My favourite films of 2016

As a devout member of the Wittertainment church (Hi Jason), I thought it was only right to do a brief round up of all the films I’ve seen and fallen in love with this year – from the mainstream to the smaller, less noticeable stuff that you might have missed.

Alongside these choices, there were loads of other movies released in 2016 that I just haven’t got round to seeing yet – namely, Zootropolis, Ghostbusters, High Rise, I, Daniel Blake, Son of Saul, and Nocturnal Animals.

I’m also going to see Moana on Saturday and Rogue One on Monday (YAY) – both of which I imagine would be ranked highly on my list were I writing it at a later date. That said, this blog has already suffered without new content for almost two months, so best crack on.

 

A United Kingdom

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This biographical tale has a fascinating political backdrop that conspires to break apart an interracial marriage in a post-war world. I love Rosamund Pike in absolutely everything she’s in, but it was David Oyelowo who really blew me away in his role as Seretse Kharma, the black chief-in-waiting of Bechuanaland who dares to fall in love with a white woman from South London.

There’s one incredible, almost tear-jerking scene in which Seretse appeals to his tribe, asking them to consider what it means to separate a husband and wife simply because one is black and one is white – emphasising that by ‘giving in’ to racist regimes and pressures from the British Government and South Africa, they are accepting segregation rather than fighting for equality. I found this film incredibly moving and powerful, and I encourage everybody to see it.

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24 things to do in 24 hours on my 24th birthday

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A few weeks ago I started planning a list of 24 things I wanted to do on my 24th birthday – and I wanted to try completing them all with 24 hours. A few of them were bigger and more exciting challenges, while others were smaller milestones and first-time experiences that I probably should have done years and years ago. The whole day was magical and went by in a flash, and I loved every second!

Photo Credit: To my boyfriend, Michael – I’m sorry that I forced you out of bed at 6am on your day off to race around London taking photos of me. Thanks for being awesome, I really wouldn’t have been able to complete this list without you. Thanks also to my friend Daisy for inspiring the idea, and my Mum and my brother for their contributions and for joining us on the adventure!

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How not to make a chocolate mug cake

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It was a Wednesday evening, and settling down to catch up on an episode of Bake Off, my sweet tooth had started to throb. The sight of Genoese sponge and chocolate ganache was almost always too much to bear during an episode of this beloved programme, and it wasn’t long before my mind began to drift, not to thoughts of dreamy Selasi and the fantasy of him baking cakes for me all day long, but the sweet treats lurking in my kitchen cupboards only metres away from my seat. I was already quite certain that there wouldn’t be much to satisfy these cravings (we hadn’t been for our weekly shop yet), but regardless I got up from the sofa in a quest for something sugary.

Alas, much like those of Old Mother Hubbard, the cupboards were bare. Still, there were bananas in the fruit bowl I could probably snack on, and perhaps a stale cereal bar if I really wanted to push the boat out – but no. I wanted to be wild and spontaneous. I decided it was time to make one of those mug cakes you often see featured in BuzzFeed listicles and student recipe books – demonstrably a lazy-person food designed for the can’t-be-arsed. How hard could it really be?

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Florida!

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Back in January, my Mum’s cousin and her family asked me if I would be up for joining them on a holiday to Florida in August, and naturally I said ‘yes please!

My Mum’s side of the family and I are very similar and we’ve always got on really well, so I knew instantly that we’d have a blast. Unlike them I’d never been to America before (nor outside of Europe) so while I was excited, I was also a little bit apprehensive about travelling somewhere so far away and new. Recent news stories about Orlando hadn’t exactly filled me with confidence and frequent reminders to ‘stay away from alligators’ became almost enough convince me that I’d most certainly be eaten by one for breakfast.

But of course we had a fantastic couple of weeks and made so many amazing memories – here’s just a few highlights from our stateside trip. :)

Spoiler: food plays a big part in this blog post.

1. The villa

We stayed in a gorgeous six-bedroom villa Kissimmee, a city in central Florida and just south of Orlando, and our resort looked like a genuine housing estate with hundreds of almost-identical villas all lined up, row after row. We had a gorgeously warm pool and hot tub – one idyllic evening was spent outside in our swimming cozzies, drinking gin and sharing our funniest and most embarrassing stories. My second-cousin (Vicki) and I shared a princess room, which was really cosy and undoubtedly perfect for any girl that’s spent their childhood worshipping Disney heroines.

2.  CiCi’s Pizza

CiCi’s was one of our first ports of call after a long and exhausting flight, and the food was absolutely gorgeous (but very filling). The place served up an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet and appeared to churn out more food than the whole of Italy in one night. CiCi’s Pizza also had us questioning just how much grub we could shovel into our mouths before feeling as though we needed to be rolled out of the building. I didn’t get any photos unfortunately as I was too busy stuffing my face.

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Learning to love my body shape

This week is #BodyHonestly Week at The Pool, and over the past few days female writers have been discussing the topic of body confidence and the idea that being thin means we’ll be happy. Much like the ethic of Dove’s ‘Love The Skin You’re In’ and Boots’ ‘Let’s Feel Good’, #BodyHonestly is all about us learning to love and accept our flaws – from those weird freckles and moles on our skin, to the rolls of fat on our tummies.

What I’ve loved about #BodyHonestly is that it makes point of the fact that it’s actually quite hard to suddenly start loving your imperfections, after years of staring at them in your reflection and wishing they didn’t exist. Daisy Buchanan’s ‘I don’t love my body everyday’ piece tells us that even when we try, on our bad days achieving this can seem practically impossible.

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