Monday, 29 August 2011

Confessions of an Inbetweeners fan

Have you seen the Inbetweeners movie? If yes, well done my friend, well done. If no... what are you waiting for? Today I saw the Inbetweeners movie with my mom, questionable as it may be, and I think I speak on behalf of everyone who has ever seen it when I call it the 'funniest movie of the year.'

For those who haven't seen the film, haven't heard of the Inbetweeners or live under a rock (I'm joking on that last one), let me fill you in.  The Inbetweeners is a sitcom revolving around the lives and humorous predicaments that four college boys - Will (the geek) Simon (supposedly the normal one, but isn't really), Jay (the one obsessed with girls and who makes a lot of things up) and Neil (the lovable idiot) - find themselves in.  Public embarrassment, trying to charm girls but repelling them in the process- these are only a few of the funny situations the boys can be in. 

Jetting of to the party paradise of Malia with the words 'Pussay Patrol' written on their t-shirts, the boys are expecting a luxury hotel, girls and lots of alcohol- the ultimate lads holiday.  However, they arrive at a run down hotel and are greeted by an unfriendly Greek owner who tells them that there is a strict £50 fine for pooing on the floor in the hotel room.  If you are 'squeemish' or simply don't like the sight of poo, I wouldn't recommend this film as it does tend to be fond of poo- oh yes, and sick.  Despite their bleak surroundings, on the night the foursome hit the town searching for the best nightclubs and girls, with hilarious results.  Embarrassing themselves on countless occasions, the boys don't exactly have the holiday that they were expecting but still manage to have fun along the way. 

Rivalling the success of this years box office hit 'The Hangover 2,' 'The Inbetweeners Movie,' has the hilarity spot on and can appeal to more than just the teenage demographic.  When I saw the film, it was packed with middle aged couples as well as teenagers, evidence that 'The Inbetweneers Movie' appeals to a mainstream audience.  The timing of the gags, the gags themselves; the script was tailored to suit the comedy the British love and it didn't disappoint. 

I could go on forever but I'm sure the point has been made clear now.  If you haven't seen 'The Inbetweeners Movie'- get out from under that rock and see it! It's laugh out loud hilarious, admittedly slightly vulgar but has the four characters we all know and love- what more can you want? If my forty-something year old mother can see it and like it... so can you!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

20 years time, my generation will be surviving on chips and nuggets

This article was purely written for entertainment purposes; whilst my Mallorca anecdote is true, please don't take the main points too seriously or offensively.

At 15 years old, I like to consider myself as an adventurous eater.  Whilst I am no human dustbin, I am willing to try different things- even if it means discretely spitting it out into a napkin. 

A few weeks ago, I went to Mallorca with my family.  I'm not going to beat around the bush, the food there was mouthwateringly delicious; there was never a day when I felt to myself that there wasn't something that I liked.  One day I made my way over to put some chips on my plate and I noticed a fellow teenager next to me getting some chicken nuggets.  Thinking nothing of it, I carried on piling the chips onto my plate (you need to make the most of all inclusive).  When I next looked up, there were now two other teenagers (both looking between 16 and 17) queueing up for the chicken nuggets.  To my horror, as the week went on, everyday teenagers would be queueing up for the nuggets and other minuscule child's portions whilst the proper food was being ignored!  Seventeen year olds, eighteen year olds- all at the nuggets! Even some guys in their late teens, earlier strutting around the pool like they were some sort of Baywatch studs, were turning their noses up at the everything and just settled on some chips and nuggets.  This, along with many other reasons, is why I think that in twenty years time, my generation will still be surviving on frozen chips and nuggets from our local supermarket
I speak on the behalf of the youth (as my Dad likes to call us) when I say that we are a nation of fussy eaters- fact.  Or if we aren't fussy, we aren't particularly adventurous.  We don't explore for something new, like Christopher Columbus when he discovered America, we don't strive to improve our diets like Jamie Oliver- instead we indulge ourselves in junk food, some of which being chips and nuggets.  Sure they're simple to cook and in no way time consuming, but is this what we want to be eating? Cheap frozen food from the supermarket? 

Flash forward to 2031.  By then, a lot of my generation will be married and have children (scary thought I know).  When it gets to tea time, do we create a steaming culinary concoction? No way! Twenty years on and a lot may have changed, but not in the ways of food.  We'll still be overindulging in our precious frozen food, only this time it will be us cooking it, not our parents.  No fruit, certainly no vegetables, and the healthy diets Jamie Oliver wanted us all to have? Gone in a blink of an eye.  If we carry on the way that we are, there is no escaping that we will all be fat, and so will our children.  Child obesity numbers rise every year, so imagine what the world will be like if we carry on eating our unhealthy food.

 Therefore I believe that in twenty years time, my generation will still be surving on chips and nuggets; any form of food known as 'healthy' will be scientifically removed from the face of the earth and we will all be the shape of giant footballs.  And off I go to scoff a good old McDonalds.....

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

My Scary Summer Part 2

Thought my scary summer was over? It had only just begun.
After reading my last post, you may have assumed that I am a bit of a wimp and if you did- you're right.  As well as being a little bit scared of rollercoasters, I am absolutely petrified of needles and injections.  So having a blood test isn't my cup of tea.  I'd never had to have a blood test in the past, but if the injections we'd had to have at school were anything to go by, it was going to be painful. 

On the way to The Devils Kitchen (aka. the hospital) I started to ask my mum if a blood test is painful.  As my mum began to describe it in more detail than I had hoped, I could feel myself slowly tensing up.  My back first, so I was curling forward, then my arms began to contract until I looked... like a turtle.  All at the mere thought of a blood test.

After waiting an excruciatingly long amount of time- ok it was 15 minutes or so- for my ticket number, a computer generated voice slowly read out my number.  It was time, to face, the needle.  I hesitated a glance through the curtain and had the urge to run out.  The woman I had to see had bright purple hair.  I have nothing against people with bright purple hair (infact I quite liked her hair) but I was rather hoping for a jolly old lady who would have a natter about the summer holidays, than a woman who resembled a tattoo artist more than a nurse.

Saying that I sat down on the chair, every single inch of my body filled with fear.  It's strange what fear can do to you.  In my case it made me sit down and babble to my mom and the nurse about how scared I was of what was about to happen.  I went through apparently the normal procedure of a blood test; having to clench my fist as tight as I can whilst she squeezed the life out of my arm with the 'tightening thing,' as I liked to call it.  As soon as my eyelids shut, I felt the sharp needle jab into my arm. 
"Ow, ow, ow, ow.  Oh god, oh god, oh god,' was all I could bring myself to say as my mum, brother and the nurse chuckled at my pain (see the link to my last post?!) A few seconds later, the pain began to go down and stupidly, I thought that the blood test was over.  Overwhelmed by a sense of relief, I opened my eyes, ever so slightly moved my arm and 'Ow, ow, ow, ow.'  The blood test wasn't over.  It had barely started.

I continued with the 'ows' and 'oh gods' until at long last, the blood test was over.  I was free! Making my escape, I bolted out of The Devils Kitchen, relieved that I had made it out alive.  I may have curled up like a turtle, over used the words 'ow' and 'oh god,' and had a dead arm, but my blood test was finally over.  And so was my scary summer.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

My Scary Summer Part 1

I have been very fortunate that in my life, I have never felt truly scared.  Well, apart from seeing 'The Woman In Black' theatre production in London (absolutely and undeniably terrifying) and a few horror films here and there, I have never felt true fear or felt unsafe.

Until now.  The summer holidays.  Supposedly the time when we are supposed to relax and have fun.  On Wednesday 17th August 2011 that all changed.  Me, my mum, brother and some family friends were going on a trip to a park in Stourport, where there are usually some rides.  I've been there about three or four times before, so I knew what to expect.

Initially, the day was going quite well.  We went on a small boat driven by my 11 year old brother and survived.  I'd been on the previously terrifying dragon ride and realised that it is terrifying- when you are 10.  After somewhat attempting to fall down a slide (yes, you read that right) gracefully and going on a slightly painful spinning ride, it was all well and good in Stourport park.

That is, it was all well and good until I opted to go on yet another spinning ride, something very out of character for the 'ride wimp' that I see myself as.  However, I decided to go on the ride, despite still being extremely dizzy from the last ride.  I'd been on this ride earlier in the day, so I knew what I was in for; being crammed into a small spinning pod with someone else, whilst the whole ride spins up and down until you are completely disorientated when you make your escape.

Chuckles- what I called the man running the ride due to the fact that when I previously screamed like a maniac, he did what his name said, had a good old chuckle at my fear on the ride- took one look at me and let out a small but clear laugh.  Not a friendly 'You were a bit funny on the ride earlier' laugh, more like an evil and slightly deranged 'This is what I get paid for, watching these fools in fear' laugh.

Nevertheless I got on the ride with my friend and realised that in actual fact, it wasn't too scary.  Comparing it to some of the unimaginably scary rides at Alton Towers, it was alright.  So me and my friend sat there, spinning round and round as I laughed and said 'What was I scared of? This is fine!'  I shouldn't have said that, it was a stupid thing to say.  At that moment, I could feel a slight pain in my head.  The start of a headache maybe? No, I don't get headaches that often, I thought to myself.  I then realised it was dizziness.  Such an overpowering feeling and when on a ride, so horrible. 

I started to scream, louder and louder, this time truly fearful that I was going to be sick.  Of course, no one realised that; my mom, brother and friends were completely oblivious and kept waving every time I spun round into their view.  Which, come to think of it was quite a lot.  Whilst screaming, I glanced over to Chuckles, who yet again was in his own little world of menacing laughter.

By now I was feeling terrible.  The mini sick had been done (where you're slightly sick but swallow it, disgusting I know), my stomach was ready and I knew what was coming.  The ride came to a sudden stop, and Chuckles strolled over.  As he lifted up the bar to put me out of my misery- I was sick.  All inside the ride.  I'd had a raspberry drink earlier, resulting in my sick being pink.  If it weren't sick it may have strangely looked pretty.  Now when you're sick on a ride, it's difficult to think of something to say afterwards, so I looked up at Chuckles and slowly said 'I have been sick, I am sorry.'  When I got off the ride I was sick again, this time on the lovely red carpet on the ground that is now called 'The sick covered red carpet at the dry cleaners.'  Oh yes, and on myself.  This regrettably included my new Topshop shorts and my favourite shoes.  I won't bore you with too many more details but I was also sick through my nose, which was the moment that I discovered that it is possible to be sick through your nose.

I took my walk of shame and was somewhat proud that Chuckles had his comeuppance and had to close his ride to clean my beautiful pink sick.  I suppose all this serves me right for going on a ride that has the word 'Hell' at the beginning.  Should have gone to specsavers...

Monday, 22 August 2011

15 going on 50

Sometimes when I listen to the music in today's charts, I feel embarrassed.  Embarrassed that a lot of the music doesn't have any real meaning behind it and whilst the artists are saying a lot of words, not much is actually being said.  Of course only a few artists are like this; there are some who's songs have a true story behind them and they've clearly spent a long time thinking about what the song means.  Two names that instantly come to mind: Adele and Beyonce.  Two of my favourite artists so yes, I am slightly biased. 

But one group who I didn't used to particularly like and now absolutely love... Queen! I know what you're thinking (if you are my age) 'God, my Dad listens to them!' Well congratulations, so does my Dad and I couldn't care less! Queen formed 40 years ago in 1971 and their music is still popular! 'Why' you may ask? 1971 or 2011, people can create their own meaning Queens music, making the songs feel closer to them.  For example with Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddie Mercury said that it doesn't have a meaning, but Brian May went on to say that Freddie was a complex person who put a lot of himself, happiness and sadness, into the song.  In other words, Mercury is letting us feel the song and have the chance to put our own ideas to it, whilst Brian May is saying that although there isn't one specific meaning, Mercury put so much of himself into the song that it reflected upon him, and therefore had a meaning to him. 

The main reason I started to like Queen's music was when I saw the musical 'We Will Rock You,' and I can say without a doubt that it is the best musical I have ever seen (and I have seen a fair few musicals).  Being able to create a whole story and such complex characters from different songs off their album is genius in my eyes.  I won't go into the details of the story because let's face it, we will be here all day and I will be reduced to typing 'OMG IT WAS SOOOOO AMAZING!' loads when I know you don't want to hear this.  All I will say is that 'We Will Rock You' is worth every penny; seeing it once wasn't enough for me and I have now seen it three times, but I could honestly see it thirty times without failing to be entertained (my Dad has seen it 6 times and still loves it!)

Words can't express how jealous I am of my Dad.  He went to a Queen concert in the 80's.  If Freddie Mercury were here today, I would definitely be hounding my parents for tickets to a Queen concert if I hadn't already seen them.  Although I love Beyonce, Adele, Rihanna etc. I will admit if I could I would choose Queen over them any day.  So so many reasons, one of them being that even though it's nice to see a solo artist enjoying themselves performing on stage, nothing beats a band performing as you can see them all contribute to make an amazing final product.

In my eyes, Queen are a musical inspiration and their worldwide success is only one way of justifying this.  Although Freddie Mercury passed away in 1991, his the other members of Queen's music lives on and I see them as legends in music and I think they will be forever remembered as this.

Celebrity scandals? We don't care!

*This was another article I wrote for my school newspaper in June 2011
Imagine you are taking a stroll to your local newsagents; you glance over to the newspapers, looking forward to reading the news.  However, to your dismay you find it is yet another image of Cheryl Cole, the headline describing how she was ‘dumped’ by the American X Factor executives.
Celebrity’s lives are covered excessively by newspapers to the extent that the so called ‘news’ is just about their daily lives, doing things or going places that everyone goes.  ‘Jolie-Pitt brood take a visit to an L.A park’- and? This is like me telling an endless story of how I recently went to Tesco and bought a pint of semi-skimmed milk- no one cares! Celebrities are normal people who do normal daily tasks, only they get their weekly supermarket shop in the papers.
But do celebrities want this? Do they want to come out of the gym one afternoon to find that they are being hounded by the paparazzi and discover that they and their sweaty gym clothes have made the front page the next day? Imagine coming out of school to find the paparazzi shoving cameras in yours and you’re friends faces- it’s exactly the same! 
Celebrities’ lives are covered whilst they are doing their job, and yet they are still being harassed when they are just getting some precious alone time to themselves or with their family.  Those are the moments when the paparazzi should say ‘Well this is a boring story, I’ll hassle someone else today.’
Nevertheless, the news never switches off, and reporters will simply move on to the next celebrity.  Celebrities such as Catherine Zeta Jones and Dougie Poynter were checked into rehab due to stress, just think: ‘Could the paparazzi have caused this?’
Furthermore, I know it is nice to pick up ‘Heat’ or ‘Hello’ and read the gossip, but is it really relevant to our lives? We don’t want the paparazzi hassling our celebrities for news about their divorce; we don’t want news about five year old Suri Cruise’s designer wardrobe...WE WANT REAL NEWS.  Local, national, global, anything!  As long as we can feel that we are being informed of something important, rather than losing brain cells by the second.  So reporters and paparazzi out there- give our celebrities a break! And if it’s any consolation, I won’t be watching the American X Factor.

Rejoice! Winter is Over!

*I wrote this for my school newspaper in Spring, as you may have gathered
As I sit here, gazing out of the window on this gloriously sunny spring day, I take a moment to think of how relieved I am that winter is finally over.
‘What is she thinking?’ I hear you cry.  ‘Is she the Grinch?’ In actual fact I’m not.  I happen to be as ecstatic as a young child when it comes to Christmas, it’s just winter that gets on my nerves more and more each year.
First of all- how mad the weather sends us.  Picture a light snow shower.  As I would walk down the street wrapped up in what felt like 100 layers and yet still slowly freezing to death, I would be left astounded to see people JOGGING.  In their t-shirt and shorts (SUMMER WEAR).  What?! I have much appreciation for their dedication to their fitness, but jogging- in the snow? Well they couldn’t get mad at me when I laughed at them if they slipped...
Isn’t the irony of the British weather annoying? No sun in the summer, purely rain.  But yet somehow, we ended up getting practically blinded by sunlight in the winter.  Were we being mocked? Although the Sun was out in the winter, we wouldn’t receive any heat from it- that’s why we are freezing cold all of the time!
Despite Mr Sun making a surprising appearance, winter always left us feeling grey and depressed.  This can be known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the ‘winter blues.’  So thanks winter, you’re great aren’t you!
It brought us crazy snow joggers, ridiculous weather, bad moods and so much more.  If only humans could hibernate in the winter!

Celebrity documentaries are the last thing on my list

Oh dear, I am in a dilemma.  Should I watch ‘What Katie did Next’ on the television, or paint drying?  Whilst watching paint drying is undoubtedly one of the most boring ways to spend my time imaginable, I would rather gnaw away at my own hand than watch Miss Price take her weekly trip to the salon. 

This isn’t at all a way of fuelling an attack on Katie Price; I simply don’t care what she supposedly did next.  Likewise for Kerry Katona and Peter Andre, frankly the thought of their ‘Next Chapter,’ as they call it leaves me feeling completely underwhelmed.  Not because I don’t like these people, they have all clearly worked hard to get to where they are at, but I honestly don’t see the point of ‘celebrity home documentaries.’

Picture yourself when you wake up in the morning, you have just woken up but you would much rather go back to sleep.  You take a second to acknowledge how luxuriously comfortable your bed actually is.  You’re eyes are going and you can feel yourself slowly drifting off to... ‘Wake up!’ A hard nudge and you’re awake.  ‘And we’re filming in 5, 4, 3, 2-’ I don’t know about you, but to find a camera in my face when I have just woken up, my hair resembling a toilet brush (as it does in the morning) and my mood as sour as a lemon that has gone off, I would be far from happy.Nevertheless, celebrities can somehow cope with this. Camera crews are welcomed with open arms into their lives; if it means having their moment in the sun then surely they can cope with every Tom, Dick and Harry running round after them? Get up; get filmed, on telly in a couple of months- easy as pie.  

They are filmed doing the day to day things that we all do.  Cooking for example, when we commoners do it- well that’s it really, we cook; we eat our food- done.  But when we see that a celebrity can master the art of cooking a Sunday dinner- it’s the second coming!  To the worlds dismay I have to inform you that water will regrettably not be turned into wine because the undeniable truth is that... they are normal people.  They cook, they eat- only their Sunday roast graces thousands of Britain’s television screens.

However, it isn’t all happiness and Sunday roasts.  One family, one camera crew, and many months of filming can’t be good for any family.  Everything appears to be going fine; we have even stretched to being almost jealous of their visibly perfect lives until.... the argument happens.  The ‘perfect life’ facade immediately vanishes as we watch the home truths of the family unravel into an eruption of an argument.  Insults and remarks are thrown back and forth like a tennis match; whilst we feel all the more uncomfortable watching people we don’t even know treating each other so badly.  So we should! If I was having an argument with my family, I would hate the thought of someone being able to pause and rewind it on their televisions, using it as a tool for their own amusement.

Saying that though, some of the arguments are as ‘real’ as the people taking part in the show.  In other words they are fake.  I’m aware that families do have the occasional shouting match, but given the choice, why on earth would they have it in front of a camera?  Yes, these shows involve celebrities being followed around by cameras a lot, but not every minute of every day- meaning they can save the argument for when the camera crew are on their lunch break.  Plummeting back to reality, whilst celebrity documentary arguments are awkward to watch there is no hiding that we secretly love them and enjoy watching the tennis match of verbal abuse develop.  I hate to break it to all you KUWTK fans (Keeping Up With the Kardashians, ‘keep up!’ as they might wittily say) Stars such as Kim and Khloe Kardashian will have been made well aware of this by the producers, and will be instructed now and again to have an argument. 
As you may or may not have gathered, I could go on about celebrity documentaries until the cows come home, but I would never be able to finish.  My final thoughts on this lengthy topic, are that I am glad I am not in the shoes of say ‘The Hills’ stars or ‘The Kardashians,’ as my life is my life; I can wake up with my toilet brush hair without a camera in my face, I am not patronizingly celebrated for being able to cook food and if I argue with my family, I haven’t got strangers potentially laughing at the humour we bring to them.  Even celebrities though do want some privacy, as does Kourtney Kardashian when in KUWTK she controversially says ‘I don’t need people walking into my house whenever they please.’ Oh the irony.

Hi World!

My name is Sarah Mullaney, I'm 15 years old and I am going to be truthful with you- I have a passion for writing.  From an early age I have loved to write and I know that it is definitely the career I want to go into when I am older.  Today I was writing an article (which I will publish in a minute!) and my dad suggested I created a blog to post my articles to.  So here I am now, ready and willing to write a variety of different articles so that I can practice my writing and also- have fun! Although I may have a bit of a rant in my articles (which I apologise in advance for) I hope that they are interesting and provide entertainment for you- the reader! Earlier in the summer holiday, I read 'The World According to Clarkson' and was inspired (as cliche as it sounds) to create a similar book entailing all the funny things that happen to me and my thoughts about various aspects of life (which was originally going to be called 'The Big Wide World According to a Teenager')However now I will publish my articles here, and will publish them into a book another day.  I will try to do at least one article a week, but I'll be going into Year 11 soon and as the work load goes up, it will result in my free time-sadly- going down.  So I apologise if I don't write loads of articles, but I hope you like the ones that I write and leave comments if you want to :)

Sarah Mullaney