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In Digital News by Steve Harvey-Franklin

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#FridayFiver – 🧼 👏 🎵 positive news & views

January’s almost done – wahey!

These days we’re all about celebrating life’s little victories, so congrats for getting to the end of the double whammy of the year’s dreariest month – which this year had lockdown lathered on the top like cold-custard poured over a stale sandwich (don’t try it!).

Spare us five minutes of your Friday today and we’ll tickle your fancy with news of an amazing live gig that ingeniously beat lockdown restrictions, a romantic moment against all odds, and some soothing natural sounds that make everything feel that little bit better.

Let’s get cracking!

🎶 Live music bounces back


A live music gig in a location with strict pandemic restrictions?

With a flesh and blood crowd enjoying a real band onstage?

Actual humans in reasonably close proximity to each other?

Yes, yes and thrice yes!

The musical wizards who call themselves The Flaming Lips have only gone and held a live gig in Oklahoma – satisfying lockdown rules by putting everyone in their own giant rubber Zorb balls!

Apparently everyone had a rubbery time…I’ll get my coat.

Get in the space bubble groove here

🚢 Sea shanties rock TikTok


2020’s most unlikely musical (and viral) trend is the resurrection of the sea shanty – all thanks to a talented ex-postman from Aberdeen named Nathan Evans who’s now a global TikTok legend.
Nathan’s rousing cover of The Longest Johns’ song Weatherman had won the internet, stormed the charts and made the January blues walk the plank worldwide!

Pour yourself a stiff rum and singalong here

💍 Heart-warming proposal


When Jordan Simon was taken into hospital on December 22nd due to kidney problems, he was separated from girlfriend Beth Dodge over Christmas – and Covid-19 restrictions meant that visits in the subsequent weeks were forbidden.

However, hospital staff at Royal Papworth played cupid and made an exception in order for Simon to pop a certain question in person.

See what Beth said here

🌲 Soothing soundscapes


Those of us not fortunate enough to live near parks, lakes and woodlands which we can take a therapeutic stroll around will welcome a new BBC project with open arms.

The Soundscapes for Wellbeing season is exploring the potential power of virtual nature experiences to boost wellbeing during the pandemic and it sounds pretty blissful.

BBC Sound Effects has released a whopping 17,360 audio samples which cover everything from the dawn chorus in Bucharest to the whirring wings of the White Eared Hummingbird.

Grab natural vibes here

👮 Bendy Braemar copper nabbed


For the past two months, locals in the Aberdeenshire village of Braemar have had a helping hand in encouraging drivers to slow down and observe the 30mph limit – from a rubberized road safety officer named Allan.

However, someone recently kidnapped the mannequin mascot overnight and he’s never been seen since.

Fingers crossed that the long, bendy and stretchy arm of the law catches up with the suspects soon.

Meet Allan

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