My open letter to Mr Gove.

Arguably the most unpopular man among the arts, firstly may I say how tough that must be! I mean all you wanted to do was get rid of a few of the most loved, influential and heartfelt books any generation could hope to read! Why would anyone moan about that.
Let’s put aside for a moment that you are taking off the sillabubs two books that teach moral practices like no other books I have laid my hands on, books that teach acceptance over hate, books that educate the younger generations on the atrocities that are caused by racism.
I am putting that aside to talk about your ‘soft’ subjects.
At Alevel I revised for 6 months, I received AABB
I received 440 UCAS points if I remember rightly, and if I also remember correctly that is more then enough to have secured a place in a number of top universities.
I can’t remember exactly but off hand I can state that in two of my exams alone I received 100% in my marks.
I am smart.
I work hard, and put a lot into my education.

How dare you have the cheek to suggest that my exams mean less then someone who studied maths or science? I studied drama, film, English lit and psychology.
As you seem woefully misinformed I feel the need to reeducate you on just what those subjects entailed.

In my final year not only did I have to memorise quotes, poetry and read a number of books for my English lit exam, more then most university students have to do in their first year I had to devise and perform a final year piece of theater that was 20 mins long as well as produce, and film a short 5 min film.

Now that’s more then most working professionals in the business do in a number of months. I did it all with a psychology text book glued to my arm, because I’m not sure if you know how a psychology exam works? But you have a number of subjects, that your teach tells you you have no hope of learning all of them so learn a few inside out and know the basics of the others and hope the questions go in your favour. I wasn’t content with that risk so endeavoured to learn them all, or as much as I possibly could.

In my last year of alavel I achieved grades that most people would be over the moon with, and I did them in hard bloody subjects that required dedication, time management, knowledge and skill past just memorising a text book. Skills I am sure you will agree have far more practical applications.

I’m not sure what grades you indeed received or what subjects you took. But taking ‘soft’ subjects off the sillabubs really leads me to believe you have absolutely no idea of what they even entail.
It’s not even as simple as aptitude, or intelligence, I don’t like geography, why should I have studied it? I knew I wanted to study film, what use would that Alevel of done me? In fact even media studies would have wasted my time.

Almost as much as your wasting yours insisting on this archaic idea of ‘soft’ vs ‘hard’ subjects.

Yours
One of the thousands of people happy with their ‘soft’ education.

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The big R word…

That’s right, relationships.

Here we go.

This should be painless.
When your in love it’s great, and romantic and the world stands still when you kiss and your hear stops when they talk and you miss them when they are in the room… I think I am mixing metaphors.

ANYWAY.

When your in love it’s all that romantic crap. Which, for the most part, I have danced the line between hating and secretly loving and longing for. Well not so secretly, I am a serial commiter! I made that word up but expect it on Goop any day now.

But you know what I have realised.

Being in love is AWSOME. But there is one thing better.

Being in love with your best friend.

Biggest cliche in the world alert but bare with me I make this better.

And why is it amazing? It’s not the whole soulmate, together for life thing it’s the sheer amount of fun you have in your relationship the comfort and ease you have, the absolute laughs you have every day, and of course, winding around you up with how dizzyingly happy you are.

Me and my partner have this down to an absolute art! To even being able to time our tweets and instagrames (I promise never to use that as a verb again) to produce maximum annoyance!

Most women look for attractiveness, or charm. I looked for all that, and in the end saw what was right in front of me, happiness and laughs my whole life long.

My knee

So, on Friday night I dislocated my knee so badly it got stuck at an angle between myself and the floor. Even typing that makes my toes curl! So to most people this is a serious injury, for me this is just another annoyance in a long list of similar incidents. I have two problems, hyper mobility and a disorder called Lateral Maltracking of the Patela. I don’t think any of that is spelt right. This basically means one muscle on each side of my knee is stronger then the other and this causes my knee to be pulled from place. Mine is so sever I cant straighten my legs with out the constant worry that it will go as it would simply take a push of my knee cap.
So this is a little bit cathartic, its a little bit of a “this is my life” with a dash of “keep going”.
I don’t talk about my disorder a lot because hey ho, shit happens. It was hell when I was young, I wanted to be on stage and you cant be in the chorus if you physically cant dance. Still thats not held me back and I now act and write and have dreams a lot bigger then any chorus line! Why did it annoy me enough to write about it? It hurts. Like it seriously hurts, it use to sting like a bitch but the last two dislocations have been serious enough for me to even have to visit A&E and thats pretty scary. Since I was about 15 I have coped with this by laughing it off, getting up and limping about for an hour or two. But this pain and longer recovery time has really affected me. And its terrifying. I don’t mean that to be dramatic but its my legs, thats a big deal, I happen to enjoy walking.
Honestly, its made me really mad. I haven’t done the whole “Why me” thing for years but lately I have been. And you know what I remembered, no one likes a moaner. And its true! I have a lot of good things in my life this is one small annoyance. Okay, that is playing it down a lot, I know its more then that and I know that as I get older its likely to take longer and longer for me to recover but what is moaning about it going to achieve? Absolutely sod all, its not like my Patella will go “oh what? Sorry, didn’t realise you didn’t enjoy me moving about all the time! Heard and recived loud and clear wont do it again”… In case it can hear me though, seriously sort it out!
I was just so angry, I had a performance I had to miss and missed days off work and had to sit alone in my room for days and I was bloody livid. But I clung to the fact that I was lucky, I was so lucky in other aspects of my life and after a strop and a few sarky comments later I felt better.
So, the difficult thing with a disorder like this? Its not like being sick. Its not as simple as you get better or you get worse and then its over. Its everyday and its bloody tough sometimes to be strong enough to laugh off something that is so painful. So this post is for anyone who is down about something in their body they cant change. Its okay to get angry and moan and take a moment to be a selfish idiot. As long as you can laugh about it in the end its going to make it so much easier. Its bloody annoying to plan for the future always with this “will it get worse” over my head but its not going to stop me. Its about realising its your will vs your body and in that battle my will is going to win out every time. And if one day It gets really bad I will at least have the thought that I didn’t let it hold me back for as long as possible.

So for anyone who also has a bloody annoying disorder that keeps them bed ridden for long periods here is my guide to keeping away the boredom:

1.Use this time to get super good at make up/hair. So what you are not going anywhere you can still look your best!!!
2.Read, it’s the best way to kill time and enjoy yourself and stops you watching a million things on Netflix!
3.Organise. You know your unorganised? Here is your time to shine! Take this time to plan all the fantastic things you have to look forward to when you are done resting up.
4.See how many things you can reach from your bed and challenge yourself to use then all, FYI all my pens in my bedside table pen pot work. I check that shit yesterday!
5.Get a new sitting down hobby! This is just for your rest time. that way you don’t get bored of it, for me it’s knitting or working on certain writing projects.
6.Don’t be a recluse! Text people, call them, email. Your in bed, the rest of the world isn’t, stay involved.
7.Get creative. Actor, writer, painter or poet these are all things you can do while resting so don’t be lazy!
8.Plan your time when you feel better! Your saving money not going out so shop that money away! Or plan a trip or something cool to do.
9.Read the news! Trust me you’ll find a story you really get into and feel clever at the same time!
10.Catch up on an old series! I have been watching 90210 from the beginning, why? Because I can!
11.Nail art! You finally have that converted drying time use it wisely!
12.Something you have always wanted to learn, a language or to draw nows the time!

I hope this keeps some of you going! And remember it’s not forever and there’s a million people just as bored and fed up as you are!

My issue with not voting…

Okay so there is a LOT in the news about famous comedians and musicians getting involved in politics. Which is great, I think more celebs should use their public image to engage us in a political discourse.
I have one problem with it.
Don’t tell me not to vote.
Especially as a rich white man.
History has always been kind to you, and voting may now seem like somewhat of a commodity for you, and something that you are willing to throw away to make a point.
But it’s new to some of us. And it’s a big deal and not something we want to give away lightly. For women it’s a huge deal. As a women I find it disrespectful to throw away a vote knowingly and deliberately when so many fought for me to have it. And that’s just as a privileged white women, imagine what it’s like for a minority in some countries that have had to go through so much in order to sit at the same table as a person let alone vote.

So by all means get involved, stir up the masses to political debate.
But think about what the right to vote means first.

Princesses were hefty…

Bare with me, this I’m a Celebrity thing has really wound me up. Finding out an Olympic medalist is told by the public she is over weight! Who cares she is an Olympian! Anyone can be skinny she has done something barely anyone has done.

This has to stop, am I the only women in the world entirely happy with the way I look? I spent my teenage years and a lot of my early 20’s on a diet until I have up and put my health and guess what.

NOTHING BAD HAPPENED TO ME.
I am still an actress, still get roles, I am still a funny writer and still have a wonderful family. Nothing will happen if you are not a size zero.
I feel I have gone back a 100 years where women still believe the way a man views them determines their trajectory in life.

It doesn’t, and saying no to that cake will not further you in your career. I am beautiful. I embrace every tiny imperfection on my body because it is mine, it makes me who I am and it tells my story.
From the bump in my nose to the scares on my knee from a drunken fall it’s mine and I adore every part of it.

And I still can’t make my peace with the idea we are teaching people that being skinny is more of a desirably achievement then a gold medal. I feel this madness has gone so far it’s gotten to the stage where it’s become part of society and that’s truly dangerous.

Women are beautiful in so many other ways, Adel’s voice wouldn’t be any more beautiful if she were a few ponds lighter, Jo Brand wouldn’t be any funnier if she fitted into a top shop dress and your world won’t end of you don’t wear a skirt quite as well as the girl advertising it in a magazine does.

The next time you scream ‘no I shouldn’t’ I suggest you consider how you would explain your waste of food to someone starving, how would they react to ‘oh I have to let this go to waste, you see, I need to fit into these skinny jeans! Oh why? Well because this magazine told me I had to’
Just take a moment and consider how stupid these actions are. Be healthy for god sake! Don’t eat 6 cakes a day but know that saying ‘oh go on then’ once in a while and God forbid letting that gym membership go to waste isn’t going to affect your success. If anything it’s an unnecessary distraction.

I live my own fairy tale, one where Rhianna isn’t a role model, where Cinderella is a size 14 and Prince Charming loves a women with a good backside. And you know what, I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise. Because something does taste far better then skinny feels, and it’s happiness.

There’s an art to putting your foot in it.

To say sorry for being remarkably absent from my blog of late I thought I would give you what you are all here for! And no I don’t mean updates on the play, but it is going well ta for asking! I mean comedy.

So here it is. The Megan Reilly guide to accidentally insulting people. Now for most of you, this will act as a ‘oh thank God! It’s not just me’ type post. But for the rest of you, it’s a ‘how to’ guide to getting away with insulting others around you in an amusing way.

Now all of these were purely accidental on my behalf, I am just THAT thoughtless. But I hope those of you looking for a way to speak your mind to that one guy in the office who stinks, or that man at a bar who can’t, even with an accurate ordinance survey map, find your eyes, will find it below!

1: link it back to your own life! It’s not an insult if you are talking about yourself and accidentally commenting on the life of others! E.g being told a friend of yours has broken up with her boyfriend, you begin to discuss how sad songs make the situation infinity worse! So Bon Jovi always comes on the music player a work and you turn to her and say:
‘Oh God! Like this! If this came on and I broke up with someone it would be THE worst’

Accidentally but deliberately breaking the tension and reminding them there is much more to life. Like funny, soul destroying moments like this.

2: be casual! If you are going to accidentally insult you need to keep it casual! For example a friend of yours turns 23, Taylor Swifts ’22’ comes on the shuffle as you drink before a night out and you CASUALLY remind your friend:

‘Hey… You can’t sing this anymore’

The key to all of these is the quick apology and ‘realisation’ of what you have just said!

3: act innocent! Remember, even if you are pretending or in fact clueless like me. You had NO IDEA what you were saying was offensive. For example being in bed with your man lover. He turns to you and says ‘I think I have put on weight’ you INNOCENTLY reply:

‘I like how chubby you are’

Remember that was a compliment of sorts and stick with it, smiling sweetly and acting proud of just how kind you are!

Now not all of you are lucky like me, not all if you genuinely don’t see how insulting your meer presence can be, and for these people a degree of acting is necessary! To these people, good luck, and don’t expect a whole load of Christmas cards

How a conversation works

How conversations work

Now this post, I won’t name names, mainly because of how small an industry I am in and the fact it is pretty much aimed entirely at those in jobs that require a level of self belief, which as an access and writer I must say you need.

We have all however, no matter what our line of work encountered one of these people, they won’t have meant to cause the offence they have, and the main reason for that is the, some what impressive, level of self involvement.

Conversations are based around one key principle the question, response and react. Now this means, asking a question, LISTENING to the response and reacting accordingly.

Most people find the first two aspects of this quite easy to handle, there are many, that have real difficulty with the third step, in a sense that they really, only ask a question to further talk about themselves and therefore any reaction made has no real baring over what has just been said.

It’s these people that I dislike talking too. And that we all find ourselves not really minding when these conversations come to a quick and abrupt end, to save pain, effort and annoyance.

Though don’t get me wrong, I am sure some people really do listen, it’s just their lives, too them, are far more exciting to talk about so why waste time on yours.

I am the first to admit, I am dull, I knit, spend my evenings working out what historic city to visit next with my boyfriend and play noughts and crosses over text. I shoot Pinot these days not tequila, but it’s rude to assume I have nothing interesting to say. I mean, I don’t, but it’s rude to assume.

But fear not, there is an antidote to this kind of conversationalist! And it comes in two teqniques.

1. Fight fire with fire: play them at their own game, and don’t give up, no matter what they throw at you you come back fighting, because if they are gonna think you are a dick, you might as well do it properly in the vane hope they spot their behaviour and stop.

Example:

‘My nan died’
‘Oh gosh, when my nan died I was in bits’
‘My nan was cool though’
‘My nan was amazing she taught dogs too dance’
‘My nan taught dogs to perform small surgical procedures’
‘No she didn’t, my nan…’
‘MY NAN WAS A WIZARD’

2. Point out their behaviour. This won’t win you any friends, and I am not suggesting you do it in as rude a manner as I do, as this blog probably shows, I am a deeply judgemental individual. Basically at the age of 6 I decided it was much to difficult to be nice to people and actually have a lot of friends, it took valuable time away from me playing with my imaginary horse. So I pick a few people I deem inoffensive enough to keep in my life and the rest all, inevitably, turn into passing friendships. So I get away with saying what I do basically asked souly on the principle of ‘what is she like!’ And sheer honesty and fairness in what I say, I have never been needlessly mean, I just choose not to use tact in my everyday conversations. So this is for the many of you out there who also decided at whatever age that you simply could not be bothered to be one of those popular people and have found people actually like your way just fine!

Example:

‘My nan died’
‘Oh gosh, when mine died I was in bits’
‘How long ago was that’
‘Three years’
‘Mine died 3 hours ago, shall we prioritise’
‘Its the grief talking I know, so I will let that go, your right, are you okay’
‘Yes, she was fun though, she taught dogs how to do simple surgical procedures’
‘No she didn’t…’
‘ SHE WAS A WIZARD’

As you can see both lead too the same outcome, by making the individual realise their behaviour you can elli cite the desired conversation.

Disclaimer: don’t swear, as it doesn’t work and its not very nice, none of these are proven to work, just ask my ex, you might need a while though, he is prone to long outbursts about his ‘work’ while you explain that your nan has died.

There is no such thing as working from home…

This phrase, or indeed the phrase “oh i have a home office” are oxymoron’s be definition. This is coming from someone with 3 careers who finds themselves forced to work at home any moment i am not indeed “in the office” in any of my other jobs, so i know what i am talking about. Home is full of far to many distractions, comforts and annoyances that make an office environment a pointless errand. So here goes, my reasons why working from home is a modern myth: 

1. There is a fully stocked fridge: Anyone who claims to work from home must have an iron will or forced to buy food one day at a time, having a small branch of Tesco’s in your office does not lead to productivity, it leads to snacking… And baking.

2. You have no one to tell you to be productive: I work at home alone, and have no one to say “should you be getting on with that” or “i want those reports on my table!” And okay, i’ll admit a lot of why i don’t have this is because i am an actress and a writer so i am my own boss most of the time, but it does mean you have to have a level of anti-lazy genes. And yes, i just made up that medical term, artistic license, but you have to have that will to get out of bed before 10am in order to get all your work done…. Something, that many of us on a Sunday have trouble finding.

3. The internet: Something that plagues those with offices where they have to wear suites as much as those of us that clock in pre shower. There will always be another video of a cat, another Total Film article and another tweet to reply to.

4. The Horizontal office: Convincing yourself, having your laptop in bed with you with some work windows open while you catch up on some early morning Scrubs is in any way productive. 

5. You become suddenly very chatty on social networking: People can always tell when you are working from home, you suddenly want to know all about that loft extension, and just what DID he say after you said that and OH NO WAY, what an idiot he is, etc, etc.

6. You look like a slob: I mean, i am not the girliest of girls, but God forbid a man ever see’s me when i am working from home, it would be divorced or forced to shower immediately.  

Bruges, the search for midgets…

I have arrived safely in Bruges, and I have to agree, it is a ‘f***king fairy tale’ (it’s a quote, sorry for the language) as a comedy writer I am loving this place, not just because so far today I have spotted the courtyard where they were ‘filming midgets’ or indeed the hotel that Colin Farrell leapt from, but because the belgiums have a unique sense of humour. What other city would advertise chicken with a cartoon of chickens watching other chickens cook?!?
Also it is beautiful here, I don’t think I have turned a corner today without taking a photo of something or other, our hotel is stunning and the bells are a stones throw away. Really this is a fabulous way to celebrate my 22nd birthday.
Though there is a chocolate shop on every corner which means my slim size 10/12 figure I have be carving the last few months may indeed be lost by my return!
I made friends with an organ player, he was fabulous.
Below are a select few photos from the journey so far.

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Packing…

There are rules to packing, rules that in no way resemble any kind of day to day logic. When we go away somewhere we suddenly pack for inevitability’s such as “what if i buy a cork and not a screw top for the room?!” and “i’ll pack this just incase i decide to read this, though it has sat on my bookshelf, untouched, for 8 months this week may be the week!” 

We also find ourselves packing clothing that we have not touched, nor had any desire to touch, in such a long time anyone else would of thrown it out by now.

We bring enough accessories and shoes to warrant 2/3 outfit changes per day, with the rationale that i can only imagine goes something like “if i get invited onto a millionaires boat i want lots of jewelry, jewelry makes you look fancy”

And lastly we carry with us a small branch of Boots, even though we havent had any call for imodium of late or that antihistamine cream that is long out of date you bring it along anyway in the hope that by bringing enough “just in case” you will avoid all illness while on your excursion.

Basically, all logic we use in our day to day life, all the “oh well if i dont have it i can go with out” thinking, simply goes out the window while we are packing, and we find ourselves bringing along two suitcases worth of stuff that we will never use for a 5 day road trip round some of Europe.