Coriolanus

Last night I went to see Coriolanus in the cinema. It was an Odeon culture showing of the national theatre production of Coriolanus staring Tom Hiddleston. A friend had told me she was going to see it live at Donmar Warehouse and when I realised I would be able to see it in the cinema not long after she’d seen it I was very excited.

Not really knowing the story of Coriolanus I looked up a brief plot summary before hand.

We arrived at the cinema got drinks and snacks and headed in. We even met the friend who had told me about it in the first place was there to see it again she’d enjoyed it so much. We sat down and after a while the lights went down and the play began…

There was blood, violence, love, hatred and like most of Shakespeare’s plays an element on satire. Tom Hiddleston and the rest of the cast portrayed amazing characters and worked well with the small space that provided the stage in Donmar Warehouse theatre where the play was being broadcast from. Hiddleston who played the character of Caius Marcius ‘Coriolanus’ once again made us love a character who is arrogant and technically a ‘bad’ character.

I greatly enjoyed the performance and am glad the cinema near me chose to broadcast the performance. To anyone who has not seen it yet and is thinking of going to see it in their local cinema I would strongly recommend it and guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Do bears have legs or arms?

 

So today I was watching something on the TV and the question ‘how many legs does a polar bear have?’ so I instantly answer 4 but then the point was raised that bears stand on 2 legs sometimes. So after a lot of searching on the internet I found out bears have four legs but the front two are called ‘fore legs’ which are basically the same as arms therefore bears have four legs but they can also be said to have 2 legs and 2 arms.

You really do learn something new everyday.

For more fun and wonderful facts, take a look at Adam Anderson’s Fun Facts Books.

Student Finance

Student Finance England (SFE) applications for full-time course starting in 2014 opened yesterday which meant it was time for me to start the next step in going to university by applying for student finance. For those of you from America and elsewhere across the globe who don’t know what this means this is where you apply for financial support for while you at university. This financial support comes in the form of; A tuition fee loan which covers the cost of the actual course (usually £9000 a year) which you pay back a small amount at a time once you have left university and are earning above a certain amount. As well as the tuition loan all students can access a maintenance loan to pay for food, rent etc. during your time at university this too has to be paid back. Finally there is a maintenance grant which does not need paying back and is assessed based on your household income (the lower the household income the more support you receive).

Knowing all of this already from leaflets, UCAS fayres and talks at college I began my application.

First I had to create a student finance account which I will be able to use to check any letters, information or payments from SFE. Then I had to enter my information including the course I’m mostly likely to study and the university the course is at (it doesn’t matter if you haven’t had results or chosen you firm choice you can change this later.)

I also had to add my Mothers details as I live with her and my brother and therefore it is her income they will want to assess for the maintenance grant.

Once finished an email was sent to my Mother which she then had to add information about salary, income, share, dividends etc. to. Having completed that I am now back to the waiting whilst my application is assessed and processed. However all in all it was a fairly simple process.

12 Years A Slave

(Warning possible spoiler alerts)

12 Years A Slave is the harrowing but great film that tells the story of Solomon Northup a free-born African-American man who is drugged and sold into slavery under the false pretence that he is a runaway slave.

The film is based on the book Northup wrote after his experiences which tells the story of his life from being drugged, sold to a slave trader and sold into 12 years of slavery. Chiwetel Ejiofor (before seen on TV drama Dancing on the edge) who played Solomon portrayed the determination and loyalty of Solomon’s nature in scenes that included him attempting to protect another female slave ‘Patsey’.  The film also starred other big name actors including; Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Michael Fassbender (Shame) and Brad Pitt (Fight Club) .

Grim scenes of whipping, hanging and abuse are shown throughout the film to make uncomfortable but brutally honest viewing.

Although the film does have some happier scenes of Solomon and his family the horror of the stories reality really hits the audience hard.

Despite the horrors and hardship Solomon lives through he never gives up hope that eventually the truth will come out and he will be a free man once again. Finally Solomon manages to get a white man working on the plantation with him to send a letter to his family explaining what has happened.

The most touching and poignant scene is the final one where Solomon is reunited with his family. Having been gone for 12 Years Solomon has missed his children growing up and even has a grandson (who is also called Solomon). The film ends on the beautiful scene of Solomon in a group hug with his whole family.

What I admire about Solomon Northup is his strength to carry through such dreadful and painful years. I also admire the bravery it must have taken for him to write about his experiences in his book ’12 Years A Slave’.

Happiness week

happiness week pic

It’s happiness week on BBC radio 1 and they’re attempting to cheer everyone up this week. The idea of happiness week is to make people happy during this cold, wet January. So in the spirit of happiness week I have decided to tell you my keys to living a happy life particularly during the winter.

Firstly surrounding yourself with a great group of friends with who you can have a laugh is the simplest and one of the best ways to stay happy. After all ‘Laughter is the best medicine’.

Secondly MUSIC. I know I’ve posted about music before but I definitely think that the right music can cheer you up within minutes. Put on your favourite song, turn it up loud (or as loud as you can with the neighbours yelling at you) and sing and dance your heart out. You’ll soon forget all your problems and be care free (even if just for 10 minutes)

As well as music I think a good comedy film can be a great way to cheer up. Any of your favourite comedy films should work but for me films like Role models, Knocked Up and Pitch Perfect are guaranteed to make me laugh!

Another key to happiness for me is baking. Although this may not be a great idea for everyone as some people hate all aspects of cooking including baking. But for me being in the kitchen wither alone or with friends and baking something I can enjoy after as well is satisfying and always makes me happy.

Finally when the rain is hammering down it always cheers me up to curl up in my armchair, in my pyjamas and fluffy socks with a hot cup of tea and a biscuit and watch my favourite TV programmes.

Suprise!

After finding out one of our closest friends got an offer from Cambridge university one of the most prestigious universities in England and one of the hardest to get into we decided to throw her a surprise party. We arranged it all on a day we were all free and invited the friend over with the pretence she was just coming over to see me as I haven’t seen her properly since before the Christmas Holidays. Having never thrown a surprise party before we were a little uncertain about how to do it but we made sure everyone was here before her and everyone but myself hid before she arrived. As she walked in and through the dinning room I told her we’d head upstairs where she opened the door to find everyone else sat on the stairs shouting surprise. She was so happy and shocked she even teared up a little.

We preceded to have a great day and one friend had even made a congratulations cake with chocolate piped letters stood on top that spelt out ‘Congratulations’.

As well as having such a fun day with friends we are all now a little wiser about how to throw a surprise party.

Laura suprise

Happy New Year!

2014 new year

I’m back from the Christmas holidays to wish you all a happy new year!

Happy New Year! Hogmanay! Bonne année! (Those are the only languages I know without using translate).

I hope you’ve all had a great Christmas and a Happy New Year! And I hope that 2014 is a great year for you all.

My hopes and ambitions for this year include: taking and passing my driving test, doing well in my A Level exams and finally in early October going to University. I know it won’t be easy but this year will be the hardest I have ever worked because I am determined to succeed at all the above.

Hopefully I will succeed and I hope my readers also have a great and successful year and fulfil all their ambitions.

Good luck in 2014 everyone!