June / July Favourites : Summer Is Here

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Books, Film, Life in France, Music, Podcasts, Pop Culture, Travel, TV, Uncategorized

Summer is with us in a huge way. Temperatures are blazing and all the tourists are in town. There are near daily trips to the beach in the late afternoon when I can just about handle the lashings of sun. Unfortunately there have been some  awful forest fires recently. One fire burnt vegetation in a beautiful area close by and will return soon to see the damage, although I’ve already seen it in photos online so am prepared for the horror of the burnt coastline.

August is already flying by in a dream like shoe gazing haze so I thought I’d do a double up of June and July.

Film Recommendations :

Wonder Woman has been hyped to the max and has also kicked butt at the box office. Yes it’s great that the protagonist is female but it wasn’t really that good. The script was only just bearable and sometimes  I needed to suppress groans. Even Robin Wright couldn’t save it. I will say that the 12 year old I went with loved it so I think you’ll get an idea of the demographic it’s aiming for. For adults the humour is lacking and it appears to take itself very seriously. It seems that I could be in the minority on this one.

Dunkirk, the latest opus from Christopher Nolan whose movies generally work for me is good. There’s never a dull moment in this action packed true tale. This is pretty much an entirely male cast and if you’re a fan of Tom Hardy you won’t be disappointed and Harry Styles is also on the big screen if he’s your cup of tea.

Television Recommendations : 

I Love Dick. No not a porno but a TV series based on the cult book of the same name. So this series scores a 5.8 on IMDB however I found that I wanted to rip through the episodes which basically means I loved it. A middle aged couple both become enamoured of an artist when they shift to a small town for an artist’s residency.  Kevin Bacon is the man in question. OK I know this is a love or loathe, but it definitely erred more on the love for me. It’s by no means perfect but it does provide some of the more out there viewing I’ve seen in a while.

I did some Game of Thrones preparation for Season 7 by rewatching Season 1 and 6. I know it’s kind of silly but I just can’t help but watch it. It’s fantasy land, but still better than reality TV anyday. The script seems to have gone downhill over time though. I’m not sure that Tyrion is as funny anymore. I definitely preferred his wise cracking whoring phase.

Homeland Season 6. It’s still better than most but its heyday has past and now with Rupert Friend disappearing, I fear this show is really on its final downwards trajectory.

Book Recommendations : 

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy is a dreamy but oddly compelling read about a strange mother and daughter relationship and an illness / hypochondria (on the surface anyway). I have been trying to get into My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante but I’m a quarter through and I’m not really feeling it. So many people have recommended it that I know I’m letting the team down but there you go. I will try to finish it though. I have also struggled with A Brief History Of Seven Killings, a story that revolves around the attempted assassination of Bob Marley, that has garnered accolades but the number of characters and the Jamaican speak have made it difficult to get through quickly. Remember when it was a little tricky to read Irvine Welsh with his Scottish twang for the first time back in the early 90’s.  Well this is worse. I mean it’s doable but tricky.

Music Recommendations : 

Have you been making summer playlists? Mine has now become ridiculously long. Current favourites are a mix of tracks where I reminisce of times gone by and find songs that I’d completely forgotten about. Plus I search out new tracks as I don’t want to become a music dinosaur. Old tunes : I’ve become a little obsessed with Idris Muhammed’s 70’s tune Could Heaven Ever Be Like This. If you’re a fan of Jamie XX’s Loud Places this is the source of much of the inspiration (and sampling).

New tunes :  I will tell you that I’m a massive Radiohead fan. It was the 20th anniversary of OK Computer recently and they released the anniversary album OK Computer OKNOTOK with three previously unreleased tracks they recorded at the time. I Promise is one of these tracks and summons Radiohead of old, although I do prefer their new incarnation. My favourite album of theirs is In Rainbows although most fans completely geek out about OK Computer or Kid A.

Podcasts : I’ve always had it in my head that podcasts are for commuters. As I work from home I’ve never thought about listening to them, I’ve dabbled but never really been serious. Finally I’ve found one to enjoy called Song Exploder. If you’re a music geek you can really go to town on this. It features the songwriter/s talking about a song of theirs in depth. In terms of the tracks available it skews indie, which is fine by me.

Perfume : One interesting thing about perfume is when you do a u-turn or finally something clicks and you ‘get’ a perfume that has always eluded you. No 19 from Chanel has been cracked.  Previously I had thought this was a cold, bitchy green but now I sense the warm beauty at its heart. I do believe that this is thanks to Dryad  the wonderful new artisanal fragrance from Liz Moores that has opened my green eye. Who knows, maybe I’ll get to love Mitsouko and Chanel No 5?

I have also been participating in the development of new perfumes from creative briefs through to evaluation and many other steps in between. It is fascinating to be part of a process that I have followed from the sidelines and now to be involved is really exhilarating and interesting.

Somerset House

Travel : Two memorable trips combining work and pleasure, one to London and the other to Paris. I met up with Tara from A Bottled Rose and it’s always great to put a face to the name behind the blog. We paid a visit to the  Somerset House perfume exhibition that is well worth checking out. She has written about it here. I also took a trip to Harrods  and went up the escalator to the Salon de Parfum for the first time.It is eerily hushed up there, in a rather rarified atmosphere, especially when contrasted with the hive of activity on the ground floor perfume area.

Dior White Megan In Sainte Maxime

In Paris the Dior exhibition is superb.  If you get the chance you must see it. It’s on until January 2018.

Lows : My laptop was stolen in London. It was quite the drama for a few days. All I can say is make sure you’re backed up and insured. The police will never find it, laptops are instantly wiped and sold off. Anyway I’ve got a new one now and am happy with it (although it is already starting to get a sticky space bar).

Apple laptops have  gone up in price since my last purchase. Are Apple products a complete rip off? My new laptop has different power points,  no CD drive and I had to buy another phone charger so it could charge from the computer. I admire Apple’s design and marketing nous but you are paying hand over fist and I’m starting to feel dissatisfied. You do feel sucked into their products especially when you have the phone and an iPad. Plus like all other large corporates, they pay next to no tax in every country they operate in. It’s like they give every taxpayer and government the giant f off finger.

The other low was having tickets to a Radiohead gig and not being able to attend it. Boohoo!

Let me know know if you came across anything interesting this month – TV, film, books, music, perfume, food or if you went anywhere uplifting, bizarre or odd or if things were completely crappy as well … And have a great rest of the month.

 

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8 thoughts on “June / July Favourites : Summer Is Here”

  1. Lavender says:

    absolutely nothing interesting to report on my end but just wanted to pop in to say how sorry I am that your laptop was stolen 😦

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  2. Hi Megan! My MacBook got fried when I accidently spilled a cup of coffee on the keyboard, I didn’t act quickly enough to unplug, there was a bright flash and that was that. Of course being 5 years old, it was a great excuse to find another (pre-owned one). We have a PC at our store, and hate it profoundly and since we do so much graphic design, nothing can touch a Mac for that. We are deep into the “100 days of August” or exhaugust as we call it. The tourists have descended and pick at us like chickens, but this is the money making period, so no complaints. For TV, it’s all about mindless so we are working our way thru the whole Marvel universe; Supergirl, Green Arrow, Agents of SHIELD etc… snappy dialogue and lots of eye-candy. Books? Ditto mindless. Just finished an 8 book series called Alex Verus; urban fantasy set in London and lots of fun to read. Other than that, we wait for Labor Day so we can all exhale and get our island back….phew! Xoxo

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    • I know July and August are so important here too. I like it as the town comes to life and everything heats up. My kids watch Arrow and they love Marvel too. Apparently it’s good – maybe I should watch it with them too? That book sounds interesting as well. Happy August to you. xxx

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  3. Love your overall reviews! It’s a slice of life. I miss Harrods. Art wise, I went to our local museum and watched live body painting and then aerial tricks with ropes (kind of Circque du Soleil). I’m finally getting in deep into some local Cali perfumes, Aftelier and Sonoma Scent– as well as House of Matriarch. Splurged a bit on that and some Slumberhouse Kiste–can’t wait til they arrive. No TV or movies–just stripping hardwood floors of carpet, sanding them, and Danish Oil…redoing my childhood home, teaching, and preparing for my imminent wedding. I went to a fabric store today to find lace for “gauntlets” or sleeves. The lady cutting the fabric broke into “Another One bites the Dust.” Sooo my least week or two. Oh, am getting Dryad sample soon. Can’t wait!

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    • Hello there! Thank you for the kind words. All of your perfume trials sound great and all houses that I would love to investigate further too. That’s exciting about your home and wedding (and Dryad). Good luck! What perfume will you wear for your wedding?

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  4. Happy I managed to catch up on this great post, Megan.
    Sound Exploder sounds excellent. Podcasts are the main reason I often wish I had an iPhone. However the new one is set to cost £1,000 so that’s never going to happen. I’ll see if it’s on Soundcloud.
    I’ll also see if I Love Dick is on Netflix, plus I suspect My Brilliant Friend isn’t my cup of tea either.
    We seem to have both come round to No19 at the same time. It’s good to have a pal you’re in sync with!

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    • Hi Tara. Thanks for popping by. The Apple prices are getting right out of order and I won’t go on about my new MacBook Pro with the new keyboard that is already getting repaired. BTW I watched I Love Dick on Amazon Prime – so maybe you can access it that way. It’s funny how we’ve both come around to No 19 – I never thought I would ‘get’ it but there you go. It does seem we’re in sync! x

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