It's just a tiny bit marvellous

Category: Articles

‘If anyone else dies, Julian Fellowes will pay’ Or What To Expect From Downton Abbey, Season 4

I’m joking, obviously. Julian Fellowes, you are a safe man.

1. Branson will be left to house sit again. Because he’s not allowed to go to fancy places like Scotland, guys. He doesn’t even own a suit.

2.  Bates will turn out to be a bad guy. I’m convinced. Remember the prison rage?! ‘I AM BATES, HERE ME ROAR.’

3. I’m thinking secret romance. I’m thinking jazz singer. I’m thinking blonde Sybil (that’s her name, don’t even pretend it isn’t.) I’m thinking preganancy? ABORTION?! WHO KNOWS. ONLY FELLOWES.

4. Lady Violet will say something witty about how dresses are getting all slutty, or how the music is too fast paced for her poor heart to take. There will also be some snide remarks about Americans, because there always is.

5. Daisy will nearly ruin, and then save, a very important dinner; Thomas will smoke a cigarette and look angry; Carson will polish some silver; Mrs. Patmore will be chuffed because suet was on offer in the local shop; tall butler will hit his head on a door frame and everyone will laugh; sexy, Eragon butler will be sexy, Eragon butler …

6…and then someone will die at Christmas. MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM JULIAN FELLOWES.



I Went To Paris & All I Brought Back Were These Instagrammed Pictures

So, yeah. I went to Paris last week hoping to soak up some culture by eating a lot of bread and cake and cheese. Instead, I just got physically soaked because it rained NON STOP.

But did I let that stop me having an awesome time? No I did not.


My friend Claire thought it would be a good idea to take this photos. Hers look much better than mine, because she isn’t a massive idiot who was screaming the whole time because she thought her umbrella would lift her into the air like Mary Poppins.

We did all the usual stuff- Notre Dame (pretty windows, no hunchbacks), the Eiffel Tower (very high, lifts that go sideways), Versaille (lots of gold, lots of history, lots of rude tourist groups), the Pompidou Centre (lots of weird but amazing art) and the Arc de Triomphe (for some reason, there were lots of soldiers up there when we went. They looked like they were wearing bio hazard suits.)

If you ever go (and you should- because seriously, it’s Paris yo!), make sure you don’t go until early summer, and also make sure you visit Angelina’s- near the Louvre, or there’s one at Versaille. Best. Hot. Chocolate. Ever. Guys.

Now enjoy all my instagrammed pictures. I went a little bit mental.







Shakespeare and Co is an amazing bookshop near Notre Dame that sells super old books- they are really expensive (but come on, would you expect a first edition of Ulysses to be cheap?!) but it was lovely to go and have a raid of their bookshelves.



“Shut Up Carl!” Or What The Walking Dead Taught Me


1. Hyundai’s are the only car to see off a zombie apocalypse. Don’t even try to take the SUV. Or Dale.

2. Eye patches are sexy. Heads in jars are not.

3. If a group of people looking for a small girl come to your farm, don’t tell them about the small zombie girl you just found and put in your shed…

4. …and tell them to shut the gate! That rusty gate will keep out all foes, be them zombies or crazy Shane.

5. The more time spent living in the middle of a zombie infested hell on earth, the more attractive you become.

6. 3 weeks is a perfectly reasonable amount of time to get over the death of your husband and shack up with his best friend in a tent.

7. Zombies without teeth make excellent pets.

8. The US would be totally unprepared to deal with masses of shuffling corpses with no speed, sense of direction or proper social skills.

9. There ain’t no dictatorship like a Ricktatorship.

10. I most definitely would not survive if the dead tried to eat me.

‘If you think any member of One Direction will be on this list you will be sadly mistaken.’ Or My Top 5 Brits of 2012



2012 has been our year. Great Britain is once again GREAT. We had a party every month celebrating something or other. It was once again acceptable to fly a Union Jack from your house without looking like a member of the BNP. It was glorious; there was bunting. Across the globe, people were wishing they were us. But they couldn’t be us. Us few 60 million. We are the chosen people of 2012. Bask in our glory, world. BASK IN IT!

But there were 5 people who excelled just that little bit more than others this year. And they need to be appreciated.

(Though I am warning you, there are no athletes on this list. Because that would mean I would have to choose, and that is a decision I couldn’t, and shouldn’t, have on my conscience. Let the BBC Sports Personality of the Year deal with it.)

1. Claire Balding

This woman is now a national treasure after some truly amazing commentary at the Olympics (I knew they’d get a mention somewhere.) The Americans got stupid Ryan Seacrest ‘photobombing’ people. Claire Balding is much too dignified for that shit. She had her highlighters and her stack of notes and she just GOT ON WITH IT. As is the British way. Bravo, Balding! (And she invented the Mobot, which is just genius.)

2. Charles Dickens

This year, big Charlie D turned 200. And we never heard the end of it. He’s been dead for about 150 years but he was given a whole YEAR of celebrations because he was an utter pro at telling amazing stories. As it should be.

3. Pippa Middleton

She has a nice bum. That’s about it. Oh! and she has recently released a book with helpful tips on hosting dinner parties and other insightful thoughts- such as, ‘There is something very British about tea.’ I think we may have a genius on our hands, guys.

4. Kate Middleton and Prince William’s Unborn Child

SQUEE. I think I was with everyone when I did a little jig of glee when I found out there was a royal bun in the royal oven. (Kate would have been on this list in her own right, but frankly, I think she needs a rest.)

5. The Dowager Countess of Grantham


I didn’t even know I was that passionate about Dowton Abbey….


Why I Wish I Was Still Shocked By Gun Violence

NOTE: I wrote this piece 6 months ago after seeing another shooting in a long line of many over the past few years. I didn’t post it then. I’m posting it now.

On Wednesday, I went to see the new Jeremy Renner film ‘The Bourne Legacy.’ I was sceptical, because I am a big fan of the other Bourne films starring Matt Damon. I was actually pleasantly surprised. It was quite good.

What didn’t surprise me was a mass killing shown within the film, where a man enters a lab and shoots his co-workers dead in a fit of apparent madness.

Later in the film, I catch myself wincing when a needle is stuck into someone’s arm. So okay- nobody likes needles. But looking back, my reaction towards the gun violence compared with the needle was ridiculously blasé; I’d seen it all before.

I wish, wish, wish I was still shocked by gun violence.

Today, I read on the news that 2 people have died outside the Empire State Building; a man shot his ex co-worker and was then brought down by the police. A few weeks ago, there was a mass killing in a Wisconsin temple where 6 people were shot in their place of worship. Last month, a man walked into a midnight screening of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and shot 13 people. A year ago, a man who was today sentenced to life imprisonment gunned down 77 young people on a small island just outside of Oslo.

Separately, these incidents might not mean much. When dealing with people and guns, sometimes you’re going to get a loose canon. You can’t prevent things that aren’t a certainty. Not everyone who owns a gun has it with the intent to kill.

Can we truly rationalise these events in this way anymore?

After the shooting in Denver, the number of firearm applications in the state increased by more than 40 per cent.

It seems clear to me that gun violence is going to get much worse before it gets better. How many more times will I turn on the television to see a school or cinema or church roped off with police tape?

Nowadays, you can’t use the excuse that they are just isolated incidents.

We need to see the bigger picture. We need to make a stand.

I hope that America leads the way and revises the second amendment.

‘Oy with the poodles already!’ Or What Gilmore Girls Taught Me

1. Big spiders carry guns. Fact.

2. Being an overprotective mother will lead to early pregnancies and rock music.

3. Singing Hello Dolly a la Louis Armstrong will shoot down any argument you are up against. Oh, you don’t believe me? You think I’m wrong?



Yeah. That showed you.

4. 24 hour dance marathons are amazing- but they aren’t the best time to break up with your boyfriend.

5. Michel is the best character. Non?

Michel: Well, you know what happens when you assume.

Lorelai: What?

Michel: I don’t know. Something about a donkey. It is a stupid American phrase.

Oh Michel. You are witty and French and we love you.

6. Taylor should just move.

7. Jess is more attractive than Dean, but Logan is more attractive than Jess. Luke is more attractive than all of them combined, which means I need to start hanging out in diners more often.

8. I know lots of pop culuture references…… but there are still times when I’m laughing at something Lorelai has said and I’m thinking ‘Why am I laughing?! Why is this funny!?’ And that’s okay. I’ve accepted the limits of my pop culture knowledge.

9. “Did anyone think that maybe Sylvia Plath wasn’t crazy, she was just cold?” She was definitely not just cold. I hope.

10. Sookie was a cool name before that vampire show. And people said it right back then. Ah the early noughties. We hardly knew ye.

Why I’m Giving Up Celebrity Nonsense Once And For All….

Here are the 2 main reasons for my sudden rush of gossip abstinence.


Just urgh.

I won’t go into details (because they are boring and unnecessary), but apparently Nicki Minaj went mental on the set of American Idol, calling Mariah Carey a lot of names and using the f-word a hell of a lot.

I’m sorry- but if I started a new job, decided I didn’t like one of my co-workers, and then started SHOUTING INSULTS AT HER IN THE OFFICE….I would be fired. Most definitely.

I just don’t understand it. Does Nicki think this behaviour is normal? Does she think it’s acceptable?!

No doubt she’ll be rapping away about it on her next album “Roman x3: This Time It’s Personal, Bitches.” Because that’s healthy; “I just had a major argument with you, so now I will tell everyone in the world why I hate you.”

It’s like we’re in Mean Girls. Except we’re not 16, Glen Coco has received no candy canes, and nobody is laughing.


Ps. I have a feeling people will think I’m ‘Team Mariah’ after this. I am Team NO-ONE. NO-ONE GETS A TEAM! URRRRGH.

Words Of Wisdom From The Dowager Countess

So the Dowager Countess of Grantham. Doesn’t she come out with some crazy stuff? Have you noticed that she’s always right? About everything?

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at these gems….

1. Life is a game where the player must appear ridiculous.

If anyone’s keeping score, I think I might be winning.

2. No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else’s house.

Could you imagine? It would be a total disgrace! You’d never be able to show your face in society again (though you’d be dead, so I suppose that wouldn’t be a big problem.) We English are far too classy for that shit.

3. No one wants to kiss a girl in black.

I’m not sure if this is more of an Edwardian thing, because black is very slimming- and if you spill something on yourself nobody can tell. But Mary and Sybil did get their men wearing summery frocks, so maybe Granny is on to something?

4. The truth is neither here nor there. It’s the look of the thing that matters.

Telling lies is okay if you make the lie convincing. And interesting. The Dowager Countess may have hit a moral grey area here but I’m guessing everyone is silently agreeing with her advice.

5. You can normally find an Italian who isn’t too picky.

I really hope so. It may turn out to be my only option in life.

“Nobody wants to kiss a girl in black!” or What Downton Abbey Taught Me

Downton Abbey returns on September 16th y’all! LIKE OMG YOU GUYS- put it in your diary! (Or put it in your pipe and smoke it if you feel the need!)

Making this list is the only thing calming me down right now. Seriously.

(To all my American/Canadian/other overseas readers: I’m sorry you have to wait so long for series 3! I hope this eases your pain!)

This Branson picture has nothing to do with this list really. I just liked it. If you don’t like it you’re probably a Thomas kind of gal. And we don’t need your kind here! (JOKES GUYS! JOKES!)

1. The best way to have a secret affair is in very public places. An open garage and the room next door to where your wife is dying are the ultimate choices.

2. “Why must everyday involve a fight with an American?! No, it’s fine, I’ll ride this swivel chair like the badass I am!” The Dowager Countess is one badass granny.

3. Kissing your cousin is encouraged. Especially if he’s fit with a massive entail. No pun intended.

4. Mr Bates is a fox. I mean, he isn’t really. But Anna digs him so what do I know?

5. If you leave your job for a day- even if it’s just to go to the post office to buy stamps, or feed soup to injured soldiers- Molesly will try to steal it. You’ve been warned.

6. Don’t listen to your bitch of an aunt when she tells you not to marry Matthew. Matthew is awesome. Mary is also awesome, but she’s pretty mean to Matthew when she sends him off to war all sad and heartbroken. Don’t be sad, Matthew! Lavinia’s a-coming!

7. There’s always one sister who is a complete bitch. But maybe the reason she’s a bitch is because her sister is mean to her and drives away her old fiance-to-be. But then before that, she did tell everyone her sister had hanky panky with a Turkish diplomat (saucy!) But then there’s the case of one sister having nicer dresses than the other… JUST BE NICE LIKE SYBIL GUYS! AND WEAR TROUSERS!

8. Hats are amazing. The bigger the better.

9. Apparently, phones are comparable to time machines in an H.G.Wells novel. It’s like older people trying understand iPhones, but in a period drama setting. LOLS.

10. Ghosts are real. And they enjoy a good board game!

(I have so many more things Downton Abbey has taught me I may have to do another list! AAAH EXCITING!)


“You can’t just ask people why they’re white!” Or What Mean Girls Taught Me

1. Fetch is British slang. And it’s a good thing. Apparently. Though I don’t think it ever caught on over here, so I’m not sure where Gretchen Weiners heard it. Maybe when she went on the world tour with her dad promoting Toaster Strudle.

2. Live everyday like you’re Glen Coco. Because Glen Coco gets 4 candy canes. If I got 4 candy canes, I would be so happy I would probably go to Taco Bell to celebrate. Though not if I was on an all carb diet. Duh.

3. “Don’t have sex. Because you will get pregnant. And die.” Probably not the best way to stop teenagers knocking boots, but hey, in this day and age you’ve got to try anything!

4. It’s perfectly acceptable to dress like a slut on Halloween. In fact, if you don’t dress like a slut for Halloween you are probably one of the uncool kids. Here is proof that I was (and still am) an uncool kid:

Hells yes.

5. Some people can give an accurate weather forecast with their breasts. Or at the very least, if you can’t be bothered to go look out of the window, they can tell you if it’s already raining.

6. Big hair= big secrets. “That’s why her hair is so big, it’s FULL OF SECRETS!!!!!!!!”

7. “On Wednesdays we wear pink.” I love this. I wish it was a worldwide rule. And if you don’t wear pink, you can’t sit with us at lunch. Sorry.

8. Word vomit is not as messy as actual vomit, but it does cause just as much mess. Okay, that point wasn’t explained very well. Word vomit isn’t actual vomit, so you won’t need a toilet bowl and one of your friends to hold your hair. But word vomit does cause social awkwardness/ruined friendships/face palm moments that should be avoided.

9. Joining the Mathletes is social suicide. Paradoxically, Kevin G is a total badass.

10. Tina Fey is amazing. If you take away only one thing from Mean Girls, that should be it.