Thursday, February 5

Recently, I Have Mostly...

A very cold day for afternoon tea at Colwick Hall Hotel

Happy February! I hope January was decidedly un-January-like for you, meaning not too cold, not too grey and not too grim. Mine has been ridiculously cold, as such I have watched an equally ridiculous amount of television, films and Netflix (although unfortunately not read enough books, but I'll get to that in another post).
  • I have finally, finally nearly finished The Sopranos. I'm nearly finished with Part One of Series Six (yeah, I just discovered it's in two parts). I've reached that point in box set viewing where I start dreaming about the show; There's something very meta and discomforting about dreaming about Tony Soprano's dreams. For the most part I've really enjoyed it, despite the constant fear that everyone is going to get killed. After every episode I spend a good few minutes searching for essays about the Sopranos - Animal symbolism, the Madonna/Whore complex and racial stereotyping, mostly. There was also one devastating death that I spent hours googling, because I was not ready for it and I have nobody to talk to about it. It's not fair.
  • I cram watched series one of Broad City in a day. Broad City is my new favourite now that Parks and Rec is leaving me, yes me specifically. Broad City is created by and stars comedian/actresses Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, the show follows two friends in their twenties, living in New York. It is also executive produced by Amy Poehler (amongst other people), obviously I love it. It's difficult to describe Broad City without making a Girls comparison due to the setting and the themes, Broad City is a bit like the funniest scenes in Girls, multiplied by quite a bit (and minus Lena Dunham's confusing arty moments).
  • I am also getting super into The Good Wife. Everyone has told me that I would like this show, seriously, everyone; even Netflix tells me that I'd probably give it five stars. So I took the hint, I started watching and in a couple of days I've finished two seasons, and I am hooked. Julianna Marguiles is ridiculously good, as is the entire cast - Josh Charles, Christine Baranski, Archie Panjabi, Matt Czuchry, Alan Cumming, etc - the writing is brilliant and the story lines are addictive and relevant. The best so far is 'VIP Treatment' where a woman accuses a high-profile humanitarian of rape. It's interesting watching not only because we see the extensive research put in before a case goes to court (even before a law firm takes a case), but also because we see the treatment of sexual assault victims by the law as they work to discredit the victim, rather than investigate the accused. In general, I also find it incredibly interesting to see how often the first amendment (freedom of speech) is used to defend all manner of terrible things. TLDR: The Good Wife is very good.
  • My mum has been sending me a load of archived shows on BBC Iplayer, I don't know how she finds them, but I'm sure if you have a hunt you can find something of interest. A few suggestions of things I've got in my favourites; Private View: Matisse Exhibition at Tate Modern, Artists' Notebooks:Van Gogh, The Works: Cutting Up Rough (follows Alexander McQueen at LFW) and To The World's End Scenes and Characters on a London Bus Route.
  • I'm trying to introduce whole-wheat flour into all of my favourite baking recipes, and I'm actually enjoying the experiment. It's also quite amusing when people ask me why all my baked goods are '...a bit browner than usual'. I'm straying from the tried and true Mary Berry's Baking Bible and trying a couple books which are a little simpler and rougher around the edges - James Morton's Brilliant Bread and Ruby Tandoh's Crumb.
  • I'm getting back into Paul Simon; listening to Paul Simon first thing in the morning is my favourite thing to do to make sure I'm in a good mood. Paul Simon's Graceland is one of a few memorable albums that my mum played in the car when we were younger. How can anyone be sad listening to Paul Simon?
  • I don't know anything about Isobel Anderson, but I found this video on tumblr and I just really liked it and I love her folksy voice, so I thought I'd share. I shall now go educate myself with the help of her website.
  •  One last thing, my ticket giveaway has just over a week left, and no entries (if I did sad face emojis there'd be one there). You can enter here, at the moment you are pretty much guaranteed the tickets if you enter now.


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