Looking back at my old posts, it seems like one of my favourite things to talk about on this blog – apart from books – is how much I dislike winter. It’s kind of embarrassing how much I like to complain about grey skies and darkness and being cold, but it’s also just how I feel at this time of year and feelings tend to fuel what I write about.
As much as I might be a bit chillier, tearier, and grumpier than normal, I still think there’s lots to be thankful for and lots of good things to have come out of this autumn.
Here are some of my happy November things…
book it to me. I’ve had a bit of a funny reading year. I’ve read some great books, but I’ve also read a lot of books that have left me feeling kind of empty. I seemed to turn a corner in November, though. First, with Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason. And then again with The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd.
comfort reads. I’m not much of a rereader. I keep books to reread because I’ve mastered the art of hoarding and lying to myself, but the chances are slim that I’ll actually get round to perusing their pages again. Something about autumn and winter, however, unleashes the need in me for something familiar and comforting. At the moment, I’m rereading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – I remembered being really taken with Eleanor’s character and that feeling has stood the test of time. The story is just as heartbreaking/warming as it was when I initially read it four years ago. And I’m also rereading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle – I’ve been craving some wisdom and perspective recently, and the second reading of this book is proving just as helpful as the first.
the princess diaries. On the subject of revisiting old favourites, rewatching The Princess Diaries (1&2) on a cold, rainy Saturday made my heart so happy it’s actually embarrassing. The feel-good, Y2K nostalgia was off the scale! Anyone who thinks I should grow up can…
rainy days in. See above point. As much as I love spending time outdoors – and am painfully aware from past experience that there is a fine line between taking time to rest and simply hiding away (God help me if I know where that fine line is hiding though) – sometimes I really do just need to hunker down for twenty-four hours and let the world outside do its own thing while I stay snuggled up inside. November this year saw its fair share of duvet days.
andor. Those duvet days were great for getting stuck into a few TV series on my watchlist. Andor, on Disney+, explores the backstory of Cassian Andor from the Star Wars spin-off movie Rogue One and was honestly amazing. Definitely one to watch!
you must be athen a laugh. This trip deserves its own post – and I promise, promise, promise I will write one – but all I’ll say for now is that a warm, sunny weekend in Athens spent wandering around ancient ruins and eating spanakopita (and chocolate hippo cakes) was a weekend well spent.
peas in a podcast. As well as bingeing my way through the spanakopita of Athens, November saw me binge-listening my way through In Writing with Hattie Crissell. I especially liked the episodes with Meg Mason, Graham Norton, and Elif Shafak. They’re really interesting insights into the worlds of each of the writers interviewed and go to show how varied the creative process is.
wingspan. I’ve become a little bit addicted to the digital version of the game Wingspan after it was recommended by a friend. It’s very chill whilst also being quite strategic, plus the artwork is stunning and, if they have it too, you can play against your friends online. I got the chance to play it IRL at The Board House in Crewkerne a few weeks back, which was really fun – but for ease of use the digital version wins hands down.
And now it’s December. The days are even shorter and the weather is even colder, but the world is all jingly and sparkly and bright and there’s lots to look forward to in the weeks ahead.
Here’s to a happy, twinkly, and very merry month!