Every night I fall asleep to the sound of the ocean. Not the real ocean, sadly, just recordings I can stream through YouTube, but it is enough that those recordings were the ocean once, washing gently across some distant shore. It’s either that or a (mild) tropical storm, because the distant rolls of thunder and lashing rain make me feel warm and cosy and far away. White noise in general makes me feel calm in a way that total silence never can. I never sit in totally silent rooms in libraries, for example, it’s just too disconcerting somehow. I like hustle and bustle to remind me there is life outside of my own mind and the object of its immediate focus.

Moments of calm, like deep and restful unmedicated sleep, often prove elusive to me, but their pursuit is a greater priority this New Year than dieting or rushing to the gym. Sleeplessness and anxiety are a vicious cycle because the one aggravates the other indefinitely. View Full Post

Chocolate Coconut Cookies | magpieandmaple.com

It’s been a rainy few days in London, and the only thing worth doing on a rainy afternoon is curling up with fresh cookies and a good book or film. Not to mention the new series of Bake Off is here — if, like me, you’re enviously eyeing the tasty treats on a Wednesday night and wishing you could reach through the screen and steal a slice, this recipe is for you. Using only a handful of wholesome ingredients, these come together in under 20 minutes and have the bonus of being good for you, too. Provided you don’t eat them all in one sitting, that is.

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