Day 12 – Favourite foods

This is a tricky one for me, I mean, a REALLY tricky one. I think genre or theme of food will be easier….

I am food addict *well, obsessive; I’m not sure if people would agree but I love food, I think about it, I plan my days around it, I have so many plans for dinner parties/food I want to make for people/things I want to try and play with and this tends to take up at least 80% of my life.

I’m happy to say that despite there being some things i’ve never experienced food wise, I have so many loves of food from around the world and those I will write a little bit about below. Probably broken down into areas of where they come from and I hope if nothing else, this might make your mouth water, or inspire you to try something new.

Also, if anyone has any good suggestions as to things to try/new directions for my food obsessiveness, please, do not hesitate to say. I love hearing about other people’s enjoyment of food almost as much as I actually enjoy eating!!

Both of my parents are really good cooks – my dad was a chef and mum I feel has the same food obsession as me! They make epic food – mum is the best at curries and dad makes superb food from all over the place – he’s great at pies and pastry stuff, I wish I could but i’ve got hot little hands and that for Pastry is never good!

Italian – I adore Italian food. I think probably if I had to give up all other foods and just settle with one, this would be it……maybe, possibly not. But having pizzas, pasta’s and of course, Gelato on offer sounds excellent to me! I’m currently obsessed with this restaurant in Southampton, lovely place to eat and spend some time and it’s somewhere I cannot allow myself to go often otherwise i’d be the size of a house!!

When I was doing my A levels I worked in a local Italian restaurant, I loved it. Despite the long hours, the rubbish pay, the stress of holding everything down at the same time but my favourite memories were from the end of the night, Mas (the chef) was happy to cook us all a meal to sit down and eat together or if it was a night I had other plans, he was great at doing me some pasta and bits to take to the pub – often swapped for pints, well, except the pasta carbonara he made, that was ALWAYS mine!

Ideal Italian Meal – Prosciutto and Melon, Carbonara and garlic bread and of course…..Pistachio Ice-cream.

Indian – Is almost the most comfortable food I’ve ever had. I’d happily become a veggie if this was the only food I could eat, I do love veg and the variety of bits and bobs you can try here are simply divine. I am such a lover of flavour, the thing with curries is you can have differing temperatures for them but for me the overriding thing of focus is the taste. There are a huge variety of tastes, textures and cooking styles which mean that I don’t think I could ever be bored!

I’ve always fancied a trip to learn how to properly cook Indian food but I know that the food I eat from takeaways is probably very different to actual Indian food as it is eaten over there. I suppose the joy from a takeaway is being able to travel the entire country and then pick and choose.

Ideal Indian Meal – Vegetable Samosas, Bhindi Bhaji (ladies fingers), Saag aloo (spinach and potato), Samba Daal (this is a daal made by my local takeaway, it’s full of lentils and veg and it’s super hot which I adore) and then for dessert? Hmm, maybe just more of the same?

Spanish – When we moved to Spain, I was already aware of the standard spanish fare, but I learned so much while I was there and there’s been some recipes I’ve been introduced to which I adore and there are others which if I never had to eat them again I’d be completely fine with!

Lenteja is one of the meals I now adore, it’s a warming lentil stew, often cooked with potatoes, pig knuckles (I use chorizo) and amazing bursts of warmth and comfort. It is a real classic for me and something I feel i’m going to be tinkering with for years until I get a recipe I know is foolproof!!

The thing I found most bizarre when eating out in Spain was the lack of veggie/vegetarian options, apart from salad or weirdly, tinned veg. I used to love Salad about 75% of the year but seriously, even in Spain, salad doesn’t cut it in January!! It was a pleasure when I came back to the Uk to be able to get loads of variety and ok, I know a lot of it comes from Spain but I never thought I’d get better veg options in the UK – i’ve been spoiled obviously!!

Ideal Spanish Meal – Gambas Pil-Pil or Lenteja, Pollo con Vino de Competa (a local wine which was produced in our Village) and then hmmmmmmm, crema catalana, which is very much like flan but has burned sugar on the top. It is simply superb!

English – I think finally I should talk about all of the foods that I adore from this country, that i’m obsessed with or for the love I have of these as far as I’m concerned, ultimates in comfort food.

There’s so many things that I love, cottage pie, stews, roasts (oh the mighty roast) steamed puddings, cheese, pasties, cereals and the like, as you can see, a huge variety and probably not much that can be considered healthy.

I do very much love cooking and using my Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker so a lot of the above tend to be staples in my household. We’ve been experimenting with chilli con carne recently but I have a hankering for a good old cottage pie, some veg and gravy. Sounds good now that the weather is becoming more wintery!

So what about you? If you had to decide on a favourite food, meal or something like that, what would it be?

 

 

Day 9 – 5 Current Goals

I have a lot of targets that I set myself – see my 40 for 40 list as a good example but I try to also do littler things throughout the years, like this years Pratchett Postal.

These are some challenges I have been trying to do this year so thought i’d share some of those and then we can have a re-cap as to how things are progressing and if there are still things happening throughout the rest of the year.

1: Pratchett Postal – Objective: To buy up duplicate Pratchett books (Neil Gaiman too apparently this has now been extended to) and then send them out to complete strangers online.

I decided to do this on Twitter as i’m so used to Twitter being the place where people are horrible to each other but I was desperate to prove that nice people inhabit that place too. I think that this has gone fairly well, I mean, thus far I have sent 80 books out this year, made a whole heap of new friends, learned some really interesting stuff about both myself and the world of Discworld and more than anything, am really pleased that the love I have for this series, is now being passed around the planet to others.                       pratchett 12

 

2:  Improve my writing – Objective: To become more comfortable with writing and expressing myself.

I love blogging but have always found that I do not have the impetus to keep writing and publishing every day so have set myself more manageable goals of writing twice a week (until this current challenge which is a daily thing, wish me luck because i’m scared!! I’m hoping that if nothing else, I find people who I like to read and to find people who like what I say. I don’t ever think i’d be writing novels or the like but I started this as a way to vent, deal with things and get my thoughts out and I genuinely hope that by the end of this year, I will be able to continue this and continue improving.

3:  Take part in more racing/running events – Objective: To become healthier and fitter, I have set myself a challenge of a Marathon before I turn 40 so thought I’d start small.

I signed myself up for a challenge in January to start small and cover 50 miles throughout the month then after that, a couple of 5ks, a colour run and a local 10k. I achieved the January target with no issues and the colour run and 5k, though I was incredibly slow and unfit, both were finished and both went well. Unfortunately due to health issues – relating to my knee – I had to drop out of the 10K, I did think maybe I could walk it but was worried I’d be too slow and therefore not actually finish…..am hoping that next year will be better, I’ve booked to do a couple more 5ks via Virtual Racing so if nothing else, I will be doing the work, it may not be fast, but am proud i’m getting better. This is my before (from 2015 on the Left) and the now, 2018 on the right.

colour run 2015 & 2018.JPG

4: Attend a convention – Objective: To attend a convention into something I enjoy. 

Actually this year, I’ve actually attended 2. Both superb fun and definitely a good introduction for hopefully bigger and better ones next year, or at least, in our future.

Firstly in August I went to Dragworld Uk – a festival of glitter and fabulousness all to do with the world of Drag. I loved it (and wrote a blog about it which you can read here https://wordpress.com/post/halfbakedproductions.blog/1618)   I loved it, cannot wait to go back (the pre release sale happened yesterday) and this time the man in my life is coming with me. He has some social issues (he has a lot of anxiety) so I’m hoping that to be surrounded by so many lovely and accepting people will help him. I’m already so excited!!

The second con in October was more for my other half than for me, he is very into board games (ok, we both are but he spends more time watching vids/listening to podcasts about them) but we knew there was a large expo up in Birmingham which sadly we could not attend – money for public transport in this country is insane) so when we found out there was a smaller convention in Southampton, it seemed like a no brainer, I booked us a cheapish hotel nearby and we decided to take my copy of Ankh Morpork in case there wasn’t much we wanted to play. We also found a local board games cafe, with a superb collection of games and also really lovely friendly staff and have definitely decided that we will go back, maybe even just specifically for this place!

The con itself was good, we met a couple of new people, played some new games – and some games that we probably wouldn’t own but that it’s fun to experience. It was a good introduction to a little convention and I’m hoping that next year we can do something biggr and better.

5: Get my 10% body award with Slimming World. Objective: To lose 10% of my starting body weight (at the time I was basically 13 stone and a fat size 18). I spent a long time as a younger person trying to diet and adhere to beauty standards but as I’ve got older, I’d got bigger and eating became a really important thing to me. I’d met up with some wonderful old friends and they (as usual) took photos to memorialise the day but when I saw them, they were horrible. I looked awful. I’m really used to being the fat one out of my friends but I felt gross.

Luckily my work were doing a special promotion with Slimming World where when you lost 10% of your weight, my work would pay back a max of 12 weeks subs, this seemed like an ideal way of doing it and threw myself into it. It took 14 weeks in total but I lost just under 2 stone. I am now a much healthier size 12 and feel amazing! it’s mad really as i’ve never been this size before and I love it.

I should be clear, at no point did my other half say I had to lose weight or anything like that, I did this for me and thankfully he still finds me attractive and I know he sees that I’m so much more confident, which for me is the best thing.

So there you have it, 5 challenges or goals I am currently working on. I have really enjoyed these so far so am looking forward to more next year – or maybe not more, maybe just improving my current ones and continuing to work towards my 40 for 40 list. What about you? Do you have any challenges that you are setting yourself or working towards?

 

 

 

Day 7 – Your 5 Favorite Songs

This is a tricky one, my music taste can change from minute to minute so I think this blog should possibly be renamed as “My favourite 5 songs, right now”

1: Geronimo: RuPaul – I really love this, it has a great mix of dance and sass, I’m a pop girl at heart so this really speaks to me, plus, to be honest, the Ru Obsession is real and therefore anything related to MamaRu is a positive for me!

album 1

2: Wish: Nine Inch Nails – alright, I know I said I was a pop girl at heart but this band has been one of my favourites for most of my life now. I got introduced to them in my teens and have only met a handful of people who have even heard of them, so imagine my surprise and pleasure when I met the man, we were chatting and they came up as conversation! Means that we were meant to be in my opinion. He has also learned that if he walks into the house and i’m listening to this song, he should probably turn around and come back again later once i’m calmer.

album 2

 

3: Voodoo People: The Prodigy – This song is one that has stayed with me for years and weirdly, I don’t yet feel like it’s been over played. I can still listen to both this song, and the album it comes from and be transported back to being 17 or so again and having a dance with my friends with my brother behind the decks. A song that really takes me back to my past.

album 3

 

4: Cheap Thrills: Sia – one of those songs which I heard, had no idea who had made it but it made me smile, laugh, want to dance and generally feel good about life. I’m not the biggest Sia fan as I feel that she’s a bit shrieky and ballady for me but this is just a funky song.

album 4

5: Justified and Ancient: KLF ft Tammy Wynette – this is, and probably always will be one of my favourite bits of music, my funeral song, a song I remember from my youth (all those years ago) and that I am so pleased is in my life. The album this comes from is superb and well worth a listen if youre a fan of dance 90s hits. Tammy Wynette’s voice fits perfectly and even the first few beats of this song will guaranteed have me on my feet dancing like an idiot, no matter where I hear it!

album 5

So there you have it, 5 songs I love. I cannot say they are my favourites as it completely depends on my mood (Guns and Roses, Pendulum, Faithless, and the Beatles should all feature in a list of songs I love but in this instance, as I’m feeling today, what is above is what you got!)

What about you? Do you have songs that help calm you, or bring you back to humanity? What is the song you want to have played at your funeral? Is that too deep and dark a question? ok, probably, so if that’s the case, tell me about a special song in your life, I’d love to hear new music and suggestions.

 

 

 

Day 5 – Your Proudest Moment

Hmm, this could be tricky as I genuinely don’t see a huge amount to be proud of.

I’ve done things that i’m proud of, such as raising money for charity, passing my Spanish exams in a Spanish school and not (completely) losing my mind, coming back and coping with things, passing challenges I set myself and the like but I don’t tend to be proud as a person, I mean, lots of people have done what I have done so it’s not like I’m special or anything.

I’m going to write a list of things i’ve done which i’m proud of, it might not be a comprehensive look but a good list of random stuff that makes me smile!

  • Jumping out of a plane – with a tandem instructor and a parachute: this has been one of those things that I’d always wanted to do but the prohibitive price always putting me off. However, when Sir Terry Pratchett passed away, I decided to do as much fundraising for Alzheimer’s research as I could and my dad very kindly offered to pay for a jump so I could do the jump, raise some funds and not have to spend half of the money on the jump itself. I loved it, it was amazing, I felt magical and I came down with barely a bump having flown through a cloud, seen some amazing views and genuinely felt the epitome of joy.

flying

  • Surviving in a Spanish School: We lived in Spain from 1997 (when I was 14) and I went to a Spanish village school and despite having a handful of English friends, the majority of my time was spent talking in Spanish, thinking in Spanish, writing in Spanish and the like. I am really proud I did this (don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think I could) and it has now given me the knowledge that if I ever had to throw myself into something completely alien, I could manage it.

menbex

  • Walking on Hot Coals: This is still one of my favourite things and every time I see that there is a fire walking event nearby I try to get involved. I love it. It is genuinely the one thing I think that I did, made me feel like a superhero and will stay with me forever.

fire

  • Breaking an arrow with my throat: As a precursor to walking on hot coals, the trainer wanted to show us that we are much stronger than sometimes our brain allows us to think. He took out a standard archery practise arrow and asked for a volunteer to hold a piece of wood. He placed the point of the arrow against his throat, and the fletching against the wood. He then stepped forward and whilst I thought he would skewer his own neck, the body is stronger than the wooden shaft of the arrow and it broke. I had to do it. I think he realised he had an adrenaline junkie on his hands and when I asked if I could do that, he was happy to oblige. I am so lucky because I kept the arrow and have always got that to refer to in case I doubt how amazing the human body and spirit is!

arrow

  • I have raised money for charity: As above, I have done a fair few random things for charity. I have done a couple of rainbow/fun/5k runs recently but I am aiming to increase my distances sooner rather than later.
  • I won’t say i’ve beaten it, but I’ve come through some fairly bad periods of depression and the fact that I’m still here is definitely something I should be proud of.
  • I set myself a challenge at the beginning of the year and so far, it’s going really well. I decided to buy any Terry Pratchett Discworld books I find (in second hand shops, cheap on ebay that type of thing) and will advertise and send them out to people who need them in their collections. So far I’ve sent 78 books this year so that’s a lot of Discworld love happening right there!

I’m not sure I have that many other specific “moments”. I try to have pride in my life, make sure my friends and loved ones know I am here for them and I’m trying to make sure I can look back at the good things I have done. Long may it continue I hope!

share about a recent holiday

Prague and Amsterdam are the most recent, and even they were over 2 years ago. I’ll be honest, they were both amazing but for different reasons so I have decided to write about both in separate blogs.

Prague – Czech Republic

For my dad’s 65th birthday, we went to Prague (myself, the man and my parents) we all stayed in the same hotel but were lucky enough to spend some days exploring and seeing this amazing place.

prague 13

Our hotel was wonderful, it was an eco hotel so very good for the environment and had (without doubt) the oddest breakfast options i’ve ever seen. Each morning was a buffet style of breakfast, with the usual, cereals, meats, cheeses, coffees etc and then there were the “mystery tureens” which over the days were filled with a variety of what I could consider standard breakfast items (bacon, eggs) and some more esoteric offerings, such as some kind of spinach soup, a mushroom stew and roasted potatoes. All very lovely and a great way to prompt breakfast conversation!!

It’s full of history, and quite a lot of depressing history too but it was a place which was happy from our wanderings, they were open about the issues that has happened but without being mournful about it.

We were lucky enough to be staying fairly close to the centre (probably about a 15 mins tram away) so that meant we could explore but also be far enough away from the hen/stag areas which was a bonus, it tended to be that we would meet in the Hotel for breakfast – which was an adventure in itself – and then split up for a day of wandering then back together for the evening meal.

My dad’s meal was at a restaurant called Pět peněz – which is apparently something to do with school times as the walls are covered with old school reports and photos of the staff and (I’m assuming) friends of the group behind it, which is lovely, a really comfortable cozy restaurant with absolutely GIANT portions! Those who know me know I can eat like there’s no tomorrow but even I couldn’t handle it all! We’d gone to celebrate my dad’s birthday and we all got delightfully stuffed full and drank far too much – dad and I discovered Hills Absinthe, which I’ve later found out is over £100 over here for the bottle (;-0) so we were all in very good spirits, the waitress was fun, had one of the filthiest laughs i’ve ever heard and when I went to get the cake set up as dad’s surprise, she grabbed it, ran off to the kitchen and insisted they added cream, candles, sparkly things and pretty much everything else haha…..he was thrilled we were so “low-key”. If anyone is heading out there, this is a wonderful place to eat!

The clock in the main square is truly superb, I had to get some official info as whatever I write will not do it justice.

prague 2

“The Orloj is mounted on the southern wall of Old Town Hall in the Old Town Square. The clock mechanism itself has three main components: the astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky and displaying various astronomical details; statues of various Catholic saints stand on either side of the clock; “The Walk of the Apostles”, a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles and other moving sculptures—notably a figure of Death (represented by a skeleton) striking the time; and a calendar dial with medallions representing the months. According to local legend, the city will suffer if the clock is neglected and its good operation is placed in jeopardy; a ghost, mounted on the clock, was supposed to nod its head in confirmation. According to the legend, the only hope was represented by a boy born on New Year’s night.”

The maker of the clock was blinded so that he could never replicate the work made, and in response, he broke the mechanism which meant the clock was broken for over 100 years until they found someone talented enough to work it out and get it sorted.

Wenceslas square  overall is beautiful, many wonderful if somewhat depressing buildings juxtaposed with bright coloured buildings in yellow and orange – some lovely art galleries here I have been told. There’s a lot of restaurants but we didn’t really experience them, they seemed incredibly expensive and apart from the nice views as you ate, there didn’t seem to be enough to make it value for money, the man and I being simple people meant we were happy to wander the small streets near the square or the Charles Bridge and we managed to find a really great little open fronted cafe which sold freshly cooked sausages and hot dogs.  We were really lucky when we found it as we were perusing behind a german couple who insisted on treating the woman behind the counter really rudely, not answering her questions but pointing, or grunting in response to questions. I don’t know if it’s just because i’ve spent so much time in customer services but this really ticked me off, so when it came to our turn, we were both probably overly polite and asked her if she was ok, I think she appreciated our niceness as she was nothing but kind and courteous to us, despite the fact we were eating just sausages in buns, they were blooming superb!

One of the things we did on the first full day in the city was a walking/boat tour. We had wanted to glean a little bit of info and local knowledge and then wander round ourselves but the tour went way further than that, the guide we had was great, from Prague and an historian (who’d also worked around Europe and was full of fun stories!). We went on a river cruise, around part of the castle, to the cathedral (in the castle – I mean 16 km squared of space) and to the Jewish area of the city, where I found the saddest thing I think i’ve ever seen….the street markers.

prague 14

These show the name of the person (or in some instances, families) who lived in a house (generally now pulled down and in the case of this marker, the Oriental Hotel has been built where this man’s property was) and was taken by the Nazi’s to a death camp, in this example Dachau.

This isn’t even the worst of it, because unfortunately, after the Nazi’s were defeated and the Jewish population started to rebuild within Prague, the Communists arrived, which prompted another mass exodus/decimation of the population there.

The (I suppose) oddest thing to me is that these are tiny street markers, smaller than the average kitchen tile and people just walk all over them day in day out, probably without even noticing them.

The man is a fine arts type of man (well he has a masters) so we decided that we’d go and try to find the main art gallery in Prague, luckily this was near a bagel place that I’d been told was superb and a must try so thought this was a good way to bookend the day. The Gallery was close to the end of the bus line and an expo building which we didn’t get much of a chance to look round, but was close enough for us to walk and explore. I would say that the walk into this area took us through what I would say were the most “typical” eastern Block type of housing areas, very uniform, very utilitarian and not the most cheery of houses, but from the glimpses inside I managed to glean that what something looks like on the outside doesn’t stop the magic of individuality on the inside. Anyway, I digress, we were actually really lucky as there was an exhibit on about screen printing and the like, which is what the man actually studied so it was wonderful to walk around and see things that I have no idea about but to get educated about it as well. We saw some wonderful pieces, including some Paul Revere (who S didn’t know about so I managed to do some educating too haha!) and some really wonderful art. There was also a sculpture section, with a Rodin and some more modern Czech artists, including one (which I’m gutted I didn’t capture on film as I have no idea what it is actually called) of 3 plain heads, each with different facial expressions to focus you on depression and mental illness and the pain/fear it causes. I can honestly say, without even seeing the name, as soon as I saw this, I KNEW exactly what it was and it was odd to see something speak so clearly to my brain which when I showed S, he did see but it didn’t speak to him the same way……shows he is lucky with the lack of mental illness!

The two bird pictures above are from an American artist who wanted to make scientifically accurate pictures of animals during his expeditions around the world, the reason that the flamingo is in that specific position is that he wanted to be truly accurate with scale etc but didn’t want to pay the extra it would have cost to add more paper……that’s my kind of bargain hunting 🙂

The third image is called Hydrogen Man. I don’t know why it spoke to me the way it did but this was after the Hydrogen bombs had been dropped and speak volumes to me about the pain and confusion involved.

The last is The Virgin, by Klimt. Another artist that really speaks to me and my soul. I think it’s the mix of bright colours yet a melancholy vibe which appeals. Either way, I feel glad to have seen these in real life.

The last place we went to in the Art Gallery was the Slav Epic, by Mucha which is (as the name very accurately suggests) Epic. It is massive, has an entire room given over to it, which when we went to see it, was quite dark and incredibly cold (better for the artworks I’d have thought) but they are just insanely large. The story behind it is fascinating and I would definitely recommend it if people are heading there.

slav epic 2slav epic 1

We did go to the bagel place and unfortunately had really awful experiences there so I won’t rant about it (I did that on tripadvisor which made me feel better!) but trust me, if you’re in the area of the gallery, it’s well worth the (definitely) less than 10 pounds entrance fee.

Ok, last place I’m going to talk about for Prague is the Zoo. Now I understand people aren’t all fans of zoo’s (S was one, the last zoo he went to had bears rocking back and forth, not sufficient light or space and was overall a horrible place) but I loves me a good zoo and from my reading before we went away, I knew that this zoo is third in the world (behind San Diego and Berlin) in re-homing, conservation and education, so I knew it wasn’t going to be awful but boy was I pleasantly surprised.

Not only was it cheap to get in (and I do mean cheap, there’s an annual ticket option, which if we lived there, we would have) but the park itself is beautiful, there’s a lot of space for the animals and they seem to take a lot of pride in keeping happy, healthy animals. The cat house has been recently refurbished and I got closer to a lion and a tiger than I ever thought possible.

 

We wandered for most of the day, just talking, laughing and every few minutes stopping to gaze at the amazing area. The cafe’s sold beer, which initially I thought was a really bad idea but actually, it was wonderful to see families, with parents having fun but without the need to be hammered.

The Polar bear enclosure was simply amazing. There was a pool for them to swim in and as you can see, one of the bears was really camera friendly while he was having a dip!

The zoo had also recently had the birth of a new orangutan so I had to go and see, and I was not disappointed. The tropical house where they are housed was gorgeous, full of palms and a little stream, lots of trees and ropes around for the apes to play on, and the oddest thing was the bats flying free around. You’d be stood gazing at the Orangs and then feel a whoosh as a bat flew past. It was amazing and somewhere I could probably spend hours, unfortunately the park was closing so we didn’t have much time there. But certainly, I’d recommend it to anyone.

I have looked at the plans for their next developments, which is a total remodelling of the Polar bear area (including an underwater walkway a la Sealife centres – how amazing does that sound) and a PANDA house!!! Yep, they are currently in discussions with China and if this does go ahead. I will be there…..and buying a season ticket.

On our penultimate evening in Prague we just wanted a quick easy meal so the 4 of us decided to try the chinese next to our hotel. It ended up being a really funny evening as the waitress was terrifying, we drank far too much rough wine (which was a lot better after the 3rd bottle) and we had some yummy food – which a lot of it we weren’t sure exactly what it was but still, was yummy! When we left the restaurant, we decided to have 1 more drink in the bar and my dad introduced me to Slivovich, which is a Plum brandy…..potent and something that went down really well that evening, not sure if I can handle this frequently!!

All in all this was a really brilliant holiday, a wonderful place, where both myself and the man want more time to explore, a great celebration of my dad’s 65th (and retirement) and the first holiday myself and the man went on. It will always have the best memories and would recommend it to anyone.

 

 

Post 30 facts about yourself….

facts about myself…..hmm, well apart from the standard ones (i’m 35, I live in the south of England, i’m a bit of a nerd) I’m not sure really. There’s lots of things about me I believe but not sure I can think of 30 interesting facts. Stick with it, we may both learn something…….

  1. I am caring – I tend to worry more about animals than humans, I find myself more upset by seeing the state humanity is leaving the planet as opposed to say watching a nature programme where a turtle is eaten by pumas.
  2. I have been depressed for a lot of my life and feel a better person for it. It’s made me fight to be better and to understand my mind more. I don’t know why but I’ve always felt wrong for being here and that i’m not welcome or needed. This still comes and goes but I think slowly but surely, i’m seeing more positives than I used to.
  3. I tend to wear odd socks – I’ve always thought lifes too short to worry about socks, generally under boots so not really visible to other people.
  4. I wish I had more impetus – I would love to do so many things with my life but for a long time, depression held me back, i didn’t travel like I wanted to as “it’s bound to go wrong” I haven’t gone for jobs/changes in my life as “im bound to fail” and that has rubbed off on me a lot. I do now try to do things to change that but it’s a very slow process.
  5. I read a bit like Johnny 5, I love books and they are still the first way of me coping, it means I can cut out the world and just get lost somewhere else.
  6. I wish I lived closer to more of my friends, I can get quite lonely here and although I have social media accounts, I very much miss actual face to face communications.
  7. I love taking photos, I’m not very good but it gets me out and about and I love showing the beauty of around where I live. I’m really lucky to be so close to the sea and the trappings that offers.
  1. I love food. I can probably watch cooking shows or read recipes like some people watch porn…..I’m making a real effort this year to be less of a fat pig but it’s not easy.
  2. I adopted an Orangutan called Okto this year and to further aid the plight of these wonderful Apes, i’m trying to avoid Palm oil in my food – which it turns out, is in a lot of food so that’s tricky – worth it though as far as i’m concerned.
ornag 2
Orangutans
  1. I still (despite everything) believe in love. I’ve had some really appalling relationships and they have most definitely affected me, however, am lucky to say that the man in my love, is the love of my life. He is sweet, caring, not perfect but perfect for me. I just hope I can make him anywhere near as happy as he makes me.

valentines-rose

  1. I have signed up for a couple of challenges so far this year (2018). I am aiming to walk (at least) 31 miles in January – and i’ve walked about 11.5 (which I have on a pedometer or if you are happy to accept the fact my pedometer broke on Sunday and didn’t record anything i’ve actually done 14.9). So a few still to go but am sure I can achieve it. I’m also signed up for another colour run in July for a child’s hospice. They asked for £50 in sponsorship but i’m aiming for £100 as it’s such a great cause, I will post the link here, in case anyone wants to chuck in some pennies. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/polly-bartlett-dorset-rainbow-run……………I managed to complete over 50k in Jan (which despite the snow I’m considering a good thing and I also raised about £150 in the colour run – I’m looking at contributing to the newset blog by a virtual racing company I use starting later this year. Lots of plans for 2019 races too!
  1. I am really getting into gaming, both computer and board games. I have been a gamer for years but it tends to be something myself and the man do of an evening together, we will sit together and have a few hands of something or work together on a co-operative game. I heartily recommend (if you are able) heading to a board game cafe, as even if you’ve never played a “modern” boardgame, there’s generally a really good selection and staff who are paid to teach and play!!
  1. I don’t wear make up – unless it’s a really special occasion. My attitude has always been that no amount of slap will help this face so I leave it natural – plus, I don’t have to look at it, you lot do!
  2. I always wanted plastic surgery and as i’ve got older, the list of things i’d want “done” has actually got shorter. The old price tag when i was 17 or so was about £100,000 but I think it would be closer to half that now….I suppose i’ve started to accept that this is how I look and that’s that.
  3.  30 facts about myself is HARD
  4. I’m not sure I have a favourite food but I tend to go through fads of only wanting Pasta, or Curry, or cereal. I’m not sure why but food is such a massive passion of mine and I can quite happily spend hours during the day planning what i’m having for dinner that night.
  5. I love my job – i’m in a job where honestly, a year ago if someone had told me that I would be doing this, i’d have laughed in their faces. I’ve always done fairly menial roles or customer services (read from a script and take abuse) so the fact that this job is specific, has a lot of info, actually makes me feel like i’m making a difference is absolutely brilliant. My boss is also amazing as he actually seems to care and encourage his staff, which in the range of jobs i’ve had, seems a rare commodity.

bus night

  1. I like being around people who make me laugh, now ok, this probably isn’t something specific to me but of all the people I get along with, it’s those that have a fun side of life and fun view that I adore. I’m not fussed if it’s impressions, or old dad jokes or even biting satire, I just love being amused.
  2. I’d love to meet and see Eddie Izzard in action, I think he’s superb and not only for his comedic slightly zany look at the world but also his stance on humanity.
  3. I love being out in the rain. I know it’s odd but dancing in the rain (even with no music) can soothe my soul and if it ever really tips it down here, I am generally seen running for my shoes and heading for a rain rave.
  4. There’s a lot of things i’m scared of (irrational fears) but the things that keep me up at night are fears that I can do nothing about, being alone, not living up to expectations, not achieving anything.
  5. I wish I’d travelled more, in fact, I wish i’d seen the importance of the world as opposed to being in a relationship – which was an awful one as well to be fair! I should have taken out credit, saved like hell and just gone, not worried about making other people happy as over time i’ve learned that by me being happy, those around me are happy too.
  6. If I won the lottery, i’d pack up my life here and start at Gatwick and see where the world takes me. I’d love to take my other half along and maybe a couple of friends along the way. I’m not sure he’d come and if he didn’t want to, i’d have to make the choice of him or the world…..and that would be a really tough one.
  7. I’m trying to be more sociable this year, I know because of the depression, there have been times when I really withdraw from the world and want to make a difference now. My friends are amazing and I want to spend more time with them, not less.
  8. I wish my family could get along. I don’t know why my brother and mum have such issues with staying in contact and just being pleasant to each other – well, I do, they just seem to rub each other the wrong way but that makes it tricky for everyone. I’m not saying they have to be bosom buddies but I am so scared that something will happen out of the blue and i’ll have to call my sibling and say either “get here now before it’s too late” or, even worse, “it’s too late”. I always thought that the passing of a family member would bring the rest of the family closer together but having seen it do the exact opposite to my best friend and the man’s families, I worry for the future of mine.
  9. I keep a happy memory jar. I have already started the one for 2018 but haven’t as of yet sorted through the 2017 offerings. I know 2017 was a good year for me and I’m looking forward to re living it but the lists take time to sort/write and at the moment I just haven’t had the impetus to do it…..which as it’s 17 days into the new year (when I first wrote this)  I really should crack on with……maybe that’s a Sunday job.
  10. I am inside a very politically minded person, however, due to esteem issues I tend to keep my views quiet and dont enter discussions. Twitter has however, allowed me the freedom to be me and if people don’t like it, not my problem – this may also explain why i’m not followed by many people and why I try to not have real friends on there…..some is fine but I think i’d be in way too many arguments if I did the same on other social media.
  11. I’d love to spend more time with my dad in Paris, it’s such a special place for him and every time we go I love it when it’s just the two of us and I get to see the Paris he adores. He wanted to go a couple of year ago to climb Notre Dame again (he fears he’s getting too old) so I am aiming to get out there with him this year to help and hopefully we can conquer that together.
  12. As i’ve got older, my mum has become a better friend to me. I honestly think she tried her best when we were younger but circumstances in life made us not very close or alike, as we’ve got older I think we’ve both mellowed in our own ways and this makes the relationship better. Also, in therapy I was told to blame everything wrong on my parents, and I didn’t agree with that, and that helped me to see them in a better light, that they tried, they are flawed and made mistakes….they weren’t trying to hurt me, in fact they were trying to make life better for me and although it didn’t always work, there are a lot of things that they influenced in my life which have made me the person I am today.
  13. Despite everything, the abuse, the sad times, the depression, the fear, the lack of self esteem, the days/weeks and months at a time I didn’t want to be here, I love my life now – flaws and all – and wouldn’t change too much of it (well, a lottery win would be nice). If I could go back and change things, I would have liked to but now I know that my past has made my present what it is and i’m grateful to still be here and to have not succeeded in any of the attempts I made on taking my life. I would definitely tell a younger version of myself to keep on keeping on, be strong and someday it will be worthwhile. It may not be the easiest life but it is your life to live, to experience and to make the most of.

Well, who’d have thought I could come up with 30 facts…..they weren’t all fab and fun but they are the truth and this challenge has actually made me think more about my self and life than I normally would. Introspection can be a wonderful thing at times!

I’ve noticed recently a lot of new readers, for which I am both stunned and very grateful, feel free to drop me a line, say Hello! or just pass on your thoughts of what I write. I’m always up for meeting new people and experiencing new lives.

 

Sum up your beliefs in 1 page

This is a tough subject for me, I really don’t want to offend and one of the main pitfalls of any social media usage as far as I’m concerned is that no matter how softly you say something, how peacefully you want something to come across, people will always be offended by something or other.

This is an opinion piece only, a very personal thing and by me expressing my views I am in no way trying to detract from yours.

I’m never sure what I believe. Over my life I have dabbled, lets say, with various different religions, I have a thirst for something, I have always tried to find answers and unfortunately, nothing has really had an affect on me as all I ever see are the flaws.

There’s things I live by and there are things that I believe are universally accepted. Personally, I do not have a connection with God and therefore have had to find myself other things to hold on to. I have faith in people – sometimes i’m completely wrong about that but I continue to do so and I have a lot of faith in myself, for being the person I know I can rely on, to be the strength when I’m not sure I will have it. It may sound odd to read that but I honestly do feel that sometimes I have no faith in myself and i’ll dig deep, knowing i’ve fought battles like this before and won.

I think instead of writing about WHY is choose not to believe in a supreme being (and inevitably causing issues) I would write about things I do believe, lessons in life if you will that help me and I hope make me a good person who, at the end of her life, will be able to look back and say that whilst I was in no way perfect. I was good.

Some basic things I live by:

Be nice – It’s fairly simple. Be nice to each other. What is the point in trying to hurt people, or to push your happiness over that of others. I always try to be nice to people, no matter how much parts of humanity sicken and disgust me, I’m lucky that 99% of the world is good, or at least means it.

Try to be open to love: I honestly do believe that love is the best thing, not always sexual love, but love for friends, life, the sunshine, laughter and happiness. I have lost some really important people to me over the years, and i’ve realised that life is incredibly precious and can be taken at any time. Because of this, I have now started being more vocal about how I feel and how I feel about other people. Life is too short to waste your time with people who do not care about you, but if you do care, tell people that, show people that. Do not hide this. Passing on compliments and love to people will only make things better. You never know too, it might be the one positive they hear all day, and a little lift when you are feeling rock bottom really does bring you back from the edge. Trust me, i’ve been there.

Don’t be horrible about other people’s beliefs: I think this is another simple one.  If people choose to believe something and that helps them, then fine. Don’t punish or judge just because you have different views and in the same breath, dont tell me i’m wrong for my thoughts that you might not agree with. I find that not allowing people to have their own views, beliefs etc brings the likelihood of fighting and disagreements and at the end of the day, trying to sway someone is never going to work. Just let bygones be bygones.

Try to make the best of all situations: I’m not a huge fan of fakeness in general but in my last long period of depression this was a piece of advice I definitely took to heart. I’t not easy but sometimes faking it till you make it is amazing, even if you dont feel happy, by faking a smile, it will start to make you happier. I know it’s not always that easy, but by trying to find the positives, sometimes you can affect the way your brain looks at things. I started a list of “good things that happened” and decided to fill it with things that made me smile. Didn’t need to be massively special, just things that gave me a little lift in a really dark time. I would write these things as often as I could and then when I was feeling really sad, i’d read a few, they would make me smile, or laugh or just lighten up a bit. Then at the end of the year, I read through them all and typed it up so I always have the list going forward. In the years now since I’ve started doing this, I’ve felt less of a need to do it but I do enjoy having it there to remember, then if bad days happen (as they do to everyone) you’ve got a way to find your own silver lining.

Be around people who make you happy: Again, another no brainer as far as i’m concerned. I spent a long time trying to be friends with people who didn’t want to be my friend and it took me a long time to realise that people, although I would like to believe are all lovely, will use you for what they need. Be aware of this but do not let these people dictate your life. You need to focus on making yourself happy if you can because at the end, again, do you want to be the main character in your story or a side character in someone else’s? People who make you smile, or inspire you, or just lift your spirits are your tribe. Find who makes you happy and take that as the important factor in life, not are they cool enough, or will they do something for you. Be loving and give out positive energy and you will get that back.

Ok, last one and time to be a bit frivolous about it all…..

Never trust a skinny chef: Ok, I know this is a silly one but I do see that it rings true. I’m not saying that every chef needs to be obese or anything but that a chef should enjoy their own food, they should eat what they expect you to pay for. Food is to be enjoyed and relished and a chef should want to pass that love on.

 

 

New blog challenge topic…..Music

I stole this from Twitter from @Bennie_CE……A list of questions about songs, they may not be my favourite, they may not be classics but will be the first songs that come to my head.

  1. A song with a colour in the title: “Daydream in Blue” by I Monster: A really funky little tune which I’m still obsessed with despite its age. According to the man, the creators of this made better songs in another iteration of the band but from the first time I heard this song, it has stuck with me.
  2. A song with a number in the title: “3am Eternal” by the KLF: I love this dance classic, funky, fun, a great tune (still to this day will get me dancing) and a song I have on shuffle possibly more often than is strictly necessary!
  3. A song that reminds you of summertime: World (Hold On) by Bob Sinclar: I can remember being outside the place in Spain with my brother and girlfriend dancing to this in the sun. Always brings a smile to my face and sun to my mind.
  4. A song that reminds you of someone: There are so many! I suppose it would be “You could be Mine” by Guns and Roses: this reminds me of Stevie, a friend who was taken from us a few years back. I love thinking of her, and miss her so much, but I hate the fact this song was her funeral song. I want to think of the fun mental and caring Stevie, as opposed to her being dead.
  5.  A song that needs to be played LOUD: “Wish” by Nine Inch Nails is one of my favourites to play LOUD! It’s a good angry song and I’ve always found with NIN that they calm me down as opposed to make me angrier!
  6. A song that makes you want to dance: I love dancing, so to be honest, there’s lots of songs I use to dance to. An old classic is “No Good (start the dance)” by the Prodigy. I love them and apart from one time when I saw them and they were aggressive and angry, these are still one of my favourite bands to see live. This song makes me laugh and no matter what, the bassline lifts my spirits.
  7. A song to drive to: I don’t actually drive so cannot really answer this yet……
  8. A song about drugs or alcohol: Ebeneezer Goode by the Shamen. This is a classic from my youth and one that I sang along to a lot as a child probably before I really should have?! Anyway, still on my playlists and a fun song to have first thing in the morning on my dance to work.
  9. A song that makes you happy: There are so many!! I’m really lucky as there are so many songs that lift my spirits. but I think something dancey, poppy or upbeat is what I need to make me smile. I just turned on my shuffle to see what the first option was and Kitty Girl by RuPaul came up, made me smile and that answers the question for now.
  10. A song which makes you sad: Teardrop by Massive Attack. I used to really like this song but as time has gone on, maybe as I’ve got older and circumstances have changed me but now if I hear it, it can quite often bring tears to my eyes.
  11. A song you never get tired of: Cheap Thrills by Sia. I’m not a massive Sia fan but this song for some reason really sticks well with me. I love the video tto (which is rare as I almost never actually watch music videos. Plus, it’s got Sean Paul in it, so that helps make the song more like I should be hearing it on holiday or something!!
  12. A song from your preteen years: Groove is in the Heart by Deee-lite. This is a song which (ok, judge me as much as you want, I don’t care) is still on my playlist, is good for running to and is one that if the man and I are having a gaming night with the radio on, I will very happily groove round the house like a loony.
  13. One of your favourite 80’s songs: Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics. I love love love this song so much, it’s a classic from my childhood, a great slow dancing song, the video influenced me to shave my head (I did not look as good as Annie Lennox sadly, more like a cheap Billy Idol tribute act). I’ve made the man dance with me a couple of times to this and although dancing together suits neither of us, he does it to please me and I appreciate that a lot.
  14. A song you would love played at your wedding: I don’t think we’re ever going to get married – we have similar thoughts about that and although both of us come from happily married people, neither of us feels the need. We know we love each other, we know we don’t want anyone else so I don’t see the need for spending a ridiculous amount of money to throw what feels like a party for my friends and family.
  15. A song that is a cover by another artist: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger by Kanye West (a cover of Daft Punk -which is a much better song but still the cover is decent). I know KW is quite divisive so I’m not expecting people to be 100% on my bandwagon but I loved the original and was going through a more “funky” phase when this cover came out so it appealed to me quite a lot. Did make me feel old though when a younger pal of mine heard the original and her comment was “wow, did someone just rip off Kanye?”…..ahh the foibles of youth.
  16. One of your favourite classical pieces: Peer Gynt suite by Grieg. A stunning suite of music and both calming and aggressive all at once. I’ve told the man that if he comes home and this is on, it’s probably safer for him to back out again and come back later once i’ve calmed myself down! It gives me emotion, it’s clever, familiar to so many people (you’d be surprised) and one that I would say everyone should listen to at least once in their lives.
  17. A song you would sing on Karaoke: Karaoke? No way. Lip Sync is much more my style and to be fair, I’ve become better at this due to my morning entertainment (lip syncing in the lift – with the added bonus of having to potentially stop quickly in case i’m spotted!!). No Diggity by Blackstreet is a firm favourite, Worth It by Fifth Harmony is fun. Any RuPaul song is perfect for lip syncing and if i’m going the full on Drag Race route, it would have to be some kind of Paula Abdul classic.
  18. A song from the year you were born:The number one when I was born was “Save your Love” by Renee and Renato. Cheesy but fabulous and a sign that the music tastes in this country were as classy as now!!
  19. A song that makes you think about life: I think all music makes you think about life, I think. I mean, each song, whether I like it or not will have an effect on me. My mood, my personality, my attitude. I use music to pump myself up, to hide, to try and think things through so as far as I’m concerned every piece of music does this.
  20. A song that has many meanings to you: Again, these are tough, I don’t want to just narrow it down to 1 song only. This isn’t something I can do. I hate making decisions (if you are a friend of mine, this will be something you are very aware of) and will often be something that I will spend more time thinking about what song I want to hear than the song will probably last! I spend a lot of time listening to the NIN and I know that his music has always helped me in many ways and maybe that shows that the songs have many different meanings.
  21. A song with a person’s name in the title:  Polly by Nirvana. I should say first off that this was one of those songs people used to play around me as it has the same name as me. I’m not a fan of either the story or the song but was scraping the bottom of the barrel to try and find a song with someone’s name in it……(wait till I publish this, then about a million other options will no doubt come through to me!)
  22. A song that moves you forward: Vogue, by Madonna has been the most recent song that i’ve used for this. I’ve worked in our office for about 3 hours and only just realised how good the corridor is for vogueing down. I may look like a tit but I’ve got a smile on my face while I do.
  23. A song you think everyone should listen to: Justified and Ancient by the KLF ft Tammy Wynette
  24. A song by a band you wish were still together: I miss No Doubt. I used to love Gwen’s voice and I did like some of her solo stuff but No Doubt was more funky than her solo stuff appears to me. Better base, less ballads a lot of sweat. What’s not to love?
  25. A song by someone who is no longer living: From the Inside by Linkin Park. Ok, I know that LP were a band put together for the Nu Punk age and some will consider them cheeseballs but following Chester’s suicide last year I heard this song again and it made me look at their later stuff a bit deeper. As someone who has suffered from depression and has definitely considered suicide, they hit me more, the sadness and the pain that he sings through is quite emotive and is a good thing to hear, it gives me hope for the future and to know that if I am in a bad place, I am not alone.
  26. A song that makes you think about love: We’re in this together by the Nine Inch Nails is probably a romantic song, well they lyrics are about people being together, working together, getting better together. I knew when I met the man in my life that he was meant for me as he is one of the few people I know that when I casually dropped their name into our conversation, he was totally aware of who they were and we spent a long time just revelling in the finding of a fellow fan!
  27. A song which makes you sad: I try to avoid all songs which make me sad, I mean, there’s enough in my life which can make me sad so why do I need to help out! There is a lot of sad music that I listen to and it brings me to a happy place. I know that probably sounds perverse but that’s how I am.
  28. A song by an artist with a voice you love: Anything by Chris Cornell. I was gutted when he passed away last year, his voice was gravely raspy, sensual and soft. I loved Soundgarden – I think I got into them too late, everyone else wanted Nirvana stuff but I was more into the heavier side of grunge. Anyway, when he sang with Rage, or when he released his solo stuff, or even Audioslave. Those songs are stunning and his voice is amazing. If you haven’t heard it, try “Can’t Change me” it is sublime!
  29. A song you loved from your childhood: Remember you’re a womble. The wombles are a very cheesy choice I agree but I hope that this shows the fun side of my music tastes. I listen to anything really and this is an album (the Wombles Christmas album just FYI) that I am proud to have had such a dodgy past. Kids these days seem to be trying to be as cool as possible as early as possible and I’m still searching for whatever it is that makes me cool.
  30. A song which people say reminds them of you: No Good (Start the Dance) by the Prodigy. I’ve had a few friends say to me that they hear this and think of me, I don’t know why but i’ve loved this song since it came out. It speaks volumes about how I try and feel about life, I don’t want to NEED people, I want to have people in my life through choice, not by demand. It keeps me smiling and makes me dance – no matter when or where I hear it.

 

Put your music on shuffle and write about the first 10 songs….

10 SONGS:

  1. JEALOUS OF MY BOOGIE – RU PAUL: ok, this is a new ish favourite but definitely a favourite. In fact, i’m surprised that only 1 Ru song came up on my shuffle. I’m not saying all of my music is this fabulous but I think this is a fun song, i’d dance to it at a bubblegum type of place, i’d expect to be surrounded by superb queens and drinking something oddly coloured with way too many accoutrements.
  2. THE HAND THAT FEEDS – NIN: My life long (well, 20+) year long obsession with the NIN continues unabated. So much so that last week I saw they were playing in Paris (one of my favourite cities) and instantly signed up for ticket pre release. Chances are the cost would be prohibitively expensive and would put the kibosh on my plans but i’m incredibly jealous that Mr A has seen them a couple of times and i’ve never seen them once….I mean, how is that fair? This is a good song for running/first thing in the morning, it’s got such a driving sound to it, it makes me move and makes me smile, all in equal measures.
  3. FLYSWATTER – EELS: I genuinely love this song. A few years back when I was in a really bad funk, I got the chance to walk on Hot Coals for charity, I raised a fair amount of cash, had an absolute blast, broke and arrow with my throat and walked on temps of over 400 degrees C. I was sat at home that evening listening to old songs on shuffle on spotify and this came on, with the line “And if you think you won’t Walk on coals………..You will” made me laugh and everytime since then, makes me think of how great I felt afterwards, how I felt I could do anything. This has since become one of those songs where if i’m down, I will make myself feel stronger, just by playing it. Plus, since I really heard this, I have read some of E’s books,and they’re pretty great too.
  4. BONGO BONG – MANU CHAO: I could listen to this man’s voice and opinions for HOURS! I spent a lot of time in Spain listening to his albums and when I came back to the UK, I was really excited that one of my closest friends had the albums too, they became part of our everyday life and I still enjoy the instantly preppy, busy music, it makes me want to salsa around and lay on a beach, all in one!
  5. PSYCHO – MUSE: Again, another great song for anger/running. I find that to drive me I need an underlying level of fury as it gives me drive to push myself further to get it all out so I suppose this is actually a healthy song haha. I am totally obsessed with Matt Bellamy’s voice, I think it is stunning and although this isn’t my favourite Muse song, it is most definitely up there.
  6. CRAZY LEGS – HED P.E: A song from the old days. I can remember listening to this really most nights (after or before Manu) at that time in my life. Makes me laugh and want to go out clubbing – yes I know clubs wont be playing that kind of music but it’s so funky it makes me feel like I could still go out and bust a groove!
  7. HARDER, BETTER, FASTER, STRONGER – DAFT PUNK: Not only do I love Daft Punk like very few other bands, I’m still happy to listen to their albums from start to finish, in full and when I hear this song it makes me smile. I loved the fact that a few years ago, at a girls night, the original version of this came on and someone said “what, someone has ripped off Kanye???” – an excellent example of both the joys and pitfalls of working with really young people!!
  8. NO GOOD (START THE DANCE) – PRODIGY: This is still one of my favourite songs, I loved seeing the Prodigy, I loved dancing on the beach to this and it’s always sat with me as a great pick me up. I don’t need nobody to make myself feel good and this is one of those songs which I play if feeling down about myself to instantly get me feeling more pumped.
  9. CHEAP THRILLS – SIA: I’m really not a Sia fan, she seems a bit ballard-y for me but this is a great fun little song, less shrieky =more funky. Plus, the video is great too. This was a song that I heard on TV and had to find out more, there’s something about the beat which just soothes me!!
  10. JET AIRLINER – STEVE MILLER BAND: The West Wing introduced me to this song, it’s fun. frivolous and always makes me think of travelling and jetting off somewhere. I have made sure that everyone I know who is going travelling has a copy of this song and it makes me smile to know that a TV show has made this happen and has influenced me in more ways than I could ever have imagined.

So, 10 tracks on my shuffle, not all my favourites but songs I love. I try to have songs which make me happy on my phone at all times, I tend to listen to a lot of older music (i’m very out of touch) and want to learn more, i’m happy to listen to anything (classical/jazz/country) so if anyone has any songs you just can’t live without, why not drop me a line and let me know.