Three months whizzes by pretty quick huh. Moving house, work deadlines, and long hours on the road.. it’s not a recipe for a good blog. But let’s get this train moving again, because it is a bit fun. I actually have a whole collection of items in my drafts pile, mostly waiting for the addition of edited photos (bain of my life) or final tweaks. But I thought I’d start with something fresh this morning, and maybe the start of a new series. A Recent Collection Of Things!
Travel. I was halfway through sharing my Malta trip with you last time we spoke. I still have some bits to share about that, which I hope should be coming soon. In the interim, we have also enjoyed a roadtrip around Devon and Cornwall, a weekend break in Norfolk and a venture to beautiful Iceland (see featured image!). I’m currently oogling at some delicious winter breaks (Lake Bled, come at me) – anyone else got plans? In a few weeks I get my first international work trip to Madrid, so I’m hoping for some time to explore then. This weekend we’re off for a short trip to Belfast, which is always good.
Films & TV. Earlier this week we went to a viewing of Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie at The Phoenix Picturehouse, Oxford. It was part of a number of showings around the country, and was followed by a live broadcast Q&A with Louis from Southbank London for London Literature Festival. As other documentaries have ‘been there, done that’ as far as the full history, life and times of Scientology goes, this one took a different angle. Using re-enactments of reported events within the Scientology inner-circle, insight from former high-ranking members, and a good dose of quirky, tasteful humour along the way, this movie perhaps lacks some depth, but is overall a very enjoyable and interesting watch. The atmosphere and anticipation in the cinema for an event like this is really special. ♦ Having read The Girl On The Train, I was keen to see this once it hit cinemas, and despite some unflattering reviews, I found it a good watch, once you get over the disappointment of the setting and cultural move to New York from England. I do feel with stories such as this one, and Gone Girl, that so much weight of the story is held in it’s plot twists, that once these have been revealed to you once, the story loses some of it’s intrigue and magic. Unfortunately I’d finished the book very recently, so it was all very fresh in my mind. ♦ I finally got around to watching Brooklyn. Like the book, this was captivating and really enjoyable. It’s on Netflix! ♦ While my father-in-law was over, we got a copy of Lincoln. This is a bit of a long film, but I really appreciate this kind of history lesson, as it’s the only kind I can keep an interest in! I will say the same for ITV’s Victoria, which I have been really engrossed in. ♦ So glad to see The Fall back on our screens, which we love for more than the fact that it’s based in our old home Belfast. ♦ Sally Phillip’s documentary A World Without Down’s Syndrome on BBC was a hard and at times incredulous watch. I found myself getting emotional, which from a cold-hearted ice queen like me is rare. ♦ The Great British Bake Off. I can’t talk about it right now though as my favourite left last night. ♦ Oh and finally TravelMan, because, travel and Richard Ayoade.
Podcasts. Last month I reached a PB of 1,400 business miles, and this week I’ve totted up 600 already. That makes for some good podcastin’ *gangsta finger snap*. Having exhausted my usual favourites early on (Dear Sugar, Millennial, and the occasional of-interest Death, Sex and Money), I have been getting back into Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review (their most recent with Emily Blunt was a goodun) and Timothy Keller (New York Pastor with wise thoughts and a good technique of verbalising them). I’ve even delved into the classic Desert Island Discs (strongly recommended episodes: Tom Hanks and Nadiya Hussain). Finally, my latest find is The Adam Buxton Podcast. This guy kept popping up (doing the interview on the Q&A section of My Scientology Movie, and on TravelMan), so I thought it worth giving a go. I recommend any episode with Louis Theroux – just great.
Food. We made jam! It was fun and actually pretty easy. We also tried making ice-cream (more laborious, less successful). I tried making some raspberry cupcakes with rapeseed oil. They tasted of rapeseed oil. I tried out some Rostis with my last curry. Surprisingly easy and successful for a first try, and minimal ingredients required. I snapped up some tins of pumpkin while I treated myself to a visit to Waitrose, and made pumpkin pie (I. Love. It.) for an annual “thanksgiving” dinner I do with a friend (yes it’s a month early, but we’re British and we can make our own rules #thuglife).
Books. I have been doing quite poorly recently. I finished The Girl on The Train as already discussed. I have been battling through a Will Self book (Liver) – yes he is clever and all, but just no. Not for me. I didn’t even finish the last short story – total book crime. I’m now getting my teeth into Behind the Scenes at the Museum (not Night at the Museum as I almost wrote…) by Kate Atkinson and enjoying it. I also finally finished The Five Love Languages. I wish the cover was less cringey, but I do think it’s a really helpful way to look at the world.
Youtube (that can be a category right). I’ve been doing some tedious excel work which made watching Youtube simultaneously possible (that sounds like an excuse but IT’S TRUE). I’ve been enjoying The Gathered Nest (a beautiful family with the best newest addition), and have been really getting sucked into all this living simply, capsule wardrobe, minimalism stuff with various tubers (The Anna Edit, Sarah Nourse, Meghan Livingstone, muchelleb). I actually started the whole capsule wardrobe thing! I’m so on trend! And it’s genuinely great! Do it! Or I will keep writing with exclamation marks! !! ! !!!! !
Craft. I’m in the middle of making an autumnal banner, which is going to be divine I JUST KNOW IT. I’m also getting back into crochet and enjoying the simple repetition of granny squaring whenever I get a sit-down with the TV. I’m trying to finish my scrapbook of all our travels this year (turning slightly into a chore…). I’m also hoping to attempt some curtains, once I find a fabric we can agree on.
Hope life’s been good for you all!