Wednesday 5 April 2017

The blog is back! Down Under style

What's up my lovelies? It's been what? A few years? Pfft, I wouldn't stand it if I were you, my clear laziness in all things Blogwise should be scrutinised, judged and down right spat upon. Go ahead and do this for a few minutes, I'll wait....

Okay. Now that's done. I thought I'd let you in on why I'm starting this up again... Basically, I am currently sitting in an airport about to go to AUSTRALIA!!! And when I say Australia, I mean the whole freakin country. I'm seeing everything... well everything in East Australia... well everything south of Brisbane in East Australia... but that practically counts, right?

I'm using this blog as an exercise to get my writing back up to where I want it to be. Although I haven't been on here, I have been pretty busy of late, finishing my third book, attending writing groups, and altogether just trying to actually be good at this whole thing. However, I've slacked a bit of late, so I have decided this will be the perfect tool to pick it up again!

Okay, so here's the plan for the next month. I am going to meet one of my favourite people in the world who moved to Australia 7 long months ago, TJ... or as I call him Teej. You won't know him. I knew him from school but only got back in touch with him after I stopped writing in this blog. To say that our rekindled friendship is a thing of fairytales, would be putting it lightly. We met up again, we danced to Mariah... hard, and we haven't been able to stay apart from each other since. Until he pissed off to Australia of course, but all is forgiven because I will be spending almost a month with him and it will be the most epic of months. We are hiring a campavan and driving all the way down the East Coast from Brisbane to Melbourne in, what I am told, is the most Pricilla, Queen of the Desert homage ever to be undertaken (I have yet to watch the movie, but apparently the similarities are uncanny).

This, quite simply, is the most adventurous and crazy thing I have ever done (yes, I do live a sheltered life). I am highly excited at the prospect. When going through this plan, most people have been supportive and excited for me... there have been anomalies however, Australian friends who are upset over me going to their home and not taking them in my suitcase, people at work who generally have been dying for me to leave the office since I started my countdown, to the minute, three weeks ago, and then  there was Claire-The-Bully. You all remember Claire-The-Bully right? One half of the friend duo who chooses to express their love for me in a fairly critical, sarcastic and sadistic manner...

So Claire-The-Bully and I have taken to having lazy weekends, where I go to hers and we watch horror movies for an entire weekend over wine. It's a lot of fun, although according to Marmie, it could be so much more fun if  we "just watch a nice movie instead."

Claire-The-Bully and I were having one of those weekends a couple of weeks ago and we were really struggling to find the next horror movie to watch, having seen all the classics in previous binge watching sessions. She kept on going back to a movie that I hadn't seen and she had, it was called Wolf Creek. I had no clue what it was about and where it was based but Claire-The-Bully was adamant that I would love it. Completely unaware, we put it on and settled down for the next few hours... About twenty minutes in, I realised I had been duped, well and truly.

For those of you who are as in the dark as I was, Wolf Creek is a movie based on a true story from the 90s where two British girls went on a road trip across Australia and got kidnapped and killed in lots of gruesome ways... Yeah.... only Claire-The-Bully.

I didn't actually see this, but I'm sure she was smiling her evil smile at me while I stayed glued to the screen in horror, rubbing her hands together in a maniacal way. I told Teej about this, not knowing that he would then go and watch it himself. So now we are about to embark on a very similar journey (although on the other side of Australia), both ready to spray pepper spray in any man's face who speaks with an Australian accent... dammit, we're gonna run out.

Okay. Well there you go, there will be posts every time I manage to get near wifi, and I wouldn't miss any of it, because it is going to be immense. I invite you all to live vicariously through both of us. There will be blogs, videos and even re-enactment of disney in wigs and tiaras, if we have our way...

Until then...

Peace out my lovelies.

Monday 6 October 2014

This is not going to bode well for my weight loss...

Sup my lovelies.

So, I think it's safe to say that I have been the teensiest bit unwell these past 3-4 days. My weekend has consisted of Netflix, tissues, Day and Night Nurse, and a foetal position on my bed that was maintained for so long, my limbs began to freeze in that position.

I have what men might call the Flu and women call a heavy cold. I have had little to no sleep as my coughing tends to wait until I have fallen asleep before deciding to kick up a fuss. I am baffled to this, as I had previously thought it was to do with the fact that I am laying down, thus causing the icky phlegm stuff to sit in an awkward and altogether 'cough worthy' position in my chest, causing said coughing fit. However, as previously stated, I pretty much stayed rooted to the one position for two days solid and it still decided to wait until the least convenient time to kick up a fuss.

This meant that, at 2:30am on Saturday night/Sunday morning, after being woken up for the 5th time that night with a coughing fit that was unlike any other, I decided that sleep was not for me.

One thing I don't know if I have mentioned about my new house, is that it is a simple 1 minute walk (no exaggeration) from a 24 hour McDonalds. This is not boding well for coming home from nights out and what that is doing to my diet. Saturday night proved that it isn't just alcohol that will tempt me into its calorie ridden goodness, but also a combination of feeling unwell, tired, suddenly remembering that all I've had to eat is toast in the last 24 hours, and a resigned attitude to the thought of further sleep.

So, at 2:30am, I decided my night clothes, being a big t shirt and baggy trousers, were decent enough to wear to walk the short distance to McDonalds, providing I wore a coat to mask the scent of Vicks that was stuck to the T shirt, and I trudged out to purchase a Big Mac Meal with a hot chocolate. Within 5 minutes, I was back in my house, with the ultimate midnight "snack" and I settled in for 3 hours of Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who, followed by listening to a Doctor Who podcast on the episode I'd just watched (yeah, I'm that cool), before finally deeming myself tired enough to go back to sleep... which lasted about two blissful hours before my coughing started up again and I kissed any further sleep goodbye.

Needless to say, I then spent the entire day on Sunday without a cough to be heard, but the moment I fell asleep again?? ... Maybe it's to do with the slower breathing we do when we're asleep... I don't know. All I know is I'm knackered, I'm at work and the Vitamin water I was given is beginning to wear off again. Plus, Homeland Season 3 is now on Netflix, and I just want to be at home watching that nonstop before someone else drops another spoiler about the show on me and I cry uncontrollably.

I can't decide whether McDonalds being so near to me is a good thing or not... I also really need to sign up to a new gym. I miss the gym... there are four words I never thought I'd say.

Peace out my lovelies

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Weekly review: Doctor Who; The Caretaker


This week's Doctor Who episode has officially become my favourite so far. I was a fan... I was a MASSIVE fan. In fact, The Caretaker freakin' rocked my world.

I want to make this very clear, and you can check this by reading my previous reviews on this particular subject, I have loved this series. Doctor Who is awesome and there have been suitable enough moments throughout Series 8 that have left me excited and intrigued etc. Having said that, I haven't yet had an episode that left me tingling with excitement... that is, until this episode.

I am a DW geek. I am a Whovian of unhealthy proportions. I will talk about an episode I've just watched until people make up excuses to leave, I will watch episodes over and over again because I simply can't get enough of them, and I'm overwhelmed with the sparkling newness of brand new episodes. However, with each of these episodes so far, I have only watched them a total of around two times, and mostly in the context of refreshing my memory for this review. This still might seem excessive to some people, but when you compare it to the 5 times I was watching each episode in Matt Smith's first series, you can understand that the enthusiasm has dropped a little.

On Saturday night, for the first time this series, as soon as that episode finished, I hit refresh and watched the episode again straight after. I finished that episode and had enjoyed myself so much I needed to immediately experience it again. My reasons for loving this episode so much? Okay, here they are:

1. Characters
I am a character driven person in both the things I read/watch and in what I write myself. I like to read too much into a person's personality and look into why a character would behave a certain way and what instigated them to do it. I find people fascinating and it is my favourite thing in story telling. I need a bit of dialogue and character development in my TV shows, otherwise I will lose interest very quickly. For that reason, this episode suited me down to the ground.

I am pretty much in love with Danny. He may be my favourite "boyfriend of a companion" that we've had yet. From the moment he came onto our screens, I adored him. I don't totally know why as he seems far too short tempered for my liking and some of his reactions in this episode left me a little perplexed, but in a way, it was what made me love him more. This episode saw the big reveal to Danny. He finds out that Clara is travelling with an alien all across time and space and he, quite rightly, struggles just a bit with it. He stands up for himself with the Doctor, which I don't think we've really seen so far in the companion's other halves... Looking back at Mickey and Rory, as much as I loved them (especially Rory) they came across as a bit like wet blankets compared to their girlfriends. Danny, however, seems more of a match for Clara. He doesn't allow the Doctor to order him about or tell him what to do. He not only sticks up for himself but he fights back and provides insight into the Doctor's opinions that not even Clara was able to see.

Do I like how angry he got at times? It seemed a little weird. The scene in the TARDIS where he's all "yes, sir; no, sir" etc and so forth, seemed a little disjointed to me... the first time I watched it, especially. However, this didn't make me not like it, but rather feel all the more intrigued by Danny's character.

Clara is awesome in this episode, and Capaldi is absolutely hilarious. This is very good news, considering this was the one thing I mentioned from the last review that I was missing in this series. I am loving how rude he has got and I am loving how Clara deals with it. Clara has well and truly joined the ranks of my top fav companions. This leads me nicely into my second reason for adoring this episode:

2. Humour
There's no denying it; Matt Smith knew how to deliver a funny line in his reign as The Doctor. He got the timing perfect for almost all of his humour. Capaldi has had some funny lines, but they haven't quite hit the funny bone for me... that is, up until this episode. This episode made me laugh continuously.

With the exception of the overly repeated "PE teacher" joke which got over used about halfway through their full use of it, I have to applaud the humour in this episode. What's more, it all stems from Capaldi's new rude personality. He insults people in an awesome way and I can't get enough of it. Also, there were some highly amusing fan arts going around on Tumblr showing their depiction of what the time must have been like when the Doctor had sulked with the Otters following his argument with River.

I'm not overly sure about young Courtney Woods as of yet. She seems a little throw away and altogether not written into the show very well. Every time she's turned up, it's seemed like her appearance was the teensiest bit disjointed with the rest of the episode. Even in this episode, where she played a fairly significant part, it almost felt as if the episode could have done without her. I'm sure Moffat has his reasons, and she probably has more of a part to play in future episodes, possibly in the overall season arc, but I feel like she could have been introduced better than she was. We know for certain that she's in the next episode in a spacesuit, so hopefully she begins to make more sense.

3. The awesome ending
Okay, so I have heard from people that they haven't been enjoying the arc of this season. People have suggested that they could do without Missy altogether. I, on the other hand, as mentioned in my first review, have never been more excited and intrigued about an arc as I have been in this series.

However, after this episode, I have well and truly run out of theories on what the hell is going on. I had previously bought into the idea that the dead people were being transported away seconds before they die. However, in this episode, we clearly see a policeman blown up, leaving behind a burnt decapitated hand and then turning up in a white room completely intact. I am finally beginning to entertain the thought that they are actually introducing the concept of an afterlife into Doctor Who, which could open up a whole can of very exciting worms...

What also excited me was that we got to meet another employee of the after life. Suggesting that it was some form of business rather than just a slightly unhinged lady picking up dead people as she goes. Moffat has suitably increased the intrigue for this storyline even more than before.

Missy was also angry/upset in this episode. Should I read too much into it and think that it had something to do with what had happened in the episode? Had the Doctor/Clara/Danny done something that she wasn't happy with? Or was it to do with something else altogether? Or maybe it hasn't got to do with anything at all and she is prone to mood swings... who knows? I'm so excited about it though... we are halfway through the series and, if it didn't mean that soon I'm going to be bereft of new Doctor Who episodes again, I would be desperate to get to the end so that I can find out.

All in all, I thought this episode was awesome. It made me nervous in certain parts, but I laughed all the way through and it definitely has worked as a catalyst to warming me to these three main characters. I'm really looking forward to the episode when Danny begins to travel with the Doctor, although there's something in the back of my brain that suggests that might never happen. Mainly due to the whole 'one's a soldier, the other hates soldiers' thing. Regardless, it doesn't look like it's going to happen in the next episode. Courtney's taking his place instead... I don't really know how I feel about that.

Peace out my lovelies.

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. 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.