Big ol’ (almost complete) update!

I need to stop neglecting this blog, I really do. But this time I (sort of) have an excuse – I’ve been waiting for some things to ‘happen’ and I’m finally at the stage where I feel like I can reveal almost all….

So: here we go. My big ol’announcement post.  All along the theme of YouTube – something I’d never have guessed would be a key thing in my life a year ago, but hey!

FIRST UP: I’ve had an article published on – read it here. It’s an interview with the lovely Alex Day, who I’ve spoken to a couple of times now – seems to be a bit of a running theme these days….

Secondly: My friend Natalie and I have started up a YouTube channel of our own! It’s aptly named A Quick Cup Of Tea – something which suits my tea-drinking habits rather well & you can find us on YouTube (obviously), Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr…I don’t think I’ve missed any, have I!? If you’re a new YouTuber, we’d love to here from you. We’re always, always up for chatting to new people, collaborating & generally helping each other out.

I was going to add an “AND FINALLY” to this, but I’m still waiting to hear back from someone…so I think this will have to be a bit of a cliffhanger…

But yes – to sum up – interview with Alex Day HERE, watch our YouTube videos (and laugh at me a little bit) HERE… and watch this space for more news!

L xx

Bacc for the Future

At the age of 16, very few people will know who they are, or what they want to do.  What they are more likely to know is what they are not, and what they don’t want to – or indeed are unable to do.

I was amongst the lucky ones – I had a strong idea of what I wanted from my life from before I did my GCSEs – I had a plan, an idea of where I wanted to be in ten years’ time. Of course, it’s changed.  I’ve changed, grown up and experienced life and it’s changed the specifics of my goals, but at the heart of it has been the same: I always want to be creative, and as long as I’m involved in the music industry, I’ll be happy.

For the majority of people in my year, there wasn’t such a clear plan – but through the two years of studying for our GCSEs, subjects were eliminated as A level possibilities, as they figured out what suited them. Most people know if they’re not a scientific person, not a creative person, not a historian – and so on.  And as choices were narrowed down to form our A levels, the majority of my peers settled into studying the subjects they enjoyed. For me – and I’m sure I’m not alone in this – this was the first time I felt truly fulfilled in my education. I was studying what I wanted to study in more depth and beginning to specialise.  I wanted to specialise in the subjects I believed would take me on to my career – music, music technology, business studies and German.  And the one subject I would trade? German. For History.

So far, the rest have been invaluable for every step of my career so far – through my degree, through my Masters’ degree and through my hobbies and extra-curricular activities.

I knew by age 15 that I was not a scientific person. In fact, I knew I was definitely not scientifically inclined far before then. I’m not a mathematician either – I achieved an A at GCSE level, but it’s not something I enjoyed. And if I’d had to study maths and science at A level, I would have felt restricted and limited.

This is why I’m not on board with the proposed English Baccalaureate qualification.  Pushing mathematical and scientific subjects onto people who are not naturally good at them could damage their futures and cause some serious demotivation.

But even more worrying than forcing these subjects onto people is the current lack of creative subjects in the EBacc. The campaign Bacc For The Future lays out the facts clearly here, but the point of the matter is we have a chance to change things.

As I said in an earlier post, creativity is important. So, so important. Just think what creativity leads to: the television programs you watch, the music you listen to, the films you see. And that’s only just scratching the surface – just look around you. This world is filled with creativity – everything you eat, drink, put on your walls to brighten up your room – the list is endless.

The good news is that the initial proposal for the EBacc has been declared unfit for purpose and is being reviewed. But we need to get the creative industries included in the qualification – and even more so, we need to make sure they aren’t included as a lower tier qualification.

Creative industries contribute 6% of GDP, employ two million people and export over £16 billion annually.  And beyond the financial figures, there are those who want to chose a creative subject as part of their qualifications simply because they love art, music or design.

If you’ve read this far, then I urge you to sign the petition.  I don’t want the creative industries to suffer, and I certainly don’t want our future generations to find themselves in an education system where creativity isn’t encouraged.


My last post got a lot of attention, which has bemused me slightly – but hey! I’m going with it.  The only problem is I’m not sure where I should go with this now. I’m sure the majority of the people who read my last post were Dan & Phil fans, but nonetheless maybe a more ‘general’ blog is the way forward.

So I suppose what this is saying, in a very roundabout and inarticulate way is…hello to you, if you’re new. And….watch this space!

Generation gaps, creativity and the “cool kids”

I apologise in advance: I’m about to rant.

Last night was the second “Dan and Phil” show on BBC Radio 1. Shortly after the show, a review by journalist Miranda Sawyer was posted to The Guardian which was – let’s say – not exactly singing the praises of the show. The review sparked outrage amongst Dan & Phil’s fanbase who (as all teenage fanbases do these days) took to twitter to tell the reviewer exactly what they thought of her, hurling empty threats and insults her way. Once the initial hysteria had died down, a second wave of tweets appeared. Tweets from fans apologising for the former messages but expressing their anger and reasons for taking offense in a slightly more rational way. Post twit-storm, Miranda back-pedalled somewhat to say that she did in fact enjoy the show and gave the wrong impression, making “too many jokes, not clear enough maybe”.

And herein, in my humble opinion, lies the problem. Miranda described the new Radio 1 presenters as “young men who make daft clips and put them on YouTube”. Yes, true…to an extent.  Dan and Phil are just two of a growing number of “YouTubers” whose career is based around creating good quality content for YouTube.  Yes – the content is often trivial, but to brush off the time, effort, imagination and creativity that goes into making these videos as “daft clips” does its creators – and their achievements – a disservice.

I often feel that my generation is having a rough time of it these days.  On the television, we’re all too often represented by people on shows like TOWIE, Take Me Out and Made In Chelsea. As students, we’re accused of laziness and binge drinking, whilst tuition fees reach astronomical heights and the jobs market begins to look bleaker by the day. We’ve had riots, we’ve had student protests…and we’ve had Jack Whitehall on 2012’s Big Fat Quiz taking things a step too far.

So when two polite, cheerful 20-somethings who have successfully built up a fanbase on YouTube through cleverly delivered anecdotes and a series of videos that arguably fills the void left by SM:TV are offered a chance to present a show on Radio 1, we should celebrate.  We shouldn’t pass off their videos as ‘silly’, nor should we do the same to any of their fans’ video submissions to the show* – we should praise them for encouraging creativity in a world where creativity itself is being threatened by proposed changes to our education system.

Read more…

The undeniable comfort of comfort zones.

It’s funny how closed-minded it’s possible to be without even thinking about it. It’s just so easy to stay in your comfort zone and watch the shows you know, listen to the bands you like, read the genres you’re familiar with…the list goes on.

Back in December, I posted briefly about how I’d recently discovered that I actually really, really like Doctor Who. Only a few years after everyone else….

Similarly, I also recently actually took the time to sit down and watch some of Buffy – coincidentally, a good friend of mine also said in an email that she had also started watching Buffy. Both of us wondered why we’d never watched it before, especially since it was at it’s peak when we were at school.

This year, I’m going to try to watch, read and see as much that is ‘out of my comfort zone’ as possible. So far, I’ve surprised myself – Buffy and Doctor Who are both brilliant (although that’s hardly news…). I’ve discovered the appeal of RPGs as a way to take your mind off the world.

Other things I want to get into? Anime. That’s something I’ve never taken the time to look at properly. And on that note, I really want to know more about J-Pop and the culture surrounding it. It’s so different to things in the UK, and SUCH a massive market that I feel like I’m missing out hugely by not knowing about it.

Of course there’s more that I want to discover, but that’ll do for now. I’ll keep you posted on my progress…

It’s nice to be nice!

My old English teacher would not be happy with that title.  “Nice” would probably have been underlined in red pen – it’s just one of those words that seems so nondescript.  And yet, with everything that’s going on in the news at the minute – awful crimes, businesses going under left, right and center and the inevitable “January blues” – we all seem to be searching for that little bit of niceness.

Maybe that’s why Tom from McFly’s wedding speech video has clocked up over 8 million views in under 10 days on YouTube. Even though it’s a tearjerker, (making everyone from teenyboppers to grown men cry if the comments are to be believed) it’s a refreshing change to see something genuinely…well…nice. 


There’s also an idea that’s been knocking around the internet lately –  a jar of happiness, of sorts.  2013 starts with an empty jar, which is gradually filled up over the year of the good things that happen – anything, from the little things that happen on a day-to-day basis to make you smile, to the bigger things that could have a massive impact on your life. 

It’s quite a nice way of remembering the little things that happen over the year – and must e quite nice to (hopefully!) see the jar fill up over time!  I think I might start one myself… Now, off to find a suitable jar….


If you’re reading this & you’ve got this far, I need a bit more of your help. I’m on the hunt for random acts of kindness – whether it’s something you do, something you’ve come across or something that a friend does.  

Send me anything you’ve seen or done to – I’m hopefully going to be posting some up here occasionally.

Oh, and do me a favour and share this around a bit.
I think we all need a bit of cheering up…

Broadening my horizons….

Evening all! 

If you read my last post, you’ll probably know that I’ve finally got somewhat into Doctor Who. It was a case of “Hmm, what shall I watch next? Oh, I know, I haven’t ever really given Doctor Who a chance. Well, why not….”

So, as a result, I’m making some lists. Lists of films & TV series I need to watch (properly), bands & artists I need to see live and books I need to read in 2013. 

Please do comment with your recommendations. I’d love to have as much of a variety as possible!