Now that I’ve finished watching the second season of The Mandalorian, I’ve been catching up with some of the news surrounding it. Whilst the show is on, I try and avoid articles because of spoilers, even if we were all watching at the same weekly pace. A story I read recently made me think about how great this second series has been for women - strong characters, great actors, and all those behind the scenes as well.
I’ve listened to more audiobooks this year and delving into the world more has opened up a few surprises.
I was hugely looking forward to the audiobook of Troubled Blood, the fifth book in the Cormoran Strike series. I’ve exclusively listened to the first four books via Audible because Robert Glenister’s narration is so good, and the content is so detailed and dense that having it read to me helps me not to miss anything.
The good thing about the first series of The Mandalorian taking so long to come to the UK is that we didn’t have that long to wait after watching it for the second series to begin. The bad thing is, now we’re going to have to wait ages for the next installment.
However, series two did come to an impressive conclusion this past week, with a guest appearance that seems almost impossible to have kept secret this whole time.
It feels like Apple Fitness+ was announced so long ago - time moves slowly these days, right? But finally, mid-December, the new service launched and I was very keen to try it out.
It’s a subscription service that you can either purchase separately or as part of a bundle of Apple services (my option), but it’s squarely aimed at people who have an Apple Watch as well. Once you’re on board, the integration with the watch is incredible and makes it all worthwhile - without a Watch, I’m not 100% sure it stacks up against the vast array of fitness alternatives.
It’s taken a while for me to get to the end of Tehran, the Apple TV espionage thriller based in the Iranian city. Initially, I was watching it week on week as it was released, but I’m no fool. I knew the penultimate episode would have one heck of a cliffhanger, so I opted to save it a week and watch two episodes together. But then, a week became two and other things got in the way and oop, finally it’s nearly Christmas and I need to finish watching Tehran before the jingle bells start.
This week the 2021 Grammy nominations were announced and immediately two things stood out to me: firstly, I get very confused by the categories at awards shows and secondly, by far the more important fact, women are having a really good showing this year!
For the first time ever, all the nominees for best rock performance are women, and the same can be said for the best country album (sort of - if you see Little Big Town as being fronted by the two women, which I do.
I don’t normally care for nature programmes. I mean, let’s be clear, I think they’re incredible. The time, effort and production values always blow me away and whenever I see an episode of a nature show, I’m usually entranced. But they don’t really grab me and I don’t seek them out.
However, I couldn’t really ignore the enticing idea of Paul Rudd narrating a half hour show that focuses in on the smaller elements of this planet of ours - the new Apple TV nature show Tiny World.
The latest iPhone software update introduced the concept of widgets - an ability for apps to take up a bit more space on the home screen and display more useful information than just a link to the individual app. The software was rolled out quickly and at the expense of time for developers to do what they do best, so it’s taking a while for apps to be updated, but the few that I’ve seen so far have been really good.
I, like many many people, thought that the Ted Lasso series wasn’t going to be anything special. I was vaguely aware of the character, designed for a one-off sketch, and yea, that fish-out-of-water trope can be funny. But to bring the Southern American football coach to the UK to manage a Premier League team seemed ripe for sub-par comedy. I was expecting there to be a lot of jokes at the expense of the British way of life, lots of men bouncing off each other in the locker room, and a bit of a boorish ten episodes.
Our progress on the South West Coast Path this year has been slow, or more precisely, non-existant, given everything that has been going on in the world. And because I am the kind of person who doesn’t focus on finishing one thing but quite quickly flits off to another project, I’ve found another path! This time, the England Coast Path! Why do 630 miles when you can do 2,795?
In all seriousness, I was just browsing on the progress of the England Coast Path and realised the section that joins up with where the SWCP starts has been done and finished and open for a while now.