February 2017: This month I have mostly been…

Feeling: Like I have a plan

After spending a while feeling a bit like I was floundering and not making any progress with the big things in life, you know, like buying a house and that sort of thing, I feel more like I have a plan. Because I do. For the first time in our relationship (nearly nine years) my boyfriend and I have a joint budget and there is an end in sight to us being basically overgrown students, footloose and fancy free. It means we might be in our little one bed flat for a bit longer, but I’m ok with it as long as it’s not something that will last forever. Plus, I’ve been making our flat feel a little more homey now I know we’ll be here a bit longer. That’s the thing I hate about rented flats, you move in and think it might only be for a year or two and so don’t spend any time or money on them and yet you find yourself still there five years later and wish you’d made yourself at home earlier.

Reading: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

I have picked this up loads in the past but somehow it never made it home with me until a few weeks ago when I used a book voucher from Christmas to pick up some new reading material to add to my newly colour-coordinated shelves.

I’m just over halfway through at the moment and enjoying it, although as with any non-linear book, I find myself just getting into one storyline and character and then they change time and/or character. Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, it is the story of a blind French girl and a young German boy in the grips of the Second World War.

Watching: Search Party

We’ve been watching season 1 of Search Party this month. It hasn’t taken us long with only 10 episodes. It’s a very modern mystery set in New York and well worth catching. Plus, each episode is only 25 minutes long so it’s perfect for either bingeing or for slotting in quickly in an evening. I often find that by the time I get home from a long day of work and then have had dinner, I don’t really have the enthusiasm to sit down and concentrate on an hour long episode of something new. Small, bite-sized dramas are my new thing.

We’ve also been watching Pls Like. Now, I blog and have always read blogs (from my early days of reading I am Fashion, No Good For Me (now see Strawberry Fields Whatever) and many others I’ve since forgotten, although sometimes I do still hear the voice of The Manolo in my head as I stroll through a London arcade and pause outside a fancy shoe shop), however, maybe because I am just that bit too old, I have never understood the appeal of vlogs or of vloggers. It might be partly that I am always watching TV or listening to something else which means that watching vlogs doesn’t appeal but I think the truth is that, unlike with reading, it’s difficult to skip through the inane and pointless to get to something useful. And, to me, so much of vlogging is inane. I know many will disagree with me, but I have no interest in getting ready with someone or seeing what they bought from Primark, I don’t understand the appeal of watching someone play a video game and I feel patronised by the chirpy tone of many vloggers. Sorry vloggers but 15 minutes of watching someone waffle on about anything and everything that pops into their head whilst sat in front of a cookie-cutter background of a bedroom draped with fairy lights sounds a little bit like my idea of torture (eek, </unpopularopinion>). So I find the concept of Pls Like hilarious, it’s a Youtube vlogger satire and pokes fun at the ridiculousness of the whole thing, the first episode in particular is genius.

Planning: To getaway

Photo by Softeis – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28008461 

Ordinarily we might have been on a minibreak/weekend away already by this point in the year, but as we’re trying to cut back a bit in order to get ourselves into a better position for buying a house at some point and so although I’ve visited three countries this year already for work, April will be the first time I get away with my boyfriend. I’m also conscious that I have a dissertation to write and that I’m not a full-time student anymore so I can’t do what I used to do as a student which is to do everything at the last minute, so I will probably need to take holiday for researching and writing.

However, in April we have two getaways planned, both using the Bank Holidays so I maximise my annual leave. First we’re off to Germany. We are spending two nights in Fuessen so we can visit Neuschwanstein Castle and then we’ve got three nights in Munich itself. At the end of April we’re off glamping again for my birthday, in slightly more luxury than last time (inside kitchen), staying at The Saltbox in Kent. I can’t wait to wake up to a view of Elmley Nature Reserve.

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  • My husband and I did the small one bedroom flat for years as well (both in London and back home in Australia). Definitely helps if you have another goal, makes all the cramped space feel like it’s not forever and that makes such a huge difference doesn’t it. I only ever lashed out on candles and flowers to “warm” it up and make it feel more like home…. you’ll get there quicker than you think x

  • Search Party sounds fab, I much prefer smaller bite size programs too! Germany sounds great too x

    Everything But The Kitchen

  • I’ve been in the same boat lately where I’ve been mulling over how I’m not as much of an adult as I think I should be at this point in my life. I think it’s something we all go through!


  • It does feel nice when you have a good plan figured out! I loved visiting Munich and the castles last year, such a gorgeous country!

  • Ooh exciting! It sounds like you’re managing to balance having fun things to do with saving up quite well, I am absolutely awful and end up spending money before it arrives in my bank account haha. Kind of agree about vlogs? I also like the convenience of being able to read a blog post anywhere and not having to worry about plugging headphones in/if the volume is suddenly going to go off in a quiet room (technophobe!) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy