In which I do a New Thing

21 May

IMG_0023I realised recently that it’s been a while since I tried something new. Technically I suppose I’ve tried quite a lot of new things: getting a mortgage, home ownership, assembling wardrobes, waiting in all day for tradesmen who don’t turn up, threatening to sue Virgin Media… But at university I tried at least one new hobby every year, and although I’ve actually managed to commit to the one thing I started since I moved to London (and that isn’t changing) it felt strange to have gone so long without trying something completely new.

Then my friend Katie posted an article which she’d written about parkour and she linked to her blog and I read that and by the end I really really wanted to try parkour. I explained to her that this was the case, even though I have the upper body strength of an overweight jellyfish and no free time, she encouraged me, and yesterday evening I found myself in the Chainstore in East London ready for my first class.

It was intense. We started by running, climbing on a large buoy, getting up and down stairs in ways that I would never have considered before and jumping onto walls. In fact, the whole session involved a lot of jumping, that and swinging off railings and being on top of things (as long as you get up there without using your knees, knees are forbidden). The heights were an issue, but I could definitely feel an improvement by the end of the session.

Of course, now I’ve realised why it’s been a while since I tried a new thing. Because now I want to do it all the time, while also still wanting to do roller derby all the time. Does anybody just want to pay me to do unusual sports?

Top Ten Books I Recently Added To My TBR Pile

31 Mar


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday challenge from The Broke and the Bookish is to list ten books from my to-be-read pile. My TBR pile is huge, I’m even doing a challenge this year focused on clearing some of it, so making this list was a good way of focusing my mind on why I want to read some of the books loitering in that pile.

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Top Ten Books From My Childhood/Teen Years That I Would Love To Revisit

24 Mar


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday challenge from The Broke and The Bookish is to list ten books from your childhood and teen years which you would like to revisit. This was a tough challenge for me because I spent most of my time reading until I hit university and found that juggling work and a social life left less time for books.But eventually I narrowed it down, and now I just want to ignore my giant TBR pile and re-read all of my childhood favourites.

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Book Review: The Old Man and the Sea

12 Feb

Back to the Classics Challenge: Classic Novella

Title: The Old Man and the Sea

Author: Ernest Hemingway

I picked this book up on a whim in a shop near my office, attracted only by the fact that it was a small slim volume which would fit neatly into my bag for the train journey home. But I am very glad that I did. Continue reading

Top Ten Things I Like/Dislike When it Comes To Romances In Books

11 Feb

I’m trying out something new today, the Top Ten Tuesday meme from The Broke and The Bookish. There’s a new top ten list challenge posted every week, all of them related to books and reading. Now, I love lists and I love reading so what could be better? Today’s challenge is to list ten things you like or dislike when it comes to romances in books. It should have been finished by midnight to make it a proper Top Ten Tuesday, but I’ve been out this evening at a creative writing night and have only just been able to put the finishing touches on my list. Will try harder next week!

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New on the Shelf #2

31 Jan


The latest additions to my bookshelf arrived in the post this morning. I’m particularly looking forward to reading The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which was recommended to me by a friend, especially as I’ve just registered to attend A-Camp, a queer women’s camp, in June. I’m currently nearly at the end of Paper Towns by John Green, so expect a review of that shortly.


New on the Shelf #1

29 Jan


As I haven’t had time to blog recently, here’s the start of a new series: New on the Shelf. These are books that I’ve bought recently and am looking forward to reading. These are the latest additions to my bookshelf, I think I’m going to start on Paper Towns once I’m finished with my current read, Mort by Terry Pratchett.

Book Review: World War Z

24 Jan
World War Z cover (Sergey Galyonkin)

Image: Sergey Galyonkin 

Title: World War Z (An Oral History of the Zombie War)

Author: Max Brooks

I definitely got out of my comfort zone with this book. I’m not a fan of horror in general, and zombies in particular are at the top of my ‘Things Julie Doesn’t Read About’ list. But my housemate convinced me that World War Z was not your average zombie novel and I was certainly pleasantly surprised. Continue reading

TV Review: Bad Education (BBC Three)

19 Sep

Image: New Statesman

Since the disappointing third series of Outnumbered, I’ve been searching for a new British comedy to sink my teeth into. Not searching very hard perhaps, distracted by trying to catch up on seven seasons of How I Met Your Mother, but searching all the same. So when Bad Education, Jack Whitehall’s latest comedic endeavour, appeared in my iPlayer recommendations, I decided to give it a shot.

Despite Whitehall being the star of the show, as posh and clueless history teacher Alfie Wickers, it is the supporting cast who really shine. His class, including flirtatious Chantelle (Nikki Runeckles) who spends her time dropping not-so-subtle hints about age gaps in relationships, outrageously camp Steven who attempts to come out during sex education class and wonders why no-one is surprised, and Joe (Ethan Lawrence) who constantly finds himself being talked into Alfie’s hare-brained schemes. Whilst they steal the show, Alfie moons after the boring Miss Gulliver (Sarah Solemani) and indulges in horesplay with Fraser (Matthew Horne), the school’s headmaster, who is so uncool that it’s actually painful to watch. The star of the teachers is terrifying deputy Miss Pickwell (Michelle Gomez), one of whose star moments involves taking her class to an abattoir on a school trip.

Some of Bad Education‘s jokes do fall flat, but those are the ones which are pushed too forcefully upon the audience. Those which were introduced a little more subtly, such as the wall display featuring Anne Boleyn and Princess Diana under the heading ‘Hot Babes Through The Ages’, did succeed in raising a laugh. In fact, the three episodes of Bad Education which I watched raised enough laughs that I will be watching until the end of the series. It’s not a patch on Outnumbered, but it’s enjoyable all the same.

All six episodes of Bad Education are available on iPlayer. Episode 1 expires on September 26.

The Dawn of a New Era

15 Sep

Image: Flickr (NS Newsflash)

As some of you may know, I’m starting an MA Journalism course at Kingston University next week, in the hope that it will lead to the real journalism job that I’ve been lusting after for as long as I can remember. In celebration of this, I’ve started a new blog, in which I’ll talk about journalism in general, and my MA journey in particular. I’ll be continuing to post reviews and creative writing here, but I’d be eternally grateful if you’d hop over to Destination Fleet Street and take a look at my new project!