The Monthly One #1

1 February 2019



When I first started this blog (in 2014, whilst on medical leave from my university degree) I had a little series called The Fortnightly One. It was an update on anything I'd enjoyed over the previous two weeks in classic 'Meg Says [insert verb here]' format - there was Apply (products), Watch (films, tv series, YouTube videos), Eat (food), Read (books, blogs, magazines), Wear (style), Listen (music, podcasts) and Inspire (quotes).


I thought I'd add Travel to that list (seeing as I'm currently backpacking the world) and bring back The Fortnightly One! Kind of, as it's gonna be monthly instead. For a throwback, see what I was loving aged 20 here, and for right now, let's do this thing!


Travel

I'll always remember Pai as a bubble as that's honestly what it felt like - a rose-tinted hippie bubble in which fire-spinners spun and souls healed. It's the kind of place I can imagine being hit or miss for some, but our month there was free of pretentiousness!

Another 'hit or miss'-er that we've been lucky enough to catch at a really beautiful time is where we're currently residing, Gili Trawangan. Known as a party island popular with teenage backpackers, we unknowingly arrived in wet season which means less drunk Brits in Magaluf vests, more meaningful conversations. Score!


Apply

Asian tiger mosquitoes are the bane of my 2019 so far and despite having our own net, applying plastic-melting repellent and wearing long cotton trousers, I'm being eaten alive and seem to have awful reactions to the bites. Cue me lying in bed (with the fan on full-blast, obviously) and whacking Tropic Tamanu Healing Balm on every single one of the 197 sore, painful little blighters on my body. This lime-green wonder balm accelerates skin healing, helps with the itching and restores a little bit of my sanity.

Watch

Netflix had a real moment in January, didn't it? I had to mute the words 'Bird Box' from my Twitter timeline, and don't even get me started on how hard I fought to avoid Bandersnatch spoilers. I hate to say it but whilst both were interesting, the word 'overhyped' springs to mind (sorry Bullock, apologies Brooker) and I wasn't bowled over by either. Bird Box felt drawn out and I gave up with Bandersnatch in the end - or maybe I actually did reach 'the end', who bloody knows?

'Dan Humphrey being a creep' (something we thought got left behind in 2012 when the finale of Gossip Girl premiered) made a comeback with the arrival of You on Netflix, a psychological thriller that gave me an 'it's kind of crap but I'm enjoying it so much that I can ignore the cheesy dialogue and plot-holes' feeling. Worth a watch!


Potentially unpopular opinion incoming: Netflix's version of A Series of Unfortunate Events is better than the movie, and Neil Patrick Harris is a better Count Olaf than Jim Carrey. THERE, I said it! The script is intelligent, the attention to detail when it comes to sets, costumes and storylines is impeccable and I actually 'awww!' out loud at every Sunny scene.

Eat

You know when you try a dish and you just know you'll spend the rest of your life trying to recreate it even though it won't be half as delicious? Khao soi, Dash restaurant, Chiang Mai. My lovely hairdresser Christie recommended Dash to us and my gorgeous friend Callie recommend khao soi, and the two came together in the most perfect way when I spied the coconut curry noodle dish from Northern Thailand on the menu. It's my ideal meal!

I'm sure the 'Eat' section of these posts won't be half as long when I'm back in the UK and cooking for myself again, and I've been truly making the most of eating out in restaurants and caf├ęs for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One dish I got obsessed with was red or green curry soup, then I'd order a plain rice and tip it in. The result? Hot, spicy and fragrant homemade soup with tofu and tons of al dente veggies. Miss you already, Thai food - so much so that tears are about to start splashing on my keyboard.


Read

Whilst in Chiang Mai we stumbled across The Lost Book Shop, a wonderful little store crammed full of used books which is run by an amazing Irishman with glasses on the end of his nose and enviable book knowledge. Having adored The Lovely Bones, I picked up The Almost Moon by the same author, a story about the twenty-four hours that follow a woman murdering her own mother. I expected a powerful, clever thriller and am sad to say that if it wasn't for Sebold's masterful writing and the fact that I had no other book with me on the plane, I wouldn't have bothered reading past the third chapter.

It was mind-numbingly slow, the characters were of little interest and my 'keep going, it might get better!' attitude that the plane journey induced was fruitless. The narrative was haphazard and messy, nothing ever seemed to come to a satisfying conclusion and some parts were just plain weird. I know I'm meant to be talking about things I've actually liked, but I didn't buy a Kindle for this trip (mistake of the century) and so a negative review it is.


Wear

After receiving a bag of clothes back from the laundrette (one of the best feelings you'll have whilst travelling!) and realising that a few items had gone missing, namely a white tee that I wore with everything, I headed to the closest market which just so happened to be Khao San Road in Bangkok. I bought a white ribbed cami top for a couple of quid and have since worn it to death - it's now a funny shade of cream and I have the outline of it on my chest and shoulders.

My go-to January outfit was that cami, these amazing rainbow flared Miss Selfridge trousers in the day or this flattering ASOS polka dot midi skirt in the evening and a pair of trusty Havaianas. Easy, comfortable and cute (despite the rum and coke on the top and the white lines underneath it).

Listen

A Star Is Born, on repeat, every day, all night. I saw it twice in the cinema, desperately tried to track down a screening in the Philippines and saying that I'm obsessed is a true understatement. Look What I've Found gets me up in the morning, Diggin' My Grave has me stomping my feet and Will has politely asked me to go ten minutes without belting out "I'm off the deep end, watch as I dive in!" Each listen of the soundtrack reveals something else to me about the story and I get so excited when I can match a lyric with a specific moment in the film - I feel such a connection with it and simply think it's a masterpiece. Current favourite: Hair Body Face. Yes, Gaga, just YES.

Inspire

A couple of days after January 1st, I had a really nice conversation with someone from Colorado about how the start of a new year makes us feel. She explained that she's always placed huge importance on becoming 'better' in countless ways, practically as soon as the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, and I said that I've done the same. We agreed that placing that huge importance with such urgency creates huge pressure, as whilst self-improvement is important and necessary, becoming 'the best version of yourself' immediately and without work is impossible.

In the past I've said things like "this year I want to be more organised", not actually doing anything constructive to become more so, then feeling like a failure when I'm, surprise surprise, unorganised. In 2019 I'll be adopting a 'small and often' approach, and feel so thankful to that girl for reminding me that we shouldn't wait for the start of a new week, month or year to do something: life is now!

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