Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A Couple of Things:


This can wait... 

L x

{image 2 from Celluloid Blonde - such a funny tumblr}

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Christmas Spirit

Images  1&2 via labellevie Tumblr
3 via winter

A Dr. Seuss Christmas...

"And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more??"
L x

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Dissertation tips...

Oh if I must.... 

"The time has come," the Walrus said....

Came across this old gem,  I remember my Dad reading this to me when I was little. Good times.
L x

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said.
"Do you admire the view?

"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Movie stills from the new Great Gatsby...

In the midst of essay insanity and endless disseration based chat I had completely forgotten that this was being filmed by Baz Lurhmann. Much to my disappointment it's not going to be released until the end of next year but here are some of the first images that have been released. Leonardo Di Caprio plays Gatsby with Toby Maguire as Nick Carraway and Carey Mulligan as Daisy.  Genuinely wish I could have lived then - no one does glamour quite like Gatsby. 
L x

"He wanted to recover something, some idea of himself perhaps, that had gone into loving Daisy. His life had been confused and disordered since then, but if he could once return to a certain starting place and go over it all slowly, he could find out what that thing was."
The Great Gatsby
{images celebuzz}

Monday, 5 December 2011


Having attended an all girls Catholic School for 8 years and being made to attend Mass every Sunday and during the week on feast days, I don't have the most positive view of religion.. Nonetheless, over Christmas I find it hard to be overly sceptical and almost feel nostalgic for the days when I did genuinely believe it all to be 100% true (Father Christmas and the whole Jesus, Mary, donkey, stable shepherds malarkey). While reading for my latest fun-filled essay, it seems that Thomas Hardy had a similar experience with regards to religion (not the all-girls Catholic school part...) but I came across this poem which seemed to sum it up quite appropriately:

The Oxen

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
"Now they are all on their knees,"
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
"Come; see the oxen kneel

"In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,"
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so. 

L x

Sunday, 4 December 2011

For the love of Bridget...

After having just left school, a friend and I went inter-railing around Europe. Being young and slightly pretentious we chose a selection of very 'serious' books to take with us. For two weeks we struggled through Flaubert and various other profound, ‘thought-provoking’ works, each not quite prepared to admit to the other how torturous these books had become. Eventually, around half way through the trip, our academic poise broke and in a pretty grimy hostel in Budapest, we lost literary self control. Amidst old copies of Lonely Planet and Hungarian versions of Mills and Boon, we found what, at the time, we saw as literary manna: sparkly jacketed, predominantly pink and hotly reviewed by Heat and Grazia magazines; Filthy Rich by Wendy Holden was just what we needed. There are times and places for different books and if anything was learnt from the trip aside from the unfortunate effects of Ouzo, that was it.

Even now, whilst reading English at degree level and thoroughly immersed in the pages of all those books which have something VERY IMPORTANT to say, it is easy to get a distorted view of what constitutes 'literature'. Unfortunately, chick-lit is not a module offered by the Durham University English department, although even I can admit that if you place Sophie Kinsella’s The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic alongside something like Joyce’s Ulysses such an omission may be justified. However, this does not mean that chick-lit does not have some worth as a genre in its own right.

One of the problems that people have in admitting their fondness for novels of this particular ilk is that the term 'chick lit' has come to suggest a certain type of book. We all know the one: held together by pastel covers and dramatic romantic plot line, climaxing in some sort of crisis in which main character finds herself alone having consumed 4 boxes of Krispy Kremes and a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Following this, a life changing decision leads to love, friendship and almost certainly a fairytale ending. Though this stereotype is not completely without grounds and has proved to be popular with the masses (think Bridget Jones), it is not altogether fair to deem chick-lit puerile rubbish. The damning judgements made by many readers fail to reflect not only the quality of writing, but also the diversity of subject matter within some of the texts. I say some, for there are a few for whom no defense is possible. Katie Price, your ‘novels’ shall not be gracing my bookshelves anytime soon.

Though this applies to every genre, what makes it particularly hard to differentiate between the men and the boys, or perhaps in this case the girls and the women, is that when it comes to commercial women’s fiction, novels are presented in a very similar manner. Despite the old idiom, books are judged by their covers. It comes with the territory – if you want to give yourself an air of gravitas, you hold a secondhand hardback in your hands. If you want to appear girly and fun, the aesthetic of a book is even more critical, but you’d far sooner clutch a bright and cheery happy-go-lucky glossy pink number. However, chick-lit comes out with some of the worst physical misrepresentations, often causing us to think twice before walking out the house with something we know we’ll be judged for going near. What appears at first to be a book which, quite frankly, you’d be embarrassed to get out on the tube, can actually turn out be something genuinely worth the read and vice versa.

Nonetheless, writers from Nancy Mitford to Jilly Cooper have kept us entertained for generations, writing novels which are hilariously witty, often incredibly insightful and whose characters remain with us for life. F. Scott Fitzgerald once noted that part of the beauty of literature is that within it you find something universal. In part, I think this is why books such as Bridget Jones' Diary are so popular; aside from the great humor which permeates the work, every woman who reads it sees a little of Bridget in themselves.

If we’re very honest, these books are probably not going to change your life, neither will they make you a better person, yet on the upside they won’t leave you on the verge of some sort of existential crisis. What they do offer are lighthearted stories which address the many issues of modern womanhood in ways which enable us to laugh not only at the characters but also at ourselves. There are times and places for different books, and when it comes to chick-lit I am more than happy to occasionally indulge.