We first put this article together at the start of Lockdown 1 in March 2020, but we feel it's still relevant as we are in the midst of Lockdown 3. In fact, this time with the cold days and longer nights we feel it's important to find little ways of brightening our days from the inside! So here are our updated recommendations to keep the sunshine in during these next few weeks...
Being in isolation has us all looking for things to do. While keeping active is always something we advocate, we all need something for those in-between times when we need to just be. Here are a few of our suggestions... If you have some you'd like to share please send them to us and we'll add them to this post.
There are free and paid services for streaming TV and films.
On to our suggestions...
Staged on BBC iPlayer - Frenemies Michael Sheen and David Tennantget together for this clever and funny show. I read that Michael is asked a lot about whether his neighbour is ok, apparently (and probably quite disappointingly) it's all fiction though!
A Perfect Planet on BBC iPlayer - The latest in David Attenborough's programmes, taking a different aspect of the natural word each week starting with volcanoes.
The Queen's Gambit on Netflix - A fictional story based around a female chess player competing in a male-dominated world set in the 1960s USA. How they managed to make chess as engaging as they have is a wonder! A great series to binge on.
Ghosts on BBC iPlayer - from the team that brought us Horrible Histories. This is a little light relief and a feel good show. One of my favourites (Jenny)!
Friday Night Dinner on All4 - some comedy based around a family's Friday night dinners together!
Fleabag on BBC iPlayer - More comedy about a hapless woman known as Fleabag who's dry-wit endears you to her despite her slightly crazy ways!
Foyle’s War on ITV Hub - classic detective drama - think Morse set in wartime.
The Good Karma Hospital on ITV Hub - feel good hospital drama set in India where a British doctor, Ruby, settles after leaving the UK after a big breakup. Lovely scenery and some easy storylines for what I like to call 'Sunday evening viewing'.
Outlander on Amazon Prime Video - very popular series based on the novel by Diana Gabaldon about a wartime nurse who finds herself transported back to Scotland in 1743, right in the middle of the Jacobite risings! She learns to settle into a new life and handle all the trials that go with it.
Vikings on Amazon Prime Video - a bit of a more 'meaty' watch than some of the other recommendations. I think the title is a giveaway on it's subject!
TED is well known for it's collection of talks on all manner of subjects. It's a great way to expand your mind and learn some new things, or new takes on things you already think you know!
Some of our favourites are
Podcasts are audio programmes that can be funny and witty or educational and mind expanding. There are masses to choose from and we encourage you to explore and search on topics that interest you. There are a few ways of accessing podcasts including apps such as BBC Sounds, Stitcher, Spotify, iTunes or SoundCloud.
Some of our recommendations are:
Evil Genius with Russell Kane – Changing the way we see heroes and villains in history.
Gossipmongers - David Earl, Joe Wilkinson and Poppy Hillstead read out unsubstantiated rumours sent in by listeners. At the end of each episode they choose their favourite piece of gossip and help spread it further by getting Poppy to shout it out the window.
Brain Games Links
Shared by our lovely Receptionist Abbie:
In March we shared some recommendations for some books to try. I've added a few new ones below or you can go back to the other list by clicking here. Sapna shares a top tip to listen to audio books! Check out Audible for a large library of listens, or there are alternative providers if you take a look on Google. You can also rent e-Books for free from the local library - take a look on your local council website. For Charnwood that's here.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The New Wilderness by Diane Cook
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
The Golden Acorn series on Kindle by Catherine Cooper - its classed as a children's book but I loved it (Jenny)
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Some recommendations from Joanne:
Cosy historical mystery
A Quiet Life in the Country by T.E. Kinsey (first in a series of 7 to date)
Easy to read light and gentle historical murder mystery, about a Lady and her maid come assistant moving to the country and solving murders. Whole series free to read on Kindle Unlimited, and the first few are free to listen to as well on KU (I am also, like Sapna, a fan of the audio book!)
Have listened to the first few in the series now, they are all pretty fun
Easy to read British detective book
Written in Dead Wax by Andrew Cartmel
Again, first in a series. Quirky book, one of those I really liked but can’t really put my finger on why! About a guy who collects records and finds rare records on request, hired to find a particular rare record that leads to shenanigans.
Indexing and the follow up Reflextions by Seanan McGuire. This was a Kindle serial, so written in a different way, like the book is a series of continuing short stories. The idea is ‘what if the fairy tales are real and try to highjack people’s lives so they can play out’. Interesting concept and way to approach writing. Again, free to read and listen on KU
Typical Chick Lit
Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams. Romance about two people who talk and end up meeting through the ‘saw you on the tube’ newspaper column.
‘Hallmark Channel’ type feel good Christmas book
St. Nick by Alan Russell. Feel good Christmas book, along the lines of a Christmas Carol. Grumpy Cop suspended ends up a Mall Santa to try and catch some muggers, goes on a life affirming journey. Free to read and listen on KU
Cosy Murder Mystery
A Meditation on Murder by Robert Thorogood. Written by the creator of Death in Paradise (BBC) and the books follow the same storey and characters. If you like the show, you’ll probably like to book.
Current Book – The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary
About 30% in and enjoying it so far, two people who have never met, at least yet, (one works nights and weekends one days) end up sharing a 1 bedroom flat, so also the bed. Feels like it will end up being a feel good chick lit type of book, easy reading.
Other Things We've Found...
If you're a Strictly fan you can get at home dance lessons with Dance with Aljaz and Janette
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam - take a look at the masterpieces on show up close but not necessarily personal
Yosemite Falls, one of the world’s tallest waterfalls, drops a total of 2,425 feet. This live-streaming webcam shows the waterfall’s top section: Upper Yosemite Fall.
And many more ideas that are still relevant on our original post here.
Please feel free to share these ideas - you can use the icons below to share on social media or copy the link to this page.