Sunday, 27 February 2011

Traditional Blogging

I was doing my daily bit of blog-stalking, and it has occurred to me that I have never done one of those 'What I Did Today' blogs. Really, they were the original point of blogging. So I'm going to have a good old go at it.

Good luck, me.

Right, well. Today, I got up at 3pm. It's Saturday, so it's mostly ok. The reason that I got up so late was entirely someone else's fault. My mother's. Here comes the back story...

The day before yesterday was my sister's 10th birthday. I don't really want to be ten again, but it was still a bit depressing because the thing about having younger sisters is that you are constantly reminded that you are old. Sometimes you feel like you could definitely - in a court of law - justify locking them in cupboard for a few years. At least until they get eye-wrinkles too. You don't though. Especially if you are scared of your mum, like I usually am.
Speaking of mum, here is the part that was her fault: she allowed my aforementioned sister to have a sleepover. MY GOD. She was quite wishy-washy about the whole thing, and kept trying to placate me by saying things like "Oh there'll only be four of them!" and "You won't even know they're here!" and, of course, "They're sleeping downstairs, we won't be able to hear them."  

The sleepover happened last night and, in actual fact, the four of them - who we apparently wouldn't be able to hear - stayed up until 6.30am. That's right. In the morning. And we COULD hear them.

Laughing, by the way, is the most annoying sound in the world when you are not even a little bit amused yourself.

This afternoon, when I managed to drag myself up at the quite reasonable hour of 3pm, I was almost immediately accused of laziness. Not one single person congratulated me on the massive amount of personal restraint that I had undertaken during the night. And neither did anyone comment on how radiant I looked, despite being screamed awake for the entire night.
I congratulated myself, though, by making myself sausages on toast. I pretended that it was part of my diet by using brown bread, but I secretly knew that it wasn't. I had a bit of cake too. I told myself that it was because I needed the sugar. It wasn't. I just wanted some cake.
  
That bit of cake was essentially the most exciting thing that happened all day.

x

Friday, 18 February 2011

Crushing

Today on Loose Women one of the main topics of conversation was the big all-consuming crush that everyone suffers from at some point or other.
Now, I have suffered from a few of these crippling obsessions in my lifetime. Thankfully, most were with famous people. I would much rather talk about that side of things, because it makes me seem like less of a psychopath.

Or maybe not. We'll see.

My first love was Jacob Underwood from O-Town, and he is the lucky duck that we will be discussing today.

Google him. I can wait.

Handsome, no? He was 'the rebel' of the group, much like AJ of the Backstreet Boys, who is also a bit of a dish. (Fact: In a boyband, the rebel is the most attractive one. Unless that boyband is N*Sync.)
O-Town were formed on a reality show (the ORIGINAL Making The Band, no less) and it transpired that, in addition to having the rebel-thing going for him, Jacob also had quite a good voice. He was also the most down-to-earth of the bunch AND he played the guitar. *swoon*. Needless to say, I was determined to marry him.

In every good love story, however, there is always a moment when someone gets their heart broken - usually temporarily. And it was the same for me and Jacob.

In our love story, it was during the episode when all the girlfriends came to visit the band in Florida. I literally could have died. His girlfriend - from what I remember - was prettier than me, cooler than me and A LOT older than me. I still thought I had a chance though. This didn't seem like any more of an obstacle than the million miles of distance between us, the ten year age difference, or the fact that he was a pop star.
Obviously I was mental. But that's ok when you are 13 years old.

It is not ok when you are 23, though. So it might be a concern to some of you when I reveal that I have reacquainted myself with the O-Town phenomenon, and am definitely in love with him.

When I marry him, it'll probably be a bit awkward at first because we've been in a relationship for eleven years without him knowing about it. But counselling will fix that, I'm sure.

x

Monday, 14 February 2011

Being Alone

I haven’t written a blog in ages. I am really terrible at this entire thing.

I think the reason is mostly because the things that I have to say can be - and usually are - summed up in a series of tweets. If you are reading this and you don't follow me on twitter, please do. I am literally on there for at least 12 hours every day.

Anyway, it's Valentine's Day today.

And I'm not going to say that I hate it as you might expect, because I don't think that I do. In fact, when I had a boyfriend, I really loved Valentine's Day.
I’m single this year though, so there isn't anything to look forward to in all honesty. Nothing. Except seeing big bouquets of flowers and huge boxes of chocolates everywhere, knowing full well that nobody is going to buy me any of them.

But that’s all fine.

What’s currently bothering me is that this entire time of year seems to hoodwink me into thinking that I need a boyfriend. And I’ll tell you something – I actually bloody don’t.

The reality of the situation is that I don’t want a boyfriend. And if I did get one, it would be worth asking why on earth they were going out with someone as unstable as myself. It would be a bit like when Adnan Ghalib started going out with Britney – we all knew he was a bad egg, because she was off her rocker.

I also think that, currently, I quite like being left to my own devices. For example, sometimes when I am by myself, I get a bit bored and wish for someone to talk to. But when that person turns up, I generally find myself wishing them away again so that I can play Sims 3.

And relationships are a bit like that too. Having a boyfriend or a girlfriend seems like a brilliant idea… until you actually get one. When you get one, you have to spend time with them, and make yourself look nice, and be interesting and funny and charming. When you don’t have one, you can do whatever you like.

It’s really that simple.

So there. Another vague and mostly pointless blog, with a sneaky Britney reference. And here is an obnoxious little thought to get you through Valentine's Day and, indeed, through life: If you need a boyfriend to feel good about yourself, then you might want to consider counselling. Or perhaps a blog.


x

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Harry Potter Post

WARNING!
This may be a lengthy post, and it may also be photo-heavy.
Maybe not though. Let's see.

   Our family holiday at the end of last year/ the beginning of this year was spectacular. We spent two weeks in Orlando, Florida and spent at least two days of that being nice to each other. Quite something by our standards, I assure you.
   We have been to Orlando before. Several times, in fact. The big difference this time (and the main reason we actually went) was the recently created Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure.


   It's quite difficult to put into words how brilliant it was, because I think it's something that only a Potter fan would understand. In the simplest possible terms, it was everything I wanted it to be, crammed into an obscenely small space.
    Aptly named "The Wizarding World...", the Harry Potter bit is essentially an amalgamation of the key wizarding locations in the series - Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley and Hogwarts. Walking in to Hogsmeade, you are greeted by the Hogwarts Express, which has crashed into the middle of a perfectly-crafted higgledy-piggledy snow-covered english village.

Entrance into Hogsmeade
"Please Respect the Spell Limits"

   The best bit though, to every single Harry Potter fan in the world, is seeing Hogwarts looming over the park. We've all wished, at least once, that we could go there in real life and now we actually can.


     You'll notice, on that photo, that there is a waiting time posted at the castle gates. That is because the castle houses the main attraction - as if the rest of it wasn't enough. "Harry Potter's Forbidden Journey" is a super-realistic mobile simulator, that takes you on an ACTUAL ADVENTURE with Harry himself.
   The waiting time, as you can probably see, was usually around an hour, but I almost found myself wishing that it was longer because the queue itself is really a tour of Hogwarts. It starts in the greenhouse, see below, and then takes you through the Gryffindor common room, through Dumbledore's office, into Defence Against the Dark Arts and down a million corridors - all of which contain talking paintings and moving photographs.

View from the Greenhouse

   Enough about Hogwarts, though. Hogsmeade itself is genuinely gorgeous. The shops that are dotted around are a selection of those from both Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, and, rest assured, I was drawn in in a big way. I managed to buy myself several little presents, despite remembering that I am actually 23 years old. (You'll have to wait until the end of the post to see what I bought. Although I will say that it KILLED me that I didn't buy a Marauder's Map.)
   The biggest queue in the park, oddly, was the one to get into Ollivander's. They, apparently, give you the real wand-buying experience. I had more important things to queue up for though. And, as a side note, I definitely wouldn't ever go if you are opposed to queuing. It will become your life.
   Speaking of queues, and moving swiftly on to toilets, even the toilets were heavily themed. Moaning Myrtle seems to have locked herself in the bathroom again, and can be heard moaning and muttering while you are in there. Can't think of anything better than that, can you?
  
Dervish & Banges
"Family Brooms, Vintage Brooms, Toy Brooms, Racing Brooms"

      Something I can recommend quite wholeheartedly is the Three Broomsticks. We ate lunch in there, despite the 45-minute wait, and I nearly died of both excitement and hunger. To be honest though, I was just excited to be there. Incidentally, the menu, for those who care, is exactly what the people of America think British people eat. There was stuff like shepherd's pie, fish and chips, pork chops - y'know, the kind of thing we eat every day.
   I, being of the fussy variety, opted for a children's meal and got Mac 'n' Cheese. This was an excellent decision. The normal-eaters in my family said that the food was lovely. They also said that it is about time that I got over my fear of unprocessed food.

The Three Broomsticks

   The big regret I have, now that we've been back for a couple of weeks, is that I didn't try any Butterbeer. I was all ready for it - because I always prepare myself for new tastes - but the looks on other people's faces as they tried it, as well as the hundreds of barely-touched pints I saw left on tables, made me sure that I wouldn't like it. My sister tried it though, and she said that it was a bit like drinking a Werther's Original. So there you go.

   Right, now for the good bit. Souvenirs!
   
   As you can see above, I bought a Ravenclaw t-shirt. I am a full supporter of Team Gryffindor, but if I'm completely honest with myself I would have been put in Ravenclaw. I certainly have more wit than bravery, and I also look quite nice in blue.
   My sisters also got similar t-shirts. One got Gryffindor, one got Slytherin and the third got a general Hogwarts one, because nobody really wants to be Hufflepuff (not to mention that it is difficult to wear yellow if you are a sufferer of Pale British Skin).
   Also above, you may have noticed the chocolate wand and the ACTUAL CHOCOLATE FROG. These are both from Honeydukes, which also sold some lovely looking cakes, including rock cakes courtesy of Hagrid. The chocolate frog did indeed come with a collectible card, but, inexplicably, we all got Rowena Ravenclaw. Strange. (note: I haven't eaten either of the chocolate items yet. I can't face it.)
   That Harry Potter plastic bag is in the photo because I was as impressed with that as I was with everything else. It is literally folded up, along with four others, and is being stored lovingly with both the wand and the frog.


   Now, here we have some quite exciting things that I bought from Dervish & Banges. Dervish & Banges, in the book, sells and repairs magical items. In real life, however, it sells Hogwarts clothing. The special bit about it though, is that the clothing items that they sell are "movie-accurate". That Gryffindor scarf, for example, was quite expensive because it is EXACTLY THE SAME as the scarves the Gryffindors wear in the more recent films. They did cheaper ones, which were not movie-accurate, but I am nothing if not committed.
   The Gryffindor pin, left, is really beautiful close up. I regret to inform you, however, that my camera will not listen when I tell it to turn off the flash. They did prefect badges too, but I was trying to restrain myself.
   And finally, on the right, is a rather smashing bookmark that my sister and I bought on a whim. Unfortunately, it is too heavy to function as a bookmark and has actually ruined a couple of pages in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. That should probably be considered, in future, by the merchandise designers. I still like it though. It's currently attached to my mirror.

And that's it.
I tried to keep it short, and I think I did quite well.
I must remain mindful, however, that there are people who couldn't care less about Harry Potter. *spits*