January 2017: This month I have mostly been…

Feeling: ……

Ok so the last week or so has been a clusterfuck of epic proportions and to be honest, I’m not sure I can really quite get my head around what’s happening and despite signing petitions and the like, I feel rather impotent. I have since Brexit to be honest. It feels like all reason and sanity has just been thrown out of the window. I’m not sure where we go from here or how we change things. Ideas on a postcard please.

(Re-)Reading: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

I am a huge Margaret Atwood fan. In fact, I think I’d probably say she’s my favourite author. I first read The Handmaid’s Tale back when I was in university. I don’t get a lot of chance now to re-read books because I always feel like the limited time I’m spending reading should be spent reading something new. My main reason for picking up The Handmaid’s Tale again was the news that Hulu are doing a TV series based on the book and I wanted to remind myself of the book before it comes out. However, it increasingly seems like dystopias are becoming reality and I’ve seen more than one article suggesting that in the post-fact Trump era that The Handmaid’s Tale is one of a few novels which seems more prescient than one might hope.

If you haven’t read it, do. I devoured it and had forgotten how utterly compelling it was.

Nolite te bastardes carborundorum

Watching: Your Name

Back in November posters for this film popped up in Whitechapel tube station and we vowed to go. Unfortunately the week it was released in most cinemas was the week where I was in Brussels for work for the first half of the week and then in Basel for the second half of the week. When I got back work was really busy and so I sort of wrote off my chance to see it, vowing instead to look out for it on DVD. Two weeks ago though I was in Tokyo for work again (seriously, I am so fortunate) and Your Name was showing on the plane. On my flight home I settled down and put on Your Name while dinner was being served. I loved it (and embarrassingly sat there sobbing at points, having to frantically compose myself whenever the attendant came around with the next course.

It’s a body-swap film but very cleverly done with twists I didn’t see coming and it’s a film that definitely needs a repeat viewing once you’ve seen it. Plus, it’s completely beautiful and you can easily get lost in the Ghibli-esque vistas. When we got back we realised there were still a few evening showings at one of the Odeons and so once I had reached the point that I was winning the fight against jetlag and could stay awake later than 8pm, we went again.

Sadly it missed out on an Oscar nomination (although it was in the running), but do catch it if you can, either at any remaining showings or on DVD when it’s released in October.

Planning: A more frugal year

A few weeks ago I projected my savings forward (I have a spreadsheet) and realised that owning a house in London at some point in the next five years is not completely out of the question if I carry on saving and don’t go crazy with spending money on stuff.

So, with my boyfriend, my aim over the next two and a half years or so is to get us into a position where we have the choice to buy, if we want to. We could possibly do it quicker but I’m not willing to give up our lifestyle entirely for two years to allow us to do so. My job can at times be all-consuming and I need to take holidays every now and again for my own sanity. I also like eating out every now and again, it’s good quality time with my boyfriend and something I enjoy. The plan therefore, is to cut back on our spending by really thinking about how we spend our time and money. If it doesn’t enrich our lives, then I don’t want to spend money on it. It’s all about cutting back, not cutting down in 2017. I don’t love it, but I just keep reminding myself that it’ll all be worth it in the long term!

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  • I’m getting remarkably good at blocking out what’s happening in the big bad world at the moment – I read the news in the morning, get mad and incredulous and then put my phone away and get through the day… until the next morning!! It just doesn’t seem real, I think I’m in a constant state of denial.. I really need to read some Margaret Attwood, it’s outrageous that I haven’t yet – I don’t even own any of her books!! So much shame.. xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

  • I really enjoyed The Handmaiden’s Tale and didn’t know they were making a series. A little hesitant about whether I should watch that (I am one of those people who find it hard to enjoy adaptations of novels I love ).

    Good luck with the savings! I agree it’s unrealistic to go completely frugal for long period, still need to enjoy things in life

    Nat // Dignifiable