So here I am, once again, back blogging after nearly a year off. It wasn’t through lack of ideas or even nothing evoking my interest, far from it in fact – I just really wasn’t sure of which direction to go. Previously named ‘Point to Fine Leg’ following the title of my 2011 cricket eBook, this blog started it’s life aimed at women who might just want to get into cricket.
I am here to inform you all that this is my primary goal NO MORE. When I wrote my eBook, I aimed to MAKE CHANGE, and indeed some change was made. I was hearing of more and more women going to cricket grounds and enjoying the sport that I spent so long trying to polish for those with little or no interest. I participated in commentary for local cricket matches on BBC Wales and BBC London, I was interviewed on the BBC World Service, I engaged in many a radio debate, met so many powerful, talented and inspirational people and even got to ride in an Aston Martin along the way. The MacBook I am blogging on right now even gets kept in an official Sky Sports laptop case… it’s who you know! **wink wink**
One of my favourite outcomes of my efforts is a message I received from a supporter of my cause, who took the time to tell me about what happened when he recommended my eBook to a friend of his. After reading my book, she took up cricket herself and started following Nottinghamshire, watching both home and away matches. She then met someone at the cricket and is now currently in Australia with him for The Ashes series. Oh, and they’re engaged. Could I have asked for anything more? Even if no other person read my book, this influence is enough for me and I can sit back happily thinking, Yes Stacey, you made change.
So where do I go from here? Well mine is a mind where a thousand thoughts a day do cross. Simply put, as the title of my new blog suggests, I plan on taking you on a journey through the clouds of my own imagination. I’m not famous enough for an autobiography, not posh enough for memoirs, but I can be immortalised on the internet in my blog. I don’t expect you to enjoy every post, I just hope you can relate to at least one.
Oh, and FYI, that’s me in the photo (circa 1985) probably lost in thought, much like right now.
I haven’t included the following song in my Top 10 Worst Song Lyrics List as these lyrics really do deserve recognition in their own separate blog. They win the award for ‘Weirdest Song Lyrics of All-Time.’ Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you, “Judy in Disguise” – John Fred and his Playboy Band.
I love a good top 10 list – I do them often with my friends. I’m probably the female-equivalent of John Cusack in High Fidelity. I recall a three-hour trip to London with my friend Jade and the entire 180 minutes was spent making top 10 lists. Top 10 people I’d like to be at my ‘end of the world’ dinner party… Top 10 people I’d like to reverse over in my car. you know, the usual!
This list however, did not come to me like the others.
As you know from reading my blog, I love singing with my guitar. I also did a Welsh and Music degree 12 years ago. Combine these two facts together and you’d think I’d like writing my own songs to sing. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I can come up with funky little hooks and melodies all day long but asking me to write song lyrics is like asking J.K. Rowling to write a rap song. It’s not where our powers lie – I’m all about the long game. Over the years I’ve loved writing stories and novels but my poetry skills are somewhat lacking. Don’t get me wrong, I can rhyme with the best of them but great song lyrics aren’t about rhyme as you know. They’re about meaning, sound, flow and how they fit in with the melody. Easy-listening for the ear and all that jazz…
Lately however, I’ve started to re-evaluate my lyric-writing. Mainly due to the fact that I’ve heard so many songs where it sounds like the writers have just typed phrases onto their iPhones and autocorrect has had a field day! This then got me thinking, what are the “Top 10 Worst Song Lyrics in the World?” It’s a question I’ve tackled in this blog. Let me know if you agree/disagree or have some new ones to add. It’s worth noting too that this ‘Top 10 Worst Song Lyrics’ is not original in the slightest – there are thousands of blogs about this subject on the net, but the list of songs is very definitely my own. I’ve tried not too be too obvious and have avoided the easily-targeted ‘gimmicky songs’ (think ‘I’ve got a Brand New Combine Harvester) – these aren’t included in my list for reasons of fairness. FYI Katy Perry, you should be grateful you’re not in this list!
10. “Human” – The Killers – These guys start the countdown at ten. They’re a great band with some fantastic lyrics and annoyingly awesome songs but I have to say, I despise this song as much as I despise spiders. Brandon Flowers is on his knees trying to find out if we are human (which we are) or ‘dancer.’ That’s all I’m saying about this as I’m getting riled up just typing about it!
“Are we human or are we dancer? My sign is vital, my hands are cold And I’m on my knees looking for the answer Are we human or are we dancer?”
9. “Happy” – Pharrell Williams – OK, I LOVE this song so I feel slightly guilty about including it in my list but the first line of the chorus just cannot be forgiven. Sorry Pharrell!
“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.”
8. “A Neverending Dream” – Cascada – Yes, Cascada is a bit of Europoppy fun and yes, they’re a band that we all loved to dance to about ten years ago but any song that overuses the words You, Too and Do for the sake of rhyme deserves to be struck off the ‘acceptable cheesy pop list!’ I have never wanted to evacuate the dance floor faster. Exhibit A:
“A neverending dream a dream of you, I believe I received a sign of you,tonight I want to hide my feelings too,as you do and I want to be with you.”
7. “Buck Rogers” – Feeder – I loved this song growing up. I remember giving it a lot of air time on my school radio station (back in my DJ-ing days – bet you never knew I did that!) and everybody loved it. Back then at age 17, I never thought about the words and what they meant, I just loved screaming it out in the DJ booth in the School Technology block. Years later though I can’t help looking back and wondering if Devonians actually drink cider from lemons…
“We’ll start over again, grow ourselves new skin, get a house in Devon, drink cider from a lemon (lemon, lemon, lemon…)”
6. “Town Called Ugley” – Ward Thomas – This is a song I’m loathed to put in as it’s actually ridiculously catchy and hilarious to sing in the car whilst pretending you’re driving through a little town in America with your best girl-mate, Thelma. That and the fact I actually like Ward Thomas. That being said, there are are a couple of lines in this song that are just unforgivable and shoots it straight in at number six on my list.
“Swerved more than a couple times for a black alpaca, delayed in every kind of way so time was a factor, only made worse by a broken down tractor…”
5. “Whenever, Wherever”/“SheWolf”– Shakira – I’ve loved singing along and dancing to the lovely Shakira since her intriguing voice and weird ‘bendiness’ burst onto the scene in 2001, but whether it’s bad translation or what, some lyrics one just can’t forgive. I’ve cheekily slotted in two separate Shakira songs here (think of it as 5a and 5b if you will).
“Lucky that my breasts are small and humble so you don’t confuse them with mountains.” – Whenever, Wherever
“Starting to feel just a little abused like a coffee machine in an office.” – SheWolf
4. “MacArthur Park – Donna Summer– Singing about a cake left out in the rain? I once left a tube of half-eaten Pringles in my car boot for two years. Not really inclined to write a song about it though!
“MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark All the sweet, green icing flowing down Someone left the cake out in the rain I don’t think that I can take it ‘Cause it took so long to bake it And I’ll never have that recipe again Oh, no!”
“Oh Annie, I’m not your daddy Mama’s baby’s, papa’s baby See if I was in your blood Then you wouldn’t be so ugly.”
2. “Every Picture Tells a Story” – Rod Stewart – This song came out 12 years before I was born and the seventies wasn’t really famous for being politically correct, however that’s no excuse for these lyrics. Epic fail Rod, epic fail.
“On the Peking ferry I was feeling merry
sailing on my way back here
I fell in love with a slit eyed lady
by the light of an eastern moon
Shangai Lil never used the pill
She claimed that it just ain’t natural
She took me up on deck and bit my neck
Oh people I was glad I found her
Oh yeah I was glad I found her”
“Life” – Des’ree – Surely you guessed this song would feature in this list? This song sparked a 20-minute rant from my friend Layla and I. There are possibly too many lyrics in this song which annoy me for me to list here so perhaps I’ll stick to the first two verses and the chorus.
“I’m afraid of the dark
Especially when I’m in a park
And there’s no one else around
Ooh, I get the shivers
I don’t want to see a ghost
It’s a sight that I fear most
I’d rather have a piece of toast
And watch the evening news
After thinking long and hard about this list, It’s made me realise that I shouldn’t be so nervous about writing lyrics and being judged by others. Surely there is NO WAY on this Earth I can outdo these ten beauts?
“Mate, what the hell is that?!” Asked Sammy, looking rather unnerved.
“I’m really am sorry mate, you’re gonna turn. You’re gonna become… one of them!” Answered Jackson, already filled with regret from what he was doing. Beads of sweat started to pour down Sammy’s head as he faced the person that was ready to end his life with a flick of a finger.
“I don’t understand, how can you even know that? I feel fine!”
“He was in the toilet when you told everyone about the blue-eye rule, Jackson. He doesn’t know. Maybe you were wrong?” Suggested Mossy, putting his hand on the gun barrel and attempting to lower it. Jackson was too strong for Mossy, and the gun didn’t budge. It was still aimed directly between the Aussie’s bright blue eyes. The rest of the team didn’t quite know what to say or what to do. They trusted Jackson, with their lives, and weren’t about to argue with him over something he seemed to know more about than they did.
“Sammy, close your eyes.” Said Jackson quietly. Sammy quickly reached for his bat and picked it up. He looked ready to attack Jackson.
“I’m not gonna let you do this!” Shouted Mossy next to him. “If he turns, then fine, paint the walls with his baggy green brains but until then, I can’t let you pull that trigger!”
“Don’t you see?” Shouted Jackson back at his best friend, turning his head to look at him. “I’m doing this for us. If he turns, he’ll kill us. I shoot him now and we have a chance!” In that moment, Sammy swung his bat hard at the gun. The shock made Jackson pull the trigger, and the bullet flew straight through Mossy’s shoulder. Jackson dropped the gun as Mossy fell to the floor, pushing down on the wound tightly with his hand.
“Shit Moss I’m so sorry!” Jackson pulled his T-shirt off and wrapped it round the wound, tying it hard to control the bleeding. The wound was deep but thankfully not fatal. Bridgey picked up the gun in anger.
“From now on, I’m the only one who uses this gun!” Jackson felt awful. Considering the current, apparent apocalypse and the fact that his best friend had just shot him in his batting shoulder, Mossy was in reasonably good spirits.
“I guess I really am like Inspector Riggs in Lethal Weapon now, eh Jacks?” Jackson smiled. Before he could respond however, Sammy’s ‘change’ had already begun. He doubled over in searing pain with one hand holding him up and the other hand tightly gripping his hair.
“Jacks, I think we’ve got a problem, boi!” Shouted Obvious-Lee, pointing at Sammy who was now kneeling silently, staring at the floor.
“Has he changed?” Asked Milo. Picking up a cricket ball from the bench behind him. Sammy slowly lifted his head, with glowing red eyes staring straight at Jackson.
“Nevermind!” Screamed Milo, launching the ball at Sammy’s head. Unfortunately, the ball flew straight past him into the wall behind.
“You never could hit the stumps!” Shouted an injured Mossy from the floor. Sammy leapt up from the floor, and pounced at Jackson. Jackson gripped his neck as tightly as he could so he wouldn’t be able to bite. Sammy was strong however, in his new, undead form and his head got closer and closer to Jackson’s neck. Milo realised that he now needed to step up for his brother. He picked up his bat and took the biggest swing at Sammy’s shoulders, sending him flying out of Jackson’s grip and into the changing room door.
“Shoot hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiim!” Yelled Jackson, backing away on all fours.” In that moment, Bridgey lifted his gun and shot a bullet straight between Sammy’s eyes, killing whatever he had become.
The group sat silently, staring at their former team mate. The scene flashing through their minds as if they were watching a replay. Jackson decided that the silence needed to be broken.
Friday, 13th June 2014
19:00, Swalec Stadium, Cardiff
“Who the hell is that?” Asked Milo?
“I think it’s the coach!” Answered Westie. “He left to do a quick interview and never came back.” The boys looked at each other, unsure about what to do. Coach Hagman had coached Essex for 7 years and was popular with his team. “We can’t leave him out there. O’Toole, let him in!”
Jackson snatched the gun from Bridgey’s hand and fired a shot through the wall next to the door just as O’Toole was about to open it, stopping him in his tracks. Westie grabbed the gun off Jackson and threw it to the floor in anger.
“What the hell are you doing?!!” Yelled Westie. Jackson pushed Westie against the wall.
“I’m saving our lives!”
“That’s our Coach out there!” Replied Westie, pushing Jackson back whilst trying not to fall off his crutches. Mossy and Milo quickly intervened and pulled the boys apart. Even in what looked like to be the onset of the end of the world, the rivals were still fighting.
“Quick! Open the bloody door!” Coach Hagman’s deep, loud Northern English voice was so loud it filled the changing room. O’Toole ignored the fighting and opened the door. Coach Hagman slipped through, slamming and locking it behind him. Before he could say anything, loud groans and angry cries followed by bangs on the door echoed around the room. Jackson ran over to the Coach, pinning him against the wall.
“What are you doing, lad?!” Coach Hagman tried to brush Jackson’s hands off but he was too strong. There was a reason this guy has a T20 strike rate of 240.00. Jackson looked into the Coach’s deep brown, saucer-like eyes.
“I’m checking to see if you’re gonna turn. Red eyes mean you’re one of them and blue eyes mean that you’ve gonna become one.” Jackson took his hands off the coach and walked back towards the balcony. “We need to all go back into our changing room and lock the balcony doors. Those guys outside know we’re in here but I’m pretty sure they think the home changing rooms are empty.”
“You want us all to barricade ourselves in?” Asked Westie.
“No, just some of us.” The boys looked nervously at each other.
“What do you mean, Jackson?” Asked Milo, putting his hand on his brother’s shoulder.
“There are people out there.” Said Jackson quietly. “People who need our help. They’ve come here for an evening with family and friends to support us. I can’t stand by while they get eaten by those things. We have weapons here – a shotgun, loads of bats… it’s time to do what’s right. But first, we reconvene next door.”
The boys followed Jackson to the home changing room and were greeted by a nervous Obvious-Lee.
“So what’s the story boys? We got company or wha?”
Jackson spent the next 20 minutes updating his team mates on what had happened on the balcony and in the Essex changing room. He then asked or volunteers to go with him to save who they could, but they were not as forthcoming as he thought they’d be.
“I like, literally can’t believe what you’re asking Jacks!” Shouted Lee, who hadn’t put his bat down for 3 hours. “While you were next door with Ant and Dec by ‘ere, we were watching people’s ‘eads getting ripped of their shoulders mun! Essex boys running round the crease like they were making a bloody Thriller video! We do NOT wanna go out there!” The boys, including the remaining three from the Essex camp all agreed with Lee. All except Mossy.
“I actually can’t believe you guys. You want to just hide up here until it all goes away?” Asked Mossy, striding round the room. “Haven’t you seen Zombie movies? We don’t win. Humans never win. We’re not going to get rescued if we stay here. If we’re lucky they’ll destroy the place, taking us with it. Don’t you at least want to try while we’ve still got a chance?”
Sam Kingston, Glamorgan’s oversees Australian quick strolled out of the toilet during Mossy’s speech. Jackson stared him down, realising he was the only one left in the room who’s eyes he hadn’t checked. As he sat down on the bench, his team mates caught sight of his face and slowly moved further down the benches.
“What have I missed?” Asked Sammy innocently. Jackson, this time slowly and politely, took Bridgey’s shotgun out of his hands and aimed it at his bowler who look confused and terrified down the barrel of the gun.
Friday, 13th June 2014
18:30, Swalec Stadium, Cardiff
The three Glamorgan players struggled to shut the door. The force from the other side was stronger than them, and the door started opening more and more.
“There’s more than one!” Shouted Jackson. “Bridgey, fire a shot at them. They’re too strong!” Bridgey ran over as quickly as he could, but in his rush to get there, slipped in a pool of blood, seeping from the Essex bowling coach’s head. As he fell to the floor, the gun went off, firing a hole right through the wood of the door and narrowly missing Mossy’s head. Luckily, it turned out to be the money shot and the resistance stopped. Jackson, Mossy and Milo were finally able to shut and lock the door. The banging had stopped from the other side.
“You must have hit it!” Said Westie, grabbing his crutches to steady himself.
“No shit Sherlock!” Answered Jackson sarcastically.
“Well it’s official. We’re trapped in the changing rooms.” Said Milo sitting on the bench. “There’s no way out. Of course we could always open the changing room doors and run to the car park, but what good would it do? I sure don’t fancy my chances! Of course we could always fashion a rope out of spare cricket kit and escape over the pitch, but what good would it do? I don’t fancy those chances either!”
The boys took some time to sit down and have a reality check. As bleak as Milo’s outlook was, it was realistic. Jackson however was never one to give up. In a cricket match he’d fight, even if the team were 98-9 chasing 207 (like they were the week before) he’d fight until the very end. Losing without trying was just not in his nature. This was mainly the reason why he was so well-respected by his team.
“So, many of your guys alive over there?” Asked O’Toole. “As you can see, there’s only two of us!
“Not many of us.” Replied Jackson, clearly upset with the situation they’d found themselves in. “These bastards have killed too many of us.”
“We even had to kill our coach!” Interuppted Milo. “It’s so surreal!”
“What I really want to know though, is how did it start?” Asked Bridgey. ‘We were watching the start of the match from the balcony and it seemed to start with your guy Carter! He bowled an over and then all of a sudden, he turned. Did you guys bring this with you all the way from Essex?”
Westie laughed. “Yes, we thought, ‘I know, let’s go and infect the Welsh!’ Don’t be so bloody stupid!” Westie was getting defensive. I was watching from the balcony too you know. Yes, Carter was the first one to change on the field but it was happening in the crowd as well, without him biting any of them. It must be random.” Jackson didn’t look convinced.
“I don’t believe in random.” He said, getting to his feet and looking in the mirror. “Think of the guys on the Glammy team and the Essex team who turned first. What do they all have in common?”
“Some played in the IPL?” Asked Mossy?
“I played in the IPL mate and I’m fine. That’s where I tore my calf muscle.”
“So it’s not that. Did they tour anywhere else? Maybe come back from an infected country?”
“I know for a fact that Carter hasn’t been abroad this year.” Answered O’Toole. “He was meant to be getting married this summer so was planning the wedding with his wife – I was gonna be his best man.” Jackson continued to stare at himself in the mirror as the others sat around trying to come up with reasons for what was now being referred to as a ‘Zombie Apocalypse.’ …and then it came to him…
“Eyes.” Said Jackson quietly.
“What d’you say?” Asked Mossy. Jackson turned to his friend.
“My eyes are brown. Your eyes are brown. So are Milo’s and Bridgey’s. Westie, O’Toole, are your eyes brown?” The two Essex batsmen nodded. “Then that could be it. We need to all go back into the other changing room to check the other boys.If I remember correctly, one of our guys who turned had blue eyes.”
The boys were just about to head out onto the balcony when they heard a cry from the other side of the door, coming through the hole left by Bridgey’s accidental gun shot.
“Let me in! Quick! They’re coming! THEY’RE ALL COMING!”
Friday, 13th June 2014
18:00,Swalec Stadium, Cardiff
Jackson jumped back into Mossy who was creeping close behind him. “Easy!” Whispered Mossy to a clearly disturbed Jackson. “Did you hear that? There’s something out there? I think it just, threw something…” Jackson was shaking. As big and brave as he was, and tried to be for his team, nerves were starting to get the better of him. “Relax man!” Said Mossy, looking into Jackson’s eyes. “I’ve seen you swing a cricket bat, you swing it pretty damn hard!” Jackson smiled. The more he listened to Mossy’s strong South African accent, the more he was able to pretend that he was in a Lethal Weapon film. “Remember, if it growls, has red eyes and looks like it’s been microwaved then swat that zombie piece of s**t for six. Got it?” Mossy’s prep talk was just what Jackson needed. He gripped his bat even tighter and charged out onto the balcony. As he initially suspected, there was indeed an ‘infected’ player standing over a corpse. Essex’s tall, lanky twelfth man Toby Carver. Carver’s mouth was dripping with blood and he had what looked like a head in his left hand. He tilted his head to the side slowly and stared straight at Jackson. “How many are there Jacks?” Shouted Mossy from behind the doorframe. “Two.” Spoke Jackson in a quiet voice. “One walking dead, one dead dead.” “Is the dead dead one going to come back to life like the others?” “I very much doubt it. I think it’s the Essex physio. Although it’s hard to tell without his head actually attached to his body.” Throughout his entire scene description to Mossy, Jackson did not move his eyes from the two dark red spheres of the twelfth man. “I’m gonna have to kill Carver now. In that second, Carver dropped the half-eaten head of the Essex physio and leapt towards Jackson. He was about to swing his bat at Carver’s head when he heard a deafening bang in his ear. Bridgey was standing just behind him with a smoking shotgun aimed at the enemy. Carver’s head lay in bits, scattered over the balcony. All three men turned to Bridgey who slowly lowered his gun. “Look who decided to come to the party!” Said Jackson, fist-bumping his quiet but new-found action hero team mate. “I’ve got your back boys. Now let’s get over there and check their room. I think their door is open…”
Bridgey’s shot had shattered the fence separating the balconies so the boys were able to creep quietly over to the Essex changing room. Jackson peered round the door to see 2 of the Essex players, shaking in the corner of the room, one gripping his cricket bat and the other holding his crutches, ready to attack the next thing to come through the door. There were three or four bodies scattered around the room, all with flattened heads. Jackson needed to get their attention but shouting wasn’t an option. Their changing room door which lead deeper into the pavilion was blood-spattered and ajar. Jackson took a step into the changing room and quickly put his finger to his lip, hoping they would realise he wasn’t one of them. Robin Van der Westhuizen, or Westie to his team mates, the injured South African Essex all-rounder threw his crutch at Jackson in panic, not realising he wasn’t there to attack. The crutch hit Jackson in the ribs resulting in an almightily yelp and the 6ft 4 bowler crashing against the wall and to the floor in agony. Mossy, Milo and Bridgey quickly ran in to see to their friend. Westie soon realised his mistake and hopped over to Jackson who was doubled over in pain.
“Sorry mate, I thought you were one of them!” There was no love loss between Westie and Jackson. They had been rivals for years. Bars would empty to see Jackson bowl his 90mph deliveries at Westie – they were very equally matched which made for the perfect rivalry. Of course their differences were not just on the field. There was history between them. They were cricket rivals, love rivals, Twitter rivals and media rivals – frequently slating one another in interviews. “Come on mate, who are you kidding? You could see I wasn’t a bloody zombie!” Said Jackson, rather angrily. “Don’t get your knickers in a twist!” Replied Westie. “It was an accident!” Bridgey turned to Westie’s team mate O’Toole who was still in the corner, staring out of the changing room door. “Hey buddy, good to see you made it off the field!” “Too many energy drinks for him earlier…” Interrupted Westie. “He needed a toilet break as soon as they started playing!” O’Toole continued to ignore Bridgey. His eyes were fixated on something. “Mate, are you OK?” Asked Mossy. “Not really…” Answered O’Toole in a quiet, shaky voice. “There’s something looking at me.”
“`SHUT THE DOOR!!!” Yelled Jackson. Mossy sprinted to the door and threw his entire body weight at it, feeling some resistance from the other side as it slammed. Milo and Jackson ran over to help keep it closed but the resistance got stronger. Something wanted IN!