26/10/15 – Retrospective

This is a bit of a late retrospective! It’s been a busy couple of weeks… in that all I’ve done is watch Grimm and Supernatural. Things might be changing a bit soon, but shhh, more on that later!

Listening to

I’ve become a late convert to Spotify: since I’ve been on a slight frugal curve, I’ve put a stop to the worst of my spending, basically my Amazon account. As such, a few albums I’ve not purchased, but have instead streamed off Spotify. One of these was Lana Del Rey’s latest, Honeymoon. I loved Lana Del Rey since I heard the haunting Video Games, which arguably is her best, and somewhat different to all of her other work. I remember reading an interview after Born To Die when she said she wasn’t going to release any more material, as there was nothing left to say; considering there have been two LPs and the Paradise Edition EP since then, I think it’s fair to say she dug a bit deeper. Honeymoon is definitely on the more Ultraviolence themed side of things, musically at least: a lot slower and gentler, somewhat less on the wild vocal lines as Born To Die, but consistently Lana Del Rey in lyrical content. To be honest, I think Honeymoon is much more solid than Ultraviolence: the second half I essentially bypassed, as it all essentially sounded the same, about bad men doing bad things to the starlet persona, with jarring key changes and choruses. There aren’t many bum notes at all with Honeymoon: from High By The Beach to 24 there isn’t a skippable song. Definitely music to get drunk to in a hot dry summer, sumptuous and self-indulgent, but who doesn’t love a good bit of that every now and then?


I have finished series 3 of Grimm on Netflix and in anticipation of series 5 premiering on Watch soon, I downloaded series 4 off Amazon. Totally binged on it! I’m only a couple of episodes from the end, but poor Nick is having a right time of it. Adalind is seriously getting on my nerves – I’m not necessarily sure that the correct response for someone taking your baby is to disguise yourself as that person’s girlfriend and have sex with them. I know, I know, it was Prince-Not-Eric’s idea, but still, it’s got Adalind up on this high horse and considering she is of no fixed abode, with no reliable income (and, let’s be honest, is everybody really sure that that baby is Renard’s? Paternity test! Paternity test!), and with a track record of rash and questionable decisions, she’s hardly mother of the year material. Renard had it right when he said to her “I so wish I could believe you” (hint about the baby’s paternity??) yet it appears Nick, our puffy-eyed Grimm of woe-is-me, is quite happy to follow Adalind’s breadcrumb trail of deus-ex-machina. It’s nice to see Juliette coming into her own: as a strong character she was getting a bit underutilised as Nick’s piece, though I still want her and Renard to get together: now they would be a powerhouse couple!

Grimm series 5 is on Watch on Tuesdays at 9.

Now, I may very much be late on the bandwagon here, but I’m totally into Supernatural. I’ve been hitting our local CEX and tracking down the early series (is the plural of series serieses?). I stormed through Series 1 and loved it. It is quite scary! I thought it would be more like Buffy, but a lot of it is based on ghost stories – a lot of which are the kind that are represented in every society around – and those are the kinds that in the light of day you can scoff at, but when it’s dark and cold and you’re not sure what that weird tapping noise is outside the window or in the corner of the room, they seem a wee bit more real. I just finished Series 2 and loved it! The chemistry between the two leads is great and there are some fab comedic moments as well as some truly chilling scares. This long-running show will definitely keep me going, especially when I’ve nosied ahead (you can’t help it, SPN fandom is all over Pinterest) and seen demons and angels and what even is Destiel?!


I’ve finished book thirteen! Bard the Bowman and I now embark on the last one… I am a little apprehensive to tackle A Memory Of Light: the biggie, the Last Battle. Often books that build up to an armageddon conclusion wimp out on the last couple of hurdles. I really hope this isn’t the case! I’m thinking of running a live Twitter feed as I progress through. I’m fairly sure Rand must triumph over the Dark One (does he have a name? You hear Dark One, you think Rumpelstiltskin) but getting there looks like a gargantuan task. This series has some of my favourite female characters in it: Nynaeve, Moiraine and Egwene. I’m pleased that Egwene has solidified her perch as the Amyrlin Seat. I’m also dead chuffed that we found Moiraine, after an age of a hiatus (Moiraine and Thom?!), but I’m sorry, who didn’t see Mazrim Taim coming a mile off? If you like more of this sort of drivel, please follow me on Twitter! I’ll think of a clever hashtag.


While Ma and Pa were in Poland visiting Auschwitz, I had a nice long weekend with my doggy. I attempted another Pinterest recipe (somewhat hesitantly, after the too-simple turkey and sweet potato burgers didn’t quite come off) and made some brownies topped with peanut butter. I have learnt to follow your instinct – this is something that is never new to me, yet I need to be reminded of it constantly. The recipe told me to microwave the chocolate for the spread, but I was tempted to melt it my way in a bowl over simmering water. I wish I had followed my own advice! The result is scruffy but they taste amazing – sickly indeed. I will be such a little fatty after scoffing the lot.

For the past few weeks I’ve turned my hand to cross-stitch, which seems to be the revitalised WI craft of choice at the moment. I got a little one from Hobbycraft to start me off, and I’m pretty pleased with my progress! Since the picture below I have actually progressed a wee bit more, and all the flowers are done and the grass is complete!

Throwback Thursday

I’ve been listening to my ‘Flashback Playlist’, full of songs from my uni days, and they all bring back memories of specific places and people!

Here are a choice selection:

Kaskade – Move For Me

Such a chilled out dance song, I first discovered Kaskade through Deadmau5’s I Remember, one of my favourite songs of all time. I had to get his CD, Strobelite Seduction, imported from America. He doesn’t seem to have much of a following over here, but the CD is amazing, stripped-back, simple-sounding stuff with some stunning vocals. Lovely to drive to on a sunny day.

FrankMusik – In Step

I love FrankMusik, and I downloaded his latest, mainly self-funded if not totally, album, By Nicole, which is such a huge development step from the almost old-school disco beats on Complete Me. I told you I don’t know what I’m talking about with music, but I read the reviews on the Guardian and they use about a million different words to describe a boring-ass Timberland song, so there you go. In Step is such a great song, quite fast paced, and has great vocals from Vincent.

Keane – Spiralling

Oh my god, one of my favourite songs ever! I never, ever liked Keane before – thought them boring mum music, too slow, nothing interesting. And then, bam! These electronics and synths hit me in the face, and I think I listened to this song three hundred times in about a week in first year of uni. The DJ in the Indie Room at Tru Nightclub used to laugh at me every time I requested it and would play Electric Feel by MGMT. But this song is absolutely perfect – it actually makes you feel like you’re spinning around.

The Veronicas – Untouched

These twins, with their creepy heads-not-really-attached-to-their-bodies album cover (or so I think anyway) managed to make a song without much real sense in half of their verses unbelievably catchy. I think the intent with the lyrics is to capture some of that wordlessness or senselessness when you are obsessed with someone, so much so you can clearly barely articulate proper words. But the guitars, which are almost just noise, but not quite, and the wonderful strings give this a dark undertone, and make it into a dirty dancefloor song that sooo never got the attention it deserved, and I love it! It’s almost my ideal pop song – breathy female vocalists, check; rambling incoherent lyrics, check; fuzzy unclear guitars, check; random string section, check!

Post-Destination Nurburgring Playlist #1

Well, we have returned from Germany, and Dickie has been put to bed in the garage after a good holiday. He did get some thrashing – and I think terrified my mother on occasion. But just because I’m back home doesn’t mean the playlists need to stop! The Seat has an iPod connector, so I can make my playlists and listen to them on the long drive to work.

Bombay Bicycle Club – Feel

I only just discovered this song by chance, listening to Fearne Cotton on Radio 1 today! Sometimes Capital just gets too repetitive for me, and I switched to Radio 1, mainly because I wanted to hear the Lana del Rey song, West Coast, which is my ultimate favourite song at the moment. However, this is such a lush summer tune! And youtube says it’s been out for a month?! It reminds me of hot sticky summers, where the air’s too thick to even think about moving, and everyone dances sluggishly in slow motion in sweaty steamy nightclubs.

Nero – Satisfy

I went to see Nero with Amy a couple of years ago in Leeds, and they were out of this world. I love Crush on You – it’s so violent and screechy and captures the entire rapture and passion of a really adolescent sort of crush. But I love their slower stuff, like My Eyes. This new song, Satisfy, is made of inky black nights and heady moments, and I love it: a sort of urban electronica, which I just made up, as I know nothing about music; I think I mean that it makes me think of nightclubs, which we don’t have out here in the sticks, and walking along streets in high heels and on a high from an amazing night, or maybe going into an amazing night.

Calvin Harris – Summer

This had radio play I think just before I left for Germany, but hadn’t been released in time to make it onto the Destination Nurburgring playlist. I love a good bit of Calvin Harris, from way back in his Acceptable in the 80s days. But his more recent stuff is good as well – I love Flashback, You Used to Hold Me, and I’m Not Alone. This is exactly what it says on the tin: a wicked summer tune, and ideal for driving around Hull in the sweaty heat like today.

Iggy Azalea – New Bitch

I’ve been waiting for the Iggy Azalea album to drop for ages! I love Bounce with its Indian vibes. I’m not really into rap as such, but there is something about Iggy that I love. I especially love the Clueless video for Fancy. The New Classic is a good album for summer – I can imagine lazily dancing to it whilst drinking a few beers around the barbecue. The pre-hook and hook, to use the lingo I see on the internet all the time (do rappers not have ‘choruses’?) of this song are delicious. It was a toss up between this and Fuck Love, which I love, if just for the line ‘That love shit/I don’t do it’.

Chris Brown – Loyal

And I’ll definitely be the last person to admit to being a Chris Brown fan! Especially now that he seems to wind up landing himself in prison or whatever for another load of stupid things. I liked the music for this, and hadn’t really given much thought to the song itself. The video is majorly cringey, however I love the lyrics cropping up in modern rap at the moment, all revolving around my current interest in gardening and vegetables, funnily enough: carats, carrots and vegetarians! Word play!! It does annoy me, the amount of swearing and cussing and casual sexism/racism/everythingism in modern hip-hop/rnb/whatever, but they do make damn good songs.

Ed Sheeran – SING

When I first heard this song, I immediately thought Justin Timberlake – Like I Love You. Judging by the comments on Youtube, I was not alone! But this song is such a good tune. Pharrell is all over it and it just sounds so good. I was never a big Ed Sheeran fan; I could listen to him, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to download his songs or get his album. But if this is the direction that his album will be taking, I may be very tempted!

Just a sample of what I listen to on the way to work… sometimes it’s this, and sometimes it’s very, very different…

The Lark Ascending: My Favourite Piece of Classical Music

I am so pleased to discover that my favourite piece of classical music, The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams, was voted #1 in the Classic FM Hall of Fame – and I didn’t even know about it to vote!



From about 11 minutes onwards is my favourite part. The soaring orchestra always bring tears to my eyes!

A lot of people call this a cozy rural piece, but I think for me there are some truly sad moments in it, and yet some beautiful celebratory passages.

Simply the best 15 minutes of your life!

Destination Nurburgring playlist #4

Since I’ve discovered Tunein radio, I have installed a new ritual into the pre-Ring preparation, which is listening to German radio stations! The idea is to listen to a lot of German and to maybe assimilate comprehension, like Bart did when he went on an exchange trip to France and lived with a nasty French family in The Simpsons. Coming from a linguistics background (nerd!!!) I know that it’s not quite that straightforward, but one can dream! But half of the radio stations don’t have any German DJs on, and the other half only play English-language songs!

Chase and Status ft. Plan B – End Credits

This is a wicked tune and the drum beat is fast and furious – suitable Dickie music, then! This is a bit of a frantic end-of-the-night sort of mad dancing episode. Plan B’s vocals, singing here rather than rapping (which I love on Ill Manors, a song I find endlessly witty when I’m sure it’s not as great as I make it out (e.g. Let’s go looting/No not Luton/The high street’s closer)), despite being not in time with the music, are actually pretty darn good. Banging tune!

Nero – My Eyes

I went to go see Nero at the O2 Academy in Leeds and they were awesome. Despite the fact that the venue was full of sixteen and seventeen year olds drinking (yet Amy and I both got ID’d!) there was an awesome vibe. Crush on You is probably my favourite Nero song, with the shrill and desperate vocals and breakdown, but My Eyes is such a trancey track, possibly more suited to late-night driving through cities than trundling along the Autobahn in the middle of the day, but there you go!

Sam and the Womp – Bom Bom

This song is nonsense (who can drink that many pints of rum? I ask you!) but it always makes me think of driving to Germany, whether it’s due to the lull in the verses before the mad bit in the chorus, which is ideal for a bit of chasing if you get bored on the way there (which I never do, of course – mainly because I have my Mum in the car with me, and she’d scream at me!) The trumpets are fun though!

A-Ha – The Sun Always Shines on TV

Always gotta have an 80s moment! Most people know me as being stuck in a time-warp, as more often than not I’ll have a bunch of 80s CDs rattling around in my glovebox, my favourites being the Ministry of Sound Electronic 80s compilations they released successively a few Christmases ago. I love a good bit of a-Ha, and I think this song is far superior to the more common Take on Me, which suffered irreparable Westlife damage.

Rita Ora – I Will Never Let You Down

It’s not been released yet, but I love this song! It’s a fun upbeat summery tune, and hopefully will suit the sunny drive across the Netherlands and Germany.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Two Tribes

And to pick up the 80s theme, a bit of good ol’ Frankie! I think he featured heavily on the 80s soundtrack to my childhood. Quite a cool duel song – how has it not ever been used in a car chase theme? Or has it, and have I just not noticed?

#0sleepstogo! The day has finally come! It’s Travel Tuesday! Getting excited now!

As standard, no songs or music belongs to me. Happy listening!

Destination Nurburgring Playlist #3

I’ve been updating my playlist. Only a few days to go to make final arrangements! Last year it was definitely more of an electro/dancey mix, whereas this year I am mixing it up a fair bit. I want enough to not repeat a song from the ferry to the Ring. Here are a few choice examples that I’m loving atm!


Queens of the Stone Age – Go With the Flow

Whenever I listen to QOTSA’s Lullabies to Paralyze, it always makes me think of the Need for Speed game which featured two songs on the soundtrack, however I think Go With the Flow is the superior driving song/accelerating song. I think this was the first QOTSA song I heard, way back when on Kerrang, and it sounds pretty darn good blasting out of Dickie’s speakers.

Carrie Underwood – Good Girl

Switching genres about today! I’m not a big country fan but I heard this Carrie Underwood song and was hooked. I downloaded Blown Away and while her ballady stuff is OK but not exactly my cup of tea, I love her rockier stuff, and whilst this isn’t heavy on the guitars, it’s a good tune, and there’s a lot of Carrie on my playlist!

Jimmy Eat World – The Middle

One of my favourite indie dance tunes, I don’t really know any of the lyrics but I like to make them up. I always think Dickie should have an indie/dance crossover theme tune, and this sounds rather good.

Iron Maiden – The Trooper

Not really a decent Dickie driving song, but it came on my iPod on my way to work the other day, and it was just funny! I’m not a big Maiden fan, but this was on the credits to Metal Evolution, the TV documentary on Sky Arts a while back, and is damn catchy. My Mum was a Maiden fan (a Maiden Maiden??) back in the day, so I wonder if she’ll recognise this song when it comes on t’ord iPod!

Stratovarius – Unbreakable

And to round off the slightly more diverse sound this time round, we have a band I’ve only recently gotten into. I think people are always quite surprised when I say I like metal music, when I can get down to Ke$ha like the best of them. Two of my favourite bands ever are Nightwish and Epica, but I’ve been hearing of Stratovarius since forever, and after having a bit of a barney with iTunes, I got the new Stratovarius CD, Nemesis. This song, Castles in the Air and One Must Fall are my favourites!

I hope you enjoy! Quite a mixed bunch of driving songs for this second playlist. As per usual, nothing belongs to me nor do I claim it does, I just love the music, and wanted to share the love!

Destination Nurburg Playlist #2

Not long now!

It’s a five-six hour journey (with a McDonald’s stop over in Venlo, of course) from the ferry to the Ring, and as the aerial on Dickie tends to have a dickie fit, I tend to plan an Epic Journey to Germany playlist on my iPod. I’ve started making one and here’s just a hint of things to come…


Example – All the Wrong Places

I heard this song as a preview clip on a Running Tracks album on iTunes, and didn’t buy the album, but bought the song. I do like Example, though he can have a tendency to go for cheesy and sentimental synths. But I proper love this track! It has a banging beat and is good to pound the pavement to – on the rare occasion when I do go for a run – and, more appropriately, tear up the tarmac to!


Haim – If I Could Change Your Mind

I’d heard a lot of hype about Haim, but never actually heard much of anything by them. But I heard this on Radio 1 and just had to find out who it was by. A bit retro with the synths, but not veering into girl-group territory, it’s a bit more mellow than something poundy like the Example track.


Hurts – Better Than Love

As you may be able to guess, I love a good synth, and a good Eighties throwback, and I don’t think many modern bands do it quite as well at Hurts. The lead singer has an amazing voice and the music is perfectly balanced. In fact, the above Haim song intro reminded me a lot of another Hurts song, Wonderful Life.


Will.i.am – Bang Bang

I love a good bit of will dot I do am! This I think featured or was vaguely involved in The Great Gatsby movie, which I’ve yet to see, and the video channels that 20s flapper vibe hooking around the sample. It’s a good dance tune, and I prefer it to Scream & Shout, if just because it reminds me of one of my favourite films, Midnight in Paris.


Lady Gaga – Aura

I am a big Gaga fan and went to see the Monster Ball a few years back. While I think her general persona is more shock-value than anything else, and very image-driven, she can still make cracking pop songs. This one, the first on her new album Artpop, is unusual, with about five different songs all mushed into one, and I know nothing about music, but I know this one has a dirty beat.


All songs obviously belong to the associated companies and such like. I don’t own anything, I just crank up the speaker!