Sometimes I get a real hankering for an item of clothing ever so slightly before it hits peak trendiness. This is not because my true calling is to be a trend forecaster. This is because the pages of fashion magazines and the tiny squares on Instagram have somehow lodged themselves in my tiny, suggestible brain. Much like Andi in the Devil Wears Prada, I end up wearing a blue jumper without necessarily realising why I was drawn to the blue jumper in the first place.
And so it is that this year I’m craving checks. Checks, a belted coat (this is undoubtedly solely because of Megan Markle. The woman gives good coat) and some lace-up boots. When I say checks, I’m not talking the Prince of Wales check of last year. I’m talking dark greens, reds and navys. Look, it’s basically tartan but in the least kilt-y, most classy way possible.
This review comes late, but prompted by the fact that it’s the Oscars soon and I had a half-written piece lying dormant within my laptop, I felt compelled to finish it. Because I loved this film. A few minor gripes aside, it’s the best thing I’ve seen in a long time.
I was ready to hate it, I really was. Word of mouth reviews like ‘I couldn’t wait for it to be over’ and ‘the bear attack goes on for TWENTY MINUTES’ were a bit of a deterrent, but with a large plastic cup full of red wine in hand I readied myself for a gruelling two hours and thirty-six minutes. Continue reading
What a strange spring and early summer it has been. The major life events of other people have caused me to look at time and its passing in a different way, reminding me to notice subtle changes like how lush and green this country is in July. Now that I’m getting a little older and the years are speeding up, the change in season is something I want to grasp and hold onto. Summer seemed to last forever when I was little but now it goes by in the blink of an eye. Continue reading
I’ve only ever been to a handful operas over the course of my life and I have to say, I’m not mad keen. I’ve tried to understand why so many people are moved to tears by the great tragedies but, opera philistine that I am, I just don’t get it.
I couldn’t wait for Mimi to hurry up and die at the end of La Bohème just so it could be over. I nearly walked out of The Marriage of Figaro in the interval due to the cringe factor of this ‘comic’ opera, highlights of which included some crossdressing and lots of hiding in cupboards. Maybe it was funny in 1786. I almost enjoyed Verdi’s Nabucco and an opera adaptation of Il Postino, but the extended periods of ‘recitative style’ (singing with the rhythms of ordinary speech) made me want to claw my own ears off. I’m all for the arias, the duets and the big choruses, but speech which is sung instead of spoken cuts right through me. I’m not into it. Take me to the ballet over the opera any day. Or so I thought. Continue reading
There is no one, in my very humble opinion, who writes more beautifully about the world of nature than Thomas Hardy. Some choose books which allow them to escape to fantasy lands across distant galaxies but my preferred location for escapism is the inside of a Hardy novel. Perhaps not Jude the Obscure, but certainly the green, rolling hills and meandering lanes of Wessex, the semi-imaginary county which features in many of his novels. I do love a descriptive passage about nature, me. Especially when the charming landscape clashes so violently with the human tragedy unfolding within it. I read a Hardy novel every summer. He’s my fave. Continue reading
November and December seem to have passed in a blur during which, at any given moment, I had a small notebook full of tasks I should have been getting on with. Time seems to be getting faster and the days on the calendar are being eaten up alarmingly quickly. How on earth is there only a week left until Christmas? At least I haven’t had the time to dread an impending birthday…
Horror of the passage of time aside, here for your reading pleasure (or not) is my November and December combined in music. A tiny bit Christmassy and apparently a lot melancholy, singer-songwriter-y for some reason. Happy Christmas! Continue reading
I recently came across this article in The Guardian by art critic Jonathan Jones, which ran with the headline:
‘The Tower of London poppies are fake, trite and inward-looking – a Ukip-style memorial’.
I’m one of those types who lives their life to music. I listen to it in the morning to wake me up, I have it on quietly in the background while I work, I put the radio on in the kitchen while I’m cooking and occasionally I have a little sing-along while I do the washing up. What a wild life I lead.
When Spotify announced, many, many, moons ago that it was going to start charging, I was torn. All of those carefully curated playlists, the time spent browsing the ‘recommended for you’ section, could I bear to let it all go to waste? A wise friend told me that the company had done it on purpose, reeled me in and hooked me with a free service before starting to charge for it out of the blue. It was a clever ruse and continuing to use it would mean I’d been swindled. Now, Spotify Premium is one of my monthly direct debits, as essential a payment as my phone bill. Continue reading
Fashion magazines and mothers alike advise that winter coat shopping should take place long before winter actually begins. The time to snap up a good ’un before they all sell out is early autumn, meaning that the time is now. I took heed of this sage advice and duly went out to look for a new coat a little while ago. Somehow, I ended up with three.
I haven’t bought a new coat in forever. My old one, which is about four years old, was on its last legs. There were holes inside the pockets, meaning that the coat lining had become home to irretrievable small change, pens and shopping lists. There was a candle wax stain (why do trendy tapas restaurants insist on putting candles in ill-positioned wall recesses?) which was impossible to get rid of. Mainly, though, I just didn’t really like it any more. It was time for a change.