Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Down The River In Netflix’ Bird Box

Netflix adaptation bird box review from book to film

I remember as if it was yesterday - in April 2014, when my blog was a tender two months old, a fresh copy of Josh Malerman’s Bird Box landed on my desk. I couldn’t believe my luck! Amongst many aspiring online writers, I had been selected by a PR agency to receive a preview copy of the thrilling novel. 

In fact, the book had been my very first EVER gifted PR sample, so even though I found the read overall a bit average, it still holds a special place in my heart and it goes without saying that I eagerly anticipated the Netflix adaptation and binge-watched it the moment it got released.

Netflix Has Adapted The Novel Birdbox Into A Film

Usually, I’m not too bothered about horror or thriller stories but the moment I got Bird Box out of its package, I was intrigued by its neat presentation and I was still overjoyed that I had been selected to review the book. In my enthusiasm and eagerness, I started reading straight away – aw, those were the days of early blogging! Very quickly one page turned another, chapter by chapter. I was hooked for days, couldn’t put it down and completely indulged into the dark, mysterious and gripping world of Bird Box.

Now that Netflix has brought the eerie novel to life, I meticulously found myself following the plot. Adaptations are always tricky – especially when you translate a book into a two-hour film, but in this case, Netflix has done a great job. 

The scenery is incredibly well-chosen, the atmosphere well captured and even if I wouldn’t have known that this was an adaptation of Malerman’s book, I felt immediately taken back to the dark world that I first entered in 2014. There are barely any changes and the plot follows precisely the novel. 

The setting is a modern, apocalyptic America where horrifying incidents and strange happenings leave people in fear and terrifying horror. No one knows exactly what is going on - only that people brutally kill each other all of a sudden or they die painfully by the sight of something very haunting. 

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Exploring Zürich When You Don't Have Much Time

City break to Zurich in winter
Picture Credit & Photographer: Switzerland Tourism / Jan Geerk

Last year I worked for a short while for a travel company that happened to have their Head Quarters located in Zürich - Switzerland's biggest city and thriving European business hub. One of the perks of working for an international company was the business travel that came with the job, so it happened that I was sent twice to Zürich in the cold wintery first half of the year. What a great kick-off to a travel-rich 2018!

Same, Same But Different: Swiss And German Culture Share Some Similarities

Many, many years ago I've visited Switzerland and I've seen Thun, Bern and the Wilhelm Tell Festival Games in Luzern - all beautiful cities that I remember fondly. There was no doubt, that Zürich would be as equally impressive and it did not disappoint. Whilst my main purpose was to go to work, I did have some time afterwards to explore the local area and city centre. 

It has to be said, that most cities in Switzerland are fairly small and moderately manageable in terms of sightseeing. Zürich makes no exception and it's surprisingly refreshing when you come from the chaos that is London to such a lovely spot in the picturesque Alps. It feels like you've entered into a completely different world once you've stepped out of the aeroplane (Swiss obvs) after a 2h flight. 

Saying that to me as a German it always feels different when I go anywhere in the DACH countries so, in a way, it feels the same, cause it's the language and certain cultural aspects that I share with these nations, and then it feels different cause it's not Germany. However, I'm getting a bit side-tracked here because I wanted to tell you more about Zürich's compact size.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Vintage Shopping In Kensington

charity shopping in kensington london

When I attempted vintage shopping in Birmingham many years ago, it went moderately downhill. Well, I've ventured once again into the world of sustainable fashion and vintage shopping the other day in Kensington, when The Indytute*, offered me the chance to go on a guided tour around the local charity shops.

The Indytute is an online platform that offers unusual gift experiences and fun day outs in London such as roller-skating, rope aerobics, afternoon crafting and upcycling workshops or bespoke charity shopping tours in Hampstead, Kensington or Dalston. I've known London now for 20 years and it never fails to impress me. Exploring never gets boring and even after all this time, I can always discover new sides and perspectives of my favourite city. 

I decided to go charity shop hunting in Central London, as I thought this would be an interesting area to explore fashion-wise. Known for its high-end clientele, posh streets and impeccable houses, I assumed that Kensington would mainly be an area of recycled designer brands and chances were high that today might have been the day to find that “true” vintage item.  

Vintage Shopping In Kensington

On a crisp and warm Autumn afternoon, I met up with tour guide Sanna and a group of five interested bargain hunters to explore the area and see Kensington High Street from a different fashion perspective. Sanna used to live in London and would regularly scan the area for special vintage finds. From clothes, to record stores and even furniture, Sanna knew all the places worth going to. 

We started the two-hour tour directly on Kensington High Street where you can find the usual: Oxfam, Cancer Research - you name it they are all there. We went straight into Cancer UK and the familiar rummaging started. Vintage or charity shopping is a bit like a box of chocolates - you never know what you'll be getting. After less than 10 minutes scanning the rails, amongst Primark and Warehouse dresses, I found a black Moschino skirt with a red heart print. Reduced to £35 – unfortunately not in my size, but not too bad for a start. The next shop was the Octavia Foundation next door which turned out to be a little treasure trove for nice second-hand finds. 
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