It has been a strange month. We are having this incredibly weird weather! It is warm and it is February and I am all conflicted about it. On Tuesday evening, as I was walking to yoga, it smelt like summer, like June. But again, it is February! Month of snowdrops for goodness sake. Still, I’ve taken advantage of the sunshine.
This past weekend the princess and I headed to Dovedale (along with every other person in the local area it seemed) for a meander amongst the mountains. Dovedale is very accessible peak land, not wild like the north, but sedate and gentle. We walked from Ilam Hall to the stepping stones across the river Dove, and then turned back, scaling the hills for a bit before returning to Ilam for tea and scones.
I always love sharing food with my sister. She is so enthusiastic about eating. It is just pure joy. A- is the same. Last Thursday we cooked dinner together and danced around the kitchen. It was so simple, and so enjoyable.
It is these small things I have been concentrating on this month. Work is stressful at the moment. When I brought up my workload concerns in my review, I was told there is not much that can be done about it… That everyone has a heavy workload. Which is true but not actually a solution. I am having to learn to prioritise things I think are important, and am learning to leave what is actually unachievable. We shall see how that goes.
In order to compensate for the work stress, I have been focusing my (little, very little) energy on the small joys I can find that require little input. Things like cooking with friends, with A-, with my sister. Watching a television programme that makes us laugh (The Good Place at the moment). Writing a daily list of gratitudes. Taking lunchtime walks. Seeing friends. Taking a writing course over a long weekend.
What have you been up to this month?
Books I have read this month
Melmoth by Sarah Perry. This took me a while to get in to – I listened to the audio book and had to restart it and focus on paying attention! But once it got going I was hooked and fascinated.
Little fires everywhere by Celeste Ng. Enjoyable, easy read.
Things I’ve read and listened to this month
This essay on quitting totally resonated with me this month. Deep breath out. Sometimes it is okay to stop for a while.
Also this essay on staying, and sitting with the difficult things.
Deep frying Mars bars! I am really all for deep fried foods.
Loved this essay on bitter foods. I now desperately want to make a risotto with radicchio, red wine, gorgonzola and walnuts!
Things I wrote this month
A review of Salt on Your Tongue, for the Outdoor Swimming Society.
Hope it has been a good month for you! x