“All our dreams can come true” or what Disnay taught me

I’ve always had a soft spot for Disney, one of my earliest memories is me and my brother arguing over Aurora dress colour at the end of Sleeping Beauty. I not a huge fan the Disney Princess thing; I was always more of a Jungle Book, Lion King, Lady and the Tramp and everything Pixar sort of girl. Now I’m older, despite the problems I have with Disney, I find the films undeniably beautiful, I went to watch the Lion King in 3D and found that as a child I had missed how visually stunning it was.

Like I said I have problems with Disney, as a child I always felt they had ruined many of my favourite stories and fairytales by not being faithful to the original material I was familiar with. Nor I could ever really relate to Princess who all seemed desperate to find love and be swept off their feet. Then I got older and found a whole new set of issues (got to love age and cynicism.) There is however a couple of things I learnt from Disney.

  1. If nothing else I have learnt that love is important and that it comes in all shapes

    This was on my 10th Birthday cake I had in America, I have kept this plastic decoration all these years as I can’t bear to let it go.

    andsizes. Lilo and Stitch has a small and broken family but it’s “still good” and Belle only has a father. I watched parents do anything for their children; it helped me understand my own. I watched friends in Disney help each other, I watched lovers heart-break and then rejuvenate with a kiss. Love and relationships are pivotal in Disney, because it is the thing that gives us most joy in life, our family and our friends make us happy but it’s more than that love is also about the sacrifices you make for the people who mean the most. The older you get the less you take love for granted.

  2. From the moment Mufasa died it dawned on me: Life is hard. None of the characters in Disney have it easy, Cinderella, Hercules, Pocahontas, their lives are difficult, they are faced with arduous decisions and challenges while trying to do the right thing and make their lives better. Disney has the lives of their characters change and often it is beyond their control and they are simply trying to do their best and keep their head above water. The older I get the more I understand this feeling and how much harder it can become.
  3. Hope is a very powerful thing, it is the only thing that can defeat pain. Hope is everywhere in Disney:  101 Dalmatians, Fox and the Hound, Aladdin, the characters and the audience never gives up hope for a happy ending. Hope is the thing that characters hold on to when all else is lost, it is part of them that never dies, the last candle in the darkness. The older we get the harder it is to keep the hope while in life I’ve learnt that the candle doesn’t always stay lit; Disney does a pretty good job of showing how significant it is in life. H.O.P.E : Hold On, Pain Ends.
  4. There is such thing as magic, the world pretty awesome place and if you take the time to see it ,magic is alive and well and if not…. your toys come to life when you leave the room. It is also in our dreams and wishes, Snow White wishes in a well, Geppetto on a star and Peter Pan fills Wendy’s dreams, these are thing that these character hold on to and fuel their life. They are a source of amazing strength and that is magic.
  5. The greatest thing I have learnt from Disney is that you are your own hero, you can save yourself. The characters fight and despite all the Princess having Princes they do a pretty good job at fighting for themselves. They fight for what they want, they fight to have their wishes and dreams and to protect their hopes and the people they love. Love is important so fight for it, life is hard so fight for the life you want, hope is important so fight not to lose it, fight to keep the magic in your life. Simple.

The thing about growing up is that things become less black and white and become more about different shades of grey. Disney may not be the shinning white sceptical I remember it being, but that doesn’t tarnish the lessons I’ve leant. Mainly everyone can exist, the good and the bad, but you have to fight to live the life you will be proud of, you will have to believe in yourself even when others don’t and you have to dare to dream and go after that light no matter how dark it gets.

The Disney Princess at their film ages by Taijavigilia

Great Gatsby

I have a list of books in my head that I’m desperate to read or think that I should read. On the list is the Great Gatsby which I finished about a week ago. It has taken me a while to figure out what I thought and feel about the novel. It was never going to measure up to the magnitude I had built it up to. I suppose that will always be a problem when you pick up a novel that is so renowned, by an author as admired as F. Scott Fitzgerald. Words and phrases such as ‘classic’ and ‘loved by everyone’ will always mar you opinion for better or worse before you even read the first line.

I felt that the novel was dull, like 1984 I felt nothing really happened for a long time. I felt no emotional investment; I didn’t care for Nick, who did nothing but watch the world he happily inhabited with cynicism, I didn’t care for Daisy and after the intrigue of waiting for the infamous Gatsby to appear on the written page I no longer cared for Jay. And I was waiting, always waiting; waiting for Fitzgerald to say something, less obvious than, look at the moral decay of our time, look at the decay of the American dream. I wanted him say something subtle, through all the negative, all the putrid and festering commotion, something positive. I wanted there to be an understated acknowledgment that there was still beauty in life, however much the good hearts and dreams are doomed to die and leave little mark on a glittering materialistic world. There are many things I could say about the novel but I could never say it wasn’t beautiful, I kept reading because it was aesthetically so pleasing.

This carefully crafted piece of art is at heart a thwarted love story of star-crossed lovers and while keeping to the traditional separation devices of money and status, the fact the lovers aren’t perfect makes them easier to relate to. Romantic idolised lovers are untouchable; however, it is their flaws that make Daisy and Gatsby interesting. It is the flaws in the lovers and in the wealthy that leads to their destruction, the society and morals around them are decaying. Both of these verge on being romanticised but are dragged back to represent the dark dangerous world that was developing in the 1920’s. It is the disillusionment that Fitzgerald presents to the reader that is so striking, the 1920s is a world presented full of greed and the pursuit of pleasure that is an all top accurate illustration of our current world, a world despite it rotten core will remain outwardly stunning.

Fitzgerald speaks to the readers fears that good hearts like Gatsby’s seem doomed to die but isn’t that just because we remember? No one will remember Tom, Daisy or Jordan but we will always recall the one who is great long after they are gone, believing they left too early. It is the fear that our dreams will die that speaks so well to the reader, no one wants to believe that the American or Gatsby’s dream will die or worse, in its essence is untouchable. Fitzgerald does raise the question, do we idealise and perfect dreams to a point that renders them unattainable and effectively doom them to die in a materialist world?

Gatsby may have been trapped in the past by status and background but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t capable of recreation. Yes I wish Gatsby wasn’t chasing a past summer but who is to say he wouldn’t create a better summer when he caught it? What I love about Gatsby is that he believes in the green light despite what he has seen in war and how cynical the world has made him. He still believes in his dream of the better world he wants to create. The belief that people will choose to dream of something better in a dark world is wonderful and one I believe in whole heartedly.

So yeah, I still think it was dull and there were things I didn’t like about The Great Gatsbybut I doubt that is what I’m going to talk about when someone asks me if I’ve read the book.

The cover of the first edition of The Great Ga...

Haunting presence

I’ve had an odd day, I mean really odd. You know that feeling, when without having heard or seen a person, you know someone is standing very close to you; you can just sense their presence. It’s an intolerable feeling that makes you whirl around desperate to relieve the abhorrent feeling of uncertainly, to know who is there. That is how I have felt all day like there is someone horrible haunting my right shoulder, their head hovering just behind my right ear. It is an insufferable feeling; someone is almost breathing down my neck and ruffling my hair, but when I turn around there is nothing just indecipherable air.

This morning, lying contentedly in bed, I floated between dreams and consciousness; I was mundanely playing with the idea of getting up. The edge of my bed sank as someone gently sat on the mattress, for a moment I assumed my Mother had come in to my room to talk to me. She remained silent and I didn’t move, hoping to achieve a few more winks of the doze I was enjoying. The burden slowly rose from my bed and I decided I was dreaming and so could remained lying on my front with my head buried in my pillow a little longer. The weight then returned and this time oppressively clung and clung to the air around me. Something/someone lent over me from the left side of my bed, over my body to hang its head between mine and the wall. I immediately lurched up bewildered by anyone doing this to me; I struggled up frantically the atmosphere around me pushing down. There was no one there, I was met with a nonexistent presence, I was alone in my room lit by pale morning light and my own heavy breathing.

I spent the rest of the day being followed. My every move watched intently, every action and stride manically observed and met invisibly and silently. At work, several times I spun around, certain that if I moved fast enough I would see…. something. I could not alleviate the harsh impression that there was something haunting my day. Every sense seems to betray me because I felt there was something lingering I just couldn’t see or hear or touch. It’s just there, only it exists in the corner of my eye when it thinks I’m not looking and it thinks is safe.

I am completely rattled, disturbed by this absent company. I am preoccupied by the troubling sense of an angel, ghost, imagined spectre has taken to squandering time in my presence, just beyond appearance. It is finding a foul amusement agitating my nerves and unsettling me in the twilight of my cold room. I can feel it just behind me, toying with the wind chime in my window, with long blacken nails, on a twisted mottled hand. It is tinkling leisurely with the slender metal, waiting and watching for something, I just don’t know what. I think it wants to teach me that you are never too old to be frightened by nothing.

If I could make a speech to the world at 17.

Question 778

Question 778

When I was about 17 this was the speech I wanted to make to the world, well Western society at least. I doubt it would be the one I would make today but when I read the question it got me thinking about this speech and how much it meant to me. I still believe a lot of the points I made and the anger and feeling behind it are valid.

Childhood has never been straight forward and in resent years there is a growing consensus that it is in a peculiarly parlous state. What is this so-called parlous state? Academics and children’s experts say that a deadly cocktail of junk food and electronic entertainment, combined with the sinister effects of over-competitive schooling and marketing are poisoning our childhoods. I would like to put it to you that this consensus is fuelled by adults who have all too quickly forgotten childhood and its true form. These adults look back on their childhood through rose-tinted glasses to see an adult imagined world of what they believe it was like.

Is electronic entertainment driving children in doors such a bad thing? Adults would have you believe that children spend hours in darkened rooms in front of a box that sends out images of violence. The fact that there has always been violence in the play ground, in cartoons and in fairy tales doesn’t come in to the argument. Research carried out by the BBC state that children are more likely to be disturbed by violence seen on the news than in fictional media. Adults complain that children no longer go out to see their friends instead they turn on a computer and chat with them without having to make the laborious effort of having to see them face to face. I personally believe that not enough is time given to research that suggest that computer games can assist children’s social and educational development. Young people are using technology to make music, learn and connect with friends across the globe.

Adults insist that children’s childhoods are becoming shorter and that we are growing up far to fast. This could be because never before has there been such a relentless barrage of marketing aimed at children. That there are more and more images of adults present as an aspiration for children, with the perfect make-up and hair, dressed from head to toe in height of fashion. Yet this marketing is a mirror image of that aimed at adults. Children are merely following in their parents foot steps.

Are children really growing up faster? Children may smoke and have mobile phones but this does not mean they have the ability to leave home or get a job. Economic independence is harder to reach by children today unlike forty years ago when it was not unusual for children to be working by the age of sixteen. This illustrates how difficult it is for children to reach the traditional milestones of adulthood: owning your own home, having a job and getting married with children is being push further back in life.

These however I believe to a cover of a greater embarrassment to adults not children and that is with all our advance in technology and understanding; and all their knowledge teachers and parents are still facing the same problems they did a millennium ago when it comes to children. There has always been great pressure on children, yet adults are still no closer to understanding how to deal with them. We all know what childhood is, but what defines a good childhood and when does it end. The last of course is that all gown ups know what it is like to be a child but there greatest fear is that they will not understand their own children.

If you could make a speech to the world what would it be??

Leave me alone I want to go on WordPress.

I feel like I haven’t been on WordPress properly in a horrific amount of time and that feeling is pretty representative of the reality. I’m thinking about just declaring the whole of tomorrow night as a dedication to WordPress. No, I take that back, I’m not thinking about it, I am most definitely doing it. I intend to do nothing else other than sit at my desk, no wait sit on in bed, with a huge cup of coffee and a brownie and just read. I’m looking forward to it; I can’t remember the last time I looked at the Reader tabby thing, let alone Freshly Pressed or Topics. I haven’t even written anything properly since, o hell I can’t remember when.

I have a WordPress itch, I spend my day at work thinking about the next time I’m going to get to scratch my itch but it never seems to happen. The problem is things keep getting in the way, (either my head or other people’s heads think they have a better plan for my time, in truth none of these heads actually have better plans,) and apparently “go away I want to play on WordPress” is just not satisfactory to get these other things to leave me alone. I suppose I should have turned into a gremlin duvet monster (this is my secret super power, it doesn’t really help the world, only me) and stayed in bed until I’d had my WordPress fix, I’ve been pretty grouchy recently and I’m 100% sure it’s because I miss WordPress. What can the world really do if I just hide in bed and refuse to function as a human pending my WordPress therapy?

Things “getting in the way” isn’t even a good excuse, I’m making myself grumpy out of an inability to find 15 minutes to do some reading on the internet of things I actually like. I swear my head makes no sense sometimes, well a lot of the time. Here’s the plan Blogosphere: go on WordPress more, plain and simple.

WordPress

Totally lost for words

I got half way through writing a post yesterday before giving up, because it got waaaaayy to complicated and I couldn’t stop it from being word vomit and blugh. The more I thought about what I was writing the more I found there was to write about. The more I found to write about the more I wanted to put ideas into my post and the more…. wiggly, wobbly, messy and befuddled it became.

Honestly it was just spiralling out of my control and has left me with the dilemma of what to write about instead. The pressure is on. I must think of something else, DUN DUN DUN. I really need to be struck with an idea before anxiety sets in and I start to feel unproductive and begin to wallow in my lack of inspirational……. wonderful the clock is tick, tick, ticking.

I could tell you about total triumph today when someone declared within my hearing that all women were indecisive. I said that it wasn’t that we couldn’t make decisions; it was more that we felt we shouldn’t have to choose between things we want ed. Why? Because women are amazing and deserve everything they desire. Alternatively I could tell you that Britain only gets one week of summer a year and this year it’s come early, this week to be precise. So I’ve spent the week getting an unseasonal tan. Or I could tell you about my mum being so desperate for a wee that she was doing the toilet dance in the car while I’m doubled up with laughter …. and being shouted at. I could tell you that I completely unsatisfied with my job, that I’m bored and miserable and that I prepared to do absolutely anything to get away from it. I could tell that my biggest problem right now is that I’m going to be 22 and have no idea what I’m going to do to celebrate it and this is a huge problem as I’m am legendary for birthdays and making them last for a lifetime.

Orrrrr I could just post this ramble and run off to the beer and enjoy what little summer I going to get on this rainy-side of the pond….. Yep doing that.

The Hunger Games

 

Cover of "The Hunger Games"

So I haven't read this yet.............

So this will probably only serve to demonstrate that I live in the UK and that I’m not a teenager anymore (apparently twenteen is okay but twenteenone is too much of a mouth full to be tolerated and people just give me a look of pity when I use the phase) but I haven’t actually read The Hunger Game books. I know, I know it is a disgraceful thing to state, but it’s the truth. PLEASE DON’T HURT ME, I have so much to live for, for example actually reading The Hunger Games Trilogy.

The thing is until recently I had never heard of The Hunger Games, not even a little peep, then suddenly it sort of exploded everywhere, it seems to have appendages scattered all over the place, blogs, vlogs, newspapers, magazines, posters and the television. I don’t even watch TV anymore so if I know it’s there I can’t imagine what it is like for regular viewers.  This is by no means a terrible thing, because you know what?? Colour me intrigued, what the hell have I been missing??

It isn’t just me who has been missing it, none of my friends (bear in mind most my friends are students of literature) have read it either. It just seems to have missed most of the UK, which is really disappointing considering we got Twilight, I mean really if you are going to put us through the agony of Twilight USA at least give us a light at the end of the tunnel. I know I’m not exactly its target audience but one of my favourite books is Artemis Fowl and that is aimed at 12 year old boys so I think I can manage The Hunger Games.  All I’ve got from posting the question on Facebook “So anyone actually read the Hunger Games?” is ridicule from my American friends for missing out on something great, obliviousness from my UK friends and surprise that it’s a book as well as a film and the general consensus that it’s better than Twilight.

Here are my questions: Is the writing decent?? Has it got a better idea then Romeo and Juliet with Vampires?? Is it interesting or am I going to feel like I’m wading through treacle?? Are the characters engaging and am I going to care about their plight?? Is it really as good a social commentary as everyone suggests?? Can I put it by H.G, Wells collection of dystopian literature?? And is it worth reading beyond the reason of seeing what all the fuss is about??

I just want to know if it will be good, that’s all?? Not that I don’t read a lot of rubbish but with all the hype I don’t want to end up despairing at the worlds taste in literature. I’ll be honest I’ll probably read it anyway I just want to know if I’m going to enjoy it or am I going to finish it and hate the world, feeling it was a really disappointing lover that lied to me about how great their performance was going to be.

The lost art of letters

I still write letters, I can’t help it, they are thrilling and I wish there were more in the world. There is something magical about sitting down with some beautiful stationary that the recipient will really appreciate, and scrawling over pages and pages in well chosen words that illustrate your thoughts perfectly. Deliberately telling your story in an intimate fashion and then folding your pages and addressing you letter carefully to look innocent and undetermined as it hides your secret words.  None of that really compares too receiving a letter diligently addressed to you in pen and opening it to find a tick volume of paper and curling up with a cup of coffee to devour your friend’s adventures.

Letters are a magnificently fulfilling form of long distance communication that has more potential to reflect and exhibit life that there modern counterparts. Quick and instant texts, emails and phone calls have taken over the thought of a letter because of their ease and freedom to communicate with anyone. Letters however are not about the immediate need for information about who is meeting you where that need nothing more than quick and instant words. No letters are for your fear as your child takes their first steps and not knowing where they will lead, the secrets that must never be over heard and indulgent retelling of your life.

There is a lack of sentiment in ‘I Miss You’ cards and catch up messages that is so easily captured in letters. How can a card picked up on the way to buy toilet cleaner measure up to the detail of attentive and personal words chosen by an individual? How can messages of two or three lines written in a moment meet the thoughtfulness of a letter that has painstakingly pieced together?  How when the world has never been smaller, when we can contact so many people not want to write elegant, wonderful letters filled with life.

There is something meaning full in a written letter that someone has bothered to write to you and conscientiously put effort into carefully scribing part of their life to you. A letter is not an instant automatic response; attention and consideration is put into every aspect of a letter that isn’t present with text messages and phone calls. Letters are an enduring reflection not only of the author but of the friendship presented by the letter that is lost in instant messages, emails and phone calls. Letters are kept and cherished to be re-read when they have yellowed and wrinkled like the hands that hold the fragile paper. In an age of instant communication I am sorry for the lost art of letters, I’m sorry that there will no longer be museums full of lost letters of no bodies discussing events and lives lost in time.

An article

 

It’s a Bookworm Thing

The book lovers chair

The book lovers chair

I am having a bad week, the Monday Blues stuck around and this week has just not gone my way or even been remotely tolerable. The universe seems to have taken offence to me. I’m currently in last minute negotiations for an improvement on next week, but trying to get the universe in a dialogue is like getting a child to sit still. Neither wants to be unmoving and must be everywhere at once spouting outrageous demands that if refused will result in tantrums. I am, however, hopeful.

Sweety Shop

Sweety Shop

My bad week has given me a chance to indulge my weakness and great passion, the written word. I really don’t need an excuse to read an obscene amount of books, but a bad week where all I can do to cheer myself up is to picture the next time I’ll get to pick up my book, it becomes the few minutes of sunshine in an otherwise very bleak day. A beautifully written book can make everything better, it can make you feel an immeasurable amount of emotions and make you believe you can take on the world. It can do the wonderful thing of filling you with a golden glow from your head to your toes. As for a not so beautifully written book, well that can just amuse you for a couple of hours. Buying a new book is like… being in a sweet shop and they have new stock. The old trusted tastes are still there to be procured but there are so many new ones to try, to experiment with, to be enjoyed.

Classics

Classics

You can open a book and be taken anywhere, to the far reaches of the globe or a completely different world. A good book has the ability to whisk you away to improbable places, away from your world to anywhere you and the author cares to dream of. Then there are the books that take you home and are so familiar they comfort you. It doesn’t matter how far beyond your own knowledge a book maybe, a good one, when you pick it up makes you feel, smell and hear everything. You are there with the author and character, gone from your seat to somewhere special; even if it is just someone else’s day to day life. Some books reflect reality, time and culture; they are an extraordinary gateway to experiences and societies outside your own. Books stand as a documentation of a way of life that has the potential to be sadly lost, preserving a world safely in black ink within bound pages.

They have to possibility to bring masses of people together, to unite and on occasions reshape literature, for example in the last ten years children’s novels has been completely revolutionised. They can touch a diverse range of people and connect them with one enjoyment. Literatures capability to expand a person’s belief of what is possible is fantastic, people often choose to translate the endless possibilities of books over into their lives and worlds.

Literature, books and novels change people lives, my own has been completely redirected by the written word and I believe there is no greater force. They can change a person, their ideas, attitudes and thinking, changing an outlook can make a person or break them. The written word has a wonderful potential to inspire a person or movement and it can communicate an idea in a few symbols. The written word is pleasurable, awesome and life changing. Or so this bookworm thinks.

 

Posting Literature thingys here all week!!

Romantic New Year.

New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.  ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

I should state, before I start, I mean romantic in a fanciful and unrealistic sense rather than romantic mushy lovey dovey way. My new year has been giving me the giggles, it really was completely improbable and extravagant, and all in all if I had read it in a book I would have thought it completely fantastical. Usually, in my life the whole fictional, imaginative and unreal escapes me unless I choose to see it or put it there, which absurdly I have become quite competent at. This New Year’s eve, however, some omnipotent being saw fit to employ themselves in writing a chapter for me.Walking

It started off at lunch with sangria and some old friends; we bar hopped in Birmingham, demanding our chosen beverage in every bar and to our astonishment we were accommodated. We had chosen a ludicrous drink to enjoy, who in their right mine asks for Sangria in winter or for that matter on New Year’s Eve? Apparently my author thought that a summer drink at New Years would be important. Perhaps this year the great love of my life will buy me sangria and the flood of happy memories will mean I hold my tongue long enough for him not to flee with a crushed ego. I had to leave early, to dash home for a change of wardrobe that I didn’t really have time for and pack a bag and do my makeup. Of course, here the writer turned me into a superwoman who could do a thousand things at once; I was barely even late and did it so charmingly I even despised myself as the main character for being so cool and collected about it.

By 8 pm we were in a town in the middle of nowhere, I should say a tiny town of no importance other than a bridge (admittedly over a very large river) my only purpose in being there were my friends. The author, however, saw this town as a menagerie of colourful characters (mostly farmers) and some family member thrown in to add a little drama to my desperate attempt to appear sober. I engaged in conversations in the beer gardens (my author fixed unseasonable mild weather) about books, art and all my favourite things; everyone was so obliging and whimsical I wondered where all these fabulous people had been hiding their wit all year!Fireworks

At midnight a thousand people spilled out into the main high street to count down to midnight beneath a clock that didn’t work. Why? Why would the council not fix the clock after years and years of this tradition taking place? Here the author was just being clever, knowing that so few of us have a chance to count down the year twice and to get two New Year Kisses! I was just definitely being spoilt. All around our rag tag of 20 or so, people were counting and cheering at different times, it was hysterical, it was wonderful. The highlight of the year thus far? Hugging a policeman on duty and wishing him a good new year. Only a writer could save me from getting arrested, by walking me up to the only good natured copper on the beat.

I tumbled into bed at 4 am; after lolloping home holding tightly on to my brave friends all of us thinking the world would spin so fast we would fall off it. I reassured a friend that even if he believed he had achieved nothing in 6 years, he had actually accomplished much in the way of friendships, with the clarity that only a writer who has spent hours perfecting the prose could. I also think my author is one for an idealistic tableau as I went to sleep with the sound of birds and woke up to the sound of church bells.

Drink responsibly

Drink responsibly.......

My author, did not see fit to relieve me of feeling rough but was more charitable with my hangover than that of my supporting characters who could barely function. New Year’s day was spent playing board games that had not seen the light of day in 10 years. We gathered around a large table with friends and family, consuming more alcohol than the previous night should have allowed with even better conversation than should have been present.

In my head I keep questioning whether it all really happened and if someone is about to write the next chapter can I fast talk them in to making me lose weight,or that I just don’t mind the way I way I look in photos. Oooooh and I quite like happiness but I suppose I could resolve to do that on my own but I feel if my life has become a novel it would be  much less demanding and I would be guarantee a happy ending, or at least a year that matched my New Year that felt to me like my birthday, Christmas and a summer holiday all in one.

By the way Happy New Year!!