GREY’S OR PEAKY?

I have just started re-watching Grey’s Anatomy from the start again and I’m really enjoying it.
I stopped watching the show around 5 seasons ago as life got a bit too busy and the last 2 years in particular have meant that I’ve fallen behind with a lot of shows.

However….

A show that I’ve never really watched at all is Peaky Blinders.
I don’t know why because, C’mon, Cillian Murphy AND Tom Hardy?

Again, life and uni studies in the way meant that I didn’t want to risk getting hooked on another show.

Anyway, today, I saw an article about Peaky Blinders and I find out that Sam Claflin in now in it too!! And there’s a cheeky appearance by Domhnall Gleeson’s brother Brian (even if he has got a Scottish accent instead of his native Irish!).

Now I’m torn between making my way through 15 seasons of Grey’s, half of which I’ve already seen in the past, or going for something completely fresh and new with Peaky Blinders.

Help!!
What would you do?

DISH OF THE WEEK #80 – Hozier

There are always events in life that you will remember.
Weddings.
The birth of your children.
Holidays.
World events…. I bet you can remember exactly what you were doing on 9/11 or when Diana died.

Discovering ‘Dish of the Week’ number 80 is one of those events for me.

Today is the anniversary of a song that I absolutely adore.
Take Me to Church by Hozier.

I have a wonderful memory of the first time I heard the song and the beautiful voice of a tall (6’5″), gangly Irishman with long messy hair, called Andrew John Hozier-Byrne.

I had fallen asleep on the sofa one evening and I woke up to a very late night repeat of a Graham Norton show at around 2 in the morning.
It was the musical section at the end of the show and Hozier was singing Take Me to Church and I was completely blown away.

Here is that very performance…..

I was smitten and immediately looked up more about him and his music.
His first album, Hozier, is an amazing piece of work with every track a masterpiece that I can listen to again and again.

Take Me To Church and the self-titled debut album sent him on an international tour for more than two years and by the time he came home, he was burnt out. It took months to decompress and return to normal. He moved into a bungalow near his family in Wicklow and lived alone, “trying to do the everyday normal stuff that make people feel like people”. After a while the ideas for Wasteland, Baby! started to come.

It was a frustratingly long wait for this second studio album, that was finally released in March this year. One track on the album was release on an EP in Sept 2018. The amazing ‘Nina Cried Power’ with Mavis Staples.

It was shortly after the release of that EP that I actually got to see Hozier in concert in December 2018!
STUNNING is an understatement for this man live on stage.

If I ever get the chance to see him again, I will be jumping at it.

Wasteland Baby is another magical piece of work.
It’s hard to pick a favourite track, so here are just 3 corkers.

When I listen to his music, I find I am drawn to his live performances over the studio recorded ones. He pours his heart and soul into his music every time he performs and this makes every live performance different and stunning.

I just hope I don’t have to wait another 5 years for the next album!!

JUST ONE MORE BREAK

This year has been filled with little breaks in London.

The first was a Xmas present for My eldest daughter with tickets to see Pink at Wembley. Tickets that we scrounged the money together for with Nan and Grandad’s help. I went with her and we made it a short break together and had some fun.

The second was a few days away for me and hubby as we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.
25 years!! Not bad going these days.

We have one more break to London coming up at the beginning of October. The main reason is a Xmas present for our middle daughter who wanted to see Russell Howard, our favourite comedian, do one of his shows at the SSE arena in Wembley.
Again we are making a few days of it to really enjoy it.
This trip however, has now been extended for a day, for me an Ian anyway, as my brother and his wife and my parents decided they wanted to take me out to some place special for my up coming 50th birthday a little later in the month. They have decided on a rather lush looking restaurant in Covent Garden where my Brother proposed to his wife. It’s the day after we see Russell Howard, so it made sense to stay put for an extra night.

This HAS to be the end of our little trips away though.
We are coming to the end of our plan to try and clear some debt. When Ian hits 55 next year, we may have to dip into his pension to do it, but it has to be done. The only issue is it’s going to be around 7 months of really trying to keep our noses above water, so dipping onto the credit cards to make ends meet has GOT to stop.

It’s going to be a tough few months, especially with Xmas in the middle, but it will ultimately be worth it.
The thought of being completely debt free is overwhelming and will make the difficult months ahead of us totally worth it!

So, our time outs together will go back to consisting of the use of our Cineworld cards and we may be living on beans and toast for a while!
But it will be worth it.

ADAM – VENICE FILM FESTIVAL

Adam Driver’s new film ‘Marriage Story’ premiered this week at the Venice Film Festival. These events are marked by a landslide of new photos.
When not working and promoting his films or his charity, Adam is a pretty private man, so these events are always greeted with great excitement….. at least by me!!

So, here is this week’s haul of photo’s. Whether you want to see them or not!
It’s my blog.

I do not claim to own the rights to any of these photos but I would love to be able to acknowledge the photographers. If you can identify any, let me know and I will promote them on this blog.

CINEMA, NETFLIX AND PRIME, OH MY!

People who know me, know that I love going to the cinema.
You can’t beat a couple of hours of complete escapism with a good film shared with other filmgoers.

Now, we are seeing a bit of a shift in how films are being made and released and I don’t know that I’m entirely comfortable with it.

There are three films, due for release later this year that I am really looking forward to, however, the chances of me seeing them on the big screen are practically zero because they have been made by Amazon Prime and Netflix.

They will be getting theatrical releases at ‘select’ cinemas, but their main release will be on the Prime and Netflix channels.

Here in the UK, ‘select’ cinemas usually means that if you don’t live in London, or are prepared to add travelling costs to your cinema ticket, you probably won’t get to see it on the big screen.

So I have virtually resigned myself to the fact that I won’t get to see these films in the cinema, which takes out half the fun.

Another way of looking at it is that my favourite actor, Adam Driver, who happens to be in two of the above mentioned films, has a habit of making films that aren’t mainstream. He likes his quirky directors and unusual stories and the type of films he tends to end up making only get short limited releases in the cinema anyway. Sometimes I have to travel outside of my home town to get to see his films, so having them released directly to Prime or Netflix isn’t such a bad thing…… except I like to see films at least once on the big screen. For the effect.

Anyway, the past week has seen trailer releases for these three films.

The first is ‘The Report’ starring Adam Driver.

Based on a true story, Adam plays idealistic Senate staffer Daniel J. Jones, tasked by his boss to lead an investigation into the CIA’s post 9/11 Detention and Interrogation Program, uncovering shocking secrets.
The Guardian quotes “Fresh off his first Oscar nomination for BlackKklansman, Driver is a total natural with often difficult, demanding and intimidatingly wordy material. Like the script, he’s similarly unflashy and unquestionably convincing as a man doggedly following through with his convictions with so many of his info-stuffed monologues deserving quiet applause. It’s a restrained performance that he almost disappears into and acts as further proof of his versatility, dialling back the charm or confidence that might have typified many of his previous roles”.

The film has already premiered at the Sundance Film festival. Whether or not it has Oscar potential remains to be seen. I have everything crossed for Adam and I really can’t wait to see it.

The second film is ‘Marriage Story’ also starring Adam Driver alongside Scarlett Johansson.
An incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together.

So far, I like the advertising for this film. There are always two sides to every story in the breakdown of a marriage and that’s where there has been some clever marketing with two posters and two trailers. One of each from the wife’s perspective and one of each from the husband’s.

Again, the film will be shown at various film festivals later this year and have a limited theatrical release before airing on Netflix. There is no date for UK release yet.

The third film is ‘The King’ starring Timothee Chalamet.

I adore little Timmy and this young man is going to go a long way in his career.
I first saw him in ‘Call Me by Your Name’. It was an absolutely incredible performance from such a young actor.
I have since seen him in Miss Stevens, Ladybird and Beautiful Boy.
In ‘The King’, Timothee plays Hal, the wayward prince and heir to the English throne, who is crowned King Henry V after his tyrannical father dies. The young king must navigate palace politics, the war his father left behind, and the emotional strings of his past life.

The trailer for ‘The King’ was released this week and all I can say is that it looks absolutely stunning! I love a good costume drama and this looks like it will hit the spot nicely. It has a fantastic cast in Timothy Chalamet, Joel Edgerton and Ben Mendolsohn with my only quibble being Robert Patinson.

The film will be premiering at the Venice Film Festival in September before being released on the Netflix channel.

I seriously doubt that Amazon and Netflix making movies for release on their platforms will make much of a dent in people going to the cinema, but it does take away some of the magic of being able to see these masterpieces in their full intended glory.

I just hope they don’t get overlooked when it comes to awards season.

LESSON OF THE WEEK

So, what did I learn this week?

I learnt that I don’t handle wine very well when I go out.

I’ve been on a diet for a week and a half now and it’s going really well. I’ve dropped about half a stone.

For most of that time, I haven’t had any alcohol, however, I went over the road to our local with a friend on Thursday evening and although I’m usually a lager lady when I go out, I decided to stick to wine.

I did my research. A pint of my usual favourite, Kronenbourg 1664, is around 225 calories a pint but a large 250ml glass of Pinot is only 175.

Well, three glasses later I just needed to get home and go to bed. Thankfully I woke up fine the next day.

Anyway, I went out last night to see a mate and his band play at a pub in town and I thought I’d give the wine another go.
This time I wasn’t so lucky.
I was sick as a parrot when I got in, and although I’m not feeling sick this morning or even have a headache, I’m still not feeling great overall.

Seriously considering limiting myself to just two alcoholic drinks when I go out from now on and then sticking to soft drinks. I just can’t handle the alcohol like I used to anymore.

So today will be spent with my feet up on the sofa.

SO FAR, SO GOOD

After my recent annual leave, I made a conscious decision to get back on track with my diet and exercise. I went back to work 2 days ago and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to kick start it all again as there would be little distraction at work between 7am and 8pm to put me off!

So for the last two days, I didn’t have any milky coffee, crisps, meat or alcohol! I had fruit and yogurt for breakfast, a pile of fruit at work and a simple mushroom stir fry when I got home each evening. I tried to drink up to 2 litres of water.

You know what…. I managed it and I didn’t really miss anything!

This morning is my first day off and is going to be a bit more of a challenge.
I simply had toast and marmite for breakfast this morning and I resisted the urge for a milky coffee until lunch time, but this time I used skimmed milk!
I found that I could live with that as an alternative to semi-skimmed. But I won’t be making a habit of it.

Tonight I am planning a Sea Bass and Cauliflower Rice dish.
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. It’s simple.
Take a large frozen Sea Bass fillet, cover it with olive oil and season it with salt and cracked black pepper and bake for 20-30 minutes. Then simply microwave a bag of cauliflower rice to plonk the fish onto. It’s lovely and really filling and is only about 350-400 calories depending on size of fish and amount of oil used.

So far today I have only managed one bottle of water.
I have been shopping for more fruit and veg and resisted the urge to buy wine and crisps, but I did get a couple of bottles of sugar free coke as an occasional alternative to just water.

Time to start thinking about a little exercise and maybe go for a walk too…. although the weather is a bit shitty so I may just have to get the treadmill out and stick a movie on and go for an indoor walk!

I’m actually quite chuffed with myself.
Now I just need to keep it going.