Hello again! So glad to be back and very sorry to have no been here. To be honest dear reader life has been pretty awful these last few months. It seems 2018 for me is Britney Speare's 2007, though luckily I've resisted the temptation of the razor and still have a full head of hair. Suffice to say it's been a matter of weathering a few storms that I'm still in the middle of and at the minute a good portion of my week is spent travelling so it's difficult to do things like this. But I'm back, for now at least and I want to tell you all the things I've enjoyed in June.
'Gonna get a McDonalds for this one lads!'- Harry Kane
TV- World Cup Edition
We, dear readers, are currently in the middle of one of the greatest and most exciting sporting events bequeathed to us only every 4 years. Yes, it's the world cup! Group stages are over and it's winner stays on! I know there's a lot of people who'll say they don't follow football or don't like watching sport but I'd really encourage you to get into what is one of the most thrilling things to be watching right now. Think about it, we don't normally get to the best and worst days of someone's career live in front of us. Pam from accounts can only tell us about the time she invoiced 8 different people incorrectly after her VAT calculator went a bit dodgy. But with the World Cup, we get to see it, the overwhelming joy and the crushing disappointment. It's life condensed down into a few weeks and we get to be part of it. Still not convinced? Then I'd invite you to listen to Freakonomics marvellous podcast episode on 'How to catch World Cup Fever' or get on your Amazon Prime and watch the sublime documentary 'One night in Turin' about England's 1990 World Cup campaign. Also BBC I player has had some smashing documentaries recently (Managing England and Scotland 78: A love story, being particular highlights. I promise you, even if your not a football fan you will enjoy it. Now come on, get your tacky car flag out and stick It's coming home (three Lions) on the radio! COME ON ENGLAND!
(I actually wrote this before England vs Columbia and after that I think you've got double the reason to get invested).
'Where's me Starbucks?'- T Rex
To be honest, I haven't seen much. I've been so busy going up and down the Country, watching the World Cup and having to sort out my life that I haven't had time so instead, I'll give you a review of one film I did see and that is dear reader, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I know, I'm so high brow. I love Jurassic Park, and I'd argue for days about how it's a masterpiece and I would always put it joint first with Singin in the Rain as my favourite film (see my poster here). Every sequel since has struggled to match how it grappled with big ideas in meaningful but highly entertaining ways, sadly the latest is no exception. It struggles to hit the right tone and in trying to please everyone becomes just a fairly average film. The film does have some really good set pieces, however (trying to take blood from a T- Rex is a highlight) and rocks along nicely, once it starts it doesn't drag. I will say one of the reasons to go and see this film is to laugh at how intelligent and purposefully evil the script makes some of the dinosaurs. It clearly wants you to know that one dinosaur, in particular, isn't killing for food or because it's threatened but because it's a right old laugh! Another dinosaur smells gas and realises it will explode if she doesn't get away sharpish. Brillant!
Gorgeous cover design by Yehrin Tong and Hannah Wood
Book- Heartburn by Norah Ephron
I've always heard good things about this book, and as a new edition in a fancy cover was gifted to me for my birthday I thought it was a perfect time to give it a go. It completely lived up to expectations. It tells the story of Cookery writer Rachel, who while seven months pregnant, finds out her husband is in love with another woman. It follows the immediate aftermath of this event as she struggles to decide what to do next. It's told in the first person and directly addresses the reader which I love as it's like a friend recounting an event that happened before you met. And Lord it's funny. Between all the tragedy and brokenness it never stops seeing how crazy the events have happened are and make you laugh out loud. If your struggling right now this book will help. It's good to hear about other peoples dramatic and unwanted turns in life (the book echoed elements of Norah Ephron's own life who went through similar events) and how they dealt with them and manage to get through.
Album- The Beach Boys with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
I have a massive affinity for The Beach Boys (one of the strangest sentences I had to write). As a 13-year-old it felt like one of the first bands I 'discovered' that wasn't just whatever was getting chatted about in school. I still love them and could reel you off lyrics and harmony parts that would make Brian Wilson blush. Here is the latest compilation album and this time The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has recorded and reworked the songs. A cynical person would say this is another back catalogue cash grab. And I get it, artists who's rights haven't been protected often find themselves at the mercy of lazy businessmen. But there are some really nice versions here. The sounds are a bit warmer than other recorded versions thanks to the full orchestra and high-quality recording and the original vocal tracks ensure it never gets too far away from the original masterful songs. Heroes and Villans and Fun Fun Fun are personal highlights. Definitely perfect for this weather too and it'll remind you how amazing those songs are.
Podcast- Where Should We Begin? With Esther Perel
The premise of this podcast is simple. A real-life couple who is going through difficulties has a one-hour session with marriage counsellor Esther Perel. It's a one-off, the couple will never return again and their identities are protected. The result is that we get to hear incredibly private and intense conversation and grapple with what we would do in their shoes. The real pull here though is not the voyeuristic listening in but rather Esther Perel herself. In times gone by she would have surely been accused of being a witch because she can cut to the heart of a problem with such shrewdness and intelligence. All with the most brilliant of Belgian accents. There is a reason couples don't mind publicly baring their souls to her and that's because of how good she is. Issues range from serious illness, previous abuse and of course, serial infidelity. It's a great listen if you want to hear about when love and logic become incompatible. Listen here.
So there you have it folks. Let me know what things you've been loving. Posting maybe slow for a while on here but I shall do my best!