Category Archives: 5 of the Best

5 of the Best: Christmas Songs

Christmas SongsIt’s only a week till Christmas, my assessments are all handed in and it’s time to celebrate! It’s the time of year that Michael Buble comes out of his hiding place and sells his soul for a month to pay for the 11 of unemployment that follow. There have been some real Christmas flops, usually sung by struggling boy bands, but here are my top 5 Christmas crackers (sorry) to get even the stubbornest of Scrooges in the festive spirit!

5) Step Into Christmas-Elton John

Elton John’s jazzy offering is often overlooked but I aim to rectify that. What other song welcomes you at the beginning and thanks you for the year?! You’re welcome Elton, you’re truly welcome.

4) Merry Christmas Everybody-Slade

Imagine a current rock band making such a kick ass Christmas song and being totally ok with it. Nowadays, rockers are way too concerned about looking cool to make Christmas songs and leave it to wet blankets like Joe McElderry. That’s what’s wrong with the 21st century..

3) Fairytale of New York-The Pogues

This unlikely success story became one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time whilst also allowing pretentious indie music fans a chance to actually enjoy Christmas without seeming uncool. It’s the only Christmas song that is truthful about how Christmas usually ends…with family members insulting each other and wishing Christmas would never happen again.

2) All I Want For Christmas Is You-Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey is very famous yet I think this is the only song of hers I’ve ever heard. Is she just famous for this? Am I missing something? I know she’s had other albums as I remember I was about 8 when her E=MC2 album came out and I thought she was very clever for figuring out the formula. Did anyone listen to the album? I doubt it. poor Mariah.

1) I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day- Wizzard

Wizzard have won my Christmas battle for one very good reason. Nothing feels as good as screaming this song at the top of your lungs, and shoving festive cheer on your housemates and neighbours is what true Christmas is all about. Also, the lead singer looks like a cross between Santa and Wally (of Where’s Wally fame) and that’s never a bad combination.

Let’s see how long I enjoy festive music for before I get so irritated I end up doing a run down of the all time worst Christmas songs. i assume not long.

What are your festive favourites? Comment below!

Katie x

The 5 Worst Characters on TV

Everyone has those TV characters that they love to hate. The psycho murders, the cheating husbands, everyone loves a bit of evil. But what about those characters that you just hate to hate?  The ones that mean well but are just so useless you wish they’d just disappear into the television graveyard with Joey, the long-lost Friends spin-off.

  1. Paige McCullers-Pretty Little Liars

Are we all forgetting that she TRIED TO DROWN EMILY?! Because Emily definitely seems to have forgotten about the whole period of her life where Paige was her worst enemy. Although in recent seasons Paige’s hair has improved an infinite amount, she still needs a bit of character development before she actually becomes anything close to a real human being. A close second in the PLL category was Ally for being a monumental bitch.

PLL Xmas

  1. Georgina Sparks- Gossip Girl

For many, Georgina Sparks may fall into the ‘love to hate’ category, but not for me. Every time G appears you just know she’s going to do something shady to break up one of the perfect Upper East Side couples. The worst part is how often she gets away with her manipulation despite how obvious it seems to the audience. She got so irritating she almost made me abandon the show altogether. Almost.

  1. Emily Waltham- Friends

Not only did she try to keep Ross and Rachel apart, she was also the biggest bag of wet leaves ever to be shown on a TV screen. She had absolutely no redeeming features and I just could not wait until she was out of our lives forever.

  1. Will Schuester- Glee

I know you mean well Mr Shue but your relationship with those kids is downright creepy. You can bond as much as you like over your love for the arts but when it comes down to it, you’re a teacher who just asked one of his students to be his best man. Weird. Also, you cry way too much and it’s pretty annoying.

  1. Shirley Bennett- Community

Shirley

THE MOST IRRITATING CHARACTER ON TV. Community is one of the cleverest shows ever created but something so brilliant is easily ruined by someone this unbearable. She blends into the background in the earlier seasons but as the show progresses her voice gets more and more piercing and it takes everything I have not to punch my laptop screen.

 

Which TV characters do you hate to hate? Comment below!

Katie x

Top 5 Alternative Activities in the North East

Bored of doing the same old things weekend after weekend? Do feel your social life spiralling downwards into an unbreakable cycle of shopping, cinema and dinner (or more realistically getting stupidly drunk, probably on your own)? We’ve all been there. But don’t fret, the North East offers plenty of exciting, alternative activities to break you out of this hellish monotony.

1) Bubble Footballbubble

It’s a well known fact that I hate football so when I was asked to go and run around chasing a ball on a boiling hot day I was less than excited. I was, as usual in these situations, wrong. It’s similar to playing football on a bouncy castle expect the ground is solid and you are bouncy. Yes, YOU ARE BOUNCY. The aim is technically to score a goal but really it’s to knock other people over and watch them struggle to get up again like poor turtle on it’s back. The perfect activity for a Saturday afternoon with a group of friends who enjoy seeing each other in bad situations.

More info here.

2) Battlezone Laser

You may have grown up with a local laser quest, or Quasar, in your town that you would always visit for 8th birthday parties. This is basically that, but it isn’t attached to a bowling alley and it makes you feel more like a grown up (ish). Not only do you get to wear an exciting army jumpsuit (that smells a bit funny at first, but you get used to that), the whole thing is set in a huge warehouse with secret passageways, hideouts and rooms to make this the closest thing you can get to real war whilst still enjoying it. They also have a bar, which is always nice.

More info here.

 

3) Go Ape

I’m sure you’ll have heard of Go Ape before as it’s a a nationwide favourite for adventurous souls. Climb, swing and jump on a tree top aerial assault course at Matfen Hall in Northumberland. It’s part of a luxury hotel and spa in case you feel the need to treat yourself once you’ve completed it, or drop off any scared mums there before the kids go and have some fun.

More info here.

4) Infinite Air

So this place is a room of trampolines. Just a room of trampolines. So simple and yet so much fun. You can find it in (yet another) warehouse, this time in the Durham area, and bounce away to your heart’s content for up to an hour. They have bouncy basketball hoops, a trampoline dodgeball arena and a giant crash mat where you can pretend to be James Bond’s latest stunt man. You also get a free pair of very fetching fluorescent socks.

Tip: Try and go during school hours because children who can back flip around you are very irritating.

More info here.

 5) Indoor Surfing

Surfing for the slightly less weather hardy is brought to you by “Flowrider” (ooo catchy) in Gateshead. It’s pretty ideal as the main thing that puts me of surfing is the freezing cold water…you know, other than my severe lack of balance or any form of coordination. This is another one of those activities that’s great fun but is so much better if you go with someone who you’d love to watch fall over. Laughing at other is half the entertainment. Maybe more like three quarters.

More info here.

Katie x

5 of the Best: Free Travel Apps

1) Trip Advisor

Everyone knows Trip Advisor. It’s the go to place for hotel, restaurant and attraction reviews, and having an app makes the whole process so much simpler. However, not being content with dominating the review market, it’s also now possible to compare prices and book hotels, straight from the app which. I’ll even ignore the incredibly annoying advert with the dog that barks BOOK because it really is a massive convenience. If you only download one travel app, this should be it.

2) TripIt

 

A massive issue I’ve had with organising my road trip is that all of the confirmation emails for 5 weeks worth of activities and hotels can get easily lost. Luckily, TripIt scans your inbox and complies a comprehensive itinerary of your trip, straight from the app. If you aren’t comfortable with allowing the app access to your emails, you can always manually enter the details into the handy trip diary so everything is all in one place. It’s perfect for independent travellers or people planning long and complicated trips.

3) Localeur 

Want to get out of the overly crowded, tacky tourist spots and find out what a city is really about? Localeur is for you. It is made up of articles and lists which aim to give you an insight to any and every aspect of local culture. Literally…anything. Ever wondered what the best photo booth bars in Portland are? Well now you can find out. It’s currently limited to just 12 cities in the US but it’s priceless if you do happen to be visiting one of the select few.

4) Outbound

 

Outbound lets you log your trips so you can see how many other users are travelling at the same time as you. Whether you’re a solo traveller looking for some company or a group looking for some advice on the best night out, you can find it on Outbound. The forum section lets you ask questions to other travellers to get hints and tips on pretty much anything along the way.

5) Airbnb

I always dismissed Air BnB because I don’t like other people that much and the idea of staying in someone’s house while they’re still there really didn’t appeal to me. However, I recently found out that lots of people use it to rent their homes whilst they themselves are on holiday so really it’s just like any other accommodation, only cheaper and much nicer. If you do like the idea of staying with a local there is obviously still that option. They’ll be able to give you some great insights and really help you get immersed in the culture.

What apps do you find helpful when travelling? Let me know in the comments below.

Katie x