Late last Sunday, I opened up my MacBook to play some Taylor Swift for my evening wind-down when a metaphorical shift happened in my brain. I had a glimmer of writing inspiration again. You see, for months and months, I haven’t created much that I’m particularly proud of. Yes, yes, there’s a raging pandemic out there, but as a writer by trade, it’s been a really tough couple of months for me to navigate. Writing but not feeling proud or really connected to the output didn’t mesh well with me – at all.

There’s nothing more unsettling for a writer than when the words don’t seem to flow. It’s like there’s a little dam in your head, blocking the way for all of the thoughts swirling about. Whilst once, reckless thoughts threatened to spill with wild abandon, now they’ve happily set up camp. No matter how many journal pages and phone memos you fill up with snippets, voice notes and other little clips, they simply won’t thread together.

Maybe, for now, that’s where those words belong, as wisps.

But suddenly, I feel buoyed by the green buds on the trees outside, painting the landscape outside my window and filling it in with colour again. The collective hope is seeping through, and though I haven’t quite ‘made the most’ of restrictions lifting, the positivity is definitely there.

Cozy Grove and Littlewood are everything

I’m finding SO much joy in ‘comfort games’ lately. The past few weeks have brought us Cozy Grove and Littlewood and I’m really enjoying them both! For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed these sorts of life sim and slow, indie games that require you to check in a little each day – it feels like a reminder to the same in real life.

Cozy Grove is an indie game inspired by my beloved Animal Crossing. There’s about 30-45 minutes of daily gameplay to it, I’d estimate, and it revolves around a little story of you building back up a campsite where adorable spirits dwell. The story writing is gorgeous and the music is wonderful. On the other hand, Littlewood is a town-building sim with all of the elements I usually love: woodcutting, mining, farming… You can build up your little town, form friendships with people in it, complete little tasks and achievements, and uncover a story as you go. Both are bringing me so much joy at the moment, whilst I feel a little all over the place.

& Chai was featured in Stylist!

The highlight of my week was easily that & Chai was featured in Stylist magazine!! And we haven’t quite gotten over it yet. We were actually contacted by someone in their team on my birthday but I didn’t want to utter a peep about it ‘just in case’. It feels SO surreal to see our product IN a magazine, and in one that I studied avidly at Uni all those years ago. We’re both blown away by the continued support from you all and can’t quite believe how quickly our little business is growing. We’ve got plenty more in the works and are getting closer every day to achieving our next milestone.

Brighter horizons are here

Does anybody else in England feel like they’re existing in a really odd trajectory right now? Whilst the outdoors unlocks, bit by bit, it certainly feels odd to think that stores and other places are open again after a good five months of being firmly indoors. Personally I’m finding everything extremely exhausting at the moment: now that we’re allowed to meet friends for leisure, I’ve been doing so in small bursts but I absolutely traded in my social battery.

Brighter horizons are certainly here, but I’m already noticing patterns and consciously making an effort to up the self-care and really look after my precious hours. If you also feel a little overwhelmed at lockdown restrictions easing, here’s your reminder to schedule those indoors hours back in. It’s okay to do it slowly or slower.

Links I’ve Loved

  1. My girl Bolly shared a heartfelt and important post all about being Asian in a Western country.
  2. This Sheet Pan Chow Mein recipe sounds delicious, and such a simple, quick fix meal!
  3. I loved this post on Katrina’s blog about rediscovering the joy of getting dressed again.
  4. Natalie Morris’ book ‘Mixed/Other’ arrived on my doorstep this week, and I’ve also enjoyed learning more about her through a number of interviews like this refinery29 one.
  5. Sade’s gorgeously penned piece about grief struck a real chord with me – a must-read.
  6. I really can’t wait to try Cupful of Kale’s Vegan Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni recipe.
  7. And, lastly, this piece about South Asian representation on British television was eye-opening.

How was your week? Let me know a lovely story from your world.

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