Friday, 31 January 2014

That time we hung out with Miss Marple

I’ve always loved Agatha Christie.  My family and I inherited a room full of books when we moved into a house. We knew the previous owners and they always said that they would come back and collect the books… and they never did.  The house belonged to their mother who was an avid Agatha Christie fan.  We have a LOT of them.  And so, as a bored young thing, I would read them too.  I never quite “got” Miss Marple though.  I read her introduction in a set of short stories and she wasn’t someone that I wanted to spend time with.  She was a fussy old maid and yeah, she solved crimes but that wasn’t enough to keep me interested.

It wasn’t until late last year that I decided to give Miss Marple another go.  I started reading some more of the books that involved her and realised one huge thing.  Miss Marple didn’t come out of Agatha Christie’s brain as a fully formed character.  It seems like Agatha Christie was still deciding what she wanted Marple to be like.  Nor is the character particularly consistent.  Miss Marple starts off as a prim shrewish spinster lady, and in some books she is really genuinely eccentric and ‘fluffy’ as she is often described.  But other times she is so shrewd and wonderful and only pretends to be eccentric when she needs to fool people into telling her secrets.  And it is this version of Marple that I fell head over heels in love with.

It is also the type of Miss Marple that is the current version on television so I am rather spoiled.  It was also the version that I happened to see in live theatre when “A Murder Is Announced” made its way to my home town.  I had originally brought tickets for my mum and I to go and see it but mum had planned to go to NZ during that time, so I offered the spare ticket to someone else.


Hey Danielle!!  Who else would I rather spend a few hours with watching a Miss Marple play than the friend who I spend an awful lot of time obsessing over BBC dramas with?!  (And she lets me steal her instagram pics for me to use on my blog)

We dressed up even thought it was a matinee, hung out a bit beforehand and went for dinner afterwards.  It was so much fun.  I know I say this every time I go into the city and see a show but I really REALLY need to do that more often. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Internet Shopping Whilst Intoxicated

This is something I hear about but never thought I would actually do.  I’m not really a clothes and shoes kinda gal so I assumed that I would escape this ‘cultural phenomenon’.

However, it was not to be.  I arrived home to find a parcel on my desk.  I frowned at it.  I hadn’t brought anything online recently.  And then I saw the stamp on the parcel and the synapses wriggled in the back of my brain.


That name conjures up to me the Oxford of the 20s with Lewis and Tolkien so what did it have to do with me?  And then I laughed.  Because I *did* remember buying this present for myself.  I was tipsy enough at the time to think, “I probably won’t remember doing this.  It’ll be like a present from Drunk Laura to Future Laura”.  And for half a second it was!  And then I recalled what it was and I eagerly opened the parcel.



His name is Wallflower.  I can hold him nicely in one hand.  He is a replica of a gargoyle that can be found slightly hiding on the wall of the Divinity School, Old Bodleian Library.  And he is so, so beautiful.  The craftsmanship is gorgeous.  And I want to have him with me at all times.  I wish I could have a charm of him to wear around my neck.  He is just the most beautiful dragon.  I seriously can’t stop stroking his cheek.  He makes a beautiful desk companion.

The Sunshine Award Pt 1

I got an award from a fellow blogger!  Here we go:

The Sunshine Award is a lovely way for bloggers to recognize and celebrate each other, spreading sunshine from blog to blog.  The Sunshine Award was started by Matt Renwick, an elementary principal in Wisconsin (@readbyexample).  Here are the rules Matt lists in his post:
1) Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
2) Share 11 random facts about yourself.
3) Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
4) List 11 bloggers. They should be bloggers you believe deserve recognition and a little blogging love.
5) Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer.
6) Let all the bloggers know they've been nominated. You may not nominate the blogger who nominated you."

Mine was given to me by Abigail who can be found over here.  I can’t remember how we met online but I am so glad that we did!!  I love reading her blogs and honestly they are one of the reasons why I keep coming back to blogging.  Her posts are real and funny and a lovely sneak peek into her life.

So without further ado, here are 11 Facts About Me

1) I just got back into reading and it is the BEST!!  Like, where I read every night.  And sometimes, sometimes, the book is too exciting and I say to myself “just one more chapter” and then the next thing I know, the book is finished and it’s 2am and I have to be up in four hours.  It is delightful.

2) I just brought my very first dress-up dress.  I have always been so jealous of people who can make outfits like this and I love the idea of dressing up for an event but have never done it.  And then it hit me like a lightening bolt.  “Fool!  You can buy it on the internet”.  And so I did.  And then I brought another dress.  I don’t know why I need two medieval outfits but apparently I do.

3) My memory is getting really, really bad.  To the point where it is becoming a little frightening.  My mum who really does have the worst memory is telling anecdotes about me and I don’t remember them happening!

4) If I ever were to get a tattoo, this is what I would get.  I only discovered the picture recently but it sent off a light bulb ping in my brain.


5) My new favourite animal is a pika.  Look how freaking cute they are?!  They live in Yellowstone Park (amongst other places) but I would love to visit the park to see one in the wild.

6) I love travelling and I haven’t done it in a while.  I think this year will be the year of travel. 

7) Sort of continuing on from the previous point, I have recently decided to try and embrace my singleness, instead of constantly worrying that I’m not married with a baby on the way and a house.  I am actually in a pretty awesome position.  I am of an age where I can do whatever the heck I want, I earn money and I don’t have any ties to staying in one place. 

8) I had a weird OCD as a kid that I still have as an adult but it’s not so intense now.  When I would eat food, the first bite would have to be chewed on the left side, the second bite on the right side and so on.  It got to the stage where I would only eat even amounts of foods, like two biscuits as a snack or if I got to the end of dinner and my carrot sticks amounted to an uneven number, I would leave one.  I still do it now subconsciously but if I have an uneven amount of food, I just divide the last thing in half, therefore making it ‘even’.  And I still favour ‘right side’ and ‘even numbers’ over ‘left side’ and ‘odd numbers’.  I know.  It’s weird.

9) Oh hey, you want more weird facts about me?  I dry heave at even the thought of someone brushing their teeth.  I have no idea why.  Three things are gross: the sound, the smell and the FOAM.  Even writing this is making me curl my upper lip in disgust.  I am MUCH better than I was due to having to live in dorms at uni and having communal bathrooms.  But it was a rough few years.  People want to have CONVERSATIONS WITH YOU while they are brushing their teeth.  And the foam is running down their chin.  And now I have to go and throw up.  It’s such a weird quirk.  I apologise.

10) If I ever get to have a dog, I would love to have either a Northern Inuit or a Groodle.  Northern Inuits because they have been bred specifically to look like a wolf and are the breed that plays the direwolves on Game of Thrones.  I spent the majority of my childhood yearning for a pet wolf.  I wasn’t allowed a pet dog, so obviously baby Laura decided that the next best thing would be a pet wolf….


Groodles (or goldenddodles as they are known in the US) look like a freaking Jim Henson puppet.  How could you resisit?!


Unfortunately I work in the animal industry and I couldn’t in good conscience get a pet that has been specifically bred for its looks when I know there are thousands of dogs being put to sleep because nobody wants them.  So I will end up with a mutt from the pound.  Who I will love with all my heart.  But they will be the scruffiest thing you’ve ever seen!

11) I LOVE DRAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But not being in it.   Which is why I love reality shows, I know, I know, they’re terrible, but it’s the only way I can experience drama without being involved.  The one time I knowingly passed on gossip, it got back to the person that I was the one to pass on the gossip and it was AWFUL!!  With reality shows, it looks real but I think we all can admit to it being actually really fake, therefore I can enjoy the cheating scandals and the fights because I know it’s not real.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Movie Times

I work odd hours which means that I get a weekday off.  I love getting all my errands done when the shops are a little quieter and parking is a little easier.  But mainly I love going to the movies on a weekday.
There’s something decadent about going to the movies on a weekday, with your popcorn and coke whilst everyone else is stuck in the drudgery of work.  Because it’s a weekday, more often than not, I see movies by myself.  This is actually a bonus because it means I get to be nosey and see who else has time off during the working week.  And then coming up with elaborate back stories for them all.

Today I saw August: Osage County.  It’s based on the play of the same name and somewhere in between the twentieth monologue I realised that it probably works better as a play.  However, I do like a good speech or two, I enjoyed it all. 

It’s about a family coming together for a reason that I won’t spoil.  And anyone who has ever spent an extended period of time with their own family, especially as one gets older, will recognise the frustrations and resentments.  And I think everyone could see a bit of themselves in each of the characters.

It’s a very dark, dark comedy.  I read a review that said that the movie was a lot more mean spirited than the play because with the medium of film, you can get right up close to someone and see the expression in their eyes as they say a hurtful line and you can see someone’s expression of pain as they react to it.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.  I want to talk about the audience.  Normally there is only a handful of people in the cinema with me, but for some reason, this cinema was FULL to the brim of women, ranging from middle-aged to old.  I was probably the youngest one there.  It was quite an odd experience because all I heard during the movie were the noises of women reacting.  Usually an audience is made up of equal men and women, and the laughing noise is lower because of men.  This movie, there was a lot of giggling and cackling- and it was really nice!  This movie is about women and it was fun to hear women reacting to that.  And this particular group of women were very reactive.  A sweet moment abruptly cut short was met with “oh no!’s” at several points across the cinema.  And a huge bombshell that was dropped encouraged a collective gasp from the entire cinema.

As a cinema goer, I tend not to react aloud to things.  I’ll laugh along if it’s funny but that’s about it.  But there was something in the air in that cinema because I gasped along with everyone else at that moment. 

It was a fun experience, sitting alone in a cinema but feeling part of something bigger.