This is my spoiler free review of This Woven Kingdom by Tahereh Mafi. ‘Alizeh stitched in the kitchen by the light of star and fire, sitting, as she often did, curled up inside the hearth.‘… More
Good morning, grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy The Sunday Subject. This week’s subject is The Notebook.
No, not the 2004 film starring Ryan Gosling. The notebook, every stationary lover’s obsession. I myself have many (many) notebooks scattered around my home, some beautiful, others practical, most totally empty because they’re just too nice to spoil with pencil or ink! Notebooks bring me a scene of productivity and organisation, two things I often find I lack.
From a cheap and cheerful ring bound pad from Wilko, to the sleek and stylish Moleskine. The uses of a notebook are innumerable. Whether you’re a writer, artist, parent, student or astronaut everyone has a use for a notebook.
Maybe you make your own. During the 17th and 18th century notebooks were made at home as and when they were needed by folding together pieces of paper. Children were taught how to make them in school because information management was so important. It wasn’t until around 1890 that notebooks started to be made and sold. Scraps of paper were stitched together to make a small pad. These quickly evolved into the ‘Legal Pad’ that we have today. As with all things the notebook developed over time and the production processes changed to include, glueing, covering, spiral binding, ring binding and of course in the 20th century we were introduced to the practical, if less pretty, electronic note taking world.
I have to say, that even with the benefits of digital note taking, I don’t think I’ll ever fully switch from paper and ink to pixel and key. Notebooks are a work of art, there’s so much character in a well used notebook, you just can’t beat it.
Or maybe you could just fold together a few sheets of paper…
Norwich is fantastic for food. I feel like there’s always somewhere new to try. I’ve tried to pick a few different kinda of eateries to put into my top 5. They are in no particular order.
Wild thyme – Nestled behind a row of shops with a cute courtyard outside. You enter up a set of stairs into a smallish room very simply styled. It’s a veggie/vegan restaurant with an extensive menu, from breakfasts to curries and something for all tastes. Although probably suited more for older guests as I don’t believe they have a children’s menu. Personally I consider Wild Thyme to be a planned meal out kind of place rather than a drop in for a bite to eat. It’s a little higher in price than the other places on my list but the food is well worth it. You can read about my brunch if you like! *Just to note, due to a fire in the shop below, Wild Thyme is currently closed. Keep an eye on their website for more details.
Moorish – You can find Moorish in one of Norwich’s busy lanes, Lower Goat Lane to be precise. If you go during lunch time hours then you might have to wait a while because this place is always busy. Moorish is a falafel bar with a focused menu – there’s 3 options – but when they do it this well, be glad you don’t have too much choice. You have the option to customise with added toppings and sauces, so you can make your wrap, pitta or salad just how you like it. Plus they do lemonade that’s to die for. And for an added bonus they are part of Norwich’s Last Straw Campaign and are selling reusable metal straws!
Pono – I visited Pono twice in two days, it’s bright, clean and simply beautiful inside. During these warmer days we’ve been having Pono’s menu is the perfect thing. Another place that’s picked a few meals to offer and is doing them well. Customise your own salad bowl, choose from three ‘Smoothie Bowls’, go for a classic ‘Smashed Avo on Toast’ or try a twist on a traditional ‘Poke Bowl’. The fresh smoothies are divine, I always go for the Berry Breeze. And to add to the summer vibes, they have just started doing iced coffee. Yes! I think they sum themselves up pretty well on their website ‘We are a superfood bar inspired by Hawaiian culture, selling healthy, nutritious food without feeling like you’re making sacrifices’.
Saporita – A favourite of mine and my dad’s. If we get a chance to meet for lunch in the city this is normally where we go. They have a wide selection of Italian street food including, focaccia, panini and pizza slices. Saporita is a family run business and is homely and friendly. I don’t know if the woman behind the counter actually recognises us when we go in, but we are greeted with a big smile and warm hellos that make us feel like we’re returning to a friend. There’s a lot to choose from and they offer a good selection of vegetarian and a vegan option. While scrolling through their menu I’ve noticed they offer a Tiramisu in the desserts section and I’ve fallen even more in love with this place. Anyone want to meet for lunch?
The Waffle House – If you haven’t been to The Waffle House, then have you really been to Norwich? This was one of the first places my dad took me just after he relocated here nearly 10 years ago. What can I say about The Waffle House that’s not already been said in it’s long (and interesting) history? They serve waffles, the best in Norwich. Ok I’ve not had many waffles in Norwich other than these, but why would I when there’s The Waffle House!? There is something for everyone, and they can offer options if you have dietary requirements. I’ve seen queues outside before it’s even opened and I’ve stood in that queue many times and I imagine I will stand it in many times more. “Waffle House?” is a question with only one answer. “Hell yes!”
Summer is a great time to get lots of reading done. Long nights, relaxing holidays by the pool with nothing to do but read and relax.
I’ve picked 5 books that I really want to read this summer. What are your summer reads this year?
Minimalism is a hot topic at the moment, people are looking to reduce stuff and increase enjoyment. It’s a fantastic idea and one that I’m adopting in my life for a number of reasons.
I’m going to be uploading a few videos and blog post about what I’ve been doing and hows its already started to make a difference to my life. I started with something easy, books.
You can see my video below about why I’m switching for paper books to kindle books.
Frequently I will write really great blog posts. Only, I don’t actually commit them to any kind of physical form. And so, as the day goes by, I forget what I had to say and the words are lost forever. Some days I write blog posts in a physical medium, they might not be as good as the ones I write in my head, but it’s better to write them down and post them, right?
In terms of connecting with people and sharing my stories with other like minded people, yes, it is better to physically write something for people to see, but sometimes is the act of private creation not more important?
In order for me to post something I have to be the first person to like it and, to be honest, generally I feel that I’m the only person who has to like it. I only ask my husband to read it to make sure it’s comprehensible (there is no hope of other people liking it if they can’t even understand it).
By “writing” blog posts that never get written I’m developing my style, my voice. And even though I’m hugely disappointed when I have the feeling that something great has been lost, it gives me confidence to sit down and write anyway and occasionally I’ll run to the computer fast enough to get the post down.
I carry a notebook with me, I’m trying to get better at making quick and detailed notes to look at later and sometimes ideas make it to the pages but I still find the posts I write in the shower or while I’m carrying shopping are much better than the ones I manage to get down on paper. By writing them down I cease to continue developing them in my head and when I come to write up the post the moment is gone.
So as I sit and write this, with wet hair that possibly still has some shampoo in it, I realise that maybe I don’t need to learn to write better notes: I need to learn to run faster.