The Weekly Balance – #47

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

What 2020 has taught me. As we make our way through December, and Christmas fast approaches, I find myself reflecting on this past year, and what I have learnt from it. I think that’s going to be a full blog post on it’s own! This year, I know many people have felt that they have discovered a renewed appreciation for the simple joys, the little things, the special moments in our days and lives. Health. A roof over your head. Family. Friends. A cup of tea and a chat. Sharing a meal with loved ones. Books. Play. Movies. Music. Writing. Painting. Baking. Cooking. These simple joys will look different for everyone, but I know from the messages you guys have sent me on Instagram that many of you feel that this year has taught you to respect, honour and be grateful for the little things that make you smile, and make you happy. For the last month of this crazy year, don’t forget to slow down, reflect, and give time to those simple joys. We need them now more than ever.

What I’m reading…

Last week I finished Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan. This was the first novel I’ve read by Donal Ryan before, and I’ve heard many great things about his other books – particularly The Spinning Heart. The story of Strange Flowers in set in rural Ireland in the 1970s, following Kit Gladney and her husband Paddy in the aftermath of their daughter Moll’s sudden and unexpected departure from their home in Tipperary. Slowly but surely, Kit and Paddy begin to accept the absence of their daughter – but then, five years later, she returns. Who, and what, she brings home with her, changes the life of the Gladney family forever.

First things first. I knew, as I read it, that this book was beautifully written. I love reading books set in the Ireland of the past and present, and this book did capture rural Ireland really well. However, I didn’t love this book, I didn’t find it to be a page-turner, and although I did want to finish it and see how the story unfolded, I wasn’t rushing back to read another chapter each night. It just didn’t grip me, and I didn’t engage with the characters, or find myself emotionally entangled in their lives as sometimes happens to me when I’m fully engrossed in a book. Obviously you can’t love every book you read – you win some, you lose some! I’ll still be adding The Spinning Heart to my book list though.

As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below! My current read is After The Silence by Louise O’Neill.

What I’m listening to

This week I was tearing up listening to the last ever episode of The High Low Podcast with Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes. The podcast has been running wildly successfully for 4 years now, and I’ve listened to probably most of the episodes I’d say! It’s kept me company through many ups and many downs, and always make me laugh. I think my favourite thing about this podcast is the recommendations I get from listening to Dolly and Pandora chat about the books, television series, movies and podcasts that they have been enjoying each week. I’ll definitely miss The High Low, and I know I’ll be listening back to old episodes for weeks to come!

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 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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