Tuesday, 30 September 2014

31 days until the keys!!

It is the 31st October when we get the keys. Its the first tomorrow. That means just 31 days to go, and that soon it will be this month not next month, which sounds so much closer!!

So full of anticipation now. 31 days!! :)

Cars, laptops and notebooks - a very bad week!!

My week has been very bad. We shall begin at the beginning - I was ill. But that was not enough. That was just Monday and only the beginning.

It was followed (during actually) by my car failing its MOT. Cue £250 for a new exhaust.

The week rumbled onwards. Still poorly, my only enjoyment was the TV and the laptop. Yes, you guessed it. Next to conk out was said laptop. This was Thursday.

Unfortunately for me I had just the previous evening removed all 80,000 photos from my external hard-drive, putting them back on the hard drive. Why? Because the hard drive was full, loads of duplicates and whilst I was ill and stuck in the house I thought I could sort them.

Friday morning, the thing would not turn on. I left it charging. 2 hours later still nothing. Its now with the Know How guys having been sent on its holidays along with a £60 new external hard-drive with 2TB data so they can try to save my files.

So it was then that I decided to try and use the little Asus notebook which I won a while back and have never gotten round to using.

I had set it up back in June, but not used it since. First it would not connect to the internet. After an hour of fiddling with settings, I finally sorted that out.

Then, everytime I loaded up a page, these annoying ads kept popping up. Cue several hours of trying to unistall programs, install antivirus programs and run scans, as my googling of the issue revealed it was a malware virus called smart saver 15.1.

By Monday, last night, I had exhausted all options but a full factory reset. By that point the annoying virus had taken over, and everytime I clicked anything, it opened a new tab of some product or ad, and so many pop ups kept appearing I could not do anything hardly and could see a tiny bit of the screen.

I put the notebook down last night, as I felt like throwing it out the window by then !!

Tonight, I have spent the last hour restoring it, and now, miracle of miracles, all is well. I have a working and virus free notebook, so I am back up and running. Just need my files back now!! What a week!

My luck must change now. Just must. Mustn't it?

Monday, 29 September 2014

Yay, feeling better!!

For the last 2 weeks, I haven't felt good. At first, I just thought it was the unusual change in temperature, or just feeling a bit run down.

Then, just over a week ago, the night sweats started. As unlikely as it seemed, I wondered if it was my age. It got worse, with not just overheating, but also chills.

Full on running a fever then freezing cold. Sometimes at the same time. Last Saturday, I realised I was coming down with something when I developed a ringing in my ears, aching in my very bones and pain in my head.

A week on, only now do I feel that I am coming out the other side of whatever it was. My GP was no use. To quote - probably a bug or viral of some sort. Helpful!!!

Tonight though, my temperature is stable. Last night I did not overheat. Fingers, everything, crossed for the end of it! :)

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Another for the B4 40 list - my first tattoo

Next idea for the list then - 18 months to go. This one is something I wanted to do before I was 30 nevermind 40, but still have not managed to do.

This one is to get my first tattoo.

Off to PT - arghhh!!!

I still feel ropey and tired, but my appearance staring back at me from the mirror has spurred me into action.

Decked out in my gym gear I look as far from athletic gym bunny as is possible right now. Its go to be done. Wish me luck :)

Friday, 26 September 2014

One thing for the B4 40 list

One thing that is a fore runner on the things to do B4 40 is to wear a beautiful dress for absolutely no reason, day or night, in a totally OTT manner.

You know - full make up and glamour in the unlikeliest venue? That is what I want on the list.

So that's one. I shall keep adding them, but ultimately I want 40 b4 40 on the list, so might need a little narrowing down if I think of too many!!

Laptop in hospital - could be terminal

The technical problems just keep on coming this week. Its culminated in the laptop finally giving its death throes. This morning, I tried to turn the laptop on, and at first it was ok.

Then, without warning as it was booting up, fans kicking in, it turned itself off. Then I tried again, same happened.

I tried taking the battery out and just using the mains, nothing.I put the battery back in, left the power in to charge it a bit - still nothing.

I dug out my whatever happens insurance, and to my relief, its still in date. So off I toddled to Currys.

They couldn't get it to do anything either, so its off to laptop hospital. Whatever has to be done, I need my pics off it. The irony being that only this week, I cleared down the external hard drive, to do some editing. And it chooses this week, of all weeks, to die on me.

I arrived at Curry's and to my relief my policy covers it. However, I needed more storage space, so had to buy additional storage. I am now the proud owner of 2TB of memory - enough for 400,000 photos!!!

They say they will be able to save my pics from the hard drive. I should have it back by next Sat. I am now on my little T100 Asus notebook, which I won a few months ago. Its taking a bit of adjusting to try and get back online and post to my lovely blog, and I am finding it quite odd. Bear with me, trying to get back up to normal service!! :)

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Things to do before I am 40

I want to make a list. A list of the things I would love to be able to tick off as done before I turn the big 4-0. (I am 38, so I have some time).

I started off thinking big - you know - see the wonders of the world - loads of countries etc.. Then reality settled back in again. I need to be realistic. I'm not going to get to 20 countries in the next 18 months unless I win the lottery.

So, I want it to be challenging and exciting, but technically doable. Going to start work on this list tomorrow - any ideas are more than welcome :)

What I'm Watching this week

This week I am watching:

  • The Blacklist. I am going to continue to watch the superb back catalogue of The Blacklist. Its an American Crime Drama that I am currently on episode 15 of, via on Demand boxset. It stars James Spader who plays a criminal known as 'Red' who used to be an agent. Season 1 consists of 22 episodes, and excitingly, Season 2 - which holds another 22 episodes is soon to air. 
  • The Leftovers. This is a new drama from the states, which is decidedly spooky so far. It began with the disappearance of 2% of the population. Its now more about the storylines of those left behind, than exploring why they disappeared. Its got some big names - Liv Tyler, Christopher Eccleston and Justin Theroux. I'm two episodes in, and awaiting the third.  
  • Emmerdale - I am loving the Emmerdale this week. Will Chastity finally be made to pay for her deception? Its been compelling viewing. 
  • Lost - yes, its an oldie. I watched the first 2 seasons when it first aired, got utterly confused and gave up. However, on reflection and some years on, I have decided to give it another go. Currently 3 episodes in on series one, and already the mysterious polar bear has put its big screen appearance in. As puzzling as ever, but thoroughly enjoying it. 
As well as the above, I'm watching a lot of films in this poorly week I am having. I have posted a couple of reviews already, namely Conception and Pompeii, but more to come. You can check out my full movie reviews by checking out My Films Reviews page here

Channel 4 scraps 4oD | broadbandchoices news

Channel 4 scraps 4oD | broadbandchoices news

The New Schedule is taking shape:)

I had this idea to try and get some structure into my blogging week. Because in the main I am I guess a lifestyle blogger, in that I blog about lots of things, its been a bit ad hoc.

My week with became a regular, as did my single of the week, some film reviews and my ever ongoing battles with the scales.

So I decided my blog needed a schedule for the main features. This has now developed, and the schedule is beginning to take shape.

The timetable so far then is:

  • My Week with - a new one, every other week (announced on a Monday)
  • My Single of the week - Wednesday/Thursday
  • My weekly weigh in - Fridays - good or bad!!
  • What I'm watching - Thursdays
In between these main themes, I shall continue to post everything else in between. My 7 song reviews for one thing as announced in My Week with, some film reviews, or reviews of particularly good TV. Things that are happening out there in the wider world and what's happening in my own. Plus some competitions - I do love a good competition. 

I'm getting better at this organisation lark, but don't want to get too obsessive with it! However, it gives me a framework to work with, which will help me post more interesting posts and build my blog. Its all an ongoing learning experience, and I welcome your comments / feedback. :)

What I'm watching this week

I'm having something of a brainstorm this evening. Not sure if its the aftermath of finally starting to feel a bit better after my bout of illness this past few days - viral, as "undiagnosed" by my GP. Hmm - another word for - who the hell knows me thinks.

Back to the post. Every week I find myself watching something great, so each week, I am going to do a quick summary, rather than a review, of what I'm watching - the good, the bad and the rest.

I'm thinking Thursday would be a good night to do so. Catch me later to find out what's on my list for this week :)

My Single of the Week - a look back

Singles of the week:

Ten Walls - Walking with Elephants
Calvin Harris & John Newman - Blame
Taylor Swift - Shake it Off
David Guetta - Lovers on the Sun
Saint Motel - My Type
Zhu - Faded
Milky Chance - Stolen Dance
Rixton - Me and My Broken Heart
Budapest - George Ezra
Little Mix - Salute
Lana Del Rey - West Coast
Indiana - Solo Dancing
Coldplay - Magic
Kaiser Chiefs - Coming Home
Katy Perry - Dark Horse
Will.i.am feat Miley Cyrus - Feelin Myself
Vance Joy - Riptide
Gorgon City - Ready for your love (feat MNEK)
Clean Bandit - Rather Be (feat Jess Glynne)
Lorde - Royals - My Single of the Week
Happy - Pharell Williams
Wrecking Ball Live Lounge - London Grammar
Wilkinson - Afterglow
Sail by Awolnation

You can find them all at My Music page by clicking here.

35 days until the keys!

It just occured to me that it is now just 35 days until we get the keys!! The keys to our new house.

We are now full of discussions about what to pack and when, what needs removal men, what we can move ourselves and what we need to get.

The to get list is growing - not good news for the budget, but still, we want it to be nice don't we?

Its just things like which carpets we want to change, what sofa will go, and what colour curtains will match - those kind of things. Its hard to know what we want until we are in there, as when someone else's belongings and style are still present, it is difficult to imagine.

I'm so excited now its getting so close. Its felt like ages away, but now its just over a month away it seems close. Not long at all. 35 days.

My Week with Madonna Day Two - Into the Groove

Day two of my week with Madonna and today it is 'Into the Groove'.

Into the Groove is one of Madonna's older tracks, and it is a classic, just as much as yesterday's choice, Vogue.

This track was released as a single in 1985, and was taken from her album 'Like a Virgin' which was also released in '85. The song also featured in the soundtrack to Madonna's film Desperately Seeking Susan.

Madonna wrote the song about dancing, and that's clear enough from the lyrics. I won't go into the lyrics - they are pretty clear to be honest and feature the title throughout. Her earlier stuff was a little lean on deeper meaning, lets face it. It does however, lean towards the risque - which in retrospect is not shocking given what followed, but at the time was pretty full on.

Her vocals seem much higher on this track than on her later stuff - a bit squeaky in places. However, what she lacked early on in vocal ability, she more than made up for with her edgy attitude and sassy image.

This single gave Madge her first UK number one. It's very catchy, and dance floor circa 1980's style. Girls at the time started to dress to imitate her, such was her status even this early in her career.

The accompanying video features clips of the film, with Madonna donned in lots of lace and lingerie, leather jackets and 'scruffy' hair. Lots of pouty red lipstick as she flaunts herself and struts her stuff. Even though the look is dated now, given that its pushing 30 years ago almost, its not that dated. Some aspects of her look linger on - namely big hair and red lips, and even lace and leather has been revived since. Talk about lasting influence.

All in all, I think I can summarise this one as a dance anthem of the 80's. Its one that is remembered, even if its not her best. That of course, is a matter of personal opinion.

I recommend you go stick this one on, and relive your youth - if you are aged 35 or older, you should remember it well. If you are younger, go take a listen and see what it was like for us that are 35+. Madge in her youth, still an icon.

If you want more, you can check out My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

My single of the Week - Ten Walls - Walking with Elephants

My single of the week this week is by Ten Walls and their brilliant 'Walking with Elephants'.

This came out in August, and has been in the charts about 4 weeks. Its currently sitting at number 20 in the UK singles chart.

That chart position does not do it justice. This is an instrumental track, no words or vocals at all. Just a thumping base and a dance/house style. Apparently, this track was favoured by DJ Annie Mac to add to its kudos and credentials.

The accompanying  video is quite possibly one of the most fascinating to watch and at the same time immensely weird I have ever seen. It starts off with men clothed head to foot in black, faces covered, running out of black unmarked houses. They run across a field, where they are joined by more running men clothed head to foot in white. They run onwards to the waters edge and jump in.

Then, they are in and out of the water like dolphins, gracefully sweeping in and out of the waves. They reach land again, and continue to run towards a tower. Then they form together inside the tower in the shape of non other than yes, you guessed it, an elephant (think winners of BGT last year). Odd but strangely fitting for the song.

Ten Walls is actually a deep house artist named Mario Basanov. This track is true to his roots with its bassy tone, but its the smooth horn notes playing throughout (that also make you think of elephants incidentally) that marks this as different. Its not a background club track, its a stand alone.

It is reminiscent of tracks out some years ago, but its also fresh enough to breathe life into it. It makes you tap your foot, it takes me to a happy place and the pace is a great gym track so its now a firm favourite on my playlist.

This seems to be a divisive track in that some love it, some hate it, but whichever camp you fall into, drop me a comment and let me know what you think.

For more singles of the week you can check out My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

(video published on youtube by Ten Walls)

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

My Week with Madonna Day One - Vogue

Day one of my week with Madonna, and first up I have chosen the classic 'Vogue'.

Vogue was released in 2000. It was taken from Madonna's album 'Breathless'. Its also been on later compilation albums and has become one of her most iconic tracks.

The song is quite dance based, but given the era, its not unusual. What is unusual is her vocals. Rather than her sometimes squeaky vocals, she sounds much deeper in her 90's releases, and this track in particular sees her sultry voice talking through style icons of the 20's and 30's.

The lyrics and music make you want to strut your stuff on the dancefloor. 'Strike a pose, there's nothing to it, Vogue'. Then there are those arm movements, mirrored by all of us girls of a certain age at the time. I can still remember how to work that pose! (in my school uniform!)

The video is shot in black and white. It features Madge with a short curly blonde do. At times waved circa 1930's, other times more sleek like Monroe in the 50's/60's. Madonna clearly was trying to imitate the greats with her poses, but then brings it back to modern day when she dances in a tailored tux, and still pulls off looking sexy.

Lots of very fit and attractive dancers do their thing around her, but nothing detracts the attention away. Towards the end she is perched on the edge of a seat, with jewels down her back writhing slightly to the music. She even has appeal from behind. Very elegant in this video, which isn't always the case with Madge!

Great song, great video. Distinctive right from the intro, its instantly recognisable. Apparently 'vogueing' was already happening in the underground gay scene, but Madonna made it mainstream. Unsurprisingly, this dance come pop track bought its edgy coolness to the UK and it hit the number one spot. Its continued to be one of her staples on tour since.

If you haven't heard it before, or just haven't heard it for a while go take a listen, and let me know what you think.

For more music, you can check out My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

All Fixed - give me a moment!!

IT - gotta love it. Tried all sorts of fixes. Nothing doing. In the end, totally rebooted, and off we go!!!

Turn it off and on again. Should have just listened to the wisdom of the IT crowd after all! :)

Having some technical problems - be back soon :(

I cannot post my Madonna single review, as I can't get you tube to play.

I cannot post my single of the week, as I can't listen to any music as my speakers won't work!!

Having a few technical issues here lovelies - be back as soon as I can :(

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

My Week with Madonna begins

I have chosen Madonna as my next artist to spend a week with. So lets take a closer look at arguably the biggest pop icon of all time shall we?

Madonna. Full name, Madonna Louise Ciccone. Born in 1958. Born in Michigan, but grew up in NYC. The Queen of Pop is known for her music and song writing, but has also dipped her toe into the acting world. She signed her first record deal in 1982, and has continued to release albums and hit singles ever since.

Madonna's early years are well documented, so we all know she was a talented dancer, a skill she has utilised throughout her career.

She has married a number of times, dated several famous types, and her personal life is as much of interest to us all as her art. First there was husband Sean Penn, then she dated Warren Beatty, and also Vanilla Ice (he was famous at the time). She then met dancer and trainer Carlos Leon, the father of her daughter Lourdes born 1996.

Madonna met Guy Richie in 1999, and went on to make him her second husband. They had a son together, Rocco in 2000. Their marriage came to an end in 2008.

Madonna has released 12 studio albums, and has sold over 300 million albums. She has won so many awards, best female artist, best selling female - you name it, she has won it. She has toured live, been provocative in public, been highly suggestive and erotic in her videos and has had hit after hit. 78 singles released in total, over a dozen number ones, and 4 decades of success.

This is an icon no less. Influential, powerful and business driven. Its going to be difficult to choose just seven of her songs to review and pick the best.

What a woman. What an artist. Love her, hate her, you certainly cannot ignore her. Pop back tomorrow for song choice number 1.

If you can't wait for that then check out My Music page by clicking here.

Somehow, somewhere, a duck is watching you :)

I'm sorry. I apologise in advance for this, but I just caught a couple of minutes of Countdown with Jimmy Carr.

One of the guests, whose name I have no clue of, has just advised that she loves finding new words, and that her favourite is Anatidaephobia. Which basically means that somehow, somewhere, a duck is watching you.

I just looked it up to be sure it wasn't a joke. It's not. It is a genuine word. It is defined as a pervasive, irrational fear that one is being watched by a duck!!

I think that is the absolute maddest word I have ever heard. Had to share it - hilarious!!

My Film Reviews - Conception

Conception. The title says it all - this film is all about conception. I had never seen this before, despite it being a 2011 release, but decided to give it a go.

It begins with a hilarious bit at the start with the kids at school asking their teacher where babies come from. Said teacher being David Arquette who plays the awkward 'no idea how to answer the question' teacher brilliantly.

The film then switches to the main stories. Nine different couples, all going through different routes in their lives, all leading to conception.

Couple 1 - The first love teenagers. She promises him sex in return for becoming vegetarian.

Couple 2 - The new parents. 6 weeks after the birth, they try to rekindle their love life, but she struggles to cope with the changes to her body post baby.

Couple 3 - The married couple who have lost their spark. They exchange witty banter, covering up their lack of intimacy.

Couple 4 - The lesbian couple who have been together a long long time going through the artificial insemination process to bring a baby into their lives.

Couple 5 - The couple at the point of break-up (almost). Cue smashing the TV and make up love making and refused proposal.

Couple 6 - A divorcee and her toy boy lover. Their relationship is mainly physical.

Couple 7 - The husband and wife who are trying for baby. They are undergoing fertility treatment and their love life revolves around her ovulation, obsessively.

Couple 8 - The blind date couple. After a successful first date night, they go back to his place for 'coffee'.

Couple 9 - The couple who have to argue. They love each other, but have to argue a little, including about showering - more banter than serious arguing.

The film doesn't have big names, other than Arquette, being more of a low-budget indie release. However it immediately hooks you in and keeps it light and entertaining. It hits many a poignant note, but because it flits between the nine couples, it doesn't have time to get maudlin.

It's an intriguing and clever film, well played and well scripted. I really enjoyed this film. Regardless where you are in your own life, you will relate to at least one of the characters.

All nine couples conceive that night. It makes you think, but it doesn't over do the consequences, as it leaves it at that point for each, leaving you to only imagine what might happen to them and their relationships.

I give this a clear 8 out of 10. Its funny, its entertaining, its sentimental, its thought provoking, something that many a high budget number might do well to remember. Its a genuine film, not trying to hard to please. Strongly recommend this one.

Let me know if you have seen it, or if you go watch it as I would love to know what you think.

You can check out more of my movie choices by checking out My Film Review page here.

Monday, 22 September 2014

My Movie Reviews - Pompeii

Pompeii is a well known disaster location, courtesy of an erupting volcano called Vesuvius. Its not surprising then that an action film has know been based (loosely) around the event.

Which brings me to this review of the 2014 film Pompeii. Its billed as a historical disaster, which is pretty accurate. It also has quite an intriguing storyline, and an impressive cast.

It begins showing pompeii casts from the actual disaster, and reflections on the devastation looking back. Then we jump back to the year 62AD. Its a settlement of celts, who are savagely murdered by the Romans. This particular pack of blood thirsty Roman soldiers headed up by the always impressive Kiefer Sutherland who plays Corvus. This man has to possess the single most blood curdling voice ever.

Back to the plot. All the celts are killed, except a small boy. He is later captured by slave traders, and grows up to be the most epic fighter. The little boy is named Milo, and is played by Kit Harrington. I had never heard of him, but this boy sports a serious physique. I've later learned he starred in Game of Thrones, and also How to Train Your Dragon 2.

His road leads him to be bought to Pompeii to fight. At this point, its reminiscent of Gladiator, which is no bad thing and perhaps hard to avoid given the similarities - vile Romans, honourable Gladiator slaves etc.. Said slave meets the beautiful Cassia when her horse falls. He is gentle with the injured horse, but possesses the strength to put it out of its misery. She is instantly attracted to him, a fact noticed at one by her lady servant Ariadne.

Cassia is returning to Pompeii from Rome, to her parents, city ruler Severus and his wife. His wife played by Carrie-Anne Moss (Trinity off the Matrix). Severus hopes to do business with Rome, and shortly after her return, Corvus makes an appearance in Pompeii. It appears it is he and not the Emperor who wishes to do business in Pompeii. However, it soon becomes clear that its not just Severus business he wants - he wants Cassia too, and was the reason for her leaving Rome.

At the gladiator arena, Cassia once again sees Milo and allows him to help settle the horses. The horses have picked up on the tension from the about to erupt volcano. He takes Cassia out on the horse, but they realise they cannot escape and Cassia lies to save Milo's life. Corvus though, makes her pay for her betrayal in refusing his offer of marriage and has him whipped.

Milo and the reigning slave gladiator Atticus look set to fight to the death. However, when deals are done to sacrifice them both, they form an uneasy allegiance. The next day, it seems Milo was right Milo and Atticus manage to survive the supposed re-enactment of the Celts massacre by Corvus. As they battle and win their victory Corvus quips that he doesn't recall it happening this way.

Corvus backs Severus into a corner, and he has to agree to Cassia's hand in marriage against her will. As the fighting continues in the arena, he blackmails Cassia's father. Milo and Atticus win against the odds, but it is down to Corvus to decide their fate. Before he can raise or lower his thumb, Cassia once again saves Milo's life by raising hers. Corvus, angered by her defiance, sends her to the villa whilst he remains at the arena.

The volcano begins to rumble the ground beneath them, as cracks begin to appear in the arena. This is where the likeness to Gladiator ends - there are no volcanoes in Gladiator! Corvus, unsatisfied with the victory of Milo orders a one on one battle between Milo and his number one Roman officer Proculus. As they battle, Vesuvius erupts, clearing her throat at first, then more violently. The arena begins to collapse, and the fighters fall into the chambers beneath as people are crushed by the collapsing building.

Proculus escapes as Milo unleashes the rest of the slaves. Corvus and Severus are both pinned beneath debris. Severus wife, badly injured, urges him to kill Corvus whilst he has the chance. Corvus though, realises what is happening, and it is Severus who is killed, lying side by side with his wife as ash begins to fall upon them.

The eruption is wild now - fireballs and molten rock setting fires all around Pompeii. The people desperately try to flee to the boats in the harbour. Many are struck, and sink, and the rest are swept up in a huge Tsunami caused by the eruption.

Atticus and Milo have survived, but Milo goes to rescue Cassia. They go their separate ways, and Milo finds and rescues Cassia. They head back to the arena to get the horses to try and escape, reuniting with Atticus who has realised there is no way out. The gladiators fight with the Romans who Corvus has placed at the arena, as Cassia goes to see to her parents, realising they are dead.

As she does, Corvus captures her. Milo takes chase as Corvus takes Cassia in a chariot. Atticus faces Proculus and the two fight to the death. Atticus is badly hurt, but rises up and kills Proculus. He remains at the arena and welcomes oncoming death as a free man. Think Braveheart here.

Milo and Corvus fight one another, as Cassia frees herself from the chariot before it crashes. Avoiding fireballs and falling debris they fight on. Cassia sneaks up and chains Corvus wrist to the wall, pinning him there. Rather than kill him, Milo tells him his gods are coming for him. He and Cassia take the horse and escape.

As they put some distance between them and the oncoming flow of lava and fire, the horse throws them. Milo tells Cassia to get back on, take the horse on her own and go, telling her the horse is not strong or fast enough for them both. She refuses, and slaps the horse, leaving the together. Milo takes her in his arms and kisses her, telling her not to look at the pyroclastic cloud washes over them.

The film ends with a 360 degree view of Milo and Cassia carbonised by the heat still in their last embrace, locked their forever.

In summary, this was enjoyable. However, be warned for some seriously dodgy dialogue and some very hammy acting. A very pretty and aesthetically pleasing cast go some way towards making this more enjoyable and off-set some of the cheesier moments. Its not exactly deep, clearly has taken huge influence from other big blockbuster period films before it, but because of the disaster element, its actually good fun.

I usually am a big "weepy" type, not even as a result of anything particularly deep - even adverts can set me off on occasion, but I found I didn't much care that they didn't survive rather than being inclined to even feel sad, which is a shame as I did quite enjoy this. The characters just weren't given enough depth to get to know them.

All in all, if you like disaster movies, and you like kind of period piece that means you do get to see the lovely cast looking buff and/or pretty, then check it out. If you prefer a meatier script and deep and meaningful plot lines, then give it a wide steer.

I would give this a 6 out of 10 mainly based on the volcanoes starring role. Let me know what you think.

You can check out more of my movie reviews at My Film Reviews page by clicking here.  :)

Feeling poorly :(

I am ill today. I am not a good patient either. Just no energy, keep going dizzy, achy - basically yuck.

My other half is home now, looking after me. I hate being ill. Just feel very sorry for myself.

Loads of things I need to be doing, and can't be getting on with them, which is driving me mad.

Stuck with the TV and the laptop to entertain me, which is fine in small doses, but I'm not good at being stuck in the house. I get cabin fever very quickly when I'm off my feet.

Not a happy bunny today. :(

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sunday evening blues :(

Don't weekends go fast? Doesn't seem 2 minutes from finishing work on Friday, to it suddenly being Sunday evening again.

Why can't week days go so quickly? I know its probably not true that time actually speeds up, but it certainly feels like it.

We have packed a lot in this week though, as usual. Been up to see the house, looking for stuff for the house, planning the move. We have done the shopping, done some chores, been for a quick drink.

This afternoon I have also photographed a load of clothes that I want to get listed on ebay to sell. I've had a bit of a clearout ready for the move.

I am sitting down for the first time today, and I am shattered. Cannot believe its Sunday evening.

It all starts again tomorrow. :)

My Next Week with is....drumroll please.... Madonna!!

Yes, I have made my mind up. My next week shall be with the one and only Madonna!!

check back tomorrow for my first post when I explore this pop icon a little, and track her rise to the major player she is today.

Madonna it is. So it begins. :)

Who shall I choose next ?

I need to choose one of the greats this week. I've considered some more recent contenders - you know the ones - the boy bands and their ilk.

Not feeling that vibe at the moment. I'm thinking global superstar types. I'm mulling over the following: U2, Michael Jackson, Kylie, Madonna, Whitney, The Beatles?

Or possibly Eminem, Guns N Roses or Brian Ferry?

Maybe someone more diva like - Mariah? Xtina?

Perhaps more dark and brooding. Radiohead or Muse maybe?

More Rock? ACDC? Aerosmith? Queen?

Just cannot decide. Give me a little while to consider. I shall let you know asap :)

Saturday, 20 September 2014

41 Days until the keys!!

Ooh its getting closer now. 41 days until we get the keys to our lovely new home.

Today, we went to the house to measure a few things - namely where the bed is going to go, and the sofa. Bad news on the bed - my big sleigh bed won't fit in the gap, so its a new bed for us.

Sofa wise - we almost chose one today, but have decided, wisely, that we will wait until we are actually in the house. Its just hard to imagine new furniture when you are standing in a furnished room full of someone else's things. It looks lovely with their furniture, but obviously we have our own taste and choice.

The one we saw today would take 12 weeks to arrive anyway, so better to wait and choose the right one. Especially when we will be spending £2-3K on said sofa!!

The people we are buying from are so lovely. We were there for almost an hour - we thought we would only be there about 5 minutes!!

So just 41 days to go. So excited. Still a little cautious - things can, and do, go wrong sometimes. So not counting my chickens, but just can't help getting a little excited now!! 41 days. :)

Week 14 - My Week with Arctic Monkeys

Week 14 of My Week with was with Arctic Monkeys.  7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking here.  Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

Week 13 - My Week with REM

Week 13 of My Week with was with REM.  7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking here. Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

Week 12 - My Week with Coldplay

Week 12 of My Week with was with Coldplay.  7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking here. Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

Week 11 - My Week with Britney

Week 11 of My Week with was with Britney.  7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking here. Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

Week 10 - My Week with The Rolling Stones

Week 10 of My Week with was with The Rolling Stones.  7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking here.  Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

Week 9 - My Week with Rihanna

Week 9 of My Week with was with Rihanna. 7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking here. Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

Week 8 - My Week with Robbie Williams

Week 8 of My Week with was with Robbie Williams. 7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking here. Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

Week 7 - My Week with Kings of Leon

Week 7 of My Week with was with Kings of Leon. 7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking here. Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

Week 6 - My Week with Pink

Week 6 of My Week with was with Pink. 7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking here. Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

Week 5 - My Week with Take That

Week 5 of My Week with was with Take That. 7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking here . Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

Week 4 - My Week with Beyonce

Week 4 of My Week with was with Beyonce. 7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking Beyonce . Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

Week 3 - My Week with Oasis

Week 3 of My Week with was with Oasis. 7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking Oasis . Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

Week 2 - My Week with the Stereophonics

Week 2 of My Week with was with the Stereophonics . 7 songs, 7 days, and finally my top choice amongst them.

You can check it out by clicking here . Or you can check out more of My Music, by clicking here.

Drop me a comment, and let me know which is your favourite. Happy listening :)

My Week with - where it all started.

My Week with was an idea that occured to me when listening to a great song by a well known band. I decided to listen back to their older stuff, and thought it would be fun to choose a band, then listen to 7 songs and review them. That's how the idea started.

The first week, I chose Blondie. Since then, I've chosen another 13 artists, making 14 weeks in total. 14 great artists / bands.

As the weeks go by, I'm getting more into the music. Starting to delve a little more into where they come from, how they started, and look at their chart success. Its revived my love for music.

I need to decide who to choose next, now that my week with the Arctic Monkeys is over. Who will it be? pop back later to find out :)

My Week with the Arctic Monkeys is over

So its all over. My week with the Arctic Monkeys is finished. Its been great. All that remains now is to decide which of my seven song choices is the number one. So here is my final ranking:

At number 1 its: One For The Road
Number 2: Snap Out of It
Number 3: Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High
Number 4: Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair
Number 5: Fluorescent Adolescent
Number 6: Arabella
Number 7: I Bet That You Look Good on the Dance Floor

There we have it. the week is over. Hope you've enjoyed it. I have. Catch you later. Happy listening :)

Friday, 19 September 2014

Day 7 of My Week with The Arctic Monkeys - One for the Road

Day Seven of My Week with The Arctic Monkeys and my final choice is 'One for the Road'.

This single is yet another single taken from their album AM. This one was the fourth single from the album, and was released in 2013.

This is a more pop rock number than indie rock, and garnered some backlash from some fans who prefer their older stuff. Personally, I think this is the ultimate of cool.

It sounds slick, rock, stylish and modern. It makes you want to be like them (or with them) as they strut about, sounding pretty epic. Its so catchy this one, and you find yourself, or at least I do, walking around singing the title - one for the road, whoo whoo (my version that, not theirs!)

The video is the band looking stylish, but oddly enough in a field. Its shot in black and white, and they look full of young hipness. Alex in particular, the leader of the pack. Later, they party with stunning models with mist swirling round them for atmosphere. This video is well suited - stylish track, stylish video. Ultra cool. Lots of swagger.

This was another track not to chart highly at all, but this is to be expected given the success of the album. It did reach 14 on the indie chart.

In my opinion, this is the true gem of their newest stuff. I can sort of see how much the change in their style has bought out strong opinions, but to me the fact they keep changing style and evolving keeps them fresh and new.

So there you have it, the last of my seven choices. You can check out days 1-6 at My Music page by clicking here. Drop me a comment, let me know what you think.

Now all that remains to be done, is rank my seven choices, selecting my number one choice. Check back later for the results. Happy listening, as always :)

PT survived - I burn everywhere!!

Just back from PT. I'm accustomed to aching a bit afterwards, but nothing like this right now. My arms, my legs - you name it, it burns!

Tonight, he put me through this:

  • Intervals on increasing levels on cross trainer 
  • 3 mins running on an incline
  • Clean and sweep with weight bar - 4 sets of 10
  • Swing and reach with medicine ball - 4 sets of 20
  • Runs with high knees on the spot - 4 x 30 second sprints
  • Squat jumps - 4 sets of 15 
  • 3 mins running on an incline
  • Squats over step bench with weight bar followed by step up onto box - 4 sets of 10
  • Box squat jumps - 4 sets of 15
  • Walking planks - 4 sets of 10
  • Runs with high knees on the spot - 4 x 30 second sprints
  • Box steps x 50 x 2 sets
  • Squat and lift with weight bar - 4 sets of 10
  • 2 minute run on an incline
I can honestly say I was utterly done in after that. The combination of weights and cardio left me exhausted and I am burning baby, burning!! 

On the plus side, my fitness is improving. I just feel like I resemble a hippo bouncing about the place. This fat around my middle has to go!! Next session is Wednesday. By then, I should just about have recovered! Hopefully :)

Friday weigh in :(

Ok, I promised that Friday would be weigh in day. So here it is - no change, still 13 stone 3.4lbs.

Not even an ounce change. On one hand, that's good - its stopped the gain. On the other hand, its rubbish, as I've not lost anything.

Having said that, I didn't really try properly until Wednesday, and I know I am not controlling portions etc..

Friday weigh in this time next week will see change.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Eternally Hopeful tonight :)

Posted some lovely competitions for you all tonight. Would love to win something.

good luck and here's to be Eternally Hopeful. :)

Day 6 of My Week With the Arctic Monkeys - Arabella

Day 6 of My Week with the Arctic Monkeys and today it is 'Arabella'.

Arabella is another track from their fifth studio album, AM. I've already chosen Snap Out of It  and Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High. Lots of hits from this album for sure.

The album was released in 2013, but this being the fifth single take from it, it wasn't released until 2014. It didn't chart very high in the UK singles chart, not reaching the top 100 even, but by the time this was released the album was huge so that's most likely why. it hit number 26 in the indie chart.

Do not let that put you off this song. Its sultry, broody and catchy, and every bit as good as the bigger hits. Its a bit more rock than some of their other tracks, still on the indie inclination but darker. You can hear influences in this track of where they got their inspiration from, its a bit retro rock in places.

The video is a bit risque, so just to prepare you. Its black and white and a nudge to the erotic. Alex looks cool, and to my mind a bit Brian Ferry circa Roxy Music era - white shirt, slicked back hair and all that. He sounds cool and effortless as he snarls his distinctive talented vocals.

Such a catchy, mid tempo, very rock track this one. The lyrics are also a bit risque to match the style and video. Such as the lines 'There's magic in a cheetah print coat, just a slip underneath it I hope". Ooh I say!! Naughty boy he.

Seriously, this is fab. Right up there with the best of them. Go check it out and let me know what you think. For more you can check out My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

Phewf - just sat down!!

What a busy evening!! This is my evening thus far:

  • sandwiches made up for tomorrow
  • snack pack made up for tomorrow
  • dry washing folded up
  • dry washing put away
  • big washing load put on
  • big washing load hung out
  • potatoes chopped for home made chunky chips
  • big clothes sort out
  • all clothes for ebaying photographed
  • cleared some stuff out of loft
  • got work stuff ready for tomorrow
  • sorted out piled up post out of drawers
  • filed paperwork
  • put tea in oven
  • veeted the other halfs back whilst up and down to loft
  • got sold ebay items ready to wrap
Now, I'm just having a little rest before I have to start downloading the photos and getting some items listed, not to mention everything else - checking emails and all that!! Busy busy. :)

PT, low cal and no weight loss!!

I went to PT last night. I ate healthily yesterday. I have not lost anything.

So frustrating. I just have to stick to it now. Just fed up of carrying this bulge around my middle. It has to go now. Just no choice!! :(

Don't miss my single of the Week - Blame

I posted my single of the week a little late last night. So here's another chance to see it - just click this link Blame

Let me know if you love it or hate it. I love comments :)

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

My Single of the Week - Calvin Harris & John Newman - Blame

My single of the week this week is by Calvin Harris with John Newman and their song 'Blame'.

The first thing I want to say about this song is wow. Calvin Harris is a truly great artist, but this track, coupled with the great John Newman is beyond great.

This was released early September 2014, and on checking its chart position, its riding high at number one already. Deservedly so.

John Newman's vocals are full of soul and emotion, as always. It sounds quite slow to start with, but when the beat kicks in, this is a stomper, nothing short.

Its catchy, its kind of beautiful - the twining of these two in collaboration has produced something pretty damn special. Harris always does great stuff, but somehow this track is more fulfilling. Summer was an epic track, but for me, this is better. Longer lasting, more thoughtful.

The video to this one is also mesmerising. Lots of scantily clad ladies, but tastefully done. As a female I found myself wondering where they bought such beautiful lingerie as opposed to be offended by it. Its not gratuitous, they are just strutting and dancing. Then they all dive in to whatever water presents itself - a puddle, a bath - and they reappear in a lake.

Here's a bit of trivia for you - this is Harris' seventh number 1 hit. This is Newman's third. That's success.

So, here's what to do. Go take a listen, and drop me a lovely comment to tell me what you think.

For more music, check out My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

(video published on youtube by CalvinHarrisVEVO)

Day 5 of My Week with the Arctic Monkeys - Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair

Day Five of My Week with the Arctic Monkeys and today its 'Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair'.

This is a classic Arctic Monkeys number. It was released in 2011 as the first single from their album Suck It And See, which came out the same year. Suck It And See was their fourth studio album.

Don't Sit Down.. reached number 28 in the main UK singles chart, and number 4 in the indie chart. It wasn't their biggest hit, but its possibly one of the most distinctive. Its darker, and grungier and far more indie than many of their releases.

Alex virtually growls through this one, as opposed to singing. Its quite bassy, lending itself to Turner's unique vocals and the cool image that this band from Sheffield rock.

The video is a bit headache inducing. Lots of blurred, over exposed images flashing by, very out of focus. Clips of football games flash by, and images of the band. Not much of a story to it, not very pleasing to watch. Bit disappointing this video if I'm honest. Shame, the track is great.

What I really like about this track is the lyrics. Consider what would happen if you sat down and someone had moved your chair. You would fall on your behind. No biggy really. The lyrics though run through all manner of much more dangerous pursuits!! 'Run with scissors', 'start a fight', and my particular favourite "wear your shellsuit on bonfire night'. Genius.

This is a brilliant track, sounds great, well written, the usual cool indie vocals from Mr Turner. Fab song, fab band. Pity about the video, but you can't have everything. Go take a listen, or just let me know what you think of this one.

If you missed choices 1-4, you can find them on My Music page by clicking here.  Happy listening :)

44 Days until the keys!!

44 days until completion date. 44!! Just 13 more September days, and then its the month of the move.

We are going over to the new house this weekend to do some measuring - for the bed and sofas, and also just checking the loft.

Then its time to sign the draft contract, send it back and wait for the set date. We are looking at 31st October, but I've everything crossed for it being sooner than that.

I just want to be in my house!! :)

Today is tomorrow = Tomorrow has finally arrived!!

I said yesterday, that I will start my diet tomorrow. There have been many yesterdays, and even more tomorrows. Tomorrow never comes.

That changes, starting today. Tomorrow is today, if you follow me. No more excuses, no more reasons to over eat and under exercise. No more.

I am making myself miserable and life's just too short. So tomorrow has finally arrived!!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Draft Contract for the house has arrived!!

Its getting closer. 31st October is the proposed date, and to make it seem real, the draft contract arrived yesterday.

I've read it through, carefully, and all appears to be straight forward enough. Going to get it all signed, and sent off and then its just waiting!! Nervous and excited.

Making a start on the packing up process now - few things dismantled, couple more boxed up. Nothing major, yet, but its a start. C'mon 31st October!! :)

Monday, 15 September 2014

New PT schedule - Weds & Fridays

I used to have PT Monday and Friday. Monday is not a good day and something always cropped up making it difficult to get there on time, or at all.

So its now Wednesday at 6.15pm and Friday at 5pm. This, I hope, will give me a kickstart, and I will not miss a session again hopefully. It also means I no longer need to finish work early to get there, which is better still.

I think I am over my injury from last week, I have managed a couple of nights of not having any alcohol or rubbish, so now I need to concentrate and get properly into the health kick.

My new PT schedule will help, but I have an uphill battle ahead of me. It will be worth it though. :)

The Blacklist - another great TV show

Last week we watched the final episode of Prison Break. In a bid to find another great show to entertain us of an evening, we stumbled upon the Blacklist.

Starring James Spader, but otherwise devoid of big talent, we cautiously watched the pilot episode. It looked intriguing, and we enjoyed it. Its a clever, slickly executed american show, which great writing and good acting.

From the pilot, we are not 4 episodes in. This one, not so old, only aired in 2013 for its first season. The second season this year, 2014, and due to its success a further series scheduled for 2015.

This one is more of a grower, but I am thoroughly enjoying this. Its an intellectual thriller, very well structured and very thought provoking.

More on this to come as we progress through season one. Fabulous so far :)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Looks like its Greece next year :)

We are booking up in the next few weeks for next summer's holiday.

In March 2015, we are off to Marrakesh.That one is just the two of us, all inclusive. Very excited, but I also want to get the big holiday for the family booked up.

Researching so far has bought us to Greece. I've been to a few Greek resorts- namely Rhodes, Crete and Zante (Zakynthos). The only one I can say I have really been to is Rhodes, as the others I only stayed in one place.

So we are looking at Kos, Zante, Crete and lots of others having narrowed down our search to Greece.

I love the Blue Lagoon on Kos, but not convinced the other half. yet. Lets see :)

DIY Sunday

Its been a busy day today. B&Q, SCS, sofa city - you name it, we have been there. There are things we need to do before we leave, and there are things we need to do before we move into the new home.

This means we have had to look at carpets and sofas (new house) paint and filler (old house), not to mention the wishlist of what we can't do straight away but want to new on the new place.

Moving house is such hard work. So much to do, so much stress and expense. That said, I just cannot wait to get the keys and move in. So exciting!!

We have picked the sofa we want, including love chair - for me of course. We have chosen the carpets and colour schemes, so its all systems go! Just waiting on those keys now. :)

Saturday, 13 September 2014

48 days until the keys!!

Its now 48 days until we get the keys to our new home. We have just been for a drink at what will be our new local - just as an excuse to drive past the house again really!!

I just want to be in there now. We are planning what will go where, what we need to replace, purchase etc..

We have even been to have a look at new sofas and carpets. We are all but moved in (in our minds!).

48 days.

Saturday afternoon and Columbo :)

I have a confession - I am a huge fan of Columbo. I'm a rare breed - most people I know cannot stand the man with his rumpled coat and his "just one more thing".

I grew up watching this guy and his eccentric ways, and no matter how hammy the acting and how dated the show now is (lovely 70's styles if you will!) I still adore him and the show.

Sometimes, you just have to indulge yourself. :)

Friday, 12 September 2014

Spy Love Buy - My Must Have Shoes

My absolute favourite shoes, that I am absolutely going to have to buy (or drop serious hints for this Christmas) are these absolute beauts:

These are the fab Perth heeled cleated sole platform mule shoes in white, £42.95. 

They are a gorgeous style, in a leather effect. I'm a bit prone to a tumble in narrow heels, but I still like to wear a heel so these are perfect. Still amazing looking, stylish, but much more wearable. 

I would pair these with skinny jeans or jeggings for a casual look, or with a dress and a leather jacket for a day time look. For night time, they would go great with a leather or pencil skirt and a shift top. 

At £42.95 these are very affordable. They also do them in black, so who knows, I may even buy one in each colour!!

They have a 4 inch block heel, and a 2 inch platform. So they are mules with a kick!! 

Got to have these. Top of my wishlist. 

There are loads of fab items over at Spy Love Buy, so go take a look by following this link. Love this site. :)

Day Four of My Week with The Arctic Monkeys - Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?

Day four of my week with The Arctic Monkeys and today it's Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?

This single was taken from their album AM which was released in 2013. It was the third single from it, and was also released in 2013.

Now, lets be up front before we start - this is a cool cool song. Its style is street, the lyrics are clever, its accompanying video is stylish and clever, its cool.

It sounds cool, looks cool, but then this is a band who have been so successful you would expect them to be big headed by this point. But no, this is all about being rebutted when you want a 3am booty call!!

Its got a grungy indie sultry sexy swagger going on, pretty slow paced, but very indie rock. Its different to their usual stuff, but its still their usual style if that makes sense. You could imagine grinding hips on the dance floor to this one (were I still young enough to shake my booty on the dance floor).

The video features the band looking casual cool, having a few drinks in their local. Alex (who incidentally wrote this one) gets trollied, drunk, bevvied, splattered - whatever phrase you will, and texts a girl called Stephanie. He gets no answer, leaves the pub and imagines he sees her everywhere with other men. In his drunken state, he tries to knock on her door, but its the wrong house, its across the road. You then see Stephanie in her house, with another guy on the sofa, pick up her phone, see all Alex's calls and texts, and looks disgusted. He does not get his booty call!!

This single was a hit in the UK singles chart, reaching number 8, but it hit the number 1 spot in the uk indie chart. Not surprising, its a great track, great instrumental, great vocals, clever lyrics.

This song doesn't have a hidden meaning, its not exactly subtle. What it is is very believable. Its very cleverly done and worded, and really hooks you. This is a truly great song. One of their best.

So that's day four done. Go take a listen, and let me know what you think. If you missed days one, two and three, you can find them at My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

This evening's PT survived

I was determined to make it to PT tonight. That is why I spent £60 on a deep tissue massage last night, in a bid to get my injury improved enough to survive it.

The massage did its magic, and off I toddled for my 5pm session. Which consisted of:

  • 5 min run on treadmill to warm up
  • circuit training in the studio
  • box jumps
  • step over box jumps
  • squat and finger touch step box
  • burpees with box jump
  • side steps up and down the studio
  • crunch with leg raise
  • upper cut punches with gloves and pads
  • side cross punches with gloves and pads
  • upper cross punches with gloves and pads
  • intervals on stair master
  • squats and ball raise with medicine ball
  • squat jumps
  • walking lunges
  • side step with side lunge up and down the studio
It was such hard work. The good news being that my leg only twinged, no pain. If I can get through that pounding I think I am out of the woods now. 

I think my PT was dropping a bit of a hint about my needing to get the holiday (and after) weight off again. He didn't say that exactly, but what he did say was that I am working so hard with him in my sessions, and that I now need to help myself and sort my diet out. Subtle, but effective. 

Must try harder, that's all there is to say. Must do better. :)

Friday weigh in :(

Oh dear. It started so well, but then the injury struck. My weight today is:

  • 13 stone 4lb
No weight lost this week. However, following my lovely deep tissue massage last night, I am ready to try again this week. 

Note to self - must try harder :(

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Wow - what a massage!!

I will post some details about Moddershall Oaks tomorrow, as the massage I had this evening was A-mazing. 55 minutes of being elbowed, kneed and prodded and I feel amazing.

I could barely walk without wincing with the muscles I had strained. Whilst it hasn't completely gone, its 90% better. I can get off the chair, sit back down, walk straight. Bliss, utter bliss.

It was uncomfortable, the pressure was immense. I hadn't realised how "knotted" up my back and shoulders were. Now, I feel relaxed. Not in pain, and relaxed. Bliss. :)

Off for a deep tissue massage this evening

I am aching. A lot. Shoulders, legs, arms - easier to say what is not than what is. Also, at Tuesday's grueller of a PT session, I could not get my technique for dead lifts right at all, no matter how much I tried.

A couple of reps in, and I felt a pull in my lower back, almost hip area. I carried on a bit, but had to tell my PT it was pulling. My fault- I kept curving my back, putting the weight on my lower back instead of my thighs, but pull it did.

It eased off doing different exercises on other muscle groups, running etc.. but I could still feel it.

Fast forward to today, and it is agony. So I'm off for a deep tissue massage at 7pm, at my local spa venue - Moddershall Oaks. This injury isn't for amateurs - I can't risk it being made worse, so am spending £60 on a 55 minute session.

I'm not ordinarily a massage fan, but the aches and pains I'm carrying today have resulted in a new found desire for one.

I will let you know how it goes and if its made any difference later this evening.

Beautiful day, washing out, all is well

The sun is shining, my washing is out on the line, I'm just about ready for work.

Gym bag packed, breakfast eaten, berocca drank, off I go for another adventure. Catch you later :)

September 11th Anniversary today

It is the anniversary of September 11th today, so if nothing else, spare a moment of your day to reflect and remember.

Its quite scary how long its been and yet its still so fresh in my mind. I was in Fiji at the time, and I shall never forget that moment when I saw on the news the second plane coming in. Horrendous and we should never forget.

Thoughts to those that perished, that were injured, that were affected, that lost anyone.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

51 Days until we get the keys (fingers crossed)

If all goes to plan, then we will have the keys in 51 days. Yes, that's correct - Halloween!!

Hopefully, the sellers will move out slightly before then, but they have to find somewhere to rent themselves.

Last night we had 4 lots of people come and view this house to rent it. 4 sets of them, all loved it. If they can move in sooner, the owner has kindly agreed to pro rata the last month rent which is very decent of him.

So you see we are in a position to move sooner, rather than later. For more, it can't come quick enough. I want to be in there, doing what we need to, finding a home for the furniture, getting new carpets and curtains - all the things that turn a house into a home.

51 days. :)

My Week with The Arctic Monkeys Day Three - Fluorescent Adolescent

It is day three of My Week with the Arctic Monkeys, and today its Fluorescent Adolescent.

This was the second single from their album Favourite Worst Nightmare. The album and the single were both released in 2007.

Lets cut to the chase - this is really not a happy number. Its about growing old, and being past it if you listen. It starts as it means to go on, with Alex snarling "you used to get it in your fishnets, now you only get it in your nightdress". Charming. Quite common though!

This is a mid paced track, with great guitar and drums and as ever, Alex with his indie style snarly sort of vocals. Great voice, very distinctive and unique.

I had never watched the video before. It is quite possibly one of the best I have ever seen, if only for the shock of it. Picture it - a gang of clowns and a gang of non-clowns. Fighting one another in some sort of abandoned warehouse. The leader of each, one clown, one not, flashback to their childhood and when they were friends, but not anymore. They try to kill one another, finally clown being the one to finish the job. Shocking, pretty graphic - utterly absorbing and clever.

Fluorescent Adolescent peaked at number 5 in the UK chart. A big hit, but I am surprised that this one didn't hit the top spot, as its one of their best releases to date.

Fantastic track, but just a tip to be aware of - don't listen to this one if you are feeling a bit old and past it - it will not perk you up!! Go take a listen, and let me know what you think.

For Day One and Two, or more music stuff, check out My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

My Single of the Week - Taylor Swift - Shake it off

My single of the week this week is by Taylor Swift with Shake it Off.

Now, I'm going to be honest and say that whilst I appreciate she is talented, I've not previously loved her songs. That is until this poptastic number!!

Shake it Off is full on energy, feel good, pop perfection. Taylor looks great in this video, and is clearly having some fun herself. She's dressed in various costumes throughout, including a ballerina, cheerleader, gym kit, street wear and just casual black legging and T combo. In each guise, bopping about like a happy little thing singing her heart out.

Its very bright and very all american, especially the Blondie-esque rap bit in the middle, but its a great song. Her voice sounds brilliant. As you might imagine from this review, its not exactly a deep and meaningful, its more a put it on turn it up and dance arond type.

This single was released in August 2014, and as I write this is sitting in the UK chart at number 6. Its take from her upcoming fifth studio album, not bad for a woman aged just 24. Impressive stuff.

This track is not the usual Taylor output - its not even reference to her country roots its pure pop, and all the more brilliant for it. Clearly, she's experimenting with a different sound, maybe just on this track, but maybe the album will be so fresh. Have to wait and see. For now, lets just enjoy this fun single.

Let me know if you love it and if it made you dance around. I defy you not to!!

You can check out previous single of the week choices and more music stuff at My Music page by clicking here . Happy listening :)

(video published on youtube by TaylorSwiftVEVO)

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Prison Break - the end

Just finished the last episode. Wow. Tears and everything. :(

Competition when I reach 100 :)

Just a little reminder that when I reach 100 lovely followers, I'm going to run a lovely little competition for you all.

Just give the google button a little nudge (on the right) or you can follow me on bloglovin. Share the love :)

Wow, what a beautiful day!

You would be mistaken for believing it was June today. Its not a mid summer day, in fact we are approaching Autumn at pace.

The tress are turning, the nights are getting longer, the days shorter, and yet, and yet, summer is hanging on until the bitter end. Its been a bright, bright, sunshiny day to quote lyrics to a song I can't recall the name of!

I was stuck indoors in the office for most of it, and then when that was done, it was time for the gym. However it lifted my mood no end to see the sun through the window instead of grey skies.

Apparently, its going to be lovely all week, so lets all make the most of it whilst it lasts. It will soon be winter. :)

The new schedule - weight update on Fridays :)

In keeping with the new schedule I am following to get my life in order, I am putting some structure to my blog, so for regular posts you know when to expect them.

So, my weekly weigh in will now be posted on Fridays, so check back this Friday to see how I have got on this week :)

Day Two of My Week with the Arctic Monkeys - Snap Out of It

Its Day Two of My Week with the Arctic Monkeys, and today my choice is Snap Out of It.

Snap Out of It is one of their more recent numbers, and is taken from their fifth album, AM. It was released in June 2014, with the album having been released in 2013.

This one didn't fare too well in the UK singles chart, only reaching 82, but that said, it was the sixth single off the album, so in that context given the success of the album, its understandable. This album, along with the previous four, went straight in at the top spot in the album chart, breaking all sorts of records and winning awards and acclaim around the world.

This one is more indie rock than some of their more pop indie numbers, and is quite dark sounding. Alex's vocals tend to give it that slightly melancholy feel anyway, but this one is a bit more slow paced even though still rock and still with a good rhythm to it.

As usual, its very guitar. As usual, its very catchy. The video is great to this one. Featuring an actress called Stephanie Sigman, who is scantily clad throughout, its fascinating. She is a very beautiful woman, and it begins with her in swimwear coming out of the pool.

She then proceeds to get very upset watching a video of the Arctics, then tries to snap out of it, cooking herself meat and dancing around like a crazy thing. Not clear which one of the band she's trying to get over, maybe all of them!!

The lyrics are quite dark, as he sings "I wanna grab both your shoulders and shake baby, snap out of it" then, "I get the feeling I left it too late". Not cheery stuff this one, but great never the less.

In summary, this is a superb record. I don't think I have fully appreciated this band's music properly before. The more I hear, the more I like them. Go take a listen, and let me know what you think.

Just to remind you, you can check out Day One's choice here, or for more music you can check out My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

Prison Break - 4 more to go!

I am on series 4. I have just 4 episodes left to watch. Its such a twisty turny slippery little number that I can only imagine how its going to end.

Later this week, I shall post my review. I just need to know how it ends first. What a series!! :)

Monday, 8 September 2014

Single of the Week on Wednesdays :)

I am getting organised, sorting my life out if you will. I feel I need some structure. This also needs to apply to my blog, so I am going to try and set a pattern of what I post and when.

So to begin with, from last week, My single of the Week will now always be posted on a Wednesday, so pop back each week for the next selection.

This way, you know where you are and when to expect it. I think this will be more enjoyable for all of us. Catch you later. :)

Sparkling house :)

We have been cleaning for 3 hours. Yes, you heard me correctly. 3 hours. Now, this might imply that the house was dirty. It was not, it just needed the usual - hoovering, cleaning the bathrooms, dusting, mopping the floor.

Its not like it was bad, but it takes time to really make it sparkle. Now, sitting down at last, it smells wonderful, looks pristine and all is well.

Its a good feeling. :)

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Day One of My Week with The Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor

Day One then of My Week with the Arctic Monkeys. My first choice is I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor.

This was the first single to be taken from their debut studio album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm not. It was released in 2005, and went straight in at number one in the UK chart.

This was a massive hit, and really added to their fame. They were, and still are a big touring band, and they already had a massive following. They were something of an underground act, but this took them mainstream, big time.

This single won them an NME award, and the song was critically acclaimed. When you listen to it now, almost ten years on, it just hasn't dated at all. It still sounds fresh. This was one of their first awards, which set the scene for what was to come.

This is a very guitar based song, with Alex Turner's somewhat unusual vocals and style making it a stand out track, even by their own high standards. It sounds similar-ish to The Strokes. Quite fast paced, indie rock style, but very catchy and very enjoyable.

The video is just them, doing their thing. Its very apt for this track. No gimmicks, all about the music. And the music in this instance, is amongst the very best of them.

A brilliant song and a great choice to kick off my week with this band. Let me know what you think.

If you can't wait for the next track, go check out My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

Second PT - back into it now (no chocolate!)

I had my first PT since holiday on Thursday. Today was my second. I was still a bit achy from Thursday, but compared to today, he took it easy on me on Thursday.

Today, this is what he put me through:

  • 5 mins warm up run
  • leg press - 20 reps x 4 sets
  • side pull with wheel weight - 15 reps x 4 sets (each side)
  • burpee with box jump - 15 reps x 4 sets
  • 2 lengths of the room run in between the above reps
  • walking lunges with belgian bag -6 sets
  • 2 lengths of the room run in between the above reps
  • 3 box step up and knee lift with weight bar - 15 reps per leg, x 3 sets
  • 6 lengths of the room run in between reps
  • box jumps - 15 reps x 3 sets
  • 3 box step up and change on box with weight bar - 20 reps x 1 set
  • 3 min run on treadmill
  • leg weights on machine (back of thigh) 15 reps x 3 sets
  • plank walk (elbow to hands) x 15 reps x 3 sets
  • 5 min run to finish
I was absolutely knackered. Sweating just doesn't describe the red sweaty mess I was in by the end. It felt good. I even stayed away from the chocolate afterwards. Next one is Monday. 

Its now 8.30pm. My session was 2.15pm. I felt good then, if exhausted. Right now, there are less parts of me not burning than there are burning. Everytime i move, I can feel another muscle aching!! I have worked hard. Very hard. And more to come!! Getting back into it now. :)

PT & chocolate!

Its PT again today. 2.15pm to be precise. I am back into the gym now - I know I have to go, I know its good for me.

I haven't quite got my head around the diet part yet though. So today, its going to be PT followed by some chocolate. I have a craving for chocolate that just won't quit, so its give in and get it out of my system or else be miserable. I choose not to be miserable.

I will work hard at PT, but its the weekend. I shall throw myself fully into the diet from Monday. I will write everything down, work out my calories and all that jazz. But not today. Today, I shall indulge a little in what I want. You only live once don't you? :)

Identity crisis - what am I??

I started blogging approx 12 months ago. Initially, it was just something to experiment with, and I had no intention of "building a site".

Fast forward, and here I am, blogging most days, about mostly music and lifestyle stuff - like travel, clothes, grumbles and competitions. So what am I? Am I a lifestyle blogger?

I would love to know if there are others out there doing similar things. I want to network a bit now, as its a bit lonely over here at the Eternal Hopeful. I don't know how to find you lovely people!!

Drop me a comment if you would be so kind, and I shall return the favour :)

Friday, 5 September 2014

Alesha Dixon - who knew?

I've just watched Piers Morgan interview Alesha Dixon. I had absolutely no idea that girl had been through so much in her young life.

She's 36, but has been through all kinds of lows. I have a new found respect for her. Personal life and professional life, she has really been put through the mill. Betrayal, public backlash - you name it, its happened to her.

I have never really given her much attention, I wasn't a fan of her music, I didn't watch strictly. However, seeing her on Piers show, being so open, and so strong as a woman has really opened my eyes. I admire her.

Alesha, I am a new fan. You go girl. :)

It's Friday!!!

I am so glad its Friday. Its been such a long week. Back to the gym, back on the diet, house buying stuff. Washing machine packing up, sorting a new one. Just life really. Everything happening all at once = exhausting.

Thank goodness it is Friday!! Here's to a great weekend :)

New clothes :)

I nipped into Matalan last night. I don't usually shop in these sort of shops, but I needed some disposable clothes. The sort you wear in transition.

I'm about to lose a significant amount of weight, so I couldn't see the point spending a fortune. So I opted for a couple of items to see me through.

I will post pics of them later, but already I feel better. Wearing something new even if it was free or inexpensive just gives you a little boost. So now I am ready for the world. See you later :)

The scales this morning

The scales budged slightly today. 13 stone 1 pound. Thats 2 pounds lost now since Monday. Not great, but its ok, its a start.

The important thing now is to control myself over the weekend, or it could easily go back on. The other thing is that its close now to getting back under that 13 stone mark.

Once I am back to weighing 12 stone something, I will feel like I am making more progress. Don't forget though, that my goal is 10 stone 7 pounds. So that is 2 and a half stone I need to lose.

So, today I am wearing my pedometer. I am determined now to get slim, fit and healthy. Going to be a long story, but I will get there and will share with you how I do it. :)

Thursday, 4 September 2014

My Week with the Arctic Monkeys begins

My week with the Arctic Monkeys begins today. So lets take a closer look at this band.

The Arctic Monkeys formed back in 2002. 12 years on, they are one of the best known and best loved British bands, known for being fantastic in the live arena. They come from Sheffield, and their are 4 of them.

On lead vocals and guitar we have Alex Turner. Jamie Cook is on lead guitar and backing vocals, Nick O'Malley on bass guitar and backing vocals, and last but not least Matt Helders on drums and backing vocals.

To date, they have released five studio albums. They were signed to Domino in 2005. The following year 2006 saw the release of their first album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's what I'm not. It became the fastest selling debut album in UK chart history. Impressive.

Their second album followed in 2007. Favourite Worst Nightmare went straight to number 1, like their debut album. Humbug, their third album was released in 2009, and again, hit the number one spot.

In between album 2 and 3, lead singer Alex Turner had been off with his side project, the Last Shadow Puppets. They are a brilliant side project incidentally. Back to the Arctics.

Suck It And See was next, their fourth album. It was released in 2011.It again hit the top spot, winning all sorts of accolades for having four albums on the trot to reach number one.

Their fifth album, AM, was released in 2013. Guess what - yep, it reached the number one spot too. All five albums number ones.

Arctic Monkeys are indie rock. They aren't pop, but release catchy records all the same. They aren't a rock band, but their music is definitely guitar and drum based in feel.

So they have had five studio albums, resulting in 19 single releases. They were one of the pioneers of low key advertising and mainly internet based publicity.

They have won BRIT awards, won the Ivor Notello, been nominated for Grammys, won the Mercury prize, won the Meteor Music award, even a MOJO. They have been nominated for MTV awards, won Muso award, won lots of NME awards and Q awards.

Make no mistake, this is a successful band. So, the first single choice is coming tomorrow, so pop back for that if you wish. Why don't you have a look at My Music page before then? Click here. Happy listening. :)

PT session 1 under my belt :)

I made it to the gym. 5pm as scheduled. My PT was there, waiting, smiling. Well, he would smile wouldn't he? He is superfit and doesn't suffer from the total lack of will power and self control that has led me to this point!!

I waddled past him, put my stuff in my locker, then faced the music. To begin with, it was the treadmill. 5 minutes of running - slow then building up. This is what the full session then entailed:

  • 5 min running building up speed
  • 15 burpee with box jump x 3 sets
  • 15 sit up with medicine ball throw x 3 sets
  • 20 single leg mountain climbs x 6 sets
  • 5 double leg mountain climbs x 3 sets
  • sit up with twist to knee 20 x 3 sets
  • cross trainer intervals 3 min x 3 sets with 30 second sprints
  • 3 min run building up speed
  • box jump with squat x 15 x 3 sets
  • rotating side plank - 20 reps x 3 sets
  • leg raise with weight wheel - 15 x 3 sets
  • knee tuck with weight wheel - 15 x 3 sets
  • rope pulls - 30 second sprints x 3 sets
  • sit up and twist to knee - 20 x 3 sets
I was dripping with sweat, out of breath, and felt totally out of condition. But that's the first one back, and that is a good feeling indeed. 

Next session is Saturday at 2.15pm. I think he is going to push me harder. Tonight he said he was only half killing me. I think I am for it on Saturday. Then its back to the routine after that - Mondays and Fridays. 

I have to succeed this time. I will succeed this time. Long way down though. :)

1 hour 22 minutes to PT !!!!!!

Its getting close. Very close. I am getting nervous. Very nervous.

2 things to remember though. Firstly, the first one is always the worst, so it can only get better from here. Second, I do not like how I look at the moment, so it has to be done.

Catch you later ;)

Washing Machine nightmare

You couldn't make the timing up. I give notice on the house we rent, and within a week, the washing machine packs up. The man has been and said its terminal.

So, I have just been to the dentist- all well with my teeth - one bit of good news, and now its bagging up washing to take to my lovely mum to wash for me.

Firstly, there is a batch of supposedly washed clothes, that was the load that finished the washer off for good. It didn't wash, but did get soaking wet and consequently now smells like wet dogs.

Then, because we had family down over the weekend, there is the washing we didn't do whilst they were here, plus 4 days more that has accumulated since. Its a nightmare.

You just do not realise how much you need your appliances until they break.

So, now we have to choose a new one, pay for it, get it installed, the old one removed and my lovely landlord will pay me back for it. It will probably be a week before we have a washing machine again.

This is before we even move. Talk about stressful! :(

Dentist today - at 2.30 - get it?

I have a check up at the dentist later. At 2.30. You know that old joke - tooth-hurty?

I was fine until that occurred to me. Now I'm stressing a little bit abut it. I'm sure it will all be fine, I hope it will. I really do not like going to the dentist.

What a day - dentist and Personal Training. Glutton for punishment me!! Catch you later :)

First PT session since 6th August today.

5pm today. That is the deadline for PT. It was 6th August, the day before my holiday the last time I went.

I cannot believe I've left it for so long, as tonight is going to be hell on earth now.

I have text my PT telling him I have put weight on, not moved my backside much. His response? He will break me in gently "in his style". I do not like the sound of that.

When I post this evening, I will have survived it. I hope!!

No change on the scales this morning :(

Still 13 stone 1.8lbs. Same as yesterday. However, today is different. Its back to PT later !! First time in a month. OMG - dreading it!! But looking forward to the scales change - hopefully tomorrow!!

Going to try and control my portions today too. Eating healthier, but too many carbs, and too big a portion of carbs.

However, its progress. :)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

My next week with is..... Arctic Monkeys!

I've made my decision - my next week is going to be with the Arctic Monkeys. How exciting!!

Tomorrow, I shall explore a little about this band, where they came from, what they have done. Then over the next week I shall choose 7 singles, review each one, then consider which, in my humble opinion was their best.

Excited about this one. come back for more tomorrow :)

My Single of the Week - David Guetta - Lovers on the Sun

My single of the week this week is David Guetta with Lovers on the Sun, featuring Sam Martin.

David Guetta is well known, having had many hits, but this one stands out to me as being a bit different from the norm. It features Sam Martin on vocals, who is an American singer- songwriter. It was written in collaboration with others including Avicii amongst others. Pretty impressive credentials this track has.

It was released in the UK as a single in August 2014, and currently is at number 3 in the singles chart, having already hit number 1 on release. Its a real feel good track this, very dance oriented like most of Guetta's stuff, but with a heavy spaghetti western vibe.

The video is also very spaghetti western featuring cowboys and horses. I think its a really fitting video for a great song.

I love this track. It shows that Guetta can adapt and change and still produce number one hits. It sounds so different, and quirky. Just brilliant.

Here's a little known bit of trivia - french born Guetta's first name is actually Pierre. Who knew?

Go take a listen, and let me know what you think. I hope you love it as much as I do. Another great track from this talented guy.

You can check out more single picks and music at My Music page by clicking here. Happy listening :)

(video published on youtube by David Guetta)

My Week with REM is over :(

My week with REM is over. I have liked some of their songs in the past, but wouldn't have described myself as a fan really. Although I have seen them live, they were a support act for another band.

So I began my week choosing seven tracks and I can report that I have found one or two tracks I wasn't familiar with and really appreciate how they have influenced the music world. They are an interesting and unique band and its a shame they are no longer together.

Now the fun bit - which of my seven is at the number one spot? Without delay, here is my top 7 REM tracks:

In at number 1: Everybody Hurts
Number 2: The One I Love
Number 3: Losing My Religion
Number 4: Bad Day
Number 5: The Great Beyond
Number 6: Stand
Number 7: It's the End of the World as we Know it

So its Everybody Hurts in the top spot, and I have remembered how much I loved that song. A true classic from a great band. There we have it - the end of the week.

Who will it be next? Not long to wait until I tell you. In the meantime, you can check out more music on My Music page by clicking here. As always, happy listening :)