This week I have been reading:
I Think I Love You (Allison Pearson) – David Cassidy was beloved by millions of teenage girls in the 1970s. He generated a kind of hysteria that led tragically to a fan dying at a London concert. The easy reading story is split in time between obsessed teenage fans in the 1970s and the grown up women they have become.
I am I am I am: Seventeen Brushes with Death (Maggie O’Farrell) – Maggie O’Farrell relates stories from her life where death was hovering nearby, its sticky fingers only narrowly denied. From the sea to a mountainside to a plane to an NHS hospital, this book reminds you that life is precious and death really can be around any corner.
This week I have been listening to:
David Cassidy (to complement my reading of I Think I Love You). Of course now Spotify thinks I love David Cassidy and keeps recommending David Cassidy related music to me.
Podcasts: Just when I say I don’t listen to podcasts, I find myself getting back into them. This week I tapped into How to Own the Room is as we’re starting Speaker’s Group again so I’m looking for new ideas. I listened to three this week, with Sharmadean Reid, where she explains her sense of entitlement to be in the room comes from her Jamaican upbringing, which gave her the belief that she could do anything (I read something similar in Grace Jones’ autobiography last week); with Shaa Wasmund, who talked about working from her garden office which has given me a new life goal; and with Aline Santos, who said seeing Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in Alien helped her realise that women could be in positions of power.
I also listened to two episodes of How I Found My Voice: with comedian/author/podcaster Deborah Frances White; and with author Man Booker prize winner Bernadine Evaristo.
This week I have been booking tickets:
A Number – by Caryl Churchill. It’s on at a new theatre (for me), the Bridge Theatre. I had to study Caryl Churchill’s Top Girls at university so I look our for her plays when they’re on. There’s another Caryl Churchill play is also on at the moment, Far Away, which I saw… 20 years ago (!). We refer to this one as “the one with the hats.” I would go see it again as it was memorable, although also disturbing.
Amy Rigby – favourite singer songwriter comes to Walthamstow, also in March, playing Mother’s Ruin Gin Palace. Amy will be talking through her new book and playing songs to complement her readings. And there will be cocktails. What’s not to like?
The Doctor – with Juliet Stevenson. I have probably been a little bit in love with her since she played the wonderfully real and gorgeous Nina in Truly Madly Deeply (what do you mean you haven’t seen it? What is wrong with you?). This will be my second time seeing her on stage and I am looking forward to it… although it’s in June.
Women who blow on knots – I haven’t booked for this yet as it’s not on until the end of September but I have it in my mind that I want to go. I read the book a few years ago and am intrigued how they will turn this book of four women on an epic road trip across North Africa and the Middle East into a play. As I was reading it I was sure it had to be turned into a movie. But I’ll accept a play as a start.
This week I have been thinking about:
Time passing. Another month comes to an end and I have crossed another number off my 24 month “something’s got to change” countdown. 17 months to go. 7 months gone already. I need to get moving.
I’ve also thought about time passing because I’ve been with my employer so long I was invited to a staff alumni event. It’s basically an excuse for all the leavers to get together and enjoy some free food and nasty wine. Actually the wine wasn’t too bad – Californian Cabernet Sauvignon so it was probably worth my time to hang around and spy on people’s name tags to see who I remembered. It was kind of like a school reunion but not for a school you went to. I saw a nametag for one of the fearsome bankers who was in my department when I first started. Let’s call her Fula Jot (not her real name). It was surprising to see her now as a little old woman in a cardigan. When I counted back I realised she must have retired something like 18 years ago, so it makes sense she looks frail and old. However I still wouldn’t want to contradict her on anything because she may be little now but I’m sure she is still fierce and not taking shit from anyone.
This week I have been feeling:
Anxious about almond milk Since reading about the toxic effect that the almond industry has on bees, and when I make my morning porridge to have Husband shake the almond milk carton and go “Bzzz bzzz” at me, I have been feeling guilty. I want to cut down on my dairy intake mostly for resource reasons and my most regular dairy intake is on my breakfast cereal. So I switched to almond milk. I would switch to oat milk but having done some more research, I see oat milk has a much higher carbohydrate loading and if I’m trying to avoid sugar spikes and reduce my cholesterol, then almond milk is the best option for me.
Happy about signs of spring There are crocuses in flower in the garden. Small ovals of intense purple are appearing, and they gladden the heart because they are a sure sign of spring. And a reminder I need to get myself organised for any garden works I want to undertake this year.
Queasy after eating rubbish food My body really has got on its high horse these days. If I eat rubbish food, my body really does say, “What the hell was that? Stop giving me this rubbish. I want the good stuff, not this greasy carb fest, sugary muck, caffeinated stimulus, nutritionally negligible fare.” Eating bad food makes my body feel unhappy and it takes that unhappiness out on me by making me feel hot, making me feel sick, waking me up every two hours in the night, making me drink extra water to wash out my system. I don’t want to live on kale smoothies for the rest of my life (bleagh!) but at the same time I really do have to be more selective about what I eat.