Friday, 18 April 2014

Fancy Things Friday: A cheeky one this week...

Welcome to Fancy Things Friday, where I talk about things on a Friday that I think are fancy!!

Okay, so I'm going to be really cheeky with this week's Fancy Thing. What is it that's cheeky, I hear you ask? Well, there's a massive chance that the Fancy Thing for this week is something that I may have had a hand in making... and "by a hand" I mean, I made it. 

I've talked about it before, although not for a while. Today, I'm going to try to do my best at actually selling myself to you... in a non prostitute way, of course. My Fancy Thing this week is my book, Utopia. 

My reasons for bringing this up again are the following:

1. I am trying to create something that the kids are calling 'hype' about the fact that Book 2: A World Reborn will be being published very soon.

2. I have made, over the period of 5 days, Utopia free on Amazon. That's right, ladies and gents, you will not need to spend a penny to buy this book. All you need to do is click on one of the links in the right hand column and then click on Purchase. It will be all yours, at no cost to you at all. The period for which this offer stands is Friday 18th April - Tuesday 22nd April 2014. Go nuts.

If the above reasons haven't already convinced you to buy this book, I'm now going to tell you a little about the book. No spoilers, I promise.

Utopia takes place in a world, not unlike the one we all live in now. It's London, in the not so distant future. It focuses on four characters predominantly, and the people involved in their lives. These characters are Christiana, Jason, Adam and Daniela.

These people are thrown together in a life altering situation. They all receive an invite to a swanky restaurant and join together on one fateful day. Whilst they spend their day enjoying the food and drink provided for them, a disaster of epic proportions happens outside. Without any of them realising, the world they love and know, and the people they love and adore, are all wiped out by a deadly toxin. Now, they are left as a select few of the thousand survivors from an apocalypse they hadn't even realised had happened.

The book continues from this point, showing their different ways of adapting to a new world and underground community that they have suddenly become a part of, with no way of going back. It takes you through their journey and the reasons as to why they were lucky enough to be saved above everyone else.

It is book 1 of a series. The amount of books in this series is still undetermined, but there will be at least 7. I am putting the final touches to book 2 as we speak and will be out soon. It has been the focus of my life for a very long time... in fact, I can't remember a time when I didn't think about a character development or plot turn for one of them within my day. The story is very special to me, and has been a lot of fun to write.

I'm not going to say much else about it, except to recommend that you go check it out in the links to the side. It really is free over this time, I'm not kidding. Also, and this is the bit that makes me uncomfortable, so I'm going to go through it as quickly as possible, but it has received amazingly good reviews. I am so grateful for the people who have read it and liked it. So far, people have only had nice things to say about it, so... you know... there's that.

Reviews so far have been: 


For a new author I thought this novel was great! The morals included are brilliantly thought through and the author clearly has imagination! I ll be waiting for the next book :-)

I loved this book. I love how it flicked between characters to give their point of view, and yet it flowed so well between them. I was constantly on the edge of my seat! You really feel like you know the characters. Great story line. Can't wait for the next book!!!!!!
 

This is a wonderful first book from an author with a wonderfully vibrant imagination. The main apocalyptic theme of the book is a fantastic concept for a story that hooked me in and made me want to keep reading from the very start. The characters are introduced rapidly but all have their own personalities and backgrounds that separate them from each other and really bring them to life. With the exception of one individual, the entire cast is likeable and you'll find yourself sympathising with them all at some point(s) as the story unfurls.

The first book is clearly setting up a universe and cast of characters that could spawn a whole host of other stories and with the ending of this one fresh in my mind I can't wait to read the next!

Just finished reading this book. It is certainly one of the best books I've read of late.This book had me gripped from page one to the end. The characters are portrayed in a way that allows you to build them in your own mind without even thinking that your doing it. The story line is well structured and thought through developing as it goes along bringing in the characters in a way that leaves your mind wanting to move on and see where things go. When you hit that last page all you will want to do is find out when the next one in the series comes out, as it leaves you wanting more so many questions unanswered so many possibilities is it the end or not..... I guess only time will tell I certainly can't wait for the next book


***CONTAINS SPOILERS***
Without reservation this is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Not only does it cover ethics and morality, it skillfully interweaves the question of love versus duty. And more.......much more....

The cast of characters is superb. People were selected for Utopia based on their accomplishments to society. There are some, however, that volunteered so they could be tested with a new "toxin".

Jason, the bartender, has been promised that his partner will be able to join him. Michelle, his boss, doesn't come through on this one and it leads to near hysteria on his part and dissension within Utopia .

Lots of interesting people in this one - Connor and Christy, Adam, the actor, and Kelly, the one-in-charge - just to mention a few..

The scene that unfolds outside with the lady and her baby is heart-wrenching.

And, then there are the pods... These were developed by a genius, Daniela, who knows how to control them. When a person is placed in them, they are telepathically linked to metal which turns into statues. The "Walkers" are ready to go outside.

How much killing of innocent people could you do before you snapped?

How long could you stay inside a protected environment?

Just an outstanding twist at the end of this story... I just shook my head and said "WOW"!

Most highly recommended and I notice it says series so am hoping....

If nations knew that the end was coming, what do you think they would do?


By JennyG

Utopia (Utopia Series)It didn't take me long to get into the story - fiction that takes one to another way of thinking - what if the world was going to end? Who gets saved and why? The people in this story have all been picked for things specific to what they can do and the whole place is run by a woman! As you get into the story, you learn about each main character and actually feel like slapping some of them! A bit of a twist at the end, but I really am looking forward to the next in this series. Please, Lisa, move your fingers and get the next one out. I was quite disappointed that I couldn't just buy the next one and carry on reading.



Okay... so, you know, it's free. Might as well, right??
And that's about as good as I get at advertising my shizzle. Feel free to tell your friends.
Peace out my lovelies.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

A random ramble. Seriously, I just sat here and let my fingers type... I don't even really know what it is that I've written. So... yeah. Obviously that's going to mean it's awesome... (Insert sarcasm, where needed)

Last working day of the week! Huzzah! Apparently not the case for my American friends across the pond. Apologies for the gloating, in that case. I'd organise a meet and greet with Obama, if I were you, to sort that one out. There's nothing better than a random four day mandatory weekend to break up your April month. Plus, because Easter is always changing each year, it's totally a surprise as to when it's actually going to happen! As yesterday's post showed.

Today, I have managed to balance my coffee intake just enough so that I am being the queen of productive, whilst also not feeling that 'spaced out and shaking' feeling I usually get when I OD on the stuff. As such, I'm taking that as a win for the day and have already congratulated myself with a little song when my work colleague left the office. I'd sing it for you now, but there are people around and I don't want them to hear, the song is for you guys exclusively... yes, that technically includes them, as all they would have to do is to read this blog and then they are allowed to listen, but the point is they haven't and so they will not listen to it... also, I'm pretty certain they don't want to hear it.

I know the above ramble might suggest that I have, in fact, not balanced my coffee intake very well and I am slightly manic at the mo, but you guys need to realise that manic works well for me in terms of productiveness, without the manic then there's just the sleep, and apparently sleep during work time is frowned upon by employers.

For those of you who are now thinking: "But Lisa, what you're doing now isn't working, thus you are probably being frowned upon anyway" I will say, it is my lunch break. I don't eat food at lunch, due to a mix of no money and trying to be able to fit into a bridesmaid dress for July, as such I blog instead. It is the only way that I can force my brain to pick writing in this blog over procrastination, as if I waited until I was home, there would be nothing for you to read... unless you count the random tweets and facebook updates, informing you of all the different modes of procrastination I am currently involved in.

My main form of procrastination at the moment has taken the form of rewatching the American Office. It is one of the series collections I awesomely found on my computer. I've completed 30 Rock and had to suffer the heartbreak of watching the final series of that show, (something that I had avoided until now) thus solidifying for me the fact that there will be no more episodes. This saddens me, and the only way I could find a way of getting over it, was to find a rebound series to hook my claws into, and thus the rewatching of American Office was born. I'm up to series 2 and I had forgotten how beautiful the office romance is between Pam and Jim. At the moment, they're still in that "longing looks across the room" phase. My heart melts every time.

Being British, and therefore a built in fan of the original Ricky Gervais series, I had convinced myself that I would not like this version. I had never been so wrong. I freakin' love it. And, although I can't find a single thing to fault about the original, despite how many times I buried my head in embarrassment whilst watching it, I have grown to love the American Office almost as much. This time round watching it, I'm still in the "imitating the original series" phase of the series, but soon they will begin to blossom into their own thing and I am, dare I say it, giddy at the prospect.

Yes, once again, I am confirming that I don't really have much going on at the moment. But, you know what? Even if I did, even if I was a millionaire with a husband and 6 adorable, yet slightly annoying, children and I had everything I ever wanted... I would still sit down with my TV and movies and treat them like they're real people... It's the wonder of fiction. It's the reason I spend so much time in the lives of the make believe, not just those I watch, but those I create as well. In those worlds, anything is possible. And that, people, is beautiful.

Sorry for lack of promised feature. Next week, I promise!! Fancy Things Friday will be up tomorrow, however!

Peace out my lovelies.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Wait, what? Easter's this weekend?

Sup my lovelies.

So I just had the nicest shock of the week. Up until about an hour ago, I was convinced that Easter weekend wasn't until the end of next week. But lo and behold!! It's Good Friday this Friday! Which means that I don't need to come into work on Friday, like I had assumed. Man, am I glad I found this out, I would have gone in otherwise...

Thinking this over, I really should work out what to do for this weekend. Every year, I have always had pretty immense plans for the Easter weekend that span the entire four days, oooh yeah, I'm hardcore with my my mandatory holidays.

This year, I have only planned something for Saturday night. Mind you, it's with the same person I went out with and ended up staying out until 6:30am the following morning, so I'm pretty certain that we could drag the festivities out for the rest of the weekend, I shall have to get in touch with him regarding this...

With that being said, I'm struggling to find much else to talk about today... you can always guess I'm having one of those days when I start talking about mundane things like, "Oh, it's that day? I thought it was another day!" And that happens to be the most exciting thing that has happened to me in the past 24 hours... Yup, you can't make up the things that happen in my life, they just happen and we all marvel at how it occurred.

The annoying thing is there are quite a few really exciting things happening in my life that I am dying to share with you all at the mo, but I can't because none of them are certain and I don't want to say anything prematurely! Just trust me when I say I am fairly excited about the next few months. Also, I've just created intrigue! Oooh, aaah, you'll have to come back to find out what it's all about!!

Oh, you know what? I'm going to give this up now. I really don't have much to say and I fear I'm just embarrassing myself, pretending I do. So, with a short but sweet(?) post, I shall go. I'm posting something tomorrow that could be a potential new feature. I won't say what it is yet, but I can confirm that I told Both-Brothers and New-To-The-Family-Amy on Saturday and they all said "That sounds fairly good" and "I would imagine people might possibly read that."

So... you know... look forward to that.

Peace out my lovelies.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A need for Speed... not the movie, but real life.

So this Saturday just gone, I spent another awesome day in the heart of London. Marmie had been instructed by Younger-Brother-Daniel to get us all "outside of the box" Christmas presents last year, and she didn't disappoint. I received a Popcorn Machine and both brothers received a speedboat ride around the Thames.

Within this boat ride, they both had a plus one they could take. Older-Brother-Glyn, being engaged to the lovely New-To-The-Family-Amy, naturally had his plus one automatically built into the present, Younger-Brother-Daniel had free reign to pick who he liked... at first. However, this only lasted for about an hour after receiving the present, as soon Marmie was quietly suggesting that it would be really nice of him if he took me. Apparently, she had found this trip around the Thames after she had bought my Christmas present and so now felt guilty that she was giving her two sons a really nice day out and leaving me to sit on my own.

I did try to explain to her that it was fine, as I had already received another present from her, but she was having none of it and continued to say to Younger-Brother-Daniel phrases such as "Of course it is your choice who you pick, but it would be nice to involve your sister, don't you think?" As such, Younger-Brother-Daniel felt suitably inclined to invite me.

He also got it into his head that, although I had made it clear I was perfectly happy not to attend, I was doing the female thing where I say I'm fine but secretly making plans to kill him in his sleep for his betrayal should he not take me (apologies for the dramatic example, I have just finished with a particularly long Game of Thrones marathon and everything in my head is slightly warped towards betrayal and murder plotting... Disclaimer: This applies to examples only, I have no intention of actually acting out on any murders. I am not that way inclined... anymore... joking!... or am I?)

Anywho, to cut a long story short, this resulted in me taking this speedboat trip with Both-Brothers and New-To-The-Family-Amy on Saturday. Which was very lucky on my part as it technically meant I received two Christmas Presents instead of one last year. Both-Brothers are expecting their Popcorn Machines in the post any day now... ha! dream on! I've always known I was secretly the favourite...

So we went on the speedboat, which was fun. Lots of boating with speed involved, believe it or not. New-To-The-Family-Amy appeared to have chosen the seat that got the most wet. She put on a brave face, but we could all see the fear behind her eyes.


Can you see it? It's there...

After the trip we went for Vietnamese food. Something none of us had ever eaten before but Older-Brother-Glyn is pretty insistent that when we are in central London, we will eat at new restaurants and not constantly find ourselves in places like Garfunkels. We obliged. The food was actually really nice and I'd probably do it again. Although I wasn't massively hungry, thanks to a mix up at McDonalds earlier in the day where my purchase of one double cheeseburger (to tie me over until food came) turned into me somehow having 3 double cheeseburgers. Don't ask me how it happened, I don't completely know myself. I did try and give at least one away to my family, but they were having none of it and I can't waste food, I just can't... so... I had to do it. I had to eat all of them. It was my duty as a person who values food and doesn't believe in wasting any of it... you can agree, my reasons are solid.

The day was fun, it was also what led to my marathon of Game Of Thrones as it was all they wanted to talk about, but couldn't due to my insistence that no words would leave their mouth until I had watched it. Which I now have, by the way. I am fully up to date. I went through a range of emotions that I can't even begin to explain and one panicked phone call to Older-Brother-Glyn last night, whilst doing it, but I survived it and managed to move on. That's all I will say on the subject, other than... If you have resisted thus far, don't anymore. Not for any other reason than if you don't watch it soon, someone will tell you what happens and you will cry and stamp your feet like a child with a temper tantrum at the injustice of it all. Don't allow that to happen people, fight against the spoilers and see it for yourself.

My day ended with a trip home that will scar me for eternity. I am very aware of the family friendly tone that I try to give this blog, and as such fear that I can't relay my experience in full, due to the horribleness of it all. Let me just say this... there is a certain thing that men should not be doing in a public space and should be reserved for private time only. This certain thing should particularly not be done whilst sitting next to me on a packed underground train because I will melt down and feel incredibly violated at the experience... It is not what I want to see when I am trying to play Bubble Witch Saga on my phone... also, when this happens, and this particular man's friends start laughing and urge me to elbow him to get him to stop; do not be shocked when I don't go ahead with this request. I can't ignore it if you make me touch him whilst it's happening...

...

Traumatised people... traumatised.

And now that I've shared it with you, in a round about way, I will love you and leave you. You are very welcome for the image.

Peace out my lovelies.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Game of Thrones: The official no spoiler post... because I haven't seen it.

About 18 months ago, I was introduced to the world of Game of Thrones. I got through the first series in one night and then proceeded to watch them a second time with One-And-Only-Daniela on New Year's Eve, seeing in 2013. I got her suitably hooked, as was I, and we both went off to watch the rest of the series.

Unfortunately, this is where our stories part. You see, One-And-Only-Daniela went on, with the rest of the world, to speed through all the episodes and gasp and sigh and laugh and scream out "Did you see that!" with the entire population of Earth. I, on the other hand, got about 4 episodes into Season 2 and, for no reason at all, stopped watching it. 

Don't get me wrong, I totally get what all the hype is about and I'm a massive fan of the show, but for some reason I was unable to bring myself to watch any more. So I didn't. My family insisted on talking about it at every get together, I covered my ears and sang to myself to not give anything away. My brothers are pretty good at the whole 'keeping spoilers away from conversation' tact. One-And-Only-Daniela is not. She has spoilt pretty much every series that we've both watched where she was ahead. Grey's Anatomy was the biggest one. Yes, ladies and gents, I am referring to the particularly intense nail biting end of Series 5 and the open question that was left. I came in to work, after watching that, I gaped and shook my head. One-And-Only-Daniela turned to me and said, in one simple sentence, the entire answer to the open question. She RUINED it for me. I did not speak to her for about a week after that. That was not cool. 

So with that in mind, One-And-Only-Daniela has become a ticking time bomb around me recently. I am all but aware that something immense happens in Game of Thrones Season 3. Although I hadn't watched it for a while, I had every intention to, thus I had to keep One-And-Only-Daniela away from all conversations to do with this particular show. Usually, I get away with it. Usually, we can talk about other things and if there's a hint of Game Of Thrones coming into the conversation, I steer that shizzle away from the topic so fast she wouldn't even realise we were going to talk about it. 

However, last weekend, both One-And-Only-Daniela and No-Nickname-Yet-Tshepiso got onto the topic and, being fully up to date, continued to talk in very obvious clues about possible spoilers. I'm not kidding, I had no idea what they were talking about but I now know loads about what to expect from certain characters. Thing is One-And-Only-Daniela seemed genuinely perplexed when she realised I had cracked the code she was speaking in... mainly because her code was simply the 'instead of saying it, I'll just mime it' technique... not exactly subtle.  

As such, and in the light of the new series starting and everyone now becoming obsessive over it again, I decided the only way I was going to get through watching it without finding anything out was to watch it as soon as possible. So Sunday I sat in my room from 6am to 11pm and marathoned Game Of Thrones hard. I am currently only up to the 5th or 6th episode of Season 3, but I am back in the game in terms of falling in love with it all over again. I've been really reluctant to post this, for fear of anyone being evil and posting a spoiler on here. However, earlier today, someone posted on my facebook page an "I can't believe that..." post about Game Of Thrones that has devastated me more than anything in the world. 

WHY CAN'T YOU UNREAD SOMETHING ONCE YOU'VE READ IT???? WHY????????????????????

I got so close and someone just pulled the rug out from under me and now I know something, I don't want to know this thing. Now that I do know this thing it's left me flat and lifeless. It's not even the thing that One-And-Only-Daniela was hinting at. It was a new thing, and I know it. 

I'm close to caught up. I will go home tonight and watch as many episodes as I can. I will also not go near facebook for a while. I am so angry at the world for knowing this thing. People might say too angry, but I say; look at this in context. Look at how hard I Fan something. Look at how fiction is becoming my life. Not cool people. Not cool. 

I realise that I'm now setting myself up for people to throw spoilers at me in the comments. As such, I shan't be reading anything from the comments until I am caught up. I will get through this without any more nasty reveals. I WILL!

Peace out my lovelies

Friday, 11 April 2014

Fancy Things Friday: Film scores that have me Hooked

Welcome to Fancy Things Friday, where I talk about things on a Friday that I think are fancy!!

You guys don't know it yet but I totally punned the hell out of that title. So much so, I'm giving myself a little pat on the back right now. 

Okay, so this week I'm going to talk about another thing that I have found fancy for quite a while now. This is Film Scores. It's my top genre of music to listen to, I have stupid amounts of scores on my personal playlist, and I am that very sad person who will go to a movie and make everyone sit through the end credits until we reach the film composer so that I can jot it down for further purchases. If the film composer is announced at the beginning of a movie, I tend to be the one in the cinema who will mutter a quiet cheer of celebration if it happens to be a personal favourite of mine. It is an obsession I have, and one that I love. 

It started when I was 17 and studying music for A Levels at school. Film scores were part of the syllabus. We were studying James Horner's "Take Her to Sea Mr Murdoch" from the film Titanic. However, I found myself searching through the other songs on the list of possible music to study and getting lost in all the different ones on there. It was then that I heard the full version of the ET theme from the film score God; John Williams. After hearing that piece of music, I knew my life would never be the same again. I became a woman on a mission, I had to hear everything this man had done, and after I had exhausted all of these, I began to venture into the world of other composers such as Hans Zimmer, James Horner and Dario Marianelli. Since then, I have never looked back. 

When we went to see the new Star Wars movies, whilst my friends were making comments throughout about the canonisation of the characters and the special effects, I was turning to them and going "Did you just hear what Williams did there? It was Anakin's theme but intermingled with Darth Vader's because he was tempted to dark side. That is GENIUS!" 

One of the only successful first dates that I have ever encountered happened to be on a trip to the cinema to see The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas... I know what you're thinking, and yes, I do like to keep it light and fun for a first date... Anywho, as I was reading the opening credits, I was doing my usual look to see who had composed the music. As it was, the style of music I had heard so far sounded very similar to one particular composer I had in my head, and I wanted to see if I was right. I was aware that I didn't want to come across as some weird geek person at the time, first impressions and all that, so I had made an internal decision to only congratulate myself, if I was right, silently and to myself so as to not freak my date out. 

However, when the composer's name came up, and I saw that it was James Horner, (the man I had totally guessed, by the way) all I heard from my date was "Yessss! I knew it!"

I turned to him then, my mouth agape in wonder and my eyes wide with amazement. Not wanting to believe that he was, in fact, geeking out over the same thing as me, I asked what it was that he was so excited about. 

He gave me an apologetic look and said, "I have this little thing about film scores. I love them. When I heard the opening music, I was convinced this would James Horner, and when they announced it, I got a little excited. Sorry, I know that's a little weird."

I had no words. All I did was shake my head in disbelief. When I eventually did find my voice, I do believe I just began uttering all of Horner's work to him to let him know that I did not find this weird at all. It was at that point that I knew this date would go well, despite the emotional rollercoaster of emotions the movie was about to take us on. 

Anywho, I think I've made my point. I am a fan of the film score. In this light, I thought I would give you a quick rundown of some amazing scores you need to check out, if you want to see exactly what I mean. Good little tip is, this music is absolutely amazing for any kind of accompaniment with work based activities. If you're studying, or working or just want something in background whilst you're procrastinating, this is the best genre of music. After all, it was designed to go in the background of stuff. It makes sense. I, myself, can't write fiction without it. If you get the music right, it can stir just the right emotions to get in the mood of a particular character. I have a film score playlist for emotional scenes, big dramatic scenes, angry scenes, major world disaster scenes, you name it, there will be a film score for it. Again, it's what it's created to do!

Okay, so here goes my recommendations: 

1. John Williams
John Williams is the daddy of film composers. Mainly due to the fact that he is mainly in partnership with Stephen Spielberg. I think Spielberg has occasionally gone for other composers, but never very often and certainly never for any of his big films. The main reason for why Williams rocks when it comes to the things he composes, is that his music has that elite quality to it whereby you could play it and everyone would automatically know which film it was from. I don't know any other composer who can boast that. An example of this is in the list below. In fact, you could probably work it the other way, you can see the films and automatically be able to sing the score. Try it. 

1. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
2. Star Wars
3. Superman
4. Indiana Jones
5. ET
6. Home Alone 
7. Hook
8. Jurassic Park
9. Harry Potter
10. Jaws
11. Schindlers List

Those are just a few of the many, many films he's done. My favourite of his, and possibly my favourite film score of all time, is the Hook film score (I'll wait for you to now get the pun in the title and laugh accordingly)... In my humble opinion, that score is the epitome of perfection. It has so many different themes to portray; Hook, the Lost Boys, Peter Pan, and the children, and then on top of that, has the most beautiful piece of music for the ultimate "You can fight, you can fly, and you can... *queue crow*" moment. It's called You are the Pan. Here it is. 


Beautiful right? Just keep that playing whilst you continue to read. You'll be glad you did. 

I recommend you check out all the themes from the above list. In particular, Hook, Indiana Jones, ET, Home Alone and Star Wars. All amazeballs. 

2. James Horner
James Horner is king of the emotional gut wrenching music. He too has a very impressive repertoire. Although, once you've heard a lot of his music, you will begin to notice similarities in his work. This is mainly because he favours a particular key in his music, which I really can't remember now but totally studied the hell out of when doing my A Levels. Although it is samey, it is still beautiful. He also tends to bring out one kick arse song for each movie... as he did Titanic. Ladies and gents, I can confirm that he is responsible for My Heart Will Go On, but please don't hold that against him, he's done a lot more impressive songs in other movies. My favourites (and ones you should definitely check out) in his list of movies are: 

1. An American Tail 
2. Titanic
3. Braveheart 
4. The Mask of Zorro
5. A Beautiful Mind
6. Troy
7. Casper... I know it sounds unlikely that this would be beautiful, but trust me on this! ... In fact, screw it, listen to this. It's called Casper's Lullaby:



Of all of those, my highlight is a piece of music called "For The Love of a Princess" from Braveheart. Find it below:

3. Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer has a particular style of movie that he writes for. He will mainly write for the big epic style movies. As such, if you need a piece of music that will really get you going and energised, he is the man for you. My favourites of his are: 

1. The Lion King (film score not the songs, which we all know are Elton John)
2. Gladiator
3. Pirates of the Caribbean (In particular 'At World's End')
4. Da Vinci Code
5. Angels and Demons
6. Inception

Again, he does have the tendency to be a little samey with his music. For example, if you listen to the Gladiator soundtrack and the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End soundtrack, you may get confused on which score belongs to what. There are so many to choose from for an example of his work, but I've decided to go with the main theme "Time" from Inception. But check out any of the above, they're all golden. 


So they're the main beasts of the film score industry. You don't really get more well known than them in that genre. However, there are some composers who aren't as well known that I love equally, if not a little bit more. I've continued with them here: 

4. Rachel Portman
BIG composer for British films. Really laid back and easy listening type music. My favs of hers are: 

1. Never Let Me Go
2. The Duchess
3. One Day

My highlight has to be a piece from One Day called "We Had Today."


5. Dario Marianelli
Again, very popular with the British films, or certainly my favs of his are mostly from the British ones. These are: 

1. Pride and Prejudice
2. Atonement 
3. The Soloist

My highlight for him was hard, because I couldn't decide between two. I've gone for a piece from Atonement called "Elergy for Dunkirk" which, for those of you who have seen it, is the amazing scene where they do a sweep of the whole beach after the battle of Dunkirk in one shot... SO good. 


The rest I'm just going to list in songs, rather than composers as my favourites are rather sporadic. They are: 

"Together we live forever" by Clint Mansell from the movie The Fountain


The entire album to Forrest Gump by Alan Silvestri. This is a piece called "The Feather Theme."


The entire album of Edward Scissorhands by Danny Elfman. Check out Elfman's other stuff as well. He usually collabs with Tim Burton movies but does others as well. My favourite piece from this album is a piece called "The Grand Finale."



"Simon and Alisha Forever" by Vince Pope from the British TV Show; Misfits


Anything that Murray Gold has ever written for Doctor Who. I will of course put in the most popular one, followed by my personal favourite (at the mo, this changes regularly)

"I am the Doctor"


"The Enigma of River Song."


And my most recent love, the soundtrack for the latest Sherlock Series by David Arnold and Michael Price. I will select "The East Wind" for this post. 


There are so many more, I have over 12 years of collections that I could share, and I know I'm going to read this back tomorrow and kick myself for not adding something. But I have well and truly reached my maximum length of post and need to let you all go. Just trust me and start listening to this shizzle, it is so awesome. 

Have a lovely weekend 

Peace out my lovelies.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Weekly Review: The Big Wedding... Seriously? I mean... REALLY?

Apologies for yesterday. All sorts of anger feelings were rushing through me, and when that happens, let's face it, who doesn't want to see a picture of an otter being awesome and funny? Anywho, you'll all be pleased to know that I am feeling much better today thanks to an evening of even more 30 Rock (I am now up to Season 6) and an early night. I am no longer irritable to the point of snapping at random strangers and then bursting into tears on them for no other reason, other than I am just angry and that's the only reason I cry in real life situations nowadays... It's weird, nothing else seems to cause me to leak tears in the actual life that I live in, but stick me in front of any fictional show/movie and I will burst into tears if one of the characters seem even in the slightest bit sad... I don't know what that really says about me, but there you go.

I did take a break from my 30 Rock watching last night to watch a new movie that has turned up on Netflix recently. It came out in the cinemas last year, and I vaguely remembered something about it due to all the big names that were in it. Once I realised what it was, I became quite excited, feeling confident in the fact that if so many amazing actors had got involved, it was going to be an awesome film. 

The film is called "The Big Wedding." Heard of it? 




Look at that cast. Just look at it. Robert DeNiro, arguably one of movies greatest actors, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams... all Gods in their generation of film. Then on top of that, you have Amanda Seyfried, Katherine Heigl, Topher Grace (who I will always love, due to my obsession with That 70s Show) and Ben Barnes (who stole the hearts of everyone in the Narnia movies). That, right there, is a solid cast. In my eyes, I love every one of them. You can't go wrong with that cast, you just can't...

Or so I thought. 

I settled in, having not heard any reviews, and thought that I was going to be in for a treat. I have never been so bitterly disappointed in my life. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's a rom com, so I wasn't expecting an Oscar worthy film or anything, but I at least expected it to be real or clever or funny or something. 

None of the above happened. Sure, there were moments where I let out something close to a chuckle (although none that I can remember now), and the beginning even seemed a little promising. But from the point that Barnes' character's birth mother comes into the film, not one bit impressed me. 

So, without spoilers, the basic concept of the movie is thus: Keaton and DeNiro used to be married and had three kids, two of which they made themselves (Heigl and Grace) and one they adopted from a lady in Columbia (Barnes). After 20 years of marriage, DeNiro cheats on Keaton with her best friend (Sarandon) and Keaton and DeNiro get a divorce. This is all back story to the movie. It starts 10 years after Keaton left DeNiro and she is turns up for their adopted son's (Barnes) wedding to Seyfried. With me so far? DeNiro and Sarandon are still together and Keaton turns up all happy with this arrangement and clearly over any problems or betrayal she may have felt over the best friend/husband affair betrayal... So far, I'm with it. That could happen. It has been 10 years after all. 

Where the plot twist comes in, bringing in all the "hilarity" opportunities with it, is that Barnes' birth mother is coming from Columbia for the wedding, and she is a very strict catholic who doesn't believe in divorce. Therefore, Barnes never told her that his adopted parents got divorced and so, instead of telling a random woman (who doesn't really seem to be that involved in their lives anyway, and will be going back to Columbia after a few days) the truth about the divorce, they all agree that the best course of action is for Sarandon to leave her home and Keaton and DeNiro to pretend to be married once more. 

...

And that is pretty much the level of ridiculousness this storyline offers. All the subplots and supporting characters' storylines follow the same level of "roll my eyes to the back of my head until they get stuck there" class. What this all inevitably means is that, within the first introductory scene with each character, you have taken on their ridiculous role and already know exactly how it's going to turn out. I won't give anything away but just tell you the opening scenes with each character and let you work it out for yourselves: 

Heigl:
She walks into a maternity ward to pick up her brother and passes out every time she sees a baby. When she wakes up she feels nauseous all the time. She has left her husband over problems with not being able to get pregnant.

Grace:
He is a man in his late 20s who hasn't yet had sex because he's waiting for love, only to be introduced to his adopted brother's biological sister who happens to be beautiful and promiscuous. 

Seyfried:
Her parents are upper class people who have apparently only just noticed that the man she's about to marry is a "beige" man, and comment frequently on this, yet no one seems to be calling them out on this... will they get away with it for the entire movie? Surely not. 

DeNiro:
He is a recovering alcoholic who is dealing with juggling two women in the "hilarious" scenario laid out above. He has been doing so well up to this point and reveals in the first scene that he hasn't had a drink in 10 years!!

...

I don't need to say anything else. You've all worked out the movie by now. The only thing worse than the complete predictability of the plot, is the ridiculously unrealistic way in which each character responds to this plot. It gets to a point that no matter how serious it gets, every one of them are like "ah well." 

By the time I neared the end,  I found myself screaming "what the hell??" multiple times at the screen, whilst disappearing off for more toilet breaks than I actually needed, just to get away from the madness. 

To say I was disappointed is a massive understatement. Mainly because, if I had a cast as strong as the one in that movie, I would have at least tried to make it good. I can't work out how each of them agreed to be in it. Were they bribed? Did someone have their family held hostage? Did they all get invited out to the same party where the casting director got them all massively drunk and then threw a binding contract in their faces and made them sign? Were they all too lazy to read the script before starting the movie? 

And here's the thing, they've all done low key rom coms before. These might not have been given massively good reviews, but I happened to like them anyway. I'm not that fussy when I'm in the mood for that genre: 

Topher Grace: How to Win a Date with Tad Hamilton
I didn't hate it. It had really sweet moments. I'll just say "different laughs" and leave it at that. I loved that shizzle. Also, that man, for some reason, looks sexy as hell when he kisses. 

Katherine Heigl: 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth, Life as we Know it (although that movie is awesome by everyone's standards) 
All solid rom com movies, in my opinion (I am leaving out The Killers from this, as I didn't know what was going on with that movie).

Amanda Seyfried: ... 
Okay, looking back, I'm not really a fan of any of her "rom coms". Yes, I am including Mamma Mia in that. Sorry, I just can't stand that movie. But I do love her in most other movies she's done. Les Miserables, Mean Girls, Chloe and (dare I say it) I freakin love Alpha Dog for some reason. 

I could list the others, but to be honest, I was getting bored doing it, so, in comparison, you guys have probably already lost interest... but I think I've made my point. I'm really not that fussy with a rom com. I find that the trick to really enjoy this particular genre of movie is to go in not expecting anything amazing. All it's going to offer you is a bit of light entertainment, the possibility of the odd laugh and a couple of moments in which you will clutch your chest and go "awwwww." If that's all your expecting, then you're usually golden. And then occasionally, golden nuggets (such as anything Richard Curtis writes) sneak in and you are blown away. 

However, because my opinion is pretty low before I go into the movie, I find it really has to suck in order for me to not like it... that, or play the entire works of Abba all the way through which, for some reason, is music that makes me violent. 

This movie just moved constantly between predictable and ridiculous all the way through. It didn't make me want to turn it off at any point, (mainly due to my fascination on how much the standard of the movie continued to drop throughout, and I really wanted to see how far they were going to take it... turns out, pretty far...). 

It has, however, done a really good job at advertising the other movies these actors are in, because I now have an overwhelming urge to watch each of them in something that I liked so as to restore my faith in the reasons why I like them. As such, I am now planning on watching each of the movies mentioned above, as well as a selection from the other actors not mentioned. I need to make this right in my head again. I can't have this movie be the most recent thing I've seen of them all...

...

...I think I've just worked out the reason they all signed on for this movie... I bet all their other DVD sales shot up during this release... that's just sneaky. Very, very sneaky. 

Peace out my lovelies.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Just a bit of light relief for you all

Sup my lovelies,

Sorry guys but it's not going to be a long one today... having a bad day due to fighting with my bank... don't get me started. I'm not happy at all and fear that if I talk about it today, I will either get even more angry or I will say something I regret... plus I like to be happy on this thing as much as possible.

I considered just leaving it for the day, but I'm all determined with my new year's goal of one post every weekday so wanted to at least put something... As such, I've decided to just put in some awesome pictures that make people happy. So for all of your viewing pleasure, I introduce to you some photos of animals to make everyone's day brighter!!

1. Look how happy the otter feels having lovin' from his otter gals!



2. Hello Mr Llama! Yes I will be your friend, thanks for asking!



3. Guaranteed this cat would complete that before I did. 



4. Even though I know this would hurt, I kinda want tickles from this owl...



5. Me, every day around Youths.



and one more, an age old classic that never fails to bring a smile in the world of Random thoughts of a plum...

6. Oh Otter, you crack me up!



You are welcome world.

Peace out my lovelies.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Hello, My name is Lisa, and I'm Nomophobic... That's a N not a H... just in case you got confused and started to get angry.

So I spent the weekend in the countryside. I was one with nature, we cooked meat on open fires, we had to go to taps in the middle of nowhere just to get water, and there was a whole sawdust-instead-of-plumbing situation that was going on with the toilets. There was a very large part of me that wanted to be able to revel in it. I wanted to feel at one with my roots and confident in the knowledge that I could survive in the wilderness. I wanted to feel that I wasn't completely reliant on electrical appliances and indoor heat and such...

To a certain degree, I did feel that way. I enjoyed travelling to get water and trying to help build a fire before One-And-Only-Daniela slapped my hand away, scolding me for doing it wrong. There was even a moment, on Saturday night, where we had just cooked steaks and sausages on the outdoor fire and had prepared a meal. We were all sitting in the little porch area outside our yurt with candle lanterns all around us and a glass of wine in our hands. We were chatting and laughing and having fun, and all around me I could hear the trees rustling in the dark and birds chirping etc. I remember thinking that this was perfect. It was really nice and relaxing and not even that cold. However, I am also acutely aware that should we have stayed for even one more day out there, we would have started to become miserable. 

You see, in amongst all the gusto we had for trying to be one with nature, there were a lot more things that felt like sacrifice. Mainly our lack of phone battery. When we had battery, the signal was awesome and we could use the internet without any problem, we just didn't really have that much time in which our battery lasted. The reason for this was simple, especially for myself... although One-And-Only-Daniela and No-Nickname-Yet-Tshepiso did have a little more self control, I have no will power when it comes to my phone...

Yes, ladies and gents. I am that person. The one that will take her phone out wherever she goes and place it directly in front of her so that she can at least see it at all times. This doesn't mean that when I am with people I'm on it, but I have to at least see it. I also have to have it to hand the moment any company leaves me, even if it's just for the toilet, so that I can immediately use it to check facebook/twitter, play games, or just generally scroll through apps or photos. Yup... if you were to catch me at a bar on my own, there is zero chance that my head won't be buried in my screen... unless I look up to take a sip of my drink... although I have learnt to do this without looking up... it depends how drunk I am and how much I trust myself to not knock over the drink if I'm not looking. 

I also have chargers available at any venue where I know I'm going to be for a while. There is a permanent one at home and at work and a portable one for my bag should I need it at a third location. I'm not exactly proud of this, but at the same time don't really feel ashamed enough to want to change my behaviour at all. I've looked this up... apparently addiction on phones is called Nomophobia... because that word isn't going to confuse the hell out of everyone. Couldn't they have picked a word that sounded a little different from a particular bigoted type of people? Anywho, I digress...

So, with this in mind, you can imagine what this weekend was like in a place where electricity just doesn't exist. I considered buying a solar charger but completely forgot so, instead, found myself getting ready on Friday morning and only removing my phone from my charger 3 seconds before I left the house. Of course, although I knew that I wouldn't have a place to charge my battery, because of my addictive tendencies and my being aware that I still had an hour bus journey to travel before I got to where One-And-Only-Daniela was, I used my phone the entire journey, mainly because, in my opinion, that journey simply can't be done without listening to podcasts and playing games... I have a problem, I am aware. I know there are a large amount of you who might have felt it was more important for me to keep battery in case anything bad happens in the woods and we need to call someone, but, put simply, sensible considerations and forward planning like that don't occur to those with an addictive nature. All we really see is the fun we can have in that particular moment. That, coupled with the fact that it would also mean I didn't have to sit there awkwardly on public transport listening to the "Youths" and trying to translate what it is they are saying nowadays (it's getting harder and harder) for lack of anything else to do. 

So, by the time we reached our destination, both One-And-Only-Daniela and I were desperately running low on battery juice and No-Nickname-Yet-Tshepiso hadn't arrived so we needed some form of open contact for her. This was how we both ended up sitting outside our Yurt on Friday night, from 4pm to 12am, freezing cold and huddled around this small little device that had been given to us. It was like this mini furnace, you started a fire (not big enough to really warm you) and when it reached the right temperature then it would generate enough electricity to charge your phone. It looked like this: 


Now, this sounds like a really good idea, and in fairness, we would have been lost without it that first night, but working it turned out to be a little tricky. You see, unless we got it massively wrong, it wasn't really about creating enough heat but more creating the exact right amount of heat. There appeared to be one point of heat that would work as a charger, anything else too hot or too cold and the electricity would be lost again. This resulted in our constantly adding and removing twigs, switching the settings on the fan and staring at our screens with a look of hopeful joy for the 60 seconds it would turn on before it inevitably turned off once again... any normal person with about 25% battery left would have just switched to airplane mode, left the phone alone, give up on the charger and just check for any new texts every 10 mins or so. However, as I said, I quite clearly have a problem and, like all addicts, needed more juice. This process did just take longer as we only had one fire charger type thing between the two of us, so not only were we only getting a blissful 60 seconds of charge time every half hour, we were also splitting that charge time between the two of us. I don't know about anyone else, but I class that as a perfect use of our time on our first night on holiday...

The next morning, the batteries were dead once more, so we all mysteriously decided we needed food in a pub... AKA, a place with plug sockets. We arrived at this pub and immediately spread out to take over all power sources in the building. We found, we conquered, we listened out for that glorious beeping sound that meant the phones have turned back on and, once heard, we sat back, smiled and ordered our food in comfort. We then stayed there for longer than we would have... apparently only feeling like it was time to leave when all phones had reached 100%. We told each other that it was because we were having a good time, but we all secretly knew why we had stayed... it didn't need to be said. 

Now, as I said, I do have no control with that stupid electrical device so, although I knew it would be a day and a half until I would be able to charge my phone once more, I still found myself pouring over that thing as if I had been separated from it for months. I checked and uploaded something onto everything; facebook, twitter... even Instagram  and Snapchat and I never use those apps normally. I took pictures of our fire and yurt and, instead of being sensible and leaving it until I got home to upload, I shared that shizzle immediately. I called and texted people all over the place. When it came to listening to music, I decided that I didn't want to play the 500+ songs on my phone, no I wanted the ones on youtube. Because that made far more sense. Needless to say, I went through that battery within about 5 hours. By the time we collapsed into bed, I had nothing left on my battery and my phone was officially dead once more. 

I've just sat here for a while, considering justifying my actions, talking about how there was wine involved, and how I was in a group environment in a new place where there was more to share, but you know what? There's no excuse. Needless to say, I'm investing in a solar charger if I ever do anything outdoorsy again... I'm embracing my addiction. 

Hi, I'm Lisa, and I'm Nomophobic. 

Peace out my lovelies.

Monday, 7 April 2014

City girls in the country

Hi guys,

So I did it, I went away for a weekend in the middle of the woods and I didn't die once. That's something to celebrate!!

In fact I'll even go as far as to say that we didn't even bump into any mass murderers... there was no hiding from people with axes, no zombies that climbed out of the ground, no weird noises in the middle of the night... basically, everything that I thought would happen from watching Cabin in the Woods didn't happen... I guess they picked another group of friends to be the sacrifice for the world instead of us... is it wrong that I'm a little insulted we weren't classed as good enough? Nah, it's good.

Anywho, for those who missed it last week, I disappeared off to the middle of the countryside with One-And-Only-Daniela and No-Nickname-Yet-Tshepiso for the weekend. We stayed in a yurt and basically just spent three days playing with fire and drinking wine... somehow none of that resulted in us burning the yurt down which I definitely think means we deserve some kind of prize... it could have been so much worse.

I think it's safe to say that all three of us enjoyed ourselves, although we were all incredibly aware of being the 'City Girls' in the middle of a small village where everyone knew everyone else. We didn't exactly help the situation. Our one trip into their village high street involved the following things:

1. Arriving at the first pub we saw with a crazed look on our faces and a desperate plea for plug sockets as we needed to charge our phones.

2. Getting out One-And-Only-Daniela's SLR anytime we saw anything slightly country like, like a horse or a tractor, whilst commenting to each other about "how quaint" it all looked.

3. Arriving at their only food shop and inquiring over whether they had a butchers as we wanted meat. This was met by a very perplexed guy behind the till in his late teens looking at us as if we were mad.

When we explained that we were camping and wanted to do a barbeque, he shook his head and said, "We don't really have anything like that here. There's a bigger village about 15 miles out that has one." We weren't about to walk that, so bought the only meat there was in the shop (gammon steak and sausages, which actually turned out be really nice). When we went to pay for them the guy was still looking at us completely baffled.

"You guys are from the city aren't you?" He said.

"Yeah," we answered. "We live in London."

His face fell. "Why the hell would you leave a place like that to come and stay here?"

"What?" We said. "It's nice!"

"But you're from London!"

"It's nice to get out every now and then," I explained. "We've been walking a lot, which is also nice."

"Although we've got all this food on us now, I can't be arsed to carry it all back with us." One-And-Only-Daniela commented.

A woman waiting behind us found this hilarious as apparently the three mile walk back to our farm was absolutely nothing to complain about when you live in a place like this. Of course, as we were girls who can grab a bus, tube, train or taxi from pretty much wherever we are in London, this felt a lot more of feat for us, especially as we had all this food, and we had already walked it once on our way down to the village. One-And-Only-Daniela began explaining this to the woman with a tone that suggested she didn't appreciate what the woman had to say. As such, No-Nickname-Tshepiso jumped in before an argument started in.

"We're looking for a taxi company." She said. "Do you have a number?"

By this point, there wasn't a single person in the shop who wasn't looking at us like we were aliens. The guy behind the counter spoke up.

"We don't really get many taxis around here. Everyone just sort of walks to where they want to go or has a car."

Someone from behind us chirped in at this point. "You can try and get a taxi from one of the villages next to us and ask them to come here, but they'll charge you extra for it."

We agreed to this, and left the shop. We had to ask a man in the street for help on locating a taxi company as the internet wasn't being very helpful. He sort of shrugged and said that they don't have many taxis coming this way, but they did have a curry house just down the road... We thanked the man, not really wanting to bring up our confusion on how the existence of a curry house in their village helps up with our plight to get back to our yurt. Obviously it is the only restaurant (outside of the pubs) that they had, so it was something they were all very proud of. It did look nice from the outside, I have to say.

As amused as the people in the village were by us, they were also really friendly so we had an overall good experience of our little walk into the high street. It was very much a village of people who all knew each other, so we must have stood out to them all from the moment we walked into a room. We also managed to get a taxi back to the yurt, thanks to google coming through for us.

We had a good time, but considering not one of us were particularly outdoorsy we were making it up as we went along. There was a couple in another yurt not far from us and we bothered that man far too many times with advice on how to get our grill to work or for use of his axe. I think he really began to regret his offer when we all arrived of helping us should we need it...

Having said that, One-And-Only-Daniela soon caught the Fire Bug and took over all heat related activities. She built our outdoors fire and took over the furnace in the yurt. I tried to help a few times but she kept on telling me I was doing it wrong so I just left her to it after a while. As fun as it was, the moment we hit London again, and I saw a sign for a proper plumbed toilet, I wanted to cry with happiness. I love my electricity, I love my internet. I love my creature comforts, and I fully appreciate the fact that I live in this day and age instead of even just 100 years ago.

But it was good and I didn't end up in hospital with hypothermia this time, which is definitely a plus in my books. Also... Ug, I made fire!




Peace out my lovelies.