February ‘22 Afternoon Tea with SJ

Good Afternoon to you!

I can hardly believe that my reading break is over, let alone February is over. This month felt really short compared to January (which is partly because it actually is) since my uni went back to being in-person which was kind of…well, kind of a whirlwind. ( ´•௰•`)

But overall, I am super excited to be here to sit down with a cup of tea, some Japanese sweets, and talk with you. ꒰◍ᐡᐤᐡ◍꒱

-February Afternoon Tea ‘22 Setting-

Location: Cozy home library

Tea: Hong Kong-style milk tea, Paris Afternoon green tea, Camomile tea 

Offered with: Dorayaki, Anmitsu (Japanese parfait)

This month, I fell into a reading slump. *gasps* Compared to last month, where I was sort of on fire to read as many books as possible, this month saw me picking up a book and not finishing it, then picking up another book and ad infinitum. 

Which is simply terrible.

But, to be fair, a lot of things were going on this month. Here are the books I did manage to finish:

  1. Vita Nostra
  2. The Journey of the Iwanami Children’s Classics
  3. Typee
  4. The Communist Manifesto (Broadview)
  5. Hear the Wind Sing/Pinball, 1973
  6. Mere Christianity

Looking back, although I DNFed and didn’t focus on my reading as much as I would have liked, but I can say I thoroughly enjoyed the books I did read (well, except Typee) so I guess that’s what counts!

Also, my siblings and I got a chance to visit an old used-book store in downtown that we’ve always wanted to go to. It was much bigger on the inside than we thought, and we unabashedly spent over a hundred dollars on C. S. Lewis books. (Now we have two copies of Mere Christianity, most of his major works, and a C. S. Lewis encyclopedia.) Really, I was not expecting them to have many Lewis books. Our favourite find was the Compact Oxford Dictionary the size of our Mac desktop (times two) complete with a huge magnifying glass to read the dot-esque letterings. Sadly, it was around another hundred dollars and mum told us there was no room for it. (After all, one shelf of our bookshelf is dedicated to our various dictionaries.) The bookstore itself didn’t have enough space for all the books, so some of the books were piled on the ground, on the tables, on top of the already towering bookshelves, etc. 

I am definitely going back there again. (   ¯꒳¯ )b✧

Currently reading: On the Genealogy of Morality, (still re-reading) Crime and Punishment, Wind-up Bird Chronicle vol.2

Would you like more Hong-Kong tea? My friend makes the most delicious Hong Kong tea and suffice it to say I am now a fan. 

Music 

This month, I listened to a lot of Studio Ghibli soundtracks. Some of my favourites were:

Practising: The Breakfast Song, Subarashi Hibi (Amazing Days)

Listening to: more Studio Ghibli soundtracks, Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, anime & classical music lofi

Movie/TV Shows 

Since I was really busy this month, we didn’t get to watch a lot of new movies or TV shows. But I did continue watching some of the ones that started this January, so that was good. 

Current favourites:

  • DCU–Deep Crime Unit…the name is pretty self-explanatory and if you know anything about the Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe, you get the idea
  • Mystery to iu nakare–Do not say it is a mystery…this one is actually a dramatisation of the manga with the same title. I thought it was kind of wacky to start with, but now love the psychological elements of it!!
  • And various others…now that I think about it, I think we watch too many Japanese dramas (ˉ ˘ ˉ; )

Manga/Anime

I didn’t start new manga or anime either this month. 

However. 

I am very much looking forward to Spy Family starting in April with WIT studio!! *goes to convince mum it’s a good idea to start yet another anime*

Also, I got a Jujutsu-Kaisen T-shirt from Uniqlo which I’m hyped about. ୧꒰*´꒳`*꒱૭✧

More tea or sweets, anyone? The dorayaki is back on the menu again partly because I had some yesterday and was reminded how good they are and partly because it’s the taste of nostalgia!

I talked a lot this month about slow writing (again) and keeping a writing journal. Initially, I was planning to work on a shorter WIP after Osthauptstadt. And in the first week of starting it, I decided to switch gears to re-work Juliet. This has been one of my oldest works that I can actually call a novel and while I got to the climax of book 3, has been on hold for the longest time because of various structural issues. 

Notice I didn’t say rewrite. It’s rework. 

Reworking a novel I’ve been writing for the past seven years or more is painful. It’s fun; at the same time, I have to face the many incongruities and discrepancies in my characters and plots that I’ve so far taken for granted. It’s like taking apart a music box that’s stuttering when you only have the basic idea of its workings. Every day for the past few weeks, I had to face my fears that I don’t have enough to bring my WIP into working conditions. Some days went better, other days not so much. 

And at the end of this month, I think I’ve done the best I can for now. I still have ways to go until I can actually begin my rewriting for the umpteenth time, but I guess a little patience goes a long way. 

Have you tried the Anmitsu? It’s a kind of Japanese parfait with matcha and clear jello, tofu mochi, fruits, red bean paste, matcha ice cream &c. I tried making it for the first time this week and loved it, so I thought I’d share it with you here. (୨୧ ❛ᴗ❛)✧

Back to uni. 

I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy being back in a classroom and I’m still not sure. Of course, it’s nice to be able to see my friends, classmates, and professors since you actually get to talk to people versus being online, on Zoom where it feels…awkward? And at the same time, it’s a bit exhausting for an extreme introvert like me. Hopefully, I’ll get fully back into the swing before my midterms and finals!!

Other than being head-flying-ly busy (imagine the current AoT season, if you get what I mean), I got more chance to spend time with my family which was great! We went shopping, went on a driving trip (for cheaper gas than in the city, lol), attended a secret meeting no one should know about, &c. (If anyone is familiar with the current Canadian politics, just pray for us. Canadian democracy has gone to the grave.)

And while too many things happened that I can’t tell everything in a single post, I want to leave you with some verses that I found encouragement in recently.

17The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

18 For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

19 Arise, O Lord; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.

20 Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

(Psalm 9:17-20, KJV)

Thank you for reading! How was your February? What are some things you did this month that was exciting? Did you find that February passed away in a breath? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!

2 thoughts on “February ‘22 Afternoon Tea with SJ

  1. I also hope to have another trip to a certain used bookstore (I have the feeling it is the same one). I remember the beautiful set of Scottish history books… for a while it was ‘Scot vs Scot’, frugality vs my history… but in the end I decided I was already overbudget and left them behind. I regret that.

    I was just reading the 9th psalm this morning! Good to read it again, and be encouraged again.

    Liked by 1 person

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