Links, loves and Instagrams from the last week. It’s the Friday Round Up!
1. Lunch at Boo Boo Coffee. 2. The views from the very bottom and the very top of the Library of Birmingham. 3. Lunch at Six Eight Kafe
As usual, there’s a strong theme of food this week. David’s here, and we’ve been having lots of adventures, most of them involving eating. I took David over to my favourite cafe, Boo Boo Coffee in Harborne, where there was an iced latte and an amazing pulled pork burger with my name on it. We’ve been adventuring around Birmingham, spending a lot of time spending a fortune in Forbidden Planet and Nostalgia Comics, playing with the Marvel and Star Wars toys in the Disney Store, and exploring the city.
We made a visit to the Library of Birmingham, where we hung out in the roof gardens, and were amazed by the beautiful Shakespeare Memorial Room. Definitely worth a visit, for the views from the gardens alone. There’s also been pizza, more lattes, a lot of episodes of Chuck on Netflix, and a lot of kids films. There was also an Apple Streusel Cake to go with Great British Bake Off, that was not entirely successful, but should be good with some recipe tweaking.
It’s been a little while since I posted an installment of the kick-ass fictional women list, so I thought it was time for the next ten. You can read the rest of the list in the links above. Have I missed your favourite? Let me know in the comments!
Harry Potter’s Luna Lovegood is one of my favourite characters. She’s a bit of an oddball, but entirely unembarrassed by it. She gets on with things, fairly unconcerned with what others think of her. She’s too busy being brave, and immensely loyal to her friends. Through it all, she remains calm, collected and unruffled. Impressive.
Lord of The Rings Elven Lady Galadriel is an interesting one. Largely recognised as an other worldly beauty, Galadriel is severely tempted by the power of the ring. She is undeniably powerful, with her ability to read minds, manipulate the minds of others, and her glimpses of the future with the Mirror of Galadriel. The ring tempts her, but she pulls back, passing the test, and sending the ring-bearers on their way with gifts that will later save their lives.
Much Ado About Nothing’s Beatrice is one of my all time heroes. She is incredibly ahead of her time, with her insistence on maintaining her independence and her approach to her relationship with Benedick. She demands to be treated as an equal. She has a mean line in witty comebacks too, and who doesn’t love that? “A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.”
Black Widow could so easily have been the token girl in the Avengers. One of the things I love about watching her on screen is that her femaleness is never used as a ploy. We never see her stripping off, or swanning around in her underwear or a bikini for no apparent reason, nor do we ever see sent to ‘seduce’ the enemy to get information. I love that those cliches are avoided so completely. I also love her (spoilers!) relationship with Hawkeye. It is so rare, but so great, to see a platonic friendship between a man and a woman on screen, especially with their closeness. Never mind how tough she is. Can we get her on some merchandise now, please?
This woman is a badass. Throughout the Harry Potter series, Professor McGonagall stands up for her herself, for Hogwarts and what she believes is right. Whether it’s standing up to Dolores Umbridge, holding the fort at Hogwarts for Dumbledore, or calling the knight statues down from their pedestals, McGonagall keeps the school and her students safe, never hesitating to do what must be done.
I have a serious soft spot for Willow. Apart from the fact she’s cute as a button, and an incredibly powerful witch, she’s insanely brave. Before discovering her own power, she’s always there to help Buffy save the day, risking her life time and time again. She’s smart, often seen as the brains in the Scooby Gang, and doing lots of the all important research. Her relationship with Tara is beautiful to watch too. Personally, I’m not a Tara fan, but the love between those two was written fantastically, with no gimmicks, no ridicule, and no reliance on ‘sexy lesbian’ tropes. They’re just…together. As simple as that. “There’s no use arguing with me. Do you see my resolve face? You’ve seen it before, you know what it means.”
The mother of dragons. Dany finds her way out of her brothers shadow, and very quickly learns how powerful she can be. Whether she’s Khaleesi, freeing slaves, raising dragons or leading her army, Dany tries her best to firm but fair to her people. She cares deeply for those who follow her, and while she doesn’t always get it right, she keeps their best interests at heart. Her transition begins in her marriage to Khal Drogo. Sold into this marriage, she could have stayed meek. Instead, she takes her own power, first by demanding sexual gratification from Drogo, before owning her new title of Khaleesi. From there, she grows more confident and in control. She’s smart too, using her awareness that men will underestimate her to her advantage. One of my favourite moments is when she stands up to her brother. When Viserys slaps her, she clocks him right back, and says, “The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands.”
It’s time for a bad girl, I think. The Lioness of Lannister is certainly tough, and unafraid to demand what she wants, and go out and get it. Frustrated by her sex hindering her, Cersei learns to play the game with the tools she has. Using her sexuality, her family’s name or her incredible powers of persuasion, Cersei lands herself the throne and carefully maneuvers everyone around her to ensure her children’s future. Her methods might be underhand, but you can’t deny her cleverness.
This Southern Belle is one of my all time favourite comic book characters. Of course she’s on this list. She’s a sassy smart-ass with a big mouth and the ability to kick you into next week. This girl has her struggles but she’s no damsel in distress. We won’t discuss the simpering idiot they made her in the films, but comic book and cartoon Rogue was a tough cookie, with street smarts who took care of herself (and frequently, her boyfriend too). She works around a dark past, struggles with her powers and her inability to touch to become an essential part of the X-Men team, and one of the most beloved X-Men of all time.
Uhura was a ground-breaking character. In 1966 a black woman in a role like this, on equal footing to white men? Unheard of. As the solo female Bridge officer, she was incredibly visible on Star Trek, and was often seen helping out on other stations, as well as her own Communications panel. She was clearly intelligent, quick to learn and efficient. The rest of the crew recognise her abilities without question. Her sex, nor the colour of her skin, are ever shown as being a problem. Very refreshing, and for the era? Incredible.
As always, please do leave me your suggestions. Who’s your favourite fictional badass lady?
1. Oh, just the Predator hanging out on New Street. No big deal.
2. Maybe it’s because of where I work, but I can’t resist Rhubarb and Custard flavoured things. Although these taste pretty similar to those Peach sweets, which was a disappointment.
3. New obsession. All together now, “Let me be your…staaaaaaaaaaaaar!” 4. New season, new flyers…lots of folding.
Some lovely person has hit me with their cold this week, and I feel rough as anything, so please excuse this being a short update. I’m made of headache, tiredness and sore throat just now and generally feel a bit grim, and typing for too long makes me feel weird. Fun times. Despite this, I am in full NaNoWriMo plotting mode, and enjoying it immensely. To get my plot and characters ready for November, I’m working my way through Ready, Set, Novel! and rereading No Plot? No Problem! which are pretty much essential NaNo tools if you ask me. It feels pretty good to be working on a writing project again.