Creepy, Beautiful and Incredibly Amazing…

It’s not often that I come across something creepy that totally astounds me, mind body and soul!  When routing around crappy youtube videos today I stumbled across this totally awful homemade comilation of the Top 20 places to visit in the world, I don’t know what made me watch it but I’m so glad I did.  In clicking this horrifically boring, highly inaccurate (it named the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland “The Stone Pillars” tut tut) and frankly god awful slideshow with the ever depressing Evanescence -Bring me to Life in the background, where was I? yes… In clicking this video I came across what is possibly the best piece of sculptural art I have ever come across in my life.

Jason deCaires Taylor

He is British Yo!!

Truly in my opinion,
the best modern day sculptor. 

Now you may ask, L.J what the hell do you know about sculpture and I will be frank with you my friends, diddly squat!

I know not how you take a lump of coal and fashion it into a beautiful diamond, I know not how to use a whizzing spinnign very sharp blade to delicately carve intricate features, I do however know how to shape a milkshake carton out of blu-tac (thank you duration of my psycholody AS exam!).

I may not be an expert in the art of sculpture but I, as an admirer of art I feel I can tell when someone is displaying true talent and Jason certainly does that!

The majority of his works are mainly in Cancun, staged as the underwater museum called MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) a project founded by Jaime Gonzalez Cano of The National Marine Park, Roberto Diaz of The Cancun Nautical Association and Jason deCaires Taylor, located in the waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc, now, here comes the clever bit. 

The sculptures are as much entertainment for the scuba divers who flock to the mexican shores as they are a viable environment to sustain and improve the coral reef that resides in the waters.

Jason’s sculptures provide a beautifully clever alternative to the possibility of losing the reefs and act as an artificial reef, encouraging plants, coral and sealife into the otherwise vacant area.

All of Jason’s works really tell a story and get to the heart of us as a modern species, from a couch potato enjoying a snack, to an exact replica of a Vaulkswagen Beetle, all of Jason’s pieces in some way open a doorway to our world that in years to come will be studied and analysed to figure out who we were!

The piece that I find the most awe-inspiring and let’s face it most impressive, is the piece named The Silent Evolution.

403 life sized, TO SCALE, figures.
Occupying 402 square meters of the sea bed, cast from real life humans. 

The spookiest, creepiest yet strangely calming piece of art I have ever come across, it’s effect on me was phenomenol, I honestly could never imagine swimming up to life sized people underwater, like forgotten people. 

Their atmosphere is so quiet, their demeanour so epically strange it honestly took my breath away.

Can you imagine getting lost underwater and coming across this?

Or being in the year 3012 and discovering these figures cloaked in precious coral and protected by creatures of the deep?

…it’s oddly unsettling.

He also has some works here in the UK, in Canterbury none-the-less (totally going to have to take Poison Ivy!!)

His swimming figures again are haunting to me, almost like ghosts, I really cannot work out why his sculptures really freak me out but in such a satisfying way.

I have included lots of pictures of which ALL RIGHTS GO TO JASON DECAIRES TAYLOR.

They are all from his website and I have used them simply because he has the best ones!!

Please check out his website HERE it’s full of information on, the man, the myth, the ARTISTE…

 that is Jason deCaires Taylor and I’ve also added a little video so you can see the work that goes into just one of these sculptures.

Jason really is repping it for the Brits, and just goes to show that with a bit of inginuity we can all do our bit to help this planet out!

Happy Blogging, Cheers for Reading.

L.J.Simms x

A New Kidd of Addiction…

There’s not many occasions, where I can say that I have been physically, mentally, extra-terrestrially and completely intoxicated by a single human being as much as I am by Vince Kidd.

BEWARE: This Post includes explicit language in beautiful melodies and an inordinate amount of heart pulsing admiration!

At the beautiful age of just 22, Vince Kidd is phenomenal.  Having heard his track ‘Sick Love’ before the premiere of The Voice UK (sadly I had heard it, loved it, just didn’t know who sang it!) I fell in love with his voice first!  His voice is like treacle, black treacle, that drips over barbed wire!  It’s truly a sound to be heard during a thunderstorm, the way his voice licks and curls and melts over his gritted teeth and pouting lips, truly makes me want to hear him, again, and again, and again and again and AGAIN!

When he popped up into my stratosphere again, I was sat on my sofa watching The Voice UK with the fam-a-lam.  Snacking on Hoummus and sipping my OJ and Lemonade (I’m a rockstar don’t kid yourselves!!)  I recognised his voice but it didn’t click in my head that this guy, full of swag and bags of attitude with ripped denim adorning his shoulders and golden spikes defending his fists, was the same guy I had heard days before on my acoustic tour of YouTube.

As Vince went through the blind auditions the ball still hadn’t dropped, although his voice had made it absent mindedly onto my iPod I still had not fitted the two together.  When the battle rounds came on The Voice UK, I heard something in his voice.  I heard this little lick whilst he was singing ‘We Found Love’ noted as one of my upbeat meditation tracks of the moment, It was like a Tsunami hit the back of my head.

My mind raced back as they showed a clip of his blind audition and it hit me, again!!

I’VE HEARD THIS KIDD
(see what I did there)
BEFORE!!

I grabbed my iPod, yes!!! I had heard his rendition of Like a Virgin before, It was him!  The guy who had been luting me to sleep, helping me shout at my ex, encouraged me when partying with the gyals…

I HAD FOUND HIM!!

Then something magical happened.  This week, Mr.Kidd, my only strand holding me onto #TeamJessie, sang an Elvis song.  I (I won’t use hate) strongly dislike the music of Elvis.  I’ve never really been able to appreciate his music and I’ve never had any inclanation to listen to more than a second of any one of his tracks.  Until Vince brought me into his world and with his incredible voice, truly unique look and amazing talent, vince made me not only enjoy but revel in an Elvis song!

This is an interview with Vince that I felt was the most honest and refreshing interview in a long time, he truly has a class and an enormous deal of respect for his career which is evident in this interview…

INTERVIEW WITH VINCE KIDD

So, now I’ve developed this love, this burning love for Vince I have scoured the internet to find all I can for you beautiful people, I want you to find your favourite part of Kidd and revel in his talent like I do.  His voice and attitude are truly something new which is difficult to say in this day and age.  His style may be retro but his being is totally fresh and I wish him all the best of luck in the world.  I hope he wins The Voice UK, but if he doesn’t I hope some big shot music exec pulls their finger out and realises what a talent Kidd truly is, he deserves the world and more!

I shall leave you with one final video and a quote from the man himself.  When I say Kidd has attitude, I don’t mean it in the chain swinging, teeth grilling, pimp out ya granny  kind of way.  I mean attitude as is a fresh way of thinking, a positive attitude that has been lost for a long time in his industry, an attitude I hope and pray he can spread from here to the edge of existence…

“Because I’ve got a very distinctive look, I often get judged for it. But I’m not changing for anyone.”

 Vince

Happy Blogging, Cheers for Reading…

L.J.Simms x 

How to Lift Your Soul…

Hello Beautiful People

I’VE GOT SO MUCH TO TELL YOU But I must do an ACTUAL post first…so first up I need to say…

Apologies for the absence AGAIN!! I’m a terrible blogger and I deserve punishment, although looking at my stats is punishment enough right now so I have instead decided to pluck up the courage to just say AH WELL SH*T HAPPENS and give you a nice fresh new post, just for you, yes you, I’m talking to YOU!! This is all yours, I hope you enjoy it.

Now as some of you may or may not know I began meditating a few months ago, around the same time that I started this blog.  When I started out I found it so difficult, I had a real problem with staying ‘quiet’.  With my Bucket List, I wanted to try to bring myself some inner peace and start to feel like I was pushing my own life forward.  Now I must insert a small disclaimer here, for anyone reading who has not read before, I’m not religious, at all, I have no interest in religion but in a moment of utter darkness I fell to my knees and felt it was natural to try this meditation malarkey that that woman banged on about in Eat, Pray, Love.

I remember the first time I tried it, I couldn’t sit still.  I kept shuffling and wriggling, I was bugging myself.  I stood up (battling the sitting position convention) I shook my body out like I used to in Drama class, I shook and I shook and I shook till I got pins and needles all over then dropped to my knees again.

‘this isn’t working’

This little voice in my head was driving me mad, I wanted so badly to feel utter peace and calm from the rage inside me but it just wasn’t working.  I laid on my front, literally face down in the carpet.

nothing.

I sat in the ‘typical’ position, legs crossed, hands pinched between finger and thumb.

nothing.

I let out a massive sigh, literally expelling every ounce of air from my lungs and I felt it, a brief billi-second of peace, of silence.  I opened my eyes and fist pumped ‘YES!!’ I looked at every inch of my body studying the position that had allowed me this precious moment of silence.

NOT ATTRACTIVE.

This pose would not win me any princely kisses that’s for sure!  I was sat like a teddy bear sits when they are dropped from a great height.  Slouched and comfortable.  Legs akimbo, arms limply by my side, I leaned up against  a cabinet in my room, and noticed that from where I was sitting, I could see the entire sky, really bright and a deep navy blue, tinted with sparkling stars.  In that moment 4 things came to me, that shaped how I would meditate from here on in.

  1. My ornamental (literally I think it’s made of plastic) Buddha was positioned in a way that I felt she (yes my Buddha is a she, because well, I said so! apologies for any offence caused) so, I felt that she was looking down from my murky windowsill, her stare was washing over me and actually felt very supportive.  Almost like she was saying ‘it’s ok kid, keep at it’, so I always meditate in her shadow.
  2. Night time was the best time to do this.  My house was silent, all I could hear were the distant snores of the Incredibles and the murmur of Batman’s TV.  This was a peaceful time, a magical sort of time that lends itself very nicely, to the calming nature of meditation.
  3. I liked the dark.  I had started this little experiment without realising it, in the pitch dark.  The only light was coming from the moon and stars, it made me feel all philosophical and poignant.  It made me focus, eventually, allowing me to block out the stuff around me.
  4. I DON’T SHUT UP!  This really got on my nerves, I just cannot not think, it’s infuriating.  So I decided to use it to my advantage and I found myself singing in my head.  I would do my breathing exercises, focusing in my mind on different places in my body (called chakras or something!) and I would sing in my head.  Whatever came to mind.

This is the official guide to your Chakras, I just work my way around the body, but this is here just incase you really wanted to know 🙂

I don’t meditate every day.  I feel that takes the effectiveness out of it for me.  I meditate when I feel I need to.  When I need to bring myself some peace, or just need some time to myself I find meditation surrounds me in a little bubble where I can be entirely alone for a little while.

Your probably wondering, so this is called HOW TO LIFT YOUR SOUL…..Well……how do I? right??

Well I have created a mini playlist just for you, of the songs that I turn to when meditating, I have a playlist of every single song I have ever thought of whilst meditating but here are the top 6 that are truly my favourites!  I hope you enjoy and if you don’t already I’d suggest meditation to anyone at all, but my advice would be DO IT YOUR OWN WAY.  Don’t ever feel like you’re doing it wrong, find your own path and be your own person.  Do what’s best for you!

P.S  Yes you will hear a theme with the songs, they represent my favourite music I think, the music that truly settles my soul, some are covers, and some are weird, and some will have you thinking REALLY?? YOU MEDITATE TO THIS?!?! Well, I hope you enjoy 🙂

This girl is just amazing, Kina Grannis is still in the shadows over in England, but in America and around the world she IS a superstar.  Her voice is like warm honey!  This is my favourite cover of hers.  I’m not really a Taylor swift fan, this cover brought me round and Kina really has found a song that suits her beautiful voice!

This kid is Cameron Mitchell.  His covers are awesome!! As a recent fan of Coldplay and I bit of a nerd for covers I searched around and I found that I loved this version much more than the Coldplay version.  Sorry Coldplay.  This song has always served me well in meditation as it’s quite upbeat and speeds up my breathing!

I always turn to Ed Sheeran.  In times of utter happiness and utter despair, Ed Sheeran always gets played no matter what.  I’ve loved Ed’s music since the moment I first heard him on SBTV in my mates bedroom, Iron Man demanded I listened to it and sat me down.  I was blown away by every second of Ed’s performance.  This song in particular calms me down a lot because well 1. it’s a beautiful song and 2.  Rupert Grint is in it and let’s face it, I’ve been a Weasley lover since I was 13!!

When I’m feeling like I need to really concentrate, Lior’s album always comes to mind.  All of his songs, upbeat or more relaxed always bring me to a place that is pensive and peaceful.  This song is called Bedouin Song, it really shows off Lior’s Israeli roots.  I first saw Lior at WOMAD festival years ago and since have followed him avidly!

Now, you’re probably thinking, REALLY???!!! a Rihanna dance track?? WTF?!?!  This song came to me one night when I was in a really bad place.  The fast beat allowed me to move my body in a fast way to release anger and tension whilst the softer lyrics encouraged my breathing to be much slower, it had a strange effect making me feel revitalised and relaxed all at the same time like I had just been boxing crossed with floating on my back in a freezing cold pool!  It was awesome!  This song taught me not to try to box in my meditation, it taught me to ALWAYS let it all come naturally.

Adam Pluse came onto my radar a few weeks back and has already creeped into my meditation periphery.  This version (yes it is a cover) of Titanium by David Guetta ft. Sia honestly rocks my sensual world, I sit imagining the beefy drops in the original version then get lifted away by the lute-ing guitar.  Adam has a unique way of playing the guitar which just increases it’s awesome-ness.

So there you have it, my 6 songs to lift your soul.  I hope this encourages you to try meditation, and to try it your own way.  Nothing in this life is ‘normal’, here is a quote from The Thing, it was his status today and it made me feel really happy…

“We all strive to be “normal” or compare ourselves to “normal” people. We are told it is a common behavior or a trend as though there is one code of conduct and we have an inherent urge to comply. The main objection is that we all have different ideas of what “normal” is. What we each perceive as “normal” differs because it is a personal projection of how we feel we ought to live our lives. It should never be exposed to external influences. Conduct yourself by your own standards not others.”

Happy Blogging, Cheers for Reading…

L.J.Simms x

This is My Confession…

I have a deep and very dark secret, one which I have never told anybody, I feel this secret is eating me up inside and I must let it out before it dissolves my very soul.  I have an addiction, it is a serious addiction for which I feel I may need some form of rehab for.  Now this addiction renders me completely stupid, I have no way of stopping once I have started, i’m too scared to admit this secret addiction to my family and even my friends.  I am so terrified that they will think ill of me once they know that I am keeping this secret shut off from the entire world.  So if I tell you, you have to promise to keep it to yourself, you can’t tell anyone okay because they may get the police involved and I mean, it’s a serious crime what I do, it endangers not only myself but anyone who is around me when I am doing it….

Get your pointing fingers and laughing faces ready...

Hello, my name is L.J.Simms and I am a Song Mimer.

Wow, it feels so good to finally tell someone, I have a terrible habit  of miming/acting songs when I sing them.  It can evolve into a full on scene with myself and anything I can get involved.  I have slowdanced with a giant teddy named adgar who lives in my wardrobe [not a hallucination] I have broken up with beautiful men [still not a hallucination] and I have had sexually tense encounters with Drake [certainly a hallucination].

It’s terrible, I struggle to stop myself from doing it, sat in the car with my mum and I have to look in the window as I mouth and mime the emotive background of the song, it builds up like a bubbling volcano til it’s at gale-force 9 and I’m full on scream singing and acting out the entire song.

It all started a few years back, when I first started to really get into music, I had an awful break up with a boy from my youth [i’m now actually INTO my 20’s so can say ‘in my youth’] and I went straight home and listened to Simple Plan’s album.  I lay on my bed and I listened to the words and through my tears and teenage pain I started singing along whilst ripping up all the photos I had stuck underneath the shelf above my bed. [again I was YOUNG] In that moment I started picturing him in front of me and starting singing the song as if it was towards him, picturing how it would seem if I sang this song to him, directly, like really in his face…

This first encounter with Song miming was only the start, as my music taste developed and in turn my relationships took different paths both personal and professional I found that I started to develop my addiction, I started craving the rush of full scale dramatic enactments of songs, the buzz when the songs finishes and your left with a surge of energy and power.  I then moved onto the harder stuff, the more intense songs, I started getting into different kinds of music and exploring my taste for the more exotic music, this was a time in my life where I was out of control, and only really deep music could quench my thirst.  I started getting into rap and hip hop, I was an entry level offender but I found that I  could target my mimes towards imaginary people by this point, like the imaginary ‘other girls’ my next ex was seeing behind my back [p.s they weren’t imaginary I caught you dumbass!!]…

Once I had entered the gateway songs, it was downhill from then on, I found my niche, I found where I was most comfortable, I discovered pop songs.  Not my usual forray of musical choice (I’m more of an acoustic guitar and thoughtful lyrics kind of girl) but none the less it served a purpose, I started to crave a new song to mime to, I would listen to the music charts and when I had a chance to go to my friend’s house who had…SKY CABLE TELEVISION, where I could watch music videos, the latest ones and hear songs straight away I was totally hooked I would say this was when I hit rock bottom, this is where I can honestly say I truly became an addict to the drug of song…

Once at University I tried detoxing, I went through alot of experimentation and found music that allowed me the comfort not to mime.  I started clubbing alot more which meant that music became something I listened to whilst shouting and screaming and dancing so the focus was taken away from miming, I still mimed a bit at home on my own, but not as much as I did before.  I felt that I was starting to get a hold on my addiction and it was really getting good again, I started dating Superman [grrr,GRUMBLE,grr,grrrrr,GRRrrrhatehimGRrrr] and life was rosy, I left Uni and moved back home, travelled to Minnesota [GO GO VIKINGS LETS GO!] and on my return found a job and all was hunky dory.  Or so I thought.  My break up with Superman was cataclysmic, and I found myself back, deep in the arms of song miming, my only comfort from the wayward men of england.  I was back to my bedroom mirror and my hairbrush, the most basic of tools for the miming addict, the body language and cursed expressions once again reared their ugly heads and I was back in full swing…

Since then I have been on the road to recovery, it’s tough really tough but I’m glad I can share my secret with you, and only you, remember don’t tell anyone okay? I feel I’m back to health now and I only occasionally binge on 1 or 2 songs a month but when I catch myself out I make sure I follow the 12 steps……..over to my iPod and change the song.  I hope my admition to such tragiv addiction can help others out there to stand up and proudly declare that they too are a song mimer, and maybe one day there will be places for us all, where we can stand proud and song mime together so this addiction may become a way of life for all.  Until that day comes, I will keep strong and only limit myself to one weekend a month where I am allowed to explore my inner mimer just like Emma Stone…

Happy Blogging, Cheers for Reading 😛

L.J xx

The Meaning of Friendship

Sometimes, in life, when your sat in that moment, when your totally alone, it’s your truest friends that cross your mind…

Mark Twain once said, “Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.”  Throughout my life, there have been very dark moments of grief, moments that have seen me in the deepest of holes with nothing but my own hands to bring me out. At those moments, friends seem obsolete, friends seem to add more weight to already heavy hearts. Friends want to do so much for you, they want to help and bring you out of your sadness, but that weakened smile you return them always says the same thing, ‘Please, stop trying so hard’.

True friendship is defined as a natural reaction, to a feeling of unconditional love and ultimate support towards a person not of blood relation, in all areas of their life.  This is why, TRUE friends will take that weakened smile from you, turn around and make you a cup of tea, this is why TRUE friends can accept the worst of bad situations, and are willing to wait til the tides turn in your favour.

True friendship is like sitting inside a panic room, whilst the world spins out of control around you.  If  you watch children [in a non predatory totally innocent completely PC kind of way] they run around experiencing true friendship every moment of everyday.  They share and love so freely, they console without consideration of anything other than helping the hurt.  It’s only when we reach our teens that things get in the way of that pure sense of friendship, we start picking cliques, choosing styles, liking trends and well, growing up!  It’s only until you grow up some more that you realise, you kinda wish you were 5 again only arguing over who had the best sandwiches at lunchtime.

TIMON AND PUMBAA, THE ULTIMATE FRIENDSHIP.

Friends have always meant ‘family’ to me, friends have always been more than someone to go shopping with…

In later life [I know i’m only 22 (23 on Saturday though) but I have friends of all ages] I think friends become more important, you start realising that all those FRIENDS you thought you had are now a very carefully selected FAMILY.  A bunch of people who literally know you better than you do, yes mates come and go throughout your time on this doomed planet of ours, but friends, they taken time to craft, they take investment.  They become the people who have scraped you off the pub floor, slapped you when you’ve been an arsehole, told you to man up when your being petty, hugged you when you’ve messed up and taken care of you when you’ve needed it most.

True friends aren’t necessarily there every day like the ‘best friends’ of yester year, true friends can go months without talking, as long as when they do talk it’s like you spoke 10 minutes ago and you wonder why they are calling again.  True friends aren’t the people that need your attention 24/7/365…true friends, only when they really have to, send you a text to request your urgent presence.

It’s only until we’re old and wrinkly that we go back to that innocence of friendship, that time it doesn’t matter who you talk to, your just happy to be talking.  That time when you share and love freely again, and if you are clever enough to keep life long friends til this time in your life, you start to realise that these may be the last times you spend with them, so you go back to doing silly things together, reminiscing about old times and setting out on new adventures with friends old and new, it’s just like being 6 again, because there are no barriers again, no restrictions or constraints, your back in that panic room without a care in the world apart from being together.

ONLY TRUE FRIENDS CAN GET AWAY WITH DOING THIS!! I ONCE SHRINK WRAPPED A FRIENDS BEDROOM AT UNIVERSITY WITH GOOD FRIENDS AND CATERING SIZED CLING FILM, NEEDLESS TO SAY IT WAS HYSTERICAL AND TOTALLY WORTH IT!!

So, I shall end this post with a little story, a modern fable if you will…

THE MAYONNAISE JAR AND 2 BEERS 

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours
in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers. 

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in
front of him. 

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty
mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was. 

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the
jar; he shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between The golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. 

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the
jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced the two beers from under the table and
poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space
between the sand. The students laughed. 

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to
recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they
remained, your life would still be full. 

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house
and your car. 

The sand is everything else—the small stuff. ‘If you put the sand into
the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf
balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on
the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important
to you. 

‘Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend
time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with
grandparents.  Enjoy being with your friends.

Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play
another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the
disposal. Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really 
matter.

Set your priorities.

‘The rest is just sand.’ 

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beers
represented. The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’ 
The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there is always room for a couple of beers with a friend.’ 

And that my beauties, is The Meaning of Friendship.

Thank you for reading, I hope my post makes you think of your friends and who knows maybe you’ll send them a cheeky link to this to remind them that what you have is TRUE FRIENDSHIP.

Happy blogging, Cheers for Reading,

L.J.Simms x

Countdown to the Summer

Summertime for me usually means 1 of 3 things…Garden Parties, Beetroot Salads and WOMAD.

I have been going to the WOMAD festival since the age of about 12-13ish, which makes this year the 10th year of my return.  Every year my family come together, my step sister [Poison Ivy] dyes her hair a fresh shade of awesome, my step brother [Batman] stocks up on the beer and whiskey and The parents [The Incredibles] start testing the tents and airbeds, filling the gas bottles and checking the solar powered lighting and I delve into the secret place in my wardrobe which harbours all the WOMAD clothing.

Now This year is the 30th Anniversary of the WOMAD festival, started by Peter Gabriel back in  [let me calculate this] 1982.  It’s also as I’ve said our families 10th year of the tradition of attending.  All this excitement has got me to thinking about the moments that were most special to me, moments that will stick in my head forever…when I was younger my siblings and I weren’t too fussed with the music, I once fell asleep in a crowd of thousands watching heavy dub reggae, but in later years I have really [To my step dad’s joy] finally taken an interest in the music, watching the line up change over the coming months, joining the forum to discuss potential acts and really investing in the festival that has grown to mean so much to me and my family.

As a youngster, for me WOMAD was like going into a book (bear with me).  When you drove into the site (originally in Reading, but even more so since the move to Charlton Park) at the old site you sort of drove around the barriers so you couldn’t see in, all you could see were these weird and wonderful cars and vans and people on roofs, and windows open with people hanging out in the sun, rear windows blocked by hoards of multicoloured banners and tent bags and boxes of wine.  To a child’s eye it was all magical, this feeling slumped towards the end of the Reading site’s history, by then us ‘kids’ were getting a bit older, starting to enjoy the bacardi breezers more than the party itself…then it moved to Charlton Park, and after a rough first year [THE YEAR OF WOMUD]…

Charlton Park recaptured my imagination, entering the site through the ‘purple gate’ going through a little castle gatehouse made you feel secretive and special driving into the tree lined fields, all the effort of dragging your makeshift home through the already worn down sandy coloured grass, with every step relinquishing a little more of the modern world, losing a shoe gaining a sandal, losing a sat nav and acquiring a programme, losing a house and moving into a tented home…

Unless you’ve been to WOMAD it’s hard to describe WOMAD, it’s not like Glastonbury or Reading or V fest, it’s just NOT.  Yes there are tents and music for younger people now, and even designated camping with a bar ON SITE!!, but it’s still not a normal festival.  It has balls at the same time as having respect.  It is unique at the same time as being popular.  Every person you pass generally smiles at you because you know the secret, you know the WOMAD truth just like they do.  Whether they are a newbie or an old timer, a WOMADspa goer or a DirtyFestieLover, your all the same, your all equals, there to enjoy good music, good food and a good time.

So to finish my introductory post about WOMAD, I thought I would share some of my favourite acts from my time at the festival.  I couldn’t include them all as youtube only provides so much for me, but I have included pictures throughout this post which are my own and my families of the festival we have grown to love, adore and cherish.

If the quality is not great I apologise, I tried to find the best ones online sadly there is no TV coverage of the WOMAD festival although it is on BBC radio 3.  So I have had to rely on audience footage.  I hope you enjoy none-the-less…

2011 – The Boxettes

Last year The Boxettes were literally jaw dropping! Every part of their music is created by their voices alone.  To create those sounds, I was dumb founded and so was the entire audience and the gatherin gfor their workshop as well.  I didn’t even touch my cider once throughout the performance I was that in awe of these girlies, if they came back for the 30th Anniversary I would cheer till my mouth pissed off for the rest of the festival!! check them out THE BOXETTES.  Their one and and only video for their single ‘FREE‘ is what drew me to them to begin with and I had heard from the london grapevine that is my friend Iron Man, that if I didn’t see them last year I’d regret it.

2010 – Imogen Heap

2010, was for me (and most of my family) THE best year at WOMAD.  Every single one of us, as we have very different tastes, found something we thoroughly enjoyed and we all came home positively beaming.  For me 2010 has a special place in my heart, as I got to see one of my favourite artists on the planet.  Imogen Heap was amazing and even though I was 3/4 of the way back in the Siam Tent, surrounded by very tall South Africans [who gave me a beer and let me stand on their step stool :)] it is still to this day the most emotionally powerful and affective performance I have ever seen.  I was totally overwhelmed in a way I never expected to be by music.

2010 – Imelda May

Also in 2010, we had the AMAZEBALLS set by the totally beautiful Imelda May, Now I was supposed to be going to a dubstep gig in the Big Red Tent but Poison Ivy persuaded me to stick with her and The Incredibles to watch Imelda, I was sceptical, I had heard of her but wasn’t all that fussed, so went off to get some food [My favourite Paella was on the cards that day] and as  I was walking back I heard this funky dirty beat, and these amazing rock’n’roll riffs and was dancing with my Paella wondering where it was coming from.  It was only when I saw Poison Ivy gesturing me into the crowd with a beer I thought ‘Okayyyyy now this bird is goooooood’.  Needless to say we bought the album and sang it like crazy people all the way home that year!

2009 – Nneka

Nneka was a discovery for me.  I saw her on the line up a few months before hand and got hooked on her track Heartbeat.  I was pumped to see her but my family weren’t too sure.  I convinced my step-dad that she was like warm honey on a bagel and he agreed to come and see her.  He loved her dolcet tones and the rest of the family loved the dancing beats which allowed them to boogie.  It was at that moment i said she would make awesome dubstep music.  6 months after WOMAD her track Heartbeat had been remixed by Chase and Status and was being played on BBC radio1! have I mentioned i’m a music psychic? *NEW POST ME THINKS*

2007 – The Dhol Foundation

And finally, The Dhol Foundation.  This group has a treasured and hallowed place in my families heart especially my mum’s.  Johnny Kelsi, the front man is an incredible force to be reckoned with and has the charm and wit to go with the immense amount of talent he displays in every single performance.  My mum blares their albums from her car like a regular boy racer, you can watch her smacking the steering wheel in time with the electric fusion beats and nodding her head, no in fact headbanging to the drops and kicks and intrigueing sounds on every single track.  She was heartbroken at WOMUD when we had to leave early before seeing them, and since then has not been able to see them.  If I ever won the lottery I would get them to do a private concert for her.

AND WELL, THAT’S IT…

For now anyway, I will update as we get closer to the festival and I shall be live blogging from the site itself this year as well.  But until then enjoy the videos and check out the WOMAD website and buy some tickets yourself, if you do let me know and we can have a WordPress Bloggers Meet at the Chai Tent 🙂

Happy Blogging, Cheers for Reading,

L.J.Simms x

Kreativ Blogger Award – Have you been nominated?

 Well, I shall start off this ceremony of giving by first showing my appreciation for the beautiful blogger who nominated me!

LAURISSA HUGHES, is by far one of my favourite blogs on the internet let alone just on WordPress!  Her comics have me physically hunched over with laughter.  She has an amazing style and wit to her comics which is rarely found now-a-days.  So first and foremost, THANK YOU LAURISSA!! here are all her details check out every single one!!

LAURISSA HUGHES – Website, Blog, SketchBlog, TwitterTumblr, LinkedIn
Please give her a looksie, and a final THANK YOU to Laurissa for nominating me, it meant the world to me MY FIRST AWARD 🙂

RIGHT, NOW, ON WITH THE AWARD GIVING AND RULES…

“TO ACCEPT AND RECEIVE THE ‘KREATIV BLOGGER AWARD’ YOU MUST FIRST COMPLETE THESE THREE STEPS”

  1. You must Thank the blogger who granted YOU the award, providing links to their website and any relevant information about them that you desire to disclose to your readers.
  2. You must write 7 interesting facts about you, these can be purely informational or as personal as you like, no rudey nudey facts though!
  3. Then you must nominate 7 others for the ‘Kreativ Blogger Award’ and provide the links, also notifying them of their achievement.

7 Interesting Facts About TheCommonTarté herself, L.J.Simms…

  1. I love Sci-fi, in fact I’m an utter geek about it, not so much the whole Star Wars/Star Trek kind of Sci-Fi, more the superheroes/villains/bust yo’ assssss kind of sci-fi.
  2. I go to a music festival called WOMAD every year, [WorldOfMusicAndDance] it is for me the most  amazing place, and for 5 days a year [we go early] it is my heaven.  One day I hope to get married at this festival!
  3. If I ever crave food it will be 1 of 5 things; McDonald’s Strawberry Milkshake, PB&J Sandwiches, Ice Cream, Salted Cashew Nuts or Macaroni Cheese.
  4. I started blogging to help me in the healing process for my depression.
  5. I have THE most complicated family, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
  6. My ideal man would wear wayfarer glasses, have a beard, tattoos and would want to curl up together to listen to 1990’s indie records.
  7. I love the C word.

7 Nominees for ‘The Kreativ Blogger’ Award…[and links!]

  1.  FUNK’S HOUSE OF GEEKERY
    This is a place where you can find news, reviews and opinions on those things that geeks do for fun – movies, games, comics, books and more!
  2. WE HEART VINTAGE
    This blog is one of those blogs, that is always popping up on my Read Blogs feed, I like something at least every day, beautiful pictures and a beautiful outlook on everything vintage!  Plus, it’s definitely unique from every other VINTAGE site in that it blogs QUALITY not just QUANTITY.
  3. SPIRITUALITEA
    I LOVE THIS BLOG, In recent months I have opened myself up to the possibility of spirituality, and Shannon’s view on peace and wellbeing is awesome.  I especially love her recipes!!
  4. THE WARDROBE CHALLENGE
    Okay, so being a plus sized lassie myself, I’m always very sceptical about PLUS SIZE FASHION blogs, ‘ohhh your beautiful’ ‘merrrr’ This blog is actually THE ONLY ONE I follow, she has great fashion sense and has really boosted my confidence in mixing it up a little bit!
  5. IT’S ONLY ERICA
    Erica is a new edition to my blog family, she is fun, fresh and a breath of clean sea air on my blog feed, I’ve been following her on twitter too!
  6. CATBIRD365
    I love Cat’s PhotoBlog, plus she is a courteous blogger.  She always comments the most heart warming things and fills my wordpress with kindness.  We have a lot in common so if you like my blog pop over to hers for cute and interesting photos on the 365 days project 🙂
  7. BIG SIS LITTLE DISH
    OUTRIGHT – MY FAVOURITE BLOG ON THE NET! SIMPLE!!!!!
    These sisters are doing it for themselves, their recipes are amazing, the photography is kitsch elegance personified! they are fun, cool and more and more intrigueing with EVERY recipe!! LOVE THEM!!

 And that my darling’s is that!

Please give all my nominees a little looksie and to all my nominees I hope to see your nominations soon!

Happy blogging, Cheers for Reading,

L.J.Simms x

I honestly hope they’re out there…

As a passionate Sci-fi writer [I’m writing my first book at this very moment] I have always thought that ‘Aliens’ are a very real concept…

E.T Terrified me as a child, you wanna know why? because I honestly believed that there were people who weren’t people.  You know how when you were a child, that funky smelling Granny round the corner always used to double flick her alien eyelids at you, and the janitor at school definatly had a lizard tongue!

Aliens and U.F.Os, are for alot of people just an idea, fabricated by Hollywood to incite fear and kill off actual suspicion.  I mean honestly think about it, when you saw Alien vs. Predator did it make you think “OH WOW THIS IS REALLY REAL I WILL BE EATEN BY ALIENS TOMORROW” or on the more sensible hand, did you think “AWESOME GRAPHICS, I HOPE THEY DON’T MAKE ANOTHER ONE”?? Be honest, Hollywood and the powers at be have made it so that Aliens and other life forms other then the mighty mighty humans,  have a ginormous shadow of doubt hanging over them.

I sat today, as I do when brainstorming for my book, researching and trawling Google, and I came across fascinating finds, but every time there was this little niggling doubt in my stomach, every word I read, every picture I viewed, every video I watched I couldn’t help but think…these people all sound crazy, and that’s awful I WANT TO BELIEVE THEM!  I want to be swept away by this idea that we are not alone, but again there goes that little niggling feeling…”aren’t we?”

AND THIS IS WHAT PROVED IT TO ME, ALIENS ARE REAL, THEY WALK AMONG US, because I am convinced that they are the ones who tell us that they’re fake! It’s an ingeniuns plan if you think about it, convince a planet you’re not real then living all around them merrily minding your own business, then one day BABOOOM Aliens take over the world!

Keep an eye out for them Grannies!!

L.J x

THANK YOU READERS OF WORDPRESS

Paper Crane Update…

A month ago today I attempted to cross item Number #20 Off my Apocalypse Bucket List.  Number 20 was for me something I never thought I would achieve, to be honest it as a booster item, that’s why it said ATTEMPT to give up smoking, not ACTUALLY give up smoking.  I started making paper cranes to find something to do with my hands and in my first week I made 103.  Every time I wanted to roll a cigarette I would find some paper, any paper, I even used a bus ticket or two…

[Current Total of Cranes: 346]

1 month ago today I started to ‘attempt’ to give up…I will be honest it’s been really hard, who knew giving up the old ciggie would make you feel like a rabid racoon set on mauling every human who passes you?  As I continued, making the paper cranes, I found that I didn’t need to as much, as the cravings started to wear off It was only in those moments of UTTER desperation that I would find the nearest scrap of anything papery, (i’ve been known to fold a sturdy fabric ripped from the breaking base of my favourite handbag :[ ) and fold a crane.

I’ve now basically lost most of the cravings, I think I have officially given up smoking, and it feels…

sooooo PANTS!!

Yep that’s right I said it, I WISH I STILL SMOKED!! If I go to the pub now I get left for half an hour whilst everyone goes outside in the cold for a fag and end up MOVING the party outside!!

AND ANOTHER THING, everyone in my family smokes, yup that’s right, I have to segregate myself from everyone so I don’t inhale their hands just because it’s there!  As I said the cravings have dissappeared, I don’t NEED a cigarette I just WANT one, ‘cos it looks like fun!

My nails are finally starting to grow again, BRILLIANT…..NO! Now I have to paint and manicure them every week or I end up looking like someone from the Guinness Book of Records!

AND MY TASTEBUDS ARE REPAIRING THEMSELVES YIPEEEEE, HELLLLLLL NO!!! Now chocolate tastes sweeter, salt tastes sooooo damnnnnn good, and MILKSHAKES!!! OH-MY-JEHAAAAYSUS! Milkshakes taste like nectar now, So long to the weightloss!

Okay, bright side because otherwise I will lick the nearest ashtray…

I AM VERY PLEASED TO CROSS OFF ITEM NUMBER #20 ON MY BUCKET LIST, THIS IS AN AMAZING DAY, please kill me, THIS IS A MILESTONE I AM SO HAPPY TO HAVE ACHIEVED, seriously waste me right now, I HAVE NEVER FELT SO MUCH CLEAN AIR IN MY LUNGS AND I AM PROUD TO SHARE THIS MOMENT WITH YOU ALL, I’ll pay you 100 bucks just bash me in,  THANK YOU TO ALL MY READERS NEW AND OLD WHO HAVE SUPPORTED ME THROUGH THIS TOUGH MONTH, I could be a disney villain with the amount of rage I have right now, CHEERS FOR READING EVERYBODY, die a slow and painful death, HAPPY BLOGGING!

L.J.SIMMS x

The Meaning of Life According to Nintendo


Sometimes, okay, truth time, ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS, I often wonder what it would be like to live in a world just like Mario.  Feeling a bit lousy? Go on an adventure mission to save a princess, Tired of feeling small? Eat some red mushrooms feel a little bigger, Not feeling strong today? Strap on a blue shell suit, get some armour on that fragile self of yours! Bored of life all together? Here’s a green mushroom, now it’s coming in fast you gotta jump for it at just the ….. right…..moment…..

AHHHH DANG IT! you missed it!, ah well, do a few more levels and you’ll get another one, just earn a shit tonne of coinage, struggle through a few levels, die a couple of times and have the princess robbed from you a few more and then…..hang on…wait…

Maybe we are already living in a Nintendo game? No seriously think about it.  You never really ‘get the princess’ till your on your last ‘level’ about to face the ‘big boss’ and you realise you’ve just been chasing fruitless dreams for all of eternity!

What if we treated life more like a game, and less like a death sentence?  Instead of chasing this ideal of what we ‘should be’ chasing, why don’t we just go for what we fancy that day?  What would happen if Mario decided actually you know what?  Princess Peach isn’t all that great anyway,  All this work and no hanky panky afterwards?? REALLY?? Just a pat on the back and a ‘well done’…I mean he’s so busy rushing through the levels to save her, half the time you never get to experience the entire game anyways, there are always cheats and bonus levels that you miss out on if all you strive to do is save the darn princess.

No, from now on, I’m not going to play this life like Mario,  I’m going to be one of Luigi!! Yeah, he got the whole deal right you know, pop in and out when you like to help out, but don’t get bogged down with the big picture, make enough money to keep yourself happy, but don’t pimp out your entire self to be the face of something, Have whatever princess you like, because your not bound to one single game, NO, #TeamLuigi all the way!!

So here’s to the apocalypse generation!  Hold your heads high my friends and repeat after me…

#TEAMLUIGI #TEAMLUIGI #TEAMLUIGI

@thecommontarte , let’s start a revolution!

Cheers for Reading,

L.J x

How to Apologise for not blogging.

THE FASTEST WAY TO KILL THE BLUES IS
TO STUFF MYSELF STUPID WITH BREAKFAST!

So blogging has been difficult of late, I’ve had that overwhelming
feeling that life is not quite going to plan.

This breakfast truly made me turn my thoughts round to the more positive side of the fence…
taking into account this mug has two layers…one of Cocoa Pops getting nice and soggy at the bottom, and the top filled with crunchie crispy Rice Krispies!!

YUMZONE!! shortly followed by an indulgent bacon and eggs on toast.

Life has been up and down over the past week or so since I last posted, the job hunt is still ongoing and I am officially a ward of the state now as I have had to begin to claim JobSeeker’sAllowance, are you allowed to admit to that now-a-days?  Will I be hunted down for admitting to being a benefits beneficiary? 
Upon starting my claim, I had a terrible experience.  I was sweating the ENTIRE bus journey and once I got into that office, It dawned on me, that my Job Search was officially failing because I had ended up here, the one place I did not want to be.  The whole place is a stagnant atmosphere that promotes self-loathing and conscious doubt in your abilities as a human being!
So having started the day with my yummy mug of Joy, my life sank to new lows, encouraging the evil Dr.Depression to try to push through to the surface a little bit. So, I had to come home and treat myself to this yumsome plate of soft boiled eggs with a pinch of pepper and 2 slices of thick cut smoked bacon. There is something about the Joy of cooking that can truly cure any ill, the smell of the bacon slightly charring, the butter on the toast glistening as it melts and the salt and pepper, mingling into the golden sunshine that is the oozy yolk. The only thing that would have made this breakfast a million times better would have bee a gorgeous man in bed to serve it to, and an engorged bank account to replace it ready for the next morning 🙂

To all who have stuck it out with me, and who forgive me for my distance,

Happy blogging, Cheers for Reading,

L.J x

I’m Truly Stunned…

THE TRANSFORMATION OF EVE – click on the image if it’s not changing :)

The new 8ft by 5ft canvas that will be hanging in my room by the time ive painted it!I literally cannot wait to get some money and start painting this bad boy! I promised you all I would show you it when it was finished, and I edited it to sort of show how it will look once its painted! This canvas is going to be insane, almost like wallpaper it's going to be so big! It's based around the Adam Isaac Jackson/Mike Giant/1940s/retro tattoos style. Give it a few seconds and just sit and watch this one you will see the progression of the drawing which I am hereby naming "The Transformation of Eve". Hope you enjoy it L.J x P.S can YOU notice where her face changes from innocent to whore in a matter of seconds/pencil strokes 😉 whoopsie!