Wednesday Wants…..Box Sets

So it’s that time of year again…..everyone is getting their Christmas shopping done, and in response all the new box sets are out. Whilst I’m at least a *little* bit cynical about all this (I never liked the idea of products being rushed out just for Christmas), some of them are just so jolly tempting! With Amazon’s Black Friday week of sales already in full swing, it certainly seems the time to bag yourself a bargain and set yourself for some long, lazy times on the sofa in front of the telly!….

I’ve always had a fondness for Hitchcock, being a lover of thrillers as I am. I’ve been even more into his work though since we went to see Blackmail at the British Museum earlier this year as part of the ‘Genius of Hitchcock’ and ‘London 2012’ festivals. And so when we saw this wonderful box set come up on the Amazon sale, it had to be ours! I can’t wait to spend long wintery Sunday afternoons watching the 14 films included (Rear Window, Vertigo and The Birds especially!), as well as nosing through the hours of bonus features, a collectible hardback book, art cards, costume sketches, correspondence, and photographs. You can still get the box set on the sale, until 7:15 tonight (until they run out!), for just £61.75, instead of the usual £92.49….that’s about £4.40 per *Bluray* film!…Bargain!

For those that don’t already know, I am a HUGE fan of Twin Peaks. It is certainly my favourite TV show of all time, and I could happily watch it every day. Really. It’s a little shameful then that I’ve not really watched any of its creator’s other work. David Lynch is often heralded as one of the most important filmakers of our generation, and I’m regularly told that I really ought to watch one or other of his films. I *did* manage to sit all the way through Inland Empire, although I can’t say I understood any of it or that I wasn’t rather disturbed by it….I am reliably informed though that his other films are a little easier to follow and that I should enjoy them lots! This Bluray box set includes Blue Velvet, Dune, Eraserhead, Lots Highway, Wild at Heart, and the Twin Peaks ‘prequel’ Fire Walk With Me (which I’m also yet to see). Sounds like a line up to get well stuck into! It’s currently £39 on Amazon.

Coming up on the Amazon Black Friday sale this very evening (7:15 to be precise!), is one box set I’ve really been lusting after. Blur’s 21 Vinyl Box Set is the Holy Grail as far as I’m concerned. Containing 18 discs and three DVDs the set features all of Blur’s seven studio albums in expanded editions with attendant B sides, alongside four discs of demos, off-cuts and out-takes that the band found in their lofts (!), many of which are of course previously un-released. This band had a place in my youth, my musical education and in my so-called-adult life, and I’d gladly spend the 18 hours it takes to listen to 21 in one sitting on a journey through my musical memories.

Have you got your eye on any good box sets? Do share!

Ems x


Plenty to do this weekend…..

The Met Office has promised a bearably chilly and sunny weekend, so a bit of adventuring is in order I think…….

An exhibition…..

Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman

I’ve raved plenty about this incredible exhibition, and I must be at least a little right to hold it in such high esteem because its success has seen the run extended….. but it’s your last chance to go this weekend! I really can’t recommend this exhibition enough to anyone who enjoys art, craft, textiles, history and even just an expertly curated exhibition. You can read more about it in my post from when I visited. It’s £10 for adults to get in, but there are no advance tickets left so arrive early to grab one of the 200 available on the door each day from 9am…. or (top tip!) become a Member and get in for free at any time!

A film……

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: BAFTA Tour 2012

I was delighted to see that this, one of my favourite films of last year, is on again at the cinema…. so much so that I actually may go again! If you missed this first time round you really must go and see what is a wonderfully thrilling film…. it’s showing at Cineworld in the West End at 18:30 on Saturday.

Some shopping…….

Hyper Japan at Earls Court

I think our Saturday will be mainly taken up with sushi, sake, anime and manga, as we head over to Earls Court to celebrate all things Japan. The event incorporates the UK selections for the European Cosplay Gathering and World Cosplay Summit, as well as 2012 sake and sushi awards. Also on show will be stalls of Japanese street fashion, as well as an exclusive presentation by Rupert Faulkner of the V&A about their forthcoming exhibition on the influence of British fashion on Lolita street fashion. It’s on from Friday to Sunday, and you can get in for £6 if you book in advance for Friday, or for late afternoon entry on Saturday or Sunday.

To eat………

I’ll be sharing my recipe for Bloody Mary Tomatoes on Toast on Saturday, which is one of my favourite weekend lunches….make sure you have vodka in!

To drink……

Archer Street

This back-street treasure is a new addition to the ‘South Soho’ area, and has to be one of my new favourite places to drink…… maybe because it feels rather like a chic private members club, or perhaps (rather conversely) because it makes me feel like I’m in Glee as the waiters perform impromptu numbers as will. The main room upstairs is fresh and comfy, with a rather ‘Miami’ feel to it, whilst downstairs is a cosy Alpine-lodge-esque snug. The cocktail menu is all you could hope for, and as the first exclusive Billecart-Salmon (yum!) bar in London, the Champagne list is certainly up to muster.

Out and about in London…..

The Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square

Unveiled today is the latest Fourth Plinth commission, by the Scandinavian duo Elmgreen & Dragset. ‘Powerless Structures, Fig 101’ portrays a young boy astride a rocking horse and is said to
celebrate ‘the heroism of growing up’.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Let me know what you get up to!

Ems x

Something from the weekend….. a trip oop North

PLEASE NOTE!! I’ve had to remove all the images from this post for a bit due to technomalogical weirdness. They will be back when I have figured it out! Ems



I’ve just awoken from a rather long lie in (I should explain that it’s ‘now’ 09:30, as I’ll inevitably become distracted by tea, crumpets and the need for a shower before I actually manage to publish this). It’s not my fault though….I was catching up from a weekend of adventuring and fun….I needed it!
My weekend started on Friday evening….. we headed out to the cinema to see The Descendants on an early showing and I thoroughly enjoyed this gorgeous film, which is so very funny, clever, and also tear-inducingly sad. It’s about a dysfunctional family trying to deal with a crisis, and coming together as they do so. George Clooney’s performance as the dad is unsurprisingly wonderful, really hilarious at times but also very touching. It’s probably the most ‘real’ thing I’ve seen in a while, and I know I’ll want to watch it again.
After a supper of veggie stew, it was time for an early night….as early on Saturday morning we toddled off to Kings Cross to catch the train oop North. We were off to Newcastle to celebrate my friend Hannah’s 30th Birthday, and I was super excited to be going to visit, and to see her new house too. We’d brought along a flask of coffee, which I drank alongside choccy biscuits and a yummy free range egg sandwich. The train journey is not short (I grumbled the whole three hours journey about how Newcastle is too far away), but I managed to entertain myself typing up notes from a recent exhibition and gazing out of the window. I noticed for the first time just how many gorgeous and huge churches there are alongside this route… seemed every town we stopped at (Peterbrough, Doncaster, York, Northallerton, Darlington, Durham)  has an amazingly imposing church in its centre, none more so than the last we passed at Durham which sits atop its hill, dwarfing the pretty town around it.


We arrived over one of the excellent bridges on the Tyne, looking down the river to see The Sage and the Millennium Bridge, and after a quick bus ride and proudly finding Hannah’s, arrived ready for cups of tea and a tour of the house. After a little sit and catch up, we took the bus back into town for a wander…. Mhairi needed her eyebrows doing so we popped into Fenwicks and did some browsing (mainly looking at expensive make up and its drool inducing packaging) whilst waiting for her. Next it was a root around in TK Maxx (Mhairi, I still think you should have bought that dinosaur garden sculpture), before we headed back to the house for a nails and make up session, and pizza to ready us for our night out.

A short taxi ride took us to Mr Lynch, a wonderfully retro bar, decorated with 70s prints, wallpaper and furniture. Mhairi and Jamie surprised Hannah by secretly arranging for a friend to come along, whom Hannah had met through Twitter but not in person yet….. her and her hubby are absolute darlings and Hannah was so delighted to meet them (as were we actually).  Adam and I chose the Old Fashioned from the lengthy cocktail menu, and waited the full ten minutes our attentive bar man swirled and mixed them to perfection. Delicious as they were, we decided to stick with the whisky but opted for rather quicker to mix cocktails…. the Manhattan (my old favourite) wasn’t quite made to my taste so it was Whisky Sours I drank the night away with. And so it was only a matter of time before I was up and dancing to Aretha Franklin, and lamenting my choice of footwear. However, a wonderful night ended with a chip-run and more girly chatting before I crashed out on an air bed.


 After lying in for a good while, Adam and I woke up the others with cups of tea, and a first breakfast of doughnuts (as well as the premier of my video of Mhairi and Hannah performing Proud Mary the night before….I’m convinced it will be an internet sensation if only I can work out how to get it on there). We all craved something rather more savoury after the doughnuts, and headed into town for a fry up. By the time we’d eaten though it was time for us to catch our train home, so we stocked up on snacks for the journey and hugged everyone goodbye. I knew I wasn’t going to be at all productive on this journey, so my laptop I’d taken along to ‘work’ on just became a DVD player as we watched a few more episodes of The Killing (we recently started season one and I’m just getting hooked). That, and a bumper bag of giant chocolate buttons helped me stay awake until we got back, and we settled on the sofa with a supper of noodles to watch a film.

Adam got Summer Wars on blu ray ages ago, but we’ve just not gotten around to watching it. I was too tired to watch the subtitled version, which we’d usually prefer, but the dubbed version was wonderful enough…. it’s the kind of film I can’t believe they haven’t made before, but at the same time it’s so different and original. To summarise (without spoilers) two friends make their way to a family reunion, only for one of them to be implicated in an internet hack….. the rest of the film is a fabulously fun story of how they ‘made everything right again’, the action taking place half ‘for real’ at the family reunion, and half in a a virtual reality where the characters become heroes in avatar form. We absolutely loved this film, and Adam even commented it may make his top ten. It was exactly the feel-good, easy watch we needed before we popped off to bed with a Horlicks.

What a brilliant weekend!

How was yours….?

It’s nearly here!….. Ideas for your weekend…..

In London this weekend? Here are my recommendations for passing the time in the capital……

A film:

Martha Marcy May Marlene is an eye-opening, thought provoking phycological thriller and well worth a look. You can still see it this weekend at The Everyman Cinemas.

Some shopping:

Shoe hero Manolo Blahnik is back at Liberty this week with a new shop on the second floor of the store. Manolo has collaborated with Richard Nicoll for his spring summer collection, and to mark this year’s Olympic Games he has designed shoes that echo Greek architecture and include metallic medals colours.

An exhibition:

Catch the wonderfully intriguing Miracles and Charms exhibition at the Wellcome Collection, before it ends next week. Actually two exhibitions, ‘Infinitas Gracias: Mexican Miracle Paintings’ and ‘Felicity Powell: A Charmed Life’, it’s free to get in, and you can enjoy a well earned coffee and cake in their Peyton and Burne cafe, or a stroll around their brilliant book shop.

Enjoy the rest of your week and have a wonderful weekend…’s not far now!

Ems x