Five Things This Week | To Read, Taste, Smell, Experience and Watch [Russian Doll on Netflix!]

Five Things This Week | To Read, Taste, Smell, Experience and Watch [Russian Doll on Netflix!]

Five things for your five senses — to read, taste, smell, experience and watch [Russian Doll on Netflix!]

It seems like we are racing through twenty-nineteen without leashes. There is something about the first few months of the year that always make me feel like the space-time continuum folds in on itself and deposits me suddenly, and unceremoniously in March, without any memory of how I got there, or why the first part of the year went by so quickly. February may be short on calendar days but it was not short on good food and entertainment, so here are a few of this month’s heavy-hitters if you’re looking for your next read, binge-watch, snack or product.


Read: Conversations With Friends

Alas, the young author Sally Rooney has graced us with a mere 2 novels thus far, and we wait with bated breath for more from this talented writer. Her second book Normal People was something of a surprise contender for the Man Booker Prize last year, given how unusually tedious it is to read a book on the Man Booker shortlist. If you’re new to Rooney, or got caught up in the hype of Normal People without first stopping off at her debut: Conversations with Friends, you would be well advised to give it a go. Her writing is witty, her characters are smart women, who say (and think) smart things and observe the world around them with a relatable sense of humour and blunt honesty. Conversations follows a young university student, Frances, who gets sucked into the fashionable and very intoxicating orbit of a sophisticated couple. Plucked out of the monotony of student life and dropped into a world of adults who vacation in the south of France and attend book readings, Frances and her best friend (and ex-lover) Bobbie navigate complex relationships with their new friends. Rooney makes it feel like an honour to be inside Frances’ head for the duration of a whole book. If you have been out of the reading game for a while now, and are struggling to find novels that your puny attention-span can easily digest – give this one a go!


Taste: Dirty Laundry (Auckland)

One day in the not-too-distant future, Auckland will cease to have a CBD and will instead just have one giant food court with a fringe of pop-up eateries and stylish-but-understated food trucks. Till that day, I will still be endlessly excited by every new CBD eatery opening and religiously plan dinner dates at every chance I get. Dirty Laundry – despite the less than appetizing name - is no let down, with some real comfort-food style dishes like BBQ Pork Ribs, Lamb Tartare and Lobster Rolls. Dishes are hearty and come in small or large platters. I think you are supposed to share (which probably makes it much easier to sample widely from the menu) but if you’re like me, you will be quite happy to demolish more than a few adult-size portions alone (with no remorse). Salivate over the menu here.


Try: Aesop Lucent Vitamin C Serum

Skincare junkies will be no stranger to the benefits of Vitamin C. It’s a tricky and fickle ingredient, that if done correctly can vastly improve skin tone and even out hyperpigmentation issues. The latter can pop up mercilessly in summer, aided in no small part by the intense UV rays that we kiwis have to bear the brunt of. Whether it’s a darkening acne scar or melasma, vitamin C is one of the more efficient topical treatments that work to fade hyperpigmentation. For someone who has had to deal with both at some point or another, I have a laundry list the length of my arm of serums and “dark spot correcters” that vow to vanish my unseemly blemishes. Aesop’s Lucent Serum is a bit of a favourite. While it’s not a new addition to the range, it largely flies under the radar with behemoths like Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma largely hogging the limelight. This serum is light, and feels super silky. I may be really really absorbed in this product but I swear that I can see results just after applying it, but as with any vitamin C product, extended use (and sensible sun protection) is necessary.




22 of Australia's most prominent female photographers works stand side by side in celebration of International Women's Day (ends on 31st March) for the second annual Agender photo show at Sun Studio in Sydney.  All artworks for sale (!) with 50% of profits being donated to Sydney Women's Fund.⠀ ⠀
'We are Women' by @caraodowd⠀"I'd like to see the industry more balanced and I’d like to see what who we photograph and how we photograph them more balanced too."⠀

“I spent the day hanging out, laughing, exchanging stories and watching the girls skate through their city , throwing high fives and hugs to people they knew along the way,” photographer Yasmin Suteja on her work displayed at the exhibit.

Here’s to some incredible art and toasting female empowerment for all of March.

Watch: Russian Doll

At first, I was sceptical of Netflix’s latest original: Russian Doll. It seemed like the latest unit in a rapidly proliferating set of “groundhog day” copy-cat shows and movies* which can quickly get tedious – who wants to watch someone repeat a day in their life over and over again? However, Russian Doll is really refreshing – I kept trying to figure out why I was enjoying it so very much, until I did a spot of digging and realised that the creators and writers of the show are (mostly) women. The central character; Nadia Volvokov – played by Natasha Lyonne (also the co-creator) is …well….a woman. Not a man’s idea of a woman, or a male writer’s attempt at a multi-faceted female character, but a real, interesting woman, written by other, real, interesting women. She may swear a bit too much, smoke a bit too much and have some deeply troublesome trust issues left over from her relationship with her mother, but really - who doesn’t huh? No matter how much Nadia tries to circumvent her fate, she winds up dying in a myriad of very painful ways and waking up in the bathroom of her best friend Maxine, during her own thirty-sixth birthday party. She navigates each new “day” trying to figure out what the heck is happening, with plot twists abound and no shortage of witty lines and original content, I rate this show highly binge-able.

* Source code, Happy Death Day 1 and 2 (urgh) Before I fall.. etc.

Round up by Rachael Machado

Images featured by Yasmin Suteja from Agender Photo Show