Favourites, Reviews

Taylor Swift’s Folklaw Is The Twinkly Cosy Album 2020 Needed

Isolation has us baking sourdough bread, learning new card games and researching how to make soy wax candles. And that is only on a Monday.

For Taylor Swift, it has led her down the path to creating one of her most magical albums yet.

“In isolation my imagination has run wild and this album is the result, a collection of songs and stories that flowed like a stream of consciousness,” says Taylor.

Folklaw is a glowing album that has filled many with a cosy-autumn-afternoon-feeling (that’s definitely a thing, right?).

Taylor says the album created in isolation, “started with imagery.”

“Visuals that popped into my mind and piqued my curiosity,” she says.

Think old cardigans, twinkly yellow fairy lights, wine (or tea) filled sunny evenings, nostalgia, fire light, salt air, country towns, ghosts, cliffs, and long-gone parties.

“Picking up a pen was my way of escaping into fantasy, history, and memory.”

“I found myself not only writing my own stories, but also writing about or from the perspective of people I’ve never met, people I’ve known, or those I wish I hadn’t.”

In this ways, these stories become folklaw.

“A tale that becomes folklore is one that is passed down and whispered around. Sometimes sung about.”

Taylor swift.

“Now it’s up to you to pass them down,” she say.

And that we will Taylor.

This album has created an energy that 2020 was in desperate need of. And we couldn’t be more thankful.

All that’s left to do is say “cheers to you, Taylor” as we sip wine in our old cardigans and reminisce while hitting repeat one million times. And that is only on a Monday.

Have you listened to folklaw? What are your thoughts?

Standard
Favourites, Reviews

5 Rainy Day Podcasts And Audiobooks For June

It is officially Winter in Australia, which means only one thing: rainy, cosy days are approaching.

Finding long, entertaining podcasts and audiobooks as you go for rainy drives to the supermarket is therefore essential.

If you need some new recommendations, here are 5 brilliant podcasts and audiobooks.

1. Grounded with Louis Theroux

Podcast

Created during lockdown by documentary-master Theroux, this podcast series is of course, brilliant. Using the types of probing questions that he is famous for, Louis gets to the root of issues and perspectives from his fascinating guests.

Episode of choice: 5. Rose McGowan
Duration: 1 hr 3 mins

Having only known McGowan from Charmed and her input in the intense media coverage of the Harvey Weinstein saga, it was interesting to learn about her cult to homeless upbringing, entrance into Hollywood and her passionate, unwavering and important views on the treatment of women everywhere.

“Don’t listen to it if the idea of too much intensity makes you nervous,” says Louis about this episode. (In other words, listen to it right now).

Listen here.

2. Dolly Alderton’s Love Stories

Podcast

I didn’t know much about host, British author and journalist Dolly Alderton until I discovered this delightful series. Dolly brings exciting guests to her podcast to discuss love in all its forms: first love, heartbreak, unrequited love; basically all of the relationships that have shaped her guests’ lives.

Episode of Choice: Jessie Cave
Duration: 1 hr 7 minutes

There are many other episodes in this series that I am going to try and work my way through this month… but I thought this episode was gorgeous and eloquent, as Cave discusses desperate, unrequited love in a humorous way (among other interesting topics).

Listen here.

3. Scarlett Curtis’ Feminists Don’t Wear Pink

Podcast

As a huge lover of the curated book ‘Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies),’ this podcast is great at highlighting important female voices. Basically, it is just a chat between activist Scarlett Curtis and her guests that allows you to feel a part of the important conversations in feminism.

Episode of Choice: Keira Knightly
Duration: 49 minutes

Hollywood-British actress Keira Knightly shares her experiences of motherhood (and feeling rivalled with Kate Middleton who seemingly gave birth so casually at the same time), sexism and shame.

Listen here.

4. Dawn O’Porter’s So Lucky

Audiobook
Duration: 9 hrs 18 minutes

This is a novel written by Dawn O’Porter. Detailing the life of women – who on the surface look like they have it all – as they come together and ultimately, find a way to live genuine lives.

In a new age of instagram influencers who appear to have it all, this book is a reminder that you are pretty lucky to just be you (and who doesn’t need that reminder every now and again).

Listen here.

5. Lily Allen’s My Thoughts Exactly

Audiobook
Duration: 6 hrs 37 minutes

Lily Allen’s autobiography My Thoughts Exactly is raw and real. Her life is so colourful and full of many stories – some sad, some shameful and some hopeful. She knows her faults (claiming to be spoilt and dependant) and eloquently expresses her experiences. It has it all: sexism, abuse, miscarriages, abortions, motherhood, love, sex, affairs, stalkers, drugs and alcohol and finding a balance. It is a fascinating, honest and genuine look at a public life.

Listen here.

What are some of your podcast or audiobook recommendations for June?

Standard
Reviews

Sunny Sunday Reading: Ikigai Review

Is there anything better than reading a new book on a sunny Sunday?

Sunlight streaming through the windows, the smell of crisp pages and approximately nothing to do. (Don’t get me wrong, there in nothing quite like a rainy day of reading either).

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, written by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles, is a beautiful book (and the perfect sunny Sunday read).

If you haven’t heard of the concept before, then you are not alone. I hadn’t really heard of it myself until I discovered this tucked away in a bookshop.

Essentially Ikigai translates into ‘the happiness of always being busy.’

It is a sense of busy not in the way the modern Western world may tend to consider it. Not to the point of exhaustion and breaking point. Rather busy with a sense of purpose and greater good.

The authors explore Blue Zones like Okinawa in South Japan and chat with people who live to be 100 years and over.

A healthy diet (and eating until you’re only 80% full with only limited sugar and salt), a simple and active life spent in your garden and drinking tea (specifically green) are all important to leading a healthy, happy life according to this book.

But more than that, a beautiful life is about finding your Ikigai.

‘There is a passion inside you, a unique talent that gives meaning to your days and drives you to share the best of yourself until the very end,’ the authors say.

“Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.” —Japanese proverb

Living fast is a common symptom of our modern world. But slowing down and finding your flow is what life is all about.

Indulge in your days. Build your resilience.

Your job is simply to discover what it is that drives you. What inspires you to jump out of bed each morning?

Find out and do that.

And don’t waste a minute of it.

Find out more about Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life here.

Standard