Wet January

At some point on January 3rd I realised that I had had alcoholic drinks on two successive days. Most people would say, “Oh right, that’s funny/cool/strange/odd/nothing to be remotely interested with,” delete as applicable and carry about their business.

 For someone who was pretty much teetotal as an adolescent and who had only just started developing a taste for liquor in the past few years, this was something big and the start of a silly plan. I quite like to go against the grain and seeing everyone start their health kick made me want to rebel. Dry January, Dry Schmanuary. Wet January was declared!

I’m not a huge drinker – I usually never go over three proper drinks on a night out and have never, ever been the paralytic type of drunk, only tipsy or merry. Once I was very merry. But I was 33. Measures for  January were always small, no more than 50ml or so unless I was out or had a cocktail and usually neat, just because I prefer it that way! Always drink responsibly!!Here’s what I drank in January:

Day 1 – 56% vodka (for midnight toast) & amaretto prosecco.

Day 2 – Amaretto sour – homemade cocktail – recipe here.

Day 3 – Zubrowka vodka.

Day 4 – Silent pool gin – blogged here.

Day 5 – Belgian whisky Golden Carolus single malt

Day 6 – Jim Beam single barrel – I love a good bourbon!

Day 7 – dregs of Jack Daniels Fire

Day 8 – Dark and Stormy cocktail – ginger beer & rum. 

Day 9 – Amaretto Sour

Day 10 – Biniarbolla – a Camomile liqueur from Menorca. Best served very cold.   Day 11 – Jim Beam Single Barrel

Day 12 – Zubrowka vodka

Day 13 – Macieira brandy – a Portuguese classic. 

Day 14 – Red wine – Shiraz cabernet – forgot the bottle name!

Day 15 – Merrydown cider 

Day 16 – 56% vodka

Day 17 – Merrydown cider

Day 18 – Zubrowka vodka

Day 19 – Havana Club 7 year old rum

Day 20 – Dark and Stormy  Day 21 – Zubrowka vodka

Day 22 – Cognac VS Hennessy – as I was in Paris, a cognac seemed right!

Day 23 – Sweet Home Alabama cocktail – Southern Comfort, Amaretto, Solychinaya vodka. A very happy lunchtime at Cafe St Regis in Paris. 

Day 24 – 56% vodka

Day 25 – Havana 7 yr old rum

Day 26 – Blueberry Amaretto sour, red wine Macia Batle from Majorca – out for a meal with friends. 

Day 27 – Silent Pool gin

Day 28 – Dark and Stormy

Day 29 – 56% vodka 

Day 30 – Amaretto sour

Day 31 -Macieira brandy


Final drink of WetJanuary!


What, if anything, did I learn by doing this? Not a lot really! Apart from being really glad I don’t have to drink anything alcoholic for a long while; it became a chore and took the fun out of it. Plus I’m sure my skin will enjoy the break. If anything, I think it’s cemented in me that I am not a hard drinker and hopefully never will be!  

Stuck on repeat…October 2015

Apologies for the lack of posts this month – I have a million post ideas but have lacked the drive to make the words flow out from my brain. 

I’ve been working a little which has limited my music listening and so this months post is a little shorter. I’ve been walking through parks and spooky alleyways and so prefer to remain vigilant to sounds around me, plus I don’t want headphones falling out whilst I’m sprinting for trains and trams (which I do. A LOT.) Click on the titles for their Spotify links and follow my special Curiosity Killed Stuck on Repeat playlist here

Sorry – Justin Bieber

#sorrynotsorry Look, I never thought in a million, trillion years I would play one of his songs willingly, never mind play it over and over again, but his recent few releases have been catchy little buggers and I can’t stop myself. Of course, I still think he’s a bit of a twerp. 

Favourite lyric: I’ll take every single piece of the blame / If you want me to / But you know that there is no innocent one in this game for two

Hello – Adele

Where to start? The lyrics, the vocal, the flip phone… Just. Brilliant. And I can’t wait for more amazingness from the album.  

Favourite lyric: At least I can say that I’ve tried / To tell you I’m sorry for breaking your heart / But it don’t matter, it clearly doesn’t tear you apart anymore

Magnets – Disclosure ft. Lorde

This is such a sinister, creepy little song about being with someone you shouldn’t be with. No surprise that I love the darkness of it with Lorde’s vocals adding a deeper tone.  

Favourite lyric: Pretty girls don’t know the things that I know

Love for That – Mura Masa

First heard this on a long Sunday drive back from the coast and frankly I don’t think you can go wrong with cellos to start a track.

Favourite lyric: If I don’t think it’s right, you’ll think I’m wrong

Writing’s on the Wall – Sam Smith

Ok, so I know in my last post I sort of lambasted this theme tune for not being as strong as other Bond songs, but after having seen Spectre (and LOVING it) I take it all back! It is worked so beautifully into the title sequence and perfect for the film. 

Favourite lyric: How do I live? How do I breathe? / When you’re not here I’m suffocating / I want to feel love, run through my blood

Stuck on repeat…September 2015

A small selection of what I’m playing over and over and over and over right now. As always, there’s a real mix of old and new. Click on the title links for the YouTube vids!

Wildest Dreams – Taylor Swift

Miss Swift is becoming quite the superstar and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been playing her on an almost constant loop. I’ve loved the songs released from the album and this one is being overplayed to death on YouTube. This has nothing (LIES!!) to do with her gorgeous co-star in the video, Mr Scott Eastwood, nope. *drools*

Favourite lyric: He’s so tall and handsome as hell / He’s so bad but he does it so well

Blank Space – Ryan Adams

Following on from the above, Ryan Adams covered 1989 completely and if I’m not playing Swifty’s versions, I’m playing this version. The feel is generally darker (this pleases me greatly) but in this version there’s a melancholy too. Even Shake it Off sounds angsty and grown up. 

Favourite lyric: oh my god, who is she? / I get drunk on jealousy

Goldeneye – Tina Turner

I’m such a huge 007 fan and I’ve loved the Daniel Craig era of gritty violence and a darker, deeper James Bond so I’m seriously looking forward to the release of SPECTRE. However I’ve not completely fallen in love with Sam Smith’s offering of Writing’s on the Wall. It feels a little too soft to be a decent Bond theme (too much falsetto?) and so I found myself going back to a modern classic. One of the finest singers of our lifetime with legs still worth killing for.

Favourite lyric: You’ll never know how I watched you / From the shadows as a child / You’ll never know how it feels to get so close / And be denied

O Mio Babbino Caro – Puccini

This was my entrance music for my wedding and we’ve just celebrated 11 years so I’ve been listening to it a lot more. In fact it’s on a small video clip where I make my entrance and I cry every time I watch it, without fail!!

Favourite lyric: O mio babbino caro / mi piace, è bello bello / vo’andare in Porta Rossa / a comperar l’anello!

Apache (Jump On It) – Sugarhill Gang 

I’ve been hearing this e v e r y w h e r e! Car insurance adverts, during Fat Boy Slim’s set at SW4 – which caused some extreme excitement from me – and Dodgeball. Without fail, I end up doing the hip thrust thing and it’s embarrassing. But I totally don’t care!

Favourite lyric: A-hunga-hunga-hunga-hunga – Is that not just the silliest lyric ever?!?

I Can Change – Brandon Flowers

First heard this on The Graham Norton Show quite a while back and after hearing it on the Fashercise playlist, I remembered how much I loved it. Mostly because I remember hearing the Bronski Beat sample as a kid in the 80’s. 

Favourite lyric: I’ll be what you’re looking for / Even if it’s not who I am

Runnin’ (Lose It All) – Naughty Boy ft. Beyoncé

A contrast to the previous song! Heard it on the radio two weeks ago and immediately recognised Bey’s vocals, acknowledging it with a “Slay Queeeeeeeeeen!!” An uplifting ditty with a strong message to believe and not lose yourself.

Favourite lyric: If I lose myself, I lose it all

Enjoy! Catherine x

Stuck on repeat…August 2015

A small selection of what I’m playing over and over and over and over right now. There’s a real mish-mash of nostalgia and dance in this month’s offerings. My tastes are rather varied after all!

Anyone Who Had a Heart – Cilla Black
Cilla was a national icon and for me a lovely memory of family nights in front of the telly. I was so sad to hear of her passing. I’d heard the Dionne Warwick version many times before but this is what I’ve been playing non-stop.

Favourite lyric: Loving you the way I do, I’d take you back, without you I’d die, dear

Promise – Ben Howard

I have a special place in my heart for songs that start with the sounds of nature. This beautiful piece has the pitter-patter of raindrops on a tin roof. If I close my eyes I’m right there and can almost smell the petrichor.

Favourite lyric: Promise me this, you’ll wait for me only

Mistral – Taylor Salem

The French Cold EP has been on repeat in this household since launch, and as one of the preview tracks has been played nearly as much as July favourite Zero. Buy and listen to the track here.

Favourite lyric: Your sweetness is sickening

Conga – Miami Sound Machine

I was lying on the bed one evening and Hubby decided to play this in the kitchen whilst prepping dinner. When he walked back into the room he found me unable to stop myself from dancing. I mean, seriously, this song has such an amazing energy. You can’t help but shake and shimmy when you hear it! Plus – how has Gloria Estefan not aged one bit since the 80’s?!

Favourite lyric: Come on , shake your body baby, do the conga. I know you can’t control yourself any longer. Feel the rhythm of the music getting stronger. Don’t you fight it ’til you tried it, do that conga beat [I still can’t sing it without making a mistake!]

Can’t Help My Heart – Will Chase & Laura Benanti 

I’m hooked on the excellent TV show Nashville and I didn’t realise just how much of a country music fan I am. It’s such a powerful genre of music with millions of fans globally due to beautiful lyrics and melodies about love and loss; what’s not to love?

Favourite lyric: Standing in the driveway, trying to see it your way, knowing you’re gone

BBC Ibiza Prom – Pete Tong

I’ve been listening (and dancing!) to lots of different dance tracks all summer in preparation for SW4 festival, specifically seeing Faithless and Fatboy Slim. (I’m so chuffed to have ticked off a few things from my musical bucket list; dancing like a loon in the rain and seeing Faithless perform Insomnia live.) The Ibiza proms were an absolute wonder of two of my favourite things coming together in musical harmony and the opening track is SUBLIME. I’m going to make sure I get to any future Ibiza proms they do.

Five Stages of Unemployment

Denial – I haven’t heard from any recruiters for days and none of my applications have been successful, but it’s ok! It’s early days yet/they’re out of the office/they’ve fallen over at the amount of talent pouring from my CV/their phones have a problem/they can’t remember how to email.I have time to find something, I don’t want to run into the first place that shows any interest unless it’s totally right.  I’ve not been unemployed for this long just to rush into a job I’ll hate and want to leave after a month.

No, there’s plenty of time. It’s like when you lose your keys and you stop looking for them, then BAM! you find them. I’m sure it’s the same with jobs. I’ll stop looking for a little while. I’ll set myself a new goal. Like triathlon or watching all 11 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. Anger – When the recruitment agency fiiiinally bother to call or email: “it’s really close to you,” means just a tram, three trains, a sprint through the scary estate and a hike through the mountains to get to it.

Shockingly bad spelling and grammar in job postings. Does your boss know you can’t speak/write English properly?   Better yet when they call you the wrong name. Or say that your fluency in French would be perfect for something on their books (French? Mais Monsieur, je parle un petit peu Français seulement!) or suggest your experience would be great in selling industrial equipment, but won’t admit to being wrong. Just… Ugh.

Bargaining – Maybe I should go for that ridiculous sounding job? I need the money so badly! Maybe I won’t hate it. Maybe the two hours of commuting each way will be worth it. It won’t be too much of a step backwards, it won’t pigeonhole me into only doing that role forevermore.

Depression – Nobody wants me. I’m not a contributing member of society. I’m useless.  It’s so lonely. I never realised how lonely. Everyone you know has jobs and they all work during the week so they’re not able to do fun things with you at 11:30 on a Tuesday. And it’s not like you have a tonne of spare cash either (like, how expensive is one journey on the tube?!?) so you stay home and keep yourself sane by talking to the cat. Some days, until hubby comes home, that’s all the conversation you have. Slowly this becomes the norm and when an invitation does come along you don’t actually want to head out because then you have to face the world and everything is so bright and loud. 

Acceptance – it’s fine. The sofa has claimed me as one of its own and if you think about it, Rapunzel didn’t have it so bad up in her tower. No one will employ me. I’ll just live off air and water and wrap myself up in a blanket so I don’t need the heating. I’ll call it being ‘off the grid’ or Eco-habiting or some bollocks and it’ll be fine until the bailiffs start banging on the door for the repayment of the credit cards. 

Stuck on repeat…July 2015

A small selection of what I’m playing over and over and over and over right now. Click on the titles for YouTube/Spotify links.

Calvin Harris + Disciples – How Deep is Your Love

It’s summer and the club tunes are hitting the charts. I love the deep-house-esque-ness of this. Something sultry to throw a few shapes to. 

Favourite lyric: I want you to breathe me, Let me be your air…

Simon & Garfunkel – El Condor Pasa (If I Could)

I knew the intro. I just didn’t realise it was S&G (thanks DJ Shadow) and immediately Shazam-ed it when watching Wild.

Favourite lyric: I’d rather be a hammer than a nail…

Bahamas – Lost in the Light

Another Shazam find whilst watching Very Good Girls. This song is a heady, languorous summer in musical form. 

Favourite lyric: Before we were lovers, I swear we were friends…

Aminata – Love Injected

Yes, this was indeed the Latvian entry for Eurovision 2015. I was surprised to hear something so decent being performed and it’s been on the playlist ever since. If you like this, you might like the winning Swedish entry by Loreen called Euphoria

Favourite lyric: Your love revives my soul…

Major Lazer (feat. Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley) – Powerful 

I’ve had the album on shuffle for a while as I’m a little (a lot) addicted to Lean On but this is a gorgeous little tune. 

Favourite lyric: There’s an energy when you hold me, when you touch me, it’s so powerful…

Tay Salem – Zero

This is my favourite track from the forthcoming French Cold EP at the moment. Trust me, this talented bloke is going places.

Favourite lyric: Your demons, each evening, retreat…

Kings of Leon – Dancing on my Own

One of their Live Lounge covers. A beautiful, slightly dark version of the awesome track by Robyn.

Favourite lyric: I’m in the corner, watching you kiss her…

Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Were (Spotify Sessions)

I’m a huge Ben Howard fan and was lucky to have finally seen him live at Alexandra Palace earlier this year. This version of one of my favourites (from the album of the same name) never fails to lift me from a melancholy mood without being too overly happy-happy, joy-joy. Listen out for the “Wahey!” at the beginning, an instant smile inducer.

Favourite lyric: Only time is ours, the rest we’ll just wait and see…

What are your current earworms? Let me know! 

Catherine x

Things on TV that make me happy…

Pretty self-explanatory post! This is by no means a finished list, but certain things tickle me greatly so I thought I’d share. Do let me know if you think I’ve made any glaring omissions, I will update as time goes on.

Some clips are NSFW – you have been warned!

Graham Norton’s “oh oh oh!” – just after the show titles he jumps up onto the stage and exclaims “OH! OH! OH!” Happens every time and it’s just a lovely declaration to start the show.

Jimmy Carr’s laugh – like an asthmatic seal, it’s so terribly weird and wonderful!

Friends – it’s one of my favourite shows of all time. I can quote most scenes by heart and I watch it almost daily despite it having finished more than 10 years ago. It always cheers me up and I still laugh. That is the test for good comedy in my eyes.

I love, love, love seeing the cast corpse mid scene. Pay attention to Rachel in this brilliant example:

Monica’s bloodcurdlingly brilliant “NO!!!!” in these scenes:

Getting answers right on University Challenge – the moment is made even better when the team get it wrong. “You may have knowledge of biomechanical particle physics [is that even a possible thing?!] but you know nothing of life nor of movie scores, young grasshopper!” 

Seeing places you’ve visited – “I’ve been there!” and “I know exactly where that is!” are two exclamations I find myself saying, especially when living and exploring around in London. A recent trip to the Farmiloe Building near Farringdon had me squealing with delight that I had walked through the Gotham City Police HQ. Spotting my old work building in the background of a Jack Bauer car chase was a surprise. Plus I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried (properly sobbed) when seeing Monument Valley on the screen. One of the most amazing places in the world.

Animals in nature programmes – Four words: OTTERS AND FOX CUBS. I actually squeal in such a high pitch that the glass starts to vibrate. Cute Aggression Level – MAXED OUT.

What makes you happy on TV? Let me know!

Catherine x