Monday, 21 February 2011

21st Birthday Weekend

Yesterday, 20th February, was my 21st birthday! So I am now officially old. I can now buy alcohol in America. I can now...well, I could already do everything else, but still. 21. Twenty-one. Two One. Woah.

To celebrate this monumentous coming-of-age event, I pretty much had the best weekend ever. On Friday afternoon I met up with my BFFAE Gregory, which was amazing because I haven't seen him in over a year (he's been studying abroad). He told me the insane news that he's actually been offered a job working in America so he's moving to near San Francisco - how wicked is that? Then I went to Hayley and Steph's house, where they gave me presents and cupcakes and birthday cake and sourz slushies (which I didn't realise that I needed in my life until I had one) and sparkly wine with gold bits in it and all sorts of lovely party birthday things. After my mate Ben arrived all the way from Newcastle, we headed into York to Fibbers to meet some of my other friends and to see Frankie and the Heartstrings (how magical that they were playing in my city so close to my birthday). The gig was absolutely perfect, a proper good start to the weekend. After the show we went to Reflex, which is this creepily awesome eighties bar, and danced. Cracking night. (Big up to Michael from F&TH for sorting me and Hayley with tickets, what a diamond).
Doing the Creep.

On Saturday my parents organised a party for me with all of my family, so we had about 25 people from both sides of my family at my house. It was fantastic! I hadn't seen a few of them for quite a while, so that was really lovely.
Yesterday it was my actual birthday, so I had a lie-in because I was completely knackered, then got up and opened presents from my family. I'll have to put some photos up later when I've taken them because I got some beautiful things. We had lunch and then went for a walk at Towton, came home and watched The Other Guys, which my brother bought me for my birthday. Best film ever! Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell - who would have thought that they would make such a dream team?
But now the partying is over and I'm 21. Does that mean that I have to grow up now?



My much spoken of favourites Frankie and the Heartstrings release their debut album Hunger today. I preordered it from HMV and it arrived on Saturday, so I have been listening to it all weekend (amidst all the partying and becoming 21 that I have been doing...more on that tonight). You have to get it. Just, please. Buy it. It is incredible in ways that music does not really tend to be any more. Plus, if you order it from HMV it's only a fiver, and it's free delivery. You can't go wrong.
The Heartstrings are on tour at the moment, and I saw them (again) last Friday as part of my birthday vibes. They completely blew me away. I mean, they always do, but there was something different this time. Me and Hayley were talking about this; the difference in them from when we discovered them supporting Florence and the Machine 14 months ago is astounding. I don't know whether Edwyn Collins has been sprinkling fairy dust on them, or something (he produced the album), but somehow the songs have reached a whole new level of excellent. The new version of 'Fragile', which was already one of my favourite songs of all time ever, is achingly beautiful, and 'Don't Look Surprised' is quite possibly the most perfectly composed song I have heard. It is nice to have a version of 'Possibilities' that I didn't rip off the NME website a year ago on a very questionable internet recording site, and as I always do when I mention F&TH, I highly recommend that you check out the video for 'Tender'. There is some great dancing on there.

I realise that my persistent Heartstrings promotion is getting a bit tiresome, but I really love them and I cannot imagine any band that deserves success and your support more. Hunger is a properly stunning album and I really, really cannot recommend it - and them - enough.

Monday, 14 February 2011

and the winner is...

Last night I went ahead and watched the Baftas live. Normally I don’t bother because I only end up getting annoyed when the people who deserve to (read: who I want to) win, don’t. Of course it was absolutely no different this year, but I have been really fascinated by a couple of films who were up for awards, so I thought I’d show my support (Inception, 127 Hours and The Social Network, in case you were wondering).

Predictably, The King’s Speech won practically everything. I haven’t seen it yet so I don’t know what the fuss is about, but it still bored me that it got almost every single award. If you follow me on twitter, you will have read my reactions firsthand. The whole show was a mixture of the abysmal (Helena Bonham Carter’s hair, Rosamund Pike’s attempt at presenting an award) and the completely wonderful (Emma Stone’s dress, Andrew Garfield and Jesse Eisenberg invading each other’s personal space on stage). David Fincher quite deservedly won Best Director, Aaron Sorkin got Adapted Screenplay (again, quite deservedly. I'm reading the book it's taken from and I have read the screenplay. I was dazzled by it's magnificence), and Inception won all the smaller awards like Special Visual Effects and Sound and the other awards that they don't actually show being presented apart from in a montage at the end of the programme. Tom Hardy won the Rising Star award, which I was NOT cool with. I like him and everything, but I voted for Andrew Garfield, and when I actually take the time to vote for someone, I expect them to win (by the by, Andrew is completely terrible at being a gracious loser. He kept pulling faces every time he and/or Jesse Eisenberg didn't win something. Which of course I loved). I was annoyed that 127 Hours didn't get anything, too. At least there's still the Oscars to come, but I'm only expecting similar results.

Did anyone else watch it? Were you pleased with the results? Was anyone else really annoyed that some people who won awards hadn't actually bothered to turn up to collect them?

Monday, 7 February 2011

oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god

"Thank you for attending the recent interview for the Postgraduate Cert in Education (Upper Primary) programme. We were impressed with your performance during the day and based on this feel that you would perform well on our programme."

So, basically as long as the government doesn't cut the university's allocation of teaching places, I GOT IN.

Sunday, 6 February 2011


Thank you to anyone who wished me luck for my interview on Thursday - my silence since then wasn't because I imploded with panic and died in the interview room. No, it is simply laziness on my part. Also, I have tragically become addicted to Tumblr and because everyone I follow posts almost constantly, it takes me hours and days to keep up. I'm probably going to have to give it up soon because it is taking over my already hostile and anti-social life.

The interview (to get into university in September to train become a primary school teacher) actually went quite well - the exam was very difficult and the group task was intense, but the individual interview seemed to go swimmingly. Or so I am hoping (it could end up being one of those cases where you think you've done amazingly in an exam and then WABAM, you get a big fat F).

So I really haven't been doing anything else - as always. On Thursday night I went to Hayley's and we ate and ate and ate and maybe drank a bit and watched Andrew Garfield films. The Social Network, the sheer perfection of which I still cannot get over, and Never Let Me Go. I spoke about the novel Never Let Me Go when I read it a while ago. I think I must take back my Carey Mulligan comment in that post because I've realised now that she is wonderful and I adore her. I also think I figured out why I didn't like the book - it was just so cold. It was a love story with no love. The only passage that affected me was when Tommy says something like 'We've loved each other our whole lives...'. But I digress, I am talking about the film.

Which is spectacular, can I just say. Absolutely stunning. It was beautiful, graceful, emotional, heart-breaking and quite breath-taking in parts. The bit where Tommy gives Kathy a hug after he hasn't seen her in ten years... it was the most touching moment I can imagine. And I have to admit that Keira Knightley was quite good. I mean, she was a perfect Ruth. I hated her, so she must have played the part well. Carey Mulligan was excellent, but it was Andrew Garfield who completely blew me away. He was Tommy in every single aspect; he was every single inch the character from the book. Only with more feeling. He destroyed me. What a fantastic film.
On Saturday I went to my local library as part of the whole 'support your library now because the government are going to shut them down because they're actually nazis and will probably burn all the books' campaign that was going on. I am ashamed to say that it has been a long time since I last checked a book out of a library. I tend to buy them from Waterstones instead - which probably explains why libraries are in jeopardy in the first place. I forgot how perfect libraries are, and I intend to start going frequently now. I urge you all to start doing the same. I think the plan was to get so many people to check out books that there wouldn't actually be any books left in the libraries and they physically couldn't shut them down.

Speaking of books, I have been given a place as a book giver on World Book Night! My book choice was Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. I am hoping to somehow be able to give some of my smashing readers a copy of the book (I have 48 to give away), so keep your eyes open for news nearer the date if you're interested in a free book. World Book Night is on 5th March, and there are probably events going on in your area, so do look out for those also.

Finally, Jesse Eisenberg was on SNL last week, so obviously I had to watch it because I am in love him and his awkwardness. The following song was one of the sketches on the show and it perfectly encapsulates me and Hayley and the way we live our lives. Do enjoy.

We are the original creeps. And we are learning these dance moves for when we go out for my 21st in less than two weeks. LESS THAN TWO WEEKS. Oh no.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


So, tomorrow is the most important day of my life to date. I have my PGCE interview, which basically determines what I do with the rest of my life. Up until yesterday I totally cool about it and living in my usual bubble of having emotions for nothing other than books and Andrew Garfield. But then last night I completely freaked out and now I feel really, really sick. I cannot wait until Thursday night when I can go back to being nonchalant about every aspect of my life.

Until then, please wish me luck. I'll leave you'll with one of my favourite paintings, which just happens to express my feelings perfectly right now.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

excitement and smiles and over-the-top exclamation marks !!!

Because I have about three gatrizillion photos on my laptop, I have been trying to put them in some sort of order instead of just in files labelled helpful things such as 'various' or 'more pictures' or, a personal favourite of mine, simply 'people'. I'm really very lazy.

Browsing through these photographs, I have discovered that I have a signature pose. It is not original, nor is it in any way attractive/pleasant/awesome. It simply appears to be the face I pull when either a) I'm excited about something (which is often), or b) when I'm really excited about something (even more frequently. I am like a small child).

Here is a selection for you. Note how in every one I look gormless, yet full of joy at that moment in my life. GOOD TIMES.

Fields! Grass! I love Yorkshire!

I'm in Belfast! That's in a whole other country to where I live!


Prague weddings are creepy! (Classy English bird with my bottle of wine, there. How shameful).

Yay! I'm endangering both our lives by distracting my friend who is supposed to be driving!

Women in prison! My favourite!

I'm on a boat! In the sea! And a girl is watching me!

I'm on the beach in the rain! My life is the BEST!


A BlackBerry sign! And...oh my God! I HAVE A BLACKBERRY! Take a photo!

I'm on a gondola! IN VENICE!

Rome! History! Old stuff! Boater hats and white bras!

Christmas and DINOSAURS. I am going to explode with excitement!


Living the dream!