Sunday Post: Start of the Year

I hope the beginning of the year is treating you gently. Our first few days of 2020 have already had some highs and lows.

My partner has been ill all week with a flu-like bug. She hasn’t been able to leave the flat, sleep or eat very much. She’s slowly recovering now, but is exhausted and has a very bad cough. Meanwhile, I had an attack of hives. I’ve no idea what caused it, but anti-histamines seem to be working.

The only thing my partner fancies to eat is spicy food, so I’ve cooked the carrot dal from Anna Jones’s The Modern Cook’s Year, the hot and sour lentil soup from Ruby Tandoh’s Flavour and the chickpea and tomato stew from my old Good Housekeeping Book of Vegetarian Cookery. It’s chicken curry tonight, based on a Nigel Slater recipe.

On Friday, I met up with two of my oldest friends, and the little boy who belongs to one of them, so that’s a good start towards my ‘friendship’ intention for 2020. My friend is a very good parent and her little boy is thriving. It’s lovely to spend time with such a happy, confident child. I also made arrangements to see another old friend in April.

We bought a new laptop. Big purchase. Makes me anxious. But our poor old PC is on its last legs and running extremely slowly now. It’s an investment that will make life a lot easier.

I’ve been binge-watching Schitt’s Creek, along with my sick partner. I love this show and was actually happy-crying last night at the episode with Patrick’s parents. Recommended if you want something sweet and comforting to watch.

I’m reading and loving Semiosis by Sue Burke and enjoying Melmoth by Sarah Perry. I’m also re-reading The Hobbit and Jane Eyre.

The soundtrack to the start of the year is Blood by Alison Moorer, a beautiful, haunting and somehow uplifting album about the impact of horrific family violence (Moorer’s father murdered her mother and then killed himself when she and her sister were teenagers). It was recommended on The Old Grey Cat and I think will become a favourite.

October Life Round-up

Image shows a tree with all its leaves turned golden in the late afternoon sun

Poem: Louise Gluck, October (section II)

Work took me to London for a couple of days and then Mid Wales, where I stayed at a rather odd B&B. Sometimes I get sick of seeing the inside of Travelodge and Premier Inn rooms and opt for something more adventurous. A mistake, in this instance.

My partner had her birthday and we went out for gourmet pizza.

Then we went back to Mid Wales, but this time for a holiday. We stayed in Machynlleth and visited The Centre for Alternative Technology, Borth beach and my birthplace, Aberystwyth.  We ate a lot of vegetarian food in The Quarry Cafe and Treehouse. I love old-fashioned vegetarian restaurants.

If you’re ever in the area, check out the Pen’rallt Gallery Bookshop which is an absolutely lovely women-run bookshop.

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