May is here and we’re full of the joys of new reads, new shows and new gallivanting ideas for this weekend.
GIRLS NIGHT OUT Bloom
While there’s nothing more decadent than rustling up a cocktail/mocktail at home – wearing clean-on Moon + Mellow PJs paired with the sort of fluffy slippers a 1950s Hollywood starlet would wear around her hacienda-style Brentwood mansion – it’s good to get out.
Save a date for Bloom, Hayfield Manor’s new glass-box cocktail bar, Co Cork, whose retractable walls and ceiling will be delicious for long summer nights, be they balmy or blustery.
READING The Language of Trees
Many reconnected with nature during the many lockdowns, when bird song seemed amplified and our senses more attuned to the changing seasons. Katie Holten’s beautifully illustrated book The Language of Trees: How Trees Make Our World, Change Our Minds and Rewild Our Lives speaks to our times by combining her unique drawings with arboreal-loving poetry, prose and art from over 50 collaborators, including Ursula K Le Guin, Robert Macfarlane, Zadie Smith, Radiohead and Tacita Dean.
Holten is a Dublin-born, New York-based artist who represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2003, and more recently developed a Tree Alphabet system to translate well-known, loved, lost and new writing – some showcased here in this gorgeously published book with green ink.
BINGE WATCHING Wellmania
If you’re not already following Aussie comedian Celeste Barber on Instagram (@celestebarber), step away from this round-up right now to join her ever-growing legion of 9.5 millions fans cackling at her hilarious spoofs of selfie culture, recreating the absurd (and mostly semi-naked) poses of celebrities and influencers.
It’s her brilliant new turn in the Netflix sitcom Wellmania, though, that’s driving ever more traffic. There she plays Liv, a hot mess food critic in New York who has been lined up for a TV role on a cookery show. But first she has to nip back home to Australia for a childhood’s wedding… where she subsequently collapses and has four weeks to get fit, healthy and her green card reissued to get back to her glossy life in Manhattan. Imagine a promiscuous, recreational-drugs-using, potty-mouthed version of Miranda (Hart, for the slapstick) sprinkled with Fleabag and Bridget Jones, for an idea of what to expect.
LISTENING Betwixt the Sheets
Another Instagram star (77k followers) is British historian Dr Kate Lister, whose @morewhoresofyore project proves the past was not only populated by God-fearing pearl- clutchers. Similarly, her titillating podcast Betwixt the Sheets: The History of Sex, Scandal and Society is at once entertaining and informative, chronicling the history of sex toys, pubic wigs, pornography, drag queens, the etymology of swear words, as well as broader topics that lead us to the present day, such as the sports bra, boob jobs, period products and virtue signalling.