Monthly Archives: November 2010

John Hughes

“Whatever happened to chivalry? Does it only exist in 80’s movies? I want John Cusack holding a boombox outside my window. I wanna ride off on a lawnmower with Patrick Dempsey. I want Jake from Sixteen Candles waiting outside the church for me. I want Judd Nelson thrusting his fist into the air because he knows he got me. Just once I want my life to be like an 80’s movie, preferably one with a really awesome musical number for no apparent reason. But no, no, John Hughes did not direct my life.”
– Olive Penderghast, Easy A (2010)

The above is taken from the recent teen film, Easy A.  This is just one of several films who have made reference to the late, great John Hughes.  In recent years, many films (and some television shows) have paid tribute to the writer, director and producer; either referencing his work or echoing the themes and characters portrayed. It could be argued that the teen/high school films of today would not be the way that they are if it was not for the films from John Hughes, for example, the popular ‘nerd’ character, seen in films such as Superbad, are clear reflections of the Anthony Michael Hall characters from the Hughes films.

Since his untimely death in 2009, Hughes’s work has been used as a theme for a recent episode of One Tree Hill, dedicating the episode to the director. The episode saw the characters face various situations that featured in Sixteen Candles, Home Alone and Pretty in Pink.

Molly Ringwald & Michael Schoeffling as Sam Baker & Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles and Bethany Joy Galeotti & James Lafferty as Haley James Scott & Nathan Scott in One Tree Hill.

His films are were a huge success in the mid 1980s and still remain popular today. His films were so relatable to teenagers, creating likeable, true characters and creating storylines that echo the thoughts and feelings of teenagers. After all, it’s every girl’s nightmare to have her parents forget her 16th birthday!

The Breakfast Club is a particular stand out amongst the John Hughes collection. Telling the story of five students in detention, who have nothing in common and who simply see each other as the stereotypes in which they have been labelled; “The Criminal”, “The Princess”, “The Athlete”, “The Brain” and “The Basket Case”. The group were assigned an essay by the school’s principle detailing “who you think you are”. Forced to spend time together, they end up discussing their deepest secrets; realising that they all have poor relationships with their parents and how they worry that, having become friends, after the detention they will all continue to ignore each other and return to their own individual cliques.

“Dear Mr. Vernon, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did *was* wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us… In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…and an athlete… and a basket case… a princess… and a criminal… Does that answer your question?… Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club.”

Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy & Judd Nelson as Claire Standish, Brian Johnson, Andrew Clark, Allison Reynolds & John Bender in The Breakfast Club.

Also known as the “Brat Pack”, the cast of the popular 1980s films, including many of Hughes’ films; Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Demi Moore, Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe and Judd Nelson became household names during the decade. However, not all went on to outstanding Hollywood careers, but will be remembered for bringing to life some of the most inspiring and true characters featured in movies aimed at teenagers.

Andrew McCarthy, Molly Ringwald & Jon Cryer as Blane McDonnagh, Andie Walsh & Duckie in Pretty in Pink


John Hughes died on Auguest 6 2009, following a heart attack whilst he was out walking and was the subject of a tribute at the 2010 Academy Awards where the stars of several of his films came together to celebrate his work. I think John Hughes’s work will remain hugely successful and popular with his characters and plotlines continuing to inspire and influence future high school films. Hopefully generations to come will still enjoy the classic 80s teen movies and recognise the influence John Hughes has had upon teen films and popular culture since their release.

Matthew Broderick as Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller's Day Off

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)


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Sunshine Radio

For 2 years I have been a volunteer at Sunshine Radio, the hospital radio station for my local hospital, Weston General Hospital.

I’ve always had big dreams about working in the media industry, so I thought volunteering at Hospital Radio would be a “good thing to put on my CV”. However, I was unaware that it would soon become of of my favourite things to do.

Having listened to a variety of different radio shows since I was a little girl and enjoying all genres of music, I thought the idea of taking part in radio shows was really interesting.

Sunshine Radio began in 1978 under the name of Weston Hospital Broadcasting Society, with the aim of making the hospital stay easier for patients. In 1983, the four smaller hospitals in the area were to become one; so the station had to move! The station become Sunshine Radio and raised £20,000 from the Friends of Sunshine Radio organistion to build a new studio. In 1986, Sunshine Radio was ready to broadcast when the new hospital opened.

My first show at Sunshine Radio was on 28th July 2008 and it was completely overwhelming! This was not a normal Monday at Sunshine; Weston-super-Mare’s beloved pier had just burned down. However, the show must go on and I successfully participated in my first show… even if I did just say “goodbye!”

The show I take part in is called Wardround and is a request show for the patients in the hospital. The team; also known as “Wardrounders” visit the patients on the wards and take their requests. After the requests have been taken, the team and I host the show, dedicating the songs we play to the patients who requested them.

The Monday team at Christmas


Although the process can often be quite upsetting, I love visiting the patients for their requests. It’s nice to know that some are expecting to see you, and looking forward to making a request. Sometimes you can brighten someone’s day who may not have had a visitor that day. We may only be playing a 4 minute song, but it is so rewarding to know that by doing so, you’ve made someone’s stay in hospital that little bit better.

There is a team of sometimes around 10 people that take part in the Monday show (Wardround is on every weekday night) which I am involed with. This makes the shows extremely fun and exciting to participate in. The team has become a tight-knit friendship group, which I, personally, think may help listeners enjoy the show just a little bit more.

Sunshine Radio relies on donations and charity, so there are often several fundraising evens that members can help with such as; bake sales, bag packing, collecting at the local annual Carnival and quizzes. These events help to promote the station and also helps us raise money to help pay for new equipment.

Sunshine Radio quiz with Alan Dedicoat

While I have gained work experience that may help with my future career, I have also gained a whole range of other experiences… Some that I never thought I would gain through volunteering. Being involed with Sunshine Radio is one of my favourite things to and joining is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s something I miss terribly whilst I’m away at university.

If anyone is thinking about doing some volunteer work, I strongly urge you to take part in your local hospital’s radio station. The whole experience is brilliant and really is rewarding.


Filed under Interest, Misc.

FAQ: Body Combat

Body Combat is the empowering, martial arts inspired fitness class that is fast becoming one of the most popular workout classes in the world.

What is Body Combat?
Body Combat is high-powered exercise class. The energetic cardio workout features elements of martial arts and is set to a fantastic soundtrack. Formed under the name Les Mills International; Mills’s son Phillip developed a number of group exercise programmes that were set to music, including Body Combat.

What does it actually involve?
Each session lasts one hour and features 10 songs, which you kick, punch, strike and jump along to, all whilst following a director at the front of the class.

What are the benefits?
Taking part in Body Combat will burn calories, improve your heart and lung functions, will help you tone and shape and improve your  core strength.  It will work your whole body, as the moves involved use all of your muscles.

Will I be fit enough to take part?
Body Combat is for everyone. As long as you have a moderate fitness level you will be fit enough. Just don’t put in too much effort during the warm up; you might not have enough energy for the rest of the class!

Is it the same every week?
Each routine runs for three months, then changes so that you won’t get bored. This allows you to learn the routine, which means that once you have it sussed, you can put in even more effort. It helps that the music the workout is choreographed to is fun and enjoyable; there are songs you know and some songs you might not know, which you’ll be singing for the rest of the day!

Do I need to bring anything?
Each routine is extremely high powered, so you will need a bottle of water. It is best to wear gym clothes and sensible trainers, as there is a lot of moving about and you want to be comfortable and not get too hot. You may want a towel too as you will get very sweaty!

What if I go wrong?
There is no pressure with the class; if you get the moves wrong, miss a step, get your left and right mixed up, it does not matter. Just stop, have a look at the instructor and try to pick it back up. Everyone is concentrating on their own moves to realise if you have gone wrong.

So why should I take a class?
Body Combat is a great way to get fit, burning up to 600 calories per session. It is a lot more fun that a generic work out at the gym, and having people around you and an instructor infront of you makes you put in the little bit more effort.

Where can I take the class?
You can search for a class near you here.


Filed under Interest, Misc., Portfolio

Photo Story: How to Bake Amazing Cupcakes!

One of my favourite hobbies is baking and cake decorating. I’m always baking treats such as cupcakes, muffins and brownies for my friends and family.
So, here is a photo story of how to bake amazing cupcakes!

115g/4oz butter, softened
115g/4oz caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
115g/4oz self-raising flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping (Buttercream):
225g/8oz butter, softened
1tbsp cream or milk
350g/12oz icing sugar
Food colouring of your choice

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– Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Line a 12 hole bun tin with paper or silicon cupcake cases.
– Place the butter and the sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light
   and fluffy, then beat in the vanilla extract.
– Gradually beat in the eggs.
– Sift in the flour and fold into the mixture.
– Spoon the mixture into the cases.
– Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until cakes are golden and
   spring back when touched.
– Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
– To make the buttercream, place the butter and cream/milk in a bowl and
   beat together.
– Gradually sift in the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
– Then add in a cap of your chosen food colouring or until your desired
   colour has been reached.
– Place the buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle and
   pipe the buttercream on top of each cake.
– Then decorate with sweets or cake decorations of your choice.

I hope you enjoy baking your cupcakes!!


Filed under Interest, Misc., Portfolio

Timeline: Burberry

Burberry. The 154 year old British brand.

Kate Moss- Burberry Campaign

1856: 21 year old Thomas Burberry, from Basingstoke, Hampshire opened his first store, originally specifying in outdoor clothing. The next fourteen years would see Burberry become a well established store.

1888: Gabardine; a waterproof, breathable fabric invented by Burberry himself was introduced to the brand.

1891: The business opened a new store (under the name Thomas Burberry & Sons) in Haymarket, London. This site remained its headquarters until 2008 when it moved to Westminster.

1901: The Burberry Equestrian Knight Logo was introduced including the Latin word ‘Prorsum’, meaning forwards. The logo became its trademark and is still used today.

1914: The War Office asked Burberry to develop their officer’s coat to suit their requirements. Following this, the trench coat became increasingly popular.

1920: A second trademark for Burberry was introduced. The famous Burberry check began as the lining to their trench coats. The trademark would later be used on its own for several other Burberry products.

1955: Burberry was awarded a Royal Warrant by HM Queen Elizabeth II. A second warrant was granted in 1989 by HRH Prince of Wales.

Agyness Deyn- Burberry Campaign

1955: Burberry was an independent company until 1955 when it was acquired by Great Universal Stores (GUS)

1967: By now, the Burberry Check was now used for a variety of accessories including; scarves, luggage and fragrances. Burberry’s popularity grew during this time, seeing many celebrities wearing the brand.

1980/1990s: During the 1980s, the brand expanded further, introducing more products to it’s line. In the 1990s, Burberry’s profit grew with the help of American CEO Rose Marie Bravo, who re-established the brand after a fall in sales.

2000s: Following its increase in popularity; Burberry saw a massive increase in sales. In 2001, Bravo hired Christopher Bailey, a designer who was at the time working for Gucci. Burberry added multiple new products to their range; including perfumes, which increased profits over the coming years.

Today: Burberry states that it is “an internationally recognised luxury brand with a worldwide distribution network.” The company recently revealed a 21% rise in its sales in the last six months.

Campaigns: Burberry has been well known for its high profile campaigns over the last decade. Starting with Kate Moss, Burberry has seen several well known celebrities and models front their campaigns including; Rachel Weiz, Agyness Deyn and most recently, Emma Watson.

Burberry’s Image: In recent years, Burberry’s image has been distorted due to the brand’s famous Burberry Check being copied. The check pattern became widely associated with “chav” culture; with the pattern being copied and used for various clothes items that were not from Burberry itself. Although Burberry became so associated with the “chav” image; it did not thwart the brand’s image for long.

Emma Watson- Burberry Campaign

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