Hey Shorty, It’s Your Birthday

I’ve done this before on other significant birthdays (like The Queen, I have two: one for birth, and one for my blog*) and I wanted to mark today in a similar way, just for the sheer heck of it.

Yes, it’s my 38th birthday. Or my eleventh time turning 27, depending on my mood.

I wanted to use this post to shout out some major appreciation to a couple of fellow bloggers and important people in my life.

I shall do this via the medium of a fantasy dinner party. Oh yeah.

So, the guest list (which has evolved a little since my last virtual party), a mix of both IRL peeps and fantasy attendees:

PicMonkey Collage

Tom Hanks – Sorry, but Tom is always invited. No reason needed. In fact, he has his own front door key…

Justin Bieber – Because I’m a Belieber now and IDGAF, K?

Jillian – Not a celeb maybe but one of my greatest influences. Blog Wife, Movie Partner and fellow cat botherer (though I don’t have one at the moment). You’re the best, boo, I love you sooooo much! You can sit next to anyone you like as long as I’m on the other side…

Ilana Glazer – She’s just brilliant, you know? I’d want her to style me half way through dinner though, so we might disappear for a bit.

Hayley Margaret of A Stitch To Scratch – Or HM, as I’ve come to address her, because I’m linguistically lazy. This girl is so sweet and talented, plus just completely up my street, so she’s in. (I <3 you, HM)

Gaga – I’m currently rocking a rather large Gaga crush so obviously that gets her an invite. I’ll just giggle whenever she speaks to me and make a fool of myself, it’s cool.

My favourite, Tatty Frankland – I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to do what I do without this peach. We sometimes have shitty, stressful days because of our shared environment, but this girl is my sunshine. Nobody is more stylish, generous or cool, tbh. (Love you, bb!).

And, I’ve just realised that there are only two men at my party. I’m cool with that but I’ve decided I’m also inviting Aziz Ansari because he’s cute and I loved Master of None. That balances things out a bit, not that it matters.


I don’t know if any of my honeys have any dietary requirements but I’m proposing a lot of food; yorkshire puddings, Indian with all the trimmings, cake and masses of sweets. Good burgers, too. Oh, and pancakes, of every conceivable shape and flavour.

Can I get a pancake bar? You know what, it’s my birthday, so the answer to that is yes.

We’ll drink mulled cider and rum, and we’ll dance to two albums on repeat: Carly Rae Jepsen’s E·mo·tion and Bieber’s Purpose (the Real Bieber will refuse to perform while he’s off-duty).

Later, when it’s time to cry in the kitchen, we’ll put on Adele’s 25 and ruminate on lost loves and all the times we’ve fucked up our liquid liner.

Basically, this will be the greatest Birthday Party of my life. My husband will obviously be there too, but he’ll no doubt excuse himself and pass out on our bed by 10pm, as usual.

This is more than just a party for me though, it’s a party for those bloggers mentioned. A Thank You For Brightening My Day, Every Day Party.  A Thank You For Inspiring Me Soirée.

Thanks for being such funny fuckers, such sweethearts and such empowering friends. I hope you know what you mean to me.

What? I’ve got something in my eye…

*Does The Queen have a blog? I would read the shit out of it.

The Ex Factor


This headline popped up in my inbox this morning: “Facebook begins testing tools to let people manage interactions with exes” and, to paraphrase Miss Carrie Bradshaw, it got me to thinking.

Obviously, before I pour vitriol all over this post, I have to say that I understand this is meant to be a good thing. Apparently it will allow people to hide each other without unfriending or unfollowing. So your ex can post pictures of his/her new love to his/her hearts content and you won’t be able to see it, no siree.

Heaven forbid that you hurt his/her feelings by kicking him/her off your newsfeed though, amiright?

‘Course it works both ways and might leave you feeling more relaxed if you’re the one moving on, leaving the person you used to love in your dust.

I am friends with a few exes. But when I say ex I mean there was a certain degree of interaction and one of them almost broke my heart, but these were never long term loves, nor life ruiners. One of them has revealed himself to be racist so has been swiftly removed but for the most part I’ve picked well in the past and they can stay.

But I don’t need advice on how to deal with my significant ex because he’s lower than low and therefore has no part in my present. It’s bad enough that I still bear the (emotional) scars of years walking on eggshells and years believing I was nothing and nobody because he make me feel that way.

If it hadn’t made me who I am now, I would hit delete on our shared past quicker that it just took me to type the word delete. The thought of ever accidentally bumping into him (I hear he lives in the next town over) fills me with pant-soiling fear. I don’t know what I’d do beyond running as fast I could in the opposite direction. Cry hard. Buy an 8 pack of Brillo pads and scour my skin until it bled, that sort of thing.

It’s not always healthy to try to make people feel good above your own well-being, to always be the bigger person or to take things graciously (and I have to take my own advice here). There are valid reasons for why people despise their exes and I don’t think FB can help you with those. Then again, it’s doubtful you’d still be friends on social media.

I think, block those fuckers and move on, loves. Try not to give them the power they need to thrive. Try and forget. Try and move on, and protect yourself. Trust me, you’ve got plenty of friends so don’t have to be friends with everyone you’ve ever dated.

That’s my view and I know I’m massively biased. I know many people look at this topic very differently and what works for them, works for me.

It’s just you know, I’m still angry.

The House on Telegraph Hill (Film) Review

The House on Telegraph Hill - Real Location 7

Jillian’s pick this week and it’s Film Noir, one I hadn’t seen before nor, if I’m honest, even heard of. But I love love love this genre and studied it closely during my Film A-Level (100 years ago), so it’s close to my heart.

We’re still on Blog Free & Die Hard time, and I like it. So here’s to a couple more random titles before we move in a different direction. Maybe Christmas movies?

But for now, how was this one, and how does it stack up against some better known Noir, such as my fave, Mildred Pierce (1945), Double Indemnity (1944) and Laura (1944)?

Well, read on, my friends.

As usual *Beware Spoilers*!

The_House_on_Telegraph_Hill-489480248-largeThe House on Telegraph Hill (1951)

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Richard Basehart, Valentina Cortese, William Lundigan

IMDB Synopsis: Concentration camp survivor Victoria Kowelska finds herself involved in mystery, greed, and murder when she assumes the identity of a dead friend in order to gain passage to America.

My Review:

Viktoria Kowalska’s husband and home have been annihilated by the Germans and she finds herself in a Polish POW camp, just trying to survive each day.

She’s befriended a woman named Karin Dernakova (Natasha Lytess), who has sent her baby Christopher to America to live with her rich aunt. She’s distraught, not eating or sleeping, despite Viktoria’s best efforts to care for her.

The camp Mean Girls accuse Vik of buttering up Karin just because she has rich relatives. The two do have a plan to find their way to ‘merica to be with Chris but Vik loves Karin and is devvo’d when she finds her dead one night.

Devastation quickly gives way to something else though, and Viktoria dries her eyes and grabs Karin’s identification papers. The voice over, Viktoria herself, asks why not claim Karin’s identity, right? Still go to America and get the kid, live with the rich aunt (who’s unlikely to realise given the years gone by)?

You’re inclined to agree after everything she’s been through.

“Wake up! I need your opinion on this head scarf.”

Shortly afterwards, the new Karin is interviewed by the Liberation Department about where she’ll head next and she’s very upset (guilt has already set in). A nice Major is kind and patiently explains a few things to her. She’s adamant there’s nothing left for her in Warsaw and refuses to go back.

Viktoria/Karin sends a telegram to Aunt Sophia but a few days later receives a response saying she’s passed away (but to pop into the lawyer’s office in NY if she’s ever about).

Things look shit for New Karin™ but she’s a Noir girl and Noir girls got gumption, so she sucks it up and jumps on a boat that eventually gets her to New York City. In the office the lawyer is a bit snotty, suspicious of her not being who she says she is. Also present is Alan Spender, the kid’s official guardian and also a relative of Aunt Sophia.

Basically, all Sophia’s money is due to go to Christopher (the kid) when he comes of age but until then, her big house and all her cash is Alan’s. Karin manages to convince Alan that she’s legit and he takes her to lunch.

NB: I have to say here that nothing good can possibly come of getting involved with someone called Alan. Sorry, it’s true. Run, Karin, Run! 

The House On Telegraph Hill 1
It’s all fun and games until somebody’s brakes get slashed…

Karin suspects Alan has the hots for her and decides to milk it for all it’s worth. They have a brief courtship and then get married. A few days later Alan takes Karin to San Francisco, where Christopher lives in the house on Telegraph Hill.

Karin meets her ‘son’ who is being taken care of by a moody governess, Margaret (Fay Baker). Margaret clearly hates Karin at first sight but loves the boy so it’s sort of alright.

(Margaret is amazing with one of the best resting bitch faces even captured on celluloid.)

On their first night in the new house, Alan puts his lovely wife to bed and retires to the guest bedroom, claiming that he wants them to redecorate their bedroom before they share it or some bullshit.

Poster - House on Telegraph Hill, The_03Later, Karin goes for a wander and catches Margaret coming out of the parlour where Alan is kicking back. Looks like they’re up to no good. Or, do governesses always waft about on landings in sheer black negligees?

I’ll try to keep the rest of this brief because a lot goes down but let’s just say that odd things start to happen and Karin wonders if she’s being punished by Aunt Sophia, who gazes down poe-faced from a mahoosive portrait above the mantel.

Oh yes and one day a hot man called Mark rocks up (think 1950’s Greg Kinnear) – and surprise! – he’s the kind Major from Belsen (Karin’s form concentration camp home). Of all the cocktail parties in all the world…

Mark doesn’t think much of Alan and quickly makes himself available to Karin, lightly trying to get in her pants but also trying to be her friend. She soon needs one when her brakes are cut and she’s almost killed.

Lucky for her a pile of sand is strategically placed where she lands so she gets away unscathed. This prompts Karin to start doing some digging into Alan as she’s determined to prove he wants to bump her off. Mark is sympathetic but urges her not to jump to any conclusions (because women, as we all know, are prone to bouts of hysteria).

Also, Karin is completely blanked by the mechanic who fixes her car, even though it is HER CAR. This is a fifties film obviously so I shouldn’t be surprised and Karin should be confined to the kitchen, but still – some men still talk directly to other men rather than dare talk to a lowly woman and it’s seventy fucking years later! RAGE!

Karin was a massive fan of Grand Theft Auto V

Anyway, Karin finds out that Chris was almost harmed too in an explosion and Margaret is cagey when questioned about it. The two women have a massive barney and Karin sacks Margaret, but Alan comes back and patronises Karin until she agrees to take her back.

Karin uncovers more shit, Alan tries to trick her into thinking it’s all in her head (been there) and there’s a dramatic show down between husband and wife. Who will be triumphant?

“Nice dress…lol!”


Will Karin’s dirty secret be uncovered? Will New Karin™’s love for the Real Karen® mean she saves Christopher from potential danger?

Will Alan the Fuckingfuckface get what’s coming? What’s Margaret’s beef?

Who does the ladies’ eyebrows?

What will become of the beautiful old house on Telegraph Hill and… Will I ever boast a wardrobe as sumptuous as Karin’s?

All these questions and more will be tackled in this tense thriller.

My Thoughts:

This was dead good. Sometimes I feel a little dubious about older films, not the tried and tested ones obviously but ones I haven’t seen. Will they be dull and dry, full of wooden acting and crap scenarios or…?

Not this one. It’s actually quite tense and had me gripped from the opening credits.

Valentina Cortese (like she was going to be anything other than an actress?) keeps you interested in New Karin™ all the way and never made me doubt she was a good woman at heart, despite the shady start to her new life.

I’d still have rooted for her if she was bad, in fact my only criticism is that I would have liked to have seen her being more of a Bad Bitch. Would one cat fight with the nanny and more red lipstick/smoking have killed you, New Karin™?

I’d also have been done with more Margaret, more female solidarity at the end (they’re allowed to despise each other initially, have a little tussle, realise all they’re fighting for is definitely not worth it and then team up) and all men being done away wit, including the kid.

alfredI mean, Mark is nice and all but he’s a bit handsy and Chris is pretty much just that kid from Mad magazine, very 2D.

Otherwise, it had a good plot, made me shout at the screen a couple of times (sorry, I just hate condescending men called Alan) and entertained me for the reasonable run time of 1 hour and 33 minutes.

My Rating: 4/5

How does Jill rate this movie? Head over to see for yourselves.

Quit You

Film Bridget Jones The Edge Of Reason
Hiding from my Facebook timeline

It’s become a thing in our household to quit something we love on New Year’s Eve and stick to it for the duration of the coming year. I’m not sure why, but 2015 was my first year in the ‘game’ and I gave up chocolate, just for shits n’ gigs.

My lovely husband spent 2014 saying no to pork products, and this year is off the beer. His dedication to whatever the fuck the point of this is, is incredible. I suppose I only chose chocolate because I knew it would be hard and I wanted to prove to him (and myself?) that I can do it.

I’ve had about 3 slip ups, alright? But they’re all bought and paid for, none of them are secrets. I still thinks it’s bloody impressive that I haven’t bought chocolate for almost a full year. And don’t worry about me, I’ve still gorged on plenty of sweets and savoury snacks, I’m no fool.

The question is: what to give up this year? G has already committed to crisps, bringing my brother down with him (who incidentally, inspired by Bacon Gate, quit coffee for 2015). I’m thinking biscuits*.

What I’d really like to give up is Facebook. I mean, how hard can it be?

Really hard, I think. I love social media. I’m all about Twitter, all over Instagram and well that’s about it really but FB is a unique waste ground, isn’t it? It seems to have rules of its own and the rules are, there ain’t no rules.

As a result you get a melting pot of startling views, a rich tapestry of hot takes from across the world. For the most part people are fabulous but some of these misguided, uneducated opinions are starting to get me down.

Maybe things I do on FB upset others. I mean maybe there is such a thing as too many photos of men with glittery beards, who knows?

I have to do something drastic soon before my head explodes. I’ve already gone on a blocking spree, hiding a significant amount of people from my timeline.

It’s not any one topic either. I’ve bowed out of online friendships (without unfriending because that seems petty and has often come back to bite me on the nose) for all manner of offences. Sexism, racism, all too casual and therefore insidious fat shaming; general, hopeless ignorance. Minion memes.

I’m not perfect by any means. I don’t always get everything right, shock horror. I’m sure you could pick on some of the things I believe in/say/post but for the most part I live by the rule if I don’t know much about something, I’ll leave it alone. And post a photograph of a teapot or something.

So what to do? WHAT TO DO.

Despite the fact I now know just how racist some of my once normal-seeming friends are, I love Facebook for how easy it is to keep everyone together. So maybe I’ll do it, maybe I won’t.

Maybe I’ll just go on blocking people until there’s nobody left.

All I do know is, the one thing worse than Facebook itself? Someone umming and ahhing about leaving it.

What do you guys think?

*No dunk for 12 months :(


tumblr_nwdknt8Ldj1tic679o1_540I’ve been thinking about my blog for a while and which direction, if any to go in. I mean, is this a film blog, a (admittedly half-arsed) book blog or something that can’t be defined, aka a hodge podge of shits and gigs with no real genre definition?

I’ve arrived at the conclusion that it is most definitely the latter and I think that might be okay. I mean, I’m having a good time, I don’t know about anyone else.

That said I feel as though I should plan better and gain inspiration from all four corners of the internet (it’s a box, innit?). There is so much great stuff out there and I wanna be part of it!

Not really a part in the sense that I’m aiming towards my own waxwork or anything, it’s just there are topics close to my heart and I sometimes don’t even know where to start with them. And there are people who do it beautifully.

I don’t want to avoid talking about things that are important to me just because I don’t know where to start or because I might get tongue tied. Where’s the logic in that? I’m not talking politics or religion btw, I don’t really want to entertain those subjects online.

What a cryptic post this is. It doesn’t really have a purpose, just getting some things out onto the page for the hell of it. I guess I should reassess what my blog means to me and branch out from there.

While I do that, is there anything you’d like to see from me?

What do you enjoy/not enjoy/*heart-eyes emoji* round these parts?

All I Want for Christmas is Stuff

PicMonkey Collage3
Men in Silky Kimonos

I thought I’d aim for a more light-hearted post after the moodiness of the last. Those damn swimming pools.

One of Little Mix* (I nonchalantly pretend I don’t know which one but of course I do, it was Jade) tweeted her Christmas list and I thought it was a cool idea.

So here’s my fantasy Crimble wishlist (complete with links and imagery, just sayin’ Mystery Benefactor…):

PicMonkey Collage2
Dress – Bag – Faux Fur Coat, all ASOS

So that’s me. Coveting lots and lots of fabulous shit as usual. Obviously this post is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I do know the true meaning of Christmas… food and Pixar movies, amiright?

So, what are your Christmas wishes this year?

*Bloody love Little Mix

3 Women (Film) Review

Abba took a very different artistic turn when the men left

Welcome to Blog Free or Die Hard, where no film choice is wrong. Except maybe this one, which I take full and guilty responsibility for.

When the best you can say about a film is that it’s ‘atmospheric’, you know you’ve got problems, son. I had to watch multiple episodes of Chewing Gum straight after this 2 HOUR SNOOZEFEST just to erase my own memory for a while.

Sadly, it has proven short-term as it’s all still right here. Handy for a film review, annoying for the rest of life. Still, since Jill and I in the business of ripping the shit out of movies, this one should be a peach.

Shall we?

There are *spoilers* here so be careful, though trust me, it won’t make a difference.

3 Women (1977)

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Sissy Spacek, Shelley Duvall, Janice Rule

IMDB Synopsis: Pinky is an awkward adolescent who starts work at a spa in the California desert. She becomes overly attached to fellow spa attendant, Millie when she becomes Millie’s room-mate.

My Review:

We open on a swimming pool full of golden oldies being lead around by seventies nymphs in uniform grey swimming costumes. All this is set to one of the most jarring soundtracks I’ve ever heard (it also feels like trigger music, see: Zoolander’s Relax). The effect is ominous AF and I guess that’s exactly the point.

I don’t know if it’s Spacek’s presence or the truth but this scene, with its frenetic use of the music and slightly hazy, languishing shots, are reminiscent of Carrie (1976).

Just happy no-one's telling her to 'plug it up'
Just happy no-one’s telling her to ‘plug it up’

Spacek is all wide-eyed waif of course but less Carrie than in Carrie. As Pinky, she’s a ball of childlike energy. New to town (from Texas), new to the job with seemingly no friends or family, Pinky is vulnerable but I didn’t really feel that sorry for her, given that she’s so freaking annoying.

She sets her sights (for some reason) on the elegant Millie, who has a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp at all times. She’s cold man, and sometimes another ‘c’ word, which I won’t use in this review (but only because my mum might read it).

The other girls at the retirement centre where they all work are quite fun. Super bitchy and indifferent to everything around them, but fun. They just aren’t that into Millie, if truth be told.

How they laughed (which is weird as I don't remember Millie smiling once)
How they laughed (which is weird as I don’t remember Millie smiling once)

Pinky and Millie build a precarious  friendship, which is mostly one-sided. When Millie needs a roommate, Pinky jumps at the opportunity. Millie is appalled at the uncouth way in which Pinky behaves, though she doesn’t drink, smoke or seem to have any sexual experience, while Millie is all about men.

Always good to take a roommate who disgusts you, I feel.

Shit just got real weird
Shit just got real weird

The new roomies spend time at a desert bar called Dodge City where we meet, presumably, the third woman – Willie Hart. Willie is mostly mute, a bit trippy and heavily pregnant. She is married to Edgar (a former stuntman and don’t we bloody know it). She also paints bizarre murals that appear throughout the film, one of which depicts 3 women.


Anyway, this film takes over 2 HOURS to do what a nice 90 minute film could of done. In short hand, Millie is as unpopular as Pinky but either has the hide of a rhinoceros or just can’t read basic social signals, because she just isn’t taking a hint.

This aesthetic, all day, erryday

Pinky is unpopular because she’s weird but desperation rises like steam from Millie, who seems to have ideas above her station, trying to entice friends to dinner parties (when she serves pigs in blankets, count me in).

One night she gets stood up by her so-called friends and goes to Dodge City, alone. She returns, drunk, in the early hours with Edgar and they ain’t planning to talk about his former ‘acting’ career, if you know what I mean.

Pinky looks shocked (more likely nauseous) and Millie goes off on one about being judged, telling Pinky that nobody likes her because she doesn’t drink or smoke. She then tells her to move out.

Pinky takes it well by throwing herself into the apartment block’s pool, knocking herself unconscious. In the furore, Willie saves her (man, this woman has a full-time job running a bar, paints all the time and is also 9 months pregnant, a little help here!). She also witnesses Edgar leaving Millie’s, the dirty fucker. She judges him hard with her eyes.

Also, I hadn’t realised that they all lived in the same block until this moment.

Millie finally does something sort of kind, and runs around dealing with Pinky’s business, rounding up her parents (who live in Texas) and puts them up while her friend is in a coma. When Pinky wakes however she claims she’s never seen these old people in her life and screams for them to fuck off.

This part is never explained as far as I know, nor resolved. They simply go home to Texas and aren’t heard from again. Pinky recovers quickly and has suddenly become a drinker, smoker and all-round sex bomb. She also learns. to. shoot!

“When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherfucker in the room, accept no substitutes.”

She starts wearing make-up (the markings of a sexual woman) and plays games with Millie, who’s desperate for what? Redemption, I guess. This change in their roles is interesting… for about 10 seconds. Sadly, it’s not really seen through.

There’s a bit of a sideline when we find out that Pinky has used Millie’s Social Security number for some reason and Millie, sticking up for her friend, quits her job over it. Pinky then starts screwing Edgar and… I’m leaving this here because I have spend way too much time on this dreadful film already.

There’s a flipping bizarre and awkward climax – and then… well, I don’t really get it, I won’t lie.


What the fuck is the point? is my overall feeling. Why is it so slow? is another. Howevs, to do this properly, some real questions:

Will Pinky and Millie make it together as friends? Will their roles revert back? Will you care by the end of the second hour?

Who in their right mind would go anywhere near Edgar? And what of his beautiful preggo wife, and their wee baby?

You’ll see. If you can be arsed. If not, I can email you the ending so you don’t have to waste any of your precious time on this utter codswallop.

My Thoughts:

Don’t make me think about this anymore. It’s horrendous.

I’m surprised that Robert Altman has let me down so badly but then again, I’m sure he thought he knew what he was doing. The whole film is supposed to make you feel uneasy but there’s just not enough in it. No real danger in the end (for the women, at least), just mind games.

So much is unexplained and unless I missed it when I went to the loo, part of the climax happens off screen, which makes it feel unfinished (thinking about it, I might have missed it). I don’t get the ending at all. It’s all just very bizarre and I’m sure it’s not just because I’m a thicko.

Any positives? Hm. Well, Sissy Spacek and Shelley Duvall are both very beautiful, I enjoyed looking at them.

I was going to say that maybe they were both chosen for their work in other iconic horror movies (Carrie/The Shining (1980)) but sadly, that theory has to be thrown out the window (The Shining was made 3 years after this one). Both are 1 million times superior and both probably in my Top 25 of all time.

Can I have a nap now? 

My Rating: 1.5/5 – Don’t bother. It’s shit.

So, will Jillian still be willing to be my Blog Wife after I’ve steered us so spectacularly wrong? Or did she love it? Find out here.

“Hello? Yes, I’d like to speak to someone who gives a shit. About this film I mean…”