This week I met up with my friend, Bella.
We've known each other since primary school and she's recently moved back to Brighton after graduating from Goldsmiths in South London. I figured what better way to spend a winter's day than venturing to her new pad for a cup of tea and a royal catch-up.

A Day out in the Dales

It's not long until I head back to Brighton so I've been trying to lap up as much of the Yorkshire countryside as I can. Today, with the sun out in full winter's force, we decided the best thing to do was to pull on our wellies and head out into the sticks.

I spent my summer wasting in the luscious beauty of the Dales (or more exactly the Yorkshire Dales National Park). And so, when my Mum asked where we should go I had a few tricks up my sleeve. However, while driving, we were greeted with this...


granny's house

After a long week of writing essays, I decided to head over to my Granny and Grandad's house in Ilkley. They've lived in the same place since the 1950's so it's always been a constant in my life, and I have to say, I think it's the most beautiful house in the world - filled with memories of childhood fun & too much trifle. Half an hour from Leeds by train, and nestled into the Ilkley moors, it's like a Yorkshire paradise. 

Cinema 2014

I am a lady of lists. 

Whether I actually manage to cross things off of the lists is another thing completely, but, still, lists spill across my desk, fill my notes on my iPhone, and linger in the back of forgotten notebooks. I guess in my mind I feel they help me forge some sort of organised path through the jumbled nature of my life. 
A list I have been compiling recently is one of films to watch. It's started to dawn on me that I have wasted an awful lot of my time watching truly rubbish films & TV, only to have missed out on the classics and other (actually good) cinema. 

Here's a few from the 2014 list:

Heralding on from my fascination with America, I am very much keen to see this Alexander Payne film. It held the forefront at the Cinecity Brighton Film Festival, which I sadly did not get to attend as I wasn't there at the time. I also missed a Q&A with Chuck Palahniuk which made me very sad indeed. "After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father thinks he's struck it rich, and wrangles his son into taking a road trip to claim the fortune. Shot in black and white across four states, Nebraska tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America." This term I'm gonna be doing a course called 'Documentary America' in which I hope I'll see more representations of this heartland. This past week I started watching Twin Peaks, the 1990 murder mystery TV series helmed by David Lynch, set in rural Washington state, which coincides in my head with the stylised depiction of small towns in Nebraska.  I'm only three episodes in but it's hooked me line and sinker. The cast includes, among many, a young Lara Flynn Boyle. Well, a L.F.B. pre-Jack Nicholson fling and pre-this outfit:

Cracked out ballerina chic.

I took a film class earlier this year at Amherst College, one of the Five Colleges in Western Massachusetts. It was an interesting class with an eccentric teacher who would always rave on about her empathetic relationship with her dog and wear bright green witchy high heels. Essentially it was a philosophy class with some visual stimuli. I had no idea what she was talking about half the time, but we did get to watch some decent films. One of them was Rust and Bone, the 2012 Jacques Audiard movie, starring Marion CotillardThere's one scene, which I wrote an essay on, where Cotillard's character shares a moment with an orca. I won't reveal too much of the plot but the cinematography of that scene is truly mind-blowing, with Cotillard placing her hands on the vast pane of glass separating her from this dancing creature submerged in water of the bluest hue. I think it'll always resonate with me, it's just so beautiful. Anyways, Rust and Bone features the training of orcas, a subject from which Blackfish seeks to bring the injustices to the public eye. I have been waiting for a day to watch this where I have not been feeling too melancholy as I feel this'll definitely be a tearjerker, maybe even as much so as The Cove.

Inside Llewyn Davis 
This is the latest Coen brothers film and it looks rad. Not sure how the casting of Justin Timberlake will pan out (maybe because I just can't take him seriously in an acting role after seeing him pop-and-lock in his music videos) but the trailer makes it look like it'll be (fingers crossed) on par with O Brother, Where Art Thou? which is a personal favourite. I saw Bob Dylan earlier this year and in the preceding weeks listened to a lot of his old stuff, which of course he didn't play at the gig, but I've heard through the grapevine he's on the soundtrack. Also, I just find the idea of '60's/'70's NYC fascinating. Vagrants letting the city raise them. Patti Smith's autobiography Just Kids is an amazing account of kids moving to the Big Apple without a dime to their name and making it big through their artistic abilities, living inside studios in the Hotel Chelsea, none of which, I don't think, could happen in the 21st century. Just look at Bill Cunningham and his enforced exile from Carnegie Hall. 

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson's latest effort looks to be a corker. All the regulars have returned - we've got Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, etc. And of course, the classic Anderson aesthetic. In for a treat with this one. There's an art house cinema at the bottom of my road in Brighton called the Duke of Yorks. It opened in 1910 and is the oldest continuously operating purpose built cinema in the country. It's even got a balcony with plush sofas. I shall definitely be forking out to see this on the Dukes big screen. 

Lars von Trier's new film has already caused masses of controversy and it's not even been released yet! I read some rumour that the trailer was played accidentally to a group of schoolchildren in Florida, awkward for everyone involved considering its premise is, in one word, sex. Charlotte Gainsbourg, von Trier's muse, plays the protagonist Joe, and the film follows her life as, well, a nympho. It's got what looks like a stellar cast but I have to say I'm mainly intrigued to see it because of the hype. 

White Men Can't Jump 
"White Men Can't Jump is a 1992 American sports buddy comedy film written and directed by Ron Shelton, starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson as streetball hustlers." Yes I know this is an oldie. In Massachusetts, I took an Urban Sociology class and in it we watched a documentary called Brooklyn Boheme. It looked at the Fort Greene area and the mad parties Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock, and Spike Lee, among others used to attend. It was a tight-knit area for African American creatives staking their claim on the 90's scene, until the white hipsters moved in. I digress, but yes, I've been meaning to watch this film for a long time and 2014 is the year I hope I can finally cross it off my list.  


plural noun: resolutions
  1. 1.
    a firm decision to do or not to do something.
    "she kept her resolution not to see Anne any more"

    Firstly, Anne, I think you're safe.
    Secondly, it's that time again; it's time to make a list of promises that will undoubtedly be forgotten by next winter. It's funny how quickly a year can pass, and, yet, how much can happen in the arena of 365 days. I find it bloody nuts, sat at my desk in a cold Yorkshire village, to think that only a number of months ago I was sunning myself in Miami or drinking tequila cocktails in Boston at lunchtime. 
    2014 sure did creep up on me. 
    In just under four months I will be cast from the warm womb of university life into the fish tank of the real world, where I've kinda resigned myself to the fact that I will be working a shitty job no matter what, seeing as I'm not quite ready for the big C (c-a-r-e-e-r). 
    Go to Canada, work a shitty job. Move to Leeds, work a shitty job. Stay in this village, work a shitty job. God bless you, shitty economy.
    At the beginning of each year I usually make some haphazard attempt at a proactive, inspirational set of resolutions that I think will help me improve myself. This year my only aim is to stop dwelling on the past and enjoy the moment (carpe diem n' all that tosh). 
    Seriously, though, with one term left it's easy to wish most of the year away into the oblivion of graduate-hood.
    Forget old qualms, old flames, old doubts. 
    Move on & move out.