Monday, 27 January 2014

New year

Sorry again the blog has been neglected, so better start with the end of last year.

I saw Blue, who were really, really good. Even though any respect I may have had about Lee has completely gone due to Celebrity Big Brother. I went with my sister who hadn't been able to see them back in the day as they split before the tour. She enjoyed herself which was all that matter, and the Roulette album is actually pretty good.

I saw 5ive in Bournemouth, who were amazing! Again well worth the wait. They played all the hits and only a few rows from the front it was great. Up close I felt like I was 15 again, which doesn't happen very often now a days. I am glad I got to see them, and shut that door.

Then in December I went to the O2 for the last gig of the year.... The Big Reunion Christmas party, so I have never seen 5ive and then saw them three times in one year perfect. 
The Christmas party had a great vibe and atmosphere, I love Christmas anyway and this felt like a massive party. The bands did a similar set to the gig at the Hammersmith and then Christmas songs, as far as gigs go it was so much fun and I would love bands to do more Christmas party gigs.

Can't think about much else at the end of last year. Been doing a lot of fun stuff for work. Most of it can be found

So 2014....a lot of musicals - Wicked, Singin' in the Rain, Warhorse. Gigs wise I have Foals and McBusted (I know don't judge).

But running is taking a step forward this year next month I am doing the Brighton half marathon, I am very nervous, feel the jump from 10 miles to 13 miles is a leap. And with Christmas the training has been difficult so bit nervous but hoping I, at least, enjoy the experience.

In March I am doing a 10k Race for Rowan, and in October I am doing the 5k Speed of Light in Bournemouth which I am really looking forward to.

And the Great South Run again, I said never again but I want to see if I can beat my time, and it is the 25th anniversary. A lot of running,  and all for charity Macmillan and Rowans Hospice.

Very exciting and hopefully I'll keep the blog posts going this year.

To donate to my charities -

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

October and November articles - etc Magazine

Work has been busy, busy, busy. Just finished December's issue, which involved a trip to East Sussex to meet some very interesting people and we are now on January so I have no idea what month it is.

All the digital editions of the magazine are online uder the emags tab and by clicking the archive tab on the side you can look back over the last few months -

But on the website here are some article I have written which you might be interested in:

Carving Magic - This was a lot of fun and amazing what they can make from a carrot. 

Winter sun Jamaica -

Tamsin Egerton interview -

Garden designer Amanda Patton -

Delicious Chocolate by Miss Witt -

Old one from August - Martha Mitchell Designs from Brighton -

Plus lots more to read if you have a look around.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Great South Run 2013, October, Portsmouth and Southsea

At the end of October I completed the Great South Run again. 

Having caught the running bug nearly two years ago I felt an enormous sense of achievement crossing that finish line as I ran the complete 10 miles on my own, with great support from the crowd.

For anyone unaware the Great South Run is the premiere 10 mile event in the UK and attracts thousands and thousands of runners each year (25,000 this time).

There is a great buzz and you run through the streets of Portsmouth and Southsea through the dockyard, past the Spinnaker, and along the seafront. 

All the way through I felt fine a lot more confident than last year and paced myself to make sure I didn't burn out quickly. However, it would seem the weather had another plan for the runners, the evening of the run a massive storm was predicted.  It didn't hit when we were running however coming through Eastney was fine but turning right onto the seafront it felt as if someone hit you and running along was a constant struggle and felt as if someone constantly had their hands on your shoulders pushing you back.

It was brutal and by far the hardest two miles I have ever run, there was a point that I was concerned that I would not be able to finish, I kept running whereas others walked. The only thought going through my head was if I walk I won't be able to run and with the need to beat my time again kept pushing through.

Last year I completed the Great South Run in 2 hours 9 minutes, this year...1 hour 58 minutes. To say I am over the moon is an understatement I was overwhelmed and so proud that I had done it. I also raised £260 for Mind which was phenomenal.

I did say I wasn't going to do it again next year, £41 is quite a lot, so I am looking at getting a charity spot again. My thinking well first it is the 25th anniversary and second if it's not windy how fast could I run it?

In other running news not long to go until the Brighton Half Marathon in February, little nervous 13 miles so this week going to up my training to nail it! Just hope my couple of weeks off doesn't impact on it all.

After the Great South Run

My treat after the race

Blue, Hammersmith Apollo, London - 22nd October 2013

It has been a while, work has been a little hectic so not had much time to sit and stop with the want to write after doing so all day at work.
However, a quiet weekend means I can write some reviews and updates for the things I have been up to recently.

If you have read my blog or gig reviews on here before then you will know I am a child of the 90s and love my pop music, the cheesier the better, well in my childhood not so much now.
Since becoming an adult I have had the opportunity to see the bands I was unable to when I was a kid e.g. Spice Girls, The Big Reunion ( and Steps (

My sister was a huge Blue fan back in the day and my mum bought us tickets but when we went to go the band split causing my sister a lot of heartache. 

When they reformed, properly, and announced a tour for their new album Roulette my mum bought us a couple of tickets and off we went to the Hammersmith to see the band my sister was obsessed with.

To be honest it took a while for them to come on the stage, about quarter past nine which was ok but not ideal we were lucky as we drove so knew we wouldn't have to leave early to get a train home.

Apart from that the gig was a lot better than I was expecting. They sang live and were brilliant, great voices especially Lee Ryan who can hold a note and can certainly belt them out.

They also danced pulling  out the moves from the old days as well as some new ones for songs from the new album, which was also another surprise.

After the awful Eurovision song I wasn't expecting the new songs to be good and had a real essence of the way they were in their heyday.

Great songs from the new album include Hurt Lovers  and Ayo, and of course they also played crowd favorites One Love, Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours  and Fly By and by the response in the room there was some die hard fans who also seemed to be loving the new album.

This gig was amazing and showed the boys do have stayed power, maybe the break was worth it as their voices and dance moves were top notch and I would definitely see them again.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Ghost The Musical, The Mayflower, November 2013

The Mayflower in Southampton has really upped its game in recent years getting big West End shows pretty much as soon as they finish. In the past they have had Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Legally Blonde and next year will play host to Dirty Dancing and the phenomenal Wicked.

I prefer The Mayflower, only a 40 minute drive, compared to the long journey to London it is great to show these shows come locally.

As a massive fan of the film Ghost I was thrilled when I heard it was coming to the Mayflower as I was gutted to have missed it in London.

On the website Ghost is described as - a timeless fantasy about the power of love. Walking back to their apartment one night, Sam and Molly are mugged, leaving Sam murdered on a dark street. Sam is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next and unable to leave Molly who he learns is in grave danger. With the help of a phony storefront psychic, Oda Mae Brown, Sam tries to communicate with Molly in the hope of saving and protecting her.

The 1990 film starred Demi Moore as Molly, Patrick Swayze as Sam and Whoopi Goldberg as Oda Mae. It pulls at the heartstrings and every time I watch the film I cry so I was pretty sure the musical would do the same.

With films into musicals I am always a little dubious as to how they will come off Legally Blonde worked amazingly well, and when I found out that Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics I had high hopes.

The only song really I knew would be there was Unchained Melody, the stand out song of the film.

So the musical...beautifully set and just a fantastic production, the transitions from person to ghost with the body still on stage was seamless and I still don't understand how they did it. It was a very clever production and the stage was amazing with the beginning whizzing you through the streets of New York.

The musical captures the magic of the film perfectly and the songs fit perfectly in this new mould.

It is always going to be hard to match the actors who were in the film but each actor played their part well and made it their own, the fact that Molly has blonde curly hair rather than a short brown crop instantly distinguishes the two actresses and you almost forget that someone else every played the role.

The stand out character and actress for me though was Wendy Mae Brown who plays Oda Mae Brown. In quite a heavy story line she adds welcomed light relief and has an amazing voice to carry the songs home.

When we went to watch another actress was playing the role of Molly - Amy Webb, who was excellent, it makes you wonder why she wasn't given the part in the first place.

Finally Sam was played by Stewart Clarke and although no legendary Swayze he really made you connect with Sam and feel his pain at dying way before his time.

This musical is just brilliant and really adds another dimension to an already popular and fantastic film. I really think if you love the film you will be hard pushed to hate this musical.

And before you ask yes I did cry at the end...

To find out more visit -

Monday, 30 September 2013

Liam Fray acoustic tour, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth, Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I have seen Manchester band The Courteeners about four or five times at last count since about 2007 when they first came to Portsmouth and Southampton. With these gigs you know what you are going to get, loud and fast guitar heavy songs belted out across the room with the crowd loving every minute.

To say the crowd at a Courteeners gig is full of energy is probably an understatement, they sing, they dance, they shout and chant - mainly 'Li-am, Li-am, Li-am'.

So when I bought me and my boyfriend tickets to see lead singer Liam Fray's acoustic gig I was a little intrigued as to what he was going to play and what it would be like.

Lets just say I was not disappointed, and the crowd still managed to get a chant in.
Playing for about an hour and a half he treated us to a number of Courteeners hits Last of the ladies, Scratch you name upon my heart and Lose controlAll of which just sounded perfect, just him, a guitar and a piano guy. 

It is nice to hear songs like Acrylic slowed down and stripped back showcasing the word smith we all know Fray is.

Even though he said he had a sore throat the songs were delivered, to the sometimes silent room, with such quality and class.

The crowd were also a little different this time, less rowdy but still shouting out the song lyrics at the top of their voice, especially to favourites Bide your time  and Please don't, so loud in fact that Liam stepped back to enjoy the moment and let the crowd sing out.

 I can see why with this tour he has chosen to play smaller more intimate venues like the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth as he can interact with the audience, so much so that someone in the front wanted to talk to him about Manchester to which he said 'You want a one to one conversation but no one else in the room cares'. 

To be honest I think at this gig was the most I have ever heard Liam talk.

He also treated the room to a bit of a Fleet Foxes song which was amazing.

It was an phenomenal gig, laid back and chilled out but still with a slight rock and roll edge. 

Even without the band as support Liam still brings it to the stage and I'll be buying my ticket next time he goes acoustic.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

September etc Magazine

Finally September and the new etc is out. We have just put October to press but I thought I would share what I have done this month.

Sussex -

Is a wedding and motor special.
I have a range of interviews but also one with Martha Mitchell a ceramic designer who makes amazing mugs with line drawings, I love the biscuit mug. -

Hampshire -

I spoke to Nigel at Hang you Hat a hotel with a difference, I reviewed Becketts in Southsea, amazing food. Southsea Deckchairs also talk about the British classic and lots more. -

In Eastbourne -

Check out my interview with Pearl & Queenie in Hastings really beautiful jewelry - interview is also online -

So check them out and I can't wait for you to see October some great interviews coming up.