Friday, 3 January 2014

Claire Bears best and the worst of 2013

Well, here it is! The start of another year! I'm probably saying the same as you guys, 'omg, 2013 went so quickly!'

I was recently asked what i thought of the year just gone. How was it for me?
And in all honesty i could only reply, 
'Iv had the best of the best, and the worst of the worst!'

201 really brought me some pretty big events! Trial and tribulations, support and successes.
It's turned me upside down and broken me thoroughly. But i have had some truly amazing friends and   family to help put me back together. I want to say a massive THANKYOU! to you guys. You know who you are. 

Along the way i had a true Karrie Bradshaw moment and after concealing myself in a dark room for a few months, i went out and cut off all my hair and (not like Karrie) got a tattoo.

My first. I love it. It holds a lot of meaning for me and reminds me of the lessons i have learnt that lead and inspired me towards getting it.

I have had the privilege to see a little bit more of the world. I'v traveled in three Irish counties. Country visits in Armagh, weddings in Donegal and enough drink to make any Yorkshireman proud in Dublin. While in Dublin i also visited the most beautiful library i have ever seen in my life! I think every home should have one as standard! Trinity College Old Library.

 I have traveled Amsterdam, lazy sunny days in the park with street market olives, breads and cheeses.

Holidayed in Corfu with the lovely Zuzana drinking cold cappucinos and swimming in the mediterranean.

Camped in Wales with friends and wandered the national parks

I went to my second Sensation White event in Amsterdam arena which blew my mind! Again!

Iv walked the white cliffs of Dover and eaten the best macaroons ever in Brighton.

Off-roaded for the first time ever! Intentionally in Wales and unintentionally in Greece!
I'v loved to the point i thought my heart would explode if i loved any more. 
And had it shattered by equal immensity. 
I'v volunteered and helped raise money for charities. 
Qualified to be a TEFL teacher. 
Met some wonderful people
Joined A Secret Reading Garden!

Iv eaten some amazing food and drank copious amounts of wine. Been to gigs, appreciated live music, explored. But best of all, I'v had great company to do these amazing things with. For without these people, they simply would not have been amazing.

So without wittering on any further, here is my best and worst of 2013.

Live Band

Best: Imagine Dragons
This was a very close call between Imagine Dragons and Tom Odell. They were both amazzing and they both surprised me at how brilliant they were. I fell in love with Tom and his live performance was electric. But i have to award Imagine Dragons with the Best Band of 2013. They blew me away in April and made me realise i have been missing out on so much by not seeing live bands whenever possible. They perform with such energy and talent its unbelievable. The whole band seem so humble and modest and encourage people to let loose and have a truly good time! Imagine Dragons are so talented, and the energy injected into every aspect of their music stands them apart from the rest. I also love the drums! Drums everywhere! Its like being at ancient rituals. They were so good i have seen them twice this year would JUMP at the chance to see them again. They are excellent!

Worst: Good Natured 
This band supported Imagine Dragons at Manchester Academy in April. As the first gig I'd been to in a while, i was stood there thinking, "am i supposed to be enjoying this?" People seemed to be dancing about but i couldn't get into it at all. They were flat, had very little stage presence and the female vocalist kept repeating the same movements. They bored me. It wasn't until Danny and his band came on that i realised they were just crap. Sorry guys. Truth hurts! 


Best: Hot since 82 
My other love of music is house and electronic music so i have to include this category as well.
My Best Gig of 2013 by far goes to Hot Since 82! A Leeds born and based producer of dirty deep house music. I love it, and he is deffinately up and coming! I partied the night away at Mint club in Leeds until the sun was in the sky again and the night was over. It was hot, it was sweaty, and it totally let me fall Way into house bliss. My tickets for 2014 are already booked and the event is a sell out!

Worst: SBTRKT 
Unfortunately i have to give a worst, and after the epic live gig at Warehouse Project 2012, this didn't come easy. But compared to the live set, the gig at Canal Mills was nowhere near as brilliant and the crowd was particularly agro that night which really annoyed me. Sorry SBTRKT, but ill be sticking to your live gigs from now on. 

Best: My Head is an Animal
I had to take a long time to award the best album of 2013. I debated in my head for a long time, filtering through all the music that has been played and pe-played on my Spotify account. I have settled on Of Monsters and Men - My Head is an Animal. I have only become aware of them this year and they have already got a place in my most played. The whole album is amazing. They are such a unique band in the sense that the lyrics are like nothing i have ever heard. They are ingenious, imaginative, creative beyond the majority and make me smile. They adopt a country/folk style that really gets my feet up and moving,. I went a little crazy when a live band played Little Talks in Farringtons Bar in Dublin.

Unfortunately i cant name a worst album of the year for two reasons. 
1) I don't listen to or take note of bad music.
2)  I am a Spotify subscriber, therefore do not buy albums. It is really hard therefore to select one album when i transiently go through so many and rarely in full. 


Best: Solange - Losing You (Cyril Hahn Remix)
For someone who listens to so much music, im embarrased to say i found it extremly hard to find a best and worst song. I have chosen Cyrils remix of Solange's Losing you for a few reasons. I was introduced to Cyrils music this year and i have fallen unbelievably in love with his music. I can listen all day and still want more. It puts an inatant smile on my face and makes me melt a little inside. I have seen him twice this year and i would go another dozen times again and more. He is an amazing artist, producer and remixer. I cannot wait to hear what 2014 has in store for him and i am already excited as to when i can see his next set. 

Worst: Kanye West - Bound 2
This has to be the ultimate of ultimate worst songs i think i have ever heard. Was Kanye wired beyond wired when he decided to try put this mish-mash compilation together? I genuinely thought this was a joke when i first heard it. I have no words for how bad this song is other than it makes my ears bleed, head hurt and body cringe at the atrociousness of it. How did anyone in their right minds let him release this monstrosity. 


Best: the Nght Circus by Erin Morgenstern
As Zuzana well knows, i am a serial book borrower! Iv never had much of a collection. However, after reading thus book, this has all changed. I fell so much in love with this book. The creativity, the imagination, the story, the magic within. I could not give this book back and be lost to it. This is officially the first and No.1 book in my official book collection. It has a place in my heart and i have so many quotes i hold dear from it. I would recommend this book to anyone! For i believe they need to experience this book, even if they don't like it by the end. It is a regular birthday gift for my friends. Erin Morgenstern has created a purely wonderful, magic filled world in the night circus and deserves credit and praise beyond most. 

Worst: Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins
I should really award this to Tolstoy's Anna Karenina as this is the only book i did not finish this year. The language was hard-going and not much happened. But i did not finish it so i cannot give a fully informed opinion. So...
After reading and loving the hunger games and catching fire i was excited for this final installment! The first two books were so well delivered, i couldn't get my head around how disappointing Mocking Jay was! It was poorly written. It read like a film and had the plot identical to any typical and predictable film one sees in the cinemas these days. As for the story line, again, another big disappointment. For the final installment and sign-off for the hunger games trilogy it did a good job at ruining it for me. I was so disappointed. Even for a final installment, it was a let down.


Best: About Time
The.Movie of the year has to go to About Time. This has to be the most heart-warming, bittersweet, lovely most touching movies of the year! When i came out of the cinema, i felt like i had been hit by an emotional steam train. The story line took me by surprise and i have to say, i was so impressed with it. There were so many lovely elements to it that came together and really made this movie so touching. I tried my hardest to conceal the emotion it reaped from me but by the end i had given up and cried both sad and happy tears openly. I would recommend it to anyone and will be buying it for the DVD shelf when it is released on 3rd Febuary 2014.

Worst: Movie 43
Iv never walked out of a movie in my life, nor even thought about it until i saw this movie. This has to be, by far, the worst movie i have ever seen, ever. Even more than Red Hot Killer Tomatoes! And boy that sucked! This got very poor write-ups and rightfully deserved them. I'm shocked that they even got financed or anyone to sign their name against it. It truly is that bad! Worst movie ever!

Tv Series

Best: Tudors
Tudors has got this award for two reasons. 
1) the only other contender was True Blood
2) anything with Henry Cavil in has my vote! 
So i don't watch much TV. At all. I prefer to read or do stuff. But i recently watched Tudors series 1-4 and boy did i enjoy it! Its an action packed, sex-fueled and all together a brilliant way of educating people about the reign of Henry VIII. I fell in love with Henry and even came around to liking Jonathan Rhys Myers! They are both exceedingly talented actors. A brilliant series which i have recommended and still recommend. 

Worst: 2 Broke Girls
This is only here as i have seen the odd episode on TV during our evening meals and it annoys the hell put of me. Get of my screen you stupid american dumb ass bimbo wenches! 

So that's my BEST and WORST of 2013 guys. I hope you have enjoyed reading this and hopefully it may have inspired you to check out a few things i liked.
 It is now 2014 and i have welcomed it with open arms. A new year, a new start and all that usual bollocks. I'm gonna be older, fatter and uglier, but Hey! lets enjoy it all the more! 
Happy New Year Guys!
All the best, 
Claire Bear  X

A few of my favorite quotes from this year:

"I would have written you, myself, if i could put down in words everything i want to say to you. A sea of ink would not be enough." 
Erin Morgernstern, The Night Circus.

"I suppose the important thing is to make some sort of difference... You know, actually change something... Not the entire world. Just the little bit around you."
David Nicholls, One Day.

"Someone needs to tell those tales... When the battles are won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup if Lopsang sauchong, someone needs to tell their bits of over-lapping narrative. There's magic i. That. Its in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different and it will affect them in ways they never can predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someones soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they mot do because of it, because of your words... Do not forget that... There are many kinds of magic after all."
Erin Morgernsterm, The Night Circus.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I'm so jealous of all the traveling you got to do!!!! Great post