fun things

Fun Lockdown Things

How you doing? January 2021 has been a lot, hasn’t it?

I have a ton of research-heavy posts that I want to write, but with my kids home, and trying to attempt some sort of schooling with them whilst I work my day job, then it’s not happening just now. Instead, I thought I would share some things that have soothed my soul in these tumultuous times. Sometimes we need some rest and gentle escapism. I hope some of what I share helps you too.


My Octopus Teacher movie poster

We watched My Octopus Teacher on Netflix last weekend, and it was such a gentle delight.

The premise of the documentary is that a filmmaker forges a friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest. It sounds like an unlikely premise for a film with a 1.5 hr running time, but honestly, it’s spellbinding.

Other gentle things that I’ve watched recently and loved include The Extra Ordinary, also on Netflix. This is a really quirky Irish supernatural comedy, that is well worth a watch. I’d also really recommend Hunt for the Wilderpeople, a sweet New Zealand comedy starring Sam Neill, which is now high up there on my list of favourite movies ever.


the first mess lentil dal recipe

One of my favourite things to cook, especially in winter, is this root vegetable lentil dahl. It’s so easy to come together and is comfort on a plate. Whether you’re taking part in Veganuary or just looking to reduce your meat intake (no judgement here) then this comes highly recommended.


I have not managed to read a book recently, however articles on the internet, I can manage that!

mushroom library in Kyoto Botanical Gardens

Lately, I have really enjoyed finding out about the Japanese Children’s Library, in Kyoto Botanical Gardens. How magical do these mushroom libraries look?

I also took a lot from reading this article about when tea drinking was considered an irresponsible, reckless pursuit for women in Ireland. And in England, it was thought that women drinking tea, might threaten the wholesome diet of British peasants, overturn hierarchies and be at the root of a secret revolutionary society. If that’s the case, then let’s drink more (plastic-free) tea, and overthrow the 100 companies responsible for 71% of carbon emissions!


Kirsty Elson art

Finally, I have been admiring the works of Cornish artist, Kirsty Elson. Kirsty makes these amazing sculptures out of driftwood and random things she finds. What a talent!

Find Kirsty on Instagram, and visit her Etsy shop*.

What’s helping you through lockdown times?

Sending love,



Virtual Coffee Date

virtual coffee date

Hello? How are you doing?

I was really keen to check in with you all today to see how you are getting on in week whatever we are in now. Is it week six? Does anyone know anymore? Whatever week we’re in, I thought wouldn’t it be lovely to grab a virtual coffee together. It might be cabin fever kicking it, so do humour me, but let’s grab a cup and have a natter!

What have you been up to? My lockdown life has been far from remarkable. Unlike the rest of the internet, I haven’t made banana bread, or sourdough bread, or heck, any kind of bread. We’ve not done any DIY. I’ve not learned a new skill or a language. We’re just, you know, getting through each day at it comes, which I feel is the best anyone can hope for, really.

I have come across some really interesting articles and videos though. Here, let me share them with you, in the absence of Ten Things, as it’s been a while since I’ve shared any links with you. I’ve gone for a mix of informative and cheery because we definitely all need some light relief right now:


One of the few mailing lists I subscribe to is that of Paul Jarvis. He wrote this newsletter article on Ins and Outs which I thought was a perfect read.

Life right now feels like déjà vu, in that it reads so much like dystopian fantasy novels I’ve read in the past. Here’s the book summary:

A new virus ravages the world and throws it into economic and social chaos, splitting society in two.

The “Ins” are able to stay sheltered, isolated, and safe. Their time is spent disinfecting things from the Outside, trying to juggle childcare and working from home (if that’s possible), and… inexplicably baking a lot of bread.

The “Outs”, on the other hand, have no choice but to keep working Outside. Risking their health, with the danger of contamination ever-present in their minds. Every sneeze, every cough, every inadvertent or work-required bit of contact, a threat to both their lives and the lives of their families.

The Ins can quarantine indefinitely, because the Outs can bring them everything.”

Go read the rest of the article, it’s food for thought for sure.

On the back of this, remembering which companies screwed over their employees is going to be useful going forward. Here’s the direct link to the spreadsheet in question by the way – it was pretty hard to find in the Vice article.


It’s been Fashion Revolution Week, and so this money diary of a Bangladeshi garment worker was a really interesting read. When we – and by we I mean Western society – buy our clothes, we don’t really think about the lives of the people who made our clothes. To get a look into life as a garment worker really brought home the problems of the fast fashion industry by humanising the labour behind the must-have dress. Here’s how to get involved in Fashion Revolution Week if you are keen to learn more.


In matters completely unrelated to anything, but cheering me up on a daily basis, Richard E. Grant has been reciting lines from Withnail & I on Instagram. The fact he cracks up every. single. time. has me in stitches.


I’m not a big sports fan but Andrew Cotter’s commentary is the absolute best.


Wasting less food seems more important than ever. Here are a plethora of food waste tips from my archives. It’s also made me realise that I’ve not shared any food waste tips since 2015. What can I say, my youngest daughter was born in the earliest days of 2016 and we’ve been in a whirlwind since then! Excuse me whilst I go get busy rectifying that!


Finally, working from home during a global pandemic bingo.


Thanks for the chat!


ps: if you are missing Ten Things, catch up on the latest post here.