Sunday, 7 September 2014

100 and counting!


 Welcome to my 100th post on this blog! I'm incredibly proud and happy that my blog has reached 100 and is still thriving. It is also more or less three and a half years old - although it feels like I've had it much longer.

 So here is my joint 100th post/three and a half birthday celebration!


 I celebrated my fiftieth post by looking back at how my blog had changed in the year and a half I'd had it at that point.

 I also looked back at my first post, which listed some of my favourite songs lyrics-wise, to see how I felt about them fifty posts later. Most of them I still loved at that point - and I still love now.

 So, I wondered what to do for my 100th post that would be different. I decided to do a list and a countdown and, in doing so, reflect on my relationship with music and writing over the past three and a half years and how it has evolved, and how it has shaped my life.

 I will link to various other posts on this blog, so this 100th post should also be a good navigational tool for finding music you like that I have written about.

 I hope you enjoy it!


 Firstly, I present the top 10 most significant things I have achieved since starting this blog.

 Feb 2011 - I set up this blog.

 1) Mar-Apr 2011 - I visited the south of France with my sixth-form college. We were based in Montpellier and visited Carcassonne, Arles and Saintes Maries de la Mer. My love for the area has fuelled many choices I've made in life since, and also inspired my first novel - more about that later!


 2) Sept - Dec 2011 - I applied for Oxford University and reached the interview stage, which meant I got to stay in Oxford for a few days and see it through a student's eyes.

 I ended up going to Manchester University and I like it very much, but it was nice to have that brief taste of being an Oxford student. I love the city.


 3) Summer 2012 - I started my first paid job, in a small shop. I really enjoyed it and felt it helped me grow up a lot before going to university in the autumn.


 4) Jul - Aug 2012 - I completed my Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award expedition, four days camping and walking in the Lake District. I had a great team and came back with some lovely memories and a wonderful sense of achievement.


 5) Sept 2012 - I started University. I had a great start, meeting the people who would become my good friends on my very first day.

 From there I had some ups and some downs, but overall I'm glad I came to Manchester. It has been a memorable experience and I have met some great people.


 6) Dec 2012 - Jan 2013 - I went to Beijing with Uni. I applied for a free place on a three-week programme there and was amazed and thrilled to be accepted, especially as I was so young.

 Most people on the trip were older than me but I made some friends for life and it was three weeks I will never forget. Beijing in the snow is freezing cold but almost unbearably beautiful.


 7) April 2013 - I interviewed folk-rock duo the Kennedys which was a wonderful experience and was the start of the great relationship I have with the Kennedys, who are lovely people. It also gave me the courage and confidence to interview Eddi Reader.

 I am currently interviewing another artist who I won't yet name but whose interview will hopefully feature on this blog soon!


 8) May - Aug 2013 - I completed my first novel. I had been planning it since I was fourteen or fifteen but my trip to France aged seventeen added a whole new spin to the story. I knew it now had to be set in the south of France, and the location became a vital aspect of the book.

 I am immensely proud and hope to see it published some day.


 9) Nov 2013 - I was made Fiction Editor at Miracle Magazine! I really love this job. I get on well with the rest of the Miracle team, and I am so proud when each issue of the magazine come out and I get to see the product of our hard work.

 In 2014 I was asked to also be the Blog Editor of the magazine, and I adore this position. I set up the Miracle Blog and maintain it, posting pieces I have written and commissioning them from other writers.


 10) Oct 2014 onwards - I have accepted a job as English Language Assistant in a lycée (ages 14-18) in Perpignan, in the south of France. I am so happy to have been placed in Perpignan as it looks truly beautiful and my Catalan will come in useful!

 I am very grateful and am looking forward to what could be the best year of my life.


 I will now list my top 20 songs that I have mentioned on this blog.

 1) Follow You, Follow Me - Genesis

 2) I Want You - The Silencers

 3) Your Swaying Arms - Deacon Blue

 4) Whole of the Moon - Waterboys

 5) Is This Love? - Alison Moyet

 6) On ira - Jean-Jacques Goldman

 7) Queen of the Slipstream - Van Morrison

 8) I've Been in Love Before - Cutting Crew

 9) These are the Days of Our Lives - Queen

 10) Almost Unreal - Roxette

 11) Pictures of You - The Cure

 12) Clouds Across the Moon - The Rah Band

 13) Why - Annie Lennox

 14) Linger - The Cranberries

 15) Coming Home - Firelight

 16) Listen - The Kennedys

 17) Bell, Book and Candle - Eddi Reader

 18) Jasmine - The Kennedys

 19) The Sun, Moon and Stars - Nanci Griffith

 20) Feels Like Home - Edwina Hayes

 21) You Make Loving Fun - Fleetwood Mac

 22) Don't Wanna Lose You - Gloria Estefan

 23) Romeo and Juliet - Dire Straits

 24) Right Here Waiting - Richard Marx

 25) Days Are Numbers - Alan Parsons Project

 Each song links to the post, or one of the posts, where it is discussed.


 Phew, that was hard! I had to say goodbye to some songs I really love to fit in those I prefer. I would much rather do a Top 100 but I think picking the Top 25 has been a useful exercise in working out what I really like in a song.

 Lyrics are important, as you can tell from the title of my blog. But for me, the number one important thing about a song is the sincerity with which it is sung. A song can have beautiful lyrics, but the singer has to really mean them for me to like it.

 One of my songs, On ira, is French and even before I understood all of the lyrics - which are very beautiful - I loved it because I could clearly hear the love and honesty in Jean-Jacques Goldman's voice as he sang.


 It's been an amazing experience keeping this blog. I'm so glad I actually got around to setting it up - for weeks I had wanted to and then, in February 2011, I finally took the plunge.

 I must thank my friend Megan, who responded positively to the idea when I mentioned it to her - that really encouraged me to actually do it.

 Thank you to my Mam, who often spurred me on when I was worried a post wasn't "good enough" and made me see that it's not about producing a really polished post, it's about producing an honest and heartfelt one.

 And finally, thank you to everyone who has read and supported my blog and my writing generally over the years.

 Thank you so much,

 Here's to another 100 posts!

 Liz xxx

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