Friday, 14 July 2017

July picks | Watch, read, listen, wear and eat

Approaching the end of the school year already... That feels odd. It's been a busy year so far that shows no sign of slowing down. How come term-time seems so frantic and yet the prospect of the summer holidays brings its own panic?

I'm going to start this round-up with the summeriest of pictures and places to go, it being July after all.

What to watch

A Bigger Splash (free to watch on Amazon Prime) is an absolutely beautiful film starring Tilda Swinton (above, in a Dior wardrobe designed specially for the film) and Ralph Fiennes. Set on the Italian island of Pantelleria, midway between Sicily and Tunisia, the location is as much a character in this noir-ish thriller as any of the impeccable lead actors. Look at that pool! And you can actually go and stay there. Tenuta Borgia has gone straight to the top of my bucket list.

Are you watching The Handmaid's Tale? Oh my goodness. It's so compelling but incredibly bleak.  And weirdly beautiful. We watch in silence and do that thing at the end where we stare at each other in disbelief. Even though I read it for A Level, I can't remember what happens!

A few weeks back we went to see Wonder Woman who is obviously awesome. Playing opposite Gal Gadot is Chris Pine, who stars in Hell or High Water (free to watch on Amazon Prime). What an ace film! Also really loved the soundtrack, by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

For anyone who detests the school run, Big Little Lies is a brilliant series starring the rather terrifying PTA trio of Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. One of those shows where you're just not sure who to believe... It's dropped off Now TV but you can find it on iTunes.

Sweet Sixteen: A Transgender Story was a short documentary we caught late one night. It tells the story of Welsh transgender teenager, Llyr Jones, as she turns 16. A tricky enough life already, you'd think, growing up in a small, rural farming community, but Llyr also faces a number of obstacles through the course of the programme. Her strength and maturity are beyond amazing, her relationship with very supportive and loving family no doubt having contributed to what a brilliant person she is. Really worth a watch.

What to listen to

S Town is a podcast from the people behind Serial and is an astonishing piece of journalism. I found myself listening on a walk home and took a very long and scenic route as I just didn't want it to end.

Tune of the moment is Moonshine Freeze by This is the Kit - an eerie, catchy song by a band headlining next month's Valleyfest, which I'm very much looking forward to already.

Tune of the moment for my kids is Despacito which seems to be on the radio every single morning on the way to school. Are you a Belieber? Pretty much everyone in this house is a fan.

Another band I'm really loving right now is Big Thief whose current single is Shark Smile. Kind of a cross between Mazzy Star and Slapp Happy. So great!

And finally, I really liked listening to Adam Buxton's podcast in which he interviews Sharon Horgan, she of Catastrophe and Divorce. Hearing about a person's creative process is always fascinating, isn't it?

What to read

Turns out, writer's block is almost universal. I'm loving Dorothy Parker's Letter of Note (above)

I've not bought a cookbook for ages but I spotted 15 Minute Vegan in Oliver Bonas recently and had a quick look through – it's right up my street.

My sweetheart of a boyfriend has subscribed me to the print version of The New Yorker, which I love and crave for its long form features.

Flow magazine is going from strength to strength, with so many appealing reads amid lovely design, photography and illustration.

Take this Self Knowledge Quiz from The School of Life... What did you find out about yourself?

There are a few mags on the newsstand right now featuring my work, including Mollie Makes 81 (a home tour with The Lovely Drawer), In the Moment (in which I pick my favourite top creative kits) and Project Calm (where I write about the Shipping Forecast and interview Clover Robin).

One to bookmark – 23 ways to treat yourself without buying or eating anything. What would you add?

Two links close to my heart – How to help people with autism and Saffron's world.

And Why you might want to give up McDonald's fries... these things are always a bit contentious but coming from Michael Pollan, one of my favourite food authors, I'm taking it seriously.

What to eat and drink

2017 is the summer of the Aldi Bellini popsicles... 4.5% WIN!

The Waitrose seasonal salad comes with edible flowers at the mo.

And edible flowers are also the order of the day with these new natural cocktail syrups from House of Broughton, the new brand from Fentimans. Pictured is a Velvet Rose cocktail. Yes please.

Finally, Beerbods are continuing to make my fella happy with their weekly beer delivery and tasting. (He buys me journalism; I buy him beer. Top tip: this is an excellent gift for all the ale drinkers in your life.)

What to wear

I couldn't be more in love with my Boden Posy shirt dress (pictured above outside the British Museum last week). And now there are a couple of new designs - check it out.

The Rosamund dress is also a total winner, and now in the sale! (I have it in the French Navy Mono Vine colourway and I really love the length on me).

And have you seen the new Boden logo? What do you think?


Phew! That was a lot of links. Let me know what you've enjoyed this month, I'd love to know. Talk to me in the comments or find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

A bientot!

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