The Cassandra Goad Book & Film Club (And More!): Week 4

What the Cassandra Goad team and extended community have been reading, watching and doing this week…

1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Recommended by CG (Founder and flower fanatic)

I have been thinking of situations where a sort of "Covid-19 lockdown" exists in a world without lockdown. And I remembered this extraordinary book (and film) about Jean Dominique Bauby, the editor of French Elle magazine, after he had a life changing stroke. He went into serious lockdown.

He was paralysed, unable to speak and only able to communicate with one eyelid. And with only this tiny movement he dictated his book. As Edmund White said :

'read this book and fall back in love with life'.

2. Fluid Landscapes Report 2020 by Bompas & Parr (

Recommended by EVM (Showroom Assistant and peony lover)

Bompas & Parr is a wonderful experience design studio in South London. Recently they released an exciting and thought provoking report called the Fluid Landscapes Report. It examines the behavioural change in humans during the global pandemic and how it might affect future interactions between people, objects and events. As we settle into our lives inside, the report is a positive journey leading us through from what the Studio calls it the Golden Era of Creativity to The New Normal that awaits' when we are allowed back into the world.

*Photo courtesy of Bompas & Parr

3. Le journal d'Anne Frank (Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl)

Recommended by MW and EW (Cassandra's neighbours in France, mad cyclists and always with an architectural project 'on the go')

A été rédigé par une jeune fille juive qui, pendant l'occupation allemande des Pays Bas, était cachée, avec sa famille. Ils ont été dénoncés, déportés et ont trouvé la mort dans les camps nazies, seul le père a survécu. Ce journal accompagne Anne pendant son enfermement. Il est considéré comme un document majeur de l'Holocauste.

Films & TV Series...

1. The English Game

Recommended by AMK (Workshop Manager and lover of all things shiny)

This is the story of football in its infancy and how it became the game that it is today. The story is set in England 1879. The FA cup was formed by a group of predominantly old Etonians who dominated the game. A cotton mill owner from Darwin decides to form a working-class team that is good enough to rival that of the old Etonians. To do this, he hires two promising footballers from Scotland to join the team.

This story incorporates a multitude of topics set alongside the main backbone of the story - something you would expect from a series that was developed by Julian Fellows. This is a six-part series can be found on NETFLIX and is a really great watch.

2. Green Book

Recommended by AMK (Workshop Manager and lover of all things shiny)

It's 1962 in New York. Dr Don Shirley is looking to employ a driver to take with him on his tour of the deep south. He is a world-class black pianist and is embarking on a tour that could potentially be very dangerous for him. An unruly, Italian-American bouncer called Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga from the broncs is who he hires.

With the guide of the Green Book their journey begins and you watch this unlikely friendship form. This film is inspired by a true story and is peppered with wonderful music and humour and it can be found on Amazon Prime.


1. The Things That Make Us with Zoe Laughlin

Recommended by EVM (Showroom Assistant and peony lover)

Dr Zoe Laughlin is a material engineer and director of the Institute of Making at the University College London. In each episode Laughlin invites her guests to bring and talk about five objects that have delighted, inspired, provoked or even influenced them. It is one of the most engaging podcasts to date where the guests range from writers, inventors, doctors, designers and perfumers. Laughlin can often be found conducting ambitious experiments and this podcast is definitely one of her finest. What five objects have influenced you?

2. Serial with Sarah Koenig

Recommended by JLG (Marketing Assistant and Dachshund devotee)

This podcast, by investigative journalist Sarah Koenig, delves into the arrest and subsequent conviction of teenager Adnan Syed for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. The year is 1999 and the crime takes place in Baltimore, Maryland. Sentenced to life imprisonment, Adnan says he's innocent but what will this investigative podcast turn up? The story, told over 12 episodes and a post-podcast update, unfolds through a series of interviews with friends and acquaintances of both Hae and Adnan, the Baltimore police force and other suspects. Prepare to have your mind changed back and forth as to the innocence and/or guilt of the accused depending on the episode. We listened to this over several long car journeys and kept pausing it to find out what we were all thinking (and sometimes to clarify a forgotten point from an earlier journey!). It kept us interested and engaged for many hours.

There are two further series of Serial - series 3 takes a different format, with each episode focusing on a different criminal case. Quite apart from the stories themselves being gripping, you learn a lot about the American criminal justice system which I felt to be so heavily weighted against the young, black male. Prepare to be outraged on occasion - I certainly was!


1. The only brownie recipe you will ever need...

Recommended by SLW (Junior Showroom Assistant and Maltesers Addict)

An Orchard's Cookery School recipe - it really is the only brownie recipe you will ever need!


  • 200g Cadbury's Dairy Milk
  • 3 Eggs
  • 300g Bournville Chocolate
  • 75g Self Raising Flour
  • 225g Butter
  • 225g Light Brown Sugar


Chop up the Dairy Milk chocolate into chunks and spread them over a lined tin (22cm x 30cm, use baking paper). Melt the butter with the dark chocolate in the microwave and leave to cool a smidge. Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add in the melted chocolate and butter and continue to beat.

Finally add in the flour, beat some more until all the ingredients are fully mixed, and pour over the chocolate chips in the tin. Stick the tin in the oven at 190 degrees and bake for 20 ish minutes (this depends on how gooey you like your brownies). Once they are cooked, take the tin out of the oven and put to one side to cool - leave for as long as your self-restraint will allow and then slice into squares and enjoy!

2. Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients

Recommended by EJL (Marketing Assistant and Earl Grey tea enthusiast)

No matter how experienced you are in the kitchen, 'Jamie Oliver's 5 Ingredients' cookbook is perfect right now. As its name suggests, each recipe contains only 5 ingredients (which are quite often products that you might find in your larder anyway), and the recipes cover a mix of everything from delicious fish, meat and salads, to simple puddings and biscuits. It is the perfect cookbook to get all the family involved in the cooking with no excuses! A particular favourite is the 'So Easy Fish Curry,' which I can honestly say is so quick and easy, and tastes absolutely delicious!


Think Like a Tree - a poem by Karen I. Shragg

Recommended by MH (Cassandra's first model and secret Tik Tok dance fanatic)

Soak up the sun

Affirm life's magic

Be graceful in the wind

Stand tall after a storm

Feel refreshed after it rains

Grow strong without notice

Be prepared for each season

Provide shelter to strangers

Hang tough through a cold spell

Emerge renewed at the first signs of spring

Stay deeply rooted while reaching for the sky

Be still long enough to

hear your own leaves rustling.


Recommendations by Liliane Barton of The Barton Family Wines in Bordeaux

"My favorite wine for the moment to be drinking from our wines would be the Langoa 2007 - not a vintage of the century, but with a delicious balance and great for drinking right now. My daughter Melanie's favorite wine (that she has made) is the Mauvesin Barton 2016. Even if not quite ready for drinking, it is a great vintage and it is an extra step in the ladder towards making better wine thanks to all the work she has been doing in the vineyard. I think the favorite time of most winemakers is the harvest: the consecration of all a year's hard work in the vineyard, the birth of a new vintage, the excitement of the new characteristic, and every year is different."

Great sporting moments to relive...

1. The 2003 Rugby World Cup

Jonny Wilkinson's drop goal for England

2. The Wimbledon Tennis Finals in 2016

Andy Murry's great victory

Music to make jewellery to...

The tunes our team whistle to while at home:

  • If You Wanna Love Somebody Tom Odell (AMK)
  • Moon Unit Flyte (SLW)
  • Wasting My Young Years London Grammar (EVM)
  • Best of My Love The Emotions (EJL)
  • Help me, Rhonda The Beach Boys (JLG)
  • Dvorak's 9th Symphony (MW and EW)
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