Thursday, 30 September 2010
I am of course referring to the events at Labour’s conference and the leadership election. The focus of my distress is what happened to David Miliband and in particular the shirt he was wearing to announce to the world that he will not seek election to the shadow cabinet.
I am sure you have seen the shirt in question. It is sort of a washed out blue with some sort of insipid floral or paisley (I couldn’t quite make it out) design. David the shirt does not fit. It is too short and too baggy. I am guessing but I think it has been through the wash rather a lot of times – which explains why the material is stiff and looks uncomfortable to wear and also why the shirt tail ends are curling up and becoming misshapen. I know the shirt is a Paul Smith (Diffusion range I think) but it just didn’t work.
David has a reasonable body shape – for a politician, but has the classic ‘spent all his life studying and none of it playing sport’ look that makes wearing casual clothes difficult. David usually wears a jumper over his shirt; this adds bulk and some definition and is a much better casual look for him.
David please throw out the shirt, it is last years anyway!
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
He is so furious he has ordered an immediate inquiry into the leak and says he will ‘stop at nothing to find the culprit’.
Let us look at this in a little more detail. The letter does Mr Fox no harm at all; it shows him as a warrior Defence Secretary fighting for his Armed Forces. It will play well with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The ‘inquiry’ will not find the culprit – indeed we will never hear its report conclusions and it will never be mentioned again after today.
I can save the government a bit of money on the cost of an enquiry – the person who leaked the letter, (or ordered its release) is none other than Mr Fox himself.
This is a well known ploy and shows Fox by name, Fox by nature!
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
If you haven‘t seen the show, Sarah meets couple who have bought a house that is falling down and she helps them build it back up again. It usually involves replacing rotten flooring, fixing subsidence etc - you get the picture. If you like the sound of the programme, well it’s too late the series has finished - but you can probably catch-up on 4on Demand.
Anyway this week, it was the usual story of a house bought in haste and lots of repentance at leisure.
Sarah manages to help turn it round - of course. But what I couldn’t understand this week was what they did with the loft. They wanted an en-suite, but although they did turn the loft into a nice- ish bedroom they put a bath in the corner! No screen or wall in front of it - just a bath.
While I can see this is not a great issue for your partner to see u in the bath, my concern is about the steam? Its all very well having steam in a bathroom - it is designed to cope with it, but the bedroom is not. It might seem great to get out of the bath and get straight into bed (although I don’t see the issue with walking through a door first) but the steam in the room will settle on the bed clothes and make them feel damp. There will also be a damp atmosphere in the bedroom not very pleasant - I don’t think they thought it through.
If you want to see for yourself, as mentioned earlier you can probably get it on 4onDemand.
And just for the record Sarah is pregnant again. She has been pregnant constantly for the last 10 years - or so it seems! I think this is number five.
Sunday, 26 September 2010
Anyway if you didn't see it, it is like watching Upstairs Downstairs (which I am currently enjoying again on ITV3\ITV Player), the one where Lady Marjorie goes down with the Titanic.
There is a butler called Carson, a head house maid and a lady's maid (that was where Hazel went wrong in Upstairs Downstairs she didn't know she really should have had a personal maid, which is why she nearly wore diamonds in the country until Rose told her she shouldn't ...anyway I digress).
There is a scullery maid called Daisy (which is confusing because in Upstairs Downstairs Daisy was the head housemaid), and a nice footman called Thomas played by Rob James-Collier (Liam in Coronation Street). And of course best of all the magnificent Dame Maggie Smith as the Dowager Duchess.
Think I will stick with it though - see what happens.
Aiden (I think he is called) is quite good, but he makes me feel nervous, I think I would be on edge all night listening to him, so not so sure about him.
I like the one that looks like Madonna in her Papa Don't Preach days - not sure of her name - but she needs to stop doing the Su Pollard impressination!
Feel a bit sorry for the girl groups having to perform in front of gorgeous Pussycat Kitten Nicole Scherzinger.
Then there is boy group The Reason - I like them, not sure what they sound like though!
The over 28s (age raised from 25) this year are really poor, they will struggle to get far in the competition.
And just as an added surprise, the judges created tow groups (boy group and girl group) from the ones that didn't make it through to Judges Houses. That's a good idea - because it worked so well last year - what was the group of hairdressers from Newcastle called again?
Oh and just seen the trailers for next week's Judges Houses shows and they have brought back the vile Sharon Osbourne. In case you missed my previous blog on the subject, the Osbourne woman has been officcialy renamed 'the vile Sharon Osbourne' and you are required by law to give her full title when mentioning her.
And for the record - this is how you sing the First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (listen to that without a tear in your eye if you can!)
The Bank was playing the first Christmas song of the season - 'All I want for Christmas Is You'. Well all I want for Christmas is for them to stop playing the rubbish songs!
Night started off well as was given a flyer for a bar - guy said they had trebles for £3 and the bar was open until two - or did he say trebles were £2 and bar was open until three? No matter went anyway.
The trannies were out in force (must be with the Ladyboys being in town) - don’t really get it myself, but they seemed to be having a good time - and one was particularly good. I just had to say something - ’nice drag pet’ I commented as she walked past. She got really cross - how was I supposed to know it was a woman!
And Newcastle’s very own gay rugby team were on a night out. They always wear their rugby tops so you can spot them, and although I can see why they do it, (its all good publicity for the team) but if it was me I would have to add a little something to make my outfit stand out. Maybe a scarf or perhaps tailor it so it was slim fitting, rather than the baggy look they seem to favour.
They are always on the look out for new team members and I have been asked on several occasions if I want to join the team. There are two reasons why I always turn the offer down, firstly they do their main rehearsals on a Sunday morning (ok make that three reasons, they get cross when you call them ’rehearsals’ apparently they like you to say ’training sessions’) and I couldn’t imagine getting up first thing on a Sunday to run around a muddy field and the second reason? Have you seen the state of their finger nails!
Still, a good time was had by all - a little fragile today!
Friday, 24 September 2010
No one knows who the winner will be - but most money is on it being a Miliband. Question is - which one? I can’t make my mind up which one I want it to be (David or Ed) or which one it will be. Part of me thinks it will be fun to have the leaders of both Tories and Labour being called David (good name that), as it might make it a little tricky for Front Page writers and their headlines! But I really don’t really mind as long as it isn’t Gordon Brown.
Oh and whichever one wins, please can Andy Burnham and his eyes have a job in the shadow cabinet which will mean he has to be on TV a lot?
While I am on the subject of politics - will someone tell that Teresa May to stop wearing that pale blue jacket with the big collar. She has never got it off her back and it does nothing for her. I can’t believe she saw it in the shop and thought ‘oh that looks nice, it will look great when I am in the House of Commons’.
To make it worse, I have had a close look at some photos, and although I can’t be sure, I think she wore it to the State Banquet for that pope chap that was here last week. Wearing work clothes on a night out is so not good!
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
In the United Kingdom a spiv is a particular type of petty criminal, who deals in stolen or black market goods of questionable authenticity, especially a slickly-dressed man offering goods at bargain prices. The goods are generally not what they seem or have been obtained illegally.
The term spiv was particularly used during the Second World War and in the post-war rationing period for black-market dealers.
According to Eric Partridge the word was originally racecourse slang, but had become widely accepted by 1950. It appeared in a paperback crime novel in 1934.
The origin of 'spiv' is obscure.
- The Romany word spiv ("sparrow") was supposedly used by the criminal fraternity to indicate a small-time crook, con-man, black-marketeer, or fence rather than a "proper villain"
- Cockneys, meanwhile, claim it as backslang for VIPs (Very Important People) or a London Metropolitan Police acronym for Suspected Persons and Itinerant Vagrants (SPIVs)
- It may come from spiffy, meaning smartly dressed, as spivs are known for their loud and flashy clothing (velvet-collared jacket, loud kipper tie, cocked fedora hat). This might be an example of a reversed etymology: flashily-dressed "spivs" might have been the source of the term, and then applied later when its origin was forgotten
- It may also derive from spiff, a bonus for salespeople (especially drapers but later car salesmen etc.) for managing to sell excess or out of fashion stock. The seller might offer a discount, by splitting his commission with the customer. A seller of stolen goods could give this explanation for a bargain price.
The Oxford English Dictionary notes that "Spiv" was the nick-name of Henry 'Spiv' Bagster, a London small-time crook in the 1900s who was frequently arrested for illegal street trading and confidence tricks, and that national newspapers reported his court appearances in 1903-06.
This is rather a picturesque but fanciful notion of how the bay got its name. The first recorded mention of the bay being called ‘Robin Hood‘s Bay’ is sometime in the mid 16th Century, (1558 to be exact) so it seems unlikely that it was being given this name around 400 years earlier during the reign of Richard I (1189 to 1199).
So any thoughts on how Robin Hood’s Bay got its name?
I never really bought into the Robin Hood legend as champion of the poor and his renowned ‘steal from the rich to give to the poor‘. This doesn’t seem so clever to me - there is no point in stealing from the poor as they haven’t got anything!
Monday, 20 September 2010
As a country we must spend millions of pounds on tons of bananas to just throw them in the bin.
I have decided, in future I will write to Brazil (or wherever it is you get bananas from) every week and ask them to pick a bunch of bananas for me and throw them in the bin. I will enclose a pound coin for them to keep for their trouble. It will save so much time and effort.
By the way, there is no such thing as a banana tree. The banana is a herbaceous plant (although the yellow bit you eat is a fruit).
Sunday, 19 September 2010
How gorgeous is Nicole Scherzinger - have I said that before?
I think Simon is getting mellow in his old age, there was a time when those two lads wouldn’t have stood a chance, but he seemed to quite like them - I’m not sure though but I think they might be gay?
And that lad the one that was a pub singer, unfortunately he is 20 years out of date - can you imagine buying a whole CD of his tunes. No, neither can I
The last audition Marlon - not sure - but how cute were his kids!
Ain't No Sunshine Lenny Kravitz
Auditions over - next week Bootcamp!
Some of the more enterprising groups were in fancy dress and, you know I don’t like to make comment on such things, so I hate to say it, but there were some sights. One particular group seemed to have ‘female super heroes’ as a theme.
Don’t think they were local as they had their overcoats draped over their shoulders. If they think it is cold now - try coming back in February! One of them was trying to be Wonder Woman, she looked as much like Diana Prince as I do - she looked more like Wonder Woman’s nan (and just a point, but I don‘t think Wonder Woman wore a grey bra under her top). Still they seemed to enjoy themselves.
I think we also had the ladyboys out for drinks after the show in some of the bars. Some of them were in ‘civilian dress’ and they had a few ‘lady friends with them, or maybe they were ladyboys too who knows? But if that one that kept standing on my foot had done it one more time he would have had is handbag wrapped around his ears!
Saturday, 18 September 2010
Guest judge this week from the Pussycat Kittens Nicloe Scherzinger. Just as well this Pussycat Kitten is too busy to be a permanent judge or Cheryl pet you might have some completion.
Usual bunch of bad auditions this week - what can I say?
Tina Turner will be turning in her grave, at least she would be if she was dead!
They seemed to like the Dutch girl - didn’t do it for me and I have no idea what she was wearing!
OMG what was that - 19, your kidding right? (Mind you those eyelashes remind me of someone I used to know!) How can you not be prepared for the audition when you have known all year the auditions were coming up! Simon think you got this one wrong and she will be a nightmare.
He said his visit has been very nice, been to lots of churches and things and there was that cracking bird - Susan something or other - sang him a few songs in Scotland somewhere when he arrived.
He had hoped to go to the pictures while he was here maybe see the new Joaquin Phoenix film I’m Still Here or maybe Devil but someone told him he shouldn‘t really go and see Devil and anyway what with all the churches and praying and things, he didn’t have time.
One thing he says he wasn’t so keen on, was all the chanting and singing all night outside his bedroom window. Says he hasn’t slept a wink since he got here. Said he threw a bucket of water out the window one night, but it didn’t make any difference.
Also he couldn’t find a Dunkin Donuts anywhere, apparently there is one in Piccadilly Circus but he says he couldn’t find it.
But still he said it had been nice and he might come back in another 500 years time!
The idea is that it will save employers work and make tax deduction more accurate.
What could possibly go wrong?
There is a consultation paper out, but it is funny this is the first I have heard about it. If you wish to comment, you can find the consultation paper on the HMRC website.
... just need to make clear - this is not a joke. The consultation period ends on Thursday Improving Operation of PAYE
Friday, 17 September 2010
Singles I was buying when they first hit the shops in the early 70s. This week a bit of Roxy Music
Do the Strand
… and my favourite Roxy tune Pyjamarama
Thursday, 16 September 2010
I am concerned about him being up all night packing, as he has major issues in the eye department at the best of times (its not just me is it, he hoes have funny eyes doesn't he). L'Oreal do a nice eye concealer - or if he feels like pushing the boat out the YSL Highlighter is supposed to be fantastic (£24 from major stockist and online).
Wonder if the check-out lady asks the mandatory questions when he checks in, ‘Did you pack your bag yourself?’
Might have been a bit of a problem with that staff thing with a crucifix at the top he carries– it won’t fit in the overhead lockers – maybe he has a telescopic one?
He is starting his visit in Scotland and that annoying Alex Salmond wasted no time getting in on the act. He said it was a measure of Scotland’s importance that he started his visit in Edinburgh. No it isn’t. The Queen has to meet him as he is a Head of State and she can’t do it in England as she is head of the Church of England (protocol I think), but she can meet him officially in Scotland as she is not head of the church up there. It is the same reason Princess Anne remarried in Scotland rather than in England. So it’s not a mark of Scotland’s importance Alex, just a convenient location.
One reporter on the newly launched Daybreak (I will have to blog about Daybreak sometime) was very enthusiastic and said it was the first visit to the UK by a serving pope for almost 30 years. There is no such thing as a ‘former serving’ pope or a ‘non-serving pope’. All non serving or former popes are dead. So a bit of sloppy understanding\journalism and the use of an unnecessary word.
Please don't infer any religious views or significance on my part from this post – I don’t have any.
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Still we have a new season and autumn is a wonderful time, lots of things to look forward to – and right on cue, posters for the Christmas party have been appearing on doors and notice boards all around the building.
I think you know my view on Christmas (it should be like the Olympics, held once every four years and in a different country each time), so I won’t dwell on it here (although do look lout for some re-posts later in the year where I am happy to give you some help and advice to make the winter holiday as pain free as possible), but there are other things to look forward to like, err …
Halloween, I remember last Halloween, it was on a Saturday and in the evening in the bars you couldn’t get moved for a load of students wearing ‘scary’ outfits and falling over everywhere drunk. And then there was that – lets call it an incident – where this stupid girl kept coming up to me in my favourite bar and making ‘scary’ noises and being generally annoying by taking her mask on and off and going ‘boo’. When I asked her to please leave her mask on as it was quite frightening when she took it off she got quite cross and told her rotten boyfriend what I said. Let’s just say it then got a little fraught. So maybe Halloween is not so good, but there is Bonfire Night.
Ah yes Bonfire Night – I live next to a large park, which I think I have mentioned previously and they always hold a big fireworks night – I have never been (you have to walk on grass to get to the bonfire – what’s that all about) – but it is very popular. So popular that they close the roads off round where I live to make it ‘one way in and one way out’. Add into that hundreds of temporary visitors parking their cars wherever they feel like and you have a total nightmare for the locals.
Missed out on it all last year as I was in Leeds, but looking at the calendar I see this year it is on a Friday, oh and even better, they will be just starting as I arrive home so I won’t be able to get in my own house.
I have had second thoughts – I hate autumn!
Sunday, 12 September 2010
Saturday, 11 September 2010
Why was that old man saying he was only 55? OMG is that what I will look like in three years?
How does a 16 year old know musical theatre tunes? How did he not know what 16 year old people want to listen to? Why did they all gang up on Pixie to make her change her mind. So many questions - let’s see what boot camp brings, but as the second song he sang is obviously his party piece, I doubt we will see him again.
Don‘t you love it when a group bigs themselves up - say they love Beyonce, Mary J Blige etc and see themselves as the next big thing - a cat got thrown in a wheelie bin for less! That was so funny.
Am I the only one that thought Italian Nic couldn’t sing and was just annoying?
And all that singing scooby doo stuff gets on my nerves! Got a second chance to come back and sing something contemporary - so what did he do? Came back with a James Brown song recorded in 1966! You can’t help some people. Don’t care he got through - he won’t get any further.
Funny name that, Preston. Wonder what his surname is … North End?
It has been suggested his name was chosen as it was the place he was conceived. Didn't the Beckhams do this with Brooklyn? Never believed that myself, think it was just something the press made up.
Although it is not unknown for people to do this. Years ago my aunt and uncle named my cousin after where she was conceived. Mind you I haven't seen our Clacton-on-sea for years!
Friday, 10 September 2010
Sunday Girl - French version (my favourite Blondie tune - I remember being given the French version for a 21st birthday present in 1978 by a very charming handsome straight man I knew ...wonder whatever happened to him)
Touched By Your Presence
And bang up to date - well 1999
Kylie and Justin give Blondie a go
Thursday, 9 September 2010
I realise I am probably the last person on the planet to still write letters, but that is not my issue. My issue concerns what happens to paper when it is placed in an envelope. There is a simple rule for this activity - you should put as few folds into a piece of paper as possible. This generally means for letters, that two folds at approximate third spacing (holding the letter portrait layout) should be made. This will give the opened sheet of paper or letter three unfolded sections.
Folding the other way with two folds (in half and in half again) will give a visible four sections. This is clearly wrong as the letter\sheet of paper will not only be displeasing to the eye it will not fit correctly into the envelope.
This is the general principle but it applies to any situation where you need to fold paper. This brings me to my concern.
In recent weeks when I check out of my hotel the receptionist has been folding my bill into four sections, so I end up with either a square of paper or a slim rectangle. And no matter how long I stand at the reception desk looking at the receptionist, they make no attempt to re-fold the bill into the correct layout. I have to re-fold it myself and this just achieves a piece of paper with numerous folds
This morning things deteriorated further. I was served by a charming new receptionist who seemed to be undergoing ‘desk training’ by a more experienced team member. I recognised the trainer – she is the one I don’t like. She told me in January on the coldest night of the year that although my room had no heating they did not have any stand alone heaters to give me. The next night when I again asked a different receptionist for a heater she said ‘yes sir of course, we have lots available’!
The receptionist I don’t like thinks I have forgotten this incident, well I haven’t!
Anyway the new receptionist after asking me if I wanted my receipt stapled to my bill and being told ‘no I didn’t thank you’ she stapled it anyway then proceeded to fold my bill in half. Then she just left it there on the desk. I can’t see her lasting long.
People just don’t understand the hardships I have to endure.
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
This is a familiar approach by politicians, they turn up with a very carefully scripted and calculated joke, unfortunately the joke is rarely funny.
As an example, David’s joke (and I paraphrase a little) went something like this …
He was telling a friend that recently he had been spending time with someone who could not communicate, dribbled a lot and was on the bottle every half hour.
‘Oh well you should fit in at the GQ Awards’.
I told you it wasn’t very funny - but I think it counts as hilarious in political circles.
David missed an opportunity here. A much better punchline would have been …
‘Why are you spending so much time with John Prescott!’
Coleen has said she owes it to her bank balance - sorry marriage - to try and sort things out and stay together. Think I can save you a bit of time pet - he isn't interested.
This is all part of the Celebrity road map for instant fame and fortune, getting together in the first place and breaking up are just part of the process.
The result is on entry to every room you are greeted with an icy blast of wind that remains for the rest of the day. If I find out where this polar bear is, I shall buy him or her a one way ticket to equatorial Africa and he\she won’t be allowed to take his\her coat off!
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Where did she think we thought foreign aid went!
That is an interesting question, how do you define what makes it ‘the best’. I had to think about that one.
I came to the conclusion ‘the best’ was where the gossip was totally unexpected, came from no where and no one had any clue as to the subject matter.
To meet those criteria I have two items where I thought ‘surely not – that is just too funny’!
Firstly – finding out that Hughie Green was Paula Yates’s dad. For those of you too young to remember Hughie Green (or Paula Yates for that matter) Hughie Green was the most obnoxious man on TV. And if the recent dramatisation of his life on BBC4 is anything to go by – he was just as obnoxious in real life. When you have always thought the saintly Jess Yates (or didn’t he fall from grace too? I can’t remember!) was your father it must have been a devastation to find out Hughie was really the daddy! For those of you unfamiliar with Hughie, not sure I can think of an equivalent, but it’s a bit like finding out in adulthood that your father is Richard Madeley or Bruce Forsyth.
Secondly – finding out John Major and Edwina Currie had a four year affair and no one suspected a thing – was just too funny for words!
Now your nominations - what was the best bit of celebrity gossip you found out?
Sunday, 5 September 2010
According to latest news he was having a liaison with a lady of the night over several month last year. This comes after recent similar revelations about his team mate Peter Crouch, (can he be his team mate if Peter isn’t getting any games for England?).
There seems to be a pattern here. Not sure I understand why you would want to dally in such a fashion, well yes I can understand it, but what I mean is, when you are married you might want to do such a thing in secret, but why would you take your lady friend to expensive clubs and restaurants.
I might get away with doing such a thing (not that I have any plans to take a ‘high class’ hooker to an expensive restaurant) but then I don’t play for England and don’t have my picture in the papers every week.
It is almost as if he wants to be caught - and of course he doesn’t - does he?
Saturday, 4 September 2010
As if it isn’t bad enough having Jon and Edward, and thought it couldn’t get any worse - looks like we might be getting a French version!
All the way from America and he still couldn’t sing.
What about Cher, they seemed to like her but - OMG how scary is she. You read it here first. Oh and Cher, have a word with your nan, she needs to bin that top - it does nothing for her, tell her to take a few tips off your mum - second thoughts, maybe not.
And the last act - I really can’t comment, it wouldn’t be fair, there was just so much I wouldn’t know where to start. But asking Natalie Imbruglia ‘who are you’ was funny. (I can’t bear Miss Imbruglia - she once called Kylie). Best laugh I’ve had all week!
Still it was an outing for his new American wife - and she was quoted as saying she couldn’t think of anywhere better to spend her honeymoon. She must be thinking ‘I have done something wrong somewhere’
Oh and by the way, I have been to Blackpool, and as we head into earlier and darker nights, I think it might have been a better idea to leave the lights switched off!
Friday, 3 September 2010
I told him, I am building a car, not sure what model it is, it is somewhere between a Reliant Robin and a Rolls Royce
It has an onboard MP3 player, or maybe it hasn't, I'm not too sure.
'That sounds very nice' my acquaintance said 'what stage are you at?'
At the moment we have the hood up so we can tinker about underneath but I have my face pressed against the window looking in, which makes it a bit difficult.
Also I am trying to fit a brass knocker to one of the doors but also trying to work out if I can add a second brass knocker as well.
'It sounds like a funny car'
'Well it is a funny car, and at the minute I am trying to decide whether to polish it or if I am finished.
My friend just looked at me, ’I didn’t know you built cars’, he said, ’I always thought you did something with computers!
Thursday, 2 September 2010
What on earth is a middle aged man doing wearing a baseball cap? William, we went through this issue before, when you were party leader. I think I said then that the only people who should wear baseball caps are eight year old children and gangster rappers. You are neither so please stop wearing them, they are not a good look.
If you cannot stop wearing such a thing then please at least get one that fits. The black one you were pictured wearing is too small, there should be a small strap at the back – try loosening it a notch!
Also stop bending the peak in half – this is what they used to do in the 90s to make the wearer look cool – it didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work now.
There is one thing I must comment on – the media are dismissing the notion of an ‘Affaire de Coeur’ as nonsense as they point out, if you were having an affair you would surely book separate rooms – this is false logic. The conclusion would mean that if you are cheap you can’t be having an affair!