By Aislinn De'Ath

By Aislinn De'Ath
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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Talkin' 'bout my geeeeneration...

So Reader, my generation is a pretty interesting. We're the generation that left college being told that going to university would guarantee us work, that can't afford to move out of our parents' house till we're past thirty, that have rediscovered religion (not me personally, but loads of my previously atheist or agnostic friends have discovered God, Allah or Buddah later in life) and have found a love of crafting and baking forgotten by our grandmothers. We've ended up being the lost generation, we're not punks/hippies like our parents or teddy boys/rockabilly girls like our grandparents. We are apathetic, disillusioned and looking for reason. But you know what? I sort of love us. Here's two lists of the crap, and great things about Generation Still At Home Watching British Bake Off


  • The apathy-I mean seriously guys, we saw the French version of the BNP nearly get in a couple of years ago due to voter apathy, not voting does not make a difference. Make a stand, go to protests, write letters. But for the love of god take a stand.
  • Ugg boots-I know they're like heaven on the feet, but oh my goodness, they look like something a two year old should wear, not an adult!
  • Internet trolling-It's just pathetic. It's for weak, cowardly people who pick on others for sport and as far as I can tell use it as an excuse to be racist, sexist and homophobic.
  • Reality TV-Ok, I'm an actor so I'm a bit biased (what with it stealing potential work and all), but it's inane, dumbed down and beige. 
  • Immaturity-Maybe it's because it's taken us all so long to move into our own places, but most of us are perpetual children. Most of my friends are scared to commit, whether that be to a relationship, a mortgage or a career path. I have so many peers who are almost thirty (or even past it) but still have no idea what job they want to do when they grow up.

  • Make do and mend-since we're all extraordinarily poor, we find new ways to have fun. All of my friends are artistically adept in one way or another, personally I make ugly toys for my little cousins for presents and often bake up a storm. One of my friends embroiders film quotes and frames them and another makes beautiful pillows. Costume parties are great because you see people wearing all manner of home made madness.
  • Creativity-The theatre scene is spectacular at the moment because we keep trying to find new ways to express ourselves. The trick is seeing past the west end and going to the fringe shows and low budget films. We are a generation who are unafraid to try new things creatively, and keep testing the boundaries.
  • Determination-We have no money and little chance of progression but we are still convinced that we can succeed. Good for us. Pat on the back!
  • Family support-With the recession, so so many of my friends have been supporting their parents, siblings and grandparents on tiny wages and I am so proud of them. We don't have many luxuries, so for someone on barely any money to want to give all of their excess over to supporting others is a wonderful thing to see.
  • Romance-there's been a real surge in romance in my generation-all of my friends are getting married, I keep hearing of random acts of romance and a lot of my chums (male and female) are moon eyed over beautiful things their partners have done for them, whether that be making a midnight picnic in the garden, leaving hand drawn pictures and love notes for them or bringing home flowers 'just because'. Of course, being single I'm not quite getting in on that action, but I have hope!
  • Compassion-if you go on youtube at the moment, you'll find people dressed as superheros giving out bags of food, drink and clothes to the homeless, visiting childrens' hospitals and old folks' homes with gifts and songs and paying for the person behind them at starbucks and drive throughs. It's rather amazing.
Add any others you can think of Reader!

Saturday, 19 October 2013


Reader, I've been watching some of the films recently that highly encouraged the romantic ideals that formed me as a young un. The Slipper and The Rose, The Princess Bride, Ten Things I Hate About You, Star Wars (shut up, and again, shut up. Hans Solo for the win.). And it made me think-did romantic gestures die out or did they ever exist to begin with?

The thing is, I grew up with really romantic parents. My dad proposed to my mum by taking out a full page ad in the newspaper, and had to wait a week to get a response. She never got an engagement ring, because they were so poor back then, but then years later, at Christmas, he surprised her with the most beautiful bit of bling you ever did see. He brings her flowers on a whim, they go out on dates and she scuba dived and skied for him (things that never caught her interest but that she did because he loved them). Quite often I'll walk in on them laying on the sofa all cuddled up and laughing uproariously at a private joke. They've kept nearly every anniversary card they ever sent to each other and recently my mum told me that whenever she goes out for work evening events or away with friends, she is always thinking about him and can't wait to see him again. They set me this incredible example of what love can be, so my standards are quite high. But is it my standards that are high or the standards of the rest of the world that are low?

I'm at an age now where a lot of my friends are getting engaged, and some of the proposals have taken my breath away. Not because they were the biggest, or the flashiest, but because the proposers knew exactly how their proposees had dreamed it would happen and had managed to outshine whatever they were expecting with their thoughtfulness. Similarly, one of my university friends is with someone who isn't scared to openly say how excited he is to spend the rest of his life with her, who asks her what she'd want out of a marriage and who sacrifices his one holiday to spend it with her family, not because he feels like he should, but because he really wants to. They race home to see each other every evening and sunshine practically gleams out of her when she talks about him.

On the other hand, there's also a chunk of my generation whose love lives are almost exclusively meeting up with people for a quick shag. I was talking to a friend the other day whose romantic life has been purely based around hook ups sourced from the internet, who told me she felt like true romance was dead and that she may as well enjoy herself sexually. She also confided that if she was still doing this when she was thirty she might move to Mexico or have a nervous breakdown, but since she's in her mid twenties she felt like it was still acceptable. Another male friend told me romance was dead, and that I should just get used to it. Big gestures, he told me, just didn't happen any more.

Now, maybe I'm wrong, but when I was growing up, I never wanted my life to be a series of one night stands. I knew that it was unlikely that I'd meet the man of my dreams and have my first kiss with him and then we'd go off to his palace and get married and have lots of perfectly well behaved babies, but I expected to have at least a great deal of romance in my life. Instead, I find myself midway through my twenties, single once more, slightly shellshocked and wondering what happens next. After a break up and some romance disappointments, how do you wind up not being the bitter fairy at the party?

When I first became single again I told my housemate that in order to survive, I had to think of life alone as simply a new life filled with hope to meet the great love of my life, but I think I'd forgotten about all the inbetween bits. The thing is, contrary to fairy stories, true love doesn't just pop up out of nowhere. You meet someone, you become friends, you date, you either want to rip their clothes off straight away or it's more of a slow burner, then love sort of blossoms. And how do I reconcile my dreams of the fairy tale ending with the beginning bits of awkward flirting and not being sure stage of meeting prospective dates? Cinderella certainly never had to put up with this bollocks-although she did have to deal with her only friends being rodents. And there's so much more to consider nowadays! When I was last single and dating (at the tender age of 21), I never bothered worrying about how I would be considered and how I acted in a relationship might affect the velocity of said relationship. I just sort of got on with it. Now I keep getting told that there are all these rules. Be unavailable (not really an issue for me given how crazy my schedule is), let them ask you out, never make the first move, don't be too intimidatingly well dressed (difficult given my wardrobe is almost exclusively 50's dresses and high heels). There's a whole bloody rule book that no one told me about! You're not allowed to just sit on the couch and make out any more, you have to go on proper dates! It's perplexing! And none of the fabulous single women I grew up reading about and watching on the screen are single any more. Carrie has Big. Bridget has kids and a toyboy. Even Jennifer Aniston is engaged. I'm part of this generation of boomerang kids who are all getting engaged and settling down and for the first time in a long while, I'm single, but it seems I'm one of the only ones. Although this does present a couple of nice things. I get to flirt with the gorgeous men that previously I would only dribble at from afar. I get to be a single bridesmaid (always fun, and includes bouquet catching and dancing like a nutter whilst drunk on pimms). If Nicholas Hoult comes knocking, I'll be free for a date (I'll be waiting for that call Nicky boy). I can focus on my acting without feeling guilty. I can eat a tub of Phish Food frozen Yoghurt for dinner and not be told off for it. Christmas is going to be a lot cheaper.

I haven't given up on my belief in true love and romance yet Reader. Even though my happy ending hasn't quite happened yet, I'll go on thinking that anything is possible and being moonstruck at weddings and happy for my loved up friends. Because life is too short to be spent being the bad fairy, especially when you can be the brilliant tea drinking, chicken owning, sparkle wearing fairy godmother in The Slipper and The Rose!


Wednesday, 16 October 2013


So Reader, for the past couple of days, I have been alone. House sitting. Now, the first night, I freaked out slightly. Couldn't sleep at night because I kept thinking I could hear noises (despite the fact that the house is more secure than Buckingham Palace and I am surrounded by safety conscious neighbors). I ran out of things to do, started talking to the cat in funny accents and did so much crafting that my fingers now look like they have chicken pox from the needle prickles.

Now however, I am loving it. I am taking every night as as solitary sleepover. Films, face packs, popcorn and many hot baths. Singing loudly and out of tune has become a must whilst cooking dinner. Solitude, I have discovered, is very me. Saying that, I have already caved and spent a night back visiting my housemate last night because I missed her too much (living with one of your besties is a committed relationship, you miss them as you would a boyfriend after a while).

One thing that I have come to notice is that my taste in films has definitely got more silly since being single. No longer do I make an attempt to watch a range of genres. Or much in the way of new, edgy films. This week I have chomped my way through The Bachelorette,  My Best Friend's Wedding, SATC2, Dark Shadows and The Cinderella film with Hillary Duff. I can feel my brain cells dying and I am loving it! Next week The Purge and Byzantium are on my list. I've now watched all of The IT Crowd and restarted on American Horror Story. Fantastic.

The cat is very confused by me. He is unimpressed with my singing and my various accents. I dressed him up as an arab cat the other day using a teatowl and a hair band and he glared at me for the rest of the day. I'm not convinced he is enjoying me being his carer quite as much and I am enjoying caring.

In between work (and self pampering) I have been seeing a lot of my grandparents. Today I took my gran out to get her yearly dose of the ENTIRE CLINIQUE COUNTER and as usual she forced cake down my gullet and gave me a talk out of the blue about how 'there is someone out there for everyone, any ye'll find ye'reself a lovely man at some point, ye need someone mature. Maybe someone who's got a house'. My gran is clearly the queen of advice. This is the same woman, who when asked about how she met the love of her life said 'The Eegit stole my handbag'.

Anyway folks, I'm going back to Carrie and the girls and starting to run my bath. Up super duper early tomorrow and it looks to be a busy ass day!

Friday, 11 October 2013


Reader, today I have not been very well. I have, in fact, had a hangover from hell. I went out last night and took full advantage of a happy hour deal and had six cocktails on a very empty stomach and when I woke up this morning, I had a mouth drier than a sand dune and a stomach that turned every time I reached for my glass of water. My head was vibrating like the inside of a bell and words weren't coming out as words, more like slurring yelps that made little sense. I sounded like a character from Lord Of The Rings. A midget Orc.

I wasn't even that dramatically drunk, but my mid-twenties ability to handle my booze has clearly diminished. I spent the majority of my day squinting at my screen trying to get work done, then having naps, then watching Glee while I worked and wept. Eventually I half crawled to Asda and got mashed potato and sausages and ate them in a giant Yorkshire pudding covered in gravy. I was quite proud given that I only got lost on the way to the shops once. Although I did discover that my purse got nicked last night, which was less encouraging on the ability to handle my drink front. When my friends left this morning, I was unable to get up and give them a hug, I just waved at them from bed encouragingly and then carried on groaning into my pillow.

The night was great though. My lovely actor friends banded together for a night of cocktails, positive attitudes and stories from the scary (and at times hilarious) world of dating in London. We laughed, we posed for silly pictures, we took the unholy mick out of each other and we behaved like the pretentious luvvies we claim to despise (which is always great fun).

I did however, get chatted up. Which is a bonus. Apart from the fact that he was a 20 year old telecoms project manager with an S shaved into his head and his chat up line was 'So what drink are you getting me?'. I laughed so hard that I nearly fell off my extremely tall shoes. 'No dear, I'm an actor. I can barely buy my own alcohol'. Then he asked how he could get in touch with me. 'Ahhh' I said, mysteriously, 'Look me up online!' Luckily no one can spell my name. Little does he know! Oh dear Reader. My life has been reduced to enigmatically turning down pre-pubescent telecoms staff whilst trying to stay upright on exceptionally high heels. Hardly Sex and The City.

It's the first time in a while I've had such an intense hangover. I used to have one at least once a week at uni (although I think the emotional scars from the awful, cringey things I did whilst pissed lasted longer than the hangovers.) Being a social secretary always comes with a side of painful morning afters. The difference of course, is that now when I'm hungover I'm invariably guilty over not giving work my 100%. So no more getting drunk for me. Till November anyway. And then the Christmas parties will begin and my home made mulled wine will be making one hell of an appearance!


Monday, 7 October 2013

Clubbing (of the non baby seal variety)

Reader, I realise this is my second entry of the day, but I just realised something rather vital. On Thursday, I am going clubbing. To a club. With young people. I am in my mid twenties, have I not reached an age where I can just go and meet interesting people at cocktail bars and awards do's yet?

It's not that I have always hated clubbing. Actually, when I was in my second year of college, I suddenly got a bit trendy and started going to The Roxy every week and hanging out with bands in the NME top ten (no, you wouldn't know them, no one knew them even then). I knew all the words to all the songs, I was at that brilliant time in my life where I weighed so little that I could legitimately be classed as a 'skinny' girl and my hair was down to my bum. You could smoke inside and everyone was just enough older than you for it to be thrilling. When I then went to uni, I became the social sec, and most nights a week could be found in a cheesy club or bar on campus, dancing like a loon and challenging strange rugby players to drink offs. And then I went to Drama School and didn't really drink for 2 years. Because waking up with a hangover when you have a 12 hour day ahead of you and an hour journey each way doesn't really make for a happy student. Plus, because the course was so full on, I didn't have much time to work, so couldn't afford the door charge. Since then, I tend to prefer pubs, bars and people's houses for my down time. Or a nice night in on my sofa (shut up I know I'm boring, but I work 7 days a week quite often so I start to miss my cosy sofa and living room. I like being around all my crappy second hand stuff!).

However, I half jokingly entered this contest and ended up winning a night out in a club with lots of friends and heavily discounted drinks. I am an actor. Turning down discounted drinks is against my religion. Plus, the only member of a reality TV show that I like (and, let's face it, have a bit of a crush on) is going to be there, and since I was a runner up in the competition, I might actually get to meet him. Yes, I am ashamed of myself.

I have no idea what to wear. Unlike my 17 year old self, I no longer go around in mini-kilts and fishnets (although those seem to be back in fashion now) and I am assuming my usual 'going out' look of a full on fifties dress and killer heels is out. I am too old for fashion and skin tight material! I need structure these days! Also, I'm certain I won't know any of the songs. And will they have my favourite cocktail, a good old Amaretto Sour (hold the egg white)? And I'll need to leave by 12 because there's not a cat's chance in hell I'll be getting the night bus.

If you don't hear from me within the week, Reader, I'll have been shunned for doing a granddad dance to the hip band playing.


Stay in school kids

Reader, I have a confession to make. I was a really, really rubbish student when I was at uni. No, not Drama School (I used to spend most evenings skipping home to do my homework and telling every one who would listen that I was at Drama School. Like in Fame. But without the singing and dancing and perms). No, I mean university.

See, I had this deal with my parents that if I went and did an academic degree before I trained in acting, they'd help me out, whereas if I went straight to Drama School I'd have to raise all the money myself. Given that my income source was babysitting, the former sounded far better. And dear god, I was CRAP. I didn't go to any lectures, all of my essays were written the night before they were due in and I was known by my lecturers as 'The Girl With The Great Shoes'. No, not 'the girl that wrote that scathing essay on Gawain and The Green Knight'. No. 'The Girl With The Great Shoes'. Which should explain in some way how much attention I paid in my classes. I somehow scraped a 2:1, mainly through my truly excellent bullshitting skills and the fact that I was in a couple of plays that very handily corresponded to my course, but most of my time at uni was spent acting in student productions, becoming the social secretary of the drama society, mooning over entirely unsuitable boys, getting so drunk that I'm actually very confused in hindsight how I fit so much liquid into my body (corky's cream shots anyone? Creme Egg flavour....eesh), smoking millions of rollies, getting tattoos, swimming in the sea at midnight and buying economy brie at Lidl.

The thing is, yes, I was an atrocious student, doing a subject I wasn't particularly interested in, and it meant that I only started acting professionally when I was 23, but you know what? I wouldn't change it for the world. For the first time, I was free to be a childish, naughty weirdo, without parental control. I got to do some really stupid things and experience life in a different city, with different people and stay up outrageously late and write atrocious poetry.

Which is why I get cross with the government putting up tuition fees, and kids being told not to bother with uni because it might not guarantee them a job. University helped me become an adult. I learnt to pay bills, deal with heartbreak, not be a doormat and to be proud of my achievements. I had three years to work out who I was, and I ended up coming out, well, maybe not a fully fledged grown up, but something akin to it.

And I got to try Corky's Creme Egg shots. Which leads to a whole different blog entry on horribly cringeworthy things I've done whilst drunk...

Anyway Reader, go to uni, send your kids to uni, encourage living life to the full!