Wednesday, 22 February 2017

February picks: Watch, read, listen, visit

Image: Troy Jarrell/Unsplash

My monthly reads posts seems to have died a death. Oops. What's the professional way to segue that out?

How about: Now that my Five reads series has come to an end, please be upstanding for the start of a new series of monthly picks. Rather than just reads, I'm choosing things to watch, wear, eat, listen to and visit. And probably other things that come my way. Here goes...


Girls is back! It took me a while to get into but I think I might love this series now. Sure, the characters are annoyingly entitled and selfish. But Girls is so much more than that. Aside from the oft-mentioned and important normalisation of bodies and sex and life, I think Lena Dunham as a writer and director is ace. And here we go with the final series... Oh, and this Vogue interview video is a lovely nine-minute watch and an ace peek inside her house.

What is is about Drew Barrymore that means we forgive her perpetually not-very-good acting? Is she a national treasure? Whatever, new Netflix series Santa Clarita Diet stars Drew as a zombie, so it basically ticks two boxes for me.

If you're quick, catch Apple Tree Yard on iplayer (28 days left at the time of this post!). Oh my days... It's a twisty thriller with brilliant acting from Emily Watson, and throws up lots of questions about people not being who we think they are.


Image: My New Roots

Last month, I mentioned Bee Wilson's most recent book in this post. I loved it so much that I'm ploughing through another of hers, First Bite: How We Learn to Eat. It's FASCINATING!

My New Roots is a cookbook in the style of the Anna Jones books. In fact, it was an Anna mention (from this video) that alerted me to its existence as she talked about how good the vegan options are. She was right. Sarah Britton's recipes are bright, fresh, healthy things (but don't let that put you off). They're also unusual and tasty and interesting in a way that's reignited my love of cooking. She also writes a blog of the same name - go see!

This beautiful read highlights the difference in expectation and reality when becoming a parent. Please give it a few minutes of your time. It's just stunning.

I keep forgetting to give my work a plug which is rubbish. But I'm not too late! Mollie Makes 76 is on the newsstand for another week (I think) and I have two features in this issue: the first is a tour of SarahLou Francis's home and the second is a piece about crafting and mindfulness.

And another! An eight-page food feature for The Simple Things (March issue) which is most exciting. Glorious photography and styling by Kym Grimshaw who I proper love working with.


Laura Marling's new album isn't quite out yet but first single, Soothing, was released at the end of 2016 and is a super creepy and cryptic sound that I just can't stop humming. Hoping to go and see her play live next month.

I love it when a new podcast lands. After saying she'll be releasing monthly episodes, Sara Tasker of Me & Orla has only gone and given us four since January, and they're all gems. The  Hashtag Authentic podcast is full of Insta-gold, tips and tricks from one of the country's top accounts.

Years ago, we became a little obsessed with Ryan Adams' Gold album. We were just getting into alt country at the time and this was our gateway drug. Ryan's back with a new single, To Be Without You. Yes, I think he's probably a bit of a tit in real life, too. But that man knows how to write beautiful music. This song is for the achiest, heaviest hearts around, the ones who like a sprig of Springsteen in their country cocktail. The sort of song that comes on the radio and three minutes later you wonder why your face is wet.

It's an oldie but a goodie. Burnt Toast interviewed Nigella Lawson for this podcast, in which she discusses cooking as necessity over therapy, how she doesn't entertain with a 'capital E,' and why she started up making up her own words. It's as charming, dry and interesting as you'd expect, but with unexpected dirty laughs.


This half term just gone I treated the boys to a day at Harry Potter world, by which I mean the Warner Bros Studio Tour near Watford and that I treated myself. Honestly? I really, really wanted to go. My eldest was due on 21 July 2007, the date of publication of the final instalment in the series. I pre-ordered the book, read all 607 pages and immediately went into labour, safe in the knowledge I knew how that glorious story ended just as my glorious Storey began. Anyway, I won't (can't!) spoil the surprises that enchanted us for about five hours one snowy afternoon north of the M25. Just go. It's worth it for Diagon Alley alone.

What have you been obsessing over this month? Share your tips, recipes, recommendations and loves in the comments please!

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