More stuff on my time killers

So 2020 has been...interesting, so far. But in terms of books and stuff I'm getting through a lot -

What I'm listening to:

I've discovered radio plays on BBC sounds, and listened to the adaptations of I Capture the Castle and The Girl with the Pearl Earring. They'll have gone off by now, but I'll definitely keep a look out for more. (There's some old ones on Youtube too if you go looking.)

In audio books I listened to North and South, read by Juliet Stephenson on audible, which was lovely, and now I'm on Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo which has been abridged for BBC radio. My sister bought the book and is reading something else at the minute, but threatened to 'rip my hands off' if I started reading it before her. So I'm listening instead. I've started the new Hunger Games (A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes) too - not that far in yet, but good so far!

I don't talk about music on here because everyone I've ever met agrees I h…

Queen of the feel-good films: Gurinder Chadha (Wednesday weekly blogging challenge)

Today's theme for the Wednesday weekly blogging challenge (hosted at Long and Short Reviews) is about feel-good films or books, the ones you reach for when you need a pick-me-up. And we could all use a bit of that right about now. Not long ago, I watched Blinded by the Light on a plane. It was so lovely (if a bit cringe) and full of good stuff, and it made me forget for a little while that I had hours and hours left before my feet touched land and I could get a proper sleep. Gurinder Chadha is a writer/director I love, and I always come away from her films feeling a little bit better. I couldn't pick just one to talk about, so here are my favourites and why I love them:

Bend it Like Beckham 

(Crying at the way they've dubbed the Essex accents in this trailer...)
Apart from the soundtrack and the noughties nostalgia, there's no definite reason why I find this so feel good. The story of a British Indian girl who wants to play football professionally, I love the characters…

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Liverpool dramas (TV and Film!)

So, I’ve decided to join in the Wednesday blogging challenge this week at Long and Short Reviews and the theme is books set in your city or state. The city on my doorstep is Liverpool, most famous, probably, for being the home of the Beatles and my favourite city in the world. It’s had a bad rep over the years and people can still be snobby about it, but I think it’s beautiful and there’s no denying we’ve got some of the best nightlife, shopping, food and, obviously, people, in the UK. Oh and the football, if you’re into that.

Anyway, as you can probably tell, I’m missing it, what with lock-down. Books set in Liverpool, as I've gathered from the library, seem mostly to feature raggedy Victorian/oppressed 1950's girls getting pregnant and then abandoned by their no-good sailor boyfriends. Depressing. So instead here are a…

On my radar: Lock-down edition

So, as it's been over a month since lockdown (for me anyway, I had to self isolate for two weeks before the official one) the main thing currently on my radar (aside from the global crisis and worrying about family and friends) is sitting in the back with a book. However, these posts are only ever books and TV anyway - so this one might even be more interesting than usual. 

Youtube stuff

As much as those celebrity 'do as you're told' videos are annoying, plenty of celebs and the like are pulling their weight in the 'entertaining us while we're all stuck inside' category. YouTube is the best place to go for this. Here are some of my faves: 
Oti Mabuse's Dance Class

Oti has always been one of my favourite Strictly dancers, and turns out she's a really good teacher too. She live streams a dance class on her Youtube channel most days (a kids' one in the morning and an adults' one in the evening) and they all stay up online. We did the Mamma Mia o…

Australia Part 2: Cairns!

So about a month ago, back when the world was relatively normal,  I was off to Australia with my two sisters. We did a week in Sydney, and then flew to Cairns for part two of our long awaited trip.

Cairns was great, but very different from Sydney. For one, it. was. so. hot. With our pasty Irish skin it took a bit of getting used to, and thank God for air conditioning. Our apartment complex had a shared pool too, which was great. Big cities are always very international, so I guess Cairns, which is smaller and more spread out, felt more Australian? It was very tropical and not exactly designed for non-drivers. But we managed okay, and some of my favourite bits of the trip were in Cairns. We stayed in an Airbnb about ten minutes walk from Cairns Central, which has the trains and buses, and a big air-conditioned shopping centre (where we stocked up on food for the week.) The centre of town and the esplanade were maybe another ten minutes walk on top of that.

The Crystal Cascades

There ar…

Nurses, Carers and Doctors in TV and Film

With the world the way it is at the minute, our NHS and all the doctors, nurses, cleaners, carers and porters working on the front lines are to be celebrated. Things are getting scary, and the professionalism and bravery from all our key workers is something to be grateful for, even while we're worrying about them. I wanted to do a post connected in some way, so here are a few films and TV series's to celebrate them (and their historical counterparts...)  - because for once, staying at home watching TV is actually something you can do to help. Also, don't vote Tory next time. 

Call the Midwife

Hard-hitting but also strangely cosy, this BBC drama about midwives in London's East End is still running for a reason. Great characters, great writing and acting, and it makes me cry every time. 

24 Hours in A&E

This documentary series, set in an accident and emergency ward, does what it says on the tin. Not always an easy watch but usually an inspiring one. 


A hospital…

Australia Part 1: Sydney!

It's hard to believe, now that we're all stuck inside on Covid-19 lock-down, that this time last month I was jetting off to Australia with my sisters, for the 'big' holiday we've been thinking about for years. Seems like we timed it just right - two weeks slotted neatly between the bush fires and the global pandemic... We had a week in Sydney and a week in Cairns, and surprisingly it all went off without a hitch.

The flight was seven hours to Dubai and then twelve to Sydney, which is hard going when you're not used to long haul flights, but it was worth it. We stayed Airbnb while we were there, which seemed to work out cheaper than hostels, and we packed light, just a case and a small carry-on each. Our first stop was Bondi, where we spent two days in a backpacker-ish apartment on Bondi road. It was walking distance from the beach, and roughly a fifteen minute bus trip into the city centre. Sydney was fairly easy to get around on public transport - you just ge…