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Six things I loved in July

August 8, 2016
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Ta-Nehisi Coates on writing 

It’s hard to find writing advice that really gets to the core of the work, that goes beyond: write everyday, kill your darlings, read widely. Those most deeply immersed in the craft who offer wisdom drawn from that experience are the most useful, I think. Ta-Nehisi’s advice here (& on longform where he’s done 3 interviews!) was helpful to me in the middle of my own stressful, physical grind toward trying to create something meaningful.

“Breakthroughs come from putting an inordinate amount of pressure on yourself, seeing what you can take and hoping that you can grow some new muscles”

Zakura Japanese food

Easily the single biggest thing I miss about NYC is the food, specifically the joy of Seamless. Growing up, there was one smelly Chinese place (as in various meats dressed with MSG) and a chipper where all you could safely order were chips. Since I moved out, a divine pizza place has opened but of course none of these deliver.

So to a girl from the bog, having a full menu of international cuisine at the tips of my figures was the very definition of luxury. In New York, my favourites were that Japanese place in Bed Sty and that yummy Thai place (Borne Thai?) and Istanbul Palace, except for the things covered in dill – what is the deal with dill?

In Dublin, we have Deliveroo on which I ration myself carefully. Zakura, a Japanese place, isn’t on Deliveroo but is more delicious than food should be allowed to be. (Always have the crab avocado sushi, always!)

Good jeans

I’m not a big clothes person. I don’t like shopping, fashion really isn’t my scene. However, the straight leg, light wash, high waisted stretch jeans that I got from Next for forty quid are gonna see me through the next 2 years. They comfortably accommodate both the fat and skinny days, look good turned up and most of all, are so unobtrusive that I really feel like people see ME in them, rather than seeing them. Women have a thing with jeans. Wearing these is the first time I’ve really understood why. 

The Familiar Process of Breaking Up: A Visual Guide

I love a good drawing. Ann Friedman’s pie charts, the approval matrix, these flowcharts – there’s something about capturing a quirky concept in a visual format that awakens a different part of my brain. Man Repeller do illustration well but this roadmap on the process of breaking up manages to be poignant, painful and funny all at once. The artist is Emily Zirimis.

Diary of a bad year – radio documentary

I first heard Kelly on Longform and read her piece in Lenny. I wasn’t long back from my third trip to Beirut and had spent a lot of time hearing refugee stories that I just couldn’t get out of my head. Kelly’s documentary about being a war correspondent gripped me – I recognised the pull toward work that maybe didn’t make sense but felt important, the complexity of trying to unravel why you’re doing it and what is the best next move. The toughest moment is her reading a letter she wrote to her family, in the event that she were killed. The final stuck with me : “Live on with the knowledge that you were loved and that you will be loved by this wide and wonderful world”. Listen here.

BookTube

I did not know that booktube (as in people making videos about books) was a thing, until I found this while researching a piece about single-dom. I quickly fell in love – watching lots of these and these, mostly (lets be real) because a quick youtube video is the perfect accompaniment to dinner at my desk.

P.S. You can find lots more recommendations over here.

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