Tuesday, December 3, 2013

November Roundup

chinchon, famous for the main square. it's round!
November. In like a lamb, out like a... sick lamb. It felt like an extra-long month, or two mini-months in one. The first one was great - good weather, a visit from an awesome friend, good times at work. And then the germs came. Flu, laryngitis, day after day of resting and feeling not the best. It's a sure-fire way to make any month drag on. Anyway, it’s time to move on to a hopefully healthy December.

I'm linking up with Leigh's anniversary edition of What I'm Into. Be sure to check it out!

Grab button for What I'm Into

This month I've been
Reading: Alice Munro. I love short stories and I love Canadian writing, and in honour of her Nobel Prize, I've been re-reading old favourites. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage is a lovely place to start. This woman explores relationships like no other. Old married couple? New married couple? Sisters? Friends? Enemies? She just gets it. Add to that the spot-on descriptions of life in Ontario, and voila - loveship.  Sarah Polly's film Away from Her is based on The Bear Came Over the Mountain, the last story from this book.

I've got some more Canadiana on the go, a non-fiction book by wine writer Natalie MacLean. It's interesting how differently wine is made, tasted and viewed in Europe and "The New World". While I like plenty of New World wines, I prefer the attitude and history that comes with it over here. The book's called Red, White and Drunk All Over.

Gulliver's Travels. Because it's fun, and the only thing better than making up words is reading made-up words.

Joy! To your world. ON MY PHONE! I still can’t get over it – I have a phone that can handle apps.  
This excellent article about tweeting other people’s conversations. Using the problems and misfortunes of others to gain followers? Not cool, people.
I also finished Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson. A senior love story with dry British humour set in the rolling English countryside? Yes please. 
Watching: Reign. Leigh got me hooked on this last month, and I love it! It’s not trying to be a 100% accurate historical drama, which kind of makes it more fun. The soundtrack is great and the costumes are amazing. And, let’s be honest, the actual Mary Queen of Scots was one tall lady, so of course I’m into this show!
My Grandma's Christmas music video. Check it out!
rice in Chinchon
A cooking show presented by cloistered nuns. The title translates to Divine Palate. They make traditional Spanish dishes while giving a social commentary that sometimes relates to food – we’re cooking this and we have to remember to be thankful, because so many are poor. We’re cooking our favourite Spanish dish, and we have to remember that it’s hard for missionaries to adapt to foreign cuisine. We’re cooking this dish, it’s Sister so-and-so’s favourite, and she was friends with JPII. Daytime TV in Spain...
Drinking:  A lot of water. Mug after mug of lemon-ginger infusions. Nettle tea. Chicken broth. White tea.
Doing: catching up with an awesome friend from my London days. We'd planned the visit months ago, and we were both pretty hyped up when the time finally came. We spent the weekend catching up over coffee and donuts on the balcony, shopping our way around Madrid, eating lots of good vegetarian fare, and sightseeing in Chinchon. It's one of those towns that screams Spain. Old churches, castle ruins, a clock tower, artesan shops, and people - old men in hats having a café at the bar, women gathered around tables to catch up on the news, the children running around the main square. It was very cool - the main square is round, and in the summer they use it for bull fights. Don't go that day. The area is famous for anis, which people drink as little shots with coffee and also use for baking. We vote for the anis doughnuts.

together again!
Yoga, 10 minutes nearly every day. I’ve stopped going to class, and started a home-practise instead. At the moment, I like it more. Yoga is too chatty in Spain (surprise, surprise), and at home I can really focus and make it my own, digging in to poses I'm enjoying, and working on challenges at my own pace. Some poses can even help you feel a bit better when you’re sick. Reclining twist and legs up the wall, corpse pose and deep breathing.

I made some Advent Bunting, and I'm nearly done some (bird) tree ornaments. Watch for pictures soon!

Thinking about: Christmas everything – a concert at school, art projects and lessons, at home, Christmas choir, Christmas travelling... I’m getting excited!

1 comment:

  1. So sorry to hear you've been sick! Hope you're feeling better by now and that you stay that way. After I read Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, I wished it was possible to know him in real life. I'm interested to see what the author writes next. So glad you're enjoying Reign! I cannot stop thinking about last night's episode. What a tease! And now we have to wait until it comes back on in January. How fun you got to spend time with your friend!