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Ten happy things – September 21

Marzamemi in Sicily

Each month I look back and reflect on what made me happy and brought me joy. I love writing these posts as I get to relive some happy memories. These are my ten happy things for September!

A much-needed holiday in Sicily

With Covid-19 meaning that countries keep changing on the government’s travel list, we took (and booked) our Summer holiday quite late this year so it was very much needed when it came round! (Ok, we did have a week in Malta in June but missed out on our Easter break). We spent a glorious 11 days in Avola and then Taormina in Sicily.

Panoramic view of Isola Bella

The weather was a bit hit and miss – in fact, it poured with rain on our last day! But it was lovely to have a full 11 days off work and to spend quality time with my husband. It was also great to discover a few new places in Sicily, like Avola, Marzamemi and Siracusa!

Natalie’s hen party

We celebrated my gorgeous friend Natalie’s upcoming nuptials one Sunday at Bermondsey Larder, where we had a delicious meal. Not only was it wonderful to make a fuss of Natalie but to also meet so many of her lovely friends ahead of her big day. After lunch we headed to a nearby pub for more drinks and chat. There was a lot of laughs – and Prosecco! And an incident involving an umbrella, a dog and being told off!

The gorgeous bride to be

Lunch with Shelley

It had been ages since I’d last seen Shelley so it was so wonderful to have lunch with her and my husband one Saturday and catch up on all her news. We went to The Summerhouse in Little Venice for lunch and then had a look around Clifton Nurseries afterwards and a walk along the canal. Shelley hadn’t been to Paddington in years and couldn’t believe how much it’s changed!

Lunch at The Summerhouse

Cooking with Haufson – ad/press invite

It was so cool to finally attend an in-person event after so many months! I was invited to the School of Wok in Covent Garden to see Singaporean chef Nancy Lam demonstrate frying battered prawns using the non-stick Haufson wok. This wok heats up quickly, thanks to its stainless steel base and the inlay is marble, giving it a natural non-stick quality. Nancy was absolutely hilarious and even dropped an F-bomb!

Chef Nancy Lam cooking prawns

We were then treated to a number of delicious dishes all cooked using the Wok. It was a lovely event and there were some bloggers I’ve not seen in ages so it was great to catch up with them.

Battered prawns

Read a book that will stay with me

It’s not that often that you read a book that you just fall in love with and that you know will stay with you for a very long time. For me, it’s The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. A funny story though…. I had finished reading my last book and decided to see which unread books were on my book shelf before buying another book. I spotted The Book Thief and opened it, only to discover an inscription from my best friend who bought it for my birthday back in … drum roll… 2008! I can’t believe such an amazing book sat on my shelf unread for 11 years…. If you have it on your book shelf, read it immediately!

Reading The Book Thief by the pool

Free cut and colour

My hairdresser is moving salons and, as part of the interview process, he had to demonstrate his skills. So he offered me a free cut and colour if I would be his hair model. It was brilliant timing as it was about a week until my actual appointment at my usual salon and I had a wedding later that week and some grey hairs that needed covering! As is often the case when I get my hair done…. it was pouring with rain when I left and quite windy so my curls lasted all of about 20 mins!

Fresh cut and colour

Gifted a fabulous book!

I gifted a pair of glittery Converse that were a bit small for me to my lovely friend Carola, who I met on Instagram, and she bought me Untamed, by Glennon Doyle, to say ‘thank you’ – which was so incredibly kind! I’m just over a third of the way though and am really enjoying it. What I love about this gift is that it’s not a book I probably would have bought myself so I’m loving expanding my reading horizons!

Untamed book against a colourful duvet

Dinner with foodie friends

The lovely Mitzie organised dinner at Bibo by Chef Dani Garcia at the newly opened Mondrian hotel in Shoreditch with myself, Sima and Manasi. Mitzie and I met up before dinner to have a couple of drinks in the bar upstairs before heading down to the restaurant.

The bar at Bibo restaurant

The food is Andalusian and the concept is one of sharing. We happily ordered lots of dishes to share, ensuring that everyone’s dietary requirements were catered for. The food was quite hit and miss, unfortunately. Nothing really blew us away and the best dishes for me were the patatas bravas and the grilled aubergine. As with the food… the service was hit and miss too. You’re probably wondering then, for such an average meal, why this has made my ‘ten happy things’. Because the company was fabulous and we had a great evening!

Exciting work project

I was asked to help out a charity with gathering social media content for an important event at Parliament Square to highlight how the climate crisis is also one of gender injustice. The charity surrounded Millicent Fawcett’s statue with plants and we took a time-lapse of the set-up. I got to ask MPs questions and film voxpops – it was great! There was a lot of MP support and I loved the buzz!

A go-pro set up in Parliament Square

Reached two goals I set myself

At the beginning of the year, I set myself some goals and I was so excited to reach two of them this month! It always feels so good to achieve something that you’ve set out to achieve. I still have a few more to reach though so watch this space.

Natalie and Mark’s wedding

I ended the month with an amazing wedding! My beautiful friend Natalie married her best friend Mark at the stunning Mount Vineyard. It was a gorgeous, stylish wedding, although I’d expect nothing less as Natalie is an incredibly talented food stylist. And the food was incredible! Brat – a Michelin starred restaurant catered the wedding and the food was phenomenal. Again, no surprise as Natalie has written a cookbook and Mark owns a business selling Holm Oak Lump-wood charcoal to restaurants and anyone with a love of BBQ.

My husband and I were honoured to share in their special day!

Wedding table setting

So that was my September! How did your month go? Let me know in the comments.

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.

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