The SSI staff's feelgood favourites

Posted by j.laird on 20 December 2021 - 9:30am
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As we come to the end of 2021, the staff at the Software Sustainability Institute reflect on the things they watched, read or listened to over the last year that have made them feel good!

TV shows

Our Communications Officer Jacalyn Laird enjoyed watching Ghosts: “I loved this silly and light-hearted comedy about a couple who move into a house haunted by a variety of needy ghosts. Can be quite moving at times too!”

Selina Aragon, Communications Manager, watched the Taco Chronicles: “A reminder that great food can make the world of difference in someone's life. Also, who doesn't love tacos? ;)” 

Selina also liked The Astrological Guide for Broken Hearts: “It's a light-hearted Italian comedy. I enjoyed the Turin sights, especially at night, and hearing Italian always makes me happy.”

Community Manager Rachael Ainsworth recommends Ted Lasso: “The TV show we all needed. Joyful, with strong focus on destigmatising mental health issues and combatting toxic masculinity.” 

Rachael also enjoyed Schitt’s Creek: “A very wholesome journey of growth and discovering what truly matters in life with a lot of laughs and tears along the way.”

Simon Hettrick, Deputy Director, enjoyed Sex Education series 3 this year: “Hilarious, rather beautiful and, at times, terrible cringe-inducing comedy.”

Project Manager Kirsty Pringle liked Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch: “I've never watched it before this year, but the whole family loved it. Definitely helped us with lockdown. And it's educational! Better than me homeschooling...”


Simon Hettrick enjoyed watching Palm Springs: I just adore the concept that total freedom to do what you like would drive people kind of crazy.” 

Simon also liked Save Yourselves! :”It was funny and very close to home about us liberal elite types.”

Jacalyn Laird watched Hamilton: “A hip-hop musical about the founding fathers of the United States - what’s not to like?! I listened to the soundtrack a ridiculous number of times this year.”

Kirsty Pringle recommends The Mitchells vs The Machines: “A funny, feelgood family film (with a few good twists, and Olivia Colman being evil).”

Community Lead Shoaib Sufi enjoyed The Secret Life of Pets 1 & 2 as other feelgood family films.


Aleks Nenadic, Training Lead, read The Hail Mary Project by Andy Weir: “A lovely sci-fi book from the author of ‘The Martian’ and also a nice reminder of high school physics (but in a really good way that makes you want to re-learn all of it).”

Simon Hettrick enjoyed reading The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F**k by Sarah Knight: “Just a very funny book with some good advice about coping in a mad world.” 

Simon also liked Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman: “It's nice to read something positive about the way the world could be run.”

Kirsty Pringle read Back to Nature by Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin: “An easy to read but informative book on the state of nature in the UK. Interesting for it's take on the lack of biodiversity in National Parks.”

Selina Aragon enjoyed The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben: “An easy read on how trees live their lives. It was lovely to rediscover the wonder of looking around for clues in nature.” Shoaib Sufi added: “It is fascinating and shows how connected the natural world is.”

Selina also recommends Piranesi by Susanna Clarke: “A fantasy mystery involving other-wordly labyrinths, and a reminder that you'll never be truly lost as long as you stick to your core values and are, basically, a good person.”


Mario Antonioletti, Community Officer & RSE, listened to the BBC Sounds podcast Paul McCartney: Inside the songs: “An interesting short series of 10 each lasting 4-9 mins with background to some of the songs he wrote.”

Selina Aragon enjoyed listening to the album Clifford Brown with Strings: “My go-to chilling out album this year. I discovered it by chance in March. It's like having a cup of warm tea in bed on a rainy day.”

Shoaib Sufi enjoyed watching the YouTube Channel Coin Bureau: “Very sensible coverage of the wild west of cryptocurrency - and quite entertaining.” He also had a laugh at this Boston Dynamics video.

And finally Simon Hettrick enjoyed a Cocoba Chocolate Honeycomb Jar: “It's half a kilo of chocolate covered honeycomb toffee. What else needs to be said?"

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