Archive for Big Brother

Hollywood club review: Drai’s

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2011 by yvettemartyn

Girls dance with their backs against poles wrapped in tutu dresses adorned with crystals, the Hollywood glitterati are strewn across white beds surrounding a pool whilst bursts of fire shoot out into the night’s sky, a gold hummer limousine waits outside the door, this is one of Hollywood’s hottest night spots, Friday night at Drai’s nightclub.

At Drais with my friend African supermodel, Joyce Mandi

Amongst the star scattered sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevards sits the club that’s nestled into the Hotel W, bouncers guard every edge of the rope separating the streets from the Aladdin’s cave inside.

A guy called Sunny walks up and down ordering doormen to lift the rope when people reach the owners expectations and are approved entry into the club, those who get in are usually beautiful young women or very rich men who have ordered table service.

Once through the sacred rope guests ascend to the club in elevators and pay a $20 cover fee, the clientele are composed of mainly women with a few men with large wallets scattered throughout, they are seated at tables covered in expensive drinks.

Girls flock around them awaiting the men’s approval so they can attempt to climb onto the first rung of the Hollywood ladder giving them a chance to soar high enough in the future to live the American dream.

Fire thrusts around attempting to escape the grasps of its bell jar.

Every time a table orders a bottle of Grey Goose vodka, cocktail waitresses put on a show with the liquid being brought out by two females, one holds the bottle above her head whilst the other has her hand raised in the air holding onto a glass vessels containing lit sparklers, as they walk through the crowd the fire thrusts around attempting to escape the grasps of its bell jar.

The club is composed of a large rectangular room, three females dance on podiums dressed in beautiful white dresses with full bodied skirts and corset tops encrusted with crystals.  The DJ spins R&B and a rapper with dreadlocks occasionally takes to the podium and tells guests to stick their middle finger in the air.

The dance floor is small and centrally located between the DJ booth and some tables, dancing guests can expect to be nudged as people attempt to walk to the bar.  This faux pas on the clubs front has been bypassed by allowing club goers to dance on the tables and podiums.

The music occasional skips outside the realms of social norms as dirty gangster rap slips into the mix, with lyrics composed of words more likely to be heard escaping from a prostitutes mouth than that of the LA in-crowd.

Guests are seated around a bonfire

Outside the main room is a patioed rooftop terrace with a pool in the centre, white outdoor furniture sits perfectly around the edge of the water and a few large beds are dotted around.  Flames are enclosed in black metal cages and a small gas bonfire provides a feature for guests to sit around.

Men approach the clubs women, for me this entailed conversations with a car dealership owner, a Jewish grad student, a Boston based businessman and a group of Kazakhstan millionaires who work in the oil industry.

As the night draws to a close the girls surrounding rich men become more and more intoxicated, a pair give lap dances to their beverage buyers, and another girl makes an epic fail as she falls from the pole whilst trying to seduce her money men.

We take this as our cue to leave, as we descend in the elevator and through the doors we are brought heavily back down to earth by a Mexican man who gave me a sob story in an attempt to steal my phone by asking to make a call, he scurried off when I told him I would make the call for him and not actually hand over the phone.

The dusty car park across the street and the dirty pavement slabs are a million miles away from the sparkling pool, pristine furniture and crystal clad dancers, but sadly until another night the dream is over.

How to get in:
Girls: Wear sexy dresses team with stilettos, flawless makeup and glossy hair.
Guys: Order table service to avoid the line

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Ghost hunting

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2010 by yvettemartyn

After watching paranormal investigations on tv and being petrified of everything that goes bump in the night I was so excited to go on my very first ghost hunt.

Steve and I preparing for the ghost hunt by drinking champagme, Mario doing the same, but with a McDonalds fanta

The ghost hunt was for Children in Need, I’d been asked to come along with BB’s: Mario, Steve and Corin alongside Lisa Mafia, Romeo Dunn and Mis-teeq’s, Su Elise Nash.

limousine picked me up from the station courtsey of Lady Jayne Limousines and took me to two locations in Manchester, one was Foxdenton Hall, Steve told me he had looked the place up and children had been locked in the basement.

I looked it up and found nothing except, apparently, it has a secret tunnel.   Needless to say we didn’t go in the basement or secret tunnel anyway.

The other location was a town hall, which is today used for registering deaths and marriages, the confetti outside the entrance certainly didn’t conjure up feelings of dread in me.

The group was split into four, with Steve staying with his friends that had come up with him, Mario with Corin and Lisa, Romeo and Su Elise together and me, you got it, on my lonesome!

“I’ve done crop circles”

People had paid to come along so every group was given a team of ghost hunters and a pair of celebrities or me.  My group had a man in it who told me he is a paranormal investigator, when I asked him what he’s done before, he replied: “crop circles” I told him: “ah I wondered who was making them!”.

We started out in Foxdenton Hall, now I was open-minded, but sceptical.  Put me alone in my flat at night and I get paranoid of the slightest shadow! But I am now a firm non-believer.  The group I was with wouldn’t stop: “I see a man”, “something pulled my hat off”, “I feel terribly cold here suddenly”.

I shot back a logical explanation for each: “it’s the shadows playing with your eyes”, “your hat probably wasn’t on properly” and “you are standing in front of a window”.  Every time someone said they saw something I moved to that area, and still the people continued to see things, but I however saw nothing.

We then went upstairs into a room where a Ouija board was set up. Someone was freaking out, pointing at a chair and saying: “I can’t sit there, somethings there”, I looked at them and said: “cool, can I sit there then?” surprisingly the mysterious being chose not to bother me.

We all put out fingers on the board and sat for an hour…it never moved.

A mysterious black pillar appearing

We then moved onto the other location to perform a séance,  we held hands and tried to communicate with the spirit world, they must have been shy though because nothing happened.  Except for one girl claiming there was a black pillar in front of her, there was of course an actual  black pillar in the room, directly in front of her.

The group were then going to do a séance elsewhere, I bit the bullet and told one of the organisers I wanted to do a lone séance, to sit on my own in a haunted room and see if I get scared.

A security guard from the Town Hall took me to a room, I whispered to him: “I get the feeling this place isn’t haunted” he replied: “I’ve worked here for two years and I’ve seen nothing but the lady who works in this room always feels like there’s someone watching her.”

He shut me in the room in pitch darkness and absolutely nothing happened at all, no noises, no shadows, no sudden decreases in temperature.

So despite my open-mind and real willingness to experience something paranormal, I felt nothing.  In my opinion when you put a number of people in the dark they will start to “see” things, their minds will play tricks on them and the thrill of being that special person who is touched by a ghost is all encompassing.

So either ghosts do exist, but just not in these locations or the entire spirit world is a figment of the imagination of people who chose to believe, either way everything that happened that night could be explained by logic.

It was a fun evening but I’m going to need some more convincing, so bring it on spooks!

Image: heritagefutures

Sunshine’s top five ridiculous UK holidays

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2010 by yvettemartyn

“It’s a night where we burn an effigy of someone who failed at blowing up parliament, we let off fireworks to represent the gunpowder which never exploded”, I said to a guy who asked me about the origins of November 5th, his jaw was dropped the whole way through my explanation.

Oh watch out sir, people might think you're a Guy Fawkes effigy and throw you on the fire. Image: Dominic's pics

The guy, an international student at my medical school had never been told about the tradition and he just couldn’t understand why we have such a morbid holiday.  I guess reminiscing about happy times I spent as a child stuffing my dad’s clothes with leafs to make an effigy before throwing it on the fire were a little too vivid.

So bonfire night has gone down as one of my five top ridiculous UK holidays, so what else made the grade?

The Queen’s Official Birthday

Despite the Queen being born on April 21st we celebrate her “official” birthday in early June.  Well the weather is usually better in June, pefect for a parade and isn’t it always a good idea to have 2 birthdays?

Royal Variety Performance

Every year the Royal Variety Performance is held for the Royal family to watch, except every other year the Queen doesn’t bother to turn up and sends Prince Charles in her place.  To make it an even more formal affair Simon Cowell runs a tv show which picks one of the acts who will perform.

Pancake day

Traditionally Christians gave up luxury food for Lent so in preparation they used up their ingredients by making and eating pancakes right before.  Now very few people actually give up anything for lent but that won’t stop them from celebrating this holiday and thus most people still gorge on pancakes.

April Fools day

There are a number of theories about the origin of April Fools Day (some say it was invented in the book Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales).  Whatever the origin the unofficial holiday is a chance to play light hearted pranks on your loved ones, after all nothing says I love you like cling film covering the toilet seat.

Image: Dominic’s pics

Back to the hospital

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on October 18, 2010 by yvettemartyn

After possibly the most disruptive year I could have endured prior to my medical finals, what with reading Medical Journalism in London and going on the biggest reality TV show in the country, I am now back at medical school.

I started back 2 days before the final of Big Brother and announced I had recommenced live on national television whilst wearing a panel cut-out leotard, layered with a transparent dress adorned with 4000 crystals, not exactly the image you would associate with a doctor, but hey this was my last chance to sparkle!

Before I went on the show the Big Brother psychiatrist told me that I would never be able to be a doctor, that patients wouldn’t trust me, that they would specifically ask me to leave.

In fact, I have experienced the opposite reaction, of the patients who have recognised me they have all said: “good on you” and since I have been working with cancer patients and children, I can’t see the negatives I was warned about happening.

I took every step I could before going on the show, I talked anonymously to the General Medical Council, discussed the pros and cons with as many people as I could and I’m very lucky to have had the support of my medical school before and in the aftermath of the show.

So what’s in store now? Well next year I sit my medical finals and who knows: I think there’s room on tv for a Doctor Sunshine.

Leaving the Big Brother house

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 13, 2010 by yvettemartyn

Right before I found out I was leaving the house, showing the bracelets I had made

When I walked into the Big Brother house I instantly adapted to the new environment, I accepted the cameras, the restricted environment and the rules.  But leaving was a completely different story and much harder to adjust to.

In the house we were confined to a small space, we varied our time between the garden, living room and bedroom and had just 13 people to spend time with.

The rules meant everything was dictated:

  • We had most of our clothes taken off us a few days in
  • Emergency rations left us with chickpeas, brown rice and lentils
  • The hot water was turned off
  • Alarms sounded to wake us up and if we went to bed too early
  • We were often locked in rooms while tasks were set up

I know I was portrayed as a moaner in the house but I never once complained about the lack of hot water, or having my clothes taken away and although I complained about food I just wanted to be treated the same as everybody else by having soya milk, vegan butter and tofu.  And I most certainly didn’t complain the most in there!

Despite the rules I never once felt bored in the house or complained that there was nothing to do, I loved every minute of the experience! Although we had rules we also had amazing times like being given puppets that had been specially made!

Leaving was a huge shock to the system, an announcement is made and you have just 10 seconds to say goodbye to the people who have supported you and cared for you for weeks.

When the doors open the evictee sees hundreds of people waving banners and taking pictures.  They are then interviewed where they must justify their behaviour, regardless of not knowing what has been shown or the public’s perception.

For some the reaction is terrible and a few could even be hated universally by the public.  Others are liked by some but not by others for trivial reasons.  All housemates nap during the day, but some are shown doing so in the highlights all the time and made to look like that’s all they did.  Whilst some are edited to look like they moan a lot and others look like they talk behind peoples backs all the time.

Contrast between being in and out was the hardest

For me the hardest thing was the contrast between being in the house and out of it.  I remember hearing a Northern accent and thinking it was Nathan and seeing a man at a bus stop and thinking it must be Steve.  I was so used to just seeing these people that it was difficult to be surrounded by new ones.

The freedom was also really difficult to accept.  When I was in the house I ate toast and usually pasta with chopped tomatoes.  With the shopping list budget there was just no way we could afford to buy food so I could have a varied diet.  Then suddenly I’m out of the house and I can eat whatever I like, it was too much at once that it was really hard to cope with.

There is support there, welfare teams and psychologists but the biggest support I had was from the evicted housemates.  I needed to talk to people who were in the same position as me and one of the first things I did was get in touch with Dave’s wife.  When you are so close to people in the house then taken away from them it’s really hard, you get so attached as you are with them all the time.

Despite the restrictions in the house I loved it there, I exercised everyday so I could jump in the cold shower water and got ecstatically happy when big brother would surprise me with bread and crisps.  I loved everyone in there especially Mario, Dave, Corin, Ben and John and I’m still gutted that the whole experience is over.

10 things you didn’t know about Big Brother

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 12, 2010 by yvettemartyn

  1. You have to wait forever to go into the diary room and sometimes you don’t get let in at all.
  2. The wake-up alarm goes off at 9:30am and you are locked in the bedroom all night.
  3. You spend your time locked in either the bedroom or garden while tasks are set up.
  4. The only places to hide are: under your covers, in the bedroom wardrobe, behind the wardrobe door in the bathroom toilet.
  5. There are five toilets: bathroom, bedroom, outside, large task room and small task room.
  6. Only one of the toilets has a lock on the door (large task room).
  7. The bedroom, bathroom and garden toilets have heated seats and the outside toilet has a bidet.
  8. The economy shopping delivery provided better quantity and variety of food than when we won £200 on the shopping budget.
  9. They didn’t provide enough cutlery or spaces at the table for all 14 housemates.
  10. The stain on the carpet in the living room was from when Ben spilled tea on the floor then tried to clean it with a kitchen cleaning solution containing bleach.

How I ended up on Big Brother

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2010 by yvettemartyn

A bit of spontaneous lead me to getting onto the last series of Big Brother

So I’ve been out of the Big Brother house for a week and I thought it’s about time that I write a blog so get ready because I’m going to reveal how I got myself in there in the first place!

Ever since Big Brother hit the screens I have been told I should go on it, I’d never had any interest in being part of the show but when I knew it was the last one I thought I would give it a go.

So I took my friend Becky who I met when I was travelling in Thailand and we went down to the Wembley auditions.  I didn’t really expect to get through but thought if I at least get to talk to Big Brother then it would have been a bit of an exciting weekend.

Randomly the calls continued and I kept getting through all the audition stages and had passed all the medical tests.  All that was left to do was to stand with 80 other hopefuls to see if Big Brother had chosen me.

There had never been a medical student or doctor on the show before or a vegan, certainly not one who ate as few ingredients as me, and coupled with a love for glitter I thought I was certainly different enough to get on.

I was worried it would affect my career

I wrestled with the idea for a very long time, discussing whether I should do the show with all my close friends and family, I was worried that it might affect my career.  And I was warned that I might end up in a situation which I couldn’t prevent that may end up jeopardising everything I had worked hard for.

I wanted to do the show for an experience whilst showing everyone that there are normal people behind doctor’s faces and that anybody can be one, no matter what their background, interests or personal lives.

My final decision was made when I talked to a very close friend who was working as a doctor, she told me I had the rest of my life to be serious and that I should take this once in a lifetime opportunity while I had it.  So I made my final decision and went to take part in the launch show.

When we were brought together I realised I probably wouldn’t get on the show, most of the girls were absolutely stunning and everyone had an interesting story to tell.

So when my name was announced I was in shock, Mario was standing next to me he kissed me and said, “Sunshine that’s you” and I can’t even remember what happened in the next few minutes.

I didn’t know the other housemates when I went in except for brief run-ins in the days before the launch.   I had only briefly met Shabby in a queue and Mario from standing next to him during the launch.

I had met Josie when waiting for a medical check and I had told Ife that I thought her natural hair made her look beautiful in a brief encounter.  Ben knows one of my friends in the real world but she hadn’t told me anything about him.

People know who I am right now

So 24 days in the house later and a week back in the real world and my life is pretty much the same, the only difference being that people know who I am right now.  It was always my plan to go back to medicine and so far I don’t think I have done anything to warrant not doing so.

There will always be the odd person who criticises my ability to be a doctor but if they want to stop me from doing something that I’m interested in for all the right reasons, then I think that’s really sad.  I feel that the response has been really positive from the public and people have said such lovely things.

I became really close friends with people in the house.  Dave supported me the whole time I was there, he’d tell me I reminded him of his eldest daughter and I’ve been in contact with his lovely wife Donna since I’ve been out.

Mine and Ben’s friendship grew into one similar of siblings, we were either having a serious conversation or bickering.  And Mario used to tell me I was like his little sister.  Corin was so bubbly and has such warmth that she became almost a mother figure in the house.

So around four months after this whole process started and my time in the house is over, I’m gutted to be out as I had so much more sparkle to give.  But I’m really glad that nothing bad came out of the situation, that I had a great time and that I can now return to the profession that I really love.

Had I not done Big Brother I wouldn’t have met the lovely people I met in the house and I would never have realised just how nice people can be.  The messages I have received have been touching, I just find it incredible.

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