Everyday life Life

October 2022

This month was really interesting. As I started year 3, I decided not to rent a flat, like last year, but rent for a shorter period, when I need to go at university and spend more time at home. My schedule is light when it comes to in-person teaching as I’ve decided to do a long essay instead of a module. I will blog about that at the end of the first semester. So, this month we stayed in St. Albans (from end of September), in a cottage near Epping Forest, and in a studio in Hendon. It’s fascinating to live in different places and a bit over a week (9 days) is enough to get a sense of the pros and cons of living in those places, which is a fascinating experiment.

st albans

This is where we spent our last day in St. Albans before going back home. It’s a Cafe Rouge, close to the city centre, perfect for working. As most restaurants, this gets busy in the evening and at lunchtime, so it’s even better than a coffee shop during the day.


I had to share a couple of pictures with the cottage, it was gorgeous. It was an interesting experience living in a cottage with single glazing, especially as we’ve recently upgraded our windows to triple glazing.

Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station opened on the 14th and we’ve been there two days later, in the weekend. It looks amazing, I blogged about it. It is great for a day out. I am looking forward to going there again.

We’ve been to Discover Dogs where I made a fluffy friend. A friend told me about Discover Dogs a few years ago and now we were in London exactly when the show was, so we couldn’t miss it. I loved every minute of it and we stayed there all day, from 10.30 till 5pm.


As we are renting in different parts of London, this means we are close to different communities. For the first time I’ve been to a kosher supermarket and just look at all the vegan goodies we got. The amount of types of houmous available was impressive. As vegans we have houmous every day, we love it, so we both got very excited about trying new ones.

I’ve also been to an African shop, from where I got Fufu. It was funny, as one of the staff asked me if I knew what it was. It was cooked, in cling film, with a price tag. I told her yes and she was impressed by my knowledge of African food.


We shared our first fig from the tree!!


1. St Albans. 2. Vegan market in St Albans, just fantastic. 3. A former palm house makes for a fantastic restaurant. 4. A white flower in my garden. 5. I discovered a flower I forgot that I planted, most likely a bulb. 6. My first ripe fig from the tree I got 2 years ago. 7. Donations to the Ukrainian army to celebrate Putin’s birthday. 8. Dreaming of tater tots, which I had 2 days after that. 9. Max won the 2nd World Championship. 10. Back in London. 11. The George, on the Strand. 12. Punk pasta, London. 13. From zone 4 at the tube to Essex in a short-ish walk. 14. Yummy day. 15. Discover Dogs. 16. Battersea Power Station. 17. University. 18. Senate House Library. 19. Walk. 20. Book finished that day. 21. Flowers in bloom. 22. Our new tap in the kitchen. 23. Cat in London. 24. Shopping at Brent Cross. 25. Researching at Welcome Collection. 26. Vegan food from a kosher supermarket. 27. British Library. 28. Water dispenser. 29. Cute cat-pillows. 30. Halloween decorations, not many, but we were not home. 31. Books in October.


I’ve decided to change the challenge from 100 to 90 books this year. I read a lot for university, each seminar comes with 100-150 pages to read, but those are articles, not books. So, 90 should be a much better target.

From the books I read the most important one is Putin’s Trolls by Jessikka Aro. It is a must read, seeing how much these trolls influence our democracies is incredible. It’s not only in the realm of social media, but it gets into media and public discourse. Using the ideal of freedom of speech which governs our countries, troll factories (with people paid ~£500/month) are spurting out lies and disinformation. She was affected by what happened, had to leave the country as she was in fear for her life. It’s something we all should be aware of.

Books I read in October:
The History of the London Underground Map by Caroline Roope – 5 stars
The Plague by Albert Camus – 5 stars
International Relations by Paul Wilkinson – 1 star
My Ántonia by Willa Cather – 3 stars
An Immense World by Ed Yong – 4 stars
Putin’s Trolls by Jessikka Aro – 5 stars
Top 10 vaccine objections by Dr Lex Ram – 5 stars
How Britain Shaped the Manufacturing World by Philip Hamlyn Williams – 5 stars

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15 Comment

  1. I used to live in a single-glazed brick built home without central heating! It was freeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing!!! I lived there until I was 32 and got married! Not sure how I did it!!
    You had such an interesting month! I like the idea of living in different places- very cool to try that! Epping is lovely! Great it’s countrified but on the central line!
    The hummuses sound wonderful!

  2. Living in different places sounds like fun. I love the look of that Café Rouge in St Albans. Putin’s Trolls sounds like a very sobering read. It is important to be aware of these things. I like the sound of the London Underground book. #project365

  3. What a wonderful October you had. Interesting moving about to different spots. If it didn’t get too chaotic, I think that would be a fun way to go!

  4. I can remember the cold house of my childhood, with single glazed wooden windows, which had thick ice on them inside and out after a cold night. A coal fire in one downstairs room was all of the heating. I wouldn’t want to go back to those days (not through choice anyway). I complain that our double-glazing needs upgrading, and our heating system maybe isn’t the most efficient, so I guess living in a period place wouldn’t be top of my list.

    Most of the Cafe Rouge restaurants have closed down around this area, even in the cities, which is a bit of a shame. If we go down to Portsmouth’s Gunwharf Quays, we generally get there in time for a Cafe Rouge weekend brunch though.

    I am quite often tempted to visit some of the eclectic mix of overseas shops and supermarkets, which have sprung up around the area, but I guess the fear of the potential language barrier and not knowing enough about the food on display and how to cook it, puts me off a bit.

    It sounds as though you are having fun, which is what life should all be about if you afford to do it when you are young! 🙂

    1. I think a period property is fantastic as a holiday destination, or for us, work+holiday mix.

      Go to the supermarket and try something new. There are lots and lots of recipes online, so you’ll find ways to prepare the stuff you get. At one point a few years ago I had no idea how to correctly pronounce about 50% of the things I was buying. :))

  5. I love the idea of moving around renting short term. Great to discover new places as you’ve found. Hope the rest of the academic year goes well for you.

    1. It’s an adventure. They way I picked the modules means I have less in-person teaching and a lot of individual study, so I can take a lot of books at home and read there + a lot of online material. I’m loving this experience.

    1. The cottage was gorgeous, a shame it’s so cold. I’m used to modern homes, so it was a bit strange for us, but a fab experience nonetheless.

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