Guest Post: RuPaul, Childline and Me

14063929_1773865192893670_8813665282415473580_nI really love Hannah of Ponderous Pieces and have followed her across several blogs for a number of years (where does the time go?). I’m particularly a fan of her book reviews. We’ve not met in the flesh yet but you know when you start following someone and they’re in your news feeds every day and you end up feeling like you really know them? That.

Hannah is definitely one to follow so I hope you do. Enjoy this post and then show her some love!❤

A photo by Milada Vigerova. unsplash.com/photos/kT0tsYZ2YE0

For nearly a year now I have been volunteering for Childline, so I thought, what better subject to write about for Christa as the first anniversary approaches of something that has changed my life.

When I initially applied I was living in Aberdeen, having moved there from Glasgow for – as always – a boy.  I found being in Aberdeen very difficult; I was a three hour train journey away from my friends and it took me ages to find even a part time job. I wasn’t adjusting very well to my support network being so far away and to having nothing to do but shuffle about a flat that was a tad “in the sticks” all day.

I am not somebody who does very well having too much time on my hands. I suffer from anxiety, so give me enough space and time and I will string myself up into a quivering mess with worry and stress. I also, as the Dr put it, have” touches of depression” so endless time to stare and churn over dark thoughts is to be avoided at all costs.

So, I was feeling miserable, lonely and without having much in the way of employment, didn’t feel like I had much to contribute – to the world. At all.

I felt under my BF’s feet and didn’t know how to adapt to my new situation. While he was taking everything in his stride and striving, I felt like I was curling up at the sides. It didn’t take long for the darkness to start creeping in at the edges, chewing  up any self-esteem I had. Hours would go by and I hadn’t moved from whichever spot my BF had left me in that morning, I hadn’t washed and I’m not convinced I always remembered to blink. I couldn’t face going outside. I’d spend all day like a housebound dog waiting for him to come home, literally sat at the window from about 4pm waiting for his car to turn into the driveway. The relief everyday when I saw that black Peugeot was heavenly.

My anxiety was getting pretty bad, not the worse its been, but getting there. I would get the shakes just thinking about having to walk the 4 minutes to the Spar. I got into this vicious circle where I believed the only good thing I could bring to the relationship was the certainty of milk in the fridge, but because I was feeling so slow and meaningless, going to the Spar became something I almost couldn’t face. All I had to do was buy a pint of milk – I couldn’t even get that right.

I needed to pull myself out of my slump, I was keeping how I felt a secret from my BF, depriving him of the chance of helping me. A stupid decision, and yes, I got out of it, but with hindsight I should have said something. I decided I needed something to fill my days, having so much empty time was giving my mind too much roaming space, too many gnarly horrible logs to look under. It needs a tighter leash. So I signed up for an OU introductory course in counselling. It was all theory based – lots of reading and researching – exactly what I needed! I found it really interesting and not only did it cement in  me that counselling was an avenue I wanted to pursue, it also helped me step back from my own thoughts and view everything I was feeling more logically.

One day when I was job hunting, a cheery, engaging and very green Childline advert popped up looking for volunteer counsellors. It was the enthusiastic, daring shove I was looking for. It promised the outlet I needed, the distraction I wanted, and the vindication I craved. The interview was the hardest I have ever endured, but I was OVER THE MOON when I got a call telling me I had been accepted.

But, things then went pretty wrong again and having accepted the place I found myself having to move back to Glasgow. Out of the blue, My BF ended our relationship and it felt like I had been hit by a train. Just as I thought my life was taking the right turn it was smashed into a million pieces. So, I was back to staring, back to thinking, crying until I was sick, back to feeling nothing and like no-one.  I resisted and resisted getting my Childline application transferred to the Glasgow office – this, for me, would be finally admitting that everything was over with my BF and I really, really didn’t want to do that. Every time the woman from the Glasgow office called me about it I had another excuse, then another. If I moved my application then I was DEFINITELY going back to Glasgow, and it was definitely, definitely all over.

During that time, I spent most of my time up in bed, I stopped working and festered with my broken heart. But I was saved by a man, no, many men, in wigs. Surrounded by decimated tissues I binge watched Ru-Paul’s Drag Race – and never have I found refuge and peace in such a bizarre place before! It’s pomp and colour, its glamour and irreverence was the exact opposite of what I was feeling – I was a stinking, blotchy, sweaty sack of shit. But it turned out to be exactly what I needed! I found the whole thing so uplifting and beautiful that it managed to shake me out of my trance. I saw life again as some daft, silly romp full of chances for fun and that I could just fucking get through it on my own. I was going to get my head up, hit that runway and sissy my walk.

Before I got to the end of season 4 I was phoning the Glasgow NSPCC office to confirm a training spot and it was honestly the best decision I’ve ever made.

Whenever I have dark pukey moments now I have something to immediately counteract them- something I did all by myself, something that scares me each week  but that I still do. I  feel appreciated – when do you really feel that way at work? – and I like that I have this lovely, giving thing in my life. Hearing a young person laughing at some goofy joke you’ve made, having been in floods of tears half an hour earlier is glorious. Or just having them go “huh! I didn’t know that, that’s cool! I feel so much better” is THE BEST thing. Since last October I can honestly say that I like the person that I am now and that I deserve good things to happen to me. I never, EVER thought I would feel that way.

I have met wonderful people that make me howl with laughter, enrich my soul and make getting up at 4.30am on a Saturday morning so very worth it. It’s nearly my one year anniversary and its the charities 30th this year – I thank the world for its existence every day – it has done as much for me as it does for young people 24 hours a day.

I have recently been offered a full time job there, obviously I bit their hand off, but I was asked: “are  you going to carry on volunteering as well?”

– for the second time in my life, the decision was blissfully easy.

Rogue (Film) Review

rogue-53db48d29a657

I don’t know why I’ve put myself through a second man-eating disaster movie this week and yet, here we are.

This genre, despite my outwardly cavalier attitude, feeds into my very worst fears. Films like this (looking at you Jaws) are why I don’t go in the water and can barely enter a swimming pool without having a panic attack.

Side note: Here’s a free mini-review from Wednesday’s viewing of The Shallows (2016):

I so wish this had been better. It’s genuinely terrifying in places, but laughable in others. The acting is not good (sorry Blake). Refreshing to watch a film about a resourceful woman without a hint of love interest on the horizon, though. This could have been an excellent film, but alas. Also, we get it, Lively has a lovely peachy butt.

Now to this week’s pick, which was mine. I don’t really know what I was thinking as it falls so closely in-line with the Shark Month films we’ve only recently kissed goodbye to.

Rogue, incidentally, popped up on a list of underrated animal/horror movies in the wake of the release of The Shallows and it piqued my interest. That it showed up on Netflix a few days later just made it convenient. I think Jill and I both fancied something mindless this week too so here we are.

*Spoilers*

Rogue (2007)

Directors: John Blush, Greg McLean
Stars: Michael Vartan, Radha Mitchell, Sam Worthington

IMDB Synopsis: An American journalist on assignment in the Australian outback encounters a man-eating crocodile while trapped on a rapidly flooding mud island.

My Review:

A group of tourists join a crocodile watching cruise in the Northern Territory of Australia, captained by wildlife researcher Kate (Mitchell).

The gang includes ‘cynical’ travel writer Pete (Vartan) who walks into a bar decorated with newspaper clippings about croc attacks just before he boards Kate’s boat. He seems perturbed but also determined to keep his cool in front of his boat mates. We also meet slightly odd Simon (Stephen Curry), ‘brassy’ Gwen (Celia Ireland), a young Mia Wasikowska and her parents, who seem completely interchangeable with the other couple, Everett (Robert Taylor) and Mary Ellen (Caroline Brazier).

Rogue-film-images-70b41d0b-7fd9-40c8-bad4-1ec641c0507

Only dickheads wear white shirts in the outback

Mia’s Sherry and family have their own issues to contend with, as mum Elizabeth (Heather Mitchell) is losing her battle with cancer. Which sort of excuses the fact dad (and husband) Allen (Geoff Morrell) is a bit of an arse. There’s also Merv (Barry Otto) but honestly, most of the men look similar and in the dark, which inevitably falls, it won’t even matter (Soz men!).

(I’ve missed someone called Russell out too but again, it doesn’t really matter).

46688_66

Hat’s off to you, girl

Things start off great, the team spot a croc being fed by another tour group and a wave of nervous awe ripples through the boat. Kate assures them that although those bad boys can jump a considerable height, it’s unlikely they’d want to attack a boat, or indeed them. Just as long as they stay out of the water, they’ll be fine. Bless.

There’s an initial spark between Pete and Kate of course, until he acts all superior about his travel experience and she sends him back to his seat (she’s never left the territory see). He does have an air of superiority about him which is unpleasant, though one suspects there’s a life lesson to be learned here.

The group go about their business with only one blip, the arrival of local charmers Collin (Damien Richardson) and Neil (Sam Worthington), who obviously has some sort of history with Kate. Real talk #101: I do not care for Sam Worthington one bit. Collin and Neil try to humiliate Kate in front of her guests which of course backfires because they’re dufuses (dufi?).

As the tour gets ready to conclude business and head back to dry land, one of the tourists sees a flare in the distance. Being a good egg, Kate refuses to ignore it, much to the chagrin of some of the group (FUCK OFF YOU DICKS). Although, if it was me, maybe I’d pretend I hadn’t seen it.

Kidding.

Rogue-film-images-8a28f267-b74c-43f7-8c38-8a9e7d319f5

I’d look this happy to be stranded with Sam Worthington too

This is the point where you’ll be shouting at the screen because they are all so close to being back on land, clutching cold brewskis and not having their limbs bitten off, but we’re all here for the terror and terror is waiting for us just around the bend. Literally. Our half reluctant/half heroic gang get several miles up the river before realising that the flare has been set off by a boat in distress (now sunken). Before anyone has a chance to shout “Oh fuck!” their boat is attacked from beneath. But of course.

Kate expertly gets the vessel to the bank but it’s sprung a leak and she has to ground it violently. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck, eh? It’s all good though as nobody’s hurt and besides, they’ve got their feet planted firmly on land now, so just a short skip and jump back to camp, right?

You came here for terror, remember?

It quickly becomes apparent that our intrepid travelers are a bit fucked as they’re actually straight chilling on an island that will soon be under water when the tide comes in. They’re also in two minds about how to handle their new situation, as they’re all now convinced there’s a hungry crocodile out there. This is confirmed when Neil and Collin rock up again to mess with Kate and get tossed in the air like a hippy’s hacky sack.

vlcsnap-2012-05-31-16h56m00s204-1024x576

Sam Worthington by night

Collin’s the first snack on our crocodile’s menu but luckily Sam Worthington swims to shore (dammit). He’s no longer playing and everyone realises the seriousness of their predicament. One of the men gets chomped quite quickly afterwards, but I’ll be fucked if I can distinguish which one. It’s not Merv or the dad. Yet.

I think, as with all movies of this ilk, it would be poor practice just to list the deaths one by one, even if some of them are way satisfying. Note: Mansplainers get eaten, yo. You get the general gist of this, a sizeable group of tourists are trapped while a big ass croc stalks them. They have to get off the island whatever happens or they’ll become chum.

rogue

(By the way our crocolicious one is about 7 meters long and is an absolute beauty. He’s also cranky af and that doesn’t bode well for the team (I actually have no idea if it’s male or female tbh)).

Neil, despite looking and sounding like a jackass, is just about the only one of them to have a plan, while Kate tries the Christa Bass Tried and Tested Method of believing someone is going to turn up soon to make it all better.

Neil’s plan is to swim to the other side of the river ‘quietly’ (erm) and hook a rope around a tree so each of the group can climb along it, a few metres up and get across themselves. This starts to work until one of the women freaks out, a man gets shirty and fucks it all up for the rest of them. Don’t worry, he’s punished for his rudeness.

There’s another plan, Kate refuses to sacrifice her dog as bait (and is rewarded for this later), some people survive, some get chomped, Pete and Kate get thrown into an even hairier situation when they stumble across the croc’s personal pantry (aka a small cave), there’s a final showdown because isn’t there always in every film – and then it ends.

rogue-3

Splish splash croc is taking a bath

Questions:

I’ve not really left much room for questions this time around but I guess: who survives to tell this sorry tail (ahem, I mean tale)?

My Thoughts:

God damn this is a stressful movie! The sheer size and age of this ancient killing machine blows my tiny mind, even though the story is fictional. I mean these things are practically dinosaurs and they’re just pottering around in the outback minding their own business.

And although sharks are my number one fear, crocodiles have a mean streak about them that make them just as terrifying. There are plenty of creatures that seem to take great pleasure in killing but it’s the way they execute that commando roll with their prey in their mouths that chills me to the bone. I think I might have pooped myself a bit watching this. Also, isn’t murky water so much more horrifying? Eeeek.

I have to say I didn’t really give a shit about any of the cast. Maybe Young Mia who showed tremendous bravery but didn’t really get any dialogue. Sam Worthington at least was practical, if annoying. Again, it was nice that there was no romance on the horizon but I wish Kate had rescued Pete and not the other way around – sorry, SPOILER!

Funnily enough the tension dissipates when we find ourselves in the monster’s lair. Mystery really is where it’s at, eh? Seeing the beast up close is satisfying and the CGI is pretty good I have to say but there’s something about it that left me a little deflated. I think out of water this amazing creature seems cumbersome and therefore less terrifying?

Whatever it was, I was glad when this movie ended. It’s exactly the right length (99 minutes).

02

“SHE’S GOT RED ON HER!”

My Rating: 4/5 for the genuine anxiety it caused me. 3/5 for how I felt about the characters.

Was my good lady wife chomping at the bit for this movie or would she rather throw it overboard? Find out here (and make it snappy)❤

Exciting Things

exciting-things

I’ve not been feeling myself for a while now.

I mean, everything’s good. Better than good in fact. I have my health, I have an income, and I’m young (ish) and in love. What more does a girl need really, besides her family and loved ones around?

Things to look forward to, is what!

I’ve been wracking my brains about what my next creative ‘thing’ could be, that one activity I’m so passionate about that it will jog me out of this malaise and into some sort of action. Something worth buying and starting a new notebook for, basically.

(You might be like, what? So is your blog not enough for you? It is. I love my blog, I love reviewing films and talking about loving oneself. I guess what I really want is more of what I love, you get me?).

So there I was thinking, how do I get the spark reignited? Do I bite the bullet and run away to New York where I’ll most likely meet a rag-tag bunch of street artists who will adopt me as a sort of den mother, keeping me around because I make awesome tea and stroke their heads when they’re feeling lost and anxious? (Rent basically, with hopefully less smack).

I say it’s because of the tea but one day my true talent will, of course, be revealed to my new ‘family’ and then I’ll truly be one of them, the beating heart some might say. What that talent is going to be is so far undecided, I’m thinking singing or acting but it more probable being very good at making Plasticine models, organising drawers or listening.

Anyway, as I sat there considering packing a bag and burning a hole in my credit card, something cool virtually dropped into my lap!

photo-1447272567514-98639cbdaf9c

Radio Goo Goo

I’m currently in the pre-production stages of making a podcast with my friend James, who asked me to collaborate on a series with him. How cool is that? You might remember my brief foray into podcasting last year in which funnily enough I lamented not having a partner-in-crime and how much I wanted one and now, I’ve got a great one!

We’ve been peripheral friends for years, since we met at a company BBQ where he worked with my husband. James, it’s worth noting (and maybe why I like him so much) was the first of Glynn’s colleagues to remember my name (it seems unbelievably hard to most people) and I really appreciated that. We’ve a few mutual friends in common beyond that and usually bump into each other either in the street or at the newishly established Brighton Comic Con. So I’m also looking forward to getting to know my friend better, we have a lot of similar opinions and tastes which is always fun.

Our podcast hasn’t got a name yet but I think we both have complementary ideas of what we want. It will mostly be film, TV and popular culture based, basically we’ll talk to each other as we do naturally about the films we love which won’t really be blockbuster films, although I will cover the DC universe from a Wonder Woman/Justice League perspective (because WW is my JAM).

We’ll talk about shows like Stranger Things (2016) and films like The Invitation (2015), The Wolfpack (2015) (which I’m forever mentioning on here). Even (arguably) the worst film of all time The Room (2003) will get a shout out I’m sure (it was my recent homework assignment and needless to say, there’s a lot to love).

All in all our first episode is shaping up to be a good one and I promise it will not only sound better than my solo attempts (James has the technical kit and the know-how to record it properly), I will also be less dithery because I now have someone to bounce off. I’m really excited about this and honestly, you never know where it might lead. Radio show anyone?

I will share a lot here, so if you’re interested please do keep up with us. In the future when we’re more established and confident, I think we’ll be having guests on, could that be you?

I’m also secretly (not anymore) holding out for Ben Wheatley to stumble across us and want to be interviewed, as he lives in Brighton and we’ll probably cover his films. (ILY Ben!).

I’m still going to New York though. One day.

What are you most looking forward to in the last half of 2016?

And also, any podcast name suggestions will be gratefully received as I’m kind of stumped! Pop your thoughts on a postcard❤

Please note: This project will compliment Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab, never hinder it. If you were wondering.

Guest Post: Why I love My #Selfie

13335849_10154323988412022_7277487513200349573_nI can’t remember exactly when I stumbled across Hayley and her lovely blog A Stitch to Scratch but it feels like a good couple of years ago. I’m very glad that I did too, as Hayley has an aura about her than not a lot of people do. She’s so talented as well, knocking up some really interesting pieces, from toys to secret books and more recently, her own dresses. I’m beyond jealous of her skills.

I feel like we’re also on the same page when it comes to the big stuff, such as self-image and loving ourselves, body positivity and the power of a damn good jumpsuit! Hayley also rocks one of the most impressive lipstick collections I’ve seen (something I’ve never got to grips with) and although some of our tastes differ, I feel like we can learn from each other, which is the whole point of new friends and getting yourself out there.

So please enjoy this post by this blog’s honorary Maid of Honour and then check out her blog as it will likely inspire you to knock something up, MacGyver-style (but prettier).

The wonderful Christa invited me to guest post over here on one of my favourite ever blogs, and well, I was never going to turn that down!

I started out wanting to write a witty post about a subject near and dear to both our hearts – the sacred selfie – and it became something a bit more honest.

I’m glad of that, because I don’t tend towards streams of relatively unfiltered thoughts and feelings, and it was quite cathartic to write this little peice of my brain down for you all to share in.

13936532_10154502260257022_1984708282_n

Why I love my #Selfie

A month or two ago on your average Saturday morning, The Boy and I were getting ready to go out somewhere thrilling like Sainsbury’s or Wilko’s. I’d done my hair and makeup, put on something pretty and took out my phone to snap a selfie.

Then The Boy looked over at me, rolled his eyes and said

“You’re so vain.”
“I’m not!”
“You’re always taking pictures of yourself.”
“Not because I’m vain.”
“Then why?”

– and that’s the killer question isn’t it? I’ve seen a fair few blog posts on selfies, lauding and condemning, and few tapping into the why of it all. When he asked me, I knew what the answer was, but I still had to sit and think for a second before I could answer honestly and with the right words.

I’m so pro-selfie. I think that putting yourself out there for the world to see is no small thing, and it should always be received with positivity.
Sometimes I hear that looking at other people’s pretty selfies makes someone feel worse about themselves, and that makes me so sad, especially when for me, it’s such a tool for the opposite.

It just makes me want to say: we’re all on the same side, ladies. We should celebrate each other’s talents, skills, beauty and all around fabulousness. We have to stop tearing each other down to feel better, or on the flip side, seeing someone looking great and feeling worse about ourselves in response.

I’m of the steadfast opinion that no-one can shame you down by being their special self. Someone showing off their height doesn’t make you shorter. Someone being beautiful, doesn’t make you uglier. It’s so hard to try and stop judging yourself against everyone else like a standard, I know, but it’s also unfair to expect people not to shine a light on their own awesomeness for fear of someone else feeling shitty in comparison.

I’m sure many people out there have their own reasons for taking their selfies, some very different from my own, but for me, personally, it pretty much comes down to self-consciousness.

When struggling with your self-image the last thing you want to see is yourself. You actively avoid mirrors and photographs. Taking selfies takes that fear and inverts it. It says this is me and I am beautiful. I am not afraid to photograph myself, to have that lasting image out there.
In the past decade I’ve gone from a sad teenage girl who physically averts her gaze from any reflective surface for fear of having to look at herself, to the positive woman I am now, readily – nay happily – snapping photos of myself and putting them online for everyone to see what I look like. Ten years ago that would have terrified me, because even I didn’t want to see what I looked like.

Taking regular selfies combats the insecurity that sometimes still eats away at my brain. It’s regularly reminding myself that I’m good enough. It means everyday I get more comfortable with what I look like. I’m proud of the progress I’ve made in the way that I look at myself, and selfies have been a big part of helping that progress along.

For me, a good portion of taking a selfie is saying, this is what I look like, and it is good. To look myself dead on and think positive thoughts. Putting that selfie online is I am proud of the way I look. See here, world, this is me, aren’t I fabulous?

Sometimes they never go online and I keep them just for me, as a memory.

To remind me that dress did not look frumpy and sack-like.

To remember that that very bold lipstick colour looked amazing, in case I ever have any doubts.

13941089_10154502260442022_523495384_nI have this one here of the first time I ever wore (or owned) a jumpsuit. Christa inspired me to get one with the way she always rocks hers, but I was so nervous to wear it I put it off for a whole month. When I plucked up the courage to don it, I snapped this selfie, to look back and remember that it did look good, for the next time I wanted to wear it but was too scared.

Bottom line: Let’s face it – who doesn’t like to see a picture of themselves looking great?

And to end relevantly, here are a million few of my recent selfies. Just because. (Though I must admit, my Instagram feed is being clogged up with pictures of kittens, rather than my face at the moment!)

Do you #selfie? Why? Why not?

Happy Birthday and a Half: The Great Blog Collab

photo-1429087969512-1e85aab2683d

A change from the norm this week but still very much on brand, don’t you worry.

It’s Jillian & Christa’s Great Blog Collab‘s 18 month anniversary (phew) this week and since it’s kind of a big deal to us (and hopefully a few of you), we decided we shouldn’t let the occasion pass without sticking a celebratory pin in it.

So this week we both present to you a little glance back at our top 5 favourite movies from our blogs, a couple of absolute turkeys (I feel we may overlap here) and a handful of honorary mentions because some films are just noteworthy in ways that don’t translate into ratings, you feel me?

A special thank you to Jill for thinking this one out logistically, and catching the anniversary. I’ve been feeling fried for the last few weeks and feel as though I’ve brought almost nothing to the table in terms of our collab, hence another Free for All theme this month.

I’m starting to feel brighter and more inspired than ever though, and am excited for this post and our future reviews.

To my Top 5! (5 of 10)

American-Mary-trailer

American Mary (2012)

I loved this movie so much when I first saw it and although I haven’t revisited it since, I think of it often. At the time of reviewing it, I accepted that it was imperfect even though I didn’t hesitate to slap a 5/5 rating on it. The ending is disappointing, though I’m not sure Mary could have just walked off to a normal life after everything she’d seen and done, even if I wanted it for her.

I find the body modification community fascinating and wonder how close to the bone this really is. In terms of taking back control and self-expression, it’s a wonderful tale and although you could argue that, in her pursuit of vengeance, our girl becomes just as bad as the perpetrator of the crime that changes her forever, it’s a fantasy and I’m with her all the way. I love the power Mary wields and the ways in which she empowers her clients. Female-centric horror written and directed by women? More please. Ps. Katharine Isabelle, ILY!

maxresdefault

The Wolfpack (2015)

This documentary, that follows the bizarre lives of The Angulo Brothers; Bhagavan, Govinda, Jagadisa, Mukunda, Narayana and Krisna, is so special I feel it’s left a lasting impression on my heart. Funnily enough it came up in conversation with a friend earlier this week and our talk made me want to see it again. (BTW, I’ll reveal more soon but I have a very special project coming up and I think you’ll love it).

I often wonder what the boys are up to now, yet I can’t bring myself to look as this film has sealed them in time and left them on a high, despite their weird and wacky inner world. I need to live my life knowing that they’re all fine and happy.

If you enjoy something different, positive and heart-warming, then I can’t recommend this enough. (I’ve deliberately told you nothing here so you go in with no information. Trust me, it’s worth it).

wetlandsjuri_huge

Wetlands (2013)

I had to choose Wetlands for it’s sheer audacity. It feels like a film designed purely to shit stir. So much of it is ripe for a disgusted reaction; that’s exactly what it wants and gets x 1000. It is refreshing that our protagonist is not bound by the usual rules of femininity though, I have to say that. She’s crazy for sex, will try anything once and doesn’t give a flying fuck about being ladylike. It must have been so fun for it’s lead Carla Juri to play this part.

I’ve just bought the book on which the film is based and I hope to pick up soon. I’m curious to see if it’s even more graphic that its movie counterpart. Here’s hoping?

With-Fake-Ethan

The One I Love (2014)

I really enjoyed this truly bizarre anti-romance starring Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass, about a couple working on getting
back that loving feeling, if only their alternate reality selves don’t fuck it up first. Yeah. This is one you have to follow carefully but it’s interesting film-making with great performances and a Make You Think ending, which is kind of bleak when you really consider it.

Part of the reason I love this movie is because I saw it around the same time as Coherence (2013) which is another alternative reality movie (on a smaller budget) that really messes with your mind. Don’t expect the ending to be spelt out for you in either film, both leave you genuinely wondering what the fuck has happened and how.

cwppxgmsiufbnipff98z

Advantageous (2015)

This film is one of the saddest I’ve seen in recent years with such a powerful message. Passing comment on sexism and ageism, it paints a stark picture of the future, where women of a ‘certain age’ are no longer useful unless they’re willing to sell their eggs (in this era, healthy eggs are like gold dust, see).

Our heroine, Gwen feels forced to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to give her daughter Jules the very best shot at a future and it’s more dramatic than you can possibly imagine, with consequences that will change both their lives forever. The film is fantastic, with excellent acting and if it doesn’t send you hurtling into the arms of your loved ones by the credits, then I don’t know what will.

Pop on over to Jill‘s to check out her contribution to our Top Ten favourite movies (we each picked five). I agree with each of the ones she’s chosen.

3_Women_image_2

Shelley Duvall & Sissy Spacek in 3 Women (I don’t know why they’re smiling, you won’t be)

Now to my Worst!

A look back at some right turkeys:

  • UXOcSd9Monkey’s Paw (2013)
    Without question (and I know Jill will mention it too), our worst film to date. It’s a re-imagining of W.W. Jacobs’ infamous supernatural short story and believe me, spend your time re-reading that five times instead.

    This movie is painful to watch, with appalling acting and shit effects. In fact, you’ll be so miserable it’ll have you longing for a paw of your own to wish the pain away. Don’t bother, please. We’ve taken the hit so you don’t have to.

  • 3671b3 Women (1977)
    This film is odd as fuck, I won’t lie and it feels like it’s ten years long.

    All I really took from Robert Altman‘s 3 Women is that Shelley Duvall should have stayed in the seventies as the aesthetic suits her so well, and vagina mosaics are timeless.

  • down-to-youDown to You (2000)
    Teen wank but of the worst kind. And here was me thinking I would never meet a highschool/college movie I didn’t like. WRONG!

  • 640Sharknado (2013)
    This is abysmal but I mention it because I was expecting the best kind of bad. Not so, it’s just terrible. So many much better disaster/shark movies out there to enjoy, and we’ve watched a lot of them…

    Try Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (2014), 3-Headed Shark Attack (2015) or 12 Days of Terror (2004). Alternatively, just watch Deep Blue Sea again (it’s so terribly great).

Honorary Mentions

Some of these movies just deserve a nod, for the reasons listed below.

tumblr_nl5zleuppL1tdkro1o1_500

“Come on in, the water’s fine.”

Killer Mermaid (2014)

This gets a nod because it’s hysterical in every way. Film wise it’s horrible but oddly only when it ventures into Buffy territory. Could have been excellent, instead it’s good bad gone mad. I will always watch a mermaid movie if it’s offered to me IDGAF!

Lizzie Borden Took An Ax (2014)

It’s a shame in some respects that Lizzie Borden didn’t take an ax to the only copy of this film, thus rendering it extinct. However, we’ve not been that lucky. I’ve included Lizzie because Ricci plays her with such relish but in the end, apart from a little bit of face hacking, this tumbles into a courtroom drama and gets rather dull. Shame, as I love the Lizzie Borden story!

The Hellraiser Films – Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) and Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)

I love love love love love deliciously horrid Julia from the first two Hellraiser movies (played by Clare Higgins). Unfortch, the lack of evil step mum in the subsequent instalments render them not as good. Even if, in Bloodline, we get new Cenobytes, a scenario set during the French Revolution and Pinhead in Space.

Having said that, there are about 69 other Hellraiser movies in the series, so I’m sure we’re not done yet.

———-

So there we have it, 18 months of appalling, bad, horrifying, great, classy, trashy, unbelievable and downright bonkers movies! And many more to come I’m certain of it.

The Collab has opened my eyes to all the wonders of bad cinema, made me expect more from the things I watch (for real though there’s bad bad and bad great, and never forget it). It has allowed me to embrace the one thing I love the very most: cinema. And even more than that, it brought me something I didn’t know I needed (but clearly did): a great friend with similar cinematic tastes.

Happy Birthday and a Half Blog Collab, and to you my blog wife! *raises cocktail glass in manner of Gatsby*

Don’t forget to swing over to wifey’s for her view on our anniversary.

Don't worry, Christina, normal blog service will resume next week...

Don’t worry, Christina, normal blog service will resume next week…

Girl, Bye

photo-1437149639288-c32965270c85

You know what true power is?

Cutting things out of your life that hurt or anger you. No argument, no “Fuck you”, just a “Girl, bye” under your breath and you’re off. I’m currently angry and bewildered by a particular incident that happened on that wonderful barometer of how shit people can be: the internet. Specifically, Facebook.

Someone I know recently posted a status update about ‘promoting plus-size’ (and how wrong it is), and even though I should never be surprised by the general lack of sympathy toward fat people, I did expect better from this individual.

Sadly (not really), she’s no longer going to be part of my life, on any platform or in the flesh (in my case, substantially more flesh). I don’t conform to who she wants me to be nor deserve any sort of respect based on what she’s saying apparently, so I’m stepping out.

I know, I know that us fats are all just asking for trouble being the way we are. We’re all going to die horribly because we wear bigger dress sizes. We certainly don’t live active lives, how can we? We all eat shit, swerve veggies and more or less just mainline Digestives on the sofa in front of the TV day in day out. You got me.

We don’t deserve to dress nicely or enjoy fashion or beauty, life or love. We don’t deserve basic respect either while we’re here. A sweeping statement on Facebook with a Daily Mail supporting link is definitely the way to go to reach people if that’s really what you want to do. And if people are alienated, feel personally let down by your attitude, all the better right? They deserve it, the pigs.

People do not respond well to being bullied. Being hateful (even in the form of faux-health concern) will not help. If anything it will make people far less likely to make the best choices for themselves. It will make them feel like shit. It will stop them living their best lives.

How dare this person promote a love yourself mentality and then screw over all the overweight people on her friends list? Oh wait, maybe she doesn’t have any overweight friends? (She doesn’t now). She is blonde, slim and beautiful after all, and it seems not tolerant of anyone who doesn’t fit a similar ideal?

I haven’t spoken to her about this and I won’t. I’m not interested in a debate. I don’t care what she thinks or says. Chances are that she thinks she’s being helpful and that her arrogant ‘motivation’ comes from a good place. I really don’t care.

Girl, bye.

You can bet I’m exercising this mentality in all areas of my life. Brexit was a good way to measure people’s true selves and unfortunately, a handful of people fell short of what I want in my life.

There are doubtless things I say and do that alienate me from people that I don’t even register and that’s their right too. Life’s too short for bullshit and I’m done.

Click, click – over it.

Guest Post: She Just Might Be Out of Her Mind, Well She’s Got Baggage and It’s All the Emotional Kind

13697208_10153946965846026_8482657056586518980_nThis week’s Guest Post comes from one of the most beautiful writers I know. I’m not a fan solely for the stunning prose and vivid imagery conjured up by her words, I’m also a bit of a fan girl for the frank way in which Lydia speaks. She’s also incredibly inspiring when it comes to her inner strength and I hope she knows it.

Lydia and I met ‘doing nails’ at a short-lived salon in Brighton and although that never took off, I’m very grateful for the talented and interesting folk I met there, which of course includes this lady here. If you like what you read here, which you definitely will, go check her out on her own blog, Belle of the Bluegrass.

It is often said that you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. I don’t believe that’s particularly true, but what I do believe is that you can start to love yourself and become more relaxed in your body when someone else loves you. Learning to love yourself through someone else’s love of you.

We all have our insecurities and body hang ups, no one is fully content but being a plus size woman my body image comes under the scrutiny of strangers every time I step out of the house. I hear sniggers and whispers, catcalls and some incredibly confronting comments upon my appearance from people I have never met before. For some unknown reason society has deemed it almost acceptable for this behaviour to occur.

Over the past few years I have tried to take ownership and be happy in the body I have, finding inspiration and courage in the body positive communities of plus size women on social media. I have finally found women with bodies that represent me; looking amazing and doing incredible things. I’ll admit there is still a long way for us to go in changing people’s perception of us, whether that’s within the clothing industry or having TV and film recognising us as something other than just the ‘funny women’ and realising our potential as the sex symbol.

Throughout my life I have rarely sought the approval of others in anything I have done. Yet, when you label someone for long enough, even the strongest of us can start to believe it eventually. The mean words that get screamed at me in the street start to penetrate the force field I have tried to build around myself. And sometimes, if the blow is hard enough and hits just the right spot, a crack can appear. A chink in my armour. These words that I have had thrown at me over and over since the age of ten have taken their toll on my self-worth. Slipping in to my anxieties and seeping into the way I conduct myself daily, these aggressive mean-spirited narrations have altered me as a person.

It took me five months to gather the courage to meet my boyfriend, terrified that he would run away screaming on sight because I am not a conventional size. Of course he knew this before we met in person and my anxiety wasn’t allowing him the benefit of being a decent human and accepting me as me.

Until my early twenties the men I often encountered were still being governed by what their friends might think, regardless of how they actually felt. That coupled with my underlying force field traumas always left me in the role of the good friend. I stopped trying around men, I wasn’t interested in playing this weird game of snakes and ladders. I didn’t want to keep seeing them slide down snakes every time they realised my appearance, even if they liked it and liked me, wouldn’t be accepted by their peers. Living in that weird limbo just cracks the force field further and I didn’t have time for that.
But then this man entered my life unexpectedly. I wasn’t looking to be rejected by someone elses insecurities so I never even tried things like Tinder. This was just a photo sharing app I downloaded as a way to distract myself after my mother passed away. I posted a selfie, always knowing my best angles, you wouldn’t even know I was plus size, but he was still sweet and interested even after I told him.

Having my fleshy curves admired and my wobbly stomach kissed can work wonders for a girls confidence. The parts of me that I was only just coming to acknowledge are entirely accepted and honoured by this man. He is not embarrassed of me as I was myself, standing by my side and telling me that I am beautiful. I think stretch marks are bewitching; mermaid scales and secret silver streaked maps written across my body. I didn’t always feel that way, embarrassed by them when getting changed for P.E. and having other girls ask what they were. Whilst I desperately wanted to be like these confident plus size women I admired, it took seeing myself through his eyes to make me believe that it is possible. I feel less need to try and make myself smaller and apologise for my appearance. He tells me I am beautiful, unprompted, even when I am convinced I am looking my absolute worst. Feeling more at peace and less aware of the looks and whispers going on around me. I have seen my friend, who had her own body confidence issues, become more accepting of herself because of the way her boyfriend loves her.

I am not saying that my self-worth is reliant upon a man, because I don’t think anyone should be reliant upon someone else to feel worthy in this life. Sometimes though, it takes standing back and viewing something from a different angle to really allow you to appreciate the beauty. And with every kiss and sleep laced declaration of love, the insecurities I have had over the years become smaller, beginning to fade away. My nonconformist body is loved by this man and now, in turn, by me.

L