November! It’s been a strange month. Both wonderful and awful for various reasons. There were so many memorable and great moments, but I’ve got to be honest, I’m glad it’s over. Maybe one day I’ll write about why on the blog, but it’s not really my story to tell.
Vague introduction over.. I went back to work last week and it was actually fine. The weirdest part about it was that it felt like I never left. Even though my entire team (pretty much) has changed while I’ve been away, it felt no different at all. So not too unsettling and nice in many ways to get back to work. I remember why I love my industry – it’s wonderful to be around so many creative people. Plus – free books! It’s not too shabby. Plus, lots of reading time on the tube and at lunch. All in all, a pretty positive reintroduction.
Here are a few other things I’ve been loving lately:
- Get Your Sh*t Together. Full disclosure, I was given this book because it looks as though I’ll be working on her newest book next year (more on that another time), but I fully expected to love it, because the IDEA of it just fits me to a T. And I read it and I did love it. It really left me feeling so motivated to just DO stuff.
- State of Wonder. I talked about this one last month as well, but it’s worth a mention here as I didn’t actually finish it until the start of November. Ahhhh, I LOVED THIS BOOK. I highly recommend that you buy this book and move it to the top of your list. Just so absorbing and I felt so satisfied by the way it ended – don’t you love when that happens?
- East West Street. Non-fiction, so taking me a little longer to read, as non-fiction always does, but absolutely fascinating. It’s the story of, on one hand, the author’s grandfather, and on the other, the people involved in writing the Nuremberg laws. Super short chapters and incredibly pacey – it’s the human story behind the terms ‘Genocide’ and ‘Crimes against humanity’ – how the lawyers involved were influenced by the war, their personal stories, stories from their neighbours and colleagues and families… it’s serious non-fiction combined with a bit of a mystery combined with a memoir. Really interesting.
I listened to: So many podcasts. My favourites right now are:
- Courage and Spice. I suffer with self doubt a lot, as do most people on this planet, in varying ways and to varying degrees. Sas Petherick’s exploration of how people experience it and how they deal with it is so well done and also really helpful.
- The Simple Show. I love the format of this show. The host, Tsh Oxenreider, has a team of other women that take part. Each week they share what they say ‘yes’ to around certain topics, what they say no to, and how they make things work in their families. I just love that insight into how other people manage their lives and how they simplify to find the things that really matter to them.
- The Lazy Genius. I have written about this before, but I just love Kendra’s take on how to Get Sh*t Done without going crazy. She’s a co-host on the Simple Show, so unsurprisingly, she also really focuses on finding the things that really matter to you and making room for them above all else.
- A formula dispenser. This month I moved Beatrice on to formula for the two feeds a day I’m at work, and after spilling formula on the floor for the tenth time, I finally ‘splashed out’ on a formula dispenser. This one is genius because you can just take the formula out with you, or you can fill the other bits with cereal or baby crisps or other snacks you might need while out and about.
- The Eleventh Hour. If you are buying a present for a ten or eleven year old this Christmas, THIS BOOK SHOULD BE IT. I remember it so well from when I was a child, so I bought it for my niece (who I think might still be too young, so I’m holding on to it for next year). It’s just so intricate and full of cool little anagrams and puzzles and things to seek out and mysteries to solve. So fun, and still challenging for grown ups, too!
- Alias Grace. Have you watched this on Netflix yet? It was so gripping and well done, and the final episode really sent chills down my spine!
- Blue Planet II. Absolutely reinforced my commitment to try to live more sustainably, but also found it so depressing that we have created this situation for ourselves. Although I think there is a groundswell movement to give back and clean up and reduce our reliance on single-use plastics, right now it is still a very small minority of people acting on this. We need more initiatives like the plastic bag tax, and we need them to be global, and we need them now. Convenience to us at the expense of the planet is not convenient at all. How can this become mainstream rather than the preserve of a (let’s face it) privileged minority?
- Motherland. Oh my goodness, this show made me laugh so much.
- I also started The Sinner and The Good Place, both of which I am loving after an episode or two
Blog posts and articles to read:
- So, about six months ago, I organised with Susan from Cookthestone for her to write a guest post on the blog during the week I went back to work. She wrote it straight away and sent over some images and I was all set to post it. But you may have noticed that there was no post last week, so what happened? Well, between then and now, I’ve gone and changed my entire diet, haven’t I? So I no longer felt I could really share her recipe because it contained eggs. I sent her a heartfelt apology, but I know that’s not really the same, so I’d encourage you all to go and visit her site and have a poke about. She has so much knowledge on food ingredients and cooking utensils. She has a whole section on recipe substitutions, which is genius, and I love this piece on choosing a food processor because I’d say my food processors are the most used things in my kitchen (especially this one, which I’ve had since I was at university, far too long ago!).
- “Several years ago, I approached a couple of successful female actors in Hollywood about an idea I had for a comedy project: We would write, direct and star in a short film about the craziest, worst experience we’d ever had on a set. We told our stories to one another, thinking they would be hysterically funny. We were full of zeal for this project. But the stories, when we told them, left us in tears and bewildered at how casually we had taken these horror stories and tried to make them into comedy. They were stories of assault.” Brilliant insight on the Hollywood sex revelations.
- This story of racial discrimination in the school system is just so sad.
- The developer of the ‘like’ button no longer has Facebook on his phone… that’s got to be a bit of a wake up call for the rest of us, surely?
As a final note, this is the LAST love list that I’m going to be sharing on the website. In a drive to motivate myself to use my newsletter more, and in a bid to encourage you to sign up over there, I’m saving all my favourite links for my monthly email. I’m aiming to send it out in the middle of the month, and really think you’ll enjoy it when you’re there.
Want to join in? Sign up for the next one right here…
What have you been loving lately? Recommendations, please!