My memory is patchy. I’ll hang on to knowledge that is only useful for a pub quiz, but forget what my boyfriend looks like (cue awkward airport reunions). When it comes to making recommendations of things to do, I lose my head completely. Lists are my friends. So hopefully this is the start of a good blogging habit.
Last week I…
Made: jaffa cakes, based on this recipe, as inspired by the Great British Bake Off. They were delicious, but the 35 degree heat in Brussels caused the jelly and chocolate to drift off the top of the cake. There is a photo on my Instagram. I also made a old favourite, aubergine gratin. The recipe is taken from an old issue of the Guardian and, to quote D. Allen, is simply delicious.
Watched: Twenty Feet From Stardom on Netflix. This was actually a revisit, but worth it. The section on Merry Clayton recording Gimme Shelter with the Rolling Stones is golden, especially when they just focus on her voice. The fact that so many backing singers are women is not irrelevant, as dealing with self-promotion and self-worth is an ongoing problem for many of us. I’m hit with this on a daily basis in my job application process. I look at a job opportunity by isolating the experiences I don’t have, while most men would look at the same opportunity and identify all their relevant qualifications.
Followed: I haven’t watched the Rose of Tralee, Ireland’s real-life Lovely Girls competition, for years. The cringe factor was too high. But this year, the Sydney Rose, Brianna Parkins, bounded on stage and shook up the competition by voicing her opinion on abortion rights in Ireland. A journalist by trade, she followed up on her actions with an article in the Irish Times a few days later. Hot on the heels of the epic Two Women Travel account of a trip to Britain for an abortion procedure, this is an indication of the kind of lobbying needed to make this a relevant debate in today’s Ireland.
Read: I save Longreads in my Pocket app and sometimes it could be months until I read them. Luckily, I came upon the recent article on The Life and Murder of Stella Walsh, Intersex Olympic Champion when the moaning about Caster Semenya was still a roar. For every achievement that is made, there is another injustice to be highlighted to take its place. The Olympics are usually full of great stories and memories of sporting glory, from Simone Biles, Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, to those runners who fell over and helped each other to the finish line. But this year, the lasting image in my head is this and that makes me sad.
On another sad note, Ian Traynor, the European correspondant for the Guardian, died this weekend. In a world where Boris Johnson was once known as The Telegraph’s EU correspondent, Ian Traynor was a shining light and wonderful example for any journalists covering the comings and goings of the EU. He was visible in his absence from the Brexit fallout, so his back catalogue belies the turmoil that has occurred since 23 June. His illness spared him from voicing his opinions, but I have no doubt as to his disappointment. He will be missed.
Listened to: Martha put me on to the Mortified podcast and I’ve been catching up while cooking. I burned my own teenage diaries in the last year (sorry Dad!), although not before reading some snippets aloud and recording my unrequited Leo Love on the blog. I have no regrets.
Advice of the week: I babysat two small Irish children on Thursday and got some valuable life advice from the five year old. He told me that I should get a baby, but in order to do so, I will need to get married and submit an application for a child. When the baby arrives, I might be a bit sick, but it will be totally worth it. I promised him that I would take this into account. Solid advice, straight out of Wicklow.