My photo for me, art and photography.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Quite a long post.. art, movies, life etc

WELLLLLLL….. it’s been quite a while since my last entry and surprisingly I’ve actually been having a fairly interesting life for a change! haha! well the past week or so anyway I actually have something to say for myself and some opinions to express.

Had an art show at Bourne Hall in Ewell Village, I don’t think anything has sold, which is a bit annoying to be honest – what I’m finding increasingly irritating is that everyone loves my work, and I get emails and messages and such from folk saying they love it, yet when it comes to parting with cash people are less keen. I know it’s the recession and the recession bites but seriously – what’s going to last longer and bring you more joy? a pair of shoes which’ll last as long  as fashion dictates, and will probably give you blisters, or a painting that can put some sun in your life when you see it hanging on your wall? Artists have to eat too.

From artists to authors…

Enid Blyton


Like millions of children over the past 80 odd years, I was brought up on Enid Blyton’s books: The Famous Five, The Children of Cherry Tree Farm, Josie, Click and Bun, Naughty Amelia Jane, The Secret Seven, Brer Rabbit (yes she did write a version, before you jump at me with ‘actually.. it’s American’) The Magic Faraway Tree… to name but a FEW (!) I absolutely loved them – I even had a few of her stories on tape and listened to them til they wore out, and the tedium of annual 9 hour car journeys up to Scotland was dissolved by immersing myself in her safe 1940s world where boys were boys and where toys came alive. I really thought she was the best thing since sliced bread.

Last night the BBC aired a biopic called ‘Enid’, starring Helena Bonham Carterimage

Apparently this was a ‘low budget biopic’ according to the Telegraph, but I personally thought it was exceptionally well done (although Matthew Macfadyen’s voice tends to grate on my nerves – through no fault of his own). The only problem now is that I feel like a good portion of my childhood has been a big fat lie, and I am feeling terribly disillusioned.  I had a good old rant to my friend about it on MSN last night, when she asked what made Enid Blyton such a bad person, I gave her a list. This particular friend lives in America, so I don’t think she can get BBC Iplayer.

If you’d like to see this for yourself, here’s the link: WATCH NOW ON BBC IPLAYER

And for those who want the fairly detailed summary.. ****SPOILER ALERT******* (this is pretty much a cut n’ paste jobby from the ‘lowdown’ I gave my friend)

Her mum was quite a prim proper, cold, reserved person, and her dad was her soulmate. He was also a womaniser and walked out on her mother when she was about 12-13. She left home to become a teacher and got her books published. She married her publisher, Hugh Pollock and treated him like a dog (she actually treated her dog better)– constantly barking orders at him, being incredibly brusque and absolutely obnoxious. She had two children who she pretty much wanted nothing to do with.  She treated them as though they were nothing more than a massive inconvenience – she didn’t even want to pick her youngest up out of the cradle when she was about a week old and crying because she’d decided that the baby was being naughty and wilful, and so palmed her off on a nurse to bring up. She’d rather spend time with her pet dog than with her children. When the dog died, she pretended he was still alive. Lived completely in her own world.  She told everyone her mother was dead, because she didn’t like her and blamed her for driving her father away – she had this ridiculous image in her head that her dad was like some perfect creature that nobody could even come near – absolutely deluded.  She put on the perfect wife image for the cameras and for radio and the papers, and invited children over to have tea parties with her… scenes like this image (picture) while her own children were banished to the play room. When a child asked who those two little girls on the stairs were and why didn’t they come in, Enid made a comment about them being her two daughters who see her all the time so don’t need to see even more of her during the tea party. Seemed she had some peter pan syndrome going on – she was happy to call children her friends and to write stories for them and slurp jelly with them, but when she had to play the grown up and actually look after her own children, she didn’t want to know.

When the war started, Hugh had to to go surrey to work for the homefront or the home guard (whichever) in Surrey, and Enid tried guilt tripping him ‘what about your wife and children? you have responsibilities here’ – when if she wasn’t slagging him off or yelling at him she totally ignored him, which drove him to drink. While he was away, she had an affair with a married man, a surgeon. Her daughters had two pet rabbits, and Enid and her lover ate one of them for dinner. She suddenly decided that her older daughter was a nuisance (both children were really well behaved!) and so packed her off to boarding school, leaving Imogen (the younger) alone.  She continued her affair with the surgeon, who had rented a flat in either Knightsbridge or Kensington, I forget which, under the name of Blyton’s nanny, Dorothy. The wife turned up at Enid’s house and confronted Enid, who denied everything, and then rumours started circulating about Dorothy, because the flat was in her name, and Enid just totally dismissed these slanderous allegations being made against her nanny, who she supposedly regarded as a best friend! (some way to treat a best friend).  Her attitude was basically one of ‘stuff happens, get over it’. Which is fine for her to say when it’s not her name or reputation that is being dragged through the mud.  Hugh came back from Surrey and Enid demanded to know what he was doing there – he was like ‘er… well… This is my house too you know’. She asked for a divorce. On the condition that if he let her sue him for adultery, she would give him unlimited access to Gillian and Imogen. He agreed and then every time he tried to see his children, she came up with an excuse. Which was rich considering she never bothered to spend any time with them herself.  She married the surgeon. In the biopic, she summoned Imogen into the room, sat her down, informed her of her decision, and that the surgeon was to be her new dad and wouldn’t that be great. When Imogen said she liked her old daddy, Enid basically told her to stop being a brat and to get out. Which was nice. She also called up her publishers and threatened to leave them and go with someone else if they didn’t fire Hugh, and as she was their biggest client, the obviously made sure his career was destroyed.

Her brother turned up to inform her that her mother had died and to give her the dates of the funeral (she didn’t even know who he was) and asked her what he and his brother Carey had ever done to her – the whole mum and dad thing he could understand, but why did she cut them out of her life for 30 years too when they’d done nothing wrong.  Enid had a cry (which I think was out of complete self-pity rather than any real sense of remorse) and then dismissed it. When Imogen asked who the man was and what did he mean when he said ‘mum’s dead’, Enid decided she too was a pest and a little snitch and needed to be set away as soon as possible. She got pregnant again aged 47 - then 'accidentally' fell off a ladder and lost it - the way it's portrayed in the doco she's like 'oopsie oh dear I've just had a miscarriage.. looks like I don't need to raise another child after all' (to herself) and all apologies and remorse to her husband.  She developed dementia/Alzheimer's and died aged 71.

So yes. feeling pretty sorely disillusioned by the whole fandango.

There’s an interview/talk given by her daughter, Gillian here, which you can download and listen to. I had some problems trying to get it to play with media player, and realplayer flatly refused to have anything to do with it, but VLC media player (which is free to download and is totally safe and actually really good – I've used it for years) has absolutely no problems.

Click here to link to the audio interview.

I have a feeling that the BBC heavily relied on Imogen for information because Gillian doesn’t really seem to carry too many ill feelings around with her. She’s now dead, but according to Wikipedia (hmmm… well we all know how reliable that is) she was estranged from Imogen.. so maybe part of it was their differences of opinion about their mum? who knows…

From authors to singers…

Paloma Faith


This girl is hands down my absolute favourite singer at the moment – I saw her on tv completely by chance at about 4am on some obscure music show one night when I couldn’t sleep and I thought she was adorable – she was promoting her song ‘Stone Cold Sober’, and I was so absolutely blown away by how much she looks like my friends little sister, Liv, that I immediately trawled the internet for a photo of Paloma and sent it to her. Usually people don’t really see it when people say ‘you look like this person’ but Liv was shocked to see someone else with her face (and her hair!!). A bit later I decided to have a flick through youtube to see what else she’s done, which was when I came across New York (this song and ‘upside down’ are my favourites)



I then caught her on Later With Jools Holland, where she again proved herself to be a fantastic live performer (despite a sore throat) as well as a really down to earth person who is an absolute sweetheart.

She’s one of those people that springs out of nowhere and is so different to all the other inane bullshit (pardon my French) that is being spewed out of the music machine that when someone like Paloma comes along and breathes fresh air into the radio waves it really does give me hope for music as a form of entertainer… I mean ‘under my umbrella-ella-ella’….?…… kill me.

No. This girl is good and she’s already skyrocketed from relative obscurity a few months ago on a 5 minute slot on a late night tv show that is on at such an unsociable hour that only complete weirdos like me would be awake watching it! HAHA!

The reason for including her in the blog today – apart from helping to spread the awesomeness of Paloma Faith, is because my exciting news for the month is that I’m in her forthcoming music video! ‘Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?’ from her ALBUM of the same name. Yep! An audience member in the background, but the whole experience was pretty bizarre. I’ve grown up in a theatre – my dad was an opera singer, I spent most of my teen years and a bit before in various drama classes and putting on shows, or working in wardrobe at The Royal College of Music between productions, and helping out  on the stage there or ushering. Yes, I have actually even slept on a stage before. It is not comfortable. So the world of theatre is very familiar to me – the smells, the sounds, the light checks, the bits of multicoloured tape stuck to the floor, cables rolled up, lots of dust etc… that is all totally normal, but I’ve never done anything with film before paloma set and the thing that really got me was JUST HOW repetitive it was. I mean I had some vague idea from watching outtakes of tv shows and some documentaries and such but actually being there where you shoot maybe 15 seconds of film and then do the same again and again and again and again all from different angles.. it’s insane! the rigging is different too – with the dolly with two guys on it whizzing back and forth, some guy up a ladder, and the COLD!!!!! the front was pretty warm where all the lights and the action were, but in the back (we were in a church hall) it was absolutely FREEZING!!!! why are church halls always so flipping cold? The extras all banded together swapping jokes and ribbing each other – made a few friends there and met a lovely couple from the village next to mine who gave me a lift back as we wrapped up over an hour later than expected. The whole atmosphere was really relaxed but not in the lazy way – it was very positive and ‘we’re going to do this and it’s going to look GREAT, but we realise it is tedious so we’re trying to get you to have as much of an enjoyable experience (minus the cold) as possible. Being fed with dominoes Pizza also helped that tremendously! haha

They’d been there since 7 in the morning – I dunno how long Paloma had been there for, but she must have been absolutely shattered. I have SO MUCH respect for her. Now I think about it, I think live performers have it easy – when I say live I mean as in people who go on a stage, sing a song and then go home. This poor girl has just spent the past few weeks going all over the world doing promotion before her tour which starts this week I think, which sounds fun, and probably is to an extent, but constantly travelling is exhausting, and having to sing and do all that on top of everything else and then work really very hard shooting the video – long hours, few breaks and constantly having to have high levels of energy projected at the camera. Even more respect goes to her two dancers who were on their feet for the best part of 6 hours straight AT LEAST, and in 8 inch heels. They must have been exhausted! I do not envy them at all. What amazed me is that even after all that, Paloma still wanted to chat to us, joke around and sit with us between takes. For all the Paloma bashers out there, she really is the sweetest person in the world and before you judge her, you should meet her yourself. I’m not saying this as a raving fan – I’m a fan, but more of a casual one really to be honest – I like her for herself and her style more than her music- what I am a raving fan about is what she stands for – as in the anti-conformity. Also, for all those people who leave comments on youtube saying Paloma is chubby, Paloma is fat, Paloma needs to shift a few pounds – ad nauseum – you need to get your eyes sorted out. I’m 5ft3 and have a 26 inch waist. I do not consider myself to be the slightest bit fat. Paloma (minus shoes) is roughly the same height as me I reckon, and she is absolutely tiny – she is much thinner than I am. Take a good look at your own waistlines before you call someone fat based on a 2d image on your computer screen.

paloma and meimage 

Me looking incredibly dishevelled at 11:30pm having not had the benefit of the attention of Paloma’s makeup lady LOL and taken on my crap quality camera on my mobile phone. The ONE TIME I leave the house and forget to put my camera in my bag!!!! GAH!. I’m not sure why Paloma is so yellow and I’m so red.. hopefully when I get photoshop again I’ll be able to sort it out. If you’re wanting a height guide thingummy.. I’m wearing ugg boots and she’s wearing these:

  If not these actual ones, something extremely similar       –>                   –>                  ->

When it comes to Ruby Slippers, I prefer mine if I’m honest (I couldn’t walk in Palomas for starters – I’d be flat on my face in an instant… I think I’d have to hold onto something just to stand up in them!) these are mine:



From filming to films…

The Men Who Stare At Goats


Went and saw this the other night. I won’t say too much about it because you can see it for yourself and make up your own mind but it was ok. I might have enjoyed it a bit more if we hadn’t left it till 11pm to see it and my feet weren’t in agony from wearing 4 inch heels for hours! haha The trailer was done extremely well, it picked out pretty much every single funny bit in the film.. which is great, but the rest of the film is basically bridging the gap between funny bits. It was still a good film – bizarre and amusing… when Euan Mcgregor wasn’t being annoying and whiney.

There is one more thing… an awesome Michael Jackson cake – but the photo is one another camera- not mine – and I’m not sure where it is at the moment

That’s all for now… I think…

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