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Yuletide Musings

Posted by idetest on December 24, 2012

But at Christmas time just listening to the endless “Oh, what are you doing for Christmas? You going home? Where’s home for you? Big family?” conversations takes its toll. So last night I was thinking about all my childhood Christmases always held at my grandparent’s house.

So I go on google earth and have to spend a good twenty minutes trying to find their house, find it and then get disturbed because in my mind it’s red and white, the same colour as when my granddad built it single-handedly in the 1970s after him and my grandmother saved up all their lives to buy their own farm.

But no, the street view photo is from 2011. The house is now beige. My granddad has been living in one of those semi-independent care home/village type places for over two years or so now (He must hate it, this was a man who’s garden shed was a huge barn where you could find anything and where he once built a plane out of boredom). I’d forgotten this because in April it’ll have been four years since I moved to England, and nine years since my parents split up and I only got to see my grandparents a handful of times after that.

This then reminds me that my grandmother died four and half years ago and I never really spent any time with her after mum and dad split up. This then reminds me how embarrassingly emotional my dad was at her funeral and how odd it was that all my aunts and uncles were so composed and calm whilst he went to pieces. I thought at the time “Yeah, play it up drama queen, the will’s already been written”, and spent more time thinking about his antics than about my own grandma finally at rest after a long and horrible battle with cancer.

This, matched with the shitty non-present he sent me (In a reused envelope with two fifty cent cards (my birthday is the 28th), signed in my step-mum’s handwriting), made me realise I didn’t even know where he lived anymore; I forgot he moved to Australia. I didn’t know which part. I can’t remember any of my stepsister’s children’s ages. I looked up their address from the cards and judged him for moving to a new country but moving to the same sort of non-descript beige subdivision he lived in in New Zealand.

Then my brother emailed me trying to organise for my technologically retarded mother what time she should ring me to wish me a merry Christmas. So when she rings in about an hour, as she flaffs about I the kitchen attempting to cook a chicken but really just burning everything, all I can really say is that despite all my complaining and judgements of them, I kinda do miss my family. They’re not perfect, but when everyone else is complaining about theirs and dreading sitting at the table and making posts about how they nit-pick about about their life decisions my extended family never do that, I always looked forward to seeing mine. Sure, they’re all FUCKING CRAZY, dysfunctional, thrice-married, alcoholic, amoral, badly-dressed, compulsive breeders who find it impossible to stay faithful to their spouses but for the first sixteen years of my life I had a solid familial unit and an extended family who were all up in each other’s business. Decisions were made and discussed as one, I had cousins who I adored and aunts and uncles who would jump in front of a car for me, and the idea that eight year later I’m sitting here at the literal other end of the world looking forward to my Christmas day of Mexican food and Battlestar Galactica DVDs is completely alien to what I raised with.

Is this just what happens in one’s twenties or have I for so long run from family after watching it disintegrate so completely that I forever shut myself off from ever being a proper part of one? Not a massive, “OMG what is meaning of life!?” moment but more a “Huh, so this is where I am” realisation.



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Because Life’s Too Short To Not Have Mary-Kate In It

Posted by idetest on January 18, 2012

Hola, totes soz for the radio static.

Totes not sorry, come find me here so I can apologise;

Come find me! We’ll braid each other’s hair and talk about boys. And strange and unsightly rashes that occur after having braided one’s hair, but before doing anything that needs talking about with boys.

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The Hour; or the BBC does Mad Men

Posted by idetest on August 5, 2011

Greetings Possums.

Well, it’s a warm day outside,  my landline won’t work so I can’t ring the tax department and demand money from them (a pastime I’ve grown to love), so instead of going out and getting a life I’ll stay inside and write to my non-existent readers on the internet.

Because they won’t judge me.


Today, we shall speak of the BBC’s latest attempt at pretending it’s not a vacuous, populist shadow of its once great self and can still churn out TV shows that don’t want to make your eyes vomit blood.

This show that they’ve made is The Hour; nineteen-fifties set period drama about the backstage drama of the first ever current affairs show on the aunty. It takes place with the Suez crisis as its backdrop and also seems to have a whole Cold War/espionage/secret spy murder story going on as well.


They are very pretty though. And at least they got the smoking in.

Its first episode, I’m sad to say, was crap. It was annoying, clichéd, had terrible music and presented its two leads (Romola Garai and painfully weedy Ben Whishaw) as little more than walking vox pops for the plot devices they were shoving down our throats. Did I mention the irritating incidental music?

It goes as thus: Spunky, posh bit of a crumpet Bel wants to be hard hitting journo but is bored to death in fuddy-duddy newsreels showing debutantes, so she and man boy Freddie decide to pitch a current affairs show that’ll have middle England gasping into its cocoa.

Unfortch. Freddie is a pleb and Bel has breasts so they aren’t good enough and need the help of slimy, mediocre but oh, so posh and connected Hector. Who, despite being married to a brain-dead trophy wife, spends a good thirty seconds trying to seduce Bel; before she drops her knickers and they make sweet nylon sheeted love all over her ugly nineteen-fifties Formica table.


Coupled with this is the actual plot of the Suez Crisis which it keeps on forgetting to include properly and the murder mystery thing. Which is so bland and so generic  a spy thriller that I can’t even remember it. Oh, wait; someone got thrown down a stairwell last episode.


Anyway, some thoughts about plot and the show in general;

1) It has Anna Chancellor, Romola Garai and Ben Whishaw. Three actors I love. Why is it not better? It could have been fabulous but they’ve obviously dumbed it down and focus grouped it out of any depth or originality.

2) Is Freddie supposed to be a virgin at nearly thirty? That’s the way they make him sound in the conversations.

3) Regarding the plot; was brain-dead wife’s hunky brother supposed to be the gay lover of the secretly-flaming actor/fiancé of the deceased debutante in the bathtub? Who knows?

4) That blond guy from Green Wing is ageing terribly.

5) I know it’s the BBC and so therefore has a budget of £2.70 and a bus fare but if they’re going to set something in nineteen-fifties London could we get a look at nineteen-fifties London, please?

6) Next time do better.

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August Book Club

Posted by idetest on August 4, 2011

We’re diving back  into the world of fiction


The Painted Veil, Somerset Maugham.

Predictable,  a tad trite and obviously terribly racist. Yet, still tense and wonderfully evocative of a different time.


The Gate of Angels, Penelope Fitzgerald.

Posh English Edwardians being all posh, Englishy and Edwardianesque. One’s ma mere recommended me this lady, she’s witty and wise (Ms. Fitzgerald that is; my mother is only semi-lucid, and chain smokes herself out of consciousness) and draws a rich tapestry of life and all its foibles without being depressing or annoying.


Innocence, Penelope Fitzgerald.

A twofer! This book was even nicer; set in a rapidly changing Florence in postwar Italy, the books follows the love affair and eventual marriage of a young half-English aristocrat (in the historical sense) and an embittered, chip-on-his-shoulder type doctor from the south, and like the previous it’s witty, wise and dances a highwire between depressingly maudlin and pedantic and beautiful in its languid melodrama.


Dead Souls, Nikolai Gogol.

Very long, very Russian. And once again I find one of the classics overhyped. A sprawling essay on the different types of humanity one sees in the world.  Or a sanctimonious, arch piece of drivel that mocks and slanders the fine Russian name. Or something. It was long. I’m still recovering.


The Sacred Book of the Werewolf, Victor Pelevin.

A book about a humanoid 5,000 year old fox prostitute who bangs werewolves and spend 300 pages discussing the meaning of life in increasingly confusing philisophical rants. It’s Russian as well, unsurprisingly.


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I have Internet Again

Posted by idetest on August 4, 2011

After 3 weeks this is so exciting.

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I Want To Take This To My Bedroom And Do Things To It.

Posted by idetest on July 9, 2011


It makes me thrash. In a good way.


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Book review of the Month Time (Oprah would be proud)

Posted by idetest on June 5, 2011

As I sit here listening to the rain and listening to Lily Allen (huh. My Indie street cred is diminished, you say? What. Ever. Trevor.) after returning from Pirates of The Caribbean 444678.31357 (AKA The One Even Orlando Bloom Thought He Was Too Good For. Orlando Bloom, people!) I’m reminded that all is not lost for humanity.

Dracula, Bram Stoker

Oh, wait. How wrong I was. Remember how back in my last book review I said how much I was looking forward to reading this? Famous last words. This book is SHITE. Avoid it like the plague. In fact it avoid more than the plague. The plague is like a light sniffle that is annoying but not too bad compared to this piece of. Utter. Shite.

Okay, so technically the first fifty-hundred pages aren’t that bad. But then old Van Helsing arrives. Worst literary character ever. His gushing, cloying, OTT dialogue makes you want to stick razorblades on your eyes and drink a vat of acid. He irritated the living shit out of me.

The rest of it’s shit too.

It’s all shit.

Everything is shit.

I hate everything.



The Girl Who God Only Knows What by that twit Stieg Could-I-Have-A-More-Stereotypical-Scandinavian-Surname-Larsson

The third and final one in the trilogy. Yeah…he should have kept it a twofer. Or even better, a stand alone.

Cos…y’know, it’s alright to have the irritatingly noble and perfect good guys win but when you can tell from the fucking beginning of the book that the bad guys will lose! LOSE! Lose for all they’re worth and have no hope of pulling off their master plan it sort of diminishes the dramatic tension.

Also, why kill the two big baddies who seems to have instigated the grand conspiracy plot that is the whole point of the last two book a hundred pages in and then tell us it’s actually one of their sidekicks who’s a cripple and who only appears in two scenes and barely has a word of dialogue until the last few chapters (Seriously! He just disappears and we don’t know what he’s up to! Despite being the big baddie!)

And, yes, he does this again with the OTHER big baddy who disappears for literally the ENTIRE book up until the last chapter where he once again succumbs to a five foot tall bisexual punk ano. SERIOUSLY!?

Also-middle aged author avatar strikes again and bangs a lesbianalicious seeming government/special services police officer despite the fact that she seems a sensible and strictly professional type of lass who should know that shagging an investigative reporter not to mention one who’s high profile and is coming to you for help to uncover a massive government conspiracy is probably not someone you should be hopping on the good foot and doing the bad thing with after two scenes.

ALSO (I like this word apparently) main man’s bit on the side (remember how all the women are highly sexualised but none of the men. Even the main character who seems to go around with a permanent semi) is all upset and despite that the police officer is instantly smitten with him and declaring herself all Bella Swanesque irrevocably in love with him after two chapters she is all “Well, I drove out his wife and lots of other women so I’ll keep my distance, muhaha. Bitch. Now excuse me I have to go get stalked by a crazed loner and have a conversation with my poor husband who doesn’t mind me shagging everything that moves, consenting or otherwise, and who only has one scene in the book.”


Colour me unimpressed.

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Marina Lewycka

Loved this. Well, what’s not to? Bickering Slavic immigrants? Overly embosomed (totes a word.) gold digging blondes, aged geriatrics wearing shoe lace pyjamas and a harrowing tale of how a family escaped Eastern Europe after WWII complete with a flashback to a concentration camp near the end, that made this hard hearted “I Hate everything, especially small children, and I kick bunnies for fun” bastard NEARLY cry on the tube.

S’very funny, too. You should read.

And I know I said I hated him but am going to read The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham next. It better be good, cause God help me I’ve had a rough time of the literary business lately.




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Just Sayin…

Posted by idetest on June 5, 2011

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Oh, Look, Another Video.

Posted by idetest on May 31, 2011


If this video doesn’t make sense to you then chances are we wouldn’t be friends. Just sayin’.

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Mon dieu!

Posted by idetest on May 25, 2011

Hot French bitch is hot, French and the HBIC

Also, I too love to sit in the bath fully dressed and play badminton in my living room, don’t you?

And that hipsters are annoying in non-English speaking countries too.

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