It’s the end of the first month of the new decade and to my surprise, I really enjoyed January. There’s always something about the new year that gives me a motivation boost, but more so this year knowing graduation is in sight. I just hope it lasts!
Anyway, I never really know how to start these posts, but I love doing them, mostly for me to look back on and remember little snippets of my everyday life. That being said, it’s been over two months since my last one! Life lately has been pretty quiet, but at the same time, it feels like it’s been super busy. Christmas and New Year came and went, and it was soon back to the daily slog of ploughing through University deadlines. However, having now completed my January essays and exam, I’m soaking up every moment of free time I have before semester 2 begins next week. So, here’s what I’ve been up to lately…
Bombay Bicycle Club
This month I’ve embraced my introversion with a few solo outings, the most recent of which being a long-awaited Bombay Bicycle Club concert. I was a bit late to the party when I stumbled upon the band in 2014. It was in Sixth Form when I chose to write a review for their album “So Long, See You Tomorrow” for my Media Studies weekly blog assignment that I started listening to their music on repeat. I didn’t see them play live on their tour that year, but after their hiatus, relaunching with their fifth studio album, “Everything Else Has Gone Wrong” earlier this month, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to snag a ticket.
I’ll admit, being my first solo concert, I was nervous. But, I learned that the negative stigma around going to a concert by yourself is far from the truth; you’re in control, you can enjoy the concert from wherever you want, and I challenged my social anxiety. I managed to nab a perfect spot in the middle and danced away for 2 hours like nobody was watching. At previous concerts, I’m sure I spent half my time watching the performance through my phone screen as I recorded snippets of every song. This time, I simply savoured the moment of watching one of my favourite bands perform live and it was incredible.
I have not stopped thinking about Little Women since I finally went to see it two weeks ago. I adored the whole film, but what impressed me the most was that Gerwig eschews Alcott’s story progression by flitting back and forth in time. Rather than one linear narrative that builds from the March girls’ childhood antics to weightier episodes of marriage, death, and the struggles of womanhood, the film alternates between the two. So, the whimsical scenes counterbalanced their more sober parallels and made for an incredible film. Also, the casting is unmatched. In particular, Saoirse Ronan, who plays Jo, blew me away. I’ve replayed her attic monologue so many times that it has imprinted itself onto my memory. If you haven’t seen Little Women yet, please do!
What I’m Watching
During the run-up towards Christmas, I enjoyed the oh-so underrated sitcom Gameface, created by and starring Roisin Conaty. The show is about aspiring actress Marcella who, with help from her friends, therapist and driving instructor, struggles to get her life back on track. Full of British humour and faux-pas, I found it just as hilarious as Fleabag. (Thanks, Mum for the recommendation!)
Another comedy I finally sunk my teeth into was Derry Girls, a humorous take on teen life in 1990s Northern Ireland. And finally, I flew through the much-anticipated second seasons of You and Sex Education (as did every other person with a Netflix subscription). If I didn’t think You could be as disturbing, the ending proved me wrong. Oh, how the tables turned. Meanwhile, yes, the season finale of Sex Education was dissatisfying, but it didn’t ruin the brilliance of the overall series.
Book Lover’s Paradise
Last Tuesday I took myself on a solo day trip to York, just a twenty-minute train ride away from Leeds. It was bitterly cold, but the plethora of book shops and medieval architecture soon distracted me from the numbness in my toes. An array of second-hand and independent book stores, home to stunning editions of classic novels, bedecked the winding, cobbled streets. How could I resist?
My favourite was Minstergate Books, just a minute’s walk away from York Minster. Set over four floors, this little antiquarian bookshop has an Aladdin’s cave of amazing titles, cheap classics, and even have books piled high on their staircases. You’ll find it on a street which has been associated with books and bookselling since 1580 and was formerly known as Bookland Lane. It would have been rude of me not to have broken my book-buying ban.
Staying Focused with Forest
Hands up if you fail to focus for more than ten minutes when your phone is right beside you? In an attempt to conquer my phone addiction, I have frequently been turning to Forest every time I want to work, write or read without distractions. Essentially, whenever you want to focus, you set yourself a timer and plant a tree. However, leave the app? Say goodbye to your blossoming pink candy tree that has now withered away.
What’s more, the Forest team partners with a real-tree-planting organisation to plant real trees on the earth. Whenever you spend virtual coins that you earn in Forest, the Forest team donates to their partner organisation, Trees for the Future, and create orders of planting. So, you’re simultaneously doing your part for the environment and being productive.
What have you been up to lately? Do you have any new TV show or film recommendations? Let me know in the comments!