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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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