All posts by abbiosbiston

Hi, I’m Abbi. I grew up in South Africa and moved to London in 2004 because I didn't have anything better to do. It turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I live in Essex with my long-suffering British husband, Mr O and our smaller human, Little O. I divide up my life between my day job as a Digital Product Owner, trying to get my head around mummery, experimenting in the kitchen, reviewing random crap and spending too much time on Instagram.

TV REVIEW: The Haunting of Bly Manor

It’s the spookiest time of the year so when I saw that The Haunting of Bly Manor had appeared on Netflix a couple of weeks ago it seemed like perfect timing.

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TV REVIEW: How to Get Away With Murder – Season 1

Every year unconventional Criminal Law professor, Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) chooses five students to be her interns. In exchange for this opportunity they must work for free for her law firm alongside her two assistants, Frank (Charlie Weber) and Bonnie (Liza Weil), doing whatever it takes to win cases.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Abominable (2019)

It’s rare for Little O to be up for watching a full film at home. He has a short attention span and home has many interesting toys to get distracted by. When we saw Abominable come up on our movie subscription package we decided to give it a go as a family and see if us all watching something together and really engaged would work.

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TV REVIEW: Dear White People – Volume 2

Season 2 of Dear White People picks up after the dramatic conclusion of season one. Sam (Logan Browning) and Gabe (John Patrick Amedori) are apart and at war, Troy (Brandon P. Bell) has ruined the future political career his father dreamed of for him and Reggie (Marque Richardson) is struggling with the trauma of being held at gunpoint. Meanwhile Sam and Lionel (DeRon Horton) are chasing down a mysterious Secret Society while Sam is plagued by a Right Wing troll.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Trolls World Tour (2020)

After six months away from the cinema, Little O and I decide to venture out when our local one reopened to watch the “new” Trolls film. Little O is a massive Trolls fan and even insisted on a Trolls birthday cake this year. We have had access to this film to watch at home but for me it was my full actual end to end viewing. As many of you will know, watching a film at home with a four year old is never a straightforward experience.

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TV REVIEW: Dear White People – Volume 1

Set at a fictional Ivy League college called Winchester, Dear White People, takes the film of the same name and turns it into a series exploring the lives of a handful of its Black and Biracial students.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Goldfinch (2019)

On an outing to the Met, thirteen year old Theo Decker’s (Oakes Fegley/Ansel Engelort) mother is killed during an explosion. Confused and disoriented, Theo is convinced by Welty (Robert Joy), a fatally injured elderly man to take and hide a priceless painting called The Goldfinch.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)

I love Eurovision. I know it is absolute silly trash but that is why I love it. It’s simultaneously ridiculous and awesome and camp and over the top and I live for it. I guess it’s the same reason I live for Drag. This year because of Coronavirus there was no Eurovision Song Contest and hence I was sad. Roll on Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, there to fill the gap for everyone who missed out on seeing Moldovans in crazy hats singing about cheese while glitter canons went off this May.

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BOOK REVIEW: Black British History: Black Influences on British Culture (1948 – 2018) by Robin Walker, Vanika Marshall, Paula Perry, Anthony Vaughan

As most of you will know, I didn’t grow up in the UK and attended school in my home country, South Africa. The history I was taught was very focused on World Wars and American history for one half of the curriculum. The other half was much about what is known as “The Struggle”, which is the history of the architecture of Apartheid and how it was dismantled. I will admit that at the time I wasn’t aware enough to be able to assess how accurate and unbiased it was. I also can’t remember a lot of the detail because I graduate high school 22 years ago.

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TV REVIEW: Normal People – Limited Series

Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Connell (Paul Mescal) are in the same class but they live in different worlds. Marianne’s home life is one of privilege and in school she is seen as an odd ball, know it all snob. Connell’s mother cleans Marianne’s house and Connell is part of the popular in-crowd. What they do have in common is an undeniable attraction to each other. They begin a relationship that Connell wants to keep secret, which kicks off a cycle of them appearing in and out of each others’ lives as they attempt to leave their hometown of Sligo and grow up.

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MOVIE REVIEW: LA 92 (2017)

In 1992, a Black Los Angeles resident named Rodney King was brutally beaten by white police officers during an arrest. The attack by the officers was recorded and the video was viewed far and wide. The officers were tried but found innocent, highlighting the insidious systemic racism within the Los Angeles police force even in the face of incontrovertible evidence. This ignited a fury amongst Black Angelenos that lead to 6 days of violent rioting and looting.

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TV REVIEW: Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich – Limited Series

By now we have all heard of Jeffrey Epstein, a man who sprung to notoriety when the victims of his predatory behaviour began to speak out and implicate several extremely well known men. His highest profile associate being Prince Andrew, a member of the British royal family. Following his arrest he appeared to commit suicide, taking a wealth of disturbing information to the grave. Recently his partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested by the FBI for her part in Epstein’s sex trafficking ring, the question stands now as to how long before she is silenced.

This documentary looks into Epstein and his victims.

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TV REVIEW: Unwanted: The Secret Windrush Files

As some of you might know, 22 June is Windrush Day, named after the famous Empire Windrush ship that docked in Britain carrying several hundred Caribbean workers. These workers were invited from British Commonwealth countries which were former British colonies to come to the “motherland” and help rebuild the country following World War II. In this documentary, historian, David Olusoga examines how the Windrush arrivals were received and the devastating immigration policies that impacted them and their children.

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TV REVIEW: Killing Eve – Season 3

Killing Eve is back for a fourth season in the BBC’s latest study of how much a brilliant concept can be dragged out before even the biggest fans turn on it.

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MOVIE REVIEW: 13th (2016)

In my ongoing education about systemic racism, I recently watched 13th a documentary directed by award winning director, Ava DuVernay. In this film DuVernay explores the 13th Amendment to the US constitution and its impact on the Black community in the USA.

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TV REVIEW: Gangs of London – Season 1

Finn Wallace (Colm Meany), the head of the consortium of gangs that runs London, has been murdered and the question on everyone’s lips is who killed him and why?

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TV REVIEW: What We Do in the Shadows – Season 2

I was a huge fan of the first series of What We Do in the Shadows, which is a spin off of the film of the same name so I was super excited to see what the next season would bring. New Jersey vampire housemates Nandor (Kayvan Novak), Laszlo (Matt Berry), Nadja (Natasia Demetrio) and Colin Robinson (Mark Proksch) are back for their mockumentry series along with their long suffering familiar, Guillermo (Harvey Guillén).

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MOVIE REVIEW: Kinky Boots (2007)

Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton) dreams of leaving the small Northern town he grew up in with his fiancee, Nicola (Jemima Rooper). His plans to escape the family shoe factory and move to London are dashed though when his father dies unexpectedly. Now Charlie will have to find a way to pull the artisan shoe factory out of financial ruin in the face of much cheaper competition.

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BOOK REVIEW: I Am Not Your Baby Mother by Candice Brathwaite

I have been waiting with great anticipation for Candice Brathwaite’s memoir, I Am Not Your Baby Mother, since she started talking about writing it on her Instagram some time ago. I have long been a fan of her forthright look at motherhood and her desire to uplift diverse mothering experiences beyond the straight, white, cis, middle class default. The fact that it was released almost exactly in time with the recent surge in interest the Black Lives Matter movement has made reading it that much more timely.

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Some resources for white people who want to be actively anti-racist

While much of the world reels in shock at what is happening in the USA right now after the shameful murder of an innocent black man called George Floyd, I am sad to say that I am not shocked at all. Systemic racism is an insidious and every present monster not only in the USA but very much in the UK and all over the Western World.

If you are white and want to be actively part of a change that must happen but have no idea where to start, here are some things you can do.

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