Sunday 3 May 2020

Sunday Thoughts

It's Sunday. It's been 3 years since I regularly blogged here, so what better time to update people on what's different since then?

My kids were tiny when I last blogged regularly. They are less tiny now - Ben is 7 and Sam is almost 6. Here they are eating an ice cream that our friend chucked down her driveway at them as we walked past yesterday (not literally, but there was some back and forthing involved in actually getting the ice creams from her house to their hands)

There's Rhys in the background, wearing his Bookshop Crawl hoodie. Some of you might know that the London Bookshop Crawl, which I started when I was regularly writing this blog, recently celebrated its 5th birthday. It's become an awesome, big, three day celebration of the bookshops of London each February and takes up loads of my time planning it! It's so much fun and a real highlight of my year and we were so, so lucky with timing this year as we squeaked in a couple of weeks before the current situation all began to kick off! I also now run bookshop crawls in different cities across the UK in the spring and summer, although these are mostly going to be postponed this year, but we'll get back to them as soon as we can. Rhys is now much more involved in all the planning and idea generation than he was when I last wrote. He's on twitter as @ninjasassistant and is responsible for having the initial idea for the Virtual Bookshop Crawl we're currently running on social media while we're in lockdown.

I've got into yoga since I was last here too. I started it when I was going through a really bad phase of anxiety and googled 'yoga for anxiety'. From there I discovered Yoga with Adriene and it's amazing! I've been to a few real life yoga classes too, back when that was a thing that we could do, and I enjoyed them, but I really love my at home yoga practice - it makes me feel so strong and clears my head. We've also taken over an allotment, although I might have mentioned that before as this is about our fourth summer with it. It's brilliant - I have an asparagus patch which was entirely inspired by Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and which is now at a point where we actually get asparagus from it, and the allotment is full of salvaged things, like the three gooseberry bushes we rescued from the reduced section in Tesco for 20p a plant and which last year had fruit for the first time! I have turned into the crazy neighbour that yells at cats too - between them our neighbours have about twenty cats and one or two in particular are always getting into our garden, digging up plants and pooing on them and it drives me nuts. I spend a large percentage of time (particularly at the moment) wandering round my garden, swearing under my breath (and sometimes not so under my breath if I feel the need to make a point) about the cats (which for the record are all gorgeous and I would love them if they weren't destroying my garden).

I am still a book polygamist - it's actually impossible for me to only be reading one book at a time! Most recently I finished Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes which I really loved. I know I've read some Marian Keyes in the dim and distant past but I honestly don't remember it very well, but this has made me want to get all of her back catalogue and read everything she's written. It was perfect for my state of mind at the moment. I'm also currently reading The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith, The Polar Bear Explorers Club by Alex Bell (which I LOVE and am adding the next two onto my wish list immediately) and dipping in and out of Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellman for the readalong I'm hosting at Ninja Book Box.

Speaking of which, we've opened an online bookshop selling pre-loved indie books of all genres alongside the quarterly book boxes. We're also looking into the possibility of opening a real life space here in the Thanet once we can go outside again. It's both exciting and terrifying and I would hugely appreciate any advice anyone can offer!

That's probably enough rambling from me for now, except to say that I'm off to eat some microwave chocolate cake - who would have thought that lockdown would inspire me with a love of microwave baking? But sometimes you just need cake in under ten minutes... 

I am happy to be back!