Friday, 20 March 2015

Currently #06

Source

Reading :: Elizabeth's Bedfellows 'An Intimate History of the Queen's Court' by Anna Whitelock. Having been lucky enough to have seen Anna Whitelock speak on Queen Elizabeth I at the Chalke Valley History Festival last year, I soon picked up this book that the talk was based on, keen to find out more. When given the choice to pick what modules of history I study, I've almost always chosen to learn about modern history; from the British Empire in Africa to British Politics from 1945 to 1990 to Germany from 1900 to 1945; I've been eating, breathing, and living (or at least it feels like it!) the 20th century over the past couple of years. I've been feeling like I'm missing out on the medieval ages and, being the history nerd that I am, wanted to rectify that asap. Unsurprisingly, however, this book has been at the bottom of my to-read pile ever since I bought it. It finally made its way to the top last week and, I have to say, I'm finding it so fascinating and well-written so far. Elizabeth's Bedfellows explores Elizabeth I's life from the point of few of her bedfellows - the ladies who likely knew the most about what really went on in the monarch's life. There was much scandal in the Elizabethan reign as it was unheard of at the time for a monarch not to marry, especially so for a Queen not to marry and so I'm finding it incredibly interesting to find out more about this period and the pressures that fell on a Queen in the 16th century. It's definitely a book I'd recommend if you're interested in any type of history, but particularly if you want to find out more about Elizabeth I in a way that, as far as I know, has not been discussed in so much depth until now.

Eating :: Not chocolate! I gave up chocolate for Lent again this year and, while I'm not struggling as much as I was last year in resisting it, there's a definite hole in my eating habits that is desperate to be filled again! I've been really craving a really good, chocolate-y cookie over the past few days and it's doing nothing to help me resist chocolate until Easter. Oh well, I know I can do it, I've just got to find the willpower to follow through! Have you given up eating/drinking anything for Lent? If you have, please tell me you're struggling as much as I am so I know I'm not the only one...

Thinking about :: Making time for myself and beginning to prioritise what's most important. I find that this time of the year is always so busy and so, amid everything that I'm already doing, I'm thinking about finding the balance between not turning down opportunities but at the same time, making sure that I have a bit of time for me. I always learn this the hard way and either say no to everything and then regret it, or say yes to too much and feel like I can't cope with everything that's on my plate. But this year with spring comes a fresh start and being more conscious of the decisions I make will hopefully allow me to feel like I've struck the right balance, and make everything else a little easier too.

Watching :: House of Cards and The West Wing. Both are centred around American politics but wow, are they different. House of Cards is incredibly dark and Machiavellian, whereas The West Wing is really uplifting and suggests that American politics really isn't as bad it may be perceived to be. As I'm studying American politics this year I'm thinking that watching these religiously is basically revision, right? Although the two shows are very different, I'm really loving them both and would definitely recommend you give them a watch. I'm warning you now though, you'll be hooked!

Loving :: That there are (or were) finally some signs of spring! Over the past couple of weeks the sun has put his hat on more and more, trees have started to blossom and I keep having the pleasure of spotting bluebells and snowdrops looking as pretty as always. The sun really does lift my mood and I'm loving daydreaming about picnics in Hyde Park, followed by sunbathing on the grass and making wishes when blowing out dandelion clocks. Ah, that will be the life!

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