Saturday, 23 March 2013

Recommendations: Neverwhere

Here today... Tonight, with a recommendation for ya'll!

Last summer me and my family went on holiday to Dorset and among the numerous books I brought with me was one that my grandpa had been telling me to read for ages, 'Neverwhere' by Niel Gaiman. Now I've read some of Gaiman's stuff before and I've had mixed feelings. I've got a couple of his children's books which I love and I gave Stardust a go to no avail (I'd seen the movie first and the slow paced book just wasn't to my taste back then and especially not in comparison to the film) but then I read 'The Graveyard Book' and I was head over heals in love. You should read that one too!

So when we were in Dorset I began reading 'Neverwhere'. It's a really beautiful book, with the most real and unusual characters, inventive setting and simple, mysterious, sweet, familiar and different storyline I've every come across.

Here's the blurb from the back of the book:
"Under the streets of London there's a world most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, and pale girls in black velvet. Richard Mayhew is a young businessman who is about to find out more than he bargained for about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his safe and predictable life and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and yet utterly bizarre. There's a girl named Door, an Angel called Islington, an Earl who holds Court on the carriage of a Tube train, a Beast in a labyrinth, and dangers and delights beyond imagining... And Richard, who only wants to go home, is to find a strange destiny waiting for him below the streets of his native city."

Whilst I was reading it I could really associate with that "eerily familiar and yet utterly bizarre" feeling. This book is really, really amazing and I would recommend it to almost anyone (so long as they don't mind reading about some slightly gruesome things) and it's even better if you live in London and use the stations that some of the story takes place in. Just watch out for the monster lurking The Gap and the Shepherds of Shepherds Bush, you want to stay away from them too!

If you're not one for reading 'Neverwhere' has been turned into a radio play that is currently airing on BBC Radio four with James McAvoy as Richard Mayhew, Natalie Dormer as The Lady Door and Benedict Cumberbatch as The Angel Islington among other wonderful actors. You can catch up with the episodes here, but be quick the last one is only up for six more days! There's also a TV series that was made back in 1996 which you can probably find online somewhere, though I haven't seen it yet so I don't know how good it is.
listen here
or take another look at the book here

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Cheese and pesto melts

Okay, so I get that it sounds kind of weird... BUT READ ON!!!
So recently I've been kind of super addicted to cheese and pesto melts on brown seeded bread. My dad made me one about two weeks ago as a snack whilst we watched Star Trek together and I was a bit dubious at first because I never remembered liking them before but then oh. My. God. It was like love at first sight... But with my tongue. Okay, that sounded really strange. But whatever!! What I'm trying to say here is that if you've never had one... Try it! They also work on baguette, but it's not quite as nice as on brown bread. Not in my opinion anyway because then the bread outweighs the innards and it's odd.

There's a picture of a half eaten one I made for myself (I had the idea for this post halfway through lunch), needless to say it wasn't as good as when my dad makes them... But then food is always better when someone else makes it for you!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Blatant sexism that universities aren't even ashamed about

I've been feeding my veracious desire for excellent blogs with Rarely Wears Lipstick recently, and I came across this post which led to this article on the treatment of female students at freshers-week at Universities in, most western countries, I would surmise. To sum up both articles, student unions at Uni's have begun running themed parties to allow students to get to know each other. Which is all fine and dandy but it's not so brilliant if the parties have themes like 'COEs and Corporate Hoes', 'Slag'n'drag', 'Geeks and Sluts' or 'Pimps and Hoes'. I won't go into anymore detail regarding what the two linked pieces because you should really go read them and these ladies certainly know more about the subject than I do.

What this post is for is just to convey my mind blowing level nausea. Whilst reading these I was filled with such a sense of horror and disgust that I teared up. Genuine fucking tears. I kid you not. It's not just that I was filled with a heart wrenching sorrow for my fellow women that have been subjected to the predatory and downright terrifying advances of guys at these so called 'parties', but I was momentarily filled with a despair for today's society so deep that I felt like a bottomless well of cold blackness had opened up inside my heart.

Now I could wax poetic forever more, but that's really not really the point. After an eight hour plus day of dealing with immature, cocky little dicks at my college who think they're hilarious making casually racist and sexist jokes I've kind of had it. Not that I don't come to feel like this pretty much every time I leave the house, it's just that this time is different. I've always felt that any sexual harassment I suffer through is a temporary thing, in the past. Hopefully momentary. But now I have this huge looming thing in my future. Years of university where there's a high chance (according to the statistics I saw in those articles) that I'll be seen by my male peers as just another vagina, conveniently attached to a pair of tits.

This is most certainly not the university life that I considered let alone dreamed of. Which was, I suppose innocently free of horny, predatory little shits that tote around Rohypnol like I carry books. I'm not going to get bogged down with this though, and I certainly don't want to fret over it like I did with the subject of creepy college tutors. Because frankly, now that I'm there and have met all my wonderful tutors (minus one, who I disagree with on a regular basis) I feel stupid. Really stupid.
I'm just counting myself lucky that I'm not of the right mindset to attend a party anyway, let alone one with a name that tells all like one of those mentioned above. It's rather insane that their organisers didn't even try to disguise their ulterior motives, but I guess that's just another clue to what today's culture deems as an acceptable way to treat women.