I feel like I ended up barrelling into September without really being able to take a breath. The comedown from six years abroad has been pretty brutal, but it’s not all been bad. September has been a wild ride!
I’m still not paying huge amounts of time on the headlines, or at least I’m not retaining them. Lack of routine for much of the month hasn’t worked in my favour.
I baked! Hallelujah, I baked!
It was interesting, for sure. Getting used to a new oven is always a bit of a teething process, and it being a fan oven, I have to re-jig temperatures every time I bake, but I managed to produce a pretty decent batch of brownies, and I’m suitably chuffed with that!
Outwith that, the lack of structure to my days has left my appetite a little all over the place, as has a lack of job, but slowly I’m getting there! I have been back on the soup train, which is even more delightful now that I can get my hands on parsnips and butternut squash.
The tube is, I have found, wonderfully conducive for reading. I’ve not read huge amounts, but it’s a nice wee window of time where I can get through a fair chunk of a book – the benefit of being a speedy reader!
Another, far less welcome, reading window has been the sleepless nights that pop up every now and again. The stress and the unknown of job hunting takes it’s toll, all of which culminated in a night of next to no sleep last week, but on the plus side, I finished a book. Having loved Song of Achilles, I was intrigued to see what Madeline Miller had to offer with Circe. Whilst firmly rooted in the same world, even mentioning Achilles here and there, I found Circe to be far less enthralling. Miller’s knowledge is clear in her writing, but for me, Circe just wasn’t as compelling a character as I’d have liked.
I’ve also been working my way through more crime fiction. In August, I spoke of Alex Grey, who sets her books in Glasgow. In September I’ve been tackling two books, Natural Causes by James Oswald, set in Edinburgh, and Birdman by Mo Hayder, set in London.
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Oswald’s book, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the McLean series. Hayder’s books are much darker – she is also the author of The Devil of Nanking, which I recommend. Her content is heavier, darker, creepier, but her characters are compelling and keep you reading.
Job hunting is not a fun time. It is not a fun time at all.
As it’s an on-going process, I have not much to say as of now!
Watch this space. I hope!
With the weight of job hunting, it’s been all about the comfort viewing. There has been a whole new raft of movies and TV shows avaliable to me on UK netflix, and of course the first one I go for is The Great British Bake Off! What a show that is – a most excellent comfort watch.
Finally (and yes, it’s been a long, long time coming) I was persuaded to watch The Hangover. It’s nuts, and I loved it!
There have also been many episodes of travel man, which if you haven’t seen, I urge you to watch! It’s fabulous, and I’d love to be Richard Ayoade’s travel companion!
Until this month, the only museum I had ever visited in London was the V&A (the Victoria and Albert Museum for those not in the know) and now I’ve knocked a few more off my list.
I visited the British Museum with a friend from Korea, but we barely made a dent in the extensive collections on show. I need many a return visit. It was quite something to see all the Egyptian artifacts – and overwhelming to see just how much has been… questionably acquired.
I also made it to the Natural History Muesum, and of course I made a beeline for the dinosaurs. The main building of the natural history museum is a beautiful piece of architecture, and the collection that I managed to see was fascinating. Having seen images in books for years, it’s a whole new experiences to see things in person.
I also found my way to the Tate Modern, with a wee walk over the Millennium bridge as well – I might have had a little geeky moment on the bridge! Again, I need many a return visit to the Tate Modern, but one exhibition in particular stuck with me: Magic Realism, centered around Weimar Germany. It was fascinating, and the book will most likely be purchased… reasons I need a job: books!
I’m hugely thankful to all my nearest and dearest who have taken me on walks and detours around London in the last few months! I’m still learning my geography, but it’s so much more fun exploring with friends and family – even if they are significantly taller than me and I’m so busy jogging to keep up that I don’t take everything in! I have done an awful lot more walking here than I did back in Korea, however, and I’ve been really enjoying it! Definitely the best way to learn a city – but be safe at night, folks!
To my great delight, I have been writing letters once again – something I have been very bad at over the last year. As you might have noticed from past posts, I like to make my own stationery. It’s been so therapeutic to be making things again, and they look rather smart with stamps on, if I do say so myself. I’m also back on regular bullet journaling. It’s nice to have a crafty outlet, however small. Drawing is slowly coming back into being, also, with these lil’ monsters angling to make their debut!
September (and before) has given us some gems!
After dropping her album early in August, I finally got around to properly listening to Nicki Minaj’s new offering in September. As always, she doesn’t disappoint. Following on it’s heels was Eminem’s newest album, Kamikaze. He evolves with every release, and this is no exception.
There have been some awesome Korean releases. Pentagon came back with Thumbs Up! Not their strongest title track, but the album as a whole is great, and I much prefer the album tracks. It’s the same for Oh My Girl with Remember Me. Their newest title track isn’t my favourite, but the album tracks are better.
There have also been offerings this month from Good Charlotte (yes, they’re still going), Passenger, The Kooks (yup, they’re still about, too) David Guetta, Josh Groban, Christine and the Queens, Sigala and Kodaline. Such a range of music, you’ll have to wait for a mixtape monday to hear about it all in more depth.
I’ve said it already in this post, but I’m not fully acclimatised to British weather yet. It’s as changeable as Korea can be at this time of year, but it’s definitely getting darker and colder at a faster pace here. As such, the coat has already come out, and the winter scarves are beginning to make appearances.
What is new for London, is my pavement pounders. I’ve never been a great trainer wearer, but when you’re walking as much as I have been, a good pair of trainers are a must (that and I’m now in the months away from from thirty countdown, I’ve got to think of knees). They happen to be the same colour as my wellies, much to my families despair, but I love them!
There was a brief stint of work this month, which required business casual as standard, something I didn’t have to adhere to in Korea, so a few choice purchases had to be made in the work wardrobe department. Lots of black… a fair portion of florals… It’s always floral season. Always!
Considering I have just spent the last six years in the land of tea, I have been irrationally excited to be back in the land of British tea. I feel that we’re pretty experimental over here, which leads me to my Misc. for the month. Sexy Earl.
Off we went to Whittard’s, in search of Russian Caravan, which has only become more elusive in my time away. We found the Russian caravan, but man was the sales pitch something else, and I was duly won over by the combinaiton of mango and passionfruit tea and earl grey tea. I can’t tell you the ratio, but it really does own it’s name. It’s a sexy cuppa!
As I’m now gainfully unemployed and chasing that freelance life, if you fancy keeping this geeky teacher running, chip in for that finest of energy juices: coffee!