Posts Tagged ‘song’

Truffle. By Taylor Swift.

Do you know what I noticed the other day? You know that song by Taylor Swift which, embarrassingly enough, I loved? It’s called Trouble. Well, I noticed yesterday, that the song is immeasurably improved by simply changing the word Trouble to Truffle, throughout. 

 

Have a listen and follow the lyrics. I have changed some other stuff too, for fun. Don’t expect it to make sense.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNoKguSdy4Y

 

There’s some nonsense adverts at the beginning then some chitchat. Boooooooring. Skip to 2:02.

Once upon a time
A few dinners ago
I was in the kitchen
You got me alone
You found me, you found me, you found me

I guess you didn’t know
That I would get obsessed
And when I fell hard
You took a step in
The saucepan, the saucepan, the saucepa-a-a-a-an.

And he’s baking
When the oven’s on
And I realize the truffle’s on me

Cause I knew you were truffle when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to tastes I had never had
Till you put me down, oh
I knew you were truffle when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to tastes I had never had
Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground
Oh, oh, truffle, truffle, truffle
Oh, oh, truffle, truffle, truffle

No apologies
He’ll never see you eat
Pretend he doesn’t know
That he’s the reason why
You’re eating, the truffles, you’re eating

And I heard you moved on
From truffles on the plate
A new lunch in your day
Is all I’ll ever be
And now I see, now I see, now I see
He was hungry
When he met me
And I realize the truffle’s on me

I knew you were truffle when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to tastes I had never had
Till you put me down, oh
I knew you were truffle when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to tastes I had never had,
Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground
Oh, oh, truffle, truffle, truffle
Oh, oh, truffle, truffle, truffle

And the saddest fear comes creeping in,
That you ate all of,

The truffles,

From the fridge,

And in the kitchen, yeah

I knew you were truffle when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to tastes I had never had
Till you put me down, oh
I knew you were truffle when you walked in
So shame on me now
Flew me to tastes I had never had
Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground
Oh, oh, truffle, truffle, truffle
Oh, oh, truffle, truffle, truffle

I knew you were truffle when you walked in
Truffle, truffle, truffle
I knew you were truffle when you walked in
Truffle, truffle, truffle!

Stuff and money

Well, it had to come up at some point, didn’t it? You can’t put an advert like that on TV and think that there wouldn’t be some discussion about its ridiculousness here. Anyone not living in the UK, thank your lucky stars that you have not been exposed to this advert.

There are plenty of awful awful things about this advert, it’s hard to know where to start. I guess we should start with Barbara Windsor, AKA Peggy Mitchell from Eastenders, or ‘Stenders, as it is *lovingly* known. I say *lovingly* with undisguised overtones of sarcasm. O god, she’s awful. If you don’t already know who she is, picture this.

She’s a bit too old for the bright blond piled-on-top hairdo that she sports. She’s small and, typically of small people, she’s very loud. And very rough-London. Her laugh is her most awful feature. It fires out, at five billion decibels, violating your ears with its machine gun fire-esque sound.

The advert in question is the latest in a series of adverts in which she wears brightly coloured court jester-type clothing and laughs a lot. “AH AH AH AH AH AH AH AH!” Loud and insistent. Maybe she says some words too, I couldn’t tell you. I’m too busy recoiling from the TV in horror.

In this latest advert, maybe they’ve realised that no-one is listening to her words actually, because the whole advert consists of a song with two words.

The words are STUFF and MONEY.

And the song goes like this, are you ready for the inspirational genius-like work which must have gone into creating it?

Verse 1
Stuff stuff money money stuff stuff.
Stuff stuff money money stuff stuff.
Stuff stuff money money stuff stuff.
Money money money.
Stuff stuff!

Verse 2
Stuff stuff money money stuff stuff.
Stuff stuff money money stuff stuff.
Stuff stuff money money stuff stuff.
Money money money.
Stuff stuff!

Inspirational words, hey? From the song, I have concluded that it must be a betting place telling you what you can win if you give them all your hard earned cash. While this song goes on and on, SillyBollocksMachineGunLaugh sits on a big throne thing, grinning maniacally and kind of arm-dancing along with an audience, who are all up on their feet, clapping and cheering. There are also an array of strange inexplicable things and people on the stage with SillyBollocks, as though there’s a gameshow happening.

Now I don’t really know anything about the advertising world. Maybe approval is only needed from the boy who fetches the tea in the office, which explains how this awful advert made it into my front room. But I was under the impression that there are more levels of approval needed before it could be broadcast.

Someone must have thought it up, pitched the idea to their boss, taken it to a brainstorm meeting where all the ideas were presented, that one idea must’ve been picked (the ingenious idea to make it consist of just the words ‘stuff’ and ‘money’ must have been too persuasive), they must have had to get it approved to film and made it and watched it back and gone, “Yeh, this is really good.”

I just can’t understand why no-one stopped them at any point in that process and said, “Guys, you can’t make this advert, it’s crap.”

He’s got a sweaty back

Emily at The Waiting has told me to write something again. So I must. I must do what she says. She says I should write about ‘the time we almost melted.’ So here goes.
image

My first memory of extreme sweatiness is always the day two friends and I walked to the market in Laos. We were in Vientiene, the capital and travelling to Vang Vieng in a minibus in the afternoon so we decided that in the morning we would walk to the market. This journey turned out to be the most ridiculously hot journey I’ve ever taken in my life.

We walked and we walked and we walked. And we sweated. Boy, did we sweat! My over-the-shoulder bag strap was pressing my t-shirt tight onto my skin so that there was a bag strap shape in sweat when I took the bag off. That day was the first time I’ve ever felt sweat gather in the crease between my bum and my leg then break free and run down to my knee. I’ve never felt so disgusting in my life.

When we got to the market, I bought a new t-shirt because the amount of dry patches were so few it was embarrassing.

Later that same trip, the three of us were in a little cafe in Lopburi near the monkey temples and this man came in and sat down. Now, the three of us can get pretty childish if left to our own devices and this poor man had the same problem I had in the Laos story above – when he took his backpack off, the shape of the backpack was printed on his t-shirt in sweat.

Well! It was too much, we couldn’t contain ourselves. You know that Justin Timberlake song, Sexyback? It just so happens that singing Sweatyback instead fits perfectly and is much much funnier. So we sang it. Then we giggled uncontrollably. Then he stood up and left without having ordered anything.

I think he heard our song.

Last but not least, my most recent melting episode was on Monday, my first day in Ham House. I was wearing a top that wasn’t very breathable. It was yellow (I should have gone with safe black or white, given the high chance that I might be sweating) so I was quite clearly overheating for everyone to see.

I just had to ignore it and keep on like nothing wierd was happening and I didn’t feel like my organs were being cooked on a barbecue.

Just a normal first day on the job. Sweat and awkwardness. That’s me.

I can see now, why they wanted me on board.

An open letter to the Rich And Famous

To The Rich And Famous,

This letter has been prompted by Jessie J’s song, ‘Wild.’ I heard it at the Chime For Change concert for the first time and I thought, “You know what Jessie J? Shut up. Just shut up.”

And why, all you Rich And Famous, would I think this? Well, forgive me for overreacting in this post-recession climate, but if I’m going to scrape together the £10 or so that it costs to buy your album or single or whatever (and rest assured, I’m not, but if I was) and I know I’ve splurged a bit and there’s a little bit of residual guilt lingering in my mind about the fact that I should have paid that off my overdraft/credit card/loan and then I get home and I put it on and I sit back and I get ready to listen to you, Jessie J, and enjoy the music…. And then you go, “I just can’t believe that this is my life… It feels so crazy when you scream my name…”

Translation: You all love me and now I’ve got an amazing life.

O, you’re welcome Jessie. You’re very very welcome. It’s nice to know that you’re having a nice time from all the pennies I scraped together to get your album. I guess I’ll just go back to my menial task job again in a few hours and try and earn some more money so I can buy even more of your records and listen to you tell me about how fab everything is for you.

Isn’t it just wonderful to be you? Wonderful. Thanks for reminding me.

And you, Fergie. You’re not much better. Glamorous?! What was that about? What a fucking insult. You wear “them gold and diamond rings” but you still go to “Taco Bell.” What a comfort to me. I’m glad you reminded me of that. You know where I go? The kitchen. My own fucking kitchen. Because if I ate out every night I’d be broke.

Imagine that, Fergie! Being broke! O wait, you can’t. Cause you’re so fucking loaded… And real. We mustn’t forget that! O god, you’re so real “no matter how many records you sell.” Well, thank god for that.

And, you remind us, before you were “flyin’ first class,” you just had “a Mustang.” That must’ve been tough, Fergie. I can’t even imagine how you’ve suffered, just having a Mustang. You must’ve been so fucking poor.

Guess what I have, Fergie? My feet. My own two little feet. And when I need to go somewhere, I use them. I’ve also got this way flashy thing called an Oyster card. You put money on it and you can go on public transport. You should totes get one…. O wait, excuse me, of course not. Public transport! For a Glamorous first class flying lady like you. Pffft! What am I thinking!?

But yeh, totally real. I totally dig your realness, Fergie.

And you over in the corner there, J.Lo. You have not escaped my rage. This song has stuck with me for years, way before I had worked out that you were talking utter tripe. Because you, “Jenny,” you are still “from the block.” And in my sadness or my money worries or the trivialities of my comparatively mundane life, paying rent etc, I have always found strength from the fact that you, Jenny, you understand me. You understand my worries and concerns, a bit like Jesus really. Because you are like me, J.Lo, and you, like Fergie, are “real” and you have stayed “grounded as the amounts roll in.”

I’m sorry? The “amounts roll in”? So you’re loaded? Fuck off. Just be rich and stop going on about it.

I’m glad you’re loaded. I’m glad your shoes are worth more than I earn in a year. I’m glad you have a diamond encrusted mobile phone cover. That’s all fab and great. And I like to see pictures of beautiful people singing or acting well. That’s nice. It keeps me entertained. It gives me ideas for my next hairdo. I don’t need to know so much about your private life, to be honest. A bit of glamour and mystery is a good thing, I feel. But to show I like you’re acting/singing etc, I may part with money to experience it. Not often. But sometimes. Maybe.

But, for fuck’s sake, do me a favour and don’t sing at me about how fucking rich you are and how amazing your life is. And how my pennies spent on a record have helped you buy yourself a million billion pound mansion castle thing.

Just. Don’t.

I don’t need to hear that nonsense. Just sing your songs about love and make them sound nice. That’s all I’m asking of you.

And now, Rich And Famous, I shall leave you with a version of J.Lo’s big hit, adapted by my friend Cilla, when we were 17 years old.

“Don’t be fooled by the rocks I haven’t got,
I’m still, I’m still, Cilla from the block.
Used to have a little, still only have a little,
No matter where I go, I’m still where I came from,
Don’t be fooled by the rocks I haven’t got,
I’m still, I’m still Cilla from the block.”

Let that be food for thought, all you Rich And Famous.

Sincerely, Laura (from the block)

Me! I want to join in!

Given that Emily at The Waiting is one of the coolest bloggers I know, I will follow, sheep-like, any suggestions she makes.

“Do Secret Santa, Laura,” she said last December.

“Yes, Emily,” I said and got a present ready for a stranger.

“Come to my child’s 1st birthday party,” Emily said in March.

“Yes, Emily,” I replied, sending in a suitably childlike photo of myself and my brother so we could attend the celebrations.

More recently, Emily teamed up with Zebra Garden, an equally fantastic blogger, to create a kind of Thursday blog-prompt thing. I don’t definitely understand but I said “Yes, Emily,” obediently and resolved to get my head round it.

Fingers crossed I’ve managed and you’re viewing an impressive looking blog badge thing with Emily and Ashley’s names on it?

Anyway, the theme is sleepover so here’s a kind of hashed-together instruction manual of things that must happen at sleepovers. Because Emily told me to.

1. An evening which turns into an unexpected sleepover will require you to sleep in your clothes rather than ask your friend to borrow some because you’re far FAR too embarrassed. You then spend the entirety of the next day in them and don’t see what the problem might be.

2. Warbling along to Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful and really believing you are destined for worldwide fame because of your amazing voice. You’re singing, by the way, into a deodorant bottle.

3. Drinking J2O and acting squiffy because you haven’t quite understood that it is a juice drink which is designed to look alcoholic but actually isn’t.

4. Eating so many fried egg sweets and gobstoppers that you’re on the verge of vomiting but refusing to stop.

5. Playing truth or dare except it’s mostly truths and it’s mostly ‘which boys do you fancy?’ A big secret must be revealed at every sleepover or the whole exercise seems slightly pointless. In the day following the revelation, you must all giggle and look at each other knowingly across classrooms because you all know The Big Secret. Mine, by the way, was the revelation that I had a massive crush on Arnold Schwarzenegger when I was younger. Look, don’t laugh! I know you’ve got some. Haven’t you?

6. Watching a film you’ve watched a ton of times, that you could recite the entire script to but still insisting that you watch it. Mine and my friend Alison’s was The Great Gatsby (the Robert Redford and Mia Farrow version). Another standard one was The Sound of Music (loved it, LOVED it) or Dirty Dancing.

7. Inevitably, you talk about the current ‘issues’ you’re struggling with. Example 1 –  I’m not sure what to do when I go on the sunbed, do I leave my bra on or not? Example 2 – how long should I wait before squeezing a spot?

8. There must, and I repeat must, be some occasional squealing, high pitched laughter and, if you’re feeling risky, an actual scream or two. A parent will then appear with sleepy eyes and implore you to ‘please quieten down, girls, it’s after 1am and you’ve all got a big day tomorrow.’

9. About every fifth sleepover with the same group, there will likely be a falling-out or, at the very least, a change in set-up of the best friends in the group. The subtle change of moving your number 2 friend into the Best Friend spot will have far-reaching consequences which could deeply affect the demoted friend. Until, that is, the following week in school when you have Maths together and you re-establish her in the number 1 spot. 

10. I don’t really have a number 10 but it’s a better number than 9 so I put it there. Um. Okay, let me think of something to say. O yes, I once left my removable retainer thing for my teeth at a friend’s house after a sleepover and I was HORRIFIED! Too horrified to ask for it back. How. Embarrassing. So I left it there and my bottom teeth moved slightly so now they overlap a little. All because I was 15 years old and embarrassed by absolutely everything.

image

J is for….

JET PLANE!

As in Leaving On A….

When I was 18, I decided to go on a gap year. I really decided who I went away with in a bit of a panic. Anyone else I knew who was taking a year out before uni had arranged it already. So panic set in and I applied for the first thing I saw. Thankfully, it was brilliant. Before we left, we went on a training course on a little island off the coast of Scotland.

My favourite favourite song, at this point in time, was Leaving On A Jet Plane by Peter, Paul and Mary. When getting to know everyone else on the course, one boy, who was probably the most fun ever, revealed that his favourite song was Leaving On A Jet Plane!

Omygod, no! That’s my favourite song! No, it’s my favourite song. Omygod, we’ve got the same favourite song! This is like fate! It’s totally fate. I love the version Bjork did. Do you remember it? No, I didn’t know she’d done a version. I like the one by Peter, Paul and Mary. Wow. Same favourite song. This is amazing. We’re like so best friends.

And so we went on our gap years, me to Africa, Joe to China. And we spent a few years being here, there and everywhere. Until finally, inevitably, we both ended up in London. And we are still good friends, in fact we met for dinner last week.

And there have been various songs that epitomise different times in our relationship. For example, Cool by Gwen Stefani and Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt will always transport me back to the time I spent in Beijing with Joe, around the time that both of those songs came out. On the day I flew home, we walked down a quiet road near his hutong singing loudly and when I got in a taxi to leave, the unfairness of constantly living so far apart really got to me.
image
(Us pretending to be fabulous pianists in a hotel in Beijing)

And now we live at opposite ends of the same tube line in the same city! Although we’re no longer 18 and no longer act as if we’re on drugs that make you hyper, I knew that song meant something when we discovered it was both our favourite!

Of COURSE there won’t be snow in Africa!

I just have to say something which has been on my mind for a while now. That song, Feed The World, which I thought was Free The World until really recently. It’s ridiculous.

“And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime.”
Duuuuh! Of course there won’t. What that got to do with anything? Is that fact supposed to evoke pity in me?

O no, they won’t have snow, they must be soooo gutted. I bet all that sunshine and warm weather is really bugging them and that they wish, in their hardship, that they had snow. It’s so hard living in a sunny country.

It’s the worst thing ever. If, as we are led to believe by the song, everyone in Africa is sitting around starving and poverty-stricken, do you really think SNOW, of all things, is going to help the situation? Now they’re starving, poverty-stricken and dying of pneumonia.

As an aside, there also “won’t be snow” in Australia this Christmastime but they can think again if they’re expecting a load of food parcels because of it!

The next bit, “The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life.” Talk about talking down to people! Like we’re whispering with a doctor about a cancer ridden old lady. Africa isn’t one massive country unable to do anything for itself or work out how to get food. If you’d have told any of the people in the town in Namibia where I lived that the greatest gift they could expect was to not die, I’m pretty sure they would have found it hilarious. They were people like you or I and they were doing ok. Of course there are places of extreme poverty in many countries in Africa but as a whole, it’s just not possible to write one song, applicable to all, about how everyone is starving. It’s really offensive.

And lastly, “Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?” To be honest, I don’t think it’s very high on the priority list. A lot of African countries aren’t Christian. It makes absolutely no sense to say, ‘O, isn’t it awful? They don’t have any celebrations at Christmas.’ It’s like a Muslim country singing a song about how awful it is for us in Britain and “Do they know it’s Ramadan time at all?” Well, no, I don’t know when Ramadan is, not because I’m terribly unfortunate and you must raise money for me. Just because it’s not something I celebrate anyway. So to say about Africa, do they know it’s Christmas – probably some of them don’t. What on earth has that got to do with how poor they are or aren’t?

And that is my rant over and done with. I’ve been needing to let that out for years over this stupid stupid song.

Thank you.

PS I’ve just remembered that there was a town further inland from Luderitz, where I lived, which did get snow! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Bob Geldof. Was it Bob Geldof?

How I feel about Christmas

When I was growing up, Christmas was loads of fun. I’d often wake too early and try nudging my brother awake. He’s three years older than me so his excitement levels were slightly lower than mine. He’d grumble a little, turn over and keep sleeping. I’d be hopping about with excitement but didn’t want to go downstairs alone so I’d wait.

Eventually he’d wake up and we’d go downstairs. A long flat parcel with a message from my grandfather and grandmother meant a chocolate selection box and I’d get involved straight away. Usually something like a caramel or a fudge bar would become breakfast. We’d spend a few hours playing with our presents. I think the year I got a karaoke machine and a Christmas karaoke video was probably the most unbearable for my family.

Next on the agenda was Christmas lunch. I’ve got quite a big extended family and we would all (about twenty of us) to go round to my grandparents’ house and my grandmother would cook a huge Christmas dinner. You know the type of thing I mean, where the table is laden with bowls and plates of anything you could ever want. There are huge gravy boats at regular intervals and we’re all trying to get hold of something which is at the opposite end of the table.

Then there was more present giving and, due to seat space, us kids would all sit on the floor and show each other our presents or, if it was my cousin and I, we would be making up dances to Backstreet Boys songs, or sometimes just making up songs about ourselves. One such song went:

Me: My name’s Maimee.
Cousin: And my name’s Maura.
Both: And our motto is – nab, neb, nib, nob, nub.

My goodness, we were lyrical geniuses!

Sometimes there’d be another do in the evening with the even larger extended family of second cousins and aunties once removed and all that. Often it would be on Boxing Day though and Christmas Day evening would consist of more chocolate, more playing with games and sometimes calling my friend, Ruth, to who’s side I was mostly stuck during my childhood. I usually would have been given a book so would have my face in that for a while too.

It was fun. Now it’s fun in a different way. It’s fun to watch the kids doing all that. For me, it’s fun to have time to read a book and have a cup of tea and do nothing. And I love to give presents I know people will like. I’ve got something really good for Danda…. Shhh…. Don’t say anything. Actually, it’s me who mustn’t say anything. I keep on almost giving him the present cause I’m so excited.

Usually I feel quite neutral about Christmas itself. When I was a kid, I was massively excited about the very prospect of Christmas, of putting up the tree, of opening the presents, of being with all my cousins and playing with all our presents. Now, it’s less about Christmas itself and more about giving nice things to people and having time to relax. But I made a promise to myself a few months ago, to be more excited about things. So I am going to embrace it more. I shall wear my Christmas jumper as often as possible and listen to Christmas songs and put some decorations up (just realised what a humbug I am, I don’t own any Christmas decorations at all. Even if I got a tree, I’d have nothing to dress it with…. Shame on me.)

It’s about my aura

A little while ago, a friend at work asked me cover part of a shift for her. It was quite important so she was really grateful when I said I could cover it. She asked what she could do in return and I said I’d like her to write me a song and perform it. Which she did.

Here is that song. I thought you might like to hear it.

Oh Laura

Thank you so much for covering part of my shift,
It really means a lot, if you catch my drift.

Oh Laura, it’s something about your aura,
Yeah, your aura, mmm, mmm, yeah.

I hope it doesn’t ruin your evening,
Or give you a peculiar feeling,

Yeah, it’s your aura. Oh Laura.

Now I will owe you a favour,
As you have been my saviour.

Yeah Laura, it’s your aura…

Do you like it? I have also just remembered a song my brother made up when we were little. It wasn’t really to do with me but it was to do with something I loved dearly and his intention with the song was to poke fun and try to annoy me.

It went as follows.

“My little pony,
Skinny and bony,
Looked in the mirror,
And saw a gorilla.”

So, as you can tell, I am surrounded by musical genius. No wonder I almost became a world famous pop star.

More awards. More of my nonsense.

Ok, it is time. Now that all the holidays and fancy lunches have died down, I am going to address the Liebster Award I was given by iamkaturah, who’s blog Internets Can’t Handle Moi, is a fabulous read. She’s young and witty and her blog contains a healthy amount of tongue-in-cheek.

image

(This is the first time I’ve ever worked out how to put a banner for an award up, very exciting! Apparently you just copy and paste…..)

The rules are that I answer the 11 questions posed to me. Then I nominate 11 other blogs and pose 11 questions to them.

1. If you were money, where would you most want to be spent?
I would most want to be spent on some amazing food. I would feel well spent then. Something unusual and very tasty. Some lovely truffle oil, maybe.

2. What is the most important quality in a friend?
Calmness. I’m not into the whole friends-with-drama scene. I like a calm life. My brain doesn’t operate well with drama. People who are into the dramatic thing, having awful boy/girlfriends, staying in jobs they hate etc. Then moaning about it. It’s irritating. I’m outta there!

3. What advice would you give to your 16 year old self?
Chill out. Mind you, I like looking back on the anxiety-fraught bad decisions of my teenage years. I would tell me to stop worrying about small stuff because I move to Africa when I leave school and things start to make sense. Life starts happening.

4. What did you think about life when you were 16 compared to now?
I don’t think I really thought about ‘life’,  as a concept. I just went to school, went to work, went to clubs. Now I think life is about finding things you like doing and trying to do them as often as possible. And it’s about finding people you like and spending as much time with them as possible.

5. Chocolate or lollies? Why?
I think chocolate. Because there is a little specialist chocolate shop near where I live and their stuff takes A LOT of beating.

6. Would you rather be a man who looked like a lady or a lady who looked like a man?
Man who looked like a lady.

7. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
It’s a toss up between The Great Gatsby and Tender Is The Night by Fitzgerald, The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd and Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeta Naslund.

8. What is 27 x 16? ( Don’t use a calculator!)
Well, 20 x 10 is 2000. And 20 x 6 is 120. So 20 x 16 is 2120. Now 7 x 10 is 70 and 7 x 6 is 42. So 7 x 16 is 112. So, technically, 27 x 16 should be 2232…. Did I get it right?

9. What is your favourite thing to cook?
Italian food. O, and banana bread.

10. If you could invent anything, what would it be?
A way to insert more hours into a day but without getting tired.

11. Why do you blog?
Because I like it. (See question 4)

So next up, my nominations are as follows:

1. Maggie of SomeoneFatHappened. Yet again. Because she said I can clean her yard for chocolate cereal bars. Four boxes of them.

2. My Little Italian Kitchen. What’s not to love? The clue’s in the title. This blog is one of my favourite recent discoveries.

3. Read Stuff With Me – this blog covers anything and everything and, predictably, is a space which encourages reading, which is a very admirable pursuit, I’d say.

4. Barcelona Street Scraps – Great photos. I love taking time out of my day to browse around the posts on this blog.

5. Reflections of a Book Addict – if nothing else, this is for recently reviewing a book I’ve been wondering about for ages and helping me make up my mind!

6. CyclingEurope.org – a great blog about all things bike-y. His book, Good Vibrations, about cycling to Italy was an obvious winner with me (I’m into all things Italy since my trip to Rome).

7. Fitness and Frozen Grapes, again. The great pictures of food, the impending move to the Big Apple, the Downton Abbey love. It’s all going on in this blog.

8. Little Commas – Because everything in this blog is beautiful. Everything. It’s all very very beautiful. Fact.

9. The Usual Bliss – Her Bliss Bits posts are lovely, that’s why. That’s not the whole reason, but it’s a large part of it.

10. The Idiot Speaketh – Because I think he needs cheering up after his wife gave him an old M&M as a congratulations….

11. Canadian Hiking Photography – This blog was a recent find and the photos are stunning. Check them out.

And my 11 questions are:

1. You go to the fridge and all you find are some garlic bulbs, celery sticks, marmalade, an aubergine, double cream and chilli chocolate. What do you make?

2. What is your favourite part of the day?

3. You can only listen to one song for the rest of your life. Which one is it?

4. How do you feel about Paulo Coelho?

5. How many of the wonders of the world have you seen?

6. What is your favourite place in the world?

7. How long do you stick with a book you’re not enjoying before you give up? Do you give up?

8. Do you think Kylie Minogue should make a comeback?

9. I’d like some good life advice. Do you have any?

10. I’m thinking of taking a minibreak for my next birthday. Any ideas?

11. Zombie films… Love or hate?