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Eurovision 2013: The Verdict

Eurovision 2013

Eurovision 2013

So Eurovision is over for another year and so is my Eurovision party – my first party in my new home!

Something I really enjoy about Eurovision is making people who hate Eurovision find a way of enjoying it and I think I was successful in this. Even the scorecards got used.

Onto the scores…

There were some interesting performance and some surprising outcomes. Thankfully my favourite Norway did do quite well finishing fourth.

However, my winner prediction was way off. I knew Denmark was the favourite but I thought another song might just steal the show. In the end Denmark were victors and so they will host Eurovision 2014.

Germany, who I thought would win, came a shocking 21st which was two below UK. Cascada’s song was not that bad but the performance could have done with more than just her on stage.

I am actually impressed with the UK. Bonnie Tyler did give it her all and although we finished on the second half of the board at 19th place we still did better than seven other countries which is a vast improvement from previous years.

Sadly someone had to come last and that country was Ireland. The song was bad and about the only interesting aspect of their performance was when one of the drummers dropped his stick.

The top three were all deserving though of their place and as long as Greece or Finland did not become one of them I was happy. In third place was Ukraine with a song called “Gravity” which began with the singer Zlata Ognevich being carried on by a very tall gentlemen.

Second place was the most handsome man in the competition and perhaps any of the Eurovision contests. Azerbaijan’s Farid Mammadov performed “Hold Me” whilst a man in a box, that we believe is his shadow, mirrored his movements.

And the winner was Denmark’s Emmelie de Forest with “Only Teardrops” which was performed perfectly and although the song did not win me over, she was a very good singer and deserving of the title. Here she is performing at the Grand Final last Saturday…

 

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Personal

 

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Eurovision 2013: Second semi-final verdict

Eurovision 2013

Eurovision 2013

Well the last of the semi-finals is over and we now know all the entries performing on Saturday for the final!

This semi-final was not as good as Tuesday’s with only one or two that I think stand a chance of winning but at least my favourite Norway got through. I am looking forward to cheering Margaret on at my Eurovision party.

The ten finalists chosen from this semi-final are:

  1. Hungary: Kedvesem by ByeAlex
  2. Azerbaijan: Hold Me by Farid Mammadov
  3. Georgia: Waterfall by Nodi Tatishvili & Sophie Gelovani
  4. Romania: It’s My Life by Cezar
  5. Norway: I Feed You My Love by Margaret Berger
  6. Iceland: Ég Á Líf by Eyþór Ingi
  7. Armenia: Lonely Planet by Dorians
  8. Finland: Marry Me by Krista Siegfrids
  9. Malta: Tomorrow by Gianluca
  10. Greece: Alcohol Is Free by Koza Mostra featuring Agathon Iakovidis

I chose six of these songs with the exception of Iceland which was a good song but I really wanted San Marino to get through because they never have, Finland which was irritating, Malta which was once again a good song but I preferred Albania, and Greece who were TERRIBLE! Greece always go through but this was just awful and meant that Israel, a genuinely good, well-sung song, did not get through. Poor taste Eurovision.

I also liked Switzerland who did not get through but had the oldest contestant ever to perform at Eurovision at the ripe old age of 95!

My favourites of the night were of course Norway and Romania’s Cezar, who’s voice was nothing short of amazing and has to be heard and seen to be believed. So here it is…

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Personal

 

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Eurovision 2013: First semi-final verdict

Eurovision 2013

Eurovision 2013

The first of the semi-finals took place tonight where 10 finalists were chosen. It was a brilliant semi-final with lots of strong contenders for the winning place. I made a quick top 10 before the finalists were announced and I am pleased to say I got 7 out of 10 correct but I am very disappointed that one in particular did not get through who, in my mind, gave one of the most entertaining performances ever in Eurovision.

Singers from Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus  Denmark, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, The Netherlands and Ukraine all performed in tonight’s show.

The finalists are:

  1. Estonia: Birgit – Et Uus Saaks Alguse 
  2. Denmark: Emmelie de Forest – Only Teardrops
  3. Russia: Dina Garipova – What If
  4. Ukraine: Zlata Ognevich – Gravity
  5. The Netherlands: Anouk – Birds
  6. Lithuania: Andrius Pojavis – Something
  7. Belarus: Alyona Lanskaya – Solayoh
  8. Moldova: Aliona Moon – O Mie
  9. Ireland: Ryan Dolan – Only Love Survives
  10. Belgium: Roberto Bellarosa – Love Kills

I picked these apart from Belgium because it was just bad, Belarus because it was too trashy (even for Eurovision) and Ireland who I am not too sad about seeing as we get to see the drummers again. My other three were Austria, Serbia and Montenegro.

I am very shocked by some of the comments that have come out since the finalists were announced. Lithuania, as you know from my earlier prediction, were one of my favourites. They let me down a little with their performance but they were definitely better than Belgium! Leave Lithuania alone.

My upset of the night though had to be Montenegro. It is a well-known fact that rap gets no where in Eurovision but this performance was pure brilliance. Rapping dubstep spacemen? Yes please!

I cannot believe they will not be in the final but just so you don’t miss out, here is their performance.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Personal

 

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Race for Life 2013

Race for Life 2011

Race for Life 2011

I may not have the same level of fitness as I did two years ago but I am giving the Race for Life another go.

In 2011 I ran my first Race for Life but sadly did not reach my target of £100. I had to take a gap last year and during that time I have not seen the inside of a gym. But hey, it is for a good cause and I have a month to quickly learn how to run again.

Loads of Race for Life events take place across the UK every year where women can run, jog or walk to raise money for Cancer Research.

In 2010 my mum was diagnosed with cancer but, thankfully, by December we had received the news that treatment had worked. Before this time I barely knew anyone who had experienced cancer in their family or cancer themselves. Since this, I have discovered the huge impact it can have, not just on the sufferers but those close to them as well. For instance, I have met so many women my age and younger whose mothers have been diagnosed with cancer and, in more than one case, had lost their fight.

This is why it is so important to keep fundraising for these causes. As long as there are people out there still fighting cancer, we should keep on running against it.

I will be running the Basingstoke 5K race on Wednesday 19 June. To help me reach my target you can go to my JustGiving page at http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/meganchapple

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Personal

 

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Five reasons to volunteer

volunteersThings have been a little busy lately and what do I do when I get busy?

Get busier of course.

I recently started volunteering at my local RSPCA shop on a Saturday. Volunteering is something I have always wanted to do but never really acted upon. I tried to volunteer as a student but shops were reluctant to take on students due to many being unreliable.

Where I lived with my parents there were no charity shops but now I have moved to an area where charity shops come in abundance. Naturally I went for the charity that meant the most to me. I love animals and the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is a brilliant charity and the largest animal welfare charity in the UK.

Many people may ask why a full-time employed young woman would want to give up her Saturdays to work behind a till for free. I had my own reasons for doing this and I have also discovered some new reasons which I would like to share with you.

Five reasons to volunteer

  • Help others – This is the most obvious reasons. It is a great feeling knowing you are doing something to help others or a good cause. Volunteering does not feel like a job. If anything it reduces stress and can be both mentally and physically rewarding.
  • Meet new people – This is one of the main reasons I wanted to volunteer. My current job means I am quite often sat at a desk all week in a small office seeing the same people every day. At the shop I am constantly meeting new people and developing my people skills which is always very important. Also, as I have just moved, I am getting to meet local people and find out what is happening in my neighbourhood.
  • First dibs – Charity shops are great because stock changes every week and you have no idea what kind of gems are going to turn up. We get so many bags on a Saturday alone and we have to quickly check them over and price them before they go straight on the shelves. Good gems go quick. There have already been several occasions when I have put something out and five minutes later someone is at the till with it. As you check the stock you get to see what comes in first and if you like it you can buy it. So far I have purchased a large cup for Tom.

    Tom's new cup

    Tom’s new cup

  • New skills – I have already mentioned people skills but if you are a young person looking to develop your employability skills then volunteering can provide lots of opportunities, from event organising to numeracy. Working the till has definitely tested my numeracy skills.
  • Use your time wisely – I ask myself sometimes what would I be doing if I was not at the shop. Firstly I would have probably stayed in bed longer and secondly, unless I have an event to go to in which case they are very flexible, I would probably just be sitting at home watching TV, wasting electricity. I feel like I am actually spending my weekends doing something which also makes them go slower and I start the following week feeling like I have had a nice, rewarding break.
 
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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in Personal

 

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Eurovision special: The countdown begins

Eurovision 2013

Eurovision 2013

All 39 entries for the 2013 Eurovision Song contest in Malmo have been announced and the countdown to this year’s competition is official on.

The 39 will be condensed to 26 after the semi-finals on Tuesday 14 May and Thursday 16 May when 10 winners from each round will join the big five (UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy) and last year’s winner and this year’s host Sweden in the Grand Final on Saturday 18 May.

Already I can see some favourites emerging and I definitely have my ‘Top 3’ figured out but sadly my country is not one of them. Eighties singer Bonnie Tyler will represent the UK this year but although I love her power ballad “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (who doesn’t) and there is no denying Bonnie is a talented singer, we can see from previous winners in the competition that the Eurovision audience likes modern music with a mix of club and pop always at the top of the board. Even with Bonnie’s epic voice I can not help feeling there are more memorable and livelier songs in the competition.

I also do not understand why we keep using Eurovision as a platform for singers to make a comeback but maybe in future the selection method of public vote will return.

Rant over, my Top 3 so far are:

Norway – Margaret Berger – I Feed You My Love

My favourite. Love it.

Germany – Cascada – Glorious

Germany won not long ago but I really think they are going to do it again this year. Not only is Cascada a well-known artist but this song is quite good as well and it seems to be the clear favourite at the moment.

Lithuania – Andrius Pojavis – Something

Lithuania are always really underrated in the competition but I always think their songs are not that bad. This one has not been rated very highly by other Eurovision enthusiasts but I think it deserves a second listen.

And the UK’s entry

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Personal

 

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Getting crafty: Mother’s Day

Spring cupcakes

Sorry it has been a while since my last post. I have had ideas for posts in the last few weeks but unfortunately I have been a little busy with more car troubles and a hectic diary.

What’s new

If you have followed me on Twitter (@MeganC101) you will see that I have recently discovered Pinterest which is very useful for someone who is in desperate need of decorating ideas for her new flat. Pinterest allows users to post pictures to a board to give themselves ideas or share with others. I would like to say I have added a few aspirational pictures here and there.

I have dyed my hair again but still not to the desired shade of purple so next time I am going to bite the bullet and  bleach it. Wish me luck.

I have bought my Download festival tickets for this year following a great time last year (hopefully without the rain this time). Headliners this year are Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein.

Also, the Eurovision 2013 countdown is on as many countries have now announced their entries  Expect a Eurovision prediction post in the coming weeks.

Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mothering Sunday in the UK. Many countries celebrate Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May but in the UK it is always the second Sunday of March. Reverting back to my childhood when I used to make my mum gifts on this day, I decided to create a card for her and bake some ‘spring’ cupcakes (pictured above).

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I went to a craft fair two weeks ago which was a great opportunity to explore what was out there. Luckily there were loads of papercraft stalls, the level I think I would like to stay on for now. I managed to get a lot of cheap starter packs to get me going, with odd bits of material from the bargain bins. This gave me plenty to work with.

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I made the border by gluing a blue ribbon around the card and placed a pretty piece of white see-through ribbon over the top.

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Then I decided to challenge to myself my gluing a bit of pale blue tulle (a bit at a time) to the centre of the card to form a circle tulle border under my paper doily – which I glued on top. I finished with a border of plastic stick-on pearls.

Using the outer edge of the doily, I made a border for the message. Just wish I had a nicer pen to write with.

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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Getting crafty

 

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