Not Ready to Make Nice

Shut Up and Sing on DVD @ Amazon

Not Ready to Make Nice

I have not been blogging personally much, but aim to change that now. Anyway I was surfing through the Interwebs looking for good Father/Daughter content to share on the Ralph Says Thing page when I stumbled across a site I’d never heard of…On there amongst their trending links I saw “Not Ready to Make Nice” by the Dixie Chicks. I was never a huge Dixie Chicks fan UNTIL that whole controversy happened actually…

Sure, I can understand how they are not everyone’s cup of tea but frankly I like the Dixie Chicks. I especially liked that Natalie Maines said what was on her mind, and dare to criticise the president.

Though I can’t say I’ve noticed but I suspect she’d have a whole lot more about the current muppet in office…but that’s neither here nor there. I did see this reference to Mr T. and this recent pic on Insta…Ha ha.

Shut Up and Sing

Shut Up and Sing on DVD @ Amazon
Shut up and Sing – Not Ready to Make Nice

To this day, one of my all time fave documentaries is the Dixie Chicks’ film Shut Up and Sing. It came out in 2006 and it made me laugh, cry, smile and yes, sing…Maybe I can relate to it because at times I too have a “Big Mouth” which causes me to upset people, alienate people and sometimes lose friends as a result. So yeah it hit home. I have been wondering if Natalie was still with her Hero husband Adrian Pasdar and it seems she’s not (as of last month). Perhaps this is/was a blog that should have been posted on So You’ve Been Dumped? She’s been wearing her heart on her Instagram sleeve…Makes me wonder what the real story is there.

Anyway if you like music and documentaries then this Dixie Chicks film is worth a view, in my humble opinion.

Shut up and Sing on
Shut up and Sing on Amazon UK

If you don’t want to buy it you can find it online to view, I am sure.


Incidentally they do have a new box set DCX coming out September 1, so suspect we’ll be seeing more Dixie Chicks popping up in our feeds.

DCX MMXVI Live Amazon UK

DCX MMXV1 LiveAmazon US

There’s No Such Thing as a British Accent

There is No such thing as a british accent!

There’s No Such Thing as a British Accent (And Other Things I’ve Learned from Living in Scotland for Twenty Five Years)

For those who don’t know me, I am Thea. I moved from California to Scotland in the early 90s. I’ve now lived in Scotland longer than I did in America. Honestly, that’s a weird concept to me. You see I no longer feel “American” as such, but then I am definitely not “Scottish” either. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between. I thought I’d start to do the odd blog post about my life straddling two worlds. The first is about a pet peeve of mine, if you’ll allow me to indulge myself just a bit.

No such thing as a british accent!

Britain is not England

For a long time something that has perturbed me, just a little, is hearing people say he (or she) “has a British Accent”.

Well folks, I am here to inform you that there is no such thing as a British Accent.

To be honest, I am not sure if it’s a phrase that gets used beyond America, or if it’s just a stateside thing, but I thought, instead of getting annoyed, I’d try to educate my American comrades.

You’d be amazed at the questions and comments I get, when back in California, from family and friends about Scotland.

To be fair, some people are informed, but many whom I come across when stateside don’t even know where Scotland is. Some even ask me how England is. Many do not know the geography or proximity of England to Scotland (and don’t even get me started about Wales or Northern Ireland).

I have to practice my empathy and remind myself that I didn’t know anything about the United Kingdom, aka Great Britain, before I came to study in London in 1987 either. And one could argue “why should they know” about the UK?

What is Britain?

Britain, is an island in northern Europe is comprised of four countries – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom’s full title is the The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It’s actually a bit confusing so perhaps you should watch this video because this guy explains it way better than I ever could.

OK, Back to the British Accent Remark

So coming back to the whole British accent thing…Those in the know will understand that each country’s inhabitants sound vastly different. And I do mean vastly.

What’s funny when people refer to a “British Accent” they not only usually mean an English accent, but also they tend to mean London or the southern region of the country accent.

Even withing England, you have very different accents with regional variations…so even saying someone has an English accent is arguably too broad of a term.

A northern “Geordie” accent (have a gander at this ‘How to Talk Geordie’ video – it’s pretty funny. Note: I couldn’t actually get any of the words they were talking about!) is different to a Mancunian or Liverpudlian accent! For some entertainment check out this kid and his accents (not just “British accents” but ones from around the world).

Scottish Accents

Scotland, my home, is no different. Take someone from the Borders, Central Belt, Fife or the Highlands and Islands – and all would have very different dialects.

Not only that – even breaking it down locally to my city, Glasgow, and you’ll find very very different accents. Someone from Govan, a southside, generally poorer area, in Glasgow sounds radically different from someone from a northern more affluent area in Glasgow such as Bearsden. There can be variations from north, south, east and west here.

Generally I pride myself on being pretty good with accents – on the whole. I definitely notice the differences as I travel around the country for work. I am intrigued by them too. Some accents, particularly in Glasgow can be beautiful and some can be well, how to put it tactfully, not.

It’s Not Just Americans Though…

Not to go too far “off topic” here but frankly stereotypes and cluelessness can go both ways – whether that’s about accents or general misconceptions about other countries.

On a daily basis, I am on the receiving end of so many erroneous remarks and assumptions about America and Americans.

In particular I find there are many about my birth place – California.

People in the UK often assume we all walk around going “have a nice day”, filled with positivity, and confidence. They also assume the sun shines every single day, and that we don’t get rain, or snow, or any bad weather.

During this recent winter in California, that could not be further from the truth…

On a personal level, just about every single day in Scotland, I hear the words, “You’ve not lost your accent”. I would think that would stand to reason as I moved over to Scotland in my twenties. My accent would have been fully formed by then.

In all that time I still can’t do a Scottish accent.

Incidentally, somewhat ironically, I hear “you have a bit of an accent” when I go to California.

So who’s right? Both I suspect. I refer to the earlier remark about not being Californian and not being Scottish either. I don’t know what I am to be honest, a mixture of both, I suspect.

But please help me spread the word to educate people – there is no such thing as a British Accent. Public Service announcement now over.

New Podcast – Perspectives

Thea Newcomb's Perspectives PodcastNew Podcast – Perspectives

“Funny how life changes….” those were the final words in a letter my mother started to me, but never finished, before she died. That’s all she wrote, so I often wonder what she was going to say to me…What changes were happening? My “funny how life changes” moment happened this week about this latest project.

So yes my new podcast – Perspectives will be launching soon. I am not sure how often they will be, but the plan is to do regular podcasts to hear people’s perspectives…Love, life, work, creativity, music, arts, pretty much anything, well, except politics. I draw the line at that and besides there’s enough out there in the interwebs to last a lifetime.

So What?

Anyway, back to this podcast. The other day I was working with a client/friend/colleague Joanne Andrews on her new foray into First Aid Training. Joanne is the “voice of Tesco”, and can be heard pretty much daily on TV and radio – especially here in the Central Belt of Scotland…

We first met in 2000 when we both did a stint on a month-long radio (pilot) station called GO FM. We kept in touch for a while, lost touch for years, and reconnected again a few years ago, which has been fab.

I do love reconnecting with old friends…don’t you?

Anyway, we got to talking about voiceovers and my voice. I have been meaning to do a podcast and audio blogs for a year now but never quite got around to it. So twisting my arm just a little, Jo dragged me into her wee sound booth. She stood there, and without any plan, she interviewed me for five or ten minutes. After I left, Joanne edited it, voiced an intro for me and put music on it too. Then she emailed me the result which is below.

Thanks Jo! Look out for my interview with her soon!

Want to Listen or Read?

You can listen to the first Perspectives podcast here – by simply clicking the play button on the video below; Or if you’d rather, you can scroll below the video to read the transcript…

My Words

Hi I’m Thea Newcomb I am a Glasgow-based Californian. Glasgow as in Scotland, not Kentucky or one of the other states in America. But yes, I’m based in Scotland. I’ve lived in Scotland for, oh about twenty five years now. I can’t believe that. I have actually lived longer in Scotland than I did in California, so I am kind of an honorary “Weegie” as we say. (Translation: Someone from Glasgow, a Glaswegian can be known as a ‘Weegie’).
And I am now kind of developing a bit of identity crisis, because I am not really Californian anymore, and I’m not Scottish – most certainly. You can tell by the accent. So it presents and interesting sort of thought of…What is cultural identity? What is our identity based on?

What Do I Do for a Living?

 For a living, I say “I wear many hats”, and I answer that question differently, of what do I do for a living – depending on who I am speaking to…
So I do a lot of networking, run some networking events, I am a social media trainer, I would say, by trade. I do web and social media training with businesses usually, but also on a personal level. I also run some websites, and I’m a blogger. I sell makeup, and I sell greeting cards as well. So I do kind of a lot of things. But I would say my biggest passion is radio, and presenting radio shows – music shows to be specific. Really the medium of Radio. Stick me in a booth, switch on the microphone, and I am good to go. And I lose myself in it, so that is the joy that  lights me up.

What Are My Goals?

I have a lot of goals, and I have been thinking a lot about that, this year. And one of them is, and has been for a long time, is to monetize my website The site is seventeen years old. It was launched on Independence Day in 2000. It gets around 50000 people a month coming to it, so I have really struggled to monetize it. So I would like to monetize that website – so that it’s covering all the bills and then some. And I am going to bring out a coffee which I am going to help use to monetize the website.
The coffee is a Scottish-based based coffee, roasted in the Highlands, and it’s called Neart. It’s a Gaelic word meaning “strength”. And so those two are kind of a combined goal of – bringing out the coffee – hopefully it will help monetize So You’ve Been Dumped.

And also I have also been in discussions with a few people about launching a Scottish radio station – probably more talk based, but I, of course, would be promoting the Music and Arts sides of Scotland. Maybe the business side of Scotland, because I know a lot of people in business here in Scotland.

 Moving on from Social Media Training

So that’s a couple of the goals. One more maybe, just for good measure, is I am looking to kind of move out of the social media training, and maybe more into a charity-based role. Whether that’s setting up my own charity, heck, the radio station may be set up as a charity. I wouldn’t rule that out. But to kind of work in the third sector, or work more with helping people, in maybe in a different capacity. I just feel like it’s a year of change, and I want to do something completely different. I’m open to all possibilities.

3 Words That Describe Me?

Three words that best describe me? That’s a hard question, I’d say. It depends on the day, you’d ask. I would say ‘Passionate’, ‘Positive’,…I’m a ‘Connector’. I think the third one is that I am a connector. I love bringing people together. Though I have a website have people that have been broken apart, I love connecting people.
Sometimes I bring, you know, the kind of people that have been going through breakups – the dumpees if you will, together. And I like bringing them together so they can support each other. I like to connect people in business. I just like to be helpful, so I guess ‘Helpful’. It could be ‘Helpful’ or a ‘Connector’. I think that’s three. Is that three?

The Podcast

For the podcast, I would just like to to have fun, hear people’s stories, learn about other people, and learn about myself in the process. So that could be business owners. It could be stay at home parents. It could bloggers. It could be, anybody really. Musicians…Just talk to people and connect. Again coming back to that connecting with people.
So yeah, I would like to hear from anybody that is interested in having a chat. I’d like to hear what anybody would like to hear me chatting about. Or anybody that they think I should interview. <END>

Want to Connect?

If you fancy having a chat on this, as of yet not launched Perspectives Podcast, then you can reach me via this website. The details are found on it. I am not sure the length or frequency or anything just yet but hopefully they’ll just be five to ten minutes each and released on a regular basis.

My Longest Love Affair…is With Glasgow

Where does the time go?

Today is my anniversary of living in Glasgow. I’ve spent nearly half of my life in this fine city…In that time, I’ve watched it grow, change and even mature – for the better.I love Glasgow - Photo and Blog Thea Newcomb - 23rd Anniversary

While it’s true that the weather leaves something to be desired, Glasgow more than makes up for it with its stunning architecture, varied music, abundance of parks, restaurants, museums and especially its amazing people.

While I look out my living room window, pondering all that I love about Glasgow, it’s a colour clash of green trees and gray skies. I hear the gentle, constant rumble of the M8 traffic, and birds engaged in an animated conversation too.

It feel like “home”.

If you told me, twenty-four years ago, that “a year from now you’ll marry a pen pal and move half way around the world” – I’d never have believed you. That’s life though isn’t it? It has funny way sometimes. I am not living the life I’d planned, but I don’t know if I ever had a plan.

Though my marriage only lasted a few years, my love affair with Glasgow endures and it actually grows year-on-year.

Every day there are a few things I hear, from people I meet, over and over “You’ve been here that long?” followed by something like “are you mad?” or “you haven’t lost your accent*”.

Both may or may not be true, I’m not entirely sure…

But I love this city for its diversity…There is something to do every night here! On any given week I can take in a film, gig, or go networking. Sometimes I even host my own events for networking (this week was #29Social at 29 Private Members Club in Glasgow) or for 80s music.#29social June 2015 - 29 Glasgow

As a California it’s been fun to host my own radio shows here (FYI: currently on Celtic Music Radio), and sometimes contribute to other shows – like next week, I am due to be on Kaye Adams show on Radio Scotland (all being well) – talking about viral content in the “Social Media Whirl”.

So what keeps me here? I am not sure. I guess I’ve never found a place I want to be more than here. I try to live in the principle of being happy wherever I am – and not let geography dictate it.

What do I love most? The music, the parks, the restaurants, River Clyde, and the friends I’ve made here over two decades…One thing I can say, it’s not the weather! (Though I often joke that it is why I came here in the first place).

Soon I am headed to my other “home”, the Silicon Valley, for somewhat major high school reunion, and I suspect there I’ll be told I have an accent, so I have to wonder who’s right? Do I have an accent or not?

For now it’s the best of both worlds. I spend a chunk of time each year in California and the bulk of my time in Scotland. Two of the most wonderful and beautiful places on earth. It’s not a bad life, it really isn’t.

As far as love affairs go, my love of Glasgow is the most enduring love I’ve ever had. Like all relationships it’s tested me at times. But when it comes down to it, it’s out-lasted all my other relationships combined.

Anyway, I’m off to celebrate my 23rd anniversary at a fave pub, McPhabbs with a fellow American, Lynette, who calls this city home too. We’ll no doubt compare notes over dinner and then we’re off to see a gig. Basically another normal night in this not-so-normal life of mine.

Calling All Kylie Fans, Your Disco Needs You

Do You Love Kylie Minogue?

Your Disco Needs You at the Mitchell Theatre Glasgow Oct 2014Calling all Kylie fans in Central Scotland (and those willing to travel) – you won’t want to miss “Your Disco Needs You”. The musical is on at the Mitchell Theatre later this month and was written by a Breast Cancer survivor who was inspired by the music of Kylie (a fellow Breast Cancer survivor) Anita {Neet] Neilson.

The CAMPAIGN Your Disco Needs You – The Musical is not just a charity fundraiser, it is also a major breast cancer awareness campaign.

Though I am by no means a Kylie fan myself, I do look forward to this excellent event for a worthy cause. Hope to see some of you there!

Get tickets for YDNY – The Musical at the Mitchell Theatre 24th, 25th, 26th October 2014.