Wednesday, 17 September 2014

It's All About The Schedule

I have to thank my sister a thousand times for last week. I feels like it was ages ago now seeing as I am a tad late with post this week, apologies all round. Since my birthday, in fact a bit before that, I have been quite busy.

I've started German lessons as work so Tuesdays basically do not exist. I've been trying to be proactive so I've booked a refresher driving lesson for this month so I won't be yelled at by my parents. Long story there. I have been catching up on Haven so I was ready for season 5, actually so many new shows are starting plus the returning few. I have also been clearing out my room, sort of. I've tried to get rid of things but every time I look, its all papers and scrapbooks and useful bits. So, I suppose you can kind of excuse me for the lateness?

Last week, actually my birthday was week before, anyway, I asked for three things for my birthday. A milk froather, which will be purchased soon, a bottle of Kahlua and BFI membership.

With that membership I was able to get the tickets and screenings I wanted, yes, of course I am talking about the return of BFI London Film Festival. I was and still am beyond excited about this event. Roughly 2 weeks of films all around London. I have been to the festival every year since 2006 when I went to see Steve Buscemi give a talk AND walked on the red carpet for the first time to see his new film, The Interview, at the time. I love the festival and scream with excitement every year when the catalogue comes out.

I have to admit, last year was amazing, I think I saw 6 films and I reported on all but one I think. I had an amazing time. This year I was unable to go wait in line for the tickets as I was at work and booked the wrong day off. My lovely sister, who I thanked at the start, went in my stead. I'm sure she didn't appreciate me sending texts saying 'I wish I was there' as the reply was usually 'I wish you were too' as in, 'I wish I never had to do this'.  But good news, I paid for a ticket to go with me to a screening as a thank you. I have 5 films booked and I am bursting at the seams I am that excited to go.

I made a schedule, like I do every year. This was to help my sister and because it looks great. Apprently, other people in the queue have their own type of schedule.

If you live in London and don't work insane hours and if you can, book a ticket to something, you'll enjoy it. BFI

Sunday, 7 September 2014

One Year Older

Every year I have the same reactions to my birthday. I get excited that its my birthday and want to plan a big night out or something to mark the day, then I panic and whine that I don't want to get older. I've been reacting this way since I was 20.

We've all had bad birthdays but I think my 21st was just the worst, which is most probably why I panic after getting excited. For my 22nd I just wanted comb over it so my sister and I travelled to Berlin on my actual birthday. My last two birthdays have been great, had so much fun with everyone. This year was more of the same, drinks and dancing. There was a spot of bother with the place I reserved, a bar I hadn't been to before but they managed to not book a table and lie about the music, but after than the night got better.

My original plan was going to be something bigger and more significant. I had wanted to hire a bouncy castle and have a party at my home but because I am without funds to live on my own, I was told by my parents this bouncy castle and party would not be happening. I thought that this would a symbol for me not wanting to get older and that we're still children at heart blah blah blah and I really wanted a bouncy castle. Maybe next year.

After recovering from the night before I woke up, on my actual birthday, hungover. I felt that nothing had changed, in a good and bad way. I had my fun but I was now in danger of sleeping the whole day away then I fell asleep again. The day was chilled out and it was great there was no pressure to do anything at all. I ate with my family like it was a normal day and I proceeded to take several naps and watch Tintin. My heart did sink a little bit. I had hoped that maybe there was a small cake for me and I could blow candles but there wasn't. We used one of the cake biscuits, something I made the day before and stuck a candle in it. When I was younger and in fact many year after that, my mum would play Stevie Wonder's Happy Birthday song to wake me up. She did this for everyone's birthdays. I was usually getting ready for school and I'd open my cards and presents in my room. My parents used to leave them in my room the nigh before for me. But last couple of years thats changed.

Just like Christmas, when you're forced to grow up and let go of things you used to enjoy, its happened with my birthday. I hoped to hang on to the childish things just that little bit longer but nope, at 25, you can't expect this.

Next year if I still haven't got my bouncy castle, I think I'll go away again, I've escaped it once, I can do again and I just know I'll be a mess at 26, oh gad I don't want to be old. Note; I'm smiling while writing this last bit.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Welcome to Hill Valley

I've been to The Ink & Paint Club and The Grand Budapest Hotel and now, I've been to Hill Valley, thanks to the Future Cinema and Secret Cinema gang.

They truly have out done themselves this time. When the Back to the Future tickets went up for sale no would have guessed the trauma when the event was cancelled for the first few night (rumoured there were rights issues) and the amazement when people saw the pictures, they built an entire town, Hill Valley.

Everyone knew where it was, the clock tower could been seen from far around. Apart email from all the prospective stores in the town, all set in the 50s, just like the film. We all got dressed up in as 50s gear as we could and adopted our town identities.

The journey began when we were told to meet at a certain station, from there we were greeted and shown the way by several people with red sashes. Our first marker on route was a sign saying 'Hill Valley 2 miles'. This was the exact same distance that Marty McFly himself from the film had to walk when he had to first crashed landed in the time machine in the 1950s.

We could see the Clock Tower in the distance and the excitement mounted. We were greeted by other towns folk, police mixed with real security and the shown through the Peabody's Farm, complete with adorable sheep, goats and a folk band singing about guests who stood out. Luckily we decided not to bring our phones so we got to bypass the 'checking in phones and cameras' part. Although at the end of the event, there wasn't a huge queue to collect them.

We walked part way round the perimeter of the town with a 'Hill Valley 1 mile' sign to guide us. We were on Sycamore Street in no time, walking past the giant billboard for Lyons Estates and happy to acquire some beers for the walk around the houses. Each house was dressed up as one of the main characters homes, including the Tannens, McFlys, Baines' and the Doc's house. Past the latter house, we entered into the town, just like the film, complete with green grass in the square, high school, diner, many shops and of course the gigantic clock tower. I could hear 'Mr Sandman' play as we stepped in.

Although no phones or cameras were allowed to used, we were allowed to buy (from the friendly sellers in the town) a disposable camera which, I'm glad we bought as there was so much to see. Who knows if the photos will come out.

I was so excited. I know it sounds cheesy but it was like walking onto a film set. Every time one of the main characters were spotted it was great, mostly because we can interact with and not be told to go away. I really wanted to go to the funfair and eat candy floss, my brother in law wanted to eat the cheeseburger at the diner and my sister wanted to go the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. We did it all and more.

We saw the Texaco boys play games with some guests and later up in the main stage singing 'Goodnight Sweetheart'. We got told off for jaywalking and got talking to a very enthusiastic lady (part of the event). I convinced my sister to go on the ferris wheel first - before eating. It was an amazing view and even though I got a little freaked out when they were taking people off for the next ride, I still loved it.

We had a look in the school and watched one of the bands who were 'auditioning'. Looked in on the shops next door and bought some Tab, a clear version of Coca Cola. Not to my taste but it was all in the fun of the 80s. Throughout the evening 50s tunes were playing out on the 'radio' but not long before the film, the 80s burst out in the form of skateboarders and rollerblades high-fiving the crowds.

We ate out burgers in the diner and they weren't half bad but my sister was a tad disappointed with her milkshake. I was just excited t see Lou and Goldie Wilson, the mayor to be of the town, in the diner.

In fact whenever a character, from the 50s, appeared near by it was just exciting. All through the evening we were trying to spot the Doc and Marty. At first it was difficult as there were plenty of people dressed up at 80s Marty. But, once we found a spot on the green, were about to set off to look around more, we spotted him, acting just like Michael J Fox. It was Marty! Doc appeared later, wondering around the town followed by a huge group of followers.

We made it to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance and my sister and my brother in law got to dance to Earth Angel, just like they did at their wedding a few weeks ago. It was very crowded though, we stayed for a couple of songs then moved on. In the cinema they were actually playing the film, The Cattle Queen of Montana and the radio was broadcasting to the whole town, they were even taking guest callers. I was going to say something but I missed my chance.

The post office was also fully functioning, with post men and women delivering messages to guests. Behind the 50s stores and hairdressers, we ventured into the 80s. A bar serving cocktails and a live band. There was even a small pool table and they were selling Marty McFly's signature red puffer jacket. We bought cocktails and enjoyed them on the green while we watched the Hill Valley parade.

The Mayor and the radio DJ introduced Marvin Berry and the Starlighters where they played some familiar tunes, including The Power of Love, with Marty on lead guitar. It was a fantastic intro to the film. The fun didn't stop there. Scenes from the film were played out in front of us live, including scenes featuring the time machine and the Doc, zip wiring from the Clock Tower. It was just brilliant. Loved every minute of it. And I got to eat candy floss.