With the world full of uncertainty and our lives turned upside down in this pandemic, I’m trying to focus on the positives so here are my spring favourites for 2020. For previous spring favourites see Spring Favourites – 2018.
Nature in spring
This is the first spring in our new house, and I absolutely love how many birds I hear in the morning! We have a female blackbird nesting in our backyard, and on my walk to the bus I see (and hear) hundreds of birds in our neighbourhood enjoying their morning.
Similarly, our garden has lots of spring bulbs popping up – it’s a surprising treat not knowing what’s planted in your own garden. My favourite flowers are the early cherry tree blossoms and ornamental flowering quince. The hellebores are beautiful too! Lucy and I have been enjoying doing some early spring gardening such as pruning, weeding, and starting seedlings.
I haven’t been eating anything consistently this spring, apart from soups (check out my winter soup post), but I will give a shout out to spring greens. I don’t know if this vegetable is available globally, but in the UK you can get a giant pack of spring greens for under £1. It doesn’t wilt as quickly as spinach, and tastes great in stir fries and soups. Plus, the flavour is less irony than kale.
The Good Place
Most of us have contemplated our mortality and the existence of an afterlife at some point, and this sitcom navigates this spiritual and philosophical topic in a hilarious yet meaningful way. The premise is that the protagonists end up in “the good place” when they die. Throughout the four seasons, they tackle the concepts of good and bad through a story line surrounding ethics. It might sound dull, but the comedic elements carry this heavy topic well, and I don’t want to give spoilers! My favourite bits are the burns/commentaries on the disastrous state of our current society. Lucy and I were both in tears watching the finale, and are in agreement that The Good Place had one of the best written/acted endings in a TV series.
Anne with an E
I was reticent to watch this modern take on Anne of Green Gables, particularly because I grew up watching the Canadian produced films alongside Road to Avonlea. I guess I felt that they had no right messing with a classic. But, I really enjoy it! The story lines are fairly juvenile, which makes it accessible to a wide audience. For me, it is nostalgic. The cast is strong, and the scenes of PEI are beautiful. If you grew up with Anne of Green Gables, I recommend giving it a try.
The second season can make or break a show, but Sex Education came back strong and arguably even more hilarious than the first season. I think it’s important that shows like this exist and that once taboo subjects like sexual health, sexual diversities, and healthy relationships are accessible to young people. I wish I had a show like this when I was in high school. In a way, it helps me do the welfare aspect of my job better because I understand more about the challenges younger people face today, that were either not talked about or weren’t as problematic when I was in high school/ Uni. Plus, it stars Gillian Anderson.
I rotate my fragrances between summer and winter scents, and I’ve recently re-added L’Occitane Terre de Lumière back into my collection for spring. It’s a subtle, sweet and fresh fragrance that has notes of lavender, almond, and honey.
I’ve read a few books so far this year, and the one that sticks out is Tracy Chevalier’s Remarkable Creatures. This is a historical novel based on Mary Anning and Elizabeth Phillpot, who were fossil hunters (early palaeontologists) in 19th Century England. Though the dialogue is somewhat superficial, this book is an entertaining way to learn about the history of fossil discovery, particularly as the role of women has been underplayed in traditional narratives. Clearly a lot of research went into writing this novel, and I recommend it to people interested in the histories of women in science and of evolutionary theory.
You Tube Favourites
I’ve been watching the same channels for years, but a recent addition is Levi “Save the World” Hildebrand, who is based in Victoria, Canada. Levi approaches dialogue on sustainability and climate change in an enthusiastically positive way. He focuses on small changes many people can make in their daily lives to be more eco-friendly. I don’t agree with all of his approaches, but I applaud his unique approach to educating the public on environmental issues in a rose-tinted glasses sort of way.
For easy vegan meal ideas, I’ve been enjoying Madeleine Olivia.
Haley Reinhart is a vocal artist who performs jazz/blues/soul originals and covers. I’m a fan of her recent work!
These are all my favourites that came to mind for this spring! What are you enjoying at this time of year?