Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Oh the American way- again. Don't you just love them? Slumber parties, pajama parties, pillow fights, baking cupcakes, maybe getting a little bit tipsy.
The English way. Influenced heavily by Skins and the longing to rebel; the cutesy, fluffy, fun, innocent ways of a classic sleepover have long but diminished. Sad? NOOO.... It's a part of growing up.

Don't lie boys, this is what you imagine when a sleepover is mentioned.
So how else do they differ?

Minus the nudity, this is the scene we create.
Firstly, the entertainment. Us Brits like to take the high road- literally. At a sleepover I attended this weekend, the idea was simple; open the windows, stick our heads out side, and let the smell and smoke drift from our pre-rolled "special" and normal cigarettes. The setting is quite romantic. My friends bedroom is in the attack and her huge windows present a wonderful view of the harbour at night; and as we gather in the alcove, the smoke creates quite a plume of happiness and glee, as well as mystery and teenage rebellion.

If we were across the pond, however, I'm sure we'd be enjoying a different kind of scent. I can see us in he kitchen, gathered round the oven in pink, floral aprons, waiting apon our ready-mix cakes which we'd spent the evening preparing and maybe even a food fight, which would result in us dancing round the room singing along to Barbie Girl- too far? Okay, okay, so American's aren't that naive and probably would be listening to Orson or another mind blowing amazing American band (I'm not kidding, I love Orson) but you get the idea.

One sleepover tradition you can count on happening at an American sleepover is the marvelous make-overs that take place, before another dance, this time around the bedroom, eating the cupcakes and taking lots of photo's!

The other night however (which doesn't really differ from any other sleepover I've had in the past year) the closest thing to a make over was putting on a bit more foundation, ready to head out for a short while to meet one of my friends boyfriends and his recently single friend. Our generation of Brits tend to leave the making eachother over for Halloween and fancy dress parties (correct me if I'm wrong). As for the photo's? Well I brought my professional camera just incase but the feeling of the group was that we'd best not take photo's while our heads are in the cloads. The less evidence, the more mystery is what they say. (However we have arranged to do a photo shoot next weekend so keep an eye out for the produce of that!)

Frankie, Kenny, Lindsey, Rosie and Felicity make up
my favorite childhood show.
 I'm not trying to say that I hate the American sleepovers. I'd love to be at that naive stage when everything is in clear pink and white; but England just isn't that conservative- never has been, never will be. I don't know if it's true or not, but I've been told English movies with bad endings are changed to satisfy the American's need for a happy ending (I'm not quoting it so don't sue me if I'm wrong) but that fact- true or false- must of come from somewhere; some truth that shows Britain is just a grimier, dirtier place. And so follows with sleepovers it seems. I'm sure not all sleepovers are like this (no matter what I've heard from my friends in America) but this stereotype of American girls must of come from somewhere. My favorite show and book as a child, The Sleepover Club, is probably what has driven this stereotype into my head, even though the show is American (I was only 10!).

I hope this post doesn't offend anyone, it's just a mere comparison based on my little knowledge of America.
Regardless of all of this, I have always wanted to visit America (California mainly) so I hope you'll all still have me.
Until next time ♥

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Bonfire Night!!

From previous posts, you know how much I love bonfire night- and, for our town, it was yesterday (Friday 4th November) and hosted down at St Just Rugby Club, just like it is every year.
Here's some photo's of the night:
Liz and I by the fire. 
Mum and Liz by the fire.

All of us by the fire.

Mum with a sparkler.

Could Liz BE any happier?!

Woosh. Bang. Pretty!!
Such a beautiful time of year, as long as you don't photograph yourself with your teeth stuck together with bonfire toffee; or the pub mischief afterwords with all my friends.
I hope your night was as good as mine- and for all those celebrating bonfire night tonight: HAVE FUN!!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

In Cold Blood- Truman Capote

In Cold Blood, a novel that appears on more than 10 different international lists of books that you have to read before you die and written by the author credited for the novel Breakfast at Tiffany's. You'd of thought this book to be life changing in so many ways.
The novel starts off slow, introducing several different characters and their lives; starting with the Clutters, a wealthy farming, Methodist family who live in the humble town of Holcomb, in Kansas. The family consists of Herbert Clutter, the father and head of the family; a wealthy man who runs the River Valley Farm, where the family live. He is described as "average height, standing just under five feet ten, Mr Clutter cut a man's-man figure. His shoulders were broad, his hair had held its dark colour, his square-jawed, confident face retained a healthy-hued youthfulness, and his teeth, unstained and strong enough to shatter walnuts, were still intact." He was a Kansas State University graduate ("majored in agriculture") and a well respected and liked citizen of the town. He didn't drink or smoke and kept himself healthy- a straight forward, well mannered man who was chairman of the Kansas Conference of Farm Organisations and was once a member of the Federal Farm Credit Board. His family follow close suit; his daughter Nancy and son Kenyon were smart children who did well in school. Both also attended the Methodist church and were popular, polite children. Kenyon enjoyed inventing things and wood craft (he used the playroom in the basement as a work space. Nancy had a boyfriend, Bobby Rupp- a school basketball hero. Whereas Mr Clutter approved of the pair dating, he didn't believe that they could ever marry as Bobby was a Roman Catholic; contrasting their Methodist beliefs. Herb (Mr Clutter) also had two elder daughters; Eveanna and Beverly, who are older and have married and now live elsewhere. The mother of the family and Herb's wife, Bonnie, is also from a pleasant background, however she has experienced post-natal depression and after the leave of her oldest daughters, now sleeps in a separate bedroom to Herb. She's become a very quiet and to herself person who appears sad much of the time. For this reason, many people are afraid to converse or be with her outside the family as she can be awkward and panicked.
Whilst introducing these characters, the novel also tells of a seemingly separate pair. Two men, travelling to Kansas together after they both get parole from prison. Perry and Dick have been convicted of stealing and assaulting in the past, but what they are travelling to Kansas to do is frighteningly worse. Dick speaks a lot of a plan. A fix. Can't go wrong. He enlists Perry (a friend from prison) into the plan and both prepare.
Ultimately, the plan was the murder and robbery of the Clutter family.
Based on a true story, Truman Capote was fascinated by the Clutter case, and while writing his book, made his own enquiries regarding the towns-people and Perry and Dick themselves at the time when they were on death row. Truman describes Perry as quite a sad, lonely and lost character. A man with a dreadful up-bringing and a history of rejection and as never married. Perry confesses to having killed all the family members, and that Dick merely made the plan from what he's heard from another friend in jail. Said friend had once worked for the Clutters on the farm and had remembered there being a safe and that Mr Clutter was a very wealthy man. However, the jail-mate did not believe Dick when he began plotter to burgle and murder the Clutter's: "No witnesses." However, when Dick and Perry invade the house, they leave with no more than $50 and a radio pair of binoculars to sell in a pawn shop. There was no such safe and the Clutters were bound and murdered, one by one (Mr Clutter first; cut his throat and then shot him in the head. Kenyon next; shot in the head; and then Nancy, and then Mrs Clutter, who are killed in the same way) for a seemingly un-just course.
The novel describes the murders as a shock to the community and people start to suspect friends and neighbours (they seem almost disappointed that the actual killers are unknown).
The book continues as thus: The Clutters are murdered and the main bulk of the book is Perry and Dick on the run, trying to find work from Mexico to California. In this time you find out more about Perry and Dick's up bringing and why they are who they are. Perry is uncovered as quite a pitiful character and clearly has some kind of mental illness (it's later discovered he could suffer from a form of schizophrenia). Whereas Dick seems to be the cold-hearted killer; the brains behind the plan; and the instigator (however you later find out that he too, could be suffering from a mental illness and didn't kill any of the Clutters).
Chapter 4 (the last chapter): The Corner, talks about the pairs trial, and short life on death row. It describes the other convicts on death row and how and why they're there; their history, present and even future (which they all had in common: death by hanging).
Finally, also in Chapter 4- Perry and Dick are hung. Dick first, takes 20 minutes to die; and then Perry, who also takes 20 minutes to die. Regardless of the over-indulged description and failure to be concise and stick to the plot, In Cold Blood definitely had an effect on me. I really felt for Nancy in particular, and Bobby after she died. I admired her and her brother, Kenyon's relationship and pitied her mother, Bonnie's state of loneliness and sadness. I failed to feel for Dick and his arrogant ways but Perry's story genuinely touched me and I was sad when he died. However feeling this made me feel bad because mental illness aside, he's killed an entire family! And not just any family, the Clutters were a lovely family, the stereotypical 1950's American family with a bit of a twist (being that Bonnie, bless her, was far from a stereotypical 1950's house wife).

So, to conclude: The book isn't as bad as I had worried it would be. It started slow, and ended slower- but the characters were charming and the descriptions of the families death and Perry's life was both touching and moving.
It is, however, definitely a masculine book and I recommend this to any novel-loving father/grandfather who enjoys a good american murder novel. As for us girls- if that's your kind of thing, brilliant, you're obviously more appreciative of classic fiction, but I think I'll stick to Breakfast at Tiffany's.
Happy Reading Book Worms! ♥

Halloween or Bonfire Night?

Halloween originated in America and has since over taken
the world!!
"Halloween is a big deal in the US, obviously. The average American child collects candy with an estimated 7,000 calories on Halloween night, which will take a 100 pound child 15 hours of basketball to burn off. But in the UK it is all happening too. Halloween is now the UK’s third highest spending festival with sales of £300m (just behind Christmas and Easter).
So is it an "excuse to sell overpriced tat that will inevitably be lanfill fodde", or just a bit of fun for the kiddies in the growing gloom of Autumn? You be the judge."

I personally spent Halloween night at home; lights turned off and the curtains drawn to avoid an invasion of scarily dressed children in the hope that they'll think I wasn't in. Failing that, I just didn't answer the dorr and stayed out of sight.
I have no problem with Halloween, or a huge gain of sweets for free (lets face it, it's almost like robbing or assaulting your neighbours -depending on the trick or the treat-  with their consent.
Most of my friends and fellow students attending the neck-bitingly thrilling Twilight event at the coolest nightclub on earth, Sound (notice the sarcasm?). About 90% called it a waste of money and 9% got too drunk to even make it in the club. I rest my case.
Given a decent venue, and the right kind of attenders (30 year old men excluded) and I think it would have made a great night out. Take, for example, a gig I went to on Friday night. 'Gary and the Minefield at the Acorn!', a night out it what you make of it. I went with two friends who both didn't want to go (one of which only went because hyer bgoyfriend was in a supporting band) and who both sat in the corner moping and sober. I, on the other hand- got up and danced (the gig being a regular occurance, I knew most of the people there) and I had an okay time. So it wasn't the best turn-out in the world; and the bands previous to Gary and the Minefield were pretty shit (excluding my dear friends Accidental Legends) but that's the fun of it. My point being: My two friends were the WRONG people to go with to gigs and were the one remainding percent that enjoyed Sound night club.
But enough of my rambling and continuous ridiculing of Halloween, all we really need is a decent event to mark the time of year. And less of the Twilight- no one went as a vampire. Slutty cats seemed to be the Halloween must-wear of this year.
After all, Halloween, being the third highest spending event in the UK, must be doing something right!
As for me? I'll stick to Guy Forks/Bonfire Night and the smokey atmosphere, dressing up warm, and dancing around the fire with sparklers and awaiting the fireworks. Bonfire toffee, malt wine and gloved hands held in front of the fire for warmth. I'm getting excited already!

Really looking forward to an event similar to the one above this
weekend. Love a bit of smoke in my lungs.