2013 chocolate festivals

I found out earlier today via an old clip of The Big Breakfast that there are annual chocolate festivals. Imagine that! A whole festival to celebrate all that is chocolatey, and who wouldn’t? After a Google search, I have found out about upcoming chocolate festivals in the UK, as I would hate for anyone to miss out on anything so fabulous!!

To be confirmed – Bristol

Saturday 9th – Sunday 10th March – Brighton
New Road, Opposite Royal Pavilion, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1

Saturday 16th March – Sunday 17th March – Oxford
Broad Street, Oxford, OX1 3AS

Friday 22nd – Sunday 24th March – London
Southbank Centre Square, (Behind Royal Festival Hall), Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Saturday 23rd – Sunday 24th March – Ramsbottom
Ramsbottom Town Centre & Civic Hall, Ramsbottom, BL0 9AJ

Friday 29th March – Monday 1st April – York

These are all I have found so far but I know that there will  be more details released later in the year. Enjoy, if you get the chance to go! 😀


The genius that was The Big Breakfast (1992 – 2002)

Back in the 90s, the best way to start a week day was by switching on The Big Breakfast on Channel 4 and watching from 07:00 until 09:00 (if you were lucky enough to be off school/work). It was crazy, it was loud, but you felt like you were surrounded by your mates, and so you’d really start the day with a smile.

Below are some of my favourite TBB moments, because I know that there are people out there who haven’t heard of The Big Breakfast, mainly because I worked with one (who made me feel very old at that admission!).

Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams co-host with Gaby Roslin
I remember being VERY excited in February 1993 when a very young Gary (just 22) and Robbie (19, bless), along with the rest of Take That, co-hosted TBB. I used to VHS record every appearance of Take That that I could, so my collection was huge in the end. Enjoy if you’ve never seen them looking so cute!


More Tea Vicar?
Viewers were invited to call in and guess how many cups had been featured in a short clip. Whoever guessed the correct amount won a prize, a skiing holiday to Colorado no less in the clip below. Johnny would be dressed as a vicar, and Denise would be a put upon nun, who Johnny would regularly abuse.


The Friday Song
The Friday Song was at 8:55am each Friday, that most of us missed as we had gone to school or work, so you’d set the video recorder (remember them?) before you left the house. The verses would be topical and the chorus would be a rousing sing-a-long. In the clip below, you also get to see the legend that is Phil Gayle who was the newsreader on TBB from 1996 to 2000, including a news item that “The International Festival of Chocolate kicks off later…” What? Is it still going? *heads to Google* Yes, there is one this year, good to know… (see my new upcoming post, “The Chocolate Festival” lol).


The last ever Friday Song with Johnny and Denise
The saddest day for Johnny/Denise fans, the end of their presenting TBB and the last ever Friday Song on 12th January 2001 😦

1994 baby!

While I’ve been online, feeling sorry for myself with this stupid poorliness, I have been having a retro flashback on YouTube, so here are my favourites that made the Top 10 in 1994: a year when I turned 16, the possibilities seemed endless and the summer was actually hot 😀

D:Ream – Things Can Only Get Better
I was lucky enough to see D:Ream live in Leeds back in the day and it was an amazing gig. Peter Cunnah was totally gorgeous and on my top 10 list of famous men I fancied 😀


Take That – Everything Changes
I have been a massive fan of Take That since I was 12 in 1991 and my local radio station, Radio Aire, ran a competition to win a signed 7″ vinyl single of “Do What U Like” and I won. One of my biggest regrets is that I have no idea where the signed single is now. Kids – take care of your stuff! Robbie was always my favourite, with his cheeky chappy ways, so this is one of my favourite Take That videos as Robbie is in ramped up sexy mode, hubba!


Bad Boys Inc – More To This World
Bad Boys Inc were another cute boy band around in the mid-90s, giving us girls even more eye candy on the front covers of Smash Hits, Big, Just Seventeen, Mizz or More! magazines.


Let Loose – Crazy For You
I remember seeing Let Loose live at Party In The Park in Leeds in 1994 and the crowd went mad for them. As we were leaving the venue, they drove past us on the road and waved to us from the back of their van. I have been telling anyone that story as soon as Let Loose is mentioned for years as it was one of the biggest moments of my teens! The song hasn’t aged a day and it’ll always be a classic for many people of my generation 😀


PJ & Duncan AKA – Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble
No cheesy 1994 list would be complete without a bit of PJ & Duncan from back in the day. I loved Byker Grove and felt genuinely sad when PJ was blinded in that infamous paintballing incident. This is a classic video, but nowhere as cheesy as “Eternal Love”…


Zig & Zag – Them Girls
I’ve worked with someone who genuinely had no clue as to who Zig & Zag are. They also didn’t know who Robson & Jerome are or what The Big Breakfast was so that was a fun conversation which made me feel like I was about 100! The Big Breakfast was a lovely way to wake up on a morning, as when you switched your TV on, you felt like you were being entertained by your mates as Johnny Vaughan and Denise Van Outen (my preferred pairing) were really inclusive to you as a viewer whereas some (shall remain nameless) shows make you feel like they’re having a secret laugh behind your back, but through the camera lens, AND getting paid for it! Zig & Zag were excellent interviewers, asking such in-depth questions as “who was the first boy you ever kissed?” (to Pamela Anderson), and commenting to Michael Parkinson, “You’ve got hairs in your ears, Mr. Parkinson” (Zig). I may actually go and do a The Big Breakfast post now, as it rocked!

Poorly, poorly, poorly…. :(

I guess I just wanted to someone to whinge at. Someone who isn’t my poor put-upon husband Michael. I’m poorly! I know other people have it hard and I just have fever, chills, dizziness, sickness/nausea, malaise and THE most annoying cough going but I rarely get sick. I suppose with dealing with the daily issues Michael’s brain injury cause, I keep going, like a machine. I guess I just pushed it too hard and the wheels fell off my wagon, and now I am sick. Being temporarily sick really hits home just how lucky I am the 99.9% of time I’m not sick. I’m sending my “get well soon” vibes out to all of you who are sick, I hope you feel better soon xxx

My favourite uplifting and empowering songs

There are times when not even chocolate can cheer you up and get you out of the grump that you find yourself in. It is at times like that that I like to turn to that old faithful, music, to put a smile back on my face. These are my favourite go-to’s for when the going has gotten tough…

The Lighthouse Family – Goodbye Heartbreak
I think one of things I love about this song are the lyrics,
You remember as a girl,
You had a picture of the world,
And you’d think about the great things you would find.
The thing is nine to five,
And a struggle to survive,
Ain’t exactly what you had in mind.
But that’s the beauty of life,
Takes a while to find,
You can’t have things your own way all the time.”

When I was about 11, I used to buy Smash Hits magazine all the time. One issue they printed a map of the world showing where all of the music styles were most popular like grunge, hardcore, grime, etc and I was captivated by the map. It made me realise that there was more to life than living in Leeds, which is all I’d done for the 11 years I’d been alive so far. It really wakened in me an urge to travel and see the world, but here I am at 34, in a 9-5 job, having never really seen the world. So every time I hear those lines, it really re-awakens that urge in me to travel and see more than my own backyard and transports me back to that time when it seemed that I had my whole life ahead of me, and that anything was possible.


Kelly Clarkson – Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
I’ve been a big fan of Kelly’s since she won American Idol back in 2002. This is one of those songs that really works best in an empty house (unless you love an audience!) and on full volume so you can really belt it out!


Carrie Underwood – Before He Cheats
Carrie is another singer I’ve loved since she won American Idol in 2005. This is one of my Carrie faves and I would love to sing it at karaoke someday!


Dolly Parton – Nine To Five
This is a song I love to sing at karaoke as it always seems to make people smile (the song, not necessarily my singing!). I love the film it’s taken from and it’s a great song to be singing to yourself if you hate your job!


Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin – Don’t You Worry Child (live)
I’ve always been into dance music since I was small and got my first “Now” music cassettes. This is a song that is both uplifting and dance-inducing, it’s hard to sit still when the beat kicks in. I love the uplifting lyrics too 🙂

Film Review Friday: Valentine’s Day (2010)

I’d wanted to watch Valentine’s Day when it came out at the cinema so I was excited to see it available to watch on LoveFilm instant. There are a lot of famous people in it! I rated it as a 5 out of 5 as it really made me smile a lot. It reminded me of Love Actually as there were quite a few different story-lines going on, some obviously linked, some not so obviously linked, and had a great ending. Queen Latifah and Anne Hathaway were both hilariously funny. I’d definitely watch it again, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes love films. Aw.

#ThinThursday – 7th February 2013

Well, it’s that time of the week again… I got weighed this morning and I have maintained but still a 7lbs loss in 3 weeks, instead of 2 weeks, which people seem to be happier with, “the slower you lose it, the more likely it is to stay off” they tell me. Hopefully!

No big changes this week, though I did comfort buy and eat some (hmm, like 12) chocolate biscuits on Monday, but that’s the first fall off the chocolate wagon in 3 weeks so I’m not going to cry about it!

Work’s still super busy at the moment so still no exercise opportunity, but I promise, it IS on my to do list!

Here’s to another weight loss week, hopefully it’ll be better news next week! 🙂