Things I’ve loved this month

I’m finally back in the UK after four long, fun months in Paris! Of course, my plane and then train were delayed, resulting in me getting a bit weepy (think Emma Thompson listening to Joni Mitchell in Love Actually) but I was soon home, marveling at all the glory of Southgate (we have a Nando’s now. EVERYBODY’S CHANGING AND I DON’T FEEL THE SAME).

Whilst on the aforementioned journey from hell, to cheer myself up I made a note of some things that I have been loving lately. Here they are (not including the deep-rooted excitement of overdosing on roast potatoes and cinnamon-scented hot drinks):

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

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First of all, I’d like to give a massive shout out to the person who bought me this as my Secret Santa present at work. Next thing, please everyone reading this, don’t shudder at seeing Steinbeck’s name, having flashbacks to the GCSE days of trying to figure out why Curley kept one of his hands permanently moist in a glove of vaseline. The Grapes of Wrath is really agreeing with me so far, and although I’m finding faults with all the rampant homophobic and racist language, it’s a thought-provoking novel and I’ve always been into the whole epic-American novel genre. As wikipedia succintly puts it, “set during the Great Depression, it focuses on a poor family of farmers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship and agricultural industry changes. Due to their nearly hopeless situation, and in part because they are trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California in search for jobs, land, and a future.” It’s set to be pretty long at 400-odd pages, but I’m about ten chapters in and really enjoying it so far.

Yankee Candle, ‘Riviera Escape’

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Not entirely sure what to say about this, other than it smells nice. Not entirely sure what a ‘riviera escape’ explicitly is meant to smell like, but oh well. Also can we please appreciate how much I’ve nailed the hygge aesthetic of this photo? (Don’t worry. I still hate it).

Anastasia Beverly Hills ‘Prism’ Palette

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Part of Anastasia Beverly Hills’ holiday collection, this palette has a mix of matte, duo-chrome and metallic colours. Compared to my modern renaissance palette, some of the colours are a bit drier and chunkier (especially osiris and throne) but I looooove the colours in this palette and the mattes in particular are amazing.

Mindhunter (TV series), Netflix

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Mindhunter is set in the 1970’s, in the very early days of criminal psychology and criminal profiling at the FBI, and the show revolves around FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), along with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), who interview imprisoned serial killers in order to understand how they think with the hope of applying this knowledge to solving ongoing cases. It’s so tense, wound so tightly, and so gripping. It’s tacitly scary. It’s produced by David Fincher, so you know it’s going to be good. It’s so 70’s, the soundtrack is great, the directing is incredible. I have a couple of episodes to go until I finish Season 1, and although it’s pretty slow in terms of plot development, I’m pretty much always on the edge of my seat watching it (or hiding behind my hands, asking Lucy if the gory bits are over yet). A word of advice – skip the opening credits. Too creepy.

‘My Dad Wrote A Porno’ podcast

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OK, so admittedly I may be late to the game here, but this is the funniest thing ever. It’s a podcast series where Jamie Morton reads through a porno book that his dad wrote. It is the least sexy thing ever (unless you think that breasts ‘plunging like pomegranates’ is erotic). What makes it even funnier is the commentary by James Cooper and Alice Levine. The book they read is about Belinda Blumenthal, and “how the sexiest sales girl in business earns her huge bonus by being the best at removing her high heels.” Quite gripping stuff. I use the app ‘Podbean’ to listen to it, where you can download it for free and listen offline. Danger: don’t listen to it on public transport. I have had so many bemused Parisians looking at me like I am, quite frankly, mental as I snort and splutter on a crowded rush-our train.

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