Saturday, 31 December 2011

Thou Shalt, Thou Shalt Not

Rather than make resolutions I have compiled a list of things to I want to try and try not to do in 2012. They are a mixture of the superficial and frivolous, with the potential life changers. I am not so naive to think I will achieve everything that I want to, but I am at least going to give it a hearty shot.

  • Thou shalt endeavor to see all those people I always promise to catch up with and never seem to find the time to see.
  • Thou shalt get a better work/life balance.
  • Thou shalt try and stop working by midnight - I'm sure glaring at my laptop into the small hours has contributed to years of Insomnia.
  • Thou shalt learn how to spell rythym.... rhythm. Probably quite important as a music journalist.
  • Thou shalt go and say hello to people first rather than put my head down and change direction, fearing that awkward greeting.
  • Thou shalt try and gauge the appropriate greeting more successfully - there have been too many accidental snogs and head crushing hugs this year. 
  • Thou shalt not repeatedly forgive the silly buggers that don't deserve to be given more and more chances.
  • Thou shall spend more time with girls.. I spend so much time with boys I might as well be growing a pair.... plus I'm not sure always being with a group of lads helps the love life potential. 
  • Thou shalt try and make it to New York. It has been my wish for over two decades and as a fashion/music journalist it is surely an essential city to visit. If any NY inhabitants are reading and have a spare room please do get in touch!
  • Thou shalt learn not to worry so much about what people think.
  • Thou shalt be content with the fact that you can't please everyone all the time.
  • Thou shalt try and make it Coachella Festival. Imagine, a festival in the sun.. with palm trees!
  • Thou shalt not read YouTube comments.
  • Thou shalt not get annoyed at the volume of my Dads sneezes.
  • Thou shalt get closer to the dream of buying a flat. 
  • Thou shalt not squeeze my spots or pick at dry skin - Mum you should follow the second, particularly when we are watching TV, it is most distracting!
  • Thou shalt not be so self critical.
  • Thou shalt get my hair trimmed regularly.
  • Thou shalt not be a hermit. 
  • Thou shalt try and eat less and slower. I'm sure wolfing in the manner that I do is not an appealing sight. Below is a good example

  • Thou shalt shave my legs more regularly. 
  • Thou shalt try to draw again.
  • Thou shalt be the best friend I can be.
  • Thou shalt get myself well.
  • Thou shall dance with complete and embarrassing abandon, on a regular basis.
  • Thou shalt say yes to going on dates with men.
  • Thou shalt be more smiley, but not in a creepy way.
  • Thou shalt try to finally get to Australia... to see friends who moved there 10 years ago!!
  • Thou shalt try and wearing matching socks at least once, preferably without holes.
  • Thou shalt brush my hair more regularly so no one sees it fit to call me Bob Marley this year.
Bob Marley Hair circa Boardmasters Festival 
  • Thou shalt remember to bring my Odeon card to the cinema.
  • Thou shalt not let people take advantage so much.
  • Thou shalt start flossing. 
  • Thou shalt be one tough cookie.. while trying to maintain a soft centre. 
  • Thou shalt regularly visit the gym I have just joined. I have not  been a member of a gym in 6 years... this one should be interesting!
That is all.... for now


What Are You Doing New Years Eve?

The annoying yearly conundrum.What to do on new years eve...

Every year I end up making the decision about an hour before the various options kick off. This means having to scramble together the appropriate garb to suit the final chosen shindig... whether it's an event which requires sexy party gear or my pet hate.... fancy dress (although at least with that I can pretend my look was intentionally disheveled or trampy).
It looks like I will be keeping up the tradition this year. I am so envious of those who are coupled up, who have the option (or excuse ) to stay in, snuggle under a duvet watching Jools Holland while gorging on MSG ridden take-away.

A couple of years ago I tried to rebel against the concept that one should be out partying having 'the best night ever'. The conveyer belt of New Years disappointment resulted in the decision for me to boycott all socializing. I thought that if I planned for a lackluster evening it would be of no surprise when it achieved just that and therefore not a disappointment.  In January I tried my hardest to convince everyone that staying in alone had been a fine way of spending the year to year transition. If I am honest it did feel a little sad watching the TV festivities in bed on my tod. However, I did enjoy the feeling of being anti conformist for at least 5 minutes.

I suppose I should feel blessed that this year I have a few options on how to spend my evening, but as someone who seems to have a severe inability to make decisions, good ones in particular, this has flagged up even more quandaries. In usual negative fashion I also can't help but concentrate on the option glaringly omitted. For a while all signs pointed to me having that special person by this occasion. Sadly it would appear that all those signs were given out/vocalized minus real intent or good nature, and I find myself achingly single again - (this tale will most probably lead to another blog post).

So back to the decision making.. One option is infinitely more superior in location and function compared to the others. But with attendees, the majority of which are a few years younger, I will likely be reminded of my advanced years. It is also likely that these beautiful young things will be 'getting on it' in quite a big way, and as a non-drinker I will undoubtedly be perceived as the boring old fart - quite accurate a description it would be too! Amongst the bevvy of strangers and acquaintances there will be a lot of very dear friends and colleagues attending, most of which will be partying with their partners. I am not quite so bitter that I begrudge their 'in a relationship' status, particularly as they are all gorgeous and lovely people, but I am very aware of what it is like to be a vibrant yellow lemon at such events. I have suffered the humiliation of many pity kisses/hugs at new years parties (and weddings) the last few years. While I appreciate the kind gesture when my girl friends offer up their husbands and boyfriends for a peck and squeeze at 12.01 - when they have done with the celebratory PDA's -  it doesn't half make you feel like a pathetic charity case. When someone elses husband holds your hand and says 'don't worry you'll find your prince charming one day' you also can't help but wonder what desperate vibes have been resonating from your body for the last year. 

Another option would be to join my usual 'lads' for their house party. I've always found the formula for house parties winning. The fact you have somewhere to crash when tiredness or overindulgence sets in always makes it a potentially winning choice ( if you are confident that you won't be fiddled with in anyway once you've konked out on the sofa/floor/cupboard). This particular celebration would include some of my oldest friends too, those I've terrifyingly known for twenty odd (very odd) years. This means a welcome lack of awkward conversation. Shindigs with friends of friends or strangers usually means a whole lot of those draining 'getting to know you' chats, where you have to appear interested when asking about their work, how they met your mate and where they live etc. If you are lucky in rare circumstances the person you talk to is giving and open (or drunk), and you can fast forward straight to the point of comfort-ability where you can discuss each-others relationship status or indulge in over zealous living room/kitchen table dancing. A party filled with these rare treats are always the most successful.
Despite the handy credentials of the house party with close friends, because of the pressure put on by the media and other people you feel like you should be putting in a little bit more effort for new years...that the party should include some sort of spectacular element... a firework display or stripper perhaps? I wonder when spending time with your dearest friends became so inadequate. I think some things need to be re-evaluated people !

So there's two of the possibilities... I wonder whether I will end up avoiding making a decision which will inevitably p***  someone off and end up rebelling against the masses again. Because you see that's another sticking point when it comes to the big night... it's pretty much impossible to be with all the people you love, so you end up feeling you've let someone down. Maybe I worry to much....

Despite being asked all too frequently for the last month 'What you doing for new years? I have tried to put little emphasis on where I will be when the clock strikes midnight. Instead,  I have been thinking about the changes I intend to implement, as well as planning exciting adventures for 2012. Despite a somewhat shaky year I have decided to think positively, ponder how I can move forward and how I can be a better and happier person in the new year.  I know it all sounds disgustingly cheesy and predictable, but that's the simple truth. Whatever you decide to do for new years I hope you all are happy or at least content with your evening, but most of all that you are looking forward to to doing all you can to make the next year a life changing one.

Lots of Love xxxx

What Are You Doing New Years Eve by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

P.S Are all your male ( and some females) as in love with Zooey as mine are?

Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Sophie Awards 2011

There doesn't seem a more appropriate way to wave off 2011 than a little awards ceremony... Okay, so a ceremony might be exaggerating it a bit as it is just a mere blog post, but it will function as a great way of summing up the successes, highlights (and lowlights) of the year. These are my personal choices, so I expect a lot of you will disagree, but I guess that is the point of having your own voice via a blog....

Funniest Interview - Deaf Havana at Slam Dunk. Polar were right up there too.

Most Inspirational Interview WE ARE AUGUSTINES (they would also be up there for many of the best music award nominations)

Biggest Tabloid Scandal  NEWS OF THE WORLD/Ryan Giggs 

Villain of the year  You know who you are....

Personal Vice of Year Chicken Katsu Curry, Nando's, Choc Chip Cookies

New Personal Low Receiving personal mail from the people at Pot Noodle and Nandos

Most Annoying Thing of the Year  Being ill far too often, people being oblivious as they walk slowly in front of me, compulsive liars, selfish people, having no money, being single, the fact that I fall over on a daily basis, consistently losing things, make up spillage's in my favourite bags, ladders in tights, allergic reactions, dying Blackberrys, TFL, Wisdom teeth, GO COMPARE adverts....I could go on!

Weirdest Item Sent To Me For Review- A Bottom Enhancer to achieve Pippa Middleton pertness.... Personally I think the after clip in the gif shows that the padded pants actually achieve a Minaj or Kardashian...

how do you make a gif

Most Painful Beauty Review - Eye Definition (essentially having my eyelids tattooed) 

Best Beauty Treatment  -  Jinny Lash Eyelash extensions

Best Press Trip - The Amathus Beach Hotel and Spa Resort, Pathos.
A wonderful place spent with some lovely new Journalist and PR friends. Shout out to Bex, Sara, Vix and Pegi. Never eaten so much in my life though..

Best Trip  -  In April I headed to LA for a combined work/holiday trip. Quite a few pals were out there recording including Matty B of Cheer Up Clothing/You Me At Six, who had already been joined by my other Cheer Up colleague Edward . I got to catch up with them as well as make some new lovely  pals and catch up with people I'd met on my last visit. Thanks to Mike and Charlie of Wall Street Riots for the shelter and ping pong during my stay, to Chris for giving me a wonderful night-time tour of the city, Mike L for the scrummy brunch, One Night Only for the Tequila shots, Ian for the excessive amounts of hamburgers and chips, and Mr Hendrix for the kayaking in Orange County.

Best Festival Performance - The winner isn't necessarily my favourite performance but the one that surprised me the most. I was not prepared to enjoy My Chemical Romance so much. Their performance at Reading Festival was pretty incredible.

Most fun had at a festival - Sonisphere

Edward Sonisphere

Sophie shouts


Most Impressive Stage Production - Take That Progress Tour - (yes I do have a Take That sign on my face as well as my T-shirt). For your interest we were front row, the downside being that we were  situated next to an incredibly sweaty woman who had also pooed herself. She didn't want to leave her place so decided to try and keep it a secret, despite a visible stain and gag inducing stench. Take That were predictably amazing though.

Gig That Made Me Feel Both Old and Young At The Same Time - Apart from Take That which inevitably took me back to the simple days of youngster-hood and fan-girling. Seeing Bush play the Scala took me back to being an angsty early teen, the feeling of nostalgia reminding me that those years are now far gone..

Most Fun Gig -  Steel Panther at House of Blues, or Friendly Fires.

Interviewee that rinsed me the most - Sean Smith or Adee Phelan

Adee - ' Like you, a bit rough around the edges, bad voice, average hair, dresses okay... that's cool'
Sean - 'You only remember Chyna cos you look like her, she was a she/him'.. Me: 'So you are saying I have a semi penis?' Sean: And a manly face

Cringiest personal moment of the year - Vomiting in a bin on a train in front of colleagues Ed and Mattand trying to stay cool while chatting Dave Grohl.... both occurred within hours of each-other.

Most overused word of the year - 'Winning' or 'Reem'

My Most Extreme Moment

Sophie Skydive

Music - Ones to Watch for 2012 - My Idiom boys have their debut album out which will include a stonking single featuring Sean Smith and Benji Webbe. Arcane Roots, Polar, Don Broco, Deaf Havana, Twin Atlantic, Spycatcher are all awesome live acts and will undoubtedly build on their successful year of festivals and touring in 2012. Young Guns will release their second full length, which I have been told is even more epic than 'All Our Kings Are Dead. Lana Del Ray will also continue to intrigue. The hardworking Clement Marfo and The Frontline are also some Brits to watch....

Song of The Year  Video Games by Lana Del Ray - honorable mentions go to Foo Fighters with Rope, Chase and Status with Hitz, Twin Atlantic with Make A Beast of Me, Young Guns with Learn My Lesson and Naked And The Famous With Punching In A Dream. (and the many others I am sure to have missed)

Album/EP of The Year Impossible to choose but I bloomin' love the Crosses EP

Party Track of The Year   We Found Love by Rihanna feat Calvin Harris  

Party of The Year - Rimmel London

Style Icon Potential - Lana Del Ray - Her combination of retro beauty and edgy rebellion is sure to be a winner next year.

Best Dressed of The Year - Tinie Tempah and Rosie Huntingdon Whitley

Favourite S/S Collection - Christopher Kane

Best S/S 2012 High Street Collection - River Island - amazing collection that made me want to fast forward to festival season immediately.

Most Generous and Friendly Brand- Marc Cain. Not only do they create extremely wearable clothes season after season, the staff are extremely helpful and friendly. They even dressed me for fashion Week in September.

In a Marc Cain leather dress from their A/W collection

Biggest Fashion Splurge - After realizing that I will never be able to wear those super sexy heels - because of my clumsy nature, high arches and weak ankled tiny feet - boot/wedges became my style object of desire. My favourite of the year was this pair by Carvela which were reduced by £90 in the sale! Mega win!

Model Of The Year - The MALE model Andrej Pejic and Charlotte Free

Best Fashion Trend - Controversial, but these are my personal awards.....I thought sheer was used to beautiful affect this year, particularly via layered maxi skirts. I also loved collars, whether they were peter pan, used to add preppy-ness to dresses or attachable and embellished. 

Worst Fashion Trend -  I am unable to pull off the outlandish print legging, but I am quite content to let the likes of Jessie J get on with it. I still can't believe the prevalence of Uggs in 2011 - I am not criticizing the company as a whole just their ubiquitous soft boot. Crocs are a given every year.

Best Beauty Trend - Ombre/ Dip Dye Hair...

Worst Beauty Trend - The Only Way is Essex inspired looks and bleached Eyebrows

Hottest Man - Ryan Gosling (obviously) and Jon Kortjarena from A Single Man. He is almost too good looking. I'd definitely fall down (or vomit)  if I met him.

Hottest Female - Amber Heard, Audrey Tatou, Mila Kunis (she is cute and sexy - a rare breed) and Rihanna... need I say more!

Best Actress - Jessica Chastain (Tree Of Life and The Help), Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn, Blue Valentine)

Best Actor - Ryan Gosling - Can this guy make a bad movie? I predict Michael Fassbender for next year.

Best Film - Senna  - tragic, emotional, inspiring.
Ides of March - Suspense, intrigue, conspiracy.

Best Rom Com - Crazy, Stupid, Love

Film That Broke My Heart   'Never Let Me Go'

Thanks to the choice of music the trailer alone had me welling up. I took 5 boys to watch the film with me at the cinema and they hated it. It was bleak and harrowing, but I loved it... I thought there was such beauty in its sadness. 

'maybe none of us really understand what we’ve lived through, or feel we’ve had enough time'.

You’re always in a rush, or else you’re too exhausted to have a proper conversation. Soon enough, the long hours, the traveling, the broken sleep have all crept into your being and become part of you, so everyone can see it, in your posture, your gaze, the way you move and talk.

It had never occurred to me that our lives, which had been so closely interwoven, could unravel with such speed.

Best Reality TV Show I don't care one anyone thinks I love Strictly Come Dancing, and I'd like to learn how to do the Quickstep in 2012... any takers?

Favourite TV Shows An Idiot Abroad, Peters Versus Life, Would I Lie To You, Frozen Planet

And to conclude the inaugural Sophie Awards a massive THANK YOU.... to readers of the blog, my lovely colleagues and collaborators (some of whom are pictured below) and last but not least to my dear and treasured friends and family.Writing this post has reminded me that despite the tears and stresses it has been pretty stonking year.
Congratuwelldone to all that contributed to the joy.

Cheers to a happy, healthy and successful 2012

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