Monday, 14 July 2014

Movie Monday: The 100 year old man who climbed out of the window and dissapeared.

I decided that I wanted to watch this film because it had a catchy title... only kidding! It was shown at Kino Bambino and sounded a bit different so I thought that I'd give it ago.
I'll admit right away that I missed the beginning as I set off late, struggled parallel parking and was just generally a tad disorganised. Due to this I didn't see the moment that the main character Allan escaped the nursing home but came in at the moment that his disappearance was discovered. It turns out missing the start didn't spoil my enjoyment of this film.

The story is mainly set in Sweden and is about 100 year old Allan and his life. He tells of the central events of his life and his philosophy of not thinking too much which makes him seem a tad simple, it also shows the situations he finds himself in as he makes his escape.

It might sound like it might be a boring film the ramblings of an old man and his opting out of sheltered care but I found it quite funny, although much of the comedy is dark comedy. I must admit I loved the explosions and matter of fact way most of the deaths were handled but I realise that for this reason it won't be everyone's cup of tea. Then again some people don't even like tea so there's no accounting for tastes is there?

Thursday, 10 July 2014

National Trust Adventures!

This year for my birthday I decided that I don't need lots of new things and instead to ask for things that I could go to or do like tickets to shows, gym memberships and national trust memberships. So my Mum kindly obliged and bought me a year's National Trust Membership.
My membership card came with this exciting handbook and free parking sticker!)
For the first use of my card I headed down the M1 with Dylan to Hardwick Hall to look at the impressive architecture, friendly squirrels and metaphor riddled tapestries.
We had a lovely time and I'm now contemplating where to head next, any suggestions?

Monday, 30 June 2014

Movie Monday: Chinese Puzzle.

This week I went to another Kino Bambino film screening at the Showroom with my offspring. We went to see Chinese Puzzle which I guess is the French version of Chinese Whispers.
The film is about the complex life of writer Xavier, his family and friends. It starts off in New York then skips back in time to Paris and the end of Xavier's relationship with the mother of his children as he explains the situation he is in to his book editor.

While the film deals with the serious issue of Xavier's fight for access to his children it also has light hearted moments like when he is at a clinic donating sperm for his lesbian best friend.  This is one of the reasons I liked this film as you feel for the central character wanting to be able to see his children and have a say in their lives but it is not too heart warming and sentimental because of some of the more farcial elements of the films.  This is a film with a multitude of languages spoken so if you can't handle subtitles then this isn't for you but you'll be missing out. (I enjoyed it even if I spent half of the film watching from the cinema floor as I kept an eye on my crawling son...)

After watching this I found out that Chinese Puzzle is the last film in a trilogy by this director so I think I will be hunting these down to see if the previous films were as good or better as well.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Movie Monday: Dark Shadows.

We got this film just after we decided to cancel our Lovefilm subscription as we're finding it a tad harder to watch films these days... funny that! We popped this on the list as we quite like Tim Burton films and thought we'd give this ago.

This film is about Barnabas Collins a seventeenth century man who is cursed after rejecting the love of a witch and the ramifications of this curse. Obviously bad things happen to his family, then worse things and before he knows what's hit him he ends up as a vampire confined in a coffin. Fast forward a few centuries later he's released, feeds and tracks down his descendants who are also down on their luck. So he decides that he needs to help turn their run of luck around.

Dark Shadows is what happens when Tim Burton decides to venture into the cash rich vampire film genre and set the main part of the film in the seventies. There are a few laughs in this film mainly from Barnabas's archaic language but I did find the plot a bit forced and a few supernatural elements added in there with little foreshadowing. Maybe I missed some things as I was chasing my baby around the living room trying to stop him unplugging the tv aerial or turning off the dvd player.... I just didn't find it as enjoyable as Sleepy Hollow or Edward Scissor Hands.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Movie Monday: Frank.

So once more I decided to venture back to Kino Bambino with Dylan to see the film Frank and to be honest before seeing it I didn't know much about it.  Normally when I think about the name Frank I think about Frank the bunny from Donnie Darko.
It wasn't about some creepy person wearing a weird bunny suit and destiny though... this was about a man wearing a weird fake head and music.

Well it started off with a ginger guy trying to come up with songs and tweeting in a seaside town if I'm honest. You don't meet Frank until a bit later but it does help you to see the film through an outsiders eyes.  It goes from the mundane to the sublime/ridiculous and a few places in between.

I think that this is one of those films that everyone will interpret differently. I quite liked it in that it shows the struggles people face to create, I enjoyed some of the music and farcical elements but a few bits were quite uncomfortable. Dylan seemed to like the music and watching some of it but a baby isn't really the target audience here...

I would definitely recommend this if you've ever struggled to create whether it be music or writing as it explores the idea that creative people are all mentally ill pretty well.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Things I have been doing when I haven't been blogging...

Unfortunately I haven't managed to find half the time to blog, do or watch things to blog about as I had previously expected. I guess I had high hopes that my small fur-less overlord may have 3 hour naps in the middle of the day for me to get things done in. This mysteriously is not the case.

So in case you are wondering, these are a few things I've been doing when I haven't been blogging....

Baby wrangling/caring for/ entertaining. This has turned out to be quite time consuming and I've only managed to write with the small one strapped to me that one time. I managed over 200 words on the first novel. (I may finish it yet!)

Giving in to my social media addiction and spending far too much time on Facebook on my phone. Sometimes I enjoy it and other times it infuriates me, so I think that I need to spend a few days away from it.

Ferrying Tuxedo the cat to the vets and pet hospital. This is a recent one and an expensive way to spend time. I do not recommend it as he miaows very loudly!

Compiling a mental list of things I should do and then forgetting to do them...

Twiddling with the ending of my first novel attempt. This has happened roughly once but I still live in the hope that I might get to finish one or two novels I've started one day. Preferably before I return to work.

Dreaming of a proper night out with food and drinking... as well as a holiday abroad, going belly dancing or to a gig again. I think at least one of these should happen in the near future!

Getting acquainted with Mr Holmes, aka Sherlock Holmes through the television series and a paperback I picked up at Sharrowvale market a few weeks back. I've managed about three stories from the Casebook of Sherlock Holmes. These are a little different from Jeanette Winterson's book Stone Gods but interesting none the less.

Making a few more trips to the garage than I'd like to have my tire repaired... this is another work in progress.

I've also had a few trips to my home town to see my relatives, a visit to my sister in Nottingham, lunches with friends, my first trip to Our Cow Molly and my first beer festival experience as well.

All in all I guess I've been a tad busy but you know what they say... no rest for the wicked!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Banna biscuit attempt.

So a while back I wrote a list of 14 goals for 2014 and I've not been amazing at sticking to them but the year is still young. (Well young-ish!) One of the goals on this list was to try more new recipes and whilst I've tried to make a few new things recently I haven't generally followed recipes. Pureed butternut squash or sweet potato and carrot anyone???  I also didn't fancy blogging about that as this isn't intended to be a parenting blog. 

I have finally found a recipe here to try that wouldn't take me hours when browsing Pinterest the other day. It was for banana cookies and if you know me you'll know that I like bananas but I prefer them not to be too ripe so I often have the issue of what to do with old bananas. In the past I've made them into banana bread and buns which are both nice but this appealed as it seemed quick and healthy.

The recipe called for:

2 large old Bananas
1 cup of quick Oats

The directions were to mash these together, then portion them into cookie sized amounts on a tray and bake for 15 minutes. (Well the photo directions suggested this.)  I decided to be lazy so I chucked my bananas and oats into my food processor.  I also added a tea spoon of baking powder, some rapeseed oil and the seeds of half a vanilla pod before blitzing the mixture.
I then started to put this mixture onto a greased baking tray before deciding they looked a bit bland so I added raisins to the last three quarters of the mix.  Once I filled the baking tray I popped the biscuits into the oven.  The original recipe said to cook at 350 degrees and I presume that's Fahrenheit but my oven works on Celsius so I cooked them at 200 degrees Celsius and checked on them every so often. After checking on them and thinking they looked a bit anaemic I turned the biscuits over and then got them out when they looked a bit more brown.

However, after trying them they tasted slightly over done so I had enough mix for three more biscuits and cooked them until they were just brown. I thought that adding some vanilla pod seeds may take a bit of the banana taste away but I still found that they mainly tasted of banana and Paul thought they were quite bland aka healthy. I gave my son one without any raisins to try and it looked giant in his little hands but he sucked away at it and chomped chunks of oat biscuit away so they seem to pass the baby test at least. I may make these again if/ when I end up with ripe bananas that need disposing of.  However, I should probably find a British recipe instead of winging it by freehand trying to interpret American recipes.