Thought I’d do my month round-up a bit early for October, because I’m excited to tell you guys about Finland! It was an amazing holiday – I was worried that everything would be closed because it wasn’t peak season, but actually everything was open (including the official home of Santa Claus!) and it was fantastic :)



I met Santa, some huskies, some reindeer (I also ate reindeer – it’s delicious), tried out a naked sauna and saw the Northern Lights. I saw wild moose, lit a fire in a zoo (it’s OK, we were allowed) and experienced -7°C. I even survived my first set of two flights with a layover: it’s no secret that I hate flying and I’ve never had to do it twice in one day, but actually it wasn’t that bad (until an hour before landing in London, when some pretty horrible turbulence really rustled my jimmies).



When I got back from Finland I had a bit of a book-buying spree. I’d never read any Finnish literature before and several of you commented with suggestions of what I should try … so I bought them all. I already own A Winter Book by Tove Jansson – which I read in Finland and adored – and I’ve now added to my collection of Finnish literature: Moomin by Tove Jansson, Purge by Sofi Oksanen, The Healer by Antti Tuomainen and The Kalevala. Think I’ll be having a bit of a Finnish binge for the next couple of months!



I’m also a massive fan of the comedy blog Hyperbole and a Half, but it hasn’t been updated in a while, so when I saw some people on Reddit recommending the writer’s book I had to get my hands on a copy. It arrived today and I might spend the rest of my afternoon reading it (shirking my responsibilities in the best way).



My Book of the Month is the excellent Moomin, the first volume of Jansson’s comic strips. I devoured it in a couple of days and found it heartwarming, profound and very funny.

This month’s charity is going to be my alma mater, The University of Nottingham. They have a scheme whereby alumni donate to provide grants for underprivileged students to get further education, something I can definitely get behind. I had a great time at uni and I think everyone deserves a shot at it!

I hope you have a wonderful rest of October and may your Halloween costumes be suitably terrifying.

- gildius -