Everyday life Life

November 2020

I can’t start to talk about this month without thinking of the horrific accident that happened in yesterday’s F1 race. Romain Grosjean crashed into the barrier, with the car splitting in half and the part with the cockpit turned into a fireball, and I’m not exaggerating in any way. It was so distressing to see as I remembered Bianchi, the last driver to die in F1, or Anthoine Hubert, the F2 driver who died last year. Luckily Grosjean has minor burns on his hands and ankles, but he is fine and he will recover fast. It’s incredible how much the safety improved in the last 10 and 20 years of the sport. I opposed the halo when it appeared but, after yesterday, I completely changed my mind. The car doesn’t look as nice as it did before, but the safety is much more important.

In November we’ve been in lockdown for pretty much all the month. On 2nd of December we are going to exit lockdown and we, in Liverpool, will be in tier 2 (out of 3). Accepting going into tier 3 much faster than Manchester was, obviously, a very wise choice made by our local authorities, as our infection rate is significantly smaller than the one in Manchester. I’m comparing these two because we either go out in Liverpool or in Manchester, depending on what we fancy. So, unfortunately, Manchester is not on our places to go to these days.


These are our neighbours. The cat, which we call Einstein because he is not particularly bright, usually accompanies the dog when he goes out. They are so funny together. The neighbours told us their names, but I can’t remember the cat’s name, it was something a bit strange, so he is still Einstein for us.

Festus and my husband

My husband was greatly helped by Festus with his tasks.

Christmas Dinner

Finally we managed to place an order at Rudy’s. They are the first vegan butchers shop to open in London, this November. As one can easily assume, they sold out from the first day in shop and online pretty much at the same time. Now they are selling only in shop until they can find a bigger kitchen to reopen the online shop too. But, they made Christmas boxes and we bought one. They are released at 2pm on Sunday for 4 weeks in a row and they sell out all the boxes within the first hour. We managed to be in the first 100 to order in the first 10 minutes of them releasing the boxes. I am so very excited about this. It is now in the freezer, waiting for Christmas day.

Furthermore, we ordered from another shop, Planthood, their vegan box for Christmas. That one will arrive on the 22nd of December. Planthood make plant-based meals. I think we will have their box for Christmas Eve and the Rudy’s one for Christmas, mainly because the Planthood is for two people and the other one is bigger, so it should last for Boxing day too.

The last things I need to for Christmas is to buy some vegan cheese and bake a bread, sort out the desserts, which I’m going to buy with the exception of the Christmas cake. It’s the first time I’m not cooking from scratch since I moved in with my boyfriend (now husband) a “few” years ago.


1. Catching up with a TV show with Festus. 2. Library trip before we went back into lockdown. 3. Matcha cake. 4. Knowsley Safari Park, November. 5. A surprise from my husband. 6. Got tested for COVID, part of the mass testing program in Liverpool. 7. Treasure from TkMaxx. 8. Vegan quiche. 9. I finished For whom the bell tolls by Ernest Hemingway, the second classic from my goal of 3 (overall, not this year). 10. Rainbow. 11. New setup. 12. Vegan Kind Lifestyle Box, November. 13. I was reading in the conservatory while Festus enjoyed a bit of sunshine in the garden. 14. New book, from my husband. 15. Festus. 16. A lovely card. 17. Science, Innovation and Society lecture, Liverpool University, with Jeremy Farrar. 18. Frost burgers for lunch. 19. My husband, working with Festus. 20. Vegan m*lk chocolate and Biscoff cheesecake. 21. Potato harvest. 22. The Social Dilemma, on Netflix. 23. A Mandarin lesson. 24. The Analogue Revolution by Simon Webb. 25. Order from Rudy’s Vegan Butcher, for Christmas. 26. Festus is watching us from under the table. 27. Wearing one of my Christmas themed masks. 28. Watching an old race, Schumacher’s first victory at Ferrari. 29. Salem Witch Trails on Amazon Prime. 30. Books I read in November.

Books I read in November

In November I finished 8 books. Many of them are on the Spanish Civil War, which was the last module I finished for university. Now I’m going to start reading about the Salem Witch Trails, which is something I’m looking forward to.

This month I received two review copies, of books by Simon Webb. These were so fascinating. Now I’m reading another book by Webb and I still have two more books by him. Going back to the books I read, the Forgotten Slave Trade is so important because it offers a holistic view of a less known part of our past. I think that these days so much emphasis is placed on the Transatlantic slave trade that is forgotten that many more people were enslaved, both white and black, for centuries before and after, and that, sadly, the Transatlantic slave trade was far from being an exception.

The Analogue Revolution was another great book by him. It puts things in perspective, when it comes to what newspapers could do over a century ago. Misinformation and fake news is not a new subject, even if it looks like this today. I can’t recommend enough his books.

As for fiction, I read a classic, For whom the bell tolls, which was interesting, and a novel published earlier this year, A Long Petal of the Sea, which was pretty bad, hence the low rating. I only finished it because it was historical fiction and I was interested in those parts of the story.

Books I read in November:
Forgotten Slave Trade by Simon Webb – 5 stars
Memories of Resistance by Shirley Mangini González – 2 stars
For whom the bell tolls by Ernest Hemingway – 4 stars
Britain and the Spanish Civil War by Tom Buchanan – 5 stars
Milicianas by Lisa Margaret Lines – 4 stars
Free women of Spain by Marta Ackelsberg – 4 stars
The Analogue Revolution by Simon Webb – 5 stars
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende – 2.5 stars

How was your November?

9 Comment

  1. You’ve read some interesting books in November. I only read For Whom the Bell Tolls from this list, as far as I remember it was a nice read. Not my favourite by Hemingway, but pretty good. The neighbour’s Einstein cat walking with his dog is very cute…and your Festus is always adorable, nice to see him helping. All in all, my November was fine, a bit busy with the move and everything.

  2. Wow, you’ve had a busy month, Anca! And I love that picture of the cat and the dog, they look so cute together. Your Christmas plans sound quite advanced, I still have masses to do 🙂

  3. Looks like a busy month despite lockdown! Well done on reading so much, my capacity for reading has been awful this year. Work has been busier than ever despite the pandemic. I go on annual leave in a fortnight and I hope to spend some time reading 🙂

  4. I’m glad your numbers are down and your moving from category three to category two in the lockdowns. What is the difference between them? We’re on what is supposed to be a four-week lockdown here, but the numbers are still rising so I’m sure it will be extended. But this time, it’s not as strict as it was last April. Stores are still open, just operating at 25% capacity. Restaurants can only do outdoor dining (in Winter) or to go orders, so they are the hardest hit.
    I hadn’t heard about that car crash but I”m glad the driver was mostly okay! (I’ve been avoiding the news this week while I decorate my house.) I hope you have a lovely holiday and I’m glad you’ve found some new sources for vegan groceries!

    1. In England we’ve had a 4 week lockdown, but strict, all non-essential shop closed, all restaurants closed for dinning in, just takeaway and delivery was possible. Before that we had the tier system and from tomorrow we go back to the tier system, albeit a bit more drastic.
      Tier 1 has restrictions, but not as many, similar to what we had in the summer, like the rule of 6 (6 people can meet indoors or outdoors).
      In tier 2, restaurants and pubs can open only if they serve meals, last order is at 10 and they have to close by 11, shops are open too.
      In tier 3 people from different households can’t mix, restaurants offer takeaway only, hotels are closed, indoor entertainment is closed.

      It seems that your lockdown needs to be extended, what a shame. In Wales they tried a “firebreak lockdown” for 2 weeks, after that the cases rose and they are entering a new lockdown now. If the lockdown is not long enough, it means a new open must be imposed, or the health services can’t cope with the amount of people they have to deal with.

      1. Yeah, it’s a problem for sure. Whenever we lock down, the numbers go down. But after we open back up, the numbers always rise again, either slowly or quickly. That’s the problem with lock downs….they aren’t a lasting solution, and they aren’t sustainable in the long term. Thank God a vaccine is on the horizon at last!

  5. That’s funny seeing the cat walking along with the dog. Looks like Festus is being quite a good helper, too. 🙂

    I’m curious about all the alternative meats from Rudy’s. I’ll have to check out your link. I’ve recently discovered I can easily find the Beyond Breakfast Sausages here and they’re quite good!

    You did some good reading this month. I think my daughter started A Long Petal of the Sea, but if I remember, she didn’t finish it before it went back to the digital library and she didn’t bother to get it again.

    They showed that F1 crash on our news last night. The driver was quite fortunate to come out of that not only alive, but in good shape! Safety really has improved in all kinds of car racing.

    1. I love Beyond meat. Here is quite expensive, about £5 for 2 burgers. Others are at £2-£3 for 2 burgers, so I don’t buy these often. I can’t wait to try Rudy’s, I would have loved to buy a few more things, but they are selling out so fast. It’s amazing that there is so much demand for vegan stuff.

      You are right about the racing, even a decade ago it could have been very different indeed.

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