May Afternoon Tea with SJ

Good Afternoon, and welcome to Afternoon Tea with SJ!

Today is uncharacteristically sunny and I just love typing at my desk with the sun on my hands. I had an amazing month and I can’t wait to share it with you…

-May ‘21 Afternoon Tea Setting-

Location: Cottage in a forest

Tea: Lavender, Editor’s Blend, Strawberry Vanilla

Offered with: Lemon cheese cake, Chocolate banana chiffon cake, Matcha tiramisu

So, without further ado, let the party commence!


I suffered from a reading block towards the end of April to mid May, so I read significantly less books than the previous months. I also took up books outside the Omnibus syllabus and read more nonfiction than usual. 

May Reads 

  1. Story Genius -Lisa Cron (Nfic)
  2. The Book of Hygge -Louisa Thomsen Brits (Nfic)
  3. Want -Cindy Pon (YA sci-fi)
  4. Ignite -Jenna Terese (ARC, YA sci-fi)
  5. Wildwood -Colin Meloy (Jfic/MG)
  6. Holy Sexulaity and the Gospel -Christopher Yuan (Nfic)
  7. The Iliad -Homer (O4)
  8. Blessed Monsters -Emily A. Duncan (YA fantasy)

Currently Reading: Capsule, The House of Government, Catch-22

Overall, it’s been a slow reading month, but I finally conquered the Iliad and that to me has been a greater win. 🙂 

More tea or cake, anyone? I really adore the lemon cheese cake, do try it out!

Anyhow…this month has been saturated with various media that I re-discovered and discovered, so let’s take a look at some of them. 

Music 

I finally figured out Spotify and *blushes* have been spending way too much time there while I was working. Well, that’s what it’s there for, right??

Practising: Mozart’s Rondo in D-dur K485, Brahms Viola Sonata Op. 120 No.2 first movement, Mozart’s Requiem–Lacrimosa by Thalberg, AoT Ops. 1-5

Listening to: AoT lo-fi, TG lo-fi, Kuhlau Piano Sonatinas Op. 20 & 55, Tchaikovsky Souvenir de Florence

Movie 

We only watched one movie this month, and *drumrolls*….it’s 1917!!

If you’ve been on SJ Barnard for a while, you might already know, but I’m obsessed with history, especially of the early 20th century. I loved this movie (as I should) and want to watch it again. 

Manga/Anime

This section should probably get a bigger highlight. I finished AoT vol 32 and am officially obsessed with it. (Isayama-sensei is dementedly genius.) Also, I’ve begun to dip my toes in the My Hero Academia fandom (hullo, Deku!) and love that, too. I’m still waiting to read the rest of TPN manga–it’s on order at my library–so just wait a few more weeks until I restart screaming about it. I really want to get into Jujutsu Kaisen…any fans out there? 

Okay. Writing Life…

Um, maybe before that, do you want to try the lavender tea? It’s absolutely celestial, I promise. Or the Strawberry Vanilla tea? That one’s a template for cottage core. 😉

So. WIPs. 

Initially I was planning to edit Juliet. Because, that’s like my headstone project I’ve been working on for the past four or five years. I re-read part 1, I made notes, outlines, began re-writing and yadda yadda yadda, when I had to stop.

It wasn’t working. 

I had all these cool ideas and an actually coherent plot, tons of character analysis and everything, when the floor fell out from underneath me. I had no idea why I was writing this story. Like, for real. 

  1. Goes into existential crisis
  2. Denial
  3. Realisation something is definitely wrong with it
  4. Hides
  5. Cries oceans
  6. Sleeps

Anyhow. So now it’s permanently on hold where it might RIP or might be brought back from the dead once I hide from it long enough. *Sighs*

But there’s good news! In the meantime, I’ve been working on Osthauptstadt, the second-newest WIP on my shelf. I’m almost at the 40K mark, so I wrote around 25K! I don’t know how long it’s going to be, but I’m hoping to write at least 50K in this WIP. 

I’m really excited for university to start! I got accepted into another one with scholarships, this one the number one ranking in Canada, and I’m utterly blown. Because it’s too far for me to attend, I won’t be going there (and I decided on the other one already), but this means a lot to me. I’ve begun creating a timeline and to-do lists to get ready. But yes, college…*grins*

How about another slice of matcha tiramisu? I just love tiramisu! 

I feel like I’ve talked about most of the things that happened this May–wait, I didn’t talk about how I started running!

Prepare for astonishment: I began running tracks in the mornings!

.

.

.

I know, you’re probably confused. Like, people run all the time. Except, I really hate running. I used to run when I was in elementary, but then my asthma got worse, so I swam more instead. Then COVID happened and all the swimming pools shut down. I had lots of nervous breakdowns, walked a lot, but wasn’t getting enough exercise in. 

Insert brilliant idea no. 109: Running!

About a month ago, I stumbled upon Mel Torrefranca’s video, I followed Haruki Murakami’s strict schedule for a week. And it got me thinking about my health. As I prepare for a new chapter of my life, I definitely didn’t want to repeat my disastrous high school years where I was literally sick every single month. Hence, running. 

I began with 2km, which felt okay, so I slowly worked my way up to 4km. I ran 6km a few days ago, and hope to get to 10km by the end of this challenge. My focus in running is more on breathing technique–I’m using the one I learnt at karate–and so far it’s been working out! Once I got over my paralyzing fear of running, I’m finding out I actually enjoy it! (I know, marvels of marvels.) 

I also wake up consistently around a little before 5 am-6 am routine. We’re also hiking every week as a family which is super fun because we’re literally surrounded by mountains, rivers, oceans, and islands. Summer in BC is breathtaking. 

So, that’s about it! 

Thank you for reading today’s post! What are some things you did this May? Did you meet any great books? (Or join new fandoms?) How was your writing this month? Do tell me all about it; I’d love to chat with you!

11 thoughts on “May Afternoon Tea with SJ

  1. Okay, I started watching Jujutsu Kaisen last week, and I LOVE IT SO MUCH ALREADY. I don’t know how closely the anime follows the manga, but if they’re close, then the manga has a fantastic, strong start. 😀

    (bwahaha, and welcome to Spotify XD it’s such a nice app to use in the background!)

    I hope you have a fantastic June, SJ! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Now I really have to add Jujutsu Kaisen to my summer list!! Plus, I love Eve and the opening sounds epic 😉

      (I’m enjoying Spotify so far! I still use YouTube and iTunes as well, but I like the app interface.)

      I hope you have an awesome June as well!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. oooh congrats on the college!!!! i run too, around 5km or so but i stopped running for a while and now i’m kinda back on track again~ ahh the WIP thing was so relatable😩😩 i’ve done that wayyy too many times. also omg i want to read aot too, i’m super hyped up for it, i hope it doesn’t disappoint 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! Running has been a new avenue for me, but I like it a lot now. (And yes, that problem with all WIPs…I hope yours works out!)

      And AoT does not disappoint if you’re into dark battle fantasy with depth and solid characters. Also, if you like history and mythology, it will be exactly the thing! I’ve managed to wrangle my siblings and my mum into the fandom 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • YES, I love how I finally got them into it! My mum used to be super anti-manga/anime, but then the Kimetsu fever roared through Japan and she was like, “Let’s watch Demon Slayer together!” So now I’ve managed to drag them into various fandoms like that. 😉 Hope it works out for you, too!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ugh, I hate reading blocks! I hope you’ve recovered/will recover soon. 🙂 But the Iliad! I LOVE the Iliad, and really enjoyed reading it, which surprised me quite a bit.

    I’m getting reading for university, too! It’s…kind of overwhelming, honestly. (Especially since I chose one that is 2000 miles from home. XD)

    Running every morning sounds like fun! I wish I could do that…but right now, my stamina is really low for things like that, and it’s hard to motivate myself to exercise without cause. (I.e. I’ll walk ten miles if it’s with a friend to get to a book store (true story), but if I’m walking by myself, I’ll abandon ship five blocks in. XD)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I’m recovered now! Thank you for your concern 🙂
      And yes, I did enjoy the Iliad once I finally got through it. I love the feel of the entire story, although the ending was unexpected. (I kept thinking about the Trojan horse.)

      Wow, that’s a long journey from home! I’m sure it’s going to be nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time.

      I do that too…you know, the thing where you set out on an insane walk to a bookstore kilometres away. I think having a running partner helps. My mum runs with me and that’s been fun!

      Like

  4. I discovered the world of Mamma Mia this month and although it is an absolute guilty pleasure type of fandom, I have no regrets. 🙂

    No university for me yet, but I did finish my school year and having some more time has been lovely!

    As always, I loved reading this post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, Mamma Mia! I’ve heard of it but haven’t really looked into it much.

      Finishing a school year is always relieving. I hope you have a great summer break!

      Thank you for reading this post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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