Archive for the ‘Portfolio’ Category

Two Thousand and Tyranny

1000 word extract of a novel I began writing this year, based on the London riots,  Two Thousand and Tyranny.

6th August 2011

I flicked through my tattered notepad and tried to find her name. What was it? I had written it down yesterday and had painstakingly ensured her name was spelt correctly. There it was. Sumani Youlou Fransendger, age thirty-three and a protestor at Redham Court Flats last week. Pompous Paul had instructed me to find out all I could about her background as a protestor and find a creative way to angle “protester strapped to flats for three days, crumbles”. His eyebrows remained raised and pointed throughout the team meeting this morning.

For the past month of working at the paper, Paul had worn the exact same suit. His reliable grey pinstriped suit perfectly ironed with padded shoulders and no marks. He complemented this look with an off white shirt, black tie and impeccably shiny, grey snake-skin shoes. I imagined his wardrobe; identical outfits hung neatly from wooden hangers in chronological day order. Every day he manages to arrive ten minutes after everyone else: a Starbucks coffee in one hand, a briefcase in the other and always, without fail, a serious motionless face.

A distraught yell banished the images of my daunting news editor, snapping me back into reality and back within the walls of my red Fiesta. Outside Tottenham police station stood three figures in black surrounding a young, short male police officer. One of the trio, a girl easily identifiable by her curvaceous figure, was waving her arms frantically and her mouth was moving at an unimaginable speed. The other two were shifting from side to side and towering way above the police figure that now resembled a trembling mess.

In front of the station a huddle of protestors stood with banners offering support for Sumani. The older protestors in the group remained stationary clinging to their signs whilst the younger protestors reeled off numerous expletives and made disgruntled, animalistic noises.

The sound of screeching tyres came from a white Honda Civic that mounted the curb on the road opposite. Out of the front window a boy, no older than fourteen, stuck out his arm and chucked what seemed to look like a bright sparkler. I watched in horror as it fell in front of the young policeman and the trio scattered. An explosion of orange flames caught the officer’s trousers. Out of nowhere stones and bricks were being hurled at the front of the police station. Smashing of glass and cries of terror were the background noise to a high pitch alarm ringing indefinitely.

I froze. I was unsure whether to stay within the safety of my car or advance towards a scene of chaos and the unknown. Come on Joanna you need a good story after all. Breathe. I am a reporter, this is my job.

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Downton Abbey set to go off with a bang!

Downton Abbey returns to our television screens (ITV) this Sunday (18th September 2011) at 9pm. Following the incredible success of series one with 11m viewers for the last episode and eleven nominations at the Emmy’s; Downton Abbey has captured the attention of the entire nation.

The first series followed the lives of the Crawley family and their servants with engrossing storylines of love, betrayal and extreme class division. The series left the audience in suspense with the declaration of the First World War.

The airing of the new series faces rivalry of the new series of the spy drama Spooks. However with the explosive opening of Downton, (shown on BBC today) it will be very hard to move from the edge of your seat. Series two trailer:

So why do we love period dramas?

A blog from The Telegraph helped answer this question. Audiences love the costumes, the architectural setting, the (poetic) use of the English language and all in all the history is what makes the future. Downton Abbey offers audiences escapism, enjoyment and above all entertainment.

Although Julian Fellowes, writer and producer of the show, has come under scrutiny for historical inaccuracies, Downton has earned a renowned status: most popular costume drama since Brideshead Revisited in 1981 and has been sold to more than over one hundred countries.

Fellowes describes the show’s level of popularity as:

‘We were playing to something like a third of the adult population,’ he said. ‘I mean, nobody could expect that level of success, except for Simon Cowell. It was completely mad.’

With a strong cast, well written script and beautiful scenery Downton Abbey is not to be missed. Follow the story unfolding further this Sunday and be part of history. Stay tuned into my blog for a review of episode one next week!


The Bird

September 7, 2011 1 comment

What a jolly bird, hopping to and fro,

He’s putting on a performance, he’s putting on a show.

Pecking through the grass, without any care,

He can’t see me watching, he can’t see me stare.

He’s plucked up the courage, he’s dancing on the road,

Hopping to and fro, oh no, he’s been squashed like a toad.


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