My Coronavirus Soundtrack

This Coronavirus outbreak, and the subsequent madness of the whole god damn world, has left me feeling quite depressed. So to cheer myself up I began formulating a playlist of happy songs – as you do. But for a while that’s all it was, just a thing for myself, and it wasn’t until my mother asked if I was going to blog it, that a far more inventive idea came to me. Why just make a playlist that cheers me up about the coronavirus, when I could make an entire soundtrack for the bloody thing. So here before you, is the finished work – note, this is just a bit of fun and not to be taken as a serious account of the state of the world. We get enough of that from the news and (if you’re like me) Twitter, and while this outbreak is a serious thing, sometimes we just need to laugh.

1. Prologue – this isn’t the first crisis we’ve faced

2. The Outbreak Begins

The First Official cases are reported across the world

3. And so we took to Twitter

Honestly this is the first time in my life I’m checking Twitter several times a day.

4. Trying to Understand why this is happening

5. Wash your hands for 20 seconds

6. The Bog-roll Crisis

I didn’t even have to stretch for this one

7. More Panic Buying…I mean what were people thinking?

8. #CorbynMustStay

Oh Jeremy Corbyn, we almost had a socialist Prime Minister. This one may be slightly localized to Great Britain – but this is a British Blog, (at least for now) so what can you expect?

9. Schools Close for Most

If you think this is an inappropriate song, you should see the one I almost put here.

10. The March of the Covidiots: or this is not a song that should fit so well this late in the timeline of a Pandemic

11. And so the Army was called in

Well, the police anyway.

12. Quarantine Life

Well, guess we can’t leave our houses now.

13. Disney + released

If they didn’t want the comparison, they shouldn’t have bought the franchise.

14. And so the Great Binge watch of 2020 began…

Yes, it’s just the Simpsons theme…why? What are you watching?

15. Clap for the NHS, and Stay Home

Being serious here people, the NHS (and other healthcare systems around the world) are already overworked – don’t overwhelm them, stay at home and watch Friends.

16. Coming out of Lockdown

Speaks for itself really.

17. And Hopefully we’re all still…

If this playlist offered you any joy during these dark days don’t forget to follow the Wee blog, if you haven’t already. Also don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Goodreads. Also check out The Wee Mailing List, for all new content. Keep safe, Wee Readers, and don’t forget to laugh whenever you can – it’s good for the soul. So, until next time, have a bonny day.

Memories of a 2019 GoodReads Challenge: or, the top ten books to read while you’re social distancing

What ho Wee Readers, how are you all doing? Are you trapped at home in quarantine? Or practicing social distancing to protect yourself and or your family? Yeah, my Mum’s got a damaged lung, so I’m right there with you. At times like these the world can seem a terrifying place, almost overwhelmingly so – and I find the best cure for such depressing thoughts, can be found in the pages of a good book.

Wow, that was a far more depressing opening than I thought it would be. Anyway, if you’ve been following my Goodreads account, then you’ll know that I really enjoy their Reading Challenge. At the beginning of 2020, I challenged myself to read a hundred books, which is quite a step up from the thirty I read in 2019. I’m well on my way to completing this year’s challenge, so I’d just thought I’d take a look back at my favorite reads of last year, to try and forget about this year.

10. Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon’s Firefly

This is a collection of essays about the cancelled tv show Firefly, one of two I read over the course of 2019 – though by far this is the superior volume. Mainly because unlike its sequel, it didn’t go on and on about how not having aliens in it made Firefly the greatest sci-fi show ever to exist. Or sneering at the notion that anyone would ever put an alien in their space fiction, let alone actually believe in life on other planets. Which, as someone who is patiently waiting for the mother-ship to return, I find slightly offensive. Anyway, you won’t find any of that nonsense in this book – at least, none that I can remember.

9. Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds: The Musical Drama

So…Michael Sheen’s voice…wow. Anyway, back on topic…I started this post quite a while ago, and then got pulled away to write another essay (I know I’ve said that before, but it’s not just an excuse, it really is what I’ve been doing all this time) and during that interval the world kind of…exploded. Basically, we somehow woke up one day and found ourselves living in a dystopian novel, which is…well…bad whatever, but if it was going to happen, why couldn’t it be ‘The War of the Worlds’ instead? Look I’m not trying to be crass here, I’m well aware how terrible the coronavirus, the mass panic buying of loo roll…for some unexplained reason…and well everything the British government has been doing lately, is. All I’m saying is that I would rather watch Boris Johnson be disintegrated by a Martian, than worry about the bloody coronavirus.

8. Coffee at Luke’s: An Unauthorized Gilmore Girls Gabfest Edited by Jennifer Cruise

So, this is a thing. Rather like the first book on this list, this is a collection of essays; except this time on the topic of Gilmore Girls. Gilmore Girls is one of those shows in which I have a… complicated relationship with. On the one hand I loved the original show, and yet like many of you out there I found the revival lacking in the charm that made the original so appealing. Also, the characters were all awful, and by that, I mean they were all awful people. Where they like that in the original, I don’t remember that. Still the book is well worth a look, even for the most disappointed of Gilmore Girls fans, and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys digging deeper into their favorite shows.

7. The Silmarillion by J.R.R Tolkien.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s least enjoyable book…there I said it. I’m of two minds about this book, on the one hand nowhere else is J.R.R. Tolkien’s genius most evident, and yet the only way to describe how I manged to finish this is: with great difficulty. Whether or not you enjoy this book really depends on how much you’re invested in the Elves as a people – for you see The Silmarillion is not just the history of Middle-Earth, it’s the History of Middle-Earth as told by the ruling class of Elves. It’s why we never really get a look into the other races unless they’ve had direct contact with the elves. Notice how it’s only the men who live under the Elves sovereignty who are in anyway explored in a meaningful way. This isn’t the story of Middle-earth but rather how the elves perceive it. And nowhere is this more apparent than the story of the petty Dwarves. The petty dwarves were a diminutive race that lived in the continent of Beleriand (the north most tip of middle-earth) during the first age (or at least round about that time, Middle-earth calendars are a lot less straightforward than you’d think). In fact, they were the first people to live in Beleriand, even before the elves – and what did the elves do when they got there? Come on, we all live in a post-colonist world, you know what they did. That’s right, they massacred them…hunted them for sport actually. Claiming all the while that they thought they were animals. While they do stop doing this once they meet the larger dwarves, and realize the creatures they were gleefully slaughtering – which had worn clothes, and held weapons – were not in fact a strange kind of boar. However, they don’t actually seem to feel guilty about what they’d done. In fact, the text itself implies that the petty dwarves had it coming, because they were…unpleasant, and didn’t like anyone. My Valar of the Forge and Earth, why would a people that have been hunted to near extinction, and smeared in the history books, not have a sunny disposition? Madness, don’t they know that the feelings of their murders come first above all things.

Yes, I am a Tolkien nerd, why do you ask?

6. Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel by Daniel Jose Older

They should have let the cooking robot kill Ben Solo. Out of context that sentence sounds like nonsense, doesn’t it? But trust me, after you read this book, you’ll know what I mean. Anyway, getting down to business. Despite my first impressions of the film I can freely admit that ‘Solo’ is by far and away probably one the weaker members of the Star Wars franchise. Many people have tried to pinpoint the exact reason for this – raging from the sensible to the outright ludicrous – but I have come to the conclusion that ultimately, it was the pacing that let Solo down. Namely, it was originally supposed to be three films, but got squished into one for…some reason…and you can really tell. Despite this, the film had many positive qualities, not least among which was being the only film to note the cruelty many heroes casually throw at droids – I mean it didn’t do it well, but at least it mentioned it. Last Shot is everything Solo should have been: it explores Han Solo’s past but only so much as it pertains to the story, and it gives characters that had previously been killed off before they could do anything more than snark a chance to shine. And most of all, droid abuse and activism was made a central theme and story plot, rather than just something to be giggled at.

5. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

The book is better than the show. Yeah, I’ll say it, the show was needlessly dark and depressing and… that second season, oh my god, did I hate that second season. I couldn’t even watch it to the end. Look I know both the book and the show cover heavy topics that need to be taken seriously, like abuse, possible murder and body issues, but somehow the book was able to do that without making every single character completely unlikable. I mean what was with that story-line of Madeline cheating on Ed? She didn’t need more drama in her story, her book story-line was dramatic enough and unique. It wasn’t just another copy and paste affair arch. In conclusion, read the book and skip the show.

4. Revenge of the Sith by Mathew Stover

I love this book. I’ve read it more than once, more than thrice really, and each time it just gets better. A common trend when praising this book, is to imply that it vastly improves upon the original film. However, I’m not going to say that, because quite frankly not only is that kind of petty prequel hate repugnant to me in every way but, I found nothing to hate in the original film. In fact, it’s one of my favourites. What I will say is Mathew Stover’s take on the fall of Anakin Skywalker and the rise of Darth Vader is interesting and new, not better just different – but I found his description of the force, particularly how Obi-Wan experiences it, the most fascinating I’ve ever encountered in any Star Was franchise media, films included.

3. Snape: A definitive Reading by Lorrie Kim

Awesome, just awesome. Severus Snape is the essential base-breaking character. You either love him or loathe him, there doesn’t seem to be any neutral ground on this issue, but that doesn’t matter because Snape a Definitive Reading is the book for both sides of the argument. Whether you love him and want a conformation of why he is so awesome, or you absolutely hate him, but want an insight into what all your crazy friends see in him, this is the book for you.

2. Room by Emma Donoghue

I love this book. I was so, so about the film – since as a visual medium it lost much of the magic that was Jack’s misunderstanding about his situation in the beginning of the story – but the book was fantastic. Now I’m assuming, Wee Readers, that each of you fall into one of two categories. Either you’ve already read this book/watched the film, and know each of the ins and outs of the story, and therefore don’t need me to tell you what you already know; or you have no idea what I’m even talking about. In which case I don’t want to ruin the story for you. So I’ll just say this, if you’re stuck at home at this strange time, pick up a kindle or audible version of this book, sit back and enjoy.

1. The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair

Speaking of good books to read while you’re waiting out the coronavirus. This is, and I don’t think I’m overstating this, the best book published in 2019, hands down. If you’ve been following my blog for a while – hello early Wee Readers – you’ll remember I interviewed the author herself a few months back. If you’re interested go check that out here, or Ailish’s own blog here. There now the plugging is done, onto the real talk of the book.  Without giving away the end – because as we all know, only gypes give out spoilers on the internet – this a book that will not end how you think it will. Whether you are a fan of sweeping Romance, accurate Historical Fiction, Heroines that aren’t a size two, or like me an accurate portrayal of a Scottish accent… this is the book for you. Trust me, Wee Readers, you will not be thinking about the coronavirus while you’re reading this book. Seriously go out and buy this book.

If this wee post has distracted you at all from the ongoing dystopian narrative, we’ve all somehow found ourselves living through, then don’t forget to follow the wee blog if you haven’t already. Also check me out on Twitter – where I am hilarious – Facebook, Pinterest, GoodReads, Tumblr and Instagram. Also check out my Wee Mailing List ,for brand new content. Until next time my Wee Readers, have a bonny day.

12 vegan meals made by a complete amateur

What ho, Wee Readers! I hope you had a good Christmas. If you’ve read my last post you’ll have already guessed that mine has been a bit stressful this year. If it wasn’t the ever increasing difficulty of my course work, then its the mountain of assignments I had due – but I don’t like to complain, at least in a non comedic manner. So, I’ll move on to more entertaining challenges – namely my terrible cooking. Due to some personal matters, I’ve taken over cooking duties for my family. Mwahahahaha , now nothing can stop me from making whatever I want, except budget constraints and general lack lack of talent! *Lightening flashes ominously*…*cough* Anyway, here are the twelve vegan meals made by a complete amateur.

12. Pasta and Raw Sauce

Pasta, carrots and leftover pasta all covered with a raw sauce that would leave even the most hardened of Carnivore’s mouth watering.

Raw Suce composed of:

1 apple, chopped roughly

handful of walnuts

juice of 1 lemon

two or three celery stalks chopped – once again roughly

olive oil

Garlic

But of course you can put all sorts of veg and nuts or seeds in it. Then plop it all together in a mixer – the power of which will depend on how roughly you get to chop your veg. I have a Vitamix so I can chop things however I like – but different brands may vary.

11. Leftover Baked Sweet Potato and Pasta Salad

This is one of the easiest meals I’ve made yet – if you discount the original cooking of the sweet-potatoes. But even then all you do there is, rub olive oil on the potatoes and stick in a pre-heated oven for about an hour. Then boom, delicious, Sweet Potato goodness. They taste so good that usually there’s nothing left come the next day – but this time I got lucky. So I mixed the leftover potatoes with vegan pasta salad – available at any decent Tesco – plumb tomatoes and Quorn Ham. A substance my family refused to eat for ages, because Quorn refused to make their vegetarian range even a little vegan, and their original adds were stupid and condescending. Also they’re made from mold, genetically modified mold. Turns out I really like the taste of mold …mmm genetically modified sin against nature.

10. Roasted Courgette and Tofu with Sweet Potatoe Fries

Now this is one of my favorite dishes to make – mainly because not only is it easy, fairly cheap, almost impossible to mess up, but it’s delicious too. Take two packets of plain Tofu – I use the brand Tofuu, but it’s not a requirement – two or three courgettes, chop them all up into fairly small pieces and put them in a olive oil covered baking tray. After that the original recipe calls for a splash of soya sauce sprinkled on top, which I do recommend if you can handle the salt as it is absolutely delicious – of course not every one can, and we really have too much salt in our diets anyway. So if that’s the case for you, just use more olive oil, works the same.

Put in the oven, wait till everything goes soft and that’s that – one delicious, easy to make, vegan dish, that won’t bankrupt you.

9. Sausages and Mashed Potatoes

I don’t know why I was so nervous about making mash potatoes. They’re the easiest thing in the world to make. You don’t even have to peel them. Just cut off the bad bits, chop them into manageable sizes; boil ’em till they go soft – then add a chunk of vegan margarine and mash like you’re a crazy person. Most fun thing I’ve ever made. As you can see I’ve combined this dish with sausages – vegan of course – and a bag of frozen vegetables. Easy, done!

8. Spaghetti and Soya Balls

The best thing I ever discovered was The Seeds of Change range of sauces – just plop them in a pan, heat ’em up and wallah. This picture here is the Bolognese sauce, paired with spaghetti and soya balls – that is, meatless meatballs.

7. Pasta with Tomato and Courgette Sauce

At number seven, we have the tomato and basil ‘Seeds of Change’ sauce – combined with a chopped courgette and yellow pepper. I know I’ve already done and talked about the ‘Seeds of Change’ brand on this list but this is my favorite sauce of all time – and look! Look how well the photo turned out. I mean you can actually see the steam rising from the sauce, mmm – makes me hungry just looking at it.

6. Pineapple and Mango Smoothie

Now we come to the first of the two smoothies on this list. Just take half a bag of frozen pineapple chunks, and the same amount of frozen mango chunks, combine with three bananas, nuts ( ideally walnuts, because they’re the best, but really any will do), fresh orange juice and coconut water. Then throw it it all in a blender – again I use the Vitamix brand, but any kind of blender will do. Turn up to full blast for a few minutes, and then get ready to pour your fresh new smoothie.

5. Sausage and Potatoe Waffles

I love potato Waffles, I’d have them all day if I could – I could just throw them in the oven , heat them up and have them all day. I witter on like this because there’s not much to say about this meal. Other than the sausages – which take a grand total of maybe eight minutes frying in a frying pan – the rest are so simple and easy I could have done them in my sleep.

4. Black current Smoothie

Blackberries straight from the freezer, three bananas (again), an Avocado (no nuts this time, never put nuts and an Avocado together in a smoothie. I’m not entirely sure why, it’s just one of those cooking rules my Mum told me) lin seeds, fresh orange juice and coconut water. Blend it all up and, be careful not to spill any when you pour it. We done? Great, Next order!

3. Schnitzel, peas & carrots, and sweet potato fries

This ready made schnitzel ( I hope I’m spelling that right) takes about eight minutes to cook in olive oil, but is slightly hard to turn over half way through due to the increased side. Also the tendency of its skin to stick to the pan doesn’t help either on that front. Joining it on the plate is sweet potato fries and garden peas & baby carrots.

Sweet potato and Tomato Soup

Funny story – I burned myself making this soup, and not a small one either – my entire arm was covered with the boiling stuff. That will teach me to fill the blasted thing as much as I did. My dad did the same thing when he made this soup a week or so later, except because he didn’t fill it up so high, he only got a splash on the hand – ah well, live and learn. Scalding burns along my arms aside, this is a delicious soup made of sweat potatoes, tomato, celery, garlic and a pinch of sault. Cook up first in a pan untill all the vegetables are soft – and then throw it in a blender and hope you don’t burn yourself when you take the lid off after a througher blending.

1 Christmas!!!!!

Yes, I had originally planned to make this an entirely separate blog post by, but I’ve been very sick lately and I released I was falling behind on my planned schedule. Also, turns out when you’re cooking a meal as involved as Christmas lunch you may or may not forget to take pictures while you’re doing it. Ah well, it was a fantastic meal anyway and makes the perfect closing piece for this wee list of mine. Alright, the dishes making up these grand piece de resistance are as follows…

Roast Potatoes

Generally you would boil the potatoes first, before you roast them in olive oil – however if you chop them up very small you can skip the boiling part and cut the time of cooking down by half.

Sprouts

Funny story, I actually meant to cook chestnuts and sprouts, but it was the first time I ever cooked them and I bought the wrong sort of chestnuts – they had shells. Still the sprouts were good regardless, I don’t know why people make such a fuss about them, they were awesome.

Pigs in a blanket

Ready made.

Stuffing Balls

Ready made by Linda McCartney – check ’em out.

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with added Garlic segments

These are simple, just cut them into manageable slices, place ’em on an oiled baking tray; sprinkle some oil oil, add your peeled garlic segments. No need to chop those, they taste just as good when you don’t. Plop it all in the oven and wait about an hour – same as the potatoes.

Bread Sauce

This needs to be begun the day before, and cooked on Christmas day. Break up at least part of a bread-loaf, into a baking tray. My Mum can’t handle Gluten, so I made my breadcrumbs from a non-gluten loaf, but it’s not a requirement. Then cut an onion in half (after pealing first of course) and stick cloves into each side, until both rather more resemble hedgehogs than any kind of onion. From there your going to pour soya milk – or your own choice of milk alternative – over the breadcrumbs and onion halves until you get a nice gloopy mixture. You can add cinnamon stick and pepper of course – but its not vital to the dish. Then just cover the dish with foil, and stick it in the oven on Christmas day.

Turkey Roast

Ready made – ah the age of the Vegan era has truly begun. Soon were will run the world and now everyone else will have to put up with condescending articles, telling them them their diet is lacking. See how they like it! *evil laugh while lightening flashes in the background*…*cough* *cough* Sorry I blacked out for a moment, what did I just say? Oh no, she’s arisen…my inner manic Vegan!

And Cranberry Sauce

Out of a jar, I don’t see the need to make cranberry sauce from scratch.

And that’s that, all twelve of the pictures, I remembered to take, of the food I made while I was in charge of cooking. I still am of course, and I began to make far more competent looking meals than these, but then that really wouldn’t go with the theme of the post. Anyway, if this list of edible vegan goodies has left you hungry for more don’t forget to follow the wee blog if you haven’t already. Or follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and check out my Facebook, Goodreads and Tumblr pages. Until next time, my wee readers, have a bonny day.

Side note: apology to those who were surprised when this post disappeared off the internet – my WordPress app was acting up and switched it to draft. Still it’s back up now 🙂

The Top Ten Musicals that will leave you Bawling like a Wee Bairn

I love to cry. Alright maybe that’s a tad simplistic, I don’t love to cry – I love to be moved enough to cry. Why is this important? Well, my Wee Readers, after I published my last post, I felt lost as to what I should write about next. So, needing a break I partook in one of my favorite past times – listening to depressing musicals. I know, odd thing to do but it’s very cathartic, so I still recommend it. Just as I shed the last of my tears for a particular heartbreaking rendition of ‘Me and the Sky’, I realized that I had the answer right there before me. So thus, with little ceremony I present to you the Wee Writing Lassie’s Top Ten Musicals that will leave you Balling like a Wee Bairn.

10. Les Miserables

Based on the 1862 Victor Hugo novel of the same name, Les Miss tells the stories of the escaped convict Jean Val Jean ; his adopted daughter Cosette and her love for the revolutionary Marius; and most loudly of all the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris. Of course, I most likely don’t have to tell you any of this since Le Mis, just so happens to be one of the longest running and most popular musicals of all time. It is also, as you may be able to guess by the name, one of the most miserable . The most lovable character (Jean Val Jean) dies at the end, in fact most of the characters in Les Miss die at some point in the play – only four people are alive by the end,and shockingly that’s an improvement from the book. Thus with the ringing of the audiences handkerchiefs, Les Miserable proudly earns it’s spot on this terribly depressing list. In fact the only reason it’s not higher on the list, is because I’ve listened to it so often in my life, I’m practically dead inside when it comes to this magnificent musical. Seriously, play me the final song and I won’t cry at all…these aren’t tears, I have something in my eye.

Song I cried at the Most: Final

Created by: Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Baublil, and Jean-Marc Nated (Orginal French Musical) Cameron Macintosh (The Wider known production.)

9. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor dream-coat

Based on a story from the Bible ‘s Book of Genesis – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor dream-coat tells the story of how parental favoritism and neglect can ruin a family. Joseph, as the favorite son of Jacob, is terribly favored over his eleven brothers and his sister isn’t even mentioned in the play. Culminating with the brother’s snapping after Joseph is gifted with the said Technicolor dream coat, and selling their brother into slavery. Despite the overwhelmingly depressing tone of that premise, for the most part this is a fairly up-beat musical. In fact I would have heisted to include it on my ‘weeping’ list at all, if it weren’t for… that song. The song that makes you realize that everything you’ve been watching up to this point, has not t been a bouncy romp round Biblical times, but in fact very, very depressing. Set just after Joseph’s Master (Potiphar) has discovered his wife sexually abusing Joseph and thrown the boy into jail because of it; Close Every Door to Me shows the audience both the depth of Joseph’s despair, and exactly what kind of musical they’ve actually been watching.

Song I cried at the Most: Close every Door to Me

Created by: Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice

8. Hadestown

Hadestown basically retells the classic tragic Myth of Eurydice (who gets trapped in the Underworld) and Orpheus (who tries and fails to rescue her from said Underworld) in a Great Depression-era inspired post-apocalyptic setting. Which now I’ve said it out loud, is a little weird, but it’s a moving musical so we’ll just roll with it. My only issue with the play, and even then it’s a minor one, is it’s depiction of Hades as the out-and-out villain of the tale. In the original myth he wasn’t – Eurydice just dies, he doesn’t trick her down there at all. Why would he? He’s got enough work with the spirits that are actually supposed to be down in Hades. That being said the play did need some kind of villain – other than Orpheus and Eurydice’s own stupidity – and Patrick Page does such a brilliant job of portraying the King of the Underworld, I’ve even begun to picture him when I think of Hades himself. Plus, the story has such a good build up to the tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice, that I’m still going to burst into tears at the first note of that final song regardless.

Song I cried at the Most: Road to Hell (Reprise)

Created By: Anais Mitchell

7. The Hunchback of Notredame

Based on Victor Hugo’s first novel Notre-Dame de Paris and the 90’s Disney Film Hunchback of Notre-Dame, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame tells the story of both the corrupt priest (yeah he’s back to being a priest in this version) Claude Frollo and his severely abused Nephew Quasimodo. Yes that’s right, in this version Quasimodo is the son of Frollo’s brother. Other than that the story follows the same beats as the Disney film – Quasimodo grows up locked in Notre-Dame until he escapes to go watch the Festival of Fools, where he meets Esmeralda. Frollo calls for Esmeralda’s arrest, and she takes refuge in Notre-Dame. Then she falls in love with Phoebus, for some reason. Eventually she’s captured by Frollo, who threatens to burn her alive if she doesn’t sleep with him. Yep, pretty much the same thing as the Disney film. Oh, and *spoiler* Quasimodo dies at the end. Wait…what? Who asked for that back? I know it happens in the book, but so does a lot of other terrible stuff and they left that out. Why? Why? Why do you do this to me Disney? I’m going to go and listen to Made of Stone now, have myself a good cry.

Song I cried at the Most: Made of Stone

Created By: J, Scott Lapp (directed American Production) and James Lapin (book)

6. Dear Evan Hansen

Created by the same minds behind the Greatest Showman, Dear Evan Hansen is a show about social anxiety, loneliness, and most of all teen suicide. Now I don’t really have any experience or proper knowledge of suicide, so I won’t go in-depth with that aspect – but I will just say this, you will be crying from start to finish. Except maybe during the obligatory funny song that every musical feels obliged to include, even if it doesn’t suit the material. Fitever, I’m just going to go listen to ‘Requiem’ in the corner, no one mind me.

Song I cried at the Most: Requiem

Created By: Benji Pasek and Justin Paul

5. Hamilton

Come on you all know this one by now, sing it with me! How does a bastard, orphan son of a whore…damn it, I swore I wouldn’t swear on this blog. Oh well, I guess it doesn’t count if it’s Broadway. *cough* Anyway, ‘Hamilton’ by Lin Manual Miranda is a hip hop musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton – founding father and complete idiot. I’m sorry but come on, a lot of his problems he brought on himself. I mean for god’s sake, say no to the deadly duel Alexander, say no! There is no outcome where this ends well for you! Sorry, I have very strong emotions when it comes to this musical. But so would you, if you had to listen to songs like ‘It’s Quiet Uptown’, God damn you Lin Manuel Miranda and your brilliant mind. You, beautiful, beautiful person.

Song I cried at the Most : It’s Quiet Uptown

Created by: The One, the singular, Lin Manual Miranda

4. Falsettos

Based on the ‘Marvin Trilogy’ of one-act Off-Broadway musicals by James Lapine and William Finn – Falsettos (created by the same people) tells the story of Marvine, his ex-wife Trina, Trina’s current husband and Marvin’s former Psychologist Mendel, their son Jason and Marvin’s lover Whizzer Brown. Well that’s the players introduced – most of them anyway – so what’s the play about. Well, it’s about a gay couple in the eighties so…Aids, it’s about Aids. And who dies? Because of course somebody dies. Why, the most likable character – because of course. I don’t mean to sound flippant, or rather I do but it’s for a very good reason. If I don’t tell you about this musical in a light and breezy manner, my keyboard is going to get so wet, from all the tears, and I can’t replace it again. Which was partly why it was so difficult to choose a song I cried at the most, the whole second act makes me cry! But finally I settled on two that tipped the scales from enjoyable tears to abject misery. Enjoy!

Song/s I cried at the Most: You Gotta Die Sometime & Falsettoland (reprise)

Created by: William Finn (music) and James Lapiue (book)

3. Waitress

Based on the 2007 Film of the same name, Waitress was created by Sara Bareilles and Jessica Nelson. Jenna Hunterson (played by Keri Russell in the original film) the title Waitress discovers herself pregnant by her abusive husband Earl (played by Jeremy Sisto in the original film); and begins an affair with her gynecologist (played by Nathan Fillion in the original film). Desperate to make a better life for her and her unborn child, Jenna can see no other way out but the prize money from an upcoming pie baking contest. Now, was I first attracted to this musical due to Nathan Fillion’s involvement with the original film…how dare you make that entirely accurate assumption! You are such a cleaver person! But in all seriousness, this a deeply moving musical culminating (at least as far as my exhausted tear ducts are concerned) in the heart wrenching song ‘She used to be Mine’ – in which Jenna griefs for the women she used to be, and reflects on the women she is now. Oh God, I’m gonna start crying again….turn away, don’t look at me!

Song I cried at the Most: She used to be Mine

Created by: Sara Bareilles (music & lyrics) & Tom Kitt (music)

2. next to normal

Well, we’re really in the darker end of the musical thematic spectrum now my Wee Readers. The Rock Musical called ‘next to normal’ is about a women with bipolar disorder and delusional episodes. In soul-tugging efficiency the musical examines the effect this has on not only our main character but her family as well. By doing so it covers uncomfortable topics such as grief, depression, suicide, drug abuse, and modern psychiatry’s ethics. You may have noticed that I’ve been deliberately vague about the actually plot, and no that is not a mistake on my part my Wee Readers – I’m not going to tell you it. Because to do so would be revealing a twist so awesome, it would be an actual crime to story telling as a whole. And as a writer myself I feel I cannot justify doing that – so I guess you’re just going to have to listen/watch the musical yourself.

Song I cried at the Most – that doesn’t give away the Plot Twist: You Don’t Know

Created by: Brian Yorkey (book & lyrics) & Tom Kitt (music)

1. Come from Away

And now we come to the one that started it all. Yes, that’s right my Wee Readers, this is the musical that gave me the idea for this blog post, and why you may ask? Because I cry at every single song on this thing’s soundtrack. Come From Away is a Canadian musical, set in the week following 911. Based on the true story of the 38 planes that were ordered to land in the small town of Gander in the Canadian province of Newfoundland. All the characters are at least partly based on real people, who are probably still alive today, and I can promise you – you’ll cry at every single one of these songs. So if you’re anything like me and enjoy good cry every now and then, then I’ve just turned you on to the perfect musical, however if you’re not then I’ve probably just warned you away from it…so…win all round really

Song I cried at the Most: Me and the the Sky

Created by: David Hein & Irene Sankoff

Well, here ends our tear sodden list my Wee Readers – I know, I know there are so many wonderfully depressing musicals that didn’t even get a passing mention, but such is life. If I included every single musical that ever made me cry, I’d never get this post finished and nobody wants that. But if you can think of some miserable masterpiece that really should have been included – mention it down below in the comments, and I’ll see if I agree. If you’ve enjoyed crying along with me, remember to follow the Wee Blog if you haven’t already, and check me out on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr; not to mention my Facebook and Goodreads pages. And please sign up to the Wee Mailing List for all new rants, photos and more. Until next time my Wee Readers, have a bonny day.

Return of the Top Ten Evil Songs + 3, I added for the fun of it

After much deliberation and investigation – ha, that rhymes – through your, my Wee Readers, many suggestions I have finally compiled the worst of the worst. Yes, that’s right my wee readers this is the Return of the Top Ten Evil Songs – this time with added runner ups, that I added just for the fun of it . So without anymore delay may I present your selections for the Top Ten Evil Songs of 2019.

10. Blue (Da-Ba-Dee)

Many Thanks to Lynn Blair ( https://inkedautist.wordpress.com/ ) for recommending this song. Blue ( Da-Ba-Dee) is a song by an Italian group, Eiffel 65. Written by lead singer Jeffrey Jey, keyboardist Maurizio Lobina and producer Massimo Gabutti – the music video of the song depicts aliens trying to abduct Jeffrey Jey while the other members of Eiffel 65 try to stop them. Now if it sounds like I’ve just recently learned all that just minutes before I started writing, that’s because I did. I knew nothing about this song before I started researching for this post, other than the fact that it was so catchy that I literally had to turn it off mid-way through or it would be stuck in my head all day.

9. Supercalifragilitexpalidocious

Big shout out to Widdershins ( https://widdershinsfirst.com/ ) for recommending this next Evil Song. The first known record of the word ‘supercalifragilisticexpialialidocious’ – at least according to Wikipedia and The Oxford English Dictionary – was found in a column by Helen Herman in the Syracuse University Daily Orange, dated March 10th, 1931. Although it was actually spelled ‘supercaliflawjalisticexpialadoshus’. However the writers of the song – the Sherman Brothers – claimed that they made the word up, and that they based it on memories of creating double-talk words as kids. The original word was also said to mean ‘all that is grand, great, glorious, splendid, superb, wonderful’ which is a change from the movie where it’s implied that it’s a word to use when you don’t have anything else to say. Whatever the case this tune will stick in your head to the day you die, also penguins…we never can forget the penguins.

8. Hips Don’t Lie

Here’s to masercot ( https://morepotatoes.com/ ) for this evil recommendation. Written by no less than six people – Wyclef Jean, Jerry ‘Wonder’ Dupllessis, Omar Alfanno, LaTavia Parker, Vinay Rao, and of course Shakira herself -and first performed by Colombian Singer Shakira in 2006, ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ is an infectious song, with such catchy and lets face it slightly repetitive lyrics that you won’t be able to get out of your brain even if you were to use an ice-cream scoop to do the bloody work for you. Wow…that, eh, that got very dark there. Anyway, Shakira’s Hips Don’t Lie…good song, can’t get it out of your head. Moving on now, before I end up creeping you all out.

7. The lemanade song

Big shout out to Em @ The Geeky Jock ( https://kinesiologic.wordpress.com/ ) the Wee Reader who introduced me to this wonderfully catchy/evil Song. The Lemonade Song (sometimes referred to as the Duck song) was first uploaded to YouTube by Bryant Oden on January 21st 2009 as a lyric video. In March 23rd – of the same year, I’m assuming, but please correct me if I’m wrong – the song was made into an animated short by YouTuber Forrest Whaley. 88 million views later and by April 21st the song is now on iTunes for $.99. Wow, what a Duck can do in just four months.

6. Orange and Lemons

Many thanks to ‘davidjhopcroft’ ( https://davidhopcroft.wordpress.com/ ) who recommended this song to me in my last post. Oranges and Lemons is both a traditional English nursery rhyme and a playground singing game. It refers to the bells of the churches in or near London. Of course there have been many speculations as to its hidden deeper meaning. For instance some have speculated that it might be alluding to child sacrifice; or public executions; or even the marital difficulties of one Henry VIII. Now before you dismiss these theories as ludicrous, or possibly from the minds of paranoid conspiracy theorists, just remember this – Ring Around the Rosies is about the Black Death. So let’s not pretend that children’s songs having disturbing origins is in anyway a new thing.

5. The Pink Panther Theme Song

A big whoop to ‘da-AL’ ( https://happinessbetweentails.com/ ) for recommending this Masterpiece of an Evil Song. First composed for the 1963 film ‘The Pink Panther’ this smooth catchy, Jazz tune was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score at the 37th Academy Awards. However it was robbed – robbed I tell you – by the Sherman Brothers for their soundtrack of Mary Poppins. Huh, this is the second time the Sherman Brothers have been mentioned in relation to an ‘evil’ song. Coincidence? Yes, absolutely – but what if it wasn’t?

4. A Million Dreams

Many cookies and thanks to ‘debsdialogue’ ( https://debsdialogue.com/ ) for reminding me of this fabulous song. Originally composed for the 2017 musical film The Greatest Showman, and performed by Ziv Zaifman, Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams; it’s also been covered by several artists including Susan Boyle and Michael Ball on Boyle’s 2019 album, Ten. One of the newer contenders on this list – what with one of main criteria of an ‘evil’ song being memorability, they tend to stick around in the collective consciousness far longer than there more forgettable counterparts. Only time will tell whether ‘A Million Dreams’ will also have this staying power, though considering how many times I’ve banged my head on the wall to get it to leave, I think it’s chances are good.

3. Fat Bottomed Girls

Another Big shutout to ‘masercot’ ( https://morepotatoes.com/ ) for this second suggestion of an evil song. Recorded in 1978 and first released in 13th October that year and written by lead guitarist Brian May. Now remember when I call a song ‘evil’ I don’t usually mean evil as in ‘evil laugh’ evil – I could never say that about a Queen Song. What I mean rather that it’s a song that sticks in your head no matter how much you shake it, or how many times you wack yourself in the face. And there’s rarely no other song that fits that description better than Fat Bottomed Girls. Even if sometimes we wish it otherwise.

2. A small world after All

Big Thanks to ‘dkatiepowellart’ ( https://dkatiepowellart.com/ ) for recommending this…heinous song to yours truly. Written by the Sherman bothers – oh look there they are again – for the Disneyland ride ‘It’s a Small World’, probably sometime in 1966 since that’s when the park opened – ‘A Small World after All’ is one the most, annoying songs in all of existence. In fact the only reason it didn’t make it onto my last list, was because at the time it seemed a little obvious. But looking back now, I can see that was a mistake – I mean, if you’re going to be discussing ‘evil’ songs, this one should be at the top of your list. After all, according to Robert J. Sherman – Robert B. Sherman’s youngest son – this song is the single most-performed and translated piece of music in the world.

Runners up

And now just for a special treat before I reveal the winner of the most evil song of 2019 – let’s take a minute to mention those songs that while nobody has nominated, I’ve not been able to get out of my head for the past few weeks.

Runner up Number 3. Mama Mia

First recorded in 1975 by the band ABBA, ‘Mama Mia’ was the title song of the hit Broadway Musical by the same name. I chose the film’s version of the song – staring Meryl Streep – because, not only is it one of the funniest versions – try and not laugh at those hippy clothes, I dare you – but its also the one that made me realize that I know every single word to that song. That doesn’t often happen to me, a tune maybe, but often even the most ‘evil’ of songs have their lyrics forgotten in my brain, but not this one. *throws hands in air* Yeah! What? Too sarcastic?

Runner Up Number 2. Dogtanian Intro

The show Dogtanian and the ThreeMuskehounds is a bit before my time – something you could have said for a lot of songs on my previous list as well – but my Mum always brings it up whenever I mention writing one of these ‘evil’ song lists, and I’ve got to admit she has a point. This is a really catchy theme song. Almost, like it’s latching on to the inside of your brain. Oh No. Back, Back I say to the depths of Hell, whence you have come foul song!

Runner up 1. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song

‘Yo Home to Bel-Air’ or as the rest of us know it as ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme tune’ was written by the aforementioned tv-show’s executive producer, Quincy Jones and Performed by Actor and Star Will Smith, under his stage name ‘The Fresh Prince. Smith also wrote the lyrics. In this Wee Writing Lassie’s opinion, this is one of the most catchiest/ memorable theme tunes of all time. What else is there to say except ‘In West Philadelphia born and raised on a playground is where I spend most of my days…’

1. Baby Shark

And now we come to our winner, this heinously catchy song was recommend by no less than three separate people – mainepaperpusher (https://mainepaperpusher.wordpress.com/ ), SnapperTrx (https://rgdev.wordpress.com/ ), and ascreasey ( https://amandasuecreasey.com/ ) – so thank you all for this song in my head. Despite what you may have feared, I don’t hate you at all, I’m much too focused on hating the song itself. I’m joking of course, the only song / person I really hate is Zip-a-de-do-da and the monster who wrote it, whom I will hate till the end of my days. Anyway, ‘Baby Shark’ was created by Pinkfong – which is a South Korean educational entertainment company -and unsurprisingly it is one of their most popular songs, at 2.9 billion views and counting. I won’t tell you what’s it about because if I start to recount it, that song is just gonna start playing in my head again, and then I’m not sleeping tonight. So I’ll just leave you with this thought, isn’t it strange that so many of these ‘evil’ songs were made for children. I mean not all of them, but a large majority were made for those of a younger generation then the people that wrote them. An odd thought , but the song has started up again, so I’ll leave it at that.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey into insanity we’ve stepped down into together, if you have make sure to follow my Wee blog for many more such high quality content. Or check me out on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and now my brand new Facebook Page – The Wee Writing Lassie. Until next time, My Wee Readers, have a bonny day.

The Top Ten Songs of the Roadtrip Soundtrack

Well, here we are, My Wee Readers, the final post of my Holiday Trilogy – and it only took me…at least two months to complete. Wow, that’s a big thought. Anyway, onward. I’ve been planning, seeing as it is one of my more popular posts, to write a follow up to ‘The Writing Lassie’s Top Ten Evil Songs’ – using the suggestions you left in the comments (so if you want to add another suggestion, now’s the time to do it). But before we get into the very worst humanity has to offer, let’s take a step back, and look at the best. In preparation for my family’s epic road-trip into the Highlands, I compiled a playlist of all our favorite songs as soundtrack for our wee adventure. Here are ten of the best.

10. Born in the USA

Sing it Bruce!

Released October 1984 – so a good ten years before I was even born – Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA is a commentary on the plight of the Vietnam War Veteran when he comes back home. Once famously used by Ronald Reagan – a man who had clearly never got the joke – on his presidency Campaign. This song has always been a favorite of my family’s, thus it was an obvious choice to include on our road-trip’s soundtrack. I remember listening to this surprisingly rousing tune as we entered the rolling mountain lands of the Cairgorm National Park.

9. You’ll Be Back

You’ll Be Back Bitches!

Sung by Jonathan Groff , who you may recognize from Glee, if like me you are re-watching it on Netflix, this villain song from the Hit musical Hamilton – which depicts the life and death of the founding father Alexander Hamilton – is one of my brother’s favorite songs. Thus it was a perfect choice to help start our road-trip with that theatrical flare that can only come from a former king of England. Sing it away George, sing it away.

8. Donald Where’s your Troosers?

Will someone get this man a pair of trousers?!

Performed by Andy Stewart, this is a very strange song – in which a man wonders around with no trousers, while women ask him where on earth his trousers are. I believe it’s implied that he’s wearing a kilt instead, but it’s not altogether clear – and given the nature of the song, either outcome is likely. In truth its a very infectious song, that won’t leave your head no matter how hard you shake it – I mean, I can’t even remember why I didn’t include it in my Evil Song List to begin with.

7. Don’t Stop Me Now

Freddie Mercury is King

Oh Freddie Mercury, you were truly the King of Rock. Performed by the band Queen, with front man Freddie Mercury singing vocals, many have tried to fathom the meaning of this catchy, up-beat tune. But whether it was a Bisexual Pride Anthem – Freddie was Bi himself after all – an ode, to the front-man’s decodant lifestyle – as the other members of the band claim – or just a fun song, about having a very good time really doesn’t matter to me. Because whatever the case, it is a damn good song to have on a Road trip.

6. Micheal in the Bathroom

I have all the Feels.

Performed by George Salazar, ‘Micheal in the Bathroom’ is a heart wrenching song about betrayal and abandonment from, and I’m just going to say it, one of the strangest Musicals I’ve ever come across – Be More Chill. Okay, stop me if you heard this story before – High-schooler Jeremy feels like too much of a loser to speak to the girl he likes, so after hearing about it from some guy in a bathroom (not Micheal) he decides to take this thing called a SQUIP, to help boost his popularity. What is a SQUIP you ask? Why, a SQUIP is an advanced processing computer from Japan, condensed into pill form. And if you take it with Mountain Dew – don’t ask me why it never really explains – then the SQUIP will connect to you brain and help you to negotiate the terrifying world of pubescent life. Oh, it also shows up as Kenu Reeves in your perception if you don’t change it to someone else… *gasp for air* and that is the basic premise of Be More Chill.

5. I Don’t Know How to Love Him

Mary Magdalene is always a win.

Ah Crucifixion, a far more saner topic to have a musical about. Written by Andrew Loyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar tells the tale of the days leading up to Jesus’ death and his subsequent Crucifixion. My family’s not particularly religious, so growing up this was my only exposure to that story that I really paid attention to – which may or may not have caused some strife with my slightly more religious classmates. I mean you mention one time that your favorite disciple is Judas Iscariot and suddenly everyone’s claiming you’re gonna go to hell. Look people, I was eight or nine, Jesus kind of sounded full of himself to my child mind, and Judas had the best songs. Speaking of best songs, this haunting melody is sung by Mary Magdalene played by Yvonne Elliman , as she ponders her confusing feelings for the title character. It truly is a wonderful song to listen to while your driving back home from your slightly exhausting road-trip.

4. Rule the World

Hail to the Ruler of the World

Performed by the band Take That, and featuring in the soundtrack of the film Stardust staring Qweneth Paltro – who was also in Glee, and…other things as well I’m sure – Rule the World is an empowering song of love between two maniacal dictatorships, just trying to keep the populaces in control. What? That’s not what its about…but why is it called Rule the World then? That is a misleading title.

3. Everything is AWESOME

Awesome!!!

Ah, now this is much better – the first song of The Lego Movie is an upbeat tune compiled by a major corporation to lull us into a false sense of contentment so that we don’t notice as they complete their dastardly plan. Both in story and out. Plus I dare you to get it out of your head once you hear it, even just once.

2. Nothing

Best Song Ever

From the Musical ‘A Chorus Line’ this ballad is the sorry tale of a crap, probably boarder-line racist, acting teacher and the young girl who was forced to put up with him…until he died. Sorry, ruined the end there, but it is an awesome song regardless and one I most dearly recommend for any long car ride, particularly if it’s your mother’s favorite song.

1. How Far I’ll Go

The Ocean is alive, I have all the questions

Finally we come to our winner, performed by the amazingly talented Auli’i Cravalho – who was only freaking fourteen at the time of recording – and written by Lin Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame; ‘How Far I’ll Go’ takes its place as one of the Disney Princess’ ‘I Want’ Songs. Other such contenders are ‘A Dream is a wish your heart makes’ (Cinderella); ‘Let it go’ (Elsa); ‘When will my life begin?’ (Rapunzel); ‘Almost There’ (Tianna) ; and one of my personal favorites ‘Reflection’ (Mulan). Now, why exactly did I just spend a good amount of time listing other Disney songs instead of the one I actually listened to while on my road-trip up to the Highlands? Well, two reasons really: number 1, ‘How Far I’ll Go’ needs no hyping up because its so awesome it speaks for itself – so stop reading this right now, go back up and listen to that wonderful song – and Number 2. for full musical education I believing its proper that all the Disney songs are given a shout out every now and then. I’m just kidding, I have no musical education, I just enjoy them.

Well, here we are at the end my wee readers, if you’ve enjoyed this particular musical trip down memory lane or would like to suggest an ‘evil’ song for next time, leave a comment down below. Also follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Until next time, my Wee Readers, have a Bonny Day.

The Top 4 Adventures I had on my Holiday

Great now that we have measured and ranked the food – now it is time to move on to the rest of the Holiday. And by that I mean of course, the rest of the holiday that I took pictures of – because you know the old saying, if there’s no photo it didn’t happen. We will begin our tale of Adventure up the cold roads of Scotland with a bowl of chili.

1: The First Adventure

The Prodigal Chili Returns

If you’ve read my previous post you already know how much I loved the Chili at Kristie’s Garden Centre – which was our first stop on our elustrius road trip towards the highlands of Scotland – so I won’t wax poetical about it here. I’ll just say that it was the best chili I’ve ever had at a restaurant…of any kind.

Teapots Galore!!!

Before we move on, my wee readers, I would just like to draw your attention up to the walls of Kristie’s Garden Center’s Restaurant. You may find yourself asking if what you are seeing is real. And yes, yes you are indeed seeing more novelty teapots than any person – not possessed of some kind of magical power – could count. So, want to show off you magic chops? Then comment down below with your guesses. Winner gets a Scottish Macaroon.

And now, my wee Readers, we take our first tentative steps into the Highlands of Scotland. Well, technically I didn’t step into the Highlands, I sat in a car and listened to awesome music. But…the view’s pretty spectacular never the less.

Finally a quick stop off at Logie Steading for tea and a look round the second hand bookshop. Before we reach our country lodge/ timeshare and our journey comes to an end.

2. The Highland Wildlife Park

Not a hop, skip and a jump from our timeshare stands The Highland Wildlife Park. Containing what was sure to be some of the most exciting animals ever to be seen on Scottish shores -or at least they had better be considering how much we payed to get in.

Look a bear

Behold, the majestic horse I captured (in picture form at least) in front of our car’s window. Yet, to truly be amazed look beyond that, up on the hill to the left of the big rock in front of the fence – it’s a bear. A freaking polar bear!!

Run!!

Behold the mighty Buffalo – one of the few clear photos I managed to take while driving round the Wildlife preserve. I’m just glad he didn’t charge 😁

Long Live the Tiger King

This Tiger was a showoff – always prowling in front of us lowly humans as if to say ‘yes, I could eat you. But I won’t because I like the attention. So come on, where’s my close up maggots?’ Wow that kind of got intense…moving on.

3: Cairngorms

This statute is to comenarate twenty years of the Cairngorm ski slopes – I think. To be honest I got so distracted by the statue that I forgot to look at the information underneath.

I’m especially proud of this photo – I took it just outside of the Cairngorm’s restaurant, where we had a particular nice bowl of chips and lentil soup.

Look at this one – can you even tell it was taken in modern day? Okay, you probably can but just turn off your brain for a second and pretend.

4: The Fun Garden at Brodie Castle

The Fun Garden at Brodie Castle is a strange experience. It’s made up like Alice in Wonderland – although I don’t remember any unicorns in Wonderland. But correct me if I’m wrong, I’ve never read the books.

We start by going down the rabbit hole

Marked by its very own GIANT BUNNY – there are no words for how awesome that is 😂

Our first stop in the Fun Garden is the miniature of Brodie Castle, which can make you feel like a giant when you stand inside it.

Then a step round the black and white spinning Teacups.

Then we take a turn near the giant’s table and chair. If you close your eyes and listen you can just hear his voice in the distance: ‘Fe Five For Fun, I smell the blood of a Scottish man.’ Joke’s on him, I’m not a man

Finally, our journey comes to an end with a glimpse of Brodie castle, leaving us feeling very small indeed.

Well, that’s the end of it my Wee Readers – thank you for your patience during the many days, weeks, years it took to complete this post. If you enjoyed this parade of holiday memories check me out on Instagram or follow me on Twitter. Until next time my wee readers, have a bonny day.

The Top 7 Vegan Meals I had on Holiday

Well I’m back, my Wee Readers. After 7 days up in the Cairngorm National Park staying at one of the Hilton Hotel’s Timeshares, I have returned with photos, and ideas for blog posts galore. Now, you may be asking yourself, if she had such a spectacular time up in the Highlands…why is she just talking about the food she ate? Well, that could be for one of two reasons.

Reason One: I’ve actually got several blog posts planned, and I’m starting with this one because I’m very tired from my holiday, and it was the easiest to write.

Or Reason Two: My mind has only three modes – Writing, Reading, and Eating, repeat when necessary.

Decide for yourself which sounds more plausible to you .

7. Five Bean Chili in a Baked Potato

We start this onslaught of vegan food-porn with a stop to Christies Garden center situated in the town of Fochabers .  They actually had an entire vegan menu, meaning we could each choose something different –  which for someone who was raised vegan in the North of Scotland, and now lives a good hour away from the more exciting Vegan Restaurants – is still a relatively novel concept. We got to eat different things from each other – and they weren’t all just different forms of chips!!

6. New Vegan Subway Sandwich

Mmmm…subway.

Subway has Vegan Sandwiches now! Subway has Vegan Sandwiches now! Eeeeeh! Sorry, sorry I blacked out with the joy of it. This Sandwich consisted of tomatoes, red onions, pickles, cucumbers, sweetcorn, some kind of nut fillet (but to be honest I’m guessing with that particular filling, I don’t actually know what it was); and my favorite, the jalapenos. I love jalapenos – the more feeling I loose in my tongue the better.

5. Pizza Express Frozen Pizza

I’m gonna get so Fat.

Behold the ever elusive creature that is the Vegan Frozen Pizza – rarer still to have a well known brand stamped on the box. I love this new vegan explosion of choice, I have so many more unhealthy things to eat than when I was growing up. I’m going to get so fat just because I can now !

4. Strawberries & Raspberries

It’s good to be home.

Picked fresh at the Findhorn Foundation – these juicy morsels of fruit are the perfect welcome home from a house that missed us dearly. Now, am I implying that the berries  were lying out like that for us when we got home? That my house has somehow reached sentience enough to go shopping? Don’t be silly, I’m not insane – where would a house possibly buy berries from?

3. Chips & Beans from the Happy Haggis

Chips, Chips, Wonderful Chips!

These chips were pretty delicious considering they were bought from a restaurant that I’m fairly certain was chosen purely for its name. Admittedly ‘The Happy Haggis’ is a very hard name to turn away from, and we’re Scottish – we know what a Haggis really is. That’s about it, I mean what else can I say, they were chips – awesome chips, but its not like they were a Five Bean Chili or anything. Speaking of…

2. Five Bean Chili, but this time with rice.

Chili with Rice!!!!

Run!! It’s the Return of the Five Bean Chili!!!! You may be asking yourself why this portion of Five Bean Chili gets its own allotted space instead of just squeezing in with its predecessor? Could it be that despite coming from the same restaurant, and going down the same gullet, one was widely inferior to the other? Particularly because one of them had been served with a side of coleslaw, because our server hadn’t really been listening when we asked for the Vegan option. I don’t mean to sound bitter, but it cannot be denied that the Chili that came with the side of rice was superior to the one that rode in on a bake potato. Also there was more of it for some reason.

1. Vegan Veggie Breckfast

Best Breakfast Ever!

And finally we reach the end of this little list of vegan gluttony with, what was hand to god, one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had. The Mountain Cafe located in the town of Avimore boasts an impressive array of vegan items on its menu. However if you’re in the area I recommend you stop in for Breakfast; whether it was the spectacular Potato rosti, or the the hash brown balanced on top of it; the sausage, the tomatoes or even the bake beans, the Veggie Breakfast is the most delicious thing you will ever taste. I don’t know how you make bake beans taste that good, or even significantly different from all other bake beans, but somehow they managed it. And the Mushrooms, oh my God, the Mushrooms…there are no words to describe the mushrooms.

Well that’s the end of it – wow, this took much longer than I thought it would. If you’re interested you can find these photos and many more like them from my holiday, up on Instagram. Or check me out on twitter to follow the procession there. I do have two more holiday related posts planned, but we’ll see how long those take – so, as always my wee readers until next time, have a bonny day.

The Top Ten Best Greek Gods out there + The Worst One

Or the Wee Lassie’s Most Valiant attempt to be Struck by a Bolt of Lightning

One of my current obsessions is Greek Mythology, specifically the Greek Pantheon. So in a clear sign of some form of latent death wish, here is a list of the Top Ten Best Greek Gods for your reading pleasure; plus the Worst One – because we’ve really got to seal that Lightning bolt in somehow.

So strap in my wee readers, we’re about to get very sacralgious.

10. Aphrodite

Roman Name: Venus

Husband: Hephaestus (divorced)

Lovers: Ares, Hermes, Poseidon, Dionysus, Anchises – and that’s just the ones she got pregnant by.

Kids: Eros, Phobus, Demmos, Harmonia, Pothos, Antero, Himeros ; Hermaphrodite ; Rhodos, Eryx ; Peithlo, The Graces, Priapus; Aenas

The Goddess of Love, Beauty, Desire and Pleasure – it was said in Heiod’s Theogony (188-206) that Aphrodite was born from the severed genitals of Uranus falling in the ocean. Later works such as Homer’s Iliad would try to claim that she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione – which is quite frankly a much duller origin story for the Goddess of Love. I mean, oh my Hades, Zeus cheated on Hera…that’s never happened before.

Jerk Level: 8/10

9. Demeter

Roman Name: Ceres

Husband: None, because Demeter doesn’t need that hassle.

Lovers: Zeus (what was she thinking?), Poseidon ( should we count him? I don’t think that was consensual).

Kids: Persophone

The daughter of the Titans Chronus and Rhea – like most of her siblings Demeter was eaten by her father because he heard a prophecy from his dethroned father, that one of his children would overthrow him. I think I’m beginning to see where all the issues stem from. Demeter is of course most memorable in the Myth of the Kidnap of Persephone where she basically starts the Ice Age – and all subsequent winters – when Hades kidnaps and then refuses to give back her daughter Persephone. I’ll have more to say on that particular Myth later in the post, but regardless of how you interpret that myth, I still think Demeter herself is kind of Bad-ass.

Jerk Level: 6/10 – because she did kill a lot of people with that first winter.

8. Pan

Roman Name: Faunus

Wife: None

Lovers: Syrinx, Echo, Pitys

Kids: Silenos, Lynx, Krotos, Xanthus

God of nature and the wild, shepherds, flocks, and often associated with sexuality – but to be honest what Greek God wasn’t to some extent. Pan’s parentage seems to be a bit of a mystery; there are many conflicting accounts in Greek Myths. Some tales say he’s the son of Zeus (the shock, Zeus had another child); some the son of Hermes, I even heard at least one that claimed he was the son of Penelope wife of Odysseus after an affair with Apollo.

In more modern times Pan’s image has often been associated with the Christian Devil – by stupid people. Seriously guys, the Greek God of the Wild has nothing to do with the Christian Devil – stop saying he does, you’ll hurt his feelings.

Jerk Level: 7/10 – because as much as I like him, he did seem to have a poor understanding of consent

7. Hera

Roman Name: Juno

Husband: Zeus – much, I’m sure, to her eternal regret.

Lovers: None, because she kept her wedding vows, Zeus.

Children: Angelos, Ares, Eileithyia, Enyo, Eris, Hebe, Hephaestus

I think the Hera we know best from Greek Myth is the wrathful and vengeful spouse of Zeus – especially since she continues to try and kill innocent women and children, when really the person she should be gunning for is Zeus. I mean come on Hera, get your priorities straight. That being said when she did like you, she was a good Goddess to have on your side – so long as you didn’t fall out of favor with her, like a certain boneheaded chaser of Golden fleeces.

Jerk Level: 9/10

6. Uranus

Roman Name: Caelus

Wife: Gaia

Lovers: None

Children: The Titans, the Cyclopes, the Meliae, the Furies, the Giants, the Hekatonkheires, and Aphrodite (sort of)

The Son and Husband of Earth Mother Gaia – because the Greek Pantheon would look at the Targaryens and say they were not inbred enough – Uranus is proof that you don’t have to be at all likable in Greek Myths to be enjoyable to the listener. Now true, my favorite Uranus myth is the one where he gets his balls hacked off – but he really had it coming. Plus, I just think his name is funny

Jerk Level: 10/10

5. Nemesis

Roman Name: the same I think.

Spouse: I don’t think she had one – but please, correct me if I’m wrong.

Lovers: Zeus (via rape), Tartarus

Children: Helen of Troy, Clytemnestra, Castor, and Pollux

The Underworld Goddess of divine retribution – in one of the many Greek myths where Zeus is awful, to save herself from his pursuit Nemesis turned herself into a goose. This of course did not stop Zeus, because nothing does – so he turned himself into a swan and mated with her anyway. This led Nemesis to lay two eggs – with two sets of twins inside. One of whom would grow up to be the famed Helen of Troy. Of course other myths claim the children where fathered and mothered by other people – but they’re not on this list, so who cares.

Jerk Level: 5/10 – because she’s just doing her job when she punishes you.

4. Dionysus

Roman Name: Bucchus

Wife: Ariadnes

Lovers: Goddesses – Aphrodite and Aura ; Nymphs – Beroe, Kronois, Nikaia; Mortal Women – Erigone, Althaia, and Pallene; Satyr – Ampelos; Mortal Man – Polymnos or Hyplipuos

Kids: Priapus, Hymen, Thoas, Staphylus, Oenopian, Comus, Phthonus, the Graces, Deianina

The God of Wine, fruitfulness, Parties, festivals, madness, chaos, drunkenness , ecstasy and for some strange reason the theater. Another illegitimate child of Zeus, one myth claimed that Hera killed his mother while she was pregnant with him; so, to save his life, Zeus took the unborn infant and sewed him into his thigh and carried him to term. It’s almost unbelievable – Zeus did something relatively decent.

Jerk Level: 7/10

3. Persephone

Roman Name: Proserpina

Husband: Hades

Lovers: Maybe Adonis, Zeus sometimes (raped obviously) but sources vary

Kids: Melinoe and Zagereus

The daughter of Demeter and her jerk brother Zeus; Persephone was the personification of vegetation and the Goddess of Spring and Nature before she was kidnapped and later married to the God of the Underworld, Hades. After which she also carried the title of Goddess and Queen of the Underworld. Whether her abduction was exactly that, or a mutually agreed upon elopement is a mater up for some debate – but whatever the case, their later marriage seemed to be one of equal partnership. The Greeks feared Persephone as much as they feared Hades.

Jerk Level: 6/10

2. Hephaestus

Roman Name: Vulcan

Wife:Aphrodite (divorced), Aglaia

Lovers: One attempted rape of Athena, and an accendental impregnation of Earth Mother Gaia

Kids: Thailia, Eucleia, Eupheme, Philophrosyne, Cabeiri and Euthenia

Thrown off Mount Olympus when he was born, because Hera found him so ugly. Yeah…not every bad thing she did was provoked by Zeus. Found and raised by nymphs, he returned to Mount Olympus when he was grown and trapped his mother on a golden throne; and demanded the Love Goddess Aphrodite in exchange for Hera’s freedom. He got this – much I’m sure, to his later regret.

Jerk Level: 7/10

1. Hades

Roman Name: Pluto, Dis

Wife: Persephone

Lovers: Possible Minthe, who Persephone later turned into the Mint plant.

Kids: Zagreus, Macaria, Melinoe, Plutus, and the Erinyes

I don’t care what Hollywood thinks of him, on this blog we respect the Lord of the Underworld. Despite modern adaptions portraying him as a Satan like figure – at least I can follow the logic of that misrepresentation – Hades is one of the better behaved of the Greek Gods. He’s certainly the best out of the big three – you know, kidnapping that caused the earth to freeze half the year, aside.

Jerk Level: 6/10

+ 1. Zeus

Roman Name: Jupiter

Wife: Hera

Lovers: We don’t have all day, just assume everyone.

Kids: Also, everyone – heck, Zeus slept with so many people we probably all have a little bit of his DNA in us.

Let’s be honest, all Greek Gods are sort of Jerks – that’s why I included a Jerk Level to each of their bios, felt like a lie without it – but no one quite competes with Zeus. Whether he’s turning into a swan to rape someone; turning his lovers into flies to eat and murder their children; kidnapping implied-underage boys to be his ‘cup-bearer’; screwing his older brothers out of their birthright; or breaking his wife’s heart over and over again – Zeus is singular among the jerks of the world.

Jerk Level: 10000000000000000000000/10

Well that’s the end of it, if you’ve enjoyed this slightly sacrilegious experience check me out on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest; or if you haven’t already, follow my wee blog. Until next time my Wee Readers…is…is that a Bolt of Lightning heading straight for my head?

The Top Eight People George R. R. Martin Stole from to Make Game of Thrones.

Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration; but we can’t exactly say that the events in a Song of Ice ad Fire don’t bear a striking resemblance to things that George R.R. Martin doesn’t own. Thus to celebrate the end of Game of Thrones here are eight of them. Why eight, instead of ten? Why, because there were eight seasons of Game of Thrones…not because I couldn’t think of ten.

8. The Lancasters and the Yorks

The Lancasters and the Yorks were two cadet branches of the royal house of Plantagenet. House of Lancaster was descended from Henry III’s second son Edmund Crouchback; while House York was descended from Edward III’s fourth surviving son Edmund Langley, first Duke of York.  Both houses produced several English Kings over the years, and were major players in the war of the Roses. A series of battles between claimants to the throne which ended with the ascension of Henry VII to the throne and his marriage to Elizabeth of York.

George R. R. Martin’s Battle of the Five Kings is heavily based upon this war. In fact as we look closer can see parallels between GoT Characters and the members of Lancaster and York. Particularly King Henry VI (King Robert Baratheon), his wife Margaret of Anjou (Cersei), their supposedly cruel son Edward, Prince of Wales (Joffery) and Margaret’s enemy and the King’s once trusted adviser Richard of York, 3rd duke of York (Ned Stark).

This video from TedEd explains it better than I can:

I mean he didn’t even really change the names.

7. Shakespeare

I know, this is a bit of a cheat – but hear me out, before you light your torches. Most of our modern perceptions of the Plantagenet line, the war of the roses, and particularly Richard III don’t come from history itself, but their depiction in William Shakespeare’s plays.

Our closets parallel between GRRM’s and Shakespeare’s works is Stannis Baratheon. Like Shakespeare’s Richard III, Stannis vies for a throne his dead brother once occupied – by calling his nephews illegitimate and trying to take the throne from them. However, unlike King Richard, not only does he not succeed, but his nephews actually are illegitimate. We might also see some similarities between Stannis and Macbeth – both desired to be king, both rely on the prophesies of  ‘witches’; and both end really regretting it – though possibly for different reasons.

6. William the Conqueror

He is often cited as the first official king of his country, despite there being many, many kings before him. He is a conqueror, a descended of royalty from a distant land; and the first of a ‘great’ dynasty stretching through the centuries.

And that man’s name is Aegon Targaryen …what? You were expecting someone else?

5. Empress Matilda & her cousin Stephan I

Once upon a time in a land not so different from our own there lived an old king, who named his daughter as his heir. But you see girls could not be kings – they could be Queens but everyone seemed to forget this – so the throne  went to the princesses’ closest legitimate male relative.

Which pissed the Princess off…so there was a war, and many people died.

This is the story of the English civil war between Empress Maud and her cousin Stephan I. Sorry no Dance of Dragons in this story, but my god that description did sound like something else, didn’t it?

4. Hadrian (Or rather his wall)

I’m a Wildling. What? Haven’t you seen the show, or read the books? According to George R R Martin anyone who lives behind Hadrian’s Wall is a Wildling; and I live in Scotland. What? It was just based on it…you mean to tell me there’s not a giant ice wall separating one part of Britain from the other? I’ve been lied to! Right, where’s my mammoth, I’ve got a wall to scale.

3. The Massacre of Glencoe

In 1691, every Scottish Clan was called upon to renounce the desponed Scotish/ English King James VII (brother to the previous king Charlse II) and swear their alligances instead to King William of Orange (husband to James VII’s daughter Mary). Because of externuiting cercumstances Clan MacDonald was ever-so slightly late with their pledge thus the King’s men degreed that the clan was to bne cut down ‘root and branch’.

By claiming the sacred right of hospitality the soldiers were able to gain access to the castle, since the MacDonald were obliged to shelter them. When the Clan had retired for the night, the soldiers slaughtered them in their beds; several woman and children escaped in the night, but because of the storm outside they soon died of exposure.

Meanwhile, sometime in the early nineties George RR Martin wrote a shockingly toned down version of this tragedy into his Song of Ice and Fire.

2. J.R.R Tolkien

From the medieval setting, the word Warg, the character of Samwell Tarly, to the very R. R. in his name – it all bares a striking resemblance to another fantasy epic author we know well. To be fair, almost every fantasy released after Tolkien’s work steals from him in some way; and Martin certainly doesn’t do it as blatantly as someone like JK Rowling does. That being said, it is still strange that a man who professes to not like things like Fan-fiction would have such great similarities between his work and another author’s .

1.    Bran, Celtic god of Prophecy and Ravens

Finally, in honor of his Royal Majesty King Bran the Broken; First of his Name; King of the Andals; and the First Men; Lord of the Six Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm; I present to you the Celtic god of Prophecy and Ravens…Bran.

Okay, so when you get down to it there’s not a huge wroth of similarities between this particular King and God – I doubt very much Bran Stark will have his severed head used for prophecies; yet it’s still very weird to be innocently researching Celtic gods and to come across a Game of Thrones name. And not even a random one like Ned or John; no, given Bran was the God of Prophecy and Ravens – its very likely that the character who becomes the three eyed Raven was at least partially based on this Celtic Mythological figure.

Now, you might be asking yourself – what exactly did I intend to prove with this bizarre wee list of mine? That we shouldn’t take inspiration from other sources? No, of course not – no one would ever write anything if that were the case. That perhaps Martin should be less critical to those who write in pre-existing worlds considering how little of his own work is wholly original? Hmm, only slightly. Mainly, I think it’s important a to draw attention to the Historical, Mythological and Literary influences of Game of Thrones. Because no matter what you thought of the Final episode – we’re still feeling the loss of it, as we would with any show we loved. But if we dig deep into our own history and mythology we can discover that the story isn’t over. Just because they’re not called Targaryen doesn’t make the Kings any less mad, or the wars they waged any less terrible. When you look at it that way, we don’t even have to wait for GRRM to finish ‘The Winds of Winter’ to get our Thrones on.

If you’ve enjoyed this mad little foray into my mind, follow the wee blog if you haven’t already; or check me out on Twitter or Instagram. Until next time my wee readers from both sides of the Wall…have a bonny day.