The perks of being a wallflower…


I’m still in denial about being back at uni and work. So with a free evening, which if I’m honest should probably be used for reading very tedious books about education, I am sitting on my laptop writing while watching Perks of Being A Wallflower. Again.

I found a copy of Stephen Chbosky’s book last year in London. It is probably the first book I’ve read that has been set in a high school  context that has any reflection or relation to my own teenage experience. There’s always that worrying moment that you think a film will ruin your love of a book. But as the film script was written by the author, the cast chosen by him –  the whole atmosphere is there.

From being friends with people older than you, to having friends experimenting with drugs, having the one teacher that believed in you, and all the other teachers that didn’t really care, to open conversations about sex, to anxiety, panic attacks and depression, being dragged to rugby matches because my friend fancied one of the players, to fights in school, to knowing that an incident has brought up a whole host of history between people you had no idea of, to abortion, to trying to turn it around to get into university after spending a year off the rails…

I even remember a bunch of us dancing and singing to ‘Come on Eileen’ in the pub that I used to frequent with the sixth years when I was in fourth year every Thursday night. The only thing missing was the soundtrack of Krezip and Oasis. And making oh so many mixtapes. Some of them I still have.

Of course I’m British so we didn’t have cars when we were in high school – unless we got lucky by passing our test super quick if we had a March/April birthday so we didn’t have a pick up truck to fly through a tunnel too. We just had running through the streets late at night – sometimes barefoot (which is in itself precarious and mental given our Scottish climate).

I really get why so many teens have written to him to say that the book had saved their lives. I think if I’d been reading and watching this at 14, 15, 16, 17…I’d have been writing to say the same thing.

65_RedRoses Premiere in the USA

This is one for any of my readers in the US of A. Most of my regular readers have heard me talk about Eva Markvoort, a girl who was born the same week as me, but in Canada with a genetic disease – Cystic Fibrosis. While on the wait for a double lung transplant, a friend asked if she  would be willing to be the subject of a documentary about living with CF and being on the wait list for an organ transplant.

65_RedRoses came out in 2009 and has since won numerous awards at film festivals across North America. The documentary originally ended with Eva walking down  a street healthier than she’d really ever been with a future ahead of her. Of course, we know now that 2 years later she was diagnosed with chronic rejection and while on the wait for a second transplant she died a few days before her 26th birthday.

The documentary has since been updated to reflect that, and will premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network as part of the OWN Documentary Club tonight (Thursday) in the USA at 9/8c.

If you are able to watch, please do so. Hopefully when you watch you’ll understand why I’m so passionate about raising awareness of Organ Donation and the need for people to sign up on organ donor registers and talk about their wishes with their families.

Muppet brain

So. After the craziness of the weekend (the entire contents of our kitchen cupboards and worktops are now in our living room…) and a very long and crazy day at work today, I’m a little bit tired. Do you ever get so tired, you get a little hyperactive?

Yeah. Me too.

I went to see The Muppets Movie yesterday afternoon with my friend, her daughter and her daughter’s friend. Now as I’ve got tired, this tune has popped into my head. Like over and over. More specifically Beaker’s mee mee mee mo!. All day long. Even when we were doing a training session on supporting people through grief after pregnancy loss tonight.

Oh dear..

I think my mother may now be despairing of me, as I got home at 10.30 p.m., saw our living room exclaimed ‘It’s like Fun House!’ (her response was ‘Except it’s not fun!!’) and randomly burst out with ‘An albeeno! A moskeeto! Mee mee mee mo!’

I’ve always loved Nirvana, and now I just love it more. Tee hee hee hee.

Over and out.

Flower of Scotland Friday: We’ve got dragons

This is by far one of the best movies I’ve seen this year. A few people asked why the Vikings had Scottish accents, and where they may be more west coast ish, did you not know about the viking heritage of Orkney – one of our many ‘big’ islands right at North of Scotland? In fact, so North is Orkney and Shetland (and the corresponding smaller islands) that often they get left off the Scottish maps. A bit like Alaska.

I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD. It’s now become commonplace for me and my friend Doug (we saw it at the same time in 3D at cinema) to randomly text to say 5 simple words: I want a Night Fury

Our only bugbear – how come the adults are Scottish, but their kids are all American????

BK’s Oscars 2010

So it’s all about the Oscars today! woo! Do love the Oscars. And who can forget Hugh Jackman’s opening number last year…what a set of pipes that Anne Hathaway has too.

Anyway, so I was thinking which films I would pick to win…so here it is.

Writing (Original Screenplay): The Hurt Locker

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): An Education or Up in the Air

Visual Effects: huh. I guess Avatar.

Sound Mixing: I don’t really have a clue.

Sound editing: Again, I don’t really have a clue.

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker

Music (Original Song): The fact that 3 songs are from the same film…that’s sad.

Music (Original Score): Up

Make Up: The Young Victoria

Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Costume Design: Coco Before Chanel

Cinematography: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (mainly because I don’t want Avatar to win….)

Art Direction: Sherlock Holmes or The Young Victoria

Animated Feature Film: Up

Actress in a Supporting Role: Mo’Nique

Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz or Matt Damon

Best Actress: Carey Mulligan

Best Actor: Jeremy Renner or Colin Firth

Without a doubt the best film I’ve seen in the last year has been An Education. It was smart, had excellent performances, was original and just really well done all round. And I also loved Up. The score was just perfect for the journey it took you on. And another really well made film is The Hurt Locker. Avatar …hmm. I don’t think it deserves to sweep the boards. The Blind Side – I do want to see it, but from the clips and stuff I’ve seen I think it’s a little bit patronising. And though I do love Morgan Freeman, I don’t think he was all that great in Invictus – his accent is a bit all over the place. Matt Damon’s SA accent was pretty good, it’s just a shame he looks and sounds so completely different from the real-life Francois.

My Sister’s Keeper

When I was at school I read books like they were about to go out of fashion. I would easily read 6-8 books during one 2 week holiday. However, when I went to university I started off in an Master of Arts degree which meant hours and hours of reading some of the most boring writing you could possibly imagine. Contract Law? Or actually no, Delict…Donoghue vs. Stevenson (who is thy neighbour indeed) Journal articles about the geomorphology of glacial landscapes? (they’re pretty, can we not just leave it at that?) Erving Goffman? (a sociologist…enough said really)

It seriously put me off reading for a very long time. 

There are only 3 authors who caught my attention enough to read their books while I was at university… J.K. Rowling, Alexander McCall Smith & Jodi Picoult.

I got intrigued by one of Picoult’s novels by the fact that it seemed to be the only work of fiction that for some reason resided in the Medical School bookshop. So I decided to read it so I could discover what the fuss was all about…

…I was blown away by it, as it is one of the best examples of how art can bring such a controversial issue into a debate remembering what’s important, to open minds and respecting all parties involved. And by involved I mean those directly affected by these issues.

My Sister’s Keeper remains one of my favourite books to this day (it comes second only to my all-time favourite Tully by Paullina Simons that I’m currently re-reading for like the zillionth time since I was 14/15).

A few weeks ago I was in the cinema and saw a trailer for the film adaption they have made of the book. I would love to go and see it, but I doubt I will because I remember the many puke scenes (2 characters in the film have cancer…).

Check out the official trailer on YouTube below:


So many of the folks who come by this site will know that for the last year I’ve followed the Lawrenson family’s miracle story with Tricia, who has a disease called Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Tricia and her husband, Nathan had a baby girl Gwyneth Rose who was born at under 25 weeks gestation last year. Since then Tricia has a double lung transplant and overcome post-transplant lymphoma. Gwyneth celebrated her 1st birthday in January this year. While supporting his two girls, Nathan documented their story by video and blogging inspiring people from all around to globe to pray…(including me!).  As well as that one of my old uni friends, Emmet has done a great deal of fundraising for CF Ireland.

Anyway, Nathan pointed us in the direction of a documentary about a CF patient, Eva and two online friends she made who also have CF. This documentary will be premiered at this years Toronto Hot Docs Festival.


You can find the documentary film website by clicking here

It would also be great if you could spread the word, and show your support. I’d love to see this documentary come to Europe so it raises more awareness about CF.

A crying heart

I woke up to the sound of rain on the roof and wind howling and blowing through the eaves of the house I live in.

After church I came home and with a postponed mentoring session I had time to do this quiz thing – it was like a personality test and was apparently going to tell me about the way I get closest to God. I was really excited about until I looked deeper into it. A frown, a guffaw, and then I was not sure whether to laugh, cry or be angry really. I think I was more frustrated than anything else.

And then the clincher. I went to the cinema with 2 of my oldest and dearest friends to see Australia. The romantic story part was a pile of rubbish, the real story for me was about the stolen generations. It brought me back to when I was in Cairns and saw and heard the stories (amongst others) first hand. I remember the shame I felt being a ‘westerner’. And as my friend remembered taking  her young cousin around a museum in Melbourne she said ‘how do you explain to a 4 year old that her ancestors stole children from their mothers?

I think of the Aboriginal people, I think of South African apartheid, I think of the American Apartheid, I think of the Holocaust, I think of the slave trade. 

The people behind some of these sickening things were my ancestors. 

For that I feel shame. 

Apologies are just the beginning.