Jane loves blogging

Hello all

It seems like all I do lately is apologise for silences of one type or another! I do apologise for this one though, I was away at the weekend, and got back later than I thought I would, and then yesterday came and went without me being able to think of an attractive man to share with you all. All will be well from now on though, I won’t disappear again without letting you know first!

It’s time for my weekly post then, and I found a WordPress prompt that I liked this week. At least, I found one that I am going to adapt to my own purposes! It’s topic #68:

Name a Book that Changed Your Life

I don’t know that a book has ever really changed my life. There are books that I have read (and re-read), that I love and adore, and I am glad that they are a part of my life. But I’m not sure that any books have ever really changed my life, in a meaningful way. But I read a book this weekend that I enjoyed so much, and I want everyone else to read it (if they haven’t already, it’s been out for almost two years).

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One Day is a novel by David Nicholls. You may recall from my post about the launch of World Book Night that I saw David Nicholls reading from this book in Trafalgar Square, as it is one of the 25 books that were being given away. You may also recall that I won a book on Twitter, and that this was the book that I got.

Without giving too much away, One Day is about two people, Emma and Dexter, who meet on the day of their graduation from university, on 15th July 1988. The book then catches up with them on the same day for the next 20 years. Emma and Dexter clearly have feelings for each other, but settle into a close friendship that lasts for almost the entire novel. Relationships come and go but Emma and Dexter remain friends for the most part, and you’ll have to read it to find out if they end up together!

The thing that makes the book stand out is the use of one day a year to tell a story. It means that quite often, we don’t get to see firsthand what happens to the characters. For example, in 1989, Dexter’s mum tells him that she has something she needs to talk to him about, and while we might guess what it is she needs to say, we don’t hear her say it, and we don’t actually find out what it was until 1993. We don’t see weddings, deaths, births, major life events, because none of them take place on 15th July, so we have to hear about them later. It doesn’t seem as though it should work, how are we going to care about these characters if we don’t see them experiencing their highs and their lows. But it really, really does work. It works so well.

There is almost an element of missed opportunities to the story too – Dexter writes Emma a letter from Bombay telling her that she needs to get out of the rut that she has found herself in since she left university, and invites her to join him in India. However, the letter never reaches her, and she doesn’t go to India. You wonder how different both their lives would have been if she had, as you read the book, but you come to realise that it would possibly have actually been Dexter’s life that would have been changed for the better had the letter reached her, as their trajectories start moving in completely opposite directions once Emma realises what she wants to do with her life.

One Day is currently getting the Hollywood treatment, with a film adapation set to be released in September of this year. Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess are taking on the lead roles, and I have high hopes.

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There are many reasons why I think that this should be a great adaptation of a great book.

1. David Nicholls has written the screenplay.

2. Anne Hathaway is a very watchable actress.

3. The location has not been changed to America, as happens so often with book adaptations.

4. Lone Scherfig is directing, and whilst I haven’t seen it, I’ve heard lots of good things about An Education.

5. The source material is so good to begin with, how can they go wrong?

OK, so I know that the last point is questionable, because let’s face it, there have been many bad films that have come from great books. But I really do feel that this is going to be great. I was checking IMDB to see who was going to be playing the other parts, and unwisely, I decided to take a look at the message boards. Message boards and comments sections are usually places to be avoided, as far as I am concerned, simply because I so often disagree with what people are saying, and I hate the way people choose to express their opinions. I don’t know why I decided to look at them this time, but I did, and unsurprisingly, I got irritated! People are worried that Anne Hathaway won’t do the role of Emma justice, and more than that, they are worried that she won’t have a Yorkshire accent. Firstly, there is no reason to suggest that she won’t have a Yorkshire accent, as we’ve seen no footage of the film yet. Secondly, Emma loses her accent as the story goes on, as she lives outside of Yorkshire for longer than she lives there, and someone even comments on the change. And thirdly, her having a regional accent is not particularly important, as far as I am concerned. Admittedly, it is used to show a class divide between Emma and Dexter; she comes from a working class background whilst his is much more middle class. But she doesn’t have to be from Yorkshire in order for that to come across. I think people concentrate too much on the little things, especially before the film has even come out, when it needs to be judged as a whole. And frankly, if a film adaptation of your favourite book is disappointing (which let’s face it, they often are because we have such a vivid image in our head of each and every character and location), forget the film and read the book again. I can’t understand people who are so offended by book adaptations when the book is still available for them to read! It’s a bit of a bugbear of mine, and I will wax lyrical about it to almost anyone who will listen!

Also, if you fancy it, David Nicholls has created a Spotify playlist of Emma’s mix tape that she makes for Dexter. Check it out!

So, One Day is a book that didn’t change my life, but has certainly afforded me a lot of pleasure over the last few days, and one that I would heartily recommend to everyone!

Until next time


Jane loves the Oscars

Hello all
It’s the Oscars tonight! In honour of this (and because I’ve had a busy weekend), I’m forsaking the Weekend Wrap Up this week for an Oscars special. I’ve made my predictions, and while I can’t actually watch the ceremony (unless I can find it online), I’m very excited to find out who wins. I’ll also be watching out for the best and worst dressed of the evening, and over the next week or so I’m sure I’ll be frequenting Go Fug Yourself to see what the Fug girls think about all the dresses.
I started writing this post about three hours ago, and various things have held me up. I would worry that by the time I actually post it, the ceremony will be over, but we all know that’s not true. It lasts about 24 hours these days, doesn’t it?
oscar biscuits
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oscar invitations
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Firstly, a whole lot of perfect things for an Oscar party! I love the biscuits, both sets. The statue-shaped ones are from Bakerella (via a link from Happiness Is…), and has a recipe, so you would just need to find the requisite cutter. The others are biscuits with the five best actor nominees’ faces on them. Which is kind of weird, but kind of cool! I think an Oscar party is definitely on the cards in the next couple of years – there’s so much stuff out available out there to make it great!
A few photos now, mostly from classic-era Hollywood, because, let’s face it, they are a lot more fun to look at!
Audrey Grace
Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly (1956)
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Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Bob Hope and David Niven (1958)
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Clark Gable (1935)
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Frank Sinatra, Mercedes McCambridge and Donna Reed (1954)
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Jimmy and Ginger
James Stewart and Ginger Rogers (1941)
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Vivien Leigh

Vivien Leigh (1940)
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Walt Disney (1954)
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Kate Winslet and Meryl Streep (2010)
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Grace Kelly (1954)
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I’ve included the picture of Grace Kelly because a) she was beautiful, b) she was a princess, c) we share a birthday, and d) I’ve seen this actual Oscar! I went to a Grace Kelly exhibition at the V&A last year, and the statue was there. It was behind glass, obviously, but I saw it, and it’s the first one I’ve ever seen! So I feel a kinship to it.
So this post has taken me approximately as long as the average Oscar ceremony goes on for, and that’s not even an exaggeration. The ceremony is currently underway, and Inception and Alice in Wonderland have bagged an award each so far! I’m going to stay up as long as I can to see how many predictions I’ve got right.
Until next time!


Jane loves links

Hello all

I’m a day behind again! ‘Links’ is scheduled for Monday, but I had a busy day yesterday and didn’t get a chance to post, so we’ve been delayed until Tuesday. Don’t worry, a Tuesday Treat will still be winging its way to you later today!

The first thing I wanted to share with you was a blog I found called Born This Way. It’s a project that asks gay adults to submit photographs from their childhood. They especially like images that capture “the beginnings of their innate LGBT selves.” I think the idea behind the project is to show that gay people are, quite literally, born that way. It’s not a choice they make, nor a result of any societal influences. Some people are born gay, and some are born straight (along with everything that is in between) and that’s that. So this blog is really interesting, and quite fun too!

The red carpet has been busy for the past few weeks, with the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards, along with the NTA’s here in Britain. I’ve been following the best and worst dressed of the red carpets on Go Fug Yourself, and they recently provided a link to a slideshow of the Best and Worst Red-Carpet Pregnancy Looks. Natalie Portman, who is currently expecting, has already had a couple of tries at dressing her bump for the red carpet, so it will interesting to see what she goes for at the Academy Awards.

Something I have been meaning to share for ages but have never remembered until now, is a photography project by Simon Annand. He took 2 photographs of each of the 17 actors who were rehearsing their performance in the Children’s Monologues; one before they read the monologue, and one directly after. The results speak for themselves, and just go to show you how distressing the material is that they were reading. They were the testimonies of South African and Rwandan children, and, according to Dramatic Need, who produced the show, contained “terrible things, burdens that should never be carried by children.” The image I have featured here is Benedict Cumberbatch; others include Gemma Arterton and Eddie Redmayne. Check out the Dramatic Need blog for others, and more details of their work.

I found this article about the Best Picture Oscar nominees which made me smile: If the Best Picture nominee posters told the truth. I particularly liked Toy Story 3: “You’re Going to Cry”, and 127 Days: “You Have to Wait 85 Minutes Until He Cuts His Arm Off.” Another couple of film links here:

  • I found a great tumblr blog (whilst I am sure there is another word, possibly ‘tumblog’, that can be used to describe a tumblr blog, but I  just can’t bring myself to use it), called Minimal Movie Posters. It compiles fantastic minimalist movie posters. They are submitted to the blogger by various artists, and he posts them at regular intervals. More often than not, you have to have seen the film in question to understand the poster, but they are still so fantastic, and I love looking through them.
  • As I’ve been obsessed with Star Wars lately, I was trawling through the official site a while ago and found two articles about how two different publications actually managed to publish the major spoiler that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father. As far as I was aware, this was one of the best-kept secrets in cinema history, even Dave Prowse (who played Vader, but didn’t voice him), wasn’t told for fear it would leak. As it turns out, it was leaked! The two articles are here and here.

Finally, just a few more links that I have found and loved:

  • This is such a sweet story, about a guy who did something incredibly sweet for his wife, only to be foiled at the last! It’s a lovely little story!
  • I’m not sure that I could be more jealous of the people at Eight Hour Day, who got to go on a tour of the Pixar studio that lasted 3.5 hours. Can you even begin to imagine how awesome that would be? I’m sure I’ve spoken of my love for Pixar before, but it doesn’t hurt to do it again. I love Pixar. I desperately want to work for them, despite being qualified in no way whatsoever. It’s not just a love for their films (although, come on. Toy Story 3. As close to perfect as a film can get, in my opinion). I love their whole working ethos, as a company. They just seem to completely love what they are doing, and don’t seem to do any of it for gain or renown. They just love animating and making films. And I love them for that. Take a look at the photos on the Eight Hour Day blog. The whole studio looks amazing, and I think if I worked there I wouldn’t be able to resist having my photo taken with Woody and Buzz on a regular basis.
  • Another interesting blog post, this one from Make Every Day a Good Mail Day (a great blog because it’s all about letter writing). It’s about the death of letter-writing, and how we lament it these days because of the internet, yet we were actually doing it back in the 1980s as well, when the internet was almost completely unknown.
  • Lastly, a website that I found ages and ages ago, thanks to a tip by Checks and Spots. Pencil vs Camera is a really interesting project by Ben Heine, whereby he takes a pencil-drawn image and inserts it into a photograph, with some fascinating results!

That’s all for this week, check back later for a Tuesday Treat (as soon as I work out who this week’s Treat will be!). Until next time!


Iron Man

“Iron Man” is a song by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath from their second studio album Paranoid released in1970. (Wikipedia)

I am very excited about the forthcoming Iron Man 2. I am not a huge fan of comic books, but I loved the first film so much. I imagine that it has much to do with Robert Downey Jr. in the lead role, because I thought he was brilliant. I wish that I was more into comic books, as I like the idea of reading them, but I just don’t know where to start. Anyway, so I follow the director of the film, Jon Favreau, on Twitter, and he posted a link to a New York Times article about the new film. One of the things that I like about Iron Man, and why I also like Batman, is that they are not superheroes in the traditional sense, in that they don’t get powers from a freak accident or insect bite. They obtain their powers through inventions, and I like that idea for some reason.

And I like Robert Downey Jr. A lot.