Amazing Guitar Skills – performing ‘Sing’

The song ‘Sing’ by Gary Barlow is an incredible one. It gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. The power of children and adults singing together from around the world. Amazing!

Here is the Gary Barlow video. If you have never seen it then sit back and enjoy.

I was on YouTube looking for an instrumental version of it and came across this video. One man in his house, performing over the backing track with his guitar.

What talent!!! It’s brilliant.

Here is the video.

Running through London

Firstly guys, I would like to say “Hello, I’m back”. I haven’t blogged for over a month. Work has been manic and so I haven’t had a moment to think.

At the end of September I flew over to London to take part in the first ever ‘Big Gay 10k’ run. I was very excited about doing the run. It was my first ever run. I was going to crawl and possibly die in a gutter do my best and try to get a good time.

For those who had read more on my Just Giving charity site would have known that I had been training to run since the beginning of July. Fun, fun, fun…

Well – 400 people took part in the 10km run in London. Some were runners, some were walkers and the rest were mincers!

The route was fantastic! Here are some photos from the fantastic day. (I’m in the blue vest, my fiancé is in bright yellow). Our super friends Sue and Caroline came to support us.

The fantastic route with London’s finest landmarks all the way around.

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The race was started by Cheryl Baker, in pink in the photos (from Bucks Fizz, the 1980s pop group who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981). I even met her and had a post-run-sweaty photo together. Once the race was started, Bas and I were off like a shot. My music was playing and I was high on adrenaline. I wanted to get a good time. So far my best time had been 10km in 52 minutes (I was averaging 55 mins).

We kept up with the front group and split from the main ‘pack’. The streets of London were packed. As we all reached the Embankment, where the London Eye stands we had to wriggle and jump in and out of the tourists. As it was the first Big Gay 10k in London the organisers had been unable to clear roads or pavements, meaning for us that we had to contend with human-obstacles. They must have wondered what was happening…

Halfway through the race I realised that I was well over my usual pace. I got ahead of Bas who probably got caught in the crowds. Bas caught up with me at about 7 or 8km into the run. That was when we came face-to-face with the photographers. (Time to look as though I was loving it…).

At 8km I hit the wall. Not literally – a wall of pain. I really didn’t know if my body would get to the 10km finish line. Bas was brilliant and ran along side me the rest of the way. The last bridge was the last hurdle. I said to Bas “I don’t want to go uphill anymore”. He replied that we were there.

We had made it.

We came 28th and 29th (seconds divided us). 29th!!!! From 400!!!!!

Stunned. You can see my time below. Just under 51 minutes. It probably took me those 41 seconds to stop my timer.

You can see how much money I was lucky enough to raise for a great charity in London! Brilliant supporters – thank you!

Proof on my time! I am still in shock that I managed it.

The breakdown of the route.

The amount I raised for ‘London Friend’.

Preparing for my BIG GAY 10K

I used to hate long distance running. I would watch runners go past and envy the fact that they could do it – and wondered why they liked it.

Strangely enough that all changed earlier this year. I had heard about an App for my phone which could help you get from ‘couch potato’ to a runner (possibly good enough for the Olympics… okay, I can dream).

I have stuck to the challenges and kept running a few times a week (once every two days when I’m being really good).

A friend of mine in London posted information about the first Big Gay 10K in London on Facebook and I was hooked…

A real challenge for me. Will you support me? Here’s my page.

What have I got myself into? The next thing I knew I was signing up for my very first ‘proper’ run. I am currently running distances of 3-4K. The 10K might just finish me off…

Here I am – Looking my most sporty….

I have set up a Just Giving page so that you can track my progress and see if I am still alive. Of course, I’ll be blogging more about it here too.

In short – this is what it’s all about.

  • It’s the FIRST ever Big Gay 10k run in London.
  • The run takes place on 30th September 2012.
  • The 10k has been put together to raise money for some of the UK’s leading Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender health and well-being charities.
  • The charities organising the event are London Friend and PACE.
  • The route will go along the River Thames – It means I get to run past icons like the London Eye, Tate Modern, Big Ben and Westminster! Fab!
  • You’re allowed to RUN it, WALK it, MINCE it…
  • It’s a great excuse to get my legs out.
  • I may not make it to October…

I would love it if you took the time to check out my Just Giving page – You may even like to make a small donation for the wonderful charity. (That’s the easy bit – I’ll be the one running around London in September).

Defriended

Not much to say really on the topic… Except this:

1. defriend  
 
1. To remove someone from your Livejournal, MySpace, Facebook, or other social networking site. Doing this is often seen as a passive-aggressive move, telling the person without telling them that you no longer want to be friends. It’s also commonly a response to drama. Defriending someone often causes more drama. There are sometimes valid reasons for doing this.

That’s the definition of ‘defriending’ from Urban Dictionary. I think it quite hits the nail on the head.

We didn’t have these issues before Facebook. But, finding out someone’s not interested in being friends because they’ve removed themselves on FB is always gonna be a shocker.

January: Drama. Blues. Booze.

I thought it would be a good idea to summarise my months throughout 2012. It is set to be a cracker of a year (a great year, to all my non-English readers, or should I say readers from outside of northern England).

January started most dramatically. Bas, my husband-to-be (I love saying that), and I travelled back to The Netherlands after enjoying Christmas in the UK. The drive from England to the Channel Tunnel was horrendous. When I say horrendous I mean utterly vile. Scary. At-my-wits-end-scary. I thought my life would end at some point on that journey. The rain was torrential and never-ending. Once through the Channel Tunnel (and after a welcome 30-minute break on the train), we continued our hell-raising journey into France where the bloody rain continued. How could so much water fall from the sky? Belgium proved to be no better – The rain poured from the sky and our car barely managed to stay on the road. Driving through a swimming pool is never recommended and as the car shook, swerved and vibrated its way along, the thought went through my head on more than one occasion that skis may have been a better option than wheels. I lived to tell the tale though, so all’s well that ends well.

It was so much worse than this...

January also brings with it the worst time of year, the post-Christmas-blues. Apartments and houses look so bland and bare without the joyful Christmas decorations. Is it just me, or am I the only one who never ceases to be shocked at how bare a home can look without the decorations hanging? It never seems that bare in November…

I was back at work, greeted by a class full of happy little three-year olds all eager to see their friends again – and their teacher, of course. One little boy saw me on the first morning back and said my name with such enthusiasm. It was as though he’d not seen me for months, years – or as though he thought he may never have seen me again…. Bless.

In order to brighten the mood, we had friends over for a games evening. I love games. Bas does not. Therefore, we played games. And Bas loved them. I won’t hear a word against them. That is the basis of our relationship. I am right. 🙂 We played some great games – word games where one team had to name 10 things related to a category. The highlight of the night being when my team was asked to name 10 deserts… We looked puzzled and skipped the category. I don’t know deserts other than Gobi, Sahara… I’m struggling. We asked to hear the answers – clearly out of interest. Answer #1: Pavlova. I have to hold my hand up and admit that after a few glasses of wine I sat and pondered where this Pavlova desert may be. Possible Eastern Europe…? The penny did not take long to drop. DESSERTS! My wonderful other-half avoided reading the next answer – trifle. We would have been laughing into the early hours. I love games.

A fab game. You must play it.

Throughout the rest of January, we visited family in The Netherlands, caught up with friends, helped our wonderful friend-and-bride-to-be choose her wedding dress. Yay! We had a decorator in to plaster the kitchen (our kitchen shall be finished this year – finally); we watched Carnage and The Iron Lady (Streep must win Best Actress at the Oscars) at the cinema; and we had meals out. Good fun all round.

Oh, but then there was the party Sunday. The Sunday we shall not forget. It started with a neighbourhood borrel (drinks and nibbles) at the pub along the street from our apartment. All our Dutch neighbours were there – although we didn’t recognise a soul. Normally I know one or two – but the absence of everyone from our actual street made the stress-levels rise. I was using all my Dutch skills. Speak Dutch and survive. I survived – almost. We were labelled on entry with a post-it note from the very official looking ‘organiser’, power-dressed in red. After spelling my name repeatedly (in Dutch), I changed from Jamey to Jami to Jame where I finally gave in. I’d be Jame for the evening – for the quiet life. Jamie isn’t difficult to spell. What panicked me next was seeing the organisers hand out coloured flower stickers. There was a game to be played. Panic stations. I know, I know – I like games. But not in Dutch and not when I know that my Dutch partner is clearly not going to be in my team. We ended up separated. I must not panic. I must keep calm. Drink. Hours later, and after meeting some lovely neighbours we made our way, on bikes, to another party. You can see where this is going. We drank. We chatted. We drank and had a fantastic evening – until home time. That was when the wall of reality hit. Cycling home was an experience. 🙂

Oh – and January officially became my busiest month for hits on WordPress. Thanks guys!

What a month. January – you have been memorable.

Bring it on February!

Another scary photo

It’s only a couple of days since I posted a scary picture. Here’s another chiller. If you haven’t seen the last then this is worse, so much worse. You’ll never visit Grandma’s house again.

You’ve been warned.

Look at the picture. Just keep looking closely and then you’ll see something you weren’t counting on.

Not one for the kids. That’s unless you never want them to sleep again.

Did you just look over your shoulder?

Here’s the other one – just in case you’re hardcore and love being scared.

Courtroom Blunders

These are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.
 
I find it really hard to believe that some of these comments actually came out of people’s mouthes. Crazy! I wish I’d been there to hear them.
 
 ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!
____________________________________________ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.
____________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
WITNESS: We both do.
ATTORNEY: Voodoo?
WITNESS: We do.
ATTORNEY: You do?
WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.
____________________________________________ 

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s twenty, much like your IQ.
____________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
_________________________________________

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
____________________________________________

ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
WITNESS: Yes.
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
WITNESS: None.
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
____________________________________________

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
__________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.
______________________________________

ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.
_________________________________________

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
WITNESS: Oral.
_________________________________________

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The auto psy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.
____________________________________________

And the best for last:

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
WITNESS: No.
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practising law.