Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Three Things I'd Like to Share...

My friends and family have always teased me about my music taste. Comparisons to the musical inclinations of the elderly generation have been noted.
Stealing Dad's CDs!

However, I think I have at least a few songs in my repertoire that would be appreciated by today's audiences. Music is very powerful. It has a profound significance in my life.

The music I grew up with has had a very significant impact on my musical taste. My parents brought me up listening to artists such as Simon & Garfunkel, Pink Floyd and The Eagles.
However, perhaps my Dad's most played artist of all is Billy Joel. Piano Man and New York State of Mind were consistently played on my Dad's car radio.

Yet, the song which I believe to be Joel's best I only discovered recently.
'Tomorrow is Today' is a song inspired by Billy Joel's own suicide note - depressing I know!
However, the song has a somewhat inspiring and uplifting quality to it. Go on! Have a listen...

The second song I'd like to share with you is an absolute corker! It is my Grandmother's favourite song. Yet, this song is a challenging one for me. Percy Sledge's 'When a Man Loves a Woman' has a very controversial sentiment. It revolves around a man prepared to do anything and everything for love - to the extent that he subjugates himself. Personally, this is not what love is about. Love is mutual, as well as unconditional. Love means acknowledging ones faults in correlation with your partner's most lovable qualities. After all, when a relationship ends (as many do) you find yourself missing your loved ones faults as well as their positive attributes.
However, this song should be taken at face value - When a Man Loves a Woman is not about what someone should do for love, but it is about why they feel this way.

Take it away Percy!

Finally, the last song I would like to share with you is a bit of a fun one actually. I found myself listening to this for the first time in years as I drove from Milton Keynes, home to Cambridge. I mentioned Simon & Garfunkel earlier, and although at times they can be slightly over-melancholy, 'Baby Driver' is a fun and humorous tune.

Thank you for reading and I hope enjoyed my choices :)


Monday, 19 December 2011

Ollie's (Not so Royal!) Christmas Message...

Wow! Didn't that come around quickly?! It seems only weeks ago since last Christmas. I must say, I'm glad it has come around so fast!
I adore Christmas time (although I'm not a religious person). The cosy and warm evenings remind me of how lucky I am.

Every year we hear the stories of people who are experiencing true misery and despair at Christmas time. Unfortunately, I think we have all become a bit too accustomed and unaffected by this - I include myself in this analysis.

I recently spent an afternoon in Cardigan celebrating the life of Freddie Mercury with LD friends Mark Cole, Huw Dawson and Aubrey Williams. We sat down good spirited in hesitation and excitement for the famous Status Quo introduction to the Live Aid Concert of 1985. Instead, we were caught off guard by a video we were not expecting.

What we then saw was possibly the most emotionally, mentally and even physically strenuous footage I have ever seen. I witnessed what has become infamously known as 'Hell on Earth.'

This short introduction to the concert caught us all by surprise. None of us expected to see such shocking imagery. Michael Buerk's report of the small town of Korem in Northern Ethiopia has become a world renowned demonstration of the devastation of war, famine and global poverty.

There is no quick fix to these problems. There is a consistent truth of the famine and drought in the Third World - there will be no solution to this human manifestation of disaster and disgrace without a change in the attitudes of ourselves and our leaders.

I find it easy at times to be very selfish. This year, I bought my self an Ipad costing £400. This amount of money could provide 5 farmers with the capabilities and tools to prepare their farms for the upcoming seasons in the current Food Crisis in East Africa.

However, by no means am I saying that it is wrong to indulge oneself from time to time. However, when I considered how my money could be spent in improving someones very existence, I decided to grant greater consideration to the way I not only spend my money, but in my attitude towards those in need of my help.

Christmas 2011

Me Looking Like a Prat - Standard
So what to take from this Christmas? Well it is inevitable that people will be suffering at this time just as they do the rest of the year.

Enjoy yourself this Christmas - eat and drink well. After all, I'm sure you deserve it!
If you're alone this Christmas, keep smiling and look forward to the upcoming year.

But most important of all, think of others this Christmas. Do something to make someones day, whether it's a friend, loved one or even a stranger having a hard time.

Happy Christmas Everyone