#englishgeeks

My last blog post received the most views that I have ever had.  And I’m not talking beating my PB by 1 view, I beat my PB by a considerable amount . . . I believe the technical term is ‘a fuck load’. I’m not going to mention the number because I am sure it’s still pathetic in comparison to some, but it was certainly enough to put a big fat smile on my face and a buzzing little bee in my bonnet.

 

Billy Elliot the Musical curtain call

.

So, in light of this, I am going to do what every sensible person would do, and entirely change the tone of this blog post and try something completely new . . .  just to disappoint and piss off all of my new followers.

.

A friend sent a message in a group thread earlier directed to all the people that studied English:

“Today is Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, how are you going to celebrate english geeks”

englishgeeks2.

Actually, today is the anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, his date of birth is unknown but 23rd April has been assigned as his birthday since we know that he was born between 22nd – 25th #englishgeek.  It is also St George’s Day. A pretty good day for England really.

 

 

In answer to my lovely friend’s question, the way this particular #englishgeek is celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th birthday is with a small poem (sonnet if we’re being pedantic) recognising my poetical inadequacy in the face of the celebrated Bard.

The trained eye will identify indications to Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, Hamlet, The Tempest, As You Like It, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and an extremely questionable and untenable reference to Othello. The critical term for this is inter-textuality #englishsnob

 

Oh and no, I don’t follow iambic pentameter, because I can’t be dealing with that shit #englishknob

 

englishgeeks3

 

Shall I compare me to the likes of Shakespeare?

The Bard who hypnotised the world with his ‘to be and not to be’s,

The Englishman who braved new worlds with his new words.

All the world is his stage

and I merely a player suffering from stage fright

waiting for tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow never comes.

Waiting impatiently for a mythical muse to fly to my heart’s service

And hear my soul speak the words that it will not put to screen.

My heart has the capacity to write that the course of true love

never ran smooth, if only the course of poetry did.

Not being true to myself, at all, I cannot try to pen my own heart for

My words bring chaos to the page, signifying nothing.

Shall I compare me to the likes of Shakespeare?

I am less loquacious and less articulate.

 

englishgeeks1
Translation: HATERS GONNA HATE

 

The ‘nomakeup’ controversy

Up there with the most significant controversies in history, ranking along the likes of gay marriage and abortion. The no make-up controversy.

There are girls taking photos of themselves without make-up . . . and this must be protested.

nomakeup

People are fucking angry, and rightly so . . . £2million has been raised for charity and it’s fucking appalling.

.

I am honestly mystified as to how a simple, charitable  social media phenomenon has aroused so much controversy.

I have seen more disparaging comments about the #nomakeupselfie than I did about  #neknominate. When you look at the essence of their structure (nominating your friends on social media) well they are exactly the same, minus the condoning of binge drinking and plus some philanthropic advantages.

Do not mistake . . . I love a good binge drink, however, no one can argue that #neknominate was more advantageous to society than a movement, and I will reiterate, that raised over £2 million in 48 hours for a cause that, sadly, affects so so many people.

I am not exactly proud to admit that I don’t think I have ever text one of those numbers to donate to charity, until I got nominated on Facebook. I’m actually distinctly impressed with whoever came up with the idea to turn the egotistical platform of Facebook and the narcissistic social trend of the selfie into a, more or less, selfless act.

(See what I did there? Puntastic.)

To the people who I have seen write that this is ‘irrelevant’, or ‘ridiculous’, or even ‘boring’. I am sorry that, to you, charity is irrelevant and ridiculous. I am sorry that charity bores you.

Those wankers that dress up as gorillas and bananas and run marathons and give their proceeds to charity . . . God they are so ridiculous, God what they are doing is so irrelevant . . . and boring.

nomakeup2

nomakeup3

Now I think I’ll take some time to explain why the #nomakeupselfie is actually highly relevant to cancer. Sometimes, women going through chemotheraphy, cannot wear make-up. Sometimes their eyelashes fall out and they can’t really use mascara because there’s not much to use it on. Sometimes their skin is too dry and sensitive that whilst they might be able to wear face make-up, they’d rather not. Chemotherapy can cause red blotchy marks on your skin that concealer will only irritate. Sometimes it’s just not particularly high on their priority list.

So actually, it’s pretty fucking relevant.

However, whether it’s relevant or not, is besides the point. I’m searching my brain for a charity to which dressing up as a banana is relevant, (I’m finding loose connections to erectile dysfunction) but the point is that it doesn’t have to be relevant if it’s for charity because the most important thing is that it is raising money.

At the end of the day, it’s a harmless social media phenomenon.

Actually, I take that back, it’s more than harmless, it’s a benevolent social media phenomenon. It is harmless only in the sense that it should cause no direct harm or offence to anyone.  The #nomakeupselfie is a concept which successfully encourages donation to a good cause (clearly: £2million, 48 hours, remember…) whilst simultaneously encouraging girls to be confident and proud in their own skin. If you’re going to be narcissistic and take a selfie, you might as well take one that does good and represents your true beauty.

It has been refreshing to see girls posting photos of themselves when they are not caked in disgusting amounts of make-up. I actually have been pleasantly surprised, and I mean this sincerely, that the majority of the #nomakeupselfies that I have seen have been really beautiful.

So, I am sorry if girls wearing no make-up offends you . . . maybe you should be more offended by cancer.

Now, to post my #nomakeupselfie . . .

nomakeup4

TV is the New Film

My understanding is that TV used to be the low-grade scoring, average looking, dopehead and all-round distinctly unimpressive sibling of film. It used to be the place where average actors and average directors and average script writers would showcase their skills.  It was the place where the Hollywood hopefuls would begin their careers, still grasping the faint memories of a dream where they would emulate the likes of Marilyn Monroe or James Dean.

That’s my understanding anyway. If we’re being honest that was a slightly hyperbolic and assumptive description and I actually know shit all. But it sounds convincing enough, so let’s go with it.

Things have changed drastically. TV is the New Film. Whilst I am not going to dramatically declare that FILM IS DEAD, I am going to suggest that contrary to a popular opinion dating to a while back, television is not dead.

tv is the new film

.

Television can offer things that film just can’t.

.

-Television can offer mass-viewership

Obviously films have a mass-viewership to a certain extent. However, when a film is released you have to actively make the effort to go to the cinema (which I think we can all agree is entirely extortionate nowadays), or you have to wait until it’s released on DVD or if you’re too stingy to buy the DVD you actually have to wait until it makes an appearance on terrestrial television (or you can illegally download it but as a morally superior human being, I would never engage in such illegal activities). Television series are not only readily available in the comfort of your own home, but they are readily available online with sites like 4od or Sky Go, and they are now easily accessible if you’re willing to pay £5.99 a month for Netflix.

 .

-The format of a television programme encourages obsession

There are indeed a few films with which I was obsessed at some point, mostly anything starring Tom Hardy, or Orlando Bloom when I was a 13 year old girl. There was also the time when my chick flick watching self managed to watch A Walk to Remember 7 times in 5 days in a school holiday (impressive I know).  There are films I think are amazing, and I can watch over and over and will never get bored of – but I still wouldn’t argue that I am obsessed with them. Television, however, lends itself to obsession. Weekly episodes that end on a cliff hanger leave you counting down the days, hours and minutes until the next episode. Anyone who has ever watched 24 will know that no one does a cliffhanger like Kiefer Sutherland. When you have the box set, as a select few of us found in first year, it’s almost impossible to stop, especially in the middle of exam period. Films can do this to a certain extent – i.e. the Harry Potter film series, you leave one thinking that you absolutely cannot wait until the next one comes out and you may think about it for a few days at most. However, you end up waiting for a year for the next film to come out and by the time the trailers are out you’ve long forgotten about your burning desire to see the next film. Netflix are particularly clever with maximising on the obsessive nature of a television series – they give you 15 seconds to decide whether you are actually going to get up and do something with your life. For most people it takes more than 15 seconds to make such an important life-affecting decision.

tv is the new film7

.

-TV offers long-lasting relationships with characters

The longevity of a TV show succeeds in creating a lasting and stronger relationship with the characters.  I feel it is fairly apt to compare the decision to dedicate yourself to a TV show to that decision of dedicating yourself to another human being in a relationship:-

  • You have to be prepared to make a long-term commitment, a decision that should not be made lightly
  • You are going to have to make time in your life for that special show – this may mean choosing between friends / family and your chosen one
  • There will be a time when you will have to introduce your TV show to your friends, to your siblings and maybe even to your parents if it gets that serious. You want a show that you would be proud to introduce your friends and family to
  • But most of all, you embark on the relationship with a programme knowing that there is every possibility that you might get let down, you might be left heartbroken, and you might have to allow the relationship to come to a natural end

tv is the new flim8

I am going to use Prison Break as an example. When I began watching Prison Break it was in its fourth series. At about 22 episodes a series and an hour an episode, this wasn’t the longest commitment I would ever make but it was a large commitment for a first year fresher in the middle of their exams. Prison Break was one of the best decisions I have ever made, I was proud to watch it, I was proud to introduce it to my friends and even my family, I pretty much fell in love with Michael Scofield. I mean look at those eyes . . .

tv is the new film9

Series 1 was one of the best things I have ever watched. Series 2 was no Series 1, but it was still a fantastic watch. Series 3 is where we hit the rocky patch in our relationship, Series 3 is when I had to allow the relationship to come to its natural end.

.

-TV allows for a detailed development of characters and plot

Just as the longevity of  a TV show allows for the development of a relationship between the viewer and the characters, it allows for a thorough development of characters and plot which the medium of film just cannot emulate. I say this with only one TV show in mind. Come on, everyone’s thinking it. Instead of telling you, let me show you through the use of photographic evidence . . .

(I have tried not to make this a spoiler but be careful)

.

.

tvis the new flim1

tv is the new flim2

tv is the new film4

tv is the new film3

tv is the new flim9

tv is the new film6

.

They say a picture paints a thousand words, and I think that just said everything I needed to say.

 .

.

TV is the new film and everyone is realising it. It is no longer that people begin their career in TV, hoping to advance to film. It is that those who have succeeded in film are now turning to TV. More and more, reputed actors, directors and script writers are showcasing their skills in the medium of television. I choose to believe that this is due to the artistic benefits of television and not simply the shed load of money that is to be made in the endurance of a TV programme and then the sales of its box sets.

.

David Fincher, the man who brought us this . . .

tv is the new film10

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

. . . is the executive producer of this . . .

tv is the new film11

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

And the man who plays the brilliant lead in that is a 2 times academy award winner who also portrayed the renowned Lester Burnham in American Beauty, the infamous ‘Verbal’ Kint in The Usual Suspects.

tv is the new film12 tv is the new film13

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Without intending to hype it up too much; House of Cards is an amazing mix of an incredible script with fantastic direction and amazing acting. There was one particular scene in the season finale that really impressed me. Frank Underwood i.e. Kevin Spacey has a habit of talking directly to the audience and sharing little knowing looks with the camera that don’t come across as cringey but successfully create a connection between audience and character. In the final episode of Series 1, the morally ambiguous Frank Underwood makes a trip to church. He stands at the altar and looks up towards the heavens . . .

tv is the new film19 .

. . . and he says ‘every time I’ve spoken to you, you’ve never spoken back. Although, given our mutual disdain, I can’t blame you for the silent treatment’, and then he looks directly at the camera and says, ‘perhaps I’m speaking to the wrong audience‘.

.

tv is the new film20

.

.

The brilliant British director, Danny Boyle, who brought us the likes of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire . . .

tv is the new film14 tv is the new film15

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

. . . tried his hand at TV with Babylon, a one-time show aired on Channel 4 a couple of weeks ago. It is still on 4od and I urge everyone to go and watch it. If you ever saw and enjoyed Black Mirror go and watch it. It is a dark comedy which offers a very plausible view on the Metropolitan Police, PR and social media. It’s not even a big commitment – do it.

The fantastic Woody Harrelson (my favourite role of his was in No Country For Old Men) and the underrated Matthew McConaughey (who has made the step that few have done before him from RomCom heartthrob to Oscar nominee) have both transferred to TV playing the lead roles in a new programme called True Detective . . .

tv is the new film16

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Finally, the last example I will give as I don’t want to exhaust you – Ridley Scott the man who brought us these iconic moments in film . . .

tv is the new film17

.

.

.

.

tv is the new film18

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

. . . well he is now the executive producer of hit TV show The Good Wife.

.

Okay, I’m sorry this actually is the last one. One of  my all time favourite directors. The man who directed Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Departed, Shutter Island and Wolf of Wall Street. That man (Martin Scorsese) directed the first episode of Boardwalk Empire and has been the executive producer of the rest.

I feel as though my point is proven.

TV is not dead.

Just as Orange is the New Black, TV is the New Film.

The things that are not acceptable outside of uni

I kicked off this week as a successful working woman with no phone, no oyster card, no railcard, no drivers license, no debit card and pretty much no money.

unacceptable1

Basically, the results of a standard night out at uni . . .

But I’m not at uni anymore, and I am slowly starting to realise that the things which don’t even invite a second glance on campus are considered entirely unacceptable and, in some cases, despicable in the real world.

These are some of the things that make the list of shit that is unacceptable outside the university bubble:-

.

1. Chanting

WE LOVE HIM, WE HATE HIM, WE LOVE TO MASTERBATE HIM . . .

Nope. Not okay to walk down a street in London singing that song.

DRINK MOTHERFUCKER.

DRINK MOTHERFUCKER.

DRINK.

unacceptable2

Nope. Not okay to be shouting this at a randomer in a bar who you think should be chugging their drink since they aren’t holding it with their left hand and called their friend by their first name.

.

2. Fancy Dress

There are two exceptions where it is okay to wear fancy dress when you’re not on a sports night out at uni – stag nights and hen dos, and bespoke fancy dress parties that take place in the privacy and comfort of one’s own home.

It is not okay to walk through the streets of the city looking like this . . .

unacceptable3

.

3. Kebabs

Last weekend there were two things that I did non-uni style (ignoring the fact that they were through the influence of friends who have far more sense than I).  The King’s Cup in Ring of Fire was placed on a coaster and food was cooked before we went out so that we wouldn’t stop by Clapham’s chicken shop. I was, and still am, slightly disappointed about this because I think it would be fucking hilarious to watch the Channel 4 show ‘The Chicken Shop’ and see myself as the star of the episode. However, I would highly recommend this pre-cooked drunk food method for those working men and women who have graduated and know that it is just not considered ‘the done thing’ to eat a kebab on your way home anymore . . . even though you know in your heart that it’s the right thing to do. You don’t want to be this person . . .

unacceptable4

If I’m being honest, I don’t actually remember eating my red thai curry, but I didn’t doubt the girls when they told me that I spent the whole time talking about how much I love thai curry and how it’s my favourite thing ever and how I couldn’t be happier.

.

4. Puking in a public space

Don’t get me wrong, being sick is totally still okay on a night out. But there are now strict requirements – it must be in the toilet, it must be clean, it must be silent and you must have gum. Even those polite pukers, the ones that do their best not to make a mess – they do it in a public bin on a walk to the club,  their glass on the dancefloor or in their kebab box on the walk home – even they do not meet the requirements of acceptability of public puking.  When I was on a night bus a while ago (a night which deserves an entire blog to itself) a girl in fancy dress came on and sat down next to me. She lent her head on my shoulder and hiccupped and burped. I shot a look at her friend that said if you don’t get this girl off my brand new beige coat right now I will . . . be very unhappy. He moved her to a seat at the front of the bus and apologised and excused his friend because she was a fresher. She was sick on the bus. The whole service had to be shut down, every single person had to get off the bus. It took me 2 and a half hours to get home.  But I felt more animosity to the bus driver for closing the service than to the girl for vomiting – she was a fresher after all!

[Don't worry, I am not going to put a photo of sick up]

.

5. Urinating in a public space

I feel the last point leads nicely into this one. At university it was a standard procedure to relieve your bladder in a (fairly) quiet public space. No longer is that considered a force of nature. Nowadays that’s a police warning for indecent exposure. In fact there are actually urination detectors to enable quick arrests for public peeing (no word of a lie)

unacceptable5

I would like to take this instance to point out that I am not guilty of everything I am mentioning – for example points 4 and 5 – I am far too elegant and ladylike to engage in these indiscretions.

.

6. Losing important possessions

Losing your shit because you’re just too intoxicated to know what’s going on, or too drunk to care. This I am guilty of, but then I am also guilty of this when I’m stone cold sober. As previously mentioned, this week started off for me with a lot fewer things in my pockets than normal. Thankfully, only the oyster card and the railcard are lost in the depths of an inferno – an Inferno in Clapham that is. Why it’s called Infernos becomes clear to anyone who has ever read Dante’s Divine Comedy, the first book of which is Inferno. You can see the similarities . . .

unacceptable8 unacceptable7

.

.

.

.

.

.

The phone, debit card and drivers license were carelessly left behind at my carer for the evening, Liana’s house when I made the sudden decision that I needed bed asap and drove home with  nothing but my car keys. Liana I’d like to give a shout out to you – in my time of need you fed me sushi, when I needed you most you had crisps and herbal tea, when I was cold, when I was hungry – you were there, you were there. (Happy Telv?)

.

7. Fighting with the cab driver

Are you fucking kidding me? 2 pounds?! That’s fucking extortionate!

becomes . . .

£20 each? Okay great, thank you. Would you possibly mind please stopping at a cash point as long as it’s not too much trouble please? Thank you.

The best cab drivers not to fight with are the ones who tell you about how they used to drink a bottle of whiskey a day, and smoke two spliffs a day, and have a bit of a temper, and punched their wife in the face and made her nose bleed, and smashed her face to the floor, and whose second wife pulled a knife on them and they grabbed the knife and shouted ‘DO IT’. It’s best not to question these cab drivers’ costs as I discovered with a friend the other day.

When you think the cabbie is overcharging you just think back to the time you watched Taxi Driver and think twice about what you say

unacceptable9 unacceptable11

.

.

.

.

.

.

8. Eating shit and watching TV all day

The hardest part of graduating is realising that, not only is it not okay to, but you simply don’t have the time to watch TV all day. When I was at uni I got through so many TV shows that I am now an avid watcher of Breaking Bad (RIP you are sorely missed), Game of Thrones (you are eagerly anticipated) The Walking Dead, Prison Break, The Sopranos, Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, Grey’s Anatomy and Downton Abbey. Now I can barely fit in an episode of House of Cards a week. When I get into work and ask what everyone did at the weekend, everyone is so busy looking after their kids or fixing their house or visiting their family that I realised that in the real world you don’t sit in front of the TV eating crisps and dip and drinking chocolate milk to cure your hangover.

In fact, my world has changed so much that, as I am writing this, so far today I have put on three washes, emptied the bins and recycling, checked the oil and water fluid in my car, and hoovered the car. God I am so productive and grown up.

unacceptable12

When I was a student, I had the habit of referring to life outside of the uni bubble as the ‘real world’ and the people who lived in that world as ‘real, actual people’. This was something quite a few people would comment on, coming out with something predictable like ‘are you saying students aren’t real people?’

Yes.

Yes that is exactly what I am saying. Students are not real people.

The life in which you are given money to ball so hard motherfuckers wanna fine you, the life in which you spend the time that you’re not ‘balling so hard’ napping . . . this is not a real life.

It’s a fucking fantastic dream that’s over in a few years.

After 3 years, or 4 for the lucky few, it no longer becomes acceptable to puke on a dancefloor or have a wee in the road, or even to lose loads of your shit on a night out and spend £100 buying alcoholic beverages.

That’s not to say that graduates don’t or shouldn’t engage in a little uni lifestyle every now and then. Just because it’s unacceptable and pretty  much atrocious behaviour, doesn’t mean you can’t dabble.

11 Books That Changed My Life

My favourite ever book has been turned into a film, a moment I longed for and dreaded in equal measures. With the release fast approaching I thought it might make a nice to change to write about something I love instead of declaring my hatred for various every day things that piss me off. I feel I have reached the stage in my blog writing career where I can become self-indulgent in what I write about, almost like Samuel L. Jackson when he made Snakes On A Plane.

And when I say ’11 Books That Changed My Life’, I mean ’11 Books That Were Seriously Amazing and Left a Deep Impression On Me / Affected Me in Some Way’

It seemed a little too cumbersome for a title.

In no way am I suggesting that these books had such a strong influence on my life as other events like my birth, my near death experience (that’s another blog in itself) and the day when I got an iPhone 5s and could unlock my phone with my thumbprint.

You might be querying the significance of the number 11? It could be because there are only 11 books that changed my life. It might be because 11 is half of 22 and I’m turning 22 this year. Or it could be because I wrote about 11 and thought people might be getting bored and I couldn’t bring myself to delete any of the 11 books I’d already written about to make a nice round 10.

So here are the 11 amazing books  with 11 amazing quotes that affected me in some way or left a deep impression . . .

.

.

  1. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

books

At over 1000 pages long one might suggest that The Count of Monte Cristo changed my life because it took up so much of my time. This is a plausible argument. However, it changed my life because I think it is one of the greatest stories ever written. There is pretty much nothing that this book doesn’t contain – love- platonic and romantic, hate, revenge, pain, politics, religion, history, philosophy, psychology. This is undoubtedly one of the greatest novels of all time; Dumas creates characters that you feel entirely invested in. The Count of Monte Cristo is a hugely interesting discussion on human nature dominated by a protagonist who simultaneously repels and irresistibly attracts you.

“Just like there is a gulf between me and the past, so there is a gulf between you and other men, and my most painful torture, I can tell you, is to make comparisons. There is no one in the world your equal; there is nothing that resembles you.”

.

.2. Paradise Lost – John Milton

books1

Not a novel but an epic poem you could probably make the same argument as with Monte Cristo that, at 12 books longs, Paradise Lost changed my life because it took up far too much of my time. Admittedly, it is not an easy read and it is highly unlikely that anyone without an educational or professional interest in the epic poem will ever read it. I will confess that when I was forced to read books 1 and 2 for my AS Levels I was not best pleased at the prospect. However, Paradise Lost caught my imagination more than any other text I have studied. At 12 books long, unsurprisingly, it is rich with so many varying dimensions – politics, religion and misogyny all playing huge roles. Yet the most fascinating aspect for me is that John Milton takes a figure that should be hated, somebody that should disgust us and puts us into his mind. Of course this is something that is done regularly nowadays, one thing that springs to mind is the awesome TV show Dexter, which took a sick psychopath and managed to make me fancy him (but then maybe that’s just my taste in men). However, John Milton did it before it got cool – he took the Devil and made him eloquent and attractive, he led us to feel some sort of empathy with him and an inevitable admiration towards him. I was inspired so much that my dissertation was a modernisation of Paradise Lost in prose form.

“Which way I flie is Hell; my self am Hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threatning to devour me opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav’n.”

.

3. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

books2

In my hierarchy of literary favourites this is at number 2. People often express surprise at the fact that I have a hierarchy of literary favourites, but if you know me you will know that I have a tendency to rank everything by favourites –  films, food, friends, family. Oscar Wilde writes with an undeniable beauty and wit that can make any aspiring writer read his work and wish they could sell their soul to the Devil to write like him. The Picture of Dorian Gray is the most interesting depiction of beauty I have ever read. Wilde shows how powerfully alluring and attractive beauty is; he demonstrates that beauty is a thing to be celebrated and yet he shows how appalling and destructive it can be. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a depiction of how everything is not as it seems and the beautiful may also be the damned (yes, that is an elegant phrase stolen from Fitzgerald but it seemed fairly appropriate). However, the best thing about Dorian Gray is that Wilde doesn’t depict the destruction of beauty in a ‘it’s what is on the inside that counts’ kind of way:  there is a very little sense of judgement or dictation at the end of the novel. We are never explicitly told what is right and what is wrong and we are left to make our own judgements. If you have seen the film, please do not judge the novel by that. The film is fucking awful, it is physically painful to watch.

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”

.

4. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

books3

It seems there are few people left unchanged by The Great Gatsby. It is a novel widely considered one of the masterpieces of modern history; a beautifully written story that leaves you feeling slightly unsatisfied at the end. The Great Gatsby has no one singular meaning, it means so many different things to different people. I guess you could say that about any book, but it seems particularly so with The Great Gatsby. To some, its importance is in the disparity between the wealthy and the poor in 1920s America, to others it is in the hedonistic state of a post-war society, or the unique depiction of love or the very interesting portrayal of women. There is so much to be taken from such a small book. One of the most interesting things about The Great Gatsby and one of the most widely debated topics in literary criticism is not its protagonist but its narrator. Studying The Great Gatsby brought to my mind a concept I had never considered – how much of the story can be trusted as truth when narrated by an imperfect human individual.

“I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” 

.

5. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

books4

If there is one way in which this book changed my life it was to give me the understanding that Hollywood movies like The Notebook and Titanic are imperfect in their portrayal of love. The Remains of the Day is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read and I’m not going to lie . .  . pretty much nothing happens. It is an entirely modest portrayal of love and yet it is more true to human nature than any love story I have read, or film I have ever seen. It is more tragic than Allie’s alzeihemers (ardent Notebook fans will know what I’m talking about), it is  more heartbreaking than Rose refusing to budge on that stupid cupboard door (everyone should know what I’m talking about). Ishiguro is a master at creating tragic and entirely depressing literature which, in my sadistic view, is the best kind.

 “Indeed — why should I not admit it? — in that moment, my heart was breaking.” 

 .

6. Never Let Me Go –Kazuo Ishiguro

books5

As previously stated Ishiguro is a master of the understated tragedy, a genius in his ability to capture the true misery and beauty of human nature. I’ve just finished a book of his called The Unconsoled, with some moments that genuinely wrenched my heart, and others that frustrated my optimism so much that I almost threw the book across the room and stopped reading halfway through (that is no exaggeration). Never Let Me Go is one of these. I want to do the book justice, but I don’t want to give anything away for those who would like to read it. In this novel Ishiguro does something which I haven’t seen done in the same way (but then again I haven’t read every book in the world) – he deals with the soul in an understanding completely devoid of religion. Ishiguro’s book affected me so much because I found myself feeling that the events within the novel, which are more than slightly immoral, could easily take place within our society.

“Poor creatures. What did we do to you? With all our schemes and plans?” 

.

7. Harry Potter . . . all of them

books6

I felt that after the complete melancholy of Ishiguro I’d bring a little bit of light into the blog. Harry Potter. I find it difficult to respect anyone my age whose life was not changed by Harry Potter. Indeed, I have no respect for the appalling wretches who have only seen the films. Those seven books epitomise my childhood. My Mum used to read The Philosopher’s Stone to us and put on all the voices . . . she did a fantastic Hagrid. The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire were acquired on story tape when my Dad and Stepmum realised it was the best way to appease us for a long car journey. Every time we drove to France on holiday, every time we drove to Norfolk or Leeds or Wales – Harry Potter story tape. At the start, My Mum would buy the latest release, read it in a day and then give it to me or my brother to fight over, but by the time of The Deathly Hallows we were in France and she’d pre-ordered three in advance, because there was no way we could possibly wait. Not after Dumbledore died in The Half Blood Prince. That is no spoiler, everyone knows that Dumbledore dies . . . I remember exactly where I was when I read that chapter. I remember hoping against all hopes that there would be a spell that would bring him back to life. And the feeling in the pit of my stomach when I carried on reading and Dumbledore was still not resurrected. Harry Potter for me is one of the best parts of my childhood, and I am happy to be of the HP generation.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”” 

.

 8. Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

books7

Admittedly, I saw the film before I ventured onto the book, as I’m pretty sure is the general case. And yes, the film is brilliant – not least because of the storyline, but the acting and the cinematography is brilliant. The novel uses an anonymous narrator which is one of my preferred devices in writing (actually I think in my 3 years of studying creative writing I never once named a narrator . . . although this is probably because I hate choosing names). The novel is surprisingly different to the film, to name but one insignificant change the narrator meets Tyler Durden not on an airplane but on a nudist beach. The ending is hugely different and to be honest, as I’m writing it’s late and I can’t be bothered to hold back any spoilers . . . the narrator wakes up in a mental hospital and not only has a debate with God, but is approached by employees who turn out to be Project members telling him that the project is still going ahead as planned. This book knows how to do a twist, a twist that no one saw coming . . . until everyone saw the film. For me it brought to the forefront of my mind, the monotony of life, psychology and the role of capitalism and advertising.

“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.” 

9. Life of Pi – Yann Martel

books8

So everyone told me this book was amazing, that it was brilliant and I had to read it. I got ¾ of the way through the book and thought I was missing out on something, it was good but it wasn’t incredible. I started to think that perhaps people had built it up too much. However, it is not until the final chapter when the book reveals itself and it’s true worth. I have never known a book to entirely change in the final chapter, and make you reassess everything you have read previously. It’s fantastic. The book is pretty religious which people might find off putting. Something that fascinated me was that the protagonist devoutly follows three religions; he is Christian, Jewish and Muslim. This is a notion I had never previously considered and I thought it a fascinating concept.

“The reason death sticks so closely to life isn’t biological necessity; it’s envy. Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can.” 

.

10. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

 books9

There seems to be few who can do romance like the female novelists writing in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The Brontë sisters included under this broad statement, and Emily Brontë in particular. I can’t say that this novel changed my life in anyway other than perhaps setting the precedent of an eternal passion like that of Cathy and Heathcliffe’s. In fact, I don’t think literature has really helped in setting a supremely elevated precedent for my understanding of love and passion.

“May she wake in torment!” he cried, with frightful vehemence, stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of ungovernable passion. “Why, she’s a liar to the end! Where is she? Not there—not in heaven—not perished—where? Oh! you said you cared nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer—I repeat it till my tongue stiffens—Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you—haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”

11. The Book Thief  - Marcus Zusak 

books10

This is the only book I have willingly read more than once – in fact that I have read four times. This is the only book that has ever made me cry. This is only the book to make me cry four times, for every time I read it. It isn’t a classic, it isn’t particularly hard to read (although the opening is quite confusing, you’ve got to power through), it is just a lovely book. It’s set in Nazi Germany but it’s less a depiction of Fascism and more a representation of human nature with a Fascist backdrop. I have never felt so entirely invested in characters, to me, they are so human. Even though everyone spends most of their time calling each other ‘Arshloch’ a.k.a ‘Asshole’,  it is not only a lovely depiction of human relationships but it is a true one – I spend most of my time calling my friends things like asshole but probably with more profanity. Since I have never felt so invested in characters, I have never felt so heartbroken when they die. The book is truly beautiful; it made me laugh out loud, and it made me cry. I mean, it is narrated by death . . . that’s pretty damn brilliant. It is a book that, within it, portrays the special role books can play in a person’s life and the power of words. And the best thing about it (and this is how I judge a good book): as I was reading it I wanted so much to finish it so that I could find out what happened in the end, and yet when I finished I felt sad and slightly empty that it was over.

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant. . . I am haunted by humans.”

I’m seriously excited and seriously anxious about seeing the film because I have a feeling that, though it might be a good film, no film will ever be able to do the book the justice that it deserves. To be honest, I think that’s the case with all literature. The film may be good by itself, but in comparison to the book it can never surpass. The most recent Baz Luhrmann rendering of The Great Gatsby was great, but there is so much in the book itself that can never be transferred to film. The Remains of The Day starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson, nominated for eight academy awards, was a wonderful film but not nearly as subtly beautiful as the book. And like I’ve already insinuated, The Picture of Dorian Gray film was pretty damn horrendous.

So there we have it. 11 of the best books that I have ever read.

I realise that anyone who doesn’t appreciate the beauty of literature may not have found this particularly interesting. If you a) actually carried on reading or if you b) actually like my cynical and sarcastic blog posts . . . well not to worry, I’ll be back soon, cynical and sarcastic as ever.

For anyone who does appreciate the beauty of literature  . . .  you are better people than that other lot. And if you actually read physical books, as opposed to kindles or their lesser known equivalents, you are even better and you will go straight to heaven when the kindlers will be stuck in purgatory.

.

.

New Year, New Me

new year new me4

The ill-fated new year’s resolution has become a sort of societal ritual.

In my personal opinion, it was popularised by pop-culture (the clue is in the name). In particular, I think for many of the female clan, it was a certain Bridget Jones who brought the New Year’s Resolution to the forefront of our psyche.

new year new me

Whether she is the Queen of all fuck-ups, or just a normal human being, is debatable. But she certainly highlights at least three of the most common new year’s resolutions:-

.

1. Stop Smoking

2. Lose Weight

3. Get Fit

.

And to be fair to her, the girl did try

new year new me1

but, inevitably, she fails.

.

new year new me2

.

.

However, in her case, this becomes inconsequential because the guy who wore tacky Christmas jumpers before they got cool likes her very much. Just as she is.

.

.

This is very rarely the case because, at the end of the day, it is a fictional girly rom com. I certainly  haven’t had a sweet Christmas jumper wearing gentleman saying this to me. Although, I’m not entirely certain that any Mark Darcys actually exist in reality.

For a number of years, post Bridget Jones, I made New Year’s Resolutions without any real conviction or desire to follow-through, simply because I felt I should.

However, with the close of 2012, I made a New Year”s Resolution that I actually believed in, and that I genuinely wanted to commit myself to.

I was looking forward to 2013, but I also knew that it was going to be a tough year. I knew that final year would be a challenge with the pressure to achieve. I knew that I would really struggle with graduation, that I would miss university life, and miss living with and around my best friends. I didn’t know, but I thought that looking for a job might be depressing, even though I clung to a vain hope that I would be successful almost immediately. To say the least, I was rather apprehensive about 2013.

My New Year’s Resolution was to be more positive.

Some snooty skeptics might turn their noses up at such a resolution because it cannot be physically measured like losing weight or getting fit.

Other skeptics might turn their noses up at it because they may think it’s almost impossible to change your psychological and emotional outlook.

To the skeptics, I say, perhaps your resolution should be to stop being so fucking skeptical.

I decided to be more positive and not to dwell on the bad things when they happened but, in a quintessentially British style, to just keep moving.

new year new me3

I understand that my slightly cynical and sarcastic, okay, highly cynical and sarcastic, blog posts may not support my claim that in 2013 I became a more positive and happier person.

But to me, being more positive was taking the shit things and laughing about them. Writing posts and telling stories about the shit things in life that (hopefully) made other people laugh. Especially people that were in the same situation.

To be more positive was, undoubtedly, the best and most successful resolution, I’ve ever made. I haven’t thought of a 2014 New Year’s Resolution but it is going to have to be very good to compete. I certainly know that it’s not going to simply be ‘to lose weight’ or ‘to get fit’. The majority of people who make resolutions like that, and ‘to stop smoking’ will fail because if they really wanted to lose weight, stop smoking, or get fit they wouldn’t need the New Year as an excuse to do it, they’d just do it. I decided to be more positive because I knew that to get through 2013 happily, I would need to be. January 1st was the perfect time to do this.

new year new me6

2013 proved to be one of the hardest years I’ve had yet to tackle in my long 21 years of life.

2013 also proved to be one of the best years I’ve ever had.

Anyone reading this, is probably someone who made it so, because I don’t believe, that anyone other than my obliging friends or family reads these posts.

Good Luck in 2014. Prove me wrong.

Stay in school kids

Don’t do drugs and stay in school

The classic joke, pretty overused nowadays, not particularly funny anymore.

Having just written that, I’m wondering if it’s actually a joke, it’s not very funny at all. However, joke or no, it’s speaks a poignant truth.

Stay in school.

Don’t just stay in school. Stay in college and stay in uni and stay forever.

The world outside the education system is not all it’s cracked up to be. Which is saying a lot since it’s not cracked up to be very much. Unless you land a job, and a job you absolutely love. Stay in school.

When you’re a student you have people practically throwing money at you

stay in school

The government is all like ‘here have £1000 every term’. HSBC’s all ‘have as big an overdraft as you like, no questions asked, you’re a student it’s fine’. And every single shop ever is all ‘why don’t you have 20% off? you are in need after all’. I used to get emails telling me about all the free things and money off I could get simply because I was studying at University.

The second you graduate you’re on your own in the big bad world. No more 20% off. No more freebies. The student loan company let you know that they want you to start paying them back ASAP even though you have no job and no income. The bank gives you a friendly reminder that if you don’t pay your overdraft within a certain period of time, they very much look forward to charging you extra money. This is clearly wise because when you have an overdraft, money is in abundance and so being charged for every day or hour or second you’re over is no problem at all.

There is absolutely no support for a person once they graduate. Even though, I personally need the support just as much now, probably even more, than I did when I was a student.

When you graduate you have to deal with the complete lifestyle change of no longer living with your best friends, or even living 5 minutes from them, but back at home with your parents.

stay in school4

All you’ve known your whole life is the education system (unless you went travelling, which isn’t really a taste of the real world). You’re thrown into the adult world and you get no support from said world. You have to try and find a job in a climate where only the very lucky few have them. You have no financial benefits and you are in a substantial amount of debt.

Stay in school.

The reason I’ve decided to write about this is because I am severely pissed with HSBC. When I was a student and I wanted to extend my overdraft, I had only to give them a quick call, answer a few personal questions to check I was me and Hey Presto . . . free money!! This was when I was also being given money by the government simply to live.

Fairly recently, when I was at my most desperate, I was working for free and seriously needed some support, HSBC refused to help me. For some reason this makes me think of a song we used to sing in Chapel when I was younger. It went like this:

I was hungry, I was thirsty, were you there?

Were you there?

I was hungry, I was thirsty, were you there?

I was cold, I was naked, were you there?

Were you there?

I was cold, I was naked, were you there?

HSBC, I address this directly to you, I know you’re reading it, you weren’t there.

Slightly dramatic you say? Well I was hungry and I was thirsty that’s because I’m pretty much always hungry and hankering for a cup of tea or glass of water. I was cold: it was very bad weather. No, I wasn’t naked, I didn’t travel into London and work everyday absolutely starkers. But given that naked actually means vulnerable (nude means unclothed), I was vulnerable.

And HSBC was most definitely not there, physically they were around the corner, spiritually they were nowhere to be seen. (One might argue that is because banks do not possess souls and thus are spiritless. One would probably be right but one should probably shut up).

I tried explaining to them that I was currently in the process of looking for a job, but they were obstinate. I kind of understood.

However, a few days ago now, I got desperate again. This time though, there is a slight difference and by slight I mean there is a distinct difference – I actually have a job. All the money spent on travelling into London (bloody expensive by the way, especially when you live at the end of the Northern line, thanks TFL) and with Christmas approaching, I just needed a small extension until pay day. I needed to show 3 months of pay . . . well dickweed, I don’t have 3 months of pay and that’s why I need the money. I would have thought that to be quite obvious. I can, however, extend my overdraft in 3 months time . . . when I have 3 months of pay, I won’t exactly be needing an extension, will I? Another fact I would have thought to be pretty apparent.

So I’m left with £20 to get into work for 2 weeks, to get my family and friends Christmas presents, and to survive with food and maybe also to actually attend a couple of Christmas parties and have a life. To anyone who is so mathematically incapable that they can’t work out the feasibility of this: it’s zero. This is entirely impossible, especially when travel for 2 days costs me close to £20.

However, if I go over my overdraft. HSBC will charge me even more. Thanks guys. You’re pushing me towards one of those pay day loans which gives you a tenner and makes you pay back £100.

(I should probably point out that that’s not a fact, it’s an exaggeration. I only know that they charge an extortionate interest rate).

However, it’s not just HSBC, it’s every single bank . . . ever. Even though HSBC is the main target of my current ire – as you may have worked out, I’m not exactly being subtle – every bank will fuck with you. I was tempted, and still am, to move to Halifax for the £100 but I’m sure they’ll find another way to mess me around.

Banks have these really sweet adverts, where they attempt to show that they care about the individual. Your life, your home and your family are important to them.

stay in school1

I personally think it would be refreshing to see an ad that went a little something like this:-

Look, common peasant, let’s be honest with each other.

We don’t give a flying fuck about you.

Neither do you care a swimming fuck for us.

However, savage, we do have a mutual interest.

Money.

If we join forces we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

More beneficial for us, but mutual  nonetheless.

One day, I may end up working on a bank’s marketing account – I might just suggest this. Then again, I might not.

Life is harder once you graduate. Unless you walk straight into a job, which isn’t particularly likely and is certainly not very easy. Not only this, but there is absolutely no support for a grad from society.

Even the big dogs are saying it, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon.

stay in school2

The only support I have is from my family, and I’m lucky I even have that.

stay in school7

Yes I am insinuating that my father is the real life equivalent of Don Corleone

 

So kids, I don’t know about drugs, but stay in school. Stay in school and college and uni and never leave. Stay in school to keep expanding your mind and broadening your career opportunities until you die. And when you’re dead, let someone else deal with your debt. It’s the same kind of ruthlessness with which a graduate is treated.

Stay in school.

God Save Mulumba

I’ve not had very much to write about this week, as seems to be becoming the case now that I’m a working lady. Well, that’s a lie, there’s plenty to write about, just not plenty of time.

So, to rephrase, I kind of slightly couldn’t be bothered to think about my blog post this week. That was until, Mulumba.

Mulumba, finder and returner of phones.

Mulumba, user of the British Library.

Mulumba, phone hero, as a friend aptly named him.

.god save1

.

This is a fairly accurate representation of how I woke up on Saturday morning. Minus the chicken, and the glasses, and the product placement. And also, I woke up in bed. So it’s more an accurate representation of how I felt when I woke up on Saturday morning.

god save2

Sadly, and unusually, I had no questions about what happened; I woke up to the memory of rifling through my bag and my pockets searching for my phone but to no avail. Logic had told me that if I just went to sleep everything would be okay in the morning.

Logic was incorrect because it was drunken logic, everything was far from okay in the morning. In that dark hour of no phone, a sore head and a very delicate tummy, I committed feats that place me amongst the leagues of legendary heroes. I went on a run.

Not out of choice, but necessity. I had hockey in an hour and my car was waiting at the pub where I’d started my night off. So I went on a 30 minute run to collect my car and then played a game of hockey. According to my brother, these are not heroic feats since I did not die a glorious death in battle. I reserve the right to disagree.

Anyway, that was a slight sidetrack, I just felt that everyone should marvel at my fortitude and praise my bravery. I’ll revert to the topic on which this post is actually about . . . the real hero of this story. Mulumba.

I always thought that I was someone who doesn’t actually use my phone too much. And in comparison to some people, I don’t . . .

god save3

.

.

.

.

.

god save4

.

.

.

.

.

god save5

.

.

.

.

god save6

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

But life is pretty complicated without a phone.

To find out what was on TV last night, I actually would have had to get up, go upstairs and use my computer. I decided to just wing it and hope for the best.

To contact my friends, I would have had to do the same. I decided my friends could survive without me for a little while.

I was supposed to meet up with someone next week but I didn’t have any way of contacting them without my phone. I decided that, if it was meant to be, we’d bump into each other.

On top of all this hardship, I forgot to renew my phone insurance last month.

I’d called the club and they didn’t have it. Hope had started to diminish. TFL lost and found don’t open until Monday but, realisticaly, what were the chances of it having survived the interesting characters of the nightbus. And then, I sank to my lowest and most desperate point, I called Burger King and KFC, both of which I had made appearances in the night before.

There was no hope left.

Until Find My iPhone. Which by the way, I actually want to dedicate a couple of words to praise. My phone had no battery so I couldn’t see where it was, but the app allows you to put the phone into lost mode so the only thing that the person who has your phone can see is a message you choose to leave. Then, I checked it again and I could see that my phone had 100% battery and that it was in Kings Cross, I called it a few times and no one answered.

I decided to leave a slightly threatening message.

I know that someone has my iPhone. I can see it. Please, please, please call this number . . . . and return it to me.

Sorry Mulumba, for my slight but detectable aggression.

Mulumba called and a voice has never sounded so sweet. He’d found my iPhone on the bus, but doesn’t actually have an iPhone so had no way of charging it and had to wait until he could borrow one or buy one to try and get in touch.

I had genuinely thought there was no hope of getting my phone back, not that it’s the end of the world, but it’s certainly a hassle. It’s nice to know that there are nice people in the world.

god save7                    

.

.

.

In fact, I’m actually willing to make the sweeping statement that the majority of people in this world are nice. I genuinely think most people would find a phone and try to return it. It happened to me. I found an iPhone on the way back from a club, in the middle of a very busy road, picked it up and luckily this person didn’t have a password so I called the last person this girl had been texting. And like a knight in shining pyjamas he came running to get her phone.

I’d actually go so far to say that the ones who have their phones taken are the unlucky ones as opposed to the ones who have their phones returned being the lucky ones.

This is an uncharacteristically positive post, but seeing as I had more reason to be grateful than to moan, and I had not much else to write about, I just wanted to say

Thank you Mulumba. I hope you enjoy the chocolate truffles.

god save

If you were my boyfriend I’d find you really annoying

I made a promise this weekend, that I would name my next blog post “If you were my boyfriend I’d find you really annoying”. After saying those words to a particular person who also happened to suggest I write a blog post on them. (You know who you are).

Funnily enough, I’ve decided not to dedicate an entire blog post to one person.

What I am going to dedicate this blog post to is honesty.

I honestly believe that honesty is the best policy.

It’s something I try and live my life by, all aspects of my life – at home, at work, with friends, in love. This is not necessarily me trying to prove to you that I’m a good person: honesty is the best policy, if only to save you a whole lot of hassle because at the end of the day the truth always comes out. This is a little lesson I learnt growing up as a teenager.

But what I’m wondering is: am I sometimes too honest?

I was at the funeral of my Grandad the other day and there was one thing that struck me. There was one aspect of his character that was remembered by every single person in the church. Well, there were two – his love of hockey (in particular his sliding tackles), which incidentally I did my best to recreate in my game this weekend, and it was a pleasure to win Man of the Match in light of that. The other was his plain speaking.

If there was one thing about Grandad, that I in particular remember, there was no bullshit. He would tell you exactly what he thought, even if, sometimes, in the Vicar’s words – you didn’t want to hear it.

I’ll give you an example.

The last time I saw my Grandad he was very pleased to see me. He kept on thanking me for coming to visit him (which he needn’t have done because it was a pleasure). He also kept on telling me how pleased he was to see me looking so good, and how I’d turned into a fine young lady . . . because he remembered me as chubby. Grandad, in his last days, had a habit of repetition. So I listened, quite a few times, to how one of the last times he saw me I was such a chubby young girl, so it was really nice to see me looking fit and healthy. Now, in his (and my) defence, my freshers regime of excessive alcohol, kebabs and minimal exercise coupled with maximum TV viewing (24, The Sopranos, Prison Break, Made in Chelsea etc.) had left me a little worse for wear at the time.

honesty4

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

However, if I’d have sat there and listened to this backhanded compliment from anyone else, I probably would have cried

honesty2

from Grandad . . . well, it was just Grandad.

The man who was very vocal about his contempt for my brother’s long (by his standards) hair, and practically disowned him when he dyed it red.

No bullshit, plain speaking Grandad.

.

.

I think I know where I get it from.

.

Hopefully, I have a little more tact but, then again, this whole post stems from the fact that I told someone that if they were my boyfriend, I’d find them really annoying. It was said in jest, but to quote ‘Rap God’ Eminem . . .

honesty3

I’ve started to notice that I tend to revert to the polars of Shakespeare or gangsters to emphasise my point

.

And truthfully, what this person was saying at the time would have annoyed me if I was their girlfriend. (But in their defence, that’s probably not too hard)

Give me a drink or two, and my inner Grandad surfaces, saying exactly what I think, no tact.

Perhaps there is a thing as too honest. But at the end of the day, It’s better to be truthful than a liar. I’d rather say what I think than be too scared to voice my opinions. There is far more respect to be had from having the courage to speak the honest but unwelcome truth, than there is to pull the wool over someone’s eyes.

This is why I had so much respect for my Grandad. And I think, why everyone had so much respect for him.

You’ll find a lot of people in this world who will use language to confused and manipulate, to evade and to decieve. Seriously, just read a Shakespeare play or, alternatively, watch Prime Minister’s Question Time. It is the plain speaking people who are the gems. It takes courage to tell the truth.

If I have inherited this from Grandad, I can only say that I am proud.

It’s about time I turned to Shakespeare . . .

No legacy is so rich as honesty

Tinder: Desperate times. . .

Faithful Readers, I have a confession.

.

I’m getting desperate.

.

I have been searching for so long and I just can’t seem to find anything remotely adequate. I’m getting rejection after rejection and it’s even more painful because, personally, I think I’m bloody brilliant and fit all possible criteria.

Smart, sociable, downright hilarious.

Rejection, however, has me feeling slightly like this . . .

.

desperate times

desperate times1

.

.

.

.

.
desperate times2

.

.

desperate times7

.

.

.

.

.

.

(What is it about black and white photographs that are so damn poignant and emotional, artsy and edgy?)

.

Thus I have decided that desperate times call for desperate measures (and I stink of desperation) so I’ve started using tinder.

desperate times4

.

People, if you have mistakenly reached the assumption that I am using my blog to write about my love life and post it on social media sites . . .

.

desperate times5

.

.

Now, get off my blog. If you’ve got this far, you are now an extra number in my viewing statistics – thanks.

If you didn’t reach such a false assumption, do please continue . . .

.

No, funnily enough, I’m not talking about the search for love. I am, of course, talking about the only thing I ever seem to talk about, because it currently rules my life, the search for satisfactory employment.

I think it’s only fair to explain my new found levels of desperation. Recently, I’ve decided that I wasn’t doing enough in my applications, and I needed to pull out all the stops. And I’m not joking, I’ve stooped to new levels in my search for a job.

I did an application recently – simple enough in comparison to some of the other one’s I’ve complained about – CV, covering letter, and something different.

Something different eh? No word of a lie, I wrote and performed a rap, dressed a little bit like everyone’s favourite gangsta Tupac.

This rap is on YouTube, but you can only find it if you have the link . . . which only I have to give.

.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu6s0PsQbbw

.

Yeah . . . I was never going to to post it here, I need to keep some shred of dignity and pride. However, I’ll give you a sneak preview . . .

.

desperate times6.

.

Different enough? Apparently not, I received an email with; we’ve had over 400 applications, we’re sorry to say, and we wish you every success in the future.

.

If you wished me every success, you’d give me a job, let’s be honest.

.

So, new found desperation explained, I am using tinder.

Spending time on tinder may not seem like the best means to get a job. But appearances can be deceptive. (As I’m sure many of the appearances on tinder are).

I’ve decided to, very magnanimously, like guys who have a shared interest of an advertising agency. Even more magnanimously, I’ve actually made the effort to start the conversation with said guys.

.

My greatest instance of networking however, is speaking to someone whose housemate works for an advertising agency, to which I have applied. This person has offered to speak to their housemate for me and see if he can put in a good word.

desperate times9

.

As I said, desperate times call for desperate measures. And, seemingly, I have resorted to the most desperate of measures.