Monday, 21 December 2009

New Year Approaches...

As 2009 draws to a close, some will claim it was undoubtedly the worse year of their lives whilst others draw on the ideals of Jean-Jacques Rosseau whom I've learned about as I encountered a philosophy book belonging to my studious (in the field of alcohol, maybe) younger sister. He believed in the fundamental value of all human beings and if still alive, 300 years on, he'd even lend support to corrupt MPs, anti-global warming law evoking establishments, greedy bankers, Tony Blair and Chelsea Football Club. As I write an essay on Shakespeare and Gender, I realise the theatrical view of life isn't too far-fetched from reality as this year has shown some of the finest art and literature, masterful musical talents for a long while whilst on a pitiful side; the worse sincerity since time began when Sir Fred Goodwin attempted to apologise for his extravagant pay-off. What are your overriding memories of the year before us?

In 20 days time, I shall no longer be 20 years of age but 21. I find myself in a rare state of palpitated calm as I collect hazy memories of the past 12 months with the love of a wonderful person who has changed my view on life and I no longer hold everything in disdain (well, just a few things). It's ironic that in classical literature as I've displayed all year long, we can find similarities in characteristics, ideology and situations as I have just done so with Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. When he said to his beloved Beatrice, 'in my heart that I had not a hard heart, for, truly I love none' which is how I felt before meeting my lady in a Angela Carter lecture. I didn't retain venomous hatred as I thought it was just...I hadn't a care in the world and certainly didn't love anything outside of my family yet she changed that just as Beatrice did for Benedick and Elizabeth for Mr Darcy (as highlighted in this blog, 4 months ago).

For those who have yet to find love, that old saying 'your time will soon come' is quite apt if not patronising. I mean who actually believes in destiny? I certainly didn't 12 months ago but I'm now more inclined to believe in fate; I came to current University without a single idea about my long term future as I blindly stumbled onto a course. It wasn't until a few senior figures suggested I'd be an ideal role model and should consider a training to be a Teacher of the Deaf. Then again urging me to stay earlier on the year as I became disillusioned and since I've become engrossed in what I feel is my pathway because as we look back, we must look forward.

And it was on a jaunt through the snow covered hills of North Yorkshire through the most picturesque surroundings and villages towards Helmsley, I realized that I wished to live in a remote stone-built house with many books, floating devices that serve my food and children running around the place but first I must get a degree. I wish you all the best in your new years resolutions and remember absent relatives, friends whilst partying the night away in style.

Happy New Years, everyone.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Snowin' in Paradize...

Ah Christmas is well and truly here, since last blogging I've enjoyed and loathed the entire festive excitement in equal measure. From shopping and family gatherings, early exchanges of presents amongst housemates and partner before returning home to the white opacity and thickened snow in rural North Yorkshire. With the weather heightening the anxiousness with the crazily busy motorways whom very much like my father ignored warnings presumably to gather stocking fillers which drove me to near capitulation as I only required a few goods and yet it took insane amounts of time. Christmas is more than just materialistic greed and profiteering perhaps timely for our recession ending hopes of which Ireland has emerged from smilingly (my bitterness over this holds no bounds, the fecking Irish for Christ sake!).

However, the drive home was a pleasure accompanied by those closest to me and numerous aligned motors travelling at such a speed that was thought non-existent from the days of horse and cart and the fecund years of the Italian Renaissance with periods of traffic blockage to rival that of the Eurostar mayhem. I didn't mind terribly as aided by a surprisingly good selection of tunes on the iPod of my girlfriend's (who has heard of Manu Chao?) 'Rainin' in Paradize' is a top record along with the usual Morrisey, Artic Monkeys and Foo Fighters whom I was dragged to Manchester to see once. Also the vastness of the winter wonderland I returned to, adapted to the title above, with various scenes of dolefulness from the children slow sledging down the hilly surroundings with the sun appearing rather persistently to create an aura of tranquility and beauty of which I shall reveal once images have emerged from the digital camera.

Incidentally, looking upon this blog I've just realized that of all my recent charming pictures uploaded, none surprisingly contained a sexual looking woman. So that's part of the reason for Keira Knightley on the left hand side but also due to her play that I mentioned a few weeks ago, an adaption of a favourite of mine, Molière's Misanthrope set in the modern era opened last week and by the sounds of it isn't worth venturing to London to see. Not that I'd be allowed to, according to my strange dream the other night as I was in court for originally driving offences (no licence, insurance and dangerously swerving) whilst proclaiming my innocence as I stated I was merely taking a cab driver to hospital after he was stabbed by a irate passenger in a dispute over a fare. Ultimately, he comes out of intensive care only to point the finger at me! So I'm charged for attempted murder as well as driving like a lunatic, my hopes of teaching absconded and the family disown me, where do I go from there? We shall see...

Merry Christmas and a happy new year, everyone. I hope you have a bundle of fun over the coming weeks even if I shall be conflicting with emotions of schadenfreude as usual!

Friday, 11 December 2009

‘Wine robs a man of his self-possession: opium greatly invigorates it’

Within my previous blog on Wales, I mentioned Confessions of an English Opium Eater, as De Quincey spirals from fantasy to realism through self dramatic prose. After the heartbreaking grievances following deaths of his father, siblings, children and wife you begin to imagine why he would impart upon the feeling of guilt yet he doesn’t excuse his opium addiction or earlier at Eton, wine as he writes ‘infirmity and misery do not, of necessity, imply guilt’ and ‘Guilt, therefore, I do not acknowledge’ when incidentally the deep anguish inside of him only reveals itself within the depths of his imagination and most surely lead to such a dependence.

Following yesterday’s collection of our essays, it spelled underachievement and disappointment. I need to be getting ‘A’s and ‘B’s not just below as these grades signal those being able to teach, PGCE’s are for the superior students yet my overly elaborate, hugely researched and hurriedly organized pieces are becoming my wine, my opium. I feel, even if this is just the first semester and there’s a long way to go yet, that I have hindered my hopes and there is nothing but anguish inside of me. The end of the year and all students are exhausted, bitterly upset but many have such ability that they will perform much better and could find masses of career options whereas mine is strictly the one: teaching English to the hard of hearing.

My little petite friend, like many others are in the same pernicious situation but at the opposite end of the scale, throughout her four years at the University and swapping from interpreting to teaching she has achieved mainly ‘B’s which will lead her to the elusive 2:1 that is required however now faces the results from two assessments of critical importance that could hamper her development thus lose her prospective enrolment at another University which already had over 2,000 applicants and she found herself being one of 100 chosen for just interviews. Now, that’s pressure.

The transgressive nature emerges through the depth of his sorrow after initially suppressing any forces of doubt attempting to reason with the reader referring to fellow users. Likewise I have distracted myself from any doubt over my future with the amount of reading, writing for various publications thus travelling to various cities also for charity work and socializing; finding employment in a school however is my greatest obstacle it should begin next year will ultimately take up much more of my time. Is it too early to presume my inevitable downfall? At 20 years old, I'm in lecture halls surrounded by likewise aged, disappointed faces and the minority who got the high marks were mostly at least 4, 5 years older than us and presumably read so much more in their lifetime, experienced more and perhaps more apt for teaching yet they do not even realise what they wish to do whereas I do and it tears me apart.

You see, De Quincey had vivid nightmares thanks to his sordid drug abuse, there was deep anxiety found inside of him that ‘literally to descend, into chasms and sunless abysses, depths below depths, from which it seemed hopeless that I could ever re-ascend’ and equally I find myself imagining all sorts of depressing thoughts and wondered if the fortune teller who got so much information spot on, is correct in her observation I shall find myself working for the Police rather than teaching.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Turner Prize: And the winner is...

Richard Wright, the outsider whom I hoped to win due to his admirable ethos and endeavour. Rather than conceptional designs or modernization he seeks pleasures from medieval ways and below is his gold leaf piece, rather stunning isn't it? I've written before of my adoration for the Renaissance period of literature and art which has shown it's vitality over the past year and many outstanding artists emerging yet as Wright's win proves, age doesn't matter- I'm 20 years old and my writing shan't reach it's peak for many years (before I perish in a hotel fire as my frightful imagination whenever I close my eyes reveals). As for the piece itself it could do with a name and with Carol Ann Duffy presenting the award, I'm sure she'd thought of something worthwhile to label it but on a side note-she looked rather stressed and perhaps the joys of sherry and poetry are getting to her. Another problem being Wright's name as it's synonymous with a dead musician at least at 49, he won the prestigious title in admittedly his last possible chance yet one hope it's not the last we see of him...

Of course the other artists had interesting views and ideas in particular: the intriguing manner of Roger Hiorns and the whale's skull by Lucy Skaer (I'll be honest, she wasn't as pretty looking as her name suggests). It showed, firstly the talent dripping through and secondly the merits of the competition and hopefully it's revitalisation in a depressing climate whereby people wish to be inspired and stunned even for a brief fragment of time much like Wright's piece which will soon disintegrate. It is perhaps symbolic, his artwork will not last 5 months nor will it be seen by many juxtaposed with a distant legacy as it'll fail to outshine the financial crisis and climate talks but it'll keep us joyfully entertained for now as 2009 nears an end.

Especially required now Christmas shall soon rear it's ugly overly inflated head, have we all purchased our presents yet? Typically, as a man I haven't and not probably won't until I damn well have to but spare a thought for poor old Tiger Woods- that's alot of presents he'll have to buy thanks to his transgressions and his black book must be filled with numbers of available, sex-hungry and money influenced ladies so perhaps that'd be a neat gift for a cousin or someone. Let's hope his sorry ass disappears sooner rather than later and the tabloids return to normality... there's more chance of Wright's art dealer, Larry Gagosian suddenly revealing he is in fact, a woman. At least the semester comes to a close on Thursday with Shakespeare with one more assignment to hand in...

Harsh realities set in...

After a unremarkable day of lectures, the distant recollection of the calm weekend have ceased to exist and the impregnable hatred of all around me has returned. Forming a bond of complete ignorance and incompetence, our University tutors ladies and gentleman... one of which, upon marking my research proposal has created a new letter, a cross between 'A' and 'B' revealing a strange Japanese letter shape and in the confusion, nor do I realise I have the highest mark or second. Her explanation for such tawdry marking is due to the masses she has to produce, 78, whilst referring to the complexity of my writing which she finds overly confusing. It seems I have to abide their principles thus writing how I feel it should be wrote- nullified in order to grasp high grades at the cost of high intelligence.

Of all the rioting, conferences and deaths in the evening news; this topic is the one that frequently pops up, deaths on school-trips or in this case hiking for a youth organization. The poor girl stood no chance, the group should in hindsight had returned home from the moors and returned home yet one unfortunate slip lead to her untimely death with a shocking body temperature of 'less than 30C'. This happened to me once, on a school jaunt with the temperatures well in the minus and unaware I was utterly freezing as At 13 year old I wasn't too bothered then on a long hike covered in blisters and shaking yet fought on only to slip into a river almost floated away as my diminutive self of non-existent swimming ability evaporated in the strong current.

Luckily I was surrounded by good teachers who pulled me out otherwise I would've perished then concerned I'd be suffering from pneumonia as had done before at 3 years old but once again, quick thinking allowed me to be wrapped up and taken away without a fuss. In this instant, the girls were left unsupervised and the weather was appalling. Surely this shouldn't have happened but as one of life's expectancies, things happen that we cannot fathom only mourn her loss and retain vilified anger over the mis-management and carelessness.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

'Wales is the land of my fathers. And my fathers can have it'..

A fabulous weekend spent in the depths of lands previously unconquered, a place I found to be ultimately relaxing, inspiring yet deadly concerning as despite it's lively nightlife (some nice bars and clubs however avoid Ice , the most mediocre club in the UK.) It's suffering financially with many shops closing as the shopping centre featuring typical favourites thrive and it's regeneration plans as the City looks no nearer to achieving the targets set. Whilst on the train through the darkness upon returning, I scribbled down a poem explaining my thoughts of Cardiff and Swansea prior to bypassing the likes of Bridgend which isn't a particularly enjoyable place to live by any means.

The poem itself, utterly terrible and as you can see I thought it'd be a chance to experiment rather than follow Thomas' structure with a disarrangement of syllables as hypermetrical lines appear with no thought for rhythm and yet it enabled the poem to find stability within complete chaos (much like the places I saw desperately trying to build a future) whilst the present is uncertain. Strangely, I was reading Thomas De Quincey's Confessions at the time so the poem is inscribed within another complex character's retelling experience of opium whilst Dylan Thomas liked a drink hence the first line is due to him possibly deserving a posthumous knighthood, not only for his poetry but disclosure of thoughts as the title quote shows, well in my opinion anyway.

The home of my idol (Sir) Dylan Thomas,
I transpired through the fields of splendour,
Amongst distant hilly lands thus unemployment harass,
Extenuated by Industrialism galore,
As the ageing ships and fisherman boats pass,
Beautiful surroundings upon the shore,

Now a strong wind blows there’s a sinking feeling,
Fine baroque features and marina tarnished,
As the unpolished regenerative effort is left reeling,
Equivocally economic woes mis-managed,
A City of such history empowering,
The home of my idol Dylan Thomas.

Due to the close proximity of the hotel to the marina, the refreshing sea air lead to thoughts of the Copenhagen summit that'll decide the future aims of combating global warming. I thought of a short story to write called Modern Dilemma, as Government shenanigans (inspired by the Thick of It and recent idiotic behaviour by MPs) and coinciding with concise lack of action to solve climate change with an intense rivalry as subplot. Alarmingly, the story isn't too unrealistic with places like the North Yorkshire coast whereby I was brought up with waves pounding any defence in place into submission and once habituated by natural forces as a means of displaying it's powers lead to a hotel crumbling away as this article pinpoints:

Look at the date on that, 1997 and imagine how this shall be regularly occurring in the future so in the last decade or so no huge improvements on sea defences over the years. Why, perhaps money is tight enough or it's not seen as required at this moment in time? It's incredibly worrying as the weather and Chinese/American polluted air will worsen without unprecedented action.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

News Just In: I've Quit The Union Newspaper...

of which I was formerly editor and in doing so I took on the role of Malcolm as seen below from the brilliant Thick of It by stating the draft copy of the latest issue as being 'a consummate piece of fucking incompetence’. So I lambasted the layout designer (put in place by the Union, not me!) for not only the shocking appearance but writing an article openly criticizing the newly elected Diversity officer which the Student Union approved of! A complete embarrassment on her behalf and a shame as the rest of the team assembled did rather well and managed to do some good pieces, I interviewed a top upcoming band and wrote many pieces whilst editing yet the additional articles by the friend of the electoral runner up was horrendously biased and so hurriedly written that I didn't know where to start editing. The underling matter, we were censored from the off and I couldn't stand for any more perhaps I'll look back on this as a moment of madness but for now, I must concentrate on my partner, the degree and charity work with duties as a best man to my brother's wedding to fulfill.

Malcolm played by the inch perfect Peter Capaldi and the writers specifically Armando Iannucci whom I've mentioned before on his excellent Paradise Lost documentary, won one BAFA in 2006 but the new series shows a continuous theme of mayhem with the stellar cast and dynamic, witty dialogue that must be roundly praised for it's ingenuity. From Series One for instance of which I hugely agree with Hugh Abbot played by Chris Langham (according to Ewar), smiling should be banned:

Hugh Abbott: I want a new driver. Get me a new driver. I don't wanna see this guy ever again.

Glenn Cullen: On what grounds?

Hugh: Smiling! Inappropriate smiling! And smirking! Smiling and smirking! I don't wanna see that smile or smirk ever again, OK?

Other news, I shall soon be starting a new placement at an nearby school with a hard of hearing unit arranged by my employers of the Black County Scheme (start soon as the school get the funding to pay me) whom say I'd be ideal role model for the hearing and D/deaf alike so should be a great experience. So an interesting weekend, prior to the dramatic turn of events that took place, I spent the day in Liverpool with the lady visiting Tate Gallery and the museum, walking along the splendid Albert Docks and taking in the architecture and modernity of the largely inspired city following the award of City of Culture in 2008.

How did your weekend go? Do comment, I feel my blog is rather naked without the comments of you dear readers and I'd quite like to know if you feel I acted in the right manner. I'm considering sending an email to the layout designer who supposedly had years of experience of writing for an obscure online publication which doesn't even exist according to Google and as a 30 year old she acted irresponsibly whilst spelling disgracefully through out. Perhaps I'll say ‘By flying so close to your bright sun, like Icarus, I could have crashed to the earth and died but escaped thankfully'. Or is that quite overly dramatic and I should keep my head held high and leave things be?


Friday, 20 November 2009

There is light at the end of the tunnel...

An update on the Union newspaper of which I'm the editorial mastermind (haha) so for those who may be interested, read on... The utter failure of my PR staff has lead to many missed opportunities but no more so than the Little Boots interview that agents willfully got in touch about and would've arranged something for us yet no one responded nor informed me. Now many of us have completed various assignments for our degrees we can concentrate on making a success of this yet I doubt they are overly concerned so I've taken it upon myself to arrange such meetings, bookings and check/respond/delete over 300 emails, sent many to possible contributors and bands we could help promote whilst clearing the clutter and editing various articles which primarily is my job.

However, I'm fairly confident this can be a successful jaunt with many pieces I've written (fashion, political observation, events also news. disability charity update) and shall announce a meeting next week to discuss it all before print then look for more contributors so if you wish to write something no matter what the topic is then email us at:

The picture of course is Dylan Thomas, the famous Welsh poet in a stylish attire complete with a neat cravat that reminds me I must purchase some to complete my brooding looks. I shall be visiting his house soon as I'm taking the lady on an early December romantic visit of Wales before Christmas followed by a return home to the delightful setting of North Yorkshire to celebrate the birth of Christ. Next week however shall see more University woes with several lectures before visiting London once again for Youth Workers Party and discussions also a weekend trip to Liverpool with the lady. Plenty to be getting on with but as Thomas once said 'He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest'.

Talking of the North West, it is there where the flash floods has caused havoc, the tragic news of the policeman swept away was just terrible. An awful way to die however an heroic act under the duty of his profession and he shan't be forgotten. Rest in Peace.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

'Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one...

Another quote by Benjamin Franklin, oh how I admire him. I have a reason for such high inflated sense of aggression- firstly the mundane task on defending either Adam or Eve over their role within the Fall attributed to Paradise Lost that our class must undertake and the Manchester Fiction Prize (if you recall I entered over the summer period two short stories that I took two, three months to write whenever I had a moment to spare). Over 1700 entered from across the Globe and of course I wasn't expecting to win, a dream riddled with doubt nevertheless imagine my surprise at such a list of those shortlisted and whom ultimately became successful.

As a lowly student of 20 years of age and profoundly deaf amongst the literacy wannabes and heavyweights I had no chance. Still, in my naviety, I passionately imagined to be at the award ceremony in a Ralph Lauren suit glaring at those who applauded me and delivering a speech that would knock them off their silky socks prompting them to spill their chateau wine over M&S bought attire. But no, it was never going to happen amongst the calibre of opponents many of which I've never heard and judging by their short stories, ever wish to hear of. Make no mistake, I don't even wish to be a writer but a teacher yet I couldn't possibly bring myself to accept that my stories weren't worth their time as I believed that they were especially considering the tales that deemed success worthy. Taken from the winning story a fairly wonderful piece of literature by Toby Litt, 'a very big black cock, uncircumcised, with a pink bell-end that – when exposed – looked the colour black flesh does when third-degree-burned or napalmed' so there you go truly inspiring as I'm sure you'll agree...

To summarize, I'm not bitter nor envious but angered that a tale about 'fucking' won the title that I ambitiously dreamt about winning- the Young Person's Writers Award won incidentally by a 24 year old teacher from my birthplace of Leeds. Goes by the name of Halmshaw who I'm sure is a fantastic chap with a sharp wit that'd cut my fingers yet the promiscuity of his story doesn't particularly impress me. For instance his opening line: 'It’s impossible to meet women here,’ Petrov says. ‘You talk to a barmaid and she thinks you want to fuck her. Sometimes you do want to fuck her – this is when you’re really screwed. Or you see a woman at the bar. Even if all you want to do is pass the time, she thinks you want to fuck her'. I was positively stunned at the distastefulness and quite brazen way in which the story is conveyed haunted by it's lack of charm. How could he possibly think anyone over the age of 16 and under the age of... 12, would read on? It tried so desperately to be 'cool', certainly isn't demure staddled with a Fight Club complex and a wishful dialogue that neither enhances the story nor does it bring anything but pure disdain and I'm sure my girlfriend would feel the same if she was conscious at this moment (no, I haven't killed her in a rage she's merely sleeping).

Just for kicks, compare it with the opening lines to my entered stories:

- In the Hazy Days of the 1940's, I wrote ' It’s 1943; the war that started on a whim has ravaged the nation with battles still being fought and lives of staggering magnitude lost. In the maddened wind, three men walk over wearily; they are Flight Lieutenants Edward Holmes, Bill Chamberlain and Frederick Lynch of Royal Air Force No.617 Squadron'

- In Vendetta of Silence, 'Placed in a darkened interview room the alleged murderer is at the receiving end of a bombardment of questions by the ruthless Detective Inspector Kuzneski with such intent to immediately provoke his suspect from his comfort within a languid world. On a table were four pictures of recent victims to a brutal dual murder and then just the one of a sullen corspe of what was once, a beautiful woman'

Which would you envisage upon reading onwards with? My setback shan't halt my sideline writing progression as all famous and respected writers had to overcome barriers and fruitless success in various competitions. My main aim is to encourage my students to write, allow their imagination and talent to flourish despite our lack of hearing much like parents hope for the best for their children and I'm determined not to let them down upon my return to Leeds for a Masters in a couple of years. Yet I shall always wonder what shall become of that competition and why such renowned writers overlooked the potential of unknown writers in bid to promote the talents of god-awful writers with the flair of a rotting wall plant draped with human faceas.

As you can see, I'm a perfectly charming person! I bid you good day, take care.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Syntactic Hell to Idiotic Twittering...

Forgive the acronym, it's quite late and I feel like well... nevermind that, so how are we all? The weekend is virtually upon us, a joyous time it shall be for those of us with assignments due in today. On the subject of which, I'm nearing the completion of the third essay of the week on the linguistics of British Sign Language (synatic structure, word class e.t.c) which is a lot more complex than expected so I shall submit it in the afternoon rather than in this early morning hour. A written language, on the other hand, has to convey a message simply with words, clauses and sentences thus relies heavily on more or less strict set of grammar rules. It should've been done, seeing as I cannot blame Robert Enke's suicide (which did shock me and concern me!) I shall confess that distractions since the Shakespearean lecture yesterday evening with Plashing Vole halted my pragmatic and phonological analysis.

Primarily the loud music, company of the lady and housemates either cooking with or sitting watching an Italian gangster film on the plasma, the award winning Romanzo Criminale based on Giancarlo De Cataldo’s 2002 novel featuring a fine soundtrack and cast. Highly recommended with subtitles of course and in the words of Lebanese 'I can't stand posh bastards'. Even when eventually onto the laptop typing up my drivel it leads to taking a look upon the Times, Guardian and Manchester United websties along with irrelvance of Facebook and checking emails then of course blogspot....

Never shall I succumb to Twitter as my personal disgust at the utterances of random people every damn second hold no boundaries. However it seems the Twitter revolution shall become a television enterprise according to the Times. A rarity, a twitter account of actual comic innervation: a 72 year old American named Samuel renowned for his witticisms and verbal brutality shall be the inspiration thanks to his son's twittering such lines as my personal favourite: "Who in the fuck is tila tequila? Is she a stripper?...That's her? Yeah, that's a stripper, son, I don't give a shit what you say."

An American unafraid to voice his worthless opinion to one who is frightened of peripatetic chaos and losing public support: Barack Obama and the Afghanistan war which I still view as essential yet more troops risked rather then pulling them out. It reminds me of the words of Milton, ‘Your change approaches, when all these delights/ will vanish and deliver ye to woe’ (IV, 367-8) said Satan to Adam and Eve. So will Obama live to regret ever becoming President? They said his honeymoon period was over weeks ago, what's this then? As Samuel said to his son: 'Son, marriage is about not having to lie about taking a shit'.... is Barack shitting us? Are the Americans therefore we, the Brits his allies, shitting him? Does anyone give a fuck?


Tuesday, 10 November 2009

"All this haste of midnight march"...

The quote proclaimed by Satan whilst whipping his rebels into a frenzy in Book V of Paradise Lost. Hopefully shall be the last I mention of the much unadorned epic (certainly amongst my classmates who desest it) as my latest assignment is at it's end but so too is the life of a good man hence another reasoning behind the quote. The shock passing of Robert Enke the German footballer, leading to my stringing LACK of haste to complete the work sub-consciously allowing my work ethic to flounder at this early morning hour as such a kind natured man overcome with grief ended a full life buoyed by his footballing talent and family:

Television channel ARD reports that the site of Enke's death was a mere 200 metres from the grave of his daughter, incredibly saddening. He leaves a loving wife and adopted daughter whom I presume was introduced to lessen the deep hole after the little girl died of a rare heart problem. My condolences are marred by thought to whether he received enough support during his mental torment which forced him to miss many matches, the finest German keeper at the time aged just 32. Manchester United wanted him a few years ago and in some ways, I wish we bought him not only for his outstanding talent and fact he could've been an almost ideal replacement for a crazed Frenchman we had thus installing stability yet also the quasi-political sense that he may still be alive.

Now that's off my chest, onwards with the essays. I'm not surprised however to hear of this boom, a revolution within theatres across the UK. I've attended a fair few shows in recent months which something I've not done since school years as it's a high quality (when done rightly with a good cast) interactive form of entertainment that television, film and even watching people stagger home drunkenly does not offer. It's quite reasonably priced especially in comparison with getting drunk on a whim in a obscure nightclub I tend to grace nearby, far greater to learn from the classics perhaps reading certain modern novels- I'd certainly wish to see Shakespearean classics that I'm studying at this moment especially after thoroughly enjoying an Hamlet performance years ago. Interestingly at the bottom at the article: 'The Misanthrope Keira Knightley makes her West End debut in Molière’s classic. Comedy, SW1'. The exact play I mentioned last month as a source of inspiration and I'm sure it'll be wildly entertaining so tell me if you wish to go.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Burgeoning Aspirations...

After a weekend of remembrance for those brave men and women who served our nation so well including relatives and friends of my family, it's worth noting that they died fighting for our security, future and aspirations alongside Allied troops from Americans, Canadians and many more. That said Churchill would be ashamed by the behaviour of Gordon Brown at the weekend; his non-bow at the ceremony has been highlighted and now the letter he sent in a hurry to a victim's family citing many spelling errors but it shows a personal touch at least and yet he receives more criticism. Even if he wrote a poem with perfect dactylic hexameter about the joys of Britain with tribute to our favourite past-times, celebrities and sports whilst dismissing fellow Scots as 'vile', we'd still be on his back as we collectively despise him.

Why though? No, it's not his appearance or lack of charm but mainly down to the fact Brown won't pull out the troops with the death toll increasing. Nevertheless it shows the important to live life to the full. these soldiers are fighting for our right to do as we please without fear. They are facing adversaries, some of the most sadistic men on Earth in the most dogged of terrain just so we can walk to the shop without apprehension. Rightly I felt we invaded both Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iraq War for instance was required to dilute the threat Saddam Hussein posed. One thing for certain, our country shall never forget their service especially in the Great War and fight against the Nazis.

I've been informed about a Cricket World Cup for the Deaf to be placed in New Zealand, training for the England side takes place in the New Year in a wonderful setting of Shrewsbury. Now I'm not a cricketer as such and the technical skills I retain in football I have developed over the years whilst respecting others however I did not hence the lengthy ban at sixth form. Yet the chance to escape to a country I've always wished to visit, win a competition and bring home the trophy is too much to bear so I shall hope to make the team.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

From Campaigning to Shop Designing...

Firstly a surprisingly exceptional weekend of which I hope you had too. I'm now a voice high ordained by few who deem it valiant and concise enough to pursue righteousness through the medium of campaigning. At the Council Meeting yesterday in London, a gathering of the shareholders & important officials such as Lord Low for the charity 'Skill', aimed at improving the lives of our disabled youngsters it seemed a in-house revolution is in order. The young Politics graduate who doesn't allow his autism to prevent him voicing his opinion stole the show with a inspirational speech and witticisms and now he wishes for myself to join him for another meeting for the Youth Party with realistic aims of progressive talks with the Government especially on matters such as rising tuition fees. With his confident public speaking & debating capabilities and my writing, we'd hopefully be successful strike-force joined by our supportive associates.

After a nice meal, back at the hotel I attempted to sleep yet as facebook status last night (which reminds me of this mildly amusing cartoon), well 3am showed: 'London is a city that never sleeps which doesn't help my insomnia on this fleeting visit thus sleep is looking like a sisyphean task'. The daytime London of course was it's usual stylish contemporary if not in-different self. It's certainly not homely, friendliness is a rare occurrence and as far detached from the picturesque village in which I reside in however the only plausible reasoning is that the Greater London council has being paid by the British Heritage also wishes to be nationally respected. Therefore pragmatical and obdurated in-habitants lead to a less than relaxing atmosphere means less chance of enjoyment therefore the millions of tourists shall inevitably travel elsewhere in the UK thus boosting the profits of obscure places such as Margate. On a side note, the lady wishes to go to Wales on a romantic break before Christmas after initially badgering me about Chester and Edinburgh which proves that women have no idea what they really want.

A friend of mine is a doing an Masters in Design for Advertising and his latest assignment is to design his own clothes shop exclusively for men on the lines of Topman & Burtons I presume. I recommended that he look upon ZARA with a more analytical eye and Reiss in preference with the affordability and charm of River Island. Also told him that I personally would call mine 'Lucifer' ala Satan the fallen angel of God therefore symbolizing the shop is a complete contrast to the mind-numbing consumerism of late and a grasping hand on tradition. It'd be promoted by the very mens fashion magazine I've began writing for, (not for much longer if the article printed doesn't meet approval which I hope it does).

Consequently my imagination ran wild, I dreamt of an open plan layout with modernist outlook with a ethos for value, style and shop with certain patterns, mix-matching designs with shag pile rugs and egg shaped chairs such as the new Missioni Hotel in Edinburgh. Alternatively a classical theme; Victorian with Pre-Raphaelite prints on the walls and shelves draped with books from Austen to Shakespeare maybe even an Adams fireplace with a stone staircase. How would you design yours? What ethos, naming and labelling would you introduce to the high street? Do comment if you wish.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

'You are in one of your left-wing moods'...

The great Winston Churchill said to his dear wife in the most meritorious show I've seen in a long while. The Emmy winning, HBO & BBC's Into the Storm featuring fabulous performances all round, Glesson's portrayal of Churchill was uncanny right down to his facial expressions with each line muttered in a sharp disgruntled genius. A heroic brooding sycophant who carried the hopes of the nation thus held a tendency to frustrate, inspire and plunge into despair those around him. None more so than his wife Clemmie who was as immaculate at every turn (judging by pictures) whilst unassuming, considerate as she is shown to be. The finest moment is undoubtedly when he reveals all (quite literally) to the President 'As you can see, I have nothing to hide from you'- pure excellence. Just like the Channel 4 documentary The Great Escape: The Reckoning, it proves the sheer determination of our people and the relief on May 8th 1945.

Now, can I use the British endeavour and courage to finish my many assignments? Firstly an essay on Paradise Lost of which I have four opened books spread across the desk and simultaneously reading each of them. Of course, it'll mean gaining masses of information I don't even require for a task first thought to be rather simplistic as it only asks us to reflect upon an assigned passage in Book IV. Yet clearly I'm an night person enjoying the comfort of the vast desolate apartment whilst sensible people sleep; reading about one of our most celebrated poetic works certainly amongst my favourites whilst listening to the Churchillian speeches coupled with fine cup of tea. A scene I find to be quaint and very relaxing however my distractions through out the day mount and a trip to London at the weekend nears.

An essential trip as it seems the disability charity 'Skill' require my presence at the next council meeting, seemingly being elected after a mere three months as Volunteer. Whether that's to my credit or not, I shall have to see. Perhaps my disdain of the Baroness in the previous trip to the House of Lords that I blogged about shall lead to a perilous meeting tainted with revenge, a displacement nonetheless. Much like the case if the journalist whom I was forced to sternly but politely dismiss any involvement with after they found my private email enquiring of more insight to the University life.

That said, I shall be armed with my books for the trip to London Town willing to strike with another target being Peter Mandleson in an ideal world, bombarded by our useless student textbooks as Vole's blog below shows. Oh, the next issue of the WWIT featuring my debut article shall appear this week as well as a response to the hopeful application for the Student Associates' Scheme.

In War: Resolution, In Defeat: Defiance, In Victory: Magnanimity, In Peace: Goodwill

- Winston Churchill

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

In a moment of madness...

Things can awry, very explosively and extremely quickly without thought for the consequences. Which was the case last night on the Halloween night out, I made a terrible mis-judgement and allowed lust to over-rule my head thus my pretty friend and I kissed. Which when you are taken isn't the ideal thing to do especially when warned previously about such flirtation. I should have heeded the advice yet there is an attraction to this lady (who incidentally has a talented flickr profile that I've been meaning to mention) since she has been through similar experiences and very ambitious. I was honest and told the lady everything and only time will tell if the situation can be resolved.

When it comes to domestic fall-outs, I'm a seasoned pro and I've got the scars to prove it. It's almost like the farcical dispute between the Royal Mail and CWU of which I hope can be sorted and both parties begin to act in a civilized manner instead of acting like the other is responsible for Doomsday when all bags of undelivered letters stupendously explode and we all perish.

Or perhaps the running debate about lady priests, I cannot see any reason to why they can't as most of them look like men anyway. And the ones who don't, they aren't young enough to be deemed attractive so what's the issue? Plashing Vole has equal views on this outrageous sexism and perhaps one day the Catholic Church and Anglican will join together in harmony... in the depths of Hell.

The world is full of lunacy, dementia (The Pope) in some parts and psychosis (homo-bashing louts) in others. Without it, where would be? With less doctors required, gynaecologists would run amok and everyone would be dressed the same perhaps following Scientology whilst listening to pop. Yet no wars, stabbings and less murder would be the only positive outcome to the death of sin and corruption born of Eve's terrible deception to eat the Forbidden Apple. See, it's all her fault therefore blame womankind in general and offer no olive branch for reconciliation in this life.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Let's bail out of here...

Ideal job in an ideal place, the beautiful Rhode Island on the East Coast to be exact: with the only issue being it'll take 4 years in order to be qualified with M.A in Deaf Education (to be taken at Leeds University, preferably) in addendum to a P.G.C.E or the American equivalent. Amusing considering I've never entertained the idea of living in America until lately, it is the birthplace for deaf education with far more deaf students than the UK and Down Under put together with only pitfall being their largely conceited and supercilious residents. Close to Connecticut however and could be a far more forgiving place than I imagine it to be anyway, it'll be given to someone else who will perform admirably for the next decade or so I wouldn't be required. But a boy can dream, right?

What are your dreams, I wonder... your ideal job, home and holiday destinations? Put it this way, if could go somewhere for 6 months right now, fully paid for then where would it be? We may as well talk about such imagination in an quite depressing, less than idyll circumstances this nation faces as the economy isn't recovering despite what Gordon Brown says and the shuddering darkness of inclement winter months soon to arrive.

One news story over the last few days that shocked me: the murder in County Durham and as soon as I heard I remarked to my lady that County Durham is the most quiet, secluded and heavenly place when in the sunshine. It is not use to such crimes, I have family in close proximity and even my hallsmate lives there not to mention various celebrities such as Duncan Bannatyne. The exact location is similar to the Yorkshire Dales nearby to my home which of course has many dead bodies buried, it's cut off and extremely remote yet it is even more astounding that the victim met the murderer across the Internet.

Thus it will provoke the usual outcry of Internet safety particularly amongst naive young children and an ex of mine is undergoing a degree that specialises in catching these despicable criminals online. Surely more can be done to protect those online, special measures allowing more reorganization and closer look of each user especially those not deemed sane. However a homeless man has been arrested and shown them the body? The key word being 'homeless', how on earth would he accessed broadband if he can barely afford a decent coffee.

The violence, extreme boozing and intimidation of nights out have to be stopped in equal measure with various horrific stories circulating the news right now yet even a woman being attacked by two drunken men in revenge isn't going to cause much shock because we see this every Saturday night. Take tonight for example, I'm expected a local clubbing establishment for a weekly drink till you drop dead session to celebrate Halloween, a worthless jaunt created by... you guessed it, Americans. At least I have my new Calvin Klein aftershave, may stop by a KFC or indeed any other American junk food outlet so isn't difficult to imagine I'm in Rhode Island already.

Monday, 19 October 2009

'He that can have patience can have what he will'...

A quote by Benjamin Franklin. This blog will prove how deadly right he was. You know, when you read something or meet someone of true connection and similar virtues, ethos and creed? I felt that today after a dramatic lecture whereby the highly erratic tutor stormed out only to return 40 minutes later only to be sadly still nowhere near as authoritative as she should be.

It was then I began to realise my teaching must be retain the importance of how to keep morale at a high and not lose the respect of students with a less than maladroit display I stepped out and away from the idle chatter to find a journal of which I found highly compelling. It was Deaf Perspectives on Psychology, Language and Communication by Mairian Corker ironically published by the very charity I've started working for Skill in 1990. Now she is still a highly regarded scholar who felt strongly about deaf education and additionally I learnt the deceased had a severe hearing loss as well and here is what she had to say about it:

'My experience of deafness may be best described as a knot of tension deep within me... it lurks in the depths and darkness of the cage... others who are asking me to deny my experience, the explosive tension moves nearer to the surface... labelling the tension with such words as anger, frustration does not relieve it'. Identical to how I feel and primarily the reasoning behind many deaf person's need for nurturing, education and to launch a student's capacity for learning in the broader sense.

Now, as previously stated 24 is the minimum age to be a teacher of the Deaf in the UK (makes me wish I lived in American and trained at this fantastic establishment So I have four years to complete an English degree, P.G.C.E and possibly an M.A then I'd be there but not without it's complexities. As well as the self-progression I must also take the standard level of my articulation of British Sign Language to be directly observable and manipulable. I must research further perhaps through the acquisition of spatially organized syntax and cognitive underpinnings of the language in my own time as the tutor I have for linguistics isn't coherent nor understanding of my in-ability to lip read him and I feel he finds my writing a touch too extravagant and dis-attached from the question originally asked.

So there is a balance between a writer and teacher of the Deaf, I must master the spatial inflection for verb agreement rather than likes of Pope, Shakespeare and Milton as I very much wish to. But also I must be patient and not burden too much expectation and most certainly... never storm out of your class over a minor dispute!

Friday, 16 October 2009

The Union Newspaper...

is looking like a heaving challenge already. The meeting I arranged early this morning despite a late night of mindless chatter amongst the housemates whilst attempting to work upon the first of many Paradise Lost assignments lead to much debate over the complexities of the situation the institution finds itself in. With heavy debts to the Government over supposed failure to notify them of numbers passing coupled with the sackings of 250 staff members and as Plashing Vole continues to describe the utter chaos: ‘The latest on the redundancy front is that the Uni has threatened to advance the compulsory redundancy phase if we keep saying nasty things about the Vice-Chancellor (such as calling on her to resign)...’ they still sustain hideous arrogance and the stance went further at the meeting. Our observational writers cannot comment on the situation, the debt or the failures of management as liable to prosecution on grounds of ‘slander’ and inevitably kicked out. With that unbridled threat looming I now have to produce much of the paper itself in a commerical brainless sense with only the marketing assistance.

So where is the right to voice an opinion? Especially on such important matters which has seen many classes populated up to 60, shortened time spent in lecture, unavailability to talk with tutors due to their lack of time and many commitments mean I cannot wait around with the half a dozen students after lectures.
Thankfully, I have completed my first feature for WWIT with the various coursework looking near conquerable so eagerly awaiting papers to sign for the new job whilst reading alot more.

My favourite book of all in Paradise Lost, Book IV. It's a wonderful contradiction regarding Satan who abhorred the phallocentric order concentrated on God however within Book IV, shows a softer and more appreciative side which more or less address a tragedy that according to Milton’s nephew Edward Phillips, he was writing with Adam Unparadised in mind rather that an epic hence the connection with Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound and Eurpides’ Phoenissae. The passage itself showed the vulgarity and disdain of Satan’s character but also his vulnerability, ‘O had His pow’rful destiny ordained me some inferior angel!’ (58-59) reflects this, questioning if God had made him a lower ranking angel then would he had rebelled especially so outrageously? But Satan isn't to be trusted, of course... much like the Vice Chancellor!

Another vile human being: The Daily Mail's Jan Moir as this blog perfectly describes

Hope you all have an excellent weekend, take care.

Monday, 12 October 2009

An Empire masquerading as a country...

China, the newly arrived superpower and destination to a dear friend of mine upon her travels to study the language before her final year at Cambridge. From what she has told me (which is alot) Beijing appears to be wonderful, I wish to visit one day also Qingdao sounds like a dream. The 'Empire' itself consists of Tibet, Xinjiang, Macau, Taiwan, Inner Mongolia, and in the south they speak Cantonese which sounds very different from Mandarin even though it's written with the same characters. Then she asks of what I've been up to... how can one compare? So I say.... Well I've started my Shakespeare and Milton modules along with syntax of BSL, it's quite interesting. But my main interest at the moment is in writing for this hip men's fashion magazine called WWIT and since I've become one of editors of the University newspaper, started working in schools to help those with little confidence as they do their G.C.S.Es and various other things.

Nowhere near as fabulous especially considering she is doing dissertation on PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and hopefully she'll gain the valuable research she needs. Now I must do research of my own on the 'vampire culture' which is certainly 'in' at the moment juxtaposed by the 80’s revival of the neo-gothic New Romantic look of various lines. I'm hardly ideal to write about such a topic considering the fact I dress marginally contrast worthy yet once completed and featured in the next issue, I can then write about the winter months and my love of winter coats.

The problem lies within the editor's declaration that 'I know you have a specific style of writing, but some of the readers might not relate to it, but of course with the same sophistication... just diluted a little bit'. How can you change the way you write? I've never been able to and for the Hearing Times I tried my very best but they still wanted simplistic, brainless pieces. But WWIT is a very highly regarded up-coming magazine so less exuberant and more... personality?

The bright crisp weekend however was marred by the death of Steven Gately due to a binge session when he hardly ever drank and was relatively healthy. It speaks volumes about the dangers of drinking heavily and someone irreplaceable to many has succumbed to it's evils. R.I.P

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

John Milton vs Hilary Mantel...

Once again I find myself stunned by Paradise Lost, an elegant, atmospheric tale and a nuanced portrait full of ironies. It's still as deeply chilling, exciting and endlessly inventive as the first time I ever read it. Milton had done something extraordinary, set in the ethereal halfway between heaven and hell with Satan, Eve and as far distanced from the conformity at the time to confirm it's position as Britain's finest epic.

By the way, you must listen to this: a sketch by Will Franken where Milton turns up to do PL at a poetry slam ...hilarious.

The next book on my list of purchases, Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall which of course won the Booker Prize and if I'm honest, it was a brutal realisation as if she had plunged a knife to my chest that continues to burn as it is remotely similar to the third short story of mine which I've almost completed. Of course, in itself it wouldn't be as richly written nor diligent in research however as this blog has previously noted whereby I too tried to convey the courts that I have read/imagined so much about. I even said last month: 'now I realise that this is what I wish to portray from the perspective of the main character and the disillusionment he felt not the increasing resentment towards the Monarchy for it's failings. Political and love and fierce rivalry seemed to be the very essence of the Tudor Courts, anxiety and intrigue beset the tone'.

Yet, this strange wild-looking woman whom spoke with a peculiar eloquence on the BBC earlier today about her win focused on Thomas Cromwell whereas mine on a self created knight, Sir Thomas Cobham set immediately after the death of Henry VIII's beloved wife Jane Seymour midst the rife criminality on the streets. So I may as well ditch that, much like my attempts of a iconic image into the insight of the disability plight within schools, Universities for my campaigning of more rights for the charity 'Skill' with the idea displayed at the Edinburgh Festival weeks after I thought of it:

The chairman of the Booker prize judges, James Naughtie, said the decision to give Wolf Hall the award was "based on the sheer bigness of the book. The boldness of its narrative, its scene setting ... The extraordinary way that Hilary Mantel has created what one of the judges has said was a contemporary novel, a modern novel, which happens to be set in the 16th century." Bollocks!

However my misery/anger ceased with a) pretty looking if not dim-witted Stacey Dooley on BBC Three, travelling around Nepal dressed stylishly for child labour victims to patronise and then b) the discovery of an online magazine linked from it's creator's blog:

It has not only given me ideas of layout designs coupled with outstanding photographic imagery for the Union newspaper (should I become editor) and for Strangeways writing pieces' (edited by a friend for the region's Arts Council) but it is the huge stylish collection of menswear for the autumn as I find myself back to the drawing board of a fresh idea to write/campaign about. Wish me luck, I'll need it....

Saturday, 3 October 2009

100th Post in the 9th Month of Tales of Isolation...

I trust you are all well, it's been a marvellous 9 months of which it is the same anniversary of the lady and I tomorrow. So much has happened within that time, I've learnt a terrible amount from wondrous literature, arts and to my own characteristics whilst dealing with the considerable workload of University life. I’ve been notified I'm the main candidate to become Crywolf’s new editor of which I feel would be of excellent benefit to my BA Hons English & Deaf Studies degree. As many of you know, I’ve had experience of writing for the British Deaf Magazine and the Hearing Times however my focus turned to my studies, mentoring of the Deaf and newly acquired position as ‘Academic Coach’ for the Black County. I hope to still find time to continue charity work for ‘Skill’ and leading a campaign for more disabled student rights hence this editing position would allow me to spread awareness of the cause as well as providing a high quality, versatile and attractive publication.

In the process I will attempt to encourage others to send in their writings for print as well as any musical, dancing, filming, sporting e.t.c interests of theirs. As the University faces turbulent times with re-payments to the Government totalling millions, many have lost their job and classes have become more claustrophobic with all the increasing numbers of students cramped within it'll be an ideal time to make a difference.

An amusing tale, my mother visited a ghost whisperer last week (they are all over in Yorkshire, the hippy weed addicts) and surprisingly the woman was deadly accurate about the death of a family friend, close relative and about my siblings. Yet when the matter came to I, the son who nearly died at birth and contracted so many illnesses, I assumed she'd say I had a matter of years to live. Instead, I'm to father twin daughters of blondish hair and work within a policing capacity rather than using my degree to be a teacher of the deaf as I plan to. We shall have to see on that matter but I'm less than ill-inhabited by the daughters, I'd love for this to be of occurrence so I joked with my hallsmate that it shall be hers, as she is has the exact the same hair the woman described also she adores twins (I had to put up with a BBC documentary on them interfering with my football viewing with the associates).

Now, upon reading Henry V, King Lear, Much Ado and the once again Paradise Lost I've also acquired more Philip Pullman books, Jane Eyre and many other pieces about John Milton and William Shakespeare but in particular a keen read at the moment: a play by Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known as Molière which can be seen in my link below which has provided some great primary inspiration for my own writing.

An interest in French plays seized from the French connection within Shakespeare's work that I have learnt to be of high importance. It cannot be understated of the inspiration of Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (1516, translated into English by Sir John Harington in 1591) and Matteo Bandello's Novelle (1544) into Shakespeare's own variation on an age-old theme of infidelity as in Much Ado (another play of interest for my current module.)

However another connection in my eyes stems from the rivalry of France and Britain that appears rivetingly in Henry V as Shakespeare attempted to move on from 'civil broils' of Richard II and it mirrors the intensity of the Irish campaign invoked at the time of writing so a true composition of patriotic sentiment. So for the second time of reading, I realised it is not just about the usurper Henry Bolingbroke handing power that he brutally snatched from Richard II to his son, Henry V whom soon came to the assumption that his father had intervened in divine right also that the prologue created a sense of naturalistic charm and imagery rather than overbearing typicality (like the play I watched on Friday evening).

Anthony Holden writes of another rivalry; that of Ben Jonson and Shakespeare himself, friends at one time who quickly became foes working against one another. Also he wrote the finest line I have ever read in a book on Shakespeare when referring to As You Like It.

'Shakespeare openly acknowledges his relish in this new, more complex vein of humour by having Jacques describe Touchstone as 'a material fool'- a fool as full of wise saws and modern instances as the melancholy misanthrope himself, whose very name was a pun on the Jonsonian humour he embodied: Ajax, a curmudgeon infused with too much black bile'.

Brilliance. On that note goodnight, hopefully you have enjoyed my blog over the past months and if so, comment if you will.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

From Repudiation to Impetuosity...

Upon researching the background of one William Shakespeare, it appears that his father, John whom I acknowledged previously to had rose to success as a ‘Bailiff, Justice of the Peace, the Queen’s Officer and Chief of the Town of Straford’ in his formal application to gain the Shakespeare coat of arms and the respectability attached. However his downfall rapidly appeared with the small matter of a five year-old suit for a debt of £30 in 1578, which if you calculate using the formula created by the Professor of Economics at Birkbeck College in London it would have to be multiplied by 500 leaving £15,000 in the modern economic sense. The equilvant of a student loan debt. So why is the refusal to pay is of huge importance? I believe this is why eventually after his butchering, deer stealing days William Shakespeare ended up in London therefore launching his playwritings and poetic inspiration.

Even in 3 Henry VI, one of Shakespeare’s first plays it reveals his sentiments: ‘Twere pity they should lose their father’s lands’ as noted by Anthony Holden in his excellent book of which I previously mentioned.

Another matter that stroke me dowdily whilst reading King Lear once returned from the University with six books and purchased an additional three including Thomas De Quincey’s fabulous Confessions of an English Opium-Eater was this line: ‘the barbarous Scythian’ which from past references I thought to be referring to the tribe of Ancient Iranians yet the incredibly helpful side notes that discusses the etymology
of the words listed much like this link below:

So in fact, he was romantically referring to those who killed their own parents. Charming! Although certainly would lower our population if enforced in Britain but thankfully we are morally correct even if we choose not to act like it... well our Government in particular. Now Mandelson and the possible (very likely) convocations of the Labour backbenchers of how to oust Gordon Brown during a week where even Nick Clegg had shown at his Party Conference more passion whilst Brown is gallivanting across the Globe (not Shakespeare’s theatre but imagine if Brown on the stage performing, hilarious) to entertain B. Obama. They could overthrow him much like those who plotted behind the back of Thomas Cromwell only to Henry VIII to forever regret approving his execution. Will we also see perennial flashbacks of Brown’s ignominious end within a year’s time or will he launch a comeback to rival Spandau Ballet? ‘Always believe in your soul!’

Now to my lack of patience to return to after a tremendous first day, the training to be a mentor to 15 year olds who ‘lack the confidence to fulfil their G.C.S.E potential’ amongst other reasons which I clearly stated in my hopefully successful interview yesterday such as; bullying, issues at home and lack of motivation. Either way, I didn't think after a night of drinking previously that I'd gladly be there today but the scheme I feel will be a success I’m sure with the 20 graduatees that appeared today all of high intelligence, diligent and mostly considerate thus my weariness eased. The leaders even paid for our pub luncheon on top of the fee for turning up and there I was surrounded by women (there was only four other males that showed up). Now onwards to tomorrow, the culmination of training so goodbye for now and I can only hope you are all well.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Wyatt a Kerfuffle...

My Tudor story, as mentioned previously had been caught floundering until now. I've re-read an essay I produced on Sir Thomas Wyatt whom was essential to the reformation plans of Henry VIII, as well as the key role of introducing sonnets which was the French word for ‘little song’ composing of fourteen lines of iambic pentameter unseen before in the British Isles. In the essay itself, I wrote:

Wyatt’s most prominent talent was for translating Italian works such as that of Petrarch with the poem in question written presumably before his death 'Stand Whoso List' is a part translation of the works of Italian poet Seneca; 'Thyestes'. Also invitingly tells the tale of Henry VIII’’s courts whilst held imprisonment. Whilst jailed, he saw the execution believed to be Anne Boleyn who was his reported love interest. As much of his work, 'Stand Whoso List' is steeped in personal thought; affliction with the Courts where his enemies circled it carries a certain ambiguity and how not to act above your social standing. Laced with ambiguous phrases which could lead to the conclusion his work almost a paradox of the life he experienced.

Wyatt most certainly deviated from the quintessential life in which many believed they led and now I realise that this is what I wish to portray from the perspective of the main character and the disillusionment he felt not the increasing resentment towards the Monarchy for it's failings. Political and love and fierce rivalry seemed to be the very essence of the Tudor Courts, anxiety and intrigue beset the tone.

Are any of you Philip Pullman fans? I'm not hugely acquainted with his children's stories however I admire The Butterfly Tattoo and wholeheartedly look forward to the adaptation, not least because an University associate of mine worked upon the film as an Art Department Assistant. What strikes me is the simplicity of the story, compounded with secrets of the past emerging yet it's essentially a tragic love story of which there are many. Here is the trailer:

On the main headline of the night, China's announcements at the UN: 'notable' decrease in the carbon intensity of China's economy, the amount of emissions for each unit of economic output, by 2020.... Er, nevermind the lack of figures and clear planning- why does it take 10 years in order to come to fruition? It could be too late by then, the ice glaziers had melted and we all plummet to the bottom of the ocean where we meet polar bears dining on human flesh drinking low calorie alcohol watching Strictly Come Drowning.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Midnight falls...

And there is powerful silence unusual however the lady is reading in bed and the glinting shine of the pine desk from the light, I sit wishfully awaiting my full medical recovery planning the morning raid of the University library before lecture starts with a list readily assembled.

The book in question that she is reading, a tremendous accomplishment of not only high class writing but a riveting plot and set of characters that keeps even the attentions of my beloved- Sue Monk Kidd's Secret Life of Bees. Much like a poem I wilfully recall from my literature lessons of secondary school education, Tatamkhulu Afrika's 'Nothing's Changed' with its rural setting deep in South Africa of which offers similarity to the American tale whereby the sun is shining yet hampered by racism bitterly lingering even midst the Government's changeable outlook with important papers signed and Martin Luther King's protests. It's essentially describing the turmoil and how a young girl deserts her father to save her black housekeeper from imprisonment and certain death also from her own fears that her father was telling the truth- her mother left them before her death. Incredibly detailed and witty, perfect for those studying Women's Writing as the lady is however I should really be finishing off the book on Shakespeare not to mention my short story that has derailed through complexity of my own thoughts.

(As own modules go on the other hand, it didn't get off to the best of starts with my absence today through illness however I vow to improve on last year’s attendance).

Now, a film I watched within a small gathering of us in these halls- 'The Exoricsm of Emily Rose', has played on my mind alot. Not the fact it was bizarre, poorly acted in places but the sheer belief in possessed spirits that many hold. I cannot fathom whether it's a religious matter or whether all Catholics view this as the Devil's work as the film implies. To avoid sparking a religious debate, I also cannot decide upon the view that demonic spirits as the protection of the court case in which Father Moore is accused of negligent homicide, since he had suggested Emily to interrupt the use of medications for epilepsy is purely myth or truth. All I do know, it's the most frightening shit I can imagine- to be possessed.

Ending on a lighter note, the beauty of this woman named Brigette Bardot. The image at the top of the article which tells of her views, impending 75th birthday is simply stunning. Her smouldering lips and high penned hair (if that is an expression, who cares if it not), she rivals Marilyn Monroe. The most amusing part is at the end, telling the story of 'when they were filming together in a shopping arcade in Lausanne, a woman in a fur coat came up while Bardot was acting, spat full in her face and screamed 'You are undermining the bourgeoisie.' Ohhh, handbags! And the cheek of it, wearing a fur coat she was contradicting herself surely.

There you have it, a typical mix of literature, women and blinkered religious views. Goodnight. Oh and congratulations to 'Mad Men' for their Emmy's, well deserved and soon shall rival the Wire and Sopranos also Arrested Development as an American classic.

Friday, 18 September 2009

'Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure'

Occasionally a well written book delivers such splendour characters yet the most memorable in my mind are; Mr. Edward Rochester created by Charlotte Brontë, a moody and highly charismatic gentleman and the previous mentioned idols of Jane Austen's Eliazbeth Bennet and Mr Darcy and of course, Heathcliff and Cathy (incidentally I came across this, not University accepted but an otherwise excellent piece comparing Jane Eyre and Wuthering Height's leading men). It's truly remarkable how they all fall in love and still remain conflicted thus appealing to my nature however it's a shame that the majority of characters present in British 21st Century books and novels indeed, television dramas and films aren't as intriguing nor believable.

In the midst of attempting to write my story fleetingly in the darkness, I realise such sultry figures and the mysteriousness that surrounds them aren't at all that difficult to visualise, it's when writing their finer points and mannerisms in more detail in a way that a diverse audience can relate to without stepping on old ground, re-establishing clichés and stereotypes- it causes prolonged thoughts that lead to the death of momentum.

Luckily, I have no deadline to reach upon this time as it is merely for my own amusement within the little time I have free from constraint and as the title suggests, I have divulged further than ever before into the murky death and short life of Lord Byron in effort to picture a burgeoned spirit whom became a celebrity overnight. Hence I shall aim to purchase Anne Fleming's Byron the Maker: Truth or Masquerade-an Exploration amongst others to read once I've researched William Hogarth in more dept then comes the studious times of John Milton, William Shakespeare in what should be an interesting year certainly according to Plashing Vole- a lecturer at my University.

In other news, it seems my application to assist secondary school English students with their G.C.S.Es for the 'Academic Coach' role for the Black County has reared successful and I can only hope it goes smoothly. If not, the focus will be entirely on my studies and perhaps I may even write something of note or go travelling like Lord Byron (not Albania nor Italy but Edinburgh and South Wales, certainly).

I'll be readily available for the presentation/interview process on Friday and the training that follows before the nightmare that will undoubtedly unfold thus question my sanity in applying in the first place. I'll leave you now with one of my favourite Byron poems, you may have heard of it...

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

New Beginnings...

How are we all? For my part it's been a chaotic week of travelling, purchasing goods for new accommodation before moving into the 7th floor of a wonderfully constructed modern yet welcoming establishment (which surprised us all with it's fine completion aside from a few touches of neglect). After the disdain and expressive disgust of the minority of new arrivals to the nightclubs with the Freshers' of entirely disagreeable nature and heavy drinking ethos, I now feel settled with my pine desk and views of the City. Whilst I'm almost ready to work upon my modules next week I must relax with a few more parties to attend and people to introduce myself to.

I've yet to complete my study of William Hogarth however I did read an original text, leather bound Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen which I still feel is one of finest pieces ever written particularly in this country and only reading it again has shown me what it lacks in violence, intrigue and bravado such as Beowulf, it makes up for wonderfully. It's known for it's adaptations and how romantically told it was with no thought for how intelligently wrote it is whilst once again teaching me of how to construct conversations, characters effectively with it's sheer brilliance. The resemblance between my reserved and almost hateful manner with the aristocrat Fitzwilliam Darcy at the beginning of the tale is uncanny- I do everything that he does, the occasional put down and the judging people (women) by their appearance which it shows how shallow I can be and an overly offensive existence in which I lead but similarly I have changed for the lady I love. Take for example, this passage from Chapter 34 and observe how every sentence, description is essential to our understanding:

'The tumult of her mind, was now painfully great. She knew not how to support herself, and from actual weakness sat down and cried for half-an-hour. Her astonishment, as she reflected on what had passed, was increased by every review of it. That she should receive an offer of marriage from Mr. Darcy! That he should have been in love with her for so many months! So much in love as to wish to marry her in spite of all the objections which had made him prevent his friend's marrying her sister, and which must appear at least with equal force in his own case— was almost incredible! It was gratifying to have inspired unconsciously so strong an affection. But his pride, his abominable pride— his shameless avowal of what he had done with respect to Jane— his unpardonable assurance in acknowledging, though he could not justify it, and the unfeeling manner in which he had mentioned Mr. Wickham, his cruelty towards whom he had not attempted to deny, soon overcame the pity which the consideration of his attachment had for a moment excited'.

I can only hope my Tudor short story can be a fraction as excellently delivered. In accompanying my book purchases of late, another leather bound hardback of quality by John. E. N. Hearsey- Queen Elizabeth which cities the entirety of the Tudor era. Also Anthony Holden's William Shakespeare- His Life and Work' and Exposure by Michael Mail which I have yet to read. More shall be bought if I have any hope of making a success of my forthcoming essays.

Bye for now, hope you all have a good week. Rest in soft peace, Patrick Swayze and Keith Floyd.