Your CD CV

This Christmas I spent more hours than I care to think about sitting in the car – it’s a nice car (in British racing green as well, could you get any snobbier?) but still, there are only so many long car journeys a girl can take in one festive season before she starts to dream of walking places.

One of the reasons I enjoy long journeys is that they give me time to work through story lines, think about the blog, and generally ponder life. It also gives me time to listen to the radio and catch up on music I don’t normally get a chance to listen to (for some reason I rarely/never play the radio when I’m at home). Long tradition means that when the Crazy Canalman and myself are in the car the radio is either tuned to Radio 4 or Radio 2 as attempts to inflict our own tastes in music on each other are just doomed to failure. Or constant replayings of the one Queen album that can be found lurking in the back of the glove box which is just as bad.

This week it was Radio 2 that was playing for the majority – there’s something quite soothing about sitting in a traffic jam, listening to the traffic report and have the lovely Becky tell you that you’re stuck in a traffic jam because some fool’s run out of petrol and is parked across both lanes of the A34. Or that half the country has also decided today would be a good day to pop out shopping to Cribbs Causeway.

But I digress.

One recurring feature that was running throughout the week was peoples CD CV’s. The life of a chosen listener as illustrated by the music that meant the most to them at given milestones. It got me to thinking of all the music in my life and what it means to me so I bring you my CD CV:

The first song you ever bought?
Lemon Tree by Fools Garden.
This was in the German charts when I was over in Hamburg as part of an exchange. I never bought music up till that point (in fact even now I rarely by CD’s though I love listening to music) but this song captured so perfectly the trip that I just had to own it. Crazy Euro-rock-pop. Nothing like it 😀

The song that led to your first popstar crush?
Ten Good Reasons by Jason Donovan.
It might not even have been this particular song, but it was definitely something equally hideous by JD (perhaps my fatal fascination with all men who’s names begin with J comes from this time?) When he smiled it was like he was smiling just for me… The worst part of it is that when I found the tape lurking in a drawer a few months back and played it – I could still remember all the words!

The song that reminds you of your first true love?
London Calling by The Clash.
What more can I say? He was a bit of a traditionalist at heart.

A song that’s guaranteed to make you dance?
Build Me Up Buttercup by The Foundations.
It just gets me going every time and brings a smile to my face when I think of the first time I danced to the track. It was the first week of the first year at Liverpool and Smith, Mike, Bimbostar and myself were out on our first night… The rest, as they say, was history 😉

Your favourite holiday track?
Wig Wam Bam by The Sweet.
I just have so many happy memories of road-trips with my Dad; the Sweet blaring out of the car stereo, the windows down, sea air whipping our hair, singing at the top of our lungs to the complete nonsense lyrics.

The song you’d most like to sing on stage?
Hear You Me by Jimmy Eat World.
I can think of other songs that might be more fun to sing on stage, but this one brings a lump to my throat whenever I hear it. I’d love the chance to get up and sing it for my Granddad who died before I got a chance to make him proud of me.

The most embarrassing record you ever bought?
This wasn’t already covered by Jason Donovan or Fools Garden?
Oops… by Britney Spears.
You’re probably not going to believe me when I say it was for my Mum, but it was!

The one song you wish you’d written?
Unwell by Matchbox Twenty.
Writing is my thing. It is how I make sense of my world and try to explain what is going on in my head to other people, yet nothing I could ever write would come close to doing justice to how I felt for many years as this one song does. Not only are the lyrics astounding, pertinent and insightful, but the melody is beautiful and the entire song a work of genius that sends tingles up my spine whenever I listen to it.

The best guitar riff ever?
Driven By You by Brian May.
So it was a song written for a Ford advert, but that man can do something with a guitar and my heart still soars every time I hear that middle bridge.

Your favourite love song?
Love Song For No One by John Mayer.
Good music is when the artist sings of emotions you are aware of. GREAT music is when the artist makes you realise something you hadn’t know before. It was listening to this song that made me realise I was in love after all, despite pretending the contrary to everyone around me. Plus, it’s just a beautiful song.

The track that reminds you of your best mates?
Eternal Flame by the Bangles.
There’s something to be said for walking through a moonlit Borneo jungle singing this song at the top of your lungs knowing the only living creatures for miles around are a few flying foxes and some Orang Utan’s. And twenty other students from your college bio class out there on holiday with you. Romantic, nah. Happy memories? Hell yeah!

So what’s your CD CV?

Wherefore have ye left your sheep?

Egor The Christmas Tree on Flickr

This is our Christmas tree here at Meadow Towers (click to see it bigger). Nice, isn’t it? I’m sure either Moose or myself have told the tale of Egor before, but if not, in a nutshell:
When we moved in there was a random metal pole in the corner of the living room (we assume it serves some structural purpose). The landlord, in his infinite wisdom, decided to paint it green, twine fake ivy up it, and put a plastic pot around the base. When faced with such an edifice, what are two girls to do? Make a feature of it of course 😀 So we called it Egor, dressed it in lights, and put a knight climbing the ivy to rescue the princess. At Christmas, even more lights are put around him and even more decorations are laden onto the branches and Egor is our tree. A very good job he does too.

Wow, big nutshell!

Anyway, it’s holiday time. The Crazy Canalman is soon to descend on Southampton to whisk me away back to the Homestead for a week (whisking me in a car, not a boat – that would be some sight to see going down the A303). As the ancestral home is in the Land that Broadband Forgot (Somerset) I am going to be on something of a blogging-break. I’ll still check email every now and then but don’t look for anything new around Bright Meadow till the New Year. If you’re one of the lucky ones to have my mobile number, I recommend using that if you want to get in touch.

So Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Festive Greetings, Happy Holidays and all other nice things. I hope you all have fun with your loved ones (or have fun avoiding people, whatever works for you 😉 ) I’m going to have a wonderful time with food, wine, frolicks and, most importantly, SLEEP!!!!!!!!!! OODLES AND OODLES OF SLEEP!!!!!!

Yes, I know. Not exactly the most stimulating of Christmas plans but trust me – sleep seems good to me right now. Even if Daniel Craig was there in the bed with me, I’d just be wanting to sleep.

*thinks about that last one some*

Ok, so that might be stretching even my levels of credulity, but you get the idea. These past two weeks – ok, past two MONTHS – have been ultra hectic with sugar frosting and a cherry on top. Hopefully a week’s break and lots of sleep will set things to rights. Or at least set me up for a 2007 hopefully filled with even more fun and hijinks.

I just want you to know I adore you all to bits and this past year has been a sheer joy. So go and spread the happiness – tell that special someone that you love them. If you don’t have a special someone, it’s time you found one damn-it! Be brave, be a fool, take a chance. Go on, I dare you. I can think of few things worse than sitting there at the end of my life going “Oh, if only I’d said something…”

Failing that, just have fun. If you’re not enjoying your life, you’re doing something wrong 😉

~ ~

Five Things You Might Not Know About Me

Ok, this one is going to be hard seeing as how I’ve been writing here at Bright Meadow for several years now and (as long-term readers will verify) I have a tendency to talk about anything and everything.

Therefore, I’m going to clarify Rich’s tag with the word ‘might’, as in “Five things you MIGHT NOT know about me”.

1) The first guy I ‘pulled’ when at Liverpool was Jimmy, the 33 year old Nigerian Post-grad (I’ve never gone for a night out without my glasses since!)
2) Every major relationship in my life has come about thanks to MSN.
3) I am actually excruciatingly shy with an inferiority complex the size of Outer Mongolia.
4) I wrote my first story when I was seven.
5) I’m scared I’m never going to find ‘true love’ and am doomed to die the Crazy Cat Lady.


6) I believe penguins are evil.

So you knew that last about me already, but the mood needed lightening 🙂

I tag – anyone else who’s as busy as I am at work at the moment and frantically looking for a “I’m alive, really” post without having to use those words. Oh, and Jay because I’m nice like that 😀

Sunday Roast: show me that horizon!

So according to Moose, there are around 200 million blogs that are no longer updated. In case you thought Bright Meadow was one of them because the Roast is so late this week, forgive me. I blame the penguins – Penguins with happy feet.

Don’t you just love marine biologists? Only they could come up with the vampire squid from hell.

Airplane + Treadmill. Who would win?

Now, I’ve been to some wild parties in my time, but I’ve never sacrificed a camel.

It’s harder than you would think to find a pink cover for the new iPod nano – so what does a clever girl do? Make her own.

The other week there was singing cats. This week it’s singing sheep. I just love how the Cumbrian tourist chap likens it to the re-release of Slade…

You can’t make this stuff up – the World’s tallest man saves a dolphin.

I always knew that my Minions were wonderful people – now I KNOW they are.

Who would win in a fight? A lion, or 42 Cambodian Fighting Midgets?
I reckon the Midgets if you are counting the Midgets as an entity – so sure, you’re going to have sacrifice a few for the greater good, but as a whole the Midgets would win.
Then you’ve got to ask yourself, for who would it be morally more wrong?


Originally taken by pdenker

Woot for paychecks for freelance work that unexpectedly arrive just before Christmas when the bank account is at an all time low.

Woot I say!

Now I just need to restrain myself and put it all in the savings account and not go on a huge spree – though I did spend a happy fifteen minutes at work today comparing flight and hotel costs… Oh, for my holiday! I’m bigging it up in my head so much right now that when I finally do get to go on it, it is bound to be a huge let down. Because I doubt I’m going to get round to it till at least April and that’s four months of hype to get through!

But I don’t care. For the first time in ever I have (or am starting to have) disposable income. I have a job where I get holiday pay. I have no other ties. I really am in the perfect position to f*** off on my own for two weeks to some remote and far flung destination.

I just need to pick that destination – Montreal or New Zealand? Both have their plus points, both have their down sides.

But yes, Woot says I.

Er, is it too soon to start packing? *angel*

Sunday Roast: it may have been a bigger potato

This week has been ever so slightly odd for me. Nothing in particular has reared it’s head it’s just been… odd. For some reason the silliest things have thrown me: case in point, getting into work on Friday to find out that Christmas Decoration Hell has taken over our section of the office. I’m not a scrooge, nor am I averse to a few decorations around the office (though their appropriateness is debatable), but I am averse to Ms. Stickybeak making a unilateral decision to decorate our area as well as hers without consulting our team. I’m not sure which annoys me more – her blithe assumption that we’re all Christian and celebrate Christmas (because we’re not), the fact that she decorated without asking (yes, I get territorial), or the fact that I had plans to make lots of 3D snowflakes this weekend and hang them on Monday. She foiled my cunning plan!

Oh, I’m still making the snowflakes and taking them in, but I’ll either have to leave her decorations up which will detract from the prettiness of mine, or take hers down and live with a horrendous atmosphere for the next millennia.

Who decided that open-plan offices were the way to go? *whimper* Anyway, that little incident completely derailed me for the entire of Friday. Other little things have also gained significance out of all proportion to what they deserve and… Just odd. Still, only two weeks till the holiday and if you don’t think I’m counting down the minutes you’re mad. I haven’t had a break since a week back in April and I’m running on the fumes right now. The only thing that’s keeping me going is the knowledge that I’ll have five days back at the Homestead where I can do nothing but sleep, maybe do some light DIY or defrost a freezer or something, and play with Gilbert the Rabbit. It’s the little things you understand.

Though the week has just made much nicer by the news that I’m going to get the first lot of payment for some work I did a few months back. PERFECT timing for Christmas!

So as I said, it’s been an odd week for me and consequently I’m viewing everything at kind of one remove with my irony level dialed to ‘high’. Bear that in mind as you enjoy this week’s Roast.

A little less conversation, a little more action? Are comments actually detracting from your site? Whilst comments and community are a big (and to me one of the most important) part of Bright Meadow, I can see Andy’s arguments that they aren’t suitable for all sites.

Christian Montoya, on the other hand, has pretty much the opposite view point (- which pretty much sums up my own feelings on comments).

Ever hit the ‘publish comment’ button then gone “DOH!!!”? I know I have. Well, for those of you who have always wanted to be able to edit their comments, I have some good news – part of a big Bright Meadow Refresh I have planned for the new year will include the addition of editable comments. Don’t say I never do anything for you 😛

Because I never can be certain who’s reading Bright Meadow and wanting to buy me a surprise gift, GeekGirl Jewelry.

William Gibson on writing.

97% of websites do not provide even minimum levels of accessibility. Ouch.

Long-time readers of Bright Meadow will be familiar with my deep respect for the work of danah boyd, so it should come as no surprise that I’m going to link to her latest paper all about online ‘friends’. Yes, it might be a little long and serious for a Sunday afternoon, but do bookmark it and return to it when you’re brain is in the right place. Well worth the read.

Mobile phones do NOT cause cancer. Well that’s one lot of bad karma the Crazy Canalman no longer has to deal with. Woot.

It’s not just me who has trouble with their office decorations: even the BBC can’t get it right it seems. Where along the way did Christmas get this bloody big?! When I was a kid it was fun, sure, but we never decorated till the week before Christmas (two weeks if my Mum was particularly persuasive that year) and if my Dad had had it totally his way it would have been Christmas Eve that the tree etc went up. So why are those of us who don’t want to go over board on the 1st of December now viewed as aberrations and crazy subversives?

It’s winter, the time for baking – chocolate chestnut fridge cake sounds just perfect and ridiculously easy to make.

9rules is starting to announce the Round 5 additions to the network and already there are a host of wonderful new sites. One that I’ve already fallen head-over-heels in love with is Creampuff Revolution

Some more eye-candy (and coincidentally another new 9ruler – welcome 🙂 ) Midnight Snack

One film this week caught my eye – Breach. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t get enough of these spy-thriller deals.

And that’s it for another week. Before you all go scooting off to your lives, I would like to remind you all that post deadlines are looming – if you want a Christmas/Seasons Greetings card then use the contact form and email me your address ASAP. And I’m off to go make lots of 3D snowflakes. Toodles 🙂