Dear Maria, Count Me In

Just under two weeks ago my favourite band, All Time Low played Wembley arena and I have never been so proud. After twelve long years from playing in a basement, to dingy clubs, to theatre venues the boys from Baltimore, Maryland finally played Wembley.

ATL

This blog post is going to be a hard one to write because trying to explain in a somewhat elegant fashion what this band means to me will be difficult. I became a fan of All Time Low back on 2009, I was fifteen and I knew of the band but I did not consider myself a fan until I saw them live in concert. It was that that sealed the deal with me for this band. By 2010, I found myself signed up to All Time Low’s fan club The Hustlers (at the time it was The Hustler Club). Through the fan club I made some great friends and have managed to meet the band twice, my most recent meet and greet was in 2012.

Jack and meJack and me.

It is hard for me to explain how All Time Low music has helped me through the years, I feel that their music has helped me at different stages of my life and it has been the thing I needed most at certain points. The band themselves have also helped, beyond the dick jokes on stage they care a hell of a lot for their fans and that was evident at the Wembley show. Sometimes the guys tweet little things such as they love us or a funny anecdote can really brighten my day as silly as that may sound.

030

I have to talk about All Time Low live because those are the moments were I love the band the most. The band always put on an amazing performance but hearing the songs that I love live just sparks something deep down inside of me. One of my favourite songs by the band is Guts, the lyrics are simple but the song tells me to brave and to be strong because I’ve got the guts to say anything and when I hear it live all my worries wash away. I have seen All Time Low eleven times and I could not not pick a favourite concert because every gig has so many memories attached to it.

1153
Wembley for me showed that All Time Low’s hard work is paying off. The boys tour nearly 300 days out of the year (well it feels like it to be honest). Wembley was a way of showing that all those days touring, building their fans base, visiting every place possible was all worth it because you sold out Wembley. 12000 people where there to see All Time Low. The show itself was amazing, it was one of those you had to be there gigs! It was also filmed so I will be watching that on repeat for sure.

1334
With album number six on the cusp and from what we have heard from the songs it looks like All Time Low is still on top form. Have they reached their peak? To some maybe, but I am happy to watch these four boys for Baltimore grow and see the success they deserve.

Thank You The Blackout!

This week in United Kingdom, a band from Merthyr Tydfil, Wales will be doing their farewell tour. After thirteen years, The Blackout are bringing the band to a close.

TheBlackout02PR110411

I have been a fan of The Blackout since 2008 but over the last few years, I became more interested in other bands but I knew that that band were still going. It was a surprise when The Blackout announced they were calling it a day and my friend suggested that we got tickets for the final farewell tour, which I went to this week. Fifteen year old me was a little upset to say the least.
But I can understand why The Blackout are calling it a day, the music business is hard and despite relentless touring and crowdfunding a band cannot live off it. Unfortunately, for The Blackout, they never broke through the glass ceiling that bands find themselves hitting, Kids in Glass Houses had to call it a day last year as well. But kudos to The Blackout for going for thirteen years, a small band for Merthyr Tydfil did well.

1337

I first saw The Blackout in the Cockpit in Leeds, (I made a post about the venue closing a few weeks back) and it was my first ‘proper’ standing gig and I loved every minute of it. Since that day I have seen The Blackout live seven times and I was never disappointed. I have also met the whole band twice and Sean Smith and Gavin Butler (The band’s lead singers) on several occasions. As far as I can remember every time I have met the band they have been nothing but polite, Sean was always willing to take photos and one of my favourite photos ever is with him.

sean smith blurred

I am going to miss The Blackout and at their farewell gig this week, I realised why I enjoyed going to their shows so much. The Blackout were so grateful that we had turned up and then proceeded to slag us off which made me laugh because that is the type of band they were. Their music did play a large part in my teenage years and I will always remember them fondly.

Thank you TBO. It’s been a long thirteen years. We are the dynamite!

1278

Under Pressure

You would think that with a final draft of my dissertation and a law essay due in (before the end of March), I would be cramming my every spare minute with completing said work.  This is not the case for a serial procrastinator like myself.

My procrastination is so bad that it has become a household joke in my flat that I will say “I will do it tomorrow.” And yes, it is funny but at times like this when deadlines are closing in I should be doing something. But no, not me.

If you need someone to avoid doing task or just waste hours of the day away, I am your girl! Recently I spent at least two hours on some gaming website ignoring the small fact that I needed to get a shower. Ridiculous? I know.
All this procrastination is putting pressure on myself when I could have all this work done and then waste time after. But oh no, I don’t think like that. I am not even worried (yet) about the looming deadlines. I need to change…somewhat.

Until my dissertation is in, only at night after dinner/tea (or whatever you call it) I shall waste hours watching YouTube videos or surfing the web. I need to be a today girl, not a tomorrow one. Maybe writing all this down will kick my ass into gear.
Does anyone else have the same problem as me? I promise I will reply at night and not when I am supposed to be doing work!

Mother Knows Best!

In the UK, Mother’s Day is a stone’s throw away and inspired by this day this post will be looking at mother figures real life and in fiction.

My Mum
My mum’s star sign was a Leo and I feel that she epitomized being a Leo throughout her life. My mum was loyal, fierce and despite what may have seem as harsh attitude she was very caring. I see my mum as strong woman who went through so much but never gave up. As a mum, she was protective of me and my brother and she always did her best for us. She would often let us know some home truths no matter how much it hurt. One thing that my mum always made a point of was making sure I stood on my own two feet. A great example of this would be after a night out and one too many drinks later, my mum would inform me that I have to deal with the hangover myself. She wasn’t going to run around after me nursing my self-afflicted pain as she liked to put it.

My younger self and my mum with our German Shepherd, Oz.

My mum and myself with (our then puppy) German Shepherd, Oz.

My Nanna
My nanna was in her late teens when she lost her left leg in a crash with a lorry. But that never stopped her from having a great life, which to this day she still enjoys. My nanna raised two children and had a career as well as being quite the jetsetter. Austria, Spain, Germany and Hong Kong are all places my nanna has visited back in the day, I am somewhat envious of my nanna’s lust for travel. My nanna is a great family woman, my childhood was often filled with visiting her house and baking with her when my granddad and brother went to work.

My nanna and myself on my 18th birthday.

My nanna and myself on my 18th birthday.

Queen Elinor (Brave)
It was only a month or so ago that I finally got around to watching the film Brave. I loved the characters but I also loved Merdia’s relationship with her mother Elinor. Yes, Elinor was somewhat pushy on the whole marriage side and she is often seemed to play the ‘bad cop’ card a lot but it was evidently out of love. The film explores the relationship between Merdia and Elinor and it is great to see mother and daughter sort out their differences.

Elinor-queen-elinor-33996219-500-210
Molly Weasley (Harry Potter)
Molly freaking Weasley! The closest thing Harry has to a mother figure throughout the books, she basically has Harry become part of the family without battering an eyelid. The woman knits Harry a jumper for his first Christmas at Hogwarts!  What Ron and Harry have only been friends for four months, if that! Let’s face Molly is the leader of the Weasley family, she is a true mother hen. I bet when all the Weasley children have finally gone to school or are no longer at home, Molly finds herself at unrest at what to do. I also bet when her children start having grandchildren of their own she would spoil them rotten.

Weasleys
Snow White (Once Upon A Time)
My heart bleeds for Snow White and her relationship with Emma. It is obvious that Snow loves Emma and telling Charming to put her in that wardrobe was the hardest thing for her to do and she is constantly trying to make up for it. At times, Snow can seem a bit too much to Emma but as viewers we need to remember that Snow was not there to see Emma growing so all the fretting and worrying is what should would have been doing many years ago. I think Snow will always feel somewhat guilty for sending Emma away but I don’t think she will ever stop trying to make it up to Emma. Another point to Once Upon A Time for writing some amazing woman characters, one of the best shows that have some great female leads.

tumblr_mofv7yXlmU1ro77gpo1_500

I hope you have a lovely Mother’s Day wherever you are. Mum’s are great!

Dealing With Grief

At the time of this blog entry being posted it will be nearly four months since my mum passed away from cancer. That was the reason for my absence from this blog late last year, but this post will not be focused on the loss of my mum more so the aftermath. During these four months, I have had interesting thoughts about grief; some of them are misconceptions where others are what people assume happen when dealing with grief, some are things I did not expect to happen. Therefore, it is about time I address these grievances.

Five stages of grief
I personally do not believe in the five stages of grief, I think when we are face with a loss we deal with the five stages in a completely different way.  One thing I did not expect was that some days I would be angry. I would be angry at things that I had no control over. I get annoyed and upset that some people who have done such awful things are still walking this earth untouched by such an terrible thing as cancer. That is a somewhat harsh judgment but that is how I feel when I am angry.  In all honesty, I think I have been more angry than upset but I suppose that is just how I deal with my emotions.

You will feel sad for a long time
Some weeks back I came off as incredibly snappy and harsh to my friends, I quickly realised that the reason was because I missed my mum that day. After explaining to my friends the situation, they said they understood and told me it was okay. My emotional state for the past few months has been okay so I never expected to have an ‘off day’ in regards to the whole grief thing, but you can. Either way when you experience an ‘off day’ just let it happen because when you wake up the next morning you will feel better.

Saying I am okay, does not mean I am okay
Sadly, I have told many people that I have been okay during this time in my life and in most of the cases I have been okay. However, in the odd case, I have not been my best self and I said what I said as a way to make life easier for someone else. In all honesty, I should not have said that but I think part of me at the time was hoping the person would realise. They didn’t. I want to make it clear I don’t want to be pestered and badger will calls asking me if I am okay, I just want to someone to double check that I am okay because maybe then I might be able to admit at that time I am not okay.

I miss phone calls with my mum
If there was one thing I underestimated it would be that I miss the phone calls I used to have with my mum. Before, I sometimes got bored when my mum would go on and on about her work but now I cannot have that time with her. I miss calling her and updating her about my progress with university and life in general as we used to talk on the phone a lot. I do not regret the missed phone calls or the times we should have talked this maybe because her death was very sudden and it does not do well to dwell on things. I enjoy phone calls with my family now, it is nice to take time out of your day to talk to someone who is far away or even close by. However, I wouldn’t mind having one last phone call with my mum if that was ever possible.

A sad and personal blog post today but it was something that I felt that I needed to personally address. It would be interesting to hear what other people’s opinions are on grief. As I do feel it is important to talk. Feel free to drop a comment and we can maybe try get a discussion going.