My comeback

So a lot has happened over the last twelve months….

  • I moved into a flat in central London with people I’d never met before;
  • I left National Geographic Kids after being headhunted to work on a new children’s magazine;
  • I began exploring life and all that it has to offer…

Moving anywhere can be stressful – but trying to find a place in London that isn’t going to leave you penniless is a different kettle of fish entirely. That said, even though it may have taken me a while, I finally found a three bed flat in the heart of London, near Angel, that I have fallen in love with. I feel like I’ve found friends for life with my flatmates, which is so lucky, as moving in with people I hadn’t known before could have turned out very differently.

Not long after moving in, I was headhunted for a new children’s magazine that had not even published it’s first issue. Yet again I was faced with another risky decision. Did I stay in a job that I could do with my hands tied behind my back or did I take a leap of faith and jump straight into an unknown magazine in the hope that it would be a success (and that becoming an official Staff Writer was something I could succeed in too)? I took the latter option and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The Week Junior launched in November and has been going from strength to strength ever since, becoming Britain’s fastest growing children’s magazine. I’m so proud to be part of such an amazing team at Dennis Publications and couldn’t imagine myself working anywhere else.

I’ve also come to realise over the past year that you don’t have to live your life in a box… or worry about ticking anyone else’s boxes for that matter. People are entitled to be who ever they want to be and shouldn’t have to answer to anyone for it. Unfortunately, there will still be times where someone doesn’t agree, or doesn’t think that your decision is a wise one… but you know what, it’s my decision to make and if it doesn’t turn out well, then that’s my mistake and is something I will learn from. After all, that’s how people grow, by making their own mistakes. It’s just not possible to learn from someone else’s. Plus if you find out that someone doesn’t like you for one reason or another, then quite frankly that’s their problem. As RuPaul says in her song, Sissy That Walk… “Unless they paying your bills, pay them b*tches no mind.”

Woah… that got deep for a second. Back to business…

Since a new month is now on the horizon, I wanted to begin regularly blogging again and not just posting sporadic reviews. So, to help get me back into the swing of things, I’ve decided to take up the below 31 Day Blog Challenge. In 2014, I took part in the 365 Days of Writing Prompts challenge from WordPress and absolutely loved it. It was also so nice to see how fellow bloggers had approached each prompt, so if you’re completing a similar challenge this May, let me know as I’d love to check it out.

So until the next time, enjoy life and keep living the dream!

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Jess Glynne at MTV’s Lockdown

The divine Jess Glynne!
The divine Miss Glynne!

This week I had the honour and privilege to be in the audience as part of MTV’s new show, Live Lockdown, starring the incredibly soulful and uplifting voice that is of course… the one and only…*drumroll*… Jess Glynne!

It was late Monday night when I received the email, inviting me to be a part of an intimate gig with this British singer-songwriter from North London. Of course, I didn’t even have to think about it – I immediately clicked the link and applied for my tickets. In the back of my mind, I knew that my chances of getting the tickets were slim as with over fifty-six thousand followers on Twitter, almost eighty thousand on Instagram and a number one solo single that topped the UK charts for three consecutive weeks under her belt, there were a lot of Glynners to compete with! So, I tried not to get too excited by the prospect that I could be listening to her extremely powerful voice live… although that didn’t stop me from playing her hits before I drifted off to sleep (check out one of my favourites below!)

It was during my lunch hour the next day that I received a second email from the audience company… I’d been approved! I couldn’t contain my excitement as I read the crucial words “Jess Glynne on MTV Lockdown – Your Tickets” and with that, let out an involuntary little squeak of sheer joy (much to everyones clear surprise judging by the looks on their faces… not that I cared of course!).

Fast forward to Thursday and it was time to party, so I donned my dancing heels and hopped on the tube! We arrived at the secret filming location in plenty of time and joined the queue… albeit in the pouring rain. Although to everyones relief, the staff kindly let us in 15 minutes earlier than they should have because of the awful weather. As we all piled in one by one, we were wristband-ed and led into a large village hall-esque room (which by the looks of it was actually a large rehearsal studio). We were numbers 29 through to 32 so I thought that we were for sure getting in – but then they started calling in the priority people… 1-100! Eeeek! Thankfully, the venue was a lot bigger than I’d expected and we managed to find ourselves in the second row directly behind the band… can you believe it?! Plus I might even be able to spot myself on TV, boogie-ing with my folks like there was no tomorrow (unfortunately there was a tomorrow… a tomorrow in which my feet were definitely paying the price of the previous nights added height – but it was all worth it!).

We settled into our places and the presenter (whose name I’ve already forgotten… oops, sorry!) recorded all of her intro/outro bits and pieces, which I found extremely fascinating as it reminded me of the handful of times I’ve done on-camera presenting for work (click here to check out my most recent How To Train Your Dragon coverage, recorded in Norway). And then it was time… the stage was set, the band were in place and the lasers were out in all their glory.

Jess Glynne's upcoming album, I Cry When I Laugh
Jess Glynne’s upcoming album, I Cry When I Laugh

I’m not going to spoil it for people waiting to watch it on MTV, but Jess was absolutely, 100% on FIRE! She sang everyones favourite hits; Hold My Hand, Right Here and Real Love; as well as two incredibly uplifting songs from her new album, I Cry When I Laugh (out 14 August), called Ain’t Got Far and Gave Me Something. I’d not heard these tracks before but I’m already addicted to them both! Her lyrics are so heartfelt and truthful – I know that they will be empowering for many women (and no doubt, men) across the world who have ever felt different or at all segregated in their lives. Bring on the album release, I say… bring it! In-between each track, Jess took the time to talk to us and really acknowledge the audience, which was so lovely. She came across as a very humble and down to earth independent woman, and sang as if it was as easy as blinking – absolutely effortless. I’ve never witnessed anything like it!

I foresee that Miss Glynne and her gorgeous copper curls will be in very, very high demand after everyone’s ears have been graced with the magic of her album later this year, and I hope that she goes on tour asap, as I could easily listen to her for hours! Stay amazingly flawless Jess!

Be sure to listen to Rather Be (below) too – this clever collab with Clean Bandit (more stars in the making) was one of the fastest selling singles of 2014 and also scooped Best Dance Record at this years Grammys!

The norm

#160: Is being “normal” — whatever that means to you — a good thing, or a bad thing? Neither?

I’m pretty sure normal doesn’t exist… anywhere! Everyone is unique and has their own special quirks. So to me, “normal” would be a bad thing as no-one I’ve ever met has been 100% normal – it would be completely alien. Plus, who would want to be “normal”… It sounds boring!

P.s. This post is much later than usual because it was our deadline today today and to make matters a bit more stressful, we had the paramedics in for a colleague who was then taken to hospital! Terrifying stuff!