Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Searching for a sport I enjoy

I've never really been one for sports. I hated PE with a vengeance at school and since then have struggled to find a sport that is for me. I shy away from most team sports (my technique in rounders is always to field, and make sure I'm as far away as possible from where the ball lands!) Running has never really appealed either - last time I went on a run my legs and ankles hurt for days and it put me off going again.

I've found cycling and swimming to be among the few sporty activities I actually enjoy and last week I found myself somehow saying yes to aqua aerobics. I was slightly apprehensive as when I'd tried actual aerobics years ago I'd found it a bit terrifying. For one there was a huge mirror so I could see how out of time I was - not very encouraging for a beginner! And secondly I seemed to be the only one just not getting it, so much so that one woman asked if I could keep out of her space - how rude! I made a hasty exit halfway through the class and never looked back. But aqua aerobics (or 'Deep Water' as they called the class I attended - I much prefer this title as it conjures up imagery of sharks and diving bells) was actually pretty fun. You get to wear a belt that makes you float, making swimming seem super easy, and if you do anything wrong no one can really tell as you're mainly doing it under water. I may have found a sport I don't hate!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Film Friday: The World's End

Last weekend Tom and I made a cinema date to go see the new Pegg-Frost-Wright film, The World's End. Having previously enjoyed both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz we were looking forward to seeing the last in the 'cornetto trilogy'. The cast were great, but sadly the film didn't quite meet our expectations. The plot was very similar to the first film and I didn't find the alien/robots that convincing. It's a shame as I am still a huge Spaced fan and it was fun spotting some of the cameos in The World's End, but I felt it was sadly just 'okay' and Simon Pegg's character didn't quite work for me. Let me know if you felt the same!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

5 minute craft project - Make a stamp from a cork!

I saw this idea a while ago on Pinterest, but as most wine bottles are screw top these days I haven't had chance to try it. When i got my hands on this super cork I decided to give it a go. All you need is a cork, a sharp craft knife and a stamp pad. I decided to go for quite a simple shape, as I found cutting into cork was harder than using rubber. It only took a few minutes to carve out my star shape, and ta-da! The results are a little rough, like potato print, but stamping is just so satisfying! The stamps would work really well for wrapping paper as well. Give it a go next time you open a bottle of wine!


Friday, 19 July 2013

Friday happy list

This week the good weather and spending 3 days at a conference meant no time for film watching, so in absence of my usual 'Film Friday' post I decided to make a mini list of things making me happy this weekend.

The sun has now been out for well over a week! Considering 2012 contained no summer that I can recall this is an amazing fact that means I can finally wear all those summer dresses I'd pushed to the back of my wardrobe. There have been a few grumbles from people moaning that it's too hot, but despite the sweaty temperatures at night I am enjoying a bit of sun.

I'm not a massive fan of BBQs as I always feel veggies get a bit of a rough deal, but halloumi usually makes up for it! I have had some fantastic salads this week too, not to mention regular ice creams at work to keep cool.

I'm loving fresh cherries at the moment, and this week spotted these juicy ones on a tree in our shared garden.

I bought the latest copy as a treat for myself last time I was in London, and it's simply lovely.

All i can afford music-wise these days are bargainous records. I am guilty of buying both Phil Collins and Hall and Oates LPs this week. I am not ashamed.

Have a top weekend folks!


Friday, 12 July 2013

Film Friday: A Complete History of my Sexual Failures

I'd watched this film before when it first came out, but decided to give it a second viewing with Tom as it popped up on Netflix. A Complete History of My Sexual Failures is a documentary made by film-maker Chris Waitt in 2008. After another failed relationship he decides (Hi Fidelity-style) to contact all his ex-girlfriends and find out what went wrong.

It becomes clear as the film goes on that Chris (who rather resembles an English version of Kurt Cobain) has upset many girlfriends in his past, several who refuse to even speak to him. While you can never quite decide if the whole film is 100% true, the film contains lots of funny moments, and a particularly sad moment towards the end when he finally speaks to his one true love about what went wrong.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Why don't you make a zine?

July marks the very first International Zine Month and to celebrate, I thought it would be fun to hide some of our latest zine (all about the adventures Tom and I had in Holland) around town. So if you're out and about in Nottingham be sure to keep your eye out for one! If you're not local I'm also doing a special 3 for 2 offer on the travel zines in my shop throughout July.

If you're unfamiliar with zines the word is an abbreviation of the term 'fanzine' or magazine. Zines are self-published works, which gained popularity during the punk era, and again during the Riot Grrrl scene in the 90s. Nowadays they can be found in many shapes and forms, from comics to art zines and poetry anthologies. The beauty of zines is that you can make a zine about any subject you please - check out this one dedicated to Freaks & Geeks, for example! Zines are traditionally hand photocopied but nowadays it's really easy to produce your own zine and print them at home.

The video above is a brilliantly simple way of making your own zine from one sheet of paper - why not give it a go? I have really enjoyed making our comic zines, and it's been so much fun getting orders for them from places around the world, from the US to Australia. I'd definitely recommend going down the self-publishing route.

Talking of zines, last month I received this beautiful zine, above, as part of a zine swap with Dindie who lives in Indonesia. I first discovered her daily drawings on her blog, Slora Sauna, and in May she published them in a Daily Drawings zine available here. Her drawings are really sweet and funny, I'd recommend a visit to her blog to see more. Have you ever made a zine? If so I'd love to see it!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The good old British summertime

Hurray - the sun is finally out, Murray did alright at Wimbledon and despite pollen counts going a bit doolally I am very happy to be lounging around in shorts and a summer top for a change. After a day off spent in London on Friday (where it was even hotter..) Tom and I headed to his dad's house this weekend to enjoy a night called the Battle of the Proms. The event is held yearly at Burghley House in Stamford and involves lots of classical music, M&S party food, champagne, strawberries and some AMAZING fireworks to finish off the evening. Despite not usually being one to celebrate the old British Isles, the coconut shies, sunshine and singalongs all made for a jolly good weekend.

Also today we were most pleased to be given this beautiful 1930s gramophone record player, operated solely by winding the handle in between songs. Tom's dad wanted us to give it a good home, and I really want to take it to the park with a picnic basket and dance to old jazz records.

*Photos by Tom

Friday, 5 July 2013

Film Friday: This Is the End

This is the End stars a whole host of comedians - Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera (in a role you wouldn't expect from him!) and friends get together for a party at James Franco's house in Hollywood, when suddenly the apocalypse strikes. Yes, the jokes are crude (and we may have been the only non-teenagers in the audience) but it was entertaining throughout and fun to see Rogen and friends playing 'themselves' and duly making fun of each other throughout. I found Emma Watson's role slightly annoying and a few of the jokes may have gone a bit far but this isn't a film to be taken too seriously, so it gets a thumbs up from me (and I was very happy to see McLovin' and the team briefly reunite!)

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Just a minute | July

Wow, is it really half-way through summer already? This week I've been feeling a little under the weather and tired. I partly blame the grey skies, along with hayfever and a general lack of free time lately. However tonight I have a free evening to run a bath, read a book and retire to bed at a reasonable hour, heaven!

Watching this documentary about mysterious street photographer Vivian Maier (as well as trashier programmes such as The Apprentice and First Dates)
Eating croissants and jam (a treat at weekends, yum)
Looking forward to early nights, cinema trips, bike rides and weekend frolics
Listening to old Beatles & Bert Jansch records when my dad visited at the weekend
Planning something for my Dad's 60th birthday next month
Browsing houses to potentially move to... our 1 bedroom flat seems to be getting too small for us lately, though moving can be hugely stressful and I can't decide what area would be best. But oh, to have a garden...
Giggling at Vincent Gallo aka 'Prince Vince' in this clip feat. Run DMC, from an amazing break-dancing show in the 80s.
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