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My Yearly Review

By Friends & Family, Gigs & Shows, Happiness & Joy, Life, Thinking, TV, Online Streaming & FilmsNo Comments

Welcome to my yearly review. 2013 has been a great year; both for me and my creative writing. There’s so much to tell you about my writing that I’ve given My Awesome Year in Words it’s own post on my Writer Website. Here I shall focus on my personal life.

Alex Memorial 1 - Chinese Lanterns In January I did Something Uncomfortable, which was attending Alex’s Chinese lantern memorial. It was something I had always avoided, and became part of my New Experiences for 2013.

In February I went to a friend’s 50th birthday party and one of my nephew’s 18th birthday party. I undertook my February Photo Challenge.

free-speech-06.03.13-E March came along and I was on TV – Live To The Nation! Although an exciting, uncomfortable and anxiety ridden experience, it was also one of great learning. Educating me in the world of the media. And unbeknown to me at the time, it wasn’t going to be my last excursion into the media world this year. Oh and I got an iPhone 5.
My Birthday Presents - Happy Birthday Cake

My Birthday Presents – Happy Birthday Cake

I did so much in May. I had a great Bank Holiday Weekend. I celebrated my twenty seventh birthday by seeing friends and family; they got me some fab Birthday Presents. I got an extra special birthday present off the wonderful Writer Mel Bossa. I had a Cumbria Adventure. I enjoyed this Get Lucky Cover, as well as the original song by Daft Punk.
Rocky Horror Show 2013 In June, Steve came to live with me. We went watching The Rocky Horror Show. It’s a night out that I’ll remember for a very long time. I remembered Something I Forgot Along The Way.
Outside Rivington Castle - Covered In Greenery

Outside Rivington Castle – Covered In Greenery

July was filled with good times. I bought A Flashy New Car – Olly, The Citroen DS3. I attended Pagan Con for the first time and discovered Posh Coffee: The Flavour Collection from Douwe Egberts. I had some time off work and had an adventure in Rivington (see Rivington Adventure: Lever Castle and Rivington Adventure: Ruins & The Picni). I even witnessed A Sensational Sunset.
up4ameet3 In August my iMac Hard drive failed and I took it to the Apple Store for repair. Steve and I went watching Up4aMeet? – An Evening of Naked, Gay, Laugh-Out-Loud Comedy. I started reading the Gone Series.
More Minions!

More Minions!

In September I watched Despicable Me 2 and Percy Jackson – Sea of Monsters at the cinemas. I started Reading for Pleasure.
Me Wicked Outside Manchester In October Steve and I went watching Wicked at Manchester Palace Theatre. I had a bug, got offered a job which I initially accepted and then later declined. My contract at work got made permanent. I got interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live.

I started regular Reiki treatments at Halsa Healing. Jayne and I went to Castlerigg Stone Circle for Samhain.

Stephen Lynch LIVE My cousin and I saw Stephen Lynch in Manchester in November. I donated to two Homelessness charities.
My Christmas Presents

Presents People Bought Me

In December I bought an iPad, went to Manchester Christmas Market and spent Christmas with family and friends.

Blog soon,


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Me on TV – Live To The Nation!

By Education, Gigs & Shows, Life, PoliticalNo Comments

I got asked to be a Guest Speaker on the BBC Three’s Free Speech. Free Speech is formatted like Question Time; members of the audience ask questions to a panel of politicians or others involved in politics. Yesterday was the live broadcast to the Nation from Liverpool Hope University. I arrived a few hours before the broadcast with butterflies in my stomach and a buzz of excitement.


I realised once the broadcast had started I realised my vibrant purple shirt made me stand out, more than I had intended to do so. I listened to the questions asked, answers from the panel and opinions of the audience members. The debate lived up when we came to my topic: drugs and alcohol.


Rick Edwards (the Presenter) came to ask about my experience working in the field.


I had been expecting to be introduced differently and to get two minutes of air time. But because the debate had been lively, I knew I had to cut it down. So I said my piece.



This video clip is what I said:

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It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I learnt so much about the TV World. I think I looked good, sounded OK and did well considering it was my first time. If a simliar opportunity comes along in the future, at least I’d be less nervous as I now have some experience. I would like to thank everyone who encouraged me to do it as well as two special ladies for their expertise and advice (they know who they are!).

If you are a UK resident and want to watch the whole Episode you can for the next seven days on the BBC iplayer: Free Speech – Episode 11. You can also get involved with the debate on Facebook or Twitter.

Obligatory Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer or any other associated company/organisation.

Blog soon,


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A 20% CUT to the BBC

By Thinking, TV, Online Streaming & FilmsNo Comments

It’s been announced this week that the BBC are making a 20% cut to their budget after they were told that the TV Licence fee would remain frozen for the next few years. Unsurprisingly it was mostly reported on the BBC with the headlines being: 2,000 job losses, more repeats, less quality dramas and entertainment being created. More information about where the cuts in the organisation they will be made can be found here: BBC cuts at a glance.

As a TV Licence payer I am proud of what the BBC does. I enjoy the various radio stations, and am loving some of the original advert-free TV they produce. Curtsy of the BBC, recently I’ve been enjoying:

Spooks – Sadly entering it’s final series.
(Image Copyright The Telegraph, 2011.)

(Image Copyright Gari’s Blog, 2011.)

Dr. Who.
(Image Copyright Mail Online, 2011.)

Question Time.
(Image Copyright BBC, 2011.)

I love the BBC Iplayer for catching up on TV I’ve missed and the other online services are brilliant as well.

I don’t want to sound like the BBC and I are happily married. Of course I don’t enjoy watching/listening to everything the BBC produce and there are certainly things I don’t like. But overall I do think it’s good value for money for me as a TV Licence payer. I think that the BBC could also be cleverer about selling what it makes Internationally to make back some of the money that it’s being forced to cut.

So my message to the BBC: Keep making good quality programmes (both TV and Radio) and consider what you can flog to the International Market to ensure the quality doesn’t slip.

Blog soon,


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Last Night’s TV: Questiontime & Good News

By Reviews, TV, Online Streaming & FilmsNo Comments

Last night the BBC put on Question Time and Russell Howards Good News at the same time (why BBC?). I watched them both Question Time live and Good News on the BBC iplayer.

Question Time
I really enjoy the political debates on question time. This weeks edition was going to be particulary interesting as it had the leader of the BNP on (a racist and homophobic party). I initally loved how the other panel members stood up to him and challenged his views. They did this having undertaken a good level of research too.

I was hoping for expression of the BNP’s views on all topics but they seemed to focus on the key BNP policy, immigration. It seemed to total over half of the programme and I did get board of this discussion which seemed to go round in circles.

Finally the panal were asked about the death of Stephen Gately and the recent article in the press (see Jan Moir apologises to Stephen Gately’s parents but attacks ‘hysterical overreaction’ of critics @ Pink News). The BNP leader expressed clearly homophobic views expressing his discussed for homosexual relationships. He stated that the thought of two gay men kissing was “creepy”. I was glad he was challenged by a lesbian who was happy in her civil partnership with her stating “the feeling of repultion is mutal”.

Overall I think he should have been allowed to express his opinions for the sake of demcracy as the BNP do have elected members now. So the BBC were right to let him on the programme. However I was pleased that he was challenged on his values and opinions on all fronts: by panal members, audience members and even by the host David Dimbleby. This shows how much of a tolerant society we live in, and that homphobia is no longer acceptable in society. But it also shows that homophobia still exists in a minority.

If you missed this programme and would like to watch it on BBC iplayer you can do so at:

Good News
Good News is a new comedy show on BBC3 by Russell Howard. I have blogged about him many times and indeed even been to see him. On seeing the opening credits I immediately loved them and knew the show was going to be great, and it didn’t disapoint.

He appeared on stage with beautiful hair, attractive arms and overall looked very sexy. His show was set into short sections under the following headings:
You can’t be serious
Planet Terror
Reasons to be cheerful
Tatty Bojangles
Mystery Guest
World News
Arts and Culture
I did not know that
What were you thinking?

Russell is famous for being a jumpy, bouncy, energetic story teller. He seemed to have matured on the programme telling more short punch line jokes, staring in short sketches and involing the auidence. Of course that isn’t to say his jumpy, bouncy, engergetic story telling side wasn’t there, it was. Simply scaled down and tamed. And it certainly paid off!

There was even an Awe…. clip, which was little Russell Howard aged 8 singing, very Awe….he’s cute. Look:

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I would highly recommend you see the programme, it was brilliant!

If you missed this programme and would like to watch it on BBC iplayer you can do so at:

That’s my thoughts on last nights TV.


You can buy: Russell Howard – Live Collection (2 Live Performance DVD’s)

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