Boris and women

Dear Boris,

 

Thank you my good man you have hit on just what my problem is, and I am sure I’m not alone. We women you see; are all so desperate to get married, Boris have rumbled us, we were using getting an education as a decoy. We women do go to university simply to get married and you see the problem is – I’ve done my degree, I’m almost at the end of my masters, and still no marriage proposals. Sadly I don’t think, the joking cab driver, who laughingly proposed to me in New York counts, or maybe that was my one chance and I was a fool to turn it down. You see at 21 I thought I was probably a bit young, and he was joking but maybe that was it, and now I’ll have to embrace spinster-dom.

 

You see Boris; I am very scared. Understandably, nothing, not my 2.1 degree, my journalism training, my university experiences, my travelling, my supportive family, my lovely boyfriend, my great friends, my theatre company, none of these things have adequately prepared me for the real horror, the true horror of being a single female. It’s ghastly, and gosh darn it my clever plan for finding a spouse at university truly backfired.

 

You see when I was at university I focused on studying and partying. My first year was primarily filled with the later, the next two years focused chiefly on the former. And I learnt some great things: how great Ford, Webster and Middleton are, how cider and white wine don’t mix, how to rent a flat, make a 18th century ball-gown (I did some drama), drive a car, go on a date, make friends and keep the ones that matter…but the boys, well maybe they were onto my clever plan. You see these men would go out on the ‘pull’, use terms like ‘bag a fresher’ and drink until they passed out on any old doorstep.

Maybe the trick I missed was not dragging one of these comatose men into my house and calling the vicar straight away. I know you must be speaking from the best position when you give out martial advice, after all you’re sure a pro at matrimony game and all the faithfulness it involves, Boris my man, but I think we can all agree no one wants to marry a nineteen-year-old boy.

 

What’s a girl to do?

 

You think someone in my position might just be more interested in a future career, or perhaps how she’s going to pay the electricity bill… but no that’s so not the case, I’m afraid I’m just too preoccupied with planning a wedding that’s never going to happen, because my university plans of wifedom has not materialised.Image

 

So I am really scared, and I am sure that I’m not alone – we girls, just like you, boys, have to pay over £9,000 to go to university now, and what’s the point if you can’t walk away with white dress and a lovely ring…oh yeah and a husband. Don’t give me that stuff and nonsense about the dress robe, cape and hat being just as good – if not more about your individual achievement – it’s not true. We all know we’d rather be in an over priced cream coloured meringue dress, veil and tiara, than anything else on this earth.

 

Boris you are so right about this. In fact perhaps you could run on this when you attempt to oust Cameron. Please keep telling us how we as women like to be defined by who we live with, and wither we’re single or engaged. Our right to an education, after all who needs that, when we can dream of the blissful marriage that is bound to be ours’. After all the success rate of marriages in the UK, is around 40%, a figure that conservatives think of as a winning average. 

 

So Boris you clever, clever man, now that my masters is at an end, and I’m still sans an engagement ring, what should I do? Abandoned my dastardly plan and go off and get on with my life? Or apply for that PHD and hope that this time around my plan FINALLY works?

 

Yours,

A concerned singleton from 1913 

Neighbours

No, I am not referring to the TV program, so if you’re hoping for a biting viewpoint on the Aussie soap tune out now, because I’ve never seen an episode. Sorry, but I am talking about my neighbours.

Now do you know your neighbours? I don’t. Perhaps I should have gone an introduced myself when they moved in a few months ago. But I was shy. Or couldn’t be bothered. One of those two, or rather more accurately a mixture of the two.

Anyway this has some importance suddenly because they are making a lot of noise at night. Not parties or anything crude. Nor have I seen or heard loads of people coming and going, but late at night around half one or so, the talk starts up. I can’t hear precisely what they are saying, which is just as well because my active imagination has already gone to extremes.

And my two favourite theories are as follows – prostitution or drugs. I played with the idea of illegal deportations but frankly I think I’d see more people milling around so that idea has been put on the back burner (for now). Now the reason I have jumped to these fairly far-fetched ideas is because I never see either woman during the day (no I’m not spying on them, but seriously why do they never go food shopping? Or take out the rubbish? You have to admit that does look rather strange.)

Yes these ideas might be silly but they are also in place to prevent me going downstairs (we live in a sort of flat arrangement) and asking them to shut up, because I haven’t entirely dismissed the absurd possibilities. What if I come across a pimp? And other than the stereotypical gold chains and furs, which would look out-of-place in a residential area in Brighton, how does one tell what a pimp looks like? Or what if they open the door and there’s empty needles all over the floor? Plus very occasionally the police come by….well alright they drive by….
I am now realising somewhat belatedly that I have wrongly accused my perfectly innocent neighbours of horrible crimes without the slightest fault on their part, and it is all down to my own sleep deprivation.
New idea: must buy earplugs.

Tax Avoidance (belated thoughts)

Avoiding paying your tax, isn’t it a tempting idea? More money, we could all do with that. We all want things, be it more clothes, yummier food, nicer furniture, better holidays… money is the root to happiness at least that’s what we’ve all been sold.So can we really blame Jimmie Carr or Philip Green for doing what most of us would love to do? Let those without fault cast the first stone.

Clearly others think tax is a good thing

I’m no saint – having stolen at least one Mars Bar in my youth, and a ring from Claire’s Accessories when I was fourteen, morality-wise I am no better than either billionaire. Therefore I am struggling to pass to harsh a judgement on tax avoidance… except, except…

Well tax is there to be paid, it means we can have things that we take for granted. Like the NHS. Or smooth roads. Or our glorious politicians. Okay none of those things are perfect, but we certainly make good use of them and frankly we should make a contribution towards it.

Now I know that does sound moralistic but certain morals are required if you want to live in this society. You can’t decide that you don’t like your neighbour, fetch your kitchen knife and stab him, can you? Well you can, but you’ll go to prison. That’s because we have rules. Yes we all want to be in this ‘free, liberal society’ to ‘flout rules’ but if anarchy really ruled how would we cure the sick, teach the young? Rules rather like tax aren’t the most fun like in the world, but actually we all rather enjoy the benefits of having them.

If you don’t like these taxes that’s fine, you’re choice but in that case you need not to use the amenities that you’re taking advantage of. There’s the door.

There are principles we have established in Britain, which I for one am rather proud of. Be it freedom of the press, freedom of speech, open social justice and I think that paying tax towards those things is a necessary part of being a grown up. Sure there are things I’d rather not pay for – the royal family, the Olympics, our defense budget, but that’s the bugger about taxes, you don’t get to choose what they get spent on.

Tax, yes it’s a drag but when you’re as lucky as Green or Carr and as finically as stable as they are, it is an outrage for them to twist and turn and not pay. Tax as the jiggle goes doesn’t have to be taxing, but actually it does, and what’s more we should be proud to pay it. It enables us to improve our country and surroundings, a small step but when we all contribute it demonstrates the collective good we can achieve.

Blindness (or something rather like it)

How blind do you have to be before you can grab yourself a blindfold and embrace that look? Embrace the idea of walking into walls, or looking like a pirate?

Sadly I’m not that far off. Anything too far in the distance and those people blur, they should in fairness be flattered, their features shift and they save a ton on Botox, with my eyesight. Although they do have to contend with me waving at them enthusiastically if I think I recognise them. So some of you win, others well you lose.

Another downside is glasses, which don’t suit me. I look like an unattractive Miss Moneypenny, which is quite an achievement, as she is the safe bet, you not meant to be more unattractive than her, she’s the comforting one. The one whose in place that tells you – ‘ah look, even James Bond will sink to that level.’  To look like a dumpy secretary is after all what we all aim for, both in appearance and in career aspiration. NOT.

Okay I don’t look this mad, but then again how would I know?

 

But aside from the physical element and its effect on others, there is the level of insanity I am sinking to. With my level of shortsightedness, I am now enjoying the feel of being in a horror movie. That’s right. Have you ever seen a horror film, where the character just misses the villain/knife waving manic/ghost out of the corner of their eye: that’s me. I think I see something at the edge of my version and jump round to catch that evil spirit – and I grab at that offending ghost-like skirt or misplaced book or blue-tack on the wall. Scary.

There is also the serious consideration that if there was a zombie (my chief fear), or a knife waving manic or that girl with greasy hair appears, I am so blind I probably won’t notice them in time.

So embrace good eyesight, youth of today or the more favourably blessed – you can see your friends, don’t look like an unsexy James Bond character (quite an achievement) and you are more likely to escape from those ghouls. Hurrah for you, and a blindfold for me.

Oddly named films, and mixing the genres

Last week I went to see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, which regards of what kind of film it was you can’t critise it for lacking orginially of title. Now, I thought and it seems the general consensus that the film wasn’t great, in fact most people I’ve spoken to said they found it ‘pants’ (that’s a direct quote.) Now I didn’t think it was truly awful but it certainly was great, and it definitely didn’t live up to the potential of its title.

Now I’m not totally slagging off AL, I quite liked the softly faded visuals, and in all seriousness it’s quite hard not to laugh when a horse is used as a weapon. I love horses, but that was a level of absurdity I hadn’t expected so I did giggle.

There are other movies like that, for example ‘Cowboys VS Aliens’ which really was terrible, and I’m just pleased that sadly though I saw it, at least I saw it for free. But combining genres have got me thinking, and while I don’t think they work as films, I wonder if this kind of slicing and dicing actually does ever work.

ImageOne movie that has achieved huge amounts of success, and a cult fan following is Shaun of The Dead. Famously nicknamed the rom-com-zom, thus blending three different types of movies. Did it work? Well I hate zombies, so after twenty minutes I turned this film off, so I can’t say, but most people seem to think it’s bloody marvelous. Maybe that’s the key to splicing – mix multiple genres. So if AL had added Zooey Deschanel with her kookiness as the first ever hippy, who knows the film might have been better. It certainly would have been funnier.

But all of this got me thinking what genres haven’t been tried yet? How about football fan ends up in Regency England, plus she has to seduce an English prince (just making a sport-costume-sex romp) – it doesn’t sound great TBH. But the weirder the better seems to be key to this. So how about Bollywood musical, crossed with an exorcism all set in a Woody Allen-inspired 1970s New York? 

After all just think about how successful Baz Luhrmann was with Romeo + Juliet and it’s modern day setting, nothing has shaken the classic Shakespearean drama field like that movie, and that’s when bleeding different dramas shows not just a wacky and inventive imagination but an insightful mind. It’s just a shame the same can’t be said of Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

 

 

 

Old friends

What’s an acceptable distance to go without seeing someone and still consider them a friend? Perhaps it depends how close you were originally, perhaps it depends on why you drifted or maybe it swings on the time that you knew them when you were very young or at an important part of your life.

I’d like to think that true friends, ones who mean the most to us, it doesn’t matter what happens, where you end up, whither you marry or have children, none of them matters in comparison to the bond of friendship that you shared. Nothing can mess with that. No I realise that is a sentimental way of viewing things, and sadly sentimentally is something I can definitely be accused of. And sadly I have had friends where we drifted, where we don’t speak anymore because of mistakes on both of our parts and perhaps that’s a shame.

Then again, perhaps it’s natural. Some friendships are meant to stand the test of time, and if they can’t stand arguments, boyfriends, distance then it might just be as well that it falls by the wayside. After all carrying around the deadweight of a friendship which is filled with resentment and unspoken hurt cannot be good or you or them.

Sometimes the worst part of friendships is saying goodbye at least that what the movies teach us, but in actual fact saying goodbye, letting them drift away really good be the best thing you ever did.

This acting lark and line learning

I’ve always enjoyed acting. Well most of the time, there are certain people I’ve worked with who have made the experience somewhat less enjoyable, but nevertheless if you truly love something it doesn’t entirely matter what arrogant arses do – you can rise above. Or at least try.

I am returning to acting after a little break, and I add hastily this is all am-dram (although I have been a member of the National Youth Theatre, adds my vanity quickly). And I am in community theatre project of A Midsummer’s Nights Dream. Arguably one of Shakespeare’s gentlest, most magical play – although personally I like the melodramatic tragedies, but sadly there isn’t much call for tiny children to play fairies in Othello or King Lear. Which is an oversight, but hell the Bard is allowed a few slip ups.

And it is very fun. And I am reminded of how much I miss it, what however I had forgotten was a crucial element of acting – LINES. Now I don’t want to boast especially as I haven’t entirely learnt them all (yet!) but generally I am good at learning lines. Or at least I use to be.

Because what seems to have slipped my mind was the daunting prospect of learning the lot. There is a skill to it, although it seems to be mainly down to repeating it, covering it and saying it aloud until you can say it without looking at the sheet of the paper. Perhaps not a skill then.

ImageWhat is a skill is, is finding a place to saying it aloud, trust me on this aloud is the best way to remember it, so finding it aloud actually ends up making you look a bit mad. Which is what I looked like today saying my romantic lines aloud in the nearby park. I realise that there is no sane way to practiselines when in public, you look insane, obsessed but I can comfort myself with the knowledge – yes I may look nuts but at least I look well read.