Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A Lickle Obsessed...

I just can't stop watching it.

I mean seriously - how s-h-a-r-p!?

"The dance is a poem of which each movement is a word." 
~Mata Hari

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

All Together Now...

The brilliant Sufjan Stevens.
Never heard of him? Ooh well you are in for a real treat then...

Happy Tuesday!

"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
~Berthold Auerbach

Monday, 22 November 2010


The Big One and I recently watched a brilliant Greek film called Dogtooth.

A fascinating and beautifully shot film about a couple who psychologically imprison their 3 grown up children in their house and grounds. They raise them to believe that airplanes are toys that drop out of the sky, cats are dangerous animals that kill, they even give them a new vocabulary.
Each child (they aren't named other then eldest, 2nd eldest and youngest) are told that once their dogtooth falls out they will be deemed ready to leave their parents and the compound.

I don't want to tell you about what happens as it will spoil the story but I hope you get to see it. It's beautiful, funny, shocking and horribly uncomfortable at times. I highly recommend it. It's haunted me since watching it, I love it when a film stays with you and keeps playing in your head, making you think and look at it differently every time it plays.

"Filmmaking is a chance to live many lifetimes."
-Robert Altman

Tall Ladies...or Ones I Look Up To.

Recently I was involved in a discussion about women's voices in contemporary drama, where and how they are or aren't being heard and it made me ponder on who, if any, my female role models are.

I have never thought about role models per se, there are many people in my life who I respect and admire for many reasons and inspire me to improve my outlook/attitude and sometimes wardrobe. But do I have a 'pin-up' role model? And if not is that a sad/bad thing or is it invariably the case for many of us.

I have identified several acting, directing and style icons so thought I'd start a series of posts about each one.

Starting with acting, it all begins with Bette Davis.

Some of my favourite film performances ever are of Bette Davis doing her mesmerising thing. Bursting with intensity but all painfully contained in her eyes.

Intelligent, disciplined, focused and incredibly sharp.

"I survived because I was tougher than anybody else." -Bette Davis

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Lookie Lookie!

New Banner time! I made this one all on my ownsome - I wrestled solo with the tech monster that is Photoshop and (with the help of YouTube) I did it!

It's not my favourite banner so far but I am ruddy proud of it! If you look closely into the words you'll see the images are of Paper, Rocks and Scissors but not necessarily in that order....oooh! Somebody tell Gaga she ain't the only faux-alternative in town.

So other then that today I have done.... nada! It is my one day off and so far I have planned a date with my sofa and self- knitted blankets, the latest commission on my needles and a lotta green tea. That is it, I intend to be as outrageously lazy as possible today. The only reason I'm going to get dressed is because I have a friend dropping by to pick up some lights we borrowed, even then I'm only going to go as far as leggings, Uggs, a big tee and my snuggliest loooong cardie. 

Next week is 6 days of final and technical rehearsal hell. This show is absolutely huge and scarily reliant on technical aspects like; set changes, stair width, lighting changes and a raked stage. Next week we get into the the theatre and start 4x12 hour tech days in a row. I shall be holding a knitting workshop for my cast in order to stave off the inevitable boredom that techs cause. There will be a LOT of stress too so I intend to be as prepared as possible and try and be productive with the time I'll have.

Week after next - we open. 

Good God. 

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.”

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Calling My Inner Child

 I am currently playing a 12 year old girl from 1940's England (don't worry it's supposed to be theatrical, not annoying and precocious, but theatrical). Throughout the rehearsal process I have been trying to channel my inner child and so far I've mainly discovered the enormous gap between the energy required to run around like a genuine kid and the distinct lack of energy I as a 28 year old have.

By the end of each day I am s-h-a-t-t-e-r-e-d. 

In my head I can remember being 12 and feeling full of beans, ready and raring to go but in my body -  well it creaks after kneeling down for 10 minutes, I have to have a proper limb stretch before I'm any good to anyone!

Yesterday in rehearsals the four of us (my character is the second eldest of 4 siblings) had to play a small game of 'tag' in a scene, 3 run-throughs of that scene later we were all huffing and puffing. Sad really.

Where did the child in me go? 

Maybe she's doing what she always did and is still reading Enid Blyton books (St. Clares and Mallory Towers), writing stories, dressing up and playing shops with my sister's child. 

She never did like running around, hated all forms of PE and only wanted to play in worlds made up in her head.

Maybe we haven't drifted so far apart after all.

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.”
- Deepak Chopra

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

I Blame Coco

I am a bit of a cultural snob when it comes to famous offspring, I am far rather ready to find fault and criticise then wait, listen and then decide how much credit I give their work. This habit of discrimination was hard to avoid when it came to Coco Sumner.

I had seen pictures and hype about her waaaay before I could access any of her music so I dismissed her as yet another daddy's girl who had doors opened for her rather then knocking them down. This still may have been the case but it's kind of irrelevant cos she's really good. Well at least I like her, her tone, her lyrics, the production. The fact Robyn co-wrote a song (Ceasar) which features on her album is obvs a huge thumbs up for me. Plus she reminds me of Ladyhawke.

I actually properly sought out her music because of Robyn, I noticed Coco Sumner was in one of Robyn's videos, it was footage of them being interviewed together and if Robyn likes her, well then I thought she's worth a look up.

I started to listen to some of the tracks on her 'The Constant' album and really liked them so bought it.
I'm really pleased I did, hopefully I'll take the time to listen to the next daughter/son of Mr and Mrs Already Very Famous before growling.

I do however still think Peaches Geldof is a nepotistic waster.

“I'm free of all prejudices. I hate everyone equally.”
-W.C Fields

Monday, 15 November 2010

A Right to Be Heard

I was just reading Glitterbird's latest post about the recent student protest in Whitehall in regard to the Coalition announcing they are to triple university fees. There was so much media outrage about the fact the demonstration turned violent. A group of the protesting students broke into the Conservative headquarters and committed acts of vandalism. This ensured their issue front page news coverage in almost every paper.

I personally feel very strongly that they were perfectly right and entitled to do what they did. An enormous part of the student body voted the Liberal Democrats into the position they are now in. The Lib Dems made it one of their key policies during the campaign that they wanted to lower and aim to eradicate student fees. Now they are aiding a Tory government into tripling them. How on earth would you feel?

I left further education 8 years ago and am still nowhere near paying off my student debts, (despite working 3 jobs while I studied) should that have been tripled I would have strongly considered not going on with my education. It does appear to me that the Tories love re-establishing old fashioned class systems and the best way to do that is by making gaining higher education considerably harder then it is now.
The trebled fees are not to lead to more investment in higher education; they will only mitigate what would otherwise been a disaster. A good and sound principle is being compromised by the year zero nature of its introduction.
Students now face leaving university with £60,000 of debts but with no improvement and probably a deterioration in the quality of higher education being offered. Some are talking of studying in English language universities in Holland and Scandinavia, where tuition fees are only £6,000 over three years. Others of going to the US. Others of not going at all.
- Will Hutton, The Observer

A lot of press has commented on how this would have been a perfectly pleasant protest were in not for the small section who took it further.

 Elsewhere, the massive rally had passed off peacefully.
-BBC News

Forgive me if I misunderstood but to protest is to feel that your voice is not being considered in the normal channels therefore you take to the streets to shout about something which you feel enormously passionately about. It's not a recreational pleasure.

A protest expresses a strong reaction of events or situations. Protesters may organize a protest as a way of publicly and forcefully making their opinions heard in an attempt to influence public opinion or government policy, or may undertake direct action in an attempt to directly enact desired changes themselves.

Besides, despite the media hype about how anarchic the demonstration was, you can find reports  it really wasn't as life threatening as they like to make out.

As protesters surged, a succession of windows were smashed and then demonstrators flooded into the building entrance. Security guards scattered and the handful of police inside were completely overrun. A few yards away, in surreal calm, guests carried on eating in the adjacent Pizza Express. 
-BBC News Online

No one was seriously hurt although approximately 14 people were injured.

To put the protest into context -  an enormous amount of the people protesting and those that feel strongly exercised their right to protest for the first time by marching in the biggest anti war demonstration this country has ever seen in in February 2003, myself included. Despite the mass media coverage our voices were entirely disregarded, the decision was in no way affected by our peaceful protest. I personally found that to be a hugely dispiriting experience. We are often referred to as the generation of apathy. We're not we're just hugely disappointed in being raised to believe we have a voice only to be consistently dismissed.

There will be plenty more protests,  and if it takes some acts of vandalism in order to have an open debate about the many many proposed cuts then so be it. In general people don't feel the need to smash things if they feel they are being acknowledged and considered. I refuse to believe this was simply an act of hooliganism, instead I think this was a desperate attempt to be heard by a coalition government who has already utterly dismissed the very people who chose them to represent their voices.

I do feel that the unfortunate truth is your voice is weakened once you engage in violent means of protest but I'm not sure what huge array of alternative options are available in order to be heard.

The students are a warning of much worse protest to come. Mr Blair did not heed the protests over Iraq, nor Mrs Thatcher over the poll tax. Both paid with their careers. Democratic politicians should worry when people take to the streets in huge numbers. In two years, we have passed from a financial crisis provoked by bankers to a new and angrier world – of withdrawing housing benefit, of attacking the "workshy" and now a stonking three-fold increase in tuition fees. There is an enormous sense of one rule for Them and another for Us.
-Will Hutton, The Observer

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”
-Elie Wiesel

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Anti-Social Behaviour

I left Facebook on Friday, I deactivated my account and I have to say I don't half feel liberated for it!

I had been thinking about it for quite a while and had only been using it to post up new blog posts. Several months ago I stopped replying to event invitations and group requests. I started to find it all a bit overwhelming. I also realised the people who I mainly spoke to on it were the very people I see regularly face to face.

I had 282 friends, half of them people I haven't seen in over 10 years and in the time we'd been FB friends we'd made no plans to meet up. After the initial 'hello, how are you' convos it then becomes a silent FB friendship. You haven't stayed in direct contact for a reason, mainly because your lives have simply taken different paths.

I started to really dislike the fact that you can find out information about people that you wouldn't normally know. At dinner parties people start discussing other people's status updates, talking about photos they were flicking through of someone's wedding they'd never met simply because a friend was tagged in one photo. It just started feeling odd to me. 

We are all complicated, multi faceted people, none of us can be defined by photos and status updates and likes yet we are encouraging people to do just that. The amount of times people talk about checking out a person they just met on FB, drawing conclusions, making decisions based on this editable mass material before they've had more then 3 conversations is just not something I am personally comfortable with.

I started looking at my profile as objectively as possible - Did I look cool? Did my life look exciting enough to a judgemental eye? I've been at parties where a huge part of the night is the taking of photos to post up, almost instantly, showing a virtual audience how much of a wild time we're all having. Sometimes people are more preoccupied with getting the right image than simply participating in the actual party.  Because lets be honest, nosiness is a LARGE part of it for all us.

I did enjoy the fact that FB enabled me to stay in touch with friends and family who live all over the world, see the pictures of their first babies, their weddings etc. Maybe I'm just I'm an old fashioned tech gal but I have to say, for me, nothing beats a Skype conversation, a personal email or even a letter!

I recently chatted to a lovely friend on Skype and 'met' her first child (who happens to be my youngest follower so Hello Leo!), they live in Australia and although I have seen loads of photos of him on FB this was far more personal, far more direct. He saw me and I saw him, he smiled at me waving and laughing. Fantastic.
So 3 days in and I'm a happy chappie, maybe I'll end up missing it and go back on but I hope not. I love blogging, it fulfills my need to communicate and share and somehow, for me, it just feels a bit more honest.

P.S I'm keeping my Twitter account to post up blogposts

I Want Multo Mondo!

I FINALLY saw the Project Runway Series 8 finale and although I wasn't as excited by the Fashion Week shows as I normally am, I fell heavily in love with several looks. All of them by Mondo Guerra the potentially robbed runner up...

I do like winner Gretchen Jones' style and designs, I totally appreciate her aesthetic is very cool and understated but somehow it just doesn't inspire me like Mondo's.  My favourite piece of hers was from the very first challenge.

          But Mondo's masterful mixes of prints and oh-my-giddy-aunt what incredible prints! They SPEAK to me and say 'Put me on and we'll have a great day'.

In the next pic you'll see the lush back to this playsuit
I am OBSESSED with these leggings!
Bow down to the master - print, shoulder pads and metallics!

I admire the skill in successfully making the prints clash and yet compliment each other. The colour palette was fun and energetic and all in all incredibly exciting - I want to be a Mondo girl!

The judges kept asking who is Mondo's client - if you ask me she's an East London girl, we would eat that stuff up here! Style it up and s-w-a-g-g-e-r in it all the way.

And so another Project Runway series comes to an fitting (pun!) tribute I shall end this post with the immortal words from the Gunn Guru, the heart of the show...

"Make it work"
-Tim Gunn

Belated Halloween Feast Post...

We invited our lovely friends and neighbours R&K over on Halloween night for a feast of ghoulish delights in order to celebrate the fact that the pumpkin plant they gifted us had grown a large pumpkin big enough to make into pie.

I served 'A Bloody Mess' -  Beetroot Risotto with sour cream and chopped dill to start (but forgot to take a photo) then 'Tentacles of the Sea' - black spaghetti with prawns and a seafood and herb paste.

Dessert was of course, The Pumpkin Pie! The first time we have grown anything and then eaten it so it tasted extra delicious.

The whole night was a great success and everyone had seconds of everything!

"Where there is no imagination there is no horror."
~Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

Scrummy Yummy and Beautiful

Not too long ago now I treated The Big One to some bespoke cupcakes from Ella's Bakehouse in Covent Garden, they were so beautiful and delicious I went back for more for some friends.  
2x vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, lemon and peanut butter

If you're in the mood to tickle your tastebuds I can absolutely recommend their cupcakes.
Each one was beautifully decorated with glitter and sparkles and tasted absolutely diii-viiine!
"I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it"
- Mae West

Sunday, 7 November 2010

It's been a while...


It's been quite a while since my last post and this has been partly due to the fact that I started rehearsals for my last job this year (it runs til Jan 9th) and they have been insanely intense but in large part down to the fact that I haven't felt quite myself.

I haven't felt inspired or chirpy and instead I feel generally underwhelmed resulting in me not feeling I have anything I could articulate.

But  - I thought I'd bite the bullet and start blogging again even if it's not as irreverent as I would like. Because it's all bound to get better right?

I am knitting, I have had several commissions for presents people want to give loved ones, which is immensely flattering that they would come to me to make them for them. I am also working away on a few things for my own friends and family. Due to this theatre job I am doing and the cra-cra performing schedule I am not anticipating much time for Crimbo shopping however I should have a lot of time between shows and travelling to get some purty things on and off my needles.

I am commuting for about 3 hours a day so that leaves a lot of time to learn lines and knit, it also leaves me pretty shattered, especially considering my physically demanding rehearsal week is a 6 day week.

So that's me, I do have lots to tell you about and weirdly enough just writing this is making me want to upload the pictures of the gorgeous cupcakes I got The Big One and friends and tell you all about seeing Robyn live (am-a-zior). So watch this space cos it will get livelier.

Til then...

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