Call Me Monthly // DECEMBER

I've been considering sacking off these monthly roundups for a while, but in typical Amy fashion I just couldn't stop mid-year because it would have felt incomplete. So here we are in December and it feels like a nice time to stop. I'm thinking of doing something similar but condensed on my Instagram stories in 2020 instead.

I have to say I am most definitely looking forward to 2020 and getting out of probably the worst (yet paradoxically also the best) year of my life. I've been much much happier for a good few months now, but there's something nice and fresh about an actual new year isn't there? (Cliche I know).

Anyway, I'll stop rambling on and give you a roundup of December:

Bastille // Hangin'

Maxence Cyrin // Where Is My Mind

Billie Marten // In For The Kill

RIVVRS // Walk In The Wild

Blossoms // Your Girlfriend

Bill Withers // Lovely Day

The Stranglers // Golden Brown

Artist of the year: Bastille

Listen on Spotify

Non-Stop // It's definitely film over TV series weather, although I can't say this was a particularly festive one. It's about an Air Marshal (Liam Neeson) who receives messages on a flight from someone threatening to kill passengers. Very much recommend and it's on Netflix at the moment, you are welcome.

Jumanji (and Jumanji 2) // Don't judge me, but I'd never seen Jumanji before so when they did that challenge on I'm A Celebrity I had no clue what it was all about. So I watched it, I like it, and that's about it really. (Also, side note, I always thought Jumanji was a giant ape, kinda like King Kong.)

TV of the year: After Life

The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes // This book follows four women as they travel on an aircraft carrier ship from Australia to England so they can be with their husbands who they married during the war. I found it fascinating as I always do when a book is based around something that actually happened. Hooked from the beginning 4/5.

Book of the year: The Tattooist of Auschwitz 

Amy x

The World Is Changing And I Can't Keep Up

I have some confessions to make; sometimes I shop in Primark, my KeepCup has been hibernating in my locker at work for at least three months and I still haven't got round to buying a new reusable water bottle after my old one broke. Oh and occasionally I even forget to take my own bag to the supermarket and end up having to buy a plastic one.

The world is changing and certainly for the better; sustainable living has zoomed to the forefront of modern culture, meaning we're all being more mindful of our waste, less frivolous with our purchases and hopefully kinder to our planet. But boy is it changing fast.

It seems that in the space of a year (I know it's longer than that before anyone jumps down my throat, but humour my exaggeration for the point of this post thank you) we're suddenly all supposed to be zero-waste, cruelty-free vegans and if we're not, well we should feel pretty damn awful about it.

Don't get me wrong, obviously I'm 100% behind living a more sustainable life; I'm already vegetarian and cruelty-free and realistically I'm doing the best I can to live more ethically. But it still doesn't feel like enough. It doesn't feel like enough because there's always something new I should be doing, something I should be putting in my washing machine to stop plastic from my clothes reaching the sea or a new faraway shop I should be visiting so I can put all my pasta in jars instead of buying it in bags (to be fair I was totally up for the latter until wise Matthew pointed out it would probably use so much petrol to get there it wouldn't be doing the environment much good anyway).

With all this change comes a huge mountain of guilt. It's almost embedded in the human way of thinking isn't it? If we can't do absolutely everything then we're never doing enough.

I can barely complete my own to-do list for the day, never mind complete the to-do list for saving the planet.

Answers on a postcard?

I'd like to hope that despite not doing absolutely everything, the fact that I am doing something counts for, well, something. One thing I've learnt this year is I definitely need to stop beating myself up so much (although saying that and doing it are two rather separate things aren't they?)

Here's to everyone who also can't quite keep up with sustainable living, but are trying their damn best.

Amy x

Dublin Q&A

I haven't used the 'ask me a question' sticker on Instagram very many times, so when I used it to see if anyone had any questions about my recent trip to Dublin I wasn't prepared for the questions to mainly consist of random strangers saying 'hi' and someone asking me what my favourite song is (although irrelevant, it's Truth Is A Beautiful Thing by London Grammar by the way).

Anyway, yes, I recently went to Dublin for the first time (bar a visit aged three which for obvious reasons I can't remember). It was actually a surprise birthday trip from my lovely other half and I wasn't originally planning on writing about it, but we did so much good stuff and had such a grand old time I thought it would be a darn waste not to.

As is often the case with travel posts, this is obviously only my (possibly limited) experience of Dublin so it's more of a 'what we did' rather than a 'what you should do'. Many thanks for your understanding.

Where did you stay?/Best area to stay?

We stayed in an Airbnb, which is a good shout anywhere really in my opinion (although obvs make sure you read the reviews and go verified kids). We stayed in Dublin 7 (I believe the districts are split by postcodes), which was North Central. Everything was in walking distance and it was nice enough for inner city, but our favourite area was around the river and the Temple Bar district, so if we went again I think we'd stay closer to there (saying that it's probably horrendously expensive round there so I may eat my words).

Best things to do?

When I'm on holiday one of my favourite things to do is just wander. This probably means we missed out on some of the typical Dublin sights and we didn't do any of the museums, but I love how it gives you a real feel for a place and also means you stumble across things you may not have done had you actually planned a bit more and were dashing from place to place.

The Guinness Storehouse is an absolute must. It was so much better than I expected, really well done and interesting and also we got our faces printed on a pint so why would you pass on that?

Even if you don't like pubs (would be a real shame if you don't when in Dublin) then the Temple Bar district is still well worth a wander just for all the pretty pub fronts; they're bloody beaut I tell you. Also most of them have (good) live music from 1pm every single day and the atmosphere inside them is absolutely fab. Grab yourself a hot whiskey and put your Irish dancing shoes on.

Is it expensive?/How much money should I take?

Dublin is cheap to fly to from the UK (quick pause here to shoutout the 1903 lounge at Manchester Airport who kindly gave us a complimentary visit so we could fuel up on breakfast and early morning drinks), but yes once you get there it's very expensive. It's no more than you'd expect from a capital city, but with the exchange rate being constantly pretty poor too we ended up spending around at least £200 between us across three days.

Would you go back?

I would 100% go back to Dublin, it's a fab place for a mini break and the atmosphere was just amazing especially as it felt so festive this time of year!

Have you ever been to Dublin?

Amy x

Dublin, Ireland