Lately, I have been listening to ‘Desert Island Discs’ which is a joyful instance for each 30 minutes, (one I thoroughly recommend) and I’ve been thinking about the book I am writing, feeling quietly optimistic that one day in the not too distant future, Kirsty will be interviewing me, and it will be so funny, ridiculous and deliciously dark, with tracks varying in vastly different and surprising; or not so surprising ways, that some other temp sitting at a desk sticking pamphlets into envelopes all day long will be listening, and laughing or crying, feeling equally inspired as I have done by the honest and comedic likes of Dawn French, and the dulcet tones of David Attenborough.
That will be when I know I have made it, when I am on BBC Radio Four, and not when I am the temp sitting at a desk stuffing 6000 envelopes.
So evidently from the inspiration of this statement, some will come to the conclusion; I’m probably not cool. I mean, I’d like to think I’m pretty cool as in myself, maybe possibly in my dress sense, maybe possibly in my cutting words, maybe possibly in my spice girls lyric knowledge. Definitely in my eyebrow expressions and my clear and fully formed sarcastic charisma. Probably not in my epic dance moves or knowledge of musicals. Cool to myself if not to others, which at the ripe age (ha) of 27 I am absolutely fine with.
At secondary school I reckon I was quite cool- retrospectively. Did anyone else wear blue mascara and fully embrace their social identity of being called ‘frigid’ from year 7 to year 11? I think not. Since then, strangely the stigma of ‘weird’ has followed me around like a glorious cape which gives me the excuse to do and say whatever I want. I suppose I am currently into what are labelled the ‘cool’ things; give me a fedora, and show me a tiny cocktail bar with ironically themed drinks in strange cups; and I am a happy woman. Though I do try to avoid the conventionally ‘cool’, but I am so regularly called a ‘hipster’, I have not a bloody clue what actually is cool anymore; and am probably being cool by not actually knowing what is cool, or in saying I am not cool. (Cool)
Though; I do do yoga, drink whiskey and also espressos, take photos of my food before eating, like jazz, can paint, want a bicycle for probably more decorative purposes, take 27 attempts to create my messy bun, enjoy objects with profound sayings on them, love Beyoncé not for her music, take my laptop to coffee shops, can poach an egg, recycle, write a blog and like avocado.
I think maybe it’s now reached a stage of being adorable or endearing when I accidentally walk in front of cars, just because of my prolific nature of utter weirdness and inability to just be cool? (God that was embarrassing not to mention near-death) Terms of endearment; and also terms of inaptitude toward the green cross code are just sporadically mental thoughts when in love apparently. I am also one of those people who regularly says inappropriate comments and/or falls over in front of crowds of people. I am so bloody awkward it’s actually painful sometimes. Well it used to be, now I’m more likely to loudly say ‘ITS AWKWARD ISNT IT?’ and let everyone else be it whilst I flit around looking for free food.
I am a honest human who will readily admit to not being cool and getting very over excited about absolutely everything when I’ve had a vino (and when I haven’t) with varying hilarious/embarrassing results: The thing I do on a near consistent level is be completely stock and steady still, and then drop whatever it is I am holding, therefore breaking/smashing/destroying/spilling/ruining whatever it is, and the area in which I am standing/sitting/just existing in. Some of the many not cool and let’s say wonderful (even though it’s probably not true but hopefully just add to my character) things I do include; Feeling sorry for inanimate object, talking to myself and answering questions my mind is asking out loud, day dreaming about things that will never happen/absurd scenarios i.e. what my signature moves would be in a fight to the death, reading nonfiction for pleasure and enjoying peppermint tea on a near obsessive level.
Considering these and the many many many many other ‘not cool’ things I do, it’s evident I rarely get embarrassed when it comes to honesty, my behaviour or the mind; and Desert Island Discs is one of my many obscure yet wonderful indulgences. As I’ve gotten older, I definitely give less of a shit what people think and have become a much more positive and idiosyncratic person. I like to daydream about the future; my day dreams are very positive and actually reverberate positivity into my current life which is always nice. Though, I admit, I do care a fair bit about what the opposite sex thinks; but let’s face it, they are doing the same, so we are all just attempting to look cool in front of each other, ending up in some sort of scenario such as when you’re the only person to take their head phones off at a silent disco.
I spent quite a long time being a huge pessimist. Now, I like most people have my moments of down and despair, bitch to my friends, moan to my family and basically winge to the air. But, predominately, majority of the time these days I am a pretty upbeat and optimistic person, which has been quite a journey to get to and hasn’t been the easiest of escapades. Probably a lot of my friends wont agree as well, but in myself as a person, I feel I spend a lot more time smiling (inwardly) than frowning, feeling if not appearing to be happy. It has come I think with accepting myself wholly as the weirdo I am, and also the things in my life I can change and influence, and the things that will not change, and that I have no power over. Someone told me once that I was so completely negative, and that just ruined me and took me a long time to spin around and change for the better. Now that Ive accepted my not-coolness, and accepted all the bad things that have and can happen, I can dish out sun rather than scowls.
My not coolness is probably and actually quite clearly demonstrated in my desert island disc list. This week I’ve done some research and collected other peoples lists; and they are all significantly cooler than mine.
Some of the songs on my list make me think of people, friends, family, a time, an emotion, a man, and some just fill me up with joy, or I go mental for on a drunken dance floor (TUNE). These songs do vary weekly and are dependent on my moods however, and as they change in the future they will probably just get uncooler and include a lot of ABBA. A lot of people found it quite difficult to come up with a list, and some thought it was a test you could get wrong. But music means a lot to me, and has helped me grow as a person and become the not cool kinda gal I am.
It’s so much fun when we get to an age where we just don’t care anymore. I also spent time caring so much about what people thought about me. I just don’t care anymore.
So, I am not cool, and I am so ok with that!
Life is far too short to care too much about negative scenarios and things, and what other people think; though my 80’s maternity dungarees have been banned from future fashion escapades. Music just fills us up, and makes our not-cool cool. I am not going to preach and try and teach a lesson here, I am just letting everyone out there know I am not cool. Or super cool as it were, and anyone out there who also doesn’t think they are cool and also doesn’t care about public reaction, feel free to let me know your Desert Island Disc list below!
There are no wrong answers.
Here is my Desert Island Disc list:
- David Bowie- Starman
- Elbow- One Day Like This
- Fleetwood Mac- Landslide
- Morecambe and Wise- Bring me Sunshine
- The Beatles- Hey Jude
- Ella Fitzgerald- The Very Thought of You
- Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons- Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You
- Tom O’Dell covering Lana Del Ray- Video Games
Book- Fannie Flagg- Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop café
Luxury Item- a notepad and pen
- David Bowie is someone who did and still does epitomize different to me. Individuality and expression, and just a beautiful love of life and weirdness, Bowie was someone I greatly admired creatively as well as a person.
- This Elbow song just expresses every emotion and hope I have for the future when listening to it, and has the ability to lift me up when I’m down.
- Landslide is the one song that can make me cry every time I listen to it; which would be such fun on a desert island alone! A while ago, I had my heart broken, which coincided with seeing Fleetwood Mac live (a dream I have had since I can remember) and they played Landslide, and I put my head on my best friends shoulder and just let it all out, and it was an awful yet utterly beautiful memory of being so terribly sad, but having the privilege to love someone that much.
- I am not Morecambe and Wise’s biggest fan, but my Grandad loved them. This song just sums him up completely and was played at his funeral this year when he passed. Not a bad bone in his body, a constant ray of sunshine, this song will forever remind me of him and how much I miss him. But through probable tears will also make me smile at every fantastic memory I have of my best friend, and will be good company on my island.
- A music list is not a music list without the inclusion of The Beatles. I don’t know who introduced them to me but thank god they did. All music for me from this period signifies such an individualistic time to me, that I think I probably should have been born then. That kind of realisation of individuality also reminds me of my brother, who really introduced a love of music to me and for that amongst other things I will be eternally grateful for.
- Another example of my ‘historical’ predilections; such a beautiful song, and Ella Fitzgerald, what a voice. It reminds me of home, and Britain at its wartime best. Plus I cannot escape my reputation of being a romantic which will only be confirmed here, and in the fact I want to dance to this at my wedding (should I ever persuade anyone marrying me is a good idea)
- Frankie Valli reminds me of my parents. I have very few memories of them together, though I am entirely in love with the happy memories I have with them separately now. Not thinking about the actual words that are sung, the beat and tune of this song just makes me think of us having a drink and probably a boogie, and reminds me of my difunctional yet functionally brilliant family. My parents are a constant source of inspiration to me.
- Tom O’dell is just the voice of my soul, he expresses such emotion when he sings, and he also reminds me of seeing him play with my best friend numerous times, and the amazing joy I find in live music. This song is just utterly stunning and I recommend you youtube it right now.
Songs sadly not included:
– Peter Andre- Mysterious Girl (this is my all time favourite song, but as my brother pointed out to me; if you listen to your favourite too much it’ll ruin it)
– Santana- Smooth
– The Gypsy Kings- Bamboleo
– Jamie T- If You Got the Money
– Frank Sinatra- You Make Me Feel So Young
– The Kinks- Lola
– ELO- Mr Blue Sky
Here are some lists from my loved ones, names removed.
- Iron Maiden- Stranger in a Strange Land
- Blur- Coffee and TV
- Eminem- Rap god
- Drake – Best I Ever Had
- Metallica- The Call of Ktulu
- Kasabian- Rewired
- Avenged Sevenfold- Unholy Confession
- New Found Glory- Sonny
Book- Ernest Hemmingway- For Whom the Bell Tolls
Luxury Item- a cat
- The killers- Mr Brightside
- Debussy- Claire de La Lune
- Jamie T- Sheila
- Isaac Gracie- Terrified
- Coldplay- Green Eyes
- Luke Sital Singh- Fail for You
- Tenacious D- Fuck her Gently
- Damien rice- Cannonball
Book- the Roald Dahl Collection
Luxury Item- Mascara
- The Jam- Town called malice
- Queen- Somebody to Love
- Nancy Sinatra- These Boots are made for Walking
- Billy Joel- Piano Man
- Dr Hook- More like the movies
- Christina Aguliera ft a Great Big World- Say Something
- Meatloaf- Paradise by the Dashboard Light
- Bay city rollers- Bye-Bye Baby
Book- Louisa May Alcott- Little Women
Luxury Item- The Dogs
- Elgar Cello suite
- Backstreet Boys- I Want it That Way
- Backstreet Boys- Rock your body
- Kasabian- Fire
- Oasis- Wonderwall
- Beach Boys- Don’t Worry Baby
- Ray Charles- Shake your tail feather
- The Carpenters- Masquerade
Book- Samantha Bell- How to Survive on a Deserted Island
Luxury Item: Unlimited Salmon Billie Cart Champagne
- Van Morrison- Have I Told You Lately
- Pigbag- Papa’s Got A New Pigbag
- The Fortunes- Storm In a Teacup
- Mike and The Mechanics- Beggar On a Beach Of Gold
- New Order- World in Motion
- Rod Stewart and The Faces- Stay With Me
- The Alan Parsons Project- Eye In The Sky
- Bruce Springsteen- Dancing In The Dark
I will allow a number 9 here-
- John Denver- Some Days Are Diamonds
Book- Stephen King- The Stand
Luxury Item- a tray of ‘smelly cheese’
- Oasis- Half the World Away
- Billy Joel- Pianoman
- Robbie Williams- Strong
- Prince- Raspberry Beret
- Tracy Chapman- Talking About a revolution
- Fleetwood Mac- Go Your Own Way
- The Outfield- Your Love
- Don McLean- American Pie
Book- Suzanne Collins- The Hunger Games Trilogy
Luxury Item- an IPhone
- Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Bass- A Taste of Honey
- Michael Jackson- Got To Be There
- Dionne Warwick- Walk On By
- ELO- Showdown
- George Michael- Older
- Genesis- Hold On My Heart
- Les Miserables- Do You Hear The People Sing?
- Jamiroquai- Corner Of The Earth
Book- Ian Serralier- The Silver Sword
Luxury Item- moisturiser
- Ed Sheeran – Give me love
- The Verve – Bitter sweet symphony
- Jamiroquai – Virtual insanity
- Spice Girls – The lady is a vamp
- Cornership – Brimful of asha
- Tenacious D – Fuck her gently
- Foo Fighters – DOA (the radio 1 live lounge version)
- Destinys Child – Say my name
Book- JK Rowling- Harry Potter series
Luxury item- unlimited wine
Comment with your Desert Island Disc lists and show us who you are!
Since posting, I have been privileged to be let into my loved ones lives through their choices, and explanations of those. I have been given the names of songs that will now forever replace the ones on my own list due to their meaning, and I could not have more love and respect for those people. Music brings us such joy and such sorrow, but such love more importantly. Well done all.