Tag Archives: Spice Girls

Olympic Fever

Okay. So I was fully prepared to be the un-sportsfan in the house, the un-Olympic one. I was all set not to care about Team GB, join in the whinging about how difficult London travel is whilst all these people are visiting.

I think that lasted all of about one day.

Now, I find myself invested in sports I didn’t realise were even sports and cheering at the TV as if they can hear me.

I think they call it Olympic Fever. I’ve been sucked in to the frenzy of Olympic enjoyment. I’m loving it – even though I feel I shouldn’t. I’ve even started counting medals like a miser over his coins.

I openly admit I enjoyed the opening ceremony (a little more cynical about the closing ceremony seeing as it’s going to be a blend of Monty Python and Spice Girls from all accounts). I openly admit I’m a bit in love with Usain Bolt (he’s just so lovely). I even openly admit I screamed just as loud as everyone else when Chris Hoy won his sixth gold. But I can’t believe how much I’ve been enjoying the Olympics!

I’ve enjoyed practically every second (although the lusting after Tom Daley just plain creeps me out – he’s far too young). It’s been observed that one of the British eccentricities that has come to light over the London 2012 Olympics is the ability to cheer on… well… just about anyone. We Brits love an underdog, let’s be honest, and it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what bizarre sport you’re competing in, we love you anyway and we’re going to cheer for you: welcome to London!

I think it helps that we’ve lucked out on the weather – two weeks earlier and I think the whole thing would have literally been a wash out. But apart from the odd shower here and there, the sun has shone on these Games, and with it the good will of all.

The first thing people talk about when they see each other is the Olympics, people who were – like me – unfazed by the whole thing have gone up to London to spend a day in the Olympic Park, or bought last-minute tickets. When I went to London the other day, I overheard someone on the train Googling the sport they were about to go and see. It didn’t matter what they were seeing – they were kitted out in the Team GB colours, foam finger and all, desperate to join in the party.

And what a party it is!

So I’m afraid I’ve been converted – I’m an Olympics advocate. I cheer on Team GB/anyone else. I am suddenly an expert in dressage, handball, synchronised swimming and track cycling. I nod knowingly at the 10-second 100m and cry foul at a fluffed pole vault. But isn’t that part of the experience?

Every Team GB medal is a medal for the country, and I’ve never been prouder to be a Brit (despite Morrisey whinging about blundering jingoism – what a prat, he has no idea what he’s talking about and is just spouting off for the sake of making news and getting attention).

I’m chuffed to bits for my country, and even prouder when I hear the likes of the Jamaicans complimenting us. I’m the most proud, however, of Team GB. Their sportsmanship and grace when they lose, but also their phenomenal efforts to win. As a country of sit-on-our-backsides-and-watch-Eastenders types, as a country of people who try to avoid sport as much as humanly possible – to see these incredible athletes proving their skills, their maturity and that Great Britain is a team to contend with, is hugely satisfying.

And now I’m gushing. So instead I’m going to watch the women’s handball match (and cheer for South Korea or Spain, whoever is the underdog!)

What’s your favourite bit of the Olympics so far? And for my non-UK readers – what do you think of London 2012?

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The First Record You Ever Bought

There has recently been a TV series about the importance of the 70s on Britain. This very much excited Poppaloo as he survived the 70s as a teen in boarding school, listening to Punk music and showing off to the local girls school (I believe they are some of the best years of his life). Mummaloo moved to England from Argentina in 1973, so the 70s for her were her first experience of British life.

Anyway, straight after the show is another show about the 70s, this time all the music from that era, and the first song on was “Lola” by The Kinks. If you’ve never heard this song before, it’s definitely worth a listen. Besides being a song by one of the greatest 70s bands to exist, it’s an amazingly feel-good, hot-summer tune that always makes me smile. It’s also about a young man meeting a transvestite in a Soho club, which basically means it’s not your average love song (phew). It’s amazing. ANYWAY, I’m digressing again. The point of this story is that Mummaloo turned around and said “this is the first record I ever bought”. This nearly floored me (her current tastes include the Pussycat Dolls, Daniel Bedingfield, and Michael Bublé… during my childhood it was Wet, Wet, Wet, so you can see why I was surprised).

We progressed on to the age-old interview question: what was the first record you ever bought?

I’m always a little ashamed, because whenever I hear people’s responses on the radio and around the dinner table, it’s always something iconic and cool – like David Bowie, Pearl Jam, Whitney Houston, Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” or Elton John’s “Rocketman” or something equally as memorable and astounding. I always gain great respect for these people – they always remember exactly how old they were, where they were and what they felt like when they bought it.

For me? Well. I was a child of the 90s (whoop whoop, power to the era of double denim and boy bands). So my choice was, looking back, shameful. Yes, people, my first record was the debut album Spice, by the Spice Girls.

Oh, the horror.

In my defence, it took me a LONG time to remember this (earlier memories of music include The Jam and The Who… and All Saints), and I was of the age when Girl Power was all-important and amazing. They were just so cool. And they had those postcards you could trade (remember those!? I used to sit under the willow in junior school swapping limited edition versions with great care every break time).

Since then, needless to say, my taste has improved. Mummaloo argues that the Spice Girls were iconic of my era, and perhaps when I have the same conversation with my kids and tell them that the first record I ever bought was the Spice Girls, they will look at me with the same awe that I did when Mummaloo owned up to The Kinks.

Yeah, I doubt it too.

This inspired me, and recently I’ve been updating my iPod; the beloved, battered thing is nigh on 7 years old, and the music matches it. Which means it’s taken me a while to remove the embarrassing dedication to O-Town (why do I even have that on there!?), rediscover songs like “The JCB Song” by Nizlopi (how cute is that song!?) and also reminisce about the music that took me on my travels (for some reason, it was: Kelly Clarkson for Ecuador, Something Corporate for South Africa and Fat Freddy’s Drop for New Zealand).

I always listen to music when I’m writing, getting dressed, driving or just sitting and doing nothing. It’s a major part of my life, so it feels good to reflect on what I listen to.

What’s on your playlists? And what was the first record YOU ever bought?

You know my story. Get involved!

A (completely honest) list of what I listened to while writing this post:
“Fatboy Slim is F***ing in Heaven” – Fatboy Slim – You’ve Come a Long Way Baby … I bought this album when I heard it on Zane Lowe’s Greatest Albums list. Until then I hadn’t realised how many Fatboy Slim songs I adored.
“Gasoline” – Audioslave – Audioslave … One of the greatest lyricists of all time (I also rate Jack White in this list), and I could listen to this album forever; it encompasses everything I love about music – from raw emotion to beautiful words to hopeful beats.
“I’m One” – The Who – Quadrophenia … Also an astounding film. The Who always remind me of Poppaloo, who showed me what real music sounds like.
“Limited Edition” – Snow Patrol – Songs for Polarbears … I own every Snow Patrol album there is. His voice is so haunting and beautiful. It speaks to the angsty teenager within.
“Still Laughing” – Lostprophets – The Fake Sound of Progress … The sound of my angry teenagehood, alongside Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park.
“Rock With You” – Michael Jackson – HIStory: Past, Present and Future Book 1 … I had a HUGE Michael Jackson era, and cried when I found out he had died. This guy was a genius of music.
“The Way I Are” – Timbaland, D.O.E & Keri Hilson – Timbland Presents Shock Value … When I got my first car, I loved the bass sound R&B music made from the speakers, and it spawned a love of Hip Hop and R&B that never dies.
“The Captain” – Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions … I bought this album after my cousin met the band and said how ace they were. I fell in love instantly!
“Under the Bridge” – All Saints – All Saints … Red Hot Chili Peppers are way better at this song, but the All Saints version has a lot more nostalgia for me.
“Song 2” – My Chemical Romance – Radio One’s Live Lounge … I’ve never been the biggest MCR fan, but the R1 Live Lounge albums (circa Jo Whiley) are beautiful and constantly surprising. They’re worth a listen, even when you don’t necessarily like the band. I also think this Blur cover is done justice – which is hard to achieve.
“Encore” – Jay-Z – The Black Album … Another album bought thanks to Zane Lowe. It speaks to the Hip Hop in me.
“Why do I feel so Sad” – Alicia Keys – Songs in A-Minor … Alicia Keys’ first album was the sound of my heartbreak. Her latest album was the sound of my healing.
“The Air Near my Fingers” – The White Stripes – Elephant … Remember I mentioned Jack White as one of the greatest lyricists? Elephant is considered the best album from The White Stripes, and it was the first album to introduce me to his genius.
“Farewell” – Rihanna – Talk that Talk … There isn’t a single song I don’t like from Rihanna. Her latest album is more grown up and sexy than her last one (which was rock chick in bucket loads). She’s my girl crush.
“Wake Up” – Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill … If the bitch inside me had a voice, it would be Alanis Morissette. Her lyrics are gritty and overwhelming. Oddly enough, we played this album a zillion times over when I was in Turkey last year. It seemed to suit it.
“We Came Here to Party” – LMFAO Feat. GoonRock – Sorry for Party Rocking … The taste of summer; this is the sound that reminds of going out with the girls, cocktails and good times.
“Fallout” – Linkin Park – A Thousand Suns … A new, grown-up Linkin Park than that of when I was a teenager. But they still create beautiful imagery from their songs.

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