April has been a busy month, and looking back on it, it’s no wonder I’m feeling tired. Work saw me go on day trips to Leicester and Coventry, as well as a three day trip to Lancaster (which I wrote about here) and I also spent the weekend visiting friends in Colchester. I really enjoy the act of travelling so I didn’t mind all the train journeys, but I need to spend some quality time at home spring cleaning before a trip to Australia next month to see my sister.
What I’ve been watching…
I’ve managed to keep up a good run of going to the theatre again this month, with trips to see Fat Friends The Musical at the Alex, Police Cops in Outer Space at the Old Joint Stock and This House at The Rep. I also managed a couple of book talks, including one to see Laura Stevens talk about her book The Exact Opposite of Okay, and another to see Afua Hirsch talk about her book BRIT(ish) at the very excellent Impact Hub.
Given how much I’ve been away from home, I was quite impressed with my eleven trips to the cinema this month. I was contemplating doubling my cinema challenge for the year, but the Avengers Infinity War seems to be taking up all the screens at my usual cinema and so planning a cinema day is increasingly more difficult.
- Ready Player One was alright, felt like I’d seen it before. Nice to see Birmingham on the big screen, less so because it’s portraying a dystopian craphole
- Isle of Dogs I felt a bit mixed about; it felt too long and there are elements of it that are problematic
- Midnight Sun ended a triple bill at the cinema. Felt a bit fluffy, which is why I saw it, suspect the original might’ve been a bit meatier
- A Quiet Place was unexpectedly brilliant, found myself holding my breath at the end, and agreeing with the nervous laughs from other audience members at the end
- Ghost Stories is something I swear I’ve seen on stage and worked better then. It was classy and clever but I wanted a bit more from it
- Love Simon was a nice light-hearted teen romcom, with a gay main character – and love interest. This shouldn’t be refreshing in 2018, but it was.
- Funny Cow was an interesting look at the challenges facing a female comic in the 1970s, gritty social realism.
- Beast is about a sheltered young woman and an outsider who begin a turbulent relationship amidst a murder in the area. It’s typically British, with sound stand out acting and suitably atmospheric
- Avengers Infinity War I’m still unsure about, I’m going back for a second viewing
- Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is the perfect Sunday viewing whilst the weather outside is crap.
- Journeyman is definitely a go see movie. The story of a boxer recovering from brain damage, which is interesting and superbly acted
I’ve been double dosing Netflix and Amazon Prime and generally watching lots of things that are light and easy to watch. One film did stand out, the sublimely ridiculous Deathgasm; a B movie, horror comedy from New Zealand. Following in the footsteps of other Kiwi cult classics, it’s a gorefest about teen metalheads who accidentally summon a demon. As you do.
What I’ve been reading…
Another month of ‘not a lot’, aside from some trashy 97p stuff on my kindle that doesn’t need mentioning. I did power through The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Stevens, ahead of the book talk and was a book I enjoyed far more than I thought I would. I’ve got half a review I need to do something with.
I did borrow The Four Pillar Plan by Dr Rangan Chatterjee from the library, which I got about half way through before I had to give it back, but was an interesting read about looking after yourself, with easy to digest ideas backed up with links to scientific studies. I also borrowed Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, after reading part of an essay for the shine theory post.
Some interesting links I’ve been reading…
Depression Steals Your Soul and Then it Takes Your Friends
It’s so easy to cut off a friend who is persistently difficult, self-absorbed, nasty, and decidedly “other.” Especially if they cut themselves off first.
How to Say ‘No’ to Others and ‘Yes’ to Yourself
Saying “no” can be scary. Some of us avoid saying “no” by either saying “yes” or avoiding answering the request altogether (oops). But here’s the thing: there’s nothing wrong with saying “no” to things other people ask you to do (unless, in most cases, it’s your boss), whether it’s a night out with a friend, a “can-I-pick-your-brain” request from an acquaintance, or something else.
When I moved to London aged 18, I felt alone. Wasting hours on public transport made it feel like home
I credit London transport for curing my homesickness, when I felt like I had absolutely no idea where I was. It helped me stick my head above the water, and see things a little more clearly.