A Chance to be Social.. For Once

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Lately I’ve been a bit of a shut-in, mostly due to finances. I’ve spent most of the past several weekends at home, watching movies by myself, and ultimately being bored.

It’s never easy to have a social life when you’re on a shoestring budget, and it’s even harder when there doesn’t seem to be many people around to hang out with.

I’ve realised recently that most of the few London friends I hang out with somewhat regularly (as in seeing them more than once every 3 to 6 months lol) are coupled up. And being a single guy hanging out with couples all the time can get quite tiresome.

In other words, it makes me feel like a third wheel, which is never a good feeling.

Despite this, I accepted an invitation from an Italian mate and his partner to go to their place in Coggeshall near Colchester, as they were having a few people over for a Eurovision BBQ. I’ve been to their place several times before, and it’s a lovely quiet little village, and it’s always nice to get away from the city. In fact, it’s where I spent/celebrated my 40th birthday last year.

(For anyone who’s not aware, Eurovision is an annual singing contest where people across Europe get to vote for their favourite, but not for their own country. It’s fun, cheesy and camp as hell, but always entertaining.. Think X-Factor on a much bigger scale, and better lol)

In the end there were about a dozen of us, including their straight lodger and his friend. We had loads of food, plenty of drinks, and lots of laughs as we watched the telecast via BBC iPlayer .. And every time it stopped to buffer, we all had to take a drink. Lol Luckily it didn’t buffer too much.

As a fairly introverted person who’s shy around new people, it took me a bit to relax and open myself to interacting with these strangers (and before you ask, no there wasn’t anyone cute.. dammit lol). Once I did, it was fun and a laugh, and makes me glad I agreed to come for the party.

Of course the one act everyone seemed to be cheering on was Conchita Wurst from Austria, a bearded drag-queen/performer who went on to win the contest itself. It’s an amazing song (check the video below) that could easily be used as a Bond theme song.

And let’s be honest, she gives great face.

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Anyway here’s hoping I can find other fun (and cheap) things to do that’ll get me out of the house and be social.. Cause I definitely don’t want to become a hermit.

Much 😉

Understanding Eurovision.. Maybe

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So… being from Canada, I was totally oblivious as to what the ‘Eurovision Song Contest‘ was.

I’d kind of heard of it over the years, but I hadn’t really bothered to find out what it was all about.  It wasn’t something that was ever shown in Canada so what was the point.

Of course it’s different now that I’ve been in London for close to 4 years now… not that I really have a clue of what it’s all about still, but at least it can be fun to watch.  For the finals this past Saturday, I was perched at the bar in a Brighton bear pub after spending the day roasting in the glorious sunshine.  🙂

Mostly from my experience and from people I’ve talked to about it, it’s just a fun night of music.  Everyone knows it’s going to be cheesy… and some can be downright creepy.  Check out the pic of twins Jedward creating a heart with their hands. (They’ve now represented Ireland 2 years in a row..)

It’s meant to solely be entertainment.. but the more you read about it, the more you come across theories about how the voting is all political and so forth.  Umm.. ok, it’s a song contest people.

So… for those back home or outside Europe – What is Eurovision and what is the point of the contest itself?

Ummm.. no clue.  I checked their website (Eurovision.tv), but I didn’t really find much as the the ‘why’ the contest exists to begin with.

So I turned to good old Wikipedia for some information .. and the contest was set up by the European Broadcasting Union as a way of bringing together the countries of the EBU around a “light entertainment programme” as Europe was rebuilding after the war.

I’m not going to go through the 50-some odd years of history of this program .. Most of it is kind of boring, like when they changed the rules form this to that.  Or when they introduced the phone voting or the semi-final voting.

Or even that currently each year there are 6 countries that get an automatic pass into the live finals – the host country (previous year’s winner) and the ‘Big 5’ (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom).  After a bit of reading on Wikipedia and the official website, I eventually found out this was because those 5 country’s broadcasters (BBC for the UK) are the biggest financial contributors to the contest and broadcast itself, and that it couldn’t be shown without their financial backing.

There’s a whole bunch of other information about the contest that I read through.. but to be honest, it’s not much more exciting .. and I got completely lost as to why countries like Iceland, Israel, Morocco, Russia, and such were able to participate in the contest when they’re not even part of Europe or the EU (there was a bunch of latitude and longitude numbers thrown around to explain the area..).

If you really want to know more about it, check out the Wikipedia page, or the Eurovision website itself.

I’m sure I could probably wrap my head around it all, but it’s late and I’ve got to be up for work in the morning. 😉

I’ve decided to just try and enjoy the music… even if most of it is cheesy (check out the Russian entry from this year .. and they came 2nd!).  And I’m not even going to discuss the UK’s entry.

Here’s the 2012 winning entry from Sweden.. It’s totally catchy, dancey.. and gotta love the lighting/camera work done for her performance.

Loreen performing ‘Euphoria’