hello november.

I'm a little obsessed with candles lately.

Somehow, it's the penultimate month of the year. It always creeps up on me, but this year more so than ever.

I welcome it with open arms though, because it's one of my favourites. It's the time when all the lights are hung up on the streets and shops, when it becomes kindasorta acceptable for Christmas songs, and the decreasing temperatures mean lots of baking and keeping warm at home in fleeces and PJ bottoms. Perfect for a foodie & homebody like me.

This November, I'm looking forward to:

1. Seeing the amazing art exhibitions that are on in London. This weekend, E and I will head to the National Gallery to see the "Facing the Modern - The Portrait in Vienna 1900" exhibition. We also plan to go to the Paul Klee exhibition at the Tate Modern, and the Daumier exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. Hopefully we can fit at least two in this month!

2. Going to the Josh Ritter concert at the Barbican. One of my best and oldest friends introduced me to his music when I was a young angst-y teen, and I'm still a big fan. I am taking E along, and she her boyfriend - I'm hoping E will like it, since he doesn't usually listen to this kind of music. 

3. My birthday. I'll be turning the grand old age of 26, and although it will no doubt be low key with a few close friends as I'm not a big party party person, I'm looking forward to celebrating the upcoming year as well as the year past. 

3. That same lovely friend who gave me the heads up about the Josh Ritter concert is taking me to see a band she also introduced me to years and years ago, for my birthday gift - Bell X1. I am SO excited about this, an evening of great music of a band I never thought I'd see live, with my very special friend S - can't wait.

4. Listening to Christmas songs. I used to abide by the self-inflicted rule of no Christmas songs until 1st December, but in the last couple of years I've sneakily pushed forward the date to... 1st November. No one has to know. 

5. Going to the cinema. Gravity is at the top of the list, followed by The Butler andCatching Fire, and more that I'm sure I've forgotten or don't know about yet.

6. Another concert, this time classical - pianist Leif Ove Andsnes at the Cadogan Hall. Playing 2 of Beethoven's Piano Concertos, both of which I adore. 

7. Enjoying (and surreptitiously expanding) my candle collection. So far it consists of Yankee, M&S, Ikea, Colony (via TkMaxx) and Primark. Scent throw-wise, Yankee and Colony come out on top, although Primark is not too bad. I dream of getting my hands on luxury brands like Neom, Diptyque or Jo Malone, but I cannot stomach their prices for a candle. Any brands that you'd recommend that won't break the bank?

November is looking pretty good so far. I hope yours is too.