Take That at the O2 Arena got me emotional – here’s why

Yes, it was about two weeks ago already, but I thought it would be nice to share this.

Take That always put on an incredible live show for a pop group and I saw that for myself during their recent run at the O2 Arena in London. So much thought had clearly gone into their Wonderland tour, way more than at most gigs I’ve ever been to.

And yet it was something really simple that meant the most to me.

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The Theory of Everything

theory_of_everything_xlgGoing to watch this film after it’s already been Oscar-nominated and Eddie Redmayne’s picked up the Golden Globe sets expectations pretty high. But of course The Theory of Everything is based on the true story of real people, Stephen and Jane Hawking, so there were people with even huger expectations than the normal film-going public.

Nevertheless, it is clear to see why The Theory of Everything has taken both the awards world and the hearts of ordinary people by storm. I have barely heard a bad word said about it and I absolutely see why.

I have been a fan of Eddie Redmayne ever since his teary appearance in Les Miserables in 2012 and I’m so happy he had the opportunity to show the world what he can do in this film. The film would not be nearly as strong as it is without Eddie’s total transformation from an able-bodied if strange scientist to a wheelchair-bound and immobile man with the same brilliant mind. His eyes do a tremendous amount of work and the amount of preparation and work he put into creating this performance is clear. He deserves every accolade that comes his way.

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Love and writing in Stuck In Love

Stuck In Love was the most affecting movie I’ve watched in a long time – with the exception of The Fault In Our Stars, but that doesn’t count because I knew what was going to happen even if I didn’t know how much I was going to cry.

These two films are linked by the same director, Josh Boone, and one of the stars, Nat Wolff. That’s one of the main reasons I started watching – that and it’s what I eventually chose when scrolling through Netflix when I was supposed to be essay writing.

As a result, I didn’t even realise almost every main character of Stuck In Love is a writer. Writing is discussed throughout – what it means to be a writer, what sort of experiences enhance our writing, how personal it is. Stephen King comes up a lot too, which was incredible for me. To hear the characters discussing IT and to hear Mr King quote himself, saying “the most important things are the hardest to say,” meant I could relate to their thought processes and think about what words really can mean.

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Book Review: You Had Me At Hello by Mhairi McFarlane

15733851This is, hands down, one of the best chick-lit books I’ve ever read.

Not because it’s particularly ground-breaking or genre-defying, but because it’s so funny, well-written and just hard to put down.

The story follows Rachel, a court reporter for Manchester Evening News, and Ben, a solicitor. They were great friends throughout university and then didn’t see each other for ten years before Ben moved back to Manchester with his wife. There are a lot of feelings between them that aren’t explained for a long time – largely because they’re hiding them from themselves – and it is a joy to learn about both their past and their present along with their friends.

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The Couple’s Conundrum of Valentine’s Day

Whether inducing singletons to rant about commercialism or couples to over-indulge on roses and heart-shaped chocolates, the concept of Valentine’s Day can divide rooms like Marmite or Jeremy Clarkson. As lovely as it is to celebrate love, the subject of so many songs, is it worth the stress, money or time?

Many see Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to show their significant other how much they love them, which often ends up a competition between couples as to who is the most romantic or in love. However, opposers wonder if it is ridiculous to reserve one day a year to show your love for one another, wondering if you should be doing that everyday anyway. And besides, what are anniversaries for?

For example, for the last two years Frazer and I have had a picnic of fajitas and my homemade brownies in my bedroom, whilst watching a distinctly unromantic film- first Dodgeball, then 50/50. This is just the sort of nice, quiet evening we enjoy. We’ll probably do something similar this year, although perhaps with curry instead. Of our paired-up friends, it seems that others are going for something similar, with the focus mainly on food and being alone- whether pizza or a home cooked meal, it is the quality time together that counts.

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