Getting Back on the Beers: October 2020 Wrap-Up

It began just like any other month. Melbourne was still in the midst of Australia’s strictest COVID19 restrictions and we were feeling that lock down fatigue. Then, after one hundred and eleven days living in stage four lockdown, the shackles were finally lifted as our Premier Dan Andrews announced that we could, in fact, get back on the beers. I cried.

October has been the single most exhausting month of 2020. It’s also been emotional – what with Halloween, coming out of lock down and then getting back to work. I struggled mentally as well as physically, which is why this wrap-up is super late and why I’ve been MIA for the most part of November.

So, because I’ve been procrastinating over this for the past three weeks, this wrap-up’s going to look a little bit different. Here’s what I got up to:

  • Emily in Paris dropped on Netflix and I binged the entire first season over the course of two days with a punnet of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Core. I regret nothing.
  • I received a surprise in the way of an early Christmas present from mum and dad. Probably because they feel guilty for moving interstate in the midst of a freaking global pandemic. They gifted me a five piece outdoor setting and while it was actually a bitch to build, I absolutely love it. [Thanks guys!].
  • I revived my basically dormant Instagram account with a slightly more ~dramatic~ theme.
  • Revelled in those eerie fall vibes and celebrated the spooky season with multiple Buzzfeed Unsolved marathons, the cult classic Scooby Doo movies and, of course, the quintessential Tim Burton films.
  • Choked while eating a dim sim [???] and had to be rushed to the emergency room after it became stuck, lodged in my throat. FML.  
  • Celebrated the Great Race [and my last day of freedom] watching the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 [long distance] with my family.
  • October 20th, went back to work in “doors down mode” to reset the store. We had to clean three months’ worth of accumulated dust. Fun times.
  • 26th October, forever known as “Donut Day” – Melbourne recorded zero coronavirus cases and zero deaths for the first time in seven months. The entire state celebrated by eating donuts.
  • 27th October, Dan Andrews decreed that it was finally time to get on the beers and Melbourne’s hundred and eleven day stage four lockdown ended. I stayed up till midnight counting down the seconds till freedom and reflecting on my personal growth.
  • Post lock down day one: received my final lock down care package from mum and dad, we opened it together over Facetime.
  • Work officially re-opened for trade under a new “COVID normal” plan. I managed an influx of anxiety and felt increasingly overwhelmed serving customers.
  •  Exhausted from work, I struggled to write and found myself caught in a horrendous reading slump.  
  • Re-watched A Discovery of Witches. Why is Matthew Goode so sexy???
  • Celebrated Halloween with Reece’s peanut butter cups, homemade pumpkin soup, Mickey’s House of Villains and Buzzfeed Unsolved.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | ★★★★½ | Holy shit – ya’ll were right. This book was EVERYTHING. Strange the Dreamer has been sitting on my shelf collecting dust bunnies for ages. There was just SO much hype and I was worried I wouldn’t love Lazlo and Sari as much as everyone else. Turns out I had nothing to worry about.

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor  |★★★★½ | Laini Taylor’s vivid dreamscape has quickly become one of my favorite fictional worlds. Hands down. I was completely ensnared by this duology and Laini’s master storytelling. The characters are flawed, the villains complex and the lost city of Weep fully rendered.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig  |★★★★★| A spooky re-read, House of Salt and Sorrows is honestly the perfect eerie book for Spooktober. Atmospheric and morbid, House of Salt and Sorrows brims with creepy manors, family curses and more than a few ghostly apparitions that stalk the night.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell |★★★★★| Another festive re-read, Pumpkinheads is my go-to comfort read for the spooky season. A celebration of the American fall, Pumpkinheads is a surprisingly deep story about last chances and change masquerading behind a quirky graphic novel. It’s wholesome and vibey with the BEST aesthetic.  

The Bones Houses by Emily Lloyd Jones|★★★★☆| The Bone Houses was not at all what I was expecting – but in the BEST way. Heavily rooted in Welsh mythology, the Bone Houses follows seventeen-year-old Ryn, whose village becomes overrun with re-animated corpses. There’s plenty of action, adventure AND a zombie goat.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer  |★★★☆☆| This novella always seemed a little pointless to me but I ended up really enjoying Diego and Bree’s dynamic which is completely different from Bella and Edward’s. Bree’s narrative doesn’t use chapters so the pages just sail.

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston LaRoux  |☆☆☆☆☆| The Phantom of the Opera is one of my favorite classics – I never shut up about it. Unfortunately, after being hit by a VERY persistent reading slump, I had to set Gaston LaRoux’s gothic masterpiece aside and I never finished re-reading it. Maybe I’ll come back to it in November or December.

The Black Ghost of Mount Victoria Pass

Deja’s Butternut Pumpkin Soup [Inspired by Rainbow Rowell’s Pumpkinheads]

Review: Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin

50 Things To Do During Spooktober

Review: Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Hitting Reset: September 2020 Wrap-Up

Okay, so considering we’re at the end of this month’s wrap-up, I better address the elephant in the room. That is, where I’ve been all November.

Going back to work after three months in lock down has been increasingly hard. I can’t even put it into words. I’m constantly exhausted – my body just hasn’t been coping physically and I’m struggling to find the motivation [not to mention the time] to write. I’m not on hiatus, I’ve been trying to write but my work is known to reflect my mood and so yet again, I lost my writing voice.

Anyway, enough with the excuse train – basically, I hope you can bare with me while I find a new routine.

This month, despite my slump-y mood, I’ve been re-reading the Caraval trilogy with Octavia from Mermaid Reads. Octavia has been a serious trooper, kindly putting up with my annoying mood swings and choppy pacing. I’ve also planned to read Well Played with my other bookish bestie and fellow Aussie blogger, Carly. [You can find Carly over at Reading Is My Kind of Thing]. We buddy read Well Met back in February and I can’t wait to return to the world of Faire.

Anyway, I hope your month has been a lot more productive than mine. How did you celebrate Spooktober? Let’s chat in the comments below. Until next month x


8 thoughts on “Getting Back on the Beers: October 2020 Wrap-Up

  1. Aww, Alexandra, I’m sorry that you’re in a slumpy mood 😦 I completely understand how you feel… I’ve been in a horrible blogging slump lately, and I haven’t posted anything in forever. But our buddy reads have really cheered me up these past few days, they’re always so much fun! I’m so happy to be revisiting the world of Caraval with you! (#Justice4Scarlett)


  2. I read 10 books in October – which has been my best month in such a while! I also sent most of the month watching horror movies and kids Halloween movies and had so much fun with it!

    I hope you can get back into a routine soon! It’s definitely rough going back to work after three months – I’ve been there, and it took me about roughly the same amount of time to get used to it again. Hopefully you can find an easier and quicker way though!


  3. I’m so happy for you that Melbourne is finally out of lockdown (also, love the idea of doughnut day!). But I’m sorry you’ve been feeling exhausted lately. The same thing happened to me when I started online classes. It will take some time, but it’s going to be fine.
    Also, you just put The Phantom of the Opera on my classics TBR. I didn’t even know it was a book!


  4. Emily is Paris is SOOO good – binged it in 2 DAYS and omg that show has the hottest guys?!? Also isn’t Strange the Dreamer just DREAMY!! The writing is so good. House of Salt and Sorrow and The Bone House is on my TBR and now im super exited to read them after seeing how much you like them! Great wrap up 🙂



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