24 October 2013

Commuter Problems - a Twitter series.

After finding the single best Twitter account the other day, called Very British Problems, and squawking "this is me!" between uncontrollable laughter on reading nearly every tweet, I decided to start my own little Twitter series.

Every day the human beings of this world surprise me, and this has never been more obvious than on the commute in London. Unfortunately, most of these little surprises are nothing more than unpleasant examples of rudeness. If the British are generally thought to be polite, then I am scared to know what it's like in other big cities. (Of course I know not everyone commuting is British).

And so, #CommuterProblems was born. I have been on Twitter for a few months but more in a skulking/stalking capacity. I've retweeted the odd funny message, usually to do with Karl Pilkington, or tweeted Turin Brakes/Olly Knight about how awesome their music is (and got a reply!), but I'd never actually used this whole hashtag thing. I thought about setting up a separate Twitter account but someone beat me to the name. Grrr. So, if you are as deeply affected by a commute as me, please come follow me, and share your own issues too! 

You can find me here...............

10 October 2013

Commuter problems No.1

Check out my new Twitter series straight from the London commute: https://twitter.com/camerawillfly/status/388216164352274432

No.1: When you continually get barged by a rucksack attached to a man seemingly practising his discus spin.

02 October 2013

Meeting my musical heroes.....yay!

I have now had the absolute pleasure of meeting one third of my own personal heroes. Being an introvert personality (more on that to follow soon), there aren't many famous people that I would actually want to say hello to, but Turin Brakes are definitely on that list. And on Monday I got to do just that. They were performing and signing in a record store called Fopp in Covent Garden to promote their latest album, We Were Here.

I was lucky enough to receive my preordered copy through the post on Saturday and had been listening to it on repeat ever since. I had been feeling a bit down, but as soon as I put the album on I was surrounded by a lovely warm comforting feeling. I'm going to write more of an album review later on so I won't say too much now.

I've never been to a signing in a store before so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but we all queued up outside and were ushered in to a cleared space downstairs. They came out and sang 3 songs from the new album and 2 old favourites, including my second favourite song of all time (Underdog). They were fantastic as always, and it sounded great being in such close proximity.

I have to admit to being very nervous waiting to get my album sleeve signed - I find talking to people I don't know pretty difficult anyway, especially the dreaded small talk, but actually being face to face with the people who have created such beautiful music that really has meant an awful lot to me, was a bit scary. I decided to just tell them that I thought the new album was like a great big musical hug. And that really is true. If you're in need of some comfort, go order it. Until you do, here is a sneak peak.....

Oh, and in case you were wondering, the other 2 people on my list to meet are Som Wardner from My Vitriol and the legend that is Karl Pilkington!

30 September 2013

Return of the blog (once again)

After another blogging hiatus, I'm back. The reason for my absence has been finally finding a job after 6 months of wading through rejection emails and trips to the Job Centre. I've been there about 3 months now. Unfortunately it involves commuting into London, which takes a minimum of 2 hours each way. I guess that isn't too bad, but I've found it quite tiring and seem to have hardly any time (or more accurately, motivation) for much else. Still, I really want to tiptoe back into the blogging world so there will be some fun and exciting posts coming soon...........

14 May 2013

Tuesday Tunes

I went to see My Vitriol last week at Koko in Camden and they were so amazing! I haven't stopped playing their music since, and this song has definitely had the most repeats. I've loved My Vitriol since 1999 and have seen them a few times before, but this time was absolutely the best - they covered Daft Punk's song Get Lucky and one of my favourite songs of all time 'Wicked Game' by Chris Isaaks, and....drum roll.....they announced a new album! This is somewhat of a landmark for them since they've only released 1 proper album and that was in 2000. I am so excited! Onto the music before I burst..............

My Vitriol - This Time

27 April 2013

X is for The XX

Intro by The XX

Blood Red Moon by The XX

Crystallised by The XX

26 April 2013

W is for Women

We're always being told that women are really bitchy and jealous towards other females, and to a certain extent that is true. However, we also like to celebrate members of our own sex too. I've chosen a few women celebrities that I either admire or are just drawn to or inspired by (and a little envious of too, but in a positive way).

Zooey Deschanel - cute, beautiful, quirky and incredibly talented. She is a contributor to the HelloGiggles blog which is well worth a read, and New Girl is one of my favourite shows too. Might stick on the DVD tonight to cheer myself up.

Lisa Faulkner - winner of Celebrity Masterchef a few years ago and a presenter and actress. She came across as a very friendly, lovely person and a very endearing winner. I need to buy her cookbook when I can afford it.

Sarah Michelle Gellar (well, Buffy Summers) - I don't know much about Sarah herself, so I guess I'm really listing Buffy Summers herself. A strong, beautiful, independent woman. I totally love her. Shame she's not real. Although Sarah is probably just as great. I am halfway through the first and only season of Ringer - shame it was cancelled, I think it's great. 

Who are your favourite female celebrities? 

25 April 2013

V is for Very Special Day

Today is World Penguin Day!! 

To celebrate I thought I'd share a very special penguin with you all. Here he is reminiscing about the olden days. You can see him in pride of place in the photo. That little lady looking after him is my mum, which makes penguin nearly 70 years old. 

These days he takes life a bit easier. He lives in my dressing table and makes me smile every time I open the doors.

24 April 2013

U is for Umbrellas

A few years ago I splashed out (pardon the pun) on a great umbrella that wouldn't blow inside out. It isn't the  prettiest umbrella in the world but it does hold up in the wind so I can actually use it. It is the Senz Compact and was around £40 I think. In fact, I think it was a present from my wishlist. I thoroughly recommend it if you're fed up with your own umbrella.

Now, I do like funky umbrellas too, and I also have a duck umbrella (although I haven't used it in public yet) and a summer parasol (we just need a sunny summer).

I've found these other cute umbrellas online from BrolliesGalore.co.uk and I might even be tempted to get one when I have some spare cash.

23 April 2013

T is for Television

I do like my TV. And I don't just mean the actual machine (although that is pretty cool - who'd've thought TVs could be Smart?). I like to think I choose my programmes carefully, but I do end up watching a load of rubbish too. Although digital recorders and Netflix have changed that a bit. Netflix has been great for watching whole programmes obsessively right from season 1, even if I hadn't watched them at the time they came out. I record quite a few shows to watch at my convenience too.

My top favourite shows of the moment:

1. The Mentalist - I loooove Patrick Jane and his memory palace. It can be quite a dark show but whenever Patrick smiles it is so infectious (Simon Baker just has one of those smiles). Agent Cho has some great one-liners too. The over-arcing storyline of serial killer Red John has kept me wondering exactly who to trust and who is on the dark side - fabulous stuff.

2. Person of Interest - I wasn't hooked by season 1, but season 2 has been brilliant. I've really warmed to John Reese and Harold Finch, and I feel pretty sorry for old Lionel too. Really captivating stories each week, with hints at the back story coming out too which leaves you speculating exactly went on before we met them. 

3. Sons of Anarchy - I'm a latecomer to this one and might still go back and watch every episode from the beginning as I only saw bits and pieces of the early ones. I've got pretty hooked on it now though. It's weird seeing Charlie Hunnam as a gangleader though - I remember him as a young gay teenager in Queer As Folk! He certainly is playing a very different role now. My favourite character is probably Chibs, but I feel pretty sorry for Nero - he's lost his club, his car, loads of money and his sister since he met the gang.

4. Snog, Marry, Avoid - yes, I realise this doesn't sit comfortably with the rest of the list so far, but I do love it for a laugh. Ellie Taylor, the new presenter, is very likeable and keeps it funny. The amount of fakery some people wear on themselves really is unbelievable.

5. The Ricky Gervais Show - these are repeating on E4 in the middle of the night. Even though they are cartoon based on the original podcasts which I've listened to soooo many times before, I still sit there in hysterics every time. Have I told you how much I love Karl Pilkington? He is hilarious. Worryingly, we often think the same things - I just keep them to myself!

6. The X Files - we are currently working our way through them on Netflix, and on season 4 at the moment. I think this is about where I gave up originally. I remember watching the pilot on TV in 1994 and thinking it was the coolest show ever. I had loads of the trading cards, and the glow in the dark 'X' clock. (And I made the masking tape 'X' on my window too). Eugene Tooms was the scariest villain, and the inbreeding family were the most disturbing.

7. Doctors - I'm still loving this daytime soap opera that I've blogged about before. It isn't particularly high quality drama and the storylines aren't very realistic, but the characters are great and there is plenty going on to enjoy. Zara is my feisty favourite character (go on, get back with Daniel), and I've a little crush on Kevin Tyler. The Harrison killer episodes were the best but it has really had some great storylines this past year too. Shame a few of my favourites have left the show though.

I'm off to catch up on some of these right now..................

22 April 2013

S is for Sunflare

This year so far has been extremely rubbish weather-wise, so it has been great, and somewhat weird, to see the sun over the last week. Of course it is due to disappear again by the weekend, so best to make the most if it. I've been trying to get some sunflare shots which have proven harder than I thought, but that's more to do with the angles and trees in my garden I hope.

20 April 2013

R is for Rock

When people ask me what type of music I like I usually answer rock. I like all sorts of different types of music, but rock is the main genre. Or so I thought. From my answer I think a lot of people probably imagine that I like Metallica, AC/DC or The Who. But I don't. So I looked up some of my favourite 'rock' artists on Wikipedia to see how they were actually defined. I didn't realise how many genres and sub-genres of rock there were! Apparently I like a bit of rock and roll, some psychedelic rock, lots of alternative rock, a little Britpop, post grunge and post punk, rap rock, nu metal, post-Britpop, emo, garage rock and digital electronic rock. Wow.

Here are a couple of my alternative rock (or is that post-Britpop)  favourites to get you through the day.

Feeder - Insomnia

My Vitriol - Grounded

19 April 2013

Q is for Queen Amidala

My favourite character from Star Wars is R2D2 (obviously - since he is the saviour of everyone time and time again), but if I were to go to a Star Wars fancy dress party I would go as Queen Amidala. I loved the outfit and lipstick from the film:

You can actually buy the official fancy dress outfit (this is so great):

And the headress:

I did share my urge to buy the Queen Amidala Lego Star Wars minifigure on my L post the other day, but I think she is worth showing off again. Priced at £32.95 from FireStar Toys means that she will be staying on my wishlist for some time to come. 

Then I got to wondering what else is out there............(click on the pictures for the links).........

If you spot any others, please let me know - I might start a Pinterest board!

18 April 2013

P is for Photography Challenge

I decided to do a 30 day photography challenge this month, with it being a 30 day month and all, and I finally settled on this one:

I am a little behind on processing the shots, but I'm up to date with taking them each day. A few were a bit tricky. These are a few of my favourites......

From a high angle.....

From a low angle......

Something Blue......

Apologies for the lack of words today. 

17 April 2013

O is for Origami (revisited)

Last year I rediscovered origami, and found that the models could make great photography props. I hadn't made many for a while but having very little money to buy props at the moment has spurred me on to make my own instead. I'm hoping to use more origami, papercutting, modelling clay and sewing to make my own props, so I just need to work on some ideas. I did manage to create a calorie free breakfast last week - not all that tasty though.

To gather some new ideas I've been eyeing up some books on Amazon, and these ones made my wishlist:

And for something a little strange, why not try............

16 April 2013

N is for News

When it comes to reading the news, I stick to a chosen few websites and have my favourite sections to scour too. By no means, do I visit all these news websites every day - I'm not a news junkie. I usually read the BBC new website for the main stories of the day, for local news, sport and the Science and Environment section. The Telegraph website is also a good choice for world news and science, but the best section is the Weird News. You can find all sorts of funny stuff there. I'm not really one for celebrity gossip, but I confess I do often look through the stories on the Femail section of the Mail Online (sshhh) - although I often don't have a clue who they are referring to - Honey Boo Boo, Frankie Essex???? I think it's probably better to be in the dark about most of them.

Today I thought I'd share a couple of the weirder stories that caught my eye. The first one is the rather unsurprising news that men take six months to do 'little jobs' around the house. Apparently, a study by Homebase (a DIY store) found that men regularly put off these little jobs for six months or more either because they don't know how to do them or they lack the time or enthusiasm to do them. The top 5 jobs on our to-do lists are: marked walls, blown light bulbs (I have a few of these - oops), squeaky floorboards, stained carpet and peeling paint. I am definitely guilty myself of putting things off round the house, so I don't think we can only blame men.

The best story by far though was that of Sydney the tortoise, who went missing 10 months ago. His owners spent 2 weeks looking for him last June, and even resorted to calling in a gun dog to sniff him out, all to no avail. But lo and behold, when they started digging up their garden with a JCB for their new extension, there was Sydney laying in a pile of the rubble - alive and well. They think he was so disappointed with the rubbish summer we had last year that he mistook it for winter. I think a lot of us did that. He is absolutely fine and back in his heated vivarium. Phew.

Does anyone else like reading these weirder stories for some light relief? Any suggestions for good websites are more than welcome.

15 April 2013

M is for Macro Mondays

Since the start of 2013 I've been participating in the Flickr group Macro Mondays. Every week you are given a theme or topic to photograph, with the proviso that your shots are macros only. I have a Tokina 100mm macro lens which I picked up secondhand on eBay last year, but it only works manually on my camera. This is fine most of the time, since I've read that automatic focusing isn't always that great for macro shots, but it does mean I can't do any self portraits (I like photographing eyes). 

I decided to take part in Macro Mondays mainly because I need practice using the lens and to think outside the box a little when it comes to finding things to photograph. So far that has worked, and I think my shots are improving. I'm even considering a Macro 365 project one day!

Digging Up Lego Bench Monday

Uh oh, I don't think this angry workman is supposed to be digging up that bench. Quick, call his supervisor........

14 April 2013

L is for Lego

I already run a feature every Monday combining Lego with Bench Monday, imaginatively titled Lego Bench Monday, and so I'm often on the lookout for some new minifigures or Lego items to use. I've found that Firestar Toys is the best UK website (apart from eBay) for finding rare and unusual Lego bits and pieces, although it can be a little pricey. I have a wishlist on the site and often add various things to purchase when I have the spare cash. Here are a few of my favourite items that are currently on my wishlist:

Iron Man

Tony Stark

Bane's head


Bench With Flowers


Sparrow (really?)

And the best of all, Queen Amidala!

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