Posts Tagged 'Twitter'

Learn Your Parents’ Music


I grew up with a Mum that taught me about David Bowie, and Marc Bolan, and a Dad that played The Smiths in the shower as loud as the stereo would go. I spent a large portion of my childhood being physically forced to transcribe James lyrics so he could learn them for the Karaoke. There was never any question in our house about what real music was. 

I did buy the Number 1 single every week, and knew the lyrics to Take That, and The Spice Girls, because I had to fit in at school, but I always knew, at the back of my mind, that that wasn’t the real music.  The real music was what my parents played at full volume when they were getting ready to go out.  The smell of hairspray, and perfume; the twist of lipstick, and the creak of leather jackets, will always be married to The Style Council, always The Style Council, and Rod Stewart.

My parents didn’t forbid me anything musically, but neither did they need to tell me that modern music was trash, because they demonstrated by example. For my sixteenth birthday, I was given a Motown compilation, not because I needed educating, but because I needed more.

 The same applied to comedy.  I was recently discussing comedy with some work colleagues between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two, who sited ‘old comedy’ as The Fresh Prince of Bell Air.  When I mentioned Blackadder, Steptoe, Fools and Horses, The Young Ones, Pete and Dud, Rising Damp, I was met with a room full of blank faces.  Similarly, when I returned from Glastonbury in the Summer, full of excitement that I had just seen The Rolling Stones, I was greeted by a room that was silent for half a beat, and the dissection of Miley Cyrus and Rhianna singles then resumed.

These blank faces of the young people, particularly the teenagers, lead me to wonder what their parents are teaching them.  I wonder, when I see one of these “Directioners”, or “Beliebers”; a new generation of technologically fuelled obsessives, why their parents aren’t teaching them that there is more to life than One Direction.  Why is no-one in their life teaching them what real music is?  Because it sure as hell isn’t Justin Bieber.


Mania has always existed, from The Beatles to The Rolling Stones, right through to Take That.  Teenage girls have always been frighteningly obsessed by popstars.  For my Mum, before she fell irrevocably in love with Marc Bolan, it was The Bay City Rollers.  She sewed tartan into her jeans, and slashed her lip with a razor so she’d have a scar like Les McKeown.  Unfortunately, because she made the cut in the mirror, it ended up on the wrong side of her face.  However, whereas Beatlemania was on a certain level; girls screaming at airports and concerts, and then going home for their tea, happy and safe, the recent documentary about Directioners proved that this new generation of fans have taken things to a whole new level.  Aided by the internet, teenage fanatics can now devote their whole day, every day, to their chosen subject, and the hours spent online are proving extremely unhealthy.  The level of obsessiveness has already reached life-threatening depths.

Taste is very personal, and the kind of music, books, and comedy a person likes is what defines them, and what kind of person they choose to be.  These things are part of our identity, and how we signify to the world that were are angry, happy, goth, metalhead, pill-popping clubber, classically refined, jiver, swinger, crier, harmer, mod, rocker, romantic, new-wave, dubstep, rapper.  What we listen to is who we are, and there are no two people the same.  However, nowadays, that idea is already almost extinct.  The idea that no two people are the same is being rapidly extinguished by a generation of people who wear the same, listen to the same, watch the same, say the same, think the same, do the same.  Everything they do is the same, and the pictures they post of it on Instagram are the same.  What makes it dangerous is that they have no comprehension that there is an alternative.  For these young people, there is nothing else.


Whilst recently browsing Twitter, I saw the hashtag #10songsthatmakeyoucry.  Bored, I clicked on the hashtag, hopefully expecting perhaps REM, The Smiths, Radiohead, Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Jeff Buckley, Jonie Mitchell, maybe Adele.  After scrolling for a good ten minutes, I didn’t see a single song listed that wasn’t by One Direction, Rhiana, Beyonce, or Justin Bieber.  No exceptions.  That was it.  There were no other artists listed, just hundreds and hundreds of people listing the same handful of songs by those four artists, perhaps with a Lady Gaga thrown in.  Where is the autonomous thought?  Where is individuality? 

I’m from a generation which, like those before us, take immense pride in the individuality of our musical taste.  When I was eighteen, at sixth form college, when questioned on your taste in music, what you listened to absolutely had to be completely different from anybody else in the group.  If you mentioned an artist or song that was mentioned by somebody else, instead of solidarity, you’d be labelled generic, and mainstream.  Your musical taste had to be eclectic, individual, authentic.  You had to actually like music for specific reasons, not just because everybody else did.  What has happened to that world?  From what I’ve seen, it’s slipping away.

If I have children, I won’t forbid them any music, but I’ll make sure I educate them well enough that they can choose intelligently, and find music that brings them to life.  Music should make you feel  so many things, and I want my children to have the power to choose from anywhere in history, rather than the top 10.

I want to grab these teenagers by the shoulders, each and every one of them, and scream into their faces that Lady Gaga is not the most inspirational artist ever to have lived, and play them some David Bowie, or T-Rex.  I want them to lose their breath as Nina Simone ends Feeling Good.  I want their throat to catch, as Bowie’s does, I want them to feel their heart quicken as Marc Bolan takes a sharp intake of breath, and they hear his words; ‘Take me.’  I want them to know what’s out there.  There is so much out there.  I want them to hear Bowie cry ‘Oh no, Love, you’re not alone’ in Rock and Roll Suicide, and feel a far greater solidarity than the one they get from having the Twitter Username ‘1DirectionFan32545223’.

Please, know that there is so much out there.  Your life can be enriched.  You can be so moved by people who play instruments, write their heart and blood into the words, and sing their entire soul out into the microphone.  Listen to somebody singing their own words, and you won’t even call Justin Bieber music. 

Listen to Alex Turner, if you want to be modern.  Music sung and performed by the people that wrote and lived it is completely different to the plastic, mas-produced, computer-produced pulp and trash that floods the world as music nowadays.  Listen to Mick Jagger.  Listen to Bob Dylan.  For God’s sake, listen to David Bowie.


In Flabbergasted Suspicion of Samantha Brick


“I fainted with hunger on one occasion – a minor hitch, eclipsed by the fact that I was being asked out on lots of dates.” 

I’m not entirely sure what Samantha Brick is.  Sometimes I think she might be the secret Nom de Plume of some subterfuging comedian, probably Steve Coogan, or Sacha Baron Cohen, who has created a comedy alter-ego, and at any moment will unveil the coup to much commendation and hilarity.  Other times, I think there is a very deluded, damaged woman sitting somewhere in a flat in London, hammering her wrung-out soul into a laptop keyboard, and frantically, greedily absorbing the massive amount of ensuing attention; enjoying her moment in the centre of a media commentary storm. 

There is, of-course, the third possibility that the Daily Mail are actually, in fact, happily and proudly publishing the kind of dangerous bile that has been produced under Samantha Brick’s byline, and flourishing it with genuine good faith.  If this is the case, then the Daily Mail are as unsavoury as they are incendiary and bigoted. 

The first time “Samantha Brick” was a trending topic was when The Daily Mail published a piece which was essentially Samantha Brick explaining to the reader just how beautiful she is, how she can’t turn around without a man offering to buy her a drink, and how this entitles her to a charmed life, but slightly annoys her.  That was the crux of it; she is astonishingly beautiful, and so never has to lift a finger because of the special service she receives everywhere she goes, and that she is mildly irritated by the abundance of suitors banging down her door, and clinging to the spindles of her barstools.  Aside from feeling slightly bilious, and embarrassed for her, I wasn’t particularly enraged by this particular piece.  I just felt that it was the voice of a pathetic, egotistical woman, writing a solipsistic sonnet to her own physicality, in a cheap, barely literate anger-monger of a newspaper.  Laughable, irritating, but powerless.

Her latest pontificatation, however, is in a whole other toxic stratosphere.  “Samantha Brick” has once again been lifted from ignominy to Twitter trending topic and international point of discussion.  The difference this time is that far from being impotent, Brick’s article, with the opening sentence in bold; “Joan Collins is right.  Any woman who wants to stay beautiful (like me!) needs to diet every day of her life” is destructive and predatory.

The basic point of principle at the centre of the piece; that women must spend their lives watching what they eat if they don’t want to become obese, is one that all women know to be starkly true.  There is no woman, alive or dead, so miraculous that she can eat capriciously without exercise, and remain svelte and beautiful.  Being sensible, and cautious about calories is part of every woman’s life, whether they are actively trying to slim down because things have been let go, or just being careful to maintain a healthy weight, we must all bear the cross of careful calorie management. This much I completely agree with.  I even began to read Brick’s piece on the basis that I felt recognition in her basic principle. 

However, within a few words it all turns much darker, and spirals into some kind of macabre and eerie vortex, which becomes a window into the mind of a seriously disturbed individual.  For me, the first indication that I was heading down a dark road was in the first paragraph, as Brick describes how a dinner guest brought some very expensive French chocolates as a token gift to their host, Brick, and how she waved them off down the path after dinner with one hand, whilst the other hand was tossing the expensive chocolates into the bottom of the bin, and purposefully covering them with coffee.  “So when one friend arrived and thrust a hefty box of chocolates into my hand, I rewarded her with ice-cold contempt rather than the grateful smile she was clearly expecting.  At the end of the evening, that very expensive box of hand-made French chocolates was consigned to the bottom of the kitchen bin, the contents ruined by the coffee dregs I had deliberately poured over them.”

Turn a tolerant cheek for a moment to the fact that this person is being paid a large sum of money to publish in a national newspaper the arrogant and selfish workings of their mind, and boastfully display an unnecessarily hurtful attitude.  One person’s black and ugly interior monologue is not enough to bring about the Raptures. 

What is most shocking, and wilfully detrimental, however, is the progressively explicit endorsement of starvation, deprivation, and punishment, which unfurls in a thick smoke of congratulatory venom as the article continues.

No girl, or vulnerable woman of any age, should be exposed to such outright encouragement to starve.  There are websites that are condemned and shut-down for the promotion of eating disorders, and much public time has been spent in trying to prevent the media presenting any kind of positive viewpoint when it comes to an unhealthy relationship with food.

The fashion industry, and every corner of the media, has been forced to update its ideals, and to consciously encourage healthy weight in young girls. It might not always happen in reality, but the general consensus, at least in intention, is that an unhealthy attitude towards weight in any form should not be encouraged. 

Why then is it not acceptable for popular women’s magazines to promote skeletal celebrities as model ideals for women to aspire to, but a national newspaper can unquestionably brandish such unashamed dripping stimulus to starvation?

There is an underlying virulence in this woman’s words that, for me, suggests a long-term battle with personal issues.  Reading the article back again, in order to write this blog post, it is even more apparent to me that Samantha Brick is obviously struggling, but instead of being transparent about it, even asking for help, she is using the energy in a destructive way, rather than a positive way.  Instead of writing an honest, vulnerable piece about the struggle it would appear she is facing with body image, food, and self-esteem, she is instead writing aggressive, admonitory bile which will urge many teenage girls who read it to immediately embark on their own struggle.

Brick’s words are underscored with an edge that implies greater personal investment than merely being annoyed by the overweight.  There is an aggression behind every phrase like ‘any self-respecting woman’ that betrays an inability to attain the objectiveness, and removal of personal emotion that all self-respecting journalists are bound to strive for, and observe.  This isn’t even journalism, let alone good journalism.  It’s barely a GCSE essay. 

“The logic is simple and irrefutable: any self-respecting woman wants to be thin, and to be thin you need to spend your life on a diet.”

The use of insulting overtones portrays the writer as a playground bully, making hurtful comments about the other girls in a sickly-sweet voice, to crudely cover-over their own insecurities.   Likewise, ‘modicum of self-respect.’  The prose is absolutely adolescent.

“I have no intention of letting my body slide flabbily into middle age. I believe that any woman with a modicum of self-respect should watch her figure with the same vigour.”

She tirades angrily, sweeping the entire British public under her umbrella of scorn with reductive generalisations.  “I was glad to see the back of Easter this month, as it seems to have been hijacked by the greedy masses who regard it as a free pass to gorge on chocolate.”  And then the puerility really stretches its limbs, in this nationally published piece.  Brick is arrogant, self-congratulating, boastful, and inflated. 

“Not a morsel passed my lips. Chocolate, cakes, sweets and any other calorie-rich, fat-laden ‘foods’ are banned in my home.  For three decades, self-denial has been my best friend.”

Generations of hard-work, blood, and sweat in the name of feminism and women’s liberation are undone in the work of a few sentences.  All of the endeavor of hundreds of women for over a century to be taken as equal, and treated fairly, is pissed up the wall in the name of vanity;

“One of my biggest incentives is that I know men prefer slim women. In the workplace, male bosses will always give the top job to a woman who looks fit and in control, rather than one who looks like a bulging sack in danger of imminent cardiac arrest.”

Who is this benefiting?  It isn’t tough love and a caring nudge to being healthier.  This is downright malice, and the undoing of good by someone with an agenda.  Eventually, she does give a glimmer, and hints very slightly at the personal agenda this piece is evidently serving;

“I have some insight here, as I was overweight until I was 14 years old. Bitter experience taught me that the world pays no attention to dumpy girls.”

‘Dumpy girls.’  So what about any woman reading this article who happens, by some misfortune of fate, to not be six foot, six stone, with a face like Kate Moss, and the breasts to match?  What does this woman care for the thousands of ordinary women, size fourteen, bodies that reflect lives and shelter children, who are reading this vitriol and slowly crying, looking down at scars, and bumps, feeling that they, their bodies, and their lives mean absolutely nothing to the high-flying, high-intelligence of the likes of a beautiful national journalist?

Fear not, she does benevolently offer advice, but ever with back-patting self-promotion;

“Little wonder that in my mid-teens I decided to lose my puppy fat, transforming myself as I lived, for the best part of a year, on Marmite on toast (no butter)…The Polo diet paid off: I could wear whatever I wanted and looked fantastic. I stopped only after a stern lecture from my dentist about the damage I was doing to  my teeth.”

Chortle.  Then, however, it turns darker.

“I fainted with hunger on one occasion – a minor hitch, eclipsed by the fact that I was being asked out on lots of dates”.

That, for anyone not able to read the whole thing, is the very nearest you get to a capitulation, or entreaty for compassion, or help.  ‘I fainted with hunger on one occasion.’  That’s it. 

She’s immediately back to dangerous bile, picking off the weak like a sniper, with bullets of pure arrogance, and hurtful insult.

“I am 5ft 11in and slimmed down to a size 8. One of my lecturers was so worried she pulled me aside to voice her concern. I put her intervention down to jealousy, as she was a size 16”.

Towards the end it reaches another level.  As someone who has fought through their fair share of devastating teenage eating disorders with best friends and sisters, it’s easy to recognise a certain quality in someone’s words.  The final paragraphs of Brick’s piece are naked, exposed pain, visible to all but Brick.  She is displaying her own personal difficulty.  She just won’t admit it.

“My 20s were dominated by dieting, and I managed to stay a steady size 8/10. If I put on a pound or two, I simply skipped a meal. I actually enjoyed – and still do – the hunger pangs. I see them as a reminder that I am not pigging out on pizzas and fast food.   I’d have a large black coffee for breakfast, so strong the caffeine would make me tremble. For lunch I’d eat a bagel with the bread inside scooped out and replaced with salad. Evening meals were either sushi or egg-white omelettes.

To avoid culinary temptation, I even made a point of renting a house without a kitchen. Of course, constantly denying myself food was not and is not easy, but it has always brought enough rewards to make it worthwhile.  In Los Angeles, for example, where I worked as a television producer, I was never out of work and never without a boyfriend”.

It’s at points such as this that it is almost possible to feel compassion for a woman so clearly struggling.  The one or two moments of vulnerability, which I do suspect are inadvertent, do let you see the woman underneath the brassy sensationalism.

“Luckily for me, there is no better weight-loss incentive than a Frenchman. Pascal would not tolerate a fat wife and has told me that if I put on weight, our marriage is over. What more motivation do I need?  Today I am a size 12 and I never eat between meals. Elevenses isn’t an excuse to gorge on carbs – it’s just another hour on the clock.  I maintain a food diary. I never shop when I’m hungry, I always read the packaging, and I weigh myself every other day”

The reader is never far away from more dangerous motivational poison, however, even when wrapped so intimately with the unwitting self-confession.

“Like my female French in-laws, I follow an extreme low-calorie diet four times a year – one each season. I lose at least half-a-stone each time, though the side-effects mean that I don’t have the mental or physical fortitude to work. 

The world admonished Kate Moss for claiming that ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ but I’d go further. As I see it, there is nothing in life that signifies failure better than fat.”

I think Samantha Brick should not be allowed to write publicly.  I think she should be taken into counseling to address whatever issues she has.  I think the Daily Mail should be abolished, or taken over by somebody sane.

The question to ask ultimately is how this has been published in a national newspaper.  I imagine that every other soul-destroyed writer who has spent years hammering keys from morning until night for absolutely no money or gratitude will want to know why someone like Samantha Brick is able to write like this, and be paid presumably large amounts of money to be published in a national newspaper, when there are so many wonderfully talented people writing their souls for no money, who dream of the chance to write nationally. 

There isn’t an answer, really, other than the state of the British tabloid press.  For, we must ask, would Samantha Brick be published anywhere else than The Daily Mail?  Would she get into The Times, Guardian, or Telegraph?  The answer is most definitely not.  Thank god.


Why They Shouldn’t Close Down Social Media During Riots

At 6.30 pm this-evening, there will be a debate about David Cameron’s plan to turn off all social media sites during times of riot.  Yes, this measure may prevent people conspiring and communicating; arranging meeting places, and drumming up hysteria, which is a very important factor, but there are two very big reasons that I personally think social media should stay open for business at all times.



After the event, there can surely be few more effective ways of catching hold of the perpetrators of crimes than having cold, hard evidence published on the internet.  A tweet saying; ‘Let’s meet at 4.00pm and throw a firework through Topshop’s window’, or a photograph on Facebook of a grinning hoodie, proudly brandishing his new trainers for all to see,  and the inevitable boastful comments that would accompany it, would undoubtedly be invaluable in securing enough evidence for conviction.  During the riots of the last few days, I heard Caitlin Moran describe this very idea as ‘Giving them enough rope to hang themselves’.

We will never compete with their vanity and short-sightedness, and all we need do is sit back and allow them to incriminate themselves.



Only those people who relied on Twitter throughout the riots this week will appreciate the inadequacies and shortcomings of the televised news services.  While Sky News and the BBC were playing down events, trying to pretend it wasn’t happening, and then when they eventually had to acknowledge it, showing hours-old footage, repeating the same limited cannon of clips, and creating a very limited perspective for viewers relying solely on television, some of us were on Twitter.  One only had to click on the hashtag #londonriots, and you were immediately inside the action.  People were tweeting from the streets, in the middle of what was going on, people were tweeting about what was going to happen before it did, so that the news spread across the internet, able to forewarn, and preclude.  Photographs were coming from journalists, live onto the Twitter newsfeed, reliable sources were sharing the experience with the world, ordinary people were able to ask for help, express their fear, and sadness, and unite.  It isn’t an exaggeration to say that on Twitter for those few nights the wartime spirit of the 1940’s was very much alive.  Matters were discussed, shared, and wholly illuminated and verified without bias.  There was no agenda to the information, and the sources provided photographs.  On the first night, before I’d even heard anything about it on the news, I lay in bed, glued to my Blackberry, until five in the morning, and I felt so immersed in the action, so much part of the London unity, that my own life and surroundings felt distant, and surreal.

I can never fully express just how important those few nights of shared communication were, to the people who needed help, and to feel part of a community.  To the people who were inside their homes, terrified, but comforted by the entire world, talking to them on Twitter, or those of us who were far away from London, and wanted to feel in-the-loop.  No amount of televised news coverage could have competed with the information shared on Twitter during the riots, and even in organising the clean-up process.  I hope the politicians make this a consideration in their decision.

Yes, people may have used the social media to organise, but an equal number of people were warned about where the violence was spreading, and were able to move away from the area, or pre-empt it.  I think, in this case, more good would be lost, by losing that valuable facility for communication, than harm prevented by stopping the conspirational organising.



The Stigma of Saying ‘I’m Lonely.’

One of the few things, and there aren’t many, that I’m too scared to say on Facebook or Twitter is that I feel lonely, and that’s because I’m worried people will think I’m weird. In truth, they probably would. Saying you’re lonely implies that you don’t have enough people in your life. The word ‘lonely’ paints a picture of a person with no actual friends, and someone who isn’t close to their family. At least, this is how I feel I would be portraying myself if I were to confess publicly to feeling alone, but it isn’t necessarily the case.

In the modern world we tend to be surrounded by hundreds of people, but most of them are acquaintances, rather than real friends. It’s especially the case with students. We add hundreds of people to our list of ‘friends’ on Facebook, but how many of these people could we actually ring up (if we even have their phone number), and ask for help with a problem, or ask for a shoulder to cry on, even ask to come out for a drink? Last Christmas, the one just gone, I sent out a message over Facebook to about forty of my friends, asking for their address. It occurred to me, as someone who is reluctant to yield to modernity, that I see these people every day, sit next to them in lectures, go out with them for evenings of drinking and laughing, share stories and jokes with them, have real friendships, and yet I don’t know where they live. I had phone numbers for a few of them, but no postal addresses. So I sent out this message, and received a fair few answers, and so I compiled an old-fashioned address book (I bought a Filofax. I’m very happy with it), and when December came I sent out Christmas cards to all of them, just like grown-ups did in the olden days.

Our friendships, and most of our day-to-day lives, are conducted entirely over the internet, through social networking sites like Facebook. I for one feel that we’re losing the traditional relationships and friendships that we used to have. I miss the days when you had one phone number, and you would say things like ‘find me in the book’, and would have to make sure you took ten pence with you when you went out so you could ring home. In those days, friends were friends. These days, we get along with people, we see their holiday pictures and know what they had for tea, we offer advice or support when they need it, we share their ups and downs, and all the details of their life, but if I’m being honest, of the people on my Facebook list, there are only a few that I feel able to ring up and ask to come out for a drink. That’s not to say that there aren’t lots of people on that list that I’d love to ask for a drink; there are, but I feel that if I did, they’d think I was weird. It’s a new social boundary. These new friendships aren’t based on solid foundations, like the old ones. Being someone’s Facebook friend often means you met them once when out in the pub, or you know them to say ‘hello’ to from some extra-curricular club. These people aren’t prepared for you to suddenly invite them round for pizza… are they? Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe they’d be delighted and flattered, and would love to build a more personal friendship. Maybe it’s me who’s too cautious. Maybe I’m the problem.

I have less than ten really good friends. By ‘really good friends’, I mean friends that have been in my life since I was thirteen, eleven, even four in some cases. These are friends I trust, and who really know me. I have 176 friends on Facebook, some of whom I haven’t spoken to in years. They are Facebook friends, but are they actually friends? There are so many of them who I’d love to meet up with, have a drink and a laugh with, who I’d love to know better. There are girls I’d love to go shopping with, but I always feel that if I invite them, they’d wonder why the hell I was asking them to go out, when they barely know me. Maybe that’s the point. The friends I’ve know since I was eleven already know whether or not I’m funny, weird or normal, how I feel about certain things, whether I’m being serious if I take the piss out of them, they know my sense of humour. It’s a frightening thing to suddenly talk to people who don’t know those things. Often, I post a comment on someone’s facebook then panic in case they don’t realise I’m joking. What about those people who have 700, 800, 900 friends on Facebook? How many of those hundreds of people would really classify as friends?

So, where did this all start? This blog wasn’t supposed to be about Facebook, but why it isn’t acceptable in today’s society to admit to feeling lonely. It stands to reason that most of us are. If we’re single, especially if we’ve been single for a long time, and we don’t get out as often as we should, and if our friends live at other ends of the country, as most of them often do, why is it so shameful to utter the word ‘lonely’? Is it because it implies weakness? It is because we think other people will automatically assume that we’re lonely for good reason, that we’re boring, horrendous people, who deserve to be lonely because no-one could bear to be friends with us? I don’t know, actually. I wish I did. What I do know, is that it should be easier to reach out to each other. There shouldn’t be a barrier between us, like there is. We should be able to hold out a hand to anybody, anywhere, and say ‘Hi, do you fancy a drink?’. Maybe that would make us even weirder, and even lonelier, I don’t know.

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Sylvia Plath said; "Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences". My aim in life is to find things and people to love, so that I can write about them. Putting words together is the only thing I can see myself doing. This blog is an outlet, and I hope you enjoy reading it. Please feel free to comment on posts, or contact me by the special e-mail I've set up ( with your thoughts.

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The New Remorse, Oscar Wilde.

The sin was mine; I did not understand.
So now is music prisoned in her cave,
Save where some ebbing desultory wave
Frets with its restless whirls this meagre strand.
And in the withered hollow of this land
Hath Summer dug herself so deep a grave,
That hardly can the leaden willow crave
One silver blossom from keen Winter's hand.

But who is this who cometh by the shore?
(Nay, love, look up and wonder!) Who is this
Who cometh in dyed garments from the South?
It is thy new-found Lord, and he shall kiss
The yet unravished roses of thy mouth,
And I shall weep and worship, as before.

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Music I Love (In no particular order, except that The Smiths are first)

The Smiths,
The Libertines,
The Courteeners,
Nina Simone,
Pete Doherty,
The Kills,
Amy Winehouse,
Arctic Monkeys,
Rod Stewart,
The Doors,
The Rolling Stones,
Etta James,
T. Rex,
The Jam,
The Kinks,
Jack White,
The Deadweather,
David Bowie,
The Winchesters,
The Cure,
Kaiser Chiefs,
The Kooks,
The Twang,
Kings Of Leon,
The Housemartins,
The Ramones,
Robots in Disguise,
The Klaxons,
Kate Nash,
The Raconteurs,
Regina Spektor,
Aretha Franklin,
The Contours,
Dirty Pretty Things,
The White Stripes,
New York Dolls,
Yeah Yeah Yeahs,
The Clash,
Style Council,
Velvet Underground,
The Horrors,
The Cribs,
Reverend and The Makers,
The Subways,
The Wombats,
Elle S'appelle,
The Troggs,
The Beatles,
Echo and the Bunnymen,
Florence and the Machine.

Olive Cotton, Tea Cup Ballet, 1935

Olive Cotton, Tea Cup Ballet, 1935

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Will it ever be alright for Blighty to have a Queen Camilla?

One less tree from our window each day

Vikki's bookshelf: read

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Of Mice and Men
Pride and Prejudice
The Hobbit
The Da Vinci Code
Tipping the Velvet
Wuthering Heights
The Picture of Dorian Grey and Other Works by Oscar Wilde
Bridget Jones's Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Irish Peacock & Scarlet Marquess: The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde
The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman
Moab Is My Washpot
The Bell Jar
The Other Boleyn Girl
On the Road
Brideshead Revisited
Revolutionary Road

Vikki Littlemore's favorite books »

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