We all know its difficult to face back into school after having two weeks off! Coming back to reality isn't fun, but it isn't so bad if you have a distraction or an escape from it all. Some people are passionate about sport, while others might use reading or writing as a break from everything, but I think a common one is music. Theres something about putting on your favourite songs that makes you feel like things are a little better. Music is powerful, it has the power to change peoples perception of the world and can control the emotions we feel. It is one of the main forms of expression and can be a painkiller for people who need it most. Music can tell peoples stories and reach out to those feeling low or it can just put a smile on your face and provide happiness! In the end, I think its always good to block out the worries and stress life gives us and focus on the things that make us happier people.
To me there are five things that make Christmas that bit better;
Everyone wants to wake up to a wonderful white Christmas but as we live in Ireland it doesn't really happen that often. Waking up and opening my curtains to find snow lying there on the ground would make that Christmas feeling come alive.
2. Christmas Songs
Music can make everything better but Christmas songs are just the best especially around this time of year, it just sets the festive mood. If your not in the mood just throw on some Christmas tunes and bop along.
3. Christmas Tree
You know its nearly Christmas time when the tree is up and decorated . I don't know why but there is something about the Christmas tree being up that makes everything so festive
Nothing can beat watching a Christmas film, lying by the fire with a bowl of popcorn.
Everyone's favorite part to Christmas, the wonderful Christmas dinner. We wait 364 days for this dinner and yes it does live up to expectations every year. The turkey cooked so perfectly, the ham marinated in the sauce, the spuds mashed so smoothly that they resemble clouds, the carrots and brussels sprouts, the wonderfully think gravy, the croquettes cooked so crunchy that they crumble at every bite. Its safe to say that the food is definitely my favorite part.
Every year the the media warns us that someone has predicted that it's going to be a the worst winter in a decade and that we'll have plenty of snow for christmas and a big freeze. On the television ,irish christmas adds show decorations ,lights ,christmas dinner and usually snow, it is part of the image of christmas the media gives us, but so far in my life the warnings have yet to come true and we haven't had
a white christmas.
As the new football season starts again I ask myself the question will it be worth it?
I think about all the laps,the sprinting,the cold winter nights training and the warm summer days training and ask myself will it be worth it all if I don't win at the end of the season and having nothing to show.
Will it be worth missing family events and cutting my holidays short just to attend a training session and then loose the final by one singular point in extra time to your biggest rivals.
These are the thoughts that are floating around in my head as the new season starts again.
I then remember that every single second is worth it.
Every sprint from end of the field to the other is worth it.
Every lap will be worth it.
Every drill will be worth it because nothing will ever beat that wining feeling when it comes and its great playing knowing that you have your parisj and county behind you no matter what the outcome is.
I've been working as an elf in Santaland for the past 2 weeks and almost every second little girl that comes to visit is asking for a 'snow glow Elsa doll' and we as elves have to explain it to them how hard the dolls are to make and persuade them anything is better than a bag of coal! The story of the two women fighting over the doll in Dublin is crazy, I understand that children don't see what they're getting themselves into when they write the Elsa doll on their wish list and that parents want to give their children the best Christmas they can by getting them the presents they want but if you put it in perspective and you think about how there is people homeless and starving, the children who don't know who Santa is or parents who can't afford to give their children everything they wish for but there is parents willing to pay up to almost €400 on a doll that their child will probably forget about before next Christmas and will probably end up in the attic like the rest of the forgotten about toys. Don't get me wrong 'frozen' is a great film and I'm not going to lie I know the whole soundtrack but when parents are willing to spend over €300 for a doll when there is other dolls that their children would be over the moon with and charities that need that money I think is crazy!
Don't you just love it when you pay to see a concert and have to watch the whole thing through an IPhone screen because everyone in front of you has decided,'Oh! I'm not going to watch this through my eyes I'm going to film every bit of it, just in case my friends don't believe me.' Well I don't, I hate it! I also hate wondering 'Why am I here?' when everyone I was talking to, is having a great time texting somebody else. Maybe I'm just not the sort of person who needs to be updated on their facebook notifications every 3 seconds, but I really don't think it's necessary to be constantly looking down at your phone instead of looking at what's in front of you. I'll admit I do look at my phone occasionally and I'm not saying you shouldn't, but I don't do it when someone is trying to tell me a funny story that happened over the weekend. I don't mean that I'm against technology and that we should all become Amish, I'm just trying to put across the message that one day you're going to miss out on something amazing all because you weren't looking up.
Homelessness is getting more severe each year. Many people struggle financial as well as battling drug addition which are known to be causative factors of homelessness. People perceive this issue as a self made problem relating it mainly to drug and alcohol addiction, what some don't realise is that financial difficulties can play a huge role. Hundreds of people are becoming homeless each and every week as costs of private rental accommodation are at an increase. People are unable to pay these costs due to unemployment or a low salary income. People who are homeless can find it very difficult to find a place to live. There is a large waiting list for local authority housing in Ireland. Over 98,000 households were in need of social housing in 2011. There are also thousands more families and single people who are at risk of becoming homeless. There are many charitable associations such as Focus Ireland, DePaul Ireland and the Simon Community which provide help to the homeless.
"OVER 800 CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES
HAVE LOST THEIR HOME THIS YEAR. IMAGINE
THAT, BECOMING HOMLESS FOR CHRISTMAS"
I hope in the future this problem will be fixed.
So, I sat down in our study class on Friday and tried to figure out what to write for this blog post. I had a list of possibilities but then I got home from school and saw that Taylor Swift had been named Billboards Woman Of The Year (again!) and I couldn't not write about that, because she really deserves it. I know, I'm totally predictable, but I don't really care.
Taylor Swift is the only woman ever to win this award multiple times after being awarded it in 2012 after the release of her album 'RED' and the opening of the Taylor Swift Education Center in Nashville. Now, only 2 years later in 2014 she is receiving it again after the release of her latest (and possibly greatest!) album '1989'. Taylor Swift delved into new territory with '1989', making it her first documented 'pop' album. Previously all her albums had been classified 'country pop' though she admits that she has always been influenced by pop. When she turned to her record label and told them that she wanted to make a pop album they tried to convince her to put a couple of 'country' songs on the album but she refused, determined to make this album on her own terms. She wanted to make this album 'sonically cohesive' and putting a fiddle in 'Shake It Off' and releasing it as a single to country radio wouldn't work.
Nobody could have anticipated the response that followed the release of '1989' on October 27th. Billboard predicted it would sell 650,000 copies in the first week, giving it the highest first week sales of the year so far, but in the first 24 hours 600,000 copies were sold. By the end of the first week it had sold over 1,387,000 copies, the highest first week sales since 2002. Taylor Swift is also the first artist ever to sell over 1 million copies in first week sales with 3 consecutive albums. '1989' is now No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 200 Chart. Taylor's latest single 'Blank Space' is No. 1 on Billboards Hot 100 Singles Chart, and she is No.1 on their 'Artist 100' chart also. These record breaking results are just one of the many reasons Taylor Swift has been named Billboard's Woman Of The Year. These achievements also lead to her winning the first ever 'Dick Clark Award For Excellence' at the AMA's. In a time where music has become widely available online for free sending album sales into decline, Swift's achievements are highly commendable.
To list all of the reasons why Taylor Swift deserves this award more than anyone else would take all day and I'm sure you're already bored, so I'll only name another few. Over the last few years Taylor has developed a unique relationship with her fans, on another level to other artists in the industry. She has been known to give advice to fans on social media such as Tumblr and Instagram, who are struggling with issues such as bullying or heartbreak. Prior to the release of '1989' she decided she wanted to do something special for the fans, she wanted them to hear it before anyone else, so she decided to host the '1989 Secret Sessions'. These were top secret listening parties where she invited 89 fans to her houses and spent the entire evening ( 8 hours!) entertaining them. They'd have food and 'mingle' before being brought inside to meet her, then they'd go into her living room and Taylor would play them the entire album and explain each song. Then they would have a dance party while Taylor spoke to and took pictures with each and every one of the guests. These took place in each of her 3 homes in the US and in her apartment in London and before long they were anything but 'secret'. She also sends fans that she follows on Tumblr hand picked Christmas presents! This unique relationship with her fans sets her apart from other women in the music industry and is another reason she has been awarded Woman of the year.
In October she was named 'New York Ambassador For Travel' after moving to the city back in March. She donated all of the proceeds of her promotional single 'Welcome To New York' to New York public schools. She spends many of her days off visiting sick fans in hospitals across America. She attended a fan's bridal shower with a car load of presents over the summer. She speaks openly and proudly about feminism and her dislike for the sexism in the media. She encourages people to follow their dreams and she is is proof that hard work and determination pay off. She moved to Nashville to work as a songwriter for Sony Publishing when she was 14, getting turned down by several large record labels before being signed as the very first artist on Big Machine Records when she was 16. Now she has made her dreams come true, moved to New York, is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, has 7 Grammy Awards, has progressed from country music and is now dominating the pop world.
I think it is safe to say, Taylor Swift is undoubtedly the right person to win Billboard's Woman Of The Year award.