Everyday life Life

October 2020

I spent most of this month at home. In the first half I went out to Down at the Hatch and, as you can see in the following picture, at the Cat Cafe, both in Liverpool and in Manchester.

cat at cat cafe

From the 19th I started shielding. I will have to take an exam in person next week and I can’t risk catching the virus, flu, or a cold which has coronavirus-like symptoms. So, all shopping is done online, including groceries. My husband is restricted too, of course. I had to go to pick up a book, from an outside collection point and I had my face mask on. It’s strange, but I have to admit I didn’t find it too difficult because it was my decision to shield.
I’m not sure I would be as keen on a lockdown. Of course, I would respect it, unlike BBC presenters. I wonder why they didn’t make a fuss about her and/or Corbyn (and his coronavirus rules broken, not the anti-Semitism thing), when the Cummings saga seemed never-ending (for me it got really boring towards the end). So much for “balanced journalism” at the BBC. And… as I started talking about journalism, I saw them waiting for Corbyn at his house and thought that is appalling. What if a white supremacist or a orthodox Jew decides to kill Corbyn, the journalists show pretty much where he lives. It takes only one fanatic and it happened before. I think the members of Parliament should be shielded. It’s not like when a politician hears a question from a shouting journalist will stop and shout back their answer. I imagine is more to show that “the politicians” do not care about people to tell them the truth or something. It’s just bonkers.

Now that I’m still on the political/social issues debate, let me share my thoughts on the Black History Month. I was excited to read about black people, but it seems there is little substance to this and more of a trend. I went to a bookshop and saw some of the new books by black authors, which are not exactly on historic matters. But, at the history section, imagine my surprise to see one of Starkey’s books on a Tudor, after he was sacked from Cambridge for saying that slavery was not genocide because “so many damn blacks” survived… while the book on Black Tudors, which I loved, was tucked in a shelf. So… that was the book store’s take on Black History Month. On top of that I see shops “celebrating” black history month by selling, for example, a piece of jewellery made by a black artist. Good for them trying to get in the trend and completely ignoring the fact that this month should be about celebrating the less known (or even unknown) people from the past and not trying to make some £££ by selling a random thing (unrelated to black culture) and congratulate themselves that they are not racists.

On top of that, yesterday I saw that a black actress, Jodie Turner-Smith, will play the role of Anne Boleyn, because it seems this will be a “convention-defying drama”. Right… because, apparently, there are not enough dramas with Anne to begin with. I think it’s just in bad taste, going on a trend. There are, as I mentioned earlier, REAL black Tudor women, about whom there are no dramas. Why isn’t Jodie cast in the role of a black woman, and this way many people would actually learn about a piece of history they had no idea existed. I wonder if they thought it was too risky and they couldn’t make enough £££ by just talking about random black women who lived 500 years ago… the irony…

I’m not going to start on the US election debate because my post is so very long as it is.

my desk

I’ve started my second year. I made my first essay and got feedback for it. Now I’m in the process of making my second essay, an extended one, at 4,000 words. I am quite excited about it because I love the subject. I had no idea that I will enjoy so much the subject of the Spanish Civil War.

October

1. Vegan double cheeseburger. 2. Date night. 3. Delivery of books. 4. Indian curry, vegan. 5. I’m baking along the GBBO. 6. Flowers in the garden. 7. Michaelmas begins. 8. Toast, a different kind of ale. 9. Welsh rarebit. 10. Reading about Franco, a book much more interesting than I imagined. 11. Knowsley Safari Park. 12. Bagels, new bake for GBBO. 13. The Little Book of Humanism by Alice Roberts, Andrew Copson. 14. Cat Cafe, Manchester. 15. Cat Cafe, Liverpool. 16. Festus. 17. Halloween masks. 18. Beer/ale tasting in our new glasses. 19. Vegan Kind Lifestyle Box & Vegan Kind Beauty Box. 20. I reviewed a book I enjoyed. 21. Pansy harvest. 22. US Leadership debate. 23. A little surprise from my husband. 24. What I got in the mail – The Forgotten Slave Trade: The White European Slaves of Islam by Simon Webb. 25. I started reading For Whom The Bell Tolls. 26. My garden. 27. What I baked that day: Pizza & bread. 28. I made a review for Dyson Hair Dryer. 29. I’m harvesting herbs for cooking from my little herb “garden” (it’s in the conservatory). 30. Vegan Hot chocolate. 31. Books I read this month.

vegan choux

This month I baked along the baking show. Why I’m doing that is a mystery… alongside with why I’m still watching the show. It’s more of a habit than a real interest in them. The new presenter is so annoying, the jokes got from bad to worse, the contestants seem that are made to complain about the tasks. If they have no idea how to make a choux pastry or a rich dough… why did they apply for Bake Off in the first place? I think it’s just for “show”.

But, baking along meant that I was pushed to try new things, like a vegan choux pastry (link to my food blog). It worked beautifully from the second attempt, which is amazing considering how important eggs are in this recipe. I used egg replacer for the first time and I was impressed. I will use it again, it’s mainly made from potato and tapioca flour, how peculiar is that.

Books

Finally, let’s talk about books. This month I reached my goal of reading 100 books! I am delighted with this. By finishing 8 books I got to a total of 107 so far this year. From these 8 books, 5 are on the Spanish Civil War, one fiction and the others non-fiction. Interesting books, but I imagine they will not make it on the reading list of many people.

The other three books I read where really interesting. First of all, Underground Cities by Mark Ovenden is such a lovely book, with beautiful illustrations and pictures and many interesting facts on what happens underground in all parts of the world, not just Europe. Some of the facts from South America, for example, were amazing. So, I can’t recommend it enough.

Second book was The Little Book of Humanism by Alice Roberts and Andrew Copson. This is another amazing book, with illustrations and quotes from humanists on different topics and aspects. I enjoyed it a lot and I think many others would do to. It is a small book and so it would make for a great gift too.

Lastly, Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall, which got only 3.5 stars from me, but it was good, so I do recommend it.

Books I read in October:
The Spanish Civil War by Stanley G. Payne – 5 stars
Underground Cities by Mark Ovenden – 5 stars
The Little Book of Humanism by Alice Roberts, Andrew Copson – 5 stars
The Seamstress by María Dueñas – 4 stars
Unlikely Warriors by Richard Baxell – 5 stars
Defying Male Civilization by Mary Nash – 3.5 stars
Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall – 3.5 stars
Women and Spanish Fascism by Kathleen Richmond – 5 stars

9 Comment

  1. Ooh, I would love to visit a cat cafe! It’s interesting to read what’s happening with COVID in other countries (I’m in Canada). Mask-wearing here is recommended, but not mandatory – the only mandatory thing right now in my province is that we can only have our “Safe Six” in our homes, no more than that.

    1. I love cat cafes, we have one in Liverpool and there is another one in Manchester (about 50 minutes drive from where I live).
      With have the rule of 6 here too, or I should say we used to have it, now we going to go back into lockdown.

  2. Congratulations on surpassing your 100 book reading goal! This was my best month book-wise for the year.

    Black History month here is in February. It used to be American History month, but they changed it.

    I’ll be really glad when the election is over for us. I’m sick to death of it and see no outcome that I will be satisfied with. I’m sure there will be rioting in the street, no matter what the outcome. As for Covid… they say we’ve not even peaked yet (though some areas like NY are having second waves). Then there are all the “theories” of what will happen with Covid once the elect is over. 🙄

    I’d say you still had a great month, despite being home for much of it.
    Kelly recently posted…Books for October 2020My Profile

    1. Unfortunately I think that you are right, riots will happen, regardless of who wins. As for Covid, it seems almost all the countries are having a hard time, I don’t think it matters who the man or the party in charge is, just by looking at what happens in the other countries.

      1. I agree with you… it’s easy for the Democratic party to say (in hindsight, of course) that they would have done everything differently with Covid and we’d be in much better shape. Biden seems to think a total lockdown would have made the difference. (clearly not the case, based on Europe) I believe all that would have done is damage the economy more than it’s already been damaged. I certainly think Trump made mistakes (including a lot of statements that made him look like an idiot), but in general he worked with what he knew and was advised about at that given moment.

        And bottom line…. people have to follow the guidelines for anything to be effective. The idea of a “national mask mandate” isn’t realistic since that’s not enforceable by law (and law enforcement would not have the manpower to even try). I believe it’s going to be with us until we can get a widely available vaccine (which I don’t think will be anytime soon for many of us)

        I’m so ready for tomorrow to be over with. I honestly don’t know which candidate will be worse for me personally (there are pros and cons both ways). No sense worrying about it since I’ll just have to soldier on regardless.

        Sorry for the minor rant….
        Kelly recently posted…Books for October 2020My Profile

  3. Ohhh what a beautiful cat! Ah, it looks like we are about to go back into lockdown. I kind of feel like they missed the boat and should have done the same thing as Wales. It’s a bit daft if they aren’t closing schools and unis because they will be spreading it and bringing it home! Politics is such a mess in general right now!

    I hope your exam goes well!

    Corinne x

    1. I don’t think a lockdown will have a big impact. The problem is that people do not follow the rules. In Asian countries wearing masks, including outside, is common, also they self-isolate when they have to. If we, in western Europe, can’t do that, we will have to live with in and out of lockdowns until a vaccine is made and distributed widely.

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