Thursday, 29 January 2009

Heaven knows, it's got to be this time

All right, Roger did it again! He beat Roddick in three sets and made it to his 18th (!!!) Grand Slam final! Tomorrow will be decided wether his opponent for the final struggle will be Nadal or Verdasco.

I'm off to the karaoke bar tonight. My best friend Elke had her final exam today so there's plenty to celebrate!

Tomorrow will be equally fantastic. I'm going to see Oasis play in Lille and afterwards we're all heading to the afterparty where Paul (Liam and Noel's brother) and Peter (from Make Up Club in Ghent) will be dj'ing.


And after that, it's time to prepare for Rome! To give you a taster, I'll show you some pictures of the first time I ever was in Rome (it was the school trip in my last year of high school, almost three years ago).
Sorry about the proportions of the photos. My antivirus is fucking up my computer and now I can't upload pictures anymore through Blogger, so I have to use Photobucket which apparantly leads to this. I'm really sorry.

ice cream!

pizza restaurants!

Forum Romanum

Vittorio Emanuelle monument

cocktail bar evenings

Guy, my favourite teacher ever (and still a friend nowadays)

Elke and I back in the days

beautiful ceiling in the Vatican musea

the balloon

my best mate Sam and I were playing cards right in front of the Vatican (playing cards was the obsession of our class at the time, I don't think there's been a place in Rome where we haven't played)

Castle Sant'Angelo - Elke, Guy and I

castle Sant'Angelo



Tuesday, 27 January 2009

So you're scared and you're thinking that maybe we ain't that young anymore

First of all, hurray for Roger Federer who kind of made a fool of Del Potro by playing on his top level (oh yes, as good as in 2006!) during the Australian Open quarter finals. Next up is Andy Roddick in the semi-finals. Roddick has definitely become a better player during the last few months (well hello, where did those superb volleys suddenly came from?), but a good Roger can handle him easily. :)

Oh, and watch this:

Anyway - today was my first free day, and since most of my friends still haven't finished their exams, I had to spend some time on my own. Apart from watching loads of tennis (and some dumb, but really funny program in which two guys are competing each other with their talent in picking up girls), I've been reading a lot in this lovely book I got as a Christmas present. It's called "The Travel Book" and it contains all possible countries, all of them described by some distinctive attractions and beautiful pictures.

It made me think of how much of the world I have yet to explore. And I can't wait to do so! I made myself a list of places I definitely want to go to in the future. It's kind of an endless list, so I made you a more compact edition:

- NORWAY! My dream since I was a little girl, I've always had a strange fascination with this country.
- Russia (transsiberian route, please!)
- Australia
- Sweden
- Finland
- Iceland
- Canada
- US (especially the San Fransisco area)
- Ireland
- the Baltic states
- Peru
- Japan
- China
- Czech republic
- some countries I've already seen, but definitely want to give some further exploration: England, Scotland, Spain, Italy, Portugal...
- and so much more

How about you guys? Any travels YOU really want to do?

And it's no surprise that you'll soon forget about me


And I've treated myself to a new badminton outfit I found on eBay. Well yes, is actually a tennis dress, but clothingwise there's not much of a difference between the two disciplines, right?

The tennis fans among you might remember the dress from the Australian Open 2008, when that year's champion Maria Sharapova wore it (she had a beige and white one, I've bought the beige dress).

I'm looking forward to playing in it!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Most played (6)

1. James Yuill - No surprise (I adooore this song!)

2. Little Man Tate - Money wheel (sorry about the sound quality)

3. White Lies - E.S.T

4. Kevin Rudolf ft. Lil' Wayne - Let it rock

5. FrYars - Visitors

Friday, 23 January 2009

Did you spare a little thought for me? (4 exams done, 1 to go)

Sooo, another exam that went well. Still worrying about that first one, though. Worrying or no worrying, Wednesday night was lovely. Even though I was really tired when I left home, I became full energy when I arrived at the Botanique for the Little Man Tate gig.
The support act was terrible - even though the songs were pretty good, all the band members were really amateuristic and during each riff he played, the guitar player had this look on his face like he was playing a very impressive solo.

Little Man Tate was really good, though. I didn't expect so, but the singer was absolutely fantastic (and really charming and cute). They played a lot of new songs, not all equally impressive, but mostly fine enough and often extremely catchy!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The name is Obama. Barack Obama.

America and the rest of the world finally got rid of George W. Bush (at least as far as that's possible, I'm sure it will take quite a while to clean up the mess he left). Yes, it's a beautiful day: the Inauguration day of America's new president Barack Obama.

Even if he can't live up to all the expectations (be realistic, nobody could), we've already found proof of his skills in the way he brought hope back to his country and the world. It's good to see the US have a new leader who represents something positive, unlike his precursor. I can't help but feeling very excited about what's yet to come.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Cheering for Roger

Today I got faced by another annual distraction during the exams: the Australian Open. Regular readers have probably already noticed my uncoditional love for Roger Federer so it was not really surprising that a couple of hours ago, I was not to be found studying, but in front of the television screen, jumping on the couch and loudly cheering for Roger. (I like to call that my 'lunch break')

Roger found a tough opponent in the Italian Andreas Seppi, yet he managed to finish his match in three sets (6-1 7-6 7-5). Victory for Swiss class! (by the way, have a look at his beautiful new outfit!)

Some other things I noticed on the first day of playing:
* most games were quite predictable in their outcomes, no big favourites were sent home
* among the subtop, Marat Safin, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Caroline Wozniacki made a great impression
* our Belgian players won and lost: Xavier Malisse and Kirsten Flipkens made it to the next round, whereas Yanina Wickmayer may pack her bags
Who's playing tomorrow? Andy Murray, Lleyton Hewitt, Fernando Gonzales, Rafael Nadal, Ernests Gulbis, Christophe Rochus and Steve Darcis (from Belgium), Serena and Venus Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska, Elena Dementieva and many more.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Plans (3 exams done, 2 to go)

I forgot to mention in my previous post, but I did well on my third exam. 2/3 good ones so far -could be worse, I guess. :)

As usual I can't stop planning all kinds of things during the exam period. My last exam is on the 26th this month, and the new term starts on February 9th (although it'll start a little later for me - I'm having my wisdom teeth pulled out, auwch!), but I'll make sure to fill in that gap appropriately! So far that means:

- 29/01: meeting up with Elke, finally!
- 30/01: Oasis gig in Lille + afterpartyyy
- 02/02-05/02: a trip to (hopefully sunny) Rome with Karolien and Nick
- 06/02: back in Belgium for Hindu Nights (with a Carl Barât DJ set!) at Make Up Club

It's very hard to concentrate on my books with all those great prospects!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

I pictured a rainbow you held in your hands

I Am: ambitious, but realistic
I Want: to go on a holiday (really, I need to get out)
I Have: a comfortable life
I Wish: I could play an instrument
I Fear: that someday I’ll be completely forgotten
I Hear: Bloc Party
I Search: for more
I Wonder: if I’ll have the guts to fulfil all of my dreams
I Regret: hurting people
I Love: my friends and family, music, discovering the world, anything spontaneous
I Always: listen to music
I Usually: love stages
I Am Not: perfect
I Dance: to rock ‘n roll
I Sing: always and anywhere
I Never: give up
I Rarely: walk away from my principles
I Cry: when nobody is around
I Am Not Always: focused
I’m Confused: by myself
I Need: more patience

I Should: study

I'm curious about your results, so don't hesitate to fill this form yourself if you have the time. ;)

Friday, 16 January 2009

Post Secret

Very interesting website, where people can share their deepest secrets with the rest of the world on a creative postcard. Definitely have a look:!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Say it loud and sing it proud (2 exams done, 3 to go)

I've got my second exam finished and this one went a lot better than the previous one. Let's hope I can keep this up for the next three!

The night before the exam I was out in Brussels for the big Oasis gig in Vorst Nationaal. I had been looking forward to it for such a long long time so forgive me for not caring that much about having my exam the day after. (Moreover, I never learn in the evening, I work hard during the day so I can relax at night. Ha!)

It was quite an eventful night. To start with, it took me ages to get to the venue. Brussels is not the place you want to go to by car around 6-8pm. Poor dad (he was the driver). While I was waiting for Peter, Murat and the rest, I got pleasantly surprised by Tim Broddin who gave me a self-compiled cd for my birthday - thank you! :)

When everybody finally got there, we couldn't get to the front stage anymore. We went up to the seats upstairs for the support act Twisted Wheel. I had checked the band before the gig and they sounded pretty good then, but I wasn't really impressed by their live performance. That wasn't the main problem, though. We were especially bothered by the fact we weren't downstairs, right in front of the stage.

So we decided it was time for some action and went down, where we had to confront a very strict door-keeper. Talking to him didn't help us any further, so Eloise tried to force something by pushing the door and trying to walk through, passed the porter. But he was faster than her and he grabbed her. He - accidentaly (at least, I think so) - grabbed her by her breast. Some tough English bloke had seen what happened and he started to yell at the door-man: "Hey, don't you touch her tits!". He solidly pushed the door open and we ran inside as fast as we could. Turned out there still was plenty of space and we found ourselves a great spot.

The gig was mindblowing. The setlist looked like this:

1. Rock 'N' Roll Star 2. Lyla 3. The Shock Of The Lightning 4. Cigarettes & Alcohol 5. The Meaning Of Soul 6. To Be Where There's Life 7. Waiting For The Rapture 8. The Masterplan 9. Songbird 10.Slide Away 11. Morning Glory 12. Ain't Got Nothing 13. Half The World Away 14. I'm Outta Time 15. Wonderwall 16. Supersonic --- 17. Don't Look Back In Anger 18. Falling Down 19. Champagne Supernova 20. I Am The Walrus

Pretty impressive huh? And the guys are just great on stage. They look cool as ever, and - what people sometimes tend to forget - they're really good musicians. Too bad the crowd wasn't as great, the gig could've been another 1000 times better if the audience wouldn't have been as extremely boring.

Anyway, it was a great night and exactly what I needed to get through the rest of the exams. It was my first ever Oasis gig, but I've got more to look forward to. The guys are doing a gig in Lille at the end of this month, and Paul - the oldest Gallagher brother - got me on the guestlist, so I'm joining the 'Oasis gang' (same people as for this gig) to France! :)

Monday, 12 January 2009

BBC Sound of 2009 (1 exam done, 4 to go)

I've had the first (and immediately the most difficult) of my five exams today. It didn't go terribly wrong, but not too great either. Nothing to do about it anymore though, so I guess I'll just wait and see and concentrate on the four exams which are still to come. The next one is on Wednesday.

Saturday was slightly more exiting, because it was the day when BBC finally reveiled their complete Sound of 2009 list. This is how the list works. It's quite a genious list, because it manages to correctly predict a whole bunch of next year's top acts year after the year. Although - I must admit - they often just 'steal' their ideas from Jools Holland.

This is the complete list:

1. Little Boots
2. White Lies

3. Florence and the Machine
4. Empire of the Sun
5. La Roux
6. Lady GaGa
7. VV Brown

8. Kid Cudi
9. Passion Pit
10. Dan Black

Winner Little Boots is supposed to be the new Kylie Minogue, but whereas I do have a soft spot for Kylie and her extremely danceable electropop, I don't manage to get exited about this girl. Too bad!

White Lies is without a doubt my favourite in this list. I love Joy Division, I love Editors, I love dark sad and kind of gloomy new wave songs, so there's not a single reason why I shouldn't love this band. I just heard their debut album, it's truly ace!

Florence and the Machine is another good act. I saw beautiful Florence and her gang as the support act for MGMT in early 2008. Florence has got a great voice and is a really interesting podium personality. Interesting detail: after the gig, she hugged me several times and expressed her love for my hair. :)

Talking about MGMT, it's pretty obvious where Empire of the Sun has been listening to during the previous couple of months. This could've been original a year ago, now it's not anymore, but what hasn't changed is that these guys make rather catchy tunes that I am going to like nevertheless.

La Roux is a very eighties-inspired London synth duo. Very hip and all, but I'm not a big fan.

Lady Gaga is already really popular here in Belgium. She's got everything to be the next best hype, but I honestly think her music is kind of rubbish.

VV Brown is part of another category, then. I discovered her a couple of months ago on Jools Holland's show and fell immediately in love with this woman. Definitely check out her lovely retro sounding song 'Crying Blood'!

You might know Kid Cudi from the succesful Crookers remix of 'Day and Night'. I'm not too fond of his other stuff, though.

Passion Pit sounds eh, interesting. I still have to make up my mind on wether I like this or not.

To end with, there's Dan Black. He's definitely someone to look out for, with his fascinating mix of electro, hiphop and pop.

My favourites...

White Lies - To lose my life

Florence and the Machine - Kiss with a fist

Empire of the Sun - Walking on a dream

VV Brown - Crying blood

Dan Black - HYPNTZ

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Yes this fear's got a hold of me

If you're wondering why I haven't been blogging that much since the start of the new year, I can give you one simple answer: exams. They're starting next week, so I better have to be prepared. I've got 5 exams to do for this term. There's 3 of them I'm pretty comfortable about and two that eh...ah well. :)

So, what have I been up to except for all the studying? Well, I did have my share of entertainment thanks to the Four Hills tournament. I'm one of the probably not more than four or five ski jumping fans in Belgium, and it's an event I look forward to every year.

This year was even more special, because my favourite jumper Simon Ammann - who used to only peak at important events and rank rather averagely in the normal cup events - had kicked off the season extremely well (he even topped - and still tops - the ranking for the world cup) and was one of the favourites - if not the favourite for winning the Four Hills. Unfortunately he didn't (he became second tough, and he's still number one in the world cup rankings - yeey!), but it was a very interesting edition nevertheless.

The top five consisted of (starting with the winner) Wolfgang Loitzl (experienced jumper who's been around for a long time, but now seems to be in the shape of his life at 28), Simon Ammann (my favourite, who also seems to jump better than ever before), Gregor Schlierenzauer (very young jumper, but already really good), Martin Schmitt (another "oldie" who seemed to be written off, but who is making a fabulous return this season) and Dimitry Vasilliev (31-year old and very underrrated Russian jumper, I'm glad he finally got to show his abilities). So, if you have any idea of what and who I'm talking about, you can imagine what a lovely tournament it's been.

Before leaving you, I'd like to share some photos I took when the snowflakes had fallen down again.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Most played (5)

1. Oasis - I'm outta time

2. Polarkreis 18 - Allein, allein

3. Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses

4. Ladyhawke - My delirium

5. Kerli - Walking on air

Sunday, 4 January 2009

You're just so pretty when you're putting the damage on

2008 - the final interview

1. did you do anything you've never done before?

I started writing for two online music magazines, did my first interviews (the very first one was with Swedish singer Robyn), first visits to Paris/Lisbon/Amsterdam, discovered the Make Up Club (which is now my favourite place to go out), had my first serious relationship, first time I dated a non-Belgian guy.

2. did you keep any of your new years resolutions?

I didn't make any last year. Was a pretty good idea, although I decided to go for it again this year. (you can find them in one of the posts below)

3. did any of your friends become parents 2008?

Yes, Steven became father of his second beautiful daughter Hannelien.

4. did anyone close to you die?

Fortunately not.

5. what countries did you visit?

England, the Netherlands, Portugal, France, Germany.

6. is there anything you missed in 2008 that you want in 2009?

Not really, I've got all I need.

7. what dates from 2008 will you always remember?

I remember moments, not dates.

8. what's your biggest achievement in 2008?

My first steps in music journalism. :D And finishing my second bachelor year.

9. biggest mistake?

Trusting someone completely whom I should not have given so much trust in the first place. Starting things of which I know they won't work out anyway.

10. have you been ill?

Yes, but nothing terrible.

11. best buy?

My laquée shoes and my leather jacket, love them to bits.

12. what did you spend most money on?

Drinks, parties, music, trains, travels.

13. did anything make you genuinely happy?

The Sigur Rós gig at Pukkelpop, I was crying from happiness. And of course my time in London.

14. what songs will always remind you of 2008?

Goldfrapp - A&E

MGMT - Kids

Manic Street Preachers - A design for life

The Sneakypeeks - A little bit red

Oasis - Don't look back in anger (good times in Ghent)

Kings of Leon - Sex on fire

Red Light Company - With lights out

15. have you been happier or unhappier this year compared to previous years?

Both. But I'm prepared to live through all the unhappy times to experience those happier-than-ever moments.

16. what do you wish that you did more of?

Travelling. Making the right decisions.

17. what do you wish you did less of?

Making stupid decisions.

18. how did you spend christmas?

With my family, really cosy.

19. did you fell in love?

Oh yes I did.

20. how many one night stands?

Not really my thing. It's not like I never kiss random guys, but that's it then.

21. favourite TV show?

Six Feet Under, Monty Python, Top Chef, Skins.

22. do you hate someone now that you didn't hate in the end of 2007?

Hating is a strong word that I don't like to use, but I seriously dislike someone that I didn't at the end of 2007 (because I didn't know him yet). He hurt my best friend like hell and fuck him for that.

23. best book you read in 2008?

Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh.

24. the best new band you discovered?


25. something you wanted and got?

I saw a lot of artists perform that I'd been wanting to see live for a long long time (Babyshambles, Manic Street Preachers, Paul Weller...). And of course writing for the music websites.

26. something you wanted and didn't get?

Student rooms.

27. the best film you watched?

Funny Games US, Elegy, Atonement.

28. what did you do on your birthday?

I went to a Chinese restaurant with my family.

29. is there anything that could have made your year any better?

Sure, but it's silly to nag about such thing.

30. how would you describe your style this year?

Lots of black, skinny jeans, leather jacket.

31. what made you feel good about yourself?

Writing for the music websites. Getting over my ex.

32. what celebrity did you fancy the most?

Carl Barât. Always. Also: Peter Sarsgaard, Ralph Fiennes, Cillian Murphy. As for the girlies, Kate Moss and Katy Perry.

33. who did you miss?

My friends in Leuven, I don't get to see them often enough.

34. the best people you met?

Jonathan, Peter, Ann-Sofi, the girls from Neon Enlightenment (I'm not sure whether I got to know them before or during 2008 but I love them anyway so they deserve to be mentioned!), Chris, Sylvie, Bart and many many more. Love you all!

Friday, 2 January 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you've all started 2009 in a pleasant way. I did in fact kick it off in the best way possible - with good music, good food and lovely friends.

Poor Elke couldn't join us because she wasn't feeling well (it seems like she's making a habit of turning ill right before new years eve, I hope she can join us again next year), but we were still in good company. Karolien, her sister Elien, two of Eliens friends, Lisa and I were ready for a great night out!

We met up in Ghent around 8pm. At first, we headed off to a Chinese restaurant. It was a bit weird when they tried to saddle us with the (expensive!) New Year's menu without even asking us what we wanted to have, but we fixed that soon enough. I had Chinese shrimp soup and lamb with rice - it was delicious.

After figuring out which tram we had to take (and accidentally sending people to a wrong tram) we made our way to the Make Up Club, where Paul Gallagher (Oasis Liam and Noel's brother) was already getting everyone in the right mood with some really good rock 'n roll tunes. There was no countdown (except for our improvised one a couple of minutes after midnight), but that didn't stop us from having a good time. Sam-O from Studio Brussels and Eppo Janssen did some amazing dj-sets. We danced, sang and met a lot of nice people (including French guys with funny accents). It was fantastic! I'm not sure, but I think it was around 4am when Laston & Geo started their set. It was very dance-orientated, not really my thing, so we chilled out on the sofa's in the back of the club, where we had an amusing chat with Paul Gallagher. Paul - and about half an hour later the girls as well - took off, but I stayed for another two hours.

I spent the night at Peter's (Make Up organiser) place, where Paul was also staying over. After two hours of sleep, Paul woke everyone up by suddenly screaming "Peter you little fuck!". It was okay though, he made me some green tea he had imported from Japan ("because it's green tea that is green, not brown!"). After chatting a bit with Peter, me and Paul (who had to take the Eurostar back to London) catched our train to Brussels. I got back home around 3.30pm with the intention to do some studying for my exames, but I was still too exited because of the great party to concentrate on my books. (I did manage to study a lot today, so I guess that makes up for it!)

Anyhow, it was a great way to start the new year. Let's hope it's a good sign for the rest of the year! Here are some of my pictures: