Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Merlin 5.04: Another's Sorrow

See my round-ups of episodes 1, 2 and 3 of series 5 here: Arthur's Bane Part 1, Arthur's Bane Part 2 and The Death Song of Uther Pendragon

We begin with Princess Mithian and her father being taken hostage in their own castle by Morgana and Oden. Arthur killed Oden's son last series (I think) and Oden killed Uther in revenge. Mithian's home/palace/castle is something - I want it. Stately and beautiful without being overly opulent, it makes you wonder why Camelot isn't as nicely decorated. Anyway. Morgana has promised Oden that she will deliver Arthur straight into his hands to do with as he wishes - who wouldn't be tempted by that?

Monday, 29 October 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

For those of you who don't know (shame on you!) NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It's a global event that takes place every year during the month of November where participants are challenged to write a 50,000 word novel during the space of 30 days. Yes, that's right: 50K. In 30 days.

I participated in NaNo during the Novembers of 2008, 2009 and 2010. I won in 2008 and 2009. I think I was something like 2K short in 2010 and I didn't bother trying in 2011 because I just had way too much stuff to do.

So will 2012 be my year? About a month ago, I got the sudden urge to take part again. I'm a subscriber of the newsletters and slowly over the last month or so, there's been a steady trickle of official newsletters that has got me increasingly excited for something that I know that there's no way that I will finish this year. Yet I still want to do it.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Merlin 5.03: The Death Song of Uther Pendragon

See my round-ups of previous episodes in Merlin series 5: Arthur's Bane Part 1 and Arthur's Bane Part 2

We start out fairly innocuously with Arthur and Merlin out in the forest, hunting. Why Arthur decides to take only Merlin with him on a hunting trip is beyond me (and beyond Arthur, too) but I digress. They hear screams and stumble upon a village sacrifice with a human as the aforementioned unfortunate. The woman is about to be burned at the stake for sorcery but Arthur forces the village leader at swordpoint to release the woman and take her into the woods. She's on her deathbed but gives Arthur a gift to thank him for his "kindness and compassion." It's a horn, but not any ordinary horn: "It has the power to summon spirits of the dead" and Arthur has a very clear idea about what he's going to do with it.

Back in Camelot, it's the anniversary of Arthur's coronation - and also of Uther's death. As a result, Arthur is deeply unhappy and he doesn't even want to talk to Gwen about it. The next morning, he orders Merlin to ready their horses and not let anyone know that they're going on a trip.  They arrive at the Great Stones of Nematon - which looks very like Stonehenge - in order to call upon Uther's spirit as Gaius had said of the legend.

Monday, 15 October 2012


Note my excitement.

I randomly checked Ms Reisz's twitter account yesterday and saw that there would be a preview of the first chapter, released today. It's beyond awesome. Check it out here.

We know that much of the book is set in Søren and Kingsley's childhood at the Jesuit boarding school where they met. The sample chapter as above begins as Kingsley arrives in his idea of hell and is pretending that he can't speak a word of English. Like most people, he is haunted by the beauty of the music flowing from Søren's hands, but terrified by the man himself:

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed (2011)
Ally Condie
Grade: B-
Genre: dystopian YA
Source: library
Matched: (1) Matched, (2) Crossed

When Society decides what you eat, what work you do and who you have children with, not everyone is going to blindingly obey. The vast majority have been indoctrinated to believe that this is the only path to follow, but underneath the surface, if you know where to look, dissenters exist aplenty. Society has its ways of controlling those who are more vocal in their dissent; those like Cassia are more aware of what will happen to them if they lash out and instead keep one ear open for any news to do with the Pilot who it is said will lead The Rising.

Merlin 5.02: Arthur's Bane Part 2

See my round-up of episode 5.01, Arthur's Bane Part 1

We open with Morgana waking from a bad dream. She's in bed, hair unkempt in her usual Amy Winehouse-esque fashion and fully-dressed with boots on - who does that? I love how my main focus is how she's probably making her bed dirty when she's plotting to kill Arthur at the same time ... must get my priorities straight! Anyway, she seeks comfort from her bad dream and we turn to the other side of the room to see a dragon! Aithusa! The same dragon that Merlin hatched last series or the one before! How on earth did Aithusa escape from the Great Dragon?! What's going on in the world?! If you hadn't already guessed, this is a cause for great concern.

Arthur and Merlin are still with their captors and making their way slowly to Ismere. They know that they can't be delivered into Morgana's hands like a sacrifice, but are biding their time to make their escape. Strangely enough, Mordred seems to be on their side and when they do manage to have the upper hand and make a run for it, he stands by and lets them go. Arthur decides to spare his life, despite having ample opportunity to kill him, much to Merlin's despair.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis

Lucky in Love (2011)
Jill Shalvis
Grade: B+
Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: hot-ish
Source: NetGalley
Lucky Harbour: (4) Lucky in Love, (5) At Last, (6) Forever and a Day

Mallory Quinn is tired of being good. In the small town of Lucky Harbour, she’s heralded as the only sane Quinn family member against the backdrop of her parents’ divorce, her sister Karen’s suicide when Mallory was sixteen and her remaining siblings Tammy and Joe’s hoyden and wild ways. She might love her job as a nurse at the local hospital and she’s content in her grandmother’s old house, but being good hasn’t got Mallory anywhere in the boyfriend department and she thinks it’s time to try out a Mr. Wrong for a change.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Merlin 5.01: Arthur's Bane Part 1

It's conducive to my good health if they're shirtless ALL the time
Merlin is one of my favourite shows and so I was beyond ecstatic when I heard that it would be back on TV. As if that wasn't enough, the abundance of hot, naked, sweaty men in this episode makes me want to weep with joy. I found this random image on the left with the help of my good friend Google; it doesn't appear on the show but I couldn't help myself from sharing.


It seems that some time has passed since the end of Season 4 and Arthur and Guinevere are well settled into married life. Unfortunately, after a length of relative peace, that's about to change. Sir Gwaine was sent out with three score of men six weeks ago and there’s been no word since. There's rumours floating around that the Ismere estate is back in use and Morgana is the one to blame.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

ENACTUS Sussex, here we come!

What is Enactus, I hear you ask. Well, basically the same answer to the queston 'What is SIFE?' Until Sunday 30 September 2012 where the new name was announced at the Opening Ceremony of the Enactus World Cup in Washington D.C., Enactus had been known as SIFE since the organisation's inception in 1975 by its founder, Jack Shewmaker. With new criteria and a much different approach taken by students than initially intended, it was time for the name and logo to reflect our work in a meaningful way.

What is Enactus?
Enactus is a global, not-for-profit organisation that works with business and university leaders to assist university students in setting up their own Enactus teams to make a difference in their communities. Students use an entrepreneurial approach to solve the problems and answer the needs of groups in communities by teaching them skills that enable them to improve their quality of life and standard of living in a sustainable way. This is usually a mixture of soft and practical skills, but is hugely dependent on the needs of the group that the Enactus team are working with. 

Friday, 5 October 2012

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Bared to You (2012)
Sylvia Day
Grade: B+
Genre: erotica
Sex scenes: beyond scorching. Possibly more sex than I've ever read in a single novel
Source: own / NetGalley
Crossfire: (1) Bared to You

BE WARNED: Bared to You has more sex than even I was expecting. I didn’t count, but I’m hazarding a guess that there’s more sex and more orgasms than Fifty Shades of Grey. I was reminded of Ms Reisz’s writing with regard to the unapologetically intense nature of the sex (though nowhere near as heavy on the bdsm) and the sex in Bared to You was (IMO) more powerfully written than Fifty Shades of Grey (not difficult and review coming soon, I promise). Expect in this review: spoilers, unashamedly crude, lurid details and excerpts from scenes that will get you hot and bothered. It might get squicky. Read on at your peril.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012


Update: 22:56pm GMT - EnactusUSA, Belmont University are the winners of the Alvin Rohrs World Champion Trophy! Well done to them! Their presentation was different, their delivery smooth and just an all-round brilliant Enactus team. Spring Back Recycling is an example of a truly great, truly innovative Enactus project and they should be very proud!

Also well done to the other three finalists who competed in the final as well as the rest of the Enactus teams who travelled to Washington DC for the World Cup. Enactus Southampton, you did us proud! 

Final standings:
Winner - Belmont University, USA
Runner-up - French University of Egypt, Egypt
Third place - HR College of Commerce and Economics, India
Fourth place - Midlands State University, Zimbabwe


Watch here

Inordinantly excited for the live-streaming of the Enactus World Cup Final rounds! At 18.15 GMT, we'll be watching the Awards ceremony for the Semi-finals and if I thought that last night's award ceremony for the first round was nerve-wracking, this is going to be something else. After that, it's going to be straight into the presentations for the Final round and it will be IMMENSE. Here's to the next five hours staring at my laptop screen ... Good luck SIFE/Enactus Southampton!!!

*Formerly known as SIFE. There may be a post to come shortly; depends on how I feel - Update: see said post here

Monday, 1 October 2012

Firefly and Contract Law

I had really never thought about Firefly and contract law in quite this way.

Very good examples and if my brain wasn't quite so fuzzy from illness, I would be able to think about the contract issues in Firefly a lot clearer. Definitely need to sit down and re-watch the entire series just to consider it from a contractual perspective.