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Ten happy things – April 20

Vintage Fiat 500 in Notting Hill

So we’re on day 786 of lock down (not really, but it’s felt like that at times) and the end is in sight (again, not really. But restrictions will be lessened). How has it gone for you? Usually my monthly ‘ten happy things’ posts are full of restaurants I’ve eaten at, friends I’ve met up with or trips I’ve been on. This month of course is very different but there still so many things to find joy in and be grateful for. So, here are my ‘ten happy things’ for April!

A surprise from a friend

My lovely friend Kerry, of Kerry life and loves, posted me a card and a book! We have very similar taste in books so I can’t wait to read The Cactus, by Sarah Haywood. Reading the back cover, it sounds like a good read.

I’ve been really enjoying my slow mornings. I wake up, make a coffee and then read in bed for half an hour to an hour. I’m definitely keeping this new routine when life goes ‘back to normal’. No more sitting and watching the news on telly!

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

Delicious lunches on Saturdays

As we can’t go out to eat, we’ve been bringing the restaurant experience to us. Every Saturday we chill a bottle of Prosecco, make starters and then my husband cooks a delicious pasta. We sit at our breakfast bar and pretend we’re at a restaurant! Must say the food has been great. At times like this, it definitely pays to be married to an Italian…

Delicious pasta with courgette and tomatoes

Finished a project

This month I finished up a project for one of the UK’s biggest charities. I really enjoyed working on this project but also glad it’s finished – just so I can have a bit of down time. It will be quite nice not to have to work full time right now. Not sure about you, but it can be a bit of a struggle sometimes to stay motivated in these strange times.

Read four books

As I mentioned, I’m loving my morning routine of reading in bed. Usually I struggle to finish a book in a month but at the beginning of the year I set myself a goal to read one book a month – and this month I read four!

The first was Where the Crawdads sing by Delia Owens. I loved this book! It follows the story of Kya, who lives in the marsh in a fictional town in North Carolina. It’s a story of love, abandonment, friendship and murder…

The second book I read was part of my Reposed book subscription – The little snake by A.L Kennedy. I didn’t love this that much but it wasn’t very long so easy to read in a few days.

The third was Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams and to be honest, I didn’t know what it was about when I bought it. I just knew that it was really good because everyone I know who read it, loved it. And I did too. It was great! An easy read with laugh out loud moments. But also a lesson in friendship, self love, accepting the past and moving forward.

The fourth book I read was Everything I never told you by Celeste Ng. I really enjoyed reading her book Little fires everywhere last year so knew I’d enjoy this. It’s the story of the Lee family and how they don’t fit in. Lydia, the eldest daughter is found dead in the lake and the story is about how she ended up there. There’s a surprise twist.

Everything I never told you by Celeste Ng

Video calls with friends

One real positive of Coronavirus has been how more connected we are. I’ve had so many video calls with friends near and far, which has been lovely. I hope this continues long after this ends.

Explored Notting Hill

We live about a 40 minute walk from Notting Hill so we decided to walk there one Saturday after lunch. We very rarely visit this area, even though it’s so close, because it’s so touristy.

Naturally because of the virus, it was so eerily quiet. It was quite a bit busier at the bottom of Portobello Road where there were some fruit and veg stalls open and some shops selling food but higher up it was like a ghost town.

Portobello Road in Notting Hill

It was so nice though to see a different area! That’s what’s been the hardest… even though we’re able to go out for walks, it’s quite boring seeing the same places over and over. You crave something different and walking to Notting Hill gave us that.

Getting my Reposed subscription

A few of my friends clubbed together to get me a six month subscription to Reposed, which is a monthly book subscription, for my birthday. I just love opening it when it arrives to see what book is in there as well as what other goodies are in the box.

This month there was a pack of flower seeds, so now I’m going to plant them in the window box in the kitchen. I’ve never planted flowers in my life so can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Reposed book subscription

Finally put up some pictures

We’ve lived in our flat four years and I’ve finally put up some pictures in the guest bedroom. I honestly don’t know why it’s taken this long… perhaps because we rent so I’m always thinking we might move so what’s the point?

As we love New York so much and always walk over Brooklyn Bridge whenever we visit, I just had to buy this gorgeous print. Isn’t it lovely?

Pictures in the guest bedroom

Running outside

I’ve been keeping up Couch to 5k and got to the end of Week 3 this month. I’ve also finally joined Strava, which I wish I’d done last year when I first started running. I’m dreading week 5 as I remember that’s when you go from 5 minutes of running to 20! Wish me luck…

Making pizza

Yeast is like gold dust at the moment, isn’t it? Over the Easter weekend we made our own pizza and they were good, although a bit doughy. So when I found some fresh yeast we had to try it again!

Unfortunately the fresh yeast was dead and didn’t activate at all, however we’d also managed to get some Italian 00 flour which made a big difference. It was much better than the first attempt! The shape may be wonky but the taste was divine – particularly as we added Italian sausage from a local Italian deli.

Homemade pizza

So that was my April! Despite the lock down, I have many things to be grateful for – our health, for one – and we’ve made the most of what we can do in these circumstances. How did your April go?

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.




  • kerry

    Ahhh I loved reading this, I am so happy you like the book xx Im doing couch to 5 k too! I am just finishing week 2 but am now terrified about week 5. Blimey, I cannot imagine running 20 minutes at the moment! I have also never heard of Repose, so if course, being book related, I need to investigate! Have a wonderful May lovely xxx

  • Kirsty Marrins

    I am dreading it Kerry!! But I keep thinking that if I could get through it the first time, surely I can do it the second time. Do check out Reposed! I think I’m going to get a subscription once my gift subscription runs out. Have a lovely May too x

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