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Reasons To Be Cheerful #68: Being a Mature Student

21 Jul

the young ones

Many people would likely balk at the suggestion of going back to uni five years after graduating. You can’t really do halls when you’re 27 and nights like ‘Fun Factory’ and ‘Rubber Duck’ just don’t seem to have the shiny allure that they once did. However when you find yourself stuck in a career rut, there’s no solution quite like getting into a few grand’s worth of debt. But there are a few other reasons to be cheerful about getting back in the student game. Here they are.

1. The Bargains

Everyone knows you can get away with having a railcard just past the 26 cut-off, but when you’re a mature student you get one for a whole extra year. And it only costs the same as it would anyone. And there’s the student discount: Topshop, asos etc. Only thing is, I generally forget to use the card. Sometimes I actively avoid using it for 2 reasons: 1. the horrendous photo and 2. more to my shame, I’m a bit embarrassed to be a student.

2. The Free Time

I remember when I first got my undergraduate timetable. 12 hours a week. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Course, a few weeks in it was all par for the course and the occasional times when you had to be in for 9 were seen as some kind of inhumane penalty. In the first few months of my masters, I became reaccquainted with daytime TV. It was definitely meant to be a one-hour lunch break, but sometimes those rolling episodes of Come Dine With Me are just too hard to turn off. Unfortunately things have taken a turn for the busy. Come Dine With Me days have been regretfully replaced with weekend library sessions. It shouldn’t be allowed.

Channel 4 cares… about ME!

3. Looking Down on The Undergrads

Studenthood is a funny thing. When you’re in it, it’s the best thing ever, but step outside of it and all students are pretty much scum. Naturally this doesn’t include postgrads like myself. We operate on a higher echelon. Now that I’m once more in amongst the fold I can look at the undergrads like David Attenborough watching wildebeest, only with less awe. During undergrad term time I make a fuss about the noise and chaos in the library full of students having way more fun than me and comfort myself with the knowledge that I have real world experience. REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE. Who needs pound a pint night anyway? I drink craft beer…

4. The Brain Food

One of my bosses once sympathised with me that I probably felt like my brain was melting. He was right. Doing the same thing day in, day out, does seem to drain you of all intellectual resources. I got to the point where I – once a champion speller (in year 6 tests) – was no longer confident spelling out simple words like ‘spoon’. OK, I may be exaggerating, but you catch my drift. Opening up my brain to studying has been a welcome reminder that I can think beyond a target and even write about stuff that doesn’t involve celebrities or cats. Think I’ll be off to MENSA soon. Cheerio.

brainfood

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: Lectures starting at 9. Bleurgh)

Reasons To Be Cheerful #67: Cats in Ads

27 May

Just the other day I was tolerating the adverts during a break of some highbrow show like Made In Chelsea when my significant other commented, quite astutely, that cats are used to sell everything. I replied with the astute and potentially groundbreaking assertion ‘sex sells and cats are currency’. I tested out the popularity of this original aphorism by sharing it on facebook. It got 2 likes, but that’s a story for another day. The point is, cats are not just tools to gain more Youtube views, they are actual living, breathing, fluffy marketing tools for admen and I for one, welcome this wholeheartedly. Here are my reasons to be cheerful…

1. They Get to be Even Wilier Than Usual

Cats are pretty gaddamned wily. It’s what they’re known for. They play with your emotions and use their paws to get in the fridge if they can smell chicken. But in adworld, this is not enough to represent the feline species’ clear intellectual dominion over us. That’s why we get cats with opposable thumbs (Cravendale), talking cats (O2) and even cats that play the accordion (Crusha). What’s not to love?

2. They Don’t Need Sex to Sell Stuff

When I’m not enjoying a cat advert or being harassed by one that features a breathy idiot doing an inane cover of a once-great song, I seem to be watching Nichole Scherzinger do her best not to Scherzizz all over herself as she over-enjoys a yoghurt or shampooing session. I don’t need this in my life. I also do not appreciate whichever advertising guru decided that eating a low fat yoghurt was tantamount to enjoying an orgy. But, I digress. This is reasons to be cheerful and the great thing about cats is that they transcend sexiness. They just don’t need to try, which is more than I can say for some people…

Real cats don't need PVC

Real cats don’t need PVC

3. Cats are Natural Stars

Anyone that knows cats knows what natural superstars they are. The limelight just shines on them in a way that it doesn’t for most animals. And no wonder: these animals are just like Kate Moss – they go out at night, they avoid attention whilst effortlessly attracting it and they slink. All of these qualities plus their good looks make cats obvious icons of the screen. Even when the campaign claims to be about dogs (O2’s be more dog), who fronts the ads? Why, cats of course.

 

4. CRUSHA

There’s really no need to use words to explain this one. Just watch the clip.

 

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: ‘Mullerlicious’)

Reasons To Be Cheerful #66: Getting Old (Well, nearly 30)

13 May
Ally McBeal: paragon of maturity

Ally McBeal: the paragon of maturity

As my Facebook newsfeed has become increasingly saturated with weddings and babies, I’ve finally had to admit the truth to myself. I am getting OLD. Not old like pensioner old, but old like, you should be a responsible, mature adult with financial stability, a pension and maybe even a mortgage old. The damning truth is that at least half of those descriptions do not apply to me and while I’ve always felt assured that these things would just fall into place by the time I reached the big 3-0, its scarily fast approach is beginning to cast doubt on my former confidence. So this post is really about making me – and you (?) – feel better…

1. Weddings

Although I never had a wedding dreambook like Monica in Friends, ever since I knew how to have fun I’ve looked forward to my friends tying the knot. This anticipation has obviously been much enhanced since I started getting drunk, though the sad fact is that free bars these days are few and far between. There’s nothing quite so special as watching two dear friends enter into a lifelong partnership, except that is, for the top 5 of reasons why weddings are great. The list goes: fun day out, all day boozing, old friend reunions, cheesy dancing, dressing up. Boom and done.

Who actually remembers the wedding in this film?

Who actually remembers the wedding in this film?

2. Other People’s Babies

Other people’s babies are great in the same way that other people’s dogs are great. You can give them back when they get annoying and/or smelly. What’s not so great is the constant barrage of Facebook updates about said babies. Naturally, if you are reading this and have a baby that you like to post more than one picture a day of, your baby is the exception, because it is, of course, better than all the other ones (aka, I’ve hidden you from my newsfeed).

I'm sorry, is your baby famous?

I’m sorry, is your baby famous?

3. Climbing the Greasy Pole

It’s so great to feel that you’re reaching your career peak in your late 20s. Or at least I imagine it must be a great feeling. I wouldn’t rightly know. But starting again at 27 and doing well so far feels like passing my driving test the first time after I started up my second bout of lessons. Although I’d previously failed two driving tests and had in the vicinity of 100 lessons, the mere 20 lessons it took me to pass ‘first time’ felt like a fantastic achievement.

Does this count?

Does this count?

4. Mature Dressing

I went to a vintage shop the other day and instead of sniffing at the enticing scent of a bargain and a bit of character, I just smelt mustiness, and I did not like it. Now that I’m in my late 20s I like new clothes that nobody has died in, and though I still have not achieved my dream of owning activity-appropriate outfits for all occasions (eg: all-whites for tennis), mature dressing feels as great as I look (don’t).

How I thought my 27-year-old self would dress when I was 14

How I thought my 27-year-old self would dress when I was 14

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: The term ‘quarter life crisis’)

Reasons To Be Cheerful #65: The Hashtag

23 Apr

necklace main

In this wonderful modern age of social media where narcissism and unashamed showing off are happily encouraged, nay facilitated, by a whole range of platforms, the hashtag is a welcome break. With a fair few exceptions (#nofilter springs to mind), this faceless international treasure is just as comfortable sitting next to arabspring as it is to 4dayweekend. So let’s celebrate this modern beacon of shortcuts with a blog post from #r2bc.

1. They Encourage Wit

Hashtags bring out the best in people. They help those of us not naturally gifted with effortless funnies to dig deep within ourselves for a part-word, part-acronym to attach to a #. They encourage accidental moments of genius like #susanalbumparty. The person who came up with that one probably didn’t even know that s/he was a comedic riproarer.

#Getinvolved

#Getinvolved

2. They Enhance Celebration Days

Today is St Georges Day, or as Twitter would have it, #stgeorgesday. To some of you, this celebration might seem like a day reserved for NF thugs and the kind of people who fly mini England flags from their car, but on Twitter, it’s for everyone. People used to say, there’s no Christmas without a tree or there’s no Easter without Jesus, but come 2014 there’ll be saying there’s no Christmas without a hashtag. #merryxmaseveryone

Making it mean more via @SantaC

Making it mean more via @SantaC

3. #PeopleNotQuiteGettingIt Right

One of the beautiful things about the normally tech-averse getting involved in social media is that they tend to get it wrong. Take the friend of a friend who affixed #open your eyes to one of his statuses, or the people with no sense of the concise. Like Vogue. The month that Vogue lost its head and featured Kimye on its cover was also the month that it plastered this along the front page  #worldsmosttalkedaboutcouple.

The hair has begun to sap the magazine's life force

It was inevitable that the hair would sap the magazine’s life force eventually

4. Sticking it To The Man

There are not many things quite so satisfying as when a corporate giant – assured of its marvellous customer relations – takes to Twitter to stir up some positive affirmation only to find themselves stirring up shit instead. Take British Gas.They took to Twitter last year with #askBG,  only to be rewarded with salient questions like, is it cheaper for me to burn £20 notes than put the heating on this winter? Or Maccy Ds who, in search of some touching tales of finding lost puppies in the straw dispenser, initiated #McDStories. Here’s a McDStory: a woman is accused of offering sexual favours in the drive-through lane in exchange for McNuggets. Warms the heart…

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF:  #DancePonyDance)

You are NOT Stevie Nicks

Fuck off, pony

 

Reasons To Be Cheerful #65: When Friends Come To Stay

8 Apr

Now that I am at least 65% real grown-up (ie: co-habiting and cleaning the house regularly) I take a different sort of pride in having people come to stay. No longer will they arrive to a dirty flat and half of my rumpled bed. These days, guests get a hoovered landing and a blow-up bed*. And while I wouldn’t – strictly speaking – compare myself to Tony Blair, Middle East peace envoy – it is clear that I’m playing my part in bridging the north-south gap.

*Those of you looking for hosting tips, please feel free to read this post in the educational manner of one reading Pippa Middleton’s party planning guide.

1. Being a Proper Person

Not that long ago, I thought that house pride was something reserved only for clean freaks and desperate housewives of telly fiction. But now, having reached the grand old age of 27, I see the error of my ways. I now know that the only acceptable way to treat a house guest is to leave a chocolate mint under their pillow. Well, that or to provide them with a clean towel and an inflatable mattress to blow up.

Call me Susan

Just call me Susan

2. Showing Off The Sights

If you read my Salford blog, you’ll know that I live in a place of wonder. A city cleverly disguised as a Manchester offshoot with a dubious cathedral and a ‘vibrant’ community. Showing off the Mocha shopping parade (home to a KwikSave) and the beautiful old cinema (now a church for Christian fanatics) are activities that are bound up with great pride. And that’s before you’ve even reached Manchester proper. London might have its fair share of crazies, but the wannabe Bez dancer with the plasticine face and killer dance moves belongs to the north.

3. Facing Domestic Challenges

The main reason that we are all so fat these days (apart from the saturated fat, kebabs and increased portion sizes) is that convenience and technology have replaced good old fashioned elbow grease. No more scrubbing wet clothes on the drying rack or burning off those kcals in the pantry. Modern kitchens will kill us all. The point is, that that amazing blow-up bed that I so proudly offered to my friends, well it was impossible to bring down. A good hour of rolling and folding and putting a teaspoon in the valve/nozzle/thingy were what it took. But I took it all in my stride.

A battle of valves

A battle of valves

4. Acting the Tourist

Even though I’m already a demi-tourist in Manchester, it’s much more fun being a ‘visitor’ when you’re with real bonafide visitors. It suddenly becomes acceptable to buy a keyring with your photo on it, from a gay club. For £3. It also provides you with a debating team for reasoned kebab shop disputes on the economic disparities between North and South.

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: You can’t keep your friends in a Hole. They tend to go home)

 

Reasons to be Cheerful #64: Salford

11 Mar

city of salford sign(2)

Today the universe sent me a sign. Rainy Manchester – which I swapped for reliably smoggy London – is warm and sunny, while the south? The south is COLD. Aha! Somewhere in the midsts of my – let’s be honest – short-lived smugness, I realised that I hadn’t done any kind of northern blog since I moved up here. It’s time to pay homage to my new home, Salford. Or – in my favourite pun of the year so far – Costa del Salford. So, reasons to be cheerful…

1. A Different Kind of Gentrification

Last time I was in Hackney central, the gentrification process was ramping up along Lower Clapton Road, where every other shopspace is now a trendy bar/cafe/beardy grooming salon. In grittier Salford, the introduction of BBC and the rest of the glitzy MediaCity development signalled new beginnings of a sort. But the pace is somewhat… slower. For example, I live in a place which has added the suffix ‘village’ in a fairly transparent attempt to belie the surrounding council estates and their Jeremy Kyle residents (I genuinely heard someone outside my window calling his girlfriend a ‘fat slag’). The naturally-occurring upscaling that comes with this new class of resident is self-evident in Broughton Village. We’ve got Matchsticks, a bar  decorated like a Groupon-featured salon; and a present shop selling bunches of sweets poorly disguised as flowers.

Hackney

Hackney

 

2. It Breeds Genius 

Salford is to culture like Wales is to just music. I didn’t even realise it was a city in its own right until about three weeks ago and now I find that it also gave us The Ting Tings. Here are some more famous Salfordians:

painter, L S Lowry;

wreckhead, Shaun Ryder;

wreckheads, Joy Division;

Keith Richards lookalike, John Cooper Clarke;

intense thespian, Christopher Eccleston  and

Gandhi impersonator, Ben Kingsley

Yes, even Gandhi came from Salford

Yes, even Gandhi came from Salford

3. The Culture

Seeing how Salford produced so many cultural behemoths, it’s only right that it should boast awe-inspiring museums and galleries. The Lowry gallery on Salford Quays is pretty impressive and stuffed full of Lowrys, but a brief visit to what you’d expect to be the city’s main cultural hub – Salford Museum and Art Gallery – makes it abundantly clear that the Lowry’s success is based on thievery. The poor old museum – right next to the university at which Lowry studied, has a handful of Lowry paintings and a lot of what artists call ‘negative space’ (bare walls). It is a bit depressing. But then, so was the music of Joy Division. So maybe it’s all on purpose..

4. The Scenery

L. S Lowry’s paintings are famous for their depictions of grim Manchester and Salford life. And there’s no getting around it. The setting is a gritty one. But at night it looks just marvellous, especially down on Salford Quays.

Rose-tinted nightvision

Night vision

 

 

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: The weird canvas at Matchsticks that merges the faces of Elizabeth II and Winston Churchill)

 

 

Reasons to be Cheerful #63: Pancake Day

4 Mar

simpsons moving

Shrove Tuesday, much like Easter and Christmas is one of the predominant reasons that I am glad to live in a Christian (kind of) country. Much as the ideas of forgiveness and loving thy neighbour (obvs depending on fitness) appeal to me, neither of them really go with a lemon and sugar topping. So on today, holiest of days (well, in the top five anyway), I would like to share my reasons to be cheerful.

1. Pudding For Dinner

As someone who likes to prioritise stomach space by eating sweet before savoury, the one day of a year that elevates the best bit of dinner (aka the pudding) to the top of the pile is one that chimes well with me. And anyway, eggs and flour are pretty savoury so actually, a pancake covered in nutella, banana and ice-cream is just like dinner and dessert in one.

A well-rounded meal

A well-rounded meal

2. Let’s You be Quasi-Religious

For all the spiritually-curious who can’t or won’t commit, events like pancake day and the subsequent month of Lent are the perfect opportunity to broach the religious path with a non-too distant endpoint in sight. Stuff yourself silly, give up chocolate/bread/fags for a month and then when you decide that God’s not for you, noone will judge (or care). So much easier than reading the bible. And you don’t have to get up early on a Sunday.

For the love of Jesus?

For the love of Jesus?

3. It’s a Great Excuse For a Diet

Personally, I don’t go for the fad style of diet, but I think it’s fair to say that that statement either makes me a liar or a member of another minority. What I do know, is that wanting to be a size 10/8/zero isn’t enough motivation for most non-pro-ana people and this is why Mondays, new years, imminent meetings with exes and Lent are all popular diet starting points. I’m pretty sure that the original aim of Lent wasn’t to achieve a flat stomach through the self-denial of carbs, but whatever. If it works, it works.

4. Pancake Making is So Much Easier than Proper Baking

Before people start griping, I am aware that frying a pancake is not baking, but I’m going to go ahead and conflate cakes with pancakes anyway. They both include the word ‘cake’ and they both include flour and eggs. What more do you want? Anyway, the point is that baking a cake is hard. Even though Mary Berry is a great inspiration, her haloed and snazzy-jacketed image alone does not negate the bloody complicatedness of doing a cake from scratch. Pancakes though, are easy. They don’t even need to look nice. Rustic works as well as the next. Just drizzle a bit of chocolate a la Jamie Oliver and you’re basically a pro.

God in a Zara jacket

God in a Zara jacket

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: Lent)

Reasons To Be Cheerful #62: Moving House

15 Jan

Scream-Painting

A regular high achiever on top 10 lists of most stressful things to do, moving house does not have the best of reputations. I would like to redress the balance because in amongst the arguments, broken valuables and unreliable packing tape that are so readily associated with a change of residence, there are some silver linings. Whether it’s the man that comes with your van, or the sturdy (if bottomless) banana boxes kindly donated to you by your local cornershop, there are always some reasons to be cheerful. Here are mine:

1. Lost Treasure

When sifting through the material signs of your life, you will inevitably come across some forgotten, but intrinsically valuable possessions. Naturally, when I say ‘valuable’ I don’t mean it in the cold, hard monetary sense, but in the sense that is measured by smiles and rainbows. I’m talking about that ripped tshirt from that amazing night in second year and other ‘hilarious’ mementoes such as stolen hats, Christmas elf costumes and significant shoelaces. ‘Invaluable’ if you will..

ggg

Buried treasure

2. Packing

The organiser’s dream, packing is a chance for you to test your mettle in the world of practicality and sensibleness. Marker pens and sticky labels may be at the ready. You may ‘pre-pack’ by organising things into bundles before they even reach the boxes. Alternatively you may get drunk the night before moving and pack in a hungover haze of blurry vision and sentimentality expressed at items that were yesterday too trivial to be considered.

This is (not) me

This was (not) me

3. Shredding

A surprising entry perhaps, but in my most recent move I discovered the joys of paper-shredding. Two drawers full of unopened bank statements ignored for the past three years finally made it onto my must-do list (a step up from the to-do list). You might think that the publishing company I was interning at would be in possession of a shredder, but you would be woefully wrong. Fortunately a hand-operated shredder did make its way into my possession. Queue an hour’s worth of joyful manual labour in a pre-industry fashion that gave one the same simple pleasure as would knitting a pair of striped toe socks.

Shredding: the new yoga

Shredding: the new yoga

4. Bubble Wrap

Show me a person who does not appreciate the joys of bubblewrap and I’ll show you Donald Trump.

POP!

Living the dream

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: The two pairs of never-opened goggles that were packed because ‘otherwise you might have to buy them again’)

Reasons To Be Cheerful #61: Christmas!

20 Dec

main

Unless you’ve been residing in a Chilean coal mine for some time you’re probably aware that it is CHRISTMAS NEXT WEEK. It would be pretty hard to ignore the saccharine Lily Allen vocals combined with the unlikely bear/hare partnership that signifies Crimbo 2013, but who would want to ignore it? Christmas is a sparkly time of festivity and only bah humbugs and the homeless would choose not to revel in its glory. So, reasons to be cheerful..

1. A Time For Family

We all know that Christmas isn’t about presents. Not really. It’s not about Jesus either, or Mary or the little donkey. It’s about spending some QT with the fam. Sharing laughs and good times. Attempting to mask your hangover with copious amounts of Baileys and hoping that noone gets too drunk and passive aggressive. Ensuring that family rivalries don’t come up, that siblings don’t make their dislike for in-laws obvious. That’s why it’s best to stick the telly on. Sharing (Eastenders) is caring.

fg

WE’RE FAMMMLEIGH

2. Morning Drinking

For most people, drinking before midday is not really an acceptable pasttime. This is largely due to the perception that most of those choosing to indulge in the morning are carrying a can of Superbrew in a plastic bag and enjoying their residence on a park bench. But the 25 December is a wholly different ball game. You start the day with a glass of Cava because it’s the POLITE THING TO DO. No questions asked.

j

A civilised breakfast

3. The Adverts

In these times of austerity, Christmas money is even more important than it ever was. It’s where the shops make the BIG BUCKS of the year.  And a lot of those cash wads are directed to the shops via heartstring-wrenching adverts. John Lewis’s hare and bear ad has led to record sales for the retailer and is – bewilderingly – the year’s biggest (crimbo) ad hit. The magic is lost on me, just in the same way the magic of the KFC ad is lost in me. Who the hell is eating a jumbo bucket on Christmas day and happy about it? I’m just not sure. But gems like the M&S one that brings Helena Bonham Carter and Rosie Huntington Whiteley together for an orgy of double barrels and a bit of David Gandy.. that one is fine by me.

g

Bestiality lies at its dark heart

'Cos nothing screams Christmas like a bargain bucket

‘Cos nothing screams Christmas like a bargain bucket

 

4. Dads

The Lord said its is more blessed to give than to receive, but I don’t think when he said that, he had dads in mind. When you’ve exhausted DVD and book and aftershave and tie possibilities, what is there left to buy for a dad? After a while buying them Andrew Marr’s latest literary effort feels a little bit mean and unthoughtful. Lucky then, that dads (in my experience) aren’t that fussed about the pressies. Sort them a few drinks, hope they don’t make too many allusions to black sheep’s latest demeanours and you should be all set.

h

10am

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: The current (Danny) dire state of Eastenders that means I am not prepared for my usual crimbo day highlight – the double Easties spesh)

NOOOOOOOOOOO

NOOOOOOOOOOO

 

Reasons To Be Cheerful #60: Pop Reunions

29 Nov

kezza main

Walking through the tube station the other night I was baffled to find myself face to face with Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy and Mikey Graham. Also known as… BZ20. I know I know that you’re wondering who on earth is Mikey Graham and where oh where is Stephen Gateley? (in heaven). But that’s not the point. The point is that musical reunions are happening left, right and centre and it’s about time that this blog had its say on the matter.

Mikey's the one next to Ro

Mikey’s the one next to Ro

1. The Deluded Ones

Everyone agrees that the return of Take That was a GOOD THING. They are a manband now, Gary is quite fit et cetera, but what of their influence? Is that a good thing? Personally, I feel that Gary has a lot to answer for, and four of those things are the erstwhile members of Blue. Touted as the big dogs of ‘The Big Reunion’ (see below) – it was pretty clear from the off that Blue’s reunion was an inevitable eventuality that was cared about by hardly anyone. Without forgetting that they’d already returned in a blaze of failure, during 2011’s Eurovision Song Contest (11th place), Blue’s ‘big’ return to the pop game happened earlier this year. They joined ITV’s the Big Reunion fashionably late, claiming they were too successful to perform at more than four dates and can currently be found supporting Wet Wet Wet. One love.

Yup. Still got it..

Yup. Still got it..

2. The Desperate Ones

This is basically the entire cast of The Big Reunion: a show that gave desperado ex-popstars the chance of a comeback. The alumni? Honeyz, B*witched, 911, 5ive, Atomic Kitten and Liberty X. We also need to include Steps, who – though not on the Big Reunion – were reunited by the weight problems of ballooned member, Claire, who got a bit of airtime thanks to a redondy BBC3 programme about losing weight. Between them, this group of groups notched up a grand total of ten number ones. Lezzbehonest, they’ve hardly been missed on the pop scene. But, as luck would have it, an illustrious combination of bankruptcy, desperate attention-seeking and a continued attempt by ITV to appeal to the lowest common denominator, brought these former stars back onto our screens and into our hearts. Get your tickets here.

At last the gaping void left by 911 is filled

911 – misleading as they only had 1 number one

3. The Embarassing Ones

This is a tough one, as every band on here has their fair share of mishaps and general existence to be embarassed about, but I think that the ones who should be really really embarassed are the ones who trod on actual reputations. When the Spice Girls announced their return, there was genuine excitement. Talent or no, this group was big, they were girl power and their like hasn’t been seen since (Girls Aloud might have better songs, but they’ve got no teeth). But to reunite and then cut their tour short due to ‘family and personal commitments’ – also known as not selling many tickets – was straight up embarrassment. Much like Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones and Arrested Development, they should not have come back.

Guess which one's a teensy bit embarassed to be there

Guess which one’s a teensy bit embarassed to be there

4. The Innovative Ones

I’ve already said that Take That gets the prize for best pop comeback, but I’m not about to call them innovative. They just learnt how to do designer stubble and happened to have a decent songwriter in their employ. It’s not exciting. What is more exciting is the fusion of Busted and McFly, or McBusted as they are now known. You’ve got to give them props for originality and you can certainly see the thought process behind this: 20% popularity + 60% popularity = 80% POPULARITY = HITS. YAY! Only time will tell if McBusted has what it takes to compete in a field dominated by dodgy quiffs and Harry Styles. Here’s hoping for a Robbie style Charlie comeback.

Where for art thou Charlie?

Where for art thou Charlie?

(REASONS TO BE PISSED OFF: Quotes like this from ex-Busted, Charlie Simpson: “Lots of people say to me, I completely hate Busted. I understand why”. Not cool Charlie. Not gracious, at all..)

You're too fat for Busted now ANYWAY Charlie!

You’re too fat for Busted now ANYWAY Charlie!