Saturday, 18 December 2010

Waterfall cardigans and sausage curry: An evening with Jenny Eclair

“Hooray for me! Well done me!” cried out professional grumbler Jenny Eclair on the success of her side-splitting self help book Chin Up Britain. A lecture theatre packed with fellow grumpy old women was offered tricks on how to pimp your middle-aged crib and warned of the dangers of Per Una. Waterfall cardigans are like heroin for older women, apparently. She even threw in a few tips on online tight shopping to interviewer Trisha Cooper, who incidentally had used clear nail varnish to mend her own. And before the conversation got under way she was adamant to make it very clear where she got her shoes from. Office, by the way.

With topics such as the pros and cons of pregnancy, knitted breast enhancers and reminiscing with the audience about Sheffield’s Red Wedge Tour ‘86, you can imagine there’s potential for a young student to feel quite out of place.  Especially when there’s a forty-something blonde with horn rimmed glasses shouting at a late comer that they’re “going to get a third!” However, Jenny did not fail to fill us in on her student antics and how to make the perfect sausage curry. Why sausage curry? The result of living with a Sheffield butcher’s daughter who insisted on relying on the 1970’s postal service to provide a constant meat supply.

We were also enlightened by the manifesto of the “Don’t Be So Silly Party.” This would be lead by sensible people, the type that wouldn’t be afraid to make a fist and actually shake it. Geography teachers and prefects galore. The hypothetical party would propose to improve the lives of the public by making litter pickers eat what they drop and creating a Jane rival channel for Dave jam packed with bonnet drama re-runs. Oh and not forgetting a plentiful stock of working biros for all.

Other hilarious hints included how to save money for beginners ie casual theft. Courses would be available on how to bite off security tags and look nonchalant in the alcohol aisle. Eclair joked about the ridiculousness of self service scanners. Unexpected item in the bagging area? You should check my pockets.

In all, the talk provided a witty insight into not only what awaits us in middle age (honestly hope I'm like her in 20 years!) but the amusingly tempting read of Chin Up Britain. Unfortunately though, as the winter month’s loom, Jenny couldn’t offer any festive advice as the onset of Christmas has always been a trauma for her. Instead, she solves her own present dilemmas by writing a book every year. Touché.

An evening with Jenny Eclair @ Pennine Theatre, 13/11/2010

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Sorry sorry sorry :(

Sorry I haven't written a post in so long!
I have been doing many exciting things such as visiting Paris and writing poetry.
I've also been applying for NCTJ MA Journalism courses in the last few months and really looking forward to next year if my applications are successful.
So watch this space :)
In the meantime, have a gander at our university newspaper The Ripple, I
believe I am in the fashion section in this issue.

Soon hoping to divert my love of food and writing to a new blog Emily's Reviews and Reviews

Lots of love x

Tuesday, 7 July 2009


After hopping on and off the Hong Kong Metro, dodging colourful taxis and bustling rickshaw sales, I recently explored the beautiful Kowloon Bay, situated opposite Hong Kong Island. I was welcomed by one of the hundreds of sky-scraping hotels, where the lack of a beach was made up for by the astounding view of Hong Kong’s illuminated skyline. What’s more, the hotel had a roof top pool – not recommended for the faint hearted.

So on our first day we decided to head to a Dim Sum restaurant for some traditional Chinese cuisine.
With chop sticks and baskets flying past me, I was astounded at the
speed in which the waiting staff laid the tables. The bustling atmosphere hosted local families, Hong Kong students and even elderly residents having their daily catch up. Lost in translation, we ordered a selection from the endless list of dumplings, rolls, tarts and snacks. I honestly couldn’t tell you what I ate at that meal, but I cleared my plate even quicker than the staff could clear the next table. And certainly better than the congee (otherwise known as seafood porridge) which I was served on the plane.

A must for anyone Hong Kong bound is to visit the Buddha of Ngong Ping, located at Tung Chung on Lantau Island. This involves boarding the incredibly high “Ngong Ping 360,” another pursuit to test your vertigo. And so you soar up into the mountains in what effectively is a cable car – think helicopter camera angles on the Hong Kong scene in The Dark Knight.

Once in the village, there are a few quaint, little shops and tea houses which surround the Buddha itself. And of course, many Buddha related gifts to buy. Though there’s no mistake that this part isn’t at all garishly commercial. Instead I found myself tea tasting in a little house with hundreds of drawers of tea. My only complaint is that the tea came in a cup smaller than the average shot glass.

In terms of other days out, I was advised not to bother visiting the Disney Land there. Wait, Hong Kong has a Disney Land? My point exactly. Though I was told there was a Hello Kitty land and sadly had trouble finding it. Luckily, every other shop had enough Hello Kitty memorabilia to keep me going. There is also a light show across the Hong Kong Island skyline every evening. However, the vibrant beams coming from the buildings were breathtaking in their own right.

Being a bit of a self confessed beach bum, I still cannot believe I had such an incredible time and didn’t even step foot on a grain of sand. Oh and the garlic bread flavour crisps were pretty good too.

Friday, 22 May 2009


Imagine going to a “Fight Like Apes” gig not knowing who they are? The name suggests a sort of “all-male, possibly scary and a little bit indie” type band. And maybe starring the drumming gorilla from the Dairy Milk advert. But actually, I was pleasantly surprised to experience a truly original, gritty, Irish rock band with mind-blowing female vocals. Almost Ireland’s answer to the The Von Bondies. The small venue made for an intimate gig, which really suited the band’s friendly stage presence. From the off, the entire crowd was won over by their Irish charm and charisma (almost) bigger than the lead singer’s hair. The band members were not afraid to have a bit of fun either, as they pointed out a lad they thought had “stylish moves” and got him on stage. Though this chit chat didn’t distract the band from producing tight drumming, cheeky synths and edgy basslines. Not to mention, exceptional timing. I also really admired the lead vocalist, Maykay, who had a stunning singing voice when she wanted, yet could also “shout in tune” too. For want of a better description, she is almost like the rebel Corrs sister who got away. With the atmosphere buzzing like a hive and not even a queue at the bar, it is no surprise that this band swiped a Best Live Performance award in 2007. One man even got so excited he stage dived and lost the lenses from his glasses. In all, this gig was pretty much like a crate of Red Bull after a highly intensive caffeine free diet. The band was vigorously energetic yet relentlessly engaging and I would not hesitate to see them live again. Even if I was a little confused by the lyric “you're like Kentucky Fried Chicken, but without the taste...”

Monday, 27 April 2009


The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have certainly blitzed me with their newest album. An already devoted fan, I didn't think it was possible to love them anymore. I haven't felt like this since Cadbury's reintroduced the Wispa bar.
Now, I have an unfortunate habit of rarely listening to new music. Instead I seem to rotate my favourite collection, occasionally overplaying certain golden oldies. Though there are only so many times I can have female harmonies blasting on repeat. And so my recent mission has been to find a new band to sway my interests.

I thought my best bet would be to ask opinions of others and to search for popular tracks. Simple, no? The beauty of Spotify lead me to find an oasis of Metric and Tegan & Sara tunes that I'd not already come across. More female vocals. I just can't keep away.
And so you can imagine my excitement when I hear the new YYYs album and it's like a completely new band, but not quite. For those of you that just think YYYs are a trio with a screamy front lass, you will be enlightened. I actually liked them for their edgy rock 'n' roll screeches. But since I found out Karen O had a voice too beautiful for words, I just can't get enough. If I had to recommend a song it would be Hysteric. Or Runaway. Oh, it's just one of those albums where you find yourself liking every track. Which can't be bad. Besides, if you don't believe me, try arguing with hundreds of Facebook statuses proclaiming the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album is "proper good."

Friday, 17 April 2009


Think pink. Or perhaps coral. Apparantly the first recorded use of the word "coral" in English was in 1513. And I'm pretty sure Henry VIII never rocked the coral look. Though it seems here in Spring/Summer 2009 you can't get away from it.
I have never been a girly girl at the best of times but recently have these compelling urges to buy floral summer dresses and feminine colours. Though I don't know if this is a combination of having to feed my appetite for shopping and being bored of buying classic colours. And you can only have so many black and navy cardigans, apparently. So in order to control my retail desires I have turned to the colour pink. Well not exactly fluffy, baby pink. But still the unknown.
Now, I know that I'm pretty behind and this whole coral thing has been in fashion for months. To be honest I've known it's been about for a while now. I think I was just putting my blinkers on and holding back. But today I fell into H&M and I decided it was time to sort myself out. Plus with the sun starting to peep through, I'm just really in the mood to wear massive sunglasses and an outfit that looks like confectionary.
I came out with a long, baggy, nineties mum t-shirt type thing. Which I thought might look quite good with skinnies and maybe something grey.I'm afraid I'm still taking baby steps at the moment and quite not ready for the whole colour blocking thing. Especially with something daring like lime green. Well, perhaps I will go for a coral and grey colour blocking look. Just dip my toes in the water.
It seems nude shades are coming in too. Though I'm not quite ready for that either. Although I quite like the idea that from a distance you might look naked. Maybe you could actually go out naked and save a lot of money. Well I suppose the weather is heating up.
Oh la la.