Welcome to our monthly series we are running on Flat Earth Magazine! Our weekly blogs only touch the surface of what we’ve been up to, so we’ve decided to dive in a little deeper every month so you can see what travelling and living abroad is really like.
Recap our previous entries here.
Places visited: Hastings (UK), Petworth (UK), Brighton (UK)
Pretending we’re still at Uni in Hastings. Reuniting with our uni pals always guarantees a good time and our visit to Hastings was no exception. With the sun shining, we stuffed ourselves with a pub lunch and lounged in a beer garden sinking pints and catching up before dancing into the night (or 1am, cos we are old now…).
Celebrating my 25th birthday! I have written a Snap of the Week post about my birthday celebrations. I had a great day and it was lovely to spend it with family, something I haven’t done for many years.
Our weekend retreat to Petworth. For my birthday, Ryan treated me to a weekend away in the countryside. He chose Petworth, a gorgeous little Sussex town dominated by the National Trust owned Petworth House. We will hopefully write in more detail about our escape as we fell head over heels for the area and loved spending the sunny spring weekend outdoors.
Finally having our Australian visa cancelled! Because our Australian visas ran out in March, we had to apply to have them cancelled early as we had to prove we had left the country for good before claiming back our Superannuation money. We had applied to have them cancelled in late November but it wasn’t until March when the visa had run its course, that it was granted. Despite the delay, this means that we are one step closer to getting our pension fund back from Australia and making the move to Canada.
We were very lucky this month. We seem to have emerged out of the month unscathed. Despite the fact that we are still not in Canada, March was a pretty smooth ride for us.
Most Popular Blog Post
As Ryan waits for divine intervention to strike him and fill his brain with blog post ideas, I’ve been slowly working away on the two articles we pressed publish on this month. We are still a long way away from finding a balance with the blogs when we are working and living back in the UK but hopefully we’ll figure it out soon.
This month My South African Itinerary: Where I Loved and Where I Loathed came out on top with our most recent Snap of the Week post coming in as runner-up.
Most Liked Instagram Photo
Despite a slow start to the month on Instagram, we picked up the pace after filling our boots with snaps of blooms and blue skies during our weekend away. Despite this, this gloomy London picture came out on top this month. Flat whites for the win…
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Best in Culture
TV Series of the Month – Inside No.9
I had never heard of this series before, despite this being its fourth season and I can’t believe that I’ve never watched it! Each 30-minute episode brings you into very different incarnations of No.9, from a suburban house to a karaoke bar.
The series is dark. Very dark. And also hilarious. The plots are intelligent. absolutely bonkers and brilliantly well written and imagined. The cast-list reads as a ‘who’s-who’ of British greats from writers Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith who appear in every episode to Ashes to Ashes legends Philip Glenister and the absolute babe that is Keeley Hawkes (a hero of mine).
If you haven’t watched it, do. At a bitesize 30 minutes they are perfect to binge-watch on a Sunday afternoon. If you’re short on time, then make sure you catch my personal favourites; Diddle Diddle Dumpling and The Bill.
Book of the Month – The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for years and due to its chunky size and lack of room in my suitcase, has never been read – until this month. My friend had bought it for me in university as it is often cited as one of the first feminist novels. Whilst I probably wouldn’t go that far, it is definitely one of the best Bronte novels I have read with a strong female lead and dramatic twists and turns.
I haven’t read any historical fiction in a while and this was the perfect re-introduction and a great page-turner. The beginning of the novel was genuinely funny before the novel darkens as we learn of the mysterious Mrs Graham’s past which lead to her residence at Wildfell Hall.
Book of the Month – White Noise by Don Delillo
I’d read another of Don Delillo’s novels, Cosmopolis a few years ago and had been meaning to delve further into his bibliography ever since. White Noise was considered Delillo’s ‘breakout’ novel and despite being published in 1985, it’s deconstruction of our excessive consumerism and the toxic nature of our media and entertainment industries feels more prescient than ever.
The novel follows Jack Gladney, a professor in ‘Hitler Studies’ at the seemingly prestigious ‘University-on-the Hill’. A man dealing with the fear of his own mortality and the subtle fragmentation of his family unit whilst distracting himself in the throes of novelty intellectualism and rampant consumerism.
It sounds heavy but Delillo’s true mastery comes in his ability to write novels that read like poems. There’s an ebb and flow to his language which perfectly compliments the nature of his subject matter. Family discussions are constantly interrupted with snippets from the ever-present televisions and radios, conversations are obscure and without any finality and despite everything, the writing never loses its sense of absurd humour. When things seem to make such little sense, our ability to find the humour in it is the only defence we have left.
TV Series of the Month – It’s Always Sunny In Philidelphia
I know, I’m ridiculously late on this one. After years of being recommended the show by almost everyone I knew, I’ve finally started taking a chunk out of this mammoth T.V series. I’m always a bit reserved about American comedy and with the exception of a few shows, find most of it lacking the subtlety and intelligence of British comedy.
But It’s Always Sunny might just be one of those rare exceptions where American comedy rivals the best of British. It’s predictably unpredictable humour never fails to shock and disgust and much like Curb Your Enthusiasm, you can guarantee that every plot will work itself towards the most undesirable and uncomfortable conclusion.
I’m only 4 seasons in so far and am expecting everything to descend deeper into an irredeemable pit of chaos.
Coming up Next Month
April is potentially (touch wood) our last month in the UK. If all goes to plan, April should see us finally planning our Canadian escape and finishing up at our temp jobs. Keep your fingers crossed for us!