Now the train-tracks and copper-dyed hair (thank you, Sun-in) have gone, my luck has improved, but my feelings for holiday have not. Even in a relationship, I feel there's an impending sense of disappointment. This Valentine's I've created a fool-proof list of non-cliché things to do for both singles and lovers...so you won't have to suffer the same pain.
Last weekend I watched, and loved, The Big Short, a film based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis, which describes a group of disparate outsiders who each spotted the colossal financial malfeasance which gave rise to the banking and housing crisis of 2008. The writer-director Adam McKay manages to create a hilarious, sharp, clear and compelling movie, all the more impressive given that the subject matter is, frankly, pretty dry and horrendously complex - riddled with acronyms and nuanced money manipulations in identikit boardrooms.
Oh, I've heard all the arguments. That I needed to discover them when I was a student; that it's all about the setting - I need to sit down, preferably on a bean bag in a dimly lit room with a lava lamp, and listen to a whole album in one go; that the Gilmour stuff is rubbish, I need to get into the Waters stuff; that the Waters and Gilmour stuff is rubbish, I need to get into the Barrett stuff...
It is a couple of weeks since my Take Me Out episode aired and I am still asking myself why I did it... We all know that first dates are usually quite nerve-wracking - now imagine being filmed by a camera crew with a microphone recording every embarrassing word that comes out of your mouth. Did it feel natural? No. While the date wasn't scripted, there was plenty of off-camera prompting from producers hoping to spark some romance - which tends to make you think the date is going better than it is.
For a lot of people involvement in theatre, music and art can educate. It can battle isolation, loneliness and, as dramatic as it sounds, I believe that the love of art can be a reason to get up in the morning and live! Through the dark periods of my life, art in many different guises has been a glittering light in the darkness.
Anyone who reads my column here in the Huff knows I regularly sing the praises of the Disability Arts Scene. I feel it is a place where art surpasses any constraints of impairment and explodes any stereotypes of disability with creativity and output that challenges the mainstream art world to achieve anywhere near it's standard.
A wheelchair, a lack of symmetry, a few lumps and bumps, freckles, dark skin, short legs, full arms and frizzy hair, are not bad things. They are part of human beings. They belong to real lives that are being lived everyday, who are being subliminally rejected every single day. It begins with the designers. You have a job to do. You have a platform and a responsibility. You have a power to make anyone in the world feel beautiful at your fingertips, which is one of the greatest gifts you can give to a person. Prove that you have the imagination, will, and basic talent to be able to make something that isn't solely a walking rail, look spectacular.
How does cinema follow a year like 2015? A year when three of the top 10 biggest films of all time in the UK were released, including two of the top three. It was a year that also saw the release of the third biggest animated film in history (Minions), and the summer's best blockbuster, Mad Max: Fury Road, just snagged 10 Oscar nominations.