28 March, 2012

If there's one book you must read... Week #7

Book #7 'The historical one' -- The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett



In honour of my imminent trip to Italy, this week's book is chosen by the Ital, Simone :)

What Simone says: 'I really liked The Pillars of the Earth because it's an historical adventure set in England. I love England and stories set in the Middle Ages.'

Amazon blurb: 'A story of passion and idealism, which describes a group of men and women in the Middle Ages whose destinies are fatefully linked with the building of a cathedral. In a country torn by civil war, two generations struggle to rise above their primitive circumstances and create something beautiful.'

There was also a TV adaptation of this book which I saw whilst in Germany. It was really good, not usually being something I'd choose to watch, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Compelling story, good characters + a cameo appearance by Ken himself! :D




Have you read this or any of Follett's other novels? What did you think? Let me know your 'must read' book on twitter :)

MYSTRINGALING X

Buy the book or the DVD from Amazon.


26 March, 2012

Itteh Bitteh Kitteh Commiteh

Kitties and puppies everywhere! Here's a small selection of the best items for SS12, I've found so far...

Lazy Oaf 'Black Cat Tee Dress' £50 or £40 from ASOS


ASOS Cat over the knee sock £6

Topshop Cat Shirt (SOLD OUT) :(

I love this so much!



Zara Terrier print shorts/culottes £29.95 

Sneaky photos taken in store :)

My particular faves are the Topshop cat shirt & the Zara terrier culottes. I can't find either online (hence the sneaky in store photos of the Zara shorts), BUT I know there's been some of the cat shirts on eBay so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that one will come up :)

What are your thoughts on animals on clothing? I love them :D

MYSTRINGALING X

Anyone who loves Lolcats, the title is for you :D

25 March, 2012

Hello Summer

Just a quick post to say that I hope everyone's enjoying the lovely weather we're having :) Yesterday I spent the day with my housemates walking around Chester, ending with some lovely Pimms in the garden (actually it was 'Jeeves', half the price of Pimms, but it still hit the spot!)


It looks like the nice weather's here to stay (for a little while at least) :)

http://uk.weather.com/mapRoom/mapRoom?mapId=2042&title=Monday%20
MYSTRINGALING X

22 March, 2012

LDN & ME and Deboe

As you may be aware from tweets over the last few days, I've been to London! I went with my friend Matthew to see his sister's band (ME and Deboe) play, but a bit more about that later...

London has been bathed in beautiful sunshine for the past week or so and the last couple of days were no exception :) We ended up in the British Museum and found it incredible; there's too much to see! I ended up taking a few instagram shots of my highlights...













After an afternoon of feeling very cultured we dashed home, got changed, and went out to Proud Camden to watch ME and Deboe compete in 'The Showdown' (battle of the bands in old money ;)). I'd never seen them play before but from the recorded stuff I'd heard I was very excited :) suffice to say they were brilliant, the only acoustic band, and the only ladies playing, they blew the other groups out of the water and won the evening, putting them through to the final in April. If you haven't heard of them have a gander at their website & make sure you check out the video below, I loooove this song :)



MYSTRINGALING X

21 March, 2012

If there's one book you must read... Week #6

Book #6 'The Irish one' -- Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor




Chosen by my Pa, Simon.


What he says: 'It highlights the inhumanity and indiffernce of landlords towards the plight of their Irish tennants and how this in turn led to the enrichment of the American success story; realised through the immigration of the Irish.'


Amazon blurb: 'Tragedy is a word too often used. Nevertheless, in Star of the Sea Joseph O'Connor manages to achieve a real sense of the tragic, as personal dramas of the most distressing kind play themselves out against the background of the Irish potato famine and the almost equal nightmare of the mass emigration that it caused. As passengers die of starvation and disease in steerage, a drama of adultery, inadvertent incest and inherited disease plays itself out in first class. O'Connor raises, and does not attempt definitively to answer, real questions about responsibility and choice.
Bankrupt aristocrat Merridith is emigrating, pursued by the hatred of his tenants and the memory of his mad-hero father. His children's nurse, Mary, has memories of lost love to torment her, as well as of the husband and child who died of hunger. And the ballad singer Mulvey has both his monstrous past and the certain promise that he will be tortured to death by the Liable Men should he not kill Merridith. This is a kaleidoscopic novel, whose events are seen in many idioms, from many points of view--it is a rich novel that knows that there are limits to the sense that can be made of history. -- Roz Kaveney' [character name 'Meredith' [sic] changed to 'Merridith' by MYSTRINGALING]

Me: Having read this novel very recently, I can agree with both the Amazon blurb and my Dad's comments. I also think it's important to note that this novel is a Neo-Victorian piece, reading as if it had been written in 1847, the year in which it is set. The novel was in fact written in 2002 and has received acclaim across the world, also featuring in Richard and Judy's Channel 4 Book Club. The whole piece is a work of art, made up of several narratives, utilising many literary forms (e.g. letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings, real-life accounts and ballads). If you read none of the other 'One book you must read' books, please read this one :)

Have you read it already? What were your thoughts on the plot and structure?

Tell me your 'must read' book on twitter.

MYSTRINGALING X

Buy from Amazon.

15 March, 2012

The Civil Wars...

... have stolen my heart! Tuesday was an incredible day, my friend Matthew & I went to the HMV Institute Birmingham (really interesting venue) to see the beautiful pair that are The Civil Wars.

I didn't want to take too many photos/videos because, as so often happens, you end up seeing the whole thing through a lens instead of actually enjoying the moment.

A couple of cheeky Instagram photos from the evening



They were absolutely brilliant, better even than their recorded stuff.

I found this video of the gig on youtube :)



If you STILL haven't heard/bought their album I implore you to please give it a go. (Buy here from Amazon)

MYSTRINGALING X



14 March, 2012

If there's one book you must read... Week #5

Book #5 'The Jackie Collins one' -- Thrill! by Jackie Collins




Chosen by moi :)

My P.O.V.: So, Jackie Collins where to start? The name will immediately conjure certain preconceived ideas about her fiction & yes, some of these ideas will be true (check out the leopard print cover & the jaguar!) :D but, despite the "trashy" label I absolutely LOVED this book. I read it whilst on holiday last Summer (FYI perfect beach book), my friend Danielle is a massive Jackie fan & took two of her books with us. I, on the other hand, took James Joyce Dubliners, A.S. Byatt Angels and Insects, and Maria Edgeworth Castle Rackrent on holiday (FYI definitely NOT beach books!) Within days I was bored of my Summer reads & so thought I'd try a bit of Jackie. I'll happily admit I wasn't expecting it to be very good but I've not enjoyed a book so much in a long time. Yes there's the expected clichés BUT there's also a pretty compelling plot, a very good twist and of course good healthy measures of sex and romance, but isn't that what most of us would like from a beach read? 
I can now safely say I am a full Jackie convert and to be completely honest I'm looking forward to the Summer, and the end of my degree, so that I can go back to Jackie for some exciting, easy reading, after all the heavy stuff of the last 4 years of my literature degree.


Amazon blurb: 'Lara Ivory is a dazzling movie star with the world at her feet. But at thirty-two she has yet to find a man capable of coexisting with such a tempting object of desire. Lara's ex-husband, Richard Barry, is a successful film director now married to Nikki, who is producing her first movie, Revenge. Nikki likes to keep Richard close. But Richard is not the kind of man who takes orders -- even from a beautiful woman. On the surface, these three are great friends, but when Nikki persuades Lara to star in Revenge, a bitter struggle for control of Lara's life begins. Then Lara meets Joey Lorenzo, a handsome young actor with a mysterious past. And before she can stop herself, she is swept up in an affair so sensual, nobody can warn her of the dangers. And still, no one has noticed Alison Sewell. A pyschotic stalker -- hiding behind her camera lens, focused solely on Lara...'

Are there any other Jackie fans out there? The woman, in my opinion, is incredible & I love her. Let me know what you think & tell me your 'must read' book on twitter.

MYSTRINGALING X

Buy from Amazon

13 March, 2012

PB for PM?

The riots across the UK this Summer angered and disgusted me. Watching Plan B's new video 'Ill Manors' I was shocked, listening to his BBC 1Xtra interview I was relieved. Listen/watch them in the right order, let me know what you think.

01. Interview



02. Video



MYSTRINGALING X

12 March, 2012

Heaven or Hell, or somewhere in between, cross your heart to take me when you leave

I've been super busy recently and so I've not been able to blog as much as I'd like, however! here are a few snapshots from last week when the Ital was here :)

Sunshine in Chester, sitting on the riverside

Huuuge ice cream (bucket) sundae 

Giant tree, tiny me

Shugborough Hall

The Ital & said Hall :)

Brand new 'If there's one book you must read...' scheduled for Wednesday, let me know what you think :)

MYSTRINGALING X

Today's title: 'C'est la Mort' by The Civil Wars. I'm going to see them tomorrow night in Brum and I am beyond excited :D :D

07 March, 2012

If there's one book you must read... Week #4

Book #4 'The real-life thriller' -- Touching the Void by Joe Simpson




Chosen by my friend Lucie.


What Lucie says: 'It's hard to believe a professional mountain-climber could have such a talent for writing. This book really highlights the difficulties of friendship in a life or death situation, as well as the power of human perseverance and courage. It's wonderfully written, has all the components of a fictional thriller and takes you to real extremes of emotion. His other books are brilliant, too.'


Amazon blurb: 'The story of this nail-biting struggle for survival in the Peruvian Andes is a mountaineering classic'


What do you think? + tell me your 'must read' book on twitter :)

MYSTRINGALING X


Buy from Amazon.

04 March, 2012

Topshop CH1

I've been rather busy recently (with the Ital visiting) BUT last Thursday saw the opening of the new (& improved) Topshop Chester :) *yaaay* + check out the canvas bags Topman are giving away, very niiice :)



I went in on opening day to have a little mooch round & was given a free 'All About Me' lipstick, how exciting. I also found some really nice things which have been promptly added to my wish list. These include:

01. Cat-eye sunglasses (£16 -- price no longer on site :/ however, from memory I think these bad boys were about £16) I love these sunglasses! I've never managed to find a pair of cat-eye glasses that suit me but these looked really nice, as soon as I have some dollar I may treat myself to a pair, the sun has been out an awful lot recently!


This top was gorgeous in the flesh, in the photo it looks a bit meh :( it's very delicate & sparkly & metallic, I thought it was be-a-utiful. It seemed very versatile as well, perfect day-to-night top.


03. Black cross cami/dress (£22)
Similarly with this cami, I can imagine wearing this in the day with jeans and flats or with wedges at night. The cross looks very see-through in the photos but it was a lot more subtle in the flesh (promise!)


04. Dipped-hem dress (£38)
This dress was featured as a 'must have' at the very front of the store. I'm not sure how flattering it would be on, but I loved the colours and pattern + it's lovely and silky & could be dressed up or down for summer.



As well as these beauties I'm on the hunt for a dress for my Summer ball. It's a black tie event but I'd like something not too stuffy. I fancy a long gown as I've never really owned one & it would be the perfect occasion to wear one. So far I've not come across anything particularly nice, a few that have caught my eye are:

01. Limited Edition Emerald Green gown (£175)
As soon as I saw this dress I immediately thought of the green dress worn by Keira Knightley in Atonement. It was such a beautiful, elegant dress that I thought a similar one would be perfect, I'm just not 100% how nice the material would be :/


THE dress worn by Keira Knightley in Atonement

02. Hieroglyphic dress by UNIQUE (£165)
I thought this was an interesting option. I love the pattern, I think it would look really nice around curves and lady shapes :)



03. Love chiffon dresses
I love these Love dresses. In my head I'd decided I'd perhaps like a black, chiffon-y, dipped-hem, strapless dress so I was verrry excited to find all these. I really like all of these and best of all they're all between £40-£48. At the moment I'm really drawn to the navy, strapless, asymmetrical dress. I think it would look brilliant with some killer heels & a few choice pieces of jewellery. Hmmm decisions!

Navy asymmetrical maxi

Black asymmetrical maxi

Black cross-bust maxi

Navy strapless asymmetrical maxi


MYSTRINGALING X

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