Friday 30 October 2020

October 2020 | Monthly Wrap Up

 It feels like October has been going on for ages, but it’s officially autumn and yes it’s now getting cold and dark but currently the leaves look pretty and deadlines are still a little bit distant. 

Favourite part?

I finally started back at uni! Albeit mostly from the same desk in my bedroom, but it’s good to be back in a learning environment again. All of my lectures are prerecorded, so I only have live seminars at the moment, which means that my time is even more flexible than previous years and I have to make more effort to manage my time and effectively create my own timetable. 


It was also my 21st birthday this month! As I’m sure many people have experienced this year, lockdown birthdays are a bit weird, and a bit more understated than we may otherwise have been. However, I still had a really great day and am thankful for my flatmates for that. We had pancakes for breakfast, went out to Tynemouth and North Shields during the day for walks around the parks, beaches and looking around charity shops and Keel Row Bookshop. We had takeaway from Karma Kitchen, a family run vegan Indian restaurant I absolutely adore, and had a great time. 


With uni starting, so did society events. I’ve loved the events Feminist Society have run so far this year and was so proud of the first Book Club event I ran with my friend Martha about the book Feminism, Interrupted by Lola Olufemi. I could rave about this book for hours and the discussions we had were so engaging and made me so excited for the rest of the year! I also represented FemSoc at a Gender and Sexuality discussion group with other students from Newcastle and students from University of Pittsburgh. It was a really good discussion and I really enjoyed it! 


I’ve also listened to several other talks online, including several about environmental movements, particularly about intersectional environmental movements, about clothes and the garment industry and a talk Lola Olufemi gave through the University of Dundee. 


This month has reminded me how cooking really is my meditation. Most of my days look pretty similar: at my desk doing uni work, reading, doing NEST work, etc., and taking time away from screens putting food together is my main source of respite and recharging immediately after I’m done for the day. I’ve also realized how easy it is for me to stay inside for days on end if I don’t force myself to, so I’m taking steps to ensure I’m not in my flat 24/7.

It was also my flatmate’s birthday yesterday, so at the time this post goes up it’s likely I’ll be a bit hungover.


Best read?


I’ve actually read a bit more this month although it doesn’t really feel like it. With uni starting back again, so does uni reading. I’m currently reading Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Beetle by Richard Marsh for one of my module, which I’m thoroughly enjoying. 


I also read Out of Office by Fiona Thomas, which is an incredible guide for anyone who wants to do freelance work and was a really accessible and enjoyable read too.


I also read the short satire book New Erotica for Feminists by which I as given as a present last year and finally got around to reading this year. It was funny though at times I thought it was a little bit off. At one page for example I crossed out the words ‘Margaret Thatcher’ and wrote Angela Davis underneath. Apart from that I enjoyed and it was a read to take my mind off other stresses.

Favourite tunes?

I’ve been listening to Taylor Swift’s Red and folklore on repeat, particularly ‘betty’ and ‘last great american dynasty’ as shower songs to lift my mood at the beginning of the day.

Favourite watch?

I’ve been really loving Staged recently. I love the pairing of David Tennant and Michael Sheen, the layout of the show and found the Wales jokes particularly funny. I’m certainly looking forward to the next series! 


I finished rewatching Game of Thrones. I still love it as much as ever and the last (two) series still frustrates me as much as ever. I just wish there had been more time given for character development nearer the end…


Strictly is back! Even though it’s not as it usually is, it’s definitely a comfort to have something so familiar back on regularly. I am always here for the glitz!


I’ve continued to watch more Taskmaster and Bake Off. In fact, I think Bake Off is one of the only things which helps me realise what point in the week we’re at. I’ve also been watching Married at First Sight and First Dates. 


I’ve also watched a few films, including the absolute classic that is Flushed Away and the recent adaptation of Rebecca, which I really enjoyed and I am now desperate to read the book!


What did I learn?

9ams aren’t as bad as they seem, even if several of them on the trot isn’t fun, and they're much more manageable when online than in person! I should probably try getting up earlier as I genuinely am more productive and I need the extra time at the moment. 


Boundaries work and are there for a reason. It’s noticeable when I don’t follow them. 


What’s happening next month?


More of the same. I’m continuing with my uni work (I’ve got some of my first assessments), my work with FemSoc and NEST, as well as more writing. I hope to still have some fun time around Newcastle if we’re not in full lockdown!


What’s been on my mind?

Healing – how it looks, how it changes and its more of its impacts. I’ve not necessarily been thinking about it in a bad way or from a place of hurt, but more reflective and looking forward. 


I’ve also been really trying to keep on top of everything and thinking about what I need to say no to and what I need to prioritise. My final year of uni in a global pandemic isn’t the most relaxed experience (anyone in the same situation to me will be able to tell you that!) but it’s the situation I’m stuck in and need to figure out how best to handle. 


Favourite blogger/vlogger?


Not specifically just her blog, but I’ve been really loving Victoria/In The Frow’s Instagram, particularly the creativity of her reels – they’re so professional and stunning! I’ve also been enjoying some of her blog posts, especially about how repeating outfits helped her find her style


And as always, Leena Norms’ videos have been a major comfort to me.


Favourite post?

I always enjoy the posts that occur around my birthday. It’s great to look back and reflect on the past year, at how I’ve grown and the things that have shaped me. I did that in two posts this year, my usual Me at… post as well as 21 Things I’ve Learned in 21 Years


I’m also really proud of my other two posts. I love the images used for my When Harry Met Sally OOTD (thank you to Jude for taking them!) and I think that a younger me would have found What’s So Bad About Fast Fashion? very useful as it compiles so much about the industry it took me years to learn. 


Biggest inspiration?


Wanting to do the best in my degree now that the end is in sight. Working on improving and maintaining my mental health, happiness and overall wellbeing because I deserve for all of those to be prospering. 


Any other favourites?

The app Planta! I downloaded it after my flatmate recommended it and it is a lifesaver. You basically input all of your houseplants, stating which room they’re in with the different light levels etc., and it gives you notifications when you need to water each of them and you can tick those tasks off once you’ve completed them. For any new plant parent, this will help you! 

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

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