Photo an Hour #33 ~ April 2016

In an attempt to get up to date with my Photo an Hour posts, I’m going to do two posts in very quick succession! These photos are from 23rd April.

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8am ~ The caption to this photo says “It could be a bit warmer, but that sun sure is shining!” As I sit and write this, the sun is shining (kind of), but it’s still not that warm! When will summer arrive?

9am ~ There are very few Saturday mornings that aren’t soundtracked by the Wittertainment podcast.

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10am ~ Trying to decide what to wear, and as this day was to include a trip to the library, I decided on my library t-shirt.

11am ~ Checking out the ducks who were chilling in a puddle in the car park.

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12pm ~ We stopped by the garden centre, and I couldn’t resist a sea horse for my noon photo.

1pm ~ Back home for lunch, and I went for a cheese and ham toastie.

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2pm ~ The morning had included a trip to the library, so I spent some time admiring my little haul. I had reserved all of these items, and I have since read Freya and High Rise, but haven’t even started Spinster yet!

3pm ~ Laying on my bed and reading is such a simple pleasure!

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4pm ~ During the hour between 3 and 4, I fell asleep over my book! But I did it to the sounds of Frank Sinatra, which is always nice.

5pm ~ Time for tea!

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6pm ~ Attempting some blogging. It’s hard to motivate myself to blog much at all these days!

7pm ~ Maybe a bit late to start thinking about a jacket potato for dinner, but I’m an optimist…

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8pm ~ …and my optimism paid off, as it didn’t take too long at all to cook! Beans and cheese on a jacket potato – is there anything better?

9pm ~ Last photo of the day – a glass of cider, which looked a little radioactive in this photo!

Not the most interesting day in the world, but these sort of Saturdays are welcome every now and again, just pottering around and fitting in an afternoon nap!

Thanks to everyone who joined in this month:

♥ Elise from Elise and Life joined in on her blog
♥ Rebecca from Sullen Hearts joined in on Instagram and on her blog
♥ Kate from Domestikated joined in on Instagram
♥ Sarah from Sarah Rooftops joined in on Instagram
♥ Kerri from Life as Unusuals joined in on Instagram and on her blog
♥ Amy from Fluffy Owl’s Adventures joined in on Instagram
♥ Susie from Second Hand Susie joined in on Instagram and on her blog
♥ Kim joined in on Instagram
♥ Lizzie from Home Make Be joined in on Instagram
♥ Rebecca from Halfway Home joined in on Instagram
♥ Alex from Odd Socks Alex joined in on Instagram
♥ Vikki joined in on Instagram
♥ Laura joined in on Instagram
♥ Liz from Distract Me Now Please joined in on Instagram and on her blog
♥ Rebecca joined in on Instagram
♥ Louisa from Duck in a Dress joined in on Instagram
♥ Laura joined in on Instagram
♥ Hannah joined in on Instagram

I hope I got everyone, doing the roundup at such a distance means that it’s hard to keep track! Do let me know if you joined in and I missed you off.

I still have another Photo an Hour day to roundup, but it’s probably a good idea to set the date for the next one now, so if (inevitably) I don’t get to the next one, you’ll know the date if you want to join in! I thought this month would be a good one to try a Sunday again, we don’t do them often, but I like seeing Sunday photos for a change – lots of roast dinners! So we’ll be playing on Sunday 12th June.

If you’d like to join in, it’s easy! Just upload a photo every hour to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag – #photoanhour. Alternatively, you can save your photos and add them to a blog post, just remember to tweet me the link so I can add you to this roundup! Of course, you can do both if you want to.

If you’d like a timely reminder (within a couple of days of the assigned date), just add your details to this form, and like magic, you’ll get an email. We’d love to have you playing along, not least so I can be nosy!

The Movie Doctors

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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.

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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

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Friday Fun ~ Blog Every Day in May

Elizabeth has included ‘Day in the Life’ as a prompt for BEDM before, and in the past I have done a sort of Photo an Hour post. But now I do that once a month, I didn’t want to do it this time, so I thought I’d take a leaf out of my previous Midweek Mundane post (which I keep meaning to repeat), and just do a sort of roundup of my day. Not necessarily the most interesting post, but one I will enjoy writing, and having to look back on.

My day started with my Jawbone (wearable technology device) waking me up. I have it set for around six o’clock, and it vibrates gently on my wrist, where I wear it. It’s the most effective alarm I have ever used; it wakes me up instantly, and I tend to stay awake, somehow. Six o’clock is too early to get up, even on a Friday when I start work half an hour earlier, so I watched EastEnders in bed, as I had missed it last night. I obviously also checked the news, because of yesterday’s events, and got totally and utterly disheartened about the next five years.

No breakfast, and I only allow myself about 35 minutes to get ready, so it was a case of a very quick shower, and then out, to try and do something with my fringe, which is at that annoying stage of being slightly too long, but not long enough to sweep to the side, or pin up. While I was getting ready, I watched twenty minutes of Shark, the new BBC wildlife series that aired last night. I did it a disservice by watching it on my iPad – it deserves to be watched on a massive screen, because it is beautifully shot, and amazingly interesting. I can’t wait to finish watching it.

We start work at 8.30 on a Friday, to allow us to leave half an hour earlier at five o’clock. Hannah drives us both to work, as I can’t drive, and we live in the same place and work in the same place! Work-wise, the morning was spent doing last minute things for a show we have coming up next weekend; we’ll be leaving Essex for Manchester on Wednesday morning, and so there is lots to do, but most of it is the small details, as well as making sure we have everything that we need to take.

The topic of conversation for the most part was the General Election; luckily the three people I sit with are intelligent and engaged, so it was a pleasure to speak to them about the situation, even though the majority of us weren’t thrilled with the result. I made my views quite clear, before taking a moment to apologise, because I don’t know two of my colleagues’ political affiliations, and it isn’t really the done thing to talk politics at work. But I don’t think I offended anyone, luckily.

Lunchtime consisted of pitta and hummus (quite the office favourite at the moment), and quite a bit of my book – The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton, if you’re interested. The afternoon was much the same as the morning, in terms of work. The most exciting thing that happened was seeing a tweet from Wittertainment that said that the Kermode and Mayo Film Thing was up and available to watch. For anyone not in the know, whilst Wittertainment is too good for TV, obv, it’s not too good for half an hour of YouTube amazingness. Annoyingly, I couldn’t watch it straightaway, what with being at work!

Sometimes Friday afternoons go by in a flash, being only three hours long, and sometimes they just drag. Today it was very much the latter! When five o’clock finally arrived, I headed home with my friend Lucy, as Hannah was working late. The plan was to for a walk and listen to yesterday’s Wittertainment podcast, but frankly it was raining just a little too much, so it was a very short walk, and then home to watch Wittertainment! (I know, too much Wittertainment, except there’s no such thing.)

While I was watching, I took a selfie. In fact, I took far too many, trying to get one that didn’t make me look like an idiot. I’m not too sure I succeeded, in all honesty.

And here you find me, watching EastEnders and writing this post. It’s not going to be a late night for me, as I have tentative plans to head into London tomorrow to meet some university friends.

How was your day?

My Favourite Podcasts

I love podcasts. I take myself out for a walk, open up a podcast, and I try to walk for as long as the episode lasts. Sometimes this is easy; a thirty minute podcast is an easy lap around my village, but anything longer and I start having to go back on myself. I don’t get as much exercise as I would like, and while I don’t kid myself that a half an hour walk is sufficient, it’s definitely a start, and I don’t really think of it as exercise.

I therefore thought I’d share some of my favourite podcasts. It will become a series as and when I find new things to listen to, but for now, I’ll just share what I’ve been listening to over the last few months.

Wittertainment

Of no surprise to anyone who has ever met me, followed me on Twitter, or read this blog: Wittertainment is my favourite podcast of all time. I discovered it as a podcast first, and then I started watching the live stream on a Friday afternoon, and now, as I’m working more or less full time again, I’m back to being a podcaster. For anyone who doesn’t know, Wittertainment is the BBC’s flagship film show; a two hour radio show presented by Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode, where they discuss the week’s film releases. That probably sounds about as average as possible, but it’s so much more. Kermode and Mayo have a unique partnership, made up primarily of a special kind of bickering, but ultimately one of love (we know how much they love each other really). There are plenty of in jokes, the likes of which you might think you’re never going to understand, but listen to a few episodes and  you’ll soon get them, and hear as new ones are established. There’s an archive of over 230 episodes on the BBC website, going back to 2010, and if you know where to look, you can go back even further. I’m lucky enough to have had emails and the like read out ten times on the show, which is pretty awesome considering I’ve only been listening for a year. I wonder if I can call myself a contributor now?

Adventures with Words

Shamefully, despite being Twitter friends with Kate for quite a while, it’s taken me ages to get around to listening to her and Rob’s podcast, Adventures with Words. Their tagline is ‘Exploring storytelling in all its forms’, and they really do; although they focus primarily on books, there’s films and museums and conventions and plays, and much more. It’s great to listen to, because it does feel as though you are just sitting down with your friends and talking about all the books you love, and it is also adding to my to-read list quite considerably!

The Empire Podcast

I actually started listening to the Empire Podcast before Wittertainment (before I even knew it existed!), and it was the first podcast that I used to accompany me on my walks. It is very entertaining, because it’s a group of people that work together and bounce off each other very well, and they clearly know their stuff when it comes to films. I haven’t listened to as many of these as I should have; I started with some current episodes when I first started listening, but now I’m taking advantage of the archive, and I’ve started from the beginning. They have great guests, and lots of movie talk, and they really make me laugh too.

Serial

OK, I know Serial is so 2014. But there are still people (most of the people I know, in fact), who haven’t listened to it, and so I’m taking this opportunity to tell you that YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO SERIAL. I’m pretty sure that there has never been a more compelling podcast series. It comes from the creators of This American Life, an NPR podcast, and is hosted by a journalist called Sarah Koenig. She decided to start looking into the 1999 murder of a teenager called Hae Min Lee, of which her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed was convicted. Adnan is serving a life sentence, but has maintained his innocence ever since he was first accused, and Serial takes a look at the evidence, and tries to decide one way or another if he did murder Hae. The chances are, you’ve already heard of this podcast, if you haven’t already listened. All twelve episodes are available, so you can binge-listen if you so wish (and I think once you start, you’ll be glad you don’t have to wait a week between episodes, like the rest of us did). At times it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that this is real-life, and a real girl lost her life, but at no point is it anything other than utterly gripping. It’s definitely worth a listen. Serial will be back later in the year, during which Koenig will concentrate on a new case, and I can’t wait.

My plan was to write about five podcasts, but on looking through my phone, I just don’t listen to anything else enough to give a good enough account of it. The odd episode here and there, but nothing I’ve found myself downloading episode after episode, as I do with this little lot.

If you have any recommendations for things I simply have to listen to, please do let me know. I’ll be searching for more myself, and I’ll be back at some point with another round up to let you know about them.

My Thoughts On… Jeremy

Just a quick reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, please skip down to the section titled Why Should You See This Film? where you will find no spoilers!

Synopsis

Shy cellist boy meets upperclassman ballet dancing girl at school. They experience first-time love, then happenstance pulls them apart. (via IMDb)

What I Liked

  • The first thing I should say about this film is that I saw it under slightly unusual circumstances. Having been a fan of Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s film review show on Five Live for a while now, I have heard Mark talk about his love for Jeremy a few times. When I realised he was presenting a screening of it in London, I had to go, and not only because it was a chance to hear one of my heroes talk in real life. I was genuinely intrigued about this film that Dr K holds in such high esteem, and yet so few people seem to know about. Listening to Mark Kermode talk about anything is fascinating, but listening to him talk about a film he feels so passionate about was quite an experience. And the screening was held at the Cinema Museum, a beautiful building that I have every intention of visiting again in the very near future.
  • So, Mark Kermode fangirling aside, what did I actually think of the film? Well, I enjoyed it a lot more than I had expected to. I can’t say I had the same overwhelmingly emotional reaction that Dr K claims to have each time he watches it; I certainly didn’t cry. But it was a very sweet love story, between two characters I totally with whom I totally empathised with and felt a connection to. There’s definitely something special about watching a teenage love story, especially when it involves people slightly outside of the social norms. Jeremy is gawky and nerdy, and not the kind of guy that generally gets the girl, so it’s really nice to see him fall in love and have his feelings reciprocated. Susan is a bit cooler, frankly, but she loves Jeremy right back.
  • The film made me laugh out loud, more than once. I really wasn’t expecting it to be that funny, but it really was. Jeremy himself is funny, but the star turn in terms of comedy comes from his best friend Ralph, who provides hilarious one liners at various points throughout the film. Jeremy’s mother is also very funny when she’s trying to get her husband to be interested in what colour tiles she should use for redecorating.
  • Robby Benson and Glynis O’Connor, who play the lead roles of Jeremy and Susan, are both very good. Before the film started, Mark Kermode told us that they had fallen in love for real whilst making the film, and I think that really shines out of the screen; you totally believe in the chemistry, and that makes all the difference.
  • It was a bit of a novelty to watch a proper film, and not a digital film, which is what I am obviously used to these days. I am clearly old enough that cinema trips of my youth would have involved celluloid and not digital presentations, but those days are long gone, and frankly, it was nice to see all the imperfections that film brings along with it. I wish I had sat a bit further back so I could have sneaked some looks at the projectionist who ran the film through the machine.
  • A little off topic, maybe, but it occurred to me while I was watching Jeremy that I have almost the exact same glasses as the titular hero. For evidence, please see this photo.

What I Didn’t Like

  • During a podcast a few months ago, Mark played Simon the song from the film. I don’t know if he actually expected Simon to like it, but in true Wittertainment style, Simon was totally sniffy about it, and frankly, trampled all over Mark’s love for it. I too, thought it was a pretty terrible song, but was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, because Mark said that if you see it in the context of the film, it’s totally different. It wasn’t, not for me. It’s still irritating, and I had it in my head for about four days after seeing the film.
  • I really, really didn’t enjoy the sex scene in the film. It felt as though the director simply had no idea what he was doing, so just went for as many weird close up shots as possible. A close up shot of Susan’s eye was immediately followed by a close up shot of Jeremy’s eye, for example. It was weird and icky, and I didn’t like it.

Why Should You See This Film?

The chances are that you won’t get a chance to see this film, unless you buy it on DVD, and that doesn’t seem to be the easiest thing in the world. I don’t think it’s ever on the television (a bit like The Amazing Mr Blunden, but luckily I have that on DVD), so your best chances might be if Mark Kermode presents a screening in your area. If he does, I urge you to go. I don’t think there’s anything better than hearing someone speak passionately about something they love. And then you’ll get to make your own mind up about the film, which I think is sweet, fairly innocent, funny, and well shot (apart from the sex scene).