Friday, April 28, 2006

Things like this

When your friend calls to check you're ok
When someone hugs you for no reason
When a stranger smiles back
When you're told that you're loved
When the sun shines in the morning
When you hear your favourite voice
When you get a message from someone you thought didn't care
When you can say "So what?"
When your favourite song plays on the radio
When you find out that you're not alone

It's things like this that make those tears worthwhile

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Oh how times change

Nikita Elizabeth Le Sauvage - Age 8

Happiness is...

Happiness is going to my dads on Saturdays
It is sitting down with my dad watching my favourite video
Happiness is cuddling my mum
And huddling up against my dad on a Saturday night
Happiness is opening presents on my birthday
Feeling my cuddly bunny next to me in bed
Eating my favourite food on my birthday
Knowing my mum and dad love me
Happiness is going to see Erin my little friend who is two
And giving Erin a cuddle

Niki - Age 16

Happiness is...

Happiness is sleeping late on a Saturday
It is avoiding my parents for an entire week
Happiness is hanging off the side of a boat
And walking along the beach
Happiness is the company of friends
Feeling someone's arms around me
Eating ice cream
Knowing that I'm never alone
Happiness is the thought of escape
And never coming back

Nothing stays the same people

Monday, April 17, 2006

Time for films...

Oh dear, I seem to be onto something with these lists - yes I know they're literary suicide but I'm clutcthing at straws a little here and it's all I could think of doing. So we shall commence, this time with my top ten favourite DVD's - they have to be films I have copies of or else it'd take me years to compile a definitive list. In fact I don't think I could get it down to just ten... Once again these are in no particular order.

1. Lost In Translation

I've read a lot of reviews about this film, some singing its praises and others just being downright mean but I think there's something about it that just, clicks when you watch it. It's that sense of being surrounded by people and still feeling lost and alone, I think everyone knows that feeling on some level - and it's being in a big city that scares you. Plus of course Scarlett Johanssen is beautiful. (No Keir, I am not a lesbian...)

2. Crazy/Beautiful

Yes it has Kirsten Dunst in it. But I still like it. It's cute, no matter what some people may say...

3. Loch Ness

My favourite film of all time. No more needs to be said.

4. Donnie Darko

Everyone has seen this film, how can everyone not like it?

5. Sylvia

Devastating, beautiful.

6. The Perfect Storm

One of the few Hollywood films without a happy ending.

7. Top Gun

Yes it's sad, but it's a classic.

8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Very strange, but I love Clementine's hair.

9. Romeo and Juliet

Amazing adaptation.

10. One Fine Day

Again it's sad, but it's got George Clooney in it...


Monday, April 10, 2006

Read children, read

Right, well I'm in a list making mood and since I have previously compiled my top 10 albums (although they have changed) I shall now do my top ten books. This time they are in no particular order, just ten books which I have read and enjoyed, and am now recommending to you if you have not read them. I shall begin.

1. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

Well a book list wouldn't be a book list without this title in it would it? This is Plath's only novel and was originally published in 1963 under a pseudonym. It's just as bitter and remorseless as her last poems, only it's longer and I think it's an excellent prose - not many writers can keep a hold of their style when making a transition between poetry and prose. I must say though, if you read it you may well understand why her death followed shortly after she completed the book - some writers say not to write about what you know but I've never stuck to that and neither did Sylvia Plath. I shall say it frankly, her life was dark and her writing is dark.

2. Knife Edge - Malorie Blackman

This is supposed to be the sequel to 'Noughts and Crosses', a book which I have not read and I have to say that did not put me at a disadvantage when reading this book. Again a stirring read, one that might even make you cry in places - but also frustrating as the novel ends with unanswered questions, questions left to answer in the next book 'Checkmate'. It's about racism really and the struggle to break the barrier between different ethnicities, it's powerful despite being recommended for 14 year olds +.

3. The Best Awful - Carrie Fisher

I bought this on a spur of the moment at Portsmouth ferry terminal and expected it to be trash - most of those books you grab on the way to catch a connection are - but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It actually attempted to tackle real human emotions and disorders, without being too jokey towards them. Despite this it is set in Hollywood and it does centre around a famous single mother trying to bring up her young daughter whilst coping with Manic Depression, so this brings it down a little bit - but still worth a read if you're bored I'd say.

4. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey

I've not yet seen the film so I can't compare it to the novel but I can say that I really, really enjoyed it - even more so on the second read when I grasped it better than the first time. It's a tough one to explain and I expect most of you have read it or seen the film so I'll just put it on here because I loved it so much. Oh and if you ever get the chance, it's good in Spanish too...

5. Long Way Round - Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman

When I saw Ewan McGregor's name and face on the cover of this book I cynically judged it as a publicity stunt, I expected it to be full of actor-talk and mindless conversation between the two friends. I was wrong. The book takes you through every step of the journey made on the BMW Adventurer motorbikes (I can't remember which series) and every problem and honest feeling encountered, obviously written about at the time by both men. Maybe I sound silly but it was like reading the story of two people discovering themselves.

6. Girl, Interrupted - Susanna Kaysen

Basically I read it the first time when I was having a pretty bad time and I identified with it, some of the characters in it - the feelings in it. It's the story of 18 year old Susanna Kaysen who had a session with a psychiatrist she didn't know after a suicide attempt, and taken to McLean hospital to be treated for depression, from there on it's a true record of life inside a mental hospital. It's funny and it's sad, it's frank and it's full of questionable - is she really crazy or just interrupted? As Susanna says; "Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy."

7. Enduring Love - Ian McEwan

Anyone who did English Literature for A Level last year or the year before or whatever will be quite familiar with this book, it's not on my syllabus - I merely read it because I wanted to and because I watched the film when ever so slightly tipsy and it sobered me up so quick I wanted to read the real story. I really loved it, I loved the style and I loved the story. It's about two men brought together as observers of a tragedy and one of the men's obsessive and possessive personality towards the other. Slightly disturbing, but genius.

8. Prozac Nation - Elizabeth Wurtzel

It's the opinion of many that this book is only one to read if you are, or have been depressed at some point - not necessarily diagnosed - but in a dark place for more than a few days. I do not subscribe to this view. I see this book for what I believe it was intended, as an honest portrayal of our culture today and, particularly America's, reliance on therapists and 'happy pills' to get us through a tough day. It brings back the truth of people who may actually need help and how SSRI medication has become just like being subscribed antibiotics for a chest infection. Interesting.

9. Escape - June Oldham

Ok so it's a teenage book, but it's quite a difficult one to grasp. It's marketed for girls as the main character is a female, but I think guys could read it too - maybe not, but hey. It's about a girl in the last year of her A Levels trying to escape from her father, whom she lives with and is abused by. It's about being incapable of opening up to someone who loves her, it's about her running away, it's about her trying to be independent, it's about facing her truth. I guess it's about escape.

10. Taking On The World - Dame Ellen MacArthur

I just admire Dame Ellen, so this first book written about the first years of her life and of her sailing career is an inspiration to me. It's written totally by herself, without the aid of a writer and it's starkly upfront about all the problems attatched to sailing solo around the world, and anywhere in fact. It's not a novel I know, but I do love it.

So get reading...

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Gotta love Spain