2017 / January Round Up

Hey everyone! This is a new kind of post I’m trying out, so please bear with me. A month can encompass a heck of a lot of stuff, and given how January has felt like the longest month on record, there has been a lot to talk about. This series is basically a summary of things I’m listening to, reading, watching and loving, being as sadly I don’t really have the time to review everything individually. Here we go.

Music

This month I have been loving the amount of new music that’s been released! We finally saw the return of The xx with their dreamy third album, I See You with which I am totally obsessed, especially tracks ‘I Dare You’ and ‘Lips’. It has been on constant repeat for a couple of weeks now and I don’t see that changing any time soon. January also saw Ed Sheeran give us all a surprise and release two new singles, breaking records like crazy, and ‘Castle on the Hill’ in particular has made feel pretty emotional about home – damn you, Sheeran. I’m also loving the sumptuous ‘Wild Fire‘ by Laura Marling (so much I wrote a review of it for Redbrick) and ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home‘ by everyone’s fave tweeter, Declan McKenna – trust me, the dude is meme-crazy and I love it.

I’ve also found this month that more than ever, music is really helping me to revise. For each exam so far, I’ve had different playlists and genres of music playing in the background that have helped boost my energy, but one that always seems to help is my ‘daddy cool’ playlist. Essentially just a collection of pop, mo-town, disco and soul, it’s the kind of thing I would listen to with my dad on a long drive and helps to relieve the stress of remembering 80 pages worth of notes on popular culture.

Film and TV

Nothing new here: I am a Netflix addict. Netflix in Spain is particularly wonderful, with far more choice than we have in England and despite it being exam season, I have developed a total obsession with Suits. My best friend Harriet talks about it all the time so I thought I’d give it a try… I’m on season 4 after just over two weeks. I’d probably be caught up if I hadn’t had exams to contend with in the first place!

I also went to the cinema a couple of times this month. First, to watch Why Him? (in Spanish, ¿Tenía que ser él?) which was god-awful, not helped by how weird it is watching James Franco speak with a Spanish voice, but at least it counted as revision. However, I finally went to see La La Land on Saturday (in English this time) with my flatmate and oh. my. god. I love musicals, Ryan Gosling and especially Emma Stone, so this was perfect for me. I’ve had ‘City of Stars’ on loop in my head ever since and yes, I managed to cry for 15 straight minutes at the end. Who is even surprised? I can’t wait for the BAFTAs and Oscars next month to see just how many awards it will scoop.

Literature

I’ve not had much chance to read this month seeing as its been exam season, but I have been reading lots of notes on the texts I’ve been studying, particularly poems by Carol Ann Duffy, The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter and The Pearl by John Steinbeck. However, I have How To Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran on my shelf ready for this weekend, which has been long overdue, and with my second semester classes starting in a week, I guess I’d better start on my reading list: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Borges and García Márquez are just three of many writers I need to get to grips with very soon.

Other news

Apart from feeling a tad homesick on occasion and being stressed with exams, I’ve had a great first month back in Spain. I’ve managed to nab myself two new writing roles, working with The National Student and tmrw magazine, having already had four articles published by them both this month! I have well and truly caught the writing bug recently, and I’m hoping it continues. This also means I have developed (yet another) obsession with LinkedIn, so if anyone wants to give my profile a view and give me some work experience, I’d be most grateful. Exam season is over for me in just two sweet days, and so I’ve treated myself to a trip home in a couple of weeks time which I cannot wait for. Universidad de Zaragoza only gives us a week off mid-April this semester so I’ve essentially gifted myself a reading week, and I’d say it’s well and truly deserved. Get me back to Selly Oak, pronto!

In more political and less personal news, I have also been completely overwhelmed with the UK reaction to Donald Trump over the last week or so. His measures against abortion, human rights and most recently, immigration and refugees, are quite frankly abhorrent, but I am so proud to come from a place that will happily stand up against Theresa the Appeaser and for the rights of every single human being. These are really scary times we’ve entered into and while it feels totally surreal sitting and watching it all unfold from my bedroom in Spain, it warms my heart to know people are trying to do something about it. You guys rock.

Until next time, dears!

Keep up to date with my year abroad by following me on Twitter and Instagram.

Image credit: The Guardian

 

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