Just Another Monthly #3

Something to think about:

It’s a question that has been posed many times before, but one I have never given much thought to. So, I asked myself, what celebrity guests would I invite to a dinner party. My dinner party is for celebrities that are still alive only (because otherwise, I’d probably only have a table full of dead people) and it’s a dinner party for 8 people (including myself), so I need to invite 7 celebrities. So, the celebrities that would be receiving this very exclusive invite would be:

Sir David Attenborough: ok yes, let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. I mean, who wouldn’t want Sir Dave at their dinner party? He would probably terrify me talking about how messed up our planet is now, BUT we all need that. We all need to be scared about our planet’s health right now.

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Rupaul: YASSSSSSSS queen. Of course. Obvs. He is incredibly interesting, wise and so much fun. Rupaul would be a definite at my dinner party.

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Sir Ken Robinson: Who? The very clever creativity expert, speaker and international educationalist. If you’ve ever watched his TED talk you’d understand why I’d want him at my dinner party. He’s incredibly charming and witty, but that aside he is fascinating. One of those people you could listen to all day. I bang on about my love for Sir Ken in my blog post about the importance of creativity for children HERE

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Michelle Obama: Major girl crush on our Shell here. I can just imagine it: Michelle lining up the sambucca shots at 2am, regaling us all with tales of the White House and slagging off Trump and I am 100% here for it.

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Danny Dyer: Why? Do I really need to explain? Because it’s DANNY FACKING DYER that’s why. He would also be sat next to me, so we can slag off David Cameron together. Twat.

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Rylan: Because, well……Rylan. Also, he would clearly be excellent company, a whole lot of fun and is actually a lot more intelligent than his TV persona portrays.

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Vanessa Feltz: Damn straight, I went there. Come on, she would be absolutely brilliant at a dinner party. I bloody LOVE mouthy, clever women, so Vanessa is right up my street. And if Vanessa can’t make it, I’d invite Kathy Burke.

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This now begs the question, who would you invite to your dinner party?

Something to be cheerful about:

  • Cheerful and delicious, a 64-metre-long “fatberg” in Sidmouth has finally been removed. Workers winched down a manhole wearing special breathing gear, chipped away at the mass of congealed oils and rubbish (mmmm) and filled 36 tankers. The fatberg will now be converted into energy to use at a sewage plant. Good work!
  • The Duchess of York has not only embarked on writing poetry, but her best pal Will.i.am. wants to set her poetic verses to music. Apparently, he refers to her as his “homegirl” and as the “real Fergie”, and the two of them regularly take tea together. Watch out for the music collaboration the world has probably not been waiting for.
  • A wildlife expert, Kate MacRae, has built an adorable bird box that looks like a miniature living room inside for the birds in her garden and has set up live cams inside. It is absolutely gorgeous. You can view this live cam and others that she has set up HERE.

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Something to buy:

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Black Floral Print Tie Sleeve Tea Dress, £28, from Miss Selfridge

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Rock & Pop Icons Tea Towels, £12, full range from Bold & Noble

Something to read:

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Half the Sky: How to Change the World by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn.

This is another one of those books that everyone should be forced to read (I really should do a post on that), it takes you around the world meeting amazing women who have survived or are still struggling in terrible circumstances. Here’s one fact that my mind is still reeling from in the book:

More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they are girls, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century combined.

It’s not a book to be taken lightly. It’s a difficult read, detailing female oppression across the world. What’s great about the book is that it talks about ways and initiatives that local women in these countries have been able to help themselves (and this seems to be the most effective way as opposed to the “white saviour” method). This book leaves you with a feeling of angry injustice, but also a feeling of respect, awe and hope for these women. Everyone should read this book and read it now. The website for the Half the Sky movement is HERE.

Something to watch:

I have been watching so many good programmes of late and these are the latest that I thoroughly recommend.

Derry Girls

Derry Girls Season 2

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Russian Doll

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After Life

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Fleabag Season 2

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Broad City Season 5 (last ever season whaaaa!)

Something to cook:

Goats Cheese & Walnut Gnocchi

Speedy and very easy dish that you can quickly cobble together for a fresh evening meal.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

1 pack of gnocchi

1 pack of green beans (or any greens you fancy)

Butter

Couple of fistfuls of walnuts

Garlic Clove

Goats cheese

Half a lemon

Salt & pepper

Method

  • Steam the greens for 6 minutes or so
  • Then fry the greens in a bit of butter along with the walnuts
  • Add the gnocchi to the water you used to steam the greens and boil for a couple of minutes
  • Add the garlic clove (crushed or chopped- whatever you prefer) to the greens & walnuts and fry for a minute
  • Juice the lemon half and chop the cheese
  • Drain the gnocchi
  • Mix the gnocchi, greens & walnuts together along with the goats cheese, lemon juice and seasoning
  • Shove in mouth
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Again, many apologies for the terrible food photography. It’s not my forte.

Something to help save the planet with:

Conscious

I’m bit of a Paperchase whore to be honest with you, so I was super pleased to hear that they have brought out their own Conscious Living stationary range. Everything is made from recycled and ethically resourced materials. They’ve used materials such as old coffee cups, recycled leather, bamboo fibre, sugar canes and old water bottles to make their products. You can view the full range HERE and read about the different materials they’ve used HERE. Prices range from 80p to £20. Well done Paperchase.

Something to enjoy from the Blogosphere:

I’ve mentioned this before, but Christine from I’m Sick and So Are You is a terrible writer and her blog is awful. This particular post of hers left me feeling absolutely nothing and definitely isn’t one of the most important blog posts I’ve ever read. If your body isn’t quite what it used to be, it might mean nothing to you too. Definitely don’t read this post called An Ode to a Broken Body HERE.

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Something to listen to:

Something to laugh at

Louis Theroux reviewing UK rap:

Just Another Monthly #4 will be back in one month’s time.

Don’t forget you can vote for Just Another Blog From a Woman to win a blogging award HERE in the Best Entertainment Blog category.

Annual Bloggers Bash 2019

I’m a super lucky girl and the reason being that I’ve been nominated for the Best Entertainment Blog award at this year’s Annual Bloggers Bash, which I am so utterly grateful and excited about. If you so wish, you can vote for my blog to win HERE. It’s super easy, just follow the link, scroll down to the Best Entertainment Blog category and select me and vote! Job done! No need to register nor provide an email.

So, I thought I’d cobble together an example list of some of my best entertainment blog posts, just in case you’re not entirely sure whether I am worthy of the title or not.

***Click on the titles to take you to the post.***

British Actors Playing Americans on TV Shows

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Celebrities That Should Just Get Back Together

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The Case of the Missing Princess

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15 Favourite Films That Make Me Sob Like A Baby

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The Representation of Brits in American Culture

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Top 10 American Sitcoms

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Top 10 British Sitcoms

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Top 10 TV Character Fashion Idols

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My Top Ten Tunes Series 

This blog series looks at the best songs from a particular year and it also includes all the news stories and best films from the year too. The series starts in 1960 and goes through to 2018.

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My annual cultural review

Where I review all the best music, TV and films from the year.

Hand drawn lettering greeting card with calligraphy for 2018 Happy New Year

My annual Oscar outfits review

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My seasonal playlists

My most popular one is my Halloween one, but as we’re a bit early for that, the link above is for my Chilled Summertime Playlist.

My top tunes by a particular artist 

My most popular one so far being the Beatles.

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My Book Club

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My monthly newsletter

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Don’t forget voting closes on Wednesday 24th April and good luck to all my fellow nominees!

Vote HERE

 

Top 15 Tunes That Make Me Sob Like a Baby

Recently, on Twitter someone asked what songs make you cry? I immediately thought of the song that makes me cry like no other, but I then thought of so many more that render me pretty useless, sobbing like the emotional nightmare that I am. As I wrote about the 15 films that make me cry like a baby HERE, I thought I’d do a similar post with songs. For me, nothing evokes emotion more than music. Some of these songs are here for no other reason than they are emotional songs that make me cry and some are here because they have very personal reasons attached to them. I was going to write about why I selected each song, but then I realised it wouldn’t make for the most cheerful of posts. So, I’ll just simply leave the selected songs here.

15. They Won’t Go When I Go by George Michael

14. Hurt by Johnny Cash

13. Winter by Tori Amos

12. Stay Another Day by East 17

11. When I Die by Lush

10. Who Knew by P!nk

9. Bright Eyes by Art Garfunkel

(Bloody Watership Down)

8. The Whole of the Moon by the Waterboys

7. Breathe Me by Sia

6. E.T. theme tune

5. This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush

4. Memory from the Cats soundtrack

3. Disarm by Smashing Pumpkins

2. Distant Sky by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

And the song that makes me cry like no other is…

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1. When I Grow Up from the Matilda soundtrack

Exhibit A: the lyrics “When I grow up, I will eat sweets everyday” (oh the pureness of it)

Exhibit B: the lyrics “When I grow up, I will be brave enough, to fight the creatures that you have to fight beneath the bed each night, to be a grown up

God damn you Tim Minchin *waves fist at air*

 

The One That Almost Made It: Creep by Scala & Kolacny Brother

This kind of list, is always going to be subjective and obviously very personal, so tell me which tearjerkers would make your list in the comments below.

See you on 12th April for Just Another Monthly #3

Top 15 The Cure Tunes

 

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The Cure as babies (1980)

Here’s my top 15 The Cure tunes. Spotify playlist at the end as always.

15. Jumping Someone Else’s Train (1979, did not chart, Boys Don’t Cry)

14. Let’s Go To Bed (1982, no.44, Japanese Whispers)

13. Why Can’t I Be You? (1987, no.21, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)

12. A Forest (1980, no.31, Seventeen Seconds)

11. Killing an Arab- notably now sung as Killing Another (1978, did not chart, Boys Don’t Cry)

10. Friday I’m in Love (1992, no.6, Wish)

9. The Lovecats (1983, no.7, Japanese Whispers)

8. Inbetween Days (1985, no.15, The Head on the Door)

7. Lullaby (1989, no.5, Disintegration)

6. Close to Me (1985, no.24, The Head on the Door)

5. Lovesong (1989, no.18, Disintegration)

4. The Caterpillar (1984, no.14, The Top)

3. Pictures of You (1990, no.24, Disintegration)

2. Just Like Heaven (1987, no.29, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)

And my all time favourite Cure song is…

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1. Boys Don’t Cry (1979, did not chart, re-released in 1986, no.22, Boys Don’t Cry)

The One That Almost Made It: Mint Car (1996, no.31, Wild Mood Swings)

Don’t forget to tell me below which is your favourite The Cure song below.

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See you next week for the Top 15 Tunes That Make Me Cry Like a Baby!

For more musical artist top tunes click on the link:

Beatles  Blur  Björk  George Michael  Kylie Minogue  Madonna  Prince  Pulp  Suede  Tori Amos

Just Another Monthly #2

Something to think about:

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My most hated word in the English language? Just.

“Why are you doing it like that? Just do it like this?”

Just do it”

Just don’t do it”

“It’s easy. Just…”

Just. Just. JUST

Why does such a seemingly inoffensive word rile me so much? It presumes so much. It presumes that the answer to your problem is simple and why haven’t you thought of it? It’s ok, the irony is not lost on me. The word just is in both my blog name and this post’s title. However, it’s the use of the word just when telling someone to do something that specifically gets my goat. Here’s an example:

Some years ago, when I was having terrible problems settling my baby in a cot for the first time, I had a little moan about it at the baby group I regularly attended.

“She won’t settle. She screams. She cries. She doesn’t like the cot at all and was much happier in her moses basket.”

“Ah,” interjected a fellow mum, “just put her in a sleeping bag in the cot”

“I’ve done that. It didn’t make a difference” was my reply

Just put her in the moses basket in the cot, to get her used to it”

“Yep, tried that too. Also didn’t work”

Just comfort her whilst she’s in the cot crying, so she knows there’s nothing to be scared of”

“I mean, I’ve definitely done that….”

Just leave her to cry it out”

“Sure, I’ve done that too, but she seems particularly unhappy…”

“Well, I don’t have any other suggestions. Sorry”

And that was the end of the conversation. The thing was, I wasn’t looking for advice. I merely wanted to have a moan. To get it off one’s chest as it were. And all I wanted in return was a “oh dear, that must be shit. It will be ok though” type response. Instead, I was left feeling even more frustrated than before the conversation.

Here’s the thing, it’s my theory that most of the time when someone is upset about something or having a moan about something, they rarely want or need advice. Chances are if they’re relatively intelligent, they’ve already tried all the obvious solutions. All they need is someone to listen and allow them to vent. We all need this outlet.

In a world where mental health is on the increase and we are encouraged to talk about our problems, we need as much encouragement to ensure people know how to listen and give people space to talk. It’s all very well giving advice and I’m sure people like the mum in my example have good intentions, but we should not underestimate the power of just listening and just letting people talk. Ha. Oh ok, perhaps I don’t dislike the word just all the time.

By the way, my baby got used to the cot. All she needed was a bit of time to get used to it. Nothing else.

Something to be cheerful about:

  • 5,000 people queued up in the rain to see if they were able to help save the life of one little 5-year old boy. Oscar Saxelby-Lee has a very rare form of blood cancer and needs a stem cell transplant in the next 3 months. After an appeal for potential donors, almost 5,000 people turned up at Oscar’s school to register for testing to see if they’re a match. This is over double the amount of people that have turned up for any other appeal for donors from the DKMS blood cancer charity- the previous record being 2,200. A further 1,000 people have since registered to be tested to see if they’re a match for Oscar.

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  • India has opened its first hospital for rescued and abused elephants. The hospital in Uttar Pradesh has already treated 26 elephants. The elephants have mainly been rescued from tourist attractions such as circuses, street-riding and also from private owners. Elephants held in these conditions results in them developing many health conditions and malnutrition. The hospital has plenty of sophisticated equipment such as ultrasound scans, radiology, laboratory testing and a hydrotherapy pool to help nurse the poor elephants back to health. Once they are healthy again, they are sent to elephant sanctuaries to spend their retirement in full health and happiness.

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Something to buy:

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Louche Jude Pooch Pyjama Shirt, £45, from Joy the Store

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Senora Ceramic Vase, £39.99, from Okla

Something to read:

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I’ve already talked about my love of food HERE and mentioned Ruby’s newsletter there, but I implore you to read this book by Ruby. It’s one long love song about food and reasons to enjoy it guilt free. Honestly, you won’t be able to read it without salivating. There’s also the odd recipe sewn in between all the chapters about why food matters and why we should enjoy it. It’s all about the pleasure.

Something to watch:

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Anybody that follows me on Instagram, will know that I’m currently obsessed with the Netflix reality makeover show Queer Eye. It’s so much more than a makeover show though. There’s more focus on making people feel happier with themselves and their lives. The Fab 5 (Karamo, Jonathan, Antoni, Tan and Bobby) spend a lot time sitting down with their heroes (as the participants are referred to as) talking to them and finding out about their lives and pasts. The show is engineered to be incredibly emotive,  but if you’re like me then you’re rather partial to a tearjerker. I’ve become obsessed with the show, binge watching the first two seasons, but for me the best thing about the show is the Fab 5. Their charisma and warmth is infectious. I am desperate for them to be my new best friends. And the good news is that the new season is on Netflix from today. So grab a box of tissues and get watching Queer Eye.

Something to cook:

Shakshouka

Okay so boiling an egg in a frying pan of tinned tomatoes, may not sound the most appealing, but trust me this recipe is delicious. It’s a very comforting and warming dish (and looking out of the window right now, we still need that comfort and warmth) plus the ingredients are usually always at hand. It’s traditionally a North African/Middle Eastern breakfast, but I have it for lunch.

Ingredients (serves 1)

Olive Oil

I garlic clove

Chilli flakes (as much as you like)

Paprika

1 egg (or 2 if you’re hungry)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

Salt

Parmesan

Method

  • Fry the garlic in the oil with the chilli flakes for a minute
  • Chuck the tin of chopped tomatoes in and get them boiling
  • Crack the egg in the middle
  • Sprinkle parmesan on top (again, as much as you like)
  • Put a plate or lid over the frying pan and leave to simmer on a low heat for about 5 mins
  • Serve with a thick slice of buttered bread and more parmesan on top

Tip: you can pad this meal out with sliced peppers and/or onions. Fry them first before you add the tomatoes and egg. You can also add other spices to it that you might enjoy such as cumin and cayenne pepper.

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Sorry my food photos are pretty rubbish, but trust me- this is bloody lovely.

Something to help save the planet with:

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Natural Dental Floss £5

Plastic-free dental floss! I use this regularly (do I get a sticker?) and it’s as good as regular floss. It’s made from natural and sustainable silk, PETA certified cruelty free, 100% natural with no chemicals and it comes in a little reusable glass jar. When you finish the floss in this jar, you can buy refills, which in turns helps limit plastic waste. You can buy it in either mint or cardamon flavour. Oh and the floss is compostable. So what are you waiting for? Get flossing! You can get it HERE

Something to enjoy from the Blogosphere:

Please pop over to Angela’s blog and have a read of her candid and (as always) thoughtful post on co-parenting HERE. She always writes so well and this is an exceptional post on the difficulties of having to regularly wave goodbye to your child.

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Something to listen to:

Just Another Playlist #2- A weekly mix tape of an eclectic collection of tunes (maybe to listen to while you make the Shakshouka)

Something to laugh at:

Imma just gonna leave this here without comment:

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***Don’t forget you can sign up to receive this monthly newsletter straight into your mailbox. Just click the little “Follow” box at the bottom, right hand of the screen and enter your email address***

See you next week for the top The Cure songs and Just Another Monthly will be back in a month’s time!

Top 15 Tori Amos Tunes

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First of all, did you know that Tori was originally in a pop-synth 80s band called Y Can’t Tori Read? To appreciate how amazing they were, HERE is a video of theirs. I think you’ll agree, they were pretty special. Oh and here’s an even more special photo of Tori from those days:

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You can hardly tell it was the 80s

Tori seems to be an artist that divides opinion. She’s marmite. You either love her or hate her. I think it’s safe to say, that I indeed love her. I first discovered her as a 15 year old in my bedroom getting ready for school one morning, engulfing myself in Exclamation! perfume and cleansing with Anne French cleanser when Simon Mayo played Silent All These Years on his radio breakfast show. It was love at first…listen. Tori has supported many a teenager during the 90s through any difficult times. So many people of a certain age, will have that Tori album that helped them survived. Little Earthquakes, Under the Pink and Scarlet’s Walk all did that for me. Tori has built a fiercely loyal fan base and for good reason. She connects with her listeners, she tells her stories candidly and wears her heart on her sleeve. She has also consistently released new material throughout her career, rarely taking a break. She is undoubtedly an album artist rather than a singles artist, as you’ll be able to tell from this list, many of the songs listed are album tracks rather than singles. And which is my favourite of her albums?

Favourite Tori Amos album: Little Earthquakes (1992, no.14)

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And, here are my top 15 Tori Amos tunes.

15. Jackie’s Strength (1998, did not chart, From the Choirgirl Hotel)

14. Icicle (1994, album track, Under the Pink)

13. Happy Phantom (1992, album track, Little Earthquakes)

12. A Sorta Fairytale (2002, no.41, Scarlet’s Walk)

11. I Can’t See New York (2002, album track, Scarlet’s Walk)

10. Putting the Damage On (1996, album track, Boys for Pele)

9. Precious Things (1992, album track, Little Earthquakes)

8. Yes, Anastasia (1994, album track, Under the Pink)

7. Spark (1998, no.16, From the Choirgirl Hotel)

6. Taxi Ride (2003, did not chart, Scarlet’s Walk)

5. Professional Widow- Armand’s Star Trunk Funkin’ Mix (1996, no.1, Boys for Pele)

4. Me and a Gun (1991, did not chart, Little Earthquakes)

3. Silent All These Years (1991, re-released in 1992, no.26, Little Earthquakes)

2. Cornflake Girl (1994, no.4, Under the Pink)

And my all time favourite Tori song is…

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1. Winter (1992, no.25, Little Earthquakes)

The one that almost made it: Smells Like Teen Spirit (1992, B-side to Silent All These Years in the UK)

Don’t forget to tell me which is your favourite Tori Amos track below.

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See you next week for Just Another Monthly #2 and the following week will be top tunes from The Cure!

For other musical artist top tunes click on the link:

Beatles Blur Björk The Cure George Michael Kylie Minogue Madonna Prince Pulp Suede

Top 15 Suede Tunes

 

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Older and less heroin addled Brett Anderson is fit.

Oh yes, (just) another blog post, (just) another Britpop band. And today, we’re talking about Suede. So we had the Oasis vs Blur thing. We had Pulp challenging both of those bands for the Britpop crown and then we had Suede. Suede who sometimes (wrongly) get forgotten about or dismissed when discussing the best bands from that era. Suede who’s loss of their key songwriter after (actually during) the recording of their “difficult second album” spelled the demise of the band, but leader vocalist (and their other key songwriter), Brett Anderson was having none of it. 30 years after forming (happy anniversary guys) they are still churning out the tunes. In fact, their 8th studio album was released last year and I named it as one of my favourite albums of the year (right HERE in fact). Also, slight side note, but am I the only one that remembers the original rivalry was in fact between Suede vs Blur and not with Oasis? Does this make Blur the real troublemakers?

Favourite Suede album: Suede (1993, no.1)

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Here are my favourite tunes by our Suede.

15. Stay Together (1994, no.3, non-album single)

14. The Invisibles (2018, did not chart, The Blue Hour)

13. Sometimes I’ll Float Away (2013, album track, Bloodsports)

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12. By The Sea (1996, album track, Coming Up)

11. Saturday Night (1997, no.6, Coming Up)

10. Beautiful Ones (1996, no.8, Coming Up)

9. So Young (1993, no.22, Suede)

8. We Are the Pigs (1994, no.18, Dog Man Star)

7. Pantomime Horse (1993, album track, Suede)

6. Trash (1996, no.3, Coming Up)

5. The Drowners (1992, no.49, Suede)

4. Metal Mickey (1992, no.17, Suede)

3. The Wild Ones (1994, no.18, Dog Man Star)

2. The Next Life (1993, album track, Suede)

And my all time favourite Suede song is…

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1. Animal Nitrate (1993, no.7, Suede)

The one that almost made it: Brass in Pocket (1992, track featured on NME‘s charity compilation album Ruby Trax)

Don’t forget to tell me your favourite Suede song below.

See you next week for the top Tori Amos tunes!

For other musical artist top tens click on the link:

Beatles Björk Blur The Cure George Michael Kylie Minogue Madonna Prince Pulp Tori Amos

Best Oscar Outfits 2019

Here’s my annual collection of my favourite outfits from this year’s Oscars.

Best Dressed Women

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Helen Mirren. Always gets it right.

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Roma star Yalitza Aparicio

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Regina King who won the award for Best Supporting Actress

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Jennifer Lopez

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Lady Gaga who won the award for Best Original Song

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Maya Rudolph

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Glenn Close

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Melissa McCarthy

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Gemma Chan. This one will divide opinion, but I quite like it. It has a Killing Eve vibe about it.

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Kiki Layne

Best Dressed Men

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Best dressed of the Oscars- Billy Porter.

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David Oyelowo

Best Dressed Couple

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Oscar winner Rami Malek and Lucy Boynton

What-the-Fuck-is-Going-On-Here Award

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Charlize Theron. Hair and make-up look nice, the dress not so much.

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I LOVE Rachel Weisz and she was outstanding in The Favourite, but this outfit gets a big NO from me.

Honorary Mention (because I love her)

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Our very own Olivia Coleman, who walked away with the best actress award

That’s it folks! See you again same time, same place next year!

And don’t forget to tell me which outfit is your favourite outfit. I think mine is probably Helen Mirren. Again.

For previous years’ outfits, click on the links: 2016 2017 2018

 

Top 15 Bjork Tunes

 

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Little baby Bjork

God, I love this woman. I love that she is like no other musician. That her music conveys so much beauty. Her voice so much emotion. I’ve loved her since I first heard the Sugarcubes track Hit (one of the greatest pop songs of all time) back in 1992. However, it was her first single Human Behaviour, as a solo artist that I rushed out and bought on 7″ (yes I am that old) that cemented my lifelong obsession and adoration of the Icelandic singer. Yet, she is more than just a singer. She is an artist, a songwriter, a performer and a composer. Her innovative and eclectic artistry has spanned a 30 year career and I have no doubt that she has a lot more to offer. Her artistic style is so remarkable that you can currently catch a Björk exhibition at MoMA. Tragically, I still haven’t seen her live and can we please not talk about the time she played a Glastonbury that I was attending and heroically drunk on Somerset cider, I didn’t quite get round to making it to the NME Stage in time to watch her. Don’t. It’s almost as bad as the time, I didn’t quite get round to watching David Bowie at Glastonbury (you can’t possibly despair of me as much as I despair of myself).

Favourite Björk album: Homogenic (1997, no.4)

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And here are all my favourite Björk songs. There’s a Spotify playlist at the end as per.

15. The Dull Flame of Desire (2008, did not chart, Volta)

14. Triumph of a Heart (2005, no.31, Medúlla)

13. Like Someone in Love (1993, album track, Debut)

12. Army of Me (1995, no.10, Post)

11. Human Behaviour (1993, no.36, Debut)

10. Unravel (1997, album track, Homogenic)

9. Pagan Poetry (2001, no.38, Verspertine)

8. Big Time Sensuality (1993, no.17, Debut)

7. Come to Me (1993, album track, Debut)

6. All Is Full of Love (1999, no.24, Homogenic)

5. Isobel (1995, no.23, Post)

4. Jóga (1997, did not chart, Homogenic)

3. Venus as a Boy (1993, no.29, Debut)

2. Bachelorette (1997, no.21, Homogenic)

And my all time favourite Björk song is…

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1. Hyperballad (1996, no.8, Post)

The one that almost made it: Cosmogony (2011, did not chart, Biophilia)

Don’t forget to tell me your favourite Björk track below.

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See you next week for top Suede tunes!

For other musical artist top tens click on the link:

Beatles Blur The Cure George Michael Kylie Minogue Madonna Prince Pulp Suede Tori Amos

Just Another Monthly

Something to think about:

accomplishment ceremony education graduation

Once when I casually mentioned in passing my attendance at university, it was met with a scoffing dismissal “Pah, I went to the University of Life, mate. No amount of education can teach you that”. True, BUT…..This wasn’t the first time me being a graduate has been criticised and met with an assumption that I know less about life because of going to university. It begs the question, do people who do this, think people stop living and experiencing life when they attend university? Like many students, I held down a part-time job during term time and worked full-time during the holidays as well as -of course- studying full-time. I met and lived with people from all different backgrounds. And I worked my tiny derriere off to obtain my degree (unlike the lazy stereotype that all students are lackadaisical). None of this is “not learning about life”. Also, university is for only 3 years (4/5 years max) of one’s life. If it truly does take you away from learning about life, it really is only for a small amount of time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t by any means think that going to university is a superior life choice. I’m not some kind of arsehole that walks around thinking they’re better than anyone that hasn’t been to university. And of course, being or not being a graduate is not an indicator of someone’s intelligence. I knew plenty of people at uni, who I would squint at and wonder how on earth they managed to get into university and there are countless people I know who are very clever and successful, but did not attend uni (my husband being one of them). There are many life choices people can make and university is just one of many. So here’s the thing, why is it ok for some people to openly criticise my life choice of going to uni? And to criticise it in a way that demeaning my character seems to be the motivation. I give very little fucks whether you’ve been to uni or not. Why do you give any that I have? We’re all different and all make different choices about our lives. Just because something is the right choice for you, doesn’t mean that it is for everyone. Relax. Like I said, I really don’t think people care what your choices are regarding your education (and if they do- they aren’t worth worrying about). Literally, all people care about is whether you’re a wanker or not. And insinuating that I know less about life than you do because I studied for an extra 3 years than you, is you know…a bit wankerish.

Something to be cheerful about:

It ain’t all going to shit you know. In this week’s news:

  • sandwich chain Pret A Manger has opened a new hostel this week that will provide jobs and housing for the city’s homeless. I worked for Pret for several years and can vouch that they have always cared for the homeless. In its infancy, any left over sandwiches would be bagged up and taken to local shelters. Nothing would go to waste. Pret hopes this hostel will be the first of many to open across the country. What a great idea to break the cycle of homelessness.
  • scientists have said the ozone layer is continuing to recover well. The northern hemisphere is due to be repaired by 2030 and the entire layer by 2060. This is due to global reduction of harmful gases. Great news, but drastic action is still needed to help further protect the planet from climate change.
  • goat yoga is a thing of the past. In England, you can now do Alpaca yoga. Yep, in sunny Devon you can now do yoga classes in a field of fuzzy alpacas and mediate amongst the herd in a mindful manner. Sign me up!

photo of a llama

 

Something to buy:

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Gingham flower dress, £85, Coco Fennell

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Please Go Away clutch bag, £25, from I Love Mel

Something to read:

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Whether you have depression, have suffered from it in past, know someone who is suffering from it or just want to learn more about it (and life), then please stop and read this book. Beautifully written by Matt Haig, who relays his own personal experiences with depression and anxiety. It will make you laugh and cry in equal measures. One of those books that you feel everyone should be made to read.

Something to watch:

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Roma won the BAFTA for Best Film this week (and Best Film not in the English Language, Best Cinematography and Best Director). I absolutely adored this film. Honest, moving, sweet, artistic and at times funny. After I watched it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Whilst, I’m still not 100% sure it should have won the Best Film category, it was most definitely worthy of the other three wins. You can watch it now on Netflix and if you’re a fan of films like this, then I guarantee you’ll love Roma.

Something to cook:

Chocolate Raspberry Heart Cake

Has it been Valentine’s Day this week? Well as you know, I’m not one for romance (you can read about it HERE), but I do like any excuse to bake. So, every year (if I can be bothered), I make this chocolate raspberry heart cake originally created by Annabel Karmel and slightly amended by me.

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A not very good (and old school Instagrammed) photo of my chocolate raspberry heart cake

Ingredients:

180g soft butter

180g caster sugar

180g self-raising flour

30g cocoa powder

3 large eggs

2 tbsp milk

Filling:

200ml double cream

Fresh raspberries

Icing:

100g dark chocolate

30g unsalted butter

Raspberry jam

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160/180/gas mark 4. Grease and line the bottom of a heart shaped tin (or whatever cake tins you might have at hand. I got my silicone heart shaped tin from good ole M&S)
  2. Chuck all the cake ingredients together. Take Mary Berry’s advice and make sure everything is at room temperature. If your butter is still hard and cold- melt it in the microwave for a few seconds. Give everything a jolly good mix.
  3. Whack it in the tin and bake it in the oven for 35-40mins. Take the tin out and leave for a couple of minutes. Then take the cake carefully out of the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  4. Now, let’s make the icing. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over the pan of simmering water. Then leave to cool.
  5. Next, the filling. Whisk the cream until stiff. Mix with a good handful of the raspberries.
  6. Once the cake is cooled. Carefully, oh so very carefully slice in half. Then slather a bit of raspberry jam on the bottom half. Then dollop the cream filling on top. Then place the top half on and carefully press down.
  7. Slather more raspberry jam on the top half.
  8. Once the icing is cool. Paste it on top of the cake and around the sides (if you like or leave the sides “naked” if you prefer that look).
  9. Cover the top of the cake with the rest of the fresh raspberries.
  10. Stuff it into your face and enjoy every mouthful.
  11. Sharing this cake with your partner is not compulsory.

Something to help save the planet with:

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Beeswax Wraps kids pack of 4

Beeswax Wraps: Every little helps, eh? These little gems have been fantastic. I literally haven’t used any cling film since I bought them (coupled with silicone lids I also invested in). These beeswax wraps cling to food, just like cling film. I use them to wrap sandwiches, snacks, cheese, halved veg and there’s probably lots of other ways you can use them too. You just clean them along with all the rest of your washing up and when you have used them so many times, you can no longer use them any more, they are compostable. I’ve had mine for 6 months and there’s plenty of life left in them. Buy them HERE.

Something to enjoy from the Blogosphere:

Go have a read of this blog post HERE. It is one to cheer you all up. Features a mum who is now my role model quite frankly.

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Seriously, don’t mess with her.

Something to listen to:

Just Another Playlist #1- A weekly mix tape of an eclectic collection of tunes (maybe to listen to while you make the cake)

Something to laugh at:

  • Look no further than the SimonCowellsShoes.jpg Twitter account HERE. I am so thankful for this account. It is exactly what the internet is for.
  • And lastly, these french bull dogs with googly eyes are EVERYTHING:

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See you next week for the top Björk tunes (and Just Another Monthly will be back in a month’s time)!