Man Up – A review

I love love! I love romance! I love London! And I love romantic movies based in London! Love Actually, The Holiday…love them both!

So when I saw the trailer for “Man Up” I thought I have to watch it. But life took hold of all my time and before I knew it, it had come and gone. Thankfully, it was showing on Cathay Pacific when I flew to Hong Kong earlier this month. I watched it and of course, I loved it!

Man Up is about 2 people, Nancy (Lake Bell) and Jack (Simon Pegg) who accidentally meet under the clock at Waterloo Station. Jack mistakes Nancy for his blind date and Nancy, who vowed to take more chances in the New Year, ran with it. What followed was the best first blind date. That is until Jack found out the truth.

01_08010125_9f0f2e_2334040a

What I loved about the movie was it’s honesty. It’s not all bells and whistles in your 30s and 40s. When dating we come to the table with so much baggage. Some light, some heavy, but it’s there either way. Navigating relationships in your 30s is a lot tougher than in your 20s and requires a lot more alcohol!!

Lake Bell did a brilliant job with her English accent!! Man Up is a totally realistic view of the modern dating scene (drunken meltdowns included) with a happy ending. What more can you ask for?!

The Original London Bus Tour: A review

For those who know me, I love London and I love doing all the touristy stuff that London has to offer. So when I had some friends in town a few weeks ago and they were keen on doing the Original London Bus tour, I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve done it before (about 5 years ago) but it’s an opportunity to see one of my favourite cities again, I couldn’t say no.

We started the tour at Marble Arch but you can pretty much get on at most stops. There are three routes: The yellow route, the red route and the blue route. They each take around 2 hours and 15 minutes (if you don’t get off). The ticket also includes a FREE river cruise. Given that I have a love for the South Bank, this is my favourite part of the tour. Tickets cost £28 (or £26 if you book online in advance) and the ticket is valid for 24hours. So you could easily do one route one afternoon and the other two rotues the following morning (if you really want to see it ALL!). Under 5’s go free.

My friend Melanie was visiting from Germany with her daughter Mia (who had just turned 3). And my friends Sonya and Anushka were here from Hong Kong and Dubai. Naturally I took S with me but decided to leave his pram at home. I was slightly worried, given we were spending an entire afternoon out, but he was amazing. Both the kids were.

10411163_10152194156026266_4218082754144610249_n

We set out at about 2:15 once S and Mia woke from their naps and got on the tour bus at around 3pm. We went down Park Lane, through St. James Park, down Buckingham Gate, up through to Westminster, across a bridge to Waterloo, across a bridge again, down Fleet Street and up to St. Pauls. Back over the river to the South Bank, past London Bride and then over Tower Bridge (my favourite view of London) and to the Tower of London.

20140805_152442

20140805_160710

We decided to get off there and get on the river cruise. It was a beautiful day, sunny with a slight breeze so thankfully the queue for the cruise didn’t put us off. The cruise is 2 parts funny and 1 part informative. The tour guides know how to keep the crowd interested, pointing out all the landmarks and making subtle jokes alongside.

20140805_171234_000

We got off at the pier by Westminster Station and decided to call it a day. The kids were getting tired and I wanted to make it home before over-tiredness kicked in.

20140805_152724

All in all it was a lovely afternoon out and I’d recommend it to anyone visiting London. It’s a great way to see the entire city and all the major landmarks in 24hrs. Children 4 years and upwards would enjoy it a lot more but our little two loved the sights, sounds, the experience of sitting on an open top bus and the idea of going on a boat. We took the tube home, literally covering almost every mode of transport in London! 🙂

10634248_10152194157681266_2052933349_n

Love In Chelsea: Sex, Lies and Debauchery: A review

A friend was visiting from Hong Kong last month and was telling me about her 5-6 hour layover in Doha. “What did you do for 5-6 hours on your own?” I asked her. Her response? She read Love in Chelsea: Sex, Lies and Debauchery (by Alykhan Meghani). She said it was an easy read and a good book and so I ordered it on my kindle.

I agree with her first point, I’m not so sure about the latter. Love in Chelsea: Sex, Lies and Debauchery is written through the eyes of Aidan Khan, a 30 year old success driven guy living and working in London. He falls head over heels for Sara Varsi, a wealthy Chelsea “princess”. The book is basically a love/hate story of their relationship. The main issue being trust, or lack of.

loveinchelsea

While the book was easy to read and you can definitely relate to the characters, I found myself hating them. There were moments I wish I could meet Aidan just to shake some sense into him and other times I nodded in agreement as he described Sara, like many girls I know.

The book sort of reminded me these Indian TV shows I mentioned a couple of days ago. You love to hate them but you still keep tuning in to see what happens next.

While the book was easy to read and being of Indian descent myself, the story was potentially very “real”, I can’t say I loved it. The story and storyteller came across as quite immature and it ended too abruptly for my liking. Had I read it when I was 22, maybe I would have enjoyed it more.

I’d give this book a 2.5 out of 5.