We are now truly in spring – March is properly underway. Which means, it’s time to pause for a second and reminisce on the winter that has just passed, with a focus on the month on February which we have just left behind – and to remember all the good things that it has brought. February was a good month for me, and I have been looking forward to writing this post, and being able to put all my favourite parts of it in one place.

Favourite Movies

  • 2 Night Stand – When I first sat down to watch this, I did it with some scepticism, I have to admit. It didn’t have the best reviews online, and it seemed like a typical rom-com that, while feel-good, doesn’t really have substance. While these feelings were not subdued by the time I was done watching, it did manage to pleasantly surprise me. The movie is genuinely feel-good, and it touches on some very of-the-moment issues, such as online dating, cheating, having good, enjoyable sex, and, of course, one night stands. The movie didn’t really go into much depth regarding these topics, but then again, a rom-com is there for you to enjoy, not necessarily to make you ponder the meaning of life. It does provide a good way to open such a discussion (about things like dating, not the meaning of life), however, which can lead to some interesting conversations after the movie. The characters are also very easy to love, if ever so slightly irritating. There are a lot of hilarious moments that really make this movie worth it.
  • The Danish Girl – I have heard a lot of mixed opinions about this, but my love for Eddie Redmayne compelled me to watch it. The movie is beautiful, from the acting to the cinematography, especially the way it presents the story of Einar Wegener. It really got to the heart of how confusing and challenging the journey of understanding who you are can be. I absolutely loved Alicia Vikander and her role as Gerda Wegener – the support that Gerda offers Einer/ Lili through the confusion of the transition process is really inspirational. At the same time, the movie does not hide the emotional distress that she is going through, despite putting on a brave face. It’s a very emotional movie that really gets to you in the best way.
  • Into The Woods – The movie was described to me as a Disney mash-up where one of the princes cheats. I feel like I won’t be able to give a more compelling round-up of it, but I will say that it is so much better than just that. You have Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and Johnny Depp – right from the get-go, there’s the promise of a very entertaining musical. And it delivers! The songs are very catchy, the characters are amazing (my favourite are the two princes) and above all, it gives your abs a workout with all the laughter that it provokes. The different Grimm fairy tales, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel, are brought together incredibly well, through the main narrative of the baker and his wife and their attempt to get rid of the curse that is stopping them from fulfilling their dream of having a child.

Favourite Music

  • Amber Run – The highlight of February was definitely seeing Amber Run live. The concert was amazing – I thoroughly encourage everyone to see them live if they have the chance. Even though a few weeks have passed since then, I have not been able to stop listening to their songs as a result of the joy of that night. I also have to mention that Joe Keogh is an exceptionally sweet human being – he hung around after the show to take photos with the fans and talk to them , and never once seemed to mind the huge amount of people who were crowded around him.
  • Birdy – I mentioned Summer Well in my January favourites post  – Birdy is among the artists performing at the festival, and as a result, I have used this as an excuse to obsessively listen to all her songs. Her voice is mesmerizing, and there are quite a number of songs that I realised I haven’t given a chance before because they never became radio hits. I also recommend listening to her covers – her voice can turn the most perky pop song into one filled with soul and expression.
  • Troye Sivan / Years and Years – I have been altering between the two quite often during February – they are really good background songs for reading, writing, and acting quite well as motivational songs. February was a very busy month, packed with lots of deadlines and work, and both Troye Sivan as well as Years and Years have helped me make it through those stressful times.

Favourite TV Shows

  • Free! ( Iwatobi Swim Club/ Eternal Summer) – After watching Yuri on Ice! in January, I was recommended this anime. Although not a fan of sports-focused shows, I surprisingly really enjoyed moments such as Rei being taught how to swim, or the various swimming competitions that are presented. The anime focuses mainly on the friendship between the numerous characters that appear in the show, and explores themes such as the jealousy that can appear between friends, having to deal with the unknown of the future, and growing up. It’s a great anime, with lots of sweet moments that make it a very feel-good show.
  • Tattoo Fixers – What could be better than watching people with terrible, embarrassing, regretful tattoos cover them up with actual artwork? Nothing, especially at the end of a really stressful, terrible week. It’s very entertaining, and does not have to be watched in one go – it’s one of those amazing shows that you can watch when you want something enjoyable that allows you to shut off your brain and ignore your problems for an hour.
  • The British Bake Off – With BBC1 giving the show over to Channel 4 (why?) and only Paul Hollywood remaining from the original quartet that we all loved, I was berry sad when Series 7 ended. This has led to me watching all the previous GBBO series, which have now made me feel even worse about the show’s future. It also never fails to make me hungry.

Favourite Reading

  • Paul’s Case by Willa Cather – I always enjoy reading short stories. They don’t take up lots of your time, are generally really good, and very entertaining. Due to the restriction of their size (they do have to be short, after all) they usually get down to business right from the start. Paul’s Case is no exception. It is a very intriguing story about a young man who tries to escape from his bland life by running away to New York, and staying at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Hotel. However, the story deals with numerous intruiging themes, revealed to the reader upon multiple readings. It’s extremely fascinating and raises a lot of questions, which make for an interesting conversation.
  • The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point By Elizabeth Barret Browning – Browning is among my favourite poets, and while there are many poems that I love by her, the most recent one that I have been enjoying is The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point, a very poignant presentation of slavery in America. Browning was an abolitionist, therefore the focus of this poem is the trauma and pain that the speaker, a slave woman, has to endure under the cruelty of her white master.

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