Friday, July 29, 2005

If you are wise, you'll listen to me

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is in the cinemas today. I'm filled with a warm glow just thinking about it.

I love the film with Gene Wilder, and Johnny Depp is one of the few actors I trust to do an equally good job. I'm hoping this new film will combine exactly the right amount of saccharine and creepiness to make it work as well as the first.

It's inspired me to re-read the book. I'm a huge Roald Dahl fan (and a fan of children's literature in general). When I was little, I wanted nothing more than to meet the BFG, move objects with my mind, defeat a coven of witches, and hopefully die peacefully of the dreaded shrinks.

There's something so special about a really great children's author. 'Not Now, Bernard' still makes me nod sagely, and the last page of 'I am David' still makes me sob. Recently I read 'Vicky Angel' by Jacqueline Wilson and it's great to see that new writers are continuing where others left off. I hope I never reach a stage in my life when I don't feel like a five year old being tickled at the sight of the last page of 'When the tiger came to tea', where the tiger's saying "goodbyeeee" and the word curls round the page like a snake.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Enough already!

Since July 7th, my life has become saturated with thoughts about suicide bombers. Every time I get on the tube, I at least consider the possibility that the people around me will be either my executioner or my buddy during an escape down a darkened tunnel.

I'm spending quite a lot of time working down at the temporary mortuary set up for the victims of the bombing. This means that, even when I'm at work, it's on my mind, and the fact that the office has News 24 on ALL THE BLOODY TIME doesn't help.

So, I've had enough. If it happens, it happens. Until then I'm going to get on with doing things exactly as before and not get hysterical every time there's a security alert.

With this in mind, I went and did something completely random and unrelated on Saturday. I bought a wedding dress.

I clomped into the shop with my short hair and trainers, not convinced that white was for me. An hour later, I was pirouetting about the room wearing a series of white dresses and even (deep breath) a tiara, while my mum and sisters oohed and ahhhed and took pictures. It was all quite traumatic but strangely fulfilling. Cinderella, you shall go to the ball.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Well, if ever I timed a day off well, it was Thursday. Thank god for flexible working hours.

The timing and positions of the London bombs mean that I easily could have been involved, which is something I'm trying not to think about.

I'm not going to write about how angry I feel. I think there have been some excellent speeches from people who know a lot more than me. Ken Livingstone was spot-on when he said that this wasn't an attack on presidents and prime ministers but on ordinary people of all ages and backgrounds. I admire DAC Paddick from the Met when answering the question "are these Muslim terrorists?" by saying that there is no such thing. Islam is a peaceful religion and the people who committed this are simply murderers. Good answer - so any Islamaphobes can fuck off.

I'm not sure if Londoners really are better at handling crises but I'm glad we're carrying on as normal. And we've still got the Olympics and it's going to be FAB.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

She waits

So... only a couple of hours before we find out if we're going to host the Olympics in 2012. Stratford is all geared up for a 'Thank You Party' which will take place whether we win or not. Typical Londoners... always prepared for a negative result. Why can't we have a bit of faith in London, today of all days?

Of course, we all know it's going to be Paris.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Karma Army

Over the weekend I bought a book called 500 Random Acts of Kindess (or something). I liked it so much that I had a look at the Join Me webpage. This is what they had to say:

"Now, one of the first things you have to consider when starting something like Join Me is whether to use your powers for Good, or for Evil.

Here at Join Me HQ the choice was simple.

We would use our powers for Good.

You, the joinee, are encouraged to undertake Random Acts of Kindness on a day-to-day basis... maybe it’s paying for the cup of tea that the person in the queue in front of you has just ordered... maybe it’s offering to carry an old woman’s shopping (and not legging it)... maybe it’s as simple as holding a door open for someone.

Join Me has always encouraged joinees to Make An Old Man Happy. But why should we stop there?

Whatever it is you decide to do, it has to be random, unexpected, and... well... kind."

I love the idea of doing Random Acts of Kindness. Some of them mentioned in the book ("change seats on the tube so friends can sit together") I do anyway, but some ("give someone in the street a random award" with a photo of a man holding a 'Best Hat' award) are just plain daft.

I think if I have a mid-life (okay, mid-twenties) crisis, I might start doing Random Acts of Kindness on a daily basis.