Monday, 7 May 2012

What are you doing, man? Ehhhh, I'm looking at her photos

I love Eurovision. And there are only three weeks to go! I have watched almost every Eurovision for as long as I knew it existed. One of my best friends when I was at school had an Irish mum and I remember watching the Riverdance Eurovision round at theirs. Great days, man.  Ireland had won two years in a row so they put all their effort into the half time show instead and STILL managed to win. 

[Father Ted break:


Around this time last year, I missed Eurovision for the first time. A heartbreaking turn of events, as it's not worth watching on catchup, it has to be live. Luckily, in the year since, I have become good friends with someone who loves Eurovision as much as I do. He's been on telly and everything! If you need evidence of how much Dotmund loves Eurovision see here (you should read that, in-depth commentary on world affairs and cucumbers). So we have made plans to watch it together (other guests welcome of course - just bring a flag/ouzo/some cheese).  Twitter also loves Eurovision - if you've ever tweeted along to x-factor you will understand about 10% of the excitement of Eurovision. It's exhausting, even if you're watching from the sofa under a blanket. Needless to say I'm looking forward to it. So in preparation for the mega event of the year, here are my favourite Eurovision tracks for you to enjoy/judge me for:
NORWAY - Alexander Rybek (winner 2009) - Fairytale 

I genuinely love this one - it's first on my Eurovision playlist and makes me want to live in a treehouse and play the violin. And have backing singers that follow me around going 'da da da' all day. And men that backflip all over the shop. You see how he touches his heart when he's singing about being cursed? That's true acting that is.

RUSSIA - Peter Nalitch (placed 11th 2010) - Lost and Forgotten


LUXEMBOURG Baccara (placed 7th 1978) - Parlez-Vous Francais?

I've sneaked and added the version with English lyrics here as it's even better if you can understand what they are saying. This is everything I love about disco.

ISRAEL - Dana International (winner 1998) - Diva

I hope we all remember where we were on the day Dana International won Eurovision, thus proving Eurovision is awesome and inclusive. (start at about 1.10 if you don't want to see the voting).

ARMENIA - Eva Rivas (placed 7th 2010) - Apricot Stone

Fireworks! A giant apricot stone that blooms! The lyric, "I used to cry a lot/so she gave me apricots". Genius.

GERMANY - Lena (winner 2010) - Satellite

What can I say, 2010 was an excellent year! This was Germany's first win in 28 years - first as a unified country.

UNITED KINGDOM - Love City Groove (placed 10th 1995) - Love City Groove

Plaid. Flannel. Flannel plaid. Curtains. Special mention at this point to Fran who sings this incredibly well and has demonstrated as much on many occasions.

UNITED KINGDOM - Samantha Janus (placed 10th 1991) - Message to your Heart

This one is DEEP. Half the world is hungry/just through being born/every day's a compromise/for just a grain of corn. DEEP, see? Europe didn't appreciate Eurovision being tarnished with first world guilt and only placed her tenth.

LUXEMBOURG - France Gall (Winner 1965) - Poupée de cire, poupée de son

The UK was runner up this year, but there's no way we deserved to beat this entry. It was written by Serge Gainsbourg, so there'll be lots on the internet about what a perv he was and what he really meant by this song but France Gall is adorable and it's a great tune so I'm stopping with that.

ISRAEL - Izhar Cohen and Alphabeta (winner 1978) - A Ba Ni Bi

Just sing "I want to be a Polar Bear/I want to be a Polar Bear for poor papa" over the first chorus, you don't need to watch the rest of the video. Unless you love enthusiastic synchronised dancing, in which case go right ahead.

FINLAND - Lordi (Winners 2006) - Hard Rock Hallelujah

You all know this one. Don't pretend you don't.

I could go on, but I'll save some for the spotify playlist. If you are this far into this post, you should join us on 26th May. See you there!


Bonus 2010 entries to the list, if you're still reading you won't mind (and you are probably Dotmund):

FRANCE - Jessy Matador (placed 12th 2010) - Allez Ola Ole
GREECE - Giorgos Alkaios and Friends (placed 8th 2010) - OPA

These two are very similar and you'll probably only want to listen if you are already way over excited. 2010 again, I think that might have been the best night of my life. Although I can't remember what I was doing, I'm sure it was amazing. It might have been the year Jess's brother was doing the lighting, that would explain why we were extra enthusiastic. I'm going to suggest them to my spinning instructor.

Alice x

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Anno's Counting Book

As with most of my posts/ideas/thoughts in general, I got to thinking about Anno after seeing something that reminded me of a book I had when I was little. This afternoon, I was up on Devil's Dyke and I could see a field of sheep that looked like it was straight out of Anno's Counting Book.

In Anno's Counting Book, each double page spread is the scene of a growing village developing through the year along with the numbers one to twelve.

Most of Anno's books have no words, leaving you free to project your own interpretation onto the images. I believed that the village in Anno's Counting Book was the same village that Erica disappears into when Roald Dahl's witches lock her into the painting. Anno may be Japanese but the book has always felt very Scandinavian to me.

Next up, I 'd like to get hold of these books:

Anno, from from