Monday, 31 March 2014

A-Z April Challenge Theme Reveal

Hello Everyone,


For the next month, my posts will be slightly different. I will be doing the A-Z April Challenge (those eagle eyed readers will have seen in my sidebar the logo for this for the last week or so). I will explain what this entails (for me, not you as readers, you just continue reading and hopefully enjoying my posts).


Every day (apart from Sundays) I will post on a subject beginning with a letter. The 1st of April will be A, the 2nd B and so on until Z. There doesn’t have to be a theme, but with my love of theming things means that of course I will choose a theme. So, without much further ado, my theme is… dun dun dun… Grace’s A-Z of books! Books I’ve read, books I haven’t, books I want to, books I don’t.  Everything bookish. I’ve even made it harder for myself because I am still doing my link-up Five on Friday, so on Fridays I will be doing 5 books beginning with that letter.

I hope you’re looking forward to the next month of bookish heaven, I know I am.


Gracexxx

Motivate Monday

via: http://create-art-daily.tumblr.com/post/30393945161/optimism-is-the-faith-that-leads-to-achievement
Hello Everyone,

Start the week happily. This is the way I try to live, always be optimistic. There's always a bright side somewhere, you just need to find it. Challenge for this week: Every time you think you are going to say 'I can't', instead say I can. A positive state of mind can change your whole day around.

Gracexxx

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Bussing Mahem

Hello Everyone,


Sorry about my absence from the blogosphere yesterday. I had a pretty busy day on Friday, so I wasn’t able to write a post. I’ll tell you what happened.

I was travelling back home from Aberdeen to Glasgow for the Easter break, and so had spent the last few days in a bit of a manic rush packing and tidying to ready myself for the three weeks off (I say off, three essays to write and 3 ½ books to read isn’t really off, but oh well). I had booked my seat on a bus back, and had planned my journey very carefully and meticulously. Well, I got to the bus station, got on my bus fine, and finally started to relax into my seat for the journey ahead. How wrong was I?

We got to Dundee bus station to be told that the bus had broken down and probably wouldn’t be able to make it to Glasgow. So, while we waited for the engineers to arrive, people who were going to Perth were put on another bus that had free seats to Perth, and the rest of us just had to wait. We weren’t waiting for long though; the steward came up and told us that if we wanted they had a bus to Glasgow, but that it would take 2 hours 40 minutes to get there. At this point I was a tad hungry and tired, and just wanted to get home, so onto that bus I went.

Crammed on, I got a single seat at the front next to quite a nice lady from St Andrews, she was off home to Perth and was interested in my university course. So we chatted for a while, mostly about the joys of public transport, and when she got off, I was too tired to do anything other than watch some shows I downloaded from BBC iPlayer. At the next stop, she was replaced by another nice lady who was reading the book of the TV show I was watching. However, when she got off, that’s when it got interesting.

What I presumed was a couple got on at that stop with two toddlers. The lady sat down beside me with the youngest child. And the man sat down in the front row seat with the slightly older child. However, the bus company couldn’t allow this, as the little girl would be sitting on his lap without a seatbelt on. The bus driver told him that he couldn’t do that, and asked if anyone would swap seats with him. The man seemed to take some offence at this, and started to mouth off at the bus driver. As I was sitting next to his wife/girlfriend, I said that I would swap seats, as I know what it’s like to get on a bus and have to split up from your family. Also, it meant that I got lots of leg room at the front, and could see exactly where we were. So finally, I managed to relax and finish watching my programmes.

I finally got home, only an hour later than planned, and my family picked me up from the bus station. When I got in, all I really had the energy to do was eat dinner, have a wee catch up, watch a little telly, and then sleep.


Gracexxx

Friday, 28 March 2014

Five on Friday

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

Hello Everyone, 


This week the University of Aberdeen held its Applicant Days for the incoming first years in August (or prospective first years at least). This got me thinking, just about a year ago now, it was my first time seeing Aberdeen University, and how much things have changed since then. So the theme for my Five on Friday link up (check out how to join here) this week is what has changed since this time last year for me. 
  1. My City. Now, I have not always lived in Aberdeen, this time last year I still lived with my parents in Glasgow, and did not have any idea where I was going to end up next year. This has been the biggest change for me, because I had to move out, and live three hours away from my family, which was difficult. But I have completely settled in now, and love living in Aberdeen. I know what I am doing at uni, and have loved living away from home so much that I have applied to study in the states next year!
  2. My School. This is a bit of an obvious change, but last year, there was a change that I wouldn't even be accepted into Uni, let alone start planning to move away! But alls well that ends well, high school was fun, but now real life begins (or as much of real life that a student can experience).
  3. My Room. When I say my room, I don't just mean my room that I live in when I'm in Aberdeen, although that has changed. I mean my room at home. For those of you who don't know, I share my room with my younger sister, and since moving out, she has proceeded to make the room more her own, rather than ours. She is perfectly within her rights to do this as she lives there all the time, but it still stings a little when I go back to visit, and things have changed a little. But life wouldn't be life if things didn't change. (And if you are reading Lil, that doesn't mean when I am back to visit you can completely move my stuff around. Leave some things alone (like my bedside stuff, and MY BED!)
  4. My Friends. I wouldn't say my friendship circle has changed all that much, I am still friends with a lot of the people I was friends with last year, but circumstances of our friendships have changed. I've moved to Aberdeen, so there's a long distance aspect to consider. My best friend decided he would one better me once I moved, and emigrated to Australia! So there is a slight difference in my friendships now, as we need to work harder to keep in touch and stay up-to-date in each other's lives. Another aspect of my friendships that has changed is that my friendships have grown exponentially. I have made so many new friends it is unbelieveable!
  5. My Hair. Now, a little break from all that heavy emotional type stuff. My hair hasn't changed that dramatically, but enough that it deserves a mention. I used to have more of a fringe, but now it is short all over. Here's a little before and after pic to give you a better idea. 
Gracexxx
  1. AFTER (ignore the cat look, I was at a dance show)
    BEFORE

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Shopping Spree

Hello Everyone,


Now, normally at this point in the week, I would tell you about my top YouTube playlist of the week, but as I went shopping this week, I thought I would give you the lowdown on what I bought:
  • Rimmel London Scandaleyes Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Black
  • Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Transparent
  • Rimmel London 60 Seconds Nail Polish in 621 Mary Mary Quite Contrary
  • No. 7 Match Made Concealer in Calico
  • No. 7 Stay Precise Liquid Liner in Bohemian
  • No. 7 Gift Set including High Shine Lip Crayon in Delicate Pink, Skin Illuminator, Stay Perfect Eye Shadow in Middle Shade of Cappuccino Trio and Exceptional Definition Mascara in Black
  • H&M dress in army green
  • Heroes of Olympus Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan
  • Heroes of Olympus Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
via: http://stealingpages.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/heroes-of-olympus-banner.jpeg

Firstly, I went to Boots, and some may say I went crazy but I disagree. I ‘needed’ all this stuff (I say ‘needed’ because nobody really needs makeup, but anyway…) as I was about to run out of three things: my gel eyeliner, my pressed powder and my concealer. Now, as they have a wonderful 3 for 2 deal for all Rimmel London products, I just had to get my gel eyeliner and pressed powder from there. This meant that I had 2 out of the 3 products I needed for the deal, so therefore I had to buy a lovely new lilac nail polish of course. Now for the concealer. There was an advert saying that if you bought two No. 7 products, then you could get a free gift set for free (this would be my gift to me, hey, I’ve had a hard week!). So when I saw that you could get a lovely purple eye liner for the same price as one of the concealers (I’d planned on buying two, so I could get the gift set), of course I had to have it. There are some things here that I have never used before, and I look forward to trying them out and recommending/ rejecting them to you. Then, I went to H&M, where I found this lovely dress, and I got 25% off. What’s a girl to do? So of course I had to have that. Then, lastly, because I feel no shopping trip is complete without a trip to a bookstore, I got myself the next two books in the Heroes of Olympus Series on a gift card, my Waterstones card, and then actual money. So I only paid a fiver for them both. Bargain, eh? And so, because I was feeling rather shopped out at this point, I headed home to start on the books (or course reading, or whatever…)

Gracexxx

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Weekly Update

Hello Everyone,


Wednesday:
Spent the day in the library, in order to finish the presentation research and hand-out.

Thursday:
One of the days that I just never stop, although finding out that me glee rehearsal was cancelled was helpful as it gave me time to eat. I then had a ballet class and felt very fit as walked to the beach ballroom for my dance show technical rehearsal. Finally got my tiger onesie, and armed with my ears, nose and whiskers, we got on stage to have pictures taken and to try out the dance a couple of times. Also managed to score a lift home from the teacher, so didn’t have to walk home. Wrote a couple of blog posts when I got in, and then off to bed.

Friday:
It was the day of the dance show, and as I had to go into uni with my stage make-up on, I did get some funny looks. Another meeting for my presentation, and then I walked to the beach ballroom again. After a dress rehearsal, me and a girl in my tap class headed to ASDA to get supplies (a.k.a sweets and crisps to eat after our dance was over). When we got back, it was all a-go with make-up, costumes, hair (I sat out at that point!) and a last minute run through. Once our dance was over, we breathed a sigh of relief, and then proceeded to eat rather a lot of sweets and juice while everyone else ran around changing for other dances. I clearly, in my onesie, was very comfortable. Shared a taxi home with a couple of girls that recognised me from halls (sometimes being distinctive pays off!) and from the law ball.

Saturday:
Spent the day doing not much else but essay writing, drafting the hand-out for our presentation, and that’s about it. Pretty quiet day.

Sunday:
Similar to Saturday, except you have to add in a few errands to the essay writing. Although, I did manage to get caught in a hailstorm while taking out the recycling! Scottish weather baffles me sometimes.

Monday:
Spent the day in the library to finish the essay, and just had the referencing and conclusion to go. Group meeting for presentation on Wednesday was planned at five, but ended up being at 8 o clock. Feel a lot more prepared now though.

Tuesday:

A quieter day, aimed to finish my essay completely, practise for presentation tomorrow and try to write some blog posts if have time. As I detest the library at the moment, I spent the time in Alfie’s instead. 

Gracexxx

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Moffat: Madman or Genius Part 2

Hello everyone,


Since I felt that I rushed my last Moffat post, I thought I would correct this, and write a second, this time concentrating on what I like the most about Moffat.

He is a good writer. He has some amazing ideas and most of my favourite doctor who episodes were written by him. I think I said this in my last post, but some of his single episodes in Doctor Who that precede his becoming lead writer on the show are my favourite episodes. They are not dumbed down because they were made for children (I think I said in an earlier post that I hated things that were dumbed down just because I was a child. Click to read it here) It continues the idea that it is a family show, meant to be watched by all ages, not just children. 

He also created Sherlock, and I don’t know anyone who has watched this and disliked it. Both Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch are play their characters to perfection. However, if you are like me, and feel that no matter how good actors are, it is the writers that give them the vision, and then they act it out. The episodes are filled with plot movement, there is very little filling time with unnecessary conversations and dialogue. Everything is important, just perhaps not at that exact moment in time. It is clever, witty, complicated (in a good way), and allows you to form your own theories rather than just presenting the one 'right' one.  
via: http://metrouk2.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/sherlock-benedict-martin.jpg

Another thing I love about Moffat’s writing is Matt Smith’s portrayal of the doctor. I love Matt, and I do feel that Moffat was the right writer for his doctor. His storylines allowed him to show off his acting skills in the best light, and allowed him to be everything that the Doctor is and was. He had light and shadow in the character, and was a ‘madman in a blue box’, while being that ancient being that is so tortured by his past and what he has done and lost that all he can do is keep running.

The fiftieth Doctor Who episode was described by Moffat as ‘a love letter to fans’, and I think it achieved this goal. The plot, as in all of these sorts of episodes was merely a side to the full meal of the in jokes, ‘feels’ and sheer joy at watching what had never been done before, a reunion of past and present doctors. Although not every doctor had a brand new part, and most of them were shown through archive footage, it was a shout to the past. The sheer joy on Matt Smith’s face as he chatted to Colin Baker was apparent to everyone watching, and it allowed both young and old fans to see how the show has changed and evolved into something completely new and wonderful, but that it will never forget its past.
via: http://cdn.filmschoolrejects.com/images/Doctor-Who-50th-Anniversary.jpg

I hope this has reassured people that, although I have some problems with Moffat’s writing, I do have things that I like about it too. The ability to believe that someone has no flaws is good, but to accept them, and lok past them is better. In fact, I believe that in order to truly enjoy something, it shouldn’t be perfect, it should be unique. Perfect is boring, being unique, with both your flaws and your positives, is much more interesting.
via: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8064/8267830776_589e26eae4.jpg


Gracexxx

Monday, 24 March 2014

Motivate Monday

via: http://quotes-lover.com/wp-content/uploads/Beauty-isnt-about-having-a-pretty-face.-It-is-about-having-a-pretty-mind-a-pretty-heart-and-most-importantly-a-beautiful-soul.jpg
Hello Everyone,

Just saw this and it made me smile. Challenge for the week: Try one day without make-up, its so refreshing. And good for your skin as well!

Have a great Monday!

Gracexxx

Sunday, 23 March 2014

#nomakeupselfies

Hello Everyone,


Unless you haven’t been on social media in a while, it cannot have escaped your notice that millions of women are posting these #nomakeupselfies in aid of Cancer Research UK. There are many different theories about the reasoning behind it, but it was not started by Cancer Research UK. The main point is that in 24 hours, it helped to raise £1 million pounds for Cancer Research UK, and it is still rising.

I think it is a fabulous thing to do. I wear a lot of make-up, and it was odd putting up a selfie where I was literally laid bare. But that’s what cancer does to you, lays you bare for the whole world to see. You are vulnerable, both physically from chemo-therapy, and mentally from what you are fighting. It’s something that you are constantly battling through when you have it.

Another theory about why it started was to increase women’s confidence in themselves, as themselves. Women wear make-up and put a mask on everyday; a bit like what you have to do if you have cancer, put a mask on and pretend everything is alright. They need to feel like they are normal, and to have confidence in their faces and their bodies.  It’s a bit like the Dove campaign for real women. Women need to feel confident if they have cancer, and having support and solidarity from other women helps (I would like to point out that I am not just meaning women, men need support too. However, these selfies are for breast cancer research, so that is why I am concentrating on them.) These selfies give every women a chance to show their solidarity, and support for the women they know that have the disease.

By doing these selfies, it creates publicity, and makes sure that everyone knows about this, and therefore increases donations to cancer research, which is really what it’s all about. As long as people are talking about it, people will be giving. So for whatever reason you decide to do you #nomakeupselfie , make sure you don’t forget the most important thing and give to cancer research to try to help to stop the disease.
#nomakeupselfies


Gracexx

Saturday, 22 March 2014

How to: Stage make-up

Hello Everyone,


As I have spent the last two days in rehearsals, and therefore in full show make-up, I thought I would do a tutorial on this.

Here goes, a picture of me with no make-up on, and my face cleansed properly to clear out my pores. I have moisturised (Neutrogena Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Oil-free Moisturiser) and put on a primer (No.7 Stay Perfect Primer) to help my make-up stay on my face for as long as possible.
No Make-up, aaaaahhhhh!

After this I apply foundation (Rimmel London Match Perfect in Light Porcelain). I use quite a lot of this because I have quite patchy skin tone. This just evens it out, and stops me from looking washed out on stage. Once I have applied this I use some concealer (No.7 Match Made Concealer in Calico) on spots or blemishes that are not fully hidden by the foundation. I also use some of this under my eyes, and then re-apply some foundation of top to make sure there are no dark circles (remember that this is on stage, and that the lights can quite easily shine through your make-up.)

In order to create some definition to my face, and start to contour it, I apply highlighter (Benefit High Beam) to the top of my cheekbones, my forehead, a line from the bridge of my nose to the tip, and to the sides of my nose. Blend in well with fingers. It will make your face look quite shiny, but that’s okay, you’re going to put powder and other things over it, and you’ll be on stage, so it will need to be exaggerated for people in the audience to pick up, and for the lights to not wash you out. Finally, powder your whole face with a transparent powder (Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Transparent). This will allow your foundation to stay in place, and to stop your face looking shiny on stage.
With foundation, powder and highlighter

The next stage is to contour your face. Using a small blush brush (or a specific contour brush) and a powder that is darker than your face powder, or a specific contour powder (I don’t own one, I can’t find one that isn’t significantly too dark for my face, and therefore blends well enough to look natural), brush the powder under the cheekbones, not going into the apples of the cheeks though. Blend well, until it looks like you have natural shadows under your cheekbones, although as this is stage make-up you can afford to be slightly more liberal about the darkness of these shadows, as long as it is blended well. After this, apply blush to the apples of the cheeks, and bring it upwards along your cheekbones to your temple. You can also use a highlighter powder if you want at this point, and put it in the same places as the liquid highlighter, just to create more light and shadow on the face. If you are doing this in natural light, and it looks a bit much, you’re doing it correctly.
Unfortunately, the lighting in my room didn't allow you to see this all too clearly

Now it is time to work on the eyes. Using a pale matte base shadow (I use Bed Head Makeup for Cool People Palette in Vanilla) cover your eyelids all over from the lash-line to your eyebrow. Then, using a shimmery skin coloured shadow (the same Palette, in Peach) this time, highlight your brow-bone, and just under your eyebrow. If you want, you can highlight the inner corner of your eye with this same shade as well. Now, using a dark bronze/gold coloured shadow, tap onto your lids from the outside corner until about half-way across the lid. Using a lighter bronze/ gold shadow, cover the other half of the lid and blend well. After this, using a black shadow, find the crease of your eye under the brow bone, and line the black shadow into there. Be quite liberal with this, but remember to blend well. Use some slightly along the lash-line, and on the outer corner of bottom lash-line as well.
With dark and light bronze blended
With pale matte shadow and shimmer peach colour
With black eyeshadow blended into the eye crease

Using a gel liner (Maybelline EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel-Eyeliner 24H in black)line your top lashes, winging it out at the outer corner to where your shadow ends, creating a cat eye look. Line the inner corners of your eye, continuing the liner slightly further then where your eye ends. Also line the outer corners of your bottom lash-line to just before where your shadow ends. To create the illusion of having bigger eyes, line your bottom waterline with white eyeliner. Again be liberal with this to ensure that it can be seen on stage. Finally for your eyes, curl your lashes, and apply a lot of mascara (Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara in black) to your upper lashes. Also apply a lot to the outer corner lower lashes to where your liner ends.

This is what your liner should look like
To finish this look off, define your eyebrows with a powder, or a pencil if you want, just make them really defined and shaped. And to completely finish this look, apply some lipstick. I have used a bronze-y gold-y colour as it goes with my costume, but you can use red, pink, orange, whatever you want.
The finished look!


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and if you want me to do any other make-up looks, then let me know in the comments below.

Gracexxx



Friday, 21 March 2014

Five on Friday

Hello Everyone



I have now decided to join the link-up called Five on Friday, where bloggers share five things about their lives on a Friday. This can be anything, and does not have to have a theme. This week, as tonight I have the Aberdeen University Dance Society Show, I have decided to have a theme of dance, but I won’t always have a theme every week
video
  1. Here is a video of me dancing, just to shake things up a bit, not just text and pictures. Hope you enjoy
2.     I have danced since I was five years old. Well, I say five years old, I met my teacher when I was in nursery. She came and did ‘Music and Movement’ with the older kids. This was the ultimate, when you were old enough to be in the special older kids group and work with Judy. Then, before I left nursery, I showed an interest in wanting to go to ballet lessons. The reasoning was that I thought I could turn like a ballerina, so I wanted to become one (I couldn’t!) And my nursery said that Judy did lessons, so my parents decided to send me there. And I have been going ever since. When I was ten I started tap as well. I still go to my old dance school today, when I am back home visiting, I turn up and take part in a couple of classes. There’s a saying there, you will never really leave Judy’s dancing, you’re always part of the school.
One of my dancing shows, I think I was about 10ish?

3.     I have not necessarily always been the best at dancing, although practise helps a lot. I really found my place when at twelve, I started pointe work. It was like a dream come true, I had strong feet, a strong core, a good arch on my insteps, and I was good at it. Something just clicked, and from then on, I knew that I would always dance, no matter what. I have kept true to this mantra, and now am part of the Aberdeen University Dance Society and the Glee Club. Both these are heavily performance based, and allow me expand my dance experience from being fairly limited to a wider repertoire of show dance, jazz and lyrical, as well as continuing with my ballet and tap. 
All my pointe shoes, old and new. They make lovely decorations don't they?

4.     Dance is something that everyone can do. It doesn’t matter if you are short, tall, thin, fat whatever. If you love it, it will not make a difference. You don’t even have to be any good. (that’s not strictly true, if you want to pursue a career in it then it is necessary that you are good. But if you just dance for the love of it, then it’s fine to be bad. It’s probably more fun that way !) 
Casual dance show in the kitchen



5.     I have made some amazing friends at my dancing, that I really hope I stay in touch with. Dancing is one of the best ways to make friends I have found, because it is a real conversation starter, and you will have something in common. 





  • A little dancing girls reunion

  • That's my Five on Friday. 

    Gracexxx

    Thursday, 20 March 2014

    My Number One Youtube Playlist: Exercise Mix

    Hello Everyone,


    This week’s number one playlist is great if you need that extra boost when working out, or even just to walk to university in the morning! Now I’m no gym bunny, I prefer to walk everywhere and dance a lot. But I sometime quite like doing these YouTube exercise videos. This playlist was put together by rangeetkaswagnr. This one is good because as it includes some more relaxing videos as well as intense workouts (apart from some rather odd sounding names). Hopefully this will inspire you to try a couple of these perhaps.

    Order of Videos:

    1.       Bubble butt workout for women at home exercise
    2.       Yoga Sarvangasana Remove obesity yoga Health Fitness
    3.       Yoga for women at home women workout
    4.       Yoga 10 min exercise for weight loss for women at home
    5.       Women Fitness Exercise Woman at Home Workout
    6.       Weight Loss for Women Exercise at Home
    7.       Total Body Weight Loss Home Top Women Workout Weight Loss Women
    8.       Lose Weight & Burn Belly Fat at Home for Women
    9.       5 Minutes Abs Workout for Women at Home

    The link for this playlist is here

    Hope you enjoy it. Comment below with any ideas that you have for next week's theme.

    Gracexxx

    Wednesday, 19 March 2014

    Weekly Update

    Hello Everyone,


    Wednesday:
    I had my International Exchange Meeting. This is where we were told all the information about the rest of the application process for going to the University that we are going to next year. We were given hand-outs and forms, lots and lots of forms. Lots of forms. It is unbelievable the number of forms I have to fill out. And deadlines. Got to love those deadlines.

    Thursday:
    Busy day again. Spent the entire day (apart from lectures) in the library finishing my essay and assignments. Then was rushing around until about 9 o clock that night, and all I wanted to do was sit down and have a cup of tea and a biscuit. 

    Friday:
    Well, I was in uni from 10 until 4. Then had a birthday chat with my auntie (her birthday, not mine) on Skype. After that I met up with a friend and headed out to the Lucy Hawking talk (see my review here). Afterwards, we headed back to her flat where we proceeded to eat our own body weight in pizza, crisps and grapes (odd combo, I know).

    Saturday:
    Spent the entire day in the library as I had an assignment due on Monday and I hadn’t even started it (it was only 750 words, plenty of time). I also tried to write my posts for this week and my Gaudie Life and Style article.

    Sunday:
    Sunday was a quiet day where I didn’t really do anything at all. Started on my reading for the next couple of weeks, and I had a dance rehearsal in the afternoon, which meant a really long walk in the sun through the park.

    Monday:
    Monday was just one of those days. I ended up walking to and from uni three times. The first time I was going in to print something out in the library, when I realised that I had forgotten my Student ID.  So I had to go back for it. After that I had a meeting with my Advisor of Studies, so I went along to that. Then I headed back to halls to have some lunch. Then I had to head back into uni for my classes that day. So that was three times to and from uni. Exhausting!

    Tuesday:

    Nice day. Just one lecture in the morning, then a coffee and cake with my friend. Spent the afternoon with another blogger again. Then, had a lot of work to do so spent the evening working and researching for a presentation tomorrow. It never seems to stop. 

    Gracexxx

    Tuesday, 18 March 2014

    Moffat: Genius or Madman Part 1

    Hello Everyone,

    (Before you read this post, please bear in mind that this is my opinion, and if you disagree, please try not to take offense. If you feel the need to comment, please bear in mind that I will not take kindly to bad language or anything worse. This post is not representative of the general public, merely me and my group of friends’ opinions.)

    Famed for his re-imagining of Conan-Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and his complicated story-lines in the British television programme Doctor Who, Steven Moffat has been cited as a genius, or a madman. But which is he?
    via:http://infinitelyfullofhope.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/steven-mofatt.jpg

    He first came to fame as a writer with his show Press Gang, for young adults.  One paper wrote of the first episode: Press Gang has proved to be a series that can transport you back to how you felt as a teenager, sharper than the world but with as much angst as acute wit ... Never again can a show get away with talking down to children or writing sloppily for them. Press Gang: possibly the best show in the world.”

    This fame continued throughout his career. He became pretty well known to the younger generation again when he started writing for the TV series Doctor Who, writing some of the creepiest episodes that the show has ever had: The Empty Child, Silence in the Library and Blink. The Empty Child, set in 1941 during the London Blitz featured a small child in a gas mask who was following the homeless children around, spreading a sort of sickness that created every person it had touched in its likeness. The child’s cry of “Are you my mummy?” still haunts children today. Silence in the Library featured the Vashta Nerada, a creature that swarmed in the dark and ate human beings by infecting their shadows. Blink introduced the Weeping Angels, a statue-like creature that couldn’t move while you were looking at it, but could move as fast as light if you so much as blinked. Every person after watching it developed an irrational fear of statues. At the start of the fifth series of Doctor Who, with the introduction of Matt Smith as the new Doctor, Moffat became head writer for Doctor Who, replacing Russell T Davies. He has written to date 26 episodes for the show, including a Comic Relief mini-episode.
    via:http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/303/b/a/sherlock_and_the_doctor_who_by_nero749-d31ti35.jpg

    Moffat has also co-written the new Sherlock Holmes BBC series Sherlock. A re-imagining of Conan-Doyle’s most famous work, this Sherlock Holmes, set in modern day London, is a rude, obnoxious, high functioning socio-path. The show is composed of 3 feature length episodes per series starring Martin Freeman as Watson and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes. Each series has ended on a cliff hanger for the audience, resulting in internet tidal wave of theories and fan-fiction.

    However, there are critics of Moffat’s writing. His plots lines have frequently become much too complicated, with not many people following exactly what has happened. As a result, it normally seems rushed, and not enough time for what happens to sink in. Moments that should be poignant and tear-jerking are just not. I am of course talking about the most recent episode of Doctor Who, where the Doctor, played by Matt Smith, regenerated into hi next incarnation, played by Peter Capaldi. For me personally, throughout his whole goodbye scene (which I have to say was played superbly by Matt Smith) the one thing that struck me was the goodbye of Amy Pond (played by Karen Gillan) where it was quite obvious that she was wearing a wig (she had previously shaved her head for a part in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy). Now, I am not saying that this scene wasn't sad, or well played, but there was not a proper build-up to it, after the whole rest of the episode, there was not enough time to comprehend what was happening.
    This is not the first time that this has happened in a Doctor Who episode written by Moffat. In the episode where River Song is revealed to have killed ‘the Doctor’ (to understand the quotes around the Doctor, you will need to watch the episode) too much happened in this episode that nobody was entirely sure what was going on.

    via: http://img1.ak.crunchyroll.com/i/spire3/aaf5516fbaa688172811174d9c938f731319597046_full.jpg
    Another problem with this episode is that after clearing up the question of the Silence in the aforementioned episode, Moffat chose to bring them back. Now, if you are a fan of comeback villains, then Doctor Who is for you. As well as his long standing enmity with the Daleks, there are also the recurrent villains like the Cybermen, the Slitheen, fellow Time Lord the Master, and even the High Council of the Time Lords and Ladies themselves. However, there are sometimes problems with bringing back the villains. Generally, because they've been beaten by the Doctor before, there is a clear expectation that they will be beaten again, so writers have to come up with new ingenious ideas to keep them scary, and make the audience believe that they could potentially triumph. So, there is a lot of pressure on the writer. Moffat originally created the episode ‘Blink’ with the Weeping Angels (I mentioned this earlier), but when he brought them back (The Time of the Angels/Flesh and Stone), it was a well-received episode, but especially in the second episode, I felt that he failed at keeping them scary by including some rather strange scenes. However, I feel Moffat complicated things even more by bringing back the Silence. ‘The Silence will fall when the question is asked: Doctor Who?’ was the quote that followed throughout this series. I felt that this had already been dealt with thoroughly by the end of the series and did not need rehashing. This is the same with the cracks in time that were featured. This whole thing was way too complicated, and should have been confined to just one series. 
    via:http://www.roundtree7.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/weeping-angel.jpg

    Now, there are other things that I dislike about Moffat’s writing, like his female characters and his over representation of men in Sherlock. However, this post is very long, and I don’t want it to turn into too much of a rant. Nevertheless, I would like to stress that I do not dislike everything about Moffat. These are just a couple of issue that I have with his writing.I think he did superbly with the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Episode. I really enjoy watching Doctor Who and Sherlock, and can’t wait to see what happens in the future with these shows.


    Gracexxx

    Monday, 17 March 2014

    Monday Motivate

    via: http://www.zazzle.co.uk/keep+calm+and+dance+on+posters
    Hello Everyone,

    This is just because I'm a dancer. Happy Monday! Challenge for today: de-stress by having a dance to the wackiest, most embarrassing music you have.

    Have a fantastic day!

    Gracexxx

    Sunday, 16 March 2014

    Grace and the Secret Key to the Universe: Imagination

    Hello Everyone, 


    For the Big Bang of National Science and Engineering Week (14-23 March 2014), the University of Aberdeen hosted an out-of-this-world talk by Lucy Hawking. Titled Imagination, Extravagant Freaks and Great Cosmic Journeys, the audience were transported across the galaxy to a place where anything was possible- the planet of imagination.
    Stephen Hawking's sculpture in Madame Tussauds
    Photo cutesy of Marlene Simoes

    Now I know that was filled with all sorts of horrible clich├ęs, but I just needed to get them out of my system.  I could have done so many more. But truly, now I will talk a little more seriously about listening to Lucy Hawking.

    The author of George and the Secret Key to the Universe series was a personable and welcoming talk host. She took the children in the audience, because that is who the intended audience was, the children, and inspired them to think in new ways and to try new things, just because they can.

    She introduced children to the wonders of space, and what can happen with a little imagination. Isaac Newton could never have discovered gravity, Charles Darwin could not have thought of the Theory of Evolution, and Watson and Crick could not have found the double helix of DNA, were just some of the examples given to the children. The idea that without knowledge without imagination is just data, imagination without knowledge is just fantasy, but with imagination the possibilities are boundless.

    Travelling through space is easy nowadays with our advances in technology, but what about time travel? This was disproved with an anecdote about her father, Stephen Hawking. He hosted a party for time travellers, with the theory that if time travel is invented, people would travel back in time to be ‘time tourists’, and would visit his party. Nobody turned up. Make of this what you will, either we are not interesting enough to visit when we host a party for them, or we never manage it.
    My Signed Copy of George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt

    Just before the conclusion of the talk, a recording of Stephen Hawking talking was played to the children. However, the robotic recording that would normally send children who were too young to understand much about his illness into fits of giggles, produced nothing but awed silence. Why? Lucy Hawking before playing it gave a moving speech to the children explaining the true wonder of what they were hearing. A voice that was lost from illness is being brought back by a computer. Technology is remarkable that we are able to do this now: give people who cannot speak back their voice. It is this that should inspire the children the most.
    Me with Lucy Hawking after the talk


    The evening was rounded off with a little girl in the audience asking: ‘What are black holes made of?’ Smiling, it was answered quite simply, ‘well it is nothing pulling in everything around it. So it’s made of all things that fell in.’ When asked what area of science captures the imagination of children, the answer was: ‘black holes, space travel and aliens’. Well then everybody, that’s the secret. Get Writing Everyone. All you need are these three things, and a little imagination. 

    Gracexxx

    Saturday, 15 March 2014

    Beauty Forecast: My Wardrobe Must-Haves

    Hello Everyone,

    I have always had my own sense of style. When I was little you could see me in pink and purple (yeargh!) striped tights and a little denim skirt with a pinky-purple long-sleeved top with a cat on it (hey, I said I had my own style, not that it was a good sense of style!). Now that I'm a bit older and wiser (I hope!) I tend to make fewer fashion mishaps like that. I try to follow trends, but also shop for my shape. I'm never going to be model height (no matter how much I wish it), or have Beyonce's curves, so I don't buy things to accentuate this. However, over the years, I have developed a few Must-Haves for every wardrobe.
    Me and my sister one Christmas: what was I wearing????

    1.   A Leather Jacket

    It doesn't matter who you are, everyone should have a leather jacket. They are versatile for lots of different outfits, and occasions. Dressing up, or dressing down, it doesn't matter, it gives the wearer a slight edge to their look that is irresistible. If you are buying a leather jacket, choose a quality one, as they will last longer, and feel better too. Choose a style that is right for you, if you don't like a fancy intricate one, go for a simple almost blazer-esque one, like Chrissy Hynde. There's a timeless elegance to a leather jacket that suits you, and it allows you to feel just a little bad-ass, even when you're not!
    My new leather jacket, feeling ever so cool 

    2.   A White Shirt

    A white shirt is brilliant. You can wear it with jeans, shirts, leggings, short… in short, everything. You can even wear it on its own (if its big and you’re brave!). It is a classic, ageless piece of clothing that suits everyone. It can be tailored, or you could buy a man’s for the larger casual look. It’s a staple for work, and it could even be worn going out, with a statement pair of heels. (Apparently you can also wear it to be sexy for your boyfriend, I wouldn’t know).
    via: http://susiestyles.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Susie-Styles_How-To-Find-The-Right-White-Shirt-For-You_Classic-White-Shirt_Bib.jpg

    3.   Red heels

    Red heels are fantastic. I own a pair and they are my babies. I would cry if anything happened to them. I think they are even more compulsory for a wardrobe than black heels. This is because, although black heels are all well and good for general everyday use, red heels are sexier and show more personality, especially when paired with a black trouser suit. And because there are soooooo many different shades of red and heel heights/styles, it is very easy to find a style that you like.
    These actually are my red heels!!!!!
    via: http://debenhams.scene7.com/is/image/Debenhams/050010827703?$V7PdpLarge$

    4.   An LBD

    Now, I know that this is a universally accepted piece of classic wear. Made famous by Audrey Hepburn, the classic LBD is high necked, sleeveless and with a fifties style skirt. However, it doesn’t need to be. A Little Black Dress can be just that, a little black dress. It could be fitted, loose, long, short, you name it. Black is a universal colour which suits everyone. Pair it with your red heels, and you’re good to go!
    via: http://osatelegraph.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Famous-Little-Black-Dresses1.jpg

    5.   Skinny Jeans

    Now, I don’t just mean any skinny jeans. I mean a pair that fit you properly, are neither too baggy nor too tight (neither are a good look), and are the correct length. They can be any shade of denim, although I think the classic dark denim looks really good on everyone. They can be dressed up or down. I love the skinny jeans with a slightly baggy tee-shirt, or you can wear them with heels for going out. Again, I would recommend going for a quality pair, although if you find a pair that best fits you in Primark, go for it!
    via: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bmn1-hNu4VM/USuCham_VlI/AAAAAAAAANA/EWwDXmhS8H8/s1600/41M7PRJBXQL.jpg

    Well, these are my wardrobe must-haves. Have I missed anything? If you think I have, then comment below.


    Gracexxx