Monday, 28 February 2011

25 songs: day 19: the first song alphabetically in your iTunes

OK so it doesn't specify if it means first song by song name or artist name, so i'm going with Artist.

A1 - Caught In The Middle.

OK, DONT JUDGE ME.

I was 15. And I was obsessed with Ben for a few months. I loved the video. I had two singles of theirs. The other being Make It Good.

Don't like that song much today, Don't think i've ever even listened to it on my iPod LOL.

" Things are so different now you're gone.

I thought it'd be easy i was wrong.
And now, i'm caught in the middle.
Even though i'm with someone new.
All i can think about is you.
And now, i'm caught in the middle"


DAY 44: A picture of someone you wish you looked like.

This is hard because I don't desire to be anyone other than me.

But I adore Reece Witherspoon so I guess i'm gonna go with her. I adore her in the film 'Just Like Heaven'. When I was a teen I loved her in Legally Blonde.

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Sunday, 27 February 2011

25 songs: Day 18: A Song That You LOVE but rarely listen to.

It has to be, without thinking, Darren Hayes - Dublin Sky.

I ADORE the song, it's beautiful but it comes from an album, 'The Tension and The Spark' that was released at a very difficult time in my life, and it's a very difficult album to listen to. It brings back memories of when I was first at uni and just how low I was.

I remember when TTATS first came out, and I run out to town, bought my copy, had to wait till about
9:30pm to even put it in the CD player as I was packing for uni and immediately I fell in love with this song. Track no 5. Something about these lyrics. I sat in the chair in the kitchen with mum and I was choked.

'holding hands you promised me, holding hands we counted to three and I felt your slipping fingers and I saw you change your mind if I hadn’t dragged you in with me you would have let me dive without you'


I think it was this moment, listening to
Dublin sky that it really hit me how sad Darren was. Something about the melody just screamed at me. I fell completely in love with the song. I remembered Darren’s 'zero' journal entry. I remembered the little few lines in his journal when he said it was the first song he'd ever written on his own and how he was on this plane to Dublin and he felt that he had emotionally, physically and mentally reached his Zero.

When I went to uni, TTATS was too much to listen to, but I’d play Dublin sky over and over and over. It was the only song I played. I can still remember as if it was yesterday walking down the back lane to the shop on campus and just playing this song. 'How many lows did I let you hijack. How many ways can I study the playback' screamed out at me that moment.

I got involved with the fan base online and I found a recording of Darren singing it acoustically from some radio station. I found an interview with invicta fm with Darren talking about the song. He'd made up this really elaborate story about how the song ended like it did as a metaphor for his realisation how abruptly the relationship ended, then he laughed said he was kidding and that he's just hit some button or something when it was being recorded and the music stopped and they just left it in. That interview made me laugh soo hard!



Then there was the first night I ever saw Darren Hayes Live.
Nottingham. Friday 19th November 2004. As little as I remember of that night, I was so overwhelmed by the experience, I remember him singing Dublin sky. I can still see me standing there and him standing in front of me, singing that song. Darren interlocking his fingers and then pulling them apart to 'I felt your slipping fingers' and I saw you change you mind' and he shook his head and I was at that moment the happiest I’d been in months. I was amazed at how much strength Dublin sky had given me. I was almost reduced to tears but I held it together.

I remember my flatmate saying 'you only like that song because it’s got the word Dublin in it and you miss home'. I remember getting so mad. Firstly home is northern Ireland not ROI and my connection was to the song, to that feeling of zero, having nothing, rock bottom not the word Dublin. She didn’t get it. The song's just got this most magical vibe to it doesn’t it?

I was in the clutches of depression although I didn’t see it then. I just thought I was lonely and homesick. I will never forget the people who made me see that what I was feeling had a name, and that name was depression. They told me what I didn’t want to, but needed to hear. Thank god for my friends that stood by me when I was down and laugh with me now I’m happy. It taught me life is too short to just let it pass you by because most people who have suffered from depression will again at some point again. I don’t live my life wondering when its next going to go wrong, I live my life so thankful and pleased I am happy. My eyes had definitely become accustomed to the lack of light, even though I didn’t realise there was a lack of light at the time, if that makes any sense? I never realised how bad it got until much later.

The lyrics although nothing to do with what I was feeling I could draw SEVERAL parallels to:

' I always thought we were gonna make it through But I wanted to hear it first from you' - In my darkest hours I knew I would make it but I didn’t know HOW

'How did I end up lying here Crying underneath a Dublin sky?' - I used to lie on the bed and wonder how I ended up there crying all the time

'Have I been wasting all these years drowning in my tears?' - I really wasn’t sure uni was for me, that my degree was for me. I wanted to quit so many times, the only reason I agreed to stay was to see Darren. That stage Darren played on that night was the same stage 2 1/2 years later I walked across to collect my degree. Look how far I had come.

'I don't know what's left of me I don't know what's right with me' - exactly what it says is how I felt.

'How many days am I gonna regret you?' - I did at that moment really regret going to uni

Fast forward to the side 2 tour in Bristol in 2008. I'd seen the show a few times before that night, but I wasn't expecting Dublin sky. I got the shock of my life when I heard the opening lines. It was awesome. I thought I wouldn't hold it together but to my amazement I was ok. I hadn't heard it live since that cold night in Nov 2004. Where it all began, my first gig, and now 3 1/2yrs later it still seemed as important. I was in a dreadful headspace on side 2. My life seemed to be imploding and that song just seemed so appropriate.

I've been down a lonely street tonight, And I don't know what's wrong with me, I don't know what's wrong with me


Fast forward to NYE 2009 and Dublin Sky was on the set list. OH. MY. GOD. In the chat a few weeks later, Darren said he chose it for ME. Wow. What an honour. That night
Dublin sky made me think back to when I used to need this song in winter 2004. It just sounded so heavenly. Darren’s voice sounded so heavenly. My mind was away in a headspace that wasn’t earth right then. Darren had taken me somewhere else. The line that brought me back to my own conscious was ‘I’m living without you, ooh’. Something about that line. It moved me. ‘I always thought we were gonna make it through’. Back when I needed that song I wasn’t sure, but WE did make it. I felt so proud.

So yeah, Dublin Sky. Special song. I LOVE the song. But I don't listen to it often because it's a hard song to hear.


DAY 43: A picture of your favorite actor

Hands down, Ashton Kutcher.

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Because:
1. He is HOT personified.
2. He's a funny guy.
3. He's a talented actor.
4. He looks AMAZING in a suit.
5. I LOVE Rom Coms.

'The butterfly effect' was a film that made me realise how I see the world. It had a profound effect on the 17 year old me. I rememeber sitting in a restuarant with my best mate afterwards and talking it all over. I was a mixed up kid but that film made me realise something. YOU CAN'T CHANGE THE PAST. That was an important moment.

I ADORE 'a lot like love'. I want a love like that. Someone that will fight for me. Come back for me. It's also got a very important message: 'life doesn't wait for you to get back on your feet, this is your life, right now'.


'killers' is a bit of a rubbish movie I agree, but Ashton looks so damn FINE in that suit. Who cares about the storyline.

'Just married' is a cute film and 'Dude, where's my car' is so much fun. I love how he plays goofy. so cute.

I still want to see 'No Strings Attached' - 'you can't fight me, you're miniture' LOL. I actually gasped when I saw the trailer in the cinema. I totally forgot where I was. Boy what you do to me!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

25 songs: Day 17: A Song That Makes You Want To Dance

When I think back to the last time I was dancing around my room like a loony I remember the day I decided I needed some music whilst tidying up. Within the first three minutes of track 1 the tidying went out the window and I was dancing to Joe McElderry's Ambitions.

I Love that boy. Such a wonderful POP record he made that no one seems to care about. I love how Joe didn't do what Cowell and the machine wanted but was true to himself. If that means he isn't super famous so be it. He's a sweet guy, I met him once.

Seeing as Cowell's machine won't let me embed the official video, I offer you the the performance from the Paul O'Grady show instead:

DAY 42: A picture from birth.

I was born in West Middlesex Hospital in London in May 1986. I was six weeks premature.
My parents took me home in tiny clothes that I have to this day on a doll on mine. I was that tiny.

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I moved to Northern Ireland when I was 4 years old and lived there until I was 18. Hence the accent ;)

Friday, 25 February 2011

25 songs: day 16: a song that has made you cry.

Darren Hayes - So Beautiful.

It was the first time a song make me cry out of overwhelming emotion at a happy song. Sure sad songs had made me cry, but not a happy song. I was kinda taken aback by it. Lots of people I had talked to had spoken of emotions were a happy song had made them cry and I just didn't get it. I never felt that. I'd never had very real tears from a happy song.

The 30 second sampler to So Beautiful went up on darrenhayes.com and I remember that moment as if it was yesterday. I remember sitting at the really ancient and really bad computer at home in Ireland with dial up. Bear in mind this was 2005 and I was still running a dinosaur with windows 98! It took forever to buffer, but my ears and face lit up immediately.

I remember being sat on the edge of my bed, I had recorded the 30 seconds onto a kiddies tape recorder via my computer speakers. It got to me. Or got through to me. One of the two.


I adore the first verse, there was something about the romance of just letting the universe just be and that knowing notting else matters because you had each other. obviously we didnt know about Richard then, but I knew that whoever it was made Darren very happy:

"Like an ocean needs the sand
Or a dirty old shoe that fits
And if all the world was perfect
I would only ever want to see your scars
You know they can have their universe
We'll be in the dirt designing stars
"

I still to this day have the lyrics from that 30 second sampler stuck above my bed in Ireland. I sat and typed them out before we even had the full song and backed onto a bit of pink card.

DAY 41: A picture of your room.

This is a picture of one corner of my room as it is pretty big.

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This is one of my favourite corners (the other being the one with my teddy's and handbags ;). This corner has got all my shelves with all my little trinkets and CDs and DVDs and games and books and girly stuff... and some of my Darren Hayes stuff :)

24 songs: day 15: a song you love singing along to

I didn't even have to think about this one: Darren Hayes - Good enough.


I am TERRIBLE at remembering lyrics without the song playing in the background.
Choruses and verses and bridges and everything confuse the hell out of me.
But this song is one of the few songs I could sing without it playing.
It’s a VERY special song, imprinted in my memory.

Those opening bars:

‘If I woke up late, couldn’t get out of bed, if I bought you a cafĂ© latte instead….’

When spin was released I was still at school in sixth form. I would be in the house all day, doing homework or researching history for my next school year (yes I was a geek) and I would escape for a walk when it got dark and just wander the quiet little road to the village singing good enough. Other days I would go for a walk with mum at lunchtime in the sun and just sing.

That song really was my sanity for a while. And you don't need to be genius to work out its lyrical importance to me.

I love the version on the Too Close for Comfort DVD and it's message too:

so I wrote this next song and when I wrote it, I thought it was just a song about me until I went on tour and started playing it and I realised its a story most people relate to I guess. Its about that critic in your head and about trying to please people and realising you will never do that, but that the people that really matter in your life are the people that just dig you the way you are, for all your faults, all your strengths and all your weaknesses. This song is me basically saying I’m just like you, I just want someone to appreciate me, and love me for the entire person that I am, good or bad or indifferent. This is good enough”.



DAY 40: A picture of your childhood friend.

this is me and my childhood friend Jayne. I'm on the left and she is on the right. This pic was taken the day we left primary school. sorry it's so blurry, I took this pic of the actual pic years ago before camera phones were any good.

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She was my only friend at primary school and I valued her so much because everyone else bullied me and she was the only one who still wanted to know me. We were always round each others houses and hanging out.

We were best friends until secondary school. Suddenly I didn't fit in with her anymore. Religion changed her from my best friend to someone I barely recognised within what seems like a heartbeat. She had a new best friend. We talked a little bit through secondary school but it was never the same. I could never be her friend unconditionally when she had virtually abandoned me years before. We talked a bit more at sixth form as her new best friend left after her GSCES but by then I was hanging out with the lads rather than the bitchy girls.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

25 songs: day 14: a song that reminds you of your boyfriend

well what happens to this stupid 25 songs: 25 days challenge when you are single?

David Gray - The One I love.

I'm going to offer you a song that I was obsessed with when I really really liked this guy and he left my path before I had the chance to say lets keep in touch. Sometimes I still wonder what he is up to. When he put his arms around me, my heart skipped a beat.

I've still got his 'i'm sorry you're leaving card'.

"Tell the repo man
And the stars above
You're the one I love
There's things I might have said
Only wish I could
Now I'm leaking life faster
Then I'm leaking blood"


DAY 39: A picture from Halloween.

This has got to be THE pic from Halloween. I'm not big on halloween but in 2008 we all went out. Great night. I have no idea whose wig that is, I don't do fancy dress. but I do getting drunk very well ;)

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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

25 songs: day 13: A song that reminds you of a former friend

Matt Willis - Crash.

We sat and watched 'Mr Bean on Holiday' and then downloaded this song. It was the soundtrack to the bit where he nicks the bike to catch the chicken whose foot his bus ticket is stuck to. LMAO.

DAY 38: A picture of your favorite store.

for the purpose of this blog, the word 'store' also means 'bakery'.

More specifically, the hummingbird bakery, in South ken, London.

it is officially Heaven on earth. Especially Red velvet cupcakes.

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Monday, 21 February 2011

25 songs: day 12: The last song you heard.

Claire Maguire - The Last Dance.

I had NO IDEA the artist 'Claire Maguire' that EVERYONE was talking about and that song I couldn't shake were connected.

Turns out that 'that song' that has been stuck in my head for weeks and is ALWAYS on the radio is actually Claire Maguire.

And it's called 'The Last Dance' and i'm obsessed with how she can belt her voice.

I just LOVE it.

DAY 37: A picture of your favorite flower.

This is a pic I took of a red rose.

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it's my favourite flower because my mum and dad still have the rose plant their friends give them when I was born. (It survived being uprooted from London to Ireland). Just like me, it's a fighter.
...and because i'm a romantic at heart
....And hopeless at gardening ;)

Nottingham Light Night. - 18 Feb 2011

Its one night a year when the whole of the city comes alive with light installations and art. There are projections, installations and performers. The light installations and projections are incredible. A photographer's heaven. I’ve been going to light night since 2009. I’ve been excited about this night since I found out about it a fortnight before it happened.


When I got outside to the first point of call at Maid Marian way, there was an incredible set of projections called ‘they came running’. I’m not sure how they created the photos for the projections but I believe it involved a slow shutter lens and bouncing light of objects and making it look like it was bouncing, free running.

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The next stop was the kinetic energy producing sculpture called HiG. (Helix in gimble). It was amazing. It spun round and lit up different colours, and I loved it, although the red was hard to photograph.

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The next stop was the castle and some kids were using some sort of projector to draw whatever they wanted on the wall of the castle. One drew a spiral pattern, the other a smiley face.

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There was a guy juggling fire:

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… and then I turned around and saw a series of projections by various artists and museums and colleges in the area on the wall of Castle College. The spirited love collection was beautiful but weird, considering that at that VERY moment, truly madly deeply came on my iPod. That was freaky. It was so cold out I couldn’t feel my fingers but wasn’t about to sacrifice my photography.

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I was about to walk back the way I came and saw loads of people walking the other way. So I followed. I stumbled upon the kids light garden. It was covered in leaves of paper children had made, little hut like things with glass bottles suspended in them and some uber cool robots controlled by strings attached to some poor bloke in a harness. It was magical. There was also musical teepees.

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The next stop was down to st peter’s gate via friar lane.

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At St Peter’s gate there was space cones and also a giant snowflake. It looked amazing. It was wonderful to see st peter’s church lit up too.

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After that I headed up to the lace market to see the light garden. Kids were using coloured torches and slow shutter photography to create photos. It was lovely to see.

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Then I headed into the contemporary gallery with was open for free. In a display case, inside one of the galleries were lots of phrases in different clipart fonts. Four stood out to me:

“it looks for nothing beyond itself”

“the world watches silently”

“the search for the truth is a search about form”

“when the image is new, the world is new”.

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I was heading back to the square and saw a light up car and a dancing spaceman.

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The next stop was old market square to see the wheel of Nottingham. It stands at 60m, over 200 ft tall and it is amazing. And I haven’t been on it yet this year but I MUST. I’m terrified of heights but wild horses wouldn’t stop me getting up there with my camera. Especially at sunset. What can I say…. For the love of art.

There was also a huge lobster roaming the square and a solar powered disco floor.

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I headed off to see the lite flower which responded to touch and water (although sadly I didn’t get to see it respond)

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I then found the prodigal sunbeams in the Bromley house garden. It was essentially a rope light held up on various music stands. cymbals stands, drum kit stands, microphone stands… it was wonderful.

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Then it was time to head home. I probably shouldn’t have been running around Nottingham like a big kid in the freezing cold the day after having a tooth extracted but it was too good to miss.