Monday, 16 May 2011

Things I'm loving this... er... non specific period of time

Stop looking at me like that. I'm aware it's been a while. What can I say? Life's been a bit... life-y recently. By which I mean, if you'll excuse the language, it's been a bit of a cluster fuck. Personally and, moreover, politically things have not been great. I'm not going to dwell on either other than to say, on both counts, keep calm and carry on.

Anyway, enough of that. Here's some stuff that has been providing much needed smiles and fun:

I seem to have discovered a lot of new (to me) music recently. Top top top recommendation goes to Hugh Laurie's new album 'Let Them Talk'. This is genuinely brilliant for anyone who has even a passing interesting in old school proper blues. The musicianship is astonishing. My favourite track from it, I think, is Swanee River for which the superlative has yet to be invented. Buy it. Now.

Also rocking my socks has been Alexis Jordan's eponymous d├ębut album (top track: How You Like Me Now), which is much better than it has any right to be given it came from an American Idol reject, and the excellent Bomb Shelter Sessions by Vintage Trouble. You may have seen these beyond fabulous retro rockers on Jools Holland - if not you missed a treat. Here they are doing my favourite song from the album, Blues Hand Me Down:

Not that I've had much time to read, but when I have I've been absorbed by either travel guides for Malta (the destination of my much anticipated October break this year) or the thoroughly excellent 'Behind the Black Door' by Sarah Brown. This book is a completely compelling, very entertaining account of life in Downing Street by the former 'first lady'. I've not quite finished it yet, watch out for a full review when I do.

One political book I have finished recently is the amazing '22 Days in May' by the equally amazing David Laws. If you've not read this book and have the faintest interest in British politics at the moment then you really need to. The epilogue in which he outlines his hopes for the coalition explains what I believe and why I'm a Lib Dem more eloquently than I ever could.

First of all, yes I did watch - and enjoy -  every second of the Royal Wedding. Let's just say that and get it out of the way. Apart from the bits with Fearne Cotton, I thought the BBC coverage was pretty good. (And, if you're wondering, my picks for Best Dressed Guest go to Lady Frederick Windsor - AKA Big Suze off of Peep Show - in deep blue Georgio Armani, Sam Cam in beautiful Burberry and Miriam Gonzalez Durantez and that amazing embellished turban.)

Second of all, yes I did watch - and enjoy - every second of Eurovision, including the two semi finals. My favourite songs were from Switzerland and Iceland. I also adored Lipstick by the ever youthful and energetic Jedward. So shoot me.

Finally, if you have Sky and enjoy trashy shit as much as I do then I implore you to check out Spartacus: Blood and Sand on Sky 1. It is... well, it's awful! It's kind of like what would have happened if a 13 year old boy had written HBO's excellent Rome. There's a lot of (fairly graphic) completely gratuitous sex and all the violence you could ever want, inexplicably shown in slow motion. I'm not really making a good case here am I? But seriously if you have a spare hour and it happens to be on then do have a look. It will make you giggle.

Finally finally, if you have Sky and enjoy properly good drama then look out for In Treatment on Sky Atlantic. Another HBO export, it stars the uber dishy Gabriel Byrne as a therapist - and he is mind blowingly good. It's not always an easy watch (each episode is a simple double hander between Byrne's therapist and one of his patients, or occasionally his own therapist) but it is just supremely good.

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