Tag Archives: Birthday Girl

Birthday shenanigans

On Wednesday I turned thirty-three (or 23 +10, as I’ve been telling people) so  decided to take the rest of the week off work and just spend time with Mr Osbiston. He of course took this a challenge to fill my day with excitement, which he did rather impressively.

I did put a bit of a spanner in the works straight off the bat because he wanted to make me breakfast in bed and I wanted to go for a run. I don’t like to eat much before I work out because it makes me feel a bit sick so I convinced him to get my breakfast ready for my return. Here I am with my beautiful birthday flowers… in my running gear. I couldn’t let myself get behind on the Fall into Fitness Challenge.


It was my best 5km run ever and I finished in 32 minutes exactly. I think it would have been even faster if I hadn’t have had to wait to cross the road. Maybe the universe gives you extra energy on your birthday!


After a delicious breakfast, Mr Osbiston, told me we were going to Spitalfields City Farm to visit the pig he sponsored for me for my birthday. (My other amazing present was Sigur Ros tickets!!!)


Despite the fact that it was a very grim and rainy day, I was ridiculously excited about going to the farm and about meeting my pig.


The farm is a stone’s throw from the East End and has all kinds of interesting animals, including donkeys, a Shetland pony, pygmy goats, a calf, rabbits, ferrets, geese, guinea pigs and chickens. The farm is free to visit and you can pop in and chat to, and even pet in some cases, the animals whenever you want. They also have a cafe and a shop where you can buy all kinds of food grown and produced at the farm.

Paul investigates some sheep

Paul investigates some sheep

Almost all the animals are available for sponsorship, including my pig, Watson, who is on the left of this picture. He is a rare breed of pig from New Zealand called a Kune Kune. I think he is very, very handsome. His pen-mate is called Holmes, which is very fitting. I decided that Watson was the pig for me because he took a brief break from eating to look up at me when I arrived.


In the next 12 months I will get to visit Watson four times and help to take care of him. I can’t wait.

After we had finished communing with the animals it was time for a (veggie) lunch at The Real Greek in Spitalfields market. Delicious!


Om nom nom

Om nom nom

After that it was time for some culture so we went for my first ever trip to the V&A, one of London’s many free museums.


The V&A is considered to be the world’s greatest museum of art and design and contains amazing ceramics, architecture, fashion, metalwork, books and more from multiple time periods all over the world. It really has to be seen to be believed. I have to admit that the fashion section was my absolute favourite and I became utterly lost in the gowns from the past… as well as this front room, which Mr Osbiston and I are adamant we are going to recreate when we own our own house one day.


Our last outing for the day was a trip to the movies to see Thor: The Dark World in 3D… but you’ll have to wait until next week’s Film Friday to hear about that!

Film study… week 69

Birthday Girl

John, (Ben Chaplin) a lonely small town British bank worker, orders a Russian bride called Nadia (Nicole Kidman) online, only to discover that he’s been sucked into an elaborate scheme.  While this film did have a bit of quirky charm, I found Ben extremely creepy… and I’m not sure he was supposed to be. Vincent Cassel was, as always, wonderful as one of Nadia’s thuggish accomplices but as a whole it didn’t blow me away and the storyline wasn’t engaging enough to distract me from questions of legality around the marriage and likelihood of banks just handing out safe keys to random employees….

Ben soon came to the realisation that Jenny wasn't kidding when she said she had their future "mapped out"


I wanted to love Creation. It stars Paul Bettany. It’s about Charles Darwin, whose theories shaped so much of what we know about evolution. It tells the story of his life from the angle of his family life, showing who he was as a person… even Benedict Cumberbatch pops up. But I didn’t love it. I was bored. The way Darwin’s relationship with his eldest daughter, Annie (Martha West) was portrayed was lovely but it wasn’t enough to hold the film together, even combined with the natural chemistry between Bettany and his real life wife, Jennifer Connelly playing his devoutly religious on-screen wife, Emma. Watch, but only if you’re in the mood for something really slow moving.

This is the last time I ever take acid...

Raging Bull

Raging bull follows the life story of Jake La Motta (Robert De Niro), a promising boxer, whose success in the ring is marred by his destructive emotional behaviour outside it. Filmed in black and white, director Martin Scorsese succeeds in creating a tense and gritty atmosphere as the largely unlikable La Motta’s life falls apart. It’s hard to review this independent of the massive hype around it. I wouldn’t say that I loved Raging Bull. It was a hard watch. I will say though, that the acting is exceptional and the story riveting, if not equally disturbing and depressing. Praise is heaped on De Niro for his impressive turn as La Motta but Joe Pesci, playing his brother, Joey and Cathy Moriarty (what happened to her?) are equally good. If you have any intention of being regarded as a film buff you have to see Raging Bull but don’t expect to like La Motta.

She was powerless to resist his magnificent white y-fronts

This is England

Misfit Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) befriends a group of older skinheads who are kind to him after he’s been bullied. When their friend Combo (Stephen Graham) returns from prison with aggressive racist ideas, the group splits down the middle, leaving Shaun in way over his head. Having not been in Britain in the 80’s I can’t comment on how accurate a portrayal of the Thatcher era this is, but I have it on good authority that it is. That aside, I found this an engaging and interesting study of what shapes a person’s ideologies and how feelings of powerlessness breed hatred. There is also a sense of watching a car-crash about to happen and being unable to look away. Definite must-see. And if you’re a bit of a Brit yoof TV addict like me, look out for Joe Gilgun (Rudy from Misfits) playing Woody, Jack O’Connell (Cook from Skins) playing Puke and Michael Socha (Tom from Being Human) playing a bully.

Shaun's sign language lessons where not going according to plan