September ’19 roundup

Diary

September was a busy month right off the bat, with a trip to Crete from 30 August to 6 September, and then a trip to Montreal and Toronto from the 8th to the 16th. 

We went to Crete with my parents and my sister and brother-in-law. It was my first time visiting Greece and will not be my last; the scenery and the food were both so incredible. We rented a three bedroom self catering villa with a pool, and did a mix of touristy things and relaxing, so it was an ideal trip for me. My favourite day was when the four ‘youngsters’ did a walk in the Agia Irini Gorge, meeting Mum and Dad at the beach in Sougia at the end. I have never been so happy to see the sea in my life! We also visited Knossos, an archeological site, and a local vineyard, as well as the beaches of Elafonissi and Falassarna, and the old town of Chania. 

After we got back, I had one day to turn my suitcase around before flying to Canada with my sister. We have family in Newmarket, Ontario, so when Claire said she had been invited to Canada for a work trip, I offered to keep her company and pay them a visit. We did two days in Montreal, which I have never been to, first, and then five in Newmarket, seeing our paternal grandparents, both sets of uncles and aunts, and the two cousins on that side. I also found time for an afternoon in Toronto with my future sister-in-law; we went on a long, hot walk to see the Kim’s Convenience external set. (PSA: It’s the best show you’re not watching; the first three seasons are on Netflix.) It was a flying visit to my native land, but a good one.

After that fortnight of adventures, I returned to work and the real world. Nothing much to report, except that on the 24th I celebrated ten years of dating the man who is now my husband, and on the 25th I started an Introduction to Counselling course at the local college. 

What I Read

  • The Testaments and The Edible Woman, by Margaret Atwood
  • The Day The World Came to Town, by Jim DeFede
  • The Taggerung and Loamhedge, by Brian Jacques

Wasn’t overly impressed with The Testaments, I have to say, though I did read it in the space of about four days. It was incredibly interesting, in terms of expanding the world which we were introduced to in Handmaid, but rather predictable, and doesn’t actually answer the question as to what happened to Offred. 

The Edible Woman I read on the beach in Crete. I’d enjoyed Alias Grace on honeymoon in April, so I figured I’d give some of Ms Atwood’s other works a try while waiting for The Testaments. The Edible Woman is actually her first published work; the former English student in me is tempted to draw comparisons between the feminist messages of the two books, published some forty years apart. I think I will be putting ‘more Margaret Atwood books’ on my Christmas list this year. 

Having seen the musical Come From Away this summer (highly recommend), I was intrigued when I saw The Day The World Came to Town on sale at the airport. It’s an old book (2002), but made for good airplane reading. Adam is working his way through it now. 

As for the other two, I was obsessed with the Redwall books in my teens. Brian Jaques passed away a few years ago, and I bought Kindle versions of the entire series to console myself. So, I took advantage of some poolside days to revisit a few old friends. 

What I Watched

  • The Lego Movie 2; The Second Part
  • American Dad, season 14
  • The Ranch
  • The Good Place, season 4

The first was on the plane; it was actually funnier than expected, but not as good as the first. Maya Rudolph put in a star performance as a long-suffering mother. 

American Dad, via Now TV, continues to entertain. Some hit and miss stories this season, but the writing and the humour remains consistent. Not sure about Rogu though; I hope he’s an arc rather than a new character. 

We started The Ranch, on Netflix, when I got back from Canada, just as background noise in the evenings really. So far it’s…okay. I’m not sure if the central premise will hold up for much longer, but I’ll keep you posted.  

The Good Place, also on Netflix, deserves a separate blog post all its own. For now, let me say that I really respect the creators for choosing to make the fourth season its last; better to make four awesome seasons than three good ones and seven mediocre ones. With new episodes being added weekly from 27 September onwards, I am really intrigued to see how they finish their story. 

What I’m looking forward to in October

  • A trip to the Isle of Wight to honour my late maternal grandmother
  • A girly weekend in Brighton
  • Dog sitting
  • The Apprentice

2 Comments

  • Tricia Wilson

    30th September 2019 at 7:35 pm Reply

    Excellent summary, Laura! I hope your Mum’s is not your only comment – but I love your writing style.

  • Edmund Graham

    30th September 2019 at 11:01 pm Reply

    I love this format for a blog post, enough that I really wish I did enough interesting in pretty much ANY month to make it worth me doing something similar. Congratulations on the anniversary (I’m well aware this is a congratulations which is more than a little late at this point). I keep meaning to re-read the Redwall series, I suspect the fact there are 22 of them probably goes some way to explaining why I keep putting it of.

    I hope your trip to my neck of the woods (by which I mean the Isle of Wight) goes well. I would suggest meeting up, but a) we’ve not talked (never mind interacted face-to-face) for so long I wouldn’t want to presume you’d even WANT to, and b) as you’re over here for family reasons I wouldn’t expect you to take time out of that for non-family activities.

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