Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Wimbledon

Is Wimbledon the most boring sports event of the year? Or rather is TV\Press coverage of Wimbledon the most boring event of the year?

It is the same every year. It starts with some excited reporter looking at the queue of people waiting to buy tickets. It starts with a TV shot of people that have been camping out all night. Then if we get a reporter 'interviewing' people in the queue 'Are you here to buy tickets?' they ask. How do you reply to that with out sounding sarcastic?

The reporter was so excited this morning she lost the people she had intended to speak to and spoke the wrong ones, asking them 'are you Murray fans?' 'No' was there clear answer. That was at least a little amusing.

Coverage of the matches is no better - two people in white on a court passing a ball back and forwards. Game over and what do we have next? Oh yes another two people in white passing the ball back and forwards. They do this all day every day for two weeks! Can we not just have the semi-finals and the finals? It would be over much more quickly and they wouldn't have to keep moving EastEnders around.

Then we have the ridiculous charade of pretending that this year there will be a British winner. We really mean English winner, but are prepared to go to any lengths to pretend there is a player that is English and might be a winner. The last couple of years we have been grasping at the straw that is Andy Murray. He is a right misery and no one likes him. But we are prepared to pretend we like him just in case he wins. Well I'm not and he won't.

Murray has made no secret of his dislike for all things English. Which I don't mind as he is nothing to me. But he can't expect automatic English support (and to be fair I don't think he does expect it - just the media managing things as usual) so for me I would rather see a proper tennis player - like Federer win. But if the worst was to happen and Murray did win I could just about live with it, if it wasn’t for that mother! So I say ‘Anyone But Murray’s Mother’.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Spies

The US has arrested ten people on suspicion of spying for the Russians? The US reporter telling the story seemed most indignant. She said 'the spies had gone to extraordinary lengths to live an ordinary life, even getting married!'

I am no expert in these matters, but isn't 'living an ordinary life' what spies are supposed to do? I don't think they go around in trench coats and hats these days - it might be a bit of a give-away!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Katie

On the subject of watching poor programmes on TV ...

... Katie Price and Alex Reid were on last night. (I think Katie has a marriage ceremony she needs to publicize). It was the same old Katie we loved when she was married to Pete. She made poor Alex join her for the interview and controlled every word he tried to say. Exactly what she used to do to Pete and the reason why he left her in the end.

Katie is writing her fifth novel - it's a love story apparently. The novel is in addition to the 38 auto biographies she has already produced.

Still now she has Alex, they haven't known each other a year yet and already they have been married twice! They said she had done a deal with ITV for the wedding - but I think they meant ITV2 - which is different.

Alex seems like a nice guy, but I'm not too sure how aware he is. This one might take a while to wake up to Katie before he leaves her. It is all so exciting

Antiques

Just been watching one of those programmes where someone comes round your house and tells you, you have a house full of tat and each item could fetch £30 at auction.

One of the items was a stamp album with lots of old stamps in it. the owner proudly pointed to a Penny Black and had high expectations of a valuable find.

The fact it was a commemorative stamp and had a silhouette of Elizabeth II in the corner didn't seem to alert the owner to the fact it probably wasn't a genuine Penny Black. Needless to say the whole stamp collection couldn't even raise £20. Why do I watch these programmes!

World Cup

Well that was England's World Cup. All the hype, preparation, time and money, for four games, three goals and total humiliation. Can't wait till the next time!

How can so many supposedly world class players get together and produce such poor play. Are they so obsessed with themselves that they can't play as a team? Maybe it's our fault, there is always so much talk about 'Rooney will do this', 'Lampard will do that'. There is not much talk about what can be achieved as a team - we focus too much on individuals.

I don't think I can stand all the over analysis to follow about Lampard's 'goal'. It might have turned the game and it might have motivated England on to win, but the truth is the defence was shocking so it was inevitable Germany would score again - and where would our response have come from?

The focus will now be on the next tournament - but history tells us that if things don't change, then the result will be the same.

Only consolation is Germany face Argentina in the quarter finals - and they can't both win!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Germany v England


Not a lot to say about the shambles that was the Germany v England game. Although I have to take issue with TV commentators. when discussing Upson's goal they kept saying 'Upson stayed in the air as long as possible', and 'he hung in the air as long as possible'.
No he did not. The laws of the universe are quite clear on this point and Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation clearly states that every massive particle in the universe attracts every other massive particle with a force which is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. This means that Upson could not have stayed in the air any longer than the law of gravity allows. So stop saying he did!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

World Cup Winner

The North Korea News Service has just announced North Korea has won the world Cup.

They are telling the population that North Korea beat Brazil in the final by 17 goals to nil. The final was watched by 150,000 North Korea fans and one Brazil fan.

Friday, 25 June 2010

G8

Cameron is in Canada at his first International meeting since becoming Prime Minister.

Despite the fact that this is the most important regular meeting of the worlds top economic nations (not sure why we still get invited to go) and there are one or two worldwide problems to discuss and sort out - the press coverage has been about Cameron being in the same room as the German Chancellor - Angela Merkel - when England are to play Germany on Sunday in the World Cup.

The suggestion was that Cameron and Merkel could watch the game together. I can't see that happening, Merkel can't stand Cameron.

So as well as Merkel and Cameron not really speaking, Obama turns up. And we aren't really speaking to him either these days. Obama doesn't care as he has never liked the British anyway.

Could be a long weekend for Cameron!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Slovakia v Italy



This has to be the match of the World Cup so far. Slovakia's first appearance at a World Cup and 3-1 with five minutes to go. Italy almost did it with a goal and a very near miss in the 93rd minute.

Italy go from World Cup holders to eliminated bottom of their group (to join France at the bottom of their group). I had high hopes for Italy and I am sure they are very disappointed, but it's OK for them I had an Italian £1 sweep ticket with my name written on it. that is a £1 I will never see again.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Isner v Mahut

I did say that I would be unlikely to be posting anything about Wimbledon, but I can't let the John Isner and Nicolas Mahut match pass without comment.

After finishing at two sets each on Tuesday the final set started today at lunchtime. The match was still going after the England v Slovenia match finished. it continued all through EastEnders and went on until 21:00 when it was halted at 59 games each in the fifth set. The game carries over to a third day tomorrow.

You have to admire and wonder at the fitness of Isner and Mahut (especially Mahut he looked like he had just started). Compare that to footballers who play for 90 minutes once or twice a week and when they do play they are liable to be substituted if they get a bit tired. even our 'World Class' footballers have four days rest before they have another gruelling 90 minutes of play.

England v Slovenia

In the end an England win to get through to the final 16. Only downside is England finish runners up in the group to US winners (thanks to a very late goal from US against Algeria).

Oh and next up it could be England v Germany .... (not again!) or maybe England v Argentina ....

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

England v Slovenia



England have reached the knock out stage of the World Cup - technically still the group stage, but if England lose this afternoon then they are out. Our opponent today is Slovenia - no I didn't know where it was either. As part of the former Yugoslavia it is next to Italy and under Austria, with Hungary on the other side. Slovenia has a population of 2 million, we have to hope that those 2 million people don't have 11 men that can beat England at football.

Demin Shirts

I have written about denim shirts on several occasions in the past, and despite my warnings and guidance men are still wearing them.

Have a look at the two pictures above, one is fine and one is not fine. On the face of it, you would think Tom Cruise and David Beckham wearing denim shirts would be fine. If two of the worlds best looking men decide to wear denim there should be no problems, well then you would be wrong.

David has got it absolutely right. The faded denim shirt is right on trend, (although not for us over 40s) and worn with single colour dark denim jeans it looks great. Also notice the number of unfastened buttons with T underneath.

Tom on the other hand has it so wrong. Not only has he committed that serious of sins 'double denim'. He is wearing blue denim shirt with black denim jeans.

What is wrong with black denim jeans ....

... how long have you got. No, no and thrice no. Do not ever under any circumstances wear black jeans. Even Beckham can not get away with black denim jeans.

As if all that isn't bad enough, look at the fit of Tom's shirt. Tom has a good body shape but this shapeless shirt makes him look overweight. Compare with David's fitted look. Also look at how Tom has fastened his shirt. Buttoned up to the neck just gives him an overall 'round shape'.

Tom is 47 so shouldn't really be wearing denim shirts at all - but he is a film super star and different rules apply, however the different rules only apply if the outcome looks good.

Tom might be 'hanging out with David', but none of David's style is being transferred.

Back home for us mere mortals, this week's advice - If you own a pair of black jeans I urge you to wait until it is dark, sneak out of the back of your house and put them in next doors dustbin!

John Terry

It seems John Terry wasn't speaking on behalf of the rest of the team when he gave his interview after the Algeria game. Stating that there was to be a showdown meeting with Capello to let him know how the players feel about his management of the team.

What we really had was a disgruntled Terry after his sacking as captain earlier in the year and a determination to lead a rebellion and remove Capello from his England coaching role.

Well it didn't quite work out that way, and as rebellion leaders throughout history have sometimes found out, when you stand up, make a bold bid for leadership and charge forwards, sometimes when you look around, there is no one behind you.

Oh and one other thing to learn from history, failed rebellion leaders are crushed without mercy. Mr Terry you might find your days wearing an England shirt numbered - two to be exact!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Charlie Stayt

Charlie Stayt might be a new name to you - he does the news on BBC News channel in the morning. He is normally quite dapper and well turned out, with a respectable collection of suits, shirts and ties. And tellingly they all look quite new and cared for. Some news presenters look like they have had the same suit for years and spend most evenings sleeping in it. So it was a bit of a a shock this morning when I saw his tie.


Charlie had committed that most basic of error - tied his tie so the bit underneath was longer than the bit on the top. To make matters worse he hadn't passed the bit underneath through the loop at the back of the bit on top.

You know me - I rarely comment on sartorial matters, but I really need to bring this to Charlie's attention. i know you have been up since 04:00 but that is no excuse. if you are going to wear a tie, you might as well wear it correctly.

How to tie a tie.

Michael MacDonald

I see Michael MacDonald is in the UK on tour with Al Green. Didn’t think I was much of a MacDonald fan but you forget how many classic songs just wouldn’t be right being sung by anyone else.

And what would local radio play in the evenings without Michael MacDonald!

Yah Mo B there (with James Ingram)

On My Own (with Patti LaBelle)

I Keep Forgettin'

Stop Look Listen (with Toni Braxton)

Water Bottles

I have noticed in England matches, when players take a break at the side of the pitch for a drink of water (you might wonder why I am taking so much interest in what goes on off the pitch - lets face it, there isn't much of interest going on, on the field), that after drinking they throw the bottle on the ground.

Can you please stop doing that. After taking a drink, please return the bottle to the shelf where it belongs. It is even worse when the man who gave you the bottle is standing right next to you with his hand out ready to take it back, and you just throw it on the ground, so he has to pick it up again. (I'm looking at you Steven Gerrard)!

I understand you don't have much time, but this is no excuse for rudeness.

Kylie

All the Lovers

Wimbledon

Here we are again at Wimbledon. This will probably be my one and only post on this subject. If you want coverage on this subject , sorry but you will have to look elsewhere.

I used to like Wimbledon and follow it in great detail, but that was in the old McEnroe\Borg days when they played 'proper' tennis.

Now we have to go through the hype of 'will there be an England winner this year'? I can save you lots of time and worry - No, there won't be.

After years of searching for an England winner we followed a Canadian (Rusedski) who we pretended was English when he looked like he had a chance, then years of supporting someone we didn't really like (Henman) but pretended we did, we are now supporting a Scot (Murray) and calling him British. Just give it up - none of them could beat a Federer or a Nadal.

Anyway I have the World CUp to watch and I haven't got the time.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Kylie

The One

John Terry

I see John Terry has given and interview where he has promised that England will up its game in the match against Slovenia next week. Well that is very big of them, I did think they were supposed to 'up their game' for every match. Maybe 'upping their game' might mean they will score a goal or two - you never know. Interesting to see it is John Terry they wheel out when things are bad - after sacking him earlier in the year.

The only comfort in all this is that the French team seem to be in an even bigger mess than England. The French players have refused to train after Anelka was sent home for being rude to the teacher. That will teach the management - refusing to have a kick about on a Sunday afternoon!

Kylie

Kylie

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Sophia Loren - Americano

Sophia Loren - Americano

England v Algeria

What was that all about last night. England v Algeria has to be the worst game I have ever seen. This is the 12th World Cup I have watched and I can't remember an England game that was so poor.

It was so bad, even the players looked bored. The only creature (for those interested it was a juvenile speckled pigeon) that looked comfortable was the pigeon that sat on the net of the Algeria goal - quite confident it wouldn't be disturbed by some football crashing into its resting place.

In years gone by, playing at the World Cup was the pinnacle of any footballers career, something to dream about and motivate you all your footballing life. I really believe that a lot of players don't think that way anymore. With millionaire salaries and an all consuming Celebrity lifestyle, I think some of them find the World Cup a bit of a nuisance. It gets in the way of holidays in the Caribbean, nights out with Wags and texting other players wives. (You can still text in South Africa, but Fabio has probably had all phones blocked).

Where was Rooney in all this, I am sure he was playing because I saw his name on the team list at the start of the match. I did see him after the game when he got a bit cross with the crowd, complaining, ‘that’s great, getting booed by your own fans’. Well sorry Rooney, but I have to break it to you, you only get the massive following and the hype as one of the greatest footballers in the world if you actually do something. I don’t know what the stats for the game were but I think you only had two shots on goal, and neither of them were really going anywhere.

Next up - England v Slovenia. Can England beat Slovenia? I am not even sure England could beat Slough!

Friday, 18 June 2010

England v Algeria



Excitement mounts as we wait for the kick-off to England's second World Cup match. (Writing this an hour before match starts). Just seen a couple of comments on the news that says a lot. Alan Shearer was quoting the mantra 'don't lose your opening game' and saying England did that and must now move on to winning their second game. Wrong! This shows a negative approach. The mantra should be 'win your opening game'. It was demonstrated last week when England scored a goal in the opening minutes and then took the approach of trying to stop the US scoring (giving England a win) instead of going all out to get a second goal.
Next up was Prince Harry, saying he wanted an England win (of course) and refusing to be drawn on a score (fair enough), but then saying a 1-0 score would be enough. Technically true but again displaying negative approach, it almost says 'we can only manage one goal and we just hope it is enough'.
It is a bit dispiriting that we are already in 'England must win this match' territory when they have only played once! But come on England!

Final Accounts

Regular visitors to my blog will have noticed a significant event in my life over the last few weeks and while it might be some time before things get ‘back to normal’ if they ever do, I can’t help myself but blog about the things that happen to me. (Try it sometimes it does give an outlet for the stresses of life).

Informing the various and numerous organisation of my mother’s death was in the main fairly straight forward. You tell them the facts and they take over, putting into place their well rehearsed procedures. This does help at a time when you don’t feel up to dealing with what needs to be done.

I had assumed that for national organisations like utilities the death of a client would be every day business and they would have their processes down to a fine art. Not a bit of it.

If I can share some examples.

After reporting the circumstances to BT I gave them my address and said if they calculated how much was due I would take care of the final bill payment. They asked me if I wanted to cancel my mum’s phone service. I told them that in the circumstances it would probably be for the best.

I received a bill from BT which was addressed to my mum at my address and read (and I quote)

‘Dear Mrs Wxxxx

Your final bill came to £35.

Please pay by 18 June 2010. Look on the back for ways to pay (sorry, but we can’t accept Direct Debit payment for final bills).

Now I know producing system notifications has it’s challenges, (believe me I know) but I would have thought a global company like BT would have IT designers that could produce a process and system form that recognises and acknowledges the death of a client.

I rang BT to suggest that their letters acknowledging the death of a client might need a bit of a work and to explain that as I work away I had only just received their letter and as the day of my call was 18 June 2010 I would not be making payment by the 18th. They said that was fine, I had 30 days to make payment. I am a little intrigued to find out what they will do if mum doesn’t make payment within 30 days, but I will send a cheque so I don’t have to deal with this company any further.

It is a bit of a shoddy way to treat someone that used BT all her life.


My next call was to British Gas. The final bill took a bit of sorting, long story and not their fault, but the final outcome was mum’s account was £100 in credit. I said that the bill made no mention of how they planned to refund that money and the man I spoke to said he would arrange to send it out. I got the definite impression that if I had not contact them nothing would have happened and British Gas account would have just shown £100 in credit for ever.

The man I spoke to (who was I have to say very helpful) informed me that the cheque they sent would be in mums name so I wouldn’t be able to cash it. It is at times like this I feel a heavy sigh coming on!

The third organisation was the NHS. Not me making the call this time but my sister. My sister found an appointment card at the RVI for an ongoing condition (not connected to Mum’s final illness) and contacted the hospital to let them know of my mother’s death. They thanked her for letting them know, but asked, ‘So would you like to cancel the appointment then?’

My sister is a much nicer person than I am and just said ‘yes I would like to cancel the appointment’. I am afraid if I had been asked I might have given a different response (some might call it sarcasm, I prefer to call it repartee)!

All this has taken all day to sort out - I am supposed to be on holiday at the moment - it doesn’t feel like it!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Wayne Rooney

Just seen Rooney interviewed and he was asked, is his lack of performance, scoring goals, keeping him awake at night? He said 'no not really'.

It might not be keeping him awake - but it is keeping everyone else awake!

William and Harry

I see the Princes William and Harry are on tour in Africa. They are spending time doing what Royals do, but on a nature reserve. They are also promoting the idea of using football to show caring for animals.

Yes, that was what I thought, how do you do that?

If I was cynical, which I am not, I might think they were in Lesotho (land locked small kingdom surrounded by South Africa) because the World Cup was going on in South Africa, and since they are there, they might as well pop along to a game or two!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Cote D'Ivoire


World cup interest has spread as far as the Leeds office, with chicken hut number 44 entering a team in the office competition for the best decorated hut in Leeds.

Their display consists of:
  • a 4 x 3 inch hand drawn flag of the Cote D'Ivoire (or Ivory Coast as I have always known it), this sign of high creativity has been stuck on the wall with a bit of blu tac;
  • a hand written score board showing the latest Cote D'Ivoire result, (currently showing Portugal 0 - Cote D'Ivoire 0; and
  • individually crafted and coloured Cote D'Ivoire 'crowns' to decorate PCs; and
  • something I have no idea what it is, it looks like a bit of a crest - perhaps someone can work out what it is
You must go and view this marvelous display. I am almost over whelmed by the opulence and sheer decadence of the design.

The wholeheartedness in which the chicken hut has thrown itself in to the spirit of the occasion is an inspiration to us all.

I understand there are countries left to sponsor. So I urge you to get into the mood and entre now before it is too late.

I feel so inspired, I might enter the competition myself!

I could paint some flags, make some banners, cook some national dishes for a display, create some bunting to hang round our chicken hut. The possibilities are endless. It is so exciting.

On the other hand the people organising the competition are upstairs and it's a bit of a walk. It all looks a bit time consuming and tiring and I don't really think I can be bothered, maybe next time!

Aphrodite

Aphrodite 5 July 2010

Click this one at home - music

Monday, 14 June 2010

Red Dress

I overheard a couple of colleague discussing an up coming wedding one of them was planning to attend. The question of the suitability of wearing a red dress to the wedding was raised.

I don’t normally comment on matters of fashion (it is none of my concern what others wear, unless I am provoked of course by people blatantly wearing double denim in front of me, or the wrong colour shoes, or trousers with no belts etc … ok maybe perhaps I do comment occasionally).

But I usually keep away from expressing views on women’s fashion, not really my area, but the question posed is an interesting one, so here goes.

I think the basis of the question is in the general etiquette rule of guests not trying to outshine the bride on her day (I notice no one is ever concerned about outshining the groom on his big day, but no matter) so for that reason I think tradition has it that you don’t wear white. This I think is extended to not wearing a red dress as the colour could be quite attention grabbing.

I think this is a little over cautious and as long as the dress is not too low cut or sexy, and behaviour is tasteful, then wearing red to a wedding should be fine.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Robert Green

I see Robert Green has apologised to the England players and supporters for letting in that goal. He says he will do everything he can to help England's progress in the tournament. Keeping a hold of the ball would be a start!

If you were watching in HD on ITV1 - tune into any sports channel to see the England goal!

Those horns they keep blowing through matches are really annoying - can something be done to stop them? What's wrong with the drums, can't we have them back instead? And anyway I don't know why Venezuela are allowed to blow them - they aren't even in the tournament!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

England v US

At last the World Cup starts, I’m so excited I can hardly breathe (before you start stereotyping, I do enjoy the World Cup and I clearly remember watching in 1966 and have followed it ever since - I have to say I didn’t think it would be quite so long without another England win - but there you go).

One thing I don’t understand is why Beckham and Ferdinand are there when they have been injured they are on the sick? After all if you are on the sick at work, you don’t still go in and sit next to your workmates in a fever shaking and coughing all over the place!

Trooping the Colour

It's the Queens official birthday and we have Trooping the Colour to look forward to. She has had the same present every year for nearly 60 years, she must think 'oh no not again, can you not get me something else!'

Friday, 11 June 2010

Office Wear

On the subject of the office (although nothing to do with the refurbishment) I have noticed the sudden appearance of summer clothes. I know it is June and we are supposed to be leaving the last few days of spring and heading into summer, but that is no excuse for some of the outfits I have seen in recent days. I am mainly thinking in the ‘male middle age arena’.

There seems to have been a collective decision that now that the weather is warmer (in theory) that it is ok to wear what appear to be casual khaki type trousers in the office. I have no objection to such garments per se, but they do announce to the world that on the motorway of life, the only way you will see 45 again is through a rear view mirror. (Please see earlier blog post about men over 40 wearing denim jackets).

The look is further clich├ęd with the addition of a ‘casual blue shirt’. It all takes me back to the 80s and Rick Astley. (I am braced for someone to add a denim shirt to the casual look, at which point I shall faint).

The look is not good. It is clear that the garments have been pulled out of the wardrobe year after year, washed and pressed into shape for another few months of use and really, they are past their best ... if you can accept they ever had a best!

Office Moves

Work on the refurbishment of the Leeds office gathers pace and it looks like I will be moving into my new workspace in the next couple of weeks. I had a guided tour of my new work area (well I say guided tour; the young lady organising the move escorted me to a window and pointed to a space on the floor where my new desk will be located). I will be sitting right next to the wall to the Atrium. The Atrium wall is mainly glass covered so I will have a view of people coming and going - or more likely people wandering up and down will get a good look at me - but hey ho.

At least the wall is an internal wall so unlike my existing wall it should not generate masses of cold air as it transfers the coldness from outside to inside. If you remember I spent the coldest winter in 30 years next to a radiator that didn't work and a window\wall that just attracted cold air. So the prospects for future warmth look promising.

The office building work has seen the construction of lots of new meeting rooms, with doors and handles and everything. It looks like we are going to be getting ‘facilities’. It is all quite exciting!

I will unfortunately be losing my panoramic view of the car park and the Vaux brewery but I shall learn to live with that.

Also I see the ‘Coffee Kart’ has been installed. I had in mind that it would be some old tea trolley covered in a couple of doyleys to hold a converted tea urn ready to dispense cups of coffee in exchange for a couple of silver coins.

I have to say that the installed construction is rather more sophisticated than I had imagined.

(I shall leave aside the comments made in an earlier post about whether the ‘Coffee Kart’ should indeed be a ‘Coffee Handcart’ – a cart being a contraption pulled by animals and a handcart being a similar vehicle but pulled by humans).

The Kart looks very glamorous and holds an impressive place just behind the main reception desk in the Atrium. It has lots of coffee making machines and stickers announcing that it dispenses free trade coffee – or rather it would dispense free trade coffee if it was working.

Can’t wait until it is working, although since I don’t drink coffee, I feel I am in for a bit of an anti-climax. Nevertheless it will give people who don’t smoke somewhere to go during the day. And those that smoke and drink coffee will have two places to go!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Celebrity Splits

Chatting to a friend at work and we were discussing the circumstances of various Celebrity Couple relationship splits. The comment was made that sometimes it is difficult to know who’s side to take when Celebrities go wrong.

It was suggested by another colleague that you have to look at each case on its merits and then make a judgement on who is in the wrong and get behind the ‘wronged person’. You so do not!

When celebrities split it should just be your instinct that tells you who to support. You should naturally gravitate to the celebrity with the most glamour, talent, money or just overall fabulousness.

Trying to do it any other way is pointless. Unless you know the celebrities involved, what have you got to go on? What the papers report, or what ‘a close friend’ has revealed. Either way you will be no closer to the truth - so instinct and a feel for appreciating celebrity it will have to be.

To test your skill in this area, decide who you should support in the following Celebrity Couple splits: (scroll slowly so you don't see the answers)

Charles and Diana
Cheryl and Ashley
Charlotte and Gavin
Tina O’Brien and Ryan Thomas
Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley
Ronan and Yvonne
Vernon Kay and Tess Daly
J-Lo and Ben Affleck
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Liza and David Guest
Katie Price and Peter Andre
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills






Answers

Diana - if you chose Charles you have scored zero on the icon scale, you need serious work in this area
Cheryl
Gavin
Ryan Thomas
Elizabeth Hurley
Ronan
Tess Daly (ok they haven't split, but it was close)
J-Lo
Elizabeth Taylor
Liza
Peter Andre
Paul McCartney and Heather Mills - trick question this one, they are both equally repulsive so neither should be your answer to this one. Don’t worry if you got this one wrong, this is for serious icon seekers only.

One last test …

… if Ant and Dec fell out, who would you back?

Charlotte and Gavin

Back in the Leeds office now and more on our refurbishment later.

For now, something more important. I was chatting to a friend and she was in a dilemma over who to support between Gavin and Charlotte.

This is a tricky one as on the face of it we should be rooting for Charlotte. Charlotte is the diva, has all the money and the talent … but there is a difficulty. How can I put it without sounding a bit harsh?

Can’t think of a way, will just have to come out and say it – Charlotte is a chav. I know she has sung in front of a Pope, but she is as common as muck.

I do accept that after her make over and re-launch she is looking pretty good, but her face was tripping her all the way through ‘the Dorothys and her performance singing her new tune was a bit ropey.

Also according to my sources, it was Gavin that chucked her because he couldn’t cope with her resurgent popularity, so all in all it should lead us to backing Charlotte.

But Gavin is gorgeous – ok he over does the St Tropez, and the hair thing needs sorting, but no one is perfect.

I know this makes me look shallow, but I never said I wasn’t.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Competition

Another TV phone in competition. This time you can win a Camper van. Not sure I know what a Camper van is but I am sure I can sell it if I win it. The question is:

What item of camping equipment helps you find your direction?

A - Groundsheet
B - Compass
C - Rucksack

Tricky one this one. I am fairly sure it isn't A - Groundsheet. My next thought was that the answer was B - Compass. But then thinking about it again, a compass just tells you where North is, and I never know where North is, and even when I am told where North is, it is still no help as I still don't know where anywhere is. So if I was lost, knowing which way was North wouldn't help me get to where I wanted to go.

Then the answer came to me, I keep my Sat Nav in my rucksack, so I think the answer to the question is C - Rucksack!

World Cup

As world cup fever mounts, England's squad got some time off when Fabio Capello arranged for the team to spend the afternoon in a Wildlife Safari park. This was all eagerly reported by the BBC and as the reporter said ' the team can't train 24 hours a day and they need a break. Also for some of them, they wont have had the opportunity to visit an African Safari Park before'.

Yes, it must be difficult on £100, 000 a week to be able to find the money to take yourself on safari in the football close season, especially when you have a wag with so many handbags to pay for.

Denim Jackets

I have just had the unfortunate experience of seeing someone wearing a faded, washed out, pale blue denim jacket. I felt physically ill.

I have written on this subject before but no one seems to be taking any notice. There is much to say about denim, but for this blog post I will restrict my comments to denim jackets. The simple rule to follow is – don’t wear them. If you do wear a denim jacket then at least be aware that nothing says ‘over 40’ like a denim jacket. If you are a man and of a certain age, then you might as well wear a sign on your back saying ‘middle aged’. If you don’t believe me, then next time you are out shopping, have a look around. I guarantee 90% of male denim jacket wearers will be over 40, they will probably have a Status Quo pony tail as well.

The 10% of male denim jacket wearers will be under 22 and they can just about get away with it in a ‘retro fashion statement’ type of way. So unless you are under 22 or want everyone to know you are middle aged – throw out those jackets.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Britain's Got Talent

Not really been watching it this time round, but I wanted the Drummer to win. Not for the act, I can't stand drumming, with all that tuneless banging and crashing, but I thought with £100,000 prize money the drummer could afford to pay for his dad to get a decent haircut!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Thank you

This has been a difficult couple of weeks for me and I want to use this opportunity to thank all my family, friends and work colleagues who have shown me such kindness at this time.

I have had so many calls, cards and flowers from the people I know and you have shown me so much support I can't thank you enough.

It has been lovely to hear the nice memories mum's friends and family have of her, mum has always been a little eccentric, but it seems that this has been the thing people loved about her most.

It is all a bit unreal for me at the moment, I keep thinking, 'oh I must remember to tell mum that', then I realise that of course I never will ...

Through the Decades

1958

1960-61

Early 1960s

1965

1970s

1980s

1990s
2005