Welcome to the thirty-third installment of Furloughed. Maybe it’s a newsletter about things I’m doing while furloughed, things you can do, or both.
I am in Glastonbury. I have just been out in the rain in a field, in dungarees and walking boots, picking blackberries. It was like I was starring in my very own Hallmark movie. In a real Hallmark movie, a handsome gentleman would appear and we would laugh. And maybe eat the blackberries. Or throw them at each other. In my version, I just had a nice satisfying time in the rain picking my own blackberries.
This week, I went to the woods near Bristol with my partner. Then we met a teeny tiny baby. I gave the baby a blanket I knitted and the parents some frozen lasagnes I made. Also this week, it was my brother’s birthday so I had pizza. With my brother. And some others.
On Saturday, which is tomorrow, I’m going to see my 93-year-old grandad in Plymouth with my Mum. For the first time in two years.
I will give him a big hug.
He will be really excited to see us. And then he will get tired of our conversation and be glad when we go. Perhaps I get my complaining gene from him. One time, which was the same time he met my partner, the food in the restaurant we were in took a normal time to arrive. And he started half-jokingly banging his fists on the table. When you’re 93 you don’t have time to waste.
Things to watch
The reason I am thinking about Hallmark movies is not because I spend a lot of time watching them. I do enjoy them at Christmas though, which is weird because I hate Christmas. Anyway, my middle sister works on them in Canada, where she lives. She does set decoration. And this is a trailer for one she worked on…
This week I watched a couple of episodes of Invisible City on Nextflix. It is very good and has much mystery and Gaia vibes.
I watched two more of those Netflix Explained things. One about the gender pay gap (which is really mostly a mother pay gap because we STILL expect women to do all the childcare in heterosexual relationships for literally no good reason). The other was about saying sorry. I might have watched a third but it obviously wasn’t memorable enough to mention.
A friend recommended this - Rhod Gilbert: Stand Up to Infertility - where Rhod Gilbert, who is undergoing treatment himself, explores male infertility.
This week my Mum and I watched Aladdin-the-one-with-Will-Smith. If you know ahead of watching it that, because of late-stage capitalism, for all the production value in the world you will be watching a Hallmark movie then it’s okay. You are about to watch Hallmark’s Aladdin. We think they snuck in one funny writer and a talented choreographer. How the rest of the people who worked on it got hired is a mystery.
Things to read
If I had found someone to have kids with, I would have. However, I didn’t find that person so the choice was not to have children with the wrong person. Being childless was not the choice; not being with the wrong man was. — Interview with Janet Sewell by Rachelle Unreich for Tonic
Books keep arriving and I keep not having read them yet. This week, Shon Faye’s The Transgender Issue arrived in Oxford. I am excited to read it when my partner brings it over. I hope it puts an end to the ridiculous upper middle class moral panic over trans rights in the UK.
Things to listen to
This week I listened to this podcast episode about a bug that delivers a nighttime kiss of death…
Between the ages of 16 and 18, I used to go to Thekla in Bristol most weekends with friends. Some of us would go and see The Quantic Soul Orchestra with Alice Russell when they played. And it was great.
Join a union and find your local mutual aid
Avoid the three Cs - Confined. Crowded. Close-contact settings. Mask up.
People to listen to
Things to do
Sign this petition: Ban urban and garden pesticides to protect bees, other wildlife and human health
Send me any fun things to do or look at you see so I can include them!