An awesome August

Well the last month has been pretty wonderful. I feel like I’ve had most of August off work and I’ve feel like I’ve barely been in London. It’s been brilliant!

First I went to the beach in Mablethorpe for a weekend with my friends. And as anyone who has visited the beach along the North East coast of England will know, it can be bracing, wet and down right cold but it is always the most fun.

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Next, me and my housemates went to Croatia! We went to Split and Hvar and I cannot recommend it enough. The place is beautiful, the people are warm and welcoming and the company was brilliant. I basically spent the entire holiday with a smile on my face, it was glorious.

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The day after I got back from Croatia I went to a wedding! My gorgeous friend Lucy tied the knot in Gloucestershire. It was a beautiful day filled with love and laughter.

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Next on my adventures in August was Leeds Festival. I hadn’t been to Leeds in a few years but it was the first festival I ever went to – and boy was it good to go back! We had a massive camp, carnage ensued and a good time was had by all.

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All in all, August has been awesome. Next on the list is Secret Cinema and Bestival and I cannot wait!

What have you guys been up to this summer? Hope you’ve had a wonderful August too!

Rx

Sam Smith – In The Lonely Hour

I’ve decided to start incorporating my music posts into A Lot of Lovely Things. Music is my main passion in life, it drives me. And it seemed a shame to keep it separate from my other loves. So here is my first post:

Let’s talk about Sam Smith’s new album In The Lonely Hour.


This single Money On My Mind has been in the charts, accompanying adverts and blasting out of radios for months. If you’ve missed it, God only knows where you’ve been. Give it a listen whilst I run down the rest of the album.

I bought the album In The Lonely Hour yesterday and it is one of the most beautiful albums I have ever listened to. I played this album on repeat about six or seven times at work and at one point I cried. Yes, I welled up at my desk and had to run to the bathroom to compose myself. The song in which brought about such a meltdown: Not In That Way. The story of unrequited love really touched a nerve. But, in hindsight, the whole album struck a nerve – every song is so raw, full of passion and love, and so well crafted – it is hard to not be affected by this work of art.

His latest single Leave Your Lover shows off the true talent of the BRIT Critics’ Choice Award winner. His silky voice, so full of emotion tells the story of our protagonist pleading with his love. A truly sad song which many people will be able to connect with.


Stay With Me, his third single from Sam Smith and is utterly gorgeous. His voice oozes with love and vulnerability, meaning you hang on to every word to see how the story ends.

“This album is supposed to be the soundtrack to those quiet moments in life” Smith told Digital Spy and I can’t agree more. It was when working on my own at work that I got so caught up the unrequited love story that I started crying. This is one to be listened to alone and when you’re ready for a time of reflection, but it is worth the tears as it is simply stunning.

Have you listened to In The Lonely Hour? What do you think of Sam Smith? Leave comments below as I’d love to know your thoughts!

Rx

Review | Crazy, Stupid, Love

Yet again I’m really behind the times with my film watching…
I watched Crazy, Stupid, Love last night. Whilst I usually prefer a more, shall we say ‘challenging’ film, I was in the mood for an easy watch and this seemed perfect.

Crazy, Stupid, Love follows the lives of Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) and his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) during their impending divorce. (Don’t worry that’s not a spoiler) the big spoiler comes during the garden party and I just did not see it coming! Carell and Moore are brilliant in this – they capture the heart-breaking pain of divorce so well and having closely witnessed a divorce myself, I can vouch for that.

The supporting storylines and characters are also well thought out and compliment the main drama: Cal meets Jacob (the ever so gorgeous Ryan Gosling), a charismatic womaniser who wants to help Cal get back in the game. There’s Hannah (the beautiful Emma Stone) who is stuck in a passion-free relationship with Josh Groban and later gets to lock lips with the stunning Jacob. And finally the sweet, heart-wrenching tales of unrequited love round off this movie perfectly. As the stories unfold they intertwine with one another, culminating in a rather dramatic scene which, like the rest of the film is a bit of an emotional rollercoaster!

Its very charming, it’s funny and witty yet deals with real emotions without getting too heavy. I think this is a great film. My only bug bear with this film was that Jacob’s character wasn’t explored more – we started to find out more about his past, his father and how he became the womaniser he is and then it just stopped – I think there was a real opportunity missed there. But anyway, overall I really enjoyed this film and I would recommend it for a feel-good easy watch anytime! Have a look at the trailer:

Have you seen this film? I’m sure you have as I’m very late to the party, but what did you think of it? Leave links and comments below!

Rx

Review | (500) Days of Summer

“This is not a love story. This is a story about love.”

So I’m pretty sure I’m the last person to see (500) Days of Summer. And I’m not really sure why I haven’t seen it until now – I just sort of missed it. But I digress, to start I popped the DVD in and I was promptly greeted by Regina Spektor’s Us. One of my very favourite songs (and one that makes me want to start playing the piano again!) the film was off to a good start. And it just kept getting better.

Now I’m going to talk about the film. A lot, so if you haven’t seen it, go watch it and come back. ***SPOILER ALERT***

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So the jist of the story is boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Girl likes boy but ultimately falls in love with another boy.

Despite the narrator saying at the start that this is a story about love not a love story, I didn’t believe him. (Did anyone??) It was the bench scene early on in the film, when the married Summer (Zooey Deschanel) squeezes Tom’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) hand, that I realised they weren’t together. And on reflection, I’m pleased we found out so early that this wasn’t a happy ending for Summer and Tom. This film is about the journey of love and getting to the happy ending rather than the ending itself.

The film skips back and forth along a timeline of 500 days, illustrating the start, the middle, the demise and the aftermath of Tom, an aspiring architect/greeting card writer, and Summer, a PA at Tom’s greeting card company. Along the way we see fights in the rain, homemaking in Ikea, drunken karaoke and kissing in the copy room. We witness Tom’s endless struggle to define the relationship and Summer’s determined-ness to keep it casual.

Beautiful cinematography is for me what makes this film. The best part for me is the expectation vs reality montage. It was simply stunning, so inspired. Completely relatable, we’ve all imagined situations about how our fairytale will turn out and more often than not it just doesn’t become our happy ever after. It was one of the most touching and painful moments of the film – and credit is due to Joseph, to create such sympathy and emotion is real testament to his acting ability. (I also loved him in 10 Things I Hate About You and Inception.)

The film is taken from the point of view of Tom. So often in rom coms we follow the girl’s thoughts, it was refreshing to empathise with the bloke rather than wanting to cut his parts off because, you know, all men are evil.

There are funny moments too – Tom’s ‘I-got-laid-last-night’ dance can’t help but put a massive smile on your face. Tom’s little sister, Rachel (great name) played by Chloe Grace Moretz provides the unwavering sane advice – not bad for a 12 year old. A stand-out performance by Moretz, whose quips and advice make you chuckle because you know she’s right.

All in all, a touching, funny, beautifully crafted movie about love. Well worth a watch.



Thoughts on (500) Days of Summer? Leave links and comments below – I love having a read!

Rx