Tag Archives: Tuesday

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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Telly Tuesdays : Broadchurch

I’ve decided to make a change to my categories, as writing about travelling just made it more clear to me that I’m not going on holiday anytime soon. So instead I’ve decided to switch to another major interest of mine, television. Yes, the majority of the programmes that I watch are via iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube or Sidereel, but it still counts as TV, plus I work unsociable hours so the only other option is to turn off my brain and make do with Jeremy Kyle.

For the past 8 weeks I’ve been ever so slightly obsessed with an ITV crime thriller called Broadchurch, a detective series in which Olivia Colman and David Tennant investigate a small community after a young boy is murdered. The best elements of it were the dual allegiance of Colman’s character, who is an active member of the community and mother of the dead child’s best friend. At first she refuses to believe that anyone within her community could commit a murder, yet over the course of the series she begins to doubt herself. I have loved watching Olivia Colman since I saw her playing the scatterbrained mother Harriet Schulenburg, and I still don’t feel like I’ve recovered from Tyrannosaur – arguably the best film I’ve ever seen that I never want to see again. She is perfection, so I knew I wanted to watch Broadchurch as soon as I saw that she was in it.
Then there’s David Tennant as the distant and blunt detective with the failures of a previous case and as well as a serious illness weighing heavily on his mind. Plus he’s my favourite Doctor Who, so enough said really.

But the series did have its problems. At times it felt like I was watching some sort of sequel to Hot Fuzz, complete with comedy accents, a token outsider and Colman back in the police station. And by the end it seemed that the writers were fixated on creating every character into a paedophile (not so much like Hot Fuzz). But either way I love a good puzzle, so was immensely proud that I correctly guessed the killer from the first episode, even if everyone else did too.

That was the main failing of the programme, in such a small community there are only a certain number of people that you can paint as a suspect before the one person that no one suspects becomes glaringly obvious. I won’t spoil the reveal for anyone who has yet to watch, but the reasons behind the child’s murder are equally dubious, and many elements of the investigation are left unresolved (WHY was Danny arguing with the postman!?). However it has been announced that there will be a series 2, so it will be interesting to see how the writers work around the complete lack of serious crime in rural Dorset coastal towns, unless the people of Broadchurch are just very, very unlucky. The closing moments of the series seem to suggest that the two detectives, who were the only three dimensional characters anyway, will move on to pastures new to escape the demons that Danny Latimer’s murder unearthed.

It wasn’t perfect, but it kept me hooked.

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Travellin’ Tuesdays : TFL Are Not My Friends

Today is the first time in 4 days that I have been able to look forward to a simple journey to work. For the entirety of this bank holiday weekend, during which I have worked 3 days out of 4, TFL (Transport for London) have royally fucked up my day.
Every weekend there are tube closures, it is the bane of every Londoner’s journey. However this weekend, the powers that be truly outdid themselves, closing, delaying or someway altering 4 out of the 5 routes by which I can get to work. I was prepared for the tubes, I was prepared to allow extra time to bus, train and then tube my way through central London on one of the busiest weekends of the year. What I wasn’t prepared for the closure of said bus and train services, meaning that I had to use such a massive roundabout route that it probably would’ve been quicker to invent a jet pack.
So thank you TFL, for closing my nearest tube lines, delaying my nearest train service, and shutting off the traffic lights on an extremely busy intersection next to my house, meaning that every bus had to miss out my neighbourhood. Thank you so very bloody much.

Rant over.

But still, REALLY TFL?!

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Travellin’ Tuesdays : Becoming A Productive Commuter

So I’ve been away for a while, unfortunately not getting my life together, just working and wasting away in a minimum wage job while desperately seeking the start to my career. Endless application forms, a few unsuccessful interviews and I’m still without a meaningful position in life. But hey, I’m not bitter. Not at all. Nope.

So I figured that instead of spending my days glued to job boards I might as well do something productive and fun…as well as still looking for a career. Now writing a blog every day is quite the commitment, in fact it’s that level of commitment that was my undoing before. So I figured that the best time for me to set aside to write every day was my journey into work, 20 minutes of sitting on a tube with nothing but Sims Freeplay and endless ‘Mind the Gap’ announcements to entertain me. I’m not saying that I won’t falter, there will probably be days when a sudoku puzzle will simply have to come first, but I’ll do my best. And if I can make this blog into something worthwhile then all the better.


[Image via http://www.flickr.com]

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Travellin’ Tuesdays: Nike are bastards, but they make good adverts

While I’m sceptical about how truthful this advert is, it’s still a good example of why people NEED to travel outside their comfort zone. This guy didn’t just go to places close to his home country, he went all over the world.

Yes, it is completely unbelievable that anything mentioned about the premise of the film can be relied upon as fact, but if anyone watching it decides that they’ll go somewhere new for their next holiday then it was worth it.

Who cares about Nike shoes when there’s a whole world to see?

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Travellin’ Tuesdays: Don’t go west, go English

Being of the unemployed persuasion, my recent desire to go travelling again cannot really amount to much, unless I take the advice of the Enjoy England campaign and explore my own fine country for a while. Like a lot of travellers, I was struck by the continued aversion to domestic travelling by everyone not a tourist. In NZ, undoubtedly the most beautiful place I’ve ever been, I met people who didn’t even seem to see the point in travelling between the country’s North and South Islands. Back then I was astounded by what I saw as a complete lack of curiosity, but then I returned to Blighty and set about thinking of ways to leave it again. If we are familiar with a place, or associate certain things with particular regions (incest in Norfolk, anyone?), then we are less inclined to explore with an open mind. But in the last few years I have visited more of the British Isles then ever before, and there have been very places to which I would be reluctant to return. But that’s travelling, you’re not going to like every single place, but it’s worth your time to give it a chance, just in case it turns out to be the most amazing experience of your life.

So go England. Go Wales. Go Scotland. Go Ireland. Go to every corner of our country, and see if it doesn’t give you a better understanding of what it is to be British. Whether it’s a hike around the Giant’s Causeway, a rugby match at Cardiff’s Millenium Stadium, a wild night out in Glasgow or a surfing lesson in Cornwall, do it.

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Travellin’ Tuesdays: Top 5 songs for survival while travelling

This week I’m going to count down the five best songs to listen to while travelling. Whether you’re dealing with a sudden setback, feeling homesick or, most likely, having the time of your life, there’s a song for every situation…no. 5 in particular helped me through a tearful moment when I had to leave my beloved New Zealand


Leaving on a jetplane, a classic to start off your trip


Basking in paradise and chilling out to Rosi Golan


For the low points, from a falling out with your travelling mates to running out of money at exactly the wrong time. The Ting Tings will Hang It Up and pick you up


For when you’re in awe of life and mother nature, only Lissie will do


Going home, both happy that you get to see friends and family again, and sad that the adventure is over. Mr Buble is all that you need to reconcile yourself with the fact that it’s over, but don’t worry there will plenty more


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Travellin’ Tuesdays: Spanish beagles made me cry

This week I am breaking with tradition and talking about someone else’s travels rather than my own. I StumbledUpon this video of beagles experiencing grass and sunshine for the first time, after living in a Spanish research lab for their entire lives up to that point. They are obviously nervous and scared by their new LA surroundings, but it is painfully clear that they crave affection and contact with both humans and each other – another reminder of why it is beyond reason to imprison them in a lab cage.

For more details see the Huffington Post’s story here : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/28/lab-raised-beagles-go-out_n_1116446.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003

To find out more about The Beagle Freedom Project, who organised the dogs’ new life go here : http://beaglefreedomproject.org


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Travellin’ Tuesdays: Great Barrier Reef in a hurricane? Why the hell not.

The beautiful Whitsunday Islands

This week I thought I’d talk about visiting the Great Barrier Reef, arguably one of the most astounding sights on the planet. My friends and I took a trip there whilst backpacking up the east coast of Australia, we didn’t get as far north as Cairns but were still able to visit one of the world’s natural wonders – albeit in unusual weather conditions.

Out of our entire Australian experience, myself and four friends spent the most time in the Whitsundays, as three of them were booked onto a scuba PADI course. I have to admit that I envied their exciting adventures underwater (the Whitsundays are definitely the dullest place to spend 8 days when you have nothing planned), but my complete phobia of all things sea related meant that I wasn’t too put out. What did affect my mood was the less than perfect Aussie summer, in which I experienced hurricanes, terrible storms and humidity like you wouldn’t believe, not the best situation when you are camping in the cheapest, and shittest, tent known to man. Seriously, it cost £25 on ebay, had a hole in the top and wasn’t even vaguely waterproof. We were thinking that vents and waterproofing weren’t relevant when you’re camping in the SUMMER. We were wrong.

Anyway, we had booked onto a boat trip to a pontoon in the Reef and were highly excited about entering Nemo’s world. The fact that there were two hurricane-like storms on the horizon slightly dampened our spirits, particularly my friend Sophie, who is infamous for getting sick just by looking at the sea. It turns out that the remaining four of us were the only people on the entire ship not to get seasick during the two hour journey to the pontoon. If you thought that being surrounded by 50 people throwing up could put you off life in general, you were right. Needless to say, we were the first off of the boat when we reached the pontoon, straight into the wetsuits and out into the water.

The pontoon had a number of different activites, such as a glass bottom boat and a water slide, but I was most interested in actually getting into the water. Particularly because it was a roped off area monitored by a lifeguard – I should mention that I have a pathological fear of sharks. As in, I can’t even look at a picture without flinching. But I felt safe, and I was really excited to see some fish that were more exciting than those of the gold variety. It was so peaceful yet bustling with life at the same time, and I was definitely replaying “Just keep swimming” in my head for a good half an hour. From iridescent cuttlefish to, what shall be forever known as ‘Dory fish’, the view was quite spectacular and I was sad to get out and return to a pontoon filled with seasick families determined to get their money’s worth despite overwhelming nausea.

I met up with my friends, who had left for a diving experience and a spin on the glass bottomed boat, they gleefully informed me that they had seen a reef shark. A REEF SHARK. In the water. Near me. Yes, they’re small and harmless, but any creature with ‘shark’ in the name instantly terrifies me and, well, I was not impressed.

However, shark terror aside, the experience of seeing up close the kind of wildlife normally reserved for an aquarium visit more than made up for a previously dull week in the Whitsundays (I should mention that I was ill with laryngitis and skint during this time as well). But it was all part of the character building, can you tell that I like that phrase? I must have used it every week so far, but with good reason. The whole point of travelling is to experience something new, and it may not always be a positive experience, but it will definitely leave you with a good story to tell.

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Travellin’ Tuesdays: Samoan buses are all kinds of crazy

I’ve left this post a little late as I was indulging in my latest obsession of watching The Daily Show’s Lewis Black segments. He rants, I get addicted.


Just your average Upolu bus...

But this week, I’m revisiting my character building experience on a bus in Samoa, in which my friend and I took the simple decision of taking a bus to the nearest town on the island on which we were staying. We consulted the staff our the fale (beach hut) resort, and waited patiently at the roadside for an hour in the midday sun. Finally, after a bus had already ignored our flailing hands, our salvation arrived and we boarded the brightly painted and WOODEN army-style truck, and took a seat on one of the childsize benches. We got some inquisitive looks from the other passengers, but in our eyes, we were being intrepid travellers getting to grips with the true culture. Our mistake. For after a short while, it became painfully apparent that we had chosen to be adventurous just as every single school on the island finished for the day, and the already cramped space began to fill up pretty quickly.

As the only non-islanders, we had been given our own bench, which was barely enough space for two adults as it is, but as more people boarded there seemed to be a trend beginning, in which four people sat on one bench – two people sitting on laps. Now, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the average Samoan body shape, but they are known for being rather Rubenesque, as well as statuesque. Put simply, it seemed physically impossible to fit four people of the larger persuasion onto one tiny bench, and yet it was happening in front of our very eyes. Eventually, it was made clear to us that we were expected to follow suit, so I took up my place on my friend’s lap (thankfully by the open window) and our journey continued.

After about 30 minutes of trying to ignore the tingling sensation in my legs, I made the mistake of trying to move them, trapped as they were between three other pairs of legs, and pain blossomed from my toes upwards. I tried, I really tried, to be content with gazing out of the window at the island paradise streaming by – the azure ocean, palm trees heaving with coconuts, and the idyllic fale homes – but I couldn’t pretend that I was comfortable any longer. It was at this point that my friend decided to tell me that she gets carsick. Fabulous. I was trapped on the lap of a nauseated person, encased by curious locals who seemed to enjoy our discomfort, and I wasn’t sure if I would ever walk again.

It turned out that, after another hour on a neverending but beautiful coastal road, we finally reached our destination – a town which housed the island’s only ATM – and we gratefully disembarked amidst the locals’ goodnatured staring. That’s when we discovered that, no, we would not be able to walk without each others’ assistance for quite some time, so completely dead were our legs. Bereft of life they rested in peace, if we hadn’t been attempting to walk they would’ve been pushing up the daisies. It was painful and humiliating, yet (as my friend loves to say) purely character building. Once we had looked around and used the ATM (the sole purpose for the visit, as we had neglected to factor the beguiling cocktails at the hotel bar and scuba excursions into our budget), we considered getting a bus back. And then, like a ‘Hallelujah’ moment, with shafts of light directing our vision, our eyes alighted upon our saviour – the taxi rank. The car may not have had door handles, the radio may have played Christian music for the entire journey, and the driver may have picked up one of his friends along the way, but the important thing is that we each got our seat and the use of our legs. And we arrived back at the hotel just as the bar was opening, crazy blue cocktails – complete with umbrellas- all round.

In looking for a suitable photograph to go with this post (the ones I took do not do the buses justice) I stumbled upon many other accounts of travellers in similar situations. And we all share the same sentiments – yes, the journey itself can be pretty hellish, but it’s all part of the experience of being a traveller who engages with culture rather than ignores it. Would I do it all over again? Sure, it was another interesting story to add to the others that you seem to collect when backpacking – it’s all part of the experience.

[Image via blog.travelpod.com]

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