One of the few good things to come from lockdown, is the excuse (not that we should ever really need one!) to get stuck into all the TV, podcasts, books and activities I never normally seem to have time for. I’m loving dedicating some time every day finding new things, revisiting a few old favourites, and generally feeling a bit like I’m on school holiday for the first time in *ahem* a long time – I’m not that old, honest!
As most of us are in the same boat (obviously, for those of you on the front line working for the NHS, shops or any key services, you are truly heroes – and hopefully by now know how appreciative those of us privileged enough to be able to stay home are of you all!), I thought a monthly round-up of everything I’ve been getting stuck into to hopefully give you a few extra ideas of how to fill some time and maybe discover a few new things to do.
01. The Imagineering Story – Disney+
I don’t think this is something I’ve ever really mentioned before, but I am a proper Disney nerd. I love pretty much all the movies, I love the parks, I just love everything Disney! So when Disney+ launched last month, I knew that re-watching my childhood classics and finally getting around to watching some of the newer films I just never quite made it to the cinema to see was going to keep me pretty occupied.
At the moment, there isn’t a whole lot of new content on Disney+, but something that immediately caught my eye was a series looking behind the scenes of Disney Imagineering at the global Disney parks and cruise lines. The Imagineering Story series covers from Walt Disney’s initial plans for the original Disneyland in California to the modern day, and it’s just fascinating to see how ride and theming ideas move from idea to conception. If you’ve ever been to a park and wondered how something Disney have made was even possible, I’d definitely recommend watching this!
It’s also made me want to know even more about the engineering and creativity that goes into the parks, and I may have my eye on some Disney-related books to read next month…
02. Spyro & Crash Bandicoot – PS4
A quick disclaimer on this section: I am not a gamer in the slightest. Growing up, I never had a console in the house and the only games I played were The Sims and Rollercoaster Tycoon, which me and my sister would take turns controlling on a clunky old computer that took forever to load (this is not a complaint, we used to spend many happy hours together doing this!).
But somehow, remastered classic video games still hold a lot of nostalgia for me. The original Crash Bandicoot game was owned by our neighbours and family friends, and we used to spend hours in their playroom passing the controller back and forth and taking turns to play. Spyro belonged to my godparent’s son, and whenever they’d mind me after school, I used to spend time trying to figure out how to make the little dragon jump around.
So in the midst of all this Corona-madness, returning to games and activities that remind you of an uncomplicated and less uncertain time seem like a good choice to me!
03. Puzzles, so many puzzles!
I know, lots of us have been getting stuck into puzzles lately! Puzzles used to be something I only did with family at Christmas time, and until lockdown hit I didn’t actually own any. But there’s something so mindful about spending time away from a screen and putting together a puzzle (plus how much time it kills!) that seems a perfect activity right now.
I was determined that if I was going to order some, I wanted pretty puzzles only (I know I’m extra, don’t @ me!). Although I originally had my eye on some beaut options from Oliver Bonas, but they were all sold out by the time I actually got around to buying anything, so I went hunting elsewhere instead and found these beaut alternatives from Utility Gifts. It feels like such a mindful task to put my phone away and settle into a puzzle session, so would highly recommend if you need a lil break from using a screen for a while.
04. Killing Eve – BBC iPlayer
The new series of Killing Eve has just started streaming new episodes every Monday (excellent timing, BBC!), and I am so excited! If you haven’t watched any of the previous 2 series, they’re both available on iPlayer to go back and whizz through before you get started on the new episodes, and are just brilliant.
Well-written, interesting and flawed female characters, brilliant acting, shocking violence and killer (literally!) outfits, there is so much to love about it – there’s a reason for the hype and all those award nominations. Definitely a must-see.
05. The Fringe of It Podcast – Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Acast
I’ve been a big fan of Liv Purvis‘s blog and insta for years, and this podcast with the wonderful Charlotte Jacklin is no exception. Full of great chat, TV and book recommendations and some great shopping finds, The Fringe of It just feels like a casual chat with old friends – which I’m finding is just exactly what I want to listen to right now.
Full of funny anecdotes, stories and insightful topics covering everything from insecurities to weddings and sustainable fashion to money, there are currently 57 episodes to keep you company whilst working from home, getting stuck into a house tidy or in a long bath. It’s just great easy listening, and I always come away from an episode with a few new telly programmes to watch or an undiscovered book to devour. You can listen to it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Acast, so lots of options to get your fix of this cheerful duo.
06. The Insecure Girl’s Handbook – Olivia Purvis
Speaking of Liv Purvis, her book The Insecure Girl’s Handbook has been sitting in my ‘to read’ pile for a few months now (a pile that is now teetering in the corner of my bedroom after I decided to move all the books I hadn’t read yet into one big pile to work through over lockdown… eep.) and this month I finally managed to get stuck into it.
Although I haven’t finished it just yet (I’m going to have to put myself on a bit of a technology ban in May so I can get to the end without distraction!), so far I’m loving all the tips for the insecure girl that lives inside most of us. I really love the extra anecdotes from fellow ‘insecure girls’, and all the tips and tricks for empowerment. As it says on the blurb, this book really is ‘a reassuring hug when you’re having a bad day’.
07. Scotland’s Home of the Year – BBC iPlayer
With the first episode of series 2 starting at the end of this month on iPlayer (I think you can only watch this live if you actually live in Scotland), I am super excited about having a good nose around other people’s swanky houses! The programme covers 3 properties from a region of Scotland per episode, and at 30 minutes long it’s a perfect easy watch.
With all of us spending unprecedented amounts of time at home right now, this is a great watch for getting some inspo for sprucing up a neglected corner or two. With a house move imminent for us, I’m loving all the ideas for making a house that little bit more unique, and making a note of all the ideas I might be stealing for when we finally get into our new space. It also has the added bonus of featuring another of my favourite bloggers, Kate Spiers, aka Kate la Vie.
So there’s my list of everything I’ve been up to in lockdown this month. I’ve got already got a list as long as my arm to get stuck into in May, but let me know your recommendations for anything I must watch/read/listen to in the comments below!