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

 

Just Another Monthly

Something to think about:

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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!

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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:

***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 side of the screen and enter your email address***

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

 

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 TV Theme Tunes

I mean, I am so obsessed with listing my favourite things, I have now gone as far as telling you my favourite TV theme tunes. It’s an important one. Deciding which ones are my favourites and then putting them diligently in order for you. I know you’re grateful, I can sense it via the internets and you are most welcome. So here they are, 15 of my favourite TV theme tunes in order and yes I have done a Spotify list at the end, which I know you will listen to all day. Also, if you don’t like my list, but want to check out a similar list, why not pop over to sex God Phil Taylor’s blog and read his post HERE and see what TV theme tunes he’s included (we have a few in common).

15. Big Brother UK 

The original of course and I was absolutely obsessed with it. Yes, I used to listen to it in my flat at full volume. Cos I was cool like that.

14. Panorama

I just love the dramatics, man.

13. University Challenge

For those of you who don’t know, University Challenge is a delightfully nerdy quiz show where different universities compete with each other with their general knowledge. I can usually only answer one or two questions per episode at the most. This theme tune suits the programme and its contestants perfectly.

12. Blockbusters

If you’re of a certain age, you probably loved this programme. It was a kind of a less geeky version of University Challenge, but with secondary (high) schools instead of universities. And with a block grid thingy. And the theme tune was absolutely solid. I was never more excited to hear it than when my very own school featured on it. I *think* we did quite well.

11. Grange Hill

80s British childhood succinctly represented with one perfect theme tune. Watch out for the sausage!

10. The A Team

Of course.

9. Cheers

Featuring this classic theme tune is not helping my current Ted Danson obsession any.

8. Bergerac

So we all danced to this theme tune in a kind of embarrassing reggae style with our best mate on a regular basis….didn’t we?

7. The Flintstones

Hearing this theme tune tells me it’s almost dinner time! How long will dinner be, Mum? I’m staaaaarrrrrving!

6. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Come on then, let’s do this rap together word perfectly.

Top 5

5. Cagney and Lacey

Best cop show ever. Don’t argue with me. And I love this theme tune so much, it is the actual ringtone on my phone. Fact.

4. Happy Days

Quite possibly one of the most cheerful TV theme tunes out there suiting it’s programme perfectly.

3. Ski Sunday

Oh yes, I did. Come on, it is fucking brilliant. Incidentally, it is also my highest ranking British TV theme tune. Oh and I couldn’t find a clip of the opening titles, so have an actual orchestra playing the theme tune instead.

2. The West Wing

Possibly my all time favourite American TV drama, but that aside this is a wonderful theme tune. Both my husband and I are such fans of this show that at our wedding we walked back down the aisle to this theme tune together. I told you I was cool.

And my all time favourite TV theme tune is…..

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1. The Muppet Show

If Happy Days is a cheerful theme tune, then this is cheerful whilst smacked up on E numbers on Christmas Eve. Hearing the theme tune reminds me of the start of Saturday evening TV and cosy Saturdays with my family in the 80s. It makes me feel warm and safe inside. This theme tune and of course the programme itself is, in short, everything that is right with this world.

So, you know the score. Please tell me which is your favourite TV theme tune in the comments below.

Next week, Top Ten Tunes is starting up again, so see you next week for 1960!

The Representation of Brits in American Culture

As you know, all of us Brits are incredibly posh, very wealthy, extremely intelligent, we’re all white and we all speak in the same posh southern accent (or RP = received pronunciation as it’s known). Yes, we are all a walking/talking everyday version of Four Weddings and a Funeral. All my male friends are just like Hugh Grant and I’m *exactly* like Kristin Scott-Thomas. Now, excuse me whilst I visit my pal at his beautiful large country house and chortle away the hours whilst quaffing* champagne.

Except, as you may have discerned from my tone or if indeed you in fact, like me, hail from the British Isles then you will realise this is not the case at all. It is in fact a grossly stereotyped idea of what Britain and the British are like. Don’t get me wrong, some people do live their lives like they’ve stepped straight out of a Richard Curtis movie, but this proportion of the British people is very, very small. For a small island, we are a varied breed. However, the representation of us Brits is never more strongly stereotyped than it is within American culture.

Now, please realise, I LOVE American culture. I’ve already praised it’s comedy HERE and have mentioned my love of American films, books and music throughout many of my posts. However, I can’t help but roll my eyes when a British character is introduced on American TV and film. Here we go, I think to myself, they’ll be posh, well spoken, a snob, white and no doubt probably quite dull. Or they’ll be plotting to destroy the world. One or the other. Either way, it’s never that pleasing and rarely accurate.

So here’s a few pointers about how American culture get their representation of British people wrong. Before I start though, none of the below is a dig at Americans, it is a dig at the people who make their TV shows and films. Americans can’t be blamed for thinking the British are only a certain way if that’s all they see of us:

  • We are all posh snobs. Trust me on this one, we are NOT like this. Most of us are not posh (I’m speaking from a personal perspective here) and most of us are very down-to-earth, genuine and self-deprecating. We are nice people who just like a good laugh. The worst example of this representation is bloody Emily (great, classic British name there. Really used your imagination coming up with that name, didn’t you?) from Friends. She was indeed very posh, spoke with the so-called classic British accent (more on this is in a moment), was a complete snob, uptight, showed no sense of humour and most of all was very unlikable. The most annoying thing about Emily is that the writers of Friends created her and the episodes that took place in London as a way to thank the British fans of Friends, but in actual fact all it did was insult us. It’s ok, we got over it once they got rid of the character of Emily as that’s the kind of easy going people we are (we are rarely represented as being easy going either). Interestingly, well respected British actor Helen Baxendale who played Emily was asked to return for the final season of Friends, but she declined. She says that playing Emily was the biggest regret of her career.

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  • We all speak with the same RP accent. We are a small country, a lot smaller than America anyway, BUT we have so many different accents  for such a small country. Geordie (Newcastle), Scouse (Liverpool), Brummie (Birmingham), Manchester, a variety of Yorkshire accents, Bristolian (Bristol), the west country accent, Essex, Suffolk, Home Counties, and at least 4 different London based accents…to name, but a few. Also, that is just England. There is also a wide range of Scottish and Welsh accents too. So, it is safe to say, we do NOT all speak the same. This has been made very apparent to me when I have spent time in the US. Too many times Americans have mistaken me as Australian when they meet me and hear me talk (I am rolling my eyes so hard right now, I’ve almost given myself an eye hernia). In Vegas once, there was this guy on the street that said he could guess what state you were from and if you weren’t American, he’d be able to guess what country. He seemed pretty sure of himself. We had to pay, but if he guessed wrong we’d get our money back plus a prize. I confidently handed him my dollars. I spoke and his answer was….Australian? Nah mate. Not quite. You’re just a whole hemisphere away. For the record, I come from the same part of the UK as both Kate Winslet and Ricky Gervais are from. My accent is half way between the two. Interestingly, the vast difference between Ricky & Kate’s accents is an example in itself of how varied British accents are as they are both from the same town. Occasionally, a “cockney” accent will be portrayed within American culture, but a) it’s usually done badly b) it’s not that often and c) it’s the same area of the UK as the RP accent. Therefore, yet again that British character with the token “cockney” accent is still only representing the same area of the UK.
  • We are all white. Whilst I’m probably not the best person to speak on this subject, being a white Brit myself, it is such a painfully important point, it needs raising. Plus it’s something that properly gets on my tits. Once, I was at a music festival in Coney Island, NYC. The British band the Noisettes came on stage and immediately performed their first song. The lead singer happens to be black. When they finished the song, the lead singer said in her broad London accent “ALRIGHT NEW YORK?”. I was then astounded when surrounding me, everyone turned to each other and questioned “oh my God is she British?” or….”is that singer…you know…British?! I’m so surprised”. They were clearly shocked, but not as shocked as I was that they couldn’t quite believe this black person had a British accent. That some British people could in fact be black. However, we can’t blame these shocked American gig goers. How often when a British character is introduced on American TV or in film are they black? Or Asian or anything other than white? The issue is whenever a black British actor gets work in America they play an American or an African. Never or very rarely do they get to play their own nationality. As I’ve already talked about in a previous post of mine, many Brits play Americans on American TV and if you look at my list HERE you will see that many of them are not white. It is seemingly the only way non-white Brits can get work over there. Idris Elba had to use his well-practiced Baltimore accent when speaking to The Wire fans at it would freak them out if he spoke in his own London accent. This might partly be that they couldn’t handle that this Baltimore character was played by a Brit, but am I too bold to suggest it might also have freaked them out hearing a British accent coming from a black person? After witnessing the reaction of those particular Americans at the Noisettes gig, it could also be a possibility.
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Gratuitous Idris Elba photo because…oh my God just look at the man.

  • The British are just English. I also feel American culture forget about the Scottish and the Welsh. If an Irish person does appear in American culture they are usually from the Republic of Ireland and very rarely from Northern Ireland. Out of these three nationalities the Scottish are probably represented the most. Yet, as you can guess they are largely stereotyped too. I’m thinking about the school caretaker in the Simpsons right now (maybe not the best example because as much as I love the Simpsons, they do like to stereotype- hello Apu). Welsh characters never appear within American culture. I’m struggling to think of one. Can you?
  • If we’re not uptight posh snobs then we are evil villains. We just don’t come across well to Americans, do we? If we did, then maybe just maybe we’d be represented more favourably. However, playing evil Brits has done/did wonders for the careers of Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Jeremy Irons et al. Whilst it’s not altogether pleasant, this stereotype doesn’t bother me as much (perhaps it should) as at least these villainous characters are quite fun unlike the boring, haughty British characters. I love this car advert starring Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong that sends up the stereotype of the British being evil villains.
  • We can’t rap. Admittedly, if I did a rap for you right now, you would be well within your rights to point and laugh at me until I walked off in shame. Nonetheless, there is a strong animosity towards British rappers in general. Last year, Drake released his new album and a few tracks featured British rappers Giggs and Skepta (as well as British singers Jorja Smith and Sampha). The reaction on the internet was not positive. Many Americans claimed that the album was ruined by the British rappers. People even created memes to show how angry they were about it (granted, the memes were actually quite funny. You can find some examples HERE). It seems that Americans don’t seem to appreciate our rap/grime music. Again, is this because British rappers don’t fit the only British representation that Americans are exposed to? Possibly, they hear the accent and think that a British person cannot relate to what rap music is about because all we do is drink tea and discuss the merits of Shakespeare over here? I get it to a certain extent. Americans are bound to prefer American music as it represents their culture more. However, to have no tolerance of other countries producing the same genre of music is hardly inclusive and thoroughly audacious. There is one thing that I cannot stand and that is music snobbery. A particular genre of music should never be limited to just one continent.
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British rapper Giggs

  • It rains all the time. So this is more of a stereotype about our country rather than its people. Every time an American TV show or film relocates to the UK, this is typically signified by rain pouring down on the streets of the UK somewhere. Yes, it does like to rain over here. That’s why are countryside is so luscious and green. I appreciate the rain for this reason, but here’s the thing, we also get other weather. We even get hot, sunny days. Only recently, America has been experiencing spring time snow and we on the other hand, have been sunbathing in our back gardens. We get weather that allows us to enjoys days at the beach, allows us to have BBQs in our gardens, picnics in parks and even swim in outdoor swimming pools. The problem being, that it will be like this one week and then a lot cooler and rainy the following week. Our weather is “interestingly” unpredictable over here.
  • We have bad teeth. Yes, some of us have bad teeth, but also lots of us have good teeth. We just like to keep things a bit more “natural” across the Atlantic.
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An excellent example of a natural British smile.

  • The one stereotype about the British that is 100% correct. We drink a lot of tea. First thing in the morning? Yup tea please. Just finished breakfast? Better have another cup of tea. Mid morning break? Tea. Just had lunch? More tea. Mid-afternoon, just got home from work, after dinner, after doing the washing up, after having a bath, someone’s just popped round, someone’s having a crisis, just broken your leg, just had your car stolen, someone’s died, TEA TEA TEA AND MORE TEA. According to us Brits, there is literally nothing that can’t be cured by popping on  the kettle and having a nice cup of tea. The Americans have this stereotype on the nose.

I am sure there are the odd occasions when the British haven’t been stereotyped within American culture, but it’s safe to say these occasions are few and far between.  Why should it bother me that we so often get misrepresented? American culture is huge and dominates across the world. Therefore, this stereotype of the British (and indeed other countries. Did you know that all Russians are also evil villains? Only when the British are too busy drinking tea to take over the world that is) is constantly being seen and compounded across the world. With the worldwide influence American culture has, comes great responsibility. Just to reiterate, I don’t blame Americans at all for thinking the British are all of the above. Also, I realise there will be many Americans that won’t think any of this about the British at all, as they’ll know that a whole nation of people won’t have the same personality and background. It’s just a touch annoying that American culture can’t sometimes broaden its horizons when it comes to representing us Brits. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to put the kettle on and make myself a nice cup of tea. Cheers.

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*WHAT THE FUCK IS QUAFFING?!

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Celebrities That Should Just Get Back Together

I’m a nostalgic person, ladies and gentlemen. This can be witnessed in my weekly music, film and news posts, which start from 1976 and will go through to 2017. However, it’s not just music and film that I’m nostalgic for. I sometimes look at celebrities who have yet again split up with someone and think “oh why didn’t you just stay with him that you once went out with in the 90s. I know your relationship was deeply flawed and you probably hate each other now, but just get back together. Just for me?”. So, here’s a little list of all those now dispersed celebrity couples that should never have split up.

Winona Ryder & Johnny Depp

 

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Please note the tattoo.

Yes I know Johnny is clearly bit of a dick and she can do so much better than him, but 90s Winona & Johnny were so cool and so beautiful (my God Johnny was beautiful back then), but I still want them to get back together. Incidentally, this is what they both look like now. Hmmmm, now who’s aged better?

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Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake

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Yes, I know he’s very happily married to Jessica Biel with a kid and everything these days, but ignoring all of that- look how cute Britney & Justin were! Britin? Justney? They quite rightly didn’t have an ambigram*, did they?

*I looked this word up. I’m not clever enough to know words like this.

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Julia Roberts & Kiefer Sutherland

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Okay, so she did practically leave him standing at the alter (she dumped him 3 days before the wedding. Julia mate, that wasn’t cool), but they were so cute and seemed so in love. I’m still mourning the break-up of this relationship today (oh I’m fully aware that I should possibly get out more. Leave me here, I’m happy).

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Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon

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I absolutely loved these two. Nothing brings me more pleasure than seeing Mariah happy (seriously, this is the woman who demands puppies to play with before a show so that she can relax. I 100% relate to her) and she always seemed so happy with Nick. Also, here’s the categorically best reasons for them to still be a couple, they have two children together.

Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan

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These two should NEVER have split up. It’s the biggest mistake they made in their lives. I’m still very cross about it and I won’t rest until they are back together.

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Look! They still love each other, don’t they? DON’T THEY?!

 

Anna Faris & Chris Pratt

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Why did they do this to me? WHY? Whether celebrities stay together or not is definitely based on how it will make me feel, but arrogantly Anna & Chris never consulted me before they went their separate ways. They just went ahead without any consideration for my feelings and the word that best describes how this break-up made me feel is: gutted.

Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt

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Ooh, so this one might be the only one with some potential of reuniting. As you no doubt know already, Jennifer has recently split up with husband Justin Theroux and Brad ain’t with Angelina no more and apparently Jennifer and Brad have “reached out” to each other. Whatever that means. Anyway, fingers crossed, they were perfect for each other.

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The Couple That Were Never a Couple, But Really Should Have Got Together as They Would Have Been So Beautiful Together and Clearly Love Each Other in My Opinion*

*yes I can come up with longer subtitles if I tried, thank you.

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Yep, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio would have made a fantastic couple. I love their loyal friendship which has remained strong over the past 21 years since they made Titanic together. Kate’s currently married to someone called Ned Rocknroll, so that’s reason enough for her to split up with him and get together with Leo.

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Maturing has worked well for both of them

 

The Couple That Must Never Ever Split Up 

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If Chrissy Teigen and John Legend ever DARED to split up, I would give up on love and the idea of soulmates and leave my husband immediately*. They’re hot, they have a very cute kid together and another on the way and I love how much fun they clearly have together. In fact, my favourite thing about them as a couple is how much Chrissy trolls her own husband online. I mean that’s inspirational relationship goals right there.

*ok I may have gone a bit too far there. Possibly.

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So which famous couples do you wish were still together, but aren’t anymore?

Just Another Blog From a Woman has been nominated for an award. If you enjoy my blog and you have a spare few seconds, would you mind voting for me HERE It’s very simple and there’s no need to register or provide an email address, just vote for Just Another Blog From a Woman under the Best Pal category. Thank you SO much.

Top 10 American Sitcoms

A while a ago I wrote a post on my top 10 British sitcoms, so it only seems fair that I do one on my favourite American sitcoms. I think it’s safe to say that Americans are a funny lot (I’m referring to their humour here). I even know a few and they’ve made me laugh more than once. Sure, they’re not as funny as us hilarious Brits, but they certainly can crack a joke or two. So, it’s of no surprise that they know how to create a sitcom with admirable skill. I’ve always loved an American sitcom. As a child, I remember watching Taxi and then as I got older, as a family we all sat down together and watched the Cosby Show and Rosanne every week (ummmm, can I mention the Cosby Show?). My Dad was obsessed with both Cheers and Frasier, so much so that when I had to write an essay on a TV programme for my GCSE English project, he literally sat me down and forced me to write it about Cheers. Then, when I left home my taste in American sitcoms developed further. So much so, that some of my favourite TV programmes of all time are in fact American sitcoms. And I whole heartedly thank all those clever Americans for providing me with such joy over the years.

Disclaimer before we start: there’ll be plenty of sitcoms (yes that includes Seinfeld) that you’ll be surprised aren’t here in my personal top 10, but in all likelihood they’d probably all feature in my top 15, if that helps. So, here goes and just like my top 10 British sitcoms list, I found this so tough to do.

10. Rick and Morty

So let’s get this straight. Rick and Morty is disturbing, disgusting, confusing, ridiculous, completely over the top, surreal, harrowing and I absolutely love it. It may be all those things, but it is also intensely clever and not to mention- fucking funny.

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9. Cheers

Cheers was a master class in how to create and build up characters in a sitcom. We have seen the character of Woody repeated in so many other sitcoms ever since, it’s quite the tribute to the genius of Cheers.

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8. 30 Rock

Ok so from about halfway through season 4 and onwards 30 Rock went downhill slightly. However, Tina Fey’s multi-award-winning sitcom never failed to constantly make me laugh out loud before that. I adore the character of goofy, but lovable Liz Lemon, partly because I can relate to her obsession with food of course. However, it’s Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of the conceited Jack Donaghy and his unlikely friendship with Liz that really steals the show.

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7. Arrested Development

Like many of my favourite sitcoms, Arrested Development is just silly. Whilst, I wasn’t so keen on the fourth “return” season. The first three seasons are sitcom perfection. Picking a favourite character on this would be pretty tricky as like all good sitcoms each character is so strong. Poor old George Michael (the name alone is hilarious), Tobias Funke, Buster and my life role model Lucille are probably up there. Although, obviously I have to give a shoutout to Annyong Bluth and the characters played by Liza Minelli (Lucille’s vertigo suffering chief social rival) and Henry Winkler (their terrible family lawyer). And let us not forget that the whole thing is narrated by Ron Howard.

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6. Brooklyn 99

From one wonderfully silly sitcom to another. Brooklyn 99 follows the misadventures and blundering antics of a Brooklyn detective department. Jake Peralta is our whimsical protagonist and despite all of his and his colleague’s questionable approaches to solving crime, they always get the job done. Brooklyn 99 is laugh out loud stupidity and watching an episode of it cheers my day up endlessly. P.S. I am #teamCaptainRayHolt

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5. Parks and Recreation

There is something about Parks and Recreation that makes me so happy. I mean, apart from the fact that it’s absolutely hilarious that is. It just always leaves me with a nice, warm glowing feeling after watching an episode. I think it’s mainly down to our protagonist, Leslie Knope. Leslie is one of the best female TV characters ever written. She is a hero. Her optimism, vibrant energy, hard working ethics, caring nature and warmth leap out at you from the TV screen without ever being saccharine. If we all made the effort to be a little more Leslie Knope then the world would be a better place. Seriously. We might all have a worrying waffle addiction, but there’d undoubtedly be a lot less war and internet trolls. But it’s not just Leslie that blesses us with her presence in this gem of a TV programme. There’s the adorable, but beautifully simple Andy, super cool April, idiotic and lovable Tom, poor, stupid Jerry, another TV role model of mine- Donna (treat yo self!) and then there’s Ron Swanson. Oh Ron with your hefty dose of testosterone, your love of meat and carving wood and your sexy moustache. I won’t lie to you, he is my ideal man. Just writing about this programme makes me realise how much I miss it and Leslie.

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4. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

And on the opposite end of the spectrum from the lovely and fluffy Parks & Rec, we have It’s Always Sunny. A TV show with the most hatable TV characters possible. Similar to Rick & Morty, this is not a pleasant sitcom. It is grotesque, is borderline offensive and it is outrageous. Right up my street, in other words. The characters are idiots. Not even in a sort of likeable way. You have absolutely no sympathy for them, but thank God they exist. However you’re feeling or whatever you’ve done in your life, you can just reassure yourself and thank your lucky stars that you are neither Dennis, Dee, Charlie, Mac or Frank. Those guys are the worst (I love them obvs).

Side note: they were going to originally make Dee the “straight character”, but thankfully they thought better of it and made her just as despicable and hopeless as the rest of the cast. Could you imagine a straight Dee? What a waste of a brilliant comedic actor that would’ve been.

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3. Friends

Of course Friends is in this list. Of COURSE it is. The influence that Friends had on our culture is phenomenal. I mean, could it BE anymore influential? I don’t need to tell you much about Friends because you know it all anyway. Such is the legacy of Friends. Which Friend are you anyway? I’m a perfect combination of Phoebe, Monica and Joey (I don’t share food). PIVOT!

2. The Simpsons

You probably haven’t heard of this animated sitcom before, so let me summarise it for you. It’s based around a family of yellow people who only have four digits on each hand. The Dad is a lazy beer and doughnut addict, the Mum has blue hair almost the same height as herself, the son is a little shit that the Dad regularly strangles, the sister is clearly full of existential angst and the baby sister hasn’t uttered a word (or has she?)* for the whole 31 years that this cartoon has been running. Trust me on this one, it is absolutely brilliant and you will love each and every one of these characters as if they are your own family members. Especially the Dad. You will love him and all his relatable failings the most. He is all of us.

[Please note my daughter’s favourite TV programs is the Simpsons and she helped me choose this clip. She also wants me to tell you all that her name is Bessie]

 

So here it is , my all time favourite American sitcom ever….

 

And it is….

 

1. The Office (or as it’s known over here in the UK The American Office)

God I love this programme, so very much. It’s not just my number one American sitcom, but it is one of my all time favourite TV programmes ever. A warmer, more sentimental version of it’s British cousin, watching this programme is the comedy equivalent of wrapping a cosy blanket around yourself and putting your feet up, but you know, in a funny way. Steve Carrell as Michael Scott was comedy mastery. Pam and Jim were perfect and yes adorable. Dwight was a fabulous twat. The supporting cast had to be the best collection of supporting actors ever. Stanley, Kevin, Angela, Phyllis, Meredith, Oscar, Creed, Andy, poor, poor Toby, Daryl, Erin, Gabe, the brilliant Jan and my favourite couple ever Ryan & Kelly were just sublime. All of them were such strong characters. You loved them like you would your own work colleagues- fully aware of all their flaws, yet you have a strange affection for them all anyway. Unless you’re Toby and your boss is Michael, then he’ll just irrationally hate you despite the fact you’re the nicest person in existence. I could actually write a whole blog solely on my love for this multi-award-winning sitcom. It’s incredibly worthy of my number one slot….that’s what she said.

The one that almost made it: Broad City. These girls are basically me and my best friend 20 years ago in a different city.

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You know what I’m going to ask next, which is your favourite American sitcom? It will be interesting seeing the varying answers between Americans and non-Americans too.

*she actually has and was voiced by both Elizabeth Taylor and Jodie Foster. However, these are brief moments and the running gag is that she never speaks.

My 10 Most Popular Posts This Year

Right, let’s go straight into my 10 most popular posts out of the 37 that I’ve shoved your way this year. And because I’m not the least bit ashamed, I’ll also let you know my least popular post at the end. Just for balance.

Oh, but first please let me say THANK YOU so much for reading my blog. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed writing it and my blog would be nothing without you all. You’re all superstars!

Click on the titles to enjoy each post.

10. A Guide to Hanging Out with Cloth Ears

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This may have been even more popular if I hadn’t published it just as a Facebook post first of all. This post runs through everything you need to know if you either want to know what it’s like to be deaf or want to know what to consider if you’re spending time with someone who is hard of hearing. Ignorance is not bliss.

9. Halloween Playlist!

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This did surprisingly well and still gets regular views today. Err guys, it’s not Halloween anymore.

8. Just Another Book Club- July Book

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My first dabble with my online book club and it went down very well. Lots of people had lots to say about this one.

7. Top 10 TV Character Fashion Idols

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This post provides a run down of all my favourite fashion icons that have ever graced our TV screens. From Denise Huxtable to Sybil Fawlty, it’s an eclectic collection.

6. Just Another Book Club

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An introduction to my idea of holding an online book club and luckily lots of people seemed to be as excited by it as I was. It also gave the list of books to read for the latter part of 2017.

5. F**KING SCOOTERS

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I stand by every word of this and I still fucking hate fucking scooters.

4. Love Your Body

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A lot of people sadly were able to relate to this. I talked about how there has been a steady increase of eating disorders in very young girls and I suggest ways we can all help to combat this.

3. Everyday Sexual Harassment

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Another post that sadly a lot of people could relate to. Whilst it was quite devastating to hear other people’s experiences, it was in some way slightly comforting to know that I am clearly not alone with my experiences of sexual harassment. This post still regularly gets daily views.

2. 10 Most Influential Albums of my Teenage Years

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This post is what you might call, a slow burner. It got moderate views when it was first published, but it receives views most days, which meant it slowly crept up my list of most popular posts.

  1. Dear Stephen

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Whilst this remains the hardest blog post that I’ve ever written, what is wonderful about this post being so popular is that so many of you lovely people read and heard about my wonderful friend. It helped make it the tribute that I wanted it to be. It would also be nice to think that it may have possibly helped someone somewhere.

The one that didn’t quite make my top ten: The Importance of Creativity for Children 3 views away from making the top 10.

My least popular post this year: Music Tag Thingy, but then again I didn’t really do a very good job of promoting it. It got a paltry 56 views- whoop.

My most popular post ever: Why Women’s Procreation Choices are None of Your Business. Nuff said.

Thanks again and see you next year for more irrelevant and irreverent shit (I really know how to sell myself, don’t I?)

 

2017 Culture Review: the best of TV, Films and Music

Here’s my succinct cultural review of 2017. It’s been a great year for TV yet again, not so strong musically, but a few corkers nonetheless. I’ve only bothered with a top 3 for each category, but there were of course, lots of other great TV programmes, films and music from this year. There’s a longer playlist at the end with 25 of the best singles and album tracks from the year for y’all.

Best Album

3. Colours by Beck

2. MASSEDUCTION by St. Vincent

1. Melodrama by Lorde (gloriously unapologetic pop, whilst remaining beautiful, dramatic and intimate)

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Best Song

3. Everything Now by Arcade Fire

2. Tomorrow by Anni

1. New York by St. Vincent (my only criticism of this song is that it’s far too short.)
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Best Film

3. Dunkirk/The Last Jedi (couldn’t decide between those two)

2. Trainspotting 2

1. Lion (released at the beginning of 2017 in the UK and I’m still reeling from the fact it didn’t walk away with the Oscar for Best Picture quite frankly. Read more about how this film made me feel here)

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Best TV Programme

3. Stranger Things

2. The Crown

1. Master of None (actual perfectionism)

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That’s mine. You know the score, now tell me yours.