Last Month Today | May 2019

This Geeky Tangent Last Month Today

The months they go so fast, and May disappeared in a whirl of outwith the norm events. What with many comings and goings, a whole week in Cumbria and more train journeys than I’d really like to make in a month, I’ve made it to June more battered and broken than when I started.10

I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what to put in here regarding the news. Brexit is a nightmare, Trump is no better, and News the world over is just miserable. So I think I’ll go with something that hit home for me.

My heart broke when I read about the sinking of the tourist boat on the Danube in Hungary. It is all the more heart wrenching as the wounds scored into the psyche of the nation as a result of the Sewol tragedy are still smarting. This has been close to the bone.

It also made me afraid. Afraid that I might know someone on that boat. True, the chances were slim, but I have met so many Koreans who have made clear their wishes to travel abroad, and many of them since have. I didn’t want any of my friends to be on the boat.

I hope that recovery operations in Hungary are swifter than they were for Sewol, and I hope everyone is found.1

The FiveI’ve mentioned this book in the up-coming Reading Nook post, but it’s that good that I’m putting it here as well!

If you’re fascinated by Jack the Ripper, this isn’t necessarily a shoe-in. If you are fascinated by Victorian London in general, then this is a perfect read.

Hallie Rubenhold has clearly researched into every nook and cranny, digging up every little tit-bit of information relating to Jack the Ripper’s victims, and gives them their names and lives, immortalising them – Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary Kelly – as more than victims, as more than the prostitutes they were always assumed to be.

It’s a heart wrenching read and, and it’s very core, highlights without even having to put into words, how similar women’s situations are now. It is still an automatic assumption that a woman has fallen, that she is lesser, that she is sex worker, if she is in any way perceived to have “fallen” below society’s standards.

We have a long way to go.


Netflix MarvelI’ve still been slowly making my way through bones, and in the BF’s week of ill, a lot of of the Netflix shows were consumed. I’m now very used to the background noise of people being beaten to a pulp. That or football…

Some of the shows are great, some seem to just dole out the violence for violence’s sake, but as I’ve mostly been passively watching. The roster has been made up of Luke Cage, The Punisher and Daredevil. Luke Cage appears to have a stellar OST, and Daredevil has it’s captivating moments, but The Punisher does nothing for me!

I think we’re nearly at the end now, so hopefully there will be something less noisily violent gracing our TV screens.2

nullMore Marvel, this time Endgame.

I know I’m going to get some flack for this, but though I’m satisfied with the ending, the getting there was less gratifying. I could have done with film about half the length, or at least sped up, and I got so frustrated that I nearly left.

I am still deeply unimpressed with how a couple of the characters were dealt with; whilst I understand the point of the exercise, I feel it was handled badly and it left a sour taste. Man it’s hard to write an opinion piece on a movie you don’t want to spoil.

Whilst I would recommend seeing it, because… Endgame, I can’t sit here and say it’s going to blow your mind. It rounds out the Infinity Saga nicely, and sets up the next chapter. I’m going to miss this generation of Marvel, but I believe that what’s coming will be fantastic.11

Seventeen Happy EndingThose in the know are more than aware that I’m not remotely fussy about music genre, I will listen to anything and everything that sings to me. They will also know that I love me a good K-Pop release. What they might not know, is that of some of my favourite Korean artists, the Japanese releases outweigh the success of their Korean ones.

In May, we were treated to Seventeen’s newest Japanese release, Happy Ending. I’ve been disappointed In Seventeen’s recent Korean releases, they’ve just not quite been there. Happy Ending happily bucks this trend.

It’s a treat, being able to consume music from one group in two different national markets. Whilst there are Korean rock groups, and excellent ones at that, you will generally find this sound is more readily accepted in Japan than in Korea.4

img_1566May has been changeable, weather-wise, and there has been much need for an interim jacket. I’ve not had the greatest of need for one before now – both Hong Kong and Korea are not known for their prolonged seasonal transitions. This year I acquired a second-hand Burberry trench coat that isn’t an colour of cream/beige that makes me look sick, and I have been rocking it (if I do say so myself). It’s a fast way to lift an outfit into something a little more put together.

I was rained upon immediately after this photo, however. The sunnies are a complete and utter lie. Oh, London weather! And now we’re in June and it’s chucking it down outside – a classic British summer. Why did I come back again?5

Given this guy a wash, so he’s a wee bit damp!

This months revelation is not a product, but a tool! I have been into sponges for a million-and-one years, and for some reason, in recent months they’ve not been doing the job for me. Personally, I’m going to put that down to my Korean stash has finally run out and those on offer in the UK just aren’t up to par (and no, I’m not going to pay silly money for a sponge).

In light of this, I turned to the make up brushes, picked one that looked like it might be halfway decent for foundation, and gave it a whirl. I haven’t looked back since. Who knows why something that hasn’t worked before is working now,  but it does and I’m loving it.6

As I slowly march through the endless collection of recipes at my disposal, there have been two of note this may:

On the right we have a smokey pork and black bean recipe from BBC Good Food, technically a taco recipe that instead had with salad to make a frankensteined buritto bowl. On the left we have a gluten free bread recipe from one of the plethora of LEON books I have. If you’re interested in them, I recommend keeping an eye on kindle prices!

The frankensteined burrito bowl was a huge success, and I enjoyed it for many a packed lunch – I packed my salad and meat separately, heated the meat at work and threw it all together with a smidge of cheese and a dollop of soured cream (technical terms there).

The bread, though no unsuccessful, was odd. It’s gluten free, it was always going to be odd. It looked more cakey than any bread I’ve ever come across, but was also dense, without being heavy. I found this bread to be very enjoyable, just as long as you are of the full understanding that it is not, nor is it ever going to be, regular bread!7

ENO Faust
Stunning photo, I believe from the press performance

The boy and I managed to get tickets to see English National Opera’s production of Faust, at their home in Covent Garden. The Opera House is a stunning mixture of sleek modernity in the foyer/bar and old fashioned opulence in the theatre itself, right down to the patrons; there were some tail coats spotted, and one lady in the most fabulous, sparking red dress. Opera attendance aspirations right there!

Faust (the French version by Charles Gounod, at least I think so!) was long, funny, long some more, rousing, opulent, disturbing and a spectacle.  Méphistophélès appearance in the second half (end of Act IV or beginning of Act V, I’ll be honest I’m not sure, all the Act’s melted into one) was fabulous; the scene stealer of the evening.

After the opera, we (one of our friends was in the production) headed off to China town for a bite to eat, and had this amazing aubergine number that I can’t for the life of me remember the name or make up of. Let this post serve as a reminder to the boy that we need to go have that again (a test to see if he reads the blog, perhaps…)9


This month, the best place I have been is the Garden up in Cumbria. Getting through May felt like a war of attrition. There were highs and there were really, really dark lows. Being able to get home was a saving grace, and I was lucky enough to be able to experience some amazing weather. Here’s a wee photo of Colin  the pheasant strutting about like he owns the place, to a stunning back drop. Who needs filters when you live in the countryside! 8


2019 has been a good year for the family. My nephew (hereafter nephew the first) arrived in January, and he is the spitting image of my brother, so much so it’s hilarious. In May, another member of the family arrived, another wee lad, to my cousin. It’s far too convoluted to go through the whole relation nomenclature rigmarole, so I’m just going to stick with nephew the second. He is adorable, with So. Much. Hair (quite unlike nephew the first, who is so blonde he looks bald), and I’m so damn proud of my cousin I could cry. I mean I will, I’m a crier. I can’t wait to go meet the wee lad and get in some of those baby cuddles!



So May wasn’t all bad, despite the low parts of the month. I got some in some solid hours at home, we gained another new addition to the family, the boy and I got a wee trip tp the opera and he got to enjoy some of my food aspiration experiments (though apparently not enough, according to him, which is difficult when he’s more of a savory guy and I am all about that baking!)

Here’s hoping that June is a great month for all of us!


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