Random Chatter

What Trainspotting means to me…

Just a random post, as I caught the trailer of Trainspotting floating about the interweb today, saying it was released in cinemas 22 years ago. If someone asked me to pinpoint a movie that feels important to me personally, it would be that Danny Boyle masterpiece. It always brings back a lot of memories.

I was almost seventeen in when it came out and I had never seen anything like it. Culturally and sonically it fitted in with my ideas of what was cool at the time. It had a fantastic plot, great (mainly unknown) British actors, it was funny and dark and gritty and not to mention had a fantastic soundtrack. I just fell in love with Trainspotting as soon as I saw it. In fact, me and my friends were a bit obsessed with it for a while! We played the soundtrack all the time, we had the posters, we tried out the Scottish accent (with varying success) and of course we were all in love with Ewan McGregor (Renton) and Jonny Lee Miller (Sick Boy). Despite my love for Ewan, my favourite character was Spud, the adorable goof.

At the time there was a lot of hooha about it glamourizing heroin. Did those people actually see the movie? There was clearly nothing glamorous about taking heroin. Instead it is the best anti-drugs campaign ever made in my opinion. But it was never about the heroin for me, it was about friendship most of all. Trainspotting just came out at the right time and managed to to be an instant classic. It fitted in with cultural changes at the time, especially in Britain, but this was the movie that spoke to me like no other movie had ever managed to. I understood it and it understood me, a big thing for a teenager trying to find her own way in the world.

No movie will ever have the same impact on me and it will always have a very special place in my heart. I just cannot believe I first saw this movie twenty two years ago. And yet, the mid nineties were an amazing time to grow up. I guess a small part of me remains the quirky teenager I was back then.

If you have not seen it yet, please do so! Just be aware that there are graphic scenes of sex and drug taking, not to mention a shedload of swearing!

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Random Chatter

Man, what a week!

I have been a little quiet around the blogoshpere this week, but I have hardly had time to read let alone blog! I have been busy splitting the wood of the nine trees that came down a couple of weeks ago on a splitting machine that we could borrow for a couple of weeks.  Since my other half works fulltime and does not come home till dark, it was my job (fair enough). And there have been lots of other chores that have come up this week as well. *sigh* One of those weeks!

There have been fun things as well, such as morning walks or coffees with friends and the like, but has all taken up a lot more time than usual and I feel absolutely shattered. Alas, I have to go and get in the pallet of wood that came in yesterday, as the wood we got from the trees will need to season for another couple of years.

Ah, the joys of country living.

1710 Clare Balding booksIn other news, I have decided to read Clare Balding’s children’s book The Race Horse Who Wouldn’t Gallop, which is just the sort of fun light hearted read I need when physically exhausted. I was keen to read it, as she based the horse in the book on a racehorse that used to be in her father’s racing yard. I think it was Lochsong, who would only train with another horse present. Her second book The Race Horse Who Disappeared is based on Shergar, a real life champion racehorse who is believed to have been kidnapped and was never found.

It is such a fun, classic rags to riches story and Clare really has a great voice (writing style) for children’s tales.

We have my grandmother’s 90th birthday dinner later and we still have that wood to bring in, so I better leave it at this.

Anyway, how has your week been? And what are you up to this weekend?

 

 

Random Chatter

The Christmas Tag

I saw this tag on Howling Libraries and felt it would be a lovely tag to do!

What is your favourite Christmas movie? 
For all its faults, I really love Love Actually.

I do also love The Snowman. Christmas is not Christmas without it.

What is your favourite Christmas song? 
I will offer one classic and a more out-there choice. So I would say Last Christmas by Wham! and Zombie Christmas by Emmy The Great and Tim Wheeler.

Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
My daughter gets a stocking and opens some pressies on Christmas morning. The rest of us usually get some presents under the tree in the afternoon.

What is your favourite Christmas scent?
Mulled wine spices

What tops your tree?
A tacky golden plastic star.

Is your tree fake or real?
For the first time in years we have a real tree this year.

Have you ever gone Christmas carolling?
No no no. I have a voice like an old crow. No one would want to hear that!

White or coloured lights?
Coloured. I like my Christmas world to look like a unicorn has vomited all over it.

Eggnog or Hot Chocolate?
Eggnog is not much of a thing in Europe, so definitely hot chocolate.

Are you a ‘Buddy the Elf’ or ‘Ebenezer Scrooge’?
Somewhere in the middle. I love to give nice gifts and make the house look nice, but being sensible about it.

When do you put up your tree/decorations?
We put them up early December. We got a good deal on a tree, so were a little early this year.

If you could travel anywhere for the holiday season, where would it be?
Just like every year, we are off to England to see my husband’s family for a lovely old fashioned Christmas. I love being there over Christmas! I would not want to be anywhere else.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?
Yes, but I never take them too seriously!

***

Please do this tag if you feel like doing so and comment with the link or ping back so I can read it!

Random Chatter

Fifteen Years Later…

I just wanted to write this post as I my head is full of thoughts at the moment.

I have had a lovely busy weekend, but one of the best things that happened that after about fifteen or sixteen years of not seeing her, I met up with an old friend. We used to be close. There were four of us girls and we all somehow lost touch with each other around the same time. I guess we were all growing up and going in different directions. We never fell out or anything, we just changed is my guess. In your early twenties you really start to explore the world and our journeys just stopped running parallel at some point…

Well, we befriended each other on Facebook about five years ago, but we were living in different countries at the time, so the subject of meeting up never came up. I have moved back a couple of years ago and we finally decided to catch up. It was such a treat!

Seeing her now after all these years still felt so familiar. In age we are only a week or two apart, but our lives have been so different. It was so interesting and heartbreaking to hear what she had been up to in those intervening years. Life has not always been easy for her. I always looked up to her when we were younger and she is still such a strong person, who is so worthy of my admiration. She comes at life from a very different angle than I do, but that is what life’s experiences do to you, I suppose

We spoke about the ‘olden days’ and I was surprised to learn how insecure she had been. She had always come across so confident. But then,  I think I used to just come across as if I did not care what anybody thought, whilst actually I worried about that constantly.

I do not miss being a teenager or my early twenties. Sure, there is a sense of nostalgia and I had wonderful times, but now, at the wrong side of 35, I know I am more confident and happy than I have ever been. I finally feel like I know myself, that I have stopped caring so much about what other people think of me. I am who I am now, and if someone does not like that, well, that’s their problem. Being reminded of teenage angst I have suddenly realised how wonderful that is.

Sure, I have some regrets, like everyone, and I still have some body issues and I still second guess myself all the time, but I have realised that is normal. Everone does. Perfection does not exist! But I know I have a pretty good life; I have a wonderful husband and a daughter that means the world to me. I live in an amazing place in an amazing house with the people and animals I love. I am lucky.

And yesterday, I built an old friendship anew and we left each other with a big hug and a promise to meet up again soon. Life can be bloody good sometimes and I just wanted to share that.

Happy Sunday!

Lifestyle · Random Chatter

Fashionista I definitely am not: Cozy Knitwear Dresses

What? A post not about books? Yes, this is one of those rare creatures – don’t get used to it! I will be back to books next time, I promise!

I am struck down with the lurgy at the moment and feel like I want to curl up with a book and not do anything at all. Alas, I have a five-year-old, who is watching Casper at the moment, and I am about to begin dinner. Maybe tonight? Or is there anything good on Netflix I should watch?

Anyway, autumn has got me well and truly in its evil pumpkin grip and I feel the pull of woolly clothes! Now I normally live in jeans and jumpers throughout winter, but low and behold, I suddenly felt the need for a knitwear dress! Shock! Horror!

Mint & Berry knitted dressWell, I found this particular one I really loved by Mint & Berry that came in grey, black or wine red, with this lovely wintery knit pattern on it. I had set my heart on the wine red one, but of course my size was sold out. In fact, all colours were sold out in my size! Hmpffff!

So I looked on and found a couple more that I liked (though not as much as the first one) and ordered them. The fact that it is one of those website where you don’t have to pay until you have tried them on and can send them back for free if they don’t fit, makes it very easy! The black one is by Derhy and is a little expensive, but if it fits great and the quality is there, I don’t mind splashing out a bit… The grey jumper dress by Twintips just looks so cozy!

Of course a day later I got a message that the grey one of the original dress I liked was back in stock, so I ordered that one anyway, and then today I got a message to say the one I really wanted, the wine red one was back in stock, I ordered that one as well. Anyway, I have four dresses on the way. I have told myself I can keep two if they fit nicely and have to send the other two back…

Hopefully they will arrive in the next few days and I will be able to try them on!

Anyway, end of non-book post…

Please link to one of your non-book posts if you have done any!

 

 

Random Chatter

Grrrrrrr!

One of those days – well, yesterday was one of those days. My phone must have fallen out of my pocket and I must have managed to drive over it. Yes, honestly! What a dimwit, right???!!!! Apart from that, I appear to have forgotten appointments left, right and centre, so there is clearly a brain fart going on somewhere!

– and breathe –

Anyway, new phone should be on its way. Was cheaper to get a new two-year contract with a new Nexus 5X (same phone i already had) than it was to repair the screen, which was smashed to smithereens! Honestly!

Oh, and also, I had to get a new laptop last week, as my old one was misbehaving and then some. So my personal electronic devices seem to have a vendetta against me at the moment! Come to think of it, our dishwasher is also playing up. What did I do to offend the God of electronics?

Anyway, I will go and read for a bit now, to settle my mind and wait for my new phone to arrive. I have to read Promise of the Wolves, as I can neither listen to audible or read my kindle books, as that’s all on my phone.

To cheer me up, I will do a song of the day today. Let’s go for Lollipop (Ode to Jim) by Alvvays as they had their new album out on 8 September and I am going to see them on Sunday (yay!!!!).


Hope you’re all having a good day!

Lifestyle · Monthly Favourites · Random Chatter

August Favourites… Books and otherwise

Cannot believe the month of August is almost over. Somehow it has gone by in the flash. After a 30 degree day yesterday, it is raining a lot today. End of summer is in sight. I thought it would be a good time to look at my favourite things from this past month. Of course, I will touch on my favourite books that I read this month, but also on beauty, music and whatever else pops into my head.

Let’s start with…

BOOKS
I actually read the best books at the beginning and the end of the month. The first two books I read this month:  I, The Aboriginal by Douglas Lockwood and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern were both excellent (both 6 out of 7 stars!) and I am just getting to the end of my re-read of The Shadow of the Wind, which will also be 6 stars. Those three are head and shoulders above anything else I have read this month, and I read quite a few books, as I will get to in my August wrap-up later in the week.

1708 Favourite Books

BEAUTY
I am not much of a beauty fanatic, but I do think carefully about what I use. I try and use mostly natural products. This month I have been pretty natural and have not really worn make-up that much. Summer does that to me!

1708 favourite beauty

But I thought I would chat briefly about some of the products that I have loved using this month. I am a big fan of the La Fare 1789 skincare line. I have been using the Ideal Cream and Intense Night Cream daily and my skin is loving that stuff. I used something else for a little while and I can definitely tell that my skin is grateful I have returned to using La Fare! I have been using it in combination with the Living Nature gel toner, which is another staple in my skincare routine. Love it!

For stink protection, I have mainly been using The Ohms Collection powder deodorant. Works a treat, even in hot weather.

Summer is hardly the time for heavy foundations and on the days that I could be bothered to put some on I have been using 100% Pure BB Cream, which I love so so much. It evens out my skin tone without looking like I have anything on. It’s a product I will buy over and over again, because it works so well for me. It’s pretty light to medium coverage, as I don’t use that much, and is perfect for me. On days on which I just had to battle the sunscreen shine, I tend to use the Avril powder. So cheap, so amazing! Takes away the shine, but it’s pretty much invisible.

I have been using the Lily Lolo Pedal to the Metal eye shadow palette this month. It has a pretty taupe colour, which is perfect as a base and some pretty shimmer colours to combine with it. None of the colours are that pigmented, but when you want just light make-up, that is fine. There’s hardly any fall-out, which is a bonus! I like the size of this palette – it’s tiny!!!

It’s been one of those months that I have often gone out of the house with nothing but some lipstick on, but I have not been religiously using one particular colour. Though I have to say, the Lily Lolo lip gloss in Damson Dusk is soooo pretty!

Apart from that I have been using my usuals; my Lily Lolo mascara, the Nabla Brow Divine pencil.

MUSIC
I admit, I am still an indie chick at heart. I guess I always will be. I am eagerly anticipating Alvvays new album, which is out at the beginning of September. I have been listening to my usual suspects really, but for the last couple of months I have fallen in love with The Big Moon. Their album Love in the 4th Dimension, is one of my favourites of this year. It’s awesome! It has been rightly nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. I have also listened to Arcade Fire‘s new album Everything Now this month. It has had a lot of bad reviews and people generally seem to hate it, but I actually quite like it. No, it does not sound like the old albums, but why should it?

Song of the month: The Road – The Big Moon

I love how summery it sounds! That slow guitar, that hypnotic drum, that lazy vocal – perfection!

OTHER STUFF
I have been really enjoying using Goodreads this month. I love seeing what other people are reading or what they are putting on their to-read lists. Also love the reviews. God, I have added a lot of books to my to-read list since I have been keeping an eye on Goodreads!

I have also been enjoying season 7 of Game of Thrones. Though I feel it was not as good as earlier seasons, it is still miles better than anything else I have watched this month! I just felt the characters fell a bit flat this season and it did not feel as exciting. The final episode was the best of the season by far.

Instant latte macchiato. I don’t tend to like instant coffee, but I have been enjoying a cheeky instant latte macchiato after dropping my girl off at primary school. It feels far more luxurious than it should for sure!

That’s it for my favourites for this month. My August book wrap-up is on its way!