Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 30: List your 10 favourite characters from books, television, movies, whatever

Day 30: List your 10 favourite characters from books, television, movies, whatever

Okay here we go I will be honest I think that in this one it will certainly be a case of having to walk away from the computer when I finish or I will be changing them every two minutes.

1) Elizabeth Bennet – Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

jennifer-ehle-as-elizabeth-bennet-in-pride-and-prejudice-1995-x-450A strong woman, not afraid to fight against the conventions of the society in which she live, oh and she gets Mr Darcy.

 

2) Jo March – Little Women by Lousia May Alcott

jo-readingI read this growing up and really identified with the character of Jo, battling for independence against expectations and desperately wanting to write.

 

3)  Count Dracula – Dracula by Bram Stoker

PrinceVladdThe original vampire (okay technically not the first actual vampire in literature) he was the first vampire I ever read about the first to intrigue me and tantalise with the promise of immortality.

 

4) The Vampire Lestat – Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

Lestat-the-vampire-chronicles-7846022-500-333I could have picked any of the Vampire Chronicles characters as to be honest they are all as captivating as each other, I cannot think of any character which I am indifferent to.

 

5) Zeke – First Blood by MS Fowle

imagestOkay it’s not actually a picture of him I googled male vampire images and after a lot of drooling decided this represented how I saw him the best, dark brooding a little bit like David Boreanaz in Buffy but with long hair.

 

6) Frodo Baggins – Lord of the Rings By J R R Tolkien

imageshThis might be the ultimate coming of age story, I love watching the journey Frodo goes on both physically and in terms of personal development.

 

7)  Professor Snape – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows By JK Rowling

alan-rickman-snape-008For so much of the Harry Potter series of books Snape was a character you despised and hated, intelligent yet cruel and seemingly malicious yet in his final scenes you realise the true qualities not only of the character but the writing in that a few lines can turn your world upside down

8) Reuben – The Wolf Gift By Anne Rice

reuben-in-the-window-valeronAnne Rice’s werewolf hooked me, as sensual as her vampires her latest leading man enticed me into believing that maybe the Lycanthrope life would not be so bad.

 

9)  Poiret – Murder On the Orient Express By Agatha Christie

poirot460I love Agatha Christie there are some who may argue it is not great literature but what she can do is tell a fantastic story and create amazing characters that have stood the test of time.

 

10) Bridget – Bridget Jones Diary By Helen Fielding

bridget[1]It has been said she is the Elizabeth Bennet for a modern generation and they do share many qualities though one cannot see Lizzie crying over a man, really loved her character in the books which I felt had far more depth than the films.

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Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 29: If you had the power to create one thing and bring it into existence, what would you create?

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Day 29: If you had the power to create one thing and bring it into existence, what would you create?

This is simple it would of course be a cure to Cancer.  The simple answer would be to create some magic formula that every one was vaccinated with that would ever stop Cancer forming in any of its variations, and a form of Chemotherapy that would destroy all existing cancer cells no matter where they were in the body or how far advanced it is.

However simply to make this post slightly longer and more interesting the more creative answer would be creating a miniature craft such as this..

Innerspace_onesheet_international-7It would be armed with the latest in laser technology and would be shrunk down and injected into the body near the affected area then burn away all signs of cancer and repair any damage caused by it in that area.

Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 28: List 5 things you wish you had said and to whom

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Day 28: List 5 things you wish you had said and to whom

Hmmmm anyone that knows me will know that not saying things has never been my problem ask me things I wish I had never said and that would be a different matter.  So rather than list 5 things I wish I had said I will talk about the two people who I wished I had asked more of.

Both my grandads died before my own children were born and before I developed a real interest in researching my family tree.  As a result I am left with a lot of dead ends and lost opportunities to tell my children about where they come from.

My mums dad was a prisoner of war held in Germany, and that was about as much as I ever knew he never spoke of it and I never asked you just didn’t back then. But now I think I would have asked questions if not directly then I would have asked about growing up in a family that you felt so hurt by you lied about your age to sign up, I would have asked so many questions about his parents and knowing what I know now from my grandma about his family I would have understood him so much better than I had the chance to.

What we experience shapes who we are if we hide what made us who we are we give people the wrong impression of ourselves.

The same is true of my dads dad, he never mentioned family at all other than one brother who came to visit, maybe if my grandma had been alive it may have been different but she died before I was a year old.  There are so many not necessarily secrets but things left unsaid on this side of the family it seems impossible that the truth will ever be known despite the fact I could have been walking past relatives houses on a daily basis and never known who they were.

I would say if you have older relatives ask the questions, learn their stories, cherish their memories, tomorrow they may all be gone and then it will be too late

Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 27: If you were famous describe what you would be famous for, how you became famous, what you would do with your fame

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Day 27: If you were famous describe what you would be famous for, how you became famous, what you would do with your fame

This one is actually quite easy, I will of course be not only famous by critically acclaimed for my writing (if your gonna blow your own trumpet may as well use a full orchestra)  I will have a string of best selling novels and short story collections several of which will have been adapted for TV and film ( no point going with half measures)

What would I do with my wealth and fame well of course I would look after my family and have a lovely home but there are a few causes which would also benefit, I would create a research programme funded to find a cure to cancer with the promise of a cash prize for the scientist who found it that pharmaceutical companies could not outbid without the tax man asking lots and lots of questions about the payment.

I would also fund a dogs home which I would get one of my friends Dave to run caring for dogs in their twilight years unlikely to be rescued by anyone from shelters.  At my own home I would have a huge stable block where alongside the horses I and my family would ride would be rescue horses some of which would spend their remaining years out enjoying the pastures and others which would be rehabilitated and re-homed to the most loving, responsible families and stables possible.

Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 26: List 5 – 10 books you wish had been written

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Day 26: List 5 – 10 books you wish had been written

Should I actually answer this? Surely books I wish had been written are ones I may potentially write?  These challenges really do make you think not only about the answers but about how you interpret the question itself, so I think I will take this as sequels, prequels, and companion books to ones I really loved.

1)  Lots of sequels have been written for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice but I would love to have seen a prequel and a sequel for Persuasion.  The prequel could explore the young lovers first meeting and the events that led to Anne refusing Captain Wentworth and his decision to head to sea.  The the sequel could follow the fortunes of all the characters after Anne and Wentworth’s wedding, will his money overcome the families snobbery and what will happen to the ancestral home once their cousin gets his hands upon it.

2) I would want another Vampire Chronicle written by Anne Rice I really loved the characters of Pandora and Gabrielle and though there was one book written about Pandora’s story am sure there was enough for another and I would really like to know what happened once Gabrielle gained her immortal freedom from her husbands tyranny.

3)  I would actually want more in the Harry Potter series while I fully accept that the place she stopped does make sense for her in terms of wanting to write other things I would love to have read more about the magical world and though Voldemort in no more as the ‘big bad’ I am sure lots of other avenues could have been explored in terms of their adult careers and the children’s exploits at Hogworts.

4)  More of the First Series by MS Fowle (sorry Mel) I fell in love with her characters and was gutted when she decided to end the series, as I said of Anne Rice’s series and the Harry Potter books it was a nice neat place to make that choice but I do think there was so much opportunity for building on what was already a fanstastic series

5) The one lurking in the back of my head interfering with the one I am writing at the minute.

Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 25: Create a fictional world and describe it in 500 words or less

fantasy-landscapes03

Day 25: Create a fictional world and describe it in 500 words or less

It is strange that when I create my fictional landscapes technology does not really feature and we return to a simpler time.  The land scape is one of craggy mountains on the horizon that glow with an unearthly purple haze as the sunsets behind them.  Meadows and pastures abound filled with cattle grazing on the lush grass and children gather flowers to present at the altar of the Goddess.

The altar itself stands in a wooded glade, dappled light falls over it, carved from pure white crystal it is an embodiment of all the is good in the land, upon in it in crystal chalices are the flowers from the day before gathered by the children for only they are truly pure enough in their hearts to lay the offerings there.

Along a rutted, dirt road a village stands, quaint cottages with thatched roofs dotted around a communal square with doubles as the trading market, the people here have no need for money they trade with their neighbours, each producing different goods and produce for the good of all.

Though they do not live in luxury, none here know poverty, hunger or want they each strive to better the world for all and would die before turning their back on anyone in difficulty.  There is no crime as such simply because there is no want, occasionally an abomination is born though the do not know it for many years, they are dealt with as their transgressions against the community demand based on severity but very rarely is anyone banished for that would only send the problem to somewhere else and they would be unprotected against the evil.  Where evil cannot be corrected than a sacrifice must be made for the greater good of all.

All over the land people live this way occasionally they travel from one village to another when they have an abundance of any produce or a match must be made by a younger member of the community and all are welcomed no matter where they wonder

Over seeing the matches are the chosen ones, women of great age and wisdom who have seen more than fifty summers and live apart from their families in a special hut together they pray to the Goddess for guidance in ensuring their way of life endures.

The way of life is hard but not harsh time is made to swim in the stream and to walk hand in hand through the meadows life is lived and rejoiced in, by the light of the fire they gather on an evening and the story tellers regale them with stories not of war and strife but of the land they will travel to after this where life is even more perfect for those pure enough to enter.

Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 24: List 5 places you wish existed

Day 24: List 5 places you wish existed

Well I think we all know we are going to be taking some pretty strange trips on this post so hold onto your hats and lets create some new realities

1)  Narnia

imagesnarWhile I would not of course want the cruel Ice Queen to still have power I would love to experience a Narnian winter, the idea of the Queen’s sleight racing across the snow hot chocolate in hand is very appealing.

2)  The Labyrinth

To be more specific Jareth’s Castle and his ballroom, I love this scene and am pretty sure I have posted it before but I make no apologies I want a ball like this and I want the Goblin King to waltz me round the room.

3)  The Shire

One of Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tours homely Hobbit holesNow I know that Hobbiton exists as in a place where people can go and spend time on what was the set but I want the real Shire to exist complete with real Hobbits and a real Gandalf.

4)  Lothlorien

lWhat can you say about this place not just tree houses but a while city in the treetops, this picture does not do its beauty justice.

5)  Ankh-Morpork

It might not be the prettiest of places in fact in some places it may be downright filthy but like the tourist I am sure it would give any sightseer a holiday to remember.

Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 23: If you had the power to time travel – would you, where would you visit, what would you do?

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Day 23: If you had the power to time travel – would you, where would you visit, what would you do?

I would love to think that time travel will one day be possible and that the greatest mysteries in history could be solved, was there a second shooter on a grassy knoll that day in Dallas? Did Marilyn overdose?  Did an alien crash at Roswell? 

But if I could only visit one time and place it would be Egypt in the middle Cleopatra’s reign, a time when her links with Rome were fairly secure.  The young queen had secured her throne and the affections of the most powerful men in Rome.  The riches produced by her country ensured despite having to hand over large quantities of her produce it remained a land of plenty.  Descriptions of the opulent and extravagant banquets held aboard the Royal Barge combined with her beauty have inspired the greatest minds to write about her

The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Burned on the water; the poop was beaten gold,
Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that
The winds were love-sick with them, the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggared all description; she did lie
In her pavilion,–cloth-of-gold of tissue,–
O’er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature; on each side her
Stood pretty-dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-coloured fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did. (2.2.200)Shakespeare

And of course who could forget the epic immortalization in film

I would love to see if the woman lived up to the legend or whether another depiction could be closer to the truth

Where would you like to go?

Enobarbus describes Queen Cleopatra

Enobarbus: I will tell you.
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were lovesick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description: she did lie
In her pavilion, cloth-of-gold of tissue,
O'erpicturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature: on each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did.

Agrippa: O, rare for Antony.

Enobarbus: Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i' th' eyes,
And made their bends adornings. At the helm
A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthroned i' th' marketplace, did sit alone,
Whistling to th' air; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.

Agrippa: Rare Egyptian!

Enobarbus: Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
Invited her to supper. She replied
It should be better he became her guest;
Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony,
Whom ne'er the word of "No" woman heard speak,
Being barbered ten times o'er, goes to the feast,
And for his ordinary, pays his heart
For what his eyes eat only.

Agrippa: Royal wench!
She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed;
He plowed her, and she cropped.

Enobarbus: I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street;
And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
That she did make defect perfection,
And, breathless, pow'r breathe forth.

Maecenas: Now Antony must leave her utterly.

Enobarbus: Never; He will not:
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.

– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/21335#sthash.YzqX3MKD.dpuf

Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, Scene II [The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne]

  by William Shakespeare
Enobarbus describes Queen Cleopatra

Enobarbus: I will tell you.
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were lovesick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description: she did lie
In her pavilion, cloth-of-gold of tissue,
O'erpicturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature: on each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did.

Agrippa: O, rare for Antony.

Enobarbus: Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i' th' eyes,
And made their bends adornings. At the helm
A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthroned i' th' marketplace, did sit alone,
Whistling to th' air; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.

Agrippa: Rare Egyptian!

Enobarbus: Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
Invited her to supper. She replied
It should be better he became her guest;
Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony,
Whom ne'er the word of "No" woman heard speak,
Being barbered ten times o'er, goes to the feast,
And for his ordinary, pays his heart
For what his eyes eat only.

Agrippa: Royal wench!
She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed;
He plowed her, and she cropped.

Enobarbus: I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street;
And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
That she did make defect perfection,
And, breathless, pow'r breathe forth.

Maecenas: Now Antony must leave her utterly.

Enobarbus: Never; He will not:
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.

– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/21335#sthash.YzqX3MKD.dpuf

Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, Scene II [The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne]

  by William Shakespeare
Enobarbus describes Queen Cleopatra

Enobarbus: I will tell you.
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were lovesick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description: she did lie
In her pavilion, cloth-of-gold of tissue,
O'erpicturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature: on each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did.

Agrippa: O, rare for Antony.

Enobarbus: Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i' th' eyes,
And made their bends adornings. At the helm
A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthroned i' th' marketplace, did sit alone,
Whistling to th' air; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.

Agrippa: Rare Egyptian!

Enobarbus: Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
Invited her to supper. She replied
It should be better he became her guest;
Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony,
Whom ne'er the word of "No" woman heard speak,
Being barbered ten times o'er, goes to the feast,
And for his ordinary, pays his heart
For what his eyes eat only.

Agrippa: Royal wench!
She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed;
He plowed her, and she cropped.

Enobarbus: I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street;
And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
That she did make defect perfection,
And, breathless, pow'r breathe forth.

Maecenas: Now Antony must leave her utterly.

Enobarbus: Never; He will not:
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.

– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/21335#sthash.YzqX3MKD.dpuf

Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, Scene II [The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne]

  by William Shakespeare
Enobarbus describes Queen Cleopatra

Enobarbus: I will tell you.
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were lovesick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description: she did lie
In her pavilion, cloth-of-gold of tissue,
O'erpicturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature: on each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid did.

Agrippa: O, rare for Antony.

Enobarbus: Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i' th' eyes,
And made their bends adornings. At the helm
A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthroned i' th' marketplace, did sit alone,
Whistling to th' air; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.

Agrippa: Rare Egyptian!

Enobarbus: Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
Invited her to supper. She replied
It should be better he became her guest;
Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony,
Whom ne'er the word of "No" woman heard speak,
Being barbered ten times o'er, goes to the feast,
And for his ordinary, pays his heart
For what his eyes eat only.

Agrippa: Royal wench!
She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed;
He plowed her, and she cropped.

Enobarbus: I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street;
And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
That she did make defect perfection,
And, breathless, pow'r breathe forth.

Maecenas: Now Antony must leave her utterly.

Enobarbus: Never; He will not:
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety. Other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.

– See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/21335#sthash.YzqX3MKD.dpuf

Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 22: List 5 people you wish existed

Day 22: List 5 people you wish existed

I am a little unsure how to answer this one I know a later question asks for 10 favourite characters but I suppose favourite does not always mean they would be people you would like to meet walking down a street at night.

I think I shall interpret this as characters I would like to me, date, marry or just hang out with lol

1) Captain Jack Sparrow

Jack-3-captain-jack-sparrow-32670296-705-708They say of Lord Byron he was bad, mad and dangerous to know and the same could be said of Captain Jack, not someone you would want to spend the rest of your life with but it would be one hell of a ride before you decided you needed stability.

2)  Louis from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles

tumblr_mgh76yAZND1rq6m2ho1_500A fragile immortal struggling with the contradiction between his beliefs and his gifts, though Brad Pitt did play him well it is the Louis of my imagination from reading the books I would want made real, sadly given his frailties whether anyone could change his fate would be questionable but he would vertainly be an interesting person to pass your evenings with.

3)  Aragorn from Lord of the Rings

C_Aragorn_02Okay in this case I would want him to look like the film version rather than the image I had from the book but I would also want him to whisper sweet nothings in Elvish.

4) Mr Rochester

mr-rochester-toby-stephensAnother dark and brooding character, am not sure I would ever consider Rochester as marriage material but from a passionate affair ohhh yes.

5) And finally last but certainly not least Mr Darcy

wet-firth-460_1212761cColin Firth so embodies this character now that when I read the book it is his face I see and his voice I hear but I think I would want the character from the book as he possibly has a little more passion than a BBC prime time adaptation could express.

Stories and Lists July Blog Challenge 2013 – Day 20: List 3 monuments you would like to see created

pyramids-of-giza-and-the-great-sphinx-landmark-3

Day 20: List 3 monuments you would like to see created…

Oh my this is a tough one.  A monument is a very serious thing after all unless one creates it on the beach in sand it should stand for a very long time.  And who and why would I have a monument to? And where to put it, should I be practical or not?

First – Well it would have to be a giant Tardis built in honour of one of my favourite TV shows Doctor Who in the middle of London, despite recent claims that it is racist, sexist and lots of other -ists mainly made by people who have clearly never watched the show, Doctor who is all about inclusion.  It is a world of mystery, time travel and alien life forms.  Good and Bad are rarely clearly defined and even the most hated opponents can have you questioning the moral aspects of life.  One one level it is brilliant escapism but look deeper, peel away the layers and there is so much more to discover about the world and ourselves – I believe that is monument worthy.

Second – A giant Marilyn Monroe in the grate pose in the middle of Hollywood – a reminder to those who aspire to stardom that it is not all champagne and roses and that success can come at a price, but also to remind the actresses and wannabes that women are meant to have curves not starve themselves to stick insect proportions.

Finally  – a mini library to be built in every town and village in honour of all the great literature out there and to encourage sharing (anyone caught vandalising them should be placed in stocks and publicly humiliated for being ignorant.