Advice to My Younger Self: Just Be Yourself

Psssst! You, yeah you. I’ll let you into a little secret. Gather round… Comfortable? Here goes…  I wasn’t the same person I was 10 years ago. Baffling, right? That’s not to do with me having multiple personalities or anything like that but simply, I’m finally comfortable to be myself, I’m a little bit weird, a little bit eccentric and I’m totally fine with that, in fact I love that. It makes me original and I’ve never been happier and more content within my own skin. My one main regret is I only wish I knew how to be myself when I was a teenager.

It’s fair to say being a teenager is a strange time, your hormones are hyperactive and every day at school seems like you’re starring in Mean Girls. Before joining high school, I was a popular kid from my town who was doing well with his football, a few rough edges but hey, I was doing alright. I was cool and when you’re a kid, that’s all that matters  – even if it means naff all now, though)

All of that changed when I had to make the jump from primary school to high school, a transition that is never easy at the best of times. I not only had to make the jump but I had to jump to a high school outside of my catchment area where I knew no one and I was no longer the “cool kid”. I was just a regular boy – and my ego didn’t like that.

All I had learned about being “cool” from this small town was being a bit of a joker, rebellious, loud and generally being a bit of a dickhead and anybody who wasn’t… Well, they clearly weren’t cool. So when I went to a high school in this posh village and struggled to adapt, I couldn’t understand where I was going wrong. It was all I knew. Why no one was warming to this chavvy mess, is beyond me…

 

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That popped collar should tell you all you need to know about who I used to be

 

So as I struggled to fit in with my new classmates, common sense would tell anyone that maybe I should stop being such a nobhead and just be myself, be friendly, be approachable, engage with people.

 

Nah, mate. This spotty, hormonal, testosterone-filled walking ego was not going to bow to common sense. Clearly, I wasn’t being enough of the nob, I needed to up the stakes – it was embarrassing. It was so embarrassing to the point I pretended to not know who the Foo Fighters were and I kept repeatedly calling them “Food Fighters”. Bad times all round.

I had subconsciously developed a “small town” mentality and I played football with the usual “lads” who engaged in the classic “locker room banter”. Yes, locker room banter was a thing at 12 years old – apparently, if you used anything other than Lynx Africa shower gel you were instantly a homosexual. I’m not excusing myself for being a bit of a douchebag when I was younger, I was just easily influenced and going from being super cool and popular to not very cool and popular was incredibly difficult. It was a very confusing time

It took an inspirational Infinity on High album by Fall Out Boy to push me into my next phase -emo/scene. Whatever it was, that album changed me and I got inspired to pick up a bass guitar. Although I had some very questionable hair, it definitely made me a better person. I was more open-minded, I was pleasant, I was polite, I was friendly and funnily enough, I was less of an angsty teen. Sadly, this came after I left school but in the space of a year, I had changed massively and I started to reconnect with some “friends” from high school. By friends, I mean people who let me sort of mooch around with them at lunch but now, I have such a respect for those people who didn’t want to see me by myself – even if I was a bit of a cock.

 

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I became so much closer with these guys after I left school

 

Looking back now, at the ripe old age of 24, I’m now much more comfortable within myself, who I am and what I stand for. I understand now that being polite and friendly isn’t a sign of weakness or vulnerability but actually a sign of generally just being a good person. I realise now that being who you are will make you feel so much better about yourself and not only that, people will often like you if you are yourself. I know it may seem a tad cliche but honestly, if there is one thing I could tell my poorly-styled younger self, would be JUST. BE. YOURSELF.

The only person who told me that was my mum but when you’re a teenager you often don’t take your mother’s advice or you don’t appreciate it as much. It’s not been until I’ve grown up and looked back at the advice my mum has given me in the past to realise that my mum has been right about most things. I’m sure there are people who are currently going through the same situation or can at least relate to this article in some way. If you’re struggling to fit in, honestly just be yourself and let people love you for you. I wish, someone had told me that other than my mum and maybe I would have been a lot happier during my school years.

 

*This article was written in 30 minutes and inspired by a lot of wine and a meeting with my old school friend.*

 

Jay Carrington

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

 

 

E Awards 2017

As most of you know, I disappeared in November to work on my event with a beautiful bunch of people from Edinburgh Napier University, that event was the Harry Potter Horcrux Hunt and you can read more about it here.

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It was a cool event to put on but I never thought anything more of it until our group received an email from our lecturer in January. Obviously, when a lecturer from your previous semester emails you, you’re naturally going to panic and assume you’ve failed – or maybe that’s just me and my crippling self-doubt. The email from our lecturer told us that she loved our event and had put us forward for the Student Event/Festival Excellence award at the Excellence in Events “E” Awards 2017.

That was in January and there are literally hundreds of student event groups in Scotland so again, we never thought much of it, until 3 weeks ago…

We received an email from our lecturer telling us we had been nominated for our event, it was nice to be nominated for an award and know your work is being appreciated. Also, I hadn’t been nominated for an award in a good few years since I knocked the music career on the head. It meant a lot for me personally, as someone who sees their career in PR and studying it. To even be nominated for something that reflects your future career, it does make you feel good knowing you’re on the right track in life.

We even found out that 2 of our competition were also from Edinburgh, including one from our very own Napier, which was quite nice knowing I made the right choice to come to this university/city. It goes to show, how important it is to choose the right university and city that will be best for your own career, rather than the most accessible. I can’t help but wonder that if I stayed in Glasgow, would this still have happened? I doubt it…

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The big day arrived and of course, anyone who has lived in Britain knows how bad the traffic is between 4pm-7pm. Now, imagine being on a motorway between the 2 biggest cities in Scotland – I lowkey think we would have been quicker walking. We arrived fashionably late and found our seats, just in time for the winner for our category to be announced…

WE LOST.

Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. There were free glasses of wine being passed about, so, every cloud and all that, eh?

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We did our obligatory post-event mingling session, a few pats on the back from individuals, shaken a few hands, congratulated winners and drank a lot of some wine. Considering we hadn’t eaten all day, we treated ourselves to a Nando’s for getting at least nominated – Everyone eats when they’re sad, don’t judge us!

We left soon after and it gave me time to think on the journey back to Edinburgh. I have more belief in my ability and although we never won, we did not bad, in my opinion. That is all the inspiration I need to push on and go and do even better next time. It’s amazing how such a little thing, such as confidence can make a huge difference to your own perception of things. It doesn’t need to be an award nomination, even just a nod or even a simple “well done” can make all the difference. Just a simple acknowledgement that you’re on the right track, it can put you in a good place mentally. If you’re reading this, and you know a colleague, classmate or just anyone in general who is doing good, tell them, let them know that they are. It could make the world of difference to them.

Before I go, I just want to say congratulations to the Robert Gordon University students for their Aberdeen Student Festival and also a huge mention to my partners in crime, Jeanie, Misbah and Rachael who were great to work with. Here’s to next year!

 

Jay Carrington

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

Week 13 2016: The Week of Confusing Humans and Talented Friends

Attraction can be confusing. Have yYou ever been attracted to someone that you shouldn’t be? I have and it sucks.

You know how it is, you meet someone nice, exchange a few words and crack a few jokes, then you see that person more and more often until you the highlight of your week is seeing them, she adds you on Facebook, she messages you on a one-off asking a trivial question, conversation progresses, flirtation is in full swing, she follows your Instagram and Twitter, you follow back, you snoop on her Instagram and BOOM! Like a Roberto Carlos free kick to the John Stones, her last picture is captioned “me and the boyfriend” lol u wot m8?

Obviously, you can’t tell her you know she has a boyfriend due to being a social media creep ’cause that’s… Creepy. Turns out she has a boyfriend but going through a “rough patch” and she’s invited me out for a night out next week and me being a normal human being make horrendous decisions whilst consuming alcohol. You’ll find out next week how bad my decision-making really is.

On another note, regarding love interests, I think I have another admirer. They are funny, they like Katy Perry, they like to sing… Only thing is they’re a guy!!! Obviously, I’m not attracted to him, nothing against him, I just don’t find dudes attractive – except Zac Efron (He was Troy Bolton!!!) except I’d kinda want to sit and have a pint with Zac and sing Breaking Free than have him hanging out the back of me to be fair. Anyway, back to my original point, this guy, met him once, he’s a friend’s friend but he does make some questionable comments such as being “stripped and ready for bed” and then offering me to come and join him which makes me slightly uncomfortable. I do kinda want to say something but I don’t wanna be THAT guy and he would be all like “Dude, it’a just banter, can’t you take a joke?!” I can take a joke, honest. It just doesn’t come across that he is actually joking. I told one of my friend’s and he says I should tell him as it is more “sleazy than funny”. I’m just not a guy for confrontation though.

Besides all of that relationship nonsense, on Saturday, my good friend Emily Middlemas supported ’80’s band Hue and Cry at Paisley Town Hall and I could not be prouder of her. Even though her audience was older she totally rocked with a band behind her, watching her owning the stage was such a proud moment. At only 17, she has such am amazing talent at not just singing  but also songwriting. It is so difficult to succeed in the music industry but if anyone deserves it, it’s young Emily, she just has the full package. That day I was out with one of my good friends Ryan Lawrie who recently won Capital’s Top 40 Future Breaker competition and I could not be prouder of the pair of them.

Next week the Easter Holidays begin and I want to hopefully escape out of Scotland for a day or 2 and do some stuff. If anyone has any ideas of things I can do or places to visit mainly in England over Easter then get in touch at enquiries@pookiepopblog.com or my social media channels posted below.

Jay Carrington

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

Week 10 2016: The Week of Well-Earned Rest and Realisation

What a week it has been! A week full of alcohol, gigs, parties and a LOT of napping.

On Saturday, I attended the Single By Sunday gig with my friend Angel Gold who was supporting the band at the Classic Grand in Glasgow, a great performance by Angel followed by a night out with everyone’s second mum, Vicki Gold. A woman who is just so honest and hilarious, genuinely can’t meet a nicer person. We all went to a bar in Glasgow to celebrate Vicki’s birthday where my good friend Ryan Lawrie, joined us as well. Ryan keeps me sane, he’s just so relaxed about everything. Do You get those people that you can be your natural, stupid self with? He’s  one of mine!

We ended up catching a taxi back to my friend Daniel’s flat for the McGregor vs Diaz fight and if you know me I’m not your typical laddy lad. In that flat, I was surrounded by a bunch of “geezers” watching people knock lumps out of each other, drinking beers and betting on the fights. I actually lost count of all the man-points I earned that night!

Of course,  McGregor wasn’t on till like 5,30am or something ridiculous, mix that with the copious amount of Jagerbombs I had consumed prior to climbing into my bed and I never slept till 9am… ON MOTHER’S DAY! Fair to say I slept till deep into the afternoon and my mum was not a happy mummy when I woke up, so she went in a huff because we missed our reservation at an Italian restaurant, but your boy just went and ordered a Domino’s and that put a smile back on her face.

Fact: A Domino’s pizza makes everything better 

Since I have worked my wee butt off for the past week, I got a week off from college, apart from a feedback day on Thursday for which I was basically told my group is cruising towards an A. I also had a week-long holiday from my work so I made the most of my week off from doing anything.

I watched all the Hunger Games movies except for Mockingjay Part 2, I fell in love with Katniss and got frustrated  Peeta, I also watched my first RuPaul show and I loved it. Who would have though a TV show about Drag Queens would make for such great entertainment? I definitely need a Drag Queen in my life the way girls need a gay best friend, maybe a straight guy needs a Drag Queen in theirs.

On Wednesday, I got invited back to play football with some of my brother’s workmates since I shined last week bagging myself a hat-trick. This week, 10 minutes into the match I tore my hamstring, tried to go outfield and scored with my first touch before i went to ground and had to stay in goal like a big boulder. I was positioned like a Snorlax in the middle of the goal, it was awful. I could barely walk and the pain was super intense. So the last 3 times I played football I have injured myself:

August 2015 – Broken foot

2 March 2016 – Bruised toe

9 March 2016 – Torn Hamstring

Maybe football isn’t for me… I feel like Tomas Rosicky – and not in a good way!

Anyway, before I go if I have any Americans reading this. Don’t vote for Trump. It was funny at first, similar to the way Tony the Tiger or Coco the monkey from the Coco Pops commercial would be funny seeing run for Presidency. Then you realised people are actually being serious and that is incredibly worrying. Bear in mind, the last time someone had such strong hatred towards a certain group of people, he ended up in power and orchestrated the last mass genocide. It’s 2016, can’t everyone just all get along and be friends, why is racism even an issue?! I keep forgetting, for all rational thinking people like myself, there are a lot of irrational idiots.

 

Jay Carrington

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

 

Week 7 2016: The Week I Went To London, Became Anti-Valentine’s Day and Got the Flu

So I am starting this as I am currently on my way down to London by BUS!!! 9 and a half hours of nothingness but my curiosity got the better of me and being a sucker for a bargain, I can’t complain about paying £28 for a return trip to London from Glasgow.

Although, I very nearly missed my bus even though I had all evening to get ready which sums me up to a tee. My bus was at 11.45pm so I packed my bag that night after I got back from Slimming World – where I lost 6 lbs (just saying) and got the train to Glasgow for 10 pm. I had nearly 2 hours in Glasgow City Centre to kill some time, I couldn’t even sit in a bar because I was sat there in my sweats with my hair up in a bobble looking rather trampy so attending a nice bar for a few cocktails was sadly not a possibility. I ended up going to Sainsbury’s for late-night snacks for my journey and then ended up in a cosy little pub round the corner from the bus station where I had 1 pint and realised I still had an hour to go. At that point, a pretty girl entered the bar with her mum who had come from the an Elvis tribute act. I offered a seat to her mother and ended up having a bit of chat with her daughter. Even though it was a fleeting conversation where we talked about music and she complimented my outfit – even though I was dressed in a large, grey sweatshirt and grey sweatpants she still said she loved my look, whether she was just being kind it’s always nice to get a compliment. SHE EVEN SAID I WAS SUPER COOL?!?! I then realised I only had 30 minutes to get my bus which was based at the far end of the station so I pick up my bags and say my goodbyes, swap contact info with the girl and give out some goodbye hugs and head out the door. I arrive at the station with 10 minutes left to go and realise I had left my bag of snacks in the pub and debated whether I had time to run back and get it, with a laptop in one hand and a heavy holdall on my shoulder I hobbled back to the pub in a panicky mess making a flustered “hi, bye” while I pick up my bag and shuffling back out destroying any sort of “cool” image that pretty girl had of me was pretty much shattered to pieces when I’m sure she realised I am actually a big, awkward mess.The story of my life.

I made the bus with 5 minutes to spare with a weird sense of anxiety taking over as I was going to put my large holdall in the luggage section of the bus in case there were angry luggage goblins lurking under there ready to steal luggage so I brought it on board with me. My inner child came out when I realised I have a full upper deck to myself and a plug socket and a bag of sweets, it was like I having my own one-man slumber party. I  wonder what I could do to pass the time. Could I watch a movie? But I had no wi-fi and no DVD’s with me. Could I speak to my online friends? I don’t like people. I could play a game?! I love games! So I loaded up Football Manager on my laptop and played that for an hour before the hustle and bustle of the previous day had started to kick in and my eyes started to close so I decided to have a sleep. I never had a bed, just 2 chairs but there was no one on the same deck as me so I decided to kick off my shoes and put my feet off and close my eyes. I got woken up when we arrived at Preston with the lights being turned on and a few people to join me on the upper-deck but I still had my full row so I kept my feet up. However, Manchester was a different story. They climbed on board in their hordes making as much noise as possible. I had a crying kid in front of me, a group of teenagers watching videos without headphones behind me and someone had horrendous diarrhoea and I lost my footrest – A 6ft guy is not equipped for that space designated, especially not for over 9 hours of which I had about another 6 hours to go. After that everyone started to settle down and from then on I kept drifting in and out of consciousness, occasionally getting woken up by the sound of kids crying and people eating crisps.

I got into London at around 10.30am and Uber’d it straight to my hotel at Earl’s Court. I arrive there to find out check-in time is at 2 pm. I had over 3 hours in London before I could check in. I had just sat on a bus for over 9 hours. I NEED A SHOWER! I don’t wanna go about sightseeing in one of the fashion capitals of the world. I need a wash and coffee! I then asked the receptionist if I could hide away in the hotel bar, I was rudely disregarded and told there are loads of pubs on the next street. Well, that was my answer. Off I headed out in my very plain sweatshirt-pants combo and my specs to the nearest pub. One ice cold pint of Tennent’s was ordered and I handed the barman a crisp Scottish £10 to which he held it up, squinted his eyes and screwed his face up in confusion before handing it back while saying “I can’t accept this, mate” IT’S LEGAL TENDER, MATE! I then had to use my Royal Bank of SCOTLAND card to pay for it and to add insult to injury he then asked me to take a picture of him and 2 American women who were clearly tourists and wanted that cheesy “we’re barmaids” pose. I decided to head to another pub for another couple of pints before deciding I might as well go and explore and pass some time, before I knew it I was in the middle of Holland Park and dying for a pee and I didn’t know how to get out and I was running about for 10 minutes looking for a toilet, came to the conclusion there wasn’t a toilet to be found and I have to run to the nearest pub, cafe or anywhere with a toilet or even a dark corner. I honestly didn’t care. I managed to get out and I kept running in any direction but in my head I was considering giving up, I was going to pee myself, I tried to find a toilet but I failed. Y’know that way where you actually feel like you are going to pee yourself, well this was it UNTIL I spotted a Costa sign which I assumed was a mirage  but it was not, there was even a sticker that said “automated door” for easier access. I ran straight for it and I’m at the door but the door wouldn’t open even though I’m rattling the door by this point and people are now looking at me like a madman. I then noticed a Hilton Hotel a few doors down and ran in. I MADE IT! I GOT TO A TOILET AND I WAS PEEING! I was never more relieved to pee so I had a few more pints in the hotel to celebrate and set off on my merry way. I then had to work out how to get to the hotel as I had about 30 mins until I could check in and get a nice, warm bath (ideally). I look at my phone map and realised I had been running int he wrong direction and was 40 minutes away from my hotel.

When I arrived at the hotel, I picked up my bags and headed to my room which was pretty much the worst hotel room I’ve ever been in, it was basic with a few white pillows and one weird pee-coloured pillow and a headboard that looked “well used”. You can read about it soon in my review which will be up shortly. I then get told my friend would be arriving at 5 pm so I wouldn’t be attending this event alone. I had 3 hours till she arrived so I sorted out a plan of action:

  1. Get food
  2. Get coffee
  3. Get wi-fi (had to pay for it)
  4. Shower
  5. Eat and drink and watch Family Guy.

So I went and ordered at Gourmet Burger, first time going and it was amazing! I even got this baconnaise sauce. It was the best sauce I’ve ever tasted, chips were a bit crap though. A much-needed white chocolate mocha from Starbucks and headed back all in the space of 5 minutes. I was surrounded by so many food joints  all within 2 minutes of me and being a fat wee boy, it was an amazing feeling.

My friend arrived at the hotel where we had a catch-up before we then headed off to the Saira Shoes event at a bar called Ninety Eight in Shoreditch (which you can read about here)before heading elsewhere. Hitting up a few more cocktail bars and even went to a ping pong bar called Bounce which was an incredibly surreal mix of banging tunes, beer and … balls. After that, we headed to Soho and hit up a few bars there, where the drinks flowed and the tunes played before heading back to the hotel.

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The next morning I awaken from my slumber and treat myself to a much-needed McDonald’s breakfast and TWO white mochas. Sadly, in England people haven’t worked out Irn-Bru is the ultimate hangover cure. I then checked out at 11 and caught my bus at 3 pm. I decided to go and get some food for my journey and a DVD to pass the time as my laptop and my phone will be my only source of entertainment for the next 9 hours. As soon as I was boarded I sat down only to realise there were NO sockets!! Not one! A 9 hour trip with no sort of service to charge my phone nor my laptop. It was awful. I managed to use my laptop to charge my phone via USB where I watched my DVD I had just purchased. I watched 3 quarters of my film and when it was reaching it’s exciting peak my laptop died. The rest of the trip was a snoozefest on seats that were far more uncomfortable than the original journey. The less said about that journey the better especially since I never got in my bed til 1 am and the thought of working at 10 was filling me with fear.

Fast-forward to Valentine’s Day and I woke up to a grand total of… 0 cards or messages. Usually, I might have at least one person I might consider asking to do something, not even a girlfriend but just someone I might even be having an occasional flirt with but this year there’s been no one at all I’ve even had a flirty relationship with. Does this mean I’m an adult now? I just feel as if this year I’ve been too busy with my coursework and stuff to pursue a relationship. I would like to meet someone and enjoy one of those cute relationships but loyalty and personality is so few and far between. I have witnessed far too many relationships being destroyed through infidelity it just kinda puts you off the whole relationship thing. Why be in a relationship if you’re not even going to at least be faithful? I ended up working a 12-6 shift before spending the night with my mum and a Domino’s. Who needs a relationship when you have pizza?!

 

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Scott was my Valentine ❤

 

Apart from that, my week has consisted of catching the flu, drinking endless Lemsip’s and generally dying, the main reason why this is being posted later than usual. I’ve spent it in bed too ill to function.

 

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It is a nasal inhaler, NOT a tampon

 

I also submitted the Planning Stage for my Graded Unit. The second most important part of my educational year and I submitted it. It’s been a bit of a struggle considering we only realised there was a 3,000 word count about a week before it was meant to be submitted and we were at nearly 8,000! The group is alright, I have my friend Jen in my group who is great with the creative side of things and incredibly talented. The other people in my group can be a struggle but occasionally good but I suppose that’s group work for you. Try and ignore others flaws and focus on the positives.

I had so many posts I planned to write last week but illness got the better of me but it still does mean a lot that people even read my diary so thank you if you do read it and enjoy my day to day life.

 

Jay Carrington

Facebook/Twitter/Instagram

 

My New Project – PookiepopMusic

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I have been up to my eyeballs in paperwork and studying. Many a sleepless night has taken place over the past couple of months that it feels like I have abandoned this blog – although it’s not been all in vain.

For my course, I had to create another blog on a topic of my choice – Music. My love of music has progressed from listening to S Club 7 and Busted as a kid to learning bass guitar at 15 followed by performing with a band and then getting involved with the business side of music with an independent record label.

You can check out my music blog over at Pookiepop Music. I will be blogging about the latest music news, music reviews, interviews and also lots of coverage on the hottest up-and-coming talent.

Doing the 2 blogs will take its toll on top of all my studying. However, I’m not giving up. I have a lot of things coming up and lined up for 2016 and my new music blog will hopefully take off as well.

I appreciate all the support and I hope you enjoy my music blog. If you need me, you can get me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

My First Blog

Sooo, Hello? This is my first blog, which like every first time is filled with a mixture of excitement, curiosity and nerves –  a change of pants will be needed. I’ve had what some would call a “fun” life and I happen to be blessed with having such fun people to share these fun activities with. FUN. Whether I be writing songs with my brother for his band, I’m discovering a new talent to play their music on the radio station that I work at or I’m at a party for a celebrity(ies?) that I’ve organised, I just feel I should document my activities.

Throughout my blogging journey I am beginning I shall be blogging about various topics:

  • Music – Ones to watch, reviews of albums, singles and gigs, interviews with artists and possibly even some stuff of my own…
  • Films/TV Shows – Reviews on new releases and classic films and generally just my thoughts on them – Especially as I have a bad tendency to get hooked on a TV show.
  • Food – I’m fat, so yeah. I like food. YUMMY YUMMY, FOOD FOOD.
  • Life – Those silly random thoughts you get when you’re in bed at night and you’re about to fall asleep and your brain tells you otherwise and you lay awake and overthink every silly little detail. Remember that person you really fancied the pants off when you were 13 and you fell right in front of them? Bad, bad times.
  • Projects – whether I’m promoting an after party I’m putting on or I have an interview with some special guests or just anything at all I’m working on music-wise. I’ll blog it.

That’s just some topics along with other nonsense that pops in to my head.

That should be enough from me and My First Blog.

Ps. Should stick around for Blog 2. It’ll be fab, honest.