Monday, 25 February 2013

Out of the Mouths....

Best Evan quote EVER tonight....

Whilst watching Embarrassing Bodies...


Lady comes on "I have a swollen Vulva"

Ev "Vulva? Isn't that a type of car?"

I had  a seizure...... Have you had any interesting conversations this week?


Wot So Funee?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Silent Sunday 24-02

Shhhhhhhh.......

                         Silent Sunday 24/02/13





Silent Sunday




Saturday, 23 February 2013

#SatCap! - Saturday's Caption ..... 23/02



Saturday is of course caption day.....

Evan fell asleep last night during Outnumbered, and just looked so content...



Then pop yourself on over to the very beautiful Mammasaurus and do some more!



Friday, 22 February 2013

Mother's Day Competition with Chic_Shack!


In celebration of Mothers Day and the impending opening of the new fabulous online pet boutique Pet_Shack; The lovely folk at Chic Shack have given you the chance to win a cushion of your choice from their fabulous range!


Soon to be launched Pet Boutique. That will stock top quality pet accessories and personalised pet products for the home.


From brilliant T Shirts to bang on trend cushions and home decor items you can seriously find everything at Chic Shack.






I particularly like this cushion as it is very much my taste, but the range is endless from canvas prints to designing your own colour combinations and promotional gifts. There really is a gift or item for everyone!


Mel the winner of the last competition I ran with Chic_Shack is thrilled with the cushion she chose and said it is really good quality!

So the boring but essential bit:

RULES







  • One Rafflecopter form per IP address please. 
  • Over 18s only.
  • UK and ROI ONLY
  • The winner must contact Martin at Chic_Shack within 24 hours of competition end, so as to be able to have their chosen cushion in time for Mother's Day.
  • All mandatory steps must be taken or you will not be entered, I do check!

  • EVERY STEP - (this time) IS A MANDATORY REQUIREMENT!!!







  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thursday, 21 February 2013

    Tweet of the Week!



    I must read hundreds if not a few thousand Tweets every week so this week I am starting.....






    Just my personal favourite Tweet and this week I have actually only just read but I loved it and it is .....Drum Roll please!!!





    Not a lot made me smile this week, but this did A LOT!

    Thank you Poppy Loves!




    Dear Mum - An open letter

    Dear Mum,

    I know you will never read this but it is something I need to do for me and as my blog is somewhat my therapy; I thought it might help me a little.

    Ever since I have gotten older you have always been 45 in my mind. I suppose that age was when I remember you as being so outgoing and sociable. I would have been 9 years old and loved going to the club on a Saturday night with you and Dad, meeting up with my sisters and friends and having a great time. So I suppose 45 is the age that both you and Dad stuck at.

    Yesterday I saw you age in front of my eyes, for the last few days you have deteriorated dramatically and it is breaking my heart. I don't know you anymore, who ever is pretending to be you needs to give you back as I miss my Mum and my best friend and I don't know where she is.

     You grew up in a slightly more modern version of the Darling Buds of May, from being evacuated down from the East end of London at 18months and subsequently being given to a couple that couldn't have children. From photographs of you collecting honey in the bee fields and playing on the Watercress train, to hearing stories of baking, sewing and walks down country lanes, huge skirts for the dances and a couple of pence to ride the bus to town.
    It always sounded idyllic and I wished I had been around in the 50s.

    It used to make me embarrassed hearing how you saw lightening and heard thunder when you saw my dad for the first time - sat on the bus you looked out the window as he looked up and that was that. He came to the village that day to find you and ask you out. Although engaged to another who was away on National Service you ended that relationship and married Dad in 1959. He passed away just after your 41st wedding anniversary.

    I don't actually think either of you had much zest for life after my sister passed away in '99.  You were diagnosed with COPD just after and you have never really been well since.

    I agreed to move in and become your career 7 years ago, and I had no idea it would ruin the relationship we had as much as it has.
    On one hand I am for all intents and purposes YOUR mother and then in the next sentence you treat me like I am a teenager again. It is very, very hard to know my place.
    Until this week though you have had all your faculties and seeing you in an almost dementia like state is so hard for me and Evan.
    I have a fear that he will come in to find you gone one morning and that scares the shit out of me.
    I don't for once in my life, know what to do. I don't know whether to insist to you go into a residential home, stay here alone and have increased care or continue as I am.
    I do think for the sake of my child I need to move out and I think that the time we spend together will be of a far better quality than what it is now.
    I know you love the whole being institutionalised scenario as you love the routine and hustle n bustle of the hospital wards. So maybe you would prefer a home situation.
    I don't know what I would have done without my friends in the last week, both life and online friends have been awesome support without which I don't think I would have got through it.
    Seeing you so frail and being virtually left by the medical profession to sit and die, was heartbreaking but one thing that I now know from previous experience is to never be afraid to question doctors and their opinions.
    I think if I had just left you for another couple of days 'to see how it goes' you wouldn't have been with us by the end of it.
    I don't know what is going to happen, whether you will come home, be sent to a home or even if you will come out at all which is unfortunately a situation I am having to face and be ready for.
    I miss you Mum, I want YOU back - not the little frail, bitter person that occupies your chair.

    I do love you so much and want you home, safe sound and above all well.

    L Xx
    Have you had to make a decision about your parents? If so what did you do? Comments always welcome.

    Tuesday, 19 February 2013

    Swimming With Sharks - for MIND #Charity



    If you have read my poem: Drop, you may also be aware that I lost a friend at the end of 2012 - the husband of a very close friend of mine.
    He committed suicide and it left us all in total shock.

    I wanted to scream and shout at him (In fact I did a few times) and I am still angry - but I have to let it go; there are not and never will be any answers....

    So I am putting my energy into raising money which is what I always do if I can't practically help a situation.
    I sort of had a year off last year - as I was a Torchbearer and I wanted to enjoy the Olympics and my 'Moment To Shine' as did 7,999 others! I didn't raise any money for any specific cause, although I took my torch around and made some for The Dorset Air Ambulance and Dorset ME Society to name a couple and I also visited numerous schools and playgroups which were all amazing days!

    My son Evan leaving his first school, and subsequently me leaving the PTA, left me with no actual charity to support - until now.

    MIND

    Obviously due to recent events but also because I battle depression, most of the time very well but occasionally I am that character out of the Flintstones with the cloud above my head....
    It is still such a Taboo subject and hard for those people who do not understand as there are no physical signs to show.

    So I decided MIND would benefit from my money making schemes this year... Bring and Buy Sale? Jumble? Bingo? NOPE - I'm swimming with sharks.


    Here's Brucieeee!


    A childhood obsession since I was 5 years old. I have always been enthralled with them, their behaviour and just generally everything!
    Later in the year the plan is to complete my life long ambition to cage dive with a Great White, but first I am going to tackle 10ft Sand Tiger Sharks! (Well not 'tackle' in a Tarzan type fashion)

    So What or Who is MIND?




    "We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding."


    Information and support 

    Supportive and reliable information is vital. When you're experiencing a mental health problem, it can change your life.
    We believe in empowering individuals to understand their condition and the choices available to them. We do this through:
    Our Infoline which offers callers confidential help for the price of a local call
    Our Legal Advice Service which provides information on mental health related law to the public, service users, family members/carers, mental health professionals and mental health advocates
    Our award-winning publications and website, now certified by the Information Standard.

    So you can see how invaluable their work is and how important it is to keep them going!

    Shortly I will be posting up details of my fundraising page and date of my 'event'

    Off to breathe deeply and count to 100

    L
    x

    So Sweet it's Super!


    That rockin' chick Sonya Cisco from RocknRollMum has handed me a digestive and passed on this lovely and sweet post to answer!

    I am a connoisseur of all things chocolate! From still missing Cabana bars and never buying Revels again since the removal of the peanut (along with coffee - shame on you!!) and don't even get me started on the tins of chocs for Christmas removing the coffee creams arghhh I now have to buy them from Thorntons and add them to my tins!





    So....

    1. Cookies or Cake?

    That's a toughie - don't mess about, straight in with a full on question! Well depending on mood I think Danish Apple & Sultana would win every time - but very closely followed by Shorties and anything with hazelnuts in.

    2. Vanilla or Chocolate?

    Would always be chocolate, absolutely, completely and definitely chocolate. Unless it's ice cream then it would be Vanilla, and if it's milk shake then neither!




    3. What is your favourite sweet treat?

    OOOOOh another stinker! Anything.. that is a cop out ;) mmmmm blue Bounty, Orange Fry's Fondant Cream bar, Creme Brulee, - drum rolllllllll would have to go to Hagan Daz - Pralines and Cream! Heaven in a pot!

    4. When do you crave sweet things the most?

    I'm a complete droopy late morning / late afternoon kinda gal, so at those two points of the day I will more than likely top up on the sugary goodness!

    5. If you had a sweet nickname what would it be?

    Well my friend Lora used to sing my full name 'Lynn Melanie Fancy' and say I sounded like a cake - hence Lemon so I would probably stick with that or French Fancie (remember how much of treat a box of Mr Kipling's finest used to be in the late 70's/80's).





    So there you have it a run down of my very healthy lifestyle!
    I am passing the biscuits over to Lucy at The Parent Game and Lilinha at Lilinha Angel's World as they are both the sweetness and light in my life (and their blogs are rather smashing too!).

    Off to dream of some sweet counter treats....

    L
    xx

    Sunday, 17 February 2013

    Changing Channel




    Changing channel

    I need a different frequency to tune in my life
    One that doesn't have interference
    Or an aerial that's made out of coat hangers.

    It needs to be DAB
    Downright Awesome Babe
    And gives out only positive news
    And the only people talking have really valid views

    One that wants me to listen in
    As much as I want it on
    And won't give up on me
    If my battery's gone

    The music that it plays will
    Be lyrically poignant and meant for me only
    The songs will never mention the words
    Love, alone or lonely

    It will only play songs that have
    A positive effect
    And I will listen
    With a renewed respect

    My radio sits in my kitchen
    Is on 24 hours a day
    It always talks a lot
    But has nothing to say




    Shhhh Silent Sunday - #SilentSunday 17/02

    Silent Sunday......






    Silent Sunday

    Saturday, 16 February 2013

    Awards Time of Year!

    What with the Grammies, Golden Globes, BAFTAs and The Oscars all over TV, Radio and the net  there are also other awards which you may not be so familiar with, in the form of The MADs and The Swans.

    The MAD Blog Awards are a yearly award ceremony to honour the best Parent Blogs on the web, run in association with  Parentdish.co.uk this is the forth annual awards.
    There are 15 categories to choose from and you can vote for as many or as few as you wish!




    MAD Blog Awards




    You only have one chance at filling out the form and nominations must be in by midnight of the 18th of February!
    Each nomination counts as a vote and those 4 blogs with the most votes and 1 blog chosen by the panel go through to the voting stage.

    There have been thousands and thousands of nominations this year and I can be proud that I actually am one! I never thought I would get a nomination as my blog is very new and it has taken me a while to catch the bug!
    I have lots of favourite blogs, most of which are written by outstanding Mums and Dads and I hope you will take 5 mins to nominate your favourites! 

    You can nominate here : NOMINATE!

    I have nominations in New Blog, School days and Fashion! (!!)




    The second set of awards are The SWANS - SWAN UK (Syndromes Without A Name) is a project run by Genetic Alliance UK offering support and information to families of children with undiagnosed conditions.

    The SWANs Blog Post Awards


    The SWAN awards celebrate individual posts - Posts that you have read and cannot forget, or still laugh about three weeks after you read it! 

    I have been very lucky to receive a nomination for my poem 'Drop' which I wrote a few days after an old friend took his own life.
    I am turning my grief into something proactive this year - (post to follow on this subject shortly).

    I have read hundreds of amazing individual posts in the last 12 months and loved being able to nominate my favourites!
    So if you feel like casting your vote - every nomination counts as a vote!

    Please cast your vote here: VOTE!

    If you would like to vote for DROP please Copy and Paste this link : 

    http://lemonscake.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/drop.html

    for the Most Powerful Post category 




    Saturday IS Caption Day.... #satcap 16/02

    It's Saturday so get your thinking caps on and come up with a caption for this. I went to Playgroup with @sonyacisco from Rocknrollmum and the very gorgeous Syd on Thursday and he decided not to play big or small hoop.........NOPE he wanted to play 'Let's decorate Auntie Ninny!' so what gems can you come up with?

    Then pop yourself on over to the very mad but beautiful Mammasaurus and do some more! (Be warned though the mental imagery is not for the faint hearted this week :)















    Thursday, 14 February 2013

    (Miss) - Stress!





    I have a sign.


    I cannot see this sign as it is invisible.

    The ONLY people that can see it are men.

    Not just any MEN - ONLY men that are in relationships or Don't want a girlfriend - but think they should have one.

    I have no idea how it appeared or why?

    I have no idea how to rid myself of it. I don't like it, not one bit, not at all.


    It IS there, honest!



         If you have read any of my old posts then you will know I have been single for a really long time and this was mostly because I wanted to be! I was reeling from a really upsetting end to my last serious relationship and I needed to work out who I was and where I wanted to be ...solo.

    So for 5 years I was alone for most of that time that was fine, I am a bit odd so probably best BUT when you stop agreeing with yourself then I think it is time to try and find somebody!

     So last year when I met number 1. 'YJ' ( short for - Your Just not attractive enough) I was unexpectedly happy, he was really nice, same sense of humour, music, lived an hour away and we both have our own lives etc so it was great for 4 weeks. After a weekend together he informed me 'there was no spark' and then informed me that I was just not attractive enough for him.


     Number 2 was an offer of dinner with a recently single old friend, has come out of a very bad relationship, and is rebounding. I politely declined.


     Number 3 Somebody I have met and got on well with, very attractive. Wanted a weekend of well me basically! Girlfriend. Declined.


     Number 4 Significant Ex - Text me and offered well to want for a better description 'a quickie' - declined!


     Number 5 Old friend - Still can't work him out - tells me he loves me often by text late at night. Doesn't ever want a girlfriend, doesn't want to get married, doesn't want children!Doesn't REALLY love/want me. I wish he did. That is all.


     *Numbers 2,3,4, & 5 all happened in ONE DAY! 'Weird Wednesday' as it is to be ever known.


    Number 6, Oh Number 6 - Lovely, Intelligent, very attractive, funny and just well ... I don't know! I felt it at first sight, and I got too close. Girlfriend. Gutted - *Ran away before I fell line and sinker as well as the hook....*


    So these are the applicants to said sign - Probably reason why I have such a dim view of Valentines Day. I don't want to be a last resort or a fling or a bit of fun or and most importantly 'the other woman'. I want to be a girlfriend. I don't want anything amazing a nice guy that has a sense of humour and just wants to be with me as much as I want to be with him.


     I need to make a new sign.

     L xx

    Soundtrack to this post

    Tuesday, 12 February 2013

    John Greed Jewellery - Magic Happens!


    John Greed Jewellery's Valentine’s Day Blogger  Challenge


    Twas when I was young, that it all begun, my love of all things MAGIC!

    But alas it twas not real, and my life is dark and TRAGIC!


    Seriously, Thought I'd start this of all creepy and Grimm brother like but as this is about jewellery I couldn't keep it up!

    John Greed Jewellery have given out a challenge to bloggers in the form of a mood board filled with your make you go squeeeeeeeeeee favourite pieces from their wonderful website! With a budget of a whopping £250 to spend this might take me a while!



    As one not to ever turn down a challenge especially when it involves jewellery, fashion, beauty or film I just can't say no! I'm like a virtual child in an online sweet shop!


    As I am born under the star sign of Libra and also with 7 of my planets also in that area of my chart - choosing can take me a while (just stand me in front of a chocolate counter and say pick 1 bar) but not so this time! I knew exactly what I wanted!

    For a while now I have been building up a charm bracelet that started when I was bought a gorgeous Thomas Sabo bracelet with charms for my 40th last year by a group of very dear friends.

    I instantly started hunting down charms that meant something to me but suddenly I realised I wanted a Fairytale theme, with added magic and anything mystical - so I have a magic mirror and slipper; Cinderella's coach and the clock striking Midnight, A single red rose, a key, a four leaf clover and an apple..




    It is a long way off from being finished so this challenge was an absolute delight!

    After losing myself in what seemed like days I have finally decided on my selection which I hope you will like! 

    I found so much I liked that I couldn't just stick to charms so still in keeping with my theme I found a gorgeous necklace and ring that remind me of the Grimm's story of Snow White and Briar Rose - Black as Coal and the opposite to Snow White in every way!

    I couldn't believe my eyes when I came across the Once Upon A Time charm - It is obviously just perfect and has to be number one in my choice.
    The frog is for obvious reasons (We've all had to kiss a few of those haven't we girls?!) Maybe having him on my bracelet will attract my Prince Charming (no warts though please)!

    The ring and necklace although made by different companies are so complimentary of each other and the blood red enamelling is just perfect as I love red in jewellery.






    Now if I hadn't of stuck to a theme I could have had so many more items as John Greed Jewellery certainly caters for all tastes and all pockets! The prices are so reasonable with beautiful charms starting from only £13!

    I really wanted to keep to my magical theme though and I love my items and that is what it is all about, you have to LOVE your jewellery. It's not just an adornment it is a projection of you and what you want to say about yourself to the world around you.


    This challenge has fitted in so well with Valentines Day (I'm almost feeling romantic!) and for me it has brought a little magic to my blog.... Happy Valentines Day Jewellery lovers!

    The individual pieces can be found here in more detail:

    Alchemy Pewter Bed of Blood Roses Necklace


    Thomas Sabo Silver Enamel Frog Crown Pearl Charm


    Pandora Silver and Onyx Rose Ring 

    Links of London Silver Once Upon a Time Book Locket Charm



    Monday, 11 February 2013

    Mandara Spa Giveaway! #Competition


    It has been a while since I had a competition on here so as it the V day on Thursday I thought I would giveaway a few pampering items! You could treat a loved one or just pamper yourself if you are single!

    Mandara Spa's range is gorgeous and available in all Sainsburys stores. I love the Amber Heaven but there are different scents to suit all noses!

    You can win a lovely Island Paradise Ultimate Revitalising Collection which is scented with grapefruit and lemon (of course!), a Amber Heaven Spa Indulgence Collection and a pack of Island Paradise Cleansing wipes.













    Entry via Rafflecopter
    This time though I am putting rules here as nobody seems to read them!

    If you win > email me within 7 days to lemonscakeblog@gmail.com with your details.
    I will contact you via Twitter/FB but if I do not receive your details I will redraw.

    You will NOT be entered if you do not do the MANDATORY steps!

    UK and Republic of Ireland Only.

    That's all; not many but important!
    Good LUCK!

    Comp Closes 18th February 2013.





    a Rafflecopter giveaway








    Saturday, 9 February 2013

    Land of Soap and Glory on Pinterest!


    Those faberoonie retro people over at Soap and Glory are running a lovely competition over on Pinterest for you to choose and possibly win your 5 favourite products from them!




    I have blogged about this just because I wanted to say how much I enjoy doing boards for comps. I love creative comps anyway but Pinterest is just brilliant!

    If it does have one downside it's that you cannot move your pictures around once they are on your board. I would love to be able to do that but as yet not an option.
    I suppose in one way it makes you have to really consider layout as you have to place them in reverse order to make the board correctly.

    Have a look at my board - It was really good fun to do! I love 50's advertising so making the little pictures to go with it was great!  Lemon's I Heart Soap and Glory Board!

    L
    xx

    Saturday is Caption Day! 09/02 #SatCap

    Morning All!
    Dismal here in Dorset so at least I have everyone's SatCaps to cheer me up!

    Here is my little addition to the day....




    What are Gollum, Salem and Buffy thinking?

    Once you have captioned this one pop over to Mega Mammasaurus and do some more!








    Wednesday, 6 February 2013

    The Mad Awards - 2013 #madblogawards

    MAD Blog Awards

    Yes amazingly I have been nominated in three categories! I can't believe anyone thinks my nonsense ramblings are worth nominating but I am very grateful!

    There are some seriously amazing blogs out there - some make me laugh my head off, some make me cry on a daily basis and most just make me realise how many of us don't know what the hell we are doing but what we do we do to the best of our abilities!

    That there are no right answers and we just get on with just getting on!

    I have unbelievably been nominated in the Fashion cat, and this is just brilliant - I have never been a fashion victim and prefer just what I like and how I feel but since I hit 39 - my goodness I love my labels! I love high street, charity and designer (mostly via Ebay) and will be posting my latest ensemble later today!

    Other categories include Best New Blog, Best Schooldays Blog, both of which I am honoured to have received.

    If you feel that you would like to nominate for me in those or any categories please feel free! 

    Nominate here (you can vote for as many blogs or as few as you wish but you can only do it ONCE)     NOMINATE

    I however am leaving you a list of those I decided get my votes and you might find a new super good read on the way!


    L
    XX

    Soundtrack to this POST.



    Tuesday, 5 February 2013

    Monday, 4 February 2013

    Technology or Bust! Taking the Tech Away!

    Evan has had his Tech removed and when I say tech I mean EVERYTHING remotely connected to electricity!
    Xbox Kinect TV Nexus Playstation you name it, it's been hidden in a cupboard. At the moment it is for 2 weeks but it might be longer. He hasn't really done anything specific to cause this but he also has not done anything right either!
    He is refusing to do his homework properly, he talks to me as if I am a piece of gum on his shoe, he is not doing his chores, he is rude to his Nan, and the biggest misdemeanour and by far the most annoying is that he will not sleep!
    Therefore I do not sleep as I have issues with sleep any way and this does not help. I NEED my couple of hours after he has gone to bed and Mum is asleep to wind down and just sit in a zombie like fashion moaning and groaning on the sofa. If he is not asleep until 12.30 then it's 2.30 before I wind down and by then my insomnia kicks in so I just don't go to bed! I am in a perpetual state of surreal-esque hallucinations caused by lack of the ZZZZzzzz's!

    So I am putting my foot down! Sort yourself out or go without! This initial phase of experiment will last 2 weeks and I shall keep a little daily diary to plot his progress. So far so good he hasn't complained but tonight will be first without his TV (I detest him having it anyway so it might not go back - he is only supposed to use it up until an hour before bed) and it is back to me reading a story and an audio book after. We shall see how that goes!




    Can We Be Friends?

    I had a really interesting conversation this morning, and it got me thinking (must have been a great conversation).

    So you are in a relationship and your man slips a new name in to the conversation over dinner. A female name that you do not recognise (alarm bells yet?) and you discover he has a new friend BUT it is a female....

    Now does this instantly make you
    A) Throw his dinner over his head
    B) Give him the Spanish inquisition
    C) Be completely normal as it is only a friend.

    Now would it be the same if it was a new MALE friend? How would you expect your OH to behave if YOU made a new MALE friend?







    Is it possible to be just friends with a member of the opposite sex - age old question and does the dynamic change if you are in a relationship when you make friends with somebody new?

    Would it be acceptable for your OH to go to the cinema with Burt? So why does it seem not so if it was Ethel that he went with?

    Views please!





    Sunday, 3 February 2013

    Silent Sunday







    Silent Sunday

    Redemption at the Odeon - Les Miserables Review

    I love film probably as much as I love books (which is very very muchly) I don't have a car so going to the cinema is a real treat and something I cannot do as much as I would like to. This weekend as part of my 'Get Motivated Lemon' campaign I actually took advantage of Evan going to his Dad's and instead of my normal 'Sitting in a catatonic state' on the couch; I went to the Odeon with a good friend and watched a movie.

    Since I can remember 'It's a Wonderful Life' has been my favourite movie of all time, nothing came close and I will still always be in love with Jimmy Stewart and the wonderful Building & Loan! It has however, lost it's top spot in my Top 10 all time favourites and I am amazed.

    As some of may not know the story I have hid the spoilers so if you do want to read them just highlight the blank spots and you can read them. I have marked each spoiler with ** at the beginning and end.

    Some films you just know will be good, whether from a Director's reputation, the film house it has come from, the cast or a trailer - you get that feeling that you are about to witness some sort of cinematic greatness and that is exactly how I felt from the opening scene, just the shot of sweeping up under the floating French flag gave me goose bumps and they never went away, they got worse but never disappeared.
    It is a long film 2hrs 37 mins - there is no getting away with that but it is an incredibly long book and considered one of the longest books ever written. I would have happily sat through another couple of hours (if my bladder could stand it!) I never wanted it to end.

    Les Miserables (I prefer the translation of 'The Wretched') was written by Victor Hugo in 1862 and is separated into 5 volumes each with numerous chapters (365 in total) It is thought to be one of the best novels ever written although not after being critically panned at the time.
    Taking it to the stage in 1985 a similar result was to be had, critics hated it but the public loved it and it now the longest running musical of all time.









    When I heard they were making a film of it I was unhopeful, I didn't think that it was possible to create the passion on film that you get from seeing it on stage. The whole atmosphere being a huge part of the Les Mis experience. Hearing that Hugh Jackman had been cast slightly lifted my spirits but Ann Hathaway and Sacha Barron Cohen? I had major doubts.

    Directed by Tom Hooper (The King's Speech and Eastenders!) this movie is cinematography history and the only movie I can mentally compare it to is Ben Hur just for it's sheer EPIC quality. An immense film equally in length, emotion and visual beauty!




    The Story

    The first book follows the Story of Jean Valjean (Jackman) a convict of 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister's starving child. 5 years for his crime and 14 for trying to escape his confines.
    The film comes in on the day of Jean's parole and his subsequent 'freedom' which he all too soon realises is just a word and means nothing.


    Javert (Played by Russel Crowe & the main plot antagonist) is the Inspector and heads up the disciplinarians within the jail, he has a hatred for Valjean that is apparent and unhidden. A hatred that will last him his entire life.


    **Leaving prison his papers are yellow which brands him as a 'dangerous man' and he can find no work or compassion anywhere.
    Sleeping on the streets and being regularly attacked and beguiled by the people he finally finds rest at a church where he is discovered by The Bishop (Colm Wilkinson) who takes pity on him and offers him food, warmth and a bed.
    Valjean takes advantage during the night and takes off with the church silver but is caught and returned to the church by the police but the bishop saves him again.

    Eaten alive by guilt and anger Valjean sings to God about his plight and pledges to become a changed man.**

    Fantine

    The film then jumps 8 years and shows the poverty and sickness that thwarts the masses. Jean has become more than he could have hoped. An employer of hundreds and a respected and kind man he runs a factory in which we meet the next main character Fantine (Hathaway). **Having to put up with sexual harassment from her foreman and abuse from the other women an argument ensues and Fantine is thrown out of her place of work, her cries unheard by Valjean who has become preoccupied with the arrival of Javert as the towns new Police inspector.
    At this moment a townsman is hurt under his own cart and Jean runs to his aid picking up the cart and saving the man's life, witnessed by Javert the sheer strength of the feat gives Valjean away and the seed is sown inside Javert that he has found his 'dangerous man' who broke parole all those years ago.**

    Fantain has a child, a girl named Cosette who lives away and she sends money back for her daughters care, **without a job she is forced to sell her hair, teeth and finally herself losing all dignity, pride and her health along the way.**
    Hathaway's version of I Dream a Dream is raw, powerful and completely thought provoking. Her look of Elvish innocence only increases the power behind the part she plays and just screams for an end to her emptiness.




    **Fantain now living as a prostitute, is accosted by a 'gentleman' and attacks him, this is witnessed by Javert and she is arrested and subsequently saved by Valjean who takes her to the hospital and promises to send for her daughter 'Cosette'. **


    **Javert is furious and reports Monsieur Le Mayor as Valjean. He then learns that a man has been arrested and is appearing in court as prisoner 24601 (Valjean) feeling remorse he admits his indiscretion to Jean and asks for his instant dismissal which of course Valjean will not enforce. **
    Wracked with guilt that another would take his place Jean races to the court and admits his true identity. He leaves to go to Fantine, He finds her at the end of her life, feverish and hallucinating that Corsette is there. He promises again that he will bring her daughter to her as she slowly dies in his arms.
    Javert follows him to the hospital where old animosities rise and a fight ensues - culminating in Valjean once again escaping.**


    Cosette

    In the care of an Inn Keeper and his wife Cosette is a Cinderella, used as a skivvy and kept malnourished and dirty the opposite of their own daughter Eponine who is spoilt and well dressed; the Inn is a house of thieves and debauchery.
    Monsieur and Madam Thenardier are criminals that rob the visitors of the establishment and keep them in a permanent intoxicated state so as not to notice! Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter are superb as the comedy aspect of the movie, horrid and disgusting they lighten the mood of the film and give you a lift just when you need it. Perfectly cast and directed. Master of the House is delivered impeccably and very funny - exactly what you would expect from Cohen.





    **Valjean arrives and buys Cossette from the dubious pair who then regret they did not ask for more. 

    Javert is hot on his heals and arrives at the Inn just after he leaves with Cossette. 

    Jean sings of his new life with Cossette as his charge and how his life is full of new hope and love. He vows to keep her with him in safety forever. 
    A road block stops his new found happiness and yet again he has to run arriving at a coven for help he meets the man who he saved from under the cart and is given sanctuary with Cossette.


    Javert sings of his mission to God to capture Jean Valjean and that he will never give up. His views of law are black and white and there are no other shades.**
    Crowe has been panned for his singing ability but I have heard a lot worse (think of Pierce Brosnan in Mama Mia urghhh) and it fits in well with his portrayal, an excellent casting and the sinister presence he gives the character is unyielding and charismatic until his end.

    The Red and The Black

    The revolution is strong with the young poor of France and they stir with fight and anti Monarchy. They are joined by an aristocrat Marius (Redmayne), who has turned his back on his birthright and joined the fight. **He lives in a room beneath his means and we soon learn it is next door to the hideous Thenardier's who are now destitute and still thieving - they spot Cosette  (played by Amanda Seyfried and my least favourite cast member) with Valjean and cause a disturbance which is answered by the Police and Jervert himself.
    Valjean runs, Thenardier tells Jervert who he was and the hunt is on.
    Cosette was also noticed by Marius and likewise and it was love at first sight.** I am not a big fan of Amanda Seyfried, but that is just me. she plays the part impeccably as per usual but I just expect her to belt out Abba! She does nothing wrong with the part at all but it is for me the only downside of the film.

    **Epinone sings of remembering Cosette and her love for Marius, but Marius is oblivious and asks her to find Cosette for him.

    Cosette sings for the truth of her Paps's past but Valjean refuses to tell her anything which makes her sad and frustrated.

    Having found Cosette; Epinone takes Marius to Cosette's home and they profess their love for each other, Epinone is heartbroken and sings of her love for Marius.

    Epinone's father turns up with a gang and tries to break into Valjeans home, thinking it is Javert he forces Cosette to pack and they flee yet again.
    Before she leaves Cosette writes Maruis a note and leaves it on her gate but it is found and kept by Epinone instead.** Samantha Barks as Epinone is outstanding. Her voice is incredible and filled with passion and sensitivity. Fantastic performance from her and I expect we shall see her in plenty of films over the next few years.

    **The revolution ensues and is a bloodthirsty failure with heavy losses on both sides. Marius sensing his imminent death sends word to Cossette but it intercepted by Valjean who decides to go to the barricade to see the boy for himself. Turning up mid battle Jean dresses as a soldier to gain access within the barricade, the revolutionaries allow him in and subsequently give him free reign to do how he pleases with the captured treacherous Javert.
    Javert expecting to die at the hands of his old adversary asks Valjean to end it but Jean will not and gives Javert his freedom. Javert expresses it makes no difference and he will still catch him when the opportunity arises. Nothing Valjean can do can change the way Javert thinks, his obsession borderlines madness.

    Marius is about to be shot and Epinone steps in and saves him killing herself with her act, on her death she gives him Cossette's letter and dies in his arms.

    More fighting ensues but it is futile. The revolution is a failure. Marice is shot and Valjean saves his life by dragging him into the sewer. Javert searches the bodies of the fallen and cannot find Valjean. He hears noises coming from the sewer and realises where his nemesis is held up.

    In the sewer Thenardier is stealing from the washed up corpses, stealing Marius' family ring he puts it on and then finds Jean who wakes and knocks him down, slinging an unconscious Maruis over his shoulder using his incredible strength he pulls them out of the stinking mess into the path of Javert.
    He informs the inspector he is taking the boy to hospital and shoot him if he must, at long last Javert cannot do it and lets him go.

    Knowing the emotional hold that Valjean now has on him Javert has an argument with himself and God and cannot bare the thought of owing his life to Valjean and throws himself to his death.

    Marius is partially recovered and his love for Cosette refreshed and anew. He lives back with his Grandfather. 
    Jean tells him that he can no longer stay with them as he fears his identity will be disclosed [not knowing of Javerts fate] it would disgrace Cosette and Marius's family. Jean leaves without saying goodbye.
    Cosette and Marius marry and on their wedding day the Thenardier's gatecrash and demand money from Marius, saying he had seen Jean kill a man in the sewer but Marius spots his ring on Thenardier's finger and demands to know where he got it. Thenardier has no choice but to tell him Valjean was the man who saved him in the sewer.
    Thenardier then makes a mistake of saying he knows where Jean is; taking sanctuary in the convent. They are then thrown from the wedding party.**

    **Valjean is dying alone in the convent. He tells of his redemption and of his love that Cosette brought to his life. He asks God to take him as he is ready. He sees Fantine and she sings to take him 'home' - Cosette and Marius arrive in time and Marice tells him he knows he saved him that night much to Cosette's shock.
    Jean knows he can die in peace and say goodbye with a completely clear conscience, giving Cosette a letter of his 'confession' to read when he has passed.

    Fantine sings to him and and he sees her, she leads him away and takes him to scene of where the revolution has succeeded and all those that fell are singing.**
    End Sobbing here or not as in my case I carried on through the credits!
    All in all I'm off to see it again this week. Even if you are not a big fan of musicals just go and see it for it's sheer stunning quality. Some scenery moments and architectural scenes really reminded me of Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge, but even so this stands alone. It is a film of overcoming ignorance and leaving hate and anger behind you, a film of hope and probably needed more now than ever.

    Jackman was just amazing I have to put him up there with Olivier and Sharif he REALLY is that good.

    Had to sneak this in ;)

    It is a cinematography masterpiece and no doubt hailed as a classic for the rest of my life. A truly inspiring awesome work. Oscars abound I hope, it would be insulting not to.

    I'll leave the last word to Hugo:

    "So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age—the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night—are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless."



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    Saturday, 2 February 2013

    Saturday IS Caption Day.... #satcap

    Okies, Well that came around fast! It's Saturday so get your thinking caps on and come up with a caption for this.....

    Then pop yourself on over to the very mad but beautiful Mammasaurus and do some more!












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    Friday, 1 February 2013

    This is Not A (Anti) Love Song...



    MMMmmmmm 'that' day is looming again. I really don't like it, not just because I'm single and fed up already of all the smug people that have a OH.
    No I don't like it because it just seems so forced! I'm a romantic - I am! Not for just 1 day a year though in fact I'm probably quite sickly - like a Rolo pudding.
    I can't help it - I like to fuss, pamper and look after - I don't know why, perhaps I was born in the wrong era and should have been my age now in 1954.





    I don't know why I'm single. No that is not true I do know why I am I just can't do anything about it and it does suck, yes it does! I know I don't NEED a man to make me happy but I still want one!
    I have however given up, yes I am no longer looking for Mr Right, Mr Left or Mr any bloody direction. Nope, not going to happen.
    I did date at the end of last year, quite a random meeting it was too! I gave HIM my phone number (I never do that) and didn't take his (I always do that) then it wouldn't be me doing the running. He text me the next day and rang me 2 days later and we spent 57 hours on the phone in 3 weeks - no kidding. Then we had a date and he decided he didn't want to see me again as 'I wasn't attractive enough' mmmm I was really impressed with that one. At least my Ex had the fact that we lived 4000 miles apart and neither of us could move so slightly more valid....

    So I am disillusioned and far too cynical to do it again, I have taken it all on board and come to the conclusion I just cannot be arsed! I am not a defeatist but I am a realist and I am just too old and too tired to find out what flavour ice cream is their favourite - I don't care enough any more. So where does that leave me? Well alone obviously but I don't mind that really - well sometimes whilst watching something funny or a good movie but otherwise it is OK!

    Valentines however can go fizz in some pink champers somewhere and leave me alone, this is the time of year I wish I was a hamster. Hibernation has a lot to be said for it....

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