As it’s the first day of a new year and a new decade, it seems like the perfect time for some self-reflection. Yesterday, I posted my lists of top films, books, and audiobooks for 2019. I normally manage to get through a lot of films each year so 2019 was nothing new. In terms of reading, I’ve really outdone myself. 2018 was the year that I set my first reading challenge. I put it at a fairly meagre 30 books but it was something that I only just managed to pass before December 31st. This year, to be on the safe side, I put it at 30 again. As you’ll know if you’ve read any of my recent bookish posts, I surpassed the 30 mark with a quarter of the year still to go. So, I upped it to 50 and managed to finish 58 books in total. I know compared to many people in the bookish community that this isn’t a great achievement. It is for me. Last year I struggled so much with reading slumps and not wanting to open up the book I was reading. In the last few years, I’ve spent months trying to get through single books. This year, I was normally reading about one a week. It begged the question: what had changed? Well, I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I think I know.
How has your week been? What have you been reading?
Is it just me or are the weeks getting longer and the weekends getting shorter? Maybe it’s because I don’t have any leave from work coming up but my workdays are dragging along. And this weekend went by in the blink of an eye. Although, I had a great time on Saturday celebrating the 1st birthday of my friend’s son. She threw a BBQ and it was super nice. Hot but nice. I definitely got sunburnt but it was worth it. The three of them had a great time. But today has flown by. I wasted a few hours finishing my current read this morning and then spent some time taking photos for the week. Then I’ve just wasted my time. Just like normal. Classic Sunday.
How has your week been? What have you been reading?
Today, I had a massive panic that I’d accidentally put my phone in the washing machine. I knew I probably hadn’t because even I’m not that stupid but I couldn’t find it anywhere. So, my mind immediately starts conjuring up images of it being in the middle of the pile of washing I’d just put on. Of course, I found it not long after. As it happens it was under a pile of books I’d just been taking photos of. Guess that’s what you get when you spend your day off preparing for the week ahead. It also meant that I didn’t read as much as I’d wanted to. My plan is to finish this quickly, have a quick shower, and then settle down with my current read for the night. Get me in the right head space for the week ahead. I’m starting my apprenticeship webinars tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes. Then I can finally see what I’ve let myself in for.
How has your week been? What have you been reading?
Happy Easter to you all. I’ve had a wonderful weekend so far. Good Friday was spent doing nothing. Yesterday I went on a walk with my sister so my legs are agony today. Tonight I met a friend for a wonderful drink. And, magically, I still have one more day off. Seriously, the simple joy of a bank holiday is lost on people who haven’t spent most of their life working them. It’s a lovely feeling. I could get used to a 4-day week. I’m not sure I could wangle it though. I will say, the only downside has been all the chocolate I’ve consumed this week and will continue to consume this week. It’s going to be bad man.
Continuing in my recent spate of reading children’s books, I’ve just finished the book that was awarded the Costa Children’s Book Award last year. I bought it on the same Amazon spree that finally saw me grab a copy of Tin and, after it was recommended to me, I couldn’t resist. It sounded like a much less violent version of Lord of the Flies and, despite the fact that the violence is the whole point of William Golding’s book, that did sound quite interesting. I would have finished the book much quicker than I actually did had it not been for a particularly difficult week at work that saw me falling asleep mid-chapter a few nights in a row. Still, it didn’t exactly take months so I can feel okay about it I guess.
With less than a week until the Oscars, my quest to watch all of the Best Picture nominations is getting quite tense. I’ve got three more to go and I’m not really super keen to watch either of them. I managed to watch two in quick succession last week so, if I’m clever with my time, I should be okay. It’s just a shame that the film I’m talking about today marks the end of the list of films I really wanted to see. The Darkest Hour is something I’ve been excited about for months. Combining my love of history and Gary Oldman; what could be better? When the first pictures of Oldman in his full Winston Churchill costume came out months ago, everyone was apparently amazed by the transformation. The picture was placed on the front of newspapers along with the tantalising caption of “we bet you’ll never guess who this really is” or something. I didn’t get the uproar. I mean anyone that looked at the photo should instantly be able to see Gary Oldman’s eyes staring back at them. Don’t get me wrong, the transformation was incredibly but it’s quite clearly the actor underneath all of that makeup. I admit, I have a bit of a soft spot for Oldman so I might be more familiar with his face than many people. It meant that whenever I saw photos from the set of The Darkest Hour I only ever saw Oldman and not one of the greatest Prime Minster’s the UK has ever seen.
You find me writing this Sunday Rundown in an unusually good mood today. Even though it’s already after 11pm and I’m only just starting to write this. But I’ve always enjoyed the pressure of a deadline drama. The reason I’m so positive today? I’ve spent a lovely chunk of it eating amazing food and spending time with wonderful people. As I’ve made abundantly clear on this blog already, I’m turning 30 in just over a week. As part of the ongoing celebrations some of my work-friends and I went to a Michelin star restaurant for lunch today. It was so wonderful that I don’t even care how unproductive I’ve been. Head to my Instagram for some sensational (even if I do say so myself) example of food porn. Maybe this whole “turning 30” thing won’t be that bad after all?
Another week down and another 30 year-old film to discuss. I’d not seen Bull Durham before because, quite frankly, when something is described as a mixture of romantic-comedy and sports film then I’ll just assume it’s not for me. I don’t have the best history with sports film because I really can’t give a shit about sports. Sure when the Summer Olympics is on I might watch a few of the more exciting events but I can honestly think of better things to do with my time. I’m of the opinion that if you like a sport that much then you’d be better off playing it than sitting in front of a TV watching it. But I’m also the kind of person who finds board games to be edge of your seat excitement. So, I don’t exactly go out of my way to watch a sports film unless there’s another reason to enjoy it. Sure, when I was younger, I was obsessed with the film Little Giants but that was only because it came in a 3 film VHS set along with Richie Rich and Dennis. Still, just like my beloved Mighty Ducks trilogy, it’s an incredibly silly film that happens to be about sport. Not exactly up there. The closest I’ve come is The Damned United; a film that I only watched because I’m completely in love with Michael Sheen and his face. Ask me anything about football and I’d draw a blank. So, I couldn’t exactly say I was looking forward to Bull Durham but I also figured that it was about time that I watched it.
If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll be aware that last week I was lucky enough to see the stage version of the book War Horse. It was an absolutely amazing experience that I will never forget and one that left me an emotional wreck for days. I don’t understand it but the deaths of massive wooden puppets was super traumatic. As a huge literary nerd and a bit of a history geek too, World War 1 has always been somewhat fascinating for me so I’ve been interested in War Horse for a while. It wasn’t until I watched Steven Spielberg’s film in 2012 that I became familiar with the story and, if I’m honest, it left me feeling more than a little critical. As I suggested in my review, I felt sad that society could only become emotionally invested in the story of the Great War through the treatment of horses. I mean I’ve got nothing against horses but why do we need to make a film about a horse when loads of innocent, young men died as well? Human beings care more about animals at times than they do about strangers. It’s ridiculous. Going off topic for a second, I once heard a story (probably not true) about a charity that went around giving food to the pets of homeless people. Now I have nothing against this kind act on its own but the same people were (allegedly) only giving food to the animals. Now, I realise dogs that live on the street deserve food but what kind of fucked up person would not also give food to the owner? Anyway, I’ve had my misgivings about Michael Morpurgo’s story of a magical fucking horse since I laughed my way through Spielberg’s film but the stage show had me changing my mind. Maybe there was something there after all?
Sunday night was the annual BAFTA film awards and it was the usual mixture of glitz, glamour, and massively unnecessary shade. Now, obviously, as a sane young woman I am a massive fan of the whole Times Up and #metoo movement. However, there was a lot of over-the-top bitchiness that appears to have come out of the ceremony. The first, regarding the Kate Middleton’s dress is insane. Surely, as a royal, she wouldn’t have been allowed to make any outright statement by wearing a black dress. She did, however, get pretty damn close to the colour women were wearing in solidarity to the movement, so I think we know where she stands. Number 2, Salma Hayek. I’ve been thinking about this a lot since I read about her introduction to the Best Actor category and I’m still dumbfounded by it. I don’t really see what her point was. She went in knowing she was going to present an award to a man yet decided to make a pointless and ineffective protest about men whilst doing it. It wasn’t a powerful message and, if anything, damaged the movement by making it seem like women are standing up against men in general. It adds to all the talk of “witch hunts” and, quite frankly, was a dick move in relation to the winner. Gary Oldman deserved his moment to win an award that was and always has been gender specific. Natalie Portman had a great point at the Golden Globes when she bitched about the all male Best Director category; Salma Hayek looked like a fucking idiot to be protesting a man winning a male only award.