Forget Halloween Costumes…

…Teenagers Are The Truly Scary Ones.

At the risk of sounding odd, I find teenagers fascinating and frightening in equal measures. I seem to be always driving somewhere when they’re walking home from school and watching them (from the safety of my locked car) is so interesting. During my mildly stalk-like behaviour I’ve noticed a couple of things about young adults, (mainly how early they seem to finish school these days. I was driving home from the supermarket at 2:15pm today and kids in uniforms were walking home! 2:15!), things that caused me to compile a list of advice for all teenagers.

Continue reading “Forget Halloween Costumes…”

Which is more important…

…your bottom or your brain?

Now obviously your bottom has some important bodily functions that must be taken care of and they can also be nice to touch, and wibble about in front of the mirror but I was getting ready for an evening out when I came across this on Youtube:

I’d gone from being excited for a lovely night out on the taaan to seriously depressed about the state of the world I’m going to have to bring children up in one day. It was a proper bummer (ha).

Continue reading “Which is more important…”

How to…

… find yourself – I’m still working on it.

I’m continuing my journey to me through music with my next and final four tracks. If this post is coming a little out of the blue you can find the first half here.

So! Onwards with The List:

5, The Rose – Bette Midler

So the major part of my early development happened under the guidance of two very special people – my Mama (the formidable Mama G) and my sister (the equally formidable Jessi). For a while it was just the three of us, which has resulted in us being quite unusually close (our significant others will attest to this most vehemently!). My memories of this time are of a lovely, fun and overwhelmingly 90s period, which is a testament to my amazing mother as in reality she was a full-time teacher, a single mother of two and a newly separated (and I hope she doesn’t mind me saying) heartbroken woman. But we got each other through it, and this song represents that love can cause pain, but it can also be a great force for healing. This song also has a beautiful three-part harmony, so whenever we find ourselves sitting round a campfire on a beautiful summer evening, the three of us sing it, and I am reminded that every storm has its end, and that I come from some pretty amazing women, that I am a part of them and that as a result of this I am ridiculously lucky.

6, Betty Blue – John Cooper

This is a long-standing Desert Island Disc of mine as it is my incredibly talented father, John Cooper playing a saxophone solo at the Millennium Centre, with the composer of the piece accompanying him on the piano (she says, beaming with pride). This piece of music calms my soul and makes me think of leafy autumn walks, with cold red cheeks and brown leather boots. It also reminds me that if my father is this talented, I’ve got to be good at something – just haven’t quite figured out what it is yet!

7, The Songs That Make Sophie Fizz – Martha Tilston

The Songs That Make Sophie Fizz is mine and Jessi’s song. It perfectly describes our past, present and future relationship.  It’s such a wonderful thing to have a sister who is also your best friend. If (and when) I lose myself, Jessi is sure to find me, in one of two ways; she’ll coax me back to myself with Fizz and cheese and dress-up and laughter; or she’ll drag me back to myself by my hair – either way it’s most sisterly and effective.

8, You Are My Sunshine – My Oma

It’s a shame that I don’t have a recording of this because it would be a most treasured sound. But she’s a stubborn woman so I don’t think I’d be able to record her now. She used to sing this to me as a child. She has a card that a friend sent her, with a picture of  blue elephant frolicking on a beach (random) which plays the tune when you open it, so she would sing along and teach me the words. When I’m not sure I like parts of myself or I think my behaviour was a bit out of line (happens from time to time) this song reminds me at least of who I’d like to be; the person I’m working towards being. A woman as strong and bright and wise and funny as my Oma, my sunshine.

If my life was an album these would be the tracks. I should listen to them more often to remind me of where I’ve come from, where I’m going  and how I’m going to get there (by being myself – hopefully…and the all the working hard and stuff like that).

Now I just have to do something worthy of being a castaway – I’m working on it…

How to…

…find yourself. DEEP.

We all lose ourselves from time to time. We’re not always happy with who we’re being; how we’re behaving; what we’re doing. When I’m flailing around, searching for myself amongst all the nonsense that gets in the way – I turn to music. I have a playlist of music that reminds me where I’ve come from; where I’m going; why and how I became me – the real, unsullied person that sometimes hides under all these layers of crap.

Also, my biggest ambition in life is to be on Desert Island Discs so just incase good ol’ Kirsty gives me a call tomorrow and says in her beautiful lulling scottishness “Milly, fancy being my castaway next Friday?” I can say “Hells yizzle Kirsty, hold the mic, I’ll be right there.”

So, dear readers, The List:

1. Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

I’ve been compiling a list of all the songs I plan to play at the big party that will be my wedding (I am getting married – I’m not doing this in a creepy shopping for your wedding dress before you’re engaged way) and this one came up as the top trumps family favourite. Whenever it comes on they shout ‘Milly’s song!!’ which now means that whenever I hear this song I feel great rush of self-celebration. If such a happy, cheery classic as this represents me I can’t be half bad can I? I definitely can’t be a sour-faced anxiety ridden hag. So I listen to it, smile and cheer the fuck up.

2. All I Really Want – Alanis Morissette

This takes me back to Gin Fridays (this was before we got classy and changed it to Fizz Fridays). My mama and God Mother would get together on Fridays and drink gin (does what it says on the tin kind of situation), which my sister and I loved because my dearest God Mama also had two daughters roughly our age. We used to leave the adults to their gin, go upstairs and listen to Jagged Little Pill (and wear weird hats, mostly Moroccan looking cap things without peaks – we rocked it). So now when I listen to this song I am blasted back to warm coloured childhood memories and reminded that I should think a bit more about what I really want – and be okay with that. I’m a good person who wants good things – I should see about getting them.

3. Wildflowers – Tom Petty

I have to thank my step dad, Robin for this song. It’s me in song form – it isn’t even part of who I’ve become – this is me as I came out of the womb, the most basic instincts of myself to run through fields of wildflowers in the rain, and talk to the sea and wear feathers in my hair. The minute I hear this song I think There you are, where HAVE you been you Silly Moo!? Robin has introduced so much wonderful music into my life but I think the effect that this song has on me means it’s one of my all time favourites – thanks Bob.

4. My Girl – The National

This is really Christopher’s song for me but then a big part of me is all wrapped up in Christopher. I don’t feel like I found myself when I found Chris at all, I was already a fully formed person, but a big part of me always felt a bit lonely, because all of my previous relationships (there were a few) had convinced me that the best I could do was find someone who accepted my eccentricities; someone who wouldn’t mind them, but when I met Chris I found someone who not only accepted the odd bits but loved them too – and more than that, understood them! Suddenly I found that no part of me was lonely anymore. It’s like he saw right through me and said ‘You understand me and I understand you. Good – now let’s be together forever, yeh?’ (don’t get me wrong, every now and again I shock the shit out of him, but one must keep the men folk on their toes). And that’s why you marry someone isn’t it? Because you’ve become a part of them and they’ve become a part of you. Plus in this song a scene is described where ‘the girl’ drives her car into a garden in a fit of anger and then says sorry to all the plants she’s crushed – which Chris is 100% sure I’m going to do one day!

As you may have noticed this post has now gotten a little long, so not wishing to take up any more of your valuable time, dear reader, I’ve decided to split it in two and publish the other 4 songs next week. You’re welcome.

The Great Gatsby Review

I’ve decided to turn my pen (keys) to criticising other people hard work, or as it’s more commonly referred to, reviews!

A few Fridays ago Christopher and I went to see The Great Gatsby.

I had been excited about this film for about a year and had very high expectations of it, only increased by the massive hype surrounding its release – the Cannes red carpets, the huge social media and TV presence, however, having now seen the film I have to say I think it was a little over-hyped.

I felt the performances were great, I always love Carey Mulligan’s acting skills and when has Tobey Maguire ever done a bad job? However, whilst Leonardo DiCaprio gives a convincing portrayal of Gatsby, he brings a childlike innocence and an endearing quality to the character that I didn’t feel was present in the book, indeed I feel it undermines the message of the book. Of course this is a common Hollywood ploy to add a heightened emotional element to a story. I couldn’t help but think this was yet another ‘Hollywood-ised’ manipulation of a text in order to make the film more appealing to a wider audience as opposed to enhancing the text for film.

With period films I’m usually more excited about seeing the costumes than I am the actual film, especially when it comes to a story set in the 1920s, but the styling of this film wasn’t as tantalising as I thought it would be, apart from the hats. I wanted every hat I saw, including the men’s ones but excluding that weird netted pirate thing Daisy has on her head when she goes to Nick’s house for tea. I felt the costumes were created to appeal more to a modern eye than to recall the glamour of the 20s in its glorious reality. It was much the same with the music of the film. I understand that Lurmann’s intention was to transcend the time via musical genre so that one could better understand the feel of the American 20s, by relating them to the American 00s. However, the music didn’t feel cutting edge or unusual or new, as jazz would have felt to society in the 20s. It was emotive and added to the film, but I don’t feel it achieved what it was intended to.The use of modern music in a period setting also gave the air of similarity between The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge, to the point where I almost felt I’d seen the former before. I respect Baz Lurmann’s vision as a director and that he has a very distinctive style of movie making, but this felt like it had been made to a formula everyone has seen before, a few times before.

Even taking into consideration the good performances and enjoyable aspects of the film, the overall feel of the movie was a little obvious, un-original in the context of the director’s previous works and very much ‘Hollywood-ised’ to the point that the text felt more of an avenue for a glitzy film, than the inspiration for a good movie.