Tag Archives: Issue 32

Winter Wrap-ups

14 Oct

We’ve well and truly felt the bite of winter this week and I for one find myself reaching for my mittens and scarf more and more.

But I do love autumn and winter; from getting all snug and cosy and spending the day watching movies on a truly hideous day outside to braving the weather armed with umbrella, furry leopard print hat and wellies. It’s all good, you just have to be in the right frame of mind for it, especially if it starts snowing.

So, here are some winter warmers for you, hopefully they’ll do their job and you’ll be as toasty as anything for winter.

Winter Wrap Ups

1. First up we have this navy plaid Swagger Jacket from Vivien of Holloway, which is amazing! It also comes in a variety of colours and looks super glamorous yet snugly. Do want.

2. Isn’t this Hooded Duffle Coat from Next cute?! The hood will help you battle against all elements and the navy blue will help you blend in with the rain when you get wet. Cause let’s face it – it’s gonna happen at some point.

3. This casual college jacket from Collectif is perfect for more mild autumnal days and comes in a small range of colours.

4. Now if this faux animal fur coat from Marks & Spencer doesn’t scream “I WILL KEEP YOU WARM WHEN WINTER COMES” then I don’t know what does. Lying carefully between tacky and not tacky this coat is definitely not for the faint hearted!

5. I love grey and although this shade is a little on the light side, this coat from Pepperberry is gorgeous and very much on my shopping list! Full skirts on coats just may be the best thing ever (besides functioning pockets) and this one definitely ticks all the boxes.

6. Now who wouldn’t want a jacket called ‘Wise Owl’? No one, that’s who. Smart, practical and a darker shade of grey, the oversized buttons are perfect – who has time for fiddly little ones when you’re hands are freezing?

7. Last up is this cute as a button Landlubber Cardigan from Hell Bunny. Another one for the gentler days of autumn, the anchor details are adorable and the sailor style neckline is always a winner.

About the Writer: Daisy is an irregular photographer, wannabe writer and full time female. In between tea and toast breaks she spends far too much time on the internet bloggingtumbling and tweeting. She is unapologetic in her love of the Spice Girls

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Are social networking sites and apps just a way of communicating or are they an open door to attack?

12 Oct

We’ve all heard of them: Twitter, Facebook, Formspring, Ask FM, Snapchat etc. but what people really lurk behind their computer screen and are they there to communicate or to insult? In this article, I intend to find out if these sites/apps are responsible for making us feel miserable.

Let’s start with Ask FM. I have to admit that when I first heard of this idea, I thought it was terrible. Why would you want teenagers to open an account and then have people ask them questions anonymously? This is a gateway for bullying. Still, it was popular and people went on to find out answers that sometimes should really be kept private. What worries me is that you didn’t even have to have an account to ask a question; it was a simple case of typing it in and pressing enter. Anyone can ask anyone anything. Of course, this was the whole point of the site but with the anonymity comes confidence and insult, with no discipline. Why not insult that person in your class if you weren’t going to get in trouble for it? There were no boundaries and still aren’t as to what you could ask, how you spoke or what you said. I only need to type in ‘girl kills’ into Google before my first suggested search was ‘girl kills herself over Ask FM’. Hannah Smith, a 14-year-old girl from Leicestershire, killed herself after receiving taunts in real life and from the site. While Ask FM bosses Mark and Lija Terebin, blamed the girl herself. However several major companies have announced that they will remove their advertising from the site following the controversy of this case and others. Another example is of Daniel Perry, 17 from Scotland, who killed himself after allegedly being blackmailed during a Skype chat and previously being told to commit suicide from anonymous people on Ask FM. The site has caused controversy by not having workable reporting, tracking or parental control processes, which have become the norm on other social media websites. However, Ask FM spokesmen responded by stating that they do have a reporting feature and employ a number of moderators to fight cyberbullying. Accordingly, the site has a “sexually explicit comment” monitor staffed by moderators; however, the comments are never deleted, even for explicit threats. This is a major cause of criticism.  Erin Gallagher, who hanged herself in October 2012 actually named Ask FM in her suicide note and said that she had been bullied on there.

Other sites known for causing hate from one to another is Twitter. The press constantly reports celebrities tweeting back and forth taking digs at one another. Notable examples are The Wanted vs. One Direction and Amanda Bynes vs. Miley Cyrus. Amanda Bynes tweeted a picture of Miley Cyrus stating towards her ‘ur ugly’. While Zayn from One Direction called Max from The Wanted ‘Chlamydia boy’ and ‘geek’. While Miley Cyrus wasn’t provoked by Bynes’ comment, she has replied ‘I think it’s all so sad that I don’t wanna add any fuel to that fire. It’s really so sad to me. I was rooting for a comeback until you start attacking me. I just thought it was hilarious that she mentioned my name the moment I was the worldwide trending topic on Twitter. It’s just funny. The moment you’re a trending topic it’s funny how many people want your name to come out of their mouth ’cause somehow they can associate, and maybe they can be a trending topic.’ Not all girls are that strong. However it doesn’t mean that you are weak to let these kinds of things offend or insult you.

And finally, Facebook. Does posing for pictures then uploading them onto Facebook make you vain or is it just a way to make yourself feel good? Dawn O’Porter thinks not that vanity might not be such a bad thing. ‘Well I think it’s terrible that such a negative connotation has been attached to people who like to share themselves with the world’ … ‘But snapping a selfie in a smashing bit of clobber and hoping a few people say you look alright, well that’s just a lovely thing to be able to do, isn’t it?’ (Dawn O’Porter, Glamour Magazine).

‘We cannot change the ever-developing social network era, but we can do our best to help the next generation realise that beauty comes from within.’

Regardless of what you think of social networking, they are without a doubt a way to communicate and if wanted, insult and degrade. Bullying can be such a horrible thing and with the added effect of the bullies able to hide behind a computer or phone screen, it is now much easier and more difficult to know when to stop. Many people don’t show when bullying or teasing is getting to them and the risk is increased when you can’t even see the person. ‘Following the suicide of Hannah Smith, British Prime Minister David Cameron called for a boycott of websites shunning the responsibility for dealing with cyberbullying on their sites.’ But can anyone ever control it? With so many small comments ripping into people, can there ever be a way of stopping people insulting others online? You could ask what we actually use social networks for: just a way of communicating or are they an open door to attack others?

About the writer: Becky has just finished a degree in English and Creative Writing and is very happy with her 2:1. She is friendly, bubbly and just so happens to be the co-creator of Yellow Bunting. She hopes you enjoy it and that you get involved!

First Term at Malory Towers review

11 Oct

I decided to write this review to hopefully help you to see the magic that can be seen in children’s books. Not only that, but to see how an author who has been accused of being sexist can write such strong, clearly defined characters who do not need the help of men to solve their problems.

First Term at Malory Towers is the first of six books by Enid Blyton. It is the third school series written by Blyton, starting the year after she finished the St Clare’s series and was inspired by Blyton’s oldest daughter Gillian going to boarding school.

In the books we follow the heroine, Darrell Rivers, through her school life, which include her ups and downs, friends and enemies. It has to be my favourite school series and has always made me want to attend Malory Towers.

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We meet an excited Darrell ready to set off to school in her brand new uniform. It’s nice to have a book start with someone being excited to go off to school and even though the idea of a brown and orange uniform sounds quite unappealing, I do think it could look very nice if matched properly.

We follow Darrell from her home to the station to catch the train for Cornwall, where Malory Towers is located. Naturally she is nervous about her new school, wondering what it will be like and if she’ll make friends. Blyton makes it very easy for the reader to relate to Darrell from the beginning, and these nerves that she experiences make her more human. The fun really begins when she is plunged into the world of Malory Towers at the station. First she is introduced to the sensible Miss Potts who is to be her form mistress and head of North Tower where Darrell is to sleep.

From the formidable Miss Potts we are then introduced to Alicia Johns, a girl in Darrell’s form who has been at Malory Towers for some time (though we are not told how long). Darrell takes an instant liking to Alicia, hoping that this older girl will be her special friend.

Alicia comes across as a hard character from the start and I’ve always wondered why Darrell so wants her as a friend when it’s easy for the reader identify her as a class clown and a bit of a bully. Alicia does get a little better, but I’ve never really warmed to Alicia or understood why you would want her as friend. She reminds me of the popular girls at school who would bully you without a thought to your feelings if you got on their wrong side.

Gwendoline Lacey is another a new girl, however she has none of the characteristics Darrell has which make her so instantly likeable. She is painted as a cry baby, spoilt and worst of all in the sporty world of Malory Towers: overweight. The girls don’t make Gwendoline’s life easy, and Alicia especially says some quite spiteful things to her over the course of the book.

The only other new girl to join them is quiet Sally Hope who seems the complete opposite to everyone else in the train carriage because she does not seem excited about going away to boarding school. She is quiet and withdrawn, which allows her to slide into the background for a short while in this book.

So on to Malory Towers, with its four towers North, South, East and West, which hold the girls’ dormitories and common rooms. Darrell, Sally and Gwendoline are all in North Tower together, with a stern matron and Miss Potts to keep an eye on them.

The term begins quite calmly with lots of fun but hard work as well. Alicia turns out to be the trickster of the form which adds a whole lot of enjoyment to lessons and Darrell wishes Alicia would be her special friend. However she soon learns that mucking around has its price as her marks for school work start to slip.

Sally’s brief illness acts as a catalyst for a complete change of character. After being a very closed off character who often fades into the background, her persona changes and she becomes a very lovely person very quickly and she becomes like an open flower instead of a closed one. The new Sally is instantly likeable. I think you see more of her personality in those last few chapters than you ever do in the rest of the books, except in the third form where Sally’s jealousy gets the better of her, but at the same time she does fade into the background a lot of the time.

I hope I haven’t given too much away from First Form at Malory Towers, but I don’t want to ruin the book for you. Personally I love this book. The ups and the downs of the term make it such a thrilling read, for instance when Darrell is nicer to Mary-Lou and the spiteful tricks Gwendoline plays.

I hope I have managed to show you what a good read this is, and how characters of their time, can break the stereotype. Enjoy this light read, and let me know what you think!

About the writer: Stef is a 22 year old graduate who has a lifelong obsession with books and reading who also loves music and live theatre. You’re most likely to find her in a book shop or out in London standing at a theatre stage door. She can be found on twitter and running The World of Blyton.

Editor’s Letter

7 Oct

Hello everyone!

Another short and sweet one for you this time; Stef gives us a review of the first book of the Malory Towers’ series, Becky looks at the evils of social networking and Daisy has been window shopping for winter coats. Variety is the spice of life, so they say!

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image by Daisy

Enjoy your week and if you have something troubling or worrying, don’t forget you can email our Agony Aunt Rubyyy at ask.yellowbunting@yahoo.co.uk

Until next time,

Becky and Daisy