Love Actually

This romantic comedy breaks the conventional mould of it’s genre in ways that no romcom has done before. With Love Actually, anyone wishing to watch doesn’t require a high level of estrogen. This was recently proven by my mass-murdering-torturing-violence-loving-exploding-death-war-loving boyfriend. In the beginning, he watched to please me. By the end?  I watched it twice more to please him.

Love Actually explores outside the “conventional” love which is often portrayed in romantic comedies. The film sees ten unique stories beautifully entwined, each covering a different form of love. Though it remains in loves legal boundaries, the plot is quite literally the A-Z of love. We see the story of the husband, wife and wannabe mistress, the secret love, the love that can never be, the rockstar and his manager, the work mates (with a interesting twist), the step-father and son, the PM and his secretary, love through the language barrier, young love, and lastly, the unlucky in love, who tries to get lucky in America. A round of applause must be granted to the writes, in the way that they manage to not only tell each story, but link them together, without causing the audience to reach for the headache pills.

More credit must be granted to the impeccable cast. The crème de la crème of British actors and actresses are joined by a few yanks, thrown in to ensure the films success over the pond. As well as the typical actors found in romantic comedies – Hugh Grant and Colin Firth – you also find world class talent in superb performances by the likes of Bill Nighy and Laura Linney. Nighy plays the has-been rock star Billy Mack, who is attempting a comeback with the help of his exasperated manager Joe. Billy Mack provides much of the comedy of the film, as shown in the opening scenes.

The opening scene depiction of Heathrow Airport and a small speech by Hugh Grant about love being “all around”, brings the warm gushy feeling to your stomach in the first five minutes. The following scene, shows Billy Mack in the recording studio where he gives the classic line: “shit, bugger, arse head and hole.” This line brings us right back to the very hilarious, and very British, reality which this film strongly tries to uphold.

Keeping in tune with reality is one of the many reasons that this film is a success, and manages to refrain from becoming an overly nostalgic lovey-dovey mush. My favourite proof of this has to be in the films one almost-sex scene. In the average romcom, it would have been quick-paced, passionate and noisy. Love Actually? Unplanned, slightly awkward start and a dress that won’t budge!

I must also grant a special round of applause – and an entire paragraph -to Martine McCutcheon. She brilliantly shakes off her tacky soap opera past to reveal fresh, believable acting talent. Her role as Natalie, the Prime Minister’s secretary sees McCutcheon wholly embrace the personality of the normal West London girl and grants her a space in all our hearts.

My personal love for this film comes from the fact that it is as British a film could ever be. The weddings are filled wit big hats, vol-au-vent buffets and dodgy DJs. The language is stuffed with handfuls of ‘bugger’ and gallons of ‘bloody.’ A common case with romcoms is for the British actors to attempt a non-regional dialect (once again to make the film more accessible for our old American buddies). Love Actually tosses this aside and instead the accents are as regional as you could possibly desire. Contained in this film is every form of the London accent that exists as well as Scottish, American and Portuguese! I also love the multicultural cast that truly reflects London streets. As well as this, the film has an inter-racial relationship in the form of Keira Knightly and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Love Actually continues to break moulds and bring new meaning to the word “romantic comedy” right to the very end. I had expected a disappointing and predictable romantic comedy ending, but I was wrong. The endings were as predictable as English weather. There are plenty of happy endings to please the usual romcom lovers, who only watch for the lovey-dovey feeling at the end and use these films to revive their hope in the big ‘L’. But what you must not forget is that this film intends to keep to reality by showing love at its worst as well as its best.

How to write a review!

Here is our help guide to writing a review! A review can be on just about anything: a film, a book, what you're mum made for dinner last night etc etc. But, just for this guide we're going to be specific to film reviews, although a majority of what we say can be used to do a review on anything!

Once again, or friend PALS plays an important part in this article, and in fact every article you ever write! But with reviews, some parts of PALS some people can be a little confused about but allow me to explain.

Purpose: The purpose is NOT to tell them about the film!!!!! The reader wants to WATCH the film, not read about it! All you are doing is letting them know bits of the good, the bad and the ugly and if you think it's worth watching. I hate reading a review and then realizing i no longer need to watch the film, because i already know what will happen!

Audience: With film reviews, your audience is obviously someone who is considering watching the film. Therefore, your audience will vary depending on the film itself. For example, if you are doing a review of Thomas the Tank Engine The Movie, its obviously for children or parents of children. If its called Die Zombie Die on the other hand, its more likely to be for horror lovers (or boys who want girls to jump on them during the scary bits during a date!)

Language: As usual, the language can depend on the audience. But also like the audience, the language can ary depending on the film. For example, If you're reviewing The Simpsons Movie, its obviously goin to be for people who like the Simpsons, so they will already know who Snowball II is, or Mr Burns and Smithers so maybe you could make a joke about them somewhere.

Structure: With film reviews, it's usually a few paragraphs will a picture and maybe a little box at the bottom summing up our opinion: Rating: *** Language: Strong Violence: Strong Nudity: BY GOD, IS EVERYONE NAKED???

There are four parts to film reviews which you must include. These are often the same for any review you do. They are:

Introduction: This is your chance to draw the reader in and make them want to keep reading. You could start by mentioning a certain point that you think will interest readers, such as an actress or actor in it, maybe the film had high expectations, or maybe the film is a sequel and you want to see if its as good as the first.

Summary: Here is where you say BREIFLY what the film is about NOT what happens

Commentary: This is the most important part of the review and should be the longest part. This is where you give your opinion of the film. Go into detail of what you liked, what you didn't like and why. It's also good to give examples here and there without giving away the main plot. Talk about the plot, special effects, characters, cast, costumes, scenery and what you think of them.

Conclusion: Here is where you give your overall impression of the film, for example "a good plot but it is severely let down by a disappointing cast." Talk about whether the film is worth seeing, what issues it deals with, what effect the film had on you (did it give you an appreciation for a culture or empathize with a situation?) In the conclusion will also want to mention when the film comes out, o if it is on dvd etc, so that if people are convinced by your review, they will want to go buy it (or won't want to if you said the film was terrible!)

Tomorrow I will be posting a film review, so make sure you take a look!

Robyn xxx


Politics Essay: Democracy

Define direct democracy and representative democracy

Direct democracy originates from Athens 500 to 322 BCE and today it is used to supplement representative democracy. In direct democracy, the people ‘make’ policy decisions as they don’t just choose who will rule on their behalf. The most modern form of direct democracy is the use of referendums. The people also ‘are’ the government as there is no separate class of professional politicians and people engage in politics on a regular and ongoing basis.

Representative democracy has quite opposite features to a direct democracy. In a representative democracy, the popular participation is indirect as the public don’t exercise power, instead they choose someone to rule on their behalf and there is limited popular participation as voting takes place every few years.

The Best Medicine?

I first discovered this new brand of pain relief while watching the popular hospital drama, Grey’s Anatomy. The interns were discussing patient Henry Lemont who was having a very painful spinal implant. Henry was allergic to all pain medicine, but luckily one of the Doctors had found him alternative pain relief through ‘Naughty Nurses 4’. That’s right, Henry Lemont, whose wife sat in the corner knitting, was watching pornography to ease his pain.

In the everyday home, pornography is often used as a ‘stress reliever’ and now doctors all over the world are researching into using it as a pain reliever. Watching pornography causes the brain and body to release natural drugs back into the nervous system, which gives it the ability of self-medication as it masks pain and stress.

It’s not specifically pornography that scientists are researching as pain relief. Porn itself could never be solely used as pain medicine, as the thought of thousands of hospital rooms across the world screening “Girls Wet & Wild: Uncut” is, quite fairly, considered unethical.

Instead, scientists have been looking into the science and psychology behind the common saying: Love is the best medicine. Pornography may ease pain relief, but the love for pornography is what releases the pain relieving chemicals.

The best psychological evidence of love easing pain can be seen in the relationship between a small child and their parents. When a small child falls over and scrapes their knee, their screams of pain let the whole world know their hurting. Children are the Kings and Queens of overreacting, and their parents are the jesters to make them smile again. All it takes is for mummy or daddy to kneel down, coo words of comfort, and, the most effective of them all, kiss it better. How many times did your parents kiss your cuts and bruises better? Love and attention is often considered by parents as the de-stressor for their babies.

The science bit behind it is that the love projected from the parent is “caught” and reciprocated by the child. This causes the child’s brain to release the “happy” chemicals to mask pain and bring happiness.

The other type of love that helps ease pain is the love between a couple. There have been many survivors of severe illnesses who claim that they wouldn’t have survived, had it not been for the love of the partner getting them through. Similarly to the love between the parent and child, the love between two couples causes the release of chemicals from the brain.

These chemicals are some what stronger than that of the parent and child however, as they not only mask pain, but it affects the body from head to toe. These chemicals have been inked to reduced heart attacks, ease the pain of back ache, arthritis and migraines and cause people to be less vulnerable to depression and suicide!

So how exactly do the scientists plan on using this information for pain relief? Although the love of a child or partner can be excellent pain relief, unfortunately not everyone in the world is blessed with either of the two.

For those that are blessed with a child, partner or pornographic video, doctors plan on enhancing the interaction between the two to work alongside medication.

The medication itself, however, is what the men in white coats are investigating further. They believe that the key lies in the natural pain relieving chemical L-Phenylalanine. It helps to lengthen the lifespan of the chemicals in the brain that ease pain and is especially effective in relieving pain from arthritis and aching muscles. Enhanced pain relief has been discovered when L-phenylalanine is used with prescribed pain killers and normal pain relief is found when used on its own.

The scientists have created their own version of this chemical called DL-phenylalaine which is a combination of half L-phenylalaine and half D-phenylalanine. L-Phenylalanine is the natural form of phenylalanine found in proteins all over the body. D-Phenylalanine is a synthesized form of the chemical, which means it is produced in a laboratory. This manufactured form of phenylalanine is used to block an enzyme in the nervous system that increases pain signals. The interruption of pain signals allows the healing mechanisms of the body to begin working faster. Though they may not have yet discovered how to get us running on love as easy as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, you have to pay theses scientists their dues.

For all the parents, children, couples and general public out there who are suffering from a little pain, these scientists have discovered the cheapest and nicest solution. From now on, instead of reaching for the pills, people will be reaching for their parents or children and partners or pornos. I believe that this discovery will bring a far happier and more sexually aroused world. Thank god.

Robyn xxxx

Youtube Videos

On the blog will be posting many different videos that we come across that we think you'll enjoy. However we would like to make it clear that we did not make ANY of them so if you enjoy the video then click on it to link to the creators youtube and thank them on there!

We are simply posting these videos because we enjoyed and want you to as well and no copyright infringement is intended


How to write a Popular science article!

A popular science article is one where you can get really creative! The idea is to take a boring science topic, such as the solar system and then write an article in a way that people will be entertained, will enjoy reading but will still learn something! Up for the challenge? Excellent!

Remember PALS from our "how to write an interview" post? Well, they are the most important thing here and all you really need to know for writing a popular science article! If you don't remember, go back and take a quick look at the interview help post by clicking on the DIY or help tags!

Purpose: The purpose of a popular science article is to inform the reader, but also entertain them! That means you have to use all your english skills to be funny, interesting and witty. To do this it helps to use metaphors, rhetorical questions, personification, alliteration and all that jazz

Audience: The point of popular science articles is that they can appeal to a wider audience, but it's still important to think of the age, gender and media that the article would go with. For example, is it an article about cars in a mens magazine?

Language: In popular science articles, you need to use simple language to make the science bits easy to understand, and then entertaining language everywhere else! You also need to take your audience into account, because you wouldn't use words like "antidisestablishmentarianism" (real word!) in a child's magazine, would you?

Structure: Structure is, in my opinion, the most important part of a popular science article. Long paragraph after long paragraph will make your article look boring, so try having a colourful eye-catching header, and a few pictures to make it come alive. Unfortunately, as you will see with my popular science article tommorow, this is just about impossible to do when you are writing it on a blog, so then it will really have to be your words that make it interesting!

As well as popular science articles, you could do popular history, popular maths, popular english. Basically, every boring topic in the world can be turned into a popular article! In a way this is a popular english article because we are informing you on how to write and article, but trying to make it fun to read at the same time! (hopefully i'm doing a good job!)

As i said before, I will be posting my popular science article tomorrow so make sure you take a look!

Robyn xxx


The 100 word review!

On the blog we will be posting the 100 word review of all the different books we read so have a look and feel free to comment with your own 100 word review of that book. We all have our different thoughts!


On the blog we will be posting different essays on the following subjects:

Different novels
Law (English)
Politics (English)

So have a look and give your opinion!

No Time For Horsing Around

I find Chelsi sat scribbling away in a notebook, her long dyed hair stroking the page and reminding me of Wednesday Addams with its sheer block colour. She’s dressed completely in black to agree with my Addams family metaphor but then her camel coloured UGG boots and heavy gold jewellery give me the impression of a cross between Wednesday Addams and Vicky Pollard. But I’m not here to create witty metaphors about Chelsi’s appearance. I’m here because Chelsi has always been the girl in my class who I knew about but never knew, so I’ve decided to try and bridge that gap.
               I approach Chelsi, ask her for an interview and take a seat beside her. She seems slightly bemused as to why I want to interview her, but my explanation is simple. Of the few things I know about Chelsi, I know of her passion for horse riding and horses in general. As someone who has never had a hobby, nor seen the point in having one, I’m curious as to what it is that, if anything, I’m missing out on.
             I begin with letting Chelsi in on my initial impression of her, admittedly leaving out my Addams/Pollard thought. Her appearance is, too me, far from that of the stereotypical horse rider.  When I hear horse riding I think public school, ‘jolly good old chap’ and big hats at the Royal Ascot.  On hearing my thought of the stereotypical horse rider, Chelsi gives a small laugh as though what I have said is quite the typical impression: “There’s a couple of stereotypes about the posh poncey people who ride in the best riding schools, or there’s also old country folk who ride more naturally and don’t really have any rules or anything. It’s not stereotypical; we’re just different people who have different interests.”
         So what exactly is Chelsi’s hobby? Is it contained within horse riding or is it horses in general that press her buttons? On thinking of an answer to my question, her entire body language seems to change. Before, she sat in a slightly awkward manner, and answered in a very matter-of-fact tone. Now? Her body opens up as if embracing my question, her eyes light up while concocting an answer and a small smile plays across her face. “I love horses in general. It’s called equestrianism, which is like the broad scope of it. It’s like the whole history of the horse after it was domesticate by people. It is about the horsemanship between you and your horse which is learning to read their body language, riding, and it’s just every factor of horse riding.”
         Often people know a lot about their hobbies, without getting very involved. But on second thoughts, what exactly do equestrian lovers do? With most hobbies the jobs are obvious: stamp collecting, running, knitting. So in the huge area that is equestrianism, what exactly is it that Chelsi does? “I do show jumping, which is just jumping a series of fences in an order and stuff like that. But I do like the idea of polo and cross-country and sports like that too. When it comes to the horses themselves, I care for them, groom them, clean out the stables, ride them and help rehabilitate troubled horses.”  
        I’ve never met anyone so involved in their hobby, but then I’ve never met anyone with such a demanding hobby either. With stamps, you pop to the post office, knitting, you pop to Hobbycraft, with horses, you pop to the countryside; hardly an easy mission when you live on the outskirts of London. How much effort does Chelsi go through to stay with her hobby? “There are actually quite a few places around half an hour or so away from me, you just have to find them. There are hundreds of riding schools across England, so you just have to make the effort to find one.” Chelsi’s body language has now shrunk back to its original closed position, as I appear to have slightly irritated her with my apparent ignorance towards her true love.
             In an effort to bring back Chelsi’s happy spark, I ask her when her love of horses began and if she remembers her very first ride. My question works as planned: “It was from around 10 or 11 which was when I started riding.  For my first ride,  was taken to the stable and was told I’d be riding him. I thought he was massive but he was only actually a tiny little pony. When you don’t go horse riding and you see a horse that you’re going to ride, it’s just a whole different perception because you’re not used to being around them. I just remember it was great fun. As long as you listen and do as you’re told, then you’ll be alright.”  
           As she started at around 10 or 11 year old, this hobby has been a big part of Chelsi’s life for 5 or 6 years. Does she see it going further and becoming a big part of her adult life? “Yes, a career with horses is what I’m working towards, working with horses in any aspect. I need to take a 2 year course in horse management which will give me a national diploma and then in the following two years I need to do a foundation degree. From then on I can be a riding instructor, I can work in finance in the business side of it, and I can be a groom. You can do most things with the foundation degree.” According to Cafre, the college of agriculture, food and enterprise, it’s a popular course that requires 4 GCSEs and includes studying animal science, horse husbandry, breed development, training and business planning and management.   I never would have thought that hobbies could have such a huge impact in your future. Not only has this hobby give Chelsi something to do on weekends and unfurled a passion to learn everything there is to know about something, but it has set her up with a career that she knows she will love to do no matter how much the pay or hours.
             From talking to Chelsi, I’ve not only learnt quite a bit about her and equestrianism, but also about what having a hobby can do for a person. Having never had a hobby or particular passion, choosing a career and finding entertainment for the weekend can often be a trivial and somewhat difficult task. I understand now that a hobby can be so much more than something you enjoy doing and fill a certain amount of hours in your week. For people like Chelsi, their hobbies are not something they do, they are something they live. It can be the bench post for your entire future and teaches passion, discipline and hardwork. I urge anyone out there with something that they are passionate about, whether its horses or stamps, if you want to take it further, see what you can do. Use your hobby to mould your future and ensure that you do something you truly enjoy as an adult. As for those of us out there who remain hobby-less? GET ONE!

Robyn xxx 

100 word review: To Kill A Mockingbird

Most definitely a classic. A great insight into the prejudice and society of the deep south but having the story told from the perspective of a child adds a whole other level to the story. The innocence and playfulness of the main character and her reaction to the novels events really touches your heart. The plot has so many levels that you cannot get the whole picture from one read. In some places the analysis needed means you may not understand it at first but even without looking into the deep messages, the surface plot still makes a great read.

How to Write A Book

Best-selling author Dale Beaumont share five of the best tips

How to write an interview!

Here is our first help guide on writing an interview of your own. Hope you find it helpful!

The most important thing to think about when writing anythingis

Purpose: With interviews, you have to think is the purpose of your interview to find out about a topic, or to find out about a person, or for that person to plug their new movie or whatever.

Audience: Are you writing this interview for women or men? or both? For children? For film lovers or book lovers? For fans of the person you're interviewing? The audience will affect how you say things, for example, if you're interview was for a child, one of your questions wouldn't be "what are your current views on the economic crisis?" because a child a) wouldn't understand and b) probably wouldn't care

Language : This is linked to the audience. If you're interview is going to be in a medical journal you can use words such as "coronary heart bypass" or trichtomallisis and the doctors will know what you're on about, whereas for a teens article you might say "he was so ugly it made me want to puke". Make the language fit who you're writing for BUT that doesn't mean give up on grammar. For example, if you were writing it for chavs, you WOULDN'T say "and dats like what u shuld do ennit"

Structure: There are two ways to present interviews. The first is called question and answer and is quite self-explanatory: You write the question, then the answer below it. This is most popular with articles for young people, music and film magazines. The second is called integrated approach: this is where you re-write the interview almost as if you are telling the story of when you gave the interview. This means you would set the scene and convey atmosphere "I wait in the swish Ritz hotel in London, where she arrives ten minutes late, with her pet poodle under one arm and a huge box of cigarettes under the other." In this form you use parts of the answers here and there to send some kind of message, for example, in the original interview you're question may have been "have you ever thought of going on a celebrity gameshow, if so, which one?" and the answer was "Definitely who wants to be a millionaire. I really want to help charities but i don't think i would get very far because i'm not that smart." In your typed up interview, you might change this to: She tells me thats he really wants to do her bit for the world, "i really want to help charities but i don't think i would get very far because i'm not that smart". I thanked God she commented on her brains, or lack thereof, so i wouldn't have to!"

The next most important thing with interviews is WHO you are interviewing. It's usually a bad ida to interview friends and family, because it makes the interview more interesting if the interviewer doesn't know the interviewee very well either. This way you will come up with much more interesting questions because it is much easier to come up with questions for things you don't know than things you do know!

Now we've got the core bits out of the way, here is the step by step of creating you're interview:

Step 1: The interview

Make sure you interview your person face to face. You should tape or record the interview (i use the recorder on my phone) to make sure you catch everything thats said and then have a notepad to note down any body language, facial expressions or movements that the person makes that you want to include in your interview. This is extra effective if your purpose is to say something about their personality because, as they say, 90% of what you say doesn't come out of your mouth.

Make sure you have planned some questions, and make sure they are open based questions because you're interview will be pretty rubbish if all the answers are "yes" and "no". During the interview you could come up with more questions you want to ask which is good, as long as you have a few prepared. Make sure the questions have some sort of purpose to help your interview. For example, if you are talking to a tennis player and trying to find out more about how to become a professional tennis player, you wouldn't ask:
"which is better: ready salted crisps or salt and vinegar?" With the questions you ask, start with some nice small warm up questions: "when did you get into tennis", "what do you love about tennis" and then move on to the more detailed ones: "what has been the proudest moment of your career so far."

Step 2: Writing up the interview

First listen back to interview and make notes on what is said. Then try to put the questions into a logical order to make sure that the interview flows, it helps to put them under loose headings, or by purpose, or by how the answers compliment each other. There are many ways to do it, and it varies depending on your interview. The next part has already been explained: choose your structure. Are you going to do a question and answer or an integrated approach? Once you've picked one, start writing and remember to keep in mind PALS!

Robyn xxx


How To Write Lyrics Part II Putting It To Music

A video by Ccrev8

How to write Lyrics part 1

A video by Ccrev8


Here is the first of many blog posts!

This blog is basically going to overflow will all things english - And by that we mean the subject, not the country!

There will be poodles of poems, gallumphs of gonzos, and (because we can't think of any more alliterations) lots of articles and interviews too!

As well as all this, we will have posts teaching people how to write their own articles, and then you can send  us your articles to be put on here? Fantastique, ce n'est pas? That means "fantastic isn't it, for all you non-french understanding people" (Symone especially!)

So we shall get writing and you'd better get reading!!!!

Ciao for now

Robyn and Symone xx