Monday, 28 July 2008

By the water

Eugh - a long working week beckons, and starting it feeling more tired than at 5pm on Friday doesn't bode particularly well. But it was well worth it for a gorgeous weekend with pals and sunshine - and having the man succumb to letting me watch Big Brother AND a cheesy rom com with Michelle Pfieffer pulling some young chap, who wasn't that young anyway.

Saturday night saw my friends birthday party, so we headed over to her flat to celebrate with her. We spent lots of time being very excited about girly things like makeup and weddings. The man spent lots of time talking with my pal's surgeon boyfriend about his experience of neutering their new kitten himself, on the rug in his living room. Nice.

It was a lovely night, and I LOVE her flat, which was overlooking the Thames. This, I thought, was what living in London is all about - and the man and I quickly bought a lottery ticket in blind hope. Sunday morning saw us driving through London, on the way to do our weekly shopping, and picking out the houses we'd choose when we got home and checked our winning lottery numbers. We entered into quite a heated debate about whether we'd prefer to overlook a park, or the river - and whether it mattered about being near a tube station given that we'd both have Ferraris.

Needless to say, I'm entering another week as a non-lottery-winner. Next week, definitely.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Read it....listen to it

Bah. I was just putting the finishing touches to a long-arsed post explaining why I love Kevin Smith's podcasts - and why his book 'My Boring-Ass Life' is a must-read, which will keep you all chuckling for hours.

Just before hit the publish post icon, my computer crashed and lost all my carefully crafted text about how his breezy writing style is addictive, and how he hooks the reader into being entertained by the minute details of his life (It's VERY detailed. When he shits, we read about it. Watches telly in bed? Pages of it).

But, hey, it's gone now - and I can't be bothered to retype it all. It wasn't that good anyway.

Suffice to say, if you haven't already, download the podcasts from or through iTunes - and buy the book. For those who don't know Kevin Smith, he's a movie director - best known for Jay and Silent Bob I guess. I love him, and I think you will too. He's also the one person, I think, who's got a decent performance out of Ben Affleck. Seriously. Check him out in Chasing Amy.

Oh baby

I've taken a few days off from the hard slog of blogging (slogging?) as, firstly, my ideas were running out - and secondly, I've had a break from work (and my computer) to catch up with some old friends, see my family, and drink far to much white wine.

I was delighted to have my pal Katy, who recently emigrated to Dubai, back in London - and set about organising a big drinking session to welcome her back into the city in style. Dan, Bill, Caroline, Lisa, Paul and I took up our posts at a Soho pub and set about plying her with wine and hearing her tales of desert life. It sounds like she's having an amazing time, and I'm so pleased, but it made me realise just how much I miss having her around. Katy has been, for a long while, my trusty drinking partner - who can be relied upon to grab just 'one small drink' after work - which invariably turned into six or seven, an omlette and chips and a cab home (sometimes with dancing around my flat to Bon Jovi thrown into the lovely, drunken, mix). A few beers turned into many, and before we knew it we were headed towards trusty kareoke joint, Lucky Voice, where we belted out said Bon Jovi classics and serenaded Katy with all our might. Was such a good night and only slightly blurry around the edges.

The next day, my lovely friend Katie helped me to take the edge off my hangover by inviting me to spend the day with her and her new baby, Lola - who is absolutely gorgeous. I headed over there laden with M&S food to mop up the booze, and we set about demolishing it, all while reading Lola tasty excerpts from this week's OK Magazine. She laughtd in all the right places and smiled broadly at a picture of Matt DiAngelo. A veery promising sign. I think she's going to love celebrity gossip (and Matt DiAngelo) just like her mum. Hurrah.

I then checked out Katie's new Manolos, which were BEAUTIFUL and made me desperately want one of the Spanish maestro's creations (actually, a pair would be nice). We also took Lola for a visit to the local pub (Katie maintained that a pint would sort me right out) - and generally had a jolly good time. Such a nice day - thanks Katie.

So that's it - chucked in a visit from the parentals and a lovely weekend with the man, and now I'm back at work. Yes, Emily, I know - no opinions. Next time, I'll do politics. And perhaps talk about carbon footprints. Oh yeah.

Monday, 14 July 2008


.. on the arse situation.

According to Hancock's director Peter Berg: "There's always a dance with the ratings commission," he says. "They actually didn't have a problem with (a prison scene) because they deemed it physically impossible. They are more concerned with language."

Physically impossible...yes....I'd hope. But gross nonetheless.

Cakes, films and arses

Last Friday marked the man's birthday. I took the day off work and took him out for a day of cinema hopping, huge pizzas and wine. Got up early on the actual day, and decorated the living room with banners, cards and gifts. I also baked a cake - which was rubbish (like sawdust, actually) - but which he claimed to enjoy nonetheless. (A second cake was purchased on Saturday - the first getting dumped hastily in the bin after we'd had a slice).

At the flicks, we went to see Hancock - and fully expected it to be a fun filled Will Smith classic. While I hated 'I am Legend', I generally enjoy Will Smith's movies - and think he's great in comedies - like Hitch, which I loved in a guilty pleasures kinda way.

It was good - we laughed. Will Smith was likeable, the PR guru sidekick was cute. We were nudging each other and congratulating ourselves on not listening to our Hancock doubting friends.

That was until the inclusion of a Hancock-sticking-a-crim's-head-up-the-arse-of-another-crim prison scene (set to Sanford and Son, interestingly) which will surely have many parents second-guessing their decision to pull the kiddies out of the sunshine for an afternoon. It was totally outrageous actually - and made me question how the movie ever got it's certificate. Am I being too harsh here, I wonder? Slightly too prudish? Or if the tables were turned, and Will Smith was doling out arse related punishments to women, would we see the scene in a less-humerous, more sordid, way?

Go see the flick..tell me what you think. I'm off to write a Mary Whitehouse esq, outraged, letter of complaint.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Getting opinionated

This blogging lark's become a bit of a hassle - in that it's made me realise that I get up to very little in the way of interesting hobbies or pursuits. Originally started as a diary of what I'm up to, the entries are starting to look a little similar. 'Today I went for lunch with pals, and then out drinking' has started to seem suspiciously like my catchphrase.

My friend Emily has told me before, that a blog should be more about my opinions on life. And now, after hearing me tell her that I'm not getting into twitter, because it magnifies the lack of activity in my life, she commented:

"Again, its not about what you do, its what you think. Honestly darling you need to realise this web 2.0 thing is not about DOING anything at all. You are so 1.0 with your active lifestyle and genuine social life".

So - from here on in, you lucky reader(s) is/are going to get a taste of some of my finest opinions. I've already started drafting another post in which I will pose the question of how acceptable it is to stick one man's head up another man's arse - in cinema or otherwise. I say not. Now, see, that's an opinion. And from here on in, I'll try to pose some real chin scratching, debate stirring, geniune thoughts. Oh yeah. You've been warned.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Gone, baby, gone

We had a lovely time with the boy's mum. We did a whole host of things that we'd never normally do (when the alternative option is normally to go to the pub). We drove across to Windsor Castle to check out the royal memorabelia - walked on high bridges at Kew - and had lunches in small countryside towns.

But my favourite night was when all the activities were exhasuted, and we opted for a big pizza, a bottle of wine and movie night.

Probably because it meant that I got to watch Gone Baby Gone - Ben Affleck's directorial debut. Hurrah.

I'm a huge Affleck fan. Yeah, ok, I know his career's had some low points (don't want to bang on about Gigli too much) and his acting skills have been called into question on a huge scale. But when in his comfort zone, I think he's bloody brilliant. Check him out in any of Kevin Smith's films (Kevin says the best way to get a good performance out of Affleck is to write parts that essentially capture his personality) - and he's funny, engaging and smart.

As a director I think that Ben's really come into his own. And Gone Baby Gone's well worth a watch.

Probably the smartest thing Affleck did was surround himself with some great talent: cinematographer John Toll shot 'The Thin Red Line' and 'Braveheart'; and editor William Goldenberg enjoyed great success on Michael Mann's movies. And the talent pays off - the movie looks great.

He's also capitalised on his local knowledge - and features his and Matt Damon's hometown of Boston. And it's clear he's at home here. He captures both the nightmare of living in drug addled parts of the town - and the aggressive pride that comes with it.

But the best thing, for me, about the flick is the way it questions the audience at every turn. I won't spoil the plot for you, lovely reader(s), but the twists and turns in the story make you question what's ethically right and wrong (whichever side of the debate you sit on) - and then whether there really is a right...

Let's discuss that part more when you've watched it.

Go watch it - it's great.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Summer days

Christ, it's hot today.

It's not even the half arsed 'ooh - could it be beer garden weather today?' hotness that our fine nation usually experiences in summertime. Today, it's genuine sunbathing, Pimms drinking, Wimbledon watching, have-to-take-a-back-up-deoderant-to-work-ing summer weather. Lovely.

I'm normally a winter type of girl. I like the warm clothes, I like the snow - christ, I even like the rain. I like the cuddling up in front of the fire watching old movies. And I bloody LOVE Christmas. But today's reminded me that sunshine can be good too.

So to celebrate the start of summer, I got up early today, dug out the pinkest of summer dresses from the depth of my wardrobe, chucked on some sunglasses and made some summery plans. We have the boy's mum to stay with us for a few days from tomorrow, so I've booked some time off work and plan to take her to Kew Gardens or Windsor Castle, together other summertime pursuits involving beer gardens, late dinners sitting outside, parks, walks and ice cream purchases.

But hey, that's tomorrow. It's sunny today. And I'm looking forward to meeting my pal Emma for lunch - sitting in the sunshine, smoking and catching up over rose (the summery-est of summer drinks). Tonight we have a work party, which I've petitioned to have in a beer garden. Who knows, by tomorrow my normal pasty hue might be replaced with a slight tan. I can only hope.