What I Read and Watched This Week – 21-27th April

What I Read and Watched This Week – 21st to 27th of April


Blood Oath by Linda Fairstein

I love Linda Fairstein’s books and I always eagerly await the next one. This was a two years wait but as always I was pleased to get it. I first discovered her work when I found one of her books in a charity second-hand bookshop and I’m so glad I did. I think my favourite book will always be Death Dance – I have three copies – one I bought in Paris, one that she sent me autographed, and one I preordered.

It’s What I Do – Lynsey Addario

This is a really good look at what being a war photographer entails. She works for different outlets and has mainly worked in the Middle East, so there is a lot of information about what it was like to work after 9/11 in these areas.

The Amazons – Adrienne Mayor

I watched Wonder Woman so of course I’m interested in Amazons. It would appear that most of the Greek stories come from Scythian peoples that often had fighting women among their group.

The Book of Forgotten Authors – Christopher Fowler

It is amazing the number of authors we forget – I had forgotten quite a few here, some of whom wrote one book that made them famous, or contributed to screenwriting movies.

National Geographic

  • June 2018
  • August 1969
  • August 1969
  • August 1983
  • May 2018

The June 2018 issue was devoted entirely to the concept of waste and particularly plastic waste. Apparently half of the world’s plastic waste comes from just five Asian countries. The biggest plastic waste problems are straws, plastic bags and one-use coffee cups.

I was talking to my friend about this the other day, and she said that when she was recently in Malaysia, they gave her a straw that was made out of sugar cane fibres. What a great idea! Using a waste product to create a product that would normally just go to landfill – or even worse, in the oceans.

In particularly poor countries too, where people can often only afford to purchase one sachet of a good such as toothpaste, nobody makes the sachet packets recyclable, and in Manila, there is apparently a blanket of them. Why can’t more companies get onto this?

National Geographic History Volume 4, No 2.

I really love the National Geographic History magazines and this was not an exception. I liked the part on the process Picasso went through to create the painting “Guernica”. I also particularly liked the (perhaps apocryphal) story that when a Nazi showed Picasso a photo of Guernica that he asked the artist “Did you do this?”, that apparently Picasso replied “No, you did.”

I also really liked the article on The Phoenicians who were most famous for creating the purple fabric dye from sea snails. Their entire economy was based on this (at the time) extremely expensive fabric.

Another article was on women in ancient Rome, and I found it particularly nice that surrogacy and fostering were “embedded in Roman ideas of motherhood”.

Smithsonian Magazine – May 2018

I really enjoyed one of the articles in this on Albert Einstein and his travels to Japan. I hadn’t known he had traveled to Japan, but apparently he went in 1922 to go to Egypt, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Japan. The article was very interesting about his visit, and it also mentioned that his travel diaries from this trip were being released as a book, so I shall very much look forward to finding that and reading it.

There was also an interesting article on a man called Eusebio Leal. He is Havana’s official historian and is quite popular for all the work he has done preserving Havana’s historic buildings and streets.


The Librarians 2×08 – And the Point of Salvation (loved this episode – they’re all stuck in a videogame and it’s up to Ezekiel to save them all!)


8×09 – Glasnost

8×10 Sirens (love Nell being a badass with Carl. Also love Hetty’s driving – I KNEW she taught Nell how to drive like that!)

8×11 Tidings We Bring

8×12 Kulinda

8×13 Hot Water

8×14 Under Siege (don’t mess with Hetty Lange. Or Nell Jones.)

8×15 Payback (another great Hetty Lange and Nell Jones episode. And anytime AJ Chegwidden is on the show, it is fantastic.)

Grimm 2×17 – One Angry Fuchsbau

2×18 – Volcanis

2×19 – Endangered (loved the Wesen in this episode. They were so beautiful. And such a great parallel with endangered species)

2×20 Kiss of the Muse

2×21 The Walking Dead (she knows! Juliette finally knows Nick is a Grimm, and it was done with great comedic hilarity)

2×22 Goodnight, Sweet Grimm

3×01 The Ungrateful Dead

3×02 PTZD

Inspector Soneri Fog and Crimes 2 – Parental Rating

The Blacklist 4×15 – The Apothecary (No 59.) – Love Samar going into Panetti’s office and just telling them how it’s going to go. She’s my favourite character on this show (along with Aram).

Black Lightening

1×5 And then the Devil Brought the Plague – The Book of Green Light

1×6 Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder


A Thank You Letter to Skechers From My Feet

Dear Skechers

We are the first to admit, we have issues. We have flat arches, we are wide and we belong to someone with fibromyalgia. We try to work as hard as possible to be as useful as possible, but as you can understand, life is not easy.

We had read a post on The Mighty, a wonderful resource for those with disabilities, and it said that Skechers was one of the best shoes for people with chronic pain. Naturally we enticed our owner to take us to the first store we could see them in, which was a Myer store. 

They had a lovely display of all kinds of different shoes, all different types of colours. For our first shoe, we selected a black pair of wide fit Skechers. 

Skechers, as soon as we put these shoes on, it felt like we were walking on air. Those memory foam insoles were a soothing balm to the aches and pains that plague us constantly. We felt that we were able to do anything, go anywhere and participate in everything! Our owner even felt the ability to start exercising again because she wasn’t in so much pain with her feet all the time.

Skechers, you have created a miracle product. You have made us so very happy and given us life again.

Thank you so much.

My feet.


What I Read and Watched This Week – April 14-20


National Geographic:

  • October, 1930
  • July, 1977
  • June 1977
  • February 1977
  • March, 1976
  • February 2019
  • January 2019
  • December 2014
  • September 1951

I realised my National Geographic pile was getting out of hand, so I thought I better start and tackle that. Strictly speaking, all my “to read” piles were getting out of hand, but I had a migraine earlier this week and for some reason the only thing I can read is magazines – so National Geographic it was.

I really enjoyed the January 2019 issue because it was about the Future of Medicine. As someone with various chronic illnesses, it was interesting to see where medicine is going. Naturally the high-tech medicine is something we are already seeing, but I was particularly interested in the possibility of tailoring treatments to an individual’s DNA.

Revolutionary Ride by Lois Price:

This was an interesting book, in the style of Dervla Murphy, of a woman who rode her motorcycle through Iran (published in 2017).


We’ve been watching Grimm at lunchtime – getting kind of sick of the “I can’t remember you” drama, but I do love Monroe and Rosalee. Also saw a movie this week – Shazam was awesome!



2×10 The Hour of Death

2×11 To Protect and Serve Man

2×12 Season of the Hexenbiest (getting really sick of the relationship drama here!)

2×13 Face Off

2×14 Natural Born Wesen

2×15 Mr Sandman (the entirely most gross episode I’ve seen so far)

2×16 Nameless

Elementary: 5×19 High Heat (Love this show. So sad it’s ending in Season 7)

Rizzoli and Isles 7×6 There Be Ghosts


8×06: Home Is Where the Heart Is

  8×07: Crazy Train

  8×08: Parallel Resistors

Criminal Minds:

13×19 Ex Parte: Tara was so good in this episode – really quick off her feet

13×20 All You Can Eat: Nice to finally meet some of Garcia’s family

13×21 Mixed Signals: Again, we get more backstory on Tara and how awesome she is.

Inspector Soneri: Fog and Crimes 2: Doll House

Chronic Illness, Disability, Mental Health, Mental Illness


Let’s talk about disability.

It’s not a very pretty word, but it’s one of the only ones we’ve got to describe it.

The Oxford Dictionary defines disability as:

  1. A physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities.
  2. A disadvantage or handicap, especially one imposed or recognized by the law.

(Online Oxford Dictionary: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/disability)

Am I disabled? Yes. I have a laundry list of disabilities, but most of mine are considered “invisible” disabilities. What’s an invisible disability, you ask?

Invisible Disability, or hidden disability, is an umbrella term that captures a whole spectrum of hidden disabilities or challenges that are primarily neurological in nature.

(Disabled World https://www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/invisible/)

So, my “invisible” disabilities are fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression and hypermobility syndrome . Fun combination, huh?

Disability is often included as an afterthought. Because legally it “has” to be included. Take, as an example, building a high-rise or, in the case of Queensland’s utter ridiculousness, a fleet of trains.

Queensland decided to buy a fleet of trains. However it was only after they received them, that anyone realised that perhaps it would be a good idea to comply with the Disability Act and retroactively make them disability compliant. It will cost them 150 million dollars. (Easton, S., 5th March 2018)

Surely it would have been cheaper to think of this beforehand? But this is how disability works. No one wants to talk about it, no one wants to see it. In fact, sometimes I think everyone would like all disabilities to be invisible. It’s the way people don’t know where to look when they see a person in a wheelchair (hint: at their eyes). The way people reach out to pet service dogs (seriously, who just pets a dog before they’ve been introduced? I don’t pet your kids!). And of course, it’s the way people find mental illness something they just don’t want to talk about.

Hey, over here! I’m talking about it!

There are some important facts to remember about disability that you should always remember:

  1. People with a disability are human. Please treat them the same way you would like to be treated.
  2. People with a mental illness are not crazy. We are not all violent. Mental illness is not an excuse for murder, mass shootings, or being an incompetent President.
  3. Please don’t pet service dogs. In fact, don’t pet any dog without asking its owner. The dog could be frightened of people, or be at work. As I said earlier – I do not pet your children – do not pet my dog. (And yes, I understand the difficulties of this because ALL THE PUPPIES, but just be courteous about it).
  4. If you don’t understand a disability, LEARN. Google is your friend. And you might find that by understanding it, you are less freaked out by it (but I don’t know why you would be – you can’t CATCH a disability. It’s not the flu).

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.