Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why can't all tube rides be this THRILLING?

Yes, this is for REAL, ladies and gents...

I love it!!

This begs a few questions:

1. Why do so many people in London always react the same way i.e. like nothing is happening and either ignore what's going on around them or carry on reading their bloody Metro? And the "applause" at the end is feeble! Bloody typical, mate!

2. Why can't this happen when I catch the bloody train?

3. Why don't they lay on entertainment like this more often? Bloody hell!

4. How many more times can I say "bloody"?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Cheeser's Choice: Joanna Lumley

A logical progression from my last Cheeser's Choice post - here's the lowdown on an absolutely fabulous lady, of whom I am a big fan.

Now although lots of you will probably already have heard of her, WHAT'S to know about Joanna Lumley? And why do I like her so?


Joanna is an English actress in the classic sense, coming from a well-heeled background - her father was a Major in the army in India, she went to Lucie Clayton finishing school (daaarling!) and later worked as a house model for Jean Muir before moving on to acting. Certainly she's always been a very well-spoken person with her cut-glass tones and her glamorous and refined image has usually led to people's perception of her as being "posh totty". She's rather older now (61 years old!) but still looks good and carries herself well, even if younger models have assumed her place in the category of "sex symbol" (those with a liking for the older woman may disagree...) Ms Lumley is also rumoured to be a supporter of the Conservative Party. Well, no-one's perfect and perhaps this fact isn't surprising, given her upper-middle class upbringing. But in all other respects, Joanna has always seemed a jolly good sort. In interviews and performances she comes across as intelligent, witty, observant and funny, as well as refreshingly humble and self-deprecating - posh she may be but you never get the impression she's arrogant or regards herself as superior to others. In fact, as her appearances on the Ruby Wax show attest, she has a great propensity for taking the p*ss out of herself (more on that in a bit). She's also a vegetarian, an active crusader for animal rights and is meant to be pro-gay (let's hope so!) Last but not least, Joanna has proved to be a highly versatile and consummate actress, playing a variety of roles to perfection with poise and style.

My first memory of Joanna - and one of her most iconic roles which many remember her for - was as Purdey in The New Avengers (looking lovely above with co-stars Gareth Hunt as Gambit and Patrick Macnee as Steed). I have this distant memory from primary school when, one break time in the playground, I made classmate Mandy Gash (no comments please) play Purdey, whilst I was the nasty baddie tying her up. I kept making her say: "Let me go, you horrible old man!" again and again in appropriate yah-yah tones. God I was a fascist. To tell the truth I don't remember watching The New Avengers very much as I was rather young and probably wasn't allowed to stay up and watch it.

But I DO remember Purdey. This was the role that really shot Joanna Lumley to fame. Her bobbed, lampshade hairstyle (see above) quickly became known as "The Purdey" and was copied by females nationwide (even my Mum had a similar style as I recall). Actually here's a photo of Joanna publicising The New Avengers BEFORE they began filming - note the longer, darker hair:

I think you'll agree the shorter and blonder look is far more striking! Apparently Joanna shocked the production team by turning up to film with her radical new haircut. Love the pose she's striking in the pic above though and her female take on the classic English gent. The gun tucked in the garter belt is a particularly nice/kinky touch.

However Purdey provided more than just a trend-setting hairstyle. What was refreshing about the character was that she was beautiful AND tough. In fact, Purdey followed on from a tradition of strong female characters in the original "Avengers" like Cathy Gale and Emma Peel - like them, she was sophisticated, humorous and intelligent, with athleticism and physical prowess to boot. But at this time (1976) it was still quite unusual to see strong female characters on TV. Purdey didn't scream and cower when threatened by some "nasty man" but knocked the sh*t out of him! (So why I told Mandy Gash to say that I don't quiet know...) She had a special aptitude for martial arts, developed from her knowledge of ballet - hence her fighting style lent heavily towards high kicks.

Here's some evidence of Purdey in action (loving her gold kung fu outfit - and also featuring one of the best Avengers baddies, the deadly Cybernauts):


And here's Joanna at the time of New Avengers appearing on Russell Harty's chat show and showing her gift for comedy by telling a great finishing school joke - love the cockerney-type teacher accent that she does. Not to mention her red sequined sling backs which get a close up of their own - Dorothy from Wizard of Oz would be exceedingly jealous. Andy Williams seems rather keen on Joanna too:

The New Avengers lasted two years before vanishing from our screens. However it wasn't long before Joanna returned in another iconic role, that of the mysterious investigator Sapphire in Sapphire and Steel. If you want the lowdown on the show, as well as the character of Sapphire, you could do far worse than trying here. However I'll risk repeating myself by saying that Ms Lumley was perfectly suited to the part, portraying the otherworldly Sapphire with that familiar Lumley intelligence, poise and class. Unlike Purdey, this wasn't a "physical" role, but one in which the character demonstrated a range of extraterrestrial powers - turning back time, the ability to tune into atmospheres and to read people's minds...what a clever lady! She also looked very alluring in a variety of outfits modelled on the colour blue (in keeping with her character's name). At the time of broadcast I was convinced that I was in love with her (awareness of my true sexuality was years off) and I had pin-ups of Sapphire from Look-In on my bedroom wall. When Sapphire and Steel came to an abrupt end in 1982 I was quite mortified by the loss of my heroine. Thanks to VHS and DVD though I've been able to relive Joanna's glory days as Sapphire all over again. If you want to see some clips of Joanna as the simply super Sapphire, go here.

After that Ms Lumley's career proved solid if unspectacular. I remember her appearing on as a presenter on "Children In Need" for a number of years, alongside the perennially annoying Terry Wogan. The highlight of her appearances was one year stripping to her underwear live on air (for charity of course). She also did a lot of adverts like erm, Mellow Birds (I seem to remember one in which she rolls around in the hay with some bloke - naughty) and guest presented shows like "Wogan" from time to time. All probably helping to pay the bills but perhaps not stretching Joanna's creative talents to their zenith (although she did manage to squeeze in an amusing cameo as a posh schoolgirl-cum-hooker in "Shirley Valentine"...)

But then, in 1992, came a character which brought Joanna Lumley exploding back into the public consciousness as well as bringing her to the attention of a whole new viewing generation: Patsy Stone in the BBC comedy "Absolutely Fabulous". As I said earlier on, Ms Lumley has quite often been perceived as a posh, middle class woman in the "nice" and respectable sense. Whilst no shrinking violet, it was kind of hard to imagine her saying or doing anything particularly rude, dirty or outrageous. But as Patsy, she would prove just how wrong the public could be...

How best to describe Patsy? A "chain-smoking, boozing, cocaine-sniffing and other drug-taking sexpot fashion director" is how Wikipedia defines her, which is pretty near the mark. Patsy was a mass of contradictions and also (I think) one the greatest comic creations of all time. And one of the major reasons for the character's success can surely be attributed to Joanna Lumley's fantastic performance and brilliant comic timing. She is a total REVELATION in this part!

Watch any episode of "AbFab" and you'll see how Joanna inhabits the role completely. Over the course of five series, we get to see many facets to Patsy's character.
Her closest relationship is with Edina (or Eddy, played by the great Jennifer Saunders). Patsy has been Edina's lifelong friend, not to mention corrupter. She despises Edina's daughter Saffron (Saffy - who Patsy sees as a rival for Eddy's affections, and the two endure a relationship of mutual loathing which makes for some great, if nasty, comic moments - Patsy refers to Saffy as "bitch troll from hell" and "little trail of cat sick" amongst other things and in one episode, she even sells her into slavery in Morocco).

Patsy has an eye for fashion and trends, and a knowledge of what's in and what's not. She is often dressed stylishly - as opposed to some of Edina's rather unsuitable sartorial creations - and wears her hair in a blonde beehive (which in some episodes gets way out of control). Despite her position as magazine editor (apparently she got the job after sleeping with the publisher) she never actually seems to do any work.

She's also a bit of a nymphomaniac - in the very first episode we hear that she picked up
a windscreen wiper she met whilst her car was stood at the traffic lights: "Buns so tight he was bouncing off the wall". In other episodes she takes home and sh*gs one of Saffy's (unusually) attractive school mates; gets off with a former school friend who is now a headmaster (during one of Saffy's science presentations) and even organises a couple of male prostitutes for her and Eddy (one of whom is called Hilton, cue classic Patsy dialogue: "Nice shirt, Hilton. I was wondering what it would look like if I ripped it off your chest?" and "Hey Hilt, if I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?)"

Patsy also smokes and drinks to extremes and to frequently hilarious effect. In one episode we see her descend the steps of Eddy's kitchen with five cigarettes all lined up in her mouth ready to be lit (the "bloody bastard asthmatic cab driver" wouldn't let her smoke in his cab). In another installment, Eddy and Saffy, realise that the house is on fire and call the fire brigade. After it's extinguished, they descend to the kitchen to find a blackened Patsy sitting at the table, having nodded off with a lit cigarette in her mouth - she inhaled the whole kitchen. As for the drinking, Patsy can often be seen swilling on a bottle of champers or vodka and getting blotto in the most inappropriate of places e.g. stuck on a ski lift in Vale d'Isere and going round and round for hours on end without realising, or drunkenly falling into the open grave of Eddy's dead father!

Throughout all of these episodes Joanna is never less than riveting in her portrayal of Pats. The character has gained cult status and become an icon to many, particularly the gay community - the hedonistic (booze, drugs and sex) aspects of Patsy have endeared her to so many homos out there - I'm not sure if this is an entirely positive thing though, as these are things for which gays are sometimes criticised ... In fact, in some interviews Joanna L has stated what a horrific person she really thinks Patsy is and how she'd be fascinated to meet her - a testimony to how good an actress she is, if she can distance herself so much from the character!

Enough talk and let's see some classic Patsy moments. The first clip comes from the first episode of Series Two in which Patsy has been caught in a "compromising position" with an MP and the ensuing incident has made the tabloid newspapers ... whoops! Perhaps Joanna is slightly
OTT in the first few moments but funny nevertheless, particularly her reaction to one newspaper's "lie" about her age. And I love the headline that Saffy reads out. Then fast foward a bit to approx 4.30 mins to see Patsy's interview with Hello magazine! (And incidentally, can you spot a rather younger-looking Torchwood character in here somewhere?):




Next, an excerpt from one of my favourite "
AbFab" episodes "Happy New Year" in which Pats is reunited with her long-lost sister, the wild and exotic Jackie, played by none other than Kate "I once sunbathed topless on top of a North Sea ferry" O'Mara. Except it turns out that Jacks isn't quite so wild these days ... It's a funny but actually quite tragic episode, as Patsy tries to convince Jackie to accompany her and Eddy on a clubbing night out, and Jackie declines. Whilst Pats is desperate to stay young and keep doing way-out things, Jackie has mellowed. Fast forward to 2.10 mins onwards to see a revealing conversation between the two sisters - and a flashback to a nasty childhood incident! And Jackie's revelation around 6.23 mins is a killer - not to mention Pats' reaction!

Clip 3 comes from "The Last Shout" which was meant to be the last ever "AbFab" until Jennifer Saunders changed her mind. Saffy is dating the eligible son of a mega-wealthy family and wants to marry him. The parents have come to meet her and Edina, but rich-bitch mother Kalishia clearly doesn't approve. However, Patsy recognises Kalishia from somewhere ... and then she twigs. Fast forward to approx 4.00 mins to see Patsy's confrontation with Kalishia - totally and utterly hilarious and Joanna's comic timing is superb - her facial expressions and "movements" left me in stitches.


Mmm. Did I go slightly overboard on my Patsy appreciation there?! But it can't be denied that "AbFab" certainly helped to put Joanna firmly back "on the map" and as a result she became prolific all over again.

One of the highlights of Joanna's "comeback" for me was her appearance in the Dr Who Spoof, "The Curse of the Fatal Death", made especially for Comic Relief in 1999, in which Joanna played ... wait for it ... the Doctor!! In this ever-so-slightly satirical take on the sci-fi tale, the Dr is forced to regenerate several times and his different incarnations are played by a variety of well-known faces - Rowan Atkinson, Richard E Grant, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and finally ... Joanna Lumley! I like the way the episode capitalises on all those "Dr regenerates into a woman" stories we heard every time an actor like Tom Baker or Peter Davison quit the role - rumours which turned out to be - well, just rumours. Now we get to see, albeit briefly, exactly what the Doc really WOULD have been like as a lady! The companion (as played by "Saffy" actress Julia Sawalha) isn't too happy at this gender transformation (she was about to get spliced to the Time Lord and doesn't have any lesbian leanings) whereas arch enemy the Master (played by Jonathan Pryce) is rather chuffed!
And it has to be said, although she only gets a few minutes' screetime, Ms Lumley is pretty good - commanding, humorous and sexy. Skip to 4.50 mins to see the evidence.

I wonder what Jo would have been like had she taken on the role of the Doctor permanently?

Well, I feel like this post is never going to end (and you're maybe feeling the same! But I hope you're enjoying...)

A few final observations on Joanna then. I mentioned earlier on that one of her best qualities was an ability to send herself up. This came to the fore particularly during her involvement with comedienne Ruby Wax (also script editor of "Absolutely Fabulous", fact fans). In the late 80s/early 90s she made a number of appearances on Ruby's show, "The Full Wax", as ... herself! The "Joanna" she portrayed was a washed-up, alcoholic, mentally ill actress desperate to make a come back (hopefully not art imitating life there!) In one installment we got to see Ruby breaking into Joanna's house to get some "footage" and interrupting her and her lover sh*gging, much to Jo's chagrin. Ruby's persistent hectoring of Jo lead to further mental instability and she ends up going into a sanotarium! On her "recovery" Ruby attempts to help Joanna relaunch her acting career with disastrous/hilarious results (Gawd I really wanted to find some clips but there's nowt on You Tube...) In my favourite bit of all, we see Joanna dressed up Purdey-style in the BBC carpark, Ruby announcing loudly into a megaphone: "Attention! Attention! Joanna Lumley has returned!" She then produces a ghettoblaster on which the theme tune to "The New Avengers" starts playing and Jo starts doing lots of Purdey-type stunts, rolling over car bonnets and hiding behind pot plants ... except she does it in a totally cr*p style. A bit later we see her doing Purdey again in the gents' toilet, kicking open a toilet door and knocking some poor geezer into a urinal. A wonderful parody of the original.

So what's Jo up to now? Most recently she's appeared as Deliah Stagg in the French and Saunders comedy "Jam and Jerusalem", which I confess I have never watched once:

!! Er, yes!! Surely proof of Joanna's versatility as an actress that she can play such an ... elderly-looking lady. A far cry from the days of glamour girl Purdey but good for her for trying something different!

She's also appeared in the comedy-drama "Sensitive Skin", which again I haven't seen but heard good things about. Apparently she's very good in it.

Right, I'm done now. Hope I've convinced you of my love of La Lumley. And hopefully you're now all converts too.

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Och!

So. It was the ginga that won it. My prediction was correct.

Stoopid old me didn't realise that this edition of BB was taking the place of the previous celebrity one and thus only ran for a few weeks, finishing off last night in fact. The "long" BB is scheduled to start in the Summer time.

You may have gathered from my lack of posts that the latest BB wasn't exactly a priority in my life. Although I did tend to have it switched on in the background quite a bit. I kind of get the impression that none of you could be bothered to write about it either.

However I do feel that John was a worthy winner. Mature for his age but still with a sense of fun and silliness when the situation demanded it. The fact that winning the Celebrity Hijack thing automatically put him into the final did kind of narrow his chances, but it was still deserved I reckon.

Anyone else got anything to say on the matter?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sleeping with the enemy

Oh husband dearest!! I'm SO sorry I stabbed you through the heart with my sword-like arm. I swear to God it was an accident, sweetness. This arm is a bit of a hindrance, sometimes, you know? Then again it can be SO useful for cutting up the courgettes ... I just need to control it a bit more, don't I, darling? Perhaps Jamie Oliver could employ me as his new assistant?

Well, Episode Two of Torchwood, "Sleeper" has been and gone. And you know what? I actually enjoyed it rather a lot. What's going on?! Okay, it still wasn't on a par with a certain other sci-fi prog, but this episode felt pretty ... adult. In the proper sense of the word. There was tension, drama, some interesting ideas coming to the fore and decent acting too. And there was surprisingly little sex involved this time round. Although we did get a joke, admittedly quite funny - when it looks like the world might be in grave danger, Owen announces to Tosh and Ianto: "Let's all have sex!" to which Ianto replies: "And I thought the end of the world couldn't get any worse". (!) But that was pretty much the one and only reference to nooky in the entire episode and it was all the better for it. There was however, a fair amount of blood and gore which was quite hard to stomach - so "adult" in another sense - but it actually added to the drama rather than being overly gratuitous, I reckon.

"Sleeper" kicks off with the team called to the scene of a house burglary - the burglars are dead, the husband is unconscious and the wife, Beth, mysteriously has no recollection of what happened. It later transpires that she's actually an alien who has been given a human identity/personality - so real, that even she is convinced of her "humanity". But she's a "sleeper" alien and hence her real self can take over at any time! Oooh! Unbeknown to "Beth" her real purpose on the Earth is to spearhead an impending invasion by her species. And when the T-Wood team attempt to "deactivate" her, they unwittingly end up activating the three other members of her "cell", causing carnage on the streets of Cardiff. And we're not talking carnage of the "Saturday night chucking out from the pub" variety. We're talking carnage = mooider!! (That's "murder" pronounced in the way Max from "Hart to Hart" did).

An interesting premise then! The episode was quite slow to get going, with the team taking Beth to the hub and interrogating her. Jack was rather nasty and ruthless I thought and his fun-loving DW persona seemed to be in abeyance in this episode, seemingly quite happy to torture poor old Beth.

Nikki Amuka-Bird (nice name) who played the scared and uncomprehending Beth, was convincing, if a little too po-faced and serious. Then again wouldn't you be if someone kept telling you that you were an alien? After rather a lot of talky scenes, finally we saw the "alien" Beth come to life as something strange appeared on her arm. This was where some not-very-good special effects kicked in, surprising for a show that you would think had a decent budget. The alien arm make up looked rather cack - papier mache style? - although the actual concept of a human arm turning into a sword thing was quite horrific, with some genuinely unnerving scenes - one in which a husband turns on his wife and children in their own house and slaughters them and (rather amusingly) a Chav-type girl with big hooped earings goings on the rampage in a shopping centre and blowing up a building. Proving I suppose that the sleepers don't discriminate according to class. There was also a horrible scene (see pic above) where Beth goes to see her husband in hospital and the "alien" side of her takes over causing her to stab him to death - whilst crying at the same time over what she's done - unable to control her murderous impulses.

What was it with Beth's "alien" voice though?! When we heard her speak in alien lingo it sounded like Jamaican patois, yet later when she "spoke" again as an alien she sounded normal. Eh?

There was also quite a gripping showdown at the end with a shoot out at a military bunker (the husband-alien was going to prime lots of nuclear bombs and blow up the world - this was flawed rather though - what happened to the plan for alien invasion?) Then a tense scene back in the hub where Beth makes the decision to kill herself but unable to go through with it herself, takes Gwen "hostage" so that the other members of the team are forced to shoot her.

The T-Wood team dynamics were quite reigned on this occasion - no flirtations or anything like that. Ianto seems to be shaping up to be the Hub stand-up comic, although some of his "jokes" were, erm, somewhat dodgy. Well I guess it's a move up the career ladder from doorman...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

R.I.P. Heath Ledger


Got in to work today to be informed by a colleague that Australian actor Heath Ledger has died. I really can't believe it. Apparently he was found dead in his New York apartment in the early hours of this morning, with sleeping pills on a nearby table. However the Police have said that they found no prescription medication in the bathroom and that there were no obvious signs of suicide or foul play. (Go here for the full story).

So, WHY?


Heath was only 28 years old which seems so incredibly young - not only from my own 38 year old perspective, but to a lot of other people I should imagine. His acting career was just starting to really take off and he hadn't even lived a full life. And although I'd never personally been much of a Heath Ledger fan (I didn't know much about him if truth be known) I did think (as many will, I'm sure, agree) that he gave an amazing performance in
Brokeback Mountain as the closeted gay ranch hand Ennis del Mar. A truculent, sometimes aggressive and not particularly likable character, but real for being all those things - such was the power of Ledger's portrayal. You really could believe that men like Ennis existed and felt a genuine sympathy for his plight - unable to fully acknowledge his sexuality and make public his love affair with "friend" Jack Twist - such was the anti-gay, homophobic environment of Wyoming. For many this must have been a far more genuine portrayal of what it was like to be gay than some upper class twit in a Merchant Ivory film or Noel Coward play. Ledger is also due to appear as the Joker in "The Dark Knight", the sequel to the 2005 "Batman Begins", both starring Christian Bale as the hero of the title. From the reports I've read, Ledger is brilliant as Batman's nemesis.

And just as his career starts to take an interesting direction, we lose him. What a waste of talent, potential and life. Again it begs the question - WHY??

I was a massive fan of River Phoenix in his heyday (in fact I still am) and remember being similarly distraught by his loss - another gifted actor, as well as a very beautiful and sensitive one, who surely had many interesting things ahead of him. Alas it wasn't to be. Unlike Ledger however, Phoenix's addiction to drugs in the latter stages of his life was undoubtedly what led to his downfall. At present, no-one can say exactly what has caused Heath Ledger's death; perhaps we'll know in due course. Very tragic news all the same.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My umbrella-ella-ella-ella

Perhaps I should buy an umbrella that looks like this, then I'd be sure not to forget it. On the other hand I might get severely beaten up on the way home...

Just popped out to the shops at lunchtime to buy a new umbrella, owing to the fact that I left my previous one on the train last night. God damn it!! And it cost £16!! Aaaah!! I am seriously worried about my propensity for forgetfulness of late. Not to mention the number of brain cells that must be dying off inside my head on a daily (hourly? minute-ly? second-ly? Ok, time to f*ck up the English language) basis.

I think I must have mislaid/lost/forgotten about a dozen or so umbrellas during my lifetime. This does, however, seem to be a common occurence. It's sooo easy to put down one's brolley down next to one on a bus/train/pub/etc seat, then get up and totally forget that's where you'd left it, until you're halfway to somewhere else. Of course if you got up, went outside and saw it was raining, you'd probably realise a lot quicker. That was the problem last night. When I walked to the station it was chucking it down, by the time I got off la train, it had stopped. (And yes, the eagle-eyed amongst you will probably be asking, "Why's he getting the train when he was only recently rabbiting on about the joys of now catching the bus?!" Er, well, I do catch the bus in the morning but on the way home I sometimes have to get the train as I do various things like going to the gym, which is not near enough to the bus stop at home...Bet you wish you'd never asked now eh?)

Gosh isn't this just SUCH an exciting topic!

Anyway, I'm willing to bet that Umbrella Amnesia is a common syndrome.

So tell me your brolley stories. How many have YOU lost?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

N-n-n-n-nineteen


Nice body Anthony mate, but I'm not sure about the knickers. And who's been drawing on your torso with felt tip?

Has anyone actually been watching the latest series of "Big Brother"? So far, I've noticed a conspicuous lack of posts from other bloggers - seems to be little or no interest in the current bunch of housemates, unless I'm much mistaken? Eh peeps?

This time last year, we were all glued to Celebrity Big Brother and it's various goings-on, not least the whole Shilpa Shetty debacle.

Then in June '07 "normal" BB returned with such delightful inmates as Charley and Chanelle. The last incarnation of BB also began with the seemingly "radical" move of having an entirely female set of housemates. This didn't last when a lone male called Ziggy entered proceedings, followed some time later by further blokes. And nice-but-dim fella Brian ended up the outright winner.

This year is a different affair entirely. They've decided to populate the house with a bunch of teenagers. Well, just about. Two thirds of the housemates are a mere 19 years of age (half my lifetime - blimey, do I feel OLD or what) whilst the rest of them have been walking this planet for 20-21 years to be precise. All of them, children. This is a new move for BB, as in previous editions they've always tended to have a wide cross section of age groups, from teenagers to OAPs. Obviously they're thinking a similar age demographic might make for good viewing?

Actually, I'm not sure if it does.

I was going to add that I haven't been a particularly avid viewer of BB 2008 so far, although Gu and I have ended up flicking it on when there's been nowt else to watch on TV. First impressions of the new BB bunch seem to be that they're all quite confident and assured for ones so young, if exhibiting that slight "I know everything about the world and life" arrogance (or should that be misguidedness?) that people of this age sometimes do. I freely admit to having that "I know it all" attitude when at Sixth Form/University...do you know what I mean?

Anyhow amongst the new recruits this time round, there's ... Anthony, a rather fit boxer who is a tad cocky but actually kind of sweet too. Amy a "conceptual artist" who I find rather cold and irritating for some reason. Liam, a 19 year old entrepreneur who runs his own successful web design business and who I found him kind of weird and asocial. Maybe all that time devoted to his career has had a knock-on effect on his social skills. Anyway he's just been evicted so it doesn't matter much any more ... Then there's Jay, a gay fashion designer (you'd never know it from the sound of his voice and campy hand gestures, not to mention the black nail polish). He's actually proved rather boring to date, surprising for a supposedly flamboyant queen. Victor, a circus performer whose younger sister Emilia is also present in the house. But he too has just been kicked out, which I'm actually pleased about as he was fast shaping up to be Mr Arrogant with his boasts about girls and attitude towards Emilia, expecting her to cook and make him cups of tea! Cute, fit and muscly he might have been but I'm not that sorry to see him go. And John, a rotund ginger Scotsman and Chairman of the Scottish Youth Parliament. Only 20 years old to boot, he was the first person to enter the house. I have a hunch that he's a strong contender for winner. Though not really a "looker" he has an intelligence and grounded quality that goes beyond his years and he also seems to be a good negotiator in the house. It's the less flash and brash, more calm and collected housemates that can often ultimately win through.

I kind of went off the point there. In listing some of the new housemates, what I was trying to arrive at is that all of them (perhaps with the exception of John) are too much of a similar ilk? Having some older people in the BB house would have brought a greater depth of experience and lifestyles to the mix and that's what seems to be lacking this time round. Watching a load of over-confident 19-20 somethings could get very samey.

What do the rest of you think?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Ay oop, chuck....

Fookin' 'ell luv! Vera Duckworth's just carked it!

But here's a photo of her in her better days...

Wasn't she fookin' gorgeous, chuck? Let's put our cloth caps on, go down the Rovers on and 'ave a pint of Newton and Ridleys, to commemorate the passing of this Northern icon... *

* I'm not actually much of a Coronation Street fan, but feel that the passing of Mrs D is a rather sad one and hence worth commenting on. The character was a street resident for over 30 years! Tonight she passed away quietly in her armchair. Great acting from Liz Dawn who played the sadly deceased Vera to perfection - she never moved a muscle. And erm, she didn't do a bad job of playing her when she was alive, either.

And - claim to fame - my Mum once sat next to Vera aka Liz D in a restaurant!

He's the greatest robot yet....

...well I might just argue against that statement actually.

But does anyone remember THIS?? If you're as old as me, you might!

And it's coming out on DVD! Yeee-hah for even more retro TV, unleashed upon the nation!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mr Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Hello boys! It's us again! So, which one of us is going to win the "I can brood and pout the most" award? We've already BOTH won the "Air-brushed Action Man" prize...

Well, I thought last night's installment of Torchwood was actually...reasonably okay. Gasp! Actually, it was...more than reasonably okay. It was certainly entertaining, had lots of exciting bits, humour, some nice effects and a potentially good villain.

So the plot was pretty superficial - time agent Captain John, an old flame of Captain Jack's, arrives in Cardiff,and after causing trouble in the odd bar or two, tells the Torchwood team about some radioactive canisters which need to be disposed of and offers to assist. But it's all a hoax and an excuse for sly-puss John to try to bump off the team, as well as get his hands on an important diamond...

Really the opening episode of Series Two was an exercise in getting the audience reacquainted and re-engaged with the programme's leading characters. I'm pleased to say, second time round the Torchwood team are coming across as a slightly more likable bunch. Slightly. I mustn't go TOO far. Dare I say, there was almost a feeling of "coming home" on seeing the likes of Jack, Owen, Ianto, Tosh and gappy Gwen back on our screens again...they kind of felt more...settled? You almost sympathised with the team's sense of loss at the start of the story with Jack still AWOL, having abandoned them all at the end of Series One for a three episode reunion with the Dr. When Captain J popped up again to save the day - shooting a very strange alien that resembled a blowfish - it wasn't just the Torchwood team breathing a sigh of relief. Good to see the team feeling narky with Jack for leaving them in the lurch too - a normal kind of reaction - with Gwen stroppiest of all. And there were some quite good conversations between her and Jack (but what is this "thang" they've got going on? The relationships in the Hub are getting positively incestuous).

As for James Marsters, lots of people have been commenting on the similarity between his character Spike from "Buffy" and Captain John Hart i.e. that they were virtually the same. Having never watched "Buffy" properly, I can't say. John made quite an effective villain in "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" though, with a suitable line in rude patter and some very violent tendencies. And a natty waistcoat too that admittedly looked rather incongruous in modern day Cardiff (I suppose he could have always claimed he was going as Adam Ant to an 80s fancy dress party). However I did think he was a bit of an odd-looking fellow, not really the good-looking studmuffin that everyone else had made him out to be - a bit haggard even? Miaow. And his accent was strange - a strange hybrid of English and American - where was he meant to be FROM? But a nicely amoral character nevertheless with obvious hedonistic tendencies as well. As for the back story with Jack, well there were hints at their past "relationship" but it kind of left you wanting to know more...Nice that John got his comeuppance by a lay-dee hologram - kind of served him right for all the chaos he'd caused. Except he didn't die atall. How fortunate. Most intriguing of all were John's parting words to Jack as he was whisked off into a time vortex: "By the way, I found Gray" - or sounded like that anyway, unless anyone would care to correct me. What's THAT all about? Sounds like another series-wide story arc like the "Mr Saxon" references that were peppered throughout the last series of Dr Who.

I shall now quote from my fellow blogger Steve, who has just written a very perceptive post on the same episode:

"But much as I enjoy this tour of sexed up sci-fi, shouldn’t there be more to Torchwood than just adult content? Shouldn’t there be more to it than all this inter-species spooning and inter-office bed-hopping? Doesn’t there need to be?

Good sci-fi needs to press a few intellectual buttons among the hi-tech barrage of flashy effects and glistening cleavage. Otherwise it runs the risk of being all gimmick and no content. And that is bad."

Hope you don't mind me nabbing your comments Steve...! But I couldn't have put it better myself (and in fact was too lazy to attempt to do that...) Yes, although the show is no doubt entertaining, it's still lacking in REAL depth and content.

To be honest I'm not holding out much hope for some kind of massive ideological shift during this series of T-Wood. But the future looks promising, if the "rest of season trailer" is anything to go by (although you will note that the word "sex" is uttered several times, not to mention shots of the cast snogging the faces off various other characters. Overkill? Surely not! Nice shot of Jack and Ianto engaging in tonsil-hockey though. Goodness. I'm SUCH a hypocrite).


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Back to the Hub

Erm, there's this new lip balm from Superdrug I've just purchased...

Do you like the taste? I don't fancy you or anything...

Torchwood returns to our TV screens tonight.

Are we all wetting our pants with excitement, then? (Talking of pants, check out one of Timewarden’s recent posts on Dr Who and pants! Very well-researched and true. I think I perhaps need to write my own post on pants-wearing males in DW, although there has sadly been a bit of a dearth in that direction. The only instances that spring to mind are Turlough in “Planet of Fire” and Mickey Smith in “Rise of the Cybermen”. Time to redress the balance?!)

Anyway. To T-T-T-Torchwood!

Old school bloggers might remember my previous reviews of Series One. Suffice to say I wasn’t massively impressed with the first series of the sci-fi / fantasy show – although there were some very watchable episodes, there were some equally cack ones too. One major problem for me was that the leading characters just weren’t interesting enough, or particularly likeable. (This is what I said back in December 2006:

“I've found "T-Wood" entertaing enough so far, but wouldn't rank it anywhere near as highly as "Dr Who". It's slick, fast-moving and exciting in places, but it just doesn't grab me enough. I think it lacks the fundamental warmth and humanity of Dr Who. It has a coldness at it's heart. After a number of weeks I'm still finding it hard to really engage with the characters. Even though we're now getting more of a focus on individuals in particular episodes, none of the team are all that likeable (in my view).”)

Ooer! I still feel the same really. Going back to my comments on the main protagonists, firstly in T-Wood, the merry-making Captain Jack seemed sapped of life in contrast to his persona in DW (admittedly this was because he’d discovered he was immortal, not the easiest of things to live with and really a bit of a curse, but still...) Owen was a bit of a wide-boy and sleazeball, Ianto did virtually nothing save functioning as a glorified doorman, Toshiko was rather dull and humourless (although things hotted up later when she showed some lesbian tendencies in one episode) and new member of the Hub, policewoman Gwen, started off kind and sympathetic, then rapidly lost our sympathies when she started shagging Toad-face Owen behind her boyfriend Rhys’ back, with little apparent compunction. How fortunate for her that when Rhys found out, he got slipped an “amnesia” drug that made him forget that gap-toothed Gwen had ever done the dirty on him. There was one interesting character called Susie, who started off as member of the Torchwood team, but it transpired that she was a traitor and she died in the first episode. Or did she? In a bizarre twist, she was “resurrected” in a later story, in order to help the team track down a killer, but this turned out to be a bad decision – though allowing for the return of an intriguingly flawed character. Shame we didn’t see more of Ms Susie.

There was also an abundance of gratuitous sex and violence on display in the programme, which often seemed shoved in (so to speak) in a very deliberate, self-conscious way. Lest you think that I’m being a hypocrite (having just expressed my desire to see more men in pants in DW) even I recognise that these things have their limits. It’s when things are in there for the sake of it, rather than being integral to the plot, that it can get tiresome. Or rather, some of the writers seem to have added in as much sex as they could in order to make the story “better”- a misguided move.

Having moaned on considerably (just for a change) I concede that the show did have some winning elements. As I said there were some interesting plotlines. The hub was a great set. The aliens, monsters and special effects usually looked good. My favourite episodes from Series One were probably:

“Small Worlds”. Written by P J Hammond of “Sapphire and Steel” fame – and there were a lot of similarities with the aforementioned sci-fi / fantasy series. This was a thoughtful, well-produced episode with a horrible, inevitable conclusion, even if what happened at the end did kind of render the Torchwood team's "problem solving" pointless in the long run. I’m really glad that Mr Hammond is writing for Series Two and here’s hoping that his story will be a highlight.

“Greeks Bearing Gifts”. In which Toshiko revealed she was a carpet eater (although surprisingly in such a graphic programme we saw little evidence apart from girl-on-girl snogging) and got it on with a vampiric alien called Mary, played by Tony's sister from Eastenders/the daughter from "My Family". As trashy at that sounds, it was actually quite a good story and also involved a pendant that enabled Tosh to read people's minds.

“They Keep Killing Susie”. Mentioned earlier. A good character piece with Susie as a rather more unusual "baddie".

“Out of Time”. Three people from 1953 fall through a rift in time and end up in present-day Cardiff. Good in the way it portrayed these characters trying to adjust and cope with modern day life and all the emotional/psychological difficulties involved. Author Catherine Tregenna is I think pretty talented and again writing for Series Two; a good sign.

“Captain Jack Harkness”. Another Cath Tregenna-penned episode in which Jack and Tosh are transported back in time to a music hall in 1941. Jack meets his alter ego, the real Captain Jack Harkness (played by the gorgeous Matt Rippy), whose identity Jack stole after his death. Great dance/love scene at the end of the episode in which the two Jacks kiss - done touchingly rather than tackily. Also involved an excellent and sinister character called Billis, played by Murray Melvin of “Taste of Honey” fame.

The season finale though was just plain silly - involving a King Kong style monster called Abaddon stomping all over Cardiff - so much so that I couldn’t even be a*sed to write a review of it. In fact I stopped writing after watching “Combat” which was equally crud and did Noel Clarke no favours (stick to acting instead of writing, Noel).

So what’s in store for us in Season Two? Well, Episode One, "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" (subtle title) sees the arrival of Captain John Hart for one (another Captain?!) played by James Marsters from "Buffy". That's him in the photos above, and if you want a sneak preview of what transpires between him and Jack, try here:




Well, for all my gripes about gratuitousness, that looks...interesting. I kind of like the correlation between the passion and the violence (with the metaphor of the flames behind them, if rather obvious) but WHAT'S the story (Jack's morning glory? Sorry, couldn't resist). Anyway I hope we get some decent explanation as to the relationship between these two.

As for the rest of Series Two, as many of you probably know, Martha Jones from DW is due to make crossover appearances in three episodes, before returning to DW in Season Four, mid season. Other guest stars set to appear include Richard Briers (perhaps to compliment Felicity Kendall's forthcoming appearance in DW?) and Alan Dale (aka Jim "Neighbours" Robinson, more recently to be seen in "Ugly Betty"). As for the stories, wait and see!

Anyway, let's give it a try eh? Series Two kicks off tonight on BBC2, 9pm.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Noblesse o-bilge

"Mmm, why the fack did I agree to sign up to Dr Who for an entire bleedin' series?" Why, indeed...

FINALLY.


You'd probably all long forgotten about this by now. And big apologies to those of you who sent me all those wonderful contributions which never got published. But now they have. Or are.


I'm talking about a certain Dr Who mini-script I produced some time back, based around the premise of what might happen when companions Martha Jones and Donna Noble (the latter about to become a more permanent fixture in Season Four) meet. In a nutshell, Ms Jones and Ms Noble didn't get on and had a bitch-fight to rival that of Alexis and Krystle in "Dynasty", with what I thought were humorous consequences. I SO loved writing it! (Click on the link above if you wanna read the thing in it's entirety).

At the time of writing the script, I was experiencing feelings of intense annoyance that Catherine Tate had been cast for the whole of Season Four and was seriously fearing the consequences. When some nice pictures of Ms T as Donna were published, with her actually looking quite alluring, the Donnaphobic feelings did subside somewhat. Unfortunately the recent broadcast of the Season Four trailer, brought my ditch-the-Donna desires bubbling to the surface once again. In just a couple of lines, the character managed to come across as a feckless cow with a line in stupid, unfunny humour ("Why do you call me miss? Do I look single?" "You're not mating with me, sunshine!") Aaaaah!! FACK OFF!!

Hence, a return to the subject of La Noble is probably quite timely.


And so because I knew that many of you out there were similarly endowed with wonderful creative powers, not to mention the fact that several of you were Whovians, I came up with an ingenious challenge: CONTINUE THE STORY.
My Dr Who episode concluded with a cliff hanger of epic proportions: Donna having seemingly succeed in flushing Martha down a hospital toilet, and the Dr suddenly running into Sally Sparrow and Larry Nightingale, characters from "Blink", now flogging DVDs to make a living. And here's what you thought should happen next....

Dan came up with this:

Does Donna pull at her annoying face a bit and it goes all rubbery, only for her to be revealed as Adric, who survived the big bang by being The World's Oldest Joke (a new species of immortal) and hanging around in terrible comedies, evolving through time (and space) as The World's Worst Catchphrase where he worked his way from '... Nice out' to 'Mister Grimsdale' to 'suit you sir' to 'Am I bovvered?' therefore becoming Tate when he found his previously-unopened gold star badge was in fact a pocket watch what did make him all magical and explained how he had been around so long?

Then Martha recognises him from the DVD of Earthshock, laughs at his rubbish acting and he dies of utter utter shame.

Very surreal and thank you, Dan. Incidentally if you don't know who Adric is, try here. He was a mathematical genius from the planet Alzarius you know. Or to be more precise, an annoying, precocious brat of a companion with piggy features and a pudding bowl haircut. (And a bender in real life too, so rumour has it. Matthew Waterhouse, who played Adprick, apparently got more than friendly with a male Who fan at a convention and disappeared off to America with him. Positively Earthshocking!)

Meanwhile...
Steve produced this:

After copious flushings and forced dunkings with a crusty looking hospital bog brush, Martha is beginning to get desperate.

"Look, I’m warning you Donna!”

"Yeah? Like I’m scaaared, right?”

Martha’s head is rammed perilously close to the S bend yet again and another yank on the chain sends another 5 litres of recycled water down onto Martha’s expensive hair-do. Donna rolls back her head and laughs demonically.

Suddenly an ear-piercing screech pierces the air. “Right! That’s it!”

With a highly polished RADA flourish Martha produces a laser screwdriver from out of the depths of her subtly powdered cleavage and jabs Donna in the ribs with it. The effect is instantaneous. Donna releases Martha’s head and back away, suddenly meek and humble.

“’Ere, wot you doin’?”

Martha can’t keep the fury from her voice. “I warned you didn’t I you mong-faced, ginger-bushed chav!”

“No, come on girl; take it easy... only ‘avin’ a laugh wun I? Bygones and all that, eh luv?”

“I don’t think so, you one trick pony... take that!”

With a high pitched zinging sound Donna is suddenly thrown into a fit of hyper fast aging and transforms before Martha’s vengeful eyes into East End Gran.

"Oh, oh, oh, oh me back. Wot you dun to me, eh? Wot you dun to me? Ooh. Me bladder ain’t ‘alf twitchin’. ‘Ere you ain’t got a spare colostomy fingieanging abaht ave yer, luv? I feel a bit of a deluge comin’ on.”

Martha looks shocked. “Blimey, I wasn’t expecting it to do that. I thought I’d set it to ginger hair incineration mode. I’d better get the Doctor.”

Martha goes to the toilet door and leans out into the corridor shouting at the top of her voice. “Doctor! DOCTOR!”

Meanwhile Donna has popped out her false teeth and is polishing them with the elbows of her cardie. “Do anyfing for yer these nurses... real sweethearts... but fuck me ain’t they common! Spend far too much time on their backs as well... ‘aving their gynae whatsits poked abaht with. I know what these student doctors are like. Randy little bastards, the lot of them!”

With a squeal or rubber soled sneakers, the Doctor belts around the corner with a maniacal grin on his face. “Martha! There you are! Been looking all over for you. I’ve got someone I’d like you to meet!”

“I think I’ve already met her, Doctor... I think you’d better take a look.” Martha leads the Doctor into the toilets where he’s met with the horrific site of East End Gran sitting in a hot pool of her own urine.

“Jesus H Krishna Guru Murphy! Is that Donna?! What have you done to her, Martha?”

Martha looks shamefaced. “I’m not sure... I grabbed this laser screwdriver thing from the Master and I thought I’d figured out how to use it but...”

The Doctor shakes his head. “You’ve turned her into an incontinent old battle axe. I can’t time travel with that. Just think how many incontinent pads I’d have to store in the Tardis! I’d have to downsize my wardrobe. I just can’t do it!”

East End Gran rounds on the Doctor furiously. “Wot? Wot you say? You long shanked streak of acting school piss, how dare you. I ain’t wet meself. Tight as a gnats chuff my rosemary is. How bleedin’ dare you!”

The Doctor ahems and points at the lake of piss that surrounds East End Gran like a slightly off-yellow moat. “I beg to differ, love, look. That’s well shameful.”

“Yeah well, I ain’t bovvered.”

Martha joins in: “Yeah but don’t you feel the shame? You’ve wet your Nike’s and everything. That’s well shameful, that is.”

“Don’t care. Do I look like I care?”

The Doctor: “You’ve wet yourself. You’ve got loose white trash piss flaps.”

Martha: “Yeah swinging open like a B52’s bomb bay doors...”

“LOOK I AIN’T BOVVERED RIGHT!”

Ad infinitum...

Hilarious! Cheers Steve. He's clearly got a great ear for dialogue - very observational and clever! Spot on impersonation of East End gran too....

And then came this from Newplanet. His is more a collection of ideas and I'm afraid I didn't really have the time/was too lazy to turn it into a script proper. Some nice concepts though:


Well, I enjoyed your script and I liked how there seemed to be lots of references and comparisons to the Doctor's past assistants. Which got me to thinking wouldn't it be nice if loads of Doctors Assistants had been brought through time and space to the hospital where Martha works. We're talking Martha, Donna, Rose, Sarah-Jane, etc etc. We're also talking major rivalry and jealousy and much more cat-fighting and heads in toilet bowls!

Then I had the idea of the Kylie dolls. They're coming to life (like cute little mini versions of the Autons) and they're trying to kill off the Doc's past assistants. Who's behind it all? Well, it turns out that Astrid-the-Titanic-waitress has also been brought forward in time. It's here that she learns that in a parallel reality, she's a singer/actress who had a starring role in a TV Christmas Special about a time travelling Doctor (when hearing this, Rose also remembers she is a singer/actress in a parallel reality)! Discovering that the last Doctor's assistant who starred in a Christmas Special went on to become a real deal full-time variety, she (either Astrid or Astrid's parallel alter-ego) has decided to go to any lengths to secure her role as the Doc's next assistant. All the Doctor's most popular past assistants must die - even if it means getting a little help from the Nestene Consciousness to make sure it happens.

Neat idea (I especially like the idea of the Kylie-Auton dolls). Thanks Mr Newplanet! So, erm, who's gonna write da script?

And that's it! Hope you enjoyed the contributions. I really liked 'em! My only slight gripe is that no-one picked up on the Sally and Larry strand, not to mention what happened to Leo Jones, after being left completely naked in the middle of the hospital reception (shame about the last bit not being continued, perv that I occasionally am). And it would have been nice if a few more of you had submitted ideas to me, which was a pity. But it's never too late, as a certain pop star once said. I can always post some more you know...

Hope you enjoyed. Till the Real Ms Noble graces our screens then...I can hardly wait...

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Work it, BITCH

Wouldn't you just LOVE to have a gym instructress like Olivia? (Although whose thighs those are hovering over her, one can only guess...)

Well I've been a good boy and recently joined my local gym. And today I went for the first time. Since moving from our last abode I've had no proper exercise whatsoever (well, none that involved going on running machines or the like - but we WON'T go THERE...) My excuse is that I just haven't had enough time since moving into our new flat - a lot of weekends have been taken up with decorating, waiting for furniture to arrive, constructing it, etc etc (and Jesus, I never want to see a box of flatpacked furniture again...) Hence getting exercise kind of took a back seat...

So it's high time that changed. I'm quite out of shape, or at least I think I am - my belly and thighs are distinctly fat n' flabby and getting into certain pairs of trousers is...challenging. Oh, the ravages of advancing age! When I was in my 20s I could stuff my face to my heart's content and gained hardly any weight. Then, bang, you hit your 30s and your metabolism changes. Suddenly it becomes easier to put on weight than lose it. With me it's a bit of a battle.
(And yes, Matty, don't you dare complain about being a size 32 waist! It's something I can only dream of at present! You are sooo lucky, lucky, lucky, boyo!) The other thing is (and I'm sure quite a lot of you will agree with me on this), once you get into a relationship you can often, erm, let yourself go a bit. The comfortable, settled aspect of being coupled-up means you don't have to worry (at least not quite so much) about appearance any more. I'm not saying we all let ourselves go massively, but once one is no longer "on the market", looks become less of a priority...Gosh, I'm being SO philosophical today, aren't I? However, staying fit and healthy does still matter I suppose. I don't want to keel over when I'm 50. Anyway if you want to know a little more of my oh-so-deep thoughts regarding gyming it, try here.

Thus, it was down the gym I went. I'm pleased to say it wasn't TOO much of a shock to the system. The place I've joined is very new and smart and there's lots of good exercise machines. It was also completely dead i.e. there was hardly anyone there, so it wasn't as if I was having to fight people to get onto the machines. The cost of membership is very reasonable and it's not too far from my house. All to the good then. I felt very virtuous on leaving this afternoon and buzzing with a certain amount of energy.


The other major highlight of my day has been a meeting with a very nice man (who I also suspect was gay, given the ring on his little finger and generally flamboyant manner) from a double glazing company. Golly gosh! The excitement just doesn't end, eh? The reason for the aforementioned meeting being, I've been thinking about getting the rather large windows of our rather large lounge double-glazed. When Gu and I originally viewed the flat it was in August. Now the Winter has kicked in, we have unfortunately realised that it gets rather cold in here - despite the central heating, which is a little on the inadequate side to tell the truth. Warmth and heating were not of course a problem back in the Summer which is why we didn't really notice before...Oh dear! We've also realised that it's quite noisy outside - the house is on a fairly busy main road with traffic going past and double glazing would of course reduce these sounds a fair bit. I'm not a massive fan of noise. Now, why didn't I think about all of these things before we moved in? Because I didn't. Aw well. Anyway the very nice representative man took some measurements and gave us a quote which was....very expensive. We're talking about a few thousand pounds if we wanted the windows done properly. I must say I was rather taken aback and we certainly can't afford it now. All of the decorating and furniture purchasing that we did toward the end of last year, not to mention the mortgage itself, has been a drain on both my and Gustavo's coffers. Aw well again...


At least: 1) I still have my own place 2) I have a very nice and considerate husband to share it with 3) It's the weekend 4) I have "The Armageddon Factor" to watch. Pure sci-fi tackiness that's lovely to wallow in.

Enough about me. What exciting and wondrous things have YOU been up to this weekend? Do tell.