Life

Winter is Coming-(fangirling over the GoT reference)- As Are The Christmas Traditions!

Scratch that, Winter is here and in all its glory we’ve actually had a bit of snow before Christmas. The real question is- will it stay? Probably not! But the temperature has begun to drop, it’s getting icier and wetter out in the world. This means one thing, if you hadn’t already got the Winter gear out (like the runner I saw wearing a pair of shorts on his morning run) then it is officially time. I bet you are thinking this post will be about suiting and booting yourself for Winter and I will be writing one tomorrow about that. No! This post is going to be about Christmas traditions, more specifically my family ones plus, a few I’ve adapted whilst living away for University.

1. 12 Days Before Christmas? Time to Put Up The Tree

tree and bauble

In my house, this is always the case and dad has been pretty adamant about this tradition for as long as I remember. It is one of my favourite things about Christmas to decorate the house so, over the last couple years we had to adapt the day because I would be at University and wanted to put the tree up thus, last year it went up a week early because that was the weekend I could come back.

2. The Christmas Specials- Specifically Doctor Who

tardis

Every year we go to my grandparents house for Xmas and since I’ve been old enough to come back home especially as my brother can drive. I do. And always in time for Doctor Who. You see my family don’t like Doctor Who. :0. I know I mean how can you not like it? It’s Doctor Who! But they don’t. They all pull a face at it when I’ve got it on and so, it is just easier to come home and have my own little Christmas Tradition. Doctor Who and a hot chocolate? Yes please! I do like other specials though such as Downton Abbey- when it was on after my Uni mate introduced me to the show, Michael McIntyre’s Big Christmas Show- technically shown on Xmas Eve but still I watch it.

3. Christmas Songs

cartoon carolers

I’ve already created a blog post on my favourite Xmas songs and if you click this link you’ll find it. But, the week of Christmas the only songs playing on my iPod are Christmas related and that is the way I like it. It’s just my little build up towards Christmas.

4. Nan’s Christmas Tarts

mince pies

I actually wrote a blog post entitled this last year. Named ‘My Nan’s Christmas Tarts’ it attracted a bit of attention, sometimes creating a blog post to get views is all in the name. Every year, she bakes Christmas tarts- jam and lemon curd- I love the lemon curd ones, and mince pies. They are yummy. I don’t know if she’ll do any this year but, it feels a bit like a Christmas tradition so, maybe it is time for a young, red-head who loves a bit of baking to take up the mantle?

5. Prosecco…

glass of prosecco

While dad and grandad wonder up to the pub on Christmas Day, the girls- myself, mum and nan have a bottle of Prosecco between us to keep us going till Xmas dinner. John doesn’t drink, he is not a fan so he’ll be having some Shloer. We started this last year but, nan liked the idea so much she’s already bought the bottle ready. It’s been in the house since November. So, every year we will be having a glass of Prosecco to start our Christmas off right.

6. Little Christmas Tree Presents

Christmas Present- red spotty paper, green bow, present tag.

I realised this wasn’t a regular every house thing whilst at Secondary school when people didn’t know what the little Christmas tree presents were, and had never received any. At my nan’s we have a small gathering of presents near her dinner table and after the meal we open these presents. So whilst you all play with the gadgets of Christmas morning, in my house you get a second rush opening more presents. And these are things you’ll need for the year such as body sprays, lip balm, make-up, car air freshener, torches, bookmarks etc. This just means we are equipped with those few little bits and bobs that we’ve talked about needing in the year. It is quite handy actually and a tradition I’ll be carrying on in the future.

These are just a few of my own traditions. It is fun to think of how everyone’s Christmas is a little bit different but, equally magical. If you don’t have many traditions find something that you like. Make it your own. And one final thing: Happy Christmas Everyone.

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Entertainment, Life

Tis The Season To Be JOLLY…

IT’S CHRISTMAS! Well, not quite but we are counting down the days to one the best HOLIDAYS of the year! If it is anything to go by last year, we won’t have any snow again. Of course, I live in the UK so we pretty much get totally wacky seasons. We could have rain at Christmas and it’ll be February before the snow decides to arrive and make it impossible for everyone to function.

By now, Santa and the Elves are running around his workshop like their hair is on fire. His other helpers? Well, they are tending to Rudolph and his Reindeer friends after last years rush they’ve had to take the year off to recuperate. And Mrs Santa? If she is anything like our mums, wives, girlfriends, aunts etc then shes shouting at Mr Santa for treading snow on the new carpet or because he is late for tea…AGAIN. But, for now we have Christmas songs to keep us going. That’s right people- break out the Xmas CD’s it is time to put your favourite songs on and turn the up to 11. It is definitely my favourite time of the year, Christmas songs add to the ambiance of the season and for that WE thank musicians everywhere. YOUR DA BEST! So, it’s the start of December and the reason I didn’t right a blog post last week is because this one is going to be so big and it took a couple weeks to get some research together. Thank god for social media! I’ve been asking family, friends and their friends alongside social media for your favourite Christmas songs and here is the list. So get your dancing shoes on!

  1.    Merry Christmas Everybody- Slade 

You can’t have Christmas without this song, it kinda gets annoying after 25 days of ‘ITS CHRISTMAS’ but, we come back to this classic every year and that is because it is the first song that comes to mind when you think of Christmas.

2. Silent Night- The Dickies

christmas-2879263_960_720

It’s a punk version of the song and I had trouble finding a good version on YouTube so, if you are a punk fan then look for it! This was my dads suggestion, I much prefer the classic version…the one we learn in music class on a piano? ah memories. But, if you like this song you’re either an old, white haired, leather jacket, motorbike riding punk like my dad or you really like punk? But, who’s to judge? We all like different things. Still it is a Christmas song, and so it made the list.

3. Once in Royal Davids City- Cecil Frances Alexander

Originally written as a poem in 1848, this is now sang as a hymn in churches around Christmas time. I’ve not heard this before myself but, the suggestion was made on social media and it reminds this person of the true meaning of Christmas thus, it is a Christmas song. It is rather beautiful. This choice just goes to demonstrate we all have different versions of Christmas and we should all respect that.

4. I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday- Wizzard

I was surprised this is my nans favourite Christmas song. But, she likes it and I can imagine her dancing and singing along when it comes on the radio in the house. This video always creeped me out when I was little. It was the face paint and I have a thing about not being able to see a person in costumes face properly. I don’t mind the video now though. I love to dance to the song when it comes on! It’s a great song and it just begins my Xmas holidays.

5. Walking in a Winter Wonderland- Dean Martin

There are so many different versions of this song but, this is one of my favourite versions. With so many versions out there, it is definitely a classic Christmas song and has rightly earned its place there. It was suggested to me via twitter and I kicked myself for forgetting about this song because it is great. Other versions include Peggy Lee or Michael Bublé.

6. Driving Home for Christmas- Chris Rea

The video is not the original one for the song, in fact the video we so love is the remastered version (2009) with the same singer and a few familiar faces… Mum got very excited suggesting this song for me, I could one surmise she likes this song. Either that or I know where I get my excitement for Xmas from? Hmmm give me a minute. It’s a great, easy going Christmas song for anyone to listen to and that is what this holiday should be about-FUN!

7. Stay Another Day- East 17

The song is quite heavy-hearted. For people who may not know, this song was written by lead song writer Tom Mortimer, for his brother Ollie who unfortunately committed suicide. There are two videos for this song. One features the band performing the song in the studio but, after this song because Christmas number one in 1994 a second video was released with Christmas bells added to the end, shot in black and white while the boy’s wear furry coats. So, yes it is a Christmas song but, there is a deeper meaning behind the song releasing someone’s pain and grief.

8. White Christmas- Frank Sinatra

This was grandads pick for the list. He is a lover of Frank Sinatra so, I had a feeling this would be his favourite. Obviously, we know the other versions of this song- the most famous being the original by Bing Crosby. It’s a great song, so smooth and calming. Just what is needed over an exciting Christmas. This actually caused contention in our house when my mum claimed this version of the song did not exist. Well, mum here is the video. We’ve heard it nan and grandads before.

9. Last Christmas- Wham!

Another suggestion by Mum. She really does love Christmas. Well this song always makes me want to get up and sing my lungs out which isn’t good. It would probably scare the dog. These types of songs are the best. The ones you just want to sing too. It’s a bit of a sore topic for a Christmas song singing about a broken heart but, it’s a classic.

10. Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth- David Bowie and Bing Crosby

It’s a bit like a dream. Two legends singing a Christmas song together and killing it. If I do say so myself. It’s one song I could listen to over and over and never get tired of it. Why do you love this song????????????????? Sorry I got distracted by the video. I can’t explain why I love this song, I just do! This blog post may take a little longer to finish, I just need to finish watching this video.

11. Step into Christmas- Elton John

Have you noticed a pattern yet? Singing legends sing some of my favourite songs and so they, will be the last song you listen to because they’ll stick in your head. Elton John is very direct at the beginning of the song- he simply says this is my Christmas song and that is one of the reasons I love it. The other being it is great to dance to, it just carries on building!

12. Fairytale of New York- The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl 

Here’s to all us cynics. I absolutely love this song but, don’t worry I don’t sing it out loud at work someone may get offended. Many people made this suggestion including my parents, friends and people on social media but don’t you worry I already had this on my list. It is truly my favourite every Christmas song and it really signifies the beginning of Christmas for me. It’s just the most unusual and amazing Xmas song I’ve heard and will truly forever be my favourite song.

So that is my list. What is your favourite Christmas song? What reminds you of this season? I cannot wait till Christmas day. 22 days and counting here. It’s time to get into the Christmas spirit. Just follow the signs, you’ll get there soon enough. First stop songs, next stop advent calendar, then the Christmas jumper and so on.

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…Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la

 

Life

Car Journey Playlist

Officially Summer starts in ONE MONTH! Not that long ago it felt like the year had just begun and spring was on its way. The blossoms were falling from trees, leaves began to appear in their various shades of green and the colours of Spring and Summer began to appear throughout England.

SUN, SEA AND FAMILY!

With Summer around the corner, I began thinking about all my past Summers and the memories that have been made. And BAM! This blog post is the result of those thoughts, more specifically car journeys! We all pile into cars and head to the nearest beaches, festivals, countryside walks and holidays. And when you’re in the car there needs to be a musical playlist. So, I’ve decided to make my own- a playlist influenced by previous car journeys, songs that I love to listen too and some classics. Here are five songs that will definitely appear on my playlist.

Dancing in the Moonlight

I have many memories of sitting in the car, singing to this song as my family and I went on a camping adventure somewhere. It’s catchy, upbeat and I love it! So, this is a definite for car journeys. It’ll get you all in the mood for singing to songs, being silly and enjoying the journey ahead.

Mr Blue Sky

I grew up with this CD played a lot on car journeys, and eventually you grow to love these songs. Mr Blue Sky was blasted out in the car, while on the actual campsite and at home in the summer. It still is, and it isn’t half catchy. You hear it and just want to dance, I don’t know why but, I’d definitely have this on in my car to get the journey going. It’d feel wrong to not hear it at least once or twice…

Stayin Alive 

When we aren’t listening to a CD, the radio is normally on. I grew up listening to stations such as Absolute-rock, 80’s etc, Smooth, Peak FM and Radio 2 among many more. I can remember this song being played multiple times, followed by myself, mum and other family members humming or singing along to it. So, it has to appear on the list. You just have to love the song and of course it is great for in the car.

Don’t Stop Me Now

I love it, as you can tell I was bought up on some very different songs. My parents love of rock, some pop and other genres has led to some older songs being my favourite. This song comes on and everyone starts singing, it is just one of those songs we all love. It made my playlist because whenever this comes on, the volume goes up and for just over three and a half minutes everyone stops what they are doing to just appreciate this song.

Shut Up and Dance

Its a few years old now but, I still love this song. It is so catchy and I would have to listen to this on a car journey. It’s upbeat, with an alternative feel. I just love it. This will definitely be played repeatedly in my car on future car journeys.

Well, this is the start of my car playlist. There are many more songs I could listen too in a car but, if I listened to them all then we would be here all day. My taste is quite eclectic so, be warned before you go somewhere with me…the music is going to be good…but random. You’ll wonder where I got my taste from, but by the end of it you’ll be singing along to all these songs with me.

Entertainment, Life

Life in Song

What is the last song you listened to? Heaven Knows- The Pretty Reckless.

I don’t know why I love this song, I just do. I’ve liked it from the moment I heard it on youtube while browsing one day. Music provides an escape for us all, I can tell you the last three songs I listened to today aside from this. They are my favourites, I listen to them a lot and not beacuase I relate to the, I just like them. These songs leave me in my own little world.

Here are some of my favourites and why I love them:

Don’t You Forget About Me

This song is from one of my favourite films in the entire world, and something my mum and dad also enjoy; The Breakast Club. This song just puts me in my own world, where I’m thinking about my family. I always think I must look funny to the people walking past me becuase I either mouth the words, sometimes I’m doing a little jiggle or I’m just smiling about something it reminded me of. So today, I was smiling because I was remembering this weekend when movie night with mum consisted of the Harry Potter DVD starting on its own which led to her telling it that, it should stop and eject itself also. She’s daft and I love her. It was Halloween and kind of spooky though…

Highway To Hell

Okay, I have a love AC/DC, which I attribute to my dad. He loves them too. We have a thing every Christmas where he buys me a mystery CD. It’s normally a band he likes which he wants me to try. It works out quite well. I still enjoy listening to Primal Scream and The Clash. Both CD’s feature on my iPod. Also, the rock/punk/80s music seems to really help me keep motivated while studying. I don’t know why. So, I was listening to this in Wilkinsons and resisting the urge to break out into air guitar as it played. I did resist but, in my head I was rocking it. People would look at me strange if I did it or maybe they would join in if they knew it was this song I was listening too. Maybe, this is what we all think when we are listening to music.

See You Again

For anyone that knows me, I’m not your stereotypical girl who just loves romcoms and thats it. My taste lies in the Action/Adventure/Thriller/Drama. I have an ecelectic taste is what I’m saying. One of my favourite film franchises is Fast and Furious which is strange because I’m not into cars like that at all. But, I love this song. When I went to see the most recent fast and furious film this song came on at the end and I cried. I listen to this song a lot, and it just makes me so emotional. I love the cinema and everytime I hear this, I just think of how amazing the film is and how different they will be now.

I don’t want to be

This just a song that I could listen to for days. I’m always resisting the urge to burst out into song when it comes on my iPod. Funny story; I was walking the dog once on a farm track nearby where I’m from and this came on. I forgot myself and started to sing along. I was about halfway through and turned around to see a guy who lives a few houses down walking his dog behind me. So, when he sees me, he always smiles now. I think he is remembering this. I would reccommend Gavin Degraw to him though. Moral of the story; sometimes you get in funny situations but if you love the song why not belt it out for others to hear whether you can sing or not.

You Give Love a Bad Name

Please don’t judge me but, when I was younger I used to think that they were singing ‘you give love a band aid’…It is a source of amusement in our house for years and my parents still laugh when this begins to play. It reminds me of family holidays when dad would put the CD on it the car. It is just a fun memory and probably a funny one for my parents. They teased me for days. It was pretty funny though, I sometimes laugh at myself.

Hooked On a Feeling 

If I could just put the entire Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack on this post I would. I particularly love this song. I have no idea why, I’m being serious but I can’t help but sing along when I hear it. I’ve wrote many an essay, dancing and typing to this. I’m doing that now actually. Better not we don’t want any spelling mistakes now do we…it’s just so good I got to dance. Recently, introduced my mum to the film over the summer. She was singing along to all the songs. Her exact comment was I love this film because of the music.

Thriller

I could choose so many songs but, I’m going to leave you with this one. Now, Halloween was yesterday but that is not why I picked it. HAVE YOU EVER SEEN 13 GOING ON 30? I have with my mum. It is one of her favourite films and she introduced to me. Well, in this film there is a part where Jennifer Garner starts dancing to Thriller and Mark Ruffalo joins in. Everytime I hear the song, I just remember the scene. It’s great!

Here’s a great song, that I’m going to leave you to play. It’s a classic and I always dance to it. Remember, music is an escape for most of us and it puts you into your own world. Well these are just a few for you to listen to. Maybe you should make a post yourself about this? We should all share our favourite songs for everyone to listen too…

Time Warp

via Discover Challenge: Song

Entertainment

Rag’n’Bone Man

I recently stumbled upon a brilliant singer after my dad referred me to him. He’s brilliant and in fact most of you have heard him sing. Rory Graham or his stage name Rag’n’Bone Man is brilliant. I haven’t been able to stop listening to him since I watched his videos on you tube.

Rag’N’Bone Man-Lay My Body Down

Recently, he made an appearance on Later with Jools Holland on BBC 2 performing a stripped back version of single ‘Human’, which we’ve all heard recently on the radio and television and he won’t be going away any time soon. A beautiful soulful voice it’s just hard not to listen to him over and over again.

You may know one of his songs from television programme ‘New Blood’, his song is the theme.

Rag’N’Bones Man-Wolves

Or Human- his most recently released song as the song that was part of Michael Phelps video sequence for the Rio Olympics 2016.

Rag’N’Bone Man-Human

All I can say, is listen to this man. He’s amazing and won’t be going anywhere soon. I will be anxiously waiting the release of his album in 2017 so, I can buy it.