Archive | January, 2012

10 songs

27 Jan

My love of making strange and pointless lists as well as another current blogging trend, have led me to make a list of the ten songs I love and why. This is just a bit of fun that has no actual purpose, but mind you we could make the same comment in regards to most of the societies entertainment pursuits. So here they are….my ten songs.

Everyone loves music!

1. The Corrs- Summer Sunshine

The most cheerful song I have ever encountered that never fails to have me bouncing and laughing down the street like some bizzare lunatic on day release. Obviously a great time to listen to it is in the summer, however if you are like me and have never followed convention (for example I often listen to Christmas songs in March) then its worth listening to in the Winter, it always reminds me that the damp greyness is on its way out and summer is on the way in!

2. The Proclaimers- I’m on my way

I listen to music a lot, particularly when I’m stressed and need a bit of escapism or some motivation. This song was played a lot throughout my time at uni when I was swamped with multiple deadlines because it kept me motivated to keep on trudging through, its steady beat, lovely Scottish accents and lyrics reminds you that you have to keep on moving on to the next thing.

3.  Sonny J- Can’t stop moving

Keeping with the theme of motivation and moving, this is the song to listen to! Whenever I listen to it, it just injects me with energy and enthusiasm for whatever I happen to be doing at the time.

4. Elvis Costello- She

Personally I think this is the most beautiful romantic love song of all time. You may have seen it in Notting Hill? Well the lyrics are beautiful and I don’t think there’s a girl alive who wouldn’t want the kind of love that Elvis sings about. It literally defines the way love should be! Well for me anyway!

5. Noisettes- Wild Young Hearts 

This song is one of my favourites that is great to just walk along the street to when your feeling a bit depressed, it always puts a spring in my step and I think has a kind of bitter-sweetness to it that reflects life.

6. Pixie Lott- Broken Arrow

An amazing song to listen to if you’ve ever had a rough break up or bad past relationship that is affecting your future, I think a lot of people could relate to at least some of the elements within this song. It’s a bit different from the music Pixie usually produces, sort of darker but that’s what I like about it. Have a listen, you’ll relate.

7. Lonestar- Amazed 

Another amazing love song that I’ll never stop listening to, just like ‘She’ it really defines love for me. I adore the whole country aspect of the song, if this song fails to move you then you have to be a robot! It’s no wonder that so many couples choose this particular song for their weddings, instant romance for 4 minutes!

8. Sarah Mclachlan- Full of Grace

I think of this song as a real undiscovered gem, that is so full of emotion, I listened to it a lot in my ‘black eyeliner emo’ phase (hasn’t everyone been through that phase at some point?) Its beautiful, full of angst, pain and hope, not one to listen to if you want cheering up but great for reflecting and communicating feelings. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it always meant a lot to me personally, growing up through my teen years

9. Evanescence- Call me when your sober, Hello (in fact all their songs)

I know I’m only meant to choose one song, but all of Evanescence’s songs are amazing! I’ve spent a lot of my years growing up singing them at the top of my voice, whilst my mum would bang on the ceiling. Amy Lee has such a powerful hypnotic voice and sings with a lot of passion. If you’ve never had a listen to Evanescence then you’ve really missed out.

10. Michael Buble – Save the last dance for me (in fact again pretty much all of his songs)

You can’t have a list of favourite songs without Michael Buble, one of the sexiest singers alive that also has a wonderful stage presence. Save the last dance is a favourite of mine, whenever I hear it I just want to get up and throw myself around the room in what I call dancing, and others have yet to find a name for.

So there they are, a pointless list of the ten songs always reoccurring on my Ipod ‘most played’ list, feeling a bit bored? (As I was when this was written?) Have a listen and see if you’ve discovered a new favourite! Or why not make a list of your own, you’ll be surprised how the music you listen to reflects the person you are. (God knows what these songs indicate about me then!)

Happy listening!

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War Horse: A beautiful story from a tragic era

18 Jan

Going to see War Horse was inevitable from the minute I saw the trailer, I love horses, I use to ride myself and I think that these genres of film are important to watch, as we should never forget the horrifying events of both world wars, this film had already captivated me before I even made it to the cinema, the trailer alone was that fantastic. I’ve never seen the play (much to my regret I imagine it was a wonderful production) but I’m sure the film lives up to the productions and novels glory.

When my lovely friend Kayla suggested we go to the cinema for an evening out it was between The Sitter and War Horse, well the choice was obvious…rubbishy innuendo filled comedy? Or beautifully crafted movie presenting an epic part of British history? I was slightly hesitant to see War Horse at the cinema as I knew I was in for a bit of a tear jerking few hours with lots of screeching actors, however I was pleasantly surprised. Instead of the usual wailing dramatics that I’ve seen before in films trying to portray heartbreak and horror, War Horse presented poignant sorrow and silent sentimentality, pride, dignity, hope and courage. I found this to be far more effective as in real life we don’t go running around wailing our emotions, and the mark of a wonderful actor is to present emotions to an audience just as clearly but without the banshee method. Well that’s exactly what you’ll get with War Horse, a lot of attention and care has gone into this film.

Directed by Steven Spielberg War Horse features the story of Albert Narracott who experiences love at first sight when he sees a young colt, later when his father buys the colt at the market even though he needed a plough horse, to spite his greedy landlord who was also bidding, Albert is delighted and promises his furious mother that he will raise the horse and make him useful.

Albert names the young colt Joey and the two form an unshakeable bond of friendship and love that is put to the test, when Joey is sold by Albert’s father to save the farm, to a young cavalry soldier about to enter into the fray of the First World War. Albert swears that when he becomes of age he will join the army and be reunited with Joey again, no matter how long it takes and how far he has to go. 

I must say that this is one of the few films that can truly be described as ‘beautiful’ from the filming locations to the acting everything about it is stunning, quite a few high-profile actors made their appearances, I was particularly delighted to see Benedict Cumberbatch from the BBC’s Sherlock who is an amazing actor (and my latest celebrity crush, he has lovely cheekbones, delicious!) and David Kross from the award-winning The Reader.

Another wonderful thing I thought War Horse highlighted was the sacrifices that the horses made in the first World War, around ten million horses were estimated to have been killed overall, one million from the UK alone with only 62,000 of those horses returning, most killed either in cavalry charges, exhaustion or for meat when the war concluded. The pain and suffering of these poor courageous animals deserving as much honour and remembrance as the men who died, War Horse finally gives them their just tribute.

So take some time out of your week to go see War Horse, and become immersed in the amazing story of two friends that even a war which turned the world upside down, was unable to keep apart.

The girl with the dragon tattoo

15 Jan

Its been a long time since I have graced the cinema, and there have been quite a few films recently released that I have been dying to see, I didn’t choose to see The girl with the dragon tattoo, I never read the series of books (much to my dismay I never got round to it) but for the first time in a long time despite the fact that it may not have been my first choice, I left the cinema feeling like it was ‘money well spent.’

So the film stars Daniel Craig as disgraced publisher Mikael Blomkvist who through his naivety prints a story without the firm evidence to back up his claims, and is now being sued for hundreds of thousands in libel court by the sinister billionaire and industrialist Hans-Erik Wennerström. With his career in tatters and his bank balance worse, when the mysterious Henrik Vanger calls and asks him to investigate the unsolved death of his niece Harriet which Vanger has been searching for an answer to for the past 36 years, Blomkvist cannot refuse, particularly when Vanger offers him the key to bringing down Weenerstrom should he discover the truth. Meanwhile Lisbeth (the girl with the dragon and a few other tattoos besides) a freelance surveillance agent and researcher, specializing in investigating people on behalf of Milton Security, is struggling with a new guardian who controls her finances due to the state believing her to be ‘mentally incompetent’ and ‘asocial.’

Blomkvist and Lisbeth come together through the desire to solve the ever-growing and deadly mystery of Harriet’s death, and race against time to find an answer as they find their lives under threat. I won’t spoil the film any further for potential viewers but its safe to say that this movie has some plot twists in store for you!

The girl with the dragon tattoo is a gripping mystery that certainly had me on the edge of my seat, I found myself without realising it, drawn in and engrossed in the story line, forming opinions of my own on who killed Harriet which is always the mark of a good movie and also finding a new heroine in Lisbeth, who overcomes adversity that would have crushed some one less than herself. I do have to warn viewers that this film is a bit graphic with the scenes of sexual violence, its 18 for a reason, the scenes were disturbing and had me turning away, so in that sense this film is not for everyone. In fact a little trivia, the films sexual violence themes emerged from the late Stieg Larsson’s guilt of witnessing a gang rape at 15 and not being able to help the victim, who was named Lisbeth (our punky heroine.)

In conclusion, this film is certainly an excellent mystery thriller that will keep you guessing to the very end, having never read the books I can’t comment on whether the film stays true to them, but I can’t see how any of Larsson’s fans could be disappointed leaving the cinema. Go see it and allow yourself to be whisked away into a world of intrigue and deadly secrets, that results in a shocking and disturbing finale.

Things I wish I had realised in my teens

1 Jan

Recently there seems to be a new craze for bloggers everywhere, which is writing a letter to their younger selves about things they wish they could change and wish they had done ect. Despite the whole dwelling on past regrets element of the project, which somewhat puts me off slightly (as I think dwelling on past mistakes is a pointless endeavour) I actually think its has the potential to be a fairly hilarious idea (maybe that’s just specific to me, since my teen years were kind of agonizingly embarrassing in a funny way)

So since it’s the new year and everyone is reflecting on 2011 and how to make 2012 even better, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane and make a list (I don’t do letters, my teen self would never have read them)of some of the concepts I wished I had grasped in my teen years.

1. Wearing a very baggy scruffy mens sized Reebok jumper over every pair of trousers because your self conscious, is not going to hide you or help with body confidence issues, in fact it’s going to draw attention and gain you some horrible nicknames when walking home from school from some very mean older boys. Dress like a girl and how you want!

2. Don’t spend hours every night practising how to make a Scoubidou key chain so you can plait plastic strips together with the other girls at lunch, so you don’t look dumbfounded as they do it effortlessly and your left with bunch of knotted plastic, you’d be much better off focusing your efforts on maths revision. It’s a total fad.

Years on from then and I still can't make one now to save my life

3. Instead of being a goody-goody all the time, rebel and get told off, enjoy the time in your life allotted for being reckless instead of worrying about being perfect and the future consequences of misbehaviour.

4. Thick black eyeliner only on the bottom lids that looks like its been drawn on with a crayon….? No…just…no…foundation to cover up the constant blushing red-faced look? That would have been better.

5. Tell the boy you are crushing on that you like him! What could be the harm he can only say no!

6. Double maths on a Tuesday with Mr Thomas is not as you dramatically put it ‘hell on earth’ in fact he isn’t trying to torture and humiliate you, but help you avoid using a calculator for the rest of your adult life.

7. Don’t shop for your summer ball dress the day before summer ball….the end result will not be a pretty one.

8. Get rid of that drastically long fringe, no one can see your eyes! You look shifty!

9. Moving house and having your mum’s boyfriend moving in will not be the end of the world.

10. Spend more time with your family and appreciate them more, your time with them is finite

11. Buy yourself a decent pair of earplugs while you have the money, as Aaron is going to develop a taste for playing drum and bass all hours of the day and night at top volume and you’ll be close to deafness by twenty-one.

12.What seems like the end of the world now, is only a passing thing, it’s never the end of the world, things carry on…there’s always going to be a tomorrow.

13. Speak out and enjoy drama classes more, your classmates are not going to be horrible and laugh at you.

14. Don’t keep worrying about what other people think about you and how to please them.

15. Do not trust Bethan Gray with your poetry note-book, she will write ‘I love Mr Norris’ all over it and she will ink ‘Edna Mole’ all over your arms if you don’t start wearing sleeves. (Sorry Beth had to put it 🙂 )

16. It really doesn’t matter who gets to be Baby Spice , Claire from Steps or Rachel from S Club 7 in the playground, soon everyone’s going to want to be Rihanna

These are just a few of the funny little things I wish I had realised when I was a teenager. No doubt that when I make it to forty I’ll be making a list of things I wish I had realised when I was twenty-one, but that’s the beauty of life it’s always easier with hindsight!

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