It’s our last November Sunday of this year and of this decade even! I am feeling rather excited at the moment as I have so many exciting plans coming up. Things aren’t going perfectly for me for anyone reading this and struggling at the moment. I find the festive period quite triggering sometimes, (even when I am fortunate to not have anything to be sad about), I find it a harsh reminder that another year is coming to a close and perhaps I am too hard on myself and the weather and dark mornings and evenings are too hard on me too, but like everything I know it will pass and we still have a lot of exciting days planned in 2019 along with some wonderful memories still to make.
I am very happy to be waking up in Cardiff this morning after a catch up with my old uni housemates which has been so much fun. This week I was lucky enough to have a couple of days off work. I went down to London with my sister then stayed at Fliss’ as we were seeing Geowulf on Monday night at the Oslo in Hackney. I was the only one off on Tuesday so I wandered around the charity shops in London. I walked and walked with no headphones, music or podcasts for the entire day. I never, let myself do this. I am always reading or listening to something, I was surprised by how peacefull my day was being alone with my thoughts, walking through London. I wandered all day and saw so much and I admit it was one of the best days off I have had this year. I really wish I had more time to just wander aimlessly around London.
I had the day off on Tuesday whilst I was in London, so I wasted no time and hopped on a bus to Stoke Newington to check out some charity shops on my friend Fliss’ recommendation. I loved Stoke Newington, a little suburb with such a community feel packed full of cafes, greengrocers, butchers pubs and an abundance of charity shops. I picked up several items in the shops there leaving some amazing items behind. I then made my way over to brick lane to check out the rest of the vintage stores I had not seen the last time I visited. I am obsessed with Brick Lane vintage stores, I have vowed if I ever want an Aquasctum or Burberry trench coat I will never buy a new one because they have every design you could ever want there, same goes for Levi’s and Levi jackets but I have to admit I don’t like vintage shopping as much. You have to be after a specific item you want to keep and often the prices whilst a lot cheaper than new aren’t that much of a great deal. I think vintage and charity shop shopping for me has a different meaning. Vintage I would buy to keep whereas charity shop purchases I more often than not sell. I ended the day in Angel at the Trinty Hospice shop which was amazing. I picked up a Reiss trench coat and an & other stories skirt for a total of £50. I am so happy with the condition and quality of both, this has rocketed to my favourite charity shop. I knew the London charity shops had a good reputation but I wasn’t expecting them to be this good. I sell all my finds on either eBay or Depop so check them out.
This week I did sadly break my sustainable shopping only promise when I found myself in Sloane Square Zara store, and sadly I have no regrets, it was the best Zara store I have ever been to. There was so much I wanted to buy but I kept it to a minimum and bought this green cami dress which I plan to wear to every birthday and Christmas party this winter and this purple corduroy shirt which I love.
Podcasts have been on fire again lately, I try to share weekly updates on Twitter and Instagram too so keep an eye out for them but recently I have really enjoyed a few episodes in a series about employment by The Cut on Tuesdays these covered career progression, when to quit and how to get hired. They resonated a lot with me as someone who too has been in their role for over 6 years.
I have fallen back in love with Modern Love podcast series after watching the televised version. This was, believe it or not, the first podcast I really began listening to regularly but then after a saturation of new and exciting content over the past few years and I had forgotten all about it. I love to hear so many stories about love but I have to admit my favourite are those of love of friendship or a family relationships.
I have also loved some very feminist podcasts this week, the interview Elizabeth Day did with Jane Garvey was brilliant as was Ferne Cottons Happy Place with Hilary and Chelsea Clinton. Heavily covering ambitious women, women in the workplace, gender pay gaps and perceived gender roles. I have also loved two podcasts this week with Dawn O’porter, the first with Emma Gannon, there was a moving segment where they discussed the joy of female friendships and an interview with Dawn and Adam Buxton on the Adam Buxton podcast. There was so much brilliant content available this week I have been trying to digest it all without becoming too overwhelmed.
Amazon Audible is on offer for £3.99 a month for four months, (it might have better offers in the Black Friday sale next week). I have had real trouble sleeping of late and find audiobooks really help with this because I can have all the lights off. I have purchased a few audiobooks in the past and really enjoyed them, but never found them a substitute for printed books until now. With my monthly free credit, I purchased Elizabeth Days How to Fail following on from her podcast of the same name. I have really enjoyed listening to this book. Reading or listening I think a lot of you will gain a lot from Elizabeth’s candid approach to her failures in life and how they have helped her succeed.
On Wednesday my Dad and I went to see Le Mans 66 based on the true story of when Ford took on Ferrari to build a car which could win the Le Mans 24 hour car race. I didn’t know anything about the film before seeing it but thought it would be something my Dad would enjoy. From a cinematic perspective this film has it all, we saw it at the Xplus at a showcase Delux and it really made the difference, my stomach dropped on many occasions the driving felt so real. The film was brilliant, I don’t want to add any spoilers so I won’t mention anything but it is not the underdog story I was expecting but it is definitely worth a watch if this is your type of film.
Last weekend my housemate put on the Chef on amazon prime, swearing that is was one of her favourite films. I wanted something easy and relaxing and that is exactly what we got. It was such a chilled, wholesome movie, I loved it especially all the food. The film is not groundbreaking but if you want something easy and heartwarming to watch one evening I would definitely recommend checking this film out.
Game changers, I try to stay away from this vegan biased documentaries on Netflix, whilst I eat a vegetarian diet and moving closer towards a plant based diet these documents I find lean so heavily on vegan only being the right diet. I worry that watching something for an hour is always going to make me change my thinking and I am not always 100% sure on their facts but I had heard a lot of good things about game changers even though it had been made for a male audience. This article on Refinery29 was an interesting reflection on the vegan documentaries on Nextflix currently and how much influence they have over us. The one thing I will note about this documentary is I don’t think all the facts are correct and the ones that are true were often taken from a very small study of people with caveats. Whilst I took lots of positives from this documentary I did notice a lot of their plant based alternatives were pulses, beans, lentils etc. I know a lot of family and friends who suffer from IBS and digestion problems where this diet wouldn’t be possible, I am not saying a vegan diet wouldn’t be possible for them but those replacements would be out of the question so it would have been nice to see more of a variety of food.
I don’t have any events this week, we are all flat out with winter diaries so I don’t want to throw anything else into the mix. All I will say is that it is so cold out and to keep in mind those sleeping on the streets this winter. Wrap up London are just one of the many charities collecting coats for the homeless this year. If you want to help but don’t have coats to give away there are so many available in charity shops under £10 which you could donate. There are so many homeless charities out doing amazing work. There is so much you can do to help from food banks to volunteering, donating clothing, sleeping bags, thick socks and rucksacks, dog rugs, dog food and blankets.
I recently finished The Familiars by Stacey Halls which I really enjoyed. My Mum picked this up on her holiday and I raced through it. I hadn’t been lost in a story for a while so it was nice to go back to a book you cannot put down. This is part factual based on the Pendle witches with a fiction based narrative written around it. A really enjoyable read if you like a period drama which isn’t pretentious or hard work.