Here we are again, at the end of another month. Sitting down to think about what I enjoyed and what I want to talk about has become a great ritual at the end of each month, and one that is making me appreciate the good things a lot more. Sometimes I have a million things to recommend and shout about, but this installment of the Best of the month is less about things and more about experiences. I hope you enjoy it!
THE FUN VIDEO
Early in May a London receptionist was sent home from work because she wasn't wearing heels. The story became huge, putting in the spotlight the existence of useless dress codes that have nothing to do with a woman's ability to perform her job. More than 100,000 of us signed online petitions to stop this nonsense and in the end the company apologised, although I am struggling to find a link to their apology!
Stylist magazine published a really funny video showing men wearing high heels to work that made me laugh and that I have watched more times than I care to admit!
THE PODCAST: BROOKE CASTILLO
I first heard about Brooke Castillo on The Lively Show, one of my favourite podcasts. She has been on the show twice, once to talk abouthow to experience more positive emotions and another time to discuss how to change negative thought patterns and understand the ego. I'm currently reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and I can recognise a lot of his teachings in Brooke's work, so I really got into it and decided to check out her own podcast, which started in 2014 and has over 100 episodes already (most of which I am working my way through!). One of the first ones I listened to was about post traumatic growth. It sounds really dramatic and something that most people couldn't relate to, as thankfully, most of us haven't had to go through serious trauma. But we all have ups and downs and there are difficult times in everyone's lives, so there are always lessons for everyone. Listen for yourself and take away what resonates with you, but for me there was a concept that I found really useful, which was our own role when we tell stories about the past. Are we the victim or are we the survivor? Brooke says that it is your story, so you have every right to tell it as you want to, and this really made me stop and think. If you read my post Making Good Things Happen you read that there was a time when I went through a really rough time that span across a few years and that it made me feel embarrassed to be this person that bad things happened to. This episode made me realise I was someone who had overcome a lot, and it shifted something in me, it felt like a weight was off my shoulders.
THE CHALLENGE: 30 DAYS OF YOGA FOR BEGINNERS
Anne from Linda Libra Loca and I did a yoga challenge last month and we documented it well, so I won't talk too much about it, but it really was a highlight of my month. The physical benefits were obvious, but I also really enjoyed getting to know Anne better through this. If you want to hear more about it I wrote a post last week, and there you will find the links to Anne's blog for our daily journal.
THE GREAT READ: RUBY TANDOH'S PIECE ABOUT HEALTHY FOOD
As a person who cares a lot about a healthy lifestyle, this article on Vice was really interesting. I don't agree with everything Ruby says, but it was really interesting nonetheless. I also wrote my thoughts on healthy eating after reading it, in case you are interested.
I love Oxford 364 days of the year (sorry, Christmas Day has to be spent at home in Spain!), but the time of the year when I love it the most is in spring and summer. The sun comes out, you can have a drink by the river, go punting, have a picnic in the park... May is a really fun month that starts with May Morning, a tradition of over 500 years when the choir sings from the top of Magdalen Tower at 6am. A more recent tradition is to stay up all night the night before and then head for breakfast after the singing and the Morris dancing. Despite having lived here for years I had never seen it until last month. I learned that my body can't pull off an all nighter as easily as when I was younger, but it was great to spend the night with friends.
Another tradition is Summer 8s, a four day regatta of bumps races between the rowing teams of the university colleges. The grand finale is on Saturday, when the river is full of people having a picnic and enjoying the races, glass of Pimms or prosecco in hand. I have to confess that although I have tried, I still don't quite understand how the race works (why doesn't the fastest win?!), but the atmosphere is great, and the views from the top of the boat houses are great.
So, if you ever consider visiting the UK, make Oxford part of your itinerary and consider these two dates in the calendar.
FOOD: THE TASTE OF SPAIN
Finally, I can't finish this post without talking about the weekend I spent in Spain with two friends. Going home is always great for me, but I love it even more when I can share it with other people. I come from a family of foodies, so seeing as the weather was pretty rubbish, we decide to show Dan and Salvo the merits of our cuisine, that are, by the way, far from tapas. From home made paella, mussels or a tomato salad to delicious rice with crab and a really lovely meal at Asador de la Concepcion in Albacete, where my family live. The trip was most definitely all about the food!
And that's it for May! What have been the highlights of your month? As the end of The Good Wife approaches I'm on the hunt for good new shows to watch, so please pop any recommendations on the comments below.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!