Coffee and a catch up: a laid back series of life updates from me, written over a coffee in a favourite cafe. Grab yourself a cup too, and get comfy!
I’m writing this from Hoi An. The school holiday – a week off – began at the weekend and I’m enjoying some down time.
This Coffee & A Catch Up comes from Nourish Eatery (220 Nguyễn Duy Hiệu Cẩm Châu, Hoi An). All photos on this post are taken there, by me.
Nourish Eatery is an oasis, just on the outskirts of Hoi An’s old town. I came on Sunday for breakfast and have headed here again today (Tuesday) for lunch because the menu was so varied and it all sounded (and has been) delicious! It’s all veggie and vegan too which was a bonus for me!
Choose to sit outside surrounded by greenery, or inside on their soft seating. Grey washed walls, wicker basket lights and open sides provide a natural setting with a gentle breeze blowing through. I could easily spend all day here.
What’s been going on?
Overwhelming is the word I’d use to describe my last few weeks.
My day job and writing have been more demanding, I’m searching for jobs back home to apply for, we’ve barely seen the sunshine in Hanoi for months. Throw in some health issues, gearing up for an international move, trying to balance saving money with making the most of living in Vietnam and it’s all got far too much.
Something – or a few things, really – had to give, and one of those has been this blog, which has been left neglected for almost a month. I haven’t had the words to write, most of the time. And when I have, I haven’t had the time. The days have ticked on by, full to the brim – almost overspilling – and the constant need for a long, uninterrupted sleep has left very few spare hours to be tapping away on here, or even writing in my journal, despite the fact that the act of writing down how I was feeling is very likely to have actually helped.
Anyway, I’ll keep this post brief. Despite everything written above, I made it to the end of the race. I made it to our school holiday – a week off work – and promptly jumped on a flight in search of blue skies, sunshine and a slower pace of life. We arrived in Hoi An two days ago and within just a few hours I felt infinitely calmer.
This week, I’m embracing slow. I’m enjoying smoothie bowls for breakfast on patio terraces, a wonderfully fresh contrast to the overnight oats and chopped up banana I eat on my commute. I’m strolling and pootling around on a bicycle instead of jumping in (or on) a taxi in Hanoi. I’m breathing in fresh air and relishing in the sunshine, soaking up the rays and the vitamin D my skin has been craving.
I’m reading, listening, chatting and smiling more than I was before.
A couple of days in, and I can confirm that this is just what I needed: a pause and a recharge.
5 Things I’m Grateful For
- The sunshine, a break and some fresh air
- The friends and family who have been absolute stars these last few weeks
- Small glimmers of inspiration
- Playlists in coffee shops playing golden oldies that I’d forgotten exist
- The ability to travel within Vietnam and see as much of this beautiful country as we can before we leave
I’ve been reading
- American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. An excellent, poignant story based on La Bestia – the train migrants climb aboard to reach the USA from Mexico and other Central American countries. The book has received a lot of bashing from people stating Cummins cannot/should not portray such a story when she’s never lived it. I’m not Latino, I’ve never been anywhere near the places mentioned in the book, I’m privileged to not have had to experience any of the trauma mentioned in the book in my life. I therefore can’t comment on whether Cummins’ narrative is accurate, offensive, controversial etc. I thought the book was extremely well written and I found it an insightful read. However, I know it’s important to read around a subject further, which I intend doing.
I’ve been listening to
- Homesick by Catrina Davies, an audiobook about on the author’s own experience of living in a shed in Cornwall. It features plenty of thought-provoking messages about capitalism, society and inequality, but it’s an easy listen too.
I’ve been watching
- The Crown. We started this a month or so ago and are a few episodes into season 2. Obviously much of the show is fiction, but with Prince Philip’s recent death and Harry and Meghan’s break away from the royal family, it’s been really interesting to watch and learn more about The Crown as an institution and the personalities within it.
I hope you’re all doing well, and taking any rests/breaks you need! I can’t quite believe it’s nearly May. Time’s passing fast, but hopefully my blog updates will be more regular now.
Lots of love xx