In need of a redesign since 2011.

Monday, 28 June 2010

In the immortal words of Will Smith

"The weather is hot and girls are dressing less." I'm not sold on the grammar of that, actually, but who am I to question the Fresh Prince?

I can't think straight, it's too hot! I've got a couple of posts drafted that are awaiting the time my brain decides to play ball again. The way this summer has been going (and going, and going), that may be some time!

Twitter seems to be full of people who can't sleep tonight. All complaining about being sticky and uncomfortable and restless. It's the first 'proper' summer we've had since, oh I don't know, 2006? How strange to think that my blog goes back that far! In fact, tomorrow is my FIVE YEAR blogaversary. Crazy. Every now and then I go through the archives and reread old posts. It's like catching up with a girl that I'm not any more. We exchange stories, me and 17-year-old me, and I try not to let her see that I'm laughing at her a little bit. I'm sure she's extending me the same courtesy.

As first posts go, it's not at all representative of myself at that age. It's entirely school-focused - and, well, Big Brother? Dear me. Now if you want to see a post that really does represent me, check this one out! Me, leaving my work till the last minute? Heaven forfend!

Me in 2004, aged 16. My semi-goth phase. Throttling the lovely Becky.
Anyway, I could waffle all night, since sleep is apparently not an option, but I'll spare you that. Instead, here's an awesome game called Doodle God, in which you have to combine four starting elements in new and interesting ways until you have created, among other things, milk, zombies, and assassins. As always, the link will be going on the left.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Kilt and céilidh

I spent the last week in Edinburgh, attending my sister's wedding and seeing the sights. I'm pleased to announce that, at the request of some very kind ladies and gents, I did indeed dance at the céilidh (pronounced kayley, it's a Scottish knees-up), at the expense of my ankle but not my enjoyment.

I'm sure photos will be going up, so you'll get to see my already-stunning seester looking radiant in her wedding dress. If that's your sort of thing. There will also be photos of my father and brother in kilts; if you're reading this, Mike, discretion will cost you.

I'm back in Cardiff now (after a pig-awful journey that was 7 or 8 hours, and 2 hours longer than it needed to be). I'm moving house in one week, so I've got to get on with packing and such, all while trying super-hard not to think of anything, because thinking makes me feel all confused and worried and I don't want that right now.

I really hope I get a dentist appointment soon... I'm so sick of this wisdom tooth being 'partially ruptured'; it's had at least 3 years to get its act together and has utterly failed to do so.

In other news, I'm going to be posting some short stories to Idle Scribe. I submitted them as university work and got pretty good feedback, so do have a read if you're interested.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


I wanted to curl up on the soft sofa, but the yurt is always packed. People shuffle up and perch on armchairs, always room for one more the merrier.

I sat in the tent with my hazelnut milkshake, and listened to the girls sing. It was an Irish song; close vocal harmonies, flowing up and out of them in cyan and green.

The stories were sublime tonight. A man and woman from Bristol sat or stood at the front. Him, reciting stories about Old Tom, his grandfather; her, playing vivid violet violin or her acoustic guitar, which sang in a deep sonorous blue. And the man from Bristol, oh, he built pictures so carefully, neatly alliterating the pictures in our minds. I wish, I wish, I could do that.

I am not a storyteller; I am a writer. The difference is tangible and harsh. I want to be a storyteller; I want to have the stage presence to take a roomful of adults on a journey; but I have seen my face when I speak and it is still and lifeless. I have seen my body when I move and it is awkward and girly. I have heard my voice when I talk and it is unclear and lazy; my once-sharp-cut vowels atrophied through years of misuse. I no longer talk to myself. That's where I lay the blame.

Spoken-word poetry is an art form. I have watched enough online in the past couple of days to stir up a longing in me. I want to be a performer. I am a poet, but not a performance poet. So what's it to be? Well, Anna? Are you going to sit behind your screen and write dead words for others to read? Are you going to spend your time alone? Or are you going to learn to eNUNciate! DRAmatise! emphasise! Are you going to learn to speak?

Monday, 14 June 2010

Life is a mystery, everyone

Not sure what to say, really. That's never a good sign with me. Usually I either have something to say, or simply go without blogging for a few weeks, but these are special circumstances.

I'm feeling pretty down lately, for numerous and complicated reasons. If you're of a praying persuasion, I suppose you could pray for me? although I'm in two minds as to whether that actually works

Nothing is ever simple, is it.

Hope you're all well, I promise to think of something interesting to say once the blues have passed.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Where are the women?

Is it so hard to have interesting, complicated female characters? Women who think for themselves? Is it so implausible that we might discuss something other than men in our free time? Ugh.

I've recently discovered something called The Bechdel Test. To pass, a movie has to fulfill these three requirements:
1) It must have at least two women in it,
2) Who talk to each other,
3) About something other than men.

Humble aspirations, you'd think. Half the world are women, surely most movies pass this test without even thinking?

Well, this video contains a list of movies that fail, I think you'll be surprised.

Yeah. They're not all pure testosterone movies. Ghostbusters? Wall-E? Toy Story, the Princess Bride, the Wedding Singer for goodness' sake! Are we that uninteresting?

Interestingly, one of the movies that passes this test is Legally Blonde. If you haven't seen it, it's about a beauty- and shopping-obsessed sorority girl who adores the colour pink. So far so blah, right? Especially given my feelings about pink. But this movie is possibly one of the most feminist mainstream movies I've ever seen. If you haven't seen it yet, UK types can watch it on iPlayer until Sunday. If you can overlook the fact that the main character has every advantage in the world (being insanely popular, pretty, and rich), it's actually pretty empowering (yes I just used that word) to see her surpass everyone's expectations and defy stereotypes. The sequel is more fluffy, but still passes the Bechdel test with flying colours.

Anyway, enough ranting from me. Todays interesting thing, although I give no guarantee that you will find it so, is the latest Nexus - an online magazine for creative writing. I've got one story and one poem in there, and I'm very pleased with it!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

The peasants are revolting!

Today, in Cardiff, there is an awful lot of protesting going on. The Welsh Defense League are protesting against Muslims, and Unite Against Fascism are protesting against the WDL. Taxi drivers are considering striking over the whole situation, possibly because they feel left out.

I was sat in the park reading my book, and I phoned my friend Ben to see if he was free. He wasn't. He was at "Well, sort of a riot I suppose" - said in the surprised tones of one who never expected to find himself at a riot, today of all days. I was not surprised. Ben has Political Opinions, and isn't afraid of voicing them. "The Nazis are in town," he continued, "and we don't like them." Well, quite.

I wished him luck, and went back to reading my book. Not because I don't care, you understand; I do, very much. In fact that's precisely why I wasn't there. You see, while other protesters may feel free to shout and throw things, I wouldn't. I'd be very quiet and polite about it all. In many ways, I concluded, that would be worse than not showing up at all. So I didn't.

So instead, I'm going to read up on the history of the two groups, go through the news coverage of the event, and formulate an opinion. One silly little opinion among thousands, of course, but mine nevertheless. I already know where I stand on the big issues (hint: racism is bad, mmkay?) but it doesn't hurt to do your research.

I love that Cardiff is full of people who care about these things. In fact, for the past couple of months the political graffiti artists have been out in force. Rather than the usual type of graf that gets hidden away in alleys and corners, this stuff is springing up alongside main roads; usually stencilled (quick and neat) or scrawled (angry red pen). Some of it's been up for a couple of months, but I've only just got around to sharing them, because... uh... I'm quite crap.

Tories tell stories
Loads of these are around; they were pre-election.

Let hope rage
Also a few months old, quite poetic

Brand new, and accompanied by lots of anger and swearing. Worthy of inclusion for referencing 1984, which I only read the other week.

Don't $ell
Similar style to "let hope rage", but different lettering.

Concrete monsters
Referring to the shops? The city?

Love everyone
Ending on a positive note. I know this graffiti artist has been in Cardiff for some time, but I can't quite place his characters.