Do

This weekend we’ll be…

Seeing: I Give it a Year

Ok, so roms coms aren’t what they used to be. When was the last really good romantic comedy that lived up to the pure work of genius that is When Harry Met Sally? Who are we kidding? NOTHING can live up to When Harry Met Sally. Watch it again. Now. In fact, we might just do that after going to see I Give it a Year. It’s from Working Title (when they’re good, they’re very, very good – see Bridget Jones’s Diary, Fargo and Atonement), it stars the fabulous Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall, and is about the trials and tribulations of the first year of marriage. The trailer looks promising. There’s a wedding it in it. It’ll cheer you up on a wet weekend in February. What more do you need?

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BTW if you haven’t seen Les Miserables yet, go see it. It’s wonderful. And this is from people who are musicalphobic…

Staying in with: The Good Wife on More4 (or 4OD)

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Alicia Florrick, how do we love thee. Let us count the ways. In fact, let’s not, or you’ll be here forever when you should be watching this on 4 OD if you were foolish enough to miss it on More4 (Thursdays at 9pm. MARK IT IN YOUR DIARY.) It should be required viewing. It features Julianna Marguiles (above) – all sharply sexy suits, one liners and shiny shiny hair. She’s s a politician’s wife  who was compelled to return to her fledgling career as an attorney when her husband Peter (Chris Noth – a seething post-Mr Big mass of unprincipled principles and ambition) is jailed followed a sex and corruption scandal. Fast forward to season three and it turns out she’s pretty damn hot in and out of court. It’s just brilliant. Watch it, watch it, watch it.

Alex will be reading: Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd

Ok. Let’s do a quick detour and start with Gillian Flynn, my writing crush de jour. Have you read Gone Girl? Do it. It’s brilliant. She’s brilliant. I want her talent. Her career wouldn’t be bad either. I’ve just finished it and love, love, loved it. A dysfunctional marriage. Wife goes missing. Husband the main suspect.But in the long tradition of all the best thrillers, nothing is quite what it seems…Having just finished Gone Girl, I needed something to fill the void and unwilling to risk being disappointed by a new book I’ve decided to re-read Brazzaville Beach by William Boyd, my writing crush of all time. I love William Boyd. I’ve read all his books. He is one of the most talented,  fantastic and unintimidating storytellers of the modern age. Whilst not as famous as Restless or Any Human Heart (one of my all-time favourite books), Brazzaville Beach is wonderful. And thought-provoking. And brilliant (have I said that already?) It tells the story of Hope Clearwater, a research scientist who begins the story contemplating her life from a remote beach in Africa. Three narratives take events from London to Africa where Hope escapes her disastrous marriage to work at a Research Centre studying wild chimps. Through a series of devastating events she experiences the incredible cruelty of both apes and man. I probably haven’t described it very well. I have a small child pulling at my arm. But, all I can say is give it a try.

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The Snail and The Whale by Julia Donaldson

Strictly speaking this is my son’s choice, although as I’m the one actually reading the words, I think we can include it. And besides, even if he didn’t want to, I’d read it anyway as I think the story, the pictures and the prose are just beautiful.

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That’s not my Puppy by Fiona Watt

Grunt, grunt says the baby. I want to eat this book.

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Going: The Hayward Gallery

In between cinema trips, reading, and eating, we’re planning a trip to the Light Show at the Hayward Gallery. Not just because my son saw it on the ‘noooze’ and said he wanted to go (despite not even knowing what an exhibition is). Not just because one of the truly wonderful things about living in London is having some of the world’s best galleries and museums on your doorstep. We’re going because it looks awesome. With work by 22 artists, and pieces dating from the 1960s to the present day, it’s should be dazzling, inspirational and the perfect antidote for the winter blues.

From 30th Jan – 28th April 2013. Tickets £11 plus booking fee.

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Natasha is coveting: Grow Your Own Calendar print from Bold & Noble

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I have a teeny tiny London garden. We spent a disproportionate amount of money (relative to its size – although not the pleasure it gives us) having it designed and made over (by the delightful, brilliant Joanna Archer. But that is a post for another day). When I am grown-up and have a proper vegetable garden, I will definitely require this  ‘Grow Your Own Calendar’ print from the wonderful Bold & Noble, £43 (unframed), www.boldandnoble.com.

Images: Channel 4, Bold and Noble, Working Title, Amazon, Hayward Gallery

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