The weekly round up – Second hand September, Reading, watching, listening to and a few other things.

Hello! I haven’t uploaded one of these posts in a while. I was again considering leaving them but sometimes I feel the need to write to remember what has been going on in my life, so, suddenly after a little break, it felt right to come back to them.

I haven’t much of an intro to write this week, hopefully, I will get back into the swing of things, but yeah life is going pretty ok at the moment. Feelings are still a bit up in the air after Hvar, I haven’t felt quite back into the rhythm of things back home, it is strange how a few days away can throw up so many emotions and feelings. I am still unsure if ‘home’ is where I want to be. It is the one place I feel the least settled and the least myself but I find I go through this a lot. As Autumn sets in, and the Rugby season starts and everything gets a little more hygge etc I will hopefully find my feet again, but for now, I am finding any excuse to leave Leicestershire as often as I can. My therapy is going really well and I have been learning a lot about managing my anxiety which I still do plan to share at some point but for now, this is my weekly round up.

Second hand September

As we are now officially in September, how did this happen? I have decided to start the second-hand September Campaign ran by Oxfam. Which means no new purchases through the whole of the month, clothes and homeware wise. (I will disclose that I recently purchased new trainers, new bedding and new trousers so if they appear on my social media, I bought them before I decided to start this). Over the past year, I have really tried to assess my impact on the world and how much I mindlessly consume. I am still not completely out of the mind frame of needing new clothes for occasions. I want to try second hand September to get into a habit of buying second hand and also because my finances would be much better off if I stopped buying new all of the time. I am quite fortunate, the sleepy town I live in is made up of charity shops and coffee houses, last week I managed to pick up the cutest Tommy Hilfiger shirt for £3 and with the help of my friend Fliss’ videos etc and her years of harping on at us to shop in charity shops I am giving it more of a go. I have managed to convince my group of friends to get on board and I am planning on making it into a bit of a competition so I will let you know how we all get on.

Cats at Kilworth House

Our annual visit to Kilworth house theatre returned last month without disappointment. This year they are showing Cats and Joseph and the amazing technicolour dream coat again after last years success. None of us had seen the Westend mega show Cats so it was an easy decision to make and ticked off a fair few Christmas presents in one swoop back in December. The production, as always was brilliant, the singing and the dancing was the level you would expect from a Westend show but good God I had no idea what the story was about and thankfully for my sake I was not alone in this. We all left ready to Google the plot and I am only now beginning to get my head around the story. That being said it was a brilliant performance, I think the outdoor theatre at Kilworth House continues to get better each year.

Returning to exercise

I feel like I have actually been trying to juggle fire lately, not that I can even juggle, so you can only imagine how well it’s going. I have so much going on and so much I want to do it feels difficult knowing which to prioritise, what to say no to and when to just let myself rest. My friend Fliss (she hasn’t paid for these mentions FYI I just sound super keen, sorry) works out during her lunch hour and I don’t know why it has taken 6 years to think maybe that would solve one of my problems. BLG (Before Lunch Gym, as this period will be known as) I was trying to fit gym sessions in before or after work and before the horses. I was either tired when I got to work or not returning home until after 8 pm where I would shower, eat and go to bed. I thought what harm could come from trying a lunchtime gym session. The worst would be returning to work with a very red face (reality). Over the last couple of weeks, I have managed to squeeze in three sessions per week, I could have done a fourth but I felt bad on Dougal as he has had no lunchtime company so I missed one day. It isn’t perfect, It is a bit of a rush but the positives far outweigh the negatives. I return back to work feeling a lot more alert, upbeat and happy and I no longer feel as though I am paying for a membership I am not using. I am actually working out which does so much for my mental health and I am returning home at a sociable hour in the evenings. I only wished I had started this at the beginning of the year before my holidays.

Reading

Lately, I have really been trying to prioritise reading more, especially in the evenings to help me sleep. I upload small reviews of each book on my Instagram highlights if you are interested in what I have been reading. The most recent new book I read was a book called Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. It was a High Low recommendation I had wanted to read for a while and finally caved to buy it for my holiday.  Quennie was a funny, heartbreaking, a story so many women could relate to in many parts. It had a lot more depth than the comparisons to Bridget Jones suggests. It was a lot less whimsical. I didn’t think the book did everything but if you are not reading Why I am no longer talk to white people about race or the Good Immigrant etc than at least start with Queenie. I do still believe Queenie could have been a better fictional character due to the ‘woke’ issues she was supposed to be addressing and whilst the book does manage to intwine many ways in which black woman is disadvantaged in society into the narrative I didn’t think it has done as much as it perhaps could of (it did far more than I could of, so I’m not really one to judge). I think some of the characters could have been better but there is a strong message of how counselling changes Queenie’s life which I really valued and thought it was so important, it also raised an issue about communities not believing in therapy which I didn’t realise was such a problem. In all its still a great book I can guarantee all my friends would love it. I laughed so many times throughout the story and found it impossibly hard to put down.

The Bold Type

I rattled through this 3 series show in no time. Another High low recommendation which filled the gossip girl hole in my life. The Bold Type is a very millennial, woke show based on three friends working for a magazine in Manhatten. The show I would class as ‘fantasy woke’ (I am not sure if that is even a genre) really, the idealistic situation for the employment in the future, where employers are flexible, feminist, proactive and understanding and where woke issues are addressed and fought for. Whilst some of it felt a bit too inventive and over the top, a lot of it was still relatable and covered many feminist and social topics which have gone unmentioned in the media.

The receipts podcast

I have been trying to widen my podcast series a little further than all the mental health podcasts I listen to when I came across The Receipts. I am still not entirely sure where I saw this podcast but I am so glad I did. The Receipts podcast hosts are made up of three women Milena, Tolly T and Audrey. Each episode the unadulterated group discuss the important issues facing women of colour. The name comes from having proof, I just about get the concept. When they are talking about past experiences which have happened to them the receipt is the proof they had that it happened, a screenshot etc (I am not sure I have done that justice at all). What I like most about this podcast is their straight-laced honesty, there is no holding back and they don’t always agree with each other which is so important. I think it is imperative to remember no group of women represents every woman on this planet and the ‘you do you’ rule has never been more prominent than it is now.

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