Sing Street Movie – Family Musical Drama

Sing Street is a beautiful film and one on which on first inspection I probably wouldn’t have put on my watch list. It’s about a 14-year-old boy (Conor) growing up in Dublin during the 1980s. He escapes his strained family life by starting a band to impress the mysterious girl he likes.

It’s directed by John Carney who also directed Begin Again and Once. I loved the relationship between the main character and his older brother. What really struck me though was that despite the reported changes we  hear and see about the way teens live today (technology, increased anxiety and depression etc.), we all go through the same things to some extent: insecurity; bullying; peer pressure; heartbreak feeling so real and eternal and all topped off by the overwhelming feeling that no adult understands you.

Sing Street captures the optimism of youth perfectly and is a nice one to watch with older kids.

Watch the trailer.

Available on iTunes.

Mercado – Spanish Restaurant in Sydney

My new favourite restaurant in Sydney. From the moment we walked in, the service, ambience, food and drinks were all faultless. It’s hard to keep this post short as there are so many things to rave about but here goes:

  • It’s Spanish and the menu is designed to share
  • Chef and Co-owner Nathan Sasi has worked for some of the world’s top chefs and it shows (read about the philosophy behind the food as there as big respect is paid to the produce and traditions they employ to get it to your table)
  • Stand out dishes were ‘Kingfish ‘jamon’ crème fraiche, horseradish‘, ‘Ortiz anchovy tart, roasted bull horn‘, ‘Salad of winter broccoli, farro, preserved lemon & pistachio‘ and ‘Hot buttered bun with soft shell crab & harissa
  • The ‘Penelope Cruz‘ cocktail (18 Kettle One Vodka, La Goya Manzanilla Sherry, Mandarin, Almond, Prosecco) converted my non cocktail drinking husband to declare that he may well become a cocktail drinker
  • My only regrets were that (1) I dined with a non meat eater (lovely as it was) so we didn’t even get to the rotisserie part of the menu and (2) we were so full that there was no room left for dessert or cheeses.

Read more about Mercado on Broadsheet and Gourmet Traveller.

Mercado is loacted at No.4 Ash Street Sydney 2000.

Liane Moriarty’s Books – Perfect Holiday Reads

I was introduced to Liane Moriarty‘s books by my Mum who is an avid reader and is always spot on at fulfilling my brief for an excellent holiday read. I’ve so far read Big Little Lies, The Husband’s Secret, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and What Alice Forgot. Liane is a master at tapping into middle class suburban Australia and tensions in ordinary families. She is the first Australian author to debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Big Little Lies will air on HBO next year and will star Reese Witherspoon,  Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard and Shailene Woodley. Truly Madly Guilty is her new book which is out later this month. Delve into any of her books if you’re wanting a well written and gripping read. I’d start with Big Little Lies. Buy her books.

Alain de Botton ‘On Love’ at the Sydney Opera House

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I had the pleasure of watching a talk by Alain de Botton last night at the Sydney Opera House (big shout out to my sister for organising the tickets). He was there to discuss his new novel, “The Course of Love“. There were many revelations for me about being in a long-term relationship. I felt myself nodding to pretty much everything he said and immediately wanting to buy a ticket for my husband and friends (alas, he was only talking for two nights). It all made so much sense and I think most people in relationships could benefit from hearing his way of thinking. This excerpt from a recent piece he wrote for The New York Times sums up a key thought he has on long-term relationships: “The person who is best suited to us is not the person who shares our every taste (he or she doesn’t exist), but the person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligently — the person who is good at disagreement. Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true marker of the “not overly wrong” person. Compatibility is an achievement of love; it must not be its precondition.”  Certainly not the romantic idea we’ve long associated with love and marriage but definitely a more accurate one. Read more about Alain de Botton and his books and other ventures here and you can now watch the talk here (runs for around 70 min).

The Girlfriend Experience TV Series

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I am hooked on The Girlfriend Experience TV series (watched 6 of 13 episodes so far) which is adapted from Steven Soderbergh‘s 2009 movie of the same name (he’s an Executive Producer on the movie). Don’t be put off if you didn’t enjoy the film, the TV series is in another league. The central character, Christine, is played by Riley Keough (Elvis Presley’s granddaughter). Christine is a young law student interning at a top law firm in Chicago. She’s introduced to the world of “transactional relationships” (escorting) by a classmate and excels at it. She then embarks on a journey that sees her wrestling with personal and professional boundaries. This review sums it up nicely. As you would expect given the storyline, it’s a bit raunchy in parts so best not to watch with your parents or children. View trailer here. It’s available on Stan.

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