I Hit That Mile, Time to Throw the Stone

Everybody gets older it’s just a fact of life. A fact that if I’m honest I hate but I’m not daft, we can’t be forever young, no matter what the songs preach to us.

I guess when you look at it, you’re only as old as you feel and over the past couple of years, I’ve felt a lot older than what I am. Let’s be fair, the pandemic has made us all feel a bit of a shell of ourselves.

I’m not a big fan of my birthday, mainly because it’s not a day of my own like most peoples. I share my birthday with my mother and my younger cousin, so if anything my mother should be the most annoyed about it. Birthdays are meant to be an individual celebration but not mine. There’s nothing I can really do about it so I put up with it. This year it was a milestone birthday, I’ve hit my 30s. At first I was really bothered by it and I have been reflecting on it a lot, but now, I feel a lot more comfortable about it.

I spent most of my 20s in a relationship that should have ended long before it did. Doesn’t mean it was all bad, we had some great times but just dragged it out a bit too long. I worked at the same place for eight and a bit years, which I’m glad I did. Gave me a chance to earn my own money, meet some cool people and learn a trade that I could hopefully always fall back on.

From 2017 to 2018, my long term relationship ended and my long time place of employment ended but in turn, I met some of the most amazing people in my life, made life long friends and not long after in 2019 (despite a break up), I discovered what I was meant to do, something that I adored.

HRH Team Pass

I joined Hard Rock Hell Radio and turned a half arsed idea (GlamRat) into its own thing. I became a radio DJ, I prefer the term radio personality as in the sense of a DJ, I am yet to master its practise. I have done things I never thought I would and actually decided to try and do this stuff properly. Become a professional gobshite aka a journalist.

I’m going to spend my 30s concentrating on myself I think. Turn GlamRat into more than just a radio show (maybe), more of a media company, blog, vlog and all that jazz in between. I’m going to try a be a bit like a California girl, work out to keep myself fit, gain a warm complexion (instead of a pale ginger), nice big hair, long nails and a wardrobe to die for. Yes of course, my own place, pass my driving test and all those bores but an investment in myself is more important. It is not something that I should ignore.

20s were a bit wasted, my 30s is where I hope to grow and hopefully take on the world.

Another HRH Adventure

I had been waiting for so long for November to come around and just like that, I’ve blinked and my week in Great Yarmouth is over!

With it being my big birthday too this year, I thought it would be the best time to just have one big birthday party. It was a bit of that but the thing that meant the most to me was to catch up with a lot of people whom I haven’t seen in 2 years.

A lot of people from the HRH community I’ve met via Facebook so to actually see them in person was amazing. People kept coming up to me, complimenting my show, my clothes or saying nice things to me which is a very humbling feeling. The community is such a loving and caring one and I never felt unsafe.

The Area 51 Girls and myself, credit to Simon Dunkerly

The HRH Awards night was amazing! Kicking off with the red carpet of course and this time, Simon Dunkerly (HRH photographer) actually managed to get a photo of me with my eyes open! Presenting with Jonni again was another fun experience and to see a lot of my favourite bands including, White Raven Down and Twister was a joy.

Over the weekend I grabbed quick chats with many people but not so many photographs which I am a bit bummed about. At least I can say I was enjoying the moment more than worrying about capturing it. The after parties at everyone’s caravans was just hilarious! Throwing satsumas at Jack’s head (Twister drummer), being screamed Tina Turner lyrics by 2 parts of the Wicked Jackals, arguing (well maybe more drunk debating) over the best era of Bon Jovi with Darren and Brian, talking to one of Chris Holmes tech lads (a Frenchman with a tattoo of a fridge on his calf) and wandering back home at 5am, those are the best parts.

I thoroughly enjoyed quite a lot of bands over the weekend, including and not limiting to King Kraken, Tigertailz (who gave me a wonderful birthday gift), Orange Goblin, White Raven Down, Ginger Wildheart, South of Salem and many more whom I overheard wandering (staggering) around.

Yet again, a week with the HRH family, seeing long lost friends and partying with old faces made me realise that life really is for living. I can be quite reserved and like my nights in cuddled up with the dog, but when you get those times to party and do what you love, those moments are priceless.

It made me immensely happy. Running off little sleep, plenty of coffee, enough nourishment to keep going but the high of fun was more than enough.

When you have little confidence in yourself and party with those you look up to (Caz Parker of MMH Radio being one of mine), just makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. I know I use the same words to describe things but there is no other way to express it. A feeling you just can’t explain. I’ve come back with a new sense of myself and the direction I am wanting to go in, not just in my career but myself.

Maybe turning 30 has hit a different note but either way, a blistering time at HRH in between fire alarms, power outages, alcohol flooded floors and roaring voices! Roll on HRH NWOCR in January!

Have a Nice Day; I Certainly Did

When you find an album or an artist, you never purposely go looking for it, not one that will impact your life that’s for sure. “Have a Nice Day” did just that and it started me on a journey towards the music that I love today.

My parents are great lovers of music, especially my mother. She loves everything from Glen Millar to Marilyn Manson to Frank Sinatra to David Guetta and many more mad combinations. I started paying attention to music a lot more when I got to 13. Rock music always hit a bit more of a stride with me except maybe 90s dance tracks from the likes of Hadaway, Sash and other horrendous 90s bands. With Linkin Park, Korn, Aerosmith, The Offspring and Green Day rolling around the house, I started taking more notice of music. Thanks to my grandparents and dad having Sky/Virgin (NTL at the time), I found music channels such as MTV, Kerrang and VH1 and was immediately captivated. They played a lot of music videos of the great rock bands of the 80s and the first video I saw was “Living on a Prayer”. From that a love (more of a teenage obsession) of Bon Jovi grew and that year (2015), Bon Jovi brought out a new album.

Have A Nice Day album cover

The “Have a Nice Day” single was released on 8th August 2005, with the album of the same name being released 20th September 2005. That image of the smirking face is one that’ll stay with me for the rest of my life. At the time of its release, I didn’t have any money to buy the album so I had to wait until I got money for my birthday to grab it all for myself. At Christmas the school made a trip to the Metro Centre in Gateshead and the only thing I wanted was the album. I headed straight to HMV and spent all my money on it.

From this album, the title track obviously grabbed my attention. “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”, got to number five in the UK charts but their duet with Jennifer Nettles, got the track to number one on the US Billboard Hot Country tracks chart. I love both versions to be honest and it is great when played live. “Welcome to Wherever You Are” from the minute it starts has always pulled a string on my heart. It is uplifting and when in doubt of yourself, it is a great track to make you both cry and smile. “Story of My Life”, “I Am”, “Bells of Freedom” and bonus tracks such as “Unbreakable” and “Dirty Little Secret” are all outstanding and amazing. I just fell completely and utterly in love with this album!

I played it on repeat, constantly. Everyday after school I’d run upstairs and pressed play on my CD player and listened to it all the way through, learning it word for word. The only track I skipped was “Wildflower”, looking back at it now, sadly that track was a taste of what was to come from Bon Jovi in years to come. A lot of the songs are typical rock tracks with some emotional lyrics that did touch a nerve with my emotional state at the time. When the family became homeless, living in a shelter with convicts and addicts, we couldn’t take much. I had to take my Walkman and my CD.

Bon Jovi, 2005, album insert photograph

Thanks to discovering Bon Jovi, I went back and looked at their history. When Bon Jovi started, all of these other amazing bands were out there and I loved them too! Most of them I still do! “Have a Nice Day” was for me, the last album I felt that Bon Jovi were still a rock band. Yes I have seen them twice since, once with Richie Sambora (thank the lord) and once with Phil X (handsome man, great guitarist but not quite the same). I am yet to feel the same love, adoration and appreciation for the band and an album like I did with this one.

Over the years my love for Bon Jovi has wavered due to the lack of rock tracks and albums they have produced. I’ve not bought an album since “What About Now” but I have listened via Spotify. My love for the “Have a Nice Day” album will never change, the lyrics hit a certain spot at a difficult moment in my life and I needed music more than ever, just to escape and believe I was somewhere else with anyone else. My teenage crush of Bon Jovi and Jon will never change, my ultimate wish is to hopefully speak to Jon someday, a girl can have dreams right?

Watch the video for “Have a Nice Day” on YouTube and stream the whole album via Spotify to listen to your hearts content. I hope it helps and touches someone’s soul as much as it did mine.

Scrub A Dub Dub, Feeling Good in the Tub

I have always had dodgy skin. Skin on my face is oily, dry and dull, skin on my knees and elbows are dry and I had a terrible problem with strawberry legs. By accident, I found a scrub that I am completely obsessed with that has helped with all my problems… almost.

There is so many products out there that claim to be the miracle cure to every issue going. This scrub isn’t necessarily a miracle but hell, it has sure helped. The scrub is made ethically, kind to the planet and animals and gives back to charity. What more could you ask for?

Doesn’t look like much

I accidentally came across this scrub after I subscribed to Glossybox (it only lasted three months). It was something I didn’t think I would like, a body scrub, made from tea? I don’t think so! But I gave it a go anyway as the Body Shop had stopped making my favourite sugar scrub. The scrub was called Delhicious. At the time, I had the original flavour but there are three: original, coconut and mint. I opened the packet and I must say, it did stink of dead teabags, one that had been used within an inch of its life and slapped into the bottom of a bin bag. In my hand it felt very rough but not harsh. I lathered my skin in hot water in the shower and began scrubbing away.

Scrubbing my legs

Surprisingly I only had to use a small amount to get the full benefit. A 50 pence piece size did one limb at a time and the same for my body. Massaged it in and began buffing it off. My skin didn’t feel dry, it felt nourished and incredibly hydrated not exactly your first thought when using a rough scrub. The smell of dead teabag actually didn’t matter, it combined its scent with my own skin and was just amazing! It was even gentle enough (even though it feels rough) to use on your face and didn’t like my skin feeling tight or over irritated.

Fast forward two years and I am still buying this scrub. It is truly perfect. I only use it every couple of days, at a maximum of four times a week otherwise my skin does get dry. It is my favourite thing to come home to after a long shift, a weekend away or after being out the night before at a sweaty gig (or a long night of drink), it’s perfect to cleanse away all that grime. I like to take a little bit in a little pouch on holiday with me, just great to buff away the day’s sunscreen before applying aftersun lotion.

The coconut tea scrub is my favourite, especially during the summer, combine it with Original Source Lime shower gel and you smell amazing! The company has since gone on to create moisture balms which I am yet to try. Everything Delhicious makes is Vegan and Cruelty Free, and is ethically made. 10% of all profits go to a charity called “Stop the Traffik” which aims to stop human trafficking (click the link to find out more). I love this! Indulging in self love also gives love back to those who need it. I adore Delhicious for this and I think more companies should look at this.

The coconut scrub contains Black Assam Tea, coconut extract, sugar and salt, essentials oils and love. It claims to “combat stretch marks and dry skin giving you a radiant glow.” With a dab of Vitamin E to help promote healthy skin, it’s a wonderful bit of self love added to your day.

If you wish to give the scrub a go yourself, please head over to their website and order yours today! I promise you, you won’t regret it!

https://www.delhiciousbody.com/

Boots

This is Who You Should Be

It’s been 10 days since I returned home from the most amazing weekend that I have had in nearly two years. I didn’t want to come home, there’s nothing wrong with coming home, I just can’t be me.

Outfit for Day 1

Not going to lie but I was anxious about stepping into a large venue again after being away for so long. To be amongst that many people in a confined space had me a little worried, but once I was through those doors I didn’t have a care in the world. I saw the girls from HRH Tower and then walked into the back room to give a big old hug to Toby, followed by Mikki, Geoff, Simon and of course boss man Jonni. The hugs from those whom you’ve missed so much are the greatest.

The room was filled with madness gathering everyone’s passes, sound check, sorting out bands, COVID checks and everything else, it was pure madness and as always the darling Toby was having kittens. The litters he have are unreal! Once the voting texts were all sorted and sound check was completed we were good to go! Twister sadly had a prior engagement so couldn’t open up the Highway to Hell competition but Enquire Within did a cracking job getting the crowd warmed up and ready to rock. After being away from live music for so long, my poor ears didn’t quite know how to handle it other than ache. So yes, I had to wear ear plugs for a bit. A failure to myself but my ears, wow! And in all honesty I have missed that after gig buzz in my ears and butterflies in my stomach. It was great to amongst my own people, my own kind!

Outfit for Day 3

I couldn’t get over the fact I was in a room with all these people and could feel the vibrations under my feet once again. We were in our own little bubble and nothing happening outside of the walls we were in mattered in that moment.

Another thing that I enjoyed was getting ready. Slapping on my make up, backcombing my hair, having a little drink before taking on the event. I had outfits saved and stored at home just for events like this. At home, you get called dressed up or too smart just for wearing clean clothes. During the day my town looks like a dilapidated Olympic village and by night a collection of Love Island rejects, but everybody is carbon copy of each other. Yes people have every right to be who they are and wear what they want but then why is it ok to shun and sneer at others who try to be different? At HRH, I’ve never felt like that.

People will say just be who you are or as Dave Lepard of Crashdïet (RIS), “Be Yourself and Not a Puppet in the Freakshow”, but it is hard when you have confidence issues. I was bullied a lot at school and diagnosed with a mild form of Body Dysmorphia so having any confidence in how I look is a big difficulty. Yet for some reason when I am at these events, I feel safe and more confident than ever before. Now I have friends who along the way have helped me become who I am and encourage me to be GlamRat. I can be Charlotte to my family, I can be Charlie to everyone else but I need to be who I am a lot more, especially since the years are ticking by. Before I know it I will be too old to take advantage of my position which I have done for years. Allowed the world to go by, not anymore.

This is who I should be. I should be me.

That Didn’t Work

The year of the Rat didn’t exactly go to plan. Let’s face it, 2020 didn’t go to plan for anybody. My optimism for the year quickly disappeared along with everyone else but there has been some sparkling highlights.

I was determined to take on 2020, invest more in myself and create more with GlamRat. I wanted to do interviews, reviews, work festivals and just become a whole new me. Sadly Coronavirus took over the world and ground everything to a halt.

My radio show with Hard Rock Hell Radio has carried on being a success during lockdown and my listeners were steady. To be honest, doing the radio every week kept me sane but it did become difficult with not having much to talk about. Nobody was touring and not many bands were producing anything new. Life did become a bit of a drag.

Over the summer we opened back up to the world and come the autumn I began my university journey, which was such a thrill (even though it stressed me out I loved it). Come the winter months we closed back down again and only now have we started to get back to some kind of normal.

Whole Lotta Noize Poster

Let’s just say last year was a bit of a washout but 2021 has started to pick up with only four months left to go. I’ve finished my first year with a 2:1 average and I gained a new radio show with Scotland Rocks Radio which has been great. A brilliant chance to show off other genres of rock, not just AOR. My first festival is at HRH Sleaze over bank holiday weekend, I’m back at university in September and then I have a milestone birthday in November, with two weeks at a HRH festival which I’m so excited for.

2022 is looking to be a busy year and I can’t be more excited for it! This is the main reason for me getting back to this website. I want to share more with you all both with the music side and personal side. The blog will be fun and maybe sometimes thoughtful and I’ll try to keep it interesting.

Most of all I want to thank you for taking your time to support me and who knows what the future will bring!

Until next time…