emmaloui.se

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. - Jane Austen

Tour de France Grand Depart Stage 2 – Huddersfield

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Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few weeks, you’re probably more than aware that it was the Grand Depart of the Tour De France this weekend, and where else but my home county of Yorkshire! We don’t usually watch the Tour, but we knew that it was a spectacle not to be missed, and that we had to go and try and see it just to see what it was all about.

And boy, the atmosphere was incredible! We were one of the first people to arrive at the top end of Huddersfield in the morning to watch the cyclists fly along the ring road, and we had a long wait in store, arriving 3 hours before the preceding caravan and almost 5 hours before the cyclists! I’m glad we got there early though because by 11am, the crowds were starting to swell dramatically, and we still had our front row seats. We ended up sat next to a couple of families with small children, and the atmosphere there was lovely. Everyone was friendly and talking to each other and just generally excited about the whole thing!

The pictures that I took obviously don’t do justice to the beauty of the weekend’s course, being in the city centre of Huddersfield and not somewhere more picturesque like Howarth or Holme Moss, but hopefully they show a bit of what it was like! There’s also a video that Cameron took which shows the noise and excitement as the cyclists came through!

HM2014 – 1st May

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Another day down, another day successful. I went for another walk around Golden Acre last night, although this time I was on my own and without Cameron. It was really nice to get in a good walk and just to sit outside in the fresh air in the peace and quiet and relax after a hard day at work.

I admit, I did spend a little too long watching a family of little ducklings that were swimming around the lake. They seemed a little less shy than yesterday and were happy to swim around near me while I took some pictures.

My fitbit seems to be giving me a very high calorie allowance this week, to say I’ve only been doing 5,000 steps a day. Like yesterday, I ate 1,360 calories, but it said I could eat 800 more. And while it would have been nice to wolf down some chocolate or crisps or something, I’m taking it with a pinch of salt and sticking to eating sensibly!

As a bonus for today, here’s a video of some very cute ducklings!

Eric Church and The Cadillac Three at The Ritz, Manchester

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For Christmas, Cameron bought me tickets to see Eric Church at the Ritz in Manchester. Since it had been a while since we went away anywhere, we decided to get a hotel in the centre of Manchester and have the weekend away. Living in England, there’s not much opportunity to see country music played live, so I was incredibly excited to see one of my favourites, Eric Church, live for the first time!

I didn’t expect it to be too busy, but when we got to the venue 45 minutes before doors opened, the queue was already snaking around the corner. And by the time that The Cadillac Three came on stage, the venue was absolutely packed with hardly any room to even move to the bar. The variety of people in attendance was quite surprising too, people of all ages and who looked from all different social backgrounds coming together for a good time.

I’d never heard of The Cadillac Three before, but they were awesome. They definitely amped the crowd up and I came away from the venue and immediately started looking for their music online.

Which brings us to the main act. What can I say. Simply terrific. I would probably say that he was better live than on his CDs, simply due to the way that he interacted with the crowd and had us all joining in. I think he was quite surprised that people sang along to every single one of his songs, even the new album which has only just come out.

I have to say, it was one of the best gigs I’ve been to. Superb. If you’ve not heard either Eric Church or The Cadillac Three, you should definitely check them out.

Moneyball…Finally!

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moneyball-posterFinally, about 2 months after it came out in America, and after I’ve read countless reviews, I went to see Moneyball yesterday. It came out on Friday, and the Saturday showing only had 6 people in (including me and my Dad). I did think that might be the case though, as the film was purely about baseball, and not many English people are that interested. I’m guessing Brad Pitt is the main reason the film is even showing in the UK.

It was really cool seeing baseball on the big screen, and I loved the film. Having read the book, I sort of knew what to expect, but I think the film was really well made. Brad Pitt played a great Billy Beane and Jonah Hill was great! I loved the way that they interspersed real clips of baseball with the film, to give it that authenticity, but then reproduced some great shots from different angles (like David Justice chasing the ball into the corner, the camera angle on that was so unusual from normal baseball viewing).
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One thing that I found quite interesting (if that’s how it really happens), is how General Managers call each other up to discuss trades. I don’t know if it’s at all like the movie, but I like the idea of Billy Beane calling Mark Shapiro and saying ‘ I need a outfielder, what have you got…’

It’s hard to pick a favourite part from the film, but I loved the end where Billy puts in the CD with the song his daughter (played by Kerris Dorsey) recorded for him. The 20th consecutive win was also pretty great. Not being a baseball fan in 2002, I never saw that, but I found myself genuinely caught up in the excitement, especially when Scott Hatteberg hit the walk off home run – great moment! My favourite quote from the film had to be this exchange at Hatteberg’s house:
moneyball-brad-pitt-and-chris-pratt
Billy Beane: You don’t know how to play first base?
Scott Hatteberg: That’s right.
Billy Beane: It’s not that hard, Scott. Tell him, Wash.
Ron Washington: It’s incredibly hard.
Billy Beane: Hey, anything worth doing is. And we’re gonna teach you.

According to Ron Washington, that conversation did actually happen, just not at Hatteberg’s house.

moneyball-brad-pitt-jonah-hillNow the film was great, the experience at Cineworld, not so much. I usually go to the Vue, but the film wasn’t showing at the right time, won’t be making that decision again. When we got there, they let us in to the film 20 minutes late because they took too long cleaning up from the film before, but they had already turned off all the lights and started playing the trailers. Not great for my disabled Dad to walk up the stairs in the dark. Then about 5 minutes before the end, they dragged in all the cleaning trolleys and stood in the entrance talking on walkie-talkies. Obviously in a rush to get us out of there, and didn’t really care about the 6 of us who were actually interested in the film and how it ended.

I’ll leave you with this clip of Kerris Dorsey singing The Show with some clips from the film, great voice!

It’s not often I say this but…

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the-help-poster-1I went to see The Help today and it was as good as the book. I read the book earlier this year, before I found out it was going to be released as a film. It was a great book, even made me cry in places. I managed to avoid the tears in the film though, although not sure Cameron did! 😛

If you’ve not read the book, it’s about the civil rights movement in America in the 1960’s. Set in Jackson, Mississippi, it’s about an aspiring journalist (Emma Stone) who decides to write a book about the hardships experienced by the black maids employed by well-off white families, including her own.

the-help-movieFor me, it was quite hard to believe that it was only 50 years ago that these situations actually happened, the idea of building separate toilets for ‘coloureds’ to use is mind boggling, never mind the idea of labelling them ‘coloureds’. It’s a great film about the courage of those involved in the civil rights movement, the world would have been a very different place without them!

The acting in the film was amazing – Emma Stone played a brilliant Skeeter, and Viola Davies as Aibileen was simply the-help-actresseswonderful! And best of all, unlike the last book to film adaptation I saw, the accents were spot on! It did surprise me how different Viola Davies looked out of character when I found this picture, she looks a lot younger than I thought she was – another testament to her acting!

If you’re interested in seeing the film, check out the trailer:

Wakey!Wakey!, Casey Shea, To Kill a King Part 1

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A.K.A ‘I don’t know any executives…’

Tonight me and Frank returned back to the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham to see Wakey!Wakey again. We saw them play there in June and it was awesome, and tonight just cranked it up to a whole other level. They’ve redone the stage since last time, and it was much better. We got quite  a lot closer too! Ed Sheeran was playing next door at Rock City and there were massive queues – those people don’t know what they were missing!

Opening the show was Casey Shea. I’d not seen him live before but I love his albums and he definitely did not disappoint. Just one man with a guitar, and boy does he have a great voice (and great hair too). I just wish that he could have played longer and that more people had heard him. Because he was on really soon after the doors opened, the room was not even half full until after he had finished. He sung some songs that I knew and some that I hadn’t heard before, but I was really happy when he finished his set with my favourite song – Love is Here to Stay.

After Casey came To Kill a King. They supported Wakey!Wakey! in June too, just before their single came out. They played a slightly longer (and louder) set than Casey and completely rocked it. Fictional State (their single from June) was brill, and they also played some songs from their upcoming EP – Bloody Shirt is my new favourite. The EP comes out on the 17th.

Then we get to the headline act: Wakey!Wakey! There’s not really much I can say that I haven’t said before – he is amazing! He talks a lot, but he’s hilarious too, and when he sings he just draws you in. I love War Sweater, and the refrain of  ‘What will your legacy be?’ sounds even more powerful live – it’s one of my favourite lines from all his songs. He played a couple of new songs which sounded great – I can’t wait for the new album! He finished his set with my favourite song – ‘Almost Everything’, I love the chorus – ‘It feels bad now but it’s gonna get better’.

After he had finished playing, he hung around after to meet everyone, and I got another autograph and picture. Just a shame that the venue didn’t close later so he could have played longer first.

The only downside to the night was driving home for 2 hours in the pouring rain, with nothing but silence from the passenger seat as Frank fell asleep shortly after we hit the motorway.

The best thing is, we are doing it all again tomorrow (well I guess it’s actually today now) in Manchester!!!

 

One Day, One Great Actor, One Dodgy Accent

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I went to see One Day last night. Having read (and really enjoyed) the book, I was in two minds whether to go see the film or not. Surprisingly, the film was fantastic. They kept it quite true to the book (David Nicholls wrote the screenplay), although trying to fit 20 different years into the same film meant that a lot of the detail of the story was missed.

The best part of the film was Jim Sturgess as Dexter – he played the part exactly as I imagined it when I read it, and just as in the book, you can’t help but like Dexter even when you’re not supposed to. He got the last few years of the story spot on – I actually found some of the scenes quite difficult to watch.

Rafe Spall was a good choice to play Ian, he had the look, and the ‘comedy’ was just right, I don’t think they showed as much of him in the film as I would have expected, but I guess that’s what happens when you have to condense the book into less than 2 hours. Although at 1hr 47 mins, it’s not that long, so they probably could have made it longer.


So that brings us to Anne Hathaway. I usually like her, but I think the directors of the film made the wrong decision picking her to play a girl from Leeds. They should have either had her do a London accent, or just no accent at all. Her accent swung from a ridiculously terrible attempt at a broad Yorkshire accent, to sounding vaguely Scottish, to sounding like she’s not even trying an accent at all. If I’m honest, I would have preferred them to pick a northern actress for the part (but maybe I’m just biased).

Now if you’ve read the book, you know how it ends (I’m not going to spoil it if you haven’t). I thought that they might have changed the ending, but I’m very glad they didn’t. Although when ‘it’ happened, even though I was expecting it, I was still as shocked as I was when I read it in the book.

I think when it comes out on DVD, I’ll probably watch it again and see if it’s as good the second time round. If you’ve seen the film and read the book, let me know what you think – was it what you expected?

If you’re interested, here is the film trailer:

26 Tuesdays of Awesome Music!

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One of my favourite artists, Ron Pope, is currently doing an awesome ’26 Tuesdays of Music’ project. I signed up for it in June, and the emails have been coming through every Tuesday since 5th July. The first week was a special treat with 5 songs included, and every week since then I’ve had an email in my inbox with a new song waiting to be downloaded.

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It’s a brilliant way of releasing new music, and I love that because I signed up in June, I don’t have to pay for the songs each week, so it seems like I’m getting new music for nothing. Some of the songs have been completely different to the previous albums (Got My Mojo Working is a particular new favourite), but I also love the other songs, like the new version of I’m Yours.

If you want to check out this project, take a look at his website. You can also follow him on Twitter. If you want to know what he’s like, here’s a brill cover of Firework by Katy Perry that he did with The District:

All I can say is that I’m really looking forward to the next 18 Tuesdays of new music, and keeping my fingers crossed he’ll come and play in the UK!

Ultimate Batting Practice? Maybe Not…

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The MLB Fan Cave tweeted a link to this video earlier this week.

http://twitter.com/#!/MLBFanCave/status/101053302896214016

When I first watched it, I thought it was quite impressive, but now I’m 99% sure it’s fake. Even so, it’s a pretty good fake video, definitely amused me the first time.

(**Update: The video has now been removed from YouTube as it apparently violates the YouTube Terms of Service. Make of that what you will.)

Just what I needed…

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There have been a couple of times in the last week or so when I have heard/read something that was exactly what I needed.

I have a couple of Bible reading plans, one is a 100 day reading plan in an old book I bought from Wesley Owen, and the other is Project 3:45 on YouVersion (great website btw – check it out). Last week, this came up on my reading plan and I thought it was perfect.

1 Peter 5:6-9
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

On my way home from work tonight, I was listening to Brad Paisley’s new album, and the song ‘One of those lives’ came on. The words are very thought provoking, and really put me back into perspective again.

Brad Paisley – One of Those Lives
Man, it’s been one of those days
When I’ve been thinkin’ poor me
I’ve got no right to complain I guess
‘Cause right now all I can see
Is a little angel in a Yankees cap
It makes me realize
It’s just been one of those days for me
But for him it’s been one of those lives