Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Beautiful things - June.

Oh my gosh, we're three days into July already! Oops!

I will do my best to give you a recap of what I got up to in June but I can't guarantee it'll be interesting or anything. Most of it was spent soaking up the sunshine and making the most of the hot weather we've finally been getting.

Anyway, June was the month to forget. Well, for the Rhinos, at least. Two more of our best players ended up on the already-long injury list and face a bit of a long lay-off and I'd say we've brought in a few academy players to make up for it but a) I haven't the foggiest who any of them are and b) we're struggling a little bit with some of the younger players being a bit inexperienced. We've won a few matches but we've lost a few more so it's going to be a while before we're back to our best I think.

Here's what else I got up to...


It's fair to say it's getting a bit warmer. Unfortunately, I'm not planning on venturing on holiday any time soon but I have stocked up on my summer wardrobe and put all the wintry stuff away until later in the year when it'll get stupidly cold again.

All of the above items are available at Zara. The dresses are perfect for the summer and, as most people know, I don't mind looking like a prize satsuma in a bright orange top owing to my love of Holland's national football team. In fact, MOST of their national teams wear bright orange. They're not 'de oranje' for nothing you know!


Whilst everyone's been obsessing over the new series of Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model and this year's Wimbledon tournament, neither of which I'm the least bit interested in, I've been getting my music groove on and watching Glastonbury. What's better than camping out in a muddy field watching bands perform live music? Watching it in your own home, of course! Who needs wellies when you can wear decent shoes and dance around your room like a complete loon? I loved most of the acts that performed this year, although Mumford and Sons bore the life out me. Sorry.
Away from the music side of things, I've also been watching old stand-up DVD's again. Namely Adam Hills and Peter Kay. Both are absolutely hilarious and I can't stop watching them. I know most of their routines, from Peter's "IT'S SPITTIN'! EVERYBODY IN!" gag to Adam's "f**k you and f**k the lot o' yous!" and they never fail to make me laugh every time. I even watched The Last Leg back in May. I just love Adam Hills. He's the funniest Australian on the planet and, when he has his sign language interpreter, the routine just gets even funnier, especially this one about the Dutch, which just cracks me up every time.


Remember the cute Swedish guy with the glass box in Düsseldorf back in 2011? The one who got pipped to second place by Italy's comeback? Well, he's back! Yes, little Eric Saade (minus his glass box) is back with a bang and his new single is AMAZING! I've rewatched his Eurovision performance again, which I danced along to on the night, and his new single, Coming Home, is even better. How can you not like him? He's so sweet and even better looking in the flesh! (Oops... did I say that out loud?!)


Unfortunately, yours truly hasn't really done much tweeting lately. I've been slacking, though I did manage one or two post-Eurovision tweets. I'll post my highlights from June anyway...
  • On Everton: "I actually like our new home kit. Shame about the shit badge." (@toffeeluce)
  • "What do you call a man wearing six balaclavas and a pair of ear muffs? Anything you like - he can't hear you!" (@sevens1878)
  • On Arsenal's manager: "Arsene Wenger looks like a stale baguette. Fact." (@sevens1878)
  • On San Marino: "Valentina AGAIN in 2014?! I know they're only a tiny state but do San Marino not have anybody else they could send to Eurovision?" (@scouserach)
  • On San Marino (again): "It's official: San Marino are sending Valentina to Denmark. Even Jedward didn't come back three times in a row!" (Me)
  • On Eurovision: "Armin van Buuren for the Netherlands?! YES PLEASE! (Him or Within Temptation representing them at Eurovision would be AWESOME!)" (Me)
  • On Carlos Tevez: "Tevez to Juve? No thanks." (@catastrophical)
And finally, my favourite tweet of June goes to...
 And that's yer lot! Bye for now!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Beautiful things - May.

It's getting a bit warmer but it's been a bad month for both my teams. Everton are looking for a new manager and the Rhinos have been dumped out of the Challenge Cup and have an injury list as long as Brian McDermott's arm after several of our players picked up leg breaks and shoulder injuries.


Anyway, here's what I got up to in May...


Most people took up a 'Blog Every Day In May' challenge but I didn't. I just blogged when I could but it was mainly about sports teams and the Eurovision Song Contest. That's about all.


Speaking of Eurovision, I watched both semi finals and the Grand Final itself. And what a week it was! The Netherlands got back into the final for the first time in nine years, Montenegro sent astronauts, Romania had a weird falsetto vampire (who, sadly, didn't get stabbed by the giant stakes that surrounded him), the United Kingdom came nowhere but somehow still beat the Germans and the Irish (who finished last), a smiley doctor finished eighth for Malta and a Danish royal won the whole thing, taking the contest back over the bridge next year, assuming it will be held in Copenhagen, though Herning's the current favourite to host it in 2014. Other host cities include Fredericia, Aalborg and Horsens, who want to host the contest in a decommissioned prison. Sorry, Horsens but, in the words of the dragons, I'm out.

Away from the telly (and, erm, Eurovision) side of things, I went to Rugby League's Magic Weekend at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester at the end of May. I was a bit reluctant to go at first because my husband and brother-in-law were involved in a car accident coming back from there earlier this year after Manchester City knocked Leeds United out of the cup but I went in the end and, even though Leeds Rhinos lost against Wigan Warriors whilst there was quite a class conga going on, I had to cheer when I saw that Bradford Bulls and St. Helens got stuffed. Again.


Most of May was spent listening to albums and other songs from this year's Eurovision artists, especially Emmelie de Forest (who won for Denmark) and Krista Siegfrids, the Finnish bridezilla. I've rewatched her Grand Final performance over and over again and her album is BRILLIANT. Here is her new single Amen. Enjoy.


Highlights from my personal Twitter feed in May include:
  • "Serbia won the Barbara Dex award. Not really a surprise considering they came dressed as a real-life game of Candy Crush."
  • "Razvan Rat, Razvan Rat, Razvan Rat and his claret and blue kit..."
  • "Some people are so thick. It's Finland that have the lesbian kiss, not Greece. They just have men in kilts."
  • "Leeds Rhinos. Marching out of the cup together."
  • "It's the end of an era. I feel like crying right now. Fare thee well, Moyes. Thank you for everything."
Highlights from others include:
  • This. That's my childhood ruined.
  • Tweets about Everton's new badge being rubbish. Thankfully, we've only got it for one season.
  • "How many wasps has Dave Whelan been chewing?" (@sevens1878)
  • "FAO Azerbaijan and Russia: you can debate all you like, the votes won't get recounted. Denmark won fair and square. Stop being sore losers." (@deneneogkun)
And, finally, my favourite tweets of the month go to...

Friday, 17 May 2013

Time to follow her tomorrow.

The second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest took place last night and a number of horrors went through to tomorrow night's final. I wanted San Marino and Switzerland to join Norway and Malta but, instead, we got tuneless shouty shit from Greece and a couple of dirges from Armenia and Iceland.


And we now have the running order for the final. France open the show, Spain go 5th, Malta go 9th, Germany go 11th, The Netherlands get the unlucky 13th position, the UK go 15th after the weird Romanian entry, Sweden go 16th, bookies and fans' favourite Denmark go 18th, Italy go 23rd, Norway go 24th and Ireland close the show.

Let's hope for a decent position for all of them and leave the tuneless dirges right at the bottom. We can all dream... right?!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Back where they belong!

I am literally still jumping for joy after last night! THE NETHERLANDS ARE BACK IN THE FINAL WHERE THEY BELONG! It's only nine years too bloody late!

Not one single tuneless shoutathon went through to the final last night but there's still Thursday night to go. Hopefully Anouk will shine in the final but she does have to sing in the first half so I'm hoping for a decent result. Other songs that I thoroughly enjoyed last night were the ones from Denmark and Ireland, both of whom are also in the final. They're both in the second half, though.

(Still no idea how Belgium got through. Roberto was off-key during his performance. My guess is all the Belgian votes went to The Netherlands... and vice versa. And Russia's song is still boring.)

Hopefully we'll see Norway and Malta joining them on Thursday. If it doesn't go to Amsterdam next year, can it go to Valletta instead? I'd like to see Malta win it one day. They've come close about four times but never won it.

Veel geluk, Anouk!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Thanks for the memories.

I'm truly gutted and feel like crying right now. David Moyes is leaving Everton at the end of the season, presumably to become the new manager of Manchester United, so we'll be on the hunt for a new manager. It's been a brilliant eleven years and it's now the end of an era.

So long, you ginger legend, and thanks for the memories. We'll miss you. 

PS: I just hope the likes of Mark Hughes and Neil Lennon don't come to Goodison Park. I can't stand either of them.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Beautiful things - April.

Well, it's definitely getting a bit warmer, isn't it? April was a brilliant month. My Rhinos boys have done well in the league and Challenge Cup, Steve Ganson quit refereeing (thank God), Queen Beatrix abdicated in The Netherlands and Margaret Thatcher finally shuffled off her mortal coil. That, and we're FINALLY getting a bit of sunshine after a stupidly long winter.

Anyway, here's what I got up to in April. Enjoy.


Every year, my family and I hold a Eurovision party and have a get-together with a few friends. (I didn't do this in 2011 as I was in Düsseldorf but my family still held a party anyway.) This year, it'll be no exception. I have a flag banner, which I'll be putting up, and getting everyone to dress up in fancy costumes, all for the sake of entertainment, and I'll be dressed as a Dutch football supporter, complete with bright orange top. The planning's going well so far and I'm also planning on making buns with the flags of European countries on, plus the usual food from different countries (pizza from Italy, cheeseboards from Scandinavia, garlicky things from France... that sort of thing). I wish I was going to Malmö but I'll still enjoy holding the party and having everyone looking a bit daft. As you do...


My love for Danish band A Friend In London has been well and truly rekindled and I spent most of April listening to their album and crying that two members of the band have decided to leave for personal reasons. And I've rewatched their performance from Eurovision 2011 over and over again several times. They were absolutely brilliant back then - well, they didn't come fifth for nothing.


Highlights from April included the following:
  • My friend singing Denmark's Eurovision entry Only Teardrops and someone thinking she'd been singing about pissflaps. (Don't ask.)
  • The same friend finally managing to make me into a Lego figure, complete with red hair and orange outfit. Initially, it was blue and white, as I'm an Evertonian (see the Lego figure at the side of my one), but she changed it to match my Dutch obsession.
  • Fernando Torres looking a tit in his stupid Zorro mask.
  • France finally legalising gay marriage. About time.
  • My Danish friend having an argument with a wall and breaking his wrist. Idiot.
  • Danny Cipriani having an argument with a bus whilst on a night out in Leeds and spending the night at the LGI. Muppet.
  • Saints getting stuffed by Hull KR. Marvellous.
(Yes, we're still crazy-arse-bonkers, but we don't care.)

PS: My Twitter feed is now unlocked. I always unlock it during Eurovision week but it will be locked again at the end of the month. That is all. (And yes, that is a Eurovision-related background. What of it?)

And finally, my favourite tweets of the moment go to...
Ciao for now!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Ding dong the witch is dead!

Thatcher's finally copped it! REJOICE!

(Say what you like about her but I personally couldn't stand the woman. She made people's lives hell. Now she can rot there.)

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Beautiful things.

Cleverly entitled Beautiful Things and in a move away from the Eurovision side of things, I've decided to make my blog a bit more personal which will hopefully let you see a bit more about my life in general. It really doesn't sound all that interesting but here are some lovely things I've been enjoying recently.


I think you'll agree with me when I say that March has been stupidly cold. We got hit by major snowdrifts and couldn't move most of the time but I managed to get out when I could and I know it seems silly buying summery clothes when I can't even wear them yet but I've been dreaming about getting away to sunnier climes and I couldn't help it.

You can find all of the above at H&M. I can't even wear the sunglasses until the summer and I love stupidly oversized t-shirts and jackets so the credit card came out for both of them.


After the death of much-loved actor Richard Griffiths recently, I have been mostly watching my box-set of Harry Potter again. I have all eight films on DVD and they're always available for me to watch whenever I feel like it. I miss my bad boy Draco Malfoy (I always was a Slytherin girl) but I can always dig them out and watch them over and over again. I can just hear myself shouting at the telly when Neville Longbottom kills that snake at the end but, then, even I know He Who Must Not Be Named was an evil one. I still want to go to the Harry Potter World thing at some point. Being something of a Potterhead, it might be a fun experience and something I'd probably enjoy making a day out of.


Considering I don't really have time to do much reading these days, I've been loving these two sports-related books recently. I got them both for Christmas last year (thanks mum and dad) and, as I support both Leeds Rhinos and Everton, they're absolutely brilliant and I can't put them down. I'm not letting my brother anywhere near them (I won't see them again) and my sister won't touch either of them anyway (she's a Castleford Tigers and Manchester City supporter), so that's OK. More Keith Senior (he's got no hair and we love him) and Everton for me, then!


Unless you've been hiding under a rock recently, you'll know that next month sees the return of Europe's favourite TV show, the Eurovision Song Contest. This year, the Netherlands are represented by the lovely Anouk and her Lana Del Rey-inspired song Birds and I really hope they get into the final for the first time since 2003. Then again, if a multi award-winning and well-known Dutch singer can't get into the final for them, who can? (Oh, and good luck to our Bonnie, who is representing the UK.)


Speaking of Eurovision, I've been loving the butterflies (see above) and these little icons made by the wonderful Ben Morris. I'm using his wonderful little Anouk icon on my Twitter, Facebook and They're simply amazing.

Top (L-R): Margaret Berger - Norway, Gianluca Bezzina - Malta, Cascada - Germany, Bonnie Tyler - UK.
Bottom: Takasa/Heilsarmee - Switzerland.


Recent highlights from my Twitter include the retweet from a Prince Charles parody account about Justin Bieber not coming back to the UK ever again, stuff about my various sports teams, a couple of tweets about Greece and Armenia's Eurovision songs being shite and one about (now ex) Newcastle United player Nile Ranger getting arrested for the umpteenth time. Then there was the lame joke about the Grand National I posted the other day. Further proof, if needed, that I'm crazy-arse-bonkers.

And finally, my favourite tweet of the moment goes to...

Monday, 1 April 2013

Eurovision 2013 review - PART TWO.

Part two of my wonderfully-brilliant Eurovision review.


ISRAEL: Oh, I like this. They haven't made the final for the last two years and Germany still won't get any points from them (as usual) but they should have no problem qualifying with this.
ITALY: OH HELLO MARCO! Italy have gone for the all-Italian option this year, having gone for dual-language for the last two years and, whilst I don't understand a word of Italian, I still think they have another decent song. Not sure if it's good enough to reach the top five this year though.
LATVIA: Oh, Latvia, have you learned NOTHING from Austria last year?! See you in the semis... again!
LITHUANIA: FINALLY! Lithuania have a song that ISN'T as dull as dishwater and Andrius isn't bad looking either!
MALTA: Another one I've liked from the start. There's no foot shuffling this year but the little doctor hasn't let me down yet and I'm sure he'll do well. Will he be good enough to reach the final though? Only time will tell...
MOLDOVA: Moldova have gone for the Romanian option this year. Not sure about the song either. It may grow on me.
MONTENEGRO: Well, at least it's better than last year's effort. That's all I've got on that one.
NORWAY: You can always rely on the Norwegians to deliver a decent song - and this one's no exception. It's very electro and very uptempo and I love it. Hoping it fares a little better than Tooji's effort last year though. He was robbed by some of the more rubbish songs and I felt so sorry for him!
ROMANIA: This one is just plain odd. Sorry Romania!
RUSSIA: Hey, Russia, Hear'Say called. They want their song back.
SAN MARINO: MUCH BETTER! You're forgiven, Valentina!
SERBIA: Congratulations, Serbia, you've clearly sent the sluttiest song of this year's contest.
SLOVENIA: Slovenia have sent a song that ISN'T a ballad?! SHOCK HORROR! That said, it's a decent enough song and it may qualify but it won't win.
SPAIN: Another decent song from the Spaniards. Hope they don't tell them they can't win though. I know they're short of money but that's ridiculous!
SWEDEN: How do you fit the word You into one chorus? Just ask Robin Stjernberg! Another uptempo song from this year's host country and another one I LOVE! He was the first ever winner of Melodifestivalen's Andra Chansen too so I hope that's not a bad thing! Good luck Sweden!
SWITZERLAND: The bloody Salvation Army get everywhere - and now they've invaded Eurovision! Thankfully, they've had to change their name (they're now known as Takasa) and the song actually isn't too bad so I can forgive them!
UKRAINE: This song is a little better than last year's effort but not much. It may still qualify though.
UNITED KINGDOM: And finally, my country. At least Bonnie Tyler can still sing in tune so we may have a chance this year. Can we at least finish on the left-hand side of the board again please?

AND THAT'S THE WRAP! I'm counting on Europe to leave the shit out of the final (I'm looking at you, Greece) and give my Dutchies a chance! May the best song/artist win!

Eurovision 2013 review - PART ONE.

So, having listened to all of this year's Eurovision entries in full, I can now bring you my review of the songs. Most are good but some are rather naff - and there's no evil Irish twinniness this year.


ALBANIA: This supposed 'rock song' is crap. Still, at least there's no warbling or chucking cats down a well, so that's a bonus I suppose.
ARMENIA: Armenia weren't in last year's contest due to it being in Azerbaijan, who they've been at war with for centuries, but with this song it seems like there was no point in them coming back this year. The song is a wee bit naff for my liking. Sorry Armenia!
AUSTRIA: Much better, Austria! Last year's song was rubbish but this one is much better and I love it! I still don't think Vienna will be hosting next year's contest, though.
AZERBAIJAN: OH HELLO FARID! Nice song and nice on the eye as well! OOF!
BELARUS: Another year, another change of song. I liked Rhythm Of Love but I'm still middle-of-the-road on Saloyah. Not sure if I like it or hate it. It might still grow on me before May, however...
BELGIUM: Whilst Roberto is nice on the eye, this song is a bit bland and it'll probably go nowhere in the semis. Sorry Belgium!
BULGARIA: Another country who changed their song. It's also a bit rubbish. See you in the semis.
CROATIA: Did someone lose the memo that classical crossover doesn't usually work at Eurovision? Slovenia tried it in 2007 and flopped. Sweden tried it in 2009 and flopped. France tried it in 2011 and guess what? They flopped. Good luck, Croatia. You're going to need it.
CYPRUS: Nice song but I still preferred last year's La La Love. Cyprus might struggle to qualify with this but we'll see.
DENMARK: This year's favourites, which isn't a bad thing because I love the song. It sounds very Gaelic with the tin whistle thing and Danish royal Emmelie may actually have a chance this year. Last time Sweden held Eurovision, Denmark won it, so maybe they'll win it again? Who knows? Copenhagen/Aarhus/Aalborg 2014, anyone? (What? Loreen was runaway favourite last year so it could happen!)
ESTONIA: Not as dull and boring as last year's song but it's still not far off. It won't sink like their ferry though so I can cope with this one.
FINLAND: Ooh, very uptempo! Love it!
FRANCE: I think I preferred last year's song with the fit French dancers and, yet again, we're not going to see Eurovision held in Paris any time soon.
FYR MACEDONIA: I liked Imperija before they went and changed it. Now, I'm not so keen. See you in the semis.
GERMANY: Cascada have always been a favourite of mine so when I found out they were representing Germany this year, I squealed! The song may sound a bit like Euphoria in places but I still love it and it may end up being a two-way battle between Germany and Denmark this year. Will it be in Copenhagen or Berlin/Düsseldorf next year? Only time will tell...
GEORGIA: FINALLY! Georgia actually have a song worth listening to that's not a tuneless shout-a-thon or crap rap! Love it!
GREECE: This is the worst song of the lot this year and the Greeks have definitely been buying songs from the Germans on a very low budget again. Have they deliberately sent a shit song in the hope they don't win? See you in the semis, Greece.
HOLLAND/THE NETHERLANDS: If popular singer Anouk doesn't make it into the final for the Dutchies, they're definitely doing something wrong! Her song Birds may sound a bit like a Lana Del Rey throwback but I still love it and I REALLY hope it qualifies otherwise I will give up all hope of my lovely Netherlands ever making it back into the final.
HUNGARY: ByeAlex? Yes, bye Alex. See you in the semis.
ICELAND: This is the first time we'll hear Icelandic sung at Eurovision since about 1997 but I'm still not overly convinced. It sounds like a lullaby but at least it's better than about 90% of the songs in this year's contest so I'll forgive them.
IRELAND: NO JEDWARD! HALLELUJAH! Ireland have a much better song but Ryan, who is actually from Northern Ireland, just needs to work on his live vocals if they want a chance of reaching the final again this year.

Part two coming right up...