It turns out that I’ve been writing my Monthly Muses posts for a whole year! This is the thirteenth time I’ve shared my loves from the past four-or-so weeks, and they’re still among my favourite posts to write.
One of the reasons why I started blogging again was because I missed sharing things with my friends and readers. If I love something, I want to help other people discover a love for it too, if they haven’t already. Writing these posts lets me spread the word about the things I find exciting, inspiring or just plain fun, in the hope that it might brighten someone else’s day.
I’m never really sure how many people read – or genuinely enjoy – what I have to say; but if you do read and like my Monthly Muses posts, then thank you, and I hope you’ve found something that you like on these pages.
March hailed the start of Spring, and now we have lighter evenings and…well…I was going to say warmer days, but so far, not so much. It’s still wet, and cold, but at least we have daffodils, blossom, and a little too much chocolate.
It was a busy, busy month as always, so here’s what I’ve been loving!
Body Positive Power, by Megan Jayne Crabbe
My sister lent me this book after singing its praises. Like so many young women, I’ve always been lacking in confidence about how I look and am often troubled by my seeming inability to have any control over what I eat and how much I move. More on this book soon, when I fully review it, but this was an incredibly insightful and powerful read and I am so glad my sister suggested I take the time to read what Megan has to say.
Conversations in Love
I was alerted to this lovely newsletter by, typically, Laura Jane Williams; I started following Conversations in Love on Instagram and really loved one particular email I received a few weeks ago featuring the words and thoughts of Katie Bolick. She covers the ‘single’ narrative and the concept of solitude in a way that really speaks to me.
You’re Not Unmotivated, You’re Afraid
This was an article I stumbled upon one morning when I had arrived early to work and was taking time to catch up on one of my favourite websites, Medium, over a cuppa before the rest of my team descended. I often feel like I am a combination of incredibly lazy and petrified of failure, which can send me into a very stressful spiral.
This article really hit the nail on the head and helped me to realise that overcoming fear is a normal and important step for us all; we just need to care a little less about what other people think.
Friendship Break-Ups (And Why They’re Normal)
Friendships are often overlooked in the relationship world, but they can be the most important ones we encounter in life. Female friendships, as well as being wonderful, supportive and fun, can also be complicated and overwhelming.
In one of her columns for RED magazine, Laura Jane (I know, her again!) covers how it’s completely normal for these relationships to break down over time, for comparison to take over, and for expectations to be somewhat unrealistic. Have a read for yourself and see what you think…
The Gratitude Journal
I wanted to add in Ella of Whimsicella‘s foray into email content to my list. In her newsletter, The Gratitude Journal, she shares a summary of the things that have recently made her feel grateful, and then goes into more detail about something meatier, more personal, more relatable. It’s a lovely idea.
Ella writes really well, and I can’t wait to actually meet her IRL later this month (!). This little delight in my inbox helps me to reflect on what I should feel grateful for, and also helps me to feel relatable, normal, and grounded. You can subscribe to The Gratitude Journal to read more.
Terrible, Thanks for Asking
I think I’ve mentioned this podcast in a previous post, but I wanted to include it again because of two recent episodes which really stood out to me and made me sit and think hard.
Perfectly is a truly heartbreaking, raw and real episode which really made me stop and listen. Revenge of the Porn is completely different and is an account of how the internet really never forgets, even from the early years of Myspace and dial-up. Both are terrifying, both are beautifully told, and both are really worth listening to.
Modern Love: From He to She in First Grade
Another podcast I’ve mentioned before, another specific episode I wanted to share. This was a really lovely story of a little girl trapped in the wrong body, and the childlike simplicity we could all learn from.
I finally got to see Elbow, one of my favourite bands, live in March. After giving up the opportunity to go to see them on tour back in 2013, I was lucky enough to go to their O2 performance with my family, and what a show. It was everything I had hoped for, full of their beautiful lyrics and harmonies, and a night I won’t forget.
Nora Ephron (and friends)
This is a playlist I have been addicted to for a few weeks now; I like to listen to it and pretend I’m a quirky and cute leading lady in one of Nora’s films, and it brightens up any situation; a busy day at my desk, an evening cooking, a long train journey. I recommend getting it on your Spotify downloads asap.
A Streetcar Named Desire at Nuffield Southampton Theatres
Streetcar is one of my favourite plays; having studied it at school, it was about time I experienced it on stage. NST’s production of this classic was fantastic; it’s on tour around the UK at the moment, so take a look, read my review, and book your tickets!
Don Giovanni at Mayflower Theatre
March saw my first ever Opera experience, and it was fantastic. I saw the saucy and stunning Mozart classic, Don Giovanni, at the Mayflower, and it really dispelled some myths about this art form. You can find out what I thought, and why I think Opera really is for everyone, in my review.
When Friends appeared on Netflix in January, I made it my mission, as so many others did, to watch it all the way through, from start to finish. At the end of March, I finally finished, and I don’t regret a moment of it. My love for this classic series is still blossoming – and I am more and more convinced that I am, in fact, Monica Geller.
International Women’s Day
IWD2018 was at the very start of March, and boy, did I celebrate in style! It was so wonderful to see so much content and inspiration being shared throughout the day. Here are just some of the ways I contributed and celebrated:
I sent in a little clip to Emma Jo Real-Davies’s podcast, The Female Struggle is Real, for her IWD2018 special episode; we shared some of the women who inspire us, and some of the names and stories that were contributed were really fantastic. The episode is still available to listen to online.
After working all day, I spent the evening watching a live recording of Emma Gannon and Lliana Bird’s podcast, Get it Off Your Breasts, in Hoxton; it was the best possible way to celebrate IWD in my opinion; surrounded by like-minded women (including my sister and friend Corrie!), and it was my first live podcast experience. The guests were fantastic; Megan Jayne Crabbe (aka Bodyposipanda) and Paris Lees, both vented and ranted and spoke frankly.
I also inadvertently got stuck in myself; my contribution, talking about loneliness in your twenties, was picked and I had to discuss it and vent my frustrations! I was incredibly nervous, extremely unprepared, and flustered, but I did my best, and have since had some really lovely feedback from listeners and friends.
The episode is well worth a listen if you haven’t already (just please be kind if you stick around long enough to hear me speak!). Listen to it online now.
Getting published online
It’s not really a big deal, but I am still very excited about this! In March I submitted a poem to Dear Damsels, a wonderful online magazine for female writers, on the theme of ‘Revival’, and they agreed to publish it! My offering, a piece on the feeling of going home, is one which I am very proud of.
You can read my poem, Heading Home, and more about why I wrote it, here. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Brunch at Lakaz Maman
Towards the end of March, I joined my fellow Southampton Bloggers for a brunch at local Mauritian kitchen, Lakaz Maman, to try out their new menu. I had a lovely morning eating a lot of delicious food, and I will be sure to share my thoughts on a blog post very soon. However, if you can’t wait, you can check the food out on their Instagram!