A few things happened in September and the most important one was that Festus turned 11! Also, I started my second year at Oxford, which is exciting and scary at the same time, as I have two essays to write by mid-November. I’m part time and still working, so time is limited. I had a full-time week at University, all online. Besides that, I also had a tutorial and a study session with my colleagues, so we’ve started this month, and not next one, when it’s the official starting time.
In September we always go to different events with Heritage Open Days and we were able to do that this month too, despite lockdowns. I’m glad that we can have a kind of normality. If more people would use common sense and respect the simple rules of washing their hands and wearing a mask, we could do even more.
I shared my newly renovated conservatory, and here is how it looks in the night-time, with the fairy lights on. I just love it.
A bit of fussing around before bed-time.
The crops in my garden are still growing and this is a salad I picked, including some herbs and edible flowers. I can’t recommend enough growing your own herbs and edible flowers. It’s been so relaxing and I love picking them up. They do brighten up a dish.
This month we went to Wild wings for a visit and I was able to handle one of their very friendly ferrets. As you can see, I wear a mask, even if it’s an outdoor sanctuary. I have no problems wearing a mask, I have plenty of masks, so there isn’t any reason for me not to wear one. In England we are not encouraged to do that, but why shouldn’t we?
1. V Rev (the day before). 2. Cat cafe. 3. Studying. 4. Shopping in Manchester. 5. Visit to Wild wings, birds of prey centre. 6. Churros sundae. 7. First day of the 2nd year at University. 8. We have salad. 9. Meal at Sanskruti, for a celebration. 10. Date night. 11. New book. 12. Walk in the Lake District. 13. Knowsley Safari Park. 14. Went to the library. 15. Cute gnocchi. 16. Date night. 17. Tennis before work. 18. Spanish meal at Veggie Republic. 19. Morecambe. 20. Lytham Hall. 21. Festus’ 11th birthday. 22. Picture from the weekend, the second hand bookshop (shared a few days later). 23. Follow your dreams… 24. Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom. 25. Nosy neighbour. 26. A new friend. 27. Strawberry and Champagne Battenberg. 28. Down at the Hatch. 29. Raspberries from the garden. 30. Books I read in September.
This month I reviewed this lovely book. I tried one of the recipes and now I bought the ingredients to try another one. It’s been a little busy, but soon I will start making more delicious dishes from this book.
Besides the cookbook I mentioned, this month I’ve read 9 books in total. 6 of them are about the Spanish civil war, which I don’t think it comes as a surprise considering that this is the topic I’m studying during Michaelmas. These are specialist books, like the Clifford one, but I think some would be interesting for people with an interest in history. Casanova’s book was amazing, he presents the facts unbiased. I just loved the book and admired his commitment to tell the history as it is, without his political views coming in the way. The images of war by Carr was really great, much more helpful than I imagined. It can be used as a comparison between what happened in the 30s and what happens today or in recent years in war-torn countries. I don’t think it’s a spoiler if I mention that not much has changed.
Winter in Madrid is a mystery novel, so it would be interesting even if you don’t care how accurate the descriptions are (they are). Homage to Catalonia is also worth reading, interesting view from Orwell.
Now, let’s go to the books that most people would find interesting and by that I mean 30-Second Fashion and Cave Art. These two are delightful. First, the fashion one is interesting because it offers an insight into trends not all are familiar with. I liked it a lot. Next, the cave art book is also a travel guide, with details on the caves that can be visited, but, the best part of it is how fascinating are the details about the caves and the drawings. Some, in the same cave, are from 35,000 years ago while others are from 20,000 years ago. I was surprised to learn the number of the drawings too. Some stories are from [a more] recent history and those details are so very interesting too. I loved it and you might too, even if it’s a subject you haven’t thought too much about.
Books I read in September:
A concise history of the Spanish Civil War by Paul Preston – 4 stars
A short history of the Spanish Civil War by Julian Casanova – 5 stars
Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell – 5 stars
30-Second Fashion by Rebecca Arnold – 5 stars
Images of the Spanish Civil War by Raymond Carr – 5 stars
Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom – 5 stars
Cave Art: A Guide to the Decorated Ice Age Caves of Europe – 5 stars
Fighting for Spain by Alexander Clifford – 5 stars
Cosmic Calculations by Rosa Maria Ros – 5 stars