Monday, 28 January 2019

10 THINGS TO SEE AT GLASGOW FILM FESTIVAL

It might still only be January, but Scotland's year of festivals is well underway. Next to roll round is the super fun and friendly Glasgow Film Festival, who announced their 2019 programme last week.

Glasgow Film Fest pride themselves on being the perfect movie mix, meaning they've got something for everyone - from indie arthouse features to classic Hollywood films, rare cult gems and nostalgic retro parties. This year they're boasting over 300 screenings, talks and events, with 7 world premieres, 102 UK premieres and 49 Scottish premieres, all packed into 12 days at the end of February.

There's loads to choose from, but to give you a helping hand, I've picked out ten events that caught my eye!


1. The Hole in the Ground I already find sinkholes pretty scary, so I am intrigued by this supernatural thriller. There's a deep dark wood, a creepy child, and a giant sinkhole? Count me in.

2. Maiden 30 years ago, an all-female crew undertook an incredible around-the-world voyage that challenged every prejudice of the sailing established. This documentary looks so interesting, as the crew look back on their nine-month battle against the elements and sexist men.

3. Benjamin Fancy going to a film festival to watch a film about watching a film at another film festival? Sounds pretty meta, but Simon Amstell is a bit of a genius, and directs this fresh and endearing romantic comedy about a filmmaker struggling with self-doubt and self-sabotage when he meets someone new.

4. Aquarela Sometimes you just need to sit back and take in the world, and this sounds just the ticket. Travelling from the frozen waters of Russia's Lake Baikal to the mighty Angel Falls in Venezuela, this immersive documentary promotions a mind-blowing fusion of sound and vision in an epic film which captures the raw, glorious power of water and its impact on the planet.

5. The Vanishing Scotland makes some pretty great thrillers, so I'm looking forward to this lighthouse mystery, starring Peter Mullan and Gerard Butler. Based on the true story of the Flannan Isle mystery, this follows three lighthouse keepers who arrive on an uninhabited Scottish island.

6. The Blair Witch Project GFF have a great rep for their special events and this year is packed with them! Top of the list is the genuinely-terrifying sounding Blair Witch screening in a secret-location, which is flagged not for the faint-hearted! Luckily there's two versions if you fancy it, but are a bit of a wimp - an afternoon event for scaredy cats who fancy a thrill, and an evening event for the hardcore horror fans!

7. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure If there's no way you are going to an immersive horror party, but still want an event cinema experience, try this! Dress up as your favourite historical figure, and get ready for some inter-century partying, dude.

8. Character Makeup with Danny Marie Elias One of my favourite things about film festivals is the fascinating look you get behind the scenes when you listen to a filmmaker talk about their work. Making movies is just so cool! This event is free (!), and promises an interesting chat and live prosthetics demo with one of the UK's leading makeup and prosthetics artists.

9. Freaks If you haven't guessed, I have a tendency to gravitate towards creepy sci-fi thrillers, so I'm pretty pleased GFF have loads on other! Freaks stars the very handsome Emile Hirsch, who plays a paranoid father, in a film that is packed with sci-fi action and dystopian chills.

10. The Empire Podcast with Michael Palin Join the award-winning Empire podcast and their very, very, very special guest Michael Palin (!!) for a chat about film, movie reviews and GFF. What a great way to finish off your festival experience!

Glasgow Film Festival runs 20th February - 3rd March and you can browse their whole programme here.

Monday, 21 January 2019

BLACK & BEECH

For the last few years I've tried to make an effort to buy more from local and independent brands, and I'm always impressed by the number I find that are on a mission to do great things and support great people, as well as making super cool products.

Fuck the Male Gaze embroidered tee
Enter Black & Beech. Initially making teething jewellery aimed at style-conscious mums, the brand has expanded to celebrate empowerment and intersectional feminism, making jewellery, stationery, apparel, prints, and other merch to their range.

Black & Beech support equality and donate to Abortion Support Network, and have raised funds for Together for Yes, Terminations for Medical Reasons and In her shoes:Women of the 8th, amongst others. In other words, they are good eggs! And their products are pretty, powerful and packed with important messages.

Liberté, Egalité, Sororité tee
As it's January (and ergo, I have no spending money) I'm stuck with just eyeing up the things I like until payday rolls around. But when it does, I'm ready! I love this Do No Harm pendant, it's pretty and subtle, but is such a good mantra! I love this tee (and this one, oh and that one too). I think 2019 is a good year to shout about the things you believe in, and this is a nice way to do that with your wardrobe!

Monday, 14 January 2019

OUTFIT: MONKI & LEOPARD

Let me introduce you to my new favourite slouchy cardigan and boots combo! I've been on the hunt for a brown cardigan for aaaaages, and was lucky enough to find this under the Christmas tree - it's the perfect shade of chestnut (it matches my hair! I'm into that) has pockets, and basically feels like I'm wearing a giant blanket, which ticks all of my winter boxes.

Cardigan - Monki
Dress - Monki (via ASOS)
Boots - New Look (via ASOS)
I got some Christmas ASOS vouchers, so I treated myself to some leopard print boots (they are cute and comfy, and I treat leopard print like a neutral so I'm wearing them with everything), and a Monki wrap dress (which is now down to a bargainous £13 in the sale!).

I discovered Monki last year and I am in love. If you're not clued up, Monki's the Swedish fashion brand owned by H&M. It's just as affordable, but quirkier and cooler. 

They mix bright colours and bold prints with Scandi style and good shapes - their clothes are pretty much perfect for my body shape, and it is such a delight to find skirts and dresses that seem designed for normal body shapes (they come with sleeves! They don't surprise you with weird backless panels! They almost always have pockets!).

Hello, I still don't know how to pose in these photos, no #fashionblogger editorials here
I love dresses like this, as you can make them pretty casual (like this) which I'm wear to work or on the weekend (my life/work wardrobe is essentially interchangeable) or lose the cardigan-blanket, wear different shoes and it becomes a Nice Dress! Win win win.

Monday, 7 January 2019

HELLO 2019

Well, here we are. It's a new year, and with that, the deafening proclamations of intent across all social media platforms - I'll do this! I'll be better at that! Resolutions can be really fun, but this year? Hmm, I'm not sure my heart is in it.


I love the first week of the year, when the world starts to return to normal but there's a certain stillness, an agreed slowness to it all. I always enjoy that final pause before I return to normal life - it's a time to reflect, to plan for the year, to get your home and mind in order, and to recognise the importance of things and feelings that might have passed you by in the whirlwind of the year behind you.

I feel happy and calm at the moment, and I'm just curious to see what comes next. It's not a big bold statement, and part of me feels like I'm sort of lacking, that I'm not running to take the year by the horns, or setting myself a million goals. Sure, there's things I'd like to do this year. I want to take another evening class, I want to start swimming, I'd like to explore more of Scotland, I'd like to go on an alpaca trek (am I just looking for ever more creative ways to fill the gap of a dog in my life? Shhh), I want to get more confident at cooking, and I want to spend less time with my phone and more time with a book (like every millennial in the world), but I definitely do not want to give myself to-do lists, when I have enough of them in my working life!

I think I'm just a bit sick of the grind, the idea that you must be striving to achieve at all times. I don't want to! So I'm not. Instead of setting myself goals and feeling that I have things! to! do! I'm just going to take some practical steps and let the good times follow. I've bought a swimsuit (there's a victorian swimming pool one minute from my house, which I've never been to, this feels like a missed opportunity), I've signed up for one of Edinburgh University's evening classes (I'm so excited to learn things without the stress of exams at the end), and I've deleted my work email from my phone (to hopefully end the habit of impulsively checking it all the time).

I know these are basically resolutions by another name, but the simple step of just reframing them as options-I-have rather than objectives-to-complete makes me feel so much more relaxed, and excited to see what I'll get out of it, and what surprises 2019 has in store.

Whether you are setting resolutions or not, I hope you can also shrug off the nonsense pressure about reinventing yourself and your life choices at this time of year. January is tough enough (and the world is overall, a bit gloomy) without heaping the pressure on yourself. So don't! Just have fun, be kind, and do it at your own pace, and it'll all come together.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

LOOKING BACK AT 2018

Well, hello 2019! Just like that, the year is over, and before I get deep into reflecting on what's to come, I thought it might be quite nice to share what I got up to in 2018.

This was a pretty tiring year for me. Lots of great things happened, but I also spent a lot more time worrying and stressing about things than was probably healthy (some of that was unavoidable, but some was totally in my control - have I learned my lesson? We'll see). But I got to go to amazing places! And I did cool things. And I have very wonderful, funny, smart people in my life! Overall, I guess you weren't too bad, 2018.

Here's how my year went.

January

The year got off to a pretty excellent start, with a week in Fuerteventura to celebrate my ace boyfriend's birthday (I blogged about the trip here if you want to see where we went). The weather was beautiful, the company was loads of fun, and the very best bit - we climbed a volcanic crater where we discovered loads of tiny ground squirrels that clambered all over you!

I always find January a bit flat and grey, so it was so much fun to have something big to look forward to, and go adventuring so early in the year!
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