Miscellaneous · Monthly pleasures

April’s little pleasures

I’ve decided that from now, each month I am going to share with you five things which I’ve enjoyed that month – from things I’ve done, to music, to food, to good places to go for coffee. Here’s what I’ve been loving this April!

1. ‘Bates Motel’

Bates Motel is a new TV show which started airing in the US last month, which I have caught up over the past week. As you might have been able to guess from the title, it’s a spinoff of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ (1960) – a modernised prequel, to be exact. I wasn’t aware it was an update until I started watching it, and despite my initial surprise at Norman Bates (played by Freddie Highmore) sitting at the bus stop listening to an iPod, it does actually work. The plot itself explores Norman’s teenage life, his relationship with his mother (Vera Farmiga) and how he came to be the knife-wielding motel owner we all know. It’s full of suspense, twists and turns – I’ve been on the edge of my seat with every episode. I absolutely love it – it’s just a shame I’ve now got to wait until Tuesday morning to watch the next episode!

2. Distilled witch hazel

I’ve recently rediscovered that miracle solution that is distilled witch hazel. I used to use this as a skin cleanser and toner, but then I moved onto other products. It’s only been in the past month that I’ve started using it again and I had forgotten how amazing it is. Combined with a good facial scrub and some moisturiser, my face feels so soft all the time and it has helped clear up my spots. It’s also good for cuts and bruises – and as I found out last night, razor burn. After shaving my legs last night, I dabbed it on the red bumps left by my razor, and today, they’re totally gone. Genius! You can usually find distilled witch hazel in the medical section of your local supermarket/pharmacy, as opposed to the skin care section – there are some witch hazel products in the skin care section, but these generally just contain witch hazel as opposed to being the solution itself, and they’re more expensive and not as versatile.

3. Lou Reed – ‘Transformer’

This month I’ve been obsessed with this album, old as it may be. I’ve liked The Velvet Underground for a few years now, but bar a few obvious songs (‘Walk on the Wild Side’, ‘Perfect Day’ and ‘Satellite of Love’), I hadn’t heard much of Lou Reed’s solo material. ‘Transformer’ provided me with a perfect introduction. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve listened to it in the past fortnight – every track is absolute genius. If I had to choose, I would say my favourites are ‘Hangin’ ‘Round’ and ‘Make Up’, at least my favourites of the ones I hadn’t heard before: the three I previously mentioned are all on here too. It’s a highly accessible album in my opinion – much as I love The Velvet Underground, their music is often a bit too arty and “out there” for first-time listeners, where as Reed’s solo material is more catchy and easier on the ear. Bonus points for the fact that David Bowie produced it.

4. Goji berries

I bought a tub of goji berries a few days ago as a revision snack and I’m almost finished them now – they’re delicious and so addictive! They’re widely-known as being superfood, rich in anti-oxidants, up to 22 minerals, 11 amino acids and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E: health benefits include protection of the liver and eyes, improved circulation and boosted immune system. They’re also said to slow the ageing process, and supposedly contain 13% more protein than whole meat and more iron than spinach. Have I convinced you yet?!

5. ‘Throat Comfort’ Yogi Tea

I have been totally converted to Yogi Tea. I bought this flavour a few days ago as I wanted to keep a clear voice for my performance exam, and while I’ll admit, my voice still wasn’t crystal clear, this was probably due to the fact that I’ve got a cold – this tea aims to soothe, rather than cure. I wasn’t sure how nice it would be, as it contains liquorice (which I’m not a fan of), but since it also contains fennel, thyme, cinnamon and cardamom, it tastes and smells exactly like mulled wine – delicious! I also love how Yogi Tea bags all have tags with inspirational message on them – I’m going to keep them all and make a collage out of them.