Friday, 3 February 2017

JANUARY TOP TEN

I've been wanting to do something a bit different here and so I've decided to share my top 10 most listened to songs of January (in no particular order) with the intention of doing a roundup at the end of every month. Music has always been a huge part of my life and, in the spirit of building myself back up this year, I'm getting back into buying music, listening to it and I may just be tempted to restart playing some as well!
Let me know if you love/hate/have never heard of these songs and give me some recommendations for bands/artists in the comments.

+44: 155
Underworld: Born Slippy
Abominable Putridity:
Last Communion
Little Mix: Touch
The Chainsmokers:
Closer
Winds of Plague: Decimate the Weak
Spice Girls:
Spice Up Your Life
Michael Jackson:
Billie Jean
5SOS:
Don't Stop
Whitechapel:
This is Exile


And so there's my eclectic top ten for January! I'm happy to listen to almost anything and I have my music on shuffle the vast majority of the time, which I guess is why it's so mixed. But that's the way I like it; I think it keeps things interesting. In the next couple of weeks I'm hoping to get the Amazon music app back on my phone because I have some killer playlists on there, but my overall aim is to actually own an outstanding catalogue of music like I used to.



Psst...song titles are clickable if you fancy a listen.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

BLOOM

"Nothing in nature blooms all year long, so do not expect yourself to do so either."


I saw the quote above on an Instagram meme page and, whilst the majority of the time I think they're irreverent little musings, this one struck me in a surprising way.

We're expected to present ourselves in the best way possible all day every day. But why? We are, after all, only human and sometimes life is hard; we cannot help but reflect this in our demeanour.
Emotion is difficult to contain, be it positive or negative, and people get too hard a time when they're not themselves.
'Chin up', 'cheer up', 'give us a smile'...I'm over all of those phrases and would like to see more acceptance for the days where we simply feel BLAH. Blah days are normal and blah days are sometimes very much needed.

So I have a proposal, which is to embrace the blah days and wallow in them as much as you like, be it for a couple of hours or for the entire day. Allow yourself to be closed off completely, if you so desire.
But the stipulation is this: take it no further and draw a line because, whilst nothing in nature blooms all year round, you must always remember that everything comes back to its best.
And so will you.

Monday, 2 January 2017

2017



It's easy to get sucked into the 'New Year New Me' mentality, but what does it actually mean and why do we put so much emphasis on becoming better versions of ourselves just because we're starting a new calendar?
I'm guessing it stems from having the closure of an old year; it's behind us, we can draw a line and we can take the opportunity to begin afresh and leave behind anything bad from the past 365 days because we have a whole new year to do amazing things.
That's what I take from it at least. 2016 was one of the toughest years I've had for a long time and, frankly, I'm firmly in the camp of being glad to see the back of it. For me 2017 has anticipation and excitement, changes are coming and I'm looking forward to getting out of a rut and tackling some new challenges.

Obviously 2016 wasn't all bad and there were times that I'll regard as some of the best in my life that occurred last year.
But, after a year that was largely spent battling with heightened anxiety, riding a rollercoaster in terms of illness within the family and living the general discomfort of some heavy 'am I ever going to be good enough?!' existentialism in regards to work/love/weight/friendship/writing*, I'm taking the arrival of 2017 as the herald for getting my mind talk under control and being proactive in becoming the version of myself that I want to be.

And that's it really.
I don't have any dead set resolutions this year, just some promises that I'm making for myself; lose some weight, laugh every day, write more and take nothing for granted.
I'm hopeful that 2017 is the year I have that moment that's in every chick flick, where the heroine has her empowering montage and comes out of the other side ready to take on the world. Once this cold has gone I'm sure I'll be her.

*delete as applicable

Sunday, 27 November 2016

CHANGES


One of the stranger things about life is its ability to change incredibly quickly and suddenly, which is a situation I’ve found myself right in the middle of over the past fortnight. The change in question is one that I am welcoming and very much looking forward to seeing through until the end.

For many years Brad and I have wanted to move to St. Anne’s in Lancashire but with rent, bills and general living we’ve never really been able to save the kind of money that would allow us to facilitate a move across the country, or situations would arise that left us dipping into any savings we’d managed to amass.
Happily our story has taken a massive route change and we’re now looking at moving over to the west coast in February! In a matter of weeks I will be leaving the store I’ve worked in for over seven years, moving out of the flat we’ve called home for almost four years and saying a prolonged goodbye to my closest family and the handful of friends I have in the area. Ten years ago I moved away to Leeds for university with no intention of coming back to this town, so being able to finally leave again is an exhilarating feeling, especially to such a lovely part of the country.

This post is really a way for me to reflect on everything that's happened recently because the only reason we’re able to go through with the move is down to a very special lady, Brad’s aunty Elaine. She passed away a little under three weeks ago and her will specifies that her house is to be left to Brad, his little brother and their two cousins, which is the house we’ll be moving into.
It’s such a bittersweet time with so many highs that are underpinned by the low of missing Elaine and verging on feeling guilt that our happiness is ultimately coming from her not being around anymore. It’s a somewhat confusing scenario to be in but I can’t express heavily enough how grateful I am that this opportunity has come our way.

I’m aiming to be as productive as I can whilst everything is being planned and sorted to get us from Yorkshire to the Lancashire seaside. I'd also like to thank you for allowing me this outlet to share some thoughts on life and to acknowledge that sometimes brilliant things can come from deep sadness, a notion summed up perfectly by none other than Albus Dumbledore...

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Thursday, 3 November 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY: TOP TEN FILMS TURNING TEN!


In Summer I made a post celebrating my favourite albums that are hitting their tenth year. Now I’ve decided to revisit that idea, turning my attention to films. These are films that I still watch regularly and, for the most part, I can’t believe that they’ve been out for an entire decade already! I’ve arranged them in release-date chronology so come with me on a gif-based walk down memory lane…

V FOR VENDETTA February 13th
With its political message and thought-provoking theme V for Vendetta has firmly identified itself as a work of social commentary that is even more relevant now than it was ten years ago. Well worth a re-watch if you haven’t seen it for a while.


SHE’S THE MAN March 17th
Amanda Bynes was one of the most gifted young comedy actresses of the noughties and her role in She’s the Man is one of the most brilliant performances in a teen movie. It’s a well-written script that lets youngsters in on jokes that go down just as well with adults.


THE DA VINCI CODE
May 19th
Arguably the best in the series of the Dan Brown film adaptations. Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou may be the main cast members, but it’s support from Ian McKellen and Paul Bettany with a story set against a gorgeous backdrop that makes this film so enjoyable.


PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MAN’S CHEST July 7th
My personal favourite of the Pirates films for the depth of the story, outstanding performances, stunning visuals and clever inclusion of humour. It takes a special film to have empathy for the bad guy and I defy anyone who doesn’t have any kind of feeling towards Davy Jones’s heartbreak.


THIS IS ENGLAND September 12th
It’s the film that kicked off our love of Lol, Woody, Shaun and the gang and was the perfect set up for the TV specials that followed. This Is England has the right blend of grit, humour and realism to keep it a solid favourite even a whole decade later and is a stylistic masterpiece from start to finish.