A Very Mulberry Holiday

No, it’s not Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza, etc. Here in Britishland, a holiday is something you go on rather than something that comes round every December

We normally take the kid to a caravan park by the seaside for a few days once a year and call it our family holiday. This year we’re mixing it up with two back to back breaks! The first of which was camping in the Chilterns. It sounds like a trek when I put it like that, but we live a fifteen-minute taxi ride from the campsite, so it was almost a staycation.

I haven’t been camping since I was seven and Mr. Mulberry had never been. I anticipated great hardship.  The only time I was ever taken camping we left after one night because my parents hated it so much. I made it through the full four nights and was pleasantly surprised by the experience. I can’t wait to go again! Mr. M., being a roughty-toughty sort of man who has been preparing for a zombie apocalypse from the age of ten, anticipated an easy time of it and suffered terribly, bless him. He likes his hot dinners and his bed too much, plus he is addicted to technology and easily bored without it. He’s not got a great imagination or stamina for play. He’s not afraid to whinge and grump, either.

But, whining baby of a husband aside, the kid and I had a fabulous time and Mr. Mulberry joined in as best he could. We went for long walks in the woods, played a LOT of cricket and scatch, built an obstacle course, had dance parties, stayed up to look at the stars, sung songs, made up stories, did a lot of school homework, scoffed Pepperami and Babybel and crackers, spent a fortune at the nearest cafe on toasties and jacket spuds… I had a curry delivered to the campsite one night because I’m the Dave Lister of Romance and could not live without dal and aloo any longer.

I’ve never been outdoorsy. Not even slightly. I hated insects and dirt. But after four nights I’ll walk barefoot on the grass, let bugs crawl all over me, pick them out of my food and tea and keep shovelling it into my gob. I still don’t like dirt, but I did get used to hand sanitiser rather than antibacterial liquid soap or wipes. That’s a victory for an anxious person!

There were a few nasty surprises. One man arrived at the site and stripped to his underwear immediately before he even started setting himself up. He was there alone, and I was a bit scared of him. Walking around in public in your pants is not normal behaviour here!

And someone had lifted the lid on the portaloo and my kidlet got covered in the blue stuff they put in it when she tried to go for a wee. I had to give her a strip wash at a tap in our paddock with everyone watching and I was in such a flap thinking she’d been covered in bleach and was going to have chemical burns. Luckily it’s nothing nasty these days, discounting the excrement and none of that got on her!

There weren’t many other people there, and for the first and last night we had the paddock all to ourselves. That was wonderful! We had so much space for ball games, but even with others there we still had a huge space to use as a play area.

For our second break we went to Cambridge for four nights. It was midafternoon by the time we’d dumped our stuff at the hotel, so we spent the first day just browsing the shops. We went to Forbidden Planet, and I got a Thor Ragnarok Prologue graphic novel, which will appear in a forthcoming Loki day, plus a Loki t-shirt! I’ve never stanned for a character that had a t-shirt before, so when I saw it, I had to get it. If anyone knows where I might find a Prince Hector or Paris t-shirt, let me know because I will be all over that shit.

Unfortunately, due to a mix up in sizing, I don’t fit my Loki t-shirt. Need to shift a bit of weight first. By coincidence, I decided the night before we left home, on a whim, to become a vegetarian temporarily as I know it can help you lose weight and I wanted to lose a bit if only to feel more healthy. I eat mostly vegetarian and vegan food anyway and only eat meat at three or four meals a week, so it’s no great hardship for me, but I figure it will help me make better choices if I’m deliberately thinking about what I’m going to eat instead of having whatever I fancy. A lifestyle change is better than a diet.

And lifestyle change means better choices across the board, including veggie food. When my kid is at school my go to lunch has always been a bean burger. I am addicted to bean burgers/chickpea burgers/lentil burgers/shroomdogs…  My freezer is overflowing with all sorts of varieties and flavours. Whack it in the oven, stuff it in a ciabatta roll, bit of sriracha “mayo” or some chipotle chilli jam dumped on top, job done. If I’ve got peppers that need eating up, I’ll roast one and shove it in the bun, but that’s my only nod to effort.  And I eat them three times a week at least, which is madness because I’d never do that with a beef burger, despite being an enormous great fatty. But they just taste so good!

Anyway, I arrive in Cambridge committed to my new veggie diet and where do we go for dinner? Nandos! I always eat veggie at Nandos anyway (halloumi mushroom burger FTW) but knowing I couldn’t have chicken I suddenly really wanted it. I didn’t cave, however, and had the veggie cataplana, which was quite nice by itself and even better smeared on a bit of garlic bread.

The second day we took the piglet to Lammas Land to play in the paddling pool and have a picnic and icecream. Then we visited the museums on Downing Street.  She loved the MAA and asked to go back! Mr. M liked the Zoology Museum best, which he called “a house of horrors.” It reminded me of the biology lab at my school—lots of dead things in jars!

Mr. Mulberry went back to the hotel early as his back was playing up, so I took the piglet for a Boost Juice and a look around the shops for some new books. In the evening we got a burrito from Nanna Mexico, and I accidentally ordered beef when I said to the chap to just put everything in mine he’d popped into the kidlet’s! So I was vegetarian for one day haha.

Day three we went to Grantchester. Squee! Between Mr. Mulberry’s bad back and the kid’s little legs, we decided to get the bus there and then walk back. We had lunch at The Orchard (and they served me beef instead of the beans I asked for so scuppered again!), then I took the kid to see the Rupert statue outside the Old Vicarage. Someone had attached a hosepipe to his head and turned him into a sprinkler!

Next, we went to the church. I’ve never been in the church before but it was set up for filming and I was intrigued. I haven’t watched Grantchester since the first series, but I liked the show, so it was quite exciting until I realised the dishy vicar wasn’t there.

We walked back across the meadows and took the kid to the MAA again by special request, and then the Sedgwick again.

Day four was our last full day. In the morning we visited the Museum of Classical Archaeology. I mostly wanted to visit it so I could get some pictures of butts for CB Archer’s upcoming Butt Week. However, it was fabulous! Super queer and historical, so basically my favourite things, plus my kid loved it as there was lots of stuff for little ones. I’m going to give it it’s own post during Butt Week.

In the afternoon I went to the Fitzwilliam on my own. The weather had changed from “too bloody hot” to “pissing with rain” so the kidlet and Mr. Mulberry went back to the hotel, but I bravely pressed on. I’d forgotten what a load of old toot they have in the Fitzwilliam. Even the good stuff is treated like it’s rubbish. Stick the Van Gogh in the corner where no one’s going to look at it, why don’t you? Genius.

Overall we had a fab time. If you’ve got a kid to entertain, Cambridge is a great place to take them. Mine loved it!

 

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Only Lovers Left Alive

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I’ve been trying to persuade Mr. Mulberry to watch this with me on movie night for months but to no avail. Every time I suggested it he would moan that it would be “whiny vampire shit” and I’d argue no, it’s about a rockstar vampire. It’s going to be fucking cool!

Clearly Mr. M had read the synopsis whilst I had stopped at the words Tom Hiddleston. He had this movie down. Jokes on him, however, because whiny vampire is one of my favourite tropes.

I very much enjoyed this film (on my own!). Hiddles is a depressed, suicidal vampire who writes horrible rock dirges and moans about how awful humans are. Tilda is a happy-go-lucky sort of vamp who is married to Hiddles but only goes to visit him for an occasional bang. She spends most of her time hanging out with fellow vamp Kit Marlowe (played by John Hurt), reading, and dancing. Goals AF.  I think she’s living my dream life.

Mia Wasikowska is in it too. She’s the comic relief messy vamp who’ll forever look and act like she’s just out of her teenage years. I enjoyed her immensely!

Not much happens in it. There’s a heap of music, many shots of decrepit Detroit, lots of philosophising and name dropping all the cool people they’ve known through history. Byron’s a “pompous arse,” Mary Wollstonecraft is “delicious.” I totally believed it. The only bit that didn’t ring true was Marlowe writing most of Shakespeare. Now, I LOVE me some Marlowe, and he almost certainly wrote Henry VI Part One (I watched the chopped up, switched about, tacked onto part two version recently, review to come when I finish Hollow Crown Season Two), but it’s literally the worst of all Shakespeare’s plays. He didn’t write anything else.

The wigs were my only other pet peeve. Vampire’s like cheap dye jobs and hate combs, apparently. Gosh, I might just be a vampire after all!

I have to give big props to the casting, particularly Tilda Swinton. She always turns in a fantastic performance in everything she’s in, and she looks astounding. I don’t mean to be prurient (for once, at least. I know that is often my go to because I read some filthy shit) but her tits are incredible. She has better tits in her fifties than I had as a teenager. And seeing her cast as a love interest to Hiddles and sister to Mia is a fabulous FU to Hollywood ageism. Loved it.

Spoiler Alert: I am going to grade this one a masterpiece. But I must give the caveat that a lot of people might not like it. You definitely have to enjoy the whiny vamp trope because so much of the movie is given over to it, plus you have to enjoy thinking about life and how it’s lived. I spend vast amounts of time contemplating my life and how I can live it better, so I ate it up.

Masterpiece. > A bit of fun. > Toss.

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Miss Austen Regrets

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This started as a short review and ended as an empty discourse on life, love, and marriage.

Somehow I didn’t know about Miss Austen Regrets, which is surprising as I love Jane Austen so I should have been all over it years ago.  It’s not on my Hiddles bingo card either. At least it wasn’t until I realised I was never going to find Coriolanus anywhere. I searched this on a whim on Prime and it turned up!

This is a feature-length historical about Jane Austen’s later years. And by later years, I mean late thirties/early forties. She died young. I read a biography about her years ago and she actually had an extremely humdrum life, but of course, she was a great wit, and she’s entertaining, even now we’re seeing her with all her regrets. She is giving her expert opinion on love and marriage to her young niece, Fanny (played by the adorable Imogen Poots , owner of the best name and the best nose I’ve ever seen), who at first eats up everything she says despite Jane’s uninspiring personal love life.

Hiddles plays Fanny’s love interest, Mr. Plumptre. Together they’re love’s young dream, even though he is extremely annoying. When we meet him, he’s telling Jane how to write her books and then says he could write a book too. As a ‘lady author’ myself, I sympathised. He is astonishingly pretty, his hair is on point, and he’s dressed up as a Regency gentleman which, I mean, come on, it’s me. I eat that shit up. However, his fragile masculinity was just too much. I did not fancy Mr. Plumptre.

Eventually he gets engaged to someone else, and Fanny ends up married to a widower with six children while poor old Jane ends up dead, as is usually the way in biographical works. She was talked out of marriage by another spinster, and the implication is she’s done the same to Fanny, but also that she genuinely felt that it was better to be alone than unhappily matched.

I’m almost ashamed to say I felt sorry for Jane, not because she was unlikeable, merely because she wouldn’t have appreciated the pity. I particularly felt for her when she became taken with Mr. Haydon and he was just playing with her. But it was hard to pin down what exactly her regrets were. Clearly she didn’t regret having the freedom to write and publish, or the fun she’d had in her life, and it didn’t look like she’d regretted not having children.  She had companionship, but I suppose that’s not the same as romantic and sexual love, or a big fancy house and a wedge of cash.

I thought the show posed some interesting questions about love and fulfilment. Thinking about my divorced parents, I definitely agree it’s better to live a happy single life than enter into what might be a miserable marriage.

However, I’ve been with Mr. Mulberry since we were both eighteen. We’ve had seventeen years together and ten of those married, and I’d be lying if I said every day had been full of hearts and romance. But I’m glad I married him because I still love him, even though we have pressures on the relationship we didn’t have before. We’re thirty-five now;  it’s going to be different to when we met at university. That’s life.

What it most made me think about is how different the consequences are for men and women when it comes to choosing a partner. Obviously, in Austen’s day, it was a question of money, but these days career and childrearing come into it, and that’s one of the things mentioned in this. If she’d been popping out babies, she might not have written her books.

My thirty-four-year-old brother is getting married in a few weeks time. He’s looking forward to being married but not the wedding, which is exactly what I said when I eloped to Las Vegas.  I haven’t told him that being married is exactly like not being married except you threaten divorce every time you argue for the first three years.  After that, you only threaten it when you really mean it.

He’d like to have a child, but his soon-to-be wife, who is thirty, wants to change career. That means a few years retraining and then a few years getting settled before she has a child. My brother supports her despite his desire for a family—as he puts it, he’s not the one who has to give anything up. He’s a good feminist, and I’m proud of him, but, if it were the other way around and she was thirty-four, she might not want to wait any longer before trying for a family. She wouldn’t have the luxury he has of waiting until she’s nearly forty.

But she has to compromise a lot too. My brother’s job takes him all over the world. He’s away months at a time while she works in the UK. Not many people would want to be in a relationship with someone whose life was that busy.

Also, he’s my little brother. I can’t understand why anyone would want to marry him!

Clearly they love each other very much to make it work, but there’s a degree of privilege to it because of their sex and youth. I’ve known women who got to my age and became obsessed with finding a boyfriend, getting married, having a baby because they thought time was running out. I could start a football team filled with women I know who got pregnant by a man they’ve known six weeks. One woman I knew wanted to get engaged after three months to a man she was internet dating because she wanted to have a child ASAP. She’d told him on the first date and he must have thought she was joking. They split up when he realised she wasn’t and she was annoyed he’d wasted her time. One woman I know recently got dumped at the altar by a man she’d known for six months and my first thought was she’d had a lucky escape. But she’s gutted. In her mind, that was her last shot.

Watching Miss Austen Regrets was a good reminder that life is a balancing act. When it comes to love, you can live a very happy and successful life and still wish things turned out differently. Sometimes I wonder how my life would have been at this point if I’d done everything I always wanted to do and achieved every goal. And the truth is, if I’d lived my best life I wouldn’t have met Mr. Mulberry and wouldn’t have had my daughter. I wouldn’t change those things for the world, and I’ve still got plenty of time to get it right still. It’s not wasted time if you’re happy.

But that’s my life. There are plenty of people who wouldn’t swap with me for the world, and I wouldn’t blame them. Whatever Jane Austen’s regrets might have been, she did something wonderful with her life. Many of us are grateful for it.

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On Genetics

I said there might be a dearth of posts, but this one occurred to me when I was at the concert Billy Ocean concert recently with my mum. She had been due to attend with my aunt until my aunt died, most inconveniently. I went in her stead.

I felt a bit like my mum would have had a better time without me, not because she made me feel that way, just because all the oldies at the concert knew the words and they were all up and dancing and doing the moves. I didn’t know a lot of the songs, plus I’ve been infected with the family self consciousness and seriousness. I know I write posts on here about comedy monster porn and dodgy fanfic but out in the real world I’m more likely to chat literature with my mum, Greek mythology with my brother, and politics with my dad. We are boring people. Well, my dad is a shade more colourful than the rest of us. When I was growing up he liked to tell us filthy fairytales full of toilet humour, make up amusing fanfics about the archaeologists on Time Team and dress up as a Ninja Turtle. But he’s no fun at parties.

I was less boring after I’d drunk a Pimms, most of a bottle of Pinot Grigio and a gin and tonic. Also, Billy Ocean was on by that point and he is all kinds of amaze. We were up and dancing to Going Gets Tough, I was waving my phone light along to Suddenly, and caterwauling along to Caribbean Queen, the best of all the Billy songs.

So, I had a good time, but the disgraceful old ladies who were dirty dancing to Bjorne Again, pissed as old farts at 5pm may have had a better one.

But I can’t really see my mum doing that even with the biddy brigade. She’s just like me. We hate parties. Her husband once arranged a surprise 60th birthday party for her, and she didn’t speak to him for a week afterwards. If Mr. Mulberry threw me a party I’d probably divorce him.

We even get wound up about the same stuff. She is a paid-up lefty, much like myself and becomes apoplectic at even the mention of Question Time. Also, in true Mulberry family fashion, she gets angry at badly read poetry. I lost my shit over Poetry Please’s Sassoon special; she told me “stick your Hiddleston up your Hiddleston” when I played her the recording of him reading Sonnet 18.

Mum, furious at Hiddles to the point that she is hissing in anger: “If Kenneth Branagh read that you’d think he was whispering it in your ear.”

Me, ready to die on the hill that is Hiddles like its 14-bloody-15: He’s declaiming, Mum. He’s end-stopping. That’s why it doesn’t flow.

It was at that point she suggested he be inserted into himself, which is harsh even by my standards. I haven’t seen her get that angry since I suggested Jeremy Corbyn’s old IRA links were unfavourable and that New Labour wasn’t actually a faction of the Tories trading under another name.

Clearly we don’t agree on everything. She likes a bit of rough; I prefer a gentleman. She likes sci-fi, I like romance. She’s a coffee drinker; I cannot countenance anything but a cup of tea.  But we’re very alike. Physically we’re like Tweedledee and Tweedledum: little fat things.  I became a four eyes last year and now we really look very similar. Sometimes we even wear the same clothes, as she often buys things for me. There are a couple of tops that we’ve got one of each.

I like being like my mum. She’s a great mum to me, and a great daughter to her own mother. She’s endlessly giving, and I wish I was in a position to give back as much as I get from her. One day I hope I will be.

My dad’s brilliant too, of course. No question about that. He supports me financially, emotionally with my anxiety, and creatively. He babysat while we went to Billy Ocean so he deserves a round of applause too! But my mum’s my mum, you know? She’s great.

On High Rise (2015)

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After listening to the audiobook, I wasn’t that keen to watch this movie. But it was on Amazon Prime, and I’ve got a bingo card to fill out.

I went in with the expectation that it would be stomach-churningly disgusting but it wasn’t that bad in the end. I think imagination is worse than any visual, plus they’d changed the storyline a fair bit which took a lot of the more unpalatable parts out. It was still pretty foul, but no one is running around grunting with their dick out, nobody bangs their sister (that may have happened before the movie started?), and there’s no obvious cannibalism, though I’m fairly sure there is an implied bit at one point. The children were mostly well looked after so I didn’t have to worry about any of them.

Mr. Mulberry watched about fifteen minutes of it with me before slinking off upstairs to melt on the bed—we are mid heatwave here in England. He remarked it was a bit like The Prisoner but in a tower block, in that, it was all just a bit off at first. It reminded me more of A Clockwork Orange.

It was certainly very stylish in the way A Clockwork Orange is. Even the movie poster feels a bit like it. There is classical music and ultraviolence. And, obviously, it’s set in the seventies.

Visually, it’s a stunning film. I thought the high rise was rather beautiful. I went to UEA and I like a bit of brutalism—it was one of the things that made me go there, because the square reminded me of Planet of the Apes 4 (it was also, at the time, the top uni in the country for my specialism, but the architecture really sold it, haha).  The costumes were fabulous too. Everyone looked gorgeous! Sienna Miller is a dream. If you’ve never watched her in anything before, stop whatever you’re doing and go watch Layer Cake right now. You will adore her! And Hiddles looked good in flares. I was digging it for the first twenty minutes before everything went south.

It was darkly humorous, which isn’t something I mentioned in my review of the book, but I suppose I was more open to it in the movie. There was something quite funny in the book about hearing the residents described by their professions—marketing executives, TV producers, medical professionals, and so forth—raiding each other’s flats and brawling. There’s less of that in the movie, but the characters are a little more comic than they are in the book. There’s quite a lot of difference in the storylines, and they’ve all been amped up a bit to fit the changes, except for Wilder, who was dialled down ten notches and is still the craziest (sanest) bastard in the block.

Overall, it was pretty good. If you like dystopian movies, I’d definitely recommend it.

Masterpiece. > A bit of fun. > Toss.

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On Disappointment

When my daughter faces disappointment she bursts into tears, sulks, and is generally a spoilt little brat about it. As she’s nearly five now, this tearfulness was mentioned in her school report as being something she needs to work on. To combat it I’ve been teaching her the wisdom of Taylor Swift: Shake. It. Off.

This philosophy isn’t new to her. She could say Taytay before she could say Mummy and we spent many an hour wiggling our bottoms to Shake It Off when it hit the charts. I had been through such a traumatic experience having post partum psychosis that, along with Don’t Panic, it became a bit of a mantra for me. Sometimes I’d cry when I heard the song because it meant so much to me. Whenever I felt like the world was against me I’d ask myself, what would Taytay do?

I no longer ask myself what Taytay would do, but I do try to keep up the practice of shaking stuff off, from my regular anxieties to things that qualify as life’s little disappointments.

Yesterday I was disappointed for exactly the sort of reason my daughter often is. Being old enough to know I was acting like a spoilt brat made me feel even worse.

I was supposed to be off to see Orlando in Killer Joe today, but upon checking the performance details on ticketmaster last night I saw he pulled out of the performance due to scheduling conflicts with a movie.

First world problems, huh? Yet I was gutted. Majorly bummed out. I know it’s not Orlando’s fault–that sort of thing tends to happen when you’re a movie star and there’s nothing anyone can do about it–but I got my hair done specially for the occasion. I learnt how to apply make up because I couldn’t possibly let Orlando turn his gaze upon the audience and see my mug the way it normally looks. I spent ages picking out the right outfit.

On top of that the tickets were expensive, though to be fair they were super cheap for a West End show. I have zero interest in watching a play about some trailer park psychopath and was only going to go because I adore Orlando. I wasn’t expecting him to be amazing or anything. I saw him in In Celebration years ago and he was a bit flat compared to the seasoned theatre actors, but he was young and used to performing for a camera rather than an audience. I’m sure he’s come on a lot since then. And frankly he could be rubbish for all I cared because Orlando has been my crush for fifteen years and can do no wrong in my eyes. I’d forgive him if he was crap. I might not even notice.

Flash forward to this morning. After a rotten nights sleep where I repeatedly woke up feeling sorry for myself, I find a text on my phone from my mum. She’s fallen down the stairs and has to go to hospital for an X-ray as she might have broken her foot. There’s me moping over Orlando-sodding-Bloom and my mum is off to A&E in agony.

I guess there’s a lesson in everything. One, I need to cut the kidlet some slack when she’s disappointed because it’s a normal human emotion and we all feel it occasionally, even if we are thirty-five and old enough to know better. Two, I need to get myself a bit of perspective because there are more important things in life than seeing Orlando Bloom’s bare bum on stage.

 

On Raganarok (Spoilers)

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SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! Finally a Thor movie where Loki isn’t a total bellend!

Also I love Taika Waititi and Jeff Goldblum and Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban so yes yes yes to all of them. And I’m damn well going to like Benedict Cumberbatch, pixie face or not. Heart eyes all around!

In this movie, Thor returned to Asgard to find Loki has taken charge and has been posing as Odin for the last two years. This mostly involved building statues of himself, putting on some hilarious amateur dramatics and eating grapes. He’s put Odin in an old folks home on Midgard but all this has done is hasten his death.

When Odin dies, his first child, Hela, returns. She’s the goddess of death and makes Loki look well adjusted. They fight her in the bifrost and fall out, ending up on a planet called Sakaar while Hela arrives in Asgard and starts terrorising the place.

On Sakaar, Thor is captured by Valkyrie (also queer squee!) and sold to the Grandmaster. He’s a good-time party lunatic who runs the planet and hosts a big gladiatorial competition. He pits Thor against his champion, who turns out to be the Hulk! Loki is there too and has ingratiated himself with the Grandmaster. He’s still a tricksy little shit.

Hulk and Thor room together for a bit until Thor is able to escape. Valkyrie joins their team and captures Loki. They let him on the team too but he betrays them three minutes later. Thor anticipated this, however, and they leave him on Sakaar where he eventually escapes with a chap called Karg who works with the gladiators and is staging a revolution.

They all descend upon Asgard, save the people, and bring about Ragnarok to destroy Hela.

This was so bloody good. First of all, it was hilarious. The humour was great and really worked for the characters. Thor and Hulk/Banner cracked me up so hard. Second, Valkyrieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. I LOVE her. She is the most gorgeous double hard bastard. Third, and most important, Loki got a proper redemption, saved his people and was happy at Thor’s side at the end. Odin said he loved him, Thor said he thought the world of him. His little face! Ohmygosh, my heart.

My only complaint is that I’m four movies in and Loki hasn’t been visibly queer yet. I’d like to have seen Lady Loki at some point throughout the series, and Sakaar would have been the perfect place to show his (I’m guessing that’s Loki’s preferred pronoun as he generally presents as male, I’m happy to be corrected if that’s not the case) queerness. Same with Valkyrie. Feels like a wasted opportunity.

But other than that, the movie put a big smile on my face. Loki better stay morally ambiguous and fight alongside Thor all the time now. What was that? He killed a shit load of people? Lalalalala not listening.

#Lokiforever

Masterpiece. > A bit of fun. > Toss.

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On Updates

I’ve been trying update this blog twice a week, mostly just to keep my hand in by writing something, but things might get a bit quiet over the next month. I’ve got a busy few weeks coming up. This weekend I’m going away to visit family and go to a concert (Billy Ocean OMG!!!), next weekend I’m off to see Orlando in Killer Joe, the week after that we’re going camping, the week after that we’re having four days in Cambridge, the week after that we’ll be staying with family again and going to my brother’s wedding…

Busy busy busy. The three weeks after that are also during the summer holidays so I’ll be taxed to my limit entertaining the piglet. I forsee a paddling pool and a lot of bbqs in our back garden come late August (Side note: We always have vegan bbqs because my anxiety disorder can’t deal with the thought of undercooked meat, and they are the bomb. Try a vegan bbq next time!).

I’ve also had a bit less to write about lately as I’m still working my way through some of the dodgy Loki fanfics I downloaded from AO3 for a future Loki Day post. One of them linked to loads of Henriad fanfics too so I’ve been reading them also, and I have to say I think those are for the most part fantastically written. They tend to be genfic or just shades of ships too while the Loki ones seem to have a lot of, ahem, boning. And while I’ve got nothing against boning, and actually quite like boning in most circumstances, boning does get a bit boring after a while. I’ve been mostly reading Loki/OFC and even the novelty of that as a pairing quickly faded beneath the level of boning going on. During one particularly filthy story I began to worry about chafing, but then it was explained that his magic can fix that so they can bone all they like. Cue celebratory boning.

But enough about that. I’ll have no material left for the final post if I keep talking about it now!

My other problem is that because Loki Day is once a month I’ve been queuing stuff up for it. There’s a Ragnarok movie post, a Loki: Agent of Asgard post, a Ragnarok novelisation post, and aforesaid dodgy Loki fanfic post.  I’ve even got a Wii game I found in CEX. Marvel Super Hero Squad Infinity Gauntlet, and there will be a Loki day post about that. So there is plenty of Loki related content but it will all have to wait, for now.

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Anyway, it is what it is. I’ve done a piss poor job of managing my content because reasons. And Loki.

Loki Loki Loki Loki Loki.

Loki.

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*whispers* Loki.

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Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg

You know, I think you either love Ginsberg or read him while scratching your head and asking, what the hell? I fall into the latter category.

I am decidedly old-fashioned, and after a quick flick through this book, I put off reading it for a while because I knew he and I weren’t going to be best buds. It’s not that the work is bad, per se, more that it’s outside of the realms of my capacity to understand it or, if I’m honest, care.  The content is bravely offered up, and I did think much of the language and the imagery was particularly arresting, but the presentation took a lot of the wallop out of it. On the one hand, you’re sifting through his stream of consciousness and tripping over some really good stuff, on the other hand, much of what you have to sift through is crap. I could feel my attention wandering.

Howl and Kaddish are definitely the best of the poems. They didn’t feel directionless, which a lot of the others did in places, and having read the title poems, the others suffered from the recurring themes having been played out better in those.  And it felt like there was a lot of filler even in them.

Overall I think, were it not for the obscenity, most of the poems would be unremarkable. That said, my favourite of them all was A Supermarket in California, which I thought was technically well done and quite charming. He goes to the supermarket and finds Whitman and Lorca are there shopping. It was about the changing face of America, which as a twenty-first century millennial Brit, isn’t something I particularly care about, but I liked the poem.

I must admit, I find Ginsberg to be a distasteful human being. I looked him up on Wiki to get a bit of his background and discovered he was a NAMBLA member. I just…  No.  I forgive a lot of shit. I don’t care that Philip Larkin liked violent porn. I don’t care that Byron was at it with young men half his age (he died at 36, if he’d died older and kept it up I’d have judged him for it). I’m extremely squicked by him and Caroline Lamb but at least they were consenting adults. I merely shake my head at various poets misogyny because I don’t think they were raised to know better. But Ginsberg literally aligned himself with confessed child abusers. He’s disgusting.

So. Lazy poetry written by someone who supported paedophiles. No fucking thank you.

Masterpiece. > A bit of fun. > Toss.

On Kids Films

misspiggy hiddles2

My new OTP. Sorry Kermit.

I feel like I’m cheating on my bingo because I’d seen all of these before I started the card,  but damn it, I needed an excuse to post another Miss Piggy gif. She’s a bit of an idol of mine. Whenever I feel fat and ugly I remember you can put lipstick on a pig and it looks flipping fabulous! Finding a Miss Piggy and Hiddles flirting gif was a stroke of good luck, though I am awfully jealous. I wish Miss Piggy would flirt with me!

When you have a four-year-old to wrangle it’s easy to fall back on a kids movie for either a cinema treat or an hour and a half’s peace at home while you have a cup of tea and a sit-down, so not only had I’d seen all of these, I’ve sat through the Tinkerbell one countless times. That one is more of a stinkerbell in my opinion. I did wonder why Hiddles was slumming it, but then I realised he was Captain Hook, who is a pretty iconic character. The piglet loves it though, and she often asks to watch it. She’s not a great consumer of Disney movies but she really likes this one.

She also likes the Trollhunters show, which is about a teenage boy’s attempts to get off with one of the girls at his school while also killing monsters. Even if you have a Hiddles bingo card to tick off, you might as well avoid it. His character has one line and dies in the first few minutes.

But everyone should watch Muppets Most Wanted though his character has no lines at all. It is AMAZING. It’s so funny, and the songs are great. Alright, it’s not Muppet Christmas Carol, that’s the best movie ever made, but it’s so much fun, and Ricky Gervais drops a C-Word pun in his first scene.

Early Man is also very good. We saw this one when it was on at the cinema and had a good laugh. It’s basically cavemen and gauls having a game of football. Some of the jokes are quite adult but not rude enough that the piglet understood them. Hiddles is the villain, a “fart in your general direction” style Frenchman who has his own football team. The bit he does with the pig is the best part of the movie.

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