I Wanna Be Like You

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"
This is the value my mum desperately tried to instil in me throughout my childhood, in a bid to stop me from punching my sister in the head as she relentlessly copied everything I did (sorry sis, but you know it's true. I was your inspiration.)

When it comes to this principle, I think there is definitely a line that can be drawn between replicating something you've seen and like, and downright originality theft.
If a friend went out and bought a top that they'd seen me wear, I wouldn't mind at all. In fact, I'd ask them why the heck they wasted their money when they could have just borrowed mine! Me and my group of friends unintentially copy each other on a daily basis, not just with our style but as far as our speech and mannerisms too. I always find myself saying phrases and words that I've picked up from my mates, that have subtlety entered my vocabulary until I'm sick of hearing them.

However, there is a point at which this notion becomes a huge pain, and you can feel your individuality being ripped away from you by a personality thief. Whilst aimlessly perusing the web today, I found a particularly bad case of this. The genius behind this year's best single, Swagger Jagger, seems to have a severe case of copycatitus.

During the X Factor, Cher Lloyd was often referred to as a 'mini Cheryl', as she was dressed up and given the big bouffant in the famous style of the pop princess.

And now it looks as though the *ahem* talented young superstar has found a new idol to imitate. As this lady changes her hair style more times than I wash mine, it must be pretty hard work to keep up, but so far Cher is doing a pretty successful job.

Also has a touch of the Jessie J about it too...

Ever heard of personal style Cher? No, clearly not. If you have a stylist, sack her, she's clearly just ripping of Ri Ri.

Being an international superstar I doubt Rihanna's too fussed, but I'm annoyed on behalf of her! How dare this talentless gypsy slut think she can pull it off! (Not a massive Cher Lloyd fan, you may guess)

Rihanna seems to be sticking with the red for the time being, while I think Cher Llyod has gone back to a more natural colour, and is working the ombre trend. Time will tell whether another rip-off occurs, perhaps next it'll be another star in the line for total image plagiarism. Perhaps Britney would be a more apt role model, being from a redneck community I'm sure Cher and her caravan roots will be able to identify...




There is no doubt where I would love to be right now. Not some hot, exotic country, lapping up the sunshine on a golden sandy beach, but right here in rainy Blighty. Trafalgur Square, to be precise, among the thousands of fans who have been camping for up to 10 days in eager anticipation of the premiere of the final Harry Potter film.

Harry's journey ends tonight (for the rest of us commoners, July 15th), and for die-hard fans like myself, it's more than just the end of a film series, it's the end of an era.

I got my first Harry Potter book for Christmas, when I was about 10. My nan had given me the first two in the series, and being a mega bookworm at that age I quickly finished them both within a few weeks. This was before the films had been comissioned, and before he was a household name and worldwide phenomenon. For me, it wasn't about following a craze, or reading them because everyone else was, it was love.

Given my unfortunate appearance and my parent's foolish mistake in letting me pick my own glasses, I had my very own pair of Potteresque frames that earned me the nickname 'Harriet Potter'. I woke up eagerly each day, convinced that my letter from Hogwarts would arrive on my doorstep, and I'd be able to join the adventures that I read about. I still think it must have got lost in the post...or that my parent's cruelly hid it from me, knowing that once I went I wouldn't want to come back.

I've read a lot of books in my life, from the Narnia chronicles to all the Jaqueline Wilson's, to sick horror and crime novels that would have some people questioning my mental wellbeing. But nothing else has had me eagerly turning each page, refusing to go to bed until I'd finished just one more chapter, like the Harry Potter books.

Although, as any true fan will tell you, the films aren't as good as the books, each one that's come out has been better than the last. I treasure each DVD, they sit lovingly besides the books, hidden from the grasp of fiends who might scratch a disk or bend a page corner. While it is impossible to captivate the magic of the written form, or include all the small details and extra bits that enhance the story, the screen version has brought Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, Privet Drive, and all the characters to life.

[If you hadn't read the books (shame on you, go punch yourself) then this may ruin the films for you.]

I've wept at numerous points throughout the series. I'm suprised the ink hasn't run right off the page in Deathly Hallows, I cried so much. I couldn't stem the flow of tears in the cinema, regardless of being in public and age 19 I wept like a baby when Dumbledore took his final tumble from the battlements of the castle. When Dobby died, I wanted to die myself. With the onslaught of deaths coming in Part 2, I seriously believe I may just pass away from sheer grief. People have reportedly died of heartbreak, so I really do fear for my health.

If I had a limitless flow of cash, or I won the lottery, I wouldn't be hitting the highstreet, or purchasing fancy cars and nice houses, my first act as a rich bitch would be to hop on a plane to Florida and visit live in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There, I could sip Butterbeers all day, and practice my wand skills to my heart's content.

Oh how I wish I was among that wet and weary crowd, dressed of course in full Gryffindor regalia. I will just have to make do with a Harry Potter marathon tonight, and finishing Deathly Hallows in preparation for the 15th. I plan on seeing the film at least three times...and then when the DVD comes out watching them all back to back with no sleep, allowing myself short breaks for use of toilet facilities and munching on chocolate frogs and all flavoured jelly beans.

Thank god for Pottermore, the website that JK Rowling is launching, to provide extra material not included in the books and to generally keep Harry Potter fans such as myself alive now that it's all coming to an end.

Now I'm going to get back to scouring the web for anything HP related, and watching the trailer on repeat until my eyes are so dry from crying that they shrivel up inside my head and turn to dust.



All Creatures Great and Small...

So Virgin suck.
Their failed attempt at setting up the internet in my new house has meant that after a brief but glorious reminder of the web, it has been snatched cruelly away from me. So I am back to feeling isolated in my little world of rubbish Blackberry internet, where blogging is an impossibility.

'But how are you typing this post?' I hear you cry in indignation. Well, I'm currently furiously bashing away at the keyboard on my desk at The Southern Daily Echo, desperately trying to finish this post.

Although I definitely don't have the dough for any internet splurges, it doesn't hurt to look does it? And one thing that jumped out at me was a jewellery trend that is perfect for the summer, especially with bold, birght colour clashes dazzling our wardrobes, and more tropical prints in Topshop than in Hawaii.

While head-to-toe leopard print is best left to Bette Lynch, why not adorn yourself with the vast range of animal accessories that are filling up the high-street's jewellery stands.
From delicate earrings, to chunky statement rings, everyone needs to unleash their inner beast this summer.

Here are five of my favourite pieces from three of the stores leading the trend, Topshop, River Island and New Look:

Just make sure to keep it simple, too many pieces are you'll end up looking like a walking zoo tribute. Less is more roar ;)



Please Rewind

Well well well.
What a week it's been.

When I first started this blog, I never thought I'd miss posting that much, but I really have! I found myself wandering up to strangers in the street spouting all the cluttered contents of my head into their faces. Well, not quite. But it was very hard not having an outlet for my deranged thoughts. I feel so out of the loop, what's been going on in the blogosphere?!

This past week has been ridiculously busy, I never thought moving could be so stressful! Last year was a simple one-trip job, load up the car, shove it in and done. This time around  I had tons more stuff. A whole transit van full, in fact. I don't know what the heck happened, it's not like I've splashed the cash on a ton of new clothes or trinkets. I think my existing possessions bred or were genetically modified to take up more space somehow...

But we're all moved in now! Three of us, at least, the other lucky sod is living it large in Aya Napa for the summer. The cow. 
After a bit of a shaky start (getting locked out of my room and having a mini meltdown in the kitchen) we're all settled down now, and we're well on our way to making our house the girly, pretty palace we've all been waiting for. This has included many trips to The Range, which is possibly my new favourite shop. Many a penny was spent on unnecessary bits and bobs to jazz up the house, from new kitchen cupboard handles to pictures and candles. We've also painted our front door a glorious poppy red, although we wanted pink for some reason we couldn't find fuchsia weatherproof paint anywhere!

After a knackering few days, when all I needed was SLEEP I had to psyche myself up for a week's work experience at The Southern Daily Echo. Not having access to the internet (which made me realise how much I have come to depend on it, it's not healthy!) meant that once I stepped off the train at Redbridge I had not a clue where to go. All I knew was that it was a 15 minute walk away. I was pretty much set to give up, after a horrible and tiring week filled with tears and drama I didn't have the energy or the will to even try. But I knew I'd regret it if I wasted the opportunity to work at a newspaper so after some detailed directions from the lovely receptionist and a bit of help from Google Maps, I managed to make it to the offices. 

It was a lot more daunting than Aceville, the room which housed all the desks was HUGE. Everyone was done up in proper work-wear attire, whereas I'd rocked up in black leather jeans. Which was also a mistake in terms of the weather, it was another scorcher which had me feeling like my legs were fusing with the material of my trousers. 

After the usual introductions I went out on assignment to get some pictures and vox pops from the weird and wonderful Southampton residents on an issue which is plaguing us all at the moment. 
The rubbish.
Who ever said journalism wasn't glamorous?

The bin men have been on strike here in Soton for 6 weeks now, in response to plans to cut pay by 5% to reduce the number of redundancies due to the reduction in the council budget. So our wonderful city has become a haven for rats and flies, our streets aren't paved with gold but with litter. The hot weather has been a lovely addition to this dire situation, baking the trash so that the sweet smell of rotting food fills the air wherever you walk. Yummy.

I got to do some filming of the mountains of, in plain terms, shit, and also roped my two housemates in for a cheeky pic of us outside out house looking dismayed at the bin bags in our garden. They love me. Although I missed lunch (unheard of for me, half human/half pig that I am) and I'm so tired that I've had to staple my eyelids open to write this blog, I did get a tan! Something which I definitely did not expect to get working at a newspaper! Tomorrow, I'll be sure to pack a lunch and the sun tan lotion!

I hope everyone's enjoying the sunshine and has had a less stressful week than I have! I'm sure the chocolate ├ęclairs sitting in my fridge will make me feel better...