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November 2, 2016 at 6:45 am by Angela

Did you click on this thinking it might be a post about our favourite Australian soap-turned-pop star, Kylie? Well if you did then I’m sorry to disappoint because it’s not*. However, when musing on this blog post, her 2001 pop classic pinging into my head. Because what I’m here to tell you today folks is the baby / toddler songs which are now on perma-loop in my head since becoming a mother. This list isn’t finite but it’s the ones that haunt me the most. I even like most of them…but not when I’m trying to sleep, sat in a meeting or start subconsciously humming them on the packed commuter train! I’m sorry if they stay with you for the day after reading this, but here goes:

*(For all you disappointed Kylie fans, don’t worry there is a surprise at the end…)

One: The Music Train songs

Credit: Facebook page

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January 11, 2016 at 10:50 am by Angela

I’ve done the nerve-wracking, stomach-churning reasons why I am not looking forward to going back. Now it’s time to call out the good things, the things that will encourage me to skip out the front door in the morning. Because let’s face it, full time child care involves dealing with one of the less flexible demographics in society (Try asking an 11 month old to wait 2 minutes for the bowl of fruit they’ve just seen you get out the fridge…).

Here are my 5 reasons why going back to work is awesome:

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April 3, 2012 at 9:13 pm by Angela

The other day we stopped for petrol. When Sam went in to pay, a group of lads pulled up outside in some pimped-up Corsa (or similar). One of the lads got out to let his mate out the back. Both of them had the notorious white Apple headphone cord hanging out of one ear. So, in a car of 5 friends, at least two (one of whom was driving!), were sat in the car with one ear on their friends and the other on some music.

Whilst this irritated me slightly at the time, I forgot about it. Until yesterday night when I was cycling home, I noticed a woman (on her own) driving along doing the same thing. White headphones it transpires are really easy to see from a distance. When did ‘we’ become incapable of listening to others, or just surviving with a bit of peace and quiet?

For drivers, there are a whole heap of safety implications to listening to headphones whilst driving; I shall avoid doing my previous trick of quoting the highway code, but common sense just says that if you have headphones rammed in your ears, you cannot properly hear things moving around you. But that aside, I feel it is quite sad that friends cannot give each other full attention now. Back when I was at school, if I wanted to listen to music I would either listen to it properly, or share headphones with my friends. Now, friends only warrant half of someone’s attention.

In a broader sense, surely this has to impact a person’s ability to concentrate? I have not done scientific study on this, but again, it is just common sense that if you don’t train the mind to do something, it get’s lazy; if you don’t train your mind to concentrate on one thing at a time, it will merrily drift through the day.

Preaching over, I really hope something this simple doesn’t leave us with generations incapable of focussing for more than 5 minutes! Also, if they do persist in listening to music all the time, I wish they would get better headphones – not only are the Apple ones rubbish sound quality, but they leak sound which the rest of us have to endure! Woe is me…

February 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm by Angela

I did my final 5k erg test of the season (I think / hope) on Wednesday. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I find music crucial for erging. This is even more true for an erg test; it’s not just the songs, but the order that matters too! So, here is my most recent erg playlist and reasons why:

  • We Found Love – Rihanna (feat. Calvin Harris): a fast paced and beat-y tune to really kick some energy in to the piece. Also nice repetitive lyrics so nothing too complicated to distract the mind from building a solid rhythm. Total Duration: 3:36
  • Domino – Jessie J: A less dancy track but a nice lively tune and some empowering lyrics, by the start of this song I am settled in to a rhythm and may well be starting to realise I still have over 16 – 17 mins to go. So this is one I can mentally sing along to. Total Duration: 7:28
  • Who’s That Chick – David Guetta (feat. Rihanna): Another lively one with a repetitive beat and lyrics. Slightly more ‘poppy’ than the first track so good for this tough middle part of the piece. After a more vocal tune, gives a few minutes to refocus on those splits. Total Duration: 10:47
  • Moves Like Jaggar – Maroon 5: A funky tune which I have seen the video to many times. So this is one that prompts me to visualise the video, giving a bit of mental respite. Total Duration: 14:08
  • All Fired Up – The Saturdays: A good mix of pop and dance – nothing too hardcore but has a pacey beat to help keep the power up as the end approaches and the legs really burn. Total Duration: 17:22
  • Sexy B*tch – David Guetta (feat. Akon): Slightly edgy language and a thumping beat, this song really helps me drive down the legs to the end. It’s tempo does change which could break rhythm for some, but by this time I am settled and like something which isn’t too repetitive to keep me focused to the end. Total Duration: 20:38
  • Only Girl – Rihanna: How much I hear of this track, if I hear it at all, depends on whether I started my erg as soon as I pressed play back at the start and whether I am performing well. Even my shoddy 5ks come in under 21 minutes but it’s good to err on the side of caution. You do not want the tunes to run out in those last few hundred metres. This song is an ideal candidate – I’m not sad if I don’t hear it, but I love it if I do! It reminds me of happy times so keeps those positive thoughts flowing through the pain. Total Duration: 24:34

So there we have it – that is the thought I put in to my playlists and I genuinely think it pays off. Some may not find a benefit, but if music helps you push yourself, then take 10 mins and pick some tunes and imagine how you want to hear them through that darkest of times!

January 17, 2012 at 8:06 pm by Angela

I have a 5k erg time due by Saturday evening. I really do not take any pleasure in doing a 5k test. In some of the various rowing books I read, people have said that a 5k is the hardest thing they have ever done, including someone who went to fight in Afghanistan. Now, having never done the latter, I cannot comment there, but I know it is one of the hardest physical tests I have ever put myself through.

So, at this point, the runners amongst you are scoffing – 5k, how can 5k be hard? I understand, as a runner, you would not view 5k as a tough distance – even I can run a 5k in a moderate time. But trust me, a 5k on an erg is just not even in that league: it is rate capped (rate 27), at drag 128 (about 134 ish for a bloke) and the objective is to get the lowest time you can. So, basically that means you have to drive your legs as hard as you can, every stroke, for over 20 mins (unless you are a bloke or an elite female athlete, of which I am neither). So, all those runners out there, set yourself up on a Concept II as per my instructions and let me know your time. If you are able to walk straight, or even stand-up, for 5 minutes afterwards, then you need to try harder.

But, I have seriously digressed. What I wanted to talk about was the major part music plays for me in my ergs. Listening to some tunage earlier, I had a flash back top erg-ing tunes of recent years. I may even compile them in to a Super ‘5k erg’ playlist for later this week. It’s a random mix of songs, but they are all awesome in their own way:

  • Just Dance by Lady GaGa
  • Sexy B*tch by David Guetta feat. Akon
  • Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5
  • Out of Touch by United Nations
  • You and Me by United Nations
  • Only Girl in the World by Rihanna
  • Commander by Kelly Rowland
  • Good Times (Radio Edit) by Roll Deep

What annoys me is there are loads more I have forgotten. I shall have to scour my music collection on a bid to compile the ultimate erg track list. It’s good to have something to take my mind off the erg itself!

September 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm by Angela

Just noticed that the last album I bought was in May! That’s ages ago… I shall have to do some music shopping this weekend. Need to make some autumn training play lists…

January 20, 2011 at 10:13 pm by Angela

I must say, it has been a tiring week this week.  I went to the hairdressers tonight and that in itself zonked me out.  How is it that sitting can be so tiring?!  Whenever I go to the hairdresser, I normally drift off in to my dreamy-trance state and watch the music vids they have on.  However, all around are people chatting and I feel like I should be too.  But I don’t want to make conversation; not because I don’t want to talk to the hairdresser, but just because I don’t feel like talking.

I had a meeting with one of the guys from my new team earlier.  It was interesting, but I left feeling very over-whelmed by the volume of work and the complexity of it.  I thought my current project was bad but this is another level up!  I am glad I had the discussions with myself over Christmas about rowing, there won’t be the same amount of time.  I am determined to do this well.

But now I need to log-off and watch my Dr Who in peace.

October 27, 2010 at 9:25 am by Angela

Okay, the cold has arrived! I am feeling truely bunged up. Damn it! I hate trying to work when it feels like your head is in a vice. I have taken a trusty sudofed though which has eased. The train was stifling today and everyone was sat in their coats. I had to remove my jacket and my jumper! Then the tube was stuffy too, although I was having a little bop for most of the journey because one of the guys in the carriage had his music loud; by some bizzare-ness, he was listening to Salome by Chayanne which is one of my top spanish tunes!

July 23, 2008 at 2:31 pm by Angela

That is the sounds of the pneumatic drill which has been running all day outside my window at work.  It’s driving me mad!  It’s okay when I’m chatting or actively doing something, but the moment I try and think that is all that fills my head.  Even my iPod isn’t blocking it out.  Although I am listening to some very good tunes!  It’s a play list I made myself called ’22 June 2008′, full of top tunes, new and old! 

An example of some new stuff is’C’mon Get It On’  by Studio whereas some old classics include Spin Doctors ‘Two Princes’ and ‘Push The Feeling On’ by the Nightcrawlers.  Those tunes are proper old school for me; they take me right back to my days on the school bus, summer of year 8 (summer 1995).  We had to get the ‘Ulceby’ bus because since all the GCSE students in year 11 had finished school, they could squish us all on to one bus.  I hated that bus because it was half full of kids from our ‘rival’ school, Vale, down the road.  However, Lyn the driver always had the radio on which made it that bit more interesting!

June 18, 2008 at 8:10 pm by Angela

It’s so frustrating sometimes.  The internet is so damn informative that you almost reach the point where you can’t find anything!  I really want to find this dance tune I like.  It’s not hugely recent and all I can remember is the video.  I have tried searching for lyrics in various lengths and combos but nothing.  Bah!  Oh well, I shall have another 5 min search and then go and Wii Fit before my relaxing bath.  See how stree-free I am after a mere three days on a course (and thus away from normal work).  Don’t roll on Friday…

Hello, I'm Angela. I'm Mum to two small people (3 & 0). I'm a Techie, Gardener, cake lover and tea addict. I also have far too many opinions...hence the blog. You can read more about me here. You can also follow me on Twitter so you never miss a post. Hope you enjoy reading!

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