Monday 1 November 2021

October 2021 | Monthly Wrap Up

I don’t really know how I’ve felt about October. Parts have been great but there have also been parts where I’ve felt quite anxious and felt myself slipping a bit. But hey, we move, and I’m still getting into the swing of managing my uni work alongside everything else so I have plenty of time to figure things out. 


Favourite part?

I feel like every month now I begin with some kind of protest or action, and I won’t lie I’m here for it. I started October with a protest outside a new H&M store opened up in Newcastle’s Eldon Square Shopping Centre with a few pals, photographed by my friend and flatmate Jude. It was my first time organising an action like this by myself and outside of a wider organisation like Green New Deal Rising, so it was a bit intimidating but I think we had a pretty decent impact. People around us looked at our placards and listened to what we were saying, the store took notice (turning up the music they were blasting when we started speaking), and we got some more notice online too. It was also great to do something like that with my friends Fi and Harriet, and for Fi to crack out their Captain Greenwash outfit again and wear it proudly in public!


October is also my birthday month! I had a party the night before my birthday. It was Taylor Swift themed, as I turned 22 (still proud of that theme) and it was just so lovely catching up with people I’d not seen in ages, and to spend time with people I care about in a larger group (even if I was very stressed about Covid testing beforehand, but we were all fine). My birthday itself was quite uneventful. I caught up on Strictly in bed hungover, got a bagel for lunch from my fave Dot Bagels, and had a very tasty meal cooked for me by my flatmates in the evening. It was also my flatmate Meg's birthday a few days ago so October is a big birthday month for our house! 


My friends and I have had a few more film nights, and it makes me so happy. Without all having uni or being on society committees together anymore it’s not as easy to see each other, but regular film are a great of making sure we see each other frequently. We’re also going to see Rocky Horror together for Halloween and I am so excited! By the time this post is out it will have already happened but I cannot wait. 

I've also been trying out new places to work now that we're allowed to be in public spaces again. I've been exploring different cafes (both ones I already know and ones that were new to me) and other public spaces around the city.


And I couldn’t not mention my new hair! I’ve been wanting to go ginger for a long time, and I finally got my hair done not long after my birthday. I had a wonderful afternoon at the hairdressers. I felt awful for coughing a fair bit after having a really bad cold because I was paranoid people would think I had Covid (PCR confirmed it wasn’t) but apart from that I was so chilled. I had lots of peppermint tea (which has now become a slight obsession), read some of my book, sat in very comfortable chairs, and had the luxury of someone else sorting out my hair. I was so zen when I got home. I absolutely love my hair ginger too. Itmakes me feel so confident, and I actually feel more attractive as a ginge? Never underestimate the power of hair dye. 

Best read?

At the beginning of the month I read We Need to Talk About Money by Otegha Uwagba, which is incredible. Otegha’s writing is so intelligent, thought through and accessible, I will never get bored of reading her writing. There are so many interesting points of discussion in this book, from the #GirlBoss and commodification of feminism, to discussions on her early career, finding healthy working environments, and the beauty tax. Please read this book! 


I then read The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins for my degree. On the same day I finished The Haunted Hotel, I read most of and finished I Wish I Knew This Earlier by Toni Tone. This book is one I feel I will go back to many a time, and felt like a bit of a call out at many times, but in a good way. I genuinely want someone to whack me around the face with this book if I‘m ever being silly about a romantic situation or ignoring red flags again. Likely, genuinely, if you want common sense discussions on love, relationships, breakups, and even self-love, read this damn book, it’s very short too which helps. I felt this book in my chest.


I am currently read Consumed by Aja Barber which is as insightful as I thought it would be. You never know by the time this blog post is published I might have finished it already, but wow it’s brilliant and explains things so succinctly. 


I am also at the beginning of The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins, which is the next book I am reading for my degree. I am also reading Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis also for my degree, but which is a book I have been wanting to read for a long time. 

Favourite listen?

I finally caught up on the bonus episode of Aurelia’s podcast featuring Aja Barber, which I absolutely loved. I always love earing Aja speak. I’ve also been loving the new series of the Yikes Podcast and All the Small Things (which also features an episode with Aja). 

Favourite watch?

The bes thing I’ve watched this month has undoubtedly been Joe Lycett vs the Oil Giant. It is so funny, on topic, and to the point, I absolutely loved it. It was so wonderful seeing greenwashing and climate action being highlighted by a mainstream media platform for once in a positive light, and directly challenging what such a big corporation is doing. I hope Joe Lycett does more programmes like these in the future! 


I have been watching some of the regular weekly shows that are back now, like Strictly, Bake Off and Drag Race. 


I rewatched some of my comfort watches, including Ghosts and New Girl, and I’m now working my way through The Americans. I’d watched some of The Americans before ages ago but I can’t remember why I stopped watching it then, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it now.

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What did I learn?

I can organise things effectively, people do appreciate my work, and things can take time to figure out. Also that my criteria of what makes an adult is paying council tax. Yes, I’m now officially an adult. 

What’s happening next month?

Lots of conversations and events happening around COP26 and doing more of my degree! I think I’m going to take a bit of a break from direct actions and protests after COP, just because I know it will be good for me to take some time to rest and focus on my other work/projects. And then I can come back with more energy later on, or maybe even in the New Year (I do know it is a massive privilege to be able to take breaks from activism though).


What’s been on my mind?

I guess just making sure I’m keeping on top of everything. No area of my life is particularly overwhelming at the moment but there’s just lots of little things happening that I feel I need to navigate better. I’ll figure it out. 


Favourite post?

I always find my ‘Me at…’ posts interesting to write.  They can be quite personal, and the writing process can be quite different from other posts as it can entail a lot of inner reflection and looking at how I’ve progressed and changed in the past year. They’re certainly valuable to me but can feel a bit weird physically writing out. 


One of my other posts, Why You Should Join Green New Deal Rising, is another one I loved writing. I love being able to share the joy I feel about organisations and people doing amazing things. I love being a part of GNDR so much and want to spread the word and the love I have for it, as well as to make us more effective by mobilising more young people to take action for their futures. 


Biggest inspiration?


Watching Stop Cambo’s Instagram live of their action at TedxCountdown action against Shell’s CEO was so inspiring to me. It was so energizing watching as Lauren spoke to Ben Van Beurden and called him out for his greenwashing and evil tactics against climate action to his face. It was so impactful, so moving, and so motivating. This is what we want to see more of! 

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Any other favourites?

Peppermint tea! As I mentioned earlier, I have been drinking a lot of peppermint tea. It’s keeping me going right now. 


A perhaps unexpected favourite is my new laptop stand I got from IKEA and the wireless keyboard I was given by my parents. I wouldn’t have thought before actually use it that my stand and keyboard would be helpful to me, but now I’m never going back. I think it is actually helping my posture looking higher up at my screen, and I feel more professional having a proper keyboard and mouse set up on my desk – even if that might sound a bit silly? 

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If you liked this post you might like: September 2021 | Monthly Wrap Up


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