Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Holiday reading list.

I have recently got into the habit of reading a book half way and then beginning a new book. It is not that I am not interested I the books, just that I do not see to have the attention span for an entire book at the moment.

When going on a break I find reading a quick and easy replacement for all the thing i do not have which would otherwise fill my time, apart from exploring the area I am in. 
So when the offer to go to Florence for a week arose I decided it would be about time to finish all the books I had previously begun. 
Taking the option of four books to feed my fleeing attention span, two being non fiction and the other two fiction. 
The fiction books consist of the sequel story to the Devil Wears Prada, aptly named the Revenge Wears Prada from Lauren Weisberger. So far it is okay, I am adamant to stay with it because I loved the Devil Wears Prada film. It is very relationship, sweating the small stuff type story, which I do not mind but I have balanced this by reading a book aimed primarily at young teenage boys.

The Anthony Horowitz collection beginning with Stormbreaker, is a series I have really gotten into over the last six months. Currently reading Scorpio, the fifth book in the series, about a teenage boy spy called Alex Rider adventuring in Italy.

On the other hand I am also reading two non fiction books both channeling a similar theme. The Element by Ken Robinson and Bounce by Matthew Seyd both discuss what mind set and knowledge it takes to function and compete at at your personal optimum and beyond. What I like about both these books is the references to statistics, research cases and real life experiences (bounce more first hand experiences and the element more second hand). Without reading these books, they look like self help books, but they are actually really objective. The Element i found after watching Ken Robinson's TED talks, which are inspiring and enjoyable as he talks so easily in front of people.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Birthday Gifts.

So I said I would share some of the best gifts for my 18th, and the end of the month seemed an apt time. The majority of these photos were taken of an iPhone as they are taken of me rather than by me with my camera.

My brother did really well with gifts this year considering he is usually completely and redundant and he missed it again for the third or forth year running due to shooting meets. The card was a clear win, illustrated by my favourite - Quentin Blake (also illustrating my favourite childhood book, Mr Magnolia). Then accompanied by a 30 pack of Ferraro Rocher and best of all a shark face gang sweater! Due to my constant ramblings about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis some of you may have gathered I am inclined to the music they produce, a lot. The picture was taken on my hotel porch in Italy, but more about that in a future post (without any make up, i may add). 

 I was also gifted a silver bracelet from Annie Haak which I adore from my mother, amongst other things. This picture taken on the morning if my birthday looking a little worse for wear having just woken up with no make up on.

I also received a great selection of albums and films from my wish list which I will do a further post on, but most notably the new Tom Odell album is mine, gifted from my grandmother in fantastically pink floral matching wrapping paper and card. 
Additionally I must add the cards I did receive were all primarily pink, and for someone who could not be caught dead in pink, this serves quite a conundrum. 

Monday, 29 July 2013

Summer Nails.

Since organising my collection of nail polished, I never quite realised how many different shades of neutral, blue and metallics I had, and I would not even consider myself any good at painting nails. However, recently I have been attending more and more events where I need to drop the shabby chic homeless look and attempt a respectable attire. With this I have latched in to the habit of going to get my nails done. It began with a manicure and colour and has evolved into getting a pedicure and shellac manicure.

With a trip abroad in sight I wanted to try my best at colours beyond blue or metallic. On booking, I was wearing a bright coral from a rimmel nail collection, so I wanted to stick with a bright pink or orange. My nail salon in Marlow uses all OPI nail polishes, so I picked a bright summery orange for my footsies. As I was getting tho done the pedicurist convinced me to try shellac nail polish. A few friends use this, but I was not sure to the reality of the claims lasting nail polish of two to three weeks. Five days in and it is still in flawless condition. I got a pearly neuatral colour which is slightly metalic, but I let myself off due to the show stopper that is my toes. Saying that, my toes are also still flawless. All in all the job cost £45 which I would consider good money if that stand the width of time promised.  

Friday, 26 July 2013

Evening dog walk.

To begin, a quick unforgivable confession - my chocolate labrador is called Tubby. Now I must explain how this came about, a name I did not consciously choose as his official name. When we first went to the breeders to choose a puppy from four pups, I chose our dog as the one who kept chewing on my shoe laces. He was also the dog with the biggest rib cage and the alpha of the litter. Naturally he was the biggest dog and because of his rib cage he was the fattest. So when we took him home and while brainstorming a name we just called him the tubby puppy. Then we never gave him a proper name because of some many strong opinions and different suggestions, that after a while Tubby just stuck. Now, I love the name as it was something that came naturally (rather than Fang, which is what I was arguing to call him) and I could never see him with any other name. 
There is a field at the end of my road where I take Tubby for a walk in the evening once the heat of the day has subsided a little. The light was amazing at this moment, paired with the yellow of the wheat I had a photo taking spree on my sister's iPhone. 

Tubby loves the tall wheat running in and out of the crops bounding above tops of the wheat. A constant battle of calling him out of the crops and him running and skipping back in. 

He has grown so much in the last two years and looks more in proportion, but not to big that we cannot still pick him up. 
I must say I took these on an iPhone and they are good, but there is not the edit and enhance on iPhone that I would otherwise have applied if I had downloaded them onto my computer. And all the horizons are wonky. 

Monday, 22 July 2013

Law Changers

So last last week same sex marriage became legal in England and Wales. Personally, I am for same sex marriage because I believe that it is not for someone else to dictate against such a strong part of another persons life, when it has no influence or effect upon the third party. Some people argue that if two people of the same sex were to marry, it would destroy the sanctity of marriage. I believe this is utter bullshit. Each can name a hetrosexual couple in the public eye or some one they know that have made a mockery of the ‘sanctity of marriage’, however let such people get married is not against the law. Again, i do not argue that every same sex marriage will 100% successful, but to deny the opportunity of the human right to marry (not hetrosexual privilege) i find incomprehensible. Personally, i believe we will look back on a time without the legalisation of same sex marriage the same way we now look back on a time without the legalisation of inter racial marriage.
I was most surprised to see England and Wales so far behind on this necessary change with states in America, France, New Zealand and a few other countries already legalised. I always perceived England to be at the forefront of human rights changes. 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Saturday Mornings.

Since my birthday my Saturday mornings are now spent trawling through the photos of my week selecting and enhancing photographs for my new photo journal, a birthday present from a good friend. I do not know where she bought it from but it is certainly one of my favourite gifts for my birthday this year, wrapped in awesome map patterned wrapping paper that was featured in My Birthday Walk About post (currently being flattened under my mattress to be put on my wall as a map). 

There are lots of pages thick enough to hold lots of photographs without being weighed down.  Consequently, this has not made me the favourite at the printing store as i get each photo printed in varying sizes from 4x6 to 2x3 and all sizes in between. As you can see my planning is quite extensive, not to dissimilar from my days when i constructed my A Level sketch books.

Every time i get a new photo album i usually give up half way in, so hopefully i will complete this one!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Film Fest One.

As of recent i have been in a very tired state, most likely due to the new found heat of the British weather. Consequently between midday and four in the afternoon i shut down due to peak sun and fall into a sloth like manner. This has provided prime opportunity for lots of film watching. Most commonly i may watch three or four new films a week when at school. Therefore with the combination of summer time no stress and my early afternoon sloth time, i have watched a exorbitant amount of films as of late.
Within the few days i have watched nine films of which i wanted to share a little opinion.
Side Effects - 76 popcorns
A constant battle with which character you allegiance stood, due to unraveling of an unexpected story line and counter apposing directors portrayal of each main character.
Stick It - 82 popcorns 
An all time favourite film of mine, a real guilty pleasure from 2004 with the only notable actor being Jeff Bridges (an awesome photographer as well).
Senna - 85 popcorns 
A documentary which holds your attention throughout, and I am not one or crying in films, but I did well up a little. Most notably, since Senna's death in May 1994 the health and safety regulations have been adjusted, resulting in an absencence of fatal injuries on the track since. 
Euro Trip - 35 popcorns 
A new film to me, certainly not my cup of tea. Funny, but do not think it is something I would watch twice. 
Cloud Atlas - 65 popcorns 
An unusual film following five or six stories from different locations and time periods. The first hour is really confusing the first time you watch it because there is no introduction to the amalgamation of stories and it is hard to keep up with so many plot lines. 
Notting Hill - 72
An all time classic English film for 1999 obviously with Hugh Grant. It's soppy and predictable but better than any American attempt at a romantic comedy. 
Welcome To The Punch - 55
Begins well and then gets a little boring. A few people die with a little emotion shown by the characters effected, but they do not grieve for long. The directors signature of shooting faces is different, and something I could not really warm to at all. 
Now You See Me - 68 
A manufactured blockbuster created to succeed, which I liked. But then again with all Hollywood films lacked any depth at all beyond fight scenes and one liners from a crew of pretty people. 
Scott Pilgim - 45 
I so really wanted to like this film with a blunt humour and gaming CGI effectes durring fight sequences and so on. But I did not get into it at all. Also quite a predictable story line, but I think Michael Cera is good as always. 
The Worlds End - 68 
A perfect end to the cornetto trilogy, any more would have been over kill. Strong supported of the comedy from Frost and Pegg. I believe it was as good as Shaun of the Dead but I never really was a great fan of the films anyway. 

Thursday, 18 July 2013

What’s On: Saatchi Gallery (Part Two)

So, continued from previous post from the Saatchi Gallery due to the excessive amount of photos. The excessive nature of my photo taking is far from controlled, but exceeds any limit when with other friends who have a similar habit to me. A friend from school and myself take time out to have our ‘hipster days’ - this is where we go out together and do whatever we want, like taking photos of our food, obsessing over unknown operatic artists and sitting on the pavement, without the relentless judgement from our friends. This is our freedom day.
Naturally this day is filled with breakfast for lunch, endless galleries, and in this heat - the hunt for the best air conditioned spaces in London. The Tube ranking at the bottom of the list and the Saatchi Gallery at number 1. Consequently, a lot of time was spent wondering the levels of the gallery.

The detail and fragility of this installation was unnerving, as someone not being unknown to trip over her own feet, i was weary to get too close. From my observation the floating city was constructed from tracing paper and photo prints of flats strung up to the ceiling with string. A strong theme throughout the entire gallery was the noticeable amount of hours committed to each piece in such detail. 

This next installation i remember to be my first introduction to modern art, at such a young age. This room on the underground floor at the Saatchi has housed the installation for years, understandable. Upon entering the room nothing seems out of the ordinary, only when suggest the ground is not the ground, you can begin to recognise the reflectiveness of the layer of still oil across the expanse of the room. I visit this room upon each visit to the Saatchi with the same eagerness, time and time again.

 After attempting to incorporate the photographs from the Saatchi into a day trip post and failing due to an overwhelming amount of photos, a separate post (two posts) was apt and a manageable for such circumstance.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

What's On: Saatchi Gallery (Part One)

The Saatchi Gallery is an all time favourite gallery located in a picturesque, calm part of London - Sloane Square. Additionally, after visiting twice last week i also appreciated the powerful air conditioning system in the newly found British heatwave. I have so many photos from this particular gallery visit, consequently i am dividing the visit into two posts. 

Rebecca Turner
This one piece i found marvellous because the rock attached to the wall actually looks like a rock. Only on meticulous inspection could you see the fibres binding the paper pulp material. To me the disguise of the paper sphere into a rock was an art in its self, as well as the idea of it pinned to the wall was amusing and original in my eyes.

Another art installation, in gallery room four, attracted quite a bit of attention and was the most populated room in the building i suspect. A row of 16 or so rectangular, paper bags aligned the nearest wall at shoulder height.  Constructed inside each bag was a tree using the paper from a face of the bag and glue. Some may argue that this is not art that it is a paper folding at an extreme level, but not art. However i believe anything that has been created may be considered as an art piece.