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Some links for your weekend

How are you doing? I always think that February is the hardest time of the year.

It’s been cold and grey for all the days that you can remember and your goodwill is exhausted. Apart from taping giant pictures of a Caribbean beach to all of your windows, cranking up the heating and making a vat of piña coladas…I don’t have many solutions. My suggestion for this weekend is to give in, just for now, and pretend that you are snowed in (you may actually be snowed) so it’s absolutely fine to wander round wrapped in a duvet, eat tinned food and sink into some reading.

Before you disappear off and enjoy some escapism however, please first read this amazing article from 2016 that my friend Toni shared with me this week. It’s a piece by Sali Hughes for The Pool about being a parent and talking to your son about porn and, while it’s from a few years ago, it seems JUST as important now as it did then. I wish every school was brave enough to read it with their teenage students, I hope every parent can have this conversation with their children, whatever the gender.

If you’ve just finished a book and you’re looking for something new, can I recommend several that I’ve recently loved:

If you’re looking for some great articles to dive in and out of:

  • Following on from my piece earlier in the week about the realities of teaching English- this piece on Medium by Srinivas Rao about ‘What We Should Have Learned at School But Never Did’.
  • And also this piece on TES about how, as adults, we need to read so as to set an example to all children.
  • This amazing, terrifying, inspiring article by Anna Maria Tremonti about Iranian women risking arrest by removing their veils to protest.
  • A great Rachel Syme piece in The New Yorker about skincare products and why they cost so much (or so little).
  • A really good (as always) explainer on Vox of the Devin Nunes memo and the whole nutso Russia investigation mess.
  • Finally, this great piece about Costco by Emily Mester on Buzzfeed– the joy, the addiction, the vast vastness of it all.

Whether you’ve visited Austin, Texas or not, I hope you enjoyed my City Guide this week. My Mum pointed out that I should have just called it ‘Austin FOOD & BEER Guide’ and she’s right, a lot of what we loved about Austin was our experiences of eating and drinking sat in the sun, or under the stars, or in between dancing with pro-two-steppers. It’s really nice to go somewhere where there are tourist sights to visit (the Capitol Building was excellent!) but you can also just relax and wander, and eat and take time. I hope you have a trip like that planned sometime this year.

And here is recipe from Veggie Inspired for black bean millet vegan burgers that look very similar to the incredible Arlo’s burgers that we now daily dream of. I’m going to try them this week and see if they come close.

Also this recipe for mac & cheese from Kitchn. Now, I thought we’d found a really really excellent mac & cheese recipe just through experimentation with nutritional yeast and a basic roux, but this one looks better from the photos (see above). So despite us having mac & cheese just last night…I’m going to make it again this week with this recipe so I can compare.

Top photo from Pexels, second image from Getty Images and The Pool, last image by John Lingeman for Kitchn

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