1.4.20

Notes from March 2020





I usually start writing these monthly updates at the end of the previous month, so I can add bits when they happen throughout the month. What a difference between the end of February and now HUH? I refuse to use any of the following phrases: uncertain times, wild times, crazy times, basically anything with the phrase 'these times', because why are we all suddenly talking like Victorians.

But damn, things be weird. Well I say that, but to be honest, I've been working from home for a week and it all feels like the new normal already, albeit with a much less comfortable desk and chair. Humans can adapt well I guess. Maybe I'll be saying something totally different at the end of April. Fingers crossed it will be a more positive slant.

Nonetheless here is the March round up. Stay safe :)


Reading (a bumper edition of articles/slideshows of pretty pictures to curve boredom)


Articles

Books
  • The Story of a New Name Elena Ferrante. This is book two of the Neopolitan novels, a quartet of books about two girls growing up in poverty stricken Naples in the 1950s and onwards. I read the first book, My Brilliant Friend in December, loved it, and this second installment is even better than the first. I haven't felt so completely swept away in a story in a while. Third installment is already on order from the library. 
  • Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri. This author is quickly becoming one of my favourites. I've never enjoyed a book of short stories as much as these, in particular 'Mrs. Sen' which made my heart hurt. Jhumpa Lahiri creates memorable characters to root for. She uses the perfect amount of words and depicts emotion without beating you over the head with it. I love her.  
  • Rabbit Patricia Williams (aka. Ms Pat) Another 5 star read for me this month. Rabbit is the real life story of the author who grew up in the Atlanta hood (her words) in the 80s & 90s. It is fascinating, funny, poignant and heartbreaking. The tales she tells will have you shaking your head in disbelief. A very important story. 
  • Those who Leave and those who Stay Elena Ferrante. My library reservation of the third in the Neopolitan novels arrived before social distancing kicked in so I devoured that as soon as possible. Not as captivating as the second installment, in my opinion, but nonetheless brilliant and transported me to Naples and Florence in an instant. I have ordered the fourth and final novel from Foyles, as the library is shut for the forseeable. 
  • Anatomy of a Scandal Sarah Vaughan. Didn't care for this book, a supposed legal thriller about a high profile politician accused of rape. I could see most of the twists coming, and it has a style of writing that seems to be in a lot of modern books which I find quite annoying. Sentences where there is a point made, then a hyphen and the point is expanded on, using unnecessary description and adjectives. E.g "The clay-red puddles that spread across the potholed road and that cry out for Emily and Finn to splash one another with water: fat globules that pearl on waterproof trousers and coats." Not for me. 

Watching

So I caved and binged Love is Blind which was in a word, nuts. People have asked me if it's worth watching and I don't really know how to answer. It was addictive viewing but at the same time I probably won't watch the inevitable second series. There was a lot of filler in between the drama and it was edited quite weirdly - the contestants would say things that would make 0 sense within the trajectory of the episode. Could easily have been 30 minute episodes, 40 minutes tops instead of an hour long.

I've also been working my way through my Netflix list and started Top Boy and Schitt's Creek. Enjoying the former, can't make my mind up yet about the latter. Ru Paul's Drag Race is back for series 12 which always puts me in a good mood. Rich and I wanted a major boxset to watch during the lockdown, and that boxset is The Sopranos. Things I am enjoying greatly about this series is the fashion, the way they talk and just the general fact that it's so 90s. I can see why everyone raves about it.

One of Bristol's independent cinemas, Watershed, gave their subscribers a free trial of Mubi, an independent film service. My dad and I watched 'Mustang' (separately of course) and then discussed it on the phone. Independent, socially distancing film club! The film is a Turkish subtitled number about 5 sisters who are being married off against their will. It was equal parts lovely and sad, with great acting. 

Doing

Washing my hands. Avoiding people. Face-partying. Making a 'Lockdown List' in my bullet journal.

Eating

Before social distancing was in full swing, Rich and I visited Landrace bakery in Bath. There is a big sheaf of wheat decorating one of the walls and you can see the bakers making the delicious treats behind the counter. Will look forward to returning when possible.

For general food, I have beeb planning meals as normal, and then hoping for the best when we go to the supermarket. To be fair, I can usually get most of what I need. I am so so glad that we signed up for a fruit and veg box at the beginning of the year, so we're still getting lots of fresh, organic stuff to use. Particular fave recipes I have made this month include this Chilli Bean Cornbread Cobbler  and Sweet Potato with Charred Lemon and Crunchies. That last one in particular  ~ DAMN ~ 

Wanting

I have fallen in love and it is with this cardigan. Am strongly considering trying to either craft my own or convince Rich it is a purchase we need much more than a sofa for our new house. 


Enjoying on Instagram (another bumper edition)

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