Well, I finally made it out of the UK this month for my first trip of the year to Latvia and Lithuania, and these have had a *tiny* impact on what I've been loving over the past 31 days. This is a list of what's been occurrin' in my life in March 2017:
Ashley Monroe - The Blade:
I'm all about Ashley Monroe this month and have been non- stop listening to her recent album. My love of country music goes without saying and it's no surprise that I've downloaded an album from the Pistol Annies alum.
It's mostly an upbeat offering and I certainly prefer this album to The Rose, which was the last solo attempt. I can't help wishing that she'd just get back together with Miranda and Angeleena, though. I bloody love Pistol Annies.
Mission Impossible 67 - Rogue Nation:
Despite my desire to watch movies, I really haven't done too well on this front. In fact, the only movie I caught this month was the latest instalment (I think?) of Mission Impossible. This was only by chance, mind you, as it was being shown on the TV panel on the back of my seat on a LuxExpress coach from Riga to Vilnius.
Don't get me wrong though; it was excellent, and I find it difficult to argue with a movie that focuses on shooting and blasting action around various gorgeous global locations. It's the perfect combination of death, destruction and travel inspiration.
The Replacement - BBC Scotland:
A colleague put me on to The Replacement this month in the fact that she told me it really creepy and 'full of Scottish people'. What, I ask, could be better than that? BBC Wales picked up the BBC Scotland psychological drama (I love you, Wales) and it was shown in a three part series. It was superb. And not just because it was Scottish, might I add. Although that clearly had lots to do with it...
Ellen is our Northern heroine, who gets pregnant and has to find someone to take over her architectural work while she's on maternity leave. Cut to creepy English woman who you may *know* is gonna be trouble. Anyway, Ellen starts to get suspicious of her replacement's intentions, but she's the only one who sees any problems and everyone else starts to think she's a bit of a mad nutter. You can see where the story goes from here, but that doesn't make it any less brilliant. There's a lovely wee twist at the end and a particularly lovely scene between Ellen's husband and her sister that is *exactly* how my people actually react to these kind of situations l. I'm still laughing about it now, to be honest.
If you haven't had a chance to catch it yet, I suggest you go before it's lost from iplayer. If you struggle with any of the language, feel free to email me, but mostly just learn to understand regional accents like everyone else...
My Favorite Murder/Serial:
Every month I go through the books I've been listening to on Audible but, after reading a buzz feed article at the end of February about podcasts, I put my account on hold. I'm not even kidding. This is MASSIVE for me, because I rely heavily on my audio books to help me sleep.
After a true crime recommendation, I paused my account to test out the 'Serial' podcast on iTunes. The cast gave a weekly audio programme on a single murder case from the US in 12 weekly episodes and, luckily, because I'm seriously not down with the kids, I soon realised that all 12 instalments were ready to be binge-listened to in a single sitting. And so I did.
It was amazing. Everything focused on true crime and made me very happy, if not a little more prone to the odd bout of insomnia because OMG some of the stories are absolutely terrifying.
You may know this already, but podcasts are FREE, and My Favorite Murder will make you laugh more than is appropriate for the subject matter. It's also absolutely riveting. Check out iTunes or your Android cast app for the latest stuff.
Riga Black Balzams:
OK, so alcohol isn't something I normal include in my monthly round up but this was to good to let pass. On my recent trip to Riga I discovered Riga Black Balzams, which is a strong AF blackcurrant liqueur that's made in Latvia and is incredibly popular in the Baltic nation.
Our AirBnB host handed us a little bottle on check in to his apartment and told us that Latvians pour a few drops in their tea during the day. I can only assume that Latvians do very little work because, holy shit, this is some strong stuffs.
My family is big fans of drinking Kir Royals around Christmas (Cassis in Champagne/Prosecco), but I'll definitely be replacing cassis with Riga Balzams from now on. Seriously; it's that good. You should get some. Don't expect to be fit to open your pressies, though.