I don’t know about you, but some of the blog posts I love the most are the ones in which the writer simply types away: a laid-back look at their life of late, as you’d do with friends over a frothy cup of warm goodness. And so, this blog series was born. Coffee and a catch up: a bid to not only give my blog posting schedule a little more structure, but also to show myself to you all a bit more, share the little magical and mundane moments that make life life. Not only this, but I’ll be writing these from different coffee shops, from those in my close neighbourhood to those in various corners of Hanoi. So, grab a cup of your favourite drink and cosy up. Here we are: my first coffee and a catch up with you all.
This Coffee and a Catch Up comes from Doppio Caffe on To Ngoc Van, Tay Ho, Hanoi a small and simple coffee shop with large windows bringing in lots of light (and allowing for plenty of good for people watching).
Return to Work
Like many of you, I returned to work this week. Temperatures have dropped quite drastically these last few days, and so the cold, early mornings have been a shock to the system. That being said, it’s been good to head in, catch up with colleagues and work closely with the students I teach – something I know many other teachers worldwide are lacking the ability to do. Returning to work after the holidays is always bittersweet thanks to my love-hate relationship with enforced structure & routine, but my job is something I’m grateful for in this time of uncertainty.
Gosh this week has been a lot, hasn’t it?! I’m lucky to be witnessing things from a distance, but with coronavirus rates rising in the UK and the events in Washington this week, there’s a lot to take in. My grandparents have fortunately both been vaccinated these last few days, which is a relief, but my heart goes out to anyone affected by lockdowns, the virus, the chaos at the Capitol and the sheer magnitude of it all at the moment.
Tet Shoebox Project
I’ve been volunteering with the Tet Shoebox Project, which is a great initiative in which people can fill a drawstring bag with toys and gifts for a child who mightn’t get anything else to receive at Tet (Lunar New Year). I’m helping out this year by organising and assisting donors, but we’ve also filled a couple of bags ourselves and I loved shopping for the gifts. It took me back to my own childhood when my school would collect actual shoeboxes we filled with pressies to be sent off to a child in need. It’s something small, but I hope these gifts will put a really big smile on some children’s faces this Tet.
As mentioned, I’m looking to gear up this year. I’m in the process of planning out a more regular schedule – one that’s sustainable but meaningful too. Bare with me with this. I’m realising what I enjoy posting about, what I want from this blog and am slowly figuring out how to get there. I won’t promise anything specific right now, but expect more frequent posts with a mix of content on special places in my city, efforts to live more sustainably and mindfully, foodie bits and a celebration of life’s little moments.
5 Things I’m Grateful For
- My new ‘5 minute journal’ – a gift from my best friends back home – which is giving me a structured morning and evening check-in that I lack in my bullet journal
- A cupboard full of treats, generously sent over from family back home
- To be living in a country in which we can move around freely, flexibly and without great concern about COVID on a local level
- The cold weather, allowing me to wrap up warm, get cosy and cuddle up with a hot drink and a candle
- My bath. The perfect tonic after a busy week, and a wonderful way to thaw out from the Hanoi winter!
I’ve been reading
- The Insecure Girl’s Handbook by Liv Purvis. A reassuring read full of wise nuggets and relatable anecdotes, reminding me that it’s okay and normal to feel nervous, insecure and anxious
I’ve been listening to
- Where the Crawdad’s Sing as an audio book. Perfect for my commute and lazy bath times
- Finding Rain by Emily Rubye, a beautifully composed and relaxing instrumental album for background listening
I’ve been watching
- Gilmore Girls. Again. And I’m loving it. Again.
Stay safe & warm everyone!
– Niobe xx