Tuesday, 10 October 2017

September Life Lately

I've just got back from 8 gloriously relaxing and refreshing (and warm!) days in Spain, so I'm a little behind with catching up on reality!

I've been inspired by Michelle's Blogtober to think about blogging a bit more and considering going back to writing smaller, shorter posts. Like most things in life, I always want to do a bit too much and plan these big, expansive blog posts, which overwhelm me and make me not want to write at all. But I need to go back and think about the kind of posts I used to write and how I can writer smaller, shorter pieces that I love.

I'm really, really enjoying writing my newsletter, though, and it's giving me a totally different creative outlet that I love for all those micro thoughts and ideas that are too small or too private to put so publicly on a blog. You can sign up now if you haven't already!

Saying that, I have coursework due in 8 weeks and I'm feeling kind of overwhelmed by that right now, so maybe my return to regular blogging will be nearer to Christmas!

It feels a bit strange to be looking back on September at already 10 days into October, though I will be including some of my holiday things in this post as technically I went in September, but here's what I've had going on this month.

What I've been doing
At the start of the month I got the good news that I passed my second module of my marketing diploma! Two down, just one more still to go!
Back in 2013, the Stockport 10K was my first ever race and my first ever 10K, and I loved going back and running it again last year. So despite struggling with injuries and illness during my current half marathon training cycle, it was great to run this race, even though it wasn't my best time!
September also brought with it my Dad's 60th and not one, but two celebrations of it! On the day we had meal with some of my close family, then a big family party with all my extended family (my Dad is one of 8 kids so there's a lot of us!).

Where I've been
I've had a trip away to Stafford to visit my friend, Ellen. We had lunch, shopped and went back to her house to drink hot drinks and discuss books. It was lovely.
I've also been to Anfield again, however this time it was for a disappointing 1-1 draw with Burnley (thought we did have a great meal in Liverpool afterwards at Amalia)
I've obviously just returned from a wonderfully relaxing 8 days in Spain. I'm incredibly lucky that my parents have an apartment over there and I've been going since I was a teenager, and it's so nice a refreshing to have a quiet holiday. I'm a big fan of a city break, but I often come back more exhausted than when I left! But going to Spain every year is perfect - I know my favourite things to do, favourite long walks, favourite places to eat, and I can just relax, sleep in, read as many books as I can and go on lots of long walks. It's lovely.
But my favourite thing we did this month was just before we went away. Phil asked me to keep a date free because he had a surprise for me (I LOVE surprises!). But a few days later I realised why the date rung a bell and worked out what it was (surprise ruined!). However, it didn't matter because it was absolutely incredible - we went to see La La Land at the Bridgewater Hall with a live orchestra! It was absolutely amazing and I might have cried. Twice.

What I've been watching
We've had quite a few cinema trips this month (getting the most of my Cineworld Unlimited card!). This month we have been to see Logan Lucky, It, mother! and American Made. Logan Lucky felt a bit like a first draft, though it was very funny and definitely entertaining. I thought It was brilliant - the book is one of my favourite Stephen King books and I thought it was very well done. mother! I actually thought was very good - once I understood it - but I found it very stressful and anxiety-inducing - my heart was beating so fast my Fitbit thought I was exercising! And American Made was surprisingly good, clever and very funny (Phil LOVES Tom Cruise!)

At home, we've just finished The Night Of (I know, we're always late to the party) which I thought was excellent, and we're finally restarting Friday Night Lights, which we've been trying to get through for about 3 years. Phil has seen it all before but the rubbish second season made me stop watching, however I'm really enjoying it again now.

Speaking of Tom Cruise, we also watched Minority Report this month, which was another film I'd never seen!

What I've been reading
Thanks to a very relaxing holiday in Spain where I tried really, really hard to relax a little bit more, I managed to read 10 books over the last month (and a bit).

Here are the books I read this month:
How to stop time
The Gustav Sonata
Sweet Caress
The Nest
The Snowman
Big Little Lies
The Disaster Artist
One of us is Lying
The Circle

My favourites being The Gustav Sonata, which was absolutely beautiful and made me cry, Sweet Caress, which was gorgeous, The Nest, which was my perfect kind of character-driven family drama, and The Disaster Artist, which is a hilarious must-read if you've ever experienced the film, The Room.
Oh and I also hit my Goodreads reading goal for the year of 30 books! Yay!

What I've been loving
The worst thing about finding a brand new podcast you love is that you don't have 6 months of old episodes to binge on - this is the only thing I don't love about What page are you on? As the name suggests, this is a book podcast and I love it already, after only two episodes. I worried about book podcasts cause I thought I wouldn't have read enough books or that they'd spoil books I hadn't read, but it's just like two friends chatting about books, which is exactly what I love to do with my friends! There's only been two episodes so far but it's brilliant. Highly recommend.
On my friend Cate's recommendation, I borrowed Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat from the library a few weeks ago and I've just bought my own copy. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is less a cookbook than a book about the fundamentals of cooking and it's absolutely fascinating. There is so much I didn't know about how to use each of these four elements most effectively! This is an absolutely must-read for anyone interested in the science of cooking - I can't wait to read it again and make notes.

What I've bought
(What I didn't buy in September I've made up for in October for real)
Not loads this month. I did buy the most wonderful floral dress on a payday lunchtime a few weeks ago and I've already worn it three times and I love it. Because yes, I do need more floral dresses, thanks for asking.
I'm still waiting for my parkrun 100 tshirt, so I placated myself by getting myself an Apricot parkrun tshirt with my home parkrun - Bramhall - on. As you know I could bang on about parkrun all day and I feel so strongly about it, so it only felt right to support them by buying this.  I love wearing it on a Saturday and seeing other runners wearing them Bramhall ones - it makes me feel part of the club.

I was supposed to not be buying recipe books, but honestly, Salt Fat Acid Heat has made me rethink cooking so much that I honestly don't think I'll be buying as many and try to focus on being more spontaneous and following fewer recipes. However I did get Hugh's Much More Veg which is a sequel to Veg Everyday which is excellent. It's completely vegan, and while I haven't made anything yet I have had a flick through and it looks excellent.
Finally, on the way to the airport last week I realised we were going to Terminal 1  which means one thing - duty free MAC! I'd been weighing up Lady Danger for ages, decided to buy it, then wobbled when I tried it on and thought it was too orange. Phil said he really liked it though, so I went back and bought it and I'm so glad I did. Maybe it was weird airport light cause this shade is amazing. (I now have 24 MAC lipsticks...)

What I've been reading online
A Rosie Outlook - September Intentions

What I'm excited for
I've got my next half marathon on Sunday and while I wouldn't say I'm excited, I do enjoy racing. I've been plagued with injuries and illness so this is not going to be a PB, and won't even be sub 2 hours, but I'm hoping to enjoy it nevertheless.

We've got another trip to Anfield at the end of the month, and we've got dinner guests planned and a friend coming to stay so that should be exciting. I'm up to my eyes in coursework for my final module at the moment so I need something to break up working all day and then studying all night!

Hope your month has been lovely!

Charlotte x

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