Friday, 11 April 2014

Film Friday: Blue is the Warmest Colour

Plot: Based on a graphic novel of the same name, Blue is the Warmest Colour (or La vie d'Adele) is the story of Adele, whose life changes when she meets blue-haired Emma and they embark on an intense and passionate relationship. 
Guest appearances: The two main actresses are relative newcomers, but both were brilliant and they ended up winning the Palme D'or at Cannes.
Watch this if you're a fan of.. French films, coming of age stories
Fun facts The film contains a notoriously long sex scene which took ten days to film!
Overall: I really enjoyed this film, it was a moving story of a first relationship and the emotions and pains that come with it.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A day out on a budget - the £3.50 challenge!

I've been living in the city centre since I first moved to Nottingham seven years ago. I love the fact that it's just a five minute walk from shops and pubs and we never have to pay for taxis home at the end of a night out. But despite the convenience of city living I'm starting to think more about owning a house, one with a real fireplace, wooden floors and a garden!

For this reason Tom and I are trying to cut back on unnecessary expense, and on Sunday we decided to head into town with just the money Tom had in his pocket - £3.50 to be precise! What can you do with such a small amount of money? We decided to find out!

At first we popped into a couple of shops to see if anything good could be found for a pound. The pound shop proved rather fruitless - there were some fun outdoor games for sale but the grey rainy weather put us off this option (I did spy My Girl for £1 but as Tom pointed out I already had it...).

We then headed to a few charity shops, and I spotted this brilliant board game, Race Around Britain. However it would have severely cut into our budget, so I had to sadly leave it behind. Sniff. (Tempted to pop back this weekend to see if it's still there!)


Next we headed to the Lace Market to see what fun could be had. Unfortunately our usual source of free art Nottingham Contemporary was closed as it's in between exhibitions. So we headed instead to the Galleries of Justice, a museum dedicated to the history of crime.

There is a permanent free display inside with lots of artifacts related to the history of crime - a personal highlight was the cabinet of swallowed objects! There's also a Robin Hood room where you can dress like a Medieval Knight/Maiden and put yourself in the stocks. COST = £0 

After this we took a trip to the Bowling Alley, where we were tempted to try the Hurricane Simulator (£2) but instead opted for a frantic game of air hockey. I sadly lost. COST = £1

We wandered round the beautiful Lace Market, through St Mary's Churchyard and then popped into a Chinese supermarket, where we picked up a couple of fortune cookies. COST = 40p. Finally we headed to Hockley for a pot of tea. Lee Rosy's was slightly too pricy for our budget but we managed to get a (real leaf) tea for two at Broadway cinema. COST = £2

We then had chance to open our fortune cookies - Tom's seemed apt!

... and mine was encouraging! 

We then discovered a 'photobooth' style screen on the outside of the Broadway which was fun to play around with! COST = £0

TOTAL SPENT = £3.40 This left us with the princely sum of 10p left. Try as we might, we couldn't find a place to spend just 10 pence. Even Space Raiders cost 30p these days! We headed home and decided to keep our last coin for a rainy day. We had a fun day of exploring the city, although keeping within our budget was tricky. I'd love to know how others would get on with a similar budget, why not have a go too and let me know how you get on!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

March in pictures

Spending a weekend with my Nan | A lovely sky over the Park in Nottingham

A sunny walk in Stamford | The Bridge near MediaCity, Salford

The wonderful Fred Aldous store + photobooth, Manchester | Amazing cakes in Teacup, Manchester

Watching Round the Twist, Girls, Louis Theroux
Reading The Psychopath Test, The Color Purple, Oh Comely
Catching many trains (I've just discovered that there is a 'Two Together' railcard for two people catching the same trains - thanks Sally!)
Giggling to David Sedaris' live show
Buying tickets to see Macauley Culkin's band The Pizza Underground (!)
Planning our summer UK road trip, thanks for all the brilliant tips!
Looking forward to meeting Janet next weekend for lunch, picnics in the park, seeing friends and publishing a new zine.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Film Friday: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Plot: Hotel concierge Gustave H and his lobby boy Zero Moustafa embark on an adventure to keep a priceless painting.
Guest appearances: All the usual Wes Anderson suspects show up - though some of them (like Bill Murray) only briefly!
Watch this if you're a fan of.. beautiful colours, symmetry, pastries, graphic design
Overall: As with all of Wes Anderson's films, it's a visual treat to watch and every tiny detail is perfectly rendered. A great cast, Ralph Fiennes was excellent as was newcomer Tony Revolori. However after a while I found the perfect framing of each shot a little bit distracting from the plot, so not my favourite Wes Anderson film. I'd probably go for The Darjeeling Ltd or The Life Aquatic if I had to choose, what's your favourite?

Friday, 14 March 2014

Film Friday: Her

Plot: Her is set in the near future, where Joaquin Phoenix has recently broken up with his wife and is feeling lonely, so installs a new operating system designed to meet his needs..
Guest appearances: Scarlett Johansson plays 'Samantha' the OS who manages to charm Phoenix.. but how long can their relationship last?
Watch this if you're a fan of.. high waisted trousers
Overall: ★ out of 5 -  I really enjoyed this film, it made me think about the future of relationships and how we communicate (although my dad who i watched it with said he predicted the ending!)  

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Great British Road Trip - where should we go?

This year we are trying to save a bit of money so sticking to the UK for a holiday seemed like a good idea. Both Tom and I have never been to Scotland or the Lake District before so we're planning to hire a car and do an epic British road trip to Scotland and back. I got all excited making a Google map, you can see our potential route here!

So I wanted to ask you lovely readers if you have any tips on where to stay/visit/camp in any of the following areas - The Lake District, Edinburgh, seasidey places in Scotland (I did want to visit Loch Ness but it's quite far from Edinburgh so anywhere that's within an hour from there would be bettter), Northumberland and Whitby. I'd love to visit some quirky places on our route (like the Pencil Museum for example!) so if you know of anywhere else we should go do let me know. We will probably stay in B&Bs but am also keen to camp for a couple of the nights to save money. I'm excited about documenting the trip in my sketchbook and may even make a new zine out of our adventures. (Note the car above isn't ours, we shall be hiring one for the week - a mini is very tempting though!)

Friday, 7 March 2014

Film Friday: Broken Flowers

: On the day that Don Johnston's (Bill Murray) girlfriend walks out on him, he receives a mysterious pink letter from an ex, telling him he now has a son. The letter is anonymous and Don's friend encourages him to hunt down the sender.
Guest appearances: lots of familiar faces pop up as Don's ex girlfriends. But my favourite cameo is Bill Murray's real-life son Homer Murray (I kid you not) who pops up briefly at the end of the film!
Watch this if you're a fan of.. Bill Murray, mysteries, typewriters, great mix CDs
The film leaves quite a few questions unanswered which can be a bit frustrating, but I enjoyed giving it another watch as I couldn't remember much from when it first came out. The director Jim Jarmusch has another film out at the moment, Only Lovers Left Alive - let me know if you've seen it!