Gone Girl rant!!

If you, like me have read ‘Gone Girl’, than you may feel like you need to rant about certain characters in the book, I know I certainly do. However, If you have stumbled across this post thinking its a review … Continue reading

Donnie Darko

donnie_darko__do_you_believe_in_time_travel__by_bllacksheep-d57ivwwIf you haven’t seen this film, Im not surprised as its really not justified over the epicness of it! It has to be one of my favorite films, for so many reasons, one being that I absolutely love a little bit of a complicated film. Its not that straightforward and for many (like my mother) its wayyyyyy too complicated and so switches off half way through and then will ask stupid questions right at the end.

Its one of those films that isn’t hot on special effects, so relies on the complex story to drag you in, and it does it perfectly. The film follows Donnie Darko (surprise, surprise), who likes to challenge the world around him, and occasionally is visited by Frank, a huge bunny rabbit, who only Donnie can see and urges him to perform dangerous and destructive acts. One night, Frank appears and leads Donnie out of his home, later informing Donnie that the world is going to end in less than a month. When Donnie awakens on a golf course and returns home, he learns a engine from a jet plane landed in his room, leading Donnie to believe Frank might have a hold on something. And so it continues and Donnie’s life is as bizarre as the appearance of a huge bunny rabbit, encountering many characters along the way that shape Donnie’s life.

Although many people disagree, I find the Bunny is pretty creepy, but apart from that, Donnie Darko is just another great indie film, offering a fascinating and intriguing outlook into the world that surrounds Donnie.

Don’t be surprised with what you will find in this movie, along with many house hold names including Jake Gyllenhaal as Donnie Darko, Drew Barrymore as a rebellious teacher and Patrick Swayze as a sleazy self-help expert. Be prepared to engange yourself fully for a good couple of hours, its not a film to take lightly. On the other hand, once you’ve watched it once, you’ll want to watch it again to pick up extra details.

This is not one to go a miss, so watch it now, or be missing out on some great directing and acting.

Happy Viewing





Books I’ll be reading this year.

Its that time of year where I tend to have the most amount of free time to really read a book. I trawled amazon for a while trying to find the perfect books that I can read on holiday this year and find it enjoyable but a easy read and here is what I found. Who knows you might take a fancy to one too.

1: The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry

When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking. To save someone else’s life.

2: Wool

Life has become barren and inhabitable on the surface of the world. Humans have to find safety inside a building with hundreds of floors, all holding the remaining human population with the only view of the world outside is from cameras on the top floor. Yet many believe there is more to it than meets the eye, holding many secrets of the outside world.

3: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not…Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which – remarkably – he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun, feel-good book for all ages. Translated by Rod Bradbury.

4: Gone Girl

‘What are you thinking, Amy?’ The question I’ve asked most often during our marriage, if not out loud, if not to the person who could answer. I suppose these questions stormcloud over every marriage: ‘What are you thinking? How are you feeling? Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do?’ Just how well can you ever know the person you love? This is the question that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy’s friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn’t true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren’t his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone. So what really did happen to Nick’s beautiful wife? And what was in that half-wrapped box left so casually on their marital bed? In this novel, marriage truly is the art of war…



Happy Reading…..

media’s role really is unreal!

So with uni finished for the year, I have plenty of time this summer to overlook everything I have learned over the last year.

I have been learning about the media world for almost 5years. Thats nothing to some that have been in the field for 10, 20 years I know, but its still astonishes me how the media’s role in today’s society is soooo overpowering.

The amount of media we consume day in day out is unbelievable, we don’t go a day without using it one way or another. And the way it shapes our lives is even more unbelievable.

Its now more common for you too hear about breaking news through popular social networking sites like facebook and more importantly twitter than through any other website. Take the Boston Bombings for example, I heard the news first on twitter before any other news site, plus, when I hear news, the first place I take to is my social networking sites to see what other people are saying on it.

Maybe this is because we have a natural knack to share everything these days, but everything is 24/7 in our society. Take the new icon on facebook where you can include what you’re eating, drinking, watching and feeling. Do I have to delve into how now, with social media, everything is about sharing.

Not only that, the world of social networking is influential to many extremes, just from the adverts we see and the pages we like, its a massive commercial.

The newspapers we read, films and tv we watch can all come from one massive company. Think of it. You read a review in a newspaper about a new film and its from the same company, is it ever going to be a bad one?

The world of media increases to grow, and so do these companies controls within it.

I only hope that there will become more restrictions on how much companies can control, for all our sake!

Is your choice to travel and volunteer abroad the best idea for the communities you’re trying to help?

Its not uncommon for many teens to go on a gap year after their long stint in education. Its getting more and more regular for graduates to go on and volunteer abroad to build schools or dig wells to better … Continue reading

Does Britain really need a Monarchy in the 21st Century?

The Monarchy has been part of Britain since the Anglo Saxons, and our current Queen has been on the throne for over five decades. The Royal Family are the a-list, and no-one can get enough of the new Royal couple and their new life. However, not everyone is a big fan of the Royal Family.

The debate over the purpose of the Royal family has been an ongoing affair for many years; Its no secret that a lot of us believe that the monarchy is a waste of tax payers money. Some would argue that they do hold significance within English society and heritage, whilst others believe they no longer hold the standing within British society that they used to.

There are solid arguable aspects for both sides of this argument, however we as a country would be absolutely foolish to get rid of the one heritage we still have, and that many other countries lack!

Not only that, but the monarchy is a key aspect of the attraction to visit Britain. Getting rid of that would result in losing this desire, that for whatever reason draws the tourists in year after year. I don’t understand the need to visit Britain myself, but you can’t deny that London and other cities across the UK are thriving in the tourism trade.

So, why is it that so many of us want to get rid of the monarchy, and think we will be better off for it?

When you take a look back over the generations of Royals, its clear to see that the role of a Royal has changed dramatically.  Is that because they’ve felt that they’ve had to, or because society and the public have pushed them to break those social barriers, many before them would never have dreamed to?

Whatever the reason, its a good thing that although the role is less formal, they still have a standing within British culture and life. In recent years, its clear to see that the perspective of the public has changed of the Royal family, whether thats the idea of a new generation of Royals thanks to Will and Kate, or the they’re merely becoming more adoptive to the media world. Kate Middleton herself has become a worldwide icon, with eyes on her always to see her next fashion move, and her role as a mother. She is the biggest influence out there to the modern culture.

However, some believe that the purpose of the Monarchy is not poignant enough that its not worth the amount we pay in taxes. But do people really understand the job of the Monarchy and the real cost to the 21st century Britain?

We have a constitutional monarchy, meaning our head of state is the king / queen, yet the ability to pass and make legislations resides with the elected parliament, rather than with the head of state. Many would argue that this is the biggest reason we should get rid of our monarchy, but in reality, the monarchy still has a large standing in other affairs.

The Queen is the Head of Armed Forces, formally appoints prime ministers, approves certain legislations, signs acts of Parliament and above all provides unity, pride and gives a sense of stability and continuity to the public.
When we talk about getting rid of the monarchy, we seem to forget that not only would it change who lives in Buckingham palace, or who is on our £10 notes, but what the Queen has to offer for the public would be lost.

The Queen provides a sense of stability in times of political and social change, and provides a focus for national identity and unity. Who would offer us this if there was no monarchy?

Josh Payne, a 19 year old Southampton Solent student, believes that the monarchy is an “important element of today’s society”.
“It provides a rock within society” he says “there has been 12 different Prime ministers during the Queens reign and the queen has been there to help and guide each one of them in her weekly meeting with them.”

Anthony Shaw, another Southampton Solent student, has a similar view. “I think they bring everyone together, like the queens diamond jubilee there were parades through towns and people being with their families, they act as a thing which we all have in common.”

Of course, the underlying problem for the public is the money that they cost the country. In recent years, its been estimated that the Royal family cost £40 million a year, through living and state expenses. Thats only 65p a year for each individual taxpayer.

Yet, the Royal Family property portfolio is worth over £7Billion earning the state an estimate of £230million a year. This is a profit that the monarch and many before her have voluntarily turned over from their land to the state. If the government were to stop paying the monarchy living and state expenses, they would be forced to live off the profits of their land, meaning we would lose that profit and in turn our taxes would rise.

So, If you take the cost from the profit, Britain earns in estimate £190million a year from the Royal Family alone. Thats not even taking into account the money we gain from tourism!!

So, not only has the monarchy given Britain a heritage and a income, but its also given Britain a tourism industry that thrives on their presence. Without this, Britain would not  only lack the tourism it already has, but there wouldn’t be such a drive for tourists to flock to the UK on such Royal events, like the Royal Wedding! Of course, not everyone comes to Britain because of the Royals, but the most expensive attractions are those like Tower Of London which still hold the embodiment of the living Queen.

Many claim that we would get more tourism with having Buckingham Palace open to the public, but what would have people coming back time and time again? There is only so much that Buckingham Palace could offer, and the weather certainly doesn’t make England the place to get a tan, we wouldn’t be much of a tourist attraction without the monarchy.

When it comes down to it, its not about the money, because in fact the royal family earn us a great deal of it. I think for many, its the idea that they are born into a family, that many others only wish they lived in. Of course there are aspects of Royal ways I wouldn’t want to live in (I like to go to the pub now and again!), but who wouldn’t want to travel around the world and be treated like a king.

If we were to abolish the monarchy and adopt a President, the overall cost would sore, taxes would rise, and the overall heritage of the country would no longer be present but a mere aspect of the past.

Our history is the Royal Family, and what they accomplished for us, completely unique from many other countries. The heritage of Britain is known worldwide, and The Queen and alike do not only hold a poignant status in the UK, but in many other countries that still see the Queen as their figure head. If we lost the Queen, we would loose that tie we have with other countries across the world, plus precious money that many clearly want to save.

Abolishing the monarchy is not the key to saving money, there is bigger problems in our country, which could save us a great deal, but thats a whole different kettle of fish.