Friday, 24 December 2010

'Twas the Night Before Christmas'

So it's Christmas Eve- and there is in fact snow outside my window. Being as I am not the biggest fan of Christmas, the fact that it's rather festive outside does make the whole thing a little more enjoyable. I have to admit, this is the first Christmas in eight years that I've had a sprinkling of excitement about.

Now, there is one things I adore about Christmas: the cooking. And I actually am a little excited to eat my Christmas dinner- I think the fact that this is also the first year in ages I haven't spent the run up to the 25th serving so many roast dinners it made me sick just to look at mine on Christmas day. But it also means I get to do lots, and lots of cooking.

I love cooking, and Christmas is by far the most gluttonous day of the year, so I get to cook ridiculous amounts and not feel bad about it! I've made a chocolate and lime cake so far, and I'm waiting to see if my meringue comes out successfully enough to make a pavlova. I'm blogging because I needed something to occupy me while my tomatoes cooled down enough for me to peel them- I just burnt my hand on one, I'm not a patient chef you see!

So there we go, slight Christmas cheer for once! Maybe I'm coming full circle, so long teenage angst!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Happy Birthday, Jane dear

Happy 235th Birthday Miss Austen!

Sacrilige, I'm a day late. However, look, here's a picture of me looking thoughtful in front of Marlborough Buildings all Regency'd up. Plus it was completely acceptable as yesterday marked my last assignment before the end of term. Of course this meant I was required to go to Indie night, get drunk and twist my ankle.

Considering last year I slipped in someone's spilt drink, split my elbow open and spent the whole night in A and E, a twisted ankle is really nothing.

However, it's all done for now and I'm free to devote all my time to dear Jane and the wonderful Mr Peake. It's possible that I should be excited about seeing my family and friends, but considering that right now my entire life revolves around dead writers, you'll understand my glee.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

It's two days until the end of term.

I have one last assignment.

I have no motivation whatsoever to do it.

God. Damn

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Take me to the Hermitage

Due to my incapability to be at all organised or forward thinking in the basic aspects of life, I had to sleep on an opened out sleeping bag in lieu of a clean bed sheet. However, this was in some ways quite the discovery as, with some help from my new My Neighbour Totoro hot water bottle, the sleeping created some kind of heat/comfort cocoon that made it very difficult to get up this morning.

I believe that my dismay at having to leave this cocoon is what caused me to find all of humanity generally frustrating today. I'd like to point out that usually I have little issue with the human race, it's just that every now and then I suddenly feel like someone is running sandpaper down my back whenever somebody speaks to me, sits next to me or even looks in my general direction.

Sadly, I have through all my own fault broken my huge headphones, which tended to indicate to the rest of society that I am not to be spoken too. True, this has resulted in my being unaware of cars, puddles, lamp posts and other hazards, but at least no body had the audacity to talk to me. I have to say that my people avoiding was made far more difficult with only little Ipod headphones to provide me with the voice of the only man I can stand on such days: the beautiful Jesse Lacey.

Is it possible that my sulking about listening to Brand New mean that at 21 I am still a closet, moody emo kid? Possibly. However being just old enough to be a preprocessor of the Emo teen scene and my long standing adoration of Brand New makes it okay. Just.

I dream that Jesse and I will have a beautiful love affair. We will come together as two creative people, who understand each others souls. He will tell me all his deep and intelligent thoughts, and I will nod meaningfully and ponder them as I write my equally deep novels. We will live together in artistic, semi-solitary bliss. On days like this he will sing me his beautiful songs and I will dedicate my under-appreciated novels to him. We will produce children who will at the world with wise eyes and we will all live happily ever after.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Life Choices

Today I shipped off the last of my teacher training applications- scary times indeed. Though I do still want to teach, the more I write and such the more I want to do something more. I know I definitely want to get my Ph.D., but considering it's a pretty expensive goal I figure teaching is a worth while way to make the money up.

It's all a bit daunting though, all this growing up and forward planning. Sometimes I think I should just take a totally random leap into something entirely different.

I think I'd quite like to be a Moomin.

I could move to Moominvalley and live in their lighthouse. They're not really bothered about clothes, the Moomin's so I figure I'd never have to worry about fashion and they're not very career orientated either.

Yes, I think I would like to be a Moomin.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

A Lament O'er a Worm of Gummy

I'm supposed to be writing my Gothic Review. It's only 1500 words, which should be a piece of cake considering my remarkable output the other week when I managed to write an article for the Regency World magazine and a third of my book, but is proving to be labour-some. Not because I don't know what I'm doing but that I lack motivation when it comes to uni, mostly thanks to my inability to feel pressure about things that are actually important.

So in attempt to spur me on, I treated myself to some sour gummy worms, hoping that the sugar rush and the way sour things make my mouth feel weird would help perk me up.

It seems that I have been horribly deceived. Two things are horribly wrong with my so called sour gummy worms.

They are not sour. At all. There is no way that you could class them as sour- they barely have any flavour at all, and there not half as coated in sugar as I would generally require them to be.

But that is not it. Not only are the not sour, they are not worms.

No. They are in fact NON SOUR GUMMY SPERM.



I have just eaten a bag of flavourless non gummy sperm. My disappointment and revulsion can know no bounds.

Monday, 22 November 2010

You're the Voice, Lexie


literally, sometimes i think we're more like each other than we are mum and dad
maybe you weren't born they just cloned me
ahah, and threw a few extras in just so it wasn't too obvious

This conversation just took place between me and my sister. Yes, I may be wiser and infinitely cooler, but she and me are scarily similar most of the time. There's the obvious things of course- we share the same mannerisms, we speak the same, we share some genetics (though she's taller and slimmer, cow). We're obviously sisters.

However, I have recently begun to realise that she is more like me than either of my parents. I suspect that, realising that their first born daughter was simply the best thing that their combined genes could create, they decided to clone me rather than run the risk of producing and inferior child. Of course they added some minor differences, so it wasn't too obvious.

I've posted her so many youtube video's the last few days it's untrue and I can't watch most of my favourite films or shows without texting her. We share many (and I mean many) obsessions, one of which is a mutual adoration for BBC's Merlin. Lexie found a video of Merlin and Arthur lip syncing the chorus to 80's power ballad, You're The Voice, which starts with Merlin aka Colin Morgan repeatedly forgetting who sings the song.

Question at the pub quiz tonight- who sings 80's power ballad, You're the Voice.

I actually screamed. I was the only person in THE WHOLE PUB who knew the answer. Seriously, it was a beautiful moment of sisterly obsession becoming pointless quiz victory .( Apart from the fact we didn't win)

Here is the video. It made me wet myself laughing but I know cannot get this song out of my head. It's going on our repertoire, along with our fine rendition of multiple Jonas Brothers songs and the theme tunes to anime shows.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

'Me gusta mucho la musica de Shakira, porque tengo un obsesion con ella'

So, in an attempt not smash my laptop because BBC Iplayer has not yet uploaded today's episode of Merlin, I am going to discuss my weird obsession.

With Shakira

(I realise I could have talked of my obsession with Arthurian legend, but that would take too long. Also, though you may not believe, probably make me sound a lot stranger than this post. Seriously. )

I love Shakira. Yes, when I first heard Wherever, Whenever for the first time I shared the mild bemusement that the everyone in Britain did. However when I discovered that not only is she hella clever and an ambassador for education in Colombia, BUT her songs make more sense in Spanish. Wherever, Whenever might sound totally ridiculous but Suerte makes total sense. I always prefer the versions that she realises in Spanish to the English ones, they just have so much more to them.

(Seriously, it's something about the language)

I used to listen to Shakira albums and pass it off as Spanish revision, though I think it probably helped more than I thought it would- I also once watched Pan's Labyrinth and told my mum it was homework.

Honestly, I can listen to her over and over. If I wasn't totally sure of my sexuality I would be very worried by the amount of times I have seen her music videos. Especially the one for La Tortura- though in my defence Alejandro Sanz is a GOD of a man, so it's slightly more acceptable. Youtube it- you don't need to speak Spanish to get the point, trust me.

At the moment I'm well obsessed with this song. It actually came out last year but still, it's amazing.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

You Bring the Drama, I'll Bring the Kleenex

Oh Baz Luhrman, you never fail to make me weep. I just watched Australia for the first time- I would have watched it sooner but it's so long that no one would watch it with me- and I cried at least three different times. Even the happy bits made me cry, no word of a lie.

I mean, it is just beautiful.

When I say it, I of course mean, that Hugh Jackman is gorgeous. Look at him, all rugged and Indiana Jones sexy.

There is just something about the way Luhrman makes films that makes me want to watch them over and over- which generally means I sob my eyes out to Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge! then put Strictly Ballroom on so I don't sink into a pit of despair.

Generally I don't do films with sad endings- I had a mild breakdown at the end of Gallipoli, I can't handle Braveheart or Gladiator. Then again I balled at some point of most Disney films- even Lilo and Stitch made me cry. I also famously cried at the end of Final Fantasy X.

I thought once that when I got older, I would stop finding films so sad. Apparently not.

Monday, 8 November 2010

It's Not a Film, It's a Lifestyle Choice

Because of my all round general geekiness, I occasionally watch the History channel. Usually there's something now and then on my particular interests or just something that's just pretty intriguing. However, today there was something unexpectedly awesome on- 'Star Wars: Legacy Revealed'

Granted I will watch, listen and read ANYTHING to do with Star Wars but this show was all about how Star Wars uses themes from mythology, which I also enjoy geeking out about. So obviously, this show was a must see.

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who told me that the moment he knew he wanted to break up with his girlfriend was when they watched Star Wars and she found it boring. I have to bite my tongue whenever someone tells me they have never seen them.
Considering that I spent my 18th birthday dressed like this, I wonder sometimes how I got to this point.

Seriously, sometimes I think that if my children don't like Star Wars, I will have to disown them.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

I can resist anything but Final Fantasy-Disney hybrid

I had writers block, okay? Don't judge me. I just thought, oh hey, I'll pay Kingdom Hearts again, just for a while.
That was two hours ago. My thumb aches.

Monday, 1 November 2010

I Are Plumber.

So, a lot of things go wrong in our house. For example Hannah once tried and failed three times to bake a cake, and we have been twice infested with both slugs and mice. In a house full of girls, that is a code red. So apart from that, we tend to draw blanks when something breaks- for example, the latch on my door once broke while I was in the room, locking the only claustrophobic girl in the house in her own room. It got to the point where we considered putting a mattress below my window and I could jump out before I realised the key would fit under the door (just) and after much jimmying and banging on the door, we got in.

(I have problems with my door, for example prior to my first meeting with my publisher I locked my self out after my shower and had to go ask the man next door to call me a very expensive locksmith. In pj's. Dripping wet.)

ANYWAY. Today, the toilet broke. For some reason, it just will not stop flushing. Me being the clever kid I am, I realised it was because this thing had fallen down, so I fixed it.

That's right, I tied a piece of string to it and hooked it over the window. I am a genius.

All Roads Lead to Gormenghast

Oh Mervyn, you wonderful remarkable man.
Why do the critics refuse to write about your brilliance? It would make my life so much easier. Clearly the academics don't love Peake as much as I do because there is hardly anything out there.
I have just trawled the Internet for at least an hour, looking for books for my dissertation. Nearly every book of critical merit on Mervyn Peake is between forty and sixty pounds. Clearly, I do not have this kind of money to spend on them so I'm praying to the walls of Gormenghast that the library will be able to get them for me, otherwise I'm going to cry.
I managed to find one critical book, two biographies and another ambiguous text. Yes, ambiguous- it's around twenty years old so I couldn't really find a description but the listings on the Peake Papers website assures me it is both a critical exploration and a biography. I am honestly that desperate. I refuse to give up on Mervyn.
Gormenghast will be mine!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Things I Thought I Knew

Yes, this is me approximately nineteen years ago. Apart from the sickening feeling in my stomach that arises when I consider that fact there there was a point in my life that I can say was more than nineteen years ago, this is I think quite a sweet image.

That is until I think of all the completely insane things I believed as a child. I blame my mother partially for this, since she let me read far too many stories as well as watching some pretty tripped out fairy tale videos. (I honestly think that the makers of children's television must be totally tripped. Have you seen In the Night Garden? I rest my case.)

Anyway, here are some of the things that a considerably smaller, impossible as that may same, me once held as verbatim, believed necessary or somehow grasped far too young.

1) The troll from the Billy Goats Gruff did not in fact live under a bridge. Instead, he lurked somewhere in my back garden and will attack me when he thinks I was alone. One such time would be when I was in the bathroom, as this backs onto the garden. The solution to this then was for me to talk to inanimate objects in the bathroom, such as the sink, toilet and bath to cunningly trick him into thinking I wasn't on my own and therefore prevent him from eating me.

2) Wee Willie Winkie was not in fact a kind little fellow that was going to come send me to sleep, but an evil creature possibly in allegiance with David Bowie's character from Labyrinth. Instead of slipping comfortably to sleep, I hid under my bed clothes with my eyes pressed shut praying that he wouldn't steal me.

3) That before being born, my younger sister had used her psychic fetus powers to find out that not only did I love Thomas the Tank Engine, but that I lacked a Percy toy. She had then gone to the special fetus shop, purchased it for me, and brought it with when she came out of my mother. (The stalk/cabbage patch story was useless on me since I spotted the umbilical cord). I was baffled for quite sometime as to how she managed to do all this, especially when I learned how babies were really made.

As I got older, I started to move away from these weird and wonderful accusations and somehow managed to learn some startling vocabulary. For example, when my Dad had to have our dog put down when I was five, I failed to grasp why this had to be done. Instead I told him I hated him and he was an evil murderer. Around this age I also once told a school dinner lady that her attempting to force me to eat food I didn't like made her a Nazi- which I had thus far understood as someone that made people do things they didn't want to.

My finest hour though, I believe, was aged 10, when I informed my Head Teacher that I would not sing the hymn she has insisted that we all learnt. When she demanded that I did, I told her that on the census I was not listed as Christian and therefore she could not make me sing a Christian song. Our school, I insisted, was not a religious school and it was against the law for her to make me sing about a God I didn't believe in.

It turns out I had overheard a conversation between my parents about what we should be listed as on the census, and the rather over zealous Christianity of the new head teacher. After I then remembered my mothers pin number, my parents stopped having important conversations while I was in earshot.

Clearly in moments of difficulty or dilema, I should begin to challenge my no nonsense ten year old former self. She suffers no fools, yo.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

And I shall call him Cuthbert

My housemates had the ingenious idea of buying a load of pumpkins.

They were to carve, of course. I did suggest that I could make some form of pumpkin baked goods, but they were all far more interested in carving faces into them and lighting them up with tealights. Our kitchen is not that large, so we did manage to commit mass carnage. By the time we were all done it looked like we'd murdered some aliens or something. However, the results were AWESOME.

Considering that I haven't carved a pumpkin since I was about thirteen, this whole affair made me very, very excited. You can see this by the fact that my pumpkin looks really ridiculously happy. In case you hadn't worked it out, mine is the one on the far right.

I love him. I have called him Cuthbert, and he is by far the least scary Jac-o-lantern I have ever seen in my life. I kind of forgot the point was to make them look menacing to ward off evil spirits and what nots. After, I made heart shaped biscuits with pink icing on which were nom-alicious.
Clearly this was such a good idea that all the very important work I had to do can wait until tomorrow.

Monday, 18 October 2010

'With the mention of Derbyshire, there were many ideas connected. It was impossible for her to see the word without thinking of Pemberley, and it's owner'.

I am for Derbyshire, on yet another Miss Austen related mission. Despite my general dislike for the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice I did think they were rather wise in using Chatsworth as Pemberley, so thats where I'm headed.

When you live near Derbyshire, every spare Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday is generally spent visiting the huge number of houses that the county has to offer. Chatsworth, aside from Hardwick Hall, has always been one of my favourites. The house also has a connection with Cavendish family, and in Jane's day that would have meant the infamous Duchess of Devonshire, Georgiana. Though Jane herself may never have gotten so far as Derbyshire, I'm headed over to see what I can scout out a la Pemberley. After all, there must be a reason she chose to situate Mr Darcy's stately home in Derbyshire.

That and it means I get to go home for a few days.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Ode to a Keyboard

I got a new keyboard. I have a laptop, but I very cleverly spilt nail varnish remover on it and now half the keys don't work out.

It turns out that proper keyboard keys have make an extremely fufilling click sound. I always wanted a type writer because something about the click of a typewriter key and watching the words appear on the page made me feel very motivated to write.

Apparently, so does this keyboard. At 12.26 am, when I have work in the morning. And a new memeber of staff. That I'm probably meant to be training. And I have to go on a research trip on Monday.

The click is far to alluring. Look how creative I am. See how much I look like I should be in a movie montage when I click away determindley at my keyboard like a real writer. Which you know, is funny, because instead of writing a short story I've been attempting to finish for almost a year, I should probably be working on the thing that I'm actually going to be having published.

Or you know, asleep.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Hi, my name is Sian

At the start of last year, there was a girl in two of my seminars. She was the kind of girl you prayed to the Gods of Academia that you would never get put in a group with-she was literally on another planet. She once came in wearing her tshirt inside out, on purpose.

Anyway. One day, out of the blue, she approached me in the SU, asked me a question, which I automatically answered, and left.

It was only as she was walking away that I realised she had not called me Lauren, or any variation of my name, but Sian. Over the next few weeks she continued to call me Sian and leave almost immediately.

I never told her my name was not in fact Sian. I began to dread classes with her, realising that if she were now, after weeks of calling me Sian, to realise that it was in fact not my name, the situation would be awkward. Not just with her, but what if thanks to her other people began to call me Sian? How would I explain that I simply had never corrected her? How could I go on? Would I suddenly split, Jekyll and Hyde style, in to two different people!? The horror, the horror!

Thankfully she dropped out aronud Christmas and apart from the occasional teasing from my uni friends, I was to be Sian no more.

That is, UNTIL TODAY. Picture the scene: an ambitous third year steps down from the bus for her first week of lectures, sporting a highly fashionable pixie hair cut and a determined demeanor. She has by now established who she is, her person, her...


And she's there! Turns out she's started back on a different course and I'm hoping that with her being pretty spaced out she won't recognise me with a different hair cut. However I will have to avoid her like she is the actual plague for fear of her calling me Sian.

Otherwise I meant end up at gradution, them calling out my name and being all, who the hell is this kid? Oh, it's Sian!

Monday, 11 October 2010

For Amy

This girl on my right, the one dressed as the Doormouse to my Alice, she's pretty cool. I mean look at her. She's in a box.

Only cool people get in boxes. Fact of life my friends.She's not been very well this week so she needs to be reminded of her own coolness. So to conculde, Amy = cool. Got that?

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Age of Appliances

I bought a rice cooker.

I feel that 21 is an appropriate age to start buying kitchen appliances. Also I decided not get the novelty rice cooker and settled on a very sensible looking one from Argos. Admittedly, fact that the sensible cooker was more than half the price of the novelty helped.

Despite the fact I'll come out at the end of the year steeped in debt and therefore have to move back into my parents house, I feel as though my purchasing a kitchen appliance gives me a certain amount of independence. I will install it in my parents kitchen as a sign of my individuality and grown-upness. I will make grown up meals in it.

Which I will then eat on my Little Mermaid plate, while drinking juice out of my Peter Rabbit glass. And I'll store the left overs in my Darth Vader lunch box. Then go to my room with my collection of Disney themed soft toys and my array of Star Wars memorabilia. It's okay though because by then I'll hopefully have finally swapped my little single bed for a double. That makes it okay, right?

I think I'm adapting to being a grown up really well.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

A Dedicated Post

This is Lucy. I live with her. She was sad I never mentioned her in my blog, so I'm mentioning her.

She's a well cool kid, bruv.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Trains, Trains and the odd Automobile

I have conquered my fear of trains. This may not appear to be a big deal, I know.

(And it's probably not, since it's pretty irrational fear and a crap one at that. I read in a magazine about a woman who had a phobia of the male genitalia. Honestly.)

Despite my elation at conquering said fear, I may cry if I have to run across one more platform lugging my ill-thought out luggage- I'm a terrible packer. However, despite late trains, trains in the wrong direction, drunk welsh football fans and freezing compartments I feel like quite the veteran traveller. Considering that when I first came to uni my first train journey consisted of me getting lost at Bristol Temple Meads station, not understanding which tickets were which and holding everyone up at the barriers, then going out the wrong exit at Derby and not being allowed back in the station, my being able to navigate platforms logically is quite the achievement.

It may not be much, but I'm running with it.

Plus my fringe is starting to grow back out so I know longer look like an unfortunate small boy, thank god.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Me and My Shadow

There is literally no escaping Jane at the moment.

I decided to watch Friends re runs to take my mind off the sheer amount of Austen work I've been doing these last few days.

I never realised that Olivia Williams plays the bridesmaid in the London episode. And of course, the first thing that I thought was "My god, Joey is kissing Jane Austen!"


Sunday, 19 September 2010

All for the love of Jane

So the Jane Austen Festival has begun, we've been going for three days and everybody is already completely knackered. I spent all day Saturday manning my Festival Facebook stand, which turned out to be pretty successful, thank Jane. However, then having to work all day today pretty much killed me- and tomorrow I have to get up at about 6am to go to Kent. Great. I can't really complain, since I really wanted to go and it seemed like a perfectly acceptable idea to go right in the middle of the festival.

My planning skills amaze even me sometimes.

But still, tomorrow I get to see Godmersham Park, home of Jane's third brother Edward which I have to admit is really exciting. Hopefully I'll be able to get some great pictures for the book, which of course is my main reason for visiting.

Obviously, being me my main worry is not the long journey or getting what I need but how to dress. I quickly realised when people meet me they aren't quite expecting a 20 year old with a pixie crop hair cut, so a Wonder Woman tshirt is probably not the best choice of outfit. On the other hand, I've got spend about six hours on a train so my pencil skirt and blouse is not going to be comfortable AT ALL.

Clearly this is another of my trials as a twentysomething- the art of dressing accurately.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

"My mind," he said, "rebels at stagnation... But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation.' - Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of Four

Today it has rained. And rained, and just to top it all off, rained some more. As a result I have spent the entire day sat inside, in a hoodie and joggers feeling entirely and utterly unmotivated. Are there plenty of things for me to do? Oh yes. Not only do I have a lecturer to prepare, books to read, a book to write and never mind the ungodly state of my bedroom, I have sat in this chair for the past three hours.

It's not so much the fact that I wanted to go out. My plan was in fact to spend the day inside working, but the fact that its raining suddenly makes it feel as if I'm trapped inside, hence my listelessness. Clearly it's just another case of my wanting what I can't have, but still, it's left me almost totally unmotivated.

Am I bored? Probably. Will I do something about it? Probably not.

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Dawn of My Actual Life

Having now escaped the bubble that was my 'Italian' Summer- for anyone that might have wondered, I did not spontaneously combust since my last post. I was actually quite good at the teaching thing. I think- and returned to the relative normality of my life in Bath, I figured it was probably a good time to get back to blogging.

So after deciding that teaching was the correct life choice for me, I had settled myself to this fate.

That is until, out of the blue, someone has offered me the fate I had really started to think I wasn't going to get. Don't ask me quite how or why, but it has been decided that I am capable of writing a book. A book about Jane.

By this time next year- when I will be considerably more of a twentysomething at almost 22- I may well be the author of my very own, actual, real life book. And in a few weeks time, I'm going to be giving what is essentially a lecture on Northanger Abbey. I don't want to get my hopes to high, but it's starting to look like life might actually turn out the way I'd hoped it might. All because I know more about Jane Austen than is healthy for a girl of 20.

Who knew being a massive geek could ever become so profitable.

All hail Jane, that's what I say. Amen.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Thats Miss Wonderland to You

Ladies and Gentleman: Would you allow this woman to be in responsible for the education of your children?

Could you trust her to instill in them a sense of responsibility and wisdom?

Lets hope so, otherwise this blog really is going to become a pre-life meltdown. Tomorrow, instead of donning my lovely pink tshirt and wandering around cities I've never visited pretending to 70 children I know exactly where we are, I will be teaching.
The whole point of all of this, the jobs, the course, the obssesive compulsive need to futher peoples knowledge about things they don't really care about points to one eventual goal. The noble profession of teaching.
Like my eventual attendance of university, teaching has been the assumed goal since I was about 14 and realised I wasn't very good at anything else. At least not anything that was a legitimate career choice. So far I've been a Guide Leader, a babysitter, a book club leader, a careers advisor, an undefined adult prescence/voluntary slave at my old school and of course, my prized position as geekiest/saddest of the Jane Austen Centre guiding staff.
However, no one has actually yet left me in charge of a class for much more than twenty minutes. Tomorrow I will be giving an entire two hour lesson to about 15 I.talian students and all joking aside, this is a big deal. This is the make it or break it moment- if I totally bomb the whole thing or realise in fact I despise children and would much rather be a pig farmer, my entire life plan will go up in flames.
Flames I say!
With all that said it would probably be wise to actually sleep now...

Friday, 23 July 2010

Mueve la calita, mamita rica!

Despite being undisputed Queen of the Disco, the kids have taught me a new dance.

It's to a Spanish song called Mueve la Calita, and as I had guessed when they told me the name of the song, the main dance move is to shake yo thang. Mueve la calita is basically a command to shake your butt, and the dance is pretty fun. However, as they were teaching it to me I began to realize that the lyrics we're not exactly wholesome. Sadly my out of practice Spanish meant that I couldn't quite translate it- though it seemed they don't know what it means, because they didn't know to go right when they said derecha and left on izquierda.

It turns out it might be a good thing if they don't get it.

So, on 'mueve la calita, mamita rica'- shake that ass cute mamma, basically, you'll do a little wiggle. But then there's this bit:

Adónde le gusta a las mujeres? Ahí, ahí! Y cómo es que le hacen los hombres? Así, así!

Which means:

Where do like it girls? There, there! And how do the men do it? Like this, like this!

As one might imagine, the move here of course is a hip thrust. Not quite as wholesome as Whigfield's Saturday Night then....

Saturday, 17 July 2010

'I'm come home: I'd lost my way on the moor!

She might not have been too kind towards our Jane, but Charlotte Brontë has always been my favourite of the three. Emily might have the Gothic edge and I've always had a place for the underrated Anne, but it's Jane Eyre that always calls me back. That is until to we arrive in Haworth, and from the coach, walk down a windy path past an extensive graveyard and across some cobbled streets and up to the little cottage.

(Photos thanks to my Italian comrade Ilaria)

I won't lie to you, as we walked along I thought I'd see Cathy begging at the windows. The wind was raging like it only can in Yorkshire and despite it being July, we were freezing cold- not that any other weather could have set the scene better.

It was, apart from the 60 Italian students I was herding, perfect. It was everything I imagined that it would be. The first time I read any Brontë was in Yorkshire, so to an extent I've always known the landscape, the people, the sounds and the smells that I was being taken to. But at Haworth it seemed even more alive. The graveyard is almost as large as the village is and you do feel like there is no world outside what you can see in front of you.

You can't help but think of Wuthering Heights. Luckily I had put my geeks intuition to use and remembered to take my copy along with me and though I did resist the urge to gather the children round for an atmospheric reading, I did have a quick moment to read over the passage in which Cathy appears to Lockwood:

'I must stop it, nevertheless!' I muttered, knocking my knuckles through the glass, and stretching an arm out to seize the importunate branch; instead of which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand! The intense horror of nightmare came over me: I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, 'Let me in - let me in!' 'Who are you?' I asked, struggling, meanwhile, to disengage myself. 'Catherine Linton,' it replied, shiveringly (why did I think of LINTON? I had read EARNSHAW twenty times for Linton) - 'I'm come home: I'd lost my way on the moor!' As it spoke, I discerned, obscurely, a child's face looking through the window. Terror made me cruel; and, finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed it to and fro till the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes: still it wailed, 'Let me in!' and maintained its tenacious gripe, almost maddening me with fear. 'How can I!' I said at length. 'Let ME go, if you want me to let you in!' The fingers relaxed, I snatched mine through the hole, hurriedly piled the books up in a pyramid against it, and stopped my ears to exclude the lamentable prayer. I seemed to keep them closed above a quarter of an hour; yet, the instant I listened again, there was the doleful cry moaning on! 'Begone!' I shouted. 'I'll never let you in, not if you beg for twenty years.' 'It is twenty years,' mourned the voice: 'twenty years. I've been a waif for twenty years!' Thereat began a feeble scratching outside, and the pile of books moved as if thrust forward. I tried to jump up; but could not stir a limb; and so yelled aloud, in a frenzy of fright.

I'm ashamed to admit that I had forgotten how chilling that novel is. And stood there looking at that scene it wasn't hard to imagine how Emily thought it up, alone in that house while she listened to the wind.

So though my students probably came away still not entirely sure what they'd been doing there in the first place, I can surely say that I'll be glad to go back.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Eight Days a Week

I love my job.

Today I got paid to go to Liverpool, on actual day devoted to The Beatles.

We saw the Cavern Club. I resisted the tourist inside me, mainly because I broke my camera before my job started, but I'll leave that out when I tell the story. I also resisted screaming outside 'The Beatles Story' despite my thinking that everyone would appreciate my reconstruction of Beatlemania. After all, I was trying to look responsible in front of 50 Italian children. Then again, considering a built my relationship with them on my not so secret love of Twilight and shameless moves on the dancefloor, they probably wouldn't have been to surprised.

I'm not going to lie, it could have been crap and I'd have loved it. But it wasn't. It was amazing. Honestly, I adored the entire thing- apart from the slightly odd looking models of them in recording studio it was all very well done. Even though I hold a long standing dislike for the entire Yellow Submarine bag, the fact they'd got one you could walk through impressed both me and the thirteen year olds.

As of course, did the gift shop. I couldn't help myself, I had to do it- I told myself I would only buy things for Gavin, my Beatles guru, but of course then realised I had already bought him a Beatles mug the other Christmas and Revolver is my favourite album, so maybe I ought to keep the huge postcard I bought...

And if you think this is bad, wait until I blog after my visit to the Bronte house.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

You are the case to my heart!

I take it all back. I love the Italian children, I never want them to leave. I may steal my favourites and buy a big house where I can live happily ever after, pretending they are my own.

Honestly, they may walk slowly, play 'Waka Waka' too often and speak unthinkably loud but I LOVE them.

Now that they have been here a few days and gotten to know us, they are all pretty talkative. They say hello to us when they see us, they come over to talk to us- one group even came up to me and asked if I could make sure I would be leading them in the afternoon activity. Most of them are around thirteen, which I suppose is the age in which you think a 20 year old lunatic is the coolest person ever.

We threw them a rave disco, which resulted in my fellow activity monitor Megan and I decked out in uv paint, pink legwarmers and green marker up are arms. Instead of being embarrassed, they all wanted paint like ours- and they copy our dance moves. It may be possible that my affection for them results primarily from the fact that unlike the majority of my acquaintance they think I'm hella cool but it warms the cynical depths of my heart to know that they're having a good time because of my efforts/ridiculous behaviour.

The older boys however are hilarious. They constantly joke with us and though on occasion they are the biggest pains in the arse known to existence, they can be very good fun at things like the disco. For example, picking me up and making me dance with them on a table, which resulted in the whole of the kids cheering and clapping.

Obviously they love my dancing.

But the funniest thing is their flirting- if they weren't Italian I'd be very worried by it, but it seems to be a trait of their male species. To us it's so over the top, telling us we are 'so beauty' and kissing our hands- one boy keeps telling me I am 'the case to his heart', which is rather amusing.

So despite their numerous annoying habits, they've won me over. Keep your eye on the news, I'm considering mass kidnap.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

'And chaos shall fall, and he shalt be named Waka Waka!'

Solve the below equation:

Add 6 optimistic university students with 200 Italian under sixteens, multiply it by 1 disco, 3 bus journeys and two footballs. Multiply the sum by one very large and mostly unsupervised campus- what would be the product?

Chaos. Sheer, and utter chaos. Chaos with it's own theme tune even- chaos constantly accompnied by Shakira singing 'Waka Waka' over and over.

(Don't get me wrong, I totally LOVE Shakira, but even I can't handle it)

In three days we have had one child lost, one group claming to be another, not enough rooms, a teacher turning up two weeks early and demanding to be housed, failed attempts at maintaing curfew and one child in an ambulance with a broken leg.

To top it off, we're living in an 'eco-house'. Now, the house should be like a Thermos- hot when it needs to be, cold when it needs to be. BUT NO. IT IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS HOT. We're having some very hot days yet somehow, it is cooler outside in the glaring sun than inside our state of the art rooms.

What... the.... eff?

Side note- I'm enjoying it really. It's not a bad job, looking after all these kids. They are for the most part pretty sweet, and they're all quite nice. Last night at the disco I found it was my job to start the dancing. Que total humilation as I taught them the Cha Cha Slide, the Macarena and of course Saturday Night.

It was beautiful.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

No, I will not let you get what you want!

And the way you always criticize The Smiths,
And Morrisey- Brand New 'Mixtape'

I don't like The Smiths. I honestly die a little inside when I hear the intolerable whine of Morrisey's voice and I am instantly distrusting of anyone who likes them- which is difficult because I appear to be one of the only people who doesn't like them. And maybe thats why everyone seems to assume I would like them too.

Now, I understand why they might think this. A few of my favourite films feature them on their soundtracks, they are Jesse Lacy's (lead singer of Brand New and my one and only true love) favourite band and my general personality and musical inclinations might well imply I would love The Smiths.

It's a bit like me and Dickens I suppose. When I was younger and I began my classics phase, Dickens was maybe the fifth author I came to and I expected to love him. I was convinced that his works would be my favourites, that I would adore them and re-read them again and again.

I can't stand them. Maybe I'll re-read them and suddenly enjoy them, but so far each one I've attempted has sent me running back to the safety of the Bronte's and Miss Austen. Maybe it's the anticipation- or maybe it's the face that the more people assumed I liked The Smiths, the more I began to detest them.

Gavin, who loves them, can never understand them. And though he mananged to convince me to give the Beatles a chance- yes I know, what a heathen I am! But I do now love them- he has never been able to bring me round to The Smiths. Everytime I hear their music it makes me want to imitate my three year old cousin and put my hands over my ears and scream to block it out.

I'm aware theres not much point to this blog. I just really don't like The Smiths.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Dangerous Liaisons

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single student under the influence of alcohol must be in want of a one night stand.

Yes- we've all done it. And even if we've not done it literally, most of us will at least have had a drunken embrace with a stranger in a dingy, sticky club. It's a funny thing, this act of sexual conquest. On the one hand you feel as if you should swagger along the next day, on the other you feel as if you should hang your head in shame and review your morals.

In light of my previous lament upon relationships, a friend and I got talking about the fact the despite our general lack of relationships, there’s always those drunken moments on a night out. I noted however that getting blind drunk and snogging some loose –pun intended- acquaintance is probably worse for us in the long run despite the temporary high it may put us on.

So why do we do it? For one, as my friend pointed out, its one of the easiest ways to meet potential partners. Of course, ending up in bed with them is probably not the best first impression but the point still stands. With a few drinks down you and dressed your best, we are probably more likely to start random conversations on a night out.

Of course, there is also the fact that we’re all in our twenties, we’re students and for some reason we think that exempts us from the usual rules of etiquette. A female friend of mine likes to live by the following motto:

If I can’t remember it, it didn’t happen

As students we live alone, we’re out of the clutches of our parents and generally we’re encouraged into oblivion by unthinkably cheap drinks. It’s okay if we’re so drunk we don’t know what we’re doing, it’s usually not a problem- everyone else is just as intoxicated as you are! Of course in my case, it’s often caught on camera- as you can see below….

Am I not just so unthinkably classy? (In my defence, this occurred as I attempted to save my friend Lucy from some weird fellow who had decided to dance literally on her. However, the floor is very, VERY slippy and I ended up rugby tackling her to the ground which, though not very classy, was an effective way of getting him to leave. Sadly, this is not the only time I fell in this club. There's a funny story that ends with me in hospital till 4am.)

Here’s the real truth of it all though: no matter how good an idea it seemed at the time, it will always come back to haunt you. My housemate Hannah has discovered this on many occasions and as for me I NEVER seem to be able to escape them

They appear everywhere. While you’re dragging myself round Sainsburys looking for cold medicine and comfort food, on a date with some one else, as an ex boyfriends housemate, out on a night out with another former datee that turns out to be their best friend.

It is never, ever, ever pretty. Never. Seriously. You will find yourself diving into a nearby clothes shop and knocking over eighty pound shoes in an attempt to escape them. You will never again be able to go out make-upless in your holey sweatpants to by unseemly amounts of chocolate. They will be there, popping round the corner of the aisle when you very least expect it for the rest of your university life.
Do not be deceived boys and girls- they are for life, not just for one night.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

And how do you like your lobster cooked?

Well done, apparently.

Yes I have commited the createst of all sins. I have underestimated both my own inability to tan and the British weather. Despite lathering my usual points of burning- shoulders, chest, nose, ears with sun cream, I have managed to instead burn the back of my legs and my back. They are now a rather unattractive, and fairly painful shade of red.

I'm currently covered in sudacreme and probably will be unable to sit down for the next few hours. Needless to say I will probably be wearing knee length dresses for the next few day to ensure that I'm not quite so red when I got away this weekend as unlike my sister, who tans envibly easy, I'll probably just as pale as I was before. Maybe slightly more freckled, but that would be about it.

I should have known better than to sit out in the middle of the day. On holiday abroad I am generally the single oddbod hiding under a parasol peering nervously over a book while everyone else frolicks in the sun.

Dare I join them? Should I venture out? Maybe take a dip in the pool?

Haha, oh no no. This would result in either a) sunburn, b) over heating and eventual fainting or c) ten gruelling minutes in which I will sit there sweating whilst I attmpet not to smudge the ink and using copious amounts of suncream and water spray to try to prevent options a) and b) before eventually giving up and scurrying back into my dim lair.


Monday, 21 June 2010

Upon my Apparent Decent into Spinsterhood

In a fairly bizarre conversation with my grandmother over Facebook chat- yes, my grandmother is on facebook- she inquired after my love life and I realised something terrible. I am the only single one. My sister, my cousins, even my bloody grandmother is in a relationship.

Good lord, I’m the last single one.

Now, don’t get me wrong- I’ve had offers, a few dates here and there. So technically (presuming of course that these offers would still stand after they realised what I’m really like, but that’s not the point), I could be in a relationship if I wanted to. Yes, I am aware that all the poor desperate single girls probably say that they don’t want a relationship then sit at home crying, but honestly I can’t imagine sharing my bed/space/food or giving them the countless hours I could otherwise spend watching shows online whilst playing video games.

However it is a little worrying. Not only am I the only singleton in the family, I seem to be quickly turning into Bridget Jones amongst my friends. Both my best female friends at home are in relationships, as is my best guy Gavin. April even has her whirlwind summer turned soul mate story to tell and though it makes me a little sick in my mouth, part of me is jealous and Gavin, once my cynical anti relationship cohort, posts facebook status that are often just his girl friends name. Even my single comrade in arms Keagan revealed to me recently that he had found himself considering a relationship.

Could it be that before I know it I will be alone on Christmas wearing god awful pyjamas, downing the vodka and doing a stunning rendition of ‘All by Myself’? Will I sit alone at dinner tables while the couples look upon me pityingly? Will I be the crazy lady with cats lamenting her lost youth?

(The last one is probably inevitable either way)

Thursday, 13 May 2010

'If somebody doesn't believe in me, I can't believe in them'

I just bought myself a copy of Pretty in Pink from Amazon- it's a bonus because I managed to get it in a box set with Ferris Beuller and Weird Science for pratically nothing. I'm not really sure why but I've always really loved eighties movies- and yes, I'm not ashmed to admit it's probably partially because of the music- and I used to watch them over and over. After discovering that many of my Uni friends hadn't seen them I insisted that they all watched at least The Breakfast Club and Ferris Beuller. No person should pass into adulthood without seeing those films- personally, I think it should be made a law. Schools should show it as part of compulsary education, it'd be more benefical to them than Citizenship, other wise known as nap time.

I'm not going to lie to you, I was secretly pleased when eighties fashion made a come back. Whenever I wear my blazer and white rimmed sunglasses I have to resist the temptation to start dancing like The Duck man.

(When I say resist, I mean that I check no ones watching then bust a move)

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Happy Star Wars Day!

May the fourth be with you. Always.

I bloody love that man

Saturday, 24 April 2010

A treat from Paul & Joe

My Alice in Wonderland Paul and Joe set arrived! Lately I've been on a bit of a spree, I also bought a scarf, wallet, notebook and letter set thats Alice themed- I honestly can't help myself. Anyway, I had an ASOS voucher so it was a totally justified purchase and it's so beautiful. Despite not quite managing to be quite tech savvy enough to be a real blogger, I have managed to upload photos of it :)

It comes in this lovely cardboard box, then inside the tin is a mirror, blotting paper and lipstick. Yes, all very girly but what can you do? It's a Wonderland must.