Monday 29 June 2020

June 2020 | Monthly Wrap Up

The end of June already? Lockdown genuinely messes with time perception. 

Favourite part?

This month has seemed to blur together. This month hasn’t been very busy, just like the past couple of months and presumably the months coming up. I’ve been reading, watching, trying to do more yoga and planning more for this here blog. I’ve been really proud of my content lately, and have a lot of ideas, and have lots of posts planned. 

I’ve spent more time outside, which I think has helped. Not exercising really, but sat outside reading or working, and that’s a step. I may hate myself for saying this, but hopefully next month I may try and go for some longer walks. 

I’ve continued to enjoy cooking. As usual I’ve made various crumbles, however I did branch out a bit, and made my first ever vegan cheesecake and vegan mac and cheese. I loved the mac and cheese, and basically used a load of Applewood cheese and nutritional yeast, and added some kale I had in the fridge which needed using up, and it was absolutely lush. I’m not 100% happy with the cheesecake. Don’t get me wrong, it was super tasty (it had 5 lemons in it!) but the texture was not quite right. But hey! It was my first time making a cheesecake, and it’s a place to improve from. 

Oh! And I finally bought my blog's domain! Blogspot is now no more. Took me long enough, but it feels great for it to be officially mine.

Best read?

I ordered lots of new books in the past couple of months, and I have been trying to put together a plan of action so that I can eventually get through all of them. At the moment, I’m prioritizing my library books. As libraries are now reopening, the deadline for returning my books before I get a fine is edging closer, even if it’s in August. Those books I’ve read this month are Rise by Gina Miller and A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes. The latter I haven’t finished yet but I’ve really enjoyed both. 

I also read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, after having loved the TV series adaption. This book is like a hug in paper form. It’s funny and the characters are brilliant. I have a feeling this is going to become a bit of a comfort read.

I’ve also been reading as part of a book club I help run. This month I read a couple of chapters of Malcolm X’s autobiography, and am going to read it gradually over time, as it’s pretty long. For this book club, I’ve also been reading Shereen El Feki’s Sex and the Citadel, which I am absolutely loving! It looks at sex and relationships in the Middle East, primarily in Egypt, and is fascinating. If you’ve followed my blog or my other social media online for a while, you may know that I love studying sex and relationships. It’s something I find so interesting and relevant to so many issues. I’m only on Chapter 3 of this book, but already I would highly recommend!

Favourite tunes?

I have had a few dance in-the-shower dance parties to the playlist I put together for Newcastle FemSoc. There are some bangers on there and it helps lift my mood and makes me feel at least a bit better about myself. 

Favourite watch?

This month I have watched a fair amount. From a Moana and Maleficent move night, I got the idea for my dissertation, which I’ll be completing next year. That’s not something I want to talk about loads online as it’s still in my head and I don’t want to put any pressure on my future self, as I’m sure you’ll understand. 

Randomly, I also watched Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief several times, as well as my usual Outnumbered rewatch. These are definitely comfort watches and that is completely valid. I also watched the first four series of Line of Duty. 

June has definitely been a month of documentaries for me. I first discovered A House Through Time in April, but caught up on the last few episodes this month, and I think it’s brilliant. Since then, I’ve become kind of in awe of David Olusoga, who presents this documentary among many others and is an established historian if you haven’t heard of him before. I’ve also watched his documentaries Black Britain: A Forgotten History and Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners, both of which were fascinating and really informative, covering events and people I’d mostly never heard of before. In all of these documentaries, I think his style is engaging, particularly the way he focuses the history he tells through people – something I think increases impact. 

Other documentaries I’ve watched include 13thand the accompanying conversation between Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, and the BBC film about one man’s experiences with the Windrush Scandal, Sitting in Limbo. 

I’ve also been watching Dear White People. I didn’t see it when it first came out, but I’m so glad I’m watching it now. It’s so well written, the characters are all so complicated that my opinions on them changes frequently like with any real life person. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. It’s a genuine masterpiece.

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What did I learn?

A whole lot of Black history through some of the documentaries mentioned above and other sources online. And that I need to take things more slowly, even if that’s difficult.

What’s happening next month?

I should really take this question out for the time being shouldn’t I? Honestly, who knows. I’ll be spending most of my time at home. I’ll be writing blog posts, hopefully baking, doing things for N.E.S.T, and trying to organize my things. And hopefully the house hunt for next year will finally be over!

What’s been on my mind?

How to be a better ally. I’ve been trying what I thought was my best for years, but frankly, that’s not good enough. I, like everyone else, has to do better, and I’m trying to figure out a longer term and effective strategy to be better. Ally is a verb, not a noun, after all. 

Favourite blogger/vlogger?

As usual, Leena Norms and Hannah Witton have been people I’ve watched on Youtube this month. Recently, I think that both of them have really upped their game. 

Favourite post?

I am actually really proud of all the posts I’ve published this month. I feel like I’ve got my blogging mojo back and I’m so excited for the content I’ve got planned. Out of all of them, I’d say the one I like the most is Quitting Fast Fashion: Where to Start, as it’s a topic I’m really passionate about and am going to write more on in the future. However, I would say that I’m most proud of is Self-Care is Not Pretty | Rethinking Wellness, as it’s probably the most open and vulnerable I’ve been on here, hopefully in a good way.

Biggest inspiration?

Ah I don’t know anymore. The same as last month’s: watching other people working to change the world and seeing the real life impact they’re having. 

Any other favourites?

Mindful Bites chocolate spread has got to be mentioned here. My friend Angie tagged me a post of theirs, and I ended up buying a couple of pots of their spread and it is delicious. I’ve had Vego several times before, but this is so smooth and somehow feels more luxuriant. Since going vegan I haven’t been able to truly recreate Nutella on crumpets, but this really hit the spot (plus it doesn’t use any palm oil!). It’s something I’m going to keep in mind as a bit of a treat in the future, and would highly recommend! 

If you liked this post you might like: May 2020 | Monthly Wrap Up

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