Poem for 19th April – Poetry And The Creative Mind Day

On 19th April, it was Poetry And The Creative Mind Day (I know, I’m late!). I had all intentions of posting on the day, but I was ill and didn’t get the chance. A tiny poem came to me as I was thinking about putting together a post a couple of weeks ago, so here it is!

Time marches on.
You can march on alongside it or you can get left behind.
It won’t wait.
Stop or move, it’s down to you.

Now, I have no idea if it’s technically a poem, but I wanted to share it nonetheless!

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Harry Styles on Saturday Night Live

Now, there aren’t many people I would stay up for until 4:30am on a Saturday night, but that’s exactly what I did last Saturday night (15th April 2017). Why was this? It was because Harry Styles was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and because of the time difference (it started at 11:30pm in New York), it started at 4:30am in the UK.

We had heard rumours that Harry was going to appear in some skits with the host, Jimmy Fallon, and that as well as singing his first solo single, Sign Of The Times, that he would be singing a second song from him upcoming album Harry Styles. So, as you can imagine, we were all very excited!

Not only did Harry sing Sign Of The Times and Ever Since New York, he also took part in two sketches: one where he hilariously impersonated Mick Jagger in a time traveller’s edition of Family Feud (where Jimmy Fallon played both a 1977 and a 2017 version of John Travolta!), but he was also in a sketch set in the Civil War.

The feedback from non-One Direction fans has been simply amazing; so many people basically saying “I don’t like One Direction but that Harry guy can sing!” I’m so pleased for him that people are taking off their One Direction-tinted glasses and seeing what we’ve seen for the past seven years; that Harry is a talented guy with a lot more to show.

On Friday it will be three months until the release of Dunkirk, so hopefully people will go to watch it with a different idea of Harry than before. He shouldn’t be disregarded simply because he is “in a boyband”, he should be judged for the talented man he is. I know I go on about One Direction, but I feel like a proud mum a lot of the time and it’s always lovely to have positive things to say about them 🙂

I’ve included a video of Harry on Saturday Night Live below, he was simply amazing.

Do you like to discover new music?

One of my side projects is Merryn Music where I interview unsigned UK and Ireland music artists every Monday for a feature I creatively called “Independent Music Monday”.

One of the other parts to Merryn Music is the Spotify account. Since Merryn Magazine launched in April 2016, I have been collating ‘new music’ playlists on the Spotify account. These are updated each week and I also have a playlist where I compile the 20 best songs of the week. These playlists feature UK and Ireland artists only.

There are now 300 songs (18 hours 30 minutes of music) on the February playlist:

There are over 300 songs on the March playlist:

I have added a new batch of songs to the Top 20 playlist, so if you fancy a listen, here’s the playlist! 🙂

Whose blog is it anyway?

When I first starting blogging back in 2012, I never thought I’d get any followers. Who’d be interested in my ramblings? I now have followers, and I am so grateful for every one of you. To be honest though, for a long time, I found myself not being able to blog on here because I felt so guilty that I didn’t have the time to read the posts of everyone who follows me. So I figured, if I don’t blog, then I won’t have to upset the people who would have known I’d been online but hadn’t read their posts. It probably doesn’t make any sense, but I didn’t want to offend anyone.

Now that I run the Merryn family of websites (Books, Charity, Magazine and Music) as well as doing my day job, I have even less time than I did in 2012. I have sorted out my email account so that I can read the posts written by my friends, but I am honestly so sorry if I’ve posted recently and haven’t been over to read your blog. If I win the lottery and can leave my day job, I’ll have time to read everyone’s blog. Until then, I have to be selective with my time as trying to please everyone has been making me ill. I figured it was better to focus on my health, which means scaling back on how many people’s blog posts I can follow.

I just wanted to put this out there so people don’t think I am ignoring them by choice, I’m so sorry x

Manic Panic Hair Dye

I have dyed my hair a few times in the past with Manic Panic dye, I even filmed the last one and popped it on YouTube (video at the bottom).

I really really want to dye my hair again so I have been looking at the options on the Manic Panic website. I’m going on a special day out with Michelle in June so I’m going to dye my hair the weekend before.

Since I last checked out their website, they have added loads of new colours so I’m really stuck for choice. I have managed to narrow it down though 🙂

I think out of all of them, I’m most taken by Hot Hot Pink but Michelle prefers Purple Haze, but I guess all will be revealed in June! I’m so excited!

(if you click on the image, it will take you straight to the webpage for that colour if you wanted to find out more information)

Velvet Violet
Plum Passion
Deep Purple Dream
Purple Haze
Fuschia Shock
Vampire® Red
Infra™ Red
Cleo Rose™
Hot Hot™ Pink

Take That on Carpool Karaoke for Comic Relief

I didn’t get the chance to watch Comic Relief live last night, but I’ve just watched the video of Take That with James Corden for Carpool Karaoke.

I was 12 years old when Take That started and I was a fan since the start. I even got to be front row at one of their concerts when I was 15. I was devastated when they split up, but I was so pleased when they reformed and came back as a ‘man band’! They’re such talented singers and I’m so pleased they’re still performing.

Hearing them singing the older songs brought back happy memories of my teenage years. I’m so jealous of James and everyone who got to meet them in this video, it’s just brilliant!

The Dunkirk trailer is online!

dunkirk-poster

Now, you may or may not know that I am a massive One Direction fan, and I am about to fangirl all over this post… The trailer for Christopher Nolan’s new film, Dunkirk, was released at 3pm this afternoon. In case you hadn’t made the link: Harry Styles is in Dunkirk.

Even though the film isn’t due out until 21st July 2017 (a mere 31 weeks away – sigh), we are all very excited in the fandom, and oh so proud of Harry.

As well as Harry, the film also stars Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh,  Barry Keoghan, Tom Glynn-Carney, Aneurin Barnard, Jack Lowden and Fionn Whitehead.

I can’t wait to see it! Here’s the trailer:

My blog is 4 years old today!

4-year-anniversaryI just popped on to my blog to catch up on posts and found out from my notifications that my blog is 4 years old today! This was the very first blog I ever created, and back in 2012 I was reluctant to even start one as back then blogs were quite often seen as “Look at me! Look at me! Give me attention!” kind of things, and seen in a negative light. Happily, people love blogs now 🙂

I haven’t had the chance to blog on here as often as I would like, but this blog gives me the opportunity to chat about all kinds of stuff that I enjoy, like films, music and food, and I love having an outlet to just waffle in 🙂

I took a look at my stats over the last 4 years, and here’s what I have found:

I’ve had an amazing 7,866 views! That’s crazy! I never realised that I’d had over 3,000 visitors too. For such a small blog, that’s a fantastic number.

4-year-views

I was interested to see what my most popular posts had been over the years too:

In 2013 it was when I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, which I was very proud about 🙂

In 2014 it was a poster about a bike repair and recycle project in Frodsham, which is such a great idea.

In 2015 it was a post about desserts from my childhood, which was inspired by a post by Nostalgia Pie in a post about ‘Old-Skool Ice-Cream Flavours‘. It was a fun post to research and gave me such a trip down memory lane!

So far in 2016, the most popular post has been about The Voice’s battle round 1 on 27th February 2016. I love The Voice and I was sad to hear that it was leaving the BBC for ITV, but now that I’ve heard that Tom Jones is back on it, along with will.i.am, I can’t wait to watch the new series 🙂

I had a look at the search terms that brought people to my blog and to be honest, they were all fairly relevant to the posts people ended up looking at. I was expecting comedic ones, but they were all pretty sensible. The post that a lot of search terms brought people to my blog for was “My favourite Sia songs“. I love Sia, and the fact that I mentioned that I walked down the aisle at my wedding in 2010 to Sia’s song, Day Too Soon seems to have brought a lot of people to my blog.

I have to say that I have loved having this blog and I am excited to see what I get to post about in the next 4 years! 🙂

Wednesday wisdom: Aldous Huxley

aldous-huxley-ww1

So many times I have felt like a passenger in my own life. Like someone else was in charge of the driving, and I was a hapless victim, waiting to find out where we are going and feeling ambivalent about it all. I have started to realise recently that I may not be able to influence the big things in life like health issues, money issues, etc, but I actually do have some small amount of control in certain areas of my life, and it’s on those areas that I am now going to focus  🙂

Amy’s amazing health story

I was catching up with my YouTube subscriptions and I spotted a really helpful video that I thought I would share, in case anyone finds it interesting.

Amy was told when she was 16 that, due to osteoporosis, she would likely need a wheelchair full-time by the time she was 25. Last year, when she was 19, she decided to become vegan, and after only a few months, she was able to go back to work, where previously she had been off work sick. Also, when she saw doctors about 6 months ago, they said she wouldn’t need a wheelchair until she was at least 60.

I’m so pleased for her! Being told such devastating news at a young age must have been so hard, but it’s great that through changing her diet to vegan, she’s managed to improve her health and her life so much!

I’m not here to try and convert anyone, I just wanted to share in case this was useful, plus with all of the doom and gloom in the news, it’s nice to see a happy story  🙂