topbar

                       
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Sunday, 7 December 2014

November's Greatest Hits!

perfect banana bread every time

I've been a very naughty blogger recently, posting less than usual, and not taking part in the blogging community nearly as much as I'd like. We're coming up for the last week of living with my in-laws now though, and whilst it has been really nice to have the company for the last few months, I'm not going to miss the double-commute we've been doing for the last month - driving down to our flat in London to see how the building work is getting on, and then taking the train into work each day, before doing the same again in reverse on the way home! We've not been getting home until 9 each night! But enough of my whining, because despite the exhaustion and lack of internet presence, November was very exciting!

November's memorable moment

Renovation in progress

In addition to watching our new little home take shape thanks to the most dedicated builders, electricians, plumbers and carpenters I've ever met, I've really enjoyed some surreal and spectacular blogging events in November. Along with Angelica from One Little Vice, I attended the official store opening of Trésor Rare, a cosmetics company which impregnates all its face cream with gold and diamonds. While I couldn't be further from the target market for that kind of shizzle, it was definitely an interesting window into another world.

I also got the chance to attend the last Bloggers Love Hub of the month, where I met up with Angelica again, as well as Charlotte from Captain Ch-ARGH-ley and Ruby from The Fashion Antlers. I got chatting with the lovely folks from Umberto Gianinni, who gave me a bunch of their products to try out. If that wasn't enough swag from an evening out, I also got the most amazing present from Angelica - my very own hand-picked beauty box, curated especially for me by the woman herself. I'm going to dedicate a whole blog post to this very soon, so expect a bit more on all of this later!

November's Instagram moments

wallpaper turner painting sunny winter london
clock eater english rain

Winter is truly upon us now, and I love photographing the weather on Instagram! Those crisp, sunny winter days have been fighting against the perpetual drizzle and thick fog all month, and it doesn't seem like it's going to stop any time soon. I've seen some beautiful rolling fog and even an epic double rainbow from the car window in November! Oh and maybe the reason I've not had enough time to blog properly this month is because I ate all the time...

Songs on repeat in November

As the winter comes, I always turn back to my tried and trusted 'Colder Months' playlist on Spotify. One of my favourite tracks from that playlist will always be Anyone's Ghost by The National (who I saw live this month!!!!!). All of my playlists are constantly growing and evolving, and the newest addition to the playlist is the irresistibly dark Take Me To Church by Hozier. There's nothing overtly 'wintery' about any of the songs on my 'Colder Months' playlist, it's more about how the song feels, if that makes any sense at all!

Blogs I've loved this month

In the midst of this hectic spell in my life, I've been all about imagining a completely different life for myself, so when the internet has permitted me to load any blog posts, I've been reading blogs by expats in other countries. One favourite is Crumbs in the bed by a seriously funky young woman doing her postgrad in Belgium. I'll also always have a soft spot for Eat Your Kimchi and My Korean Husband to name just a few. If I'm not already reading your ex-pat blog, or if you know of any other awesome ones, do let me know! I hope you all had a lovely November, and that your December is shaping up well too!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Music in my blood

Vintage cool Dad

I spent a lot of my childhood sitting around in recording studios, peering at my Dad through the glass separating the sound engineers and producers from the musicians. As my Dad and his band hefted amps and instruments out of vans and into venues, I’d carry big round coils of leads and cables, one over each arm. I had my own pair of earplugs that I’d wear as I sat in the wings at my Dad’s concerts, and a pair of earmuffs to wear over the top because it was still too loud.

vintage rock band photo

My toybox was full of maracas, castanets, tambourines and penny whistles – I had my own tiny tape recorder, and I’d make up songs and pretend radio shows which I’d then record onto cassettes. (which weren’t old-skool at the time, if that gives my age away at all…)

So even though I was never pushed, I think my parents were delighted when it transpired that I could hold a tune, and they were happy to scrape money together to pay for me to learn the violin when I asked for lessons at about seven years of age.

While it turned out that the violin was not for me, my background in music meant that I picked up the piano really quickly, and managed to achieve grade 8 in both classical singing and oboe by the time I left secondary school. I took part in youth orchestras, wind ensembles and choirs as well as writing and performing lots of music with my friends for fun during my teenage years.

Despite not being a Christian, I had a choral scholarship at university and sang with my college chapel choir several times a week. I was so immersed in the world of classical and contemporary music in my formative years that once I reached adulthood and was released into the world like a bewildered baby bird, thrust from the nest of rigorous education, I felt a huge sense of loss.

It was around this time that after a long break from the ‘music scene’, my Dad found his way back into music and started to approach people with whom he’d made music before, as well as new friends he’d met since he moved to France. Inspired by him, I sought out some new musical friends too, and found my incredibly talented friend Robin, with whom I’ve been singing ever since. My Dad and his friends have managed to create an album which I can only really describe as a shape-shifter. To those who haven’t heard his music since the early days of The Perfect Disaster (the band for which he is most known), this new album will seem delicate and understated, in contrast with the gritty rock riffs from ‘back in the day’. For people who are coming to his music for the first time, I imagine the album sounds brooding and eclectic, new and nostalgic all at once. When I listen to the album, I hear the culmination of a thousand melodies, plucked and perfected throughout my childhood; I hear the zip closing on the front of a tent and the soft sound of my Dad singing by the fire outside; I hear the rain beating down on the roof of the deserted and dilapidated mill where my Dad lives now… I can also hear my own voice, since I was lucky enough to sing backing vocals on a lot of the tracks. I am very proud of my Dad for coming back to music and for being brave enough to release another album after so long, and he constantly inspires me to be more creative and make more music myself.

dad and daughter musical duo
Let's just ignore how short my dress is in this photo... I know it probably wasn't completely appropriate for a father-daughter outing, but meh...

So I know it’s probably too early to be thinking about New Year’s resolutions, but next year, I’m going to be making a lot more music. It’s been decided. This year has been The Year of the Flat. Next year is a brand new chance to be more me. Which means more music! Saying it here means that you guys all have to hold me accountable!

If you want to listen to the music I make with my friend Robin, click here, and if you want to listen to my Dad’s new album, a beautiful, moody-folky album (including lots of wailing from me), then click here. It would make my Dad very, very happy indeed.

P.S. Here's a video of my Dad and his old band, in the olden days (the 80s) being very rock'n'roll...


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

October's Greatest Hits

serene brighton seaside

So welcome to November guys! I hope you all had a wonderfully Autumnal, slightly spooky, productive, healthy, happy October. My October has been pretty memorable, and very surreal in parts, and a lot has happened, so here's the low-down.

October's memorable moment

countryside sunday walk

The latter half of October has been a frenzy of work-related stress, last-minute tickets to shows and events, and of course, finally buying our flat, so I am finding myself drawn to mention some of the more serene moments from the beginning of October, such as walking along Brighton beach and watching the sun go down, filling our lungs with fresh air in the fields near Dan's parents' house, or reminiscing about all of the weird things I've collected over the years.

I was also lucky enough to attend an event to celebrate the UK launch of a fashion app called The Hunt, where I got to meet up with some of my blogging pals Angelica and Charlotte, as well as meeting the bloggers behind the fellow Owlishly named blog Two Little Owls, and ogling Rosie Fortescue from Made in Chelsea from afar. The venue was half aeroplane-themed and half 70s disco-themed. A bizarre yet winning combo in my opinion.

October's Instagram moments

countryside living cambridge skyline
kings cross commute twentysomething homeowners

This month, I indulged my rural side, admired the Cambridge skyline from the top of a multi-storey car park (some of the best views are from the top of car parks - pro-tip!), continued to commute to work on the ricketiest trains imaginable, and... bought a flat. Say whaaaaaaaa......?!

Songs on repeat in October

I have to say, I've definitely been on the Taylor Swift bandwagon this month. I made a decision some time ago, to stop being a snob about popular music, and to just enjoy it. Gone are the days when I tut and shake my head at a song just because it is popular rather than tapping my feet and nodding my head because I actually appreciate the craftsmanship that has gone into creating it. Plus, in the case of Taylor Swift, you can see such personal progression and development when you listen to all of her albums back to back, which I really enjoy. I'm not going to write an essay about her here (although I totally could), but if you're one of the 0.5 people who hasn't already listened to Out of the Woods then you should get your act together and experience its dark synthy nostalgia now. I've also been listening to Starman by David Bowie because I was recently reminded of the time I begged my Dad to call up the local radio and request it, but they didn't have it so they played me Rebel Rebel instead. I was about eight years old, and I was so angry that they didn't have the entire Bowie back catalogue. HOW DARE.

Blogs I've loved this month

My friend Freya is a very eloquent and very beautiful young woman who writes with painfully sharp accuracy about how it feels to live with a mental illness. I've known Freya for a very long time and I thought I'd give her new blog a bit of exposure here because she has a lot to say and I think that it's really important to read first-hand accounts of things like depression and anxiety, whether you suffer from these things personally or not. It's good to know that someone feels the same way that you do, if you do feel that way, and it's vital that you begin to understand how people live with mental illness if you are a mentally well person. That said, if you are triggered by frank discussion of mental illness, it's probably best to give this a miss for the moment.

Another blog I've loved this month (and will love foreverrrrr) is A Certain Adventure by my new friend Tamsin. We were both at Cambridge but managed to miss one another until recently when we stumbled into one another through the internet. Tamsin writes about food and frolics and all of the fun that I absolutely love to read about, and she is just so friendly! So you should definitely give her blog a read!

What was your highlight, this October? And tell me if you did anything exciting for Hallowe'en, because I didn't even dress up in the end! Everything was so hectic!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

September's Greatest Hits

autumn is coming

September is over, Autumn has arrived, and as usual, big life events are coinciding with the changing or the seasons. Everything I own is currently in either a cardboard box or a black bin-bag right now, and I'm spending a lot more of my time on trains. In fact, I am actually drafting this post on a train RIGHT NOW. Woah...

September's memorable moment

oatcake mixology

Both of these things happened in the last week but they were sufficiently memorable that they have all but erased the rest of the month from my brain! Last week it was my husband Dan's 26th birthday, and we all went out for a lovely Chinese meal before seeing Ballyturk at the National Theatre. It was a very impressive play - the physical theatre was exhilarating and the dark sinister humour was beautifully timed. The day after Dan's birthday, we commenced the five-day-long process of moving alllll of our stuff to his parents' house, where we will be living for the next couple of months. We are both utterly exhausted!

September's Instagram moments

popcorn party pigeon party
commuting view UK Pumpkin Spice

This month, I ate some midnight popcorn (I am all about salty late-night snacks), enjoyed my lunch nestled in amongst a sea of sleeping pigeons, started commuting to work, and bought my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year (remember, I'm from the UK. It's still a novelty here!!)

Songs on repeat in September
I played a gig at The Fiddler's elbow with my band the other day, and the band who were playing before us were this awesome three piece indie rock band called Cat Bear Tree. They manage to blend badass raucousness with perfect harmonies to make these effortlessly cool pieces of music. I really liked their song Spaces In Between. I've also been listening to C'est La Mort by The Civil Wars over and over again this month. It's such a lovely song, but... very sad.

Sorry this is such a tiny little post - negotiating the very small amount of internet at Dan's parents' house is proving to be a challenge. Not to worry though, posting will resume as normal once I've figured it all out! September has been utterly manic, but there's lots of good stuff up ahead, especially food-wise. Plenty of recipes are a'comin' this Autumn. So my question to you is, what is your favourite AUTUMNAL foodstuff? I'd love to know! I love reading all of your comments!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

August's Greatest Hits!

August favourites UK

Welcome to my second 'favourites' style post. There's been a lot to love this August, and as usual, I don't really think I came up for air at all this month, I've been so busy! I've made some new friends, been to some parties, and worked really bloody hard! That said, I am fully aware that this September is going to be the busiest month yet... But that's another post for another day.

August's most memorable moment

Portobello Road fun

This month we took advantage of the bright and sunny weather to have quite a few little outings. I want to write all about my wonderful trip to Brighton last weekend, but that only just happened, so I feel like it would be cheating a bit! A couple of weeks ago we went to Portobello Road and braved the crowds to have a truly life-changing burger and chips. I blogged about it here, so check it out if you missed it!

August's Instagram moments

gritty london kitten love
obligatory granola picture is this a lob


Despite all of the sunshine and lollipops of the first half of August, I've been much more interested in the cooler, more muted late-August vibe. I've eaten some sexy granola, changed my hairstyle for Autumn, and had lots of cosy cat cuddles as the rain beat against the window. I mean, let's face it, every month is going to involve cat cuddles, but I reckon you're all totally down for that, aren't you? Follow me on Instagram for more autumnal whimsy as the days grow shorter!

Songs on repeat in August (Click the links to listen!)

I've got a bit of an eclectic mix for you this August. My top pick for the month is a bit of a weird one, but I think it's spectacular. My stepdad has notoriously... interesting... tastes (think ten-hour-long documentaries about Belgian suspension bridges) but every now and then he recommends something to me that I end up absolutely loving.
This month, it is the song Get Amongst It by Fjokra. I can't put my finger on Fjokra's genre and I think that's why I love his music so much. Here's the "cooking video" version of Get Amongst It, cunningly titled Baguette Amongst It. Every single song by Fjokra is completely different and I find them all so compelling! Any band who makes a six foot long baguette whilst grooving out to their own music gets my vote. Still, I suspect this recommendation may be a bit of a "Marmite" one, so here's another of my favourite songs of the month: Houses by Great Northern. I found this band ages ago when searching for some Twin Peaks related stuff online, and I've been obsessed with this song ever since. It's such a great song with a really sweeping Autumnal mood to it. It's around this time of year that I start to get into 'heavier' music... I'm still a little goth at heart!

Blogs I've loved this month

I received three Liebster Award nominations this month, from three incredible bloggers: Jessica from Sweetness and Solitude, Arielle from A Simple Elegance, and George from Caramel Latte Kiss. They're all such lovely women and their blogs couldn't be more different. Arielle is, as her blog promises, SO elegant, Jessica is adorable and organized, and George is such a strong and individual person, and (fun fact!) we used to be pen pals! You should check out these blogs and let them know I told you to say hi! :)

What was your highlight, this August? And please recommend me your favourite song of the month!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

July's Greatest Hits!

July was kind of an epic month both for me and for this here little blog. Lots happened and I stepped up my blogging game to actually document a fair bit of it. Welcome to a new Owl Girl segment, in which I have a mini freak-out about all the positive moments of the month. This one will be a short one since I left it so late!

July's memorable moment

Oslo opera joy

The moment from July that I will remember for a long time is the feeling of standing on top of the opera house in Oslo, as a storm closed in over the fjords! I blogged about it here!

July's Instagram moments

gold jelly fashion tapped and packed
cat time toilet time


I got these incredible jellies (my first pair in approaching twenty years!!) from Sun Jellies and I am totally in love with them. I love gold and I love sparkles but I kind of want every other colour of jellies now. Stay tuned for an outfit post with these babies involved! Other Instagram highlights involve some gorgeous iced coffee at Tapped and Packed, an incongruous "gentlemen" sign, and a bit of blurry cat action. Follow me on Instagram for more happyfuntimes!

Songs on repeat in July

This July I have been obsessed with Calexico, particularly their cover of Alone Again Or by Love, although I have pretty much had their entire discography on repeat for weeks now! I've also listened to Be Okay by Oh Honey and Can't Pretend by Tom Odell more times than I can count this month. Be Okay is super happy and the Tom Odell song is very mournful, just so you're warned. Emotional whiplash is on its way. Click through to watch YouTube videos of each song!

Blogs I've loved this month

I couldn't write this post without a shout out to Mimmi from Muted Mornings. She runs this wonderful, whimsical blog with plenty of light and bright photographs of gorgeous food and landscapes. She's also a really kind person! Another special mention to Julie from Lines Her Eyes, who did a great post called 'Things that got me through July' recently. Both of these lovely ladies nominated me for a Liebster award and I'm so happy! Check out their blogs! My final blog recommendation for the month is my dear friend Zoe who runs a great blog called Floral Zoe. She's a megababe and you're going to LOVE her.

Sorry this is a tiny short post, but be prepared for these "favourites" posts to become a regular thing, and I'll be talking about favourite products, favourite songs and the most magical moments of each month!

Did anything lovely happen to you in July? Please tell me all about it!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Autumn Resurrection.

Salut encore mes amis!

August and September flew by in a flurry of trying-to-be-employed-but-not-succeeding-to-be-employed, and here we are already, in October. I have a couple of lovely posts lined up for you, including a Rainbow Cake Tutorial, so stay tuned for that!

Me and Daddy Dearest

Here's a picture of my father and I (taken by my dear friend David Elbaz of GamraProductions) at Letchworth Station after a day of recording for my Dad's latest musical project. This is going to be a post in which I update you on the various musical endeavours with which I've been involved in the recent months. My Dad's old band, The Perfect Disaster (facebook and wikipedia) have somewhat reformed in order to record some new music. It's all on the horizon as we've been busy mixing and recording and doing technological magic on it, but if you can't wait here's a sneak peak of some of the new material.



So there's that. In addition to collaborating with mon père, I sing backing vocals for Robin Grey, a wonderful man who writes beautiful nu-folk tunes. I am very lucky to get to sing with him and other incredible musicians such as Basia Bartz and Caitlin Roberts who also play in Robin's band. I am aware that I am using many superlatives, and may be approaching 'gushiness' (a word I may have just invented...) Nevertheless, if you want to know what we sound like when we play together, watch this video:


Or listen to this:


Well, that's what I've been up to. I'll be posting some outfits soon, but until then, forgive me for plugging music I've been involved with! I am very excited about these projects and I want you guys to be excited too! (That's an order!) Until next time, here's a "cheeky" shot of Robin in the Abbot Street Studio recording some vocals for the new album. You should like us on facebook to see when we're playing shows, although I'll undoubtedly remind you!

Photobucket

Adios! Stay tuned like I said, for the RAINBOW CAKE TUTORIAL, and to find out my AUTUMN GOALS FOR 2012!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Introducing the Galaxy Skirt.

As I mentioned yesterday, today's post is going to focus on my newest sartorial acquisition, the galaxy skirt! I probably see it more as a 'nebulae skirt' really, but both work fine. I have to thank my good friend Emma who showed me both the skirt and the website from which it came, Romwe.com. I am pretty sure that Emma owns this skirt too, and I'd be really interested to see how she styles it.

The first time I wore this was to a gig at the Royal Festival Hall where I was singing backing vocals for the 'foyer gig'. This skirt is fairly different from my usual style, and I don't know whether choosing to wear it on stage the first time I ever wore it was my best decision, but in the end it was a hit!
I paired it with a blouse and then improvised a pussy-bow using a ribbon and a safety pin, then matched the blouse with some cream shoes. The finished product came together quite well, I think, although I am going to experiment with different ways to wear this skirt.
Don't ask me what my leg is up to in this photo; I still can't work it out myself. This photo gives you an idea of what the back of the skirt looks like. I wish there was more of that galaxy action at the front, personally!
Here's my little bow. Don't I look smart? When I left the house in this get-up, an old man commented (unprovoked, I might add) that I looked "So severe and harsh". I replied with a giggle saying something like, "Oh that's just my natural face!" when inside I was a burning pit of fiery rage! What a thing to say! He wouldn't have said that if I was a big burly man who looked "severe and harsh"...
Finally, here's a photo from the gig. Just after the gig, to be precise. Robin Grey is in the middle, and Basia (our incredible violinist) is on the far left. I am, of course, on the right. The other two are a couple who travelled all the way from France to see us play! They were lovely, and I am amazed at their dedication! To listen to our music, click on Robin's name just under the photo. He writes beautiful songs, and I try my best to sing nicely on them!
Blouse: H&M, Ribbon: John Lewis, Skirt: Romwe, Shoes: Very Old H&M

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Minty Sailor

Donc Alors...

A couple of weeks back, Dan and I went to Arigato, a Japanese supermarket near Picadilly Circus, to pick up some supplies. We get most of our Japanese ingredients there, and almost always overspend! Recently, we'd seen okonomiyaki on the youtube channel Cooking With Dog and Dan decided that he HAD to make it. At times like these, a trip to Arigato is always mandatory.

On our way home, Dan took some photos of me because the light was nice.

I had been dreaming of minty teal tights for a long while, and finally bought some for my friend Sharon's wedding. They are from H and M, and are slightly too minty for my liking, but they go with the outfit quite well, je pense!

I had my baritone ukulele with me, because I'd been to a rehearsal with Robin Grey, who teaches me the ukulele, when we aren't rehearsing.
This was Dan's finished okonomiyaki. He even prepared the octopus from scratch. It was extremely tasty, and very filling. That one wasn't very big, but we still couldn't finish it! The best way I can describe it is as a sort of Japanese Spanish Omelette/Tortilla... Ours had octopus, bacon, spring onions, and other joyous things, but the joy of okonomiyaki is that you can include almost anything! See also, our Korean food adventure to Seoul Bakery in Central London.

Jumper: Traditional Breton Clothing shop in Vannes
Skirt: Home-made, fabric from FabricLand in Brighton
Tights: H&M in Cambridge
Shoes: Dr. Martens.