Feels like Christmas

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Ridley: I absolutely adore this time of year! I’m generally a big kid at the best of times, but I am a hundred times worse come the month of December! I love how happy people are during the weeks leading up to the 25th, how so much nicer they are to their fellow man, how more generous they tend to be, more caring, everything seems brighter and nicer bathed in sparkly fairy lights. This time of year, we all tend to look outside ourselves more at those around us, and really stop for a moment to realise just how lucky we are. 

So…in order to get more into the Christmas spirit I’ve lined up my favourite Christmas ads. Now, hear me out, I know Christmas ads are now big business here, and I shouldn’t be using them to get me into the Christmas spirit, as this holiday is not all about presents and what you’re going to get from Santa. I know different companies spend millions developing these ads, recording them, and then they have big Christmas ad reveals, which get shared by thousands on social media sites (if they’re any good, and some of them really are). But I’m not afraid to admit (don’t judge me!) that I’ve gotten choked up watching a few of them!

Somehow, even though the ads are obviously trying to sell you something or encourage you to shop somewhere in particular (overlook this), they still, in strange way, capture the meaning of Christmas too, where it’s not about what you get or buy, but who you’re with. It’s about surrounding yourself with the people you care about, it’s about trying to bring a big smile to their faces, being the reason for them to laugh and just generally spreading the love!

So this Christmas, stop for a minute, and just remember what it’s all really about:

 

John Lewis, their ads just get me every time, I adored last years one with the bear and the rabbit, but this one with Monty the Penguin kinda chokes me up at the end, so so sweet. This is what I’m taking about, make others happy, it’s the secret to your own happiness too! (Also who wouldn’t want a best friend like Monty I ask you?):

 

The Sainsbury ad is just beautiful, heartbreaking, heart warming and just plain fantastic all at the same time! That this really happened (though possibly without the addition of the chocolate bar obviously) just makes it all the more special:

 

All I’ll say is…she really is worth it, don’t you think? Show others how important they are to you!

 

Make someone happy, the song says it al!! Coca Cola ads are always Christmas to me anyway.

 

And this is not an ad, but it’s still my favourite songs to sing this time of year! Muppets Christmas Carol is on repeat in our house!

 

So, if I haven’t hammered the point home enough, Happy Christmas to all our friends and family, have an absolutely fantastic one, and we’ll see you in the New Year!!

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Bastille Live

Wherein Latimer and Ridley attend a gig with the cool Indie kids!

Ridley: We went to a gig last Thursday night, the doors opened at 7pm and it was over at half ten. I’ve since realised I’m turning into an old fogie; I was happy that it was over early. It meant that while I had fun, I was still able to go home, potter round in my pjs and not have to go to bed too late as I had work the next morning. As I returned home, my feet aching from new boots I hadn’t bothered to break in (I never learn my lesson), I wondered what happened to my devil-may-care self, where did she disappear to? The Ridley who didn’t give a fig if I rocked in at 2am even when I was due to be up for 7am?

Latimer: Big mistake!! Always break in new shoes!

Ridley: To be honest though, devil-may-care me never really existed, that scenario only occurred a handful of times (and I always regretted them!). I’ve always been a tad too sensible for my own good and I hate early mornings as it is, so if I haven’t gotten my full night sleep, I’m like a kicked bear (very cranky I’d imagine)!

Anyway, we went to see the band, Bastille. I hadn’t heard about them before this, our excellent friend Orbie told us they are up and coming.

Ridley: I like being ‘in the known’, it feels like I’ve been let in on a secret only a few people are aware of. In a year or two when Bastille are playing on every radio channel, I’ll be able to sit back with a smug smile and say, ‘I went to see them long before they were famous.’ I’ll annoy everyone! Haha.

The gig was held in the Academy, a place I haven’t been in since it was only a grimy nightclub named Spirit (and that was seven or eight years ago).

The inner chamber… nah, just a stairwell, nice posters though!

Where are we the underground of a rail system!?

Nope… just Academy Level 2!!

Unsurprisingly, they’ve done it up-kind of. For the event, we were in a the basement (Academy Two), the ceiling was low, dark, with thick black metal columns supporting it (they were actually those industrial supports used when building work is being done, a tad worrying.), the walls were dark brick and the wooden stage was tiny, you could reach out and touch the band. It had an appealing hippy dishevelled look, though I’m certain I wouldn’t have been all that impressed if all of the lights had been turned on, showing every crack and dust pile.

There were two supporting acts to get the crowd going (there couldn’t have been more than about hundred people there). I found myself a nice pillar to lean against (helped me deal with my pinching boots! Oh, how my toes hate me.) Having found a perfect spot to see the stage, I noticed quite a tall man, with very large hair, in front of us, blocking the view of the stage.

Latimer was eyeing him too and leaned over to whisper, “I hope he’s not going to stand there all night, we won’t be able to see the band.”

Little did we know, he definitely wasn’t going to stay there, especially since when he turned around to leave, we realised it was the lead singer of Bastille; Dan Smith (who was born on Bastille Day, hence the band name! Louie, Orbie’s friend, told us this!)! We burst out laughing. Imagine complaining we wouldn’t be able to see the band, because their lead singer was standing in our way!

Though that wasn’t the last ‘interaction’ we had with him, well, that Latimer had with him anyway. 😀

They went through a fantastic repertoire of songs that had the room hopping and their speakers were so loud, my throat vibrated with the sound from them. At one point I was convinced I wasn’t able to breath properly!

Latimer: I love the atmosphere at these gigs when the band can play live and interact so well with the crowd, it’s incredible.Bastille are so talented. I love the sound of Dan Smith’s voice and their music is so lively.

They did a brilliant cover of Rhythm of the Night; a great song anyway, but they made it there own.

Ridley: During the second last song of the night, Dan put on a hoodie and descended into the crowd (Latimer hypotheses this is because he didn’t want people to touch his hair! His gorgeous gravity defying hair!), he sung with the microphone lead hanging over people’s heads. He ran around the sides and into the middle. People went mad, we were all like mini-paparazzi flashing camera at him and other people were patting him on the head. I was delighted, having only been half an arms distance from him, little did I know he actually tripped into Latimer who was in front of me somewhere! One day, it’ll be a story she tells her future children…maybe! She should freeze and preserve whatever part of her touched him (how sore!!), it could become very valuable! Haha.

Wonder what that would fetch on ebay?

Latimer: He came towards me, crouched low and I started backing away my mind screaming; ‘gaaaah, don’t come near me!’. I stumbled back into two girls, then as he twisted to bop along with the crowd, he fell into me, and I touched his back in a ‘gaah, get away’ kind of manner. Haha, is that how I’d react to all possibly famous and famous people?

If Ricky Gervais fell on top of me would I push him off screaming? Part of me hopes this won’t happen… the other, that it does! I laughed to Ridley afterwards, and said Dan falling on top of me was like two stars colliding. She stared.

“Well, you’re deluded.”

Probably!

We might catch up with Bastille again in March when they return to Dublin… will they play a bigger venue? How will life change for them… it’ll be interesting to see 🙂