So I recently had four days in Paris, the city of
romance, moules and plenty of vin. While I was there, I got to see the Arctic
Monkeys (again – I’d seen them at Wembley back in 2009). I was looking forward
to it though, as it’d been a while since I’d seen a band live and it was a new
venue in a different country to also tick off. I hadn’t really got into the
latest album though, so wasn’t too sure how much I’d know.
They played at Le Zenith, a fairly large arena with
capacity of 6,300 – seats and standing. The show was a sell-out and leaving was
horrendous – so many people and the metro platforms were also heaving. Le
Zenith de Paris was the first of the franchise and this particular venue has
staged a wealth of musical acts, other events and even the MTV Music Awards. We
sat down while having a drink and something to eat but stood for the main event
– although I would have much rather sat out the way, but more about that later.
Back to the gig and the support act were The Strypes – an
indie four piece from Ireland. For some reason, I had heard of them before, but
I still can’t think where from or why. The 16-year-old me would have loved
them, but I wasn’t a fan – it was just too shouty for my liking. Their set lasted
about 30 minutes, but I was really impressed by the numbers that turned up to
watch them. I’ve never seen so many people stand and watch a support act before
and the venue was close to capacity way before Alex Turner and Co took to the
stage. As you’d expect, there was a group right at the very front – I dread to
think what time some of those people arrived!
there’s this tune I found that makes me think of you somehow, and I play it on
The set began with Do
I wanna know, which was quite predictable, before they went on to play a
couple of classics and older numbers like Dancing
Shoes. The set differed a lot from the last time I saw them play and
numbers not often played were performed – like Reckless Serenade. The crowd were left waiting until about halfway
through for Why do you only call me when
you’re high and it was funny watching the French try and sing along – it
was obviously in most cases, the only words they knew were the titles of the
songs. Talking of high, the doormen and security clearly did a good job of
searching everyone as they went in.
came first – the chicken or the dickhead?
My favourite ever line from an Arctic Monkeys song and
another the locals were not familiar with – although they did stand and sway
their arms along to the chorus (as well as lighters). I bet you look good on the dance floor followed and everyone went
mental – trying to get that bit closer to the stage. This of course meant a lot
of pushing and shoving, which was actually more unbearable than usual. Piledriver Waltz was another song not
often performed and the set concluded with Fluorescent
Adolescent from Favourite Worst
Nightmare before ending with I wanna
crazy 'cause here isn't where I wanna be...
The encore consisted of three songs – the first of which
I hadn’t heard before in Snap out of it
– but they ended with two crackers in Mardy
Bum (which I had been waiting for all night – and probably dedicated to me
given the face I was pulling after being battered black and blue by French
boys!) and RU Mine – the perfect
There were a couple of songs I was expecting (A Certain Romance) and hoping to hear (505 and When the Sun Goes Down), but as always, the Arctics put on a good
show – and who’d have thought Alex had laryngitis?! The food and drink was
expensive, but of course that’s to be expected. All in all, it was a really
enjoyable night – despite some of the people – and I’ve currently had AM in my
car all week!
·Brilliant black forest (black
forest brownie & cherry compote)
·Garden of England
·Hot cross yum
Two of my favourite snacks, a former ‘like’ now discarded
and a brand new treat I could not wait to get my little paws on. I’ve said so
many times that Hot Cross Yum is one
of my all-time favourites and definitely in my top 10 – find out here
why! Sweet treats are my biggest weakness, so when I need a sugar hit, Garden of England is perfect – and it
counts towards your five-a-day! I’ve also previously blogged about it. I
used to like Habas Tapas with its
mix of salt, chilli and crunch – I’ve had it so much, I think I’ve gone off it.
I’m definitely not a savoury snacker!
Having previously sampled the Graze Brownie for the first time in my last box, I was so excited
to try one of the little puds, so imagine how thrilled I was when I found via a
sneaky peek (I just cannot wait!) that I was to receive the black forest pud. Similar to the
brownie, effectively, it was just a chocolate cake, the cherry compote was much
needed and there was just the right amount. I heated my little dessert for 20
seconds (10 more than recommended) and it was the perfect temperature – 10 seconds
just doesn’t cut it. I also love that the little wooden spoon is included,
making it ideal for work too. If all Graze puddings are as yummy as this, I
need to try them all – at the same time, as soon as possible!
Don’t just take my word for it, try a mini pud for
yourself – go to graze.com and enter code: LUCYW5XXP
and not only do you get your first, fifth and tenth box free, you can choose
what you want to try and can always cancel your order at any time!
When you think about it, GBK is to burgers what say Nando’s
is to chicken. Once you’ve had a GBK burger though, they’ll never be the same
again. A few Saturday’s back as part of daddy/daughter day, I took my dad to
GBK en route to Barnet. He had never been before, but it’s somewhere Jake and I
often go to when at Westfield – because it’s so convenient, almost like fast
food made a thousand times better! You may have to go up to order your food,
but what you do receive is fresh and incredibly tasty, it’s actually worth the
Me – diet coke
Dad – large Budva
Me – avocado bacon burger (beef burger with
avocado, bacon, mayo, relish and salad)
Dad – cheese burger (large beef burger with
As you can see, the burgers are huge! Every time I go to
GBK, I order something different, there’s just so much choice as well. For some
reason I was craving avocado and hence went for the bacon avocado burger – last
time I had chicken, but this time went for beef (I definitely preferred the
chicken though). We didn’t even have room to share chips, but the chips are
I also love that the soft drinks are served in their
bottles, there’s nothing better than an ice cold coca cola, in the glass
bottle, with a straw. Is it me, or does it taste different from a can or
For the health conscious (you can’t really be, if you’re
frequenting a burger joint!), GBK serves up a naked burger, replacing the bun
with salad and coleslaw. I don’t tend to eat bread much, but you can’t have a
burger without a roll – come on! While you wait for your food, you’re also
welcome to help yourself to as many monkey nuts as you like – they’re next to
the condiments in a hessian bag, in a wooden crate, so you can’t miss them. A
nice touch, I think – not that I had any.
Despite how busy
Westfield gets, you’re never waiting too long for a table, or to order your
food and the atmosphere is far from hectic. This time round, the restaurant was
far from full, but there always plenty of staff on hand to ensure you’re
enjoying your meal or if you want anything else. My dad really isn’t into that ‘fast
food’ culture, but surprisingly, really enjoyed himself and I’m sure we’ll
Last year I found myself blogging about a trip to the
local theatre to see The Hound of the Baskervilles. A fortnight
ago, my parents took me out for the evening, returning to Queens Theatre in
Hornchurch, we went to see Deathtrap – Ira Levin’s classic thriller-drama.
To quickly sum up: Sydney Bruhl is the central character
and is a playwright who is fast running out of money and success, largely down
to his age. Young writer Clifford Anderson arrives on the scene, hungry for
success, with plenty of passion and ideas to make him a famous playwright –
taking Sydney’s place. Much to Sydney’s dissatisfaction, Clifford has written
an excellent play which is bound to be a massive hit and green with envy,
Sydney begins to plot – with a ‘to kill or not kill’ dilemma.
The structure is a play within a play, with the
characters acting out Deathtrap and this allows for many twists and surprises
as the plot begins to thicken – just as you think you can predict what will
happen, things suddenly change and tension is constantly heightened. Even if
you’ve seen the play before, you can never ready yourself for the next scene –
the gasps and shrieks from the audience spoke volumes, as everyone sat wondering
The set itself was very impressive and the show is played
out in Sydney’s house in Connecticut, the walls laden with old movie posters
from his early blockbusters, as well as an array of weapons: from hand guns, to
a mace, which all add to the tension surrounding the potential violence of the
protagonist. The Houdini handcuffs also displayed on the wall play a big part
in the plot developing, as does the stove in the opposite corner of the room –
used to destroy important documents such as the Deathtrap play.
The first half is incredibly dark, building up to the violent
scenes but the act is made that bit lighter through character Helga Ten Dorp
(Bibi Nerheim), who plays a psychic Dutch woman. She provides most of the
comedy and her thoughts do eventually anticipate the action.
Matt Devitt who plays Sydney is incredible – from his
facial expressions and mannerisms, to his portrayal of the main character as a
man desperate and angry. He is strangely engrossing.
Prepare for two hours of pulse-racing, heart-stopping
action, including several gun shots and screams, but enjoy and laugh at all the
satirical comedy. The double bluffs and surprises are sure to keep you guessing
until the very end and you definitely won’t leave disappointed.
Deathtrap ends on Saturday and tickets start from £16.50.
I blogged last month about the Ciaté products I had
recently bought and have since tested the Colourfoil Manicure set. Like the
rest of the nail art innovation kits, every small box contains all you will
need and this set contained:
·One pot of Ciaté nail polish
·One tube of foil fix glue
·Selection of foils enclosed in an envelope
·Nail art wheel
As with the other kits, I can also recommend having a lot
of time and patience, a clear space to work from (particularly as the foils get
gummy and stick together) and a top coat polish on hand.
My nail polish in the kit came in a shade called cream soda, which I expected to be a
creamy colour. The swatch on the website doesn’t really do justice to the colour
you actually end up with – while applying, it looked a lilac and eventually
dried a bold grey. Not the most exciting of shades, but it worked well with the
shades in my kit.
After applying two coats, I waited for it to dry before
moving on to the foils. My foil package was named wonderland and the shades I received were: Flash, Fizz, Feisty, Fling, Flirt and Frost. I love how they are all aptly named with alliterative titles
– so cute.
Adding a layer of glue, I chose my first colour, an
orange shade. You have to wait for the white adhesive to turn clear before you
place the foil shiny side UP (yes, this tested my patience somewhat!), firmly
press down and remove.
Et voila! No nail is ever the same which I love and the
foils appear sporadically, allowing you to layer up. I went with two other
colours, pink and green (Feisty, Fling and
Flirt), because I was keen to experiment
and go crazy with my combinations. Of course, you can use as many (or as few!)
colours as you like.
My mistake was not adding a top coat, which on reflection
was a textbook error – it’s a must to ensure the foils are sealed in place. I
must admit I was in a hurry (packing for Paris) and it was a quick experiment
which eventually took nearly an hour! I overdid the glue a bit as well, the end
effect was gummy, tacky nails – not good. After 48 hours, the foils had all
rubbed off (after I had picked the remains, another bad habit) and I was left
with grey nails – but it did look good while it lasted. Next time, I’d
definitely allow an extra hour.
You get five foils of each shade and I only used a
quarter of each sheet, so they do last a long time, making the kit excellent
value for money. I think a black base with gold and silver would look good and I
might give that a go for my work Christmas party.
I’d rate this kit 9/10, because if it wasn’t for my
impatience, my nails would have looked amazing!
say splurge – I spent under £50 and got free delivery!
Boohoo is to casual everyday clothes, what AX Paris is to
dresses and Ciaté is to nail varnish – I love it. I’ve never had any problems,
barring one incident with a bralet, and everything is always so affordable –
and good quality, considering the prices. When it comes to work clothes, I’m
definitely a dress/skirt kinda girl; the only trousers I ever wear are leggings
(it’s so difficult being a size 10 with a big bum!). I found myself wearing the
same things over and over again for work, so bought a few bits on Boohoo, which
I’m now going to blog about.
Dogtooth Skater Dress
I would never dream of wearing a colour as daring as lime
green, but I loved the contrast between that and the black in this classic
dogtooth pattern. The dress is so comfy and perfect for a day in the office –
adding a pop of colour to a usually drab outfit. I’m really not keen on the
belt, which as you’d expect is quite cheap looking. I wear my own though, so
this isn’t too much of a problem. The material doesn’t get creased either,
which is always a plus, as a lot of my clothes go from desk, to chair, to
floor! I also received a couple of compliments from my colleagues, which is
Box Pleat Sleeveless Skater Dress
You may see a pattern emerging, but I’m loving the skater
style skirts at the minute. I chose this dress because of the bold block colour
– it’s available in a number of shades and I’m already considering adding to my
collection and only £12, it’d be rude not to. If you’re wondering, ‘mustard’ is
next on my list. I’ve never been one for reds and purples but since dying my
hair darker, I’ve found I’ve been wearing a lot more dark colours and rusts. I
chose this in berry and it’s a beautiful colour and fit. Again, it’s got one of
the not-so-good belts, but I have so many, I often jazz it up with a different
Georgette and Lace Sleeveless Blouse
Scuba Skater Skirt
Again, another bright colour with this purchase – a neon
pink blouse with cute lace detail around the neck and shoulders. I was tempted
by the blue but thought a white skirt is never a good idea. Once I’d decided on
the blouse I knew I wanted a new black skirt to go with it – I have so many in
my wardrobe, but you can never have too many staples, particularly in a colour
like black. I wore the blouse tucked into the skirt, high-waisted style and the
elasticated band in perfect for wearing either around your waist or around your
hips. When you’re in an office where black is often a predominant colours, it’s
always nice to wear a brighter colour and a couple of people commented on the
vibrancy of the blouse.
Because of the prices, it’s so easy to stock up on
necessities and other basic items and you don’t feel as bad when things get
ripped or torn – not that I’ve had any problems. With payday just around the
corner, a new bag is next on my agenda and I’m really struggling with what to
get, suggestions would be most welcome.
nights are getting darker and I’m starting to consider the dreaded ‘C’
shopping. Got so much to look forward to in November...
On Monday I took some easy baking into work. I decided on
cornflake and rice krispie cakes, as let’s be honest, everyone loves them! We
have a snack desk which is constantly in large supply, it’s a wonder I’m not
obese! The cakes went down well which was nice, I’m trying to work out what to
make next. I’m going to be baking my snickerdoodles nearer to Christmas – and you
can find that recipe here.
Also on Monday, our front garden was hit by the storm. To
be honest, it could have been a lot worse and the rest of Brentwood was also
badly affected. This little tree went down and by the time I got home from
work, it had already been taken down to the tip. My journey to work was
surprisingly okay though. I hate storms.
I planned to wear my new blouse and skirt from Boohoo
this week as I hadn’t yet tried them on. Because of this, I painted my nails to
match my outfit – going with black (as it goes with everything) and then an
accent nail with this beautiful neon pink by BarryM. I love the crackle effect
which almost resembles snakeskin although I managed to smudge both nails and
couldn’t be bothered to redo them. I really want to try my colourfoil manicure
this week if I have time.
Friday night my parents and I went to the local theatre
to watch Deathtrap, based on Ira Levin’s play. We often go to the Queens
Theatre around this time of the year and it never disappoints. Last year we
went to see ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ and
there’s often a thriller on for the Halloween/autumn season. We arrived early
enough to have a drink in the bar and I went for the themed cocktail which
contained vodka, crème de cassis, pomegranate juice and soda water – it was
this rather gory colour but was delicious. It was a good night and I’ll be
blogging about the play soon.
This weekend was my best friend’s engagement party. She
lives in Shropshire and I’d not seen her since her surprise 21st in
September 2011, so understandably, was really looking forward. She hadn’t met
Jake yet and I hadn’t met Heather so it was a lovely occasion. We got the train
from Euston on the Saturday and had a hotel room booked for the night, before
coming home this afternoon. It was nice to have everyone together for such a
special evening – although I may have had too much wine...
I hope you all had a good weekend and weren’t too badly
affected by the storms earlier in the week!