Ahhhh, I am so bad at keeping this blog up to date, I have just been so seriously busy. Sorry, sorry, sorry. Sorry.
I DO keep meaning to sit down and write movie reviews, but (a) I don’t like the ever present risk of spoilers and (b) that’s not really very specific to Northern Ireland now, is it? I realize I occasionally veer off this very strict path I’ve set myself, but I think it’s okay if I’m trying not to. At least. Maybe.
SO. Here are some marvelous Etsy finds for the month of July. And oh, it has been glorious! Have you been enjoying this seriously un-Northern-Irish weather? I decided to backtrack to July, since I will probably run out of things to talk about later in August and then I can pull out the Etsy Finds card again. Genius.
As per usual, all these AMAZING crafty treasures are made by buyers/Etsy stores based in and around Belfast. It never fails to surprise me what local people are capable of. Not because I think you’re all rubbish (I don’t!), I’m just that impressed by the handiwork.
First up: look at how topical I can be. Since they have just revealed the new Doctor, here is a wall decal that every fan of Doctor Who should rush out and buy immediately. Except that you don’t even have to rush out, because you can get it on the internet, by clicking that picture right up there.
Speaking of mysterious creatures from other worlds…
My obsession with Adventure Time continues. I just think I would’ve been a much better adult if I had been able to watch that cartoon as a child. Or I would’ve turned out like Lumpy Space Princess and somehow taken over the world. If you are feeling particularly crafty, this is actually a PDF download for a crochet pattern. Click on the picture to pay and download.
If you DO make it, send me it. Or at least a picture, as proof.
I apologize, gentleman, but excuse me for just one moment.
OH, HOW CUTE ARE THESE SHORTS? I just realized I could have put an “eat my shorts” joke here, but I’m too lazy and hungry to think of one right now.
Welcome back, men folk. Don’t worry, I saved the very best for last.
How amazing! And also awful. I’m crying, but also impressed. These are hard emotions to understand. Again, you can click on this to find and buy it.
You’re welcome. I will try to be better with the blogging situation, but if the sun comes out again, I will make no promises…
You may have noticed, if you notice such things, that I am not quite as prolific in my blogging as I have been in the past. I apologize, but the thing is, on any given day, I HAVE FOUR HUNDRED THINGS TO DO.
In fact, I am only doing this blog now because I’ve just done an hour and a half of uni work and I need a break before my brain explodes and redecorates my bedroom. With brain gunk.
On the plus side, for those of you that dabble in the reading of blogs, I shall be much, much easier to keep up with. Instead of, like, eight blogs a day about what I’ve just eaten or the episode of the Clone Wars I’ve just watched.
SO. I did, in a past blog, promise you that I would go to the Game Of Thrones Exhibition over the weekend and then tell you about how great it was. I assured you it would be face-melting (or something to that effect), so HOLD ONTO YOUR FACES.
First of all, I would like to say that getting tickets for this free (that’s my favourite word) event was much, much more difficult that it should have been. I mean, the internet is all powerful, surely ‘click and possess’ is a fairly straightforward concept? Alas, the website was crashing all over the show and the phone lines were busy and I was starting to hyperventilate and stress. I did a mean, awful thing – don’t judge me. I was scared I would end up with no tickets at all, so I sent a nasty email to Titanic telling them to wind their neck in and make things work better.
I am a mean, bad person. I am ashamed.
To make the shame even worse, some lovely bloke from Titanic Customer Services emailed back immediately, with an apology, and then offered to book the tickets for me. Eek. I still feel bad about being a grump.
Good on you though, Titanic, your people are marvellous.
Ticket drama aside, I was so excited about this. The little clip advertising it was immense…and WordPress still won’t let me embed videos. I had forgotten that. Oh well,here’s the link.
I had never actually been inside the Titanic building before (I know, I know, I am a museum geek and a touch patriotic, so I really should go for a proper visit), but it’s pretty flippin’ cool. And busy, which is always nice to see. The guys at the coffee shop thing were dressed like ye olde times paper boys, and the toilets were ultra clean and shiny. What more can you ask from anywhere, really?
Wisely, when booking tickets for the exhibition, you had to choose a time slot – this sounds kind of like hassle and a bit odd, but it meant the displays weren’t too crowded and you didn’t have to queue for too long to get a good look at anything. AND OH, the things there were to look at.
The exhibition was divided up according to family – the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, Greyjoys and Targareans all had their own little areas, as did the Nights Watch (although characters from North of the Wall were stuffed in that display too, which makes sense, I guess). There were videos playing all around the place too, and although they were really just behind the scenes videos from the DVDs, always worth a watch. Some of the main characters did little ‘Welcome to the Game Of Thrones Exhibition’ clips too, which was a nice feature.
I don’t want to trawl through every single item I saw, but highlights included some of the Starks’ costumes (all lined up beside each other, like in the first episode before they all shoot off in opposite directions all over Westeros), Ned Stark’s head on a spike (which I only noticed because I tipped my head back to yawn – it was pretty high up), Ice and Needle (among LOADS of other weapons) and the dragon eggs and scale models of Drogon. All in all, it took around 40 minutes to see everything.
So neat. Some of Emilia Clarke’s costumes were out on display along with said dragons, and man, that chick is TINY. The detail that does into all the costumes in mind blowing – small stitches and teeny details that a camera would never pick up, just proof that this show takes itself seriously! As well it should.
I think that’s more than enough of my talking, here are some blurry, dark, badly taken Iphone photos. You’re so welcome.
You may notice that there are only two dragon eggs here; one of them hatched! Teehee, I kid, obviously – the third egg was given to George R.R. Martin as a wedding gift! I thought that was a nice gesture.
The exhibit is in Belfast until June 17th, but there are no tickets left now. If you are elsewhere in the world, see where it goes next on their site!
If you’re heading down to the exhibit, or if you have already been, nip over to Facebook and tell me if you liked it!
Oh, I have so many blogs to write. My brain feels all busy and heavy and full of words. It should be full of more important things, like getting myself healthy (yes, I have been ill again, shock shock) or university work or learning to speak Italian.
Maybe not that last one. Anyway, I thought I would start this huge wave of blog-productivity with one about my holiday. From Friday until Tuesday, I was in Paris! And oh, it was amazing. So beautiful and wonderful and picturesque. Between my boyfriend and I, we took around five hundred pictures. Of each other, of buildings, of…everything. I loved it, I really did. I have been sulking like a child since we came home, because I would much rather be in Paris than Lisburn.
Rather than do one blog 2394728934729347289374 words long, I thought it made sense to split my Paris blogging into separate days. That way, I can go into more detail before I get bored and dander off to internet shop or cuddle my cat.
So, day one. Mostly full of airports and waiting, as day ones of holidays always tend to be. Belfast International Airport is not a bad airport, all things considered, but I have one piece of advice. Avoid The Lagan Bar, because it is ridiculously over-priced and bursting with stag and hen parties, who don’t really care that you are trying to have a conversation BECAUSE THEY JUST WANT TO SHOUT AT EACH OTHER. Instead, go and chill out in Fed & Watered – it looks much fancier, but a bottle of Corona will only sting you £3.50, instead of a freakin’ fiver. Rant over.
So, yes, on day one, we arrived in Paris. We stayed in Cambronne, about a ten minute walk away from the Eiffel Tower, with lots of little shops and restaurants around the place. I highly recommend it. Our hotel was TINY. Like, no floor space TINY, but very, very clean. I am not a picky person when it comes to hotels – the boyfriend wasn’t too thrilled with our hotel choice, but I thought it was nice. Cosy.
I am a silver linings sort of lady.
We arrived, dumped our stuff and made a bee line for the Eiffel Tower, expecting to queue for two hours or so. Joy of joys, we got there and there was literally zero queue. Straight to the top (very windy), lovely views, crazy romantic. I had been to Paris before and hadn’t bothered going up the tower (madness, I know), but it really is as incredible as people say it is. The funny thing is, the next morning when we walked past, the queue was ridiculous. Right around the bottom of the Eiffel Tower and out on the road. Take that, American coach tours, we are much smarter than you.
Have some pictures.
The park around the Eiffel Tower is pretty damn lovely as well, no one ever mentions that. Erm, that about sums up our first day though. We had dinner and went to bed, where I did not sleep. I did not sleep the whole time we were there, in case you were wondering. It’s strange though, the sleep deprivation has actually made me a productive hyper wonder-bug.
Day Two was much more interesting…I’ll get right on that, shall I?
I may have discovered the cure for writer’s block…and it may be snow. Seriously, I have been freakin’ prolific this week, because it’s too cold and difficult to get anywhere or do anything. Hence, a Sunday review that’s actually on time. It’s such a shame that my life is quiet and simple, and I am desperately running out of things to review. Without turning this into a movie blog, which would be dumb, because I like to watch the same flicks over and over and over and over.
Clerks and Tangled are currently in heavy rotation. I think the trick is to have insane variety. And catchy Disney tunes.
Anyway. Yes. It’s Sunday, I should decide what I’m going to review…shall I be a tad more intellectual, perhaps?
REFUGEEKNI’S 10 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE
I always hate those sort of titles, because it’s like…your death is imminent. And probably zombie related. It is sort of catchy though, so I suppose I shall leave it. Anyway, I’ve tried not to be too obvious in my choices (I could have just picked any book from A Song Of Ice And Fire or The Hobbit and gone back to bed, but I owe you more than that).
- The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
This recommendation comes with a warning; this is one twisted, horrible book. Not one for animal lovers. Or fans of basic human decency. Banks’ novel is centered around Frank, who kills wasps (and various other small creatures) in complex rituals, believing the outcome to indicate some aspect of the future.
Gory, soul-destroying and fascinating – this is not a novel for the faint of heart.
- The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
While my first choice is dark and terrible, my second is deep, but uplifting. I am not a religious person and despite the title, I truly believe that this is not a religious book. It’s very human, revolving around the idea that when you die and go to heaven, you meet the five people to whom your life was most influential. The protagonist, Eddie, tells the story of his 83 year long life through these people he meets – although some of them he didn’t even really know at all.
It’s a thought provoking read, and while it isn’t necessarily ‘geeky’, everyone should read this book.
- Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Androids and bounty hunters! Strongly influenced Bladerunner. Need I say more?
- The Dice Man by “Luke Rhinehart”
What if you left everything in your life entirely to chance? To the roll of some dice? Luke Rhinehart does this, and the results range from entertaining to life-destroying. A truly intriguing read – sex, murder and psychology.
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Inspired one of the greatest movies of all time (Demolition Man. No, really, I truly believe that it is a masterpiece), Brave New World is set in 2540, in a world where psychological conditioning and ‘reproductive technology’ are the order of the day. I guarantee, you won’t be able to put this book down.
Sidenote: my cat is named Huxley. Surely, that is the greatest of all honours ever to be bestowed on an author?
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
If you haven’t heard of the book, you’ve surely heard of the movie, starring Aragorn. Um. I mean Viggo Mortenson. McCarthy gives us the post-apocalyptic world that we most definitely do not want to think about. Zombies are all well and good, but starvation and complete and utter hopelessness? Very real fears. The novel follows a father and son through the murderous wilderness, and the massive lack of punctuation is just further testament to how THERE IS NO POINT TO ANYTHING.
Don’t expect a happy ending.
- Misery by Stephen King
I am not a huge horror fan, but this book really stuck with me. In an age where celebrities are considered public property, the scenario of a super-fan abducting an idol and keeping them locked away is not as fanciful as you might like to think.King at his very best – you’ll never want your fifteen minutes of fame, after all.
- The Great Gatbsy by F. Scott Fitzgerald
A strange choice for a geeky selection of books, I’ll grant you, but this is truly a masterpiece. I read it at least once a year, but I’m amazed every time. The characters are so real that you’ll want to scream at them (or hug them), and you’ll further lose your faith in humanity. Because everyone is a dick who is out to use and abuse you.
- The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Oscar! Beloved Oscar. Another book I consider to be extremely psychological (it would seem I do like a page turner that messes with your head…), Dorian Gray is a vain narcissist, granted immortality. While his physical self is left untouched by his years and his sins, his portrait bears the scars.
I am a massive Oscar Wilde fan, for the same reason I am a Shakespeare fan. People and their attitudes never really change; The Portrait Of Dorian Gray is as morally relevant today as it was when it was written.
- Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell TERRIFYING, because it practically came true. The government are in your homes, in your heads, watching your every move! Big Brother is watching, people. Always watching.
There! I think my book choices may say more about myself than anything else, but at least you’ve got a nice little peek inside my brain. Obviously, there are also hundreds of other books you NEED to read – I am a huge fan of the fantasy genre, and while I’ve avoided it successfully for this whole blog, I do so love a book with a nice wizard or a lost prince or an angry god.
That’s another blog for another time, though.
p.s. I have a Facebook page. It needs your love.
Finally! Game Of Thrones is coming back to our screens, which means I can start blogging about it non-stop again. Hurrah.
In honour of the return of, let’s face it, the greatest thing ever made ever, here are some Thrones-themed Etsy finds. These are only a few of my favourite bits and bobs, but at this point it’s fair to say that if you want any particular Game Of Thrones themed thing, someone, somewhere probably makes it.
Coasters! Marvellous, although if you are at all like me, you buy many varieties of geeky coasters and then never, ever use them. I got some amazing Batman coasters at the Corium once. I came home, put them in a drawer, and they have yet to be brought back out again.
Anyway, these are metal, which is awesome, and will cost you around £14 for four. They do come all the way from the US though, so postage may sting a bit…you can find all the details by clicking on the picture, anyway.
Sticking to the bar theme for a moment, how amazing are these? A Game Of Thrones themed bar is totally achievable, right? Awesome! While postage might be a bit pricey, these are less than a tenner each. Though you’d sort of have to buy all six.
I am always on the look out for geeky things I can put in my house, especially if they are reasonably subtle and not likely to incur the ridicule of my mother. This A3 print ticks all my boxes, and was made in the UK! An invaluable aid for those who want, desperately, to learn the oath off by heart. And then wait for someone to bring it up in conversation so that you can casually launch into it.
I have a thing for notebooks and sketchpads – my house is already full of empty doodle books, but this one is too amazing to ignore. Again from the US, this little beauty is going to sting you around £30, but the postage costs look to be entirely reasonable.
You’d be under immense pressure to make every sketch a masterpiece though. Don’t want to ruin the lovely book, do we?
Such wonderful things on offer for any GoT fan with a bit of money to burn; if you stumble across anything you think I’d like on ye olde world wide web, link me! I want to see!
SPOILERS. There. I warned you.
I am a huge Batman fan. Huge. Before Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale even moon-walked onto the scene (hand in hand, is how I best like to picture it), I was already dressing up as Batman villains at Halloween.
I was the kid who always wanted to be Batgirl when we played Batman in the playground, whenever other girls thought Catwoman was cooler. My first boyfriend once told me Catwoman was cooler than Batgirl, and while I’m not saying that’s the reason I dumped him…
Well, yes, it probably was. Deal with it.
So don’t underestimate what I mean when I say that I am emotionally involved with the Batman franchise. The villains are, perhaps, the best written ‘bad guys’ in any universe, the supporting characters are downright lovable (Commissioner Gordon is the original silver fox) and the Bat-family…well, they are MY Bat-family. I care about them, too much. Mock me all you want, but the New 52 has been a roller coaster for me. Barbara Gordon got her cowl back (and Gail Simone continued to make her beautiful and clever and BRILLIANT), and Death Of The Family had me on my toes. I was so sure that they were going to kill someone off. I was so sure that I was going to lose Nightwing.
Then…no one died. It was an anti-climax, sure, but I was so relieved. And, after weeks of demanding someone take me to Forbidden Planet, I thought…comics can wait for a week. I have essays to write, work to do…I will be responsible, and mature, and my comics can wait.
This is when it happened. No, not even in Batman or Batman and Robin, or one of the titles I even collect, but in Batman Incorporated. In Batman Incorporated, they killed off Damian Wayne.
I am not happy. Not happy at all. Like everyone else, I despised the child when he first popped up in a Robin costume in 2006; I thought he hadn’t earned the right. I’m not a great Grant Morrison fan either (blasphemy, huh?), I just don’t think he can put any heart in his characters. It was the other writers who swayed it for me – Tomasi (New 52 author), made Damian a real ten year old boy, who just happened to be a super ninja millionaire vigilante. With a doggy.
A doggy always helps give a character some heart, don’t you think?
Typical. I soon as I start really loving a character (enough to start buying the Batman and Robin title, even!), they squish him. Like a bug under a windshield wiper; quick, quiet and pointless. Don’t you think Batman deserved some happiness and a little bit of family, Grant Morrison? Why did you take that away, Grant Morrison? Just because you’re done writing Batman Inc.? Was it so important to take your character with you?!
Sorry. I realize Mr. Morrison will never read this, and if he does…well, I’m very sorry, but I’m a wreck. It’s been a very hard week. We had a death in the family.
p.s. You can find a better, slightly less creepy and emotional article on the subject here: Requiem For A Robin.
Did I even manage to do an Etsy finds for February? Flip, I have been neglecting my blogging duties. However will you know what to buy if I don’t tell you? I’m so sorry, you must have been so very, very lost.
Poor wee sheep.
Anyway! Findings. As usual, I have tried to keep everything local, but for once, I have actually managed to achieve this. It’s nice to achieve something on a daily basis. The trick is to keep your targets low, for a higher success rate. RefugeekNI guide to life, right there.
As usual, clickity click the picture and zoom over to Etsy to spend your hard earned pennies.
So this gets to go first, because it made me laugh. Like, out loud. And I never do that, not really. Even when I tell people I did (usually via an abbreviation I hate), I’m probably lying. This, however, earned my giggles of appreciation. Could it be any more Belfast? I can’t even think of any notes that you could put in this notebook that would out-do the front cover. Buy this and send it to your relatives overseas. They won’t understand it and you can laugh at them.
I keep saying that I am totally getting over my Harry Potter phase, but then I see things like this and I dive right back in again. This knitted Dobby comes in three different sizes, but I am eyeing up the large one, mostly because I can’t get enough of his wee ears.
In all honesty though, I was never a Dobby fan. I thought he was creepy and sort of annoying, like, the Jar Jar Binks of the Harry Potter universe. That doesn’t stop me liking this guy though, so that must be some grand testament to his adorableness.
Oh, Firefly. There should be so much more of your glorious, life-affirming episodes. If I could marry a DVD box set, it would be you.
I have this friend, she makes jewellery, it’s nice. I’m sure you know the situation by now. Also, sometimes, if I put something on a blog, she gives me one as a present. AND I REALLY LIKE THIS.
I need this in my life, obviously. If you are crafty and wonderful, you can buy the cross stitch (I don’t know what that is) pattern, and make this yourself. And then you could give it to me, for free, because I gave you the idea.
So, that’s your lot. Let me know if you actually buy anything because I told you to, or if you see anything you think I might appreciate! You can either link findings to me on the Facebook page, or buy me presents to feature. Either is fine.
p.s. The Facebook page is HERE.