2017’s warmest month has been entirely similar and different to last years. January is always bittersweet – simultaneously the beginning of a new year and the middle of summer, but also the last month of holidays. The last month of sleeping until 12, of afternoons spent in the waves and the grass, reading and writing and filming and talking, sun-drenched evenings and sandy bodies, and warmth-soaked nights packed with stars and lazy laughter. Here’s to summer, 2017, and everything loved this month.
La La Land. As it’s proclaimed on nearly every ad I saw for this – they don’t make movies like this anymore. With constant nods to old films and the strange mix of an old vibe in a new setting, La La Land bursts with colour and sound, and feels epic and bittersweet and amazing. Makes you want to start dancing in the streets the moment you leave the cinema.
Moana. Nothing like seeing a disney movie in the cinemas to make you feel like a kid again. Plus you get to watch a movie with twenty odd children who laugh at EVERY joke, which is actually kind of the best thing ever.
Sherlock Season 4. I waited 2 years for this season, and I wasn’t dissapointed. There are no words I can use to describe how I feel about it (it’s a screaming-jumping-laughing-hysterically-while-breaking-down-crying kind of feeling), so just watch it. If you’ve never watched Sherlock before, rewind to Season 1 and watch the entirety, then join me as I wait another eternity for the next season.
The Given trailer. The first time I saw this I watched it over and over and over again. I’ve never been both so inspired to travel and create and live and see, and depressed that my childhood didn’t look like this. I’m not sure if the movie is publicly available yet, but there have been several screenings in America.
Friends. I really did watch all 10 seasons in the space of about three weeks. Not one regret.
Australian Open. Summer in Melbourne is tennis. The sound of balls hitting raquets and an Australian crowd that never shuts up has become the backdrop of my summer.
All the Bright Places. I am desperate not to spoil this for anyone, but just know – I read this in the last few days of 2016, and it was my favourite book of 2016. I can barely form the right words to describe it. I feel it’s changed my life. I can’t explain how purely happy I am it’s been written and exists.
Monster Children. A quarterly lifestyle magazine. Photography, music, surfing, skating and art, piled together with sarcastic humour, down-to-earth editors and contributors, and the oddest bonus articles – from terrible movie reviews to scathing star-sign guides. You can find it online, but it’s so much nicer to hold it in your hands – pick up a copy in most newsagents.
Use this if you want to take great photographs. A photo-journal spin-off from the original Read this if you want to take great photographs. The prompts are so motivating; they inspire me to take photos in different ways, to treat photography differently, to look at my surroundings differently.
This old post of The Messy Heads’. Came across it while diligently stalking through their archives, and bookmarked it immediately. It so perfectly encapsulates how I’m feeling right now and what I’m gravitating towards.
The Mortal Instruments Series. The writing isn’t great, the characters aren’t particularly interesting, the plot is predictable often enough to be annoying – and I’m doing a great job at selling this book. The truth is, I love big, epic fantasty series. Popular YA dystopian fiction? I eat it up. I read this entire series in five days flat – that’s 3000 pages. 600 a day. Re-reading this series is like watching my favourite movie, eating my favourite food, listening to my favourite music – it’s a comfort kind of thing.
Sarongs. Wrap around your head in lieu of a hat, tie around waist, or wear like a toga and channel your inner roman goddess. Always have one on hand for summer.
Oversized tshirts. Purely for the versatality – wear them loose and long without pants, knotted above skirts, or tucked into jeans and shorts. Dress them up, throw over bathers, use as sleepwear. Or all three in the same day. True summer atire.
Below-the-knee skirts. You know that length of a skirt, where it just falls over your knee and you can’t help but twirl and spin constantly and feel like you’re in the 40’s? Yes, those. I think I’m in love. I bought one in this bright pinky-orange colour, and I never ever want to take it off. Similar style to this and this.
No bras. I don’t think I’ve touched one this entire month, except for two occasion. It’s easier, it’s more comfortable, and I’m in my bathers every day, anyway.
Anklets. I talk about bare feet down below, and anklets are the perfect substitue for shoes. Sort of. Try single dainty chains, or layer twisted fabrics. I’ve found some of my favourites at gift-shops around touristy places, but Ishka also has a good range.
Glitter. Honestly, I’m counting glitter as something to wear right now. I picked up a few NYX roll-on tubes of glitter and I’m in love. They’re so pigmented and easy to use, and they come in so many colours. Use as eyeshadow or highlight or just douse yourself in it. Also available: liquid eyeliner.
Thai takeaway. I love thai food. I could eat it every night for the rest of my life. At home studying, in front of a movie, on the beach out of take-away containers, mid-summer, mid-winter – I live for thai food. Jasmine rice + chicken satay sticks + spring rolls + peanut sauce? Heaven.
Mango smoothies. Absolute summer staple, and probably why I’m broke most of the time.
Nachos. Unsalted cornchips + salsa + handfulls of cheese + 20 minutes in the oven + sour cream = the easiest, yummiest, vageuly-healthiest lunch ever.
Hummus. I go through a tub in two days, so we’ve started buying 1kg buckets. Eat with crackers, vegetables, rice cakes, bread, anything you can think of. And it’s super easy to make your own:
Throw into a food processor: 425 grams of rinsed chickpeas, 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and a pinch of salt. Blend. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water until you achieve the right consistency.
Carrots and lemon juice. Last summer a friend grew tired of my consistently empty fridge and cupboards, and cut up thin strips of carrot, doused with lemon juice, olive oil and salt, and served it as a salad. It was a life-changing moment. I can never be bothered to properly recreate it, but now I squeeze half a lemon over any carrot I’m snacking on, and I reccomend it to absolutely everyone.
Plums. Best when really firm, with that faint bite of sourness. I can easily go through 10-12 a week.
All of the photographers I mentioned here.
@therestlesstimes – a new online mag devoted to young adults and the world. positions on the staff are still open! Contact Darcy (editor-in-chief) at therestlesstimesnewspaper.gmail.com or me (assistant editor) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
@676plustax – this is the sort of content you wish social media was. every photo is taken on a disposable camera – made me drive straight to kmart and stock up on some kodak.
Holocene – Bon Iver
What you’ve got – Woodlock
Wish you were here – Pink Floyd
The Woods – Hollow Coves
Eleanor – Woodlock
Bloom – The Paper Kites
Half Litre Bottle – Morning Parade
Enemy – Woodlock
Flashed Junk Mind – Milky Chance
Let’s Dance to Joy Division – The Wombats
Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene – Hozier
Skinny love – Bon Iver
Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve
Flame Trees – Cold Chisel
Boardwalks – Little May
Naked as we came – Iron & Wine
Greek Tragedy – The Wombats
Listen on Spotify here
Sending letters. A couple of weeks ago I pulled out envelopes and glitter, and wrote some letters to some friends. It was so rewarding to put in so much effort and love into these little packages. I created a quick mini-guide to sending letters here.
Sodukos. I’ve been starting off mornings and filling lazy afternoons with soduko puzzles. They’re calming, focusing, engaging, and the equivalent of leading your brain through stretches. There’s probably a thousand apps out there that you can download, but I love the pen and paper, and the break from my phone it allows me.
Bare feet. So far this summer, I think I’ve touched two pair of shoes, and even then only on occasion. It’s so much nicer to feel the ground beneath your feet – whether it’s sand, pavement, dirt, grass, bitumen, tiles … I’m a strong advocate for bare feet. #freethefeet
Train rides. Trains are intimately connected with summer for me, even though I’m not 100% sure why. Just being on the station platform immediately immerses me in heat and the city and busy roads and cafes. It’s over an hour by train to inner-melbourne from where I live, but I look forward to it every time.
Spray bottles. My savior. I have one near my bed every night, and I’ve started packing one in my bag when I head out. You can pick one up for a few dollars at any $2 store, or you can get fancy: I got a spray bottle with an attached fan for Christmas. Shop similar here.