I’ve been nothing short of giddy all week. The long weekend was gloriously lazy, the sun has been out in full force and I was in Hostess Mode (aka my happy place) as ST’s mother and aunt came down to stay with us in the week. I have of course also been at my desk trying to sort-of-maybe concentrate and tie up everything with clients, but the chatting over cake and daydreaming about the fact that I am going on holiday REALLY REALLY SOON has sort of taken precedent.
I’d never heard the phrase “demob-happy” until ST described me as being exactly that earlier in the week, but it’s a great phrase and it’s exactly how I’ve been feeling. I will soon be in the Mallorcan sunshine with parents, grandparents, in-laws and cousins and I just cannot WAIT.
Enough about that though, I am not on holiday yet (ahem) and there’s been plenty going on here in London.
So let’s get straight to it!
This week I’ve been watching…
I’d been waiting for The Martian to come to Sky Cinema and finally got round to watching it last weekend. BOY is that a good movie. I knew I’d probably like it but I didn’t expect it to have quite such a feel-good factor or to be so much better than Gravity, because it really is SO much better than Gravity. (There was no reason for me to assume it would be similar really, but I had pegged it as another “stranded in space, gotta get home” type movie when it really is so much more than that).
It’s a very cool film and I’m not surprised that NASA helped so much with it and endorsed it on release as it really does make you think that Mars exploration – and space in general – is the coolest thing. Let’s give science a big high five!
I should perhaps point out that I hadn’t seen the trailer and this may be one of the reasons I enjoyed watching it so much. I didn’t really know at all what was going to happen, just that it involved Matt Damon being stuck on Mars and potatoes. If you’ve not seen the trailer yet, avoid it and dive straight into the film.
Bonus extra: Sean Bean is in it (swoon) AND there’s an unexpected disco soundtrack.
Sticking with the space theme, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is also on Sky Cinema at the mo so that filled a sleepy Bank Holiday afternoon nicely. I liked it, but I definitely didn’t love it as certain things really annoyed me. I can’t really go into why it irked me so much without spoiling it, but let’s just say it’s too long given how little screentime certain characters get. I do want a BB-8 though. And I still want to snog Hans Solo.
Nick Broomfield and Pam Brooks in Tales of the Grim Sleeper
I watched two true crime documentaries this week too, ITV’s The Murder of Sadie Hartley and HBO’s Tales of the Grim Sleeper. I’ve not seen a police documentary quite like the ITV one, as it tracks the murder investigation from the day it’s called in right through to bringing charges – a bit like 24 Hours in Police Custody but over a much longer period of time. Sadie’s family must be so brave to have allowed the filming to happen – let alone be interviewed on camera themselves – and it’s a sensitively made film which really shows just how hard the Lancashire Constabulary worked to bring justice for the family. I do think documentaries like this help give Joe Public a better understanding of why police can’t just charge people based on small bits of evidence, they need a rock-solid case so that they can ensure the right people get locked away.
But whilst The Murder of Sadie Hartley left you feeling nothing but admiration for the police, Tales of the Grim Sleeper made me want to weep for humanity. Tales of the Grim Sleeper looks into Lonnie Franklin, a serial killer in South Central Los Angeles who seemingly had free reign to murder women from 1985 to 2007. He was eventually arrested but only by chance, due to a computer check for something else linking his DNA to a possible 20 victims. (He was charged with ten counts of murder eventually, but it is thought he killed up to 100 women).
There were things about this documentary that I didn’t like, talking purely from a film-making perspective, and I think the story could have been told in a better way, but it’s a heartbreaking insight into how little value people can be seen to have in society. You just know it wouldn’t have happened in an affluent white community, yet Lonnie Franklin got away with killing for twenty years because he targeted drug addicts and prostitutes in a poor black neighbourhood and the police just didn’t care enough about the victims to stop him. The documentary explains the slang police term “NHI” which stands for “no human involved”, and this term is what is supposedly used to describe a case where the victim is a prostitute, drug addict or gang member. It’s just abhorrent.
Pam Brooks, a recovered addict and former prostitute who helps the filmmakers interview people who knew Lonnie, really steals the show. Neighbourhood activists Margaret Prescod and Nana Gyamfi of the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders are awe-inspiring women too, doing all they can to remind the powers that be that YES, all lives matter…a fight that still so desperately needs to be fought as we know all too well.
I did go a little bit touristy this week as we had family down, popping over to Embankment on the boat from Chelsea Harbour on Tuesday night to revel in the sunshine and head for dinner on the South Bank. I assumed it wouldn’t be quite so bonkers busy now that a lot of the schools are back but it was still rammed. There was a great atmosphere though, with everyone desperately trying to drink up what was feared to be the last of the sunshine (to be fair it may well have been, as I spent all of yesterday getting soaked in the rain in my Big Coat).
I’ve been listening to…
My sister reminded me how much I love Robots by Flight of the Conchords this week and so since then I’ve just been listening to them on loop. This live performance pleases me…
I now need to buy the DVD and watch it all from the start, but until I do that I’ll just listen to the album and walk down the street giggling…
I’ve been eating and drinking…
Somehow I ended up having a vegetable thali at The Painted Heron TWICE this week. Please remind me of this if I complain about my ill-fitting swimsuit next week.
There was also pizza. Again. I knew I’d need to go to Santa Maria asap after mentioning it in last week’s The Week That Was, so on Friday night jeans were unbuttoned and pizzas were shovelled. The Santa Maria website seems to be down but it’s 94 Waterford Road, SW6 2HA.
My favourite wine this week was probably the bottle of Greco di Tufo we had last night which was a Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference one. It’s currently reduced to £8.
I also posted a video for the first time in ages, a little sit down chat with Sophy Robson where we discuss all we love and hate (mostly hate tbh) about Instagram. You can watch that here.
Next week, I’m looking forward to…
I think we all know by this point that I am going on holiday. I am looking forward to my holiday.
Want more food/telly/booze/movie inspo? Find all the other Week That Was’s here.