Thursday, 16 October 2008

Oh I do like to muse beside the seaside

I'm on holiday at the moment. But as I take a break from my busy schedule of relaxing and eating chips, chocolate and cake, I'd like to share a couple of thoughts with you.

Firstly, wouldn't it be funny (strange rather than haha) if everyone in the world (or perhaps just country would be more realistic) had to have a unique first name. That is, only one individual could bear any particular name. Only one Anna. One Sally. One Tullulabelle. I do think it would make life more interesting and parents more imaginative. Of course once someone with any given name died then the name would be open for use again. There would have to be some sort of rolling death name register!

Secondly - and I'm convinced that both every motorsport fan and non-petrol head will be with me on this - Formula One could be made a lot more interesting if another race took place at the same time. On the same track. In the other direction.

Toodle-pip for now.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Peter comma Blue

You know you're old when policemen/doctors/weathermen (delete as applicable) start to look young...

It's a well known saying and there is more than a modicum of truth in it. However I'd like to throw another hat into the "You know you're old when..." ring.

You know you're old when you don't recognise a single Blue Peter presenter.

I caught the end of a show on BBC2 yesterday that was celebrating 50 years of the Beeb's flagship children's programme. I loved Blue Peter as a kid. Actually I rather loved it as a teenager too. And I hope that one day I'll love it as a parent of a kid that loves it!

I am the proud owner of two Blue Peter badges. Sadly not the exciting shield shaped ones that you get it you actually appear on the show. Mine are lowly competition winners' badges. I was a runner-up in a seat belt safety campaign poster competition and also a photography one. My sister still harbours a grudge. How dare I have two when she never won one? Come to think of it, I think they stopped producing the badges a while back because people were flogging them on ebay. It's a sad world.

Every British kid belongs to a particular generation of Blue Peter viewers and has memories of specific presenters. For me it begins with what must have been the very back end of Mark Curry's tenure (he left in 1989). Following on from him in chronological order we have... Caron Keating, Yvette Fielding, John Leslie, Diane-Louise Jordan, Anthea Turner, Tim Vincent, Stuart Miles, Katy Hill, Roman D'Annunzio (can't say she made much of an impression but I do remember the way she was introduced... something to do with a cafe, milkshake serving type thing), Richard Bacon, Konnie Huq and Simon Thomas. 1999 must have been when I finally stopped watching it - I was 15!

I dipped in and out of it for a few years after and but I'm convinced that the best Blue Peter presenter I've been alive to see is Matt Baker. He rocked up in the middle of 1999 and whenever I caught the show he always stood out. Gymnast; dog lover; regionally accented; engaging and unpatronising - perfect Blue Peter material.

But I digress. What scared me yesterday was the shot of the 3 current Blue Peter presenters. I didn't recognise a soul. To be fair, two of them are mere baby presenters. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, they only joined at the end of September. But the other chap has been there for 2 years. So it is with regret that I must declare myself old and past it. No matter, I shall simply wallow in memories of past glories; of Tracy Islands, pancake mishaps and retro totalisers! Good times.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

LA - I may need rehab

#You must remember this, a list is still a list...#

I feel that it is time for a list update. You may remember almost a year ago...

*cue wibbly wobbly time going backwards visual effect*

It was the 29th October 2007. Your heroine was wading through Charles Dickens's Bleak House. The chances of her finishing said book were looking slimmer and slimmer every day. Drowning in a sea of Jarndyce and Jarndyce and her dreams haunted by Mrs Dedlock, this blogger was in a sorry state. The outlook was as bleak as the house of Mr Dickens's conjuring.

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

The book twas finished and returned to the library from whence it came! Joy broke out and small children were heard to celebrate for Miss G. Licious had completed her troublesome task. The 56th book had been concluded.

*cue fast forwarding fuzzy visual effect*

But now the calendar reads 9th October 2008. What progress has our heroine made? The list now stands at 74 read. The magic three quarter mark beckons and only 400 pages stand between her and it. 400 pages of a 1400 page book. Vikram Seth has certainly set this writer a lofty challenge. But she has learnt from her previous mistakes. She ploughs on through the twisting, turning, twining plot and will not be distracted from her goal. No doubt joy of a hitherto unseen degree shall break forth when she turns the final page of A Suitable Boy.

P.S. You may be interested to know that A Suitable Boy is a much easier read than Bleak House. Just in case you find yourself standing in a library forced to make that decision.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

When I grow up...

What happened to kids wanting to be firemen and astronauts? These days if you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up then you're likely to get the answer; "Famous". Even in my day the answer would be more along the lines of, "a pop star" or "an actress". Now it's simply fame that they're after, no matter where that fame comes from.

It's a sad world. Even sadder when people start singing songs about it. Yes, Pussycat Dolls, I'm talking to you. Now don't you go trying to hide behind all that make-up, I can still see you. Quite frankly I can see far too much of you.

"Now I've got a confession
When I was young I wanted attention
And I promised myself that I’d do anything
Anything at all for the boys to notice me"

Well that's just a lovely example to set for young girls isn't it? If you want attention, then get it from boys - by any means necessary.

"But I ain't complaining
We all wanna be famous"

Er, I hate to rain on your parade but no we don't. In fact I often find myself wondering who in their right mind would want all the baggage that fame brings. Your every move followed, analysed and critiqued by utter strangers; your dirty laundry aired on 24-hour news channels; betrayal by people you once considered friends; oh yes, we all want that don't we?

"When I grow up
I wanna see the world
Drive nice cars
I wanna have groupies"

OK, so I'll give you travelling the world and driving nice cars, but groupies? Seriously? Deranged, sycophantic would-be stalkers obsessed with your every word and action? Right.

"But be careful what you wish for
'Cause you just might get it
But you just might get it
But you just might get it"

Ah, a disclaimer. Hello young impressionable children, you want all this exciting fame stuff don't you... oh yes... it's wonderful... oh and just so that you can't blame us when your life starts falling to pieces in your pursuit of fame, you can't say we didn't warn you. Remember the hook in When I Grow Up? No? Oh silly you... must have been blinded by all those cars, the glitz and glamour.

In conclusion: Kids, astronauts are way cool.