April, May and June 2019 Favourites Part 1 plus Life Update

April started off in a tough way. In the first week of the month, I had stressful journeys to and from work on my first day back after feeling ill, someone did something for me without my prior knowledge (turns out they were only trying to surprise me) and I had a frustrating visit in a local shop. The week after, things gradually began to improve by being closer to my voluntary role becoming a paid role in June, having my mum stay overnight in my flat and seeing my maternal grandad and two of my uncles. For just under the following two weeks I stayed with my parents including over the Easter weekend. Despite having to leave a Maundy Thursday fish and chips supper at a different church from my mum’s early due to feeling anxious and worrying about a personal family matter that could happen in the not-too-distant future (although I received reassurance that it might never happen), I had an enjoyable rest of the break. I met my cousin’s fiancée and their new baby boy for the first time; my parents, brother and I went to Barry Island; I helped my mum with some baking and completing her jigsaw puzzle; I watched my dad do some fishing; I visited my paternal grandparents twice; and my mum and I saw Disney On Ice in Cardiff, which I will discuss more in this post later. My maternal grandad, one of my uncles and another one of my cousins, her partner and their children have also moved house.

In May I had a small filling done at the dentist. This month also saw my 32nd birthday and I stayed with my parents for a few days to celebrate it with them. In spite of feeling unsettled about my insecurities I had at that time, I received some great gifts and cards as well as some money; I had a lovely birthday tea with some relatives as well as an old-school friend and the partners of my dad’s godfather, another one of my cousins and another one of my uncles; I went shopping in Cwmbran and I watched the Eurovision Song Contest. I also visited my work coach at my local job centre for the first time in five months to ask him for advice on working for Exceptional Individuals on a paid basis.

At the beginning of June I started working for Exceptional Individuals on a part time paid basis. In the last full week of the month, my parents and I went on holiday in South Shields to mostly spend time with other relatives outside of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. I will discuss this holiday in more detail later on.

Here are the things I’ve been enjoying in the second quarter of 2019:

Music

The Connells – ‘74 – ‘75

This is the first of many old favourites that I will discuss in these favourites posts. When I visited my grandad and uncle’s old house for the last time, my mum reminded me of this song while we were helping them sort out their belongings. I could vaguely remember the song when my mum mentioned it, so I searched for it online to give it another listen. This is a gentle guitar-led song that was originally released in 1993. I have since added this song to my main Spotify playlist, downloaded it from iTunes for offline listening on my iPod and watched the music videos, both featuring alumni of Needham B. Broughton High School from the Class of 1975 as they appeared in 1975, 1993 (in both videos) and 2015 (in the updated remixed video).

I Monster – Daydream in Blue

Here is another song that my mum reminded me of when we were helping my grandad and uncle. This song is lovely for the most part, but I had no idea that it was sampled (the song sampled is Daydream by the Wallace Collection) and the parts with robotic vocals were hard to decipher at first; however when I looked up the lyrics  online they were more risqué than I originally thought. Nevertheless, the song is accompanied by a memorable video with a male string puppet and a female doll much like a Barbie doll or a Sindy doll in starring roles and some gorgeous floral backgrounds.

Alec Benjamin (also the version feat. Alessia Cara) – Let Me Down Slowly

 

I first heard the version with Alessia Cara on BBC Radio 2 and I thought it was a heartfelt song with unforgettable lyrics, particularly in the chorus. Benjamin’s version on his own is a decent version even though he has a slightly feminine sounding voice. The duet version has two music videos to go with it, although I decided to share the lyric video in this post in case certain people I will share this post with find the other video too cringeworthy, but the video for Benjamin’s solo version is intense in parts.

Taylor Swift feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – ME!

I have enjoyed listening to Taylor Swift’s music since she released Love Story back in the day and her duet with the Panic! at The Disco frontman is more than worthy. The line, “You can’t spell awesome without me,” is very clever. Despite the snake at the beginning of the video catching me off guard, the rest of the video is filled with both bright and pastel colours.

Kylie Minogue – New York City

Kylie Minogue is my favourite Australian solo female artist and Can’t Get You Out Of My Head is my all-time favourite song of hers. Upon hearing this song on BBC Radio 2, I didn’t like the beginning of the song to start with, but as it progressed, it became better, more upbeat and nearly as catchy as Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. This song is part of a new compilation album called Step Back In Time: The Definitive Collection, which includes Minogue’s songs from the 2000s to the present day on Disc One and her songs from the 1980s and 1990s on Disc Two in the CD format. The compilation is also available on digital download and online streaming.

Lauren Daigle – You Say

When I first heard this song, I thought it was Adele until I listened to the BBC Radio 2 DJ announce that the singer was actually Lauren Daigle. Despite her voice sounding similar to Adele’s, You Say is a beautiful song nonetheless. What is even more special about this song is that it is a modern Christian song, which I didn’t realise until my mum told me and I gave the lyrics another listen to understand the concept of the song more.

ABBA

ABBA were one of my favourite music groups from the 1970s and 1980s when I was growing up in the 1990s. I can especially remember listening to their Gold: Greatest Hits and Waterloo albums as a young child as well as their The Visitors album when I was a bit older. My favourite songs of theirs from childhood were Dancing Queen and Waterloo, but I liked many of their other songs whether they were in the charts or album tracks. Since this year is the 45th anniversary of them winning the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo, I decided to give their music another listen on Spotify to bring back memories from my childhood and youth. Not only did I listen to the same songs and albums from those times, but I heard Summer Night City for the first time ever (it is an underrated groovy and disco-inspired number) and So Long (similar in rhythm to Waterloo) for the first time in so long, no pun intended. I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the songs I listened to in the past as well as discovering some that I hadn’t heard before.

Events

Disney On Ice

My mum and I saw a matinée performance of Disney On Ice at the Motorpoint arena in Cardiff on Friday 26th April 2019 and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The show featured classic Disney characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy and segments based on Disney films such as The Lion King, Snow White and the Seven DwarfsTangled, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, the Toy Story franchise, Finding Dory and Frozen. While a lot of the songs were shortened so that as many could be fitted in the performance as possible, I loved the costumes, the puppetry on some characters and the set designs as well as the Tangled, The Little Mermaid and the Frozen segments. I was also a bit worried about the inclusion of the Finding Dory segment because my mum hadn’t seen the film and I was concerned about the segment spoiling things for her.

Family holiday to South Shields

My parents and I stayed in an apartment in South Shields in the last full week of June. While the train journeys there and back were busy and pretty stressful, the apartment was okay, I felt unwell on one of the days and I had a lot of things on my mind throughout the trip, there were some things that kept me occupied such as visiting relatives (including my other cousin’s little boy for the first time); shopping in South Shields and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne; seeing Toy Story 4 at the cinema (please read Part 2 to see what I think of it); participating in my uncle’s quiz and playing bingo. Although South Shields isn’t the most touristy place for a holiday, I still enjoyed the activities I took part in during the holiday.

Food

Love, Corn Smoked BBQ

I first tried this product when I received it in my April 2019 Degusta Box. The corn has a lovely crunch and distinctive smoky barbecue taste. I have repurchased it a few times since.

Links

Exceptional Individuals: https://exceptionalindividuals.com/

The Connells – ‘74 – ‘75

iTunes link: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/ring/1440934081

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/2MAVcVr2oylw2OZ3hojWYj?si=Gkzsdgn1QsSY-ZuE1u6LhQ

I Monster – Daydream in Blue

iTunes link:

https://music.apple.com/gb/album/neveroddoreven/42085885

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/118kolZnbJBQvbOl0D4C71?si=boC8WWYHSxOWCFBNLAH4NA

Let Me Down Slowly

Alec Benjamin’s solo version

iTunes link: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/let-me-down-slowly-single/1386999436

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/2qxmye6gAegTMjLKEBoR3d?si=50uGzWiIR0-lbqVOzVez9Q

Duet with Alessia Cara

iTunes link: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/let-me-down-slowly-feat-alessia-cara-single/1447328135

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/1roCmBlcpV7LzsmB7pmCyt?si=r8bjfLq8QrGFm1PyjQJPig

Taylor Swift feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco – Me!

iTunes link: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/lover/1468058165

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/4MsUsFfWseB9M2plGJyuIw?si=JkbXdeRCR5–tacSqWiPFg

Kylie Minogue – New York City

iTunes link: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/step-back-in-time-the-definitive-collection/1461904306

Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/track/130hhZowWzkA4bypB0dtgc?si=tE3gd94nTBCgicDTEa6rlA

Lauren Daigle – You Say

iTunes link: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/look-up-child/1447184494

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/track/6Up545NUflOiXo8cEraH49?si=yCwnHsyLQI-lrU7bGKPWwA

ABBA

Gold: Greatest Hits (40th Anniversary Edition – re-released to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their Eurovision win)

iTunes link: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/gold-greatest-hits-40th-anniversary-edition/1440816833

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/album/00GMnZ71KyvmEnZfqcsFP4?si=NwbDG1dDRK6NQNHKVeN0Mw

Waterloo (Deluxe Edition)

iTunes: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/waterloo-deluxe-edition/1440861218

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/album/4hHXvnHGn6pmHhdnnmNdmn?si=wTwJ5ftjQTW26eOheLpc_w

The Visitors (Deluxe Edition)

iTunes link: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/the-visitors-deluxe-edition/1440715246

Spotify link: https://open.spotify.com/album/5GByGaws7Cw0t28kjvAOzV?si=cJraI_XsS5y4cxvinK-1tQ

Disney On Ice: https://www.disneyonice.com/gb/en-gb/100-years-of-magic?g=1

Love, Corn: https://lovecorn.co.uk

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored blog post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s