Three Good Things

I noticed that Liz over at Margot and Barbara is up to week eight with her Three Good Things posts. Crikey, how time flies. About time I did another post as my last one was… eight weeks ago…

Here then, are my three good things for this week.

music
'phones
I missed my train this morning by mere seconds and was left on the platform with fifteen minutes to kill until the next one was due. Luckily I had my large travel mug full of rather nice coffee and my iPod to keep me company.

A few years ago I set up a collection of songs on there which I jokingly called my ubermix – a hundred or so of my favourite tracks from across the breadth and depth of my music collection. Ubermix One has been joined by Ubermix Two and Three, each one running at around a hundred songs.

It’s a pretty eclectic selection, with everything from a bit of Bollywood, rock, jazz, country, anime soundtracks, instrumentals, musicals and even a spot of opera in there. Music to suit any mood, I can just fire up the playlist, stick it on shuffle and could be anywhere from Abba to Zoe Keating.

I need to give it a bit of a trim – over the course of compilation some tracks have cropped up on more than one ubermix and there are some tracks now which I’m less fond of than I was when I first added them. Ubermix Four is currently In Production. Watch this space.

books

I’ve read a lot of books this year so far. Mostly they’ve been pretty good, with Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway (@Harkaway) and The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (@LaurenBeukes) being the stand-out examples. I’ve got a new one for the ‘book of the year’ shortlist – Jonathan Grimwood’s ‘The Last Banquet‘. It’s not often I get so lost in a book – this one has nearly made me miss my stop on the train. Twice. If that’s not praise enough, I don’t know what is. It’s the story of Jean-Marie d’Aumout, orphan, military cadet, aristocrat, gastronome extraordinaire.

movies
My ‘movies that other people said I should watch’ project is ongoing, though it’s struggled a little with availability of some of the more obscure films on the list. That said, I watched a couple of great films recently – End of Watch and Submarine.

I really enjoyed both, for different reasons. They’re both relatively short, feature great characters with undeniable chemistry and are well worth a watch.

So, what are your three good things this week?

Three Good Things

Liz at Margot & Barbara has started a new series of blog posts called Three Good Things. Her first week’s post is here. She says:

Each week, I shall choose three things to share. Things that have made me happy, made me smile, brought me a bit of joy or peace and made me grateful for the life that I have.

Various other bloggers have taken up the challenge (Kirsty at Hello Kirsty and Isobel at Leeds & Me for example) and I thought it sounded like a splendid idea. Here then, are my three things.

One

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Coffee. A good cup of coffee is a wonderful thing, and we’re blessed in Leeds with a fabulous range of indie coffee places. My mornings just wouldn’t be the same without a quick pick-me-up from the lovely folks at Bottega Milanese, or a delicious filter coffee from Luca & the boys at Brewbar Espresso. If I’m feeling slightly more energetic, a walk down to see Dave at Laynes Espresso is always rewarded with quite simply the best coffee I’ve ever had. It’s got to the point where now I just ask what he recommends and go with that. Never been disappointed.

Two

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My bike. I don’t get out on it enough, but when I do it’s like medicine. Worldly worries fade away as you zoom through the beautiful countryside on my doorstep in Wakefield. The word ‘zoom’ may not be entirely accurate, especially on the up bits, but zooming definitely happens on the descents, after which you’ll find me grinning like a loon.

Three

Learning Chinese. I was recently introduced to Memrise, a website to help you learn languages. I picked their Learn basic Chinese: read a menu course and was soon hooked. It’s a brilliant system, introducing the chinese characters via flashcards to help you remember, and it gets you to ‘water your memories’ to help them grow by going back over earlier concepts again at regular intervals. Both kids picked it up immediately and really enjoyed it. I was in the Chinese supermarket in Leeds the other day and picked up this packet of noodles:

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Which both myself and the kids were able to translate! How cool is that?

So, there are my three things for this week. I’m not sure it’ll end up being a weekly thing, but it’s a great way of looking at the good bits of your life.

What are your three things?