Me Before You – An Emotional Investment

*WARNING* You’ll have to compromise your dignity and mascara upon stepping into the cinema.

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I honestly went into Me Before You, blind to the consequences. I mean, I knew it was going to be a sad one, but I had no real concept of where the story was going and how deeply it may affect me. Depending on how emotionally invested you get with stories – films or books alike, then this might be something to consider. Personally, I get very emotionally involved, the story will capture my heart, take me on a journey and I will live the rollercoaster with every character that I have been taught to love. However, this is one of the many things I love about film, books and music, I let myself go and can become vulnerable. Sometimes this can lead to shattering consequences but every now and again, just sometimes, it might mean that you are able to stumble upon something truly great.

Furthermore, I can see why some people may find the idea of knowingly going to see a sad film, a slightly alien one but I go because I hold out for those moments that are going to take you by surprise and be beautiful and tragic all wrapped into one. So if I’ve managed to still hold onto you this far, then the important part to take from this, is that Me Before You has one of those rather special moments.

I don’t want to be one of those reviews that completely gives the game away, riddled with spoilers so instead, I’ll give you a brief synopsis and leave it on a slight cliffhanger (because I’m nice like that).


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, originally a book and then adapted for the big screen by writer, Jojo Moyes starts by introducing us to the male lead, Will Traynor (Sam Claflin) and his life with the rather flawless girlfriend, Alicia (Vanessa Kirby). However, soon and quite abruptly into the start of the film, Will’s life is turned upside down when he is hit by a motorbike and left paralysed. It is important to remember the kind of life he led before the accident, not only did he have the perfect girlfriend but he also wasn’t one to live on the safe side. He was an extremely social character, adored by women but also admired by men and an avid fan of sports, bringing a new meaning to ‘thrill-seeker’.

Therefore, just about everything that made Will’s life so enjoyable and worthwhile is now just a mere memory of what once was. Understandably, frustrated and angry at the world, Will falls into a state of depression, resenting having to live as a grown man under his parents roof and be taken care of in his every move. Concerned parents, Stephen and Camilla (Charles Dance and Janet McTeer) decide a friend to talk to and someone to keep him company would hopefully change Will’s outlook on life…

Queue Lou Clarke, (Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones beauty) who bursts onto the scene full of life and colour.

While she may not be quite the flawless character we saw play Will’s girlfriend at the beginning of the film, she has other qualities that override this. She is full of wit, has a questionable dress sense with a slight ditsy nature about her but all of this contributes to making her such an endearing, relatable character.

However, Will doesn’t give Lou an easy time, to say the least. Not welcoming the company at first, Will pushes Lou away with his agitation and snappy tendencies. Lou is desperate for the job though, in a bid to help her family with financial issues and so views it as her mission to persist, intent on helping and making progress somehow. Slowly an understanding begins to form between the two and from there a seed has been planted and rest assured, we all know something special is about to grow.

Now, that’s where the storytelling ends… I did say it would be a cliffhanger!

I can tell you though, that Me Before You is a superb cinematic experience and a definite worthwhile way to spend just under two hours. If I could advise just one thing in all of this, it would be, to not be afraid of crying. Don’t run away from whatever sadness or pain you are trying to shield yourself from, that may result in avoidance to watch this. By doing so, you may be missing out on some beautiful storytelling. The kind of storytelling that captures what love is and what it is that makes us humans reach out, create bonds and feel emotion, in this world which is too often full of hate and turmoil.

Watch the trailer for Me Before You here: 

 

5 Things I Enjoyed In Liverpool

Having recently returned from the vibrant city of Liverpool (England), I was inspired to do a post about some of the attractions there. I have been to Liverpool on several occasions now to visit my boyfriend who goes to University there and by this point, I feel as though I’m familiar with it enough to recommend some places that I have enjoyed.

Of course, it made its mark on the map for being the birthplace of some culturally-significant bands and musicians over the years – The Beatles, anyone? This reputation gives it a lively feeling, particularly attracting a younger generation who revel in its history of bright lights and famous bars.

So without further ado and in no particular order, here are my 5 things I enjoyed in Liverpool:

  1. The Beatles Story (Museum) – http://www.beatlesstory.com/prices
    It may seem a bit of an obvious one but nevertheless a must-see if you’re into music and want to learn a bit of history about how it all began, for some of the predominant bands of the 60s. The tour is fairly long, estimating to take about an hour to get round, if you’re anything like me and like to stop at every sign to read the information!

    However, they also provide headsets so when you do arrive at a signpost, you can select the relevant number and listen to an informative description of the particular item you are viewing. The museum is great value for money (see link for ticket prices) with a fantastic replica of The Cavern Club, as well as some treasured pieces of memorabilia. You can find the museum positioned just next door to the Albert Dock – see below for more on this.

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    One of the many items of memorabilia featured in the museum. A rather iconic outfit of John Lennon’s.

2. Central Perk Café – http://www.central-perk.co.uk/liverpool/index.html
Well it pains me to say this but this café is no longer Friends themed.

Yep. You heard right. There was an imitation Central Perk Café that played Friends on numerous TV screens, 24 hours a day… or well, for as long as it was open anyway. This was quite possibly the best thing about Liverpool, in my opinion. Being slightly too obsessed with Friends, I was incredibly impressed with how alike it was to the real deal and it almost felt a little surreal stepping inside.

So you can begin to get an idea of my disappointment when I heard they’d redesigned it. Alas! It is now in the theme of American sitcoms but the TV’s still remain, occasionally playing Friends so I guess it’s not all doom and gloom. I’m hoping to check it out in the near future so I’ll give a short update when that happens.

3. Albert Dock – http://www.albertdock.com/attractions/20160507_175830
A lovely setting to take a stroll, amongst the country’s largest collection of Grade I listed buildings, with the benefit of being able to look out at the waterfront. To me, the dock seemed like a buzzing area, full of life with restaurants and bars and surrounded by many other activities to get stuck into. For example, The Beatles Museum is right near (as mentioned above) as well as Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum and a Victorian carousel … for the big kid in everyone.

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Above shows The Beatles sculpture. Just one of the many set of statues featuring famous faces, near the waterfront.

4. The Cavern Club – http://www.cavernclub.org
If you want to take a trip down memory lane, experience live music and dance all of your troubles away without being judged, (oh and don’t mind getting a bit hot) then The Cavern is the place for you. I have been here twice now and every time has been well worth the trip. It has gained a respectable reputation for bringing the city alive with music, known for providing a platform to many British pop groups in the past. This included The Beatles, who became their signature act after their first performance there on 9th February, 1961.

There is live music here every day of the week and free entry all day Monday – Wednesday. Therefore, if you’re on a budget, this would be one way to have fun without hurting your bank account too much.

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Entrance to The Cavern pub.

5. Crosby Beach – http://www.visitsouthport.com/things-to-do/crosby-beach-p244561
I had no idea that such a lovely sandy beach would be waiting for me in Liverpool. I guess when you think of a big city, you think of the nightlife and rush of tourists, rather than a quaint escape. However, take a 20 minute train journey from Liverpool Central station and you’re immediately taken from the busy sights, landing in a peaceful retreat. It should be noted that besides an ice cream van, there aren’t any attractions near to the beach so if you’re planning on spending the day there, it would be wise to bring some refreshments and activities.

There is also an interesting piece of art featured across the stretch of the beach and even trailing into the sea. It’s called Another Place and is a creation by the internationally acclaimed, Sir Antony Gormley. Gormley created 100 cast iron sculptures in the form of his own body and they are all positioned standing, facing the sea. Visit Liverpool state that the idea is to present them all, “staring at the horizon in silent expectation.” 

 

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I’ll leave you on this photo of the beach, looking out at the horizon. If you look close enough you might just see some of the sculptures popping up.

Although I’m sure there is plenty more to see and do in Liverpool, these were just a few places where I have had some great times. Please do let me know if you decide to visit any of these as I’d love to hear if you enjoyed it as much as I did. Also let me know if you have any good recommendations for the next time! I have put links in the headings to websites for every place mentioned, so hopefully these will answer more specific queries.

Barry M – Coconut Infusion Range

It seems coconut oil is currently being named the cure for everything in the beauty world and we should basically just save ourselves the time, stop investing in other products and lather it everywhere because coconut oil is the answer to our prayers.

Barry M recently released their new line of Coconut Infusion nail paint which come in a range of beautiful pastel shades, perfect for the summer! What makes this range different is that the infusion of coconut oil and water manages to keep your nails hydrated and nourished, providing a healthy balance of vitamin B&C. This is a great benefit when you consider the damage that can be caused to your nails after repetitive use, over time.

Therefore, being slightly too obsessed with having far more nail paints than I ever use; I had to get my hands on some of these. This led me to a trip to Boots and what’s more, they were even on offer at buy one get one half price! (£4.99 each) I don’t know about you but the offers reel me in way more than they should… so I walked away with two new shades to add to my varied collection: Laguna and Flamingo. I’d like to add that I also love the names of the shades which ooze in holiday vibes.

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Left: Laguna, Right: Flamingo
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Me wearing the Laguna shade, using two layers of paint to create a thicker texture

Having tried the Laguna shade last week (see right), while my nails appear to have strengthened and the paint does come out lovely and glossy, I can report that I am unfortunately still disappointed. I don’t know if I’m the only one that has this problem but almost every nail paint I’ve tried, chips in such a short amount of time.

I was lucky enough to get the Sensationail gel kit last Christmas and this has so far been the only thing that has lived up to its selling point of lasting “up to two weeks”. However, I find that there are so many procedures to this and it becomes very time consuming so it would be nice to find a quick alternative that would last longer than two/three days. Unfortunately, Barry M’s Coconut Infusion isn’t the answer.

If anyone has found a nail paint with better resistance, please do leave a comment letting me know!