50 things that make me happy.

To be Happy is something subjective, but I wanted to count my blessings, and put on a post what makes me happy.

  1. Planning! Because it is a comfort, and it is always something that I can fall back on. You can tell I’m an Aspie, can’t you?
  2. My family. Obviously.
  3. Blogging. I never thought that this would be a project that’s taken me forward for half a decade, and as far as I have come.
  4. Twitter. Because the people on it are usually nice to me.
  5. CHIPS!
  6. Chatting about the Presidents.
  7. Getting an email from a brand that I would love to work with, saying that they would love to work with me!
  8. Washi tape.
  9. CATS!
  10. Anything Queen related, because I LOVE their music.
  11. A new pair of shoes.
  12. Netflix, late at night, with a bowl full of ice-cream.
  13. Anything that comes in the post-I love to receive Blogger mail, or letters from my correspondents.
  14. Sylvia Plath’s poetry.
  15. Downloading new albums on iTunes.
  16. Being included in the Freddie Friday hashtag.
  17. People online who are autistic, and leave me lovely comments on my posts about ASD.
  18. Blog chats.
  19. Cheese toasties.
  20. A good hair cut.
  21. When an author that I love makes a new book announcement,
  22. The smell of Taylor Swift’s Wonderstruck.
  23. The song ‘I Thought I Told You That’…
  24. And ‘Left Outside Alone’.
  25. Getting an honest blog comment.
  26. Being tagged in a blog award.
  27. Running into friends that I have not seen in a while.
  28. Blogger mail.
  29. Browsing Paperchase for new planner related materials.
  30. Seeing Sylvia Plath in the newspaper.
  31. A good joke.
  32. Visiting the cat cafe.
  33. Lemon sherbets.
  34. A good manicure.
  35. Writing on the first page of a new notebook.
  36. looking through fountain pens.
  37. The feeling after a prayer, when I feel at one with myself.
  38. Strawberries!
  39. When people appreciate me baking-because I don’t cook, but making cakes is something I’m half decent at.
  40. Collecting Vinyl and finding a gem of a record.
  41. The feeling at a concert, when everyone is just so caught up in the music, and it’s almost as if time has stopped.
  42. Playing Articulate.
  43. Red nail varnish.
  44. Uploading several posts at once.
  45. Watching Highlander and being able to sing along.
  46. A peaceful pint of Cider at the pub.
  47. Queen Rock Montreal, the album.
  48. A new biography of Jacqueline Kennedy.
  49. A visit to Foyles bookshop.
  50. A visit to the British library.

What makes you happy?

 

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

 

Why I love rock…a fan girls opinion. 

As part of my blog content, you can probably see that I’m starting to cover music. Music is a part of my lifestyle-so that I listen to it everywhere I go, collect Vinyl, interview musicians, etc. But I’m often asked “why do you like Rock?” (because, well, I have Aspergers, and noise doesn’t compute well, traditionally.)

Rock has been one of my favourite genres for a long time now-probably since I bought my first proper CD, Queen’s A Night At The Opera. In this sense, I like the songs, as they are seemingly timeless; I was born eight years after Freddie mercury died, and three after Phil Collins left Genesis. (Go on, guess how old I am, I dare you 🙂 ) And there’s so many enigmatic songs-just who is ‘so vain’? But anyway, my point is that these songs have an enduring appeal-why else would we still be singing them?

These songs and the genre are also a comfort to me. When I go out, or am walking in a city that I don’t know particularly well, I will have my headphones in. It’s a sensory thing-related to my Aspergers-because I dislike so much noise. (Try being at Victoria station-there’s a lot of people, trains, announcements, etc. And it puts my head in a whirl.)

Rock is also something that I enjoy-just the sheer beat of the songs, or how it was engineered over time. These song may be cliched in parts, but they rely more on melody to tell the story of the lyrics. They also have a proper structure. And it was a pioneering era of music-just look at Bohemian Rhapsody!

And, I like this genre, because it’s what I aspire to specialise in; I would love to be a music Journalist. I’ve interned at NME, interviewed Marc Martel, reviewed Lissie, QUEX, and Emeli Sande in concert, met Brian May, and listened to a few albums and reviewed them for their releases. Music is an interest to me. And these are some of the most interesting people I have ever met, observed, questioned and listened to. What more could I do?

 

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

My iTunes wishlist

For my eighteenth birthday earlier this year, I was lucky enough to receive a MacBook Air and an iPhone 6s. And I’m a convert to iTUNES, the in-house Apple Music service,where you can download your tunes. But I didn’t realise that you could create your own Wishlist-whilst you wait to have enough money for your next instalment. * Here’s the Wishlist I’m currently curating:

A Kind Of Magic-Deluxe.

This is my favourite Queen album-and I love Gimme The Prize, for the sheer amount of pomp and prestige that Freddie has, in being the Highlander. This album is Queen at their peak, to me; and I wish that I could have seen them performing then. (I was born eight years after Mercury died; go on, work out how old I am!)

No Secrets.

Carly Simon, You’re So Vain? Check!

Not That Kind.

This is Anastacia’s album-well, her debut. And although it can seem a little bit overproduced at times, I love the raw vibe it offers, particularly on tracks such as Made For Lovin’ You and Yo Trippin’. To be more like this woman will always be my goal.

Anastacia.

The album released after Anastacia first survived Breast Cancer. And it’s my favourite of hers! I LOVE Left Outside Alone, as well as the filler I Do. This album makes me want to be a better person.

Jagged Little Pill.

Because I was played this one when I was tiny, and I wish to rediscover it.

Live In Concert.

Yeah, Dire Straits. I love to hear singers in concert-it’s what I wish to do, and is rather fitting, considering I wish to be a music journalist-but I sampled this one, and the energy on each track seems enormous.

Happiness?

The rather feisty Queen drummer put his lyrics to music to this, which has gems such as Dear Mr Murdoch. (I love the drums on the sample I heard!)

The Best of Norman Wisdom.

I recall watching his films as a child-and interviewing his son was one of my first covers-but anyway, Wisdom’s voice has an elegant charm that has been lost in today’s era. His self-deprecating character of Pitkin comes across on the recording at times. (I already bought ‘Don’t Laugh At Me.)

Messenger Of The Gods.

All the solo singles-some unreleased-by Freddie Mercury. (Got to be some good times ahead!)

On Air.

This is a compilation of Queen and various performances on Radio, hence how the album gets its name. I downloaded Modern Times Rock ‘N’ Roll and Stone Cold Crazy, but I would love to hear the rest.

Hello Big Man.

Another Carly Simon album…

Spy.

This is another Carly Simon album; and I LOVE one of the songs, which is called Vengeance. I also really love the video-in that Carly wears an orange dress, seemingly so free, dancing to the melody of the song. (And when I needed it, this was the persona that I pretended to be.)

Coming Around Again.

You could probably call this section ‘Simon heavy’. This is one of my favourite albums of hers-because it seems so mature, in her recording history. And one of the songs, ‘All I Want Is You’, is what I would like to see played at my wedding, if ever I do marry 🙂

Spoiled Girl.

If only for its single, ‘Tired Of Being Blonde’.

Boys In The Trees.

With a gem such as ‘You Belong To me’-the very jazz-esque duet-what’s not to love?

Live At Knebworth.

This is a Genesis EP that I’m not really familiar with, but as I’ve already stated before, I do like to hear an artist live. And the same goes for Genesis.

We Can’t Dance.

One of my favourite Genesis albums, this has songs such as No Son Of Mine, Dreaming While You Sleep, Jesus He Knows Me, and I Can’t Dance. And I would love to be able to (legally) take it with me, wherever I go.

Stripped.

I remember being very small, and this being one of the very first albums that I can recall-maybe at about the age of six or seven. Christina is on top form for this album-and I love how she switches genre, from pop to rock, seemingly gospel, etc.

Back To Basics.

Another Christina album, but I love how this is ‘themed’-in that there’s a forties/fifties/sixties feel, in terms of the recording, lyrics, and album artwork. It has a far more mature vibe than Stripped, and makes me happy-especially on songs such as Makes Me Wanna Pray.

Thank You.

Megan Trainor and ‘NO’? Count me in!

What’s on your Wishlist?

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*As I’m new to this service, I have spent a lot of money, and prefer to do so in instalments, rather than a lump sum. Because I just do not have enough money to buy all the songs I’d love to own…

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

The Lebister Award.

Whew! good morning. You’ll probably think that today’s post is really self centred, pretentious, but Blog Awards are a great way for Bloggers to connect, hence why I’m writing this for today. I was nominated by Daniella, whose blog you can read by clicking here.  For this post, you have to:

  • Post eleven personal facts
  • Answer the 11 set questions
  • Nominate 11 bloggers with a further 11 questions, whilst tagging them.

Sounds easy, right? Here goes-and my eleven facts are:

1.I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in January 2015. Although that seems a long time ago, it really is not, in taking into consideration how long it took me to get diagnosed. (Because, well, to be blunt, it’s really obvious. I was the ‘different one’, the ‘freak’ who was picked on at various times. How horrible.) But I see it as ‘my job’ to raise awareness-because why should anyone be picked on?

2.The last book I read was called The Spy, based on the life of Mata Hari.

3.My hero is Jacqueline Kennedy, because she was a well educated woman, and restored the White House, spoke several languages, and was a book editor for the last twenty years of her life. *I’m always asked about her style-but I like her substance.

4.I LOVE Rock music-Queen, Genesis, Dire Straits…

5.You’ll probably find me in a library, enamoured with a dozen or more books, looking for something to read. (Or maybe with my cat, also reading.)

6.The first record I bought was A Night At The Opera (Queen) in a shop, and Resurrection (Anastacia) online. Quite the contradiction!

7.Of all the people that I wish to interview, Brian May, Queen guitarist and all around really cool person, tops the top of my list. (RT this, and @ him, okay? Ha ha!) I did meet him once, and he seems like somebody who could tell you a good story or two.

8.Funnily enough, my first cohesive memory is of listening to Queen-You’re My Best Friend. (who said I was a fan girl?!!)

9.I love to talk about politics, having taken it as one of my three A levels. Whilst I know that it can be polarising-just look at Brexit!-I think that we have a duty to hold those in power to account, and to be well informed.

10.Feminist? Yes.

11. In spite of the fact that I juggle being a full time student, a blogger, and a columnist-meaning that I have to be VERY organised-I am a very messy person.

And now for the set questions from Daniella to answer! (Still with me?)

  • Why did you start blogging? I saw an article in Shout Magazine, which was a place I could take refugee in, being a lonely pre-teen. (Not a lot has changed.) It looked really cool-and a way to write-so, with the permission of my parents, I jumped in1
  • Who inspires you, not just in the blogging world but in life? Oh lummy, that’s a tough one. Jacqueline Kennedy is my hero, but I am also inspired by Anastacia (I created my own version of one of her outfits recently), Brian May for being just a really cool person, Caitlin Moran for the way she writes, Jodi Picoult for the way she writes and tackles issues, and Lesley Ann Jones, the lovely and supremely cool rock journalist and author.
  • What social media app do you find you use the most for your blogging? WordPress to write posts from, Twitter to post.
  • One thing you are most scared of in life? Dying? (Yeah, about that…) I do believe that there is a God-because there just must be more to life than this-but I don’t want to have wasted the time I have on Earth. Oh and the Tube. Too many people-it’s an ASD thing.
  • Do you prefer a night in with friends or a night out on the town? Depends on the mood I’m in. I prefer town because I can go down to Brighton, and get lost for hours. Everything exciting seems to happen there! But I love to host Netflix evenings.
  • What topics do you blog about most and why? Too many to count! Lifestyle encompasses a lot-so books and autism, I guess. I love books-and you can never be lonely with a book-and Autism, well to raise awareness. 
  • Do you find the blogging community supportive? Largely yes. I won’t elaborate as to the ‘no’.
  • If you were an animal, what would it be and why? Always a cat-I love cats!-and my nickname is the crazy cat lady. Apt, no?
  • What is your favourite genre of music? Rock.
  • What’s the bravest thing you’ve done in the past week or so? Probably talking to a lecturer with eye contact, and I managed not to feel anxious at all. (Eye contact is a hallmark for those on the spectrum.) I also can find it hard to interpret what they mean. And yes-I’m being neutral in case they are reading this. But they are such a good teacher-it’s just me being me 🙂 This is something that I find happens frequently, in that I cannot maintain eye contact, but it is something I am overcoming. 
  • Do you prefer savoury or sweet treats? SWEET!

The Eleven Bloggers I wish to tag:

Kimberly Jessica

Country Katie Uk

This Stuff Is Golden

Lisa Kallas

A Beautiful Caos

Freya Creech

Youralmostalice

Envy Fisher

Grace Brown

Blogger Badger (Emily)

Faz

And anyone else who wishes to do so!

My questions for you:

  1. How do you keep organised, in terms of a planner?
  2. Ice cream-yay or nay?
  3. Manicure or pedicure?
  4. Apple or Samsung?
  5. First album you bought?
  6. What motivated you and why to start blogging?
  7. Dream job as a child?
  8. Would you call yourself a feminist?
  9. Who is your role model?
  10. And hero?
  11. Pineapple on pizza-yes or no?

Until tomorrow,

Lydia

XO

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get an extra free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

The British Tag

I have recently been searching the Internet for some post ideas-because doing the 365 day challenge can limit your creativity at times. I came across The British Tag over at this blog, and felt that I wanted to have a go. So, here’s today’s post! (Please be aware that I have adapted this post slightly…)

The rules:

  • Thank the Blogger who tagged you on social media and with a back link.
  • Answer the following questions!
  • Tag as many bloggers as you wish.


1. How many cups of tea do you have a day and with how many sugars?

I actually don’t drink tea-or coffee-for that matter, so I can’t really say, to be honest. I just really dislike the flavours of both, therefore I don’t really drink it.

2. What is your  favourite part of a roast dinner?
The potatoes. So good!

3. What a your favourite dunking biscuit?

Probably either a Hobnob, or a Chocolate digestive. These are so good!

4. And what about your favourite quintessentially British hobby? 

In my spare time-although I’ve devoted more of it to blogging recently-I really do like to crochet, because I can manipulate the wool enough to create something tangible. To be able to create a bag out of six balls of wool is no easy feat, either.

5.And your favourite word?
Blogger, because of course!

6. What is your favourite Cockney rhyming slang?

It would probably have to be “apples and pears”-and that was because I saw it on Doctor Who as a child! (Rose gets taken over by Cassandra in the episode of New Earth…)

7. Additionally, what is your favourite sweet?

At times I have a very strong sweet tooth-and I am trying to cut back on my consumption of sugar, because it can get out of hand. However, I do like lemon sherbats, strawberry Bon bons, and flying saucers.

8. In an ideal world, what would your pub be called?

“The writers den”-a small establishment, tucked away in Brighton’s lanes, stylised as a fancy pub and library in one.

9. And who is your favourite British person?

Tom Hiddleston is English, isn’t he?
10. When shopping, what is your favourite shop? 

It depends on what I’m looking for, and what sort of mood I’m in. I dislike shopping for clothes-I’m not your stereotypical female-but as do quite like Paperchase, and I was sad to see HMV shit down in Brighton recently.

11.Bristish pop song that always seems to be stuck in your head?

I go for rock; you’re my best friend by Queen.

12.Thoughts about Marmite?

Would not touch it with a pole.

13.What are your favourite British things?

The beaches, rock, the insistence that we make tea correctly, pubs, our political system, the Queen, and wool.

I tag Kimberly Jessica, Country Katie UK, and This Stuff Is Golden.

Lydia

XO

 

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I am pleased to announce that I am working with Basic Beauty Tools. If you go to their website via this link , and order the Spongedry, you can get a free foundation blender by adding under ‘Note To Seller’ your colour code: LYDIAPINK for pink, LYDIAPURPLE for purple, and LYDIABLACK for black.

My love of vinyl…because I love music,okay?


(In the photo, left to right: True Blue (Madonna), Jazz (Queen), No Secrets (Carly Simon), Rain Dancing (Alison Moyet), and A Kind Of Magic (also Queen). 

It’s only recently that I’ve come to enjoy Vinyl-the sound of the record playing, scrapping against the needle, or even just the collecting, and taking hours, browsing over the albums you wish to acquire. Bit odd for a teenager, right? But I love Vinyl-and I have something of a fascination with it.

Vinyl to me sounds, at times, better than a CD-in that it’s closer to the original sound, and that of the era. What I collect is almost always eighties rock-or early noughties pop. Madonna still sounds like the youthful women she was at the time of True Blue; Carly Simon still sounds like the girlish woman of the You’re So Vain era; and Freddie Mercury is still rocking away on record. Ah, if only I had been around in those years!!

It also sounds far warmer-in terms of harmonising. The other night, listening to Embrace Me You Child-a song on No Secrets-it sounded a bit like a gospel choir. Such a beauty! 

So there you have it, as to why I like Vinyl-although I’m sure more passionate devotees could offer up a more ardent defence! If you like vinyl, or prefer a CD, let me know as to why in the comments-

Lydia

XO

Mercury rising; Queen Extravaganza Are Back!

Hammersmith Apollo, 20/11/2016.

 

*Disclaimer: I attended this gig, having requested Press tickets, to give it an honest review. What follows is my genuine opinion.*


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while-surely a year counts as this?-you’ll know that I like Queen. And their official tribute band: Queen Extravaganza. They play A Night At The Opera (circa 1975) through, because the idea was to celebrate this great Rock And Roll album. The brainchild of Queen drummer Roger Taylor, it’s brilliant.

Let’s start from the beginning….
It was relatively early on arrival; we’re met with the news that there’s going to be a live recording, available on CD. And it’s the Hammersmith Odeon! The iconic venue-where Queen themselves played, and even Bruce Springsteen… Needless to say, I’m excited.

The support act, Electric Pyramid, bring a rock flavour to the general buzzing hubbub of the auidence. People are pouring in, although finding seats seemed to have been a little bit difficult. There’s long hair flying about stage, guitar riffs, and the occasional clap. It’s good old fashioned rock.

But there’s a man on stage. Seemingly small from the back of the room, he seemingly has a twinkle in his eye, a smile that’s grin-wide. Spike Edney. SPIKE EDNEY! The music producer for Queen on The Works, and who played with them at Wembley. And a huge figure in the music industry. He chats briefly about the recreation of A Night At The Opera-including going to studios, listening, dissecting the tracks. Then ROGER TAYLOR walks out on stage. The soft-spoken Queen drummer takes the microphone, to introduce his brainchild. There’s clearly a tone of envy in the voices of the two men-Edney even fondly dubs the band “bastards” for being young, the age Queen almost would have been in their prime, as a collective.

Meeting the band last year…

 

Remember the release Queen Live At The Odeon? It’s the same voiceover, from the same concert, who introduces them I think.

There’s a sudden change in the atmosphere; seemingly mysterious, we proceeded into Death On Two Legs..the run through of A Night At The Opera. It was notable for being sung vengefully-and, following this, throughout the concert I just had this feeling of “Mercury is here…”

Best of all, I loved the greatest hits selection-I never thought that I would hear Marc Martel sing Tie Your Mother Down, for one. There was also Seven Seas Of Rhye (an oldie but a goodie). And Stone Cold Crazy , as well as Save Me were also performed.

What really seemed to do well with the auidence was I Was Born To Love You (a Mercury solo song, possibly), as well as The Show Must Go On. They were definite highlights, largely because of the amount of skill, talent, and sheer balls to carry it off. The venue was built in such a way that sound was seemingly been thrown right to the back of the room. And any Queen song, album, or just music in general should be performed that way.

Needless to say, by the time Radio GaGa came round, my hands and voice were sore. They still are as I write this.

Also, just as a side note: hats off to Tyler Warren! The drummer of the band also sings-with a very high falsetto. He also covers ‘I’m In Love With My Car’, and harmonised on virtually all the other songs. That’s some feat-to drum along additionally whilst taking lead vocals.

Overall, my favourite part was the band introduction sequence during Somebody To Love; each was introduced by Marc Martel, stating their name, where from, etc. There was just a little bit of Let Me Entertain You played-as one of ,all time favourite Queen songs, I would love to see this played live. And covered well of course. It has to have grit, as well as keeping the substance of original lyrics. This band have the ambition and potential to do so.

From the meet and greet last year..

I also loved the fact that Martel asked if any auidence “hipsters” have A Night At The Opera on vinyl. We were also greeted as “good people of London”. So regal!

My only criticism is two things: there was a huge emphasis on lighting, to the point almost of being painful. During a quick break in songs, with the band off stage, and the lights up, spots were polluting my vision. It also partially contributed to a headache later on. Martel also forgot and messed up quite a few of the lyrics-there needs to be more of a fluency.

Please, please, pretty please, next year can we have News Of The World?

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And…..

Click here to buy the new double album.