Rowan Recommends: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead

Thanks to Kate, who follows some excellent mailing lists, I managed to get a cheap ticket to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Old Vic theatre on Thursday night, the same day it was broadcast as a National Theatre Live showing. The play is basically an Absurd take on Hamlet, and it’s very entertaining. You can still catch a repeat of the NT screening, so read on for why you should see it (or, if you’re so inclined, why you shouldn’t). 

Continue reading

The 12 Days of Christmas 10: The Archers (yet again)

Well, it’s been a strange and eventful day. I generally avoid doing reviews on this blog because I’ve always been irrationally afraid that the person whose art I’m insulting will read what I have to say. It’s never been a big worry, because my online profile is pretty low, but now it’s happened.

I woke up this morning to find that my post about The Archers from the very first 12 days of Christmas had been shared on social media by the official Archers page. I now find myself in the confusing position of being both slightly star-struck to be tweeted by Lynda Snell, and horrified that I know who Lynda Snell is. And apparently I’ve displeased the fandom.

Continue reading

Rowan Recommends: Bookbarn International

I’m sure my excuses for the yawning gaps between posts are beginning to wear a little thin, so I won’t bother to make any this time. Just rest assured that I have excellent reasons for disappearing into the ether, and as usual I promise I’ll try to do better from now on. As an apology for my silence, here’s a quick roundup of a weird and wonderful place Dom and I stumbled across yesterday: The Bookbarn.  Continue reading

Nine things not to do in the Quiet Carriage

Shhhh… let’s just forget about my month-and-a-half absence and plunge straight into a brand shiny new rant-listicle-combo (a ranticle?).

I’m not a religious woman. I try, albeit in my fallible human way, to believe only things I have good evidence for, whilst being tolerant towards the other inhabitants of this deeply flawed little planet. However, there is one sacred place in which the tiniest misdemeanour can turn me into a furious rage-monster. (Anyone who’s seen me when I’m hungry may take issue with the idea that I don’t often become irrationally enraged, but that’s not the point.) Friends, let me introduce you to the Sanctity of the Quiet Carriage. Continue reading

Have YOU spotted these four omens of the impending Apocalypse?

Check out my exciting click-baity title – I thought I’d try doing a Buzzfeed, just to see if it makes any difference to my stats. Let me know if you found yourself inescapably drawn in by the potent gravitational pull of a *gasp* combined rhetorical question and listicle, with just a dash of hysteria thrown in for good measure. Now hold on to your hats for a quickly-penned, ranty one on the highly original topic of How Everything Has Gone To Sh*t Nowadays. 

Once again, I must apologise for being shockingly absent from your online airwaves for the last month or so. This is, as ever, due to a combination of factors, mainly being pretty busy and coming down with various things, including another bout of writer’s block. I think the latter is partly to do with how depressing the internet has got lately. The moment I open my laptop, I’m bombarded with articles confirming that the universe is literally coming to an end. If it’s not climate change, IS or the mass murder and displacement of millions, it’s dead celebrities, embarrassing politicians or the slightly disappointing new iPhone. Continue reading

Everything you need to know about Port Eliot Festival*

* if what you need to know is a jumbled collection of the things I did and thought while I was there, excluding all practical and objective details.

Once again, it’s been quite a while. This month’s excuse is that I was very very busy working onsite at Larmer Tree festival where I did Very Important Things like running around with a radio and explaining to large numbers of people how to use a website. It’s a pretty solid excuse for my absence as long as you ignore the fact that the festival only lasted a week…

I’m back from festival-land for now though, and I’ve been taking a well-earned break by going to another festival with Bonnie, my ex-flatmate and the co-star of most of my year abroad posts. The festival in question is Port Eliot, which I’ve mentioned on here before, and of which I was going to do a solid, all-corners-covered review. However, I’m still quite busy what with moving away from Salisbury to an uncertain future this weekend, so it’s going to be a review of the patchy and subjective variety. Enjoy! 
Continue reading

Brexit: Burning our bridges

It’s hard to know where to start on today’s result. Like many, I’m still feeling regular waves of shock, horror and nausea when I think about what we’ve declared as a nation, and what impact it could have on our future and others’. I’ve refrained from blogging on the subject previously, because I’m not as politically informed as the many people whose posts I’ve shared, but now it’s become the only thing I can think about, I’m going to have a stab. Because I’m angry.

I’ve seen a lot of people on my social media requesting that we stop verbally abusing leave voters and tarring them with the ‘bigot’ brush, and that’s fair. There’s already been too much anger and personal hatred in this debate; in fact, that’s probably one of the reasons we’ve made such an insane dangerous ludicrous unprecedented decision. There are various reasons to vote leave, not all of them xenophobia, and I don’t want to continue the harmful scapegoating that’s already far too prevalent, but nonetheless, I’m really, really f*cking angry.

I’m going to do my best to explain who I’m angry with, and why, because I think at this pivotal moment it’s crucial that those of us who feel cheated and disappointed hold accountable those who are responsible for this mess. As I’ve said, my political/economic knowledge isn’t where I’d like it to be, but there are some pretty clear villains in this piece. Here’s who I condemn, and why. Continue reading