Random Posts

Lockdown Day 14 & Downhill (2020)

Here we are, at the end of week 2. I feel strangely better about all of this than I did this time last week. Maybe I’m starting to accept this as my new life now. Who knows when our lives will be back to normal and we can see our family and friends again? One thing is for sure, my Facebook feed is as toxic as ever. Our lockdown rules allow us outside once a day for exercise and yes, there are people ignoring the rules. They’re gathering in huge groups and filling parks, etc. So today’s big news was that if that doesn’t stop, we won’t even be allowed exercise.

My question? What are the police/government doing about these large gatherings? Because if they can’t control them now, how do they expect to be able to enforce a full lockdown? It’s an empty threat, at the end of the day.

For our little household, we’ve been enjoying the nicer weather in our garden and in the woods for our 1 trip out, as well as doing lots of arts and crafts at home. It mostly leaves me too tired to really do anything else by the time the little one is in bed, but it fills our day so what more can I ask for? My daughter wakes up each morning with a big smile on her face, and never wants it to be bedtime in the evening so if all my efforts mean she’s shielded from this mess, I reckon that’s enough.

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Last night I watched Downhill (2020) which was a movie Ii really wanted to see at the cinema, but the times were always rubbish and it only showed for 2 weeks. That’s a thought though, I don’t think I’ll complain about crap timings at the cinema again when they reopen. I’ll go and see everything I can, at whatever time they show it!

Anyway! I was expecting Downhill to be a complete disaster, and it kind of was. I almost turned it off after 15 minutes from sheer boredom but it got better. The mood and vibe of the movie was all over the place, though. With Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the leads I was expecting a comedy but it was surprisingly…more of a drama? Like, it wanted to be Marriage Story (2019) but it just felt…awkward. Julia Louis-Dreyfus was brilliant though, she stole the show in every scene.

I’m sorry I haven’t been catching up with anyone else’s’ blog lately. Weirdly, in a time we’re all stuck at home I’ve found myself with less free time on my hands than ever before, but I’ll make it up to you eventually, I promise. For now, I just hope you’re keeping happy and safe ❤

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Going Off Topic (#24) You’re My Therapy

Does anyone else’s January suck, like, hard? Because man, I’m so over this month. I know things always have a way of looking up after a while but I’m struggling right now. And I’ve always felt better by writing/typing things out so, if you’ll excuse me, I need to do some venting. You can just scroll down to the more colourful section of this post if you like where I’ll actually be talking about fun stuff.

My car went in for a service and afterwards I was handed a long, expensive list of parts that needed replacing. That meant almost 2 weeks worth of driving a dodgy car, trying to sort out my work situation so that the car could actually be in the garage, and of course the money. It was a lot. So much in fact that my credit card is maxed out. Which wouldn’t be so bad if I could just slowly pay it off, but I have no money left at the end of the month to do that. Not until my little girl gets some free childcare time, which won’t happen till January 2021.

Our house has been plagued by the usual germs and illnesses that January brings. I don’t think I’ve slept more than 5-6 hours on any night this month so far. I’m exhausted. Work has been awful. I only work for a tiny company so when 2 of my colleagues are treating me like shit on their shoe, it leaves me with basically no one to talk to in the day. I stormed out of the office last week and worked from the sofa area of the building, and they haven’t spoken to me since.

At the start of Feb in 2018, I accepted I was struggling too much with being a Mum, saw a doctor, and went on anti-depressants. Things got better and I went off them in the summer. At the start of Feb in 2019, I accepted I was struggling way too much again, saw a doctor, and went on anti-depressants. I stayed on them longer that time, but was off them again by the end of summer. You can see where this is going, can’t you? Every day I struggle, some days harder than others. I really, really don’t want to go back to medication though. Am I good Mum? I don’t think so. I sure don’t feel like it half the time. I love her more than anything in the world, and there’s nothing more upsetting than feeling like I’m failing her.

She’s amazing. She’s hilarious, she’s adorable, and she’s so darn smart. But she’s 2. She throws tantrums that amaze me. Sometimes I stay strong and other times I either shout back or hand her a chocolate biscuit to calm the storm. She’s never slept well, and everything I read or am told is that it’s normal, but I can’t help but feel like maybe I did something wrong. I don’t know. It’s a constant feeling of not knowing if I’m ever doing the right thing. But I love her, and I’ll never stop trying.

Right. This is getting a bit depressing, isn’t it? Let’s talk movies!

Despite it all, I’ve kicked 2020 off right when it comes to movies. I usually managed around 10-11 per month but I’ve already seen 17 so that feels good. Apart from last week I’ve been going to the cinema twice a week too which I’ve really enjoyed! I’m hoping to catch The Personal History of David Copperfield this week. The Grudge is out too, but I don’t think I’ll be making that trip!

The BAFTAs are this Sunday so expect a predictions post from me very soon. I’m hilariously bad at predicting anything so you can always have a laugh at my expense. I’m also very close to finally finishing my Top 100 Movies of the Decade posts which I thought I would have done by New Year. Whoops.

I finished Season 2 of You. Man, I love that show so much. I actually held back on watching the last episode because I didn’t want it to be over. I still haven’t finished The Witcher but Toss a Coin to your Witcher plays on repeat on my way into work lately. Everyone is raving about Season 2 of Sex Education but I couldn’t get into it when it first came out. I tried again last night and liked it a lot better so who knows?

So for now, I’m a bit behind on blog stuff but I’m not going anywhere. You’ll find me on YouTube watching Adam Driver‘s SNL skits from Saturday, cheering myself up.

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Going Off Topic (#20) A Short Hiatus

I’m taking a break for a couple of weeks. Since I got back from holiday last month I’ve really struggled to stay active, and it’s led to me having a huge catch-up day of writing my own posts and reading everyone else’s posts, then feeling burnt out and staying away for 3-4 days at a time, only to play catch up again. It’s honestly starting to make blogging feel like a chore and I don’t want it to be that way!

I just feel so out of the loop at the moment, there are movies coming out in the cinema and on Netflix etc that I’ve never even heard of, and I’m usually so in the know. I just want to take a couple of weeks to get my head sorted and my personal life in check, and perhaps get a few posts drafted up ready for when I come back.

I’m far from giving up on my blog though, I absolutely adore it. I love logging in to see new comments, and reading other posts to add to my watch list!

There are a few new releases I’m really excited about. Zombieland: Double Tap comes out in the UK this week, I’m growing ever more impatient for Knives Out to be released, and we’re bound to be getting a Rise of Skywalker trailer soon! Speaking of which, we’re getting THREE Adam Driver movies before Christmas. So there’s that!

I’m trying to catch up on TV Shows, too. I gave up on Mr. Robot for a while but I’m working my way through Season 3, and I’m all caught up with Superstore now which I really enjoyed. Plus, we’re getting new episodes of The Good Place on Netflix so there’s a lot to look forward to.

My little girl turns two tomorrow. I’ve actually kept a little human alive for 2 whole years! Go me. She’s growing up into the funniest kid as well, she brings a smile to the face of anyone and everyone who meets her! The lucky little kid has 3 birthday cakes, too. She took one into nursery with her this morning to share with her friends, and they’re all going to sing happy birthday to her. Then we’ve got family over on Saturday evening so I bought a cake for that. On Sunday, she’s got her official party with her friends so there’s another cake for that!

But yeah. I’m sorry to up and leave for a while. But it’s taken me over 5 hours to even write this post, so I need to step back for a little bit. In the words of Arnie, “Put that cookie down, now!”

Err, I mean…I’ll be back.

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Going Off Topic (#15) A brief look back at 2018

At first it felt really weird typing the title for this post – almost like I was actually so good at blogging I was writing in advance – but then I realised just how close the end of the year is. I know it’s cliche to say but where has the year gone guys?!

2018 has been one of craziest, rollercoaster years for me. It started on a huge low when I finally came to terms with the fact that actually, I wasn’t coping very well with being a new parent and sought out some help. Then things slowly started to get better.

The UK had its best summer I think since records began (don’t quote me on that) and as someone who usually prefers the winter, I was absolutely loving it. I have so many photos of trips to the park we took, either for picnics or just for walks. It was such a blessing and really helped brighten my mood.

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I went back to work towards the end of Summer which was rough, but I settled in much better than I thought I would. I miss my little girl like crazy but as bad as it may sound, getting a break from being a parent and just getting stuck into work did me the world of good.

Between all the illnesses kids get when they first start nursery, day to day stress, and sleep regression caused by teething, growing, goodness knows what – I’m currently not getting a lot of sleep. I’m also off my medication now and my mood has been pretty up and down. I’m working through it though and getting stuck back into blogging, I find writing in general quite therapeutic and hey, Christmas is around the corner so who can be glum at this time of year?!

Before writing this post I had a look back at my 2018 New Year Resolutions post I wrote. I knew it was going to be a disappointment but I have my excuses at least! Here’s what I promised myself I would achieve this year:

1 – Get back into blogging, and stay active (at least once a week) for the entire year

I’m going to count this one as a half win. There have been several occasions this year that I’ve disappeared for up to 3 weeks, but when I’ve been active I’ve been posting around 3 times a week – so whilst not ideal, I don’t think I failed this one completely.

2 – Watch 52 new movies

This one I’ve smashed. At the start of the year, I was barely watching any movies at all so this seemed like a daunting task at first, but I gained my passion for movies back in the middle of the year so as of right now, I’ve seen 96 movies this year. I might even double my target by 31st December!

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3 – Read 6 new books

HAH. I failed this miserably. I read so many books whilst I was pregnant and whilst my little girl was still a little newborn potato baby that I thought a book every 2 months would be easy. My potato baby is now 1 year old and needs constant supervision and as a result, I read a grand total of ONE book this year. Lame!

Has anyone else looked back at their resolutions yet? How did you do?

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Going Off Topic #14 – 1,000 Movies Later

So this is quite exciting! Since I opened a Letterboxd account around 3 years ago, I’ve not only kept a movie diary to log all the movies I watch (and my ratings) but also put a good few hours into logging every movie I’ve seen previously. Whilst I can’t say for sure I managed to remember them all – I’ve spent enough time on it to be able to say I’m 99% confident that I located them all.

Why is this exciting do you ask? Well, when I watched Bohemian Rhapsody last week and logged it in my movie diary, I realised it was my 1,000th movie! I have officially seen 1,000 movies in my lifetime. I know that number means very little to a lot of movie bloggers out there but it’s a pretty cool milestone!

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It also marks the 81st movie I’ve seen this year…I’m hoping the festive period will give me the final push I need to make my target of 100 for the year!

Speaking of the end of the year on its way…I’m gearing up for the festive season! I’m off to see The Grinch tonight (an odd choice maybe for the self-proclaimed Queen of Christmas) and on the weekend we’re going to get stuck into Christmas shopping and decorating the house. Last Christmas was really odd having such a small baby so I’m extra excited for this year! Santa has already started getting presents ready…

Do you know what’s weird though? I don’t feel like this year has a big Christmas release at the cinema. We had the Hobbit movies for 3 years running, then Star Wars Episode VII, Rogue One, Star Wars Episode VIII…and then what? Fantastic Beasts is out next week, that’s too early. I’m looking forward to Aquaman but I don’t feel the hype…Disney really should have let Solo have a Christmas release.

Anyway, however you’re spending it, I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

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Going Off Topic #13 – Parenting: 1 Year In

44265550_10217821723441193_4970120654394228736_nSo it’s official, my little girl has officially lived longer than any houseplant I’ve ever owned. I’d say she’s the only living thing I’ve kept alive this long but my 2 cats are going to be 5 this year, but in their defence, they pretty much look after themselves. It was Daisy’s 1st Birthday yesterday and her big family party is tomorrow afternoon, so whilst I’ve been too busy retrieving balls from the ball pit and baking cakes I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the last year.

Being a parent is tough, guys. Everyone warns you about how tiring it is and how you’ll miss all the sleep you used to get, but there are so many other things I wish I was better prepared for. It’s been an absolute joy, of course, I mean my once little potato-baby is now a proper little person on the verge of walking all by herself, with one of the funniest personalities I’ve ever known.

I’d geared myself up for sleep deprivation. It’s tough, but I’ve never been a big sleeper and I don’t ever nap in the day so most days I can deal with it, but you know what they don’t warn you about?

Worrying – So. Much. Worrying. Especially in the early days. What did parents do before the days of Google? I have lost count of the number of searches I’ve done about poop, nap schedules, milestones, and heaps more. I’m still guilty of trying to compare my little girl to babies of a similar age, wondering whether she’s developing as quickly as she should be.

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In fact, let me use this post as a little page of advice I wish I could give myself a year ago. Here you go, Allie from the past, here’s what I wish you knew then that I know now!

Disappointment – There are going to be people in your life that let you down. There are some that you think will be super close to your little one, but they aren’t. Thing is, although your world completely revolves around her, they have lives of their own – and they won’t be knocking on your door every week to see her or message you all the time to ask how she’s doing. There will be others who you were personally really close to, but having a baby wrecks your social life and you won’t see or speak to them as much anymore. It’s tough to come to terms with, but you’ll get there.

Schedules – Oh, the schedules. Who knew babies didn’t come with one and followed them perfectly? You work so hard to get them into a routine of feeding and napping that works with your day, and then they throw it out the window and you have to work a new one out. I wish I’d learned sooner to try and go with the flow a little better.

Standards – Before your baby is born, there are going to be so many things that make you say “I’m not going to do that as a parent”. You might stick to some of them, but you’re soon going to realise that giving your baby a dummy to soothe her, or bringing a tablet loaded with kid’s shows to a restaurant isn’t a bad thing. It makes life easier, it’s harming no-one, there should be no shame!

Advice – Advice from anyone without a baby is going to wind you the hell up. Who in their right mind came up with the advice, ‘Sleep when the baby sleeps’. Firstly – who can sleep on demand anyway? Secondly – what if the baby will only sleep if she’s lying on your chest? Scrap that even – WHAT IF THE BABY JUST DOESN’T SLEEP?

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Post Natal Depression – This has been tough. It’s so hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it themselves, but it’s real and it’s so hard to deal with. It ties into every other single problem in this list. It means going for walks in the snow in the darkest days of winter to reset your batteries, it means trying to make excuses to get out of social events because you can only cope with leaving the house if it fits exactly into the schedule you’ve worked so hard to develop. Again – people aren’t going to understand, and even assume you’re being lousy and lame for backing out, but it gets better.

As horrible as all of this is – it’s so, so worth it at the end of the day. Celebrating those milestones, having strangers tell you how adorable your little one is, seeing her smiles, hearing her laugh, and recently, having her launch herself at you whilst saying ‘Mumumumum’ makes all the heartache worth it.

Sure, by 6pm I find myself counting down the minutes until her bedtime, but the second she’s asleep? My phone is open so I can look at photos of her and then I miss her. What a rollercoaster…

(Sorry if you’ve actually sat and read all of that – my usual movie posts will be resuming shortly!)

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Going Off Topic #12 – Snap Back to Reality

It’s been a weird week. I went back to work on Monday after being on Maternity Leave for 9 months, and on the same day I dropped my little girl off for her first day of Nursery. She’s going to be there 3 and a half days a week so I can carry on working full time and it’s so hard to come to terms with. On one hand, she’s having an amazing time there and has developed so much in just a week, so I know it’s going to be a great place for her to be. On the other hand, I wish I could spend more time with her, and not have to pay the extortionate amount per month so I actually had some spare cash!

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Anyway, Monday morning was horrific and after dropping Daisy off, I tried to drive to work but had to stop at a car park to have a cry, and then I realised I was going to be late so I cried on the way to work! To be fair, once I got into the swing of it all I was far too busy to carry on worrying, and dropping her off since hasn’t been anywhere near as bad.

What’s really killed me is the fact that I struggled to get all of my life admin sorted when I wasn’t at work 40 hours a week, so now that I am everything seems a bit impossible. I tried to carry on as normal and ended up just tiring myself out beyond manageable. Not wanting to be defeated I went to see Mission: Impossible – Fallout on opening night and fell asleep!

I have never, ever fallen asleep in the cinema before. I’ve spent years mocking those who do, because how can you fall asleep in such a public place with a huge bright screen in front of you blasting out sound and music for 2 hours? But I was that exhausted I just dropped, so I can’t do a decent review for it until I’ve seen it again. What I did see was great though!

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I had a super early night last night and feel much better. Now I know to just take things a bit slower while I find a new normal, and to take a sugary drink with me the next time I go to the cinema!

Onto something more positive, I don’t have any other movies to talk about because I’ve been blogging about them straight away – huzzah! TV Shows have just fallen by the wayside for now. However I’ve just finished reading The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware, and it was great! I had a hunch of what would happen early on which turned out to be right, but so many things were thrown in that made me change my mind and that made it a really satisfying read from start to finish.

Does anyone have a recommendation of what I could read next? I love a good mystery!

I’m a little behind on reading all the blogs I follow so I need to catch up, but here are some of the posts I’ve loved reading in the last week…

Brittani at Rambling Film reviews Sorry to Bother You and now I can’t wait to see it!

Sati at Cinematic Corner breaks down the Aquaman trailer for us all.

Jay at Assholes Watching Movies reviews Father of the Year and saves us all from having to sit through it.

Natasha at Life of this City Girl reviews one of my favourites, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as part of the Blindspot Series.

And last but of course not least, Drew at Drew’s Movie Reviews wraps up his 5th Christmas in July Blogathon, so be sure to check out everyone’s posts!