TFI Friday

 

Whatever kind of mother you are – stay at home, work at home, work in an office – Friday is always SO welcome. For me it means adult conversation and 50% more grown-ups in the house, which in turn means I have 50% more time to do really important stuff like go to the rugby club and drink beer. Or watch Strictly Come Dancing.

In the old days child-free days of full-time work, 5pm on a Friday would mean pub time; these days I like to  get in the weekend mood by cranking up Spotify at tea time and having a mini dance party in the kitchen. Even more fun now Elfie’s stopped putting her hands over her ears when I sing (“Mummy STOP! Don’t LIKE IT”). For this reason I have compiled a specific Friday playlist, full of pop music from a while ago to present day.

So when it comes to that time of day pour yourself a glass of wine and stick this on. For that extra frisson of not knowing what’s coming next put the playlist on ‘random’ – we are living on the edge here.

Oh and the playlist is called ‘Mummy Needs Wine’, for obvious reasons. You are welcome.

 

 

PS: If you’re reading this in an RSS reader you may need to click through to see the playlist! 

Musical Festivities

Buraka Som Sistema, Bestival 2009

In those old-time single gal days there was nothing better than a weekend at a music festival. As long as there was a hotel room or holiday cottage included, natch. In fact, the last time I camped at a festival was at Reading 2002… that’s 10 YEARS AGO. In fact, here’s a blurry photo as evidence: I think that’s a can of Strongbow I’m toting, thank goodness I moved on to Malbec and Malborough Sauvignon.

 

 

Will and I did lots of them as a couple (bar Glastonbury, which is planned with a Winnebago next year): Field Day, Wireless, Leeds, Sonar, Roskilde… Bestival was the last festival we went to pre-babies so it’ll always have a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to go back in a couple of years.

 

If you are luckier than me and are able to get away for some musical R+R on the Isle of Wight next weekend then read on. My friends at Arcadia are giving away a pair of tickets and it couldn’t be easier to enter: just head on over to their Facebook page.

And if you win, have a Strongbow for me.

 

Call Your Girlfriend

I never much liked Robyn… always found her a bit whiney. And short floppy undercuts – bleugh (apart from yours Adele, yours rocks). But I am totally into her new album, still whiney but much more manageable.

The video for the single ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ is pretty special; so simple yet very powerful.

However, this version by Bon Appetempt completely blows it out of the water. I imagine this is what I look like when I do a Zumba class. With less co-ordination:

Bon Appetempt covers Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” from jeana sohn on Vimeo.

 

Link via For Me, For You

Musical love: Cocknbullkid

I am a creature of habit. I like to eat at the same restaurant, go on holiday to the same place, eat the same food. I like routine.

I don’t like to deviate from my favourite musical artists because in a sense I feel I am betraying them; I understand this is very, very weird. So when I discover new music I tend to stick to it like a barnacle. I become obsessed, listening to it over and over.

Meet my  new obsession: Cocknbullkid, aka Anita Blay.

I first got into her in 2008 when I met her on a Halloween night out. Here she is -

 

And here am I on that same night. Terrifying.

Shortly after this spooky night out she appeared on the Jules Holland show, and then went quiet for a while. It would seem she got signed (to Island), deleted me from her facebook friends (SOB) and worked on a kick ass album that was recently released. I’m sure you can see where this was going, but basically I can’t stop listening to it.

I think the ‘Hold on to Your Insecurity’ video is absolutely adorable. A great sentiment.

‘Asthma Attack’ was filmed in my old ‘hood of Broadway Market and makes me feel terribly homesick. London, send me some cash and I’ll be back for you, baby!

You can follow Anita on Twitter or buy her album on iTunes.

 

 

Festival Season

Music has always been a huge part of our family’s life. My husband works in the music business, we met and fell in love at a music venue and we have spent our relationship flitting between clubs, gigs and festivals. I try to go with him to his shows when I can but it’s obviously a bit harder these days.

I have so many amazing memories of 2009; our ‘year of fun’ when we decided to be completely irresponsible and simply work to play – mostly at summer festivals! We went to Sonar in Barcelona, Roskilde in Copenhagen, Bestival on the Isle of Wight and all the London festivals.

 

This year will be a little less hectic, we’re off on a short ‘work’ trip to Ibiza soon but will keep all our festivals London-based and there’ll be no crazy afterparties to interfere with little teething people.

Glastonbury is coming up, and although I won’t be there this year I know lots of people who will be. Orange have released the official Glasto Festival app which this year features a planner in association with the Guardian Guide, interactive map with listings, a news section and the ability to share line-ups with your friends via Facebook.

The app is completely free to download and is your pocket-sized festival guru!

There’s also a really handy video to show you how to use the app:

I would highly recommend this app if you’re off to Glasto this year;  and I will be very jealous!

Carl Cox in a Leeds Warehouse

Going out used to be such a big part of my life. At least twice a week I’d be at dinner, drinks, or in a nightclub – with my job and a husband who was a promoter I’ve never known any different. This stopped when I was pregnant and too tired to lift a glass to my mouth, never mind staying awake til 6am . I always half-assumed this break would be a temporary thing and I’d want to jump back into our usual nocturnal ways as soon as Elfie had arrived.

Of course it didn’t happen that way. We moved out of London and I soon realized that parenting on a hangover was about as much fun as drilling through my own head with a powertool (and it felt quite similar too). Living in the sticks means that if we dare to deviate from our daily programme of trains, work or dinner then every detail must be planned out meticulously, so there are no spontaneous cross-city bar crawls anymore. Going out in London means a sobering (literally) slow train journey home at 2am or an expensive hotel room.

These days I would much rather a baby-friendly family day out over a sweaty all-nighter, and I never thought I’d say those words.

But a girl’s gotta let her hair down, and it was with this thought I found myself driving 130 miles to on of my husband’s events in Leeds on Friday.

Looking after Elfie meant I hadn’t had time for a fake tan the night before (essential, I’d had a cold and we were going up north after all) so I slapped it on that morning, hoping I wouldn’t see anyone in between then and whenever I’d be able to wash it off.

I looked ridiculous and I’m sure the receptionists checking me into the hotel room thought so too, but my friends were kind enough not to mention the tango colour of my skin when we bumped into them outside the hotel:

That scarf is hiding my streaky neck and I basically ponged of whatever it is that fake tan smells of.

It was amazing to order room service and climb into a bath to catch up on The Only Way Is Essex (seriously). The bathwater turned a funny colour but I didn’t care; it was hot, wet and uninterrupted.

Some friends joined us from London and Nottingham so we commandeered the restaurant’s private dining room for dinner.

Non-London restaurants are cheap!

My tan had washed off to make me look vaguely healthy and I’d managed the time to apply a face-full of makeup. This is not a regular occurrence so I felt pretty special.

We moved on to the club at what felt like 5am (real time: midnight) to see the wonderful Yousef DJing.

Unfortunately this music grates on me after a while (it reminds me of multiple car alarms going off in tandem. I’m not cool) and I much rather being in an environment with my friends where we can sit and chat without the distractions of thousands of decibles and sweaty ravers. So I retreated out the back with a bottle of vodka and there I stayed.

I emerged from the backstage cave to see the big man Carl Cox start his set… another lovely DJ. By this point my camera had started to malfunction because the sweat in the room was causing the focus to go all skewy. Another reason why raving isn’t really for me.

I made it until 5am when I returned to the hotel and tried to stream Pregnant In Heels for an hour before giving up (again: not cool). Because I am a mother and sleeping in is foreign to me, I woke up at 9. In a normal situation this could still be counted as a lie-in, but not if you go to bed after your usual getting up time.

The best thing about going away when you’re a parent is coming home, because this is what we you’re greeted with: