There’s Somebody Out There For Everyone: Why Dating With A Disability Shouldn’t Defer You From Trying

Do you ever feel like you’re the last person in the world to find ‘the one’? We’re surrounded by romance and relationships, engagements and sickening love declarations – it’s just too much, right? Or perhaps we feel like that because secretly, deep down, below the pretence, we’re secretly desperate to find our very own special someone.

It is hard though. By no means is there a quick-fix way to find someone you click with, have fun with and ultimately want to spend all your time with: however, there are things to help you along the way. That’s right, we are no longer stuck in the times when the only chance you had of meeting someone was by bumping into them at the corner shop or at the local pub.

Take online dating. I really think it’s on to something. We all have things we do and don’t want in a partner, right? Well, the beauty of online dating is that the site does the initial filtering process for you. The reviews posted here might help you select a suitable website. You can add in your interests, personality traits, fears, hopes and so on, and are actually matched up to someone who says similar things.

It’s super hard to decide who you want to open up to and share your inner-most thoughts with, let alone deciding what you really want in a person. I mean, we all hate meeting someone with all the hopes in the world, only to find out you have absolutely zero in common with them, but perhaps sometimes we need to see what is out there on a bigger scale, as opposed to what we think we would suit – people might just surprise you.

Putting aside deciding on the exact type of person we want, the worst part in all of this is if you aren’t someone who enjoys meeting people very often, it can be a truly daunting task. So what if it’s not just fear of rejection or dislike that is holding you back? What if there’s more to it? Take a disability for example – and not necessarily a physical one. Maybe you have Tourette’s syndrome, dyslexia or a speech impediment. It can be terrifying to put yourself out there with someone unknown when your confidence is low already. But without wanting to sound like a broken record, there really is someone for everyone. I once read an article in the Guardian that said, “A disability is not part of your personality. Instead, like race or sexuality, it forms part of the context in which your personality develops.”

Read that over again. It’s not an issue, or a thing… it’s not anything other than you. And that in itself is beautiful. Love doesn’t care about colour, sexuality, favourite foods, bad habits, disabilities or anything else for that matter. Love doesn’t even see those things, and I am in no doubt that all the things that scare you or make you feel unwanted, are exactly the things that the right person for you will love. There’s just one thing… this person isn’t just going to appear and you know what, they’re probably just as scared as you, so go on, be brave. What have you got to lose?

 

Captain America – The Winter Soldier

Captain America - The Winter Soldier
Captain America – Winter Soldier was an entertaining movie. It all began with a run in the park, meeting a paramedic. Playing catch up as Steve Rogers/Capt America (Chris Evans) can jog 33 miles in 13 minutes!

Steve has a list of things to do as he‘s been frozen for over 50 years! However, it isn’t long when he is called in for duty. A ship is going off course, it’s owned by his agency SHIELD. Have pirates invaded the ship? He doesn’t need a parachute and can jump from the plane to the ship, using his amazing shield to protect himself.
He’s teamed up with agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson). Who wants to find him a date.

A battle starts as they engage the enemies holding SHIELD personnel hostage. When Natasha uses the mission to download Intel off the ship’s computer than save hostages, Steve guesses something is up.

After a meeting with his boss, Steve meets up with his former sweetheart Peggy, who’s now an old woman. There’s an entire exhibition about Capt America and his old uniform is preserved. He sees pictures of his former best friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). He meets up with the paramedic he met at the park, who holds meetings for people to talk about their feelings.

Director Fury (Samuel L Jackson) looks into the matter Steve raised and asks for a Project Insight to be delayed, he’s soon targeted for assassination! He has a very cool van packed with some very cool technology!

Steve has a neighbour, who he fancies but the interlude is cut short. Director Fury is hiding out at Steve’s apartment! Before they can really talk, the flat is subject to gunfire. Director Fury is hit. He hands Steve a USB, tells him to trust no one. Steve’s neighbour breaks in and reveals she’s a SHEILD agent assigned to protect him. Steve goes after the hit man, who has a metal arm and wears some type of gas mask. After an epic fight, he escapes.

The Secretary of the State (Robert Redford) takes over the agency and when Steve won’t tell him what happened, he declares Captain America a threat, forcing him to go on the run and be a fugitive.

This movie packs a wallop and a half. Witty dialogue, surprise twist and great CGI. I just love all the actors in their roles and there’s no short of thrills. I love the banter between Steve and Natasha, and they have many good interactions.
The fight scenes were astounding. Natasha must have the coolest mobile phone! Moreover, one of the shock twists at the end was mind-blowing.

The only things I didn’t like was, it preachy at certain times.
Stockpiling weapons = fear.
Rich people = megalomaniac.

In addition, some of the twists do seem to be questioning the SHIELD agency itself. As there is a weekly TV series on called the Agents of SHEILD, casting shadows on the very organisation that powers this show, could cause damage.

Surely, the audience have to believe in SHIELD as our saviour that’s why it was created in the first place! The old adage of not befouling your own house springs to mind.

I’m giving this 8/10 as a result.

Spoiler alert!
(You have the see this movie just for Jenny Agutter’s fight scene!)

Image reproduced from Edgecastcdn
Trailer reproduced from Marvel Entertainment.

TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Yes Men”

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Jaimie Alexander as Sif: Always nice when a superhero turns up in a TV show that’s supposed to be about superheroes!

Yes Men is unique among the episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that have aired thus far, in that it includes a major character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe; the film series that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoffs from. From the Thor series comes Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif: an alien being that, like her comrade Thor, was worshipped as a god by the ancient Norse peoples (hence why characters from Norse mythology are present in the Marvel films). For reasons that are never adequately explained, Sif enlists the help of S.H.I.E.L.D. in tracking down a dangerous superhuman from her world. Lorelei (Elena Satine) is a mind-controlling criminal from Sif’s home of Asgard, liberated during the events of 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. Her particular talent allows her to control the minds of (presumably only heterosexual) men into falling in love with her. She uses her power, first to amass an army from a Middle America biker gang, then to take control of Agent Ward (Brett Dalton). Soon, Lady Sif and the S.H.I.E.L.D. teammates under Coulson (Clark Gregg) are forced to do battle not only with the dangerous Lorelei, but with members of their own group.

There’s a lot to like about this episode. It is humorous, possesses several impressive action sequences (for TV) and makes strong use of locations. When Lorelei demands Ward takes her to a palace worthy of her beauty, he drives her to Las Vegas; a great visual setting to subtly emulate the grandeur seen in the Thor movies. Speaking of which, Jaimie Alexander delivers a great performance as Sif, bringing the same sense of strength and grace that her character demonstrated in Thor and its sequel. Her inclusion in the show was a genius idea, since it allows a very strong connection to the Marvel movies, without having to use one of the Avengers characters (almost certainly too costly for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s budget). It is always great when the show’s writers put a superhuman character on the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, such as when J. August Richards’s Mike Petersen got to become a S.H.I.E.L.D.-backed superhero. Considering that the show’s entire premise is that it is set in a world where superheroes exist, one would think that superheroes would appear more frequently. The unusual and increasingly intriguing relationship between Ward and May (Ming Na-Wen) is made even more complicated in this episode due to Lorelei’s ministrations. Perhaps most welcome is that the ever-infuriating Skye (played by the also rather infuriating Chloe Bennett) is mostly absent from the episode, having been injured in the team’s second-to-last adventure.

There are, however, certainly some very problematic aspects to this episode (as is expected of this show). Whilst Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has improved drastically since its first few dreadful episodes, it is still a long way from being what can be described as regularly good television. Whilst her presence is very welcomed, Jaimie Alexander does serve to really highlight the failings of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. In the Thor movies, she and her co-stars are shot and lit in a way that really serves to emphasise their godlike nature. When one watches Thor and its sequel, one can truly believe that Sif is an ageless superbeing that only resembles a human woman. Her unusual armour and weapons seem stylised, yet convincing and realistic. In Yes Men, the conventional and drab cinematography and lighting rips the grandiosity from the character. Alexander does a good job performing the character as something that is more than human, but she looks like an actress trying to play a goddess – not a goddess herself. This is best emphasised in her depressingly drab fight with Lorelei in the S.H.I.E.L.D. plane’s holding cells. Compared to the fight choreography and lavish sets of the Marvel movies, the fight scene in this episode is frankly depressing. One might wish that Marvel Studios hurry up and begin production of Thor 3, to spare Alexander the embarrassment of being in more episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. On the other side of the scale is Elena Satine as Lorelei; an actress seemingly plucked from a pantomime or a children’s TV show. Her understanding of how to play a villain is so stock that one wonders why she doesn’t have a moustache to twirl. It is likely that she is trying to imitate the performance of Tom Hiddleston, best known as Loki in the Thor and Avengers films. Unfortunately, Satine does not possess Hiddleston’s charm or acting talent and so comes off as a terrible attempt at being a classically evil antagonist.

Equally problematic are the horrendous computer effects (bizarre, since early episodes of the show had strong if not film-quality CGI) and lacklustre production design. This is a particularly flat and boring-looking episode, outside of the Vegas scenes. Perhaps if the train battle from the episode T.R.A.C.K.S. or the ominous setting of the episode T.A.H.I.T.I. had been saved for this episode, there would have been more to enjoy besides one actress and some humorous jokes.

Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake - The Lowry
Matthew Bourne‘s Swan Lake is a different take on the classical ballet. I was very happy when I was able to get a seat to see this. The difference between this and the classic is that men portray the swans.

A young Prince (Simon Williams) has led an ordered life but his mother The Queen (Saranne Curtin) cannot show her love, this is the cause of angst for him. He becomes entranced in his dreams, where the swans appear which enable him to feel some relief from his life.

The torture of the Prince was visible. Even more so when the lead swan (Chris Trentfield) in his dream, seems to be the son of a very important man in reality. The Prince tries to talk to him but is rebuked. Furthermore, the man fancies his mum!

Sending our prince further into despair and imagining the whole place is laughing at him. He begins to descend more and more into his swan-filled world, which ends up in tragedy.

This is one of the best stage shows I’ve seen. The dancers were outstanding. The sets were very clever, in where a bed became a ship; the skills of the dancers to move with the set; and it seem part of the dance I thought was clever. I loved the Swank Bar and the melee that ensued; was both funny and sad.

There’s a princess in pink played by Carrie Johnson who adds some comic touches as she tries to win over the Prince.

The scene when the Prince gets out of bed, attended too by a fleet of maids and valets; was booth amusing and nothing short of a stroke of genius. There was even a toy Corgi dog being wheeled round where it ‘bit’ the Princess. It was hilarious!

The costumes were gorgeous. The palace ball was for me was the highlight. It was marvellously done, with rich touches of furfuran and gold. The mini theatre show in one of the acts was good.

According to the program I bought, there have been a few things that have changed that only the most loyal fans would spot. However, for a first time viewer, it seemed tailored to me and I found no problem following along.

This stage show has been around since 1995 and it’s been worth the wait and the disappointments of not getting a seat. Now all I have to do is see the original Swan Lake.

Please note the dancers do change roles, so I’m listing the ones I saw dancing. (I wasn’t too sure about the Queen though, lots of heavy makeup! So apologies if it’s wrong! The other actress listed was Madelaine Brennan.)

There isn’t a single compliant I have about this production. A splendid outing with lovely music and an outstanding cast. 10/10 from me. Encore!

Image reproduced from The Lowry.