Spirited Away Blu Ray Review

I bloody love Studio Ghibli, so much so that I really want a Totoro tattoo – shhh don’t tell my mum. I’m also trying to work out when I can get over to Paris again just so I can go and see this exhibition. So, we I was asked to watch Spirited Away again because it has been released on Blu-ray* I jumped at the chance. It’s one of my favourites.

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If you’re looking to buy master animator, Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away on Blu-ray it’s not because you don’t know the story. However, just in case you do need a quick recap. This fantasy adventure is about Chihiro, a ten-year old girl who is moving, with her parents to a new home in a new town and leaving behind everything she knows. Getting lost along the way, they almost crash into a tunnel that leads to a deserted, open air restaurant where her parents sit down and start to help themselves to food. Chihiro isn’t particularly comfortable, refuses to eat with her parents. She wanders off to explore her new surroundings and meets a boy, Haku, who explains to her that they are in a world that is a holiday resort for exhausted spirits who have left behind their earthly duties. She returns to where she’d left her greedy parents, only to discover that they have been turned into pigs. The first rule in this new world is: laziness will not be stood for. The only way she will be able to break the spell on her parents is by working hard in a fantastical bath house that is frequented by gods, demons and spirits. Spirited Away is an Academy Award winning analysis of a world of wasteful consumption intertwined with the modest coming of age story of a young girl working out her own identity and learning to get by on her own that has repeatedly been compared the Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland.

This Blu-ray comes with the film both in Japanese with English subtitles and with a full English dub and looks even more stunning in high-definition. It is also jam-packed with extras including an introduction by John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar. Plus alongside the alternative angle storyboards and the original Japanese trailers the is a whole host of featurettes perfect for any Studio Ghibli fan – The Making Of Spirited Away, Meet Hayao Miyazaki and Behind The Microphone, about the voice talent in the film.

Spirited Away makes its UK Blu-ray premiere on Monday 24th November and will be included in the full The Hayao Miyazaki Collection that will follow in December. Either on its own or as part of the collection,Spirited Away, makes an excellent Christmas present for anime, fairy tale and Ghibli fans alike.

Have you seen Spirited Away? What did you think? Are you a Ghibli fan?


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* This review first appeared on Filmwerk.co.uk * This post contains affilliate links to Amazon *

Winter Warmers – Hats and Gloves

I hate being cold and have a tendency to pile the layers on all through the year, not just at winter. Hats and gloves are definitely a staple part of my wardrobe all year round, the only difference being that the hats tend to become wooly in winter.

I have recently received a brand new knitted bobble hat and pair of gloves that I wanted to share with you. I think you’d describe them both as “novelty” items but not in the cheesy, cringeworthy way that means you’ll wear them once for a laugh.

Let me start with the hat…

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Get F*cked Beanie, £15.99 from Firebox

Sadly, this picture isn’t me but if you follow me on Instagram you will have seen me sporting this bloody awesome Get Fucked beanie* from Firebox. It pretty much sums up my general feeling towards the cold, London commuters and the morning so I can honestly say I wear it with pride on my journeys to work. In fact, Tom has taken a bit of a shine to it too and has also worn it on occasion. It comes in a couple of different colourways. Judging by the site at the moment you can’t get it in grey and black anymore, which is the one I have, but you can get it in black and orange and burgundy and yellow which I really like.

I’d be careful where you wear it to though. You friends will probably find the sentiment quite funny but turning up to your nan’s for Sunday lunch in it might not go down quite so well!

Moving on to the gloves…

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Blue Monster Gloves, £12.95 in adult size, Warmsters

How cute are these bad boys? When I found out that they weren’t just available in kids sizes I was absolutely over the moon. I have pretty huge shovel hands so being able to get a pair of gloves that turn into a monster face really made me happy. These blue Warmsters gloves* have been keeping my hands totally toasty and my friends quite amused. They come in four different colours too giving you the chance to own a whole family of monsters! They would make an awesome parent/child present for Christmas having matching monster gloves would be super cute.

All I need now is a super cool scarf to add to my new winter accessories. Any ideas?


lojo e1358955095613 Winter Warmers   Hats and Gloves

100 Things That Make Me Happy (Part 5)

We’re now halfway there in the list of things that makes me happy! I’m starting to wonder if I’m repeating myself too. I hope not. I did have a full list of all 50 items so far in my notebook but it was in my handbag that got stolen a few weeks ago. Which is annoying. If you want to go back and check if I’ve said any of these things before you can find part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 on these links.

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41. CSI and NCIS – These programmes were pretty much on a never-ending cycle when we were in Mexico. Well, on the English-speaking channels anyway. So when we went back to our room for a nap before we got ready to go out for dinner we’d end up watching them. I’m now obsessed.

42. Sunsets – The colours are just so pretty.

43. Afternoon naps – I love an afternoon nap. You just have to make sure it’s not too long.

44. Hot water bottles – I’m always cold but even if I’m not hot water bottles are ace. They’re just so comforting and make me think of the hot water bottle queen herself, Hannah Byrne (my best friend is obsessed with them!)

45. Laughing – OK this is pretty self-explanatory but I mean those time when you laugh so hard you cry, when you can’t stop laughing because the more you try to calm yourself down, the funnier it seems. Proper good belly laughs.

46. Christmas – What is there to not love about Christmas? Good food, all of the cheese, all of the wine, the people you love and presents. Sounds like a winner to me.

47. Candles – I love the pretty flickering light they give off and I’m even more of a fan if they happen to make the room smell nice too. We always have a scented candle on our coffee table in the living room.

48. Netflix – Binge watching box sets in bed. Yes please!

49. Fairy lights – Pretty much the only lights I’d use if I was allowed. LOVE THEM.

50 . Tapas – Any meal where you can have loads of different things and not have to make a proper decision is A-OK in my book.

Half way through my happy list. What do you think?


lojo e1358955095613 100 Things That Make Me Happy (Part 5)

Lost Ties

I’ve been writing a lot of personal posts recently. I must have been feeling particularly introspective over the last couple of weeks. Maybe that’s what a big life change does to you. Maybe I’m just being a big wuss. Either way, I’ll try to break these up with some other things soon. I promise.

Before our wedding I was thinking about the important people in my life (obviously) and I started thinking about the people who were very important in my life but aren’t there any more. I don’t necessarily mean those that physically aren’t with us anymore, I mean the people who you spend a lot of time with then you just drift apart or you fall out or things like that.

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 Sometimes I think about the people I used to consider really important in my life and feel sad that they’ve drifted out of it. Of course I don’t mean everyone that has been important to me. Some of them I can’t get rid of no matter how hard I try icon wink Lost Ties (only joking!) I mean those people who were such an integral part of your life for a relatively short time then *poof* that’s it, they’re gone. Your lives go in separate directions and you just don’t see them anymore.

There’s a saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime and it really is true. Those that are in my life for a lifetime (you know who you are) are so special to me. I might not see them or even speak to them as often as I should but when I do it’s like no time has passed. We catch up on everything that has happened and then carry on like normal. I can count these real-life friends on my fingers, I don’t even think it reaches double figures but these are the ones I know I can count on. That I know would be there for me if I ever needed them to be and that I can totally be myself with.

As much as I love this motley crew I still can’t help feel a little sad about those reason and season people. It’s probably looking back with rose-tinted glasses but a bit of sentimentality never hurt anyone I guess. There’s a couple of these reasons and seasons that I’d happily welcome back into my life I think. Even if it is just for another short time around. It would either be lovely or prove why they drifted away in the first place, I guess.

This post took me quite some time to write. I kept starting it and coming back to it, writing it and deleting it. Not really sure of the direction I wanted it to take or even the point of it. I think I decided in the end that I just needed to write it all down and get it out of my head so I can move past the reminiscing and look forward to the new year. I don’t mean to be vague but without going into details about the specifics of the people I’ve been thinking about it’s kind of hard to know what to say.

Sorry for the rambling, pointless post and if you have actually got this far in reading it I’m well impressed and even more sorry that I can’t give you the 5 minutes or however long it took you to read back.

Ah well, que sera, sera


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The Christmas Tag

I bloody love Christmas, in fact I’m normally counting down to it for months beforehand. Announcing, whenever there happens to be a lull in conversation “X amount of sleeps to go!” This year I haven’t been quite so vocal in my counting down and I’m not entirely sure exactly how many sleeps to Christmas Day it is off the top of my head. (37 just in case you were wondering.) Maybe it’s because of my wedding that the countdown to Christmas didn’t start at 99 sleeps to go like it does usually and that could be the reason I feel a little out of whack with it all. I still can’t get my head round the fact that Christmas is practically round the corner though even though I have nearly finished my Christmas shopping. Go me!

Anyway, I spotted this tag on Rachael’s blog, Jegz Loves Tea, and thought I’d start getting into the festive spirit. Especially as Tom has promised me we can out our Christmas tree up in the last weekend of November.

Bake off The Christmas Tag

1. Do you prefer a real Christmas tree or a synthetic Christmas tree?

I’ve never had a real Christmas tree. I’m sure this is considered sacrilege by some people but I guess it’s one of those things that you don’t miss if you’ve never had. Also, it makes me sad seeing all the brown, dead trees on the side of the road waiting to be collected after Christmas. In short, synthetic for me.

2. You’re in a coffee shop, it’s December, what do you pick?

I don’t really have a favourite. I had an egg nog latte in Starbucks the other day which was nice. Although if there is anything salted caramel flavoured that will always be my first choice.

3. What’s your favourite colour scheme for decorating the tree?

I’m not sure I have a favourite. Our tree colour scheme is red, white and silver. Well it has been for last two years and probably will be again this year but it’s about ready for a bit of a mix up. Next year I’ll buy all new decorations I think. Especially if we’re in a new place which we’re hoping to be.

4. Giving or receiving?

I know it sounds cliché but I do love giving gifts. I think that’s why I start shopping so early so that I know I have loads of time to find presents that I think people will really like and not that I’m just rushing round grabbing anything.

5. To mince pie or not to?

Not to. I’m not a fan of the mince pie really.

6. What’s your traditional Sunday lunch?

I’m assuming this means Christmas lunch as opposed to general Sunday lunch. We have turkey, roast potatoes, mash, peas, pigs in blankets, stuffing balls, carrot and swede mash and loads of gravy. A-mazing!

7. Christmas day fashion?

I always used to get a brand new outfit for Christmas day. Now I tend to buy a new top or something. I always try to look nice on Christmas Day.

8. What’s your favourite Christmas song?

You can’t beat a bit of Mariah, obviously. There’s nothing better than a drunk singalong of All I Want For Christmas Is You. Although Driving Home For Christmas is always high on my list too. Especially as it is my dad’s favourite and we have a family competition to see who can hear it first. Rules are 1. you can’t play it yourself it has to be on the radio 2. You must be in a car. I’m definitely losing this game as an average.

9. What’s your favourite Christmas film?

Elf. Even though I hate Will Ferrell I love Elf. I also love Home Alone and Die Hard. In fact I love pretty much all Christmas films, the cheesier the better. There’s a channel that appears soon with back to back made for TV Christmas films on it. It’s my favourite backdrop to a working from home day. Miracle on 34th Street is my mum’s favourite so I do love an afternoon curled up on the sofa with her watching that too.

10. Open present before or after lunch?

Before! As if I can wait until after lunch to see what Father christmas brought. First thing in the morning it is.

I love Christmas. Leave me your links if you choose to do this tag so I can read your posts too.


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