Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Monday, 30 October 2017
Well somehow I’ve made it to the penultimate day of Blogtober! It is also the day before Halloween!
I’ve been to Salem in October, pretty much the home of Halloween, and sadly since then Halloween seems a little disappointing. America celebrated Halloween like you see in movies! Massive pumpkin fayres, with racks and racks and racks of pumpkins towered high, houses decorated as much as we decorate for Christmas, people in costumes etc etc. Halloween just seems just more fun over in America, it’s literally like a scene from Hocus Pocus!
Which leads me on nicely to my own Halloween traditions. I’m British so sadly we don’t really care about Halloween. Ok, the supermarkets may sell pumpkins and various buckets of sweets to give out to potential trick or treaters but generally we don’t make that much of a big deal out of it. As I’ve got older I literally do nothing for Halloween. I just don’t care for it. Plus after being in America for Halloween, ours just isn’t the same anymore. All I do for Halloween now is hope that Hocus Pocus, The Addams Family and Casper is on tv and I’m very happy! Sadly it’s now the night before Halloween and I’ve currently only seen Hocus Pocus this year.
Sadly I don’t have much to say today. I’ve had a long day and I’m feeling exhausted. However, inevitably I won’t be blogging until late tomorrow too so I’m going to take this opportunity to wish anyone who reads this a happy Halloween!!!
Sunday, 29 October 2017
Last night I was at Stylus in Leeds seeing dodie on her You tour. You may know dodie better as her YouTube username doddleoddle. I’ve been a fan of dodie for a number of years now but both of her headlining tours sold out incredibly fast so you have to be very lucky to bag yourself a ticket to see her - thankfully this tour I did just that!
I arrived early at the venue but it was quickly apparent that dodies fans are extremely dedicated with the queue going right around the building. Many of the queue looked like they’d been there for a good part of the day too! Definitely need to mention the crowd at this point, as despite the insanely hot temperatures in the venue I don’t think I’ve been in such a nice audience. Instead of pushing straight into your space, people were leaving it free for you whilst you went to grab water and when people went to the bar they were bringing back extra water for people stood near them etc.
dodie came on stage to the biggest cheers / screams / applaud / chant I think I’ve ever heard at a concert ever. That noise did not falter once throughout the set with the crowd singing a lot louder than you could hear dodie a lot of the time!
I found her set to be brilliant and she certainly didn’t disappoint. dodie preformed songs from both of her EP’s as well as a couple of songs she hadn’t physically released including fan favourite, She. dodie has a real innocent charm whilst on stage which I think comes across so well. She also manages to connect with the crowd like very few artists do. Many people stood around me were sobbing throughout many of dodie’s songs. Her realism and openness about sexuality and mental health clearly strikes a chord with so much of her audience.
I had a great time and would see dodie live again tomorrow if I could. My personal favourites from the set were When, 6 / 10, Absolutely Smitten and In The Middle which even saw dodie playing drums! She has such a wonderful stage presence and her songs live (complete with her talented band) come across so beautifully live and I truly don’t think I’ll see dodie in such a small venue again. She’ll be for sure headlining much bigger things in the future.
Saturday, 28 October 2017
And the award to worst Blogtober writer goes to....drum roll please....me!!! Yes I know it’s only 5pm but I’ve forgotten to blog and I’m currently waiting to go into concert so once again I’m doing a pathetic arghhh I’ve forgotten to blog post.
Tonight I’m seeing dodie in concert. Her concert tickets sell out in minutes so I’m so thrilled to finally be able to see her live. She’s known on YouTube as doddleoddle and she frequent posts ukulele covers and original songs. I’ve bumped into her randomly in a train station many years ago and I’ve been watching her YouTube videos for the last five or so years but tonight is the first time I’ve actually been able to see her live which I’m very looking forward to. Dodie is actually part of the reason I started learning to play the ukulele as she’s one of the only person that I’ve heard so songs on the ukulele and they sound like actual songs! Except I swiftly realised she makes playing it look insanely easy and when I try it sounds more like plinkerty plink plink.
Now I’m in the queue waiting to go in and I’m feeling old. I appreciate I’m getting far too old to be watching YouTube videos, it’s definitely one of those things my niece is more into than someone in their mid twenties! That is certainly reflected in the crowd waiting to go in tonight! Despite that I’m very much looking forward to seeing dodie. I love her albums and from what I’ve seen of her performances I’m certainly in for a good evening.
So tomorrow’s blog is likely to be a little write up on tonight’s concert but sadly for today this is all I’ve got. Definitely should’ve planned Blogtober so much better than this!
Friday, 27 October 2017
Day 27 and I’m officially stumped and rapidly running out of ideas so today I thought I’d do a little short post of why I originally started my blog.
When I was younger I used to write a lot. I watched a ridiculous amount of Gilmore Girls / Sabrina The Teenage Witch so I completely blame those for my interest in writing and my obsession with wanting to go to Harvard - but that’s a whole different blog post! Then as I got older I just didn’t bother anymore. Maybe it’s because I had to write a lot throughout my education but recreational writing / reading went down to a minimum.
When I graduated university I quickly released I had to make more use of my spare time so began reading a lot more again. My reading a lot more is insane, I’ve always had a quick reading speed and I was reading them faster than I could afford to buy more! So I thought I’d start up my writing again and blog my reviews on books. I figured if anyone read it and bought a book based on my recommendation then job well done. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to receive many review copies of books which I’m so thankful to have received.
Around the same time I started this blog my interest in writing also came back. I really credit this down to one of my favourite authors, Giovanna Fletcher. She made a YouTube video on how to write a novel and really it gave me the kick up the backside I needed to start writing my own novel. I know I’ll never get published or anything but it’s so nice to be able to feel like I can write again.
Really though as much as I’m enjoying writing my blog, I know my writing is rubbish and that I’ll never be able to make a career out of it, but at least I’m well aware my writing ability is minimal. However, I enjoy writing and reading once again (more than I have in years) so I’m glad to have my blog in my life at the moment. After Blogtober though it is safe to say I’ll be going back to weekly blogging and not daily...
Thursday, 26 October 2017
It’s been over a month now since I went to see The Addams Family Musical and yet somehow I’m yet to talk about it on my blog, which is unbelievable considering I’ve had the US tour soundtrack cd played on loop since I’ve seen the show. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this addicted to a musical.
The Addams Family Musical features all your favourite Addams Family members except the big difference now is that it’s set a few years in the future. The Addams are just as kooky as ever apart from perhaps Wednesday Addams who has fallen in love...with a boy from a normal family! The show tells the story of the night that the Addams Family meets Wednesdays boyfriends normal family.
To be perfect honest I went into the show without looking at the storyline and when the show started I was abit like really? Am I actually seeing a show about Wednesday falling in love? It just didn’t seem very Addams Family to me but I was proved completely wrong! The storyline was perfectly Addams. It didn’t revolve entire around Wednesday either giving each member of the Addams Family clan chance to shine. The catchy songs along with addictive storyline meant the show went unbelievably quickly. I was even practically in tears laughing at some of the parts!
Whoever did the casting for this musical deserves a promotion. I have never been to see a show where every single person in it was perfect for the role to the extent that I can’t even write about stand out stand out members of the cast. It truly does seem unfair to actually mention people at this pointes the entire cast was unbelievable. However, Cameron Blakely as Gomez, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday and understudy Scott Paige as Fester were particularly wonderful. Scott Paige in particular deserves that mention as when the tannoy announced Les Dennis wasn’t in the show at the start the audience I was in did do a collective groan, however Scott Paige was a incredible understudy who I think should’ve been cast as Fester anyway! Like I say though the entire cast were absolutely fantastic, from the whole Addams Family, to the Ancesters to the Beineke Family, I cannot express how great they all were.
Sadly, The Addams Family Musical only has a couple more stops left in the UK. If it is coming near you though and you love the Addams Family films you have to go and see this musical! An all round fantastic cast, catchy songs and a great storyline - what more do you want from the musical!
Wednesday, 25 October 2017
For today’s post I thought I’d do something a little different.
Long story short, towards the end of last year I had an amazing writing opportunity. I had to write a lot and I had deadlines, the only thing that got me through was this writing playlist on loop. Basically I read a lot of chick lit so it’s no surprise that’s what I write too so the songs kind of reflect that I think. This has been tweaked a little as the year has gone on but I thought I’d share with you what I listen to when I write.
Two Is Better Than One (Featuring Taylor Swift) – Boys Like Girls
Meet You There – Busted
Sleeping With The Light On – Busted
Easy – Busted
Last Summer – Busted
Beauty And The Beast – Disney
Step By Step – Future Boy
I Can Hear The Bells – Hairspray Soundtrack
Perfect – Hollywood Ending
The Reason – Hoobastank
One Of A Kind – James Bourne
Don’t Let It Go To Waste – Matt Willis
No Worries – McFly
The Way You Make Me Feel – McFly
Love Is Easy (Live Ukulele Version) – McFly
This Town – Niall Horan
Too Much To Ask – Niall Horan
Falling Slowly – Once The Musical
Perfect – One Direction
Infinity – One Direction
Bless The Broken Road – Rascal Flatts
I’m Movin’ On – Rascal Flatts
My Wish – Rascal Flatts
Part Of Your World – Sierra Boggess
Perfect – Simple Plan
Today Was A Fairytale – Taylor Swift
Tim McGraw – Taylor Swift
If This Was A Movie – Taylor Swift
Last Kiss – Taylor Swift
Enchanted – Taylor Swift
The Moment I Knew – Taylor Swift
SuperStar – Taylor Swift
I need background noise on when I’m writing things so this is what I use. Does anyone else have a writing playlist or is this just something that I do?
Tuesday, 24 October 2017
You know those really annoying people who when they go on holiday, spend hours googling reviews in order to book the perfect hotel, plan every second of the day, pick restaurants to eat at, go on Google street view and virtually walk around the streets....and they do all this before they even get to place they're going on holiday? Yep, I'm embarrassed to admit this but that really annoying person is me.
Usually when I go on holiday I plan for weeks to the extent I have notebooks full of my research. Not going to lie I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to holidays. Yet despite this I booked myself a surprise holiday via company srprs.me. It's never been easier to book a holiday, I picked how many days I wanted to go away, chose to add additional extras of breakfast and checked luggage and that's it, I'd booked to go on holiday. All I knew about my destination is that I'd be going to a European city and that srprs.me would be booking my flights and hotel for me all I’d have to do was turn up at the airport with my passport.
Believe it or not, the worst thing about booking the holiday was actually pressing the book button. Honestly, I must've bottled out of booking it a hundred times! My over planning mind was kicking into overdrive and thought of a million (some quite ridiculous...) questions that I had to know the answers to. Thankfully the lovely people at srprs.me have an online chat on the website, answered all my questions and put my mind at ease. Unbelievably since I actually committed and booked the holiday I was completely stress free about it and am absolutely loved the spontaneity of it all - something which my previous holidays have been very much lacking. Even when a week before I was due to fly I got the weather forecast and a time to be at the airport I didn’t even bother to google to try figure out where I was going, at this stage I’d booked a srprs.me holiday so I fully intended to keep it a surprise otherwise I could’ve just booked a holiday myself.
Going to the airport on the morning of my holiday was the oddest thing. It was such a bizarre feeling to know that you’re going on holiday but had absolutely no clue as to where. I was terrified that I’d end up in Malaga it another stereotypical party place but thankfully you can rule out places and I also added that I don’t drink in the hope that it helped choose my destination. I got to Manchester Airport a couple of hours ahead of my recommended time, sat down on the floor in the terminal, scratched the card and revealed where I was going! Srprs.me like to keep the destinations a surprise so in the spirit of that I’m not going to reveal where I went but I was so thrilled with the destination. As soon as I got through security I had a quick google of the hotel (it looked very fancy!), how to get from the airport to the hotel and quick look of things to do in the area but other than that my plan was just to walk and stumble across whatever I found and do things as I found them.
I struck lucky in the fact that I had glorious sunshine for all the days I was on holiday which only made my trip all the more fantastic. I stumbled across tourist attractions by complete accident rather than setting off to find them myself and I found that some of the best things I saw were down the more deserted streets. In fact, I tended to find the more deserted the street the more interesting it was! Yes I hoped on a bus tour on my last day just to tick off all of those must see places but other than that I just embraced the spontaneousness of the holiday.
Honestly it was one of the best things that I have ever done. It was absolutely terrifying booking it but from then on it was so relaxed. The hotel was absolutely wonderful (and I’m quite fussy with hotels normally!) and it was perfectly placed for the city. Top that off with being sent to the most beautiful of places and it truly was a incredible trip. I know I can’t wait to go on my next srprs.me holiday and if you’re looking for a city break I can highly recommend srprs.me!
Monday, 23 October 2017
You know those days where you feel like everything you’ve been holding in hits you like a tsunami so you put a McBusted dvd on to try cheer you up but that makes you feel worse so then spend the two hours of the dvd sobbing before tiring yourself out and exhaustedly falling sleep? Yep...that was my Sunday night.
I’m one of those people who bottles things in. I keep things to myself for as long as possible and then every so often when things seem to really be getting on top on me I have a big crying blowout and that’s what I had yesterday. Then for the next day (today) I feel ridiculously emotionally drained and it takes me a good day to get back to my normal bottled up emotion self.
Really I think your place of work should allow you to take x amount of mental health days a year because my goodness did I need one today. I’ve been sat fairly quiet all day just wallowing in self pity, hoping no one would speak to me and say something that normally wouldn’t bother me but today would make my head explode. It’s a rubbish feeling to be honest. It’s so easy to try and ignore your brain and it’s thoughts and just push them to one side. Except every so often you can’t and everything you’ve pushed to one side just explodes out.
I really shouldn’t blog today as my head is completely and utterly not in the right place today. I feel horribly spaced out and not right but it’s day 23 and I really want to complete Blogtober now so sadly this is my pathetic excuse of a blog post today.
Sunday, 22 October 2017
One day Lucy Dungston wakes up and her entire world has changed. All the grown ups including her own mum and dad have vanished from town! Then the night after they all disappear, she notices eyes peering out from under her bed and discovers the existence of the Creakers. Will Lucy be able to defeat the Creakers and get the grown ups back?
The Creakers is a great story to be honest. It captures every story you’ve ever heard about monsters being under your bed and rewrites it into a whole new story which I actually loved. It’s the perfect amount of scary for kids but without it being scary enough to give them nightmares for weeks. Plus like with the Christmasaurus it comes jam packed with wonderful drawings throughout.
I am a long shot off The Creakers target audience but I really enjoyed this book. I thoroughly enjoy the way in which Tom Fletcher writes his novels. They are so incredibly wrote for children and are constantly engaging the entire way though. I really like the fact that in this novel, the author actually talks to the reader throughout. I felt this is something that works very well particularly in a children’s novel.
I’ve said before how talented I think Tom Fletcher is and it certainly shows in this book. He’s invented a whole new set of fearsome, smelly creatures complete with their own brand new world. Honestly the whole thing is truly believable and as someone who doesn’t take much to scare I know I’ll be checking under my bed for Creakers tonight...
If you have a person whose probably around 10 you have to pick them up a copy of The Creakers for Christmas. I loved reading it and I’m way over the target age so I know for a fact that a child will absolutely love The Creakers.
The darkly magical new story about the monsters under the bed, from bestselling author of The Christmasaurus, Tom Fletcher.
What silently waits in the shadows at night? What's under your bed, keeping just out of sight?
Do you ever hear strange, creaking noises at night? Ever wonder what makes those noises?
Lucy Dungston always did.
Until, one morning, Lucy discovers that all the grown-ups have disappeared - as if into thin air. Chaos descends as the children in Lucy's town run riot. It's mayhem. It's madness. To most kids, it's amazing!
But Lucy wants to find out the truth. Lucy lost her dad not long ago, and she's determined not to lose her mum too. She's going to get her back - and nothing is going to stop her . . .
. . . except maybe the Creakers.
Saturday, 21 October 2017
I am only a few weeks older than Carrie Fletcher so it got me thinking about my own life earlier. I did pretty well in school then from then it’s all just gone slightly rubbish. I did a degree that I realised shortly after I started wasn't the right one for me because I listened to too many people about it not being wise to do a media based degree - but that is a whole other blog post! And now I'm stuck in a dead end job that I absolutely hate. It’s been 4 years since I graduated and I honestly can’t think of anything worthwhile I’ve done in that time.
Realistically it was only a matter of time before I ended up writing a blog about my job because let’s face it, I spend 45 hours a week there so it pretty much takes up most of my life. I work long days for minimum wage. Have you ever tried working so many hours and getting absolutely peanuts at the end of the week? Its soul destroying on payday and you still don’t have any money. It’s the type of place where that Secret Millionaire program would send someone on. Truthfully I don’t have many financial outgoings so it isn’t all bad but for many of my colleagues they have houses and children to support so I can only imagine how tough it is for them.
The days are long – really long. I’m sure it’s the same for most jobs but I wake up, I go to work, I go home, eat and then it’s time for bed and before you know it the entire circle repeats again the next day. I’m not even exaggerating when I call it a dead end job either. We all are well aware there is absolutely no chance of a promotion, no chance of a better wage, no chance of more holiday days etc. Top it all off with the fact that I work in an accounts office and I absolutely hate maths, plus my current position is about as dull as you can get. For someone who spends half their life daydreaming / wakes up in the middle of the night and writes book ideas down before going back to bed / has always done education choices that offer multiple correct answers where if you waffle it enough you can be right, being in a one thing is right job isn’t exactly my career of choice.
It isn’t all bad. I mean, as much as I mumble and grumble I do work with some of the best people. We all have our moments, after all we spend a hell of a lot of time together but I know that each person in my office has their hearts in the right place and frankly that’s important. Plus, I know the job inside out now (after all I have somehow been there over 4 years now!) which only makes you feel more confident in your work.
It’s got to the point now though where myself, and pretty much every person I work with, have realised that life at my work isn’t going to get better. We’ll all be stuck in this position forever if we don’t find new jobs. So I need to get my backside into gear and get myself a new job. This certainly isn't a woe is me kind of post as I know the only person who can change things is myself. I’d love to be in a newspaper/publisher/BBC/Disney/Penguin/afford to be living in London/Busted’s assistant...kind of job. I don’t know if that will ever be possible as I have zero experience but if you don't try you'll never succeed. Though at the moment, I’d just settle for more money and holidays and hopefully doing something that I enjoy. Someone hire me?
Friday, 20 October 2017
It Only Happens In The Movies tells the story of Audrey. Audrey hasn’t had the best experience of romance, her last relationship ended badly and her parents marriage didn’t end of well either. So now, Audrey hates everything romantic. In order to get some space from her mother, whose taken her marriage breakup particularly badly, she takes a job at a local cinema. It was here she meets Harry, who she finds herself falling in love with and of course the relationship isn’t like in the movie!
When you go into Waterstones (and probably every other bookshop) it doesn’t take you long to find one of Holly Bourne’s books on pride of place on the shelves. I’ve always been intrigued by her books as you really can’t read young adult books without having her name on your radar, I’ve just never picked one up. Then I went to an event in the summer picked up a sampler of this book and I knew the minute it was released I had to download it. Honestly, I expected such great things from this book as I loved the sampler but I’m so sad to say it wasn’t for me.
I think my biggest issue was the stories. I just didn’t like it particularly. I’m a huge fan of the adorably cute romance novels - which from the sampler I thought this was going to be but it wasn’t at all like that. So for me, I think perhaps I bought it expecting one type book and book and got something I wasn’t expecting it to be like. For someone like me who likes the cliche romance novels this book wasn’t really my cup of tea - particularly the ending! Despite everything that happens I just couldn’t believe how the book ended. I do however, like the idea of how the Audrey hates romance and the novel revolves around the the cliches of romance.
Another one of my issues is that (sadly) I couldn’t get on with the characters. I didn’t really get Audrey. I mean she was readable enough but I just wasn’t interested in her story. The same applies to Harry. He was ok, but he does drugs, smokes, sleeps around etc etc etc and for me that made it abit of a rubbish character to read about. I appreciate that actually these two characters are probably much more similar to real life people than most book characters which is great but for me they just were not likeable or particularly enjoyable to read about.
It really does make me sad that I didn’t like this book because people constantly tell me to read Holly Bourne’s novels. I will definitely pick up another of her books as I don’t want to judge on one book and this one was readable, I just didn’t love it. I think if you’re a fan of her previous novels you’re likely to love this one but sadly it just wasn’t my kind of novel.
Bad boys turned good, kisses in the rain, climbing through bedroom windows... It only happens in the movies. When Audrey meets Harry, it’s the start of a truly cinematic romance – or is it? Audrey knows that Harry is every movie cliché rolled into one. But she still chooses to let him into her heart...
Perfect for fans of John Green, It Only Happens in the Movies is a raw, intensely funny takedown of the lies we’re told about relationship
Thursday, 19 October 2017
Today’s blog post is an absolute cop out. Yes I know, I’m terrible at Blogtober but hey it’s day 19 and I’m currently out and probably won’t get in until after midnight. In true me style I’ve forgotten about Blogtober until 20 minutes before the event i’m attending starts so I’m panic blogging to try and get something up for today’s post. I’m useless I know!
Something about spontaneously being invited to things is always a great feeling. That last minute thrill of spontaneously getting dressed and dashing out of the house to do your impromptu plans. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed my last holiday so much because I went with no plans and 100% spontaneous planning.
Sometimes I feel that when you work 8-5, life lacks that bit of spontaneity. I eat my dinner religiously at the same time, I have toilet breaks pretty much at the same time, heck I even somehow end up doing my work to the exact same minute every single day. It’s boring, monotonous and frankly makes your life feel a little stale. The feeling of spontaneity is something that is beyond our planning control and I think as a human it’s important we have it from time to time.
Despite this you have to feel comfortable with the plans you’ve spontaneously decided to do. I tend to get quite panicky about plans I’m not 100% comfortable with or if I’m with people that I’m not too confident around and I last minute make excuses up not to go. However when I do bite the bullet and make last minute plans doing things I love with people I enjoy spending time we I always have a great time.
Sadly, this is all I’m got for today’s Blogtober! I was invited out this morning and I spontaneously accepted so here I am off to go enjoy the rest of my night! I really do think everyone needs this in their life every so often. Now I’m off to enjoy the rest of my night...I think I deserve an award for actually getting this posted up in time and with about 2 minutes to spare....
I promise tomorrow’s post will be better!
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
I don’t think I’ve ever wrote something before that I’ve so seriously considered not posting but I’ve wrote it now so why not. Believe it or not I keep this side of my life quite hidden / I was a little worried people wouldn’t be happy with my thoughts on this. Plus combine that with the fact I actually wrote this at about 3am this morning when I couldn’t sleep...well even more reason I shouldn’t post this!
You don’t have to read that far on this blog to realise that I kind of really love the bands Busted and McFly. Yes, I can already hear the groaning, see the rolling of the eyes, the comments of are they still a thing....I get it every single time I mention them. I admit I tend to downplay how much I actually do love them to avoid peoples judging reactions!
After I saw Busted in concert the other day I was saying how they are my favourite people to someone and I think they got a little offended. The argument they had is that they’d done more for me than Busted and that point is something that has drove me to write this blog post.
When we walked back to our hotel, my equally obsessed Busted friend and I basically spent the whole time discussing how much we love them and it’s true we really do. It’s not a ‘oh my god I love them so much I want to marry them’ kind of way like we would’ve embarrassingly been like when we were in our early teens but now it’s in a they make me so unbelievably happy and it’s hard to imagine our lives without them in it kind of love. Like you truly feel on cloud 9 after seeing them in concert and I don’t think any other experience has come close to that feeling as of yet.
It’s hard for people who don’t have this deep of a love of a band to understand I think but I think they have done a lot for me. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be the person I was today without them. My whole teenage life revolved almost entirely around my love of both bands...I hate to admit it but I was that annoying fangirl and my present day self would find 11 year old me so cringey. Thank god I’m now just casual about how much I love them to people and only let my inner 11 year old fangirl self out when I’m at a concert or with my Busted/McFly friend.
But really Busted / McFly (and as solo careers / super group and whatever combination they want to come up with next) have been a part of my life for well over half of it which is crazy. I can’t actually remember my life without them being in it so it’s hard for me to hear people to say they think they’ve not been there for me. The teenage girl at school who used to come home crying, who was there for her then? Her Busted and McFly cds or her calendar marking down the days until she saw them live again. They never failed to make her happier. Who sparked off her interest to play piano and guitar? Yep Busted / McFly. Who sparked off her love of travel / London? You can’t doubt that the travelling all around the country from a young age just to see them perform didn’t play a part in that. Even most of her geography skills come from places she’d visited seeing them or they’d toured. Who gave her the first experience of heartbreak she ever had? Yep that was Busted. Who helped her become more confident with speaking to people? Yep that was them too. Knowing that people say queuing at the concert all loved the same thing that other people used to tease you for liking really helped talk to people and improve my confidence. I mean thats exactly how I met one of my closest friends now. Then you move onto the daft things like my love of Jaffa Cakes or the fact I visited Southend so much that it’s now one of my favourite coastal places to visit. My life has just been shaped by these bands. Honestly I could go on for days in all the ways they’ve been there or how different my life would’ve been without them.
Truthfully, I don’t know what teenage me in particular would’ve done without them. They’ve always been that one constant thing in my life. Whether it was changing school, moving house, a friendship breaking down - whatever it was, the one thing that stayed the same was the fact I could always listen to my favourite music. Even daft stuff like going for a job interview now I have to listen to them to calm my nerves, the music still has that effect on me in a way that nothing else does. And still to this day nothing makes me happier than being going to see them in concert and being in the front row.
You have to bear in mind I was at an impressionable age when all this started. Its bad to admit (but I was very young at the time) but if Tom said he liked musicals, I started becoming interested in them too (hello love of musical theatre now), if James said he liked Back To The Future I watched it - yep guess who adores those movies now. You get the idea. I just feel so lucky in a way that I was more influenced by people like them than my peers who were experimenting with smoking, alcohol, drugs, fake id etc at the time. None of that interested me as I was too absorbed in a world of McFly and Busted. I know you don’t see any part of a bands life so they were probably doing the same things as my friends were but I didn’t see them so it didn’t influence me - I think that makes sense. It’s odd as now I do things / like certain things and it’s as if they’ve always been a part of my life, but I can certainly see things like my music taste that is so clearly influenced by things they said in interviews when I was a teenager.
Yes, I completely understand that they may not have been there for me as a person. I don’t know them, and I’m not even pretending that I do but I really do consider some of the band members to be some of my favourite people in my life. I think that my life has been heavily influenced by them over the years - probably even more than I realise! And for that I’ll always be thankful as they helped shaped me into the person I am today. I’m not denying that real life people have been there for me a ridiculous amount too but I just felt I needed to say that my love for these bands goes deeper than just liking a couple of the songs. I think that when you’re at the front of a concert the overwhelming sense of happiness you get it indescribable and even just for that reason it’s enough for me to think they’re some of my favourite people.
This post has ended up one huge waffle but it’s something I just needed to get off my chest. Thanks to anyone whose managed to stay reading until the end!
I’m sorry for yet another post about my favourite bands...I think I’m getting dangerously close to renaming my blog Confessions Of A Fangirl!
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
Last night I went to see Busted. Let’s be honest, this is going to be the worst ‘review’ you’ll ever read as I just love this band. They could come on stage, sit knitting for 2 hours I’d still come away thinking it was the best thing I’d ever seen.
A while ago Busted announced a massive one night special date at Londons, Royal Albert Hall. Then not so long ago, they added a northern date at Preston Guildhall. Same set as the Royal Albert Hall just at a slightly less snazzy venue!
When the news hit that the Preston show was also getting the 2 set Busted show the excitement was ago! Uniquely, the band split the set with an interval in between. The first half being an intimate acoustic performance with the second being a lively electric guitar performance. It’s the first concert I’ve ever been to where that has happened but personally I thought it worked well.
The acoustic first half of the set was a nostalgic rollercoaster to say the least. Something about the band turning their songs acoustic just turns you into an emotional wreck. These are songs which I’d grown up with and have listened to during the good / bad times so hearing them stripped down was an emotional experience to say the least. Not only that but the acoustic songs really showcased the bands talents as performers. Songs such as Meet You There, When Day Turns Into Night and Everything I Knew were all part of the acoustic set before they finished the half with my one of my favourite songs, Sleeping With The Light On. I really could listen to them perform acoustically all day so for me this half was superb.
The second half saw Busted return to the jumpy, lively performance that you expect when seeing the band. The set list was similar to that of the recent Night Driver tour with the edition of few fan favourites like Loser Kid and That Thing You Do. I don’t know if it was just because it’s been a few months since I last saw them before but I thought the set from both halves was truly fantastic and was the perfect mix of songs both old and new.
These concerts are the perfect celebration of all things Busted. Even despite seeing them rather a lot over the past couple of years, it’s still crazy to me how they’re a band again but I completely and utterly love the fact they are. Honestly if you ever slightly loved Busted give them another listen in 2017 and go see one of the live shows. I can assure you they’re even better than you will remember. I just love them and these shows with the acoustic / section were just fantastic and I’m sure they’ll be being talked about within the Busted fan base for years to come.
They say you should never meet your idols. As you don’t know them the picture in your head of them is always better than how they are in real life. But you know what, I disagree.
I hate the word idol, as I don’t have anyone that I idolise as such. However, I do have favourite bands, actors etc that I absolutely love and have had the pleasure of meeting numerous times over the years so I feel like I’m qualified enough to write this blog post.
Personally I’ve only ever had wonderful experiences with my favourite artists/actors. I mean I met one of my favourite band members on a train once and he invited me to sit with him and played me songs that he’d recorded and not released. The same person years ago, also invited fans (including myself) onto his tour bus to play card games. These days for me just show what genuinely nice people some people are, I would’ve been so happy with just getting a photo but instead I got one of the most memorable / amazing days of my life and I’m so very thankful to this day that he did both those things. Another great experience was when one of my favourite actors spent hours after his play signing autographs and taking photos with people who had seen his play. He genuinely took a minute with everyone who wanted to meet him despite the fact he’d been on stage for hours. I was one of the last to meet him and it was gone midnight so the fact he did this was so nice especially as you go to see the play and not for a meet and greet at the end.
On the other hand my friend met her favourite singer at a paid for meet and greet and was literally shoved in for a photo and shoved straight out again. As she was a huge fan she was still thrilled she got to meet her favourite singer but slightly disappointed it was so rushed and didn’t get to say anything she wanted to say. Years ago, I met a singer (who is now hugely successful!) and the same thing happened. The security at this event was just pushing people in and out for a photo and the singer barely uttered a world to anyone. If this person was my favourite artist I think I may have been a little unhappy with this experience.
With the rise of paid for meet and greets perhaps there is now a culture where it turns more into a cattle market. You’re pushed in for a photo, then out to try rush as many people through as physically possible. Which is great I suppose as lots of people still get to meet their idols but on the other hand it’s that’s rushed are people really getting a good experience from it? Therefore proving the point that you should never meet your idols as they just look a bad person when they don’t have chance to say anything to the fan they’re meeting.
I first met my favourite band member at a cd signing which is ridiculously rushed and your not allowed photos. However, he told me he liked my tshirt, I burst out crying (I was 11 at the time ok...) and it was the best moment of my life for years. In that respect I suppose it’s what the person wants from an experience. For me, at the time just seeing my favourite celebrities in the flesh meant everything to me so even signings were just the most incredible experience for me. However, if you’re expecting to meet someone and have a full blown conversation with them perhaps your experience won’t be as good as this very rarely happens. You have so much you want to say to these people, to thank them for etc and sadly you just don’t get the time to in most circumstances.
I haven’t named names in this as I don’t want to label people who I think have been really nice and on the other hand I also didn’t want to slag anyone off either. Maybe I’d say if my friend had met her favourite artist randomly in the street it would’ve been a completely different experience to what she got at the paid for meet and greet so I really don’t want to judge anyone. Truthfully I love meeting my favourite musicians / actors, the buzz you get is indescribable.
Has anyone else met anyone famous? Would love to hear how you felt the experience went.
Sunday, 15 October 2017
For me it was fascinating that this book was written by two authors. At not one point during The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me do you for once think that it was. Despite being wrote by two authors the book flowed well and I couldn't find any potential points in the plot that had been missed.
The book itself is told from the perspectives of the two main characters Holly and Alex. Having the book told from both perspectives enables us to see the events that occur from both sides well. It made me laugh on multiple occasions just how wrong they both were about thinking they knew how the other felt. I feel that it was definitely a plus side of the book.
Young Holly dreams of travelling the world but as she's gotten older she has lost that dream and has now settled for working as a PA. Holly is dating her boss, Richard. Richard is very insistent on the fact that Holly must keep their relationship a secret from everyone. Holly isn't having some affair with a married man, Richard just thinks it'll be better to remain a secret. It takes a good way into the book for Holly to realise that not everything Richard says is right. Alex on the other hand has always wanted to be a teacher. He has achieved his dream but didn't expect to be teaching students who had no interest in learning. Both characters are very relatable which I feel is an attribute to the story as you really feel a connection to Alex and Holly.
Holly and Alex are from the same Yorkshire village and were best friends when they were younger. They hadn't seen each other for 11 years and then Alex moves to London where Holly now lives. Holly and Alex have been hopelessly in love with each other most of their lives but neither have ever done anything about it.
The book explores the relationship between Alex and Holly and makes you wonder if they ever actually will admit to each other that they love each other as more than friends. I found the book very engaging. My only major gripe is the ending as although it is implied I would've loved to know exactly how Holly and Alex ended up. Its left me desperately want to another book to find out exactly what happens!
Holly certainly remembers Alex. But she decided ten years ago that love wasn’t about mix tapes and seizing the moment – though she’s not exactly sure it’s about secret dates with your boss, either.
Alex wants to make every moment of his new job count. It’s a fresh start in a big city, and he’s almost certain that moving to London has nothing to do with Holly. Almost.
Saturday, 14 October 2017
Today has been a somewhat productive day as I’ve been packing. Sadly, no I’m not going on holiday, I’m actually packing to go queue for a concert tomorrow...except the concert isn’t until Monday night so I’m either extremely bonkers / dedicated / insane / a combination of all three.
I’ve been spoilt by my favourite band over the years. I’ve seen them individually in tiny venues with a handful of people after they split up, then they got back together and had this amazing front standing zone in front of the stage. Now, anything less than being front row at a concert I feel a little disappointed. Honestly, that feeling of being at the front and your favourite band being right there is like nothing else and that’s really why I queue for ridiculously long periods of time.
This blog post is a little longer than normal but I thought today I’d share with you my top tips for queueing for a concert. Obviously everyone’s will be different to what I find works for me but I needed a blogtober post and this topic is very relevant to my day today.
- Book a hotel
When I was in my teens I thought nothing of queuing overnight for a concert. However, as I’ve got older I’ve realised that for safety / sanity / making sure you don’t faint during a concert it’s so much better to book a hotel. It means you can still queue before people can arrive to the place by public transport ensuring your one of the first in the queue without the hassle of queuing completely overnight. If your hotel is near enough it also means you don’t have the stress of finding a toilet, you have somewhere warm to go if it’s cold, you have somewhere to charge a phone. For me the hassle of not having to find a toilet is the biggest thing, otherwise you’re always like oh the cafe next door will let you use theirs but you have to buy something, a McDonalds is a 24 minute walk that way, it’s just unnecessary stress! Basically I just love a hotel when I’m concert queuing.
- Be comfortable and warm
Pillows, blankets, duvets, 12 jumpers, 100 pairs of leggings under your jeans, sun cream, winter coat, waterproofs...you name it I bring it! You’re sat on the floor for hours on end and believe me it gets uncomfortable really quickly. I’ve got my overpacking comfy things down so much now that I can usually get comfortable enough to have a couple of hours sleep whilst queueing! You never can predict the weather either and I’ve found even on most warm days it does get a little chilly when you’re just sat queueing.My favourite bands annoyingly tend to tour in cold months too so layers are everything. It’s also worth remembering to ditch all your layers / blankets etc an hour or so before the concert as you don’t want to take them in with you which is where again having a hotel to put things in becomes very handy. Plus if you have lots of stuff, the security at the door will take longer searching you meaning you may lose the spot you’ve been queuing for all day which you do not want!
- Hand warmers
Ok, this one only applies when you’re queuing when it’s cold. But last year my friend and I discovered the absolute amazingness of hand warmers. Lots of different ones are available but we’ve found the ones that you can only use once and you shake to activate are the best. You shake to activate them and then slowly they warm up all day long - plus they last a good 8 hours or so! Feet warmers (yes really!!) are also available too! If you have any possibility it may be cold you need these in your life.
- Food & Drink
This one seems a bit rubbish to put on my list but whenever I’ve queued I’ve always taken a bag full of snacks, sandwiches and water. Sometimes where you’re queuing could be quite far from anything so it’s nice to have nibbles on you so don’t don’t have to make the trek for food/drink too often. Remember, drink plenty of water! I have a tendency to faint at standing concerts so I try keep as hydrated as possible up to a couple of hours before a concert. Obviously you don’t want to need to dash for a wee when you’ve finally got inside so water consumption is stopped a couple of hours beforehand! I also always make sure I have a packet of Dextro energy sweets on me, I just find whenever I start to get that faint feeling it gives me a little extra boost to get through the night.
Again another really obvious point but you have to remember things to do. You do not realise how long queueing 15 hours + is until you’ve actually done it. Your phone battery seems to drain in record time too so make sure you invest in a good portable phone charger - it will be the best thing you ever purchase. Bring a book, bring a pen and a notebook, bring something to colour, bring your games console, bring playing cards...anything really that you think will help you get through the day. When you’ve been queuing hours and you still have hours to go it’s so wonderful to have something you can take out your bag to help the hours pass a little faster. It’s also worth factoring in that it may be raining all day so take something you’re able to do whilst holding an umbrella!
I do a lot of things alone but personally I would not queue for a concert by myself - though if you wanted to I don’t see why you couldn’t. However if you go with a friend it’s so great that you have someone to hold the fort whilst you go and have a walk round to stretch your legs (which you’ll need to do often otherwise you can’t physically move for hours...) or to go for food etc. The friend/s you go with must also be someone you can talk to lots and get on well with. You’re going to be with the people you’re with for a very long time so it’s good if you have someone you always have plenty to talk about with otherwise I can imagine the day will feel even longer. It’s also worth being sociable to others in the queue, people will often be passing excess snacks around or offering to get you stuff from the shop when they go which is lovely. You have the love of the band your seeing in common so it’s easy to start talking to people. You’re going to be sat with these people all day and stood with them at the barrier at the concert so it’s worth just chatting even a little to them.
I didn’t want to list make sure you remember your tickets and that your camera is charged etc as I figured that was just too obvious. I know my things are obvious too but they are just the things I find improve my queueing experience. I’ve probably forgot something really important I should’ve wrote on this list so no doubt I’ll end up editing it but the tips above are my top of the head top tips. I hope if anyone is going to queue for a concert they find this helpful.
Have you ever queued for a concert? I’d love to know other people tips too!