Monday, July 1st, 2013
Just over a year ago, I started my other website, Spikes & Heels – a fitness site for badass women. It’s gone from strength to strength and it’s given me so much pleasure to see more and more women embrace fitness in new ways. The response to the site has been amazing. While it’s aimed at badass women who train hard, my overall goal with the site and everything I try to do around it, is simply to get women moving. Earlier this year, I was approached by TRACE Sports TV and guess what? Spikes & Heels has been made into a TV show! HUZZAH!
The five-episode series is presented by myself and my co-host, Team GB 100m sprinter Jeanette Kwakye. It’s a magazine style show where we have an exercise segment, review fitness apps, interview pro-athletes, look at the best sportswear around in Spikes Style, catch up with some awesome street athletes and much more.
It’ll be shown on TRACE Sports TV (which is Sky channel 442 in the UK). Hop on over to Spikes & Heels to check out air dates and times.
Thanks so much for your continued support of my journey. Hopefully this will be the start of something great.
Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll probably already have seen me waxing lyrical about HBO‘s new series ‘Girls’, but heck, it warrants being spoken about in more than 140 characters, so here we are. Being that we are in the UK, Lord only knows when this gem of a show will make it to our shores and frankly, I don’t have the patience, hence, I watch it online, so shoot me. Following the lives of four girls in New York in their early 20s, from that description you’d think it’s all fairly predictable, so what makes ‘Girls’ so special?
Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
So, you know I decided to give up Diet Coke for Lent? Yeah, well, I should have given up TV. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me recently (though I’m gonna put it down to the lack of Diet Coke in my diet), but my TV choices have been beyond atrocious.
Saturday night, I watched some lame movie starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Diane Keaton. Parker was the girlfriend of Keaton’s son and was spending Christmas with the family for the first time. Christmas, family, Diane Keaton was such a good mum, which made me think of my mum, then my dad, then home, then Christmas and before I knew it, some sort of salty residue was seeping from my eyes. Crying, damnit! Crying over some sappy saturday night chick flick. For shame!
Then the other night, I had a bad TV marathon. I started out watching Intervention. I hate it when I accidentally stumble across an episode of that show. A show about addiction, that is addictive in itself. Oh the irony. Anyway, it was about some woman who was addicted to hitting herself. Frankly, I think she was onto something, because by the end of the show, I wanted to hit her too. I think she was misunderstood – she was merely trying to slap some sense into herself and had been failing for years. It’s really only logical that someone step in there and hit her for her own good. And that someone should be me.
After that, I stumbled across a show about a man who was half man, half tree. Yes, you read that right; half man, half tree. He had some crazy out-of control wart situation that basically made his hands and feet look like tree stumps. It was spreading all over his body. I was repulsed and yet, I couldn’t look away. Moral of the story, he spent month in the hospital undergoing numerous surgeries to remove the warts and some other doctor gave him some drugs to prevent future warts and Bob’s yer uncle – tree man was cured. And I could sleep that night.
But not before I watched a show about a girl who was a mermaid. Literally. Her legs fused together in the womb and never separated, so from her waste down she just has this mass growth that essentially makes her a real, live mermaid. There have only been between 4 and 8 people known to have ever been born with that disease. Most died and a couple had their legs separated when they were babies. Well, this chick is 8 years old and still going strong. I don’t get it. She has like half a kidney and not much else in the way of internal organs, not to mention she has no rectum, vagina, reproductive system. Medical. Miracle. Plain and simple. She could really die any time and she’s adamant about not having her legs separated. This kid has her shit together more than most people I know. They asked her what she wants to be when she grows up and she says, ‘I can be anything; a lawyer, a princess, I can be anything I wanna be.’ Salty residue dripped from my eyes again. Damnit!
So, yeah, between the tree man, the mermaid, the self-hitting addict and the cheesy chick flick, I cannot hold my shit together. Must switch off. I must save myself from this shitty TV abyss. Any advice?
Sunday, November 2nd, 2008
Channel surfing on saturday morning, I came across a lovely little gem called ‘Man Vs Wild’. A chap called Bear Grylls (yeah, seriously) presents this how-to guide as to how to survive in extreme situations.
In this particular episode, he was in the desert and I tuned in at the exact moment that he was carving up a dead camel. To be specific, he was cutting a chunk of fat out of the hump, waxing poetic about how nutritious it is, before biting into it. He chewed it for a couple of seconds before spitting it out. Nutritious is may be, but tasty, it is not.
What do you do about a tasty beverage when stranded in the desert, I hear you cry? Well, if you happen to be close to a dead camel, cut it open and slice into the stomach lining. The moisture from digested camel food – ie, camel shit, will quench your thirst. If it tastes like shit, that’s because it is.
So, after he was finished nourishing himself, he cut out the guts of the camel and dragged them a couple of hundred feet away, so that no scavengers would attack his new home (which was around the back of the camel). He then came back to the carcass and peed around it, again, to keep those pesky scavengers away. Apparently, this only works with male urine. Aww shucks. You mean, I don’t get to pee in a big circle around the putrid remains of an ugly hump-backed animal? Man, the wilderness is so sexist.
The show then followed Bear Grylls as he took on whatever the desert threw at him. Clearly, this guy is a professional who’s spent many years figuring out how to survive in ridiculous circumstances. But what of the camera man and the sound guy? Those poor fools probably thought they were signing up as the crew on the Miley Cyrus show and next thing they know, they’re in the sweltering heat of the desert, filming this crazy bastard chowing down on camel carcass.
While I respect Bear Grylls’ expertise, I would say the best way to survive in the desert, is to not end up there in the first place.
Tuesday, August 12th, 2008
A couple of nights ago, I vowed to have a night in, relax and take in some craptacular TV. I flicked through the channels, bored with the plethora of infomercials, news shows and tacky dramas when I stumbled across a little broadcast that caught my eye: Prisoners Out of Control.
People, let me tell you, if you’re looking for entertainment, real life drama and a horror flick all rolled into one, look no further than this show. From the opening real life CCTV shot of an inmate taking a guard hostage, I was hooked.
This hour long freak fest featured footage from prisons all over the world. Everything from fights, stabbings, murders, to full on riots, this show had it all. It really was an education in homemade weapons. If I ever find myself in an Oz like situation, I’ll definitely know how to make a shank out of my toothbrush and take one of these motherbitches out.
It also reaffirmed for me that I never want to be a prisoner, prison guard or even live in the same area code as a prison.
The more I watched, the more I became convinced that this show shouldn’t be called Prisoners Out of Control. It should be called Prisoners Being Themselves. They’re in prison for God’s sake. What the hell else are they gonna do? It’s not like they’re all sitting around in there drinking tea and playing Connect 4. Starting fights in the mess hall, fashioning daggers out of spare materials, setting fires, rioting – all good ways to pass the time when you’re doing twenty-to-life.
Then, when I’d sat through an hour of this, right at the very end, some very serious looking white haired dude came on talking about the horrors we’d just witnessed and said, ‘but the real horror is that a great many of these criminals, will one day, be back out on the streets.’
What the frik?! Umm, thanks for the sleepless night, asshole.
Sunday, May 4th, 2008
Being just north of the border, we’re exposed to a whole lot of American media. Sometimes this is good (I’m very thankful Jon Stewart comes into my life on a nightly basis), sometimes it’s bad (I could really do without Al Roker). American news shows, in particular, are pretty in your face, but over the last couple of weeks, they’ve been nothing short of a giant high school girl bitch fit on steroids.
First there was the rice shortage. With all the food in America, I doubt the lack of a little bit of rice will lead to a famine. But of course, the way it played out in the American media, it was the end of the world. Sam’s Club (which I believe is some sort of CostCo type outlet) was limiting purchases of rice to four bags per person. It should be noted that these ‘bags’ of rice are more like sacks of rice that require a fork lift truck to carry them. How hungry do you have to be to buy four sacks of rice? I imagine one sack would keep you going for an entire year. But yet, the news showed people stocking up on rice like it really was going out of fashion.
Then there was the Miley Cyrus controversy. OK, um, news flash America: it was an Annie Leibowitz shot with her back exposed, not a centrefold in Playboy. Calm the hell down. It garnered hours and hours of debate on every show going and the general consensus seemed to be that this was the worst bit of child pornography the world had ever seen. One show had a segment with mothers called ‘what should you tell your kids about the Miley Cyrus photos’. Well, I would tell my kids to have better taste in music and I’d tell the mothers to get a grip.
And then of course, there’s the story that refuses to die: Reverend Jeremiah White. First off, I thought the States had that whole ‘separation of church and state’ thing going on. So, technically, the church Barack Obama chooses to attend should have nothing to do with his campaign. Oh, but I guess it’s a different rule book when there’s a black man running for president. As for what the Rev said about 9/11 being karma for the states – is the USA really that unaware that the rest of the world kind of shares that view? And no, that doesn’t mean, in any way, shape or form that anyone deserved to die. It just means that America had been going around bombing the crap out of other countries for years and it’s a little unrealistic to think that no one would bomb America eventually.
So, US of A, how about you just chill the hell out. The rice ain’t going anywhere anytime soon. Miley Cyrus’s back will not corrupt the youth of the country. And don’t just focus on the craziness of Jeremiah White. The man has great robes that can definitely rival those of the Pope and the Polygamists. C’mon – credit where credit’s due people!
Earth to London, Come in London…
Ahhh, LDN, you know I love you right? I do, I really do. From the moody shop assistants, to the most knowledgeable cab drivers the world has ever seen, I love it all. So, when it came to the mayoral elections last friday, well, what happened? I feel like I missed something and woke up to a really bad practical joke where Boris Johnson is suddenly mayor. Except it’s not actually a joke. Boris Johnson? BORIS FRIKKIN’ JOHNSON??!! That’s the best we can do? Seriously? Did you all just forget to go out and vote or something? Words kind of fail me. What kind of crazy, topsy turvy world are we living in where that mumbling, bumbling mess that is, Boris Johnson, can be mayor of London town? Answers on a postcard please.
Tuesday, April 29th, 2008
I was watching TV the other day when an ad for a pregnancy test came on and declared it was ‘the most sophisticated piece of technology you will ever pee on’. Um, excuse me? Do people regularly pee on other types of technology? Are there leagues of women out there pissing on their iPods or something? I don’t think I would ever associate the word ‘sophisticated’ with going for a piddle either.
The voice over for the ad was done by one of those dudes who do the voices for mens razors. You know the ones with ridiculous names like the ‘Mach 3′, that stops short of saying the razor is powered by a jet engine or something.
Clearly, this ad was the brain wave of an all male advertising agency. Listen fellas, it’s a pregnancy test. A simple yes or no will suffice. Bells, whistles and jet engines are not needed.
There’s another ad for a pill to clear up your yeast infection. A woman enters her home, after what seems like a busy day. Then, all of a sudden, speech bubbles start popping out of her nether regions saying this: “$%*@!!”. So, not only are they making her pussy talk, but it’s using bad language and possibly cracking jokes. Quick poll of the ladies: ever been in the mood for laughing when you had a yeast infection? No, I didn’t think so. Or maybe her vagina was just angry, which would be more accurate. Either way, that chick now has two problems: the yeast infection and how to stop speech bubbles bursting out of her vagina and cursing up a storm when she has company over. Good luck with that.
Crazy is as crazy does
This dude in Austria apparently had a big bowl of crazy for breakfast one morning back in 1984. He kept his daughter locked in the basement for the past 24 years and fathered seven children with her.
I’ll give you a moment to get that full-body dry heave out of your system……
Back with me?
OK. So, on Sunday, he was arrested and charged with abduction, incest and abuse. Three of the children had never seen sunlight. The police said the daughter was ‘psychologically extremely disturbed’ – yeah, no shit, Sherlock.
I don’t get how something like that could go on for a quarter of a century and nobody have a clue. But I guess the only upshot of this story (if there ever could be one) is that karma will greet him in the form of prison and hopefully being anally raped on a daily basis.
If you would like a sleepless night…
One of my major fears has always been confined spaces. Elevators have been a particular problem for me. I once lived on the 7th floor of a building and not once did I get in the lift. I walked 14 flights of stairs, multiple times, daily. Yes, it took longer, but I had buns of steel. In recent years, I have become slightly better with my elevator phobia. I can get in some of the more modern ones, especially if they have mirrors, as that creates the illusion of space (and I can admire whatever wonder of fashion I happen to be donning that day). But, I made the mistake of watching this video last week and I have regressed to the ‘strictly stairs’ mentality.
This video is basically my worst nightmare. This man was trapped in an elevator in a New York City building for 41 hours. 41 hours!!! I was once trapped in an elevator in New York, but thankfully it was over in about 7 minutes (but that didn’t stop me crying like a baby).
I kid you not, I virtually had a panic attack watching this. So, if you suffer from the same fear as me, probably best not to press play. (The music alone is the stuff night terrors are made of.)
Tuesday, March 11th, 2008
The Wire has now officially ended. First Sex and the City, then The Sopranos, now this? Damn it HBO, stop crushing my dreams! I don’t know how I will get over the loss of The Wire. I will actually have to think of other things to talk about with my friends and that’s just a frikkin’ hassle.
So much has been written about how it was the best show on TV, so I won’t harp on that point, other than to say, it really was the best show on TV. So, to mark the end of an era, I have compiled all my favorite moments from each season; the good, the bad and the ugly. (If you’ve never seen the show, go buy all five seasons on DVD and watch them, then read this post – I don’t want to ruin it for you.)
The infamous Bunk and McNulty ‘Fuck’ scene
This scene was probably the first to show the true genius of the writers. As Bunk and McNulty work their way through a crime scene, they use only the word ‘fuck’ (and variations thereof). They manage to tell the whole story of how this girl was killed without needing to use another word. (Put that in your pipe and smoke it South Pasadena!)
D’Angelo’s near miss
When D’Angelo’s told he had to drive Wee-Bey to Philly, he thinks he’s gonna get clipped. They go into Bey’s house and D, nearing tears, braces himself for the hit. When Bey turned the lights on, it turned out he just wanted to show D how to feed his fish while he was away.
Wallace being killed by his friends Bodie and Poot is, to this day, probably one of the most difficult things I ever watched on television. The dynamic between these three characters had been such a driving force of the show and it is just heartbreaking to think that somewhere in America, there are young boys who actually have to make those decisions for real.
Ziggy loses his shit
After watching Ziggy try to carve a path for himself as a crook for most of the season, I found his turn of events quite shocking. He was a funny character, a harmless guy. When Ziggy was screwed over on a business deal he thought was a sure fire winner, he went back to the guy who screwed him, guns blazing. Watching him sitting in his car afterwards trying to light his cigarette, crying and hearing the sound of police sirens, you just knew that in that instant, his whole life had changed.
Throughout the show Rawls has undoubtedly had some of the best lines, but for me, this was one of the greatest. When Bunk and Freamon return from questioning the crew of a boat and getting nowhere due to the number of languages on board, Rawls says ‘I don’t care if they’re speaking Mandarin Chinese with a cock sucker’s lisp.’ Classic.
One word: Hamsterdam
Interesting social experiment or the apocalypse? You decide.
Stringer fesses up
After managing to cover his tracks pretty well, Stringer, in a moment of anger, finally confesses to Avon that he was responsible for having D’Angelo killed. Needless to say, the news was not received well.
Bernard’s comic relief
After months of driving here, there and everywhere to buy phones for Marlo, Bernard and his annoying girlfriend are finally arrested. Sitting in the police station, cuffed, his girlfriend launches an endless tirade about how dumb he is. Bernard turns to the guy next to him and says ‘I can’t wait to go to jail.’ It’s so easy to get bogged down with all the serious situations in The Wire, that these little gems are priceless.
Avon and Stringer’s goodbye
Their friendship could be seen unraveling throughout the season, as they looked to take their operation in different directions. As they stand on Avon’s balcony reminiscing, knowing they are both trying to kill each other, makes for an incredibly icy, yet sad, scene.
Snoop buys a nail gun
I’m not ashamed to admit, Snoop scares the living crap out of me. Probably one of the most complex female characters ever on television, this scene, where she discussed the pros and cons of a nail gun with such ease, knowing that she was using it to board up the houses where she was dumping dead bodies, gave me shivers.
Michael refuses Marlo’s money
It was a small moment, but a big one. Showing that this boy, despite all the pressures around him, has a code of honor, was laying the ground work in the first of many parallels drawn between him and Omar. The way he shut Marlo up with just a stare showed that he was in for bigger things, however reluctant he may have been.
Randy doesn’t just tug on the heart strings, he yanks those bitches right off
He was branded a snitch, had his house fire bombed and his foster mother was killed in the blast. As Carver, who came to visit him in the hospital, walked away, Randy, his face scratched and bloody from the blast, just kept saying ‘you gonna look out for me Detective Carver?’ over and over. This scene ripped my heart out, stomped on it, chewed it up and spat it out.
McNulty loses his damn mind
After being so angelic in season four, McNulty gets back to his crazy ways in full force. The start of his downward spiral would be when he decides to tamper with a dead body to make it look like a murder. Let the insanity commence!
Avon gets in bed with Marlo
Not literally, obviously, but when Marlo goes to the jail to visit the Russian (a meet that Avon facilitated), and Avon throws up the west-side gang sign to Marlo at the end, you sense that shit is just about to get crazy.
Gus fights the power
When slimy reporter, Scott submits yet another made up story with conveniently invented quotes, Gus decides to drop it as the lead story. When confronted by the managing editor, he says casually ‘we have a sourcing policy here and I know it and I do not feel comfortable bending the rules in this instance,’ as he saunters out of the office. Watching Scott squirm was priceless.
Snoop bites the dust
When Mike pulls his gun on her, she doesn’t even flinch. She turns away from him, strokes the back of her head so he can get a clear shot and says ‘how my hair look Mike?’ Damn – she is the hardest of hardcore!
Marlo’s cool exterior heats up
When some loose lipped fool lets it slip to Marlo, while they’re in a jail cell, that Omar had been calling him out for weeks, Marlo completely loses his shit. ‘My name is my name!’ he shouts. It’s the first time you ever see Marlo lose his cool. And you just know that if they ever get out of that jail cell, that idiot who told him is the first to get capped.
Dukie’s entire character arc
From the time he was introduced in season four, you couldn’t help but feel sorry for Dukie. Watching him make such an effort to get on the right path, and how Mike was so protective over him, was just endearing. But as season five progressed, he became the very definition of being a victim of your circumstances. In the montage at the end of the final, episode when they showed him shooting up, well, it’s clear that Dukie took some lessons from Randy on how to rip my heart out, stomp on it, chew it up and spit it out.
There are probably another fifty great moments I can think of, but those are the ones that stood out the most to me. What I enjoyed most about the show is that you really had to actively engage in watching it. The story lines could get so complex and intermingled, you couldn’t not pay attention. Each season they shone a light on a different aspect of society and showed that they all connect. Discussing this with a friend the other day, we came away concluding that the main message we got at the end of the show was ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same’, which can be both positive and negative.
Here’s to you Wire. You will be missed.
Friday, March 7th, 2008
Facebook status updates tend to fall into one of three categories; the inside joke (which maybe you and two other people on your friend list actually get), the non-update update (if you’re telling me you’re hung over, yet again, you ain’t updating me on shit – I know you’re a drunk) and the countdown (to a ‘major’ event in your life that most likely, no one else gives a shit about).
The countdown pisses me off the most. And so, to the girl on my friend list who ‘…is getting married in 18 weeks and 6 days!!!’ I must have a few words, because in about one minute and thirteen seconds, I may just delete you from my list.
Seriously – are you actually giving people the ’18 week and 6 day’ countdown? Are you aware of how long that actually is? It’s almost five months. Which is basically six months. Half a year. I have to listen to half a year of this shit? Is this it now? A daily countdown to the wedding is all that’s going on. There’s nothing else happening in your life? When can I expect hours and minutes in the countdown, because, as you can tell, I’m just itching to find out. Maybe next you can count how many ‘sleeps’ it will be, like you did as a child, in the run up to Christmas.
Honest to God, I can pretty much guarantee you that no one is as excited about your wedding day as you are (and judging by your three exclamation points, you’re pretty damn excited). I’m sure you sent the invites out about 2 years ago. Your peeps know when it is. You don’t have to give them daily reminders for the next six months.
I don’t know what it is about weddings that brings this out in people. But your status update makes me embarrassed to be a woman. I bet your fiancé isn’t counting down the minutes on his Facebook profile.
So, how’s about finding yourself a new hobby that will help those 18 weeks and 6 days go a little quicker? Yoga, chess, watching paint dry – all of which are exponentially more exciting than the countdown you’re currently involved in.
Be sure to let me know, via Facebook status update, how that works out for you.
I guess I’m the last person to catch on to this Mad Men series. My dad told me about it the other day because it just started to air in England. So, I got on the interweb and watched all thirteen episodes in three days. I frikkin’ loved it.
Set in the advertising world in 1960 Manhattan, it’s cut throat, anti-semetic, brutally chauvinistic and brilliant. Not like I was there, but by all accounts, it’s a pretty accurate representation of the time.
I love the vintage look of it. Everything seems to have a smoky film (which is probably to do with the hundreds of cigarettes puffed away each episode). Men were men, who drank scotch in boardroom meetings. Women were secretaries or good housewives.
The subtle humor is endearing, always either to do with gender roles or technology, like the line ‘It’s not like there’s some magic machine that makes identical copies of things’ – a particular favorite of mine.
The villain, Pete Campbell is so good I want to transport myself back to the 60s and personally sucker punch him. And am I the only one who didn’t realize that Peggy was pregnant?
But my main reason for loving this series is this:
Heelllllloooooooo daddy! Where have you been all my life? I take one look at this guy and want to throw on a frilly apron and bake cookies. Sweet baby Jesus – what a fine specimen of a man.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to swoon (and possibly bake cookies). Have a great weekend!
Wednesday, February 13th, 2008
I’d like to discuss for a moment, if I may, boobs. Specifically, these ones:
Holy mother of God!
Now lets pretend I’m not talking about Aretha, because it’s almost blasphemy to do so, but this titty situation must be addressed.
Do you see how that spaghetti strap is holding on for dear life? It defies the laws of physics how something so small can hold something so big. Each one of those puppies must weigh at least 20 pounds. Aretha wants R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Shit, how can you not respect someone heaving around 40 pounds worth of chest every day?
Just as I use the term ‘Olsen’ as a unit of weight measurement (based on the assumption that one Olsen twin is equal to roughly 75 pounds), I hereby christen boobs of this magnitude ‘Arethas’.
It takes a real woman to look at her fun bags (when they’re bone fide ‘Arethas’) and say to herself ‘I’m gonna forego the bra today and rock a spaghetti strap.’
For this reason, and so many more, Aretha Franklin, I salute you.
Law & Order: VFU (Void Filling Unit)
Man, I love me some Law & Order: SVU.
I have a tendency to get obsessed with certain TV shows. I’ve been obsessed with The Wire since the first season and while waiting for the latest episodes to be uploaded online, my attention has shifted to Law & Order: SVU.
I’m a fan of all the Law & Orders really. I especially like the ‘dong dong’ bell thing that signifies a new scene. I like to imagine it in my own life. Me waking up, ‘dong dong’, cut to me walking to work, ‘dong dong’ cut to me furiously tapping away on my computer. Maybe at some point, Ice T could pop up and arrest me or something.
I was into Law & Order: Criminal Intent for a while, but the main guy in that gives me the night terrors.
There’s just something about SVU. The Christopher Meloni/Mariska Hargitay combo is a winner. I like how he gets up in peoples faces and shouts during the interrogations and her, well, I just like how her hair changes every season. Though in real life, if female cops were as ridiculously good looking as she is, crime would soar ‘cause every perp would want to be arrested by her. (Do you like how I used the word ‘perp’? Yeah, I know, I’m all over this lingo).
But one of the main reasons I like SVU is seeing how characters from some of my other favorite shows pop up on there.
Christopher Meloni was on Oz, a previous obsession of mine. The priest and the crazy Nazi dude from Oz have both been on SVU as psychotherapists.
The guy who plays the judge on The Wire has appeared on SVU a couple of times. Cedric Daniels of The Wire was a doctor on SVU and also played an undercover cop on Oz. Are you following?
Maybe it’s just all about Oz withdrawals. When on earth will there be another show with excessive male frontal nudity? It’s been far too long.
I think I’ve pretty much exhausted the SVU back catalogue at this point. Those new eps of The Wire can’t get on the net fast enough.