Posted in Music

5 of the Best: Some of My Favourite Non-English Songs

I am a massive music fan; Spotify is my everything –  My Play list is actually called ‘Life’! Not a day goes by without me having my tunes on.  I am one of those people, who on discovering they had forgotten their headphones, has to pop to the Pound shop and buy a cheap pair,just to have some kind of access to music, mainly because I  am not doing my 1 hour walk home from work with no music to listen to!

Canva header music

So in what could potentially be a series, as there are literally hundreds of tunes I would love to share with you, today we have 5 of the best non-English tunes: The Asia Edition. I make no secret of my love for all things Japanese, but when it comes to music my favourite band is Korean…and one of my favourite songs of theirs is in Mandarin. So my 1st song on this list is :

HYUKOH – Wanli (万里)

 

In an attempt to improve my attempts at learning Japanese, I try and listen to Japanese music.  While a number of my favourite Korean bands actually do tunes in the language – including BTS & Block B  – this is my favourite all time Japanese language song,

Goose House – Sky (空)

 

Picking one Korean song was next to impossible as there are so many I love, but these guys are one of the most underrated bands in K-pop so I wanted to share some love…and Po’s cool scarf game.

Block B – Shall We Dance (블락비)

 

We came across this song just before I visited India, initially as my husband was a World of Warcraft player and the video inspired one of the dances in it.  This song was released back in 1998 and was one of the first videos in India to use green screen. The video contains differently dressed versions of the singer as he had faced complaints that people only watched his videos because of the beautiful dancers and he wanted to show that people would watch if it was just him. This Punjabi song is :

Daler Mehndi – Tunak (ਤੁਣਕ ਤੁਣਕ ਤੁਣ)

 

 

I have been able to find very little about this artist in English, and my Vietnamese is not great (or indeed existent!) so when I came a across PB Nation  online,  I just had to make do with listening to their tunes of You Tube.

Hoàng Tôn ft Bảo Kun x Hà Lê – PB Nation – Mọi Sự Là Vì Em

 

 

 

So do you have a favourite Asian band? Are you maybe a K-pop fan, or into Bangra?
Let me know in the comments – I love discovering new bands and singers!

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Posted in 40 x 40, Bristol, Bucket List, Lifestyle

Monday Vlog Link – A Bristol Bucket List

Back in January 2016, I made a video; an introduction to my 40×40 Bucket List. since then I have made one every week. It has since evolved into a Kettle List vlog, what with me turning 40 and getting a new list and all, but the basic premise remains the same – I chat about Bucket List stuff, albeit sometimes tenuously.

As I now have a blog, it would be a bit remiss not to plug my Vlog and try and accomplish my dream of 50 subscribers, so from now on, once a week, this will be my Monday Thing: A rundown on the week that has passed, and what I have vlogged about. This week? A Bristol Bucket List.

YouTube Bristol bucket list (1)

Following a genius idea from Sophie over on With Every Sunrise I have decided I really need to utilise the city I live in; there is so much going on in terms of things to do, places to visit, foodie establishments, show to watch and cultural activities to try out. Instead of whiling away the next fours years before I can do my year in Japan I really should be putting some short term plans in place. It is all very well having my Kettle List, but some of that stuff is a bit long term, or will involve me having to save up a bit of cash (and holiday time from work) – which could potentially be a bit discouraging as I am not ticking off as much as I want.

I have, therefore, come up with a solution:

A Bristol Bucket List.

While an official one exists, as I discuss in the Vlog it is a bit… meh.

So I have made my own, and much like my previous lists there are sections:

Art & Culture:

Watch a foreign film at the Watershed

Go on an official Streetart tour

Visit the BBC Building

Attend a free lecture

Actually go in the Arnolfini

Food & Drink

Visit a ‘posh’ restaurant

Try locally made drinks

Go on a river booze cruise

Meet the cats at ‘The Bag of Nails’

Try some street food at St Nicks Market

Find an amazing independent coffee shop

Out & About

Complete the orienteering trail at Ashton Court

Visit the Wild Place

Visit the Aquarium

A Wintery photo on the Christmas Steps.

Finally go to the Observatory

Festival Fun

Balloon Festival

Harbour Festival

Upfest

Redfest

Grillstock

Getting Active

Go indoor climbing

Visit the Lido

Try out paddle boarding in the docks

24 things for me to try – and it is 24 for a very good reason… Which I will tell you about next time.

So this is really the start of two new series: My Bristol Bucketlist (which will be a Saturday thing going forward) and my weekly Vlog Link (which will be like this, on Mondays)

What kind of list would you make for home town? What haven’t you tried yet?

Posted in Uncategorized

The Versatile Blogger Award

So this is … a thing, that I have actually been nominated for! I am feeling fairly loved among the twitter/blogger community at the moment, so thought I would have a go at this, although I do not have a Canva for this and will have to go make a new one!

Versatile Blogger award

Hey Hey Polly People (that probably only works on the Vlog, pretend I didn’t say that!)

I’ve not been blogging, as in seriously, for very long but thought if I was going to have a go at it I would make an effort and try and up my social media game. Since I re-launched (Polly’s ‘Launch’ pad! See! I don’t just throw this stuff together..much) the blog at the end of September I have got involved with the blogger community on Twitter, initially to steal tips and ideas, but also now as a platform to share my posts and discover other writers. It was through this I have been chatting to a few people, and I have consequently – and somewhat undeservedly- been asked to participate in the this Versatile Blogger Award.

First of all, a big shout out to Lavrax, of Lavrax Blogs for my nomination – go read her cool True Crime posts! (Actually just read all of her posts and tell her Polly sent you)

So these are the Rules I have been given…

RULES:

• If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award (Why Thank you!)
• Thank the person who gave you the award (A ‘shout out’ is a thank you right?)
• Include a link to their blog (Done that too!)
• Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly (15! Okay, better look through my Reader, and check they aren’t on Lavrax’s list as well! Pretty sure most people have done this by now!)
• Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award (Okay – Will do that too…once I work out how to do that…)
• Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself (Hmmm…)

7 THINGS ABOUT ME:

1. I am preternaturally obsessed with Korean music

Not just K-pop boy bands (although I LOVE them!), but Indie, rock and hip-hop… just their entire music scene has something about it.

2. I am trying to learn Japanese

I have been at this for a while, and though I am able to slowly read, and make basic sentences I am still pretty terrible. The aim is to film an entire vlog in Japanese… I will get my friend Yumi to vet my script first though!She keeps telling me off for using teenage slang and I don’t want to unintentionally cause an international incident by pronouncing something wrong!

3. I went to the same school as Stephen Merchant

I was even in a school play with him – it was called ‘C’mon Everybody’ and was based on Eddie Cochran’s visit to Bristol, for his final show before dying in a car crash on the way to London in 1960. I played Deirdre, the coffee bar owners daughter, while he played the vicar!

4. I have an unnatural hatred towards tomato sauce.

It is evil stuff and that is all I have to say about that.

5. I have had a YouTube channel for almost three years – that literally no-one watches!

It is basically a vanity project now – you know when you get a Snap-chat streak and you don’t want to break it? Well I have put out a Vlog come rain or shine; whether I was in the country or not, every Monday for almost three years. Feel free to go pity watch and subscribe. I would one day like 100 subscribers…

6. I love Street Art – and live in Bristol, the home of Banksy.

We have some amazing street art in Bristol, and are home to one of the best annual Street Art Fests in Europe: Upfest.
If you are ever in the area and I am about, I will happily take you on a tour! I am also pretty handy around Bath too if you are ever visiting there.

7. I have run a Girl Guide Unit since 2009

Volunteering with the Guides has enabled me to learn some great skills – especially craft ones – to try out new and adventurous activities, like kayaking and abseiling and even visit new places. I once got to enrol a Guide on top of Mont Blanc in Italy (and France, we were straddling the border at the time!)

Now for the hard bit; I need people – I actually wrote this post 3 weeks ago and just as I am about to publish it one of the people puts their award post up, so I have gone with 5 instead.

  1. Rock And Raven
  2. Asiasami
  3. Marie-Celine
  4. Sophie
  5. Louise
  6. Sophie

No pressure to participate at all guys, but I follow all of you and I would love to know more about you because I think you’re all awesome!

Posted in Uncategorized

Polly’s Pondering’s -Why are school Photo’s still a thing?

Polly’s pondering’s are very quick posts (that I can type into the WordPress App during my lunch break!) It is just me chatting about something that I have ‘pondered’ today and speedily typed up while munching on my bread-sticks and hummus. Consider it a take on modern miscellany with an older person’s perspective. This week’s pondering? Why are parents still paying out silly money for school photos?

In this day and age, when we all pretty much carry a camera around with us daily in the form of a mobile phone, why are school photos still a thing?

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One of the things I love about my kids having either left school (in the case of my girls) and being in senior school (as my boys are) is that I am not being constantly badgered for money. I don’t know if it was my son’s primary school specifically, or if this is something other parents of school age kids can relate to, but not a week went by without requests for money, or cakes, or donations for a sale… But mainly money.
The one thing that particularly annoyed me about primary school? Their attempts to guilt me into buying the school photo’s. There are a number of reasons why I am morally opposed to the concept.

1. I own a camera, my kids own cameras, my mum is an actual photographer – I have plenty of nice pictures of my children and they are not unrealistically posed in front of fake bookcase backdrops in a bright blue sweater. They are wearing their own clothes, and are looking happy rather than forcing smiles.

2. What am I supposed to do with 28 of the same picture in a variety of inconvenient sizes? How many of these do you actually expect me to fob off on my family. My mum has 6 grandchildren, should she be expected to have pictures from every year of their schooling littering her walls! (In fact, she has only 2 photos of family up at all, one of my brother’s wedding and one of my nephew… Totally not bitter about it…)

3. How much!!!!

I am not forking out the best part of £40 for 28 copies of the same picture! I can literally buy my son a cheap smart phone and he can Snapchat filter to his hearts content for that price!

You may notice that I feel particularly, and possibly unnecessarily, strongly about this, and I think I have discovered why, let me tell you a tale…

First off, I have a confession to make – despite having had four kids pass through ‘the system’ the one of the only school photos I have ever put up is one from 2006. Mainly because it is one of the few that has all of the kids in it and back in the day I didn’t know better; I thought all good mums always bought the school photos. Now I know better and I want to reassure people that it is okay to refuse to buy them.
I think my experience during my youngests ‘prom’ really consolidated for me why my whole anti-school photos stance was justified – he was 10 and was leaving primary school; what used to warrent a school disco back in the day, now apparently requires a suit, a vintage bus and a £30 a ticket party at a golf club!

All of the kids met at the local park to wait for aforementioned vintage bus to take them to the party. My mum came with me to drop him off for one very good reason. She is a photographer and was going to get some shots of Ethan and his ‘squad’.

She got some amazing pictures of him with all the people he wanted pictures with, there were even some cool ‘hanging upside down’ casual shots; candid, fun photos that really captured Eth and his friends.

And then a few weeks later, the school sent home the ‘official’ prom photos. I am not going to lie and say they were rubbish, they were lovely pictures. One of them has him wearing his trilby on a jaunty angle and looking very cheeky. They were, however, no better than the ones my old dear had taken, so I opted not to buy them and save myself £30…that was my first mistake.

Do you know how I can remember exactly what those school pictures looked like 2 years later? Because one of them is sat on my mantal piece right now.

Did I cave and buy them? Did I bollocks!

We had been having problems with school for a while, mainly because they seemed to be obsessed with us being ‘poor people’ ; as full time students we were entitled to child tax credits, so got free school dinners. Therefore when we opted out of trips or buying hand made Christmas cards we were contacted to ask if was because we couldn’t afford it. This same scenario played out when I turned down the prom photos.

I used to hate how, in the old days, the photos were sent home, unrequested, so you either had to send a cheque in, or hand the pictures back in. Photographers got wise to people scanning and copying the pictures, so started sending thumbnail sized snaps with watermarks home instead and encouraging people to buy them online.

I think the prom photographer was pretty sure he was going to cash in on the whole ‘last photo at primary school’ vibe and an entire set of pictures was sent home… And promptly returned back to the school.

Then I got the phone calls – there is nothing that makes your stomach turn over more than call from the school in the middle of the day. Have they had an accident? Has someone beaten him up? What’s happened!

Turns out ‘what had happened’ was the school team had decided I must have been mistaken in my decision to not buy the photos, and were phoning to check I was sure… I got about 4 calls in all.

On the last week of term Ethan came home and the photo pack was casually thrown on the sideboard.

“They thought you would want them”

he stated. I was ready to make the offending package bounce back to school, when he added.

“They said we can have them”.

I will never know if they still talk about the tight-assed mum who refused to buy the end of school Photo’s, and I don’t care as now they are both in High school and the only calls I get are ones telling me Ethan will be late because he has detention… But at least they aren’t asking for money.

And there are now only two school pictures on my mantal; one of an adorable baby and his older siblings, taken in 2006 and one of a cool looking 10 year old wearing a trilby on a jaunty angle. It is actually a really good picture.

Posted in Japan, Lifestyle, Seasonal, Tag

An Autumn Tag

It would appear I have been tagged! By Autumn of all things!

autumn Tag

Okay not technically by Autumn, but by Graham from over on ‘Voice of a Ginge’ but I have been tagged none-the-less and that means, confession time.

“Yo Readers, I’m really happy for you, Imma let you finish but Spring is one of the best seasons of all time…one of the best seasons of all time!”

Despite the fact that all the memes tell me otherwise, Autumn is not my favourite season – but it is a close second with Summer, with Winter coming in dead last, because being cold sucks.

I will, however, answer the questions – it would be rude not to…

What signifies the start of Autumn for you?

Well this year it would be Twitter; I was buried by a deluge of gifs and leaf filled flat-lays advising me it was time to wear fluffy socks and dig out the jumpers.

Apparently, for Autumn, these are a 'must' - ard.

Despite being the tail end of October, it is still pretty warm here in Bristol – went out without a coat yesterday, and was still a bit toasty in just my jumper – so it doesn’t really feel autumnal, but the leaves are falling, the kids are hounding me about Halloween costumes and every one is wearing mustard, so it must be Autumn.

What is your favourite Autumn scent?

At the risk of sounding a bit like someone who should be kept an eye on… I love bonfires; I love the crackling noise and the smokey smell.

autumn

There is something special about wrapping up and seating round a fire outdoors. Reminds me of all the great camping trips I have been on as a Guide leader and as a student.
We have one of those incinerators, that looks like a bin, and my daughter and I enjoy chucking the weeks cardboard and burnable waste in it, probably enjoy a little too much to be honest…

Are you a fan of a PSL (pumpkin spice latte)?

Dear God no! I am a coffee fan, and I have experimented with some interesting flavours – Cherry Blossom latte in Japan was an interesting one.

But once was enough with the PSL thing for me; will be sticking to my standard order this season.

Apple pie or Pumpkin pie?

Is this tag designed to make me look like a right miserable bugger!

I can’t eat cooked apple following a traumatic forced feeding by a dinner lady in Infant school. I told her I didn’t like it, she told me to stop being stupid, I told her I would be sick if she made me eat it, she made me eat it anyway, I puked all over her. Wonder if she has a problem with apple now?… Needless to say, I do.

Pumpkin pie is just wrong, it is a gourd, like a squash, but it is used for sweet pies; I am not eating such a confused foodstuff – same goes for tomatoes with their ‘I am a fruit, but I go in salads and pasta dishes’ nonsense. Sort yourselves out!

What TV show, new or old are you looking forward to in the next few months?

I don’t really sit down and watch telly unless someone makes me. I have too much to do, and just sitting for a few hours stresses me out as I just stew over all the things I haven’t done yet.

Not even sure what is on at the moment, but I am catching up with Brooklyn 99 and re-watching Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood on Netflix. However, if anyone knows of a K-Drama as good as ‘Black’ was, I am all ears. And also all eyes if this guy is in it…

song

What is your favourite Autumn fashion trend?

I have realised mustard is not for me. I had a shift dress in a gold type mustard once, but I looked like I was a wannabe Star-ship Commander. Getting out my woolly socks has been fun though, so I am going to have to go with ‘seasonal leg-warming wear’

What is your favourite comfort food to enjoy in the colder months?

It’s going to have to be stews; stews full of seasonal veg and dumplings. It doesn’t feel right to eat them before the weather turns a bit frosty though.

What is your favourite Autumn activity?

Scuffing, obviously, but that only lasts as long as it is dry. Walks are also nice, but my favourite thing is probably having an excuse to seat in and read stuff instead of being outside in the cold.

Are you a fan of horror movies?

I used to be, but now I am older I am finding my tolerance for gore and jump scares is pretty much zero. While I like a good psychological drama, or murder mystery, I cannot watch people being injured or hurting themselves – so YouTube fails are also out!

Do you ever do anything fun for Halloween?

The kids love it, so we get the house done up and get the sweets ready for the trick or treat squad to arrive, but it was never a big thing at our house growing up.

What was your favourite part about Halloween as a child?

As old people, I actually didn’t do Halloween as a child as it wasn’t really a thing. I can vaguely remember a party I held when I was about 13, and I dressed as a cat,possibly because I was able to fit into leotards in those days.

Are you a bigger fan of Bonfire night or Halloween?

In terms of nostalgia I certainly remember more firework displays and garden bonfires than I do Halloween’s. There is something more wholesome and British about using your Dad’s old clothes to dress up an effigy of a man who was tortured into confessing a terrorist plot to blow part of London up and then dumping him on a fire than there is about celebrating pretend ghosts and death… may not have thought about this enough.

Where is your dream destination to visit in the Autumn?

It is a long time away – but for Autumn 2020 I will be going back to Japan. I visited last in Spring and my friend Yumi has said the Kyoto looks amazing in the Autumn, so I am hoping to see it for myself.

Do you always forget about the clocks going back?

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No,of course not! It’s Fall back, Spring forward! Looking forward to going to work in partial daylight for a few weeks. Will then be counting the days until I see the sun again.

When do you usually start preparing for Christmas?

Already started – about Boxing Day last year! Got all the cards, labels and gift boxes.
I am a master planner; I live for lists and finding new and inventive ways to wrap presents. I have got most of the kids stuff bought and as a minimalist I will be coming up with ideas to buy presents that take up no space at all…vouchers and gift cards, I just buy vouchers for people.

So what is your favourite season? Have you tried out a tag like this?

kyoto

The idea is to tag fellow bloggers, but I was a bit slow off the mark with this and it’s seem most people have already done this tag.

If you haven’t, let me know. I can add a link to your blog and can go read your answers over at your Pad.

Posted in 40 x 40, Bucket List, Music

Polly’s 40 things to do before 40: #4 Watch a Concert in a Large Arena

Back in the day, I had a 40×40 list; a list of 40 things to do before I was 40.  Well I turned 40, and upgraded the list.  One of the things on that new list was – finish the old list!  One of the things on that list? …Go watch a concert in a large arena.

Completed BL
I have, of course, seen live music before but I added this task as I was desperate to see a performance in a large arena type environment before my 40th Birthday.
My opportunity came when Pat – my old dear – bought me tickets to see Wet Wet Wet for my birthday.  I was under no illusion; I knew she was only going to ogle Marti Pellow (She came along to see Evita for the same reason, and spent the whole night asking me what was going on!)  However I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to not only see my favourite late eighties band, but also a chance to tick another county off the list AND drink another coffee.

Check out that “Pre-Canva-Microsoft-Paint-Thumbnail” aesthetic !

We decided to make a weekend of it; we went up on the train and had booked a hotel for 2 nights so we would have a chance to do a ‘bit’ of shopping.
While the hotel was nothing special, had it been any closer to the train station we would have been sleeping on the tracks! It offered easy access to Birmingham’s Bullring and indoor markets, and I bought more material and craft things than I should have.

The train station made it easy to get the arena, and the vlog above will give you  a better idea about what went on than me telling you – suffice to say that fun was had by all and we are planning a return train trip to Birmingham for some Christmas shopping.

 

I bought entirely too much craft stuff, that I haven’t used yet and material that is sat there reminding me I haven’t started on my quilt task either.

All in all – fun was had by all and I can declare another task…

completed

 

 

Posted in Japan, Lifestyle, Ponderings, Regarding polly

Polly’s Pondering’s – People Pleasing; A Writers self reflection.

Polly’s pondering’s are very quick posts (that I can type into the WordPress App during my lunch break!) It is just me chatting about something that I have ‘pondered’ today and speedily typed up while munching on my bread-sticks and hummus. Consider it a take on modern miscellany with an older person’s perspective. This week’s pondering?

A reflection on my Blogging and people pleasing.
My attempts at Blogtober have made something very clear to me – I cannot produce a blog post every day… and that is fine!
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I have always been more of an ideas and encouragement kind of girl rather than a hustle and grind sort; given the option I will always keep my head down rather than be a ‘go out and elbow the competition, winner takes it all’ kind of person. In fact, I have been accused of being obnoxiously polite, so polite that it often appears disingenuous. It is not part of an end game, I am genuinely just trying to avoid an argument by being nice to everyone, whether they deserve it or not – and I have met plenty of people who don’t deserve it, in real life and online. This comes from being highly conflict adverse – I often see posts that require such chastisement for their wrongness I am almost moved to comment…but then I step back and think that perhaps the writer isn’t an actual dick, but is perhaps just having a bad day and I will just compound the situation; least said, soonest mended, and I decide to not get involved. So I content myself with an eye-rolling and a tut, and get on with things.
This doesn’t always work, as there is a wafer-thin line between overt politeness and sarcasm, and readers on the internet are not particularly discerning when it comes to someone seemingly ‘dissing’ their passion – be it politics or Pokemon: My statement that I only know the original 151 Pokemon as I haven’t been involved since the early 2000’s when my Game-boy died can either be taken at face value, or as me totally being a Hipster, who thinks they are better than anyone else and ‘why am I bashing anyone who prefers the ‘new’ incarnation, you total hater’…It’s an anime pal, and I am just stating a fact, chill out! My only knowing the original series does not impact you or your love for captured creatures in any way.
Crazy ass keyboard vigilantes aside, I fully appreciate how this could be considered a terrible way to live by some; to be suppressing my thoughts and feelings to an extent that it has restricted my commenting and calling out BS where I see it. But these words from one of my favourite Instagramers Tiny Buddha say it all.

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And my solution? I literally don’t have one. I am not going to sit here and lie and say that from now I am going to be bold and ‘say it as I see it’ – If anything, I am proud of my being considered a pleasant and polite sort, and it will certainly help me fit in when I eventually move to Japan. If my overt politeness seems unbelievable to some that is down to how they have chosen to interpret what I have written rather then what I have actually conveyed, and certainly says more about how they think than it does about what I have said. I haven’t got time to argue with people I don’t know, and who ultimately aren’t going to be important in my life. Like tiny Buddha says ‘I am going where the love is’ – and you are welcome to join me.