Sunday thoughts

Oh dear, I have to be honest; when it first dawned on me that I would have to be writing my Sunday thoughts within 24 hours, I had no idea what I could possibly write about this week. Honestly, most of the days have blurred into one and I seem to have gotten through virtually none of my to-do list, alternating between nights of solid 10 hours of sleep and nights where I just about scrape my 8 hours split among bouts of tossing and turning. It’s really been very strange and unpredictable, and most days I’ve had no idea what the day was.

But let’s give it a shot anyway.

New things I’ve learnt this week

I’ve been racking my brains to think of something, but having worked on a couple of translations this week as well as panicking about getting everything else done and seeing various groups of friends and colleagues before the holidays (which Ben and I are following immediately with a trip to Australia, so I won’t see anyone now for at least a month), I literally had no time to sit and research anything interesting.

Having said that, thanks to one of the translations, I got to learn a lot about the conflicts between various farming groups in Niger. It really upsets me to learn about decades-long conflicts that I had never heard about, when national news sources give away whole segments to reality TV contestants and royal family procreation.

New things I have eaten this week

  • This morning (well, afternoon – my days generally do not include much morning) I tried the Vegusto Mushroom and Cheese Burgers. Oh my they were good, much better than I was expecting from a mushroom burger. Perfectly seasoned, with occasional woody mushroom flavours and salty creamy cheese, slightly chewy yet tender – I had them on their own but they would go perfectly in a bun (which, I guess, is what burgers were intended for). Highly recommended.
  • Heaps of COYO coconut milk yoghurt has been going out of date in my local health food shop, and as such has been slashed to half price. Never been a huge fan of it, but sometimes it really does hit the spot, so I stocked up on a bunch of flavours; the mango is great, and the berries is nice too though they win on visual appeal because their pink fruit purée is much more striking than the orange mango, but the pineapple was not a success with its occasional chewy stringy little lumps of pineapple, and no discernible flavour. All as better taken out of the fridge and left to warm to room temperature for a short while before eating.
  • I received this month’s UK Vegan Food Swap parcel, courtesy of Rebecca of cake fame; I immediately sampled her vegan Christmas pudding brandy cupcakes – delicious!
  • I also got to try Rebecca’s homemade mince pies, which were just the right size for an afternoon snack with tea – but more on the swap in a later post!

Other highlights this week

  • Last night we went out for dinner with a couple of friends, one of whom we won’t be seeing for a long time, to Manna. As usual, the food was wonderful and the atmosphere enjoyable and convivial. We exchanged £5 Secret Santa gifts, and Steph also gave me the most beautiful measuring cups that I have ever seen (from Anthropologie). Definitely a big highlight in a fairly bland week and on a miserable wet day!
  • Today started with a big lie-in, followed by a few hours of work in bed in my pyjamas, being brought tea (a green and oolong blend) by Ben who also made me the aforementioned breakfast/lunch/brunch/afternoon snack of mushroom burgers. I then wrapped presents and packed my suitcase for tomorrow. Top marks for a Sunday!
  • On Thursday I came home a little earlier than Ben and found myself with some time to spare, so I spent a good 50 minutes meditating which is the longest I have managed since leaving the Vipassana course. It made a huge difference, but unfortunately I haven’t made the time to meditate since then, which isn’t great.
  • We watched Elf! I had never seen it before, and having grown up without English TV I never experienced the onslaught of Christmas movies in December, but I’ve heard so much about how people know it’s Christmas when Elf is on TV that I had to take part in the festive experience. It definitely made me feel more excited about Christmas.
  • After a few weeks of saving money, trying to make healthy food at home, and being away at weekends, Ben and I decided it was time we ate out, just the two of us, if only to prevent us spending hours on our laptops not talking before realising it’s way too late. We went to GBK on Friday (I had my beloved GBK salad with added falafel, swapping the honey-based dressing for chili-ginger dressing), and it was lovely to just sit and chat and not worry about anyone else.
  • Plenty of parcels poured in this week for friends and family which was super exciting (and I am so grateful to Ben for getting out of bed when the doorbell rings!).

Well friends I think I will leave it at that for tonight as I have spent a long time typing away at the computer today, and frankly I don’t have much of interest to add this week – I will try to be more exciting next week!

I hope you have all enjoyed the last week before festivities, keeping warm and cosy and thinking happy thoughts. If I don’t check back in with you before Wednesday, have a very happy Christmas if you celebrate it, and a lovely week whether you do or don’t!