What's on my radar: The good, the okay, and the annoying

And, with a twist on the standard 'liking' 'loving' or 'list' post, I have drawn a big arrow, on paint, to change things up a bit. Like in the magazines yano. Here's some booky/telly things I've been enjoying, tolerating, and raging about. Sometimes all at once. 

Love Island
How desperately sad, but true. I resisted last year but
this time the call was too strong. I'm getting sick of it already and I sometimes like the contestants that twitter informs me are evil. ut it's so addictive.

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Just re-read it and it's so different from the others and so much more mature  but also by far the most romantic. Captain Wentworth <3 <3

A Very English Scandal
Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw acting their socks off and funny, clever writing from Russell T. Davies. A dark, mental story but a true one.

Still Me by Jojo Moyes
A decent final instalment in the trilogy that began with the bestselling Me Before You. After You was so depressin…

Portugal Trip: Lisbon, Sintra and Cascais

So I just got back from a little holiday to Portugal and it was fab. Did we have good weather? Not particularly. And I'd wish I'd known how cold the sea would be (not that that would have stopped me swimming!) Still, it was a great place to explore and just right for our four-and-a-bit day break.

After our successful jaunt to Dubrovnik last year, me and my friend Hannah were looking for somewhere similarly coastal which still had lots to keep us occupied. We settled on Cascais, which is a seaside town about forty minutes outside of the Portuguese capital by train. I'd seen a good few travel blogs that mentioned Sintra too - which is roughly half an hour the other way by bus, so Cascais seemed like a good base where we'd still be able to have some beach time. We stayed Airbnb in a great little apartment right in the centre of Cascais. Everything is close together - your shops, little sandy beaches all along the coast, lovely restaurants, couple of museum-y places, a ma…

Tourist-ing at home: Tall ships and 'Museum of the Moon'

This Bank holiday weekend the 'Tall Ships' festival was being held in Liverpool, and since there were a few bits and pieces to see I bobbed over with the family to be a bit of a tourist, albeit on home turf. (We live the other side of the Mersey, in Birkenhead). I love Liverpool, and I'm biased, but I honestly think it's 100% worth a visit - there's loads to do, great places to eat, fab shopping and great nightlife. And I never get over that awed feeling when I walk around the Albert Dock or down on the waterfront. 

(above: Tall ships in the dock)
We went over Sunday morning and just had a wander looking at the ships and then down onto the Pierhead. I love how big and clean and European looking it all is - I love the Liver building and the mix of old and new architecture. 

(above: glimpse of 'the three graces' from the dock)  

(above: The Albert Dock)

(above: Love locks across from Birkenhead, and The Port of Liverpool Building)
Since it was only early (and so…

Liking and learning this week: Simon, Suez and Cynthia Lennon

So it's Grand National Day and although, sadly, I'm not at Aintree in a big hat (maybe next year) at least I've had a good week of it in books and telly (and it was actually sunny enough for a day in New Brighton on Monday, shock horror). Lately I've been reading bits and pieces of books, watching snippets of programmes I'm not all that interested in and generally have spent more of my downtime messing about on my laptop than actually sticking at anything. (Don't ask about the writing. Nothing's happening on that front either.) But this week I discovered that I might like biographies, I was gripped by a great, new (to me) drama and went to see a film that was a bit different and sort of groundbreaking. So I thought that was something to blog about. 

My Book
John by Cynthia Lennon

I'm reading a biography about John Lennon that I picked up at work, written by his first wife, Cynthia. She's the one who was kept under wraps, for fear that having a wife a…

'Paint your Wagon' (Liverpool Everyman)

Over the bank holiday weekend I went to see a revival production of Paint your Wagon at the Liverpool Everyman theatre. My mum brought it up randomly and dragged us all there (reviews were good, she loves a good Western and it was something to do) and I was glad she did. I've not been to the Everyman since it was done up, and it's fab. We only paid £10 for our seats but because of the way the theatre is set out - which is 'in the round' and very intimate - we were really close to the action. Liverpool is one of the few cities left in the UK to have it's own repertory company (a set group of actors that are attached to a theatre) and this bunch were great. You could tell they were primarily actors rather than singers or dancers, but you couldn't fault the performances and the singing was great, especially in the group numbers, even if the solos didn't have that musical theatre polish. And Lee Marvin wasn't a singer in the film either - and he knocked th…

What I'm Watching/Mini reviews (because I couldn't think of a post idea again)

Time for another 'what I'm liking' post, just for something to write. Thought I'd fill you in on some of my favourites of late:

Stuff I Loved:
Black Panther

I'm not a huge Marvel fan but I actually thought this was great. It was really different and original, being centred more in Africa than America, and I thought the female characters were so strong and important without the film ever shouting 'look at these feisty women'. They were just the general, and the spy and the tech expert, and I loved that.

An Education

I don't know why it's taken me so long to watch this but it was great. It was very sad in places and it made me cry a lot but the writing and acting was just so good. There were a few scenes where I thought, urgh this is so uncomfortable (bubble and min? you would run a mile!) but it's based on a true story and I suppose the truth is uncomfortable. Really great.


I thought it would be a bit too indie for my tastes but I loved it.…

Oscar dresses 2018!

I can't believe it's already a year since the last Oscars, time is flying. These posts seem to be becoming an annual thing, so here are some more of  my family and my inane comments on the Oscar fashions. (So the code is C: Me, Catherine. M: My mum - because she's also Catherine so it'd get confusing. R: Rosie, my sister, and D: my Dad, who I think chips in once.) 

Viola Davies

C: Ooh pink! Looks like the kind of dress you'd get on a cheap Barbie though. M: I don't like it much. Too neon. And she didn't look comfortable walking in it.

Lupita Nyongo

C: Aw she always looks amazing. M: Oh she looks amazing, she always looks so gorgeous. C: I like that she wore her glasses. M: Stunning. C: Rosie? R: What? Oh, gorg. I like the slit at the bottom of it. M: Look how it moves, that dress, it's like liquid. 
(Safe to say I think we all have a bit of a girl crush. But the dress did look more knock-out when you saw it on the show as opposed to in the still ima…