So since moving house and getting settled into my new job I haven’t been able to travel anywhere in May, although I am collecting a few local hot spots to let you know about. So these are largely non-travel related but I thought you might enjoy my, perhaps unconventional, monthly favourites.
I’m having a moment with my consumerism. I’ve been thinking more and more recently about where things I buy come from. My initial thought is for simple things like, is my product tested on animals? and is the packaging recyclable? After that I’ve started to think about what chemicals are in my products, if anyone at all was paid fairly or correctly during the making of my product and what environmental damage was done, at source and on the way. These are massive questions for little old me, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to live and travel in an impact free way, especially not in my part of the world. But I have started a slow, tentative process of examining what I buy and trying to make good decisions about it – I hope to write a blog series about it when I get stuck in. My friend recently talked to me about something he is doing for his company’s product, a ‘Life Cycle Review’, and when he explained it to me, I wondered why I hadn’t done that for all the things in my life!
My first big discovery has been a site called Beat The Micro Bead. They have an app too and they are looking to do exactly what they say on the tin, eradicate the use of micro-beads in commercial cosmetic products. This is just a small step, but you can ready more about why that’s so important here. I can’t make the barcode scanner word on the app but the search function, to find your product and figure out whether it has micro beads present in the formula, is pretty good.
I went into my first LUSH again recently, after not having been in one for the longest time, and not only did I discover that the LUSH in Leeds has a spa inside – ohmygosh – but it also had some of the loveliest makeup products I’ve seen in ages. Now it’s not cheap, just saying. But you do get a very ecologically friendly product for your price, as far as I’m aware, let me know if you know otherwise. All the packaging is not only gorgeous, but recycled and recyclable and the quality of the products is fantastic. Can’t recommend my new lipbalm/blush/eye shadow/all round amazing product enough.
I have started learning to pole dance. I’ve wanted to for years, and kept promising myself I’d sign up. But maybe the move to Nottingham has shaken up my life enough to kick start my passion for trying new things again. Et voila, I have started pole dancing. It’s not the cheapest thing in the world but it’s not the most expensive class you can do either and I’m really having fun. Although it’s the one of the toughest things I’ve ever tried. I am covered in bruises and have realised I can’t cling to a pole and pull a nice face at the same time – how do monkeys manage it?
Whenever I’m on the train, the plane, the bus …the whatever, I love having access to films to keep me busy. So I finally bit the bullet and bought Netflix and the access to Daredevil has been SO worth it. I was absolutely addicted to this show – it’s violent, it’s gritty, it doesn’t necessarily give you what you want. It’s not particularly grounded in its plot line but I’m not too fussy, I love almost all the characters and the acting, which is a rare thing, so I highly recommend it. It doesn’t pull out of gruesome shots though, you will see everything in full graphic detail and usually close up. Since I’ve now finished it I’m a little bit heart broken though, and I heard there isn’t a new series due for quite some time. *cries quietly*.
I’ve recently started buying a lot more magazines again. I have always loved the feel, look and smell of magazines, to me it is an item that oozes luxury. Even if I can’t read the language of the magazine I love to flip through them – I even love the adverts. Their glossy, high-colour pages have always been a dream world for me. But I did go through a phase where I was sick of vacuous women’s magazines, writing the same articles in each publication and across all the magazines, with no real care or concern taken to the content. So recently I’ve picked up a bunch of new magazines. Sure, they’re slightly more expensive (but have you seen the price of Vogue these days?) but they’re so thoughtfully and skilfully curated, and the articles written are very heartfelt. I particularly like SurfGirl Mag (not that I can surf, but that’s a whole other story), for its intense, personal and beautifully written stories. For its focus on real people, and people who are different from those who normally grace magazine covers; these aren’t celebrities, although they may be well known surfers, they’re just women. I feel like these articles, often longer, have a lot more time, though and effort put into them and the creativity of language is really embraced, rather than just spattering the article with buzz words. Anyway, excuse the Ode To SurfGirl Mag, I thoroughly recommend it.
I have found my favourite local run. Actually I’m pretty spoilt round here, given that I live in a city. I’ve been living in cities for a few years now, and running is a bit hit and miss in terms of scenery, but when you find a gem it’s even more rewarding. I have a few nice runs here. One is simple but slap bang behind my house so that’s an instant win. Another is down along the Trent, and it takes a while to get there on some boring/unpleasant roads but the whole run is nice, if a little long for a week day. Finally my favourite, along the canal a few blocks away from my house. This river path is the dream, it’s full of friendly people using it, it backs onto fields and allotments and the river is currently busy with tonnes of fluffy baby moorhens and coots, ducklings and goslings to name just a few. I really like it.
I was well and truly inspired, and filled with Wanderlust, when I listened to this TED Talk by the Prime Minister of of Bhutan about his carbon negative country. I’ve subsequently done a bit of research into just how expensive it is to visit this tiny country, and I can see why they want to keep it off the mass-tourist trail to keep it safe. For fear of it being spoilt like so much of Thailand has. I found this talk especially interesting because it shows, simply, what is possible when a government is very driven and clear about its goals. Sure, it would be a different story in a bigger country, even one just the size of the UK, but it’s definitely a model to aspire to, in terms of climate change and conservation, if not necessarily in terms of economy.
Speak soon x