Sunshine Blogger Award

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Now it’s been some time since I’ve done one of these beautiful posts. I really like them as I think they are a great way of getting to know bloggers and I am always honoured and humbled that I’ve been nominated.

I was nominated by Ashli over on You Me and Benny – which if you don’t follow I highly urge you too. You can expect Movies, Marvel, Witty Banter and Dogs – what more can you ask for.

Also due to great minds thinking alike – Sophie over on The Smurfy Gamers Blog tagged me in this post too – which I had to laugh about because originally this post was going to go out on Friday, but I bumped it for the Hellboy Review and guess who was tagged in my post as a nominee – Yep, that’s right – Sophie. So now I am sat here after mowing the lawn on this sunny Sunday lunch time editing and adding more questions. Whoop.


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So let’s get down to the T’s and C’s:

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging sites.
  • Answer the questions
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  • List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or your own post.

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The Questions – You, Me and Benny Version

  • If you had a genie and 3 questions what would your questions be?#
    • I’d ask for money to help fulfill my dreams.
    • I’d ask for the truth behind the JFK assassination.
    • I’d ask for the cure to common cold.
  • Are you an only child or do you have siblings?
    • I have one younger sister.
  • What’s your favorite book/book series?
    • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Series – so good.
  • Do you have pets? If so, explain!
    • We have a cat which is lovely, but my god she is a pain in the bum sometimes. I can’t wait to get a dog!
  • What’s your favorite place to go in the Summer?
    • The beer garden, nothing better than lounging about with an ice-cold beer, talking for hours and just living in the moment
  • If you would have dinner with any celebrity – dead or alive – who would it be?
    • My answer to this used to always be Hunter S Thompson, but now days maybe Johnny Depp.
  • What’s your favorite food?
    • Pizza – hands down, every meal,
  • If you would only wear one thing forever what would it be?
    • I have follow-up questions about this question, but let’s say a white shirt and jeans.
  • What’s your all time favorite animal?
    • Monkey
  • Are you a scary movie fan?
    • Scary Movie Fan as in the films? Or the Genre – The films I like the first two, they were genius, then the rest of the series fell apart. The genre – yes, but I don’t think there are many genuinely great Scary Movies anymore.
  • If you could travel anywhere where would it be?
    • The USA. The times I’ve been, I’ve loved it and would love to see more.

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The Questions – The Smurfy Gamers Blog Version

  • What game are you most looking forward to this year?
    • Well hands down this has to be The Last of Us 2.
  • If you could play a game for the first time again, what game would you choose?
    • Well now I just have The Last of Us in my head – I’d love to play that again. Or the Modern Warfare series, like if you put all 3 into one massive game, that story line is deep.
  • If you could be part of a game series, which series would you chose and what role do you see yourself in?
    • I’d love to be a Cowboy in the Red Dead Redemption series – I’d play a Gunslinger called “Preacher” where I exact revenge on the unjustified and rob from the unworthy.
  • If you could visit any in-game world where would you most like to visit?
    • Probably something like Fallout 3 – just to try out the Wasteland life for a bit
  • What is your favourite thing to do in spring?
    • Not to worry about remembering my scarf and gloves
  • Who is your favourite character from any game?
    • John ‘Soap’ MacTavish from the Call of Duty Modern Warfare series. 
  • If you could visit any place in the world where would you go?
    • I’d love to visit Casablanca
  • What was the last film you watched and would you recommend it?
    • Last night I watched Mission Impossible . . . Rouge Nation – well I think it was that one. I think the newer ones are great fun and would recommend them. Just easy-going films.
  • What blog post of your are you most proud of?
  • What is your favourite soundtrack (Game, Film, TV Show)?
    • I go through phases because I love so many. But this minute the best favourite I can think of is . . . Grease!
  • If you were to learn something new (skill, hobby, subject) what would you want to learn?
    • I’d love to be able to do Parkour. Or maybe just be able to play guitar.

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My Questions

  • If you had to pick an actor to play you in a film who would you pick?
  • If you could do anything as a career what would you do?
  • Is Pineapple allowed on Pizza?
  • When was the last time you cried?
  • Would you rather have all your bills wiped for life, or a Million Pounds right now?
  • In the garden do you prefer Decking or Patio?
  • In the nuclear wasteland do you think you’d survive and how long for?
  • It’s been a long day at work, you are chilling on the sofa with no energy and motivation. What is your go to meal?
  • Amazon Echo or Google Home?
  • If you could see ANY band or artist – dead or alive, perform who would it be?
  • If you could have ANY superpower what would it be and why?

Now for the hard part . . .

The Nominations


Thank you for everyone that took the time to have a wee little read about me and keeps coming back for more. You guys are my mews.

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Edmond de Bergerac – A Review.

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[Gifted] This post is in association with The Royal & Derngate Theatre Northampton.

Here I am again, back with another cultural insight into the world of theatre by reviewing the play “Edmond de Bergerac”. Now let me begin by saying when this opportunity came knocking I had to pause and google what I was signing up for because I knew the name, the phrase but couldn’t put my finger on what it was.

The press release reads as such: Edmond de Bergerac is the hilarious story behind Cyrano de Bergerac. Set in Paris in 1897, playwright Edmond Rostand (Freddie Fox) is approaching his thirtieth birthday with no new plays but a whole lot of worries. He has not written anything in two years and in desperation has promised a new play to the acting superstar, Constant Coquelin (Henry Goodman).


Right from an opening couple of scenes, it was obvious this play was going to be a hyper form of realism, a dynamic mix of sets, acting changes and pure thespian magic. In a strange blend of intercontextuality the play tells the story of a writer, using his own words, life experience and love letters to create a play of which tells a more exaggerated version of his own private life – but with a few extra additions, like a duel!

Henry Goodman & Freddie FoxThe cast is fabulous and committed to every role with so much passion and dedication that even when they play several characters you can easily follow which character is which just by their talent of giving each character their own personality. With big names like Freddie Fox, Henry Goodman, Josie Lawrence and Chizzy Akudolu the play carries great presence and though they were all great it was the supporting cast that stole the show in my opinion – in particular, Simon Gregor; who plays some very wild, over the top and somewhat comical characters such as The Wardrobe Master and the Hotel Receptionist. And Robin Morrissey as Leo, Edmonds friend and ultimately the victim of a stolen identity whose comedic timing and compatibility with the other actors makes every scene and almost every line he delivers a laugh out loud moment.


henry-goodman-coquelin-robin-morrissey-leo-gina-bramhill-jeanne-in-edmond-de-bergerac-credit-graeme-braidwood.jpgAnother aspect of this production that I really enjoyed was the very clever use of the set and stage actions to convey something else happening. Most worthy of a mention is the scene where Leo has climbed a ladder and the ladder ends up falling to the street and also the imitation of the train using costumes to mimic the engine and the use of props and acting to give the illusion the characters are riding in a shaky carriage. Yes, we are aware of how they are done, but in the setting, it’s just pure theatre magic and that is something I love.


Edmond’s play, Cyrano de Bergerac takes many tumbles and suffers several setbacks before it gets off the ground and even when it finally does make it to opening night the lead actress suffers a tragic injury. But the actors playing actors in a play within a play muster on and the production of Cyrano is greeted with multiple encores and raving reviews as the play is a huge success. Cementing Edmond Rostand as the famous playwright we know today and the tale of Cyrano has lived on with him, inspiring many adaptations across all forms of the arts including Theatre, Film, Radio and TV.


I think the underlying message that both Cyrano and Edmond deal with that makes this piece stand out and so relatable is what I guess is modernly called “Catfishing”. The idea of falling for someone’s words and charm without seeing them or knowing who they really are. It just gives you a sense of perspective and a sense of realism that helps the audience relate to the play on a deeper level.

Overall I went into this show apprehensive and unsure of what I was about to watch and instantly within minutes I felt right at home and walked out at the end thoroughly enjoying the whole experience. It’s touring soon and if you get a chance to catch this adaptation I highly urge you to go and check it out.


Running until the 13th of April at the Royal & Derngate Theatre Northampton.

Update: A Catch Up & Cuppa With Me.

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Happy Friday you beautiful bunch of lovely people. How was the week been treating you? I hope you are all well and there are very little grumbles to be had.

I realised I hadn’t posted since the 4th of May which can be read just here. . . “Who Puts the Bra in Equality” and before that was my ever so popular Avengers Non-Spoiler Review but it hit me I wont be achieving my May Goals, which is focusing on blog views, if I don’t have anything engaging and current to pull you over here.

So I have decided to drop this “Update” post to give you all an insight into what has been happening in the world of Ross. Pop the kettle on, get settled in and lets catch up.

Firstly at the start of the month I went on holiday a week in Benidorm, All Inclusive and SUN SUN SUN. I used this as an opportunity to switch off, put my phone in airplane mode and just recharge my cells and enjoy myself. We had a really good time and it was much-needed. Bit of drama on the way home with a couple of drunken Indian Play boys getting out of control and abusive to the cabin staff – resulting in the Plane being greeted at 2am by Armed Police. Welcome to England!

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Getting back into the swing of things with work was tough, like any normal person returning from a week of lounging by the pool, sipping beer and eating foreign ice creams, the Holiday Blues set in hard and I DID NOT want to be back here. But I got on with it and here we are.

So what is new!

While on holiday I started writing a story – I call it story for moment because there is no plan or understanding just yet of what it will become. It could be a Short, a Novel, heck I could get going and it become a Saga or Series. Who knows. I don’t want to say much about it just yet but what I will say is that I am finding it really fun and expressive to write. I used to write shorts and film scripts all the time at Uni but this is the first time in a long time I am trying something a little new. It all came about from one scene I had in mind and my process at the moment is just to write and see where it takes me. Aiming for that one scene. Not sure this is the best approach but I am sure once (or if) I get to the finished stage I can iron a lot of it out in the rewrite process. As well for the few people who are aware of my attempt to become the next Archer or King they have been very supportive, wanting to be kept updated with the process and even offering to proof read it. Which is amazing and so good to hear!

I have also been reading “Close your eyes” which is the latest thriller by Darren O’Sullivan. His first book “Our Little Secret” was an instant winner, a breathtaking, can’t put it down story that deserves your attention – I wrote a review on it a while back which is just HERE. I am a few chapters in on this new one and it is just as good if not better, I am so hooked already and can’t wait to see how this one unfolds.

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Final thing I want to talk about is Merchandise. I want to get my brand off the ground, become something inspirational and I have decided that Merchandise is the way forward.

Looking at making designs and patterns that I can put on Mugs, Shirts and Badges. They are a lot of fun to make and can’t wait to see how far I can go and how it all turns out. I am even looking into building a high quality printer to make postcards and bookmarks at home.

 

Putting it all on paper this sounds like I’ve been really busy, hey what do you know.

But I can feel it will get busier. . . . OH I also started a Saving Scheme. But I think that might be the topic of another post because I have waffled enough here and people might be interested in a full post about saving money, rather than a random paragraph here.

So once again, as always, you dear readers – Thank you for everything, for your support and love. You are the reason I do this . . . and because it is fun. But mainly you.

 

Mwah!

 

A Book Review – Our Little Secret.

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End of last year I wrote a book review. Today ive picked up a signed copy after its was published last week. This is that review.


So something you might learn about me is that I am not a big reader. I can read and I do enjoy reading at times but I can go for months or maybe years without reading a book. It’s just one of those things. I struggle to find something that can grip me and hold my attention because to me reading is a lot of work. It’s more so than say watching a film or playing PlayStation.

Saying this I am always proud as punch when I do find a book that I genuinely can’t put down and this post is about one of them books.

Our Little Secret is a short thriller from the mind of debut adult author Darren O’Sullivan (no relation – that we know of). A gripping story told from the point of view of several of its main characters. This is how the blurb sells it to us:

“A deserted train station: A man waits. A woman watches. Chris is ready to join his wife. He’s planned this moment for nearly a year. The date. The time. The train. But he hadn’t factored in Sarah. So when Sarah walks on to the platform and sees a man swaying at the edge she assumes he’s just had too much to drink. What she doesn’t expect is to stop a suicide. As Sarah becomes obsessed with discovering the secrets that Chris is clearly hiding, he becomes obsessed with stopping her, protecting her. But there are some secrets that are meant to stay buried…”

This sold it, I thought – why not, let’s take this for a spin and I was not disappointed at all. Without it sounding cliché I couldn’t put it down – any chance I had I would read a couple of pages. Going to bed, bored at work, whilst eating breakfast and heck even when I was on the loo, I was captivated and hooked.

The story follows Chris a troubled man who is ready to end it all, as we dive deeper into his world his reasoning and motives both shock and surprise the audience. Constantly questioning what he is doing, what the next move is and how will it end.

Pair that with the dynamic and inquisitive Sarah – to me she drives the story along as a relatable character that discovers the truth as we do, which I also like in a story I prefer to learn with a lead character than to be talked at and expected to pick it up when they tell me to.

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Her character was so deep and well thought out that it genuinely felt like I knew her or at least people like her, which again helped keep the story engaging for me.

Like any classic thriller this keeps you guessing, suggesting one thing and convincing you that you know what is going on before taking one sharp hand brake turn in the opposite direction, but not before knocking your socks off and making you question your own ability to make judgement calls.

Right up to the bitter end the story had me glued and all I can say – or even urge – is buy a copy, give it a read and just be in awe. The finale is one amazingly scripted act – the reveal is somewhat haunting and makes the whole book fall into place and ends with a bitter-sweet stunned silence.  

A final touch that I loved with this story is the locations. This is set in Peterborough and March which are places I know oh so well and just something as simple as that helped make the story more real to me rather than the generic London setting, this idea to keep the setting localised and more at home just made the story even better in my eyes.

It’s currently only available on iBooks or Kindle but for a short story on the iPad it has cleared up several proud accolades and gained some supportive reviews and feedback that has made Darren the author one proud little bunny. So much so that he is already well into book two, which I for one can not wait to read.

Finally once more let me just say how much I really enjoyed this story and can not recommend it enough. Check it out.

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Below are the all the links and things you will need.

Our Little Secret

Darren O’Sullivan

HQ Digital UK

 

Click the image to take you to Amazon via an affliated link.

 

 

Full disclosure I am not on the take or being paid by HQ Digital UK or Darren O’Sullivan. I am just a guy who read a book (finally), wanted to tell you all about it and also I just want to help this talented author out – if I can generate one new reader then I have done my job.