Thursday 4 July 2013

My (lonely) Street

I love the street I live on, it’s very picturesque. There are several trees dotted around which come into bloom in the spring with gorgeous deep pink and red blossom.  When the blossom starts to fall, it litters the ground in a sea of beautifully bright colours which are a wonderful contrast to the dull industrious grey of the pavement and road. For those few days the falling blossom exceeds a slight uplifting feeling within me, falling through my body like snowfall. After all, nature is there to be appreciated.

Though I like my neighbours, I do not like the loneliness I feel being a resident on this street. I usually have my curtains and window open. You can probably look right into my room if your house is in opposition to mine. I like the fact that people can look in. I like going to my window and staring out beyond the houses. I like dancing around to loud and beautiful music knowing that if someone were to look in, I would probably be making an absolute fool of myself. And when my parents are away, I like standing by the open window and smoking slowly whilst playing gentle jazz music and waiting to see someone else staring out of their window.

But no one else does. Not a single soul. Day and night, the top windows of all the houses on my street are shut, with white-lace curtains protecting the houses’ modesty by not allowing peeping toms like myself to see inside. I don’t mean to be nosey, or even curious, I just think there could be a nice, silent companionship with those who also enjoy looking out of their window. It’s a thoughtful act, if I saw someone staring out of their window; I’d forever wonder what they’re thinking about.

When I move (preferably to a city) I should like to live in a flat surrounded by loads of other flats, just as small and monotonous as my own. Then perhaps people will start to look out of their windows-we all love escapism. I want to live by a train track which abides just outside my window. I want the train to come past with shuddering bright lights and a noise that makes me want to go with it. And with the movement of my flat shaking under the rippling speed of this great moving giant.

Friday 1 March 2013

Call the Feminists Indeed...

I was reading the RadioTimes the other day when I came across an article by Alison Graham. She was talking (or rather writing) about how young girls should watch Call the Midwife because of it's feminist principles. I completely agree with her, however I feel that by getting her views across she expressed quite a lot of agesim in the article. So I decided to write a letter to the RadioTimes in response to the article.

Here is the article mentioned, you can read it online -

And here is a typed-up version of my response letter:

Dear Miss Graham,
I saw your article in the Radio Times – “Call the Feminists” and although I completely agree with you that the series (Call the Midwife) both book and TV-wise, should be used as a exemplementry model for young people; I don’t believe that by being ageist we can combat other prejudices like sexism.

Believe me when I say the intention of this letter is not to argue, I just want to revise your opinion of us youngsters. After all, I believe we never stop learning and we can learn anything from anyone, no matter what their age is!

I am 17 years old and proud to call myself a feminist! I understand that not everyone identifies as this but I’d like to give you hope that I know a fair amount of young people who want to change this world for the better!

I also understand the humour in your article. Like when you say ‘spoilt young things’, I fully understand that we are privileged in so many ways because of all the wonderful people; both men and women, who have fought for our equality, resources and liberty.

But every generation has their problems. Forgive me if I sound terribly ignorant but I believe there is a wider range and percentage (or at least awareness) of mental illnesses nowadays. Indeed, if I were to tell you all of my mental illnesses, you (and anyone else for that matter) would think me a hypochondriac – and I wouldn’t blame you one bit for it!

And in regards to the Facebook thing; I’m pretty sure that If Facebook was around 60 years ago, there would still be just as many drunk photographs circulating around newsfeeds!
Though I do agree with you about the playing music out-loud on buses thing! But I suppose I’m only subjective because I never like the stuff that gets played. If they swapped N-Dubz for something more to my liking then I’m sure I would selfishly encourage it! Though I suppose you could say music has been played out-loud to the annoyance of the public ever since portable record players were invented!

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and I sincerely hope that I did indeed manage to revision your opinions on the youth of today. I believe that on the inside – we're all still children!

With the best of wishes and kindest of regards,

     Megan Rose

Wednesday 20 February 2013

The Truth About People

Okay, so I originally intended to write a very ‘academically sounding’ essay but it’ll just get blown away in the wind with all the others, which, let’s face it – will be much better than mine! Let’s leave that stuff for the folk who really know what they’re doing!
What I’m going to write about is something we all know about; the truth. And how all of us have no idea what the fuck we’re doing… which is something I know a hell of a lot about! I’m not sure how this essay’s going to turn out if I’m honest, my drafted version looks pretty melancholic and I’m listening to some pretty upbeat music so… it’ll probably be a cross between light-hearted and sarcastic.

So… ‘what is the truth?’ I hear you ask yourself. Well perhaps the truth doesn’t really have an answer and we should all look at it rhetorically. However, I’m far too opinionated and egotistical to allow my views to escape this little concept. Plato had some great ideas about truth and justice… why can’t I? Hmm... Perhaps we should leave that as a rhetorical question too and spare my feelings!

What I’m going to try and do here is… expose a few secrets about human nature some of us might not have realised or thought about before… And to make everyone feel... a little less alone and comfortable with… well, being uncomfortable!

Yes, we are all wonderfully different and unique but someone out there, or perhaps many people, have had identical thoughts to you. Whether that’s “What should I have for dinner tonight... Indian or Chinese?” or maybe something a little more complex like… “What if we’re all really just a little microbe living on an even huger being in an even huger universe… in fact, what if the universe is just a small particle that belongs to something bigger?” etc. etc. I can guarantee they’re all shared thoughts. I assume someone else has thought about or even written an essay pretty identical to this one... if so kudos to them for doing it first!

My beloved gran-ma-ma once said to me that despite her age and physical difficulties, she still felt like she was 17 in her head, which I totally understood. I may only be 17 but I certainly know that growing up is just something children want to do and adults try their best to pretend to have done. It’s just an act – we’re all still silly and wonderfully ignorant children on the inside, no matter how old we are!

There is a syndrome where you believe everything good and successful you do is just a fluke or someone else’s work that’s been unfairly passed on as yours. I know, because I used to have it! I’d write a poem and if it got praise for it I’d suddenly worry that I might have accidently plagiarised it or it was just a one-off thing. I believe we all have an essence of this syndrome in us. And we’re all terrified we’ll be found out at some point and everyone will realise how young and incompetent we really are. But it’s okay my friend, accept the fact you did good and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back!

We’ve all done it; had strange, dangerous or purely random thoughts for no reason. We’ve all done something like walked past some train tracks as the train came into the station and wondered what it would be like to be pushed in front of that train. Or stood on a cliff/tall building and had the urge to jump. It doesn’t mean you’re suicidal – you’re just curious.

Yep that’s right – we’re all scared shitless. Scared of being alone, scared of being responsible, of owning houses, paying bills, being embarrassed, being seen as incompetent, being ‘found out’, making certain commitments, and the list goes on! You can be the richest, most powerful person in the world and I’m willing to bet you still feel like you don’t fully know what's going on!

I’m such a victim of self-pity! It’s awful and I thought I was the only one who absorbed myself in this previously-thought-as-somewhat-selfish indulgence but no, that’s not the case! We’re all needy; have been from birth and will be until we die. It’s certainly not a bad thing, it makes us emotionally clever and allows things like love and empathy to thrive!

This one doesn’t need any explanation – we have all done it (even if we don’t admit too it)!

I feel that by learning the truth behind things, we learn to be responsible for each other as well as compassionate, empathetic, considerate and kind! I shall end this with a very wonderful quote by JB Priestly:
“We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish. Good night.”

Saturday 9 February 2013

Young Helen Mirren – The Sexist 1975 Parkinson’s Interview (Response Essay)

- With thanks to the very talented miss Stella Vine who  gave me some very interesting points to include! -

Of all the glamorous and intriguing of introductions, poor Helen got the short straw in this interview. Before the actress even appears on the screen, let alone sits down – she is subjected do a rather callous and sexist display of crude reviews and comments Parkinson felt at liberty to digress for the sake of entertainment and personal smugness.
It doesn’t take much thought to understand the kind of impression Parkinson tried to make when he ended the introduction by mentioning the words ‘sluttish eroticism’ in context with Helen. I think even the most reserved and politest of people would have had trouble trying to dismiss that kind of remark. However, Helen remained in a calm and gentle manner throughout the interview - a rather nice contradiction to the smug and patronising Parkinson.

It seemed to me that he was hiding behind the words of others at first, possibly to give him courage and an excuse to voice his own sexist opinions. As he did so, he seemed to dismiss Helen’s ironic comments regarding his own statements and questions. Perhaps he has a problem with strong women?

Let’s not forget what the main purpose of this interview seemed to be about – sex. Everything was about sex. Sex scenes, sexual body parts or ‘equipment’ as he liked to say, sex sex sex. You would have thought that in 1975 people would have gotten over the fact that sex happens? And instead of focusing on the most primal and controversial of sexual nature, why do we dismiss the liberating independence that can also be gained from using sexual content in film? I’ll tell you why – sexism. There is no such thing as sexual liberation when women are involved. Parkinson played on this to his little hearts content. Helen’s personality, confidence and not being afraid to stay true to herself is what ultimately makes her sexy, not the media’s sexual exploitation of her.

I have to admit, I did get a little angry when he asked Helen; “Do you think you are ‘in quotes’ – a serious actress?” It was after this patronising question that I thought Helen really decided to stand up and take herself off the sexist pedestal and put Parkinson himself on it; questioning his digression and allowing him to make a fool out of himself. Oh what calm control and wit she had!

When Parkinson asked Helen about her ‘physical attributes’ I did rather love how she played around with that ambiguous description of certain body parts. “You mean my fingers” (a line that seems almost Shakespearean) was a rather wonderful response as was ‘serious actors can’t have big bosoms?” – pointing out Parkinson’s cheap way of interviewing and sly leading questions. I’d also like to think the audience were on her side with this one!

It is obvious that Helen knew she was blatantly being attacked but did not fight back with the same aggression, rather with a more gentle and democratic approach. She came across as being deliberately vulnerable but at the same time in full control of the situation. Perhaps she recognised his obvious attraction to her but knows it was purely aesthetic and media-influenced. He was more interested in the pornographic aspects of her career rather than the true nature of herself and profession. Nevertheless her free-spirit and laid-back attitude made her a natural protagonist who definitely had the upper hand in this situation.

I also thought that throughout the interview Helen made some extremely interesting and rather observational points. Even questioning the school system, saying “lack of liberty is what happens to people’s minds in schools’” and how it is “very dangerous to stick labels”. It seems a shame that these comments were left to fade away as the interview went straight back to a more sexual direction again. An absolute waste of an interview I can honestly say with that being the case. And all because he couldn’t have what he wanted... I mean his desire for her was obvious and purely sexual, you could see it in his eyes the whole way through the interview… if he were a dog (and believe me I think there’s a very thin line there) he would have been foaming at the mouth for sure.

Anyway, that concludes my rather brief essay on the interview. I should like to end it with Helen’s own words – “You are what you are and you are what people think you are”.

Saturday 8 December 2012

Every Writer's Nightmare...

Isn't it horrible when we sit down to write something and the words just can't seem to form on the paper? It's as if some physical force is trying to prevent our thoughts from baring any physical form as if it were against some sort of ancient taboo. Well here's a short story (well piece of writing) I wrote regarding that kind of situation. It's pretty melancholic but that may be down to the fact I have been reading A LOT of Sylvia Plath recently!

Please read (even just a sentence or two) and tell me what you think... I am not afraid of constructive criticisms and welcome all comments both negative and positive! And if you do not wish to read on then I wish you the happiest in future reading (I don't blame you - I'm quite sure there are a lot more blogs and books out there far greater than this little hiccup). So yes; Happy Reading to all!

(Oh and just a little side note: I am awful with being all clever with blogs and stuff so I haven't been able to format the paragraphs nicely and for this I apologise deeply and hope to change this in the future...


I sat down tentatively at my desk. A cold draft flexed its way around the room and settled a cold chill upon my back and shoulders. I knew I had to write something. What exactly that ‘something’ was still rather ambiguous to me but for weeks my head had been blocked with college work and now that my exams were finally over, I was at liberty to write at will and it gave me all the motivation I needed.

I opened a small drawer from my desk and pulled out a wad of fresh writing paper and a small slither of excitement swelled heavily inside my chest; I had been waiting to clear my head for so long and writing was the only cure. Setting down the first sheet of virgin-white paper, I pulled the cap off the fountain pen which was already in hand, poised like a soldier’s weapon, and to my sheer horror… my mind was perfectly blank.

In my haste to prepare the necessary needs for my writing practices, I had forgotten that the mental element of imagination and ideas hung like dark clouds over me, full of promise to bring rain and salvation but not-yet fully formed to provide as such. This realisation crashed down upon me in a tidal wave of sinking persistence.
I unwisely decided to put pen to paper and write regardless of having no thought process to guide it. What I ended up with were a few lines of mediocre banter. What did I want out of this? Was it poetry, a short story, maybe even a novel? Was it any format or just scribbles here and there? The purpose for my craving to write had not yet found me and instead I was left with ink-stained paper and the useless notion of having nowhere to go from here; physically and mentally.

Perhaps that was my problem; I have not yet had the experience of a true writer. My life has been sheltered and planned carefully. How can someone with so little excitement in their life even begin to write something readable or entertaining? I had blinded myself with dreams of being anyone else but me and I believed those dreams to the point where I felt I knew enough to be those people.

I was terribly miss-guided and disillusioned it seems. And I was right to brake myself away from these fantasies. I am not-yet the poet I so desperately crave to be, yes I have travelled to many places (but all under holiday provisions) and my education proved little interest in me, I am certainly not of great academic success.

So what is the point in my being here? – If all I do is sulk at an old desk. This room I have latched onto like a sea urchin has become more prison than comfort. I used to enjoy its emptiness and its cold drafts which existed even in summertime. The simplicity was good for my crowded head and it was a place where only imagination could save you from wanting to furnish it accordingly. Sometimes you need the bareness of wooden floors and timeless wall paper to give you that creative energy.

It was like my own writer’s cottage in a house that was always alive with people and sounds.
Before I dared write anything more, a gentle tap echoed lazily across the room. Someone was at the door (I had locked it to avoid any distraction of wanting to leave). I got up, relieved that I was leaving the dull atmosphere of a lost afternoon behind me and unlocked
the door to see whoever was behind it.

To my disappointment, the hallway was deserted. Maybe it was my imagination - a subliminal message from my sub-conscious telling me to give up the dream because all I was doing was waiting for something that could only come true in the imagination itself.
Bitter realisation hit me like a bee sting. I had concentrated so hard on writing and being creative that I had used up all my energy doing just that. The result was exhaustion and a caffeine addiction. Perhaps my imagination was the bee – its final attempt to save me had become its very death and I was the reluctant murderer.

And so I went back into the cold, bare room and sat back at my desk, staring into endless space. For once, my mind was at peace. That is untill another 'great idea' illuminated itself unto me and I guess I just had to get it down onto paper...