Hey gang! Another week, another Weekly Balance. Let’s have a look back at the past seven days in my life and what I’ve learnt from it.
What I’m thinking about…
Kindness, and loneliness. Maybe it’s because it’s the fifth week straight of our ‘lockdown’ in Ireland (I think it’s the fifth week, but I’ve lost track at this stage!), maybe it’s because so many of us can’t be with our families and loved ones right now, maybe it’s the time of year, or maybe it’s because this week for me has been another very busy one in work – maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Whatever the reason, this week I’ve very much felt like all I want is a big hug, an old school catch up with family and friends where I don’t have to wonder how many metres apart we need to be, the ability to travel farther than 5km from my house, a reality where businesses aren’t struggling to stay afloat, a world where so many lives haven’t been lost or changed irrevocably due to a global pandemic. Essentially, a pre-COVID-19 life. Clearly, that’s not possible. We are where we are, and there’s no going back. Which has led my thoughts to kindness, and loneliness. The run-up to, and season of, Christmas, is one of my favourite times of the year, if not my number one favourite. It’s a time when traditionally, pre-pandemic, families and friends come together to celebrate, share food, laughter, and make memories. It’s a time for an extra effort towards being kind to each other. To gratitude for what we have. And to looking forward to a new year.
It’s also a very difficult time for many people, and that’s in a pre-COVID-19 world, let alone a world living through a pandemic forcing us apart to stay safe. It’s a time when people young and old experience loneliness, and part of the social and emotional impact of the pandemic has been that it has led to many being isolated from their family and friends.
So as the weeks leading up to Christmas begin to slip by, I think we could also do with reflecting on how we can add more kindness to our lives and the lives of others. Kindness can act as an antidote of sorts to loneliness, and we need it now more than ever.
What I’m reading…
Recently, I finished The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. It was such an unusual and fun read – it is a novel set in a retirement village, Cooper’s Chase, in Kent, focusing on a group of retirees – Joyce, Elizabeth, Ron and Ibrahim – who are ‘The Thursday Murder Club’, meeting every week to dive into unsolved murders from years past. However, the club find themselves thrown into a real life murder case when a local developer is murdered, and they quickly spring into action as the case progresses and stories begin to unravel left right and centre.
I really enjoyed this book. It is told partly through the narrative voice of Joyce, the newest arrival to both Cooper’s Chase and The Thursday Murder Club, and then flits from different characters in each chapter, which gives you an insight into their side of the story. It’s a witty read as well – definitely quite a few laugh out loud moments in there, and all in all a great book to curl up with this winter!
As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below! My current read is The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré.
What I’m listening to…
My current audiobook is A Keeper by Graham Norton, the third book I’ll have read by him, and as with his previous two books, the narration of the story on Audible is brilliant, and the story has me hooked. I’m only a third of the way through, but I will say so far that I prefer the other two books I’ve read by Norton – Holding and especially Home Stretch – saying that, I’ll reserved judgement until I’ve finished the book in full!
My favourite podcast from this week was from the Bestsellers podcast, which was an interview with author Jojo Moyes. I absolutely loved her book The Giver of Stars – it’s one of my favourites from this year for sure. The podcast is a lovely hour long chat about her writing process, how the pandemic has been for her, and a bit about The Giver of Stars and the book’s characters too.
Recipe of the Week
The recipe I’m loving this week is my Sweet Potato, Broccoli, and Chickpea Bake, a quick dinner recipe favourite for me, with a good few veggies packed in there too! You can find the recipe here.
And that’s a wrap for this week gang! If you want to get in touch, you can find me @theirishbalance on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I hope you have a lovely week ahead folks – remember, stay informed with the advice from your local health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance and be kind!