Giants of Rock | Minehead

Giants of Rock – sounds great already, right? – is an annual adults-only rock festival hosted by the one and only Butlins. I promise, this is not a joke post. Butlins really does host a rock weekend.

You think of Butlins and, like me, you probably think of the seaside, family holidays, cheesy music and a place as far away as humanly possible from several thousand rockers. You’d be right, because Butlins is an awesome place for a family holiday, but did you know they also regularly hold live music weekends just for us grown-ups? And they’re incredible.

At the end of January, Matthew and I, alongside Mark and Kat – also known as Matt’s brother & brother’s girlfriend, good friends, best man & maid of honour, which ever tickles your fancy – jumped into the car for a 5 hour car-ride down to Minehead. We booked this weekend away so long ago, on a bit of a whim really, after visiting Matt’s mum and her foster children during on of their family holidays at Butlins. All four of us are child-free and loving it, so whilst Butlins (and the prospects of music, drinks and swimming) is forever enticing, the idea of spending a long weekend around many, many children is not. All they had to do was throw in “adults-only” and “rock music” and we were sold.

The music was, obviously, the highlight of the entire weekend. Surprisingly, though, the surrounding area came a very, very close second and that’s what I want to share with you today.

Minehead Butlins Beach Sunset

The Butlins resort we stayed in was in Minehead – almost 300 miles from our home city. It’s down in Somerset (which is also kind of near Wales), so even the car ride was a thing of beauty. I’m a bit dramatic when it comes to nature, I guess you’d say. I can’t quite control my excitement with how overwhelmingly and sincerely beautiful I find everything. It still baffles me how people can pass rolling hills and not look at them in awe, but that’s a story for another day. So, when we rocked up at the resort and head down to the nearby beach, I was blown away.

The beach seemed to start right at the base of a huge cliff, before winding all the way over mounds of huge rocks, around the bright green fields of a nearby golf course and into rolling hills in the distance. It went on forever.

Minehead Butlins Beach SunsetMinehead Butlins Beach Sunset

We went for two walks on the beach. One walk was full of fog and an orange sun that made the whole place look warm (even though it wasn’t). Even in the fog, it was incredible. During the second walk, we caught the sunset before almost being caught in the high tide. You bet we practically ran back to safety.  I could have walked up and down that beach for days… but only minutes away was the Butlins resort calling us back with an itinerary full of rock music and how could we turn that down?

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Have you ever been to Minehead or Somerset? I wish we could have explored a little more but, this time, we paid for the music and not for the nature!

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Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Currently, I Am… | #10

Hi, friends! Ah, I’ve missed you. It’s been almost a whole month since I’ve shown my face on my lovely little blog, but it’s definitely been well deserved. The first few weeks of 2017 were filled with coursework and university deadlines, so The Rose Quartz had to take a bit of a backseat. Don’t worry though, I thought about you every day!

After that, I had a few days of beautiful nothingness and relaxation with Matthew, before me, him, his brother and his girlfriend went off for a 4-day bender to Butlins for the Giants of Rock festival. That, I tell you, was flipping fantastic and I’ll be talking a lot more about that the next time I’m around! We saw some incredible bands and some really impressive musicians – it was mind blowing, really. As well as enjoying lots of music, the nearby beach was just beautiful. We spent a lot of time walking around and taking pictures – you know what I’m like.

Butlins Minehead

My “Currently, I Am” series is always a great post for when I return from a pretty long break. I haven’t posted one of these since November, just after Trump managed to find his way into an incredible, ridiculous position of power. Coincidentally, this one comes just after his inauguration and the reinforcement that his new found power is taking America down a horribly familiar, slippery slope.

Anyway, let’s not talk politics. Let’s have a bit of a catch up!

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Currently, I am feeling

…oh, well, a lot of different feelings actually. I’m gunna quickly take you through them, otherwise this could go on for a very long time. I’m feeling excited and nervous about my wedding day – I get married in November and there’s a lot of exciting plans to be made! I’m feeling anxious, unprepared and lost with regards to my future career prospects – I’m graduating in the summer, with no passion for my degree or field of work in any way. I’m feeling tired, because sleep is alluding me – that’s probably because of all these FEELS.

Dan Feels Gif

Currently, I am watching

…Daredevil S2. We recently finished Jessica Jones too, which was unbelievable. Kilgrave is one of my all time favourite villains! He’s easily Marvel’s best on-screen baddie. His ability to manipulate people, simply by talking to them, is a really clever way of avoiding “not-another-fight-scene”. Daredevil is also picking up. The first season started off incredibly dull, picking up towards the end. The second season started a little slow too actually, but it quickly sorted itself out and now me and Matthew are both really enjoying it.

Since my last catch up post, Westworld finished too. That was one of the best bits of television I’ve ever seen. Highly, highly recommend.

Currently, I am reading

…The Great Gatsby. Can you believe I’ve never read it? I also recently read Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories which was a super interesting and super quick read. It’s worth it though. The title story was one of the longer short stories/poems in the collection and it actually made me feel pretty sad. Poor, Oyster Boy.

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How have you been? What have you been up to recently?

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

My Ultimate 80’s Playlist

Practically all of my favourite songs, if not all of them, are from the 80’s. Whilst my music taste does vary hugely – from the most beautiful pieces by Ludovico Einaudi to Darude’s Sandstorm – I do generally always gravitate back to the 80’s.

When you think of the 80’s, do you think of rubbish hair, garish coloured clothing and cheesy music? I used to. I wasn’t completely wrong either. The 80’s had some fantastically cheesy songs, like Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship (which is, I admit, one of my favourite songs of all time). Then, on the flip side, you’ve got the likes of Kiss, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Guns N’ Roses who all inject a dollop of rock into the decade. I just can’t get enough of all of them.

My Ultimate 80's Playlist

Until I made this playlist, I listened to Absolute Radio 80’s and Classic Rock daily. All the adverts and unwanted snippets of news got a bit annoying though, so I thought I’d make my own. I included bits of classic 80’s cheese, power ballads, rock songs and old favourites so it’s a pretty varied mix.

If you like good music, I’m sure you’re going to love something from this playlist.

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You can find my playlist here:

 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Let me know what you think. Are you a big fan of 80’s music?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Currently, I Am… | #7

Hi, friends! Happy “hump day” – I hope you’ve had a great week so far.

This is going to be the most positive “Currently, I Am” post that I’ve shared for a few months (yay) so that’s good news. In April, I managed to muster up a pretty positive catch-up but before that they haven’t exactly projected happiness for a while and I apologise! That’s all changed now, though.

Honestly, I’ve had a really good couple of weeks. After being off work sick for a while, I finally returned with absolutely no problems. It was like I never left but in a good way. I’m noticeably happier and I feel as if I even look healthier – clear eyes, clear skin etc. Currently, everything is just way more positive. Granted, I’m tired. Getting back to work was tough, but I’m happy to be there!

Anyway, let’s get back to the real topic. What have I been up to recently!?

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Currently, I am watching

…right this second, SacconeJoly vlogs on YouTube. We had a pretty busy week and we couldn’t keep on top of them. So, whilst eating our tea, we had a bit of a catch up!

In general,  I’m still re-watching Supernatural with Matt (we’re on series 9) as well as eagerly awaiting the new episodes of series 11. That’s about it! We’re thinking of starting Modern Family for a bit of fun when we have 20 minutes to burn, so that should be good.

I’ve been in such a film mood recently too but I haven’t found the time to  watch any in the last few weeks. I’m super excited for so many films – I think I’ll be finally seeing X-Men: Apocalypse soon (can’t wait!) and, huge news, the first trailer for Beauty and the Beast was finally released. My heart melted and it was only the tiniest of snippets so I can’t even imagine how excited I’ll be when the film comes out next year!

Currently, I am listening to…

…a lot of Absolute Classic Rock and Absolute 80’s – my two favourite radio stations, and they’re both fantastic to listen to when I’m sat at my desk working!

Currently, I am reading

…nothing, right this second. I finished A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes this afternoon which was absolutely incredible. Wow. I’ll be reviewing it on my blog very soon because I’d love to share my opinions on it. Before that, I read Alice in Wonderland and you can read my review here.

I’m finally out of my reading slump!

Currently, I am feeling

…pretty fantastic, really! I’m quite tired today because I had a terrible night’s sleep last night. In comparison to the last few months though, I’m feeling great. Right now, I’m also feeling lovely and warm and cosy, which is always good. It seems like everything is looking up! Let’s hope the second half of 2016 is far, far, far better than the first.

Currently, I am playing

…so much Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. So much. I need an intervention. I need help. Seriously though, I’m loving this game. It’s not my cup of tea at all (well, I didn’t think it was) but since buying it last month or so, me and Matt can’t drag ourselves away from it when we’re free from normal, grown-up commitments.

I also started Ori and the Blind Forest on the Xbox One recently which is a super beautiful platform adventure game. I’m sure I’ll be reviewing this on my blog once I’ve completed the story because it has been fascinating, heart-breaking and fun in equal measures.

Currently, I am excited for…

…a little country break away with my mum in June. We’re going to stay at a hotel on the outskirts of Scarborough for a night, just the two of us, and we’re both so bloody excited!

I’m also very excited for Matthew at the moment as he finished the final essay of his degree this afternoon and is only one more exam away from completely his 3 years at university! Then, he graduates in July and starts a year of teacher training in September… I’m such a proud fiancé!

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How have you been? Have you done, watched or read anything good recently?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

What Does The Fox Say?

Okay, I’ll give you a little bit of back story first, otherwise you’re going to think I’m incredibly weird…

I was watching Glee. More specifically, S5 E7 “Puppet Master” where Blaine goes a little crazy and makes Muppet puppets before the episode comes to a close with their cover of “What Does The Fox Say?” – that super viral, weird sounding song from 2013. I used to hate it, but for some unknown reason (possibly that the Glee cast sang it, possibly that I love foxes) when I heard it recently I thought it was so good. It drove me to hysterics and I just can’t get it out of my head! A little word of warning, you shouldn’t take life too seriously if you’re going to go and listen to that song right now… I’m telling you, it’s weird.

Anyway, it made me think… what does the fox actually say?

Fox Photography

I don’t know about you, but the fox’s call was always a mystery to me. I like to think of them as beautiful cat/dog hybrids (not literally, yes, I know) with fantastic bushy tails. Does that mean they meow or purr? Do they bark? I had no idea. Cows moo, chickens cluck, fish blub… but I couldn’t imitate a fox, and to be honest, a life where you can’t imitate one of your favourite animals is a very sad life to live.

I even used to think they were silent. Ha. Oh, how very wrong I was. Turns out, this is what the fox says:

So, the song isn’t as random as I once thought and foxes aren’t as silent as I once thought. There we go – you learn something new every day!

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Did you already know what a fox sounds like?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Saturday’s Super Six | Musical Movies

I love music and I love movies, so the revelation that I have a huge soft spot for musicals shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you put me in front of the TV with a good musical, you’ll lose me (whilst I lose my voice) until the credits roll. This week’s Saturday’s Super Six will share my favourite musical films, and wow, this was a hard one list to create. They’re all so good.

I won’t be including animated Disney films because, let’s face it, they’re all musicals and they’re all fantastic. I’m planning on doing a Saturday’s Super Six dedicated solely to Disney movies in the future, instead! Similarly, films such as Footloose, Save the Last Dance, Fame etc. won’t be included as I would consider them to be dance films, not musicals. I’m sure a Super Six will cover these in the future too.

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Moulin Rouge:

Moulin Rouge Film

Baz Luhrmann‘s Moulin Rouge is not only my favourite musicals but it’s also a huge contender for one of my favourite films of all time. I think it’s rare to love every single song, every single line and every single little thing about a musical, let alone a film, but when it comes to Moulin Rouge, I really do. You’re taken on a story of complete love, fun, dance, friends, betrayal, sadness and death and I’m constantly captivated. It’s stunning.

The greatest thing youll ever learn,
is just to love and be loved in return

The songs are incredible too. They’re mash ups, covers, reinventions… seriously, if you take 3 classic songs and mash them into a new masterpiece, isn’t it just 3x as good as the original? Okay, maybe not, but you get my point.

One of my favourite scenes/songs/mash-ups:

Mary Poppins:

Mary Poppins Film

I’ve seen Mary Poppins way too many times but it never feels old, outdated or any less enjoyable the more times I watch. Although there are a few songs that I properly dislike, e.g. every single song that doesn’t feature Julie Andrews or Dick Van Dyke, it’s never ruined the movie for me, because there are moments in Mary Poppins that are just fantastic.

The chemistry between Julie and Dick though. They’re my favourite. They both completely make the film for me.

Pitch Perfect:

Pitch Perfect Film

Me and Matt both love Pitch Perfect. It’s so quirky. Despite focusing primarily on the female acapella group, it doesn’t feel like a chick flick – not like I’d mind, obviously. The introduction of Anna Kendrick‘s character Beca transforms the uptight, dare I say prudish Barden Bellas into a strong and modern acapella group.

In a world where acapella can fill up a full arena with cheering fans and an average college competition has three famous commentators, Beca’s changes to the group are a big deal.

The music in Pitch Perfect is a perfect combination of all genres. You’ve got a bit of classic rock, a bit of modern pop, rap… it’s fun and really easy to sing along to.

Les Misérables:

Les Miserables Film

I sometimes forget that Les Misérables isn’t just a powerful story about the French Revolution, and me and Matt will sometimes put it on the telly to be horribly reminded how gut-wrenchingly sad this film is. It’s incredible, but my god, it makes me bawl like a baby.

I’m going to be completely honest here. When I saw this film for the first time at the cinema, I was in the middle of reading the novel and I knew it was a musical at the West End, but I had absolutely no idea that the Hollywood film version would be a musical. Not only was it a musical, but I don’t recall any non-singing in the movie. I was gob-smacked. Up until the end of “Look Down” (the cool one with the boats), I was like “yeah, it’s a musical, nice one” and then we were singing to the church, and saying sorry in song… I got the point. Either way, it was a nice surprise and it’s still one of my favourite films to this day.

Mamma Mia:

Mamma Mia Film

Unpopular opinion maybe? I love Mamma Mia. So much. If me and Matt are just doing our separate thing at home, maybe he’s on the Xbox, who knows, neither of us would be surprised if I just shoved Mamma Mia on my laptop whilst I blog. And then sing along. And then go all gooey eyed. And then dream about living on a Greek island. *swoon*

I’m a huge ABBA fan. Really, a huge ABBA fan. The top-played section of my iTunes is almost completely made up of ABBA songs… (no shame). Then, you throw one of the best casts at me, including my sweetheart Amanda Seyfried, and how am I not supposed to fall in love? It’s lovely.

Into The Woods:

Into The Woods

Me and Matt waited in anticipation for Into The Woods for years. We stalk upcoming movies on IMDB a lot, and we’d heard this was going to be released but knew nothing but a small plot write-up and it’s main cast members – to be honest, we didn’t even know it was previously a stage musical. When it finally was released, we jumped right at it and loved it.

It very cleverly ties together the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel, by following a cursed baker’s family as they try and get their lives back on track. Again, this film has an incredible cast, a fantastic set of songs and one of the most unique story lines I’ve seen. I loved it!

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Did you like my picks? What’s your favourite musical?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

 

Saturday’s Super Six | Favourite 90’s Films

Well, this could be the most difficult “super six” that I’ve attempted so far… because really, how can I choose a finite number of films that stand above the rest? The 90’s was an epic decade for film, churning out a selection of some of the most fantastic blockbusters. Deciding which films to feature in this week’s Saturday’s Super Six will be a tough one, but I’ll give it a good go!

I’m sure this is a given, but I’m going to point out the obvious anyway – I’m only going to feature movies that I’ve actually watched. There’s still a fair few popular films that I haven’t watched yet. I’ll get there eventually…

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The Green Mile:

The Green Mile

The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift.

Leave me alone whilst I cry myself to sleep… have you seen that beautifully sad face? That’s the magical John Coffey. I really hoped The Green Mile would have a happy ending, but instead it left me with tears in my eyes and a horrible realisation that happily ever after isn’t always realistic.

The character development in this film is intense. The guards open hatred towards Coffey melts into sadness that there’s is absolutely nothing they can do to save him… The Green Mile is a brilliant film, and it’s quite easily one of my all-time favourites.

Reservoir Dogs:

Reservoir Dogs

After a simple jewellery heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.

I was absolutely adamant that I would hate this film. Matt bugged me for years to watch it, and when I finally gave in I realised I’d been missing out on a lot for a long time. If anything, I’d missed out of one of the best scenes of all time. You know the one.

🎶 Well I don’t know why I came here tonight… I got the feeling that something ain’t right… 🎶

Saving Private Ryan:

Saving Private Ryan

Following the Normandy Landings, a group of U.S. soldiers go behind enemy lines to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action.

Wow, I really need to watch this film again soon. It’s been too long. I’m a Tom Hanks fan-girl, yes, but Saving Private Ryan is much more than it’s fantastic cast. It balances the inhumanity of war with the humanity of the characters and their efforts to find and send home a solider.

When I was in school, I wrote a final piece of coursework based on the Normandy beach scene of this film, and it’s still one of my favourite pieces of writing. I guess this film will always have a special, well-deserved place in my heart.

The Truman Show:

The Truman Show

An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a T.V. show.

It was hard work trying to find a recognisable shot from The Truman Show without giving away huge spoilers and ruining the film’s ending. The first time I watched this film I hadn’t even read the film’s synopsis, so the whole plot was a shock to me – a brilliant shock, though, and it’s still to this day one of my favourites.

Titanic:

Titanic

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind, but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

Titanic is a visually beautiful and all-round brilliant film. To the Titanic haters, I seriously don’t understand the problem you have with it. It has action, it has sadness, it has special effects, it has a brilliant soundtrack, it has romance, it has the ultimate cast and it has history. What else do you want?

I actually have a very strong memory of my first Titanic viewing, and it’s stuck with me since I was a child. It was during the scene where Jack is hand-cuffed to a pipe in the quickly flooding room, and Rose is desperately trying to search for help. The acting, in this scene in particular, broke my heart. I felt her pain, completely. Eventually, I had to pause the video (yes, the video) as a ‘time out’, because I realised I was pacing the room in floods of tears.

Pulp Fiction:

Pulp Fiction

The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

It’s a Tarantino great, and I couldn’t really list my favourite 90’s movies without featuring Pulp Fiction… The unique chronology of the film is brilliant, yes, but even the coolness of the film is noteworthy. Is it still cool to use the word cool?

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What about you? What are your favourite 90’s films?

-Morgan

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