Monday, 17 September 2012

First Album I Ever Owned.

The First Album I Ever Owned

Me and my friends like to talk about a lot of our firsts. It might be your first kiss, the first time you got drunk or the first time a Dr told you to "get it out so we can see what the problem is". Another first we often discuss is the first album we ever owned because let’s face it, we all had a pretty terrible taste in music at some point. In fact, I still have a terrible taste in music but I mostly keep it hidden. When cool people are telling me about some Indie band I've never heard of who supposedly mix Ska, Funk, Reggae and Soul into an eclectic mix that only people in the know can truly appreciate I just keep my mouth shut and hope I can still get her number by the end of the night.

The first album I ever owned was 'Talk on Corners' by The Corrs. I remember wanting to get this album when I was about 8 after seeing the video for 'What Can I Do?' on television. It wasn't so much the song that drew me in; it was the lead singer Andrea Corr who instantly became my first celebrity crush. Strangely enough, she's actually quite a class act compared to the celebrities I've fancied ever since. The Corrs are made up of three sisters and a brother. The sisters are all incredibly stunning and their brother, Jim, is a completely ordinary looking bloke who thankfully only ever took up about 5 seconds of time on their music videos. Clearly, nobody else wanted to look at him either (poor Jim).

It took me a while to save up for their album because I only got 50p a week pocket money. However, I was eventually able to go to Virgin and buy the album on tape because I didn't yet own one of those new-fangled CD players. To my absolute joy the tape included a mini poster that you could fold out and was separated into four squares that each contained a picture of a different Corr. I was quite handy with a pair of scissors so was quickly able to cut Jim's square out of the poster which, in hindsight, seems unnecessarily harsh. Now and again (far too often) I used to give Andrea's square a little kiss as a testament to my love for her.

The cringe doesn't stop there. When I started dating girls in my teens I used to play 'Talk on Corners' when they came over because it was the only album in my music collection I deemed romantic enough for the situation. Probably because I was a walking cliché and almost everything else I owned was Metal.

Thanks for all the help Andrea.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Debunking Reasons to Hate Andy Murray.

Reasons to Hate Andy Murray Debunked

I was really happy to see Andy Murray win the US Open the other day. He has been one of my favourite British athletes for quite a while and it is just good to finally see a Brit win a grand slam! However, not everybody seemed to share my enthusiasm. I have noticed that Murray is an athlete who really polarizes opinion. One of the main ways I have noticed is through people posting Facebook status updates criticising him and expressing various negative opinions about his character. These people usually give ridiculous reasons for disliking him that I will now attempt to debunk. 

1st Reason - 'He hates the English and doesn't consider himself British.'

Well, he did once claim that he was going to support anybody except England in the world cup but anyone with a mild understanding of sarcasm would know that this was probably a joke. Furthermore, even if it wasn't a joke I personally couldn't care less whether he was going to support England in the world cup or not. Scotland and England have had a bit of a footballing rivalry forever so saying he would support any team except England is the kind of harmless banter that I would expect from pretty much any Scottish person (or English person if it was vice versa). It is obvious from interviews and reactions I have seen from him that although Murray is proud to be Scottish (and why not?) he does genuinely care about the fact he is representing Britain. Even if he didn't care I would still support him as a British athlete anyway.

2nd Reason - 'He is too grumpy and/or doesn't have a personality.'

One of the things I like about Andy Murray is that asides from the fact he is an amazing tennis player he actually seems like a genuinely ordinary guy. He doesn't have the slick charm of a more popular tennis player like Roger Federer but that is exactly the reason I like him more. In order for him to please the people who refuse to support him for being grumpy and boring it seems he would have to smile for the cameras, showboat for the crowd and say all the cheesy things in interviews that you expect sports people to say that make people think, 'wow, what an inspirational guy'. Well, he probably isn't smiling because he's in the middle of a professional tennis match. The reason he doesn't showboat is because he isn't a cocky twat and he doesn't say what you want because he might feel being the best British tennis player in decades should be enough to impress you. 

3rd Reason - 'He is overrated and has a negative style of play.'

I really like Andy Murray’s style of play because I feel he changes the pace of a match more than most other tennis players whilst using tactics that make you wonder what he's going to do next. Also, he isn't really overrated because he has one gold medal and one grand slam title more than you.     


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Book Review - 'One Day'.

Book Review - 'One Day'

'One Day' by David Nicholls is one of the most disappointing novels I have read in recent history. I thought it was going to be amazing from what friends had told me and reviews I had read about it. Of course, I knew it was going to be light reading due to its mainstream popularity but I'm not a literary snob and lots of my favourite novels could probably be classed as light reading (such as The Time Traveller’s Wife). 

The main reason this novel isn't great is because of the female protagonist, Emma. In his attempts to create a female character that is an 'every woman' type of figure that women can relate to whilst not being threatened by he has created a character that is utterly boring. Her main ability in life seems to be a constant onslaught of dull, sarcastic one-liners. To give him credit, Nicholls has created a character in Emma that I can believe because I have met people like her who use this constant sarcasm as a cover for their obvious insecurities and complete lack of depth. I kept wishing Emma would say or do something that gave her a bit of an edge but she never did, she remained completely flat for the entire novel.

The male protagonist is called Dexter and he makes the novel a little better. He spends most of the novel being a bit of a prick but at least he is remotely interesting. He is more complicated and seems to go through many more interesting experiences than Emma because he is in a constant search for a true happiness that eludes him for the majority of his life. The fact that what he wanted was always in front of him is clearly a huge cliché but this didn't bother me because his life story had been interesting enough to make the obvious ending seem okay.

However, the thing that really saves this novel from being completely rubbish is the ending. It doesn't just end on Dexter and Emma realising that what they wanted was always in front of them. It goes beyond that and ends up asking some good questions about the nature and frailty of life. I won't say any more than that because I don't want to ruin it for you anymore than I already have.

Overall, this is a novel that has the potential to be great but is somewhat ruined by a boring lead character. I give it 5 bananas out of 10.