extra chunky at this time of year. She gets so fluffy round her neck that it makes lines in her fur. The best. P.S This picture of her makes me want to cry it's so precious and I can't stop looking at it.


A bumper list of links this month!

This isn't a link, but a recommendation for a newsletter - The Collected Ahp is written by Anne Helen Petersen and her topics are also engaging and interesting, and things I have thought about often, put so eloquently.

Books I have read this month, reviewed in 3 words each
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez - confusing, magical, bizarre
  •  I Never Said I Loved You by Rhik Samadder- honest, raw, melancholy
  • The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel- intriguing, satisfying, good
  • Lullaby by Leïla Slimani - creepy, compelling, unnerving


Some excellent podcast episodes this month:

  • Let's Discuss 'You're not broke, you're pre-rich' with Emilie Bellet, who has the best french accent, seeing as she's french, and gives some excellent practical advice
  •  Isabella Tree on Desert Island Discs. This woman runs Knepp Castle Estate, a farm that her and her husband left to 're-wild', with amazing results. They have rare species like turtle doves and nightingales as well as deer, hogs and all manner of creatures. You can stay at the farm and I am desperate to.
  •  Nigel Slater How to Fail. I love Nigel and his way with words is *chef kisses fingers* 


I watched House share on BBC3, about a group of strangers who moved to a houseshare in London and have to share a budget. It was suitably trashy and watchable, would recommend. Rich and I looked after our nephews and watched Spiderman into the Spider-verse, which was surprisingly fresh and funny with a banging soundtrack. I had to keep getting out the Shazam so I did.


My legend of a sister in law found me Orange Twirls and sent them in the post. I know the hype is just big brand advertising and I could easily just get some other orange chocolate but I like the chase, like a little spy mission.

We went to Dangun, which describes itself as 'Modern casual Asian dining'  and I can confirm it was both modern and casual with tip top ramen, and big old portions for the price as well.

I took my mum to the Free From Festival where we enjoyed copious samples and I purchased some finger licking good fudge from Enjoy


Went to Stylist Live for the fourth time in as many years. I have to say, I don't know if it's just because it's no longer a novelty but I don't find there is anywhere near as much to do there as there used to be. The talks didn't really appeal and the interesting stalls were few and far between. Nevertheless, I will still probably go again next year.


Bought me some pleather trousers from Fox & Feather, an independent shop on Gloucester Road (it has the longest row of independent shops in Europe, fact fans) and I am wearing them as I write this very sentence. Pleather trews have been on my wishlist for ages, since my H&M pair sadly gave up the ghost and they are the perfect blend of slouchy and smart. I also purchased the blouse of dreams from Zara (picture), which makes all of my living in the Victorian era wishes come true.

Enjoying on Instagram

- This is both a purple dream and a fluffy dream 
- Depop Drama is in general, an excellent Instagram account. This tickled me. 
- I have - or had :( - a nail polish just like this and my love for it has now been ignited. 
- I love all the cute and whimsical pics on this lady's account


Notes from October

To celebrate Halloween here is my cat dressed up as a bat. Usually she hates wearing anything or having anything on her, but she quite liked being a bat, and living her life as a bat. Other things this month I have been...


A bumper edition of links this month!

Book wise, I've read two - Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimemanda Ngoze Adichi (one of my favourite authors, but this novel was good but not great in my opinion - it was a bit all over the place and some of the events were a bit tedious), and Don't Be a Dick Pete by Stuart Heritage which is about the author's brother who is an outlandish character. It was both funny and also a bit moving in places. The perfect combo. 


Of course, since last month when I said I have way too many podcasts on the go, I've added two more. I just can't resist! The Reality Tea is about reality TV and has the best guests, if you're into that kind of jazz - think people from TOWIE, Love Island and the like. I love a D-list celeb so much more than an A-lister. There is a Ru Paul's Drag Race UK podcast to accompany the TV programme, so naturally I had to subscribe to that. The new series of Dissect, which deep dives into a hip-hop album, is out and looking into DAMN by Kendrick Lamar, an album I enjoy a lot. 

I listened to an episode of The Food Programme about Joe Wicks and it made me have a lot of respect for him - I think I judged him a bit before listening, as I found him annoying, but he is actually very down to earth and personable. I have ordered his book Veggie in 15 from the library!


Rich and I were BUZZING to discover that The OC is on Amazon Prime. The outfits (both good and hilariously bad), the long lingering stares, Marissa's questionable acting. IT'S ALL THERE. As previously mentioned, Ru Paul's Drag Race UK is here and it's everything I imagined, plus it has Alan Carr. YES MAMMAAAAA. Can't get enough. 

The second series of Motherland has been making me laugh out loud, it's an underrated gem and I love Julia's style - she does great layering work with a polo neck and jumper! 

I was off sick for 2 days this month and I started watching Styling Hollywood, which is on Netflix. It follows the lives of a stylist to the famouses and his interior designer husband - their relationship is cute AF and their jobs entertaining. 

I also finally got round to watching Paris is Burning, the 1980s documentary about NYC drag queens. It shows how gay men were driven to underground clubs when they were rejected from mainstream society, and explains where so much of the drag scene originated - from vogueing to vocabulary. 


Rich and I went to Westonbirt arboretum to see the autumn colours, which as expected were a delight. Nice egg bap as well. 

We also went to the Planetarium in Bristol for Rich's birthday and learned about some autumn constellations; interesting and also made me feel very insignificant! Last but not least, I went to see The Receipts podcast live which was an absolute riot and I would like to go and see it every week please.  


We went to see my sister, who lives in Cardiff and on a whim went to a cafe called Longa, which was Turkish. Well my gosh it was bloody amazing. I had some sort of halloumi and roasted veg situation which sounds standard but trust me it was ELEVATED. I will be returning. 

One of my October goals was to make crumpets from scratch so I did that, using a super old Delia Smith book. They were good, if a little yeasty, and they took time to make because I only had one ring in which to make them. Would make again but with more rings and less yeast. 

I bought some Lindt mint chocolate truffles which make me want to cry they're so melt in the mouth good. 

Enjoying on Instagram

She'll get you.


12 Habits - Wearing lipstick every day

October's habit was to wear lipstick every day, and it was a fun one. Disclaimer - I wore my lipstick every day apart from 3 days - twice when I was ill and didn't leave my flat, and once when I had a no make up Saturday.

Some things I learned:

- My husband hated it, because it meant that I gave him a really Victorian, chaste type of kiss before I left for work in the morning, as I didn't want my lipstick to smudge. He explicitly wanted me to mention that he didn't like this habit, such was his disdain.

- Keeping up lipstick wearing is hardcore, especially if it's a bright red or similarly attention grabbing shade. You have to constantly check for chin smudging, particularly if you like to eat food which requires you to open your mouth wide, which is the best kind of food amirite.

- I much prefer more subtle, pinky-brown lipsticks for daytime, and I have become very fond of a creamy lipstick cum pencil style situation. In particular, this delightful creation from Bite (which I acquired from one of my friends, and I can see is sadly not available in the UK). I also see they call it a 'creme matte lip crayon' and not a 'creamy lipstick cum pencil style situation'. Weird. My apologies.

- It was quite fun to choose a daily lipstick, almost like a treat. It made me feel much more put together, and often elevated an outfit to add a certain air of sophistication.  In particular, red with a bright sweater, which made a casual outfit into much more of a look. Basically I felt more like a grown up, and swanned around with an air of needing to fax important documents to Patricia from head office.

Overall, a fun habit and I will deffo be reaching for a subtle lip colour a lot more often. Sorry husband!

Next month's habit is to do 30 days of de-cluttering


Notes from September

September is my birthday month and I am now the grand old age of 33. I like being 33 because I like odd numbers, and I also like the number 3. Fascinating huh?

My birthday was very cute and I did the following things: received some beautiful flowers from my husband at my office, had a Caffe Nero Milano hot chocolate, went to the Pizza Hut buffet at lunchtime with my colleague and went to see John Robins' stand up.

However my real favourite thing about September is that I can get out this hat.

Other things I have been...


I read four books this month and it was a MIXED BAG.
  • The River by Peter Heller was a slow, meandering, very sombre book with long descriptions about rivers, fishing rods and so on. Not one for me.
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro was great and original, but something stopped me from giving it the old 5 stars. I think it was that I never fully loved the characters. 
  •  The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. I feel like saying I really didn't like this book is doing the sensitive source material a disservice because it is based on a true story and I've no doubt that that story is fascinating. However, the way this book was written was just so simplistic and cliched; it felt like a waste! The cringeworthy descriptions of romance and sex made me eye roll on the bus and the writing reminded me of Shantaram, which is my absolute worst book of all time. Sometimes if I'm sad I look up 1 star reviews of Shantaram on GoodReads because they always cheer me up. 
  • A non fiction book I read was The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin, whose podcast I love. Her theory is that all people fit into one 'tendency' and this dictates how we meet expectations. It is a fun and interesting theory but I still can't decide which tendency I am! 


I think I have reached peak podcast people. I have even had to unsubscribe from some, it was just getting a bit much. After the August slump, where lots of 'casts take a break, my app was going cray with all the new releases and I'm still working my way through. It's silly really as the only person who says I have to get through them all so quickly is me, it's not like they are going anywhere! I guess I'm scared I'll miss something ToPiCAl and important, like an event with my favourite author that's happening in the community centre at the end of my road. The thing is, if I do whittle down my list and have like, 2 or 3 left to listen to, that also makes me annoyed because WHAT IF I HAVE NO MORE TO LISTEN TO?!? 


Great British Bake Off, obviously, and also Bake Off: An Extra Slice which features comedian Tom Allen talking to the studio audience about their bakes. He is a sarcastic dream with the funniest, quickest quips. I watched Hustlers at the cinema and it made stripping look super fun, especially if you look like JLo. As a birthday treat, I watched 3 Men and a Little Lady for the millionth time which is in my top 5 films of all time. Oh the '90s.

Enjoying on Instagram 


I went to Tibits, a vegetarian buffet style restaurant in London. It was quite pricey cos, London, but all the food was so fresh and interesting, and as I love a plate of picky bits the absolute most I had a whale of a time. Now I have to tell you about the best cake there ever was. It is a vegan ginger cake from this book by Honey & Co (who I am now obsessed with and would like to run not walk to their cafe - in London, of course) but I heard about it from my colleague who made it and brought it into work. Since she brought it in I have made it two times and I think about it daily. It is gingery, moist and has pears inside and on top, with the most delicious crunchy crust. My gosh. This cake. 


I went to Friends Fest and it was a fun day because I was with fun people but the event itself I would describe as fine. I will never get over the cocktails, which were £8, in pre-mixed bottles and filled 3/4 of the way with ice. NEVER. As mentioned previously, it was my birthday which was pleasant, although I had to go to work on the actual day. Boo!

October is nice but I don't like the slow crawl towards dark in the morning and dark in the evening.