I Watched That 015

Ludicrously, I’m still harbouring hopes of eventually catching up with my film round-ups. I know that it doesn’t matter if I don’t write them, but there’s a part of me that desperately wants to. These are films I saw in April, so that should give you some idea of just how behind I am. We’ll see how it goes between now and the end of the year!

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Watching a film like this is always accompanied by a fear that it can’t possibly live up to expectations. Ultimately, though I don’t think it’s as good as its predecessor, it met and exceeded my expectations. All the usual interplay between the characters is there to see and enjoy, with some genuine laugh out loud moments. With such a large cast, there’s always the worry that someone will get sidelined, but somehow Joss Whedon juggles this with aplomb. Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye is given room to shine especially, and the introduction of Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch is a great addition to an already amazing character roster.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

This was a film that I found on iPlayer, somewhere I always forget to check for film options. It was my second Keanu Reeves film in quick succession; for someone that I profess not to be a huge fan of, I certainly enjoyed him in both John Wick and this. It’s a film about a mid-life crisis; Pippa Lee is married to an older man, and together they move to a retirement community. Pippa is played excellently by Robin Wright in the present day, and possibly even more excellently by Blake Lively in flashback, both part of an excellent cast that includes Julianne Moore, Monica Bellucci, Maria Bello, and Alan Arkin, amongst others.


I loved The Duff. I’m a sucker for a high school comedy, and this had everything a good film like this needs; an ugly duckling main character, a villainous bitch, a good looking love interest, and a hook. In the case of The DUFF, the hook is that in every group of friends there is a ‘DUFF’, a Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Totally awful, of course, but Mae Whitman’s character fulfils the role of the DUFF, and once she realises it, it hits her confidence, and the only way back is under the tutelage of the good looking boy next door. The outcome is exactly what you expect it to be, but it’s a fun journey to get there; and it made me laugh out loud on several occasions.


Say Anything

Say Anything is a film that I have always felt I should have watched; as a romantic comedy fan, there are some films that you need in your back catalogue, and the iconic Say Anything is one of them. It totally lived up to its reputation; John Cusack is perfect as perpetual underachiever Lloyd Dobler; surely he has to be one of the best romantic leads in a film ever?

Empire Records

True story – I started watching Empire Records in 2000, and it only took fifteen years to finish watching it! I watched it in a class at school, and we only saw about an hour of it, but I never got around to watching it in full until I was having one of those weekends where I was watching just about everything Netflix has to offer. It’s a load of rubbish, of course; a fairly decent cast is given nothing to do except portray fairly hateful characters.


Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

I watched this in the middle of a weekend long Netflix binge, and though it was a perfectly enjoyable film, it wasn’t all that memorable, seven months later now I’m coming to write about it. Michael Cera and Kat Dennings are engaging in the lead roles, though Dennings is always a little too ironic for my liking. I’m a fan of an off-beat teen drama, and that’s exactly what this is; I’m just not sure that I’d rush to watch it again.


Stuck in Love

As far as romantic comedies go, this is one that I enjoyed a lot, so much so that I’ve actually watched it again since. It’s basically the story of a family, and how they are, indeed, stuck in love in one way or another. The divorce of Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly’s characters happens prior to the story’s beginning, and we see how it has affected both them and their teenage children, played by Lily Collins and Nat Wolff. I think I could watch Greg Kinnear do just about everything, and he’s delightful here; not a straight-forwardly likeable chap, by any means, but it’s Greg Kinnear, so what does it matter?

Photo an Hour #28

I can’t believe I’m up to 28 Photo an Hour posts! It never gets boring for me, and I do truly love doing it as a part of the group. I feel as though I’ve got to know some lovely people through Photo an Hour, and I really look forward to seeing everyone’s photos every month. A special mention for Kerri from Crumbs in the Bed who last month snuck in a little photo of a marriage proposal at 3pm! I managed to miss it because I was so bad at reading last month’s posts, but I spotted it last week – massive congratulations to Kerri and Kris!

So this month’s designated day for Photo an Hour found me doing not an awful lot. I feel as though I haven’t had a weekend ‘off’ for ages – since the middle of October I’ve had something planned for at least one day of every weekend. Of course, other than one of those weekends, all of this stuff has been fun, social plans, but it did get to the point where I just felt like I needed a weekend off. And that happened to be this weekend, finally.

0900 1000

9am | A very grey and wet day had me thinking how nice it would be to stay in bed and read all day!

10am | But I wanted to have a look around some charity shops, so Hannah and I headed into Sudbury for a potter.

1100 1200

11am | We popped into the church for a look at a little craft fair, and the stained glass window was nice, so I tried to snap a picture. Not a great one, unfortunately!

12pm | Despite telling myself that I definitely, definitely have enough books, I couldn’t resist these four in some of the charity shops we looked around.

1300 1400

1pm | We stopped for some lunch in a pub, and I asked for a diet lemonade. When I was told that they didn’t have any, I said, “Oh, diet coke then please.” Then I got this. Clearly a normal lemonade. This kind of thing happens to me far more often than the average person, I’m sure.

2pm | Not the sexiest of stationery shots, but we were in Staples, the least sexy stationery shop.

1500 1600

3pm | Watching Star Wars. I didn’t let on when I posted the photo, but it was Episode 1. I know, I know. But I want to do a full rewatch before The Force Awakens, and I can’t watch the original trilogy first, because if I do, I’ll never watch the prequels.

4pm | Photo an Hour gets a bit awkward when you are sat on the sofa in the same position for three hours (or more). So I had to get a bit creative, and four o’clock found me flicking through the Photo an Hour hashtag on Instagram. Snow, cats, baby bumps, dresses, cows and patterns. We’re not a boring bunch!

1700 1800

5pm | Our Christmas party this year has an 80s theme, and we’re planning to dress up. I don’t really want to go for the full day-glo tutu and legwarmers combo, so I’m planning a pretty dress and some awesome hair and makeup. Pinterest is helping with the ideas.

6pm | As well as the charity shop book buys from earlier in the day, I also picked up a few Judy Blumes from the library. I started Deenie straightaway, whilst lying under a blanket on the sofa.

1900 2000

7pm | We had to nip out to the shop to get something delicious to eat, so we delayed the start of Strictly.

8pm | Still watching Strictly, but with a game on the go on my iPad. I decided to give it a rest at this point, having pushed the sitting-in-the-same-place-for-the-majority-of-the-day photos to the limit.

As always, lots of lovely people joined in:

♥ Susie from Second Hand Susie joined in on her blog
♥ Elise from Elise and Life joined in on her blog
♥ Rachael from Dear Ms Leigh joined in on her blog and on Instagram
♥ Rebecca from Sullen Hearts joined in on Instagram
♥ Kerri from Crumbs in the Bed joined in on her blog and on Instagram
♥ Rebecca joined in on Instagram
♥ Jen joined in on Instagram
♥ Emma joined in on Instagram
♥ Liz from Distract Me Now Please joined in on Instagram
♥ Emma from Adventures of a London Kiwi joined in on Instagram
♥ Em from Oh Gosh Em joined in on Instagram
♥ Laura joined in on Instagram
♥ Bev from Confuzzledom joined in on her blog
♥ Janet from Words That Can Only Be Your Own joined in on her blog
♥ Louisa from Duck in a Dress joined in on Instagram

Thanks once more to everyone for joining in – if I’ve missed anyone out, please do let me know! If you’re looking at this post and thinking that it looks like fun (it is, I promise), the next Photo an Hour-a-long will take place on 19th December (I know Elise was hoping for Boxing Day, but I just think I’ll completely forget to take photos!). As you can see, it’s as easy as uploading a photo every hour to Instagram or Twitter (using #photoanhour), or saving them up and popping them in a blog post, or both! If you’d like a reminder closer to the time, I send out a monthly email, and you can sign up for that right here.

33 Before 33 ~ Get a scaffold piercing

I decided I wanted a scaffold piercing one day after seeing a lady in Sainsbury’s with one. It looked super cool, and I decided that I wanted one too. I think maybe the whole cool thing was down to more than just the piercing, and I don’t think that by getting one I’m any cooler (I am, after all, sitting here with a blanket on my knees and wearing a Harry Potter t-shirt and Harry Potter socks), but I wanted one all the same.

Putting things on my birthday list is supposed to be motivation to actually do them, but the reality is that I complete very few of them; my record with my birthday lists is terrible. But this was one that I was determined to do, and on 7th November, five days before the deadline, I actually did!


I had it done at Colchester Body Arts, which is where I got my tattoo done earlier in the year (also a 33 Before 33 item!). They are really friendly in there, and that really helps when you’re a slight wimp like me who has trouble talking to people.

I was told that my ears are quite small (‘pixie-like’), so the bar wouldn’t be a long one when it can finally go in (three months after the initial piercing) – you can see from the photo that the two piercings are not that far apart. This doesn’t matter to me, I’m just impatient for the bar to go in! It won’t be until February, and that’s only if the piercings have healed correctly, so I’m just going to have to wait!

When I finally can have the studs replaced and bar put in, I’m after an arrow one, though I like that I’ll be able to change it when I fancy it. I’ve been scrolling through the hashtag on Instagram for inspiration!

The piercings still hurt, the lower of the two more than the other one, but I think a lot of this is to do with the fact that I can’t stop fiddling. I know I shouldn’t, but it’s a compulsion, and no matter how much I tell myself to stop, I can’t. I’m trying to keep them as clean as possible, so they’ll be all nice and healed in three months. I’ll keep you posted!

24. Get a scaffold piercing


The Movie Doctors


Last week I was lucky enough to find myself at the BFI Southbank, watching Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo do their stuff in their guise as the Movie Doctors. I reviewed the book that accompanies their nationwide tour last month; having laughed my way through the book, I knew that I was going to have a similarly fun time at the live show.

I wasn’t disappointed; essentially the show is made up of two men standing on a stage talking about films and having the odd bicker, and when you’re a fan like me, there’s nothing better than this. As with the book, the show set out to cure various different ailments and illnesses, with members of the audience asking for help. From a lady worried about a mid-life crisis (Serial Mom was prescribed, with an accompanying clip); to my lovely friend Chloe who was seeking a cure for shyness – Punch-Drunk Love was recommended, with a disclaimer not to actually smash up any toilets.

The show really works, because Mark and Simon really know their stuff, and are really good at what they do. We even got to watch a short clip of Mary Poppins. This alone made it worth the £16, especially as it was from my favourite part, when the children are up on the rooftops with Mary and Bert, and London in the twilight makes me cry.

Afterwards I had some minor anxiety about meeting Simon and Mark, to get my book signed, mainly because I am so in awe of them, and also because I felt that I wanted to say a lot to them. Mostly I wanted to say thank you (to Mark especially) for tweeting my review of the book, and I wanted to do it eloquently without making an idiot of myself. I also wanted to make a hilarious Foot-Lamberts joke again, as I did in a letter to Wittertainment, and I wanted to say how much I liked the book, and again, this was all to be done in the coolest possible way.

In the end, though none of it was done in a remotely cool way, I managed to say thank you for the tweet, causing Mark and Simon to shake my hand like the gentlemen that they are. Simon commented on my necklace, I got my book signed, they posed for a photo with me, and all in all, it was a pretty amazing way to spend a Tuesday night.





Mark talked all the way through our photo being taken, so there’s none where he’s not pulling this face or similar!

And, for those of you paying attention, I put ‘Have a photo taken with Mark Kermode’ on my 33 Before 33 list a whole year ago, and as this particular evening was two days before my 33rd birthday, I get to tick it off.

18. Have a photo taken with Mark Kermode


Birthday Number 33

I had a birthday last week. I’m still a little sad that it’s over, because I just love my birthday so much. It’s not about the presents, or the fuss, it’s just about the feeling that you get on your birthday that you get on no other day of the year. I have dubbed it the special birthday feeling, because I have a way with words.

I dubbed the week surrounding last Thursday my birthday week. I’m not usually so precious, but the truth was that I got up to a lot of fun things between 7th and 15th November! A few of them are 33 Before 33 things that I wanted to get ticked off before the deadline, and as such they will have separate posts shortly. But here are just a few of the things I got up to.


  • I got a piercing (post to follow)
  • I went to the fireworks display at Alexandra Palace with Hannah; at only £6 I think it was a bit of a bargain, and it was a really long display, and totally worth the journey into London.
  • I went to my niece’s 6th birthday party; she’s currently undergoing an incredible Spongebob Squarepants obsession, and the whole party was themed as such! She dressed as Spongebob himself, encouraged her friends to wear yellow, and had crab patty cakes. All rather fun.
  • I went to the Lord Mayor’s Show in London on Saturday morning with my sister and her family. We’ve been going for years and it was the 800th anniversary this year – amazing to think something has been going for that long!
  • No big deal, but I met Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo at their Movie Doctors event. There’s a blog post to follow here too.
  • I had a birthday! This is a photo of me that I really, really like, wearing a present that my friend Laura bought me – it’s a necklace that says ‘Practically Perfect in Every Way’ in case you can’t see it.
  • On the evening of my birthday, I went for something to eat with some lovely ladies from work. I’m really grateful to this little lot for making my birthday special and full of laughter.
  • On the day that we went to London to see the Movie Doctors, Hannah and I also went on a little boat trip on the Thames. It was freezing cold, but good fun, and I took quite a lot of photos, including this one of Tower Bridge.

In all the excitement, I sort of forgot that I had turned a year older. My age means relatively little to me; I keep waiting for the year when I’m going to freak out about getting another year older, but it hasn’t come yet. I’m 33 now, and the only thing that bothers me about it is that it’s an odd number, and I much prefer even numbers!

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