Week 3! Here is my five video suggestions this week! 🙂
This is a very momentous moment in Irish Entertainment history. I present to you The Riverdance from Eurovision 1994:
Hozier’s Take Me To Church music video is so emotive and highlights so much that needs to be highlighted. Not an easy watch but a brilliant and powerful video.
In this heartbreaking video, singer and former X Factor UK contestant Misha B talks about racism she experienced on the show and how it impacted on her mental health.
To help relax you and rid you of stress, here is a great ASMR artist Sarai from Peace and Saraity ASMR. In this video, Sarai helps you to relax with a variety of sounds. Each sound is given a certain amount of time and the descriptions of the sounds go up underneath so you can find any helpful sound easily which is very helpful. Very relaxing.
The following video from Weird History talks about the murder of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth in 1865 and the aftermath of the murder. Very interesting and concise.
Ok, it’s that time of the week! Here is some video recommendations for this week:
This Queen performance from Live Aid is a classic performance, amazing, legendary. If you haven’t seen it, you are missing out! 🙂
A modern-day classic! If you are feeling down, pop Pharrell Williams’ Happy on and you will be boogying on down in no time. The video is brilliant, very full of joy.
This was Noah’s and PJ’s first wedding dance and it was so fun! Absolutely loved it! 🙂
This is Goodful’s 5-Minute meditation. My Mum and I (and sometimes my sister) have been doing this meditation for the past how many months and it’s really great, very relaxing. Relaxing words provided by John Davisi.
WHO collaborate here with Matthew Johnstone who talks about how he overcame depression. The video, I had a black dog, his name was depression is written and directed by Matthew and is a deeply realistic and emotive watch.
Here in a new feature on this blog. I hope it will give you some interesting and varied viewing. I am by nature a very curious person, always have been since I was a child and I love to learn so my viewing can be diverse as hell, you have been warned! I hope at least some of the topics will be of interest and I plan to do this weekly so without further ado and rambling from me, here is five YouTube video recommendations to watch this week. 🙂
This powerful song has been put along alongside some powerful images here. We see activists who are ordinary people as well as well-known activists for the rights of people of color like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Highlighted too are the rights of women and LGBTQAI+ people. A very emotional watch.
I am very socially-conscious but I hadn’t heard about Juneteenth until very recently. This video explains very well something I must look more into. Please do watch this video which talks about the day and it’s connections to slavery and the emancipation of so many people of color. It isn’t easy obviously to watch because the fact people were treated in that way is utterly disgusting but we need to acknowledge that terrible history and do better by our brothers, sisters and non-binary people of color.
I am a huge fan of Aquaria and this is the opening episode of her On/Off series where she was out in the Philippines last year. A very interesting series detailing many of her work engagements from last year.
We all need a moment to relax, destress and get ourselves ok again. I have recently got into ASMR as a way to relax and I love videos by Mads Asmr. In this video, Maddie is scratching, raking and pinching and plucking away your stress.
I am a huge Sister Act fan and this scene with Sister Mary Clarence/Deloris Van Cartier and Sister Alma never fails to make me laugh.
Last night Duncan Laurence won the Eurovision for the Netherlands with his song Arcade in Tel Aviv, Israel. Winning with a total of 492 points (combined from public and jury votes), the win is the fifth win for the Netherlands but their first win in 44 years. The track which was hot favourite to win faced tough competition in a tight Eurovision battle. At the end, it came down to being between Sweden’s John Lundvik, who was the most popular with the juries, and Laurence. Ultimately the public vote decided the outcome giving Netherlands the win.
On the combined totals of jury and public votes Italy came second with Mahmood and his song Soldi, Russia finished third with Sergey Lazarev and his song Scream while Switzerland finished fourth with Luca Hanni and his song She Got Me. Rounding off the top 6 was Norway with KEiiNO and their song Spirit in the Sky and Sweden’s John Lundvik with his song Too Late for Love.
Another major talking point from the night was Iceland’s Hatari holding up Palestinian flags in support of Palestine when they received their votes from the public vote. The act also held up the rainbow flag and trans flag earlier in the evening. Hatari have proven themselves this year to be full of courage to use this platform to highlight both Palestinian rights and LGBTQ+ rights and I feel they are absolute legends and pure class. They have done Iceland very, very proud.
Following Laurence’s win, the 25-year-old who was born in Spijkenisse in the Netherlands said:
“Yes, yes! Oh my God! This is to dreaming big, this is music first always, thank you, thank you!”
Speaking to reporters after, Laurence said some absolutely beautiful words:
“I think the most important thing is that you stick to who you are and see yourself as I see myself, as I see (fellow contestants) Sergey, as I see Chris, as I see you, just a human being. As a person who has talents, who, with this trophy, will in however many years stick to what they love – even if they have a different sexuality. Stick to what you love and make the best of it, and love people for who they are. That’s the most important message. Dream big.”
It was a very well deserved win. Congratulations Duncan and all involved. Congrats Netherlands! 🙂
To watch Duncan Laurence’s Final and Semi-Final performances as well as his win, highlights from Eurovision 2019 and his music video for Arcade you can do so below:
The Eurovision is in full swing with the two semi-finals completed and I have now compiled for you all my five favourites for glory this Saturday …
Of course I’m ever so slightly bias here but in truth I do love the song and have utterly fallen in love with the story of the two dancers in the the song. This is a gorgeously crafted song, Ryan’s vocal is stunningly on point and Alan and Kevin do an incredible and oh-so-romantic job of the dancing. The staging of this song is like a mini play. Love it and am very proud of our entry this year. And of course I’m very much hoping it wins! Good luck Ireland! 🙂
I think Cesar’s voice is incredible. This track is wonderful with a great soul and gospel vibe. The staging is also great.
This song is so catchy and Saara’s vocal is as usual splendid. The staging is also great with the whole theme of gender fluidity and the way she falls back into two of the performers arms at the end.
Again very catchy and very well performed by Mikolas Josef and the two other dancers. Very fun and I love the nerdy vibe Mikolas has going on.
I love this as I do love a bit of rock and it’s done well. It won’t be to everyone’s tastes but I think AWS are doing a great job. It’s three fun minutes of head-banging.
I know our neighbours’ song hasn’t been to everyone’s tastes but I find it quite catchy and I think Surie is a wonderful singer and performer.
From the 22nd-24th of September I went to some great events with Culture Night and the Bray Literary Festival. Would have being lovely to have got to even more but sure you can’t get to everything. This post is about the events I was lucky enough to get to.
Outside Mermaid in the Civic Space, the Bray Concert Band were brilliant with tunes ranging from Louis Armstrong’s When The Saints Go Marching In to the Lion King’s I Wanna Be Like You. Me and my Mum were there and we enjoyed it very much. A very talented band. There was also art to enjoy while we listened.
And then it was on to the Town Hall for Poetry, Music and Fighting Words where the winners of the Bray Literary Festival poetry and short story competitions were announced. Results were as follows:
Flash Fiction Competition:
1st Prize – Ronan Keenan
Runner-Up – Niamh MacCabe
1st Prize – A.M. Cousins
Runner-up – Simon Lewis
The short stories were judged by Catherine Dunne while the poetry was judged by Breda Wall Ryan. Brian Kirk also helped whittle down the entries.
Flash Fiction Shortlist
Carol Caffrey – The sea that has cost them.
Ronan Keenan – Granda
Niamh McCabe – House
Averil Meehan – Exiled
Kevin Hora – Envoi
Chris Connolly – It is Isn’t it Yes it is
A.M. Cousins – Brooch
A.M. Cousins – Phone Box
A.M. Cousins – The Royal Hospital, Gloucester
Eilish Fisher – Domestic
Simon Lewis – An Irish Girl Meets Melody Hobson in the Foyer of the Kimpton Hotel, Chicago
Simon Lewis – Supermarket Line
Here is the LONGLIST of the Bray Literary Festival FLASH fiction competition.
The Sea That Has Cost Them
The Nightingale is a Brown Bird
Look Towards Sky
For I am fearfully and wonderfully made
It Is Isn’t It Yes It Is
Here is the LONGLIST of the Bray Literary Festival POETRY competition.
Another Quiet Evening at Home
A Boy Standing on a Terrace
The Royal Hospital, Gloucester, 1953
An Irish Girl Meets Mellody Hobson in the Foyer of the Kimpton Hotel, Chicago
There was no Funeral
Sailing in the Florida Keys
Well done to the winners, all mentioned and everyone who entered. We’ll get there someday! 🙂
It was very enjoyable listening to the excellent entries. This was followed by poetry from Breda Wall Ryan and Kate Dempsey and poetry from Fighting Words introduced by Mark Davidson. There was also music by Rachel Duffy. Me, my Mum and my sister had a lovely night at it.
Poet Kate Dempsey
Poet Siobhan Campbell
I was up bright and early the next morning to head to the writing workshop, Writing From Life: Memoir & Poetry From Lived Experience with Siobhan Campbell in Colaiste Raithin. This was a great workshop. Siobhan and all the people there was very nice and I learned a lot. It was my first writing workshop and I read a short piece (inspired by my Dad but I wrote it as a fictional piece) and had a character I used throughout called Violet (based on me with my grandmother’s name). It was wonderful hearing everyone else’s work. There is definitely a lot of talented writers in Bray.
That night me and the sis headed to The Royal for Saturday’s Grand Finale: Bray Arts Journal launch, Writing groups: Abraxis & Little Bray, and GIANT Open Mic with BeRn. I had three poems in the journal so I was happy about that. It was a great night with a song from BeRun and writers braver than myself getting up to read their work. Maybe in the future …
To read the Bray Arts Journal go to:
Poet Breda Wall Ryan
Up bright and early again I was off to my second ever writing workshop Kickstart Your Writing with Breda Wall Ryan once again in Colaiste Raithin. Again Breda was lovely and there was a lovely group of talented writers. I read a poem about a box of chocolates as a metaphor for loved ones. I learned a lot and like the other workshop I very much enjoyed it.
Finally I was down at The Harbour Bar for the Free Panel Discussion and Q&A with my sister. I found it interesting but I have to admit that as a blogger I disagreed with a lot of it. I quite like that writing is now took out of the hands of just journalists in papers but it was interesting nonetheless.
So that concluded my culture weekend. As a little writing nerd, there isn’t always events like this nearby to go to so it was amazing. Thanks to all the organisers. I was on a culture high all weekend and it was great. 🙂
So the Eurovision has once again graced our screens for 2017. We ‘ve already been treated to the two semi-finals where 20 acts made it through to the Grand Final tonight! And there was even a marriage proposal for Macedonia’s entrant, Jana Burceska from her boyfriend Alexander.
Watch out for these six entrants at tonight’s final:
Potugal’s entry Amar Pelos Dois sung by Salvador Sobral and written by his sister Luisa Sobral is a soaring jazz-style ballad. Think male Bessie Smith or Billie Holiday. It had a wonderful reception at the first semi-final and is the current favourite with the bookies to claim Eurovision glory. Stunning, understated and very polished.
Bulgaria’s entry this year is Beautiful Mess sung by Kristian Kostov. A beautiful ballad with wonderful, modern, understated monochrome staging. Quite R ‘n’ B staging. Beautiful Mess is simply beautiful. Written by Sebastian Arman, Borislav Milanov, Joacim Petsson, Alexander V. Bley, Johan Alkanaes.
Cyprus’ entry is Gravity sung by Hovig, who has previously been involved in writing Euphoria for Loreen. Gravity is catchy, a real earworm. I adore the staging from start to finish. It’s incrediby well put together. Written by Thomas G: Son.
The United Kingdom
Lucie Jones’ Never Give Up On You written by Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest is the UK’s best chance in a while in the contest. A soaring ballad, beautiful staging and could definitely get top 10 or even top 5.
lia’s entry Don’t Come Easy sung by Australia’s X Factor winner Isaiah Firebrace is a strong ballad sung with amazing power and control. A great chance of making top 10. Written by DNA (David Musumeci and Anthony Egizii) and Michael Angelo.
Sweden’s Entry I can’t go on sung by Robin Bengtsson is catchy, wonderfully staged from start to finish and the styling is great. Written by David Krouger, Hamed “K-Ono” Pirouzpanah and Robin Stjernberg.
I have my first reviews up on Google Play. They are my reviews of Jordan Gray’s Platinum and the two remixes of the track which I purchased on there recently. Hoping Jordan will make the UK Top 40 tonight. She deserves to.
To read my reviews and the wonderful other reviews of the tracks go to: