About furnissroes

Emma and Charlotte. Twins living in London, Edinburgh, Cambridge, and Miami... Figure that one out. We like chocolate, sarcasm, drinking schnapps and G&Ts. We don't like crocs or apparently agreeing with each other. @emmafurnissroe @charlottefroe

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor.

The question jolts you, wakens you from your daydream like the shrill cries of your Scooby Doo alarm clock.

What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Your knees are dirty, raw and scabbing from the playground bumps and falls courtesy of lunch time stuck-in-the-mud. Your hair is pulled messily into pigtails, the pink checked scrunchies perfectly matching the pattern of your ripped school uniform. You always enjoy the walk back from school, the sun beating down on the tarmac as your small feet nimbly skip along the edge of the pavement, but you are especially happy today; you came top in a maths test and you swapped a Pokémon card with the scrawny blonde boy in PE for the Vulpix you’ve been wanting for ages. But the question puts you off-balance, and hands come from nowhere, pulling you out of the road as you futilely try to keep your balance, your thin arms scrambling and swimming through the thick air.

You let your sister answer the question as you have no idea. You are curious about the world, you read everything and anything and most importantly, you know that you can be anything you want to be. Every picture you paint is a masterpiece, every song brings a tear to the eye and every day is a new adventure. In the morning you are a doctor, by lunch a sculptor, a comedian, a playwright, a housewife and a scientist all in time for tea. The vast possibilities of the adult world are too far away, untouchably glittering in the horizon. To your classmates, they are golden ferries, bringing them the experiences and opportunities that they yearn for. For you and your sister as you whisper, hidden under a bed to the light of your Harry Potter nightlight, they are sharks. War, murder and evil are incomprehensible to you as you skip naively from day to day. Adults share knowing looks as they tell you that time flies, but you refuse to believe them, so trapped in the moment that the magic of innocence is lost on you.

But the ever-turning wheel of time makes no exceptions for you, and suddenly you are fifteen, thick eyeliner roughly outlining your wide eyes. Your childhood is gone, shiny memories trapped in old VCR’s and Polaroid photos. You and your friends are seduced by the magazines aimed at those older than you that you pore over, dreaming of one day being like the girls on the shiny edited pages. People slowly begin to be interested in you, questions fired in games of hesitation and intrepid texts sent under the midnight sky. Every day is a struggle, a fight between the person you want to be, the person society expects you to be and the person you are. You have lost sight of what you wanted to be, your hopes and dreams put on hold, muted by the voices you hear every day.

Slut. Virgin. Bimbo. Nerd. Whore. Bitch. Anorexic. Fat.

There is no space for you to squeeze in amongst the false dichotomies of teenagers so you don’t, you lie apart from them and shrug off the words that sting your eyes. When you lie awake at night, you try to think of the future, of who you want to be but the image is trapped behind the sun, it hurts and burns your eyes and you have to look away before it takes any real shape. Your answers to the question have changed to superficial, transient ideas. Gone are the idealistic childhood dreams. You can’t be an astronaut, girls aren’t good at science. A comedian? Girls aren’t funny. A doctor? Boys are doctors, girls are nurses. A soldier? None of the soldiers in any of your toy sets are women. The Disney princesses of the time weren’t saved by their Prince Charming for their witty banter and mental maths abilities. You now want to be accepted, to be beautiful, to be loved.

But this too fades into Facebook posts and yearbook photos, as you are whisked off into the world of adulthood. You become aware of the world around you as you try to become that better version of yourself that seemed so far away. You read into feminism. You watch Frozen. Most importantly,you find your friends, the people like you. You still have no idea what you want to be, but you’ve accepted that, as you know you want to travel, to fulfil your ability and to make the world a better place.

You realise the question shouldn’t be what do you want to be, but who.

Biscuits by Emma Furniss-Roe (by Charlotte Furniss-Roe)

She thought I wouldn’t retaliate to the Christ poem. But oh, she was wrong. While mini me was contemplating the nature of Jesus Christ, love, Christmas and other clearly sublime issues, Emma was wrestling with her own young and developing thoughts. “But what could be more important than Jesus, especially for a girl who is now confirmed?” I hear you ask.

Well. The answer, of course, is biscuits.

For her, guys. Don’t say no.

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I think what I like best is the careful consideration of the different types of biscuits – a Buzzfeed author in the making, clearly.

The burning question : Why are biscuits after a run not fun?

We shall never know.

Questions for Charlotte from Emma

(On a side note, I am not going to address the picture of a naked cartoon girl on a llama because I do not want to, nor, frankly, do I know how to.)

What’s your favourite pokémon? (Sloppy Emma. I’m disappointed)

Eevee. Because if you have different stones you can turn it into lots of different ones. That is a pokémon with potential. Also much fluffy. so cuteness.

Oh also Lickitung, I remember well the Pokémon Stadium game on Gamecube where you had to run around eating as much sushi as possible as a Lickitung with absurd sounds and crazy running.

Honourable mentions: Snorlax. For obvious reasons. and Blastoise – we would be nearly the same size. close your eyes and think about that.

Who is your favourite cartoon character and why?

Hmm many to choose from.

Cosmo from Fairly OddParents is hilarious:
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THE FEAR

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But Velma from Scooby Doo is definitely up there. I sympathise with her occasional myopic helplessness.

Which celebrity do you think you are most like?

ummm… I have absolutely no idea. So maybe (only) in that way Greta Garbo or Patrick Star, who literally lives under a rock. I did an online test that said my face was most like Gwen Stefani though, take from that what you will.

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like looking in a mirror

 

Have you ever had an epiphany?

Every year.

Okay sorry, here we go:

BRUCE WILLIS WAS DEAD THE WHOLE TIME

IT WAS HERMIONE THAT LIKED RON THE WHOLE TIME  

and now apparently we’re eating biscuits upside down?!

My understanding of a situation was fundamentally altered and deepened in each case so yes, they do count.

 

Who is your idol? (apart from me obviously..)

Baal. or maybe Stephen Fry.

 

Do you believe in any type of God?

See above.

But  Unknown-1ly

I don’t know. no one wants to believe they’re so insignificant that the whole world could happen by chance, and the whole song about being one thread in a tapestry from The Prince of Egypt is eminently likeable, but on the whole, no. Something must have happened in the development of life on earth that led to the beginning of life and the inception of consciousness but I don’t know what. Call it God if you must.

 

Describe yourself in 3 words (not a question but hey..)

 Sarcastic travelminded (I have  decided that’s a word) Londoner

 

What do you think happens when we die?

When I was little I was told that death was a door – I don’t know why but I imagined an old man stooping to get through a tiny door in a wall. This shut me up for about a minute but then what’s on the other side? I can’t tell. All I know is that on this side of the door you live on in what you leave behind, materially as well as in the minds of others.

 

P.S. check out my background

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WILL WE EVER BE THAT HAPPY

 

It’s not a homeless life for me

and how glad I am for that. Every night, thousands of people end up sleeping rough on the streets of the UK because they have nowhere else to turn. So dear all people who are reading this (i.e. Emma, Mum, Olivia, Connie and Chris) give me your pennies, or bet on how long I’ll survive without my ipod/coffee/hot water bottle/slippers. I know it’s not incredible; I’m not running a marathon (can you imagine) but I’m trying to do something for a cause that I think is very important. 

http://www.justgiving.com/Charlottehitsthestreets

 

3 A.M Thoughts on Existential Angst AKA What The Fuck Am I Doing With My Life?

Dear Ashley,

I liked your post, and it got me thinking about time and school. This was just meant to be a short post but words just kept coming so I just kinda kept going and see where it took me, and before I knew it it was 4 am and well this is what came out:

Sunday afternoon. The last remnants of a roast dinner are cleared from our places as the sun falls lazily onto the table. The chatter and laughter that accompanied the food have died away and people slowly drift away from the kitchen until there are only 3 teenagers left in silence. There are no need for words; each already know what the others are thinking. I don’t want to get on the train. I want to scream, to cry, to refuse to pack, and to lock myself in my room and never come out, but I don’t.

The 24 hours at home I have snatched like an ungrateful child are drawing to a close and, as always, they only made the prospect of returning even harder. I am seventeen, stuck in the limbo between child and adult. I outgrew boarding school years ago, the bitchiness, the mean girls, the teachers, rules and vitally, the lack of individuality.  My only consolation is my two partners in crime, the Ron and Hermione to my Harry. My twin sister’s controlled face shows none of the underlying emotion as she cracks a joke with my boyfriend sitting beside me.

It’s a familiar scene; maybe we catch our train and stubbornly sneak one last cigarette, a last act of rebellion on the way from the station to our boarding houses. More often than not, we’ll miss the train, stealing an extra night at home before making the same journey bleary eyed but with triumphant smiles slightly breaking on our faces the next day.

Maybe its because its 3 am and the ghost of Janis Joplin is caressing me from my itunes library, calling to me with words I’m only now beginning to understand for their true meaning. Maybe (probably) its because I’ve been watching Gossip Girl on Netflix almost religiously for almost a week now, but your post got me thinking about time, and now somehow the rose-tinted glasses are making their way out from a pile of shit flung on them by 8 years of boarding school.

At University, and in ‘the real world,’ a thing that I have only heard stories of from incense-scented travellers cloaked in Indian silk, the rules are more ambiguous. I find myself almost longing for those simple acts of harmless teenage rebellion, whether that’s smoking in a coffee shop in the afternoons or cautiously sneaking up to my boyfriend’s room (sorry mum if you’re reading this..). School was the first book in a series; Harry, Ron and Hermione are having adventures within the safety of the walls of Hogwarts under Dumbledore’s watchful, paternal eye. Peeta and Katniss are rebelling within the structure of the Hunger Games that the gamemakers have planned for them. But then University is the final book; Harry, Ron and Hermione have fled Hogwarts and are hunting death eaters and Voldemort on their own terms. Peeta and Katniss are advancing on the Capitol, and the structure of Panem and the Hunger Games lies dead with the unsuccessful tributes.

I’m not saying that I miss Cheltenham College, on the contrary, I wouldn’t go back if you paid me thousands of pounds. I love University, the freedom and the friends and memories I have made here. But I miss my friends, my boyfriend, the familiarity and the feeling of safety within the ‘bubble.’ As humans, we instinctively make rules for societies and situations everywhere because the reality is that the world is scary. It’s terrifying. There are monsters under the bed, and we don’t even know what they are. And of course, just like a child, these monsters scare me; sometimes a lot, sometimes not, but they’re definitely there. In the real world, if I fuck up, it’s on me. My problem. If  I am going to handle the real world, I’m doing it alone. Forget gender roles, societal values, what my friends, parents, teachers and magazines tell me I should be, in the words of Bob Dylan ‘All I can do is be me, whoever that is.’

I was once given some advice that most people expect to be happy all the time, when in reality life isn’t like that; most of the time we aren’t happy, and we should accept this to have any chance of being satisfied with our lives. Maybe I’m still naïve, unencumbered by a job, a house, a family and a mortgage, but my first reaction is ‘Why the fuck not?’ Why can’t we be happy most if not all of the time? Good or bad, shit happens in everyone’s lives, often stuff we can’t control. But we can control our attitudes, you can choose whether to be a victim or not, and most importantly, you can control what you choose to learn.

I realize it’s too late to not sound like a cliché, so I might as well go all out. In the words of Henley, ‘I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul’. And yes the world is terrifying and new and just about inconceivable, but this makes it exciting, breathtaking, and worth living for. Yes, there are the unknown monsters, but monsters aren’t necessarily bad, case in point:

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I guess just like Eminem and Rihanna, weve just got to remember that we are friends with these monsters, and then its all happy days.*

http://zenpencils.com/comic/william-ernest-henley-invictus/

*I make no apologies for the copious cliches

Mary-Kate Olsen

3Cs, 2 places, 1 person.

Dear Mary-Kate,

So these last few weeks I’ve been coming and going and so has the world – I went away for two weekends and had you and Albie each up to stay. Apologies for the sickeningly self-indulgent reflection that’s about to hit you but if you won’t reply to my posts I’m just going to shout into the abyss that is the internet.

All this has been very confusing. It doesn’t sound like it should be – you would think by the age of 18 I would have mastered the whole idea of travelling, what with boarding school and Hong Kong and divorced parents, but apparently not. I think it’s Cambridge that just messes everything up; time here runs like shampoo into my eyes (3 days in a row). My friends have had infuriating discussions around me on why an hour can’t feel like a day and vice versa because blah blah maths blah ratios blah chips (okay my brain may have added that last one… it was a very dull conversation and it had to wander somewhere). Here, hours evaporate like water from a forgotten kettle, and you can never quite pour them where you want them to go. Days slip past so quickly its like trying to watch tennis from the net – confusing, distracting and afterwards my neck is killing me – but that could also be from my super cool black backpack. And yet people here fit so much into their days that it makes me out of breath just watching them flitting round town.

It is this inexplicable phenomenon that makes it difficult to reconcile home and Uni. (Sorry for the essay-speak but its pretty much taken over my mouth – even in my dreams characters speak in well-proved syllogisms). It’s weird having people up to stay: because of the Cambridge accelerated continuum I don’t really know what I spend half my time on, since my routine is so undisciplined it’s practically French. Everything is strange and new still and that makes it exciting but I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing. I hope this is what life is like.

But there’s something else as well,which I thought especially in going to Cheltenham. The places that we remember aren’t just places at all; that’s the x-axis but there’s also the secret y-axis of time, so that everything we think we know about a place really just describes a situation. As you move forwards, so do places, even though you secretly expect them to freeze when you turn your head. But like grandmother’s footsteps, as soon as you look away everything creaks into action and slowly, quietly, creeps onwards. It’s a strange realisation in that it’s so obvious and yet hits you even though you know it already.

In the same way, no one ever tells us that the places that we love aren’t really places at all. I love Number 16, the top flat, and when I saw someone walking in there I wanted to shout at them. It doesn’t exist anymore but it was wholly and gloriously ours at a time – as Perks of Being A Wallflower would say, ‘In that moment I swear we were infinite’. Places are situations –The walls and ceilings in our memories are really made of faces and words, and so they don’t wait for us, but are instead scattered by the scuffling feet of these secret people. It’s not so bad though, since friendship stretches through time as well as space. It’s this that makes it possible for us to move on – to take all we can from a place and time and split off in a different direction. But still. Being in Cheltenham was great, so thank you Isaiah and your father Sam* for always welcoming me, having me to stay and for sitting on your bed doing crosswords and planning a life right down to the Weimaraners. Your absence is always felt, just like Kyle’s. Have a song.

I guess life is sometimes just trying to make the old meet the new. The Greeks thought of us as walking backwards through life, since we can see what has already gone but not what is to come. This sounds about right to me – walking backwards we fall over a lot, stare at the past, and rarely take the time to look around us Ferris Bueller style, but that’s what makes it interesting. And so that’s why, leaving Cheltenham on my casual 6 hour journey, I set my watch back to Cambridge time and took a seat that faced forwards.

I will leave you with some Tennyson because he is my baby and could this get any cheesier:

“Or that the past will always win

A glory from its being far;

And orb into the perfect star

we saw not, when we moved therein?”

From Ashley

*Some names/genders may have been unsubtly changed for protection or something…

P.S. I have resigned myself to the fact that I have taken a Jackson Pollock approach to apostrophes. Sorry Mother.

P.P.S. This was super cheesy but ah well, could be worse.

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Dear Bubbles,

I had loads of things to write about but just got distracted by the Powerpuff Girls Wiki page. It’s like they were writing about the three of us, give or take a few things that are the wrong way around.

Name : Blossom
Based On: Olivia
Personality : Everything Nice
Epithet: “The Smart One” (yes, I have decided Powerpuff GIrls have epithets. Leave me alone)

“She is often seen as the most level-headed, and composed member of the group and also strong and determined. She can also be overly analytical at times. She tends to “mother” Bubbles and Buttercup, and often tries to play peacemaker between the two if they fight but ironically she is quick to argue with Buttercup who acts on impulse as opposed to her analytical nature. (Oh that’s right, everyone pick on Buttercup.) She is naturally caring to mainly her sisters, but also the Professor as well.  In the episode “Power-Noia” Blossom has nightmares about failing a test for which she forgot to study.”

Seriously who writes this stuff, it’s like they’re following her. The good, smart, mature, leader one, with the really awesome blog that if you like Furniss-Roe sisters you should totally check out. And if you don’t then you shouldn’t be reading this anyway. Scram!
http://livinmurcia.blogspot.co.uk

Name: Bubbles (Sorry couldn’t help it)
Based On: Emma
Personality: Sugar
Epithet: The Cute One

And I quote: ” She was named for her cute and bubbly personality, as revealed when she giggled after the Professor named Blossom. She can read and understand Japanese manga and understand people who speak Spanish. (maybe a bit more like Olivia but still. Also she had a toy octopus, unfortunately called Octi.Or maybe not:) she uses a word for word translationrather than the thought-for-thought method of people more fluent in foreign languages. (How’s that Chinese going?) Bubbles can also communicate with various animals – cats, squirrels and even monsters. (If any of us could talk to monsters it would be you. And llamas.) Bubbles is defined by her innocence, playfulness and gentle demeanor, having a tendency to be naive, ditzy, submissive, timid and sensitive. These traits initially caused those around her, especially Blossom and Buttercup, to underestimate her abilities as a superhero.”

I think maybe that’s fair enough.

Name: Buttercup
Based on: Me
Personality: Spice
Epithet: The Toughest Fighter

She frowned and pouted when the Professor named her simply because, like her previously-named sisters, her name “also starts with B”. She can be hard to agree with to Bubbles and Blossom at times. Buttercup can be the most surly Powerpuff Girl at times, but is practically fearless, loyal, quick-witted and willing to fight. Buttercup can be selfish at times. She is shown to be fairly protective of her sisters, though, and will not hesitate to confront anybody who speaks badly of them. She is often reckless, but can be fairly witty at times, and she is frequently sarcastic.

I.e. The grumpy one.

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                   That face says it all.

Ahem. So anyway that got a little bit out of hand and I’m sorry, but I thought it was creepy. I am glad that you find the degree you are choosing to get nearly £50,000 in debt for that some of it is mildly interesting. Loving the bathroom floor pictures. You should just get an en-suite though. Oh wait…

As for disco pants:
NO.
NO.

Please God No. I hate them more than pantomimes, chewing gum, sand, fake nails and cold tea all wrapped up in one hideous First World Bogeyman. Kill it with Fire.

Breathe.

Anyway, you’re not the only one doing some learning. Here are a few things that I have picked up in the last fortnight :

underused word that, fortnight. quite a good one though. fortnight. FORTNIGHT.

1. Food is Everything.

While some people are too poor to eat, I maintain that I am too eat to poor. Yeah. But when you get back from classes at 6 o’clock having left your room at 9:30, when someone in your corridor offers you curry/dahl/any miscellaneous food, it is the best thing in the world. Even if you don’t have any of it. Maybe it’s nice that people are actually trying to keep you alive, or maybe it’s because vegetarian quorn is some kind of mystical sorcery that tastes like real food.

On that, it should perhaps be noted that in the absence of snack food, any food is made into snacks. Long story short, I have eaten 350g of cheese in less than 5 days, and just bought a 650g one. Soon I’m going to be This Guy. Also why is cheese so expensive? it is basically just solid milk.

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As if I could afford you, Cathedral city.

2. If your Halls/College has a large metal gate for security reasons, if you pull it really hard into your face it is going to hurt a lot. Here’s what to do:

  •  Try not to cry in front of the gardeners, or adopt standing foetal position.
  • Hold tissue over the cut for your lectures to stem the bleeding.
  • Hide the massive bump on your head by changing your parting.
  • Stop wearing the ‘posh white girl’ headband, because it presses on it.
  • Tell your friends.
  • Be unsurprised when they take the piss.

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You fiendish forehead vice, you!

All that was just hypothetical. Just in case. You’re welcome.

3. Someone is trying to kill me.

Three people, to be exact. And I don’t know who they are. It’s the assassins game here, where you have to go around killing people, when all you have is their name, address and college. I left my room to go to the kitchen yesterday and stood at my peephole ‘just checking’ for 15 minutes. The paranoia is horrendous. worse than HPJ paranoia. Speaking of, I though I might answer a question that came from a certain blobfish. In that ‘twinsinbins’ could be related to the infamous paranoia game(s) of 2013, in some amusing little reference to both our own progeny, and perhaps the fact that we too were bin children. Or it could be that we were looking for a name very late at night and wanted it to rhyme with twins, and ‘twinsanity’ and ‘twinsaneinthemembrane’ were already taken.

4. Need a rant? I know a guy

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I think I’ll wrap it up there to get some sleep before my 10 a.m., and I’m fairly sure this is now longer than the last essay I handed in which is probably not a good sign. Off home on Friday to babysit for the weekend!

Buttercup

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Freakin’ badass