Me Time

An evening spent consuming a much-needed meal during my weekend at the Free Thinking Festival in Liverpool saw me indulge in a spot of me time. (It feels like it’s been a long time since the last time although in truth it’s only been three weeks or so.) Nothing especially indulgent other than pouring over the Saturday Guardian which had laid unread on my bed all day.

God bless Marina Hyde. After a week of wall to wall Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand, it’s felt like a real relief to hit the weekend and start consuming the longer range coverage and comment this story has inspired. As an employee, it’s been a little surreal. Marina’s piece was one of the more striking ones.

More reassurance to be found in the story on page 16 highlighting the glaring translation error made by Swansea council.

In the Family section (usually dismissed by most) there’s an interesting piece on Storybook Dads. Positive, forward-thinking rehabilitation work.

In the John Lewis catalogue (I’d given up on the Sport, Review and Work section of the paper), I was surprised and ultimately confused to see a fully reversible christmas tree for sale at John Lewis. Why ON EARTH would you want one exactly, unless of course you fear stony silences when people visit your home over the Christmas holidays and you need topics of conversation?

In the Guardian Christmas Books catalogue (no, this blog posting isn’t a blatant attempt to suck-up to the Guardian) I notice a book I’d quite like to receive for myself, one I’d wouldn’t mind giving my sister, one for my brother-in-law and one I will definitely be giving “someone” this holiday.

Oh, and getting on to the Guardian Weekend, I do rather like this aftershave based on the wipe-your-wrist-like-a-lady strip inserted into the magazine.

David Blaine & his latest stunt

Meeting David Blaine, originally uploaded by Moriartys.

David Blaine has begun his latest stunt involving him hanging upside-down 60 feet from the ground for almost three days.

In addition to finding myself now irreconcilably irritated by the man, I can’t help feeling a little peeved he didn’t approach me when he drew up plans for his latest effort.

If he had bothered to consult me I would have introduced a little bit more jeopardy into proceedings. I’m confident things would have been far more exciting if he had allowed me to judge exactly how long he remained upside down instead of the rather paltry 3 days he’s attempting at the moment.

And, if he really can withstand the regime I have in mind for him, then I would have nominated myself to cut the chord and insisted nothing broke his fall underneath.

Geoffrey Perkins

I rang home this morning as soon as I read about the death of Geoffrey Perkins. Silly really. I didn’t know him at all and yet still news of the comedy producer and writer’s death did rather hit home.

Maybe it’s because I move in the media world – albeit on the periphery – that such departures do hit home. I scower the credits at the end of the programmes I watch to find out who’s involved. Once names start becoming familiar, it almost feels like you know them. I don’t, obviously. Nor do I pretend to either.

Like Tommy Pearson on One More Take, I recall many programmes where Perkins’ name cropped up with unsurprising regularity.  Spitting Image,  Catherine Tate, Game On. These were all programmes which appealed to me and had the same characteristics in terms of production.  It made perfect sense that the utterly brilliant comedy Benidorm had his name associated with it.

It’s the shockingly banal nature of his departure which saddens me the most. To be involved in a road traffic accident in an area of London I often pedal down, makes his death so utterly unexpected, normal and saddening all at the same time.

Treat every day as though it’s your last.

Getting your homework back

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News that the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee is getting together for a bit of a chinwag always comes as a surprise. It’s never a nice surprise. I suddenly become very subdued, my eyebrows tense up and I begin to nervously rub my chin. What will they do? Will they increase the interest rate or keep it as it is? Will we be able to afford the mortgage payments or not.

Of course, we will be able to afford the mortgage payment. We wouldn’t be living here if we couldn’t. But even so, news that the committee is meeting to discuss the possibility of increasing the rate is always a bad thing.

It feels a little like a report card. As though someone has assessed all our financial committments and spending habits and made a decision accordingly. Have we behaved or are we about to be punished?

This time around it seems we’re safe although reports suggest that we’ll almost certainly be hit after the next meeting. Either way, there’ll still be that moment when I’m transported back to school waiting for my homework to be handed back.

Give me a drink

London Paper “article” about London drinkers

I bristled with excitement as I ripped open tonight’s copy of The London Paper (I always choose that paper over the London Lite – I prefer the font and the layout) and saw a double page spread devoted to London drinkers.

It seems that a colletion of Londonites have recorded their drinking habits in the form of a diary and in so doing all of them have failed to meet the Government’s defined weekly alcohol limits. I’m delighted to say that even when I was having a few bottles of beer every single night I didn’t come close to any of their personal totals. As for the specimens who spent between £80 and £100 on alcohol per week, they really need to get down to the supermarket. I saw 8 cans of Fosters for £6. I was tempted, very tempted.

I succeeded in resisting the 8 cans of Fosters for £6 in White City Tesco Express this lunchtime as I basked in my smugness at not having touched a drop last week and only two miniscule bottles this week (it was a special, special ocassion).

Now I’m home though, I figure that it might be rather to celebrate the passing of this milestone by having a drink. I’m delighted to announce that Simon has selected two smashing looking bottles from nearby Sainsburys which we will, no doubt, tuck into sometime during this evening’s Proms premiere. Although obviously, I will only be sniffing the beverage.