October Life Lately

If I had £1 for every time this week I've gone OH GOD IT'S SO DARK! WHY IS IT SO DARK?? I'd be a millionaire. Guys, it is SO DARK.

But you know what, October aka, Spooky Season was great fun. I watched a lot of horror films, did some running, saw my friends lots and ate a lot of cosy food.

Here's everything I got up to in October, and is my One Second Every Day for the month is here...

What I did

Phil likes to claim he's not obsessed with parkrun, but seeing as October brought his 200th parkrun I don't think that's really true... Saying that, I am so grateful to have someone who totally gets it (even if they're not quite as obsessed with me!) and is happy to get up super early to try a new event, or plan entire holidays around a really nice looking-parkrun...

October brought lots of seeing friends and going out for dinner and drinks (I was home for one Friday night in the whole month which was awesome but tiring!) but we made sure to do our monthly date night in our local area, with a cocktails at O Hare's and a lovely meal at Gnammy Italy, and Phil wore this excellent cardigan.

I've talked below about our love of horror films in October, but one Saturday night we decided to have a spooky double bill with "party tea" aka, lots of cheese and bread and dips. I thought it would be fun to take it one step further and have a spooky picnic in the front room with lots of candles and it was so fun (though we did have to kick Bob out of the room for a bit, sorry Bob).

It's been so so so nice to be able to run proper races again, and one we'd had in the calendar for ages was Chester Zoo 10K! We had to be up at 6 to drop off Bobby at my parents' and get on the road for 7 for the hour-long drive to Chester, and the whole drive up the weather was absolutely abysmal and we were thinking, seriously why are we doing this?? The rain was still pouring as we got out of the car to walk to the race village and we were completely soaked before the race even started. BUT the rain stopped as we were doing the warm up and it stayed dry for the entire race! It was SUCH a fun race with the first and last kilometre in the zoo, and the medal is definitely a fave! We also got entry to the zoo after which was fantastic as I hadn't been since I was a kid! We had the best day, and the rain thankfully held off for most of our zoo trip too. My faves were the giraffes, elephants, penguins, lions and orangutans.

What I read

8 books read in October. Bit of a mixed bag last month! I read a couple of books which will definitely make my top 20 books of the year, and a couple of real not-for-me books which were a bit of a struggle. So all in all, a mixed bag!

Here's what I read:

  • Voyeur by Francesca Reece
  • The Whistling by Rebecca Netley
  • True Crime Story by Joseph Knox
  • Triflers Need not Apply by Camilla Bruce
  • Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen
  • Tell Me I'm Worthless by Alison Rumfitt
  • My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Dead Relatives by Lucie McKnight Hardy

I didn't exclusively read horror in October, but I did read a lot of horror and spooky stuff. I get a bit bored reading horror back-to-back, but I bought a few spooky books for October and I've got a few still to read into November and beyond so I'm definitely feeling an extended spooky season!

Shout out to the three books which will definitely make my favourites of the year - True Crime Story, which is the most modern meta interpretation of the true crime narrative I've ever read. Plus it's set in Manchester which I loved. Dead Relatives is an absolutely fantastic collection of horrible and scary and creepy short stories - one of them knocked me completely sick which is the sign of a good short story collection if you ask me!

And finally, one of the scariest and most original books I've ever read, Alison Rumfitt's Tell Me I'm Worthless. I'm already mentally buying it for so many people. If a terrifying haunted house story which also addresses trans issues and modern Britain sounds up your street, Alison is a guest on a recent episode of What Page are You On? talking about the book.

What I watched

If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that with the exception of any new cinema releases, Phil and I exclusively watch horror films in October, and this year was no exception. We also managed 5 trips to the cinema, something I don't think we've done for at least a few years. To be fair, Cineworld knocked it out of the park with some of their screenings last month (if you're interested in becoming an Unlimited Card member at Cineworld you can read my post about it here, and it also has a code for a free month if you sign up!).

At the cinema, we saw No Time to Die, the 25th Anniversary rerelease of Scream (which I LOVED because Scream is one of my all-time favourite films, and in my top 5 favourite horror films), Halloween Kills (which was laughably bad), an early Unlimited Screening of Dune, and Last Night in Soho.

At home, we watched Paranormal Activity, which I'd never seen before and loved, favourites The Thing and It Follows, and new-to-me La Diaboliques and Freaky (for our spooky picnic double bill) - both of which I loved, and Oculus.

I think having a theme makes us watch loads more films than our usual maybe 4 or 5 a month!

TV-wise, we sadly finished season 2 of Ted Lasso which we miss very much, and we absolutely loved Mike Flannagan's Midnight Mass

What I listened to

I'm still on a bit of a podcast bender! Last month I listened to The Missionary, Broken Harts, The Baron of Botox (though I did give up on it because I was a bit bored!) and My Year in Mensa. All of these had been sat in my podcast app for years so I'm glad I finally listened to them!

What I ate

I love doing my cookbook review posts but sometimes I want to talk about things I've cooked or eaten that aren't in a book I'm reviewing (or are in a book I'm planning to review but I'm too excited to wait to tell you about them!), so I thought I'd add a little food section in to my monthly review!

October was all about cosy food - Jack Monroe's lentil and mushroom pie, lots of soup (I used this recipe to use up some leftover cauliflower and it was fantastic!), shepherd's pie (made from extra pie filling), Anna Jones' butternut squash lasagne (which I raved about here), and my favourite pumpkin curry (which I only eat when Aldi have the mixed squashes in stock between September and October, but make at least 3 times in that period every year).

I can't wait to tell you about the amazing recipes I've made from Ruby Tandoh's Cook as You Are which I talked about last month. This tweet might be a bit of a spoiler...

We're also obsessed with her gnocchi with capers and chilli oil- watch this space for a book review!

What I read online

That's all for October - catch up soon!

Charlotte x


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