And somehow, we find ourselves in the penultimate month of the year. I can't even stop to think about how fast this year's gone - it feels like yesterday I was kicking off with my planners, intention word in mind, setting goals for this year. And whilst 2017 has taken me to places I'd never expected and helped me cross some things off my personal and professional bucket list, it has also been an incredibly painful year, in its way. Of late, I've been spread just a little too thin, and some important questions have surfaced, as they have a way of doing at this time of year. Each time we reach Halloween, Bonfire Night and that fast snowball (sorry, couldn't help it) into Christmas, it seems like my body and mind cry out at me: 'Where are you going?! What have you learned?!'

You know, I'm not sure. I'm not sure everything is a lesson anymore, or that everything happens for a reason. During this reflective time of year, I'm coming up empty this November. But I'm hoping for enough distractions to keep me moving forward, and enough spinal cord to keep me strong. Perhaps it's enough to stand a little more sure of yourself, year after year, even if you find you haven't moved at all.

Whoa, we got deep there. Let's pull it back to all the happy things I'm looking forward to, and everything making me smile lately. Hint: it rhymes with Danger Dings.

SEE:  I want to recognise the importance of Stranger Things 2 returning, although I’m sure if you know about if you’ve already binge-watched by now. Damn you Netflix and your beautiful single upload box sets. This show is everything nostalgic and right with the world, but also so beautifully acted by its cast (the young members in particular are outstanding) and crafted expertly by its writers. Perfect Halloween fun. Last month we also marathoned the now-seasonally-perfect Gunpowder, which delighted in its great writing, economic storytelling and ambitious cinematography and fight choreography. Also erm, hello Guy Fawkes.  I’m also really hoping to get to see Follies streamed live at the cinema, because Imelda Staunton is a revelation and you should never miss the opportunity to see her on stage.

LISTEN: The month of October was spent mostly listening to Mi Gente (surprise surprise) as I’ve been trying to build up to working out regularly again and if you want a song to motivate you to move your body - that is a great one. The Stranger Things 2 soundtrack gets an honourable nod for just being so effortlessly cool. Jessie J has also been killing it lately and Think About That and Not My Ex have both been in regular rotation to help me get through longer, darker days as we approach winter.

GO: I’m trying to plan a weekend trip to London for myself and the chap sometime soon, and I’ve been looking at The Hoxton as a potential base. The rooms seem reasonable, the design stylish and who can resist breakfast in a bag, really? The Hoxton Holborn and The Hoxton Shoreditch are both high up on my ‘stay here next’ list, so it’s just a case of making all the pieces fit together and booking a night!

EAT: With the new Westgate open, a whole world of possibility has just arrived when it comes to food options and date nights. We stopped in on opening night for a quick bite at Shawa Lebanese Grill, which was super tasty and really good shawarma, although the khobez wasn’t quite right – it never is though, outside of Lebanon. But definitely really tasty and much, much cheaper than Comptoir. I’m really interested to try The Breakfast Club, and hope to be taking my mama there later this week to fill up on brekkie before a shopping date!

DRINK: It’s Gingerbread Latte season, everyone. Jaye treated me to my first one (I love her for being a Starbucks Gold member) last weekend and it was every bit as delish as I remember it being. Christmas in a cup!

WEAR: I’m on the red jumper train pretty darn hard right now, and am searching for the perfect one to slot into my autumn/winter wardrobe. This number is pretty high up the list. I am SO excited we’ll have our very own & Other Stories in Oxford soon!

READ: I’ve just finished How To Be Both and everyone should read that book – please go and pick it up if you’ve ever wandered past it and thought ‘Mmm, maybe…’ It is incredible. Review incoming. Next on my list, I’d like to pick up Turtles All The Way Down because a) great name and b) John Green and c) I know you’re not meant to say it but look at that cover though.

THINK: Unfortunately, October picked up from where September left off in terms of stress – most mornings I’ve been waking up with my jaw clamped shut from grinding my teeth so hard the night before – thank goodness for sexy mouth guards. Until now I’ve been trying to just get through and handle it, but I think a good word for the month ahead will be slow. Slow down, slow my pace and my thoughts, and slower practices in every day.

2 comments

  1. Not to be unhappy but I can definitely feel what you're describing about lessons learnt - I spent a lot of time the last couple of months thinking about this year and I always draw up frustrated... sigh. And it doesn't help that time goes by so quickly and soon it'll be ANOTHER NEW YEAR.

    I really want to read Turtles All the Way Down too! It's been a while since I picked up a proper book, it'll be book to tune into one as the year comes to a close. Everyone is also talking about Book of Dust, I'm still thinking whether to get it!

    Cherie ✿ decliately.xyz

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    1. I don't know why there's this huge pressure when we reach these months to suddenly decide we've had a productive year and get so focused on goals goals goals as we head for January... 'New Year New You' syndrome I guess.

      i'm excited to read it! And I do want to give Book of Dust the benefit of the doubt - I tried and spectacularly failed to get into Northern Lights in my teens, but it doesn't mean I'll hate all of his work forever! Thanks for reading and commenting Cherie. T xx

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