Thursday, 15 March 2012

News Story

Today I read a sad news story, which I thought I would share with anyone who reads this blog. I know this is cruel of me, because it was one of the most depressing articles I have ever read and this kind of needless tragedy makes the world seem like a harsh and devastating place.

So basically there was a teeny tiny baby bunny rabbit in Germany that was born with no ears. This is already a deeply emotional and heart-wrenching story. It gets worse. Here is a picture:

See? It's tiny and cute and also with a tragic deformity. As if that wasn't bad enough, it's now dead. I just heard the sound of your hearts breaking. I'm sorry, I wish it wasn't true. This rabbit was set for global fame, when a TV cameraman stepped backwards, onto the bunny, which died.

He (the bunny, not the cameraman) was only 17 days old. Imagine if you were 17 days old and born without ears and you couldn't even hear your imminent death coming before a cameraman trod on you. I might as well mention while I'm here that Father Christmas isn't real and one day everything will be dead. But hey, the weather was lovely in Kent today.

(To clarify, I do not google anything related to baby bunny rabbits, I was grabbed on the Guardian website by the headline 'German Celebrity Bunny Crushed To Death By Cameraman)

Friday, 24 February 2012

Two Born Every Episode

So at the recommendation of my friends who study Biomedicine and enjoy a good cry, I decided to check out the Channel 4 fly-on-the-wall documentary 'One Born Every Minute,' which is part horror film, part soap opera and part sitcom. In fact, I can't quite believe it's not a sitcom, sort of like 'The Thick of It' but with a maternity ward.

I think part of the reason why this programme has won BAFTAs is because it covers the full spectrum of human emotion. While watching it I alternate between covering my eyes, wincing, saying "Stop being a dick Steve" to a husband who keeps blowing up the rubber gloves and throwing them around the room, crying and getting annoyed at the woman who decides at the last minute that she doesn't want a baby after all and needs to go home and water the plants.

Then there's the receptionist who at one point says on the phone: "Gotta go, darling, we've got an ambulance in here. No, not an actual ambulance, that wouldn't fit through the door." Just now (I'm on episode three, not sure how much more I can take) I thought that the midwife was genuinely about to rip off a baby's head. Most of it, however, seems to be focused on the weird things people say under stress. The greatest moment of the show (and possibly of all television) so far was a woman complaining that childbirth was hurting a bit and the midwife responding with: "It's meant to hurt, you're at the ring of fire." The Ring of Fire???? This isn't that bit in 'Finding Nemo' where Nemo has to swim through the volcano in the fish tank.

Even better, in the next episode, based on the preview, there's a couple having a debate about whether it would be amoral to name a child 'God.'

People are so weird.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Things I Do Not Want To See On My News Feed

I fully understand that the son of family friends was trying to raise awareness of animal cruelty. I completely agree that it is wrong to be cruel to animals. This does not mean I am prepared, early on a Thursday morning while feeling a bit under the weather, to see a picture of an Alsatian with it's face blown off by a firework. It was horrific. When I scroll through Facebook I expect photos, people commenting on their lives, amusing Kent uni memes, but NOT THIS.

It was right underneath a photo that my crazy, frequently drunk Canadian friend from Sydney posted of her crotch (in shorts, steady on). I thought 'jeez, the stuff people put on Facebook' and then I saw the dog. Canadian friend, you can post as many gratuitous crotch shots as you like if it spares me from the sight of dead animals with blown up faces.

If I ever see anything resembling a dead human with a blown up face I will be deleting my facebook and renouncing the internet. I will become Amish and never look at or think about technology ever again. I mean it.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Poetry Seminars Continued

I've had a really good week, and then came the poetry seminar.

We were lulled into a false sense of security at first, re-writing 'Row Row Row Your Boat' in different poetic forms. I thought "this is ok, this is a bit like primary school." How wrong I was.

For next week we have to write sonnets. That's fine, no problem, I can learn how to write a sonnet. Then we were told we had to write love sonnets. I thought that I could probably do that at a stretch if I made it deliberately vague, fictitious and light-hearted (I mean, not only do we have to write it down on paper but we have to read it out loud to other humans.) Then it got worse.

It became, 'Love and/or Eroticism' which then poetry. Sex poetry. We are all terrified of having to write ANY poetry in the first place, let alone sex poetry. We have fourteen words we have to put in to our sex poems (one for each line of a sonnet) including 'fuck', 'thrust' and 'scratch.' I like, can't. A few people were planning on being mysteriously ill next week, but I feel the braver option is to write a poem, sticking to the rules of a sonnet and using the key words, about how much I don't want to write and read out a sex poem. So far all I have is:

'Fuck, I don't want to write a sex poem
I'm going to thrust over to another university'

It's a work-in-progress, admittedly. Sex poems were not mentioned in the course booklet. We were not forewarned of this at the open day. I feel this is quite a dramatic and sudden jump from 'Row Row Row Your Boat.'

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Poetry (Don't worry, not actual poetry)

Narrative theory last term was pretty scary. We occasionally had to write stuff and read it aloud in front of other people. That is nothing compared to the sheer horror of this term's poetry module.

If there was a module called 'Nudity Theory and Practice,' in which a group of us went to a seminar room, took off all our clothes and talked about what we look like naked, it would be only slightly scarier than having to write poetry and show it to other people. Ok, I exaggerate, but there's a reason why if I write poetry it is funny and rhyming.

First of all we had to find our way to the seminar room, at five o'clock in the evening, in the dark, through a winding maze of corridors. The seminar room has three glass walls, so we are completely surrounded by darkness. We all just kind of sat there not looking each other in the eyes, as if it was Sex Addicts Anonymous (it felt worse than alcoholism) or as if we were all about to play a completely sober game of strip poker.

Then the seminar tutor asked us to raise our hands if we ever read poetry for fun, in our own time. It was literally just me and some guy called Nathan. Then we were asked if we were all scared shitless (not her exact words) about writing poetry for this course, and everyone raised their hands and giggled nervously.

The thing that I dread the most is if someone in the seminar had a traumatic childhood, writes a poem about it, reads it out, and then cries. I can see that happening. Particularly after I've just read out something jovial and Dr Seuss like, and the seminar tutor's like "Thanks for that Anne, and now on to Caroline*, with her poem about sexual abuse."

I suppose I'll see next week.

*There is no Caroline.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Well, 2011 was fantastic. Backpacking around Australia, starting university, all that was really very good. In fact it was the best year so far (not in recorded history, I heard 1969 was pretty good, I mean in my life.)

It may be because 2011 was so great, but I am not yet warming to 2012. I personally don't believe the world is going to end, but so far there have been moments when it felt like it might. For example, yesterday I didn't feel particularly well, and then the internet died for no reason. I began to sharpen my weapons for the apocalypse.

Today I went to the dentist, because I had some really important top-secret information which needed to be tortured out of me by some sadists. "This should be your normal teeth cleaning routine" said the dentist, as he tried to extract as much blood from my gums as possible. "You should do this every night for the rest of your life."

Not only was I subject to this torture ("Are you alright?" the dentist asked, as he and his evil assistant cleaned my teeth using what felt like a cattle prod and a vacuum cleaner. He'd numbed my gums and I was unable to answer with anything other than "Aarrghh") but I have to subject myself to this every single night, sometimes at university, while drunk. There is of course, a chance that I might die. I could lose several pints of blood and collapse, a limp corpse, into my sink, surrounded by floss and interdental brushes. Forget zombies, floods and plagues of locusts, this is the end of the world.

Tomorrow I'm going to the opticians. Maybe they'll tell me that the way to achieve 20/20 vision is to, every night, stab myself repeatedly in the eyeballs.