Tag Archive: the United Kingdom

Well it’s about time!!!!

Well it’s about time that Kate Middleton gave birth. The name hasn’t been relished yet but they had a boy and it weighs 8 pound 4 ounces. Everyone has been waiting anxiously for the baby’s arrival (or in my mom’s case for the baby’s gender to relished). I just hope the baby is ready because he’ll be the most photographed baby ever. So what is ya’ll take on Kate and William’s new bundle of joy? please comment and let me know but please no negative comments.

college life update

I haven’t done a college life blog in a while, so I’ve decided give y’all an update. Exams are starting tomorrow. I only have to studied for only four of my classes. (online classes you take them earlier) I’ll be studying a lot over the next couple of days. I have already register for my next semester classes. I’m not taking an online class this time. Mission fuge sigh up has started. I’m not sure if I’m going this year are not. Other than all that there really isn’t much going on. So I hope y’all enjoyed this blog.  Please comment and like and don’t forget to subscribe. 🙂


J. K. Rowling’s new novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, has been described by the press as a novel about class and poverty, one drawing inspiration from Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot and which some sayis “doomed to be known as Mugglemarch.”

Billed as “a big novel about a small town,” The Casual Vacancy takes up issues of addiction, sexual assault, incest, racism, and self-harm, in addition to engaging more broadly with issues of class and poverty.

“But,” wrote Theo Tait for The Guardian, “these sections of the book are a little too laborious and programmatic to be truly harrowing: like a detective series dutifully dealing with “social issues”, it seems to come at the underclass story via what we already know from journalism, or from social workers, rather than inhabiting it from the inside.”

The Casual Vacancy is certainly a novel that deals with classism, with petty citizens who disapprove of the town’s Sikh doctor showing up to the funeral in a sari, and tries to hold a mirror up to  the ugliness that lies just beneath the veneer of middle-class sensibility. But to be a novel about poverty, it isn’t nuanced enough.

Social commentary in The Casual Vacancy often leaves you with the same feeling as its sex scenes. It’s as if Rowling sat down and thought to herself, “Right. This is a book for adults, so every five or ten pages I should drop in a mention of condoms, sex, or vaginas to make sure everyone’s got it.” In some places, it works; in most, it seems artificial.

Here’s the basic geography of The Casual Vacancy: it’s primarily set in Pagford, a sleepy and relatively prosperous West Country town. Pagford is close to Yarvil, a larger and seedier almost-city. In between the two is Fields, a neighborhood made up of cheap metal council houses encroaching on the boundaries (and the tax dollars) of Pagford. Most Pagford residents want the neighborhood to be reassigned to Yarvil to keep Fields kids out of their schools and safeguard the town’s middle class sensibility; a few others are dedicated to keeping Fields assigned to Pagford to make sure its addiction clinic stays open that that its residents have some form of support.

In the novel, Rowling writes that “nearly two-thirds of Fields dwellers lived entirely off the state; and that a sizeable proportion passed through the doors of the Bellchapel Addiction Clinic.” Horrified that the children of single mothers and junkies will be allowed “to deafen the tiny classrooms with their strident Yarvil accents,” the anti-Fields contingent of the Parish Council seize the opportunity provided by the death of pro-Fields councilor Barry Fairbrother. his spot with someone who’d help them shift the boundary line.

When it comes to issues of class, the novel reads more as an exploration of petty infighting and social dynamics in a solidly middle-class parish than as an investigation of poverty in modern England. Though the question of what will become of Fields drives most of the plot, readers are left unmoved thanks to underdeveloped characters.

The Weedons are the only family from the Fields to get their own story line; the rest of the estate’s inhabitants are painted with broad and relatively vague strokes.

Rather than giving us, say, a handful of characters from Pagford and a handful from Fields, Rowling uses Krystal Weedon and her family as the stand-in for an entire population with vastly different lived experiences with poverty and discrimination. Krystal seems to be intended to symbolize all of the trauma to be to found in Fields, as well as all of what’s good about it. And in doing so, she comes off as reductive and archetypal. It’s a disservice to the complex social issues she’s meant to represent, not to mention her own story line.

Rowling had extensive personal experience with the British welfare system in a previous life, and her commitment to analyzing the social dynamics in this small, closed-off town reads are genuine. But since most of the novels’ characters are Pagford residents, not Fields-dwellers, that’s the perspective from which we see this world: Fields becomes the prism through which various characters grow or reveal their inner ugliness, not a living community.

The Casual Vacancy reads better as a novel about attitudes towards poverty, welfare, and addiction than it does about the lived experience of these things – but, perhaps, that’s what it was trying to do all along.

Those who, like me, literally grew up with Harry Potter will find a lot of love here, but they’d be advised to go in with two warnings. One: the world of Pagford is a lot like Privet Drive, without the promise of warmth, magic, and broomsticks to escape on, and two: though The Casual Vacancy may introduce millions of readers worldwide to some of the issues related to modern British poverty (and at some points it seems like one of Rowling’s motivations is to use her stature, and the knowledge that most people would buy her book no matter what, as an opportunity to educate the public), it shouldn’t be mistaken for a complex or complete analysis of poverty and class.

Perhaps, in the same way that Harry Potter was a compelling advertisement for reading for pleasure for millions of people, The Casual Vacancy will serve as an introduction: to Alan Bennett, to Irvine Welsh, and to the scores of other British writers engaging with class in a more thorough and complicated way.

Pauline Holdsworth is a reporter for Campus Progress. Follow her on Twitter at @holdswo.



Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:34pm EDT

Oct 11 (Reuters) - J.K. Rowling's first adult novel, "The
Casual Vacancy," held on to the top spot of Publishers Weekly's
bestseller list for the second consecutive week on Thursday. 
    The list is compiled using data from independent and chain
bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors
    Hardcover Fiction                     Last Week
    1. "The Casual Vacancy" by
J. K. Rowling (Little, Brown, $35.00)         1
    2. "Mad River" by John Sandford
(Putnam, $27.95)                              -
    3. "Winter of the World" by Ken            
Follett (Dutton, $36.00)                  2
    4. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn           
(Crown, $25.00)                         3
    5. "The Time Keeper" by Mitch Albom       
(Hyperion, $24.99)                      4
    6. "A Wanted Man" by Lee Child            
(Delacorte, $28.00)                           5
    7. "Live by Night" by     Dennis Lehane
(William Morrow, $27.99)                      -
    8. "Dark Storm" by Christine Feehan
(Berkley, $26.95)                             -
    9. "Phantom" by Jo Nesbø (Knopf, $25.95)  -
    10. "Low Pressure" by Sandra Brown          
(Grand Central, $26.99)                       6
    Hardcover Nonfiction
    1. "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly
(Henry Holt, $28.00)                          -
    2. "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen             
(Dutton, $26.95)                              1
    3. "Total Recall" by Arnold
Schwarzenegger (Dutton, $26.95)               -
    4. "America Again" by Stephen Colbert
(Grand Central, $28.99)                       -
    5. "God Loves You" by David Jeremiah
(FaithWords, $23.99)                          -
    6. "The America's Test Kitchen Quick 
Family Cookbook" by America's Test 
Kitchen eds. (America's Test Kitchen, $34.95) -
    7. "I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak" by   
Joel Osteen (FaithWords, $21.99)                     3
    8. "Waging Heavy Peace" by Neil Young
(Blue Rider Press, $30.00)                    2
    9. "Guinness World Records 2013"          
(Guinness World Records)                  5
    10. "Mugged" by Ann Coulter
(Sentinel, $26.95)                            7
  Week ended Oct 7, 2012, powered by
Nielsen BookScan © 2012 The Nielsen Company.

 (Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Jeffrey Benkoe)

Daniel Radcliffe film sets new horror record

Daniel Radcliffe in The Woman In Blackhttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/9110695/Daniel-Radcliffe-film-sets-new-horror-record.html


The Woman In Black

Today was the release of The Woman in Black. Like many Potter fans I was excited to see Daniel Radcliffe on the big screen. Even though he wasn’t portraying the boy wizard that many of us grew up with it was still exciting to see him once again. The Woman in Black is awesome it’ll keep you at the egde of your seat. I highly recomned that you go and see this film. So go and see The Woman in Black if you mised it tonight.


LONDON (AP) — Writer J.K. Rowling and actress Sienna Miller gave a London courtroom a vivid picture on Thursday of the anxiety, anger and fear produced by living in the glare of Britain’s tabloid media, describing how press intrusion made them feel like prisoners in their own homes.

The creator of boy wizard Harry Potter told Britain’s media ethics inquiry that having journalists camped on her doorstep was “like being under siege and like being a hostage.” Miller said years of car chases, midnight pursuits and intimate revelations had left her feeling violated, paranoid and anxious.

“The attitude seems to be absolutely cavalier,” Rowling said. “You’re famous, you’re asking for it.”

The pair were among a diverse cast of witnesses — Hollywood star Hugh Grant, a former soccer player, a former aide to supermodel Elle Macpherson and the parents of missing and murdered children — who have described how becoming the focus of Britain’s tabloid press wreaked havoc on their lives.

Rowling said she was completely unprepared for the media attention she began to receive when her first book, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” became a sensation. The seven Potter books have sold more than 450 million copies, spawned a hit movie series and propelled Rowling from struggling single mother to one of Britain’s richest people.

“When you become well-known … no one gives you a guidebook,” she said.

Prime Minister David Cameron set up the inquiry amid a still-unfolding scandal over illegal eavesdropping by the News of the World tabloid. Owner Rupert Murdoch closed down the newspaper in July after evidence emerged that it had illegally accessed the mobile phone voice mails of celebrities, politicians and even crime victims in its search of scoops.

More than a dozen News of the World journalists and editors have been arrested, and the scandal has also claimed the jobs of two top London police officers, Cameron’s media adviser and several senior Murdoch executives.

It has also set off national soul-searching about the balance between press freedom and individual privacy.

Rowling, 46, said media interest in her began shortly after the publication of her first novel in 1997 and soon escalated, with photographers and reporters frequently stationed outside her home. She eventually moved after stories and photographs revealed the location of her house.

“I can’t put an invisibility cloaking device over myself or my house, nor would I want to,” Rowling said. But, she added, “it feels threatening to have people watching you.”

Rowling said she had always tried to keep her three children out of the media glare, and was outraged when her eldest daughter came home from primary school with a letter from a journalist in her backpack.

“I felt such a sense of invasion,” Rowling said. “It’s very difficult to say how angry I felt that my 5-year-old daughter’s school was no longer a place of complete security from journalists.”

By the time her younger children were born in 2003 and 2005, Rowling said, the scrutiny was “like being under siege and like being a hostage.”

She also described how, early on in their relationship, her now-husband Neil Murray gave personal details over the phone to a reporter who was pretending to be a tax official. An article about him duly appeared in a tabloid paper.

“That was a not-very-nice introduction to being involved with someone famous,” Rowling said.

Rowling told the inquiry she had gone to court or to Britain’s press watchdog more than 50 times over pictures of her children or false stories, which included a claim by the Daily Express that unpleasant fictional wizard Gilderoy Lockhart had been based on her first husband.

Before the final Potter book appeared in 2007, a reporter even phoned the head teacher of her daughter’s school, falsely claiming the child had revealed that Harry Potter died at the end, in an apparent bid to learn secrets of the plot.

Miller, who became a tabloid staple when she dated fellow actor Jude Law, said the constant scrutiny left her feeling “very violated and very paranoid and anxious, constantly.”

“I felt like I was living in some sort of video game,” she said.

“For a number of years I was relentlessly pursued by 10 to 15 men, almost daily,” she said. “Spat at, verbally abused.

“I would often find myself, at the age of 21, at midnight, running down a dark street on my own with 10 men chasing me. And the fact they had cameras in their hands made that legal.”

The 29-year-old actress told the inquiry that a stream of personal stories about her in the tabloids led her to accuse friends and family of leaking information to the media. In fact, her cell phone voice mails had been hacked by the News of the World.

Miller, the star of “Layer Cake” and “Alfie,” was one of the first celebrities to take the Murdoch tabloid to court over illegal eavesdropping. In May, the newspaper agreed to pay her 100,000 pounds ($160,000) to settle claims her phone had been hacked.

The newspaper’s parent company now faces dozens of lawsuits from alleged hacking victims.

Also testifying Thursday was former Formula One boss Max Mosley, who has campaigned for a privacy law since his interest in sadomasochistic sex was exposed in the News of the World.

Mosley successfully sued the News of the World over a 2008 story headlined “Formula One boss has sick Nazi orgy with five hookers.” Mosley has acknowledged the orgy, but argued that the story — obtained with a hidden camera — was an “outrageous” invasion of privacy. He said the Nazi allegation was damaging and “completely untrue.”

Mosley said he has had stories about the incident removed from 193 websites around the world, and is currently taking legal action “in 22 or 23 different countries,” including proceedings against search engine Google in France and Germany.

“Invasion of privacy is worse than burglary,” Mosley said. “Because if somebody burgles your house … you can replace the things that have been taken.”

High-profile witnesses still to come include CNN celebrity interviewer Piers Morgan, who has denied using phone hacking while he was editor of the Daily Mirror newspaper.

The inquiry, led by Judge Brian Leveson, plans to issue a report next year and could recommend major changes to Britain’s system of media self regulation.

Rowling said that she supported freedom the press, but that a new body was needed to replace the “toothless” Press Complaints Commission.

“I can’t pretend that I have a magical answer,” she said. “No Harry Potter joke intended.”


Leveson Inquiry: http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/

Jill Lawless can be reached at: http://twitter.com/JillLawless

Pippa Middleton Needs Prince Harry for Lovelorn Support


Pippa Middleton has heard from Prince Harry since she broke up with Alex Loudon. Not surprising because the two have apparently become fast friends since both stole part of the show at the Royal Wedding. Sources say they regularly talk on the phone, reports Entertainment STV. So it would be very gentlemanly of Prince Harry to offer some firm, masculine support and consolation in Pippa’s lonely moments. If, of course, she needs such a thing.

Reports one unnamed source of Pippa Middleton: “Harry and Pippa have always had a close relationship and when he heard about the break-up he told her he’d be a shoulder to cry on if she needed it.” OK, that’s good to know.

The world’s royal-watchers and fans have been File:Pippa Middleton Prince Philip.jpgon the lookout for something to break—besides a casual brother-sister relationship—between Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton ever since a few sparks between them seemed to fly around the wedding and the endless chain of after-parties. But since then, not much.

Right now, the time is right, because both seem officially unattached. Of course, there is always George Percy, who once shared an apartment with Pippa and has family access to that famous “Hogwarts” castle. And always Chelsy Davy, in Harry’s background.

Meanwhile, friends say Pippa Middleton is doing just fine, with or without Prince Harry’s shoulder. She was recently spotted ice skating with a blond friend. Was that George? Sounds as if Pippa is ok.

© Cindy Kroiss – Gather Inc. 2011




Sporty, eligible bachelors at the ready: the
lovely Pippa Middleton is reported to be back on the market.

She is unlikely to remain there for long. The
Duchess of Cambridge’s foxy little sister was the world’s most sought after
woman even when she had a boyfriend.

Singer Justin Timberlake, who has dated
Hollywood stars such as Cameron Diaz, admits to drooling over her.

‘We American males love Pippa… I’m going to
sound like a sleazeball!’ he told Esquire magazine. Websites and blogs, some
with unprintable names, are dedicated to her outfits, pert figure and spirited
exercise regime. And just to raise temperatures even further, newspaper reports
suggest she has split from her boyfriend, the handsome, square-jawed,
cricket-loving Alex Loudon, ‘after a blazing row at a wedding’.

Pippa is reported to have walked out on the
31-year-old Old Etonian after a string of rows. Now they are ‘barely


Friends of the couple have confirmed to the
Mail that they did, indeed, have a ‘blazing and very public’ argument at the
wedding of Pippa’s old Edinburgh University friend Humphrey Bowles in Whitby,
North Yorkshire, in September.

‘Pippa had been on the dancefloor without Alex
all night and he didn’t appear happy. They could clearly be heard arguing hammer
and tongs,’ says a source.

However, members of Pippa’s social circle
emphasised last night that the split must be very recent because most of them
were unaware of it.

And it may yet be that there is  a
reconciliation (perhaps over  the socially complex Christmas holidays). But the
feeling among their set seems to be that there is no long-term future for the

Oh dear. Not so long ago, Loudon was said to
be on the brink of proposing and hunting for an engagement ring on the sly.

William and Kate and the Middleton parents
were known to approve of the solid, good-natured financier, and all was looking
rosy for the nearly-weds.

Pippa had been presented with keys to his flat
in Parsons Green, South-West London, where she spent many nights away from her
own pad in Chelsea. And she was a regular guest at his parents’ beautiful Kent

In September, Pippa turned 28 and celebrated
her birthday at a low-key Italian restaurant with just Alex and the Cambridges.
She is just the right age, you might think, to accept a proposal. So, what went

It seems that Alex — who comes from the sort
of English gentry family who try to avoid being in the papers apart from their
births, marriages and deaths — struggled with Pippa’s sudden and unexpected

Apart from a brush with publicity thanks to a
brief stint with the England cricket team, Alex was content to live the
privileged and anonymous life of the upper classes.

But, last April, his girlfriend went from
being a pretty Berkshire Sloane to Her Royal Hotness, her silk-clad derriere
admired by billions around the world.

And not for the first time in the history of
love, the relationship couldn’t take the change in status.

There was a brief split in June (later denied)
when Pippa was much photographed on mini-breaks with her good friend George
Percy, the future Duke of Northumberland.

But tantalising though it was to speculate on
the Middleton parents having ‘double duchess’ daughters, Pippa soon got back
together with Alex and it looked as if marriage might be on the cards.

But after the reunion, whenever they were
photographed together, Loudon looked excruciatingly uncomfortable in the
spotlight. Unlike Pippa or, for that matter, Percy. Pippa and Alex are firmly in
the ‘wedding zone’ — that time between the ages of 28 and 32 when public school
and university-educated types must spend most of their  weekends at a wedding,
hen or stag night.

Typically, among this flurry of fascinators
and champagne-fuelled flirtation, the question of marriage tends to be thrust to
the forefront of a couple’s minds as they turn

The relentless recitals of those wedding
standards Sonnet 116  (‘Let me not to the marriage of true minds . . .’) and 1
Corinthians (‘Love is patient, love is kind . . .’) took their toll on Pippa and

They had that huge row (topic unrecorded) at
the Whitby wedding. Could the subtext have been that Alex was keen on marriage,
but Pippa wasn’t so sure?

You can see the emotional dynamic in those
perky pictures of Pippa a couple of weeks ago in her low-cut red dress being
raised aloft by children’s party entertainer Charlie ‘Sharky’ Astor at the
Boodles Boxing Ball in London.

A man already feeling uncomfortable about his
girlfriend’s globally publicised desirability could be forgiven for feeling
irritated by those photos. Another well-bred, tall Old Etonian lifting her up so
enthusiastically? A lesser man than Loudon might have been tempted to reward
‘Sharky’ with a shiner.

bliss in Anglesey and Kensington — they are
hardly out every night — and Prince Harry is flying helicopters and drinking in
Arizona, Pippa has become absolutely ‘it’ among the social set who congregate
around the young royals.

‘In any given night in Chelsea, you’ll find
Pippa having dinner with socialites Astrid Harbord, Arabella Musgrave or other
girls from that royal inner circle,’ says one member of that scene.

After that revealing red dress, Pippa wore a
more covered up (though still tight-fitting and fetching) frock to her last big
public outing, the Too Many Women charity event at Petersham Nurseries near
Richmond upon Thames.

There, Pippa danced with her friend Katie
Readman (who works for the Issa design label favoured by Kate) and sat next to
Carphone Warehouse founder David Ross, who has a long-term girlfriend and knows
the Middletons from holidays on Mustique.

So Pippa is socially feverish — but what next?

Though she still juggles working for her
parents’ Party Pieces company with her job at Table Talk, the London caterers,
there were recent rumours of a book deal for Pippa to write a party planning

How To Get My Figure might have sold more, but
you can see that a Party Pieces tie-in publication is a safer prospect and has
logic to it.

We can expect lots of jolly imaginative
suggestions about how to turn your kitchen into a faux rainforest with just a
few banana cupcakes. She can, of course, expect a huge advance.

As for men, if she does embark on 2012 as a
single girl, she is likely to want to follow her sister’s example and not leave
marriage too late.

Timberlake, Daniel Radcliffe, singer Joe Jonas
of the Jonas Brothers and others who have expressed their admiration publicly
can dream on — Pippa will probably choose her future husband from a small, safe,
inner circle of courtiers.

Suitors must be well-connected, rich,
anti-drugs, Conservative- leaning, keen on the country, but be presentable in

Blue blood combined with an entrepreneurial
streak — something that is fashionable and Middleton-style — would be good, as
would a love of sports, particularly tennis, skiing and triathalon.

A past involving university pranks and
high-jinks — wrapping yourself in loo roll and downing vodka from the bottle,
for example — is fine, but any kind of brush with the law involving illegal
substances is not.

It would be easier for everyone concerned if
the suitor was from the royal court, because having a future king as
brother-in-law will be a daunting option for many.

The last time Alex Loudon vanished, George
Percy bravely stepped up to the role of Her Hotness’s escort.

The future Duke of Northumberland — Pippa’s
flatmate at Edinburgh University and now an energy entrepreneur — eagerly rowed
the brunette from Bucklebury around a lake in Madrid and took her to the tennis
at Queen’s Club in London.

It is said by their friends that the chemistry
isn’t there, but that could be a cover story.

Her other Edinburgh flatmate, Lord ‘Ted’
Innes-Ker, a golfer and duke’s son, is promisingly single.

Otherwise there is William’s friend Thomas Van
Straubenzee, who works for a smart estate agent, or the handsome, smiley William
Van Cutsem, a chartered surveyor and property entrepreneur, whose father is an
old friend of Prince Charles.

Then, of course, there is the Boodles Ball
chap who danced with her, Charlie ‘Sharky’ Astor, who is half of children’s
entertainers Sharky and George. That might not be a lifelong career choice, but
for a girl who is rumoured to be about to get a million-pound advance for
writing about children’s parties, it could be helpful. And he is an

Racier options include banking heir James
Rothschild — though he is seeing Paris Hilton’s sister Nicky — and Arthur
Landon, heir to the ‘White Sultan’, the British military commander who once
arranged a coup in Oman.

Arthur has a £200  million fortune and royal
connections, but he, too, has a girlfriend.

Other men who would be suitable but are
currently taken include Richard Branson’s handsome son Sam and brewing heir
James Tollemache.

Should their relationships not lead to
marriage, they could be good options for Pippa. ‘I know some people who will
make themselves single for Pippa,’ says one girl.

Whatever her choice, for now the
Chelsea/Clarence House royal set will be rallying around, inviting her for
supper and consoling her with masses of attention.

Well-meaning Alex Loudon will carry on carving
out his quiet  City career and Pippa will enjoy her blossoming social life and
try  to work out how to enjoy her burgeoning fame without being accused of

After all, she is inundated by freebies from
everyone from fashion houses to leading sporting events. Of course, she has to
be careful about what she accepts, but as that possible book deal shows, the
winnings will be there for her.

And at some point — if it is not to be Alex
Loudon — a husband will be, too



Fashion Faceoff: Emma Watson vs. Chloe Moretz


Basic black can be so boring! Starlets Emma Watson and Chloe Moretz instead opted to show off their fun fashion sense in a plaid McQ mini dress just four days apart. So … it’s time for us to judge just who wore it better.

Emma Watson, 21, posed in the frock while attending the GQ Men of the Year Awards in London on September 6. “Harry Potter’s” Hermione shook things up by pairing the design with a leather jacket, a tulle tutu, and a pair of Christian Louboutin pumps.

Chloe Moretz, who’s only 14, wore the same dress at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival in the same week. The “Kick-Ass” actress made the look her own by accessorizing with black heels and socks, which have much the same effect as ankle boots.

Both beauties win props for daring to wear the printed garment, but only Emma had the style savvy to rev up its volume with a tutu and add edginess with her outerwear. For that, I declare her the winner. There is consolation for Chloe, though, who proves in this ensemble that in years to come, she’ll definitely be one to watch on the red carpet. Do you agree?


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