Jul 12, 2015

Links! Also life

Lemonade stand
Summer comes and goes pretty quickly around these parts, so over the past few weeks I’ve been doing my best to enjoy all the small pleasures of warm and sunny days. Usually this is the time of year when the travel bug hits me and I start planning weekend getaways in my head, but this year that’s been mitigated by the fact that I have extensive plans for late August and September. For now I’m content to be here and take the days as they come.

Summer means I get to cycle to work every day, which still feels like a shiny and exciting novelty. I think cycling makes me so happy because it’s a skill I didn’t have at all until a little over two years ago — and it’s only been a year since I started feeling confident enough to do it in a busy city. So when I ride my bike every morning, I’m reminded that I can learn new things, even if they once seemed unreachable. Sappy as that sounds, it does cheer me up. Summer also means cups of tea in my garden in the evening, plus taking advantage of the fact that I work in town by making a point to actually leave my library at lunch. There’s been a lot of reading in the park lately, of hastily eaten ice-cream before going back to work, of excursions to the market where the small pleasures of summer are all around me: the lemonade stand; fresh blueberries for my porridge; ripe peaches whose smell then permeates my kitchen; strawberries, strawberries, strawberries.


lemonade with fresh mint

Fullmetal Alchemist and a peach

Tea mug in the evening sun

Minty watermelon and cantaloupe
In other words, lately I’ve been mostly managing to remember that there’s a counterpoint to life’s challenges and hiccups. Also, I have a lot to look forward to in the near future: last weekend I booked Edinburgh Fringe tickets, and it was such a pleasure to go through its seemingly never-ending listing of shows again after three years away. I also tried a few new dishes, which is something I hadn’t had the energy or motivation to do in a very long time. I highly recommend both these nachos and this halloumi, watermelon and bulgur salad.

Homemade nachos and guacamole

Watermelon, halloumi and bulgur salad

Edinburgh Fringe tickets
Some links that caught my attention in the past few weeks:

14 comments:

  1. The political and financial situation of Greece is one of the worst attacks on equality and human rights I've witnessed in my whole life, especially because it's coming from a supposedly democratic system. These people have elected themselves champions of morality in order to keep the poor where they think they should be: under them. And only a handful of people seem to care! Being from Spain, I am doubly worried about the outcome, and yet people around me defend the IMF and the German government. Austerity policies have a history of worsening everything and ending up in wars and revolutions. I honestly can't understand why we can't learn from the past. Is it a lack of empathy maybe?

    I'm sorry for the tirade. It's an issue that keeps me up at night.

    Drastically changing the subject, I'm glad you are taking care of yourself and enjoying this wonderful weather. Also, thanks for the collection of links: they are very illuminating, as always :)

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    1. "Austerity policies have a history of worsening everything and ending up in wars and revolutions. I honestly can't understand why we can't learn from the past."

      Ugh, I know, I know :( I've been losing sleep over this as well. And NO SORRY. This blog is and will always be a safe space for venting about neoliberalism *hugs* I think more people than we realise do care, though, and I see little signs all around me that together they (we) are starting to find the courage to speak up. I take comfort in that.

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  2. I'm glad that things are feeling a little more balanced for you.

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    1. Thank you, friend <3 Fingers crossed that it lasts :P

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  3. I envy you your lemonade stand. Lemonade is my favourite.

    Also: mmmm to fruit and nachos and guacamole and halloumi (which I've never actually had but am very much in favour of).

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    1. It's so good! I had the classic last week, but they have different varieties and I want to try them all.

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  4. Oh gosh, that fruit looks amazing. I'm not a huge fan of summer overall - I don't cope well in extreme heat - but I do love summer fruit, it's the best and I miss it :) (formerly Maree of http://justaddbooks.blogspot.co.nz/)

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    1. Summer's easier in the UK than it was a home, because we get the (occasional) sunshine but not the oppressive heat. All my summers of barely daring to leave the house in August have left their mark :P The fruit really is the best no matter what, though.

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  5. Sounds like you've been having a wonderful summer so far. I also love strawberries, and I am eating them like they are going out of fashion. I look forward to seeing your contribution for the Shirley Jackson Reading Week.

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    1. I was, but I think I might have jinxed it because today was absolutely dismal, and the forecast for the week doesn't look much better D: I still got some lovely fruit from the market, though, so not all is lost :P

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  6. Fantastic links!

    I recognize that your feelings about summer are valid vis-a-vis the climate in which you live, but I nevertheless glower at you a teeny weeeeeny bit for wanting more summer. Summer is too much for me BY A LOT already, and it's only mid-July so at an optimistic estimate, it's going to be lows in the 80s for another two months.

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    1. Awww, I know this feeling. Summers in Portugal were exactly like that. By the first week of July I was so done with dreading leaving the house in the daytime and not being able to sleep at night. And there were years when it lasted until October, which just... ugh. My poor parents were complaining to me earlier, in fact. But over here, when the weather is nice it's like an extended spring and I just want to frolic everywhere :P (Having said that, it's horrible and grey this week and it's getting me down.)

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  7. I have so many tabs with comics open in my browser right now. Thanks! And goooooooooodness I want some nachos now.

    And sorry, but I am soooo ready for Autumn. It was 100 yesterday. One hundred degrees. I melt.

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  8. I absolutely know what you mean about the small reminders that we can, and do, learn new things. I used to be terrified of driving, and I feel a small sense of satisfaction in conquering what once felt impossible whenever I get behind the wheel.

    And yes to soaking up the summer days! As soon as it gets warmer this morning, I'm out to read in the sunshine. :)

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.