Watched, Read, Loved: November and December 2017 and a (belated) happy new year!

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Happy New Year dear friends! The past two months have been whirlwinds! I’ve forgotten how to even blog, and I will be super surprised if my WordPress account actually allows me to log me back in.

Needless to say, it has been hectic – when is it ever not though? I finally completed my degree. I always imagined how it would feel getting that notification, and nothing came close to it because hyperventilation was the prevalent feeling – this panicked excitement and too much happy. I’ve also subsequently been promoted, so November and December were interviews and crazed stress. January is all about settling in to my new role and getting my replacement into her new role, so I can promise some extra crazy moments around the office.

We had my sister’s babyshower, and it was a wonderful day. She’s had some scares with her pregnancy, but I am happy to report that her baby girl is now happy and on her way at the end of January. The day of the babyshower was extremely hot! (It was after all December in South-Africa). We made way too much food but had a lovely time celebrating. If I may say so myself – I can organize an event! 😀

I also managed to have some recreational fun. We went to Sun City in Rustenburg, South-Africa. It has a “sea” and it was a fun day away from Johannesburg. (Also an international five star resort, and looks like the intro to Jurassic Park) However, if I ever go again, I will stay the night. The drive back was straight from a horror movie.

We also went to The Garden of Lights, annually hosted by Emperor’s Casino. It was nothing like I imagined it would be – so charming and gorgeous. It is definitely something I will revisit in the years to come.

Another nice day was visiting the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. They are so wonderfully green now and it was therapeutic strolling between the plants.

I went on another Tinder date. It’s actually a recurring event with this one guy. I just don’t know what to make of the situation at this stage. I’m sure he’ll make a decent boyfriend, I’m just not sure if he will make one for me. I also went to another singles event, which was really nice. However, the people that attend persistently do good in short bursts but later just fade into the background.

It seems too few paragraphs to describe the past few months. I feel like my life has expanded and grown, and you won’t hear from me that 2017 was a bad year. It was a pretty good year for me. I’m extremely grateful how much I’ve managed to achieved, and hopeful that I will reach some major milestones this year – which I’m keeping secret for now, but the moment they happen I will let you know.

I only have one “resolution” this year, and that is to use less plastic. Plastic consumption in South-Africa is pretty bad, and I am also a culprit. The government implemented costs on plastic bags a few years ago, but as it is still only about 20 cents a bag there hasn’t been a lessening in the staggering plastic consumption in South Africa. So I am planning to take a woven bag with me from now on and to pack my groceries in there when I shop, so as to help in a small way save this planet of ours.

Well, here is a rundown of my entertainment adventures below. Let me know your opinions! (Sitting on a thousand unread personal emails, so I might have missed some really important moments)

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The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017). Hmm. There are so many strong feelings about this film currently on the internet.  Let me tell you, my feelings were strong after exiting the cinema. I’ve mellowed some, but I am not a fan of this film. I need to write a proper review for it, and I will save my commentary for then.

Pitch Perfect 3

Pitch Perfect 3 (2017): These amazing ladies have decided to exit while they are on top. I enjoyed this film so much. It is such silly humour and can be pretty darn vulgar, but at the same time it does my heart good to see female driven comedies shine on their own.

PSILY

PS I Love You: Gerard Butler, my pants were on fire. I like this film, despite fully knowing so many people hate it.

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Lego Batman (2017): What a smart, funny, dialogue savvy film. The best Lego movie and one of the finest DC movies.

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Fifty First Dates: I remember loving this film as a child, and eagerly ordered the DVD when I stumbled upon it. It’s still good – a strange mix of Adam Sandler’s best and worst sides. I can at least let my Adam Sandler movies I actually like list grow to three – The Wedding Singer, Mona Lisa smile and Fifty First Dates. The rest remain garbage though.

lethal weapon

Lethal Weapon 3 – I got the third and the fourth movie to watch after Zoe and I watched the first two. I had a great time with this one as well, and the three movies I’ve seen are all equally good. How looky was Mel Gibson before he became the bitter old white man?

grease

Grease – It really seems unnatural the way John Travolta’s hips move in this film. How young was he?! How young was Olivia Newton John?! Had a lot of fun watching Grease, but it is undeniably a long film.

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Sy Klink Soos Lente – I got in my Afrikaans fix twice in films the past few months. Both (the second below) made me so happy and proud of my language and what we are achieving in cinema. Sy Klink Soos Lente is funny, smart and sweet, and I have watched it once more since the first time.

Vir die Voels

Vir Die Voëls – Same as the above. The writing is significantly better than most South-African films, and there is an awareness of dialogue in both these films that impressed me. It’s not just words, it is how Afrikaans people speak. I will definitely sit down for this again!

Eat Pray Love – I grabbed this off the shelf for something to watch with my mom. I’ve always liked this film, but this time around I found myself slightly irritated with the level of first world problems the character experiences – it’s just so much easier to have a midlife tantrum when you can travel the world. Javier Bardem in this remains gorgeous.

The lord of the rings

The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King: My heart. I am so attached to these films. They are everything. I actually don’t want to review them – how to bring justice to some of the best films ever made? My heart.

Justice league 2017

Justice League – Yep, seemed to have done this in November/December too! To be perfectly honest I enjoyed this more than – gasp – Star Wars. It is definitely one of the better offerings from DC.

Italian Job Poster

The Italian Job (2003) – Another Blindspot off my list! This went okay, just not a favourite Blindspot this year.

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Zoë got me the best Christmas gift EVER – all the way from England (I’m still naive enough to get such a massive kick from an international shipment). DOWNTON ABBEY BOXSET!!!!! I cannot describe my intense love for this show – it is simply so wonderful. I am already on to season two, and the sarcastic remarks, the amazing running commentary of the Dowager Countess, and the unbearably lovely Matthew Crawley (SOB) keeps my so entertained my pinkie is going to shoot in to the air anytime soon.

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I actually have read way too much to even remember. I am still busy with Under Rose Tainted Skies – it’s good, just very angsty. I’ll finish it soon and tell you all about it, but teenagers are generally difficult to deal with and this one even more so. I am currently devouring Marian Keyes’ This Charming Man, arguably my most favourite read of hers. It’s written so well and flows through the course of the story easily. I also revisited Laurian Clemence’s Mushy Peas on Toast, one of my favourite South-African reads ever, and consumed an unhealthy amount of Nora Roberts. Nora is a spiral – I will read so much of her and then not look at another author for ages, which is lazy and unhealthy on my part. I know I read the two books in the Stanislaski brothers again – which I enjoy despite my opinion on Ukranians not quite matching Nora’s, I also read one of the MacKade books (Return of Jared MacKade), and revisited the Guardians Trilogy. I also read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them (the original book, not the play, which I avoid on principle), and this makes me in the mood for Harry Potter, a complete reread. Who knows, maybe I will even watch the movies as a series. I am also in the mood to read Eat, Pray, Love again by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s the True North of my love of her books, and I’d like to experience it all over again.

What were you up to this festive season? Let me know!

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December 2016: Watched, Read, Loved

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Happy 2017 everyone! I pretty much disappeared from the blog in December. I needed a break. I often am way too harsh on myself about blogging – wanting desperately to post five times a week. It is important to remind myself though that blogging is supposed to be fun and for times where I actually have the time. So I gave it a bit of a break and I am back feeling all refreshed!

It was also quite a sad December globally with the deaths of George Michael and Carrie Fisher. It seemed like 2016 kept knocking everyone down and I am really glad it ended. Let’s hope for a peaceful and fantastic 2017.

Series Watched:

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Vampire Diaries Season 5: I am currently stalling with this season. It is a pretty rotten season and by far the worst of all the seasons so far. I need to finish it up but definitely not feeling all the bullshit of the season.

Alias season 1 and 2: EEK! I am having so much fun! It is so much fun! I can’t wait to review this.

Movies Watched:

star-wars

Rogue One: A Star Wars movie. It was good, great excitement and all. I did like The Force Awakens better though.

memento

Memento: This was my second last blindspot for 2016. It is mind tingling and interesting, well directed and acted. Definitely worthy of watching, despite me taking ages to get it done!

Annie: I put this on for my mother to watch. It was okay – very singy and full of children but not overly offensive. It’s definitely a film that parents can watch with their children without wanting to cry because it is so boring.

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Twilight: I had such a weak moment! Want to review them all at some stage again.

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Scream 1, 2 and 3: this was so much fun. I’m planning to do the fourth one soon. Great entertainment!

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A Nightmare on Elm Street: Same here. I am having way too much fun with these old school thrillers.

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:  second time watching this and I loved it way too much.

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The DUFF: I am racking up the watches on this film. I showed it to my mom and my bestie on separate occasions and they both really enjoyed it. Why so much hate against this film? I know it is completely different from the book, but the additions worked really well.

The Departed: The Departed is a film my bestie has told me to watch or be disowned. So I watched it with her just to make sure she had the evidence and everything 😀 did I like it? Yeah. Excellent performances and directing all around. I got a bit exhausted with the length of it, and that is about the only thing I didn’t like.

Me Before You (2016): after reading the thought provoking book I was quite amped for the film. I pushed it back when the reviews didn’t garner the most promising reviews I pushed it back. Bestie and I watched it on our visit, and it was okay. Not really bad, but Me Before You doesn’t carry as much emotional baggage as the book does.

cruel-intentions

Cruel Intentions: What a deranged film. I enjoyed it, but wow, deranged. Not something to watch with your parents, if you weren’t already aware.

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Ocean’s Eleven:  I really liked this! Heist films done right is a treat for the soul man. Clooney and Pitt together? There can’t be a better idea out there.

seven

Seven:  I got to see a young Brad Pitt as the excitable and young cop and Morgan Freeman as the intelligent, calm cop. It’s quite dark and deals with a demented serial killer. It had a dark and depressing atmosphere.

Books Read:

Dawson’s Creek – this is a compilation of short stories based on the series. I’d love to watch the series at some stage, but the book isn’t worth reviewing.

The Collaborator – Margaret Leroy – I can’t wait to post this! I really loved the book, and was so unhappy when I finished it.

The Martian – Andy Weir. The Martian was my favorite film of 2015, and I really wanted to get my hands on the novel. However, I’m struggling at this stage to get through it as it contains some unnecessary jargon in my opinion.

What were you up to in December? Tell me!

Life Lately

Social media causes fights. I was in the most intense disagreement on Facebook last Friday. It is so ridiculous that people seem to think they can attack you on your (very innocent) status and then get a fit when they are put in their place. Said person has since unfriended me, but I am completely okay with it. BUT I am still astonished to see how bigoted and idiotic people are. I am gobsmacked that people don’t realise that what they put on Facebook and Twitter can negatively impact their careers. That putting something out there can say something about your country or race when the majority really doesn’t feel that way. I am shocked that people who I grew up with, who had exactly the same opportunities as I, raised in the same social-economic environment, can become so completely weird and blind. It makes me truly, truly sad.

A Trio of losses.

Three greats died this week in three important circles: Paul Walker in Entertainment, Baby Jakes Matlala in sport, and then of course the colossal President Nelson Mandela of my home country, South-Africa. I am so honoured that the world is grieving with us. Currently, 70 heads of states are flying in for his funeral, which is the greatest amount of leaders ever gathered for a funeral. That, in itself, speaks of his legacy. This past few days I have witness our great nation once again showing the world who we are: Broken, sure, but mending and refusing to be told who we should be. We are once again united, and stand firm against the grief that threatens to overwhelm us.

Moving on

I have been trying to block out most of the Mandela coverage now. Save for news bulletins and tweets, I am trying to function. It is very difficult to actually read other news too, and rightly so, but I don’t want to get caught up in the frenzy. It has been exhausting this weekend, and I am too much affected by any news, always. So this weekend we went to Monte Casino, played ten pin bowling (I SUCK at it), watched Catching Fire and then ate and the Met Grill. It was lovely and I felt much better for it.

Unisa Results

The final release dates for all results is now the 20th of December. It irritates me to no end. I need to plan my syllabus for next year, you know. And who keeps results till 5 days before Christmas?!

I seriously need to buy Christmas presents. Like ASAP and I have no idea what to get. Perhaps I am slower than usual because I still can’t get my head around the fact that it is DECEMBER.

Movies: I finally saw Catching Fire after weeks for delays, and it was so amazing. This weekend I will hopefully watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I hope it is good. I wasn’t overly impressed with the first movie (A lot of theatrics and very little loyalty to the book) so I will reserve judgement for now. Also, I re-watched one of my favourite movies, PS, I love You. I have always enjoyed that film and to me, that is Gerard Butler in his prime. He is gorgeous, and kudos to Hilary Swank’s Holly for getting over his death – just not sure if I would have done it.

Currently reading: Beautiful Creatures (my 74th book). It is odd, but still good enough to try and finish it. I am nearly on holiday, so then I will most likely be closing in on 100 books if I have nothing else to do but read. Which is unlikely, since it is December and everyone and their aunt has a function, but I will do my best.

Speaking of holidays:  This is my last week at work, and between power-cuts, closed off roads (for the Nelson Mandela memorial at Soccer City FNB Stadium) and dumb nurses, life is going to be interesting. I apologise for any rants that may occur, blog or elsewhere. I can’t wait for the holidays. I am planning a visit to my best friend, who lives in the hottest place on the planet (okay, that is slightly exaggerating but Nelspruit is pretty toasty) and furthermore just relaxing back home. I really, really need it. I am at that point where I am likely to snap quickly.

Life Lately

December is AIDS awareness month

Get tested. AIDS is not a death sentence if properly treated. South-Africa has some of the highest infection rates across the globe, so if you live here, it is essential to know you and your partner’s status. Getting tested means you are responsible and smart.

Catching Fire

Everyone is RAVING about it and I really need to watch it. Maybe I can catch it tomorrow. I really want to see how good it is, and have even reread the books to prepare for potential bitching.

Paul Walker

Death is something that reach us all, no matter our celebrity status. The world was reminded of that when Paul Walker tragically died in a car accident this weekend. His death is so incredibly sad. He died doing what he loves, and there should be some consolation there. I’ve always enjoyed the Fast and the Furious movies, and now I will always be sad when watching it – like seeing Heath Ledger in any of his movies.

Warrior Race

We went to support my brother-in-law and his teammates this past Saturday when they participated in the Warrior Race. My sisters and I are contemplating joining them in 2014, which means becoming extremely fit. It seems like a great thing to work towards to – I always need motivation and something to aim for.

Nelspruit

It is almost time to see my best friend in the whole wide world, Zoë. I can’t wait!

Vacation time

I’m going on vacation in two weeks. This year has been so long. I can’t wait to do absolutely nothing.

Book Challenge

I am busy reading my 72nd book for my book challenge – Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts. It is a great read. The posts are relatively backed up, so I hope to catch up this week.

Best of 2013.

During the next few weeks I will post some Best of 2013 posts. Look out for it!

Unisa

Finally finished my exams last week. Now I am just waiting for good news and then it is registering for 2014. Rock on, studies!