Monthly Archives: January 2015

What not to include in your online dating profile

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When it comes to online dating, your profile is the first representation of you that a potential date has access to. This means you need to make the right impression throughout your profile in order for them to start talking to you.

There's no point in being great in conversation if your online dating profile breaks all the rules. After all, who's going to message you back if your profile is offensive, incomplete or blank?

Here are some of things you definitely shouldn't do if you want to stand a chance in the romance department.

Don't lie

It can be tempting to bend the truth a bit when it comes to your profile in an attempt to make yourself look more attractive to potential partners. This can mean lying about your job, living situation, appearance or even using an image that is photoshopped, old or not even of you.

However, the truth will eventually come out and whether this happens during an initial online conversation or after you've met a person face to face, it won't paint you in a good light. 

With this in mind, if you want a meaningful relationship to come out of your online dating experience, you need to be truthful. You don't have to tell your whole story, but everything you write in your profile should be factual.

Don't set your expectations too high

If you're going to include in your profile what type of partner you're looking for, don't reach for the stars. If you write a long list of what you're looking for, hardly anyone will contact you as they will feel as though they can't live up to your expectations.

Instead of saying everything that would make up your perfect partner, keep it simple. Stating that you are looking for a non-smoker who enjoys foreign films is really all you need and will likely increase the number of people who contact you.

You'll be able to tell if someone is right after talking to them, so give yourself a chance and don't scare everyone off straight away.

Don't include your life story

Including too many details about yourself in general is a big pitfall. You should try and keep your profile simple, easy to digest and informative without including a novel. 

If you put too much info onto your profile, it leaves you with very little ground to cover when it comes to people getting to know you. It can also be very off-putting for potential matches, who are more likely to skip over you completely.

Keep your information to a minimum. After all, less is more.

Avoid cliches

Cliches are one of the worst things you can include in your online dating profile. They make it cheesy and offer no insight into your personality. Just as cliches in a CV make you look generic, including them in your online dating profile shows a lack of originality and personality.

Tell people what you really enjoy or what foods you really like rather than simply including things you think they want to hear. Not only is this more honest, it shows that you're a real person who is worth talking to.  

When it comes to online dating, your profile is the first representation of you that a potential date has access to. This means you need to make the right impression throughout your profile in order for them to start talking

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Possible sparks: How do you think your first date went?

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It's an exciting prospect, you've been talking to someone for a while, you've had your first date and they've said they'd like to meet up with you again. But do you really think your first date went well enough to warrant pursuing the relationship?

It can be flattering being asked out again following an initial meeting, which can cloud your judgement. This could mean you agree to a second date when there isn't a spark or a chance of it becoming much more.

With this in mind, here are a few things you should consider after your first date.

Did you feel that initial spark?

This is usually the best place to start when it comes to deciding whether a second date is right. Ideally you want to feel an initial connection. If you didn't experience this and the first date a fell a bit flat, or you simply felt like two friends having a chat, it could be a sign that romance isn't on the cards.

Even if a romantic relationship isn't possible, you may find that you've met someone who could be a great mate. However, you should be sure you're on the same page because arranging to meet as friends could lead to some confusion on their part if you haven't made this clear.

Were you bored?

If you found your first date boring and uninteresting, why are you even considering a second? It may sound harsh, but if you weren't engaged or entertained, there is little chance things will improve with a second.

Although nerves can make things awkward on a first date, being bored can come as a result of there being no spark and you having very little in common. This is why it is probably best to simply call it a day.

Were you attracted?

Although personality is a big part of being able to build a great relationship, you also need to be physically attracted to the other party. If you didn't find them attractive, the chances of a successful physical relationship are pretty slim.

It isn't the be all and all, as sometimes you can find someone's personality really attractive even if they don't initially tick your boxes in terms of physical appearance. Judge whether one outweighs the other and make your decision.

Would they get on with your friends?

This is a really important thing to consider, after all, if they won't get on with your friends, can you see the relationship lasting? You want to be with someone who will feel comfortable when around your friends and who will engage in banter and conversation with them.

If they aren't likely to get on with your friends, this can cause issues for you down the line. Ideally, you want to be with someone who will accept you and your friends as this will stop them from disapproving of you going out with them, or of them refusing to hang out with them as well as you.

Would you introduce them to your parents?

While you don't want to throw them in the deep end and introduce them to the folks straight after a first date, this question is worth considering. 

If they were inappropriate, rude, had bad manners or swore a lot; they may not be the type of person you want to bring home to meet mum and dad. This can cause issues with a relationship down the line, especially if things get serious.

It's an exciting prospect, you've been talking to someone for a while, you've had your first date and they've said they'd like to meet up with you again. But do you really think your first date went well enough to

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There’s romance in music: Great events for Valentine’s Day

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With Valentine's Day coming up, it's time to start thinking about what you might want to do with your date on the evening. 

While a meal and a movie is always a good shout, it can get a bit tired, whereas you could make the most of a shared love in classical music and head to a concert. Here are some great events going on around the UK on February 14th.

Thames Concerts Series

Taking place in St Andrew's Church in Surbiton, this performance will see international soloists Alison Pearce (soprano) and Adrian Clarke (baritone) joined by Benjamin Costello (piano), Thames Concerts' artistic director. 

The programme will feature a number of popular musical theatre and opera duets and arias. It will feature music from Mozart, Lehar, Gershwin, Purcell, and Rodgers and Hammerstein as well as other songs. 

This will be a great romantic evening while also being the closing performance of the series. 

Tickets are priced at £15 each on the door, with full-time students and under-16s receiving free entry.

Leicester Symphony Orchestra: Music and Love 

On February 14th, you could also head to De Montfort Hall in Leicester for an overview of love music performed by the Leicester Symphony Orchestra. Featuring the love theme from Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet as well as music from West Side Story.

Soloists Sarah Redgwick and Christopher Diffey will provide the voices for the event, coming together to perform the end of the first act of Puccini's La Boheme.  

A range of tickets are available from the box office. There will also be a pre-concert talk at 6.30 by conductor John Andrews.

York Guildhall Orchestra

You could also head to the York Barbican to enjoy pieces from Mozart, Puccini and Ravel by the York Guildhall Orchestra. The concert will send you on an emotional rollercoaster as you enjoy Mozart's 21st Piano Concerto right through to Puccini's 'Your Tiny Hand is Frozen.'

The evening will include performances by Celine Forrest, Oliver Johnston, Rebecca Taylor and Simon Wright.

A number of tickets are available from the box office, offering you a fantastic and romantic night filled with music.

With Valentine's Day coming up, it's time to start thinking about what you might want to do with your date on the evening.  While a meal and a movie is always a good shout, it can get a bit tired,

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5 of the worst first date ideas

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If you've been chatting to someone online for a while, it could be time to meet them on person and go on a first date. No matter how well you think you know them or how long you have been talking to them, first dates are nerve-wracking. 

You want to be sure you are doing something you'll both enjoy but that will also allow you to talk to each other. However, your whole date shouldn't be about talking, as this can make for some very awkward moments.

Here are five of the worst first date ideas, although they are good ideas for going out together later on.

Cinema

This tends to be a standby date idea for many people, but for a first date it isn't ideal. Simply going to the cinema essentially means you'll be sat next to your date in silence for a few hours. 

You won't be able to get to know your date or have fun and there is no guarantee that they'll enjoy the film. These factors could make for a very bad first impression and fail to lead onto a second date. 

Rather than simply meeting at your local cinema, arrange to have a coffee or a drink beforehand so you can break the ice and have a chat. That way you are both more comfortable and won't feel so awkward during the film. 

Choose a fairly early showing so you can also get some food afterwards; this will allow you to talk about the film so the date ends on a more comfortable note. Ensuring you have more time to chat will increase the likelihood of them agreeing to see you again.

Pub crawl

While you may enjoy heading to the pub with friends and drinking your way around the town, this isn't the best way to get to know someone on a first date. You want your date to get to know the real you, not the drunken you who will undoubtedly end up making a fool of themselves with their friends. 

Going for a quiet drink can be a good idea for a first date, but surrounding your date with your friends and simply going to bars for the purpose of excessive drinking can make them very uncomfortable and will probably not be as much fun for them. 

You also want your first date to be about you and them, so bringing friends along who can overpower the conversation is a bad idea. Instead, go to a quiet pub somewhere and just enjoy each other's company without drinking too much.

Paintballing

Taking your date paintballing on your first date, or partaking in another very active pursuit, is a bad idea. For starters, you won't get to know them or get to talk beyond shouting instructions.

However, they could also get hurt, which is never the best way to make a good impression. You want to leave active pursuits until you've gotten to know them a bit better, that way you can be sure they'll enjoy themselves.

Instead, why not simply go for a walk or do something quiet and casual that doesn't involve overalls? They'll feel a lot more at ease, there is little to no risk of injury, and you'll actually be able to talk.

Dinner at home

You might think that preparing a meal at home for your date is a romantic idea, and it is – for a second or third date. Inviting someone to your house on the first date can make them feel a bit nervous, especially if you have only spoken online.

It is much more comfortable, as well as safer, to meet somewhere public for your first ever face to face date. You'll both feel a lot more at ease and it will lead to fewer awkward moments as the date progresses.   

Another practical point is that you won't know what types of food they like, while your nerves could also get the best of your cooking ability. Put this idea on the back burner and see how the first date goes before suggesting it.

A gig

If you're both fans of classical music, attending a concert together and then having a meal could be a great choice for a first date. However, heading to a gig featuring heavier music is likely to go badly.

For starters, it is hard to know what band you should go and see and where you should see them. Beyond this, the fact of the matter is you'll end up stuck in a crowded venue, unable to talk to each other, while also being highly likely to get separated. 

Your first date should be about getting to know each other, so make sure what you choose and where you go allows you to do this. After all, you want to increase your chances of getting date number two.

If you've been chatting to someone online for a while, it could be time to meet them on person and go on a first date. No matter how well you think you know them or how long you have been

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Opera Awards 2015 nominees announced

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The nominations for this year's Opera Awards have now been announced, with some of the best people in the business up for an accolade. The list of nominees is very much a celebration of talent, companies and productions from outside the UK, with a great range of people vying it out for a trophy.

In the best Female Singer category, Sonya Yoncheva (soprano) is nominated alongside Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano) and Anna Netrebko (soprano), resulting in a very competitive category. It is difficult to say who is the favourite to win, with all the singers delivering outstanding performances throughout 2014.

Up for the award of best Male Singer are Christian Gerhaher (baritone) and Lestyn Davies (countertenor). 

Other singers have been nominated for the Readers' Award, allowing the public to vote for the winner. Nominees for this award include Susan Graham (mezzo-soprano), Jonas Kaufmann (tenor) and Nina Stemme (soprano). 

Conductors who made the grade and are nominated at the awards include Semyon Bychkov, Edward Gardner and Gianandrea Noseda.

When it comes to the prestigious award for Best Opera Company, only one UK company is in the running. The English National Opera will vie it out with Opera Vlaanderen, Konische Oper Berlin and Teatre Royal de la Monnaie.

However, two UK choruses are up for an award in the Chorus category, with nominations being announced for both the English National Opera and the Welsh National Opera choruses.

The Young Singer category sees Angel Blue, one of the performers due to appear at Classic FM Live later this year, fighting it out with other highly talented youngsters, who have all impressed hugely over the last 12 months.

The awards ceremony is due to take place at The Savoy Theatre on April 26th, will all the winners being announced. You are able to attend the ceremony and see the full list of nominees on the Opera Awards website.

This could be the perfect opportunity to experience the buzz and lively atmosphere that such a prestigious event brings, while also being able to see some of your favourite opera stars up close. 

The nominations for this year's Opera Awards have now been announced, with some of the best people in the business up for an accolade. The list of nominees is very much a celebration of talent, companies and productions from outside

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Cambridge Music Festival receives funds to continue for 36th year

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The Cambridge Summer Music Festival has been saved from cancellation after a generous loan was granted to the event, allowing it to take place for the 36th year. 

A total of £35,000 was needed to see the event happen this year, with a campaign being launched by Tim Brown, chairman of the festival, in October 2014 to raise the funds. The money was sought to allow the survival of the event, which has been a prominent part of the Cambridge calendar for years.

The festival has remained a popular attraction, with an increase in attendees over the last few years. However, sponsorship and advertising have taken a hit, meaning the event has recently brought in less money than in previous years.

However, the appeal to raise funds to save the festival has been successful, with more than three-quarters of the total needed money being generated already. Group fundraising activities, donations via Just Giving and an anonymous loan have all raised the substantial amount of money.

Despite this substantial amount of money being raised, a further £8,000 still needs to be supplied in order to see the festival go ahead.

It would be a shame to see a tradition that has so far run for 35 years stop, especially as it was last year attended by thousands of people and provided almost 40 classical music concerts. Concerts last year ranged from performances by talent from the university as well as Cambridge residents and internationally acclaimed artist. 

The festival also makes a point of providing support to local music projects and up-and-coming classical music talent, with 2014's opening night concert being performed by the Cambridge community-based choir.

This year's festival is scheduled to take place between July 17th and August 1st. This was announced in a statement on the Cambridge Summer Music Festival's website, but no acts have yet been confirmed.  

The Cambridge Summer Music Festival has been saved from cancellation after a generous loan was granted to the event, allowing it to take place for the 36th year.  A total of £35,000 was needed to see the event happen this

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4 ways to move past an old relationship

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If you've broken up with someone, no matter how long ago, and are looking to move past your previous relationship to meet another person, you need to ensure you're fully ready to do so. You may think that you are totally over your previous flame, but then end up talking only about them on your first date since the break up. Not the best first impression.

Rather than simply being determined to overcome the heartache and power on, you need to ensure you're fully ready. After all, you can't start a new relationship with someone if you aren't over the last one.

Lessening your emotional baggage and regaining confidence in yourself is the best way to go about this. Here are some top tips for getting over a breakup so you're ready for a new love.

Talk about it

You can't get over someone if you keep all your emotions bottled up. You need to work through what you are feeling after a breakup so you can let all the negativity go.

The easiest way to do this is to talk to a friend of family member about what happened, how you feel and what your plans are. 

Even if you broke up amicably, this is still an important step as you may be a lot more upset than you think. This can cause issues later on down the line and damage how much you trust a new partner.

Clear out

A good way to get ready for a new relationship is to make physical room for it in your life. This means having a clear out of items in your home that belong to your former partner or anything that conjures up too many memories.

This is especially important if your breakup was particularly painful, as looking at things can conjure up a lot of emotions even months after ending a relationship. 

You may not necessarily want to get rid of everything, but packing things away in a box and putting them out of sight will help them be out of mind, allowing you to move on and welcome another relationship.

Know who you are 

It may feel like you don't know who you are without your former partner, especially if you were together for a while, but you were a functional person before them and you can get back to that. 

Have a think about what you liked to do while you were single and try reconnecting with friends. While you may not enjoy doing everything you previously did, you'll be able to discover new things you like as a singleton.

Start doing more things for you and work out who you on your own, rather than with a partner. It is much healthier to be able to define yourself as a single person than simply jumping into relationship after relationship and only feeling whole when you are with someone.

Have fun and let go, not only will this help you get over your ex, it also helps increase your chances of meeting someone and gives you things to talk about when online dating. 

Give it time

Time really is the best healer, so make sure you give yourself plenty of it before starting a new relationship. You need time to work through your feelings and reassess your life so you are in the best place, emotionally and mentally. 

If you've broken up with someone, no matter how long ago, and are looking to move past your previous relationship to meet another person, you need to ensure you're fully ready to do so. You may think that you are

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BAFTA nominations for movie soundtracks announced

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The BAFTA nominations for best movie soundtracks have been announced, with a number of phenomenal pieces of music in the running for an accolade. As well as the usual awards for best film and best actor and actress, this year's BAFTAs will see homage paid to some of the best composers and musicians in Hollywood.

Nominations for Best Original Music in a Motion Picture include the soundtrack for The Grand Budapest Hotel, composed by Alexandre Desplat, and Hans Zimmer's score for Interstellar.

JoHann JoHannsson's music for The Theory of Everything, Antonio Sanchez's score for Birdman and the soundtrack for Under the Skin, composed by Mica Levi, have also received nominations. 

Mr Desplat told Class FM that writing the score for the Grand Budapest Hotel was similar to playing with a Rubik's cube due to Wes Anderson's quirky film making style. 

"You turn the colours and then there's a different alignment of colours," he said. "We deconstruct it…It's really fun. It's like two young boys playing in their bedroom with their toys."

The score for Birdman has already been disqualified from the Academy Awards due to the fact that it makes use of pre-existing music, including extracts of Tchaikovsky and Mahler. Despite this, the score by Sanchez has received a nod from the BAFTA committee, putting it in the running for the award.

In terms of film music, one of the best known composers in the world is Hans Zimmer, who has written scores for blockbusters such as Inception, The Dark Knight trilogy and 12 Years a Slave. He has worked with director Christopher Nolan on several films as well as Interstellar, for which he is nominated.

When working on Interstellar, Zimmer scored the music while the film was being developed, which is perhaps why it is so well conceived.

The winner of the award will be announced at London's Royal Opera House on February 8th.

The BAFTA nominations for best movie soundtracks have been announced, with a number of phenomenal pieces of music in the running for an accolade. As well as the usual awards for best film and best actor and actress, this year's

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Courtney Love to appear in musical theatre performance

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Courtney Love is all set to make a big leap from the world of grunge rock to that of musical theatre. The 50-year-old will soon take the lead role in Kansas City Choir Boy, which will be performed at the Here Arts Center in New York for the Prototype opera and music festival.

Kansas City Choir Boy is an off-off-Broadway pop opera, which will see Courtney play a rock star trying to make it big. The former Hole front woman told The New York Times in a recent article: "It's like putting out a single. If it gets catchy, then we do it in London or something. If it doesn't, it doesn't. We think it's really catchy and fabulous."

The storyline of the pop opera follows a couple who end up breaking down due to their individual ambition. Courtney's character of Athena ultimately leaves her musician lover in Kansas City to follow her own dreams in New York. 

Putting a modern twist on the performance, the pop opera is incredibly immersive and will see the cast moving around the audience. It will also feature an intricate design, video aspects and a rich sound system.

The performances will take place at the art centre, which only provides 84 seats per show, between January 8th and 17th. Courtney will perform opposite the show's songwriter Todd Almond.

This isn't the first time Courtney has entered the acting world as she has appeared in a guest role recently in the final series of the FX drama Sons of Anarchy. She will also be making several appearances in Fox's musical drama Empire as a hard rock singer called Elle Dallas. The show is set to air this week (Wednesday January 7th).

She also won critical acclaim for the role she had in the film The People Versus Larry Flynt in 1996, which saw her acting across from Woody Harrelson. However, it is her first appearance acting on stage.

Courtney said that rock and musical theatre have several similarities, including the fact that you need to be "in the moment" for it to really work well. According to her, this is the main rule of both the theatre and rock worlds.  

Courtney Love is all set to make a big leap from the world of grunge rock to that of musical theatre. The 50-year-old will soon take the lead role in Kansas City Choir Boy, which will be performed at the

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Cheap date ideas for cash-strapped January

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Dating in January can be difficult, mainly due to the fact that most of us are a bit cash-strapped following the festive period. 

This can lead to you not wanting to make plans with prospective partners because you don't want to spend out too much. However, failing to make dates can give a possible partner the wrong impression, leaving them thinking that you aren't interested.

Giving them the wrong idea could see you miss out on a relationship or getting to know someone better, so it is best not to wait until February to make plans.

Instead, you can opt for dates that have a relatively low cost. Not only is this kinder on your bank balance, but it also ensures you don't miss out on what could be the start of something good.

Dinner and a movie

This is a classic combination for dates but it can get a bit pricey. With the cost of drinks, a meal, snacks and cinema tickets to factor in, you can end up shelling out a lot.

However, you can reduce the cost by making the meal yourself and entertaining your date in your home.

You can find out what their favourite meal is and make it for them before settling in with a DVD. You can still have drinks and snacks too, but you won't end up paying inflated prices.

Doing this will also show your date that you are willing to put the effort into a relationship, as well as show you care about them having a good time if you make a meal and choose a movie you know they would like.

Museums and galleries

If you want to take in a bit of culture on a date, you may want to head to a museum or gallery. However, sometimes admission fees can make this an expensive outing.

Finding out what free attractions there are in your area or if admission fees are reduced at any point – some places put prices down during the winter to attract more people – can help you save money.

This is a great option for a date during the day, especially when the weather is bad, as it will allow you to enjoy different exhibitions while chatting and getting to know each other better.

Nature walk

It may be winter, but there are still some beautiful sights to take in on a nature walk. So long as it isn't raining, this can be a fun idea and can break up the monotony of staying inside throughout the colder months. 

You can head to your local park, go to the moors or head to an outside attraction depending on distance and accessibility. Just be sure your date knows to dress appropriately so they stay warm and enjoy themselves.

To make the date a little cosier, you could bring along some gloves for your date, or even pack a picnic complete with a flask of hot chocolate and a warm blanket. This will show how considerate you can be, while also making the day a little more romantic.

Dating in January can be difficult, mainly due to the fact that most of us are a bit cash-strapped following the festive period.  This can lead to you not wanting to make plans with prospective partners because you don't want

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