Bagpipes – “Auld Lang Syne”

Not bad considering I haven’t picked up the pipes in 12 months…

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Being British

I’ve been watching a new programme on TV called “Very British Problems”, and it gave me an idea for a blog post.

What is ‘British’?  What does it mean to be British?

Well.  Here’s my take.

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Sitting on a bench, eating fish and chips straight from the paper.

Donkey rides on the beach.

Queuing.

Chivalry.

BFK9FP The Storytellers of the Decameron by Boccaccio 1313-75, 1851 (detail of man and woman)

Being too polite (even when people don’t deserve it).

Overusing the word “sorry”.

Sarcasm (British sarcasm is very different to the rest of the world).

Scones stuffed with jam and freshly whipped cream.

Pots of tea with china cups.

Gordon Ramsay.  By the way…  He rocks!

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Bangers and mash.

We also have a fancy name for cheese on toast…  “Welsh Rarebit”.

David Beckham.

The Spice Girls.

The Beatles.

Genesis.

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Phil Collins.

Take That (bleurgh).

Black Sabbath.

Queen.

Doctor Who.

All-doctors

James Bond.

Mini Cooper.

Aston Martin.

Jaguar.

Rolls Royce.

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Stephen Hawking.

Stephen Fry.

Bill Bailey.

Billy Connolly.

Russell Brand.

Robert Carlyle.

Queen Elizabeth II

Prince William.

Prince Harry.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Cockney rhyming slang.

We’re pretty good at tongue twisters too.

William Wordsworth.

William Shakespeare.

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The Bronte sisters.

Jane Austen.

Robert Burns.

Robert the Bruce.

William Wallace (aka Braveheart – yes.  He was a real man).

Robert Roy Macgregor (Rob Roy – yes.  He was real too).

Highland bagpipes.

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Haggis, neeps and tatties.

The Loch Ness Monster (Nessie.  And of course, his sister – Morag).

Peter Pan (J. M. Barrie was Scottish).

St George.

George and the Dragon.

The Union Jack.

Britannia.

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The BBC Proms.

Last Night of the Proms.

The BBC.

The Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo (best in the world).

Castles.

Forests.

Robin Hood.

Marks and Spencer.

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Asda.

Sainsbury’s.

Mark Sheppard.

Alan Rickman.

Colin Firth.

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Judi Dench.

Zoe Wannamaker.

Harry Potter!

Orlando Bloom.

Joseph Morgan.

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Stonehenge.

Callenish Stone Circle.

Tower Bridge.

The Tower of London.

Buckingham Palace.

Big Ben (is actually the name of the bell; not the clock tower).

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I think this list is sufficient enough at the moment…  I could probably go on forever; and I am sure that you could too.

So what do you think?  When you think of all things British, what comes to your mind?

Day 14 – Dreams

As with every Monday, Mr. Gning stays at my parents house for a ‘change of scenery’, and to bring a little bit (more) noise to their house.  I say ‘more’, because I can hardly say they live in a quiet house.

Mum likes to watch her TV, but dad.  Dad is another matter all together, ha ha.  He likes the TV loud, his CD’s/Mp3’s loud, his amplifier to his guitar loud, his keyboard loud, his speakers on the PC loud…  I think you can safely assume that he likes things loud.  And no…  He doesn’t suffer with his hearing.

I’m the same though.  I like my music ‘blaring’ out of the speakers; sometimes as loud as I can get it.  Especially if it is a song that I love; or if a bagpipe piece comes on.  Yes.  Bagpipes.  I still get goosebumps when I hear the ‘Massed Pipes and Drums’ at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and when I hear Highland Cathedral played, my heart melts.

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I’m digressing…

So, we have a cupboard, in the kitchen, that is LOADED with booze.

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(No, this isn’t my cupboard..  Although that would be nice, haha)

You see, we have bottles of wine, Martini (Rosso), Bacardi, etc. bought for us for Christmas and birthdays, however we don’t drink.  Normally.

I say normally, because I cannot say that we never drink.  We drink ‘sometimes’ at birthday parties.  Maybe at Christmas, we’ll have one or two glasses of whatever at Christmas.  Occasionally, like two or three times a year(!), we have something at home…  But when we have something at home, we always make the most of it.  Like last night.  We drank a full litre bottle of Martini Rosso between us.  Probably not such a good idea, but it was at the time.

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(Remember…  Drink responsibly!!)

The worst thing about me is that I drink the aforesaid like wine.  Fill my glass up to the brim..!

Let’s not digress any further.  This post is actually about my dream last night.  Or would I call it a nightmare..?

So, as soon as my head hit the pillow last night, I was gone.

There was the three of us in my dream.  The little man, hubby and myself…  We were all in the very first house I lived in, and for some reason, there were people ‘after us’.  These people were no good, and we knew we would have no chance in surviving should they ever catch up with us.  I don’t know what we had done for these people to be hunting us.

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We knew that we would never be able to return to the house once we left, so we were in the process of stuffing as many things as we possibly could in to every ‘secure’ bag we could find.

At this point, hubby had rushed out with some bags to the car.  Little man had followed suit, which I had wanted, as I was finding it incredibly difficult for him to stay quiet.

I had just finished stuffing, and zipping up a grey backpack, and I found my black ‘Gothic’ trolley bag (both bags, I actually own).  There was still plenty of room in the black bag, so I went to pick it up when…

Knock, knock, knock, knock…

I froze…  My eyes wandered, but I didn’t move a muscle.  Silence.  No one kicking at the door, no footsteps…  I didn’t hear anything, so I picked up the bag…

Knock, knock, knock, knock…

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I snapped wide awake as hubby jumped out of bed.  The knocks were real.

I thought it was the postman, but hubby said it was some *travellers* asking if we wanted our hedges trimming.

That was it.  I was now wide awake, and even though I was in the comfort of my own bed, I didn’t feel right.  I was actually afraid.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a bad dream, but even saying that, this was so ‘real’.  Whenever I normally have a bad dream, it has monsters…  The type of things that you would expect, but I have no idea what brought this on.  Maybe it was the alcohol..?  But every dream has a psychological meaning, huh?  I’d be interested to hear if anyone can interpret my (not so nice) dream.

((PS//  No headache/hangover, haha))

Day 5 – If music be the food of love…

For the past few days, I’ve been in a real ‘dancey’ mood.  I’ve had my music playing loudly from the car, and when I’m at home, it’s been playing through my laptop, or blaring out from the TV via xbox stream.  All I want to do is get up and dance, but I’ve not danced properly for many years.

I am a fan of many different types of music.

I enjoy listening to classical music, and not just for relaxation either.  I am a huge fan of Tchaikovskys’ 1812 Overture, and Offenbachs’ Orpheus in the Underworld suite.  There are so many lively pieces that I enjoy listening to, and a lot are film scores, such as the Lord of the Rings Suite, or the Harry Potter theme, ha ha.  Then we move in to my favourite…  ‘Clair de Lune’ by Debussy is such beautiful music.  This was the piece that my dad walked me down the aisle to.

I love classic rock, from the 70’s and 80’s.  The likes of ACDC, Genesis, Focus, Bon Jovi…

I love a lot of music from the 60’s, 70’s and 90’s…  I’m an 80’s child, so cheesy 80’s music is high on my list.  In fact, I have to say that in most cases, I would prefer to listen to 80’s pop than some of the ‘noise’ that is out today.  Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy some songs that are out today…

To give you a bit of an idea, I do like some of Lady Gagas’ more popular hits (Poker Face, Bad Romance, Telephone, Just Dance, Love Game); I like ‘Party Rock Anthem’ and ‘Sexy and I Know It’ by LMFAO;  I’m ashamed to say that I like ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ by One Direction (the only one I do like from them); I like a lot by Katy Perry…  At the moment I have two songs that I keep pressing the ‘repeat’ button on.  One is the new Lily Allen song, called ‘Air Balloon’, which I have been so kind to include here so you can listen away…  Please ignore the absolutely horrific video that goes with it!

And the other song that I am loving at the moment is called ‘Brave’ by Sara Bareilles.  I’ve also included the video here:

Let’s change direction again…  I also enjoy listening to Scottish folk music.  Listening to the Highland Bagpipes literally gives me goose bumps (in a good way), and I can actually play.  It’s a major passion of mine.  For the Scottish folk bands, I like Capercaillie, the Vatersay Boys, Runrig, Skerryvore and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.  I’m also a huge fan of the Scots Dragoon Guards, and the Black Watch pipe band.

I have been to the Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo only twice, and I would practically kill to go again…  Ok, let’s not get carried away there, but I think the point is there.

I think that the only type of music that I can honestly put my hands up and say, “I don’t like it”, is those ‘screaming’ metal bands, if you know what I mean.

Music is very important.  There is too much TV, and gaming, going on at the moment, and I don’t think that it is right that music is being pushed to one side.

This post has been written, with love, whilst the TV has been on in the background…  With the music channel on ❤