Wonder.land at the National Theatre London

Wonder.land at the National Theatre London

Writer's Block and Broken Lenses

For my birthday last year, the wonderful Charlie, Distracted booked me tickets to see Wonder.land, the new musical by Damon Albarn (Blur... if you didn't know that). BUT THEN, we had the Great Crash of 2015... where the shelves my boyfriend put up in the kitchen fell off the wall and smashed all my Le Creuset so Charlie then bought me a new pie dish to make me feel better and the Wonder.land tickets became a Christmas present instead.

(TL:DR, birthday present became Christmas present. I went to the theatre, innit)

As you may be able to guess from the title, Wonder.land is another look at Alice in Wonderland... except it's set in present day... and focuses around the concept of being addicted to technology, especially our phones and the internet.

I'm a MASSIVE Alice in Wonderland fan and had been considering buying tickets to see this anyway until Charlie surprised me with tickets. I have the Cheshire Cat tattooed on the back on my neck, my mum's old copy of the book (kind of falling part due to much reading) and I even enjoyed the Tim Burton versions... #Controversial.

Wonder.land, however? Meh.

To be brutally honest, the most exciting part to me was the gift shop.

Writer's Block and Broken Lenses

Well, that's probably not exactly true. Around the theatre there are interactive experiences which are pretty cool but also make me think that the whole thing is trying a little too hard. I thought the script of the play was weak and the songs poor and the whole thing doesn't really make much sense so having these things (like a table you can whack to make noises, VR and selfie walls) are compensating for how weak the play was.

Nothing seemed to be quite in balance, and at some points we were all laughing at how ridiculous everything was. It's a real shame because I was really looking forward to it. The only things that Wonder.land had going for it were the costumes and set design. So much colour and glitter, it was amazing, it's a shame that they were overlooked/overshadowed.

I had a really nice time as a whole but I certainly won't be recommending the play to fellow Alice in Wonderland fans. However, this is all my personal opinion and there may be people out there who did enjoy it. It just really wasn't for me.

THIS VIEW THOUGH!




Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London

Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London



In October 2007, I made a big jump and moved to London to study film making at University. Before I came here I was adamant I wouldn't stay much longer than my degree and that I would be home every summer. Neither of those things happened (except for the odd week or two I was at home) and nine years later I am still here.

When I was at university, one of my lecture halls looked out onto the Tower of London. It was literally a stone's throw away but I never went. There was always an excuse not to go... like I couldn't afford it or because I was going to the pub and would much rather spend my last fiver there with my friends. Such a student cliche.

Last year, Gary and I finally got to go to the Tower with his mum and not long afterwards I had a message from Charlie, Distracted that she had already booked tickets for us to go to the Ceremony of the Keys in January 2016, that's six months in advance. Girl is good.

I'm sure like most people in London/the country/the world, I had absolutely no idea what the Ceremony of the Keys was or that it was even a thing. Turns out it's pretty damn important.

The Ceremony of the Keys is deep rooted in tradition dating back roughly 700 years. Little has changed over this except for the names of the monarchs who come and go. The Ceremony has never been photographed or filmed and is, in a way, super secret. We were in a group of about 20 people and tickets need to be booked months in advance because they sell out so fast.

Everything about the ceremony screams splendour, from the pristine uniforms of the beefeaters, to the dimly lit streets within the Tower's walls. Watching the Ceremony of the Keys makes you feel (well, me anyway) that you're a part of something truly intimate and I think it's amazing that something like this is still going today. I mean, they're just locking up the Tower but all the pomp and circumstance makes it more than that.

If you want to experience this for yourself, go right here just bear in mind that they're free so you could also be making plans for six months time too. It's worth the wait though!

Creed: Rocky is back!

Creed: Rocky is back!

writers block and broken lenses


I have grown up watching the Rocky series. When I was little, my brother and I used to sit in our parents bedroom watching the Anthology on VHS, my mum would want to be watching Emmerdale or something so we'd go watch it on their TV VHS combi player thing (remember those?).

I'm adamant to this day that Rocky IV is the best and Rocky V doesn't exist. It just doesn't, OK?!

After the shiteness that was the aforementioned film that doesn't exist, I didn't see Balboa until some point last year (FYI, loved it) and that's only because the trailer for Creed came out and I was SO EXCITED.


I kept going through stages, similarly to when Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out where I was terrified that it wouldn't be as good as I wanted it to be. What if it was Rocky V all over again?

But it wasn't, it was brilliant.

It had all the elements that make a classic Rocky film, we were lucky enough to have TWO TRAINING MONTAGES and during the fight, the audience started cheering and applauding.

As with the other Rocky films we have to deal with some variety of emotional trauma... In Rocky II, Adrienne ended up in a coma, in Rocky III, Micky dies,  In Rocky IV, we lose Apollo and Rocky V almost killed the franchise by itself. With Creed we see the struggling childhood of Adonis (Creed's son), his desperate want to be accepted and, the turning point, his relationship with Rocky.  (shall not do the spoiler thing).

On a geeky side of things, the camera work is incredible with some parts being done in one take (cue the fight scene at Godison Park). The fight scene also represents more than just man on man violence. We can clearly see the differing relationships between coach and boxer (we've seen this before with Micky but this is different) and also the difference between a fighter who just wants a quick win, and one who wants to make a name on his own and not his legacy.

All in all Creed is a beautiful film, whether you're into boxing or not. AND WE FINALLY FIND OUT WHO WON THAT THIRD FIGHT BETWEEN ROCKY AND APOLLO! I will happily see it again and will definitely own it on DVD to keep our collection going.

Might be time for another Rocky marathon soon...

What's the best film you've seen this year so far?




(OK, so I actually saw this weeks a go but went through a 'I'm staying off the internet' phase. Oh well, the review is here now.)

Pancake Day at My Old Dutch

Pancake Day at My Old Dutch

writer's block and broken lenses


OK, so after being a tad sad that I would have to wait until Ash Wednesday before I got to have any pancakes (I couldn't quite bring myself to make a whole stack just for me), at 10pm on Pancake Day we caved after many a cocktail and went straight to My Old Dutch in Holborn.

I LOVE me a pancake yet had never been to My Old Dutch before so couldn't really gauge how much food we would get. After much deliberation we went for four different varieties... and my god were they absolutely huge...

writer's block and broken lenses


Clockwise from left to right, we had cheese and mushroom, bacon and apple syrup, apple and cinnamon with ice cream and Nutella and banana. Turns out you have choices of whether you want a flat or stack of pancakes... I didn't even know there was a difference, I just wanted all the food!

Considering it was Pancake Day, we only had to wait for 10 minutes before we were seated and had our food within 20 minutes, this always feels like longer when you're hungry but pretty damn good when you consider it's a national day where a pancake induced coma is a requirement.

writer's block and broken lenses


Personally I thought everything was amazing but some of the girls said one of the pancakes was burnt, something I actually don't mind because I can't make pancakes WITHOUT burning them (because I'm crap) so I honestly didn't notice. My favourite was the cheese and mushroom but felt a lot of love for the apple and cinnamon despite me hating cinnamon. Looks like you've converted me, My Old Dutch.

The best part? All of this only cost us £9 each! I had eaten so much that at one point I felt like I was going to cry because I was so full. This feeling stopped rather quickly when Charlie, Distracted hit me in the face with a pancake... (see Little Miss Katy's YouTube channel for a clip of this very soon) at that point all I could do was cackle and struggle to breathe.

If you're after all the pancakes, sweet or savoury, and want to leave feeling so full you're going to burst without your wallet screaming at you for abusing it so much, go to My Old Dutch. Just be prepared to queue because there's clearly a reason why. And it's worth it.

What pancakes did you stuff your face with on Pancake Day?



Good things last week #2

Good things last week #2




Last week was a busy one! It was one of those weeks that was finished before I realised it had even started. In short, there was a lot of alcohol involved and I feel that I need a couple of days off! Days where I pretty much do nothing except drink tea and watch How I met your mother. I'm cool.

Here are the good things that knackered me out last week but were so awesome I don't really care.

LUMAS ART NOW - Art, cake and a night with the girls



The #Bangarang girls and I had an evening of chuckles at the launch of ART NOW with LUMAS, the gallery was filled with beautiful artwork (affordable too, yo), STAR WARS STUFF and all the cake. We had a lot of cake.



The evening ended with burgers, milkshake and dancing at Ed's Easy Diner plus having to deal with the horror that Milly has never seen Dirty Dancing. I mean, what the hell, Milly????

Potentially the best musical score ever

On Wednesday I finally went back to Orchestra after having some time off to deal with the shiteness that has been 2016 so far. When I got there I found out that not only is our theme for the term awesome (Heroes and Heroines) but also we will be playing a medley from Star Wars. As a brass player, this is fricking awesome. I've always wanted to play Star Wars with an orchestra and even after the first rehearsal it sounded amazing. 


First Waitangi Day



I had never herd of Waitangi day until this year. Our Kiwi friend is moving back to New Zealand at the end of the month so we thought we'd tag a long to help him celebrate his last one in the UK. That morning we decided to skip out on the big circle line pub tour because... liver... but went along to the mass gathering at Westminster where we found our Kiwi and headed off to watch the rugby.


The first pictures of me and Gary

For the #DebsFirstPhoto valentines campaign, I had to get involved. During this time I realised that there are very few photos of me and Gary where we haven't been drinking but also that some of them are down right hilarious. Just look at this one, It's not the first photo but it's still pretty awkward...



Not five like last time but this week isn't looking like it'll be any quieter.

What good things did you get up to last week?

Good things last week #1

Good things last week #1



THANK GOD JANUARY IS OVER!

*breathes*

So, 2016 has not been following the rule of 'Even numbered years = good' and I'm far from happy about it. 2015 ended on a shitty note and 2016 showed absolutely no sign of improvement for that first god damn month.

BUT it's over.

Hopefully it all goes up from here.

In an attempt to ignore the bad things and 'put a new positive spin on things, yo', I have decided to join the trend of THESE ARE THINGS THAT MAKE ME HAPPY blog posts. A couple of friends of mine do theirs SOOO WELL *cough* Katy *cough* that they genuinely do make me smile every week so I may as well give it a go.

So, here are some things that managed to defeat the odds and made me happy last week!

1. Gryffindoooooooor!

OK, so the Sorting Hat is now back on Pottermore. All my #Bangarang girls did it and there was all the excitement over what Houses we were in. I have always been Gryffindor, I have a Gryffindor scarf and a bunch of t-shirts and jumpers too (thank you, Primark!) and I had a ridiculous moment of doubt that if I was Sorted again I wouldn't be in Gryffindor. Retarded, I know. PANIC NOT! I am definitely a Gryffindor and my wand (Cedar with Phoenix Feather) essentially says 'don't fuck with people she loves because she will own you'. Totally true. You know me so well JK.

2. #EricaWatchesPotter

So a lot of you may have already noticed that the lovely Erica has finally given in and has started watching Harry Potter. I couldn't be more proud. Not only that though, she's also live tweeting the whole thing and sending us all the most wonderfully confused voice memos about it and seems to be making me laugh pretty much every day. I love her.

3. Katie B, Cabaret Queen

On Friday, we all went down to see the wonderful Bloody Hell Brennan perform her Quarter Life Crisis Cabaret again and it was just as wonderful as last time. Except with more tears.

She's performing again in March, go and see it. I will happily quote Bernard Black here and say 'You'll laugh you'll cry, it'll change your life'.

4. ROAST BEEF

I love cooking, and I love beef. I have never actually cooked a roast beef joint though becuase I'm terrified of getting it wrong. But I succeeded and it was so bloody yummy.

5. Amusing myself at football

My boyfriend plays football and I foolishly agreed to go and watch one of their games at the weekend. In the wind and rain. It was cold. I amused myself by counting the number of times people fell over on the wet mud. It was 69.

Two of these things are a little bit simple and shit but they still made me happy. The other three... well, needless to say, the #Bangarang Girls are definitely keeping me sane. Thanks girls.