Duolingo have been rolling out a new format to their free language learning app, with a more structured approach than previously. I’ve been using the app on and off for years, and have loved it, it’s been my go to for language learning. The new path rolled out to me this month, as it did to most others, having been in testing and beta for a while, and the reaction has been… mixed would be polite, negative would be more truthful.
The miniseries Black Bird starring Taron Egerton was released back in August and although I heard all the positive reviews and expected it was going to be a good watch, it took a while to get round to it. I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned it but there’s a LOT of good TV out there at the moment, it’s hard to know what to prioritise! But anyway, I’ve finally raced through this series and what a wonder it is to behold.
I love it when green spaces pop up in unusual locations, so was interested in the Castlefield Viaduct green space initiative run by the National Trust. The Manchester viaduct was built in the 1800s and was part of the Industrial Revolution, but has since taken a back seat in priority and was closed in 1969. Now the intention is to make the whole area a spot of green amongst Manchester’s city streets.
Strictly went back to normal this week, no theme, just songs and dances. I was ill, though, so didn’t watch it live. Instead I caught up later, and in a particularly grumpy mood, so who knows if I enjoyed the dances as much as I normally would have with a glass of wine.
Claudia seemed to have rocked up in her pyjamas, but they were very snazzy so I was all for it.
November has arrived and with it comes the dark nights, cold weather and general feeling that hibernation would be the right choice for any sensible person. Unfortunately, that’s not really an option, so instead, it’s time to come up with another 30 day challenge to get me through the month. This time? Guitar! Hooray!
This has been on the list since I first started thinking about doing many thirty day challenges, but there was a small problem - up until recently, I didn’t have access to a guitar.
I wasn’t sure how October’s 30 day challenge was going to go - learning sign language with this online course. The guidance suggests really taking your time so I didn’t want to rush through and set artificial deadlines when all I really wanted to do was explore the language. However, I was at a massive advantage being able to fingerspell already, so it became an achievable goal to get through the whole course in the month.
We’re not quite back to normal with Strictly yet, after last week’s slightly bizarre and trying-too-hard 100 year birthday theme, this time it’s the more traditional Halloween. The costume, hair and make up teams really pulled out all the stops for this, it was clear as soon as the couples started descending the stairs. And the judges! They all looked incredible too, even if Anton spent most of the show doing battle with his curly wig.
One of the innovations Apple Fitness+ feature is artist spotlight workouts, where all the music on the workout playlist are from one specific artist, giving you a chance to really celebrate with your favourite artists or get into the groove with a specific vibe.
If I’m honest, I’ve not been a big fan of these, but I don’t have a good reason for that. Some of the featured artists haven’t necessarily been my cup of tea, but there have been a couple I’ve liked and just not really been bothered about.
Last time I wrote about The Sims, I had just discovered my purchase of The Sims 4 and dived into the game, a little late to the party as always. I finished off that post saying ‘The trick now is to not let it take over my life while I see what it’s all about.’ I think I finally managed to get a good Sim balance in my life - it’s not an addiction that sucks up too many hours, but I do check in on the game regularly and get a quick fix of micro-managing those little idiots.
With Doctor Who in the news recently following the excellent farewell to Jodie Whittaker’s iteration of the character, it wasn’t a surprise when Disney+ announced they would be the home of the show in the US, rather than BBC America. It’s a big streaming platform and the connection makes some sense. I wasn’t expecting further details to emerge of this deal which turns out to be more than just a place to park the existing show.