Monthly Musings: April 2024

Monthly Musings: April 2024

Hi friends! Happy Saturday and happy April! How are you? Did you have a splendiferous Easter break filled with far too much chocolate? That’s my hope for you, and until I hear otherwise, I’m going to presume that’s the way it went down! Husband and I had a very low-key & quiet Easter break – our first as a married couple! – and it was exactly what we needed. I spent a large portion of the weekend holed up on the couch, napping & recovering from some bizarre ailment of sorts, but Husband took such good care of me that I never reached the ‘pity-party level’ of being unwell; so thank goodness for that! And obviously, there was – and still is! – chocolate aplenty, so things weren’t allll bad. Anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself – more on the above below. But first, welcome to our Monthly Musings: April 2024 post. I’m so glad you’re here. Shall we?

Our musings for the month ahead are below, littered with all the usual suspects – travel, books, movies, recipes – and some additional tidbits thrown in for extra flare. You read on ahead, I’ll be here, drinking my third cup of coffee and playing Connections. Side note: anyone else addicted to the NYT games? Connections is my fave, but I also love The Mini Crossword.

Sorry/not sorry for that brief diversion – let’s get to it!!

RE the aforementioned bizarre ailment: it was so crazy! Randomly, one day in work, I started having aches/pains in my elbows, wrists, and fingers. I remember it distinctly, because when are you ever aware of your elbows?! Slowly, over the next 3-days, it spread all over my body, but especially to my hips, shoulders, and knees. One panicked visit to the doctor and a prescription of rest & super strong anti-inflammatories later, it was decided I was reacting to some sort of virus. It literally came out of nowhere, and other than being unable to move pain-free, I had no other signs of illness. So weird and so terrifying. Thank you, Husband, for nursing me back to health and making sure I didn’t have to move a muscle during my recuperation time. I don’t know what I’d have done without you ❤️

As you know, I’ve been working away on my Japan guides, trying to get them ready to share here on the blog. Friends, there’s no way around it: there will be a lot of Japan content. When I sat down and started writing, there was just so much information flowing through my fingertips that I could barely stop. There’s almost too much to share! You’ll have to bear with me as I try and wrangle everything into some sort of coherent format. Currently, I’m thinking the easiest way to start will be to share a ‘Japan Travel Tips’ post, followed closely by an ‘Our Japan Itinerary’ guide… and then from there into individual city guides. Does that make sense? I’m itching to start sharing them asap rocky, so watch this space!

Our next trip abroad is in just over a month! Time to start booking some restaurants and investigating good cocktail bars, me thinks! I’ll reveal the location in next month’s post, but in the meantime, are you ready for another clue? WELL. ____ was home to one of the most famous expressionist painters of all time, who died in the city in 1944. Any thoughts? If you’ve cracked the code and are wondering whether or not we’ll be going to see that painting while there, the answer is an absolute resounding YES. I can barely wait! Eeep!

In case you missed it, my third & final mini-moon guide hit the blog last month: Two Days in Modena, Italy! Husband and I were very impressed with all of the foodie delights Modena had on offer – parmigiano reggiano! gnocco fritto! prosciutto! balsamic vinegar! – but also found it to just be a really nice chilled out city. Have you ever visited the foodie hotspot in Northern Italy? I know we’ll definitely be returning!

Over the course of the last month, I updated all 52 of my travel guides to make sure the recommendations are still relevant today. Sadly, 12 spots have been struck from the face of the earth: 1 apartment, 5 cafes, 4 restaurants, and 2 watering holes. For posterity, I’ve left them included in the travel guides, but have have put a line through them, like this, and also added a caveat at the end of the paragraph reading “*2024 UPDATE: sadly, now closed”. I try to keep the guides as up-to-date as possible, so hopefully this helps you with any future planning!

Did you watch anything good last month? We ticked off a couple from the Oscar nominee list – American Fiction & Anatomy of a Fall, both of which I thought were great! – and one Oscar snub, All of Us Strangers, which we thought was so so good. Enjoyable rewatches include: Julie & Julia, La La Land, Lady Bird, and Heat. I’m ashamed to admit that we also watched Irish Wish, which was so bad it was almost enjoyable?, and the new Road House, which is a disgrace to the movie-world. Namely because of a certain Irishman who absolutely does not deserve a mention here, but also because it was full of terrible CGI fight scenes. If you’re in any way tempted: avoid.

Related: I’m sad to report, we were unable to watch the Oscars live this year! This was the first time since we’ve been together that the live event eluded us and I’m so sad about it! Damn ITV acquiring the broadcasting rights instead of Sky! Did you watch it? Did you think the deserving movies won? I’m glad the Billie Eilish + Finneas Barbie song won – although the Ryan Gosling/Ken performance was so fun! – and we were v happy for Da’Vine Joy Randolph. As for the main winner, I have yet to see Oppenheimer, but I’m not really pushed? Anyways, here’s a link to our Letterboxd account, if you want to follow along with our movie watching in real-time.

My book count this year has been absolutely shambolic. After I finished rereading Fahrenheit 451, I reached for another easy reread: An Abundance of Katherines. I’ve since fallen down a John Green rereading spiral, moving on to The Fault in Our Stars and now Paper Towns. I’m determined to put this reread-a-thon to bed before I get to Looking for Alaska, my least favourite JG novel, so I’ve asked Husband to request a few goodies from the library for me. What have you been reading this year? I need recommendations!

Oof, I know we don’t often share music thoughts on here, but please allow me to do so today. Husband and I are absolutely loving both the new Norah Jones album, Visons, and the new Oisín Leech album, Cold Sea. We’re die-hard Norah fans, so that first one won’t surprise you, but the latter is a new-to-us artist that Husband discovered on The John Creedon Show one night. It’s so soothing and easy going! Husband loved it so much he went out and bought the CD for listening to in the car! Would recommend!

An oldie but a goodie: Blood Orange Bundt Cake. I feel like I literally share this cake every year around this time, but blood orange season is a special time, friends! If you’re blood orange inclined, as we are, may I also point you towards: Blood Orange Choux au Craquelin // Blood Orange Marmalade // Seasonal Old Fashioned with a Blood Orange Twist. Mmm, blood oranges. Thank you, Mom-in-law, for supplementing my addiction recently with a gift of blood oranges – they will be put to good use!

Okay, sweet friends, there we have it, Monthly Musings: April 2024. I hope you enjoyed reading and I also hope you found something to take away with you – a new favourite song, a recipe, or a travel itch. Let’s catch up again next month, ya hear?


Vicki xo

PS, happy birthday Dad! 58 years around the sun today!

A P R I L : 2023 // 2022 // 2021 // 2020 // 2019

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