The torture of Timehop throwbacks during lockdown

The UK is slowly reopening: the first children have returned to school, non-essential retail is set to open on 15th June, and some sporting events have already resumed (albeit without a crowd).

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5 Must-Watch Netflix Documentaries

I’m a sucker for true crime – I always have been. Netflix is an incredible, almost infinite source of true crime documentaries that have been keeping me entertained over lockdown. However, in my journey through true crime, I have also come across some amazingly structured and wildly informative shows that don’t necessarily fit into the ‘crime’ bracket, but still keep me hooked and wanting more.

Here’s a short list of documentaries that I got hooked on recently.

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The etymology of ‘Svengali’

The term ‘Svengali’ is being thrown around a lot of the newspapers in the UK at the moment in relation to Dominic Cummings. We understand it to mean puppet master or mastermind behind a large scheme or plot, especially if it’s a sinister purpose. In terms of Cummings, he is thought of as Boris Johnson’s Svengali because of the influence he holds over him – or as the Svengali behind Vote Leave.

However, ‘Svengali’ is a very strange word. Where on earth did it come from?

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My journey from couch to 5k

Apart from at university, I don’t think I’ve ever lived more than a 10 minute walk from a rapeseed field. One of the UK’s most grown crops, rapeseed is absolutely everywhere. I remember walking through countless rapeseed fields on walks as a child. On the brightest days, the colours in a rapeseed field are almost surreal, and I was almost blinded by the bright yellow I was running my hands through.

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Pretending it’s 2015

Contrary to popular belief, 2015 was, in fact, five years ago. I was hit with this sudden realisation about a week ago. I’ve been listening to old episodes of Time Crisis, a radio show hosted by Ezra Koenig, lead singer of Vampire Weekend. I always intended to listen back through these old episodes – it’s another thing that I’ve suddenly recently found the time to do.

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Lockdown, two months on

On 17th March 2020, two months ago, I wrote:

“But I’m hopeful. Things will stabilise and get better, because they have to. I’m trying not to think too much about the details of how we’ll get there.”

Grappling with uncertainty

Just under a week later, on 23rd March, the UK would enter lockdown. And here I am, two months on.

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The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

Book Review

The Glass Hotel is the latest novel by Emily St. John Mandel, author of my all-time favourite and award-winning novel, Station Eleven. In essence, it’s a story about white-collar crime: a Ponzi scheme that blows up and obliterates the structure of many lives in the process. More than this, though, The Glass Hotel is about belonging, about identity and growth, secrets and ghosts, and (in true Mandel fashion) how lives intersect, impact and influence one another.

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Learning to live with migraines

I started experiencing migraines when I was around 10 years old, which means I’ve been experiencing them for about a decade now. There has been very little conclusive research into why migraines form, and so they are notoriously difficult – and subjective – to treat. I want to share some of the ways I went from daily tortured migraine sufferer to sporadic migraine withstander.

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Periods, contraception, the implant, and me

In January 2020, I got the contraceptive implant. This was a big move for me, and it took a lot of deliberating to finally decide that I would try this form of contraception. There are some incredibly useful sources of information online that I used, as well as myriad opinions on and experiences of different methods of contraception. I wanted to add to that with my experience of contraception and periods.

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Sex in Sally Rooney’s Normal People

I read (and watched) Sally Rooney’s Normal People in under 48 hours.

Now, I’m not one for savouring things, even normally. Books and TV shows, though split into parts, are wholes – and I always have a niggling fear that, if I consume them too slowly, I’ll have forgotten the beginning by the time I’ve made it to the end. I’m fearful that I’ll miss something – whether it’s a clever cyclical moment, a key part of the plot or merely who a character is after rushing over them.

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