Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Sunday Summary Whereyabeen Wednesday | We skipped the light fandango

Dear FOQ

Happy πŸͺ🐫Day!

Minor and fairly insincere apologies for the delay in posting this blog this fortnight: life interfered. But that's never a bad thing. Well, sometimes it is. But not on this occasion.

So that's nice.

However, I have been uncharacteristically remiss in taking photographs whilst living said life, so crucial visual embellishments sadly, do not exist; I'll try to do better on that front again from hereon in.

(But surely it's better to be in the moment enjoying it, than on the periphery shooting it, right?)

W'evs.

---

This fortnight, I have mostly been ...

Reading πŸ“š

{Walking Away | Simon Armitage}
and rereading

{The Handmaid's Tale | Margaret Atwood}
Well, sorta ...

... because, and I'm quite pleased about this, my attention has been diverted back into ...

Writing ✍



... or at least filling some epic plot holes


in a story I've been plotting for, like, ever (or for at least four years).

Still. I maintain that this is a worthy momentary distraction from reading.

On some level.

Watching πŸ‘€πŸ“Ί

OK, I feel like I'm going against everything I've been anticipating for months but:

OITNB 

... has lost its course.

Which is really, really quite sad.


So, confession time: I'd drafted the MUTHA (i.e. The Gloria Mendoza) of Long Posts lamenting Season 5 and all its flaws and then I thought to myself:


I will however flag up my grievances in bullet-point list form (with SPOILERS APLENTY so be warned):
  • Five episodes alone set in one evening. Long and drawn out, much?
  • Too many night-based scenes = can't always see what's going on
  • The perpetually lamentable absence of Poussey (this series needed Samira Wiley – too bad The Handmaid's Tale has snaffled her and she's doing a supreme job therein.)
  • The sudden and, seemingly, unexplained disappearance of Sophia (well, OK, her disappearance may have been legitimately explained but I was too bored by the five-episode night scene at that point to pay attention, probably)
{Oh so that's where she went?! OK then!}
  • Not enough Norma.
  • Too much Judy King. YAWN.
  • Too many 'newish' characters to keep track of and care about (Helen? Pidge? Ouija? Brandy? Who now?).
  • Plausibility: all those mobile phones that kept running for two days in a row without chargers. That prison must have some quality wifi as well if Flaritza were able to keep uploading YouTube videos of themselves.
  • See also: the guard whose insulin was taken away during the very public Squat and Cough still managed not to go into any sort of diabetic crisis after potentially 48 hours without it. How?
  • The talent show. Pointless. Just expedite the narrative already.
  • Slightly conflicting backstories (or maybe I've just forgotten them): Janae and Taystee in particular (and don't make me rewatch the entire series to fill in the gaps and prove myself wrong ... oh OK then I probably will and it's all your fault)
{Looks like Cindy and Taystee really want me to watch it
all from the beginning. Amiright, ladies?}
  • Credibility: Frieda's bunker. Again, how?!?!
  • Also, Humps' fingertip. Srsly. The prison nurse hadn't even been kidnapped by Leanne and Angie by then (at least I don't think he had). He honestly didn't notice that his partially paralysed patient was missing part of his finger? COME ON. 
  • Doggett and her attachment to Coates. So, so wrong. Don't do this to yourself, Pennsatucky.
  • Too much fixation on toilets and grim bodily functions. Everybody poops. We get it. Being locked in a portaloo is bad. We get it. Now, can we try and reclaim the gravitas of this series please?! πŸ’©
  • And finally ... nobody noticed the honking great hole in the peripheral fence?!
So many questions.
Somebody Needs to Get a Life. (I'm referring, of course, to myself.) πŸ€“

... That's not to say the cast are not absolutely superb (and not just at posting adorable selfies on Instagram). They really are; they make these characters lovable, and they were working with some astoundingly sub-par narrative arcs this season and yet still managed to pull some blinding and touching performances out of the bag (oh hello Danielle "Taystee" Brooks, I mean you).


* I know, I know, it's all inconsequential.

But now I've run out of Big Bang Theory episodes to watch on Netflix, what else can I obsess over?!

Oh, that's right:

The Handmaid's Tale



Certainly not a series that can be binge-watched but compelling nonetheless. And, Anna T, as you'll see, you've inspired me to re-read it.

Also, watching from the beginning:

How I Met Your Mother



And about two fifths of Dirty Dancing 2017



Hoe.
Lee.
Cow.

It's
So.
So.
Bad

that even Nicole Shirt-slinger can't save it (as the token Person Who Can Sort of Dance).

And I like Scherzy so that's saying something.

If you hold the 1987 classic in any way sacred, avoid this heinous remake at all costs.


And somebody please remind Abigail Breslin how good she was in Little Miss Sunshine and My Sister's Keeper, and save her from these sorts of projects?

That is all.

Listening [yes, friends, I'm reinstatin' this category] πŸŽΆπŸ‘‚

... to a lotta summerπŸ§€: it's the most appropriate season of the year to play all the cheese, let me tell you: Endless Summer Nights?


Summer of '69?


Dancing on the Ceiling?


Ketchup Song?


OK, has there ever actually been a good time for the Ketchup Song since about 2003? Probably not.

Hanging Out πŸ‘©πŸ‘©πŸ‘©πŸ‘©πŸ‘¨πŸ₯žπŸ₯“πŸ’œ

... with the Breakfast Coven (so much cooler than the Breakfast Club, fyi). Big ups due to Jess, Jenny and ...


EPIC AND VERY GLAMOROUS BIRTHDAY GIRL CHARLIE



{This stoopid kitten got mad DJ skillz | and ... this is making my eyes go funny.}

I have exactly two photos on my phone from Saturday morning and they're both a bit gloomy lightwise (since our girl was sitting with her back to the daylight!) so I shall just leave this characteristically Cool Charlie photo here:

πŸ’—

along with your birthday number one:


Always good to hang out with the girls of a Saturday morning and ready oneself for the weekend with some hard carbs and sugar.

And lest I forget, a big-up is due, of course, to honorary Coven King, Al!

Being D.I.S.C.O. πŸ’ƒπŸŽ‰




... at church friend Celia's birthday party over at the church hall; sadly, yet again, no photos exist of the event itself as I was too busy a) helping set up, b) trying to get my peacock blue eyeshadow on point and my glitter socks on under my strappy shoes; then c) tearing it up on the dance floor; so if any of my St Matt's family has any shots for me to slot in at a later date please do let me know.

But in the meantime,
Belated birthday wishes to Celia!

Watching the Parade 🎈🎈🎈😎

On Sunday I shimmied on down to the ol' hometown to a) hang out with the ol' man on Fudder's Day (which meant we both sat outside reading in near silence, there were nuts and there was gin


and then we drank wine); and b) see Ma QB parading in the local carnival.





Excellent weather for it; so excellent that yes, I am of lobster hue now


but let's not get onto that.

Here is some rather fabulous footage of the carnival if this sort of thing is Your Bag (look out for Ma QB around the 2.38 mark).


Oh and yes, lest I forget: this is the Ol' Man, enjoying Farver's Day the Pa QB way. Bless 'im.


Pinterest Pins of the Fortnight πŸ“Œ




Fortnightly Web Finds πŸ•ΈπŸ”Ž

Serious(ish)

• Why do pedants pedant? Why do birds sing? Why do fools fall in love? Why do I ask why? 'Cos we're magnificent. End of. | on Guardian | via the Society for Editors and Proofreaders

Famous typos | also on Guardian | and also via the SfEP

This gymnastics routine is just phenomenal. (Don't pay attention to the 'clickbaity' titles; this video is worth so much more) | on YouTube/The Daily Quicky | via Overheard in Waitrose and originally posted here


Warning: please try to remember to breathe while you watch this!
Another warning: don't try this at home.

And yes, I worry for these gymnasts' backs when they're older. But right now ... whooooooa.

Silly

• People having fun with sculptures | on The Daily Quicky | Just ... ignore the dodgy grammar



Not sure where the slight obsession with Jimmy Fallon kicked in but I love this:

Google Translate Songs (with Anne Hathaway)



Pete, Γ…se: I demand a reprise of the last song in this mix but with the translated lyrics. And ... go!

And finally, because, I think I may need some gin to help me make sense of this:

The Chicken Yodelling Song. Yep. | on YouTube


With thanks to Birthday Girl Charlie for this treat. Whatever it may be! Ma QB, perhaps that's what Ginger needs. To be yodelled to. Yep.

That's all for now. I will try and take more photos of stuff next time round so I can at least testify to my presence at these events I purport to attend.

Stay cool, peeps.


qb xx

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Sunday Summary | I make lists in my sleep, baby, what's my sin?

Dear FOQ

Has everyone enjoyed the Six Days of British Summer? Good! Have a splendidly summery tune for your efforts before the leccy blanket goes back on again ...:


CHOON!


This fortnight, I have mostly been ...

Reading



Watching

TBBT

Said in singsong voice: "Sheldon kissed Amy! Sheldon kiiii-ssed Amy!" (and maybe I was tipsy at the time but hey, I got goosebumps!)

{I've mentioned recently how much I love these two, haven't I?}
... Update: he's since told her he loves her. And I totally went a bit misty-eyed.


Unbreakable (#they aliiiiiive, dammit#) Kimmy Schmidt.

I came, I binge-watched, I watched the whole fudging series in a few days.


(I'll admit, Lillian annoys the heck out of me ... but not enough to put me off completely.)



The Handmaid's Tale




Yep, just when you thought all I watched was fluffy binge-watchable comedy on Netflix (which is, well, a fair assessment).

The series has been playing for a while on Hulu in the US (whatever that is; like Netflix but different?) but debuted on Channel Four on Sunday night (with many thanks to Steph M for the tip-off). Being a fangirl of OITNB's infinitely watchable Samira Wiley I'd seen the odd shot of her rock up on my Instagram with comments and Likes from Actual Queen Margaret of Atwood but had not anticipated that the show would arrive on these humble shores so soon.

WARNING (because I'm responsible like that): It's not for the faint-hearted; there are some remarkably graphic scenes – but it's compelling telly, with some great appearances (Alexis "Rory Gilmore" Bledel and even Joseph Fiennes); and Elisabeth Moss is astounding as Offred.


RENT

... on stage, IRL and everything:




Aaaah, man.

Now, we're still trying to ascertain exactly which anniversary tour we were watching because didn't we see the twentieth anniversary performance three years ago? (Cousin Tim? Help!)

That technicality aside, last Wednesday, Ma QB and I thoroughly enjoyed this phenomenal performance at the Assembly Hall in Tunbridge Wells (after dinner, oh, and complementary kir royales at CΓ΄te fyi).

{via here}

Granted, the music was actually a tiny bit too loud over the singers' voices (and they had some pipes on them, I can tell thee) but that techfail aside, wowza.

{via here}

Those who have nothing better to do with their lives but dwell on instant recall of my past posts (OK, just me then) may remember my last rave review of RENT way back when (of course, if unlike me you're a fully functioning human with a Life and Actual Preoccupations beyond curating #blogfodder, then here's a link to help you on your way); that was more of an orchestral arrangement: the show we saw last week was a full-blown, no-holds-barred performance and a half, involving a splendid and beautiful drag queen (Layton Williams as Angel: that boy can dance)

{Uhmmm, ow? | also via here}

performing somersaults and the splits (cue the entire audience wincing), and some absolutely astounding vocals from a tight and talented cast. (And I'm going to throw down the gauntlet of theatrical controversy and say that the Mimi we saw last week was a far more plausible Mimi than Kerry Ellis was three years ago, talented though she is ...)


We didn't see Eurovision entry chanteuse Lucie Jones on the night we went so I can't testify as to how she qualified as Maureen (even though the woman behind us was convinced that was who she was watching... right, luv. You should have gone to ... a well-known high street optician) but it didn't matter: sometimes it's better when there's no Big Name for a show to hinge on.



Gigging


... at the Ruby & the Rhythms gig at the Cage in Rahgate last Sunday night (woot woot, Bernk Herliday!) with Alun and Christine (and guest appearances by AJ and Russ).

{Arty-farty shot taken on the walk}




Now, maybe I'm getting old ...

{"Maybe??"}
OK, I am getting old but ... the crowd was just too young to appreciate most of the tunes that R&TR were rocking. Or, to know how to appreciate them at all since there was a lot of chitchat going on and not much Paying Attention to the Music. Harrumph.

And perhaps it's a little odd to get excited about the fact that R&TR covered, among others, this monumental pillar of Late Nineties musical excellence:


(#My love has got no money, he's got his trampolines#)



but hey. Colour me ancient and proud. Music today's not what it used to be, etc etc.


Still. I think we had a fun evening, didn't we, Edwardses? We finished with chips from the kebab shop eaten in the bus stop so I'm chalking that up as a Great Night Out.


Barn dancin'

Yes, it's that time of year again.


Ma, Pa and I drove over to Markbeech again on Thursday evening for a spot o' do-si-do-ing, stripping the willow and gender confusion (!) at a rather small, select gathering (!!) with friends Jan, Christine F, Pauline and Colin, and Lynn and Phil.




'Twas much fun, though, especially when the willow-stripping just went completely Pete Tong.

And it turns out that Boomerang gifs of barn dances are really quite neato. And a bit weird:


Google-bombing



And finally ... 

No photographs exist (well none that don't involve me with a fish-face swimming cap on my head) but on Wednesday night I paid a visit up London Town again to wish my former line manager Sarah bon voyage as she too is leaving our ol' company to seek out new adventures. 'Twas so lovely to see so many former colleagues and have a catchup and a giggle: massive thanks to Charlottenberglewergle for inviting me and reminding me that we did have some great times back in the CanDoodle days.

Sleazy tattoos and shark fins all the way, babies.

{It's a mystery why I'm still single. Truly. | Photo collage by Gif}

Pinterest Pins of the Fortnight πŸ“Œ



Fortnightly Web Finds πŸ•ΈπŸ”Ž

Serious (ish)

• This is quite US-centric but makes some interesting points: On the value of single employees | on Quartz

• Thanks, Daily Quicky, I really needed to feel even more ancient | Remember when the internet looked like this? | on The Daily Quicky | Yes. Yes, I do.

{via here}

and on a similar note: this is a little bit bonkers:



Thanks to Norgstar Georgina for bringing this gem to my attention! I'm still stunned that Oracle was around as far back as 1984.

And now I'm really, really coveting a rotary telephone.

{... but a red one. Still with the telephone number sticker on the centre
of the dial. Like this one.}

Silly

• Someone In Bulgaria Is Putting Googly Eyes On Broken Street Objects | Yaaaaaaas! | on Bored Panda | via Natalie

{via here}

• Sunbathing seal becomes local celebrity | on BBC Magazine | via Evie

Terrible 'top tips' from British magazines | on The Daily Quicky | I dunno, I think number 6 is quite handy; I do the same with a Bonne Maman jam jar lid on my coffee cup. Works a treat. Sort of.

• This Paperchase advert/parody of Atonement is cute [plus, bonus points for featuring a Gemma Correll card: we love her] | Paperchase on Vimeo


Paperchase Advert 2017 from Jameela on Vimeo.

• And the latest Musicless Music Video is worth a snorfle:



That's all I have for now except to wish both AJ and Kate a very happy birthday today!


and



Until next time ...

qb xx