British volunteers are working in Ukraine and are being targeted by the russian army. As usual, I will start with a short paragraph about the war. The russian destruction of the Kakhovka dam led to so much destruction, which is ongoing, despite little media coverage. Richard who is volunteering at FrontLine Kitchen was targeted by the russians while evacuating animals and people in Kherson, see here. He went there with food and water and other supplies. John, another Brit, was injured. Both links are safe to see, nothing graphic. While I watch graphic videos, I’m not sharing them on my blog. None of this was talked about on TV. So, please watch those clips, and please donate to Front Line Kitchen – they are cooking traditional Ukrainian food for the army. Even a couple of pounds count, no donation is too small as it means buying some veggies that they dehydrate. Give them a follow or a retweet if you can’t afford a donation. Their work is incredible.
Now, going back to what happened this month for me. Firstly, I got my results back for my dissertation: 72!!! I’m so happy. I am still missing 2 marks, which means my graduation is still unclear, but the situation is better now as the dissertation means a lot. One of the things I celebrated with was this gorgeous bunch of flowers.
We’ve been to Northampton to see a special exhibition by Ukrainian artists, two fascinating museums, one of which has an amazing display of shoes, and we went to a vegan restaurant. We also went to Warrington, but I’m yet to talk about it.
Another place we’ve been to was Oxford, where we climbed in the tower of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. I loved our trip to Oxford.
Last, but not least, we went to see the monkeys at the Monkey Forest in Stoke-on-Trent. It’s the third time we go there and we love it each time. The monkeys are free to roam, but they are not interested in humans, so they ignore us.
Another 2 highlights of this month were: Yume tea and the series The Patient. Yume tea is buckwheat tea that tastes like biscuit, made by an Ukrainian brand, I highly recommend trying this. I like black coffee, but I just love this tea because it’s so unusual, here is my review.
The Patient is an American psychological thriller limited series, only 10 episodes. I loved this! It must be one of my favourite series. It has so many layers, the plot is simple: a psychotherapist finds himself held prisoner by a serial killer who demands he help him curb his homicidal urges. Religion, family relations, assumptions about the members of the family and what they would do, assessing risk and reacting to risk. I loved everything about this series, including the ending. Endings are so tricky to get right, but they did a fantastic job.
1. Rose semolina pudding, homemade. 2. Date night at the oldest pub in Lancashire, dating back to 1320. 3. Walk. 4. Band in the park. 5. Oxford. 6. This war painted: an exhibition by Ukrainian artists. 7. Monkey Forest! 8. Flower in the vase. 9. Bought blue paint for the planters on the driveway. 10. New planters. 11. New flowers and a tree. 12. From russia with love, Family Guy. 13. Visitors sunbathing in our garden. 14. Reading in the garden. 15. The Golden Gate, Warrington. 16. The Patient. 17. Malai dulce. 18. Planning a holiday. 19. Orange lilies, in my garden. 20. The Everton Lock-up (built in 1787, only 1 of 2 surviving in Liverpool). 21. Outfit of the day. 22. I got 72 for my dissertation. 23. Flowers. 24. Vegan eclairs, from a vegan market. 25. Pancakes, homemade. 26. Reading in the garden, again. 27. Yume Tea. 28. A very special puzzle. 29. On holiday (old pic). 30. Books in June.
I finished 8 books in June, all but one non-fiction and rather mixed in topics. Firstly the fiction one, was good, a short story, well worth reading. The book on chips is a must read because it’s so nicely written. It covers both the history of the chips and the new problems with them. Taiwan is vital to our security and financial stability and chips are the reason. We should care more about what happens in that part of the world.
Confinement is about birth in Victorian times, a whole book about the experiences Victorian women had. A fascinating read and one that would appeal to mothers and non-mothers alike. Third Reich book was interesting as well, covering what Brits and others from the west thought while on holiday or with work in the interwar period in Germany. I read a book on Liverpool, which I enjoyed a lot, followed by a book by a British journalist on the first stages of the russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It is nicely written, presenting real stories.
Finally, two books on Romania. Firstly, a book on a Romanian couple who fled the soviet-russian occupation of Romania in 1945. It was written soon after they were safely in the west, but was published after almost 30 years because they had to wait until many of the people who helped them died or otherwise they would have been targeted themselves. Last one is the story of polenta (Italian word for mămăligă but the one people know) and how it was perceived in Romania. It is a national dish, but one that has a fascinating history with its wide ranging implications from a social perspective.
Books I read in June:
Chip war by Chris Miller – 5 stars
The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick – 4 stars
Confinement by Jessica Cox – 5 stars
Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd – 5 stars
Liverpool by Peter Aughton – 5 stars
Invasion by Luke Harding – 5 stars
The Flight of Andrei Cosmin by Tina Cosmin – 5 stars
The Making of Mămăligă by Alex Drace-francis – 5 stars