What To Watch To Unwind This Autumn


As National Work Life week comes to an end here in the UK today, and with the autumnal evenings drawing in and the temperature starting to drop, today seems like a good day to share some cosy weekend inspiration with ideas for what to watch this autumn when you just want to indulge in the TV and relax. I've picked four shows or series that perhaps haven't received as much hype as the likes of Netflix favourites Narcos or The Get Down but in my opinion are all very worthy of a watch.

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

Now I'm normally a proponent of keeping yourself moving and therefore sitting in front of the TV doesn't fall wisely into that particular category. Too much sofa time is a bad thing but every now and again it's much needed and can be helpful when it's cold outside and you want a few hours entertainment without too much effort. Life's all about balance after all! Besides you can always banish the backside blues brought on by too much sofa time and try sitting on the floor instead! 

Find out what I'm going on about in this post here: 3 Super Easy Fitness Tricks To Try This Weekend.

Back to the subject in hand and here are some of my favourite watches for the autumn season. If you haven't had the chance to catch these already then I'd recommend picking one to suit your unwind and relax style then just sit back and enjoy.



1. If You Liked Making A Murderer Try: THE FEAR OF 13

I don't think there are many of us left now who haven't sat back and gasped in shock, confusion and horror at the true life story portrayed in controversial documentary Making a Murderer. If you're looking for a little more true life crime, mystery and worrying miscarriage of justice then one off documentary 'The Fear of 13' is going to be for you.

Told exclusively by convicted murderer Nick Yarris who has spent 20 years on death row and who happens to be such an incredible storyteller that you have to look up the credits more than once to check he isn't an actor, this tale unravels to show that in this stranger than fiction scenario absolutely nothing is quite as it at first may seem.

Available on Netflix and Amazon.

2. For Sex And The City, Meets Bridget Jones, Meets Girls Check Out: FLEABAG

The Telegraph reviewed Fleabag as "a gloriously rude, and far funnier, update of Bridget Jones" and I think that perfectly sums up this six-part comedy written by and starring the very brilliant Pheobe Waller-Bridge.

Adapted from the award-winning one-woman show of the same name that began life at the Edinburgh Fringe and was later staged at the Soho Theatre back in 2013, this is a funny, intimate and at times eye-popping and draw-dropping portrayal a woman navigating modern life in the city. It hits you fast in the face from the very first scene and continues on a ride of delight, disgust and despair the entire way through. 

Get it on demand via BBC iPlayer.

3. Navigate The Highs And Lows, Empathise And Cringe At Modern Relationships With: LOVE

I'm a big fan of producer Judd Apatow with This is 40, Trainwreck and Pineapple Express being three of my all time faves. So when I heard that he had recently produced an original series for Netflix I was, of course, keen to check it out - and I'm glad that I did.

The TV series 'Love' is another look at the complications of modern romance, stateside this time, and is one of those series that both infuriates and makes you smile at the same time. It's an enjoyable and somewhat addictive watch as boy meets girl and they spend an awful lot of time not making things work in a kind of awkward will they won't they scenario. This subtle insight into the many complications of love and the human condition is in my book a worthy and interesting watch.

Find it on Netflix.

4. Go All Nordic Noir And Thrill Yourself With Icelandic Crime Drama: TRAPPED

I think it's all this recent talk of hygge over here in the UK (more on that here next week) that has made me want to embrace the autumnal cosiness with blankets, candles, dim lighting and snuggly socks. But what better way to take that comfortable edge off of your hoo-ga and make it more exciting, than with a little nordic noir in the form of a good old 'whodunnit and what exactly have they done?!' kind of a thriller!

Step forward Icelandic TV series Trapped. As a huge storm hits a small Icelandic town cutting them off for days from the rest of the world, a body (well part of it) is found by a trawler just along the coastline and a murder investigation begins. Time and resources are critically low as the local police try to piece together what's happened all the while with the murderer seemingly trapped in the town alongside everyone else. This is a great watch that will keep you gripped throughout. Mainly in Icelandic with English subtitles, but trust me it's all the better for it and it certainly makes you focus as you watch closely to find out just what on earth is going on.

Available on Amazon.


What have you been watching lately that you'd highly recommend? Have you seen any of the above and how would you review them? Let me know what you think and in the meantime enjoy your weekend and happy watching.



Don't Forget To Go Home On Time


National work life week begins again today in the UK and if you've recently been feeling the pressure, no matter where you are in the world, then this is a great week to sit back and take a fresh look at your working life and where it is that you may wish to redress the balance. This Wednesday 5th October also marks the annual Go Home On Time Day as part of the week long campaign so if you're someone who always finds themselves stuck in the office long after you should have headed home then why not make a pledge this Wednesday to pack up and head home on time. Go and do something good for yourself to help you feel more balanced.

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

National work life week is a campaign run by Working Families UK who are at the forefront of helping UK workers find a more family friendly and flexible working life. But whatever our circumstances I'm sure we can all do with taking time now and again to check in with the balance or lack thereof in our lives. 

This week why not take a moment to ask yourself a few questions about your work and life.

  1. Which fulfilling activities do I enjoy doing that have no association with my working life?
  2. Do I build enough time into my week to make time for these activities?
  3. If not, how can I make more time to fit these in?

There are always some tasks that can ultimately wait, that maybe sap more time than they should, or that maybe you need to be willing to give up in order to make more time for something else. You have to make certain times in the week sacred whether that be after work or perhaps at the weekends. Times when you don't spend hours scrolling through social media, when you leave that last email that could actually be answered in the morning and you take the time to do something different. Even if that just means relaxing with your partner and watching the latest must see on Netflix! There has to be time each week that you let your mind off from thinking about the pressures of work.

Over the last couple of years interviewing different people for this blog I've come to pick up some useful tips about finding work-life balance from various people with all sorts of different commitments, deadlines and hectic schedules. Today I've gathered together some of the wisdom that they've imparted that I think is well worth re-thinking about during this week in particular.



1. Erica Buist, Guardian Journalist and author of the blog 'How To Be Jobless' wisely says:

"Weekends are sacred. They are set aside for my fiancé and I to be together. If I absolutely have to work, we plan for him to be doing something at the same time, plan a mutual finish time and often go on a date to make up for it."

"Talking about work is allowed, but dwelling and repeating ourselves isn't. Once we've talked through a worry, we stop each other from getting stuck on it."

Read my full interview with Erica here: The Guardian's Erica Buist Talks Surviving Joblessness.

2. Louise Padmore, Co-Founder of Work Wellbeing talks about how she makes sure she finds a weekly balance:

"At the beginning of my week I always make sure to schedule into my diary the times of yoga classes that I will attend that week, times for catching up with friends or calling family, and time for my own free choice of doing whatever takes my fancy, be that reading, shopping or doing absolutely nothing! I treat these appointments as I would an important meeting with a client, and try my very best to never cancel or reschedule."

Read more about Louise's thoughts on wellbeing in the workplace (and beyond) here: Discussing Work Wellbeing With Louise Padmore.

3. Film Director Matthew Harman discusses how he gets his balance back after a particularly full on period of work:

"There are times when work takes over my life, like when I’m away on a multiple day shoot, but then it’s important to take some time out when it’s all over. Step back and reconnect with your life, whether it’s catching up with friends, your hobbies, or just getting some exercise. It’s not just for your own health - it’s easy to burn out and make yourself ill - but it’s also because it gives you better perspective on your work."

Read more about Matthew in his full interview here: Loving Life In Film With Director Matthew Harmer.


So how is your work-life balance looking to you? What will you do this Wednesday? Go home on time and spend time for you? Or stick at your desk way beyond the close of the day? 

Not just this Wednesday but maybe at least once every week, why not make sure you definitely get away on time and fit in one of those life activities that you keep on meaning to do. Not work related, not chore related, purely life related that makes you feel much brighter and gives you time to unwind and reflect. Let me know what it is that you plan to do and get more involved in the conversation and share ideas with others using the hashtag #TimeToRebalance on social media.

Enjoy your week everyone.



Spending A Saturday Exploring Dalston

Dalston in East London had been on my 'to visit' list for a very long time but was somewhere I just hadn't found the time to get to and take a look around. Since moving back into London earlier this year and being based this time in the north instead of the south, a whole new selection of now far easier to reach destinations has opened up. Exploring this unchartered (for me at least) territory has been one of the best things about being back in dear old London town. I love exploring new places whether that be through travelling or just finding out what's nearby my own doorstep. So here's a few photos from a Saturday afternoon in Dalston and some points worth checking out if you ever find yourself in this part of town and looking for something to do.

Hackney Peace Carnival Street Mural

If you're visiting Dalston then one of the first things you're likely to come across is the beautiful Hackney Peace Carnival Mural (pictured above) that sits proudly on the side of an empty building opposite Dalston Junction station. This quite breathtaking mural is staggering in its size and you can't fail to take a moment to admire it. It was designed by muralist Ray Walker in 1982 as part of the Greater London Council's year of peace initiative. Ray Walker sadly died of a heart attack aged 39 and before painting of the mural had really begun. His wife and colleague stepped in to complete it and it was unveiled in 1985. The mural depicts the Hackney Peace Carnival procession as locals gather together at the height of the cold war, united for peace and against nuclear war. It really is a vibrant and colourful picture to stand and gaze at in awe even despite the somewhat hefty subject matter.

Dalston East Curve Garden

Hunting out the mural will mean that you conveniently find yourself at the entrance to the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden and this is definitely a spot to grab a glass of something chilled, pull up a slightly battered but very comfortable garden sofa and relax with friends for a good while. A peaceful and incredibly relaxed spot that you can happily spend hours in just sitting back and chatting away as the evening draws in. 

The garden is maintained by volunteers, is full of beautiful wildlife friendly trees and shrubs and provides a place for local residents to grow their own food. You can buy food and drink at the bar or take in your own as long as that doesn't include alcohol which must be purchased on site. Old chairs and sofas grace this long and winding leafy space, with a play area at the end for the little ones. Decked out with fairy lights, bunting and cosy wood burners, the laid back vibe pretty much ensures that you'll never want to leave. This is well worth a stop if you find yourself in the area, and give yourself time to sit back and enjoy a little bit of peace and serenity amongst the urban sprawl just outside. Heavenly!

Dalston East Curve Garden
Dalston East Curve Garden
Dalston East Curve Garden
Dalston East Curve Garden

Next up on the to do list and still along the garden theme but in a slightly different sense is nearby Dalston Roof Park. Located on Ashwin Street not far from the famed Arcola Theatre and providing a unique space to eat, drink and dance overlooking the landscape below. I loved this space. It's relaxed, uninhibited, unpretentious and so much fun. Another place that I could have happily spent the entire evening just sipping my mojito and watching the sun go down, then dancing my socks off on the spongy astroturf without much of a care in the world! Normal entry is £3 but make sure you check the calendar for special events that you may need to purchase additional tickets for, or for private events that may inhibit your entry on that occasion.

If you can't get into the roof garden then also well worth a stop is Cafe OTO situated below where you can catch new and original live music everyday of the week as well as chow down on one of their delicious home baked cakes alongside your glass of wine - well why not!!

Dalston Roof Park
Dalston Roof Park
Dalston Roof Park
Dalston Roof Park

Finally I'm going to mention Dalston Yard and Street Feast London even though the evening that we went was actually the very last evening at this particular location. Despite that I still wanted to include a few photos of what was a great hour or two of rum cocktails and mouthwatering street food. Plus even though Dalston Yard is sadly no longer with us, Street Feast London do still have three other locations that you can visit so these pics might just tickle your tastebuds and give you a little inkling of what to expect. AMAZING food, great cocktails and a chatty, friendly vibe that isn't to be missed. I certainly still need to eat my way around the rest of the saliva inducing food stalls on offer so will be making my way to another of their locations quick smart to get my fill. Let the next few photos fill you in on the sort of thing to expect and also provide a fond farewell to the fabulous Dalston Yard.

Dalston Yard Street Feast
Dalston Yard Street Feast
Dalston Yard Street Feast
Dalston Yard Street Feast
Dalston Yard Street Feast
Dalston Yard Street Feast

So therein lies a short and swift but ultimately very satisfying trip to discover a few of the delights of Dalston. There is no doubt far much more to uncover and see and I don't think it'll be long before I'm back doing just that. If you're planning a visit to the area yourself I hope this post offers a starting point. If you're from or are a huge fan of the area and have some further tips and top spots to visit then please leave those in the comments below. All ideas, as always, are very, very welcome.

Have a great weekend everyone and hope to see you here again very soon.



5 Podcasts To Inspire, Intrigue And Motivate

I've been meaning to get into listening to podcasts for a long time but I've often been too distracted by other things to find time to listen to them properly. So whilst the world got well and truly on-board and really got inspired by all things audio I was still busy faffing around with other stuff! Recently though I've made time to tune in and finally listen to all sorts of podcasts to see what tickles my fancy and a special few are fast becoming a much appreciated source of ideas and enjoyment.

Image Source: Pexels

Image Source: Pexels

Now as you may already know, there are so, so many podcasts out there on all sorts of topics and covering many genres. Today I'm sharing but a handful of my current favourites incase you are new to the podcast game like me and looking to get started. Or perhaps you're a huge podcast fan already and after something new to excite the ears! These five podcasts all bring a little brightness and thoughtfulness to my day and I hope they do the same for you too.



1. Tough Girl Podcast by Sarah Williams is definitely one to tune in to if you're looking for motivation and inspiration. Sarah Williams interviews women from all over the world, in all sorts of professions, who have faced any number of challenges. Get inspired by their true stories and the grit and advice on offer to help you overcome your own hurdles.

2. Ctrl Alt Delete by Emma Gannon is a podcast that also focuses on interviews with inspirational guests but the theme is very much centered on the digital age and how the internet and social media has changed the world we live in forever. Emma is also the author of a bestselling book by the same title that I haven't yet had a chance to read so I'd be intrigued to hear if any of you have read it and what your thoughts are?

3. Spark True Stories Live is a collection of true stories told by anyone and everyone in all walks of life and on any subject that you can imagine. Spark hold live events in London, Preston and Bristol where people are invited on stage to share their tales. It's so true that good stories bring us closer together and listening to these will bring joy, laughter and sometimes tears. They are also very short which is a nice change from some of the much longer and more in depth podcasts out there. Small snippets of real life delivered by real people.

4. The Lively Show by Jess Lively has regularly been listed as one of the top podcasts that all female entrepreneurs should listen to and is a very positive and uplifting listen. Jess tackles everything with a thoughtful brightness and her subject matter is always relative to the struggles of today's modern world. The advice imparted by herself and her guests leaves food for thought and intentional, useful points for action.

5. Don't Salt My Game with Laura Thomas PhD is one for when you need to get back on track when it comes to your own health and wellness. As a registered nutritionist Laura talks to all sorts of guests on many positive wellness issues. From mindfulness to finding better balance in your life, join Laura and her pool of inspiring experts as they cover both the good and the bad and share their professional and incredibly handy tips and advice.


So that's my personal top five right now, especially when it comes to finding motivation or sources of positive encouragement within life and in the workplace.

Do you listen to any of the above or do you have any further recommendations that you think I should be downloading next? Let me know in the comments below and happy listening!