2018 From the Cookie Kitchen


“House is haunted, I just wanna go for a ride, Out and on, before I set this room alight, Left alone, Forever, and for crimes unclear, With my patience gone, Someone take me far from here.”  Gasoline by Audioslave

April, 2018.  Tara invited me to guest post for the time that APJ was out-of-action.  Little did I imagine that I would still be writing here at the end of the year.  I returned to APJ in the summer and after talking with Tara, remained here to start my monthly Strange Tales From the Cookie Kitchen.

Today I’m sharing some of my 2018 highlights from the spheres of film, literature and music.



val black

BLACKKKLANSMAN Spike Lee’s true story of the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department, early 19070’s.  And how he sets out to infiltrate and expose the KKK.

The Dawn Wall  The story of free climber Tommy Caldwell, and his climbing partner Kevin Jorgeson and their climbing of The Dawn Wall, a 3,000 foot rock face in Yosemite. Six years of meticulously plotting and practicing their route.  It had never been done.


val dawn

Widows  Anyone remember the ITV series?  It is based upon that.  The basic plot follows four women, whose criminal husbands are killed on a botch job, planning a heist to pay back a crime boss.  Directed by Steve McQueen, (12 Years A Slave) who has the ability to allow you to see into a character with just a single frame.  Superb.  Go see it.


val widows


Isle of Dogs Wes Anderson’s stop-motion-animated science-fiction comedy-drama film.  It is set in a dystopian Japan, and it is the story of  young boy looking for his dog.   All dogs have been banished to Trash Island, to prevent a flu virus they have crossing over to humans.  It is a wonderful as every other Wes Anderson film.


val isle of dogs

Taken Yes, the movie with Liam Neeson.  I knoooow is is from 2009 and not 2018, but I only just watched it.  No, I have no idea what took me so long.  Cult.




The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood

Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections by Johann Hari 

The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah – The Autobiography

How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine


val books.jpg


Gasoline x 1000, Audioslave.  Top Tune.

val audioslave


Lose Yourself and Venom, Eminem

val eninmen

 Wake Up, Brass Against

 London Calling, The Clash – the whole album.  Not one bad track.


val clash


I can’t finish 2018 without thanking my amazing, kind, patient, seriously batshit crazy trainer, Eric.  He has changed my life.  And the incredible Crikey/Slowlight who has cyber-motivated me to push myself to the limits, as she pushes beyond hers.  Big love to both of you gorgeous things.

And eternal thanks for the enduring friendship with Tara and Vanessa;  who keep me sane.


Hop over to APJ if my top perfumes of the year are of any interest!









Filed under Book Review

5 responses to “2018 From the Cookie Kitchen

  1. It’s been so good having you here this year, Val. What a fortunate accident.
    Love your 2018 picks, especially the movies. I need to catch up on a few of those when they are available on the small screen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, I am so culturally out of touch that the only connection I can muster between my life and the films you have seen is the fact that my plumber is called Wes.

    I do fully intend to read The Handmaid’s Tale on your recommendation, and picked up a cheap copy in a charity shop to that very end. Then you know the lovely story about BZ reciting the lyrics to one of my late friend Mel’s songs, and putting it out with some of her other tracks on a charity CD. He was moved by the fact that she missed his poetry reading in Birmingham because she was terminally ill, and died shortly afterwards. I should give that book a spin now! The Hari ones caught my eye too.

    And well done on the training. You lift 100kg so I don’t have to. And the friendship appreciation is massively mutual. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wes ….. laughing so hard my mascara is running. It was Tara that pushed me to the A Handmaid’s Tale. One of those ones I never got around to reading. I loved the Zepahnaiah book. You probably should read it, yeah. Well, when I can lift 100kg from the ground, then we’ll be talking, but I am training hard for it. 😉 xxxxx


  4. Why does so little of your list even register with me? I’ve not even heard of nearly 9/10ths of it.
    I’m seriously old in the head.
    Love you Val.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.