- Spring flowers - colour seems have to exploded all over London over the last week. I'm lucky to work over the road from a gated garden and the daffodils are amazing. The flower beds on the way to the supermarket are awash with colour too. Glorious!
- New arrivals - one of my friends has just had her first baby girl. I'm so happy for her, it feels like she's been pregnant forever! She's gone for a Space Invaders themed nursery - that's all kinds of awesome.
- My spring coat - I've put my winter coat away for the time being and have broken out my spring coat, complete with gingham and embroidered flowers.
- Waking up to sunshine - it definitely makes the mornings easier!
- Cardy, for buying the Nintendo 3DS - perhaps the best moment this week. When I got home on Friday Cardy came into the living room with a HMV bag and I couldn't help but do a happy dance. Not only did he get it in Aqua Blue (which is gorgeous!) but he also bought the version of Nintendogs that I'd been eyeing up.
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Saturday, 19 March 2011
When Cardy suggested that we have our own little 'Japan Day' I thought it was a fantastic idea. The theory was that as well as donating some money to the relief fund at the Japan Centre on Regent Street we would, in our own small way, be contributing to the Japanese economy.
We started the day with lunch at Wagamama. I realise that Wagamama isn't actually a Japanese-owned company but we do love the food. I think we need to try to find an authentic Japanese restaurant in London, I'm sure there are plenty about. I've even heard we have one in Brixton! Anyway, I had the duck gyoza and ginger chicken udon with plum wine and Cardy had the mushroom and asparagus gyoza and chicken katsu curry with green tea. Delicious!
About a minute's walk from Wagamama is Japan Centre, perhaps one of my favourite food related stores in the city. We now have a stock pike of Pocky and other sweet goodies as well as rice seasoning for onigiri. I also bought a bento box with chopsticks and some cute little animal bento picks. I'm going to have to find some recipes for bento and give it a go!
Our day also included trying out the new Nintendo 3DS (I think we're going to put in a preorder tomorrow - eek!), buying a new anime DVD, Paprika (brilliant but somewhat confusing, just like all good anime should be) and searching gaming shops for the newly released Okamiden. Unfortunately it only looks like it's available online, so I'll have to have a nosey.
All in all a very good day. I think we should do it more often.
- My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - it's so nice to see something that you loved so dearly as a child being given a good treatment when it's rebooted years later. I haven't quite forgiven them for what they did to Polly Pocket (she's meant to fit in your pocket - POCKET!) so I was overjoyed to see My Little Pony being turned into something fun and exciting that adults seem to enjoy as well as the target audience.
- Japan Day - I really loved Cardy's suggestion to have a Japan Day. Lovely food was eaten, yummy/cute things were bought and a very good if somewhat confusing anime was watched.
- The Nintendo 3DS - I got to have a play on one of these beauties today and OH MY WORD it is spectacular! I think that tomorrow Cardy and I are going to be trawling the internet to find the best offer and then put in a pre-order. Squee!
- The free SXSW FreePak from Hipstamatic - I love it when Hipstamatic release free sets, especially when a new lens is involved. The new SXSW pack including the Tejas lens is full of fun.
- Flowers by Sweet Female Attitude - we did this in choir this week and it sounded amazing! I've had it in my head all weekend.
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
First things first, I feel no shame in what I am about to write. That's right, Dad. And don't try to tell me that it's a complete shock.
I love the My Little Pony reboot.
There, I said it. Now for some gloriously cutsie images.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has been created by Lauren Faust, the brains behind The Powerpuff Girls. Faust has successfully managed to break away from making the cartoon a twenty minute toy commercial filled with overly delicate pink ponies. What we now have is a proper cartoon with well written multi-dimensional characters. Faust explains her motivation on Ms Magazine Blog:
I have been a lifelong feminist, and as an artist working in the animation industry for more than 16 years I have striven to do right by women and girls in the animated projects I have been part of. I try to bring sincerity and depth to the female characters I’ve animated and have fought in development and story meetings to make female characters more than just the typical girlfriend, Mom or sex symbol. I’ve even fought to see that there was more than just one girl character in whatever project I was working on. Sometimes I swayed my coworkers (often it was easy, to their credit) and sometimes I lost. My goal, as an artist and as a storyteller, was to one day have a show of my own for and about girls.
There are lots of different ways to be a girl. You can be sweet and shy, or bold and physical. You can be silly and friendly, or reserved and studious. You can be strong and hard working, or artistic and beautiful. This show is wonderfully free of “token girl” syndrome, so there is no pressure to shove all the ideals of what we want our daughters to be into one package. There is a diversity of personalities, ambitions, talents, strengths and even flaws in our characters–it’s not an army of cookie-cutter nice-girls or cookie-cutter beauty queens like you see in most shows for girls.The result is a cartoon that has a large online following, even among adult men (hilarious and awesome at the same time). There are ponies with character flaws. There is peril, albeit mild. But most of all there is a product that those 90s children like me can look at and say 'yeah, they did that proud'.
And of course there is Derpy Hooves.
I rest my case.
Sunday, 13 March 2011
- Hearing survival stories from Friday's earthquake in Japan - I'd been nervously waiting to hear whether people I know via the internet were safe and it sounds like everyone is accounted for. I still can't get over how terrible it all is. My thoughts are with all those people who have been affected.
- Pancakes for breakfast - we decided to use the last of our eggs and made pancakes for lunch today. Pancakes + lemon juice + sugar = amazing.
- Later sunsets - it's such a treat to be able to leave work and it still be light outside.
- My new shortcut to work - not only does it take me past some very beautiful houses but it also shaves at least five minutes off my journey.
- Homemade soup - we've been cooking up huge batches of vegetable soup to go in the freezer. Gorgeous with some hot buttery toast.
I have a real soft spot for films that feature really strong women kicking arse so it may not come as a surprise to hear that I am extremely excited about the release of two films due to hit our cinemas this spring.
I've been hyped up about Sucker Punch since I first heard about it last summer. I'll be the first to admit that it looks completely mad but in this case I think that's a good thing. The director has described the film as being 'Alice in Wonderland with machine guns' which reveals the main theme of the story. Set in the 1950s it tells the story of Babydoll, a young girl who is placed in a mental institution by her step-father a number of years after the death of her mother. Here she discovers the power of her imagination and her ability to blur the line between her dreams and reality. Along with four other girls she explores the boundaries of time and space while on the search for five items that will set them free. As the trailer shows, along the way they have to battle dragons, samurai, steampunk Nazis, gangsters and robots. All in all, it looks pretty epic. They're going to be showing the film at IMAX theatres - I think I may have to twist Cardy's arm!
I only heard about Hanna today but oh my WORD I can't wait for it to come out. It looks like Kill Bill meets Leon. Not as obviously fantastical as Sucker Punch, Hanna tells the story of a young girl raised by her ex-CIA agent father in the depths of wild Finland. She has been raised to be the perfect assassin and lives by the mantra 'adapt or die', her only knowledge of the outside world coming from her father's outdated encyclopaedia and a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales. The film sees her being sent on her ultimate mission which sees her crossing continents and having to confront one of her father's old colleagues. From what I've seen from the trailer, the film is cleverly peppered with references to dark fairy stories with two really strong female leads. Just my cup of tea.
Friday, 11 March 2011
I was all fired up to catch up on my 'this week' posts today, but now it seems sort of trivial.
We woke today to hear the tragic news about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and I've been checking out the newsfeed as much as I could.
Thankfully all those people I know through the internet are safe and well but I know that we are going to be seeing many pictures of grief and sorrow over the next few days.
I will be keeping Japan and its people in my thoughts.