Project 365 – Week 21

Sunday 17th May. We had a lazy day today – we all needed it, but also we were waiting for the delivery of our new Dishwasher from It came on time and we were pleased – it’s nice and quiet. I sorted through my wool and fabric, and found my lovely fabric stash – these four are my favourite bits, and I really need to start doing some patchwork soon.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Monday 18th May. It’s National Vegetarian Week! So I’m going to photograph my evening meal every night this week until Friday. Tonight was spag bol – we have 30 minutes from getting in after Rainbows, so not long to prepare food, so I need something quick and easy. This works a treat every time, even if H gets it everywhere.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Tuesday 19th May. Soup, of course. Tonight’s was asparagus, butternut squash, spring onion and a bit of vegan cheese on the top. It worked. After a tough night at pilates it was nice to come home and relax with my soup and the first Eurovision Semi Final – even though Shaun went out so I was trying to settle H as well as stuff my face!

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Wednesday 20th May. We had an invite to the Tesco Vegetarian Kitchen range in Central London. It ran from 4-6 and stupidly I’d booked our food order to come at 4pm, so was resigned to not going. Except the food man turned up right on 4, and we got there by 5, so had plenty of time to eat this lovely stuff. Yum! In stores soon.

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Thursday 21st May. I should have gone out tonight with friends, but was too tired after the week and the way it was going, plus I knew Friday was going to be a tough day at work. So I stayed in and ate this comfort dish I always turn back to for a quick and easy curry. We had no coconut dairy-free yoghurt (we like CoYo), but fortunately Shaun had some Alpro Soya coconut milk so I used that instead. It works too – and good as a quick fix. Fortunately the Eurovision second Semi-Final was on, so that kept me far too entertained when I should have had an early night. How yellow does it all look? I think I went overboard on the Turmeric!

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Friday 22nd May. As a Merlin Premium Passholder we were sent vouchers to take our friends to the South Bank Merlin attractions, so we planned to do it after school today. The SeaLife Aquarium was empty (brilliant!), the London Eye busy, but we had fast track passes. Had our friends paid for everything it would have cost over £60 – a brilliant saving! We went to Pizza Express for our tea, where I had the Giardiniera for the first time – minus mushrooms (as we did a deal and it was the most expensive thing on there, and suitable for vegetarians). It was really good too!

A photo posted by Jo Brooks (@mumfriendlyjo) on

Saturday 23rd May 2015. Eurovision. One of the musical highlights of my year! I know two people who go every year, and I’ve decided that I need to go to Sweden next year, not sure how though. Anyway, this year they designed an app which brought much hilarity (to me) where I tried to attempt to make the logo look like a tiara (I failed), I drank a load of Jeeves (thank you Lidl for getting it in-store in time for the big day), and had fondue. So no food picture today… I am joining the kids with the disturbing trend of selfies, and this is mine, celebrating Guy Sebastian’s inclusion for Australia this year.

eurovision selfie

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Eurovision and Music in General

Last weekend H watched her first ever Eurovision. We allowed her to stay up a bit later than usual – much like I did back when I was her age.

When it started, when the first performers arrived on stage, H greeted the occasion with an amazed “wowwww!!” – she had never seen anything like it. People performing songs on stage, taking their turns from various countries who were eligible to compete.

“Are these people really singing?” she asked, as I confirmed this and felt sad inside. See, H is growing up in the world of the music video. Of YouTube or whichever visual streaming place you choose. A place where live performances are rare, and pre-recorded ones are normal.

When I grew up it was the opposite. There’s one reason why she’s never experienced this – because we don’t have Top of the Pops any more. Sad but true.

We would watch Top of the Pops every week when I was young, I’d be loving the Bay City Rollers, and indeed after my first Eurovision a bit of ABBA too. This was an exciting fast-moving world, bands playing live and performing on television.

Heck, I hate to say it as I don’t tend to like most of the bands, but these days programmes like Later With Jools Holland are where I get that fix. Not so for H.

It’s sad isn’t it? For just one night a year she can watch twenty six people perfoming live on stage to get that buzz back again. Performances, silly things, anything. The kind of thing which was normal when I was young. Sure, there’s Christmas Top of the Pops, but that isn’t the same – if you don’t have that connection with the songs on a weekly basis (and we don’t – we currently don’t have a radio other than the one that wakes me up in the morning) then it means very little.

But then this is the digital age, this is where you find it yourself. This is where the older kids, older siblings play it as they’ve found it and the younger kids or younger siblings pass it on to their friends. A different kind of word of mouth.

When I was at school in the eighties I wrote the Top 40 down pretty much every week, stopping around 1987. We’d sit huddled around a radio scribbling down the countdown (and that took some work) then look forward to Top of the Pops later in the week. These days the Top 40 is on the BBC website, you can click on a link and you’re taken to the music. You don’t have to sit through the rubbish (yet sitting through the rubbish helped me appreciate the good stuff) and there are occasional gems.

We recorded the second half of Eurovision and H watched it the following day. The only song she’s remembered a fair chunk of? Our British entry – Molly’s ‘Children of the Universe’. For its poor final score, the fact a four year old can remember it says to me it wasn’t a bad song. I got the Common Linnets (Netherlands) in the work sweepstake, and most of the Top 100 is peppered with Eurovision songs – with this one being the highest. H recognises what she hears, knows where she knows them from.

For all the ridicule Eurovision might get, this is our kids of today’s Top of the Pops. It’s just a pity it’s only once a year!