FRESH BLOG

It’s been a long time, but O has ventured out, at uni and studying fashion. Keep track with my new blog, livinoon.wordpress.com

XXX

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sharing a secret

Being a regular human being, I thoroughly enjoy a bargain, anything that is inexpensive to start or that has had a rather big reduction (particularly satisfying). There are the obvious ideas of visiting websites like ebay, but with my own personal experiences being quite traumatic and usually ending in an imaginary conflict with the imaginary evil person trying to outbid me. And then there are also charity shops, good for jumpers and some, i stress the some, accessories. But my new favourite discovery, my bad if I am in fact just horribly late, is American Apparel’s ‘Oops! We made too many!’ section. These are simply the clothes that were overstocked or didn’t sell very well. However, don’t misinterpret this as the butterz clothes that no one wants, they’re usually just good basics for craazy cheap prices.

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All of these items above are available here http://store.americanapparel.co.uk/sale-five.html

Every item I chose was under a tenner, so I reaallly am not wasting the money. As well as these, AA have also got a pretty good sale on at the moment, as follooowws,

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Lemme know if you find some good steals Ox.x

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oM_9ca8hxE

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a new favourite obsession

everyone is turning 18 so with an abundance of parties comes an abundance of dresses. i find it easy to get bored of high street shops, you always end up with the same shit as everyone else. this is why i was extremely excited to discover nastygal.com, an american website where you want every single item.

so to combine a need for dresses and a new found obsession, i’ve picked my best of the enooormous bunch and put them all down here…

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Showgirls Velvet Dress £36.24

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Metallic Splatter Dress
£54.99

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Valiant Dress
£98.74

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Sydney Crochet Dress
£99.99

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Paradise Stars Dress – White
£52.49

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Coven Lace Maxi Dress
£156.23

Hope you find something great, i definitely have. a lot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-YmjBdNqc4

Ox.x

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back again…

I already wrote this post and then it deleted itself omdz. I shall do a different post then and leave that for another day. Instead of spending agees talking shit that probably won’t get read I will simply provide some songs that I’ve been listening to, do enjoy

James Blake- We Might Feel Unsound. Its not on youtube so i cannot provide vid

MYTH-Four Seasons, again not on youtube

O x.x

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Orange Prize Awards Ceremony

I had a brilliant time at the awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall last night; making my way up the orange carpet and being greeted with a glass of  champagne was just the beginning! The atmosphere was fantastic, although one of the best moments for me was meeting Emma Donoghue, whose shortlisted novel Room was our Orange Prize youth panel’s winner.

Above all, congratulations to Téa Obreht, whose debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife, was the 2011 winner (and the youngest ever winner) of the Orange Prize! To read my full review of The Tiger’s Wife, click here.

Téa Obreht on winning the Orange Prize:

M.

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Review: ‘The Tiger’s Wife’ by Téa Obreht

WINNER OF THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION 2011!

The Tiger’s Wife is set in ‘Balkan country still scarred by war’ and tells the story of a young doctor, Natalia, who wants to discover the real reason for her grandfather’s mysterious departure from home days before his death. Natalia has reason to believe that her grandfather died searching for ‘the deathless man’, but why would a man of science pursue a mere myth?

As well as following Natalia’s struggle to understand her grandfather’s quest, Obreht weaves in folk tales and myths from the region. Two myths in particular represent a large portion of the books; the story of a tiger who escaped from a zoo during the bombing of Belgrade in World War 2, and who settled near the secluded mountain village where Natalia’s grandfather grew up; and the curious tale of the ‘deathless man’ and his various encounters with Natalia’s grandfather.

Obreht’s writing is magical – she does not get drawn into the politics and history of the war-torn setting of the Balkans but focuses instead on the human stories and tales which live on despite (or perhaps because of) the war. She has a clear talent for forming a character and describing the entirety of their life in a few pages – which she does, regularly, in order for the reader to see what the main characters cannot, and to enable the reader to understand and even sympathize with the more brutal characters in the book.

However, Téa’s talent for storytelling means that, in places, the book goes off on tangents and departs from the main story. The plot of The Tiger’s Wife is winding and varied, but the lack of focus can lead to confusion as to where the novel is taking you. Sections of the book are not always as smoothly connected as you would wish – the book takes you on a looping journey which is disruptive to the central plot. However, the clever links between past and present; between myth and reality, are ever present in the novel and prevent the story from veering too far off track.

The book deals with the complicated themes of the dangers and benefits of superstition and folk-lore, as well as the eternal struggle for man to come to terms with death. The dark background of war only serves to bring out the bright colours of the characters, although not much context is provided and the setting can be hard to understand if you, like me, have little historical understanding of the area.

All in all, The Tiger’s Wife is a spell-binding first novel which manages to bring together ancient myths and modern logic. The book is made rich with the superstitions and stories of a place, and is told with great love and understanding of the area: there can be no doubt that 24 year old Téa is an astonishingly accomplished storyteller.

M.

If you want to find out more about the Orange Prize, go to http://www.orangeprize.co.uk/ or check out their facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/orangeprize

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Review: ‘The Memory of Love’ by Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna’s novel is set in Freetown, Sierra Leone – in the aftermath of one of the bloodiest civil wars in modern history. Although the title focuses on love, the book is about so much more than that: betrayal, loss, longing and how a society crippled by the fear and trauma of war can never entirely move on.

The novel focuses on characters in the city’s hospital: Adrian – a British psychiatrist who goes to Sierra Leone to escape his life in the UK – becomes friends with Kai, a native surgeon who is unable to see beyond his past. A dying patient in the hospital, Elias Cole, feels the need to confess to Adrian the story of his love, and how it led him to commit acts which have haunted him since.

The Memory of Love shifts in time, from Elias’s account – which begins in 1969 – to Kai and Adrian’s modern day struggles. The parallels and links between the plots become only more obvious as the book goes on, to reveal an intricately planned and wonderfully crafted novel. The three are all connected with love – or the memory of – which has caused them just as much pain as the war.

The extraordinary circumstances which the three find themselves in lead each of them to commit terrible wrongs of betrayal, cowardice, envy and selfishness. At the heart of the novel is the terrible secret of war: the chilling fact that in brutal conditions it is not only evil individuals who carry out evil deeds. Forna’s characters are so well-drawn and authentic – so human – that you cannot help but identify with them. The ending, although tragic, is also uplifting, and you feel the characters’ loss as your own.

 In the end, however, it is the finer details of the novel that make it so powerful. There’s Agnes: the patient who, returning home after suffering in a refugee camp during the war, returns to discover that her daughter has married her husband’s killer.  Then there’s the male patient who becomes hysterical at the mere smell of roasting meat, due to the memories of burning flesh which return to him. It’s these smaller stories that really hit home the extent of the war, and its destructive impact on every person in the country.

The Memory of Love looks beyond the surface of civil war to observe the deeper consequence of a nation scarred with brutal memories. It is a moving novel which tackles the most unanswerable of questions: what leads us to do the things we do?

M.

To find out more about the Orange Prize, go to http://www.orangeprize.co.uk/ or visit their facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/orangeprize

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