A wee preview of Estelle's forthcoming single 'Freak'. Mmmm. this looks interesting. Will post more when the full video premieres on Friday.
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
In overseas news, I discovered from the fabulous Ondo Lady that Essence magazine is holding a competition to find the consummate IT girl. The winner of the prize will be featured in the September issue of Essence and will win a contract with Elite Model Management (oooh, how very ANTM! Can almost image Tyra holding pictures and slowly mouthing the words). I’m a HUGE Essence fan, although if I’m being honest, I do feel the magazine has lost its soul somewhat since the departure of Susan Taylor. Back in the day when I was a regular reader, Susan’s monthly spiritual column was the first page I would turn to. She was the heartbeat of the magazine, and her influence could be felt throughout the pages, which had a lot more soul and grit to it. But hats off to Essence for embracing the digital age. Their website is great - it’s updated frequently and chocker block with interviews, pap snaps of celebrities and stories of relevance to Black women worldwide. I also love the various blogs they have with influential people from the likes of Iman to media darling Emil Wilbekin. And as for the modelling completion? Well I would enter but I’m told that *ahem* it’s only opened to those who are based in the US. *Sigh*, Chanel Iman, you‘re lucky this time.
Reading is something I do less often since having my little Khy Khy. Prior to motherhood, I would easily plough through a book every couple of weeks. Nowadays I’d be lucky to get through one per month. That is of course, unless I’m truly engrossed in a ‘can’t put down-able’ read. You know the kind where you stay up untill some ungodly hour totally immersed in the chapters, and before you know it, you’ve fallen asleep with your glasses on and the pages of the book lying face down on your cheeks. Mmmm, well this very same thing happened to me on several occasions while reading the brilliant Ice Cream Girls by author Dorothy Koomson. Before I go on to tell you about the book itself, can we just take a few moments to applaud the sublimely talented Ms Koomson. Dorothy is one of the most celebrated new talents in the women’s contemporary fiction world. Ice Cream Girls is the author’s 6th novel, which as we know in the touch-and-go world of book publishing is quite an achievement. One of Dorothy’s previous novels, My Best Friend‘s Girl, was selected for a Richard and Judy Summer Read and went on to sell an impressive 500,000 copies.
I first learnt of Dorothy Koomson - the author, when one of her books ‘Goodnight, Beautiful’ landed on the editorial desk at Pride. The girls in the office all read the book and gave it a glowing report. As for me? I just couldn’t go there. The novel is based on a Mother whose life is torn apart when her son falls into a coma after a freak accident. As a Mother of a young boy that was just a little to scary a prospect to even contemplate. So I left it well alone. So anyhow, back to Ice Cream Girls. A few weeks ago I received an advance copy of the book and decided to give it a go. By the first couple of pages: I was hooked. To give you a brief rundown without giving too much away: the book follows two women whose lives become inextricably linked through an incident which occurs during their mid teens. Serena and Poppy are both young, vulnerable schoolgirls who become romantically involved with an abusive and manipulative teacher. Things come to head in a climatic scene leading to a whodunit type situation to rival the who killed Archie storyline in Eastenders (wasn’t that brilliant by the way?) Dorothy’s magic is her spot on characterisation. Lead protagonists, Serena and Poppy feel real and tangible, you inadvertently take on their emotional baggage as they attempt to navigate through life carrying the heavy burden of their insufferable past. By the end of the book you’re rooting for both women, hoping they’ll stop warring against each other and realise they were both victims. I love when a book forces you to think when you read the closing page. I was left thinking about how real an issue sexual abuse is in schools. I went to quite a regular comprehensive in south London, and lost count of the amount of girls who were dating guys at least 10-15 years their senior. I wonder what happened to them? Like Serena and Poppy, are they still dealing with the consequences of their actions, all these years later? Yup, The Ice Cream Girls will take you there, so be prepared to do a lot of post-book reflecting. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It had all the elements I love in a novel - non stop drama, great characters, a message and an unpredictable ending. If you do get round to buying a copy, I’d love to hear what you think.
The Ice Cream Girls is out now. Order a copy from Amazon.
Friday, 19 February 2010
Mmmm, how shame do I feel posting a New Year’s entry when we’re a mere week and spare change away from March 2010? *bows head in shame*. But anyhow, for what it’s worth - I’m back folks! I know it’s been a while, and I kinda feel as if I’m continually making feeble excuses for my online absence. However, on this occasion it’s definitely a case of life getting in the way. So what have I been up to? Well without boring you to death with every detail, there’s been quite a lot of change in my life over the last few months. I’ve finally moved home - yay! I’m still in south east London but just a little bit further out than I used to be. My new abode is a lovely split level, two bed apartment with a roof area which has the most bootiful view of the city (to our left is Canary Wharf and I wave to the 02 building practically every night and pretend I am enraptured, with my lighter in the air at a gig in the Arena). But needless to say, it hasn’t all been sweetness and light. Rich and I have endured more than our fair share of ‘new home dramas’ which culminated with a dramatic Backdrft-esq visit from the fire service after a pipe attached to our boiler burst and wouldn’t shut off. You should’ve seen us both. We were skating across the wet kitchen floor, clothes drenched, with bucketloads of water in our hands, which we were capturing to try and prevent it from spilling downstairs into our poor neighbour's appartment. Not nice. I’m keeping my fingers and toes cross that there won't be any more incidents for now, because I’m almost certain that my ole ticker can’t cope with any more unforeseen circumstances of that nature… Pray for me. So that was our lil home drama. On a more positive note, my little K has finally started ‘big school’. He started the first week in January and managed to put on a brave face as his nervous wreck of a Mama fought the urge to blubber the whole of Brockley down. It’s kinda scary to see already the numerous changes in his personality - from his confidence to maturity - in such a short space of time. Gawd help Rich and I. Before we know it, he'll be a bumbling, incoherent, aspiring Grime emcee. And that’s more or less it folks. I’m finally started to feel a bit settled, and now my Broadband has finally been installed by Sky (it only took ‘em 2 months), I’m ready to get back in the swing of things, blog wise.
Hope your new year is treating you well
- I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.