I know. It’s been a while.

There is certainly plenty to be said and done. In the world that many of my friends are in, we are on the verge of entering into the big bad world. Many fridays will come and go, but remember they are fridays for a reason. Quit the working week and let the the blind weekends follow.

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Its Lemon Meringue Pie Day!… oh and some others…

So the itch has finally come back to write something and it’s after a couple of drinks and a friends bon voyage party that I decide to sit awake and type…

Trying to bring back to the original theme of this blog, which was getting myself to write every Friday, I have decided to cover what is being celebrated today.

Thus I turned to ye old faithful… www.checkiday.com, where they have a list of what is we are suppose to be doing this Friday. And boy… there are some weird ones today.

 Lets being with: Chauvin Day

WTF? You might ask! A day named for Nicholas Chauvin, French soldier from Rochefort, France, who idolized Napoleon and who eventually became a subject of ridicule because of his blind loyalty and dedication to anything French.

So how does this relate to me? Hmmmm?

Well the only French I can think that relates to me is my second name, Toon. Apparently Toon is a variation of the French for town, meaning that my family never moved from where they settled (great…)

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*My Family should have moved*

The next weird celebration is: Failure Day

And ill let you into a little secret *shush* but I secretly wrote this on Saturday and changed the posting day to the Friday, because ultimately cinema, pizza and alcohol was a much better choice for the night, therefore making me a failure for this day.

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Bar far the best celebration: Lemon Meringue Pie Day

Its Lemon meringue pie day!

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Lemon meringue pie is probably the best dessert on this planet and rather me giving you a recipe here is the queen of puds telling you how to make it! So go and make it!!

*Side Note* Couldn’t find Mary Berry’s video therefore you can have someone else’s video recipe (sorry, I’m not sorry.)

Apparently, its: Male Grooming Day

I must be out the loop with this one because I don’t actually use any grooming products *mainly because I can’t afford them…*, even for shaving I probably just go what my granddad did and use good old fashion soap!

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And finally: National Relaxation Day!

Now, in my books everyday is National Relaxation Day! Screw living a stressful life. Don’t worry about things that you have no control over and just push them to the back of your head. If you want a nap, take a nap! If you want to drink, then drink! If you want to make bad choices that involve a whole lemon meringue pie then by god make those damn choices! Because at the end of the day if it helps you take the edge of the day, then do it!

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Anyways, until next Friday,

Peace out.

and for one more time because I love this gif…

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I’m back…

It has certainly been a while since I really last posted anything and just lately have gotten the urge to write something. A friend of mine has just started getting into blogging and pushed me to post at least a little bit of something. I thought I’d just share a couple of bits of music I have been listening to and write something with a bit more substance on friday and attempt to get back to what I started writing this blog for.

Song no.1 – The John Wayne, by Little Green Cars

Song no.2 – Furr, by Blitzen Trapper

until friday then,

peace out.

WOWFEST: “Male friendships doesn’t give them permission to talk.”

WOW Festival – Day 2

BEING A MAN – Anthony Anazagorou, John McKeown and chaired by Jude Kelly

 

“Male friendships doesn’t give them permission to talk.” Is the perfect introduction from Jude Kelly, who surprisingly is the only woman on the panel of the Being A Man talk at this years WOW Festival. Suggesting that men are the same as women, Jude goes on to give the audience the platform that we need to approach feminism and gender in a different way.

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From all of the talks I was assigned to this weekend, this was one of the top three I was most excited about. Not because it was finally something I could relate too, but was also the first talk that I went too that actually approached the male paradigm in feminism. Although I am going to be particularly careful with what I actually say, this was by far the best talk I went to, because it addressed the idea that men, like women, are equally not given a chance within society.

 

I believe, personally, that there isn’t such a thing as suppression within females, but a repression within gender. “It isn’t a one way street” as Jude describes it and suggests that men are also victimized when it comes to societal roles. For example, if we go back to the theme of the weekend, which seemed to be “not feminism, but rather power” there are countless examples of where men are victimized for being males, such as with parents splitting and custody going to the mother, the abortion of an unborn child being decided by the mother and many other cases. This talk really got me thinking about how we need to see each other as equal and not against each other. Gender needs to work with each other rather than trying to over throw one another.  Anthony Anaxagoras, a young poet, suggests that we need to move away from stereotypes within both male and female genders and enter a new world.

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By far the most interesting and thought provoking talk I attended, which was down to Jude Kelly’s perfect chairing of the panel who bought out the best in each of the speakers.

 

Many thanks to Southbank Centre’s WOW – Women of the World Festival 2014 for putting together an amazing pair of individuals.

 

Find out more here –

http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/women-of-the-world

Highlights

  • Hearing Jude Kelly’s thoughts on men in society from a positive rather than negative view.
  • Hearing the story of Anthony Anaxagoras and over coming the stereotype of a young, mixed race male who broke the world of poetry.

 

‘Best quotes’ from the talk

  • “Men are never given a chance to voice their opinion [in social settings]”
  • “Men are trapped, the same as women”
  • “Women demonize men – and vice versa”
  • “Why do men walk away from their families so easily? This needs to be addressed!”
  • “ I was asked ’Does this mean you have daddy issues?’, to which I just responded ‘no’”

WOWFEST: “Men fight, it’s the Women that keep society together.”

WOW Festival – Day 2
Refusing to be silenced – Elena Kudimova, Masih Alinejad, Lorraine Jordan and chaired by Mariana Katzarova

“Men fight, it’s the women that keep society together” is the response from Mariana Katzarova, founder of RAW in WAR (Reaching All Women in WAR), when questioned on how women have power in a war torn country. But the main question to be answered through this talk was who are the women that risk their lives to speak the truth?

As an audience, we were presented with four of the strongest woman I have come to meet in all of my life. In front of me where women who, considered powerless, held all the power in their hands at one point. Whistle blowers, activists, feminists are all words that I would connote with them but one of the four women stood out the most – Masih Alinejad.

Taking light from my talk with Maxine Peake (find that here – https://whatsgoingonfriday.wordpress.com/2014/03/08/wowfest-justice-is-only-for-the-people-who-can-afford-it/) who focused on the idea of bringing women’s stories to the front of media, I decided rather than focusing on the talk as a whole, I would have a short discussion about Masih Alinejad’s story.

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Alinejad, currently living in exile in the UK, is an Iranian journalist and writer. Alinejad now works as a reporter on TV and as a correspondent for Farda, but her life has been far from settled.

Politically active from a young age, Masih was trying in every way to become a part of change and could be found producing leaflets that critiqued the Government from just the of 18. She truly began her career in 2001 when she became a journalist and began working in many papers. Soon she moved on and became a political journalist, giving her access to her government and politicians.

Whilst in parliament, Masih uncovered a lot of secrets about corruption and in 2005 she wrote an article that showed a considerable sum of money was given to MPs as a New Year bonus. The article generated lots of controversy and led to her dismissal from the parliament. Through journalism, Masih had reached a level of power in her career that gave her the leverage for change. Unfortunately things got worse after her dismal.

Masih described to us what she went through that shocked the audience. She received death threats from people in high places and did not know where to turn. She was pregnant with her first child when her, and her family, were thrown into prison where she was left for over a month before being released. All of this happened because she held power, and no body liked it. She spoke out and paid the consequences, like being exiled from her country of birth.

Masih now, like all of the other speakers on the panel, campaigns that people can expose corruption and speak the truth without having to be put in danger.

The talk was concluded with a performance from Lorraine Jordan, which a small section of can be seen below.

Many thanks to Southbank Centre’s WOW – Women of the World Festival 2014 for putting together an amazing pair of individuals.

Find out more here –
http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/women-of-the-world
http://masihalinejad.com
http://www.rawinwar.org

Highlights
• Masih Alinejad’s story
• An impressive live Skype call from a journalist in Syria
• The performance from Lorraine Jordan

‘Best quote’ from the talk
“Men fight, its women that hold society together.”
• “We will not be scared! We will not be silenced!”
• “I am just a woman.”

WOWFEST: Malala Yousafzai

I didn’t really want to do a post about this talk as there are many other great bloggers I’m working with who actually reported on this event, ill try and find their addresses and link you to them.

But any how, we had a right to-do trying to get in, ill write about that at a later time.

For now here is a video I took whilst in the amazing hall. (sorry for the shaky parts… I’m not sorry)

 

Many thanks to Southbank Centre’s WOW – Women of the World Festival 2014 for putting together an amazing talk.

WOWFEST: “Justice is only for the people who can afford it!”

WOW Festival – Day 1

Maxine Peake – chaired by Jude Kelly and Maxine Peake

“Justice is only for the people who can afford it” are the ominous first words from the leading actress in the BBC’s Silk, Maxine Peake. Just coming from a march, where she joined barristers and lawyers in protest against the cut of legal aid, Peake sits on the stage and explains to the audience that we need to act, and we need to act now! In complete silence, the audience hangs on every word she says.

*Apologies for the quality*

*Apologies for the quality*

Maxine Peake is one of the stellar actresses from the UK who is best known for her many roles in portraying powerful women within society. Personally, I grew up with Peake in her perfect performance of Veronica Fisher in Channel 4’s Shameless, where she played a tough council estate woman willing to fight to the bone to get what she wanted. Also remembering from reruns on Comedy Gold of her comedy acting as Twinkle in Victoria Wood’s Dinner Ladies. Peake certainly has a strong set of female personas under her belt.

But it was Peake’s presence at WOWFEST that really got the audience motivated and engaged in the core values that the festival holds. Empowerment. Independence. Individuality. Throughout Peake’s entire career she mentions that she has always guided herself and only done what she has thought as right, never feeling influenced or under pressure to do something. Even from an early age at drama school Peake says she took “a realistic approach to acting” and knew her limitations, which in return gave her power. However, in recent light Peake has decided to through caution to the wind and says “If someone thinks I can do it, I’ll do it” and now leaves all her acting choices to people who believe in her.

Peake goes on to discuss how it is important to bring women’s stories to the front of the media, in not only the news, but also in the theatre and the arts. She says: “women’s stories are calling solidarity” around the world and we need to come together to change the way women are stereotyped in society.

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Speaking on her latest work, Peake describes her writing career and a set of radio plays she produced on women in the miners strike. Coming from a coal-mining town this was of particular interest to me and had me listening. She describes the story of three women and how they managed to occupy and strike down in the mines for 4 nights and 5 days. She uses this as a key example of bringing untold, powerful women’s stories to the front of the media.

Lastly, Peake talks about her latest venture into acting as the main in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, being one of recents, in a long line of many females, to act out the famous and testing role.

Many thanks to Southbank Centre’s WOW – Women of the World Festival 2014 for putting together an amazing pair of individuals.

 

Find out more here –

http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/women-of-the-world

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/463651/Silk-star-Maxine-Peake-joins-barristers-to-protest-legal-aid-cuts-in-Westminster

http://www.royalexchange.co.uk/news_detail.aspx?article=500#

 

Highlights

  • Maxine Peake’s rush to the stage from the floor, where she had been mentoring the public before hand, showing exactly how down to earth she is
  • Jude Kelly energy that kept delving deeper into Maxine’s.
  • The general and mutual respect from the whole audience and the speakers.

‘Best quote’ from the talk

  • “Justice is only for those who can afford it!”
  • “If you are a woman, and you are too talented, people are scared of you”
  • “Ambition and women are two very negative words in the media”
  • “If some thinks I can do it, ill do it!”
  • “Women’s stories around the world are calling solidarity.”
  • “No, no ‘Plan B’. That’s where you are going wrong” (in response to an audience member asking about going to drama school and having a back up plan. Peake says that if you want something enough all you need is a ‘Plan A’ and hard work)

WOWFEST: “You can’t win, so stop trying!”

WOW Festival – Day 1

Lynne Franks SEED Clinic pt. 1 – Lynne Franks and Stella Creasy

Imagine for a second you are a man. You walk up the impending steps towards the 5th floor function room in the Royal Festival Hall at London’s South Bank Centre. In the back of your mind you know this is the first piece of journalism you will be covering in your career as a writer and want to be fully prepared. You walk into the 5th floor function room and you enter what looks like is a garden and in that garden are around 30 women, ready to question and debate on the government and its influence on female ran businesses. To say the least, you feel scared, nervous, maybe a couple of sweaty palms. But, that all melts away when Lynne Franks introduces herself and puts you all at ease.

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Bright and bubbly, Lynne Franks, founder of SEED (Sustainable Enterprise and Empowerment Dynamics), begins by introducing her self and Stella Creasy; an MP devoted to women’s rights, and explains this is the 4th year running their clinic at WOWFEST. Franks implores that we all should workshop with each other and push our ideas further and then opens the floor to Stella Creasy, that’s when things get interesting.

Creasy, young and empowered, talks to us about her role in politics and how she is working on so many projects to help gain equality throughout many aspects in life. She says: “feminism isn’t about women, its about power!” which is completely true. She realises that equality is not a one way street, both men and women need to understand that there needs to be some shift in the power dynamic between the two, but they need to be done with knowledge and spread equally.

Although short, Franks and Creasy workshop showed that things are changing and that people need to stick with this time of equality. Their speeches were both inspiring and memorable from a male’s perspective and it will be truly great to see where they both go next, especially Creasy’s work in politics.

Many thanks to South Bank Centre’s WOW – Women of the World Festival 2014 for putting together an amazing pair of individuals.

Find out more here –

http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/women-of-the-world

http://www.seednetwork.com/php/summary.php?id=1&ID

https://twitter.com/stellacreasy

 

Highlights of the session:

  • Lynne Franks creating an environment that was natural and earthy to help plant the seeds of change and development.
  • Being sat around an table with 7 other individuals and sharing ideas.
  • Workshopping potential business ideas.
  • Stella Creasy and her speech on the toxic thoughts that hold women back from making decisions.

‘Best quote’ from the talk:

  • “Feminism isn’t about women, it’s about power!”
  • “You can’t win, so stop trying” (in response to women not trying to change the system but creating a completely new business environment to conquer)