February 2020 | Monthly Wrap Up

Friday 28 February 2020

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Well thank god February is the shortest month of the year. 

Favourite part?

You’re probably shocked to see this on your screens. Don’t worry, you’re not going delusional, I have actually posted for the first time in three months. Lots has happened since my November Wrap Up, but seeing as going into all of that would make this post ridiculously long (I have done two months in the same wrap up before, and I never intend to do three in one) and the fact that I do have some boundaries with the Internet, I’ll only do a brief summary of the months here. But beforehand, I’d just like to say hello to the new German readership my blog has acquired in the past few days, hope you’re enjoying my posts! 

December was genuinely great. I was really happy, read some good books, saw some good films, went to Chatsworth House, saw some old friends, and was told by one of the kids at NEST that they ‘love their teacher’, which understandably made my heart break with cuteness. Funnily enough the worst bit about December was Christmas Day, which was a bit dulled due to the fact that some of my family were ill. The Gavin and Stacey Special made up for it though. Oh yeah and I dyed my hair at the beginning of the month, so I have been back to my pink Ladybird-style self. 

January was overall pretty good as well. Or at least the first two thirds anyway. I had an exam which ended up going okay, a scramble to get essays in at the beginning of the month. In the name of openness and breaking stigma, the end of January and most of February has been quite shit on the whole for me on account of a few events which have really affected my mental health. I won’t go into any more detail as I don’t feel like it’s necessary, it would be unfair on other people, and, believe it or not, I actually do have some boundaries. At the same time, I don’t want to create an illusion that my life is perfect, as coud be a tendency with these kind of posts (and with social media in general), as they can become almost like a highlight reel of my life. Yes, there have been some good points, but there are some things which no one wants any randomer on Internet to see.  

I’ve seen a lot of my friends this month – whether for coffee and lunch dates, trips to the pub, or a cuppa and a chat, it’s been really appreciated. Special shout out for the amazing vegan blueberry muffins Harriot made and which I managed to eat several. It was also lovely to see my friend Amanda, who I don’t get to see very often, and as she had a few spare hours whilst was in Newcastle for a weekend as part of society trip, we grabbed some cake and hot chocolate at a vegan cafĂ© near her hostel. 

For the last half of February, I’ve been on a bit of a social media break. Yes, you probably didn’t notice, but hey ho. This was something which I tried as part of the whole ‘trying to improve my mental health’ thing, and I think it’s helped, but I’m not really sure on the whole. I’ve just taken a break from Twitter and Instagram (apart from a brief check on Instagram the other day for abut 5 minutes where I looked people’s stories), but have stayed on Facebook because I need to use it for NEST. In reality, I think I’ve just checked Facebook and my emails more often, so I’m not really sure how effective this social media break has been. I’m not sure how long I’ll be continuing it for, but it’s definitely an interesting experience. 

A major highlight of February, as sad as this might sound, was Pancake Day. I found a recipe on BBC Good Food and had a go at making some American-style ones and they were so good – even if I couldn’t quite finish them entirely… I had blueberries, vegan yoghurt and granola on top, and I’m definitely going to try making them again.

Best read?

Properly starting back at uni means new modules and new books. Well, one new English module, but still new books. The first of these was A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid, which I really enjoyed, I just loved how sarcastic it was. 

I then read Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, which I read about this time last year. I like it, but I think it’s maybe a little bit overhyped. Next was The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston, a collection of short stories based on her experiences as a Chinese American woman. I particularly liked the first two stories, and not just because the second featured Fa Mu Lan.

I finished 10 Minutes 38 Second in This Strange World by Elif Shafak nearer the end of this month. I’d been reading this slowly since the beginning of January, and I’ve loved it. The characters were complicated and interesting, and I am definitely going to read more of Shafak’s work whenever I get the chance. 

Also for my literature course, I’m now reading Beloved by Toni Morrison. Seeing as I’m only a few pages in, I’ll let you know how it is at the end of March!

Favourite tunes?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Taylor Swift and Billy Ocean lately. Taylor Swift is no surprise to anyone – I actually got a notification from Spotify the other day saying I was in the top 1% of her fans worldwide. That is an achievement if I ever saw one. I’m not sure whether I’m proud or devastated to be honest. 

Favourite watch?

I already knew that when I was having a few down days I tend to watch old episodes and clipes of Would I Lie to You? on YouTube, but turns out it’s just BBC comedy panel shows in general. So from that, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I have watched 2015-2017 of Mock the Week. Well, if they will put it all on Netflix…

I also watched most of Winter Love Island, despite not intending to watch it when it first started in January. They all seemed to be really nice to each other this year. Can you imagine???

I’ve also watched various films. I went to the cinema twice. I first went to see a showing of Casablaca, which I have on DVD anyway, but it was great to see it on the big screen - although why do people have to clap when old films are shown at the cinema? Everyone who was involved in the making of this film is dead! I then went to see Emma with my friend Jude, which I did really enjoy but I think I may still prefer the 2008 TV Series. It’s still great though, do go and see it! 

One of my modules at uni this semester has a suggested film as part of the reading list, which, as you can imagine, makes me very happy. From that list I’ve watched Made in Dagenham, Freeheld, and Stepford Wives. I’ve enjoyed all 3 of these, but I think Stepford Wives was my favourite – feminism and sci-fi in one film? Yes, please. 


What did I learn?

Self-care is hard, man. It takes time and effort. People will be more supportive than you think they’ll be. Making a joke out of everything is SO necessary, but also isn’t always the answer.

What’s happening next month?

Essay deadlines, more events with FemSoc and continuing NEST. My family are coming up to visit me for a weekend, and I am so excited to see them!  

What’s been on my mind?

Ha, yeah we don’t want to be delving into that at the moment. Maybe next month.

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

I haven’t watched or read many bloggers/vloggers lately in general. I did have a brief catch up on Hannah Witton’s videos the other day, but apart from that there’s nothing new to recommend.

Favourite post?

We’ve already gathered that I have been MIA, this shouldn’t really be a question this month.

Biggest inspiration?

Based on the rest of the post, you’d probably expect this to be quite low, but a few things have happened this month which really kept me going. And honestly, most of those have been part of NEST. One of the children made us a thank you card after we brought them on a trip horse-riding, which included drawings of the leads. It meant so much to me, I can’t even describe it, and made me feel like I actually do a decent job sometimes. 

Any other favourites?

And once again, we return to the food favourites section. This month’s highlights include Costa’s vegan ham and cheese toastie, Co-op’s new vegan range (particularly their chocolate cupcakes and hoisin duck protein pot), and a new recipe of crispy breadcrumb aubergine slices I’ve found and had about 3 times in the past week. 

If you liked this post you might like: November 2019 | Monthly Wrap Up

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