Maddy Lucy.

Talking about life, love and anything inbetween.


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Twenty eleven.

It’s been a hell of a year, hasn’t it?

I don’t just say that as a reflection of my own life (that hasn’t really been interesting on a global level), I say it as a matter of fact. 2011 has been a huge year for all kinds of things. We’ve seen mass murderers, well, murdered, we’ve seen London go back in time and resemble itself at the height of the blitz, we’ve seen pop stars die, royals get married and we’ve seen the whole of Africa change radically.

I’m also pretty sure the rapture was supposed to happen, twice, this year too.

So much went on. (BBC Online 19/12/2011)

Each month this year I can genuinely say something has shocked me, or made me stop and think. Until I saw all this online I truly hadn’t thought of how big a year this one has been. It’s nearing the end of the year now, so I thought I’d summarise for you.

2011. What on earth happened?

Before I begin, the BBC have a 52 question quiz on the year, so before you read this, why not give it a go? (I didn’t do very well)

It’s been named the international year of forests AND chemistry by the United Nations. (errr, okay then). At the beginning of the year over here, the Tory government raised VAT to 20%, to the dismay of the majority of people living here.

Well, in January, Estonia joined the Eurozone, mud slides killed 903 people in Brazil and the South Sudanese people voted for a separation from Sudan, we should have known here that it would be a big year. Pete Postlethwaite and Dick King-Smith also died in January, if that wasn’t a warning sign to anyone then I don’t know what would be. A mass shooting occurred early this month too, with 19 people shot in the city of Tuscon, Arizona. One of those killed was 9 year old Christina Taylor-Green, who was one of the children born on 9/11.
Also in the news: The Egyptian people staged riots across the country, and caused the President of Egypt, Mubarak, to resign in early February. Neil Young, an ex-Manchester City player died this month as well, and everyone joined together in remembrance of those lost in the Christchurch Earthquake on the 22nd of the same month.

Disaster struck elsewhere less than a month later (BBC Online)

March brought with it more disaster, with a 9.1 magnitude earthquake striking the east of Japan, causing a huge tsunami and massive loss of life. March also sparked the no fly zone over Libya, a country facing its own civil unrest after Egypt. We also saw the tragic death of Knut, the baby polar bear in Berlin, (a loss we will surely remember forever). April saw the end of the Ivorian Crisis (2010-11) with the arrest of former president Laurent Gbagbo, (not sure if I could ever forget that name). In this month Doctor Who actress Elisabeth Sladen died of cancer, the death was leaked on twitter hours before it hit the headlines of the major press organisations. It also saw two million people from across the world glue their eyes on the United Kingdom as Prince William married Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

'The Kiss' (BBC Online - Leon Neal)

May began with the announcement from Barack Obama that Osama Bin Laden had been shot dead following a military operation in Pakistan. This was celebrated in many countries across the globe, however it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that Obama announced that major military operations had ended in Iraq. Former Bosnian Serb leader Ratko Mladić (wanted for genocide, amongst other crimes) was arrested in Serbia, and this month also saw the European union agree to a €78 billion bail out deal over Portugal.

June appeared to be a relatively quiet month (compared to those around it) with the death of Jackass star Ryan Dunn and the worlds oldest person (Maria Valentim) joined the latest events of Arab Spring and the eruption of a volcano in Chile in the headlines.

South Sudan seceding from Sudan and the first artificial organ transplant saw us into July, with this month looking like it was going to be more bearable. Just a couple of weeks later though, tragedy struck. Twin attacks in Norway saw 76 people killed. Most of them at a youth camp. Only a day later the news broke of the sudden death of singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, at her home in Camden, seeing her join the famous “27 club“. This year also saw the eruption of the phone hacking scandal, leading to the closure of the News of the World paper on July 10th. A few days after this Sean Hoare’s body was found – he blew the whistle on the entire scandal.  With Libyan rebels taking control of the nations capital in the battle of Tripoli and Gaddafi going into hiding after being overthrown, Augustwas a quiet month. At least up until the riots that gripped the whole of the United Kingdom at the end of the Summer.

Scenes of devastation (Image from Google)

September also was reasonably quiet, with India and Bangladesh signing a pack to end a 40 year dispute. There was a large loss of life across the world, with a Zanzibar ferry sinking, a petrol pipeline explosion in Nairobi and the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl plane crash, and the United Nations launched a million dollar appeal for the victims of the 2011 Sindh floods. A solidarity occupation of Wall Street started as well, which lead to ‘occupy‘ protests all over the world, with the one outside St. Pauls in London starting mid-October. These protests are against economic and social equality. The 10th month didn’t start off very well, with the co-founder of apple Steve Jobs dying, after taking a leave of absence from the company. October also saw the eviction of the residents living illegally in Dale Farm, and Amanda Knox was found not guilty of killing Meredith Kercher, after an appeal. Steve Jobs, the director of Apple (who had retired a few months previously for health reasons) died at the beginning of the month, which was a tragic event and millions world wide paid tribute. As well as this, it was also a bad month for racing fans, as British IndyCar driver Dan Whelon and Italian Moto GP racer Marco Simoncelli both died in accidents, within a week of each other. Colonel Ghadaffi was captured and killed by rebels after evading them for weeks. The month didn’t get any better with Jimmy Savile dying at the end of October, with his funeral being held in November. However, the last day in October was selected (by the UN) as the symbolic day when the 7 millionth person was born. (really makes you think doesn’t it?).

In November we saw Dr Conrad Murray being convicted of the involuntary manslaughter of Michael Jackson, and sentence for four years. We also saw the Leveson Inquiry, which followed on from the phone hacking scandal and the closure of News of the World. Many faces were seen, including Steve Coogan, Sienna Miller, the McCanns, JK Rowling and Alastair Campbell. We also saw the biggest strikes over pensions since the 30s, as thousands took to the streets against the new pension reforms. These strikes lead to TV personality Jeremy Clarkson sticking his nose in and getting the BBC into a lot of trouble..

(Video from YouTube)

There was another huge death towards the end of November, Gary Speed, the (at the time) Welsh Football Teams manager, was found dead in his home, hung at the neck. This threw the sporting world into a period of mourning with the huge question being ‘why?‘ It’s still not known the exact reason for his suicide, however rumours have been flying about since. (Ones that I am not going to speculate in)

December brought with it cold temperatures and gale force winds, with Scotland eduring 165mph winds throughout the worst of it. On the 17th North Korea announced the sudden death of Kim Jong-Il, which was greeted by tension from many countries. Two giant pandas touched down in Scotland from China as the latest addition to a zoo, and David Attenborough and the BBC faced complaints after a ‘misleading’ episode of Frozen Planet.

What a year.

This year also saw..

The mighty Southampton Football Club gaining promotion to the Championship from League one, and ending the year at the top spot,

President Obama having to release his birth certificate, thus proving he was an American citizen,

Britain’s oldest person, Margaret Fish, died in March aged 112,

A dog rose to instant fame after a video of him chasing deer went viral,

The entire Blackberry Internet Server went down across Europe for three days (funnily enough it was just after Steve Jobs’ death),

Beyoncé announced that she was expecting her first baby with Jay-Z,

A whole host of deaths in the entertainment sector,

This goal.. (thanks to Adam Clery for showing me this)

(Video from YouTube)

What about my year?

Now, I know you’re all probably feeling lost and confused because you just don’t know what I did this year. Well, fear not reader, your reward for reading this huge post is about to be rewarded. (If I can remember what I did this year).

I started my year on the Isle of Wight, not gonna happen again this year, woo Stoke! (Start as I mean to go on and all that..). It’s been a mixed up year, full of radio and journalism. I spent a month over summer travel writing in Berlin, and the rest slaving in a kitchen in Pizza Hut, and getting a job behind a bar. I broke my bones for the first time in August (middle and ring finger on my right hand – nightmare) and I left my teenage years behind. I moved into a student house with my five girls. I’ve met some amazing people, and I’ve had a lot of laughs. Photos speak more than words my friends.

Best photo competition (out of my own photos) goes to the beautiful Josh Peett, who had the best idea for his birthday party in October…

"I want to break free!"

it’s been an amazing year for me, it’s been a busy year world wide, so here’s to 2012.

I’ve probably forgotten loads of things (or omitted a few – can’t go on forever), feel free to post your 2011 highlights below as a comment, videos, photos, or just little anecdotes. Lots of love, and all the best for the new year x

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I want.

Christmas is now done and dusted for another year (thank god). I got some absolutely beautiful presents, and I’m grateful for every single one. I didn’t ask for much, because there wasn’t really anything that I wanted.
I got some sennheisers, pjs, a nikon compact camera, lots of bath stuff, and a tiffany necklace. I wasn’t expecting the necklace and I’m still shocked that I got something so beautiful and amazing. The camera and the headphones were two of the few things I asked for.

But the gifts people receive at Christmas apparently aren’t enough for everyone. I saw this online earlier and thought that I’d share it with you.

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I can’t understand people like this, and yeah I’m sure everyone is a little bit selfish. I’m a bit gutted I didn’t get any uggs, but I’m not going to bitch and moan about it all day. Because I got presents which made up for it. I would have loved an iPhone 4S but they’re really expensive and no one can afford it, and there were things I wanted more than it. As for a car, I’m jealous of people who’s parents can afford to get them a car, I certainly can’t afford it and neither can my family. If I got a car and nothing else for five years I think I’d be happy! (I mean I can’t drive or anything so this is a what if situation.
My step cousins are still at the slightly selfish stage, they’re 12 and 14, one of them got an iPhone 4S and the older one got a guitar and some Dr Dre Beats headphones. They got lots of other little presents too, but they still complained that they didn’t get more presents. I was a little bit shocked.

If I got all those things (I know how expensive all of them were) I’d be grateful. I wouldn’t moan that that was all I got. Some people are very materialistic, and I wouldn’t say I’m not one of them, but I’m starting to grow up a lot.

This was a slight rant I know, but it made me quite angry, because Christmas isn’t really about presents. A lot of people all over the world should realise this soon, instead of declaring that it’s the ‘worst Christmas ever‘ and having a go at your parents (via twitter) because you didn’t get a bloody iPhone!


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Festivities.

It’s that magical time of the year again where everyone comes together in celebration of whatever we think Christmas means.

In our family (and I assume this is the same for many others) it’s all about drinking heavily and eating way more than we should.

and beautifully decorated of course

One think I love about visiting my family (currently in the South East, not had one in the South West for years!) is just how much food there actually is. This year, my grandma has bought enough food to power an army, and she’s not even doing the Christmas dinner! It’s mad – though amazing, I don’t renember the last time I was around this much food!

One thing I hate about Christmas is the travelling. I currently live in Stoke but usually this time of the year I’d be in Manchester. We’re the only part of the family who lives up that way, so usually someone has to make the horrible drive down to Kent (or the other way around) and I genuinely hate being in a car for that amount of time. This years journey wasn’t too bad, I was picked up from Stoke and we managed to get to our destination with hardly any issues. Except an accident on the M25 (but I think that is to be expected).It was worth it though to arrive to presents, chocolate biscuits and enough cups of tea to sink the armarda. Then, of course, there are the presents…

I wish someone had told me that earlier.


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What a Saint.

When the Saints go marching in..

I’m a huge Southampton fan, as many of you readers may already know. Every week they play a Saints match on the TV, my twitter followers are subject to a large amount of tweets from me, on the match. Yesterdays game against Pompey was no exception.

Okay, maybe I tweeted a lot more yesterday than I would normally, but Pompey are our rivals. Derby day, won’t happen again until April, so count yourselves lucky! What made me happy about the game yesterday is after Rickie Lamberts goal yesterday, he was trending throughout the UK. That’s power right there.

by far my favourite Saints chant

You can read a lot online about the rivalry, which when I read it a few weeks ago I found really interesting. Although we act worlds apart, they’re currently going through a similar thing to us, and although I’d never wish them to go bankrupt, I’m pretty sure that when we had our monetary problems, they milked it for all it was worth. Vicious circle really.

For my birthday this year, I surprised everyone by asking for a football shirt…

Babe!

It surprised everyone because before last year, I had been quite quiet about football. I’d never been to a football match and I’d never got up and shouted about how I love it. That was a rather sudden change for me, but getting into football was brilliant. I feel like I’m part of a community, online though, not where I live. What isn’t brilliant is having a similar looking shirt to the Stoke City Football Club (which is my current local team). Whenever I wear it out, I get mixed reactions, most look confused, some look pleased when they see me from afar, but as I get closer they look at me with obvious rage. How dare I not support Stoke, but then confuse everyone by supporting a football team with the same colours! Well I never.

This also brings me on to the next thing which isn’t brilliant. See, I’m from Manchester. I was born there and until I moved to Stoke I’ve always lived there. Which poses the most frequently asked question – “Why do you support Southampton if you’re from Manchester?

This question irritates me quite a lot, who says that a person has to support their local team? My local team is Stalybridge Celtic, and they’re fucking shit. Most people think I should support Manchester United or Manchester City, but I don’t. I dislike them both strongly, City less so, us as a family hate United. (as well as Pompey). I get that question all the time though, and I am getting sick of explaining it. I might be from Manchester, but my family are not. Southampton is my family team, have been for a long time.

quite the fan

That there is a picture of my cousin Richie in 2007. This photo was used on the official Southampton Website. We were all so proud. This guy though is the one who takes me to the football matches now. I love going with him, he’s so brilliant and so passionate about the mighty Saints. Him and his wife are currently expecting a baby boy, they’re naming him Matthew after the great Le Tiss.

That’s how much my family love Southampton.

Even with all the stuff that annoys me, it’s worth it, Southampton are a great team, no matter what anyone says, and through ups and downs I will always support them.

I hope we get promoted this year, we so deserve to give the Premier League another crack. We’ve got so many top class players.


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Dweeting.

I get drunk a lot (I know, it’s so surprising). I sometimes don’t even mean to, I think I’m an alcoholic.

Anyway, I also have an iPhone, which means that unfortunately I have very easy access to social networking whilst under the influence of whatever I’ve been drinking for the past 8 hours. Well, on Saturday it was something like that anyway.

My tweets from that night include such gems as..

this was about the football, I’ve only been to Blackpool once, and I’m fairly indifferent!

This is my personal favourite, and it was followed closely by..

I was a right mess. (If you’re interested someone actually did send me their number!). Don’t worry, the photos of me from the same night are just as hilarious as the tweets (if not more so..) I’m not looking forward to when they grace the internet.

I’m just glad I’m not the only one who does it! All you have to do is Google ‘drunk tweeting’ and you get so many hits. I found this blog post about drunk tweeting. It made me laugh a lot! There are loads of reasons why you should do it, I’ll simplify..

  1. It’s really fuckin’ embarrassing
  2. You look like an ignorant twat / sex pest (or addict)
  3. You’re most likely to lose followers
  4. You’re very very likely to offend someone
  5. It’s hard to be subtle when you’re drunk (I bitch about people a lot and when drunk I make it far too obvious – bad times)

Plus, in this case it can look really bad – and can even lose you a job.. Unlucky if it does, because that’s a real pisser, it’s really hard to get rid of the evidence in tweets. I usually fall victim to number two, looking like a sex pest. But I do that usually without the help of twitter, as I was informed a few weeks ago when I went out, I walked up to my mate and demanded to know why he didn’t want to have sex with me.

I should probably stop drinking alcohol, I’m going to ruin my life.