Sweet dreams are made of this

I slept in really badly this morning. Like, lunchtime badly. I’m going to put it down to needing to catch up on sleep now that I seem to have recovered from my cold.

As such, I didn’t have time to get much done today, but I did manage a bit of writing before heading out to ukulele class. I’m a bit obsessed with ukulele at the moment so I’m really enjoying the course – it’s been a long time since I was able to stick with an instrument beyond a quick bit of dabbling.

Hoping to get a bit more done tomorrow.

OOTD 12th June 2019
OOTD: it’s too wet out there for a proper photo. Hoodie Sonar (2006), dress Monteau (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Elvis Presley – Hound Dog
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care
Toni Braxton – Unbreak My Heart
Duran Duran – I Take The Dice
The Midnight – Gloria
Middle Of The Road – Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John – You’re The One That I Want

Booze Alternative: Sainsbury’s Fiery Ginger Beer

I wasn’t going to review this one, because it’s sugar free and hence a ‘diet’/syn-free drink (it comes in two-litre plastic bottles, like most branded fizzy drinks), so I wasn’t going to count it as a ‘special’ or ‘celebratory’ booze alternative. However, it’s so tasty that I have found myself choosing it over sugary versions of ginger beer, with the bonus that I can spend my syns on other things. Win-win!

Sainsbury's Fiery Ginger Beer
Sainsbury’s Fiery Ginger Beer.

It can be slightly cough/sneeze-inducing if I drink it too fast, but it’s a really nice-tasting ginger beer and has become my go-to for an evening drink.

What season is it anyway?

June is usually the only month in which I am ever happy and excited about it being summer. By July, I’m starting to get fed up, and by August I’m totally over it and impatiently waiting for autumn, which is my favourite season.

It’s not that I don’t like summer weather. I love what summer weather is supposed to be – I just don’t like British summer weather. It’s as unpredictable as the rest of the year (in fact, I’m pretty sure it rains more often in the summer months) and is often downright chilly (this week it’s averaging around 10°C in Newcastle). Despite this, because it is technically summer, you’re expected to do things like plan outdoor activities (such as music festivals where you watch bands in the rain and wind, and barbeques where you eat sausages in the rain and wind, and weddings where you shiver underneath a big gazebo in your thin summer dress while the rain and wind blows in sideways and upsets all the paper plates for the buffet…you get the picture), and you’re not allowed to have the heating on, and you’re supposed to wear lightweight summer clothes. Because it’s summer. Technically.

Eleven days in, and I’m already done with it. I’m wearing boots, and long-sleeved dresses, and all the other things that aren’t supposed to come out again until September. I also have the fire on. I don’t care anymore – I’m nice and warm, and that’s all that matters.

Plus, spending the day being nice and warm indoors has meant that I’ve been really productive and have got all my scheduled work, admin, housework, and writing tasks done for the day. Same again tomorrow I hope!

OOTD 11th June 2019
OOTD: I know the ‘autumn flash’ is soooo autumn 2018, but the papers haven’t said anything about autumn 2019 yet and besides I expect I’ll be mostly rocking autumn 1985 anyway. Dress unknown brand (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), belt H&M (2017), boots Primark (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Drifters – Under The Boardwalk
Charlie Puth – One Call Away
Elton John – Crocodile Rock
David Bowie – Golden Years
Queen – One Vision
The Crüxshadows – Winter Born (This Sacrifice)
Queen – You’re My Best Friend
The Midnight – Los Angeles

2019 Pizzas #14: Zizzi Classic Margherita

I had this pizza at the Zizzi in NEC Resorts World the night that we arrived there for UKGE. Much needed after a long drive to Birmingham!

Zizzi Classic Margherita
Zizzi Classic Margherita.

I had extra olives and peppers on this one to make it a bit more interesting (and get a slight amount of speed food in via the peppers!). I’m glad I did because the base pizza itself was fairly bland – it was the toppings that were the tasty part. Anyway, it filled a hole, which is the important thing after a long day.

Impeccable timing

So after I nearly killed myself running the Blaydon Race with a bad cold yesterday evening (longer race review coming later this week in which I go into extended detail about all the ways it felt like I was going to die), I was convinced that I had set my recovery back by several days and that I would have to spend the entirety of this week on the sofa with my blanket, bucketloads of Lemsip pills and several bottles of cough syrup.

My cold has pretty much disappeared today. Go figure.

Excitingly, this means that it looks like I will actually get everything on my very long to-do list done this week (Geth is still away and so I’m taking advantage of having the house to myself). I got some day job work done today, as well as some writing, admin, and lots of ukulele playing. Hoping for another productive day tomorrow!

OOTD 10th June 2019
OOTD: back in my vintage gear – I must be feeling better 🙂 Dress Charlee Allison for Eljay (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2016), shoes Office (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Little Mix and Ty Dolla Sign – Think About Us
Duran Duran – Tel Aviv [AIR Studio Version]
Spice Girls – If U Can’t Dance
The Proclaimers – Throw The ‘R’ Away

Music Video Monday: recent chart catchup

It’s been a few weeks since we caught up with recently released videos for current chart hits.

Lewis Capaldi – Hold Me While You Wait

I’m not sure if we’re going to get a more official video at some point, but this Vevo one, with Lewis singing in a library, does the trick for now. It’s a live performance, apparently, but it sounds exactly the same as the record. Keep watching and eventually they zoom out far enough for a glimpse of the piano player.

James Arthur – Falling Like The Stars

The video for this one is a fairly solemn affair about a military wife who works in a diner. There’s a happy ending though!

Skepta and Nafe Smallz – Greaze Mode

This video is really nicely filmically done, like a ’60s/’70s gangster or bank heist movie. I love retro stuff so this one has my approval.

Lewis Capaldi – Bruises

Another live performance video from Lewis Capaldi that sounds exactly like the record, although this one was actually released two years ago. The cellar setting is a bit ominous, but there’s some nice piano porn towards the end.

More music video action next week.

Semi-flying Sunday post

Stop press: NOT DEAD.

Went out and ran the Blaydon Race and did not die, even though I felt like I was going to at various points. I would really, really like it if I never came down with a cold just before a race ever again.

Now to sleep for three days solid until the next time I have to leave the house.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Timecop1983 and Seawaves – Lovers
Duran Duran – The Chauffeur
Mark Ronson and Lykke Li – Late Night Feelings
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
Mika – Grace Kelly
The Police – Roxanne
The Midnight and Nikki Flores – Jason
Starship – We Built This City
Traditional – The Blaydon Races

Double ukulele

No review post today because I’m still struggling to get over my cold and have spent most of the day on the sofa with my blanket again. I have been playing ukulele a lot, though, mainly because ukulele number two (a concert sized model, which is the next size up from my existing soprano ukulele) arrived in the post today and so I’ve been experimenting with both instruments to see how the different sounds compare on different songs.

One more morning/afternoon of recovery and then I’m going out tomorrow evening in an attempt to run the Blaydon Race without coughing myself to death.

Soprano and concert ukuleles
Not an OOTD: I got fed up of taking ill-looking selfies on the sofa (I really am starting to look dreadful now) so instead, here is the start of a beautiful ukulele collection.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Dominic Fike – 3 Nights
Lil’ Nas X – Old Town Road
Dolly Parton – Jolene
The Boomtown Rats – Rat Trap
Elton John – I’m Still Standing
Duran Duran – Rio

Slowly recovering

I’m still fairly miserable due to my cold, although at least I’m no longer feeling like I’m going to faint whenever I stand up, which is something. Also, I made it out to the supermarket this morning and didn’t have to stop to throw up like I did on the way to Slimming World yesterday. Progress!

I’ve had a quiet day otherwise with lots of music and writing. I’ve got lots of day job work lined up for next week, but over the weekend I’m just planning to rest and heal up ready for the race on Sunday. Looking forward to it, which is another sign I must be getting a bit better.

OOTD 7th June 2019
OOTD: weather and illness pulling double duty to keep me indoors. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), hoodie Sonar (2006), t-shirt Campus Crew for Toronto Blue Jays (2018), jeans Vivid (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Buddy Holly – Raining In My Heart
Outkast – Hey Ya!
The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary
Duran Duran – Shadows On Your Side
Zedd and Maren Morris – The Middle
Lil’ Nas X – Old Town Road
Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber – I Don’t Care

New Hits Friday: 24th May – 7th June 2019

I’ve got three weeks’ worth of Friday chart hits to catch up with today, as I’ve been a bit late with the chart recently due to travelling.

There were six new hits on the 24th of May.

Dominic Fike – 3 Nights

Love that reggae beat – it’s something a bit different!

The video is about a guy driving around a lot and cheating on his girlfriend (I think?). There’s also a shoebox. And a tortoise.

DJ Khaled, Chris Brown, Lil’ Wayne and Big Sean – Jealous

It sounds pretty much like every other DJ Khaled song, though I can forgive it a lot for the ‘listening to Sade’ lyric.

The video begins with an overblown cinematic bit featuring Jennifer Lopez for some reason, then when the music starts, it’s all about standing around in front of those Lamborghinis. At least it’s colourful.

Martin Garrix, Macklemore and Patrick Stump – Summer Days

Really appreciate the funk guitar on this one.

The video is a wonderfully daft story about an attractive elderly lady who dresses like she’s still twenty and hence causes everyone she meets to sweat profusely and flood cars and stuff.

Tyler The Creator – I Think

I love the atmospheric synth on the backing track – very retro-sounding.

There’s no video for this one yet.

Halsey – Nightmare

Interesting and slightly creepy recital of ‘Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep’ at the start. Following this, there’s a promising rock-sounding chorus, which is great – I just wish the verse matched it. It’s been so long since we had anything vaguely rock-sounding in the charts.

Is that ‘save me a prayer’ lyric a Duran Duran reference? I’m going to jump the gun and say YES, because everything should be a Duran Duran reference.

There’s a lot going on in the video, which is very filmic and retro and veers between rock stylings that match the song, ’90s-influenced bondage costumes, and Lady Gaga-esque ‘shocker’ imagery. Watch out for cameos from the likes of Cara Delevigne and Debbie Harry.

Tyler The Creator – Earfquake

I find the lyrics to this one a bit irritating, but the backing track is nice and retro.

The video is utterly surreal, with Tyler setting himself on fire while performing, and then he turns out to be a fireman as well, and then… However, it’s set in the world of a 1970s chat show, so I’m all about it.

There were also six new hits on the 31st of May.

Sigala and Becky Hill – Wish You Well

It’s very ’90s influenced, like most dance music is at the moment. Nice tune.

Again, there’s no video yet.

Jess Glynne and Jax Jones – One Touch

I like the bleepy backing track – again the ’90s dance influence is strong here – but the vocal melody is a bit dull.

No video for this one either.

5 Seconds Of Summer – Easier

5SOS seem to be completely divorced from their rock roots now. This is squeaky, annoying, and generic.

They’re still apparently playing their instruments in the video though. Why can I not hear those instruments in the song? Anyway, it’s set in a cave system, apart from when there’s a ‘walking through hallways while pictures on the wall catch fire’ sequence.

Young Thug, J Cole and Travis Scott – The London

I like some of the instrumentals on the backing track, but otherwise it’s a little repetitive for me.

There’s no video yet.

NSG – OT Bop

Great beat, but I’d prefer a bit more melody.

There is a lot of car-standing in this video, but I’m quite fond of the daft dance routines that are going on.

Ed Sheeran and Chance The Rapper – Cross Me

Love that synth line in the background.

Another one that doesn’t have a video as of yet.

Yet another six hits on the 7th of June. There’s a bit of a pattern to the chart at the moment!

Skepta – Bullet From A Gun

Not enough going on in this track melody-wise for me, but the lyrics are great.

I really like the video, which is just Skepta sitting on a bench in Camden Town tube station while the world goes by. Don’t think I’ve ever seen Camden Town so un-busy, mind!

Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter

Good atmosphere, but the tune’s a bit forgettable. I have the feeling it’ll grow on me though.

The video’s not out yet.

Lewis Capaldi – Bruises

Another pretty piano ballad from Lewis Capaldi. Lovely atmosphere.

No official video for this one right now.

Mostack and Stormzy – Shine Girl

Nice summery rhythm to this one.

The video is a nice straightforward ‘does what it says on the tin’ affair, with Mostack and Stormzy just chilling with their girlfriends round the house.

Skepta and J Hus – What Do You Mean

I like the eerie instrumentals in the background.

We’re still waiting for the video.

Katy Perry – Never Really Over

I find the tune to this fairly dull.

The video is colourful, cartoony, and a bit daft – a textbook Katy Perry video, in other words.

More new hits next week (I will definitely be on time with them because I’ve got a nice quiet week ahead of me!).