Dark Dates charms

I mentioned yesterday that my Reading In Heels box arrived the same day as an empty envelope from a friend, the goods within missing. So although it was slightly ‘here’s what you could have won*’, I did ask my friend – Jo from the great craft store Stella My Star – what she’d sent, and it turns out it was this lovely gift, a specially made Dark Dates charm bracelet! Wah! Wonderful human that she is, she’s sending me another – this time with a lot more sellotape on the envelope.

(If you want to check out the full range of gorgeously geeky themed jewellery she does – which includes necklaces and bracelets inspired by such shows as Good Omens, Game of Thrones, Veronica Mars, Doctor Who and Stranger Things) – her website is here.

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*showing my age here. Remember Bullseye? (The TV show, not the Marvel character)

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Jaws at the Tyneside Cinema

I must admit I am a sucker for an old movie on the big screen. Whether it’s a beloved favourite or a classic I have somehow missed, I love getting a chance to watch a film that’s become a TV staple in a cinema.

So when I saw that The Tyneside Cinema was showing a screening of Jaws, I decided to book tickets. It’s one of those films that I feel like I have seen because so much of it has become part of the lexicography of both film and cultural life, but I realised I had never actually seen the whole thing. I suggested to my friend D – who is a massive fan, and had already seen it on the big screen as part of its 4K* restoration last year – and she agreed to come with.

This of course presented a whole load of other issues: what if I hated it? D is a real fan: she was in fact wearing not one but three different pieces of shark-themed jewellery. And when I mentioned my ignorance of the film on Twitter, another friend said it was ‘like an episode of Murder She Wrote, but with sharks’ which didn’t exactly inspire me with confidence. (Or maybe, did, since that sounds awesome.) I was slightly worried this might be the end of our friendship.

Luckily, the problem didn’t arise. The film has held up really well, albeit the imagined horrors of the shark fare slightly better than the actual, clearly mechanical one – there were still some moments that actually had the audience jumping out of their seats. Even having been turned into cliche hasn’t diluted the key scenes (there was actually an advert for Veet hair removal cream for men based on the famous ‘compare scars’ scene shown before the trailers), and the underlying themes: respect nature, listen to experts and don’t put capitalism over human life, couldn’t actually be more relevant. (The first half IS a little like Murder She Wrote with sharks, but I didn’t mind that at all…)

As ever when I watch films from that era, I feel a little sad: because I can’t help thinking none of those people would be cast today. Some of the men might do OK – though likely shunted off into character roles – but everyone else would be straight out of central casting: glossy, toned, even the older women trim and well-preserved, though they might hire a single fat guy for the sake of ‘veracity’. (This was reinforced not just by the trailer for the new Tarantino film, which features lots of toned, glossy, beautiful people made up to look as unpolished as the 60s, and watching The Meg when I got home, in which all the women look like they came to their auditions direct from the gym, and marine biologists look like Jason Statham, not Richard Dreyfuss, and spend a lot more time with their shirts off.)

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(This is my friend’s bracelet – if you like one you can buy it at Stella My Star on Etsy – they do a whole range of geeky themed jewellery.)

Afterwards we went to The Alchemist in Eldon Square for snacks and drinks – and I was impressed to see the most extra ice bucket I have encountered, overflowing with dry ice. The food was also good – very nice vegetarian selection – and the staff friendly, so I would definitely go again. I rarely think to go into Eldon Square to eat – it feels a bit ‘food court’ for my tastes – but both times I have eaten their recently have actually been pretty great, and if you sit further inside you can generally forget you are in a shopping centre, so perhaps I need to be less snobby about it…

(*I have no idea what a 4K restoration is, or if that is even what it’s called.)

Happy Halloween!

I was going to have a fun Halloween post for you, since I had plans to go to something at the weekend and go to Alphabetti yesterday for a spooky themed show. Alas, my body had other plans, and I’ve been laid low by a horrible cold. Obviously the sensible thing to do, since moving was so expensive, would be to think, oh well, money saved. Not to spend it on shinies, which is of course what I did. (Though in fairness, the boots were a Tesco bargain and the Tatty Devine necklace, while not super cheap, wasn’t super expensive either).

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