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.

Sunday, 6 September 2009


After a pleasing day visiting the medieval homes in the area, the vast fields and effortless charm of Burton Agnes Hall then finally the coastline for a summery beach walk I now feel ready to write. One must launch a comprehensive study into the work and personal life of William Hogarth and his associates from the 18th Century, a full trajectory of the admirable Vauxhall Gardens built almost 360 years ago sparked by advocating of modern art with tradition. They of course, wonderfully I must say, supported John Milton's work with a hearty artificiality and used his classical words for their artistic effect. I aim to write a book twinning the celebrating of the past with their modernist views, the 18th Century life and using their means as an encouragement for people's desires and to follow their heart.

This is an example of the literature surrounding Hogarth, focusing on his humour and satire of which I find to be of great interest but I wish to offer a completely different outlook to this particular mirth. Similarly, the second chapter of Milton and English Art which is superbly written by Marcia R. Pointon, offers the unbiased view of Hogarth and Joseph Warton's great appreciation of the late products of the Antique World whilst referring to the 'exact nature of the relations between Hogarth's group and the current neo-classical views of the establishment at the time'. Which incidentally, could be said to be the ethos of my outlook- a juxtaposition of the current establishment with the burning question of how Hogarth and similarly Augustan writers such as Shafesbury, Dryden and Pope not forgetting Milton can be still popular in today’s chaotic and over-populated society.

What struck me dowdily about Hogarth was his patriotic nature, he despised imported art and such hence 'Burlington Gate' (1724) and his dislike of France whereby after just one visit he was by all accounts 'dissatisfied with all he saw'. Clearly the man had an excellent boisterous nature and good taste thus would be much welcomed to my home. The title of the study/book shall be 'A Compendious Tale of Life: William Hogarth'.

Another relevance to this entire study would be that it binds together Hogarth's most admired men who coincidentally, I shall be studying in intense detail in the upcoming academic year- John Milton and William Shakespeare. So in turn, I'll be studying all three men at the same critical point in my learning experience as I approach second year and my hopeful rise to maturity within my writing especially.

Now back to a point made earlier, the medieval exploration which lead to the discovery of a home 'The Manor House' built in 1170 and still in fabulous condition with the upkeep of its former structure by those employed by the English Heritage. It was adjacent to the Elizabethan stylish halls as seen here and within it's glorious gardens I discovered thousands of plants, flowers of tastefully quintessential English undertones. This inspired me to list the names of those I thought could be present in Tudor times and such events as fete champetre to be used in my upcoming short story 'Surely Gracious Lord...' of which the blurb goes 'on the life of the Tudor times, a raging war and purposely self gain inflicted era from The Battle of the Spurs and back home the monarch is suppressing his subjects viciously. One knight returns disillusioned almost angered thus seeking a new order only to find himself within dire circumstances..' In addendum, shall soon start on the tale of 'The Angel of Death' and the story of my great grandfather in 'Condemned As A Killer' and maybe even a jovial take on a schizophrenic whom takes on the banking industry! Or has that already been done?

It is a time to be pertinacious, to write and continuously volunteer for the charities with potentially working in the schools should my application be successful. I look forward to such experiences that shall shape my life and can only hope you all have equal excitement about the coming months.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Gremaine Greer vs. Pre Raphaelites

In light of this recent article citing the lack of talent in the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood, in her damned opinion, I must recommend the immediate sacking of such a foolish woman from the Guardian- a paper I once rated highly. Yes, the feminist is known as someone who acts without constraint in particular with her views, the more outrageous the better the publicity but when discussing art she is hardly qualified to pass such harsh judgement. I've always thought of her as a well knowledgeable respect figure and now I wouldn't intervene if her handbag was mugged.

The most laughable of all her ridiculous and sanctimonious comments: 'It is possible to succeed as a fake primitive with little talent or training, as Dante Gabriel Rossetti did', a man who didn't just sketch, write and paint some of the elegant pieces using juxtaposition between artistic flair and easily distinguished elements of his intelligent and charismatic manner but had the foresight for the entirety of the Brotherhood. Look at this painting for instance, an uncomfortable stance aside it is of unparalleled beauty and coloured wonderfully.


What does she prefer? That the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood somehow came back from the dead only to be disintegrated under her ghastly glare or simply vanished much like the Eidophusikon (the artwork that became the precursor of cinema). Perhaps that the tales, tribulations and debate would be non existent leaving conversations of festering rubble much like her own self delusional rants.

What shall the likes of her criticise next? Will she have the ghoul to dismiss Book II of Milton's Paradise Lost (should it ever be adapted to television by the BBC). Perhaps label as 'Milton is as serpent as Silvio Berlusconi and the book? Pedantic' or maybe she'll focus on the dramatic moment when Satan encounters Sin and Death at the Gates of Hell and write it was 'terribly depressing and unconvincing'. I'll spare her no more thought in the remaining years of her life whilst ignoring her bitterness at the world especially towards the art of such credibility and a far greater legacy than she shall leave. In all honesty had she wrote that in my English class, our lecturer would then swiftly time travelled back 50 odd years with her in his grasp so that he could cane her a thousand times. Oh the tears.

Now then, the reason I came to my laptop after a perfectly cooked roast beef luncheon was to see if any tutors would express concern at my module selection dilemma and perhaps emailed to my internal account of my possible solutions of which I can only hope I'll be able to study Classics. It seems not however an email has emerged of another perfectly brilliant job has come to the attentions of the deaf network back in the West Midlands of a Arts Officer for Deaf Cultural Centre whereby the recruit would be rather busy...

'From co-ordinating a visual arts festival to working alongside professional theatre makers to create a piece of BSL theatre you will be highly motivated, passionate about the arts and possess exceptional organisational skills'

Sod it, as the mother in the rare exceptional BBC One comedy 'Outnumbered' would say, I shall apply. So there we have it, I bid you all farewell and hope you have a marvellous weekend, if you are at all interested tonight I shall be dining with the lady and relatives at an Italian eatery in the Yorkshire Dales for our 8th month anniversary.

(Did anyone see ITV's 'Wuthering Heights'? I'm just watching this in the background of typing this blog and I must say, not to the standard I hoped then again the classic will never be successfully adapted).

Academic to Strictly Pretenious

Good afternoon, one hopes you are all well and truly enjoying the dwindling days of our supposed summer. Did we all have an outstanding bank holiday? Of course not but I thought I'd ask, the rain soon shall depart with hope.

In the last hour, I have applied for an excellent job that a contact has been touch about- a well paid role of Academic Coach to the Black Country Challenge which I admire wholeheartedly and would be of great benefit to my future. It's perfectly suited with my passionate beliefs in positive encouragement of students. As I currently work as a Volunteer for a leading disability charity and sales person for a marketing company, it would be easily fitted in around my studies and a chance to consolidate all skills I have grasped in the past 12 months. It would also be additionally necessary with my mentoring at the University thus my learning capabilities and communicative skills would entwine with each support network- the schools, the University students and those afflicted with the charity.

Most importantly however would be the need to instruct, inspire and assist in the development of such high potential that may have lost their way, much like I once did.

Good news: the number of responses on the government's own green paper website has more than quadrupled since last Tuesday when I was online for more than 5 seconds to check. The number of posts on the executive summary page - where the vast majority of responses are published - has risen from 133 to 640 in the course of the last week. The overwhelming majority of posts are strongly against any changes to disability benefits. You can read the responses, and add your own, here:

It needs to be addressed sooner rather than later; there are many deserving disabled persons that shall lose out if such cuts go through and their lives much affected. It would be perfect if you could join the campaign, which now has 22,692 members and rising. To join the rampage, email:

Now, the bad and positively sickening news of the week: the pesky children who deserve no mercy even at such a young age. However I feel their sentences will not take this in account also their mother should be punished severely.

That'll do for today, I shall return from my UK tour back to the West Midlands by next Saturday to move into the marvellous halls where a party shall take place and you are all invited (providing you aren't a drug dealing alcoholic).