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.
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!
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.
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.