Now playing// Soundtrack to a grey sky summer

Beats, Blog

pexels-photoWhen summer arrives, I’m never usually completely satisfied. I have romantic visions of sunny parks brimming with flowers, barbecues and pimms. FRISBEE. The sickly sweet smell of suncream. Maybe even the chance to venture outside without a coat on.

I forget the reality. Skin prickled with goosebumps, the sun staying stubbornly tucked under a cloud. The feeling of water splashing up your legs as you plunge a sandled foot into a muddy puddle.

Constant never-ending DRIZZLY rain.

THIS MISERY WILL NOT DO.

The grey weather is no excuse to be glum, merely a reason to get snug. I’ll pop on a chunky cardigan, make a coffee, light a candle, stay inside and peep at the grey clouds from behind glass.

A soundtrack to sombre skies:

  1. First Aid Kit – America
  2. Hozier – Cherry Wine
  3. Kings of Leon – Pyro
  4. Fleet Foxes – Mykonos
  5. America – A Horse With No Name
  6. Kygo, Maty Noyes – Stay
  7. DJ Snake, Bipolar Sunshine – Middle
  8. TV On The Radio – Happy Idiot
  9. Rusted Root – Send Me On My Way
  10. First Aid Kit – Stay Gold
  11. Half Moon Run – Call Me In The Afternoon
  12. Tom Odell – Wrong Crowd
  13. MisterWives – Riptide
  14. Maroon 5 – Misery (acoustic)
  15. Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetry Sings

Glastonbury festival. Image by jaswooduk from UK (Glastonbury 2011) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Things NOT to take to Glastonbury

Blog, Sights

Whenever I go to a festival I always ask the Internet what to pack, and the Internet usually obliges with handy blogposts and checklists for me to use as inspiration when creating my own list.

Over the years I have managed (despite all that faffing around) to screw myself over in some way or the other, and in attempt to learn from mistakes, this year I have made a list of things NOT to bring.

The plastic bag

Ikea bag

Don’t bring the majority of your belongings in a plastic bag. One year, I decided to pack two boxes of wine and three litres of premixed gin and tonic (among a plethora of other crap) in one of those big blue plastic bags you get from IKEA. I can’t remember why I thought this was a good idea, but I realised the moment I got out of the car and everything rolled out onto the floor that I had made a disastrous decision.

There is NO WAY to comfortably carry this bag. After about five minutes of walking, with big purple lines cut into my hands and shoulders I dropped the bag dramatically to the ground and resorted to dragging it behind me like a sledge… until the inevitable hole wore through the plastic and I was forced to scoop the whole lot up in my arms and carry it like a baby.  In summary, get a backpack.

The playsuit
Beware the playsuit – it is a false friend. “What a fun, summery, festival-appropriate garment!” you think to yourself until you are having to get completely undressed (wellies and all), in a compost toilet that’s filled with a foot of sticky mud and smells like a farmyard. Leave the playsuit at home.

The things to wash with

It’s a nice idea. But the notion that I will wash with water (and not baby wipes) is a fantasy that I will no longer indulge in. Every year, the travel-sized shower gel (that costs almost as much as the full bottle) the camping towel and shampoo gets packed into the bag where it stays for five days until it is unpacked again after the festival.

This year I will be making do with babywipes, dry shampoo, a spritz of perfume and the knowledge that I’m a little bit more disgusting than I like to believe.  

The good wine

Red wine makes you sleepy and warm white wine will always taste bad whether it’s good quality or not. So leave the nice stuff at home, and buy something that defines itself on the box as a ‘wine cocktail’. Country Manor. This wine is so revoltingly bad that you may find yourself mixing it with everything from lukozade to barbecue sauce in an attempt to make it drinkable. You will not succeed. But at least you didn’t waste any money and when the campsite supply of alcohol reaches an all time low on Saturday night you will have an emergency stash.

Anything you definitely want to take home

The first festival I went to was Reading at the age of 15. Beforehand, I was well and truly lured in by the “Festival style” window display in Topshop and spent a fortune and a considerable amount of time and effort trying to look casual, laid back and bohemian.

Within hours of arriving at Little John’s Farm, I had managed to spill a whole tray of beer all over myself, fall over in the mud, lose a shoe and witness a friend’s hat (that had been painstakingly selected and purchased) plucked from her head and hurled across the campsite never to be seen again by a drunken passer-by. In that moment, as the hat soared high above the tents, I realised it was utterly stupid to take anything to a festival that you definitely like and definitely want to keep. 

When I got back to my campsite, I saw that someone was urinating on my tent, my camping chair had been used as kindling to start a fire and someone had drawn a penis on the side of my tent with toothpaste. So if you can help it, don’t spend too much money on fringed waistcoats, floral vintage dresses or fancy Cath Kidston tents because your festival will be spent worrying about them or being annoyed.

Anything you definitely DON’T want to take home 

This might appear to contradict the previous point, but BEAR WITH. Glastonbury is a real working farm and they have strict policies on litter. For that reason, if you find yourself thinking “I’ll pack that, and if I don’t need it I’ll just leave it there…” UNPACK IT IMMEDIATELY. 

Rubbish left at Reading

Carrying stuff home is so much worse than carrying it there. While the drink and snacks may be gone, your bag will still be heavy, but you’ll have much less energy than you did on the outgoing trip, you’ll be exhausted from the festival and sad that it’s all over. The last thing you want to be doing is lugging a load of junk that you thought might be useful or might be funny, all the way home. And the other option, leaving it there, will just exacerbate your post-Glastonbury blues, as you can add the guilt of ‘leaving a trace’ to your list of things to be miserable about. 


My friend Heidi-Lee has written a great post about what you should pack for Glastonbury for her blog Titian and Turmeric.

Image of Glastonbury festival by jaswooduk from UK (Glastonbury 2011) 

Urban Jungle Bloggers: Planty Appetit!

Blog, Eats

 Incredibly late to the table with this post (pun not intended, honest!)

This month’s Urban Jungle Bloggers topic is all about plants used as a table setting. So I invited some of my favourite house plants to join us for dinner.

Readers, let me introduce you to Viola the African Violet, Keith a big out of control Kalanchoe that some friends gave me a few years ago and Penelope the Peperomia.



The gang joined us for some home made sushi, served with little shots of Suntory whisky that Gavin picked up in Tokyo last week.

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My new personalised chopsticks were also a gift from Tokyo. I think Gavin intended for my name to be written in Japanese but the request was lost in translation. I love them all the same.

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I absolutely adore my house plants. They are like little green photosynthesizing pets, that rely on you to stay alive, and in return clean the air for you, filling it with that handy oxygen stuff we so rely on. I think I’ll definitely start inviting them for dinner more often, they were really no trouble…

Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series run by two bloggers, Igor (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith (JOELIX.com). To view more from the glass and plants theme, visit the Urban Jungle Bloggers website

Lloyds of Kew bookshop

A perfect day in Kew

Blog, Sights

Kew Gardens Palm House.jpgKew is a lovely suburb in West London famous for its acclaimed botanical gardens. It’s also home to tons of lovely independent shops and cafes, so if you’re planning a day trip to Kew Gardens, I’d definitely recommend a few stops on your way. Here’s my recipe for a perfect day in Kew.

Kew Village

Arrive at Kew Gardens station in the morning. Despite serving the London Underground, the station is above the surface of the earth and is pleasantly dissimilar to the grubby litter-strewn station you come to expect when taking the tube. The leafy, open-air platforms are lined with palm trees and flowers and there’s a cosy looking pub with a large ornate curved window that overlooks Platform 1. 

Kew Gardens station

Kew Gardens station in the sun

You’ll emerge from the station into Kew Village, a sweet little square, with independent shops ranging from a butcher and a florist to an organic wholefood store. The list of shops resembles a nursery rhyme, although the shopkeepers vehemently deny bathing together.

P.M. Flowers in Kew Village


Compiling a picnic

After a little mooch around the shops, you can begin compiling the QUEEN of all picnics. Oliver’s Organic Wholefood Store is filled with delicious salads, cheeses, chutneys, and snacks – all of which, as the name suggests, are organic.

On Saturdays there’s a little stall in the corner of the square where you can buy bread and cakes and other tasty baked things. If you fortuitously visit on the first Sunday of the month, the streets are closed for Kew Village Market – a monthly event with stalls selling seasonal and local produce.

Chutneys in Oliver’s Wholefood Store

Visit The Good Wine Shop to pick up your tipple of choice. They sell chilled wine, french cidre and locally brewed beer to suit all budgets. The friendly non-snooty staff are always happy to help, even if your request is for something “cold and cheap.”

The Good Wine Shop: Does exactly what it says on the tin


A vintage bookshop

As you leave the village, wander down the road to Lloyds of Kew bookshop along Mortlake Terrace. Looking like the library of a crumbling stately home, the independent bookshop sells rare, vintage, antiquarian and modern second hand books.

Inside, the tomes are piled high, the till balanced on a desk behind plants and freshly cut flowers. Have a coffee while rummaging for a classic paper back and then proceed to Kew Gardens.


Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is the largest collection of living plants in the whole world and an important centre for botanical research and conservation. It’s also a stunning place to visit.

I’ve done a lot of wandering around and I think the perfect place for a picnic is the Redwood Grove on the West side of the grounds. This area, planted in the 1860s, is home to some colossal trees known as giant and coastal redwoods. They are the tallest species of tree on Earth, can grow over 100 metres high and live for thousands of years. Pretty bloody impressive! Ask for a map or directions when you get in to find this magical forest.

After a leisurely lunch, have a wander round the botanical gardens making sure you don’t miss the Japanese garden, the lake or the treetop walkway.

Kew Gardens Palm House - A Perfect Day in Kew by A Ranson Note http://nicolaranson.comBlossom in Kew Gardens

My second favourite part of Kew Gardens after the redwood grove is the Palm House. The vast Victorian structure is made of iron and glass and houses hundreds of palms. It’s like stepping into an rainforest, birds will cheep, and the nostalgic elegance of the glasshouse will make your hands twitch to take hundreds of photos.

Palm House Kew Gardens, via A Ranson Note nicolaransonPalm House, Kew Gardens via a Ranson Note http://nicolaranson.com

For more photos of Kew Gardens, visit my post about the Princess of Wales Conservatory.


An evening in Kew

On your way out of the gardens, you can stop in one of the various pubs that surround Kew Green for a cocktail or a G&T. The Coach and Horses usually have a really reasonable cocktail of the day, along with comfy chairs, a roaring fire (in the winter) and a library room.

There are lots of tasty places to eat in Kew, from the Michelin starred Glasshouse, to the French restaurant Ma Cuisine Bistro. The pubs around Kew Green also serve really great food and many have wonderful gardens for you to sit and enjoy the evening sun.

My personal favourite is a Korean BBQ restaurant called O.PPA, located along Kew Road as you head towards Richmond. Each table is fitted with a little barbecue grill which you use to cook your own food! Cue lots of hilaaaaaarious jokes from your boyfriend complaining about going to a restaurant then having to cook your own dinner. Still, I think it’s great fun and a perfect way to end a wonderful day in Kew!

 

Bicarbonate of soda and apple cider vinegar DIY shampoo recipe

How to save the environment and get hair like Kate Middleton

Blog, Writes

This story starts in the past, so please dear readers, conjure a flashback harp song in your head and set your mind back to six weeks ago….

****

When Gavin arrived home one Sunday afternoon, he made the mistake of telling me my hair looked nice.

I leapt up from the sofa with barely contained excitement.

“DID YOU JUST SAY MY HAIR LOOKS NICE?”

He looked slightly alarmed. “Erm…yes?”

“Do you think it looks better than normal?”

He continued to look bemused. “Yes, that’s why I…”

“Why do you think it looks better?”

“Errr…”

“Does it look shinier?”

“Yes, it looks…”

“Does it look healthier?”

“Yes, it’s…”

I didn’t let him finish because I had reached the twist to the tale. It was time to do the big reveal. DRUM ROLL:

“I WASHED IT WITH BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR!” I shouted with a triumphant flourish.

“Oh right.”

He pulled a face, then took a handful of hair and did a big sniff. With surprise, he conceded that it didn’t smell like vinegar.

Bicarbonate of soda and apple cider vinegar DIY shampoo recipe

Although I may have used some leading questions during the interrogation, I can confirm that my experiment with homemade shampoo definitely paid off. My hair does, genuinely look and feel a lot nicer, shinier and healthier than when I used my old regular shampoo. Six weeks on, I’m still using the concoction.  

Why did I do this?

Originally, I decided to make my own shampoo as part of a personal mission to be an eco-friendly Earth Mother, as recommended by  blogger and journalist, Madeleine Somerville. 

However, since trying it, I’ve realised there are MANY, MANY more reasons to make your own shampoo, not least the feeling of INCREDIBLE SMUGNESS it gives me. I sashay around, swishing my shiny hair like a cross between Kate Middleton and a dressage pony, with the knowledge that I am hacking the shit out of life! 

I’m saving money, zero plastic bottles are being used and disposed of and my hair looks better than it ever has! Plus, I’m not covering myself with a load of dubious, unpronounceable and potentially toxic chemicals like “Phthalates” that are often found in shampoo. (Seriously PHTHALATES. It sounds like a type of dinosaur, not something I should be putting anywhere near my head.)

Life = well and truly hacked.

 

Just to clarify, under no circumstances do I think I actually look like Kate Middleton. This photo is merely to show that my hair looks clean. Like it has been washed.

 

All you need is less

The idea came from a funny and informative little book I read earlier in the year called All You Need is Less by Madeleine Somerville. Madeleine also writes columns for The Guardian and blogs for her website. All three sources are filled with non-preachy advice, simple recipes and easy ways to make your life less wasteful and more eco-friendly.

All you need is less by Madeleine Somerville

The recipe involves mixing a tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda with water. Then once it’s fizzed, pouring it on your head and giving the whole lot a good ol’ rub, Ainsley Harriott style.

After a rinse, mix a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar with water and pour over your hair and then rinse it off.

A drop in the ocean

I know that making my own shampoo is a tiny contribution. I’m just one tiny, miniscule human bean, on a vast planet with billions of other beans going about their business. But just because I can’t do everything, doesn’t mean I should do nothing.

Over my lifetime, I’ve roughly calculated that not using shampoo, conditioner and plastic bottles of shower gel will save around 4,000 bottles. That’s loads. Everything I buy and throw away has to go somewhere, therefore the less I consume the better.

I can’t prevent animal cruelty. It doesn’t give me free rein to wander round kicking puppies. I can’t clear up all the litter in London, but again, it doesn’t mean I’m walking around chucking cans everywhere. And just because I can’t single-handedly reverse climate change and the massive impact the human race is having on our Earth, doesn’t mean I can’t try to reduce my own consumption.

Visit Madeleine’s blog here to find out how to make the shampoo and conditioner and for a link to her great book. I give this recipe a big thumbs up. Thanks Madeleine!

Lemonade by Beyoncé. A lesson in getting people to listen.

Beats, Blog

Like most human beings, this week I’ve been listening to, watching and loving Lemonade, the new visual album by Beyoncé.

beyonce-lemonade

In a world where humans have shorter attention spans than the famously absent-minded goldfish, it’s easy to listen to music without really LISTENING to it. It’s on in the background, while you read or work or make dinner. Music is never your main focus, because nothing is. We have multiple browser windows open in our minds at all time. Our attention is perpetually divided.

Lemonade is Beyoncé snapping her fingers and asking you to look at her when she’s speaking to you. She’s asking for – no COMMANDING – your full attention.

Beyonce lemonade screenshot.jpg

Lemonade isn’t just for the ears, it’s an immersive, full sensory experience. You can feel the warmth of the fire she sets and the iciness of her voice as she whispers “I can wear her skin over mine.” You can see the vindication in her face as she smashes the windscreen with the baseball bat. You can even taste it – the word lemonade is so evocative you can almost feel the bitter sweetness of the sugary lemons on your tongue.

Beyonce fire Lemonade2

I’m listening to Lemonade differently to the way that I normally listen to music.

When I was younger, I’d always listen to the whole album. I’d listen to Side A from start to finish then I’d turn the cassette over and listen all the way to the end. I knew the words to every song, even ones I didn’t like so much.

Now, when served an album, I don’t treat it like a full meal I treat it like it’s a buffet.  I pick one or two tracks and I add them to a playlist or I listen to them on their own. I see the album as 12 separate pieces gathered together that I can easily break apart. I don’t enjoy the album for what it is, a carefully crafted whole.

Lemonade makes you listen to it all in one go. It asks you not to take it apart. It’s been carefully put together.

Lemonade says stop what you’re doing. Put down your phone. Look at me. Listen to what I am saying. And don’t leave until I’m finished.

Watch/listen to Lemonade on Tidal or download it on iTunes.

Crocus in glass vase, Urban Jungle Bloggers

Urban Jungle Bloggers: Plants & Glass

Blog, Sights

This will be my first ever post for Urban Jungle Bloggers. Aloha!

The theme this month is ‘glass and plants’ so I thought I’d share a few photos of a little crocus bulb I planted in a glass vase back in December.

Crocus bulb in glass, Urban Jungle Bloggers

I love the long noodle-esque roots that swirl around in the water.

Curly roots, crocus in glass, Urban Jungle Bloggers

The little tiny bulb has enough nutrients to put down these long straggly jellyfish roots, and to sprout a delicate flower without needing soil which I find amazing.

Crocus in glass vase, Urban Jungle Bloggers

It’s not all good news though. This fella started well, sprouting a little shoot and a tiny root. But then nothing! The promising sprout stopped growing abruptly and started to go all brown. Lots of care and attention failed to resurrect his progress. I think perhaps there was too much water in the vase and the bulb rotted. Sorry flower!

Little mouldy shoot.JPG

And finally, as this month’s theme is glass and plants I thought I’d share some photos of one of the amazing glasshouses in Kew Gardens. I live nearby so when I saw this month’s theme I popped over to take some photos.

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The Princess of Wales conservatory was opened in 1987 and is home to cacti, ferns, orchids, waterlilies and even water dragons! When you’re inside it’s like being in a giant terrarium. Wandering around, I feel like a little Minimian character.

 

This strange looking jade vine hangs down and has these strange almost-glow in the dark coloured flowers. In the wild, they are polluted by bats, but the ones in Kew are hand-pollinated by Kew Gardens staff who go round armed with little paintbrushes.

The plant only flowers every 2 – 3 years so it was great to see it! The destruction of rainforests in the Phillipines, the jade vine’s natural habitat means the vines are under threat.

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Urban Jungle Bloggers is a monthly series run by two bloggers, Igor (Happy Interior Blog) and Judith (JOELIX.com). To view more from the glass and plants theme, visit the Urban Jungle Bloggers website

The most annoying types of London commuter

Blog, Writes

London tube station

Board any London tube train during rush hour and I can guarantee you’ll come across one of the following people:

The squeeze and leaner

There is mathematically and scientifically no room left in the tube carriage. Yet this optimistic opportunist will take a look at the heaving, sweaty, compacted mass of bodies and think “yeaaaaahhh. I can squeeze on there.” They take a step into the carriage, their toes teetering on the edge and they lean, trying not to make eye contact with the people whose internal organs are being squished into oblivion as a result. Mate! Just get the next one!

The “move down” brigade

These clowns take it upon themselves to shout down the carriage ordering everyone to move down, with scant disregard for the hidden short people, luggage or guide dogs that might be taking up the space they feel is rightfully theirs.

Yes, sometimes there is a microscopic area of space that hasn’t been completely saturated with human beings, but bellowing uncouthly down the train isn’t likely to make others cooperate.

The person with luggage

Little dog pulling massive suitcase

I strongly feel that a rush hour train should employ the same strict restrictions on luggage as those imposed by budget airlines. If you can’t hold it on your lap it’s too big. I’m sick of having to stand while an Antler wheely case gets a seat.

The noise pollutant

Craig David born to do it, headphones

I thought that those Craig David Born to Do It style headphones were noise-cancelling. MYTH BUSTING KLAXON: THEY ARE NOT. A good percentage of them aren’t anyway. I don’t want to listen to Ed Sheeran at the best of times, let alone via the medium of tinny secondhand sound wailing out of a fellow passenger’s cheap headphones. Here are my requests in order of priority:

  • Turn it down. And/or:
  • Get better headphones and/or:
  • Stop listening to terrible music.

People with the black lunggiphy

If you’ve got the plague, then for heaven’s sake take a sick day. Don’t decide to take a busy train, then stand there snorting and grunting, coughing and wheezing like a farmyard animal. It’s disgusting, it’s spreading germs and let’s face it, you’re probably in some made up job anyway and are unlikely to do anything remotely important when you get to your destination. Believe it or not, the Earth will carry on turning without you for a day: STAY AT HOME.

The time waster

As the train approaches a station, they shuffle in their seat, put their book away and start staring expectantly out of the window. Then when the train comes to a stop, THEY DON’T GET OFF. You have already mentally sat down and you end up in their lap. Their fault.

And finally, for reasons of impartiality I’ll add myself to this list:

The over-the-shoulder reader

468px-Joseph_Wright_of_Derby._Girl_Reading_a_Letter_by_Candlelight,_With_a_Young_Man_Peering_over_Her_Shoulder._c.1760-62

In my defense I don’t take my own paper because I don’t want to spend my commute reading the Metro. It’s rubbish and it makes my fingers all inky. But sometimes, before I really know what I’m doing, I find myself engrossed in someone else’s paper. It must be incredibly annoying, and it definitely doesn’t go unnoticed; once a man asked if I was ready for him to turn the page and another time a lady offered me her copy. For all those unfortunate souls who end up sat next to me, I can only apologise.

If you liked this, you might like: LIES ESTATE AGENTS TELL

Crochet sunburst granny square afghan baby blanket

Crochet// How I made my sunburst baby blanket

Blog, Writes

Crochet sunburst granny square afghan baby blanket

Two of our best friends are about to have their first baby and Gavin and I are really excited about becoming a Funcle and Faunt (fake-uncle and fake-aunt)!  Even though I haven’t met the little champion yet, I know they are going to be an absolute dude/dudette. As a ‘welcome to the world’ gift for the new tiny person, I made this sparkly sunburst crochet baby blanket.

Crochet sunburst granny square afghan baby blanket

The wool

In a local shop I found some sparkly DK wool in white, pink and blue pastel colours. Like a magpie, I was sucked in by the shiny things and I bought the LOT. Aside from the glitter, I chose this wool because it’s acrylic, machine washable and I thought that would make it durable enough to withstand anything the baby throws at it!

I’ve not used sparkle wool before and if I’m honest, I probably won’t again. Yes, the blanket looks like it belongs to a magical unicorn. Yes, this little handcrafted baby quilt would feel at home in Disney’s Cinderella CastleAlas, the sparkliness of the wool made it difficult to crochet with. Specifically, the shimmery threads are tighter than the normal threads and they make the wool look less smooth and a bit wiry once finished. 

The process

To make the blanket, I firstly consulted the internet, and all those who sail on her. (Weird thing to write. Very weird. Sorry).

As I mentioned in a previous post, I find it difficult to follow a pattern straight away, so I first enlisted the help of Sarah-Jayne from Bella Coco and her infinitely helpful YouTube tutorials. I crocheted along to the video above to make the first few squares. Then I decided I was ready to use a pattern. This blogpost by Nitty Bits was really helpful.

In total, I crocheted sixteen sunburst granny squares.

Nicola-sunburst-crochet-granny-square-baby-blanket-gif

Once I’d made the squares I watched this video tutorial which showed me how to stitch them all together. There’s a number of different ways to attach granny squares, but this particular method is my favourite and uses a needle and thread. I personally think it looks the neatest.

This arduous task took a bit longer than expected, so I’d recommend allowing a extra time to do this!

I then weaved in all the loose strands of wool – again something that took longer than expected! Slugs on the Refrigerator has a great tutorial that shows how to do this.

I then crocheted a border around the outside using white and blue wool until I thought it was big enough. This is the finished result!

Crochet sunburst afghan baby blanket

Have you ever made a baby blanket? Share a link in the comments section!

 

Now playing// A perfect April Fools’ Day playlist

Beats, Blog
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Rifle Paper Co. Honey Bee Wall Calendar

April Fools’ Day. A wonderful, weird day where for centuries, little rascals across the world have been playing sneaky tricks on each other.

My favourite ever April Fools’ Day stunt took place when I was about eight years old.

Early one Sunday morning I  crept downstairs, went through my parents’ filing cabinet and took out their holiday booking confirmation. This was in the days when paper was a thing – remember that stuff?

I used my dad’s work line to call the house phone and in my best Irish accent (which I had been perfecting for weeks) told my poor parents that their holiday had been cancelled.

Somehow, I managed to convince my mother that I was indeed Theresa from Thomas Cook. It was only once she had passed the phone over to my Dad that they realised it was a Sunday, an odd day for Theresa to be working…

I won’t be trying to play any pranks on my unsuspecting family or friends this year. Instead, I have compiled an April Fool’s Day playlist in order to mark this weird/great day. Basically, it’s a selection of unrelated songs, tenuously linked by the word FOOL. Enjoy!

1. Fools Gold by The Stone Roses

2. Love Foolosophy by Jamiroquai

3. Lovefool by The Cardigans

4. Foolish by Tyler James

5. I’m a Fool to Want You by Billie Holiday

6. Trick me by Kelis