Monday, September 12, 2011

A room of one's own

So as I prepare to move out of my first flat in Glasgow into a new one, I took some pictures to remember the room I fondly called home for a year.

Panorama collage of the view from my bed, usually when I'm sitting on my laptop

Chest of drawers with various trinkets, my jewelry

My bed. That throw has been around as long as I can remember, so its a little bit of home, from home. Cushions are from ikea. The postcards and prints make up my wall of women - figures from art and some victorian photographs too, i've been collecting this over the years. The Mucha mirror is a bit battered around the edges, but I found it in my first month here for £1 in Salvation Army.

The view from my desk, onto the communal back garden. The pile of books are my to read and unfinished/abandoned reading pile. You may recognise the beautiful actress photos I have pinned up.

My desk, when its tidy would you believe

Shoes and more shoes. Safe to say that's theres a definite colour scheme going on here.

Shelves; books, diaries, trinket boxes, postcards, ipod dock, dvds

Textbooks, college folders, stationary boxes
This shelving unit is ugly and doesn't 'match' the rest of the room, but its functional!

All the furniture came with the house. I love the wardrobe especially. There's some great charity shops here that sell furniture and I always go in to admire it, not that i have the space for it. There really are some beautiful pieces that can be picked up cheaply and given a new lease of life.

The room is quite dim, and the light from the bulb is very orange so I never really took pictures here during the year. I will miss it though, because it was quite homely and cosy.

I'm looking forward to making another room my own - but as I type this, I haven't got one yet, so I hope I'll have somewhere to live by the time this is published!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Class of '10/11

The dissertation's done and gone. For the final week of August I've been grasping precious moments with my friends before we all go our separate ways. A year is too short to enjoy close friendships, but it was fun while it lasted.

I've had enough hangovers, ice cream, dancing and delicious meals out to sustain me for a while! No more library trips, but the library breaks were the best fun. I vow never to consume another mars slice again, I'll always associate with those extended lunch hours.

Here's a few brief snapshots of the heady few weeks. It had its own unique highs and lows but its made me appreciate my friends more than ever and now i have many more new countries to send mixtapes and babbling letters to!

Thank you Jess, Katie, Allan, Poi, Nenagh, Cody, Hope, Darren, Claire, Stephen, Hannah & Hannah!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996)

Anyone who knows me can vouch for my passion for costume dramas. The gloomier and more gothic the better. In preparation for the lead up to Jane Eyre (9/9/11) and Wuthering Heights (11/11/11) I've been re-watching some of my favourites. I do bemoan the fact that the same book adaptions are being made, leaving the lesser known, but equally intense novels in the dark. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is one of the latter. Fortunately, it was translated by the BBC in 1996 into a fantastic adaption, (the BBC made an adaptation in 1968 as well).

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is an 1848 novel by Anne Brontë (the third and obscurest Brontë sister) under the pseudonym Acton Bell. It was her second and final novel, after Agnes Grey. It is generally considered the most shocking of the Brontë's novels, it deals with immoral themes of adultery and vice, as well as domestic abuse. The book outsold that of Wuthering Heights, penned by her sister Emily. The book, set in rural Yorkshire, is narrated by Gilbert Markam, neighbour to the mysterious young widow, Helen Graham, who moves into a nearby mansion, Wildfell Hall.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is considered to be one of the first feminist novels. it challenged the morals of the Victorian era in Helen's upright refusal to tolerate her husbands abuses, therefore subverting the prescribed gender roles of the time. Helen grasps her own freedom by retreating to Wildfell Hall with her young son, and providing her own meagre income through her art. The neighbourhood gossips and defames her reputation, but Graham refuses to believe these rumours and finds himself falling in love with the cryptic young mother.

The scope of 1996 adaption is grandiose, sweeping across the foggy moors to inhabiting the darker and moody corners of Helen Graham's home. Rather than being dull the greyness of the composition is crisp and refreshing. We see the characters in sharp contrast and can read their characters well. The setting veers between the crooks and corners of Wildfell and its surroundings to the gaily lit ballrooms described by Helen in correspondence with Gilbert. Most of Gilbert and Helen's encounters happen outdoors, alluding to the freedom Helen craves as opposed to the violence, entrapment and uncomfortable secrecy imposed by the domestic sphere. However Helen can not be wholly free and soon her past catches up with her necessitating her to leave Wildfell, not before communicating the truth of her situation to Gilbert with whom she has formed a romantic attachment.

Toby Stephens plays Gilbert Markham, the earnest neighbour. Tara Fitzgerald is in the title role of Helen Graham. Rupert Graves plays the cruel Huntingdon.

I love this adaption because of the feminist subtext, but particularly on an aesthetic level due to lingering shots emphasizing the sparse, craggy quality of the moors, but also the violent camera angles and jolts, adding to the savage atmosphere at times. The tangible quality of the costumes perfectly fit the characters, particularly when comparing the flashbacks of Helen's optimistic youth to the direness of her situation at Wildlfell. We can see the transition of Helen's youthful frivolity of dress and hair to the more conservative, somewhat stern sensibility of her dress as secretive widower Helen. She holds an impressive crucifix collection it must be said!

If you can't get your hands on the dvd, you can watch it online here! Don't ever say I don't have your back!

Also, I'm not sure what country of origin this is from, but I don't know if this dvd cover is an accurate representation of the series, lovely shot as it is.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Summer XI

So i'm back after some academic and personal upheavals in my life recently. I'm feeling rather drained but have been listening to my summer playlist recently and with the support of my wonderful friends I'm going to aim to be more upbeat about the future and focus on me, and my accomplishments.

To you wonderful people I am sharing my summer playlist. Even though its the end of summer it will make a good autumn soundtrack while the memories of the summer months still linger. It's a bit of an eclectic list, some of the choices are influenced by friends of mine! They'll know who they are.

Summer XI mix (remove 'xx')

1. I'm on Fire, Bruce Springsteen
2. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Bryan Ferry
3. Something In The Way, Best Coast
4. Take It As It Comes, Vivian Girls
5. Age of Consent, New Order
6. Cool, Gwen Stefani
7. Fever, Kylie Minogue
8. Beat of My Drum, Nicola Roberts
9. The Bogus Man, Roxy Music
10. Everybody Knows, Leonard Cohen
11. Hypnotize U, N.E.R.D.
12. Leather and Lace, Stevie Nicks
13. The Pact (I'll Be Your Fever), Villagers
14. Love Is A Losing Game, Amy Winehouse
15. La Isla Bonita, Madonna
16. Love Train, The O'Jays

(No copyright infringement intended!)

I'm looking forward to blogging regularly again, now that I have no university commitments, etc, in my life.