Archive | August, 2011

101 places to go before you die……..2 down another 99 to go!

22 Aug

In third year I was looking for a few posters with my flatmate Rachel to decorate our new (and very magnolia) flat. We picked up the obvious ones, cute animals, Twilight, Pirates of the Caribbean..who doesn’t want handsome men or fluffy animals adorning their wall? Then I saw one that really caught my eye ‘101 places to visit before you die’ I looked it up and down and thought it would be something really nice to look at every day, exotic and faraway destinations to take me away from the stress and occasional boredom of uni.

Rachel pointed out that a poster indicating my eventual death is anything but cheerful and inspiring and said if I wanted that one it could go in my room. So university went on and I tucked the poster away, my desire to decorate ever disappearing as spontaneously as it appears and I completely forgot about it, it was only till I was unpacking today (a desire that also appears and disappears pretty quickly) that I found it again.

I was pretty excited, thinking that I must have at least done a quarter of the list, I consider myself pretty well travelled, I’ve been to Cuba and Mexico, done a lot of Europe and explored Greece and Cyprus, I didn’t think I could be that far off ticking a few on my precious poster. I was pretty disappointed to find that I had only been to two of the destinations! Ok so one of the destinations is the moon, pretty out of my reach but still…how could I have seen so little of the world? In terms of the poster I am way behind! 21 years old and only two locations covered.

Some of my friends and my family have been travelling and done trips all around the world, and said it was the most fantastic thing they’ve ever done! Although I like the idea of seeing new places, the idea of travelling hostel to hostel by myself always put paid to any ambitions of going off for a year and making my way around the globe. (I just don’t do hostels! I can’t help it!) But now I can see why people put up with the crappy hostels and occasional risks, the opportunity of seeing the world is just to great to miss! Sometimes when were stuck inside our routines and the pressures of our responsibilities, as well as other peoples expectations of us, it keeps us from going outside ourselves and outside our comfort zone, stopping us from exploring the possibility of other ways of living.

So this isn’t really a blog post, I guess its more of a promise to myself that will be so highly publicised that I can’t wiggle my way out of it. I will work my way through my poster, I will try and make my way to every destination (minus the moon of course) I guess I’ll be doing it my own way though, one destination at a time, and using a nice hotel as a camp base. 🙂

I think the first on my list will be the USA! (Hopefully fingers crossed) New York is calling me!  Its the first on the poster and I’ve always wanted to go and I even have some people that will hopefully want to come with me! Maybe next year after some time working and earning some money, I’ll make a start even if I have to go to every single place by myself. (My love life being the way it is this is a strong possibility) 🙂

So… 101 destinations…..99 to go…and only my lifetime to tick every box.

Lets get cracking! Theres a lot of world to see!

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First Year Radio Bloopers

10 Aug

 I was having a bit of a clear out of my computer today, getting rid of old music and bits of coursework that I don’t need on here anymore so it can run at a rate faster than a snail running a marathon, and I found some of the old recordings me, Amy and Megan did for first year, when we were recording a radio package about migrant rights.

I thought they were so funny and made me all nostalgic for first year when everything was new and we were all cute and nervous, and still using the dreaded marantz! So I thought I’d make them into a bit of a blooper reel 🙂 (Its very roughly done, I did it in like five minutes but I thought it was funny)

Love and no offence intended to Amy and Megan who were actually doing me a massive favour at the time agreeing to be my voice overs for the package 🙂 x x

(Oh and excuse my crazily loud laugh!) he he (oh and excuse that bloody mistake on the word ‘voiceover’ my fingers slipped on the keyboard as I was saving!  What a pain in the ass! ) x

“Showing the police we can do what we want”

9 Aug

Ok so everyone is talking about the riots, so I figured I would have a little blogging session about it since one of the areas that got hit last night was Ealing, where I grew up and that’s close to where a lot of my family still are, and now that the riots are moving on to Manchester it seems and continuing on.

Last night I was watching the coverage of the riots in London via  the BBC and heard a journalist interview a bunch of ill spoken and who I can only describe as girls with an IQ lower than a coffee table, one of their statements went something like “its like the governments fault or whatever, Conservatives or whoever it is that’s in charge, its the rich peoples fault the ones that own businesses… that’s why its happening, its good innit showing the rich people and police we can do what we want.”

Perhaps I haven’t caught the statement from the BBC word for word but that was the general comment in the short interview these girls gave. Whilst wincing at the use of the word ‘innit’ and their attributing the blame for the current situation on a number of sources, half of them which they didn’t seem capable of naming or understanding. I realised that these girls and scores of other people like them genuinely feel that this violence on local business and homes was justified, taking an almost righteous and proud stance of their actions.

I have to admit I couldn’t help but feel a little disgust at watching Ealing, the place where I spent over eight years of my childhood completely trashed for no real reason except the fact that a bunch of yobs felt the need to create some havoc.

In a way I can understand why the original violence broke out , things are awful for a lot of people at the moment, and the authorities that we look to don’t always seem to be hearing our voices which is why desperate people resort to more desperate measures to gain attention for their cause. (I mean look at the student protests and how out of hand they got) However what started out as a protest against unnecessary police force against a young man shot in Tottenham, has become an excuse for bored youths with too much time on their hands and to little restraint to go round acting the part of vigilantes.

So I agree that is disgusting that a bunch of youths all over the country feel that they have the right to “show the police” that they can “do what they want” but what I find really exasperating is the fact that if their homes and possessions were being stolen or destroyed they’d be the first to go to the police and demand action.

I even feel a bit sorry for the rioters, most of them youths who don’t have any concept of the fact that when the fires go out their destruction will have large consequences for them, as well as the business owners and homeowners who lost everything over the past three days.

You’ve shown the police what you can do alright, I just don’t want to think what they and the army may show you in return.

Riots for three days running, hopefully they'll end soon....

Tweetminster- My new addiction

8 Aug

Tweetminster- Certainly worth taking a look at

Whilst trying to access my less frequently used Twitter account (yes I’m an advocate for Facebook, Twitter is more an outlet allowing my stalking of celebrities and public figures) the inaccurate bashing of my fingers on the keyboard as I tried to balance my laptop on one leg, led me to my new current addiction Tweetminster. Thinking it to be an expansion of Twitter I clicked away and found something quite different but entirely more useful and interesting.

Tweetminster isn’t new on the block and has been around since 2008, but my interest in social trends only recently blossoming a year ago I was so excited you’d think I was the first person to discover it.

Basically Tweetminster (not affiliated with Twitter in case you were wondering)  moniters influencers, experts and legitimate sources on any market, issue or topic that you could hope to think of, and then provides what these politicians, activists, academics, civil servants, business analysts and journalists feel is important news for the day. The website organises all this content into handy accessible  topic  sections, and at your finger tips you have access to all the information you could ever need on topics ranging from the economy to the environment. It also provides you with the top stories all over the world and stories shared by the media, government departments and even MP’s.

In a way its like having your own website which only presents you with what your interested in knowing, having the news tailored to your interests, I find myself checking it two, three times a day much like I did when I first got Facebook. Its fast becoming a compulsion to check it, I can only thank that on this occasion my phone doesn’t have the internet because I could see myself running up a large bill!

Most of you out there probably know about it, have been on it, been obsessed with it, and then gotten over it as we do with so many other internet fads (anyone remember Farmville? Facebookers will know what I’m talking about) But for those of you like me who have only just found an interest in social trends or have just been a bit behind, I encourage you to check it out, you never know what you might learn and whether it will spark the same obsession it has with me…within you.

Torchwood Miracle day

4 Aug

I’m not going to deny that a large part of the reason I found myself watching Torchwood’s ‘Children of Earth’ last year, was the fact that the gorgeous and tragically (for us girls) unavailable John Barrowman was the star of the show and on my TV screen for at least an hour every evening. But what started out as me viewing to indulge my simple celebrity crush soon grew into something more, I wasn’t just tuning back in every evening to watch the dashing Captain Jack in uniform, the plot line completely caught my attention. It showed me the darker side of humanity, what we all could be capable of in order to survive, and what the authorities would have the potential to do, if they were faced with the impossible choice.

Now the likelihood of aliens beaming down and coming to harvest a large portion of Earth’s children is incredibly remote, but I still found it interesting, the way the series reflected the worst human kind was capable of.

So when Torchwood ‘Miracle Day’ burst back onto our screens I was the one of the many millions of excited viewers sitting down eagerly to see what Russell T Davies and Co had come up with, and I can’t say they left me disappointed.

On a day like any other an unthinkable miracle happens, and suddenly the people of Earth aren’t dying any more, ironically the only person now left vulnerable now was the once immortal hero Jack. Of course this situation the human race now finds themselves in opens up brand new morale, ethical; and practical dilemmas for the human race to tackle. How will we cope with dwindling resources and more demand? Does murder exist any more? How do we keep order when a life sentence is now forever? And how do we treat those continuously suffering? Are only some of the questions the characters now find themselves asking.

I have to say once again I have been hooked, because although it is unlikely that a medical corporation will be the creators of a miracle allowing us all to live endlessly, the show does raise issues that we as a society are struggling with today, dwindling resources, pain management and health care and of course economy, crime and equality. It acts as a catalyst through which we the audience are allowed to explore these issues that are very much present in our own lives (of course presented in an impossible situation to act as a vice-grip for our attention)

Criticism for Torchwood’s new season has been wide and vocal, I agree that its far from perfect, some of the script and acting makes me cringe, and the one liners are corny to the point where even I raise a sceptical eyebrow, but I think that people are forgetting what the show is really about. Presenting real life problems and issues we can all recognise in ourselves and recreating them into something dramatic, different and fresh, providing a new perspective and taking us to places we never thought we’d go with these issues.

So we may be only episode 4 into the Miracle Day series but I can promise you I will be watching the rest! And I feel that everyone should give it a chance as well, you don’t need to be into SCI- Fi to enjoy it! (God knows I’m not) you just need an imagination, and lets face it the fact that John Barrowman is on our screens for a large portion of the time whilst watching it…is an added bonus.

Gwen, Rex and the lovely Captain Jack

Last Single Girl Standing

1 Aug

Ok so practically all my girlfriends now have boyfriends, I think every girl will agree that its not always easy being the only member of your clique that is unattached and when it comes to social occasions it can feel like going into a battle without the armour. Clubbing, a meal out, the cinema its all a minefield if you stand alone in a group of happy couples, its never really bothered me before except on Valentines Day (a day designed for couples) but now on the lead up to yet another night out on the town as the ‘last single girl’ left standing I am beginning to feel that sense of nervous dread every singleton does when they go out with couples. Its not so much that hanging out with my friends and their partners is un-enjoyable, but the little things like having someone to dance with, get you a drink, walk you home.

When your the one in a bunch of two’s you feel that tiny nagging sense of awkwardness. So where am I going wrong? I’ve been asked out before and have been on dates but somehow the guy wasn’t right, there was no spark, we weren’t suited… a buffet of reasons made it only natural I stay single and then it comes round to some sort of event and I am going it alone again. I sit there and wonder, how do these girls do it? How have they found the right guy?

And suddenly I feel like a cast member from Sex and the City except with less exciting encounters, less designer clothes and less self realisations. Although I have to admit me and Carrie connect on one major point….

“Did you ever think that were the white knights and that we have to save ourselves?”

So even at the risk of sounding very clichéd I’ve decided to proclaim myself  ‘the last single girl standing’ (amongst my small girly group of friends anyway!) And be proud to go stag to all upcoming events, I’m going to take a leaf out of Carries book and be my own white knight, going it alone to a girlfriends birthday night out and not even attempting to look for ‘boyfriend opportunities.’

Watching Sex and the City is certainly a relationship education...

And because I know I’m not the ‘last single girl’ to all the other single girls out there just like me, observing perfect happy couples surrounding them and feeling a mixture of envy and nausea I can only say that we don’t stand alone, we stand together! (On the dance floor probably flinging our arms wide and having a cocktail per track) 🙂

Its me or the dog?

1 Aug

Today I saw something that made me go all warm and fuzzy inside, for those of you who know me well you’ll know that this is not exactly a challenge (warm and fuzzy being my natural state) but what I saw just summed up real selflessness. (In my humble opinion)

I was in town, doing the usual chores and I walked past a homeless woman with a raggedy yet very cute and sweet natured dog. She was sitting unassumingly and with an air of pride cuddling her little friend, I carried on walking but felt that little tugging at my conscience, so I popped into the shops and bought some dog chews and a few bits and went and came back that way hoping she hadn’t moved on.

I found a polite,  charming and intelligent woman who through no fault of her own had ended up on the street. We started chatting about our mutual love of dogs and from there found we had quite a few mutual interests. I cautiously asked her if she had approached any of the women’s shelters in the area, and then she spoke the words that made me go all gushy.

“They did offer me a place…but they don’t take  dogs, I would have to get rid of him. I’m never doing that, I’d rather be out here than without him,we stay together.”

She would rather be out there sleeping rough and hungry when the only option is to leave her dog to fend for himself. That is devotion, loyalty and uncompromising friendship, I know some of you out there, probably not as sentimental as me, would say she made the wrong choice and that her dog is costing her a better standard of life. However I just can’t help but admire how far her love goes for her canine companion.

I have two dogs that I am completely crazy about, and I have to wonder that if faced with the same choice…what would I do? (Lets hope I never have to find out!)

So to all my friends out there who adore their pets the way I do mine…I’m curious and have to ask the question, how much do your pets mean to you, how much do you love your pets, is it you…or your pets?

Me and my Koda

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