Sunday, 31 August 2014

A weekend by the sea

Last week Tom and I celebrated our five year anniversary with a mini trip to Cromer in Norfolk. I hadn't been since I was a kid so it was lovely to revisit the coastal town and dip my toes in the sea, eat fish and chips and walk along the pier (which is featured in the final scenes of the Alan Partridge film!)

We stayed in a quirky B&B called No.4 which was full of unusual old items - neon signs, jukeboxes, taxidermy and even a skeleton! The breakfasts were huge and we were left fresh cakes each day as well which made our stay very cosy indeed. You can't beat a good weekend beside the sea!


Friday, 29 August 2014

Film Friday: Stories We Tell

In Stories We Tell Sarah Polley (who directed Take This Waltz and Away From Her) turns the camera on her own family as she conducts a series of interviews with them about the life of her mother, who died when she was 11. She uses old Super 8 film alongside reconstructed footage to reveal stories about her mother that throw up some big questions about her own identity. This is a brilliant documentary that shows how every seemingly 'normal' family has stories to tell, and makes you think about how memory can affect the truth, love and the bonds we make in our lives.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

11 Things

Things have been a bit quiet on the blogging front for me lately, so I was happy to be nominated by Janet for the Liebster blog '11 Things' meme. The rules are:

- List 11 random facts about yourself
- Answer 11 questions given to you by the nominator
- Set 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate
- Tag your chosen bloggers and wait to read their answers

11 Random Facts About Me...

1. I get stupidly excited when a meal Tom is cooking is nearly ready, sometimes I even do a little 'food dance'.. he laughs at me for this.
2. Even though I'm not really 'into' weddings I do like watching Don't Tell the Bride.
3. Corey Feldman is one of my top 5 actors.
4. In the past I've had guitar, keyboard and drum lessons but haven't really stuck at any of them.
5. Taking polaroids and discovering photobooths make me very happy.
6. Three different people bought me the same owl cushion over the space of a year. Since then I've kind of gone off owls but I can't really admit it to anyone..
7. When I was a kid I was addicted to watching Neighbours. Josh and Cody were my favourite characters.
8. I have a bit of a crush on Annie Clark (St Vincent).
9. I went to uni in Hull. It wasn't the coolest city, but it did have an amazing club (Spiders), great pubs and I will never forget the unique taste of chip spice.
10. I may own too many Paul McCartney solo records.
11. Kirsty Allsopp is one of my pet peeves.

Janet's questions were:

1. Why did you start blogging?
Quite a while ago now (about seven years?!) I was working as a Graphic Designer for a software company and feeling a bit uninspired in my job. Me and my workmate loved reading blogs like Design Sponge and decided we should start our own to document our inspirations.

2. What post are you most proud of?
I enjoyed posting pages from my travel journal, here and here before I made some of them into zines.

3. What's your favourite thing about blogging?
Definitely connecting with other bloggers out there, there are so many interesting, funny and creative folks I've become friends with through my blog. I also like keeping track of what I do, it's nice to look back at photos on previous posts and discover what I was doing in certain months. (For example I needed to know recently what month I moved into my current flat, so I checked my blog for an old post and that really helped me out!)

4. And a least favourite?
Sometimes reading other blogs that have perfect photos of beautiful homes etc can make you feel a like your blog doesn't measure up. A lot of bloggers (myself included) tend to focus on the positive, so they don't portray people's lives in a very measured way.

5. Important matters now: what's your favourite colour of sweet (e.g. Starburst, Fruit Pastilles)?
Ah, I'm not actually a big fan of sweets! Partly down to being veggie, but if I had to pick I'd probably go for red/strawberry!

4. And what's your least favourite?

5. What is your favourite flower?
I love sunflowers, daisies and cherry blossom...

6. Did you have a favourite dressing up outfit as a child (or, indeed, as an adult)?
See above photos.

7. Zayn or Harry?
Oh dear, I'm not quite sure who Zayn is (quick Google..) Actually I did watch a documentary about crazy One Direction fans a while ago and thought I'd pick Zayn over Harry - sorry Harry fans!

8. What was your best holiday, and why?
I really enjoyed visiting Iceland six years ago, it was a magical place that was unlike anywhere else.

9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?Last time Tom and I were in Berlin we loved the laid back atmosphere and said we could imagine living there. The same goes for Amsterdam and other Dutch towns. Anywhere that encourages cycling, has good vintage shops and friendly people.

10. What's your favourite Christmas tradition?
In recent years Tom and I have started making macaroni cheese on Christmas Eve, and we never fail to watch Home Alone and dig out Sufjan Stevens' Songs for Christmas.

11. Do you have a nickname?
My name is quite hard to shorten.. I've been called 'Laus' or 'La' and my brother used to call me Laz. One friend started calling me Milly because of my surname, but it didn't really take off. (When I started this blog I used Milly as an alias.) There are so many Lauras around I really could do with a nickname, ideas welcome.

Okay here's 11 new questions... I tag BeeHannah and Adeline (and anybody else who fancies it!)

1. If you could recommend one great book you read in the last year what would it be?
2. What job did you aspire to as a child?
3. Who was your first crush (famous or not)?
4. What song makes you super happy when it comes on the radio?
5. What really gets your goat?
6. What is your favourite dish to cook?
7. Do you have a skill no one else can do?
8. Who's your current favourite comedian?
9. Do you collect anything?
10. What is your favourite way to spend a Sunday?
11. What one thing do you love most about your home town?

Friday, 22 August 2014

Film Friday: The Imposter

Plot My brother recently recommended this documentary to me, so I thought I'd give it a watch. A family from Texas report their 16 year old son missing. Several years later they receive a call from a French man claiming to be him... I won't give too much away if you've not seen this film as it's a pretty bizarre turn of events!
Overall Give a watch and let me know what you made of it!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Five great podcasts

Now that my commute is approximately 40x longer than it was in my previous job (for realz) I have had to come up with good ways to pass the time on my bus journey. Luckily there are lots of great podcasts out there, here are five I've been enjoying lately..

1. WTF with Marc Maron
Comedian Mark Maron has interviewed some brilliant creative folks on his WTF podcast, including Claire Danes, Lena Dunham, Moon Zappa, Steve Malkmus and the late Robin Williams. I like how casual and natural his conversations are, and how unlike a lot of interviewers out there Maron actually lets people talk.

2. This American Life
This is a staple podcast that I've been listening to for several years now hosted by the wonderful Ira Glass. Each week there's a theme which binds together true stories by different Americans. It's made me laugh and cry.

3. The Savage Lovecast
Dan Savage is a straight-talking (gay) man who dishes out no-frills sex and relationship advice on his weekly phone-in show. Although I sometimes disagree with his advice it's always entertaining hearing Dan's no nonsense words of wisdom, and you'll find yourself learning interesting new phrases, such as GGG...

4. Freakonomics
A recent discovery after watching the film on Netflix, each podcast takes a different subject and looks at it from an economics perspective. Topics range from how much your name matters to how to make people quit smoking and why people choose to get married.

5. Stuff You Should Know
This is Tom's favourite podcast and is presented by two nice chaps who choose different subjects every week and investigate them. Shows include how chocolate works, how guide dogs work, how bipolar disorder works... quite a diverse range!

Do you have any podcast recommendations? If so please let me know.. (as I get through a lot!)

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A weekend with Wallace and Gromit in Bristol

Last weekend Tom and I headed down to one of our favourite cities for the weekend, Bristol. We had made plans to visit friends and see the famous Hot Air Balloon Fiesta - the biggest in Europe! However, Hurricane Bertha arrived and our plans were slightly scuppered. No balloons could go up due to heavy rain and wind, but we managed to have a great time nonetheless! We headed to the Wallace and Gromit exhibition currently on at M Shed near the docks.

Bristol is home to Aardman Animations, and it was fun to read the story of how the creators first got into animation, created Morph and later made Creature Comforts and of course the brilliant Wallace & Gromit films. It was amazing to peer into the real sets used on the films - making the tiny props must be such a fun job. I also learnt that Bristol is the world capital of tiny glass bottle blowing due to the films.. you learn something new every day! If you get chance to visit, the exhibition is on until the 7th of September and is great for little 'uns and big 'uns alike!


Friday, 8 August 2014

Film Friday: Brief Encounter

This week it was my dear old Dad's birthday, so I took him and my brother to see a classic of British film, Brief Encounter. I hadn't seen it for years but it was brilliant to see it restored on the big screen. 
Plot The film centres around a woman called Laura who meets a charming doctor at a railway station (I just realised 3 out of 4 of my recent posts have revolved around steam trains! Which is no bad thing..?) She is torn between her blossoming friendship with him and her domestic life at home with two kids and a crossword-loving husband.
Fun facts The film was made at the start of 1945 just before the war ended, and had to be filmed in the north of England so that they would receive sufficient warning in case of an air-raid attack. You can visit the iconic railway station and refreshment room used in the film in Carnforth which has been restored in recent years. (There is also a railway cafe in Wymondham, Norfolk called Brief Encounter that I remember visiting as a child!)
Overall They don't call it a classic for nothing. (Oh, and I learnt that at one time you could borrow books from Boots, who knew?)

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Lovely Links..

Fun stuff I stumbled across lately..

An entire corner shop made of felt.

Photographer comes across an abandoned film school

Talking of abandoned film, I can't wait to watch Finding Vivian Maier.

If I visit New York again, I want to visit the High Line. Ethan Hawke narrates its history.

Not sure what to make of this article - should we mourn the end of blogs?

Friday, 1 August 2014

Film Friday: A Hard Day's Night

Plot This year the iconic Beatles film A Hard Day's Night turned 50 and it was reissued in cinemas so I took my Dad along to see it on the big screen. It was made in '64 at the height of Beatlesmania and follows the boys as they embark on a tour, in a sort of mockumentary style with added songs. My favourite part of the film is where Ringo decides to abandon fame for the day and goes on a wander around London with his camera.
Guest appearances: Wilfred Brambell aka Steptoe shows up as Paul's grandpa. You can also spot George's ex wife Patti Boyd who first met him after playing a schoolgirl on the train at the beginning of the film. 
Watch this if you're a fan of.. err, The Beatles! But it's also a brilliant look at '60s England, from the gorgeous old train carriages (here I go on about trains again!) to the fashions and cobbled streets of post-war Britain.

Overall A real feel-good film, and the only time I've witnessed a man in the cinema audience get up after the film has finished and say: "Can I just ask if anyone enjoyed that as much as I did?"
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