A Touch of France #TravelFromTheCouch

With July well on its way, the time has come for many of us to pack their bags for a nice holiday break. Some might have left already, others are still vigorously planning their departure to get the most out of their trip.

For those of you who are in preparation mode or have no holiday planned, I’ll be doing a little blog series that I’ve baptised rather lamely “Travel From The Couch”. The aim is to provide some books, music and TV series/movies from your (desired) holiday destination, which will hopefully either make you familiar with the country you’re travelling to or be a sweet consolation when you haven’t got a vacation planned.

First stop on our virtual journey around the world …


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Favourites: Spring 2017

Spring sadly has ended once again. While I do think that every season has its charm, I’ve always had a soft spot for spring. In part because it’s the time of year when everything comes back to life. Colour returns to the flowers and the trees, the animals wake up from hibernation and even us humans tend to feel happier when spring comes around. Well, I know I do.
It’s usually also the time of year that Belgium is blessed with sunny, yet bearable weather. Nothing like the heatwave temperatures we’re having right now. While I do enjoy summer – the sun always makes my day – , I don’t like the mercury to rise above 30 degrees Celsius.

Today, just as summer kicks off, I’d like to share some of the things I’ve been enjoying in the past months.

First of all let’s spread some love for a BBC 3 documentary called Queer Britain. It is presented by Youtuber and journalist Riyadh Khalaf and tackles a wide variety of topics relevant to homosexuality in Britain. According to BBC 3 there are currently six episodes available to watch for free on its Youtube channel, although that might not be correct. I, for one, couldn’t find the fifth episode.
The documentary is not only eye-opening, it also deals with subjects you might not have known were an issue. The third episode, for example, is about homelessness. According to a statistic one in four young homeless people in the UK is LGBTQ, so that’s definitely something that needed to be adressed. Just like in the episode on religion Riyadh Khalaf does a wonderful job portraying heartbreaking life stories, without turning it into cheesy X Factor sob stories.
If you don’t feel committed to watch the entire documentary, I’d suggest you watch either the first (on religion) or the third episode (on homelessness). It’ll be worth your time, I promise.

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Bates Motel vs Psycho

Here’s a confession: I hadn’t seen Psycho back when I started watching Bates Motel a few years ago. I didn’t even really know what it was about. I think I was aware that it involved a creepy motel owner, but as far as how the story was supposed to go, I was completely in the dark. When you’re committing yourself to watching 50 episodes of a prequel and reimagining of a 1960 movie, maybe that’s not a bad thing. And it’s not as if I wasn’t familiar with Hitchcock’s work. I’ve seen The Lady Vanishes, Notorious and The Birds. That’s not too bad. Even so, I made me promise to watch Psycho when I was done with Bates Motel, so that’s what I did.

Now, if you haven’t seen Bates Motel and/or Psycho and would like too, then please bear in mind that this post contains minor spoilers. I’ve kept it as vague as I possibly could, but if you want to get into them as unknowingly as I did, it might be best to skip this one for a while. You’re very welcome to come back once you’ve seen them.

Norman Bates
Freddie Highmore and Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates

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