The Weekly Balance – #46

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…

Christmas! After the Late Late Toy Show on Friday night, and as the last weekend of November slips by, December is suddenly upon us. Having spent this weekend working, I feel like I don’t know what day it is, but I am REALLY excited that December arrives on Tuesday. December and Christmas is my favourite time of the year, no contest, and although this year is of course like no other, I’m still going to be making the most of the Christmassy vibes. I drove to and from work this weekend listening to Christmas FM, and I’ve done a little bit of decorating around my apartment (who knew you could get a two foot tree!). It’s been a really long, hard year for everyone, some more than others, and I know lots of you reading are keen to see the back of 2020.

This month, let’s make it about kindness, about family, about friends. About the little joys in life that bring a smile to our faces. About slowing down, and taking a moment for gratitude for what we have. About reflecting on the last 12 months, and looking forward to a new year ahead.

What I’m reading…

This week, I finished The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Daré. Oh my GOSH this book was incredible. I absolutely loved it. This novel, set in Nigeria, tells the story of Adunni, a young girl who we meet at age 14, living with her father and two brothers in a small village called Ikati. Adunni adores school and learning, and wants to learn as much as she can to develop a ‘louding voice’ for herself, and become a teacher one day. However, she is taken out of school after the tragic passing of her mother, because her father needs her to get married so he can get money from the ‘bride price’ her husband will pay him. Shortly after getting married to a much older man who already has 2 wives, Adunni escapes, and is taken to Lagos to work as a housemaid for a wealthy woman known by her staff as ‘Big Madam.’ Subject to cruel and perverse treatment by Big Madam and her husband, and endless hours of housework and duties, how will Adunni find her way back to school, education and her louding voice?

This book is really special. It is a story of courage, of bravery, of standing up for yourself and for your future, and of kindness. I couldn’t put it down, and was cheering Adunni along the whole way. An absolutely brilliant read!

As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below! My current read is Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan.

What I’m listening to

This week I’ve been really enjoying The Irish Times Women’s Podcast, hosted by Roisin Ingle. It’s packed full of really interesting guest interviews, covers important current issues, particularly those affecting women, and also features book club chats too! I’m loving it and have a good few episodes to catch up on.

I also loved the latest episode of the Where Is My Mind podcast, where host Niall Breslin interviews Virgin Media journalist Zara King. It’s a really interesting conversation about the journalists’ perspective on this crazy year, and Zara also spoke really openly about loneliness, which really resonated with me and I know many others.

Recipe of the Week

The recipe I’m loving this week is my Creamy Chickpea and Mushroom Stew 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!

Ciara  x

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