The Mirror Cracked Black Mirror Series 4 Review

livingroom, reviews

I have to set the scene properly for this review.  We have to go back to the age of terrestrial television. No Uber, or swiping left for love, no Netflix n chillin, pre Facebook was your friend, Barack Obama was still POTUS and Trump was just a capitalist thug with power, time and money on his hands.  This was 2011, the year first series of Black Mirror aired and tramatised us all.  After watching the first episode (and then having to wait each week for the next episode- imagine) I remember having that back of the haunting feeling I experienced after first reading 1984.

Daniel Kaluuya plays the lead in 15 Million Merits Episode

Daniel Kaluuya plays the lead in 15 Million Merits Episode

The White Bear episode stalked my thoughts for months.  I was left questioning, society, my behaviour and how on earth Charlie Brooker could see and predict society with such clarity.

black-mirror-twists-white-bear

Jump forward a couple of seasons and a president and I hardly recognise the programme.  The excellent acting and diverse casting are still there but the morality tales have become more like fairy tales.  The brilliance of the previous series was the inability to be judgemental: Black Mirror was in the grey area of morality –

You asked questions that had no clear cut answers.

You wondered how many steps away you were from making the same choices.

You compared your behaviour to that of the characters.

But the most recent series posed none of these questions.  It has become Black Mirror’s insta account- it wanted to be liked.  The series has gone from a thought provoking self reflection of modern society to a piece of entertainment that we can easily distance ourselves as post reaction clips to youtube. #didyouseeblackmirror

San junipero

Gugu Mbatha- Raw and Mackenzie Davis in San Junipero

However, that’s not to say that I haven’t generally enjoyed watching the more recent episodes.  Even excluding season three classics like Nosedive and San Junipero there are still some stand out moments in season 4.

 

The Hang the DJ episode, a spin on online dating, left me with a warm fuzzy feeling inside after watching… Which is probably my point, we should look into the Black Mirror and be unnerved by the reflection.

Maybe we just live in such strange times that our reality really is more terrifying the TV.

I’ve probably risked invites to social gatherings for writing this.. but I dedicate the post to anyway who noticed it too but had no safe spaces to say it..😉

#WhatDoYouMeanYouDidn’tLike

Breaking Bad

BH xx

 

 

A letter of advice to Letterman

Celebrity, livingroom

So I watched the first episode of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction” on Netflix and was delighted and entertained by  David Letterman interviewing former POTUS Barack Obama.  An incredibly insightful, funny and inspirational 60 minutes of my life well spent.  The next episode with George Cloney also brilliant.

The third episode however started to go down hill.  Letterman bumbled his way through an interview with Malala so badly that it led me to wonder if Letterman’s researchers fully explained who the intelligent, dynamic women sitting opposite him was?  Malala’s reserved nature seemed to expose Letterman’s lack of confidence and how heavily he had relied on the wit and charm of his former guests to carry the previous episodes.

IMO, this was confirmed when Brooklyn’s finest took the stage the following episode.  I choose the words “took the stage” deliberately as that’s exactly what Jay Z did.  From the start, rather than try to establish a rapport with his guest, Letterman seemed focused on establishing their differences.  Mr Carter practically interviewed himself as Dave fired a barrage of questions to “understand” Jay Z as if he were from another planet and speaking orthodox Klingon.

Letterman even asked about the beef between East coast and West coast  and then tried to coax Jay into naming and shaming s***e rappers…  Yes really…in 2018!?  I’m not sure whether the insult to Jay- Z’s intellect or the irony of Dave talking about the pointless violence caused by the previous beef and then trying to instigate a new one, irked me the most.

Actually – it was that through the whole interview there never seemed to be a point where Letterman was genuinely interested in any of the answers to his own banal questions.  It was all too scripted and focused on set ups for links to bizarre musical interludes.

Letterman just spiralled downwards as he continued to ask more questions related to his own personal life (and failings) than about the multi-platinum artist stroke billionaire entrepreneur in front of him.  And that’s the crux of the failure of the series.  Letterman has never quite recovered from his 2009 transgressions.  The show is a desperate attempt and opportunity for David Letterman to share HIS story and to convince the world that he is sorry for his past behaviour and ask for forgiveness.

So my word of advice to Letterman…

Let it go and move on  – the world has.  

 

Latest series of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction now available on Netflix

Black Panther vs Django Black Pain Vs Black Joy

livingroom

I remember having to revisit the local cinema three times before being able to purchase Django Unchained tickets. The story of a slave fighting for his freedom in Southern America by white director Quintin Tarantino was sold out for weeks.

Rave reviews and the Guardian ‘comments section’ had packed out my local cinema with white, middle class movie goers – keen to say they’d seen Quentin Tarintino’s latest controversial smash.

Jump forward six years, again I visit my local cinema to watch the latest ‘controversial’ box office smash with rave reviews… Black Panther.

The audience couldn’t have been more identical but their reactions so different.

I sat through Django feeling perplexed, angered and confused. My experience was in stark contrast to the general excitement and buzz in the dimly lit room filled with the predominately white audience.

Laughter came freely at jokes (even at times when there were none .. use of the N word for example). It was easy for the audience to dislike the villian, the dastardely “house slave” and cheer as Django achieved his freedom helped of course of course by the selfless sacrifice of his German ally.

Compare this experience to watching Black Panther.

I sat through Black Panther in a state of utter joy. My heart was full with the imagery and my brain busy noting all the references and nods to African history, culture, archetictue, religion and brilliance. A complete opposite from watching Django with it’s playground like plantations, dogs ripping men to death, fights to the death (with hammers) and the inconceivable idea that someone would want/be able to have sex with someone after spending a day in a “sweatbox“…

Back in Wakanda however, the political relevance beautufully became an irrelevant normality as I the plot hooked me in and I simply enjoyed watching an awesome action movie.

I watched elated. Cheering, laughing and gasping as the plot dictated.

But I was very much an island in a cold and awkard sea.

My reactions (similiar to when I watched the “good” Avengers film) were alone.

The discomfort of the audience was palable. I imagine these were the same people cheering, laughing and gasping as the plot dictated during The Avengers (The good one).

Yet, the crowd was uncomfortable.

My guess is that simply: they were not used to seeing blackness in such a positive light and on it’s own terms.

Our society has created a world where some are more comfortable watching POC being abused or violently fighting to the death in “mandingo” fights than watching a black superhero save the world.

And if that isn’t a wake up call for the desparate need for better representation and diversity in the media and arts… I don’t know what is.

And it seems I am not in my opinion…

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/03/young-brixton-activists-recreate-film-posters-with-black-leads?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Shout out to these young people creating a change, not just talking about it. #legallyblackuk

So I ask you, what have you done today to create the change you wish to see?

BH xx

Love Without Limit

blogging

I never understood the freedom of homosexuality until my best friend of countless years introduced me to her girl friend.

Immediately I knew that my friend had fallen in love and that person happened to be a women. And although this may be incredibly obvious to others, for me homosexuality had always been about being attracted to your own sex. Which of course, for many is the simplicity and the reality of it.

But are both homos and hetros, missing out by limiting love to genitalia?

Does true unconditional love make gender irrelevant? Obviously, we generally aren’t just attracted to somebody because they are the same/opposite sex but I know I wouldn’t consider someone a possible love interest if they weren’t my prefered gender..

So I suppose the question is..

If you found somebody perfect for you, but they were not your usual/ preferred gender… Would you be open enough to love unconditionally or would you just pass them by?

Just some food for thought on this day we celebrate the ones we love.

Happy Valentines People 💗💗💗

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eYSbUOoq4Vg

I’m just not buying it

Nursery

I’ve decided I would like to rellocate to wherever the people defending H&M are from.  
I’ve read comment after comment across social media by people stating they do not understand why people are getting so offended.  

What a blissful existence they must have, to have never been exposed to the racist use of the word monkey.

I’d love my son to grow up in a place where black sports stars don’t have bananas thrown at them by the crowd or placed in their lockers by team mates.  Or basketball stars are compared to King Kong on the cover of fashion magazines.

A place where no one asks “Where’s your tail?” Or lets “f*&ing Monkey! ” slip during a heated exchange.  Or a child of colour is surrounded by peers in the play ground making monkey noises.  

A utopia where history was not rewritten to depict native Africans as infantile savages needing supervision by European invaders.

So please H&M defenders, reach out and let me know where you all live.. I’m sure you’d welcome me as your new neighbour- wouldn’t you? 

https://youtu.be/epEQhxslprE

Cheers to the fall

livingroom

In March this year, I fell off my bike and completely shattered my forearm and shoulder.  Three hours of surgery, one metal plate, 9 pins and a stay in hospital later, I was discharged home.  Being “fairly young” (surgeons exact words), I was                    expected to make a full recovery.

Physically, the prognosis seemed likely.  I’m fairly healthy (my exact words) and not shy to exercise.   But I just wasn’t prepared mentally for the initial helplessness I felt after the injury and the impact that had on me psychologically. I had been confronted with the fragility of the human body.  My body.  My fragility. My mortality.

I had gone from being a mother and care giver, to needing someone to help me wash, bath, eat, do my hair and help me to look after my son.

In some ways as time progressed things got harder.   I walked in constant fear and hyper vigilance, permanently petrified that someone would bump into my arm.  With the sling gone, there was no visual clue to say “Please don’t barge me I’m injured”  (Which should be a general rule for all pedestrians – but like anyone who has walked the Brixton High Street gauntlet from the Tube station, past Iceland until H&M knows, it’s each person for themselves, buggy or shopping trolley during rush hour.)

Fear and vulnerability become your daily way of life and after a while it’s becomes a tough mindset to get out of.

Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by love and support.  Not just from my amazing friends and family, but with small acts of kindness from complete strangers.  People would stop and offer to tie my shoe laces for me, even when insisted I was fine, or hold a doors, bags or the bubba.  Once a Good Samaritan even carried my bags all the way to my door step.  Those acts of kindness made me remember the beauty of humanity and the resilience of the human spirit, inspiring me to find the strength to push past my fears.

So I’m proud to announce that this week was first time since my accident that I got back on a bike.  Physically, I could probably have done it a couple of months ago, but we are all on our own journeys and this time mine took a little bit longer.

So thank you 2017 for showing me the beauty of true friendship, humanity, my inner strength and teaching me that it doesn’t matter how
many times you fall off that bike- GET BACK ON! Xx

 

 

Tis the season..

bedroom

A royalist I am not.  In fact, I believe the whole idea of monarchy is an antiquated method of crowd control.

However..

Every time I see a picture of Meghan and Harry it just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.  

I see the ridiculous, barely veiled racism in the typical media outlets.  I hear the “concerned” LBC listeners, who fear poor Prince Hazza “Doesn’t really understand what he’s doing”. (Roughly translated as: “That American vixen has cast her spell over our innocent prince!”) But they really can’t take my joy on this one.

As a person of mixed heritage, it’s not even the thought of future mixed race princesses running around Buckingham Palace calling Queen Elizabeth “Great Grandma” that makes me smile.  

Ok yes it is a little bit..

..but they wouldn’t be the first black British Royals in history- nods to Queen Charlotte.  

#APortugueseMoorByAnyOtherName

And it’s only partly to do with the fact that I still remember Chelsea Davie Harry.. in all his Hitler saluting, safari hunting, tiki cocktail sipping splendour.

It’s just simply that they are so clearly in love and that’s giving me all kinds of feels xx

Merry Christmas Everyone 

https://youtu.be/9p__WmyAE3g

My grand tour… Walthamstow 

bedroom

When my doctor told me that I needed to reduce my stress levels, a day trip to Walthamstow probably wasn’t exactly the remedy she had in mind.  But after being lured to the urban suburb with the promise of a mani and invite to the Spa Experience bloggers event- that’s exactly where I headed..

And it turned out to be the perfect tonic!

Hopping off at the “other end” of the Victoria line, the Waltham Forest Centre was a five minute bus ride from Walthamstow Central.  Initially deceived by the centre’s outward facade, once I walked through the Spa centre’s double doors I was transported  into what I think could possibly be the largest (and most peaceful) spa relaxation area in London 🙂
After mingling with other bloggers (this is of course is code for swapping IG deets and discretely swiping the last pain au chocolate from the hospitality table) I robed up and headed straight for the sauna and steam rooms.

With squeaky clean pores, I then opted for a Vinylux manicure (as I loath the removal process with gels) and an Elemis Superfood facial.  Sam, my beautician, was friendly, bubbly and a perfectionist! My nails haven’t looked this ladylike since the bubba started walking and I definitely had that post facial glow..

And what a difference it made to my whole day!

Feeling refreshed and ready to face the world again, I decided to delay my journey home and explore E17 with an impromptu visit to the William Morris Gallery. Which turned out to be the perfect place to show off my new lady nails (it was only fair I pointed to each display and slowly nodded my head in a thoughtful manner) and it was also a perfect opportunity for a spot of quirky Christmas shopping.
And since I was in the area and feeling footloose and fancy free…

I popped into Gods Own Junk Yard– Yup from from 19th century arts and crafts movement to a Neon necropolis in about 10 mins.
So the moral of this post?
1. If you want energy to do more learn how to take some time out to do less…

https://www.spaexperience.org.uk/locations/waltham-forest?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIj-qSzeaQ2AIVjpPtCh37-g2mEAAYASAAEgIaZ_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
2. Never judge a postcode by a 90s boyband.

Jerk Season!!

kitchen, london

The title is so accurate in many different contexts #LookingAtYouTrump- but I am of course referring to this years Caribbean Food Week

The CFW festival will return to Windrush Square in Brixton on 26th – 28th of August 2017.

In warm up to the festival, I whipped up a couple of meals using Caribbean favourites with a vegan, high protein low fat twist. Ackee and Mixed Bean Mash up for breakfast, Red Pea & Greens Coconut Soup for lunch and Jerk Breadfruit and vegetables for dinner!

So if you’re also feeling inspired, adventurous or simply hungry you should definitely pay a visit to the festival this weekend….

…. then what better way to digest your meal then dancing the night away at Notting Hill Carnival x

Bank Holiday weekend sorted :- D

BH xx

For more information visit:

www.gracefoods.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/caribbeanfoodweek

@carribbeanfoodweek Instagram

And to get you in the mood 🙂

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sKNrCUHIPnM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What have you learnt from your biggest mistake?

livingroom, Wednesday writing prompt

I may not have had a lot of time (or mind space) to write in recent months but I’ve definitely had to do a lot of soul searching and reflecting, so when I saw this …

…. a blog post wrote itself (and then I had to rewrite it a million times 😉

Sometimes we choose the wrong path because we allow our deepest fears to guide us. When it all goes wrong we call it a mistake.

Some personal events this year have been horrendous…but sadly not unexpected. The cast may have switched roles, but the plot and lead remains the same.

The foreseeability of it all made me question myself. When an outcome is so predictable is it a mistake or a choice?

Sometimes we choose the wrong path because our ego whispers in our ear. When it all goes wrong we call it a mistake…but really we made a choice.

And the lesson?

That I can choose my own path and that decisions based on fear or ego will never lead to happiness

What is the best lesson your mistakes have taught you?

BH xx

the United State of mental health in the UK

society, Urban Living

Last month the UK government announced an increase in mental health funding by 1.3 billion.  This should be welcomed news, but I have my doubts.  The total disregard and intentional underfunding of the NHS means I can’t help but wonder whether this is just another tactic to stop us thinking about Grenfell or DUP rather then a true calling of the Conservative government…but on the positive, London  (Feel free to insert your town name here.) needs every extra penny it can get to tackle mental health issues.

You see London (Feel free to insert your town name here.) is a hotbed of insanity.  The fast pace, isolation, exhilaration, inequality, anonymity, poverty and riches make it a head fuck prime location.  Behind closed doors and touch screens people are falling apart.

If in any doubt, take an early morning stroll along Brixton High Street.  You’ll see that full blown, in your face, well recognised “madness”.    At the lights you’ll see Rough Looking Guy shouting at the top of his voice in the middle of the road, daring drivers to go on and kill him then.  Look to your left and see White Laydee (sic) a women in her fifties, with a white emulsion painted face perfectly colour matched to her white lace ballgown.  Hanging out on the corner you’ll see a lady I call “Elsa”, who, regardless of the weather, wears a bikini and so for most of the year must be frozen.

But when I think of the people above, I wonder whether there actions are a result of a clinical mental illness?  I don’t know their stories, or diagnosis’ but would there behaviour be classified in the DSM?  Or is it just that the pressures of life have been so traumatic that they just snapped and no longer wanted to play the game by the conventional rules?   The stresses and strains of living in London; (Feel free to insert your town name here.) with its austerity cuts, institutionalised racism, housing crisis, £7:00 coffees and food banks are immense.  With many Londoners struggling to “keep their heads above water”, are we always just one job restructure away from losing it?

So perhaps if the government is really dedicated to improving the mental health of the London and the nation as a whole,  it should look to healing a broken society crippled by uncertainty, fear, rising financial difficulties and debt.

 

 

 

 

 

#bye2016

Urban Living
When we work together amazing things can happen.

As the clock struck Midnight in Reykjavik…

#bye2016 seemed to sum up the general feeling towards 2016. From the heartfelt loss of celebrated creative spirits, the political Brexit and Trump disasters, to the alarming rate at which our society and enviroment are being bullied to the point of no return – 2016 has been quite shitty.

Although world affairs greatly angered me and personal breathements pained me, other all my year was filled with unforgetable travels, friendships and watching my son grow. That was until the last part of the year- then suddenly my world turned on it’s head… And then The Gods stamped on it….stabbed it with a rusty blade….and lit that bitch up like a bonfire as they threw their heads back and laughed.

But isn’t it funny how things work. The more disastrous things became, the more I became thankful for the positives in my life and gained indestructible inner strength each time that I refused to stay down.

So thank you 2016 for those incredible (and at times costly) life lessons which forced me to face my fears, accept past defeats, own my mistakes, embrace my imperfections and celebrate my achievements and blessings!

I walk into 2017 hopeful and free of the past.

True freedom.

 

Spread your wings and fly xx

 

 

 

How to Live in Beyoncé’s Shadow..

bedroom

Hello Guys,

My stats tell me that I haven’t posted for the whole of September… As a teacher, this is no surprise.  But it’s not just the new academic year To Do lists that have kept me at bay from my blog.  I have also been busy building a brand new website with one of my closest friends and inspirations.

We wanted to build a platform for women to come together and inspire each other to improve our lives and community.. Otherwise known as

www.thesisterhoodsupperclub.com

I have just posted my first official post (hence the title of this post and it’s linked HERE) Please read and give me some honest feedback! Thank you 🙂

BHxxx