I’m back in the UK. For good. Yes, my year abroad in Madrid is over and now only one year remains of my degree. It’s always frightening to think about how quickly time passes by. I still feel as if I should be waking up early for work and that I have lesson plans to be creating. But no, I’m home, and oh it feels good. Moving away truly does make you appreciate all your home comforts 10x more. That being said, there will undoubtedly be aspects of Madrid life that I’ll miss.
This week has been a whirlwind, and what better way to wrap it all up than with a good old chatty Little Things post? So, while I type away with my avocado mug steaming with green tea, here are a few highlights from the past week.
Goodbye Madrid, Hello Liverpool.
With my suitcases full to the brim and my room swept clean, on 12th June I closed the door of my 16-person apartment one last time and flew back to Liverpool.
I won’t lie, towards the end, I was counting down the days until I could reclaim my sofa space back home and relish the three months of freedom. Homesickness aside, I was running on mere hours sleep, the flat was filthy and the job was tiresome. Of course, I’ll miss the blue skies and not having to wear my dressing gown 24/7 to shield myself from the perpetual cold. Also, their food scene is on another level. But honestly, I’m glad to be back. Although it wasn’t everything I anticipated it to be, it was a rewarding experience which I won’t be forgetting any time soon.
My Dad arrived in Madrid on Monday to give me a hand lugging the two 20kg suitcases to the airport. We spent my last days strolling around the city and, what better way to end my year abroad than with some good food? On Monday, I signed off my final day of teaching with a huge truffle pizza at an Italian restaurant called Bresca which was delicious. The following morning, we went to Zenith Brunch bar after drooling over their Instagram posts. With Oreo ice cream pancakes and peanut butter, banana French toast on offer, my sweet tooth was in heaven. But, the family beside us were all tucking into the egg and toast options and it looked too good not to try. If anything could convert me to the savoury side, it would be the Shakshuka I ordered. A-ma-zing.
Upon flying into Liverpool, I was greeted by grey clouds and a British rain shower and I wouldn’t have expected anything less.
I arrived home at midday, and as soon as I stepped through the front door I received quite the welcome. I was licked, sniffed, the lot by Bella, our family’s new puppy! She is adorable, I just think it’s going to take me a while to get used to just how lively she is. It was a madhouse already with six of us. Now with the addition of the dog, that all comparably seems like a peaceful paradise.
Puppy aside, after craving home-cooked food for weeks, my mum dished out a roast dinner for my first evening back home and spaghetti bolognese the next. I love cooking, but nothing beats someone else rustling up your favourite meals.
Books, Books, Books
I’m finally reunited with physical books! I returned home to a spot of book mail: a couple of advanced copies and a two books which have been on my TBR list for a while now; Matt Haig’s ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ and, after falling in love with ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ last summer, Celeste Ng’s ‘Everything I Never Told You’.
Despite my futile efforts to resist picking up more books, on Friday I took a trip into town and popped into the library. Of course, I walked out with two books I had no intention of reading this summer; Ali Smith’s ‘Autumn’ and Sarah Moss’ ‘Bodies of Light’. I also couldn’t help but purchase ‘A Ladder To The Sky’ by John Boyne. I have a problem.
In terms of reading, I recently discovered a new all-time favourite. After a year of relentless hype, I finally picked up ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid and it blew me away.
Finally, I’m in the process of curating my Summer Reading List for a blog post which fingers crossed I’ll stick to. Given my library incident, however, no doubt new releases and pretty covers will lure me in and I’ll fall off track. How do you decide on what book to read next?
As well as Father’s Day, this weekend it was my Grandad’s and sister’s birthdays meaning birthday cake, good food and lots of laughs. How my sister is now 17 I don’t know. Although, to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if people thought she was the older one. She’s already out and about more than I was at her age. Not only that, but she somehow managed to skip the ugly, awkward stage. You know, the early teenage years with the neon pink jeans and questionable makeup choices. I still look back on pictures of myself from 5 years ago and I’m baffled as to what was going through my mind.
A weekend of chocolate cake, countless snacks and cracking up watching the second Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler movie collab in Netflix’s ‘Murder Mystery’. I wonder whose birthday is up next?
- I received an invite to my first blogging event in Liverpool and brunch is involved, does it get any better than that?
- Bastille have finally released their third album, ‘Doom Days’ and I’m loving it.
- Big Little Lies, Killing Eve and The Handmaid’s Tale are all back on our screens meaning I’m back to screaming like a lunatic at my TV. I’m also itching to watch Chernobyl and When They See Us. My summer plans are looking wild.
- Cherry Bakewell and Chocolate Orange almond butter – Pip & Nut have only gone and made my two favourite flavours into nut butter spreads. Porridge game instantly revamped.
- After a couple of months of not being able to use my earphones, my phone was finally repaired (and unfortunately, I lost all my pictures in the process). I can’t wait to get back to my daily walks while listening to a good podcast. How I coped I couldn’t tell you.
As always, be sure to let me know what little things you’ve been loving!
What have been the highlights of your week? Do you have any new TV recommendations, foodie finds, things you’re looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!