It’s ‘Whisker Wednesday’ on Instagram, so I thought I’d share a photo of Chocolat, our Coco, today, along with a few things that have lifted me over the past few weeks. A small distraction from the news – and cats are always a good distraction!
And a list of five things that have kept me going:
- Bird and Blend Tea – they are a little expensive, but I love buying a couple of different flavours when I can. At the moment I’m enjoying their Baby Spice blend, a fruit and spice caffeine free autumnal blend. I’m also partial to their Rhubarb and Custard Rooibos tea, and their Coconut Chai No. 5 black tea.
- I’ve tried my hardest to support the publishing industry and authors over this year, so I’ve been buying books a lot. I meant to cut down on my book buying this year, but I’ve felt like if I could, buying books is a way I can contribute to keeping the industry alive. This week I’ve bought Keep Moving by Maggie Smith, The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, and The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley. Other favourite purchases this year have been A Phoenix First Must Burn: Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope by Patrice Caldwell, a collection of short speculative fiction and fantasy stories, Eat Up! by Ruby Tandoh, Letters of Note: Cats by Shaun Usher, and The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin. I’d also recommend Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade if you like romance, and Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food and Love edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond. Plenty more recommendations to come I’m sure!
- Let’s be honest, chocolate has been a big help. I don’t really drink or have many other ‘vices’ but I do love chocolate. This year I’ve been very into chocolate coated peanuts, I’ve tried Tony’s Chocolonely as a treat (the hazelnut milk chocolate is very good), and it all goes very well with tea! I’m not going to say that food doesn’t comfort or bring joy during hard times, even when it’s simple and easy.
- I spent about 3-4 months not being able to hear anything because my hearing aids were out of commission! It took a while to sort out but I finally had new earmould impressions made and replacement aids sent (so thankful for the NHS). So now I’m appreciating being able to hear certain things again (the kettle bubbling, music, my husband’s voice, water running). A side note: I’m profoundly deaf so without them I’m completely quiet apart from the tinnitus, and obviously even with aids I can’t tell what people are actually saying, it’s more that I like to hear the sounds that I do get. It’s so difficult to explain how different it is for each deaf person! But having the aids back has made a slight difference to my state of mind.
- Watching food and travel series, especially if it includes both! I’ve enjoyed watching The Great British Bake Off recently, even just for a bit of ‘normality’ (despite missing Mel and Sue as always), and Somebody Feed Phil has been fun – Phil Rosenthal’s great delight and funny expressions always bring some laughter. Related to this, I’ve also loved reading Vittles, a food newsletter born out of lockdown, which is still ongoing. There is a real diversity of subject and perspectives.
I hope, though this week has been painfully difficult so far, you have some joy in your days. Make sure you take care of what you need, rest, and give yourself space from the doomscrolling!