I have just managed to see Annette. Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard’s musical adventure. If you haven’t seen it, there may be some minor spoilers in this quick review so you have been warned. .
When I first heard about Annette I was quite excited and then I found out that it is a musical with a completely sung narrative and I’m afraid I really don’t get along with that kind of musical!
For that reason I have been very apprehensive about seeing this film.
However…… I have to say that I’m glad I’ve seen it. It was beautifully filmed, wonderfully acted and totally surreal! I also have to say that I don’t think I could watch it again.
The film has it’s moments and Adam Driver really delivers an out of this world performance, but there was one moment that really blew me away and that was the duet Adam has with little 5 year old Devyn McDowell in the closing minutes of the film. They sing Sympathy for the Abyss together and OMG! this little girl has got some acting and singing chops! It actually gave me goose bumps.
It also makes you feel quite heartbroken for Henry, Adam’s character, even though he’s actually quite an arsehole the rest of the film.
It’s a very artsy film and I can see it doing pretty well when it comes to awards season next year and dare I say it… there could well be another Oscar nomination coming Adam’s way, but I won’t be going out of my way to watch it again. It just wasn’t my cup of tea. You can’t win them all!!
I have finally reached my limit. I live in a house with 3 other adults. My husband, Dharma who is 19 and Marjorie who is almost 22. My eldest, Murron, has moved out and is starting her own adventure and grandchild number one will be here anytime over the next 3 weeks.
Over lockdown and since Murron moved out we have had some MAJOR clearing out and moving around in the house. What is beginning to urk me are silly things. When I go out to work I will list things that need doing in the family chat group like, washing up, tidying up, putting shoes away and doing the washing. I have to do this list EVERY DAY. If I didn’t, nothing would be done and when they do do them, they tend to do the bare minimum or a half hearted job.
A couple of recent examples. The hubby did a shop for me yesterday. He threw a new kitchen roll on the side and left it. Instead of taking it out of the packet and replacing the empty roll on the stand, he just left it thrown on the side.
The shopping bags themselves are another urk!
This is how they should look when they are finished with. They are folded nicely and fit in this bag with the handle hooked back up to keep them all out of the way.
But this is how I quite often find them and it does my nut in because I have to put them away before I can get to anything.
Coats and hoodies are left on the bannister or hall chair instead of being hung on the rack which is practically in the same room. Shoes are left where they are taken off and I have found them recently in the middle of the kitchen, under a sofa in the living room and all around the hallway. There are TWO racks for shoes but I still have to pick shoes up.
Pots and pans. For some reason, it is acceptable to let them pile up in the hope that I will do them when I’m home. Baking trays left on the hob unwashed. Frying pans used with the promise of being washed ‘when I’ve finished eating’…….. which never happens. Chopping board never gets wiped down, cooker top never gets wiped down.
General cleaning, like bathroom, toilet, dusting and hoovering, only gets done if I specifically put it into the family group chat and ask for it to be done. God forbid anyone should think about doing it because they think it needs doing! People leaving items laying around like ear pods, cups and bottles, parcels or letters that they’ve opened, instead of putting them away. I could go on and on and on.
Don’t get me wrong, when Ian had to leave the house for work each day and the kids were smaller it wasn’t such a chore but now that the kids are old enough to completely look after themselves and Ian works from home it’s beginning to get to me.
To put things into perspective. I’m no spring chicken anymore and I have a knee problem that is only getting worse. When I’m at work I go out of the house at 7am and I don’t get home until 20:30 and sometimes later depending on the day I’ve had and the writing up I need to do before I leave, so I’m out of the house for around 14 hours. Sometimes I’m lucky if I get to sit down for more than 45 minutes during that time. I do two of these shifts in a row, sometimes 3 and occasionally 4! If I only have a day off between these shifts, I need to rest. So when I get home and I’m confronted with silly little things like washing up, clothes and shoes not put away, general tidying up and cleaning that hasn’t been done when 3 other adults have been in the house all day…. I get a little urked!
Yes, I know my husband works 9-5 Monday to Friday…….. BUT…. He does that SITTING at a computer and he gets to walk away from that screen whenever he wants to. I’ve seen what he does for work on my day off and if he thinks he even comes close to what I do,,, he is sadly mistaken. I don’t deny he works hard mentally but he doesn’t come any where near to what I do physically and he wonders why I get angry when I get home to silly little things that haven’t been done!
So! I am starting a name and shame blog. If I find anything that urks me, I will take a photo and I will post it here. If I know for ‘definite’ who did it, I will name them, otherwise I hope these posts will be a way for my family to get an idea of what I actually expect from 3 adults who live in the same house as me. There is no magic fairy to do the washing and cleaning. Four people use this house and it is actually the responsibility of EVERY one in the house to keep it tidy and clean. The ‘but I didn’t use it’ argument doesn’t work anymore!!
So that’s it, our first break away since 2019 done. Gone in a flash and thoroughly enjoyed. It has proved to us however, just how unfit we have both become over the last year. Walking around London is hard at the best of times with the amount of walking you can rack up. I think 24000 steps is our record for one day! It’s made even harder by all the different surfaces you have to navigate, particularly cobbles. By the end of each day we could barely move!
Anyway, Weds Aug 4th, we arrived quite early at our hotel and they were able to check us in early which was a bonus. We unpacked and then headed straight to the DLR which was literally a stones throw from our room.
We’ve stayed at this hotel several times as it is out of the congestion zone, has cheap parking for London, has a restaurant/pub attached, has a supermarket over the road, the DLR on it’s doorstep and most importantly, it’s cheap! we’re not looking for fancy when we go to London. We just need somewhere that’s clean, where we can sleep and have a shower and that has a TV and this ticks all the boxes.
So, first stop was at the Emirates airline for a cable car ride over the Thames to the O2.
Then we headed over to the South Bank and did our usual wander up and down. The weather was pretty good with lots of sunny spells and no rain, although it did look a bit threatening at times! We had a pint at The Thameside Inn before heading to our first meal of the trip at The Horniman in the Hays Gallery. One of our favourite haunts right next door to the HMS Belfast.
After this we were really struggling, so we headed back to the hotel for an early night and to catch up on some of the Olympics.
Thurs Aug 5th, we decided to start with breakfast at the hotel to fuel up for the day and then we headed over to Hyde Park Corner to catch a Big Bus Tour bus. I know, I know, that is SUCH a touristy thing to do, but it’s actually quite fun and a good way of seeing lots of sites in a relatively short space of time. It also means you can jump on and off the bus all over the major site seeing areas without having to go on the underground. The start of the day was lovely and sunny and so we enjoyed the open top area all the way round to St Paul’s Cathedral.
After this we hopped back onto the Big Bus and headed over to the Tower of London where we walked down to Tower Pier to take a short boat trip over to Westminster pier. The weather was getting a bit bleak by this point and our meal for the day was booked at The Rooftop bar and restaurant at The Trafalgar St James!!
Anyway, Ian wanted to check out the Lego store after dinner so we headed to Leicester Square in the rain. There was a HUGE queue still waiting to get into the store when we got there and this was 18:30 in the evening! So after a few photos with the resident statues, we headed back to the hotel for another fairly early night and a catch up with the Olympics.
Fri Aug 6th, was our anniversary day. This was to be a shopping and wandering day and we started back at the Lego store and made sure we were at the front of the queue for when they opened at 10. Unfortunately what we were after was out of stock so we headed off to Regents Street. I wanted to go to the Burberry store to look at getting Ian some Burberry Hero. This is the new fragrance that has just been launched and that Adam Driver is the face for. Obviously we both wanted to smell it first to see what it’s like and I have to say that it’s bloody lovely!! On a par, if not better than Hugo Boss!
Shopping in Burberry was surreal! We were greeted at the main door and asked what we were looking for. I asked where the men’s fragrances were and we were escorted there! We were introduced to a member of staff who showed us the fragrance and sprayed some onto Ian so we could really see what it was like and then she escorted us to a till where a colleague dealt with the sale while she took the bottle of fragrance to wrap. Our receipt was popped into it’s own little envelope. The fragrance that was already in it’s own box and shrink wrapped was placed into a Burberry box with a ribbon and then placed into a tough little Burberry bag , sealed with a Burberry ribbon and the bag had linen handles. We were then escorted back to the main door. The whole shop is covered with DEEP pile, pale cream carpet, and it was spotless! I came out of the store feeling like royalty. I was just a little disappointed at the lack of Burberry Hero posters….. and by lack of, I mean NONE!
We then had a mooch around Hamleys and they didn’t have the Lego we were looking for either so we heading for a mooch in Carnaby Street and Soho. Of course, this is where the heavens decided to open and of course we just had to find a pub for a bit.
We headed over to Oxford Street to check out one of the few remaining Disney stores in the country and bought a few gifts for the Kids and Grandkids, and yes! we found the Lego we were looking for!! We then headed over to Covent Garden in anticipation of our meal for the day which was at the Hawksmoor Seven Dials. We were taken here two years ago for our 25th Anniversary and my 50th Birthday by my Brother and Sister in Law and my parents. It’s quite an exclusive steak house with a long history.
The restaurant is located in the old Watney-Combe brewery, tucked down a quiet street a few minutes walk between Covent Garden station and Seven Dials. The Brewery’s first owner, Alderman Combe, hosted an annual steak supper for London’s great and good, with his guests in 1807 including the Prince of Wales and Duke of York. A newspaper reported that: “At a late hour the company left the Brewhouse, highly gratified with their beef-steaks, on which the Duchess of York was lavish in her praise, and very pleased with their worthy host’s hospitality.”
I have to tell you that it still lives up to it’s reputation. The meal was amazing although I was a little disappointed that they appear to have reduced their cocktail menu but this didn’t stop me from downing a few!
Sat Aug 7th proved to be a really wet day which was a shame because we had tickets for a canal boat ride from Little Venice to Camden Lock to meet up with and do some shopping with Ian’s cousin Debbie and her partner Greg who moved back to England from South Africa a few years ago and they were planning to do us a South African BBQ for dinner. Anyway, the plan for the BBQ had to be scrapped so plans for dinner today were a surprise.
It took us longer to get into Little Venice than planned as there was a line closure that wasn’t very well announced so we didn’t have time to wander around and find breakfast anywhere. This was probably just as well because of the rain. We will definitely be going back to Little Venice in better weather. It looks like it’s a beautiful little place. The canal boat ride takes about 45 minutes and the crew give some history stories along the way.
As we arrived in Camden, the heavens opened again so it was a case of ducking for cover and having a little mooch. But as is traditional with the English weather, the sun soon came back out and we ended up sitting in the garden at the Ice Warf having a drink and waiting for Deb and Greg. We managed to get a table underneath a parasol which was just as well as there was more rain. I couldn’t get my app to work (or so I thought) so Ian ordered two pints. Turns out my app was working and two more turned up 5 minutes later!! Deb and Greg soon turned up and we went to do some more mooching around the market and stopped at Gabeto’s in the middle of the market for…. yes, another drink and a chat and some nibbles and when the weather turned again, we ended up in the Oxford Arms to have more drinks, more chat and to watch the Springboks BEAT the Lions much to Greg’s delight! We ended the day at Wagamama’s around the corner. All in all, it was a lovely day, if a little wet. We really should see more of Deb and Greg. Two years between visits is a bit much, although the pandemic hasn’t helped.
We had left Sunday 8th August open. 1 – we didn’t know what the weather would be like and 2 – we didn’t know if we would be up to anything physically. Turns out the weather was horrendous AND we were not up to much physically. The plan would have been to head over to Gilders Hill on Hampstead Heath to see the old Pergola and to see the Butterfly house and Zoo that is also over there apparently. Anyway, this day has now been filed away for a future trip.
We had breakfast at the hotel and we headed home. Despite the weather, it was a lovely trip away and it has given me something to think about when it comes to my own health and fitness level.
So! After a really long 8 days consisting of six 12.5 hour shifts, I finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel. 4 days off!!
It got off to a lovely start yesterday with my eldest daughter’s baby shower.
The recent bad weather held off quite nicely and the sun actually came out!! Murron was looking radiant and I can’t wait until little JJ arrives at the end of August.
It was a lovely afternoon and I finally got to meet some of Jordan’s family. I’m never going to remember names, but at least I now know the faces!
Today has been pretty chilled so far. I had intended to get cracking with the front garden but the weather is very overcast and threatening again and doesn’t look to be getting any better over the next couple of days either. So I am going to catch up on some TV and films. Unfortunately it won’t be through my Virgin set top box as it appears to be broken. It’s stuck on the start up and won’t go any further. We have an engineer coming out on Wednesday to look at it.
The garden can wait until Friday. Looks like the weather will be better then and I will enjoy pottering around in the sun.
Back to today, I had a hankering for some chocolate cheesecake so I ordered Deliveroo for some ingredients. First time I’ve used them and I was very impressed with the speed they delivered. Less than fifteen minutes from order to delivery!! I’m now going to make the cheesecake and get it into the fridge for later.
During the loosening of lockdown rules in the Summer last year, my beautiful Daughter Murron, found her soul mate. By the end of September she had moved out and become a step mum to two beautiful little boys. She got engaged at Christmas and is currently expecting my first Grand Baby at the end of August this year!
They plan to have a wedding in 2023 but they need some help to fund it. I am not in a position to fund very much myself so it’s going to be tough. She has set up a GoFundMe page in the hope that she could raise some funds to help her and her partner have the wedding party to die for. If you would like to donate, please follow this link.
It’s been a tough few days. I work 12.5 hour shifts and so far I’ve worked 2 on, 1 off, 2 on, I’m off today and then 2 more! So a grand total of 75 hours in 8 days. Mostly on my feet. The light at the end of the tunnel is 4 days off with my daughter’s Baby Shower on Saturday.
Anyway, it’s also been a miserably wet few days as the UK weather took a bit of a turn for the worse. However, the sun is shining today so I took my chance to wash my car and then pootle around the back garden tidying up my planters after they took a bit of a bashing in the rain.
While I was doing this I notice a lot more bees than usual and I discovered that they were all coming in and out of a little hidden corner on my patio under the fence between us and the neighbours.
It’s a very sheltered little corner, I’ve actually pulled a pot away to get this video. I always thought Bumble bees were solitary bees but as I’ve just found out, they are actually very social and can form colonies of 50 to 500 individuals!! The are very docile and it takes an awful lot for them to sting you. They will actually give you a warning first and even then, you have to be really provoking them. If you just leave them alone, they will just carry on being busy. I absolutely love listening to them and watching them on a hot day, although I can’t deny I do get a little freaked out when they bump into me!!
Right, I’m going to get a drink (albeit a soft one because I have to pick someone up from work later!!) and go and sit in the garden and watch my new friends for a while.
It’s been a few weeks since my last blog, so I thought I’d have a little catchup.
It’s been crazy busy at work. I literally do not stop running around from 7:30 in the morning to 8 in the evening!! I’ve got 5 of those shifts to do this week. 2 down, 3 to go. Upside is that I only have 2 of them to do next week.
Anyway, how’s life been otherwise?
Not too bad really. The pub over the road has finally opened it’s doors again! Heaven. I actually went to the cinema for the first time in year. I went to see Peter Rabbit 2 which was a little disappointing. The first one was hysterical and I still love watching it, however, the second one lost it’s sparkle a little bit. They were trying too hard for the laughs.
Dharma passed her driving theory test. Great!! However, they are so back logged with people wanting to take the driving test itself that she may not get a test until next year!!
I went to Coventry last Saturday with Marjorie and Dharma. Dharma has a really good friend she met online a couple of years ago and they meet up occasionally. Because of COVID restrictions they haven’t seen each other since December 2019! Bit emotional! Did some shopping and had some lunch. I wanted to show Marjorie the old Cathedral but it was closed because the University was doing graduations in it. Marjorie was a bit peeved about that because Bedford Uni aren’t doing graduations because of COVID. Her tutors weren’t very happy about that either so they made all the students graduation caps and had a bit of a private celebration with some food and drink and Marji went out for lunch with some of her Uni colleagues.
Dharma finished her first year of University studies last week and Marjorie finished her final year!! Dissertation handed in and just waiting for the result. Fingers crossed.
It’s Dharma’s birthday next Monday and I’ve promised her that she can drive us to see Murron in Kettering. Since Murron moved out last September, and because of restrictions, we haven’t seen too much of her recently. She is blooming though!! Only 89 days to go!
The weather has been beautiful this week. Typical that I’m working most of it! I’m off today and I plan to have a little tidy up in the back garden before Debbie comes over later today for a drink and some dinner. My mantra for the day is…. I must remember I’m working tomorrow….. I must remember I’m working tomorrow!!
OK, I’ll be one of the first to admit that when my wayward eldest daughter took a liking to P!nk waaaay back when she was still in single digits age wise, as a very naive parent who hadn’t experienced much during her teens years I was pretty horrified by this brash, confident, tattooed, no nonsense, chameleon haired singer.
The more I got to know about her and the more I actually realised I enjoyed her music, the happier I was that my daughter has had such a fantastic role model growing up.
My daughter is confident, strong, loving, doesn’t take any shit from anyone, and is going to be an incredible Mum and as much as I’d like to think that I was responsible for that, I know that seeing P!nk being this incredible force of nature has also played a big part in how my daughter has turned out.
This woman is absolutely amazing. If you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend watching her new docufilm on Amazon Prime, ‘All I know So Far’. What a hard working but down to earth Mum she is. Her kids are going to have an incredible life.
Last night at the Billboard awards, where P!nk received the Icon award, she performed on stage with her daughter Willow. They released a record together earlier this year which is amazing called, ‘Cover Me In Sunshine’. At just 9 years old Willow did some acrobatics with her Mum to that very record and it is pure magic to watch.
I was privileged enough to see P!nk at Wembley in 2019 with my daughter and I can safely say that I hope to be able to see her again in the future. I will also be watching little Willow grow up with great interest.
I’ve never been a huge Eurovision Song contest fan. I know people love the show and rave about it all the time but I have never been able to get excited about it. The songs are usually cheesy, tacky or downright awful and this year was no exception.
Just out of curiosity I had a quick flick through the finalists on Youtube to see what abominations were on offer again this year and found myself quite surprised by one particular song. In fact, I absolutely love it and it has made it to one of my Spotify lists!
Fallen Angel by Tix is a beautiful song and in my opinion it is far superior to the winning entry by Italy which was completely tuneless!
The final performance was simple and effective as Tix, who has Tourette Syndrome, battled with his demons live on stage.
So sad that it didn’t manage to do any better with the scores on the night, or even win to be honest.
Anyway, I tuned in to watch the final few votes of the final. You couldn’t pay me enough to sit through the whole show!! When Marjorie came in from work she sat and watched it with me and asked me when the UK last won the contest and apart from Bucks Fizz who won when I was just 11 years old and was a mega hit at the time, I couldn’t remember a single UK winner. However, when I did a bit of research, I found that the UK has actually won the competition 5 times and I knew every single song! All of them cheesy, and apart from Save Your Kisses for Me which I loved as a 6 year old, I hated every one of them!!
1967 – Puppet on a String by Sandie Shaw
1969 – Boom Bang-a-bang by Lulu
1976 – Save Your Kisses for Me by Brotherhood of Man
1981 – Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz
1997 – Love Shine a Light by Katrina and the Waves
So! Whatever possessed the UK to enter Embers by James Newman? I can see where they were going with the song and if it had been preformed by someone else it may have done better. James Newman was a BAD choice. Listening to some of his , dare I say ‘autotuned’ work on Spotify, this song was totally out of character for him and it showed as he could barely get through the first verse in tune!
Anyway, thankfully it’s all over for another year and hopefully the UK will choose a little more wisely next year, if they even enter the contest at all after getting 0 points this year!!
Could I really be that lucky? Adam Driver’s next film, Annette, is opening the Cannes Film Festival in July, but it has just been announced that it is getting it’s theatrical release in the US on August 6th. UK releases usually coincide with US releases but there is no confirmation yet. This is the kind of film that gets a pretty limited run here in the UK and I would usually have to travel outside of my hometown to a cinema that is showing it…..
I will be in London on August 6th because it’s our wedding anniversary and we are spending 4 days in London!! This will be the perfect opportunity to see it at my favourite cinema, the Picturehouse Central, if they are showing it.
August 6th this year is shaping up quite nicely. Possible trip to my favourite cinema to see a new Adam film and dinner at the Hawksmoor in Covent Garden.
URGH! I have just realised that Adam was just 10 years old when I got married!! My kids are all over 18. One has left home and is currently producing a baby.