Right now, I am mostly…

Reading : I have done very little reading over the last week or so, but when I have picked up my Kobo, it’s been to read Stuart Maconie’s The People’s Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records. It’s really a fascinating read, with a social history according to the biggest pop songs of the last seventy years.

Listening : Last week, having temporarily given up on attempting to run (it’s far too hot for that at the moment), I have been going for a walk every evening. I walk for about as long as it takes me to listen to an episode of the Empire podcast, which is usually about an hour or so. The weather has been so lovely, and I snapped the above photograph on one such walk. Disclaimer: Instagram has had a lot of influence over how that photograph looks.

Winning : Following on from last week, when I mentioned that I had won a Tatty Devine necklace, I won a further four giveaways! I won some chocolates, some Oriflame goodies, a Julia Donaldson book (that my postman proceeded to ruin) and a little pack of beauty goodies, including a Ciate nail varnish. What a week of wins! I’ve got my eyes on another couple of prizes that I want now.


Baking : For some reason we seemed to have no food in the house last week, so I decided to bake a loaf of bread. I haven’t had a whole lot of luck with baking my own bread before, so I was a bit apprehensive, but it turned out yummy. It really was very good!

Touching : If this one sounds dodgy, I apologise. But yesterday I spent rather a lot of time with hands on my best friend Anna’s belly. With good reason, I should add, because the wee baby girl in there has just started moving, and I wanted to feel it. She’s only moving very slightly, but I felt it! I can’t really believe that there is an actual human in there, but I can’t wait to meet her!

Dreaming : Last night I dreamt of Jack from Lost. Bearing in mind that I hate Jack from Lost, it wasn’t pleasant to dream of myself flirting with him, and actually being in a relationship with him. Whatever I was doing with him was making Juliette jealous. And now it has made me feel different towards him when I watch him on the show. Not ideal, but I’m sure it will pass.

Getting Lost in The West Wing

I love television. I used to be embarrassed about how much I enjoy watching television, but as I’ve got older, I’ve realised that I don’t care what other people think of me quite so much (I still do care a lot in some respects, but that’s another post for another day). If people think it’s sad that I enjoy sitting at home, more often than not on my own, watching an episode of my favourite television show, then so be it. I’m happy!

If you are a relatively new reader of Is That You Darling, you’ll realise, in the next couple of months, how excited I get about new television. The autumn, in the US especially, and here to  lesser extent, is the time for a television nerd like me. Not only do all my old favourites return with new episodes, there’s a slew of new shows to wonder about. New television is terribly exciting.

But as much as I long for new episodes of The Mindy Project and NCIS, I am a massive re-watcher too. I honestly believe that a lot of the time, I enjoy something more if I am watching it for a second time, rather than the first. And it turns out that I am not actually alone in this; there is research that suggests that watching repeats of our favourite television shows can actually boost happiness and make us feel more in control.

Now I’m not saying that watching something for the first time isn’t exhilarating; anyone who watched that episode of Game of Thrones a few weeks back will attest to that. But I know that at some point in the future, I will watch that episode again, and I know too that I will enjoy it even more the second time, knowing what’s coming (I mean, technically I knew what was coming the first time, as I’ve read the books, but you know what I mean).

My favourite television show of all time is The West Wing, a fact that should be clear to anyone who has spoken to me for more than about half an hour. At the moment, I’m in the middle of one of my big rewatches. I am watching at least one episode an evening, before I go to sleep, and without sounding like a total loser, it’s a bit like spending 45 minutes with a group of people I know very, very well, each day. When I don’t get the chance to see the real life people I know very often, I honestly believe it’s a good thing. And if you don’t believe me, ask yourself how often you find yourself watching Friends on Comedy Central, even though you’ve seen each and every episode at least ten times! It’s like pulling on the oldest, comfiest jumper you own.

~ source ~

I’m also currently watching Lost. I finished watching it for the first time last month, and I went right back to the beginning and started again. Again, I am sure that people will honestly think that I am the world’s biggest loser, but I’m happy. I am now watching it with the eye of someone who knows how it all turns out, and I am also reading along with some of the analysis as I watch each episode. And I’m enjoying seeing all of my favourite Lost men in action.

For all this love of a re-watch, I have to say that it can be disappointing to find that the television schedules are full of repeats. I use box sets and the internet to watch my favourite shows for the second, third and fourth (and beyond) time, but when I settle down with my Christmas Radio Times, I want to see new episodes of my favourite shows, not the Christmas special from three years ago. Except for the Gavin and Stacey Christmas special. I’ll be writing a stern letter if the BBC stop repeating that one; it’s become as much a part of my Christmas routine as carols on Christmas Eve and Quality Street on Boxing Day.

What is your favourite series to re-watch?

My Thoughts On… GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Just a quick reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, it may be best to move on!


An elite military unit comprised of special operatives known as G.I. Joe, operating out of The Pit, takes on an evil organization led by a notorious arms dealer. (from IMDb)

What I Liked

  • I watched this film on the television one night, mainly because I was bored, and because I wanted to see if there was anything about Channing Tatum I could find to like (I’m not a fan). As it turned out, I like his voice, but I don’t love him as an actor, and I can’t see what everyone finds so attractive.
  • I enjoyed the Lost connection: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Saïd Taghmaoui were Mr Eko and Caesar, respectively. It was strange to hear Mr Eko with his native English accent though!
  • Dennis Quaid is always a joy.


What I Didn’t Like

  • There was so much not to like about this film. I have no problem with CGI effects, but there was something offensively computer-y about them in this film. Whenever the gang arrived or departed at The Pit in an aircraft, the effects were just so obvious. CGI should blend into a film seamlessly, in my opinion.
  • Christopher Eccleston doesn’t have the best Scottish accent in the world. Evidently the character in the comic books is Scottish, so I guess he had to be for the films too, but they really should have picked a Scot, or someone who can do a decent accent.
  • Sienna Miller doesn’t put in the best acting performance of her life. I can’t honestly say that I’ve seen her in much, so I don’t know if this is standard, or just a blip. It was literally no surprise whatsoever to learn that she won the Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress.
  • There’s a scene in which, Sienna Miller, as the Duchess, enters a lift, forcing a woman out by shouting and pointing a gun at her, and then says “Nice shoes.” It’s a truly terrible line, which isn’t funny, isn’t well delivered, and does women everywhere a disservice by suggesting that they are often distracted by other women’s lovely shoes. Based on this one example, it should be needless to say that this is not a great script.
  • I do enjoy an action film, but there has to be a semblance of a decent plot to go along with the action scenes. There wasn’t here, not especially.
  • There’s not enough Dennis Quaid.

There was actually quite a lot more about this film that I didn’t enjoy, but it was some time ago that I watched it, and I think I’ve probably blocked large parts of it from my mind.


Right now, I am mostly…

Playing : Do you remember the quiz show Wipeout? It was presented by Paul Daniels and then Bob Monkhouse, and it was ace. Anyway, Richard and I played out own version of it on Twitter yesterday, where he had to guess which Lost actors were making it onto my future Tuesday Treat. It ended with an “Oh Jane” from him, as conversations about famous men so often do.

Watching : I’ve been watching The Mindy Project online, at the US pace, but at the same time, I am watching it on e4 when it airs on a Tuesday night. The truth of the matter is that I often watch the repeat of the e4 episode if there’s nothing else on at the time. So I have seen many episodes three times. I’m not ashamed. I adore Mindy Kaling, and I adore the show.

Reading : After a couple of months of feeling like I wasn’t getting any proper reading done, I feel like I’m finally back on track. I reviewed Chaplin and Company by Mave Fellows over at Hanging on Every Word, and I finished another book yesterday (a Harlequin romance!). I’m not onto An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin.