Sunday Photo Mishmash: amazing food & a lovely walk

It’s been quite cold in Luxembourg this week, and I needed to buckle down and study for a test, so I left the apartment one afternoon and took my notes outside. I walked briskly until I felt nice and warm, and then sat on a bench and took in the calm, pretty surroundings (above) until I started to slowly freeze again. (I always genuinely wonder whether my fingers might fall off.)

One of my boyfriend’s colleagues left the country to go back to Malta this weekend, so we (well… Dave did most of the preparations) hosted a mini-dinner-party for him on Friday night. Dave made this amazing salad as a starter, with goat’s cheese and homemade dressing and everything. So delicious. (Then we had rabbit as a main course! It was tender and beautiful.) (For dessert we had pudina with ice-cream and BASIL – ugh, so good.)

And then this photo (below) is from this morning. After mass, we popped into this beautiful cafeteria/bar in our neighbourhood and had the most amazing brunch – it was very expensive for my little Maltese wallet, but so good, and so worth it. Everything was locally-sourced and delicious – we had a little pile of gorgeous bread, and a glass of orange juice, and the most amazing white chocolate spread… The tomatoes were a particularly enjoyable burst of flavour (and I never eat my tomato at breakfast).

Next week promises to be a little less stressful, and a little more fun. Lots of proofreading, plenty of plans, and (as always) lots of delicious food. Happy Sunday evening!

Luxembourg Second/Third Week Update

I’ve been in Luxembourg for almost three weeks now, and it’s time for another update, especially since I’ve had so many new first impressions over the past week.

  1. IKEA! It was our first trip to IKEA a couple of Saturdays ago, and after over 9 hours, we were well and truly pooped. BUT we now have a table and some chairs and I am blogging and working from somewhere other than our air bed. It’s lovely.
  2. Freelance work! After the December drought, it’s definitely deadline season again, and proofreading jobs have been flooding in like crazy. At least I’m earning my keep.
  3. Job hunting! This has been quite crazy over the past week and a half. I’ve gone on a big interview, I’ve met with a local law firm, I’ve worked on my (legal) French. Fingers crossed!
  4. Language! I really need to take formal French lessons, because I hate that most of the French I’m using is simply: Parlez-vous anglais s’il vous plait? And over the past few days I’ve definitely heard an increase of other languages, mostly Luxembourgish and Portuguese. Oh, the confusion.
  5. Washing machine woes! I am notoriously nervous when it comes to using a washing machine, and rightly so, it seems. I washed some towels and dish cloths last week. One of the towels was a new, bright blue one. Everything has a blue tinge now. KMN.
  6. Pet cat update! I haven’t gotten my boyfriend on board regarding my desire to rescue an old lazy cat (yet), but we did buy a pet cactus this week. His name is Clive.
  7. New people! I get anxiety x a million whenever I speak to new people, and over the next week or so I’m “putting myself out there” (although I’m mostly just ridiculously excited about a LUSH bloggers’ event I’m going to in a week’s time).
  8. LUSH – I went to the LUSH shop in the city centre, and it was a seriously magical experience. The lovely lady spoke to me in perfect English and helped me out with all my questions, and wasn’t at all pushy (which would have been a sure-fire way for me to run away). I left with a massive bag of products (at 50% off!!!!!!!!).
  9. Books! I popped into a bookshop a few days ago, and I found a wall covered in English books! It was glorious. I bought The Narrow Road to the Deep North, so so so totally overpriced (about 8EUR over the Book Depository price…), but now it has special sentimental value. so it was worth it.
  10. Trier, Germany! We visited this beautiful city last weekend, and I adored it. I can’t wait to explore more of the region.

So much more adjusting needs to be done, but I’m loving it. IT’S SNOWING SO MUCH RIGHT NOW.

Sunday Photo Mishmash: house into a home

This photo was taken before we assembled our beloved IKEA table – Sunday lunch on a box and a pretty dish cloth! Please also note that we take our Parmegiano-Reggiano seriously.

We’ve also assembled chairs, a footstool, and a bookcase (and put up some twinkly lights!) so everything is feeling much more homely. Settling in has suddenly taken a fast-track jolt, and proofreading jobs are coming in faster than ever. It’s going to be quite a week this week, too. This weekend started off a little shaky, especially since I woke up not feeling so well on Saturday, but things have definitely been looking up.

Hope everyone is having a lovely Sunday. We might be off to Germany today! :)

A Reading Year in Review (2014)

Favourite Books:

  1. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (my first Christie – spectacular)
  2. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (eye-opening + great tips for professionals)
  3. The Clockwork Muse by Eviatar Zerubavel (the kick up the bum I needed to write my thesis)
  4. Kulħadd ħalla isem warajh by Clare Azzopardi (mesmerising stories about women, Malta, life)
  5. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (an addictive writing style)
  6. Bossypants by Tina Fey (hilarious and poignant)
  7. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (adorable well-written Young Adult fiction)
  8. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (ICELAND + an amazing, haunting story)

Disappointing Books:

  1. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (good, but meh)
  2. What Happens in Brussels Stays in Brussels by Ġużè Stagno (didn’t go anywhere)
  3. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (mostly superficial – I guess I’m the wrong demographic)
  4. Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (didn’t even finish this)
  5. Delirium by Lauren Oliver (I skimmed through most pages)
  6. Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham (couldn’t relate to most of this)
  7. The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness (didn’t even finish this)

Notable mentions:

  1. The Children Act by Ian McEwan (a beautiful story)
  2. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (poetic writing)
  3. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (a big, juicy read – loved the first two-thirds, mostly hated the last third)

(Not in any particular order.)

Things I Love Thursday

  • Settling in Luxembourg just a bit more – mainly by exploring the place more, getting a bank account, and buying some furniture
  • Meeting an ex-UoM-classmate who’s doing a traineeship at an EU institution in Luxembourg for a lovely chat and hot chocolate (and lots of crazy-helpful tips!)
  • IKEA – it’s glorious
  • Buying a cactus – his name is Clive
  • Receiving a card with beautiful quotations and messages from an old friend (who is actually more of a pen-pal, considering we communicate mostly via snail mail while we’re in different cities around Europe!)
  • My boyfriend, who is lovely and patient and my total partner-in-crime while we’re building a life here together. AND WE DIDN’T BREAK UP WHILE IN IKEA. I think we deserve a medal from the Grand Duke or something. (We don’t really agree on tables…)
  • An absolutely fantastic sushi date at a restaurant in the city centre. For 22EUR each we were absolutely stuffed with delicious, fresh sushi. I’m aching to go again. So delicious, so worth it.
  • Watching a film with Dave – we seem to have an unofficial nice fuzzy comfy Sunday evening tradition on our hands
  • Exciting possibilities
  • Dishwashers
  • LUSH Luxembourg(!!)
  • A new woolly hat/beanie from H&M
  • Sticking up for myself when people give me the wrong change or the wrong item (small daily victories)
  • Skype-ing with my dearest friends and family back home