My 10 Most Popular Posts from 2018

I thought I’d give you a countdown of my most popular posts form this year. What an up and down blogging year. I’ve written a total of 84 posts! I went and won myself a blogging award! But in the second half of the year, I haven’t been able to produce as many posts as normal as because….well you know…that thing called life.

So here they are, and I must say, I am very surprised at my no.1.

***Click on the titles to read each post***

10. Budget Beauty Products

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Probably one of my more useful posts, even though it was an unusual one from me.

9. Top 10 American Sitcoms

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LOVED doing this post. Still love all my choices and no Seinfield still doesn’t make my top 10. You’re just going to have to find a way to live with it. Soz.

8. The School Run Game

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Oh, I am very glad, this is in here. It is still very much my life and very possibly yours too.

7. Don’t Make Me Go Out

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Ah yes, this is the post where I’m a bit miserable and even more so at this time of year, I stand by everything I say in this post.

6. Ironing: why bother?

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This was my attempt at starting a revolution. I still say it: “Throw out the irons, people”

5. The Insignificance of Romance

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The one where I gave two fingers to hearts and flowers

4. Celebrities That Should Just Get Back Together

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None of them have got back together since I wrote this. None of them listened to me. Idiots.

 

AND THE TOP THREE POSTS WERE…..

3. How To Break Up With Your Phone- Week I

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How’s your phone addiction going? Mine is still a work in progress, but I’m a lot better than I was. Probably should have a re-read of this book though…

2. In Celebration of Food

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Of course a pornographic article was going to be popular with you very clever and astute readers. You are my people. Now make me dinner.

And my post popular post in 2018 was…..

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1. Every Live Act I Have Ever Seen

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Whaaaaaaa? The post I quickly cobbled together in about 10 minutes and posted as a laugh along with my mate sexy Phil Taylor?! I literally didn’t think anyone would care, but there you go, folks. It’s been updated recently too!

The one that didn’t quite make my top ten: Just a few clicks away from being in my top ten was The Representation of Brits in American Culture

My least popular post this year (for balance): Oh go give it some love- bless it- Just Another Book Club- June book

My post popular post of all time: It’s still- Why Women’s Procreation Choices Are None of Your Business

And here’s a list of my TOP TEN POSTS FROM 2017

Thank you so much for reading and Happy New Year!

2018 Culture Review: the best of TV, Books and Music

Here’s my succinct cultural review of 2018. I have completely failed you regarding film this year though. My local independent cinema is my idea of church and I usually visit it several times a month, but for one reason or another- I just haven’t made it there for half the time I normally would. So, it just wouldn’t be fair to say which I think are the best films from this year. Onwards with music, books and TV though. I’ve been fully engaged with all of those as per.  There’s a longer playlist at the end of over 70 of the best singles and album tracks from the year for y’all.

 

Best Books I’ve Read This Year

5. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

4. This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay

3. Animal by Sara Pascoe

2. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

1. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeymoon 

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Best TV Programme

10. Better Call Saul (ALWAYS excellent. Question is, is it now better than Breaking Bad?)

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9. Save Me (You can tell Lennie James wrote this as his character has sex with three different women in it. It also happens to be very good)

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8. Sharp Objects (All 3 of these actors are fantastic in this. Incredibly gripping. And the post-credits ending…)

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7. The Good Place (Just lovely, heart-warming fun with a strong cast. Plus Ted Danson- 100% would.)

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6. The Assassination of Gianni Versace (Darren Chriss’s chilling portrayal of Andrew Cunanan is phenomenal in this)

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5. Glow (nothing but glorious 80s fun)

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4. The Bodyguard (I may have had a mini nervous breakdown watching this. Outstanding.)

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3. Sally4Ever (not to be watched if you’re easily offended. However, if you’re not then this is essential viewing. Cringeworthy performances by an excellent cast)

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2. This Country (perfect British comedy with a touch of vulnerability. KERRRRRRRRRRY! WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?)

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1. Killing Eve (give both of these actors ALL THE AWARDS)

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Best Album

5. The Blue Hour by Suede

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4. Rebound by Eleanor Friedberger

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3. Ruins by First Aid Kit

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2. Chris by Christine & the Queens

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1. Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae

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Top Ten Tunes

10. All My Dreams by Roisin Murphy

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9. Dancing by Kylie Minogue

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8. no tears left to cry by Ariana Grande

7. Girlfriend by Christine and the Queens

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6. Make Me Feel by Janelle Monae

5. Paradise by George Ezra

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4. I Am Woman by Pink Martini

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3. Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now by Amanda Palmer & Jasmine Power

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2. Edge of Town by Middle Kids

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1. Missing U by Robyn

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Honorary mention & best music video: This is America by Childish Gambino. At times shocking and difficult to watch, the symbolism used in this video and Donald Glover’s artistry and social commentary are exceptional.

So, you know the score. Which song, album and/or TV programme are your favourites from this year? And please, please let me know which have been your favourite films that you’ve seen this year. I have a lot of catching up to do.

And here’s an extended playlist of my favourite songs from 2018.

See you next week for my Top Ten Tunes from 1972!

Top Ten Tunes- 1971

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1971.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

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Opening day at the Walt Disney World Theme Park

In 1971, a stairway crush at the Rangers vs Celtic football match left 66 dead, several bombs were exploded around the UK by the Angry Brigade– a left-wing revolutionary group, Qatar gains independence from the UK, the death toll in The Troubles in Northern Ireland reaches 100 with the death of 14yr-old Annette McGavigan who got caught in crossfire between British soldiers and the IRA, the first CAT scan took place at Wimbledon hospital, the House of Commons voted to join the EEC (European Economic Community), the UK became the sixth nation to successfully launch a satellite into orbit, the world’s first domestic violence shelter opens in West London, 15 people are killed and 17 are injured in a bomb attack in Belfast, border battles between India and Pakistan erupt into full-blown war, The Walt Disney World Theme Park opens, the United Arab Emirates is established, Jim Morrison is found dead in a bathtub in Paris, Apollo 14 lands on the moon and a Clockwork Orange, Dirty Harry, Fiddler on the Roof, Shaft, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Get Carter, Walkabout and Diamonds Are Forever are all released.

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Only 5 years left and then we’re done, gang! I’m going to miss doing these. Another week of music from the past, another week of legendary tunes. Here’s my favourites from 1971, in no particular order.

1. Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield

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2. I Feel the Earth Move by Carole King

3. Spanish Harlem by Aretha Franklin

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4. Let’s Stay Together by Al Green

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5. Rainy Days and Mondays by the Carpenters

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6. Maggie May by Rod Stewart

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7. What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye

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8. Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves by Cher

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9. I’m Still Waiting by Diana Ross

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10. Proud Mary by Ike and Tina Turner

Carole King or Curtis Mayfield? Carole or Curtis? Imma gonna go for Curtis. You know the score, tell me your favourite this week below in the comments. Cheers!

See you next week for a review of 2018 (including a top ten tunes from 2018). Top Ten Tunes from 1972 will be published the following week on 4th January. Happy Christmas y’all!

 

 

Top Ten Tunes- 1970

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1970.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

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The first Glastonbury Festival

In 1970, the half crown coin ceased to be legal tender, the grave of Karl Marx was vandalised by anti-Germanic racists at Highgate, London, four years after the declaration of independence Rhodesia is finally declared a republic and severs ties with the British Crown, 18 victims of Thalidomide are awarded £370,00 in compensation, Paul McCartney announces that he has left the Beatles and files a lawsuit against the other members of the band- effectively ending the band, Tonga became independent from the UK, the World Cup takes place in Mexico, the bodies of two children are discovered in shallow graves in woodlands in Essex and they form the Babes in the Woods case, the first General Election takes place where 18 year-olds can vote– the Conservatives win and Edward Heath becomes Prime Minister, British Army officers battle with the IRA in Belfast and 3 civilians are killed & 10 officers injured, 112 people are killed when a Manchester to Barcelona plane crashes into mountains in Spain- no one survives, dockers vote to strike which led to a state of emergency as food supplies become short, the Commonwealth Games take place in Edinburgh, riots take place in Notting Hill, Jimi Hendrix dies in London from a suspected drug-induced heart attack, the first Glastonbury Festival is held, the Gay Liberation Front arranged it’s first march in London, the Apollo 13 mission has a problem, the world’s first Jumbo Jet has its first commercial flight from New York to London, the US invades Cambodia, a cyclone in Bangladesh kills 500,000, 100,000 gallons of oil are spilled into the English Channel creating a huge oil slick, a fire at a nightclub in France leaves 142 teenage clubbers dead, Janis Joplin dies of a heroin overdose and the films Kelly’s Heroes, MASH, Catch-22, Airport, The Railway Children and Let It Be are released.

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Welcome to the 70s! As bereft as I was to wave goodbye to the 60s, the 70s start off strong.  Here’s all my favourites, in no particular order. Spotify playlist at the end as always.

1. Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine by James Brown

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2. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) by Stevie Wonder (we played this at our wedding as we signed the register. Terribly tacky, I know, but we cared very little)

3. Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell

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4. (They Long to Be) Close to You by Carpenters

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5. Cecilia by Simon and Garfunkel (controversial that I picked this instead of Bridge Over Troubled Waters?)

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6. ABC by the Jackson 5 (Interestingly, I have featured The Jackson 5/The Jacksons more than I ever did with Michael Jackson as a soloist in these lists)

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7. Band of Gold by Freda Payne (the dancing in this video is sublime)

8. Lola by the Kinks

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9. Your Song by Elton John

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10. Let It Be by the Beatles (the last time the lads will feature in these lists *sniff*)

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Some people may be sick of hearing this song, but I think my favourite this week is Elton. Pray tell me, WHICH ONE IS YOURS?

See you next week for 1971!

Just Another Book Club- 2019 (part I)

As you know, I’m running the book club slightly differently. I’m now reviewing and discussing the books we read for this book club on my Instagram HERE and Facebook HERE, usually on the first Monday of the month (following the month a book was allocated to).

As before, there is absolutely no pressure to read all six books and you don’t have to read them during the months I suggest. That’s just there for guidance and also because some books might not be published on paperback until a certain date. And as always, one of the six books will be a non-fiction book. I hope you’ll join me in reading these books. I love to hear what you think about them.

So, the 6 books we’ll be reading for the first half of 2019 will be:

January: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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February: My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

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March: The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni

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April: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

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May: Christodora by Tim Murphy

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June: The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

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This chosen list of books is final. If you don’t fancy reading a particular book one month, just give it a miss that month.

I’ll post a new list of books for the second half of 2019 in early/mid-June time.

For a list of the books we read during the second half of 2018, click HERE

For a list of the books we read during the first half of 2018, click HERE

For a list of the books we read during the second half of 2017, click HERE

Don’t forget you can leave a review of any of the past books that we have read at any point.

For my Goodreads page, click HERE

Top Ten Tunes- 1969

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1969.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

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In 1969, the Space Hopper toy and the Raleigh Chopper bike were introduced to the UK, the Beatles perform for the final time on the rooftop of Apple Records, the very first flight of Concorde takes place, Ronnie & Reggie Kray are imprisoned for life, John Lennon & Yoko Ono marry, Paul McCartney marries Linda, Lulu representing the UK came joint first in the Eurovision Song Contest, the voting age is lowered from 21 to 18, rioting takes place in Derry, Northern Ireland, Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired it’s first episode on the BBC and Sesame Street also airs for the first time, regular colour television is broadcast on the BBC and ITV, the first man- Neil Armstrong- lands on the moon (or did he?), the music festival Woodstock takes place, the Beatles record their final album Abbey Road together, members of a cult led by Charles Manson kill 5 people, Richard Nixon becomes President of the US, former Rolling Stones guitarist Brain Jones is found drowned in his swimming pool and the films Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Italian Job, Hello Dolly!, Kes and Sweet Charity are all released. 

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Times are a’changing. You can really see a shift in music style now as we reach the end of the 60s (sniff). We also see a baby David Bowie for the first time and miraculously there’s the Rolling Stones this week! Here’s my favourites from 1969, in no particular order.

1. I Want You Back by The Jackson 5 (this video will make you happy- I promise)

2. Wonderful World, Beautiful People by Jimmy Cliff

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3. My Cherie Amour by Stevie Wonder

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4. Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin

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5. Gimme Shelter by The Rolling Stones

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6. Come Together by the Beatles

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7. The Israelites by Desmond Dekker

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8. Spinning Wheel by Peggy Lee

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9. Space Oddity by David Bowie

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10. My Way by Frank Sinatra (this recording of Frank was done a little after 1969, but I thought you’d appreciate it anyway)

It’s almost a 4 way tie between The Beatles, Peggy Lee, The Jackson 5 and Bowie this week, but I’m going to pick  Bowie as my favourite.

See you next week for 1970!