Is it hypocritical that one of my favourite parts of living in London is that it looks like I don’t live in London?
I moved down to London at the end of September to start at university and I had never been more excited – or more nervous – for anything in my life. London has always been my favourite city; the city that, despite cheating on it with Paris, New York, Ottawa and more, I came back to every time with a loving embrace. Continue reading
I like to think of Bonfire Night as a marmite holiday; lots of people love it, will even class it as their favourite British holiday, and lots of people hate it, they don’t see the enjoyment of the brief yet loud display of lights in the night air or really understand what we’re celebrating, to begin with. Although perhaps even those people who do love it don’t even know why either. Personally, I classify myself as a lover of Bonfire Night, although Christmas wins my top spot hands down.
Ever since I was very young, I and my family would attend the Bonfire Night hosted at my school. A family friend would host a party beforehand and so I’d run around with my friends in their garden with sparklers – which were expressly forbidden on the school ground – until it was time to walk down in the dark to the school field.
If you know me you’ll know that I adore London. You’ll also know that I adore films (as well as books and the theatre!). Well, luckily for me I had the opportunity to mix those two adorations together and spent a month down in the fogs of London taking part in a practical filmmaking course run by the MET film school.
Not only was this an incredible time in regards to learning about everything to do with filmmaking, but also it meant I could get to know the city a bit better before I made the move down here for Uni: a feat I have now completed! I met some amazing people on this course too, which helped infinitely, and meant that I didn’t spend every evening stuck in my hotel room rotating between Netflix and YouTube. In fact I actually managed to do quite a lot; I saw a few films, a few plays, and a few landmarks whilst I was at it. And naturally I had to record my August spent in London, so here is the result of that. Enjoy, and be sure to let me know what you think of the video!
Image from Walker Books
“It’s hard to focus on the future when the past is so distracting”
Although I am always reading there are surprisingly few authors whom I follow religiously; stopping my mindless scrolling to check out their latest Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube posts. But, as you might have guessed by now, Lauren James is one of those people. When I was offered her latest book, The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, I snatched it up before you could say “YA SCI-FI”. Once it had slid into my letterbox I began reading it straight away, immediately falling for the main (and almost only) character Romy. I finished the rest of it off on one train journey to London: this is testament to the brilliance of the book since I was suffering from motion sickness but refused to give up and put the book down!
* The Shakespeare Series is a series where I look at a different Shakespeare play, tell you why you might like to read said play, and then briefly review it! I hope you enjoy 😊 *
As You Like It
What’s it about?
After the Dukedom of the father of the play’s headstrong heroine, Rosalind, is usurped by her Uncle, she soon finds herself fleeing to the Forest of Arden disguised as Ganymede, a handsome young man, accompanied by her loving cousin Celia, in the guise of shepherdess Aliena. There she finds not only safety but love, in the form of the brave Orlando.
Why should you read it?
○ It features one of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches and other now common phrases – Even those who aren’t Shakespeare fans will have heard of the speech made by Jaques: ‘All the world’s a stage’ and the following ‘Seven ages of man’. It’s so wonderful to read the speech in its entirety and is brilliant in every sense of the word. Not only that but the phrase ‘too much of a good thing’ and many others were coined by Shakespeare in As You Like It. They’re certainly some fun easter eggs to find while reading!
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts
– Jaques 2.7
Gregory Doran directs this incredible and innovative production of one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies, The Tempest, mixing breath-taking visuals with delicate and funny performances.
I always seem to watch the best plays just before they’re about to finish; The Tempest, following a successful run in Stratford-Upon-Avon, moved to the Barbican Centre for a seven-week run and is now in it’s final week. I was determined to see it since I had seen all the hype surrounding the ground-breaking technologies used in the show and, after luckily getting myself a front row ticket, I can say it exceeds expectations! If you have the chance to see the show and are interested in Shakespeare even in the slightest I highly suggest you go, you won’t be disappointed!
I’ll start with the performances, in particular Simon Russell Beale’s Prospero and Mark Quartley’s Ariel, the latter being the one who stole the show for me. Continue reading
Director: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton, Jacob Batalon
Running time: 133 minutes
“If you’re nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”
When I first heard that there was going to be another Spider-Man reboot I was very hesitant – the Spidey track record hasn’t been too good – “But” I told myself “Marvel is taking the reigns so it has to be better!”. Then when I heard that this Spider-Man would focus on the nerdy Peter Parker trying to juggle being an unpopular high-school student as well as a “friendly neighbour-hood Spider-Man”, I was both excited and apprehensive. Getting that structural balance right would be difficult but Marvel have done it before; the Guardians of the Galaxy films especially worked well in the mixture of superheroes and comedy. After Homecoming was released and the positive reviews came in I was just very excited to see it, and it did not disappoint…much.
15 / 7 / 17 – 22 / 7 / 17
Part of my A-Level English Lit. course required researching literary critics to find quotes for essays. Once when I was doing some said research I came across John Muir and a number of his quotes, many of which ended up in my essays. But there was one in particular that I thought was so beautiful although I never really understood personally until this holiday, and that quote was:
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
* The Shakespeare Series is a new series I’ll be doing here on Reading in the Rain and will involve my good self looking at Shakespeare plays, telling you why you might like to read said play, and then briefly reviewing them! I hope you enjoy 😊 *
What’s it about?
Prospero – the magician, rightful Duke of Milan, and father to Miranda – employs his spirit Ariel to bring on a tempest in order to gather the men who betrayed him onto his island, to seek revenge for himself and a love for his daughter. We follow the character’s as they set out on their respective journeys of punishment, love, forgiveness and the fantastical.
Why should you read it?
○ It is beautifully lyrical – Not only does Shakespeare create a vivid image of the island through reported speech but also the recurring references to the environment, the metaphysical, and the mythological are wonderful to read.
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked,
I cried to dream again.
9/07/ 17 – 12/ 07/ 17
There’s an unspoken truth about the end of A-Levels: as soon as you and your friends have finished all your exams you pack a bag, board a plane, and head off somewhere exciting. For many that’s to Magaluf or Ibiza – but that’s never really been my kind of thing. So my friend and I instead decided to grab a different ticket and to explore La Ville-Lumière!