The wonderings, ponderings and other 'ings' of me. Lifestyle, review, news and opinion posts. Chic with a hint of sarcasm... hopefully!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

13 Reasons Why, did it go too far?


I downloaded this a few weeks ago and when I saw a tweet from someone advising caution against watching it I thought ‘that’s a bit strong and somewhat dramatic’.  To me this was a wonderfully acted, totally gripping drama, but I was only on episode 5.

What did I know.

Okay that’s not fair, it is wonderfully acted and gripping.  However I will admit after I had seen episodes 9 and 12 and 13 I not only understood why the writer sent this tweet, I did the same.

If you’re not 137 or living under a rock you’ve heard of 13 Reasons Why. I’ll not go into the story of Hannah Baker; you can find it here because the issues around the series are, to me, more worthy of report. I think what might have happened is the grown-ups have forgotten what it’s like to be 16 and the all-encompassing belief that what you’re feeling will never disperse that comes with it.

There are two particularly graphic rape scenes that anyone who isn’t a complete psychopath will have difficulty watching.  But these aren’t the only truly disturbing images we get, there's also the suicide… in full. The whole sorry incident. 

Nic Sheff, who adapted the novel written by Jay Asher, has argued that he wanted to ‘depict the suicide with as much detail and accuracy as possible’.  He also advised ‘it seems to me that the most irresponsible thing we could’ve done would have been not to show the death at all,’

Erm Bollocks!

If he was showing it in ‘all its accuracy’ we wouldn’t have been given that ‘peaceful glide into abyss’ style. You would have seen her throw up, as sometimes happens during an attempt to commit suicide.  But this scene neither messy nor drawn out means I fully believe the accusations of glamorising suicide are not exaggerated. 

The fact that the perfect skinned Hannah is seen wandering the halls - albeit through Clay's eyes - in each episode seems suggest she got the last laugh. That the people who were hurting her get their comeuppance because of her actions… Again Not. Accurate.  Suicide doesn’t fix anything, I think you’ll find as Veronica Sawyer says, all it does is make you a statistic.


All that happens after suicide is pain, confusion and more pain, not in the people that may or may not have caused it but in the friends and family of the person that died.  There is no justice in suicide, no sweet revenge.  There is just a big, fat, crappy mess and mental health issues for everyone involved.

Which brings me to another issue, why were there warnings of the graphic scenes but no mention of helplines or crisis centers for those that had been triggered by what they have just witnessed? How irresponsible is that?

13 Reasons Why is not the cause of teen suicide and it shouldn't be made the scapegoat of a messed up society.  Maybe it will get people talking and be more open about mental health. It’s a risk though and to those teetering on the edge of hurting themselves it may come across as giving permission to actually do it.

Only time will tell.

Have you seen 13 Reasons Why?

What did you think? 

Rape Crisis
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Thursday, 20 April 2017

General Election or FFS what are you trying to do to us!

Are you kidding me! Seriously with all the talk of 'stability' and 'coming together' May calls a general election NOW?! 



I'm exhausted and from what I can gather many of you feel the same, but here we are. Forced yet again into choosing between people we don't like and have little faith in, to run a country that hasn't been this angry and scared since Hitler decided to give up painting.

We could just say what's the point, sit back and wait for Kim Jong-Un to get his missiles off the beach and into the end of days. Wait for May to walk the election because she's riding high on the poll stats and we don't know what else to do.  

But that's what she's banking on.

Our lethargy and confusion are what this government want. So its time, once more, to stand up and get involved. Get registered.  Find out what the parties in your area stand for, their stance on Brexit, education or anything that affects you and yours.

Personally I think the best way forward is for a coalition between Lib Dems, Green Party, WEP, Labour and screw it yes the SNP too.  Basically if every other party puts their egos aside and joins together to form a truly democratic government we might just get out of this mess alive or at least with the NHS still in tact. 

It does make a difference, and if one person tells me their vote doesn't count...





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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Review: Hot Numbers Coffee House

Fresh from of my successful stint as reporter at the London Coffee Festival for Barista Magazine, what articles you ask? Oh just These Ones!  I thought now would be a good time to turn my attention back to the coffee offerings of my hometown.  This time Hot Numbers.

The Cool
Hot numbers employees have the fine art of coffee making down to a tee*.  This is coffee connoisseur-age to the nth degree. 
This is where the really hip hipsters go to sample perfectly balanced blends.  You know immediately when you are near Hot Numbers, the distinctive bright red of their cups, perfect latte art and smack-you-in-the-back-of-the-head taste for your buds is unmistakable. 
I love that sometimes there’s vinyl playing in the background.  Yummy, relaxed sounds are perfect for a stress free upper middle class coffee break (cos we know how trying it can be to be an employed, straight, white person these days). 

The Quirks
The Barista training days are incredibly interesting and really give you food for thought** though are quite expensive, the Home Barista Training Experience being £160 for two.  There’s also a small side effect in that you may realise you haven’t had a decent cup of coffee at home since 1990-never!  That aside our barista, Jack (of course he was called Jack) had incredible knowledge of his subject.  Coupled with the skills to explain the intricate details of the brewing process to two coffee novices meant we thoroughly enjoyed our time learning about the bean. 
Hot Numbers events include drawing nights, bands to listen to and exhibitions to see.  With no ticket or entry fees (though a £5 donation is suggested) Hot Numbers could keep your evenings busy throughout the year.    

The Que?
My one true bugbear is No. Reward. Cards!  I’m sure there’s a reason for this but if the majority of other coffee houses can offer a little thank you to us their loyal customers I see no reason why the lovely people of Hot Numbers can’t do the same.  Is it laziness? Is it short sightedness? Is it couldn’t give a crap we’re still raking it in-ness? I guess we’ll never know (unless they read this and reply *waits…)
The Trumpington street address is particularly small.  Freelancers (what an annoying breed they are eh?) camping out all day, ordering one Americano and scabbing electricity supplies from small businesses needs to be curbed, we understand that.  However reducing the free Wi-Fi time to 30 mins is really rather stingy.  Give us a full lunch hour at least!

Bearing all this in mind I wont pretend I don't enjoy Hot Numbers and do visit under these particular circumstances:
I have an extra £5 in my pocket.
I have hour to kill.
I want to spend some time taking in some culture with my coffee.
I'm outside a Hot Numbers.


Have you been to Hot Numbers? 

* or should that be down to a coftee! No? alright I’ll get my coat. #Sadface
** was going to write liquid for thought here but it just doesn’t work does it?

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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Playing with the new Olympus Pen E-PL8


As a fully invested Canon camera user I have never experimented with another brand.  Until that is local camera shop Campkins approached me to arrange a #CambMeetUp event with Olympus to try out their brand new Olympus PEN E-PL8.  The pen was the camera I originally lusted after when I first started to take blogging seriously, if I’m honest it was partly because I had seen it round the necks of bloggers I admire and partly because the white one is so damn pretty!

This meant I was only too happy to give it a go, as were several of those in my blogging community.  And so it was on a glorious Saturday afternoon a bunch of us found ourselves able to play with the latest Olympus creation.  David Smith, an Olympus tech specialist very patiently went through the set up.  Showing us how easy it was to link our images to our phone (a real pulling point for instagram lovers!) and running through the basics of what the Olympus PEN E-PL8 can do.  He was on hand throughout the walk, answering our questions and helping us figure out the menu's many icons.  He even became photographers assistant - with the help of the reflector or the ‘shiny shiny’ as we will now be calling it - so that we got the most out of our images.


Obviously a stroll around this incredibly gorgeous city is never a hardship and it was made all the more special as we could document our time together.  Catching up with those who have moved away, had babies or are just plain crazy busy all whilst learning how to use the blurring mode and enjoying the pin point clarity from this cutest of cute cameras was so much fun. 



There’s no denying this is a sexy little camera, as a blogger and social media lover it has many aspects that are attractive to me.  The down side being for a small camera it does get quite heavy and the cost isn't exactly a drop in the ocean if you know what I mean.

I’ve listed my likes/dislikes below and will be consulting this list regularly over the next few months to figure out if it’s something I need… or just something I just really really want!


Likes:
App easily links images to phone
Attractive
Small
Pin point clarity

Dislikes:
Weight (Some rather painful neck marks appeared after a couple of hours)
Complex menu
Expensive! (Kit from £549)

Do you have an Olympus Pen?


Thanks to Campkins and Olympus for hosting us.  



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