Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Soapbox post: What Feminism means to me

Okay, so occasionally I get all soapboxy with my posts. It doesn't happen that often, as it's generally a more light hearted forum, but occasionally something occurs around me that gets me all riled up and I feel that need inside me to make my voice heard.

I have to admit, my reasons to talk about feminism today are partly to do with a few injustices around me, but more down to the amount that I have been inspired by other feminist voices recently. They talk with such hope and strength that it has motivated me to want to share in their views.

I'll be honest. I've not really expanded my limited knowledge of the feminist world that much throughout my life, on account that the "feminist" voices I were hearing seemed more detrimental to me than good. I was, as is most often the case, hearing the extreme voices mostly. The ones that focus on all the amazing things that our female ancestors have done for us to make us able to work full time and vote and have a life of our own outside of the house, and have chastised me for thinking that one day I might like to be someone who stays at home and looks after the kids, should I ever have them. I took insult to that. I resented the thought that just because I liked the idea of being a stay at home mum, that meant that I was taking the progress of women's rights back several steps, instead of being grateful for the opportunities that now were given to me.

Truth is, I am grateful for living in the world that I do right now. I am grateful that my wanting to work and earn a living for myself is something that I am able to do and there has never been an issue associated with gender that has prevented me from doing that. If I didn't have that choice, being the single lady that I am in her late 20s, I would most likely still be forced to live with my parents, labelled a spinster and an eternal burden to my family. Either that, or I would have been married off to a man I hardly knew at the age of 19 or something.

My life, as it stands, relies heavily on the women's rights that have been fought for me. I've made it no secret that I'm not a big dater in this world. I have been single for the whole of my 20s, and lived on my own, making my own way. Sure, doing this in London without a University degree has meant that it has been tough financially at times, but at least I've been able to do it. I have never considered that my rights have not been met in my life. I've never thought myself as being discriminated against for being female and I know how lucky I am to have had that privilege, because it still isn't the case for a lot of places in this world. Having said all that, I have faced my own little version of sexism; as innocent as it may be and from a good and genuine place; with regards to my choice to be single.

I haven't always felt that I was single by choice. I spent a large amount of my early 20s yearning for someone to be in a relationship with. However, I also suffered from crippling anxiety at the thought of being in a relationship with anyone, so never did anything to instigate said relationship. This left me with an inner conflict inside, as I had always been taught that the overall goal for someone who enters into their adult life is to get married and have children. Now, before I continue, I don't want anyone to think that I don't think that is an amazing adventure, because I do. I can see that there is so much joy to be had with sharing your life with someone and having that support constantly with you. However, my problem lies with the idea that seemed to surround me at the time, and still does to a certain extent, being that because that point hasn't happened for me, my life is somehow less than those who have achieved it. This left me bereft. I found relationships the scariest thing in the world, whilst simultaneously wanting to be a part of one more than anything else in the world, and suddenly I felt like I was doomed to always be less than those around me.

Guys, it took years before I could get my head around this one. Years of tears and pain, because people kept on saying that I needed a man to protect me and look after me and share my life with me, and I just couldn't seem to get one. So I stopped trying, and went so far the other way that I stopped noticing guys altogether for a period of time before I managed to venture back to a level playing field.

This is where I am now with this thought. The large majority of the friends I have my age are either married or in a serious relationship. I absolutely adore each and every one of their relationships. I spend time with them and I think their whole set up is awesome. However, at the same time, I just know that I don't want that for myself at the moment. A lot of places I go, if I haven't seen someone in a while, a common conversation with these people will go something like this:

Friend: So... How's the love life?
Me: Nothing going on there
Friend: (Tips head to one side and gives a slightly sympathetic look) Oh, well that's okay, I'm sure he's out there somewhere.

It's a kind gesture. It's a beautiful thing. But it also has this connotation behind it that suggests my being single at this point in my life means I'm still waiting for my life to start. That my protests on being happy and single are really just me putting on a tough face when secretly I'm pining for a relationship of my very own. Guys, I'm not. If I wanted one, I would do something about it. I don't have that fear of being with someone anymore. I would put myself out there and try socialising in places that aren't predominantly populated by gay men (which tends to be my social scene right now). However, as things stand, I could not be happier that I lived my 20s single. I got to do all these amazing things. I got to travel and socialise and do spur of the moment things without any responsibilities to think of. When I wanted to move to a different place, I didn't have anyone to consider in terms of whether they wanted to go too. I just upped and went. I got to focus on me and become the person that I am today. I know that that person is due to my own development. Looking back at when everyone else was getting married in early to mid 20s, I was a completely different person and, me personally, I was not ready for marriage. Hell, I'm still not.

Occasionally, I get the urge to date. When that happens, I start to look out for people. I strike up conversations with guys and start talking to them, but I genuinely just don't have the staying power. I get bored so easily with doing it. It all just goes to prove that I'm not ready for any of that yet. I'm happy the way I am. I'm happy that I have all this time to write and be independent and a woman functioning on her own without someone else supporting her. I will never stop being grateful for the women that came before me to make that happen. They have given me so much joy and happiness. There was a time when being a single woman would have been a lonely place to be but I'm lucky enough to live in a time and place where that isn't the case anymore. However, where I face my biggest sense of "sexism" (for want of a better word) is coming against people who just don't believe me when I say it. Unfortunately, the more I try to justify it, the more they think I'm putting on a brave front. It genuinely isn't the case.

I want to get married some day. I want kids and and a family and, when that happens and if we can afford it, I would love nothing more than to quit my job and raise those kids. I know it seems to be a stark contrast to the life I've just described that I want for now, but that's the point I'm making. I'm not ready for that life yet, but when I am, I want to know that that decision is just as okay for me to make as the ones I have made for my life so far.

Through the amazing words of Emma Watson in her 'heforshe' campaign speech she gave, I found what the true meaning of feminism was to me. It is the ability for each of us to make life decisions based on us as individuals and not as a particular gender. To be able to realise that we are all made entirely different to each other and that that should be celebrated, rather than we be told that it isn't the right decision because others who share the same gender don't feel that way as well. (I'll put the speech on the bottom of this post, if you want to see it.)

The attack that was then made on Emma after the speech, threatening to put up nude photos, although it looks like this was a prank now and false, still highlights the bigotry that is still alive today. Sexism exists for both men and women every day. People will make assumptions on us, dependent on our gender, but we need to be able to find our voices and speak out against this. Never be afraid to vocalise who you are. Holding back and keeping silent can be the most devastating thing, not just for others who don't get to hear your words, but also for you. Our world is full of people who feel they can't speak out for who they are, and so many of those stories don't end well. Feminism, as announced by Emma, is something that we should all join, men and women alike. Feminism is a way of celebrating who we are and not to be afraid to say that if we aren't comfortable with something, then we shouldn't have to do it. We should be confident in our own skin and be able to be who we are with no one telling us that it doesn't fit the norm. Be who you want to be. Love who you want to love. Live your life the way that makes you happy and know that this world is constantly changing and adapting to accommodate it. I'm excited for our future. I have hope that prejudice and attack will die out and instead we can all live to our full potential and at least be offered the opportunity to try and achieve our ultimate dreams.

Feminism. I'm in.

Peace out my lovelies.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Fancy Things Friday: Doctor Who; Time Heist

Welcome to Fancy Things Friday, where I talk about things on a Friday that I think are fancy!!


Could it be? Is it true? Has it finally happened? Yes, it has. Steve Thompson has got an episode right! Huzzah for Steve Thompson! I've been rooting for him from the beginning. He's the secret third genius writer for Sherlock, he gets those right. I knew he could do it at some point with Doctor Who! Third time lucky. We have Time Heist.

First off, I have to say that the moment Psi appeared on the screen, my throat did that squeal thing and my breath did that not working thing. I was immediately a fan. Ever since I watched a little known British comedy called Campus (from the makers of better known West Wing), where he had a main role, I have been bowled over by the effect that man has on me. He is beautiful to the point where I lose all words. As such, I will try and not let his weird hold over me effect my overall view of this episode.

I liked this episode. I liked it's simplicity and the general fun nature of it. Sure, there are sinister moments, but what I love is a lot of the more severe ones are from the Doctor himself. He has got dark this series and I am getting more and more on board with this new attitude. It adds a sense of mystery to him, like you don't know just how far he's going to go. Matt Smith was all about being such a good man, Capaldi is all about smashing that image down to the floor.

The main example of this is the ease in which is used those injections in this episode, back before he knew that they were transporters and thought they were killing people. He handed them out without a care, essentially handing his little team a means by which they can kill themselves. Sure, it could be argued that it was justified as the alternative was having your brain turned into soup, but still... chills were had up and down my back.

I've been trying to work out what it is about Clara that I now like in this series but wasn't too keen on in the last one... I worked it out this week. I like Clara and Capaldi together. They make more sense than Clara and Smith. With Clara and Smith, we ran the risk of just another girl having a crush on the Doctor and being boring and mundane... now though... she bickers with him, all the time, and I love it. What I'm adoring is the back and forth between the two. Even when he takes her advice, he doesn't do it without arguing with her first. They've got an awesome chemistry and it's really working.

I don't know if anyone's seen it, but BBC have brought out a short clip of a scene from tomorrow's episode 'The Caretaker.' It's basically yet another one of Clara and Capaldi's bickering sessions but I have to say, it might be one of their bests. I have seen that clip about 20 times now and have laughed each time. I'm very excited about tomorrow.

But I get ahead of myself, back to this week's episode. As mentioned in the opening paragraph, Steve Thompson, as awesome as he is in all things Sherlock, has seemed to just miss the mark when it's come to writing good Doctor Who episodes. His previous episodes have been "Curse of the Black Spot" and "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS."

Curse of the Black Spot might be one of my least favourite Matt Smith episodes. Although it does contain one highly amusing 'breathing on shiny surfaces' performance from the Smith, outside of that, I do tend to get the teensiest bored whilst watching it. This is something that, as an obsessive watcher of all things Who, doesn't happen all that often. Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS was better and has some really good moments, but it still seems to fall just short of a successful episode.

Time Heist though... I loved it. I laughed more in this episode than I have in any of Capaldi's episodes. I will say this, as much as I love Capaldi's doctor, I do miss the laughs that Smith's Doctor gave me. Although, I've recognised that Capaldi has said something funny, I haven't out loud laughed until this episode. When talking about his clothes and he said the line "I was going for minimalism, but I think I ended up with Magician", I flat out cackled.

(Also, in an entirely girly and OMG moment... Clara's outfit in this episode... a-ma-zing. I want a suit like that and Danny Pink is a very lucky guy.)

I've heard a lot of mention about this taking on a bit of an Ocean's Eleven vibe. I get that, but if I were to go down that route and assume that that was what they were attempting to do, I'm not going to like this episode as much. The whole concept of Ocean's Eleven is that they've all got this plan that you try and work out whilst you're going along and then there's this big reveal of how they did it and you clap your hands and say "Brava!" This episode did not do that at all. Apart from the fact that none of them even know why they're there, so little planned cleverness can be made on their part, it was all very predictable to me. The Architect is The Doctor... yup. Kinda the most obvious choice they could have made. He places all the clues down and they follow blindly... not exactly a clever heist idea. Also, you're going to guess it's something that was set up from the future as the episode is called Time Heist.

The bit that made me tingle the most however was the conversation between Clara and Psi (and no, not for the reasons I mentioned above about Psi, this was a different kind of tingle). Clara is defending The Doctor's actions like the dutiful companion she is, and Psi questions it, and for once I found myself falling on the side of the person unsure of The Doctor. For once, I couldn't, hand on my heart, say that he would always do what is good. When I realised that, the afore mentioned tingles began as I had no clue where the characterisation of this Doctor would end up, which excited me a hell of a lot and I realised I was exactly where the Moffat wanted me.

I.cannot.wait.for.this.next.episode. Hell, I can't wait for all of them. I am well and truly hooked... once again.

Well played, Moffat. Well played.

Peace out my lovelies

Monday, 22 September 2014

Next on Netflix: I'm just going to shut myself away from the world; it's the only way I'm going to steer clear of spoilers.

Happy Monday everyone.

I took a brief hiatus from the world of Netflix whilst I went through seven series of The Big Bang Theory because it is, quite frankly, one of the funniest shows on TV at the moment. I've seen them all countless times already but I got a really good deal on the box set for seasons 1-6 (£26 only from Amazon) and couldn't help myself so began from the beginning again.

I laughed, I laughed some more, I laughed again. Awesome show.

Anywho, I went through a small grieving period when, last week, I finished season 7 and realised that I now had this big gap in my life where Big Bang Theory had been. I turned to Netflix, not too confident that I would find anything to watch, given that I have definitely got to a point where almost all series on that site have now been watched extensively. I resorted back to Damages with Glenn Close as I'm on series 2 and find it entertaining but not exactly gripping. Then Claire-The-Bully mentioned a show that had been on there for quite a while and I kept on forgetting to watch; Homeland.


I got through the first two seasons (and also the only two available on Netflix right now) in two days. I watched the pants out of that show. I sat there gripped to the TV, unable to get my head around the genius of its writing. Of all the writing there is in the world, when someone gets a TV show right, I fall completely in love. Homeland gets it right. They get it right HARD.

Now, I want to make it painfully clear that I have only seen the first two seasons. I want to shout this from the rooftops that, just because one person might have seen them all, it doesn't mean everyone else has. Therefore, it is the polite thing to shut the fudge up when talking about episodes recently that have come out. I know this might seem to be an obvious point to make, but clearly it needs to be said, because when I innocently spot a video on youtube labelled "Jennifer Lawrence meets Homeland star; Damian Lewis" I'm going to watch that due to the fact that Lawrence makes me laugh so much. Also, I'm going to continue to watch it when she announces in the first 5 seconds of the video that she has only seen the first two seasons. I'm going to feel safe that neither Lawrence nor Lewis are going to mention anything about an episode I haven't seen on account that one is up to the same place I am, and the other is a professional. What I don't expect to happen is that, after hearing that Lawrence has only watched the first two seasons, the interviewer would then casually let Lawrence know of a MASSIVE plot spoiler that happens in the future series after that. What a bitch.

Lawrence got angry, I got angry. We both ganged up on the interviewer, although in fairness, she could only actually hear Lawrence. She said she felt awful, but I doubt she did. That woman knew what she was doing. She was a nasty person who wanted to cause pain and hurt into not just Lawrence's life, but all those people who then subsequently watched the interview and had their lives ruined too. To me, there is nothing more excruciating and horrible to do to a person than tell them spoilers to a show they haven't seen. If I were to ever be captured and tortured for information, that would be how they'd break me. I'd sing like a bird if it meant that no one told me the ending to a Grey's Anatomy series before I get there myself.

Then, to top it all off. I spotted that a whole 10 series of Stargate was also now available on Netflix. This is a show that a friend of mine from school had been obsessed with and had leant me the boxsets about 10 years ago for the first 4 series. I had loved it. In fact, I have regularly been checking Netflix to see if they are going to add it. Finally, they have.

So excited was I, that I text One-And-Only-Daniela the good news and told her that I was going to spend my entire weekend on a hardcore Stargate marathon... sci fi heaven. She then responded with telling me a Season 10 spoiler in her next text back... Ladies and gents, this woman has been responsible over the course of our friendship to reveal spoilers for the following series:

Grey's Anatomy (and yes, it was that spoiler. The big one)
Game of Thrones (little hint. If you are ever with her and ask her not to mention the show, then she goes on to 'speak in code' with someone else so that you don't know what she's saying; run, run like the wind. One-And-Only-Daniela does not know what speaking in code means. You will find out things you didn't want to. (Oh, and in case you were wondering... yes, it was that spoiler. The red one.))
The Vampire Diaries (I am still further behind than she is on this show. However, I now tackle her to the ground; bound and gag her, the moment she even mentions the word 'vampire'.)

There are many more. You'd think I'd be wily to her ways now, but she does it so quickly and stealthily that you never see it coming. She's like a spoiler ninja. She doesn't do it on purpose, she just does it. Then realises that she probably shouldn't have said it about 30 seconds after the words are out of her mouth. The only reason I found out a Homeland spoiler from another source was because One-And-Only-Daniela hasn't seen that show yet. I wish she could just walk around with a constant bleeper built into her mouth so that any time she began to tell me the plot to a show I've just started, it bleeps her out and I stay blissfully in the dark.

I have considered doing the same back to her, but my own hate of spoiler revealing forces me not to. Not to mention that if I were to tell her the ending to something she was watching, she'd just shrug her shoulders and walk away... which makes her so much more powerful than me...

Somewhere in the distance, I can hear her maniacal laughter floating in the wind.

Peace out my lovelies

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The token 'I get deep' post of the month

I had a night out with Claire-The-Bully last night. It's been a while since I have mentioned her on this blog... actually might be close to three years... that's a bit ridiculous. Truth is, we haven't really seen as much of each other recently, as opposed to the almost weekly sessions we were doing with Rachael-The-Bully when I started writing this blog. At the time, we lived around the corner to each other. Now... not so much.

However, my new place is quite close to where Claire-The-Bully works so it has become a little more convenient for meeting up and such. Due to this, we had one of those nights where we had almost a year worth of our lives to catch each other up on. Dare I say it, there was not one bit of bullying involved. We ate ramen, drank wine, and debated over what we deemed as 'good' on Netflix.

One thing that I am noticing, now that I've lost a large chunk of the weight I had put on, is the sheer amount of people who were massively shocked and concerned for me when I was heavy. I've met up with Claire-And-Rachael-The-Bullies separately recently and they have both mentioned now how much my weight gain had shocked them. I'd turn up at the odd social event, twice as heavy as I had been the last time they had seen me, and they were stunned apparently. Now... Claire-The-Bully is adamant that she mentioned this to me when I was heavy, and to be honest, I don't doubt it. However, I have no memory of this. We think they mainly voiced their concerns when I brought it up; making a comment like "I've got so big recently" and instead of saying the classic friend thing of "It's not that bad!" or "No, you're fine", they would just nod vehemently in my direction, fully accepting that that was the case.

I'm not one of those people who thinks everybody should be thin. I think if you're happy with the weight you are at and it isn't causing you any health concerns, then be that weight. I, when I was at my heaviest, was anything but happy. I was a hermit who only surfaced from my bed for work and when I was forced out by friends, which was very rarely. When I was my fattest, I was also my saddest. I was 16 stone of depression who solved her issues of sad feelings with chocolate, wine, McDonalds and KFC. There is no denying that there is a direct correlation between my starting to feel better and my loss in weight. My weight has always been determined by the mood I'm in though. Five years prior to that, when I went through the first major breakdown, I was eating a Dominos pizza a night, but couldn't physically keep the weight on. I was my skinniest and once again, it was only once I got into a more healthy environment that I started to gain weight. Basically, my body is a drama queen who doesn't like being left out of the mental issues I've had so creates fun and exciting ways to be included. It always has been a bitch that way.

I am now a year and 3 months out of depression. I have never lasted this long in the 12 years I suffered from it. Talking to Claire-The-Bully and catching her up on my shizzle, really confirmed to me the amazing place I am now in. I found a yoga DVD this week that Housemate-Anna had bought me three years ago in a desperate attempt to try and settle my mind a bit. I thought I'd give it a go again and couldn't believe how easy and peaceful I suddenly found it. When I used it before I just couldn't get my mind to cooperate with the exercises. Only by doing it again did I realise just how ill I was at that time.

For anyone who still thinks that depression is just a form of being sad due to things around them, and that it should be easy to get over, I say don't be freakin' ridiculous. Sure, in many situations depression can be sparked by a troubled life. Horrible things lead to horrible feelings. When someone is depressed because they have been through some form of trauma, it tends to be a bit more accepted, as opposed to a person who is depressed without really experiencing any traumas at all. The truth is, depression will rear it's ugly head regardless of how good you've got it. It's what makes it an illness as opposed to having a bad day.

I haven't had a bad life. I have a loving family and friends who have supported me unconditionally throughout the years. I've had sad things happen to me, but nothing that I would say traumatised me or sparked off the depression. My depression just simply grew within me, despite my positive life. I had people tell me that I had no reason to be depressed because my life was so much better than most peoples. At the time, I couldn't really respond. I would naturally assume that they were right and try my hardest to feel happy and appreciate the things around me. However, it never worked. If anything, it just made me worse. My depression went against all reason. I'm not a particularly pessimistic person, I still appreciated everyone around me and knew when something was funny and good. But regardless of all that, I had recurrent nightmares and woke up every morning with a chest that felt like lead.

When I started to get better, nothing changed that much in my life. I still kept the same friends and family. I worked the same profession I always had. I went out a little more and changed the things that were contributing towards my depression, but other than that, my circumstances didn't change. What changed was that suddenly I was able to enjoy them. Somehow the correct response of feeling good when good things happened was starting to work. After a bit of practice, I was able to be in social settings without wanting to run a mile, and began to like being there. As the year has progressed, my circumstances have changed for the better. My work and home are both new and amazing, I've found the confidence to reach out to new friends and rekindled some old friendships. I currently have a series of very important and positive people in my life; all of them mean the world to me and I know that I am loved by them. I don't look at them and question why they hang out with me internally, or subconsciously find ways to sabotage it. I'm simply able to feel happy with having them around. It sounds easy enough, but it is a very new ability for me.

I never take for granted when I feel happy since being better. It's still a novel thing to me. However, it takes moments of reflection like last night, where the last time I had seen Claire-The-Bully I was in a very different place, for me to really see how much things have changed. I adore it and I can't wait for what my future has in store...

If you want to read my full story of recovery and illness etc; feel free to click here. 

Otherwise, speak soon and, as always...

Peace out my lovelies.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Weekly Review: Doctor Who; Listen


Okay. They brought out another one. I created lots of opinions over it. Let's do this.

During Matt Smith's first season, Younger-Brother-Daniel and I went through this habit of calling each other after every episode and having epic 2 hour conversations about what had happened... you know, because we're so cool. As the series went on, we kinda stopped doing it. However, after this week's episode, I had no choice. I felt that it was important for me to get another opinion on this episode because, quite frankly, I was just the teensiest bit confused about the whole thing.

I've since watched the episode again and spent an unhealthy amount of time dissecting it and forming opinions on why it confused me so much. I've learnt that there seems to be three main schools of thought over this episode. People generally seem to be either thinking:

A. That it was the best episode Doctor Who has done in a long time.
B. That it was the worst episode Doctor Who has done in a long time.
C. That it was awesome until the last 10 minutes when the whole thing got "explained."

I don't really class myself in any of these opinions, but probably am somewhere between option A and C.

You see, this is the issue that I have. As mentioned before, I freakin' adore Steven Moffat's writing... I am a massive fan of the Moffat and, 9 times out of 10, have been impressed with what he has done with a storyline. What this has resulted in is that I hold him to a massively high standard overall. I didn't realise it, but I naturally now just assume that nothing short of awesome will do. One of my massive pet peeves in writing (and the reason why I will hiss at anyone who mentions the series Lost to me) is when a writer opens up a question that seems integral to the storyline and overall arc and then never explains it. Moffat doesn't really do this. He's not one to put in details to a story just for the fun of it. If there is a question, even if it isn't explained straight away, he will come back to it at a later stage and make us all go "Ooooh! That's why he did that!" My whole liking of this episode is reliant on the fact that this is what Moffat has done throughout this storyline. I have faith in the Moffat, always have had, and providing he explains some of the unanswered questions at some point in the future, this episode will fall into the list of my top 10 favourite episodes. If he doesn't, I will be highly upset... because I don't really have much else going on in my life that doesn't involve a fictional storyline of some kind.

The concept of a monster who's sole gift is to hide from others and also is never then seen throughout, is possibly the creepiest and most exciting monster to me. It's like taking the Silence, adding an extra layer of spooky, and then blowing my mind with it. The scene with the figure under the blanket actually terrified me. When the blanket slipped off and yet the figure never came into focus, I was pretty certain I wouldn't be able to sleep for days. As much as I love Doctor Who, I'm not really one of those who gets genuinely scared by things in it, this one sent chills to my very bones. That being said, because of the mystery behind it, I do like the added creepiness that it was never fully explained who that monster actually was. Sure, it's hinted by the end that it was nothing more than another child from the orphanage on account of the fact that it was all meant to be in the Doctor's head, but the fact that they never confirm this completely, does make for a more unsettling storyline.

I, for one, will be highly disappointed if the figure under the blanket turns out to be nothing more than another kid. This is mainly because the concept of this monster is too good and juicy not to be real in some form. I don't know if we will ever know about that particular point, and of all the open questions this episode leaves, I am most comfortable with never knowing this one. The others, however, I will need to know at some point.

Younger-Brother-Daniel and I have two very different approaches when it comes to watching Doctor Who. Younger-Brother-Daniel tends to accept everything, regardless of how little sense it makes, on account that he just loves Doctor Who and so will allow any storyline they throw at him. I, on the other hand, tend to obsess over the hints of storyline and have this need for it to make sense in my head. He has already shrugged off the knocking on the door in the scene at the end of the universe as creaky pipes and nothing more. I simply can't. I need there to be more to it. The knocking was too precise, the build up was too intense. It all leads to it being something far more integral and scary than being something that the Doctor was told as a child.

There are obvious bits of the storyline that will come back in further episodes. The questions that will clearly be answered (I hope) in the future are:

1. Danny/Rupert/Orson Pink (who I really am beginning to love, by the way). 

Who is he? Who has he killed? Why does Orson look exactly like Danny? What is he to Clara? How is it that his life is already so intertwined with Clara and the Doctor?

There is a small theory that I have. I think the Doctor is more aware of the future of these two than he lets on. In this episode, he was too present in their first date, and although it was clearly Clara's own psychic link that kept on throwing them into Danny Pink's lifetime, I wonder whether the Doctor has sensed that he is important to her in some way. I haven't really got more to go on than that at the mo, but it's just a thought.

2. Clara "Oswald/Oswin/Osgood."

Okay, this theory is my baby. It's one that I picked up from the 50th special. Remember Osgood from that episode? The woman with the Doctor scarf and the inhaler? Anyone else find it weird that her name was so similar to Clara's different aliases? Remember, Moffat very rarely does things by accident. Not only is that her name but there was that whole conversation about how her sister was so much prettier than she was. Why put that in? Could it be that Clara is somehow her sister? Or even her in another form? I don't know, but I do know that there is something in it. Also, in Listen, Clara mentions how she hates her name 'Oswald' to Danny Pink. This could be nothing, but to me; a woman who has been carrying this theory around with me for almost a year; it sounded like a small nod to that connection, suggesting that there is more to that name than meets the eye... possibly.

And then there are the questions from this episode that I'm really hoping will be answered, but slightly fear won't be...

1. The knocking on the door and banishing of Clara.

At the end of the universe, with that knocking of the door, I think there was genuinely something out there doing the knocking. I think that the episode hinted that it was all in the Doctor's head to throw us down the wrong path, but really there is something more to it. I have a few odd and very weak theories that involve Missy and the promised land but none that I actually am that invested in. The thing that makes me think there is more to it however is the series of events in that scene. The knocks on the door happened, Clara and The Doctor get spooked, The Doctor insists that Clara go inside (taking us with her and thus eradicating any chance of seeing what's out there), Clara tries to watch on the monitors, the monitors go dead just as the doors open, the next thing we know The Doctor is hanging on for dear life. There was a moment, albeit a very brief moment, where we didn't see what happened. There's a chance that this was done (just as the creature under the blanket was) to keep an air of unanswered mystery behind it and that will be it, but I like to think that it'll be cleverer than that. I think there was something out there.

2. The choice of scenery; the end of the universe.

It seems a little disjointed that that was where they ended up with Orson in comparison with the rest of the episode. I think the fact that they ended up at the end of the universe wasn't so much for the fact that it would be an interesting place to visit in this episode, but because there's something more that happens here. I would hazard a guess to say that this isn't the last time Clara and The Doctor will visit this place. We'll be back there at some point... possibly... I hope.

I'll be honest, when first watching this episode I was annoyed with it. Mainly because on face value, I didn't find the answer to the monster under the bed to be clever at all, but rather a cop out. If it turns out that all the suspense and drama was due to something in the Doctor's head then it sort of renders the whole episode redundant. If it was that reason, it would have been cleverer for it to have been something that affected The Doctor only, but clearly Clara and Danny and, according to the storyline, most people in the world have been affected by this 'monster' at some point or another. Therefore, unless Clara has been running around, hiding under beds and grabbing the ankle of the rest of the human race, it is a pretty poor explanation overall. If that is all this episode will offer then I didn't much care for it. However, the more I think about it, and the more I look over Moffat's previous storylines, I just don't buy that's all there is to it. So I'm going to wait and see.

Please feel free to let me know your theories. Especially if there's anything you noticed that I haven't picked up on.

Otherwise, I'll be back for another Doctor Who geekathon next week. I'm going to be honest, not too sure about this next episode. I mean, it'll be awesome because it's Doctor Who and therefore I'm naturally going to be happily entertained, but it hasn't jumped up and grabbed my excitable interest yet. We'll have to wait and see!

Peace out my lovelies.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The woes of a first world woman.

As you may have heard (on account of the fact that I haven't shut up about it), I've recently moved house. I also absolutely love the new place I now live in. It's beautiful... with the exception of just two little tiny things that are both starting to drive me to the point where I might randomly punch someone in the street... you know, really small stuff.

Thing No 1 is that, for the past two and bit weeks of living in this flat I have not had a mattress on my bed. My bed has this lovely metallic frame with metallic pipes that cross the bottom of the frame... these pipes, I'm going to assume, were not designed for sleeping on. When the person who created the bed frame put it together, I would bet that they had designed the whole thing to go hand in hand with a mattress to create an overall comfortable nights sleep. If they didn't, they're into some pain pleasure stuff that does not work for me.

There have basically been a whole series of complications on my end to get a mattress in the room. However, this Friday, it is finally happening. The lovely people from Ikea are turning up at the flat with a mattress in tow and they will be furnishing my bed frame with all its springy goodness. I cannot wait. I'm beginning to  forget what it's like to have a good night's sleep that doesn't involve waking up with random bruises all over my legs and arms (and on one occasion, forehead) as well as massaging an increasingly aching back.

Just to be clear, I haven't just been sleeping on the poles directly... that would be ridiculous on account of all the falling through the gaps I'd be doing. Instead, I have fashioned a particularly inventive mattress type design, consisting of four flat cardboard boxes, 3 duvets, 2 cushions, 3 pillows, 2 throws, 1 thin mattress from a zed bed (I believe the Americans call them cots), and a particularly cushiony mattress protector. All in all, it's about 5 layers deep and began by being a fairly decent thing to sleep on, but I'm getting to a point now where the cardboard boxes are drooping into the spaces between the poles, the duvets have lost all previous toggage that might have been there when first purchased and I think there's a black hole where 2 of the 3 pillows and 1 of the cushions have fallen into because I can't find them anywhere. Yes, this Friday could not come quick enough...

Thing No 2 is the unexpected  and highly annoying roommate I have acquired since moving in... No, not One-And-Only-Daniela, I can deal with her, this roommate is a lot smaller and a lot sneakier.

Somewhere in my room, there is a gnat who is feasting on my flesh and blood whilst I sleep. Every morning, I am finding new and exciting ways that my body itches. I woke up on Sunday with, and I kid you not because I counted three times just to check, 18 new gnat bites all over my body. This thing is ruthless. It just won't leave me alone. And it is very very clever, because I have only seen it once, and that was just as it flew away, giving me the finger as it went. I'm not kidding, there was gnat sized maniacal laughter coming from its direction. It taunts me. I am a 28 year old woman who is being bullied by a gnat and I am powerless to stop it.

My skin is rubbish when it comes to reacting to gnat bites. It just falls off in my hand as if I were a leper of some kind. This has resulted in scabs all over my body, making myself look highly irresistible to all those around me and not at all like I have some form of fatal and contagious disease... which I don't think is what is happening... unless there is no gnat and I should probably go see a Dermatologist or something to check I don't have the plague... If I do... My bad, I've probably infected pretty much everyone in the Kensington area... I bet you're all ecstatic I came to live with you.

Anywho, Friday I shall have a new mattress and I might even celebrate by going out and buying bug spray for my first night sleeping on something that doesn't threaten to snap my spine in half. Huzzah, what an awesome weekend planned.

Peace out my lovelies.

Monday, 15 September 2014

One-And-Only-Weekend of Laughs

Now that I am in a house that is far more central to our classic hangs in London, One-And-Only-Daniela has begun to turn up at my doorstep again of a weekend... granted, this time I invited her, but I can see it becoming a regular thing in the future.

After the success of the going out and laughing at people night we had last Monday night, we decided to go ahead and do it spontaneously again. When you want to do some spontaneous laughing in London, there is no place better than Piccadilly Circus' Comedy Store. It basically offers some of the best selection of stand up comedy for a very reasonable price... sure, they make up for the low price tickets with the price they charge for the drinks, once inside, but we're choosing to ignore that fact. 

One-And-Only-Daniela and I both adore this place. There's only one thing we don't agree about our watching experience of it. I (being someone who doesn't mind a teensy bit of attention and, for some reason, has this need for someone to take the piss out of me every so often) love the front row. Seriously, can't get enough of it. The prospect that someone who is funny for a living might make fun of me in some way makes me highly giddy... One-And-Only-Daniela, on the other hand, could not think of anything worse. 

For a normal friendship, one that's based on a level of compromise and give and take, it might mean that occasionally we sit on the front row, and occasionally we don't. However, our friendship isn't exactly built that way... instead, we consist of someone who feels very stubborn and passionate about something (OAOD) and someone who also feels that way for about 5 minutes until the thought of debating the topic any further knackers them out and they just can't be arsed to talk about it anymore (me). We sat on the front row once, but that was because we were with others who did the debating for me, otherwise, One-And-Only-Daniela will always win. 

Having said that, I managed to convince her to sit on the second row, on the basis that stand up comedians never bother with that row unless the people on that row are being loud. One-And-Only-Daniela practically becomes invisible in stand up shows; her survival instinct kicking in and causing her to camouflage into her surroundings in a way that would make a chameleon jealous. So we settled into the second row, feeling particularly safe from any onslaught when the people in front of us seemed to become quite vocal and even insulted the comedian at one point... that, of course, just set the comedian off on a tirade and One-And-Only-Daniela settled down comfortably, knowing that they had just given him all the ammo he needed for the rest of his act without ever deviating from these people... 

... It is something I've never understood. Why insult a person who is funny for a living? That is never going to end well for you. All you will do is just give him reason to rip into you in a way that is ten times more clever than anything you could even think of, right in front of a bunch of people who will laugh heartily at your expense. If you don't want to get picked on, don't sit on the front row... just like One-And-Only-Daniela. 

For me, there always seems to be some kind of exaggeration effect that takes hold when I go to watch someone do stand up live. However funny I might have found their joke if I had watched in on my TV at home, if I'm watching it live, guaranteed I will find it 10 times funnier. This was proved when one particularly hilarious guy came on with a guitar and did some amazing stand up about current affairs and what's going on the world today. No doubt this man was hilarious. Me and One-And-Only-Daniela laughed a lot throughout his act. I think I even started crying at one point and my stomach and cheeks hurt after his act had finished... there was just one problem... I don't watch the news nor do I read a newspaper. I haven't done either of those things for about three years. I live on the basis that the world is too depressing and when I watched or read about it, I was just getting depressed with it. So I stopped. If anything happened that was absolutely massive, it would eventually start trending on facebook or twitter and I could then choose if I wanted to find out anymore about it. I'm not saying this is a healthy way of looking at the world, but it's certainly made me happy so I've continued to do it... 

... The problem with that is that when a comedian comes on stage to talk about things solely in the news or in the world around me, there is a large chance I'm not going to have a single clue what it is that he is talking about. And this was true, of his entire act, I probably understood about 10% of it. The rest went completely over my head. The whole thing consisted of:

Comedian: Makes joke about current events and sings song about it
OAOD and I: Laugh heartily and genuinely
Me: Turns to OAOD. What is that story he's talking about?
OAOD: No idea. 
Me: So why are we laughing? 
OAOD: Because it's clearly very funny and clever
Me: Yes, but why is it funny and clever? 
OAOD: I don't know, but it is. 
Me: Fair enough. 

We weren't even making up the laughs, we genuinely thought this man was hilarious. I cannot work it out at all... 

We also ended up dancing afterwards and not getting home until 4am, whilst discovering that the McDonalds which is scarily located 30 seconds from my new house, is also open 24 hours, which is not going to bode well for any late nights returning home, and the continuation of my diet. But, if I'm honest, the memories start to get hazy at that point, so I'm not going to go into much more detail of that... because I can't. 

Peace out my lovelies.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Fancy Things Friday: Doctor Who; Robot of Sherwood

Welcome to Fancy Things Friday, where I talk about things on a Friday that I think are fancy!!

Naturally I have put the Doctor as my Fancy Thing this week. Especially as they have combined two of my favourite things. Doctor Who and Robin Hood.

Doctor Who is the king of serious and awesome plot lines. However, occasionally it throws in the awesome light hearted episode and this was what this episode was all about. It's what we need in amongst the Doctor's ongoing angst. This episode does not disappoint.

I was naturally excited as the episode is written by Mark Gatiss, co-writer of Sherlock. A series we can all agree is one of the best things we Brits have brought out in years. Fact is, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss are the best writing duo our country have produced in a long time. So when you have a series lead by the Moffat with an episode written by the Gatiss, we can't go wrong. And we don't... it's awesome. It funny and light hearted; granted, there's nothing more than that, but that's all we need for this. Especially as the next episode promises to be dark and deep, it serves a need to lift to mood at just the right point in the series.

I won't lie, as much as I love the series as a whole, there have been Doctor Who episodes where their light hearted episodes have fallen short in standards, but this one works amazingly in the way that it keeps the fun whilst also keeping the standard. It lives to the hype of this duo. Gatiss and Moffat should write together for the rest of their career and we will always be entertained.

As mentioned in my last review, this is the series where I have started to get in line with Clara Oswald; a woman who I had previously not been that fussed over. I'm warming to her a lot. She provides character and is continuing to represent the voice of the Doctor Who fan as she goes along. It's almost as if fangirls are mediating through her. She's one massive fangirl who is lucky enough to travel with the one Timelord we all wish we could travel with.

There has been a common plot repeated in this episode, regardless of the light hearted fun. Clearly the Moffat wants us all to be intrigued by the plot of robots. There is something in it that will be carried through the series. Although this seems a simple light relief episode from the overall canon, I do think there is more to this episode in conjunction with the rest of the series than meets the eye. This series is screaming an underlying plot of robots all the way through. Although there is no Missy in this episode, it still hints at something she might possibly be planning; especially with the repeat mention of the 'promised land' as mentioned in the first episode. It was a place the clockwork robot inspired to go to and a place Missy promised he was in. It gave reference to her without her actual appearance being necessary.

In amongst this, there was genius writing written throughout. Quotes that made me shiver with delight. Seeing the Doctor fight Robin Hood, refusing he is real. All to find out that Robin Hood is 'just as real as he is.' (Best line in the series so far.)

Sure, things are slightly ridiculous in certain aspects. The idea that an alien spaceship can be crashed by a single arrow in its side takes a lot of imagination, but I don't care, because it makes the episode and creates the same fun plotline. You don't care because, quite frankly, it's Doctor Who, and there's always a certain degree of distension of belief to go along with the series; it comes hand in hand with being a fan. It's about the drama and fun, rather than belief that it could actually happen... after all, let's face it, as far as I know, time travel is not something that is possible as of yet... so if that's possible in this series, then a UFO crashing from the skies from a single golden arrow must also be possible.

Overall, I loved this episode. It's fun, exciting and loveable. This is what Doctor Who is at it's core. I think was also intentional because this next episode coming up seems absolutely terrifying, so it leaves us all feeling safe and happy in the eve of the intense episode coming our way...

Get ready for it, peeps. It's gonna be a stonker.

Peace out my lovelies.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

I was a monkey. I was asked to dance. I did as I was told. I may have overdone it.

So I've been living in my new place now for almost two weeks... that's a little bit ridiculous to think of but also incredibly cool. What's awesome about it is not only that I crawl out of bed a mere half hour before I have to be at work, but that I've had a chance to chat with the two awesome people I now live with. They are pretty cool.

Last night, one of my housemates mentioned that they were going to see Wicked in the West End today. I got very excited about this, being a woman who spent a large amount of her early 20s memorising each song off by heart... I'm not kidding. If you asked me to, I could perform the entire musical for you. Elphaba rocks my world. When he mentioned that he hadn't really heard much about the musical, I naturally brought out my album for him, which happened to be one of the only 3 CDs I hadn't thrown away in the move because, well, it's Wicked... I wanted a cleanse, I didn't want to be stupid. I promptly then began to play 'The Wizard and I' as I had deduced that it would be an excellent first example of the music genius that was this show.

Unfortunately, a mixture of both being overcome by the music and realising that our kitchen was amazing for acoustics, I found myself unable to not join in. I started by just acting it out whilst miming, not wanting to ruin his experience, but before I realised it, sound was escaping my voice and I was channelling the Elphaba within... I know I haven't really discussed this side of me all that much before, but it is something that is at the very core of me... deep, deep, deep down. I wasn't kidding when I said that I was Rachel from Glee when I was at school. The only reason why I stopped was because I had no intention of being either broke trying to get work or getting work and being famous, thus going down the inevitable downward spiral along the lines of Britney and Lindsay, which I highly suspected would have happened in that situation.

As a result, I suppressed the inner diva and went a different direction. However, every so often that diva likes to break out. Sometimes, I just can't help myself. It's usually only 2-3 times a year, or if there is a karaoke bar and alcohol anywhere in sight. Last night, it was thanks to a particularly heart breaking story about a misunderstood green woman who just wants to be loved...

Anywho, I got caught up and my housemate didn't object to this outburst, in fact, he asked for more. Now, there was a time when a person asking me to break out into song was like music to my ears... especially if they sang their request (get what I did there?), however I've mellowed a lot since my teenage years and so assumed that, should I be placed in that 'centre of attention' situation again, I would either graciously decline or reluctantly agree for one... this is not how this night ended. I have moved in with a singing enabler and last night, my inner Rachel broke out. I was suddenly eight years old again, insisting that my parents come and watch my 3 hour performances of a mesh of singing, acting and dancing, all the while using some particularly inventive props to aid said dancing, such as trolls, my little ponies, baby no tears, and tinsel on a stick. Yeeaaah, I was that kid and that teenager.

I didn't have my trolls, dolls or tinsel this time round, something that I think we can all agree was for the best, but after I was asked to sing my fourth song, that need to perform did begin to rear its ugly head. I'm ashamed to say, I got a little drunk on the attention and before I knew it, I was whipping out performances I had previously recorded, both audio and video... It was like I had kicked Heroin 10 years ago and last night I was given one big massive dosage.

We got through the entire works of Wicked, a particularly emotive performance of All That Jazz, At Last by Etta James, the classic (non Will Smith version) Summertime, Royals by Lorde, and ending on Frozen's Let It Go... I haven't sung that much in such quick succession since I was 16 and performed in a school concert whereby I had managed to convince my music teacher to let me do two solos, two duets, have a solo verse in one of the choir songs, and do a mime/dance number to S Club 7's Bring it all back. When I say I was an addict, I meant it.

Guys, it was glorious but I worry for my future diva side. If I continue down this path, I know I won't be able to stop. Soon, I'll be walking down the street asking strangers if they want to hear me sing, or taking people's hands and spinning in for a ballroom pose, and all of this is starting to happen just as Strictly Come Dancing is starting up its new series. Sure, my singing was cute and whimsical last night, but if I don't reign it in, I think I may have found the thing that will force my housemates to ask me to leave... waking up in the middle of the night jonesing for just one more song to get me through till daylight, disappearing off to seedy bars hoping and praying that one of them has a karaoke bar I could use just the once, which would just end in me the next morning passed out on a pee ridden floor from a music induced coma, the microphone cord wrapped around my neck whilst I quietly choke on the water I had been gargling before hand to make sure my vocal chords were clear... devastating.


... Or, you know, that could have just been a one off and tonight I'll simply go home and continue my marathon of Big Bang Theory as if nothing had ever happened... it's 50:50.

Peace out my lovelies.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Awesome night of laughing to the point of uncomfortableness: Jake and Amir brought If I Were You to London...

Monday night I was giddy. I was skipping around like a little school girl whilst One-And-Only-Daniela watched me warily. I met her after work and made her fajitas whilst I talked non stop on all the reasons why the thing we were about to go to was going to be awesome and how it was going to lead to her thanking me forever for all the many different ways her sides had split.

You see, Monday night I was going to see one of the things that I have featured on my 'Fancy Things Friday' list; Jake and Amir: If I Were You. They do an advice podcast that uses the term 'advice' very loosely, and substitutes it with hilarity instead. They're basically two American guys who do everything in America and had decided to mix it up a little by coming to England. So they came and put on just one little live show in London. I took One-And-Only-Daniela with me, partly because of my unhealthy obsession with her, but mostly because, despite their awesomeness, I have yet to find someone I knew in real life who also listened to their podcasts.

One-And-Only-Daniela had only ever heard of them in the context of me saying things like; "You really need to listen to this podcast" and "Why the hell haven't you listened to the podcast yet?" and "Are you deaf? Am I speaking another language? Are you just ignoring me to hurt my feelings? Are you afraid of laughter? Listen to the freakin podcast!" She never did listen to the podcast, but she did agree to go to the show with me.

We arrived and I marvelled as I went from most people around me not even that sure on what a podcast is, to being in a room full of people who knew exactly who Jake and Amir were. We showed our tickets and went to find our seats... One-And-Only-Daniela naturally getting distracted by a sign directing us to the bar and pulling me off course on a detour. Due to only having little pocket sized bottles of wine, we became classy chicks who ordered enough wine to fill a pint glass. Yes, my dream had been realised, I asked for a pint of wine and the barman didn't laugh in my face. In fact, it seemed to be encouraged.

So, we took our wine pints, found our seats and I began wriggling once more. One-And-Only-Daniela just simply looked at me with a slightly confused and dazed look and it became painfully obvious who was more excited about this whole evening.

Guys, the show was awesome. And due to it being a live podcast; as of most probably Thursday, it will be available for all of you lovely people to listen to. Let me tell you, it's worth it. The crowd were... a little loud. There was a very real possibility that a lot of them had been drinking for a while, but this just simply resulted in a lot of chanting of popular lines from previous episodes and a large amount of encouraging both Jake and Amir to 'neck' their glasses of Whiskey, which apparently is a British phrase only and can be translated to 'chug' for all of those from across the pond who are confused. I laughed a lot. One-And-Only-Daniela laughed a lot. It was amazing, but also far too short for my liking, lasting just over an hour in all.

Afterwards, we left the place to find that they were going to meet and greet us all. Naturally we got in the queue. One-And-Only-Daniela was highly confused as she had absolutely no idea what it was that she was going to say to them once we met. I hadn't even got that far in my thought process and, until One-And-Only-Daniela mentioned her concerns, hadn't even considered that this would mean we'd have to talk to them. This resulted in a 15 minute queue whereby I tried to think of something to say and being incredibly grateful when, 10 minutes in, someone mentioned having a picture taken and I was all "Of course! We could do that! That's so much better than just getting to the front of the queue and waving manically whilst all words cease to exist in my head."

So we get to the front of the queue and I shake Amir's hand whilst thinking in my head 'have I ever shaken anyone's hand outside of interview situations before? Why the hell am I shaking it now? Is this weird? What's my other alternative? It's not like I can throw my arms around him and hold on for a long embrace... or can I? No, that would be weird.' Once this inner monologue had completed, I was aware that now all I was doing was just smiling like a crazy person, whilst still shaking his hand, so I forced myself to speak.

Me: Hi, I'm Lisa.
Amir: I'm Amir
Me: Yup, I know.

And the room fell into silence once more. I had the good sense to let go of his hand but I was painfully aware that I was still just staring and smiling. Guys, it got awkward. Looking back, it would have been the ideal time to just say "The show was great!" or "I laughed heartily!" or just start quoting lines from previous episodes. But instead, I stood there awkwardly whilst cricket noises played in my head. Shortly after this, I heard One-And-Only-Daniela next to me and suddenly realised I had only spoken to one half of the duo and that there was a very real chance that this same awkward dance was going to have to happen again. I turned, found Jake and went with "It's really nice to meet you!" in some form of mumble whilst also shaking his hand. I was still grinning like a mad man, but judging by both of their reactions, I wasn't coming off as too creepy, at least not to a point where they were visibly showing it on their faces, which I'm sure we can all agree is a win. So I nestled in between them and smiled for my camera... creating this moment:

Naturally, I left the venue thinking that that couldn't have gone any better. I clearly nailed that entire exchange, showing off my winning personality in a level of coolness that must have made both of them immediately want to hang out with me and label me their new England best friend... I'm still waiting on the call from them, I didn't give them any number to call, but I reckon they'll try to find me internetually on the basis of all the amazingness and altogether non-awkward vibes I gave out. Yup... any day now.

Peace out my lovelies.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Fancy Things Friday: Almost Royal

Welcome to Fancy Things Friday, where I talk about things on a Friday that I think are fancy!!

Put simply, if you are not watching Almost Royal yet, then do so. Go to your internet, find it and watch it. Repeatedly. Over and over. Nonstop. Then watch the videos they did on youtube. And then watch them again. Over and over. Nonstop.

I have not been this impressed with a comic TV show since Flight of the Conchords first aired their HBO series. I have also never wanted to advertise a Fancy Thing with such fervour as I do right now. I discovered this little gem as it was advertised on the TV at my gym. The trailer for the series made me laugh heartily and I took that to be a very positive sign that I should be checking this series out.

Let me tell you a bit about it. The premise is that Georgie and Poppy Carlton are two British Aristocrats who are 50th and 51st in line to the throne. Their father died and left them strict instructions in his will to travel to America and do a tour of its biggest cities. The series is a mockumentary about their experience in America and, oh my days, it quite simply rocks my world.

To be clear, these are two actors playing the part of aristocrats, but the poor American population that they come into contact with during their travels have no idea of this fact. They assume that the whole documentary is real, as are Poppy and Georgie. The actors who play Poppy and Georgie (Ed Gamble and Amy Hoggart) are pretty much the masters of straight faces as they interview different people and put themselves in ridiculous situations, pretending to be completely serious about the whole thing. Basically, think Borat but not as mean. Most of the time, they are making fun of themselves rather than the American people they're talking to.

It was put together as an original BBC America series and, as far as I'm aware, has now finished in America. Over in the UK however, it's played on E4 and we're 4 episodes in. If you want to watch it, head on over to 4OD... seriously, I insist. I'll even make it easy for you and put a link right here.

When they were advertising the whole thing for America, they used youtube and interviewed some of the top youtube celebrities, including the holy trinity; Grace, Mamrie and Hannah, and a particularly awesome interview with Chester See. If you're still not convinced that this is going to be the series for you, then just take a moment to check the videos out. I must have watched each one about 10 times.

My reason for wanting the whole world to hear about this is because no one seems to know anything about this series at the moment, and that is a complete travesty. As it is one of the funniest things I have watched this year, I am understandably hellbent on making sure it is making the rest of the world happy as well. So, do me a favour and have a go. Kick back with a bottle of wine tonight, tune in to 4OD and be ready for some serious side splitting.

Also, if you have already watched it, please do let me know what you think because I'm dying to talk to someone who's seen it!

You are very welcome for this nugget and have an awesome weekend.

Peace out my lovelies.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Weekly Review: Doctor Who; Into the Dalek


Also, if you don't watch Doctor Who, you're probably going to find this whole post entirely confusing and boring. Might I suggest you go to Netflix and start watching the series instead? It may take you a while as there are 7 series until you get to this episode, but I absolutely promise you that your life will be altered permanently for good and you will spend the rest of your life so grateful that you took the time to watch hour after hour of pure TV awesomeness. Tomorrow I'll talk about something a little less niche, I promise. 

So, I had every intention of doing one of these reviews for all the new Doctor Who episodes but then failed miserably on the first one, due to the whole 'moving house' and 'general laziness' shizzle going on last week. As such, I'm going to start with Episode 2 of Series 8 and reference certain highlights from Episode 1 as I go along... 

First off, can I just say I am 100% on board with the new Doctor. With most Doctors, I tend to take a while to get used to them in the role whilst I move on from the previous Doctor and deal with the change. With Matt Smith it took me approximately halfway through his first season before I was fully in sync with him, and that was a Doctor who eventually became my favourite of them all. 

That being said, you would think that I was going to struggle a lot with his leaving my screen but Capaldi swept into Victorian London and I found myself accepting him as the Doctor almost instantaneously. For that I congratulate Capaldi. He clearly knows what he's doing and I'm excited for what he's going to continue to do. 

When finding out that this episode was going to be another Dalek orientated episode, I can't say I was as excited as I normally am. As a deep rooted Whovian, I will always love any new episode thrown my way, but the Daleks are never my favourite of the storylines when they occur. Having said that, I did like the take that they gave this particular Dalek episode. The idea being that they had found the first 'good' Dalek and were miniaturised and inserted into its body... 'Inner Space' style (now there's a blast from the past movie to take a moment to remember and reflect on...). 

The storyline was okay, a bit samey in places, the antibodies feeling very similar to a certain 'Let's Kill Hitler' episode in Season 6 and the afore mentioned recycled Dalek premise, but I enjoyed seeing Capaldi's Doctor being the Doctor and not spending the entire episode questioning who he was and trying to prove to everyone else that, although he's old, he can still be the Doctor... Just a side note, as much as I enjoyed Episode 1, I did feel that they basically got Clara to play the part of all fangirls out there who watched Doctor Who because they fancied Matt Smith. It clearly spent an hour and 15 minutes trying to convince this particular group of people that, although Capaldi might not be as young as Matt, he is still worth watching, then going ahead and begging them all not to turn off their TVs because they can no longer see him as boyfriend material... granted, I do feel that this needed to happen, otherwise they ran the risk of losing a bunch of fans, but still I don't buy that Clara would have had as big an issue over the whole 'regeneration' thing as she is the only companion to have been present at every one of the Doctors generations. Just a thought. 

Capaldi was great in this, and I did like him. I'm still not 100% there, but that's just due to not being used to him. As I did with Matt Smith, I'm sure after this series is over and I go back to watch them all again (which is what will inevitably happen... a couple 100 times) I'm going to love all his lines and the way he delivers them, but the first time round, I'm still trying to work him out, and that's okay. However, as mentioned above, I'm a lot further on with him than any of the others... like 90% there. 

The main change in Capaldi's Doctor that I am simultaneously most excited about as well as it terrifying me to my very core, is the dark side of him that is coming out. Episode 1, when he left Clara, I genuinely didn't know if he was going to come back and the question of whether he pushed the Cyborg out of the spaceship sent shivers down my spine. If I'm honest, I'm leaning towards the idea that he did... or at least said something that convinced him to jump. 

The one that has shocked me the most so far however is his decision to not even try to save the soldier in Into the Dalek. You know the bit I'm talking about, they're in the Dalek, one of the soldiers has damaged the Dalek, the antibodies are coming to kill this person, and instead of the Doctor frantically scrambling around to at least try to save this man, he gives him a tracker to eat with the hinted promise that he was saving him, and then lets him die without batting an eyelid; already deciding that his death is going to be more useful to him than him being alive. This is the biggest thing that I have seen this Doctor do so far that made me say "Matt Smith's Doctor would never have done that." Again, this isn't a bad thing, I wasn't disappointed that this happened, but it did terrify and excite me a lot. He has lost that desperate need to save everyone and anyone and now seems to be focusing on the bigger picture only, the one that is the most logical... his emotional side seems to have taken a back seat. Considering that both episodes so far have shown him to do something to this effect, I can't help but expect that something equally as ethically blurred will continue to happen in all future episodes as well... Again, both terrified and excited and not quite sure what to do with myself. 

Now for the others: 

Clara: I've not exactly been on board with Clara up until this series. I've liked her but she hasn't really stood out for me... she was going the way of Martha Jones in my books; okay to watch when she was on, but very quickly forgettable once she had gone. However, in this series, I am beginning to become a fan. Her speech in 'Deep Breath' about being terrified and therefore dangerous etc, sent shivers down my spine, and when she reached behind her for the Doctor to take her hand I stopped breathing altogether in anticipation... which was quite fitting considering the title. (I also tried to hold my breath for as long as she did and failed miserably, that woman has some lungs on her... either that, or she was cheating and breathing through her nose.) In Into the Dalek, I also really liked her. I like the way the relationship between her and the Doctor has changed. She's no longer the doting 'I well fancy him' companion, but rather someone who is a lot more of use to him. As awesome as the line was:

Clara: I'm his carer 
Doctor: Yes, she's my carer, she cares so I don't have to

(I laughed heartily) by the end of the episode, I was beginning to realise that this was actually pretty true. Her slap was awesome, her keeping him in check throughout was awesome, and Moffat is really pulling it out of the bag when it comes to her speeches. Yup, she keeps this up and I may have to bump her up my list of favourite companions... 

Danny Pink: I instantly liked Danny. I'm intrigued by him and I'm excited that they've brought in a soldier as a regular character. This is the first time they've really done this since the rebirth of Doctor Who, I reckon it's going to be intriguing. I get a sneaky suspicion we might not see him in the next episode, but you never know. I'm very excited for the inevitable 'Danny starts to travel with the Doctor' episode which must be soon. 

And now for the most exciting mystery character ever: 

Missy: We've had mystery characters pop in and out of episodes throughout series before, but this one? This character? Oh my days. I love her. Yes, I was biased beforehand as the actress plays my all time favourite character; Sue White in the Green Wing, but even without that, I am sold and happy and altogether buzzing with anticipation. I love it when Doctor Who brings in slightly unhinged characters... you just don't know where the hell they're going to take it. 

There are a ridiculous amount of guesses and predictions on who Missy is. I have my favourite, which I also think is the majority of Whovians' favourite as well. The Master-The Mistress-Missy... she's a female regeneration of The Master. If that is the case, I can't imagine a better actress to play that role. I'm most sold on this, but knowing Moffat, I'm also not convinced that it isn't going to be that simple so I'm fully prepared for a twist of epic proportions. Also, even if she is The Master, we still have no idea how she's talking to dead people, if she is talking to dead people, or she's somehow saving them... I'm pretty much convinced that she isn't in some form of heaven, but I think she's building an army for something, and I cannot wait to find out what it's all about... All in all though, her appearances in the episodes are beginning to become my most looked forward to part. I really hope she makes an appearance in each one... 

So, this review may have been a mostly generalised review of the two episodes, rather than just Into The Dalek, but now that I'm caught up, we can go forward with the strict episodes review. If you have any disagreements, agreements, topic points, or reasons to yell obscenities for my blatant lack of understanding of something, then please feel free to comment below. 

Very excited about Robot of Sherwood on Saturday. It looks highly amusing and I love it when Doctor Who does funny. 

Peace out my lovelies.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Had a bit of a holiday but I'm back; new and improved

Okay, so I haven't actually been anywhere but the landlord of my place in North London wanted to sell the house so I've been spending a remarkable amount of time finding a new place to live, moving to said place, unpacking in said place and then marvelling in the beauty of said place.

I didn't want to move initially but let me tell you, now that I have, I am so glad I did! I moved last weekend. I think it's safe to say that every part of the move was an upgrade in my life. I moved from North London to (and I really am telling the truth right now) Kensington. For those of you who don't know where Kensington is, let me explain it to you...

Imagine London and all its bustling goodness, now imagine central London where you have Big Ben and the Thames and the West End and culture and the London Eye, move a little bit away from that, just a small bus journey, slightly further west and you reach the place where famous people and royalty reside... There. Right in that place. That is where I am living right now.

No, I'm not famous, nor am I royal, nor do I have anything close to the money that famous and royal people have. Compared to them, I am poop on their shoes. However, I work in Kensington now and I thought, as I had to move anyway, I'd try my luck and see if there was any way at all that I might be able to find a place nearby to live in. For a long while, the answer was 'no.' Actually, a more accurate answer would be: "Are you mad? You want to live in one of the poshest areas of London on your budget? The only way that that will happen is if you find a cardboard box and a porch somewhere. Downside to that is it's not entirely waterproof, upside is that it's completely rent free!"

There was one opportunity that came up for a place nearby whereby someone was trying to rent out a flat for the cheapest amount you would ever believe. However, once it got to the point that they were asking for deposits before seeing the place as the owner was 'out of town' and 'needed reassurance that I was serious enough' I began to suspect that something was a little fishy in this area... guys, just a little tip, if you are looking for a place to rent and someone asks for a deposit before signing a contract, say no. They are scam artists and it just isn't worth it, you will lose money and then cry for a long time on account of said lost money. It's not pretty.

So, with that flat as a definite no no and plenty of other places that were either miles away or had a 'student halls' kind of feel about it, I was beginning to despair... okay, I was downright stressing. I had got to a point where I had a week and a half to find a place and any time I found somewhere I did like, there were so many people who also wanted it, I was usually bumped out of the race early on... I've never been that great at selling myself, as previously discussed. I was looking for a houseshare, so when I visited a potential house and spoke to the current housemates and they asked me what it was about me that made me fabulous to live with, I would usually panic and start saying that really I was the wrong person to ask this question to, and that they should be asking others who know me, which led to me taking out my phone, scrolling through my contacts and then panicking because I didn't know for certain that my friends wouldn't mention my tendency for thinking the world was going to end every day or how I enjoy to eat a person now and then; which in context, I think we can all agree, is perfectly understandable and a wonderful personality trait to have, but to be thrown into first time conversation might lead a person to get the wrong idea...

So I was sucking really hard and the whole 'You want to live with me because I'm awesome' sell. In fact, I had had a good response at one place to the fact that I write books, so I figured I would just use that in every correspondence I had with people. This was fine at first, and people were genuinely interested, but when they asked me what kind of TV I liked and I panicked and just said "I write books" again, people began to look tired with the conversation and I began to worry that I had slightly overdone the one interesting thing I could think of about me in that 'on the spot' situation... which is ridiculous because if there is one question I could talk about for hours on, it's the question 'what do you like on TV?' freaking hell, I'm an expert on the subject!

Yeeeaaah, so there was some disappointment, and there was some serious overdoing of my CBT training just to keep me going, but eventually, after seeing one of the most drabbiest looking places but trying to convince myself of the fact that I could live there because, although the small flat was lived in by 9 people and the bed is on a makeshift shelf above the desk, there was a particularly good looking ginger man also living there who would be nice to look at on a daily basis, I went to look at an ad which hadn't uploaded any pictures (usually a big no no for me) but was just round the corner to my work... in Kensington... the posh place... how bad could this flat be?

The answer to that question is not bad, not even slightly bad, but actually amazing and awesome and affordable and leaving me at a loss as to how it can be all of those things. What made things even better was that I walked in, met one of my new housemates and we just clicked. We talked for ages, we laughed, we cried, we fought then made up again, and so much more... okay, so maybe we just talked and laughed, but still... we could have done the other things as well, if we had wanted to. In short, it was perfect. None of the other places, even the ones that I had really wanted prior to this one, came anywhere close to how perfect it was. When I say round the corner to my work, I mean a 10 minute walk. 10 minutes. It's clean, it's got a brand new kitchen, the rooms are huge, and both flatmates are lovely.

The day after seeing the place, I went back and was told I have it. I danced, I cried, I laughed, I put on a dramatic improvisation based on my feelings, and then I fluttered away to pack all my belongings and move once again... this time, I was convinced it would be the last time I moved in a while. I'm still convinced of this. Guys, I ain't going nowhere. The place is too much of a good thing to give up.

The packing and moving experience was also an emotional rollercoaster as I decided that I was going to cleanse myself of pretty much everything I owned... seriously, I threw away about 80% of my belongings. I took with me 10% of my clothes, a handful of books, and all my DVDs, and that was it. Everything else was recycled, thrown away or given to charity. This meant that I managed to unpack everything I owned in the space of one day. One single day. And this even included alphabetising 600+ DVDs because, well, how else am I going to find the one I want to watch?

The actual move took longer to do. Older-Brother-Glyn and Sister-In-Law-Amy helped massively in this whole ordeal. I have no car nor a license to drive one (who needs one in London?) and I had to get from one side of the city to the other with a large amount of stuff, whilst also getting to a skip with an even larger amount. What I had hoped would only take one day, ended up taking two, and both beautiful members of my family were amazing in helping me get it done. They even took me back to their house in Essex on Saturday night which meant that I could watch Doctor Who (don't get me started, I'll talk about that another day (I will say that I am very happy with how it's all going at the mo, as I'm sure all Whovians are)).

So now I'm in... I have a beautiful little room, smaller than the one I had before but I kinda like that it is. I don't really need any more space than what I have. For the past two days, I have been getting up at 8am, leaving the house at 8:45am and arriving at work at 8:55am. I even went home for lunch yesterday, because I could. The flat is beautifully decorated by one of my lovely housemates, we are all getting on wonderfully so far, and everything is awesome... By the way, I'm pretty certain this is all just a dream and I'm going to wake up any moment back in North London, realising that none of it happened, but until then, I'm going with it.

Never before have I felt so much like my life has been given a new start. I squandered away most of my 20s due to illness, and the good things that came out of that time (of which there are a fair few) I now have with me and am taking forward into my next chapter. Everything else, all that clutter I had, all the baggage I'd kept, I threw it all away on Sunday afternoon August 31st 2014... well, actually Older-Brother-Glyn threw it away, I was cleaning the house, but still... the imagery is still there. Here's a couple of pictures of the stuff I actually kept, see if you can spot the fandom...:

I feel like I'm on a completely clean slate. I don't know where I'm going in the future. I don't know if my dream career as an author of books, films, TV shows and a double episode of Doctor Who will ever happen, or whether my writing will only ever be at the level it is now (which is still awesome, by the way) and I end up doing something else. I don't know if I'll ever find the energy to do the dating thing and get married, or how I'm going to bring children into this world, but I know that I'm on the right track to see good things happen and I'm excited about it. Life is good at the mo, peeps. In fact, life is better than I had thought it would be, and I can't wait to see what it has in store for me next...

Peace out my lovelies.