Everyday life Life

January 2021

January is Veganuary. While this does not influence my diet at all, being almost vegan (with the exception of honey, but I rarely do eat that anyway), it had a huge impact in the number of things, as I could buy lots and lots of new things from the supermarkets. M&S Food was amazing, like their salt beef pretzel bun, which is not always easy to get and we’ve had to share one as it was the last one on the shelves. The meatballs and the cheesecake were also amazing. I hope they will continue to stock these because I am loving them. All the other supermarkets made similar offerings with plenty of vegan foods. It makes our lives easier and it’s also encouraging to see that more people are choosing vegan meals, even if it is as part of their omnivorous diet.

I’ve started Hilary term and it was fascinating. I was very happy with how my essay turned out, I only hope that the tutor will enjoy it as much as I did when I wrote it. Because the subject was so different, I’ve had to push myself out of my comfort zone and that was really great too.


Festus enjoyed a bit of singing. Some people might call that hauling, but they would be wrong. He loves the new series we watch and he feels the need to “engage” from time to time during the intro.

We also did a bit of gardening and that was really nice. We’ve planted some bulbs, it’s a bit late, as the deadline for them was December, but I saw that they started to sprout, so I think the flowers will grow. Let’s wait and see about that.


1. Spotted on our walk. 2. Snow. 3. Picnic in the car with Frost burgers. 4. Vegan Pizza & sides from Dominos. 5. First book of the year finished, 99 to do. 6. Vegan jerky with vegan wine. 7. Narcos. 8. Tamarind plants, from seed. 9. New book I planned to read: Secret Casualties of WWII, a book about deaths from friendly fire. 10. TBR list 11. Vegan Kind Lifestyle Box. 12. Blurred picture of a talk about a book on privacy. 13. Back to studying, the start of Hilary term. 14. The new mattress was delivered on the day. 15. Flowers to celebrate a fantastic achievement. 16. Festus, looking for some treats. 17. CBD oil The Body Shop moisturiser. 18. Hassleback carrots, the first recipe I shared this year. 19. Loaded chips for lunch, vegan, of course. 20. An object I picked for a seminar, an anvil from Gretna Green. 21. Festus. 22. A vegan dessert from the vegan shop, it was lovely! 23. Festus looking if he might get a treat or not, while being flopped on a side. 24. Another day, another hope for a treat, this time vegan take-away from Frost Burgers. 25. A picture of the book I was reading, Privacy is Power by Carissa Véliz. 26. One of the books I got recently, for my studies. 27. I watched a lecture about the Holocaust, on Holocaust Memorial Day. I did not take a picture, so I am adding a picture from Auschwitz. 28. Flowers. 29. Gardening. 30. Festus singing. 31. Books I read in January.


January was great book-wise. I read 10 books in total, including 4 from the TBR list shared earlier this month. I’ll start with the history books, the ones by Simon Webb, on suffragettes and casualties of WWII are very interesting, showing a less known side of these topics. They are written in a colloquial manner, making them great for anybody interested in reading them. So is the book on women in the WWI, really easy to follow and enjoyable.
I also finished Obama’s political memoir and I can’t say that I was impressed, hence the 3 stars. I shared a long review on Coffee&Books, so have a look there if you want to see more details.

Privacy is Power by Carissa Véliz, a book that anyone should read. It shows the dark side of surveillance and how embedded is in our everyday lives. I highly recommend that one. She makes a very strong argument that we don’t even need to be surveilled to receive good quality or relevant material. If you can buy it or borrow it, please do. We all need to face the implications of what surveillance does to our lives and also, how something we say is affecting the privacy of the others around us, from our children to friends to people with whom we are related but we don’t know they exist.

I read three fiction books, all regency. The ones by Mary Balogh were really good, they are part of a series and I am going to read all the rest of the books in the coming months.

Books read in January:
Historical Controversies and Historians by William Lamont – 4.5 stars
Suffragette Fascists by Simon Webb – 4 stars
Mischief by Amanda Quick – 3 stars
A Promised Land by Barack Obama – 3 stars
Secret Casualties of World War Two by Simon Webb – 4.5 stars
The Proposal by Mary Balogh – 4 stars
A Life on Our Planet by David Attenborough – 4 stars
The Arrangement by Mary Balogh – 5 stars
Privacy is Power by Carissa Véliz – 5 stars
Women in the Great War by Stephen Wynn, Tanya Wynn – 4.5 stars

12 Comment

  1. I love that your dog is singing along to the show’s theme! My cat sometimes pauses and watches a bit of TV – he likes football, seeing the players running, and will try to paw at them.

    I’m in awe of your books read, Anca! I’m at 4 for January, which is great for me.

  2. Festus is so cute signing. I see January has been a fine reading month for you. Privacy is Power by Carissa Véliz sounds like a great read. We have given up our privacy too easily- and for what? For apps and gadgets? I’ll look for this book. Another book I think I might enjoy is- Secret Casualties of World War Two by Simon Webb. I see you have given it 4.5 stars so it must be really good.
    A Life on Our Planet by David Attenborough might be something I would enjoy reading as well.

  3. That’s a pretty packed January – congrats on achieving so much in what feels like the longest month of the year! And if your bulbs were sprouting then I’m sure they’ll be fine – can’t wait to see what emerges in due course 🙂

    1. I am curious to see if the bulbs will grow. I also planted some salad seeds in two small pots a few days ago and they started to grow.

  4. Aww bless singing Festus, that’s so sweet! Looks like you had a very productive month, reading ten books.
    Hope your teacher enjoys reading your essay as much as you enjoyed writing it. The book on privacy sounds fascinating, but probably will make me even more paranoid. 🙂
    I’ve also spotted a bigger selection of vegan meals. We didn’t do Veganuary, it is not feasible with our eating preferences and differences. I didn’t go a Dry January either, and had a couple of drinks in the last month.
    Anca, why don’t you join Project 365 group? It would be lovely if you do.

    1. I think you should read the book on privacy, because it offers some solutions too. Eddie will start soon using social media and the internet and I think he will benefit from learning about data, from collection to privacy. Being more aware means we can take steps to mitigate, in part, what is happening.

      The 365 group sounds lovely, but I am doing only monthly round-ups, not weekly, so I’m not sure my blog would fit in.

  5. Wonderful wrap-up, as always. One of my favorite things is to pick out all the Festus photos in your collage. Seeing him singing made me smile. We’ve had several dogs over the years who were lovely singers and in our current pack, Jed has the nicest voice. It makes me miss my Alice girl. Anytime she heard him singing outside, she would join in, even if it was the middle of the night.
    Kelly recently posted…The Dog Lover’s Jigsaw PuzzleMy Profile

    1. Awww, singing in the middle of the night can be a bit too much though. :)) I imagine they were so funny. Festus sometimes sings in his sleep, he did that about 3 times if I remember correctly. He was flopped on a side, sleeping, we were watching TV, and suddenly, he started hauling (sounded a bit different), it was hilarious. It means he has artistic dreams, doesn’t it?

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