Last week I was bummed out because the opportunity to see the play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. The play was being performed at the School of Oriental and African Studies and was kicking off and ending the Ain't I a Woman? What's Race Got to Do with It? event, hosted by the SOAS Women Society. Instead of going to the play I went to the panel discussion Black (Mis)Representation in which we were immersed in a many number of topics: Mainstream feminism and Black Feminism; mainstream representations of Black mehiwomen; shadism; Black masculinity.
How do you celebrate the 50th birthday of your most eccentric uncle? Especially when he's been several different people and millions of people worldwide are coming to the party? The pressure and expectation could have ended badly for the BBC, but in an hour crammed with multiple Doctors, stunning special effects, insider jokes and a strong central story, they pulled it off.
Even if you weren't one of the 10.8 million people who watched the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who live on TV or the further millions who watched it at cinemas or later, it would have been hard to avoid the hype. Even the Google Doodle was given over to Doctor Who on both Friday and Saturday. Spoilers ahead...
SPOILER ALERT! A sprawling, complex novel, more a character study, the plot of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch moves slowly, encompassing around fifteen years of Theo Decker's life.
Growing up in New York City with his mother and an absent father, everything changes for Theo when the museum that he's visiting with his mother explodes, killing her. In the aftermath, amongst the wreckage, he finds himself comforting an old man, who, in his delirium, asks him to put a painting, The Goldfinch, in a carrier bag, he also gives him a ring, and an address to take it to. Theo leaves the museum with The Goldfinch, the object which is to haunt him for...well, the rest of the novel.
The subject of miscarriage is not one to be taken lightly. According to the charity Tommy's while it is hard to ascertain an accurate figure, out 1 in 7 recognised pregnancies end in miscarriage, while the incidence of spontaneous (unrecognised) miscarriage is estimated to be 50% of all pregnancies. Paying homage to the old 'if you don't laugh, you'll cry' writer and actress Emma Deakin has written a play on the subject of miscarriage, Expectations directed by Stella Duffy. Expectations deals with the subjects of miscarriage, unplanned pregnancy, IVF, bodies and gay best friends (yes a bit in the style of a Madonna film with Rupert Everett) that allows for both laughter and tears.
My online writing has often been built around the fact I am single. I have taken money from Jane Pratt to advertise the fact I am single here andhere. I have written about being single on Squeamish Bikini so many times I don't think I even dare to do a quick search through the archives (although you should - many a happy hour has been lost doing such a thing). However by now you may, dear reader, be thinking 'well why don't you bloody well do something about it?' Well reader, while I don't like your tone I have to tell you that I did. And in East London of all places, at Manero's for Speakeasy Sitting Room
I love a good historical romp, and The Alchemist of Souls doesn't disappoint. Set in an alternate Elizabethan history, where a race of beings known as Skraylings have voyaged to England from the New World, and are grudgingly welcomed for their advanced technologies, while shunned as witches for the very same reasons.
A seemingly down-on-his-luck nobleman, Mal is the son of a British ambassador, with more sword skills than you can thrust a rapier at. He is pressed into service as bodyguard for the Skrayling ambassador, and yet his reticence to serve seems to run deeper than the usual distrust of strangers.
I have been watching Jennifer Saunders off the teleovision on the teleovision since I was 11 or 12 and became aware of Absolutely Fabulous. I was then introduced to Jennifer Saunders as the straight woman in a double act, via a video (yes I possibly am old) my aunt gave to my mum of French and Saunders. And it's been love ever since. So when I was asked to review the audiobook of the official Jennifer Saunders memoirs Bonkers: My Life in Laughs on Audible.com for Squeamish Bikini I was probably the most stoked I have been about this site since I got a free packet of popcorn at a launch last week.
If you haven't already got the idea that this review is going to be gushing then allow me to be clear. My only criticism of this book is Jennifer Saunders off the teleovision's mispronunciation of "wrath."
Short listed for Museum of the Year 2013 Horniman Museum and Gardens sits pretty on the top of what I can only assume is the hill referred to in the London area of Forest Hill. While birds, bunnies and alpacas roam in the garden outside the beautifully mosaic building, there are plenty more feathered and furred friends housed inside. The time warp curiosity that is the Natural History Gallery dares you to stare into the glass eyes of still and silent creatures, the biggest being in the collection is the famous overstuffed walrus. Somehow these dead animals are more intriguing than the very cute and alive pygmy goats on the hillside animal walk.
Home is where the art is. This weekend saw the city of London open its front door(s) and hopefully a few more minds. There was not one but two major arts and culture events on the go. Open House London and London Design Festival both vied for my attention. One won out, satisfying my ‘nosy neighbour disorder’ as well as my imagination. I found myself at the latter but still at an open house, a South Kensington bedsit. Bare concrete stairs that back on to a pristine white façade lead down into something a little darker and a lot more interesting…
Mermaids have a long history and are guaranteed to set imaginations flowing, even if their most famous recent portrayals have been via Disney and Starbucks. So we were excited, back in May, to hear about the Poems Underwater project.
A collaboration set up by Kirsten Tambling and Laura Seymour, the project, Kirsten told us, aimed to: "start some conversations about the mermaid figure and some of the things they might represent...one of the things we've noticed is that their symbolic significance is pretty much limitless."
We are pleased to say they have now certainly achieved that with Lines Underwater. Grown out of the initial collection of poetry is an anthology featuring contributions from over 40 people, which you can buy on their website.