Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Granddaddies of Rock Storm Glastonbury 2013

Well I have to say the oldies stormed Glastonbury this year.  The Rolling Stones were amazing last night, not bad for a bunch of men, average age of seventy.

It was an energetic performance from Jagger and Co.  Tracks included: Miss You, Brown Sugar, You Can't Always Get What You Want and (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction.

Bearing in mind these are men that due to their hard partying and drug taking could have been dead years ago and yet, here they were blasting out the amps with their front man jumping up and down like an Eskimo dancing over hot coals!

Apparently they amassed the largest crowd at Glastonbury, ever.

If that wasn't enough, Kenny Rogers, who is seventy five years old, had the crowd eating out of his hand this afternoon as he sang, Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town, Islands in the Stream, Lucille and Lady.

It goes to show that age is no barrier to enjoyment.  What really counts is passion, persistence and performance from the artists!

Keep on rocking!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Book Launch!

Well, the launch for my book, IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER, took place at Cyfarthfa Castle, yesterday. I'm pleased to say that following a bout of pre-performance anxiety on Sunday, it all went like a dream.

When I arrived at the castle, all my family were waiting there. Some I hadn't seen for seven years, so it was wonderful. Members of my old writing group had turned up[see bottom pic], along with my colleagues at the cancer charity.

We were led into a room [that used to be part of my sixth form common room when I attended the Castle School]. The buffet was already laid out and everyone trooped in.

The mayor read out my biography and then it was my turn to take the floor. I decided to stand behind the table as I thought this would be best in case I got a bad attack of nerves and needed something to hang on to!

I needn't have worried. I don't know where my voice came from, but it was strong and focused. I remembered to look up from time to time at the crowd and ad libbed at certain points.

The first part of my speech was about my colleagues and what sort of an organisation we are and why we so badly need a purpose-built building.

The second part of my speech was about my writing and the book itself. I mentioned in my speech how as a fifteen-year-old my English teacher had read my stories out to the class and how I could never have imagined some thirty years later that I would be attending my own book launch in the very same building!

It was a very emotional speech and my mother told me that a lot of people were wiping away tears. Crumbs, it wasn't that bad was it? LOL.

Then we had the book signing. I am so glad that I brought a cold bottle of Evian water along as I didn't have time to get up from the table. I only managed to have a cup of tea and a little bit of food right at the very end.

All the books sold out! I didn't even have one left for the Mayor and his wife! So, I've promised him the first book when the next delivery arrives.

Afterwards, my daughter suggested we went on to Pentrebach House for a drink. It was a lovely evening and we sat under the umbrella in the sun, just chilling.

One of the highlights of the day for me was people coming on to me and telling me how proud they were of me and how they hadn't realised how much I had achieved with my writing. And most of all my own children hugging me and saying the same thing.

Another thing that made my day was the fact that the members of the writing group could remember so much about the stories I had read out to them some six years ago. I hadn't realised that my writing had left such an impression on them!

The book launch will be in this week's edition of The Merthyr Express. I really hope that people will keep buying the book to help the charity, we need as much publicity as we can get.

I think yesterday will be one of those days I will remember all of my life.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

One of the Most Controversial Endings to a TV Show, Ever....The Sopranos Final Scene

** Do not read if you are still waiting to see the ending of this show! **

If you're an avid Sopranos fan like me [I have the full box set] and estimate I have watched the series several times over [and always see something new in it], then what did you think of the ending?

The final show aired in June, seven years ago. People still talk about it to this day, where the screen faded to black after Tony and his family were due to eat at the diner. A suspicious looking man heads for the rest room [reminiscent of a murder scene from The Godfather]. Was he about to pick up a gun hidden in the toilet cistern or was he just an average diner off to take a dump before his burger and fries arrived?

In my mind, I decided, Tony Soprano would always be left looking over his shoulder and life carried on off screen same as it ever was with: dirty dealings, exchangeable, dispensable, goomahs, erotic writhings at the Bada Bing Club and Carmella's whinging and whinging getting placated by yet another expensive gift. Although there are others who say, if you look at all the clues from previous episodes and from the last show, that Tony Soprano was sent to meet his maker that night...

So, what do you think happened at the end of what must be one of the most controversial endings ever shown on television?

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Going ‘Cold Turkey’ from Facebook

I’ve been on Facebook for about the last five years or so.  And over those years my usage of the social networking media has increased.  I decided yesterday to close down my account.
Why?  You might ask. 

Because my name’s Lynette and I’m a Facebook Addict...

It all started innocently enough.  I can remember a time when university students used it a lot, actually it was intended for those people.  My daughter had a boyfriend at the time and he’d say, “I’m popping on Facebook...” and I’d wonder what on earth it was.

Later I found out but never really thought that much about it.  As a writer, I noticed that several writer friends had started social networking accounts to increase their online profiles.  I tried Bebo for a while but never really took to it.  I think I only ever once updated my status there.  

Eventually, I closed that account down and started a Facebook one which I never really used and also a Myspace account where my only friend was some person called, ‘Tom’.  Tom seemed to be everyone’s friend!

Anyhow I had this Facebook account where I hadn’t even uploaded a photograph and some strange man, who I didn’t recognise and wasn’t ‘Tom’, had added me as a friend.  I thought no more of it.  A few months later, a writer friend of mine added me as a friend on Facebook, I don’t know how she even knew it was me for sure, but after that I got lots of friend requests from other writers and people living in my home town and I ended up with around 350 friends.

Soon I became very active on Facebook.  I enjoyed all the banter and networking with other writers and old friends.  I even set up a couple of Facebook groups.  One, was a local group which became so popular it ended up with around 1,500 members.  We met once a month at a local pub.

That group is still going but I no longer run it.  It was very successful but I put my heart and soul into it.  A few people tried to cause trouble for me and we ended up falling out, something I think which might not have happened had it not been for Facebook.

People will say things to you, they haven’t got the guts to do in real life, but it’s a fast track way to find out who your real friends are.  The trouble makers were never my real friends to begin with. 
So, as a result of Facebook I’ve lost four ‘friends’ who showed their true colours.  One kept inboxing me abusive emails and finally said, ‘I’m blocking you because you haven’t replied’.  The reason I hadn’t replied was that I was in work while she was spending her day on Facebook!

I used to post a lot of music from You Tube on my Facebook wall and had a little bit of a following, almost as a Facebook DJ.  I found this quite amusing.  Especially when people would put in requests for songs.

'Can’t they go to You Tube and post their own songs?'  My son would ask, highly amused that I had all these followers like a flock of sheep.

The truth was I enjoyed it, we’d entered discussions about songs which brought back some great memories for me.   Sometimes I’d discover new songs that I’d buried away in the darkest recesses of my mind.

The problem was Facebook is counterproductive for me as hours can be spent doing mind numbing things.  

I ran a writing group there, which I enjoyed and got good feedback from, but it became more of a reading group rather than a writing group in the end as only two of us were regularly posting.

The truth was...dare I say it...I became bored by Facebook.

Bored with some of the inane comments and people liking this that and the other.  Really?  You like the fact that something awful happened to me today?  People seem to like just about everything from  something really nice to going to a pop concert to someone really awful such as someone ending up in hospital with their arm hanging off!  Okay, that's an exaggeration, but you know what I mean!

Well, I’ve been away from Facebook for about 14 hours and 46 minutes and still counting...
Hoping I can go cold turkey and get back in the real world, doing all the things I used to love doing before Facebook.  Like writing in this blog, reading other blogs, tracing my family tree and writing way more of my new novel!

I shall keep you posted how I get on...