Category Archives: Blog

The Sunday Currently

Five days to go before Christmas.

It’s my favorite time of the year, and I really love spending this with my family. But this year, as we all know it, is a very exceptional year! So, while I’m stuck here in France, I will make the best out of it. I already planned some things like hearing mass online, videocalling the family, making embutido, preparing presents for a few of my friends, indulging myself on a cake from my favorite boulangerie, watching Bridgerton on Netflix…

Early last week, I went to the post office to send postcards and Christmas cards to my family and friends. I am excited because it’s been a long time since I’ve done that. I know I was way too young, and I remember that it was during the time when my dad was in Australia for a few years.

This weekend, I started checking out gifts for my friends here in Antibes. There is still some work to do in the office, and I am honestly jealous of those whose offline messages started last Friday, haha. Most are going back in early January, and I was usually one of them. Next year, I plan to go home and will make the best of it with my family.

I avoided posting for the past two weeks here in my blog because of work and some personal stuff. But hopefully, in the coming year, I will be able to post more content when time permits. Isolation gets into me sometimes, especially at this time of the year, and please understand that it’s not easy. If you have family members or friends who you think are alone somewhere in the world right now, hit that button and send them a message. You will know how that simple thought is greatly appreciated especially at this time. 🙂

Currently

Reading.  A regency romance novel.

Writing. Reports. It’s what keeping me busy these past days.

Listening. I just finished watching a Filipino online concert from the Philippine community in Paris that a friend shared with me today. You can check them out at their Youtube or Facebook page for more details.

Smelling. I brewed some espresso for my afternoon merienda. Bango! 🙂

Wishing. For this pandemic to be over, so, I can go home and visit the family in spring.

Hoping. For a focused mind this week. Only three days at work, and only a few people in the team in the last weeks of 2020.

Wearing. jammies 😛

Loving. It’s a lazy Sunday. I always love a lazy Sunday! Did you even plan to do something on a Sunday?!?

Needing. I plan to go back to that book I am reading. I’m opening the third book in the series and guess what, it’s an actual book, not e-books!

Feeling. Sore. I think I was in a wrong position last night cos I woke up with sore muscles down from neck to shoulders. I took some pain reliever today, and with a combination of coffee (it’s my downer, actually) and the cold weather, I just want to lie down and relax (Plus, yeah, it’s a lazy Sunday! 😛 )

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

The Sunday Currently

President Macron addressed the French nation last Nov24 to announce new measures to fight this health situation that the world is going through right now.

I thought we’re ending the lockdown on December 1, but turns out that it will be on Dec15 instead. Yesterday, the new changes were implemented, particularly on the extension of the distance that we can go for exercise: 20km for 3hours. Hehe. And then when the lockdown ends on the 15th, the curfew will be back. Good thing was, they gave a special exemption on Christmas Eve (24th) and New Year’s Eve (31st). But I hope people will still observe safe health measures so we can all be done with this already. The health workers are getting saturated with all the amount of work that needs to be done in the hospitals and the rise on the issues of mental health and domestic violence is staggering.

But enough talk of Covid for now. I went out last week for a quick visit at the Antibes English bookstore and bought some Christmas cards to send to my parents and friends. Perhaps, it will be nice to receive something physical right now as a gift, like as if we’re going back to the basics. Anyway, what we can all agree here is that this year taught us to appreciate what we have and I would like to do something for my loved ones this year despite the distance we have right now.

Currently

Reading.  A regency romance novel.

Writing. I finished two chapters last night. I’m so proud of myself, haha!

Listening. The quiet hum of my laptop, and the stillness of the street under lockdown outside.

Smelling. My humidifier is on right now, and I used one of the essential oils that I bought in Marche Provencal last summer. A mixture of eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary and thyme just like the one below:

Wishing. For this pandemic to be over, so, I can go home and visit the family in spring.

Hoping. For a focused mind this week. I got a few hats to wear right now at work. It’s keeping me really busy.

Wearing. It’s a bit colder, but I’m in my cotton shorts and shirt. The cuddle weather is here and sometimes in the morning, it’s difficult to leave the bed.

Loving. The silence in my street during the lockdown. ESPECIALLY DURING SUNDAYS 

Needing. To lie down. This scent coming from the essential oil filled the apartment with some kind of warmth and comfort at this cold weather made me just want to lie down and stare at the ceiling, even when I have a few things left to do today 😀

Feeling. Relaxed. I cleaned and vacuumed the entire place today cos it started accumulating dust. Everything’s spic and span now. 😉

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

A Journey Back in Time in Bataan

I have always wanted to go to Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar the first time I heard about it. Located in Bagac, Bataan, it is a re-constructed Spanish colonial village where you can find actual heritage houses that used to be found from all over the Philippines. I applaud the genius who decided to collect these houses to preserve our history and culture this way, Mr. Jose Acuzar. There are accommodations, restaurants and shops in the village, too. Me and my friends decided to stay overnight. We chose the Executive Suite: a three-storey suite with loft, three queen beds and an extremely large bathroom. The restaurants nearby offers a fusion of delicious Filipino and European dishes, and they sometimes have musicians at night, serenading you with enchanting Filipino songs (I miss those times). The village can also be toured for a day and there were several heritage tours offered. For more details, you can check on their website.

Continue reading A Journey Back in Time in Bataan

The Sunday Currently

It’s the 24th day of the second lockdown here in France. I’m sure that others are also counting down until this is over. Many are looking forward to the holidays in December, including me. Even though I’m not going home this year for obvious health reasons, I plan to celebrate this with a few friends, hopefully, for Noche Buena on the 24th. But it remains to be just a plan until we can be sure if it’s safe to gather together even when we’re just five.

Currently

ReadingA Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich that I bought from Antibes Bookstore before the lockdown. Still not finished with it.

Writing. None fore now. I have books to read

Listening. None. It’s quiet outside, and I like the silence.

Smelling. Fresh laundry that I haven’t folded yet 😀

Wishing. For this pandemic to be over, so, I can go home and visit the family in spring.

Hoping. Peace of mind. I have a feeling that changes are coming, especially that November will soon be over. There’s some at work and also at the personal life.

Wearing. It’s a bit colder, and I’m now in my cotton pants and shirt. The cuddle weather is here!

Loving. The silence in my street during the lockdown. ESPECIALLY DURING SUNDAYS 🙂

Needing. To cook quinoa using the chicken stock I produced while cooking Hainanese chicken this week.

Feeling. Relaxed. I just got home from a short 1km walk from my apartment to the beach. I love the feel of cold air on my face as I sat on a bench and looked out into the sea. The azure seascape always puts my mind at ease, and I need that.

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

The Sunday Currently

It’s been more than a week since the lockdown and still pretty much stuck at home. Weekdays are mostly occupied with work from home. I tried to keep myself busy on weekends. I did some cooking dash yesterday by cooking pansit. I love that there’s a vegetable stand at the corner from my apartment, and I dropped by yesterday to buy some fresh vegetables for my pansit

I also bought some stuff in the grocery for the lemon pound cake that I also baked. I have this stand mixer that was given to me by my manager at work a week ago, too. The history there was that I had a failed experience in buying a mixer in Amazon, there were some parts mixing. While I was telling my disappointment with her during our hike some weeks ago, she said that she got an extra and she’s actually thinking how to get rid of it because she wants to buy a new one for her daughter. Voila! She decided to give it to me instead, and it was good as new. I tried it for the first time yesterday and I love how it wasn’t noisy and a very efficient machine! I look forward to make some bread or even cinnamon bread soon! Yum! 🙂

It’s a chill day today. I mean, I just finished dinner after waking up from a good afternoon nap. Oh, boy! I know that I’m going to find sleep again tonight so, perhaps, I will return to the book I’m currently reading…

Currently

ReadingA Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich that I bought from Antibes Bookstore before the lockdown

Writing. None fore now. I have books to read

Listening. None. It’s quiet outside, and I like the silence.

Smelling. Yogurt with fruits that I had for dessert tonight 😛

Wishing. For this pandemic to be over, so, I can go home and visit the family.

Hoping. Peace of mind. I got lots of things in my mind to do this week at work.

Wearing. Shorts and sleeveless top. It’s only 15c outside, but in my apartment, the temp is just right. LOL

Loving. The silence in my street during the lockdown.

Needing. To focus. I accepted a new responsibility at work, and I’m looking forward to explore it this week! 🙂

Feeling. Relaxed. I told you, I just woke up from my afternoon nap! Hahaha. Time check, 8pm. This afternoon, I also dyed my hair brown again to cover up my grey hairs. I have such a long black hair, and it took me more than two hours doing this. Imagine how exhaustive that was. No wonder I had a good sleep when I was done 😛

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

The Sunday Currently

It’s the third day of the lockdown, and my friend texted about the church being open today for mass celebration. So I made an attestation from the Covid Tracing app and went to the cathedral. Today is All Saints Day, a Catholic holiday.

It’s my first time to go out since the lockdown started and I don’t really like it much because I have to fill up an attestation to justify my presence outside. I would rather stay indoors. But during the 1st lockdown, I also rarely go out and it almost drove me nuts, trying to overcome cabin fever. We can still go out but, in order not to defeat the purpose of this lockdown, we all have to respect the rules, and most especially to stay indoors as much as we could, and only go out when we really have to. Gosh, I have another mission this week, an appointment at the Prefecture, so I have to go out again, and just thinking about it is making me apprehensive. :/

my little Christmas corner

Today is the first day of November and the tradition in my culture for All Saints’ Day is to light up a candle to remember my family and ancestors who passed. I’m going to light up one tonight, and this one is most especially to my grandparents, two of whom I never met and my grandma who passed 3 years ago and I dearly missed.

Currently

Reading. A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich that I bought from Antibes Bookstore before the lockdown

Writing. I’m at the Chapter 4 at the moment of the book I’m trying to write. They say there’s no timeline on when to publish a book, and I believe I have all the time in the world, hahaha

Listening. None

Smelling. Fresh laundry. Hmmmm… 🙂

Wishing. For this pandemic to be over, so, I can go home and visit the family.

Hoping. For peace. There is a lot going on in the world lately. It broke my heart to hear another violent incidents in Nice and in Jeddah, in the US, and the super typhoon in the Philippines.

Wearing. Shorts and shirt. It’s only 18c outside. LOL

Loving. This afternoon, binge-watching on all those cheesy, romantic movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime, haha.

Needing. To clear my mind with a lot of things right now. After dropping my decision last week, slowly, I’m getting over my anxieties. I’m glad that my family and best friends are always just a phone call away every time I need someone to talk to.

Feeling. Peaceful right now. I was just talking to this guy I dated a few months back last night. We’re just friends now, nothing more, and I’m better with that. My friends always tell me that it’s not possible. Maybe not, I don’t know. But what I know is that I am at peace now. I know what I want and life is continuously presenting many opportunities for me. There will be challenges along the way, that’s for sure, but that’s what makes it pretty exciting and interesting.

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

France is Back to its 2nd Lockdown

Last night, France watched and listened to President Macron gave the details of the current COVID situation in the country. I waited in bated breath (yeah, I was really anticipating this the whole day. It’s what we all talk about in the office earlier) on his announcement on what will be the next measures to protect everyone from the virus and to help the healthcare workers from oversaturation of French hospitals.

And there, he said it.

France will be back into lockdown this Friday, October 30, until December 1.

But, the schools stay open.

How? I don’t know, too. I believe that Prime Minister Jean Castex will be announcing the details this evening. There will be forms to fill up again when one needs to go out, and the same fine of 135 euros for the violators.

I woke up this morning, somehow disoriented because the someone perhaps decided to fix the roads around my area and ended at 3am. I went out to drop the clothes and other stuff that I want to give away, and passed by the nearby boulangerie. I need a fix of some good baguette and pain au chocolat to start this day.

I deserve this!

As the day continues, I could feel the people’s reaction from last night’s announcement. Traffic is everywhere. It’s a bit noisy outside, and when I went out for a quick grocery run (I did not buy toilet papers, I have enough), there are lots of people outside, too!

After work, I decided to go around my place, too. I walked down the road of Albert 1er and passed by people who seemed to be in a hurry. There was a queue in a store for hair products (I understand them. I bought a box of hair coloring, too). There were lots of people at the sea front, most seemed to be like me, looking out at the sea and appreciating the moment while we’re still not in lockdown. I took some photos (I shared some of those in my IG) and continued walking. I reached the old town and walked around, too. There were lots of people going their way, preparing for the lockdown for sure. I dropped by Antibes Books, the English bookstore and bought a couple of books to read at home. I continued going around, wherever my legs could take me. I ended up buying myself a smoked salmon sandwich for dinner. I had it wrapped so I can enjoy at home. Asia Freres, the Asian grocery, was also full when I decided to drop by. I bought a few items and then, went home.

I’ve been telling myself, this will only take a month, although some news say that this was only the initial plan and may be extended. I don’t know. But what I hope is that this second lockdown will help the health workers. I hope this lockdown will work. I hope this ends soon.

How about you? What did you do to prepare yourself for the lockdown or quarantine in your area? 🙂

Update: French PM details new restrictions as country heads back into lockdown

France’s COVID TRACE APP on Mobile Phones

This week, I downloaded Tous Anti Covid, a tool here in France that was created to trace the chains of contamination of the Coronavirus 19, especially in areas that are high in numbers of circulation. This can be downloaded in Apple or Google Play.

I admit that it’s scary to activate it, as shown below, because the mobile app requires you to open your bluetooth. When the bluetooth is open, you have an option to activate it. This will enable to detect anyone nearby who uses the app – and reported that they have tested positive with COVID19 – to notify you when you have come close in contact with them. Once this happens, it will send a notification in your mobile phone, sending awareness that you isolate yourself to avoid spreading it out to someone else as well as some instructions on what you can do. It is important to take note that everything and everyone is anonymous. Privacy is still respected here. You will only know that you have been in contact with someone within a meter for at least 15 minutes – but you will not know who. It is now up to you to self-isolate/self-quarantine to protect yourself and others for further contamination. The app has several guided information and what’s good about this? It’s in English! Maybe, it automatically defaults to my phone since that’s my personal preference, but I hope that it also has something in French. This should be easily utilized by everyone in France and it will be very helpful that it is well-understood by most locals.

I activated the app on my phone. I’m grateful that I’m safe.

It is free and voluntary, so we have an option to activate or deactivate. Since the aim is to be able to have an early detection and prevention, this will work only if a lot of people will download and start using the app.

I think that this will only work effectively if a person who took a test or tested positive with the virus was able to download and record it in the app. Otherwise, we will all just be walking around with this app in the background and not knowing that an asymptomatic person have already come close in contact with us.

The government released a whole page dedicated to inform everyone about this new tool and it is found HERE.

Also, since there are now 54 Departments and one overseas territory under curfew for the period of six weeks, the mobile app also has a link that provides the certificate that you need to fill up if you want to go out within the period of curfew from 9pm to 6am. It’s almost the same certificate that we have to fill up during the 3-month lockdown last March – May. I just wonder who walks their dog beyond 9pm…

I hope this information helps. The app still makes me anxious. I try my best to live with the virus, doing the normal things but with utmost caution. I hope that I won’t get any notification from it. Anyway, it will help us protect ourselves and other people. I also hope you would try to download and use this. And hopefully, we could overcome this pandemic soon.

Take care of yourself and stay safe!

The Sunday Currently

I just got home from another unexpected lunch with my friend at her place today. You can see in the photo above that we had tinolang manok, a Filipino chicken soup dish that is best eaten with rice. Yum! I enjoyed having lunch with my friend because we had conversations about anything and everything, and I live for that kind of meaningful lunches. In this time and age, we all should be appreciating life in general and that includes long lunch hours full of good food and wine and friends.

Shoutout also to my Dad who is celebrating his birthday today. I had a call with him earlier to greet him. I miss him so much and I hope that one day, I will be able to go home to visit, so I can hug my parents.

Currently

Reading. I forgot what is the title but I have a book currently reading right now about a feud between a sheik and a princess. Romance novel, of course. Haha.

Writing. Nothing, at the moment.

Listening. Nothing. It’s gloomy outside and since it’s Sunday, it is usually a quiet time for everyone. That, and I think that we were still reeling from the fact that the curfew here in the south of France actually started last night from 9pm. It was eerily quiet outside.

Smelling. Scented candles 🙂

Wishing. To go home and visit the family. But of course, with the pandemic, it’s not possible right now.

Hoping. With the situation I am in right now, I would be able to get what I aim to do this week.

Wearing. Shorts and shirt. It’s only 18c outside.

Loving. To lie on my bed and finish my book.

Needing. To clear my mind with a lot of things right now. My work and my personal life.

Feeling. Anxious. I need to finish a letter I am writing. Too many life-changing decisions that I have to make.

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

The Sunday Currently

I just got home from an impromptu dinner with a dear friend. I went to her to get some insights in my current situation and she also shared with me some of her experiences. It was all inspiring and insightful, and after a very good meal of osso buco and risotto (my first time, actually!), I went home ready to call it a day and rest.

This morning, I went to the mountains with some friends. I forgot what is it called. I may have to check the photos later to see the details. But all in all, the hike was great, I had a good time and I had a good view of the coast.

Currently

Reading. I forgot what is the title but I have a book currently reading right now, and the story was set in the Regency era.

Writing. Nothing, at the moment.

Listening. Nothing. It was all quiet inside my apartment right now and the street outside is void of any noise.

Smelling. I cannot describe what that smell is but it seemed to smell like fresh laundry. 🙂

Wishing. To go home and visit the family. But of course, with the pandemic, it’s not possible right now.

Hoping. With the situation I am in right now, I would be able to get what I aim to do this week.

Wearing. Shorts and shirt, even when it’s 15c outside.

Loving. To sleep. I had a long day.

Needing. To clear my mind with a lot of things right now. My work and my personal life.

Feeling. Anxious. Too many life-changing decisions that I have to make this week.

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

First-time in Greece

It’s been a year when an idea struck after my sister told me that she’s going to spend the summer holidays in Europe with me. I was racking my brains on where to go, what to do. I find it still amazing that we can go anywhere in the Schengen area with our visa and I was excited about this. For a Filipino who was able to manage to get the Schengen visa, the possibilities are endless! 🙂

I was thinking that perhaps we can go up north, but my sister already planned for a pre-trip with her friend in the northeastern Europe so I would give it to her and decided to check somewhere else in the Schengen map, haha. And with some budget considerations, we ended up on planning to go to Greece. It’s pretty exciting since it will be our first time and it has been something that I would really love to go. I love history and by default, we ended up in Athens as first-timers, haha!

Continue reading First-time in Greece

Bridgerton Series

I am excited this week when one of my favorite authors, Julia Quinn, announced that the Bridgerton TV series is finally coming to Netflix on December 25!

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December 25. Please make haste.

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To refresh the memory of anyone who also love the book series like I do, this is about the eight children of the late Viscount Bridgerton: Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth. You see that they were alphabetically-named and each has their own story in the series. The stories will be full of romantic entanglements, but also, about love, family, and friendship. I enjoyed reading these and if you haven’t yet, you may head over to this complete list on where where to get it.

I love reading novels set in the Victorian and Regency period, and I really look forward to watching this one when the news came that it would be adapted as a TV series by Netflix. It was created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by Shonda Rhimes, producer of Grey’s Anatomy and Princess Diaries 2. 🙂

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Dreams do come true! #thebridgertons @netflix @byshondaland

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Aside from Christmas, I have another thing to look forward to on December 25th! 🙂

If you are also interested in this new series, follow Bridgerton’s accounts on Instagram and Twitter. And most of all, follow Julia Quinn on Instagram to get some deets on the series and also her books.

(banner photo from Bridgerton’s official Twitter 🙂 )