Friday, 29 November 2013

Film Friday: Frances Ha

I've wanted to see this film since it came out, so was excited when I spotted it on Netflix! Frances Ha stars Greta Gerwig as Frances, as a twenty-something woman living in New York who aspires to be a dancer. When her best friend decides to move out it leaves Frances wondering where to live and where her life is going. I thought it had similar themes to the TV series Girls and it also stars Adam from the show, as Frances's rich artist housemate. Although the film does contain many 'hipster' traits (it's shot in black and white, the characters smoke and say 'i love you' a lot) I did really enjoy the film as it went on - and I may have been compelled to put Bowie's 'Modern Love' on afterwards and dance around my living room..

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Things I'm thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the US of A! To celebrate, I've made a little list of things I'm thankful for this week...

+ Getting up earlier to spy a beautiful dawn sky out of my window (above)
+ Woolly hats & warm gloves
+ Meeting lots of friendly faces at my new job
+ Fairy lights that make our home feel even cosier
+ Autumn walks in the country with tom (below)
+ My blog being nominated in the Candis blogging awards (If you'd like to vote for me, you can do so here!)
+ Hot chocolate season
+ This music video which cheered me up on Monday morning
+ The chance to rewatch Planes, Trains & Automobiles (a classic Thanksgiving film)
+ A forthcoming trip to Norway, exciting!


Friday, 22 November 2013

Film Friday: Gravity

Last weekend Tom & I both went to see Gravity - though he chose to see it in 3D and I went 2D (it's half the cost!). Gravity is a new film starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, two astronauts on a space mission when disaster strikes. The visuals and effects are stunning, and when Bullock spins around you're left feeling a little dizzy. I imagine it's worth watching in 3D but I enjoyed the film anyway, and thought Sandra Bullock was really good in her role. George Clooney was...very 'Clooney'! Ha. There are quite a few cheesy one-liners but if you ignore these this makes for an enjoyable film about being getting lost in space, and gazing down at Earth below you.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Favourite TV Shows

I enjoyed reading Janet's recent blog post about her favourite TV shows so I thought I'd compile a list as well. (Let me know if there's any good box sets I've missed!)

At the moment we are rewatching early Peepshow episodes and I am looking forward to the final-ever series, which starts very soon. My favourite comedy series though is Spaced. The wonderful pairing of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, along with Jessica Stevenson who was quite brilliant as Daisy. Those two series got me through life as a student in halls and it still cheers me up today. (Though I am slightly sad that Pegg & Frost aren't quite as good these days...) I have to admit I've never really seen the appeal of the Big Bang Theory (sorry to all their fans!) but recently I've really been enjoying watching episodes of Louie on Netflix, which cheered me up through a recent spell of 'flu. (Although the catchy theme tune drives me a bit nuts!)

Box Sets
It took me quite a while to get into The Wire but after I got used to the violence and gritty realism I began to really enjoy it. I've only seen the first 3 series but I'd definitely recommend persevering! I am also a fan of Sarah Lund in The Killing, and we're currently up to season 4 of Breaking Bad (although I think I actually preferred the first two seasons.) I can fully recommend Orange is the New Black, and I can't wait for the 3rd series of Girls next year. I'm also a big fan of Mad Men, though I didn't rate the last series quite as highly as previous ones. My all-time favourite box set though is My So-Called Life. I think it's nearly time to give the Christmas episode a re-watch...

After watching programmes about serial killers and sadistic prison wardens, it's nice to unwind with a good dose of the Great British Bake Off. I also have to admit that while I'm not hugely into weddings, I can't help watching Don't Tell the Bride. It is quite addictive viewing, even though every episode has exactly the same premise. Beginning: Groom plans complete opposite wedding to the one his fiancee has dreamt about since childhood (usually to please his Best Man) Middle: Bride tries his chosen dress on and weeps. Groom spends 80% of his budget on ridiculous Stag Do. End: Everything wraps up nicely, with the bride proclaiming she is "so proud" of her new husband and they all live happily ever after..?!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

A Day in the Life

Although I can't quite manage to blog every day in November as many of my favourite bloggers are currently doing, I am enjoying reading all of the posts inspired by the daily topics. I decided to try some of them out myself, so here is my 'Day in the Life' - it may not be overly exciting but I always enjoy getting a glimpse into other people's daily routines. As I only have a couple of weeks left in my current job I thought it would be interesting to post a record of my daily commute too, which will be changing very soon!

8.10am - Rise and shine!! Tom gets up before me and makes me a tea (yay). I then make breakfast - today it was weetabix & apple (which is my Nan's favourite breakfast), and we usually watch some kind of sitcom. We used to watch BBC breakfast but I found it a bit grating after a while and comedy is a much nicer way to start the day - at the moment it's The Thick of It. (PS Tom looks as if he's asleep in the pic above, he's just a bit tired!)

9.58am - I leave the house and walk to work to arrive at... 10am! I am very lucky that I currently live a very short walk from work (I can see it from my window)... although this will soon be changing as I'm about to begin a new job in Derby. I need to start stocking up on podcasts and books for my commute! Above: wearing in my new pair of autumn shoes!

10am - 6pm I work in the Marketing department at a theatre in Nottingham. My job involves lots of different things from putting up posters around the building to working on this year's pantomime programme - yes it's nearly time for panto! Multiple cups of tea help me through the day, and by the time 6pm rolls round the sun has set and it's pitch black outside.

6pm - 8pm I pop to the shop after work to buy some food and when Tom gets home we eat pasta and garlic bread, and listen to a playlist on Spotify.

8pm - 11pm My evenings in are often spent drawing, reading blogs, writing in my Q&A journal (above) and watching Breaking Bad while Tom plays GTA on the Playstation. It's surely what winter was made for!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Film Friday: The Help

While I was off work with the flu I finally managed to watch The Help. I really enjoyed the film, which stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, an aspiring author who decides to write about the fate of African-American maids who worked for white families in Jackson, Mississippi. Octavia Spencer does a fantastic job (which won her an Oscar) playing a maid called Minny who ends up getting her own back on her cruel employer in a very unique way! The film highlighted many of the injustices faced by black maids working for white families in the 60s. Although I found some of the scenes were maybe a little unrealistic (leaving the toilets on Hilly's lawn for example, would this really have happened?) I'd definitely recommend a watch.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Nostalgia Q&A

I love a good bit of nostalgia, so thought I'd fill in this Q&A spotted on nekomentsu about some of my childhood favourites... (above: little me on my trike, concentrating a bit too hard.)

I was an avid fan of Enid Blyton up until the age of about eleven and used to stay up all night reading the Faraway Tree books as well as the Famous Five series. Oh to live on Kirren Island. I also loved Jacqueline Wilson stories, especially the Suitcase Kid. Then I (like Louise) discovered the joys of Point Horror books - trashy though they were! As a kid I loved to read and got through books much faster than I do now, these days I really struggle to find a book I really enjoy and more often than not stick to graphic novels.

I do miss the feeling of waking up on a Saturday morning and watching ridiculous kids tv til stupid o'clock. Live and Kicking, Rugrats, the Simpsons... but mine & my brother's all time favourite tv show was Pugwall. Starring a bunch of Australian misfits who formed a band called the Orange Organics, they were pretty spiggin' great. (One of the more annoying songs from the show can be found here on YouTube). I was also a massive Neighbours fan and would get quite upset if I missed an episode. Oh dear. In fact most of what I watched was Australian - The Girl from Tomorrow, Round the Twist - not forgetting Heartbreak High!

My favourite band as a kid was Salt 'n' Pepa. I remember getting excited when someone made me a tape of their greatest hits. I knew all the lyrics off by heart ("yes I am independent... I make my own money so don't tell me how to spend it" - every kid could identify, right?!). I listened to it non-stop on my red Sony Walkman. Then I became a little obsessed with PJ and Duncan before abandoning pop bands in favour of Britpop.

I wrote a long post about my all time favourite magazines here. I started off as a big Beano fan and my dad used to buy me a copy every Thursday. Then I'd read Shout! and Smash Hits. I also had a FunFax which isn't really a comic, but a kids' version of a Filofax, that you could slot little books into, with little stickers to put on your calendar. Nerdy fun!!

Me and my brother would always rent The Princess Bride on video whenever we got chance. Big was another favourite as well as Home Alone, Stand By Me, The Land Before Time, The Little Mermaid and E.T... the list goes on!

What a day it was when my cousin Mandi gave us her old Megadrive. Me and my brother used to love playing Sonic the Hedgehog - in fact it's still the only computer game I'm any good at. As much as Tom tries to persuade me to play GTA I can't help but prefer the old 2D games I grew up with.

Er, reading. Collecting stickers. Drawing. Taping songs off the radio. Arguing with my brother about what TV show we should watch. Dreaming of one day being a member of the Orange Organics.

Did anyone else get obsessed with owning a paid of Clark's Magic Steps shoes as a kid? This advert was so magical, I really wanted a pair of shoes with a key in the heel (why I don't quite know...) but they were all sold out where ever we looked. Booh.


Sunday, 3 November 2013

A little hello..

I've been quite absent from my blog recently due to a few things so I thought I'd stop by and say hi!

+ Firstly, I found a new job! At a cinema/art gallery, I start at the end of this month, hurray!
+ I missed out on Halloween due to being poorly, which was rubbish. But I managed to watch several good films and loads of episodes of Louie which made me feel better
+ This weekend I went to watch Tom play a Dia de Muertos themed gig at Nottingham Contemporary which was muchos fun - everyone was dressed up for the occasion
+ I bought a new duffle coat for winter, in time for a trip to Norway at the end of this month
+ I've decided to do all my Christmas shopping online this year as town is a scary place this time of year..

How has your November been so far?
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