Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Bored of Amy

So Amy Winehouse has cancelled all of her concerts and appearances for the rest of the year on doctor's orders.

To be honest at this point I really couldn't care less.

The first of Miss Winehouse's songs failed to capture my imagination and I lumped her in with the other art school brats that litter the pop charts.

Then she came back with Back to Black.

I found myself tapping my foot and humming along to her tunes.

They a classic blues vibed that was quite infectious.

So I began to really like Amy.

Then she began to appear in practically all of the free sheets practically all of the time.

She was on drugs, she drank to much, she was having troubles with her man...

No more the vague dismissiveness, I began to loathe the site of her beehive.

Hopefully with the cancelled concerts she won't even leave her house and I'll finally have a rest.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Secret service goes pop.

I have recently been slightly perturbed by the adverts to be an MI5 surveillance officer on the radio.

It could be worse the advert could run: "Like nosing around in other people's business, then come and join our team."

But it unsettles me none the less.

Then I read in the paper today that MI6 are hoping to recruit Radio 1 listeners, by having some of their officers appear on the radio station talking about their jobs.

I think I preferred it when it was a case of being quietly pulled aside at University, not that I would know I've just heard about it.

In fact someone from my University apparently did get pulled aside, but I'm a bit dubious about this information as if this was the case then why did she tell anyone.

The idea of spies discussing their careers in between Britney Spears and Chris Moyles is just too strange.

Though it may make me listen to Radio 1, just out of pure curiosity.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

When feminism conflicts with your social life...

I had a reclaim the night march invitation wafted under my nose recently.

To sum it up quickly the reclaim the night march is an annual march against rape and male violence.

I haven't done anything particularly active since a very small pro choice march many months ago, so I thought great a fantastic opportunity to get active again.

Then it got complicated: a friend of mine invited me to her clothes show and another friend invited me to a house warming.

This meant my evening was completely booked up.

So much for direct action, but isn't supporting your friends and being sociable important too.

It didn't make me feel much better when I read an article in the G2 from yesterday about the impeding march bemoaning the laziness of today's feminists.

Oh well I'll just have to live with the guilt and make firm plans to go next year and hope my social life doesn't conflict again.

Thursday, 22 November 2007


An all star cast and a fantastical story.

What could go wrong?

Well not much actually.

Stardust follows the story of Tristan as he tries to retrieve a fallen star from a fantasy land across a wall to win the hand in marriage from the women he loves.

The relatively unknow Charlie Cox plays Tristan and I have to confess that with the change of appearance later in the film I developed a bit of a crush.

Michelle Pfeiffer as usual puts in a stunning performance as the witch Lamia who is also seeking the star.

It also features Claire Danes, Robert De Niro, Peter O'Toole and Ricky Gervais among others.

I find Ricky Gervais irritating in everything and this really was no exception, thankfully he doesn't feature in the film for long.

The film itself is visually stunning and heartwarming, if perhaps a little sickening towards the end.

I would reccommend it though, but run out of the cinema before the Take That song in the credits starts rolling.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Delicious (Oishii) Suishi

I've developed a bit of an obsession with Sushi lately and it would seem that I'm not alone.

Tokyo has been lauded by Michelin, they now have no less than eight three Michelin starred restaurants.

Two among these serve nothing but Sushi.

On top of this a further three of these offer purely Japanese food.

I think this is a wonderful development: my current favourite dish given the very highest of gastronomical accolades.

Amazingly enough the three remaining restaurants actually serve French cuisine, I bet the French didn't like that...

But back to the sushi: I've sampled a fair few Sushi restaurants both here and abroad, I'm not a connoisseur, but Michelin having done all the hard work for me I'm tempted to go tramping off to Tokyo.

I am only worried that I might be let down by what is at least presented as being the world's best sushi.

Then there is the issue of the price.

Sushi has a tendency to be a bit expensive, though it was very cheap when I had it in Taiwan, so a Michelin starred Sushi restaurant - my mind boggles.

Then of course I've got to stump up the airfare to get to Tokyo and pay for a hotel before I even get near the food.

Still a girl can dream.

When I'm rich and famous I'm going to fly to Tokyo and try all the Michelin starred Japanese restaurants.

Although by then I may well be obsessed by another food.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Catholics attack Amnesty

The Catholic Church has called on its members to stop giving money to Amnesty because of their supportfor abortion in exceptional circumstances.

I could perhaps understand if Amnesty were being criticised for coming out and being unashamedly pro-choice, but they're simply saying that abortion is acceptable in cases of rape or danger to the mother.

I think it is really sad that a religious group should attack Amnesty in this way.

After all Amnesty stands up for a lot of the things that any church must hold dear, the right to practise your religion without being attacked.

Amnesty is a brilliant organisation, even if they were to come out as being pro-choice surely it isn't worth throwing the baby out with the bath water (no pun intended).

Thankfully only 222 of Amnesty's ample British membership have heeded the Church's request, but to my mind that's still 222 too many.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Language of Prairie Dogs

I crept out onto the streets of London last night with no money on the understanding that some friends were having a gig at The Premises Studios which was completely free.

I didn't realise before I got there that this was actually a proper music studio, I thought it was just another small venue event.

So I turned up at this tiny little cafe bar next to the Mecca Bingo (classy) and found myself wondering: how in the hell are they going to fit a band in here.

Plus there was no sign of anyone, I knew I was early but I expected the band to be there at least.

So I asked a waitress: "Am I in the right place, I've come to see a gig."

She nodds, "In the studios." she points towards what I'd thought was the toilets (it does have the sign for them).

As I make towards the door she asks archly "what band have you come to see?"

I'm glad I checked the name in the afternoon: "The Language of Prarie Dogs..?"

She nodds and I head through the door.

I am faced with a labyrinth of corridors I make my way towards noise, but I find that noise is coming from lots of the studios.

I text Matt.

As it turns out I've managed to position myself outside exactly the right door.

So here I am, watching the Language of Prairie Dogs rehearse.

I get to contribute my thoughts to the level of the bass and vocals.

By nine pretty much everyone has turned up, but they're still faffing about going out to buy beer and such.

I didn't really know what to expect.

I've seen Dean (the singer) perform on his own before and quite enjoyed it.

But the Prairie Dogs...

So I was very satisfied with what followed.

All Dean's songs which I know already but with a beefed up sound thanks to drums and bass.

Quite a nice evenings entertainment.

I'd reccommmend it.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Jo Brand up Trinny's skirt...

I had quite a lazy day yesterday I did some bits and pieces but not nearly enough so I'm going to have a full weekend.

As a result of this lazy day I was settled in front of the television for a lot of the evening.

In the ad break there was a trailer for Graham Norton, which I haven't watched in ages.

The trailer showed Jo Brand with her hands up Trinny's, as in Trinny and Susannah, skirt.

I was intrigued.

So for the first time in a long time I settled down to watch Graham Norton, I've never been a great fan.

Sure enough Trinny and Susanna start fondling Jo's boobs, so Jo - quite sensibly I think - runs away and Trinny gives chase, so Jo retalitates the only way she can and sticks her hands up Trinny's skirt.

Simple really.

But very funny.

It got me wondering what I'd do and how I'd react if someone started fondling my boobs.

Would I laugh assuredly and make some witty remark - probably not I'm not great at witty remarks, not 100% of the time anyway.

Would I come over all shy and coy and get all giggly - probably not, I'm quite brazen when my body is concerned.

Would I retaliate in some way - probably, but possibly with not as much comedy value as Jo Brand.

All I can say is yah Jo!

I also watched the first in the new series of The Mighty Boosh last night.

I really enjoyed the last series, though me being me I didn't see all of it.

It's patchy, but when it's funny it's very funny.

It was suitably surreal, as anyone who watches The Boosh will expect it to be, and I ended my evening very satisfied as far as comedy was concerned.

Eels, eels, eels.

Eels up inside ya!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Far too much plastic

OK both Stuart and Becky have blogged on this already, but I have been meaning to for a while, honest.

I'm delighted with the proposal to ban or at least levy plastic bags.

When I was at University first time around I always used my college bag or even my large rucksack to do my shopping, prompted partly by the fact that Kwik Save, my local supermarket, charged 3p per plastic bag - I'm tight ok.

However since I have been back at home I've been a bit more remiss.

I've been collecting plastic bags like it's going out of fashion.

I say collecting, because we have a nifty amnesty holder at home that keeps your plastic bags for re-using - but we very rarely re-use them, we're always forgetting.

On top of that we have a Marks and Spencers re-usable bag and two Waitrose (my Mum's gone quite posh with her shopping these days) ones!

Needless tyo say we hardly ever remember to take them out with us.

So I'm hoping that this new ban or levy will let us use the dam things up and maybe I can dig out my rucksack again.

A bit of stick never did anybody any harm.

At least not where the planets concerned.

When people rise above it.

One of the survivor's of the 7/7 bomb attacks has spoken up against longer detention.

Even having gone through a traumatic terrorist attack this woman is still willing to stand up for liberty and democracy.

She said that the extending the 28-day limit, which she added was already too long, would hand the terrorists "something of a gift".

I couldn't have put it better myself, but if anyone who is qualified to offer thier opinion this woman is.

She's actually gone through something that could shake her faith in the way our society is run.

Yet she still thinks "I've always been impressed by this nation's commitment to freedoms and I am concerned that ministers are taking events like July 7 and using them to undermine freedom and democracy."

I hope that if the time ever comes I could be as brave.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Croydon the new Barcelona

I can sympathise with David Bowie using Croydon as an insult.

I use Croydon as an insult.

I have a friend who lived in Croydon, more or less, and she uses it as an insult.

So I have to say I was amused by the attempt to make Croydon sexy.

They're going to dig up a river, introduce lots of plants and generally spruce the place up a bit.

In theory I'm all for this, Croydon as cultural hub thing, but I can't help but think it's never going to get over its slightly chavy roots.

Croydon is ultimately a shopping mecca, does it really need to be anything more.

Can it be?

I wil remain unconvinced until the transformation takes place.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Just because I read a broadsheet doesn't mean I'm loaded

I'm getting frustrated with the weekend pages of The Guardian.

There are too many features that seem to assume that I have loads of money to fritter away.

There's a readers offer on emeralds and diamonds, ok they're only £180 - I can only guess this is cheap for such things, but that really isn't money I can spare

The fashion section are featuring £15 rings, one of them's even £160, I consider £5 on a ring to be a bit of an extravagence.

And they can be decidedly snooty about the cheaper hotels on offer if you manage to scrape together the money to actually go on holiday.

I know I read a broadsheet and that I'm willing to pay sixty pence more for my news than readers of The Sun but this hardly means I have an endless supply of dosh.

It would be nice if just once I saw something on lower range goods in the fashion and how to survive on a budget.

Can you tell that I'm feeling distinctly broke at the moment?

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Keith Hill

I went to see my local MP, Keith Hill, on Friday to interview him about his retirement.

It made me realise how shamefully little I know about my local area.

I'm meant to be reporting on it for the next couple of weeks, so hopefully my knowledge will improve.

Keith on the other hand was well informed about local issues, which is what anyone would hope from their local MP.

It hasn't always been this way the Tory MP that we had through the eighties didn't even know where the St.Leonards junction was - only one of the most conjested areas in the borough.

So I'll be sad to see Keith go, even though I don't agree with all his politics, I can only hope that his replacement will be as passionate about Streatham.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

What to do when the MOD just isn't exciting enough.

Lord Drayson, previously the minister for defence, has given up his job to drive fast cars.

At 47 Lord Drayson is standing down to persue his dream of winning the Le Mans 24-hour motor race.

This doesn't entirely surprise me, the MOD I would imagine would attract macho types who like fast cars.

Being at the centre of government clearly isn't all that when it comes to excitement.

This does surprise me.

Buying arms for a living that are actually used to kill people...

What a rush: to know that you are making history as you perpetuate the mess of an illegal war.

Is driving fast cars really better?

Or maybe you were starting to feeling guilty Paul, better to risk your own life than be a part in taking others'.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Flood? What flood?

Through a veil of sleep yesterday morning I heard the Today programme report on a mud slide in Mexico.

So when I reached the international pages of the guardian I expected some report there also.

There was none, not even a hundred words.

This is no minor inetrnational incident this is a flood on the scale of New Orleans.

I bought a selection of papers yesterday so I decided to look through all of them.

The Daily Telegraph had an advert appealing for help in the Mexico floods, but no article.

The Independent thankfully had a very short article on it.

So I am left fuming at The Guardian.

Why have international pages if you aren't going to report on major international news?

It's a disgrace.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

More breasts please?

Allegedly breast feeding cuts your risk of heart disease.

Great I thought, my mother has saved me from ill health in later life.

However on reading the report I was discouraged to note that there were no details on the Methodology of the study.

Why so disappointed?

Well given the claims I wanted to make sure that any other factors had been ruled out as part of the study.

Now there is nothing to say that they didn't, but it leaves that question hanging in the air.

After all those that are breast fed may be better educated or more wholesomely fed as they grow up, which could also contribute to their low BMI index in later life.

So if you wrote this report could you set my mind at rest.

Monday, 5 November 2007

As luck would have it...

I've just got myself a new international reader from Brazil.

Still no wiser on why they dropped by though...

International readers

I was really excited when I got my first reader from India, I'm guessing they were attracted by my post on Bride and Prejudice - though maybe not, I don't want to stereotype this person.

I wanted to attract more readers from far flung places, so I was delighted when I had a reader show up on the west coast of America - my geographies bad so I don't know what state that is.

Then I got a blob turn up what looks like it might be Luxembourg.

But now I'm addicted, I want to have readers all around the globe and more than just one in each place.

My egomania knows no bounds, but I don't know what these precious international readers came to look at so I've no idea what I should be focussing on to encourage more of them to read.

So if you're from anywhere outside England then leave a comment, let me know what you're reading and I'll try to write more and not just go on boring rants about my burgeoning international readership.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

What can £1.31 buy you these days?

I'm on campus again today finishing off my shiny new website and waiting for Melissa to come and have a look at it.

I've been overspending a bit recently, so I came into campus today armed with a travelcard and £1.31 in loose change.

At about 11.30 I took a break and wandered into town in search of a coffee.

The coffee shop I like was selling most things at over £2.00.

My £1.31 could have bought me a peach flavoured ice tea for £1.30...

So I decided to check out Debenhams.

Their coffee shop was similar and in fact had nothing for £1.30, but then I tried the Restaurant...

At first I was tempted by the £1.30 Iced Donut, but I thought I better check the drinks.

Low and behold at Debenhams Restaurant I could buy a whole pot of tea for £1.30.

So that's what I settled on.

One small pot of tea with heaps of sugar and milk.


And I've still got a penny...

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Where has my inner radical gone?

I was going to talk about Jean Charles de Menezes yesterday, but I didn't really know what to say apart from I was disappointed at the government's reaction to the results of the inquiry.

Instead I went to watch the Fireworks at Streatham Common last night, it was quite a fun display but I found myself wondering at my own safety.

Not that I felt threatened, despite the sign asking for help in a shooting incident on the way there, in fact that was exactly the point I felt incredibly safe.

I remembered the accusation levelled at the British Muslims in Britz on Thursday night, that they were safe whilst their brothers and sisters were dying in other parts of the world.

I'm not a Muslim, but that's not to say that I can't also feel guilty about my cosy existence.

It's been a while since I've even been to a political demo, the last one I was at was a Pro Choice rally and I missed the one about Burma.

I feel distinctly inactive and I don't like it.

It feels as if I am accepting what is going on in the world at the moment and that is far from the case.

I joined the students against the war group at freshers' Fair but they haven't been in touch and they were the only campaigning group on campus it seemed.

Where was the Amnesty group?

I'm sick of just signing the odd petition I want to feel as if I'm really doing something.

But there isn't to my mind a party that I can join, they all seem to be selling the same stuff.

If you can think of a good one let me know.

Thursday, 1 November 2007


I'm watching the second part of the Channel Four series Britz.

It is one of the best pieces of TV that I've seen in a while.

It is perhaps not as personal as the film Jasmin that was shown a while ago, but it raises even more issues than the former did about the state of "terrorist" legislation in this country.

We are quick in this country to criticise America for being bigoted and imperialist, but we tend to give our own government an easier ride.

"We were pushed into the Iraq War by the Americans."

"This is not what Britain wants."

But Britain is still completely responsible for its own domestic policy.

Control Orders, The Prevention of Terrorism Act, they are all within our power to change.

There aren't enough voices reminding the government that arrest without charge caused massive miscarriages of justice in Northern Ireland.

We're making the same mistakes again, only worse.

It's time that we brought this madness to an end.