Thursday, 24 January 2013

Where Did the Good People Go?

I'm a Scottish Highlander, born and bred. So I'm more used to rolling hills, and vast lochs than busy motorways and any kind of building that has more than four floors.

When my family heard that I was moving down to Glasgow to go off to university, I got a lot of "Oh, you'll need to be careful down there..." But I was going to be a sophisticated student, I didn't really need to worry. Nothing bad was possibly going to happen to me. 

Given that I was raised by two police officers, that was probably a stupid way to think.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Thing About Karma...

It's January, with all the usual post-Christmas blues and unwanted food babies. Well, you can't just leave all the chocolate that you got in your selection boxes, and the sooner you eat it, the sooner you can start the big healthy eating kick. Right?


Thursday, 10 January 2013

The 3 Reasons You Don't Want to "Fine Dine".

Like most people, there's always a deep, dark part of myself that wishes I was rich. It's the same part of me that wishes I didn't have to do chores or think too hard. You probably know what I mean - the little evil voice in your head that says you don't really need to go into work today or that the dirty dishes can wait until tomorrow...

When I begin wishing that I was rich, I begin thinking about what I would do with more money than anyone really needs and I came to the conclusion that I would like to go to fancy restaurants and eat fancy foods.

So you can imagine my excitement when, this week, I was given the opportunity to go to a fancy restaurant and see what all the fuss was about to write a review. I'd set my sights high - five star dining, exotic cocktails, and well-connected clientele that would spot me, quiz me about my writing and immediately send me to one of their publisher friends.

But like all deep, dark wishes, what you get isn't normally what you'd hoped. So I've made a list of reasons to avoid overly fancy restaurants to try and prevent anyone else experiencing the disappointment I did. 

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Is the Magic Really Gone?

Yesterday, as part of my boyfriend's birthday celebrations, me and a few of my friends all went to the cinema. We were especially excited because we went for the new DBOX seats for a second viewing of "The Hobbit".

These are seats that move with the film, like a simulator at a theme park. 

Awesome, I know.

The film was great, and the seats didn't even make me want to hurl like rollercoasters so often do. What really bothered me though, was the company of the public sitting around me.

Here I was, sitting with my bottle of Dr. Pepper and bag of Werther's Originals (if I buy chewy sweets or chocolate, they don't last through the trailers), hunkering down to enjoy Bilbo's adventures when the couple behind me starting having a conversation. A loud conversation. As if they were standing in the middle of Buchanan Street.

So I went with it for a little while because, you know, it was the very beginning of the movie and sometimes it takes a while to get into the swing of the cinema.

But then it carried on. And on. And on.

In the parts of the film where there's thoughtful silences or long panning shots of New Zealand's lovely landscape, they sat laughing and sniggering to themselves. When something remotely cool happened that could never occur in real life, the man would be all "What the $*%&! was that!".

Dead gangster.

I tried to follow the unspoken cinema-goers etiquette. You ignore it for a little while. Then you get mad. Then you tell the person you're sitting next to that you're really mad. Then you give the absolute turd sitting behind you a dirty look over your shoulder.

It was after this dirty look that I saw how much bigger than me the man actually was, so my reign of fury ended there.

To make things even worse than all that, a woman sitting down in front of us, who had also paid the extra bit of money for the DBOX seats WAS SITTING ON HER PHONE FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE MOVIE!


It took a great deal to contain my rage at that one. Sorry but I don't want to be kept up to date on your Facebook status or Twitter followers when I have paid good money to come and see a movie! 

So it got me thinking. What happened to the thrill of cinema? Going to the cinema for me was always a treat, as we lived in quite a rural area and couldn't get there all the time. It involved an hour drive, so getting to see a movie was a big deal for me. I don't know if people living in cities felt the same awe at the big screen, but for the sake of my argument, let's say that they did.

You go to the cinema for the magic of the cinema. There's something exciting about having your popcorn on your lap, your fizzy drink in the cup holder in your chair and the lights going down around you so you can watch the trailers, which only get you excited for coming to the cinema again.

But now that I'm older, I'm getting the feeling that most people have just stopped caring about the cinema experience. Maybe tickets are cheaper now than they used to be, so going to the cinema isn't so much of a day out anymore? Or maybe because so many movies are coming out every week, a new movie is no big deal because the next blockbuster hit is out tomorrow?

No matter what the general consensus is, I still love cinema. Maybe if everyone reading this would join me in a NO TOLERANCE policy on movie-wreckers, we might save the magic?

I do believe in cinema, I do, I do!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The New Year.

I love New Year. Like every cliche you've ever heard about New Year, I love the chance we all get to start again and try to make our lives a little better than the year before.

This year, my Hogmanay was relatively quiet. I was at home, with my boyfriend Kieran and some friends and we drank, played board games and watched TV. Hardly the rock and roll night that is expected of students in Glasgow. Instead of hitting the party circuit, we brought in the bells with Jools and his Hootenanny and I loved it.

What's most significant for me on this New Year though, is my resolution. And yes, I am one of those people that makes a resolution and never keeps it but continues to make resolutions anyway. Believe me when I say that it's taken a long time for me to get to a point where I can admit I never stick with my resolutions.

My resolution this year is to take my writing more seriously. To stop putting everything off and actually get pen to paper. Writing is what I love to do, and if I want to do it I'd better get my act together...

So here is my informal, one-sided contract with you. Don't panic, you don't need to sign. 

By the end of 2013, I want to have a novel completely ready to send off to publishers, if I want to.

It's pretty ambitious, I know, but I've got to start somewhere I guess?

And I'm thinking that if I actually tell people of my plans, I will feel more obliged to stick to them...

Hopefully this New Year will get me closer to where I want to be and will be more beneficial than a fad diet or self-help book. 

I hope that your New Year was as good as mine, wherever you are and if you have a resolution, then we can set out on 2013 together. I guarantee you'll probably be more productive than me!