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Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bono and the Edge have joined together and created “Stranded (Haiti Mon Amour),” to support the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Left a frog in the back of my throat this morning.

Me and technology aren’t the best of friends. We probably the kind of friends that only make small talk. But I was heartbroken to hear about the death of my iPod.

Okay, so you could call me a little dramatic. But there’s a collection of over 4000 songs that has kept me going on those long train rides for years. After the hearing the bad news the Apple Store swiftly lifted my spirits by telling me I can get a new iPod was £30! A shiny new iPod for £30. Where’s the catch I thought. Nikhil asked: “A brand new iPod?” It was too good to be true. The small print arrived. They’ll give me a refurbished iPod, with a 90 days warranty.

Another distressed woman caught me eye. Her iPhone had frozen. After assessing it an Apple technician broke the bad news to her. The hardware had broken inside. He then quickly put a smile on her face by saying: “We will replace your iPhone with a new one.” Nowhere did he mention it would be a refurbished iPhone.

As much as Apple is a very cool brand, shouldn’t they be a little more specific when helping their customers. Giving customers a false sense of hope, is not the way forward.

Boxing Day. There are two extremes: More TV, more overeating and even more relaxing. Or early awakening and out to hunt for a bargain.

Lucky for me, John Lewis are not open on Boxing Day. But wow, when our clearance started, customers sprawled into every square inch of the store in search for a bargain. News has it that within the first hour of Sunday a record 16,000 eager beavers came to Brent Cross Shopping Centre.

Now, you are probably wondering the reason for this post. First of all I think alongside many partners, I thank John Lewis for staying closed for one extra day. But second of all, I’m confused. Confused by those customers who expect short queues and stock in perfect size order. One customer yelled: “There about 100 people in all the queues to pay!” I think to myself, it’s the first day of clearance.

Now I’ve never actually ventured out shopping on Boxing Day. I’m terrified of getting trampled on. Perhaps after working in retail for six years I’ve gone off shopping. For me, sales equal stress. Though, I’ve got to admit, I do envy those who find real bargains: Was £150, now £10!

If you’re not in the Christmas spirit yet, Winter Wonderland is where you need to go. Take a break from shopping and head to Hyde Park where Christmas cheer is all around. Back for the third year, this is sure to be a top attraction this December.

Outdoor ice-skating is a must – even if, like most of our group, you’re not too steady on the ice. After the hour’s skate, with the festive music, you’ll feel like you’ve been in Dancing on Ice. (Okay, so, maybe that was just me, but it will definitely grow on you.) Though, it is advisable to book your tickets in advance as peak time sessions can fill up quickly.

You are sure to build up an appetite on your visit, and there is plenty to eat whilst wondering through the Wonderland. You could head to the Fish and Chips stall, an indoor café if you want to get out of the cold or the pizzeria. Or if you’re just looking to satisfy that sweet tooth, there are fresh crepes, candy floss and sweet stalls everywhere. The Magical Home of Sweets was my favourite.

Then, there’s the German Market. This is filled with endless stalls selling unique gifts. So if you have lots of difficult people on your Christmas list, the market has dozens of stalls selling handmade gifts for everyone. From garden tools, to salt power lamps and handmade jewellery, you’ll probably end up secretly shopping for yourself.

Another popular attraction is the Giant Wheel. We didn’t go on it, but the general vibe told us we weren’t missing much. It lasts about ten minutes and is just a smaller version of the Millennium wheel. Though, if you are thinking of going up for the view, they advise to buy tickets in advance.

There are lots of funfair rides too. I was actually amazed to see quite so many. Word of warning – they come at a price. And on the whole, the day can become quite costly, but entrance to the park is free.

There is so much to see and do, you could spend the whole afternoon there and be lucky enough to see the action through the day and night.

Nearest Station: Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line)

Lucie-Jones-cropRelax, it’s only a show.
3000 complaints is an utter waste of time.

At the end of the day Lucie received lowest number of votes. End of story. Full stop.

This weekend saw the Irish pair survive the sing-off with Lucie Jones after judge Simon Cowell turned to the public result.

Now yes, of course, The X Factor is a singing contest and clearly Lucie has a lot more talent than the twins but along with talent, the contestants need to showcase likability and personality. This, the twins do brilliantly and even though they can’t sing the public like them. Lucie didn’t connect with the public, hence she got the lowest number of votes.

Let’s face it. Everyone is intrigued and excited to see Jedward’s performance every Saturday. Even if you hate them, you still want to see their performance. The hate campaigns now NEED to stop – quite frankly the public are bullying the young lads, who in all honesty have every right to be on the show.

As for Simon Cowell, we can come up with numerous reasons for his actions on Sunday night: get the strong singers out, Jedward attract viewers = MONEY. But like he said on The Xtra Factor: “It’s not life or death.” The contestants are recording a charity single this week – That’s what matters. It’s not all about fame, Simon realises there are more important things to do.

So you all people complaining to ITV and OFCOM ask yourself, why didn’t you vote for Lucie if you feel this strongly about her talent?

This is raw. This is pure. And it showcases a true legend – This Is It.

An extraordinary documentary – nothing like I imagined – stitches together raw footage from the singer’s rehearsals. Assembled shortly after the singer’s death in June, the behind the scene footage is a window into the preparations for the ‘This Is It’ tour. 50 dates – sold out within seconds – and after seeing this, the fact is, his concerts would have been absolutely breath-taking.

Here we saw the genius at work. Completely focused and incredibly determined on perfecting every second of the show. Reaching a level of perfection, you see cuts from different rehearsals which are identical. Here was no sign of sickness – Just a man who is doing what he does best.

Everything was in place – Musicians, dancers, a 3D Thriller, and the man himself. Dancing like a 21-year-old and a singing straight from his heart, you could really feel the passion. These pure, stripped-down moments shows Michael in his element.

Taking you away from Michael’s life in the tabloids, and even his death, you feel like you’ve gone back in time and are a fly on the wall. Yet the story goes on. The collage of his rehearsals becomes a bittersweet memorial, because of course; we all know how it ends.

When I think of what Michael would have been like live – this is it – Completely on the ball, energetic and a faultless show.

Before seeing the show, I had read a few reviews, and I’ll admit I was a little worried. But this man deserves a lot more credit – this was not an artist past his prime, this was Michael Jackson.

Nick-Griffin-wearing-a-poppy

We could argue whether or not the BBC should have let Nick Griffin on Question Time forever. But what’s done, is done. Now we all have to deal with the consequences.

It was the exposure he had only dreamed of, a perfect platform to address millions of people. Really, the BBC needs to consider what their aim was in bringing the leader of an openly racist party on Question Time.

It seems the panel and the audience spent the hour bullying Nick about his racist views. The debate was going round in circles. They dug up the past claiming: ‘My Dad fought in the war. Yours didn’t.’ Now, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the BBC’s goal.

Should the panel not have questioned him about his policies? Taking the focus away from Nick and perhaps discussing the Royal Mail, the recession, or crime figures, the public would have really understood the BNP. Everyone knows they are a racist party and I’m sure Nick was well prepared for the questions he received. And so along came the well rehearsed answers.

Now here is the worrying stuff I read on the TimesOnline:
“An opinion poll conducted after the programme was aired found that 22 per cent of people would ‘seriously consider’ voting for the BNP.” 22 per cent! That is a lot.

“The BBC has also had 243 complaints that the show was biased against Griffin, compared with 114 complaining about him appearing on it.”

The BBC can’t deny a party of air time. In a country where a party of this nature can form, it is only rational for them to have fair treatment. But politics is a mess at the moment. So what did that hour of Question Time achieve? Anger among the electorate might just make them do what all parties don’t want – More support for BNP.

I think most people realise how sordid the BNP is and took everything Nick said with a pinch of salt. In one ear and out the another, as my mum would say. But I’m worried about the people who are sitting on the fence. People who have been feeling less and less in control of the lives and blame politicians.

Repercussions of the debate are far from finished but I guess only time will tell the really damage.

It's_The_Sun_Wot_Won_It

The Sun has officially given up on the Labour Party. Britain’s largest selling newspaper has a habit of backing winners and is now supporting the Tories.

But how much will this influence the reality of politics? Will The Sun push those voters who are sitting on the fence?

Although Gordon Brown speech was fairly well welcomed yesterday, The Sun though not. Instead we awoke to it slating the party and listing it failures.

History indicates newspapers can influence the minds of the public right to the very last minute. TIming is crucial and it will be interesting to see the developments of this event.

Gordon Brown now needs to really reassure the public. He needs to pull it out the bag. What ‘it’ is, I don’t know, but everyone can see how crushed he is getting. The Sun’s list of failures is quite easy to relate to, quite easy to visualise and I can understand how people can be influenced, again quite easily.

Only time will tell, but with the general election is just around the corner, time is running out.

Yesterday, I ventured into Harrow Town Centre in the hope to find some starter bits for knitting. So, as you do, I headed for Thursday market, which I remember to have the ‘market atmosphere’. Fruit and veg, men with money bags calling out their bargains for the day, locals hunting down a bargain, you know the drill. But instead I found a few quiet stalls selling dribs and drabs. 

Quite a pitiful sight because as I wondered around Harrow, I realised more poundstores, 99p world, and the alike emerging. Teenagers walked past arguing about who owes who money. Shops forced to leave “Back in 10 minutes” signs on their front doors due to lack of staff. It was sad.

Here are the effects of the recessions. The effect on small businesses is huge. Simultaneously city bankers head off on night out – all paid for by the company! Slight imbalance I think!

No wonder bricks were flying through bank windows during the protests!

IMG_3267

Over the past week, all I’ve been listening to is Michael Jackson. Album through album, his sound is electrifying!

Yesterday, walking though central, outside HMV in Piccadilly Circus lay a small memorial. The first I’ve seen, it was warming to see how many people one man has touched.

Later, fans danced to his music and celebrated the life of a pure genius!

And here’s a clip of his rehearsals, for the This Is It tour he was due to start this month. I’ve got to say it, I was surprised. He looks full of life and energy. Guess his passion for performing never died and never will.

But it doesn’t stop there. Look at the amount of happiness he has brought to individuals!

Rest in peace Michael…

June 2017
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Random fact of the week…

In the average lifetime, a person will walk the equivalent of 5 times around the equator.

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