Read, Tried and Tested in May

There was a time when bloggers who declared going on one month detox of not buying anything were considered nothing short of gods of sustainability and self-discipline. Enter pandemic, and the only shopping most of us have been indulging in the last three months is that of groceries. (Kindly note that purchasing skincare online does not count as buying things.)

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Ville Lumière – Big Apple

I was in New York almost exactly a year ago. Spending a week or so in Manhattan had become something of a tradition over the last couple of years – there was usually a work trip around April/May and I sort of took things forward from there. This spring nobody’s going to New York whether they have jobs or not, a slight consolation, but very slight.

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Non-Essentials Appreciation Post

The universal closure of bars and restaurants has resulted in a noticeable absence of pictures of alcoholic drinks assembled on a bar table/airport lounge, as well as the ubiquitous latte art pictures on social media. It also reminded me of something: I have not had coffee since the lockdown started as I do not own a machine (I strategised early on in life that if I never learn to make coffee, I’ll never be asked to make some at work/other situations. So I cannot brew a cup, and have no intention to learn anymore).

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How to: Driving Home for Christmas

I was getting my coffee this morning as I witnessed a pre-Christmas urban nativity play take place on the street: a family of four stuffing their car with everything they could possibly have mobilised from their apartment, including a couple of pets and possibly some rodents they found hiding in the kitchen cupboards and just packed along because hey, it’s Christmas.

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Shine On November

Twas a busy weekend for royal watchers. Third season of The Crown aired on Sunday and Prince Andrew, the bestie of the late pedophile Epstein, gave an interview to the BBC on Saturday in which he discussed his sordid life in the most unfortunately obnoxious manner. It was so bad it was really bad. But let’s not forget it is Meghan Markle who will bring down the royal family and everything we hold dear, because she has the habit of cradling her tummy and that, dear people, is fucking disgusting.

(Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter were both fabulous in The Crown. The third season is chock-full of amazing outfits and accessories, so worthy of a binge if only for that.)

In other news, I can report back that Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas was fabulous (she’s currently touring, but might have already left Europe) and if you have the chance to see her live, go for it. Otherwise indulge in Nanette on Netflix (Douglas will follow).

The Marie Antoinette exhibition in Paris was also interesting, but I was a bit disappointed with how little merch they had on display. I am fully aware of the historical fact that the republicans who killed her probably weren’t all that sentimental about safeguarding her dresses and such, but all the same. Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Paris.

I am doing excellent progress with #nonfictionnovember, but realised that my reading list has been mainly very grim, which on the other hand pairs beautifully with the darkness and general shitness. I ordered a short reading list inspired by the Refinery29 list on a whim, and have been very pleased. Here it is for your reference:

  • Jenny Slate: Little Weirds. Light, snacky essays by stand up comedian, actress and children’s author Slate.
  • Carmen Maria Machado: In the Dream House. I loved Machado’s short story collection “Her Body, and Other Parties”, so wanted to give her latest memoir a go as well. It’s a dark story about a relationship gone much sour, but much more than that, and also she’s a brilliantly innovative writer.
  • Lisa Jewell: The Family Upstairs. Almost a bit like reading Dan Brown, but not quite. I’m not usually a reader of blockbuster thrillers, but here we are. Rotting corpses, dark secrets, posh London neighbourhood, there you go.
  • Lindy West: The Witches Are Coming. Hilarious feminist essays by the author of Shrill. West attended a Goop-seminar in Los Angeles as part of her research, and I laughed out loud when I was reading her report from the health and wellness expo. She writes how Gwyneth Paltrow‘s glow was such that she could only be described as a “radioactive swan”. West decided to keep up the Goop-advise after the expo, and “accurately followed Gwyneth’s recipe for avocado smoothies”, which was not a particular success. “As I recall it, this mixture could give diarrhea an existential crisis”.
  • Chanel Miller: Know My Name. I will come back to this book as I think it deserves its own post.

Other than that, I have been enjoying my new, limited edition NARS lipstick, which celebrates the infamous Studio 54 nightclub and the related shenanigans. It comes in a glitter case, is guaranteed NARS-quality, and I wear it daily, despite the fact that my life literally could not be further away from a happening, glittering club-scene (I reckon this to be a temporary glitch in my otherwise very happening life, so I’m all good.)