Monday, 2 April 2018

Things I Read In March

March! Twas the month without chocolate, defined mostly by anticipation- anticipation for being able to eat what I want again, but mostly anticipation for the BEST PLANS in April. Picture this: I don't have a full week of work in April, the coming week of 4 days is my longest work week in April. I've got, in date order: a day with my best friend, a Studio Ghibli cinema trip, my birthday, HAMILTON and Naples all to do this month. Is it any wonder that I basically just wanted March to be OVER?

I think March knew that, and made me see it out with a cold. THANKS, MARCH. *coughs and sneezes and uses like 50 tissues an hour*

Reading though! I did a load of it in March, although it feels like I didn't dedicate that much time to it, other than on Good Friday where I basically read all day. March has mainly been spent watching Call Me By Your Name because I have ISSUES, so it should be no surprise that I bought the book on the last day of the month. Expect me to have read it by the end of April, cause I can barely contain myself. In March, though, I read the following:
PLUS another book on my Kindle! Which obviously I needed because 10 wasn't enough...

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
I pretty much wanted to read this because both Lena Dunham and Greta Gerwig cited it as an inspiration for their work, and having read it, I fully get it. The Dud Avocado follows a woman who doesn't follow rules, who barely knows who she is or what the hell she's doing, which is completely a thing in women led narratives today (and I love it) but which must have been fairly revolutionary in the 50s when (I believe) this was written. Basically this is the book version of everything I like in TV and movies at the moment as a 20-something woman who doesn't know what she's doing like, at all, so of course I loved it. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
As already reviewed, I found this book pretty meh. I wanted to love it, and admired its attempts at talking about philosophy and art and other things that I like, but oh man, it could have been so much better.

Jane Austen: The Secret Radical by Helena Kelly
This book was so goooood. I am looking at all of the books I've read this month, and all of them honestly deserve full on reviews, but this one was especially interesting and compelling, especially for literary criticism. The premise of this book is that Jane Austen has hidden various political and sociological issues in each of her novels, and whether or not I believe that's the case (it's a... maybe, from me), Kelly's arguments are airtight, and utterly convincing. This book is worth reading if you're even a little bit interested in lit crit, Austen, or 18th-19th Century social issues (yep, I said it).

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide
I... Don't even remember this book, if I'm honest. I know there was a guy and his wife and a cat and... Honestly, I don't really know. I'm sure it was fine, but in a month so packed with reading, it sort of blended into the background. Side note: I made a real effort to read lots of ladies this month, so the fact that this was forgettable and by a man makes me oddly... gleeful. *feminist cackles*

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
I read this in anticipation of the film, which came out this month (it was only ok), and I really liked it. I get that it's a children's book, so I read it with that in mind, not expecting it to contain any really deep messages- which it didn't, really, but that's fine! I was in love with the girl heroine, I loved the Mrs Ws and it managed to be exciting and adventurous and then kind of moving at the end. Basically, I'm glad I have found it because would I like my super imaginary children to read this? Yes. Yes I would.

Girl Up by Laura Bates
My excellent friend Bex bought this for me for Christmas, and I LOVE IT. Just as a start, the endpapers are filled with dancing vaginas, but this book is a lot more interesting than that. It's pretty much aimed at teens, which means that there were parts that I didn't really feel were relevant to me, but I could be one step removed from that and just marvel at how useful this book really could be. It's not the book I need, but it's kind of the book I wish I'd written, in many ways. It should, I think, be recommended reading for all teens, all women who may need it, and ok, yeah, shall we say all people, just to be on the safe side? Ok, good.

Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen
Oh hey, I managed to review this too! This was honestly too fabulous, I'm desperate for Shen to write about a million more books (and I'm in luck, at least a little, cause her new book is out this month!) and YAY women (the theme for this month, ya know?)

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
I've got to get this off my chest- I hate when books are written in dialect. This book was moving and really depicted the struggle of an African-American woman with a dearth of choices in the early 20th Century. I get why it's a classic, and the end is SO SAD. But my god, the dialect. THE DIALECT. It was pretty off putting, especially at the start, and I did kind of get used to it- I just didn't like it.

Eat Up! by Ruby Tandoh
This book was fabulous. I love books written about food that aren't strictly recipe books (although I like those too) and this one really rivalled Nigel Slater's food writing for me, which trust me, is the highest praise. Tandoh's mission, I think, is to make people love food, to not feel bad about what they choose to eat but to appreciate food for what it does for us- not just physically, but mentally. To not feel bad for eating junk food occasionally, but to understand that we ate it because it's what we needed, at that time. To never feel guilty, in fact, for eating exactly what we want, in a world which tells us to do the exact opposite. This book is pretty much a call to arms to defend eating what we want, and baby, I'm ready to join that army.

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
Maybe Eat Up! had a lingering effect on me, but I sort of hated this book, which amounted, pretty much, to a fat shaming piece of crap. I'm not sure why I bought this after my bleugh feels about We Need To Talk About Kevin (must have been a kindle daily deal), but this book, which was basically a sister talking about how fat her brother was for pages and pages and pages. We get it, Lionel, morbid obesity is a big (ha) problem, but my GOD. The message is pretty much as drawn out as possible in this book. Let's just never speak of this again, because it really didn't have anything interesting to say.

Lamb by Christopher Moore
I wanted to read this for Easter Week because sometimes I like to theme my reading, and it was a solid choice. The idea of the book is that Christ's bestie (who isn't really mentioned in the Bible?) has been brought back from the dead to tell the New Testament story from his perspective. It's not the tale as we know it, but it manages to stay weirdly respectful (in this more-or-less atheist's opinion) to the story of Christ, just with an added 30 years or so in between. It's funny and actually an interesting interpretation of Jesus's 'lost years', and Biff (Jesus's bestie) is a super charismatic guy. I liked it a lot, basically, and enjoyed that I finished it on Good Friday because, you know, relevant.

I'm so sorry, that was such a long reading month! But a pretty good one, as you can see. Lest I forget, the Monthly Motif challenge though! The prompt for April is Read Locally - Read a book set in your country, state, town, village (or has a character from your home town, country etc). I have chosen (drumroll please):
At Home by Bill Bryson! It's a history of the home, essentially, and mostly based in England so pretty much fits the criteria we're looking for here. I did start reading this in March, which I'm sure breaks some kind of rules or something but I don't caaaaaare! I'm liking it so far, which is a good sign that I'm going to want to read all of the 600+ pages (oy vey, Bill).

And that is me, sorry I stole all of your life there. How about you? What did you read in March?

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Devouring Books: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

The Elegance of the Hedgehog has been lurking on my shelves for years and years. I can't even remember buying it (although that's the case with many of my books if I'm being completely honest), and I have even lent it to a friend since owning it and GOTTEN IT BACK (this never happens- either the lending or the getting it back!) Still, I only read it as my Monthly Motif book for March, and after all this time, what did I think?

...Meh.

In many ways, it's like The Elegance of the Hedgehog was written for me. It's about feeling like a misfit because you appreciate art and philosophy and books, and to some extent about those things too. The book has two narrators- a concierge of a Parisian apartment building, who hides her intellectual leanings from her more 'learned' neighbours; and a depressed 12 year old who is, to her mind, too smart to live, and plans to kill herself on her 13th birthday. Yeah.

There are good things about this book. I like the idea of learning for yourself, and then keeping that learning (mostly) to yourself- the idea of knowledge for it's own sake is pretty appealing to me, the person who took Japanese lessons for no real reason. I also really like the Japanese neighbour (you will know what I'm talking about if you've read this, I reckon), and I had no problem getting through it. I feel as though I'm struggling to find nice things to say about it, even though as I was reading it, I was having a pretty good time! I think that distance has made me, well. A little eye-rolly about it all.

Here's the thing. This book has a character who is TWELVE but wants to die cause the world is so, like prosaic and no one is smart enough for her and I don't know, probably other reasons. I had a hard time relating to her, not because suicide isn't a serious thing to deal with, but because SHE'S TWELVE. I had a hard time believing in her death wish, not even really because of her age, but because her 'reasons' were a little ridiculous. Try living a little, then come and see me, ok hun?

My other issue with the book is its pace. It clearly sets up the concierge and the teen as counterparts, misunderstood in different ways but both equally as intelligent. IT TAKES SO LONG TO GET THEM TOGETHER, and by then the book is basically over and so we don't really get to see their relationship grow. The ending annoyed me, but what especially annoyed me was that it assumes a deeper relationship between the two than we actually see happen in the book. Had they hung out more throughout the novel, I feel as though I would have been touched deeper, and it would have better achieved what (I think) it sets out to do.

Basically, this book was fine. It just wasn't great. I probably could have picked a whole load of other books for this month's challenge theme (and, in fact, I think I've read a few that meet the 'other country' criteria!) but hey, it gets another book of my shelves, right? Right.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Sunday Sundries: Lately

Happy Sundayyyyy!

This Sunday marks the start of Daylight Savings here in the UK, which means pretty much nothing to me except that I feel kinda pissed off about that hour I've lost. It also meant that my boyfriend had to get up for work at 3.30am (which is normal) but it was actually 2.30am and I feel bad for the kid. I, on the other hand, am not looking forward to getting up at basically 5am every day now for work, but I'm sure I'll get used to it (as always) but SIGH for this week.

However, it is Easter at the end of the week, I will be able to eat chocolate again, I only have to work 4 days this week and next, so all will be well. All. Will. Be. Well.

Let's do this post, shall we? I'm going to do that thing that's a questionnaire thing, cause I am lazy and that kind of structure works well for me. BOOM, post done (nearly...)

Lately I have been...

Writing: Blog posts with more frequency, thank you for noticing! My writing has definitely tapered off since January's month of writing prompts, which was not my intention, but I'm trying to keep up with blog posts (see: this one right here!) and a few other bits of writing besides. There's this website which is routinely pretty terrible but which has a feature I love called Money Diaries, so I had a god at keeping track of everything I spent this week (described in an interesting way, is the idea) and basically I just buy a lot of diet coke, if you were wondering.


Reading: Sooooo much it's stupid. I think I finished my 10th book of March yesterday which is just ridiculous (although a lot of them have been quite short). I have literally just this morning started reading Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore because, you know, Easter, and one chapter in I like it already which is promising!

Listening: I basically just listen to 3 podcasts: The Babysitters Club Club (two guys read all the Babysitters Club books and talk about them... plus many other things. I love it), My Dad Wrote a Porno (it's... pretty much what it says on the tin. However, his dad wrote a REALLY BAD porno, and so this is basically the funniest thing in the world. Also you have probably heard of this cause it's like the most famous podcast) and Thirst Aid Kit (two women talk about men they lust after. This sounds a bit meh, but actually it's really interesting and looks at the reasoning behind desire and lots of other good things like that. Plus there is fanfic so yeah). I also basically only listen to them in the shower or while I'm doing some boring chore, but yeah. I am also starting to listen to Hamilton a lot more now because I AM GOING TO SEE THE DAMN SHOW IN 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS WUT WUT?!

Yeah, I'm excited.


Watching: Ok, basically I'm obsessed with Call Me By Your Name and I've watched it 4 times in 2 weeks. THIS IS NOT NORMAL, but I am in love so what can you do?! I don't think I've had this reaction to a film ever in my life (except maybe, weirdly, Mean Girls. Weirdly because they're so different, Mean Girls is still a fucking brilliant movie) and I just can't even cope with my feelings about it. UGH. (I just searched for gifs of the movie and now I CAN'T SPEAK)

Also I discovered the other day that the rest of season 3 of Crazy Ex Girlfriend is on Netflix now, so I am ON. IT.

Looking: For a hobby, I think. I get really bored when my fella works nights, which makes me feel a bit pathetic, so I think I need a project or a hobby or an evening class or something so I have something to do with myself. It's possible I might start learning Japanese again WHO KNOWS, but I think I need to do something. I am more telling myself this than telling you, btw.

Learning: Hmmm. What have I been learning recently? I guess most of my learning at the moment has been at my job- I kind of keep forgetting that I'm still really new, so it's a bit like 'OMG why don't I know this thing?!' BECAUSE YOU'RE REALLY NEW, DUMBASS. Working on that, ya know? It takes time.

Feeling: I'm feeling pretty good! Annoyed about my lost hour, and kind of tired but I'm feeling pretty good. Also I miss chocolate but THAT WILL BE REMEDIED next week. Next week, my pretties. (Oh hey, sponsor me here please!)
Me, next week.

Anticipating: APRILLLLLL! If I may just talk about April FOR A SECOND: I am only working for about half the month (which is obviously amazing), it's my birthday month (yay!), I am GOING TO SEE HAMILTON, and then I am going to Naples, which is my first time abroad for like NINE YEARS. Yeah, I'm excited... How much of a comedown is May going to be?! But who carrrrres, April is still to come!

Wishing: For some real spring weather! It has been cold as hell all spring whenever you think it starts, and I am so ready to just go outside without a coat on, ya know? Also I want to see some blossom so yeah. Come ON, spring!

Loving: Reading (duh) and movies and just generally absorbing so much fiction it's awesome. I have also been loving the anticipation of exciting things to come, even though I wish they were here right now, the anticipation is really top notch.

And that is me, for now. How about you?

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

The 1000th! (Devouring Books: Bad Women Throughout History by Ann Shen)

Can we just take a moment here to appreciate that this is my 1000th blog post.

That's 1000 things I had to say. 1000 times I wrote a thing about a thing to share with people. 1000 little parts of my brain whizzing out into the internet atmosphere. It took 7 years and a couple of months, and thank you guys for being along for the ride.

Now that we've marked this epic occasion, shall we talk about a book? I feel pretty lucky that I just finished a book that fits my personal brand so well, to mark my 1000th blog post (sorry, I will stop saying that soon, I swear).

TA DA!
My friend bought me Bad Girls Throughout History for my birthday last year, and it is a testament to how well she knows me that she not only bought me such a book, but also apologised that Margaret Thatcher is one of the 'bad girls' because, urgh, Thatcher...

Having said that, this book is all about women who broke down barriers and conquered new arenas for women, and I guess the first female Prime Minister pretty much qualifies for that (*glares at Thatcher in memory, though*). Fortunately for me, most of the rest of the book is bursting with women who smashed through glass ceilings AND did wonderful things, like Beatrix Potter (she left her land to the National Trust!) and Maya Angelou (she's incredible, basically) and Rosa Parks and Oprah and Dolly Parton and so many more amazing women besides.

There were so many things I loved about this book that I'm going to try and be concise for once so that I can get them all out there. Firstly, I loved the layout of the book. What you basically get is a two page spread for each woman, one which has a portrait of said woman on it, in Shen's style which I really really really love, and one which has a paragraph describing the life and achievements of said woman. It's really quick to read (I think it took me a couple of hours) but at the same time I learnt a lot about women I thought I already knew, and was introduced to many more that I didn't. Like, did you know that Marie Antoinette commissioned a female artist to paint her portraits? Or that there is a woman called Diana Nyad who was the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage? Me neither, because NOBODY TELLS WOMEN'S STORIES.

Ahem. It is clear that Shen has done her research, basically, both in choosing the women she wants to talk about, and in extracting pieces of information about them that we otherwise might not have known. One of my favourite things about this book is exactly what Shen finds remarkable about these women- there are their obvious achievements, but Shen also highlights their philanthropy, their kindness, the ways in which they helped others. Margaret Thatcher is rare in this book as a villainous kind of woman (Bonnie, of Bonnie and Clyde is also in there, I guess) because most of the women highlighted are done so for their acts of kindness, as much as their incredible achievements. Hedy Lamarr basically invented wifi and gave the patent to the US government for free, how nice is that?!

Even just from the cover, this is a beautiful book that I am pleased to own. Having now read it, I am thrilled that its insides surpass its outside, and I'm certain it's one I'll be reading over and over again, whenever the world seems like it's just too terrible for women to be in. Shen has another book, Legendary Ladies, coming out in April, which is just too exciting, but also from interviews I've read with her (literally just after finishing this book, because that's what I do when I love something) it seems like she could easily do another volume of this book with more incredible women. If she does, I know I have a few nominees of my own...

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Sunday Sundries: Spring (?) Reads

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I am in the midst of my usual Sunday R & R (i.e. not getting dressed until the afternoon, and sitting in bed a lot) but this week I feel as though I have an excuse because it is FREEZING outside (and, I might add, inside) and there is snow on the ground. It is March 18th, what has happened, is the world insane etc etc (obviously yes is the answer to that last part).

I have a constant argument with my boyfriend that flares up every thirteen weeks or so about the definition of the seasons. I prefer the meterological seasons that correspond with ACTUAL WEATHER PATTERNS that say spring begins on March 1st (then summer on June 1st, autumn on September 1st, and winter on December 1st), whereas he prefers to go by the equinoxes and solstices because, I don't know, pagan? Annoyingly, in the case of this spring, I can only agree with his definition, and hope that Tuesday will genuinely bring the start of spring.

On that note, and with a great deal of hopefulness, here are my possible potential maybe reads for spring!
These are the books that I intend to read specifically, so much so that they are moving next to my bed. I may/probably will read other things, either alongside or instead of these because I am a disloyal reader, let's face it. Let's take a closer look at these, shall we?

NW by Zadie Smith: Reading Zadie's books stresses me out because she hasn't written that many and I only discovered her last year and WAH. In order to chill the fuck out about this, I'm going to read another one of her books. That THAT, me.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: This book keeps popping up into my line of sight every so often, but I still don't really know what it's about? I'm going to remedy that in the near future.

Lamb by Christopher Moore: Is there a better time to read a book about Jesus (kinda...) than Easter? I think not.

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami: I haven't read a book by Murakami all year, which is obviously ridiculous, so here is the remedy to that. I believe this is short stories, but I made this pile so long ago now that I can't say for sure. Regardless, it's Murakami so it basically has to be good, right?

Human Acts by Han Kang: I really enjoyed The Vegetarian last year, so hoping for similarly excellent things from this one by Kang. It gets bonus points for not being too heavy to carry round with me.

At Home by Bill Bryson: This one I cannot carry round with me, but I miss Bill so it seems like a good time to read At Home. At home, obviously.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton: I have had this book for the longest time and I really need to read some of the classics that I always buy, so I guess I'll start with Edith. I have read none of her books ever, so this will either be a horrible slog or a pleasant surprise!

The Collected Stories by T. Coraghessan Boyle: I really prefer when he goes by T C Boyle... Anyway... I have had this on my shelves for approximately as long as I had Talk Talk, so seizing on the excellence that was that book, I'm going to tackle this one soon too. Short stories ftw, amiright?

The Nagano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami: As with Kang, I read one of Kawakami's books last year and it was very moving and lovely so I'm hoping for great things from this one too.

The Homemaker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher: It's a persephone book and therefore has to be good! The end.

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer: I wish I knew how to quit JSF, but his prose keeps me coming back even when I am really not into his narrative. I'm hoping here he has perfected the latter, WE SHALL SEE.

And those are pretty much my plans. At my current rate of reading these will take about a month and a half, so it's not my whole spring, but still. It's a start.

Have you read any of these? And what are your thoughts on the start date of spring? You gotta tell me, but only if you agree with meeeeeee.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Oscar Nominees: My Verdict

Oh good, a topical post! I realise that the Oscars were a week and a half ago now, but I only saw the last of the nominees for best movie Oscar (that I'm going to see) last week, so really I couldn't have written this post before now. Or, I could have but it still would have been after the Oscars and also I saw three movies last week like what even is my life?

Anyway. Since I have seen, over the last couple of months (apart from Get Out which I saw last year!), 7 of the 9 best picture Oscar nominees (which must be my personal record), I thought I'd give my two cents regarding how I felt about each of them. Did The Shape of Water deserve to win? Was Phantom Thread TERRIBLE? All shall be revealed...

And so, in order of favourites, we have:

7. Phantom Thread: I hated this film so much. I hated it so much that I wrote a really angry review of it on the bus on the way home, but I could never be bothered to type it up and so here we are. Did I decide to write this post mainly so I could tell the world how much I hate Phantom Thread? Maybe a bit. I essentially have a thing where I compare ridiculously overrated things to the Emperors New Clothes (weirdly apt because this is a movie about a tailor..? I don't know, I'm probably reaching here), and I honestly believe that critics have all convinced themselves that this was good because... it's so horrible? Because they're all scared to look stupid? I don't know what it is, but this film is not good. There is no narrative, I thought the soundtrack was awful, and WTF even is this film?! I love you, Daniel Day Lewis, but why do you make me sit through movies like this? WHY?!

See Also: There Will Be Blood.

6. The Post: This movie was so dull. I can't even tell you. Meryl Streep was great as always, but in my opinion the focus of the movie was so wrong, it was weirdly lumpy and uninteresting and there was so much fake drama, and am I allowed to say I really don't like Steven Spielberg's directing? Because I really don't, especially not in this context. I think there was enough material here that this could have been a good movie if it had had a good script and better direction (because how can Meryl and Hanks go wrong?!) but unfortunately it didn't and it wasn't.

5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: I ugly cried in this movie because there's a really moving event in the first... I'm gonna say third, but apart from that I had a lot of problems with it. I think it's really a skill to make a movie about a grieving mother where none of the characters were likeable, but this film manages to do it, somehow. It's ridiculously forgiving of racism and arson and fucking throwing a human out of a window (yes, that happens) and I just... didn't really like it? I keep describing it as a nasty little film, because that's how all of the characters felt to me, and I didn't really care if any of them succeeded. Maybe that's the point, but films work a lot better for me when I have someone to root for.

Here is where I pause, because those three were the worst of it. I didn't see The Darkest Hour or Dunkirk because snore snore WWII snore, haven't we done all of that already? (I respect remembering the war etc, but, seriously, I do believe there are enough WWII films in the world already, and I don't want to watch any of them, except The Sound of Music). I'm pausing because I loved the other 4 nominees. They're all films I would watch over and over again, and two of them I have already watched twice (in the space of a week, i.e. I watched them both twice in a week). Ranking these, therefore, is fairly arbitrary, but I'll try to give some gentle reasons why I have done so.

4. The Shape of Water: I loved The Shape of Water. I have no hard feelings for it winning the Oscar, and I almost feel bad for putting it so low down, but the other films are just so good! This was completely beautiful and moving (more ugly crying), and it just looked so damn attractive. I enjoyed every second of it, and I think it's my least favourite of my favourite 4 just because I feel like in some ways it was kind of... normal. Which is a weird thing to say, but in some of the scenes, if you took out the period costumes and the beautiful staging, there's just a bad guy beating some guy up. It's gorgeous, though, and I was so surprised and pleased at how romantic it was. Am I into fish monsters too? Mebbe.

3. Get Out: THIS IS SO HARD. I guess Get Out (which I saw THREE TIMES in the cinema last year, YES I really loved it) isn't higher because it didn't make me cry- I didn't really have strong emotions for it in a gut sense, I just adored it for its storytelling and thrilling-ness and FUCK it is so good. Also terrifying- I still can't listen to Run, Rabbit because of it, and before I moved house and used to walk down my tree lined street at night, my brain liked to freak me out by singing it to me. THANKS BRAIN. Basically, Get Out got under my skin in the best way, and it's really an incredible film. I was disappointed in a lot of ways that it didn't get more recognition, awards wise, but for a horror film to get nominated at all speaks volumes about how incredible it is. I hope you've seen it by now, but fucking watch it if you haven't!

2. Lady Bird: This was the hardest choice of all. I waited for Lady Bird to come out for the longest time, I love and adore Greta Gerwig (who should have clearly won Best Director, FIGHT ME) and I fully expected it to be my favourite movie of awards season. We'll discuss why not in a minute, but firstly, Lady Bird. Oh, I loved Lady Bird. Lady Bird is a realistic teen movie (if you will), I defy teenage girls who are even a little bit interesting to watch it and not recognise themselves in Lady Bird. My friend watched this and cried, I watched this and was too happy to cry- there was just a sense of like joy bubbling in me as I watched this brilliant film being brilliant and wondered why there aren't more movies telling women's stories. Lady Bird is everything I was hoping it would be, and please watch it if you get the chance.

1. Call Me By Your Name: I wasn't expecting Call Me By Your Name at all. Firstly I wasn't expecting to see it at all, since it kept being shown at about 11am and I have a full time job, but I also wasn't expecting it to have such an effect on me. I definitely wasn't expecting a movie that I'm not sure even passes the Bechdel Test (*thinks* ok, it maaaybe does, just about) to be my favourite of Oscar season, and dare I say one of my favourite movies ever, but there we go, life is full of surprises. Call Me By Your Name really snuck up on me- about half an hour in, I wasn't sure I was exactly enjoying myself, but after a certain point I realised that I wasn't really watching a film anymore, but I was living through it. I still don't know how it was done, but my heart both soared with joy and clenched with despair during this film, and I still can't get it out of my head. And yes, there was a lot more ugly crying. I apparently can't get enough of a doomed love story, especially a gay one (see also, Brokeback Mountain) and I truly can't get enough of a movie that is shot as beautifully as this one. It took me two and a half days after seeing it before ordering the DVD, and another day before watching it, so yeah, you could say I have a little thing for it. And I really think you would too.

And that, my friends, was my Oscar season. Please do not believe that I am a majillionaire because I could afford to see all of these films, I am merely the proud holder of an Odeon Limitless card (one where you can see as many films as you want for a monthly rate- I'm sure your cinema calls it something different). I wish this was an ad, but it's not, it's more just a recommendation to get oneeee because they are amazing and mine has allowed me to see so many brilliant films that I wouldn't have been able to afford to see otherwise. Now, if you'll excuse me, I must go and watch Call Me By Your Name for the 50th time *whispers* Elio, Elio, Elio, Elio...


Sunday, 11 March 2018

Sunday Sundries: So... Many... Movies...

Happy Sunday, Folks! This is a little later in the day than I usually like to write my Sunday posts, so those Monday blues are hitting me HARD, so I'm going to make this briefer than usual (I know, you're welcome) and then go and eat toast and watch Call Me By Your Name (about which, more on Wednesday...)

So, this week! It was alright. The weather, at least was, behaving itself, work was fine, and I had an equal number of cinema visits and hospital visits, and I don't even know if that balances each other out or what to be honest. What I do know is that it made my working hours confusing this week- for example, I had to leave at 1pm on Monday to go to a check up, and then on Wednesday had to leave for a couple of hours in the middle of the day, and then I had to make those times up and basically I didn't know if I was coming or going all week!*

Because I knew that I was going to have to work quite late a couple of days, I booked a couple of movies in for Wednesday and Thursday, and then on Tuesday I finally got the chance to see Call Me By Your Name so I watched that too (my friend was meant to join me but couldn't make it in the end, but I was quite grateful for that in the end because of the ugly crying). Basically, what I'm saying is that I wasn't at home much this week, which was fine and great and also very tiring. I think I slept for about 11 hours on Friday night...

I'm pretty sure that Call Me By Your Name has ruined me for all other movies and visual arts for a little while, because I didn't really love the other two movies I watched after it (I, Tonya, and Red Sparrow which is actually appalling, and not even for the rape part). I also, yesterday, went to the theatre with my mum and sister for our Christmas present from my dad to see Everybody's Talking About Jamie, and I kind of didn't like that either? I don't know, it's just that I'm usually fairly easy going and pleased with musicals because I don't really expect them all to be Les Mis or Hamilton (WHICH I AM SEEING IN 5 WEEKS) but I felt pretty eh about all of it except Jamie's mum who I could write pages and pages about she is amazing and also made me cry a little. Basically, it was fine, just not amazing like I wanted it to be. AM I TOO DEMANDING? Well, maybe.

Which brings us to today, which is Mother's Day here in the UK. My mum is amazing all the time, and even this week has been extra especially amazing by ferrying me from work, to the hospital, and back again, all in record time! After a stop at the hospital for my boyfriend this time today (he has a bad back and wanted to see if anything could be done, in case you were wondering [it couldn't really, in case you were wondering that too]) we went to see my mama and just generally thank her for being wonderful. She's so wonderful that she even made the food for today, and ugh, she's just the best.

Ahem. And yeah, that was the week in short. This week I'm planning to spend a lot more time at home after work rather than at the Odeon, and to cook more (at all) rather than buying food out to... pretty much eat in the cinema. Yeah, I have a varied and exciting life, what of it?! How about you?




*Hospital update: In case you were worrying, I'm fine really, I just have another ovarian cyst that I may have to have removed just like in October 2016 which I can't remember if I even blogged about, mostly because boring health boring boring, but also because I wasn't blogging that much at the time anyway. But yeah, maybe another one of those at some point this year, which frankly, I do not really have time for, because remember THREE WEDDINGS.