Coffee and a Catch Up 02

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.

This Coffee & A Catch Up comes from Labonte (17 ngo 35 Dang Thai Mai, Tay Ho). Labonte has been a firm favourite brunch spot of mine since it first opened in late 2019. All the food is vegan or veggie and the salted caramel latte is as delicious as it sounds. Two of the walls upstairs have large windows, so on days like today, the light pours in and the breeze blows through.

Inauguration

I am so glad to see the back of Trump and the beginning of the Biden/Harris era! Kamala has made history and I’m excited to see the impact of our first female VP on girls and women around the world. I’m feeling hopeful for the US, and the planet. Let’s see some positive changes!

Pollution

Pollution in Hanoi in January can be grim, and I feel this year has been worst than the last few. Skies are grey, thick with haze and you can smell and even taste the pollution. AQI (air quality) is in the 200-300 range, so I’ve resorted to spending a lot of time inside the flat where we have air purifiers and can keep windows and doors closed. It’s sad but necessary, since I get very bad headaches from pollution and want to avoid them as much as I can. Bring on rainy season, when the storms wash it all away!

Creative Ideas

2021 brought me dozens of ideas for what I’d like to write, draw and create. I’ve got lists all over the place and am excited for it all, but need to prioritise and think about how to follow some of these ideas in a sustainable way that works alongside my full time job and attempting to have some sort of social life (and I guess the odd bit of exercise too). So for now, I’ll jot these grand plans down, have a play around, and spend some time working out where to start!

Tet Holiday Plans

Speaking of which, the Tet holiday (Lunar New Year) is coming up in Vietnam in a few weeks. At this time in term, we’d usually be sprawled over the sofa with hotel tabs open, scrolling through skyscanner and planning our trip. But the pandemic and borders being closed here have slowed us down a bit, and we’re looking forward to a couple of weeks at home in Hanoi instead of flying elsewhere in Vietnam. That will give me some time to follow some of the ideas above! I’m just hopeful that the pollution will improve by then!

Life Lately:

5 Things I’m Grateful For

  • A new President and Vice President
  • Quality time with friends
  • Morning routines and my 10 minutes of meditation
  • Lots of inspiration lately
  • Meeting someone who got in touch after reading my blog!

I’ve been listening to

  • Where the Crawdads Sing, still. I’m really loving this audiobook, and Delia Owen’s writing, but I had no idea it would take me this long to listen to it! It’s a long ‘un, but it’s a real treat on my commutes.

I’ve been watching

  • We spent Friday evening at our friends’ place, and ended up watching old videos of James Cordon’s Carpool Karaoke and snippets of Gavin and Stacey. Follow the links for some feel good viewing! I think after Gilmore Girls is done, I might watch Gavin and Stacey again. Seeing British chip shops, streets and beaches got me all nostalgic.

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Have a lovely week, whatever you do.
– Niobe xx

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