Monthly Archives: February 2015

What shouldn’t you do when online dating?

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Meeting someone can be a difficult task, but in this day and age, the internet can really help. Whether you've tried online dating before or are entirely new to it, there are a few things you should remember.

Not following the rules or best practices of online dating can drastically affect your chances of meeting the right person. While you do want to make the most of the whole experience and the fact that you can talk to numerous possible partners, failing to take certain things into account can mean you waste your time or don't find anyone who want to get serious.

So exactly what shouldn't you do when you start your online dating journey? Here are a few tips that could help you find your perfect partner.

Don't get stuck on the details

The small details don't usually matter too much, so you shouldn't let them stop you from talking to someone. Just because they don't like the same movie as you, enjoy a different genre of books or aren't a fan or your favourite food, it doesn't mean they couldn't be your ideal partner.

Beyond the fact that you're never going to find someone who has all the same likes and dislikes, matching up on every point can make things a bit boring. You want to meet someone who can introduce you to new things and ideas; after all, that's what keeps things interesting.

Do they like reading, watching films and trying new foods? That's all you really need to know, so why not say hi?

Don't nitpick over pictures

It can be difficult not to judge people by their photos when online dating. After all, a person's photos are the first look you'll get at their face and body type.

While looks are a big part of attraction, you shouldn't judge too harshly or maintain impossibly high standards. You never know, a person may not photograph well or they may have changed their hair or style since the photos have been taken.

If you're attracted to them at first glance and you have things in common, that should be enough for you to send them a message or a wink. Second guessing yourself will mean that no one ends up being good enough to talk to and you could end up wasting a lot of time.

Don't pay attention to personality claims

People generally suck at being accurate reporters when it comes to themselves, which is why you should take any claims about an individual's personality with a pinch of salt. 

Quite often people include personality points in their online dating profiles that they think are true or that represent traits they want to have. This doesn't mean that these things are fact.

You can't tell what someone's personality is like until you talk to them. So, if someone's profile looks good and you seem to have things in common, get chatting to them and discover their personality for yourself. 

The only claims you should actually take into account are factual ones. This means age, where they live, their job and education are the main things to pay attention to. If they include funny phrases or smart comments within these, that will tell you a lot more than their view of themselves ever will. 

Don't be unrealistic

Talking to someone or having a date is not the same as a relationship. At these stages you are still getting to know each other, so you need to remain realistic.

Creating a fantasy relationship early on will leave you disappointed if things don't work out. It is important that you keep your feet on the ground and takes things as they come rather than planning ahead based on what you want to happen.

Going with the flow is the best thing you can do and will help protect you from hurt feelings if things don't work out. Get to know a person first, spend time with them and then see whether you both want to take things further. This will help you to build meaningful relationships.

Meeting someone can be a difficult task, but in this day and age, the internet can really help. Whether you've tried online dating before or are entirely new to it, there are a few things you should remember. Not following

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Mobile app modernises Don Giovanni performance

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There is still time for you to make the most of a new and pioneering opera in London. Silent Opera is performing its version of Don Giovanni as part of the Vault festival up until March 8th, using mobile technology to make it an opera with a difference.

The opera company has become known for its use of mobile technology and headphone-based performances, helping to transform classics for the modern age. It is currently continuing with these innovations as ticket holders will be able to decide via mobile app whether Don Giovanni dies at the end of the performance.

In an innovative version of the Mozart classic opera, being performed in the beautiful underground vaults beneath Waterloo Station, ticket holders will be given exclusive access to an app. 

The app will provide the audience with off-stage character updates, locations and motivations as the opera is being performed. This effectively helps to create a fully rounded performance that can help the audience to decide Don Giovanni's fate.

Audience members will also have access to pre-recorded spoken-word content and character thoughts via the app. This is a whole new way to experience opera and ties in the classic music and song with fully modern advances.

Even if you have watched one of Silent Opera's updated performances before, this production of Don Giovanni is going to bring something entirely new to the table.

Silent Opera hopes that these unusual additions to classic operas will help to open up the genre to new and younger demographics, making it a more accessible type of production. Currently the company has a demographic of around 60 per cent under the age of 30. Around half of its audience is made up of those who have never seen an opera before.

If you want to see an opera in a new light, you can buy tickets to the latest performances here. 

There is still time for you to make the most of a new and pioneering opera in London. Silent Opera is performing its version of Don Giovanni as part of the Vault festival up until March 8th, using mobile technology

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Orchestra lands massive sponsorship deal

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The London-based Philharmonia Orchestra has received some incredibly positive news recently, with the announcement that it will now be sponsored by a Chinese drinks company. The valuable sponsorship deal with Wuliangye, one of China's top brands, will last five years and is worth £500,000.

David Whelton, managing director of the Philharmonia Orchestra, said: "This is a truly historic collaboration and it is an enormous privilege to be working with a company that combines real cultural leadership with a genuinely innovative approach to both funding and partnership itself."

This excellent deal has come about partly due to 2015 being dubbed the UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange. The British government has made a commitment to showcase the very best of UK culture in China and Chinese culture in the UK, and businesses are going along with it.

You don't get much closer to the best of UK culture than the Philharmonia. One of the country's top orchestras, it was formed almost 70 years ago and has been a cultural institution ever since. It is thought that Wuliangye will be seen as more prestigious through association with the Philharmonia.

The company produces Baijiu, a type of Chinese spirit alcohol that is supposedly the biggest-selling in the world. However, it has not taken off in western markets, which is perhaps another reason for the company to choose the Philharmonia to sponsor.

Liu Zhongguo, Wuliangye's chairman, said: "This historic collaboration will integrate one of China’s premier beverage brands with classical western music and we hope the sponsorship will inspire people to enjoy the harmonious balance of drinking fabulous alcohol while listening to world-class classical music."

Hopefully, this sponsorship deal will see the beautiful classical performances of the Philharmonia become more popular in China. Even if not, the £500,000 deal is sure to be a good one for the orchestra.

The London-based Philharmonia Orchestra has received some incredibly positive news recently, with the announcement that it will now be sponsored by a Chinese drinks company. The valuable sponsorship deal with Wuliangye, one of China's top brands, will last five years and

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Post-Valentine’s tips for online dating

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Valentine's Day is always a bit nerve-wracking for singles. There's a certain pressure that comes with the occasion that can be exhausting, as your friends and family start asking who you're going to be sending a Valentine's card to this year. No wonder so many people swear off dating for a few weeks after February 14th!

However, to do this would be a mistake. If you haven't found love this Valentine's Day, don't give up trying! The post-Valentine's period is actually a fantastic time to find a date for a number of reasons.

First of all, everyone is much more relaxed once Valentine's Day is over. This means the conversations you strike up will be easier and more fun, as nobody feels under pressure to find someone to date. You will find it much easier to talk to people in late February and March, allowing you to forge much more meaningful connections with people.

There's also the fact that a surprisingly large number of couples break up around Valentine's Day. Maybe somebody got their partner too small a gift, or maybe they came on too strongly – either way, there are a lot of newly single people this time of year. While this is obviously sad, it also means there will be an influx of new people on dating sites at this time of year.

These two things combined make online dating much more enjoyable at this time of year. So, how can you make your most of it? Here are a few tips for dating in the post-Valentine's Day period:

Start from scratch

With so many new people on dating sites in this period, it might be a good idea to use it as a chance to start afresh. If your account is out-of-date, you might find a lot of people ignore Completely revamp your profile in order to appeal better to the tide of new people you will be interacting with.

Start by making sure you have a flattering, up-to-date profile picture. This is the first thing people will see, so make sure it is attention-grabbing. Then update your interests. Be honest and put what you like, not what you think other people will want to see. That way, you stand more of a chance getting a meaningful match.

Be open

Bear in mind that many of the people joining an online dating service at this time of year will have been through a Valentine's Day break up. Many people don't like breaking up with their partner before Valentine's, so they will wait until after the occasion to break up. And there are always plenty of Valentine's Day arguments that can cause a relationship to end!

What this means for you is that you will need to be sensitive, open and honest. Don't treat online dating like a game and try cheesy pick-up lines; the people online at this point in the year will not appreciate it! Instead, you should just be yourself and strike up friendly conversations with the people you encounter online.

Be selective

As previously mentioned, there will be a lot of new people online at this time. You are bound to match up well with at least one or two people, if not more! However, this doesn't mean you have to latch onto the first person you meet. If you truly want to find "the one", you will need to be a bit more selective.

If you meet someone who is nice, but has one or two flaws that annoy you, then don't settle for them! There will be someone else out there for both of you. There's no need to opt for second best, especially when there are so many people online that you can choose from!

Valentine's Day is always a bit nerve-wracking for singles. There's a certain pressure that comes with the occasion that can be exhausting, as your friends and family start asking who you're going to be sending a Valentine's card to this

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The top signs that you’re in a toxic relationship

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So you've met someone, fallen in love and are all set to live happily ever after. This is how relationships go, right? Sadly real romances aren't like the movies and meeting someone special doesn't mean that search is over.

Any relationship can turn sour, resulting in a lot of fighting, a controlling partner or just general unhappiness. The important thing is to recognise when things can be worked through and when it is time to call it a day.

Even the most loving relationship can turn toxic, so here are the signs you should look out for:

They constantly put you down

Does your partner constantly make scathing remarks or leave you feeling bad about yourself? If they criticise even the little things you do, call you names or make fun of you – both in private and in front of people – it can leave you feeling emotional and tentative.

Do you feel like you need to do things in a certain way to please your partner or that you unable to do anything right? All of this can be signs that things are getting toxic, not to mention the fact you can start to feel deeply unhappy. These are signs that you might need to get out. 

They are hostile toward you

If your partner seems angry most of the time and they take it out on you, this can be a damaging environment to be in; never mind it making you feel unsafe. This causes a lot of tension and can lead to you being afraid of doing or saying for things in case it sets them off. 

You need to feel safe and secure in a relationship, and while arguments happen, you shouldn't fear for yourself or anyone else involved.

They dictate everything

There may be one person in a relationship who takes control most of the time, but it this means they are making big decisions for you, it could be a bad sign. If they are telling you what to wear, how to act and what jobs to go for without letting you have any input or deciding these things yourself, you should get out.

They may tell you they are trying to help, but this doesn't give them the right to tell you what to do. After all, you're in a relationship with your partner, not a parent. If you feel like you don't have control anymore, take it back and put an end to your toxic relationship.

They guilt trip you

Relationships are about give and take, this may not always be equal but that shouldn't be a huge problem if you are both trying. However, if your partner has a habit of pointing out what they do for you in order to make you feel guilty or like you owe them something, it isn't good sign.

Anything they do for you and vice versa shouldn't come with strings attached. A thoughtful gesture should be just that, not ammunition for them to get their own way. If they have a habit of using anything they've done for you as ammunition, it could be a sign that you need to get out.

No one likes them

If your friends and family are telling you that you partner treats you poorly or that no one likes them, this could be a sign that you are letting love blind you. It can be hard to see what others see when it comes to the person you are in love with, but if people keep raising issues it is worth listening.

Your friends and family know you and love you. They want what's best for you so you should pay attention to any issues they raise. You may then start realising that they are right and start to see what they do.

So you've met someone, fallen in love and are all set to live happily ever after. This is how relationships go, right? Sadly real romances aren't like the movies and meeting someone special doesn't mean that search is over. Any

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How to ask your online match on a date

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Talking to someone you get on with online or on the phone is a great way to get to know them a bit better. However, just talking isn't ideal if you want your relationship to develop further.

Meeting online and enjoying a good chat is all well and good, but you also want to be able to meet in person. This means asking your potential partner on the dreaded first date.

Asking them to meet up with you can be quite nerve-wracking, especially if your only contact has been through voice or text. But it doesn't have to be a huge deal, especially if you're into them already.

Following these steps can help you get your date and ease your nerves:

Check what they want

It's all well and good you wanting to meet up and go on a date, but if the person you've been talking to isn't looking for the same thing, you could have gotten yourself all excited for nothing.

Check how they are feeling about you and ensure that they want the type of relationship you do. Even if they have spoken about it in the past, double checking after they have gotten to know you a bit better is a good thing to do as you can be sure their opinion of you hasn't changed.

If they aren't after the same type of relationship you are or they aren't enthused by the idea of taking things further, it could be that a date might not change their mind. Although, it could still be a good idea to ask them.

Find out if they are ready for that

Bring up the topic of a date without being forceful in order to check whether they think it would be a good idea or not. Maybe ask them what they would like to do on a date or mention that you found a nice restaurant you think they would like.

If they are excited by the idea or start to plan what your first date could be, they are probably expecting you to ask them to meet up. However, if they suggest that there is still plenty of time to plan a date or say that they aren't quite ready to take that step; it could pay to back off a bit and ask them a bit later on.

Have a plan

If you're going to ask them on a date, you should first have a plan in place. It is much better to be able to tell them what you have in mind – although you shouldn't give everything away – rather than be relaxed about what you might do. This will show them that you have really considered it and have come up with a date based on what they would like to do.

Ideally, you shouldn't book anything until after you've asked them as you want to ensure they are available on the day you had in mind. However, you should be sure to book anything once they have said yes to ensure that your date can go to plan.

Ask them

Once you know there is a good chance they will say yes and you have a plan in place, all you have to do is ask them. You can do this however you feel more comfortable. You may prefer to ask them straight away or wait for an ideal place in the conversation. Whatever makes you feel less nervous is generally the best way to go.

Talking to someone you get on with online or on the phone is a great way to get to know them a bit better. However, just talking isn't ideal if you want your relationship to develop further. Meeting online and

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Ex-pianist Anne Naysmith dies in road accident

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Former concert pianist Anne Naysmith has died after being involved in a road accident. The alumna of the Royal Academy of Music had been living rough after she fell on hard times and was evicted from her flat.

Ms Naysmith was sadly hit by a lorry last week (Tuesday February 10th) near the area in London she had built up a shelter in. Aged around 77 – an exact age is not known – she was evicted from her rented home in Chiswick when she was 39, going on to live in her car for over 20 years. 

Sadly, her car was then towed away in 2002, leaving her without shelter. While locals donated a broken down Mercedes estate to replace the vehicle that had become her home, it was vandalised leading Ms Naysmith to move to a shelter in car park. This was then demolished, leaving her to find shelter in bushes near the tube station.

She developed a reputation in the Chiswick area, which has led to many people mourning her loss.

Before she fell on hard times, Ms Naysmith was a reasonably successful pianist, performing at Wigmore Hall at the height of her career. She also taught music while performing herself.

Even after she lost her home, Ms Naysmith regularly sang, attending evensong on occasion. She would also visit the Barbican music library, and spoke to people waiting to go into the proms about their love of music.

People in the area knew her as a charming and intelligent woman, who was always polite and happy to talk to others.  

John Todd, Chiswick councillor, said: “A real character in every sense. I and most Chiswick councillors dealt with Ms Naysmith frequently at our weekly surgery. She was always polite, informed and charming in every sense.

“She politely declined all offers of help, which included housing, getting a freedom bus pass and other matters.

“Why she chose to adopt such a harsh life style is unclear – but she never moaned or criticised. She never sought any form of help either.”

Former concert pianist Anne Naysmith has died after being involved in a road accident. The alumna of the Royal Academy of Music had been living rough after she fell on hard times and was evicted from her flat. Ms Naysmith

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Failed dates? This is what you need to remember

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If you've been trying to meet a special someone for a while and haven't had much luck, it can get a bit disheartening. Whether you've been on a few dates or have simply tried to make a connection online, you can start to feel like there's no one out there for you.

However, it is important to remember that there is someone out there for everyone, which means you simply haven't met your special person yet. This doesn't mean it won't happen, it just means it is taking a little bit of extra time.

Rather than feeling down and as though you should give up, here are a few things you should bear in mind that can help you approach dating with a bit more positivity.

There's nothing wrong with you

Just because you haven't met 'The One' doesn't mean there is something wrong with you. The chances are your profile simply hasn't been viewed by the right type of people, which is why you haven't made a meaningful connection.

Try updating your profile and providing a bit more information about your hobbies and interests. You don't need to go overboard, but providing a bit more detail can help you get matched with the right people and ensure that those who are viewing your profile have more in common with you.

If you're not right for them, they aren't right for you 

For those times that you've been chatting to someone, or have even met up with them, and they have made the decision that it won't work out, it is important to remember that the match probably wasn't right. This means that if it wasn't right for them, it wouldn't have been right for you either.

If they didn't get the right vibe and didn't think it was going to go anywhere, they have done you a favour as they are probably right. This means they simply stopped you from wasting your time on a relationship that wouldn't have worked. You would probably have come to the same realisation in the end anyway.

Don't give in to desperation

You could start feeling a bit desperate if you haven't had a new relationship work out yet. However, it is important to remember not to settle for just anyone. Simply settling into a relationship because you want something to work out isn't good for you and it isn't fair on them.

This could also mean that you miss your chance with someone who could become something serious. It is definitely worth holding out for the right relationship, not simply the first relationship you can get into. 

Keep trying

While it can be a bit disheartening to go on a lot of dates without anything to show for them at the end, this is the best way to find the right person. You shouldn't give up and you definitely shouldn't lose hope. 

Keep meeting and talking to people and eventually you'll meet the right person for you. Just wait and see.

If you've been trying to meet a special someone for a while and haven't had much luck, it can get a bit disheartening. Whether you've been on a few dates or have simply tried to make a connection online, you

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Pianist Aldo Ciccolini has passed away at age 89

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French pianist Aldo Ciccolini has sadly passed away. The Naples-born musician – who has been a French citizen since 1949 – died on Sunday (February 1st) at his home in Paris at the age of 89.

Aldo had been suffering from an illness for some time and had only just returned home from hospital, where he had spent several weeks, his manager Paul Blaker told the Agence France-Presse (AFP).

He was born on August 15th 1925 into a very musical family. Aldo showed his musical promise early on in life, starting composition classes at Naples' conservatory when he was only nine years old.

At age 25, he launched his career with a performance of Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto at the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud competition in Paris. He won the competition with his rendition, which ultimately led to his move to Paris.

Following this, he went on several concert tours, starting in Latin America and then moving on to New York. It was here that he performed with the New York Philharmonic under the composer Dmitri Mitropoulos.

Aldo went on to win the prestigious Prix de l'Academie du Disque Francais in 1972. Three years after this he also earned the Prix de l'Academie Charles Cros en 1976 for mastering Ravel.  

He was known for promoting leading French composers, like Debussy, and raising awareness of lesser known composers, such as Alexis de Castillon and Deodat de Severac.

Aldo then recorded for His Master's Voice from 1950 to 1991, going on to record for EMI France after this. EMI France recently compiled a boxset of all of his recordings, which comprises of 56 CDs.

Understanding the importance of passing on knowledge and helping to nurture future talent, Aldo also taught at the Paris Conservatoire from 1970 to 1988. Among his pupils are such musicians as Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Nicholas Angelich and Artur Pizarro.

He once said: "There is nothing more moving than to see the talent of a young girl or a young boy blossom like a flower." 

French pianist Aldo Ciccolini has sadly passed away. The Naples-born musician – who has been a French citizen since 1949 – died on Sunday (February 1st) at his home in Paris at the age of 89. Aldo had been suffering

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