What I’m reading, watching & listening to

Hello my friends, how ARE you? Feel like I haven’t had a proper catch up with you in ages. What’s been happening? I must say that today I have been struggling with all the news happening out there in the big bad world. It’s all so depressing isn’t it? No wonder I try not to pay too much attention to it.

I have the end of the school term in my sights as I said on Monday – this time in 3 weeks we will be almost done and MAN what a term it’s been. While Daisy has taken high school in her stride and nailed it, it’s been SUCH a big adjustment for me and the family as a whole as we get used to all the new routines, the homework, the expectations, the timetables ALL OF THE THINGS. It’s the first time in a long time that the holidays will come around and I will be kissing the floor in gratitude that we don’t have to have someone out the door or dealing with worries or angst or new anythings for two weeks. BRING THAT SHIT ON. I swear that the only reason that hot cross buns exist in term 1 is to deal with the stress that Mothers experience that can only be solved by complex carbohydrates and butter.

Look, here’s something that I do to calm my tits when I get all worried, I look out at the beauty that surrounds us and take a few deep breaths. It helps.

We’ve had some rain so everything is greening up before our eyes, autumn colour has slowed down (it went early with the stress from all the lack of rain and endless hot weather) nature is cooling its jets and we could all take a leaf out of her book.

One thing I have been doing in the last few weeks is getting to bed early and keeping up he reading: it’s so good to stop the endless, mindless scrolling that happens at night when laziness kicks in and I have been proud that I have now read 10 books this year so far. TEN you guys. Here’s what I have been up to:

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

I really enjoyed this third book by Jane Harper (I think it’s up there with The Dry as my faves). Such great descriptive & atmospheric writing that really puts you directly into the landscape and farm of this family. I found it a little slow at times but enjoyed all the characters and the twists and turns. I gave it 3.5 stars.

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Just finished this one on the weekend and LOVED it. Complete escape to a beautiful part of the world (Northern Carolina marsh lands) set in the 60’s: it’s the most beautiful writing about place and people, a little prejudice and even a murder mystery thrown in. Beautiful characters and just perfect to completely escape to somewhere at the end of a busy day. Loved it and gave it 4 stars.

You can follow along to my hashtag #babymacreads for all the books I have been reading over the past year or so.

Some of the tunes that I have had up FULL BORE (did you know that expression was not full ball, shit I have had it wrong my whole life no surprises really) in between school drop offs and pick ups and grocery shops are these bad boys:

Soaked by Bene
Red Light Green Light by Duke Dumont
Once by Ngaiire
Top Down by Channel Tres
Confidence by Ocean Alley
Tools Down by The Presets
These Girls by Sticky Fingers
The Wilhelm Scream by James Blake
Burn by Emma Brammer & Alex Hook

Hope you like some of them too – it always amazes me just how much music can INSTANTLY lift your mood and spirits not to mention get you moving…it’s truly such a gift to us all isn’t it?

And watching…well we finished series 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale. Wowsers that was FULL ON. I felt so depressed and sad throughout it but really enjoyed it.

Last weekend I watched Free Solo on National Geographic that I had taped. Rob and Harper actually went down to Canberra to see this a few months ago and I believe that it just won an Oscar for best doco. It’s a gripping (pardon the pun) watch but what a strange character he is – maybe you do have to be a particular kind of person to do this knowing that the smallest mistake can have you plummet to your death? Worth a watch.

Last week we also watched After Life by Ricky Gervais on Netflix which I absolutely ADORED. Talk about celebrating the small and mundane parts of our life – exploring sadness. It was SO touching, and funny and OHMYGOD so sad I sobbed through the end of each episode but was blown away by it’s insights. Abolsutely adored this – you must watch! The scenes with (Dame) Penelope Wilton were just stunning.

We started last night (late to the party) Sex Education on Netflix. We tried to watch this a little while ago and I was confused by the fact it was UK but seemed so US in the town they live and the school that they go to, but finally got over that and are 2 eps in. Have heard so many great things about this, looking forward to having a laugh and finishing it off.

So even though things have been CRAZY, there’s been plenty keeping me happy in the shape of books, tunes and some great TV. Aren’t we lucky to live in a time where there is so much goodness out there? Our TV aerial has ben on the blink too so have been completely out of touch with Married at First Sight and all that stuff that usually makes me just feel bad about others and myself. So there’s that!

But tell me, what have you been up to?
Got any good recommendations for us?
Tell us everything – would love to hear your thoughts on any of the above to.


  1. Hey Beth, I’m hanging in there – just. Thanks for asking. Solo mum of a 14 year old boy and jeepers creepers does he keep me on my toes. They told me giving birth and breastfeeding was hard!
    This cooler weather is making me also want to eat all my feelings. Thanks for making me smile

    • Good luck Kate – my sister is the same a single mum with TWIN 14 boys and a 15 year old girl. I don’t know how you do it…hats off to you. Have a great day! x

  2. Good to hear what you’ve been up to. I can’t wait till school holidays – pyjamas, hot x buns and endless whinging but NO SCHEDULE 🙌🙌🙌.

  3. I really, really love these kind of blog posts.
    I’m trying to read more, but this jolly phone keeps stealing my attention and when I get in bed I’m lucky if I read 2 pages before I’m asleep.
    For the first time in 20 years I have no one taking school holidays, it’s a strange feeling. Worse still is trying to remember what day it is. Who knew school was useful for that 🤷
    My dad just recently died, so now I’m an orphan and it has made me realise how short life is. That and watching Derek, I know late to the party, has encouraged me to fill my days as much as I can with nice things, things that make me happy, bring me joy and make me feel good. So lots of yoga, getting my bake back on, which won’t bring me joy when my jeans are too tight, walking in places I love and connecting with my family. Must up the reading and decrease the scrolling because the stuff I’m seeing about the world, mostly doesn’t bring me joy.
    Cheers Kate

    • Oh thanks Kate – it’s like we are catching up for a coffee isn’t it? I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad – I hope you are OK. I need to watch Derek I missed that too and have been inspired after this latest Gervais series. Have a great day x

  4. Amanda G. says

    I rolled 2 hot cross buns this morning! 2! Im counting one as breakfast because I didn’t have that. I blame end of term stress, 2nd child birthday organising, life busyness, a constant 3 day period headache and tired kids. Oh so tired. parenting is hard!!! I loved the The Lost Man, but my favourite is still The Dry. I must read Where the Crawdads Sing, its been on my kindle for ages!

  5. I think you should make a Spotify ‘Baby-Mac’ play list so we can all follow it 🙂

  6. Well you had me at recommendations because I love a good one too. Thanks so much for yours. I love my podcasts and really enjoyed the “Lady Startup” (Mamamia) interview with Nat Bassingthwaighte. Also just found the “David Tennant Does a Podcast With” podcast and have listened to Olivia Coleman, Jennifer Garner and Whoopi Goldberg. I am also binging Gossip Girl (I know very late to the party) and loved The Bold Type on Stan and see that season 3 of this one is coming out in April. Other great shows that I love on Netflix: Grace and Frankie and also The Good Place. Enjoy.

  7. I have always said full ball.. I thought everyone else was saying it wrong!

  8. Ummm, season 3 of Handmaid’s Tale?! Is it out already?! Where!? How?! Have I been living under a rock?!
    But on a slightly less FOMO note, thank you for all of your reading recommendations. I screenshot them and add to my loooong list of books to read 🤗

  9. Hi Beth
    What platform are you using to watch season 3 of Handmaids Tale please? I didnt think it was put till apr/may…hav been craving ot!

  10. This year I’m hooked on podcasts…started off with The Teacher’s Pet because I saw several news articles about the case on TV, which led me into the world of podcasts and now I can’t be in the car without something interesting to listen to…I highly recommend S-Town, Serial (Season 1), Broken Harts and Who the Hell is Hamish.

    Hubby and I did something out of the ordinary a couple of weekends ago and binge-watched Broadchurch on Netflix…all three seasons over one rainy weekend. Loved it!

  11. I bloody loved After Life. It made me cackle with laughter and cry. What a clever show! A friend has lent me her copy of Crawdads and I’m so looking forward to reading it. I highly recommend Keeper of the Lost Things by Ruth Hogan if you’re looking for a great read x

  12. After Life is the absolute best.
    My husband passed away last year and there have been very few things more relatable than this show. The thing about every little thing irritating him and wanting to punch people in the face really resonated with me!! (And made me laugh!)
    I’ve been telling everyone to watch it! Glad you enjoyed it too ❤️

  13. I am just about to start reading ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ for our monthly Book Club read, which has to be better than last months read ‘The Revenant’, which I detested. Recently hubby and I did our 1st ever binge watch of Dirty John on Netflix, we loved it & Eric Bana absolutely nailed the part of John.
    I am definitely going to be watching After Life as well as buying Where the Crawdads Sing for my American daughter in law, who happens to come from NC.
    I keep dropping books off at Community Library boxes in an effort to gradually get rid of all my books, but as I drop off half a dozen books, so I always seem to find a book or two for me to take!

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