Jess Glynne at MTV’s Lockdown

The divine Jess Glynne!

The divine Miss Glynne!

This week I had the honour and privilege to be in the audience as part of MTV’s new show, Live Lockdown, starring the incredibly soulful and uplifting voice that is of course… the one and only…*drumroll*… Jess Glynne!

It was late Monday night when I received the email, inviting me to be a part of an intimate gig with this British singer-songwriter from North London. Of course, I didn’t even have to think about it – I immediately clicked the link and applied for my tickets. In the back of my mind, I knew that my chances of getting the tickets were slim as with over fifty-six thousand followers on Twitter, almost eighty thousand on Instagram and a number one solo single that topped the UK charts for three consecutive weeks under her belt, there were a lot of Glynners to compete with! So, I tried not to get too excited by the prospect that I could be listening to her extremely powerful voice live… although that didn’t stop me from playing her hits before I drifted off to sleep (check out one of my favourites below!)

It was during my lunch hour the next day that I received a second email from the audience company… I’d been approved! I couldn’t contain my excitement as I read the crucial words “Jess Glynne on MTV Lockdown – Your Tickets” and with that, let out an involuntary little squeak of sheer joy (much to everyones clear surprise judging by the looks on their faces… not that I cared of course!).

Fast forward to Thursday and it was time to party, so I donned my dancing heels and hopped on the tube! We arrived at the secret filming location in plenty of time and joined the queue… albeit in the pouring rain. Although to everyones relief, the staff kindly let us in 15 minutes earlier than they should have because of the awful weather. As we all piled in one by one, we were wristband-ed and led into a large village hall-esque room (which by the looks of it was actually a large rehearsal studio). We were numbers 29 through to 32 so I thought that we were for sure getting in – but then they started calling in the priority people… 1-100! Eeeek! Thankfully, the venue was a lot bigger than I’d expected and we managed to find ourselves in the second row directly behind the band… can you believe it?! Plus I might even be able to spot myself on TV, boogie-ing with my folks like there was no tomorrow (unfortunately there was a tomorrow… a tomorrow in which my feet were definitely paying the price of the previous nights added height – but it was all worth it!).

We settled into our places and the presenter (whose name I’ve already forgotten… oops, sorry!) recorded all of her intro/outro bits and pieces, which I found extremely fascinating as it reminded me of the handful of times I’ve done on-camera presenting for work (click here to check out my most recent How To Train Your Dragon coverage, recorded in Norway). And then it was time… the stage was set, the band were in place and the lasers were out in all their glory.

Jess Glynne's upcoming album, I Cry When I Laugh

Jess Glynne’s upcoming album, I Cry When I Laugh

I’m not going to spoil it for people waiting to watch it on MTV, but Jess was absolutely, 100% on FIRE! She sang everyones favourite hits; Hold My Hand, Right Here and Real Love; as well as two incredibly uplifting songs from her new album, I Cry When I Laugh (out 14 August), called Ain’t Got Far and Gave Me Something. I’d not heard these tracks before but I’m already addicted to them both! Her lyrics are so heartfelt and truthful – I know that they will be empowering for many women (and no doubt, men) across the world who have ever felt different or at all segregated in their lives. Bring on the album release, I say… bring it! In-between each track, Jess took the time to talk to us and really acknowledge the audience, which was so lovely. She came across as a very humble and down to earth independent woman, and sang as if it was as easy as blinking – absolutely effortless. I’ve never witnessed anything like it!

I foresee that Miss Glynne and her gorgeous copper curls will be in very, very high demand after everyone’s ears have been graced with the magic of her album later this year, and I hope that she goes on tour asap, as I could easily listen to her for hours! Stay amazingly flawless Jess!

Be sure to listen to Rather Be (below) too – this clever collab with Clean Bandit (more stars in the making) was one of the fastest selling singles of 2014 and also scooped Best Dance Record at this years Grammys!

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Withdrawal symptoms

Happy 2015 everyone!

So, even though it’s only been a few days since I completed WordPress’ 365 Days of Writing Prompts challenge, I must admit I have felt somewhat lost. Not having a daily task to look forward to or knowing that I wasn’t part of a community that spanned the entire globe since finishing. I just can’t figure out what sort of blogging challenge to take up next… photography, event biography or even reviews. I just hope that I decide fairly soonish, before 2015 runs out!

A brand new you, effective tomorrow!

#365: Tomorrow is the first day of a brand new year. Tomorrow you get to become anyone in the world that you wish. Who are you? If you decide to stay “you” share your rationale.

I’d still be me – just a healthier, non-ill version! I look forward to the simple things, like eating normal food once again and more than anything, I’ve just realised I’m really looking forward to deciding what I’ll do with my blog for 2015! So far, I’m thinking one of the following:
– taking up a photography challenge;
– writing about the events and opportunities my career takes me to;
– turning it into a bucket list blog;
– writing regular reviews on my favourite things (films, games, restaurants etc).

It would be great to hear from my fellow bloggers on their thoughts or any other ideas.

Thanks to everyone in the blogging community for welcoming me into this incredible world and showing me such overwhelming support – you’ve made 2014 fabulous!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Change of plan

Today’s post is to go a little off-piste so to speak… slightly wayward! I wasn’t inspired by the suggested prompt so I’ve decided to do my own thing this evening.

Fireworks.

Does anyone else think they’re overrated? Or is it just me? Call me a grouch or even an old fuddy-duddy if you will, but I just don’t understand why anyone would want to stand outside in the freezing cold, to basically be left with their ears ringing for the rest of the night?! Plus, they surely can’t be very environmentally friendly, right? And not that I’ve bought any myself, but they can’t be that cheap if you’re doing a display either – you might as well just watch your money burn instead… Although, don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the symbolic nature of the night, that’s been a firm tradition in this country since 1606 (we did a comic in the magazine about Guy Fawkes, which I fact checked to the ends of the Earth!), but there has been fireworks going off here most nights now since Diwali (22nd October) and I’m just ready for a firework free night.

What do you think fellow bloggers?

Exhale

#280: Tell us about a time when everything seemed to be going wrong — and then, suddenly, you knew it would be alright.

I can’t think of a time where events have specifically taken this sort of turn, however when I take a step back and think about the title of the prompt, smaller less important ‘phew’ moments have happened. For example, at work yesterday I read a competition email as wanting to go live next week before I’d actually attended the press event, thus having nothing to link it to/write about… but then I realised I was a month ahead of myself so as well as a ‘phew’ moment, it was very much a *doh-facepalm* situation!

Thank you

#254: The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone).

Hmm… I’m thankful for quite a lot of things to be honest, so trying to decide on one thing to encompass it all is pretty tough. So I won’t do the expected thing and say ‘life’ – instead I’ll stick to the brief and name one person/thing. I am thankful for… someone that has only just come into my life, that I met through one of my many Meetups (if you haven’t heard of meetup.com, you need to check it out – whether you want to meet new people with similar interests, personal or professional, or travel to new places and venues, there literally is something for everyone no matter how obscure your hobbies are!). We have so much in common and whenever we get together, we never run out of things to talk about. We talk every day over WhatsApp and occasionally over the phone, but it’s just so nice to enjoy someones company, getting to know them more as each day goes by. Plus who doesn’t enjoy a bit of fresh, new, flirty excitement?! Also, not forgetting, I’m insanely thankful to one of my bestest friends who continues to show me so much love and support (I know… leaving the brief ever so slightly!).

I’d like to thank my cats

#239: You are receiving an award – either one that already exists, or a new one created just for you. What would the award be, why are you being honored, and what would you say in your acceptance speech?

Argh! Just realised I have missed yesterday’s deadline by 37 minutes! However, I do have a very good reason for it… I was wrapping up a couple of last minute birthday presents for my brother (whose birthday is now today… HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) and didn’t realise the time!

The award would be The Most Organised award… ask anyone I work with, I am THE most organised (borderline obsessive compulsive) individual they have ever come across. But, this of course regularly comes in handy when I’m in charge of organising and managing promotional events & festivals 🙂

I’ve never had to make a speech before as such… tonnes of educational presentations throughout sixth form and uni, but never a speech. So, I’d of course keep it incredibly short – I’d do the typical thing by thanking my family and everyone who has contributed to creating the person I am today, but I’d then thank the person who recognised just how much effort I put into my work, striving to make it as perfect as possible.

Ripped into the headline

#161: Write about something that happened over the weekend as though it’s the top story on your local paper.

WOMAN HAS BEST DAY OF HER LIFE

A woman claims to have had the best day of her life, even though she is only 25. On Saturday, she visited London’s Choccywoccydoodah branch with one of her closest friends and introduced two new “recruits” (as she calls them), her close friends boyfriend and another close friend from work. She was recognised immediately by staff due to how many times she visits and introduces new people to the wonders of Choccy. Everyone loved the cake, although there was no doubt in her mind that they wouldn’t… Favourite food. Favourite friends. If only there was a way to enjoy this event every weekend without getting incredibly obese and/or inducing diabetes.

Imperfection

#100: Imperfections — in things, in people, in places — add character to life. Tell us about an imperfection that you cherish.

I cherish my imperfect OCD behaviour when it comes to planning and organisation. I’ve discovered that if I am given an event to organise (regardless of whether it be for work or family/friends), I live, eat, breathe and sleep everything about the event! I am always driven to make sure that everything that can be organised, is organised ahead of the event, so that nothing goes wrong upon set up or during the event. In my eyes, everything has to be perfect!

The reason I have classed it as an imperfection, is purely because others can sometimes find it irritating just HOW organised I am and how far I plan ahead! I’ve always said that I’d rather be organised and early for everything as opposed to flustered and running late.

365 Days of Writing Prompts rebellion: Nerf Zombie night!

As of this moment in time, I can’t choose a favourite blog in order to complete today’s prompt. So, instead, I thought I’d share my account of the mysterious event I went to, where I got to shoot zombies for a couple of hours! As a side note and to set the scene a little, as well as working for NG Kids, I also freelance for Souper Media who publish SPLAT!, the best interactive iPad magazine for boys. I hope you enjoy it and the video will be uploaded during the week!

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When SPLAT! was invited to an action-packed Nerf launch night, which involved a secret mission, live actors and lots of surprises… how could we say no!

The mystery night began when the SPLAT! team were driven across London, to a secret (and sinisterly quiet) location in pitch black darkness. We were instructed to suit up with our I.D. badges, bullet proof vests and fully loaded ammunition belts ready for the battle to begin at any time… except, at this point, we were still weaponless!

When we pulled up, the building we were heading towards seemed to be an unused, abandoned warehouse. Boy, were we wrong! As soon as we entered, we were greeted by an army major and had our unique I.D. numbers written on our arm in UV pen. We then progressed to a gated room, where we were covered in decontamination spray… it tasted weird! (*WARNING: keep mouth closed at all times during the decontamination process). Once we had passed the medical, we were led to the debriefing room. This is where we were given our mission.

“You are currently locked, *ahem* situated, in a secret medical facility. You do not know where you are and neither does anyone you know, so we are counting on you to succeed… no one else can do it for you. Unfortunately, some of our medical trials have gone slightly wrong and well, to put it bluntly – the zombies have managed to escape and we can’t let them run riot in London, as this would mean the end of the world as you know it! We’ve brought you here as the best of the best, to eradicate these breakouts, so get a move on before they get you.”

Hmmm. No pressure then!

First, we were introduced to some zombies who were still contained, just so we knew what we were up against. Once we’d been terrified by the task ahead, we began our intense training… foot stepping through tyres, climbing over huge walls, crawling in the mud under mesh nets. It wasn’t easy. Finally, it was time to bring out the weapons!

Throughout the event, whilst we tried to clear the facility of all zombie lifeforms, we were treated to a whole host of Nerf weaponry! We began with the Nerf Zombie Strike Hammershot Blaster, which allowed us to shoot five darts one after the other, avoiding having to constantly reload. In the next room, we collected our Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire Blasters, launching a powerful triple strike, firing three darts at the same time… this took zombies longer to recover, giving us more time to reload the canister ready for the second round! Progressing to the next floor, we were given Nerf Zombie Strike Sidestrike Blasters, which came with a handy holster that we could clip onto our belts. We had these whilst we manoeuvred through the zombie maze – they were everywhere, but we all made it through! Just when we thought we’d managed to get them all, we’d completely missed an entire floor. Heading back with caution, we grabbed our Nerf Zombie Strike Crossfire Bows, jumped into action and saved the planet!

The Crossfire Bow was by far my favourite as I used to love participating in archery when I was a kid. When I got home, I even searched for venues in London where I could take up archery again. Alas, My search was unsuccessful. I’d never taken part in any sort of paintball/zombie shooting game before (except from obviously via games consoles), but I found the experience great fun and I even won a trophy!