Sunday, 18 January 2015

Die Antwoord, Glasgow Academy 14.01.15

Dirty, Freaky, Thumping Sounds

What an incredible show and an ear splitting sound this African trio create. 
If you like Rave music, you will love Die Antwoord so very much.

Your vocabulary doesn’t need to be perfect because most of the lyrics involve the F word.
Yo-Lande’s cute high pitched voice interjects with words that even if you can’t decipher are great to squeal along to anyway and front man Ninja is a loud and proud repetitive rude boy rapper. All of this excitement along to the hard core dance and techno heart beats from DJ Hi-Tek just keep your feet jumping and your arms pumping. 

The tempo rose and rose throughout their 75 minute show as they knocked out high octane slammers such as PitBull Terrier, I Fink U Freaky and Babys on Fire.

The lights kept blasting and flashing. The back drop graphics and video footage was freaky and fascinating.
The huge blow up character with the even more gigantic glowing penis was insane and the African booty bouncing from the two additional  dancers dressed in skin tight all in ones or so tight they were practically invisible hot pants was impressive. Couple that with wrapped tight face masks they were sexy, lithe and capable of twerking all night long. At times I was so engrossed in the onstage antics, I literally forgot to dance or blink. But they were nothing compared to the delights of the ridiculously pleasing teeny tiny body of Yo-Lande and her delightful hip swaying shirt lifting moves. Has anyone actually checked that she’s not from another planet?

Die Antwoord formed in 2008. Their name is Afrikaans for ‘The Answer.’ They have previously been quoted as saying, “people are unconscious, and you have to use your art as a shock machine to wake them up.” Well they cracked it, there is no way you can listen to Die Antowoord without waking up and at times last night I was shocked in a number of senses: sound, sight, lust and sensuality. They are a super slick machine.

With Ninja the grizzley grunting gregarious front man, an incredibly attractive, psycho glass shattering sidekick and a strong omnipotent DJ Hi-Tek who throws down the all the rave-tastic beats and bass that keeps a satisfied smile sweating on your face.

My favourite parts had to be transfixed to the African booty shaking over DJ Hi-Teks big bouncing bonkers beats, Yo-Landes piercing voice and Ninja swiping a mobile phone in video mode from the crowd, shoving it down his pants, wiping it on his junk, having a sniff and handing it back. Now that will teach them!

This South African trio are the whole package and they are right to jump and shout about it. If you don’t like them, they will tell you quite loudly to your face. F off.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Pick up a Pen. Pick up a Penguin.

Before Christmas I realised that my time was up in Dumfries and Galloway NHS. I have worked there for over 12 years, led an interesting journey through and up the system. I have built a name for myself as an accomplished project manager and in less friendly circles, as a bit of a ball breaker.

I have always enjoyed my day job. But as I climbed the natural promotional ladder, I missed working at operational level, I missed the people and I missed the community.
Couple this with my ever increasing frustration at the slow pace of progress there, I feel held back. Especially in my current role which, believe it or not, is working with technology to help run services more efficiently and effectively for the demand we will certainly face in the future.
I am passionate about this role. And I have a good reputation at a UK level for the innovative work I have already led on. I have presented it locally nationally and internationally.

However I have come to realise, that no matter where I move to, what sideways, upwards, passionate step you take, unless you leave the region, it is still the same hospital, the same HR department, the same barriers, the same awkward consultants, the same antiquated GPs, the same old people and the same unresolved inherent problems. I am going nowhere fast apart from up my own level of stress. Being at the front of progress can feel lonely and frustrating. I am constantly delivering on change management. Trying to inspire and enthuse others. Waiting for them to catch up. It doesn’t feel about succeeding anymore but about  backing off to go at the pace of the majority. And that just doesn’t suit me any more.

Since I was 18 I have always dabbled with arts and crafts business ventures. I had my own arts, crafts and imports shop before I was 20, I have often produced random pieces that people have asked to buy off me and I have worked creatively at Glastonbury festival for twenty years.
In the past few years I have increased my artistic endeavours and adventures into a business venture. Dipping my toes into more and  more opportunities until last year when I decided to give it a go and see if it would become a viable and earnable business model. The short swift answer was no. As I previously explained  in my Making History Blog, I did a LOT last year. But sadly, so very regrettably, it did not pay well enough for me to leave the day job. Or even reduce the day job.

So. That outcome duly noted. I critically appraised the job I was in. And I’m not in it for love. Not satisfaction.  Just the money. So I began searching around for a new job.

I carried out a Future Basing session on myself and BF and we decided to focus our ten year plan on a business idea of his. Property Automation. For those of you with no idea what that is, in brief, it is a tailored to you service, enabling everything in your home to be controlled by a hand held device. So you can close curtains, turn up/down heating, see who is at your front door, locate a film/song/recipe/photograph, listen to music, adjust the lighting, all from your phone /tablet / pc. Its kinda cool. 

Built into this empire building was the need for us to develop properties to generate capital to invest with and to use as ever increasingly more impressive show homes. I swore to keep up my creative work for my own sanity, identity and satisfaction. Mostly in the form of writing (I am writing a book this year you know!) blogging and artistic commissions. 
It  was a very exciting plan to brew up. All from our own minds, to paper with our own hands. Using nothing but passion and a pen. 

I also made a request. When we get to the end of this marvellous and ambitious ten year plan and we are doing this Future Basing process again for the following years, can we travel? Can we see the world? I miss it so much. Not just breaks and holidays. But back packing, leaving home, travelling. 
I would love to give something back to the world too. Help in third world countries with teaching children, or vaccinations. Although you can keep. Me.the.hell.away.from.war.

But mostly I would love to volunteer in an animal sanctuary. Or on a nature reserve. Reintroduce rescued animals back into the wild. I simply HAVE to do those things. It’s in my heart. Always has. It is my life’s mission. Can you imagine what it would do for my animal impressions? In fact maybe some of the ones I currently can do would help me to blend in?

And then a random job alert popped into my inbox one day. Under a search I had done with a Charity Jobs Online agency for anything with manager, director or lead in the title.

It is working for the Heritage Trust. It is in conservation. It is working from home. And before I know it, my heart rate was up, my feet untucked from beneath me and firmly planted on the floor, my face inches from the screen, my finger clicking away at links through to the person spec, through to the website, through to further linked associations and information sources. I was hooked. Researching researching researching. A weird and wonderful opportunity. Something totally out of the park and unexpected. But boy did it peak my interest. Peaked and perky!
And I realised two things.
1) I remember this feeling! This is interest. This is excitement. Trepidation. Passion
2) Why wait until I can travel? Why not work giving back now?

So I am applying. I am dreaming, hoping, researching. I want to work in conservation. I want to protect  the Island of South Georgia, where nobody lives but Penguins and birds. Where the Intrepid Antarctic explorer Shakleton had a base before losing his ship to pack Ice heading for the south pole. 
It’s a beautiful place. Somewhere I can love, protect and believe in.

Its work from home. Obviously. But with expected field trips. And an incredible two year plan that I just know I can see to fruition and beyond. I have already devised plans and actions which I think are quite revolutionary!
I am very excited.

So all this Future Basing and thinking positively is already bringing in results.

I have some article and blogging writing opportunities. I have started a book. I have an exciting job application.

All I needed to do was Pick up a Pen. Pick up a Penguin?

Friday, 9 January 2015

Desigual Dress

I like to review.
I love clothes.
I adore Desigual.
So naturally, here is what I think about this Cirque du Soleil dress...

You can join the Circus and clown around in style in this dress.

Ever wanted to join the circus?
To look hot & shiny while spinning and twirling around having fun Never made it there yet?
Then wearing this Desigual dress can bring the circus onto you.
You will feel so good in it, its cartwheels for you! Its so colourful and bright, it will light up your night, let you be the one to stand out from the crowd.
Whether you are clowning around with friends, looking to thrill as a double act or simply be the best dressed on the night, this dress has it all.
Flattering shape, pretty yet bold, it has everything a girl with something unusual up her sleeve will desire. I know I do! In this dress I would feel on top of the world, or the Big Top anyway!

Susie Jamieson

Check out Susie's brand new type of therapy - its creative and experience based. Its all about innovative ways, underpinned by her counselling expertise, to help you find peace, health and happiness in your life.

Susie is a talented and interesting therapist, with a huge toolbox of experience to bring to her new company.

If you are feeling down about something and think talking to someone would help, I recommend Susie. She even offers counselling through skype, if you cant get out much! How easy is that!!

And she gave me a little mention for my assistance with her content revision. Isnt that nice?

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Making History

Happy New year!!! 

Oh my gosh, its gone!


Where did you go so quick?
Well...I will tell you how so quick. I just didn’t stop!!!

I said I was going to put everything into my creative events business. Give it my all and see if it was a viable, earnable option. Interested in changing my day job, or at least being able to reduce it to part time, I decided to put the effort in. And boy did the work flow in. And not just making and creating work. My favourite work of all. ...writing work. Reviewing work. I jumped with glee and accepted it all. 
I acknowledge that at times I was too busy. Ok, ok, I accept that now but maybe not at the time. 
I do know I could not have done it without the help and support of an amazing BF. My absolute saviour many many times. And the impressive rally round of fabulous friends. <bows>

My heart was committed, my inbox full of contracts and my head full of clich├ęs and other peoples logic for facing the trials and tribulations ahead.

  • They say ask a busy person if you want something done.
  • They also say, more haste, less speed. A confusing statement really.
  • They say, in times of stress and adversity, keep busy, plough your energy into something positive.

And that I did. But who are ‘they’ anyway? Sometimes ‘they’ are wrong. Or ‘they’ are not made of the same stuff that ‘we’ are made of. For at times the activity was more than ploughing energy into something, it was desperate distraction from the pain and anguish we faced through 2014. It was manic. It was chaotic. But we got through it. Successfully. And proud. With clip boards and coloured labels.

I attended five fantastic UK festivals and subsequently wrote five reviews for Festivals for All. At the end of the season I was then asked to write a further reflective multi-part review from the perspective of working at a festival and subsequently had the following five articles published!!

Part 3 – What day is it?

Part 5 – Freaky Fun Friday

Thank you Festivals For All for making a dream come true. As I said back in April – 

Yes, of course I would love to write about what I am doing.
Yes, of course I would love to write about where I am going.
Oh yes, go on then, I can interview a few bands for my articles.
And yes, if I must, I can keep a log of all the amazing things that happen.
Living the dream...

The core Bluetopia crew of two collaborated at Glastonbury Festival and then expanded to a crew of 32 to carry out a phenomenal feast of work at the Wickerman Festival. You only need to read the above articles to understand the immensity of that undertaking and how proud I still am to this day. 
It certainly didnt pay. But it still makes my day. Thanks to the core crew for being out of this world.

I was in the local rag for my 2014 Big Burns Supper Car-Naval-News commissioned vehicle art, made some awesome haggis too but they all darted away as soon as I stuck on their beady little eyes.

I submitted two short pieces to a small community writing outlet, The Fankle.

Was surprised and revelled in the words that flowed through my mind, onto my tongue and out of my mouth in the middle of the night. Often giving me quite a fright in the morning, for they came with no warning. Amongst everything else that happened in 2014, my brain found time to be poetic or prophetic. And through exhaustion let’s not forget pathetic. 

I managed an unabridged version of the funniest festival friendship of my life – Belladrum with a new beautiful bestie barrel of laughs known to all as The Linz (that unique her name begins with The) and another 11 Blogs.

I've been trained and certified as Scotlands leading Future Basing Practitioner and delivered 4 sessions. More on THAT'S later.

I’ve designed and delivered nine themed PhotoBooths and  thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. 

And that my dear reader (s?) was the Bluetopia Business of 2014. 

Through it all, it’s not been about the money. The money would have been a bonus. It’s been about the swappsies. The fun and frivolous pleasing of my creative skills. It’s been about trying hard and doing my best and sticking two fingers up to the rest. It’s been working with some of the most inspiring and amazing artistic, creative and precious people I have had the honour of spending time with.

2014 blessed me with brilliant and beautiful people.

I still worked full time on the day job. I still have to.
I still managed a number of gigs and to go on holiday.

And upon a number of days reflecting as 2015 approached I realised I missed writing.
And then it hit me. 
I am too busy making history to write it. 

In a Fankle

I was lucky enough in 2014 to contribute twice to a very small but worthy community writers outlet: The Fankle.

For my English followers, a fankle is a wonderful Scottish word describing a bit of a muddle really. Not as serious as an accident but quite a bit more icky than a knotted ball of string.

You are in a fankle if you fall over putting your own trousers on. Or getting your hairbrish stuck in your hair. Definitely in a fankle when more than three things conspire to go wrong at once. And absolutely in a fankle with anything tied around your ankle.

I love the word Fankle. Always have. Anyway I digress...

The following appeared first in March / April edition under the Fankles theme of:

I Remember, I Remember.

I remember, I remember  how much I love you every day and the pain of when you went away.
I wish I could remember more that you would say. Why must those memories fade away?
I remember much fun we had. How much you looked after me.
How much we spoke on the phone and how long we could talk about nothing.
I remember how much you loved my hair.  You called it my crowning glory.
I can cut it now you are not here. But I wish I hadn’t.

I remember how much of a big deal you made of birthdays. The gifts you saved all year.
I remember the size of the parcel stack that made you smile so wide to give. How special you made it.
I remember how much you added to my funny stories, and I realise how much I forget now you are not here, not near.
I remember how much funnier you made those stories, even when you embarrassed me, you always told the truthful bits that I chose to forget.
I remember when you turned 50 and made me take you on a geriatric drive to nowhere. We got lost, going nowhere. You made me do an emergency stop because you suddenly pointed and said “that road goes somewhere.” We laughed, because all roads go somewhere. I remember that drive like it was just last week.

I remember my 30th Masquerade Ball. You twirled around in a beautiful big red dress and thanked me. Because you had never had the chance to wear a ball gown before.

I remember your smell and your face, your love and your hugs.
I remember your voice, your crazy hand knitted jumpers, your short blue, pink or purple hair, your piercing blue eyes.
I remember how safe I felt in your arms, even over 30 years old, nothing could make me forget the comfort of you.

I remember how much we screamed at each other, how much you forgave me.
I remember the laughter we shared and your beautiful smiling face.

I remember you every day, in every way, in the words I say, and my determination each day, to remember you.

I remember, I remember. I remember you. I do.

Lou Hyland

And then this one was published in the Nov / Dec edition under the Fankles theme of:

Just a Minute

Waiting in line.
I can handle just a minute, or even I won’t be long,
But when you say just a sec...I think really? That’s so wrong.
When you say just a second I count slowly in my head,
And after one, I ask ‘ready now?’ and see your face turn red.
I see frustration slanted at my literal taking on your words,
But all I want is to be clear on how long I will wait to be served.
I know I’m being impatient and perhaps a little unkind,
But when I know the reality, I really do not mind
But really just a sec? It’s not that long at all,
So why not say just a minute and save yourself the fall?

Lou Hyland

One makes me cry, the other makes me giggle.