I’m a lazy toad at the best of times but there is one physical activity that is totally my jam and that’s walking in the Autumn.
It harks back to my time living alone in Vancouver, a very introspective period of my life. While I was doing my ‘single life’ navel gazing, there were a couple of tunes that just kept popping up as I stomped about getting shit done.
I’m a creature of habit really, so if a song makes my rotation, it very rarely gets booted off again. So I’m basically listening to these songs still, my Fall anthems. In no particular order:
Edge of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks
Everywhere – Bran Van 3000
Army of Me – Bjork
Be The One – The Ting Tings
Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Cheap & Cheerful – The Kills
Buffalo Stance – Neneh Cherry
Rhiannon – Stevie Nicks
Save Tonight – Eagle Eye Cherry
I don’t think these songs need any introduction, I just love them, and feel strong and motivated when I listen them. I actually might go out for a little wander around the park in a bit, those fallen leaves aren’t going to crunch themselves underfoot.
You can have a cheeky listen to my Autumn Jams here:
The diet chat is rife, people are returning to the gyms with their tails between their legs and boy don’t we know it. The mince pies have been cleared away and we’re having hearty porridge for our breakfasts instead of a handful of Quality Street.
I hate all the self-flagellation that comes after all the joy so I’m not partaking in it. I won’t be going to the gym tonight or any time soon because I can’t afford it and also I don’t want to. I can’t think of anything worse than sweating my nuts off in between a hundred other people who’d rather be on the sofa finishing the new series of Black Mirror. So I’ll be on the sofa finishing the new series of Black Mirror thanks, in a blanket with my tea.
January is generally the most miserable month of all and I’m going to inject as many little moments of happiness into it as I can, even if I am as poor as a church mouse. Even if all that is is an hour reading a book I’m into or having a pickle. Life’s too short and my only resolution is to be MORE so bring it 2018. I want more!
On another note, I’ve been spending more time than is healthy watching 2017 highlight videos on social media. All those wonderful perfectly composed images from the past year fill me with an instant gratification but when I think back on my own year, which was filled with some really dark moments (and obviously it was worse for my husband), I’m just thankful I made it at all.
Not to bring the mood down because we’re all about positivity here but I’m amazed I didn’t run away or bury myself in the garden at times. We suffered a great loss as a family, which was awful but has brought us closer together and I’m grateful for that. I feel as though I held on to a lot of the trauma of what happened though and then I moved from my comfy (but deeply unfulfilling) job into the worst one I’ve ever had (yes worse than the turkey plucking) – and I nearly lost it.
Some good did come of this though as the anxiety I’ve been trying to freeze out for years refused to be ignored any longer and I had to do something about it. I also learned that some people are just horrible and nothing you can do or say can change that. A hard lesson has been to understand that that’s on them and not me.
And even though I’m not sure my current role is a forever, it is fun and I’ve made some great friends – so for now I’m just going to enjoy it and see where it takes me. Despite myself I’m excited for what the year has in store, slightly wary but overall hopeful – and everyday, I’m just going to try to remember to breathe.
King of Wishful Thinking – Go West // Hometown Glory – Adele Ironic – Alanis Morisette // Stronger Than Me – Amy Winehouse Shine – Years & Years // Glory Box – Portishead You’re So Cool – Hans Zimmer // Little Bird – Annie Lennox Let Me Be Your Fantasy – Baby D // Heaven is a Place on Earth – Belinda Carlisle
Miss you, Gurl
Formation – Beyoncé // Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill Triumph of a Heart – Björk // Deceptacon – Le Tigre There’s More to Life Than This – Björk // Big Time Sensuality – Björk Joga – Björk // Lucky – Britney Spears I Want it That Way – Backstreet Boys // Good Vibrations – Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch
Lovely Day – Lou Reed // Hurt – Johnny Cash Rock the Casbah – The Clash // Last Nite – The Strokes Close to Me – The Cure // Just Can’t Get Enough – Depeche Mode Strange Love – Depeche Mode // There is a Light That Never Goes Out – The Smiths The Light – Common // Thriller – Michael Jackson
Express Yourself – Madonna // Hotline Bling – Drake Dilemma – Nelly & Kelly Rowland // Creep – TLC Crazy – Aerosmith // November Rain – Guns N Roses Insomnia – Faithless // You Got The Love – Florence & the Machine Buffalo Stance – Neneh Cherry // Dreaming – Blondie
Award-winning filmmaker Dome Karukoski brings to screen the life and work of one of the most influential and celebrated figures of twentieth century gay culture.
This film is wonderful. Life-affirming, moving, inspiring and it’s done in such a tasteful way given its rather hardcore subject matter (not that that’s a requirement for me, obvs). It definitely has an art-house sheen to it but Karukowski sculpts his back story in such a way that you really become attached to the central protagonist, the titular Tom of Finland (played flawlessly, I thought, by Pekka Strang).
Support across the board is strong too, highlights for me being Tom’s sister, Kaija (Jessica Grabowsky) and Alijoki, Tom’s former Captain and friend (Taisto Oksanen).
When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling, and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.
Well this film was a blast from start to finish, genuinely. I took myself to a late night showing last Wednesday and the tiny theatre they showed it in was packed. Every one of us was cackling with glee.
As well as being hilarious, this movie is touching in all the right places and invests you heavily in the female friendships. It’s also very sharp on white privilege. One of my favourite scenes is the one in which Ryan Pierce (Regina Hall) calls up her agent Elizabeth (Kate Walsh) on her use of African-American vernacular. She then says, of black event, Essence: “You’re a guest here, act accordingly.”
I’ve talked about how much I love Insecure before so you can imagine my joy that Issa Rae is currently back with Season 2.
Issa Dee is back in the dating game whilst struggling with her heartbreak over losing boyfriend Lawrence, after she cheated on him. Molly Carter (Yvonne Orji), her best friend and confidante is on hand to offer advice on how to ‘ho’ while also dealing with her own issues, namely the pay gap at work.
Special shout out to Issa’s white colleague Frieda (Lisa Joyce) as she tries to get her head around the black Principals’s open racism towards his Hispanic students – and Issa’s subsequent argument that they should let it go and focus on all the good they’ve achieved.
The Hound & Tormund, Game of Thrones
A selfish entry but it’s my blog so what? A special tribute to the Bromance developing between the mighty Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) and my man, The Hound (Rory McCann) as they take on the White Walkers and fight on the side of the King of the North.
Sure, the season finale is tonight (at the time of typing this) so it may be nipped in the bud before it ever gets going but for now it’s beautiful and pure. Two warriors on the same side, quietly admiring one another’s immense skillz. It has also gifted us this amazing video.
If loving these two brutes is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Right?
Isn’t empowering to think that you are yours and nobody else’s?
No boss, no partner, no friend or family member owns you. Remember that.
You are yours. I am mine.
Ps. I love this song. I loved the original but I like this version too.
PPs. This is a scheduled post. If all has gone to plan I am lounging in my pit nursing a very large post-Work’s Christmas Do hangover with a Pot Noodle (Chicken & Mushroom) beside the bed. Or… maybe I will remember to place painkillers and water strategically and avoid the whole hangover hub-bub (maybe I prefer that one)
I’m sick as a parrot, snotting and coughing all over the place and to top it all off, I royally fucked up my pancakes. It’s generally been a very mediocre Shrove Tuesday (and regular Tuesday) in the life of this Voluptuous Mind.
Except I think I might have just found my new favourite film of all time, on Netflix, just there for the plucking.
Synopsis: Jon is a wannabe musician, writing his own songs, with varying degrees of success, around his day job. By chance one day he finds himself playing keyboards with eccentric pop band, the Soronprfbs.
Verdict: Oh my gosh. I avoided this film at first because I didn’t know what to expect. I have to admit to not being that musical and although I do love music (90’s hip hop/The Smiths), I’m just not that into music biopics or the like.
This is something along those lines and in my mind I thought it would be boring and more than a little wank. I stand corrected as it’s neither of those things. In fact, it’s pretty close to perfect in terms of story (if a little flimsy), characterisation and dialogue. Mixing genuinely funny moments with poignant scenes, it gives you the feels where you don’t expect to have them.
The titular Frank, in particular, is an enigma far beyond his mask. Wearing a papier mâché head at all times (even to sleep), he carries a certificate that permits him to keep it on, even in the face of authority. He has a phenomenal singing voice while the rest of the band have varied and unique musical talent. Somehow it kind of sort of works.
Frank is bolstered by his not very warm girlfriend, Clara, who takes an instant dislike to Jon, telling him early on to ‘go home’. The band have traveled to Ireland to record their first album and none of them seem that fussed about Jon, only Frank wants him around.
But Jon is convinced that he has the potential to access the far corners of his mind creatively. Will he be able to do that with a little help from his new friend? As the bond between the two of them grows, so too does Clara’s hatred for Jon.
Jon’s social networking skills, meanwhile, start to build up a small but strong following for the band, promising them an audience they never knew they wanted. Frank believes that Clara doesn’t want people to like them, but following a genuine tragedy within the group, she agrees to the band travelling to perform at the South by Southwest festival in Texas. This is not a sign that Clara is softening though, as she threatens to stab Jon if he ‘fucks up America’.
I’ll let you watch for yourself to learn the rest but I do highly recommend this film, which was inspired by the book, Frank by John Ronson (about 70’s Comedian and musician, Frank Sidebottom).
I will just sign off by saying that I love Maggie Gyllenhaal always and this performance is no exception. There’s a scene in which Jon calls Clara a really bad name (spoiler alert: it starts with a ‘C’ and ends in ‘unt’) and I thought to myself, yes that’s exactly what this character is (oh my but what a fabulous one).
Fassbender too plays his part well. Who knew that one man could elicit such genuine emotion whilst wearing an expressionless helmet/mask? He has an inimitable charisma that makes people follow him and somehow too, believe in his vision. There’s an element of something else there too that makes you want to protect him.