Solid And Swell


There are times when it is prudent for one to make a marked effort to steer clear of the seven deadly sins. No one ever intended the month of December to be such a time. What sense would one make otherwise, of the fact that Christmas and New Year’s Eve—two of the most anticipated holidays of the year—are both in the same month?

Decadence has become quite a familiar friend this month. I‘ve seen my overindulgence cast a formidable overlay on everything I’ve done of late, from the restaurant tabs peppered with multiple glasses of Merlot and Moscato, to the unending packages of dresses and books that keep landing on my doorstep due to my being trigger happy on the likes of Book Depository, ASOS and The Reformation. The guilt of this debauchery is only alleviated slightly by my commitment to spending January 2016 atoning for the previous month’s excesses by enforcing frugality all around. In the spirit of festive merriment and taking the time to count our blessings, the two of us recently spent an afternoon watching Love Actually in the park whilst gorging ourselves with granola and Nutella-dipped strawberries, which, aside from being a great photo opp that gave rise to all the photos in this post, also fashioned a nice time to celebrate the incredible year we’ve had together.

Fortunately, in the month of December I’ve also been preoccupied with another endeavour that is decidedly less frivolous, and it involves nothing more than long periods of pre-meditated solitude and plush armchairs in which I let my subconscious be completely swept away by the pages of a novel. Reading isn’t at all an unfamiliar pastime for the likes of me. Even as a child my reputation for bulldozing my way through stacks of young adult fiction entered the room before I did. Admittedly my appetite for books slowed considerably over the years, but it swiftly picked up once again some time in the recent past.

Thanks to the latent mellow and carefree state that December has brought upon me, I’ve been perfectly content to spend days occupying myself with nothing more than a good book. I won’t shy from admitting that in the last few weeks I’ve spent my days off work holed up in various cafes, zipping myself up into a bubble of pre-meditated isolation with a novel and a tall jar of iced coffee—black, never with any sugar or milk, which as some may say is rather befitting of my New Yorker ambitions—reading the hours away. I’m sure there are volumes of literature on the correlation between life satisfaction and the capacity to appreciate the simple pleasures of reading far and wide, but for the purposes of this blog it suffices to say that reading imbues yours truly the sort of chaste gratification and unsullied enjoyment that is the direct antecedent of contentment and bliss. Of all the things I am grateful for this month, I am without doubt most thankful for all the unexpected pockets of spare time I’ve had to indulge my love for books.

I will very soon be missing December like the dear old acquaintance who visits much too rarely, but for what it’s worth I wouldn’t change anything about how I’ve rounded off my year - by rekindling my love for reading, by being in the company of my very best friends over one too many glasses of wine and carbs for days, and by taking the time to simply enjoy being around my lovely boyfriend. I‘m pretty sure I don’t even regret all the shopping I’ve done this month.

Rachel, out. See ya’ll on the other side.

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