To kill a mockingbird

BOOK REVIEW: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This isn’t the first time I have read To Kill a Mockingbird. I have some fond memories of reading it in my early teens but while I remembered that I enjoyed the book I couldn’t actually remember any of the details. There were two reasons I wanted to reread it. The first is that it’s a classic and I wanted to revisit it and actually remember what happened. The second is that Harper Lee’s follow up Go Set a Watchman is out and while I really want to read it, it didn’t seem right without getting back in touch with To Kill a Mockingbird. So I suppose the question is whether my fond memories were warranted.

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Things I have been cooking lately #134: Courgetti with roasted tomatoes, lemon and pinenuts

I have been spending some more time with my spiraliser, which resulted in my trying out this cool recipe from Oh My Veggies. The flavours are so fresh and zingy and it’s 100% gluten free and vegan friendly. And like most spiralized recipes it doesn’t take very long to make at all!


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Film Friday #250

This is my 250th Film Friday… which means I have reviewed 1,000 films, which is kind of insane.

Delivery Man (2013)

David (Vince Vaughan) is a bit of a useless character. He works for his family’s meat business, but can’t be relied on to do anything, he’s got a bunch of debts he can’t pay back and his pregnant on-off girlfriend (Cobie Smulders) isn’t sure she wants him to have anything to do with their future offspring. One thing David was once very good at was jizzing in a cup and donating his sperm so much so that when the sperm bank mistakenly only offered his, er product, to their customers for a period of time he ended up fathering 533 children. When he finds out that 144 of said children have filed a court petition to find out who he is, David is horrified and engages the services of his lawyer friend, Brett (Chris Pratt) to stop his identity being revealed. Read more…


BOOK REVIEW: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

I am not normally a great reader of non-fiction, mostly because I read for escape and entertainment and as interesting as real life is, fantasy is even more exciting. However after my last intense, fantasy/science-fiction bath book I decided I wanted something a bit different to read while I soak and that’s when I found Freakonomics in the book cupboard. Unlike me, Mr O almost exclusively reads non-fiction so he has lots of interesting things hanging around. I soon learned that (like they say) the truth really is stranger than fiction. Read more…

Things I have been cooking lately #133: Mr O’s Mega Brunch

Mr O is a bit obsessed with brunch. It’s basically his favourite meal. I think mostly because he gets to have a lie-in and still eat eggs. After we go out for brunch but it’s hard to keep me out of the kitchen and I have now perfected my own tasty brunch dish featuring eggs, chorizo, avocado and mushrooms and Mr O loves it!


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100 Days of Selfies: Day 31 – 40

So this round of selfies involves all sorts of hair shenanigans since I reached that awful stage of my haircut where I had lost control of my fringe and it had turned into a wedge of insanity. Fortunately there is a haircut near the end of the time period, which brings things neatly back to normality. Now on to the photos.

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Film Friday #249

Miss You Already (2015)

Jess (Drew Barrymore) and Milly (Toni Colette) have been best friends since they were children sharing every aspect of their lives. Milly is a uber-fashionable, sexy, successful PR agent, married to Kit (Dominic Cooper) with two children and Jess is a bit of a hippy spirit working for a charity with her partner, Jago (Paddy Considine). Read more…


GIG REVIEW: Wolf Alice at Brixton Academy – 26 September 2015

There was a time where I went to loads and loads of gigs. I think in my peak year of about 2008 I went to close to 50. As time when past this little hobby of mine became less sustainable. Gig tickets became prohibitively expensive, they closed quite a few of my favourite venues (RIP both Astorias, I will never forget you) and I started to lose touch with up and coming bands – probably because (according to my friend, Paul’s theory) – I grew up and out of my rock ‘n roll angst. Although I have been to see a few bands over the past couple of years – some of which Mr O wasn’t even in – I haven’t really felt a great desire to review them until I saw Wolf Alice on Saturday night. Read more…


BOOK REVIEW: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

I got Stardust as a free download when I bought something else. I can’t remember what though. Having read a few Neil Gaiman novels and enjoying the film interpretation it seemed like something I would like so I picked it as my holiday read while Mr O and I were in Tallinn and Helsinki.

Compared to some of Gaiman’s other novels Stardust  is quite a quick, simple read. It also has a somewhat different, gentler tone from most his other works, lacking their grit and darkness. Read more…

Things I have been cooking lately #132: French apple cake

I can’t eat raw apples because of my allergies but I can eat them when they’ve been cooked. I love the flavour of apples so when I volunteered to bring a dessert to a recent dinner party at a friend’s house I decided it was time for some apples. This easy French apple cake is light, moist and absolutely packed with apple flavour. It also keeps well but I would suggest you re-heat it  if you’re not eating it fresh out of the oven. Everyone was quite excited by the cake so I didn’t get to take many pictures before it got demolished but I promise it looks more impressive than it is pictured here.

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Film Friday #248

Legend (2015)

This biopic follows the rise and fall of London’s most notorious gangsters, the Kray twins (both played by Tom Hardy), during the 1960’s. Told through the eyes of Reggie Kray’s wife, Frances (Emily Browning), the film chronicles the identical twins run ins with the police, dealings with the American Mafia, altercations with rival gangs and the celebrity status they gained. Read more…

Things I have been cooking lately #131: Salmon with avocado salsa

I have to admit to being a bit obsessed with avocados. There is something so delicious about their cool, creamy flavour and I chuck them into all kinds of different meals. When i found this recipe that mixed salmon (which I also love) with a tasty salsa I was intrigued and had to try it out. What I ended up with was a very tasty, very healthy dinner that I will definitely be making again.

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Film Friday #247

Stardust (2007)

Having recently read the Neil Gaiman novel on which this film is based (review coming soon… so busy) I decided to revisit the film as a bit of a comparison and realised I had never reviewed it. After promising to retrieve a fallen star to impress a beautiful girl, Tristan Thorne (Charlie Cox) heads into the mythical land of Stormholt. Read more…


Adventures in Tallinn and Helsinki

Because Mr O and I had two weddings we didn’t really have a honeymoon. So for the last three years (and hopefully all out future  years together) we’ve been taking a little trip over our anniversary. This year we decided to complete our tour of the Baltic States by visiting Tallinn in Estonia and then hop on the ferry and check out Helsinki in Finland.  Read more…

Things I have been cooking lately #130: Mediterranean freekeh salad

I made this salad in an attempt to try out some new grains. I loved the nutty flavour of the freekeh, which is apparently a type of green wheat but Mr O was not a fan at all and refused to finish his.I didn’t mind much though since I got to have it for my lunch a couple of days running and it was both tasty and filling.

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Film Friday #246

Dope (2015)

Malcolm (Shameik Moore) and his two best friends, Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) are from a rough California neighbourhood called Inglewood. They are self-declared geeks who get bullied for being into “white” things like skateboards, getting good grades and wanting to go to college… oh and they’re totally obsessed with 90’s hip hop. After a chance encounter with a drug dealer called Dom (Rakim Mayers), the three friends end up at his birthday party where a large quantity of dope ends up in Malcom’s bag during a police raid. This sets off a series of adventures that require Malcolm to use all of his street smarts as well as all of his geek smarts to ensure that he keeps his dream of attending Harvard alive. Read more…

It’s my four year wedding anniversary…

Today Mr O and I have been married for four whole years and I cannot believe how quickly it has gone. In one way it feels like just yesterday I was walking (and amazingly not tripping) down the aisle but in another way it feels like there was never a time when we weren’t married. Anyway what I really want to say is that Mr O is my spirit animal and I feel very, very fortunate to get to spend my days with someone who I love so much and who so willing to put up with all of my shit. In tribute here are some of my favourite pictures of us since our last anniversary.


Right now we are on our annual anniversary trip. This year we are visiting Tallin in Estonia, followed by Helsinki in Finland so look out for posts about that next week.

Things I have been cooking lately #129: Backlog biscuits

As I think I have mentioned, I started a new job last week although I had been doing parts of the new role for a couple of weeks before I officially started. As a Product Owner, which is what they call me now, I work with a team of developers who undertake the work for the project I am developing. It’s a very collaborate type of working and part of what I have to do is ensure that they buy into what I want to do and actually want to commit to the work. We do loads of sessions called “backlogs” where we look at all the things we have to build and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Backlogs are very interesting but they can be really intense so to keeps things flowing along to and to show my team how much I appreciate them I have started bringing home baked treats including these spicy cookies that have become known as “backlog biscuits”. I must pre-warn you that they are rather moreish so if you’re keeping your eye on your diet like I am it can be hard to stop after just one!

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