Monday, July 1, 2019


What I've Been Reading
The Land Before Avocado by Richard Glover -  I read this last year and enjoyed it, but not as much as his previous work. Listening to Richard read was far more enjoyable. His humour is dry and whilst I got it on the page, hearing him nuance his own words was a better experience.

Curveballs: how to keep it together when life tries to tear you a new one by Emma Markezic -  Emma was a journalist and comedian who got breast cancer. It knocked her around and was awful but she handled it well. Which made her investigate why some people handle things better than others. Sort of a low brow version of Leigh Sales’ Any Ordindary Day, this investigates how people navigate bad shit. Using tips of how she handled her situation throughout this is a cross between a memoir and a self help book with a lot of humour thrown in. I enjoyed it, and of course related to a lot of it, but it wasn’t the best thing I have read on the subject.

My Reading Mojo has been off this month...sigh...

What I've Been Watching

Aquaman- this was a lot of fun, I enjoyed it. There is not much to say, it is an action man film, Jason Mamoa was great and funny.

Instant Family - this was ok, I am not a huge fan of Mark Wahlberg, and it was about a couple who become foster parents. There were some laughs within, but ultimately it was very ordinary.

Colette - what can I say, how many of my favourite books, or greats of literature that Keira Knightley can ruin. I am so not a fan of hers. However, Colette wasn't too bad. She was still mildly annoying, but the film itself was great. I do love a period drama that works well. 

The Upside -  the US remake of The Intouchables. About  an African American (Kevin Hart) who swindles his way in to look after a very rich quadriplegic (Bryan Cranston). The French original was a black comedy with a whole lot of heart. This tried but was not. The sickly American ending irritated me too!  It was watchable I guess, but if you have seen the original, don’t even bother, I wish I hadn’t!

The Front Runner – captivating political thriller based on the real life events surrounding Gary Hart. Hugh Jackman is great as Hart, as were the supporting actors working around him and against him .

Withnail and I- rewatched this brilliant classic again, those boys, I love them so. Grant just shines as the most unshiny character lol!!! It never dates and it always amuses.

Dawn French: 30 Million Minutes - 2 hours of stunning life stories and humour from French. It is not all laughs, she opens up her life threadbare and it is brilliant. 

Hang Ups S1 - This is a great little show. Steve Mangan is a web therapist who operates from home. The show is mostly all through screens, whether skyping his family or the web therapy itself. It is funny and silly but worth a watch.

The Good Place S3 – I love this show, it has a lot of heart plus my fave, Ted Danson. He is just brilliant in everything he does! It is a feel good comedy which normally irritates me, but this is done well without being too sugary and focuses this season on what if you got a second chance at life! It plays with these fascinating ideas about life and death, and afterworlds, and paying for what you did in life, are we good or bad people, can we be better or is it just the world we live in! Always makes me smile and think!

Mum S1 and S2 - I stumbled across this earlier in the year by accident and fell in love. It is a simple premise and sweet British comedy, without being too saccharine. It is 6 episodes over a year, with S1 commencing with the funeral of Cathy's husband and the subsequent ones, her getting on with life. Each show is in her house and features her son and his no filter bimbo girlfriend, her brother and his uptight partner, her husband's parents and his friend Michael, who may or may not be in love with her. It is funny in how life is funny, it is also poignant and clever, and actually incredibly subtle. The Fabulous Lesley Manville is Cathy, and she is perfect in her amusement and at times, despair at life. S2 continues with much of the same, although there may be a small excruciating movement between Cathy and Michael....or not... I cannot recommend this highly enough.

What I've Been Listening To
Nali and Friends by Dan Sultan  - a kids album with stories and songs about animals and the land, really good and fun.

Aviary takes by Dan Sultan – Dan is really knocking it out of the park at the moment. His new album is great, he covers his own songs (and some others including a great version of Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days Are Over) in a sort of stripped back version with either guitar or piano. As always, worth a listen.

Elton John - been listening to all the early Elton - the best Elton - on vinyl.

Van Morrison - always Van the Man!!!

WTF with Marc Maron -  loving this so much, Marc interviews all sorts of interesting people and what he doesn't know about pop culture isn't worth knowing!

R U Talkin' REM Re Me -  I am not sold on this podcast, it is meant to be an album by album review of all U2 and then REM albums with Adam Scott (Parks and Recs) and Scott Aukerman who call themself Adam Scott Aukerman. BUt mostly it is almost 2 hours of them riffing, which is ok, but mostly not about U2 or REM and certainly not much about the albums. When they do talk about the actual topic it is great and at times their riffing is interesting, but with so much other amazing content out there, I wish they would edit this much heavier.

Plus the usual suspects, Unspooled, Here's the Thing, Live and Vivid, Chats 10, Looks 3

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