School, Grades and the Job Market

It is that time of the year again when our country’s children attain their GCSE results and have them paraded across social media and national news stations. The statistics show a dip in overall grade levels, predictable after Gove’s reforms increased test difficulties and altered grade boundaries. It is a time when many youths are likely distressed and upset by the results, only made more so by the news’ focus on those that achieved glowing A* results.

I want people to succeed and know all to well how devastating it is when you do not get what you worked to achieve. That being said though, I am left wondering if a different, more critical approach to grades isn’t the right answer. Continue reading

Why The Hobbit Movies Failed

As a long time fan of The Lord of the Rings movies and a reader of all things Tolkien, I was very excited about the announcement that The Hobbit was being adapted to the big screen. Then it was turned into a trilogy and I was skeptical but had faith in the brilliant cast and the vision of Peter Jackson. Over their release schedule I saw each of the movies several times with different groups of friends and family yet always came out of the cinema feeling slightly baffled.

The movies were unbelievably… meh. Not good, not bad, just kind of… boring. All of the elements were there: A great source material, talented actors, stunning visuals and a skilled director with experience making great movies from similar books, so why did The Hobbit trilogy fail to interest me? Continue reading

The Ippa without a Hat.

All is not what it seems.

Have you ever put something down then find that it has gone?
Mummy and Daddy do it a lot.
“Where are my keys?” they ask. “I could have sworn that I left them here.”
They put it down to bad memories or say that somebody moved them.
But somebody didn’t move them, it was a something.
And that something is an Ippa.

Ippa are small fluffy creatures that live inside trees.
Their feet are big and soft and their hands are small and fast.
They have big eyes and little noses and mouths that like to laugh.
Each one has two things that make them special, their fur and their hat.
Some have blue fur some have pink. Others have orange, green or silvery zinc.
All the colours of the rainbow then more. All of the colours that you adore.
Then their hats are their pride and joy. Whether it’s a cap, a wrap or a top hat,
Paper, cloth and metal, big and small, the Ippa have them all. Continue reading

The Greatest Threat to Women is Feminism.

The world has changed a lot in the past hundred years or so. The very foundation of first world societies have been tipped on their head and rebuilt from the ground up. It was only in 1918 that the right to vote here in the UK was extended to all men over the age of twenty one and prominent women over the age of thirty. A year later the first female MP took her seat in Westminster and then in a further ten years the vote was extended again to give women equal rights as men. Equal pay was enacted in 1970 and employers are no longer able to discriminate based on gender, race, religion or sexuality. Women are now consistently less likely to be unemployed, attain better grades at GCSE level and make up a growing majority percentage of university places.

All of this is pretty cool, right? It shows that we are a progressive society where women are valued and treated as equals. So why can’t I stop hearing people preach about inequality, sexism and misogyny? Even bringing up this topic in a rational and academic way makes me feel like I’m going to come under heavy fire but I’m tired of hearing empty rhetoric. So here it goes. Continue reading

Gurren Lagann Discussion Corner: #1 What makes it special?

This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. Very little in my life has ever inspired me, yet some stupid, over-the-top cartoon has somehow become the foundation of much of my mental wellbeing. It’s crazy to think about really but I know that I am not alone in my passion for the show. As such I intend to write out a series of discussions, each one analysing a different element of what I feel sets Gurren Lagann above most other shows. I invite you to come along with me and to leave your thought, stories and comments.

So for this first post I want to talk in broad terms about why I believe this show is able to affect people so strongly. I will be discussing spoilers so if you haven’t seen it then I wholeheartedly recommend that you watch it. There are 27 episodes but I say give it until the end of episode 8 before you write it off if you are not convinced before then.
Continue reading

Story C

Here is the first five pages of story ‘C’ that I am working on. There will be three stories posted. Give the a read and decide which one I should focus on finishing first.

Blood ran down the edge of a worn blade to wash over shaking fingers. Crimson beads formed and fell to the dusty ground below. A broad shouldered man of middling years gaped across the span of the blade, its tip pierced through his chest and jutting from his back. He wore no clothes. A sword almost identical to the one within him was held loosely in his hand. He smiled at his killer before falling backwards, sliding off of the blade and landing with his arms out and his glazed eyes staring up at the formless clouds above.

The second man who held the blood slick sword staggered back. He knew nothing of what had happened here. There were no memories in his head to latch onto. There had been nothing, then there had been a dying man on the end of a weapon that he held. Trying to think back before that moment was like trying to remember a dream after waking; it was there in the mists of the mind but felt like grasping at water.

The sword fell from his shaking fingers and he began to dry retch. He had killed a man. Why? What was going on? Where was he? Who was he? Emotions welled up inside of him and he howled wordlessly at the sky. It took all of his willpower to calm himself enough to think logically. Continue reading

Story B

Here is the first five pages of story ‘B’ that I am working on. There will be three stories posted. Give the a read and decide which one I should focus on finishing first.



The sharp click of the button was not the end or the beginning of events. It was the last step in a long process that led to the partial collapse of the very fabric of the universe. Beyond a sheet of transparent carbon alloy the infinite darkness of space shimmered. A million stars pulsed in unison and time itself shuddered with the uncertainty of a failing reality.

“Kiss my living life goodbye

Embrace the fact that I will die

Know that all is but a lie

And never ask your maker why

Tomorrow comes tomorrow passed

Our shattered dreams are all that last

The dice of fate have now been cast

I know my birth of sleep draws fast.”

The singer had first heard that tune whilst still in her mother’s womb and would hear it again as they closed her tomb. She giggled uncontrollably. The world was just so damn musical. No matter what language or species, people made poetry and sang songs. Her own thoughts danced a merry jive through her head. Continue reading