Patrick Donoghue Wins The Voice Of Ireland 2015!

Dubliner Patrick Donoghue was crowned The Voice of Ireland winner for 2015 on Sunday evening. He was part of Team Una and the Dunnes worker was Dublin’s first winner of the contest. Fellow Dubliner Emma Humber who was part of Bressie’s team was second with team Rachel finishing third and fourth. Clare’s Sarah McTernan was third while Ballymena’s Kieran McKillop was fourth. And we slightly helped Patrick on his way to victory with a few votes although I’m sure he’d have won anyway. πŸ™‚

Donoghue, who was the very first contestant at the Blind auditions this year, sang Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror and Jessie J’s Mama Knows Best to claim the title and a recording contract from Universal Music Ireland.

All four finalists have each released their favourite song from the series on iTunes which are as follows:
Patrick Donoghue – Jessie J’s Mama Knows Best; Emma Humber – Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work; Sarah McTernan – Jessie J’s Who You Are; Kieran McKillop – The Script’s Together We Cry.

Well done Patrick! πŸ™‚ Very well-deserved! Best of luck! πŸ™‚ And good luck to the other finalists too! πŸ™‚

Record Store Day And Record Store Gay 2015!

Recently was the annual Record Store Day which was founded in 2007. Taking place on April 18th, the day which vinyl lovers worldwide gear up to was yet another success.

Record Store Gay was also back for a fourth year on the 18th raising money for the Yes Equality campaign for the Marriage Referendum on May 22nd and was once again successful.

Áine Beamish and Andy Bell of Record Store Gay.

Áine Beamish and Andy Bell of Record Store Gay.

Wayward Prince Begins Reign after Scottish National 2015 Win!

Wayward Prince won the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr on Saturday. The Hilary Parrott-trained and owned along with T J Parrott 11-year-old won with jockey Robbie Dunne onboard at 25-1 in the prestigious race. Wayward Prince won by three-quarters of a length over Irish raider Goonyella priced at 16-1 while Benbens came in third at 33/1 and Amigo was fourth at 28/1 while Catching On came in 5th at 14/1.

Hilary Parrott said of the win,

“It’s a dream and he’s loved every minute of it. He does get looked after like a baby and we all love him. He did very well when trained by Ian Williams, then he lost his form and I thought I’d have him. We’re a small yard, so he gets a lot of attention. He goes out every day and is very happy. I can’t believe it. He’d never gone four miles before, but he did fall in the Grand National last year.”

Goonyella’s trainer Meath’s Jim Dreaper said,

“He showed again he’s got great stamina. His lack of pace is just shown up a bit more on that ground, but that was very good. The plan is to try to get him into Aintree to beat the ballot. He’s missed out two years in a row and maybe he can do it next year.”

Wayward Prince was brought to the attention of Pricewise followers when the Racing Post tipster advised the winner at 40-1 in Saturday’s newspaper. I actually had €2 on him because I was going to do a horse that was a non-runner. I didn’t pick him exactly. I just closed my eyes in the bookies and ran the pen down the race and wherever it stopped I’d bet on the horse and it was Wayward Prince. πŸ™‚

The Queen Is Dead By The Smiths Review!

The Queen Is Dead by The Smiths (1986) is a stunning album. I only recently got into The Smiths and I absolutely love them. So many of the lyrics I can identify with. This album is packed with such well-crafted songs and Morrissey’s vocal is so unique and sublime. It’s very English and the lyrics are so unpretentious. Very real as opposed to a lot of lyrics you come across. They show the real sides of life for young people and it is told so simply and in such a storytelling way. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

The Queen Is Dead

The title track is immensely catchy. Filled with attitude and anarchy, this track displays a discontent with politics and the general frustration it brings onto people. Still very relevant today like so many Smiths’ lyrics. The lyrics are brilliant. So well put together with stunning rock/hippy instrumentals and a great opening Take Me Back to Dear Old Blighty which effortlessly flows into the instrumentals at the beginning. It’s wonderful.

Frankly, Mr. Shankly

A quirky little song sung in Morrissey’s signature storytelling voice.

I Know It’s Over

This is a stunning ballad with such emotive lyrics depicting loneliness. The emotion in Morrissey’s vocal as he sings them combined with the slow, mirroring lyrics would almost bring a tear to your eye. It’s hauntingly beautiful.

Never Had No One Ever

Continuing the theme of loneliness this song flows effortlessly from the previous track. The instrumentals are very dramatic and stunning and Morrissey’s vocal once again would break your heart.

Cemetry Gates

I love the literary references in this song. It is such an understated and clever song with a fantastic storytelling ebb to it.

Bigmouth Strikes Again

Brimming with attitude. Very unique. Amazing 70s’ style instrumentals which transport me to a time I wished I’d lived in. Very retro. Incredible.

The Boy with the Thorn in His Side

Described by Johnny Marr as “an effortless piece of music”, it certainly feels that way. It glides along beautifully combining Morrissey’s stunning vocal with understated, relaxed instrumentals.

Vicar in a Tutu

Vicar in a Tutu is a very fun song with great lyrics. As Morrissey sings you can see everything happening in front of you. Great message too about been open-minded and living your life the way you want to in the face of adversity.

There Is a Light That Never Goes Out

Stunningly crafted with a very storytelling quality. Very cinematic.

Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

Closing the album Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others is very understated. The instrumentals are so relaxing and catchy and Morrissey as always sounds fantastic.

Seven Tips For The Scottish National 2015!

So the clouds blew away from me with Many Clouds recently?! πŸ™‚ So let’s give this whole tipster thing another go! πŸ™‚ Here is my seven tips for this year’s Scottish National:

Lie Forrit

Benvolio

Benvolio is on the right.

Houblon Des Obeaux

Sam Winner

Milborough

Harry The Viking

Bless The Wings

Short Story: The Day Of The Funeral

It was recently National Best Friend’s Day. So in homage to the day I have written a short story entitled, β€œThe Day Of The Funeral” which from the title is obviously quite a sad story. On a lighter note before I get onto the story Happy National Best Friend Day to my own bestie Sarah! πŸ™‚

It had all happened so quickly. She had spoken to him only the night before and he had seemed in high spirits. The afternoon after his sister rang to say that he had died that morning of a sudden heart attack. Seconds following the phone call, Anita had fell to the floor in shock and with her eyes brimming with tears. Her boyfriend Justin rushed in from the kitchen and had took her into his arms, still unaware of what was happening. Just the fact that his girlfriend was a mess. A mess of mascara, tears and stray lashes. A mess of emotions and pain.
β€œIt’s Alex … he’s … he’s dead.”, she managed to croak out through her tears and Justin pulled her tighter into his chest.
Any other time the warmness of his t-shirt snuggled into her face would feel comforting but right now nothing could comfort her as her mind span with thoughts and memories of Alex and hurt for the wife and family he had left behind. It all seemed too wrong. He was only thirty-nine.

Sitting at the Mass service with Justin’s hand in hers two days later her mind was still swimming with thoughts. The Priest’s words were all a blur. In fact the whole time since she had heard he had died had been a blur. Time moving slowly. Like a seemingly unending misery. And her mind had spun right back to the very beginning. When they had met on the first day of secondary school. She remembered how she was sitting with her book. She believed it was something by Truman Capote but she couldn’t remember exactly which story it was now. Mostly she was trying to stay in the background. The buzz and excitement of everyone getting to know each other was a bit overwhelming for a 14-year-old girl of a shy disposition. He had walked in and took the seat beside her. Dread had filled Anita’s mind. That regular shyness conflict of wanting to talk with someone, get to know them yet not wanting to because it seemed too hard and would probably go all wrong anyway. To her delight he took his own book out. One of Terry Pratchett’s books. And he began to read. Like most shy people this was bound to be a slow-burner but over time they had got to know each other. A sense of alienation bringing them close together. She remembered a day when they had been listening to The Smiths and imaging they were back in the olden days as his coffin was brought from the Church to the sounds of This Charming Man. That probably just about fitted him. He had this way of charming you into getting his way or getting out of bother. It was also his shy charm which had attracted his wife Lindsay in the first place and they had two children together, Luke, now five, and Kurt, now two. Anita was godmother to Kurt, his sister obviously was godmother to Luke.

As she watched the coffin go down into the ground and Lindsay throwing the first bit of clay on top of it she felt the raindrops begin to fall onto her ear. She had heard that it rained when a corpse was a good person. She had heard only the good die young. It all seemed true for there was always something about Alex which was inherently good. People would say it now but she had always thought it. He was the only person not to constantly bombard her with questions about when are you getting married? He was never dismissive of her cohabiting relationship with Justin because he was married like a few smug married people had been. He knew it was her version of forever and he respected that and vice versa. He had came to see her when her mother had died and had stayed for hours comforting her. He wasn’t perfect. He had an impatient streak at the doctors, dentists, etc … and he always forgot to give Cds back. But at heart he was one of life’s good guys and Anita was honoured to be able to call him her best friend. She walked over to Lindsay and wrapped her arms around her.
β€œIt’s going to be alright Lind. He’s looking down on you and the boys. He’ll get you all through this.”

Art & Photography By Holly Norval!

Leicester’s Holly Norval has created some lovely photography and art, some of which I’ve put up below as well as links to see more of her work. I noticed while I was getting the pictures together (and cooing over Noggin) that there is quite a few talented artists and photographers out there that maybe I hadn’t heard of before so over time I hope to feature a few of them as well. πŸ™‚

Noggin. Aw. So cute! :-)

Noggin. Aw. So cute! πŸ™‚

Links To See More Of Holly Norval’s Work

http://s642.photobucket.com/user/earthboundarts/library/art%20by%20Holly%20Norval?sort=6&page=1

Todays butterfly walk

https://twitter.com/Earthboundarts

The Recent Sports’ Round-Up Darlings!

The English National was won by the fabulous Many Clouds on Saturday. My mum had him done. πŸ™‚ It was wonderful excitement in our house as he crossed the line at Aintree. Priced at 25/1 Many Clouds, trained by Oliver Sherwood and owned by Trevor Hemmings, ensured that jockey Leighton Aspell made history becoming the first jockey in 61 years to ride back-to-back National winners on different horses having rode Pineau De Re to victory last year. Last year’s winner also gave a good showing completing the course once again. Second was Saint Are following by Welsh National winner Monbeg Dude who after been hampered early on made a great recovery to get third. Alvarado followed home in 4th while Shutthefrontdoor came 4th for Tony McCoy in his last ever English National before he retires on April 25th.

The Alan Carr celebrity sweepstake was won by Dave Berry while poor old Alan got Court By Surprise which I also picked out of our local bookies’ sweepstake! πŸ™‚ The Alan Carr Chatty Man Grand National Special took place on Friday with Gok Wan and Nick Luck who were part of the Channel 4 team for the big race among the guests.

Congratulations From Alan Carr To Dave Berry

21-year-old golfer Jordan Spieth became the youngest Masters winner since golfing legend Tiger Woods on Sunday winning by four shots over golfing rivals Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson who shared second while Northern Ireland Rory McIlroy finished in fourth position. Spieth ended on 18-under par breaking numerous records in the process and hugged his girlfriend Annie Verret, his mother, Chris, his father, Shawn, his younger brother, Steven and his grandfather, Bob following his prestigious win. His younger sister Ellie, who was born with a neurological disorder that places her on the autism spectrum, was watching her big brother win at home.

Speaking of his win, Spieth said:

“It was very nerve-wracking today. I didn’t sleep all last night. Just got out here and got in a little rhythm. With two major champions right behind, I couldn’t let up. It was the most incredible week of my life. This is as great as it gets in our sport. It was remarkable. I saw my family and friends right behind the green there, and knew it was going to be a done deal. I’m still kind of in shock a little bit.”

Spieth, who came joint second last year behind Bubba Watson, was awarded the green jacket by the former champion.

Well done to all! πŸ™‚

Poem: Sister, Best Friend

In homage to the recent National Siblings Day here is a poem about my sister Sharon. Love you Shar! xxx

Sometimes I think I would have went crazy if you weren’t around,
Speaking to me about life’s daily trials,
Putting me on the right path,
Telling me to ignore negative external vibes,
Encouraging me to follow my dreams,
Believing in me more than I believed in myself.
Making sure that I knew I was as good as everyone else,
Making sure I knew that I wasn’t boring, stupid or weird.

Sharing a chat and a cigarette,
Talking together about men,
Celebrities, make-up and culture.
Talking and laughing for hours,
A drink down the local
And out doing the shopping.
My best friend as well as my sister,
Blessed to have you as my big sis.

Lucky every day.
The road made lighter
By love, care and understanding.
By someone who completely gets me,
Who always knew me better than I even knew myself.
I love you sis
And I always will.
The best, wisest sis ever.

Seven Tips For The English Grand National 2015!

I did pick the Irish Grand National winner. Just saying! πŸ™‚ But been serious the English Grand Nationals of all the Nationals tend to elude me a bit. I have picked two winners of it but it’s a rare one that I do. Just warning you all in advance. πŸ™‚ My late father was actually amazing at picking the winner of English Grand Nationals. He picked a lot of winners of it. πŸ™‚

Bearing all in mind here is my seven tips for glory this year:

Rebel Rebellion

The Rainbow Hunter

Balthazar King

Godsmejudge

Alvarado

Night In Milan

Oscar Time