Catherine of Aragon – she rules!

You might have seen some blog posts and news stories about the lack of women on UK banknotes. This is normally an honour given to people of merit. So are there really so few women of merit in UK history who deserve to be remembered?

When we were at Cybher everyone was challenged to write a blog post arguing  for a woman to be on a banknote.

El is a history FIEND and here she argues for one of her historical heroines:

CATHERINE OF ARAGON!

El likes to read a lot of historical fiction and there was a series written from the perspective of servants to all of Henry VIII’s wives. The first two books focus on Catherine Of Aragon’s struggle to marry Henry after her first husband (his older brother, Arthur) died and she was left in England, a widow. She could have gone home to Spain but she was determined to marry Prince Henry and become Queen Of England.

She had many difficulties on the way. There were dowry problems. Should the rest of it be paid now that Arthur was dead? Henry VII wanted to marry Catherine himself after the death of his wife despite the massive age difference. There were ambassador problems which left Catherine to become Spanish ambassador. She was the first female ambassador in European history.

Finally King Henry VII died and whilst he lay dying he and his  son Henry discussed important state matters and one of the things they decided on was that Henry should marry Catherine. After years of poverty, pawning her gold plate and worrying about money she was finally going to marry the man she had dreamed of.

I could go on and on and on about her role as Henry’s wife, her struggle to give him children, how she ran the country when he was away at war, how she lost a child fighting a war for him, how she learnt to accept his mistresses and how his love for her faded and how he began to hate her and changed an entire country’s religion just to get rid of her. He told her that not only was she no longer Queen but she had never been Queen. Many important men discussed whether she and Arthur had you know… done it. Her husband, the man she loved so much was leaving her for a manipulative woman who would happily see her dead.

Even that quick over view was quite long. Sorry. But just don’t get me started because I could be here forever. It’s why this blog post has been taking so long! (Sorry…) But instead I’ll skip to here end. She was left alone with just a very loyal servant, growing ever more ill, away from her husband and her only daughter. She was hated by the man she loved most and she was utterly abandoned after a life devoted to him as the Queen of England she was now just Dowager Princess. After someone asked Henry if she could move to a more comfortable castle he merely sent her to an even damper, colder castle. She eventually died aged just 50.

And what really makes me sad is that most people don’t know what she went through. All that kids at school learn about her is that she was the 1st wife of Henry VIII, she was divorced, that she gave birth to Mary I and that she couldn’t give Henry a son. That’s true but there’s so much more to her than that.

So, should we have more respect for Catherine of Aragon and give her a space on a banknote?

You can also join the #Banknotes campaign by signing the petition. There’s a post to link up to on Nixdminx blog and a #Banknotes Pinterest board where all campaign faces will be featured. You can also tweet your suggestions using the #Banknotes hashtag.

El & Jae
Priceless

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July 18, 2013. Tags: . Random wisdoms, Rants. Leave a comment.

Would you pass the Nerd test?

Have you noticed that there are lots of T shirts and other clothing in the shops which say ‘Geek’ or ‘Nerd’ on them?

Cut price nerd

Cut price nerd

We think it’s great that such things exist – who wouldn’t want to advertise their nerdiness with a jaunty slogan? Advertise to the world your love of the geek! HOWEVER this sort of clothing has now become so popular that a terrible thing has happened:

People who aren’t even Geeks are wearing Geek shirts!!!! NOOOO!!!!!

Nerd-dawg

Nerd-dawg

So if you’re not sure whether you are eligible or not, we have devised a handy quiz to help:

  • Would you prefer to lose all of your make up rather than all of your books? (Warning: some of these questions probably only apply to girls and flamboyant boys!)
  • Do you have at least two people whom you’d call friends but whom you have never actually met in person?
  • Have you read at least 10 books so far this year?
  • Do you have a blog?
  • Would you rather go play Minecraft than get your nails done?
  • Are there more computer devices than people living in your house?
  • When your teacher asks you to write what you know about the Spanish Armada (as an example) on a post it note do you mentally explode because it won’t all  fit on that tiny piece of paper? (El is speaking from a personal experience here.)
  • Do you have a minimum number of books that you will not leave the house without?
  • If someone asked you “Are you a geek/nerd?” you proudly say yes and go on to talk about your theories on why geeks shall inherit the earth!
Nerdiness can go to your head

Nerdiness can go to your head

If you can answer yes to at least two of these questions then Congratulations – you are a 100% certified Geek and may now wear a Geek or Nerd shirt.

Don’t worry if you didn’t say yes to all of them, you can still be a geek/nerd – but you will have to try a bit harder to earn the title! And remember – Geek is for Life.

happy-nerd

El & Jae
Fashion Police

March 18, 2013. Tags: , , . Random wisdoms, Rants, Top Tips. 2 comments.

A World Without Homework…

El has been dreaming of a special place.

A world….

A world without homework

world-without-homework

 

What would your world without homework contain?

 

 

El & Jae
Dreaming of paradise

March 4, 2013. Tags: , . Random wisdoms, Rants. 2 comments.

Call that a treat?! A chocolate flavoured rant

Have you ever seen those bars of chocolate commonly known as treat sized? Their one defining characteristic is that they are very small.

Now, I ask you, what kind of a treat is that? A tiny bar of chocolate!

If it was a real treat it would be

MASSIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look at these two chocolate bars which El is holding. Which one of them looks like a treat to you?

And yet it is the teeny weeny one that is marketed as treat size. They should call it disappointing size.

Disappointing chocolate bars. (Though still better than none at all!)

You read it here first.

Perhaps good for the chocolate craving dieters but these bars tend to be marketed for children who would perhaps prefer a little more.

Do you think it will catch on?

El and Jae
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

November 14, 2012. Rants. Leave a comment.

Ooooops! Too many Reviews!

Hey there my lovelies, and might I say how nice you look today?

So, there I was waiting for a new Derren Brown show (Apocalypse) to come on and for my cookies to bake, I realised that me and Jae have been doing quite a lot of reviews lately. All very nice and good but we don’t want this blog to become Review Town. So I decided to write a post to say sorry. And here it is.

So… sorry

Oh hang on my cookies are beeping. Back in a mo…

They needed a few more minutes. Jae had to tell me that because my glasses had steamed up.

No one tell the Cookie Monster

Oh there they go again.

I tried to duck this time but yet again I was temporarily unable to see. Sorry I’m getting rather off subject. So, anyway sorry. I can’t say there won’t be more reviews but I will say that there will be more Gangnam Style. You can watch it whilst I go drizzle chocolate.

Chocolate completed! I am also very proud to report that I was one of the first 9,000,000 people to view that video on YouTube thanks to my Korean friend. Considering that the video has now got over 500,000,000 (UPDATE: 815,000,000, making it the most watched video on YouTube!!!) views I’m very proud of that fact. As well as baking, doing Gangnam style and screaming about new Derren Brown, what else have I been doing? Helping my best friend on her new blog (more on that later), starting a Herman Cake and turning Lord Sugar into a vampire at school in lunchtime.

I’m going to Diss tomorrow so this probably won’t get posted until Sunday, though I’m writing it on Friday.

It seems, looking back, that I must apologise again. This post is extremely random. Ah well, random is as random does (I’ve no idea what that means).

El
Oddballing around

October 28, 2012. Tags: , . Random wisdoms, Rants. 1 comment.

Help! There’s a teacher in my pub!

At the end of my street there is a pub. It’s a very nice pub and children are allowed in there until eight. I have been going there since I’ve lived near it and Eye has been going there since he was born. We tend to go every Friday or Saturday and it’s a little treat for us all. Every single time I get chips. Chippy chips. Mmmmmm lovely.

But recently things have been a little annoying. Because my old teachers have been in the pub. My old school is extremely close to my house which is even closer to the pub. So (I can only assume) after a hard weeks work they have gone down to the pub for a pint and a chat. Unfortunately for me. Well it’s nice to see them and all just as long as they don’t see you. Then it just gets awkward.

Don’t get me wrong. I quite enjoy seeing my old music teacher riding away on a moped as I come home from Hogwarts, my year 6 teacher sitting next to my old RE teacher in a table I myself have enjoyed many a family meal my and old year 5 teacher ordering a pint.

It’s just that when they see you then you are forced to talk to them. Going back to my old school and having a good chat would be lovely.

But talking to them out of school. With your parents there.

Awkward. So awkward. So amazingly awkward. And embarrassing.

So teachers I still miss your teachings. You were great and interesting. It’s not just you, my old teachers that I have not really talked to for about a year.

Recently I was in town with some friends who are not in my current school. Then I saw my Maths and occasional Science teacher. In the summer holidays. I wasn’t aware that they were friends. Needless to say I grabbed my friends and shoved them into a baking shop.

Those teachers no longer teach me.

Teachers it’s not that’s you. It’s because it’s out of school. Don’t take it personally. You were great. I miss everything about that school. But, teachers I don’t think you belong out of school. Perhaps you should sleep in school like the Krillitanes in Doctor Who. Don’t get me wrong. Those teachers were amazing. But I don’t deal well with awkwardness. So please teachers, socialise far far away from your pupils.

I hope they don’t read this.

El.

September 16, 2012. Tags: , . Rants. Leave a comment.

Not available in shops

Dolls can be great, but we have been wondering – why are there not more nerdy dolls?

What has gone wrong in the world that you can buy a Justin Bieber doll but no geeky girl dolls?

Something like this:

Can I get a few books with that?

El doll comes with a satchel, more books than you can fit into the satchel, glasses, and plans to rule the universe one day.

Jae doll is more of a vintage model. She comes with techy accessories, both traditional and modern. No liquorice allsorts as she has already eaten them. This doll has an extra arm which is very useful when you are a mummy doll.

Batteries not included

What do you think? We reckon it could really take off.

 

El & Jae

PS Thank you to Amazing Daisy for doll designs.

May 19, 2012. Tags: , , . Funnies, Rants. 2 comments.

Things there should be a word for

With all the words in the world, why are there no words for this?

  • That minor feeling of disappointment when you think a puppy is coming towards you but it turns out to just be a small dog. That happened to me the other day. To say my face fell is an understatement.
  • The combination of crushing desperation, then relief when it looks like there’s a big load of ironing in the basket but it turns out to just be towels, socks and pants. Similar to when you think you have a big load of homework and it turns out to be just some spellings you already know.

    El's famous anti-homework face

  • Being so desperate to finish a fantastic book that you start reading it at inappropriate times like when you’re crossing the road or already late for work/school.
  • El’s anti-homework face. That surely deserves a word?
  • Telling a story then remembering half way through that you already told it to the person you’re telling it to, and they’re just humouring you to be polite.
  • Funny little noises people make when they’re eating or sleeping
  • When you don’t tweet about something because somebody who might see it has sent you an email that you haven’t replied to and you don’t want to get into explaining why not.
  • When your cat meows for food even though there’s already two types of food in his bowl.
  • The sadness when you realise that the UK is going to fail in Eurovision once again. I mean really? Engelbert Humperdinck? Why not Jessie J?!!!!! Or Adele!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • The sadness you feel when you hear about the time your mum thought she saw a puppy coming up the road, but when it got closer it was a small dog and she was disappointed.

El and Jae.
There’s a word for that.

March 11, 2012. Tags: , , . Rants. 1 comment.

What to say if someone at school calls you a nerd

It has come to my attention that there are people in this world who do not know that nerds have inherited the earth. These children may call their classmates nerds and intend it to be an insult. This is wrong.

So if someone at school calls you a nerd, here are some examples of how to respond:

  • I’m a nerd, you’re a turd. Which is better?
  • Yeah, and?
  • Have you only just noticed?
  • Actually I’m a geek but thank you for the compliment.
  • You’ll be working for me one day so please remember that I like my burger well done.
  • Thank you! For a second I thought I was a bit like you!
  • I’d rather be a nerd than a jerk any day
  • At least the brain store was open when I went there
  • Phew! Thank god! At least I won’t end up on the Jeremy Kyle show when I’m older, unlike you.
  • Great, so I’m just like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Doctor Who combined.
  • Yes I know. State the obvious, why don’t you?
  • Wow! A retro insult! Are you having a 1970’s theme day or something?
  • I’m going to tell my nerdy mother you said that, and she’s going to bop you on the head with her BEST SELLING BOOK

Or best of all, just ignore it and walk away. Don’t give headspace to bullies, they don’t deserve it.

Thanks to my friends on Twitter for input on this. Nerds unite, geeks always prosper.

Jae.
From one nerd to another

February 6, 2012. Tags: , . Rants, Top Tips. 10 comments.

Reasons why homework should be banned

I do not like homework because

  • It takes up all your time when you are already tired
  • Children already work hard enough at school as it is
  • Adults do not have to do homework, so it is not getting you ready for life as a grown up
  • Some of it is what you’ve already done in school so you already know it and therefore it is pointless
  • It is never fun stuff that you would want to do
  • Homework means that you are never away from school. Even in the holidays it is there like a great big weight on your mind
  • It’s really stressful
  • Some kids cheat and get their parents to do it
  • Homework makes me lose the ability to speak and instead I just go Eh like a baby
  • Homework makes me pull this face:

    AAAHHHH Homework!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Please sign below in the comments if you agree that homework should be banned

 

El.

February 1, 2012. Tags: . Rants. 41 comments.

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