We finally made it out of the January abyss! I swear, that month gets longer every year…
I, for one, am so glad to be cracking on with the rest of 2019, not least because it brings about a new start in the form of a brand new contract with Molton Brown. Tomorrow marks my first day and I’m equal parts nervous and excited to be back in London on a more regular basis. Thank you all SO much for your kind words and well wishes on Twitter and on my life updates post earlier in the week. I’m super excited to get started and embrace a change of pace with my freelancing (it’s a freelance role, only in-house so I’ll have colleagues again!).
Most of this week has been lived through the eyes and warmth of a duvet, dressing gown, thermals and/or twenty pairs of socks.
We’ve reached the murky depths of the British winter, where thanks to global warming, we get freezing cold weather and bouts of snow that most of the country is incredibly underprepared for. Great(!)
Milo has been a joy to watch in the snow. Wrapped up in his Danish Design doggie coat, he embraces it with all his might and loves a good ol’ zoomies-in-the-snow session. Us? Not so much! In fact, I haven’t managed to capture many photos of the snow because I’ve been leaving my phone and camera at home, using my hands to either hold a hot coffee or stuff firmly into my coat pockets!
Murger Hanhan with the girls
We descended upon the Mayfair branch of Murger Han — there’s also a Euston branch — and it comes SO highly recommended by all four of us. They specialise in Xi’an cuisine and the menu is simple but delicious.
I opted for the BiangBiang noodles with spring onion and chilli oil. Thick, hand knife-cut noodles dressed with spring onion, ginger and garlic with a drizzle of chilli oil to your preference. I went for medium and it just blew me away: so tasty, so moreish and absolutely rammed with flavour. Plus, I just love knife-cut noodles SO damn much! Unfortunately there wasn’t a vegan or even vegetarian Murger option, so I accompanied my main with some veggie gyoza (delicious!).
I already can’t wait to head back again.
An uplifting chance train meeting
First of all, can we get a round of applause that it’s the 3rd February and I haven’t had a single train-related panic attack?! Hell yeah.
Secondly, I had an uplifted chance encounter with a stranger on the train on Thursday. I boarded the train in a slight huff because despite being the decent human that stepped aside to let people off first, a stream of about 9 people then pushed on in front of me, leaving me last on, just before the doors shut (one of my panic attack triggers).
Off I popped to get a seat and settle down with my current book (‘Welcome to Lagos’ by Chibundu Onuzo), when someone mentioned to me, “hey, you can’t sit there!”. I of course panicked because I hate being that guy sat in somebody else’s reserved seat, but it turned out he was just ‘being funny’.
I didn’t find it funny, so I cracked open my book ready to get a solid chunk read before meeting the girls for dinner.
Then he asked me what I was reading, and I came across the book because he had family in Lagos. So I obliged and engaged in conversation about the book; it’s such a rarity to come across someone IRL that a) talks to you, and b) discusses books.
And on we discussed the importance of reading and consuming things outside of our ‘own cultures’, learning about one another’s backgrounds. And, it turned out he was a playwright and director! How things change, from annoying someone about a seat to happening upon people that restore your confidence in pursuing passions and singing about what’s right.
I was supposed to start my new contract on Wednesday but a series of happenings meant that I’ll be starting on Monday. And although that’s been a blessing in disguise for myriad reasons, it’s also been pretty tough on me mentally.
One of my biggest anxiety triggers is time, waiting on things and not having enough of it.
I feel restless, experience heart palpitations and completely zone out when things don’t go according to my personal time plan and when I don’t have anything lined up, so it’s been… a week! In times like these, I tend to comfort-watch series that I’ve watched before (so I know exactly what is coming next and how it’ll end), and generally waste a lot of time. And actually, it’s one of the main reasons I decided to find a contract that’d give me more structure with my days.
Does anybody else ever feel like this?
Links I’ve Loved:
- With Chinese New Year just around the corner, I really enjoyed Elsie’s round-up of Chinese culture books. They’re mostly for kids, but a good reference point.
- I’ve followed Sammi for years, but her video about 10 wearable trends for the upcoming season is easily one of my favourites. Beautifully shot, so well-thought out and full of genuinely useful content. One of the gems of YouTube.
- This post on Camille Styles shares a few small changes you can make today to improve your finances.
- Not sure what to have for dinner next week? Add this Cabbage, Leek and Potato Tart to your meal plan!
- My girl Bee shared one of her poems.
- Sarah’s post on learning to trust yourself, particularly through hardships, really resonated with me and was perfectly timed for the general January mood.
- Now that the ASA/CMA ruling hubbub has died down a little, it’s been nice to read people’s thoughts on them. Ella shared a post of her own, and as a leader of the blogging industry, it’s incredibly well written and easy to understand.
- Sophie wrote a post all about how she kicked her spending cycle to the kerb. A brilliant read if you’re hoping to make a big change in your savings this year.
- Lastly, this recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Frosting is a) delicious-sounding, and b) completely vegan!
Posts This Week:
- Making A Case for Neutral Style
- A Few Updates
- January Magic From The Community
- The February Reading List