How is it possible that we are almost a quarter of a way through 2018?! March has been a funny old month, we’ve had the Beast from the East and the Mini Beast from the East, bringing more snow than I’ve seen in years and we’ve also had some fleeting, glorious sunshine. And in case you were wondering, my cat is terrified of snow and this month saw him chew through two of my makeup brushes. Thanks Louis.
So, without any further ado, let’s move onto my favourites from March.
I’ve been trying to make a concerted effort to read a little bit more this month. I have a fear that not working is going to make my brain shrivel up, so I figured that reading is one way that I can try and prevent that.
Continuing my theme from last month, I have been loving Cat Clarke this month. At the time of writing February’s favourites post, I had just started reading The Lost and The Found. Initially, I was finding it to be slower in pace but I have had a complete 360 turn of thinking. It was brilliant and with an unexpected plot twist. Plus it kept be sane during a two and a half hour gastric scan!
Along with my efforts to read more, this month has seen me try and break my really bad habit of watching TV or films before I go to sleep and practising some good old sleep hygiene. I know, who am I? By the time I’m going to bed, I’m usually absolutely exhausted and unable to read, so I’ve branched out into audiobooks. I’m quite fussy when it comes to who narrates audiobooks: really unpopular opinion but I can’t listen to any of the Harry Potter audiobooks because Stephen Fry’s voice grates on me. The narraters of Cat Clarke’s books have my seal of approval and I have listened to Undone and A Kiss in the Dark. Both are good but I think Girlhood is still my favourite Cat Clarke book so far.
The next book that I have been loving this month is The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven. Basically, if you identify as a feminist or are interested in the feminist movement, this book is for you. It sees the main character become a victim of revenge porn as well as looking at what is deemed accepted in society, in terms of gender and sexualised behaviour. It was brilliant and I cannot recommend it enough.
All About Mia by Lisa Williamson has also entered my bookshelf this month. I had high expectations for this book, having read Lisa’s first YA book, The Art of Being Normal. Honestly, I was a little disappointed. All About Mia is a good book, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t as standout as The Art of Being Normal. It’s what I would call a generic rite of passage book, with themes of acceptance, friendship and family. It’s relatable and quick paced and worth reading if you need something gossipy and easy going.
I think possibly my favourite book so far this year is Misfit by Charli Howard. I picked up a copy on a whim in Tesco and it then sat unread on my bookcase because after reading the blurb, I was too anxious to read it. The book is a personal memoir, looking at life growing up with an eating disorder, anxiety and depression and how Charli dealt with this (or tried to) by focusing on becoming a model and trying to meet the unachievable standards held by modelling agencies. It is a hell of a powerful book. I wanted to give Charli the biggest hug possible when I finished reading it. Most importantly, the book wasn’t triggering and actually gives information and advice without going into the nitty gritty details. If you care about mental health, this book should be your bible.
So, last month I said that I was a bit rubbish at discovering new TV programmes, tending to sticking to what I know and rewatching the same programmes over and over. But thanks to being a bit bored, I had a good look through Netflix and discovered Girls Incarcerated, a documentary of a girl’s secure prison in Indiana. All I can say is that the girls featured were Hard. Core. I’ve come across some tough girls in my various jobs, but they have nothing on the girls in Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility. I am not ashamed to say that I binge-watched all eight episodes in one day and am currently rewatching them.
Another Netflix discovery, after a friend’s recommendation is The Night Shift. If you like Scrubs, Casualty and Grey’s Anatomy then this is for you. I’m a sucker for medical comedy dramas and this ticks all the boxes, with some additional eye candy to look at.
I also watched To The Bone this month. Much like my feelings about Misfit, I was a bit apprehensive about watching this. Did I find it triggering? Not especially, but I would recommend watching with caution. The toll that eating disorders place on family and friends was well portrayed and personally, I didn’t find that it glamorised or glorified eating disorders.
I’ve also spent an unhealthy amount of time watching Four in a Bed. Okay, so I know that it’s not new and I’m about ten years behind the rest of the population in discovering this but I love it, especially the Friday evening showdown. I now time my afternoon naps around the 5pm episode of Four in a Bed. Sorry not sorry.
This month I did the unheard of, for me, and ventured to the cinema to watch Ladybird. I’ll be honest, the ending was a bit of an anticlimax and I was left thinking “oh, is that it?” but overall it’s a good film and my inner psychology nerd enjoyed analysing the relationship dynamics within the film.
After waiting all month for Wonder to come out on DVD, I have now finally seen it. As with all adaptions, I was a bit skeptical about whether the film version would be as good as the book (I really love the book) and this film didn’t disappoint. We can all learn a lot from Augie. Everyone should have a standing ovation at least once in their lives.
I don’t have that many notable spoonie favourites for this month.
As I mentioned in a previous post, my hair is really suffering due to malnourishment and is unfortunately coming out in handfuls. Because of this, I have purchased the banana hair mask from the Body Shop to try and nourish and protect my mop. As with most Body Shop products, it has a strong scent, so if you don’t like banana then this probably isn’t for you but it has left my hair feeling softer.
Odds and Sods
And finally, a few things which have made my March a little bit better but don’t fit neatly into any of the above.
My friend Beth Sandland runs a self-name blog which literally has it all: fashion, beauty, travel, lifestyle, mental health…you name it and Beth writes about it. Beth has been blogging for just over a year and has built up her own “little slice of the internet”. She has done exceptionally well and I’m proud to call her my friend. She has recently been shortlisted in the Cosmopolitan Influencer Awards as Best Newcomer – you can vote for her here until the 2nd April.
On a similar note, I want to direct your attention over to Molly Christopher’s youtube channel. Molly uses youtube to document the highs and lows of chronic illness, in particular Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrom (ME/CFS). Before e-meeting Molly, I was naive of the impacts from ME/CFS has on a person’s life and I have learnt a great deal from her videos.
My final favourite for this month is MS – The Good Life blog run by my wonderful friend Claire. As the title suggests, Claire blogs about life with multiple sclerosis, having recently been diagnosed. On top of being informative, her blog is also laugh-out-loud funny in places, especially when she wrote about unintentionally high when having treatment in hospital. She’s a strong cookie.