General, The 140 Character Review

The 140 Character Review: Welcome Back!

Guys, I read a lot books. I watch a lot of TV and film. I take into account other people’s opinions when I choose what to read and write, but I am quite bad at reviewing things myself. OK, I know not everyone is going to care what I think or what I say, but it’s nice to be able to give a little bit back to the bookish and TV/Film world, to review what I read/watch, and to keep a record of what it made me think at the time. This year, I’ve also set some pretty big goals and resolutions, namely reviewing everything I read, so I thought that a helping hand was needed.

So, with this in mind, I have decided to bring back my old blogging meme The 140 Character Review. Quite simply, it is a review that could be composed and completed within the length of a tweet (well, before they upped the character limit!) The time taken to review something in such a short format is a lot less than writing a full review, but it still captures my thoughts and feelings. I also find that writing with such a low count makes you think concisely and clearly about the media you have consumed.  Continue reading “The 140 Character Review: Welcome Back!”

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Festive Favourites

A Very Merry Christmas. I hope Santa has been kind to you, and that your day has been full of festive fun, family, and happiness.

As it’s Christmas, and no-one wants a heavy post, I thought I’d put together a festive favourite post, full of all the little things I like about Christmas, from movies to songs, traditions to food.

Movies

Not all of the movies that are in this list are strictly Christmas films, but they are movies that I enjoy watching over the Christmas period:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

I love Harry Potter, and the castle in the snow combined with the heartwarming scenes of Harry and Ron opening Christmas presents in the common room make this a Christmas must!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

There is a whole section of this film set on Christmas Eve, in the snow, at Godric’s Hollow. It’s so pretty and lovely.

Die Hard

The best Christmas movie. Simple.

The Christmas Prince

I watched this a week or so ago, and it is glorious in the best way. I then made my friend watch it less than a week later.

 

Food

Let’s be honest with each other, one of the best things about Christmas is the food. It’s just awesome.

Pigs in Blankets

I love bacon, and I like sausages, so this is just a heavenly package on a plate

Bacon and Mushroom Stuffing

The family stuffing recipe made predominantly from bacon, mushrooms and onions, is the best stuffing recipe in the world.

Leftover Christmas Lunch Sandwiches

The above stuffing on fresh bread with turkey. Yum Yum.

Advent Calendars

Nothing quite prepares you for Christmas than eating a chocolate hidden behind a small numbered door. I usually have a Dairy Milk one, but this year, I have a No.7 Make Up one and a Malteasers one with a pun behind each door too.

Songs

We all love it when Christmas songs play on the radio, and when a festive playlist accompanies the wrapping of presents. Here are some of my favourites:

Merry Christmas Everyone | Shakin’ Stevens

Fairytale of New York | Kirstie McColl and The Pogues

I Believe in Father Christmas | Greg Lake

Christmas Wrapping | The Waitresses

TV Episodes

I am a serial TV watcher, and love a great TV episode. There are some that I have watched over and over again, and there are some that aren’t as good, but here is a couple of the best:

The Best Chrismukkah Ever | The O.C (S1 E13)

The O.C. is possibly my favourite TV show ever, and this is just the greatest holiday that Seth Cohen (and I actually think just Adam Brody) gets excited about. The moment Ryan hangs his stocking on the mantle piece is so cute!

Forgiveness and Stuff | Gilmore Girls (S1 E10)

I think this is the first time I really really invested my time in Gilmore Girls and just loved it.

The One With The Holiday Armadillo | Friends (S7 E10)

I mean, a Friends Classic. Who doesn’t love a Holiday Armadillo and Santa with a belly like a bowl full of jelly.

Queen of Sheba | The Royale Family (2006 Christmas Special)

This was clever, emotional, and funny, such a underrated Christmas special.

Traditions

We all have little traditions that our families observe that we enjoy. To be honest, our family don’t have that many that still go on now as we’re adults, but there are still a couple that I enjoy.

Two Christmas Trees

Dad has a real tree in the front room. Mum has an artificial tree in the dining room. It’s just how we roll.

Christmas Sack

I have a Christmas sack, in which i still like to receive my presents even though I am 26, and every year hope that it will be full. It pretty much was this year.

Making the stuffing

Making the stuffing is a Christmas Eve tradition. And not just making a little bit, enough to go in the turkey and for at least one loaf tin’s worth too! We like stuffing, what can I say!


We’ve had an enjoyable day so far, and hope to have an enjoyable evening.

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Strictly Come Dancing: The Finale

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, you could have been anywhere in the world tonight, but you’re here with us, watching the Strictly Come Dancing 2017 finale. Can you believe it’s the final already?! Joe and Katya, Gemma and Aljaz, Debbie and Giovanni, and Alexandra and Gorka have danced their little socks off, but only one can take home the coveted glitterball. Who will it be?

I wasn’t able to watch Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday last week, so I missed voting in the semi-finals and missed writing a review post. I had a good excuse, I was sat in a theatre in London watching (and enjoying) Les Misérables. I’ve watched it since and thorouggly enjoyed all of the dances, and even though we know it’s all physics and balancing forces, I think Emma is still impressively shocked by Joe and Kate’s counter balance lift. The semi-final also saw the end of Mollie and AJ’s run. I can’t say I’m disappointed as I wanted her or Debbie (or both to go). She just wasn’t as good as everyone else, and her and AJ were starting to simultaneously annoy me and creep me out.

The final always pulls out the stops and really shows who can hold it under pressure. Everyone will dance 3 times: they’ll re-dance their favourite number, try and improve a judges choice, and attempt to wow us with a no-rules, no-holds barred showdance. I love the freestyle showdance and can’t wait to see what they have cooked up for us.

So sit back, relax and enjoy the show, watch the opening pro number here, and remember that from here, there be spoilers! Continue reading “Strictly Come Dancing: The Finale”

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Strictly Come Dancing: Week 11’s Musical Spectacular

Hello everyone, I’m back! Last week I was on a late shift at work, and completely missed the whole show. Yes, I watched it back later on, but it got to the point where it was too late to write a post, and then I was too sad to write about the sad exit of Susan and Kevin. The show was a pretty good one, and there were some brilliant and spectacular dances (like Joe’s Quickstep – wow!!), and Oti’s shining moment in the pro-dance to Vogue.

It was a very good week for Susan and Kevin to leave, because their dance was joyful and fun, but I was gutted to see them leave. The emotional goodbyes and the genuine, heart felt words when they had been eliminated actually really got to me, and the hilarity that preceded the dance off was so true to them. They looked like they thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and as a bonus, it was nice to hear and see that Karen and Kevin do still seem to be going strong. They were much cuter than the weird moments between Mollie and AJ, that if I’m honest, are just a bit sickening now.

And so we move onto week 11. Musicals week is always a fun evening on Strictly, partly because of the costumes, largely because of the over the top performances, and a little because we get an extra pro-dance. This year, the group dance was a homage to ‘Oliver!’ and it was really good. I properly enjoyed it. If you want to watch, click here! Continue reading “Strictly Come Dancing: Week 11’s Musical Spectacular”

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Strictly Come Dancing: Week 9 @ Blackpool

Get out your party hats and you sticks of rock because Strictly is going to Blackpool! Yep, it’s that time of the year already, when the BBC camera people do their up most to make Blackpool look anything other than horrible and trashy, and use every cliché in the book to showcase the dancers and their celebrity partners! Things always get exciting at Blackpool, where people up their games in the Tower Ballroom and the large dancefloor allows for brilliant theatrics and bigger dances (Need I remind you of Danny Mac’s Charleston or Louise Redknapp’s Paso Doble last year!)

Last week, we saw Ruth and Anton fall by the way side and miss the opportunity to catch the train to Blackpool. In some ways I will miss the theatrics and stupidity that came with their dances, but, for me it was time for them to leave the ballroom, and think it was the perfect week. It also meant that all of my favourites made it through to this weeks mega show. I’m excited. And because it is the Blackpool special, we get an extra pro-dance to open the show up too!

….and it was an odd dance to say the least. There were fire dancers and unicyclers and jugglers and acrobats and the celebs were all in there. It was fairly spectacular and Joe looked like he was having the best night of his life. And where that was amazing, the dresses of Tess and Claudia weren’t. Tess was rocking a particularly loud and proud yellow number, and Claudia was wearing a ruffled mess. Continue reading “Strictly Come Dancing: Week 9 @ Blackpool”

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Strictly Come Dancing: Week 8

Remember Remember it’s well and truly November. The fireworks have been and gone and replacing them is the race to Blackpool. Claudia just informed us that they’re going for a record of 300 mentions after last year’s measly 248!

Last week, well, last week. It got dramatic. It got intense. It got exciting. Last week we saw the first 40 of this year’s competition, and as much as I don’t like Debbie, her Tango was pretty fierce (Craig got out of his seat and bowed at their feet for crying out loud!)

We also had the first shock elimination. I say shock, because at the beginning of the weekend, no one would have said that Aston and Janette would go. They were second bottom of the leader board and they clearly didn’t ignite the viewers to vote, so it can’t be that much of a surprise. I will miss him immensely and I will miss Jeanette, you always know they’ll be super Good, but he was second bottom. I think the message from last week is: VOTE for your favourites because no-one is safe!

Continue reading “Strictly Come Dancing: Week 8”

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Spooktacular Strictly Come Dancing: Week 6

Helloooooo, and welcome to a spooky, scary, spectacular of a Halloween special. As things hot up at Hellstree, the costumes come out, the wacky make-up is at it’s best, and fun personalities dance across the ballroom in the most entertaining night of the series. Week 6 is always the turning points, where the worst guys start to to linger at the bottom, the guys in the middle take off, and the guys at the top really get into their stride. There is an extra pro dance, there is a lots of awesome outfits, and we get to see Count Dave Arch in all his finery.

Bruno is back (which I’m not actually sure I am happy about) as Beetlejuice, Craig has dressed as the Joker, Darcey channelling Red Riding Hood, and Shirley absolutely killing it as Cruella De Vil. There are spiders and ghouls, witches and the Mother of Dragons, what more could you want?

Last week we (finally) saw the end of Brian and Amy, and I really can’t say I am at all disappointed. I was waiting for him to go since week 1, and was ready for him to bite the bullet. Joe also got his first 10 of the series, rising back to the (near) top of the leaderboard, which was a welcome sight!

To start the show, the ghostly pros performed a pretty awesome dance. The theming was so creepy and ghastly and looked so incredible. Neil was also the middle of the dance rocking his costume to perfection. I literally love him. Claudia looks pretty in her flapper style dress, it must be hard for her to get into the Halloween mood after everything with her daughter a couple of years ago, and Tess looks fierce in her deep red velvet  SYMMETRICAL dress. Now, let’s get on with show…

Continue reading “Spooktacular Strictly Come Dancing: Week 6”