Random Recommendations from Quarantine

If February-and-March-Milly knew that she was about to head into an open expanse time of which I had to fill with my own activities, she wouldn’t have predicted she’d cut 30cm off her hair, or appreciate Robert Pattinson’s lockdown cursed microwaved pasta recipe, but here we are. 

With *fingers crossed* the worst of lockdown ending, and the gradual re-opening of our old favourite haunts, we’re now slowly emerging from our dens, from where we’ve had to seek out our own entertainment. 

I’ve had the sudden urge to compile all the things I’ve been watching, reading, listening to, and just generally been getting up to in my new-found free time. I’ve grabbed inspiration from a variety of different media and streaming platforms, so I hope you find something that appeals to you.

POSCA PENS

I am by no means an avid artist, but my recent TikTok addiction had me desperate for a pack of 15 5mm Posca pens. They’re basically really satisfying textas invented in the early 80s with paint-like ink. 

I quickly learned that the textas work well on basically anything except paper, so I’ve had to find various things I was willing to vandalise. Firstly, I was desperate to decorate my phonecase, so I swapped with my boyfriend and we drew Simpsons characters, Cool Lisa for me, Homer in a Muumuu for him. 

TOP TIP: Spraying with varnish on the outside doesn’t work, as we learned when the design rubbed off in a week, so when I redid the designs, I drew on the inside of the case. 

I’ve also used white spray paint to prep a terracotta pot plant, and my little brother and I decorated it with Posca pens for Mother’s Day, so cute! I have my eye on drawing on some old t-shirts, or spraying white paint over old canvases to redecorate them, so many possibilities…

PODCASTS

Here are some new podcasts I’ve been listening to on Spotify that have been making quiet nights or my commute to work more enjoyable.

Harry Potter at Home 

Funnily enough, I’ve read all the Harry Potters except the first, not too sure why. This new podcast has chapters of the Philosopher’s Stone read by the actors that portray the characters on stage and screen. If you wanna be really nerdy, like me, you can read along with them.

Book(ish) with George Dimarelos

Continuing on with the literary theme, this podcast gem has keen bibliophile George Dimarelos inviting fellow comics to discuss their favourite novel, and how it’s has influenced their lives. I really enjoy how witty yet vulnerable his guests are, and also how approachable the discussion is of classic novels. If you ever went to his fringe show or just love books, check it out. 

Death Became Her

If you want to step away from cosy literature and into the world of all things macabre and morbidly fascinating, look no further. Hosts Bee and Alyssia discuss death rituals, paranormal phenomena, and spine-chilling true stories. Death Became Her is equal measures informative and disturbing, highly recommend.

BOOKS 

Here’s my currently reading/TBR pile:

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo is a tale of modern-day women navigating their lives through various viewpoints. The writing is so rich and punchy, and I love how the women are all interlinked. An incredible novel of intersectional feminism.

Figuring by Maria Popova in this lengthy non-fiction, weaving a history of female innovation in all forms of academia including philosophy, poetry, and astronomy. Taken from various writings from Maria Mitchell, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Emily Dickinson, Popova paints a really vivid picture of their passions and inspirations.

I love a good biography, so of course the newest Beatles book, One Two Three Four by Craig Brown and Jennifer Juniper: A Journey Beyond the Muse by Jenny Boyd are the newest additions to my TBR pile.

SHOWS FROM VARIOUS STREAMING SERVICES

From top right going clockwise: Beastie Boys Story, Killing Eve, Normal People, Frankenstein

Beastie Boys Story – Apple TV+

This doco is the stage show the remaining Beastie Boys were touring around the States with, about their little alternative hip-hop group that made it big. Mike D and Ad-Rock talk about their childhood in New York City, becoming goofy hit-makers, and then becoming motivated to honing their musicianship. At the heart of this story is the strength of their friendship, and how dearly they miss the late and great MCA.

Killing Eve – ABC iView

We’re up to the third season of this glorious show and I still can’t get enough. Eve and Villanelle are still playing their cat-and-mouse game, with plenty of twists and turns. This season focuses more on the individual characters’ lives, including Villanelle’s illusive heritage. I can’t name a better dressed murderess.

Normal People – Stan

I had a feeling when I began watching Normal People that there was something special about this show, and I was right. Following Marianne and Connell from their teens into the end of their university years, this Irish romantic drama is so powerful. This raunchy series will rip your heart out, shove it back in, then rip it out again.

National Theatre at Home – YouTube

As you might have seen, the British National Theatre are making some select shows available for a week at a time. I watched their production of Frankenstein starring Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch. Two versions of the show were available with the main actors swapping roles of Frankenstein and the monster. I intended to watch a little at a time, but I ended up watching the performance in one sitting, such was the power of the story telling. My next performance I’m keen to watch is Gillian Anderson starring in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Hope you found some inspiration from my random collation of recommendations!

Milly Farmer

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