Happiness · Life · Randomness

10 Things I Love About My Partner – The Non-Aesthetic Edition

I could go on, and on, and on about the aesthetic attributes of the big guy. From his 6′ 6”, 250 lb frame, to his pale blue eyes, cheeky grin and shaved head, that when he lets it, sprouts dark coloured, natural corkscrew curls (git.!), to his naturally curly dark beard that turns ginger down the centre, and only the centre. But, I’m not going to do that. ūüėČ

I thought I’d tell you about the things that make me happy, and make him the one man I want to spend the rest of my life with. (Yes, okay, go grab your sick bags, I’ll wait…) ūüôā

  1. He is not dramatic in any way. He’s so laid back, he may as well be horizontal. Nothing is a big deal, and every problem can be resolved, regardless of how long it takes. I was¬†married for 19 years to a guy who made a massive drama out of everything.! Having man-trums, slamming about yelling, stomping and punching walls and doors. To call life stressful would be the understatement of the year.!
  2. He is minimalistic, neat and tidy. If it’s not necessary, it doesn’t get bought. If he doesn’t really want it, he doesn’t buy it. Our home is a haven to minimalism, no mess, no clutter, no stuffed shelves, and piles of ‘stuff’ anywhere. Everything has a place, and it gets put back every time he uses something. It’s bliss.! After spending those 19 years living in houses that got filled more and more with junk, clutter and needless stuff, I became suicidal and was diagnosed with OCD. I had developed it through the stress of living in homes that resembled obstacle courses, and the mental anxiety of knowing I could do nothing about them. I still have OCD, and I still get anxiety attacks, but over completely different things.
  3. He doesn’t socialise with his work colleagues. His work relationships stay at work. Nobody he works with is a part of our small social circle. He goes to work ‘do’s’, and if he sees a work colleague when we’re out he’ll go and say hi.! and occasionally introduce me, and tell me who they were, but he never encourages or invites anyone to join us or to come over to ours for the evening. I lived with the British Army for 10 years, and was expected to be openly friendly with, and socialise with, everyone on base. We were expected to be one big happy, supportive family. I hated it.! I hated the gossiping, the back-stabbing sniping from other Army soldiers and their wives. I hated the expectation that when someone decided they were going to have a barbecue with you, and knocked on your door on a Saturday morning, pulling their barbecue behind them, and with arms laden with bread, burgers, sausages, spareribs and salad bowls, you would happily greet them with enthusiasm and waste no time in setting everything up, and offering your crate of beer. I hated that when a kid told his parents he would be at your house, you had no option but to let the brat in. To not do so made you a pariah, and as much as I loved being the pariah, I suffered the man-trums that followed my daring to turn away a child who had decided they were going to play with my kids, even though my kids were busy doing other things.
  4. He is non-violent. He would rather talk a problem through than have to become physical. He can become physical if he absolutely has to, but he would rather solve things calmly and keep the peace. I am very aggressive. I was born into a military family, and had to bring myself up. I was a fairly wild child and had no issues solving problems with my fists. As a teen, I was permanently angry, and as a young woman had learnt to be verbally sarcastic and vicious. In the seven years I have been with my partner, I have calmed considerably, and whilst still a little aggressive, I’m more likely to deal with things calmly instead of lashing out. Until I’m pushed too far.
  5. He is honest. He never says anything because he thinks it’s what I want to hear. If I ask him something he will answer me honestly. He is diplomatic, but he won’t say something that will give me a false impression. There is nothing worse than being told you look great, when you really look like a bag lady, being told that pencil skirt doesn’t make your ass look big, when it makes it look like it belongs on an elephant, or being told the bright green hair colour you think looks fantastic, but makes you look like a washed out alcoholic, looks perfect on you.
  6. He loves me exactly the way I am. He doesn’t try to change me, doesn’t make me feel like I’m not good enough, that I need to be more capable, intelligent, funny, sociable or classy. He likes that I like sports, butts, beer, cake and his friends. He loves that I let him go out when he wants to, that I look after his children (when they’re with us) so that he can, and that I tolerate his addiction to the internet. He doesn’t care that I cut my long, chestnut brown hair off, and then shaved my head, despite knowing he loved it long. He doesn’t object to my weight gain, or complain about having to look after me, or do household chores for me, when my health issues mean my mobility is limited, even though he’s worked 10 hours that day and is exhausted.
  7. He is a major nerd. And I do mean MAJOR NERD.! This guy can quote Terry Pratchett, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Monty Python, Star Wars, Star Trek, Bill & Ted, Wayne’s World, Samuel L. Jackson and any cult movie, going back to the mid-1970’s off the top of his head. If you reference a movie, he’ll be able to tell you which movie, what the quote was, who said it and the context. He blows my mind with how he can recall which character was played by what actor, and in what movie, what number of the series that movie was, if it was in a series, and how long the series ran for. Who the Director was, and what else they’ve directed. ūüėģ
  8. He is highly intelligent, but doesn’t brag about it. He is knowledgeable on a plethora of subjects. He can discuss the political situation in any country across the world in detail, debate the finer points of those countries societies, and tell you about their traditions and histories, both political and cultural. He can talk about the sports he loves (football, rugby, handball, road cycling, track cycling, F1, Speed Skating, Formula E, hockey, boxing, Glory/MMA, basketball, baseball, American football, skiing), the statistics involved, who the top athletes/players/riders/drivers are, and who they used to be, and when and who established the sport in the first place and where. I kid you not.! He’s read the classics, and loves to watch the TV series/movies after he’s read the books, and has a crazy amount of knowledge on a wide range of books and authors. He taught himself to speak English, and speaks it fluently. He taught himself to speak French, German, Belgian, Italian, Spanish and Russian. He even knows some Greek, Polish and Arabic. He has the same ability with movies and music as he does with sports, and writes for a review website. He loves hip-hip, ska and punk rock, and he can mosh with the best of them.! ūüėÄ He loves philosophy and psychology, science and space exploration and has extensive knowledge of them. But does he make you feel like a brain dead moron.? No, he doesn’t.
  9. He is funny and has a ‘Dad’ sense of humour. Farts are hilarious in our house, and anything that can be construed as a Dad joke will be met with almost gut-busting gales of laughter. “What do vegetarian zombies eat.? GRRAAAAAIIIIINNNNNSSSS”. If you think that’s bad “What’s Forrest Gump’s Password.? 1 Forrest 1.” and for the Dad’s amongst you “Did you hear about the circus fire.? It was in tents.” Seriously bad jokes like these will cause belly laughs, and the kind of hysterics that would have you rolling on the floor, crying with laughter. Sometimes I have to check he’s still breathing while he’s almost peeing himself. He’s spectacularly quick with one-liners too, although they can sometimes be very politically incorrect in content. Just yesterday, we were watching a fire-eater, and I remarked on how the guy must have some sort of flame retardant in his throat to keep from burning himself… sharp as a knife he quips “So, would that make him a flaming retard.?” I couldn’t decide whether to give him ‘The Look’ or laugh my ass off.
  10. He’ll try new things. I don’t mean like food and drinks, the guy eats vindaloo like it’s korma. I mean D.I.Y, gardening, cooking, that kind of thing. He’s never done any tiling, but when I asked him to tile the kitchen once our new units were installed, he tiled from one edge of the counter top all along the length of the kitchen, tiling the window sill and hob splash-back, and under the electric sockets, around to the edge of the counter top on the other side. Perfectly straight, perfectly aligned, he broke only two. He’s never done gardening, or grown anything, but when I told him I’d like to get the garden sorted for the summer, he went outside, dug the whole thing over with a spade (50 square feet), separated it into 4 sections, and grew rhubarb, parsnips, peas, carrots and red cabbage over 2 seasons. He baked the first birthday cake I had after we moved in together, despite having never baked a cake in his life. I love how he’ll turn his hand to anything, despite having never done it before, and having no experience. This past autumn, he drove an English car in England, despite having spent his life driving left-hand drive cars on the right hand side of the road. Granted, he scared the crap out of himself when a rose bush jumped out at him, but otherwise was perfectly fine, and got the hang of it quickly.
Life · Randomness

Age Verification

Having read the small print (finally!) on the terms and conditions of having a WordPress account, yes, I’m one of THOSE people who click agree, without reading a word ūüėÄ , I discover I need to have age verification on my ‘lifestyle’ blog, because of it’s adult content.

And I’m thinking, seriously.?! You think some horny kid’s not going to lie through their teeth about their age if they want to get onto an adult blog.? Who do you think you”re kidding.? I haven’t been a teenage girl in decades, but if a blog had an age verification attached to it, I’d have been all over it like peach melba yoghurt on naked skin. If I’d wanted to see explicit adult photos and video’s I’d have lied like a cheap Japanese sundial to get to them.

Anything that says “No Entry Unless You Tell Us You’re 18” is going to be told I’m 18, regardless of my true age. Intrigued by this I went to Fetlife.com and logged off. Then tried to set up a new account, and was faced with having to verify my age. One brazen lie later, and yeay.! I’m a new 19 year old member of Fetlife. ūüėÄ

Obviously, I deleted the new account, one is more than enough right now, but I now have a fair idea of where my kids got their porn, if sites such as these only have a birth date verification system to keep their content from the intrigued eyes of sexually enlightened twelve year-old’s, or younger.

Now, I’ll have to go and warn my readers that I’ve cottoned on to the fact that half of them are pubescent little boys, and warn them they’ll go blind.!!

Adult & Freaky · Life

No sex thank you, we’re bloggers.!

I’ve been interested in human nature, and human behaviours for years. One of the best places to observe this is in the comments left on blogs. Blogs about travelling, cooking, children and family life are met with hundreds of ‘likes,’ and positive comments, offering advice, support, similar stories of places and events and the cute things kids and animals do.

Blogs about life are devoured, as we love to read about the events in other people’s lives. The up’s, the down’s, the arguments, and parental issues. Even those displaying the details of an horrific childhood, and traumatic youth, are frequented by hundreds of people who click ‘like’ and offer sympathy and support and inspirational quotes.

Write about sex, and you’re an island alone in a very large ocean. If anyone reads, they avoid the ‘like’ button as if it’s contagious. As if clicking ‘like’ will announce to the world that they’re a pervert, because they read a blog about sex, and cause all their own blog followers to abandon them, en masse, in disgust. Are we really that uptight about sex.?

Have we all stopped having sex, because blogging about what we did at work, and what we had for dinner is more exciting.? Is describing the amazingly romantic night you spent with your partner on a moonlight beach in some tropical country, (omitting the part where you made slow, sensual love together) while on honeymoon going to get you more ‘like’s’ than actually telling it like it was.?

Please don’t tell me sex is private, while there’s photos splashed all over Facebook and Instagram of scantily clad women, wearing as little as it’s possible to be wearing, without being bare-ass naked. I’ve seen bare-ass naked on Instagram. I’ve seen full frontal’s on Instagram, and erections on Facebook (hastily removed, I might add, but still….). Sex is a part of our everyday lives. It’s not private, it’s how advertisers get us to buy their products, it’s how TV series, and Hollywood movies are advertised to us.

Sex is life. So why do we hide it when we’re writing about our lives. Obviously we’re not going to post details and photo’s, it’s a blog site, not a porn site, and obviously people know we have sex, otherwise how would those gorgeous babies we keep posting photos of, have come to look so much like us.? I won’t pretend I don’t have sex. I won’t hide it, I won’t lie about it. I will blog about it, in detail (as grotesquely detailed as your secretly perverted little hearts can take), and as often as I want to.

If you don’t want to read about it, don’t.! I don’t care. But if you do read it, have the balls to click the ‘like’ button, and stand up and be counted as someone with the intelligence to be able to make their own decisions, and not follow the herd. And if you’re feeling really brave, while you’re blogging about the weekend you spent with your girlfriend’s parents, or that afternoon at your best friend’s barbecue, you might think about inserting that sentence that says “and then [insert name] and I had a quickie in the downstairs loo.!” and become a real person. ‚̧

 

Life

Yesterday, gone.

A wonderful, grand old lady died this morning. She was 94 years old, and has battled dementia for nearly 10 years. She was my step-grandmother, and never have I met a lady more refined and graceful than she.

A ballerina growing up, she was also an artist and loved fashion and exquisite jewellery. She trained as a nurse, and cared for wounded soldiers during WWII. She married a Sherman Tank driver after the war, and became a devoted, loving wife and mother to two children. She lived a fine life and loved everything about it. Her children loved her, her grandchildren adored her, her great-children were awed by her, and those who met her were charmed by her bubbly, fun personality, her zest for life and her story-telling ability. She was a very popular hostess and her husband’s business thrived, as he took his beautiful wife to meet suppliers, business associates and financial investors

She had a backbone of pure steel though. When her husband fell ill and almost died from tuberculosis he’d contracted during the war, she marched into his hospital room and told him he would not leave her a widow, he would not leave her at all. She would not allow him to give in to the infection and if he didn’t buck up his ideas and stop dallying in bed she would treat him herself.! The threat alone probably scared the infection away, and he did start to improve, and within three weeks was back at home with his family. Sadly in 1994 he passed away, and although devastated by his loss, she held her head up high and arranged everything to give him the most beautiful of send-off’s. She was so proud of him.

She has undergone surgery for kidney stones, and has had her hips replaced. In 1998 she moved with her daughter and son-in-law to West Sussex, and became the community darling. Everyone knew her and loved her. She was invited to luncheon’s and ladies’ gatherings, and held court with her friend’s, although she never gossiped about other people. In 2006 she began to forget things, and in 2009 was diagnosed with dementia. She was cared for by her daughter, and her daughter’s friend, who also lived with them, and lived comfortably and happily for a few years, before realising on her good days that she was forgetting who people were, and forgetting where she was. In 2015, she moved to a care home for ladies with dementia, and was cared for around the clock by caring, professional people who treated her with the respect she deserved and the patience she needed to get through each day. Sadly she forgot her family, and became scared by their weekly visits, refusing to see anyone because she could not remember who they were, and she did not want to be visited by strangers. Her daughter persevered, but the emotional trauma for them both was too much, and her visits became monthly.

That beautiful, grand old lady passed away in her bed, with the caring staff she knows and prefers, by her side. ¬†She will always be remembered with love, as the fun-loving, doting grandmother my father affectionately called Hagrid. ‚̧

Happiness · Randomness

Weird Wednesday: Child Substitute

In the beginning, there was Buddy, who was considered so attractive, he was popular with pretty much everybody. He survived only until the harsh winter temperatures cracked his pot and he froze to death on the balcony.

Then there was Viola, of the beautiful, velvety skin, who decided after 8 months that she didn’t love me anymore, and died just to spite me.

When we moved house, Sylvia was there. She only needed her hair trimmed in the autumn to keep her looking beautiful year round, and only recently passed away thanks to a fungal infection nobody saw coming. ūüė•

We were so happy that Sylvia was happy, that we had another Buddy. Jr. this time who is so well-behaved and does exactly as he’s supposed to without me even having to ask. Although he suffered a terrible accident last summer and needed to be supported until he could stand up by himself again, but he recovered quickly, and is as good as new.

With Buddy Jr. came Connie, who’s attitude and determination has seen her through a drought, a flooding, a mini monsoon, and a near death experience. She’s a girl after my own heart.

Unfortunately, Blossom (Buddy Jr.’s sister) didn’t fair so well. She recovered after almost dying of thirst, but was not the same again, and after last year’s mini monsoon which saw her thrown over the garden wall, and smashed against the cellar steps, she passed away peacefully after a half-hearted attempt at reassuring me she would be fine. We both knew the truth. She will be remembered fondly.

After Blossom came Bob, who was disabled and very sickly to begin with, but he went rapidly downhill despite our best efforts and passed away just a few weeks later.

Last year, we had Wilma, to keep the postman on track, who grew rapidly and is currently trying to get into the house through our bedroom window.! And Phoebe, who is so beautiful and blooming way ahead of her peers.

And now there’s Bert, Bob’s cousin, who has grown far taller than I believe he really should, and is now showing signs of fatigue, and being in need of support. Ace, who doesn’t have long to live, despite our efforts, after a horrible sun burn that has left him dry and crispy, and the Ivy quins, who are hopefully going to find their feet soon and start creeping up the wall to keep Wilma company.

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Buddy. A beautiful Buddleia Davidii “Black Knight”.

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Viola, who committed suicide, just to spite me.

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Sylvia, the almost 20 year old Hakuro Nishiki salix willow, who died this past Spring.

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Buddy Jr. who is now 10 feet tall, and 4 feet wide.

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Connie, my Ceanothus ‘Concha’ tree, who’s battled through so much over the last 4 years, and this year blooms again. ūüôā

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Blossom, the Buddleia Davidii ‘Lilac Chip’, who was flung over the garden wall by a mini-monsoon last June, and smashed to pieces.

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Bob, the Phalaenopsis Orchid, who’s roots withered and rotted away within weeks of purchase from a local Garden Centre. ūüė¶

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Wilma, the rapidly intruding Wisteria. Who started off a thin little stalk with a few even thinner branches last year, and has become a major contender for World Domination.

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Phoebe, the hibiscus tree. Who blooms beautiful powder blue flowers that last for months.

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Bert, who has survived seven months so far.

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Since I stopped being a hands on Mother back in 2010 (long, nasty horror story), I have found myself substituting my two children with plants. I talk to my children on a weekly basis, one way or another. The joys of technology mean Facebook Messenger is now our ‘thing’, so they don’t have to worry about spelling their colloquial use of the English language wrong, or in the case of Facebook posts and status updates, using any English at all. ūüėÄ

 

Life

Limits

Two things I planned to do today, but have had to re-consider:

 

1. Weeding. I started it last week, but due to the rain had to postpone. Planning to go out and finish it today, I stepped outside into a wall of heat… it must be 27 degrees C out there, and decided the garden would have to fend for itself a day longer. My pasty white skin is sensitive to lamplight, I’d be a crispy fry in two minutes outside.

2. Deciding I’d put the curtains back up after decorating in the children’s bedrooms had been finished, I got the electric hammer drill, and my trusty stumpy steps and took them upstairs. After measuring the correct height, and marking where to drill the holes, I found myself (stood on the top step, with a heavy drill in hand, and the hoover nozzle in the other) thinking this is not one of my better ideas. While I am more than capable, thanks to bursitis in my shoulder, I am not as strong as I used to be, nor as balanced, and there’s a tad too much electricity involved in my multi-tasking feat of brilliance.

So I put it all down and came downstairs and made a sandwich.

I am learning my limits. ūüôā

Randomness

Breaking the Law

Every country around the World still has laws that at the time they were made seemed perfectly reasonable, but nowadays seem archaic and ridiculous. Here are a few English laws that are still enforceable today:

For example, since 1313 it has been illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour – That must have been one heck of a party.

As of 1322, it is illegal to remove a dead whale found on a British coast, since it automatically becomes the property of the ruling Monarch – Lots of people collect things, but dead whales is truly odd.

Under the Metropolitan Police Act of 1839, it is against the law to be found drunk in a pub – There goes my weekend.!¬†ūüė¶

Also since 1839, it is illegal for anyone to fly a kite or slide on ice in the street – No wonder our jails are full.!

And also from 1839, it has been against the law to beat or shake any carpet or rug in the street. You can shake your doormat, however, but only before 8 o’clock in the morning – That’s a new name for it, ‘shaking your doormat’.¬†ūüėÄ

Under the same laws, you are not allowed to erect a washing line across any street –¬†Has old lady Thompson been flashing her knickers again.?

In London, it is illegal to ride on the bus while, knowingly, suffering from the plague – As it should be, and it should also read ‘while suffering the common cold’. It’s just as contagious, and deadly.

It is against the law to be intoxicated in charge of a horse or cow – What about being in charge of an intoxicated horse or cow.?

It is a punishable offence to fire a cannon within 300 yards of a dwelling – So where are we supposed to play ‘Pirates vs. Naval Officers’.?

It is illegal to gamble in a library – I bet a Librarian came up with that one.

And since 1939, it has been against the law to carry a plank along a pavement – Thank goodness it didn’t say to go planking along a pavement. I’d be in so much trouble.

More recently, from 1986, it has been illegal to ‘handle a salmon in suspicious circumstances’ –¬†Depends on your interpretation of suspicious, I guess.

Similarly, it is an offence to let your dog mate with any dog belonging to the Royal family – Queen Elizabeth’s corgis obviously included.

It is also illegal to keep a pigsty in front of your house, unless duly hidden – Plant a hedge around it, no-one said anything about hiding the smell.

It is still against the law to sing any profane or obscene song or ballad in any street, (Oops.!) or to ‘wilfully and wantonly’ disturb people by ringing their doorbells or knocking at their doors – You can get banged up for playing ‘Knock door Ginger’.?¬†ūüėģ

As of 1998, it is illegal to cause a nuclear explosion – Even if it was an accident.?

More recently, a surprising new law bans the jumping of the queue in a Tube ticket hall ‚Äď That’s fair enough, people are just so rude, and think nothing of pushing in, in front of others.

And my all-time favourite: As of 2004, ‘no person shall import into England potatoes which they know to be or have reasonable cause to suspect to be Polish potatoes – There’ll be none of those Eastern European spuds in my mash, thank you very much.!

And in Scotland, it is apparently still illegal to turn someone away if they knock on your door and ask to use your toilet –¬†As it should be, toilets in Scotland are few and far between. As is pretty much everything in Scotland, except sheep.!

Adult & Freaky · Happiness · Life

A Life of Music – This Is Where It Gets Freaky

WARNING: Please be aware there is Adult content and bad language in this post. 

At the age of 37, I found myself going through an amicable divorce, and in a different country, childless and devastated. My new partner, who wooed me with Elbow ‘Starlings’¬†was my only support, and having a shared love of music, introduced me to some Dutch artists, and bands that he liked.¬†Gotye ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’¬†was so relevant at that time, as was¬†Elbow ‘Grounds For Divorce’, an English band I had never heard of before. He took me to see them live in Amsterdam. He also took me to see¬†Roger Waters ‘Another Brick In The Wall’, and although I knew of Pink Floyd, and The Wall, I never really ‘got it’. Seeing it live, I finally understood what it was all about.

When he surprised me with tickets to a concert by a Dutch band¬†called¬†Blaudzun ‘Elephants’, I fell in love with their music, folk rock really appealed to me and I have become a lifelong fan. We have seen them live in concert four times.¬†Blaudzun ‘Promises Of No Man’s Land’. In the past seven years, I have been to more live concerts and music festivals than I dreamed I ever would.

While at a summer music festival, I heard¬†Racoon ‘Love You More’¬†and¬†Racoon ‘No Mercy’, a Dutch band, who sing in English, as a lot of them do. The singer sounds Irish which is quite confusing. We saw them in concert in our home town a few months later.

I saw¬†Stromae ‘Papaoutai’¬†on the TV, and although I couldn’t understand the lyrics, being in French, I liked the tune. I have since learnt the lyrics and what they mean, and become a fan.¬†Stromae ‘Alors On Danse’.

I heard De Staat ‘Down Town’¬†at the Booch! festival in 2012, and have followed them through De Staat ‘Sweatshop’¬†and De Staat ‘Witch Doctor’. Another firm favourite. And at every concert you go to… no matter where, when this song comes on, De Staat ‘Witch Doctor’ Live¬†everybody moves.

Triggerfinger ‘I Follow Rivers’¬†a Belgian band, were playing at Pinkpop in 2013. I was watching it on TV that year, as my partner had to work. I was hooked immediately, and raved about them when he got home, and made him watch a repeat of their act when it came on.¬†Triggerfinger ‘My Baby’s Got a Gun’¬†and¬†Listen: Triggerfinger ‘All This Dancing Around Again’. I loved the singer’s voice, their look and their music,¬†Triggerfinger ‘It Hasn’t Gone Away’¬†have become an all time favourite for me, and the release of their recent Triggerfinger ft. Method Man ‘The One’¬†just¬†confirms how brilliant they are.

Knowing of my liking for all things unique and unusual, my partner put¬†Die Antwoord ‘I Fink U Freeky (And I Like You A Lot)’¬†on the TV, streaming it from his laptop. They’re a South African group, who sing in English, Afrikaans and South African dialect. O. M. G.! I had never seen anything so freaky, and I loved it.! ūüėĬ†Die Antwoord ‘Baby’s On Fire’,¬†Die Antwoord ‘Ugly Boy’¬†were played a lot after that, and I’ve introduced them to friends of mine, who love them too. Left to my own devices, I discovered¬†Cuir Bleu ‘Pleasure & Pain’,¬†Recoil ‘Breath Control’, and¬†Whip Culture ‘Turn Me On’.

My partner likes¬†Monster Magnet ‘Monolithic’, and plays it all the time,¬†Monster Magnet ‘Powertrip’¬†has kind of grown on me, I wasn’t sure at first, but Monster Magnet ‘Negasonic Teenage Warhead’¬†helped me get into it. Then came all the best rock bands¬†Rage Against the Machine ‘Killing In The Name Of’, Pearl Jam ‘Alive’¬†and¬†Pearl Jam ‘Porch’ Live¬†(a legendary performance, my partner was there.) System of a Down ‘Chop Suey’, if you don’t¬†finger drum, air guitar or at least sing along to such an epic tune, there’s something wrong with you.¬†System of a Down ‘B.Y.O.B.’¬†and System of a Down ‘Toxicity’¬†are among Serj Tankian’s best works.

Then came¬†Hozier ‘Take Me To Church’, a seriously catchy tune, that I listen to all the time, my partner has it as his ring tone.! ūüôā My partner is a huge fan of ska and hip hop, and while I like some, I wouldn’t say I was much of a fan, until he took me to see¬†The Slackers ‘Old Dog’¬†live in Germany, at an underground bunker. ¬†And then to a Mexican-style Cantina called Ernesto’s in Sittard.¬†The Slackers ‘Married Girl’¬†play there annually, and the first couple of times I saw them there, I loved it. Then I had a bad experience with a drunken lad, and refused to go back there. I saw¬†The Slackers ‘Sarah’¬†again at Tivoli in Utrecht, last year.

We both progressed to Progressive Rock, him far quicker than me when he decided to get tickets to a local venue where¬†Birth Of Joy ‘Make Things Happen’¬†were playing. A Dutch band who incorporate an organ into their rock music. It was like psychedelic rock on steroids, such a unique sound that I loved it straight away. We saw¬†Orgel Vreten ‘Jenny’¬†in our home town. A Dutch Hammond organ-playing band, with a unique sound, it also helped that the sousaphone player climbed up into the eaves, dangerously, with his instrument, and played it from the lighting rig. Such a memorable night.! ūüėÄ

My partner took me to see¬†Stickmen ‘Soup/Super Collider’¬†in our home town, a group he liked, but wasn’t sure I’d enjoy. He was pleased when I told him I really liked them, and we play them a lot at home. He also likes¬†Fleddy Melculy ‘T-Shirt van Metallica’, who sing in Dutch, but this song, about music fans who go to rock and metal concerts wearing Metallica t-shirts, is so funny, you can’t help but like it, even if you don’t understand it.

Delinquent Habits ‘Here Come The Horns’¬†are a hip hop group from the USA, which I surprisingly found so good, that by the time the gig we went to recently ended, I was a firm fan. They did a cover of House of Pain’s Jump Around that had the whole place jumping, including me.! ūüėÄ

This recent hit¬†Rag ‘n’ Bone Man ‘Human’¬†has become a favourite too.

Life

A Life of Music – The Mum Years

WARNING: Please be aware there is Adult content and bad language in this post.

Having two sons, with completely different tastes in music, was not conducive to a quiet life, but I loved it. My eldest son’s taste was far closer to mine, he started liking Avril Lavigne ‘Sk8er Boi’, and typical teenage boy bands, like¬†Wheatus ‘Teenage Dirtbag’,¬†Blink 182 ‘All The Small Things’,¬†Sum 41 ‘In Too Deep’¬†when he first discovered girls, and Disturbed ‘Stupify’¬†when he was feeling down. A lot of their songs were among our favourites, and¬†Disturbed ‘Immortalized’¬†was constantly played on the car stereo, on the way to and from school, and once he’d heard the Genesis version, he agreed that ¬†Disturbed ‘Land of Confusion’¬†was the best. He also liked Nirvana ‘Come As You Are’,¬†Breaking Benjamin ‘Diary of Jane’,¬†Avenged Sevenfold ‘Afterlife’¬†and¬†Fall Out Boy ‘This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race’. He introduced me to¬†My Chemical Romance ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’. We’d play¬†My Chemical Romance ‘I’m Not Okay’ and rock out together. ūüėÄ When I got down, he’d know and put¬†Five Finger Death Punch ‘Bad Company’,¬†3 Doors Down ‘Here Without You’¬†and¬†Seether ft. Amy Lee “Broken”¬†on for me. We both loved¬†Linkin Park ‘Numb’, and he had two of their albums on CD. He got me into¬†Listen: Pantera ‘Fucking Hostile’, while I got him into¬†Pendulum ‘Propane Nightmares’.

Evanescence ‘Bring Me To Life’¬†got me through a particularly bad patch in my adult life, and¬†Thirty Seconds to Mars ‘The Kill (Bury Me)’,¬†Thirty Seconds to Mars ‘A Beautiful Lie’¬†and¬†Hinder ‘Lips of an Angel’¬†were relevant at the time. My youngest son liked¬†TaTu ‘All The Things She Said’,¬†Nickelback ‘How You Remind Me’¬†for which he got gently teased, and¬†Limp Bizkit ‘Rollin (Air Raid Vehicle)’. I introduced them to American Power Bands such as¬†Creed ‘With Arms Wide Open’,¬†Buck Cherry ‘Crazy Bitch’ and¬†Black Stone Cherry ‘Violator Girl’,¬†Shinedown ‘If You Only Knew’¬†and Staind ‘It’s Been a While’. While they enjoyed other teenage bands¬†Alien Ant Farm ‘Smooth Criminal’,¬†Tenacious D ‘Tribute’,¬†Fountains of Wayne ‘Stacy’s Mom’,¬†Puddle of Mudd ‘She Hates Me’,¬†Bloodhound Gang ‘The Bad Touch’¬†and¬†The Offspring ‘Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)’. My eldest got heavily into the rock genre, and we shared a love of¬†Papa Roach ‘Scars’,¬†Killswitch Engage ‘Holy Diver’,¬†Drowning Pool ‘Bodies’¬†to which we stomped and sang along … ūüôā and jumped and bounced around to¬†Slipknot ‘Psychosocial’, ¬†Slipknot ‘Duality’¬† and ¬†Slipknot ‘Wait and Bleed’.

My tastes had started to evolve and I began listening to¬†Korn ‘Freak on a Leash’,¬†Korn ‘Coming Undone’¬†as it seemed so relevant to how I was feeling. Marilyn Manson will forever be a favourite of mine,¬†Marilyn Manson ‘The Beautiful People’,¬†Marilyn Manson ‘The Dope Show’,¬†Marilyn Manson ‘mObscene’, his music never struck me as being as bad as everyone else made out. For a while I liked Hip Hop¬†Cypress Hill ‘Insane In The Brain’¬†and¬†House Of Pain ‘Jump Around’, but it was so full of bad language, I got fed up with it. I can handle some if it’s relevant, but not every other word. I loved R&B songs, and¬†Missy Elliott ‘Get Ur Freak On’¬†and¬†Missy Elliott ‘Work It’¬†always had me tapping my hands, or feet, or dancing in my seat.¬†Snoop Dogg ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’¬†had us all dancing, how can you not to such a catchy tune.? With¬†Kelis ‘Milkshake’¬†being another.

Black Eyed Peas ‘Boom Boom Pow’¬†started us on a Black Eyed Peas diet, for a while, singing along to¬†Black Eyed Peas ‘Pump It’.¬†When¬†Outkast ‘Hey Ya.!’¬†came out, my youngest son wanted the album, and went around telling everyone Roses smelt like poo.! Thanks,¬†Outkast ‘Roses’.

The Fugees ‘Ready or Not’and¬†Coolio ‘Gangster’s Paradise’¬†took us towards¬†Eminem ‘Slim Shady’. Rap wasn’t really my thing, but the songs weren’t too bad.¬†Eminem ‘Stan’¬† and ¬†Eminem ft. Rihanna ‘Love The Way You Lie’¬†would get my attention though. I liked P!nk, and wanted to bleach my hair, like her, glad I didn’t now, it wouldn’t have suited me. ūüėÄ ¬†P!nk ‘Family Portrait’,¬†P!nk ‘Stupid Girl’.

In the year before everything came to an abrupt halt, I was listening to Rihanna’s Loud and Talk That Talk albums, Rihanna ‘Skin’¬†was so hot, and¬†Rihanna ‘Cockiness (Love It)’¬†amused me no end, and I got interested in the whole bdsm thing for a while, listening to¬†Velvet Underground ‘Venus In Furs’, and lots and lots of Lady Gaga ‘Teeth’,¬†and Placebo ‘Pure Morning’, loving their styles.¬†Placebo ‘Special Needs’,¬†Placebo ‘Taste In Men’¬†and¬†Placebo ‘Nancy Boy’ Live,¬†so talented.

Happiness · Life

A Life of Music – Early Adulthood

I met my future husband when I was 16, and found him to be a super-scale 1980’s fan. He wore denim shirts, and plain white, muscle-enhancing t-shirts and Biggles-style fur flying boots, with his hair slicked back a la Spandau Ballet. I was smitten.

I was introduced to most of the ’80’s bands and groups I’d missed in my youth. Starting with Kylie Minogue ‘I Should Be So Lucky’¬†and¬†Rick Astley ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’¬†(I was even taken to see him in concert), with¬†Jason Donovan ‘Too Many Broken Hearts In The World’, who along with Kylie, had a sickeningly sweet hit¬†Jason and Kylie ‘Especially For You’. ¬†I quickly passed them by, and found some relief in¬†Erasure ‘A Little Respect’,¬†Pet Shop Boys ‘It’s A Sin’¬†and¬†Alison Moyet ‘All Cried Out’. ¬†Finding my own way to¬†Culture Club ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?’,¬†Cyndi Lauper ‘Time After Time’¬†and¬†Eurythmics ‘Sweet Dreams’. I guess it must have been the easy listening capabilities of the music, and the fact they were easy to sing along to, because he certainly wasn’t as fascinated by the glamourous images of the bands and artists as I was.

The Human League ‘Don’t You Want Me, Baby?’¬†had the kind of image I liked, and I was constantly playing their music, and¬†Dead Or Alive ‘You Spin Me Round’,¬†Soft Cell ‘Tainted Love’¬†and¬†The Communards ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’, dancing around the living room, singing loudly. The neighbours would knock on and complain when I hit the high notes, probably because I couldn’t hold a tune, never mind the right key. ūüėĬ†Bronski Beat ‘Smalltown Boy’¬†was a favourite, and then I discovered the very controversial Frankie Goes To Hollywood ‘Relax’, being gay was fine… singing about gay sex was definitely frowned upon. There were so many complaints about it, it was banned in countries around the world. I thought they were amazing.! My then boyfriend liked¬†New Order ‘Blue Monday‘, ¬†Spandau Ballet ‘Gold’,¬†Thompson Twins ‘Hold Me Now’¬†and¬†Tears For Fears ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’. I moved on to¬†INXS ‘Devil Inside’,¬†Billy Idol ‘Rebel Yell’¬†the ultimate bad boy, and¬†Alice Cooper ‘Poison’.

There came a point when our music took an unexpected turn after he discovered Rondo Veneziano ‘Casanova’¬†and I loved the rock style of their music so much it was all we listened to for months, along with¬†Vanessa Mae ‘Aurora’, mixing it with ’90’s Country music, Travis Tritt ‘Tell Me I Was Dreaming’¬†sad songs, and¬†Tim McGraw ‘Please Don’t Take The Girl’¬†love songs,¬†Garth Brooks ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’,¬†Alison Krauss ‘When You Say Nothing At All’, Shania Twain ‘You’re Still The One’¬†and a brilliant song, from the soundtrack to movie ‘Coyote Ugly’ by¬†LeAnn Rimes ‘Can’t Fight The Moonlight’¬†but then¬†Kiss ‘I Was Made For Loving You’¬†grabbed my attention, and I returned to what I really loved, good old Glam Rock. ūüėĬ†Aerosmith ‘Dude (Looks Like a Lady)’¬†led the way to¬†Meatloaf ‘Paradise By The Dashboard Light’¬†and he in turn to the unbelievably great¬†The Rocky Horror Picture Show ‘Sweet Transvestite’¬†having a part in the movie.

The ’80’s and ’90’s mixed, with¬†Michael Bolton ‘How Am I Supposed To Live Without You’,¬†Richard Marx ‘Waiting For You’,¬†Heart ‘Alone’,¬†Whitesnake ‘Fool For Your Loving’,¬†Duran Duran ‘Girls On Film’¬†and strangely¬†The Clash ‘Rock The Casbah’¬†mixing with¬†David Bowie ‘Let’s Dance’¬†(may the great man Rest In Peace), a few great collaborations with¬†David Bowie/Mick Jagger ‘Dancing In The Streets’¬†and¬†Queen/David Bowie ‘Under Pressure’¬†brings me to my greatest love to date, Queen. Freddie Mercury was the Master Performer, and I couldn’t get enough of him. Every album Queen ever produced, I had.¬†Queen ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’¬†is the greatest song ever written, and I was devastated when Freddie died.¬†Queen ‘Another One Bites The Dust’¬†I was always a¬†Blur ‘Parklife’¬†fan, and loved Damon’s new band,¬†Gorillaz ‘Clint Eastwood’.

I liked¬†The Blues Brothers ‘Everybody’¬†after watching the movie. Turning to¬†Dire Straits ‘Sultans of Swing’,¬†Toto ‘Africa’¬†and¬†Ultravox ‘Dancing With Tears In My Eyes’¬†when I spent time alone. Phil Collins and¬†Genesis ‘In The Air Tonight’, became a favourite, I was surprised I’d missed them in the ’80’s, and only heard about them in the late 1990’s. Genesis ‘I Can’t Dance’.¬†Genesis ‘Land of Confusion’