REVIEW: Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

*Spoilers will be reserved for the end of this blog post, I’m not cruel*

 

I’m baaaaaaaack. 

I know, I know, I’m a shithouse. I made this big thing about being back to blogging and it was a lie and I’m the worst.

To be honest I’ve been feeling pretty uninspired lately, and I kept putting off my next post until there was something that really got me excited (or angry). This morning I finished the latest installment of the HP saga and ThE fEeLiNg hit. I needed to blog.

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Now, anyone that knows me knows that my Harry Potter obsession borders on scary. If it’s crested, I have it. I’ve got wands, I’ve got pyjamas (x42), I’ve got the original books which are tattered and generally eroding, hallows jewellery, a Hedwig that lives on my bed, and the posters. Basically, I’m a big fan.

When I first read Harry Potter it just struck a chord with me. I’ve revisited the story every other year with the books, and rarely go a fortnight without watching one of the movies (Unpopular opinion, Goblet Of Fire is King). Id easily go as far to say it’s the best modern literature there is, and if you oppose this opinion you’re simply wrong.

So naturally when it was announced that a new book/screen play was to be released FEATURING THE ORIGIONAL CAST I felt like I’d been hit by a bus. But like, in a good way.

I won’t lie, I had my misgivings. Why tamper with perfection? Leave the saga as it is, immense and untouched. IMO, it was wrapped up ideally, everyone really did live happily ever after. I just genuinely believed that it was going to be unnecessary.

I was right.

By the time I’d got through Act One I already knew I was not going to enjoy this. It didn’t fit right – the characters didn’t speak like themselves, their mannerism’s were off and I just didn’t BUY the plot.

Of course there’s very limited information available to people that haven’t read/seen it of what the plot IS, so for the sake of the spoiler-free section of this blog,  it involves a lot of time-travel, family feuding and friendship woes.

Starring in this charade is young-ish Albus Severus Potter, a bit of an outcast that’s sick of having to live up with his family name. Alongside his best friend (who for now shall remain nameless), he sets out to right some wrongs and create his own legacy with horrible repercussions.

His dad, formerly The Boy Who Lived, is working himself to the bone as Head Of Magical Law Enforcement at the ministry.

I felt like the great Harry Potter having a normal (normal for a wizard, anyway) occupation lacked the magic that I’d come to expect from JK. At the end of the books, the future was out there for my long-time hero. He could be the next Dumbledore, the Minister For Magic, or he could like, get a government grant or something and spend the rest of his life kicking dark magics’ arse. But no, he’s an over-worked Ministry employee. It’s not even a particularly cool department. Magical Law Enforcement? THE GREAT HARRY POTTER? THE CHOSEN ONE? Pur-lease.

For me, the characters felt like ghosts of their former selves, and the jokes and reminiscence felt entirely forced.

I won’t say it wasn’t exciting to see what the old gang was up to; I’ve spent hours pondering what the personalities of their children and what they’re all up to ‘these days’, but I was disappointed at the lack of references to everyone else. How’s Kreacher’s attitude lately? Did Hermoine ever recover her mum and dad’s memory? How is George coping?????? I’ll never know, it seems.

WARNING – THE SPOILERS START HERE. DO NOT READ ON UNLESS YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK OR SEEN THE PLAY.

So, let’s talk about why we’re really here.

What the fuck was that about? No, seriously, whose idea was it? I need a word with them.

I was almost sure I’d mis-read. JKR wouldn’t allow such a predictable and sloppy plotline to tarnish her legacy.

Voldemort has a child with Bellatrix Lestrange? Are you kidding? In what world, even a world where wooden sticks can make things levitate and the love of your mother can shield you inadvertently from murder, can this happen?

I’ll get the practicalities out of the way first.

Voldy doesn’t have a nose, OR a soul. Okay? If he doesn’t have either of those, can someone explain the likelihood that he’d have SEMEN or a PENIS? This is an actual request, I need to understand the physicality of it.

I mean, some will argue that it wasn’t done via a physical act and rather by magic, but what is this? The bible? Is Delphi Riddle the second coming? No, she’s not.

On top of this, I couldn’t cope with the portrayal of Snape or Dumbledore (dude, stop crying). I get that it’s harder to portray a personality through speech alone and that it’s more down to the actor, but these characters that we’ve known for so long and grown to love… they just wouldn’t talk like that.

However, since I’m such a ‘glass half-full’ type of gal, I’ll tell you what I did enjoy about the book.

Scorpious Malfoy. What a little honey. I knew immediately that I loved him and wanted to cradle and protect him forever (possibly as a step-mother since Draco always did give me *the flutter*). He was funny, charming and adorably portrayed, even on paper. 10/10 for that blond-haired little firecracker.

 

I know some of you will disagree with me, and that’s okay. The beauty of literature is that it can be interpenetrated and enjoyed differently from each person, and that’s a fantastic thing.

This is just one fan’s take on it, and it wasn’t positive. It felt like fan-fiction. I can’t actually imagine this storyline being pitched to Rowling and her saying “Yes, this sounds great. Let’s do it”. She created a whole entire world of magic and wonder and it was AMAZING. To this day I still live and breathe Harry Potter and, to be honest, I feel let down that this is what we’ve been waiting for. There it is. I’m just a girl, standing in-front of her audience, asking them to understand her </3.

Will I go and see the play? Of course I will, because I’m a huge hypocrite and live and breathe the wizarding world of Harry Potter. I pledge my allegiance to Dumbledore’s Army. Potter ’til I die.

 

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I’d be super interested to know how you found The Cursed Child, please let me know in the comments below, or on Twitter at @dimmickhead!

 

Dear Younger, Thinner, Less-Wise Me…

If you look up ‘The Worst’ on Urban Dictionary there’s a picture of me looking sheepish next to my laptop.

These past few months have been a total roller-coaster, and I’m absolutely knackered just thinking about it to be honest. I’ve said so many times that I’ll pull my finger out and get back to blogging on the reg’, but adult life gets in the way and, by the time I collapse onto my settee every evening, I can barely muster up the strength to change the TV channel never mind get my thoughts in order for a blog post.

Well, that’s OFFICIALLY going to change. I’ve written it down now. A bloggers contract is binding, probably. I will be annoying you all with weekly posts from now until the E N D  O F  T I M E.

A uni-mate of mine posted a blog entitled ‘Dear Me…’ today (read it here, and you’ll want to follow her around screaming Little Mix – Little Me lyrics at her for a few hours. Totes emosh), and being the little idea-stealer that I am I thought I’d do the same. Not only will it get me posting again, but it’ll give you all a little insight of what I’ve been up to since I dropped off the face of the earth.

So here’s my rendition of things I’d like to blag my younger self about:

Dear younger, thinner, less-wise Lauren,

Well well well, look at you. You’ve only went and got yourself into your first choice for uni, and the time has come to wave goodbye to the carefree life of being a teenager and join the REAL WORLD (haha, just kidding. Wait until you turn 21).

I know you’re scared, but I also know you’re super excited to prove yourself and become the best journalist that Sunderland Uni’s ever had the pleasure of producing. Well mate, you can forget about that.
You might have been number one blogger in your College classes up until now, but University’s going to be a whole new kettle of fish. You’re getting thrown in to the lions den, surrounded by people JUST as passionate and JUST as willing as you to get what they want. Some of them will trip and fall at the first hurdle, and you’ll secretly think “THANK GOD, one less competitor to worry about”. Others will be more willing to put in the blood, sweat and tears than you are (I know right, who’d of thought year 2 would make you so lazy?). Hell, some people will run journalistic-circles around you without even making an effort, which will be something you spend hours bitching about to your newest friends.

That brings us on to our next point. Over the next few years, you will meet some of the most amazing and diverse people. You’ll cry when you have to leave them, and still think about the great times you had together often. Like the, rightly labelled, Funnest Day Ever after handing in your dissertation, or played ‘Never Have I Ever’ on a school-night and wanted to die throughout your lectures.

You label yourself as an unsociable person, claim that you’d rather be on your own to concentrate on your work, but by-hell lassie, get a grip will you? The next three years will be the most isolating of your life, so grab these friendships and run with them. You’ll need someone to stay with you through all-nighters at the library after all.

As it happens, you’ll also make a different kind of friendship. While you’re Bridget Jone’sing it up, giving the death-stare anything with a penis that dares to cast their eye on you, you’ll swipe ‘right’ on Tinder and end up meeting the love of your life. Over the next few years you’ll get to know him – and you’ll seriously consider homicide in the process – but you’ll come to realize that nobody has ever ‘got you’ quite like him, or made you laugh even on your worst day. You’ll go on amazing adventures but be just as happy to spend an evening binge-watching Netflix and not communicating. Apparently he’ll feel the same about you, so much so that he’ll ask you to marry him two and a half years later. That’s right, someone wants to marry YOU. Even with your stinking attitude, pennance for desert and inability to let the little things go. If you could actually receive this message in good time and start the wedding diet in, say, 2014, that’d be great. You’re actually a house-end come 2016. Put the fork down. Srsly.

You’ll fly the nest. You will be SO relieved to be out, after living through three years of hell with a pair of pre-teens that communicate in either squeals or grunts, but once you’re moved in, you’ll be unpacking your books and the most emotional song in the entire world will come on the radio (Iris – GooGoo Dolls, FYI) and you’ll fall to pieces realizing that you don’t live with your mammy anymore. As it happens, you can’t get bloody rid of her now anyway, so that will make it sort of okay.

OH! I almost forgot to tell you the best bit. You’ll absolutely SMASH uni and realize exactly what your life’s heading for. True, we haven’t quite got things up and running yet, but it’s coming, I can feel it in my bones!

So yeah, your life is going pretty spectacularly so far. People love and care about you, you still have your hopes and dreams, and your future’s looking bright. Well, sometimes. You know how your mood-swings are.

Stop being such a nervous-pervis and go with the flow, it’ll all work out in the end.

I promise.

Lots of love,
Your older, wiser self x

P.S: You’re still bald. Soz.

 

 

ETSY MONTHLY FAVORITES [FATHERS DAY/JUNE]

So because I’m a big fan of all things cute and quirky, I’ve decided to start a monthly Etsy blog post, showcasing my favorite finds of the month. Sometimes I’ll incorporate themes, for example this post is based around fathers day since it’s coming up (June 21, DON’T forget!).

For anyone who’s been living under a rock, Etsy is an online marketplace where people from all around the world can sell their creations, from knitted blankets to custom-made jewelry.
It’s fricking fantastic really.

Here are my top picks for dad-related presents:

1. Personalized leather wallet

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£16.81, by engravingwiz
I’ve always thought that wallets are a perfect default present for all of the male species – they all need one after all. Having it monogrammed with your pops initials makes it personal, and it’s real leather which the majority of older men get really psyched about.
Unfortunately/, the $100 bill isn’t included. False advertising, much?
Buy it here.

 

2. Retro PACMAN T-Shirt
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£8.99, by KinkyNewtTees
I love this shirt, because that ghost’s just like ‘can u not’. It’s made with high-quality ink and material so it’ll last your dad a lifetime, which is good because he probably buys clothes like once every three years. What’s with that?
Buy it here.

3. Saving soap samples
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£6.73, by EcoChicSoaps
Aside from being extremely cool and original, these soaps made with a special formula that prevents cutting or chafing. Weighing in at around one ounce each, you can even choose your own scents. If your dad’s a particular fan of one, you can visit the sellers Etsy page and buy it in full-size!
Buy it here.

4. Star Wars themed mug
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£7, by PrintsmadewithLOVE
Apologize for all of those crap mugs you made him in primary school with this ~*banterus*~ replacement. It’s printed with the same design on both sides, and is completely safe for washing and microwaving.
Do or do not, there is no try(ing to top this gift).

5. Personalized apron
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£14.80, by MilliesGifts
Attention all UK residents: IT’S FINALLY SORT OF SUNNY BUT NOT REALLY BUT THAT’S ENOUGH FOR US ANYWAY. hot-ish weather goes hand-in-hand with barbecues, and if your dad’s like any other red-blooded male, he’ll feel that it’s his personal duty to get all up in there. This apron can be customized with his name, just in case it’s not Tim.
Buy it here.

What are you getting for the main man in your life? Let me know in the comments below.

@dimmickhead

#ALOPECIAPROBZ

Did you know that hair loss effects around 40% of women? So even if you’re not a sufferer of the disease, there’s a chance that at some point or another, you’ll be able to relate to this blog post.

It’s coming for you.

Just kidding.

Not really.

Maybe.

Alopecia is an auto-immune disease that can affect the hair follicles all over the body. More often than not, hair falls out in patches, but in some cases it can cause all of a persons hair to fall out. The disease can be caused by a weak immune system, or it may run in the family.

NOTE: I’ve lived with alopecia totalis since I was 12, and have a very blase attitude about it. I do understand, however, that other sufferers may not take it so lightly, so please know that no offence was intended when writing this blog post. Everybody’s experience with hair loss and alopecia is different, and I’m not claiming that everyone who suffers from it relates to these points. Try to take it lightly – it’s only hair after all.

Living with alopecia is a pretty big lifestyle change. At one time you could do the Willow Smith and whip your hair back and forth without a care in the world, but now you’re limited to small head turns otherwise you’re at risk of losing your hair piece, bandanna, or literring the floor with your molting hair. Here are some points you may come to expect if you find yourself follicly challenged:

1. Washing your wig and not being able to leave the house for two days
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And even after this grace period, it’s STILL damp. Am I supposed to put my whole life on hold while you drip-dry?

2. Hearing “You must save sooo much money on shampoo!”
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Yes, because I’m sure it’s that extra £2.50 a month that really breaks the bank. For the record, wigs are expensive, so whatever money we save on treatments and products is more than made up for.

3. You’ll become an expert at drawing on your eyebrows
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You WILL feel like they’re overly cartoon-ish, but you wont be able to walk five steps without people oggling them and asking how you do them so perfectly. Years of practice, darling *flips hair* (…figuratively, anyway).

4. The feeling of taking your bra wig off after a long day
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Holy crap, people with hair are really missing out on this experience.

5. Bandannas – the possibilities are endless
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So. Many. Choices.

6. Hair coming back in a weird order
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One eyebrow, knee hair and a slight mustache? Thanks, universe.
On top of this, feeling ‘the guilt’ for shaving/waxing off the unwanted hair, because you don’t want to seem ungrateful about what little victories you get.

7. Unveiling the baldness to friends and family
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And you get the warm fuzzies at how ‘cool’ they’re trying so hard to be. It’s okay to stare. I realize I resemble an un-peeled egg.

8. People will throw pity parties
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You know that they mean well, but it all gets a bit boring after a year or so. There’s only so many times you can smile and nod while people shower you in the pity that you so don’t need.

9. You’ll be constantly on edge for a sudden gust of wind
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Lest you’ll be chasing your wig/bandanna down the street. To be fair, it would be comedy gold.

It happened to me 

It was funny
… after a month. 

10. Dating, post-hair loss
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Of course, there’s the initial problem of casually slipping alopecia into the conversation. Then, you’ll sleep in your wig for months, scared in case your egg-head makes him run for the hills. Because of this, you’ll also get hella-painful chafing rash on your scalp which isn’t fun. The good news is, it’ll pass and, just like how you get lazy with doing your makeup for the BF, you’ll stop caring. Note: if he’s a good guy, he would have never cared in the first place.

11. The world is filled with dicks (no, not like that)
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There will always be some crap-weasel that thinks it’s funny to make jokes about your hair (or lack thereof), and it will affect you differently depending on what emotional stage you’re at. It’s one of those things you need to just get over and ignore, or have a mass of witty comebacks at your disposal.
I’m particularly fond of: “my hair will grow back, but you’ll always have a tiny penis”. Slay.

12. Even with a wig, you’ll never execute the perfect ponytail 

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Because NETTING.

13. You’ll get told ‘you’re so brave’
fine

I’m not dying guys…

14. You WILL get every cold/flu/virus going
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Because your immune system game is WEAK.

15. It’s easy to run from the law
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Because, you know, you can change your hair.
Ok, I’ll be honest, I ran out of points. There really aren’t that many #alopeciaprobz, but 14 is such a weird number to end on.

For more information or support for living with alopecia, visit the NHS website.

Who’s In My Bookshelf?

This week I left my post over at MyStudentStyle.co.uk, where I’ve been head of their book reviewing section for about three years. It was a sad decision, but since I can no longer be classed as a student (farewell sweet discount), it was time to move on.

The problem is, I’ve been left with a gaping hole where MSS used to be. So, I’ve decided to incorporate my love of books into the ol’ blog more, starting with a ‘Who’s In My Bookshelf?’ piece.

Of course, there are a lot more – possibly HUNDREDS more – fantastic writers in my bookshelf, but here are my top ten:

NOTE: Click on the authors pictures to be redirected to their Twitter. But wait until you’ve finished reading the post, otherwise RUDE. 

1. J.K Rowling
The Harry Potter Saga
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Well, I mean honestly. No book shelf is complete without the Harry Potter books. It’s worth mentioning that I absolutely rebuff any suggestion that these books belong in the Y/A section. I’m 100% sure that I and many others will be reading these books well into our eighties.
I’ll always love J.K and be eternally thankful that she’s given me this precious, magical world to live vicariously through.

2. Malorie Blackman 
Noughts And Crosses (+ Checkmate, Knife Edge, Double Cross), The Stuff Of Nightmares, Noble Conflict, Pig Heart Boy
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I was given my first taste of Malorie Blackman as part of a school project. Usually, any book that my teacher tried to lay on me ended up being incredibly tedious and boring. It turned out that we were only reading the first few chapters of Noughts And Crosses, but for the following days it just wouldn’t leave my mind. I ended up hounding my English teacher to let me borrow it and ten years later, I still haven’t returned it (sorry Miss B!).

3. Mark Edwards
The Magpies, Killing Cupid (co-written with Louise Voss), Forward Slash (also with Louise Voss), All Fall Down (with… guess who?), From The Cradle (once again, with Louise Voss), Because She Loves Me.
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Edwards is my absolute favorite thriller writer. When I first read The Magpies, I knew from the first few pages that this was the kind of book that I’d been looking for. It’s pretty hard to find a good thriller that isn’t predominantly aimed at the older gen’s, so since then I’ve hunted out anything he’s ever written. He writes a lot with another great thriller writer (if you couldn’t tell from his book list above), and he and Voss seem to have a fantastic repertoire for building the tension and drama.  

4. John Green 
The Fault In Our Stars, Looking For Alaska
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OK, Green is definitely under the classification of ‘young adult’, but I don’t even care. When everyone was having an episode over T.F.I.O.S, I wasn’t so sure that this type of book was really for me. I expected that it would be full of absolute sop in an attempt to pull at the heartstrings of the underage who liked to fantasize about ‘troo luv <3’. Christ I was wrong. Yes, Green’s books ARE very romantic

5. Rachel Abbott 
Only The Innocent
Rachel Abbott

I’ve only had the opportunity to read one of Abbott’s thrillers, but it was one of those stories that really leave you reeling for days. It’s the type of thriller where the story gets more and more seedy and sordid, yet you’re yearning for it to get worse… or maybe I’m just a freak? It may be oh so cliche of me to say, but her book really had me guessing from the first page until the last, and her latest, Stranger Child, is next on my list of downloads.

6. Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic novels/Twenties Girls/Remember Me?/The Undomesticated Goddess/Can You Keep A Secret?/Sleeping Arrangements
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Kinsella is absolutely the queen of the chick-lit genre. Her books actually make me laugh out loud (a lot of the time when I’m on public transport), and she’s a gift to literature that just keeps on giving. Her Shopaholic series is (currently) eight books long, so it’s great if you’re looking for a proper book-binge, say, on a long holiday.

7. Stephen Chbosky 
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
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Perks Of Being A Wallflower sort of left me speechless. I knew I wanted to see the movie, and everyone knows that the book is ALWAYS  sometimes better, so I decided to speed-read. Even if that wasn’t the plan though, it would have still happened because I literally couldn’t put it down. As equally funny as it is touching, it made a real impact on me and it’s one of those stories that I know I’ll love forever.

8. Stephen King
The Shining/Carrie
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I have a very limited amount of what I would call ‘oldies’ in my bookshelf. I’ve always much preferred the recent and modern, and something about the wording in most of them just make my eyes glaze over. This definitely isn’t the case with King’s books. I’m a bit funny with them though – Much like Joey Tribbiani and his freezer ritual, I can’t read these two unless it’s through the day and there’s another person at least a meter away.

9. George R.R. Martin
A Song Of Ice And Fire Saga  (a.k.a Game Of Thrones)
georgie

I got into GoT and binge-watched the lot in a few weeks (leaving me up to date for the latest season) but was left with lots of plot-holes that I didn’t understand, probably because there’s just SO MUCH going on! ASOIAF really helped me to understand the story-lines properly, plus they infused the story for me since there’s a lot the program missed out. That being said, Martin is an arsehole and if he kills of Tyrion I’M NOT WATCHING IT ANYMORE OK?!?!

10. Babe Walker*
White Girl Problems
babe

Oh, Babe Walker. A fictitious spoilt little bitch thought up by the geniuses behind the @whitegrlproblem Twitter account, she spends her days living the life of luxury and being generally horrible to everyone that she meets. The weird thing is though, you really relate to her. I am by no means a middle class Y/A with entitlement issues, but some of the things she comes out with… I swear she reads my mind, and she’s just braver than I am to say it out loud.

Who’s in your bookshelf? Let me know in the comments below, or catch me on Twitter at @dimmickhead!

Star Wars Explained By Someone Who’s Never Seen It

How hard can it be, really?

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I understand that the opening scene is words flying through the galaxy, thanks solely to Family Guy’s spoof. It’s explaining that this story is set thousands of years in the future, in a galaxy far, far away (that’s a Star Wars thing, right?).
After that we’re in a desert, panning, until we see our main character on his way to start the… mission. It’s Han Solo or Luke Skywalker, which until last year I thought were the same person.

They go to ‘base’ inside of their spaceship where a meeting is being held about the upcoming space-war. Just typical war-planning stuff really – who’ll do what, where everyone needs to be, what kind of space-weapons will be used. The usual.
Suddenly(!) one of the side characters enters. It’s the hairy one called Wookie, or the R2D2 computer person. He has an important announcement for the crew. Princess Leia, the most beautiful and only woman in the galaxy/movie has been kidnapped by the baddie DARTH VADER (btw, who is the Darth Vader character with the red face? Are they the same person? Is that red face under the mask? He kind of looks like the demon from Insidious).

Luke, Hans and the other space warriors get their heads together and try to formulate a plan to rescue her. One of them reveals that the only way to defeat Darth is to use… tHe FoRcE. Only one person in the galaxy knows how to use the force, and he’s a weird hybrid-troll-pickle called Yoda.

Star Wars Explained By Someone Who's Never Seen It

Condescending pickle Credit:

They play rock, paper, scissors to see who gets to go and learn… tHe FoRcE, and Luke wins, but it’s implied by the shocked look of the elders that “it’s not going to be easy, silly and naive boy”.

Luke travels to Yoda’s shack and probably meets some turbulence on the way, maybe those bear things. He escapes, but only just.

On arriving at Yoda’s pad, Luke needs to convince Yoda to teach him… tHe FoRcE, and gets pissy because Yoda’s on his high horse and thinks he’s the best thing in the galaxy, and Luke doesn’t have what it takes to succeed. Luke makes a sad speech about how he never knew his father and he only wants to prove himself and like, BECOME somebody, y’know? And Yoda smiles and it cracks his ol’ green face, followed by a cool training montage (much like Rocky but with more levitation and weird yoga). After a successful session, he is rewarded by a glowing stick that chops people’s hands off. I think Yoda dies at some point actually?

Credit: comicvine.com

Look at him. He is so ready for this.

Luke calls his team on the hologram and fills them in that he’s now a BTEC Jedi and they’re ready to go. They meet up and storm the spaceship with Leia and the bad guys are on, and there’s an epic battle scene where they kill Storm Troopers(?) and some of those bear-things. Someone says “LUKE! GO SAVE LEIA! WE’VE GOT THIS!” and Luke sneaks into a side-room and makes his way up to the communal room where Darth’s chilling out, convinced that these puny humans don’t stand a chance against his army of shit bags. Needless to say, he spits out his space-tea when Luke enters.
They do the talk thing, which is such a cliché in films, because you spend all this time dicking about ‘explaining’ why you want world(/galaxy) domination, and in that time you could’ve just killed him and it would be over by now. He sees that Luke has mad potential and asks him to join ‘the dark side’ and Luke says no because he is such a good male lead.

They FIGHT! With LAZER STICKS!

Star Wars Explained By Someone Who's Never Seen It

Pew, pew, pa pew!

I’m pretty sure that Luke loses a hand at some point, but for some reason keeps fighting because y’know, it probably doesn’t hurt that much. Finally, he has Darth in a headlock over a gorge, because whoever designed this spaceship obviously never heard of health and safety hazards. Darth yells ‘WAIT!’ and tells Luke that he’s his father. Luke says ‘Nooooooooooooo’ and falls to his knees. This gives Darth an inning, and he’s able to escape death.

Luke eventually realises that this is not the time to have a bitch fit and shit needs done. He gets up and goes to rescue Leia, who’s in a cell in a gold bikini. She’s so happy that she kisses Luke, even though this is the first time she’s ever met him and how does she know he’s not already in a relationship? Hussy.

They escape and all is well in the world. Later on, back at good-guy HQ they’re having a BBQ and discussing their epic win. Luke and Leia are sitting near the fire, sharing a blanket and looking all cutesie. Leia’s telling him a story about that time she went to Disney Land with her dad, and Luke’s all ‘so what does your dad do?’ and she says ‘oh he’s like, the dark guardian of the galaxy. What does yours do?’ and Luke’s face goes a pukey shade of white, and he gulps. And SCENE.

Oh wait, there’s also the gold guy.

There he is.

How did I do?

Is It Weird To Do A Review For Medicine?

Well, is it?

Either way, I’m doing it, because this product has CHANGED MY FREAKING LIFE. I’m well aware that I sound like one of those adverts that pop up on the side of your laptop when you’re on a freaky-deeky website, but it’s true and I don’t care who knows it.

LOVE

I AM IN LOVE WITH OTRIVINE NASAL SPRAY AND I NEED YOU TO KNOW WHY.

So I’ve been ill (on and off, but mainly on) for a month and a half. It’s typical that this would happen, as I’m smack-bang in the middle of doing my dissertation and I am that woman from Family Guy who ‘just CANNOT get sick right now’. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, click here and for goodness sake, get into Family Guy. It’s quality TV.

I’ve been getting maybe four hours sleep per night, and waking up feeling like Satan himself is sitting on my chest with his fingers up my nose, refusing me the right to breathe easy.

In short, it’s been a nightmare and all I’ve wanted to do is lie in bed, whimper and binge-watch Gilmore Girls. If various soup and sweet-tea were involved, it would be a bonus.

I’ve never believed that there was an actual cure for stuffy noses. Everyone got them, and you just deal with it because that is life. Can we also all collectively agree that Vicks VapoRub is nothing but a comfort blanket that our parents fake-soothed us with when we were young and sniveling?

Aside from that, I’ve tried those weird sniff-sticks (that did nothing but make me feel like I’d rubbed acid directly into my eyes), hot showers, the head-over-the-sink-with-hot-water-running technique, and of course the weird ritual of lying in bed on your side until the blockage shifts to your other nostril, then turning over and repeating the process. They’re all short-term fixes that just make your snuffy-ness come back with an evil vengeance.

Anyway, as normal and expected as colds might be, there’s no denying that they’re extremely bloody annoying and make you feel like shit for an unknown amount of time. When will it end?!

But it’s okay now, because I have the answer.  It will end RIGHT NOW (or as soon as you can get to a pharmacy).

I decided that enough was enough: I was going to take control of my life, with help from Susan at Boots.

Putting on my best ‘I’m really poorly and require the good-stuff’ voice, I asked Susan to save me. She gave me a knowing smile, and handed me Otrivine Nasal Spray. Skeptically, I bought it, picked up a bottle of Night Nurse (best. ever) and said ‘dank you’ to Sues and left for some privacy. As ill as I may be, I wasn’t standing in the middle of a packed shop sticking something up my horn.

Tilt your head forward, spray the… spray, and inhale (as) deeply (as you can when you’re dying from asphyxiation). No horrible taste in the back of my throat, no eye watering, and NO BLOCKED NOSE. I couldn’t believe it. I could have wept right there in the ladies loo’s. My quality of life instantly arose by around 80% and I wanted to march down to Otrivine HQ and kiss the inventors straight on the mouth.

Alas, as much as I wanted to do that, I wanted to have a good night’s sleep more. And that I did – soundly, deep and un-awakened by suffocation of the nasal-region.

I completely get that this is a really weird review to do, but if it helps just ONE over-reactor/hypochondriac like myself who’s awake at 3AM looking for miracle cures for a run-of-the-mill cold, then I have done my job.

Go forth, my people, and breathe.

NOTE: If you’re wondering, yes I have replaced my boyfriend with Otrivine on the feature image. It means that much to me. 

MORE NOTES: Otrivine lasts up to ten hours, so only take it up to twice a day. I’d recommend saving it for first thing on a morning and last thing at night, when you always feel the worst. Also, keep some tissue handy when you use it, because for a few seconds your nose will leak like a mother-fucker. 

ONE MORE NOTE: I just found out the RRP for it is £2.65. I paid almost a fiver for it. I thought we were friends, Susan.