As if it’s November already! Where the hell has this year gone?! It’s crazy! However, I have several friends visiting home to Jersey this month and my best friend from school is actually moving back, so I am very excited 🙂 team that with birthday celebrations, winter snugglyness, hot chocolates and ALL OF THE CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES COMMENCING, and November is looking pretty awesome. My tree will totes be up before the week is out.
And, as I’m about to elaborate on, October was pretty freaking awesome too. This does mean it’s a rather long wrap-up post, but it was just too fabulous a month to skimp on 🙂
Holly Martin’s White Cliff Bay Party
The first weekend of October was SUPER EXCITING as I flew to London to attend Holly’s launch party, and generally to hug and squish lots of lovely writer and blogger friends. It was superb. Sharon and I met for a drink and catch up on the Friday afternoon before we headed to the party, where I just met so many amazing people I feel like I’ve known my whole life, mainly for the first time and some for the second time having met before in March, like Simona and Sharon. It was just such a special night and I loved every second gossiping with these amazing women (and the odd man, hi Holly’s dad and Olly!!) and guzzling far too much rose than can be called acceptable. Books, friends and wine *ahhh*, what a perfect combination.
Saturday was spent with Sharon, Simona, Maryline and Rachel, and we had a lovely stroll around Convent Garden before lunch at Jamie’s Italian (yum!) and in the evening we saw Kinky Boots, which was just fabulous. I had a horrendously early start on Sunday, then spent 9 hours sat in Gatwick as I missed my flight due to train cancellations and delays, and had to book a new flight for the evening, so that was all a wee bit stressful, but still couldn’t really dampen how awesome a weekend it was, and how happy I am to have met and squished so many of my lovely online friends.
The week before I went on holiday, after years of deliberation, I finally plucked up the courage to audition for the local amateur dramatics group. It was something I did all the time as a kid, but I get bad stage fright which has prevented me from having done anything for a very long time. Next year, the local club is doing Legally Blonde, and I’m very happy to say I got the role of Elle’s best friend, Margot. It’s my first show in ten years, so to have got a lead is really awesome and I am SO excited to get started, it’s just such a fun show and I can’t wait to just get involved with all that again.
Walk Like an Egyptian
On Tuesday 20th October, I woke up at an ungodly hour to make my way to the airport and begin my travels to the beautiful land of Egypt, somewhere that has pretty much become my favourite place in the world over the last couple of years – largely to do with temperatures consistently exceeding 30 degrees celsius, which just feels much more like my natural climate! As soon as I stepped off that plane and felt the rush of warm air hit me, I couldn’t stop smiling.
This was a particularly special holiday for me, as for the first time in my life I went away by myself. Having spent months discussing/debating holidays with my ex, but never getting round to booking anything (thank god, looking back!), I had pretty much resigned myself to a holiday-less year when we broke up. Within a couple of months though, I realised I was being a total moron and question what the fuck I was doing. Why the hell should I not have a holiday just because I don’t have anyone to go with? If anything, when I’m on holiday I just want to lie in the sun and read all day, occasionally swimming in between, and let’s be honest – those aren’t exactly sociable activities, so I am more than capable of achieving that on my own! So I found time I could take off work and began my search of where to go for a fairly cheap and cheerful holiday I’d be comfortable on my own and – more importantly – where’d have the hottest weather in late October. All signs quickly started pointing to Egypt, and while I wasn’t sure at first having spent two weeks there last year, I did love it and the promise of heat won me over.
Arriving at the hotel late, tired and hungry on my first night after 15 hours of travel and just missing the restaurant which closed mere minutes before I arrived, I had a quick couple of drinks in the bar before turning in for the night. At 7am I wondered down to the poolside and was faced with my most taxing decision of the week: which sun lounger do I choose? Where will get the best sunlight hours for optimum tanning?! This is serious stuff. Pleased with my decision, I headed off for breakfast before returning to my selected lounger, where I remained until the sunset, with the exception of a few dips in the pool and a few trips to the bar a few metres away. It’s a tough life, but someone had to do it, and I spent every following day doing the exact same thing. Suffice to say, I was in heaven.
I did have a slight wobble for all of about half an hour that first evening in the bar, where I wondered if I could really do the whole being on my own for a week thing, but I took stock of the situation, realised I was in a beautiful (HOT!) country with nothing more to do than swim, sunbathe and read, no one else to worry about whatsover and realised: fuck it! This is amazing. After that I had one of the best weeks of my life, and loved every goddamn second of it and am trying to plan a way to go back and live there, naturally.
Honestly, as soon as I stopped worrying I think I was probably the most relaxed and content I’ve ever felt. And I wasn’t truly alone, because I got to know other guests and the staff, and we had a great time together. What I enjoyed was having the luxury to spend time with them, or choose to simply sit and enjoy my own company with a book if I wanted to! Though honestly, I think they thought I was pretty weird the first few days, constantly having my nose in a book – especially when I began each meal by cutting it into little pieces like one might for a child, just so I could eat one-handed and hold my kindle in the other! But they soon got used to me and it became a conversation starter.
It was definitely up there with Best Holidays Ever, and I wouldn’t hesitate to go alone again, possibly even to the same resort. As I’ve mentioned previously, these past few months have been really important for me, and I’ve found I’ve become more myself – the myself I want to be – than ever before, and being able to spend so much time in my own company, and relax and enjoy it, is a massive achievement for me, and something I totally recommend.
October in Books
So it turns out what I needed to get me out of my reading slump was a good old week in the Egyptian sunshine! I may have to do that more often then 😉 it was slightly odd as I was catching up on a lot of Christmas reading, which can be slightly difficult to get into when lying in 35 degrees of heat, but I enjoyed them none the less. I tried to get a nice mix of Christmas, general catch up, and some nice summery/sunny books too.
Books Releases to Get Excited About in November
I am totally in full-on gunas-a-blazin’ Christmas mode now, so nearly all releases to get excited about this month are Christmas related. Oh, and the new Cecelia Ahern, obviously!
A Christmas Tail by Cressida McLaughlin – November 5th
How to Stuff Up Christmas by Rosie Blake – November 5th
A Girl’s Best Friend by Lindsey Kelk – November 5th
The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern – November 5th
Lost Girls by Angela Marsons – November 6th
Wickham Hall, Part 4: White Christmas – Novemeber 26th
What are you looking forward to this month?