Adventures of Frangipan

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


Apparently in the years that I haven't been using trains I have forgotten how they work. I think too much like a driver now. Today I missed a train from Rhyl because I was trying to find the alternative parking that I didn't know about. I then tried to race the train to Chester station, and naturally I lost.

I'm annoyed because I was there with time to spare, but only assuming I could've parked straight away and not drive around the loop system 3 times looking for the car park. I'm annoyed because I stopped to get change for the car park, which I then didn't need.

But most of all I'm annoyed because I made a totally irrational decision to chase the train (!) rather than walk into the station and find out when the next train was. I drove like an idiot, and usually I'm quite proud of the fact that I drive well.

I never made it to Cardiff. Had I waited in Rhyl there would've been another train and I could've got a connection further along and only been about 30 minutes late. Instead I missed that one as I drove to Chester, and the next train would've got me there almost 2 hours late (for a 4 hour meeting).

Mum made a comment about me being able to get myself around the world but not to Cardiff. I always consider it to be a much bigger problem abroad, so I'm always prepared and hanging around stations. Except for that one time on my way back from Guatemala, but a delayed flight is hardly my fault. I underestimated the little complications that can crop up for a journey to Cardiff.

So two lessons learnt. One: scope out the situation the day before to see if I need to allow extra time. And two: stop and consider the rational and irrational choices before making a decision.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Mounted Games friendly ... Solihull 15th March 2009

This week the Senior A team was Anya, Nan, Wednesday, Ceri and Suzi. The B team was Yaz, Mari, Anna, Eleri and Ross. Both teams won two of their heats but unfortunately made a few mistakes in others. Both teams finished the heats on 16 points and made it into the B Final.

The A team won three of the finals, and the B team won two of the finals. Unfortunately the A team also had a couple of mishaps, so they finished the competition in 3rd place on 19 points, and the B team finished in 2nd place on 21 points.

The Juniors were on later. The team of Eden and Sophie Greaves, Alys Williams, and Charlotte and Tomos Williams, were competing against 7 other teams. They finished all their heats in third or fourth place, and were in the B final.

But then they really pulled the stops out - they won 5 of the 7 finals and won the B final with 22 points. So the youngest and most novice team have got their year off to a great start!

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Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Coleen's Real Women

It wasn't my choice: I was forced to watch.

So essentially she gets a bunch of not-skinny girls with slight imperfections, dolls them up with fancy hair and make-up and in nice clothes, and sends them off to photo shoots. They then compete against professional models for contracts.

My first issue is with the "real". I'd be interested to find out if these girls are photoshopped in post production. And the idea of doing them up and sending them to a photo shoot doesn't seem too real. So I'm not too sure what she's challenging. Just the idea that "fat girls" can't be models? Surely we already have that with plus-size models?

While she may feel she's challenging the modelling industry, she isn't really going far enough. She is still working well within its usual confines. Perhaps the changes I want to see need some sort of alliance between like-minded folk within the industry who decide that the whole lot needs an overhaul, and set new 'best practice' guidelines or 'minimum standards' for themselves.

For me the bigger issue is these unrealistic targets that are aimed at us through marketing. Every photo in every campaign is done with cleverly thought out lighting, exposure and camera angles. Models are nipped and tucked in post production until the end result looks nothing like the real person.

Then we we've got the whole 'size zero' models and celebrities in general being pushed to get thinner and thinner, until we end up with the lollipop heads like Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, and so on. So girls crash diet because apparently anything bigger than a size 8 (UK) is enormous, and curves are just plain wrong. They have a crappy self-image because they're aspiring to unreal, unrealistic images of girls that have been made up for hours and at great expense.

And the weird thing is, these models are gorgeous anyway. They'd look even better with a bit of meat on their bones. Would it be so terrible to see them in a more natural way? I'm not saying no make-up or hair-styling whatsoever, but something a bit more everyday.

Monday, 2 March 2009

New Music

I've had a band on my list of 'ones to check out' for some time. Finally got round to visiting their myspace page, and thought they deserved a mention. They are The King Blues - a mix of rock, reggae and punk. They're doing some live dates very soon...

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