January 2014: This month I have mostly been…

Feeling: Optimistic

At the end of December, thinking back on 2013 and looking forward to 2014, I wasn’t sure how 2014 could possibly top the year I had last year. However, I’ve started to think that this year could be even better, not for the big life events (they pretty much all happened last year) but for all of the little things. This blog has spurred me on to do more and to make more of my spare time. I’ve started looking forward and I’m booking things in advance (I recently booked tickets for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time for August!). I hope that my good and happy streak continues.

Reading: Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller

Another work Book Club read, this time a non-fiction book. I don’t normally read non-fiction and the times that I do, it tends to be an autobiography or biography of someone famous. This was a book mainly centred around the author’s mother and her life in Africa, although her family generally feature. It’s actually a sequel to another book which she wrote on the same subject and which I understand from some members of the Book Club who had read the first, went into more detail on things that were touched upon in this book. I must admit though that whilst it was an alright read, I did force myself to get through it and though I wouldn’t find myself pressing it into anybody’s hands to read, if I was stuck in a hotel room with it I wouldn’t throw it out of the window either.

As the next Book Club read is A Tale for the Time Being, which I read last month, it means that I now get to concentrate on something I want to read for myself. So my current book (and probably my book for most of February) is The Goldfinch. I’ve been desperate to read it but I generally have an aversion to hardbacks and ebooks, so I’ve been a bit torn as it’s not out in paperback until June. A few weeks ago I was told that it had been reduced to Β£1.99 as an ebook so I dusted down my boyfriend’s Kindle and downloaded it.

I’m still not sure about reading on a kindle. Apart from the fact that I like the feel of books and having something physical, I feel like I read differently on the Kindle. I feel like I read like I do at work and on the internet, I read faster and don’t take the time to savour and enjoy it as much as I do when I have a book in front of me. However, if it’s the only way I can read it for now, then I’ll put up with it.

Watching: Celebrity Big Brother

Who isn’t? Even those I know who never watch Big Brother have found themselves sucked into watching this series by the feud between Jim and Linda, the love triangle between Jasmine, Casey and Lee Ryan from Blue (because yes, that is his full name) and Luisa’s arguments. I promise, next month I will spend the month watching something intellectual and life-enriching, like the brony documentary.
I did also finally get to the cinema this month though, to see American Hustle. I should mention that I generally hate the cinema, I hate being cramped up in a tiny little seat for hours, I hate having to fight complete strangers for the armrest and I hate the fact that they’re always cold.
This was all remedied on Monday night at Genesis Cinema’s Studio 5. The Genesis Cinema is just up the road from me and I’ve been there before but never in Studio 5 as they tend to play the big blockbusters in there like all the superhero films which aren’t really my thing. Studio 5 is filled with sofas, proper soft squidgy and inviting sofas, you get footstools which also serve as somewhere to put your bag and coat, you get a table and there’s a bar in the back serving drinks and snacks. You also get a blanket! And all this for I think it was Β£13 a ticket (ie. the same price as a standard ticket from one of the big cinema chains). Bliss.

Coveting: This bag from Accessorize

For a while now I’ve been looking for a bag that’s slightly more practical than my handbag for days out, so really that means something cross body. It needs to be big enough to fit in all of my essentials; my massive purse, an umbrella and my camera (ideally my DSLR).
In an ideal world, it would also be in a colour that is suitable for both winter with my big heavy black winter coat and with my brighter and more colourful summer clothes.
Last weekend during a pre-payday trip to Westfield Stratford I found this bag from Accessorize which ticks all of my boxes and it’s leather which is a bonus. I’m definitely adding it to my wish list for when I’m feeling a little more flush than I currently am.

Planning: A holiday

I love discovering new places and seeing new thing but with my current job I find that when I travel I don’t want to be on the go the whole time, I want to be able to go somewhere and not feel like I’m rushing from one sight to another, I want to be able to relax in the general ambiance of a place.
So with those things in mind we have booked a week long holiday at the start of June. For a while now I’ve wanted to go to Cordoba in Spain, the main way to get there is by flying to Madrid and getting the train, so we decided to fly to Madrid, get the train to Cordoba, spend three nights there and then take the train back to Madrid for two nights before flying back home.
We’ve booked the hotel for Cordoba, after some research of Tripadvisor we’ve chosen the Anahita room at BalcΓ³n de CΓ³rdoba. The whole place looks gorgeous, see the below picture from their website:

Plus, our room has a terrace and a day bed! I’m so excited.
We still need to book a hotel for Madrid and flights. So if you have any suggestions for hotels in Madrid or things to do and see in either Cordoba or Madrid, please let me know.
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  • I love your photos! What camera/lens do you have?

    I wish I read more, I just don’t really have time for anything with my full time job and the blog and wine! Ha.

    Corinne x
    http://www.skinnedcartree.com

    • Thank you, the photos in this post and a few of my recent posts is a new camera, it’s the Panasonic DMC-GF6, I wrote about it and my other cameras (I don’t spend a lot on clothes, but I do buy cameras, oops!) here http://www.notquiteenough.co.uk/2014/01/new-addition-to-my-camera-family.html

      I know what you mean about time though, I wish I could read on my commute to work but I walk to work so I don’t even get the chance then! I need to switch off my screens more and pick up a book more often.

  • That picture of your hotel Cordoba just looks like bliss! Bet you can’t wait!

  • I don’t have any recommendations for Madrid as I’ve never been to Spain (sob) although the Spotted by Locals site is a good place to start! Also, Zara, Mango, Massimo Dutti and another which I can’t remember, are all Spanish brands so much much cheaper there! Go forth and buy coveted clothes πŸ™‚ or at least go into Massimo Dutti and stroke everything as I do everytime I walk through the Galleria in the centre of Milan (my beloved Dutti is much more expensive there and my boyfriend broke one of their glass shelves so my habit has been curbed!)
    Lucy x
    La Lingua : Food + Life in Milano

  • I’m so excited to start reading Goldfinch, I bought it last week πŸ™‚

    http://www.phoebetea.co.uk

    xx