Wednesday 3 April 2019

February/March 2019 | Monthly Wrap Up

It feels like ages since I last wrote a monthly wrap up.

Favourite part?

Oh god, I feel like I’ve I’ve had lots going on over the past two months. But then again, maybe that’s just the essays talking. 

One thing that I’ve started is (almost) weekly writing sessions with my friend Elijah. We head to one of the many coffee shops in Newcastle and get shit done, whether that’s blog posts, short stories, poems, or whatever. Our little writing group has been very helpful to me, many of the blog posts you may have seen this month would not have been published without them.

Part way through February, I went home for a few days to see my brother in his school musical. Safe to say he was great and I was super proud. 

In the past two months I’ve been to several events at my university. First, I went to an event for Kate Davies’ debut book In at the Deep End, which I think I can accurately describe as a sex comedy. She was hilarious and I honestly can’t wait to read her book (it’s on my longTBR). I also went to a couple of poetry events. These readings were so useful to me personally, as they helped boost my creativity and I actually wrote my first poem in ages after the first of these events – and I felt a joy of a kind I hadn’t felt in a long while. Then, at the end of March, I went to a book event for Caroline Criado-Perez’s Invisible Women. If you pay attention to the book charts or feminist Twitter, you’ll proably have heard of Caroline. She’s a prominent feminist activist, being part of the campaign for Jane Austen to be on the £10 note and for Millicent Fawcett’s statue in Parliament Square. Her knowledge was incredible and some of the things she described just made me so angry. Again, I can’t wait to read her book. Similarly, I went to an event about women in international defense, where I heard a woman from NATO speak about her work and the perceptions and involvement of gender within NATO and its missions. It was fascinating and I learned so much.

In February I went to the first meeting of a sustainable fashion group, where we discuss fashion, its ethics and its sustainability, our experiences and how we can do better. There was another meeting in March, and honestly it’s exciting to be around like-minded people and to hear about the multitude of projects which are going on to help combat this industry. I can’t wait to see what other things this group is going to do.

I feel like I’ve been more social these past few months, and I’m here or it to be honest. I had several nights out with my flatmates, and some of us went to play space golf. We were all quite bad but it was a fun evening.

My friend Ali introduced me to The Carriage, a vegan pub in Newcastle, which was INCREDIBLE! Afterwards we both dyed our hair, and I am slightly obsessed with my new Ladybird-esque look. 

Fish and chips made out of banana blossom - it was very tasty!

Nearly a week later, my friend Amanda came up from Leeds to visit me for a couple of days. You may have seen her mentioned on here before, or seen her old blog or her YouTube channel, as that is how we met. We have known each other for some time now (I tried to figure it out and I think it’s something like three years!), but we’d never actually met until that weekend. I met her on Friday evening and we went to Junk It Up for some great vegan junk food, then went on a night out and to Vegano, a new vegan cafĂ© in Newcastle, for brunch the next day before she left. It was so great to finally meet and I can’t wait to see her again! You can see her vlog of it here

Speaking of Vegano, I’ve been there a couple of times now – the first with Amanda, the second to get myself a cake as a post-essay treat and then again for lunch with three friends on the day after we finished for Easter. I will be going back to this place all the time. 

Ooh and I made Welshcakes for St. David's day and they were beeeeautiful, if a little underdone. 

Best read?

I haven’t read as much as I would like to have done over the past couple of months. Well, I have for uni, but it feels like all I’ve been reading has been to do with academics, and it hasn’t entirely been. In February I read The Sadeian Woman by Angela Carter, Herland and the Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, all feminist classic which I would highly recommend. Even if Herland is a tad essentialist and fantastical, it’s still so interesting. The point is: patriarchy ruins everything for everyone.

Then, the uni reading took over. For English, I read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe, Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism by Lenin, Othello by Shakespeare and An Introduction to Literary Theory by Jonathan Culler. On the whole, I enjoyed them, some more than others. To be fair, this doesn’t include the many (and I mean many) chapters, articles, and various other pieces related to essays. Those joys.

Throughout this, I was gradually reading Noam Chomsky’s Who Rules the World? which I thought was great. It was the first time I’d read anything of Chomsky’s and I can’t wait to read some more of his work. After watching the film On Chesil Beach, I then headed straight to the library and got the book out, reading it of one evening. I absolutely loved it! Seriously, whenever I read anything by Ian McEwan I get completely overwhelmed. 

At the end of the month, I was reading Dangerous Women Pt. 1, edited by George R.R. Martin – a collection of short stories about, you guessed it, dangerous women. By the time you read this I should have finished it or nearly have finished it. Overall, I’ve enjoyed it, although I have some issues with the compilation techniques and a couple of the stories – what a surprise, the stories with the least well written women were written by men. Shocker. 

Favourite tunes?

Kate Nash and Take That have been on repeat in March (I can’t really say much for February, but let’s presume the usual ABBA). Yes, the last one makes me sound like a middle aged mum but I don’t care. They’re great songs. And Kate Nash is so underrated. Foundations is such a banger, as are the rest of her songs. 

Favourite watch?

Sometime in February I started making a list of everything I’ve watched again, like I did last year. I love being able to look back on what I’ve been consuming, for fun and to be critical about the way I consume. Unfortunately, I left my list in my uni flat so I’m just going to have to go from memory.

I’ve been watching lots recently. I saw If Beale Street Could Talk, On the Basis of Sex and The White Crow at the cinema (the last at a preview with an interview with some of the cast, the director and writers). I really enjoyed them all, each for different reasons. The White Crow was so dramatic and had such interesting characters, Beale Street was absolutely stunning and a true piece of art, and On the Basis of Sex was, well, it blew me away. I was sobbing at the end of it. 


I have also watched When Harry Met Sally (for about the 100thtime), Casablanca (for the 2ndand 3rd), The Five Year Engagement and several others I can’t think of right now. 

TV wise, I’ve watched a bit of Derry Girls and Celebrity Bake Off with some of my flatmates along with the Disappearance of Madeleine McCan. I have been keeping up with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (I can’t deal with this show ending) and rewatching Jane the Virgin in time for the new series – that last cliffhanger still gets me. I’ve also been getting into the American True Crime Series, both The People vs. OJ Simpson and The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which I think are both incredibly made and performed. I can’t remember if I watched this in February or January but anyway, I want to give a shoutout to the BBC’s adaptation of Les Miserables. I was obsessed. It’s snotty-crying-at-2am good.


What did I learn?

That I don’t always get energy from the ways I’ve traditionally thought I have. Maybe I’m becoming more of an ambivert as I’ve found that sometimes seeing friends or just having a focused conversation has really helped me when I’ve been feeling absolutely wiped. I’ve noticed this especially when I’ve been drowning in essays and need a break and I don’t want to keep reading in my down time when that’s what I’ve been doing all day in uni.

What’s happening next month?

April is Easter, and that means I’m home. I’ve got a trip planned with my mum and hopefully I can see a lot of my friends. Here’s to hopefully some more sun as well!

What’s been on my mind?

Essays, planning holidays, trying to keep a bit of balance in my life and not stress myself out. 

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

Some of my classic vegan faves: Sustainably Vegan, Madeleine Olivia. I’ve also been watching a lot of Melanie Murphy and Ariel Bissett’s videos. I also rewatched Leena Norms’ #40DaysofQuestions series – even though it’s from two years ago, I still feel like they have some relevance to my life.

Favourite post?

I’m actually really proud of all the posts I’ve published in the past two months, even if they haven’t been the most frequent. I think, out of all of them though, I’d have to say that my 5 Women-Led TV Shows post is my favourite. I love these shows so much and I had a great time writing it. It honestly feels like one of my best blog posts. Go read it and watch those damn feminist shows!

Biggest inspiration?

Getting annoyed at male philosophers, thinkers and academics for being constantly and consistently misogynistic and being able to have a go at them through essays centuries after their death. Take that Rousseau!

Any other favourites?

Since seeing On the Basis of Sex, I have become obsessed with using scarves as hair accessories. I have one red one in particular, which my friend Liz gave me for Christmas, I have been wearing around my ponytails/buns and it looks so gooood. I also want to mention Starbucks' new vegan mac and cheese. It's so tasty and I love it. I don't, however, love the price (it's freakin £4!!) nor endorse Starbucks. Starbucks, please pay your taxes.

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

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