Hallowe’en Nail Art


Using Models Own Nyla Nude, Rimmel London Double Decker Red and Models Own Nail Art Pen in white.

First nail art post for a while, and a bloody Hallowe’en special. I’ve seen lots of people with this nail art, but I’ve added the white as I like the sort of cartoony look it gives.


Waxing Lyrical: The Space

This Waxing Lyrical is about The Space, an Arts and Culture service managed by Arts Council England in partnership with the BBC. This service allows visitors access to all sorts of ‘the arts’ for free in their own homes, via their computers, televisions and smartphones. It was originally set up as a six month pilot project, but this has now been extended for a further six months (until 31st March 2013). I am ridiculously happy about this but want it to be a permanent presence in my life; it has allowed me access to performances and films that I would not otherwise have been able to see, has introduced me to new artists and works, and has allowed me to see shows again and again that I thought I’d only be able to see once.


If you want to see a string quartet performing in helicopters, go to The Space. If you want to see Stephen Fry interview Tracey Emin, go to The Space. If you want  to see a silent film version of King Lear, go to The Space. There is something for everyone here, and a lot of other things that you didn’t know were for you until you saw them; I’m constantly discovering new things. Long may it reign.

Below is a list of my five favourite things currently available on The Space.

1.    Shakespeare: Globe to Globe

Okay, this is actually 36 separate shows, but YOU NEED TO SEE THEM ALL (what do you mean, you haven’t the time?). At the start of the summer Shakespeare’s Globe brought together companies to stage performances of all Shakespeare’s plays, each in a different language; I attended all of these performances (of course I did, it’s very much a thing that I would do) and adore The Space for letting me see most of them again. All are worth a look, but if you really can’t face watching 36 productions, 35 of which aren’t in English, then I would highly recommend Othello: The Remix (Hip Hop), Troilus and Cressida (Maori), Richard II (Palestinian Arabic) and As You Like It (Georgian), as they are my personal favourites. Oh, and Love’s Labour’s Lost is the first full length production of a Shakespeare play in British Sign Language, and that is pretty wonderful too.

2.    ILL-Abilities

The first UK performance of this amazing Super Crew of disabled break dancers, at Breakin’ Convention 2012. There is a lot of Hip Hop from Sadler’s Wells on The Space, but this is my favourite show. No Excuses, No Limits.

3.    Hokusai

A little animation from 1978 about the artist behind The Great Wave. One of the more random things I have watched on The Space, but very interesting, and only five minutes long.

4.     The Trojans by Berlioz

This opera was streamed live on The Space from the Royal Opera House. There are five acts. It’s quite long. Good though.

5.     The Two Worlds of Charlie F

A great play based on the experiences of wounded, sick and injured soldiers, and performed by the soldiers themselves. Moving and funny, I’d recommend everyone see this show. I missed it in London and it had left Edinburgh by the time I got there, so I’m very glad I get to see it on The Space.

In the next six months I’m sure that a lot is going to change as The Space experiments and works out exactly what the public wants from it. This is exciting, and I’m glad that I’ve been with it from the beginning and get to continue to watch it grow and expand. I look forward to seeing what else it’s going to bring me. I think you should too.



The Shows That I Loved

I’m not going to lie: I still watch children’s TV. Quite a lot of it. There are a lot of great dramas and comedies around on CBBC, and I still enjoy them even though I am no longer in the target audience. Horrible Histories is a great reason why I’m not at all ashamed of this; lots of adults love Horrible Histories. It’s funny, interesting and, I believe, the best sketch show on TV. I also regularly watch Wolfblood, The 4 O’Clock Club and Leonardo. They are all excellent. So there.

But this isn’t a post about the greatness of present CBBC programming (although present CBBC programming is great and well worth postage). This is a post about the programming of my youth (and, er, up to a few months ago). This is a post about the shows that are no longer being made, only repeated, and those that are now forgotten except in the minds of those who loved them. Below are the shows that I loved, and the shows that I miss.

10.   Ugetme

A CBBC show about kids running a radio station. It had a really superb cast including Reggie Yates, Luke Bailey and Dominique Moore, and I think it used to run in 15 minute bursts.

9.     My Parents are Aliens

One of the two CITV shows to make my list, and arguably the channel’s biggest success. Well-written, very funny, and no matter how often I see Tony Gardner in The Thick of It, Lead Balloon or Fresh Meat, he is always Brian to me.

8.    Animorphs

I loved the books when I was growing up, and I loved the TV series too. Every couple of months one of the main cast members will randomly appear in one of the many American TV shows I watch, and I will freak out completely.

7.     The Sarah Jane Adventures

Cut short in its prime due to the untimely death of Elizabeth Sladen. A worthy addition to the Doctor Who family with several characters and stories from its famous parent appearing, including The Doctor himself. Also, I hope for great things from Daniel Anthony in the future; I think he’s got the potential to be a really great actor.

6.    The Story of Tracy Beaker and Tracy Beaker Returns

I grew up with Tracy Beaker on TV; most shows with child actors seem to have to end after a year or two due to the obvious over-aging of the cast, so I think that these two shows lasting for ten years with the same lead is an amazing achievement. There is going to be a further spin-off called The Dumping Ground apparently, sans Tracy Beaker, but as this hasn’t been on TV yet I have decided that these shows are still eligible for my list of ended shows. Oh, and Richard Wisker? Going to be a great actor.

5.     Bootleg

This was a three-part BBC series from 2002 and was about a revolution after the government bans chocolate (great description, Mouse). I can still quote large chunks of the script, and it starred Martin Jarvis and Jemma Jones. Perfect.

4.     24Seven

The other CITV show to make my list, this was set in a boarding school, an awesome boarding school that I wanted to go to. I remember that the theme tune was by Dane Bowers, and it turns out I can remember all the lyrics as well ( I just tested this).

3.     Jeopardy

We’re getting down to the shows which I would defend to the death now, the shows that my life is better for having seen. Jeopardy was a drama where eight Falkirk teenagers went on a trip to the Australian outback to look for UFOs. It was pretty scary and exciting, and ran for three superb series. I loved all the characters and looked forward to each episode in a way that I do not think I experienced again until Doctor Who started.

2.    Big Kids

Okay, now this is, in my opinion, the best written children’s TV show ever. It starred the ridiculously brilliant Imogen Stubbs and Duncan Duff as two parents who were hypnotised and then regressed into childhood whenever anybody said the syllable ‘ming’, leading to much amusement and embarrassment for their two children. Only ran for one series, one series that I have watched at least ten times.

1.    Out There

This was an Australian show centred around four kids: two Australians, an American and a Brit (played by Jade Ewen from the Sugababes, fact fans). So well written. So funny. I used to think Miller was the best character in existence in the world, and part of me still does. Convinced me that being a mouse was absolutely fine (only somebody who remembers the show really well will know what the hell I am talking about here). Oh, and it had the best theme song ever. Maybe, maybe, maybe I don’t wanna be like you.

There are a few others I feel I have to mention that I loved and just didn’t quite make my Top Ten: Black Hole High, Desperados, Even Stevens, Feather Boy, Fungus the Bogeyman, The Ghost Hunter, Girls in Love, I Dream, Kenan and Kel, Kerching!, Roman Mysteries, Round the Twist, Shoebox Zoo, Sir Gadabout, Student Bodies, Yo! Diary and Young Dracula. There y’go, all mentioned.