Who am I? (Without wanting to sound too existential) Part 2.

This is my 50th blog post! I am super proud that I have stuck with the regular posts and that people are reading them. I thought for my 50th blog post I would write a little more about me and who I am so you can all get to know me more. So, here are 50 things about me, starting with….

Five places on my wanderlust list:

  • Stockholm – Ben (my partner) and I were meant to go back in 2020 but obviously couldn’t. So, we are booked on flights next year! If anyone has any recommendations of what to do in Stockholm in February, please do let me know!
  • Bilbao – again another 2020 trip that was cancelled. Mainly to get a picture with the giant spider outside of the Guggenheim but also to try some of the world-famous food
  • Kenya and Uganda – to go and see a completely different part of the world and to see the gorillas
  • Tasmania – I have family here who I’ve not had the chance to meet so I would love to go and see them. Also, Tasmania looks crazy scenic so I wouldn’t mind going on a few hikes while I was there…
  • The Pacific North-West – Portland and Seattle, baby!
Ben and I on a previous trip to Iceland

Five books on my bedside table:

  • The Mercies, by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Bought partly because of it’s gorgeous edges, this novel sounds completely different to what I have been reading: it’s set in 1617 on a remote Norwegian island inhabited by women, when a man is sent to “bring the women of the island to heel.” Tell me you are not intrigued?
The Mercies
  • The Wolf Den, by Elodie Harper. Amara is a slave in a brothel in Pompei in AD74 (I’m hooked already), she is trying to fight for her freedom, but at what cost? Love the sound of this book! Also, it says it is perfect for fans of Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls and Madeline Miller’s Circe, which I most certainly am.
  • Olive, by Emma Gannon. This book follows Olive as she reaches the point in her life where her friends start to get married and start their own families, and she is questioning her own choices. I love books like this that explore a life for women other than the marriage and babies path.
  • Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner. I was listening to my favourite podcast Women Who Travel, and they interviewed Michelle about her upcoming book. The more I listened, the more I wanted to read it! It sounds like it will encompass two of my favourite things, food and travel, as Michelle explores her Korean heritage.
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I loved, loved, loved Daisy Jones and the Six and Malibu Rising so I can’t wait to see what is in store for me with this novel.

I have lots of other books on my TBR pile and I cannot promise that these will be the next five I read as I have tendency to be distracted and pick my next read based on my mood. Also, Lauren Groff’s new book Matrix has just landed through my letterbox and I may not be able to wait to start reading that…

Five things I’ve learnt about blogging:

  • If you feel stuck for ideas, start typing about anything and inspiration will usually come
  • Try and stick to a schedule – it does help you keep focussed and writing
  • Don’t obsess over the statistics! Do it for you!
  • Someone commenting that they like your post is a truly lovely feeling
  • Be brave and say hi to people and tell them you like their blog – be social and read around.

Five of my favourite places in Yorkshire:

Yorkshire is, obviously, the most beautiful place in the world as well as being my home county. It’s got gorgeous views, great food and wonderful people. It was hard to narrow it down to five things but here goes:

Bolton Abbey

Malham – incredible views of Yorkshire countryside from the limestone pavement

Bettys Tearoom (in York or Harrogate, in particular)

Leeds! There are so many good restaurants in Leeds (Thai Aroy Dee is my favourite), go eat and then go for a wander by the canal.

The Waterstones in Bradford – oh so beautiful!

Five things I want to achieve by the end of the year:

  • Attend all of my Yoga Teacher Training sessions and have fun learning about yoga, anatomy and how to be a good teacher
  • Finally get up into a headstand pose
  • Keep up my regular blog posts
  • Get up to 100 followers on my blog!
  • Get on a plane and go abroad for the first time in two years

Five TV shows I’m loving right now:

  • Ted Lasso – Jason Sudeikis plays an American football coach who comes to Richmond FC and it is just pure feel-good tv. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, it’ll make you laugh again.
  • Parts Unknown – I am still very slowly making my way through all the episodes on Netflix and I am thoroughly enjoying Anthony Bourdain’s commentary on all the different parts of the world he visits.
  • The Great British Bake Off – new series! Anyone else think Noel, Matt, Paul and Prue should start a country band immediately after the opening of the first episode?!
  • Vigil – anything with Suranne Jones in is always good but this one is a drama on a submarine which makes it even better.
  • Wanda Vision – I have no idea what is going on, but I love it.

Five books I love and would recommend to everyone:

  • The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton. I fell in love with this book from the first page and have loved Jessie Burton’s writing ever since.

The funeral is supposed to be a quiet affair, for the deceased had no friends. but words are water in Amsterdam, they flood your ears and set the rot, and the church’s east corner is crowded.

The Miniaturist
  • Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi. This book starts with two sisters: one is sold into slavery, and the other becomes a slave trader’s wife. We follow them and their families down through the generations in Africa and America, each chapter a new character and time period. I loved this book for the history as well as some unforgettable voices.
  • The Stranding, by Kate Sawyer. What happens when you survive the end of the world by hiding a whale’s mouth? I found this book so moving and tender, I really wasn’t ready to stop reading about Ruth when it ended.
  • Miss Benson’s Beetle, by Rachel Joyce. This book is pure joy from start to finish and will take you on an adventure to New Caledonia in the 1950s to search for an undiscovered beetle.
  • Last One at the Party, by Bethany Clift. Another end of the world novel, this one is very funny and, to be honest, is now my manual for what I will do if and when a global disease wipes out the rest of humanity…

If I could invite anyone (dead or alive) to a dinner party, this would be my five-person guest list:

  • Anthony Bourdain
  • Graham Norton
  • Jessie Burton
  • My friend Isobel, who I haven’t seen since before March 2020
  • Yogi Bryan (check out his insta for all yoga related laughs)

Five podcasts I love:

  • Women Who Travel – amazing hosts and guests, this does what it says on the tin and discusses women who travel!
  • Happy Place with Fearne Cotton – this podcast will lift your mood. Fearne has loads of great guests on discussing mental health and things they do to promote it and find happiness.
  • Write Off with Francesca Steele – good for anybody who likes books or writing, Francesca interviews authors such as Meg Mason and Katherine Heiny about rejection in writing, determination to continue, and finding inspiration
  • Why Won’t You Date Me? With Nicole Byer – this podcast is hilarious and not at all safe for work.
  • Power Hour with Adrienne Herbert – I credit this podcast with giving me the boost to get on and start a blog instead of procrastinating about it forever

Five non-fiction books I love:

  • Tiny Moons: A Year of Eating in Shanghai, by Nina Mingya Powles. A beautifully written collection of essays about belonging and discovering yourself. Also contains some glorious descriptions of food, do not read on an empty stomach.
  • A Half-Baked Idea, by Olivia Potts. About turning grief into hope: when her mother suddenly dies, Olivia quits her job as a lawyer to re-train at Le Cordon Bleu. Also contains some glorious descriptions of food, do not read on an empty stomach.
  • Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert. I found this exploration of creativity and inspiration so, well, inspiring. I love Elizabeth’s writing and reading about her process of writing is just as interesting.
  • An A-Z of Pasta: Stories, Shapes, Sauces, Recipes, by Rachel Roddy. I love dipping in and out of this book to learn more about different pasta shapes – where they originated from, what goes best with them. It’s just like a big bowl of pasta: delicious, comforting and soul-enriching.

For Italians, pasta is more than just a food, it is a symbol, a flag, a way of life and culture. It is a universe with many galaxies, the gravitational pull of passion and opinion, the occasional black hole, and a constellation of stars (recipes).

An A-Z of Pasta
  • World Travel, by Anthony Bourdain with Laurie Woolever. From Argentina to Vietnam, this book covers Bourdain’s reflections on each country, what to expect, what to do and, of course, what to eat. It’s a practical guide with his signature curiosity and humour. Written after his death, Laurie Woolever pulls together Bourdain’s quotes about each place and from people who knew him best.

Hopefully you know me a little better now! I would love to know more about you so please do say hi in the comments below! If you want to read some more, I have put links below to some of the books or places mentioned in this post for you to read on:

Book reviews:

Miss Benson’s Beetle, by Rachel Joyce: https://luggageandscribble.travel.blog/2021/06/18/book-review-miss-bensons-beetle-by-rachel-joyce/

The Stranding, by Kate Sawyer: https://luggageandscribble.travel.blog/2021/08/24/book-review-the-stranding-by-kate-sawyer/

Last One at the Party, by Bethany Clift: https://luggageandscribble.travel.blog/2021/05/01/book-review-last-one-at-the-party-by-bethany-clift/

A Half-Baked Idea, by Olivia Potts: https://luggageandscribble.travel.blog/2021/05/18/book-review-a-half-baked-idea-by-olivia-potts/


Women Who Travel and Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert: https://luggageandscribble.travel.blog/2021/06/16/two-month-review-women-who-travel/

York: https://luggageandscribble.travel.blog/2021/07/06/york-part-1/

Laos and Parts Unknown: https://luggageandscribble.travel.blog/2021/05/25/laos-and-parts-unknown/

Published by luggageandscribble

Oh hey, just a girl who loves reading.

7 thoughts on “Who am I? (Without wanting to sound too existential) Part 2.

  1. Hey well done on #50! When you make it to Stockholm, try a legendary little cafe / restaurant called Hermans (on Fjallgatan, a bit off the beaten track, but overlooking the harbour). Amazing vegan buffet! (And I’m not vegan)… and lastly Miss Bensons Beetle sounds like it worth a spin :)….


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