Filed under Dating

Plenty of Freaks


So.. I almost don’t have words for this latest shitty internet date.


Am I missing something? Have I typed in the wrong HTML? Have I somehow joined plenty of fucktards instead of plenty of fish?


I really think it’s time I wrote a book. You can’t make this stuff up – from the guy who cried to the guy who told me he was suicidal (at the beginning of our date you smart asses.)


The latest was a woman hater. Good god even worse he was some judgemental, generalising xenophobe. He ‘hated all Irish’ because they were ‘pikeys.’ Umm okay. Bit stereotypical I venture ‘ no they really are – they steal, they pillage – one came into my bar with a crowbar, he wanted to smash some girls face in’ did he say that? ‘No I could just tell.’ Okay then.


He asked me what I did for a living and I answered and then mentioned my siblings and asked if he had any ‘woah, I’m trying to listen to you and wasn’t expecting all these questions.’  I asked him if he had any siblings, and the age difference. That was it.  Are you close to you sister?

‘Yes. Ish.’ Then later in the conversation he tells me she’s a ‘cunt.’  I find this abhorrent seeing as I’m so close to mine, and pretty strong language for a first date.


We start talking about men and women and the difference. I say women need a reason to have sex and men just need a place – a great quote from city slickers which I totally believe to be true. He says that he’s read a study and women in tribes hump all the men and so women are actually more whoreish than men. He’s lost me of course, because he’s talking utter nonsense.


He is then telling a story and stops because ‘he’s distracted.’ By what? I ask. He laughs. Then he looks really serious and tells me I made a gesture that communicated to him that I was ‘bored.’ What did I do? I ask. He’s not telling me, he wants to see if I do it again. Right.


‘I don’t like being quizzed’ he says later in the date.


‘I wasn’t quizzing you’ I reply ‘ we are strangers and the way to get to know each other is ask each questions – that way we learn about each other.’


‘No you really were quizzing me mate.’


MATE. God I can’t stand this. I’m not your mate. We are on a date. I don’t even call my own friends  ’mates.’ I choose to ignore this however.


Then he says he’s defensive and this is because all women are shit because we are deceptive and lie about everything. Keep in mind he said he had a degree – (he didn’t,) and that he was 5 ft 10 – (he wasn’t,) so we have a whingey  guy who’s also a big fat hypocrite – my bloody favourite!


He then tells me he can recognise a sociopath  and  ’it’s the same as a psychopath,’  I tell him it’s not the same and try to explain – he says the lines are blurred. I ask him if this is the point he tells me he’s a sociopath. He looks me dead in the eye and pauses. (Too long if you ask me) he then says no, but he’s worked for one. Convincing stuff eh.


He goes on about hating being quizzed and tells me he gets quizzed all day in his job – he’s a Barman. I suspect they aren’t actually quizzing him but probably just asking for their drinks – maybe he’s reading too much into ‘recommend any good spirits, mate?’ He then says he’s tired and he’s worked today and I’ve done fuck all so it’s fine for me to be ‘mentally alert’ whereas he’s ‘exhausted’ – like he’s the only guy on the planet who ever worked a Sunday.  What the actual fuck.  I’m sorry, we are on a date – you are not down the mine. Bring your A game you twat. Guys, it’s unattractive to be moody, say you are tired, say women are all shit. You have put yourself on a website – you want to meet women – well act like that and maybe you will get somewhere.


At this point on the date I totally  lost my patience and told him he needed to man up a bit and stop being so wittery. This of course went down like a lead balloon but he had already made himself so unattractive that I didn’t care. And the irony was that he was an attractive man facially but here’s the rub – personality matters!


The final straw was when upon splitting the bill he told me that as I had had a tea I would have to pay for that separately  and we wouldn’t split it. I was kinda disgusted. We paid our bill and the best I could say was that it was ‘interesting.’ And that everything is good material. He said I should ‘put it in a screenplay’ in a rather patronising voice and I said I’d put it in my blog. He probably thinks I’m joking.

I hurry to my car and delete his number.

Afterwards I tell a male friend about the experience. What he says makes me feel vindicated:

‘Aren’t dates basically just quizzing opportunities? I don’t understand how someone goes on a date and let’s all their crazy spill out. Clearly totally socially uncalibrated.’  Such a wry and astute observation.


So there you have it – you can’t stand the heat, then get off the website, you uncalibrated morons.


Working out. 

I don’t do it to feel good.  I do it to look good.

And anyone who works out would be lying if they said that the same isn’t true for them.

Now, I’m not claiming to be some model type, I’m a solid size 10-12. Back in the day I was a 6-8 and I did no exercise. NOTHING.  It was a simpler time, and it was all to do with a faster metabolism. It was a glorious time. I was young and lithe and had a gorgeous man…. Sob.  I mean I’m totally fine now.. *washes tears off keyboard.*Anyway I digress, back to the matter at hand..

When I’m in the gym, sweating and gurning and turning the colour of beetroot, what’s going through my mind is how fit I’m going to look.  How I need to burn off the chocolate that I consumed earlier, so it doesn’t stick to my ass.

When my feet are pounding the treadmill – and my bunion is yelling at me to stop – the pain just reminds me that I’m achieving something. No pain, no gain, as they say. (Although on a totally separate issue, I must get that foot looked at.)

The mirrors are a great motivator too, the bastards, ‘Look how heffing you are, you chunker’ they chide, from the sides. That could of course be my brother saying that too, but either way, the desired effect is there.

Funnily enough, the people around you don’t really impact what you are doing, which is great. Maybe we have matured as a society. I don’t really detect self-consciousness in my local gym. Everyone seems to be a pro. The only time I feel like a prat, is when I can’t use a machine. Even then people are usually helpful if you ask them.


If you take a glance around, sure there are slimmer girls, but they are about 18, and when I was 18 I didn’t need to go to the gym, so joke’s on them! Ha!

There are larger people too of course, but I just think, good for you! You go girl! Or man.

Really, aren’t we all just thinking about ourselves in the gym? I look around and people are so absorbed in what they are doing, it’s priceless.  There are the burly men, who look like they have been blown up by a bicycle pump, pushing weights up, and grunting loudly whilst exhaling, concentrating so hard, they’re either gonna pop a vein, or accidently fart.  I’m sure I witnessed this on one occasion. The man looked very ashamed of himself. That or he ONLY benched 125kg, sheesh.

 Then there are the older women, who are in good nick – you can you almost hear their inner monologues, whilst determinedly thumping the cross trainers – ‘I’m gonna be in shape so you don’t swan off with that slutty trollop in the office, you bastard’ ..this is what I imagine they are saying anyway.  Then the young stick girls on their phones – which by the way is massive pet peeve of mine – just leave your phone in the locker, or go home and text.  I was surprised that a middle added guy joined our row of cross trainers clutching his iphone. He put the machine on resistance 3 for a start (should have known he didn’t mean business then) and then proceeded to e-mail for the whole 6 minutes he was on there. His workout was crap. Obviously.

Classes are good to keep it fresh too. And you get another mixed bag of people. I like classes because you have no choice in the matter. A good instructor will metaphorically ride your arse like there’s no tomorrow.  And if you have put the effort in – you should be walking like John Wayne the next day.

The gym really is vanity, accepted by society. We could all go for a walk if we wanted, or go for a run, or a hike or a cycle, or climb. We can do all that for free. I just love our generation’s priority.

Early man would have laughed his arse off. We go to a room.. to exercise. I pondered this as I was using a bike at the gym the other day and it actually had simulated scenery of France on a screen, that travelled as you did. I found myself saying to my brother ‘ooh I saw some lovely views tonight.’

Well no, I saw some lovely computer graphics. Impressive, nonetheless, and I hate myself for saying this, but I loved my little tour de France!



Check with your work – You might get a staff discount. I do and it’s a hefty reduction.

Go on a Tues and a Thurs  People tend to workout Mon, weds and fri so it’s much quieter on the alternative days. You can break up the week by going for an actual run too.

Bring a bottle – The vending machines will charge £2 for a bottle of water, but if you have an empty plastic bottle, they have free water stations.

Have a gym buddy – I go with my brother. It’s good to have someone motivating you when your bum appears to be glued to the sofa.

Get a consultation – If you become a member, a good gym will offer you a free induction. Use this time to familiarise yourself with the machines so you don’t look like an idiot.

Use the mats – I never do – but I’ve heard they are good. Do planks and get Abs.

Play to your strengths – I like to SWEAT. So things like Yoga are a bit arty farty for me. I don’t want to be bendy like a pretzel – but maybe you do.

Do Classes – They are fun and interactive in a non-threating way. No-one will make you stand in the middle of the room. There’s a sense of community, and you’ll end up having a great workout.

*Disclaimer –  I am by no means an expert! If you need professional help, always consult with the personal trainers in the gym. 


Happy sweating :)



There was a rasping at the door. Or was it a tap quietly dripping somewhere? I cocked my head to listen. The house was opaque with not a sliver of light to penetrate the black. I stared into the darkness, listening. All I could hear was the sound of my breathing.

I put my head back on to the pillow to resume sleep.

Frapp a tap tap.

There it was again. This time I shot up from my pillow, sitting upright and trying to listen.

At first all I could hear was the pounding of my heart and then -


I heard my name faintly from outside my front door.  I glanced at my phone to see that the time was 2.10am. I felt chilled and churned at the same time. It was a man’s voice. A familiar voice; one I had not heard in 5 years, except in my head.  He began to bang on the door.

LAYLA!! You fool, it’s me.’

He was drunk. I could tell by his tone. The way the words he was tripping over sounded thick in his throat.

I sat glued to the bed. Frozen while I digested what was happening, and what to do.

Layla let me in.’

I got up slowly at first and then walked with purpose, concern, confusion. What was he doing here?

I hurriedly ran down the stairs. Suddenly the overriding emotion was concern. I was not surprised at myself.

I threw the door open. He stood side on to me, with one hand supporting his weight against the doorframe.

Something was wrong.

There she is. Can I come in?’ His eyes, smiling, darted all over my face.

‘Yes of course you can.’ I heard myself say.

I walked into the living room and he followed me inside. The moon’s beam illuminated a corner of the room but I couldn’t see him properly. I switched the light on to reveal him.

He had his back to me but I could see his sleeves were hanging low over his hands and they were blood soaked.

Gareth, what’s going on?’

‘What?’  He was giddy, light headed, and unable to answer me.

He walked away from me, lunging around the room, accidentally kicking things over.

My spine turned to ice as he finally turned to face me.

His face appeared to be mangled.

The bottom of his mouth was drawn down as if it had been tied in a bow at the corner, making the rest of his face droop with it. A huge gash lined his neck; his eye was a slit, welded shut against black dried blood and now the blood was dripping from his concealed hands.

I felt sick as I wondered what was underneath. I walked towards him, and he to me, in the same moment. He was still smiling like an idiot.

I stood in front of him as he raised his arms up out of his sleeves to cup my face and as he did so he revealed his hands.

At first I couldn’t comprehend what had happened to them. I think I was in shock. I saw a flash of red when he raised his hands to me.  I thought this was his blood – perhaps where he had injured himself. But as they grazed me they felt soft like the flesh of peeled fruit.  The blood was in a ring around his wrists.  I could see sinew and muscle…

His hands had been skinned. On his left hand three fingers were missing.  The muscles and tendons were fully exposed and pouring with blood at the wrist. They resembled watermelon flesh and I could see the tip of bone -I felt my stomach drop inside itself. I began to shake. He was still reaching for me, completely unaware of my reaction, fixing his eyes on me.

‘Gareth, what’s happened? We need to get you to a hospital now.’

I could barely speak as my throat had dried to a sandpaper finish. My heart felt as if it was trying to climb up my throat with every pounding beat. I tried to pour a glass of water but my fingers were shaking so much that I just tipped the glass over and then grabbed it back up and tried to suck down the drop of water that was left in there. I tried to string words together but choked on the horror and urgency of the situation.

And suddenly I was consumed by an overwhelming feeling of love and concern.

I didn’t love this man, not any more. Or so I kept telling myself. Maybe the love can come back on like the flick of a switch.  Maybe it never really extinguished.  I felt a hot burn of emotions.

It dawned on me that he didn’t realise what was going on, or that he couldn’t articulate it. But more importantly, this wasn’t a drunken accident that he’d had; someone had done this to him. Maybe several people.  Why had someone done something so awful to him?

‘We need to call an ambulance.’

Hold me.’ He said, seeming lucid for one moment.

I looked into his cobalt eyes, one of them looking sad and closed and the other holding my eyes as if they were tethered to his by a thread. I remember this look. It used to break my heart because I knew in that moment that he loved me, but I also knew it was temporary. That he wouldn’t always look at me like that. While looking in his eyes my heart shattered to pieces.

I reached around his blood soaked white shirt and pulled him into my body. He rested his head against mine and gripped me gently round the waist.  I felt terrible.

As I looked over his shoulder to the floor I could see the business card under my feet, squashing into the carpet. The faint telephone number, and a figure, were all that were still visible on the paper.





I think about you every day.


You are living rent free in a space in my mind that seems to be permanently reserved for you. I should have a cerebral sofa installed – seeing as you are already comfortable where you are.


I can’t concentrate. You probably think I’m pathetic. I’m not sure if the way I feel makes me sad or a fool or completely consumed by you.  I imagine it is all of the above.


I dream about you.  Last night I dreamt you promised you would stay and then you left saying ‘that you never’ promised that and then I came to your house and lost my shit because you were sleeping in a bed in the garden… and not alone.


 You would never promise that. You don’t make promises.


You blocked me in the dream. Sometimes you block me in real life. It’s all Freudian for the way my mind is fucked up about you. Maybe the garden represents how we are entangled like vines. Or maybe it’s because I keep being pricked by the thorns that come with knowing you.


One day our connection is strong like a piece of rope, the next it’s a fraying piece of string barely holding on. We go back and forth.


I don’t want to feel this way, this weak way.  It’s almost like you are my Kryptonite – you make me weak but you are like a piece of me.  I want to be able to put you in a little box in my mind – the way you do with any thoughts of me. You lock that box and you’re able to throw away the key for days. You chuck it over your shoulder without a care in the world, and it rattles down a staircase before disappearing down the rabbit hole. Done.  How do you do that? I would buy that off you. People everywhere would buy that off you.


I do things. I keep busy. I go to the gym. I go drinking with my friends. I enjoy all this. I’m creative.


I even go on dates with other people but this all just serves to remind me that they are not you. That they are not funny like you are, or quick or witty or sexy. They are not lean or lofty or have beautiful hands and a warm demeanor. It fucks me off, it does. I want to meet someone else, I really do. I try, but you know what they say, a watched guy never boils.


I sometimes delete your number – and all the messages we exchange so I don’t tirelessly trawl through them re-living our conversations again and again. And even though I don’t know your number off by heart, I can still find it if I need to. A bit like a drug addict going cold turkey, and scrabbling around the house for a supply.


I wish I was stronger and sometimes I wish I wasn’t so sensitive and emotional, but you know what, that wouldn’t be me. This is me. This is how it goes.


If you turned up at my door, you think I’d turn you away? You know I wouldn’t. And you have that comfort. Some days I wish you would turn up at my door. It would make me so happy.

But If I turned up at your door – not that I ever would – you would pretend you don’t know me. If I had a broken leg you would probably pay a taxi to send me away. That makes me sad. But that’s the situation.


Say goodbye, I hear you whisper, but when you have that rare and amazing spark with someone (and when you hardly ever have it with anyone) - when you touch someone and feel like electricity is coursing through your veins – do you really turn it down?  Be honest, it’s hard to resist, when you connect with someone intellectually, emotionally and sexually.


Keeping in mind we are all human, and all weak- the Fallen Human Condition and all that.

How can I give it up?

Can you give up coffee? It’s not *really* bad for you, is it? It’s not like it’s good for you, but you are addicted and you wouldn’t feel great if you had to give it up would you? You’d miss its comfort and warmth, and the way it peps you up. The way you need it in the morning, and think about it in the afternoon. And that’s just coffee.

When we are together, you are lucid and you hold me like you mean it. I feel your heart thumping excitedly in your chest. We talk to each other like old friends. You laugh and your stormy grey eyes dance when looking at me. I rearrange my life for those precious moments. They mean so much. 


My father once told me it’s a great thing to care about other people, especially if you know you won’t get anything back. It’s noble and loving. I have often thought about that and it comforts me.


I think you care too, in a way that you don’t communicate with words….. you show me in other ways.


You tell me things you don’t tell anyone else. You won’t admit it but I’m one of your best friends. Seeing your name on my phone makes me feel euphoric. Every snippet you share with me makes me feel closer to you. 


How can I say goodbye to that?


Let me have my coffee for now. I’m not ready to give it up.  

MEEP MEEP. An experience of Speed Dating.


So myself and a friend decided to go speed dating a couple of weeks ago.



We were lamenting the lack of eligible men in our areas – let’s be fair, this is farming county, not London – (and that thing about our areas wasn’t meant to be a euphemism by the way but I guess if the shoe fits..) When chatting about this, and as if Google had read my mind, along the right side of the ad bar on my computer screen an ad for ‘speed dating’ popped up. The powers that be who are spying should probably put their time to better use than finding me a date, however I guess you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

I had never been speed dating before (and neither had my friend.) Would it be crazy? Would they all be trolls? Would Einstein’s theory of time prove that, yes, it really is all relative and maybe 4 minutes (the allotted ‘chat’ time) could feel like 400 minutes?  Indeed.

On a complete whim we decided to go for it. We chose the next available date which was actually 6 weeks away. It was a company called ‘Slow Dating.’ – not an especially clever play on words let’s be honest. We had to pay £22 which I thought was a bit steep but we rationalised it in two ways: firstly we could probably easily spend that on a night out and secondly, if they were paying too, they had to be a certain calibre of man….. right?

As the weeks crept ever closer we realised that, oh god, this was going to happen and we would actually have to go through with it.

My friend drove and we parked the car a block from the venue. We gave ourselves a quick check over. We of course, looked banging.

The venue was a bit of a dive. The Glee club in Oxford.

I’ve actually only ever been there when I was pissed and on a night out so I guess I hadn’t remembered what a sink hole this was.

There weren’t even directions on the door. Downstairs was like a saloon bar with one sad man drowning his troubles and it was only 7.15pm. Lowered tones of club music came wailing out of the mini speakers.

We saw a train of desperate women climbing the stairs. Aha! We were in the right place, and duly followed them up.

At the top of the stairs we were greeted by a middle aged woman standing at the door who had an array of ‘speeding tickets ‘ (see what they did there? Oh ho ho, very witty!)


We were given our name badges to stick to our chests and a pen.


This speeding ticket book would prove to be a bone of contention. It was a bit of an awkward prop. Basically it is designed so you can make notes to remember for later – only you had to complete it when they were with you as you had no time between each man. So I couldn’t write ‘bald, hideous teeth, bad shirt.’ For fear they would see.

Instead I was very clever and wrote down a celebrity that resembled them. For the above for example, I would have put Harry Hill or some such.

The upstairs smelt like feet and was very dark and a bit dingy. There were candles on each table and I could see what they were trying to do but.. not sure if it worked.


They weren’t prompt which was irritating as well. Once we had grabbed ourselves a drink at the bar I just wanted to get going but we waited for about 20 minutes.

The middle aged lady arrived and explained that the women would stay seated and as a courtesy it would be the man rotating around.

We sat down and then it began.






A man plopped into the seat opposite me and put down his booklet

 of awkwardness.

He was very friendly, bald and a bit nervous.


I asked him what the craziest thing was that he’d ever done.


‘I just did a wedding speech, that was pretty crazy!’ he nervously laughed. ‘Well, not crazy as such. Not crazy at all I guess.. but it took courage. Do I get points for that?’






I chatted to him about what I did for a living and I asked him ‘what do you do?’


He looked at me and said ‘what, right now? Well I think we’re just… I don’t know, what do we do??’  He giggled. I confirmed that I was actually just asking what he did for a living..




‘Oh.’ He countered. And then he told me he managed some project, something something, I forget because it wasn’t that thrilling tbh

He was very pleasant, if not my type.


Another guy leaned into me and told me my eyes were like whirlpools. What, my eyes were like washing machines? Ha.

Most of the guys I could communicate just fine with.


There was an RAF guy there, who acted as if he was too good to be there. He leaned right back in his chair and put his leg over the other. He was mildly attractive, but only in comparison to everyone else there. He told me owned property. I think he was trying to impress me. It didn’t work. He had no banter or wit, so his property could do one as far as I was concerned. Loving yourself unduly is a very unattractive quality. His ranking in the RAF wasn’t even that high…


There was a Latvian man who didn’t speak much English. I asked how long he had been in England, thinking that speed dating must have been one of the first things he had attempted once getting here. He answered 9 years. I nearly suggested he fire his English tutor. It was painful. I was trying to make conversation and his one word yes or no answers didn’t lead to much.


One of the guys was very chipper. He reminded me of Jamie Oliver. We laughed conspiratorially and chatted like school mates together. Sometimes it is easy to be familiar and comfortable with certain people, if they are receptive to it.

The final guy to sit down was a doctor. He had a lovely personality and was funny and interesting.

The kicker was that I found him very unattractive.


Here’s the thing. I have said this all along. You cannot fake attraction – raw physical chemistry. I’m not saying you have to feel like you could jump someone’s bones straight away (although it does help, and I have experienced this myself) but there has to be potential. If you are repulsed by someone, it’s a no go.

Regrettably, I was repulsed in the physical sense.


My friend had a similar experience. She didn’t find anyone worthy of a follow up.  


Later in the evening, the company send you a tick list and this gives you the option for yes and no.

The annoying thing was that you could only view who ticked you if you ticked some people yourself.

I selfishly ticked two people, Jamie Oliver and the  doctor.

I was able to view my results. Of the 12 men, 7 had ticked me, which was not a bad return.


Both of my choices had ticked me.

I immediately got an email from the Jamie Oliver alike.

‘Well at least sum1 liked me! Fancy a drink? Let me know wen ur 3’ Oh dear. Text speak. In an e-mail no less.

When I didn’t answer his email within 20 minutes I got a second email from his other email account.


This wasn’t going to go anywhere.


The doctor pursued me for a while, and I tried to be philosophical and not superficial. Maybe he’ll grow on me? I thought.


He requested me on Facebook. His photo was awful. In that moment I knew I couldn’t even meet up with him for a coffee. I let him down gently. He was quite disappointed, but I don’t believe in leading people on.



 A few observations:


Paying money unfortunately does not guarantee a certain calibre of man – one of the guys we were sure was in the wrong place; he was about 50 with a dirty leather jacket and a truly pickled face – presumably from alcohol. He was not even on the same planet mentally. He came in swigging a bottle of beer and leaning surreptitiously against a post. We are not sure how he found the venue.


First impressions count. The venue was foul. Dirty, sticky tables and horrible dingy lighting which didn’t add to the ambience, rather, it hindered it. The toilets were regular club loos, one even had broken glass it in, and puke on the side. Quite disgusting.


When they have nothing to say – it’s very hard work. I can talk for England, but it becomes a chore when the person opposite has nothing to offer. Amazingly 4 minutes can feel longer than staring into a microwave and watching a potato cook.


This is a quicker way of seeding the crap out than internet dating. You immediately know who to scrape off. In this case, everyone.


We decided we wouldn’t rule it out, and may even consider speed dating in London.. Because if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.


And then after that give up and buy cats. They are guaranteed to be cute at least.


A Room With A View

So I had the pleasure of seeing this whimsical cinematic snack recently: The Grand Budapest Hotel.





Even the title you want to eat. It’s all very considered. He didn’t call it the grand Bognor hotel.


Budapest signals elegance, European architecture, history, plus it clips the tongue nicely. It does not fail to deliver.


It certainly is a feast of a film visually and will keep you hooked with the eccentricity, comedy and curiosity of it all. The canvas of the film is woven with poignancy and tinged with an edge of palpable sadness.; Classic Anderson. Exploring themes of lost love, ageing, loyalty and moral ambiguity, Wes Anderson steers us through it, whilst keeping us thoroughly entertained.


It’s a very subtle assault of the senses in some ways. There are moments where I really feared for the characters and in the next it was all but forgotten as the comedy stepped up a notch.


It’s fair to say that from the very beginning I was invested in the characters.

Abraham has such gravitas that I didn’t want to take my eyes or ears off his rich mellifluous tones. Jude law’s character was superfluous and could have been played by anyone (I don’t really rate him, sorry) and the stars of the film most definitely are Tony Revolori & Ralph Fiennes. They have an unusual chemistry that really works.


tony revolori


Ralph Fiennes was superb in fact. When you think of the other roles that Ralph has played, he really is a chameleon and expert of his craft. His comedic timing was really brilliant and I found myself really laughing.


The opening scene reminded me of a Lowry painting, and was quintessentially a Wes Anderson shot. You can feel the palpable cold. The bleakness is there, whilst coupled with a spring of hope.  The film was interspersed with these visual signposts, reminding us this was an Anderson vehicle. The scenes are also separated by beautiful Love Letters to the audience; font on crinkled paper, indicating the next ‘page’ of the film.


It’s also interesting to note that the ‘play within a play’ Shakespearean device has been employed, as this was a story within a story; another effect that adds to the highly stylized nature of the film.


Parts of it were dark and theatrical. Some of the characters were a little too stereo-typically ‘bad’ and ridiculous – I won’t spoil who though – and I found this less interesting than the human side of the story. It did add a layer of tension and suspense though and motivated the urgency of the film in some respects.


adrien brody


I’ll let you guess what kind of role Willem Dafoe took on..

A minor quibble I had is that the actor F Murray Abraham is actually Syrian/Italian and the part of his younger self is played by a very ethnically different looking Guatemalan boy. (Tony Revolori).  This was slightly disconcerting but I am not sure if this was intentional. The boy who played his younger self is excellent though;  very understated and quite  quirky. Quite the contrast to his older self and highlighting the innocence and intrigue of this younger self.


I also absolutely love the fact that Wes doesn’t use CGI. I read an article that discloses the fact that the hotel on the side of a cliff is actually a model. This adds to the magical and sometimes ethereal quality of the cinematography. Something seems a little off but you are not sure what.

The film is at once measured, artistic and beautiful with some real laughs, mainly provided by Fiennes.


Go and sample this delicious bouquet of appetizers –  you will not fail to be endeared by it.

A Grower Not a Show-er


I recently finished season 1 of the Mindy Project and got to say, can’t wait for the second.


I have to admit though, I wasn’t a huge fan of hers when I watched the first few episodes.


I had to watch because of all the hype. This had so much buzz about it. I had read reviews saying it was the new ‘New girl’ The amalgamation of ‘the office and Ugly Betty.’


I was pleased at the premise. A woman who had written the show herself and then starring as the main character (my dream job) and even thought there was loads of hype about the fact that she was a non white main character, I couldn’t really give a shit about that. Isn’t that old news? We have Kerry Washington who is a black woman and the main character in Scandal and isn’t Sofia Vegara (Colombian) the highest paid woman on TV right now?

The real question is, not that she is a ‘woman of colour’ fronting a show (by the way I hate that term) but can she carry said show, can she captivate us?


Beyonce is probably the most captivating, gravitating woman alive right now that neither sex can take their eyes off, and it has nothing to do with the fact that she is black, in fact, I think the world is colour blind to Beyonce which is a great thing.

No, it’s because she has that inexorable ability to possess all that deign to glance her way. You want to watch her, you want to know what she will do next. She possesses the camera. And actually, she’s not too bad an actress.

Mindy, certainly for the first few episodes, was stiff as a board. Like the Salt to Daniel Craig’s pepper (he’s a plank of wood too, who the hell is he sucking off in Hollywood… and how do I get their number?)

I was watching her interact with the guy who played her date. It was like watching a plastic plant interact with oxygen; the two have no use for each other, no combustion.


It was actually awkward, and the irony is that it wasn’t supposed to be awkward. Am I supposed to believe this guy would want to take this woman for ‘frozen YOUG-HURT’ when she spoke to him like she was made of wood? There was no flow. I was willing for the next scene. I usually do that in gritty dramas like The Sopranos, not comedies.

He looked at her like she was a shelf. She spoke to him like she was talking to Siri.

Under normal circumstances, if it was just all about her, I might have switched off.


But her supporting cast is just fantastic. The British character is strangely loveable and the character of Dan is sexy; I certainly want to watch him (bias?) and I think this elevates it. Morgan, the eccentric Nurse makes me laugh out loud, and even betsy, the receptionist is cute as a button. The writing is certainly good. There are some very funny lines which the cast definitely make the most of.


I have to admit, that as the show has gone on, she has got much better. (Phew.) Maybe she was nervous and now has loosened up.


Her chemistry with characters has certainly improved, noticeably with the main character of Danny, and her and Chris Messina are just a delight to watch. He is a brilliant actor. Please watch him in everything. He is particularly superb in Damages too.. but that’s another story..

The ‘will they won’t they’, I am sure will drag out for a while. But that’s what keeps us all watching, right? I, for one, am hooked.



I have to say it’s even got me got me a little bit inspired. (Read: Jealous.) Started Penning ‘The Layla Experience.’


My tagline: ‘Go from nought to drama in 60 seconds.’ Or maybe ‘Like marmite, you either love me or want to kill me.’ Or something..

Insane inner monologues and a wry sense of humour here we come.

With a massive dollop of saracasm and high maintenance. What’s not to love?


Watch out – you just might be featured in it ;)




Why I’m internet dating (But don’t expect to find anyone cos there is something wrong with all of you)


So many self satisfied people have done it. ‘I met my baby Dave that way’ etc.

Urgh…didn’t realise you gave birth to your boyfriend.


‘Oh well me and the other half met on uniform dating. And he doesn’t even wear a uniform!’ *giggles whilst looking smug.*

Who even says other half anymore btw? Would you be legless without him?

What gives me comfort (when I think I’m single and may end up living alone amongst cats), is when they produce a picture of said person, and that person resembles a  potato, with a head the size of Texas.

So shallow, I hear you cry. Nope, just got standards. Or at least, I did.

These people, I hate to say it, all have the same thing In common;


So I guess what I’m saying is: I’ve become desperate.


A girl I used to work with, had a very pleasant boyfriend. Not much to look at, but a breathing human with a penis no less.  She adored him, And quite frankly he was punching above his weight. She suggested the words ‘marriage and babies’ and he said that he wasn’t ready. She dumped him like a hot potato, hitched on to and 6 months later was engaged. This was her ‘PLAN.’ I think she was ripe for the plucking. I actually think the particular man was irrelevant. A man, ANY man, would do. And interestingly, she had paid £25 a month for half a year just to find him. The magical ONE!

I must say I haven’t got to that stage (YET, HA) because I am still rather like Chandler from Friends, finding fault with them all. Me perusing the profiles: ‘Hmm, eyes too close together, only went to high school, tattoos, wrinkled lips, freaky nips, BIG HEAD BIG HEAD BIG HEAD.

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