Writing

New Story: A Change of City

New bit of flash fiction added to the site today! Inspired by my favourite band’s song A Change of Heart, it’s a small piece about being in the very moment of a break-up.

I could see the desperation in her eyes but her lips remained sealed. Her expression revealed everything, but she would never admit it. She would never admit when she was hurt, when I was hurting her.

Minutes dragged by as I watched her hold in tears. “Is there someone else?” Her sweet anger made me smile internally, and I was careful not to show it on my face.

“There is always someone else,” I explained, unsure how….[read more]

Life Experience, Music

Golden – Ruth B

 

I can’t get enough of these lyrics right now, from the song ‘Golden’ by Ruth B. YouTube link at the bottom  ❤

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The fire used to burn, all the words used to hurt

But you’re not like us, you are different
I couldn’t see that that was a compliment
Cause the last thing I want now is to be you
And the flames don’t feel as hot as they used to

Burn, burn, burn
They used to yell
You thought I was coal
My friend, I’m gold
Can’t you tell?

Burn, burn, burn
They used to yell
You thought I was coal
My friend, I’m gold
Can’t you tell?

Cause I’m not weak, I’m not broken I am bold
And the fire you put me through turned me into gold
I’m not done, I’m no loser
Watch me take on my bright future
Tonight I’m no bronze, I’m no silver
You’ll be thinking, damn I knew her
But you didn’t
Don’t get it twisted

Out of the ashes you buried me in
I, I am golden
I, I am golden

You tried so hard to break me down
Like a fire-breathing dragon, but I guess I took your crown
You pushed for me to change for you
But I’m so glad that I stayed true to who I am

Burn, burn, burn
They used to yell
You thought I was coal
My friend, I’m gold
Can’t you tell?

Burn, burn, burn
They used to yell
You thought I was coal
My friend, I’m gold
Can’t you tell?

Cause I’m not weak, I’m not broken I am bold
And the fire you put me through turned me into gold
I’m not done, I’m no loser
Watch me take on my bright future
Tonight I’m no bronze I’m no silver
You’ll be thinking, damn I knew her
But you didn’t
Don’t get it twisted

Out of the ashes you buried me in
I, I am golden
I, I am golden

The fire that you tried to burn me with, it made me who I am
All the things that you said I couldn’t do
Guess what, Yes I can

The fire that you tried to burn me with, it made me who I am
All the things that you said I couldn’t do
Guess what, Yes I can

Cause I’m not weak, I’m not broken I am bold
And the fire you put me through turned me into gold
I’m not done, I’m no loser
Watch me take on my bright future
Tonight I’m no bronze I’m no silver
You’ll be thinking damn I knew her
But you didn’t
Don’t get it twisted

Out of the ashes you buried me in
I, I am golden
I, I am golden, golden, gold
I, I am golden, golden, golden

Entertainment, Music, Television

Is The X Factor really THAT bad?

“I can say I haven’t watched a single episode of that crap this year!”

“If we all buy Star Wars music we can stop their awful single making Christmas number one again!”

“The X Factor is ruining music!”

Alright, I’ve never been a die-hard fan of The X Factor, but I’m getting quite tired of hearing about how ‘crap’ it is in and around social media.

I’ve been watching it on and off this year, more than I have any other year and I became quite invested in some of the singers from start to finish. Louisa Johnson, 17 years of age and the current nation’s sweetheart won over Wembley last night with her rendition of Forever Young (Winner’s Song) and became the latest star born from The X Factor.

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A winner’s tears

How far she goes within the music industry is irrelevant and a lot of people seem to have taken the show as a personal insult to their music taste. With attacks on The X Factor flying left, right and centre, it’s enough for a fan of the show to sink to their knees in despair.

In defence of the show (which I have quite enjoyed over these last few months) there are some things that seem to go straight over people’s heads when they impose their rants upon the world.

It’s just crap, trashy TV

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The Tapper Family, from Channel 4’s Gogglebox

It might not be as classy as your Strictly Come Dancings or your Great British Bake Offs and it might not hold as much weight as the likes of University Challenge or Newsnight, but it’s good, easy entertainment. Watching it allows you to relax, sit around with friends or family and discuss what’s happening. After a week of working solidly, some people want to switch off and watch something fun, rather than continue to actively engage with media.

It ruins the true Christmas Number One Chart

We live in a day and age where Christmas songs are already deeply engrained into our minds; they’ve got a deep-rooted sense of nostalgia that resonates with us and for some reason, we can’t let go. We find it difficult to welcome new Christmas songs into our etched-in-stone digital playlists because they just don’t feel…well, Christmassy. The X Factor winners have had 7 Christmas number ones in the last 10 years, the other three including one defiant selection in 2009 called Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine, which I’m sure we all remember. It’s interesting to think that maybe The X Factor have successfully pushed their winners to the top because they are popular with a lot of the British public, unless it is all fixed as some rebels claim.

It’s just about Simon Cowell making money

The music industry itself is worth £4.1 billion in the UK as of 2014 and
Simon Cowell holds a net worth total of £325 million, which is a 7.2% contribution to the industry (if that’s where all his money went or came from). These big numbers account for the fact that Simon Cowell is a big, big name in music and has simon_cowell-426617been responsible for the greats that have come out of The X Factor. So, if he is making a lot of money but at the same time creating popular and legendary artists, then let him do his job.

It’s destroying the integrity of music

There is a reason that Beethoven isn’t in the charts today. Popular music changes with time, society and technology. It reflects who we are as people and goes with the flow of what has been popular before, transforming and changing in a way that nobody could explain. I accept that as the show reaches its 11th year running, it feels as though they are just looking for the best cover artist or karaoke singer. However, as they use and revamp current music, it’s unlikely that The X Factor will ever die.

Ultimately, The X Factor is harmless and does more positive than negative. Think of all the budding filmmakers / media workers who want to get a foot in the door and work on the show. Then there are the people that the show is made for: the singers. It gives them the opportunity to become the star they always wanted to be; whether they are successful or not is up to them in the end. It makes people happy who watch it and are involved in it and it brings music artists together. Last night we saw One Direction, Adele and Leona Lewis singing to the Wembley masses and it was stunning.

Just think of the artists that have been squeezed out of the millions who applied for the auditions – Olly Murs, One Direction, Little Mix, JLS, Ben Haenow etc etc… Some of them vanish into the depths of nowhere, but enough have made their way in the industry for it to be credible.

We are not ‘dumbing down’ as a nation, and we are not losing our integrity in regards to the music industry. The X Factor as I see it is a viable solution to escaping some of the hardships of life and allows us to enjoy music together, while at the same time creating new artists. Whether they are any good or not and whether they succeed is again down to the public – we are encouraged to believe.

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Entertainment, Music

Wildest Dreams

Taylor Swift’s latest music video launched at the recent MTV Video Music Awards and without looking too much into the event, it was full of drama, big egos and lots of celebration. Taylor’s newest release from the 1989 album is ‘Wildest Dreams’, a song that I fell in love with as soon as I heard it. It’s sexy, sultry and full of wonderful sounds that you would associate with being in love, or in a happy place and it just screams ‘Taylor Swift’.

Set in the African plains among lots of safari animals and surrounded by a vintage camera crew, Taylor tells us the story of how she is in love with her co-star in the movie that she’s playing in. In true Swift fashion, the relationship doesn’t end well, but the message of the song is not bitter. Her idea of having wildest dreams shows us that the memory of a happy relationship / happy time is the most important thing and knowing that something is going to end soon does not mean it shouldn’t be a good time. She stresses that the memory of the relationship is what we need to keep, because not everything lasts forever.

I’ve already read some negative press about Taylor’s new video, regarding it as a step back towards her Fearless (2008) or Speak Now (2010) days when she was known for writing often bitter songs about relationships and how they turned sour. Progression is important and Taylor was indeed a much younger version of herself when these albums were released; however, I’ve always seen her as an important and mature role model. I agree that ‘Wildest Dreams’ does ring similar to her previous stuff, but why should that be a step back? Taylor’s music is Taylor’s music, she makes that very clear and even though she’s taken a massive turn and change of trend in the 1989 album, she still has her own style. I’ve read that it’s regressive for her to be in love with another man who doesn’t want her back, or even for her to wear a ‘princess style dress’ to the premier in the music video and I wholeheartedly don’t understand why we can’t have love stories anymore or wear princess dresses. It’s not a step backwards to see a woman wear a huge dress or cry over a man, over love. We see men plenty of times cry of women and over love wearing tuxes, or just shirts and jeans. It doesn’t matter.

The song itself, being soft and gentle on our ears, is relaxing and sexy. It’s message about love is modern, and encourages people to just enjoy life, even when they know something is coming to an end. It tells us not to be bitter, while also showing us beautiful images of lions and zebras. It’s an unusual location for a music video and I can’t say I ever expected it, but it works and it’s so pretty to look at. Watching it for the first time did confuse me a little when the location switched instantly from the African backdrop to a simple scenery board behind the two actors, and then all of a sudden there’s a premier, but after watching it a second time it made more sense to me. The concoction for a music video never requires a simple and obvious storyline now, does it?

After she realises in the premier that their relationship is definitely over and done with when she sees him linked arms with another lady, she runs away and gets straight into her chauffeur driven car to (I assume) go home and start over. What we see is her man (played by Clint Eastwood’s son) running out of the premier after her, but stops in the middle of the road when he sees that she is gone. It tells us that he apparently didn’t want her to leave and that he too enjoyed their relationship. To me, it says that he will remember her in his wildest dreams because you don’t run out of a premier when you don’t care about said person.

I disagree with what people have said about this video being a step back. I think it’s a big step forward in that Taylor clearly accepts who she is (she hasn’t been afraid to show that lately) and she knows her own style and she knows it well. She’s one of the most talented women in this day and age and I can only hope she never stops. As she has so famously said, haters gonna hate.

Entertainment, Music

Style

You've got that James Dean daydream look in your eye
 And I got that red lip classic thing that you like

Taylor Swift’s new music video for her 1989 album track ‘Style’ is out today! Looks simply gorgeous although I haven’t actually watched it yet because I’ve been too excited to post it!

Keep on Tay-Tay, I still love you even for your copyright and Spotify thingies.

Music

We never go out of style 🌟👗

Taylor Swift has announced via her multiple social networking accounts that this Friday will see the release of her new music video for ‘Style’ from her latest album, 1989. It’s an understatement to say I’m excited. This album has been my favourite, I think, not necessarily because of the specific songs on there because I adore her old stuff, but because it’s so refreshing and was such a good surprise when I started listening to it. Lots of people were saying how she’s changed her style and I agree, she has, but I think it’s still true to her.

She’s given us a very sneaky cheeky peek which doesn’t help my excitement, and it looks like it’s going to be amazing…!

Entertainment, Music

Stick to your guns…but keep an open mind

I have Spotify, only got it recently but it really has developed my love for music. Before, never bothered. I only really like Owl City and Taylor Swift, maybe a bit of Take That, pretty random, right? But since getting Spotify I have discovered a world of music, covers and different variations. I have found music that I had no idea existed and just today I was sitting on the train listening to various songs that I don’t know but love.

I had always stuck by that, ‘oh I’m not really into music so don’t ask me about my music taste, you wouldn’t understand’. But the truth is now that I’ll listen to virtually anything that isn’t scary sounding or too dubsteppy (yep, that’s the official word, so I hear).

But the one thing that Spotify hasn’t done is take me away from my roots of Taylor Swift. A lot of people scoff at her music and her style, but there was always something in her songs that spoke to me when I was a weeny teen (original, I know, ‘omg it’s like she can read my mind!’). But I really like her. Especially her new album. And I think that’s important. Even though I’ve always stuck by what I like to listen to, no matter what people say about it, I have opened my mind to things that I didn’t think I would enjoy listening to, but do. I’m trying to be like that, I think it’s my New Years resolution, to be more open minded about things. I’ll think on that and update you later what I’m planning to change in my life.. Hm.

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Education, Life Experience

Children are sunrises…allow me to explain.

I get up early, there’s no two ways about it, 6am is early. It’s dark when I leave the house – I am literally up before the sun itself and often it’s raining and miserably cold. And this is all whilst I’m on my way to work when it would be much more preferable to stay in bed (wouldn’t we all just love that). So here I am, walking along to get my lift to the school when I notice something. I have some epic music in my ears (probably Taylor Swift, but she’s epic to me) so I haven’t really been paying attention to my surroundings, other than when I need to cross the road of course, but all of a sudden there is light in the atmosphere. And I can see the sun coming up into the sky in the most beautiful way I can imagine. I never used to see this, what with the earliest lecture being 9am which meant getting up at 8, but since I’ve been working at school I have had the pleasure of seeing the gorgeous golden light that tints the sky on a morning. It’s not always golden though, (but that’s my favourite) it can be pink, orange and even a lilac colour if the weather is right. And it’s just glorious; it makes the 6am start all worth it.

School is hard, there’s no two ways about it, the work is hard. It’s tiring when I enter the building or a classroom and I am confronted by a flurry of different alterations, requests or information that may or may not be relevant. All this is whilst I’m trying to do the actual job that I have when it would be much more preferable to sit with a coffee and reflect for half a second (wouldn’t we all just love that). So here I am, working with children, adults and sixth formers, all of whom I am able to help in some way (or so I hope I am!) and my brain is hurting. But then, out of the blue, whoever I am working with clicks, they get it, they understand what they are doing and have learned something. Or, I laugh at a joke with a sixth form student and we continue to improve our relationship together. I never used to see this, when I was at school – I would arrive at 8.30, do my lessons, be good with the teachers and go home at 3 o’ clock. What a life, but now I am here, I get to see all the wonderful things that happen with various kids that I had no idea would go on before. I am no longer in my own tiny little bubble where it was just me. I am a part of this school community and I am making a difference. It makes all the hard work, the headaches and the stress pretty much worth it.

And that is why children are like sunrises. They surprise you when you’ve been in the darkness for so long and they come up shining.

Aww.

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