27 Jan 2015

Wicked The Musical!

The weekend really couldn't come quick enough last week-I was so excited for Saturday to finally come around. Before Christmas my parents and I had booked up to travel to London to see Wicked, as part of my Christmas present, and the tickets have been sitting in on my bedroom desk for weeks.  My friends had recommend seeing Wicked so I thought "why not!", plus its always nice to spend time with your family when all you seem to be doing recently is studying in your room like a crazy woman!

It took us about an hour and a half to travel up to London but that's probably because we took several de-tours. One at Towerhill, where we stopped off at to see the empty moat at the Tower Of London, which just looked so bare compared to how it was before when ceramic poppies flowed out the windows and around the walls. The second was after we had quickly jumped onto another train to Victoria Station, where we paused at Caffé Ritazza for a slice of the most gorgeous carrot cake (but then again I think any cake is good!) and mug of tea to warm our frostbitten fingers since somebody left their new gloves at home...

Around twenty minutes before the show began we walked to the Apollo Victoria Theatre which was literally just across the road from Caffé Ritazza and the Victoria Palace, where I visited previously to see Billy Elliott The Musical for my birthday in July. The whole bar area had been lit up luminous green, casting very 'witchy' shadows across the old ceilings. And I couldn't resist buying a keyring for keepsake either before settling down in our seats for the musical to begin.

What is it about?

Everybody knows L. Frank Baum's story of The Wizard Of Oz and how Dorothy famously defeated the Wicked Witch. But we have only ever heard one side of the story. That is until Wicked appeared in theatre, telling the incredible tale of the unlikely friendship between the blonde and very popular Glinda and the misunderstood green girl, Elphaba. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will see them fulfill their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West. But I just loved how the directors have interlinked the two stories, one we know so well and the other we have barley heard of.  It helps to explain why Elphaba took such a disliking to Dorothy, how the scarecrow and tin man came to be and what really happened after Dorothy and the gang pour water over the witch. 

What did I think?

The main characters were just so talented- if I could sing like that, I would be singing everywhere! And of course everyone was waiting for the amazing power ballad that is 'Defying Gravity' and it did not disappoint one bit. Everybody was on their feet! The story is truly touching and is a show for people of all ages and genders. My friends were right- it was an amazing show!

Once the curtain had gone down to great applause and cheers, we existed and made our way outside only to find the whole building was now lit up green! It was truly magical and lit the way across the road, as we navigated through the old streets of London (one of my favourite things about London is seeing the contrast of old and new) trying to find a restaurant to eat in, not really caring that we got lost and just simply wondered wherever our legs seemed to take us. But you've got to hand it to my iPhone for gettting us out of the pickle and finding a Nandos. I mean who doesn't love chicken?

A few hours later, after the usual Grilled Chicken Burger with extra Pri-Pri sauce (!) we were on the train again. I've never been a massive fan of the underground, but there is just something surprising peaceful about bobbing and swaying with the rhythm of the carriage. And a bit of shut-eye was defiantly needed after such a long day.

We arrived home at 8:15pm, greeted by Toby's meow and the tinkle of his bell. Before warming up on the sofa with some hot chocolate and tray of biscuits left over from Christmas- please tell us we're not the only ones who brought too much- while catching the end of Take Me Out. That shows just cracks me up sometimes!

I'm currently contemplating the next theatre show to go and see, so if you have any recommendations I'd love to hear them. 

22 Jan 2015

A Fun Family Outing? Think Again!

For some time now I have been meaning to write this. I am a massive animal lover and support The Born Free Foundation with regular donations. I am anti-zoo and anti-aquarium because of some of the truly horrible things I have seen and read in the past. And yet I was quite shocked to find that the majority of the public still pay ridiculous amounts of money to go to places like this, without knowing the true extent of animal cruelty that goes on behind the scenes.
Dolphins and whales are highly intelligent creatures, second only to humans. They are creatures that sing, that travel in family units, that are capable of having complex familial relations- so rich are their lives and capabilities that India has declared them to be “non-human people”. However, a handful of society is still oblivious to the true intelligence and grace of these creatures. They assume that because they do not have a voice, they do not have rights. But in my eyes, a person who suggests such a thing is has barely enough intelligence to call themselves human. Because there is simple no justification for the capture, trade and display of these animals. 

They should be admired for their amazing abilities and protected in the wild where they belong. 
Aquariums that house marine mammals are found throughout the world, attracting millions of tourists every year. Many of these aquariums pride themselves on conservation and education. However, in reality, only an average of 90 seconds per visit is spent on educational information and there is no record of any captive dolphins ever being released back into the wild. So is this really conservation? Or just simple cruel entertainment?

Most of the time aquariums focus on showcasing unnatural stunts the animals have been trained to perform. I very much doubt that you would ever see a killer whale balancing a ball on the end of its nose in the wild. Very few people realise that to see the beauty and grace of such animals in the wild is a far richer experience than the pantomimic displays of animals in captivity. Both Scotland and Whales offer ample opportunity to whale watch, demonstrating that all it takes is a little effort on our part. We really need to think about how a casual day out actually finances institutions who dress up abuse as entertainment.

Over half of the animals who live at aquariums have been captured from the wildOften the wild-caught mammals become aggressive towards their trainers such as Tilikum the Killer Whale, who in 2010 attacked and killed his SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau. This event was a result of years of being driven insane from being trapped in small concrete tanks with little stimulation. It is no surprise then that this traumatized whale went on to kill two more times. And who can blame him?  
Visitors’ leave on a high after a fun filled afternoon at the aquarium. But they never give a second thought to the animals still floating around inside, for they can never leave. The tanks are the sum total of their existence 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are trapped. And a few hundred metres will take them to the edge of their world
This type of cruelty continues to happen today and it won’t stop unless you act urgently.  
In 1970s there were numerous captive dolphin and whaleshows in the UK. Today, there is none. Freedom for dolphins is not a dream. Freedom is a reality. I am positive that in the next fifty years the number of aquariums around the world will have dramatically decreased or, even better, completely disappeared. But until then, we have to persuade the tens of thousands of tourists who go to these contemptible shows, that abuse and cruelty is something they should not be supporting.
It seems the might pounds, dollar and euro continue to brainwash the minds of the humans.

I'd absolutely love to know your thoughts and feelings on this matter and if you are interested, I have left some links at the bottom for you to have a browse through.

Love Beth xx

14 Jan 2015

9 Annoying Things About Being A Woman

Don't get me wrong, I love being a female mostly because we get to say 'girl power' whenever we feel like it. But I definitely think there is a lot more pressure on us to act and to look a certain way, then there is for men.

 It is a womanish thing to automatically compare yourself to other people of the same sex but it isn't something we are born with. I think it's mostly down to the media's portrayal of the 'perfect' woman- which by the way there is no such as. Honestly it is an absolutely disgraceful thing for a journalist or whatever their job may be, to make a person feel as though they are completely and utterly worthless because they don't look like a model or they are over a certain weight. Why should it even matter? 

Anyway, below is a shorten version (because believe me there is a lot more where they came from!) of some of the very irritatingly annoying things about womanhood: 

For most of my childhood I spent my time playing with baby dolls, lovingly feeding and changing them as though they were my own. And still today every time I see a baby I can't help cooing over the cutey. But then imagining the sheer pain of labour makes me want to throw up and become a seahorse...because the males give birth

Nail Vanish
Why does putting on nail vanish make you feel so feminine? Its lovely and all but I cannot stand when you smudge it 5 seconds after you've just put it on or when it starts chipping. I mean what is the point!

The fact that men who haven't washed, shaved or brushed their hair in a month are considered sexy because their 'rugged' but if a woman was to do that people would say 'Oh that girl is so lazy, she has really let herself go don't you think?'

This surely has to be the most cringiest sound ever. Why don't we come up with a whistle for fit guys!

They are the most disgusting thing in the whole world and not how the adverts portray them at all! Cramps make you double over in pain and all you want to do is curl up in the corner and curse the world for doing such a dreadful thing to your body.

Last time I checked females didn't have an orange beak and feathers, so guys I think you really need to get your facts right. We are not canaries or parrots. We are woman, okay?

Boobs And Bum
According to the media we have to stick thin and curvy with a Kardashian bum and Katie Price boobs all at the same time. Well, their not asking for much are they?

When you feel so many different emotions all at once that you don't know whether to laugh or cry, and you can't explain it to anyone because nobody understands.

When boys think we wear and spend so much money on make-up to impress them...umm NO!

Why is it acceptable for men to walk around with a carpet attached to their chest, legs and arms but woman have to shave it all off and become naked mole rats? Then there's the effort of keeping yourself hairless- shaving, plucking, waxing, creams, lasers!


And the lists goes on! But I won't bore you any more. 

What would you add to list?
Love Beth xx

12 Jan 2015

10 Memories Of Primary School We All Have!

Who didn't love primary school? It was a time in my childhood that was so simple and happy. I believe the phrase "Kids will be kids" was thrown around more than a handful of times. I can't really remember my first day in reception but I have the pictures to prove that I did actually attend! Crisp white shirt, knee high socks and bunches. I can't imagine how awful it must have been for my mum letting for daughter go like that. But she didn't have worried because primary school was a blast! 

Of course there were times when I  woke up in the morning and point blank refused to even get out of bed. Or the times I faked feel ill just so I could go home. Or when in the early years, I forgot to put any knickers on in the morning...okay you didn't really need to know that! But overall my primary school experience was amazing. Everybody got on well with everybody else. There was almost no divide in friendship groups and it was considered acceptable to run after boys to snog them and gallop around the field "on a horse named Horsey". Kids are weird...

So onto my memory list (because who doesn't love a good list!?) :

-The amazing privilege of sitting on a chair in assembly in Year 6 apose to on the floor like the peasants you are now looking over.

-How holding your palm over somebodies head was an effective way to count how many boy/girlfriends they had.

-The utter excitement you felt when your teacher disappeared for a moment and reappeared wheeling in a TV set. Film time!

-Spending most of Art class covering your hand in PVA glue, letting it dry and peeling it off like..."Wow! So this is what a wax feels like?"

-Your teaching telling you about that one kid who swung on their chair and cracked their head open.

-The red-faced embarrassment when you called your teacher Mum by accident and everybody laughed.

-Getting a pen license and feeling so intelligent because you didn't have to write in pencil any more.

-Leaving your jumper on the school field and spending half of your lunch break searching Lost Property for it.

-Those annoying, why-do-you-sound-so-happy-when-it's-raining-outside songs that they forced you to sing in Assembly that you still secretly sing when nobody is around.

-And lastly! Spending the majority of your time at the refreshment table rather than dancing at the school discos because dancing wasn't cool.

Did you enjoy primary school? What are your best memories?
Love Beth x

10 Jan 2015

At The Movies | Why was Frozen so successful?

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two years, you will have heard of Frozen. It is only the most successful Disney animated movie of all time, with the soundtrack CD staying at number one in the charts for 9 weeks compared to Beyonce who was only at the top for 3 weeks!

 I've just recently purchased Frozen on DVD but I remember seeing it in the cinema for the first time last Christmas and coming out with every song lyric embedded in my brain. Yet I was surprised to find that at the time none of my friends knew what I was talking about. However, a few months later they all came running up to me singing it's praise after going to watch it too. And two years on it's even more popular than ever before. But what has made it such a firm family favourite and why is the merchandise at the top of every little girls Birthday list?

For one thing I think everybody can relate to Elsa. Her plight, although not an ordinary occurrence, is about being fed up with trying to hide her true feelings and personality, wanting to feel free and to stop feeling so terribly guilty about the past. And I think that even if people have no experience of this, they still have that element of sympathy for her.

Disney have also given her that wonderful magic element and what girl doesn't want to be a Queen who is able to create snow with a wave of their finger.

How utterly amazing would that be?

So maybe that's why so many people around the world have welcomed her into their lives more than her sister Anna- who I originally connected with the most because I felt she was most like me. But who can deny that Elsa has some serious style going on?

The soundtrack has also become very popular indeed. I literally hear it everywhere I go and. But yet I never get bored of  'Let It Go' or 'Do You Wanna Build a Snowman'. They are such beautifully written songs and no matter how old you are, you really cannot help but bursting into song every time it comes on the radio! I hear there is now a sing-along version on DVD and that there are talks of taking Frozen to Broadway.

Also this is an era in time where social media and sites like Youtube have flourished like never before. All you have to do is type Frozen into the search bar and a million and one things will pop up from song covers to pictures to parodies. Everything and anything Frozen relate is available at your finger tips 24/7. And with so many celebrity parents jumping on the band wagon, it's no wonder this film has become so popular.

However, what I love about Frozen the most is that for the first time Disney has created a storyline where the two main characters are female- the men really aren't all that important! And it's not like those conventional fairy stories that they love, where the Princess rides off into the sunset with her handsome Prince. There is a massive plot twist at the end that I never saw coming and really it just goes to prove that you don't need a man in your life- just some sisterly love.

Abs I really hope that is the message all the little girls out there take away with them. That and a great big smile!

Have you seen Frozen? What did you think?
Love Beth xx

8 Jan 2015

"I Can't Wait To Be Older!"

I remember sitting in class at primary school one day with our teacher telling us about puberty and becoming a teenager. It terrified me at the time but also secretly excited me. I mean what little girl doesn't want to get bigger and taller and more beautiful. We all wanted to race through life, leave boring old primary school, be a big girl and go to big school and become a rich and famous, happily married adult who lived in a mansion and is waited on 24/7 by her loyal servants. 

I just wanted to get from A to B.

When I was younger, I had my heart set on becoming a vet because I adored animals and animals adored me. But soon enough I realised a) it would take too long and I was an impatient child and b) I wasn't clever enough. Then I decided quite quickly after that I would be an author because I loved books. But after drafting up a story on the laptop I received for my 10th birthday and forcing most of my family to read it, I realised that I wasn't...quite up to scratch just yet.

And if you haven't already figured it out, being a teenager really isn't all that exciting. Its probably one of the most traumatic and excruciatingly long experiences in my life. Spots, sweat, hormones, periods and cramps. It's not all sunshine and rainbows with you going out to nightclubs in beautiful dresses and heels and being asked 'Would you care to dance?' by a handsome Prince who two hours later you are married too and riding off into the sunset with because your cool like that and anyway you have a mobile to ring for help if you get lost and you don't have to be home until like 10pm!

Now I am approaching a time in my life when very soon big changes are going to happen: The pressures of GCSEs, applying for 6th form or college or apprenticeships (which one!!!), my first job interview and learning to drive! My head is all over the place and I'm trying to focus only on the day in front of me but I keep thinking about the future. It's a scary thing and there's nothing I or anyone can do to stop it.

But I still will never understand why do so many kids say they can't wait to be older? Because I really can wait... for a long long time.

How about you?
Love Beth xx

4 Jan 2015

Snapshots From Christmas 2014!

Today we are taking the Christmas decorations down and as much as it pains me to see this big empty space in the living room where the tree once stood or miss seeing all the beautiful lights hanging off roofs and gutters during car journeys, part of me just can't wait to get back to normality. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore Christmas and having two weeks off school is a bonus! However, occasional I do miss the formality of the routine that Monday to Friday brings. And also weekends don't seen to have any meaning now- they have just become like any other day!

So to give Christmas the final farewell I have put together some of my favourite snaps from over the festive period just as a little keepsake for my memory box, because how can we be expected to remember it all in 10 years time? 

 I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too and this is wishing you a very happy new year. Please also check out my latest post about what you can expect to find around here this year and hopefully it might explain why things seem a little...different to you! 

Love Beth xx

P.s I have a new Twitter account so please follow me @InTheCloud261 if you aren't already!

2 Jan 2015

What To Expect 2015

So. December 2014 has now gone and January 2015 has arrived, hopefully bringing with it some milder temperatures because I'm literally at the end of my tether with this coldness! I look forward to what the year has to bring. But this post is not about New Year Resolutions.It is about what you can, as lovely readers, expect to find on my blog this year. I've had a little change around and just want to run it past you first:

A Full Re-brand
The biggest thing has happened! I was beginning to get bored of my old blog design, so as you might have noticed this basic blog has taken a sharp left turn onto Professional Street. I've got a lovely new blog template curtsey of Gatto which I just adore and Written In Black & White is no more. Say hello to In The Clouds! I think this name defines my blog and me a whole lot more and is the kind of dreamy, fairytale theme I was going for. You can follow my new twitter account: @InTheCloud261

More Film & Book Reviews
This year I hope to offer more film and book reviews than ever before. They were very popular with you last year and I just love writing them- it's like reliving the film or book all over again in even more detail!

Better Photography
When I started this blog in February 2014 I didn't realise quite how important and effective good photography was. So this year I really hope to improve on quality not quantity and share some beautiful snaps with you.

I feel that sometimes I get stuck in a blogging rut and my posts become conventional and uninteresting, so for 2015 keep your eyes open for new and improved content that I really hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing.

More Rambles & Rants 
I really enjoy bloggers who take the time to sit down and write a really beautiful post on important topics that interests them such as feminism and issues in the media like the old rumours surrounding Zoella and her book. This is something I will be bringing to the table because I have come across a lot of issues that I would like to raise awareness about. Hopefully they won't go on for too long!

And lastly, I feel that last year everything was very muddled and unorganised. Therefore I have invested in a good old notebook and diary which will now become my best buddies, never leaving my side in case a good post idea pops up while I'm out.

Let me know what you think,
Love Beth xx

Blog Design by gatto.