We’re back with all the ways #TeamAlice have been keeping themselves occupied over the last month. Here’s a rundown of the books, movies, food and activities that have brought us joy and kept us sane…

Reading:

In case you thought last month’s list of reading recommendations was just for show, we’re back with more:
‘Shuggie Bain’, by Douglas Stuart. According to Julie, it’s incredibly sad and also just incredible. She was upset when it was over.
Emma has started ‘Home Stretch’ by Graham Norton and is already hooked. Sorry to the Alice book-clubbers, but she has abandoned Raymond Carver halfway through. In her own words: “I am just more of a Graham Norton kinda girl apparently…”.
Sorcha is in the middle of ‘This is Happiness’ by Niall Williams. Her favourite line in the whole book so far is “I was early, until I was late” … a line that resonated strongly with our MD, Martina!
Ciarán is really enjoying ‘The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins ’ – about the first female Secretary for Labour in the US.
Ciara downloaded ‘An American Marriage’ by Tayari Jones from BorrowBox,her favourite app, which allows you to browse, borrow and listen to your library’s audiobooks and ebooks for free.

Watching:

Martina had a well-deserved week off last week to celebrate a significant birthday and she caught up on lots of TV during her time off. She’s currently working her way through all the movies nominated for Oscars and she has given us a few recommendations:

‘Nomadland’: Martina thought this was excellent. She particularly liked the real-life ‘nomads’ who play themselves and make the whole film feel quite like a documentary.
‘The Mauritanian’: the true story of one of the longest-serving inmates at Guatanamo Bay, who was detained for years without ever being charged.
‘The Trial of the Chicago Seven’. Another true story (about Vietnam war protestors, arrested on trumped-up charges), and another film exposing deep biases in the US legal system.
• Away from Oscar contenders, Martina has been watching ‘For All Mankind’ on Apple TV. A what-if scenario, it’s based on the premise that the Russians landed on the moon before the US, with an interesting re-writing of history.

From the rest of the team:

Emily watched ‘Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar’, an all-singing, all-dancing, bizarre and joyful movie to help with the misery of lockdown. She would highly recommend.
Darragh has just finished ‘The Great’ on All4 and is eagerly awaiting Season 2. A period drama comedy. What’s not to love?
• Sorcha is trying not to binge the new season of ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive ’ – the drama, their egos, the locations… great escapism!
• If crime is your thing, Ciarán recommends ‘Your Honor ’, a gripping US adaptation of the Israeli series ‘Kvodo’, starring Bryan Cranston.
• Other #TeamAlice favourites are ‘Schitts Creek ’, ‘Line of Duty’ and ‘Succession’.

Eating and Drinking:

Because there’s been little else to do in recent months… Here’s what we’ve been eating and drinking:
• Emma tried the just opened Wayback Burgers in Rathmines and it is *chef’s kiss* good. There will be another delivery this weekend.
• Emily tried the Vegan Supper Club from the Cali Kitchen in Dun Laoghaire, another chef’s kiss! She also recommends their new brunch menu especially the black pudding scotch egg.
The Twirly Gate 23, a new Café in Chapelizod – great coffee and even better baked goods!
• Sorcha’s mother has been cooking up a storm over the last few weeks…the most recent Fully Loaded Nachos were a highlight, a Colm O’Gorman recipe. Big Colm O’Gorman fans in her house!
• Ciarán has been working his way through Rick Stein’s ‘Secret France’ cookbook. His Confit Tomato and Aubergine Tarte Tatin is definitely worth trying.
Kate recommends the Hazel House all-day veggie breakfast roll! A lovely, local Irish café and craft shop in Tibradden with views of the farm’s goats to occupy you while you wait!
• Cooking is what’s been getting Niamh through this lockdown. She’s been following Eric Matthews’s (Chapter One head chef) recipes via Instagram. His Korean chicken – another chef’s kiss.
• Finally, we love the sound of Ciara’s amazing (and homemade) gin basil smash in honour of St Patrick’s Day.

Listening:

Some of our favourite podcasts while out on our daily walks have been:
‘Newscast’ on BBC Sounds – Julie’s been digging into news of the day discussed in more depth.
• Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama’s new podcast ‘Renegades: Born in the USA’.
• Niamh recommends ‘The Tommy, Hector & Laurita Podcast’. It’s a bit of a laugh, nothing too heavy and just the escapism needed at the moment when out for a walk.

And some of our guilty (or not so guilty) pleasures:
‘Justice’, Justin Bieber’s new album- Kate has been a #Belieber FOREVER and the new album is full of belters (there is no judgement here!!).
• On BBC Sounds, ‘Sound of the 90s’ with Fearne Cotton – Julie’s Saturday morning cleaning guilty pleasure!

Doing:

No surprise that our recommendations here involve walks in our local areas:
• Kate is lucky enough to live near the Hellfire Club Walk, where she’s been walking early on the weekends.
• Darragh recommends Farmleigh House, beautiful for a walk around the grounds and all the way back through Phoenix Park.

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