January 20, 2012 § 1 Comment
Damn, it’s been a long time coming. But enough about my sex life.
Alex and I were not-so-rudely awoken on New Year’s Day by fireworks. At eight in the morning. It’s a testament to the human character that we can be so excited about new things, we’re willing to forego sleep and celebrate for eight hours straight. Well, I say ‘we’; I was sleepy. I’m evolving towards hibernating for the winter.
After a hearty breakfast in the dark (Iceland gets four hours of daylight during the winter at most), we piled into a small coach, to be transferred to a bigger coach and taken to the Blue Lagoon. Now, if you watch my sarcaschicks videos, you’ll hopefully have at least an idea of what it was like there. Imagine, if you will, splashing in a hot bath which smells vaguely of eggs. While you’re in said relaxing, smelly bath, you’re also prancing around in a swimming suit with your dangly and squishy bits one wrong move away from being exposed. Now imagine doing these things OUTSIDE IN SUB-ZERO TEMPERATURES OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS.
When the bottom half of your body is submerged in water at 40 degrees celsius and your top half is turning blue if you keep it above water for too long, you know you’re in a batshit place.
The Blue Lagoon was incredibly relaxing, once I got over the initial novelty. If ever your plane has a layover at Kevlavik airport, giving you a few hours to kill, visit the Blue Lagoon. It’s 20 minutes away by coach and you will never want to leave. Although I recommend not wearing glasses while in there. They kept steaming up something awful. If anyone has developed miniature windscreen wipers for specs, please to let me know. I don’t understand why they’re not commonplace for the visually-bereft.
Talk to you guys soon! <3
January 5, 2012 § 6 Comments
On New Year’s Eve, I fell asleep to fireworks. Six hours later, on New Year’s Day, I woke up to fireworks. Reykjavik knows how to party.
After getting out of bed at a time far later and embarrassing than we intended, Alex and I pulled on our thermal gear and wandered around the city. We were determined to make the most of the four hours of sunlight that Iceland kindly gave to us. Most of the shops were shut; all of them were lit up and gorgeous. We ate in a crowded cafe, during which I took pleasure in gently informing Alex that no, he was not supposed to eat both the innards AND the shell of his lobster tails.
That evening was dedicated to RAUCOUS JOY and FUN and HAPPINESS (though not before Alex and I took advantage of our hotel’s spa facilities, sitting in a heated pool until our skin started to crease like clingfilm). We – along with other excitable holiday makers, including a guy from Brentwood who insisted that Alex and I visited the Sugar Hut nightclub that he ‘owned’ – were driven to a gala dinner taking place in the Hilton. It was as posh as it sounds: there were Icelandic men serenading us/providing comedy; people were dressed to the nines and there was a buffet. A sumptuous, never-ending buffet.
Naturally, Alex and I had to try the most extravagant dishes they had to offer. I sampled reindeer paté (like corn beef, except more consistent), caviar (I love seafood, so this was a highlight) and goose (oddly chewy). After much obnoxious blowing of party blowers – not a euphemism – and alcohol consumption, it was back on the coach, to find our vantage point for the fireworks.
We set up our turf in the shadow of a giant church, at the centre of the city; really, there were enough fireworks exploding at any one time that we could’ve stood ten miles OUTSIDE of the gorram town and still had an excellent view. I was told repeatedly that Icelanders knew how to PARTAY and 2012 was no exception. Firework after firework exploding in the sky, continuously hammering away at my sound and sight, and I loved every second of it.
I can’t go without mentioning the unadulterated joy I felt at pretending I was casting spells at passers-by with my sparkler. I’M A CHILD AT HEART WHAT LEAVE ME ALONE.
What has been the best fireworks display you’ve ever witnessed, guys? <3
On a completely unrelated note, I’ve been getting back into using my Formspring. If you’re at all interested in hearing my STUPID opinions and RUBBISH advice – and why wouldn’t you be?!!? – don’t hesitate to click and ask! I may even answer!
January 3, 2012 § 8 Comments
Standing on a pitch-black beach at 11:30pm, breathing salty air, snow seeping through unaccustomed boots and staring up at a green-tinged sky might sound like a standard bad acid trip for a lot of you guys, but I experienced it for the first time during my adventure in Reykjavik.
‘It’ being Aurora Borealis. Not acid.
From the comments on my newest sarcaschicks video*, I know that a fair share of my online audience (all ten of you, including my mum. Hi, mum! Get a pot of rosy lee brewing, would you?) resides in Iceland. Your country (the small portion I saw of it, at least) is beautiful. We drove through a couple of Reykjavik’s neighbouring towns in our pursuit of the northern lights and I was struck by how much Iceland’s houses resemble film set houses. In a good way: they’re clean, beautiful pale pinks or blues or greys, with Christmas lights bordering their door frames and the edges of their roofs. I am in awe, dear Icelanders, of your ability to make an abundance of Christmas decorations look cute and warm, as opposed to gaudy. This is a talent us Britons will never be able to perfect.
The city was covered in snow – the most snow the country had seen for the best part of 25 years – so we were in a literal Iceland. Hah hah. No, but seriously, it was gorgeous. My thermal clothes kept me warm and snug in a below-freezing wind. I didn’t start to really feel the chill until we stood outside the coach for an hour and a half, staring at the northern lights, but … fuck the cold. We were staring at the fucking northern lights. And – at one point – the moving light from the nearby lighthouse, thinking IT was the northern lights. Rookie mistake.
I travelled to Iceland with Alex, which made the trip twice as fun. We didn’t get back to the hotel until around 2 in the morning, at which point I can only recall stumbling around in an exhausted haze until I fell onto the bed. We wrapped ourselves up in the blankets (plural, yes. We had a double bed with separate, single-sized blankets. The hotel also specified that guests were not allowed to stay past 11:30pm. We opined that the hotel should just put bluntly put it out there that it has a staunch ‘no sex’ rule and leave it at that) and slept. We had our first Iceland sleeps!
More updates on my cheeky Iceland trip will be coming up soon. I have missed this blog Hello, WordPress, my old friend. I’ve come to write in you again.
Hope you’ve all been well. Leave me a comment about how you spent your New Year! <3
*Video link: CLICK HERE GO WATCH WHEEYY
June 23, 2011 § 2 Comments
Someone on Facebook just liked this status:
‘Being proud of your race is ok, unless your [sic] white, then it’s racist.’
Yeah, I know, right? Being white is HARD. *sigh*
As to why I find this status so problematic (and, to be frank, fucking stupid), please read this: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.
For a TL;DR summary of my issue: There is no need for white pride because we’re not systematically and institutionally told every waking minute NOT to be proud of our race.
There will be better blog entries in the future; right now, I just wanted to throw that out into the world, outside the confines of my brain. I feel marginally better for doing so.
May 30, 2011 § 7 Comments
It’s 10am on a Monday morning. I’m sitting on a leather sofa, wrapped up in a dressing gown and drinking a hot cup of tea.
No, I’m not Hugh Hefner. I’m sick.
Sickness inspires all manner of clumsiness in me. In the two hours since I woke up, I’ve managed to spill cough syrup and some tea, almost fall over in the bathroom and misspell the word ‘manner’ a ridiculous number of times. It just doesn’t look like a real word any more. The second ‘n’, the ‘er’ that sounds more like it should be ‘ur’ when you say it out loud … none of it makes sense to my fatigued, medicine-addled brain.
It’s now 12:39. I decided that I was sick of feeling sick. I got washed and dressed (to a certain extent. I’m still wearing the cosy dressing gown and pyjama bottoms under my dress) and have spent the last twenty minutes online, looking at small music venues in London. I signed up to become an event organiser for Oxjam and received a neat toolkit in the post the other day to help me plan said event (basically a booklet with checklists and pre-arranged calendars and omg organisational skillz). I’ve never put on an event before; needless to say, I’m pretty excited to get things started! The festival itself takes place in October, which gives me five months to prepare. I’ll try to chronicle my experiences here.
If anyone reading this has any experience with putting on a live music event, or with event organising in general, any tidbits of advice would be greatly appreciated. :)
Right. Back to rubbing my TIRED SICK EYES and nursing my SORE THROAT. Illness transforms me into a drama queen, it seems.
Talk to you guys soon. <3
May 15, 2011 § 4 Comments
Oh dear … I went a little MIA not even a week into BEDA. I received a couple of comments from people asking why I haven’t updated for a while.
First of all: thank you for your curiosity!
Second of all: A few days into April, I took up voluntary work for the charity Beatbullying. I’m hoping and eager to get an internship/job with them, so I’ve been busy attending training days and generally putting a lot of time into volunteering. That’s not to say that it took up so much time that I wasn’t able to find even five minutes to blog (you and I both know that this would be the most rubbish excuse to ever have excused), but that, once I’d missed one day, I missed the next, then the next … it was all too easy for me to fall out of the habit of blogging.
Rest assured, I am still alive! I feel fantastic and I’m still alive (on a vaguely related note, Portal 2 is wonderful and if you don’t play it, expect to find one incinerated Companion Cube on your doorstep very soon).
The indomitable Hayley G Hoover wrote two blog entries (which can be found here and here) detailing her recent experiences with verbal sexual harassment. Her poise and bravery in speaking so frankly about the topic, coupled with the outpouring of people – predominantly women – talking frankly in the blog comments about their experiences, have inspired me to share a story of my own: the first time I was jeered at, catcalled and made to feel humiliated. I’m fortunate to say that this experience was minor, in comparison to the horrendous shit millions of women have suffered; I’m dismayed to say that my experience is ALSO shared by millions of women, to the extent that it is often expected and trivialised.
I was thirteen; tall for my age, lanky and possessing a spectacularly awkward posture. It was a grey, drizzly afternoon – as is the custom for London – and I was having a wander around the shops in my local high street. My walk took me past a building site, with construction workers balancing precariously on the beams. Normal. Mundane situation. People are always building things. I thought nothing of it.
Then I heard a yell of, ‘Oi, oi, sexy!’, followed by raucous laughter and another yell (I can’t remember exactly what was said, but it definitely involved the words ‘tits’ and ‘saveloy’. I hope the gist has been accurately conveyed). I looked up at the builders, wondering which poor woman they were hassling, to be greeted with their jeering faces staring squarely back at me.
My face burned. My shoulders hunched even further. My heart was hammering. I abruptly stared at my feet and sped up the pace, hoping that if I ignored them, they’d stop leering. I didn’t slow down until I was safely home; even then, I remember feeling acutely conscious of my appearance in a way that I never had before, and that I have never fully let go of since.
I couldn’t understand what had just happened. Why were the builders yelling at me? Had I done something to attract their attention? I started to evaluate everything I was wearing: trainers, three-quarter length trousers and a zipped-up hoodie. Was it because I was tall and stood out? Was it because the bottom half of my calves were on show? Was it because my hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail? Hell, should I have been flattered that they were focusing their attention on me? If that was the case, why did their attempts at ‘flattery’ instead make me feel humiliated, embarrassed, upset and angry? Was I being over-sensitive?
Not once did I stop to consider that the problem lied with their arseholey behaviour. I just instantly assumed I must have done something to provoke them.
This attitude is shared and institutionalised by a depressingly large number of people. Every time a police officer claims that a woman’s attire has any influence over her likelihood for being raped, or an 11 year-old girl is blamed for being gang raped on the grounds that she wore make-up and hung around with teenage boys, or such a high percentage of surveyed women believe that rape victims should shoulder any of the blame, we perpetuate the notion that women have some degree of control over whether or not they are sexually assaulted. They should’ve not worn something so revealing, not drawn so much attention to their figure, not acted in such a flirtatious manner, not walked home after dark, not worn make-up, et al.
Here’s my take on the topic. It’s a little radical, I know, but do give it some thought: the blame for sexual assault lies solely with the person carrying out the assault.
On a related note, I shall be attending Slutwalk London in June. I strongly urge you to come along, if you can make it. It’s for a frickin’ awesome cause. In their own words:
‘Let’s end a culture of fear and victimisation. No means No – but rather than saying no, let’s say YES. Yes to wearing what you want, going where you want with who you want and being able to express your personal sexuality in whichever way you please. Yes to having a great time without being scared that every man you meet is going to assault you. Yes to love, fun and respect.‘
Speak to you guys soon. <3
April 11, 2011 § 5 Comments
Okay, guys, I’m gonna level with you. I know I haven’t been the best BEDA blogger recently. I’m no martyr for the BEDA cause: I’ve been unwell. But I’m feeling a lot better now. I’m fresh from a morning run, filled with endorphins and RAGE at INJUSTICE in the world.
That rage is nothing new, of course. it’s part and parcel of who I am. This time, though, I’m fuming at a scenario a little more … personal, I guess. More specific. Closer to home.
You see, my friend Michael Aranda is stranded in France. He has been stranded in France for five days. Worst of all, he is stranded there for no logical reason. An American citizen, his passport clearly indicates that he is allowed to stay in the United Kingdom for six months, yet the British immigration officials seem irrationally convinced that he was only allowed to stay for six weeks and therefore poses some kind of ‘significant threat’ to UK security. They didn’t let him back onto British soil.
To add insult to injury, even after Michael bought a plane ticket back to the United States to indicate that he has every intention of returning to his home, the UK immigration officials did not let him through.
I haven’t ever asked you guys to sign anything as a favour for me, so I really hope you can appreciate the gravity of this particular situation: if you could just take thirty seconds to sign this petition and help Michael receive safe passage back to the UK, it would be so, so appreciated. The petition contains additional details of Michael’s predicament.
Thanks, guys. Talk to you soon. <3