It seems that everyone's mood dips a little when the summer ends but, as I live I'm Wales (and am from Scotland), I can genuinely say that I've barely noticed the difference. I jest, of course; we had two beautiful days in August. Anyway, instead of looking at the changing season in a negative light, these are the things I'm genuinely looking forward to...
Darker NightsI know not everyone is a fan, but darker nights mean candles and blankets in my house. There's something great about snuggling up on the sofa while the wind and dark swirl around outside. You can find me, watching Forensic Files, surrounded by candles, eating crisps (obviously), feeling pretty happy all round.
Taylor Swift's ReputationI haven't been this in to the lead up to a new album since Beyonce dropped Formation from Lemonade. I know it got millions of YouTube hits but, if we're being honest, at least half of them were mine. Now that Taylor had released the first 2 tracks from 'Reputation', and I've been listening to them both on repeat, I'm so looking forward to the album release on November 10th.
Murder on The Orient ExpressI'm not sure how many times this book has been dramatised, and every single one is my favourite, but I actually do think this new one will be my favourite favourite. Aside from the fact that it has Kenneth Branagh playing Hercule Poirot (and we've already spoken about his acting talents...), it also has Dame Judi Dench and a slew of other famous famous. It's pretty much impossible to go wrong with Agatha Christie as the quality of writing and twists and turns are genius, so it's hard to see how this can be anything but amazing. Also - those outfits and the really posh English accents make me want to go back in time. The new movie is released in December.
Robert Harris' MunichGranted, this title is already out (as of Sept 21st), but I'm a little slower on the uptake than most people and am still making my way through the last Virgil Flowers book by John Sandford. Anyway, apart from anything else, this book just *sounds* like it needs to be read in a darkened rooms, lit by a single flame, and me, with my map of Europe on the lounge coffee table, working out where I'm going to annex next. I'm assuming that's how it was done back in the day, but I could well be wrong. Anyway, I haven't met a Robert Harris book I haven't loved, so far, so I can't see why this new title would be any different. I love the mix of historical fact meets fictional unreality that his volumes bring. It's like you're cheating on your old history textbooks with something way cooler.
John Sandford's Deep FreezeI'm still reading the last Virgil Flowers book (well, I say 'reading' but I'm actually listening through Audible, but a book's a book, right?), so I kinda need to get a move on since Deep Freeze dropped on October 19th. Although the cases are always different, the lead characters lives move on with the books and, since I don't like my timeline being out of sync, I gotta read them in the order God intended.
Missing Maura Murray PodcastI discovered true crime podcasts at the beginning of 2017 and have been addicted ever since. Until now, I’ve only listened to ‘casts that have covered different stories each week, so when I found this one – which covers a single missing person case from 2004 – I wasn’t sure what they could possibly find to talk about each week to keep it interesting. I started listening tentatively, sure I’d get totally bored after I got through the events of the actual disappearance of Maura Murray but, as it turns out, there’s so much more to the person, the investigation, the family members, boyfriend, friends, college acquaintances than I ever imagined. In fact, the whole situation is odd right from the start. Lance and Tim, who are the presenters, do a really great job of investigating and take a look at all angles, without pushing their own theories, which I found helpful. That, so far, has allowed me to start to form my own opinions on the case. If you want to become slightly obsessed with a girl who mysteriously vanished into thin air one cold February evening in rural New Hampshire, then this is definitely some essential autumn listening. At the last count, there are around 55 episodes. I’m at 12 and I’m already in way too deep. Please listen and then come back and tell me what you think. I really need someone to discuss it with and LT is so not interested.
You can find Missing Maura Murray Podcast on Podbean, iTunes and, I daresay, various other podcast listening apps that I’m unfamiliar with.
EmiSunshine's Ragged DreamsI found this singer on a Rolling Stone’s list called something like ‘OMG Suz, You Will LOVE These Artists’, or something like that (it *may* have been Hot New Country Artists To Watch but whatever). I downloaded an album called ‘Ragged Dreams’ from Apple Music and had a quick listen in my car on the way to work, in between bouts of practising my harmonies on Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani’s ‘Go Ahead and Break My Heart’, obviously. And it’s scarily good. When I Googled Emilie Sunshine, it turns out she was born in 2004, which makes her, like…..SO young it’s not even funny. I mean, my first wedding was in 2004 and I’ve been married, divorced, relocated, reengaged and remarried since then. Anyway, the fact that my life is kinda like some of the songs on this CD is neither here nor there. The main thing is that this lady can SING. And play ukulele. And write songs. And she’s amazing at ALL OF IT. She’s a bona-fide artist whose Dad and brother play in her band (I’m not crying, you are…) and it might just be the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. She reminds me of Natalie Mains of Dixie Chicks and I am so looking forward to belting out her songs on the way to and from work over the coming months.
QuietI live in a tourist haven and it's hell for 6 weeks of summer because it becomes largely impossible to conduct your business, find car spaces, go to the bank, enjoy the tranquillity of your local coffee house and get to work on time, when your usually sleepy town transforms into a kind of Welsh Las Vegas. Everyone has now returned to where ever they came from and day to day tasks are easy again!
Don't get me wrong - it's fabulous that so many people come here and tourism is a major source of income for local business, but it's also lovely when it's all over. At least until the Christmas break...