35 Before 35 ~ Throw a Gilmore Girls party


Remember back in November, when the Gilmore Girls revival was released on Netflix, and the world went Stars Hollow-mad? That would have been a great time to write a post about the Gilmore Girls party that I threw, when it was especially relevant. Cut to nine months later, when everyone is totally over it, especially given just how disappointing 75% of the revival was, and here I am, writing my post.

Hey, I never said that I was a good blogger.

I put this item on my list last year for the simple reason that I was so excited about the new episodes, and I knew I’d be watching them with my friends, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to throw the type of party I have seen on Pinterest.

In the end, of course, it didn’t really turn out that way. The decorations weren’t Pinterest-worthy, and the new episodes were disappointing. I still managed to have a lovely time, however, because I got to spend time with my best friends, and we ate lots of food (we decided to cook a Thanksgiving dinner, except that just ended up being a roast dinner), and we got to go back to Stars Hollow.


As you should be able to tell from the photo, we dressed up – V was Paris, Anna was Rory, I was Luke, and Hannah was Sookie. Actually, V didn’t dress up as Paris, she didn’t really dress up at all, but we just decided that she could be Paris. My other friend Jen bought a chow dog toy and sort of came as Michel, but doesn’t really like having her photo taken, so we used Paw-Paw in the photo in her place!


Hannah went all out, ordering a smock and having Sookie’s name embroidered onto it! She did almost all of the cooking as well, so it was only right that she looked the part


I wish that my house didn’t look as messy as it does in this photo, but I had to share it simply because I love that there is a sign on the wall that says ‘No Cell Phones’ (lovingly created by me), and these three losers are sat on their phones!


Hand on heart, at this distance, I am mostly pretending that the revival episodes didn’t happen. The best bit, by far, was the scene in which Lorelai calls Emily and finally mourns Richard’s death properly. Everything else was something between don’t-really-care and I-can’t-believe-they-did-that. Some things* are just better left un-revived.

And Pinterest-worthy or not, I had a lovely time with my friends at my Gilmore Girls party!

*most things

12. Throw a Gilmore Girls party

33 Before 33 ~ Visit a Town Called Ugley

Of all the things to put on my 33 Before 33 list, visiting a tiny village in Essex with a silly name might seem an odd one. But there is a good reason; one of my favourite bands, Ward Thomas, have a song called A Town Called Ugley, which tells the story of how they once got stuck in Ugley. When my friends and I went to see them last year, we decided to visit Ugley, because it’s not that far away, and take a photo with the sign. Not the coolest way to spend an afternoon, but really, I’m up for doing anything if it involves my best friends!



As expected, ultimately, the trip did just involve parking near the sign, taking a photo, and then not really having much else to do. Ugley isn’t the most exciting place in the world, and though there’s a line in the song that goes “I swear we drove right past the old King’s Head / 25 times or more”, we sadly couldn’t find the old King’s Head. We looked, but the only pub was the Beautiful Ugley Chequers, so we nipped in there for a drink and ended up having a carvery lunch. And very nice it was too!

28. Visit a town called Ugley


Homegrown Tour ~ The Shires and Ward Thomas

I’m a big fan of the current crop of UK country acts, and top of the ever-growing pile are Ward Thomas and The Shires. These are two bands that have got a lot of airplay on Radio 2 recently, and I was lucky enough to see The Shires earlier this year at The Water Rats in London, and then I saw Ward Thomas in Hyde Park in September. When I found out that they were touring together, I was desperate to go, and I was lucky enough to get some tickets. I went with Hannah, Jen and Anna; Hannah came with me to The Shires in July, and Anna saw Ward Thomas in September, but Jen didn’t really know much about either band. As it was, everyone had a fabulous time, and we even got to meet the bands!

We tried a lot to get a decent selfie of the four of us, and it wasn’t easy! I think this was the best of a bad bunch, so I made it black and white to give us a helping hand! Now that I have a selfie stick, bad selfies are a thing of the past!

My gig photos aren’t great, because my camera isn’t great, but I managed to take a few this time, so I wanted to include them! The support band we saw were Taylor and Marie, a folk/country duo who have a really lovely sound. They started with a rendition of Bad Moon Rising, which is one of my favourite songs, so it was great to hear a new spin on it. They also played a song called I Got Moved, which I loved! It’s a shame it’s not their EP, Tilt the Moon, because I want to listen to it again!

Ward Thomas came on next, and they are just the cutest girls ever. They are so fun to watch; aside from their fantastic music, they just look as though they are having so much fun on stage, and they really engage the crowd. Their album, From Where I Stand, is just fantastic, and I have barely stopped listening to it this week! They released the single, Push for the Stride, earlier in the year, and it’s a really stompy, fun, country tune, but the album is full of so much more; catchy songs you can dance to, and really beautiful songs that showcase the sisters’ fabulous harmonies. They did a really full set, even including a cover of Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, during which they warned us that they would attempt the rap (and they weren’t half bad!). One of my absolute favourite songs off the album is Way Back When, their latest single, and when they finished it off by mashing it up with Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson, I was amazed – it was so good!

The Shires finished the night, with a set that seemed a bit short by my standards! Maybe I was just spoilt by having heard them sing a lot of songs at their gig in July, but I wanted more! They are really lovely, and they just sound so good together! I am still waiting patiently for their album (January, apparently), but they were selling copies of their new EP, The Green Note, so I bought that (and got it signed!), and that will just have to do for now. They sang their two singles, Nashville Grey Skies and Tonight, both of which I adore, and they also sang their cover that they recorded for the Radio 2 Sounds of the 80s song, Islands in the Stream. I had been waiting for ages to actually hear it played on the radio, and then I finally heard it a couple of weeks ago, but hearing it live was amazing of course.

The two bands came out at the end to duet on Leaving Without Your Love, a cover of the Striking Matches song. It’s not a song I’m that familiar with, but I watched the video they recorded of them singing it a few weeks ago, so I knew it would be the one that they’d sing together, and it’s a great song. They are all just amazing, and to be honest, I’m gutted that the gig is over. I want to go again!

As I mentioned, we got to meet the bands afterwards, and I got my Shires EP signed. I already have the Ward Thomas album, and obviously I didn’t have it with me, so I couldn’t get that signed, but I did get a photo with them, and I had a little chat with Catherine, and told her how much I had loved the Way Back When/Man in the Mirror mash up. I also mentioned to Ben and Crissie from The Shires that I am a bit of a Twitter stalker fan, and he asked what my Twitter name was, and his face suggested that he recognised it when I told him! Argh!

I really did have a fabulous evening, and because it was the night before my birthday, it was a lovely pre-birthday treat!


* Two of the tickets that we used for the Homegrown Tour gig were provided free of charge for review purposes. All reviews on Is That You Darling are fair and unbiased.

A Very Disney Halloween

Sometimes an email pops into my inbox, and I think “I love being a blogger!” This happened a few weeks ago when I had a lovely email from someone on behalf of Florida4less, offering to send me a box of Halloween goodies for a party!

Now I already had plans for Halloween, even though I hardly ever ‘celebrate’ it as such. I went to a lovely cafe and watched an Alfred Hitchcock double bill of Psycho and The Birds with my friends, and it was great fun. But then we went back to my friend Jen’s house and cracked open some of the goodies that I was sent!

We didn’t end up putting either of the films on, because I haven’t seen either of them, and I wanted to watch them properly. We never watch films properly when we are together, because we chat too much! We did enjoy the sweeties though, and I was pleased to distribute the Scream Eggs that I received, because I don’t like them! The spider rings were fun, particularly when, the next morning, Jen picked up a cup and jumped a foot in the air because one of the rings was hiding inside and she mistook it for a real spider!

I Like to Hear Those British Girls Scream

Last Friday I went to Hyde Park to see Bon Jovi open British Summer Time. It’s the second time I have seen them in Hyde Park now, and while I would love to see them play an arena or a stadium, there’s something pretty special about watching them in the open air.

I went with my friends Hannah and Jen, and we met up with my sister Kim and her wife, Frances, when we got there. Luckily, the weather decided to change just in time and provide us with blazing sunshine for the afternoon while we were sitting around waiting for Bon Jovi to come on. If anything, it was too hot, but that’s not really much to complain about; it would have been much worse if it had been raining!

The actual park itself, where the concert was held, has been transformed into a kind of village for the duration of the event; it’s on until Sunday with a plethora of acts taking part including The Rolling Stones, Jennifer Lopez, and Lionel Richie. Elton John was supposed to be there on Friday but has pulled out due to illness, and there are now free tickets available for the day to see Ray Davies and Elvis Costello.

As well as Bon Jovi, we also got to see Bush and Kaiser Chiefs, who were supporting them. I don’t know an awful lot about Bush, and I’d forgotten that Gavin Rossdale (who is super hot) was the lead singer until halfway through their set. He actually came right out into the crowd and for a minute I thought he was going to come right towards us. He didn’t, but it was still exciting!

I’ve actually seen Kaiser Chiefs play before, when my friend used to work for their management company and she scored us some free tickets. I am not their biggest fan, but I think they are a great live band, and Ricky Wilson is a good front man, and now that he has a decent haircut, is actually rather attractive.

But of course, the main event was Bon Jovi, and we only had to wait until 7.20 to see them! I was impressed by how prompt they were, we expected them to be a bit late, but they came on and started straightaway.

Jon wears red on stage rather a lot (though he did change halfway through to a black top), which makes it really easy to pick him out. As you can see, we were quite far back, but that doesn’t really matter to me. Unless you are willing to pay extra to get in the gold or diamond circles, you aren’t going to be particularly close. I could see them from where I was, and I could hear them, and that’s what matters! I do wish that I had been able to see Tico (the drummer) a little better, because I’m mildly obsessed with him, but I had to make do with seeing him pulling his funny faces on the big screen.

As you can also see, my photography skills from this distance and in the dark are not up to much. Actually, it’s my camera, rather than my photography skills!

The gig itself was perfection, of course, with just about every song that I would have hoped for being played. They played a couple off the new album, and they were all ones that I liked and knew quite well, thankfully! But of course, the best songs were all the classics, and I was so pleased that they sang Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night (my personal favourite), Who Says You Can’t Go Home, We Weren’t Born to Follow and Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen from Mars. It was the first time Jen had seen them and she was hoping for Always and These Days, both of which they played for the encore! And Hannah, who knows and loves them the best, was very happy when they sang Dry County, a song that I have never heard! She also loved it that he sang a little solo bit of In These Arms. I was surprised when they did Living On a Prayer before the encore, but they did a little bit of it stripped back and acoustic, which was great. The whole thing was great!

Hannah and I particularly liked loved it when, in the middle of We’ve Got it Going On, Jon said “I come back to London town for one reason, for one reason only…. I like to hear those British girls scream!” Hence the title of this blog post!

It was the perfect start to a great weekend; I got up to lots but each activity deserves its very own blog post!