Another Day, Another England Match

Yep, England is playing Ukraine, one of the home nations of the Euro 2012 tournament.

This time, to up the ante, I've placed two bets:

  • England to win, 2-1. 15/2. £10 gets me £75 if I win.
  • Rooney to score first, England win 2-1. 30/1. £5 gets me £150.

This is my first time ever placing real money bets on things. So it's quite exciting.

Now I've done it though, I'm blatantly not gonna win anything but hey it's just a bit of fun.

Just... cross your fingers though. Either way, still want England to go through to the quarters.

Everybody Apparently Knows How To Play Football

If you are European and don't live in a cave, you'll be aware that it is the European Football Championship, henceforth known as Euro 2012. If you're not European... well, now you know.

It's a pretty big deal in Europe. One below the World Cup. Euro 2012 occurs every fours years, or two years after the World Cup.

Anyway, if you were to watch the people watching these matches, you would notice a couple of things:
  • Apparently the referee knows nothing. Unless it goes in your chosen team's favour, and suddenly said ref can do no wrong.
  • Everybody, regardless of experience or lack thereof, suddenly thinks they know how what's going on.
  • Lots of people, who previously could give a monkey's left elbow, become intensely interested in the outcome of matches.
I don't exempt myself from this either. Though I still, despite many explanations, don't get that stupid-ass Offside Rule. Something about something in front of the thingy, but possibly behind the whatsit... 

Also, in my experience, this is not limited to the "Beautiful Game". I don't play tennis, but I suddenly become an expert on the subject when Wimbledon is on. I can bluff knowledge on rugby whenever the Six Nations is on.  This summer, at London 2012, people will declare with misplaced authority who they think will win gold at whatever sport, despite having no interest or knowledge in said sport before.

I just think it's funny.

Having said all that, if Ireland manage to beat Spain (the World Cup holders) it'll be a miracle.

6 Reasons Why The Avengers Succeeded

Marvel's Avengers Assemble. This is a successful film. I don't think there is anyone who could deny it. In fact, it has become one of the biggest grossing films ever (third in actual fact), with the biggest opening weekend ever. Omg, it beat HP7.2!

This is particularly interesting because it is NOT a sequel.

But why? Why did it do so well?

Spoilers ahoy.

Read more »

Pro-Con lists: Careers

I have potentially narrowed down what I could possibly do as a career to two options:



I feel I need to do pro-con lists for both of these, so I'm going to hash it out here.



  • Incorporates my previous medical science knowledge.
  • Stable job prospects.
  • Could work in any field that takes my fancy.
  • Apparently relatively well paid.
  • Active job.
  • NHS will pay the tuition fees.
  • Another three years at university.
  • Unsociable hours.
  • According to my mum, working for the NHS is not a walk in the park.


  • Stable job prospects.
  • Relatively well paid.
  • Active job.
  • Only one year more at university.
  • Teaching primary, I would get to teach a bit of everything.
  • I work well with children, and enjoy working with them.
  • Could work in the private or state sector.
  • Good holidays.
  • Potential bursary.
  • Is it a cop-out? The old adage "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." comes to mind.
  • Could end up in a difficult school, with difficult kids.
I am probably leaning towards teaching... but I'd like to know your thoughts or even your experiences in either of these fields.

Jubilee Shenanigans

As I'm watching the Jubilee Concert, I thought I'd recap what occurs in Britain when it's Jubilee time.

  1. Everywhere you go, there are union flags. Everywhere. Honestly, I have seen every kind of item splashed with the Union Jack in the last month or so. 
  2. It becomes an excuse to have a party or shindig. Which may or may not include cucumber sandwiches and tea.
  3. We see more of the Queen than at any other time, ever.
  4. It's made everyone forget about the European Football Championships that start next week. Which, considering it is the national sport, is quite an achievement!
So far, we've had a special Derby day of horse-racing at Epsom, a flotilla of 1000 boats down the River Thames, a massive concert in front of Buckingham Palace, and tomorrow there will be a procession followed by a service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral. 

It's brought the whole country together in celebration, and thankfully there has been no chat about whether we should or shouldn't have a monarchy at all. We have just been celebrating what is undoubtably an extraordinary life's work.

Our little nod to Queen Elizabeth's 60 years was an afternoon tea:
The Victoria Sponge with some gratuitous Instagram 'magic'
Jam tarts, pork pies, finger sandwiches (not here yet)... what more could you want?
Well, this is my nod to her Majesty.

Congratulations on a great 60 years on the throne, here's to the rest!

Fanfiction Readers Anonymous

I have a confession to make.

I read fanfiction.

To some people I know, this is not news, but anyway, it still feels like a confession.

tl;dr - Fanfiction is an inherent part of fandom 'life'. I love it and I wouldn't change that for anything.

I think this is because of the impression of 'outsiders' - by which I mean, those who don't read fanfiction and/or are not inside fandoms - is that fanfiction is a very nerdy or geeky part of fan culture. It is also perceived that fanfiction is a hotbed (pun fully and unashamedly intended ;) ) of porn and smut. Well... it is. There is no point in denying it. But that's not to say that you can't find something with as much depth and plot as the original material.

The point of fanfiction is to fill in the gaps, continue the story, and have a play with those characters you love (or love to hate) so much. It's like you have this huge playground to play in, with infinite possibilities. Also, for a lot of writers, it is a sounding board for their writing. They get to experiment and hone their craft, but with established characters/worlds, an established audience and instant feedback.

I have read fanfiction from a few fandoms in my time, namely, Harry Potter, Twilight (no judgment please) and Glee. Each of these fandoms have their own idiosyncrasies and vernacular, but the thing that stays the same is the enthusiasm of the authors for their stories and the source material.

Reading fanfiction is a different beast from reading books. If you're lucky you might stumble upon a completed multi-chapter behemoth of a fanfiction that is well written, has a good plot and good characterisation. If you're extremely lucky.

You, of course, read a LOT of horrendous stuff as well. Both in story line and in the writing. For an example of this, there is one that is infamous in fanfiction circles; I present exhibit A: My Immortal from the Harry Potter community. It is a masterpiece of modern literature. Otherwise known as the worst thing I have ever read, but also one of the most hilarious because of it. I can't even begin to explain it... just know that not all (or any) fanfiction is as bad as that. I've linked to it, but fair warning, read it at your own peril.

Fanfiction is the main reason I don't 'read' as much as I would like to, despite the fact I am actually reading all the time. I have set a challenge for myself on GoodReads to read 15 books this year. Well, I can safely say I have already read enough to constitute that many books, but unfortunately fanfiction doesn't count...

Fanfiction is, for me, a way of keeping the story going beyond the pages or screen. It's as close to being able to read the books/watch the tv show again with fresh eyes as I can get. It inspires creativity, debate and collaboration. The story of Harry Potter was completed now 5 years ago. Apart from the films, there has been no 'new' material to work with but still the fandom marches on, and IMHO, I think the creation of fanfiction is a big part of that.

I don't think I could stop reading fanfiction, even if I tried. It has been a big part of my life since I was 12ish, and is an inherent part of my being a fan. It doesn't stop me from reading new stuff completely, just more slowly. And sometimes, I'll come across something new that makes me want to go find fanfiction for that book/film/tv show/whatever. Finding something that makes me want to go find fanfiction for it is generally the seal of approval from me.