Review | The Railway Man by Eric Lomax

Ok, I’m breaking my own rules here – this book is not lovely. It is not an easy read and often it is not an enjoyable read. The story is horrific, sadistic and painful, yet it HAS to be read.

1542100The Railway Man is the story of Eric Lomax, a British communications officer in World War II. He is captured whilst in Singapore, becomes a prisoner of war and is forced to help build the Burma Railway under his strict Japanese captors.

Anyone who has read anything about the Burma Railway will know about the atrocities faced by those working on it. If you haven’t read about it, here is a run down: The Japanese decided to build a railway between Bangkok, Thailand and Rangoon, Burma in 1943. A quarter of a million people (a mix of civilians and POWs) were forced to build it in deplorable conditions. One person died for every railway sleeper that was laid. On a 258mile railway that amounts to around 115,000 people. The railway was to be built through hilly jungle over many rivers – a terrain that was previously deemed impossible to build through. It was atrocious.

Lomax’s autobiography is a detailed account of everything that happened to him during the war. There is no detail left out, no matter how horrendous. The content makes this book difficult to read and what is, almost, concerning, is the matter-of-fact way in which it is written. Torture, abuse, beatings, starvation is described as simply as if describing a walk in the park. But that coldness, and the way Lomax shuts himself off is a result of the appalling events he witnessed in South East Asia and makes the book even more harrowing.

The Japanese captors were cruel and treated Lomax and his colleagues worse than you can imagine. Mental and physical torture fills the book and it is so painful to read, but stories like this have to be written about. Much like 12 Years A Slave stories need to be told in order to prevent them happening again. So the atrocities aren’t lost in the past.


The story of Eric Lomax was recently made into a film with Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and Jeremy Irvine. There is so much left out of the film (mainly because the content is just too horrible to show) but it was a pretty good adaptation nonetheless.

Have you read The Railway Man? What did you think of it? Leave links and comments below.

Rx

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Make-up for work

I don’t know about you but I am terrible at getting up in the mornings. I mean TERRIBLE! I am most definitely a night owl. Those larks can bugger off in the early hours!

As it takes me three alarms to get up in the mornings I am often pressed for time when getting ready for work. I’m not one of these girls who can manage my make-up on the tube to work, I seriously admire all those that can! So for me I have to be ready as I run out the door and here is my look – it’s quick, simple and looks like I’ve spent at least 3x as long on it as I actually have.

So this is my general face attire for work:

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And here are the products I use:

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Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel foundation – Beautiful foundation which lasts all day. I use this as an everyday foundation when I don’t want a glowy finish which I get from the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation
Rimmel Stay Matte powder – The BEST powder ever. Fact. Very battered and well loved.
Wake Me Up concealer – Super high coverage. Makes me look awake!
NARS Laguna Bronzer and Deep Throat Blush duo – My favourite item of my make up collection by a mile. Adds a touch of colour and makes me look healthy and ready to face the day. The duo was a limited edition but you can buy both colours on their own.
Urban Decay Primer Potion – I use this everyday, without fail. Makes my eyeshadow stay put all day.
Mac eyeshadows in Patina, Mystery and Omega – Patina over the lid, Mystery along the lash line. Omega through the eyebrows.
Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara – My favourite mascara ever. Ever. Makes your lashes look massive with one fell swoop.
Revlon Lip Butter in Juicy Papaya – Moisturising, sheer and a beautiful colour, I love it.

What’s amazing is you can slap these products on in a flash, they’re easy to work with and are quite lenient if you aren’t quite awake when applying them!

What do you wear for work everyday? Are you as hopeless as I am at getting up in the morning?? Leave links and comments below!

Rx

Oscars 2014

The stars of Hollywood gathered last night for the highlight event of their calendar, the Oscars! The 86th Academy Awards took place at the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard to celebrate the achievements in film over the last 12 months. I always look forward to the Oscars, I love film and I love fashion, its a win-win! So let’s take a look at the highlights (well my highlights anyway!)

Ellen DeGeneres took charge of proceedings distributing pizza and taking selfies with the A-listers. She was light, entertaining and fun – everything you want in a host of an awards show which takes itself quite seriously! This selfie crashed Twitter and is now the most retweeted thing ever. Ever:
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Fashion was out in full force as it always is. Here are some of my favourite dresses gracing the red carpet last night: (photos from here)

I can’t get over how beautiful Portia’s dress is – stunning! Nude is definitely the way to go this season

Olivia’s dress… the best maternity dress you’ve ever seen, right? And Jennifer, as gorgeous as ever

The boys looked pretty dapper too…

And so to the actual awards! Here are some of the results:

Best picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best director: Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Best actor: Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club (should have been Leo!)
Best actress: Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Best supporting actor: Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Best supporting actress: Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
Best adapted screenplay: 12 Years a Slave
Best original screenplay: Her

I completely agree with the results bar one. Can you guess which one? I’ve seen both Dallas Buyers Club and Wolf of Wall Street and both are brilliant films. Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio were both tremendous but I just think Leo was better, he was simply incredible! I can’t praise Wolf of Wall Street enough it was a perfect film for me.
Jared Leto was the stand out performance in Dallas Buyers Club for him. His portrayal of Rayon was so accomplished and emotional. It’s hard to believe this is the first film he’s done in six years!
And as for Best Picture? It couldn’t have been anything other than 12 Years A Slave, could it really? The most powerful film I’ve ever seen and am likely to ever see for a very long time.

Did you watch the Oscars? What did you think to the results? The fashion? That selfie?! Leave links and comments below!

Rx

Spring nails

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I’m desperate for it to be Summer! Or at least Spring at any rate. I am so sick of this constant grey gloom that has deposited itself over London. It’s cold, windy and downright rubbish. Boo!
I thought Spring had finally sprung, right on cue, on 1st March. It was a glorious day, but alas, the rains have returned. So to cheer myself up I brought spring to my nails with this nail design.

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First I used Barry M Gelly Nail Polish in Green Berry. Wonderful polishes, and I did a full review of the range here. I did two thin coats and let it dry for a few minutes before moving on.
I then used Nails Inc Hyde Park Place to (carefully) colour in a corner of the nail in this gorgeous grey from their In the Nude collection.
Finally, I used Nails Inc Floral Street to (even more carefully!) draw a thin line between the green and grey. I used a nail art brush for this which was a little tricky but I took my time and it got easier towards the end!
I used Sally Hansen Insta-Dri to protect the design.

It’s not perfect but I really like this design. As I look at it now, its almost a grey cloud with a silver lining which makes me happy, just as Spring will when it finally arrives!

Rx

Review | The Wolf of Wall Street

I’m a huge Leonardo DiCaprio fan. He is my favourite actor and I only recently realised this. I started thinking about some of my favourite films and they all have one common factor… you guessed it, step up Mr DiCaprio! The Departed, Django Unchained, Inception, Romeo + Juliet. And now, The Wolf of Wall Street has firmly planted itself on that list because this film is, to mirror the film, fucking awesome!

As always, spoiler alert! Go watch the film and come back to read my review!

This film is loud, crass, funny, utterly mental, and completely absorbing. I loved it.

We start by meeting Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) explaining how everyday he takes enough drugs to sedate Manhattan, Long Island and Queen’s for a month. He takes quaaludes, adderall, Xanax, pot, cocaine and morphine because well, its awesome. But it is money that drives Belfort. He live a life of excess because he can afford to. And his addictive personality means he can’t stop striving for more, more money, more drugs, more hookers, and this is ultimately his downfall.

leonard-dicaprio-dancingThis is one of the most accomplished performances from DiCaprio. Not famed for his comedic acting, he had me howling with laughter at points. When he takes the out of date quaaludes, loses the abiliy to use his legs and is faced with a set of steps as well driving his Ferrari home, I had tears in my eyes. Yet as funny as DiCaprio was at times, he was equally compelling when he starts to unravel. I was so completely absorbed when he was losing it, particularly when he was screaming on his bed after an argument with Naomi (Margot Robbie). His portrayal of Belfort has earned him a Golden Globe and an Oscar nod, and I really hope he gets it, it is so deserved!

The Wolf has broken a record for swearing in film. ‘Fuck’ is used 506 times in the three-hour film, that’s 2.81 fucks a minute. On average. Close to the number of actual fucks you see on screen. Yes, there is a whole lot of naked-ness in this film as we witness Belfort’s exploits.

Jonah Hill is also brilliant in this film. He far exceeded my expectations of him and those teeth! My days, they were incredible! I read earlier that he took a salary of $60,000 for this film, because he was so desperate to work with Martin Scorsese (which is much lower than the usual Hollywood rates!) I can’t say I’m surprised – Scorsese is such a talented director, I’d give anything to work with him too!

This film is an incredible journey through an extraordinary individual’s life. Every part of this film is done expertly, the acting, the direction, the production. It is a triumph of the very finest Hollywood talent.

Have you seen The Wolf of Wall Street? What did you think? Who is your favourite actor? Leave links and comments below as I’d love to have a read!

Rx