Author Archives: clairebonello

Things I Love Thursday

The end of a little runway in the Westfjords in Iceland.

  • Queen in concert (with Adam Lambert). Wow.
  • Finally reading this book and loving it
  • Celebrating 8 years with my lovely boyfriend
  • A panel on female leadership
  • Nibbles and drinks and conversation after said panel on female leadership
  • Buying the bulk of the Christmas presents I’ll be giving this year (very exciting)
  • Making a Christmas wishlist
  • Staying at home (and being able to) on a (very) sick day
  • Coffee and conversation with a wonderful woman friend
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  • Stranger Things 2
  • Panzerotti and wine (but what’s new?)

Christmas Wishlist 2017

Christmas Wishlist 2017


OhmyGodohmyGodohmyGod – Christmas is here. I am exceedingly ready for it this year – I just want to cuddle up, visit Christmas markets, and head over home to Malta ASAP. I’ve also started making headway on my Christmas-presents list. I love getting special things for my nearest and dearest, and as usual, I’ve compiled a little list of things I would love to receive for Christmas this year (apart from world peace, gender equality, the end of world hunger, u hekk).

  1. The softest alpaca figure/toy (which I saw in a shop in Utrecht). I need it.
  2. A scratch-off chart – more specifically, this 100-essential-novels one. I love reading challenges, it seems, and this would be pretty on a wall.
  3. The Confessions Game – this would be useful (and fun!) for gatherings.
  4. A conical hair wand – maybe this could boost my hair game.
  5. A pretty dress, like this one – always.
  6. My new nightie – isn’t it perfect?

What do you think? I always have very necessary gift ideas for myself, don’t I?

Anyway, I just can’t wait to see my friends and family in a few weeks for Christmastime, which is the best time. Have an excellent Christmas/holiday-time.

Things I Love Thursday


  • Surviving an EPSO Assessment Centre
  • Facebook Messenger filters (during video conversations with my parents)
  • The phonetic alphabet
  • Deliveroo
  • Dumplings
  • Benefit They’re Real mascara
  • Getting Hamilton tickets!
  • A weird book (in English, that has nothing to do with EU law or competencies)
  • Pleasant people
  • Hugs
  • Much-needed red wine

Things I Love Thursday

Peeking out at the top of the Dom in Utrecht

  • Utrecht! What a lovely city – very Dutch and effortlessly hip and beautiful.
  • Our hosts at Utrecht – including piles of Nutella for breakfast
  • Dutch pancakes
  • St Vincent
  • Cats
  • Waffles and chicken and maple syrup
  • Illustrations of a pigeon in Giant Days Vol. 3
  • Books
  • Functioning printers
  • Sweet (unlimited) ribs
  • Red wine
  • It’s a Present (my new favourite shop)
  • Alpacas
  • Meeting an old friend for cake and hot chocolate (and doggie cuddles)
  • Watching The Nightmare Before Christmas with my bestie on
  • A bread-and-cheese evening with my boyfriend
  • Getting things done

Things I Love Thursday

Horgshlidarlaug in the Westfjords, Iceland

  • Thinking about the peace and quiet in certain parts of Iceland
  • Sharing stories about Iceland
  • Booking yet another trip back down to Malta for November, because how can I live without Malta till Christmas?
  • Staying with a dear friend in Brussels (she treated me so well)
  • Aforementioned friend in Brussels making me delicious artichoke-olive-aubergine pasta
  • Getting a lift to and from Brussels from another lovely friend
  • A delightful cocktail evening party
  • Starting my book club’s next pick
  • A film night
  • “How allergic are you?”

Things I Love Thursday

Meeting a lovely Icelandic horse in the north of Iceland

  • Meeting my dear friend Tiara (and her mum) in Birmingham in between flights to Iceland
  • Having such a good holiday with my parents and my boyfriend
  • Amazing books: another volume of Saga, the new John Green (best), and the perfect travel book to read while travelling around Iceland
  • Hot pots
  • Kleinur (Icelandic pastries)
  • Fresh fish
  • Icelandic horses
  • Geese
  • Sheep
  • Icelandic gin
  • Icelandic rhubarb liqueur
  • All the nature, mountains, fjords, and silence of Iceland
  • Driving around Iceland going well
  • Amazing weather
  • Lamb
  • Strokkur
  • Waterfalls
  • Cabins
  • Arctic foxes
  • Little airports
  • Black beaches
  • A 2-million-year-old river canyon
  • Icelandic bread and butter
  • Having dinner with an old Icelandic friend and his girlfriend
  • Rainbows
  • Nora, the cat
  • Good London restaurants (Nopi! St John!)
  • Friday night London escapades with absolutely hilarious and lovely people
  • Comic book stores
  • Flight school <3

Things I Love Thursday

A little plane and a beautiful sunset at flight school.

  • Finding time (and head space) to relax after a busy week
  • Feeling super excited for Iceland (THIS WEEKEND)
  • The Nuit des Lampions in Wiltz
  • Aeroplane Performance
  • Competent colleagues
  • Those Friday morning coffee dates/pep talks! <3
  • Work work work
  • Not losing my cool
  • A lovely lunch with lovely friends
  • Getting things done (not completely painlessly, but I’ll get there!)
  • Being able to have a drink outside on a terrace in Luxembourg on a Sunday evening (I had given up on that possibility for the rest of the year!)
  • Reading the third volume of Saga – I’m all in now.
  • Indian food
  • Maltese food
  • Genuine help
  • Having a car

Things I Love Thursday

A much-awaited book has arrived, and it’s gorgeous.

  • So many things I’m loving this week – I can barely decide what to put down first!
  • One of the potentially biggest things in my life: I started classes to get my private pilot licence this week. Waaaaah!!
  • Ginger
  • A colleague’s farewell party
  • Dancing with a one-year-old
  • Reading The Midwich Cuckoos – a weird story which I’d recommend
  • Another book club meeting – I love them
  • That Friday morning coffee date
  • Wonderful friends
  • Delicious sushi (probably the first time in my life I’ve had “proper” sushi…)
  • Seeing an orange(!) slug for the first time
  • Getting books in the mail
  • Going for a run (not the actual run… I ran for a total of 3 minutes and then got caught in a massive rainstorm… but I love the fact that I WENT OUT FOR A RUN)
  • A lunch out with colleagues who I rarely ever see
  • Wasabi peanuts
  • Planning for the distant future with my besties
  • Discussing RuPaul’s Drag Race with a colleague. At length.
  • Do you feel it, Julian? I feel it.
  • Passing a really important test


Ginger syrup: the perfect accompaniment to pancakes.

Who loves ginger? It’s one of those almost “magical” ingredients that promises to cure upset stomachs and sore throats, while also accompanying meals from sushi to desserts. I was contacted by a company called The Ginger People (excellent name) and they offered to send me a selection of their products. They kindly sent a giant box full of ginger goodies – and I was seriously impressed. My fear was that things would either be too strong or else taste bland and artificial, but these people really do know how to do ginger right. It’s all fantastic – I started by chilling and sipping on the truly soothing Ginger Soother drink, and I packed a couple of the Arjuna Ginger bars in my bag (these were just the right amount of strong – they pack a punch but won’t make your eyes water). They also sent super high-quality minced ginger and pickled sushi ginger (none of that super-processed pink stuff).

And then we get to my two ultimate favourite products (even though the ginger bars and the ginger soother were close contenders). First of all, I had placed the crystallised ginger box at the back of my cupboard – not thinking I would really ever use it. HOWEVER – I recently read the back of the box and it suggested that the crystallised ginger can be enjoyed as a post-meal nibble, and it’s totally settled my stomach after heavy meals (and it’s the perfect sweet treat). Then, the real star (in my humble opinion) of this product range is that ginger syrup. Just pour it on top of fresh pancakes and transport yourself straight to heaven. Just the right balance of ginger and sweetness – beautiful. Very highly recommended.

Most of their products are also gluten free, which is handy for a bunch of people I know, as well as vegan. In Belgium, they are also stocked at several health-food shops (check out Thankfully, their products are also available on Amazon. Please let me know if you manage to try them out – especially when it comes to that heavenly ginger syrup.

Things I Love Thursday

Delicious coffee, baklava, and wayside-chapel hunting.

  • Malta (this is getting old…)
  • Finally finishing this beast
  • Flying an actual little plane and SOARING
  • Seeing both of my best friends while in Malta
  • Gozo! Ftajjar! The sea!
  • Filfla.
  • Going for a morning swim with my Mum
  • Bad movies
  • A wonderful, wonderful wedding
  • Joanie Clothing
  • Strong Aperol Spritzes
  • Octopus pasta and white wine – always
  • The beautiful nephew <3
  • Just hearing that my cousins had another new baby girl <3
  • BoJack Horseman
  • Greeting our friend at the airport after coming back early from Cuba
  • Our colleague having her baby
  • A beautiful book gift from a super dear friend
  • Patient friends
  • Netflix
  • Final preparations for our Iceland trip
  • Work friends who make life in Luxembourg bearable