Catherine Vaughan – Hereford’s Millenial Poet and Author

💝 My first ever review about my đŸŽ€ 🔊 1st Solo Poetry Performance 🔊 đŸŽ€ on 03.03.16 @ De Koffie Pot Cafe.
Written by the M Cuadra from the fantastic culture and events website: HerefordCityCentric.com a wonderful website about places to eat/visit/and do on in my Hometown Hereford. Visit their website today! And who knows maybe it will inspire you to visit the quaint city of Hereford located in England near the Welsh borders. 💝

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Catherine Vaughan Book & Poetry Reading at De Koffie Pot March 3, 2016

Arriving slightly late to the reading by Catherine Vaughan,  I can’t help but feel anxious that I missed out on of some of this lady poets carefully crafted outpouring, and the whimsical and energetic approach in which she passionately read through her material.

I arrived to an aptly poetic atmosphere; the room was beautifully lit with candles illuminating the oak beams on the ceiling, and the tables almost completely packed with humans keenly hanging on to every word. Catherine had reeled them in, I would be next. De Koffie Potholds many events in this room on the first floor of the converted stables nestled alongside the River Wye. A charming setting difficult to parallel in the city unless you boast any sort of river front property.

Reading from her poetry book ‘The Quarter Life Crisis Poet: A Collection of


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Film review: “The Oranges.”

So much was just not right with this film: The Oranges. Firstly Leighton Meester as Nina the Homewrecker just did not make much sense. She has too many predictable gestural tics that remind you of Blair Waldorf and with her petite frame she looks younger than the 24-year old man-eater she is playing.

We have the Ostroff and Walling family who have a daughter each: Nina Ostroff used to be best friends with the Walling’s daughter Vannessa. The daughters face the pitfalls of Generation X and move back to parents house in the quaint Essex county in New Jersey.

What makes the film so uncomfortable is that Mr Walling falls for his daughter’s ex-best friend, who he has known since she was a kid! Also as great an actor as Hugh Laurie is, he’s just not the right guy for the role, someone more handsome should’ve played him like Dennis Quaid. It is simply not believable that the pretty Nina would fall for a friend’s Dad who looks like Hugh Laurie (sorry Hugh!)

Another unsatisfying element of the film is that there appears to be no attraction between the married man and the homewrecker. It starts off with a few glances here and there and one kiss. From that [insert spoiler] a relationship grows between the two and Vanessa’s parents split up. Nina’s Dad Terry thereby loses his dear friend and things get awkward and it just does not seem worth it. There’s seems no prior dissatisfaction between the cheating husband and his wife. Although the scorned wife Paige Walling eventually finds her calling and works with a charity. Unless of course we are to assume that in the Walling’s marriage there was something wrong and nobody had the guts to admit it. Or perhaps couples attempt to forge normality and forget to be themselves and explore life. Mr Walling and Mrs Walling end up being happier apart. It would be false to assume that the end of their marriage caused them to be happier. It is less about marriage and more about the fact that we lose ourselves in things outside of us from careers to a significant other. When we break apart from our illusory dependencies such as workaholism or dedication to a partner life does get better.

The only highlights of them film are the set designs and Adam Brody’s charming scenes- though we do not see enough of him in the film. It’s also set in the run up to Christmas and has quite a cosy feel. Adam Brody plays Toby who is the same age as the girls though work sends him off to China and you’re just screaming at the screen that he will get back because he and Nina are an ideal match! They also got together in real life after meeting on set.

A main point of criticism I find with many films is that the lovers never seem to appear compelled towards each other, I didn’t want Nina and David to get together it was an uncredible love story. If the half-his-age love interest was instead the daughter of the new neighbors whom he sees and desires and subsequently certain scenarios occur whereby they put together i.e. she gets a job at his company or they go to the same gym as if fate has brought them closer then that would be easy to accept. All in all a boring film.

There weren’t many amusing moments. The lack of chemistry between the main characters is a downer. There are some crazy moments in the film and I guess the lesson is to not end up like boring and passive Mrs Paige Walling. But even if we do it is never too late to change gears.

Concert review: The Shires @Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

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Wednesday 20th January 2016 at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena had The two Big The’s’ of music right now: The Shires and The Corrs. I must confess I had not heard of the opening act. This duo consists of Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle. They are a British duo and their music is ‘new country.’ They were a fantastic opening act their songs really catchy and I regret arriving a little late as I did not get to watch their whole performance- they were that good!

Other songs played: “Brave”

And the upbeat party track: “Friday Night.”

Notably their name is familiar to me because this is literally what I call my hometown Hereford. Back in summer 2014 I even wrote and subsequently published a poem about Hereford and refereed to my Hometown in the poem as The Shire. It’s my nickname for the place where I was born and raised. I even designed a mug with photos of Herefordshire + the poem on it. Weird coincidence. Speaking of which when I attended my 1st ever concert which was John Mayer’s show the opening act was none other than Hereford’s finest: Ellie Goulding. Lol!

Film Review: “Life of Pi.”

This was viewed at a repeat screening at my local arts centre of this book by Yann Martel turned movie. Having not read the book I got to experience the full force of this adventurous occasionally tumultuous screen adaptation. Piscine a.k.a Pi is a young Indian boy curious to understand the world and God. The film starts with his voracious devouring of Islam, Hinduism and Christianity amidst his family owned zoo!

Inevitably his father owning a zoo becomes unsustainable so the family decide to move abroad and travel by ship (with zoo animals on-board because they are being transported to another zoo.) A biblical storm breaks out and all are cast out of the ship.

Pi is left alone on-board a small rescue boat with a hyena, zebra and orang-utan. The film contains flashback scenes between present time where Pi is a grown man to his childhood and adolescence the latter period spent stranded on the pacific ocean for 227 days! Pi often fondly refers to Richard Parker.

We soon discover who Richard Parker is and witness the humanizing bond between adolescent-aged Pi and the Bengal tiger. There are scenes of a barbaric nature and violence between man and beast. The viewer as does our protagonist wanders if a beast i.e. the tiger can be tamed. do animals have souls, can we emotionally tune in and connect to them to vanquish the predatory dynamic between man and beast?

Many violent storms and spectaculars ocean views aplenty to feast you eyes on and there is a detour into a mysterious island. There is a land-bound ending and one questions the significance of Pi’s suffering and trials on-board the rescue boat especially as there are no other human witnesses. Or is there?

Suraj Sharma plays Pi during his oceanic adventure and his performance is incredible. he is a spectacular actor and was only a mere teenager himself when cast in the role. Impressive? Most definitely!

A worthwhile one-time viewing!

Copyright © 2015 by Catherine Vaughan All rights reserved. This article or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the blogger except for the use of brief quotations in non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.

Review: The Swallow Bakery, Cheltenham.

JpegMy first visit to the Swallow Bakery was back in 2012, whilst working at The Times Cheltenham literature festival (in the kids tent), and en route to the train station homeward bound, decided to stop by because it was right next to the festival tents. In a rush I grabbed a cupcake which was so scrumptious with a generous serving of icing, I knew I would have to comeback again. 
JpegCut to December 2014 and beyond I throughly enjoy returning because the cakes are THAT good. Above on the left is the three-tiered lemon cake.JpegAs you can see there is luscious, thickly spread icing between the beautifully moist sponges and very tasty icing on top and a squiggle of cream! Indulgent and satisfyingly creamy. Not the place to go when you’re on a diet! The slices are gigantic! You definitely receive generous, dreamy servings in this bakery.JpegFirst I ate the panini on the far right . It is a delicious, can’t-go-wrong: chicken, mozzarella and pesto filling. All good and served hot. This savory sandwich was followed by the lemon cake and Bailey’s cupcake eaten in alternating intervals of the cakes; per two bites. My taste buds relished the juxtaposing rich, creamy lemon cake followed by bites of the chocolately cupcake. Yes I am indulgent like that! Greedier than Nigella Lawson! The icing tasted of Bailey’s and sat atop the complimentary chocolate cupcake sponge. Absolutely fabulous! I urge you to visit the Swallow Bakery. (Or better yet order online as they prepare x24 cupcake batches for home delivery! Wow!) For readers outside of the UK at the time of this writing: http://swallowbakery.com/pages.php?pageid=2   states: “We can ship to virtually anywhere in the World.” Double Wow!!!

Though I am happy to commute an our for an afternoon in glorious Cheltenham and loose-leaf tea & cakes in this particular café.

The drawbacks to this lovely place is that the cakes  sit prettily with no cake stand glass lid! Argh! So if you’re lucky the cake will be fresh and moist. If you have popped in on a quieter day then with no lid covering the cake you find one slice horribly dry and unappetizing. Damn!

No problems with the panini’s tasty and sufficient fillings inside. However the other ‘warm’ foods like the mini burgers are  cooked presumably earlier on in the day then simply left out on display so when you eat it, it is COLD!!!!!  *Bleurgh!*

So this lovely cafĂ© receives 7/10. In my humble opinion this deserves a “very good” label.