Sunday, July 24, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 27 - Tour Scotland

While we're on the subject of Scotland, let me introduce to you Sandy Stevenson.

I want Sandy's job - roaming the Scottish countryside, taking photos of this beautiful country where we live...
Sometimes he gets into trouble with the police, but for the most part he's having a glorious time.

I just know when you're finished looking at his photos and videos, if you haven't been to Scotland yet, you're going to start working on a plan to get here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 26 - The PK Perspective

Let me tell you something about jogging - it's damn hard work! I think my 40 Day Blog Jog has now become more like 60 days with many breaks in between!

Anyway - here we are at Day 26 with The PK Perspective.

The PK Perspective is two photographers, Ian and Sarah who give you the best shots of central Scotland.
Ian's latest pics and update of his motorcycle tour of Scotland are really fantastic. Anyone reading this who has not visited Scotland yet, I'm sure will have no doubt that they need to put it on their bucket list immediately.

Go on over to The PK Perspective and check out some awesome photography of Scotland.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 25 - BLUESTOCKING MUM

It can be very hard when you're having a rough time to tell the world.
But sometimes knowing that the world is listening and feeling along with you, nodding its head in agreement and understanding, is what makes the load just that little bit lighter.
I hope that's what Debbie White feels when she so open and honestly talks about the ups and downs of what's going on in her life.

I've been there  - I know what it feels like. Many of you reading this will know too.

Hang in there, Debbie. All will be well. And thank you for sharing.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 24 - Passing the Open Windows

Passing the Open Windows is the blog of fellow South African Nadine Larter who lives in Port Elizabeth.
She blogs about her writing journey, parenting, pregnancy tests and stuff. And by now you know that stuff is my favourite topic.

Go on over to meet Nadine:
You can also follow her on twitter: @nayes1982

Friday, July 8, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 23 - bright young thing

Alright - here we are back to the blog jogging and next stop is bright young thing.

I came across this blog when I was on blogger one day and took to clicking the next blog tab.
I have not been too successful doing that - for some or other reason it seems to spit out all the churchy ones - not that I have anything against churches or's just not quite what I'm looking for. That and knitting patterns.

But, on this particular day, in between the churches and the knitting patterns (and how to make ornaments with shells - I kid you not!) I found this one.

My favourite blogs are the ones where people talk about stuff. You know, life and stuff. Feelings, what's happening, what's not happening... The kind of stuff we all go through that some people take the time to write about.
That's what I like to read. It makes me feel connected - just to the world, really and everything and everyone that goes on in it.

So go over to bright young thing and read about her stuff.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dear Reader,

Please excuse me for being absent as I was
Travelling extensively,
Being sick,
And started working again.
Things have been a bit hectic.

However, I am reasonably back on track (is this at all possible?) so, I will be back
tomorrow and will continue doing my blog jog. I still have some awesome blogs to introduce to you, so please come back and see what is in store.


PS) This reminds me of the letters my mother would write to my teacher when I had been sick. Dear Miss Botha, Please excuse Nicola for being absent yesterday as she had diarrhoea.
It always amazed my eight year old brain that she could spell that word off the top of her head.

Friday, June 17, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 22 - The Elephant in the Waiting Room

The Elephant in the Waiting Room is Sally Zigmond's blog.
Sally writes short stories and is the author of Hope Against Hope.
I love reading her blog, of course, else I wouldn't have it as part of my Blog Jog (which incidentally, has been a bit harder than I thought).
I met Sally at the Writer's Festival in York earlier this year. She is a lovely lady. She's approachable, kind, no-nonsense and had great advice about writing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 21 - tales of a fourth grade nothing

Mary Anne doesn't blog often. In fact, the last time she blogged was the 1st of March. I don't know when or if she'll be back, but read her blog anyway. She was preparing for a trip to South Africa, so maybe that's where she is.

My favourite piece is what she says about her grandmother. It is so sweet and precious.
She generally just talks about life and stuff and because I like to hear what others think about life and stuff, I like to read her blog. And the fact that she says, 'Because I owe it all to Judy Blume.' Judy Blume was my favourite author while I was growing up.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 20 - D.J. Kirkby

D. J. Kirkby is a registered midwife, teaching midwifery two days per week and working three days per week for her local Public Health department. At the age of 40, she was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger syndrome, in addition to dyslexia and dyspraxia.  She has had short stories published in several anthologies. Writing under her academic surname she has had numerous articles accepted for publication, was a monthly columnist for FMA-UK magazine, and is now their midwifery expert on pregnancy and childbirth.  She is available for interviews, and to write articles on Asperger’s, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and midwifery.  Without Alice is her first novel.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 18 - Bah! to cancer

There is a saying in Afrikaans: Na lekker lag kom lekker huil. Which means after a good laugh comes a good cry.
So, yesterday we had a good laugh at everything Sheena Says - damn that woman is funny, but today we are onto something a lot more serious.
Stephanie Butland was diagnosed with cancer in November 2008.
I have read a few accounts of people who have had cancer, but there is something quite different about Stephanie's story. It has a lot to do with the way she thinks.

How I Said Bah! to cancer: A guide to thinking, laughing, living and dancing your way through, is due for publication in October this year. You can go here to preorder what I know is going to be an amazing read, because I was lucky enough for Stephanie to send me the beginning of the manuscript last year and it really is great.

This book tells how one woman said ‘Bah!’ to cancer through thinking strategies, a proactive approach to treatment, and a determination to keep the rest of her life going and retain a sense of humour (most of the time!). It shares everything she learnt along the way, from the nature of cancer cells and chemotherapy drugs, to how she was able to help her friends and family to help her. ‘I was never going to die from cancer. That hard lump peeping out of the top of my bra was aggressive but it was small enough to be contained, and I was young and strong and otherwise well. All the signs were good. Words like “lucky” and “caught in time” were thrown around like rice at a wedding. No, I was never going to die from cancer. But from the beginning, I never planned simply to survive it. Oh no. I was going to say a great big Bah! to it. Please, join in. Cancer? Bah!’

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 17 - Sheena Says

Sheena says many, many funny things. The woman is a comic genius! I wish I could be that funny.
 I had a hard time trying to choose which one of her hilarious posts is my favourite. So, I didn't choose one. You'll have to go to her blog and read them all yourself.
Some of the best ones are her application for a job at the Aston Villa Football Club, the job application to Nasa and her genius idea of making money from a beer calendar.

Don't miss out on a really good laugh. Go see what Sheena has to say:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 16 - David Brydon

David Brydon, retired Canadian soldier,  describes himself as a Refuge Insomniac.
I describe him as a great poet.
I love poetry and am so envious of people that can write proper, meaningful poetry.
David Brydon in one of them.
Don't miss out:

Monday, June 6, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 15 - yTravel Blog

Okay - so this is a bit embarrassing. I knew I was going to have a busy week ahead, so I put all my Blog Jog posts together and selected the dates and times I wanted them posted and went off about my business. So - today when I thought best I get the next ones ready, I see that none of the posts are up! I have no idea how that happened, because I checked and it's all as it should be, but the posts are all still sitting very snugly in the unpublished section. It seems you can't expect your blog to keep jogging unless you are jogging along with it.

So, here I am today, in person, introducing yTravel Blog.
Caz & Craig have been traveling and living around the world since 1997.
Their blog contains a wealth of knowledge about traveling. There are great travel tips, stories about their travels, where they have lived, what they have done, tips on how to travel happily with children, etc.
It is one of the best travel blogs I have come across.

Go on over to them and enjoy their stories.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 14 - After the petals have fallen

Losing a child is one of the most horrific things that can happen to a parent, if not the most horrific thing.
My eldest son died on the 9th of November 2007. I blog about that over here.

After the petals have fallen, is where Geves blogs about life after their daughter Juliette died from leukemia.
Unless you have lost a child, I can assure you that you have no idea what it is like. I can assure you that no matter how far your imagination can stretch, it cannot stretch that far, because no where in any human mind can you imagine a place so dark, so deep, so desperate until you actually end up there.

Be kind to people who have suffered such a tragic loss. Do not say things like "he/she is now in a better place, at least you have other children, I don't know how you cope!, I could never manage..." The list of what not to do and say goes on and on. It's not just the child's death that is so terrible, it's also the devastation of a future that will never be fulfilled.

Go over to After the petals have fallen and gain some insight and understanding to what it is like when a child dies.

Monday, May 30, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 13 - 5+4x4

No - this 5+4x4 is not a maths question. Thank heavens, because I don't do those!

This blog is about Fiona and Pieter van Aswegen and their 3 children; Mara, Archie and Euan, a South African family living in Scotland, taking a year off to go travelling in their 4x4 from Scotland to South Africa via France, Cairo, Sudan, other strange and dodgy destinations, all by car, with kids getting nits, malaria, gastro and then of course washing clothes in a tiny bucket, trading bicycles for accommodation, home schooling and keeping everyone happy is all part of this extraordinary journey.

I can't help but admire them - I struggle to go away with my kids for a weekend to Legoland.
This takes some doing!

5+4x4 is a very interesting read indeed.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 12 - Pub Rants

 I would really love to hang around and chat, but I can't. I have a lunch date with a roast leg of lamb and fantastic friends. So - here for your Sunday reading is Pub Rants.

Kristen is an literary agent, so it's not actually pubs as in the drinking places that she's ranting about - it's publishing, writing, queries and all that kind of stuff. Interesting stuff, useful stuff..... Excellent information! Read it!

Okay - I'm dashing off now to go and have an awesome time.
Chat again tomorrow....

Saturday, May 28, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 11 - Talli Roland

Talli Roland is author of The Hating Game - which by the way has had fantastic reviews.

Chick Lit Reviews said: I really found myself blown away with Talli's debut novel The Hating Game. She's a fantastic story-teller and I really can't wait to see what's next as she has the potential to become a huge chick lit star. 

So watch this space - Talli's on the up, with her next book Watching Willow Watts coming out in November 2011. She also writes the 24 Hours travel guides under the name Marsha Moore.

Talli thoroughly enjoys reading The Daily Mail, but can get very cross with them too. Read about that over here. I'm with Talli on that one, though. The Daily Mail was bloody rude to say the least.

Word on the street is she's an awesome lady - whether she's Talli Roland or Marsha Moore.

Friday, May 27, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 10 - Penelope Trunk

Don't be put off by Penelope's very proffessional sounding resumé. She's funny, a great writer and her frank discussions about Asperger Syndrome is refreshing.

Penelope Trunk is CEO of Brazen Careerist, a career management tool for next-generation professionals. This is her third startup. Each company Penelope built was focused on a community. Her own career path has had twists and turns and in a world where straight, safe career paths are nowhere to be had, Penelope appreciates the power of managing oneself through community.

Penelope's career began in Los Angeles, where she played professional beach volleyball. She then went to graduate school for English. During that time she learned HTML which allowed her to get a job in the marketing department at Ingram Micro.

After a stint in the Fortune 500, she went to a few smaller software companies and then started her own company,, a math-tools resource for the teaching community funded by Encore Software. She sold that company for a small sum, and founded eCitydeals, an online auction service for city governments, which was funded by Shelter Ventures, and was shut down in the dot-com bust.

During this time, Penelope wrote a column for Business 2.0 magazine about her experiences as a startup founder. She relocated to New York City and after only a few months at her next startup, she found herself a block from the World Trade Center when it fell.

She decided to be a full-time writer so she did not have to leave her apartment. And she focused on giving career advice instead of writing about herself. At that point, generation Y was entering the workforce and they were looking for advice to tell them how to steer a career that accommodates their lives: old career advice was irrelevant to them.

Penelope started writing career advice for a new generation of workers. Today Penelope is the author of a bestselling career advice book for generation y and the number one career blog.

She explains why old advice - like pay your dues, climb the ladder, and don't have gaps in your resume - is outdated and irrelevant in today's workplace. She has a reputation for giving advice that is counterintuitive but effective, like take long lunches, ignore people who steal your ideas, and stop vying for a promotion.

She is dedicated to helping people find success at the intersection of work and life, because that's what she wants for herself. She thinks of career advice as a group effort. And she launched her company, Brazen Careerist, to create a large-scale community for young people manage their careers for the new millennium.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Pause

Today I'm having a pause. And this is why: Blogger seems to be having a hiccup and I cannot get any links loaded. I'm typing this on my friend's iPad. That is maybe not such a good idea, because it took all of 5 minutes to get me totally hooked and I am certainly not in any position to be getting hooked on things that I can't afford. Oh, man! This is an a awesome toy!
So, while she's driving around fetching kids from school and doing grocery shopping, I get to sit in the car, warm in the winter African sun, playing on this fantastic toy. I can even pretend it's mine. Heehee!
Of course I have heard the debates about iPads, the Samsung equivalent and one or two others. Do you have one of these toys? What do you think is the best?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 9 - Bartie-Blog

Fellow writer and Twitter friend - @DaveBartlett1 has a blog with lots of "stuff". And I like his "stuff", because it's varied and interesting and often funny. I loved his 30 Day Song Challenge and I highly recommend that you read about his most embarrassing moment. I have re-told that story often and still burst out laughing when I think of it.

Go say hi to Dave:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 8 - The Memory Blog

Maybe I'm just quizzy, but I really love hearing about people's lives. I suppose that's what writers are - quizzy. And nosey. We eavesdrop, we use snippets of conversation in our books, we take the odd hairstyle from the old man on the bus and give it to one of our characters. We use memories of our own and adapt them to our stories. The true ones and the made up ones.

The Memory Blog I just love! It's right up there with my favourites. It's great reading. Sometimes I laugh, I've had tears in my eyes, sometimes I nod my head and sometimes I think 'nah, I don't have a memory like that.' But I always, always love reading Richard's memories. He talks about his family, school, friends, growing up. It's all great stuff.

Go here to read some very enjoyable stories:

Monday, May 23, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 7 - Peter Wilkin

I wish I could write poetry. I have tried a few times like over here, and over here, but I wish I could write really brilliant poetry, poetry that has substance, that takes the reader's breath away. Poetry like Peter Wilkin writes.

I don't often comment on Peter's blog, and this is why: any words I have to say sound so flimsy compared to the ones he has said. His poetry is beautiful, painful, exquisite. Peter is a retired psychiatric nurse and his understanding of the depth of human beings is reflected in his poetry.

Go here to see Peter's wonderful and very moving blog:
He also has excellent taste in art.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 6 - NieNie Dialogues

On the 16th August 2008, Stephanie Nielson and her husband Christian were involved in a light aircraft accident. The pilot died and Christian and Stephanie suffered severe burns. 80% of Stephanie's body was burned and she was in a coma for 3 months. Her children did not recognise her and Stephanie had to start rebuilding her life, healing physically and emotionally. Surgeries are going to be needed on and off for the rest of her life.

We all have challenges in life, I know. Some people's just seem harder than others. I really admire Stephanie for the way in which she approaches the tremendous challenges that she has. She celebrates life all the time, as she knows how fortunate she is to still be with her family.

Her blog is about her life, her faith, her recovery. I find it inspirational and a reminder to me how precious and fragile life is.
Click here to see how NieNie is doing.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 5 - Middle East Mosaic

Katherine Brown left her homeland to go and teach in the Middle East. This is what she says,
"Middle East is full of ex-pats. Each one has a story to tell. Every day is a challenge. The challenge is to find beauty in this monotone landscape of sand. I have learnt to find the beauty. I look at life differently now. I love it. I find it a joy. I consider myself blessed. This is part of my journey."

When I read her blog Middle East Mosaic, there's a part of me that feels that I am observing all this wonder from the top of a flying magic carpet. Katherine admits to loving the Middle East even though she doesn't always understand it. I love the stories of the children she teaches and I have become increasingly intrigued by the Middle East and its people. I've actually put it on my list of Places To Visit Before I Die.

Go see what Katherine's up to:

Friday, May 20, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 4 - How Publishing Really Works

I would have to list Jane Smith amongst One Of The Nicest People I've Ever Met.
She's truly lovely and more than that, she knows what she's speaking about.

How Publishing Really Works is a very informative site, where Jane reveals the truths of the ups and downs of getting published. She also talks about Self-Publishing, Vanity Publishing, Editing, Literary Agents...just like her site says - How Publishing Really Works.

Head on over to find out:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 3 - Dear England, Love Canada

In 2008 Anne Kostelas moved from England to Canada. I'm sure a few people thought she was mad.

From spending a night in the Ice Hotel to living in the Canadian woods, I think Anne has a very interesting life. I've learnt quite a bit about Canada and the Canadians from reading her blog - like the way Canadians pronounce 'bouy'! You've never heard anything like it in your life.

Go check it out:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 2 - Joanna Cannon

Joanna Cannon is a doctor. With a difference. She has a heart & a very soft one too.
Okay - that might not sound very fair to other doctors, but I for one have often found doctors to be cold and distant. Yes, I know this might have to do with seeing hundreds of people every day and trying to get through all the work and not crying with every person who might be dying, but at least I know without a doubt that Joanna is one of the doctors who is human and I appreciate that she takes the time to tell her stories which are gently profound and moving.

Joanna tells her stories beautifully and has such an exquisite way of putting emotions into words. I don't think there is one story that has not left a lump in my throat or a tear in my eye.
I recommend that you read each and every one.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog - Day 1 - Help! I Need a Publisher!

I'm not selecting the blogs for my 40 Day Blog Jog in any specific order, but I must say, that Nicola Morgan's blog - Help! I Need a Publisher! is certainly one of my favourites. Yes, it is true that she is also known as the Crabbit Old Bat, but don't let that put you off.
I'm sure she can be crabbit. Thankfully I have never experienced that first hand and hope I never do, but in my opinion, her 'crabbitness' is more about her no-nonsense approach to things like writing and getting published, than anything else. She is not a lady to suffer fools. She's going to tell it to you just like it is - no sugar coating (although she might throw in a steady amount of caffeine).
She tells it like you need to know it - straight.

I also want to mention that her book Wasted, which was nominated for the Carnegie Medal,  is one of the most brilliant books I have ever written. Read it.
And if you ever have the chance to attend a workshop or talk given by Nicola - go! It will be time well spent and you will learn what you really need to know about the writing and publishing world.
And don't forget to look at her shoes - she has a fab collection!

Monday, May 16, 2011

40 Day Blog Jog

Okay - so I left on a jet plane, arrived at my destination and now it's time to buckle down and get back to blogging, writing, reading and all that good stuff.

What I am going to be doing from tomorrow is a 40 Day Blog Jog. I can promise you it's the only kind of jogging I will ever get close to! Everyday I will introduce to you blogs that I follow and enjoy and you can check them out and maybe follow them too.

So - watch this space - I'll be back tomorrow introducing the first of 40 blogs that I love.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I know - I need to stop with the music now (it was a 30 day challenge - not 32!). But I couldn't resist this one - because I'm leaving on a jet plane...
I'm very excited to be going off to do research for my WIP.

The only part I'm not looking forward to is missing my sweet children, which I know I will.
I know how it goes - the first week is great - getting lots of work done without any interruptions...and then the last weeks are spent missing them like crazy and feeling driven to distraction with heartache. Then you get home and listen to them fighting and killing each other and you sigh, look at the calendar and wonder when you get to have a break again.
Yip - that's life.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge Wrap Up - Off To Africa

I loved doing the 30 Day Song Challenge. It was so much fun and brought back so many memories. I wish it was a 40 day song challenge.
Well - I am preparing for a trip to South Africa and what I've been listening to is Johnny Clegg and Savuka's Album - In My African Dream.
When the plane comes in over Johannesburg and I look out of the window, across the concrete jungle and swimming pools, I can feel from the core of the earth, a vibration that reaches to my spirit, and I know - no matter where I go and no matter for how long I am gone, when I return to Africa, I am returning Home.

Friday, May 6, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 30 - A Favourite Song At This Time Of The Year

This time of the year it's spring in Scotland, but autumn in South Africa. This is a song I listened to often during the autumn when I still lived in SA. So, eventhough it's spring here, I still associate this song with the months of May & June.

Another genius of a musician - Jeff Wayne.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

30 day Song Challenge - Day 29 - A Song From My Childhood

I don't remember if it was a special occasion, but my mother bought each of us a 'record'. The small 7-single ones. My eldest sister had the Three Little Fishies, my other sister had Yellow Submarine and I had Food Glorious Food.

Food Glorious Food - so apt for me and for my family. It was a song we sang regularly, especially when getting home from church on a cold Sunday and the smell of the chicken roasting in the oven would meet us.
I realise that for Oliver it was a bit of a desperate song, but for my family it was a really happy one!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 28 - A Song That Makes Me Feel Guilty

Hmm...this one doesn't bring back such great memories and although it's a beautiful song, I don't like to listen to it. You see - it's because there was a particular day, a long time ago, when I was supposed to be in one place, but I really didn't want to be there, so I went somewhere else. And then something not so good happened.
I learnt a valuable lesson, though. Be where you need to be. And do what you have to do.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 27 - A Song That I Wish I Could Play

There a good few songs I wish I could play. Actually, I would be happy just being able to play Mary Had  A Little Lamb with both hands on the piano! I blame my horrible piano teacher for that! She would sit next to me with a pencil in her hand and every time I touched the wrong note, she'd whack me hard on the knuckles with it. I became so scared, my fingers learnt a stutter all of their own and there went the piano lessons right down the drain.

I wish I could play the drums like Phil Collins in In The Air Tonight and I wish i could play the piano like David Helfgott. But most of all I wish I could play the guitar like Gary Moore does in Parisienne Walkways. What a genius of a musician. He'll be missed by many.

Gary Moore 4 April 1952 - 6 February 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 26 - A Song That I Can Play On An Instrument

A song I can play on an instrument? Haha! That's a joke!
I don't even play Guitar Hero.
I think the only instrument I might be able to play, is the triangle. And then I imagine the only thing I could play with the triangle is Jingle Bells. Or I could gallop around making the sound of the horses's hooves.
If none of those two options worked out, I could just shake a couple of bells around, I'm sure.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 25 - A Song That Makes Me Laugh

In the 70's, one of our favourite programs on the telly was Rolf Harris. As kids we loved watching him paint on the wall with an enormous brush. As he painted we would try and guess what it was going to be, but I don't think we ever managed to guess right.
Our favourite song was  Jake The Peg. Just when you thought you knew which one was the fake leg, he'd move again and you were left dumbfounded! I still laugh my head off when I hear this song and it brings back great childhood memories too.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 24 - A Song That I Want Played At My Funeral.

I want my funeral to be a happy occasion. I want a Jewish coffin - certainly not a gawdy coffin with horrible OTT fake gold handles or anything like that. And if there is any money to be spent - let it be spent on the after party! Good food, good drink & a DJ!

But before the after party, I'll have Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye as my funeral song, thank you.

Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye,
Cheerio, here I go, on my way
Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye,
Not a tear, but a cheer, make it gay (who knows what the church will make of that last bit, but I won't care because I won't actually be there!)
Give me a smile I can keep all the while
In my heart while I'm away
Till we meet once again, you and I
Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye...

Friday, April 29, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 23 - A Song That I Want To Play At My Wedding

I wonder what song Kate & Wills will be opening their dance floor to today? A few songs spring to mind -
Fool If You Think It's Over, Run While You Still Can, Love Stinks, Highway To Hell, Another One Bites The Dust, Tainted Love....
Okay, never mind all that.

I can't plan a song for my wedding, as I am already married. I certainly wouldn't have the song I had played then, playing now - you know it's a bit out of fashion and hmm... maybe a couple of other reasons too, but anyway...
It was 1991, the year of Robin Hood and I'm sure just about every wedding that took place that year and the year after, had two love sick people swaying to Bryan Adams singing Everything I Do, I Do It For You while dreaming of a lifetime of happiness.

Okay, let me put my cynicism aside. I think a lovely song to play at a wedding (if you find the perfect person) is Shania Twain's From This Moment On.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 22 - A Song That I Listen To When I'm Sad

Heavy Metal bands are really not my thing. This is what I mostly think of them: they scream and shout, there's no proper tune or beat, you can't hear what they're singing and often they look scary and so angry!

There is one exception for me. Nothing Else Matters by Metallica.

My eldest son, Zane introduced me to this song. He bought the cd and came home, wanting to share it with me. Of course, I was reluctant, expecting head-banging-guitar-bashing-bad-shouting music. Nothing Else Matters is different. It was one of Zane's favourite songs and one I grew to really like.

He died at a very young age. I listen to this song often. I miss him and sometimes this is how I feel: my son is dead and it's like nothing else matters.

In Loving Memory of my son Zane. 27 August 1987 - 9 November 2007.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 21 - A Song I Listen To When I'm Happy

A few years ago I used to play this song every morning, because it gave me that real get-up-and-go feeling; getting me all enthusiastic to start the day. My children grew to hate the song because it reminded them of school (part of the get-up-and-go enthusiasm I was trying to get them into too!), so I stopped playing it while they were around.
But, I still play it when they're not around and especially when I have to try get excited about doing the housework!

I just wish the video clip showed theJackson 5 strutting around the stage. Enjoy it anyway - it's an awesome song.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 20 - A Song That I Listen To When I'm Angry

When I'm angry, my choice of music is usually something to lift my mood, but lately I've not really done that and have opted to listen to Christina Perry singing Jar Of Hearts instead.

Apparently she wrote the song after dating a serial heartbreaker and went home to her parents to hide out and get away from him.

I love the lyrics (you can go here to read them) and I think she has a powerful & amazing voice.

Monday, April 25, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 19 - A Song From My Favourite Album

Often when you buy an album, there are a few songs on it that you don't like - the ones that when they start playing you press the 'skip' button and go on to the next song.
There are only 2 albums that I could think of (off the top of my head) that I don't do that with. The one album is Sting's Ten Summoner's Tales but because I've already spoken about Sting on this blog, I've decided to go with the other one - which is the soundtrack from the movie Elizabethtown.

I loved this wacky movie with Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom and I love this album. There is not one song that I do not like. With artists like Elton John, Tom Petty, Lindsay Buckingham and The Hollies, it makes for an astounding album! It was hard choosing a track off it.

Here are The Hollies.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 18 - A Song That I Wish I Heard On The Radio

As I said - I don't listen to the radio very often, but when I do, I always hope to hear Bruno Mars singing Grenade. Love the song and the rhythm of it.
Bruno Mars comes from a family of musicians and was nominated for 7 Grammys this year. I love his music.
When I listen to this song, there's always a part that reminds me of Michael Jackson. Turns out Bruno was a big fan and as a child did impersonations of the Thriller singer, so maybe there is some influence there.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 17 - A Song I Often Hear On The Radio

I don't often listen to the radio. I usually have a cd of choice on, or just plain and simple quiet. But, it seems this last while, that every time I do put the radio on, this is what I hear - Rihanna singing Only Girl (in the World) . Luckily I think it's a great song, so I don't mind hearing it at all. And isn't that the way every girl wants a man to make her feel? Like she's the only girl in the world?

Friday, April 22, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 16 - A Song That I Used To Love But Now Hate

I was 14 and madly in love with a boy called John. I won't go into his surname - rumour has it that he's now a very well-known photographer living with a gorgeous woman in Sweden. She might even be his wife.
Anyway - I was madly in love with John and he was the first 'boyfriend' that came to my house to visit me.
I think he might have been trying to set a mood of sorts and brought along with him his Air Supply LP. Actually it wasn't his - it was his older brother's, but anyway.

It was all a bit awkward, because he had this love-sick-puppy-dog look and all he wanted to do was stare into my eyes. Which looking back at what happened next was what he perhaps should have stayed doing.
He kept rubbing my arms and every time he came closer to try kiss me, I would turn my head and his mouth would clumsily hit my neck or cheek. It's not that I didn't want to be kissed, it was just that I had a little brother running around the house and I knew that should he walk in while this was happening, he would embarrass me and then there was also the small issue of John's breath smelling rather strongly of compost. And not fresh compost either.

Eventually he put his hands on the side of my face and pulled me towards him & just went ahead and stuck his tongue in my mouth! Between his smelly breath and the hot, furry texture of his tongue, I felt a wave of nausea wash over me and pushed him away. The LP had at this crucial moment, got stuck & in the background - while Dear John pleaded with me to kiss him - was Air Supply hopping on about making love out of nothing at all.

I was only 14, but up until that point, I had loved that song so much & he ruined it for me! I have hated that song ever since. It just gives me a really creepy feeling.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 15 - A Song That Describes Me

This is a song from a truly brilliant South African band - The Parlotones.
If you watched the opening ceremony of the 2010 Fifa World Cup - you would have seen their great performance of Push Me To The Floor.

One of my favourite songs of theirs is Only Human - I feel it expresses how most of us feel and describes me fairly well.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 14 - A Song That No One Would Expect Me To Love

I absolutely love this song. I loved it  20 years ago and I still love it.
It comes as no suprise to me that I love it, but there have been many people who have expressed utter amazement when they discover how much I love this song.
When it was first released, the local hang out place was a fairly dodgy hotel that had opened a club at the side of the building, so thankfully you could avoid the main entrance, but it did not spare the place it's reputation.
Not the best venue, but they played really great music and this was one of the hits that got everyone on the dance floor.

Ladies & Gentlemen - here is the one and only magnificent Alice Cooper...!

Alice Cooper - Poison (Official Music Video). Watch more top selected videos about: Alice Cooper

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 13 - A Song That Is A Guilty Pleasure

It took me many years to openly admit that I actually like this song. In fact, I really, really like this song.
Yes, it's cheesy, country and embarrassing - and that's why it's a guilty pleasure.
I don't own any of their Cd's and wouldn't let anyone catch me listening to this, but I suppose it's out in the open now...

I present to you: (No laughing!)
Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers!

Monday, April 18, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 12 - A Song From A Band I Hate

This was harder than choosing a song from a band I love. There are so many bands/musicians that are just so awful (in my humble opinion) that I had a hard time selecting the winner!

I finally decided on Kansas. This song 'Dust In The Wind' is so awful - that's what they should have become - dust in the wind -  and blown right away! That's not even talking about their dodgy outfits and scary hair.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 11 - A Song From My Favourite Band

I have a few favourite bands, so this was a bit hard. I thought about what band or musician has constantly been amongst my favourites & I decided on Sting. From his Police days to his solo days - he has never let me down and I always love his music.

This is one of my absolute favourites.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 10 - A Song That Makes Me Fall Asleep

Well, I don't know of a song that makes me fall asleep. I thought of a few lullabies, but in truth I'm not a big lullaby fan.
But, there is one that if my children were still small I might play for them at bedtime.
This song by Mindy Gledhill is like a lullaby and has a slight haunting quality to it which I love. And the fact that she has a great voice.
I had hoped to find a better clip - one that illustrated the words and meaning of the song more, but unfortunately wasn't able to.

You'll enjoy it anyway - it is truly a beautiful song.

Friday, April 15, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 9 - A Song I Can Dance To

I don't get much chance to dance, although I really do like to.
Weddings are my best - especially the cheesy songs that get everyone onto the dance floor.
At the moment, this is the song that my youngest likes to put on really loud and then we all dance around the house. (And I pretend that I'm really young & still go clubbing!)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 8 - A Song I Know All The Words To

I know some people that sing along to every song that comes on the radio, know the words to songs I've never even heard of and can hold a tune.
I'm not one of those people. I sometimes know some of the words, but hardly ever all or even most...
Except when it comes to ABBA!

I had one of my ABBA cd's playing yesterday as I did chores and to my absolute delight discovered that I know ALL the words to MOST of their songs. And boy was I singing along... (And pretending I have a really good voice!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 7 - A Song That Reminds Me Of A Certain Event

School swimming galas were always a highlight. Especially the inter-high galas where all the schools took part. They were held at the Stadium Swimming Pool and each school had a stand, with their cheer leaders standing on a table that served as a small stage. 

Of course the best part of the evening was eyeing the boys from Grey College and St. Andrews. A lot of secret snogging took place under the stands and in dark corners.

War cries were shouted while the swimmers thrashed it out in the water. When one of ours won, we would sing "We will, we will rock you..." And stomp our feet very hard on the stand.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 6 - A Song That Reminds Me Of Somewhere

Sunwich Port is a holiday resort on the Kwa-Zulu Natal South Coast in South Africa. In 1980 my mother took us there during our July school holidays and we stayed in a chalet at the municipal caravan park. There was a 'club house' that consisted of a tiny tuck shop that only opened at certain hours, a snooker table and a small television with a few chairs set up where you could go watch the evening news or whatever program had been selected by the time you got there. Sometimes they would show a movie against the wall.

My mother cooked Red Roman and we spent hours on the beach collecting shells. It was a piece of paradise.
My eldest sister, Janine was 13 at the time, Michéle 12 and Gareth only 3, so it goes without saying that Janine was in charge of the music. Janine & Michéle had beautiful voices and weren't too keen on me singing along - as I couldn't always keep a tune and hardly ever knew the right words.

There's a moment that stands out in my mind: We were leaving Sunwich Port in my mother's bright orange Volkswagen Beetle. A tape was playing on a portable tape recorder - I can't remember if we had one in the car or if it had just packed up - it might also have been to keep the noise contained in the back seat for the benefit of my mom. It was Joy singing Paradise Road and as I looked back to the place we had spent 10 wonderful days, I truly felt as if I had been in Paradise.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find a better video clip, but the song is truly beautiful.

Monday, April 11, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 5 - A Song That Reminds Me Of Someone

I was about 7, driving with my father in his pale blue Ford Cortina bakkie (pick-up). He was taking me to a friend who lived in Marquard Cresent. Her name was Tammy Adams and she had a very beautiful and glamorous mother. The windows of the car were open, it was a hot day and for the short time that my hair blew in the wind, I felt very glamorous too.

The tape deck was a giant one that looked like it could swallow a whole loaf of bread. Neil Diamond was belting out Beautiful Noise and I pretended to be on a movie set, being filmed in the car with my father at the wheel. A lot of the Neil Diamond songs remind me of my father, but most of all Beautiful Noise.

In memory of my father, John Stuart Daubney. 26 November 1943 - 22 October 2007

Sunday, April 10, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 4 - A Song That Makes Me Sad

From 1966 - 1989 the South African Defence Force (SADF) fought a war on the border between Angola & South West Africa (today known as Namibia). The Kaplyn (Cutline) was a thin strip of land cleared of any growth. This was the border.

National service was compulsory. Young boys just out of school were sent off to the army for their basic training and then to The Border. I knew many young men that experienced this and I saw how lives and families were changed forever. This is a subject very close to my heart. My current work in progress is on this topic and the research has been both captivating and debilitating.

I think this moving song by Bok Van Blerk captures the essence of that period so well and I cannot watch this video clip without getting a lump in my throat and an ache in my heart for the devastation that another forgotten war caused. The song is in Afrikaans, with English subtitles. As with most things - there is a bit lost in translation, but I'm sure you will still be able to feel the emotion of it all.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 3 - A Song That Makes Me Happy

Mustang Sally has not waned in popularity since it was first recorded by Sir Mack Rice in 1965. I wasn't even born yet. It's considered by many as one of the greatest hits of all time. I am one of the many. It also reminds me of a dear friend and musician Nic Klopper who sings it so damn well.

No matter what my mood, listening to this song makes me want to dance and puts a smile on my face.

I love the way The Commitments did it in their 1991 movie.

Friday, April 8, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 2 - My Least Favourite Song

This could also be titled - The Song I Hate More Than Any Other Song In The Whole Wide World.
The award for My Least Favourite Song goes to (no drum rolling) - the one and only (heavy, twangy accent here) Billy Ray Cyrus and his goddamn awful Achy Breaky Heart.

Seriously - this is honkey-tonk-hi-ho-silver-shit at its worst!
What was he thinking with lyrics like You can tell your dog to bite my leg? He would have been better off having his vocal cords bitten. Right off, preferably. And You can tell my eyes to watch out for my mind... Really? What mind? And the less said about that dodgy hairstyle, the better.

Here it is for you to view at your own peril. I take absolutely no responsibility for any feelings of illness you might experience while watching this clip.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 1 - My Favourite Song

I wasn't even yet a teenager when Southern Cross was released, but the minute I heard the song, I fell in love with it. We were with my father having a barbeque at a friend of his. It was a sunny, but chilly afternoon - I think it might have been autumn, although I can't be sure.

Apparently Stephen Stills wrote this song following a long boat trip he took after his divorce and although I didn't know it at the time, in my young mind I saw a man on a ship, sailing through the day and into the night, tears in his eyes while he looked up at the Southern Cross. It filled me with such profound emotions - emotions I still feel when I listen to it and I would have to say that this is still my favourite song of all time.