Good morning, all. It's time to take a break - get yourself a cuppa and settle down for a read of our first feature where Ensemble writer, Kara, shares a few of her favourite things - from critically acclaimed film, Obvious Child, to a book of love letters that will warm your heart...
F I L M
I fell in love with this film and I fell fast. Browsing at Fopp in Covent Garden, I picked up Obvious Child and instantly knew that I would like it - “This looks like my kind of film” I thought to myself, nodding. The main character Donna Stern (Jenny Slate) is navigating through a twenty-something life, stuck and trying to re-build some of it. Stern, an aspiring stand-up comedian and bookseller (who works at a bookshop called Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books by the way) finds herself mourning over her broken relationship, downing a bottle of wine and leaving voicemails on her ex's phone - standing outside said ex's house looking for some sort of closure - and instantly regretting it. This film is relatable and for fans of GIRLS, Frances Ha and anyone looking for an honest take on real-life problems including the much-controversial topic of abortion, which is rarely seen on screen.
E A T S
Banana bread. I love banana bread. In particular I've been enjoying the banana bread from my local coffee shop Fleet Street Press. In my logical head, I feel that banana bread is the 'healthy choice' when presented with a selection of beautiful looking cakes including Oreo, red velvet, caramel chocolate brownies and almond croissants (seriously you need to visit FSP). But really, when you're consuming banana bread at the rate I am, it ain't healthy...everything in moderation. I'm due to bake some of my own and would love to hear from you, dear reader, on your favourite recipes or favourite banana bread London-based eats. In the meantime, you'll find me at 3, Fleet Street.
M U S I C
I'm not sure if it's just a twenties thing but I'm feeling nostalgic a lot lately. In particular I'm feeling nostalgic, musically. From the age of 14, my friends and I would get the train up to London (which I'm fairly certain/probably remembering wrong cost was around £5 – so cheap!), and we'd go and see our favourite bands. Anything from Aqualung to The Used to Death Cab for Cutie to Gym Class Heroes, we were dedicated to music. Brand New is one of these bands and although I haven't actually stopped listening to them since my teens, I still see them as a 'nostalgic' kind of band. Fast forward to 2015, and I have tickets to see them in a f**king bowling alley in London (which sold out in one minute I may add). I've been listening to all four of their albums non-stop as of late, admiring their first two pop punk albums and their latter two alternative albums – such different sounds but all very much adored my moi. See you in June, Jesse.
T E L E V I S I O N
Can I just take a minute (or hour) to talk about how great Broad City is? For me, it's the kind of series that I never want to leave me and wonder how I survived without it before. No, I'm not dramatic. The last time I remember feeling this way was back in 2012 when Lena Dunham's GIRLS first aired - that instant connection to the characters, an unbreakable bond. I am so invested in Abbi and Llana's lives – the two twenty-something best friends, living in New York (of course) who don't take life too seriously and have A LOT of weird quirks. They are best friends with each other and also good friends with weed – they smoke a lot of it, drink a lot and have very vivid imaginations. Their friendship is unbreakable too, just as I am to the show. I can't fault any of the episodes but one that particularly stands out as a favourite is when they both decide that for one day only they will not be sucked into the world of social media and smartphones. What happens? Absolute chaos.
Broad City is on Comedy Central, Tuesdays, 10pm
E V E N T S
A few weeks back I was sat in the beautiful Freemasons Hall, Covent Garden admiring the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Louise Brealey, Ian McKellen, Sophie Hunter and many more, reading out correspondence from throughout history. Letters Live is a very special event and is guaranteed to be a night you will never forget. A letter that stood out to me in particular was Virginia Woolf's last letter to her husband Leonard, read by Greta Scacchi. Named “I can't fight any longer”, this letter breaks my heart for obvious reaons … “If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.”. If you get the chance to catch a Letters Live event (see their website for info), please do … if not only for Benedict and Louise reading Dear Bessie, which moves perfectly onto...
B O O K S
My Dear Bessie by Simon Garfield
Oh my gosh, this book is so delightful. As above, I had a magical evening at Letters Live in April which included Benedict Cumberbatch and Louise Brealey reading letters from My Dear Bessie by the brilliant Simon Garfield, also author of To the Letter. The book, edited and introduced by Garfield is a collection of letters between Chris Baker and Bessie Moore during the 1940s. Chris, serving as a signalman in North Africa decides to distract himself from war and write to former work colleague Bessie, brightening his long days and giving himself hope. The charm and wit from Chris is sweet, hilarious and cringe worthy all at the same time and the letters are truly a joy and privilege to read. This is a love story at its finest, a love story in letters.
A P P
I like simplicity and although I've been loving this particular app for a while now, it's still worth sharing on the off chance that you haven't got it downloaded. Pocket is an app and a browser add-on which stores those videos and articles that you stumble upon but aren't in the position to read yet, i.e. you're running for the tube or not quite ready to share on social media, i.e. you've already posted too much that day. There's not an awful lot more to say, it serves a basic purpose but is a life-saver, especially for those super organised people.