I used to keep a diary when I was younger, charting in unnecessary detail mundane life events, my feelings and all manner of things that occurred throughout the day, from what I was eating to documenting which sibling had decided to ruin my life that day. I gave up diary writing as I got older however, as life, studying and lack of sleep got in the way, and although I tried to pick up the habit again over the years, it never seems to have stuck.
Recently I have noticed that a lot of bloggers online do Monthly Favourites posts, whereby they share a few of their favourite things that month with their readers. I thought it was a great idea, and perhaps a bridge between diary writing/blogging/keeping a memory log of things I’ve encountered or been inspired by, and in line with my New Year’s goals, what new things I’ve tried.. or attempted to try.
So here’s the first of my Monthly Musings posts. It’s an attempt to show the more ‘cultural’ stuff I do I suppose, things that I am passionate about, experience etc. Hope you enjoy reading them, and perhaps may even be inspired to check out some of the stuff too!
THE 1975 – I LIKE IT WHEN YOU SLEEP, FOR YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL YET SO UNAWARE OF IT
I discovered these guys very recently (like two days ago lol) whilst scrolling through some Instagram Stories of people I follow. They are an English rock band from Manchester, and recently won a Brit Award for Best British Group, so if you haven’t heard of them yet, I’m sure you will soon! I’ve been listening to their second album I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It. Thestyle is a mixture of my favourites really – jazz, post-rock, R&B, soul, indie rock and a bit of dance rock. So currently listening to this (even as I write this blog post), and plan to work through the rest of their material. My fave tracks so far are ‘She’s American’ and ‘If I Believe You’. I would give them a listen if you haven’t already 🙂
RO JAMES – ELDORADO
I stumbled across Ro James at work whilst putting a random playlist on play on Spotify. He’s an American R&B/Hip-Hop/soul singer-songwriter. I haven’t managed to work through his whole album Eldorado yet, but plan on doing so. I just like his voice basically. I’ve downloaded the whole album (the perks of being an Amazon Prime member – get lots of albums on Prime for freeeee!!), so will give the whole thing a listen to at some point.
MAX – HELL’S KITCHEN ANGEL
Again, stumbled across MAX on a Spotify playlist and then proceeded to download the whole album on Amazon Prime on my iPod. I’ve only listened to ‘Lights Down Low’ so far, which I liked, but plan to work through the whole album, most likely on my journey to work. Don’t know much about MAX at all – but seems like a newbie.
FEAR THE DARKNESS BY BECKY MASTERMAN
Took me much longer to finish reading this than I expected to, as I hoovered the first book in the series (Rage Against the Dying). I personally didn’t think this was as good as the first; naturally very well written but felt that the storyline dragged out a bit and was surprised that Brigid Quinn, a former and very highly-skilled FBI agent, didn’t catch onto what was happening sooner. The next book in the series, A Twist of the Knife, came out recently, and I do plan to pick up a copy as I really like the characters and Masterman’s writing.
As usual, eons behind the times, but as I’ve been sick since the beginning of Easter weekend, all I’ve been doing is lying in bed watching episode after episode of Downton Abbey and sitting up every 4 hours to take a round of painkillers. Grim, I know. I’ve managed to consume 3 series in about 3 days, and now have slowly started to lose interest as my favourite characters have died. But I have immensely enjoyed the show thus far; I have a perennial fascination with a lot of stuff about the Victorians / early 20th century / industrialisation / post World War 1 era. I will aim to continue to watch the show but perhaps less obsessively so. Most likely when I’m walking uphill on the treadmill during a lazy gym session.
She’s a young fitspo on Instagram and has recently started a lot of fitness/life vlogs on Youtube. I think she’s hilarious and she’s also smart too, so have been consuming quite a few of her videos recently. She’s done a whole series on cutting – ‘Summer Shred’ – which are a really great watch if you’re trying to eat healthy and get lean for summer.
Far too much afternoon tea (and painkillers) this month! From never having tried it, to having it twice within the span of a few weeks. Not crazy about the amount of sugar but I like trying little bits of everything when it comes to food, so it’s great if you like variety (which I do!).
It’s been a while since I’ve done anything particularly cultural. My best friend moved to Abingdon (near Oxford) for her new job in early April, so when I visited her we trekked to Oxford and wondered around the University, and then the following day visited the gorgeous Blenheim Palace. Everything was extra lovely because it was gloriously sunny! A little too sunny perhaps, and as per usual, I was totally unprepared for the weather with my all black attire -_- .
The palace is the principal residence of the Dukes of Marlborough, and the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill. It was great walking around inside and learning about the history of the palace and the fashion and lifestyle of a bygone era. I especially enjoyed learning more about Churchill’s life – for instance, I had no idea he was such a romantic, and also a painter – and a very good one at that too!
ART & LYRICS
Been too ill to write anything too substantial, but still exercising my creative faculties as much as possible through my ART & LYRICS series, which I started this month. The project combines my love for art and rhyme, and reflects my desire to express myself and my experiences through those mediums. This is probably some of the most personal stuff I’ve ever created and shared.
MY FEELINGS. Joke. Not. At least I’m not eating them eh? Sigh. I wish people realised the impact their words or actions can have on others, or lack of action.
I’ve been trying to get back into eating healthy again as I’ve been a bit all over the place since January, so have been cooking lots of soups and meal prepping. This morning I made my first mug cake topped with lots of yoghurt and fruit and it was super delicious! Eating healthy does not have to be boring and I always incorporate treats like chocolates into my day, if I really want it.
GRENADE PROTEIN BARS
They’re expensive, but they’re worth it 😄 . They actually taste like food, unlike Whey protein bars, which taste like shite.
I know I am massively late on the scene with this, as with most other things in life, but recently I have been trying to get into listening to podcasts. I thought it would be good to listen to some stuff whilst travelling to work that isn’t music once in a while so I can learn some new things. I love anything on psychology, history, art and literature, but can’t seem to find anything good to get into. Any recommendations? Please let me know!
I would like to lie under that tree / the one with the blossoms / with you beside me. / And on that day / when we meet again unexpectedly / and you tell me all the things / I never thought you’d say / we can draw our names / in heart shape and form / on the brown bark / with our fingers / intertwined / like in the stories and songs / where you are mine / and I am yours / and where the shadows dance around us / in the moonlight / all night long.
Today you left me crying at the coffee shop / you’ll never know / because you didn’t turn around and stop / but as I watched you leave / tears like raindrops / fell / and they fell / all over my art / all over the table top.
I’ll always remember you / as the boy in the green shirt / who walked in on a grey winters day / and stole my heart. / Even to this day / where we’ve remained / five years apart / you still have a way / of inspiring my art.