Thank you and good night

And so, my friends, here we are to the last episode of this blog. And to close this off I’m going to list the five things I’m most grateful for in 2018:

1. The kittens. It has been an incredible experience seeing kittens being born, bringing them up happy and healthy and seeing them going out into the world to bring happiness to others. I’ll never forget them. All seven of them.

2. Canada and Santorini. Beautiful in different ways.

3. The first forty thousand words of my novel. Here’s to the next forty thousand words.

4. Resolution of a long dispute with my older sister. After four years.

5. I’m expecting a baby. And that’s probably the best of the lot. I still feel like I’m talking about somebody else’s life.

Thank you and goodnight. I hope you have a scintillating 2019.

Adele, Jane Austen and a duvet day

1. Two days to go until the end of my experiment. Not that I haven’t enjoyed this year but I’m ready for a new challenge.

2. Adele. Even though I’m not sure it’s the right choice when I’m being ravaged by hormones.

3. Diana Ross is doing well. She’s hating the cone of shame but her wound is healing up and she’s bearing up as well as she can.

4. Jane Austen and her world, which at times really feels like an excellent proposition for a woman.

5. A duvet day. I confess I barely left the bedroom today. Hormones were quite savage and I spent the morning crying and the afternoon nursing a headache trying to soothe myself with white rice.

Old friends, grilled halloumi and padron peppers

This blog is about all the little things I’m grateful for every single day.

1. Old friends. The type of friends that even if you haven’t spoken or seen each other in years it always feel like not even a week has gone by.

2. Work that doesn’t feel like work. Like editing a good novel.

3. The end of 2018. It has been a weird painful eventful year and yes I’m glad it’s over and I have good hopes for 2019. One of the things I wish for is not to feel as much as a failure as I do now.

4. Grilled halloumi and padron peppers. Perfect dinner watching the darts.

5. The husband making an effort to learn Italian. God knows why now but who am I to complain?

Bubble and squeak, a candlelit bubble bath and an early night

1. Diana Ross is fine. We took her to the vet for surgery today. I really didn’t want to. I know it’s the right thing to do but I wish I didn’t have to do it. I’m Anyway, she’s fine. Wearing the cone of shame and doesn’t like it one bit. I can’t wait for her to go back to her normal self sans cone.

2. Bubble and squeak with Christmas leftovers. So good.

3. My body is changing and I can’t help but feel curious about it. I’m not showing yet but things are definitely happening. The most obvious is that my b00bs are enormous relatively speaking. And the moods changes are pretty extreme. I don’t approve the attitude certain women have as if they are the first person to ever have kids. But it’s magical.

4. A candlelit bubble bath. I hadn’t had one in forever. We finally managed to find the right plug for the bath drain. Ah the glamours of married life. Seriously.

5. An early night. I know, could I be more rock ‘n’ roll? It was 5:30 when I woke up this morning and I’m ready to drop. I’m a grown up so I can do whatever the hell I like and if I want to go to bed early I jolly well can.

Eating frogs, NY’s resolutions and courgette and white bean soup

1. After-Christmas yoga class. It was packed!! Apparently people had been booking it on Christmas Day, which doesn’t surprise me.

2. Eating frogs aka doing tasks you don’t want to do but need to do and you finally do them it actually feels really nice. The happy pregnancy hormones help not to get to frustrated with the Italian bureaucracy.

3. The Bishop’s Wife with Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young. Underestimated Christmas movie but my husband really likes it. It certainly makes a break from his plan to watch all the versions of A Christmas Carol ever made.

4. New Year’s resolutions. I actually like them. They fill me with hope and inspiration and they’re not always a total failure.

5. Courgette and White Bean Soup from In One Pot by Blanche Vaughan. Even more delicious with added lemon juice, mint and a bit of crumbled feta.

Shopping, tortellini in brodo and a Pride & Prejudice novel

I can’t keep my eyes open. I’m writing this with one eye I’m so tired.

1. A successful shopping trip on the first day of sales. Uniqlo.

2. Tortellini in brodo. Not as good as my aunt’s but still sufficient to curb my craving and yet, I’m still hungry.

3. Left overs from Christmas dinner.

4. A Quest for Mr Darcy by Cass Grafton. If you’re a Pride & Prejudice fan, this is for you. She has captured the characters perfectly. And Mr Darcy is even more swoon worthy.

5. Another week off more or less. I confess I’m dreading going back.

Christmas movies, Christmas food and a capon

It was all about food and movies today.

1. Little Lord Fontleroy. A British Christmas classic, massive in Italy but almost unknown here. With a super Alec Guinness and very young Patrick Stewart and Bill Nighy.

2. It’s a Wonderful Life with a weirdly sexy if not classically handsome James Stewart. I cry every time.

3. A magnificent capon from Borough Market, for which we used Nigella Lawson’s tried and tested brine.

4. Roasted Potatoes with semolina cooked in goose fat.

5. Brussels Sprouts with garlic and pancetta. I found the recipe in the New York Times I think and it’s simple and fool proof.