I’ve Been Watching: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. I’m not a Harry Potter fan really – I think I might have seen the first one, but Mr BBB and my daughter were very keen to see this film so I tagged along. It was a happy couple of hours – it’s so beautifully and meticulously made with plenty of humour and a pacey story that I didn’t do my usual ‘getting-bored-in-the-middle’. The film is in 3D so yes, there are lots of things flying out of the screen at you!
I’ve Been Watching Part 2: Nobody’s Perfect with photographer, Rankin, and Alison Lapper. It’s an exploration of how social media, selfies and digitally altered images affect people’s self-perception as Rankin photographs four people who have issues with their image for various reasons. Between them, Rankin and Lapper articulate all the things I know are happening and it’s so helpful to hear it spoken in a way that makes sense of it. I’m bothered daily by the wider issue of selfie culture and me-ism (I see it every day, so I think it’s natural to give it thought), of being older in the beauty industry and judged because of it and being able to see how out of control and behaviour changing it can be. If you think negatively about your self-image, which I do sometimes, Nobody’s Perfect answers a lot of questions. It’s on BBC Four.
I’ve Been Shopping: At The Scandi Christmas Market in Bermondsey. There are two Scandinavian Churches at either end of Archer Street in Bermondsey and every year they hold a Christmas market that begins at one church and ends at the other with stalls and stands running along the street in between. I have always wanted to go to and this year, I finally made it! I bought some Christmas decorations (that will no doubt pop up in a post or two) and some Moomins things.
I’ve Been Baking: Scandinavian Christmas Brown Cookies, or ‘Brunkager’. Still on the Scandi theme – my aunt lived in Denmark for many years and used to make us delicious biscuits every Christmas. I’m not sure when she stopped making them, but I decided to search out the recipe and I’m so pleased I did. Although it’s a 3 day process, it’s very simple and definitely worth it. The recipe I used is HERE and I used mixed peel (the recipe says candied orange and lemon peel but a tub of mixed saves you the bother of chopping) and although I used ‘brown syrup’ which I ordered from Amazon (and accidentally ordered 3 bottles!) you can stick to golden syrup.
I’ve Been Wearing: Me & Em Cream & Grey Cashmere Travel Wrap. Although the brand sent this set to me, little do they know a) how much I love my cashmere and b) how well this wrap fits into my ‘sleeping on a plane’ routine. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but take one small beach ball, blow it up not quite full once on the plane, flip out your dinner tray, put ball on tray, large cashmere wrap over your head and wound round to also cover ball, plug in iPlayer, lean forward and hey presto. You’re sleeping. There is an accompanying cashmere eye mask. The set is £249 HERE.
I’ve Been Drinking: Whispering Angel. I love rose wine – I can’t believe that people are still snobby about it and think that Mateus Rose is the only option. Whispering Angel, from Provence, is just beautiful – not too dry that it shrinks your tongue but not so sweet you could mistake it for Ribena. My friend Simon and I sat at an outside bar on Wednesday night, snuggled in rugs under heaters, drinking Whispering Angel while the London rain bounced off the canopies above. It was perfect. My very favourite Rose is called Les Bambines and notoriously hard to get hold of. I found Whispering Angel HERE at Waitrose on line but do search around because there are offers.
I’ve Been Wearing, Part 2: Mango Dress. Honestly, I feel so out of place in a dress – I know that all it takes is to wear them more and then it won’t feel so strange but I finally found one that I feel comfortable in and looks great as well. This one is in a black knit with a silver thread running through – I am never going to be the woman in sequins and feathers so this is about as ‘dressy’ as I can go without needing to run home and change back into trousers! But, it’s very flattering at mid-length with long sleeves. It is £59.99 HERE.