My Secret Single Behaviour (and Favourite Films)

If you’re a Carrie Bradshaw fan, the term ‘SSB’ may ring a bell. It stands for Secret Single Behaviour. And mine began in my early twenties, in my defiant single phase when I refused to miss out on the latest film releases because there was no one else to go with me! There is something about the cinema that is distinctly couple-zoned. In fact, one of my first ever dates was to see Moulin Rouge at Bromley Cinema only for the film to break down halfway through, and my dramatic thirteen-year-old-self tore up the ticket, unfortunately meaning my date couldn’t get a refund. I think I was dumped by text later that night. Another cinema experience, I must have been under ten years old, and I went with a school friend (who was a boy) and his family. They drove me all the way to Bluewater only for me to have a meltdown in the queue and beg to be driven home.  Fast forward to University years and I freaked out about how serious a cinema date was that I convinced my date to forget it and grab a Burger King instead. So, as you can see from the track record, the cinema and my dating game hasn’t been the best of friends. But the lure of popcorn, comfy recliner seats and an excuse to be iPhone-free for a couple of hours is my favourite thing to do.

The first time I ever went to the cinema alone was to see Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2. I had been late to the whole Twilight Saga, being a defiant Harry Potter fan and thinking you could be one and not the other. However, after setting myself the task of reading all the books before I could see any of the films was the kind of single-girl challenge that I embraced. By the time I had finished though, either those that were fans had already seen it or my other friends just weren’t interested. I had no choice but to face my fear and cinema alone. As, by this time, only Leicester Square was showing the film, I decided to go big or go home. So a Friday night date for one, a large sweet popcorn in tow and I walked nervously into the cinema. Expecting to be pointed and laughed at like I had three heads, I was surprised to see so many other single seats occupied. I was not alone! This was a REVELATION!

Fast forward to 2019 and a Cineworld Unlimited Card in my possession, you can’t stop me from catching all the latest releases. Granted, my popcorn consumption is dangerously high but it’s worth it. I can further blame my “poor taste in films” (husband’s words, not mine) for why, since being together, we rarely watch a film together at the cinema. Instead, we will walk to the cinema together and then veer off in separate directions to different screens. Whilst he watches the latest blood-slaughtering, prison-gang violent film that would have me tense for the whole two hours, I’m watching a lighter-than-life Nora Ephron style movie and we both emerge happy! 


Top 3 Films from 2019

So here’s a celebration of my not-so-Secret Single Behaviour of cinema-tripping alone and my recent favourite films: 

Rocketman | I literally had the biggest grin on my face during this entire film and emerged Elton John’s newest fan. Taron Egerton played a huge part in that! In fact, having seen this in May, Rocketman became my most-played album on Spotify in 2019. I loved everything about this film but literally, that skippy-happy feeling walking home with ‘I’m still standing…’ buzzing in my ears makes this hands-down my favourite film of 2019. 

Judy | Same genre but distinctly sadder, Renee Zellweger’s performance as Judy Garland was as award-worthy as it is acclaimed. I didn’t know much about Judy Garland’s years post-Wizard of Oz so found it incredibly sad to follow. The music and outfits and London-based setting was gorgeous. Testament to the storytelling and performances was the fact that not a soul moved in the cinema for a good two minute after the end credits started. It literally felt like we were all taking a minute of silence to mourn. 

Joker | Now this one I did actually see with Mr A and it took some persuading for me to agree to go (I'm not a fan of the Batman or any Marvel film to be honest!) However, this was a game-changer. Joaquin Phoenix puts in the most incredible performance and you literally get sucked into his world of mis-treatment on his journey to morphing into the Joker. I would watch this again for sure!


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Best of... Podcasts | Everything I listen to on a weekly basis.


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Best of... Podcasts

One thing that could tear me away from books and audiobooks are podcasts. Over the past year, I would go through phases and find myself for weeks at a time binging on so many episodes from various different shows. I just love the bitesize topical pick'n'mix audio snackbites that can be super informative, entertaining or both! Here's a round up of my favourite podcasts of the past few months.

Shagged, Married, Annoyed.
In at the top position is husband and wife duo, laugh-a-minute Chris & Rosie Ramsay. I fell in love with Rosie via Instagram when Giovanna Fletcher shared one her Stories. I became quickly addicted to her hilarious, down-to-earth content as a stay-at-home mum and started listening to their podcast when they first launched it. The sheer way they interact with each other like any other married couple during the recording is so candid and relatable, it just hits the nail on the head. I have tuned in every Friday morning ever since. With each episode including a 'What's your beef?' section (who wouldn't love an opportunity to vent on what said husband/wife has done to p*ss them off this week) and 'Questions from the public' which is basically utterly hilarious (and pretty disgusting) stories, this will make you laugh out loud - it's unavoidable. If you are new to this podcast, I recommend listening in order from the beginning.

Episode of mention: The wheelie bin story from Episode 39: The Zodiac DJ had me crying with laughter and the Strictly announcement (Episode 25: Twinkle Toes) was absolutely hilarious.

The High Low
I've mentioned this podcast and the incredible Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes on this blog many times before. I am currently bereft as they are on a hiatus following the birth of Pandora's second child and counting down the weeks until April. Every Wednesday (usually), is at least an hour long discussion on popular affairs and pop culture, including 'Doll's Polls', book recommendations and author/guest specials. I just love everything about these women and this podcast. It's the one that my sister introduced me to and I speak about with so many people!

Episode of mention: September 2019's Bumper Book Special

The Emma Guns Show
I was trying to remember how I discovered this podcast and I literally have no idea, but it's one of my favourite go-to shows now. What I love that host Emma Gunavardhana does, is little bitesize ten minute or less mid-week shows plus a longer - usually an hour or more - main show once a week. With topics including 52 habits, Tips for Distressing NOW and interviews with inspiring people from Melanie Whelan (of SoulCycle), Alex Light and Andy Puddicombe, the content is always super interesting, informative and inspiring.

Episodes of mention: Not one but TWO interviews with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and, for a dose of perspective, check out 'Reality Check'. I keep this latter episode downloaded so it's always a click away when I need it.

Squiggly Careers
Hosted by Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupper, founders of Amazing If, this weekly podcast is fast becoming an encyclopedia of career advice! With over 120 episodes, you can learn everything there is to know about have a happy career and work life. From the best ways to resign or ask for a pay rise, to using storytelling at work, and overcoming confidence gremlins in the workplace, these ladies have incredibly impressive CVs behind them and are not shy about sharing their tips for success.

Episode of mention: Episode 72 Goals Setting That Works and 20 Career Questions for 2020 to set you on the right path for the year (Episodes 114 and 115).

Special Podcast Episodes To Note

Wobble with guest Claudia Winkleman. 
If I could have an ounce of her unassuming self-confidence and her wardrobe...

Love Stories by Dolly Alderton.
In particular her interviews with Stanley Tucci, Emma Freud and Vanessa Kirby stick in my mind.

Get Your Glow Back with Madeleine Shaw.
Aimed at new mothers, the topics cover everything from postpartum, working-mum guilt and pre and post pregnancy nutrition. Everything is served up with a smile and a giggle from Madeleine.

Happy Mum, Happy Baby by Giovanna Fletcher.
I've lost count of how many series there have been but I particularly enjoyed 2019's live shows with guests including Gemma Atkinson, Ore & Portia Oduba and Bryony Gordon.

Get In Touch

I'd love to hear what podcasts you love listening to and if any of the above cross over onto your list?


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