Category Archives: Lifestyle

The Sunday Currently

I am sure that it’s not only me who has been taking those mental breaks since it dawned on us that this pandemic would be here in a while. When the 1st lockdown ended here in France in mid-May, I was able to adjust to the new norm – that we’re all going to be working from home longer than we thought. It’s not only me who needs this. We need this. We live different lives, but I’m sure that we go through things, and we need to have that opportunity to pause and re-group ourselves. A new year has arrived, the vaccines have been developed, but I’m still working from home for almost ten months. Not that I’m complaining. I am grateful for the work I have and love, and I was able to find a balance between life at home and at work. 

And that’s where the mental breaks come in. There was so much happening personally and at work in June. It’s my birthday month, but I was sad. And even when I love my job, it was also causing some strain in me. That’s when I decided to take the break during the week of my birthday. It did me some good, even for a short time. I had the time to relax and rest my mind and reset it for the coming weeks. Since then, I decided to take those breaks once a month. Besides, I need to use my holidays, and I have about forty-five more.

Last week, I took my first mental break for the year. But instead of going anywhere, I stayed home. I took off from social media. I went out for a walk, went to the market and bought myself some flowers. I went to one of my favorite cafes and tried their cinnamon rolls. I purchased another history book to read at the English bookstore in the old town. I enjoyed the calls I had with my family. I did anything but work. It was relaxing, and I’m ready for the coming week’s challenges.

Currently

Reading.  Another book about history. Did I tell you that I’m a sucker for history? One of the reasons that it was easy for me to be convinced about moving to Europe was knowing that this continent is rich with history that I have yet to discover. France is steeped in it, so does its surrounding countries.

Writing. None. I’m busy reading.

Listening. The sound of the wind rattling against the window frame. It’s a windy, cold night.

Wishing. For this pandemic to be over, so, I can go home and visit the family in spring or summer. I plan to get vaccinated, when it becomes available for the younger citizens, because I want myself and my family to be safe when I travel home to visit them.

Hoping. For that one wish that I have since two months ago.

Loving.ย My me time. I baked some chicken and cooked some vegetables as sides. I also made this Scottish shortbread cookies – thick, soft and crumbly. I love it. This week, I hope the sun would be back because I plan to test making that soft cheesy rolls that I miss having at Mary Grace in Manila. I love baking when the sun is out (during winter) because it’s easier to make the bread rise as I put the dough directly into the sunlight near the balcony, hahaha!

Needing. I plan to go back to that book I am reading. Itโ€™s relaxing to read on this quiet Sunday night.

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

Chicken a la Hainanese recipe

This is derived from the recipe in cooking Hainanese chicken, but I personally decided that I will not be able to make this dish perfect enough to be rightfully called as Hainanese chicken. I have tasted the said delicious Singaporean pride and it’s one of my favorites, one that I always should have every time I set foot in Singapore.

Now, with respect to this dish that I love so much, I made my own in the comforts of my French home because I miss it so dearly.

Continue reading Chicken a la Hainanese recipe

Looking Back to the Year 2020

To say that nobody expected a global pandemic to happen this year was an understatement. Like it always does to many of us, I had so many plans in early January about the things I look forward to be doing for the rest of the year. I was even planning to send my parents here for vacation in March and take them around Europe.

The first quarter was a mixture of many things. I had a scary bus accident, and thankfully came out with nothing but a bruise. Things were looking fine at work. And, it may have sounded clichรฉ for some but I met a good man on the day after Valentine’s Day ๐Ÿ™‚ And then, the half of March came and things have never been the same.

Continue reading Looking Back to the Year 2020

The Sunday Currently

It was Christmas two days ago, my favorite time of the year. This time, I celebrated Noche Buena, a traditional Filipino Christmas eve dinner with a few friends here in Antibes. Of course, in observance to the safe health protocols, we were only four. ๐Ÿ™‚ But it was divine. I got to enjoy my time with these few but dear people, and I am fortunate to have them especially at this time.

In our Noche Buena, we prepared a fusion of our Filipino and the western culture, as we live through it now. We had paella, lechon, embutido, salad and roasted vegetables. The night was full of shared memories of the country we miss so much, laughter, a bit of games, wine and coffee, and of course, the exchange of gifts. ๐Ÿ™‚

A few weeks back, I attended a coffee break meeting with some of my friends at work, and we had this topic about what are the things we are grateful of. We took turns to share the things we love and thankful to have. For me, it’s just simply that for everything that has happened this year, I am grateful for the good health and welfare of my family and friends, a job that I still have and love doing, and food on my table. It has been a very challenging year for everyone, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I guess, it was not enough to say that we should look out for each other. I think that it should always be something that we have to do to each other, because at the end of the day, our sense of humanity is fulfilled with simple acts of kindness towards each other in order to get through everything, especially at this time.

On the night of Christmas, I finally got to enjoy Bridgerton on Netflix. I have been looking forward to this since it was announced that the book series by Julia Quinn will be adapted into a Netflix series. To say that I binge-watched was an understatement. I love it so much that I am watching it for the second time today again, haha. At the end of the eight-episode series, I am very much looking forward to Anthony Bridgerton’s story (enjoy the Viscount’s wink below). I love him in the books and I love him more in the series. Actually, I love this Bridgerton family that I can’t wait to hear the announcement of Season 2.

Currently

Reading.ย  A regency romance novel by Julia Quinn, because I cannot get enough of the Bridgertons that I have to read them again.

Writing.ย None. I’m busy reading. ๐Ÿ˜›

Listening.ย The faint noise of my neighbor’s TV, wherever that is. And occasionally, a car or a motorcycle passing by the road – during curfew hours. ๐Ÿ˜›

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

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

Loving.ย I just had coffee and cake. I love cakes, and ordered the yule log version of my favorite Saint Barth from Lilian Bonnefoi for the holiday season.

Needing.ย I plan to go back to that book I am reading. It’s relaxing to read on this quiet Sunday night.

Also, on the night of Christmas, there was a bit of commotion that happened in this part of France. We had an unexpected hail storm. I looked outside and my balcony was a bit full of water and I thought there was some stones, before I realized that it’s hail. Oh, well. I hoped that everyone is fine now after that night. It was unexpected and I know that it’s dangerous to drive out in that storm when the car is not well-equipped with such weather.

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

A Pinay Newbie in France

Two years ago, I made another big decision in my life by accepting that position in my job and moving to an entirely different world, aka Europe. For those who may not know yet, Europe is VERY different from Asia, in many aspects. To be culturally shocked might have been an understatement, even from me who’s always been a lover of world history and a regular in libraries to read and study it.

I decided to list down the things I learned and observed, and please be reminded, that these are only based from my experiences and it could be different with others. ๐Ÿ™‚

Continue reading A Pinay Newbie in France

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

Currently

Reading.  A regency romance novel.

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

Listening.ย 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.ย I brewed some espresso for my afternoon merienda. Bango! ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Hoping.ย 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.ย jammies ๐Ÿ˜›

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

Needing.ย 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! ๐Ÿ˜› )

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. Itโ€™s a bit colder, but Iโ€™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.ย 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 ๐Ÿ˜€

Feeling. Relaxed. I cleaned and vacuumed the entire place today cos it started accumulating dust. Everything’s spic and span now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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. Itโ€™s quiet outside, and I like the silence.

Smelling. Fresh laundry that I haven’t folded yet ๐Ÿ˜€

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Itโ€™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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย None fore now. I have books to read

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

Smelling.ย Yogurt with fruits that I had for dessert tonight ๐Ÿ˜›

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

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

Wearing.ย Shorts and sleeveless top. Itโ€™s only 15c outside, but in my apartment, the temp is just right. LOL

Loving.ย The silence in my street during the lockdown.

Needing.ย To focus. I accepted a new responsibility at work, and I’m looking forward to explore it this week! ๐Ÿ™‚

Feeling.ย 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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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… ๐Ÿ™‚

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. Itโ€™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? ๐Ÿ™‚

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