Obsessions

Current Obsessions, 14

3/22/2020 10:47:00 AM

Baby feet
Baby feet!

Hello hello! It's time for a new obsessions post! It's been a little while since my last Obsessions post, but I'm sure you'll forgive me. If you follow me on Instagram you'll know that one short month ago, Sandra and I welcomed our baby daughter into the world! She's the best, so cute, so sweet, and we feel so so happy and in love!

I chose these particular Obsessions before our baby was born, when we were deep in baby prep and spending a lot of time at home watching TV because Sandra was in the late stages of pregnancy and simply too exhausted to go out. This was, of course, before coronavirus had become a pressing issue in Australia; before our conversations became dominated by social distancing and quarantines and isolation and travel bans and physical fights over toilet paper in the supermarkets.

It's a lot and it can feel really overwhelming. I'm currently practising "social distancing", which in practical terms for me means that I'm working from home until further notice (so grateful that my work can be performed from home, and that my company took decisive and quick action to announce that we were all permitted to do so); we're avoiding going out unless necessary (yes to food shopping, medical appointments and the occasional walk around the block for fresh air, but no gym and no meals out); and restricting visitors totally (even my parents, which honestly is really really hard).

While bunkering down at home, I'm washing and sanitising my hands like a maniac, smashing Netflix and Foxtel, and eating lots of delivery and takeaway. I've also found social media, FaceTime and WhatsApp to be lifelines, so I have also stopped caring about the weekly screentime stats on my iPhone. Of course, these impacts are also due to us being new parents - it's really been a slow segue from being at home on parental leave, and to being at home for social distancing.

Honestly I'm going a little stir crazy from spending so much time at home, but it's such a small price to pay to try and keep the community safer and protect the vulnerable. I'm trying to remain optimistic that things will improve and trying to make the best of the situation as it is. 

With that out of the way, I hope you still enjoy reading about these Obsessions and that it's a nice distraction from everything that's going on in the world. I also hope that the TV show recommendations might keep you entertained if you're spending extra time at home. Please keep safe and take care of yourselves!

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Derry Girls

Cast of Derry Girls
Image source: The Sun

An old colleague got me onto Derry Girls, and it's so great! There are two seasons on Netflix at the moment (and I believe a third season will be out soon). It's a comedy set in Northern Ireland in the 90s against the backdrop of The Troubles, focusing on a group of high school girls (one boy) and their families. The storylines are great, the dialogue is laugh out loud hilarious, and I find the actors all so charming and engaging. Also, the accents are so wonderful! For me, the standout character is Sister Michael! Her eye rolls are the best. There were also some really moving and heartwarming sequences and I'm not ashamed to admit I cried a few times. So good!

**

Mrs Fletcher

Kathryn Hahn as Mrs Fletcher
Image source: The Atlantic

Mrs Fletcher was good, but honestly I wouldn't say it's the greatest show I've ever seen, and there were certainly some elements I found really grating. (Like, why do people struggle so much to hit "pause" on their laptop? And are those characters really physically able to drive after drinking that much?) However, we couldn't stop watching it and talking about it and thinking about it, so I feel it deserves a spot here. It's a single season show (only seven episodes), starring the awesome Kathryn Hahn (from Parks and Recs and Bad Moms) as perpetually passive, downtrodden divorcĂ©e Mrs Fletcher, who finally grants herself the licence to explore her own desires after her son leaves home for college. (FYI it's quite explicit, but the "exploration" and "desires" are not exclusively sexual). The show is dark and dreamy, moving at an unhurried pace - it's more about the mood, and internal thoughts of the characters and their relationships rather than jumping from dramatic event to dramatic event. It explores lots of current topics - sex, porn, equality, privilege, family dynamics, self discovery, society's expectations - in a nuanced way. It's definitely worth watching. (P.S. I don't think Mrs Fletcher is on Netflix; I streamed it on Foxtel).

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Sex Education

Sex Education
Image Source: Poster Ninja

You don't need me to tell you (but I will anyway) that Sex Education is brilliant. It took me a little while to get into it, and I was prepared to give up after the first couple of episodes, but I'm glad I persevered. I think it took a while for me to get my head around the sets and design choices, which were beautiful, but highly stylised and disconcertingly unrealistic. (Like, where on earth is Riverdale supposed to be? Is Riverdale High a school or a castle? Why does everyone walk everywhere? How on earth does Gillian Anderson afford that house with that view and why don't they have any neighbours? Why do each of the houses look like they're from a different time period?) However, once I got past that, I really got into the show. (And actually, now that I think about it, placing it in that kind of hyper-stylised not-quite-real setting - think Jacques Tati's Mon Oncle - not only looks great, but allows you to just concentrate on the relationships between the characters and the storylines and not worry about it being realistic and specific to a particular point in time. 

Ok, synopsis but no spoilers: young Otis, working with his friend Maeve, becomes a sex therapist at his school. His mother (Gillian Anderson!) is a proper sex therapist, and it's an ensemble show that focuses on the different relationships and trials and tribulations of the students and the people in the town.

This is very specific, but I think my favourite aspect of the show is the way Eric pronounces "Otis". Is that weird? Anyway, it's really really great, do watch. I can't wait for the next season.

****

Baker Bleu

Baker Bleu
Baker Bleu

Finally, a food obsession! Baker Bleu (119/121 Hawthorn Rd, Caulfield North VIC 3161) is an artisan bakery that supplies bread to lots of the high end restaurants around town like Attica, Carlton Wine Room and more. Sandra read about Baker Bleu on Time Out or Broadsheet or one of those sites, and we promptly had to visit. I've been three times and absolutely love it! They make a huge range of sourdough breads (various loaves, bread rolls, ciabatta, ficelles, baguettes, bagels, fougasse), and amazing danishes and croissants. The challah (baked on Fridays) is extremely popular, but just quietly I think their wonderful brioche is even better than the challah. (And you can buy the brioche loaves in thirds! Less wastage, woohoo). You can't go wrong with whatever you order, but my faves are the brioche, the ciabatta, and the honey nut scrolls. (Any of the croissants/danishes/viennoiserie, really).

Plain challah, croissant, raisin & pecan hot cross bun, honey & nut bun, barberry & pistachio danish

They are very popular, and even pre coronavirus they had big queues on weekend mornings, and items sold out quickly. When I've popped in it's been a weekend afternoon or a weekday morning and there weren't queues, but usually some items had already sold out. According to their Insta, right now the queues are even crazier than normal and they're selling out within hours each day. (As a nation we're not just panic buying toilet paper, but also artisan sourdough bread, it seems). I do hope things go back to normal soon!

*****

Baby preparation

Baby clothes
 Baby clothes!

Definitely the most serious, all-consuming obsession of the last year or so was baby preparation. There were the very important appointments with our ObGyn and midwife throughout the pregnancy, but there was just so much other stuff we needed to do to get ready! (This will come as absolutely no surprise to any of you who are parents, please go easy on this first time mum). Baby prep totally dominated our waking thoughts (and some of our dreams too, haha). There was so much stuff to research and to buy - baby clothes, pram, crib, change table, swaddles, blankets, nursing chair, carseat etc. I can't even count how many times we went to Baby Bunting. I'm an organised person, but Sandra is next level organised; she even created a joint online Trello board so we could track all the things we needed to do and buy. (Sounds OTT but incredibly helpful and useful). We also did a lot of online research, did a few classes - safe sleeping, a birth class, an infant first aid course - had a baby shower, and converted the dining room into the nursery. (The wine racks and bar cart are still in there for the moment, don't judge me). Phew! Now that we're all swept up in the madness of parenting a newborn, so I wanted to just take stock and reflect on the period before she came into our lives. It was really such a special time for us - all nerve wracking and scary and fun and exciting all at the same time.

******

That's it for now. Thanks for reading! So, what's coming up on the blog? The baby shower, and and lots of sweet recipes, including pistachio croissants! Stay safe and peace out.

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5 comments

  1. Sarah, I cannot get over the beautiful baking I still see you doing over various social media channels! It always cheers me up.

    Wishing you, Sandra and baby a safe and happy time settling in together - it must be heartbreaking to be distancing from the grandparents, but I certainly agree that it's a smart strategy for the time being. xx

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    1. Hi Cindy, thank-you so much for your lovely comment! It's hard but I think distancing is the right thing to do now, and hopefully it means that we, as a community, get past this quicker.

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  2. I tried with Sex Education but perhaps I need to give it a bit more time. I usually only give shows 20 minutes which is probably a bit too short!

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  3. Love the baby clothes. So cute. :)

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  4. Congrats on the baby! You got this! Stay healthy and safe!

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