The Wee Arhive – Episode II

What ho wee readers well I’m back with the next installment of the Wee Archive: this one from the far off year of 2020, deep in the heart of lockdown.

What Ho Wee Subscribers, and welcome to the second email on the Wee Mailing List. Well, quite a lot has happened since my last email hasn’t it – sometimes it feels like the whole world has either gone insane, or is reenacting the last chapter of a very strange Stephen King novel.

Even up here in the wind swept hills of the north of Scotland, we’ve not been able to escape the sad case of the Covid19 panic.

We’ve been quarantined and shut up in Lockdown.

Political figures we once hailed as heroic, seem to have lost their color.

And the rumor’s going round now that we’re heading into a food shortage, so that will be fun.

Still this is hardly the first pandemic we, as a global community, have faced and they’ve never stopped us before – why should this one be any different?

Yet, I can’t begin to describe, how much I’m looking forward to Christmas, when hopefully this will all be over.

If you’ve enjoyed this strange set of photos from the Wee Archives, don’t forget to check out the Wee Blog itself. I especially recommend having a look through the Coronavirus tag, and watch as my patience with this situation gradually deteriorates. Also check  me out on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest for all that good stuff. So until next time my Wee Subscribers, get lots of sun and have a very bonny day.

If you’ve enjoyed this now very dated excuse to show off the pictures I hadn’t put up on Instagram – seriously this seemed far more coherent when I first released it, go easy on me I was still getting the hang of mailchimp – why not sign up for the Wee Mailing List for far more competently composed newsletters. Also why not follow the Wee blog if you haven’t already, and follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, TikTok, Facebook and GoodReads for all the good stuff. Until next time Wee Readers, stay safe, stay sane, and have a very bonny day.

The Wee Writing Lassie’s Top Nine Vegan Dishes at Wetherspoons

What ho, Wee Readers – well I’m back, after a couple weeks hashing out and rearranging my interview with Ailish for the Wee Mailing List, I’m back to my own blog again. Although before I go on I would urge you to go look at her new book, Sisters at the Edge of the World. Not because I have any stake in it, it’s just a really good authentic book.

If you want to know why it feels so authentic, check out my previous post here.

But moving on to the actual meat – Ha! – of the post…

For anyone who follows my Instagram account, you might already be aware that I am a vegan, a big one. You may also be aware – if you’ve been paying close attention to my last few posts – that I am also currently working as a housekeeper at Whetherspoons.

What do these two things have to do with each other? Practically nothing. Except as a employee at Wetherspoons I not only get a free meal provided for me, I get 20% discount in all Wetherspoons.

And you know what that means?

That’s right, top nine list of the vegan stuff at Wetherspoons!

Well I think that’s enough of an introduction – onto the pictures of food now.

9. Tomato and Basil Soup

Rating: 5/10

A strong tasting bowl of thick tomato 🍅 soup.

Further comments: Be careful which tomato and basil soup you buy as they have two with the same name and one of them has milk in them

8. Beyond Burger

Rating: 8/10

For all those Junk Food Vegans out there, Wetherspoons has a burger that would make even McDonald’s jealous.

Further Comments: Lovely, if a bit rich for me.

7.Vegan Sausages , Chips and Beans

Rating: 7/10

A giant portion, including three veggie sausages, and a full plate of chips and beans.

Further comments: Chips were excellent, sausage was a bit too salty for me but I freely admit that’s a personal taste.

6. Fiesta Burger

Rating: 8/10

A heavy stack burger, featuring salsa, guacamole, and roasted vegetables. Served with a side of chips and onion rings.

Further comments : Delicious 🤤

5. Simple Mangalorean roasted cauliflower & spinach Curry with chips

Rating: 9/10

A rich, oily dish of potatoes, spinach and peppers and served with either chips or rice, this ///// Indian dish with make your mouth water just from the smell of it.

Further Comments: Spicy, but not so hot that it makes your eyes run.

4. Five Bean Chill


Rating: 9/10

A chili meal consisting of at least five kinds of beans and if im not mistaken quinoa in the mix as well. All served in a deceptively small bowl, accompanied by rice and tortilla chips on the side.

Further Comments: Deeply filling and the kind of meal that heats you up belly first on a cold day.

3. Jacket Potato with Five Bean Chili

Rating: 7/10

A combination of bake potato and their five bean chili, this dish is perfect for any vegan who needs a little kick with their jacket potato.

Further Comments: The smell alone can make your mouth water.

2. Bake Potato with Roasted Veg

Rating: 8/10

Talk about your gluten-free carb fest, this giant potato, piled high with succulent roasted veg and served with a glorious side salad of lettuce 🥬 , tomato 🍅 , cucumber 🥒 and Onion 🧅 is sure to sate the appetite of even the most hungry of vegans.

Further comments: That is one big ass potato 🥔

1. Takeaway Chips


Rating: 9/10

It might seem like a simple thing to put so high on this list – and yet Wetherspoons chips are gorgeous, and the fact that we can get them as a takeaway is just so exciting to me.

Additional comments: Yes, I’m very easily pleased – now shut up and let me eat my chips.

If you enjoyed this Wee Vegan list of mine don’t forget to follow the Wee Blog if you haven’t already. And check me out on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Goodreads, Facebook and TikTok. Also sign up for the Wee Mailing List before November 21st for more lovely vegan pictures. Until next time Wee Readers, keep safe, keep sane and have a very bonny day.

The Wee Archive: The First Entry

What Ho Wee Readers, and welcome to my new blog series I like to call – The Wee Archive, mainly because it seemed like the most suitable name I could choose. Intended to go between longer, more involved posts that often take a very long time for me to write – the series will be a recollection of the varies different newsletters of The Wee Mailing List. Beginning with my very first newsletter “Pictures from the Wee Archive: A Scottish Fairy Tale”. While of course I encourage you all to sign up for said Mailing List to receive new and exciting content as regularly as I can churn it out – I always found it a little sad that unlike a blog post which can in theory stay up forever, for anyone to see, once a Mailing List is sent out that’s it really. It can be found in a subscriber’s inbox, or my MailChimp account but no where else, and while I admit that is probably the entire point of a Mailing List, I can’t help finding it sad.

And when you mix that sadness with an urgent need to create more content and not have your Wee Readers waiting months for the next blog post, you get The Wee Archive…enjoy.

Pictures from the Wee Archive : A Scottish Fairy Tale

What Ho, Wee Subscribers – welcome to the Wee Mailing List. As we are all in Lockdown up here in the North of Scotland, and thus unable to take new photos of all our wonderful sights and historic buildings, I thought I’d dig into the Wee Archives to show you some pics that just didn’t quite make the cut for the original blog. 

Ah Scotland, home of only the pinkest of castles

Of course not all of Scotland’s castles are pink – I mean can you imagine?

No, this isn’t a land of fairy tales – we don’t all live in castles or fairy cottages.

We mostly just live in regular old houses…

And watch the wildlife outside our windows.

If you’ve enjoyed this brief look into the magical world of the Wee Archives – then  remember to check out The Wee Writing Lassie Blog, and follow it if you haven’t already. Also don’t forget to check me out on TwitterFacebookTumblrInstagram and Goodreads – where I’m 38% complete in my reading challenge. Until next time my Wee Subscribers, from up here in the Land of the Unicorn, stay safe and have a bonny day.

And here in the present, have a very bonny day from a very tired Wee Writing Lassie – and remember to follow the Wee blog if you haven’t already and check me out on TikTok as well.

8 Strange things I saw while I was definitely not stalking Ailish Sinclair

What Ho, Wee Readers, well it’s certainly been a while now, hasn’t it? I know, I know. I did put up a small post last month crowing about the social media platform I just joined; but as far as long haul, involved posts go this is the first in a while.

Don’t worry, I promise, it was worth the wait.

Now I’m sure you all remember my good friend Ailish Sinclair – the fellow writing lassie I first interviewed here, when she published her first book back in 2019. And then again here, when she published her second book.

And if you don’t remember those posts, you should certainly remember her books:

The Mermaid and the Bear

Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish’s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.

Fireflies and Chocolate

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE, was inspired by the 600 children and young people who were kidnapped from Aberdeen during the 1740s and sold into indentured servitude in the American Colonies. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s proper derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!

Available where all good books can be found.

But plugging aside, the point is Ailish and I are good friends, and I admire her greatly as a writer – I wouldn’t have interviewed her, not once but twice, if I didn’t. So you see I am not stalking her, because I don’t need to stalk her. I know this is a strange thing to focus on, but I feel this is an important fact to establish before we start our story. Despite what any authorities may try to tell you, I was not stalking her.

Right now that that’s settled, sit back and enjoy as I recount the strange tale of  “The 8 strange things I saw while I was definitely not stalking Ailish Sinclair”.

8. Chocolate

Look the whole thing sort of spiralled out of control. When I saw her in that shop a week ago I never intended to follow her at all, let alone well…well I suppose if I’m to explain myself, I should really start at the beginning.

And the beginning, I have to say, is really quite mundane. You see I didn’t start out that day knowing I’d see her at all. In fact, all I’d intended to do that day was go for my weekly food shop. So, there I was doing my own shopping, minding my own business, thank you so very much. And who do you think I suddenly saw in the next isle over – that’s right, Ailish Sinclair. After having told me she was out of the country that week.

I thought about going up to her. Saying hello, you know normal not creepy stuff.

But I stopped in shock when I saw what was in her trolley…

Chocolate.

Bars and Bars of Chocolate.

Big Bars, small bars – a whole trolley full of bars of Chocolate.

No judgement or anything.

But…

Really…

That’s weird, right?

I mean that is seriously…not normal.

But whatever, not judging.

But I decided not to go up to her; she seemed annoyed – almost bothered by something. Maybe nervous, she does have a new book recently out. Sisters at the Edge of the World, available at Amazon now.

It’s her first self-published title.

Maybe that was it.

Whatever the case, I finished my own shopping, and decided to put the weird occurrence behind me.

7. Crazy Driving

As I was loading my shopping into my car, I saw Ailish Sinclair again. Just by chance you understand.

She was shoving her bags and bags of Chocolate into her own boot, nibbling on one of the smaller ones as she did so. And she looked so upset, my heart went out to her. I almost went over too, but she suddenly darted into her car – her massive, massive car and skidded out of that car park like she was suddenly on fire.

Or maybe she’d seen a ghost.

It couldn’t be me, could it?

Nah, I’m a nice person. Why would anyone run away from me? In fact, I’m such a nice person that in my concern, I hopped in my own car and went after her.

I followed her calmly down the highway, keeping back just enough so that she probably couldn’t see me in her rear windows – but not so far back that I couldn’t still watch as she…well it’s kind of hard to explain.

It was technically driving I suppose – she was moving her car down the highway. But I was certain that it was no form of driving that would have passed a driving test, of any kind.

To say the whole thing looked erratic at best was like saying a hurricane was just a bit of wind.

Back and forth she skittered across the road, from one lane to the next, as if she couldn’t make up her mind which way she wanted to go. And then with a skidding shriek she suddenly made her choice and shot down a side road.

I followed at a more sedate pace – which meant that from the safe advantage of several car widths away, I could see her shooting down that road. It wasn’t a particularly narrow road, as side country roads go, but because her car is just that big she took up the whole god damn thing.

Thank Goodness we didn’t meet anyone coming the other way, otherwise this wild driving would be significantly less funny and more, well tragic. And I have to tell you Wee Reader, I don’t feel like writing one of those today.

For the next, oh let’s say an hour and a half we drove like that, her metres in front of me taking up the entire width of the road, and me just following like any decent person would when they see a friend, or at least someone they know, start driving like a maniac. We drove like that so long I was lulled into compliancy, so I didn’t really notice where we were driving …that is until we passed the sign.

Welcome to Brodie Castle.

6. Staring at Castles

Followed her up the drive.

Parked behind a tree so she wouldn’t see me, and waited for her to get out of her own car.

Nothing creepy there, I was just concerned is all – besides I like a good castle myself and Brodie is certainly one of the best ones in my oppion.

Maybe I wouldn’t even mind going on one of those guided tours, they’re informative and I haven’t been on one in a while.

I just had to make sure Ailish was okay first. And I’d only know that, when she let go of her steering wheel and got out of the car.

Which, she did, after about twenty minutes.

She got out of her car, and she stood there in front of that castle and stared at it.

Just stood there, still as a ramrod, and stared up at that castle.

And she did that for the next three hours.

Perhaps even longer than that, for I set my car in reverse, turned and drove away when it started to get dark.

Look I’m all for helping, but I think this is just a bit beyond my capabilities.

I mean, I’ve never seen a writer that took what they said on their bio so seriously.

5. Swimming in the Ocean

Thoroughly creeped out, I decided to go to the beach to clear my head.

You know get a bit of blue mind going.

Clear my thoughts.

Maybe I shouldn’t have left her there, just staring at that castle – but come on, that was weird.

Maybe I should have just gone up to her and asked what she was doing but to be completely honest Wee reader, I was afraid to. Afraid of what she might tell me, or maybe I was just afraid of what she might accuse me of.

I’m not a stalker.

I’m not.

It didn’t take me long to find a beach

We’re in the north of Scotland, there’s at least one all the way up the coast.

So it had only taken me about ten minutes to drive away from that castle, and reach that beach.

I tell you this now, because it’s highly relevant to what I say next.

You see when I stepped up to the blue water and gazed out onto its shinning surface, I realised that there was someone already standing on the beach.

I think you can guess who by this point in the post.

That’s right, it was Ailish Sinclair

She’d beaten me to the beach.

The woman who I’d left staring at a castle, had beaten me to a beach that was a ten minute drive away.

And the strangest thing of all Wee Reader, I couldn’t see any sign of her car.

She’d apparently beaten me here without a car.

And if you can believe it Wee Reader, that wasn’t even the strangest thing about the whole situation.

Oh no, that happened when I turned back from trying to catch a glimpse of her car.

Turned back round to the sound of a splash.

She’d jumped into the sea Wee readers, with all her clothes on.

For a moment I could see her there, her arms caught for a brief moment in that over head stroke people get so good at when they’re learning to swim.

And then another splash, and something like a flick of a tail, the flick of a mermaid’s tail and she was gone

Okay…what the fuck?

4. No one lives here – this is a wild Forest

Look…I ran then, I’m not afraid or ashamed to admit it.

I mean wouldn’t you do the same thing?

She had a freaking mermaid tail.

I mean I knew she loved them, but like…whatever I saw then, that was a bit excessive.

Okay maybe I was a little ashamed of myself.

I mean I see one, okay a couple of weird things while I was certainly not stalking my good friend Ailish Sinclair, and all I can do is run away?

I mean I’m not crazy, I certainly saw something. But I’m still not one hundred percent sure what I did see.

All I know is something odd was happening with Ailish.

And so racked with guilt, I drove to her house the next day. I found it on the internet, I’m not a stalker I’m just a very concerned friend. Although I have to say, I thought I’d gone up the wrong road. Because this place…no one could live here, it was in the middle of the freaking woods.

Seriously the track was broken, and pot-holey but I didn’t find one house at the end it. 

Sure I found something that looked a little like a garden, but only because it had a lawn of cut grass and a giant pink bench. 

There was no house, not anymore.

It was almost as if someone was hiding it from me.

So I left the garden, abandoning my car behind a hedge of wild rhododendrons.

And made my way further into the woods, hoping to find some sort of life there.

I didn’t find any life, but I found a lot of flowers.

Got lost for hours trying to find that house, but to be honest I think all I found was myself deeper in a pine plantation than any sane person should go.

I think the house may have been somewhere in the garden, but there was no finding it now.

I was lost.

Lost my car.

Lost my way. 

Possibly even lost my mind.

And that dear reader is when I heard it.

The roar, no the growl, no the scream, of a wild animal.

Oh Christ, I thought to myself, I’m going to die.

All because I was not stalking Ailish Sinclair.



3. Bears…wait no foxes

Look, that noise I heard – it was a growl, I was 99% sure of that. Or at least it was a noise I had never really heard before.

It was a bear.

I was certain of it.

Because Ailish Sinclair loves bears and after what I’d seen her do at the beach, and the castle for that matter, I would have believed her capable of anything.

Certainly releasing a bear…a wild bear back into the forests of Scotland. Sure, why not? Good promotion for her newest book, Sisters at the Edge of the World.

I swear I’m not crazy – I heard a bear growl at me then.

Bears are all over her books – you should see what they get up to in newest one.

I’m not crazy.

I swear I heard a bear.

I just didn’t see one.

And the thing that jumped out of the bush by my feet…wasn’t a bear.

It was a fox.

And a line of her adorable cubs.

I know… I know I heard something in those woods.

Something, that didn’t sound natural. Maybe it wasn’t a bear, but it wasn’t something that belonged in this world either.

And as I stood there, waiting for the large line of fox cubs to finish crossing that forest path, I thought back to all I had seen, to all I had witnessed while I had been innocently not stalking someone. I couldn’t stop the thin sliver of fear crawling up my spine.

I can’t even understand it, after all, nothing I’d seen had been threatening, just weird….and really, who I am I to judge someone for being weird.

And that dear reader is when I heard the voice.

2. Wild Singing

At first, I didn’t know what I was hearing. It sounded a bit like a bird song, but then bird songs don’t have words to them.

I can’t begin to tell you, word for word the song I heard then – for as I turned and followed it up that hilled forest path, the thing kept fading in and out. Not as if the singer kept stopping and starting, but as if their voice and the notes they sang kept getting mixed up with the noises of nature. One second I was listening to a clear line of how much the singer loved nature, and the next it was just the twittering of little birds.

It was almost like, instead of her voice fading in and out, it was the singer herself.

Which is mad right?

I mean, people don’t do that.

Surely, I was just dehydrated from all the not stalking I’d been doing.

Yeah that was it.

And surely once I’d reached the top of the hill, all would be answered. And for the first time in weeks Ailish and I would be able to sit down and have a real conversation about all this madness.

Right?

Right?!

1.    Magic and Witch Stones

It had been sunny when I’d first started up that hill, one of the sunniest days in an already sunny year. I’d been sweating. But I have to say, Wee Reader, it wasn’t like that when I reached the top of the hill.

A thick fog coated everything, trees, rocks, creatures, the sky – it was so thick it almost hid the sun itself. And the song that I’d followed up here, well that had melted into the sound of a cloud over head. Yet still I marched on.

Because I knew where this path lead.

And do you know why?

Because I’ve been here before.

And if you follow Ailish Sinclair’s blog – which you should, check it out here – you should know where we are too.

It’s called the Witch Stone – though I don’t believe it’s actually marking anything to do with witches. Well… historical witches anyway.

Look I’m not saying that Ailish Sinclair is a witch, she’s never said she is. And despite some of the odd things I’ve heard and seen over the course of this little adventure of mine, I’ve seen no evidence of that. At least I don’t think so.

And yet as I clear the top of the small flat hill the stone sits on, I can’t help but notice that this whole place looks like it’s the site of some kind of ritual.

The whole place is covered in the petals of flowers, none the sort that grow here naturally. The stone itself is wearing a crown of the strange flowers 🌸. The air feels smoky as if someone’s lit a fire 🔥 but there’s no smoke, or in fact any sign of a fire at all. And at the centre of the place sits a blue and purple cloth, made of a kind of scratchy, shimmery fabric that feels strange in my fingers when I try and pick it up.

I can still hear the song, but it’s more in the distance now as if it was never really here at all. And as I stand there, holding that strange cloth I can almost swear that I can see Ailish. Just over there by the Witch Stone, I can see her walk towards the stone, and then she’s gone. It’s almost….and I admit that this is really gonna sound crazy. But it’s almost like she’s just walked into the stone.

And I think to myself…. why would she do that?

Now how.

Why?

Why would she step into a stone, standing or otherwise?

I mean maybe she’s using the witch stone as a means to travel to a distance point in the past, probably to the battle of Mons Graupius – that’s where her latest book is set anyways – but it could be anywhere. Anytime. Maybe to Culloden, or back even farther to the trials of the Aberdeen witches, maybe even to a place not yet written about.

It would explain why all her historical fiction is so eerily accurate.

Heavy research, my arse.

She’s using Time Travel Magic!

Which is what we in the buiz call… cheating.

I must be going mad surely, a time traveling author who writes historical fiction about the times she travels back to.

I mean it’s not even a reference to a book she’s written.

What do you think, a crazy reality, or just a mad story? If you’ve enjoyed this strange little trip of mine, don’t forget to follow the Wee Blog if you haven’t already. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Goodreads and TikTok. Also why not subscribe to the Wee Mailing List by October 14th to find out exactly what happened on that hill top from Ailish herself. Also if you’re concerned that she basically vanishes into thin air at the end of my story, why not pop on over to her blog and give it a wee follow. Also check her out on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Goodreads , LinkedIn , Facebook ,Kofi, and TikTok as well. Why not subscribe to her newsletter while you’re at it. And remember, Ailish Sinclair’s latest book ‘Sister’s at the Edge of the World‘ is available now on Amazon. Why not buy a copy, maybe she’ll come out of the stone if you do 😁

Guess What I’ve just joined

What Ho, Wee Readers – I know I’ve been away too long. I could give you some pithy explanation why, including but not limited to hectic work schedule, exhaustion from said work schedule, and this really exciting new blog post that in no way involves Ailish Sinclair and may or may not mention her new book “Sisters at the Edge of the World”. Out now on pre-order at Amazon. But I don’t belive in giving explanations for such things, so I won’t bother you.

Instead let’s get on to the meat of the post – such as it is. Guess who finally joined TikTok?! That’s right, me! Please enjoy my first three videos.

If you’ve both been able to see these videos and enjoyed them, why not check out the rest of my work on TikTok. Also as per usual, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, GoodReads and Facebook. And why not sign up for the Wee Mailing List if you haven’t already. As always Wee Readers, keep safe, stay positive, and have a very bonny day.

The Wee Writing Lassie’s Top Ten Audiobooks

What ho, wee readers, yes I’m back – not dead, just suffering from a bit of Blogger’s block. For the longest time I could not figure out what I wanted to write about next. I mean usually it’s a tv series I’ve been binging after work – at least lately – but I’ve sort of moved away from those in favour of films. And while I could do a list of those, ranking the top ten – and I may yet in the future – I had a better idea for a post to break my writer’s block.

A while back – after the terrible storm Arwen – we lost power for an entire day. And this was back in December, so it was dark and cold and most of our phones had not been well charged beforehand. During the light hours of the day this was manageable – we had books ( for entertainment), a fire (for warmth), and a gas cooker (for cooking). Really we were all set. But remember this was Scottish winter, and there really wasn’t a lot of light hours in the day at all. Which left large chunks of the afternoon and evening shrouded in darkness. We still had the fire and the cooker, so we were a lot better off than most people – but that still left us swimming in our own boredom.

The only device that still had some power in our house, was my Mum’s iPad.  No internet of course, but she had the books in her kindle library, but only one person at a time could read them. Looking back now we could have read them out to each other, but hindsight is twenty twenty. But to cut a long story short we didn’t have to, for we found an audiobook already  downloaded. Wow, that was a slightly long-winded and first world whining  way to tell you my family’s started listening to an audiobook after dinner each night. Oh well, we got there eventually.

By now we’ve listened to too many audiobooks to possibly list them all here, so instead this will be a list of our top ten audiobooks. We will take into account strength in story, narration, production, and all round enjoyment. Rounding up each to a score out of ten.  But since I’ll be polling my family members we might end up as slightly more than that – a perfect score should be 30 out of 30.

Let’s begin.

10. Northanger Abbey

One of Jane Austen’s earliest books. In theory it’s a bit of a parody of gothic literature of the time – with the main heroine convinced some heinous plan is a foot in the house she’s staying at. Which would be fine, if that was the main action of the story – instead we spend half our time in Bath, at diff balls and gatherings and the whole thing feels like it’s just running in place until she gets the invite to visit Northanger Abbey. It’s bad people, it’s really bad.

My Brother’s Scores

  • Story: 0.5/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 2/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 0.5/1
  • Final Score: 6

Additional Notes: I can see why the publishers of the time refused to publish.

My Mum’s Scores

  • Story: 1/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 2/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 0/1
  • Final Score: 6

My Scores

  • Story: 0/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 1/3
  • Overall enjoyment:0/1
  • Final Score: 4

High Score: 16/30

9. The Mermaid’s Sister

A fun story, with a clever fairy tail energy to it.

My Brother’s Scores

  • Story: 2.5/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 0.97/1
  • Final Score: 9.47

Additional Notes: It lost points due to violence. I liked the supernatural elements and the romance.

My Mum’s Scores

  • Story: 2/3
  • Narration: 2/3
  • Production: 2/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 7

My Scores

  • Story: 2/3
  • Narration: 2/3
  • Production: 2/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 7

High Score: 23.47 / 30

8. Station Eleven

A fascinating take on the post-apocalyptic genre, emphasizing the importance of art on people’s lives no matter what age you’re living in. As the book itself says ‘Survival is not enough.’

My Brother’s Scores

  • Story: 2/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 9

My Mum’s Scores

  • Story: 2/3
  • Narration: 2/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 8

My Scores

  • Story: 3/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 10

Additional Notes: Wow. Very well written, but heartbreakingly sad at certain parts.

High Score: 27/30

7. Grown Ups

A solid addition to the Marian Keyes Bibliography – telling the story of  a very large and slightly dysfunctional family, and all the heartbreak and hijinks that go on in their lives. My only criticism – if you can really call it one – is that because there are so many characters, the opening scene at the family dinner is going to leave you a little confused, and trying to desperately remember all their names and who the heck they are. It does revisit that same scene again at the end, after an entire book getting to know these people, so I’m guessing that initial confusion was an intended reaction.

My Brother’s Scores

  • Story: 2/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 9

Additional Notes: I liked the inclusion of a Syrian immigrant (Perla), even if she only had a minor role. It’s also good that it calls attention to abuse. It would have got a ‘3/3’ for story, if Nell and Ferdia had got a happy ending (I’m a hopeless romantic). It would also have been nice, if Mum was able to listen it with us.

My Mum’s Scores

  • Story: 2/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 9

My Scores

  • Story: 2/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 9

High Score: 27 / 30

6. Room

This is a Fantastic Book, stop reading this post – or rather pause reading this post – and go out and buy this book now. (Or search your library) Either way, find this book, and read it. Go ahead, we’ll all wait for you.

My Brother’s Scores

  • Story: 3/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 10

Additional Notes: I liked the innocence of the child narrator.

My Mum’s Scores

  • Story: 3/3
  • Narration: 2/3
  • Production: 2/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 8

Additional Notes: Needed more than one male voice – all the men sounded like ‘Old Nick’ to me.

My Scores

  • Story: 3/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 2/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 9

Additional Notes: Behold my new favorite book 🙂

High Score: 27 / 30

5. Rachel’s Holiday

I wouldn’t go out of my way to say that ‘Rachel’s Holiday’ is a better book than ‘Gown Ups’ – Marian Keyes’ other book on this list – because they’re very different books, about different topics. So in the end all I’ll say is, there is a reason that this is higher on the list.

My Brother’s Scores

  • Story: 2.9/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production:3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 9.9

Additional Notes: I liked how it addressed the issue of addiction.

My Mum’s Scores

  • Story: 3/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 10

My Scores

  • Story: 3/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 1/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 8

High Score: 27.9 / 30

4. The Hundred Secret Senses

I can’t say why – because spoilers – but this book moved me to tears.

My Brother’s Scores

  • Story: 2/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 0.97 / 1
  • Final Score: 8.97

My Mum’s Scores

  • Story: 3/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 10

My Scores

  • Story: 3/3
  • Narration: 2/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 9

High Score: 27.97 / 30

3. Am I Normal yet?

Myself, and many of the members of my family have OCD tendencies – nothing like what this girl has of course, but still – so I felt greatly moved by this book.

My Brother’s Scores

  • Story: 2.9 / 3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 2.9/3
  • Final Score: 11.8

Additional Notes: I enjoyed the sweet romance and empathized with Evie’s condition.

My Mum’s Scores

  • Story: 2/3
  • Narration: 2/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 8

My Scores

  • Story: 3/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 2/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 9

High Score: 28.8 / 30

2. Piranesi

This is my favorite book. Go out and read it now.

My Brother’s Scores

  • Story: 2.7/ 3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 0.99/1
  • Final Score: 9.69

Additional Notes: It lost points due to overall slow pace at the start. I liked the mystery and the existence of different universes.

My Mum’s Scores

  • Story: 2/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 9

My Scores

  • Story: 3/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 10

Additional Notes: This book was an experience – but I can’t really tell you about it, without taking that experience away from you. So go out and buy this book now, and don’t look to the end, just enjoy the journey getting there😁

High Score: 28.69 / 30

1. Longbourn

Basically this was Pride & Prejudice told from the servants’ point of view. This was a very good book, adding historical context which the original story – as good as it is – didn’t really have.

My Brother’s Scores

  • Story: 2.9 / 3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 2.9 / 1
  • Final Score: 11.8

Additional Notes: I like the alternative perspective on the Bennetts, Bingley owning slaves was intriguing and makes sense. I liked the sympathetic depiction of the lower classes.

My Mum’s Scores

  • Story: 3/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 10

My Scores

  • Story: 3/3
  • Narration: 3/3
  • Production: 3/3
  • Overall enjoyment: 1/1
  • Final Score: 10

Additional Notes:

I loved this book. It’s one of the few, if only, retellings of Pride & Prejudice in which you leave liking Mr. Collins far more than Elizabeth Bennet.

High Score: 31.8 / 30

If you enjoyed this long delayed post of mine, why not follow the Wee blog if you haven’t  already. Also check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Facebook and Kofi for the good stuff. Also sign up for the Wee Mailing list before the 31st of July to find out what Audiobook we’re currently listening to. Until next time, Wee Readers, stay safe, stay sane, and most of all have a very Bonny day.

A Vulcan Alone: Human Exceptionalism in the Sci-fi Genre

What Ho Wee Readers, I hope you’ve all been keeping optimistic in these troubling times of ours. I know it’s difficult, and with any hope there’s not a World War been declared by the time you’re finally reading these words – but still, I think it’s wise advice to live by. Let’s try and be optimistic, reality doesn’t need to factor into the equation. And if there was ever a shinning beacon of optimism for the future, it’s Star Trek – or at least the original show. To be honest I’ve never watched Next Generation, and the later shows were too busy poking holes in that initial optimistic federation, for much of their own optimism to sneak in. Not that that’s bad thing on a story level, it’s actually quite interesting – and something I’d quite like to get into later – but there was something so hopeful about the Original Trek, that none of those later shows could quite capture.

Just the idea that humanity has not only finally managed to put aside its differences – and grow beyond its prejudices – and has come together to reach for the stars, is a very nice thought. Especially with people so dived as they are now. And not only have we managed to reach and travel through the stars, but we find that we are not alone in the universe. There are others out there, different perhaps, alien, but intelligent and friendly. People that we can work with to build an even great galactic civilisation, a federation if you will.

And this, Wee Readers, is where we come to my favorite character in all of Trek: they call him Mister Spock. He is an alien – or at least mostly. While he does have a human mother, for the most part his role in the narrative is to expresses the alien view of the federation. Sure, there might be other alien characters that the crew meet along their journey, but in regards to the main cast Spock is pretty much the only alien on the ship. In fact, scratch that, he is the only alien on the ship period – something that’s once again pretty much unique to the original series of Trek in particular. That is while the other shows feature and focused on a predominantly human cast as well, they often will have more than a single non-human entity in the main cast. Even Discovery had other alien crew members in bit parts – I’m assuming, I lost interest half way through season one.

And I think there’s a reason for this, that is why the original serious would choose to focus on a crew of a ship that is predominantly human in origin – despite the federation actually being made up of many species. And it’s more than just the affects and make up budgets – although I’m certain that was a contributing factor. No when you watch through the series in rapid successes – as I am doing now – you begin to pick up on a theme that I never realised was there before. The theme of humanity, what makes us what we are – and if we were to go into space, live inside spaceships how much of our humanity might we lose?

This is why – to an extent – when it comes to talk about non-human members of the federation and beyond, they’re more focused on how they reflect back against humanity. How does the Vulcan culture, which values logic and suppression of emotion – not lack of them, suppression of emotion – hold up against raw human gut instinct, and embrace of our emotions. Often, at least in the first series of the original show – it does not. Not I feel because the creators were arguing against logic and rational based reasoning, but because in its heart, Star Trek is a show about Humans traveling through space. And thus, the question, of what makes a human a human, or what makes us worthy to travel through the stars is infinitely more important to the narrative, than what makes a Vulcan worthy. Thus – again at least in season one – Spock is there to add opposition to the purely human advice of Dr. Mccoy to Kirk, and perhaps to acknowledge – at least passively – that there are aliens that we can call our close allies.

I would like to reiterate that this is not a bad thing – humans after all, are Star Teck’s primary and only demographic thus far.  However, while I can acknowledge the reason why such decisions were made, and even their narrative strength, their existence implies some uncomfortable realities of the show’s universe.

For instance: while narratively the reason why McCoy is constantly challenging, and dismissing Spock’s Vulcan logic – and by extension heritage – is because his purpose in many of the episodes is to argue for the power of humanity, and emotionality – let’s take a look at his actions ‘in universe’. He loudly, and repeatedly, chides his superior officer – often stepping into actually insulting him – based on said officer’s different cultural background. He is insubordinate, and undermining of Spock whenever the Vulcan is in command, and strangely enough for a doctor working in space, very hostile to Spock’s alien biology. Now, you might say that that last one is just McCoy’s frustration on not being able to treat his patient as well as he could, if he were purely human. And while I could fire back that McCoy is a Starfleet Doctor, he should be at least partly used to treating non-human patients without throwing a hissy fit each time, I would never insult you like that. Besides, either way – what we are left with is a man whose actions make him seem hostile to one of the founding species of the Federation. A man, who most troubling of all, is never reprimanded for said actions.

It’s always either tied up with a joke at the end, often about how Spock is too stubborn to admit he has feelings (specifically emphasised human feelings) – or never mentioned at all. As a dangling plot thread, it annoys me to no end; but as micro-example of how the Federation – and in particular Starfleet – treats its non-human members, it’s actually kind of disturbing. In the first live-action series of Star Trek Spock seems to be the only non-human citizen of the federation on board of Starfleet’s flag Star ship – and he better get used to be treated like shit even by his subordinates, if he wants to remain there.

I know, I know even I can see I’m being a bit harsh with that last statement – after all, Kirk respects Spock. In fact, they’re so close that not only did they give birth to the Slash fanfiction genre, but Gene Rodenberry created a whole new word for their relationship. Personally, I think it would have been simpler just to admit that they were a bit gay for each other, but it was the sixties so maybe the world just wasn’t ready yet.

But let’s jump forward about a hundred years or so to the new era of Star Trek. For while I haven’t really watched The Next Generation yet – and hence I won’t really be talking about it here – I have watched large chunks of Voyager and the beginning of DS9 – before I got bored of that particular show and wandered off. All of which has left me with the ability to comfortably say that humanity – as presented in the nineties star trek shows – was kind of insufferable. I mean we get it, earth is a paradise, and you’ve advance so fast from the war hungering savages you once were, that it impresses all the good aliens. And the only ones who talk smack about you are either jerks, fascists or Ferengi. We get it, that’s the truth as it is presented in the show – hope for our collective future yadda, yadda, yadda – but honesty I’m on the Ferengi’s side here, that’s really annoying to sit through. It also, from a purely narrative perspective, gives the federation characters – i.e., the mostly human or heavily human aligned and codded characters – excuse to treat those who don’t align perfectly with human emotionality and current ‘ethical and economic’ standards (if you’ll pardon the language again) like shit.

Whether you’re a logical Vulcan, a driven ferengi, or an honorable warrior of the Klingons – if your people don’t align perfectly with the federation on everything from the way you dress (onesies for everyone please), to the way you express yourself (never through violence and every time we feel an emotion, we’re going to loudly proclaim it even if it’s a horribly inappropriate time). Get ready to be talked down to by a species that only mastered space travel in the last few hundred years, like you’re a toddler in a strop.

Now honestly, even as I say all this, I don’t really think the federation is meant to be set up like this – as I said before it’s a natural outcome of one species making shows, or indeed any form of entertainment about another. We might see a similar outcome even if we stay close to home – has anyone casually used the term Neanderthal to mean stupid or violent lately? Yes, I thought so. Indeed, if we look at the case of the Neanderthal, and other variations of the human species, we might even discover the source of this constant quest for validation in the sci-fi writer.

After all, why was it us that survived?

Why was it homo-sapiens that went on to win the supremacy of the species, and populate the planet with our ilk?

Are we such a violent species, that we butchered everyone else?

Or are we just that innately superior? Our brains more developed and highly skilled in some way. Maybe it was because we could talk and they couldn’t. (Not true, but go off I guess). Maybe we could dream and they couldn’t – as there are no living Neanderthals (that I know of) we’ll probably never have a clear answer beyond what we can guess at their remains. But regardless on where you lie on that debate, one thing is clear amongst these theories – there has to be a reason why.

It couldn’t just be by chance, or luck. There has to be a measurable reason why we’re still here, and they aren’t.

We’re homo sapiens.

And in one form or other, we are exceptional.

Thus, when a writer, or a producer, or an actor looks up to the stars and decides to create a piece of fiction in which we are no longer the only (perceived) sentient form of life – they must contend with this question also. There has to be a reason Humanity is worthy to go amongst the stars, to exist in a world where we are not the only form of dominant life. Surely even amongst species that have had space faring technology centuries before us, we are unique, we are interesting and worthy of fascination from beings beyond our wildest dreams.

Because in the end the most terrifying question, isn’t are we alone in the universe; it’s if we aren’t alone in the universe, what makes us so special then? Because, and here’s the true driving force of all this clumsiness in the writing of the federation – what if we’re not? What if we’re just one species amongst a thousand more, and not even a particularly advanced one. What if, we don’t matter a great deal at all in the wider scope of things?

And that, dear reader, is a terrifying thought.

If you’ve enjoyed this little delve into existential dreams, and horrible questions plaguing my mind each night why not follow the Wee Blog if you haven’t already? Also check out my Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, and Goodreads. And sign up for the Wee Mailing List by April 30th to find out my top five fictional aliens. Also why not pop through to my Kofi page and buy me a wee cup of coffee. Until next time Wee Readers, stay safe, stay sane, and have a very bonny day.

Deconstructing the Disposable Fiancé: The Love of Michael Cordero Jr.

What How Wee Readers – well I hope you all had a good holiday time in december – and for all our sakes let’s hope 2022, is slightly less depressing than 2021. Yet there are still bright days in even the darkest times, and I have to admit something quite exciting happened to me. I’ve finally, I have a new job! While this is undoubtedly a good thing, because it’s a housekeeping job it’s very physically hard work, and because I’m high functioning autistic – I also find it very emotionally draining too.

Which for the sake of this post means that after work, I usually collapse on my sofa and binge watch my current favorite Netflix show:  Jane the Virgin. Jane the Virgin is a very loose adaption of the Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgin; that premiered on the CW network in 2014 and finally reached the end of its five season long run, on July 31st 2019. The series tells the story of devout catholic Jane Villanueva, who has promised her grandmother that she will stay a virgin until she gets married. A prospect that doesn’t look that far away when it looks like her long-time boyfriend – Michael Cordero Jr – is set to propose. However, things start going wrong when during a routine smear test – Jane gets accidently artificially inseminated.

And things only get stranger from there.

Who is Michael?

Michael is introduced to us as a hardworking, and cunning detective – who loves Jane with all the power of his still beating heart. His purpose in the story is to be one point of the love triangle between Jane, Rafael and himself. #TeamMicheal for life, if you couldn’t tell – not uncommon plot point even outside of the Romance drama. Can anyone say, Hunger Games – pour some out for my hommies on #TeamGale, we can’t win them all.

While Rafael represents new and exciting love in Jane’s life – being the father of her artificially conceived baby – Michael is the old and the familiar. The love that has stayed true, long before the plot got involved. And part of the conflict for the story is which kind of love will Jane choose – the flashy new kind, or the old and true.

Ultimately Michael is a person of two sides – he is a brave man who could have well been the hero of his own story. And he is an inconvenient man, who could well have been the villain of Rafael’s story. But ultimately, he is neither because in the end this is not Michael’s story, or Rafael’s story, it’s Jane’s story.

Thus, to truly understand Michael as a character we must examine his role in Jane’s story, and how he ultimately subverts it. And what is his role you might ask?

The disposable fiancé

To best illustrate exactly what the Disposable Fiancé is as a trope, I would like you to think back to one of those terrible Christmas films you saw over the holiday. Don’t look at me like that, we all see at least one, don’t lie to yourself. Okay you’ve got the film in your head, good. Now unless the film is very specific, you’ll probably going to come across some surprising similarities between each of their plots.

First, you’ll have a woman who thinks she’s satisfied with her city life, complete with city long-term boyfriend/ fiancé. But then suddenly, inciting incident happens and she has to pick up and move/ stay temporarily in a sweet, innocent, village out in the country. Something that I can tell you for a fact, is not true, the village I used to live in was not innocent or wholesome at all. Anyway, where was I, oh yes – where finally she meets the one true love. Who sometimes is a lot nicer than the original fiancé, but most of the time is only better because he visualizes a superior way of life.

The strangeness here is not really that so many films follow the same formula over and over again, it’s Netflix, that’s basically all they do now. It’s not even notable that the choice between a person’s social life is encapsulated in their love interests – I mean that’s basically every piece of fiction ever. No, what I find notable is the wrong path is illustrated by such a long-term relationship.

My point, if this life is wrong for her and she’s so easily going to throw it away – why make them engaged at all?

Could it be high-lightening how we as a society are always looking over the hedge at what we don’t have – to fill that aching void inside ourselves? Could be, we are a capitalist society after all. Or could it be that to establish the strength of the writer’s preferred couple, the heroine’s romantic-false lead has to be a big enough threat to the course of true love. And we can’t have him be that, by being a caring and loving partner – after all, then we might feel bad that he’s being emotionally cheated on.

Or perhaps there’s no reason at all.

Regardless of the reason why ,through this example we have established some basic facts, and common traits of our Disposable fiancé.

  1. He’s established a long-term relationship with the heroine before the start of the story.
  2. He often engages in morally dubious actions – to establish that we’re not supposed to be rooting for him as the end goal love interest.
  3. He’s often encapsulates the kind of world (and or mind set) our heroine needs to escape and or grow out of.
  4. When the main couple does get together, the fact that this man has to have his heart broken so that our lovebirds can have their happy ending – is treated like a good thing, if it’s mentioned at all.
  5. Before the events of the story, the heroine believes she’s happy with him.

Ways in which Jane the Virgin stays true to the disposable fiancé trope

  1. An already established relationship with the female lead – yep, Michael proposes to Jane in the very first episode, and if the plot hadn’t already gotten started, she would defiantly have said yes.
  2. Morally dubious actions – Though a good man deep down and where it matters, Michael does engage in some shifty behavior at the start of the show. Including but not limited to, bribing Petra to break off her affair with Roman so Jane will give the baby to her; and conducting an illegal search of Rafael’s (the rival to Jane’s heart) secret safe, without a warrant.
  3. Heroine is (or at least believes she’s) happy before the story – yes, Jane is very happy with Michael before the plot.

Ultimately though what segments Michael as at least in part a disposable fiancé, is that he and Jane are not endgame for the series. So, in the narrative sense no matter how far the story goes to relay Michael’s worthiness as a character, he will always be disposable. And that’s a sad thought for any character.

Ways in which it subverts the disposable fiancé trope

  • Encapsulates the kind of life that the Heroine doesn’t need – No, there’s no hints that what Michael and Jane want at the beginning of the series – marriage, kids, a happy and stable family life – ever diverge.
  • His heartbreak is treated as joke at best, or a triumph of the hero at worst – No, whenever Jane and Michael break it off, both parties’ feelings on the matter are treated with the kind of seriousness that such things deserve.

However, the neat list aside, I belive that what really subverts this ‘disposable finance’ trope in Jane the Virgin, is the fact that Michael stays in the story far longer than your average disposable boyfriend/fiancé should. He’s there throughout the story doing his detective work, or reminding Jane of their time together. Often not deliberately just by still continuing to exist in the story.

Which is ultimately one of the strengths of not only Michael as a character but Jane the Virgin as a whole – it goes beyond the ‘main’ couple getting together. Of course, there’s nothing wrong, per say, with a story ending there. But by going past that point – past the first break up of Jane and Michael. Where Jane realises Michael’s being lying to her about Petra’s affair, and just can’t trust him anymore. Past the point where she tearfully gives him his ring back; and even past the point when that same night she madly kisses Rafael, and gets together with him. By going past that point, the show highlights that often the main weakness of the ‘disposable fiancé’ trope is not actually the fiancé himself. Counterintuitive as that sounds. Sure, in a lot of the more badly written Netflix /Hallmark films he is a card-carrying scumbag with no greater depth to his character than a speed bump. But to be honest, fixing his character won’t fix the story. You can make him the nicest guy on the planet if you want, or at least make him feel like a real person. But either way something in the story will feel hollow and that’s because the fault lies not in the character himself but the role he represents.

For if such a long term, well-established relationship is nothing but disposable, then the love that is replacing it must be something truly transcendent. And that’s a lot to put on any relationship, let alone one that’s so often in its infancy. While I have watched some films that try to answer this by illustrating the superiority of the new love interest – often on a moral ground – to the old one, sometimes they don’t even try that much. Relying instead on how terrible the ‘disposable fiancé’ was/is to establish the final romantic choice of the heroine as the right one.

By going past this point – where the main couple get together – Jane the Virgin establishes the weakness in the premise that new is automatically better. As because they are such a new relationship, Jane and Rafael don’t really know each other at this point. By no accounts a strange phenomenon; but because the circumstances around their connection are so unusual, with possible hints that they are destined to be – this causes both parties to rush into a deeper commitment than was strictly healthy for their fledgeling relationship. With Rafael even trying to by-pass the early stages and skip straight to marriage before either party is really ready for it.

While (Spoiler) Jane and Rafael do end up being endgame, because the narrative doesn’t take that shortcut of having all their relationship conflict be from an external source – i.e., a disposable fiancé – their relationship is allowed to grow and mature at a more natural rate. Thus it feels in some ways much more real.

So, in conclusion, Michael is great and if Jane and Rafael want to be together – that’s fine, he doesn’t need them.

If you’ve enjoyed this weird ramble of mine, don’t forget to follow the Wee Writing Blog if you haven’t already and check me out on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr and Goodreads for all that good stuff. Also sign up for the Wee Mailing List before February the 28th to find out the five best looking men on Jane the Virgin and why. Until next time Wee Readers, stay safe and have a very bonny day.

Firefly vs. Star Wars: The Language of Competition

What ho Wee Readers, I hope you are all as well as can be hoped for in this desperate time of ours. For me myself, I’ve beaten the deep apathy I developed for finishing a book during the lockdown – and am well on my way to completing my GoodReads Reading Challenge. Please do not check if that is true, until at least a week after you’ve read this post, come on at least give me a chance to back up my lies with some facts.

Joking aside, my recent renewed interest in reading is why I’ve chosen this topic for my Post today. I have just – just being a relative term of course – finished a book called Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon’s Firefly Universe, which is a book of essays regarding the (at time of the book’s release), ‘recent’ film Serenity, and the show Firefly of which it was a sequel to. Now, before we get into anything deeper, I’d just like to say that I love the show Firefly. I think it’s a brilliantly written thing, with a cast of funny and likable characters. Really the only actual problem I can see with the show, and by extension the film itself is the lack of diversity in both the main cast and the background players. And when I say lack of diversity, I don’t actually mean that they’re all just white people – although let’s be honest in a Joss Whedon run project, that would not have been surprising – there are people of colour in the main cast.  Rather, that seeing as it is set in a world where America and China have combined to become one giant space faring society – and part of the show’s world flavor comes from the interaction of Chinese and America culture – it’s strange that there are no Chinese members of the cast.

And it’s even weirded that the narrative doesn’t comment on it at all – in this Chinese inspired world, where are all the Chinese people? Something to think on certainly, but not why we’re here today. No, why we’re here today is the book called Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon’s Firefly Universe. Which is a very good book, full of essays that are insightful, and filled with interesting points of view on this fascinating world. Unfortunately, we’re not going to talk about that today, no instead we’re going to zero in on one small problem I found both in this book and its predecessor.

Namely, well…

If I asked you to tell me what you liked about something, say a particular work of fiction, or what you thought made it such a fascinating story – how would you answer that question? Would you tell me about your favourite character, how you were drawn to them? Would you tell me about the dialogue, and the general writing of the story? Might you even tell me about the themes, and what you thought the message of the tale was? All good things, that if I asked that question, I clearly want to know your oppion on. But you know what I don’t want to hear…

“Well, unlike [entirely different piece of fiction that in no way relates to the one I ask about] …”

Basically, if I buy a book of essays about ‘Firefly’ or its film ‘Serenity’; then I clearly want to hear the authors oppion on those two works of fiction – what I did not pay for, were the authors oppions on Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate SG1, or any of the other dozen or so shows they whined about. Now don’t get me wrong I love Star Wars, see my previous posts on the subject if you don’t belive me:

Disney: Whoops – or the re-examination of the Duchess Satine in context of Mandalorian Creed Culture

Palpatine: A Villain through the Ages

The Great Star Wars Lockdown Binge

I love Star Trek – the majority of their shows, anyway.

And I have no strong oppion on Stargate SG1 whatsoever.

They just weren’t why I bought that book.

Now all these essays were written by intelligent people, who had clearly thought out and carefully structured their argument to the full height of effectiveness. And yet time, and time again we get paragraph after paragraph explaining why Firefly is good, not simply because it is a well written piece of art – but because it is better than other pieces of art. In a sense we cannot truly see (or at least discuss) Firefly’s brilliance, without first illustrating why everything else is stupid.

We cannot speak about its strong female characters, and how great it is that they are allowed to be both strong and feminine, without first delving into why Stargate SG1 did not do this.

We cannot speak about the cleverness of the character’s banter, and Firefly’s humour – without first asserting that ‘Star Wars’ has no humour whatsoever. (A fact that was not true in the 1970s, and is still not true now).

We cannot speak about the depth of the characters, and the skill that must have gone into writing them – without first clarifying characters on Star Trek mount to little nothing but their job title. And if you think differently than clearly, you’ve just been tricked by a good actor.

Is this starting to sound annoying, or repetitive – good because that’s how I felt reading it. Now, I know what some of you might be thinking – Wee Lassie, aren’t you over reacting? Sure, it’s annoying for an essay to go out of its way to insult more than one of your favourite franchises, but aren’t they just discussing the market? Showing the reader where ‘Firefly’ and ‘Serenity’ stands in the great tapestry of Science Fiction? What, in a sense makes it stand out? And while I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily wrong – it felt more than that reading it.

It felt like Firefly couldn’t just be a good show, worth watching – it had to be better than everything else. Otherwise, it was nothing at all.

It felt like they weren’t just critiquing bits of other Science Fiction – but tearing them down, so Firefly could be built up in their stead.

Sure, in most ‘social worlds’ competition can be healthy – even in the market of Science Fiction. But my question is, at what point are we taking it too far? At what point are we competing not because we want to grow and succeed as people, or creators, or what not – but because we simply have no other way to communicate? At what point is it no longer enough for something to simply be good in of itself to be worth something?

And this attitude is evident in not just Science Fiction communities – but our wider culture as well. Think of any piece of popular culture, media, or online discussion that tries to be ‘feminist’ by implying that woman are innately better than men. Usually because men are depicted as stupid, or simple, or lazy, or just not as good as the fabulous women in the show/film/ anecdote. Don’t look at me like that, we’ve all seen something like this at least once in our lives.

But this I would like to point out is not actual feminism, because real feminism is about lifting people up to be on an even keel with each other; not tearing them down. There’s another word for that, but it’s not feminism. This notion – that to be a proper feminist property your female characters have to be superior in every way to their male counterparts – is an innately sexist one, really on both sides of the supposed gender wars. On the male side, it shows young boys that they don’t have the right to be respected, even if they’re good people. While on the female side, it heaps untold pressure onto young girls – to not only succeed in the specific way our culture deems appropriate, but to outcompete their male co-workers. It is no longer enough to be a strong and successful woman, now they have to be stronger and more successful than men (their competitors) – otherwise they haven’t accomplished anything at all.

And there’s that same notion again – the notion that if there are no losers in this game of life, how can there ever be winners?

This is not an indictment of competition in of itself – sometimes it is good to push ourselves to strive to the standards of others in our field. Rather it’s the indictment of the filter of competition, or the language of it. That is when the only way our society can express approval of a work of art, a political movement, a real living human being, is through putting down someone or something else. Has our world view become just a little skewed? Do we really have no other way of viewing or describing our world, but by these kill or be killed standards?

But what do you think? Am I blowing this all out of proportion? Part of me hopes I am – but I’ve seen people go ballistic with the Star Wars vs. Star Trek debate, so I don’t really think so. Let me know down in the comments, its why I have them in the first place.

If you’ve enjoyed this wee rant of mine – much shorter than usual, but that’s not always a bad thing – why not follow the Wee Blog if you haven’t already. Also check me out on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Goodreads for all that good stuff. And don’t forget to sign up to the Wee Mailing list by the 21st of December for a special Christmas-themed addition of the Newsletter. Until next time Wee Readers, stay safe, stay strong and a have a very bonny day.

Blood Soaked Through: Downton and the lie of British Nostalgia

Okay, hold your loved ones tight Wee Readers, it’s time for anecdote. When my grandmother was a little girl she went to a posh girl’s school, because of her high IQ. But it’s important to note that though she was not posh, at all back then, many of her classmates were. In fact, they were the posh of the posh, they were the upper-class. The kind of people that take their children on fox hunts.

Now sometimes when these posh of the posh girls would come back from their summer holidays, it would be noticed that they had dried blood behind their ears, or sometimes still smeared across their faces. My god, I hear you saying, what had happened to these poor children during their summer holidays? Aha, say I – but I’ve already given you the answer already. You see, when a young person – and we are talking young here, these were children – participates in their first fox hunt, when the fox is caught its blood is smeared over the child’s face and worst of all, if you can belive it, they’re not allowed to wash it off. It has to be left to dry and flake off by itself.

A disgusting, foul smelling thing that no longer feels like it should belong in our modern world – speaking of which….

Let’s talk about Downton Abbey.

For those lucky few not in the know, Downtown Abbey was a historical drama set just after the sinking of the titanic, written by Julian Fellows, that ran from 2010 to 2015, and later received a follow up film in 2019, with a sequel planned for 2022. The series started off with a strong first season, with good dialogue and intriguing plot twists ripped right from real stories of the time, but gradually declined in quality. Season two while not the worst the series would ever produce, was mainly pulled along by the natural intrigue of WWI, and seasons three-six coasted on soap-opera like shockers, when they weren’t just repeating their own stories over and over again. I think even fans of the show would agree, that this was not a well written series.

But what I find sad is that it didn’t really have to be, as I said before the first season was actually decent up to a point, and even the later seasons had glimmers of something. Story threads that could have gone somewhere, characters that were occasionally likable. The setting at least should have provided it with many interesting turns for the story. But nothing ever came of it; and I always wondered why, and then I watched the film and suddenly everything was so bright and clear. Oh, not because it was a good film, or in the least entertaining, it’s not, it’s trash from start to finish – in fact in some ways it’s actually much worse than the tv show; because as a film the expectations for it are automatically much higher. You were given a film to play with Julian Fellows, kindly please do something with it other than meander around for two hours. I mean the closest thing we got to a main story, was the servant subplot where they kidnapped the visiting royal staff so they could serve the King and Queen instead. This is not what I wanted from the writer of Lady Sybil’s death scene.

No what made everything so much clearer to me is because the writing was so bad, any form of subtlety with the underlying message of Downton, in a sense the reason the whole phenomena was started, had been dropped. And what is that message you might ask, well my dear wee reader, it’s the warm feeling of nostalgia you might have looking back on a happy time in your childhood, or in fact any time before this whole Covid mess began. But Downton doesn’t want you feeling that way about things that actually matter to your life; no Downton has its priorities right – it wants you feeling that way about the past, sure, but the distant past. The past where the upper class ruled benignly over counties, that really needed them to survive. Where Masters and servants coexisted in a wonderful symbiotic relationship, and were basically family.

Of course, such a time never existed but that won’t stop Downton from spinning its enchanted tale of the place. Weren’t things just so much better? The poor happier and more content – the decent ones anyway – and the rich finally allowed to show just how regal and elegant they could be?

Don’t you wish you could live back then? That today’s world could be more like that?

And now we’ve found the trap.

Everything in Downton, every plot thread, every character you may love or hate is used for this purpose. Don’t belive me, let’s take a look.

Lady Mary

I think even fans of Lady Mary can admit that she was a bit of a b word, she was intentionally written that way so that when she met the middle-class heir, and her ice queen tendencies would begin to unthaw, we could see the real, feeling person hidden underneath. Or at least I assume that was the intention, honestly to me the happier Mary grew with her situation the less her actress seemed to care about her performance. But regardless I’m getting off track.

The point of Mary as a character is to highlight how the rich suffer, nothing less and nothing more. That is not to say that as a woman in the early 20th century Mary does not suffer – indeed the main plot of the show is kicked off by the fact that due to a specific law in Britain at the time, Mary as a woman cannot inherit either her father’s estate or her mother’s inheritance. But when we look at her life through the lens of the time in which she lived, rather than are own, we might discover that Mary’s troubles are not in fact the great hardships, or soap opera-esc drama the narrative encourages us to see them as.

Yes, in comparison with some women today, Mary has significantly less rights and power in her situation – but she is still the eldest (and favored) daughter of the earl of Grantham. She lives a luxurious life waited on by an entire army of servants. I know all this by fact, and yet when I re-watched season one I felt genuine pity for Lady Mary, nay a genuine desire to see her succeed and obtain Downton Abbey for her own. And then I had to stop and think… why? What actually made Mary more deserving of Downton and all its wealth, than Mathew or any other inbred twit that came to claim it?

Because she’s an Earl’s daughter?

Because she’s a woman?

That can’t be it, if real feminism has taught us anything it’s that a person’s worth, or their abilities cannot truly be judged by their gender. And yet through the cunning manipulation of the basic form of feminism – i.e., woman is kept from something that she would have automatically received had she been born with a Y chromosome – Fellows manages to make the audience root for a character who is at their very core, a terrible human being.

Which is the point, the Crawleys shouldn’t have to change to win the plebian audience’s approval, the audience must change their mind.

But then again, she’s not by far the most manipulatively written character of this kind on the show. For instance, I can legitimately say that she’s a terrible person and probably not get much push back down in the comments. Which is in slight contrast to our next piece on the board.

Lady Edith

Like her sister before her Lady Edith is the embodiment of the plight of the wealthy, or at least the wealthy young woman. While there are some ‘feminist’ leanings to her character, like her running a magazine, and her journalist carrier – for the most part Fellows gains the audience sympathy, not by leaning into any outer social justice cause, but just by shitting on her. From the first moment she appears on screen, in actual mourning for her dead cousin – Lady Edith is treated like garbage by almost every member of her family, with only Lady Sybil showing any sympathy. Which is its own problem, but I’ll get into that later.

She’s left at the alter by her elderly fiancé, conceives a child out of wedlock and is forced to hide it, and has her long awaited happily ever after yanked away not one episode from the final by her spiteful sister, Mary. Who then goes onto have her own literal fairy-tale wedding in the very next episode – I know, I know I shouldn’t be getting hung up on that, but it’s just so annoying.

The trick here is that unlike Mary, her suffering is not merely seen by the audience’s modern perspective – Edith is suffering no matter what value system you subscribe to. It sucks that she can’t come right out and say this is my daughter, it sucks that she’s left at the altar, it sucks that her family talks about her like she’s a hideously deformed beast, despite the fact that by most people’s standards she’s still very pretty.

So, it’s very easy and very understandable to feel pity for Edith Crawley, and yet we mustn’t forget as the show clearly wants us to, that Edith’s troubles are not the height of tragedy the post WWI world had to offer. Indeed, that’s true even on the show itself. Yes, it sucks that she had to hide her daughter but unlike say someone like Housemaid Ethel, she gets to keep her child – after some chicanery with the Drewe farm.

And speaking of the Drewe Family, can we just stop for a second, and speak about how absolutely terribly they were treated by the Crawleys and Edith in particular. They take in this child, raise it like their own for the first – I don’t know how time works on Downton, people don’t age normally, but let’s say – year of their life, with the wife completely ignorant of any connection the child might have to the Crawleys of Downton Abbey. All the while Lady Edith seems to have taken a random liking to the girl, and keeps popping in, gradually eroding more and more of the Drewe Family’s privacy. Eventually it all comes out, and the little orphan girl turns out to be Lady Edith’s love child; so, when she’s snatched away by her birth mother, not only do the Drew’s have no legal claim to this child that they have loved and cared for her entire life, but after an unfortunate incident where Mrs. Drewe tries to take the baby back, now they’ve even lost their farm, and their livelihood.

I suppose it just goes to show, that just because Lady Edith’s own suffering is genuine, doesn’t mean she’s not capable of inflicting it on others.

It’s so bad that even Robert Crawley, high lord of all of the Downton world, has to comment on how badly the poor Drewes have been treated. I mean he does nothing to fix it, but he gets to mention it, thus making him seem somewhat more reasonable than the women in his family. Speaking of which…

Robert

When you think of Downtown Abbey and Creator’s pets – that is a character who the writer clearly adores, but the audience (or at least the majority of them) cannot stand – you may think casually of Lady Mary. Who is allowed to continue being a bitch throughout the majority of the show. But I would like to draw your eye to an individual even more deserving of such a title…one, Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham.

Robert is a spoilt autocrat, content in his power and his place in the world as it was – this is how season 1, with its superior writing, tricks us into liking him. Of course, Robert seems more reasonable than his stuck-up daughters, his thoughtless wife, and his (wonderfully) bitchy mother, he’s getting his way. And it is only in season three and four, when his mistakes, and character flaws become more relevant to the main story, in which the audience is finally allowed to see Robert for who he has always been. A spoilt little boy, playing at being the great lord of the castle. He is the kind of man so focused on showering his new heir and surrogate son with praise that he doesn’t even realise that he’s reduced his daughter to tears. He’s the kind of lord who will kiss his widowed maid, in a sense forcing her to resign and loose her position. He’s the kind of creature so focused on being right, and looking like the great lord, that he will ignore the advice of a trusted physician just because he’s not fashionable.

But wait I hear you say, Wee Lassie, in season three and four he’s punished for his mistakes. He loses his daughter; he loses half the power to run his own estate. And to that I say look closer, yes, on the surface he does seem to be punished for his mistakes, and his crimes, but when you really think about it, he suffers much less than he really should. He lost his wife’s fortune in bad, nay stupid investments, and when he’s saved by Mathew’s inheritance; he expects things to go back to the way they were before. So, when Mathew proposes making Downton self-sustaining, this comes as a shock and he throws a fit, several fits in fact. Still, Mathew and later Tom and Mary are persistent and Downton is saved. If we were in the realm of reality, Downton would not have been saved, there would be no last-minute inheritance from Mathew’s dead fiancé’s dead father (yes, it’s as melodramatic and daft as it sounds), and Robert would have to live with the consequences of his action.

But we’re not in reality anymore, we’ve stepped through the door to the Downton Zone, where everything and everyone bends just a little to accommodate Robert Crawley’s wishes. Still don’t belive me? Think back to Lady Sybil’s death; caused undeniably by Robert and that fancy Doctor ignoring the signs of pre-eclampsia in Sybil. A fact that he’s called out on by his wife in the end of the episode, and it almost ruins their marriage. Until of course Maggie Smith steps in and forces the local doctor – who had caught the signs but had been ignored – to lie and tell Robert and Cora there really was no hope. The world bends around him, so that Robert doesn’t have to bear that guilt anymore. But my point is, if Robert’s actions are to actually mean something, then he has to bear the guilt of them. He has to bear, until his own dying day; the fact that he killed his daughter.

But that would never happen, not to Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham.

Not to Julien Fellows’ aristocratic hero of the upper-class.

Please, consequences are for the poor.

Which leads us to…

Tom

Tom Branson, oh poor Tom Branson. It’s clear when he first appeared on our screens all the way back in 2010 that he was always intended as the love interest for Lady Sybil. Which is why when Fellows came back with season two, the lack of focus on the relationship, or at least the pre relationship between the socialist chauffer and the spirited youngest daughter of the earl of Grantham, seemed so strange. But looking back on it now, with the film fresh in my mind, it no longer does.

An actual in-depth romance would have to actually acknowledge the class discrepancies between the pair. Perhaps even confront Sybil’s unchallenged assumptions and prejudices; a process that would last longer than a single scene, and effect the rest of both the characters’ lives. But fuck that, clearly, it’s much more important to give that screen time over to the imprisoned Bates, despite the fact that he is doing absolutely nothing interesting at all. And I am thoroughly convinced that Bates got that screen time because, unlike early Branson, not only upholds the status quo that keeps the Crawley’s on top, he revels in it.

The fact that this clearly already planned Romance was shoved into the end of season two reveals Tom Branson’s second role in the narrative, and one that Fellows clearly finds way more important than his brief stint as Lady Sybil’s husband. That is, Tome Branson the reformed Marxist. That is much more than he is a love interest, Tom Branson is the character set to have his political beliefs proven misguided, torn down, and rebuilt in a way that the writer finds much more agreeable. If this were a more leftist – or at the very least neutrally written – show this role would probably have been filled by one of the Crawley Sisters, but then again that’s not Downton. Now I’m not saying that Marxism and socialism don’t have their flaws, they do, just like every other political belief system on earth. But when you have your socialist character go off to America sometime in season five, I think – and come back claiming that the fair treatment of the American Worker has left him with a better feeling towards Capitalism as a whole, it’s clear that you’re not going to get a nuanced critique of socialism in this show.

And speaking of non-nuanced characters…

Lady Sybil

I’m going to say something controversial here – so I’d just like to remind the reader that I don’t actually hate lady Sybil, there’s nothing there to hate, and that’s the problem. Because lady Sybil, or at least how she is presented in the show, is insidious

Okay put down those pitchforks, let me explain myself. What do you think of when you picture Lady Sybil as a character? No, not her death or the fact that she ran away with the chauffer – those are things she did. I’m talking about her innate character, who she was as a person – that’s right, she was nice and cared for the less fortunate. Certainly not bad traits to have as a character by any account, but it’s interesting to note that unlike her sisters – who began the story as Bitch one and Bitch two – Sybil doesn’t have anywhere to go from there. She remains nice and concerned for the less fortunate right up until the day she died, but those two attributes were never expanded upon.

And what’s strange is if they had been, then Sybil could have been one of the most interesting characters on the show. In fact, the beginning of season two even looks like it’s going that way – with Sybil unfulfilled in her life and deciding to train to be a nurse. But the fact is, we never see that training – she just goes off one day to her nurse school, and the next time we see her, boom she’s a nurse and working with Doctor Clarkson. Imagine for a moment a version of Downton Abbey that let us see that transition, that showed us Lady Sybil’s struggles with the hard manual labor that was now required of her, or her difficulties relating to the other nursing students because of the differences in their class. Imation a Lady Sybil that grows from this, that realises that her privileged upbringing has not only left her unfulfilled, but woefully ignorant of the suffering others.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just the socialist in me, but wouldn’t that be a much more interesting story line, then oh no she ran away with the Chauffer.

And speaking of the Chauffer, as I mentioned in Branson’s own segment wouldn’t it have been much more interesting to show actual romance blooming between them – rather than just the claims of love from Branson’s side, and then suddenly after the war is over, they decide to elope. That’s not a story that’s an afterthought. But then again, falling in love and conducting a secret romance with a man who was not only of a lower social standing than her, but her actual servant, would require Sybil to show that she needed growth as a character. Closest we come to is a brief scene when Sybil shows how ignorant she is to what the British Government have put the Irish through, with the truly atrocious line of:

‘I know we weren’t our best in Ireland.’

Which could have been interesting, but again we never follow up on it so nothing really happens. And Sybil can remain just good, no need of a noticeable change in her demeaner, no need to face hard truths of her world. Just nice Sybil, who was a good person, who everybody loved and wasn’t it so sad that she died.

Now I know what you’re thinking, sure Wee Lassie, that sounds like a kind of dull character but where does the insidious part come in? Well, think of it, Wee Reader, think of a character who wasn’t just been born into wealth but the kind of upper-class near royalty elite that derived their power from the continuous degradation of the lower classes. Now think of that character, true they are innately kind, but even an innately kind person raised in that world would take on some uncomfortable beliefs. And yet we’re never really shown that in Lady Sybil, she’s not even mildly unpleasant, which is really kind of weird, especially when you consider how her sisters first started.

But then again as with most creative decisions we can trace this back to the underlining message that governs all of Downton Abbey. That is, that the system of the elites ruling and lording over all is not inherently broken and based on a warped sense of superiority. No, the system itself isn’t broken, it’s just that the good elites are no longer in charge. Perhaps Lady Sybil herself would find this idea abominable, but that’s the story her character helps to preserve. The fair elite, the kind Millionaire, the good king – all fictions, all completely unable to be true in the system in which they were created.

Well, I hear you say, that was certainly an impassioned argument against the dangers of inborn power structures, and British nostalgia for them – but that little story at the beginning about the girls with their faces painted with blood…what was that? And how did it have anything to do with the rest of the post? And I say – why thank you, I was hoping someone would bring that back up again. That story was to help with a little trick I use when watching these kinds of shows. Because Downton is certainly not alone in its nostalgia for this kind of world, it’s just one of the most obvious because it’s so badly written. Particularly by the time the film came out.

But other shows with a similar thesis can often sneak under the radar, with deceptive tricks like better writing, deeper characters, and actual plot. Think of shows like The Crown: which on the surface is showing some of the darker more messier elements of the royal family – my favourite episode is the one when old Uncle David is shown to be a Nazi sympathiser – but at its deepest core, it’s arguing that the Royal Family are not only still relevant, but needed, in British society.

Which in 2021, is not true – they don’t even really rule us anymore, not officially anyway, which to my mind is kind of the only point to royalty. I mean they’re a mode of Governance, if they no longer Govern then why are they still here?

But regardless, it would be the height of hypocrisy for me to tell people to just not watch shows like the Crown – I even get the appeal of Downton Abbey, Maggie Smith is a blast, and the soap opera storylines do pull you in. But the fact still remains that they have terrible messages about the way the world should be run – and thus I recommend that the next time you find yourself watching one of these shows, for whatever reason, remember that odds are likely these people have gone fox hunting some time in their life. Which if you will recall means that they’ve not only had their faces painted in blood, but left it on long enough for it to dry and flake off.

I’m not saying do it all of the time, just some – and you’ll find suddenly they don’t seem so regal anymore.

It’s just a thought.

If you’ve enjoyed this long-winded rant on the deeply broken basis for Western society masquerading as a rant about a terrible period drama, why not follow the wee blog if you haven’t already. Also check me out on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, and Goodreads. Also don’t forget to click the button down below to support this blog on Kofi. And remember to sign up for the Wee Mailing list before November 12th to find out the 12 video essays I found the most fascinating/distracting during this terrible time on earth. I usually try to have the mailing list posts have something connecting them to the main blog post they’re advertised on, but I was just so sick of Downton Abbey by the time I finished this article, that I just couldn’t anymore. So enjoy this list instead. Until next time Wee Readers stay safe, stay vigilant and have a very bonny day.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com