Project 366 – Week 13

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~ Day 79 ~

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~ Day 80 ~

I’ve had this poster since last year, when I went to the Doctor Who Experience and Richard bought it for me. It hadn’t made it out of its packaging until last week when I finally managed to get it on my wall. And I love it.

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~ Day 81 ~

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~ Day 82 ~

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~ Day 83 ~

A photo of photos; they were left out after my sister and I were looking through the boxes on Mother’s Day. The old one is of my granddad (we think), on the left, his mum (my great grandmother) next to him, and my great uncle on the right. The one behind it is of me and my mum, and the reason it’s out is because I like how slim I look in it, and it’s meant to be spurring me on with my diet and exercise.

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~ Day 84 ~

I’m claiming this as a photo I took, because I did, though it was with my sister’s camera. We went to my uncle’s 80th birthday afternoon tea on Saturday. This is a photo of my sisters, my cousin (also called Jane), and me.

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~ Day 85 ~

I’m working on a theme for days 86-92. They will be posted at some point after the weekend (definitely not Sunday this week, I’m not even going to pretend that will happen), and you’ll have to see if you can work out what the theme is!

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Reasons to be Cheerful in 2012 – Films (April)

Hello all

Do you remember, back on January 25th, I wrote these words:

“…putting together each post is really time consuming (not least because I keep getting distracted and finding other things to do!). March is done and ready for you, and I’m not going to make any promises about April that I can’t keep! It will happen, but who knows when! At least there is a long way to go before April, so if I do leave it two months, it won’t matter (it won’t be two months – don’t worry!).”

I’m being made to eat said words now, because look, it’s now almost two months to the day, and I have only just got around to sharing April’s films with you. I’m rubbish, there’s nothing else to be said! Anyway, seeing as I have now left it so incredibly long, I have decided that I am going to pretend it was on purpose, and this is the new way I am doing things. Frankly, there’s no point in me telling you, in April, what you should go and see in October, because you won’t remember when the time comes that there is something good coming out. So I am going to wait until the end of the previous month and tell you about them then. So now, as we are at the end of March, you get to hear about what is coming in April.

April is a bit of a dry month, in some respects; two of the films that I am featuring here are actually re-releases. Having said that, there is one film that is one of the more hotly anticipated of the year! Let me know what you’ll be seeing.

Titanic 3D

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This year marks 100 years since the Titanic went down, and it is, of course, being exploited all over the place. ITV have a television series starting on Sunday night, and James Cameron is re-releasing his 1998 film, this time in 3D. I’m sure I’ve talked before about my feelings towards Titanic; it seems to be very fashionable to criticise it and distance yourself from it, despite how much you enjoyed it in the first place. (I know that there are people who never liked it, my brother being one of them.) But I like it, primarily because when I went to see it, I was about 15, and it was probably aimed quite squarely in my direction. Anyway, either you’ve seen it a hundred times before, and you’ll go and see it in 3D because you love it so much, or you’ve never seen it and you figure you might as well go to the cinema while it is there (that’s my friend Richard). It’s being released on 6th April, and, as it’s 3D, will cost you an arm and a leg, as opposed to the usual arm it costs you to go to the cinema.

A Night to Remember

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Another Titanic-related re-release for you now. A Night to Remember was first released in 1958, and is generally considered to be one of the most accurate films about the sinking. It is revered by my aforementioned brother, who hates the 1997 film and adores this one. I haven’t ever actually seen it, but Empire give it a 5 star rating, and that’s definitely worth something. It stars Kenneth More, Ronald Allen, David McCallum and Honor Blackman, and is out on 13th April.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen stars Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor and Kristin Scott Thomas, and is directed by Lasse Hallström. I’m not entirely sure that I want to see it, to be honest, having watched the trailer it seems a lot like one of those films that I won’t see until it’s on the television on a Wednesday night. It’s not that it looks bad, as such, it just doesn’t inspire much feeling either way. It tells the story of a scientist (played by Ewan McGregor), who is recruited by Emily Blunt’s character to help introduce salmon fishing to, you guessed it, the Yemen. Somehow it all becomes political, and along the way, it would appear that there is love developing between Blunt and McGregor. It’s based on a book, and it’s out on 20th April.

Avengers Assemble

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This is the film that I was talking about when I said ‘hotly anticipated’. I think that’s fair to say, and I am one of the people that is looking forward to it (though maybe not as much as some other people). In case you don’t know, Avengers Assemble is the culmination of a series of Marvel superhero films of recent years, in which they team up together, under the leadership (possibly the wrong word, please don’t hate me if it’s not right) of Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson) of S.H.I.E.L.D, an international peacekeeping agency. The team consists of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), with help from Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Loki (Jeremy Renner). Tom Hiddlestone, as Loki, will be the film’s main antagonist (please forgive me if I’ve got anything wrong, I am not a comic book expert and this is what I have gleaned from previous films and other websites!). Joss Whedon is writing and directing, and I think that’s one of the main reasons why everyone is so excited, when you have a geeky fanboy actually in control of a film that other geeky fanboys and girls have been waiting for years to see, hopes are high. It’s out on 26th April.

I had also wanted to include Chimpanzee in April’s list, but I can’t, because it doesn’t appear to have a UK release date yet. It’s a documentary from Disney (Disneynature to be exact), and it tells the story of Oscar, a baby chimpanzee who is adopted by an adult male chimpanzee. I am not an animal person, by any means, but baby chimps are cute, and even I can’t deny that. It’s narrated by Tim Allen, and hopefully will get a UK release date soon.

So, as I said, things are a bit thin on the ground in April, (and May, actually), but I hope you find something worth seeing! Let me know if I’ve missed anything.

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Project 366 – Week 12

Hello all

I am super late with this week’s round up. I know it shouldn’t matter, but I want to keep these posts to a Sunday, and even though I use the computer on a Sunday, for some reason, I don’t get around to doing it!

Anyway, so here are days 72 to 78. I managed to take a photo every day, so at least there are none missing this time! I’ve also decided to do away with the notes on each day, unless I have something special to say about the photo!

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~ Day 72 ~

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~ Day 73 ~

Me and the girls on Skype. As I mentioned before, you can’t video chat on Skype with more than two people, so they are just photos on the screen, not video shots!

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~ Day 74 ~

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~ Day 75 ~

There was a spider in the bathroom, and I decided to make it my photo of the day. I couldn’t get any closer to this, and it’s not the best photo, because I couldn’t spend any longer than necessary taking it!

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~ Day 76 ~

Part of a map in the book I am reading (New York by Edward Rutherfurd). I love looking at maps, and I can’t stop flicking back to the maps in the front of this book while I am reading it.

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~ Day 77 ~

The haul of goodies I got as a competition prize from Radox on Saturday morning. The postman woke me up to deliver the parcel, but it was worth it.

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~ Day 78 ~

My sister and I spent Sunday afternoon (Mother’s Day) looking through old family photographs. Some of them go back almost a hundred years, to when my Nan was young, but most of them are from when my mum was young, and of course, lots of my brothers and sisters and I. There were lots of photographs of my mum and dad’s wedding too, which are always lovely to look through.

Holidays are Coming*

Hello all

If you live in the UK, you may have seen the recent television adverts in which the likes of Stephen Fry, Julie Walter and Lady Mary Crawley promote ‘Staycations’ in 2012. I’m not a big fan of the term, but I applaud the sentiment. Everyone loves a foreign holiday, be it a beach in Greece, a European capital city or a dream trip to Australia. But are you ignoring all the wonderful places that Britain has to offer?

I know what some people will say when you try to convince them to take a British holiday. Firstly, there’s the weather. The good old British weather; why take a holiday here, where it might rain for a week, when you can go abroad and have sunshine and warm temperatures. I have a counter argument to this. If you go abroad, and you have the misfortune to encounter rubbish weather, you aren’t prepared for it. You have your suncream, your sandals and your sunglasses, but chances are that you haven’t packed an umbrella, a jacket, or a pair of suitable shoes. If you’re on holiday in Britain, you’ve probably overpacked. You’ve got your shorts, your sunglasses, your suncream and your flipflops. But you’ve also got a couple of thick jumpers, a pair of wellies, a coat (and a jacket), and maybe a hat (not a floppy sun hat, but a woollen hat). You’re prepared! The weather might stay nice for the entirety of your stay, but if it turns, you have everything you need to stay warm and dry.

The other argument against staying in Britain is the cost. Center Parcs and Butlins, two popular British holiday destinations, both work out to be expensive, especially if you going for the self catering option and you have to buy all of your food too. If I wanted to go with my three friends to Elveden Forest Center Parcs for a weekend in May, it would cost us £459. That’s not including the cost of any activities (except swimming) that we might want to do. And who wants to go to Center Parcs just to go swimming? Butlins in May would cost us £533 for four nights including breakfast and dinner.

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If you want to go abroad, you can go to Turkey for seven nights, all inclusive, for £254. You wouldn’t have to take much spending money, if you didn’t want to, because all of your food and drink is included in that price, along with flights and accommodation. What a bargain.

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I know, I’m not really making a good case for the staycation here, am I? Here’s my argument. People seem to think that you need to go to these places that provide entertainment and activities onsite. Center Parcs may be a lot of fun (I wouldn’t know, as I said I haven’t ever been), and Butlins is great if you have a family because there’s a lot to do within the complex. But if, just like me. you are going on holiday with your friends or your other half, why would you need entertainment to be provided for you? You can find it yourself, and for this, you don’t need to stay at a holiday resort.

My friends and I have been going on caravan holidays for a few years now; usually we book through The Sun’s £9.50 holiday scheme, which never actually costs just £9.50, but still works out to be a bit of a bargain. As a child, I went on caravan holidays every year with my parents and my brothers and sister, usually to Norfolk, and we always had a fantastic time. OK, so it’s not the height of luxury, but most caravans have a shower, television and decent enough kitchen.

And as for costs, depending on when and where you go, you can always get a bargain. Lots of people own static caravans, and are looking to rent them out throughout the year to gain a bit of extra income.

Caravan

These prices are from the Park Holidays website for a caravan in Felixstowe, Suffolk. As you can see, the lowest price is £86 for a caravan for three nights that can be shared by 6 people. Quite the bargain. Of course, as you can see, the prices rise as the summer progresses, and the prices also vary depending on where in the country you want to go. But caravans are not the only type of holiday that get more expensive in July and August, as we all know. The same resort in Turkey that I featured above rises to £520 per person at the end of July, and to £549 by the middle of August. The same accommodation at Center Parcs is £579 at the end of July.

Obviously, caravans aren’t the only type of accommodation for a staycation. You can stay in a Bed and Breakfast, or a hotel, or you can go camping. The prices vary so much depending on where you go, and you do have to do your research, I have found, for B&Bs and hotels, but usually it’s worth it.

When I originally thought about this post, I wanted to give you some ideas of the amazing things that you can see in Britain both in 2012 and at any time. But then I got sidetracked into proving that a holiday in this country doesn’t have to cost the earth, and certainly doesn’t have to be more expensive than a holiday abroad! So another post or two will follow with details of those wonderful things that Britain has to offer.

How do you feel about staycations? (How much do you hate the term, or is that just me?) Do you prefer a holiday abroad or in this country?

*The Holidays of the title obviously refer to the British meaning, rather than the American.