24 December 2015

Monthly Favourites: December 2015

In order to start monthly favourites blog posts I wanted to wait for January, but had so many interesting things to share that I couldn't wait for the new year! I decided that every month from now on I'll be blogging about things I have read, watched, eaten etc. that have particularly struck me. I hope to be able to post these regularly, however I might make a few exceptions if I'm in exam period hehe.

For the month of December I've neglected reading so much. It's kind of sad, but reading slumps happen… it's just important to deal with them and keep going! I've been reading a collection of poems called Poeta en Nueva York by Federico García Lorca for university, and it's probably been one of the biggest reading challenges I've faced so far! I love Lorca's poetry, but it's so hard to understand. The style and images of the book are very complex but also beautiful. I hope that the more I read the book, the more I understand it.

I've also been reading some articles from Epigram, the University of Bristol's newspaper. I love how interactive it is with the students, including many surveys and interviews to the people who make the university amazing.

- TED Talk
I know I'm kind of late - this talk was delivered in May 2012! I've only recently started to listen to TED Talks. The first thing I did was browsing through the talks, searching for my favourite people whom I find inspirational. And because Tracy Chevalier is one of my favourite authors and a person I highly esteem for being so clever and subtle, I immediately looked for her. This talk suggests a new way of reading paintings while visiting an art gallery. What Tracy likes to do when she's in a museum is stopping in front of the few paintings that struck her and imagine a story behind them, which is what she did to write Girl with a Pearl Earring, her major bestseller.

- Quote
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
(Paulo Coelho)
Even if I'd never said this before, this quote is the most important one of all for me. Every now and then, I remind myself of these beautiful and powerful words to keep working on my dreams and life goals. Before reading The Alchemist, the book where the quote is from, I kind of thought about this subconsciously, and reading the quote felt a bit like seeing my thoughts written down on a page. No matter how hard your challenge can be, it's important to remind yourself of how much you want to achieve your goal. I'm not religious, but I do believe that things happen for a reason.

- Award
This month I won a prize for Best Blog Photography from the University of Bristol (my uni), for year abroad blogs! I also won 100£ which I will be sent in early January. I was so happy about this as I didn't expect it and it made me feel so rewarded for all the hard work I've done on putting my blog posts together and editing the pictures, even if I don't do it professionally. The words in the email said: "For Best Blog Photography: Assia Shahin for wonderful shots of travels in northern Spain". Yay!
To see more of my pictures of north of Spain click here: Pamplona San Sebastián Bilbao Logroño

I love Sia's songs and her mysterious style. I find the fact that she doesn't reveal her face very intriguing, and even healthy in that she's trying hard to keep her privacy intact as opposed to many singers who willingly participate in public life and then find it quite hard to escape from the pressure of the media. The tune of Fire Meet Gasoline is beautiful and I like the style of her lyrics as they're put in a way that doesn't make them sound too cliché. I'm not too keen on the video with Heidi Klum, as while at first sight it might seem pretty cool, a second look on it reveals a subtle advert of a lingerie line and an unclear storyline. Why does Heidi Klum burn a house down? Are she and the guy in a simple relationship or are they partners in crime? We're probably just not meant to know. Sia didn't seem too into the video either, as she said in an interview that "Fire Meet Gasoline is not an official music video, nor is it my new single. It's a lingerie commercial to which I licensed a song".

What were your favourites this month?


  1. Congrats on your blog award! Especially since it comes with $$$!

  2. What a neat idea! And congrats on the blog award!! You definitely have such beautiful pictures that it had to be a given :)
    I don't think I could pick just one thing for the month of December that was my favourite... my favourite kinda things were (obvi) the cozy nights I got to stay in with Brian and watch some Christmas movies together. That gives me happy memories.
    (I'm also currently in the process of "updating" a few things on my blog, which is why I've been MIA lately. Will keep you posted once things are up and running!)

    1. Those sound like lovely moments, and I hope they'll stay with you always <3 Christmas cosy nights are the best!
      I've actually meant to ask about your blog, as during Christmas I went over to see it and it said it was private (which kind of shocked me as I'm used to checking it!!). I'm sure that the updates will be great, looking forward to seeing them and reading about your New Year's Eve!
      Assia xx