Thursday, 31 March 2016

Spy - review

Picture it. 2015, I"m sitting in the movie theatre, waiting for ... something to start. (I can't remember now). A trailer begins, showing Melissa McCarthy falling off a scooter in Rome (or was it Venice?) Somewhere in Italy, anyway. So begins the trailer for Spy, and so begins my eye-roll of yet another hurr-durr look she can't do her job movie.

BUT. I am here to tell you, constant readers, I was tricked. TRICKED, I SAY.

Because instead of a terrible hurr-durr she's terrible movie, Spy is actually great! And funny! And warm! And funny!

Anyway. Ms McCarthy is a handler for the CIA - she's in the basement on the phone while her agent (Jude Law) runs around doing all of the dangerous stunts. However, when the lives of all of the well-known agents are jeopardised, it's up to Ms McCarthy to save the day by going into the field for the first time.

And she's great! She's actually a good agent! There's some great action, and some hilarious moments, and Ms McCarthy is not afraid to voice her opinions to anyone who stands still long enough to hear them.

The movie also features Allison Janney and Miranda Hart, and the chemistry between Ms McCarthy and Ms Hart in particular is truly heart-warming.

Spy DOES have a lot of swears, if that's not your particular thing, but the rest of it is so great, that it's worth it.

AND it highlights and celebrates female friendships. It's so warm and likeable - like a golden retriever that knows swear words.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Sunday post 26; it's Monday,what are you reading? 14

 Ah, good blogging intentions. Something, something paved roads.

Anyway. The Sunday Post is a chance for a chat and a catch-up with other bloggers, and is hosted by Kimba, here: While the It's Monday! meme is now hosted by Kathryn and you can find that over here:

So I had my first week back at work last week, and if I were the sort to get a swelled head, I would have by the number of people who seemed to be happy to see me. It was a pretty good first week, but I proceed with caution because the shit can always hit the fan.

I've been tired all week because I'm not used to working anymore but hopefully that will pass. The sad/funny thing is, where I sit now (which is not where I was before) is in an office with four desks and I'm the only one working in there. It's not too bad but it's very different to what I had before.

Anyway. What else. Noooooooooot very much. I didn't work Friday, and I have Monday off as well, which is actually kind of a nice way to ease back into it all.  Spawn is actually off until Wednesday, but that's also fine.

I haven't been doing a lot of reading. Bits and pieces of Perdido Street Station at lunchtime at work, as it's an ebook, and I'm finally digging properly into The Drawing of the Three, which is great, so far. I also picked up The Girl With all the Gifts a while back as an ebook, so I've started that but I'm not very far in.

I'm chipping away at my cross-stitch as well, albiet verrrrrrrrrrrry slowwwwwwwwwwwwly. That's. That's it - lol.

If I blog this week, and I'd like to, I'm going to do a couple of review posts - one on Spy with Melissa McCarthy (which was GREAT, I LOVED it) and a short reviews post for uh ... Strong Signal,  Rotten Beast, Scrap Metal and issue #4 of Dragon Age: Magekiller. I'm hoping, anyway.


How's your week been/looking?
What are you reading?

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Sunday post 25; It's Monday What are you reading? 13

Linking up with Kimba at for the Sunday Post, and also with Kathryn at for It's Monday, What are you reading?

Let's see ... I had that interview last week but I'm not particularly optimistic. The one before mine ran 20 minutes over time and so I spent that time in reception getting increasingly angry - lol. I masked that, of course, but my nerves definitely got the better of me.

The funny/weird thing is, the next day I got a phone call from my old job - the one I took redundancy from in September - asking if I'd be interested in coming back  for three months on a fixed-term contract. Which is apparently possible, even taking the redundancy into account.

So, from tomorrow, I'm gainfully employed again. Well, for three months, anyway. It's going to be ... something. I'm  a bit anxious, honestly. Parts of the job I'm stepping into I've done before, and can do with my eyes shut, but parts of it I have no idea. We'll see how we go.

I did blog last week - I took up Trish's idea, from and did a day in the life post, which is here:

Coming up ... I should review Scrap Metal, and issue #4 of Dragon Age: Magekiller. Also, I watched Spy last night, and ended up LOVING it, so if I remember I'm going to write up a review of that.

As for what I'm reading... we can take Perdido Street Station as a given, and I'm 1/3 of the way through the beast now - woohoo! It's an ebook, which means it'll make excellent lunchtime reading for the next three months.

I also finally started The Drawing of the Three, by Stephen King, and so far I'm enjoying it very much of a lot.

On Saturday, I helped Spawn build a lego time machine, and he has grand plans for us to build a plane next weekend. We'll .... see how that goes.

How's your week been?

What are you reading?

Saturday, 19 March 2016

A day in the life ...

This was the brainchild, I believe, of Trish at - the idea being to share an ordinary day in our lives. I didn't take part in the last one but I was casting about for a blog topic and remembered this, so here goes.

Friday, March 18 - a day in my life.

4am: Wake up. Need to go to the loo. No I don't. Yes I do. Get up. No. Yes. Come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. Fine!

4.30am: Get up. Go to loo; grab a couple of biscuits on the way back - for some reason I get hungry when I have to get up for the facilities at bugger-off o'clock.

7am: Alarm goes off. I contemplate committing alarm-a-cide, as I do every morning. Spawn gets up about 10 minutes later, comes in to say good morning and goes and does spawn things for a bit.

7.35: I've negotiated with my bed for my release. Dammit. Get up, make toast and a drink of milk for spawn, make toast and a drink of coffee for me. J has Fridays off, so he's around and about, too. Also some cats. (Let's take the presence of cats as a given.)

7:45-8:15: Consume toast and coffee, browse social media, read a Dragon Age fic. Get spawn into school uniform. Get dressed. Here's spawn, waiting for our ride to school.

8.35: Get picked up - one of the other mums who's son is in spawn's class gives us a ride to school every morning, as I don't drive and J usually isn't home from work by then.

8.45: Bell rings at school and I'm lingering. I help out some mornings, with reading, etc, though I have a limit of how long I can tolerate herds of 8 year olds (about 45 minutes). Today, however, it's the feast day of the saint spawn's school is named after, so we're off to church. (I'm not particularly religious but the school fit my criteria for spawn: small; excellent rep and a diverse roll).

9am: In church. I can feel my brain drifting already. Spawn is sitting beside me and I have one of those quiet moments when he tucks into me and I put my arm around him and I can feel him breathing. I love those moments. Mass goes on as it does.

10am: Spawn - and indeed the whole school - is getting restless and ready to get back to the business of the day. I stop to say hello to my old principal - now rather elderly, but she taught me as a wee thing at the same school. Also there was the mother of a high school friend of mine.

I drop spawn off and head to the supermarket to pick up a few things. I also call my old job, as they need someone asap for a three-month fixed term contract. I start on Monday and while it's a lot to get my head around all at once it'll be nice to be working again for a bit.

10.30am: I make the bus, yessss. Get home, call my Monday lunch friend and reschedule and tell her my news. Then I call Births, Deaths and Marriages as the woman from my old job I spoke to said that HR would need a birth certificate or passport. For a company I worked for, for 13 years. So I'm on hold for a bit, and I take a few photos for this post while I'm waiting. Get through and find out that the court records for my birth certificate have my first name spelt "Marie" instead of "Maree". Were my mother still alive, she would have Words to Say About This. I say yes please when they offer to track down the records to correct it. Fun and games.

11.20am: Coffee and ginger kisses time. Om nom nom nom nommmmm I think to myself, "I could work on that Dragon Age fic while I'm sitting here. 300 words. You can do it." I browbeat 410 words out of myself and call it a good day's work.

12pm: I meander to the living room, ipad, book and water in hand. I dither for a bit on what to do, then decide to start on American Horror Story: Hotel. Which. Is. A thing. That I watched. Only one episode though because it has everything, the kitchen sink and the local bloodbank in it. I'm sure it will be terrible but I'll persist - for now. I heat up a bacon and egg pie for my lunch and read a bit of Perdido Street Station while listening to Adam Lambert on spotify. Tis peaceful. There's a cat.

3pm: Meander back into my room, intent on abrogating all of my adult responsibilities and playing Dragon Age: Inquisition for the rest of the afternoon.

7pm: Okay, that's exactly what I did. Friday afternoon is game day in this house,which doesn't mean what you might think - it means video games. Spawn is a gamer kid, and Friday afternoons is the one day he can play unfettered by things like "rules" and "homework" so I tend to go nuts myself. I played Inquisition till about 5.45; got through a major quest line. Died a couple of times - you know how it goes. I ordered pizza for tea because ... Friday. Mooched for a bit reading fic, and updating this post.

After tea, spawn asks for "alone time", so I head back to my room and more Dragon Age. "Alone time" doesn't mean the same thing to me as it does to spawn, and five minutes later he's in my room. Which is fine, it's just sort of funny.

8:15-8.30pm: Getting spawn to bed, which doesn't usually take too long. He's not a kid for deliberate delaying tactics, though he does muck around a bit. I read a  chapter of the Lego Movie book, and say good night. J repairs to his own room to read.

8.45-9.30: I watch Face Off - it's a repeat, but I love Face Off.

9.30-11.10: It's time for #cinemaz on The Zone. The Zone is New Zealand's version of SyFy, and it actually has some decent content, but on Friday nights it's time for the schlock. Bad movies abound and those of us who watch gather on twitter to mock. Tonight's offering - Lord of the Elves - is especially awful. Possibly the worst movie I've watched in a long time. It's fun, though, and I tweet sporadically while also playing Midnight Castle and trying to accommodate Lily, who is an affectionate cat but not especially cuddly. Which is an awkward combo when she's lying on my lap.

Halfway through the movie I make myself a hot chocolate and have something to eat. After Lord of the Elves, I watch a tiny bit of American Idol to see Adam Lambert's performances (which is the grand total of how much of Idol I've watched all season). After that, I take my sorry and tired bones off to bed, closely watched by cats.

Annnnnnd that was my Friday. :-)

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Sunday post 24, It's Monday, what are you reading? 12

 Linking up with Kimba from for the Sunday Post - a chance to catch up and chat about the week that was and the week that's coming - and with Kathryn from to chat about what we're reading.

Let's see ... I met Marg from last Monday for coffee, and it was great to meet a fellow blogger in person, as I don't think there are all that many who live near me. My location is geographically undesirable, as it were. Still, it was great to catch up. :)

What else. Spawn ended up being home for most of the week because in one of those A+ parenting moments, the day after he was home with a sore throat, I sent him off to school - for a sports day. Which took place outside all day in a howling gale. The day after that was a half day for parent-teacher interviews so I just gave up the whole week as a bad deal. Hopefully we'll be back on track this week.

I didn't get a lot of reading done, but I'm chipping away at Perdido Street Station - I'm trying for a chapter a day. So far so good! I'm also reading Scrap Metal by Harper Fox, about two young men who find love on a remote Arran farm. It's actually very good and a nice counter-point to the weightiness of Perdido Street Station.

I still have The Drawing of Three and book two of the Second Sons trilogy on the backburner, and hopefully this week will be a better reading week than last week. Last week was just a massive bust all around, honestly. But that's okay. Some weeks are diamond-encrusted Tiffany tiaras. Some are $2 shop tiaras that give you a weird rash and make your hair fall out. It's all to the good.

Up this week ... I'll finish Scrap Metal, I'm sure. Then I will dive into The Drawing of Three, I will, I will!! I'm chipping away at a 10-year old cross-stitch project, too - Circe, which I've talked about before. So I might get some stitching done, outside of Saturday night at my stitch-and-watch friend's. Now that Downton is done (has everyone seen it? Can I yell about the thing yet?) - we're diving into The Blacklist, which I enjoy but am finding frustrating by equal measure.

Also - and I don't want to say too much because jinx - but I have a job interview on Wednesday. That's all I'll say here, except I had to rush out and buy grown-up shoes and a nice jacket - and ask for good wishes and thoughts, if you have them to spare. :)

I did my Things I Like post, finally; tis here: and hopefully this week I'll kick off my Awesome Ladies project. I miiiiiight also do a post about Dragon Age and how I fell into it, but I'll ponder that one.

What about you?

How's your week?

What are you reading?

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

A List of things I like

I've been talking on and off for a while about doing a post of Things I Like That People Think I Shouldn't Because I'm a Woman in My 40s, but that's far too long for a blog post title.

Cleverer people than me could articulate a dozen reasons for this, but from my personal experience as a Watcher of Many Things (TV, movies) is that in these mediums, women in their 40s tend to be two things: wives and mothers. And that's it. That's all.

Their husbands are the ones who get the hobbies and the storylines while they stay home and be exasperated and cook dinner and make sure the kids do their homework.

These women seem to have no inner lives of their own: no struggles; no hobbies; no interests that don't pertain to their families. You could shake them and they'd sound like a piece of laminated paper.

As a Woman In My 40s, let me assure you, that this is bollocks. Here's the thing. I'm going to tell you a secret. Lean in a bit. Not that far, mate, steady on.




Mindblowing, right? You know what that means? That means we like stuff! And just because we hit a certain age - I'm talking 40s here because that's what I'm in - doesn't mean we automatically stop liking stuff, and turn the robot switch on.

So, in no particular order, here are some things I like that people might side-eye me for. (Side-eye me all you like. Also, stick it up your jumper.)

1) Pop music. I love pop music. Completely unironically and joyfully. I don't just mean the pop music that was popular when I was a teeny eeny teenybopper, either (though, that too). I will happily watch MTV Music and the top 20 countdowns. My fave popster at the moment is Troye Sivan. Here's his Vevo channel: One of my fave pop songs lately is Can't Feel My Face by The Weeknd - I'm not even sure why, I just deeply, deeply dig it.

2) Video games. I'm a late bloomer to video games, as most people know but I have embraced the insanity wholly. Right now, by "video games" I mean Dragon Age because it fills my very specific criteria for playing: a storyline. And the gameplay isn't impossible. I mean, I play on PC because I'm hopeless with consoles, BUT. STILL. But also, I'm VERY EXCITED about a new game coming out later this year - No Man's Sky. I mean. Just look at this trailer: How great does that look???? Exploring galaxies, terraforming worlds .... I cannot WAIT.

3) Superhero movies. I am resigned, mostly, to the fact that I'm outside of that all-important age demographic, the 18-30s. Also, I'm not a  dude, so that's against me as well. But. I love a good superhero movie. A great superhero movie? I'M IN AND I WILL BUY TOYS. Ahem. I mean. I get excited when I see a new Captain America trailer (though Civil War is going to be traumatic for everyone) or when I realise that hey, maybe Batman vs Superman won't suck! Who knows??????  You don't want to be sitting beside me in a movie theatre if there's a trailer that I'm excited for because I will Kermit-flail in my seat. It took me a long, long time to unleash my inner fangirl on the world at large, but now that she's out there, there's no holding her back. Nor would I want to. It's so much more fun to get excited about stuff that I love than being apologetic because I'm too old, or not a dude, or whatever.

What else can I think of? Tumblr, YA novels, fan-fiction. All of these things contribute to the person that I am. Yes, I'm in my 40s - I'll be 45 in June - and yes, I'm a wife and a mother. But. I'm also a lover of music, an overexcitable fangirl, a nascent gamer, and so much more.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Sunday post 23, It's Monday! What are you reading? 11

Linking up with Kimba here: for the Sunday Post - a chance to catch up and chat - and with Kathryn here: for It's Monday, What are you reading?

I'm mostly posting just to kind of touch base, I think. I haven't posted since last week, but I do have a couple of posts in draft - one  is the Things I Like in My 40s (that people may judge me for) and the other one is my awesome ladies project, though the first lady I chose for that - Sahakduhkt an Armenian composer - has very little information.

She's the first in my lady composer part (I have five ladies in each subject I chose) and the only work of hers that remains, apparently, is a hymn to the Virgin Mary. Which I can't find anywhere.

Still. Hopefully I'll have both of those posts up some time this week.

I went with spawn's class to the museum on Friday, and got to touch a tuatara for the first time ever. They're weirdly soft and kiiiiind of creepy. But. Still very cool. Here's a handy link:

My stitch and watch friend and I finally finished Downton Abbey on Saturday and all I can say is
SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Edited because I forgot some people haven't seen it yet).


Spawn is home with a sore throat today, though I have to admit I'm a bad judge of whether he's bad enough to stay home or not most of the time. I tend to err on the side of "he's eight. A day at home won't matter much at this stage", because I'm an A+ parent.

I haven't been reading very much; picking away at the monolith, which is what I've been calling Perdido Street Station, but I finally pulled book 2 of The Dark Tower from the bookshelf, in celebration of the news that Idris Elba will be playing the gunslinger. (mmmm ... Idris Elba).

I also have book 2 of The Second Sons trilogy by Jennifer Fallon on the backburner.

For today, I'm meeting a friend for lunch, and then after that, the lovely Marg from for coffee, as she is in my neighbourhood.

Spawn will be in the capable hands of his father, while I swan about being a social butterfly.

Other things I need to do this week are sort out my passport application - I need BOTH my marriage certificates, and I never changed my name officially the second time, so if I want it to be under my current name, I have to do that too. It's frustrating but  needs must.

I also have to be a grown-up and call Work and Income, see if I'm entitled to any kind of benefit while I'm looking for work. It's a Big Girl Pants week.

What are you up to?

What are you reading?