Everyday life Life

November 2021

It feels that I spent the whole month of November commuting, which is actually true as I made the trip from Liverpool to London every week or so. I did some amazing things this month, including having amazing meals at vegan restaurants, a visit to the Tower of London, attended Romanes Lecture at Oxford, saw the Lord Mayor’s Show, and saw London from above.

Lord Mayor's Show

Lord Mayor’s Show is a tradition going back to King John, 1215. It is an annual event and for this the State Coach is used. State Coach is 250 years old and usually resides at the Museum of London. As a historian, I was only too keen to see the procession, of course.

Emirates Air Line cable car

Another way to see London is from above, with the help of the Emirates Air Line cable car. I am not keen on heights though, so it will take a while to do it again, in day-time.

I went to the Tower and loved it. I didn’t notice when my husband took this picture, I was too careful not to move and scare the ravens.

Romanes Lecture

Another highlight of November must be the Romanes Lecture at Oxford. I am so happy that the event was held in person. I am loving the ceremony associated with the lecture. Even more, this year the guest was Dame Catherine Elizabeth Bingham, DBE. She was Chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce reporting to the Prime Minister. The topic of the lecture was From wartime to peacetime: lessons from the Vaccine Taskforce. It was fascinating to hear her talk about the challenges they experienced and what is needed for the future too.
Much to my husband’s amusement, I got excited when I saw Sarah Gilbert in the audience.

Romanes Lecture has its own tradition, starting from 1892, and speakers included Gladstone, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and more recently by Gordon Brown, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller. The last speaker was also the first Romanes Lecture I’ve been to and I loved hearing the Baroness talking about her experience as the Director General of MI5.


1. Pre-movie snacks&cocktails. 2. Feeling a bit down after the flu jab. 3. Vertigo in Manchester. 4. River of Light, Liverpool. 5. Purezza, Manchester. 6. Lucian Freud: Real Lives exhibition, Tate Liverpool. 7. Freshly cut flowers from the garden. 8. On the train back to London. 9. Okra curry. 10. Rifle shooting. 11. Remembrance Day, soldiers at St. Pancras, ready to be deployed to France. 12. Emil Cioran’s book on the shelves of a bookshop in Southbank. 13. Lord Mayor’s Show. 14. Birthday celebrations: cake, Tower, more desserts. 15. Emirates Air Line cable car. 16. Christmas market. 17. Birthday card. 18. Reading in the train. 19. Vegan treats at Manchester Christmas Market. 20. View from workhouse window in Wales. 21. Workhouse Museum in Ripon. 22. Entrance/lobby in London, where I live. 23. Romanes Lecture. 24. Cocktails from the day before. 25. Vegan blueberries croissant. 26. Friendly travelling companion. 27. Quarry Bank Mill. 28. Christmas tree. 29. Enjoying London. 30. Books in November.


I reviewed all the books for November on my book blog, if you fancy a look. As you can see, there is quite a difference between the genres. As I am doing a lot of reading for university, a few hundred pages each week, I don’t have a lot of time to read more books. Also, most of the reading I’m doing for university comes in chapters and articles, so I can’t add them to my reading challenge.

From these five books I would recommend the one on pandemics by Chrystal and the one on crusades by Waterson. Of course, the romantic short stories are worth a read if you enjoy the genre. I loved both stories.

Books I read in November:
A Dark History of Chocolate by Emma Kay – 3 stars
The History of the World in 100 Pandemics, Plagues and Epidemics by Paul Chrystal – 4.5 stars
Islam by Malise Ruthven – 4 stars
Snow-Kissed Proposals by Jenni Fletcher & Elisabeth Hobbes – 5 stars
The Crusades in 100 Objects by James Waterson – 5 stars

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12 Comment

  1. Lovely photo of the Lord Mayor’s Show and I love the one of you at the Tower as well. That’s a very mixed selection of books this month. The one on the history of the world in 100 pandemics, plagues and epidemics sounds interesting. #project365

  2. Love the photo with the raven! You had an amazing month, and a lot of commuting too. The Mayor’s show ceremony is fabulous. The lecture is not on the topic I would be interested in, but I know it’s a subject you are fascinated with. I would have loved to see the Freud exhibition. The crusades in 100 objects looks good, I’ll have to check out your review.

  3. That’s quite a month! The Romanes lecture sounds fascinating, something I would have loved to attend. And oh, that parade! Yes, a must. Like you, I’m none to fond of heights but the cable car intrigues me. Maybe next time….

  4. Wow, you had a really busy month, Anca! The Tower of London is a long term bucket list item of mine too, not least because of the ravens (the one in front of you is HUGE). Glad you got to go to the Romanes Lecture as well. x

  5. It seems you had a busy month. Great that you visited The Tower. That photo of you with the raven in the background your husband snapped is lovely. Your reads for this month are very interesting. The History of the World in 100 Pandemics, Plagues and Epidemics by Paul Chrystal sounds like an interesting read- possibly also quite relevant for our times. The Crusades in 100 Objects seems like an educating read as well. Snow Kissed Proposals seems like a lovely book, glad to see you enjoyed it enough to give it five stars.

    1. I love that picture with the raven too. They are intelligent and curious, which explains why the visitors are so keen on them.

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