Listened, watched & read

The festive season is officially over, which means it's that time again: finals month is in full swing. As usual, motivation is low, desperation is high and my mother buys me all the crap food I ask for out of pure pity, so in these dark times, what's a student to do other than study her ass off? If you guessed procrastination, the prize goes to you. Even though I'm trying not to waste too much time, I still need my breaks, and I try to choose my entertainment wisely. Here's what I found noteworthy lately.
  • First off, for anyone that can read Dutch: this blog post about the events in Cologne and the following controversy is well worth a read. Amelie has a valid point and the post has since been picked up by De Morgen.
  • I finally got around to watching Control, the biography about Ian Curtis that came out in 2007. Definitely not a happy film as you can imagine, but as a Joy Division fan I'm glad I watched it.
  • I also saw The True Cost, that documentary about the consequences of fast fashion you have undoubtedly heard about. It didn't necessarily teach me things I didn't already know, but it does give the victims of this industry a face and a voice and that's a very powerful thing. I would 100% recommend watching if you're into fashion. Afterwards I started reading into ethical fashion a bit more and I might do a post about it soon.
  • After hearing so much about it I decided to kick off my 2016 reading challenge (with a target of 30 books) with The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I haven't been over the moon with the last couple of books I read in 2015, but this was compelling from the first couple of pages. I started reading without knowing what it was about and I really enjoyed it that way, so I won't summarize it. The only thing that I can say is that this is a good one!
  • A couple of days ago Flume released a preview of his upcoming album Skin and it sounds even better than I expected. It's just short fragments of the tracks mixed together but I listened to it quite a few times already and I can't wait until the release.

What have you been listening to/watching/reading lately? 

A (very late) holiday wishlist

Guys, I did the procrastination thing again. I've had this post floating around my drafts (in completed form) for ages, so it's about time I hit publish right? Lo and behold, I finally did, so let's get on with it.
On my holiday wishlist this year is a lot of stuff that I've been eyeing for a while, but will probably never get around to buying myself. My priority at the moment is still piecing together that perfect basic wardrobe, so these have been put on the back burner for the time being. Which also means that these little luxuries make for wonderful gifts! Here's what's on the list:

1. Fashionology Teeny Tiny Tag necklace. This sterling silver necklace provides a subtle detail to any outfit when worn on its own, but it will look equally great when layered with others. Yay for versatility. | 2. & Other Stories Punk Bouquet body lotion. I'm in desperate need of something to save my winter skin. This scent combines floral notes with a hint of almond and tonka bean. A warm scent, without being sickly or foody. | 3. Why Fashion Matters, by Frances Corner. This book consists of 101 entries that shine a light on the role of fashion in society and don't shy away from talking about the ugly side. | 4. O my Bag eco leather pencil case. I'm still using my old pencil case from middle school at the moment (pins, ink stains and all), so a replacement has been long overdue. This one has that classic camel look, and a bonus: it's manufactured in an ethical way. | 5. Tiny Dots documentary. La Dispute has hands down been my favourite band since I first discovered them some years ago. They don't fit any mould, their energy on stage is amazing and I'll listen to anything they have to say basically, so I can't wait to get my hands on their documentary.

6. MAC's Ruby Woo. I've been reaching for more striking shades of lipstick lately, but a perfect red is still missing. I believe this classic by MAC needs no further explanation. | 7. The Gentlewoman. Magazines are generally considered a no-go when it comes to gifts, but I don't necessarily agree. The Gentlewoman is filled with timeless quality content, and overall one of those magazines you store on your bookshelf rather than toss after reading. I never get around to buying it myself since it's a bit hard to get hold of in Belgium, so I'd actually love to receive it as (part of) a gift. | 8. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi. This autobiographical graphic novel tells the story of young Marjane growing up during the Iranian Revolution. It's a moving yet witty classic and I've been wanting to read it for ages. | 9. & Other Stories scented candles. These candles have a woody base and can contain some atypical notes such as leather and papyrus, which I happen to like a lot more than the cheesy pine and vanilla scents that pop up everywhere this time of year. | 10. Pretty Honest, by Sali Hughes. This beauty bible is chock full of no-bullshit advice for the real woman. I've heard nothing but good things about this one, so consider me curious.

What's on your wishlist?

Bits of Belgium: the Musical Instruments Museum

On a lazy sunday in october the boyfriend and I found it was time to start our little project and take our first dip into the culture of our wee little country. We decided to start small and go to a museum I once visited with my music class back when I played the piano: the Musical Instruments Museum in Brussels.
This is definitely a museum of the "looking at old stuff" variety, but if your interest in music goes a bit further than singing along to Beyonce in your bathroom, I highly recommend visiting. The building is almost worth a visit for its architecture alone and the collection is comprehensive to say the least. It houses around 7000 Belgian, European and exotic instruments, both of the classic and folk variety.
You can learn about the history and sound of the instruments if you want, but just strolling around and admiring the pieces is fine as well.

If you consider visiting, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Rent an audio guide. We were were stubborn enough not to, but realized our mistake when we saw some people randomly dancing: of course the guide provides audio samples of the instruments. 
  • Plan some other activities in the neighbourhood. This is not a museum you can spend an entire day at, but there are several others just around the corner so do take advantage of that.
  • Bring a bottle of water. Seriously, it's hot inside and you'll regret it if you don't.

  • Spend too much time on photos. It's dark in there so they'll be of very poor quality anyway (case in point: this post). A couple to catch the atmosphere is fine, but taking a photo of every single thing you see is a bit pointless.
  • Travel by car. There is a parking lot nearby, but it was an absolute nightmare to get there. Learn from our mistakes, public transportation is your friend here.
We took a few pictures, but as I said, the quality is less than stellar. They still reflect the atmosphere pretty well though, so I'll wrap it up with those.

What's the nicest museum you ever visited? 

Bits of Belgium: the Musical Instruments Museum ||

Bits of Belgium: Musical Instruments Museum ||

Bits of Belgium: Musical Instruments Museum ||

Bits of Belgium: Musical Instruments Museum ||

Musical Instruments Museum (Muziekinstrumentenmuseum) - Hofbergstraat 2, 1000 Brussel
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