Top 10 highlights of 2013…

All together now! Sing! “It’s the most, wonderful tiiiiime, of the year!”

I’m obviously referring to the many “best of” lists that are now upon us.

Naturally, being a lifelong list lover, I’ve compiled my own. Here, in no particular order, are my top ten highlights of 2013.

1. Flying Ant Day

Or, rather, the lack thereof. Despite daily texts, Facebook alerts and Twitter messages from concerned pals who are well aware of my flying ant phobia, I only saw about seven of the blighters all summer. I fervently hope that 2014 is similar.

2. Alex Turner’s vocals on Do I Wanna Know?

Specifically, the lyric “simmer down and pucker up.” Never has the Sheffield accent sounded so alluring.

3. My birthday

Nothing especially spectacular happened. But I spent it with fabulous people and had an absolute ball. Even better, I didn’t cry once on the actual day, which is a first since I was about 21. PROGRESS!

4. Maria and Phil’s wedding

One of the best days of my life, never mind theirs, I will forever hold dear the memory of bellowing Never Forget at the top of my lungs, with about 200 brilliant people surrounding me. Good times.

5. Abersoch

Our family holiday to Abersoch was a highlight for me, mainly because I got to wake up to this stunning view in one of my favourite places on the planet every day for a week. Bliss.

abersoch view

6. Andy Murray winning Wimbledon

FINALLY. So proud!

7. Breaking Bad

Late to the party as ever, I devoured the whole thing in the space of a couple of months and became obsessed with it about three episodes in. Unfortunately, the lasting effect of it is that my fellow Breaking Bad-loving friends and I say “yo” to each other at the end of sentences. I used to think we were doing this ironically but now I’m not too sure. Ah well. It’s chemistry, bitch.

8. Roberto Martinez

Before David Moyes managed to piss off Evertonians the world over with his outrageous bid for Fellaini and Baines, I was distraught to see him go. I need not have worried – Roberto is working wonders. Plus he looks better in a suit.

9. Starting a blog and joining a choir

Trivial and unimportant events, you may say. However, they were both things that I kept saying I’d do and then, for one reason or another, kept putting off. I would seriously recommend both to everyone – so very therapeutic!

10. Kerry Katona’s high-five getting blanked

Sometimes, if I am feeling sad, I watch this video and I immediately feel happy again. Comedy gold.


The Black-E choir is born!

I have attended the taster session and lived to tell the tale.  Result!

The sessions are being held at the Black-E, a community centre by the Chinese arch in Liverpool city centre.   A girl called Hannah is in charge of the organisation of the choir and the musical director is called Saphena, who’s part of a company called Sense of Sound who are amazing – have a look at their website for what they’re all about.

An eclectic mix turned up – around 20 people, male and female, ranging from the ages of 11 up to around 50 (I’d say so anyway; I am rubbish at guessing peoples’ ages though.)  First challenge – going round the group as an ice-breaker to get to know everyone.  My heart sank but I did it, and managed to get a couple of LOLs, even though I went bright red and WANTED TO DIE.

Next a couple of vocal harmony exercises to get us warmed up, followed by Saphena splitting us into three groups, each with a different section of “You’re All I Need To Get By” to sing a capella.  In less than an hour she had us sounding…well, really quite marvellous.  I felt like I was in Sister Act and was waiting for Lauryn Hill to turn up at any moment, belting out “If you wanna be somebody, if you wanna go somewhere…”  (Then I remembered she’s been sent down for tax evasion and that particular bubble burst.)

Now we have to attend every Monday for 10 weeks, culminating on 24th July in a public performance with a choir from the Bluecoat.  I really cannot wait.  There’s a couple of funny kids in the group – “Saphena, you know what would make this even better?  ICE-CREAM” and “Saphena, I’m going to sit out of this one.”  “How come?”  “I just don’t really like it.”  HA –   several divas, a few “characters”, shall we say …I’m sure there’ll be many a tale to tell.

On a personal and slightly cheesy note, I really am proud of myself for even going.  A couple of years ago I wouldn’t have entertained the thought of turning up, let alone talking in front of a group of people I didn’t know and then singing my little heart out in front of them as well. Although I am aware of the fact that, in the grand scheme of things, when I see my friends are having babies and getting engaged and buying houses, joining a choir isn’t that big a deal.  But for me…it really is.