20 Dec 2011

Shameful Confession #2: "DJ Becky".....

Twice now, in the last two months, some lovely person has invited me to a house party at their place. Yes, I say, how exciting! I plan my outfit in advance and hope I don't get too drunk and embarrass myself, after all, having spent years at university I should know all my drunken little foibles now....(thinking I can sing, thinking I can dance, trying to do a backbend, disappearing from conversations mid-sentence, spilling stuff on myself, eating dodgy food, wearing dodgy clothes....).

Well it seems I have a new drunken bad habit - all thanks to digital music. Yes, when I get drunk, I now think that I am DJ Becky (a name my friend came up with) and commandeer whatever music set up is at the party.....


11 Dec 2011

Top 10 Songs of 2011

If last year was the year of me discovering apparently cool bands and only listening to indie stuff and being a bit alternative (Arcade Fire, Muse, Foos) then this year....hasn't.

2011 has been the year of POP (and some other stuff)! From Gaga to Rihanna to Florence and Crystal Castles - and a few other treats - here are my favourite songs that I've listened to non stop in 2011. (Btw they didn't necc. come out this year, but I got into the song this year).

Top 10 Favourite Songs of 2011

1. Radical Face - Welcome Home Son
- a song that reminds me of climbing in France, the link is a climbing video with this song as the soundtrack!

2. Crystal Castles ft. Robert Smith - Not In Love
- a new discovery, I just can't stop playing this

3. Lady Gaga ft Beyonce - Telephone
- awesome. that is all. brilliant, brilliant lyrics.

4. M83 - Midnight City
- this song was always played at the start of Made In Chelsea, and I had to look it up. A lot of their other tracks are awesome too, specially Graveyard Girl and Couleurs.

5. MGMT - Electric Feel
- I know, it's an oldie but a goodie and I only heard it this year. It's on my next-book-soundtrack...

10 Dec 2011

I Ain't Talking Poultry....Lyric Day


"I ain't talkin' poultry when I say this chicken's fried." 

So as the first lyric day in um, ages, I thought I'd start with a cracker of a line. In case you didn't know - and I'm not sure how many Britney fans read *this* blog - the above lyric is taken from her recent song Til The World Ends. Except this is the Nicki Minaj + Ke$ha version. Yes, and they talk about poultry in it. As well as various other interesting lyrical references that seem utterly meaningless to me, but make me giggle on the way to work.

One of the best things (!) about being hard of hearing is that quite often you get the words wrong with songs - they can't possibly be saying what you think they're saying....can they? In this case, Nicki Minaj definitely is talking about chickens. F**k knows why. And what it's got to do with Britney. Unless she's saying she's no spring chicken. (Fact fans you'll be interested to know that Britters and I are the same age. Oh yes. Look how similar we are....)

8 Dec 2011

Shameful Confessions #1: Long Life Orange Juice

I've decided to start yet another series on the blog. My shameful confessions. I'm unlikely to confess to anything particularly serious on here, but I thought it'd be fun to blog my little foibles, bad habits and embarrassing things I like. I will also be taking guest posts so please please please get in touch if you've got a shameful confession you'd like to share!

Today's shameful confession is my secret love - and preference for - long life orange juice:


It's a bit of a bizarre confession by all accounts but basically, I know that we are supposed to only love - and drink - fresh squeezed, not from concentrate orange juice. And I do like fresh juice believe me. But there is nothing quite like a glass, overly full of ice, brimful of orange juice. From those mini bottles that live in the pub fridge.

The nutrition in those little bottles surely must be minimal - unlike fresh juice which apparently counts as 1 of your 5 a day. I am pretty such that you could mix a couple of vitamin C tablets with water + some more orange food colouring, add vodka + ice and I'd neck it easily.

I don't really know why I like long life juice so much. I think it's partly its sharp, synthetic taste - definitely cuts through that eurgh-first-thing-in-the-morning-hangover mouth taste. It also masks even the faint taste of vodka - which is impressive - so much so I can barely tell when I'm drinking a screwdriver cocktail. But perhaps that just makes me a bit of an alcoholic!

I'll still buy huge cartons of tropicana juice and Innocent smoothies and offer them to guests when they come over. No one need know that secretly, at 3am when I want some juice, I'll be drinking the cheap stuff out of the carton!! Shhhhh don't tell anyone :)

What's your shameful confession? Let me know in the comments below - and if you'd like to share it in a big post (anon is fine) get in touch.

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

7 Dec 2011

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word - WoTW

(Sorry adj: 1) Feeling or expressing sympathy, pity, or regret: I'm sorry I'm late 2) Worthless or inferior; paltry: a sorry excuse.3. Causing sorrow, grief, or misfortune; grievous: a sorry development. Ety: O.E. sarig "distressed, full of sorrow," from W.Gmc. *sairig-, from *sairaz "pain")

When you've not blogged for over a month and hoped that no one has noticed, it seems to me to be a good idea to use someone else's words with which to apologise and nattily, title your post. In this case I have used Elton John's words. I apologise also for any earworms that may now arise from this misfortunate usage of the lyrics.

So anyway, I'm sorry dearest readers, for being utterly crap at blogging and not really worthy of the name "blogger" atm

I don't even have the incredibly worthwhile excuse of Nanowrimo busy-ness. I wimped out of that in the first week, even though I loved my idea (vampire novel, set in london, bit of a modern day spin yadda yadda). I went through various ideas for Nano. Including wondering how I could structure a novel in which WW3 started from a single tweet. That might sound laughable but given everything that's happened so far this year politically, it might not be that far away. 

Anyway, back to the apology. I don't have a decent excuse for not blogging other than at first, I was a bit busy with various other things. And then as time went on I felt too awkward to blog again - a bit like when you've had a row with someone but left it just that bit too long to apologise. And then worst of all, I didn't feel like blogging. Which is a bit like me saying like I don't feel like some cake - it was something I never thought I'd say.

To be very honest, I have been feeling a bit blue and black dog-ish. Fracturing my ankle in August really had a bigger impact than I thought - and shows why it is so important to do regular exercise. As a result of the fracture I haven't been able to climb for 3 months - so no exercise, no socialising with climbing buddies, spending less time with husbando (my regular climbing partner) and generally feeling a bit sorry for myself.

It wasn't until last weekend - my first climbing session since the ankle-debacle - that I realised just how much I'd missed climbing. It's like I'd gotten my mojo back (yes, I'm a walking cliche). I nearly kissed the climbing wall. But that would have been dusty and grim - and a bit weird too.

So now, in time for Xmas like a special slightly odd present you weren't expecting and don't really know how to react to appropriately, I'm back. You might have to bear with me a bit, the writing might be a bit scratchy, the lists might be a bit shorter, but I'm back and I'm blogging again. I hope that you'll forgive me and stick with me. A bit like that mangy, moth eaten teddy from when you were a kid - it's not perfect but you don't love it any the less, but sometimes you carry it by the ear, just to show it who's boss. 

Wait, I don't know where i was going with that analogy. To sum up, sorry for being crap, I'm back now. Bear with me as I try to resume normal service. The end.

Thank you and good night.

Stupidgirl has left the building

PS How *are* you all? Any news? Any gossip? Read any good books? Eaten any good cake?

30 Oct 2011

AudioFuel - Top 10 Songs/Music To Write To

Another Nanowrimo oriented post, but one thing I really noticed last Nano, was just how much music I listened to when I was writing. For me, music is the equivalent of an airplane when it comes to taking me to that place in my head where the writing bits live. Music, to paraphrase Madonna, takes me there.

It would take a whole other blog post to go into why music does what it does to me (and many other people) but I thought it would be interesting to share the music I listen to when I write - it's partly what fuelled my Lyric Day posts also - as I listen to music when I blog.

Last year, for Nano, I compiled a playlist called, rather originally, Writing Music. It's got 62 tracks on it which obviously I'm not going to list in its entirety here, but it covers everything from Bjork to Britney Spears via Tori Amos, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Garbage, Counting Crows and The Chemical Brothers.

In addition, last year I also compiled a special playlist of music that helped me focus on my main characters - it plotted their story, music-wise. It might sound a bit odd but it really enabled me to get inside their heads and think about them as real people - and the sort of music they might like.

I'm curious to see if this year for Nano, my writing music tastes change because I'm writing in a different genre (dystopia to thriller). As a result, although this is a top 10 post, really it's just a list post, to help me categorise the music I listen to when I write.


24 Oct 2011

A Universe In A Grain of Sand - Last Year's Nanowrimo Novel

As promised on yesterday's post - top tips for Nanowrimo - I *was* supposed to be blogging about my plans for this year's nanowrimo novel. However it occurred to me that I should probably do a short post about last year's first......

Um, so I dreamt the plot of last year's novel. Farcical as it sounds I really did. I woke up one morning at the end of August thinking huh, I just dreamt a novel idea. After not ever having one before, it was kind of exciting (a novel idea that is, not a dream, i have a lot of dreams - the less said about them the better). So the novel idea kind of percolated round in my head for a bit, I attempted to draft a few sentences, jot down a few notes etc but didn't really do much about it.

"Let's do Nanowrimo" says @aliamck
"Huh, wtf is Nanowrimo" says I.
@aliamck sends me a link
"Hmmmmmm" says I, "you may be on to something here what with this book plot thingummy I dreamt up"

After agreeing to partake in the madness that is Nano, I felt I was off to a good start as I had a title. Oh yes, a title - before I'd written a word. That title is/was Condemnation. I have yet to come up with a better one. Husbando thinks it's naff, cheesy and obvious. (It's a dystopian novel set under a totalitarian regime Con Dem Nation.....) I could also summarise my novel in less than 10 words: Dystopian love story in which everyone dies. Also impressive I think you'll find.

Certainly both of these were a hell of a lot easier than writing and structuring the damn thing. So for your convenience, here's a summary, a character guide and a chunk of the book itself....

Summary
Lotte is trapped in a life serving a man she is ambivalent about, living in a house with a woman who hates her and a society that condemns her very existence as a government prescribed sex slave. Taken from her family as a young woman to be trained into a life of servitude, the best she can hope for is to keep the same master until she grows too old be of any use. When Gideon walks into her life, will she learn what it really means to love someone - and then risk everything for it? Defying her training, her security and ultimately, the government of Condemnation, Lotte finds out how far she will really go to achieve a life she'd never even dreamed of.

Main Characters
Lotte - sex slave and around whom the book revolves
Michael - Lotte's master
Evy - Michael's frosty wife
Gideon - Lotte's love and Michael's colleague

Key Facts
Condemnation - a totalitarian government that has divided the united kingdom into tribes depending on wealth and education, and renamed them all by colour.
The Black - slang for the main city in Condemnation
A Breathless - what Lotte is, a sex slave (I'm thinking of changing this name, but to what, I don't know)

Chunk of book
"I was seeking comfort more often now, a sense of belonging – I thought it had been triggered by seeing the man on the Omnibus. The attraction I had felt for him, even for just a few seconds had been a reminder of a feeling that I could not name precisely, but even so was tugging at the edges of my consciousness, a sense of belonging to someone or something. I knew that I had felt similarly at The Convent but I could not quite place a finger on when the feeling had gone away – and how. 

I was doing my utmost to conceal this during my day-to-day activities and behaviours but when alone I was spending a lot of time thinking; about my current situation, about being a Breathless, about escape even and most importantly about the man on the bus. These thoughts themselves concerned me, I felt powerless to do anything about them but I worried away at them in my mind, like a dog chasing its tail." 

What Next
So I've not done anything with last year's book. I wrote my 50k words but it's nowhere near finished let alone edited. A couple of friends *have* read it - and asked me what happens next and suggested I finish it. I don't know if I will or not. I love the story and the characters but it's just so hard with so many plot strands and bits + pieces. Any comments welcome, I'll try not to cry :P

Anyway tomorrow I'll be posting about this year's Nanowrimo book idea!

Thank you and good night

Stupidgirl has left the building

23 Oct 2011

Didn't You Get The Memo? My Top Tips for Nanowrimo

This post has been a long time coming, but seeing as Nanowrimo starts in eeeep....(counts on fingers) 9 days, I thought I'd better put it out there. So, if you're thinking of doing Nano, you're a newbie and you've signed up or you've done it before (winner or not), this post is for you.

Btw, if you're wondering wtf Nanowrimo is, it's a crazy month of madness whereby you try to write a novel - or 50,000 words of one - in a month. Hence National Novel Writing Month. I've only done it once before - last year - when @aliamck encouraged me to do it. However I should add that prior to November 2010, the last time I'd written more than a sentence was at university. So doing Nano last year was a little like running a marathon with no practice. That's not to say it shouldn't be done like that. Anyway, on with the tips aka "what I learned from Nanowrimo 2010 and how it might help you"

Tip One: Write Like No One's Going To Read It
You know that expression dance like no one's watching? And then you see people dance who adhere to that - some are bad, some are good, some are awesome. But, they're all putting their heart + soul into it. Well from what I know about writing, that's how you should write. Sounds a bit crazy I know, but the books I most enjoy and the authors I most admire, are the people who write with a true clear voice and stick to it.
That's not to say you won't worry about people reading your writing, but with Nano, I worked on the basis that no one was ever going to see what I wrote. Not my husband, not my friends, not agents or publishers let alone the general public. Nope, not a page/sentence/word/letter. Remember that actually, you're in control of who sees your writing, so if you don't want people to see it then uh, don't show it to them. I found that reminding myself of this - and I did most days when I was nano-ing - really helped me overcome my writing inhibitions

Tip Two: Have Fun!
I can see the looks on your faces....how does writing 50,000 = fun? Well try not to take it all so seriously. If you're adhering to tip 1, you're well on your way there....remember if your book/character/plot is boring you - chances are, it'll bore other people. When you're a writer you effectively get to play god :)
A good example from my experience last year was when I got totally stuck. I'd written about 12k words and I knew what I wanted to have happen but I seemingly couldn't get there without writing pages of crap. So I asked my husband what I should do. (Warning: typical man response coming)
"Blow something up!"

13 Oct 2011

I'm a Freak and I'm On Fire - Lyric Day

So, I *may* have mentioned that I'm a Garbage fan. And I `like` their page on Facebook. Well recently they've added a Garbage Radio app and put all their b-sides on it. Which, if you're a nerdy fan like me, is freakin' awesome :P

So today's song is one that I've not listened to in literally years and I first had it as a b-side on um, my cd single of Stupid Girl. Yes, I was that much of a fan that I remember this shit. It's a great song if you're a little pissed off, it puts a bit of fire back in your mouth and in your head. And Shirley Manson clearly is not to be messed with. I still don't understand why they didn't put it on any albums, cause it's awesome - and here it is, so turn it up......


And here are the lyrics:

Trip My Wire - Garbage


Be easy on me, I'm fragile
I'm easily broken, be careful with me
I'm a fighter, you're a cheat, and you're a liar
I don't need this anymore
This is not what I came for
I won't stand for this at all
I won't see you anymore
(And All you do is) Get burned, Get burned x3(whispered)

Be easy on me, don't trip my wire
I'm a freak, and I'm on fire
Be easy on me, trip my wire
I'm a freak, and I'm on fire
I don't need this anymore
This is not what I came for
I won't stand for this at all
I won't see you anymore
(And All you do is) Get burned, Get burned x7(whispered)

(Be careful with me, I'm fragile
I'm a bitch babe, and I'm on fire)x2====>
Burn, Burn, Burn,and Burnx32
Trip, Trip, trip, tripping on my wire, and oh my well then
Baby I'm a spider
Keep, keep, keep, on tripping on my wire
You can light my friend and baby I'm a fighter
You're a cheap, cheap, cheap, and baby on my wire
And I will think, think, think, but baby I'm a fighter
Becareful with mex3
I'm fragile
You'll still keep trip, tripping on my wire
I'm a freak, freak, freak, but Baby I'm on fire
I don't need this anymore
This isn't what I came here for

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

6 Oct 2011

Badgirl Blogger

So I've been very bad and hardly blogged at all recently. I'm really, very, truly sorry. Forgive me? *bats eyelashes winsomely*

I don't even really have a decent excuse. Oh! But, remember the ankle debacle - fell over hiking in august, hurted ankle, cried, resting it. So yah, I like totally like fractured it dudes. (not sure where the valley girl speak just came from). But yes, I've been walking around on a fractured ankle for a month. Cause I'm hard. Sort of. Or maybe it's just not as painful as one might expect. Although I now know why it hurt so much when I went on a trampoline on it!!

I've never fractured anything below, and I got to see my xrays and everything. Very excited indeed.
So i'm resting it and mainlining ibuprofen :P

In other news I've been to gay Paree again (Paris folks) for a lovely work meeting with some drinks after. I'm hoping I didn't talk too much crap. Or worse, attempt to speak french....merde!

And now I'm just chilling out and giggling away at damnyouautocorrect.com

So I promise, this weekend, I'll sort out the blog and actually write some decent posts this month. This post is just to apologise and tide you over. Have fun!

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

4 Oct 2011

Fun with Trees - Our Holiday in Chamonix pt 2

So, just one last photo essay on Chamonix for you, but I think it's the best. It's just pictures of all the scenery and trees around the mountains and how everything is beautiful and complementary. Hope you like it!











Oh, and before I forget, if you have any questions about starting climbing or hiking or anything about our trip, just let me know and I'll do my best to answer :)

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

27 Sep 2011

Fun with Me - hiking/climbing and general silliness in Chamonix

I know that you all like a good laugh and plus you know that I'm a wimp when it comes to heights. Anyway, here are some pictures of me looking pretty stupid (but mostly) having a good time on holiday in Chamonix.

First of all, climbing in Les Gaillands:

Faffing around at the bottom putting my shoes on...


Getting started....


Almost there!


Finishing and rewarding self with hot chocolate + cake. Sorry about the helmet hair also!

Some more pictures where I don't look too sweaty....




Yes, I realise in this last one i look like I'm going to the bathroom. But I'm not.
I did just however, have a candy bar, hence the expression of extreme ecstasy!

That's all for now - just one more photo essay in this series for you guys - trees and other green stuff. Then no more mountains for awhile I promise :)

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

25 Sep 2011

A Headfull of Dust Bunnies - Top 10 Comforting Things

Firstly, sorry to Evelyn Waugh. Terrible paraphrasing with today's blog post title.

Anyway, I am feeling very sleepy today. Not sure why really. I've had a busy week and yesterday went to a baby shower and then to stay with a friend and then straight to another friend's house. On the plus side I've not cooked for myself this weekend. On the achievement side I have taken the Northern Line from Finchley Central to Balham (that's 21 stops folks). On the minus side, I am now very, very sleepy. So I am attempting to write a blog post mainly governed by what I would like to do for the rest of the day. In fact I think this is a general list for stuff that's good on sundays or any day when you're mildly sick/tired/hungover/it's raining/you feel sad.

Top 10 Comforting Things


1) A Hot Drink
I guess a british first choice would be tea. But really this covers anything from hot soup to hot chocolate to coffee with a big splosh of Baileys or whisky or other simillar alcohol. THe only thing that you can't have is espresso. That's not relaxing or comforting.

2) A Hot Bath
Just as it says. Preferably with bubbles and a glass of wine. And fluffy towels warming on the radiator. The best combination for this is when you've had a long hard day at work and it's dark + cold (and possibly raining/sleeting/snowing/foggy) outside. Instructions for this should be - walk in door, fling bags + keys aside, start bath running + add bubbles, pour wine, drink wine, strip off, pour more wine, grab book + pjs + bathrobe, put pjs/bathrobe/towel on radiator, step in bath, drink wine, read book. For *at least* 30 minutes. Top up wine and hot bath water as necessary. Be sure to drink the wine + bath in the other water - not the other way around.

3) Clean Sheets
You know, when you put clean sheets on the bed. And you fluff up the pillows and duvet. And you get in and it's crisp and lovely. Blissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

4) A Good Book
This can be entirely up to you but if I'm feeling sleepy/tired/sick I like to settle down with a really fat chick lit or YA novel. Or a nice easy crime thriller. Something I can really get into and relax with - so I don't have to work too hard figuring out the plot or looking up big words :) My perfect authors for this include Adele Parks, Marian Keyes, Elizabeth Berg and Richard Montenari.

22 Sep 2011

It's Not Me, It's Not My Family - Lyric Day

A great song with a serious undertone to it this week, Zombie from The Cranberries:


I've always loved this song as it's got a great riff and is a bit grungier than most of The Cranberries' other stuff. It's also a very sad song though, there are clear references throughout the song to the the troubles in Northern Ireland "It's the same old theme since 1916". The song as a whole is about the killing of two children in an IRA bombing in Warrington in 1993. It's clear that the song is referencing the fact that civilians get caught up in this terrible and long war (ending in 1998).

Anyway, here's the lyrics for you:

"Another head hangs lowly,
Child is slowly taken.
And the violence caused such silence,
Who are we mistaken?

But you see, it's not me, it's not my family.
In your head, in your head they are fighting,
With their tanks and their bombs,
And their bombs and their guns.
In your head, in your head, they are crying...

In your head, in your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie,
Hey, hey, hey. What's in your head,
In your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie?
Hey, hey, hey, hey, oh, dou, dou, dou, dou, dou...

Another mother's breakin',
Heart is taking over.
When the vi'lence causes silence,
We must be mistaken.

It's the same old theme since nineteen-sixteen.
In your head, in your head they're still fighting,
With their tanks and their bombs,
And their bombs and their guns.
In your head, in your head, they are dying...

In your head, in your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie,
Hey, hey, hey. What's in your head,
In your head,
Zombie, zombie, zombie?
Hey, hey, hey, hey, oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, oh, oh, hey, oh, ya, ya-a..."

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

20 Sep 2011

Fun with Mountains - Our Holiday in Chamonix pt 1

As per this post and um, this post, you might have noticed that we went to Chamonix in September! Husbando commandeered the camera and proceeded to take an impressive 369 pictures in one week. After much weeding out of photos of me having a hissy fit, wonky angles and thumb over lens scenarios, I have boiled down the pictures into 3 lovely photo essays for you all. This first one is mainly pictures of the mountains themselves.....











Makes you want to go right now doesn't it :)

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

19 Sep 2011

Becky's Book Review #8 - Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay


Title: Sarah's Key/ Elle s'appellait Sarah
Author: Tatiana de Rosnay
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Modern + historical fiction/holocaust

General Description:
This is one of the tougher books I've read recently - and it was quite a harrowing movie as well. This review will predominantly cover the book but I've also written a little section on the movie also.

The novel covers the events of the Vel D'Hiv - in July 1942 around 7,500 Parisian Jews were rounded up and held in the Velodrome D'Hiv for 5 days with no food, water or toilets before being sent to the death camps. Of this figure, 4000 were children. The French government organised and were complicit in this - under orders from the Nazis. There wasn't a public apology until 1995.

Split between modern day with an American journalist covering the Vel D'Hiv and 1942, the book focuses on a little girl called Sarah who is taken to the Vel D'Hiv with her family. Unfortunately when the police came to round everyone up, she'd locked her little brother in their toy cupboard believing they were coming back + she could let him out. After the Vel D'Hiv she is taken to the camps along with all the other Jews. The story is her journey to get back to her brother. Back to modern day, the journalist is uncovering personal ties to Sarah and her story that she could never have expected.

It sounds wrong to say that I enjoyed this book but I did. I couldn't put it down. Firstly, it was very educational, I'd never heard of the Vel D'Hiv before, despite the fact that I'm Jewish and know a bit about the holocaust. I enjoyed the flick back to modern times also, although Julie (the journalist)'s marriage breakdown was not directly relative to the story - it just seemed to contrast all the liberty we take for granted with the terrible separation of Sarah from her parents at the camps. 

18 Sep 2011

Looking Lived In - Top 10 Things That Make Me Smile

I hope you're all having an *awesome* sunday - or whatever day of the week it is when you're reading this! We've had a quiet one here, I have done TONS of cooking in some attempt to ensure we eat something other than cereal, takeaway or chips. I have made a ginormous chicken + chorizo casserole and a `proper` bolognaise sauce that has been cooking for around 5 hours now mmmmmmm.

Today's top 10 was inspired by the utterly inspirational Bangs and A Bun blog and this post. I've been a bit wordier than her, but I've not written 50 things, just 10 :) Hope you enjoy! Oh and be sure to follow B&AB - she rocks.

Top 10 Things That Make Me Smile

1) Dogs
Just generally but most specifically when they chase rabbits in their sleep, wag their tails when they lie down, their sheer enjoyment for the most mundane of activities (an ear scratch, a cuddle, a random smell) but mostly for their general silliness - like these cute airedales!




2) General animal silliness
Animals can be pretty funny generally. Especially when they are small and excitable, such as in this video or this one of Cookie The Baby Penguin (the last 10 seconds are the cutest thing I have seen in my life, I defy you not to laugh let alone smile!)



3) Guys With Flowers
When you see guys walking along with huge bunches of flowers - especially on Mother's Day - it's really cute! 

4) Random Acts of Kindness
When people give up seats on public transport, give someone change for the bus, help someone across the road, carry heavy luggage and are just unexpectedly nice to a complete stranger, this makes me smile. Like the nice man at South Ken tube who carried my suitcase up the stairs for me :)

16 Sep 2011

Ketchup Post - What I've Been Up To Since...Awhile Anyway

So, I've posted quite a bit this week and last but I was a bit erratic during August - lots of stuff to talk about.
Anyway I thought you'd like a list of stuff I've read, listened to and watched as well as places I've been to - and places I've eaten + drunk at. It's a very short post because I've had a very busy week but I hope it gives you a snapshot of what I've been up to.

Here you go:

Books I Have Read
What The Nanny Saw - Fiona Neill - review to come
Left Neglected - Lisa Genova - review to come

Movies I Have Watched
The Eagle - based on the book, The Eagle of the Ninth - this was well worth watching. The cinematography was awesome - here is a still to prove it:


Red Riding Hood - unfortunately, or perhaps unsurprisingly to some, this was diabolical.
Sarah's Key - amazing + incredibly moving, I'll be covering this in a book review of the book of the same name in the next couple of weeks.

Music I Have Listened To:
Snow Patrol - check this post
Counting Crows - very retro I know :) Mainly their newer stuff though, rather than AAEA
Nirvana - also retro
Pearl Jam - ditto
Rage Against the Machine - ditto
Journey - just because
Lady Gaga - because she has taken over my brain

Places I Have Been
Chamonix
Geneva
Milan
Paris
London
Wales (well that was the end of July)

Places I Have Eaten
Le Percolateur - very yummy food indeed!

Places I Have Drunk
Dr Ink

And that's it for now - am dashing off to a karaoke session (as ever...) but I'll be properly back over the weekend I promise. Have a lovely evening everyone.

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

14 Sep 2011

Switching Round - Word of the Week

(Perception n: becoming aware of something/The process, act, or faculty of perceiving. Ety: late 15c., "receiving, collection," from L. perceptionem Meaning "intuitive or direct recognition of some innate quality" is from 1827)

Okay, I'm about halfway up a rock face. The ground is approx 12-15 metres below me and I've got around another 6-8 metres to climb. After that climb I have to abseil half way down to a small ledge and wait for husbando to join me. Then I have to use various gadgets to pull down the rope, re-attach it to me, husbando and the rock and then abseil down again. But in the meantime, there's those remaining metres of rock to climb.

Graded at around a 3/4 in the book - well within my capability - the climb is closer to a 5+, something I've just mastered climbing inside, without the added complexity of more than one pitch and knowing I've got to abseil down after. The foot and hand holds are tiny pinches mainly, and my nails (and nerves) are shredded. Although you can can't see my face, I'm crying and tearfully sniffling my way up, inch by inch. After what seems like several millennia, I finish the climb and make it to the ledge husbando is on.

"Well done!" he beams at me. I am not impressed "That was so fucking scary" I am snivelling but he insists on taking a picture. "Didn't you see me crying?"

"What?! No, I didn't. You climbed that really well. There was a lady at the bottom taking pictures of you all the way up, seriously."

I think my facial expression reads WTVF. "Are you sure? Wasn't she taking pictures of the kids?" There are a bunch of them below me, climbing at what I am sure is at vastly higher grade and with a great deal less fuss.

"No, she was taking pictures of YOU because YOU climb really well".

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Huh, even several weeks later, now, my brain is just starting to compute this. Right, it says to me, you think that you're crap and you were crying, but some lady, who couldn't see your face, thought that you climb well and took pictures to prove it. Is this what perception is all about? 

13 Sep 2011

Becky's Book Review #7 - How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran


Title: How To Be A Woman
Author: Caitlin Moran
Rating: 4/5 for humour, 2/5 for content
Genre: Cultural/social studies

Note - today's book review is going to be a little bit different. Firstly I'll give you an overview of the book and then my opinion of it. I'm also going to follow up this review with a post about my opinion on some of the topics Moran covers. I really look forward to your comments at the end....

Book Overview
Caitlin Moran - a regular Times/Guardian columnist and paid up member of the British Twitterati- has written a modern feminist's handbook which aims to do exactly as per the title - how to be a woman. Following Moran's experiences of everything from porn to pubic hair, menstruation to abortion, we learn how it seems Moran thinks we should be women in the 21st century. This is a humourous call to arms aimed squarely at Generations X + Y......or is it?

12 Sep 2011

When The Night Has Come - Lyric Day

Today's lyric day is dedicated to all those all over the world affected by 9/11. Yesterday I wasn't sure how I felt or even if it was appropriate to write something in memoriam. So I had this song planned for a lyric day - and it always reminds me of the States - so it seemed like a fitting tribute. That's all I need or want to say. Take care of yourselves folks.

Stand By Me - Ben E. King

"When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No I won't be afraid, no I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin', darlin', stand by me, oh now now stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me

If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry, no I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darlin', darlin', stand by me, oh stand by me
Stand by me, stand by me, stand by me-e, yeah

Whenever you're in trouble won't you stand by me, oh now now stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me

Darlin', darlin', stand by me-e, stand by me
Oh stand by me, stand by me, stand by me"

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

11 Sep 2011

Video Killed The Radio Star - Top 10 Music Videos

I've not done a proper top 10 in aaaaaaaaaaages, not since this one I think. So today I thought I'd come back with a, er, bang - My Top 10 Music Videos! It's been, unsurprisingly, tough to narrow down the list as I do love a good music video. Where would we be without MTV and all the other music channels it spawned? Although it's not on the list, I have to give credit to Dire Straits here - Money For Nothing was the first music video shown on MTV, way back in August 1987 (crikey that's 24 years ago.....)

The list is a real mix of stuff - some pop, some metal, some dance, some rock. I've literally picked the first videos that spring to mind but at the end of the post is also a list of the best suggestions that came up on Twitter/Facebook when I asked for your favourite vids.

My Top 10 Music Videos - in no particular order...

1) November Rain - Guns 'n' Roses
Awesome video - great wedding dress, great guitar solo, and just generally a very unintentionally funny video. It's clearly a great song too, which makes all the difference.


2) Smack My Bitch Up - The Prodigy
Er, if you're of a sensitive nature, look away now. This video has won several polls for the most offensive video ever, was banned for years and just generally caused stacks of controversy as did the song/song title itself! Personally I think it's a great song + video and I don't think it's misogynistic at all, rather I like the way it subverts certain stereotypes. I often wonder if the video would have been so shocking if it had had a different protagonist. However if you'd rather not watch the video (I wouldn't if you're not sure!), scroll down to the very bottom of this post - and I've put a little precis in for you.

It makes into this list for being a great video because of the production and direction and the fabulous imagery - you feel like you're part of it! It's also interesting to note that the video was directed by Jonas Akerlund - who has done several Lady Gaga videos including Telephone and Paparazzi.

3) Like A Prayer - Madonna
Interestingly, another controversial video when it came out - but it's a wonderful video. I like the way Madonna goes to great lengths to tell a story - even though the lyrics of the song are utterly bizarre (is it about sex or religion - or both?)  Madonna, witnessing a murder, flees to a church for sanctuary and then has a bizarre dream about having sex with a saint (possibly Jesus?) Anyway the Vatican banned this video - rather understandably - given the extensive Catholic/religious imagery. It's incredibly famous song and video - I've seen Madonna perform it live and it was AMAZING.

7 Sep 2011

Light Out, Light Out - Lyric Day

On Monday evening me and my poorly ankle (torn ligament) went off to meet my mum for a "secret" Snow Patrol gig at the Shepherds Bush Empire. Mum is a big fan of SP - she's seen them 4 times and I've seen them 3 times. (skip to the bottom if you want to check out a couple of videos I took at the gig)

I think SP create mixed feelings about their music - unfairly so I would say, as Run was just played so much, everywhere and even copied by Leona Lewis. Additionally, Open Your Eyes and Chasing Cars seemed to be used on every blimmin advert and TV show on telly. So they kind of made SP really mainstream and poppy when actually they're a bit grittier than that.

I was surprised to learn that SP have been going for over 15 years actually - first formed by Gary Lightbody at uni in 1994 - but they only hit the big time with Run. Which is an awesome song. All the haters out there, really, you have to admit it's a great song - I bet you have a little sing-a-long to it when you're on your own!! Anyway, the rest of their stuff is worth a listen to - particularly Chocolate and Spitting Games.

I first listened to Final Straw loads when one of my best friends moved to Australia for a year and all the tracks really remind me of her! I also saw SP support U2 at Croke Park in Dublin and they were pretty awesome - even in the pissing rain to a half empty stadium. The stuff on the new album that they played on Monday was pretty good - a couple of love songs that were a little too much for me but some of the other stuff sounded really intriguing - Fallen Empires in particular - which even managed a touch of drum'n'bass. (Mum was a bit perturbed at this juncture!!).

So anyway, today's Lyric Day song is, unsurprisingly, Run. It's a gorgeous song - I've chosen a live version because it's amazing to hear 1000's of people singing along! And also because the official vevo version on youtube cuts the song off before the end - weirdly.....

On monday night, Gary came on stage with just a guitar and sang the first two verses. He then walked off stage and the entire place sang the whole song to him. It was so incredibly beautiful and I was so glad to be part of it. Here are the lyrics:

"I'll sing it one last time for you
Then we really have to go
You've been the only thing that's right
In all I've done

And I can barely look at you
But every single time I do
I know we'll make it anywhere
Away from here

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

Louder louder
And we'll run for our lives
I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say

To think I might not see those eyes
Makes it so hard not to cry
And as we say our long goodbye
I nearly do

Light up...

Slower slower
We don't have time for that
All I want is to find an easier way
To get out of our little heads

Have heart my dear
We're bound to be afraid
Even if it's just for a few days
Making up for all this mess"
Thank you and good night,

Stupidgirl has left the building

PS Here are a couple of videos I took at the gig

video


PPS Cheryl, this blog post is for you lovely!

4 Sep 2011

Fear and Flying - My Holidays Part 2

In lieu of a proper Top 10 List today, I have just naughtily split the top 10 between yesterday's post and today's as er, it's a bit long! But you do sort of get a mini photo essay *and* a video. Not of me.

Anyway, in case you missed it, I spent the last week in Chamonix in the Alps....if you've not been before, it looks a bit like this:


Anyway, back to the list, I did a lot of reading whilst I was away (because of the spraining-of-ankle debacle)....

5) The Books
My very lovely parents-in-law got me a kindle for my birthday. Now I was quite averse to the idea of a kindle when they first came on the scene but I can now assure you that in resting ankle type situations and killing two hours at Geneva airport and general reading on mountain situations, they come in very handy. As I certainly could not have fitted all the following books I read into my hand luggage:

  • The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly -  awesome read, couldn't put it down. (thriller) 5/5
  • How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran - also awesome, will be a doing a whole separate post on it (feminism) 5/5
  • Last Train From Liguria by Christine Dwyer Hickey - slow start but gripping (historical) 4/5
  • Hollywood Sinners by Victoria Fox - pure bonkbuster trash, loved it! 4/5
  • That Summer In Ischia by Penny Feeney - a bit disappointing tbh (general fiction) 2/5
  • Shopaholic Takes Manhattan/And Sister/Ties the Knot/And Baby by Sophie Kinsella - i've read all these before, decent chicklit and exactly what my poorly ankle needed 4/5
6) The Paragliding
At the top of the Planpraz cable car, rough opposite the Aiguille du Midi, all the (crazy) paragliders jump off the mountain side. It's bloody awesome/terrifying watching them. I can't decide if I want to have a go at some point or not. Anyway, here are a couple of pics and also a video of them taking flight!


3 Sep 2011

Fear and Flying - My Holidays Part 1

Sorry for bastardizing the classic Erica Jong novel title but it seems particularly apt for this post on my holidays and generally the last couple of weeks. I wanted to pop in and say hi to you all before a proper blog post and photo essay on the holiday later this week. Anyway, I'm a bit tired and literally just back from Geneva as of two hours ago, so on with the post!

1) First, a picture.....


This was the view from my sunlounger. Yes, that *is* Mont Blanc up there, behind the Aiguille de Midi and some other tall pointy things. I really should draw some little arrows in to show you which is which. But I might get it wrong eeeep. Anyway I was on a sun lounger because of....

2) The Injury
I fell off a mountain.

Well to be more accurate, I tripped on a mountain path when I was going too fast down it after husbando threatening to catch him up and tickle him. Sexy as that sounds, it was wasn't quite as sexy as going ass over tit and spraining my ankle. Fuck me does that hurt!
I'm glad there's no photographic evidence of me, face down in the dirt, screaming. Not a good look. I feel I should point out that a) I fell over on the safest part of the hike and not the bit with the precipitous drop - if I'd fallen there, I'd be writing this from beyond the grave and also b) I then had to walk back down the mountain for 2.5 hours on said ankle.

28 Aug 2011

Don't Look Back in Anger - Top 10 Things I'd Tell My 21 year old self...

As promised on the poll on the facebook page (are you a fan yet?), here is my list of top things I'd tell my 21 year old self. In fact, I think it's good to remind my 30 year old self of these things too!

1. Everyone else is faking being so confident. Really, they're shitting themselves also, and in fact, if we were all honest about this, life would be so much easier!

2. Don't be so hard on yourself - most of the time, you're just doing the best you can with what you have. There is no rule book to life, as much as you might feel like everyone else has one and you don't. Write your own rules instead - it's cliched but true - only you know how you like to live your life.

3. One day you'll look back and realise that actually, you really weren't fat! Really - that tiny roll you were worried about - NON EXISTENT.  So be gad you wore those furry hotpants/leather mini skirt - you won't have a chance to again without looking like an ageing hooker.

25 Aug 2011

Moving Farther Away - Lyric Day

Today's lyric day came after watching this video on youtube.....


I'm amazed that they managed to do this and that it really was a surprise (don't you both need to fill in paperwork to get hitched in the states?) but I also wasn't expecting to hear a totally random version of the Yazoo classic, Only You.


I didn't realise this song came out in 1982 - which means its 29 years old. Crumbs! Anyway, it's nice song, I think - I like the synth pop feeling - and the beginning sounds quite a lot like some of the Daft Punk stuff in Tron:Legacy. It's also a very melancholy song - but also reminds me of being a little kid. If I'm in the right mood it also gets me quite choked up. I think it's most famously used in The Office christmas special but as I'm probably the only person on earth who hasn't watched The Office I can't be sure!

Anyway, here are the lyrics for you:

Yazoo - Only You

"Looking from a window above it's like a story of love
Can you hear me
Came back only yesterday I'm moving farther away
Want you near me

Chorus
All I needed was the love you gave
All I needed for another day
And all I ever knew
Only you

Sometimes when I think of her name, when it's only a game
And I need you
Listen to the words that you say it's getting harder to stay
When I see you

Chorus x 2

This is going to take a long time and I wonder what's mine
Can't take no more
Wonder if you'll understand it's just the touch of your hand
Behind a closed door

Chorus"

Happy Lyric Day!

Thank you and good night

Stupidgirl has left the building

PS Only 6 more days if you want to nominate this blog/me in the lifestyle category for the Cosmo Blog Awards 2011 (looks hopeful, proffers cake) xx

23 Aug 2011

Fun with Furry Friends - A zoo trip themed photo essay

As per this post, you might have noticed that I went to the zoo on sunday :) After that sneak preview, here are the rest of my snaps. It's not a huge variety, but I hope you like them anyway. Our trip was pretty much geared to what a 22month old has the attention span for .... :)






21 Aug 2011

We're Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo (sneak preview)

In advance of tomorrow's photo essay, here's a sneak preview of someone I met today:

Yes, I went to London Zoo for the first time since....well actually, the first time ever I think. How surreal is it to see giraffes (or `Rafs` as the toddler I was with called them) lumbering along in slow motion as you walk into London Zoo.  I thought I was in a Dali painting for a moment.

So anyway yes, I took advantage of husbando being away for the weekend to not make any plans - and instead got invited out to the Zoo with a my friend and her little girl. I can tell you that going to the Zoo with a 22 month old is easily one of the most enjoyable things ever. "More monkeys more monkeys" and "bye bye birdie" were frequent comments.

Additionally, my biggest achievement of the day was teaching her to say awesome - "Mummy awesome" "Becky awesome". Much fun.

But you'll have to wait for the photo essay to see the rest of the "aminals". Including the penguins...too cute!

Thank you and goodnight

Stupidgirl has left the building

16 Aug 2011

Things I Love - Top 10 List

(Disclaimer - I'd like to apologise in advance for this post - it's a bit waffly and not up to usual standards.  I have no excuse other than I'm exhausted, but I still wanted to post - I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging regularly after my little hiatus in June.)

This is a very delayed post - I have no excuse - and it's a chain blog post fingy that I was asked to do by the ever lovely Siren of Brixton (check out my interview with her here). So, here are the top 10 things I love. I've taken a rather light hearted approach to this - I think you can take it for granted that I love my husband, friends + family, so they're not on the list!

1) Cake - any kind really but special mentions to chocolate fudge cake, carrott cake, coffee + walnut cake and also red velvet cake. Speshly from here - this shop has served me the only slice of cake so big I've not been able to finish it. I didn't think that was possible!

2) Black eyeliner - it's just an essential really. It makes me look like I actually have eyes for a start. It's fun too - even with the whole tricky-to-apply thing. I've even managed to achieve the ability to apply it one handed on public transport (pencil not liquid)

3) My Library. Uh, so they have like free books, yeah. genius idea. Check out this post for serious reasons why libraries are awesome

4) My laptop - so I can talk to all you people that live in it on a regular basis. And do online shopping too!

5) My bed. It's comfy. I like my duvet a lot too. This one might be motivated by the fact that I'm really tired tonight!

6) London. It's fab - the best place to live IMO. Check out this post for my favourite places in London!

7) Soy Sauce. It's my favourite condiment. And possibly my favourite flavour too. Mmmm yummy. I also like maple syrup a lot. But soy sauce is the best.

8) Climbing. It rocks. Oh, bad pun. But you know what I mean. I like climbing on plastic and real rock  It's taken me some time to really build up confidence and to get over my fear of heights but actually I'm pleased with my climbing ability - perhaps I'm not totally crap.

9) Dogs. They're fun and smiley. They're cute, they love you unconditionally, they are such good friends - and even though they smell a bit, I wouldn't be without them. Currently we don't have a dog - but hopefully one day we will :)

10) Social Media. I wouldn't have a job, a hobby or friends without it. :)

Oh, I just remembered, I have to pass this on to other bloggers so.....the lucky bloggers who need to post their top 10 things are:

- Emlyn Chand
- Demon Wrangler
- Crafty Bat
- I Know, I Need To Stop Talking
- The News With Nipples
- Ren Cummins

Thank you and good night

Stupidgirl has left the building

14 Aug 2011

Becky's Book Review #6 - The 52 Seductions by Betty Herbert



Book: The 52 Seductions
Author: Betty Herbert
Genre: Relationships/Sex
Star Rating: 4/5

General Description:
You might remember, back in February, I interviewed a blogger called Betty Herbert. I'd found Betty Herbert after someone posted a link to her blog on the forum I belong to. Betty was blogging about sex in a long term relationship and the affect that being together for a long time can have on your sex life.

She'd been with Herbert, her other half for about 14 years - and married for awhile too - and is in her early 30's. As an experiment, they'd decided to seduce each other, once a week for a year - hence The 52 Seductions. I was absolutely captivated by her blog - her refreshing honesty, candour and humour as well as how much she and Herbert loved each other.

I wasn't surprised either to find out that her blog had come to the attention of a literary agency and was being turned into a book - hence this review. It's important to state that the book is not just a bind up of 52 odd blog posts, it's a coherent literary narrative describing one year in the sex life of a married couple. It's endearing, funny, rude, entertaining and just quite simply, wonderful.

13 Aug 2011

Business Cards + Blog Awards - Shameless Self Promotion

I thought I'd attempt to end the week on a more light-hearted note....

Today, in the mail, I received a large sticky-taped package. I do like a large package (note to self, do not blog when - slightly - drunk, risk of rude remarks). Inside the package was something really very truly incredibly exciting (can you tell I've had 3 glasses of wine yet?). Oh yes, I didn't tell you guys this but around 2 months ago I, in my infinite wisdom decided two things:

  • to get a logo designed for the blog
  • to get business cards made up for the blog with said logo on
WTF I hear you cry, why do you, lowly bloggerette (gosh doesn't that look like cigarette) need business cards. Well Mr/Mrs/Ms  Smartypants, I need a business card because I keep going to events and wanting to blog about them and it's such a faff to write down my blog address for them - hence getting a funky logo + business cards designed.

So, with no further ado, here are pictures of said business card:



Hope you like them - the lips logo will be appearing on the blog soon :)

On another, self promoting note, I have rather uncharacteristically and immodestly nominated myself for the Cosmopolitan Magazine Blog Awards 2011. If you have, in anyway, enjoyed this blog - for whatever reason, I'd be so most incredibly grateful if you'd consider nominating me as well :)

The link is here
The category is lifestyle
And my blog address is http://generationwhynot-stupidgirl.blogspot.com

Please vote - I'll give you cake. Or at least virtual cake. And be grateful for the rest of my mortal life.

Thank you and good night

Stupidgirl has left the building

11 Aug 2011

London Riots - Some Thoughts Afterwards

Thank you for your amazing response to Tuesday's post about my small experience of the London riots. I cannot stress enough:

  • how incredibly lucky we were
  • how much my thoughts are with the people who lost so much
  • how grateful i am to the emergency services, on the front line who dealt with horrendous situations, not always equipped to do so.
Now that the worst of the London riots is hopefully over, I/we have had a few days to think about everything and perhaps form some opinions or ideas on it all. I didn't want to rush in to making hasty conclusions about rioting, looting, motivation, government and society. The only thing I know for sure is that nothing is an excuse or a reason to condone such violence and wanton destruction.

Firstly, a small update on us - I spoken to husbando on Tuesday and he gave me a bit more detail about what happened when I was sleeping. Firstly, apparently a group of looters actually surrounded the building - about 20 of them - and it was pretty scary. When he called the police they were clearly short staffed but luckily the riot vans were driving past and saw the stuff kicking off outside blockbuster. Also there was an ambulance called so it looked like one of the looters was injured at some point.

In terms of getting back to normal in my small part of South London when I got home yesterday everything was all unboarded, and looked back to normal. The only places still with boarding up were some estate agents and a couple other stores. It's been great tweeting with lots of local people after the last couple of days - and actually it's really cheered me up and redeemed my faith in people. It's been lovely.

In other news, the riot struck areas of London have been cleared up by the riot wombles. And after this unspeakable act of violence (upsetting, be warned), this amazing website has been set up to help him. So far over £4k has been raised and I believe he's also received other gifts. Additionally I think one of his attackers has been identified and arrested - which is good news. All the media has been full of details of looters and rioters being sentenced and magistrates have been working crazy hours to process everyone. CallMeDave has met with parliament and addressed the media several times - but to be honest, I don't really think he's said anything sensible other than ruling out calling the army. Although the army might be used to help in departments where the police are over-stretched. He's also condoned the use of water cannons. I'm not really sure where I stand on this.

Finally, some thoughts about why this has all happened. I highly recommend two articles - firstly this, from Zoe Williams on the psychology of rioting, and then this by Camila Batmanghelidjh about the causes behind such a disassociated and disaffected section of society.

For my opinions - well pretty much what the articles say - the rioting is horrendous and inexplicable. But there are some reasons in society for people behaving and reacting like this. To those who have criticized the emergency services and in particular the police, I would say that it's utterly pointless criticizing frontline staff - they don't make strategic decisions about where they're deployed. If there weren't `enough` police at a particular flashpoint that's not the average policeman's fault - they did the best they could - risking their own lives and getting injured in the process. Additionally, the looters deliberately targeted areas on opposite sides of the city, making it hard for the police to get to areas of need as soon as possible (cf. Clapham Junction - 20 police to 200 looters).

As time goes on there will be more articles and debate about what's happened -and no doubt predictions about when and if it'll happen again. If I see any articles of interest, I'll update this post.

Thanks for listening and supporting London and England.

Thank you and goodnight,

Stupidgirl has left the building