Watching, listening, reading: February

So, here we are already at the end of February.  It’s been quite a long and warm summer here this year, and it has been a joy to sit in the sun and enjoy what this season brings us. Without further ado, here’s what I’ve been watching, listening to and reading this month.


Relaxed cat waiting for a bird video


As I started to write this list I was struck by the number of crime or crime related dramas that we have watched.  Clearly there is a pattern here…anyway, let’s start with The People v OJ Simpson which is being shown in New Zealand on SoHo.  It’s OK, and it’s interesting in that there is a lot I had forgotten/didn’t know, but wish they would stop showing stuff about the Kardashian kids who no-one was interested in at the time (and a lot not even now). 

Over on BBC, we are enjoying series 2 of Happy Valley, an excellent police drama set in South Yorkshire and starring Sarah Lancashire.  It is well acted and has a gripping story line, so do search for it and watch it.  It follows on from Series 1, so it makes sense to watch that first. Also on BBC, we are following Shetland, now into its third series. The first two series were based on books by Anne Cleeves, but this one is a stand alone production in six parts.  Dougie Henshall is great as Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, even though the character ‘looks’ quite different in the books.  If you like ‘Nordic noir’ but want something a wee bit faster paced, then this is for you.

Over to Netflix….and Suits, which we have discovered late.  It’s OK sofa watching rather than anything else, and still sort of crime related (being set in a lawyer’s office).  As with all current US dramas, the women are impossibly thin and overly groomed.

In case you think we spend all of our lives watching crime dramas, we did actually go to the cinema this month to see Spotlight. An excellent film, well worth seeing, based on the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese.

And after all that crime, it is time to turn to Melodifestivalen.  Since the majority of readers (apart from The Swedish Kiwi ! ) won’t have a clue what this is, I should explain that this is the Swedish music competition that selects Sweden’s entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. There are six shows, with the winner of the final going forward to the contest which this year will be held in Stockholm.  The first two heats didn’t produce anything that good, though the last one had a couple of songs which were OK.  By the way, to survive, you need to have a glass of wine in hand when watching…..


Cicadas – morning noon and night.  Can’t escape them

IMG_4231Summer skies means cicada time

I’ve subscribed to some different podcasts – Stuff You Missed in History Class, 99% Invisible and The Infinite Monkey Cage.  I particularly enjoyed an episode on Stuff You Should Know from 2nd February about Operation Mincemeat, a World War II plan hatched the British to use the body of an unclaimed homeless man to trick the enemy. A fascinating story, and well worth listening to that episode.  Operation Mincemeat was the story behind the 1956 film The Man Who Never Was which I am now eager to see.

Grace Coddington’s memoirs

I actually read something other than detective novels!  Grace Coddington’s memoirs were a real delight, and beautifully illustrated with her own drawings.  Coddington was a model during the 1960s, and after a long career in fashion, became creative director of American Vogue in 1988, retiring from that post in January of this year.  The memoirs are a veritable who’s who of fashion and fashion photography, and a fun read whether you are particularly interested in that subject or not. (You might also want to watch The September Issue as a companion film piece).

A good part of Sunday morning is catching up with Bloglovin’, reading old familiar blogs and finding new ones, though I’ll leave what I find until next month.  And just so you know, my favourite detective novel this month was Edmund Crispin’s Love Lies Bleeding, first published in 1948.  Great fun.

IMG_7212A pile of books



  1. First thing I noticed was “summer” and “warm”. Is it really summer at your place? Over here, in Dubai, it is summer compared to normal temperatures around the world, but for a couple of weeks in Feb, we did hit our lowest temperature of the year: 13°C

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