Alexandra

A little bit portfolio, a little bit clever & mainly moronic

Month: March, 2013

The Dailies (ish): One Night Only or how to avoid the mud this summer

The Dailies was an idea I came up after I finished my dissertation. This week, I was very busy (sitting on my arse watching TV), but I promise I’ll try harder next week!

If one is to read such trashy (wonderful) things such as the beautifully designed Company magazine, you will already be aware that the only thing English summer is good for is FESTIVALS. If I have to read another fucking article about ‘festival glam’ I’ll shoot someone. Like, whose idea was it that you’re meant to look good at a festival? It’s about music, not fashion.

I blame this photo for spawning a hundred copy cat photos of pretty girls with messy hair and a lot of leg.

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The now iconic image of Kate at Glastonbury (??) donning Hunters and shorts smaller than my knickers.

The thing is, this is Kate Moss. Kate Moss, whose JOB it is to look beautiful.

When I go to a festival, I’m all about taking clothes I don’t care about, because you can’t lock a tent and you can’t predict what the weather will do.

Wellingtons, knee socks, old dresses or shorts, minging jumpers & rain macs. These are what you need at a festival. Not fucking ‘boho chic’.

In fact here I am at Latitude 2011:

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Just for clarifications, I am the one on the right. The one on the left is Tristan. He should have left those shorts in the ’90s, but by wearing them is adhering to my style regulations for festivals. Whattababe.

This year I’ve decided there’s way more to summer than mud, bad weather and minging jumpers. The new vibe is the ‘Day’ festival. These fun events are a quarter of the price of a real festival, smaller, in easier to get to locations (that is, if your whole world revolves around London) & don’t involve tents. My kind of bag. I trawled the internet (did a small amount of research) about the BEST day festivals coming up this summer:

1) Field Day, Victoria Park, 25th June.

Despite the fact that Victoria Park has some weird laws about music decibels (or something), I’m having minor heart palpitations about how sexy the line up for this one day extrazanga of (ever so slightly hipster) fabulous music is. To name but a few bands: Dark Dark Dark, Everything Everything, Animal Collective, Bat for Lashes, CHVRCHES…. I could go on.

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Last year’s Victoria Park decked out for Field Day.

2) We Are FSTVL, Upminster, 25th May.

Trendy, new dance festival in Essex. Terrible website which should come with an epilepsy warning, but impressive line up including: Rudimental, Jaguar Skills, Modestep and others. Tickets are going fast.

3) The Sound of Change, Twickenham, 1st June.

I am seriously reppin’ this one day event for a plethora of reasons. Firstly, Twickenham is my hometown. Secondly, this is a concert for charity (Twickenham Stadium previously held the Help for Heroes concert). Thirdly, the charity is a WOMEN’S charity, to promote education & equality for all girls and women globally. UHHH YESS. Finally, the line up is seriously sick. Beyonce, Florence & the Machine, Iggy Azealea (hotly tipped new rapper, doncha knowww, well I didn’t), Haim, John Legend, Rita Ora and Timbaland. Twickenham done good. I’ve never been so proud of my TW1 up bringing.

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The irony of Beyonce headlining a festival promoting Feminist ideas has not escaped me.

4) South West Four, Clapham Common, 24th/25th August.

I reckon this counts because it’s only two days and they have no camping on site. Another dance festival with an equally crowded website. The full line up is yet to be announced, but is already formidable with dance heavy weight Armin Van Buuren on the bill and chart sensation Example headlining.

5) Night + Day, Isleworth, 23rd June.

Another one dayer with a TW postcode! I’ve already booked my tickets for this exciting musical show in the beautiful Osterley House (National Trust building). The xx are headlining (and are the brains behind this one), alongside Mount Kimbie, Polica and Kindness. More acts and DJs are going to be announced.

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Osterley Park.

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The Dailies: A Trip to the Career Service Turned into an Existential Crisis & other white, middle class problems

Recently, I went to the visit the Careers Service at my University to ask them to help me sort out my cluttered, and quite frankly, confused CV. My trip to Careers for quite baffling, but not unpleasant.

I was led into a windowless room and I sat opposite someone whose name I can’t remember (sorry), so I will call her Anne. For some reason, she had a large bee in her bonnet about the fact I hadn’t included my dissertation topic as part of the ‘Education’ section of my CV. 

Is it normal to put your dissertation on your CV? It does not seem normal to me.

“You really should include your dissertation topic in your CV. It’s very interesting to employers. What are you doing your dissertation on?” She said.

“Err, it’s Creative Writing.” 

“What’s the title?”

“It’s called Populate.”

“What’s it about?”

“It’s, err, post-apocalyptic lesbian fiction. It’s kind of like a gay Hunger Games.”

Anne looked confused and said no more about my dissertation topic.

I felt like I had already failed whatever prospective job interview I might be given in her eyes.

She then said, “One of the key things your CV is missing is your hobbies.”

Oh, Anne I didn’t know you were a humorist!

I laughed. Anne was looking at me expectantly. 

Anne wasn’t a humorist, she was being serious. 

“Employers want to know you’re not just some work-a-holic loser.”

“But I am..” I replied.

Anne smiled awkwardly, then leant closer to me and pressed on counsellor-style, 

“You must have some hobbies. What are they?”

“I do the Student Newspaper…” I replied, awkwardly.

“Yes, I know about that. But what do you do to unwind?”

Masturbate.

“Err, see my friends?”

“That’s great, so we’ll put socialising in!” She began to write down socialising on my CV. In HB Pencil.

“What else? Do you like going to the cinema?”

I wanted to put my head in a blender.

“What about going to the gym?”

And turn the blender on.

 

I did escape from Anne alive. But it got me thinking. I don’t really have any hobbies. I used to go horse riding as a child. Aside from that, my hobbies have only ever been reading and writing. So essentially my degree.

Do other people have hobbies? What are they? Can one develop a hobby or is one born with it? Do employers really care about hobbies? Is Anne right?

Are we all fucked?

Answers on a postcard.

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The Dailies: Greatest Fears

1) Birds. I don’t know why. I haven’t even seen Hitchcock’s seminal (and allegedly terrifying) The Birds. They just freak me out. The beating of their wings makes me nervous.

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A scene from The Birds.

2) Snowballs. I have an over active imagination and even the most innocent and poorly packed of balls (pun unintentional) could be holding a stone. That stone could hit me on the temple and kill me. It’s all possible. 

3) Hamsters and all other small furry creatures. I HATE THEM ALL.

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Not welcome here.

4) Monkeys. They’re loud, rabid and playful. Need I say more?

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He will kill you. Trust me.

5) Going blind. Colour is beautiful; I would hate to lose it.

And this is the big one

6) Losing the people I love. If that’s not your biggest fear, you need to re-think your priorities.

I will be taking a break from The Dailies this weekend, but I’ll be back next week. Til then, take care x

 

The Dailies: Hidden Guildford

OK so I’ve lived in Guildford, Surrey for three years and coming from the exciting metropolis that is London, I’ve often found Guildford to be a little lacking. However, Guildford has some real hidden gems. And here they are (if there’s anywhere I should include, let me know!)

University of Surrey:

Youngs Kitchen, The Living Room: Made somewhat infamous by the hilarious music video starring Em Bollon, ‘Youngs gonna give you that’, but in all seriousness, Youngs is the best eatery on Campus. Amazing food at reasonable prices.

4th Floor East Wing, Library: Best toilet for doing an undisturbed shit.

GU2 Radio: Really well produced Radio shows from Surrey students, playlist is good and up to date and the presenters are really talented. The ones to watch (or, indeed, listen to) are Adam Read, Clocking Off, Feet Up! With Knowles and Ward, Olivia Crittenden, Aaron Rush, The Ladies, Fauxlo (when she’s back on air), Liam Conroy and Emma Fleming.
http://www.gu2.co.uk

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StagTV The Arrest: Very impressive two part mini documentary from StagTV, starring much loved Mike Frazer. Mike is arrested and put in an actual jail cell.

Episode One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SwgD9-20S0

Episode Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m68jPJVV68A

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Guildford Town:

Frisky Monday’s: Once a month in the Player’s Lounge of Casino playing the best Urban and Afrobeats. Casino is gross, Frisky’s is not. The toilets are clean, the music is good, the bar is well stocked and the company is top notch. Well worth a visit.

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Getting frisky with my girl, Bakita

The Mount: Essentially a very steep hill on the edge of town (ideal if you have a car though as you can park at the top) which gives you views of the whole of Guildford Town.

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My housemates on top of the Mount in Frosty Weather.

The Canal: Again, on the edge of Town (behind Debenhams) this beautiful stretch of water is great for a summer picnic. You can rent rowing boats, there’s a lovely walled garden and The Britannia pub or The Boatman is a great pit stop for a pint.

Further afield:

The Silent Pool: A slightly terrifying place, which is rumoured to be haunted. Essentially it’s a big scary pond. If you drive there at night, take a torch and scare yourself silly. I nearly wet myself the first time I went.

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The Silent Pool

The Fairy Bridge: If you keep walking along the Canal, on the same side of the Britannia, you come across a strange Fairy Bench/Bridge, which is often populated with Druids. If you follow the path that leads right from the bridge, you can climb a steep hill which takes you to possible the most awesome place in Guildford. This hill has a train track that runs underneath, beautiful views of Guildford and a possibly some sort of ancient monastery.

Surrey Hills: An area of outstanding national beauty.

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Surrey Hills

The Dailies: You know you’re the Editor of your Student Newspaper when..

You almost start wishing something bad would happen so you’d have something to put on the front page.

You have cried as a direct result of InDesign.

You know everything there is to know about the NUS, yet you give a shit about less than 1 third of it.

Someone points out a spelling mistake on the front page and you decide to never speak to them again.

You have said, ‘I can’t go out tonight/meet up today/socialise/exist as an entity because [insert name of newspaper] goes to print tomorrow.’ 

You are seriously worried you will fail your degree because you spend all your time on the Student Newspaper.

Everyone who works in the Student’s Union knows you, but most of them hate you because you have written nasty things about them.

You have woken up at 3am to panic about that tiny news article you slipped in at the last minute because it wasn’t checked for libellous content.

You either love or hate your Comms Officer/Editor in Chief.

Your team think you are a crazy slave driver (they’re right). You just think they’re slacking.

You tell your friends you hate being the Editor and that you are going to quit.

You say this on a bi-daily basis.

The thing is, you fucking love it and you know you do.

 

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The Dailies: Dissertation, only one of us got out alive

I very recently finished my dissertation. It was a 12,000 word experience.

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I am not the best student in the world, but neither am I the worst. I am comfortably in the middle (slightly more towards the bottom). 

The process of my dissertation was somewhat like an abusive relationship. We met, we fell in love. It was a world wind romance; it was beautiful. Candle lit dinners and long nights spent reading each other.

Then I got to the hard part…writing it. We began to spar, we started to bicker. I would say I was going to leave, I would briefly flirt with another subject and say things like, ‘Oh if only I’d done my dissertation on the rise of the Neo-Victorian novel in a Postmodern society’ (or some other bollocks). Eventually though, after a long time away from each other, I would come back to my dissertation.

We would briefly reconcile. We would have powerful sex in which I’d write 1000s of words. The next day I would wake up and I would have forgotten to the set alarm, my dissertation would shout at me from across the room and then I’d realise all the words I’d written were shit and delete them all.

This vicious circle went on for about a month. And then I had 2 weeks to hand the fucker in. Well, our relationship went through every stage possible. I screamed at my dissertation, I told it to go fuck itself, I then came back to it, told it I loved it. Again and again. 

The Thursday before my dissertation was due in on the Monday, I lost my mind. We fell out massively. I was going to leave it, forever. When my Programme Director asked me how my dissertation was going, I shouted back, ‘Fuck everything!’ I then got down on the floor and rocked and moaned. My friends looked on, ambivalent; by this point, they were used to my on/off romance and its various unpleasant fallings out.

Obviously, we made up. No time for candle lit dinners, but we spent hours and hours sorting out our problems. Had one finale fuck. Then I killed that fucker by putting it through a hot glue machine and shoving its body in a box.

Then, much like a real murderer I would imagine, I was in a state of shock and mourning. My hands were shaking, I wanted to cry. But we were done. I was finished with it forever.

 

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The Dailies: Getting Fumped

The Dailies is something stupid I decided to do when I finished my dissertation. I decided to blog every day. Obviously, this will probably not be every day and almost certainly never on the weekend. Enjoy.

 

Getting dumped sucks. That’s obvious. But getting friend-dumped (fumped) totally sucks. It’s when you have a good friend, who you meet up with a reasonable amount, talk to a fair amount and just generally have a good time with, and then suddenly they stop talking to you. 

 

When you break up with a boyfriend/girlfriend you tend to know about it. If they’re nice, they take you to a cafe or some sort of ‘neutral space’ (I use inverted commas because I don’t understand the notion of a neutral space) and they hold your hand and very gently tell you that despite the fact you are totally awesome, they no longer love you. They no longer want to have sex with you, but don’t forget, it’s not you, it’s them. If they’re an asshole they might tell you via text message or Facebook. But the point is, you know. You are aware that you are no longer in a relationship. And then usually they disappear out of you life faster than an English summer. It’s so quick you wonder if it ever happened at all.

 

Being fumped is totally different, you often have literally no idea you’ve been fumped. Usually, the person gradually just stops texting back, no longer includes you in plans with other mutual friends and acts distant when you do run into them. Conversations become awkward and strained.

 

If you are, like me, socially inept, you will pussy foot around this and ask mutual friends if the fumper (friend-dumper) has said anything about you to them. Chances are they haven’t. Or your friends don’t tell you. Either way, you are left wondering if you’ve pissed them off.

 

You might then send the ‘We still cool?” text, to which, chances are, you will get a reply something like, ‘Of course we are babe, I’m just been so busy recently! Soz if we haven’t hung out in a while.’ Then you’ll quit worrying and think everything is fine.

 

Except it’s not. You’ve been FUMPED. Gradually this person will cut you out of their life. It will be slow. Fumping is not like dumping. Dumping is normally over and done with fairly quickly, unless you’re that ‘on-off’ couple. Fumping takes a long time, involves a lot of acting like a two faced cow, and always leaves the Fumpee feeling unsure as to what they have done.

 

The problem with Fumping is you’re never sure when you’re about to be fumped (in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship it’s normally obvious: a breakdown of communication; you haven’t shared a bed/seen each in 3 weeks or they cheated on you) it can happen at, seemingly, anytime. 

 

I have been known to ‘fump’ people because, unfortunately, some friendships have an expiration date. More often than not though, it’s because my friend has irreconcilably  pissed me off. And instead of just telling them, I cut them out completely. For some reason, in a friendship it’s nigh on impossible to just say, ‘Don’t say that/do that/think that/behave like a twat, it’s annoying.’ Despite the fact that in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship every damn thing the person does is critiqued to high hell by their partner. 

 

I wish I’d told some people why we stopped being friends, instead of cutting them out.  I wish all the people who’d fumped me had told me why, but I’d probably have told them to go fuck themselves, so maybe that’s why I got fumped in the first place.

 

DISCLAIMER: If you’re beginning to feel paranoid, this probably hasn’t happened to you. Most fumping is NEARLY invisible until it’s far too late. And then you will know, because, you’ll go on their Facebook and your cursor will hover over ‘Add as a Friend’. Then you’ve been well and truly FUMPED.