Tuesday, 30 August 2011

MY Doctor Who

I know... this blog is still more of an odd mix of personal thoughts but be patient and I will get there... promise!

Back to another one of my strange loves for a TV show.

So you thought you knew me? Think again. I am a girl who gives everything a go (well not everything…) But when it comes to interests I don’t mind dabbling in the so called “nerdy” genre of sci fi every now and then.

If I am honest science fiction is probably up there in my favourite genres. I’ll tell you why:

- The writers are the most passionate
- Story lines are well thought out
- Character development is key
- Fantasy worlds leave you breathless
- The writing always highlights the beauty and weakness of the human race
- Creatures are created from nothing real – it is all pure creative genius
- Fans are utterly devoted, no other fan genre can touch them
- Worlds are so in depth you truly appreciate the creative mind
- There is always an underlying message for the human race whether it be hope, despair or simply self reflection and improvement.

By far Doctor Who is the ultimate sci fi. Yes, it may have a few gaps in the story, a few hiccups along the way but it is still absolutely engaging. They must be doing something right if it holds the record for longest running sci fi series to date.

Ok, so I am no devout Whovian but I know my fair share of Doctor Who trivia.



For a long time I thought I didn’t actually like Doctor Who the show but rather the man playing him. I began the Who watching during David Tennant’s time and in that time boy did I love him. (I know, for those of you who have read my previous posts/or know me – he is fairly scrawny, not at all my type BUT believe me watch him in this – his passion shines through, his hair has a fan base of it’s own and he exudes this sense of cool and rather quickly you are left thinking…I’d tap that. Again the talent overrides or more so contributes towards appeal – maybe I’m not so shallow after all!). Anyway what I’m saying is that I thought I watched Doctor Who for David not for the story. Then his time was up and I was literally depressed for a month. Why would he leave on his own choice, WHY would he do such a thing to me WHYY!!!!



I vowed I would no longer watch this show but then I thought that was unfair so I would give this young upstart Matt Smith one chance – I would give him one episode to prove his worth. Then came that day and suddenly here was a young gun who had thrown his heart and soul into this wonder of a character. I quietly liked it… so I watched the next episode and the next and soon I was counting down the days to the next episode…

(For those of you non Whovians The Doctor is a timelord - a race which can regenerate - in other words - writers have found a way to keep the series going so a new actor can simply play the same character forever)

I came to the realisation I didn’t watch Doctor Who for Mr Tennant, I watched it for the Doctor, I watched it for his adventures, for beautifully constructed story lines, for supporting characters – my ultimate favourite being the tantalising River Song and I was genuinely curious to answer all the questions.



Was I upset when the latest episode saw Matt Smith donning a David Tennant-esque brown coat… YES but my interest in the story now overrides any other notion.

If you have a chance (even if you do not watch sci fi) watch the episode “Midnight” Series 4, Episode 10. It is one of my favourite episodes – so simple and yet it speaks volumes, it is the perfect example of what sci fi can do – psychologically bend your mind and portray the human race so inextricably true. I also think this was when I began to see the beauty of the show rather then just the man.



So yes Matt Smith is an excellent Doctor with his cheeky nature, bow tie and hilarious lines (and again a rather unique appeal). BUT all us “Who” fans have a favourite doctor that will never change. My doctor is the one and only tenth doctor, my doctor is played by David Tennant, always has been, always will be.

So I guess why I'm writing this is for all you none sci fi viewers. Give it a chance it might prove worthwhile.

“Allons-y!”

…yes that is a tenth Doctor reference ;)

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Gender and Companionship

Sorry again!

This blog won’t be changing for a while longer – got to sort my life out – there are simply not enough hours in a day. So here’s something a little corny to fill the void:



No two things in this world could be more different than gender. Boys and girls, women and men call them what you will we are polar opposites.

My idea of a perfect night = indoors with lovely friends, a good hearty home made meal, a smashing dessert and a lengthy talk of whatever gets the blood going. For me these topics are often of the heart and of the future. The girls and I spend many a leisurely hour discussing what all women discuss at some point – our perfect life, our dream house, our plans 20 years down the track, crushes, past encounters and all things rather shallow (if you are to be pessimistic). Men on the other hand – well they are more grounded; they don’t often bother outwardly discussing the dreams and the delusions – they are probably more healthy and sane because of it.

But the point of it is simple. I rejoice in the fact our brains are wired differently, I rejoice in being a whimsical female and I relish in the delights of imagining a perfect world, a bright and fanciful future. Don’t get too caught up in it all and I’m sure we feminine felines will be perfectly fine.

I have had a lot of friends who have come and gone, I have often been at the root of why my once best friends have left me but finally I have come to balance friends, family and life just right (well at least I hope I have; it has taken long enough).

About three years ago I rekindled one of the strongest friendships I have encountered. I was weary at first – because often things that were once so good come around a second time always disappointing you, never as good as you remembered. This was one of those exceptions.

These three girls are something special. To me, they are vital to my happiness. I’m not sure they feel the same but what I do know is that we all value and love each others company. We all appreciate how relaxed it is when we are together. When I say we can talk about anything I mean that in the most literal of senses. Something I am grateful for as to most other people in my life I am very much a closed book (despite what some might think I hide most of my feelings, opinions, dreams, inner fears – all of the real me, it takes a lot to open yours truly).
There is no judging with us no matter how crazy personal views might be – we tell truths, we tell each fraction of truths; we are constantly open books and that is vital in a strong relationship. We tell each other opinions I’m sure if we told someone else they could possibly stab us to death (I’m not joking).

All those years ago when we were innocent 10 year old girls we were the same. We talked of everything and anything and we argued constantly over everything and anything. What is different now? I think we have grown up a little and realised that arguing does nobody good. So the laughter, smiles and sometimes serious discussion is all that remains.
But all those arguments back then – they simply made us stronger, made us wiser and when one argues it is because we feel something for them – we argue because we love them. I think personalities have mellowed and we are now able to brush things off, no more rampant hormones and now we are simply four girls a little too crazy for the rest of society. In hindsight I think it was healthy to have that five year break from each other, to get rid of all that adolescent rage separately, to grow up without the intense bond we seemed to have. It is a much healthier friendship now and one I’m certain will be forever (please excuse the horrible cliché word and tweeny phrase).

We are all different and yet oddly the same – it is the perfect recipe – just the right amount of elements, the proper balance of contrast and the perfect harmony of flavours (hmmm too much Masterchef viewing for me).



Ladies - you know who you are – and I thank you for all the laughs, companionship and well needed confirmation I am not alone in my thoughts. I cannot wait to tackle this world together with our desperate shoes strapped firm and our fanciful images intact.

As long as you have a handful of friends you truly can count on there is no need for the 1000s of Facebook friend requests or winning the popularity vote for none of that honestly makes you happy.

And what are we going to do about the battle of the sexes? Well, I think we can leave it as just that – a never ending battle where both sides will never agree, where no one will stand down and maybe where both genders can go on battling in a rather harmonious sort of conversation - a peaceful war (an oxy moron if ever there was one) and a clashing of necessary differences.

Monday, 8 August 2011

The World of Elite Education


Sorry, no photos yet... here is just a little something I have had in the pipeline:


What small percentage of people has the means to send their boys to a school for
five whole years devastatingly wasting away their wallets at a staggering $50,000 in school fees PER YEAR! This is not including any extra expenses such as sporting equipment, school uniforms, clubs, music, camps etc. This monstrous amount is simply the basic annual school fee for the most famous school in the world – Eton College. It seems almost morally indecent. Will all that money really amount to a successful man in comparison to how he might turn out if he attended a comprehensive or even a lesser UK public school. For these elite families it comes as second nature for their children to receive the best, be the best and behave the best. But will these ancient schools truly achieve the best? Will each boy come out as a well rounded gentleman, will each individual become men of power, success and true historic figures that will shape our world? The answer is a straightforward - of course not. It is up to the individual. Different environments suit different people. Just because something is the most expensive does not ultimately mean it is the most elite, the best, and the most successful (A mistake I often make).

Yet at the same time, how do you explain the 20 odd UK prime ministers are Old Etonians? (Let’s not forget dearest Mr Grylls went there too along with a number of successful actors, scientists, entrepreneurs etc)

Then there is the fact that Eton is only the most expensive boarding school in the UK yet it ranks at a low no.10 in the world, with other European schools towering over their $50,000. Switzerland is at the pointy end of the scale with a school including hot tubs and constant king like service. For the view, the picturesque campus and facilities this will set you back $77,000 (AUD) a year.



It seems a sick irony that these ancient schools were initially established to educate poor scholars and now their once charitable and egalitarian pavements are polluted by the elite, pompous and ostentatious upper classes. What is more, these fees will continually increase due to inflation and constant school upgrades especially as these ancient institutions become less popular to the masses.

They have their own language, they call themselves a group: Etonians, Harrovians, Carthusians…Should I call myself a Grammarian? Sounds pretty swish but would definitely come across as pathetically and utterly douche bagish. Never hold too much value in your high school years – they often mean little.

It is interesting to look at school mottos – “let Eton flourish” “Fortune favours the brave” “Manners makyth man” and my own Alma Mata “Nothing without work” All with their respective Latin translations. They all seem so old world, such ancient phrases and elegant prose but do we really care? Do these institutes really uphold such values? Is the use of Latin irrelevant?



For me, private education was my kind of world and to this day I mark it as the best thing my parents have ever given me (and I think ever will). Although mind you I think they could possibly regret their choices since they have seen what a snob it has sometimes swayed me. Walking in I felt an overwhelming sense of fear. I hated not being with my friends, I didn’t see the point in a private education, I didn’t see the advantages of an all girls environment (only then beginning to interact with the taboo world of boys) and I disliked the school’s formal ways.
But as cliché as it might sound, grammar shaped me into the woman I am today (and by the way; all girls school does in no way mean – “no boys”…) It influenced my thoughts, my decisions, my desires and my goals. They make you believe in what they stand for (well sort of – I’m not exactly a text book feminist or anywhere close to it), they make you want to be the best and most importantly they make you feel apart of a family. I was no wonder success story and I know I didn’t leave a mark, no board holds my name but my time at grammar was worth it all. As cheesy as it might sound, the saying is true “You can take the girl out of grammar, but you can never take grammar out of the girl”. As I walked through that white picket fence for the last time as a student I felt an overwhelming sense of pride, a feeling of loss - I was leaving behind a very good friend: tough at times but always honest, trying to do what was best for you, supporting you and looking out for you; a friend who will always be waiting in the wings even when you no longer see them, even when you yourself was just simply mediocre. Grammar will always be there.

So why do we care? Why is it that people like me are influenced by a person’s educational background? Why is there baggage strapped to a private education, why do we label people? Would we all be better off if there was no private or public; if school was just school. Again reality leaves us at a great impasse and alas I’m not sure if it will ever be the case. I think we will be living with a class system for some time.

So don’t shake your head in disapproval at a private education and nor should we about a public one either. Again, we need to lower our prejudice radars and take people as they come without labels and preconceived thoughts.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Sorry...

Hello!

I am so sorry I have not been blogging! Life has taken the usual busy route and I have neglected my writing sorely.

This is just to let you all know that I will be back very soon. I have a few entries I have drafted up but am not entirely happy with them.
But here is the main news:

This blog will be changing! Instead of this rather casual, all over the place personal blog I will try to focus on.... (drum roll please)

FOOD and FASHION

I think they go together rather joyfully. I have purchased a new trendy, techie and rather expensive camera - so get ready for some amateur photography.

Also - for those who haven't noticed that you have been redirected to my new URL:
www.aliciamoo.com

I promise I will have something new up within the next 3 days (which may or may not include photos from my wonderfully shiny new toy)