Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Miranda



Miranda Hart is one of those people who I have always wanted as my best friend. Because she just seems really cool and is much clumsier than me, which hardly ever happens. But I am taking all of her supposed characteristics from her outstandingly popular TV show, even though she keeps on saying it’s not a true representation of herself.  The reason for this is that the fictional Miranda is one of the most loved characters on television at the moment, who happens to be outrageously funny as well. 
It is of a great tribute to Hart’s writing that said character, who has only appeared in 18 half hour episodes, is as valued as she is.  And as series 3 has just ended with the biggest cliffhanger ever, it looks like we can see a little more of her yet.   Miranda is a very single 35 year old, running a joke shop with her best friend Stevie (Sarah Hadland), trying to avoid her mother (Patricia Hodge) and attempting to get her friend Gary (Tom Ellis) to fall in love with her.  And this has been the basic premise of the story for the past three years. 
Series 3 began very slowly, something which even Hart was worried about as she took to Twitter to ask all her fans to ‘Bear with’ while the series got into its full swing.  But when it did, from about the second or third episode onwards, they have been absolutely flawless.  Some people criticise her for the repetition of jokes but this adds to the charm of the show.  By allowing the character to have catchphrases and make the same mistakes fairly consistently, she appears as much more human.
Series 3 had further excitement of an additional love interest, other than Gary.  This was a potentially dangerous move for the actor involved, because Gary is so adored.  But seeing her interact this way with a new character added further depth to Miranda’s personality and was definitely an interesting development. Plus, we did not miss out on too much Gary action, particularly in this week’s finale which was the best episode by far.  Not only was it absolutely hilarious, but there were very poignant moments and some of the cutest kittens I have ever seen!  Pretty much everything you could ever want in a TV show.  Another reason I totally adored the sixth episode was because I was actually there. Yes, in the audience. Eek. Literally a dream come true when I had found out that I had was one of the 250 people lucky enough to win a ticket. And it was an incredible experience. Something that I will never ever forget (and Tom Ellis is so much hotter in real life).
 So if you haven’t watched it, I order you to go and view it now – you won’t regret it and the major cliffhanger in episode 6 will definitely have you gagging for more.

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Sunday, 27 January 2013

It snow joke


We all know that Brits love to complain and our favourite thing to complain about always was and always will be - THE WEATHER. Whether it is good or bad, sunny or raining or snowing, windy or humid, there will always be someone who has something to shout about. Or a lot of people.

It is not surprising really that the rest of the world laugh at us for being one of the grumpiest countries in Europe, as we are always complaining. Always. And it is really starting to bug me, because all it does is bring the rest of us down, who are attempting to stay cheerful. When we have sun we complain about droughts. When we have rain, we get scared about flooding. And, most recently when we have snow, we literally all go mental and the whole country shuts down. Roads are closed, trains stop running and none of the shops or schools are open.

It is all a little bit pathetic because in our selfishness we definitely do forget about everyone else who, I believe, have it a lot worse than us. There are some countries who never have rain, some that flood every year regularly and many that receive a lot more snow than we do. They manage, so why can't we?? Furthermore we actually have the resources, money and organisation to be able to sort out our problems reasonably easily when so many other countries don't. Do we sort them out? No. We just carry on complaining. We clearly love it too much.

I blame it all on the government. If we actually had some people in charge who weren't complete douchebags then maybe we would be happier more comfortable people as a whole. And if the news stopped being all doom and gloom. I tend not to read the news anymore because it annoys me so much - it is always depressing. Maybe if we all started concentrating on what we do have and the benefits of living in this beautiful country, England will be a much happier place....end of rant =]

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Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Things which your parents provide that no one else can!

I am about to return to university for my second term of my third year (whoop snaps for me, for making it this far. Only a year and a half to go.); a prospect which I am actually finding a little more daunting than I should. Because of the work, quite frankly as I am a total lazy bones. And, much as I adore my housemates and home in Reading, sometimes the stints with my parents are great. Here's why....

1. You can make a cup of tea without having to check that the milk is off!
Or worse still, tasting that the milk is off. It may be a simple pleasure - but it's an important one. No one should have to give up the only thing that allows us Brits to get through the day. Least of all because the milk has turned to cheese (because the fridge is RIDICULOUS)

2. Being able to do absolutely nothing (if you want to)
I don't tend to use this particular option as I find doing nothing, boring. But still, the option is there if you want/need some time to chill. And it means when you are ill, you don't have to feel guilty about doing nothing or have to catch up on the million and one things that you missed per sick day - amazing.

3. Lie ins
Similar to number 2 I know, but I think it is important enough to get it's own section. Lie ins are hugely important. I definitely don't get enough of them at university and believe me when I say, I am not a morning person at all. Occasionally I am hell. But in the past three and a half weeks, I am proud to say that I have got up before 11 only a handful of times. (One of those times being when I got up at 3.45am to catch an early flight - I actually nearly cried. That kind of time in the morning should be illegal.)

4. Writing
It is such bliss not to have to write essays. Once upon a time, back in sixth form, I didn't mind them so thought I would be fine at university...how wrong I was. I hate them and procrastinate ridiculously. Not only do I find them boring and frustrating, but it also turns off my creative switch in my brain making it nearly impossible to write my blog or my novel. I love having the freedom at my parents' house to write peacefully and uninhibited by essay-writer's block.

5. Not having to turn off the lights every time I leave the room
Ok, I probably should do this anyway to save the planet and all that jazz. But just knowing that I don't have to worry about the electric meter running out is BLISS. Have you ever been in a blackout at 11pm at night, scrambling and tripping over pieces of furniture to try and find the electric key to top it up? Then running up to co op, arriving seconds before it closes and begging them to top you up £10? Not one of my better moments!

6. Hot powerful showers
Speaks for itself. Although I did break my parents' one this holiday so this point is kind of void unfortunately. The plumber was around today fitting a new one and I was the only person upstairs who heard his 'oh shit' as he was merrily drilling through our wall. And then he said 'whoops' - I dread to think what he has done. Maybe won't mention that to the parents.

7. A fridge/cupboard full of food (and no cooking)
Again it speaks for itself. Not having to buy food but always being able to take it, not having to prepare or cook food, just coming when called...it's like eating in a restaurant every meal.

8. Not having to go out when it's raining
I hate the rain, I am literally like a cat. But when at uni, I somehow am always out when it begins to rain and I never have an umbrella. I love the sound of rain on the window whilst you are all cosied up in bed, knowing that you don't have to be in it. That coupled with the full fridge and an internet full of movies, is the best feeling in the world

9. A free taxi service
I don't drive so I have to get the bus or walk everywhere. But not here. Here I cajole and guilt trip my parents into driving me everywhere by blaming them for living in the middle of nowhere. They don't, not really (and there might be a bus stop at the bottom of my road) but 'if you lived closer to town like I do in Reading, I would be able to walk...' Gets them every time.

10. Being around the family
I left the most important and obvious one, till last. But again it speaks for itself...and although they drive me absolutely crazy, I do miss them a huge amount. Only if they fulfil requirements 1 to 9 though ;)

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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Loserville


Yesterday was a sad day for the West End theatre and all the lovers of it who go there to see the beautiful shows. Because it saw the end of Loserville - a good 2 months earlier than it was meant to. You probably have never even heard of it - I hadn't either really, except in passing, but an opportunity for cheap tickets, a front row seat and the last chance to see something was too good to miss. And I am so glad I did see it. What the next two hours entailed was a wonderful, colourful mash of singing and dancing. And I loved every minute.

Loserville, written by ex-Busted member, James Bourne, started life up in the North, in Leeds and entered the West End in the Garrick theatre last October. It was meant to run until March 2013, but instead closed yesterday after a mere 3 months. Why? A rubbish storyline? No! Lack of action? Nope! Inadequate singing? Definitely not! So what...?

As always, I believe it is a lack of publicity that let it down. Although there was a lot to begin with, when it first opened at the Garrick, this soon dwindled and so did the audiences. Which is a shame because it meant that the majority of you missed a truly fantastic show.  A show which gave a voice to the geeks and led them to victory over the popular bullies...nothing new there, I suppose, not in a musical fantasy world anyway. But, to be fair, they were very good voices so should be heard. And the execution of the dance routines were, similarly, of a very high standard, that made even watching it feel exhausting. Costumes were wonderfully vintage in keeping with the 1970s fashion where it was set and the stage a wonderfully simple design. Who else would make the backdrop work as a picture painted onto a giant notebook that the chorus then held up. A daring concept that could have gone horribly wrong but which worked perfectly and meant that stage changes were much more efficient than they easily could have been.

I feel bad for anyone who didn't get to see this show. And I feel bad for the talented cast who definitely didn't get enough audiences. But ultimately I feel amazing because this musical really cheered me up. So I guess I was one of the lucky ones. I hope they will bring it back at some point in the future.


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Thursday, 3 January 2013

Prague 2012-2013

I made another Coster first by spending New Year's abroad for the first time ever. And I was lucky enough to be in the beautiful city of Prague in the Czech republic.

It is the first time I have been and I can not get over how beautiful it is. The narrow cobbled streets, the stunning views, the surrounding hills and countryside and, in particular, the stunning architecture. I don't think I have ever visited so many cathedrals/churches over a period of three days. They must be very religious and, on top of that, are absolutely obsessed with saints. There are statues everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Not only carved into the churches, but lining the streets and bridges and even on top of random buildings - a constant reminder of whatever they believe them to be capable of.

We visited a huge many attractions inlcuding Prague castle, St Vitus cathedral, Charles Bridge, Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square, Municipal Hall and many more...We spent New Years Eve in Old Town Square where we drank far too much and was able to go to a free outside concert bringing in 2013 complete with spectacular fireworks that lit up the beautiful main clock (which we had climbed the day before). It was so fun and we were able to meet such a mix of people from all over the world!

Then on New Year's Day we decided that we wanted to branch out and see a little more of the Czech Republic so we took the train out to Kutna Hora. It's a tiny town and it was interesting to contrast it to the reasonably touristy Prague. This was much more normal according to what the rest of the country was like. And, although being a lot less grand, it was still very pretty and had some stunning attractions of its own. From the outside we saw some more beautiful architecture but the main point of interest was the Bone Church. Which, as you might have guessed, was a church that housed and displayed bones! And I don't mean a few here and there, it was covered in them. 40,000 dead people's bones were displayed there altogether which was very creepy but absolutely fascinating.

I had a really awesome few days, despite being super tiring - and I would definitely reccomend anyone to go there. It is absolutely stunning!

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