What Emily Did in January

I did some things in January and now here I am to tell you about it.

Food

For some, January may be the month of eating lean, sparse food to make up for the festive excess. For others, it’s 50% off month. You can probably guess which camp I fall into. I ate out a lot in January. The highlights, for me, were Tariff & Dale and Sakana. I also ate at The Ferret in Preston when visiting my sister and ate some of the most ridiculous food ever. My sister and I shared a burger calzone, and a hot dog with mashed potato and gravy on it. Thankfully we were drunk enough to really, really appreciate it.

Books

I only managed to read one book in January: The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman. It’s basically The Secret History, so if you liked that you’ll probably like this. I personally didn’t really like The Secret History – all I could think was ‘was the person who edited this drunk???’ as I trawled through all seventy bajillion pages – and actually kind of prefer this. Oh, and for once in my life, I called one of the plot twists before it was revealed. This never happens.

I started My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem but didn’t finish so that’s for another post. Some friends and I will be doing our own version of Emma Watson’s feminist book club. Btw, a great way to keep in touch with friends who’ve moved away – start a book club through Skype/Google Hangouts.

So to make this more interesting I’ll tell you all about all the cheesy thrillers I read as a result of accidentally signing up for a free Kindle Unlimited trial and then discovering there’s no good books available through it. If you want to be like me here’s what you should do:

  • Sign up for free trial by clicking a button that you think will give you more information and then suddenly being signed up and also very confused
  • Get all excited about allllll the books you can read for FREE
  • Look at Kindle Unlimited library
  • Realise there’s bugger all on there
  • Download and read as many cheesy thrillers as humanly possible before the trial runs out

The books I read are as follows and for a quick, fun read I would recommend all of them apart from one:

  • Girl Number One by Jane Holland – set in Cornwall, there’s a frustrating love story in there, and it’s not who you think it is
  • Girl on a Train by A.J Waines (please note, not the bestseller Girl on the Train)
  • The Magpies by Mark Edwards – a very intense tale of nightmare neighbours. Some of the dialogue is very clunky
  • The One That Got Away by Simon Wood – I liked this one quite a lot because there’s no love story! Right at the end you think there’s going to be all wrapped up with a happily ever after but it doesn’t. The ending, I must say, is equally cheesy but it’s good to not have every story reduced to being about romantic love between men and women
  • Because She Loves Me by Mark Edwards – I felt like the characterisation in this was so off, but I still powered through it in a few days and felt sufficiently shocked at various points
  • Wreckage by Emily Bleeker – plane crashes and then I don’t really know what happens? Things get really weird, characters make decisions that I’m sure wouldn’t even make sense in the situation, and generally behave like idiots

Overall I really wouldn’t recommend Kindle Unlimited unless you really love this genre and will read many of such books per month, as most of the titles are 99p full price so you’d have to read a lot to make it worth your money.

Candles

I never used to understand scented candles. People would buy me them for gifts and I’d be like oh… thanks? What do I do with this? If I went to people’s houses and they had candles burning, I’d maybe think ‘that smells nice’ but it wouldn’t make me want to put some in my own living quarters. Then, I moved into a flat and disaster struck and it flooded. Repeatedly. I have moaned about this excessively in real life and on Twitter so I will spare you the gory details. The takeaway is that each time it flooded, it would stink after the water had gone. Cleaning products and room spray made me feel a bit better, but lighting a load of scented tealights from Ikea made me feel much better. I’m now in a much nicer, less waterlogged and less smelly flat but the obsession has continued, and Rich is fully on board so our flat always smells very lovely. I got quite a few candles for Christmas and the two that I really rate at the moment are:

  • Yankee Candle Bourbon Vanilla – This smells amazing and is so strong. The last Yankee Candle I had was Mango Peach Salsa which was delicious and a great summer scent, but nowhere near as strong as this one. If I got home from work about an hour before Rich and lit the candle, he could smell it as soon as he opened the door. As it was only a small one it’s sadly burned down but I will definitely repurchase.
  • Primark Sandalwood & Lemongrass – I honestly wasn’t expecting this to smell like much but I shoved it in the bathroom and lit it anyway. It has a surprisingly strong scent and as it’s a very fresh scent it’s good for the bathroom.

Clothes

I’ve been wearing a lot of  black. Which is very strange for me. I acquired a new (to me – from the charity shop) black coat and I really liked it and it made me want to cut a striking silhouette in all black. Except for my new boots which are a sort of burgundy/wine colour. I feel very stylish in my new coat though, although as I have learnt many times before, one nice item cannot make up for my general slovenliness. Case in point: I am at the supermarket, wearing a tunic, leggings, boots, and my delightful black coat. I feel very smart. I remark to Rich that I feel ‘sleek and badass’. I later notice that there are visible holes in my leggings. You’ll be glad to hear that I put those leggings in the bin. 

I’ve also been wearing lots of gym clothes. I don’t know how I didn’t figure this out ages ago: if I buy cool clothes for the gym, I’m more inclined to go the gym. Yes I’m that vain and shallow. If you are also materialistic and frivolous and not a huge fan of the gym, try this out. I have accrued five pairs of printed gym leggings (all in black and white: see above) from New Look, H&M, and Sports Direct, all at pretty reasonable prices. Now I just need some new trainers I think… oh the joys and perils of online shopping.

gymleggings1gymleggings2

Walking

I went on a very lovely walk to Dovestone reservoir. There isn’t much to say about it really: it was pretty, snowy, a bit cold, I had a very nice day. I went to the pub afterwards and ate a slice of cheese and onion pie the size of a very large brick.

dovestones1dovestones2dovestones3dovestones4dovestones5

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