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Podcast of the Month - Epic Gardening

Published August 16, 2022

Podcast of the Month - Epic Gardening

With any new hobby that you get stuck into, you can probably find a podcast out there that will offer up help, tips and advice. My increasing obsession with veg growing and gardening means I was quickly searching for green-fingered podcasts and this one caught my attention quite quickly. Epic Gardening is a mission founded by Kevin Espiritu and with a host of expert collaborators to get people growing more plants.

Assembled, disassembled

Published August 15, 2022

Assembled, disassembled

The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to dominate a lot of my viewing, with recent additions having mixed results. I’m loving a lot of the TV content they’ve developed, while some of the movies have been less successful for me (I’m looking at you Eternals). One thing I’ve really enjoyed, though, is the Marvel Studios: Assembled series. I’ve mentioned it before when it highlighted some great things about the making of Shang-Chi but there have been a lot more episodes since.

Groot's starring role

Published August 14, 2022

Groot's starring role

If you had to say to me, which of the Guardian’s of the Galaxy would make the perfect subject of their own spin-off TV show, I don’t think Groot would be my first choice. Baby Groot is, of course, adorable, but the limited dialogue offered by everyone’s favourite tree-based character would seem to reduce what any follow up shows could be about. Well, as always, I’m wrong, because Disney have done just that, given our Groot a spin-off made up of five short episodes (really short, a couple of minutes each), which mean the lack of any significant scripting isn’t really felt.

Hear My Cry by Sonique

Published August 14, 2022

Hear My Cry by Sonique

Oddly, It Feels So Good was featured on a 1993 episode of Top of the Pops that the BBC are re-airing, and it just put me in mind of this dance version which I knew better. So it had to be time to dip into Sonique’s back catalogue and this is some proper late 90s/early 00s dance pop that is wonderful to hear. I loved pretty much the whole album, except it feels like an odd choice to stick a remix of the lead song at the end that is so much worse than the original at the top. Bit of a weird note to end on but otherwise, I loved it.

Last Night In The Bittersweet by Paolo Nutini

Published August 14, 2022

Last Night In The Bittersweet by Paolo Nutini

This is a good album from Paolo Nutini. I’ve liked his work in the past but not really kept up with what he’s been doing lately. It was pretty much what I expected, a mix of slow and fast, singer-songwriter good pop, with perhaps a stronger Scottish accent than we’ve heard before. Really the only complaint is it’s just a bit long, and that’s not necessarily a problem but it feels like it tails off towards the end, too many slow songs in a row. But overall, a great piece of work.

Light & Magic

Published August 13, 2022

Light & Magic

I didn’t know a six-part documentary charting the beginnings and growth of Industrial Light & Magic was in the works so when the show arrived on Disney+ last month, it was a pleasant surprise. I love a glimpse behind the scenes at how the magic is made in the film industry, and watching creative and brilliant people do what they do just fills me with inspiration and joy. So, as it turns out, this show was absolutely made for me.

From top to bottom

Published August 12, 2022

From top to bottom

Being in the Apple device cycle means putting up with the unfortunate changes they make to their devices until either you get used to it or they roll it back. I tend not to complain too much about them because I’m still so hugely in awe of how brilliant my phone and iPad are, so the benefits far outweigh the cons. But, we have to talk about Safari. The change was made to bring the URL bar down to the bottom of the page rather than it being at the top like all other browsers since the history of the internet began.

Frying in the air tonight

Published August 10, 2022

Frying in the air tonight

I had seen a couple of people talking about air fryers on TikTok, but not really paid it too much attention. It sounded like just another cooking fad that would pass me by, like slow cookers (I did actually try a slow cooker with disastrous results) and pressure cooking. But then a couple of friends were discussing their own joys of frying in only air and my ears perked up.

Rocking all over the world

Published August 8, 2022

Rocking all over the world

The level of curated content available on Apple Music is so good that it’s overwhelming - partly because there’s so much of it and partly because, despite repeated upgrades and efforts, navigating around the Music app is still really difficult. However, it’s super easy just to pop on one of the three radio channels and listen to whatever’s being played and my one favourite find at the moment is Rock Classics with Jenn, on the Apple Hits station.

Too much too soon

Published August 7, 2022

Too much too soon

This website, mrschristine.com, has been hosted on a static site generator for just over three years and it’s been a fantastic step forward for me. At the time of the big switchover, I wrote about the pros and cons of moving away from Wordpress and it’s fair to say since then the pros keep getting better and better but the cons haven’t necessarily gone away. It turns out, I write a lot.

Powered by RSS

Published August 7, 2022

Powered by RSS

Two years ago, to the very month, I wrote about my frustration on trying to follow news and blogs via RSS feed. It wasn’t hard to find great content that I wanted to keep on top of but finding the best way to actually subscribe and follow was really difficult. I think that problem has continued, particularly with the more fragmented world of newsletter subscriptions and paid for content.

Ocean Drive by Lighthouse Family

Published August 7, 2022

Ocean Drive by Lighthouse Family

I know Lighthouse Family are considered slow-going easy-listening lift music but actually, I didn’t mind it. It made for really good background music, and even though I only knew a couple of the songs, it all seemed to work together. It’s not one I would seek out over and over but I can see why those couple of songs are as well-known as they are.

RENAISSANCE by Beyoncé

Published August 7, 2022

RENAISSANCE by Beyoncé

You know, I love early Beyoncé but there’s a moment where her music goes off the boil for me (haven’t quite pinpointed it yet but it’s there) and ever since I just haven’t been interested. The reviews and the hype over this album were so great though, it was impossible to ignore.

A different breed

Published August 6, 2022

A different breed

A TV show about the challenges of parenting wouldn’t usually be up my street given how very happily childfree I am. However, buoyed by the success of watching Trying (a show about a couple looking to adopt) and by the excellent casting of Daisy Haggard and Martin Freeman, I thought I’d give Breeders a go. There have been three seasons, and the first one is slightly different to the others.

Before the rogue

Published August 5, 2022

Before the rogue

A new trailer for the upcoming Star Wars series Andor was released this week and it looks so good. So very good. Rogue One was such a good film that it’s been a long time coming for a spin off of the spin off. The Disney+ blurb says the series ‘focuses on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make… the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved.

Highway patrol

Published August 3, 2022

Highway patrol

I was pretty ignorant about the state of the UK’s wildlife until the big lockdown meant concentrating on these four walls plus the back garden. You’ll know I concentrated my efforts on turning into a vegetable gardener, but alongside that is a growing understanding of the other creatures and insects that use our little pieces of greenery to survive. Hedgehog populations have been falling for a long time, and there’s always talk about what you can do to help.

Music and lyrics and laughter

Published August 2, 2022

Music and lyrics and laughter

Did you know there’s stand up comedy on Apple Music? I just found some recently, stumbled across it by complete accident, and I was surprised. Although, when I really thought about it, it does make sense. Old school stand up comedy used to be released on records, didn’t it, with people happily playing their favourite stand up on repeat. I guess with the advent of stand up on DVDs, I’d never really thought about it being available in an audio only format.

Salad days

Published August 1, 2022

Salad days

We’ve reached August and it’s time to start the eighth 30 day challenge of my year. Off the back of timing the Waterllama hydration challenge so perfectly for the hottest days in the UK ever, the summer vibe continues and this month I’m focused on lunchtimes. We’re going for 30 Days of Salads. I’ve been eating more salads recently anyway, but it feels like it’s time to give the meal some proper attention.

Water genius idea

Published July 31, 2022

Water genius idea

When I kicked off July’s 30 Day Challenge, to get a full month’s streak on the health tracker Waterllama, I thought it was just a fun thing to do with a cute app that would help me keep hydrated. How could I have predicted that it would be around at exactly the right time - when temperatures in the UK hit their highest ever for a couple of days and keeping fluid levels up became crucially important?

Paranoid by Black Sabbath

Published July 31, 2022

Paranoid by Black Sabbath

Apparently Black Sabbath are credited with having a hand in creating the heavy metal genre, so this is one of the first outings of that kind of music. I didn’t mind it, the bits that were musical were great, but there was a lot of that thing where songs just go off into something completely different, noodle around a bit, and then come back. I swear there was a minute long drum solo in there somewhere. So I liked it more than I thought I would but it’s probably not really to my taste.