March has been and gone and it's been a busy and emotional month for me. Here are some of the things I learnt over the past 31 days or so.
A possible cancer scare can make you re-evaluate your life. I can also make you want to curl up into a tight little ball and want to block the world out for a few days even though you have to carry on as normal. It wasn't cancer (see below) but that thought was in the back of my mind a lot.
The NHS moves fast... very fast. I've had reason to utilise our bloody fantastic National Health Service over the past six weeks or so for two completely different reasons. On both occasions a referral for treatment was required and, despite being told there may be a waiting list of a few weeks, I was treated as an urgent case within a week for the first referral and received an appointment for assessment in under two weeks for the second. No matter what is written in the media about our health service, you can't deny that it's one of the best in the world.
Giovanna Fletcher is pretty bloody awesome. The woman who pointed out her "mummy tummy" just a few days after Gi had given birth is not. Don't even get me started about the way in which there are media expectations for new mums to 'bounce back'...
magazine.co.uk are a great company to work with (I'm one of their writers for The Hub) and it's always worth entering their competitions as one of my readers, Sam (who writes the blog So Bad Ass) will testify after leaving this comment on my Facebook page! Congrats, Sam!!
The first item to be sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer. I also found out (via this Buzzfeed article) what the first video ever uploaded to YouTube was, the first picture shared on Instagram and that the first ever text-based online multiplayer game can still be played and it looks a lot like that game at the start of the film 'Big'.
The BBC website is producing some great longform articles at the moment. I found the article "How The Tube changed music" totally fascinating and never knew that the programme took its name from the circular covered walkway leading to the studio!!
Tippex was probably the reason we have MTV today. We all know that Mike Nesmith's (he of The Monkees) mum was responsible for investing Tippex but when she died, he invested his inheritance into a 'pop clips' TV show concept which paved the way for MTV. [more stationery facts in this Telegraph article]
Not one person in my twitter timeline ever clicks on a link that a celebrity has retweeted for "charity" or to "raise awareness" but a few of my friends who are fairly well-known (authors, television presenters) are asked to do it on a regular basis and have to decide whether to support everything (and risk having their timeline flooded with requests) or nothing (and being seemingly heartless). What would you do? Let me know in the comments
If, on the day of the budget (16th March) you see this clip from BBC Breaking...
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) March 16, 2016
and ask for someone to "slow it down and put the Reservoir Dogs theme tune behind it"...
— Nickie (@nickieohara) March 16, 2016
someone actually will!! Thanks Andy!!
No-one can tell me Why People Write Like This On Social Media and no-one can find the setting to make it happen on their mobile phone keyboard. It's hard to touch type like that and even harder to remember to put a capital letter at the beginning of each word anyway but it's bloody annoying (point of note: the test panel is probably all aged over 30 - maybe I should ask some of GenY - or those born in the 1990s).
I'm thinking of starting a Cysterhood monthly round-up. I'm
ever so slightly fascinated with cyst-popping videos and I attempted to collate a few once upon a time but I feel waaaay too old for Tumblr and it's just another place to update. Anyway... would you be interested in something like that or should I just link to my hero of the year, Dr Pimple Popper once a month? Doesn't she have the BEST job in the world?
We should give Kim Kardashian more credit that we probably are doing. I never thought I would say something like that but I was reading an article about her open letter on International Women's Day which is based around her feeing empowered by her own body. It made me think that, regardless of how she became famous, and whoever it was that 'leaked' her sex tape, she's taken that notoriety and turned it into a multi-million dollar business for her and her family. And there's definitely no shame in that.
Here is my video of the month. It's one that's been in my favourites for a while and I'm sure I've shared it with you before but I was reminded of it during a conversation with Liska. It's Bobby McFerrin demonstrating 'expectation' using the Pentatonic Scale. The way he says that no matter where he travels, the results are the same just go to show that music transcends all languages.