Three New Bands (New to me) in 2021: (2) Beach Bunny

From the Isle of Wight with Wet Leg to Chicago with Beach Bunny for the second band in this year’s series. Started by Lili Trifilio in 2015 with the debut album Honeymoon released in 2020 Beach Bunny isn’t a new band as such, but I only really took notice this year after kind of vaguely having them on my radar for a while (not sure why it took me so long). Now let’s go with a taster from the Blame Game EP:

Beach Bunny – Good Girls (Don’t Get Used) [Official Music Video]

No real video for this song (Also from the Blame Game EP), but I quite like it:

Beach Bunny – Nice Guys (Official Audio)

Their biggest hit so far (here the remix version with Tegan and Sara as guest vocalists, here is the original):

Beach Bunny – Cloud 9 (feat. Tegan and Sara) [Official Lyric Video]

And to close some session sounds with some history and interview in chapters:

Beach Bunny | Fender Sessions | Fender

I hope you enjoyed Beach Bunny, for the third and last band in this series I’ll take you to Ireland. Aiming to finish this series on Sunday.

Three New Bands (New to me) in 2021: (1) Wet Leg

Last year I wrote a series of posts about bands I discovered that year, they were The Mysterines, Dream Wife and The Big Moon. I quite enjoyed writing that series, so I decided to repeat this for 2021 (and if I discover three good bands again next year I’ll aim to have one in 2022 as well). The first one for this year was new to pretty much everyone, as they had their breakthrough this year: Wet Leg. They burst on the scene this summer with this song with a famous movie quote and more:

Wet Leg – Chaise Longue (Official Video)

This was followed up by another song with a video filmed at the same location and weird lyrics and references:

Wet Leg – Wet Dream (Official Video)

It doesn’t come with a full fledged video (yet?), but I also quite like this recently released song:

Oh No

And finally, they also perform brilliantly live, as shown in this Tiny Desk (Home) Concert for NPR:

Wet Leg: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

I hope you’ve enjoyed Wet Leg, for the next band we’ll travel across the Atlantic to Chicago and something beach related (kind of). Planning to publish that post on Friday.

Pair of Blue Tits from my window

Over the last few weeks I’ve been watching a pair of Blue Tits in the trees opposite my windows. I think they’re nesting somewhere under the roof of my block of flats, although I can’t see that from my window as they are entering from the side. I can see them very well in the tree opposite my window though and with the warmer weather this weekend I used the opportunity to take a few pictures. They are only about 4 metres away, so I was able to take some nice close up shots, especially when they sat on one specific branch:

I hope you’re enjoying the pictures as I’m enjoying watching the Blue Tits hopping around in the trees and flying over to where I think their nest is. Should I get a chance I’ll try to take some video of them over the coming weeks.

Almond Rye Shortbread

Decided to do a bit of baking today. Made some breads (Almonds & Laphroaig, Walnut) and some partially improvised shortbread. The recipe for Almond Rye Shortbread I noticed on the back of a Doves Farm Rye Flour bag (but it’s also available online). As you might notice from the picture I didn’t follow it strictly (partly out of necessity, as I didn’t have any ground almonds, only chopped almonds). Anyway, this is how my end result looks:

Picture of three pieces of Almond Rye Shortbread
Almond Rye Shortbread

Here are the ingredients I used:

  • 125g butter
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 125g Doves Farm Organic Wholemeal Rye Flour
  • 125g chopped almonds (the original recipe is for ground almonds)

And this is how I made it:

  • Preheat oven to 150°C (fan assisted)
  • MIx butter and sugar in a bowl until creamy
  • Mix in flour and chopped almonds
  • Gather it all together into a firm ball of dough
  • Roll dough into a cylinder shape and chill (I actually put mine into the freezer for 30-45 minutes or so)
  • Slice into round biscuit shapes
  • Place on baking rack lined with non-stick baking paper
  • Bake at 150°C (fan assisted) for about 40 minutes

Turned out very nice, taste very nice. The chopped almonds make them quite crunchy. I’ll also make them with ground almonds once I’ve been shopping and bought some ground almonds. I expect they will be a bit smoother then. Either way, I think both ways will be great, I’m happy I tried out the recipe and am sure I will make them again.

May colours at Westonbirt Arboretum

My first real day out for over a year since the pandemic started, my last big day out before was a trip to Oxford on the day I picked up my new car (which stiil has less than 2,000 miles on the clock) at the end of January 2020. Spurred on by memories of May 2020 where we had some beautiful sunny weather (but couldn’t get out much under lockdown) I had decided to take a week off in May 2021 for some first tentative steps to get out a bit further than the local walks and weekly trip to the supermarket. Of course the weather didn’t really cooperate, although I probably picked the best day for the only real trip I managed to get in:

After not having been for probably more than a decade I decided to visit Westonbirt Arboretum, in the hope of some nice spring colours. A few days before I pre-booked my ticket online, for the time being admission is only with pre-booked tickets so that they can control visitor numbers and make sure it doesn’t get overcrowded, allowing social distancing to keep everyone safe. After an uneventful drive I arrived at 11:00 to some mostly cloudy weather with occasional showers. Luckily the clouds broke up early afternoon, giving me some beautiful sunny intervals to enjoy the colours. My hopes for some beautiful May colours were certainly fulfilled, lots of plants in bloom and a lot of fresh greens (and reds). I took a lot of pictures, here are 10 of my favourites:

I spent the whole day until closing time at 17:00 walking around, discovering new views, new trees, new colours, new plants, revisiting places for different light after the sun came out and more. It wasn’t busy most of the time, I think through a combination of the pre-booked tickets and the not very promising weather forecast (with the weather turning out much better than forecasted luckily). Some features (e.g. small parts of the treetop walk) were closed to ensure social distancing, but the vast majority was open. My enjoyment of the arboretum wasn’t diminished at all. The staff was friendly and helpful when I needed them. All in all a great day out, I felt safe pretty much throughout and enjoyed the May colours I had come for.

On my return journey I decided to a small bonus and made a detour to an old haunt of mine, a place I had visited many times when I first arrived in the UK, Avebury. I didn’t stay long, but had a nice time revisiting familiar views.

I arrived back home in the evening very tired, but also very satisfied after a great day out.

Nothing but the truth…