September Favourites

Yay, it’s October. Like any self-respecting blogger, I love Autumn even if it’s a bit of a let-down here in the Bay Area! This is what I got up to last month.

Studying

My college course is going well – I really like it. We studied the history of early childhood education, the famous people who have influenced it, brain development and the elusive holy grail of ‘developmentally appropriate practise’. I had my midterm test a week or so ago and think it went okay, although I don’t have the results yet. I’m also volunteering at a local preschool most mornings to get some precious experience in my new career and I seriously, honestly, overwhelmingly love it. After 15 years of being in the wrong career, being in the RIGHT one is just awesome.

Reading

I finally read A Thousand Splendid Suns‘ by Khaled Hosseini. I’d delayed reading it for years because it’s been so popular and also because I suspected it would be relentlessly grim. It was pretty miserable but not as much so as expected. It was fine, but I didn’t love it.

On a tip from my best reading friend, I read the very short novel ‘The Colour of Milk’ by Nell Layshon. It was also pretty grim (why are all the best novels so depressing?) but was beautifully written with a remarkable heroine. If you want a quick but excellent read, I’d recommend this.

I also read ‘The Runner’ by British ultra-runner Lizzy Hawker which came hugely recommended. I have really mixed feelings about it. It’s beautifully written (rare for sports books) and she was particularly thoughtful about handling long periods of injury. The books starts with the most spectacular description of running the UTMB, one of the races I’m  most fascinated with. It is truly incredible and I was gripped…until, half way through the description, she casually reveals she won the race, before going back to describe more of the event. Totally spoiled the moment. The author also talks at great length about running in the Himalayas. I have to be honest, that part of the world just doesn’t interest me very much. I don’t know the terrain, I don’t know the challenges so I skipped a lot of those passages. I wold still recommend this book for runners despite the bits I didn’t enjoy so much. Try this passage for starters.

Running is, of course, a luxury. But it does give a context within which to cultivate physical, mental and emotional health. It gives me discipline and provides me with the motivation to question myself – to decide what among the myriad of obligations of daily life is most important….Going for a run, any run, gives me a sense that anything is possible – it gives me a space in which I can dream and plan for the future, it gives me hope for the world – all while pulling me right there inside the moment, forcing me to live in the now. 

Watching

We went to the cinema twice last month. The first time, I chose and we saw ‘The Man from Uncle’ which I basically loved. Watching it, I couldn’t help but think wistfully of the cold war when everything seemed so much simpler than the complexity of modern warfare. I know I’m wrong and that it was terrifying for those involved, but the whole US v Russia/Nuclear Warhead thing just seemed so simple. Also, the costumes are AMAZING and the men are definitely eye-candy. And Europe…oh Europe, I miss you.

Seriously stylish Source
Seriously stylish
Source

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation was not my choice but it was much better than I expected mainly due to the fantastic leading lady who is beautiful in a really interesting, intelligent way and who fought like no other movie heroine I’ve seen. Even the Husband remarked on how awesome she was!

I also rewatched a really good French film ‘La Reine Margot‘ which I watched a few times when I was 20 and studying French. It’s stylishly beautiful but incredibly violent as it depicts the massacre of the Huguenot/Protestants in 1570. It’s also quite rude in a delightfully French way. Very attractive leading homme.

You're welcome. Source
You’re welcome.
Source

On TV, we watched an interesting UK series called ‘The Hunted’ where regular people try to go off the grid and on the run whilst tracking experts hunt them down. It was fascinating to see how the feeling of being hunted took the ‘contestants’ over and how stressed and paranoid they got. It was also terrifying to see the total lack of privacy we have in today’s society. I kind of knew it in my head but seeing the hunters get access to traffic cameras, emails, internet usage and unearth all the hunted peoples’ secrets was pretty terrifying! Big Brother is indeed watching us.

Cooking

I’ve mentioned this before but this spicy winter soup is basically the best soup out there and as it’s officially Autumn, I’ve been making it despite the 90F/30C temperatures.

I also tried these beet burgers – they’re pretty spectacular to look at and taste remarkably good. They were a hit with veggies and omnivores alike in my household.

If you’re in an Autumn comfort food mood, this cheesy quinoa kale bake was delicious in a sinful kind of way. But it has kale and quinoa in it so it’s clearly not sinful! Go cook it.

Looking forward to

Pumpkin Patches. Pumpkins. Pumpkin baked goods. Pumpkin Spice Lattes. All the clichés. Bring them on.
pumpkin

We’re going up to Apple Hill to stay in a KOA Kabin in a few weeks. I’m excited about apple picking, apple pie, apple cider, apple doughnuts and apple cake. More clichés. Bring them on too, please.

apples

October is exciting because it marks our 10th wedding anniversary at the end of the month. TEN YEARS with this Ironhottie. I’m feeling rather lucky.

Husband Folsom

To celebrate, I’m whisking him (and the Dude) off to Seattle that weekend – I’ve wanted to go there for years so I am VERY excited. If you know places to eat/drink/play (that are child friendly) please let me know!

Come on October, let’s do you!

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