Wednesday, 3 December 2014

ICYMI: Letters || Ground Zero

Due to me wanting to merge my two blogs I have created this "In Case You Missed It" series to transfer all the posts that I published on my other blog to this one. I hope you enjoy it!

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Letters will be the first series that I shall start on this blog.

As the title suggests, it will be a collection of letters written by various characters that I dream up making their voice heard via the written word.

All Letters will be posted on a Sunday; a day the postman does not come to visit.

Thanks in advance for taking a peek!

Yours truly,


Monday, 1 December 2014

Movie Mondays: The Imitation Game

Out of all the films I wanted to watch last month, The Imitation Game is the one that I was destined to see. I don't know if you know this but Mathematics and I have a bond so fiercely strong, only a few things can compare. And when a film highlights its beauty and power I cannot help but fall in love with it. The Imitation Game is such a film and so so so much more. It is both simple and complex; funny yet sad. It is a film that I do hope you get the chance to see as I know it is a good'un.

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I saw this movie on a nippy Sunday afternoon with Mercy after having quite a yummy lunch with my brother. Sitting in my favourite seat, I watched the hauntingly beautiful story unfold and was at a complete loss for words by the end. It was like I was being told the same story through three different media harmoniously through the flawless acting, the enchanting soundtrack and time. Embedded in The Imitation Game you will find, along with the power of friendship, team work and honesty, three love stories which are sure to make you at least contemplate reaching for a tissue. And as you have probably guessed already, I love this movie. 

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The Imitation Game is a thriller based on the life of Alan Turing, a fantastic British mathematician who is referred to as the father of computer science, and his team of code breakers during World War II as they attempt to crack the elusive Enigma code at Bletchley Park. Though not a documentary, this compelling drama does bring to the forefront the story of a great mind that was gone before he and the world could comprehend his capabilities. The highly engaging script written by Graham Moore (Pirates vs Ninjas; The Waiting Room), which was based on the book "Alan Turing: Enigma" by Andrew Hodges, was brought to the screen under the wonderful direction by Morten Tyldum (Headhunters; Fallen Angels; Buddy). The bewitching soundtrack which is definitely a character in its own right in this film was composed by Alexandre Desplat (Philomena; Zero Dark Thirty; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 &2). And the outfits of the characters, especially Joan Clarke, whose designs were overseen by Sammy Sheldon (Kick Ass 2; X-Men: First ClassV for Vendetta) had me wanting to raid all the vintage shops within a 5 mile radius. There are several other aspects of this film that also demanded my attention but if I list them all we will be here all day. This passion project which is said to have been produced with a budget of about $15 million is one I am really glad I got to see.

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I have to say the actresses and actors gave such remarkable performances that they, along with everything else, pull you easily into the world of The Imitation Game where you lose yourself in the story being told. Alan Turing, a slightly misunderstood but brilliant multi-layered man who accomplished a lot in his fields of study and served his country well was portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock; 12 Years A Slave; Starter for 10). Joan Clarke, a strong, kind and intelligent mathematician and cryptanalyst who played a part in helping to crack the Enigma code was brought to life by Keira Knightely (Begin AgainAnna Karenina; Never Let Me Go). Hugh Alexander, a passionate cryptanalyst who was also part of the team of those trying to decipher the Enigma code was played by Matthew Goode (The Good Wife; Leap Year; Watchmen). A keen Manchester based detective called Robert Nork was played by Rory Kinnear (Penny Dreadful; SkyfallWild Target) and Allen Leech (Downton Abbey; In FearFrom Time to Time) played the role of the seemingly perceptive intelligence agent, John Cairncross. Mark Strong (Before I Go to Sleep; Zero Dark Thirty; Kick-Ass) took on the role of the highly skilled Chief of MI6 whilst James Northcote (Belle; Anna Karenina; Wuthering Heights) played the friendly and talented mathematician, Jack Good who was also a member of the team of those attempting to break the Enigma code alongside Alan Turing. The actors Alex Lawther (x+y) and Jack Bannon (Fury) took on the roles of young Alan Turning and Christopher Morcom respectively whilst Charles Dance  (Game of Thrones; Patrick ; Starter for 10) played the role of the impatient Commander Denniston who does the best he can for his men and country. All in all the cast for The Imitation Game is a powerful one as are the characters they bring to life.  

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For those who are in the mood for an emotional historical film that has intrigue, drama, great lines and an appreciation for the power of mathematics, then The Imitation Game is for you. Alan Turing is a man who, along with many others, made great waves in bringing about the end to World War II. His contributions towards breaking the Enigma code, though classified for many years, were quite significant. But it is the way he was treated because of who he chose to love that fills me with much sorrow. This film deals with a few topical issues that are sadly still issues today. Although progress has been made, we still have quite a way to go in ensuring equality for all.

Have you seen The Imitation Game?

Mo x


Photo Credit: Jack English//The Weinstein Company

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

ICYMI: Untitled Novel || Excerpt

Due to me wanting to merge my two blogs I have created this "In Case You Missed It" series to transfer all the posts that I published on my other blog to this one. I hope you enjoy it!

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Today's entry will be about a girl called Ava. This is a fictional story written by me. If this tale resembles your life it is purely coincidental.

Yours truly,
Mo x

I didn't do too badly if you ask me’.

Dominic took a quick look at me and said, ‘Did you at least remember to use deodorant this time?’

I sigh and quickly reach behind my seat to find my secret stash of toiletries. As you may have already come to this conclusion, this is not the first time I have been late for school. I almost kill us both with the fumes from the evil lavender smelling canister. Dominic throws me an evil glare as he winds down the window. I smile apologetically and put the deodorant away. We finally get to school and both dash out of the car, running to get to our first class of the day.

You are making a habit out of this Miss Johnson’.

I smile apologetically at my Media Studies teacher, Mr Zone and take my usual seat at the back of the class right behind Nickev. I shake my head to stop myself heading down that treacherous route. Day dreaming about Nickev is not the way to go for any girl who wants to remain in control of herself because as soon as you make that fatal mistake, he will forever have a hold on you and all you can do is pretend that he doesn't to his face.

Lying to yourself is just not cool.

Lying to everyone else, however, is sort of okay when your reputation is at stake.

It is not hard to concentrate in Mr Z’s class because he is by far my favourite teacher and one of the main reasons I want to study Journalism at uni. He was the one who came up with the brilliant idea that is the school newspaper created for and by the students. Now we have our own website thanks to the amazing collaboration between the IT, Media Studies, Eng. Lit. and Art students as a huge project that was worth 30% of our grades. It was so much fun to do and I got to make friends with people I wouldn't normally look twice at. 

After we watched a one and a half hour documentary on the “Doom and Gloom of the Demand and Supply of Oil and Power Today”, Mr Z asked us what our views were on both the topic and the way the documentary was delivered.  A debate between a group of students broke out.

Now I am sure Ava has something to say on that subject’, said Mr Zone, pulling me out of my thoughts.

The whole class sighs in unison as they turn to look at me. Ok, it is not my fault I am strongly opinionated and make my voice heard. I look up at Mr Z who is waiting for me to say something but my mind is completely blank. I honestly don’t know that much about big oil companies and their plans to make us destitute before we even think of buying cars and filling them up with petrol or diesel. So I simply say-

I have nothing to say on that subject sir’.

Is that because you agree with what the reporter was saying or do you have no clue what is going on in any sector apart from…oh wait, no you don’t know much about fashion either’, said Nickev coolly. Most people sniggered at that remark. He was one of the few people who did not bother to turn round to look at me.

I close my eyes and count to ten before I say, ‘I am not sorry that I don’t dress the same way as those insipid barbie dolls you hang out with and date do. And I do know a thing or two about fashion. I just do not like the way it's heading. As for the clip about the upheaval in the oil sector, you are right I do not know much about it but I don’t go around making people feel bad to make myself feel better’.

I stand up from my seat, gather my things and make my way out of the class but Mr Z tries to stop me before I reach the door. Luckily for me he sees the tears in my eyes and lets me go. As I make my way to the student common room I secretly pray that Nickev runs out of the class after me to apologise and sweep me up in his arms and -

'What's wrong Ava?' I'm asked by my good friend Kemi who is skivving her Math class as she always does on a Thursday morning; not because she hats Maths but because she is way ahead of the class already. She makes room for me on this huge table she's sat at which is completely covered with graphs on what lookes like vectors, textbooks and notesI sit down next to her and rest my head on her shoulder. She wraps her arms around me which instantly makes me feel loved.

Kemi is by far the best girlfriend ever! She knows exactly what to say at the right time, is her own person, she is smart and too kind sometimes. She sticks up for you even when you are clearly in the wrong and usually wins the argument. I have known her for the past 3 years now since her parents dropped her off at her aunt’s and went back to Nigeria. And I can proudly say that I have loved her for that long.

I wipe away the tears that escaped from my eyes and raise up my head. I look her dead in the eye and she starts to smile. Her grin gets progressively bigger when I start to smile too. I shake my head and she says, 'What altercation have you and Nickev gotten into now?'

I sigh and cover my face.

Kemi gasped. ‘You are going red!’ She giggles and then when she sees my face she stops immediately and I can see her trying to think of anything that will make her stop laughing. People start clambering into the common room which means its time for our Psychology class.

He dissed my style’.

Erm…what style, child?’ she says in a Southern American accent. ‘You need help in that department honey. I mean I know you like your comfort but there are other ways of being comfortable’. 

I laugh.

So you are taking his side now?’ I say as I wait for her to pack up her stuff.

No, hun. I’m on your side one hundred percent’, she says looking at me, a little hurt by my accusation. ‘I am just saying, it wouldn't hurt for you to at least put some effort into your “look” or at least shower before you come to school’. 

I instinctively sniff myself and decide I don’t reek enough to be lethal. On our way to our next class we bump into no other than Nickev. He takes one look at us and before he has a chance to say anything I head into my Psychology class that was conveniently two steps away. Kemi tuts at him as she enters the classroom and sits down next to me. I sneak a look at the door to find Nickev staring straight at me. As soon as our eyes lock he chuckles and walks away. I feel my face burning as I have once again let him know that I care what he thinks of me.

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This is one of many unfinished works of mine. Reading it again does make me cringe a bit but it has also made me want to continue writing this story and see how it ends. I wonder, do you have any hidden gems tucked away on your laptop?

Mo x

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