Wednesday, December 29, 2010

To what extent is Cameron a Thatcherite?

An essay title given to me by my Politics teacher. Here is my essay.

“It’s no wonder that today we learn the Foreign Secretary describes his gang as the children of Thatcher,” Ed Miliband said. “I’d rather be a child of Thatcher than a son of Brown,” replied a chuffed-looking Cameron. Most reacted to this, either cheerfully or glumly, by complaining of how badly Miliband is leading the Labour Party. However, most have ignored the fact Cameron has just admitted his ‘progressive’ party may not be so adverse to Thatcherism. His apparent endorsement of Thatcher may remind the electorate of Norman Lamont’s allegation that “rising unemployment is a price well worth paying”. Perhaps not a clever reminder during these harsh economic times rife with cuts to government spending and jobs.
In one respect, Cameron has made an effort to distance himself from Thatcher. That effort is his now ubiquitous mantra ‘The Big Society’. Thatcher once famously, or rather infamously, pronounced in an interview that there was “no such thing as society”. This flagship policy brings to mind One Nation Conservatism and serves to oppose Thatcher’s PR disaster, both in an attempt to counteract the impression of the Tories being a “nasty party”.
Furthermore, it is difficult to imagine Thatcher willing to form a coalition with the Lib Dems. One may speculate that she would have led a minority government with her head held high. Of course, this is very different to Cameron’s attitude, which The Indie reported as being labelled “defeatist” by Tory grassroots members. He is apparently even contemplating contesting the next election as a coalition, on a joint ticket.
Margaret Thatcher advocated Classical liberalism: free markets, free will of individuals, limited government. The implication of these beliefs was Social Darwinism. However flawed her belief system, at least she had one. Cameron, on the other hand, says he is “not a deeply ideological person”. How insipid.
It seems Cameron is willing to take whichever side, depending on his audience. The problem he faces is convincing the public the Tories have changed, while assuring the Tories they haven’t. This effort at trying to please everyone is encapsulated in the following quote, when Cameron claimed he was “certainly a big Thatcher fan, but I don’t know whether that makes me a Thatcherite”.
Robin Harris, Cameron’s former boss at the Conservative Research Department, made the case when writing for Standpoint that the PM is more of a Majorite than a Thatcherite, “with no clear philosophy but a ruthless streak and a pleasing manner”. Even Rupert Murdoch, the media tycoon that must be attributed credit for May’s muted Tory success, if one can even call it that, has said that Cameron “behaves as if he doesn’t believe in anything other than trying to construct what he believes will be the right public image”.
Some commentators take the view that David Cameron is not as great as Thatcher, whether ‘great’ is being used as a compliment or not. More of a lame duck like Major. He certainly is not as revolutionary, or as popular; after all the Tories won 43.87% of the vote in Thatcher’s first election whilst Cameron could not even scrape a majority. This is quite astounding when Gordon Brown was the most pitied man, if not the most hated, in politics at the time. Effectively, New Labour had handed the Tories a victorious election on a plate, but still they didn’t win.
There are differences, many, between Thatcher and Cameron. For one, the incumbent Prime Minister is a “millionaire stockbroker’s son and relative of the Queen, who was raised by nannies and matrons and sailed through Eton and Oxford into Tory Central Office” as Brian Reade described him. Whereas Thatcher was the daughter of a grocer. Having said this, the question is whether Cameron is a Thatcherite, not if he is Thatcher.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Disclaimer: I know nothing about art. I had never read anything about Picasso or his work until after writing this post, only google imaged his paintings.

Personally, I find Picasso's cubist art offensive. I'm not entirely sure why, but if I look at one of his paintings I feel disgusted and taken aback. And not in a good way.
I have noticed that most of his paintings depicting disfigured people are of women, and this bothers me. It looks like he sliced them up and stuck them back together haphazardly. The 'cut and paste' effect I feel is violent and seems to me if someone dreams of doing this figuratively... I don't know but I find it actually makes me recoil.

Picasso's self-portraits are for the most part quite complimentary. Those in 1896 and 1900 show a Simon from Misfits look-a-like (Future Simon obviously). The 'Yo Picasso' one, well yes his eye is a bit lopsided but he still looks pretty fit. The Pablo in 'Self Portrait with Cloak' from his blue period series is really quite attractive, in that 'brooding genius' kind of way. In 1906 there's the one 'with the Palette' in which he looks completely different, and his chest for some reason touches his chin, but again not an ugly guy. Then there's his most famous, that which is angular and geometrical. Perhaps you could say this is a bit butters. However in relation to his 'Tête de Femme', 'A woman in a green hat' and 'Femme en Pleurs', he doesn't look bad.
Anyway, my point is why wasn't he ever cut up in his paintings?

And another thing. Picasso is quoted as having said "Art is a lie that makes us realise the truth." I fucking hate these kind of meaningless aphorisms, it makes him (it's nearly always a him) sound horribly pretentious and eager to be considered a thinker, a philosopher.

Friday, December 10, 2010

no ifs, no buts, no education cuts

I chose to protest Thursday, instead of going to my classes. As yet I've missed every demo because I've been worried about missing valuable learning time, but this was the big one. So it wasn't just an excuse to bunk-off school, as numerous claim. I felt it was immensely important to contribute.
At around 9 years of age, my mother had a boyfriend who introduced us to Rhythms of Resistance, a london-based samba band. We've played with RoR, as well as other samba bands, on and off every since.
If I've understood correctly, Sambatage are a relatively new group formed of SOAS students. Because RoR is a little dead at the moment, some are joining in with their gigs instead.

The day started at ULU, at around midday. We listened to and cheered speakers from universities and trade unions, then proceeded to march and play. I had not a clue where we were heading, but the crowd moved towards Parliament Square and we arrived there at around 2pm. I didn't know then I would be there for another 7 hours.
Riot police were lined up circling the square, mostly staring blankly refusing to answer questions. A couple proceeded to rant about graffitists encouraging violence, and that anyone still there after the results were announced were either condoning violence or were the perpetrators. To anyone who saw how they behaved this is laughable. I personally did not witness any actual violence by protesters towards police, and several instances of the police towards us.
Immediately after the result announcement, people started backing away from the fences (with the police behind) with the intention of charging at them. However, other supporters of peaceful protest, including my friends and I, nervously blocked the way. There was then a long debate over the effectiveness of different methods of direct action that went a bit like:
"They're just doing their job"
"So were the Nazi guards"
"That's a ridiculous analogy"
"That policeman knocked my mate over without any possible justification"
"But violence is not the answer"
Nothing happened eventually.

We went to warm up by fires and sat on statues, made conversation, ate Raph's banana bread and finished Olivia's tea. Occasionally we sought out the samba noise and joined them for a few songs.

Coming up to 9pm we were told by the police at one corner of the square that they were letting people out at the opposite corner. By this time, we were numb with cold, hungry and really needing the loo. When we got to the other corner, noone was being let out but apparently they were "shortly" (it was always shortly) going to be at the next corner. We were directed every which way again and again. Eventually we actually moved at 9pm on the dot, Big Ben ringing, towards Westminster Bridge. We sung 'Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye' and happily informed some police their shields were upside-down (later we discovered the left-handed ones have to do this). Little did we know, we were still being kettled, except now whilst moving.
Before the bridge we noticed a tiny path the police hadn't thought of, and we could have squeezed through it, but I hesitated. A few went through, and I reckoned we could make it but the man directly in front was confronted by the sudden appearance of a policeman, who reacted pretty badly at being outsmarted. I was so glad we didn't take the chance.
So we were then on the bridge, moving very slowly indeed, whilst chanting and swapping rumours. Then we stopped. We didn't move again until 10pm, on the dot, Big Ben ringing. Then we stopped again. Riot police in full gear were sitting on boats below us, provoking one hilarious man to start a trend of shouting 'stop spending our money on useless fucking boats' at them. 'Laser Boy', as we called him, someone who had come fully equipped with a green laser pointer, joined in by pointing it at them.
The students around us declared:
'Thursday night's the best night for TV"
"I've missed Misfits now!"
"And Never Mind The Buzzcocks!"
"And Question Time!"
I found it comforting that I was at least freezing to death with people that liked the same programmes as I did.
The funny man shouted 'come closer so we can pee on your heads, we really need to pee' (honestly, it was very funny at the time), which prompted the guy next to me to crouch down and do it through a clover-shaped hole in the bridge. Then he shamefully stood up and apologised. I was just jealous as I had been needing to go since that morning.
Another guy said he was a tourist, that he knew there was a protest and thought he'd have a look. Unfortunately, he came in the Square at precisely the wrong moment.
Nearing 11pm, I got ready to move again (we'd figured out that this was happening every hour). People we re getting out apparently, but so slowly that we were stuck for another half an hour. When we finally were face to face with the police we realised we were among the last on the Bridge. No idea how exactly that happened.
I couldn't feel my legs and couldn't quite believe I was walking (although very strangely). Olivia and Raph shouted 'FREEDOM!' as we got on to the road, only for someone to reply 'You're not free mate'.
Incredibly exhausted and aching all over, I found the tube station eventually (some entrances were closed) and got talking to some nice guys that were surprised to hear I'd only just been let out. They had escaped an hour ago and gone to the pub.

When I checked the BBC News site, I couldn't believe it. The only headline was about poor Camilla and Charles, and any hidden stories of the protest strongly emphasised the few injured police. Nothing to be seen of the WestminterBridgegate, or the riot police charging at us (some on horses). The reporting has been incredibly biased, very much expected of course from the Daily Mail & co, but the BBC!
BoJo was said to be "appalled by the scenes of violence this evening... It is an insult to our democracy". Gobsmacked. It was the police's unnecessary violence and kettling that was an insult to democracy.

I do think kettling is wrong, it antagonises and it's unethical. Most people just wanted to go to the pub; the kettling was actually prolonging the protest. And what about our civil rights - freedom of assembly?
"Why are we being punished for protesting?" we shouted.

The day in (albeit bad) pictures:

Unison, SOAS

a speaker on malet street

many helicopters..

the balloon

'How can I afford Hogwarts now? First Dobby dies, now this?!'


blurry pic of The Famous Pink Stormtrooper

a much better pic of The Pink Stormtrooper (via

pretty big fire started, amazing amount of black smoke

a red flare

everyone gets the shit scared out of them as police charge

Monday, November 1, 2010

Is it right to charge tuition fees?

I have no longer any time to write on either of my blogs (or have any kind of social life), so I am henceforth going to occasionally post essays I have done for school. It's lazy, yes. But maybe someone will be interested?

“University tuition fees are political dynamite” starts the Economist’s article, before vehemently launching an attack on those protesting the coalition government’s latest reform. The Economist declares that British universities need increased funding to increase supply as “demand for higher education is booming around the world”. In other words, ‘all these poor people have high aspirations, what are we going to do about it?’

There is currently a shortage: effective demand is higher than supply. The government’s initiative would produce a rationing effect - as price increases, demand decreases (some consumers leave the market). The higher price acts as a signal to producers of this particular service, higher education, and presents an incentive to maximise supply (and profit). However, “universities would also lose out” asserts the writer, although only if subsidies are taken away. This remains to be seen, but, if correct, Ed Miliband’s claim would be justified: that the higher fees would “plug the gaps created by its programme of cuts” instead of benefiting universities.

The author further argues that, of all the Lib Dems, only “one backbencher” is openly opposing the recommended rise in fees. Yet after a glance at Twitter, I can affirm that Tim Farron, John Leech, Stephen Williams, Gordon Birtwistle and John Hemming are some of the other MPs ready to vote against the legislation. Clearly, this attempt to demean the “Lib Dem mutiny” is founded on hyperbole.

Tony Blair, the Prime Minister at the time of the introduction of tuition fees in 1998, approaches the subject in his memoirs imploring the reader to sympathise with him. He emphasises how “fiercely contested” his attempt to make a “change in the modern world” was. Did you know it “almost led to my resignation”? Aw, diddums.

Like other controversial times during Blair’s career, he expresses his admiration for the US and idolises their competitive education system. David Blunkett’s worries over lower-ranking universities are described by the former Labour leader as “a typical egalitarian muddle”. Trivialising equality is a speciality of Blair’s.

He acknowledges the 2001 “manifesto commitment not to allow top-up fees” yet dismisses its relevance. The commitment had sparked controversy when the new top-up fees were put forth in 2006, under the same government who had previously asserted “We have no plans to introduce University top-up fees”. This is reminiscent of the now notorious photograph of Nick Clegg proudly showing his signature beneath the promise “I pledge to vote against any increase in fees”.

Once the author arrives at the actual issue and morality of tuition fees after much gabbling, he justifies the policy by putting particular strain on how much it would help universities, albeit mentioning “And poor students would get real and significant help.” (almost as an afterthought). In my view, siding with firms instead of consumers is not very left-wing; this is a prime example of Blair leading the Labour Party whilst keeping his affection for Thatcher firmly in mind. As he writes, “if Labour was to govern for significant periods, it had to be as a party of the future-orientated centre ground” – put differently, ‘I’m not a leftie, please like me’.

The Tories have never made any promises not to increase tuition fees and consequently are not constrained by their manifesto, unlike the Lib Dems. Presumably this stems from the fact the latter party assumed they could ensure rainbows would really be made of skittles, without ever having to come close to implementing these policies. They would not be in the firing line, they would be able to vote however they liked.

The Conservative manifesto states that, in power, they would “enrich students’ lives”. A little ironic, although upon further reading it is revealed this would only be done by improving the quality of teaching, not their financial situations. To do this enriching, they affirmed they would “consider carefully” (or simply agree with) Lord Browne’s review, which had not so far been released.

Menzies Campbell and Charles Kennedy, Clegg’s predecessors, have both expressed their concerns over the Lib Dems’ betrayal – as well as Liberal Youth’s chairman. The Liberal Democrats seem to be divided over the issue as some prioritise their morals, others their newfound friendships with the Tories.

The Labour leader communicated his opinions on the matter as far back as June, advocating a graduate tax in an article for the Guardian. Miliband wrote he would “bin tuition fees” altogether, instead opting for a payment “between 0.25% and 2% of their income” over 20 years. However, perpetually rising numbers of foreign students are coming to England for their advanced education. You cannot devolve taxation, can you Mr Miliband?

On this note, it is vital to bring up the subject of the anomalies of devolved Britain. Welsh and Northern Irish fees are presently the same as English fees. On the other hand, the year 2000 brought an end to tuition fees in Scotland. The Scottish are now able to attend their universities free of charge at the British taxpayers’ expense. Furthermore, foreigners from the EU can acquire degrees in Scotland free of charge, unlike the English. In the current economic climate, during these times of austerity, surely the situation has to adapt.

I will most likely want to eventually possess a degree in a subject that interests me, such as English or Politics. I am fortunate in having grandparents who pay half of my current fees and a mother who works hard to make up the rest of the bill. Of course, I will also have to take out a loan for accommodation, living expenses, etc. As someone whose principal foible is stressing over the most minute nuisances, one of my worst fears is being in debt, and this is a certainty with even higher tuition fees. Assuming there will be a cap on the fees, as assured by Nick Clegg earlier this week, I will personally not be put at such a disadvantage though. Be that as it may, I know students that would be and, on a more selfish level, I would prefer to expect a wide range of backgrounds in all universities. After all, I will go there to gain experience and I suspect this rise in fees would jeopardise that.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Did the Lib Dems have a good conference?

This question was the one put to me by my Government and Politics teacher. I found it quite hard to write, and therefore resorted to pretentiously trying to write like a journalist. I'm wondering what you think:

Andrew Neil thrust rosettes emblazoned with ‘CONDEM’ in Lib Dem members’ puzzled faces, attempting to stir things up. Nobody obliged to wear one, instead placidly informing him that they would, if only it were DemCon. These endeavours were a recurring theme during the press coverage of the Liberal Democrat conference.

After 60 years out of government, presumably most Lib Dems were having the most astonishing conference of their careers yet. Neil affirmed that one never had to queue for drinks before, and declared that “there are 60% more journalists than last year”.

Many have professed that the conferences not only differed in popularity, but also the attire worn (woolly hats and sandals being commonplace). Furthermore, attitudes have become more mainstream; Michael White, an assistant editor of the Guardian, wrote that “in the 90s Paddy Ashdown suffered a conference where activists flirted with abolition of the monarchy and legalisation of cannabis”.

Vince Cable arguably stole the show, as even the Liberal Democrat leader was largely ignored. There was a notable absence of controversy, or anything happening at all in fact. Consequently, the only story really afloat was the Business Secretary’s speech, as the BBC asked ”Is Vince Cable the new Karl Marx?”. (In retrospect, this was an estimable warm-up for Red Ed’s forthcoming success.) The Torygraph – sorry, the Telegraph – lead with “Cable turns his guns on home owners”, and the Mail later reported that it was an “anti-capitalist attack”. ‘Mountains’ and ‘molehills’ are two words that come to mind. ‘Bankers are erm.. really bad… and not nice, oh and greedy..’ is essentially what Cable shockingly divulged (admittedly, I am paraphrasing).

Nick Clegg spouted the usual rhetoric: “We haven’t changed”, the coalition has “become more than the sum of our parts” and “Stick with us and together we will change Britain for good”. “Just imagine how different our country will be” he encouraged, as some said he was a dreamer, although were assured he was not the only one. All the speeches were engineered not to provoke any emotions (or polemics), apart from Cable’s. His produced a small rumble, something for the media to chew on, but nothing substantial.

In this sense, the Lib Dems would certainly have called it a good conference. Journalists may have divaricated here, due to its lack of scandal. Perhaps it was too good.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Graduate

I have never seen the film. In fact there are far, far too many classic films I have yet to watch, particularly American gangster Robert De Niro type ones. Anyway, The Graduate is among the gems I haven't seen.
I don't know how, but I seem to have two 'Film Classics' (given away in The Times I think) on my book shelves. As my books have recently been reorganized into alphabetical order (according to the authors' surnames), I have decided to work my way through all those I haven't read. I am reading as much as possible before next Friday, when term begins, because when attending school there is not time for such mundane activities. In authoritarian eyes, reading enjoyable fiction is just as bad as playing some kind of games console and is worse than going out with friends. This really pisses me off and is the main reason I think I would be much better educated if I didn't go to school. I am rarely believed however.

The novel is by Charles Webb. It's really very strange, and rather annoying that you don't know the characters much more after reading the book than you did before. You don't know how they feel or what they think and therefore can't take a stance on anything.
Personally, I think one of the best perks of reading is taking a position, having opinions on topics and characters. I have no idea what to think with this novel as the reader's insight is based solely on the awkward monosyllabic conversations between the one-dimensional characters.

On the other hand, it was written quite well and is easy and quick to read. I did so in just a morning; at least you don't spend more than a day (at the very most) on what you may regard to be a waste of time.

It's worth a read, just to say you've done it. Although you could say that about any book really.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

One Day part 2

(If you have not read Part 1 please go and do that first. Quicker! You haven't got all day.)

I dutifully googled 'One Day' and upon seeing the book cover (this upcoming film is based on a novel), recognised it and recalled a few friends reading it. The author is David Nicholls, who also wrote Starter For Ten that was adapted into a very good film starring the gorgeous James McAvoy.
Wednesday afternoon a car was sent and Mother and I were driven to the 'base' near St Pancras station. This was for The Fitting which consisted of a costume guy taking pictures of me in many different 'kiddy' outfits. [Re-reading this, that sentence sounds much more onimous than it should]. I wore no make-up in an attempt to look younger than my 16 years (althought of course this is hardly a mean feat) and looked crap. The crapness of my appearance worsened with the clothes I tried on. I think my disdain for one particularly awful turquoise t-shirt was very clear as the guy made a few jokes about my dysphoria. Perhaps I'm being unfair however, I did try my best not to appear moody. Anyway, it took hours.
Thursday morning I was taken at some ridiculously early hour (7.30am or something!) to the Novotel hotel. There was the main 'runner' person, my costume guy, a costume woman with wonderful clothes on and a runner/extra-just-for-this-scene. They were all very nice and I was soon given a latte and a croissant. Another little fitting ensued as I was photographed in various different dresses, until it was decided we were to stick with the baggy grey-and
-white striped top and skaterboy denim shorts. I wore this as I was driven to the station (approx. 1 min walk away).
After passport control et cetera, I met Lone Scherfig (the genius who directed An Education and was now doing this). When she asked whether I had read the book I shamefully admitted that I hadn't. Lone promptly went to WHSmith and bought little old me a copy! She was so lovely.
At one point I spotted Anne Hathaway looking tired and being fussed over. I quickly warned Mother not to snap her or talk to her or do anything embarrassing which she surprisingly managed to resist.
Later, make-up artists crowded around me, trying to look as efficient and busy as possible as they applied a mix of alcohol and brown paint to the ends of my hair. I asked why this was being done and they said it looked unnatural, a 14 year old would not have bleached hair. Really? I dyed mine when I was 11 I thought, but held my tongue. My intoxicated hair really stunk though.
The short scene was to be done on the train. I was told it was actually with Jim Sturgess (who is yum) and that I had two words to say: "oui" and "non". Laughingly, I assured them I could manage it, whilst I actually tried to convince myself. I hadn't done any acting for so long, and I was shit even then! I don't think I've ever taken a class and I used to go to tons of auditions and hardly ever got anything. I once got a big role in Family Affairs but I never did it (big rows with my first primary school). I wish I had.
Okay, back in the room. I was extremely nervous for the second time this week. First his POV (point of view) was filmed and it involved him staring intensely, so that I blushed. (I do blush easily). He talked to me (or my character, whatever) and I obediently said my two words off-camera. I would have felt much more confident if I looked myself but I guess that isn't acting. Nearing the next tunnel we did it from my POV which was scary. The fact the scene had to be at the precise moment the train emerged from the tunnel added pressure. We did a few different versions and it was over in about 15 mins.
When I returned to my seat, I woke Mother up and told her about it. She repeated what I said to Jim as he passed: "My daughter says your French is rubbish!". Obviously, taken out of context that sounded rude and I recoiled, incredibly embarrassed. He was gracious of course. My ol' mate Jimmy.
Mother had managed to get them to book the return ticket a day later so that we stayed at Trish Deseine's in St Germain. Trish was lovely, as was her idyllic flat overlooking an enormous park. The next day we lunched at a very nice restaurant and met a couple of creepy French guys.


Today, Saturday, I finished One Day. The book is one of those 'unusual love stories'; a mix of When Harry Met Sally and The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (both in my Top 10s for films and books respectively). The main characters being the best of friends and the audience wondering whether they will ever get together romantically (although knowing they will, of course they will) is the Harry and Sally part. The TT's Wife aspect is the time: every chapter is a different year, but on the same day (St Swithin's, 15 July) and goes from 1988 to 2007. In this way it is easy to track what Emma and Dexter get up to without it being relentlessly chronological. The way the structure is used in Part Five (the last part) is largely what makes it so poignant.
One Day is provoking, very funny and made me a cry like a baby.

One Day part 1

Dear reader, this is a very long, self-indulging post so if you are going to conquer this, be ready for numb buttocks (and possibly brain too).

I googled GCSE results and this is what came up. I wish this image was the reality of it. It's much less glamorous.

I woke up at 5am. Then at 5.15, then at 5.40, 6.10, half 6; continuing like this until 8am.
Bleary-eyed, I finally lurched out of my bed to make myself presentable for The Big Day: 'Results Day'. Ghastly words if I ever saw two. Used seperately they're inoffensive but together... perilous, nerve-wracking, life-ruining. Okay maybe not that last but they are a teenage fucking nightmare.
Once at South Ken, I predictably found a couple of mates at Costa's in Bute Street. As we were early birds, we then had to listen to each other's nervous musings. "I can't imagine opening that brown envelope", "Shit I'm so screwed, my parents are going to go mental" and a relentless flow of 'what-ifs'.
When I eventually opened that dreaded 'lope, well... 4 A's, 1 B and 3 C's. 1 A* including French that I'd done some years ago. "A bit shit, isnt' it?" was Mother's verdict, and yeah it is but not the worst bunch of marks I'd witnessed that day. Rather bof.
I received a text from my cousin who told me she was "so surprised!" that she'd got 4 A*'s and 8 A's. I replied "you cunt" and haven't heard from her since... Oopsy. It's just I knew my g-rents were going to relish this prime opportunity to compare and contrast, her perfection against my 'rebel without a cause' personality, as they see it. (This is exactly what happened by the way).
Olivia, Ali, Jack G, Yacine and I went out for a 'celebratory' (?) meal at Pizza Hut. Classy as ever. Cue a buffet of pizza slices and scoops of pasta, costing a whole of £7.99 (That's pretty pricey for me! I usually eat at Waga for 2 quid. Impossible yet true.). Then I argued with Jack G, a jumped-up twit that thinks way too much of himself. I flipped and shouted at him again when he stuck his McFlurry spoon in my hair. Everyone laughed and I was feeling a tad humourless after a crap morning so I stormed off. In classic Sienna-style. (I'm always storming off, it's a very annoying habit).
The day got progressively worse. Home at long last after a sweaty tube journey I woefully recalled that I did not have the front door key. Mother was attending the photoshoot for her book and the front locks had recently been changed whilst we were in France for a reason I didn't pay attention to. They had only cut one key for each flat. Bastards.
Of course I quickly dismissed the sensible idea of ringing, in turn, the bells of the other 3 flats to ask to be let in. As our house doesn't have a buzzer-inny-magiggy my neighbours would be obliged to clammer down the stairs to let in a distressed teenager they didn't know. I didn't want someone to go to that botheration. What if they were a couple having a romantic moment? Or had something on the stove that would burn as a result? Or, or, were on the loo?
No, instead I climbed into the garden. This sounds easy but it took a good 15-20 minutes and caused a sprained ankle. Moan, moan, yes I know. Anyway my plan to get in the flat didn't work out, I won't go into it, but I ended up laying on the balcony reading my book (Demon Barber, a collection of Lynn Barber interviews).
At some point, I get a phonecall from a Sylvia Young employee informing me there is a job available in a feature film called One Day with possibly a line in French and it stars Anne Hathaway and could I send a photo of myself looking about 14 years old within 10 minutes? My iPhone is being excruciatingly slow and I screamed and wailed as sending an email with a picture proved impossible.
[As I write this, I'm simultaneously watching Nikki screaming and wailing on Big Brother and I'm shamefully thinking it's a visual reenactment of this post.]
I rang Mother repeatedly until she answered on the 20-something-th time and, between sobs, instructed her to send a pic of me without make-up. (Later I discovered she'd sent one of me in, quite clearly, a prison cell. Typically, she thought this was hilarious.)
I had a booked appointment at my newly-come upon hairdressers in Willesden Green, Cutting Crew. Lawrence, whilst giving me the Rachel cut at my request, assured me he could count the GCSEs he passed on one hand and convinced me my results were fiiiine.
Mother joined me and we went for a Thai lunch that was dour.
That night, I got an email saying thanks for the new picture (I sent another when I got home) and that I'd got the part! My day presented at last a glimmer of a fortuitous event.

To be continued...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

L.A. Women

Georgia and Celine

On a lighter note, my bestest bestest friends have flown over from Los Angeles to stay in London for a couple of weeks. I went to primary school with these twins that I've missed dearly since they left 3 years ago. Therefore I have been spending every waking moment with them.

They moved from Ldn to L.A. for their dad's acting career as the amount of jobs there is obviously beyond comparison. He is doing very well there but purely for selfish reasons I so want them to return. They hated it for years, in particular the school they attended (LILA I think) and the wanky superficial Americans.

To celebrate their arrival I had a BBQ for everyone who attended L'île Aux Enfants, the tiny French primary school near Gospel Oak, in my year. Mother also blogged about it of course, although she was more interested in the food (which noone ate, way too healthy).
My friend Martine took some photos:

We've also become obsessed with cards, mostly playing Bullshit or Speed.

Celine in Cafe Nero with Shaheen, their American friend

Georgia shuffling in a kitchen

In my garden

Georgia, a little drunk, falling asleep on her cards

Raoul Moat

Well we've got quite a bit of catching up to do. Haven't written anything for a week as I've been actually having a life (!). Actually I was ill for a bit too... Dammit I'm uncool again.

If you've read the title of this blog post you've probably just sighed and are ready to wince at my opinion on this touchy subject. I just wanted to write briefly about the statements people have declared, notably "R.I.P RAOUL MOAT YOU LEGEND! ♥" (the title of the now notorious Facebook group that currently 37,767 people have 'liked'). I do indeed think it's disgusting to call the murderer a "legend" and I'm shocked at the public's reaction. Raoul Moat was responsible for the wounding of his ex-girlfriend, the death of her partner and the blinding of a police officer.

One of the reasons for calling him a legend, and putting a heart in the same sentence as his name, is that he reportedly had a troublesome childhood. Well so did Rose and Fred West. There aren't any groups calling them legends, although they too were both abused by their parents.

Another reason is that he hid from the police for a number of days, which is deemed an admirable feat by some, and shot an officer in the head. These commentators clearly share Moat's hate for the police. I think it's reasonable to hate the concept of the police, or the corruption that goes on, or the laws they enforce, but the individuals themselves? Really?

Other justifications are just moronic racist/sexist scrawls. Many blame his ex-girlfriend. "If his stupid ass ex-bitch hadn't lied none of this would have happened" wrote one person. Another commented "so sad this beautiful young man is dead yet we got immigiants roaming the streets alive. fuked up world man". Some are self-contradictory and make no sense whatsoever ("FUCKIN LEGEND ??, NO.. he wasnt in the wrong but he deserved to die .. he should have killed that Samatha BITCH !! , its ALL HER FAULTT!!! KMT").

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pictures of my home and garden

Templar House

Butterfly Lights

Mother's home made stuff

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nothing Gold Can Stay

My favourite Robert Frost poem is 'Nothing Gold Can Stay'.
I'm reading a collection of his poetry in preparation for next year as I'm taking English Lit (if my GCSE results are good enough). As I was reading this book, 'The poetry of Robert Frost', I picked this one as a knock-out. I then googled it and according to Wikipedia it's one of his "most famous poems". I guess I have amazing taste.

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

You know the angels wanna wear my red shoes

This week I decided to splash out in accordance with the end of exams.
I shopped on High Street Ken on Wednesday and in Westfields yesterday.
I quite overspent and many of the items were too expensive really... but I was in a 'fuck it' spending mood.
Here are my buys:

A rather costly Minkie dress found in Topshop (£45)

Simple beige dress from Topshop (£16)

Green & white sleeveless cardie - beachy - from TK Maxx (£15)
Black lace slag heels - TK Maxx (£25)

Red shoes from TK (£15)

P.S. In reference to a previous post - in Topshop I applied a tester of that Sun Shower Crayon and the next day it was still firmly on. It isn't one of those eye-shadows that come off in a few hours, it took some real rubbing to get it off even the next day. I love that kind of make-up. Recommended.

Pictures of trees

I really like taking pictures of trees. A lot of people do though, which annoys me. It means my pictures of trees won't be the best pictures of trees. But I'm going to show you some I've taken anyway.... (pictures of trees that is).

A Hyde Park tree.

My friend has a massive field behind her house (she lives in Dulwich - ie the middle of nowhere).

This was taken last summer at sunset in Cannes. Magical right?

This I used as a concept for my last Art GCSE project. The contrast between urbanisation and nature and, as the leaves are in quite bad form, modernisation/industrialisation eating away at nature? That kinda thing.

Same idea.