Silver linings: 30 things I’ve enjoyed after 30 weeks locking down

Today marks 30 weeks since I got back from Oslo and started my initial lockdown. Since then I have ventured out of my immediate neighbourhood a total of five times. Including going to the pub twice. Not a lot to show for 210 days.

This isn’t a woe is me post though – here are 30 things that made the last 30 days better. In no particular order other than what popped into my head 🙂

  1. Ted Lasso – what a surprise. This is a show that will stay with me for years – it constantly refuses do be what you expect and in the Ted character embodies a role model for leaders everywhere. Also Roy and Keeley is just the best TV romance ever.
  2. Painting graffiti – I blogged about this. Rediscovering writing graf at 47 has probably saved my mental health more than anything.
  3. Spenser books – I also blogged about my struggle reading for pleasure in these months but I found comfort in the familiarity of Robert B Parker’s creation (and the Ace Atkins additions after Parker’s death). They are formulaic but fun.
  4. Better Things – my friend Sara introduced me to this. She described it as a sweary Gilmore Girls 🙂 It is consistently funny and moving and all four seasons are on iPlayer.
  5. Powers – I bought new collected editions of all of of Bendis and Oeming’s Powers – one of my all time favorite comics and then they released the finale hardback as well. Just a brilliant series start to end.
  6. RTJ4 – once again Killer Mike and El-P just crush it. Political and potty-mouthed with beats that destroy pretenders – this has been the soundtrack to my lockdown.
  7. Beastie Boys Movie – Made me cry. Both times I watched it.
  8. Love Life – I’d probably watch Anna Kendrick read the dictionary. 
  9. 3D print – No he isn’t Banksy but Rob ‘3D’ Del Naja is the reason I go into graffiti. Before he founded (then ruined) Massive Attack 3D was Bristol’s original graffiti star – and he went to my school.
  10. Snyder’s Justice League – I read all five volumes of this version of the Justice League in a single weekend – it ends on a bloody cliff hanger but the storytelling and art are first rate throughout.
  11. Fort Salem – this was uneven as anything and seemed to run out of budget come the end but there is a lot to love and some of the world building was brilliant.
  12. The Adventures of Moon Man & Slim Shady – two of the greatest lyrical rappers who had totally lost their way get together and drop a track that is as good as anything they even did at the height of their powers.
  13. The Boys (2) – even darker than season one but also more coherent and funnier. Loved it.
  14. Cobra Kai – a nostalgia fest for sure but also really funny at times and manages to tell its own story as well as all the call-backs.
  15. The Umbrella Academy (2) – this was loads better than season one. It leaned into its weirdness and was all the better for it.
  16. Last Chance U: Laney – I was a bit over this show with the previous season. The arcs – albeit real life – were getting a bit samey and felt contrived. This was really different – the urban setting and the challenges that provided to these kids really changed things. As much about gentrification as (American) football.
  17. Al Ewing’s Immortal Hulk – the Hulk as a horror book. Thinking about it the shock is nobody did it before. Weird but wonderful.
  18. Mode2 print – if 3D got me into graffiti it was Mode2 who sealed the deal. I’ve dreamed of owning something of his since I was a teenager. Also I chatted to him on Instagram off the back of this purchase!
  19. Korean Fried Chicken – love it but only really had it in NYC or London…then thanks to Deliveroo I discovered a brilliant spot in Bristol. Yum.
  20. Hickman’s X-Men – Jonathan Hickman ‘relaunched’ the X-Men titles as ‘showrunner’ basically. I hadn’t read any of the titles in YEARS (not since Morrison regularly) but these are a joy to read. Betsy Braddock as Captain Britain and Kate (don’t call me Kitty) Pryde as a pirate queen. Perfect.
  21. King of Staten Island – it has been a desert of new movie releases and I’m not sure how much I’d have taken to this if there were other things around but it is funny and sweet and just a little weird at times. Worth a watch. Not enough Wu Tang mentions for a Staten Island movie though.
  22. Palm Springs – another movie that I’m not sure I’d have given much attention in normal circumstances – maybe Andy Samberg would have been enough but the premise feels a bit Groundhog Day for millennials if you hear it cold. I really enjoyed it.
  23. Rewatching Parenthood and bingeing This Is Us – I’ve grouped these together as they are examples of US prestige soaps that just ring out every bit of emotion from every episode. Nobody gets out unscathed. I find them very reassuring somehow.
  24. New trainers – got a bit carried away. Bought five new pairs of limited edition Adidas during the lockdown. Just ordered another pair. Ooops.
  25. Blogging – I’ve written a lot this year. Some of it has been pretty decent. It helps the voices in my head.
  26. Kat Denning’s Instagram – unlike Twitter I follow a bunch of random celebrities on Instagram alongside all the artists. Watching Kat Dennings become obsessed with her garden was funny as anything!
  27. Good Trouble – is the most ‘woke’ soap in history, replacing the show it is a sequel to ‘The Fosters’. When I was in the US once I got ill and basically binged all of The Fosters in a couple of days and so finding this on iPlayer was a nice surprise. Don’t watch with anybody the slightest bit right of centre!
  28. ‘Discovering’ Parks and Recreation – I’d tried and tried to get into this show…and then I stumbled on an episode of season two on Sky Comedy and found myself bingeing everything (apart from Season One – which I still think isn’t good.)
  29. Ben Eine bunting – don’t remember why I did this but my ceiling is adorned with limited edition, not cheap, bunting from one of my favourite artists. It makes me smile every day.
  30. Graffiti t-shirts – I wanted to support some of the artists who make my Instagram such an escape and tee-shirts turned out to be the easiest way!

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