REVIEW | Lair

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Howdy!

It’s been a while since I’ve actually reviewed anything besides albums or EPs, but today is different. As the rest of the US will be celebrating Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving!) I thought I should probably have an easy going post for today. I actually had this figured out but I just needed a day to get it up and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to do it!

WARNING: Spoilers ahead! Beware!

Liar is a series that premiered in the United Kingdom first, as it is set there in the first place. Here in the United States, we ended up getting the first episode two or three weeks after they did, because it came on before the start of October. I actually never saw the promos for it, all I kept seeing was everybody on Twitter talking about it and I just figured that I’d never be able to watch it, because I follow a lot more UKers than Americans on my social media accounts. And then one day I was searching on my guide and found it on the Sundance Channel and I became a happy camper after that!

The story is about a woman, by the name of Laura Nielsen, played by Joanne Froggatt, she is newly single and a teacher at a school somewhere in England. Laura meets one of her students’ dad, Andrew Earlham, played by Ioan Gruffold. He is a doctor that works at the same hospital as her sister Katy. Laura and Andrew go out on a date and when they get back to her flat or apartment things apparently go array.  She wakes up, feeling strange, after she thinks that Andrew has raped her. The show is about what Laura and Andrew do in their lives while the allegations linger over them.

There were a lot of things that I really enjoyed about this show.

I loved not really knowing if Laura is telling the truth in the beginning, they don’t really show you how that night really unfolds until episode four, they mostly show you flashbacks of how the date went and then they show you how he was able to do it and get away with it. Andrew drugged her with GHB, which is a clear liquid that can be poured into someone’s drink undetected and they can feel really drowsy as it takes effect on the body.

Laura is such a strong character in the show. She tries her best to do everything in her power to make sure he does not do this to another woman. However, a man of her past reappears and wants to make sure that her case doesn’t go through. When lawyers hear of this man’s testimony, the case against Andrew doesn’t go to trail. And then the female detective Harmon, goes to Andrew’s house to personally tell him that piece of news and Andrew boldly tries to ask her out, but that’s when red lights flash in her mind (they did in mine too!) and she declines his offer but not without giving him a warning. The next day, she goes home and she’s in the early stages of pregnancy and apparently a lesbian, she has a different juice drink for everyday of the week and she falls asleep. She goes to the bathroom after getting up and she goes to stand up and she notices there’s quite a bit of blood below. So she suspects something happened right away.

This isn’t the only thing that is going on with story line. Laura’s sister Katy is having or had an affair with Laura’s now ex-boyfriend Tom. They both are interested in helping Laura capture Andrew doing something wrong, but then this secret comes out and it’s really sad for both Laura and Katy, as they seemed to be there for each other and after that, the trust isn’t there and to top it all off, Katy’s husband Liam basically kicks her out of their family home with him and their children. So it’s sad all around.

I think the first, fourth and sixth episodes were my favorites. We start to see the things coming together after the fourth episode, things make more sense and then Laura gets Andrew’s phone. She goes over to the old lady’s house and is inside that shed looking inside that gym bag, that whole scene was so uneasy for me because Mia was on the phone trying to call Andrew and I kept imagining him driving over there to come get her, but he never shows up. Laura turns in the case of SD cards of the recordings of the rapes, and the baggy of GHB bottles to the police.

And then the biggest bomb drops, as the end of the last episode shows Andrew Earlham in the middle of the marshes with what looks like a slash around his throat. So the question is who the hell killed him?!?! My money is on his kid honestly! I think the pressure was too much for him. I feel a child can deny an allegation one time, so when the detective pressed charges, I think that was his breaking point. The last scene we have of Luke’s life three months later and you see the screen of what kids that he went to school with were saying about the two of them kind of gives you an insight into the pain that Luke has been feeling lately; plus he looked like pure shit too.

I honestly can’t wait for season two now!

What did you think of Liar? And who do you think honestly killed Andrew at the end?

snowflake

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Catherine Vs. Jane: The Devoted Wives

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Hello!

I love how I feel like I’m done with these versus posts until I think of another batch of people to compare their stories to a newer audience. This is one of two others I want to write sometime before the end of the year.  And after this post, we actually work our way out of talking about the Tudors! So if you’re annoyed over the fact that’s been my topic of choice, hopefully you’ll like those! Until then, we are going to discuss about Katherine of Aragon and Jane Seymour, King Henry VIII’s first and third wives and queens of England respectively.

I know a lot of people are freaking out that I put “Catherine” in the banner, but yet I’m still spelling it with a “K” in this post. Since Henry married three women with the same name, some people recognize her name with a “C” but since I was introduced to her as “Katherine” it’s just what I go for first, so there’s your answer to the mystery. I’m sorry if all I’ve done is confused you.

There’s a lot of speculation whether or not you can fall in love with your arranged spouse. You can find it throughout history of children being married off for different reasons, one being money. If you came from a wealthy family, there were times that the fathers or in some cases mothers would arrange a marriage with one of their daughters to be married off into another family, because they needed the dowry. This goes with Katherine of Aragon, as she was a Spanish princess, she was given to Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales. They married but instead of her returning back to Spain when he died, she stayed because Henry VII needed her dowry, so after the death of the king, she married Henry, who was now the next in line to the throne.

We’ve heard stories of Henry’s hatred for Katherine once he fell in love with Anne, but I think they actually loved each other. I mean, he would have had to love her to make her regent when he went to France in 1512 to fight in the war. A year after they had married, the wedded bliss would start to fade as they lost their first child – a daughter in 1509. Soon afterwards she became pregnant again, this time giving birth to a baby boy that they named Henry, Duke of Cornwall, but unfortunately, the little prince would die just fifty two days after his birth. I can’t imagine losing a child, especially if one was a needed heir for the Tudor dynasty and help to save the marriage to these two people.

Let’s fast forward to when Henry married Jane Seymour.

After the the marriage and beheading to Anne Boleyn was done, Henry quickly married Jane. She was a maid of honour for both Katherine and Anne. Jane’s father was Sir John Seymour and he was a courtier to Henry VIII and majority of his children also became courtiers besides Jane. One of the differences between Henry’s previous wives, was the fact that she wasn’t as educated as they were, but she was good at needlework and keeping a household, which at the time was more of a custom to women.

The other thing that made her different from both Katherine and Anne was her promise to Henry, she actually gave him a son. Their only child together would be Edward VI. After he was born, she was really sick with some type of infection and after reading about how people took care of themselves back then, I’m surprised this didn’t happen more often! After her son’s christening, she died and left Henry a broken man despite she did what nobody else could have give him.

Henry is buried next to Jane at Westminster Abbey. I do think that before his death, she was his only love despite being married to five other women and slept around with some of the ladies in waiting that probably took care of Jane as she was labor with their child and watched her die.  Whether it was only because she was the one to give him a son or the fact that he truly loved her, we’ll never know but I find this decision very interesting. I think once Jane died, I think he was fine without marrying anyone again as there is a pretty big gap between Jane and Anne of Cleves, there’s five years in between these two women. If he wasn’t so paranoid about having a spare like he was after the death of his older brother Prince Arthur, then I think he would never had continued to search for a new wife.

I think every woman that Henry came into contact with, while or after he was married, wanted to please him. Honestly, if you’re in a room with a very high up person like an official or royal, you’ll try your best not to step on their toes. I think all of his wives wanted to be there for him in some way. However, I often wonder, like probably everybody that is obsessed with this time period, is if Jane had lived would Henry still have the same feelings for her as he did after she gave birth to Edward?

Do you believe that King Henry VIII ever loved any of his wives?

If Henry, Duke of Cornwall or any of their other male children had lived, do you think Henry would have asked for a divorce from Katherine? And if Jane had lived, do you think Henry would have loved her just as much?

snowflake

 

New Do!!

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Howdy!

When I was younger I had REALLY long hair, like I used to scoot on the floor and whenever I’d back up and I would pull on my own hair! At the time, I loved it and so did everybody else. I might be going out on a limb here and saying I only kept it was because of the compliments I’d get from the people I was around, whether it was teachers or family members, everybody was in love with my hair! And apparently I liked the attention…

In 2002, we were told that I was going to have my back surgeries to correct my scoliosis, but first I would need to have a metal halo put on me. They would screw this metallic half circular thing onto my head and eventually they’d take it off during the last hours of the third. The day we got it cut off was a spur of the moment kind of thing. We were shopping somewhere and we talked them into just braiding it one last time before doing it at a certain point. We actually cut it pretty short, I think I came home with a bob, that’s how short we got it.

I was crying the whole time!

I absolutely hated my hair that short! Honestly, I’ve never liked my hair short. I think I just kept trimming it that way because it was the easy way to take care of it. You don’t have to wash it as many times as with having long hair, despite the fact you can’t have a long braid down your back, everything about it is better.

So why the hell did I decide to grow it out again?

I don’t know, I really don’t. Maybe a part of me missed it. I mean, let’s be honest I was like the brunette Rapunzel here!

When I went to the Five Finger Death Punch concert with my friend Brittany in May 2016, I loved my hair at that length. I looked like myself and most important I thought I looked beautiful. I didn’t look like a boy, nor did I feel like it was too much to have hang down. I figured it was my comfort zone since I’m not a big fan of  spike-y hair on me. I know, shocker! I’ve had my hair spiked too many times during my teenage years that once I turned 21, I no longer wanted it like that anymore.

When Blondie and Brandon picked a date for their wedding, I told everybody that I’d get my hair cut in August. I wanted to give myself one last braid before I went and cut it all off again. One thing I didn’t count on was since I’ve been out of school, I’m not really around a lot of people and I honestly don’t post a lot of pictures of myself online anymore so when everybody saw the length of my hair, friends, family and everybody else was an awe of how long it was and it did make me feel good, but when you are in so much pain in your neck because of the weight your hair was giving off, you know it all needs to come down soon!

Since I went to the nursing home while mom was busy recovering at the hospital, she asked if I wanted to have the salon lady Debi cut it for me. Truth be told, I was actually going to suggest the same thing but figured I’d be told no. So, two days after being there, I woke up that Thursday morning a bit giddy as I knew I was going to get it done one way or another. I already had a plan of how much I was removing but I don’t think Debi or my nana were expecting so much, and since she was a bit hesitant beforehand I started to second guess myself a bit but we ultimately agreed on the same length and if I wanted it shorter then we can go shorter.

We went to the edge of my neck. So it isn’t necessarily a bob or shoulder length either. However, since my neck does drip over into the right side it is longer than the other but that can’t be fixed by her. That’s just my anatomy! She did cut my bangs, but I think I probably should have left them alone or just trimmed them so far and then stopped. One thing that I didn’t think through was that I got it done before lunch so I didn’t know of the troubles I was to have while eating my meal an hour afterwards. The way I eat is that I bend over and reach with my tongue and month and everytime I tried to take a bite my whole left side of my hair kept going into my plate. It’s not fun to eat your own hair. We ended up having one of the CNAs put half of my hair up to hopefully make eating better for me! It worked, but now that I’m home I use a headband.

One funny thing I wanted to share before I end this post was the fact that my dad was the last one to know I got my hair cut. Since mom and nana knew about it from the beginning and Debi had tagged a picture of it with nana in the background to my mom on Facebook so she saw it while at the hospital. Blondie and Brandon only knew about it because I went to stay with them the following weekend. So dad was literally the last to know about it and his reaction was priceless! He was actually speechless, later he did find the words to say that he liked it. So far he hasn’t said anything about the bangs but they’ll grow out!

Here is a before and after into seeing how much hair I actually got rid of last month! There are a few people I’ve talked to, that have said I can still get my hair braided, it just might be only french braid or dutch braid maybe. Right now I’m going to relish in not having it up in a ponytail all the time for the time being!

Have you ever cut your hair so short that you actually regretted it? What is your comfortable length? Short, medium, or long?

snowflake

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NaNoWriMo | 2 Week Mark

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Hi 🙂

Today marks two weeks after I started on NaNoWriMo or NaNo as I keep calling it! I wanted to write this post as a way to give others who are considering on doing it next year. I figured by the time I was going to write it, I’d be saying “let them figure it out for themselves” but luckily for you I’m not that mean! I made a second commitment to do this post for you and that’s what I’m doing today.

I watched a couple of a NaNo related videos on YouTube throughout the first full week and I watched one by Felicity of GoWithFlick – she is also doing NaNo and even though she’s never really heard of it, but she’s decided to give it a go this past month.  In the video where she announces that she’s participating in it, she says something that really hit home for me. She read a quote for an author that described her sentences to author John Green’s “perfect” sentences and how much we wish our sentences looked liked his and we sort of feel really down about it when our stuff doesn’t look like it should basically, at least this is how I took what she was saying in this section, it made perfect sense though.

During the first day, I was pretty proud of myself on how much I went on to describe about my main character and what had been going on with him for most of his childhood, because that’s one of my issues is that I’m not good at describing things that I’m seeing in my head as I go along. Another thing is dialogue. In almost every story I’ve ever written in a notebook or on here, I’ve tried to leave it out. I’ve been somewhat content with what I’ve done so far. I’m describing what the characters are seeing; my MC has ADHD and so I’ve been told that people with this have a hard time focusing, can be easily distracted and notice almost everything around them. He’s also pretty vocal though, so this has been an interesting experience so far! I will I might’ve picked the perfect condition to test this out or I will either hate myself once the month is over.

I am in the middle of writing the sections between ACT I and ACT II right now, and I haven’t exactly started on my antagonist’s story. I do think I should add it in somewhere, because he was the real reason why I never finished my outline in the first place! I’ve been told from other people to not edit anything while working on NaNo, but right now it’s all about the main character’s story, which isn’t bad because so far his story is easy to write and I know where I want it go, but I still feel like my bad guy needs to be in there, as he has a big role in the telling of the story too. Has anybody have any tips for me do to? In a random chapter, should I just add a section about him and see how it goes with the plot itself?

Okay, now it’s time for some of my own tips that have worked for me!

One of the things I had decided about two days before I started writing my novel was I wanted to figure out a system of what part of the day I should write. I thought about what times would be good to reserve for writing and I kind of quickly realized that as long as I was fed and went to the bathroom before 1pm then I could start there and if I wasn’t able to do it at that time, I figured I needed a back up time so I picked 4pm for a later session.

The first day I put the time start into effect, I actually wrote for about two and a half hours and I was so shocked! It was after the weekend that everything kind of went to hell. I don’t usually write anything on Saturday and Sunday, and even though I did write quite a bit I am glad that I didn’t force myself to do anything on Sunday, as my sister and brother-in-law came down that afternoon. I’ve seen a lot of people say that the weekends are perfect to “double up” your word count, but self-care is important too whenever you’re doing something like this that requires a lot out of you everyday. So as I’m not entirely okay with breaking my rules for this, and if I don’t feel like writing that day, then I need to step back and wait until I am ready to write again.

So okay, the last thing I wanted to share on here was my daily word count.

In my first post, I told you that to be able to hit the 50,000 word goal at the end of November, that you needed to get to 1,667 words daily. A lot of aspiring writers actually make goals of how many words they wish to hit everyday for NaNo, but I knew early on that  I wouldn’t be able to do that so I just took whatever amount I did was good. I mean, at least this way I didn’t put so much pressure on myself and I was still feeling good what I had written so far too.

I even decided to stop writing the very beginning of my story. I got through two chapters, before I realized that I wasn’t exactly ready to explore the next section so I actually moved on to a distant chapter that I knew I was ready to work on and I’m really glad I did that because I was discouraged before this and I knew if I had continued, I would have stopped working on it entirely. So unfortunately, my word count as a whole is a bit different since I had two different sections now. I didn’t add today’s word count as I schedule my posts so early in the mornings, so I will include it in my final post at the end of the month!

Day 1: 2,615
Day 2: 1,285
Day 3: 143
Day 4: 1,525
Day 5: 0
Day 6: 346
Day 7: 933
Day 8: 483
Day 9: 1,431
Day 10: 1,344
Day 11: 1.056
Day 12: 0
Day 13: 956
Day 14: 0
Day 15: 545

If you’re on Twitter, I’ve been trying to post my word counts and I’ve been doing pretty good at not feeling too horrible whenever I look at the progress everybody has been making on theirs, but I feel pretty happy for everyone who has been working on their novels too. This is all I have to say about the last two weeks of doing NaNoWriMo, I hope you all have enjoyed this!

If you’re doing NaNo this year, how are you doing so far? What kind of tips do you give others who are thinking about doing it too? 
snowflake

Album Review: “Waves” by Rachel Platten

Back in 2015, we were inspired by the first single “Fight Song” by this unknown singer Rachel Platten. It became one of the most popular songs of the year, until she released her second called “Stand By You” that at first, I didn’t like because I felt it sounded too much like the first one. Later on, I didn’t care anymore and ended up falling in love with enough to learn both of them word-for-word.  In January of 2016 she released her second album Wildfire. I remember listening to the whole thing the day it came out, I just never got the chance to review it.

So when I saw this sucker pop up on the “New Music” tab on Spotify, I was both shocked and excited that Rachel had created a new album and it made me realize how much of a gap it has been, she was close to two years between them! This new album is called Waves and it was released the last full week of October, so the 27th was the album drop and I have already listened to it prior doing this review, but I made myself a commitment to actually publish a review this time around and that’s what I’m doing today!

How we start this, is with a song called “Perfect For You” and it seems like the sweetest song, as most of her music is directed to romance and heartbreak. It is very good, I like the dream-y introduction, but I think my favorite section is when the soul groove begins after choruses begins. The bass guitar gives it a nice beat to dance. I like how she’s this pop singer and everything, but I like how she tries to bring an urban feel to her music. It sets her apart from the rest of the pack. Second song is “Whole Heart” and it has this lullaby feel to it, I know what the instrument is that you can clearly hear at the beginning but I can’t think of what it’s called, so I’m sorry about that! I really like the subtle beat, it allows her pretty voice to shine. Next is “Collide” and for some odd reason, I had the worst time trying to spell that damn word! Anyways, this one goes is really good. It has a strong pop vibe to it. The lyrics are full of metaphors that deal with love and heartbreak, in a funny way kind of goes with the title too!

Fourth is “Keep Up” and this one is very sassy lyric wise, the beat is very fast and perfect to dance to! It has a 1960’s Disco feel to it when you get to the middle of the choruses. It kind of reminds me of something that Jennifer Lopez would release, but I actually like hearing Rachel’s voice instead! It could be one of my favorite songs on the album! The next song was the first song to be released in this album’s cycle, I can’t tell you when exactly I heard first, my guess is around May, but I could be wrong considering I had only heard it that one time! “Broken Glass” is such a good song, kind of the perfect first single to come out honestly. It’s hauntingly beautiful, but it has those pop elements that everybody likes. It’s catchy and has a positive vibe to it, plus it has enough beat to make it interesting!

Next is “Shivers” and this has a peppy vibe to it and you can dance to it pretty good. The lyrics are catchy but interestingly, it sounds unique too! I’m still shocked that she is cussing in this song though. It doesn’t have the explicit symbol on the right side of the track label on Spotify, but it’s only one world though so maybe that’s why! Seventh track is “Loose Ends” and when I first heard this song, I kind of liked it off the bat and I’m happy to say I still like it. Even though it does remind me of another song, so it doesn’t have that authentic sound I always look for, but I like it anyways! It’s also the first of three songs in a row that start with the letter “L”.

“Labels” is after and is it weird that I felt that she sounded like Camila Cambello at first? I seriously thought it was her when I listened to it a few days before. Rachel doesn’t have an accent, so that’s one of the biggest differences between them. I do like the song though, I just thought it’s a little dull. The next is my most popular song off the album and it’s called “Loveback” and again, you have this slow but urban beat that is apparently growing on me. I also love the meaning behind it though, for some odd reason I kind of thought of my dad while hearing the choruses. He would disagree with that statement, but he’d say anything to get away from the pop genre entirely! Next is “Hands” and this is such a sweet song! It almost makes you want to cry during the introduction. I’m thinking she wrote the song for her mother, and whoever is talking in the beginning has a special message to her and she repays her with this song. It’s beautiful!

The last three songs start with “Fooling You” and again, you have this dream-y and slow beat in the beginning before turning up the tempo and direction of the lyrics too. You can hear her tell the story in each song and I really enjoy getting inside of her heart and what she feels or felt to a certain person. It’s a magical moment. I feel like “Good Life” in ways should have been the last song of the album because it is the final upbeat song. It has a strong pop but has a gospel feel to it too. I think we can blame it on the choir in the background for that vibe popping in, but I do enjoy it! And finally we have “Grace” and I see why it’s the last because it has this perfect tone, and as much as I love ending something with a bang, I do love this too! You only hear a piano and her voice with a echo-y effect, so it’s very haunting. So I approve of it this time.

I’m actually still hearing some of her songs from that album on the radio every once in a while so obviously I didn’t plan that much attention to that first listen! I am glad that I held out to write one for this. I think I prefer this one than Wildfire. I came out with more favorites than the other, so that’s a plus!

So what do you think of Rachel Platten’s new album “Waves”? Do you have any favorites yet? 

snowflake

Places To Visit In England

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Hi 🙂

I am so happy that you guys have allowed me to talk about history and I can actually discuss some of my favorite sections on here for the past several months. Right now, it’s been about British royal history and the lone Russian Imperial Family post, but hopefully I’ll be talking about other eras that have always interested me too. I do have three more possible “versus” posts coming soon, but I wanted to do something a little different this week and explain a little bit more about why I had to change my bucket list destination from London to just England in general.

London will forever be my main destination. It currently holds the #1 spot in my heart but everybody is familiar with London and while that’s nothing to be sad about really, I actually know about different cities and villages that surround London as I’ve been able to learn more about the Plantagenet and Tudor eras and I really liked to visit them just as much.

I’ve actually been longing to create this post for the past two years. Yeah, I said TWO years! I realized after I finished this post that I didn’t go into any details on how much these castles were handicap accessible, although I know I will not be able to go up to the second floors, as there were no working elevators at the time! So this will be a rough list, because I can always figure out other places to add on, but at least you’ll get an idea of where I’d like to visit one day! Oh, I probably should say that I don’t have any plans of going there anytime soon. If I’m honest, I feel like I’d need more than one week to get my fill and visit some of my favorite places and landmarks. I’ve always wanted to stay there for two weeks to a month at a time so I don’t have to rush things and I can enjoy being in the moment.

Hampton Court Palace – located in London

If you are into the Tudor times like me, you may think that King Henry VIII was the one who created Hampton Castle/Palace, but he wasn’t. It was actually one of his most trusted advisers Cardinal Thomas Wosley. He had it built for himself but gave it to Henry. After the demise of both Wosley and the Catholic church, it was still one of his favorite places.

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Hampton Court is one of my favorite Tudor palaces. It’s also the one I know the most about too. It’s very unique as it is mainly used with red brick, that’s not traditional when you think of the gothic look to buildings of that time! I also love the subtle gestures towards Anne Boleyn in different corners of the entrances. It’s kind of shocking that they were never plastered off after she was beheaded but maybe Henry had forgotten he had them put in? At least that’s what I’m thinking what happened!

Ludlow Castle – located in Shrosphire

Ludlow is one castle that I feel I still have a lot to learn about, but I know it was the place where Prince Arthur lived when he was a boy and teen. When he married Katherine of Aragon, this was where they lived for the first few months before he died. I think it was a popular place to send the heir apparents to study with their tutors and the clergymen. Elizabeth of York’s younger brothers Edward V and Richard, Duke of York was set there. When Edward was about two years old he was sent to live away from court life and his parents. King Henry VIII and Jane Seymour’s son Edward VI was also taken there as a young boy too.

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Ludlow would be considered a “ruined” castle as it hasn’t been kept up to shape as several other palaces have in recent years. It no longer has the second floor and grass has grown over the walls and ground. However, it still looks imposing! These ruined castles, abbeys and houses are still fascinating to people because there is still so much history to them and that’s why people still want to visit them.

Warwick Castle – located in Warwichshire

Warwick Castle is another favorite of mine. It has always been owned by a noble family, mostly the Earls of Warwick and eventually privately to different families. The first earl to inherit the stunning castle was Henry de Beamont in 1088 and it was given to him by William the Conqueror.

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I became interested in Warwick Castle after learning about “The Kingmaker” (Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick) as he was the cousin to both Edward IV and Richard III. Richard’s daughters married the younger brothers of Edward, Isabel married George, Duke of Clarence and Anne married Richard, Duke of Gloucester who later after the death of Edward she became his Queen Consort. I think Warwick Castle has this interesting yellow glow to it. Everytime I see pictures of it, I see like a very plain shade of yellow within the stone.

Hever Castle – located in Kent

Hever Castle is the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII the one responsible for Henry’s sudden change to the Protestant faith and wanting to divorce his wife Katherine of Aragon after she wasn’t able to give him a son and heir. Anne lived there with her parents Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire and Lady Elizabeth Howard and siblings Mary Boleyn (who was also a mistress to King Henry VIII) and George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford.

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What is surprising is that Hever hasn’t been on my radar that long as despite the fact that I’ve always been a huge supporter of Anne Boleyn, I just figured her childhood home had been destroyed years ago either from old age or during the aftermath of World War II and the Blitz. So when I did find out that it was still standing, I was kind of happy! If you’d like to see the inside of Hever Castle, you need to look into The History Review on Facebook and take a look at Hayley Nolan’s podcast/videos, you’ll be just as amazed as I was of the inside of this place!


I have two other cities I’d like to pop into, first there’s Bath. It is known for the Roman built baths, they thought the waters had healing powers and so they created baths all over the city. One thing that I want to say about Bath is that, despite not knowing a lot about King George III “The Mad King” and his son and the regency age that his son George IV who had command of Great Britain in the early 1800’s, I have always found the history of Bath during this time period interesting. Besides the baths themselves, there are some very cool architecture and I’ve been very fond of the townhouses, but then again I like townhouses anyway! Every country has a different design and paint them in quirky colors, but “The Royal Crescent” in Bath are my favorite. It is a giant half circular row of townhouses that were first used for the wealthy. but honestly I still feel like you need to be pretty wealthy to be able to afford one of these apartments!

One of my favorite girls and blogger Kelly recently went to Bath and wrote about her experiences about what to do and what not to do in Bath. She took photos while she was there so you can see the beautifulness of the two locations I just spoke about in the last paragraph to get a better idea of the amazing things it has to offer.

York is the second and a very historic place in many ways. There are castles and abbeys there, but there’s other things too, like a museum called the “Jorvik Viking Centre” because after the Romans, the Vikings invaded and inhabited it. York has a rich history of both invasions and are still finding artifacts from the area. I feel like my dad would love this place too since he’s so interested in the Vikings.

Fellow blogger Kelly of Let’s Go Somewhere Nice has been very helpful with telling me some of the history about York that I kind of knew about, I heard the story once on Mysteries At The Museum about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. The story is pretty interesting and every year on November 5th, I have to fight the urge to want fireworks! Look up the story and then you’ll understand what I mean. I follow a fun group on Facebook that talks about the past and present day British royals, and a follower Nic James had posted some pictures of his trip to York and Edinburgh, Scotland on the page. I’m not that familiar with a lot of the landmarks yet, so I left her a question about a beautiful gothic cathedral that she told me later is called York Minster. I recently watched a special about England’s Northeast side and I got to see the inside of the beautiful church. She left me a great quote about York that I wanted to share in this post because it sounds like my kind of place!

It’s full of folklore, ghost stories, majestic architecture, tradition; all mixed together and steeped in history.

One of my dreams is also to visit the burial sites of some of my favorite monarchs and put roses by their effigies. I’d like to visit Peterborough Cathedral as that’s where Katherine of Aragon is buried, people like to put flowers, her symbol pomegranates, and pray for her by her tomb. And then I’d like to place three white roses on the site of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral. I’d also love to visit Westminster Abbey and Tower of London do the same thing with Elizabeth of York, Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard and Lady Jane Grey but tie both a red and white rose together and lay them by their sites.

If you could choose any place in the world to visit for two weeks or a month, where would you go? And why are those places important to you?

References:

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Favorite Biopics!

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Hello!

I’ve got another movie list for you today! This one kind of rivals the post I wrote about musicals a few months ago. I like a LOT of biographical films and it’s something that I’m always looking for if my documentaries are getting a little low. I have run out of both genres at the same time, it was a very sad day when that happened! I don’t recommend doing that!

I tried taking out all of the biopics I saw as miniseries on different networks like History and Lifetime because I figured that they’d take over this list and as I was busy searching for my favorites I did realize that I was right, I’ve seen quite a bit! So this is a list of big films that there were released from 2001 to 2016. Don’t freak out too much on me please, I’ll only discuss ten films but I will say there a lot of others that I’ve seen that also deserve to be on here too, but I only wanted to talk ten so I apologize.

Bride Of The Wind – 2001 starring Sarah Wynter, Jonathan Pryce, and Vincent Perez

This was one of the most recent biopic films I’ve watched, I think I saw it back in early September – from July to October I was in a big movie mood where I even broke one of my own rules and watched movies beyond 1999 and I rarely do that!

Anyways, this is film about the woman and composer Alma Mahler, as she marries three times. She was first married to the older Jewish composer and conductor Gustav Mahler, when their youngest died at the age of two and she went away because she had a break down and met her second husband Walter Gropius, there she had an affair with a painter by the name of Oskar Kokoschka who painted her as his muse and one of those paintings was used as the title of the film itself, The Bride Of The Wind. Her third husband was the writer Franz Werfel.

The story is very interesting, although it does portray Alma as this spoiled and selfish woman throughout the film. It was basically the only thing I honestly hated about it, although it could have been very true. Gustav makes her give up composing while they’re married and I would be bored with myself if I had nannies taking care of my children. Other than that, I thought it was a good film. I’ll never be able to see the High Sparrow the same, but you know!

Ray – 2004 starring Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington

Ray will always be a favorite of mine. I actually saw this while I was in school and of course, we had to skip the drug using scenes but I always found it absolutely heartbreaking whenever Ray’s mother forces her young son to try to find her on his own after he becomes blind. And the fact that he blames himself for the death of his younger brother too. I have to prepare myself for those scenes because I know I will start bawling my eyes if I’m not too careful.

The first time I watched this, I wasn’t paying too much attention of great castings until I saw Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles. I thought it was the best decision ever! You literally thought this was the son of Ray Charles or something because he just mirrored him. This was also my second film I ever watched with Kerry Washington in it, before she was made Olivia Pope in Scandal. I thought she also did a great job of bringing Ray’s first wife to life too.

Marie Antoinette – 2006 starring Kirsten Dunst, Jason Schwartzman, Rip Torn, and Rose Bryne

This was my first ever historical biopic I ever watched and I was fairly early in my teens when I watched it too. I never saw it in school, this was a film I watched on TV but don’t ask me whether or not it had commercials included with it because I don’t remember. I do know was after I saw it, I was obsessed with the fashion of the time of the real Dauphine and then Queen of France, Marie Antoinette; later on I became obsessed with French pastries after seeing Marie’s 21st birthday scene.

You get a real sense of Marie’s troubles of conceiving a child with her husband when her mother and ambassadors talk about it in practically every other scene. All that stress doesn’t work well with trying to having a baby, nor does it help if Louis, the Dauphin of France wasn’t interested either. Of course, when it came to producing an heir to the throne, it’s always the wives fault. Never the men!

Public Enemies – 2009 starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Marion Cotillard

Yes, I’m talking about Public Enemies again! I told you, at the time I was obsessed with it before and after it came out.

I’ve always wondered why in the world I wanted to watch this movie so much, because beforehand I wasn’t really interested in the 1920-30’s crime wave, but then once I got into John Dillinger’s story, I somehow got into Bonnie and Clyde afterwards so I’ve been trying to rack my brain for the answer in the last several years! I do have a theory though, maybe it was because John Dillinger was a Hoosier native, because once I found out that piece of information I just searched for anything I could find, so in other words I screwed myself of how the movie would end in a way.

Side note: I totally forgot Christian Bale was in it! I was doing the list and he popped up on the credits and I was like, yeah that makes sense! Oops!

The Runaways – 2011 starring Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning

I do remember how I got into this movie. When they were doing promo for the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Jimmy Kimmel had invited the entire cast to be on the show and he had mentioned that both Kristen and Dakota were doing this film together about the 70’s all female rock band The Runaways.

Once it finally came out, I actually had mom rent it for me and I’ve been obsessed with her ever since! I think Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett was a very good choice as she’s a little naturally awkwardly shy but passionate too and you get that right away. I’m not too familiar with the real story of the ladies of the band and their rise to fame, but I thought it was interesting all the way around.

The Theory of Everything – 2014 starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, and David Twelis

If you are a long time reader, you already know of my thoughts and opinions about this movie, but for those of you who don’t. It is one of my favorite biopics ever! I think everybody who was involved in making this story come alive was amazing!

I have to say  what I said in my What’s The Point Of Acting post, that Eddie Redmayne is only a good choice because they needed to show the progress of Stephan’s condition from the start to the present. At the start of it, you get little hints of it showing up in the way he picks up things and definitely in the dance scene, where his hand is awkwardly shaped in her hand.

As the story goes on, you also start to see the dynamic change of narrative of the characters. The movie is about Stephan and his first wife Jane’s relationship and how she respected his wishes to continue living and proving his theories in the scientific world. So I have to give Felicity Jones as much credit as I do with Eddie in her role of Jane Hawking too.

Straight Outta Compton – 2014 starring Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, and O’Shea Jackson Jr.

I always have a soft spot for musical biopics, and apparently I still have a thing for 80’s rap music. That’s what happens when your mother was a teenager in that time, as a child it was a custom to fall in love with that kind of music as it wasn’t until I was about seven or eight when I started listening to music and my tastes flourished. She had a LOT of great rap music at one point, just don’t ask me what she listens to now because it’s definitely not this.

It took me a bit to finally watch the movie. I felt like I had to wait a whole year because there was so much hype behind it. When it landed on HBO I was very happy, but I still can’t believe it came out in 2014, I thought it was like last year! I can’t keep anything straight anymore! I also thought the actor who played Ice Cube was a random guy that looked like Ice Cube. Don’t worry, my mom set me straight after I finished with the film that he was his son and it totally makes so much sense now!

The Danish Girl – 2015 starring Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander

Yes, I have two movies that star Eddie Redmayne on this list. This was another I had to wait a bit to see as well because from all of the hype for it.

I had fun trying to figure out information for this one, because it’s loosely based off the real Danish girl: Lili Elbe, the first person to have sex reassessment surgery in 1930. The film was about her as a male coming to terms with her women-ly side as Lili, it was also about her relationship with her wife Gerda Gottlieb throughout the process of transitioning. I thought it was a beautiful movie!

I Saw The Light – 2015 starring Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen

I’m still shocked I decided to watch this as I’m not into country music. I do have my tendencies every once in a while, but like I said with talking about Straight Outta Compton, I have a weakness for music biopics. I mean, I do have three of them on this list alone!

I had some issues with Tom Hiddleston playing Hank Williams, mostly because Tom is a British actor but I thought overall he did pretty good. This is another artist that I don’t know much about, but I do know the story of how he died though, so I kind of went into willing and came out with a new respect for this person. You know the crazy part is, I actually recognized quite a few of these songs and I’m pretty sure dad’s only watched it once! He’s the old country music fan compared to my sister who mostly goes for the younger ones (plus Tim McGraw but he never ages!).

Jackie – 2016 starring Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard

This is the most recent movie I’ve seen, I actually watched it back in September or early October.

I still watch reruns of anything about the Kennady’s on TV. I find that entire family so interesting! I’ve always thought of Jackie Kennady as a strong woman before I saw this film, like how was judged for the fact on how much money she spent on clothes as she loved French designers. The woman lost two of her children, three as John Kennady Jr. died in 1999 as caused by a plane crash with his wife Carolyn. Anyways, I thought Natalie Portman did a fantastic job in bringing this strong women to live again for the younger generations. Although, the story of Jackie is different than you’d expect as it’s about the after how Jackie acted after the assassination of her husband in Dallas, Texas in 1963.

What are your favorite biographical movies? Have you seen any of the films listed above?

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