November Life Round-up

I usually struggle in November because it comes with some difficult anniversaries. This year, I decided to just try and enjoy it for what it is.

I did pretty well socially. Work sent me to North Wales, which gave me the opportunity to visit some friends on the way back. We took our nephew to the museum for an afternoon and he had a great time. We also went to a party at the end of the month at the house of people we hardly know, so that was definitely an achievement for us.

Reading 

I only finished two books in November and they were both re-reads, Persuasion by Jane Austen and Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie. I was motivated to read these after watching adaptations, Persuasion just because it’s wonderful and, along with Sense and Sensibility, is the Austen I like to read in the winter. I re-read Sleeping Murder with a view to actually writing a post about it, which I haven’t got around to doing yet.

Television 

I watched Anne of Green Gables (1985) and The Sequel (1987) for the first time and really enjoyed them. Anne of Green Gables isn’t really a “thing” in the UK, so I didn’t know much about it, but it was very important to my American partner.

I’m working my way through the Netflix re-imagining of The Haunting of Hill House. I think it’s brilliant, but it is f***ing with my head!

My chill-out watch has mostly been Chef’s Table, which has become more interesting now that the chefs have a bit more diversity. My favourite so far is the episode with Christina Martinez, an undocumented migrant who runs a traditional Mexican barbacoa restaurant in Philadelphia. It made me cry.  I really liked the one with Ana Ros, a self-taught Slovenian chef, too.

Film

We only watched one film and that was the 1995 adaptation of Persuasion. I didn’t really like this adaptation when I first saw it, but it’s grown on me over the years and is now one of my favourites. It has a different feel to other adaptations – slower and more realistic. The only thing I don’t like is the ending which has Anne and Wentworth kissing in the street as a circus goes past (why?) and then sees Wentworth demanding Anne’s hand in marriage in front of a room full of people (erm, no!).

Soundtrack to the Month 

Mostly Kristin Hersh!

Remembering ‘Jana of the Jungle’

There was a meme going around twitter the other day with the question, ‘Tell us about your first crush on an animated character’.

It’s funny how things that you had completely forgotten can come back to you. I suddenly remembered my early “crush” on a cartoon character called ‘Jana of the Jungle’.

I couldn’t remember anything else about it, though, so I looked it up and found that it was produced by Hanna-Barbara from 1978 to 1979 and only lasted one season. I must have been watching re-runs around 1982.

Promotional image for the cartoon Jana of the Jungle. It shows Jana, a white woman with light blonde hair, and her companion, the white jaguar Ghost, on a black background with the title in blue and green lettering above them

Reading the description, the content was probably a bit …. dodgy on a number of levels.

I forgot all about Jana when I became obsessed with She-Ra a few years later.

Grey Hair Goals

One of my ambitions in life is to have amazing grey hair.  I stopped dyeing my hair three years ago, but the result cannot yet be called “amazing”.  It’s …. on a journey I guess, an interesting one which I would like to write more about at some point.

When I feel insecure about it, I’m going to look at this picture of Natalie Merchant from the cover of her retrospective collection.

Image shows a black and white photograph of the songwriter Natalie Merchant. It is a head and shoulders shot with her long, grey hair tumbling down her shoulders as she looks directly into the camera.

This is everything and I’ll be happy if I can get my hair to look half as good.

Gillian Welch’s hair is looking awesome these days too

 

Lesbian Protest at the BBC (1988)

Nice piece from BBC Witness about the moment a group of lesbian activists stormed the Six O’Clock news to protest about Section 28.

protest

I was eleven years’ old when this happened and I remember it vividly. I wasn’t the kind of kid who always knew they were gay, but the protest really affected me and stuck in my mind. On some level, I seemed to know that it mattered and it had something to do with me.

I’m constantly amazed by just how different the world has been for LGBTQ people who grew up in the UK after the repeal of Section 28.

Forty-one

I turned forty-one at the weekend.

I found hitting forty much harder than I expected. It’s not that I’m scared of getting older (yet, anyway!), but my fortieth brought up all this existential angst about life and meaning and my value and place in the world. The experience taught me that it’s a good idea to be aware of your subconscious beliefs about birthdays and not to treat any particular birthday as some kind of referendum on your life.

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Weekend musings

Image shows a savoury tart in a round tin. The filling is yellow and browned on top.

I made this egg and bacon tart on Saturday. I haven’t baked a tart in years because I’m terrible at pastry. This time around, I decided not to risk doing it myself and used a box of ready-made shortcrust. I still messed it up a bit. The pastry started tearing and then it shrank in the tin, so I patched it up and ta daa! Well, the filling was tasty.  The recipe comes this book, Good Food The Collection: 480 + Triple-tested recipes which is as reliable as it sounds.

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