Tag: Stuff I Dig

Wholesome Content: Halloween Edition

On Sunday a small group of us gathered for Matt’s birthday at his place to hang out and carve pumpkins. As I’ve mentioned before, the last time I did this exact activity (as a group and not at work as part of a competition) was when I lived in Vancouver.

We put on music and got to work, all coming up with something pretty impressive considering. I chose two tried and tested designs, AKA different Jack Skellington faces while the others did Mike Wazowki (of Monsters Inc.), a scene from Lord of the Rings, some more traditional skull designs and one with marijuana eyes. It’s funny how satisfying it is creating something from nothing but an oversized vegetable – particularly on my favourite holiday – and particularly around people I like so much.

Halloween hasn’t even arrived yet but I’m already excited for the next one. It has been rather a wholesome one this year. The Halloween party was a sober one for me, which meant no hangover but lots of people approaching me to make sure I was okay. It’s still baffling how awkward people are around non-drinkers at social events. I was just happy to people watch for a bit and grab a Burger King on the way home.

Tonight I caught trashy horror Countdown as one of my #31horrors (review no doubt coming soon) and we’re planning a very low-key home-with-the-family Halloween evening on the 31st. I plan to be in my pyjamas with a pile of snacks by 6.30pm.

What are you up to? 🎃

Blogtober 2019

It’s almost time for this blog’s version of Christmas – Blogtober of course! Who’s excited?!

Not only will the divine Jill and I be doing horror movies month for the collab, there will also be posts galore – some spooky, some not so much – every day in October.

Personally, I’m most looking forward to bringing back Final Girl Friday and talking about some of the films Glynn and I watch for 31 Horrors. We’ve got some right corkers and of course, some of the usual suspects (Trick R’ Treat, I shall never forsake you!).

I guess I’d better pull my socks up and plan some decent content, huh? BEST. MONTH. EVER! 🎃🎃🎃

How are you celebrating all things spooky?

Autumn Equinox

Happy Official First Day of Autumn! I’ve been rocking my tights since the first of the month but in terms of actual seasons and specifically the Wiccan calendar, we’re finally here, on the doorstop of the best time of the year.

As I’m new to this Wiccan malarkey I am still getting my tiny brain around all the significant holidays but it’s really nice to take a moment to appreciate where we are in the year. I think all this reading about Wicca is really helping me live in the moment, something I often find myself failing to do.

For the uninitiated (including me), I found this little snippet about the Autumn Equinox:

“Mabon is the time of the autumn equinox, and the harvest is winding down. The fields are nearly bare, because the crops have been stored for the coming winter. Mabon is a time when we take a few moments to honor the changing seasons, and celebrate the second harvest. On or around September 21 (or June 21 in the Southern Hemisphere), for many people who follow Pagan and Wiccan traditions, it is a time of giving thanks for the things we have, whether it is abundant crops or other blessings.”

That sounds so lovely and simple, doesn’t it? I must admit that although I do love to feel the wind in my hair, I’m not always the most outdoorsy girl. I love a good wander around the woods as much as the next person but I’m also a natural homebody so being at one with nature is going to take some effort. In the nicest possible way. Genuinely, I do need a kick up the bum to get out there and smell the roses and I’m quite looking forward to it. And I’ll be coming to a pumpkin patch near you soon, that’s a promise.

Now there are many ways in which to celebrate Mabon but since I’m a total novice I haven’t planned any fancy rituals. In my small way however I will have my mind on the changing season, and I will honour it as follows:

  • By taking some time – this will just be me wafting around in piles of crunchy leaves giving pure thanks to Mother Earth for the beauty of Autumn. The colours, the smells and the feeling of the crisp air on my cheeks – there is nothing better
  • Celebrating home – as above, to me there is nothing better than my safe dwelling and this Autumn I will be making sure it is extra cosy and warm. I’ll be burning candles for protection and for opening the mind to an abundance of creativity because this is the best time for it
  • Counting my blessings – this is one of the easiest things to take for granted but I’m slowly getting into the swing of taking a moment to give thanks for all the amazing things I have
  • Sprucing up my altar – the only real nature nod I have on my altar so far is a big fat conker from the park so I’m going to start collecting some friends for her while I’m out and about. Adding small pieces to this space has been one of the most joyous parts of this journey so far and I love seeing it all come together
  • Honour the darkness – as the nights draw in, rather than moan about it I’m going to respect the night. Without it there would be no light after all and although it can be a scary place to find yourself, we need it

I found my inspiration for this post from this article.

So that’s me and my first Autumn equinox as a Wicca. The next significant date on the calendar is of course the big one – Halloween – and you can bet your arse I’ll have a few things up my sleeve for that.

Enjoy your Autumn, babies! 🍁🍂🍃

Mama’s Got a Brand New Bag

Did I ever tell you about my handbag theory?

Ever since I started earning my own money aged 13, I’ve been into arm candy. Handbags are my THING – my porn. There is nothing sexier than a beautiful vintage handbag dangling on the arm of a gorgeous person. Sex and the City was all about the designer purse for me, the love lives of the girls secondary to Carrie’s sweet sweet collection of luxury perfection. The Fendi baguette, the Dior saddle bag, the Balenciaga – ooh la la!

I have lots of fond handbag memories and one very painful one. I inherited a vintage Adidas flight bag from my uncle when I was around 17 and it was the greatest thing I’ve ever owned. It was his as a teen and he’d kept it pristine all those years.

Alas my mother got sick of all the crap in her loft, including 5689 other bags of mine, and she slung the lot while I was backpacking around Australia. She did ask me if it was okay first and – feeling freshly zen from all the finding myself (and so not being about material possessions anymore) – I said yes. In the kerfuffle, the Adidas met an early demise and I’ve never got over the loss. Since then I have loved a lot of bags. The thing is – and this includes the Adidas – not one of them has been completely perfect, and this is where my thinking comes in.

The search for the perfect handbag is not unlike the Holy Grail – it might exist only in myth. But if it does, I imagine it really would contain the secret of eternal youth and all the miraculous powers and abundant happiness of legend. In historical descriptions, the HG has always been a dish, cup or a stone but there’s nothing to say it couldn’t be a vessel large enough to house 77 lip balms.

There’s a chance however, that what is perfect one day might change the next. Even if I do one day stumble across the bag of all my dreams, what’s to say it will remain ‘the one’ forever?*

Say I do find it and I don’t change my mind – is it akin to finally accepting oneself or discovering the meaning of life? Once I’ve found the Holy Grail Handbag, is that me done? And if that’s the case, do I even want to find it?

Maybe the hunt is the real point here, that’s where all the fun lies. With every new bag there’s a new beginning and I think this is the other main draw for me. Every new bag requires a fresh start. You clear out the old bag of all your shit and you transfer it into the new one – everything is shiny again.

Just get a bag and drop a dream in it, and you’ll be surprised what happens. ~ Charles Nelson Reilly

So, while I’m searching for the one, I don’t think I actually want to find it. I can’t imagine giving up the search, or settling down with one bag for the rest of my life**. Life’s so short and there are so many heavenly purses for me to love. Each and every one of them deserves its place in the sun, dangling from my stumpy white arm.

I bet you any money though that I’ll spend my whole life searching only to find out that the answer to all this has been within me the whole time. That it’s not what you carry all your stuff in, it’s about the stuff itself.

Go figure.

What’s your thing?

*Obviously we have bags for all occasions. There are situations that require a teeny tiny cross body or a sophisticated clutch – and summer is all about straw beach bags – when I say ‘the one’, I mean in relation to the every day essential

**If I had to name the closest I’ve ever come in the past to true love, I’d say my 90s Barbie backpack. I can’t remember what happened to it but I miss it every day

Weekly Digest: Five Articles (#3)

A handful of articles I’ve enjoyed recently. In no particular order.

Photo by Kevin Grieve on Unsplash

The best podcasts by women to listen to in 2019

It’s no secret I bloody love a good podcast. There are a few on this list I’ve heard of and one I listen to on the regs, the others are untapped but already added to my must listen list. Guess I better take myself for some long strolls, STAT.

Photo by boram kim on Unsplash

Learning to Be Ugly in South Korea

I’ve recently been coming to terms with my own unprettiness, so this resonates. Particular this bit, which in context will make more sense:

In that moment, it occurred to me that perhaps I was the worst blasphemer of all. To be so willing to blame my own face — an amalgam of those who’ve loved me — for all the upsets I’ve encountered in this alienating motherland. To ruin my health out of malice and vanity. To be so weak against this world of self-policing, senseless binaries, and beauty standards.

Fuck being a woman is hard.

Nia DaCosta and Jordan Peele’s ‘Candyman’ Will Begin Filming This August in Chicago

Oh my! Yes, I’m incredibly biased about this news and yes, I’m fully invested given Peel’s involvement AND WOC director Nia DaCosta. I don’t think much has been revealed about what this will bring to the table, however IMDB says this:

A “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 horror film ‘Candyman’ that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began.

I can’t wait to see it. I’m relieved that it won’t be retreading familiar ground because frankly, you can’t improve on what is already perfect.

Ari Aster Describes the Spiritual Connection Between ‘Hereditary’ and ‘Midsommar’; Trilogy Planned?

You got me. I’m obsessed with Ari Aster’s Midsommar and if it’s true, if there is a trilogy planned then consider me first in line to be part of it. Fuck me up, Ari!

Photo by Mohammad Faruque on Unsplash

Not All Women Are Meant to Be Moms

This is another article currently speaking to me. I’ve often spoken about how I’m not going to be a mum but that doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes question myself. Am I doing the right thing? I know I am but it’s not a light and airy topic, it’s not clear cut and it isn’t a decision made without serious thought.

I’m 100% that I will never change my mind but that doesn’t mean I don’t think about what I’d be like as a mother, what my kid would be like, etc. Thankfully I understand that I can still be nurturing without being maternal.

What are you loving this week?

I’ll Be There For Jen

I’m currently working my way through Friends for the 77th time in my life and, while it has not aged well in its attitudes to certain things (toxic masculinity + slut-shaming + fat-shaming + Ross being a decent person) – I still love it. The most prolific thing I take from this current re-watch is that Rachel was so well-suited to Joey – and I wish they’d ended up together. In Paris, living their dreams with Emma in tow.

Anyway, it has also stoked the Jennifer Aniston fires and I am fully entrenched in a massive crush on her right now. Which is both good and bad. Great because what a handsome babe she is, a deeply likeable actress with superb comic timing. Also terrible because she’s in a lot of movies that aren’t always worthy of her. Which doesn’t stop me watching the fuck out of them, obviously but I’m mostly watching for my girl.

These are the JA vehicles I’ve (mostly) enjoyed recently:

Meet the Millers (2013)

Jen plays stripper Rose who teams up with her dodgy neighbour David (Jason Sudeikis) to pull off a drug-smuggling mission across the Mexican border. They rope in a couple of local kids to help them pose as an ordinary family on vacation – with hilarious consequences. Sort of.

This film has a really good cast, including Emma Roberts, Kathryn Hahn and Will Poulter so it’s not all bad. If you’re watching mainly for Jennifer then there’s nothing to be disappointed about. While there are moments of slut-shaming Rose’s chosen career path which are not cool – and there’s a scene set up just so Jen has to strip for a bunch of sleazebags – her character proves she’s more than just a tight bod and good hair. There have been better showcases for her comedic skills, which we’ll look at below but I will give it:

3 swishy Rachel cuts out of 5

Office Christmas Party (2016)

Did you know America’s Sweetheart is very good at playing super bitches? In this Christmas movie, she is hard-faced Carol, sister of company boss (and fuck up) Clay (T.J. Miller). Hellbent on shutting down the Chicago branch of family business Zenotek, she gives Clay one night to seal his final deal – if they can get financial wizard Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance) to sign with them, the branch is safe.

Little does she know they’re doing it by throwing the year’s biggest and best party, something she’s expressly forbidden. Luckily, Carol’s safely on her way to London so will never know… right?

Jen looks amazing and really gets her chops around the film’s snarkiest character with some amazing lines. Sorry but one of my highlights is her saying “Fuck you” to a kid in the airport lounge. As Carol loosens up somewhat and slowly comes round to Clay’s way of thinking, she’s even better. Don’t even get me started on her single-handedly taking down an army of Russian henchmen with her bare hands.

This film also boasts a who’s who of American comedy gold AND the ethereal goddess Olivia Munn but it’s all about Carol for me.

3.5 swishy Rachel cuts out of 5

Murder Mystery (2019)

Audrey Spitz is a hairdresser married to NYC police officer Nick (Adam Sandler). She enjoys salon gossip and murder mystery novels – and dreams of the European break her husband has been promising her since they tied to knot. On their 15th wedding anniversary, Nick presents her (in a panic) with her fantasy honeymoon – and things take an intriguing turn when Audrey makes the acquaintance of Charles Cavendish (Luke Evans) on their flight.

When Charles invites the couple to join him and his fucked-up family on their yacht for the weekend – and there’s a brutal murder – the Spitz’s find themselves embroiled in a real life mystery that they must solve or have it pinned on themselves.

I bloody loved this film and I’m not sorry. As with so many Adam Sandler flicks, it’s not the purest form of comedy but it has heart. Sandler and Ms Aniston have decent chemistry and I’ll go into that more below but this is a fun romp which features one of my fave movie tropes – amateur sleuthing.

4 swishy Rachel cuts out of 5

Just Go With It (2011)

If I believed in guilty pleasures, which I don’t, this would be one. Since I believe in owning everything that you love, I stand by my absolute adoration for this stupid movie, which is my favourite of the bunch. Jen is Katherine, assistant to man-child plastic surgeon Danny (Adam Sandler, again).

Danny, meanwhile hooks the ladies by pretending to be unhappily married to a made-up wife who abuses him (I know, it stinks). When he meets much younger (I know), much hotter Palmer (Brooklyn Decker), he decides he wants to make it a more permanent thing. He tells his new beau that he’s divorced which would be fine, except Palmer is a good girl who wants to meet the ex-wife to make sure everything’s cool.

In steps Katherine as fake ex-wife, Devlin. Her two children, Maggie and Michael also negotiate themselves into the melee and Danny finds himself with an instant former family. Fake Devlin of course has the best wardrobe ever and is also faux-bitchy – and I love it, especially when they accidentally bump into the real Devlin (Nicole Kidman), Katherine’s frenemy from college.

No prizes for guessing what happens in this rather obvious romantic comedy but I’m game. And, while so much of it is problematic – and Sandler films in general are often the same – it reminds me why films like The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates worked so well. He is capable of being a sympathetic character when he wants to be and I wish he’d bear that in mind.

Again, I think the chemistry between the two of them is convincing and realistic, even if the plot isn’t. And I root for them to get together every time.

4.5 swishy Rachel cuts out of 5

So that’s my mini Aniston-retrospective. I just think she’s very cool and she’s getting better every day. Her recent turn in Dumplin’ was really touching and frankly, I can’t wait to see what she does next. So much has been written about Jen in the media and I think it’s so unfair that it still follows her around – I think she’d be fascinating to get a drink with and I wouldn’t even bring up Angelina.

What are your favourite Aniston moments?


Last night I fell down a Pinterest rabbit hole and didn’t claw my way out until gone 1am.

I found myself ‘pinning’ for my life – movie typography, film posters, Barbra Streisand when she was young – there’s now a board for most topics. I feel completely frazzled.

Pinterest isn’t a new thing. In fact, it’s pretty much everywhere. I’ve signed up a few times but invariably abandoned it, dismissing it as too twee for me. And it can be – the ‘Pinterest lifestyle’ is something I throw at people as a thinly veiled insult – but it’s also a very handy tool.

Photo by Szabo Viktor on Unsplash

I think I was just scared that this very thing would happen – that I’d become obsessed. Now I’m tending to my boards like a beautiful, organised allotment. I’m landscaping dreamy imagery and shirtless photos of Tom Holland like Percy Thrower up in here. (Damn, that reference shows my age).

Villanelle from Killing Eve – oh her wardrobe has a patch of its own. Aubrey Plaza, grab a pew girl. Classic Horror? Get over here.

You get the picture. In some ways it’s a dangerous game. If you spend enough time there, a lot of the aesthetics blend into one. All the decor is perfectly lit, perfectly co-ordinated – nothing like a real apartment. Nobody I know has fifteen thick woollen throws on their futon.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m having fun but I’m quite close to feeling bad that I haven’t hoovered for two weeks (three) and that I don’t have enough tea lights in the utility drawer. Don’t even get me start on the picture perfect beauty of everybody, I’ve had to actively seek out women who look more like me to balance things.

So this new hobby is not without its dark side, like most things – and should be used responsibly. That said, I’ll probably never sleep again but I will have the coolest image garden at my fingertips, dozens of happy places in which to frolic.

Shit. Maybe I should delete the app again.

You can find my profile here. If you want.

Weekly Digest: Five Articles (#2)

A couple of articles I’ve enjoyed recently.

Photo by Fred Mouniguet on Unsplash

What I Learned From Dating Someone Totally Wrong For Me

I know what it’s like to be with the wrong person. I did it for 6 years, so this speaks to me on a deep level.

Particularly this bit:

The internal whisper that it was time to focus on my health and happiness became louder every time I chose to listen, and eventually it was the loudest voice in my mind.

I couldn’t act against myself and in favor of myself at the same time. I had to choose.


8 Books Out In July In The UK That Will Make The Perfect Summer Reading Companion

I’m always down for a new book recommendation and some of these look bloody good. If I can be bothered to leave the house this Summer, I’ll be under a tree with a pile of books.

How to Have a Great Summer (According to Horror Movies)

This one definitely speaks for itself.

John Hughes Lied to Me

I love this essay, by author and journalist Caren Lissner. John Hughes most definitely has a lot to answer for (even though I love him still).


Pinhead Also Being Resurrected in a ‘Hellraiser’ TV Series!

We have such sights to show you

I am so stoked that this is soon to be a thing. Could there be anything more heavenly than more time with the Godfather of Pleasure & Pain, Pinhead himself? At this stage it’s not known if Doug Bradley will be reprising his legendary role but I do hope so.

Meanwhile, any Hellraiser endeavor that doesn’t include Julia (Clare Higgins) is a travesty.

What are you loving this week?

Other People’s Blogs

I’m a very bad blogger. I mean, I post regularly on my own blog which is fine but I’m bad at commenting and keeping up with other people’s blogs and I wish to change that. We’re a community after all and spreading the love is the right thing to do.

Here are a few blogs I read as much as I can – some obvious additions and some real hidden gems. Go give them some love, why don’t you? We could all do with some new and enriching viewpoints. Oh, and they’re all women. Go figure.


Obviously I’m hugely biased here given that Lightle is my homie but she is very clever, I swear. Talking about most of the things that float my boat too, my girl has a way with words and her love of all things entertainment is really fun to be part of.

Best recent posts:

I’ll Work Something Out

Natalie doesn’t blog all the time, more’s the pity. She seems to have this thing called a real life. Nevertheless, the essays she has written to date are lovely, honest, relatable and funny. Everything I ask for in a blog.

Best recent posts:

Lady K’s Movie Dialogue

Kath might be this blog’s biggest cheerleader and for that I am honestly so grateful. Kath shares my taste for movies and books so almost all her content is my jam. I’m a particular fan of anything that examines an original film/book and its adaptations/sequels which is lucky for me ‘cos Kath has done some absolute bangers.

Best recent posts:

The Pink Panther Snipes Again

As if I’d write a list and not include Wifey. Jill’s blog has been a source of constant joy for me for years now – and her friendship even more so. It blows my mind that I have a Librarian friend that I’ve only met once across the Pond but it’s the best thing ever. I love Jillian’s appreciation of terrible B-movies and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

Best recent posts:

Screen Queens

I love Screen Queens, a blog created and written by young women and members of the LGBT community. Their content is brilliant and thought-provoking. Also quite often horror themed which of course is a bit of me.

Best recent posts:

Which blogs do you love?

Horror Remakes I Can Get Behind

Remakes seldom live up to the originals, that’s always been a given. Obviously there are exceptions. Not everybody would agree with me but I would say Evil Dead (2013) is a good example of that. Not better that its 1982/1987 parents by any stretch but as good and with enough of its own individuality to make it feel fresh.

I have high hopes for some horror movies coming up soon and regardless of how they turn out, I will be front of the queue for the following:

It Chapter Two (2019)

Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.

Jessica ChastainJames McAvoyBill SkarsgårdBill Hader

I learned my lesson with Chapter One. Don’t go and watch horror films at peak times or your entire experience will be ruined. Regardless, I enjoyed the first movie and am super pumped for the second, especially given the casting. The adult Loser Club are back, exactly 27 years after the first movie, united by one awful telephone call.

Will they keep their collective promise to finish off Pennywise once and for all? Well, you may be familiar with the story and the Tim Curry adaptation so the ending might not surprise you all that much – unless the creators throw something new into the mix. I think the story is perfect as it is but I’m looking forward to being seriously creeped out.

The teaser trailer has really whet my appetite – and it captures Beverly Marsh’s (Chastain) visit to her childhood home perfectly.

Black Christmas (2019)

A group of students are stalked by a stranger during their Christmas break. A remake of the 1974 horror film ‘Black Christmas’.

Imogen PootsCary Elwes • Aleyse Shannon

I adore the original so I am in two minds about this remake. It doesn’t really need to be made, however a modern look at the subject matter could be very interesting (not that the original wasn’t progressive in its thinking in the first place). I just can’t forget that we’ve been here before and it wasn’t great.

There’s not much more I can add at this stage as I don’t know anything about it – but it’s coming this December and I’m all in. With fairy lights on.

Child’s Play (2019)

A mother gives her son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.

Aubrey Plaza • Mark Hamill • Gabriel Bateman

Chucky has forever been my homeboy so this is another one I approach with trepidation. I have high hopes that my boy is in good hands though – he joins a great cast, including Brian Tyree Henry, Plaza –  and of course, is voiced by Mark Hamill. It seems that Chucky has had a techno upgrade for 2019 which is kind of exciting and we do know he’s a Buddi doll, rather than the classic Good Guy.

Apart from that I’ve avoided the second trailer so as not to spoil anything. Recent horror movie trailers have really fucked with my experiences/desire to watch them (looking at you Pet Sematary/Brightburn).

Child’s Play opens tomorrow and I’ve got a ticket for Tuesday night. AKA learning my lesson and not going on opening night. Nice try, teenagers!

Grudge (2020)

A house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death.

Betty Gilpin • Andrea Riseborough • William SadlerJohn ChoLin Shaye

Again, I don’t know much about the 2020 remake and I didn’t even know there was going to be one until recently. The original is incredibly freaky with several truly terrifying (and often replicated) scenes so it never really needed a re-do – and yet, horror sweetheart Sarah Michelle Gellar‘s The Grudge 1 and 2 weren’t all bad.

Maybe this could be decent. I am always a sucker for haunted house horror and Andrea Riseborough is really good (hello, Mandy best movie ever made). We shall see.

Are there any horror movies you’re looking forward to?