Monthly Archives: May 2013

Fame On A Friday : Further Proof That Will Smith Is A Gift To Interviews

Will Smith never fails to deliver memorable and entertaining interviews, while some people trot out the same anecdotes in a desperate attempt to seem interesting, he seems to have the natural knack for making a person feel that they have experienced something unique. This week was no exception, as he joined Graham Norton with his son, Jaden, and reunited with his ‘Fresh Prince’ cohorts to create a TV moment that is enough to make a pop culture buff’s head explode.

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Thursday Me Time : Finally! Some Office Experience!

This week I officially started a new job, I’ve been training for the last few weeks while juggling it with my other job at a West End theatre. But this week I dropped down to casual contract there to start a part-time contract in the box office at a different theatre, in which I have worked before. It’s a seasonal venue, so year round contracts are a no go, but after last year I knew that I wanted to return if I hadn’t managed to get a career-making job by the time of their interviews. So I’ve progressed from ripping tickets to selling them, and into what I hope recruiters will see as an admin position.

My main obstacle to a steady job and start to my career has been a lack of solid office experience. Never mind that I know absolutely that I can do it, that my incredibly techy family means that I understand computers, that I’ve been known to solve quite a few problems with photocopiers before, that I know how to co-ordinate and book itineraries. No. Apparently I need to have worked in an office for 3 years to even stand a chance of gaining an entry level position. Fine. But now I’m in the vicious circle of needing experience to get experience. Which is where my new job comes in.

So I’m hoping that the considerably more office-y nature of the role will finally prove to potential employers that I am not a risk, but that I am a competent and passionate worker and worthy of the trust that is placed in a new employee.

Maybe they’re reading this, in which case, please know that I apply for jobs because I know that I can do them and am excited by the prospect of making a difference within a company. So why not let me?

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Wednesday’s Got Issues : Angelina Jolie is Living Up to Her Name

Today’s post can only be about Angelina Jolie’s decision to speak about her double mastectomy. The statement has met with widespread admiration and support, and has inspired others in the spotlight, such as Barbara Walters, to come forward about their own decisions to prevent cancer through elective surgery. Who knows quite how many people will choose to take the test to determine their genetic susceptibility to cancer now that the issue is being more widely spoken of.
The addition of Jolie’s status as a sex symbol adds a whole new dimension to the story, as a woman known so often thought of as an object has chosen to alter what is arguably her most bankable asset for the sake of herself and her family. Jolie’s reputation as a de facto angel can only increase after this move, and hopefully it will help to change the perception of women as a body to be scrutinised. If women who would previously have been hesitant to consider such a radical treatment, due to the stigma associated with female perfection, can now see the infinite benefits that come with knowing that your chances of cancer are significantly reduced. That is not to say that it isn’t an incredibly difficult and life altering decision that is certain to have an overwhelming emotional effect, but hopefully Jolie’s choice will give people the sense that they are not alone in their plight, and make people realise that this horrific illness can happen to anyone-even them.
I know that I will be researching the availability of a test to determine the presence of the cancer gene in the UK, and I hope that others are as well. F*ck cancer.

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Telly Tuesdays : The Ice Cream Girls

Last week I looked forward to the conclusion of ITV’s 3-part drama, ‘The Ice Cream Girls’. In previous episodes, we were introduced to Poppy, a quiet woman just released from prison after serving a long sentence for the murder of a teacher when she was a teenager. She had been tried alongside her friend, Selena, whose lawyer mother ensured that she was found not guilty. The episodes use flashbacks to explore the question of who was really to blame for the murder of a man revealed to be a manipulative abuser of young girls, as well as the impact of the event on the girls’ lives as they have grown up. Selena has since achieved a good education, married and had a child, while Poppy’s fractious relationship with her stepfather and feckless mother leaves her isolated upon her release.

Throughout the series it is impossible not to feel sorry for Poppy, both of the excellent actors portraying her at different ages left in doubt that she was innocent from the beginning. Her desire for affection clear from the first scene involving her mother, who betrays the cardinal rule of parenting by choosing her husband over her child. I found her the most irritating character in all this, she displays no hint of backbone while her husband remains hostile towards Poppy and it becomes easy to see why the teenager was so open to manipulation by a man willing to give her attention. Like mother like daughter I suppose. Yet the lack of a resolution once (spoiler alert!) Poppy’s innocence has been proven is incredibly frustrating. The much loved younger siblings whom Poppy has repeatedly asked for return, and yet there is no comeuppance for the man who has always believed in her guilt, or for the woman who excluded her eldest child from a family meal.

For Selena, her sense of guilt worsens as the story progresses, though it is unclear until the conclusion whether this is due to lies in the courtroom or the lies told to her new family, who know nothing of her past. Again the young actress portraying her teenage self shines in the scenes involving her abuse by a teacher.

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Sunday Cook Off : Chocolate Covered Hokey Pokey

Homemade crunchies


This week I decided to try something a bit easier, and then proceeded to choose one of the more difficult things I could make: Hokey Pokey, or Cinder Toffee as it is sometimes known. It’s basically a homemade Crunchie bar. It sounds like an easy enough recipe, just sugar, golden syrup and bicarbonate soda, but the difficulty comes in knowing the best time to mix it all together. When you boil the golden syrup and sugar, you need to wait for as long as possible before adding the bicarb (without letting it burn), or you’ll end up with the kind of sticky mess that is sure to mess with dentistry. I covered it in chocolate to hide the slightly bitter aftertaste that comes with the bicarb, plus anything covered in chocolate is pretty good.


2 tbsp caster sugar

4 tbsp golden syrup

2 tsp bicarbonate soda

1. Put the golden syrup and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil on a medium heat, stirring constantly.

2. Once the mixture has begun to boil, turn the heat down to low and leave it for up to 7 mins. Only stir once or twice so that it retains heat. Keep a constant eye on the mixture as it can burn quickly if left.

3. Check the mixture by putting a drop in a glass of cold water, if it is sticky then leave it for a while longer. You want it to be hard and brittle.

4. When the mixture is ready, remove from the heat and immediately add the bicarb then stir until combined (this should be very quick)

5. Once the mixture has foamed up and the bicarb is mixed in, immediately transfer to a greased baking tray (I tend to just put a sheet of baking paper in as opposed to greasing – less washing up). Spread the mixture out a bit, but be careful not to flatten it too much or it will lose all of the air bubbles.

6. Leave it for 15 minutes.

7. Then either cut it up with a knife or just break it apart with your fingers, keep the pieces a decent size to aid the chocolate dipping.

8. Break the chocolate into pieces into a bowl then place it over boiling water in a saucepan and stir until melted.

9. Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl and saucepan from the heat. Take each piece of hokey pokey and dip into the melted chocolate ensuring that it is fully covered – you can use tongs or your fingers, whichever suits.

10. Place the dipped pieces onto a sheet of baking paper and allow to cool. If you are in a rush you can stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes.

11. Once the chocolate has hardened, enjoy!


[Image via] I didn’t have time to photograph mine before my colleagues devoured everything!

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Fame On A Friday : Amanda Bynes and Lindsay Lohan Should Hang Out and Share Their Crazy

The world of celebrity isn’t exactly a nurturing or supportive atmosphere for young, rising stars, so it should seem hardly surprising when people who have grown up under scrutiny turn out to be that crazy person who you avoid on the tube. This week Lindsay Lohan began her court ordered rehab program, complete with temper tantrums because she wasn’t allowed to bring cigarettes/she didn’t like the look of the place/she generally didn’t get her own way and was actually having to face the consequences of her actions for once. Not that it will make a lot of difference to her character. This girl has broken law a number of times and at every court appearance the judge is apparently determined to take a harsh approach, only to reduce any punishment to a minimum – and even then Lohan seems to think it is too much. Yesterday it appeared that she was shopping at an electronics store while her (now fired) lawyer assured the courts that she was safely ensconced in a treatment facility. She then finally checked herself into the Betty Ford clinic (where “she knew people”, which is always a sign of a life well lived) just before a deadline that may have resulted in jail time. We can but hope that some time away from the world and her batshit crazy parents will help her to realise the extent to which that she is destroying her life.

Another starlet in dire need of psychiatric attention is Amanda Bynes, who has shed her sweet Disney persona for that of a genuinely unstable and worrying human being. She is frequently photographed around New York in a variety of strange outfits and situations, stories about her behaviour abound. Today a video was released of her in the gym on a cross trainer looking….interesting. In contrast to Lindsay, Bynes seems to be evoking genuine concern from her family, the public and fellow celebrities alike. Lohan has had her chances, Bynes seems to be oblivious to her vulnerable situation in a way that is reminiscent of Britney Spears’ infamous meltdown. The only question is when there will be a significant event that will lead to Bynes getting the treatment that she so obviously needs, before something infinitely more tragic can occur.

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Thursday Me Time : Country Times Are The Best Times

This past weekend I spent some time on a farm with some friends celebrating a birthday. I’ve visited my friend’s family farm in Wiltshire a few times, and it always feels like some sort of exciting school trip, particularly as the people I’m with are generally geologists getting excited about rocks.

While they explain about their work as a hydrologist or their research into the Earth’s inner core, I can tell them about The Oliviers and some good West End shows. Not exactly comparable but for the moment it’s all I have. So this week I learned what the inner core might be made of and how wind farms use nearby water supplies to create energy…at least I think that’s what they were talking about.

But back to the farm, where there is never a dull moment. We got to feed the pigs, collect hens eggs, walk the ferret and nuzzle the horses – basically all of the cool stuff that sounds mundane but actually makes you revert to a 5 year old squealing at the silly animals. The best part happened just before I left, when my friend, her father and I went on a drive to check some of their cows and give some medication to a calf. The excitement came when we happened upon said cows milling around the roadside having broken through the electric fence. We chased the cows back into their field, with the help of Zip the beautiful kelpie dog, and went about fixing the broken fence and tending to the sickly calf.

I have always said that I am a city girl, I found village life stifling to grow up in and moved to London as soon as I could, but last weekend left me yearning for a bit of fresh air and green pastures. Ah well, it’s nice to have a plan – if London doesn’t work out, I’ll just marry a farmer. Sorted.

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