Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Do you trust me?

Last night was girls' night at the movies as edunny and I went to the cinema to see Duplicity. (Stu, being skeptical about the romantic comedy element of the film and otherwise engaged with a meeting anyway, gave it a miss to his detriment.) Both edunny and I being long-time Julia Roberts fans, we were keen to see the starlet's much feted return to the big screen after a few years of momming it. (And I'm not going to lie to you, Clive Owen's dark good looks certainly didn't hurt either - I saw one article where the two romantic leads were referred to as 'on screen eye candy'!) The film also features great contributions from character actors Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti who is most memorable to me from Sideways.

Anyway, all that to say that this slick story of CIA (Roberts) and MI6 (Owen) agents who get involved in intelligence for private companies treated us to a fast moving and entertaining film. It was one of those twisty plots where we didn't really know what was going on for most of the movie, but in a way that kept us paying attention and engaged rather than frustrated. Roberts and Owen's relationship and their difficulties trusting each other which is expressed in almost 1940s style sparring dialogue also plays a big part.

After watching the tale of corporate espionage, we commented to each other that it was pleasingly kindof like a Bourne movie without all the covert killing. I was interested but not surprised then today to read a couple of reviews that identified the director as Tony Gilroy who is responsible for the Bourne Trilogy and Michael Clayton (which I loved and not entirely because of the George Clooney factor!) There is also a definite parallel to be drawn with Oceans 11 in terms of music, tone and pace of dialogue. Is it okay to describe it as a quick, light thriller?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Having a laugh in Dublin town









Yesterday Dublin didn't even know what hit it!! To celebrate the return of edunny to Ireland, we set out bright and early to catch the crack of dawn Enterprise train deal. It was Stu and the ladies as we were joined enroute by downwithdigital (newly christened popomoresara) at the bustling Portadown stop.

Despite a rather windy and wintry feeling day, we managed to stay warm and have a great time eating (any suggestions on how to get BB to forgive us for going to Waga without her greatly appreciated!), drinking (worry not, no Guinness for moi), walking around, snapping lots of photos, laughing very hard, talking quite a lot and just generally soaking up the fair city. We also had the unique pleasure of visiting the National Gallery of Ireland with our own resident art expert dwd!

And the best part?? We still have tomorrow off!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Don't mind me . . . just growing a human!


Fear not and do please keep reading - I'm not going to turn this into a pregnancy blog! But, twenty-eight weeks in (my how time flies when you're having fun) I feel something like an investigative journalist who's eating/breathing/sleeping my topic and I would like to share a couple of observations . . .

One - I can confirm that the pregnant women do indeed need to pee every three minutes. Funny man that he is, Stu recently suggested that I change my Twitter handle to 'AlwaysPiddle'. Hardee har har. At least Dooce knows my pain.

Two - I can confirm that pregnant women do indeed lose their sense of balance. I realised this most recently on the weekend as I bit it big time tripping over a curb while dutifully waiting for a pedestrian walk light. A friendly Belfast cabbie, after enquiring to ensure that I was okay (don't worry, I was!) told me that he usually does this when he's drunk. If only.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top o' the mornin' to you and all that . . .

I, apparently, will go to great lengths for a day off - including moving to a different country!! Today everyone in Northern Ireland (except of course those poor Protestant school children and their teachers) get to enjoy a day off to be green! So far this morning my festivities have hit the dizzying heights of sleeping in, drinking some decaf tea and eating a toasted bagel . . . Stu's doing his utmost to hold me back from the gallons of Guinness :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tweet Tweet

Well, I've gone and done it! Joined the Twitterverse . . . my identity is (surprise) @alwayspaddle so come and follow me if you dare! Stu has been twitting for ages and, despite my Stalkerbook addiction (don'tcha just love the new format?) I didn't entirely get it. But alas, after my bro recently signed up I decided to take the plunge as I do like to keep track of my peeps!

I'm not going to lie to you - I am well and truly glad it's Friday evening! At the end of a tiring week I made a relatively early exit from work this afternoon which was certainly the way forward. After much discussion about what to do tonight (the world was our oyster!) we ended up hitting Boojum for dins (predictable I know, but I am of the view that if it ain't broke don't fix it!) The intention was to watch the The Lives of Others but instead have ended up half watching Comic Relief, just generally hanging out and spending a good lot of time swapping online sarky comments with friends! I am well and truly wired.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Let me entertain you

It's been a while since I've highlighted any books or movies on APYOC so thought I'd just go big or go home and hit the goodies all in one go.

People have been asking me if I've been knitting for my little Mars bar (who really isn't all that little anymore at about a foot long and just under 2lbs!) Truthfully I haven't done all that much. Even though I'm not dead set on pink or blue, I wonder if perhaps knowing the sex would've spurred me on a bit more when it comes to picking colours and patterns. Anyway, all that's about to change, because when I was home my Auntie A thoughtfully gave me a new knitting pattern book Baby Beanies by Aussie knitter and photographer Amanda Keeys which is full of darling designs! Can't wait to get started (and yes B, book is soon coming your way for some juicy new KD ideas!)

The one positive of all the time spent on planes during the last week was that I was afforded the luxury of some uninterrupted reading time! My top pick (which, come to think of it, I actually read before I left) is a short story collection titled Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. Really amazing - even though I don't usually go for short stories, each one quickly drew me in with empathetic characters and unexpected plot turns. I loved reading Lahiri's The Namesake during my summer hols and don't know why it took me so long to get around to this collection! Mad props to DwD for the recommendation :)

So what did I actually read during my travels? I am nearly finished The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff which is a murder mystery set in a polygamous sect in Utah which skips between the 1800's and the modern day. Although it hasn't exactly rocked my world, it satisfies a weird fascination I have with polygamy (don't take that the wrong way) and while being a fictional account, it details quite a lot of history about early Mormonism. While mooching about in airports, I also picked up The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry which has received rave reviews and Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner because every girl needs a bit of chick lit now and again!

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my travel time included a significant amount of film watching. Good old Air Canada must be upping its game because for the first time I had an individual screen on my long flight and, as you might have guessed, a movie watching binge ensued!! A couple have been on my list for a while but I hadn't managed to drag Stu to the QFT to see them yet. Rachel Getting Married is the story of a recovering drug addict who leaves rehab to attend her sister's wedding - while I think the film in general perhaps went on a bit, Anne Hathaway is fantastic playing this character which is so different from the sparkley and pure personalities of The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada.

I also had a chance to see Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (I've loved you for so long) which earned Kristin Scott Thomas a best actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of a woman released from prison after 15 years for the murder of her young son. Both of these films are harrowing, but manage to portray humanity in the midst of their dark subject matter.

So, there you have it - some of my picks! Have you knit, read or watched anything good lately??

Bizkit the Sleep Walking Dog

After a week with my family's fabulous dogs, Oscar and Cleo, I appreciated this clip!! Poor Bizkit :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dazed and Confused

Well, here I am - back at my Mac in Belfast after a very quick visit home to Sasky. Was told by some of my *fans* (you know who you are Dr Nico) when I was home that I should get back onto blogging so figured there is no time like the present!

Had a wonderful time catching up with family and friends, lunching and coffeeing my way through the week! Time flew - and my suitcase came home a little bit heavier with some gorgeous gifts (including two fabulous handmade blankets - thank you!!!) for Baby BN :) Among many good days at home, other highlights included family dinner at my sister and bro-in-law's new place, visiting my bro in the Leg and celebrating International Women's Day by going for a truly luxurious pedicure with my mom, sister-in-law and sister. It was awful as usual to say goodbye but was somewhat comforted by the thought that my mom and dad are headed this way in June to meet their first grandchild! Some pictures from the week will be forthcoming but I was (*sniff*) without my personal photographer so the collection will be a bit sparser than usual!

Tonight I am waiting for Stu to get home (returning to an empty house was a bit of a bummer) and feeling slightly more human after some sleep and a shower - funny how after travelling for nearly 20 hours it's the little things that make all the difference! On my flight from T dot O dot to London I sat beside a lovely young woman and one of the cutest babies eva who were travelling to Pakistan - I decided I shouldn't complain about the length of my trip and I was also emboldened (sortof) about the not-to-distant future prospect of travelling with our own little one!