january

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let’s talk about what i was enjoying in january! aka the month that doubles as the southern hemisphere’s blissful golden month and the northern’s devil freezing month.

I was….

cooking:

revisited my cherry clafoutis from last summer – a really helpful side effect of blogging is that recipes you’d made once (and improvised on a bit) are there ready for you when you want to make them again!
though i must emphasise not to overbake – i accidentally did and it wasn’t quite as silky this time around.

made a quick cherry compote with cherries that were getting soft –
pitted cherries + a sprinkle of sugar + a dash of vanilla + a knob of butter + a splash of brandy, simmered for 15 mins = saucy and delicious. how’s that for exact quantities ;)

avocado toast with thick slices of fancy seeded bread + LOTS of very ripe avocado + crumbled feta + salt and pepper

(are we sensing a theme here? fruit and vegetables that are verging on over-ripeness? summer, y’all)

drinking:

rosé – oh my goodness i have LOVED rosé this summer – it definitely unseated G&Ts as my drink of choice in january. a nice cold glass of it on a warm summer’s evening has been just brilliant.

watching:

the lizzie bennet diaries – oh gosh these are wonderful and i just devoured them! it’s a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, and simply delightful. i watched 99 four minute episodes in 48 hours – a pretty good effort you might say! i am now eager to watch their adaptions of Emma and Little Women, and will report back.

doctor foster – tv one did a special timetable for this gripping miniseries – they aired the complete season over 5 consecutive nights which really made for fantastic viewing. reluctant to say much about the plot as being ignorant of the details is the best way to begin. just trust me that it is a thrilling drama that will leave you guessing at the end of each episode!

white collar – i got this box set out and watched the 14 episodes over 5 days – so good! i saw janssen reccommend it as her favourite tv show of all time (!) so when i saw it available i was excited to watch it. smart and funny, and i love the main two character’s rapport. 5 stars.

reading:

the luminaries – this is one of those things, like watching the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films or following the All Blacks/Black Caps that i’ve felt compelled to do to be a patriotic NZer – Eleanor Catton won the Man Booker prize for this complex novel. i was simply in awe of her clever mind and layered writing. definitely not a quick easy read but a rewarding one for sure! super gripping towards the end. i loved the self reflexive, omniscient narration.

wild by cheryl strayed – i’ve had this one on my list for a while after reading a few of her dear sugar letters on the internet. i hadn’t seen the film, and am unsure if i would want to following reading the book – just because the enjoyment for me lay in her narration of her experiences hiking the PCT, rather than the hiking of the trail itself. one thing i took from the book was that with knowing of strayed first and foremost as an empathetic, insightful advice columnist/writer, my impressions of her were of a really angelic, perfect person. in the book, she has imperfect experiences and at points acts in not very likeable ways, so it was very telling for me that her advice for troubled people stems from her own experiences – these are why she is able to write so movingly on such matters. a special reminder of the role that negative experiences have in forming our character and making us wiser people.
interestingly, in the luminaries, there is a great quote about one of the characters – “He had always been irreproachable in his conduct, and as a consequence, his capacity for empathy was small.”

the silver linings playbook by matthew quick – another book turned film starring bradley cooper and jennifer lawrence. i read his other book the good luck of right now last summer, and prefer it just a bit, but he again writes with gentle humour about characters with differing mental health states. a lovely read.

fates and furies – ummm, this had absolutely sensational prose – i would frequently go back and reread the page i’d just finished to appreciate groff’s brilliant imagery. and such a fascinating story! very deserving of its acclaim, do read it.

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