THE PHRASE: The Right Thing

‘The right thing’ is one of those notions that we all instinctively know and feel, but sadly seem to see and hear too little. Maybe that’s because the idea is too precious, too fragile or too elusive for modern life, but it’s still out there if we want it to be.

Perfect If: You feel heartened (and relieved) by the right verdict in defiance of racial oppression, or by the right result when the sport of the people is claimed by a select elite. The right thing… it feels good, it feels right.


Why does a doctor give different diagnoses to two patients with similar symptoms? Why do two judges give different sentences for the same crime? And what does time of the week or time of day have to do with that variability? The answer: noise. The much-awaited book Noise is about our judgments and the variability in them, in cases where they should be identical. Authors Olivier Sibony, Cass R. Sunstein and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman explain how and why such noise is present in virtually all human spheres, from medicine to personnel selection – and how we can reduce its detrimental effects.

Perfect If: Noise is human, but we can do something about it. If you want to learn how to make better decisions and control noise and cognitive bias (don’t we all?), this is the book for you.


Two women of two different eras share one common search for independence and self-identity. Maggie Shipstead’s third novel switches back and forth between time periods to tell the story of the first female aviator to fly around the world, and that of a young 21st-century actress set to portray the aviator in a biopic – closing, between the two eras and geographies, that great circle. The bestselling author of Seating Arrangements and Astonish Me puts forth a historical novel that defies conventions… and gravity.

Perfect If: Your idea of spring downtime is laying under the sun with a captivating epic novel

THE FILM: Cruella

London. 1970s. The punk rock revolution is underway, and a young grifter named Estella (Emma Stone) dreams of making it big in the fashion industry. Talented and ambitious, but held back by the indifferent forces of an unforgiving world, Estella’s fortunes change when she catches the eye of fashion legend Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson), a chance encounter that will elevate the street urchin among the ranks of the fashion elite – and ultimately bring about her descent into villainy and madness.

Perfect If: You love a cathartic transformation – for better or worse.

THE ASTRO-SHOW: Lunar Eclipse

Got evening plans on 26 May? Well now you do: That night, a lunar eclipse will be visible to skywatchers in Australia, the western US, western South America and Southeast Asia. And not just any old lunar eclipse, but a super full moon eclipse visible for 14 whole minutes, weather permitting. Pack a picnic dinner, get far away from the city lights, and enjoy the show.

Perfect If: You were looking for über-romantic dinner date ideas. You’re welcome.

THE SOUND: Sufjan Stevens’ Convocations

Meditate, wallow, veg out – whatever you need to do this month, do it to the sound of Sufjan Stevens’ new instrumental album. Described as a 2.5-hour, 49-track “electronic/ambient mass for our present age of anxiety and dread”, Convocations is an homage to the life and death of Stevens’ father, who died in September 2020, as well as a study in loss; the album’s five cycles – Meditations, Lamentations, Revelations, Celebrations and Incantations – reflect the stages of mourning and the complexity of grief, as well as the difficult process of healing and moving on.

Perfect If: You’re working through some stuff right now, and could use some mood music – and the reassurance that you’re not alone.

THE EXHIBITION: Idris Khan’s The Seasons Turn

No one can emerge from more than a year of quarantine completely unscathed – let alone all artists, whose calling is to sublimate their emotions into actions and things. For British photographer, painter and sculptor Idris Khan, who grew up in the urban landscape of London, this year of captivity involved moving to the countryside, where he formed a new relationship with nature and time. His latest exhibition at London’s Victoria Miro is an expression of this new understanding. The artworks set the written score of Vivaldi’s famous The Four Seasons against vivid watercolour backgrounds, with pieces lining the gallery in chronological progression according to the passage of the seasons. At the same time, each piece can also represent “a fragment of time that might be overlaid or repeated at any point in the year”, reflecting the idea that time often seems to fold in on itself – as it did for many of us this past year.

Perfect If: You’re tired of just getting by with balance but no harmony.

THE ACCESSORY: The Market Tote

Of course you already avoid single-use plastics by pulling out your shopper at the checkout counter, right? Well, that humble market tote is now being touted as one of the top bag trends for spring 2021. Practical, accessible and environmentally friendly, what else could you wish for? Well, style, of course – and the designer brands have got you covered, with everyone from Valentino to Christian Dior and Anna Sui coming out with beautiful knit and woven totes ready to be filled with all those springtime farmers market goodies.

Perfect If: Your shopper has seen better days. Feeling crafty? You’ll have fun emulating the most fashionable catwalk totes – woven, sown or crocheted.

THE THROWBACK: The Analogue Pocket

If you thought our fast-paced, progress-focused world has left no room for anything analogue, besides your own childhood memories, think again: the past is back, and it’s wearing the sleek, minimalistic style of the Analogue Pocket. This handheld gaming system combines a thirst for novelty with a whiff of nostalgia, compatible with the 2,780+ games produced for Game Boy, Game Boy Color & Game Boy Advance, and it also works with cartridge adapters for other portable gaming systems like Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Atari Lynx and more. The Analogue Pocket comes with an ultra-advanced display boasting 10x the resolution of the original Game Boy and can also serve as digital audio workstation. It’s like the past, but better.

Perfect If: You’ve been longing for a souped-up stroll down memory lane.

THE KICKS: Jordan 1 Shadow 2.0

To keep potential weariness at bay as we continue our trip down memory lane, a pair of comfortable – and über-cool – shoes might be of use. Set to be released on 15 May, Nike’s Air Jordan 1 High OG ‘Shadow 2.0’ sneakers are meant to endow the 2018 version of Michael Jordan’s signature kicks with a smokey freshness and a more sophisticated texture. In fact, although it evokes the original 1985 black-and-grey colour scheme, the most recent upgrade features high-cut black leather on the back, on the midfoot and on the toe-box, laying a solid basis for a nubuck panelling in a more neutral light grey hue that can easily be matched with a broader variety of colours and outfits.

Perfect If: You know that without shadow, there can be no light.

THE DRINK: An Elder-Fashioned

The mint julep reigns supreme in the month of May, but whether you’re a Kentucky Derby fan or not, we have a better idea for putting that bourbon to seasonal use: add a splash of elderflower liqueur to a classic Old Fashioned. Stir together 2 shots of bourbon, a dash of Angostura bitters, and a half shot each of simple syrup and St. Germain liqueur, then sip your floral spring breeze in a glass.

Perfect If: Your happy hour has been missing a certain something-something.


Saddle up – May is officially Bike Month! As the mercury steadily rises, we’re all looking for more ways to spend time outdoors. One simple idea: consider swapping four wheels for two. Nipping to the store for a couple of things? Got a reasonable commute to the office? Just looking to get out of the house for a few hours and explore the neighbourhood? Cycling is sustainable and healthy, not to mention fun, so make the pledge this month to do it more often. The planet will thank you, and you just might find that you look good in biker shorts after all…

Perfect If: You were looking for an excuse to get yourself a cool new ride.

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