Good morning and welcome back to another lazy Sunday daze. It’s been a hell of a week and I’ve pored over this blank screen for absolutely ages, wondering where on earth to begin. In times of adversity, I always find strength in quietness. I spent much of Friday offline; instead I took a walk around the lake with Milo and my sister, I celebrated a freelancers’ Christmas lunch with Sian, I read and read and read (Lost Boy by Christina Henry) and made comforting food.
Honestly? I feel like I need some time to process what the result of this election means for me, my loved ones and for the people most vulnerable in the society I live in and am part of. This is no time to be selfish or passive.
UK General Election 2019
Of course the dominating theme this week has been the UK General Election 2019.
I’m loathe to write even more about this, but find it incredibly jarring to have ‘influence’ over an audience and not say my piece. If I can talk openly about the books I enjoyed, the jumpers and gym wear I recommend or that new vegan lipstick I loved, then surely we might also align in political thought. On Thursday I voted Labour, not for myself but primarily for others. I am struck daily by the increasing number of homeless people on the streets, the number of food banks I see whilst running errands, the waiting rooms in doctors’ surgeries and, more widely, the terrible stories I read in the news. I personally believe this is down to the cuts and policies enforced by the Conservatives, who’ve been in power for nine years and who’ve done little towards their so-called promises. So I voted for change.
In this blogging community, we throw a phrase around:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” — Albert Einstein
Granted it’s mostly used in reference to nonsensical things like upping your Instagram game or similar, and yet here we are in the UK, using our precious democratic vote and voices to do just that. The same.
I’m fortunate enough that under a Tory government for another five years, I’m likely to not feel huge repercussions. However I can’t bear the thought of those who are not so lucky, trapped in systems that fundamentally do not work and will not work for them. I can’t bear thinking that this is the society the country has chosen. There are hundreds of other thoughts circling around my mind at the moment, but right now, I’m focusing on the following: to listen more, to volunteer more, to be more empathetic and understanding of many perspectives, to educate myself even more about our political system, and moreover, to protect and stand up for those more vulnerable. Whilst I’m here, may I also remind my wonderful readers who’re white, cis, able-bodied, etc. to please continue to be an active ally for minorities.
It’s Christmas party season!
In more jovial news, it’s Christmas party season! As someone that has been freelance for the last three years, it’s often a lonely time but having taken on a bonafide part-time role for one of my former clients, I went to a real Christmas party on Thursday!! It was so much fun, but lemme tell you now that I am very much considering going sober for good…
Next, Sian and I popped out for a very un-festive wagamama Christmas lunch. We’ve co-worked together several times in our little town and it’s so nice to have someone to bounce ideas off and to keep each other somewhat motivated. So, we headed to wagamama — the most exciting thing to hit our town in AGES — and chatted all things election, freelance and our plans for 2020. It was such a fun afternoon! Oh and the Kare Borusu Ramen is absolutely delicious, FYI.
I’m SO close to completing my 2019 Goodreads Reading Challenge, you guys! This year I wanted to read 52 books, making it roughly one a week, and I’m so close. In fact as I write, I’ll have read 51 and a half. I’ve now packed up all of my beloved bookcases and had also excitingly read everything in my stocks, so I’ve been spending much more time at the library recently.
Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi is a YA romance novel and I absolutely loved it. Our protagonist Penny is a Korean-American student, othered and lost and not really speaking to her mother. Through a series of events, she meets Sam and the two instantly connect… via WhatsApp. It’s a thoroughly modern love story woven with real issues, discussions about familial relationships and beautifully touches on race, gender and friendship. I wasn’t expecting to adore this novel as much as I did; it’s a cheesy, easy read and totally worth picking up. In contrast, I’m currently midway through Lost Boy by Christina Henry. Touted a horror, it’s a parallel universe adaptation of the beloved Peter Pan tale. And if I’m honest, I was expecting more from this novel and it’s fallen short thus far.
Links I’ve Loved
- Monica shared a really handy nice-to-do vs. need-to-do productivity hack that I’m definitely implementing come 2020.
- I absolutely LOVED seeing Gem’s recent travels in beautiful Prague.
- Wonderfully whimsical notes about Winchester at Christmas.
- This from-the-heart post by Ella talks about how she’s planning to ensure her Christmas is great this year, after a tougher one last year.
- These thoughtful and incredibly simple gift ideas on Ruth Crilly’s blog are perfect if you’re still struggling.
- Audrey’s ‘Head in the clouds’ post is literary magic.
- Um, so these festive vegan desserts sound absolutely delicious…!
- Lastly, some gift ideas for the hard-to-buy-for.
Posts This Week
- In Favour of Slowing All The Way Down in December
- Our Festive Date Night and Starting New Christmas Traditions
- Petite joys
This week, I’m sending you all a virtual hug because the world needs more warmth and kindness. Hope you’re all well; and if you’re up to it, I’d love to hear about your weeks.