Oh, manic May.
A month I knew would be chock-full of stuff: preparing for the Hammer & Tongue National Slam Finals (more on that another time); a trip to Oxford; a weekend away for a wedding in Leicester; a fair few shows; and plenty of writing to boot.
I managed to fit a lot in, and so I have a lot to share with you!
I’ll spare you the chit-chat. I have a lot on my mind at the moment, but very few words at my disposal, so we’ll catch up another time.
For now, here are a few of my favourite things!
I make it no secret that I love a bit of classical music; so when it was announced that a new radio show was being launched especially for modern lovers of the genre, I was delighted.
You can now usually hear Scala Radio playing my little flat. It’s easy to listen to, introduces me to loads of new composers, and it so accessible. It has dusted off the slightly stale reputation of classical radio. I highly recommend it, especially as a soundtrack for writing, or for an easy-going start to the day.
The Magic Flute
I saw my third opera in May: Mozart’s The Magic Flute, performed by the Welsh National Opera at the Mayflower Theatre. It was wonderful; whimsical, funny, accessible. I had a lot of fun watching this (much more than the tragic opera I saw before!).
Normal People by Sally Rooney
I jumped straight on the bandwagon and preordered the paperback of Sally Rooney’s latest novel, Normal People. There was a lot of hype surrounding this book and I was keen to see if I loved it as much as Conversations with Friends. I don’t think it’s the best book *ever*, as some people seem to hail it, but I did really enjoy it and am delighted to hear it’s being adapted for the small screen! I would recommend.
Dead to Me
Yes. That Netflix show everyone is telling you to watch? I’m telling you to watch it too! The trailer didn’t do much for me but, like any good series, I gobbled this up in a matter of days. No spoilers. Just watch it.
‘To Overcome the Fear of Failure, Do This Instead’
Recently, I’ve been trying to learn as much about ‘failure’ as I can. I’ve never dealt well with not achieving or doing my best at what I set out to do, and with a big competition looming at the end of the month, I wanted to make sure I was in the right headspace.
After reading Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail (wonderful!) I found this article on Medium by Adam Grant. It’s a lovely little reminder of what’s important when it comes to trying new things.
“Ultimately, what we regret is not failure, but the failure to act.”
Love + Fear – Marina
It’s not often I get hooked on a specific album, but I’ve had Marina’s Love + Fear pretty much playing on a loop for the month. That’s it. Maybe you should add it to your playlist and get hooked too!?
Hans Zimmer vs John Williams
I bought myself a ticket to see Hans Zimmer vs John Williams at the Mayflower Theatre in May; the work of two of the biggest film composers performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. I went alone and had a wonderful evening. It was fantastic hearing the music of Indiana Jones, Inception, Harry Potter and Gladiator performed live. I’ll be watching out for future events like this, for sure. It was also quite nice going ‘for fun’ and not reviewing the night afterwards!
Vox by Christina Dalcher
My second book of May. I was slightly concerned this was going to be a weak mimic of Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, or too close to Naomi Alderman’s The Power – but I needn’t have worried. Yes, this is a similar topic, but it genuinely had me gripped and I really enjoyed it. The plot was fast-paced, the concept clever and the topic was a little too close to home; think Black Mirror. It’s worth taking a look if feminist dystopian novels are your thing.
Another great show; this is Nuffield Southampton Theatre’s latest offering, and it’s perfect for all fans of The Crown (and who isn’t one?!). This production follows the Queen’s weekly meetings with each Prime Minister from her entire reign. It features a fabulous set, some top-notch impressions, and a great mix of sincerity and humour. I highly recommend you get tickets.
The Guilty Feminist Live
If you’ve been with me a while, you’ll know I’ve been a big fan of The Guilty Feminist podcast for years. In 2018 I saw them record a podcast live in Southampton; this year I got to see the live show! It was a great night and introduced me to some new favourite feminist comedians. Thank you, Deborah and co!