On Wednesday, the best thing in the world happened…my parents arrived for two weeks. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. They looked pretty happy about it too!

Airport adrenaline
Airport adrenaline

My plan for running whilst there here is to continue to run slowly and steadily, building up a level of base aerobic fitness in preparation for me starting to train for the Kaiser Half. No-pressure running, just getting out there. It will mean some very early mornings so as to not waste any time with my favourite people. On Wednesday morning, I was up at 5.30 am and out on the road at 6. It was dark but my town is pretty safe and I actually really relished the run, ending on a total endorphin high. I’m sure getting up that early will lose its appeal quickly but it was fun for the first time. So whilst I hang out with the ‘rents, here’s a quick fun look at some of the things I’m enjoying at the moment.

(None of the links are affiliate links.)


I’ve really got back into the swing of reading again, inspired by that Facebook thing recently where people nominated the books that impacted them the most. I wrote down all the titles on the lists of my cleverest friends and am quietly working my way through them.  I’m currently reading Gilead by Margaret Robinson. It’s the reflections of an old dying pastor, passing on pearls of wisdom to his young son. The writing is beautiful. I initially felt a little frustrated that there’s no ‘plot’ as such but I’m learning to slow myself down and wallow in each individual sentence and thought. I’m loving it.

I recently finished ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’ by Muriel Barbery. It’s very French and was initially slow and ponderous, but once the ‘plot’ got moving, I was obsessed. When I finished, I sat in the car and sobbed silently for half an hour. (Won’t say if it was due to sadness of happiness). Can’t remember the last time a book moved me so much.


In terms of TV, we’re in a bit of a lull – the only good thing we’re watching is the current season of Downton Abbey, which is CRACKING and so much better than the rubbish third season. The Dowager always reminds me of my awesome grandma.

I’ve seen a few great movies lately and they’ve all been under an hour and a half. More movies should be that short – I feel like movie-makers have forgotten the art of editing and are too self-indulgent!!

I FINALLY watched ‘The Triplets of Belleville (‘Belleville Rendezvous’ in the UK) and it was utterly awesome and I loved every second! And last week I watched my first Japanese anime movie ‘My neighbour Totoro‘ which was wonderful too. Both films have gorgeous animation, although with very different styles, and gripping stories. Totally recommended. And a month or so ago, I finally saw Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and it is without doubt my movie of the year. It’s a jewel of a movie – lustrous and beautiful.

Looking Forward To...

Despite the fact it will be my parents’ last night with us, I’m looking forward to Bonfire Night on November 5th, when all the Bay Area Brits will gather on Muir Beach near the Pelican Inn in the dark around a massive bonfire to burn guys and drink hot chocolate! Remember, remember!

Once they leave, I’m getting ready to move house. We got priced out of our 3-bed apartment and are moving round the corner to a 2-bed apartment in the same complex. And then a few days later, four of my in-laws come for a two week visit! Snuggly! So I’m definitely looking forward to renting this awesome house in Tahoe over Thanksgiving. It has a hot tub and table-football and FOUR bedrooms! Looking forward to some bracing, oxygen-reduced lakeside running!

Lakeside running, Thanksgiving '13
Lakeside running, Thanksgiving ’13

Listening to

My current favourite song is ‘All about that bass’.  It’s just awesome and makes me wiggle-dance in the car. I particularly like the bit about ‘Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top’ and I sing it loudly to my little boy because it’s utterly true!

Whilst running SLOWWWWLLLLYYYY, I’m listening to ‘Finding Ultra‘ by Rich Roll. I’ll do a proper review when I’ve finished it but it’s pretty gripping. I roll my eyes when he waxes lyrical about spirulina and bee pollen smoothies but his tale of descent into alcoholism and emergence from addiction was deeply moving.


All the pumpkin things. Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin butter. Not the pumpkin spice lattes. I have one every October and every October I remember that they’re disgusting, syrupy things and I prefer hot chocolate.

I also recently discovered this….and my waistline will never be the same again.


I’ve started dabbling with smoothies. I know everyone moved on from smoothies about three years ago but I’m late to every party and I am really enjoying them. I’ve started using  almond milk and am surprised at how much I like it, especially in porridge, although I shall never use anything apart from cows milk for my morning Earl Grey!

I bought ‘Thug Kitchen‘ this week and am starting to work through the recipes. It’s weird because the there’s so much swearing on every page and I’m NOT one for bad language, it usually alienates me. But somehow this book makes me giggle so hard that I couldn’t resist. I’ve made one recipe so far (lemony lentil soup) and it was a success!


I don’t think I’ve found any new magical websites lately apart from Deliciously Ella which is a vegan food/lifestyle blog from a very beautiful girl in London. I have a bit of a crush on her – she’s so pretty and clean and well-dressed and glossy. She makes me want to eat better just so I can be equally glossy. Because that will happen!

And that’s it, folks! Tell me what you’ve been loving lately.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Nic J says:

    Am loving channelling my inner Blue Peter presenter, with costume, prop and scenery making for our village show TOMORROW!!!! Stressed – yes, tired – very, but loving it as well! Will let you know how it goes.
    On the book front, just discovered CJ Sansom and the Shardlake series – very good stuff!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Good luck!!!! When it’s over, drop me a note about Vegas? xx

      1. Nic J says:

        Will do. Still in the plan, but just haven’t had a chance to book it yet (too much cutting and sticking going on!) x

  2. Michaela says:

    I love “Triplets of Belleville”! Such a great movie!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Isn’t it! Just perfect!

  3. Angela says:

    1) I still make smoothies 🙂
    2) People keep recommending Gilead! It is on my list.
    3) I can recommend additional cute Japanese cartoons if you’re interested.
    4) TAHOE!
    5) PUMPKIN!
    6) Boo moving, BUT
    7) Yay only moving around the corner (so thankful my last move was only 3 blocks!)

    1. Cathryn says:

      Haha! Excellent comment.

  4. bt says:

    J’ai completement adoré “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”, et, moi aussi, j’ai pleuré.

    Gilead is on my list, too!

    Are the Brits really gonna “burn guys and drink hot chocolate” at the bonfire? Intense!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yeah, you should come. We burn effigies on the bonfire in the dark, it feels pretty medieval. And then we go to the pub for a pint! Lots of fun and uniquely British!

      Je ne savais pas que tu parle français!!

  5. Tim Foster says:

    As a Bay Area Brit (not a label I have used, mind you) I may have to check out that bonfire…and a few pints.

    1. Cathryn says:

      Yay…do come. It’s so much fun!

  6. I need to read some of these books you are getting into. They sound great.
    Glad you are able to juggle the parents being there, running and planning for a move. I think all that would actually make me run more! Have a great time with the parents. 🙂

  7. Enjoy your parents visit. Your little one looks so happy on the picture too 🙂 It’s lovely.
    And, thank you (well, should I say thank you?) for the update on the new gelato (I saw it on Instagram). BECAUSE OF YOU I checked it this week-end when I went grocery shopping. I didn’t buy it… yet 😉 I am also OBSESSED with everything pumpkin (I LOVE the fall ingredients like pumpkin and chestnuts and pecans <3). And, just like you, I am always tempted to try a pumpkin spice chai latte and always disappointed. SO, I now make my own version. Check this out:
    I don't exactly follow the recipe but, I take the inspiration from it and, tadam, I have my own version without all the disgusting too sugary taste 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      You have to buy that HD gelato, it’s so good. Seriously!! I’m going to try that PSL recipe – it’s got to be better than the sugary version!! Thank you x

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