Jersey Girls – Type A – 26/07/2014

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It took me some time to decide if I should write this blog or not. Saturday honestly was just a bit…. weird.  I am still looking back over some of the days events in horror. The explanations will come later in the usual style of this blog, so expect humiliation and all out cringey-ness. 

I had decided long ago to go to London for this day as a friend from Germany was over in London for a few days. Tanja!! I had to come along, because meeting up is always going to be a rare but special thing so I will make sure to always make the effort. And I am glad I did. Plus, Germany won the world cup this year and obviously, Tanja being German will be firm friends with the football squad so I thought it was my ticket in. It turned out that just because you are from the same Country, you won’t automatically know each other. How weird is that?! 

I had booked up to see Jersey Boys as Tanja had another show that afternoon anyway, so I wouldn’t be missing out on time with her. It turned out that two people I slightly know and tolerate  (Looking at you Aussie Jus and Sit On Stephy)….. had booked up for the very same show that day as well. Jersey Girl-itus is fast becoming a thing with no cure.

Anyway…. I am going to try and do an in depth memory thing on the days events but if you are already a reader of this blog, we all know how well this is going to go. 

After making pals with the train station person, the WH Smith person and the train conductor, I arrived in London town at around 10-ish. Those new pals of mine are fab. I mean… we will never speak again, but hey! Thanks for brightening up the journey folks. 

I headed straight for my second home , Leicester Square to wait for my friend who I was meeting. As I sat on the wall that goes around the statue thingy in the sunshine on a beautiful summers day, I was as happy as a dog that had just found a really big dog bone or a couch to hump. Except I wasn’t sexually excited. Never mind….. 

I people watched, screamed at two birds, ran away from four wasps and put my chewing gum in the bin, walking straight into a still sticky bit on the ground which somebody had clearly just spat out so that was lovely. And this was all in the space of ten minutes. 

People say that London is unfriendly and cold. But I don’t find that. I have only ever had one really rude person in London so far, and in a place that big, it’s pretty good going. This lovely Chinese couple on the wall next to me said hi and gave me a smile that would melt the most frozen of hearts, so everything was good, even if I was scraping chewing gum off my shoe with an old Costa card from my purse. I wasn’t bothered. I don’t even know why I had a Costa card. I am Starbucks through and through. 

Anyway, my lovely smiley friend popped into sight, and off we walked into our new ‘place we go just because no reason really’ pub. While there, we got bacon, because what is a trip without bacon? What is even any day without bacon? And we chatted and laughed until we…. well no. We just chatted and laughed. This particular friend and I …. when we get together, we just don’t shut up. There is no room for taking breaths. What even is this air you all speak of? Who needs to breathe when you can talk and hold your hurt stomach from laughing so much? 

We did somehow manage to stop the chatter for just a second to decide that actually, we were in London which meant we had to go and get a drink at the Garrick Arms. Just because. Rock Of Ages memories and all that. It will always be a sentimental place for us. Rather than our usual malibu and cokes, we decided to be really summery and weddingish all at the same time and get Pimms. I don’t even know if I like Pimms. But you just have to drink it in the summer ya know? And me being the worst drinker in the world…. well, I think that first glass already went to my head a bit. Maybe it was the heat, the tiredness from working so much lately and the Pimms at 11 am in the morning combined, but something made me not quite with it…… 

Before we knew it, it was time for our very own mini Rock Of Ages reunion. We had told the girls we would meet them in the square by the statue at 1-sh, so off we went. 

This is where my brutal honestly kicks in. If I don’t like you, I will be making exactly ZERO time for you. We all made friendships and connections with various people during our love for the show mentioned above. Some of us have nothing in common. Some of us connected and have spoken every day since. Some of us live in Germany and some of us live in Tractor Land. My point is, just because we all had/have a love for the same show, there is no rule that we all had to be friends. 

So when I saw Jus and Stephy in the square, talking to a girl with her back to us, my heart sunk a little. I can talk to a sink. Like… a sink that has been demolished into white dust. I can talk to anything. That sink thing was a really weird example. But anyway, just because I CAN talk… does’t mean I want to waste it on people who don’t care for me and I don’t care for them. I hoped that this girl who we couldn’t see wasn’t somebody who I didn’t click with, because there are quite a few fans from this show who just don’t like me. And I don’t want to waste my time trying to be polite. I just wanted to spend the day with people I cared about. And I am actually being nice really, because I wouldn’t want them to spend time with me when inside, they don’t like me. That would be wasteful for all of us. 

In this life, you must always surround yourself with people who care. That is one key to happiness. Never waste a precious moment being two faced to somebody you wouldn’t even normally say hi to…… 

So with that being said, I made my friend and I walk AROUND the statue…(It’s a big statue guys….) Just to see if we could see who this mysterious person was. We didn’t need to worry in the end. It was somebody who I hadn’t spoken to before who actually seemed very nice so that was that. 

I hugged Jus and Stephy which always amazes me as I am not a ‘huggy’ person. I hate hugs. But with these girls and the amazing friend I was already with…. they make me be ‘huggy’ , which is a compliment to their personalities. 

As we were standing there talking and catching up …. (The woman who Jus and Stephy were talking to looked stunned by my declarations that I had arrived in London to marry The Jersey Boys) , we suddenly saw all these teenage girls just run and scream. Shut the front door. Something was going down. I did what any normal self respecting nearly 28 year old would do in those circumstances. I left my group of friends and ran with all the other girls, acting and totally perfecting the fangirl thing down to a tee. Honestly, I’m not bothered about the celeb world, but it’s always fun to say you have ‘seen’ such and such. So I was running down the square with people I didn’t know who were all beside themselves. Of course when we got to ‘the scene’ , I was too bloody 5ft2 short to even see anything anyway. 

I turned to the girls next to me and asked who everyone was running after. They looked at me in disgust, clearly thinking that I should know if I was part of the crowd that just ran. Fair point. 

“Overload.”

Who? What? Nope. Not even a tiny clue.  I have never heard of them at all ever. That was my fan girl moment ruined and off I walked back to join my friends. 

On the way back to my group, I was thinking to myself…. 

“Please don’t let Tanja and Sarah be there yet. I don’t want to have to explain to them that I was late to the meeting because I had just ran after a boy band I had never heard of. These are sophisticated people, the girls I was already with know my crazy well and put up with it…. but others just get a bit bemused.”

Of course Tanja and Sarah were already there. Of course. Joining them was a lovely girl called Simone. (If you ever read this …. it was so awesome to meet you! And I apologise…. for every single word that comes out of my mouth! ) 

I walked back into the group telling them all about how I just ran after a group of probably underage teenage boys because other people were running and I like to fit in so….. They just shrugged it off and we all sat on the damp muddy grass to have a catch up, after a hug with Sarah and Tanja of course. (Hugs again? I am the least huggy/huggable person in the world so you did good girls.) 

We all caught up. We hadn’t seen each other since November. And that is what I think makes the whole thing special. Listen, I have friends from all over. Everyone does. I have the girl I grew up with since I was three five minutes up the road. I have parents from the school. I have work friends. I have ex work friends. And now I have theatre friends. Some people look down on that and I just don’t know why. What does it matter how we met? The ‘look downers’ say that it isn’t a ‘real’ friendship and I guess only time will tell.  It doesn’t matter how any of us met, all that matters is that somehow…. we all decided to put up with one another and have spoken ever since. I think that is magical. This group in particular…. I have the friend I met in Leicester Square that morning. We have been friends for four years now and she is the one of the most amazing people I have ever met. We knew each other before the theatre world and I cherish her! Then we have Jus. Jus is a weird one to me. She just kind of hit me like a lightening strike and left her mark ever since. She’s a crazy Aussie with a drunken heart of gold. And we have met up many times since November. Then there is Stephy who was the first Rock Of Ages fan I ever met. I hadn’t seen her since the close of the show and it was lovely catching up. And Tanja and Sarah are the same. You realise how long ago November actually was when you all meet up again. 

I do need to do a little shout out here and say that the day wasn’t quite perfect. Not quite. It would have been if I could have met with just a few more people . Stagey theatre people who I have come to really care about and that is Eleanor Paps Baps Page and Noor, and Paps Baps Mum Rachel. Paps and Rachel, you are both so down to earth that you may as well be dirt but in a good way. You are completely crazy and I have come to like using Skype just for you. And Noor. A fellow certain Scottish man fan. Not only does she have good taste in men, she is lovely, quirky and all around brilliant. I can’t wait to see you three again! 

This is such a long rambling blog and I’m not even close to half way yet…. ooops. 

I think I might have suggested more Pimms. So four of us went over to the pub while the others insisted they were OK where they were, but then they came to join in the Pimms party and it was all fun. Remember the door way guy? REMEMBER HIM?! What was that about? We saw a Ross Hunter lookalike at the pub, who now in hindsight didn’t actually look remotely like him but….. like I said. I’m a bad drinker. 

Just like that, it was time to all seperate and go to our various shows. But it’s OK because we would all see each other afterwards for some unexpected boob action. More on that later. 

It has probably got to be said that Jus and I know our way around the Piccadilly theatre now. Ooops again. It’s official. Jersey Girls. 

We made ourselves at home in the bar before the show (of course, where else? This blog paints us in such a good light, especially as Jus is already known as ‘Drunk Aussie’) . Then it was time to make our way to the seats. The front row frickin seats. 

There was still ten minutes for a gossip though and as we were all sitting in various places, we decided to group up at the twirly stairs. As we were in the middle of a girly chat, probably about how dreamy Sandy Valli was, none other than Tobey came walking up to us. Tobey was also a Rock Of Ages fan from Germany who we used to bump into a lot. He’s lovely. It was a great surprise to see him! What a small world. It’s great that so many of us still go to support former cast members. 

Anyway… on to the show stuff. This is where I lose the plot and it is where the plot completely disappears for the entire day. 

Let me tell you. Sitting in the front row of Jersey Boys at the Piccadilly is a really bizarre experience. You are so close to the actually very low stage that you can touch it. You may as well be on stage with them. 

I was already a bit dazed when Thomas Goodridge came out to perform his rocking French version of Oh What A Night. I got a wink. Listen, I’m not an idiot. It’s definitely not my first Jersey Boys show and I know that it is ‘in the script’ to do it. But the fact that this time it was me threw me a bit because you know…. I’m shy. What? I so am. 

My cheeks were still burning from that when the one and only Jon Boydon walked out onto the stage. Ah Jon. If you are my friend, you will know that in the last few weeks, I have jumped upon the Jon Boydon fandom bandwagon and I’m not planning on getting off any time soon. I have purchased his album Three Four and pledged for his new one in the Kickstarter campaign he currently has going at Jonboydon.com . Check it out. << Smooth plugging that was.He has actually reached his £15,000 goal, but is looking to reach a higher target for a gig!! Do it!! So exciting.  Not only is he incredibly talented away from the stage, he is amazing on stage. Jon plays Tommy De Vito so well that Tommy is my favourite character and I just want to marry him. Which is weird because A)Tommy De Vito is a real person not just a character and B) Tommy is a serious ass with a hygeine/gambling/womanising/towel problem. But I still love him. And that is definitely down to Jon’s portrayal. 

So when Jon launched into song and also gave me a serenade/wink…. my fangirl mode got serious. Oh dear lord. Again, this is part of the act. My friends have had the serenade/wink from Tommy/Jon also. It happens in every show. But this time it was me and my cheeks turned redder than anything red. That is for sure. It is a staple part of the show, just as when Lonny used to say ‘My dressing room, two minutes’ back in Rock Of Ages. But it still made me go red. I mean… it’s fricking Jon Boydon. I just pledged for his album. What the hell?!

So I spent the first act of the show in a winky daze. Of course it just got dreamier when Sandy Valli Moffat appeared. There is only so much sexy one girl can take. Jeez. Sandy by the way, in case any of you are interested, is going from strength to strength as alternate Frankie. He is at a level which just blows me away each time. I could listen to his vocals all day. Dreamy. 

Edd Post and Matt Nalton as usual… job well done. Great cast all round. 

The interval came and Jus and I ran straight to the bar. (Jus, what?! This is getting a pattern now. Next time we need to mix it up ….) A malibu and coke later and back we went to the seats. Act 2 in Jersey Boys just killed it. I am telling you, if you haven’t seen Sandy perform Can’t Take My Eyes Off You then what is wrong with you?! You have to. So good. Whenever I see him do that and Working My Way Back To You… all I am thinking is that he needs to do his own gig. He would be such a rock star!! Actually, that isn’t all I am thinking but. Too rude for this blog. 

The guys finished the show off and Who Loves You is always one of my favourites! I think every time I have left that theatre I have been singing that song. Despite the fact Oh What A Night was just played in 20 different ways….. I leave singing Who Loves You. 

We automatically headed for Stage Door after the show. And that is when I realised that I didn’t want to speak to anyone. I just felt strange and yes… I will put it down to the drink. I always make a fool of myself at Stage Door and I was content with the fact that I had just seen an amazing show. I didn’t want to ruin it by acting a fool in front of hot stagey guys. So as Tobey, Jus, Ali, Stephy and I stood there, I was about to walk away. And just sort of…. have a little walk down the street while the others spoke. 

But then Sandy appeared beside me looking glorious and I didn’t even know he had come out, but the others did so that just proves I was a bit dazed. Unfortunately for me, it was too late to walk away…. and then I sort of just stood in a dirty puddle in front of Sandy which was a bit mortifying because he said…. “Mind the puddle” …. but I was already standing in it,. So things just went down hill from there and while the others were all lovely normal sane girls and boys, I started talking about him and Cameron Sharp having a ‘Leg Off’ in their leotards…. told him that Cam had better legs than him (Not true. Sandy wins best legs against anyone actually)  and a whole bunch of absolute crap. It was awful . Most people would just say…’Great show Sandy! You are so awesome and blah blah blah.’ . I on the other hand… talk about remortgaging my house to afford Jersey Boys tickets and something about seeing Michael Watson …. ?! What the hell? Don’t ask people. It was bad. The only thing that consoles me is Sandy has Stage Door chats all the time and will never remember a word I say so. There is a silver lining. 

Although special thanks to Jus who interjected with … “Laura talks a load of shit.” Sandy was smiling/nodding in agreement I think but I am going to pretend that he was nodding about something else. 

Some of you might be wondering why on earth I would want to share all of that when it was clearly horrific for me, but it is my blog. Why break tradition now?! I have had a few people actually comment and say they are reading for the stage door encounters alone so …. there we go. You may all laugh at the puddle shame of it all. I guess the thread here is… I just lost my cool in front of a fit guy. Like I have said before on here, if anybody ever needs me to shut the hell up for a bit, hire Sandy. It works. 

It was so much easier back at Rock Of Ages where I could just hide behind tons of people whenever Sandy walked out and speak to everyone else at Stage Door. It’s not as embarrassing making a twat out of myself in front of Simon, Dan etc….. So after this awful JB stage door experience, I think I’m gonna have to go back to my old ways. Cowering behind people when Sandy walks out while appreciating how nice his dimples are while he talks to other sane people, then pouncing on the cast mates. Definitely easier. 

After a mini meltdown in the form of hugging the pole on the street from heat/drink/exhaustion/embarrassment ….. we headed back to see the girls. 

Everyone had had a great time at their shows. To my surprise , the lovely Sigal came floating into the square looking like a summery Princess. It was so great seeing her, she was gorgeous and friendly as always. 

Before we all had to say our goodbyes, we took pictures and just generally had a great time. We were sitting in the damp muddy grass again eating biscuits. 

I haven’t said much about Sarah yet, because I was saving it til now. She is nuts and brilliant. I adore her. We are boob soul mates. And one of us… probably Sarah, came up with the idea of throwing the biscuits down each others cleavage. Not even sure how that happened. I think I started throwing them in Sarah’s mouth and then it just naturally led on to boobs….. seems logical. I had a low cut top on so it was a lot easier for her to reach the target; 

Please note, no biscuits were harmed during the making of this and very few were wasted because ya know… Sarah likes grassy biscuits and kept eating them after the shots failed. It should also be said that they were mini cookies. Next time we will move on to full sized biscuits but that is pretty hardcore so we have to give it time. 

We knew it was coming, but it was time to go home. It was a gorgeous chilled evening sitting in the square and it was hard saying goodbye, especially to Tanja. It’s not as easy for us to meet up, but we will. 

My fave aussie Jus escorted me back to the station because she is pretty much my baby sitter when in London. She tries to keep me out of trouble but clearly always fails. 

All in all, it was a very odd day. I enjoyed it. And I can’t wait to go back. I will probably go in disguise next time. Thomas who winked at the start of the show sent me some lovely tweets that night and told me he recognized me. Aaaa! I will definitely have to go in disguise. How embarrassing is that?! 

Jersey Boys, Friends, Germany, London, Puddles and Pimms….. it was fun. Let’s do it again soon. 

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Stay Calm or Panic?

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I can’t take credit for this post I am about to write. This post is coming straight off the back off a blog post I just read, a blog to which I am a regular visitor. Enjoying The Small Things. I have mentioned this lady’s blog before on here and it is beautiful, seriously, check it out if you have time. 
Anyway, her daughter ended up in the ER after cutting her head open and the post just touched upon how the Mum reacted in that situation. She said that she always had a plan in mind for the whole ‘A and E scenario’. She would be calm and focused. She would get through it. Only, it didn’t quite happen like that. She lost some of her cool and nobody can blame her. 

I also believed I would always be cool and calm. But that is not the case at all. All rational thought goes out of the window when you see your child hurt. 

When Leona was around 20 months , we had made it without any major injuries. Then one day, during a visit to a relatives house, she was running around as babies often do, full of excitement at being somewhere else, when she fell head first into the stair case. It was awful. I saw the whole thing as I was sitting at the door way with a cup of tea and it felt like it happened in slow motion. 

There she was, this tiny little bald baby who had only learnt to walk a few months ago, and she just fell into the white wood. On the corner of course.

I’m not quite sure who took the longest to figure out what happened. Me as I stared at her in horror with my cup half way to my mouth, or her who before deciding that it did actually hurt, had stood back up and turned around to face me. I think she did it on purpose, just so I could grasp the full pain on her confused little face. 

Did I stay calm? Did I heck! This was my babies first head injury and I was terrified. As soon as she faced me I could already see a mark/lump forming at the front of head so I knew it was a bad one. 

I had a whole room of relatives sat in the room with me, which really should have encouraged me to act like the sane , calm mother I wanted them to see ;-) But no….. 

I threw my half full cup down which actually fell over in my haste to get to Leona. Then I scooped my girl into my arms, with my heart racing so much I thought it was going to burst. 

This was followed by me hugging her tighter than I have ever hugged her before. 

“You will be OK , it will be fine, you’re not hurt , you’re not hurt.”

To which Leona, who had been clearly able to speak in perfect sentences since the day of her birth (only exaggerating slightly….) starts crying like mad. 

“I AM!! IT HURTS IT HURTS!!!”

Back to me, still hugging her while trying to remember what to do with a head injury. At the time , the only thought that kept circling my head was….’Check if she’s alive, check if she’s alive.’ Judging by the wailing, she was, but you can never be too sure about these things. 

I head towards the freezer. Grab a packet of peas, and hold it against her head which makes it scream even more. During this , I have seven different relatives all telling me different things. 

“Just keep her awake for the next two hours.”

“You should really get her checked out at A and E, that was a nasty fall.”

“If she starts vomiting , you know it’s bad.”

“She will be fine, you are all over exaggerating.”

“The front of the head is the worst place for a head injury.”

“Really Maureen? I always thought it was the back?”

“If it’s a bruise it’s bad, if it’s a visible lump it’s fine.”

And there is me in the middle of all these people, rocking my baby girl backwards and forwards who to be fair, had actually already calmed down and I am shouting…… 

“It’s a lump and a bruise??!! A LUMP AND A BRUISE. Where does this leave me? What should I do. Oh my god, she looks drowsy, is she drowsy?!!”

A relative pipes up. 

“Leona sweetie, what’s your address?”

Me, almost shouting at scared relative. 

“She’s 18 months she doesn’t bloody know our address.”

Anyway, in the end i did what my instincts told me. I phoned NHS direct, explained the injury who just told me she would be fine and to watch her for signs of drowsiness, suddenly feeling unwell and that sort of thing. 

She was completely fine. I let her stay up an extra three hours that night. Just to be safe ;-) And I didn’t get a wink of sleep because you know, my child had a bump to her head. Serious stuff people. 

Of course, since then, there has been numerous other occasions that were one of those “stay calm but actually panic’ moments. It happens with kids. I don’t quite react as bad as I did that first time now, but there is no way that any parent can just act cool a cucumber when their kid has just almost smashed their head in. I think I have a photo of Leona’s injury that time….. You can’t really see the egg sized lump but the bruise and misery is clear for all to see!! 

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So that is that, and I just distracted by chocolate. So….. 

Thinking Out Loud

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Yes, I have kind of named this post after my new favourite song. (Ed Sheeran, check it out people, it’s beautiful.) But I also actually am thinking out loud.
OK , i’m not. I’m just thinking inside my head. But I don’t want to change the title so…..
Anyway.
I often wonder if I am doing OK . There isn’t a day that goes by where I question if I am doing things right.
It gets hard. I have two beautiful and crazy children and it is a scary thought not knowing if you are getting things right. I am responsible for other people. I have been for eight years. And I am sure there have been days when I haven’t quite hit the mark. We all get them.

But something happened today.

I got my children’s school reports.

And I cried. Yes, you read that right. I cried.

It turns out that I must be doing something right.

I don’t think I can even say how proud I am because there isn’t quite a scale. The proudness is off the charts.

This girl right here? This is Leona…….

 

 

 

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She has given me eight years of joy, happiness and love. She amazes me day by day. She has an attitude, but it’s a good one. She stands up for herself in a way that I never could do for myself when I was her age, and I love that about her. I’m not worried about her being picked on because I know she will handle it the right way. She will tell them where to go without stooping down to their nastiness. But at the moment, it’s a moot point. She won’t be picked on. She is too strong for that. 

Her school report didn’t particularly come as a huge surprise. Since the day she started school she has excelled. I’m not JUST being a boastful Mum. It’s a fact. She really is excellent in everything and I don’t know how on earth I got so lucky. 

Every Mum thinks their children are beautiful right? Right. Course they do. But as I studied Leona the other day, it hit me with force just how beautiful she really is. I don’t mean in just a Mum way. I mean in an every day life way. She is energy, she is positive, she is sunshine…. I could go on. She is tiny, I mean… she isn’t going to win any medals for tallest pupil or anything. Everything about her is small. Just dinky. Her five year old brother is almost as tall as her. But man is she forceful. Her size isn’t an issue. She walks through the playground or the park and everyone sees her. It fills my heart with joy when you hear children of all ages, girls and boys, calling her name for attention. All of her teachers have told me how she is liked and respected by everyone, children and adults at the school. And the report today touched upon it again. 

Now she is eight and has lost most of her baby teeth, she is starting to look like who she really is going to be. And let me tell you, that girl she is going to be will wow you. Her nose and cheeks have these freckles that come out in the sun especially and her eyes are greeny/grey/blue. Her hair is fast going brown even though she started off in life as a bright blonde with an afro. After being bald for two years……

Her adult teeth are all coming through and they are so pretty and straight,. I think she is going to have a slight gap in her two front teeth, which is so awesome. One of my best friends has a slight gap and she is one of the prettiest humans on this planet. Model status! I think it is unbelievably cute. Leona has her own style as well. For example, she has come to the conclusion that she likes baggy tops. With the most girly skirts imaginable. Today, when she got home from school, she put on the last top I brought for her which is an age 9. It is massive on her but she insisted she wanted it. Even though she is 8, she still easily fits into age 6 clothes. So this age 9 top really does look massive, but it looks good. She wears it off the shoulder, then teams it up with a denim skirt that has patchwork lace on it and floats around like she is doing the catwalk. In short, my daughter is already turning into a teenage and will no longer let me influence the clothes she wears. 

So yes, she is beautifully stunning on the outside. The most beautiful girl in the world in fact. 

But like her school report showed today, she is the same on the inside. She is kind, loving, smart, funny and talented. Her teachers can’t praise her enough and neither can I. It is so hard to explain what reading a report like that means. She is excelling in English and Maths. She really is a clever little thing. She has manners. That is important to me. So many kids don’t these days and that is such a shame. 

Leona is everything I could have ever wished for and I am so unbelievably proud of her. 

Then we come to Lex. Little Lex man. Known as Alex at school, it is really only me and a very few that call him Lex. It doesn’t confuse him, he just accepts he has a million names! 

Lex has always been harder to figure out. If Leona is feeling something…. happy, sad, tired…. the whole world knows about it. Lex keeps his feelings inside. He always has. I know I said it in a previous blog post but he literally never cried as a baby. He is a tough, quiet little fella and completely his own person. 

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Which is why I was so happy and emotional today reading his school report. I will ask him day after day how school was. And I get the same answer. “Good.” When I ask him to elaborate, he doesn’t. When I ask him to explain what he has done that day, he just shrugs and usually answers with ‘School things’ …. So it has been very hard to figure out just how he is doing. Of course he had those few horrible moments this year with the school bullies. Luckily that is all over now. But I wanted to know how he was getting on in general. I wanted more than a one word answer and this report gave me that. 

 I would never under estimate Lex. I knew he was clever. His teacher told me that when they first started school and he was only four years old, she asked the whole class to spell the word BACK as they were learning body parts. Half the kids spelt it BAK , Half of them spelt it BAC . Lex was the only one in the class who spelt it BACK and I was stunned to know that. That is beyond clever. 

Like I said, he’s a hard one to figure out. Leona the little nerd, lives for homework. She really does. She will do extra homework just for fun. She spends her free time reading rather than on her kids tablet and says stuff like…. “Oh, Mum, I just need to practice writing down the runes from memory before I have a snack….” ….

Lex however, is tough. Luckily, his class don’t get any homework other than reading once a week at the moment. And even getting him to do that is hard. He can do it. He can do it beautifully. But he hates it!! It is a real struggle to get him to stop playing with his football or star wars thing …. ya know that long sword thing that lights up? No idea what it’s called…… long enough to actually read to me. As for writing, forget it. If it isn’t required, he will not do it. 

Which is why I was so thrilled to learn that not only is he doing all this at school, he is doing it with ease. He is excelling. In everything. The teachers mark the reports with Emerging (Building up to it) , Expected (At the expected level for age) or Excelled (Beyond age limit) . Seeing all those ticks next to excelling was such a great moment, and I really am not meaning to boast but I am so proud. It takes such a huge worry from my mind about how he is doing. Turns out he is quite the mathematician. Which is shocking because I struggle to add two and two. 

When I asked him about the report today and asked why he didn’t tell me he was doing that well and why he didn’t say all these clever things he could do, he simply shrugged. 

“I just can. It’s not a big deal.”

Ha! So then I bravely approach the ‘at home’ subject. 

“But Lex, if you can do all these wonderful things at school, then you can practice things a bit more at home instead of refusing.”

He shrugged again. 

“School work is for school though Mummy. I get to play at home. I concentrate at school. And I’m not silly, the big kids told me how much homework I will get next year so I am making the most of now.”

Well, can’t argue with his logic. 

He can do things that I had no idea he could, and yes it makes me feel guilty that I didn’t know what my own child was capable of, but like I said, he is not an open book like his sister. 

He is quiet. He is gorgeous. He has piercing blue eyes that melt your soul and a fixed camera smile as shown in his report. It is the exact same smile in every picture and it is hilarious. He seems to have really tanned this summer and looks completely exotic. His dark blonde hair is curly and wild. He will probably hate it when he’s older but I adore it and so will everyone else. 

Just like his sister, he has his own style. Tank tops and shirts. He would live in tank tops if I let him. There were a few moments during the winter when  I refused to let him go out in just a tank top ;-) He is also very sporty and loves baseball caps. I am sure it comes as no surprise to anyone when I say he certainly doesn’t get that from me. He still has all his baby teeth and he has cheeks you want to squidge. 

He is the most beautiful boy in the world. 

The one thing that makes him like Leona is the fact he is also stunning on the inside. His teachers have written how he is sunny and positive. He cares about everyone and everything. This particular line stood out for me.  “Alex very clearly knows what is right and what is wrong.” These lines so often get blurred nowadays. 

Working in retail , I cannot tell you the amount of times I have witnessed a kid, not much older than my two, screaming at their Mum because they won’t buy them something. Just a few weeks , there was this boy in the shop who was trashing everything on the shelves and shouting that his Mum was a fat fucking bitch. He looked no older than ten. How incredibly sad. 

Lex really does know what is right and wrong. Both of my children do. 

I am blown away by the report on Lex today, and so thankful for these two little humans that enrich my life daily. 

Which brings me back to the point of this post. I often wonder if I am doing OK.

Since day 1, I have loved them, I have fed them, I have cleaned them, I have read to them, I have done things that their Dad should have been doing…. football, day trips, providing them with what they need. I work, I hate being away from them but somebody has to make them money. But along with all the things a parent should do, I have also had many moments of self doubt. When one of them gets ill and I sit up worrying all night. I worry if I am spending enough time with them doing the little things like reading and practicing their writing. I worry if Lex is getting enough ‘boy’ things into his day. Leona and I are very girly, and Lex is very boyish indeed. I try with the sports and star wars but a lot of it goes over my head. I basically just worry in case I am not doing enough in general. 

I wonder if I am doing OK. 

And after reading the reports today, I think I can say that I am. I am managing. 

I don’t deserve the praise of course. No. 

Every bit of praise goes to Leona and Lex. If they weren’t the children they are, my job would probably be a lot harder. Those reports are their own doing. 

And right now, I am on cloud 9 which lands just on top of happiness mountain feeling prouder than I thought possible. 

29/06/2014 – The Story of The Backstreet Boys and The Bra…..

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*Warning* – As usual, this post contains me making an idiot out of myself. I think every blog post should start with this warning because it is usually the case. Just assume that wherever I go and whoever I am with….. idiot-ness will occur.

I am not going to lie, I was going to this music in the park event for one thing and one thing only. McBusted. It is no secret that I can be a bit of a fangirl. It is also no secret that Busted were my ‘thing’ when I was a teen…. it was widely known. Pretty much everywhere I went, people would know I liked Busted. I liked to shout it from the rooftops. On the day they split up, all the people I knew including my boyfriend at the time, gleefully pinned the newspaper articles about the split in places I would see them. Just to really make the poor fangirl in me weep like a baby.

Anyway, long story short, I never got to see Busted perform live. I have seen Mcfly live three times now and they have been rocking each time… but Busted always held a little piece of my heart. So when Lizzy and I heard about the McBusted thing, we had to get tickets. When we tried to get tickets for their actual tour, we couldn’t as the date we wanted fell on a family birthday and as much as I love Busted…. I wouldn’t have missed the birthday for anything. Not even if Sandy Moffat done a ‘one night only’ Full Monty show. <<It has been said that I throw him in every blog at least once so I am just keeping up with the trend.

So we heard about the music in the park thing that was being held  in our very own hometown and knew we had to go.

We got to the park for 1:30 and headed straight for the golden circle. I half expected Dan Fletcher to be there with his golden showers but he was no where in sight.

When I say we headed straight for the golden circle, we did spend a good fifteen minutes debating on whether we should buy fudge and chocolate for you know…. health purposes….. We didn’t want to be lacking energy later in the day. We actually decided not to , just on the grounds that had we brought just one bag, we would have had to sell our houses. These stalls weren’t exactly cheap.

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So anyway, we got lucky and bagged a spot pretty much right at the front of the golden circle. We literally couldn’t have been any closer.

The first act on were three little guys. They were called Three Dudes. Or even 3 Dudes. No idea. They were around 13. I think that is what they said anyway. To give them credit, they played their own instruments and I reckon by the time they reach adult hood, they will be a pretty talented bunch.

Next up were Diversity. I honestly wasn’t bothered about seeing these. I know , I know. It makes me boring and grumpy but like I said before, I was there to see one thing. McBusted. So all these other acts seemed like they were going to be a really torturous wait! But actually, Diversity were really very good. It is quite impressive watching them on stage. After ten minutes, all of their dance moves sort of started to look the same. But they were great despite that. The little guy with the afro really is fierce and the star of the group. He flips like nobodies business.

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Next up was Scouting For Girls. I wasn’t bothered about these either. I liked that one song they did, but other than that, I have never really taken any notice of them. Yet again, I was proved wrong. These guys were actually brilliant. They played really well and the main dude had a bit of a personality going on so that is always fun!! He really was funny and kept the crowd entertained, and he had us singing along to songs that we didn’t even know the words to. As well as their own songs, they also done Live and Let Die and it was the shit. It was so good. I was so impressed with these guys that I am downloading some of their music as I type this up, They rocked. And I never noticed that the main dude is actually quite a cutie, so that helped. ;-)

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Next up were 5ive. I used to love 5ive! I actually wasn’t even that excited about seeing these yesterday though because I saw them last year at Newmarket and they were amazing. So I was looking forward to seeing them again, but because I had already seen them exactly a year ago on June 29th…… I wasn’t overly bothered.

It was Abz birthday and you could tell he was pissed out of his head as soon as he came on the stage!! He was so drunk. He was a funny drunk though. He was making the whole crowd laugh and to be quite honest with you Ritchie , Scott and Sean all seemed in a foul mood. With Abz I think. Who knows. The other guys kept getting pissy and blaming a sound man for something even though none of the other bands had any sound issues or technical difficulties. Abz was the only guy who seemed to want to go with the flow. Like when they started playing the wrong song, Abz just carried on singing it which to be fair, all the guys could have done as they would play that one anyway so it didn’t really matter what order it went in!! Last year, 5ive were the stars of the night, this year…. they were a little bit ‘precious’ apart from Abz who seemed to be having a grand old time up there swaying his drunken ass off.

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As you can probably tell from the pictures above…. Abz was definitely a teeny bit drunk. I also have quite solid video evidence of this!! So basically, Abz was brilliant, drunk or not…. and the other guys were a bit uptight. But they put on a good show.

Next up……

The Backstreet Boys.

I knew that most people were really excited about these. But I grew up as a Boyzone fan and despite liking the odd BSB song, I was never really a fan. I am now. These guys absolutely rocked!! They danced, they played instruments really well, they had a lot of banter with the crowd and they sang really good!! They are actually amazing live! They surprised me because I wasn’t fussed about them, then they came on and I was like…. woah! Apparently, Nick Carter was in a bad way just two days ago with severe bronchitis. . You would never have been able to tell. He sang the best of all. They were spot on.

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The other guys were great of course .

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But the star of the Backstreet Boys yesterday was this man. Brian.

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He was brilliant. As you can see, he was unbelievably close to us. He waved at us and sang ….. Although it does need to be pointed out that Lizzy got serenaded by not 1, not 2 , but 3 Backstreet Boys!! THREE!!! Nice work Fizface.

I got serenaded by Nick Carter so even though it was only 1 out of 5 , I will take that …. because he has fit arms.

Anyway, back to Brian. So… he was hilarious. He posed for selfies in front of my phone. In fact, he posed for three….. Here they all are.

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But I know anyone reading this is waiting to hear ‘THE’ story. Yes folks, Brian from The Backstreet Boys saw me make a spectacle of myself.

You see, just after he so very nicely posed for these selfies, I had to put my phone away as my battery was running out and McBusted weren’t even on yet….. so I did what anyone would do, and kept my phone in my bra.

Don’t look at me like that! I had to. I didn’t have any pockets and had my red bag on me, and because we were all squashed in, I couldn’t actually move to even get anything out of my bag. And also…. It would have taken too long to grab pictures of all these people by the time it was out of my bag and unlocked. So I had no choice but to conveniently shove my phone down my bra.

And as Brian was standing right in front of me, that is exactly what I did. It was only when I looked up and realised he was laughing at me that I felt the full horror. He didn’t just laugh. Oh no. He opened his mouth, quite widely…. and then pointed at me….. and then at my erm….. boob area. Clearly indicating he saw what I did. And then he cracked up again. While singing.

So now, I have come to realise that on Sunday the 29th June, it pretty much looked like I felt myself up in front of The Backstreet Boys.  Usually, I wouldn’t care. I also did the same thing in front of McBusted later on in the night but thankfully for me, they were too focused on their performance to see some fangirl shoving things down her bra.

I don’t exactly have …. small boobs. So I mean…. I was wearing a you know ‘normal me’ top. And I mean…. It just kind of looked like I was pulling my top down to flash the Backstreet Boys. I wasn’t. No. I saved that for McBusted ;-)

So…. that was an experience anyway. I just always have it in my head that these people can’t actually see you , even if you are at the front. They proved me wrong with the whole serenading and bra thing though hey.

And when he noticed mine and Lizzy’s reaction at him noticing what I had just done, he laughed even more…. so …. even though it is definitely one of my more embarrassing moments…… Thanks Brian! You just about made my day!!

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Anyway, minus #bra-gate …. BSB were incredible. It’s a shame really, I can’t even remember any songs….. I can,, but they won’t be in order. They sang a lot of songs.

My favourite of course being I Want It That Way….. which is also when Bra-Gate happened. That was definitely a special song. It made me want to book up tickets for their tour and I’m not even a huge fan of them. I am now though. Well done Backstreet Boys!! Awesome show.

But of course, they didn’t beat the main event. McBusted were everything I hoped they would be. I will tell you all a secret…. I used to love James Bourne. He was my favourite in Busted and I was pretty certain he would be my husband ;-) But since the wonder of twitter and growing up, I started to go off him. I unfollowed him.  Maybe he just didn’t come across very well online…. maybe it was just all in my head, but I really started to lose my fangirl for him.

As soon as I saw them all up on stage though….. the fangirl thing for James came back. He was directly in front of me so it was obviously meant to be. And whatever I think of his personality these days, he puts on a great show!!

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It was amazing how easily he transported me back to those teenage years. Busted remind me of my first boyfriends and staying out til all hours. They remind me of being a carefree teenager and not having a lot to worry about. They remind me of awesome times!

McBusted kicked off with Air Hostess!! I love this song. The little kicks and jumps they do are brilliant as ever. They all still rock as much as they did years ago. They put in such an energetic performance. They did all the most famous songs, Crashed The Wedding, 5 Colours In Her Hair, Shine A Light On Her, Who’s David , You Said No, What I Go To School For, Obviously and even Thunderbirds!!

There were other songs that were played but my head was in such a daze that I can’t really remember anything else……

But I do know the best song of the whole night. The song that made me tear up. Yes you can all think i’m sad, you can all laugh. I’m not even sorry.

Sleeping With The Light On is not only my favourite Busted song, but one of my favourite songs of all time. I adore it. I think it’s beautiful ….. and I noticed back in the day that anyone who wasn’t a Busted fan seemed to like the song as well.

I asked Lizzy if she thought they would do it. She thought they would but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I was already seeing McBusted, I didn’t think I would be lucky enough to get my favourite song played as well.

So you can imagine my screams of delight when they launched into it. As soon as James Bourne started playing the song, I honestly got emotional. Sometimes, a song just gets to you. I don’t know why, it just gives me shivers every time I hear it. And I got to see it played live guys!!! THEY PLAYED SLEEPING WITH THE LIGHT ON right in front of my face!! Let’s all jump around with ice-creams in  celebration.

It was beautiful. I zoned out and sang my heart out, much to the horror of the people around me. I will never forget that moment. Standing there with Lizzy who I have known since I was three and finally seeing McBusted was just brilliant. No other words for it.

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We actually had an awesome interaction with two of the Mcfly boys as well which I don’t think our fangirling hearts will ever get over.

Tom Fletcher came over, directly in front of us and we of course started screaming his name like the 13 year old teenage girls we really are…. and he beamed at us, then started telling us to jump. Which is hard with these boobs. But we did and he was amazing. It was a really sweet little interaction and I can’t really explain what happened without sounding really dorkish and weird, but it was magical.

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And then Danny Jones. Ah Danny. This was special. Tom has always been my favourite Mcflyer, and we got a moment with him. So it seemed only fair that we got a moment with Danny who has always been Lizzy’s favourite Mcflyer. It was so cute. I don’t have the moment it happened because it was on Lizzy’s phone, but he came over in front of us to mess around with…. James or Dougie, I can’t remember which one. And the crowd was pretty quiet at this moment in time.

Lizzy got her camera out because her man was standing right in front of her, and i cheered and wooped his name at the exact moment Lizzy was taking a picture, so he looked down at us and started posing for the picture. It was so awesome. She was gutted to have missed his pose by a few seconds, but she still got a great picture of him! It was a really cool moment and the smile he gave us melted our hearts.

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This blog seems a bit weird to me, going on about these people who were interacting with us from the stage, but I had to write it down because we never expected it in a million years. Not at all. Despite having tickets for the golden circle, we never expected to be that close. And we had no clue anyone would look at us, so it definitely made the day all the more special.

We lived our teenage dream yesterday and it was worth every single second. The buzz isn’t going to go away anytime soon, not even tomorrow morning when I have to be up at 4am for work!

29/06/2014 was magical. Now let’s never talk about Bra-Gate again. xox

The Fault In Our Stars – Movie Review

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*Warning – Contains huge spoilers for those who haven’t read the book/watched the film*

For the handful of you that actually read this blog, you would know that a few months ago I reviewed The Fault In Our Stars book.and that I gave it a raving review. In fact, as somebody who is a complete and utter nerd when it comes to reading and wouldn’t even like to guess the amount of books I have read in the last year, let alone ever, I put The Fault In Our Stars at the top.

The story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen year old teenager falling in love with the eighteen year old Augustus ‘Gus’ Waters probably would have been memorable as a sweet shout out to teenage romance and the way falling so deep for someone can make you feel. But of course, there is a huge thing trying to overshadow this simple love story. Hazel is living with terminal cancer.

The book had me gripped from the first page. I laughed, cried and was struck by the beautiful simplicity of the story. And it really is a simple one. Two teenagers falling in love. The cancer doesn’t define them. It isn’t who they are. It really is a novel about love. And we can all relate to that.

Of course , knowing there would be a film adaptation made me happy. I also knew it would be huge. This book has been at the top of the best sellers list for ages and with good reason. I really hoped that I wasn’t expecting too much from the film. 90% of the time for me, a film doesn’t even touch the depths in which a book can. It is easy to feel let down when a favourite novel finally jumps to the big screen.

The hype building up about this film over the last few months has been annoying. I followed Ansel Elgort ( The guy who went on to land the part of Gus) on twitter before the hype started and watched as his fan base built up. He went from having a few thousand followers to over a million in what seemed like the blink of an eye. There were clearly a lot of expectations riding on this young guys shoulders. He literally shot to fame right before my eyes and it was interesting to watch.

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After seeing the film today, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Ansel Elgort’s star will continue to rise. Cast along side the absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing Shailene Woodley , he has left a stamp on girls hearts all over the world.

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From the very start, the movie was as deep cutting as the book. There is no sugar coating the cancer. Hazel makes no pretence that she is happy about her life. She is a teenage girl with terminal cancer who finds it hard to even walk a few steps while dragging her oxygen tank around with her.

It is a harsh reminder that there are people out in this world whose lives are a daily battle.

It has to be said that even though the eyes of the world were all watching Shailene and Ansel, there are two other stars that impacted me in the movie big time. It took me with surprise since in the book , I didn’t care for them all that much. Hazel’s parents.

Sam Trammell and Laura Dern were absolute knockouts in this movie. The way they conveyed parents who had come to terms with their daughters diagnosis was absolutely fantastic. They were brilliant and I really found myself enjoying them with a heartbreaking sadness every single time they were on the screen. It also helped that Sam Trammell is a complete and utter babe. Come on, …… I only speak the truth.

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For the first half an hour of the movie, I just watched. No crying….. no emotion even. I wondered if there was something wrong with me since I had pretty much cried from page 1 in the book. I worried that I wasn’t enjoying it. And that it would leave me cold. I didn’t have to worry.

The only film I can rememeber REALLY crying at in the cinema is A Walk To Remember which to this day will remain one of my all time favourite films. But I was a young teenager. Sobbing your heart out as a 27 year old is a different thing all together.

Hazel and Gus fall in love. Gus is perfectly cast. Ansel brings all the funny bits of Gus to life. Like when he always carried his cigarettes around and puts one in his mouth without lighting it for his metaphor.

“You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.”

There are all the other funny moments like when Gus is disappointed that Hazel used her dying wish on Disneyland and bits like that. So of course, as we all know…. Gus is in remission for his cancer and he never used his wish. He wants to make Hazel’s dream come true of going to Amsterdam to meet her favourite author of her favourite book to get some answers about what happens at the end of his story, They go on the trip and have an unbelievably romantic time together despite the fact the author they went there for is a complete and utter dick.

It all plays out really nicely. The movie is great and has kept as much of the book as it possibly could.

When Gus tells Hazel that his cancer has come back as they are sitting alongside a beautiful river in Amsterdam, the whole packed out cinema gasped. Including me, even though I knew it was coming having read the book. It was a sad moment. But I didn’t cry. Others around me were falling apart, I have never known a cinema to be so united in crying!!

My tears started to fall when Gus calls Hazel for help from a petrol station because he is really ill. The cancer is getting to him. Of course it would get to him. He’s an 18 year old teenage guy who has just fallen in love, and he is dying. Throughout the book and the film, everybody is certain that Hazel is going to die.

But the moment Gus calls Hazel for help at the petrol station is the moment you realise that despite his positive nature, he’s scared. And that is heartbreaking. Gus is possibly the most happiest character I have ever read about in a book, and to see him fall apart is so horrible. This is the guy who kept the fact that his cancer had returned from Hazel just to protect her and puts her before everything. He is cheerful and sunny and seeing him weak and sick when he called Hazel really got to me.

The film sometimes takes you away from the fact they have cancer, as mad as that sounds. It just seems like any other love story. But then they throw in painful reminders like the petrol station scene and flashbacks of when Hazel went through chemo and it is too real.

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It really is true when they say that everybody in the world knows somebody who has been affected by cancer. How awful. This film shows that life still happens despite the people that are battling this awful disease. People still fall in love and live life as much as any other person. It really is a film that will stick in your mind for a long time.

By the time Hazel and one of Gus’s pals Issac (Also had cancer and is now blind….) read their eulogies in front of Gus himself because he wanted to attend his own funeral, the whole cinema was in bits. I am not lying when I say that there was a man a few seats down from me who looked to be between 30-40 and he was crying as he sat alongside his sobbing girlfriend.

This film affected everyone in that screen. I was a mess. I’m not going to lie. I actually freaked out for a minute because just after Gus attends his own funeral , the tears were falling so thick and fast down my face that I didn’t think they would ever stop. The girls behind us had went from being mouthy and annoying at the start of the film when the adverts were on, to completely silent to finally…. HYSTERICALLY sobbing. I’m not exaggerating. I was actually holding my breath because I knew that if I breathed normally, everybody would have heard me crying as well. The amount of sniffles and rustling of tissue packets was really quite something. I have never been in a situation like that before which is just a nod to how great this film actually is.

Of course, for those who did read the book, we all knew what was coming. Gus died just 8 days after the moving funeral scene. Hazels reaction yet again opened the floodgates.

The film ends with Hazel staring up at the stars and saying ‘Okay’. Because that was hers and Gus’s word together. It was their thing. Whether you read the book, watch the movie or do both, you are left with the question of what happens to Hazel. She is dying of course but her condition is also sort of stable. As stable as someone with terminal cancer can be.

This story became so over hyped that before seeing the movie, I was getting sick of hearing about it. But after sitting through that film, I can safely say that it deserves every bit of hype. Every bit of praise. Multiple awards. It deserves everything.

Because it is a story that teaches you that the most heroic act of all is dying. It is the most brave thing you will ever do because you have no choice about it. It also teaches that we do not have to be loved by everyone, only by the people that matter. Everyone wants to be remembered for something, but there is nothing more important than being remembered by your loved ones. It is a weird story for me. Because as morbid, sad and depressing as it is…. it is also one of the happiest uplifting stories. And a film that can balance all of those feelings out is surely a good one.

As the credits rolled up on screen , everybody was just sitting there in stunned silence. The lights came back up and nobody actually moved. We all just sat there with our own thoughts, too dazed to stand up. It was crazy.

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I am going to wrap this up now because there are only so many times I can say how brilliant the film adaptation was. And also ….Bananas are amazing.

Jersey Boys – The Movie – Review

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It is fair to say that I was crapping myself with excitement when I heard about the release of this movie. In fact, back when I heard that the Jersey Boys would be coming to the big screen, I had never even seen the stage show and I was still excited. Skip to where we are at right now with a few live stage shows under my belt….. and boom. My enthusiasm just exploded all over your face.

We all know the story of my love for the West End version by now, I have reviewed it many times and I can’t think of a bad word to say about it.

Often, seeing a live production followed by the movie can be a recipe for disaster . There is nothing like the thrill of seeing it before your own eyes and being in the same room as these people (often hot men people) and watching the magic on stage happen. So the film adaptation can sometimes leave you feeling a bit underwhelmed.

But regardless of thinking that the movie wouldn’t compare to the stage show, I was still SO excited to see it. << Not sure i’ve mentioned my excitement enough in this post yet. Keep on keeping on.

I’m a bit odd with movies. If I want to go and watch it, I try at all costs to avoid reading anything about it. I want to judge it for myself. If I watch an advert and I don’t like it, I ain’t going to go spend my money on it. And that is unfair to the films. You can’t base something on a thirty second clip, so I deliberately avoided all trailers and clips before I went to watch the film.

I didn’t know the cast, I didn’t know if it was going to be similar to the stage show, I didn’t have a clue.

I did have hopes though. I hoped that they didn’t go down the ‘blockbuster’ road. The story of the Jersey Boys is a good one. It is true. It is everyday life with a bunch of great songs thrown in. Not everything needs to pack a huge punch. I feared that the film might be jazzed up a bit purely for the drama but I was pleasantly surprised.

Vincent Piazza plays my favourite character* (As I have stated in previous blogs, I am well aware these are also real life people and not just characters but….. )  from the stage show – Tommy De Vito. Yes , to anybody who has never read this blog before, I have a bit of a soft spot for Tommy. I’m not sure why. I’m not even sure I am meant to like Tommy. But I do. So Vincent had tough shoes to fill. The shoes of my one and only Tommy – Jon Boydon.

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*Photo Credit Google Images*

Since seeing the film, I have read that Vincent was the only guy who hasn’t been part of the stage cast for Jersey Boys. You would never be able to tell. He’s fantastic. For one thing, he made me leave the movie still loving Tommy De Vito, and let’s face it…. Tommy isn’t supposed to be likable. From the moment this Tommy popped his huge cinematic face on the screen and started waffling on with mostly lines from the actual stage show, I was hooked. As you can probably see from the picture…. he looks quite young and lovable. But he definitely has the ‘been there , done that’ charm about him. He has a certain glint in his eyes that warns everybody not to mess with him. Apart from Gyp of course. Gyp DeCarlo being played by Christopher Walken was a stroke of genius.
The chemistry between these two was fantastic actually. They bounced great off each other and you could see that despite his ‘tough man’ guise, Tommy is afraid of Gyp.

I instantly fell for Vincents Tommy. He had so many funny moments in the film that I can’t really pinpoint which one was my actual favourite. He had a great voice and some mean moves with the guitar as well, which is important. After watching Jon Boydon move his hips in time to the music, it was going to take a lot to impress me, but Vincent did. I can’t say that he was the star of the movie, due to the fact that I think all four of the guys in this film deserve equal recognition.

Watching Vincent deliver the Tommy lines right from the start of the film, talking into the camera as if he were talking directly to me, instantly made me feel like I was comfortable. Seeing the stage show brought to the old fashioned streets in the film was beautiful, the set really was how I imagined it was all going to be.

It’s not long until we meet Frankie Valli. Oh Frankie. Played by the completely brilliant John Lloyd Young, he captures your heart straight away. Well he did mine anyway. Yes, Tommy De Vito is my favourite character, but Frankie is just….. Oh I don’t know. There are no words.

Nobody will ever beat Sandy Moffat as Frankie Valli for me. If you haven’t seen him as the alternate Frankie at the Piccadilly theatre in London yet, I suggest you do. You are missing out big time. Sandy brings the voice, the drama and of course…. the sexiness to the role. Very important quality. ;-)

But John Lloyd Young sure managed to creep his way up into my steel heart as a lovable Frankie.

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*Photo Credit – Google Images*

Sandy Moffat has some serious cheek dimples going on as Frankie Valli. He also has them going on as himself. I assume he can’t willingly put them on for the role and he definitely had them as Franz in Rock of Ages and he for sure has them as himself so….. Wait. I’ve gone off track, Dimples always make me forget what I was on about.

Ah yes, John Lloyd Young might not have the cheek dimples, but he has the chin dimple. Oh my gosh. Obviously this is a very important factor of why he was so quick to grab my attention ;-)

On a serious note….. he nailed it. He was Frankie Valli. His voice is absolutely insane. I am completely jealous of ANYBODY who ever got to see him in the stage production. Every single thing about him worked, from the way he hit the high notes, to the way he delivered his lines. John Lloyd Young definitely won many hearts as the cinema walked out at the end of the movie. Granted I was the only one under the age of 60 ….. but still.

My stand out Frankie moment wasn’t Can’t Take My Eyes Off You like it usually is for me in the stage show. It was actually near the start of the movie when he is playing to small clubs. I am telling you, when John Lloyd Young fixes his eyes on a girl in the audience, you are going to wish your arse away that he was looking at you like that. It is lush.

He brings sexy to Frankie. He definitely brings sexy to Frankie. I mean…. I want to go watch it again right now just on account of the chin dimple and eyes. At one point he is rocking some wacky sideburns and even that doesn’t put me off. Nope. Noooo. I sadly think that this man isn’t going to get the recognition he deserves for this film and that is a horrible thought.

One of the reasons I loved movie Frankie so much was because of movie Bob. Enter Bob Gaudio…….

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*Photo Credit – Google Images*

Played by Erich Bergen , Bob Gaudio comes sweeping into the film leaving a lasting impression. This was absolutely spot on casting. His bromance with Frankie is believable.

Erich brings everything that Bob Gaudio needs to the big screen.

Bob is a complex character who is smart yet so unaware about certain aspects of life. Erich Bergen absolutely nailed the scene where Bob pops his cherry, and when he delivers the line ….

“Tommy was right, it is more fun with another person.” …. I was laughing out loud. In fact, I am quite annoying. Because I knew what was coming , I was probably laughing before I was meant to. Sorry other people in screen 4 that night…..

It is weird, because obviously I have never seen Erich Bergen in anything before,  but I felt like I knew him. He was familiar. Maybe it is because he played the movie role so similar to the way Edd Post plays the West End Gaudio. The mannerisms were all the same. The way he walked. The way he spoke. Everything felt right. He was the perfect Bob. I honestly do not have enough praise for the cast of this movie. I feel like they really did hand pick the best of the best. They had to. With rubbish casting, the film would have never even got off the ground.

Now usually, Bob Gaudio is the final puzzle piece, but I am going to bring in Nick Massi to complete the jigsaw today. A guy called Michael Lomenda played Nick , and he perhaps out of everybody, surprised me the most.

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*Photo Credit – Google Images*

Other than the ‘TEN YEAR’ rant…. I don’t really care for the character of Nick in the stage show all that much. Matt Nalton who plays the West End Nick is a seriously talented guy but the character doesn’t draw me in like Tommy or Frankie does. But in this film, I found myself absolutely loving Nick.

Always just there in the background, quiet and undemanding with an occasional …. “Maybe it’s time to start my own group” thrown in, he is not really much to take notice of at first. That soon changes. I thought the stage show rooming with Tommy rant was hilarious….. but ….. the film does it better. It helps that the facial expressions of Christopher Walkens Gyp are hilarious, but most of the credit goes to Michael Lomenda himself. I was absolutely pissing myself. Not literally. The cinema cleaners have enough to deal with, I ain’t gonna add pee to the list.

Nick Massi is a man who has had enough. And the results are thoroughly entertaining. By the time Nick tells Frankie and Bob that he is leaving the group, my heart was aching for him. In the film, even this bit was quiet and understated, yet perfect. These four boys really gelled well together and I couldn’t have wished for a better cast.

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*Photo Credit – Google Images*

My only one ‘thing’ about the film is the fact that when Frankies daughter Francine dies, he doesn’t sing Fallen Angel. I can forgive it though. The rest of the film makes up for the lack of this song for sure.

I have read some bad reviews about this film online. Boo. Boo to you all. If you can’t appreciate good music, talent and sexy men then that is your problem.

The film was honestly everything I hoped it would be, but even more. I try not to go into anything thinking I will hate it , but I definitely didn’t think it would live up to the stage show. And it almost does.

A few of the bad reviews state that there is a lack of drama. What a load of bull shit. It’s called every day drama. Believe it or not, not everybody runs away from mutant spiders while almost being beheaded by a dinosaur who is actually a wizard who just happens to be having an extra marital affair with the husband of the leading lady. << *Copyright MysticMonkey86 – Pitching this to film makers next week* >> . Jersey Boys has the drama of life. There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing a kid. The lack of over the top ratings storylines was one of the many reasons I originally loved Jersey Boys so those bad reviewers need to go and drink a goblet of happiness.

I thought the film was perfect. And I will be going to see it again at some point in the next 7 days. I can’t afford the stage show for a while so this will do nicely ;-) The only thing that would just make it heaven would be a soundtrack for the movie. The Broadway soundtrack is heaven, but not the same as what this would be. I’m shit with google so there might actually be a film soundtrack. I don’t know. I usually get my friends to look this stuff up for me …. I’m great to be around, as you can tell.

Take a bow Clint Eastwood, John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Erich Bergen and Michael Lomenda.

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*Photo Credits – Google images*

Guest Blogger – Jus Bartlett Tells Her Side Of The Jersey Boys Story.

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For this one post only, I am handing the blogging duties over to Jus. She pointed out that she gets a right of reply A) For being a regular name cropping up on my blog and B) For witnessing the Jersey Boys shows with me. I have just read all of her ‘Reply’ and I laughed and cringed. 
Although this is all her own work, I will be interjecting in my usual style. It’s not that I have to have the last word, it is more like I just…. have to have the last word. It’s my blog after all. 
So here you go. Sit back and enjoy while I hide under my pillow and cringe. It’s OK though. I only have about two readers. And if Jus is taking over that will just turn everybody off and drop the count to zero so really…. this will all be fine ;-)
 

Hi, my name is Jus and I’m taking over Laura’s blog today. Look that’s me down there.

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Why you ask? Has Laura gone mad? Well the latter is still out for debate, but the former is because I’ve been mentioned enough times in this blog to finally get a ‘right of reply’. Don’t worry, I’m only here for today and you will soon be back to your regular programming. <<Laura: Yes. If you just all get through this in one piece, I promise to bore you again soon one day. 

Who am I? Well if you’ve read any of these blogs (you deserve a medal) you’ll know me as the Aussie, often being mean to Laura, who corrupts her in spending money on last minute Jersey Boy trips.<<Laura: To be fair, I didn’t need much persuading there. I was in London, I became a rebel. A jersey Boys day ticket rebel. Hardcore. 

 I think for one entire blog entry I was drunk. However, this is ok I’m told as I’m Aussie and was apparently quite entertaining that night.<< Laura: Difference between being drunk and entertaining but carry on…….

 I’m not only the Aussie, I’m the fav Aussie actually (I even have it on a hat, see) and as there is about 23 million Aussies out there I take my title as the fav very seriously ;-p.

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Well enough about me because, let’s face it, you come here to Laura’s blog, not mine,<<Laura: Hey to my many fans!! *Waves like the Queen* Tumbleweed. 

But in vain of Jersey Boys, you know there are always different sides to every story. So here’s our recent visit to Jersey Boys trip through my eyes.

As it always is with us, this trip wasn’t an organised one, What was meant to be a Michael Watson matinee become a Sandy Moffat matinee.

I’m not going to recap the story of show, four guys from New Jersey, a band, love, loss, betrayal with some awesome songs sung by talented actors. The actors are cuties so this also tends to help.   << Laura: Woah Jus. Calm your lady parts. That level of Smut is not allowed on this blog. 

What I will tell you is what it is like to sit next to Laura during Jersey Boys as this tends to enhance my Jersey Boys experience. You see the first thing to note is that you when you start to rake up the trips like we are with Jersey Boys, you start to have your own personal jokes. Laura and I also speak fluent sarcasm, my accent is just a little broader, so there are things that we will start to find funny that our fellow theatre goers will not. ‘Yeah, yeah’ ‘You mean you’re lending me the Plymouth’ – love Sandy’s Jersey accent.

So here are some things to note about seeing Jersey Boys with Laura: << Laura: None of this happens. At all. 

  • You will be elbowed in the ribs when she gets truly excited and if we are both excited there will be mutual elbowing. You know the elbowing I’m talking about, like teenagers egging their mate on in the presence of a cute boy, back and forth. However in this case the cute boys are on the stage and if you’re close enough to the front, actors might actually see you :-o <<Laura: Or hopefully they are so focused on saying their lines that they never once see you. So do you want to know when this actually happens during the show?, Hmmm let’s see, firstly if we are near the front and we think Sandy Moffat  (slightly mortifying, telling yourself it’s all our in heads, but if it is true, where are you exactly meant to look at that time, I nearly waved on Tuesday as he headed up the stairs), when Matt Nalton and Jon Boydon come out in their vests for ‘Oh What a night’ << Laura: Oi Oi and various times whenever Sandy or Jon are on the stage. Let’s face it, if I didn’t have the extra padding around the waist I’d be quite bruised after a Jersey Boys performance.
  • Laura is the queen of the premature whoop. <<Laura: I am.  Yeah she is,<< Laura: I really am. it’s loud, it’s before the audience knows that something good is about to happen and it’s done with such enthusiasm that I’m kinda jealous that I don’t have the guts to do it. Actually after seeing Jersey Boys with Noor on Saturday I’m starting to think all Sandy Moffat fangirls are premature whoopers. Mind you he can encourage a bit of whooping from a girl, just saying . (this couldn’t be a blog on this page without pervy bits) <<Laura: Listen, a premature woop can not only be a little embarrassing, but also needed. It gets everyone else wooping. And just so you know…. it is impossible to hold a woop back during Beggin’

    • She loves a good clapping moment, it’s not always in time and it’s not always at the right time but she loves it. And at times when she gets really excited, it like the enthusiastic clapping of a 4 year old who’s just seen a Wiggles’ performance (I hope you guys know the Wiggles here, otherwise insert your own child group reference, Dora, Teletubbies, you get the picture). And she sits up straighter when she does it, giving the actors her undivided attention.<< Laura: Oh shit. Do I? Well this really does make me look like a grade A bell end. But ya know…. It’s not my fault they look like that.  Some actors get more attention than others, or some parts of the actors anyway. FYI – Jon Boydon – nice bottom. << Laura: Hadn’t noticed. At all. 

    Now most people may go crazy sitting next to a wiggling, whooping girl who nudges and elbows you throughout the performance but I love it. Because while she’s doing that, I am recreating the Bob Crewe lines, tapping my foot like a madman and patting Laura’s leg when I get excited. << Laura:So it was you touching me up at those shows? And when there is more of us in a row, the fun and craziness is multiplied. So what I’m basically saying is that if you’re seeing Jersey Boys and you see we are sitting next to you, you want to ask the usher for new seats :-p. << Laura: I can’t imagine why, you made us sound completely fine to sit next to. 

    So now to the stage door section. My life at the stage door was pretty quiet until I started going with Laura. Yep, I’m the quiet one and I’m quite happy to stand back and watch the interactions around me. I’m not crazy about the centre of attention. I don’t think the cast of Rock of Ages actually knew who I was and I was happy with that. You can’t really do that when you go with Laura, especially as she loves a good sarcastic insult. <<Laura: I’m definitely going to point out that I am actually very shy and retiring. Nobody ever believes me but…. I am. 

    The first time I went to the stage door with just Laura, I pretty much had to hold her backpack on to a pole so she couldn’t run away from Sandy Moffat. << Laura: When will you realise he doesn’t get paid enough to speak to people like me?! So as I don’t like to be the centre of attention, it’s kinda embarrassing to be holding your friend to a pole <<Laura: Feeling me up and holding me to poles. Jus.!! while the actor you came to see is about to walk past you. It also gets crazier when the second time she ran away, only to end up in a dead end street . Yep it’s never a dull moment with Laura. 

  • On yesterdays occasion the following happened: 

First of all her backpack broke again. I hate that backpack. <<Laura: I love that backpack 

I’ve fixed this backpack on numerous occasions, but this time she insisted on fixing it herself, while still wearing it. This is probably what distracted her from first noticing Michael Watson. However, when she did, she really did. It started with an exclamation of glee ‘Michael!!!’ and then a ‘we’re coming to see you soon’. I pointed out to her later she didn’t say ‘in the show’, or ‘as Frankie Valli’, just a ‘we’re coming to see you soon.’ I have no idea what it must be like to be an actor, but I’m guessing he understood she meant the show but he still looked mega surprised for a random girl to call this out when he’d never met her. I also note we were actually standing a couple of metres from the stage door, not directly outside at this stage. Anyway, Michael was really nice and only further cemented Laura’s love (lust) for him. She’s such a cheater on Sandy .<<Laura: No matter how much of a twat I made of myself, that was a good moment. It was the Watson affect. And it was good. I would never cheat on Sandy (In west end stage loving terms of course….~) until these other guys can prove they have legs as good as his. 

So after that incident, Lucy came along to the stage door and we chatted for a bit. Laura was still in the Michael Watson zone so she was a flushed. And then all of a sudden Sandy Moffat was out the SD. This surprised me as he’s been the last out the last few times so I was on the back foot but ready for Lucy and Laura to lead the conversation. Now let me say that Laura warns me she will tell Sandy things. You have to plan these things apparently as you have limited time and you don’t want to keep them too long. However, I thought I was safe as Laura usually can’t string a proper sentence together in front of Sandy. << Laura: If anybody ever just wishes for a break from me, hire Sandy to stand near me and I will be almost silent. Almost. Not quite. 

Oh no, but not today. Today the Michael moment has broken down the barriers and she was in full hyper active bunny mode at stage door.<< Laura: “I just keep goin and goin ……  She even insulted in true Dan Fletcher stage door fashion. I should have known I was in trouble here. So first she insults him to say we thought we were seeing Michael and we were disappointed, then Lucy talks. Then all of sudden I’m being completely confirmed as running his fan page and organising the present from the previous visit (there are four girls remember!!! And thanks for the help there Lucy haha). Now remember the above about not being the attention seeker, so at this moment I was pretty much a 30 year old woman praying the ground would swallow me whole. Luckily Sandy Moffat has better social skills than the rest of us and was very nice. << Laura: I think he was just weighing up if he could outrun the three of us. Either that or he was just wishing we would bugger off so he could eat. 

The best part was when Laura said he should be happy that she wasn’t running the page as it would be pervy and I made it professional. Sandy laughed and I may have told him I felt like a stalker looking and favouring tweets about him but he said he was glad we could acknowledge the people who tweeted and said they loved his performance. We hope this was true :-/

So we left Sandy alone, and started to talk to Matt Thorpe, well Laura and Lucy did anyway. Since seeing Matt’s Frankie we tend to notice him a lot more on the stage now. The guy is a little cutie. So after enquiries about his parents, yep we are that close now haha, Laura asked for a photo. I had camera duties and lined up the lovely pic in the other blog. Laura then says that I want one too, now the fact is I wouldn’t have minded a pic but hate to ask so I hesitated for a second. Talk about accidently offending Matt and he’s suddenly said I didn’t have to, but in I go, embarrassed again.<< Laura: That was frickin hilarious. Right in front of him we were going …. “You have to say yes now, the dude is right here!!” Ha!! Matt Thorpe is a darling.  Now, word to the wise, don’t let Laura be in charge of your stage door pics. While we were joking around about Laura not getting hit by something in the street, I’ve yelled bike and that is the exact moment Laura takes the photo. Evident below. Sorry Matt, but it’s not our best look.

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 << Laura: Well I think the picture is lovely. Matt looks great and I got you in action mode. Always fun. 

 

Now this is getting long now, so I’ll only mention one more thing. Laura got lucky that day. Well not in the way she wanted to but lucky for a fangirl anyway. << Laura: Yes, because we all know the chances of one of these guys sleeping with me is pretty damn high. Ahem. Michael Watson came out the stage door again. Upon seeing Lucy and giving her a hug, Michael Watson turns to all us and the ever ready bunny is off again << Laura: I just keep goin and goin and…. fine. I’ll stop.  declaring her need to see his Frankie and our disappointment in seeing Sandy that day. Cue Laura’s backtrack as he took her seriously and announcing we were Sandy fans. Now I don’t know how a comment like that turns into Michael’s face lighting up as he asks if we’re the Smoffats. I mean I don’t what these guys talk about backstage or look at on twitter, but the fact he asked made me look for the hole in the ground again. So as Laura points to me and I’m looking at the ground, I nearly left the guy hanging as he went to high five me. <<Laura: Rule number 1 Jus, never leave a Watson hanging. I would high five him any day of the week. Apart from Mondays. And Wednesdays. But as I said Michael seems cool and I told him we’d be in to complete the Frankie trifecta soon. Yep, I spoke, amazing.<< Laura: So you must be the Nick of the group then? Does that make me the Tommy? I hope so. Minus the pissing in the sink thing. 

There was a lot of other interactions that day but Laura has pretty much covered that, but let’s just say there were a couple of lessons learnt from Tuesday trip to Jersey Boys.

  1. The Jersey Boys cast don’t know us like the Rock of Ages cast so making jokes about being disappointed to see Sandy is only funny to us, but I’m sure we’ll be back in enough times for them to get used to us. We hope. << Laura: I plan on taking a very long break. That way, they won’t remember me when I inevitably talk shit again. 
  2. Jersey Boys keeps getting better and better each time we see it, even if we are nearly the youngest people in the audience. haha <<Laura: Yes it does and yes we were. That was definitely a 70+ audience, but I love getting on down with OAPs.  
  3. While Laura embarrasses the crap out of me (sometimes herself too) we always have a blast as there is nothing a fangirl debrief and a drink can’t fix. Laura can also nearly speak to Sandy now, so result! << Laura: Almost. And this time, I definitely didn’t mention anything about him getting naked. We are taking baby steps.
  4. Trains to and from Ipswich as shite (side note). << Laura: Don’t even get me started. We even made national news. Police escorts, Overcrowding, 6 hour train delays. I love travelling on Abellio Greater Anglia service.
  5. So that’s it folks. Nothing more to see here. I’ll give you back to Laura, but not before I leave you with our pitiful attempt to take a selfie in front of Sandy’s poster at the theatre. Haha, I think we need better supervision next time.

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