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Showing posts from January, 2013

Back to Basics

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For those of you who have been over here in the last week or so you may have noticed that I have stripped my blog back to basics. I've never really found a background that I felt suited this blog or my personality so I'm hoping to have a customized one designed for me or failing that I will have to sharpen up my crayons and do it myself.

Now I do have an an A level in Art and consider myself somewhat arty-farty but the truth is I've seen enough people with genuine artistic talent to know that when it comes to art I am still at this stage:


I know some of you kind hearted folks out there will be saying it's a work of magnitude and should be exhibited at The Tate Modern with all the other works of  shite  genius but the truth is, Dear Readers, I know my artistic capabilities are not that great. In fact, I once drew a cow that look liked this:

Unfortunately it wasn't that great. Neither is this version -although at least I manage to remember to draw clouds this time so…

How long did you take to plan your wedding?

Oh cripes.

Oh cripes.

Oh cripes.

Oh cripes.

I just read about a woman who planned her wedding day for TEN WHOLE years - even though she hadn't  even met her husband to be.

Is that normal??? Answers on a postcard please  - but if you want to write a thesis go ahead. You could get a doctorate out of it. I know I could.

I reckon I could turn that idea into a novel. Yeah, imagine that. It would probably be a psycho-thriller of course.

Although it could also be erotica - only instead of the heroine making out with a Christian Grey type of character she self-flagellates with copies of Brides Weekly or Good Housekeeping.

 What d'you reckon?

You know, I was feeling kind of low today. A bit bored, a bit depressed. Perhaps even on the edge of tucking into a forbidden chocolate bar. Now I know what to do to keep myself occupied - I'm going to start planning my funeral. Now that should be a real laugh.


The Importance of Being Earnest

As readers come and go and I have five years of writing to wade though I thought today I would post links to three of my most consistently popular blogs. Funny posts come and go in their popularity but the three I'm posting today have been three of the most consistently read since they were first published. Ironically, they are not in the slightest funny and I think that's no bad thing. I do believe looking at the lighter side of life is good for one's morale but there's also a time and a place for serious reflection.

So here are my top three serious posts.

In 2009 I conducted an interview with author and journalist, Paul Brown, about climate change and his book Global Warning Last Chance for Change. Since then a steady stream of people have to come to read Paul's interview from all across the globe. However, in the last year that traffic has increased quite significantly with people arriving from Europe, in particular from France, on an almost daily basis. Indeed,…

I had a curious dream

I had a really weird dream last night.

I dreamt I met Ricky Gervais who asked me to audition for a role in his new movie as... Santa Claus.

(This could be quite a disturbing post. Be warned.)

So in preparation for my audition I asked  the good Mr T to listen to me rehearse my speech in the deep bellowing voice like all Santa's should have. Sadly, Mr T was uber critical of my abilities so I stormed off in a huff to practise my song and dance routine.

Yes, I was going to star in a Ricky Gervais film as an all-singing, all-dancing Santa Claus.

You know, I'd always dreamt of starring in a Lara Croft type movie but what do I end up with? A singing bloody Santa. Life (and  dreams) are so unfair aren't they?

Anyway, no matter how hard I tried, I could not remember the lyrics to the tune I was supposed to be singing. I was like an extremely bad X factor contender only twice as old and twice as stupid. At this point I woke up traumatised by the fact I was going to miss out on a gla…

Who would you like to send into space?

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So a question for you, Dear Readers.

Who would you like to send into space?

And please don't say me. Because I care about you deeply and would be wounded beyond reason. And I also have a very, very long memory.

So long as it doesn't involve car keys, shopping lists or my glasses.

Anyway, I've come up with my top twelve people I'd like to send into space. Here we go:

1) Jocelyn Wildestein aka The Bride of Wildenstein. From a scientific standpoint, I think it would be interesting to know how a lack of gravity affects plastic surgery. Also, I'd like to know what happens to breast implants when a spaceships falls back to earth and bursts through our atmosphere.

2) Paul McCartney. I'm intrigued to see if space could make him sing any higher. I'm not convinced it's possible but I'll go with the experiment just so Stella McCartney can design some hideous spacesuit.

3) Gary Barlow. Just to see if he can write a song about it. God, I hope not.

4) Angela Merk…

A Book Recommendation: Me Before You

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I want to recommend a book to you. It's this one:



Out of necessity, this review contains some spoilers but I'm not going to reveal the ending so if you decide to read Me Before You there will still be something to discover.
Lou Clark is young woman who works in cafe and has never stretched her horizons. When she loses her job she soon meets handsome and witty Will Traynor, a wealthy businessman with a sharp tongue and arrogant attitude. Love blossoms.
Doesn't sound much different from any other mass market romance fiction does it? But it is.
The difference is that the hero, Will, doesn't have all the characteristics of a normal male protagonist. Unlike the usual impressive able bodied heroes of romance fiction Will has been severely injured in a motorcycle accident. Lou Clark is the carer who comes to love him. And what really lies at the heart of this book is not romance but a discussion about the right for an individual to chose whether to live or die. It's a stor…

Let's make that eleven words and phrases

I'm having a sleepless night. So I decided to whizz around the net and look at the headlines. Firstly, I went to The Mail because it's a light read and at 3 am as super intelligent as I am (that's irony by the way) my brain is not up to reading Dostoevsky. Big mistake - Demi Moore is back in the headlines. What is it with The Mail and their obsession with Demi Moore? Anyway, apparently Demi has an age-defying body and wears a bikini. Big deal. I have age-defying sense of humour (it's still childish) and wear thermals. I think I'll make whole article out of it for my blog and stick in twenty pictures of me in my PJs taken from every conceivable angle. I mean you all want to see my arse in flannelette PJs taken with a long distance lens from the top of a coconut tree don't you?

Yeah, so I lowered myself to reading the article about Demi. Although this was mainly just to see if the The Mail writers can actually keep writing this stuff without going completely bonk…

Me and My Moustache: Another Embarrassing Story

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Yes, this is another of my true-life embarrassing stories. I know there have already been plenty of other humiliating incidents like the lost car, the tights falling down and being caught short and dropping my knickers on the railway track... but these moments still keep on happening. It's probably a curse.

Perhaps someone, somewhere, has cursed me. In fact I'm now so worried about the possibility of a curse I'm beginning to think Tom Cruise is getting me back for all those tasteless jokes I've made about him. They were only small, almost unnoticeable, jokes - that's why I thought he wouldn't really mind. But now I'm not so sure. What if Tom reallyis some bad-ass tough guy like Jack Reacher?

Okay..maybe not.  It's probably just bad luck: I've just remembered the laws of probability.

So anyway...before Christmas Master Ben was in dire need of a haircut. I wasn't going to put up with anymore feeble excuses and decided to take a firm hand and frogm…

Ten words and phrases that really annoy me

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1. "Transparent"

Transparent has become increasingly popular over the last few years as one of a range of politically correct words. People who use transparent are usually politicians, business execs who have just been on management courses, members of the Human Resources Dept and civil servants specialising in policy and population control. A typical line from one of these people will read "We need to move forward with clarity, vision and transparency."  You can pretty much guarantee that anyone who uses the word transparent is a total bullshitter.

2. "Human Resources"

Formerly known as the Personnel Department. This is the department which used to deal with people but now deals with the mammal species known as homosapien. HumanResources sounds a lot more efficient but as anyone who has ever worked closely with a HR department will know - it doesn't reduce the length of their tea breaks.

2. "We will have a referendum after the next election"

T…

Ten succint reviews of DVDs I watched over Christmas

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1.The Expendables 2 (Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, Van Damm, Norris et al.)

Not as good as No 1 but worth watching just so you can spend an hour afterwards plastering eye-liner on your own features trying to figure out what the hell Sly has done to his face. Some acceptable gratuitous violence suitable for Friday night viewing after a bottle of cheap plonk when you no longer care care if there's a hole in the plot so big you land a jumbo jet in it. Not enough of Bruce Willis who despite the hair loss is the only older action hero in the film who remotely resembles himself.


2. Sherlock Holmes, Game of Shadows (Robert Downey Junior, Jude Law)

Unacceptably dull. However this was primarily because the disc wouldn't load.

3. Tower Heist (Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller.)

 Two great comedy talents but one dull script equates to a very average film. Disappointing.

4.Rampart(Woody Harrelson)

Very slow start creating little empathy or excitement. Switched off when the camera moved to the…

Justin Bieber beat up his bodyguard? Seriously?

Apparently, Justin Bieber beat up his bodyguard and the bodyguard is now suing Justin for compensation.

I haven't laughed so much since that episode of The Family Guy when Stewie and Brian get locked in a bank vault and Stewie persuades Brian to eat the contents of his nappy. Absolute genius.

So Justin beat up his bodyguard. Yeah, right. I can just see Justin, his hair flopping up and down and flapping his wrists like an overwrought primadonna and yet somehow managing to beat up a muscular bodyguard who probably trains at the gym and eats cockroaches for breakfast. I mean that's totally feasible isn't it?

Now if someone had said Justin had persecuted the bodyguard with hours of high pitch singing I could have quite understood a claim for tinnitus and mental distress. But a claim of being beaten up? No man in his right mind would admit to being beaten up by Justin Bieber.

Hmm... I strongly suspect there's a mental health issue going on somewhere - and this time it's…

Do odd things ever happen to you?

Do odd things happen to you? They seem to happen to me a lot. Take for example the following incident...

If you remember I bought the good Mr T a special carpet cleaner for Christmas as his penchant for cleaning is one I am eager to encourage (so long as it doesn't involve my participation). It was a special carpet cleaner that could get into all the nooks and crannies and being a sucker diligent husband the good Mr T duly cleaned the stair carpet and landing over the vacations. The result was I had a lovely clean carpet without so much as lifting a finger except for having to press the Add to Basket on Amazon.

What could be better for a woman as dedicated to housework as I am?

So on Monday morning I made a nice hot cup of  steaming coffee and I went upstairs to see Master Benedict who had a friend staying over on a sleepover.

( Incidentally, the concept of sleepovers is not one I am keen to encourage but sometimes one has to do the friendship thing - Unfortunately, this particula…

New Year Reflections on a Fictional Journey (Part One)

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New Year is often a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the possibilities of what lies ahead. Normally, I write about what barking mad diet I intend to follow but this year I've decided to reflect on my writing journey and if you read my last post The Journalist you will discover how it came to be written.

Many moons ago, at the outset of this blog, I posted the opening chapter to my first attempt at a novel. I wrote it sometime before I started this blog and long before I had gained any other writing experience. In fact, it was the first piece of fiction I'd written since I was at school. The novel was called Capital Crusader and my initial intention was to write a literary-style thriller which had been my preferred choice of reading material since a teenager.

In the course of time, I duly sent three opening chapters and a synopsis to a critique agency. The agency pointedly said my opening chapters were three different genres which is, apparently, an unmarketable …