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Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Thank you WordPress, I do love these annual reports. Sad, I know, but it’s true. Simple things have always pleased my little mind.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,100 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

This, once again gives me the opportunity to thank everyone who has visited, liked, commented and followed my blog. I really do appreciate the time you spend reading my posts. I hope to achieve more blogging success in 2014. See you on the other side ūüôā

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My Aspirations for 2014

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As I have said in the past, I don’t believe in new years resolutions and last year was the closest I came to them with my post ‘7 Things for 2013’¬†and as I suspected, it was a complete fail. I literally only managed 2 of the things I wrote about so I’m going back to my old way of thinking. I always strive to be the best person I can be and that will be no exception in 2014. I will continue to do good deeds, make people smile and help some charities. To remember each kind thing I do I will be keeping a ‘Kindness Jar’ (as I shall call it) throughout the year. With each kind thing I do I will write it on a piece of paper and pop it into the jar, at the end of the year I shall look back at all the things I wrote down. Sound like a good idea? Why don’t you join me.

A Quick Look Back On My 2013

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I consider 2013 as being a good year looking back. I have been on two amazing holidays and made many happy memories. The Spain and Canary Island Cruise in May was awesome and it was lovely to spend time with two of my very good friends during this time. We did have a lot of fun and we laughed until we cried a lot of the time. Some people may of even thought we were a little mad but we didn’t have a care in the world. Thinking about it makes me want to book another cruise for next year but as I have some crazy saving to do I don’t think I’ll be booking anything.

Disneyland Paris is never a let down (in my opinion anyway) and I was lucky enough to take my niece Jordan on her first trip there. I’m not sure who exactly was the biggest kid but I’m pretty sure it was me. I love all the rides and meeting as many characters as I can. Despite going at peak season and having to face the crowds of people and the queues, we still had a great time. I would have loved to have returned next year but that also looks very unlikely.

There has been a few events that have stuck in my mind from this year including the annual ‘West End Live’ in Trafalgar Square, conventions such as ‘Collectormania’ in Milton Keynes ‘London Film and Comic Con’ ‘Hyper Japan’ and ‘ToyCon’ were all enjoyable and I hope to return to these events again next year. Another event I enjoyed was the charity football match between ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Les Miserable’.

This year saw me try my hand at creating things with Polymer clay which goes well when I have the time apart from when I burnt two tea light holders in the oven much to the horror of my mother who had to clean the blackness from her oven the next day, oops! I also joined a amateur operatic society and performed in my first show which was successful. Unfortunately because of the lack of young talent and men, the society will be closing after our next show in March. It has left me wondering what I should do next, if I even feel like doing anything after that.

There has been some events I have been to which I haven’t mentioned in my posts like Seeing various bands live at Wembley Arena and the London o2 such as ‘Paramore’ ’30 Seconds to Mars’ and ‘Boyzone’. I have also been to a couple of WWE events and loved it… more for next year I think, including some more gigs and shows that are already planned. So far I’m rather looking forward to 2014, I hope you are too!

200th Post celebrations

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Another milestone reached in my blogging ventures so I thought I would mark the occasion. When I reached my 100th post I decided to share my 10 favourite posts since I started blogging so I thought I would do something similar and share my 10 favourite posts since my 100th. Many of the posts have a lovely collection of photo’s to go with them.

  1. Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium¬†I’m currently looking forward to the opening of this cafe which looks like it’s set for the beginning of next year. It is very exciting and I’m sure once I get to go I will let you all know what it’s like. I’ve got a feeling that it’s going to be very popular.
  2. Consuelo Parra РDigital Art An artist that I discovered this year. Check out some of the pictures that I have included in this post.
  3. Ronan Keating Live¬†This seems like ages ago, I can’t believe it was at the beginning of the year. How time flies!
  4. The Struggle¬†One of the few Poems that I wrote this year along with ‘Defeated’ and ‘Don’t Judge Me’ which I’ve also included in this list. I’m hoping to compile some more poems for 2014 because I’m not that bad at writing them.
  5. Egg-Citing Art Lots of giant egg designs in Covent garden. There are so many photos.
  6. Defeated
  7. Don’t Judge Me¬†
  8. A Damp Day in Camden Town¬†This is the only time I visited Camden this year. I hope to go again next year. It’s so hard to find the time to fit everything in. There are lots of places that I had hoped to visit this year but didn’t.
  9. Carrie Hope Fletcher¬†Photos of Carrie performing at this years ‘West End Live’. She has become one of my favourite YouTubers.
  10. Garden Wildlife¬†It’s surprising what you can find in your own back garden. See what you can find.

A Festive Shambles

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I will look back on this Christmas and see the funny side… Eventually. O.K I may be exaggerating a little but let’s just say our first Christmas eating out ended with a full refund demanded by my brother. Our table hadn’t been cleaned before we sat down and we were placed in a cold damp room with paint peeling off the walls. The food wasn’t actually that bad despite having to wait for my vegetarian pie whilst already 20 minutes into eating the rest of the trimmings.

The carvery had run out of all meats apart from Turkey so if you hadn’t ordered turkey you were going to get it anyway… And served by a carver who looked like he was going to burst into tears under pressure. All the staff were over worked and looked stressed and miserable, in fact the guy that we had waiting on our table admitted that he didn’t even work at that restaurant and had been roped into helping out.

As I got up to go to the toilet I could hear people complaining left, right and centre and the manager, in turmoil at this time looked like he wanted to run far far away from the place as he could get. By the time we left there were people queuing up for refunds. Very poor organisation was to blame for such a shambolic event. 1) they should have got more staff in, especially kitchen staff and 2) they should have made the carvery a ticketed process where the carver could tell what meat everyone had ordered. I don’t even work in a restaurant and that’s just common sense.

While watching this whole disaster unravel I managed to stay composed and remain positive throughout. It will certainly be a Christmas to remember anyway. On a much happier note, it was lovely to spend the day with my family.

A Christmas Message

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After a nice short day at work I came home and baked some festive chocolate cupcakes for my family, had a relaxing bath using my Lush bath bomb and enjoyed a glass of Eggnog for the first time with my parents. I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas Eve and are all set for tomorrow. I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my followers and anyone else reading this a very merry Christmas. Laugh lots and make some great memories.

More importantly, be good to each other and don’t take anything for granted. I Shall be celebrating with my family and I hope you all have someone special to share the day with. Enjoy yourselves!

‘Blackfish’

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Today I finally got around to watching ‘Blackfish’ which is currently causing a stir in all the right reasons or wrong (whichever way you’d like to look at it), I would personally say for all the right reasons as it’s been raising awareness of such a barbaric business since it’s release. For those that haven’t seen it ‘Blackfish’ is a powerful documentary/film about the Killer Whales at ‘Seaworld’ in Orlando, Florida and how these amazing animals can suddenly turn aggressive, causing serious harm and even death to the trainers that work closely with them. Namely following one particular one called Tilikum.

A lot of stories that came back out of the woodwork were covered up by ‘Seaworld’, obviously to protect their wealth. As you can imagine they must make millions each year by attracting the public to view their displays. Of course it’s a success because we as humans show a desire to be up close to amazing creatures like Killer Whales and many others.

I myself have watched Dolphin shows in Barcelona and swam with Sea Lions in Spain but that in itself could have potentially gone wrong at any moment as Sea Lions can give a nasty bite and their muscley bodies give an indication to how strong they are. All animals are unpredictable and I think people tend to forget that. We don’t know what’s going through their minds.

The emotional torture the Orcas go through is beyond belief. Originally they were captured from the wild and their babies were their main targets because they would be easy to transport and train. They sent boats after them and because the Whales knew what was happening they devised a plan and split up. The males would swim one way to cause a distraction while the females swam in a different direction with their babies staying underwater for as long as possible to avoid being seen. Unfortunately they couldn’t stay underwater forever and when they eventually came up for air they were found by planes that were sent out to direct the boats towards them.

They would be captured by nets in an area with no escape and a baby would be taken from them. As Killer Whales are highly emotional mammals, capable of emotions more complex than humans they were desperately communicating with each other during the ordeal. They build very strong bonds with each other and will suffer grief at the loss of a loved one. One man in the film choked up as he explained that he felt like he was kidnapping a child from its mother. On one occasion they had ended up with 3 dead Orca’s in their nets and were ordered to cut them open and fill them with rocks to sink them.

There are many ridiculous stories but that one will always stick in my mind. ‘Seaworld’ were given the chance to have their say but refused and because the film has made such an impact they have appealed. I know there are two sides to every story but I’m not the slightest bit interested to hear what they have to say. They’re business is despicable and needs to close down along with other similar establishments.

I would like to say well done to all of the former trainers, directors and other staff that came forward to help film the documentary/film, they deserve respect for sharing their stories which must have been hard to talk about. People need to know the truth, ‘Seaworld’ can not carry on treating the Whales like they do and lying¬†and covering up things. Thank you to those who put ‘Blackfish’ together, it has opened the eyes of the naive (through no fault of their own) and confirmed suspicions for those of us that already suspected something dodgy.

What I have written about is just a snippet of what went on in the film so I would recommend that if you care a great deal about animals and don’t like to be kept in the dark to watch this detailed and well researched documentary/film. The whole thing made me angry and heartbroken but I’m glad I watched it. I could go on and on but the only way to gain a true perspective is to watch it for yourselves.¬†Last but not least my condolences go out to the families and friends of the trainers that lost their lives while working with the Killer Whales.

‘Blackfish’ has been broadcasted on T.V but is also available on iTunes, DVD and Blu¬†ray.

Facebook page ‘Blackfish’