Thursday, 14 November 2013

Magical childhood memories

I saw this post about Dinovember (a month-long imagination invasion) on Facebook today. I thought it was BRILLIANT.

Picture of Dinovember from here - go check it out! 

The parents sound like fun, creative, imaginative people. The kind of people who probably enjoy setting up the scenes (after a few glasses of vino?) as much as their kids enjoy discovering them.
I love it. 
For two reasons:

1) these adults sound like me - still a big kid inside
2) it reminded me of my own similar magical childhood experiences...

*cue wiggly lines across screen to nostalgic flashback*

When I was small my Nanny used to do something similar to Dinovember with my colouring books. An early recogniser of my OCD tendencies, she would see me getting frustrated with myself when I would go over the lines in my colouring books. I'd only ever use pencil so I could rub it out, and I was fastidious about sticking to the correct colours - especially with Disney characters! 
Sometimes I'd get up in the morning and whilst eating my breakfast (porridge with lots of crunchy brown sugar and "children's tea") I would discover that one of the pictures would have been beautifully shaded in, facial contouring, light and shade and even patterns on the clothing.  Nanny would always say the fairies did it!
After a while I realised it was her, but I kept it up for a long time afterwards. Even though I knew it wasn't magic, it felt magical anyway!

I also remember when my Granddad used to paint big pictures on canvasses (apparently I have an arty family!) of a field or the beach or a garden, and even just the view from their front window on to the cul-de-sac (which is now in my baby bro's old bedroom at home). Sometimes we'd go to stay and a new character would have appeared in the picture. There'd be people eating a picnic on a blanket, or playing with a ball or sitting in deck chairs soaking up the sunshine. That was fun. To run in and spot any differences. Then in the morning I'd wake up and it'd be raining and cloudy and all the people would be gone. 
Again, I got older and eventually worked it out, but even then it was still fun to see the characters he came up with. 
Other magical things happened at Nanny and Granddad's house too - the family in my dolls house (handmade by Granddad and furnished by Nanny) or the workers in my brother's petrol station (again painstakingly designed, made and decorated with their own fair hands) would go about their daily business - food would appear on the tables, cars on the garage forecourt and one day even a baby arrived.

Ahhh, magic!

Baby moi!

*cue wiggly lines across screen to bring me back to present day*

Ahhh, imagination and magic. You can't do that shizz on an iPod. I'm off out to buy a colouring book.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

When I get home

Don't get me wrong, I am loving Paris - luh-uh-uvving it, daaarling (quick SCD reference there) - but as my return date approaches, I'm thinking more about what I'll be doing when I get home. Resting, mainly I hope. That and catching up on everything I've missed... which is mainly TV and food, which says a lot about my life I suppose. Hmmmm, just call me Onslow...

Although I'm not really missing home at all, and I'd happily stay for a few more months (with the caveat that my loved ones would have to continue visiting me, of course), I am however missing my sofa, Sky+ box and local take aways a lot. I have only two English speaking channels (BBC World News which shows death, destruction and financial ruin ona  continuous loop and BBC Entertainment which shows 90s sitcoms, mainly) and watching catch up TV on my iPad basically results in me being distracted by YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I have no sofa, just a chair and my bed to sit on and though I can find various international cuisines here, but Fish n Chips ain't one of them!

So, I'll be home this weekend and I actually can't wait to snuggle on the sofa with Mr G in my Reindeer PJs, with take away Thai, and fish n chips (yes both - I want them so badly I refuse to choose!) my body weight in cinema sweet pop corn (and that's a lot of pop corn because I have put on a LOT of weight) and a bucket full of tea and get stuck in to the list below...

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) Poster

1) Bridget Jones' Diary - because I'd like just a little reminder of how lovely London is in the winter, after all the loveliness of Paris.

2) The entire Harry Potter series, from start to finish – goosebumps! No explanation necessary.
3) Love Actually – Christmas is coming! CHRISTMAS. IS. COMIIIIIING!!! Literally nothing makes me as simultaneously sad-and-happy as this film (Sappy?). And is there anything more perfect than "To me, you are perfect"? And of course, more London...

Moulin Rouge! (2001) Poster
4) Moulin Rouge – ahhhh, Paris... Glitter. Music. Dancing. Sigh. And talking of Paris….

Minuit à Paris (2011) Poster
5) Midnight in Paris - a love affair with the City of Light and its inhabitants of old... and some fabulous costumes, of course!

6) Pride and Prejudice - It has to be the 1995 BBC version, because Jennifer Ehle IS Lizzie Bennett and Julia Sawalha is the most perfect Lydia. Makes me yearn for a stately home Christmas lunch and afternoon tea in bone china! Ok, technically it's not a film, but it's on a DVD so it kind of counts... "Mis-Ter Bennett!"

Heathers (1988) Poster

7) Heathers - just to darken it up a little - it can't all be happy happy joy joy, you know.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) Poster

8) The Muppet Christmas Carol - taking the line "no cheeses for us meeces" to heart (too. much. cheese. consumed. urrrgh.) and a bit more London.

9) Elf - because "I just like to smile! Smiling's my favourite" - FACT - and because I love NYC like I love London and Paris.

Jurassic Park poster.jpg

10) Jurassic Park - ahhhh, memories. "Clever girl...!" and also, just stay away from the dessert buffet. Nothing good happens there.

11) Home Alone - because, you know, it's not Christmas without "Keviiiiiiiin!" and that wonderful, wonderful Christmas tree at the Rockerfeller Centre.

12) Top Gun - to remind me of those sunny, sunny, sunny California days as the nights draw in.

13) Miracle on 34th Street - because, you know, Christmas, New York, Lawyers... it's all there. Also, I just love Elizabeth Perkins.

The Hunger Games (2012) Poster

14) The Hunger Games - because Catching Fire is almost here, and I've missed my biggest girl crush. She's been quiet for a while...

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) Poster

15) Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - last Christmas we watched this five times in three days as it happened to be on every movie channel going. Easy watching and I think I may have learned something about pre-war European history... maybe.

So that's Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning taken care of, now what to do with the rest of November...?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Paris fashion

No, no, it's not what you think.

I haven't gone all Paris-Girl cool, I wish.

I have tried and failed (miserably) to absorb even a modicum of Parisian chic, to no avail.

I most certainly haven't gone all high end designer and independent boutique crazy. More's the pity.

I just found these little babies whilst perusing ASOS last night (in full hangover recovery mode - PJs, crisps, tea, internet) and I feel like they are necessary additions to my wardrobe..


Sometimes you just need to spell it out and sometimes you just need the Eiffel Tower on your tights.

"Take me to Paris" jumper

Paris skyline tights

I'd keep it subtle though. I wouldn't wear them both at the same time.