By Val the Cookie Queen
PNEUMA. Is an Ancient Greek word for “breath”, and in a religious context for “spirit” or “soul”.
Well the year started off pretty much like any other. Until it wasn’t.
We will start with perfumes since this is what unites most of us who read A Bottled Rose. Scent of the first hard lockdown was Neela Vermiere´s Mohur EdP and the Extrait. Perfume of the second, Strangelove’s fallintostars EdP. (Waiting for the oil to arrive in the post as this goes to press.)
What did I buy this year? Chanel Le Lion. IUNX Eau Blanche, and a couple of 20ml refills for IUNX Talc. Hiram Green Vivacious. Strangelove’s fallintostars EdP and the oil. I still plan to get Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese before the end of the year, as there is twenty per cent off here until the 31st of December.
My tunes of the year. Tool – Pneuma (2019) John Grant – GMF (2013)
I have been taking cold showers for years, except they were never really that cold, I just turned them down from hot. But for the last few months I go the full Wim Hof, and turn them down to freezing. It has completely changed my morning routine. It cleanses the mind, as it is impossible to think of anything at all as your body reacts to the cold. I am up to about 60 seconds. Cannot recommend it highly enough. (And please don’t say you can’t do it, I mean starting with 15 seconds? Puhleeeese.)
It takes me ages to finish a book these days. Either because I have the attention span of a piece of wallpaper or because I seem to have at least five books at a time on the go. But Tara recommended Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens so what choice did I have? I read it through totally captivated, even cancelling a training session to keep reading. I loved it and really found myself buried in a book for the first time in a long while. Great stuff.
I have been doing the live radio show Baking Bad with the Cookie Queen for a couple of years now, and although nervous before each show, am no longer scared spitless of making mistakes. That is not to say that I won’t, but at least I kind of know my way around the equipment now. I have a show on New Year’s Day 2021, 18:00 – 20:00 CET. I cannot imagine that anyone will be too busy, apart from recovering from a hangover maybe, so tune in!! The livestream link is always in my Instagram. @armadilloscookiequeen.
Despite the lockdowns two new Indigo stores opened this year, which upped the number of stores I supply to fifteen. And although it has not killed me yet, it still might. They are shut at the moment though and apart from deliveries will remain shut until at least the middle of January, so I have no money, but a bit of a break. Highlight of the year was getting my backside out of Austria and making it into Switzerland for a few days to visit really good friends. Sure sitting on a train for eight hours with a mask on was not a much fun as other things I have done, but it is what it is.
I downloaded the Calm App, probably along with several million others! Lying in bed at night and listening to stories, or practicing breathing techniques is just brilliant. Not that I am highly strung or anything. LMAO.
I have mentioned it before but it bears repeating. I am so thankful for the technology that allows us not just to keep in touch with people, but to build up new friendships. We live in incredible times, and in a world of great beauty. Gratitude and optimism.
What a ride this year has been. Have a peaceful festive season, and may we all arrive in 2021 safely and ready for The Pandemic Part II. (Not to be confused with The Omen Part II)
“Pneuma, reach out and beyond, wake up remember, we are born of one breath, one word, we are all one spark, eyes full of wonder.” PNEUMA. TOOL.