February Favourites: watching, listening, reading

Can you believe it is the end of February already?  For us in the southern hemisphere, it also marks the end of summer, if, that is, you mark the seasons precisely by months of the year. The first sweaters and coats are already in the shops, though folk are still in shorts and summer dresses…well…mostly!  Whilst there are still piles of plums to be had, the first of the new season pears are appearing, just ready for us to enjoy while watching, listening or reading.


As usual, we watch a lot of stuff over on BBC, from the excellent satirical The Mash Report to the Scottish domestic comedy Two Doors Down.

Yes we do watch mostly British TV, and why not I say.  We have started on Shetland series 4. This is a detective series set – guess where?  The original series were based on the books by Ann Cleeves, which I had enjoyed, and really like the series too.  Staying with drama, we watched Modus a Swedish series, starring Kim Catterall as a US president who disappears. It also stars the Danish actress Paprika Steen, who seems to be a Dane working with the Swedish police, and speaking Danish, that all the Stockholm police appear to understand – so totally unrealistic that it almost makes a farce of the drama. We also caught up with  Silent Witness, now in its 21st series would you believe.  There were a few good stories this time, and I especially enjoyed the last two-parter, Family.

And of course…there has been the first four heats of Melodifestivalen aka Mello ie the Swedish competition to find their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest.  I don’t really need to say any more do I?

We actually got to the cinema this month to see the brilliant Lady Bird. I haven’t enjoyed a film so much for ages.  I so hope it wins something at the Oscars – would love to see Greta Gerwig win for either Best Director or Best Original Screenplay – or even better both).



I think my favourite podcast is still 99% Invisible, always so interesting and well presented, and good to see Cherry Bombe and the mustards back after a break too.

If there are any readers out there who are fans of the BBC radio soap opera The Archers, you too will have been devastated by the story line involving the death of a character from sepsis. I know, it is only a radio soap, but the episode was truely moving.  Great radio drama.

Music – we have been enjoying Swedish band First Aid Kit.  Catch Emmylou and look out for some of their other songs too like My Silver Lining.


I finished The Muse by Jessie Burton which was fine, though not brilliant (3 stars).  To change mood, I picked up The Susan Effect by Peter Høeg (whose best known book translated into English is Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow), which was gripping and full of wonderful geographic references to Copenhagen (5 stars).  Highly recommended. Switching mood again, I moved onto AA Gill‘s Table Talk, a collection of his reviews on food and restaurants which was fun and lively (4 stars).


And then to change the mood yet again, it was another in the cat detective series by Lilian Jackson Braun The Cat Who Lived High.  This series is great fun….well worth hunting out for a light, well written and fun read (4.5 stars). I also picked up the latest Kinfolk magazine, and enjoyed a few blogs, including Use Less, which also gives me a chance to practice my Danish!

Some reading

So what have you watched, listened to or read this month?

You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis.  As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days.  If you want to get in touch, email me on thistlesandkiwis@gmail.com



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