Monthly Archives: March 2013

A to Z – Provisional Post Ideas #AtoZChallenge

Yes, I have decided to take part in the blogging from A to Z challenge this year, and I’m going to take part twice.

I will be blogging about Supernatural/Sci-Fi/Fantasy type TV shows I’ve seen and also a PhD related blog post a day too – I ran this past my Supervisor today who thought it would be a good thing because she might actually get to see some of my thoughts written down!!

TV Shows Provisional List (with additional sneaky mentions on some days and slight cheats on three)

A is for… Angel
B is for… Buffy the Vampire Slayer
C is for… Charmed
D is for… Dead Like Me
E is for… Eureka
F is for… Firefly
G is for… Ghost Whisperer (sneaky Game of Thrones mention too)
H is for… Hex
I is for… Incredible Hulk
J is for… Journeyman
K is for… Kingdom Hospital
L is for… Lost
M is for… Missing
N is for… No Ordinary Family
O is for… Once Upon a Time
P is for… Point Pleasant
Q is for… Quantum Leap
R is for… Roswell
S is for… Supernatural (Def plus sneaky extras inc The Secret Circle, Switch and Smallville – there’s an abundance of S Shows)
T is for… Teen Wolf
U is for… Um there are no Us so let’s go for numbers – 666 Park Avenue
V is for… Vampire Diaries
W is for… Wonderfalls
X is for… X Files
Y is for… Your Favourites
Z is for… Zombies –  Dead Set (If I get round to watching it in time)

PhD Provisional List (Book reviews won’t be able to be of the whole book but key concepts)

A is for… Autoethnography
B is for… Beginning
C is for… Conferences
D is for… Dialogism (Book)
E is for… Ethics
F is for… First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process (Book)
G is for… Grame Harper’s Interviews with Contemporary Writers (Inside Creative Writing) (Book)
H is for… Heroine
I is for… Intertextuality (Book)
J is for… Journalling and Reflexivity
K is for… King – On Writing (Book)
L is for… Le Guin on Writing (The Wave in the Mind) (Book)
M is for… Mewburn (Dr Inger) – The Thesis Whisperer
N is for… Narrative Inquiry (Book)
O is for… Ontology, Epistemology and all that Jazz
P is for… Pratchett on Writing (A Slip of the Keyboard) (Book)
Q is for… Qualitative
R is for… Radical Rhetoric
S is for… Situating Everyday Life (Book)
T is for… Transactional Perspective (Book)
U is for… Ubiquitous
V is for… Value the Personal
W is for… Why I Write (Orwell) (Book)
X is for… X doesn’t mark the spot
Y is for… Your story too
Z is for… Zen in the Art of Writing (Ray Bradbury) (Book)

So, that’s my challenge – now I need to start writing and scheduling as much as possible so that I can visit and comment on other blogs.

Are you doing the challenge this year? Picked a theme? Planning or winging it?

A Harry Potter Movie Marathon

This weekend is going to be soooo much fun. My friends and I are having a Harry Potter movie marathon where we plan to watch all eight films over the course of two days. Alongside that will be other Harry Potter geekery: fancy dress, themed food and drink (inc butterbeer of course).

We’ve already started the geekery early too – my mate Steph sent us this: I can’t believe I finally got my Hogwarts letter!!

And using this kit (Quill, ink, wax and stamp bought in Italy in 2005):

I made everyone an invitation.

P1050072 P1050078 P1050080

And then labelled and sealed envelopes (nearly setting light to them; at one point there was a line of flame running from the wax to the seal on one of the envelopes – only though afterwards that using a candle instead of matches would have been more sensible. In fact that is a lie, I thought of that the night before and then promptly forgot when I went to actually do it). P1050071 P1050090


More pictures to follow post event.

Have you ever had a movie marathon and if so what did you watch and what are your tips for surviving?



Malory Towers – Book Review

I was sick with the flu at the beginning of the year and I wanted a read that I didn’t have to think about too much – cue a re-read of some childhood favourites. I loved Malory Towers (by Enid Blyton) when I first read them (I think I’ve re-read them a few times since, my books are quite well thumbed – I also have the audiotape [yes tape] of the first book).
Now reading them as an adult (in 2013 – the first book was published in 1946!!) and a writer I have to admit to not being 100% as enamoured as I once had been but still enjoying and even remembering the stories.
I’m not a fan of the new cartoony covers preferring the ones from my copies (1990). I appreciate the need to attract a new generation (there have been many other illustrations which you can see on the Enid Blyton society website) but I wonder if the old fashioned language etc will come as even more of a shock with an up to date cover?
I can’t find the quote now but the series introduced me to the word prig – which sadly I’ve never had cause to use as an insult!!

I’m going to briefly review the 6 books and highlight why each one made me want to actually go to Malory Towers, what I liked about it and in some cases why I wasn’t as keen. May be some spoilers.


First Term at Malory Towers (4 out of 5 stars)
We meet and immediately warm to Darrell Rivers and experience her wonder at her new school Malory Towers. I was especially jealous of their swimming pool which is refreshed by sea water daily.
We are quickly introduced to Darrell’s fundamental flaw that she battles with through the books – her temper.
She is quite handy with the slaps and pushes though, something that would be frowned on even more today.
We learn, with her, to look past the surface to see the person underneath. I’d forgotten that Darrell and Sally weren’t immediately best friends. Sally’s behaviour really was quite odd – the sibling rivalry seemed very exaggerated and she does almost turn into a different (and much more likeable character) at the end. And ‘quick-witted Alicia, isn’t quite as fun as we first thought, the scene where she can’t hear after a swimming lesson does make you feel for her though.
I love the scene that shows how close Darrell is to her Dad – the relief she feels by him being close.
I don’t like the spider chapter, for obvious reasons *shivers*.

I think the boarding school concept was so alien to me that it was instantly appealing (though I would have hated being away from home). And when I read Harry Potter a few years later it definitely tapped into my previous MT love.

Second Form at Malory Towers (4 out of 5 stars)
One thing that confuses me is how girls move in and out of years. Having to do so many terms but all attending the same classes.
The introduction of the scatterbrained art loving Belinda in this book adds extra fun. Her friendship with Irene makes me giggle.
Gwendoline gets a taste of her own medicine by friending Daphne, but this only shows her up further when Daphne develops at the end. The scene where Daphne goes to look for sweet Mary Lou is one of my favourites from the series.

Third Year at Malory Towers (5 out of 5 stars)
One of my favourites – more new characters are introduced. Bill and her horse Thunder, Zerelda and her hair, Mavis and her voice.
Bill’s headbutting with Miss Peters with its slight twist.
The introduction of Lacrosse – I actually had a desire to participate in a sport – not that I’ve ever got too.

Upper Fourth at Malory Towers (3 out of 5 stars)
My least favourite book. Too much infighting and jealousy as Darrell is in charge of the form for School Cert year. Darrell’s temper strikes again.
Her younger sister Felicity joins Malory Towers and Alicia’s cousin June immediately starts bossing her around.
Belinda’s attempts at adding drawings of Gwendoline’s scowls to her collection provides light relief.
This is the book with the midnight feast down by the pool, the best part of boarding school is the midnight feast and it takes until the fourth book to get one.

In the Fifth at Malory Towers (5 out of 5 stars)
Come on, this one had to be my favourite – it involves Darrell discovering her love of writing when the girls put on the end of term entertainment for the school and parents. A pantomime of Cinderella and yay Mary Lou gets to shine.
Mamzelle also plays her treek with the teeth that had me chuckling along with her.

Last Term at Malory Towers (4 out of 5 stars)
Two of our favourite characters are head girl of the school and games captain as they come to terms with leaving Malory Towers.
The older girls get their own studies.
Amanda, a new girl and potential Olympian takes June under her wing. She also puts herself in danger. Malory Towers tends to stop those who think they’re too big for their own boots being that way for long. The only one who never really seems to learn is Gwendoline. However I’ve since found out that the series has been continued in another six books by Pamela Cox and in it Gwendoline Mary is a teacher!!!
Expect reviews of the following at some point.
New Term at Malory Towers
Summer Term at Malory Towers
Winter Term at Malory Towers
Fun and Games at Malory Towers
Secrets at Malory Towers
Goodbye Malory Towers

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