music

Currently…

Apparently I’m forming a bad habit. Whenever I’m feeling a bit low, or a bit fed up, or a bit muddled, I end up watching several episodes of Sex and the City. I’m telling you, it’s an awful habit.

I don’t want to be one of those bloggers but I am sorry for disappearing from the face of the earth (or at least the internet) a lot has happened since getting back from Nice and I’ve been busy actually living my life and completely forgetting to take my camera anywhere! To sum it up in one sentence: I moved house and am now living with one of my favourite people in my new student house, waiting excitedly for the other three to arrive so that we can start the year together. I’ve also been spending a lot of time with some of my other favourite people and I have to say that I am enjoying this summer.

A lot has changed for me over the past few months but I am regrouping and I know this year will be fantastic. My one current housemate is a tiny blonde, also called Sophie, who I love because she brought me out of my shell, helped me be a little more selfish and she makes me take a step back and learn to be more laid back. Now is not the time to go into why I’m feeling a bit muddled, it’s not a very interesting story, but with so much going on right now feelings are fleeting. I have a feeling this year will be incredibly busy what with finals, my dissertation, teacher training applications, volunteering (hopefully), working in the English department library, along with attempting to maintain some kind of social life!

To help me get back into blogging here is a ‘currently’ post:

Reading…

I got to read for fun whilst away in Nice but I have to be honest and say that I’ve been struggling with reading since I’ve been back home. I think it’s a mixture of having been quite busy, when I have some time free Soph and I just spend it lounging on our amazing tiger(!) print sofas gossiping away, it’s also because I’ve started working on my dissertation in earnest so I’m struggling to read my course books on top of that. The only thing I’ve really enjoyed reading recently is The Vagenda magazine which has me giggling away with its refreshing take on being a woman and its healthy attitude towards feminism. How can you not find pleasure in reading an article entitled ‘FYI: The Perfect Woman Wears a Beret, is Unspoilt by Feminism, and Doesn’t Have AIDS‘? (Just so you know I am clearly imperfect as I only qualify for the last statement). But other than that, I am in a reading funk. However I have a plan to get myself back into reading: get started on the reading list for my children’s literature! Because who doesn’t want to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (again), The Jungle Books, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

Listening to… 

I’ve been very eclectic with my music tastes this month. I am either listening to ‘going out’ music when getting ready in the evening, in which case out come tracks like Rudimental’s Waiting All Night, Zedd’s Clarity, and Lana Del Ray’s Summertime Sadness. Sometimes a girl just needs something loud and fast passed to get her in the mood for a night on the town ;-). If I’m not listening to club music (who am I again?) then I have been listening to songs with lyrics that speak to me. My current loves include Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly With His Song, A Fine Frenzy’s Almost Lover, Birdy’s I’ll Never Forget You, and one of my favourite songs John Legend’s Ordinary People. Who knows what is going on in my head right now!

Watching…

I was really poorly this weekend and spent most of the weekend curled up in a blanket trying to sleep. Being poorly always makes me miss home so I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic for my childhood… perfect timing then for The Great British Bake Off to start again! I think that anyone who knows me at all in real life or who has read my blog for a while will know to what extent I adore this programme. Last Tuesday’s episode was bread week and I enjoyed watching the technical challenge of baking Paul Hollywood’s English muffins, whilst eating my own English muffin. Ridiculously satisfying.

Eating…

The aforementioned English muffin. As well as a lot of guacamole because I am now in my student house therefore I can eat as many avocados as I please without parents rolling their eyes at my lack of variety. Spending money on food is something I find scarily easy to do so I’m trying to be careful with my budget but I am enjoying cooking for myself again. We’ll see how long that lasts when term starts up again and I actually have lectures to attend!

Dreaming of…

There is one thing I can’t stop myself daydreaming about the minute I have a pause… Nice. I promised you a recap post and that will definitely happen this weekend when I get a chance to go home to scan in the photos from the family camera. I miss the beautiful panoramas, I miss the sea air, I miss the bright midday sun, I miss the smell of suncream, I miss the beaches, I miss the balmy evenings, I miss the crowed markets, I miss the restaurants spilling out into town squares, I miss the ice creams, I even miss the buses…

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Just a little sneak peak of the beauty of Nice…

What are your currently-s? Do you ever have trouble getting into books? Do the lyrics of your favourite songs matter to you?

Sophie x

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Currently…

Reading…

Anything I have the time to lay my hands on. One of my favourite things about the summer holidays is all that free time to read! I finished reading NW by Zadie Smith last week, which I absolutely loved. It’s witty, engaging, and thoughtfully written, I really enjoy Smith’s narrative style. I’m currently researching my dissertation topic and I’m ploughing my way through the chapter in The Madwoman in the Attic entitled ‘The Genesis of Hunger According to Shirley‘. Obviously I can’t just read for my dissertation so I’m also starting to work my way through the list of books for my Modernist module, the first of which is Nightwood by Djuna Barnes. I have no idea what it’s about but I’m looking forward to diving into the unknown (my life is just that exciting!).

Listening to… 

I recently discovered a new (to me) band whose music is equally perfect for perking me up on sunny mornings or relaxing for balmy summer evenings, Of Monsters and Men. I have to say the literary link wasn’t wasted on me either and might have a tiny bit to do with why I was drawn to their music. ‘Little Talks’ is a particularly good wake-up song if you’re like me and it takes some kind of motivation to get out of bed in the morning. I’ve also been listening to the song ‘Swell Window’ by Zee Avi practically on repeat, she has a lovely unique voice and the song just makes me happy.

Watching…

This is a little embarrassing to admit but I’ve been working my way through Sex and the City, which I’ve never actually watched before. I know, I know, it’s the opposite of high brow and there is a lot in it that makes me roll my eyes or even grit my teeth, but I feel like it’s just what I need in light of being newly single… And it is kinda funny! Additionally the sixth series of True Blood has started again so my Monday evenings are always enjoyable (mmm Alexander Skarsgård).

Eating…

Lots of strawberries. I adore the abundance of delicious fresh fruit in the summer and I take full advantage of it. We’re off to Nice in August and I’m so excited about the prospect of fresh juicy peaches. I’ve also been drinking my fair share of fruity rekorderligs, enjoyed in pubs by the river with friends. Laughter (and sometimes alcohol) is the best medicine for heart ache. With the UK seeing so much sunshine it has been the ideal weather for barbecues which has become a bit of family tradition Sunday evenings to replace the roasts. So grateful to have my family supporting me right now 🙂

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I hope you all enjoyed lovely, sunny weekends! What are your currently-s? Any fantastic books to recommend or music I just have to listen to?

Sophie x

Currently…

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Reading…

I’ve been stuck with my reading lately. I’ve just started an essay on amatory verse (in simple terms: love poetry) and as such I’ve had very little time to read actual books in between my research and poetry reading! Studying literature at uni can have its major downsides and having little to no time to read outside of the course is definitely one of them! So I’ve only just managed to finish This Isn’t the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You by Jon McGregor despite starting it several weeks ago(!) but I really enjoyed it. I will be reviewing it in the next few weeks so watch out for that. I’m now starting George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs Warren’s Profession which we’re studying next week in my Victorian module.

Listening to… 

As I have been so poorly lately, I’ve needed something to help lift my spirits. There’s only really one song that can do it for me: Rusted Root’s Send Me On My Way. It’s just so happy and uplifting, plus there’s the nostalgia – it just takes me back to watching Matilda as a child! I’ve also been really enjoying Daughter’s EP His Young Heart which is just beautiful.

Watching…

In my illness I’ve ended up watching quite a lot of TV and films, I have to admit Mamma Mia was definitely watched (I adore that film), as were Sense and Sensibility, Runaway Bride, and When Harry Met Sally… I’ve also caught up with Paul Hollywood’s Breads which always makes me want to go down to the kitchen and get kneading. If you have any fun, lighthearted films to recommend then I’m all ears.

Eating…

I had the most beautiful cupcake earlier today (I instagramed it – @loveliveandlearn)  that my mother kindly brought me back from the farmers’ market this morning. It was just so lovely to look at that I almost didn’t want to eat it… It was really tasty too so obviously I did end up eating it! Today the weather was actually springlike for the first time so after a brilliant talk on Jane Austen in St John’s College in Cambridge, my lovely friend Sophie and I decided to have a picnic nearby in the sunshine so I ate an avocado sandwich and a strawberry and vanilla smoothie – delicious.

Wishing for…

The summer! Having a taste of warmer weather has made me seriously pine for the sunshine and the months of long days with time off and holidays away. This summer my family is off to Barcelona for a week and I am so so excited, I’ve been once before and fell in love with the vibrancy of the city along with its stunning architecture and delicious seafood.

What are your currently-s?

Sophie x

Currently…

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Reading…

So much! I have an absurd amount of reading to do for my course at the moment, it’s really difficult to keep up. At this point in time I am working my way through George Eliot’s Adam Bede which is good but hard going – it’s almost 600 pages long. I’m also reading Thomas More’s Utopia as well as rereading Jane Austen’s Persuasion and dipping into some poetry from the Romantic era. Phew! So I’m afraid I’m not reading anything for leisure at the moment, I just don’t have the time.

Listening to… 

I recently discovered The Lumineers thanks to my sister, Alice, and I’ve been really enjoying their songs, especially Ho Hey. I’ve also been listening to soundtracks quite a lot lately because I find it difficult to work whilst listening to music with vocals. My favourite is undoubtedly the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack composed by Dario Marianelli, it is just so beautiful. If I sit and listen to it I can picture every scene and it definitely evokes an emotional response from me.

Watching…

I haven’t been watching loads of TV recently because some of my favourite programs have just finished. I am loving Africa with David Attenborough although the last episode is this week. The footage of the animals in their natural settings is simply amazing and it’s fascinating to watch. I also love a bit of New Girl and Vampire Diaries for some light entertainment to distract me from my work 😉 Plus a new series of Food & Drink has started (this week’s episode is on BBC iplayer) and it’s presented by Michel Roux Jnr so it’s extra good in my opinion!

Drinking…

Heaps of hot chocolates! They are my go-to drink at this time of the year when it’s so cold and often wet. My favourite way to make them when I particularly need cheering up is with a spoonful of nutella and then cream and mini marshmallows on top. So so comforting.

Dreaming of…

The summer. I’m always like this at this time of the year, I long for blue skies, sunshine,  picnics, holidays… I want to be able to go outside without having to bundle up in multiple layers of knitted clothing, and to sit in the park and read without feeling like my nose and fingers are frozen stiff. I’m dreaming of ice cream cones at the seaside in June, of picnicking by the river in July, of cocktails under a parasol in the balmy evenings of August…

Loving…

My new NARS blush in Douceur which is just lovely dusted onto the apples of my cheeks. I’m also loving having the time to experiment a little more with cooking, last week I made pizza, this week I’m going to try a new dish of courgettes and quinoa. I love spending time in the kitchen cooking dinner for me and my family, cooking can be creative, fun, and I find it rather therapeutic.

What are your currently-s?

Sophie x

Currently…

Reading…

I’ve just finished reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet which I enjoyed but didn’t love. I know it’s often thought of as Shakespeare’s best work but it just didn’t capture my imagination the way my favourite plays do. The soliloquies are wonderful though. I’ve now moved on to The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis for my Romantics module and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye for American lit. Have you ever read either of them?

Listening to… 

First Aid Kit’s album The Lion’s Roar which is just fantastic. It’s the perfect music to have in the background when I’m working or reading because it’s quite calming and unobtrusive. I find myself humming Emmylou and Woolf all the time.

Watching…

I haven’t got a huge amount of time to watch TV at the moment but I do make the time to watch The Vampire Diaries each week, I don’t care that it’s aimed at teenage girls, I love it! When I was super poorly and didn’t even have the energy to read much for a couple of weeks I worked my way through the entirety of True Blood (I don’t even have a thing about vampires – Twilight does nothing for me!) and it’s fantastic. I think even Tom would enjoy True Blood as it’s a lot less… censored 😉

Eating…

I have quite a large appetite at the moment! My granddad just gifted us with the Jamie Oliver 15 Minute Meal cookbook and tonight we tried out the Beef Korma Curry which was absolutely delicious, I might recreate the sauce to have with vegetables instead. I’ve also developed a new love of hot chocolates, sparked off by Costa’s delicious honeycomb hot chocolate – so good! I made myself a fancy one this afternoon: two tsp of cadberry’s chocolate powder, one tsp of cocoa powder, a cup of milk, a tsp of vanilla syrup and a sprinkling of cinnamon. I think I’ve found a winning combination.

Loving…

That I’ve done half of my Christmas shopping already. My smart phone (more specifically having instagram!). Reading poetry again. My new pink floral lampshade. Honey on toast. Weekends in London. Curling up in my blanket. Woolly snoods. Sparkly nail varnish. Cooking dinner with the family.

 

Hot chocolates are always improved by the addition of whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles!

What are your currently-s?
Do you have any plans for the weekend?

Currently…

Reading…

I have just started reading Marlowe’s Edward II and so far so good. Despite being a lover of Shakespeare, I have only read one play by this particular contemporary of his – Doctor Faustus so I’m looking forward to getting into a bit more Marlowe. I bought a copy of the complete plays so I’m planning on reading another one in the Christmas holidays (yes I plan my reading this far ahead!). I finished Moby Dick at the beginning of the week and I also read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas earlier, both for my American lit class. I’d definitely recommend both to anyone looking for something to read, the latter is unlike any other book I’ve read and it is really interesting to learn a little more about the history of slavery in the US.

Listening to… 

Lately I’ve been listening to a singer I only just found called Mindy Gledhill. She just has a lovely, sweet voice and her songs just make me smile, I’m pretty sure some people would find her a little irritating but I really like her voice! Favourite songs are California and Whole Wide World.

Watching…

Of course anyone who follows me on Instagram (loveliveandlearn) or Twitter (@I_LoveLiveLearn) will already know that I absolutely adore The Great British Bake Off which I watch every week and drool over. I’m also watching a lot of beauty youtubers at the moment, my current most watched are probably Fleur De Force, Tanya Burr, and Lily Pebbles. These gorgeous women are part of the reason I have a ridiculously long beauty wishlist!

Eating…

A lot. My appetite has been through the roof lately, I think it’s because for the last few days I’ve been cycling a lot more than usual. I cycled 10 miles on Wednesday and about 6 miles on Thursday which is obviously not a lot for proper cyclists but when you have my knees it’s pretty far! So I’ve been eating quite a bit of wholemeal toast with honey or butter and marmite in the afternoons which is something I ate after school for years so it brings me comfort.

Loving…

Burgundy. Bordeaux. Oxblood. Wine. Deep red-y purples. I love this sort of colour, it seems to be hugely popular this year but I’ve always loved it because my ballet school’s leotard uniform was maroon. It’s such a perfect autumnal colour and it is the colour my nails are currently painted (Essie’s Bahama mama for those of you who are interested).

Dreaming of…

Christmas. I can’t help it, it’s less than twelve weeks away now and it’s just my absolute favourite time of the year. I’ve already started present shopping… Apart from that I’m also dreaming of seeing Tom which will be a reality tomorrow! I’m going to stay with him over Saturday night and I’m so excited as we haven’t seen each other in two weeks now, I’m sure it’ll be a lovely weekend 🙂

 

 

Thursday lunch with my mother, I went for a field mushroom Welsh rarebit, a side of cabbage, apple, and raisin slaw, and then a huge slice of apple cake. Delicious!

I hope you have all had a fantastic week and enjoy your weekend 🙂

What are your currently-s?
Are you looking forward to anything special?

Currently…

Reading… 

 Still Moby Dick! It’s taking me absolutely forever to read, partially because it’s pretty long and really descriptive, partially because I’ve really not been very well since last Sunday evening which makes it really hard to read. I’m almost there though, about another 150 pages to read so hopefully it’ll be done by the end of the weekend! I am really enjoying it though, I’d definitely recommend it (as long as you’re not a really slow reader haha). My next book planned is Great Expectations and I’m also finishing off The Waves by Victoria Woolf.

Listening to… 

Ben Howard’s album Every Kingdom which is so lovely and relaxing. It’s quiet enough to not make my constant headache worse and it’s helping me to feel a little more laid back about everything.

Watching…

I don’t watch a huge about of TV but at the moment there are three programmes that I watch weekly and absolutely love. The first is the series 2 Broke Girls which is hilarious and always gives me the giggles on Thursday evenings, the second is the new series of Location, Location, Location which I love – Kirstie Allsopp is fantastic, and finally the third is my favourite of all: The Great British Bake Off! Every week it gives me the urge to get in the kitchen and bake, it’s my perfect show to snuggle up in bed and watch when I’m feeling a bit under the weather 🙂

Eating…

Nothing sweet… If you haven’t seen the post about it then you might not know that I decided to say no to sugar for the week (apart from fruit) to give my body a chance to recover from a couple of rather over-indulgent sugary weeks. I was fine for the first five days but today what with not feeling great I’ve really wanted a slice of toast with honey or a bowl of ice cream! There is currently a new pot of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream waiting in the freezer for me and I can’t wait to buy myself a pot of Nutella on Monday 😉 It’s the only thing that has kept me going today!

Loving…

The way that Poppy sits at the table with me every morning for breakfast and then comes and curls up on my bed next to me for most of the day. She’s such a little cutie. I’ve also been loving the fact that the colder weather we’ve been having means I can start wearing lovely woolly knitted jumpers! They’re possibly one of my favourite things to wear and they are so comfy for poorly days.

What are your currently-s?