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3 Feb

Inspired by the lovely Livy, I have decided to complete this little quiz for 2010!

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Got married; bought a puppy; visited California. An eventful year!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I can’t remember making any! I think we were just so smug at not having to pledge to quit smoking, because we had done so in 2009. I am definitely making them for 2011. There’s much to do!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

My neighbour, who has become a good friend, gave birth just before Christmas. Mostly people just fell pregnant, so 2011 will be the year of the baby.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thankfully. There have been too many in recent years.

5. What countries did you visit?

UK and US. We weren’t travelling due to wedding and honeymoon saving, so that was 11 months without a break! Painful…

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

Job satisfaction. A well-behaved puppy.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

7 August, our wedding day.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Bringing home the perfect puppy. Signing off the practising certificate and enabling job freedom. Ack, it’s hard to count getting married and falling pregnant as an achievement. We make such a huge thing of it, and most people do it, so it’s relatively mundane!

9. What was your biggest failure?

Lack of pre-wedding weight loss. Lack of post-conception weight gain. My body is fighting me!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nope! I had plenty in 2009.

11. What was the best thing you bought?


12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Amazing friends who made me feel so loved – Ciara, Elly, Manuela, and baby sister Ellie. My husband, who never fails to surprise me with his awesomeness.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and anyone else who encourages hatred or seeks to restrict the rights of others. Parents who laugh when their children bully others. People who twist their religion to use it as a weapon of hate and judgement. Anyone who will burn a book they have never read.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Honeymoon, then wedding.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Getting married. Getting Meg. Getting pregnant.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

One Night in Bangkok.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

(a) happier or sadder? happier

(b) thinner or fatter? same

(c) richer or poorer? poorer

Whoa. That was a life lesson, wasn’t it?

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Working, travelling

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Stressing, spending, drinking

20. How did you spend Christmas?

At Dad’s with the family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

Yes, with my beautiful pup.

22. What was your favourite TV programme?

I couldn’t pick one. Buffy will always remain my desert island DVD!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No. Hating people is far too tiring.

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Taylor Swift. I joined the party very late.

25. What did you want and get?

A lovely wedding, and a fun honeymoon. Meg.

26. What did you want and not get?

People to put aside their differences and share in the excitement.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

I have actually seen so few films this year. Alice in Wonderland was a bitter disappointment due to the unspeakably weak story, Alice’s complete lack of character, and their bizarre idea to completely ignore the Opium Wars in her amazing plans. I’ll have to go with Toy Story 3, because it was funny and sweet and made me cry.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I went to work, then drove to Milton Keynes for my hen weekend. I was 28.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Exercising financial restraint.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

I’m sorry, what? I gave up magazines for Lent a few years back. Life is significantly better without them.

31. What kept you sane?

My boy.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I know I’ll never have a chance with  him, but NPH gives me butterflies. Charlie Hunnam, until I realised that he was the annoying one in Green Street.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?

Welfare dependency. Nobody should be undernourished, homeless, in danger, idle or without adequate healthcare. I believe that is the responsibility of the taxpayer. Anything beyond that is 100% the responsibility of the individual or charities.

34. Who did you miss?

Grandad. He would have been so excited to add “Great” to his title officially.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:

Little yellow dogs are good luck charms.

Please feel free to post again and let me know so I can come and read!


My Favourite Song

27 Jul
I discovered this on the lovely Life of a Shopping Addict blog – a 30-day challenge for bloggers – and just had to give it a go! I will definitely not be able to keep this up day-to-day – I don’t know if I mentioned, but I’ve kinda got plans on 7/8 😉 – but I plan to follow the programme over the next three months.
As Emma-the-shopping-addict rightly points out, it’s pretty darn impossible to identify just one song that’s your favourite! I tried the diplomatic approach and started with the most played and five-star rated on iTunes, and that gave me…
Wow. Really? I mean, I love that song so much, but I was amazed to learn that I listen to it more than any other! The entire soundtrack is fantastic, and this song has such a stomping beat that is perfect for running. There’s definitely a satisfaction in being all serious-faced, clad in Dri-Fit and Polar, but listening to Disney soundtracks – and nobody knows what you’re listening to!
It brings back wonderful memories of baby brother stomping around the house, mistakenly singing “Sandwiches” instead of “Savages”. He’s 17 now – I’m sure he appreciates my memories.
Somehow, though, that’s not quite it. But I’ve got to commit to something. There are multiple issues that come with picking a favourite.
One is the memories attached. I will always retain a fondness of anything from Summer 1999 because of the sheer awesomeness of driving around in your best friend’s car, getting your first weekend job, having your first boyfriend… Wait. Is it weird that I can still love a song that’s so attached to such a moment in time? Or wrong, somehow? We’re both blissfully engaged to other people, and are certainly not hankering after a romantic reunion, but the music-induced nostalgia always feels like something that ought to be put in a box in the attic.
Memories can often make us forget the meaning of a song and lead you to cause something that’s angry or sad when you just don’t feel that way. The Summer I spent in West Islip, NY with my cousins is brought back in a flash with Alanis Morissette’s You Oughta Know. It was new to the US charts at the time, and my 13-year-old self was in teen-movie heaven as we attended pool parties where they showed old horror movies, drank beer and smoked cigarettes – just like on TV! Clueless was at the cinema; Hugh Grant was in a lot of trouble; and I didn’t care that the song was so angry and sad – life was just cool.
Ever find a song that just feels like it’s your song? Not the romantic kind – the just you kind. For me, Fiona Apple’s Fast as You Can hit the nail on the head before I even heard it. I don’t even remember how, but I saw the lyrics written down somewhere and it has always felt so fitting. I haven’t got together the guts to tell *him* that – nor have I sought out the rest of her catalogue. I’m not sure why, really. The first part probably because he’s almost completely succeeded at bringing me out of that mindset. The second part maybe because I don’t want to be disappointed and find that it’s all pretend and she uses singing about issues as a marketing technique.
One song that just feels like it’s been there all the way along is probably the one that’s my favourite – Rainy Night in Soho by The Pogues.
It has such a heart-warming, you-n-me-together-after-everything kind of feel to it. It’s not sweet and romantic, but reminds me of that old sonnet where the poet says that his love really isn’t that beautiful, but he loves her all the same. I am a big fan of their music in general, especially the ensemble nature of all the random instruments playing. They bring it out whenever they play live, and it’s just as awesome (and I generally can’t stand live music). It comes on the iPhone at the most random and perfect of moments, and I never seem to skip it. My Dad plays it whenever he’s a bit drunk and then texts me to tell me he’s done so, and I do the same back. It just makes me feel like listening to it, and that’s all you can really ask of a favourite song!
So… Pic for the sake of it time. Wanna see my dress? Here it is…

Hahaha. I’m such a tease. But there it is – ready to go to the dry cleaners, because there are only ELEVEN days to go!

What’s your favourite song and why? Are you about music, lyrics, or the whole package? Have you seen Music and Lyrics? Do you like live music?

Our Boys

10 Jul

In all honesty, I’m a bit of a sentimental wuss most of the time – I used to cry like a baby when we sang Puff The Magic Dragon at prep school, because the thought of Jackie just growing up and forgetting about Puff devastated me. Don’t tell me it’s really about drugs, because I won’t believe you! 

Toy Story struck a particular chord as I was an only child for seven years until my bright, shiny, space cadet sister came along. You’d have thought I need hospitalisation after watching Up and Marley & Me.

Unfortunately, it would appear that as the wedding gets closer, I’m getting worse. 

Yesterday, I was listening to Belinda Carlisle’s Summer Rain. It’s one of a group of songs from that era about a girl and boy being separated by life, but pledging to love each other anyway. All very cute and possibly a bit samey for some people’s tastes. 

It only dawned on me a year or so ago that the word I wasn’t hearing correctly was, in fact, “military”. Now I’m a pacifist through and through, but something about the nature of the song changed for me when it became about a soldier going away to war and never coming back. I was a bawling mess and completely unable to sing along by the end. 

A friend’s Facebook status comparing the plane bringing “our boys” home to rest with the plane bringing our embarrassing, overpaid, underperforming, adulterous football team home really socked it to me – our ideas of who we hold up in reverence are really skewed.

So, while I’ve never been anything but quietly pro-peace, I’m acknowledging my need to be a bit more supportive of those who go away and might never come back. We all want the same thing, after all – a happy, safe world.

Sky’s New House Adverts

18 May

Icons of the 80s combine to make the most awesome advert on Sky One for this season of House…

The bizarrely now-hot Hugh Laurie (whom I remember best from these days…)

Combined with the ever-yummy Bon Jovi’s Bad Medicine…


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