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Posts Tagged ‘DeePadVlogs’

Despite not having yet seen the film, I saw the trailer of a ground-breaking movie back in late October last year (I can say last year now and not think it was yesterday!) and am utterly hooked until it comes out. The film? Cloud Atlas. I am a massive fan of cinema, especially when it comes to setting new boundaries. The Matrix is always to go-to for any word on cinematic history and of course it deserves all its praise. But that was over 10 years ago. What could cinema possibly have up its sleeve now?

To answer that, I’d like to take you back a few years when I was at University still. I had heard of the film Inception but had no idea how much it would influence not only my writing, but my life (perhaps not as dramatic as you may think though). In interviews, director Christopher Nolan admitted his previous films were all practise for his trump card Inception. Practise? Are you sure? Batman The Dark Knight Rises was just practise? Surely not! But it was indeed so, and then Inception was birthed. I remember vividly seeing it for the first time at the IMAX in Southampton. I was utterly bewitched and the ending blew me away. I couldn’t remember the last time cinema had such a profound effect on me, so I went back, again and again, to see if I had missed anything; a small detail perhaps that would unlock its mystery. What I found was even more incredible.

Spoiler alert for those who don’t know the ending of Inception: It didn’t matter. The ending did not matter. This is what probably confused a lot of viewers and, ultimately, put them off. But I found it even more intoxicating. It didn’t matter? How can an ending not even matter? The whole story revolves around Dom Cobb, and throughout we see how tortured he is about leaving his children behind. When we hit the finale and see the kids’ faces brighten up that dad is back, the camera leaves the happy reunion and focusses on the spinning top. Before we can see if this is real or not, the film cuts out and ends! So was it real? Was it a dream within a million other dreams? Simple answer: It doesn’t matter. Why? Because Cobb’s story arch is complete. He believes it to be real, so we have to accept it as reality too. Have to? Well think of it this way, in our own lives, in our own world, we perceive it to be real. But what is reality anyway and how can you prove it? Thinking of the Matrix again? Yep. It simply doesn’t matter.

Cloud Atlas is proving to be another one of those films, where audiences will laugh, love, cry, and go through a roller-coaster ride of emotions until, at the bitter end, when we see how everything and everyone is connected, we accept the lessons and leave the cinema feeling inspired, elated, perhaps even thoughtful. I got the vibe straight away from the trailer, and with such an all star cast, I had to read the book first. I am a mere two thirds of the way through and it is fast becoming my favourite book of all time. The complexities of writing, how the author willingly chose to stick his middle finger up to the world of literary and say ‘This is how I want to present my book! Screw you and your prose-has-to-be-THIS-way nonsense!’ And hats off to you, David Mitchell!

For me, spotting the twist in the plot comes easily, and I am already pretty aware of how all the stories will end, and for that reason I am incredibly excited about the film coming out here in the UK in February. If the author pushed the boundaries, I’m certain it will translate to screen in a similar way. Here’s hoping!

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In literature, tv and film, we are introduced to characters who steal our hearts. It might be the way they wink at the screen, the rugged adventurer, the fair haired princess, the badass sea captain, the dangerous rogue. Whatever the character, whatever the setting, they give  themselves up for offer and we lap it up. Here’s an example…

This hottie is Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings, well, it’s Viggo Mortensen playing the character of Aragorn. My mother in particular is rather fond of this character and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t mind being swept off her feet, rescued by the super rugged heir to the throne. Was it his mysterious nature, his skill with a sword, the romantic love affair with the Elven maiden? Who knows. But let’s think of this for a second. Would my mum really want to live in Middle Earth? If she were to be the love interest of Aragorn, surely most of the time she has to stay at home, worry sick as to when her lover will return, or wonder if he returns at all. Will be lose a limb battling goblins? He wouldn’t be working your typical 9-5 job so the over time hours and trips away from home would put a strain on their relationship. Will she eventually just say, ‘I know you’re a career man but for God’s sake Aragorn, let’s just settle down.’ And what if he did? He’s lost his skill with the sword, mum will feed him lots of yummy food and he might get fat because of his lack of adventuring. Yikes. Obese and boring Aragorn? No thank you! So surely it’s best to just leave it to fantasy?

I wish others would just see it as such. Celebrities, film stars, characters in novels, there’s something about them all that puts them in the same group of the ‘untouchables’. Here’s another example, one that’s more personal so I can describe it better. Lord Baelish of Game of Thrones, my my my. I have only read a part of the first novel but it wasn’t the novel that had me hooked. It was Aidan Gillen portraying the character on the tv series that was utterly yummy to watch. The subtle glances, the knowing smirk, the scheming, the stalking in the shadows; there’s something about Baelish. Intelligence is hot, but when it’s in the form of Irish actor Aidan Gillen, it gets hotter.

Now, as hot as that all is to me, it is strictly fantasy. He doesn’t actually exist, and even if I could be magically teleported into the world of Game of Thrones, I don’t think I’d do well there. Too much back stabbing. Plus I’m no princess or heir to the throne, I’d be of no interest to him. But let’s just imagine I am of great interest to him and he wasn’t so hooked up on Cat, then what? He wouldn’t have his reasons for doing the wonderfully cunning things he does. Then, like the fat Aragorn, he’d be a home bound man. Though you couldn’t make an honest man of Baelish even if you tried to beat it in to him, he does have his own, erm, business after all. So then what, I’m married to man I can never trust whose business is to profit off, uh, open women? That’s not the fantasy I’m buying in to. I’m buying in to the secret meetings at night, the forbidden romance, the super hot se- okay. Anyway, that is what I would call a good fantasy.

So now that we’ve explored the fantasy side (in too much detail, I know, I’m sorry), let’s look at it in a different way. We’re all attracted to qualities in people, characters, whatever, and it’s those attractions that are very interesting to dissect. My mum, like many women, was probably attracted to the badassery and ruggedness of Aragorn. I was attracted to the scheming intellect in Baelish. So many characters exist with many different qualities. It is perfectly healthy to have a crush on fantasy characters, celebrities, etc, so before you think ‘Oh God, I am so weird!’ odds are, you’re not.

The one thing we must keep in mind is, whilst some fans would love to live the fantasy, the fantasy should stay as it is. The reality is never what we think it is. We get these huge expectations in our minds but the thing is, it won’t be what you expect. It never could be. Mum can’t teleport to Middle Earth and go off with Aragorn and keep his character completely the same, just like I can’t be having a mysterious love affair with Lord Baelish. They don’t exist, their worlds don’t exist, none of it is real.

But my, my, it sure is fun to fantasise.

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I am extremely privileged to say I have had a great upbringing. Based on principles and honesty, my family and I are a tight unit. I treat them as family and as friends, because if I have a problem I know I can turn to them. But we also have fun. One of my favourite things to do in the world is be around my family playing card games (but shh, don’t tell them. I always pretend not to like it as I did when I was a child!). One of the things my father in particular kept saying was something like, ‘Live your life well enough that, when you look at yourself in the mirror, you are happy with what you see.’

It’s true. Life can bring unexpected events that make you perhaps react in a way you wouldn’t have thought. Say you got a new job but after a few months you realise that it’s not what you want in life. How do you react? Do you try your best to just button down and keep going? Or do you think, ‘I deserve better, damn it!’ and quit. Do you quit before finding a new job, or quit and hope you’ll find your way after? It doesn’t matter what I would advise, what matters is if you can look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day and be happy with your decision. It is easy for anyone who isn’t you to tell you their opinion or what they would do in your situation. But that’s just it. They are not you. Only you will know what is right for you.

For a year I’ve been in a stasis-like condition, where I’ve been living but not truly living. I’ve been scraping by but my social life has suffered greatly, my savings are now threatened by moving, taking a gamble on a dream of London. Then I looked at myself in the mirror. I did not like what I saw. I’d be throwing away my money for the privilege of living in a place where, yes I have a lot of friends but, is ultimately way too expensive to continue to add to my savings. In fact, I’d be doing more damage to my savings than assisting it. What if I want to put the deposit down for my first house? I couldn’t do that. I wouldn’t even be able to save up for it.

It took an injury to my knee, that I am still nursing after just over a week in bed (it’s horrendous, I am not a stay-still patient), to realise that I am not happy doing what I’m doing. What helps me through? My family.

Now I’m hugely lucky because I consider myself having two families. My actual blood relations, but my kind of adopted family in my partner’s family who have taken me in, loved me, accepted me, put up with me, put a roof over my head and looked after me just like I was always part of their family. No matter what my decisions have been or are going to be, I know I’m supported by two family units. And that is priceless.

I have guidance and love; two things vitally important to me to make sure that, when I do look in the mirror, I can change it knowing I will never be alone.

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Ah… I do so love Strictly Come Dancing. I wasn’t hugely interested the first time I heard about it, it sounded so old fashioned and boring, I couldn’t imagine that it would be so entertaining. My parents used to dance ballroom and they act as the fifth and sixth judges. It definitely adds to the atmosphere. But I have to admit, there is a big reason I watch this programme and it’s one of the professional dancers.

Well, I say one of them, I adore them all in their own right. But there are certain dancers who I will drop everything for; dinner, writing, gaming, even perhaps a cup of tea. Yes. I would drop a cup of tea to watch these dancers wiggle their cute rears on my screen. What? Don’t look at me like that. Everyone has a cheeky look (pun not intended). Especially for Artem, Brendan and my absolute favourite, Anton Du Beke.

This man is legendary when it comes to ballroom. He makes a waltz entrancing. And yes, his bum is awesome. Let’s rewind a little though. I remember I started watching Strictly Come Dancing when Ann Widdecombe was on, I believe that was 2010. My parents were watching it and, thinking it would be a pile of boring old sodding rubbish, I didn’t even want to pay any attention. Until on comes Widders and absolutely blew me away. I have never laughed so hard in my entire life. I was almost in tears. And then I noticed how Anton danced. His grace and charm are a force of nature, still are. But in those moments watching him throw Widders around the floor like an aged mop, I absolutely fell in love with this man. Like the cutest puppy you’ve ever seen, Anton has my vote no matter who he dances with.

Now of course, I’m hooked. I adore Strictly Come Dancing and all of the contestants. It’s always a treat. Goes so well with my evening tea.

Hmm, now that I think about it, I would quite like to have a cup of tea with Anton. That really would be incredible.

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Just another day out in London…

I’d love to say that his happened organically, that Joe and I went to London just because we live relatively close by. But no. We knew there would be a meetup with YouTubers Toby Turner (left) and Seth Hendrix (right) on Saturday, the 29th of September. We knew because Seth made a vlog about it. What we didn’t know is that the boys would be at the Natural History Museum… just like us!

The meetup was to be at Hyde Park, in London, in font of the Royal Albert monument… thing, between 4pm – 6pm. Joe and I arrived into London around noon-ish. I’d spent all morning deciding what to wear, torn between my Tobuscus shirt or what I ended up wearing. Why didn’t I wear my Tobuscus t-shirt? Well, although I am a fan, I am also a fan of Seth’s. Maybe lesser known, but equally as awesome. So I opted for my Tobuscus slap bracelet instead; subtle and not in-your-face-uber-fan. First order of the day for Joe and I was having lunch, so we popped into a Yo! Sushi and had some gorgeous food. Trying to plan the rest of the day before 4pm, we thought going to the Natural History Museum would be the best thing to do, after all it’s so close to Hyde Park. But it turns out we weren’t the only ones who had that thought. Whilst queueing to go in, we saw a steady trickle of people coming out. Two of them I instantly recognised. Grabbing Joe’s arm sharply, I said ‘I’m not joking, it’s Toby and Seth!’

It took a little while before I could cough up the courage to actually say hi, and by a little time, I think it was a full minute of thinking ‘These two live in LA. If I don’t say hi now, before the meetup, I will regret it.’ And so I just spoke, hoping they’d hear me. As you can see, they did. Not a very long meeting, as they had to rush off to the underground, but we did chat briefly. For them to stop, chat, and take photos, despite being in a rush, is absolutely lovely of them. And I have to say, they truly are two of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. You know when you just get a vibe from someone? It’s like that. I won’t pretend I know either, but they both have a great presence; if you went out for quiet drinks with these two, you’d feel like you’ve known them for years.

My gifts to them? Two London postcards, one each, with a personalised message saying how I admire them, how I am very grateful for their time and that I hope they’ll continue making more videos. Did I plug my YouTube channel? No. This trip is about them, not me. Most fans, I’m guessing, would want to be bestest best friends with them, but for me I’m happily content with the two chance minutes in London. Besides, the likelihood of being bestest best friends with people who live halfway round the world who you’ve met only once is so slim.

Be thankful for what comes your way, and yesterday I learned that so well from meeting Toby and Seth out of the blue.

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