In which Southend is less shit than we thought!

Afternoon. You might have noticed I’ve redecorated the blog and changed the theme to something else white and blocky, although by the time you read this I might have changed it twice more and/or back to how it was.

I’ve hit a mid-afternoon slump and can’t actually remember what this blog was supposed to be about, so let’s talk about dead kings! Or princes, as the case may be. Or may not be. Who read about the Prittlewell Princely burial and felt a mild stab of pride at being from Southend? It was a fleeting stab – kind of a twinge? – but YES HELLO THAT’S A BIT OF VERGE I RECOGNISE. I’m going to the exhibition as soon as I can.

I actually remember, albeit vagually, visiting an exhibition about the burial in either Southend Museum or Prittlewell Priory 12 or 15 years ago, when it was quite a new find. I don’t remember being hugely excited but take two should be better, mostly because I now know how to read.

It occurred to me ages ago that it might be quite fun to do a series of posts about things in and around Southend that are actually quite nice (there are some excellent shops and a few interesting historical places and/or haunted places), but I never got around to it. Maybe I should start with the exhibition? Or the bit of verge under which the Saxon king/prince was buried for several centuries? The Aldi across the road is staffed by lovely people, but we might have trouble getting photographs that don’t feature traffic. Or tarmac.

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Occasional Tea and Rarely-Spotted Cake

Lately I’ve been having a bit of a problem with starting posts and not finishing them so I’ve made a cup of tea to help with the old creative juices. I’ve consumed more today than I usually do in a month (tea is for socialising and coffee is for work; I have at least one coffee at least six days a week) although I was drinking it in a Politics lesson under the guise of working… Although to be honest, Friday Week A last period has always been a bit of a guise, especially when we did voting systems and had to count.

Today was a tea and cake lesson, because it is correct, when one reads a newspaper, to drink tea – especially if one is in a class with twenty other people and international relations needs to be taught. It was also my teacher’s last ever lesson in my school because it’s more fun/intellectually stimulating for him to finish his PhD and work in Malaysia instead of sitting in a classroom in deepest Essex explaining the history of the Liberal Democrats to seventeen-year-olds. Can’t think why. So instead of discussing international relations we gave him presents. Ah, summer.

This hot drink thing really is conducive to work… When I said tea is for socialising, I temporarily ignored my reasonably frequent coffee shop stops with Ellen and/or Isobel when we huddle in a corner of Costa and discuss everyone we’ve ever met in great detail. I do think, however, that if there were a tea shop in our high street we’d go to that instead. Actually there is a tea shop and I’ve been there once. Well, Ellen doesn’t like hot drinks anyway; maybe we should spread our custom around a bit.

Eeyore in Costa

There’s actually a great building just off the main shops that part of me wants to buy, do up and convert into a bookshop and tea and coffee place. I think it’d specialise in second-hand books, and there would be a ‘bring a book, take a book’ system for people with cash flow problems (which is everyone). The teas and coffees would also be suitable for those with special dietary needs (which isn’t everyone but I flipping miss eating those almond biscuits you sometimes get on your saucer). There would maybe be a space for art shows and one for people to just sit and read for as long as they want as long as they purchase a beverage.

I think I may have just invented the library.

I Am Productive and Shall Prove It: Part 2

On with the show.

Francesca’s Best Artwork on Photoshop*

  Inspired by this:

*Actually, the only thing I’ve made on Photoshop this holiday.

New Experience I Should Have Tried Ages Ago: #MCRChat

Invented by Cassie Whitt, and completely crazy.

Best Amateur Video/Community Effort: Newcastle MCRmy

Anyone in Essex fancy going doing a Killjoy meetup this year?!

Most Expensive Consumer Product and Its Effect on the Consumer: Fudge Paintbox Blue Velvet Hair Dye

  75ml cost something like £9.16 (I threw away the receipt once I used it, in disgust). When Mum and I redid my stripe, we left the dye in a bit long because I sat in the garden reading Russel Brand’s first autobiography with no timer and lost track of time. Because of the foils and amount of dye used, I got an electric blue bit near my scalp and turquoise at the tips. There’s also blonde from the bleach and my normal brown up top, so I had a four-tone streak of hair! This probably doesn’t excite you as much as it does me, and the sun’s since faded the whole lot lighter so there’s no evidence, but for a few days I was living my version of the eighties.

Most Guilty Pleasure-y Bedtime Reading: the Unholy Series, by Bexless

As a person, I cannot condone writing about real people as characters, especially if you’ve never met them. As writer, I say hell yeah to anything that expands your knowledge and skills in the field. I’m really sorry, guys, but this series is the best piece of fiction I’ve read in months. Possibly the best fan fiction I’ve ever come across. If I didn’t know it was based on the members of My Chemical Romance, I wouldn’t have realised reading it, which is how some fan fics work best – the story tells itself. Maximise the screen to reduce eyestrain, the text is tiny, and if you’re homophobic or Catholic-phobic (there’s probably a long word for that somewhere), avoid at all costs.

Shameless plug on end of blog: if you want to read my Heaven Help Us, click here. And review.

I Can’t Believe She Just Wrote That

  I finished watching House with my mother about half an hour ago, and they were treating a girl with cancer/liver failure/heart problems/facial bruising. The more distinguishing factors in the episode was that the girl in question, whose name was Frankie, was a serial blogger. She frequently fought with her boyfriend about the lack of privacy in their lives. Seriously, she spilled all… Except for stuff concerning her toilet-going habits. House figured that one out.

  Got me thinking; do I spill it all on here? Compared to a lot of people, I highly doubt it. There are a lot of bloggers who can and will write about everything in their lives, from the lip gloss they just bought (most of them seem to be girls) to arguments with their best friends to – shock, horror – where they live.

  I talk about being from Essex quite a bit, because, let’s face it, Essex is funny. Infamous. Filled with chavs and hoop earrings. A talking point, I’ve always felt. So you know I’m not American at least. I sometimes name names, I have no qualms about stating my opinions and I’m not averse to telling an invisible audience things I might not tell my actual friends. For example, Kylie Minogue is currently playing from my stereo.

  That is something I possibly wouldn’t mention in front of various family members who would go on to take the piss out of the ’emo kid’ liking Kylie.

  I won’t lie that WordPress has done a lot for my ego. Or that the first thing I look at when I log on here is the stats page. It’s usually quite a nice sight too, quite a few people click on this blog every day (a lot of them, admittedly, may have done so accidentally, but still).

  I also won’t lie that I spend a lot of time and energy improving this blog – I refer to it as my baby. A grumpy, rude, arrogant baby, but a loved member of the family nonetheless. I invented Indifferent Ignorance, I’m responsible for what I say on here, the links and pages. It’s a hobby and my way of stating my opinion when most of the time I’m ignored or told to shut up since I’m a wee child who doesn’t have to pay bills and doesn’t have a PhD, so clearly isn’t a valid human being worth listening to.

  One thing I definitely know is that some things that go on in my life will never go on the Internet. My diary, sure. It all goes into my diary. But it will stay there. If you wouldn’t say it out loud unless you were being questioned by police, don’t blog about it. And don’t verbally vomit on a comment section of someone’s blog or website if you don’t have the guts to repeat it to their face.

  This applies also to marriage proposals, stripping, swearing, bitching and fangirling.

  

‘Blog’ definition: Princeton University’s search engine,  Urban Dictionary

24°C, 50% Humidity, 5MPH wind, Summer?

  I like blogging on a Sunday. Maybe it’s because Sunday is a good day to look back as well as forward, and become very zen. Or maybe it’s because I’m looking for an excuse not to do my homework.

  I’d like to tell you all that I’ve got an Exiting New Project in the pipeline, or that I’m recording an album or writing a book, but that would be lying. Yesterday I went to the beach with a bunch of kids from school and today I accompanied my family to Maxim’s boxing show/convention/almost competition. It was slightly amusing watching Maxim in the ring, although I will admit I sucked in my breath when a dude at least two years older and three inches taller than Max bashed him in the nose.

  Hey, I have to be a big sister sometimes.

  If anyone in the Kent/London area finds a yellow beach ball with a smiley face bobbing along the Thames, give me a bell and I’ll tell you where to return it. We, ahem, lost it at the beach, approximately five minutes after I forked out four quid for it. Then again, it was me who misjudged the wind’s power and chucked in the wrong direction in the first place…

  Oh, and tell off any jellyfish you find floating around. Apparently their stings hurt as much as the broken glass and syringe needles on the Thames floor. However, you haven’t experienced Essex until you’ve swallowed part of the Estuary and scratched your feet on the sea floor. Or had a mud fight using said sea floor as ammunition.

 My prediction for the England versus Germany game is that we will lose. The karma from the wars has to come back sometime. Or would that be us one upping the Nazis?