Tag Archives: music

A Melancholy Moment

23 Oct

I had lots of chores to do in the house today so was looking for music to play while I busied myself. I had a sudden urge to listen to an old favourite album of mine which I’d not listened to in years. ‘August and Everything After’ by Counting Crows. I was instantly transported back to a bus, travelling through the stunning scenery of New Zealand. I was 24 years old, I’d just finished university, was falling in love for the first time, and had my future ahead of me and the world at my feet. No responsibilities, a fit body, and the innocence of youth.

I used to listen to this album on a discman (that’s how long ago it was!) on the long journeys from place to place on this trip around the islands of New Zealand and it has become so synonymous with that trip for me. I was introduced to Counting Crows by the chap I was falling for at the time which makes the album all the more nostalgic as it brings up those feelings of the flush of first love and everything that comes with it. Of diving into love with both feet and your eyes closed because you don’t know any better.

I’ve never been someone who freaks out about the aging process or about facing up to my responsibilities, but I must confess that listening to that album today made me feel really quite sad. I looked at myself, a 30-year-old wife with a house and two cats to look after, spending the day cooking, cleaning, and doing about a million loads of washing, and I felt a pang of longing for the days of flitting off to the other side of the world and jumping out of planes. I have become so sensible. I have a wonderful life and don’t resent anything in it but I wish that I had made more of the time I had when I could be silly and impulsive without having to get up for work the next day.

My thoughts turned to monsters and crafting, and it dawned on me that this is my form of rebellion these days. Leaving the washing up and disappearing into the craft room to play with buttons. Running out of clean pants because I was too busy cutting out flowers to do any laundry. Craft means so many different things to different people and today I realised that for me, it’s partly a way of sticking two fingers up to adulthood and of stopping me from becoming too sensible. I’m no party animal and I can’t be doing with wild nights out in clubs anymore. For me these days, wildness is shirking my responsibilities and taking some time out to monster, because sometimes, what you want to be doing is so much more important than what you should be doing.



30 Nov

Wild CoverRegular followers will know that my Mr Monster is a very talented musician. That is what he makes his living from, and his talent never ceases to amaze me.

This week he has worked incredibly hard to record a new EP of some of his recent compositions. It’s really a little taster for his forthcoming album. For this project he was essentially a bit of a one-man-band, playing lead, rhythm, and bass guitar, providing vocals, mixing, tweaking and everything else which goes into making a record and I’m so proud of what he has been able to achieve in our home studio.

The EP is called Wild and is available to listen to and download on Bandcamp. I urge you to go and have a listen and see what you think! My favourite track is most certainly ‘Well I know’, not least because he wrote it for me. Clever Mr Monster!

Music to Monster By

16 Oct

When I’m squirreled away in my craft room paradise, I like a bit of background noise to keep me company. Often it will be a little something on iPlayer, maybe some gentle cooking show or some kind of comedy, Mock the Week or the like.

Other times I fancy a bit of music; either to lift my spirits, soothe my busy mind or to get my bum wiggling. With Halloween approaching my thoughts have inevitably turned to ghosts, zombies and ghouls of all kinds, but not least of all my beloved monsters.

I figured that what my plushie endeavours need is a good old monster playlist to help me on my way, so without further ado, here are my top five of the finest moments in monster music.

1. The Monster Mash – Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers

Ask anyone to name a monster song and the first thing to pop into most people’s head will be this classic from 1962. Having danced to it at many a Halloween party,  it forms some of my very early monster memories. Hard to beat.

2. Monster – Professor Green

A current favourite from an excellent album. Great lyrics and a sing-along chorus with a bass line to bump your rump to.

3. Monster – The Automatic

I seem to have adopted this as my theme tune, it always pops into my head when I approach the closing stages of any of my creations.

4. My Beloved Monster – Eels

My favourite track from one of my favourite albums from my teenage years. It got stolen for the Shrek soundtrack, but I forgive them. It is a beautiful and emotive song and the simple imagary holds a lot of monster inspiration for me.

And finally…

5. Furry Happy Monsters – REM and the Muppets

Yes, I am just a big kid. I have a teddy, I get excited for cake and new pyjamas and I like monsters for cryin’ out loud. So why wouldn’t I love this wonderful moment in musical history where angst riddled American rock band REM join forces with the muppets to demonstrate the power of happiness. I urge you to watch this through and challenge you not to smile.

Ding Dong, the Loan has Gone

1 Oct

I have had the most perfect day

Firstly, today the final direct debit came out of my account for a rather sizable loan which I have been paying back for four years now. It not only means that we will be considerably better off each month but also signals the end of an era which I am more than happy to leave behind.

So, that was a good start. I leapt out of bed after a really good night’s sleep and got on with a monster commission whilst Mr Monster got to work with a client who had arrived for a guitar lesson. I’m working on a keepsake babygro monster and it’s going rather well if I do say so myself! I have lots of new ideas for many and varied monster based projects…coming soon folks!

Late morning I trundled off round the corner from the flat to a yoga class. I used to be a hardcore, dedicated yogini and went to classes at least four nights every week. I knew all the Sanskrit names for the poses and could fold myself into some crazy positions, although I never quite mastered the head stand. For some reason I gave it up a few years ago but this week I have been to a couple of classes and am feeling the old passion flood back. Todays class was pretty intense with lots of twists and standing poses but my muscles are deliciously sore and my mind is quiet. Perhaps I will make an effortless head stand my goal.

Any UK readers will understand when I say that it is HOT here at the moment. 29 degrees and super-sunny today, so still with my post yoga flush I met up with a girlfriend to drink tea, eat Tim-Tams, and have a good old chinwag in the garden. I have nicely topped up my levels of vitamin D and also satisfied my craving for antipodean chocolatey treats!

I followed this up with some time in a beer garden with Mr Monster, so nice to spend some time together just chatting, sipping, and soaking up some rays before heading home for X-factor and some cat cuddles.

Right now I am typing this post on the beautiful little laptop which Mr Monster bought for me, while he plays ballads on his guitar and sings his heart out. I love to listen to him sing. He can make me laugh, especially with his hilarious interpretation of  The Bad Touch by The Bloodhound Gang, and has been known to make me cry, not least when he sings what has become ‘our song’ – Colourful by The Verve Pipe. He sings with such depth of feeling, he has a great understanding of human emotion and this is a massive part of why I fell in love with him. I could listen to him sing all day every day.

All in all, today has been a perfect day. I will sleep soundly knowing that all is right with the world and that tomorrow will be full of monsters, music, and sunday roasts.

I have a good life.