Sunday, 30 March 2008


Days become longer
Forward goes the clock
See nature flower
Sweet night scented stock
Evening draws in, we shall see
Will you follow me?

Fancy turns to lust
Man’s man’s world no more
Green shoots rising thrust
Flowering buds adore
Pink blossom floating softly
Can you come to me?

Eyes meeting briefly
Close enough to touch
Dreaming what may be
Gentle pang too much
Secret springtime fantasy
Do you long for me?

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

You handed out gongs on DOI, why not on SCD, I was asked. I did, I replied. But I didn't have a blog then. Here you go.

Some will make sense, some won't (unless you read the SCD forum).

The Anton Du Beke Award for Maintaining a Cracking Sense of Humour in the Face of Severe Opposition:
Kate Garraway, for her hilarious behind the scenes sketch after being voted out, reminding us the meaning of ‘Light’ entertainment. Nice one.

The Campaign to Bring Literature to the Masses Award:
SCD does Jane Austen - Brilliant, the Beeb should publish it alongside the DVD Boxed set we all want. More money for CIN, more fun for us!

The Jekyll and Hyde Award for Invention in Triangulation:
Given jointly to Megagodom and belliekrooc. It would be impossible to give it to one and not the other!

The Swoon - Gasp - I Need Air - Award:
No huge surprises - give it up for - Gethiiiiin Joooones!
Hip Hip Hooray!
Who wants to give it to him?
Oof…ouch…gerrof…mind me foot…oi …watch it! Back, back I say …
Now, who’s going to give him the award!

The Best Kept Secret Award for Punniest Thread Hardly Read:
Oh, that would be mine. Took me ages - many thanks to those who replied and the advice given. How I’d love to say you’re too numerous to mention...

The Campaign to Bring Literacy to the Masses Award:
On your feet please for: belliekrooc.
BTW, Stephen Fry jus cooled an arsed nay dimarndid u help him rite the nekst seriz of Q.I. Shud I tell him yeh or wot?

The Galaxy Truffle and Tia Maria Award for Most Welcoming, Cosiest Thread:
It couldn’t be anything else: GETHIN’S GIRLS! Rule The World, girls, wherever you are! Step up please, Sparkling Champagne for gethin us together (Did ya see what I did there, did ya!)

The Re-Construction Award in Set Design to:
‘Dance floor - has anyone else noticed it?’ Producer Legendary Lapland(nee Lindsay), Director Nice2cu (Santa), Chief Structural Engineer John from Wales.
Why oh why oh why did the producers not think of ANY of this?

The Sub-Committee Award for De-Construction in Dress Design to:
‘Dress Code for the Male Dancers’ Producer Armchair-dancer, Director Nice2cu
Why oh why oh why oh, cos we aren’t all hooked enough already...

The Sportsmanship Award in Foregone Conclusions:
Len Goodman, ably supported by Craig Revel-Horwood and Bruno Tonioli.
Never, in the field of dancing, has so much been owed to so many by so few.

The Triangle Award for Freedom of Speech in Moderation:
To everyone who enjoys lively debate and discussion and are happy to agree to differ. And especially for those who don’t do irony!

Sportsnight (abridged and late - sorry, busy weekend!)

Congratulations to 13 year old diver Tom Daley, the new European Champion, winning the 10m platform title in Holland. He produced immaculate dives in rounds four and five, earning four 10’s from the judges.

Nick Dempsey and Paul Goodison matched Ben Ainslie's success to make it a hat-trick of gold medals for Great Britain at the Princess Sofia Trophy.
Dempsey and Goodison won the RS:X windsurfing and the single-handed Laser class respectively in Palma, Majorca.
Nick Thompson, Goodison's team-mate and training partner, ensured a British one-two in the Laser event.
Britain's sailors overcame big waves and wind speeds in excess of 20 knots in Palma bay to take their final medal tally for the European circuit event to three golds, two silvers and one bronze.
Triple Olympic medallist Ainsle, 31, topped the Finn leaderboard with a day to spare.
World champions Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson won silver in the Yngling women's keelboat fleet, while Christina Bassadone and Saskia Clark clinched bronze in the 470 women's race.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

One Enchanted Evening: The Bristol Charity Ball

I've only just arrived home, after making a weekend of it with hubby, so here's a couple of thoughts to be going on with, pending "The Easter Weekend Diary of a Hormonal Scatterbrain".

Manicure £16
New Gold Shrug(unworn)£23
Charity Ball ticket £100
An evening of dance with Gethin, Ian and Camilla: Priceless.

For everything else there's hubby!

And for Gethin's Girls: In the cookies of life, friends are the chocolate chips!
Scatts xx

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Anthony Minghella

I was only just reading the Radio Times articles about Anthony, Richard Curtis and their joint project of the No1.Ladies Detective Agency, when the sad news came through. My sincere condolences to Anthony's family and friends.

Dancing on Ice Awards

After vowing to remain neutral and just enjoy each week, I did find myself voting for Suzanne at the end - her performances were magical, particularly the ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ flying routine. So, so beautiful and so emotional. Followed up by the awesome Music routine with the Twisting Headbanger, a worthy winner. See, the GBP can be trusted to get it right! SCD Bosses, are you taking notes? The GG’s Bravery Award for Services to the Public to the Dancing on Ice producers.

James Bond: The Musical Award in Coiffure: Ruthie Henshall. There was some decidedly Miss Moneypenny stylees going on there sometimes.

The Time Warp Award for Growing up Quickly: Chris Fountain. From whingy and negative sandbagging to all round entertainer. Fantastic spins.

The One That Got Away Award: Michael Underwood. If the GG’s were going to have a favourite, early indications suggest it may have been him. Although, with our phones still disconnected following SCD, voting may have proven difficult! You know, one of our girls actually had BT on the line, concerned at how much she was spending. And another had to go through security four times in order to keep the mobile topped up. Now that’s commitment! A lovely fun guy, a real shame. Also wins the GG’s Award for Gallantry following his: “I put her boot in my braces” quote!

As for Greg, nice bloke, but well, was Kristina ever going to let him lift her above his waist? Could they get through a routine without any embarrassing handclaps and mime hands? *cringes at memory*. Surely they could have made more of his speed and strength. The runaway winner of the Marcel Marceau Award for Dumb Tweeness. N.B: Note to Jason - if you don’t want someone to go through, don’t encourage the vote by threatening a boycott! Note to judges everywhere - look up the phrase ‘Sympathy Vote’.

The Slow Slow Quick Quick Slow Award to …Me. I was reviewing one week through a snow storm and static due to a really ropey tape, somynotesallreadlikethis. Consequently, I heard Pinky and Perky do Billy Joel and Alvin and the Chipmunks covering ‘Mickey’. Which, to be fair, was an improvement on the original.

The Get It Where you Can At Our Age Award to: Aggie! I was watching from behind the sofa, she banged her head so much. Then I twigged it was a ploy to be forever cradled in Sergei’s arms. Respect!

A good series for quotes - the nominees are: Michael: "Give me the 'quiteeasytodospiral'. Don't give me the Death Spiral. Cos that's what you'll get!" Steve: "Am I planning on sleeping?" Kids, do you want daddy to win or lose: "LOSE". Nice bloke Steve but didn’t set the ice alight...luckily, cos that would be bad, you know, on account of the melting and stuff ...Jason made me laugh "Stand by you and give you a shove!" The Ben E.King classic given contemporary lyrics. Linda, mistakenly given a 6.0 by Nicky: "You can't take it back!" Jason called her a goer! "I'll show you later" she replied. Jayne: “Behind every man there’s a woman rolling her eyes!” But the Winner of Quote of the Series: Linda: “I just couldn’t get hold of his trousers!” Well, she was partnered with the gorgeous Daniel, it’s understandable she got distracted down there.

The Don’t Mess With Me Award: Karen Barber: I thought Karen was gonna whack Jason at some point, and Nicky was desperately close to receiving a clip around the ear! So many fights and Karen at the centre in most of them; she likes to get stuck in. And she looks so sweet and quiet! Nicky was scared to give low marks the week after she laid into him! She’d have taken both him and Jason - at the same time - no trouble!

Gareth: The Leave off Wearing a See Through Shirt to a Real Man Please Award *shudders* Not a good look. The female vote didn’t happen for Gareth then - could it be the women of GB aren’t as shallow as they’re made out?

The Hot-Under-the-Collar Award for Sexiest Performance: Daniel and Linda’s Son of a Preacher Man. Shimmy outta that jacket why don’t cha! Did you notice, Daniel wears glasses in training? Not unlike a certain other gentleman we know!

And finally: The I Bet Philip Didn’t Know Where To Put His Face Award: Holly Willoughby’s Wardrobe Mistress. Really, you know, it was tea time! Even Tess’s Quality Street efforts did offer decent coverageness.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Yes, I know! More sport!

What did you expect this weekend! Congrats to Wales on their first Grand Slam on the 100th anniversary of their, er, first Grand Slam. And to Lewis Hamilton on winning the Aussie GP. More importantly, No.2 son, following an intensive training session with his previously underused left foot, scored a scorcher with it in a 2-0 win yesterday!

Today on Animal Park:

I want a cardigan like Lord Bath! Reminded me of my dad, when he was about to leave the house in check trousers, striped shirt and spotted tie. How great to be able to stop him at the door and say: You’re not going out looking like that!

Unleashing the Hayemaker

Boxer David Haye isn’t lacking in confidence - but talking the talk sounded more like fact, coming from him, than arrogance! Especially after hearing him describe his thought processes during his fight with Enzo Saccharinely (my spell check did that, ok, not me! Made me laugh though, so I left it) I always believed boxers reacted by instinct, just let their training take over, but no. I was engrossed and impressed at David’s assessment. Can’t wait to see him taking on those heavyweights. Tasty. In more ways than one! As for Enzo - not the accent I was expecting when he was interviewed! But very pleasant, none the less!
I used to work in Canning Town, just along from the Royal Oak - the ‘stable’ of Terry Lawless. I remember being in the cafĂ© nearby when darkness suddenly descended - I thought storm clouds had gathered. But when I turned around, it was Frank Bruno, blocking the doorway! You really had to be there. Picture this: A 4ft 8in skinny 16 year old lad I worked with, supping a pint of Guinness, stood next to Frank Bruno with his pint of orange squash!

Saturday, 15 March 2008

I'd Do Anything ...

I've not watched any of the previous ones of these (Maria/Joseph) but I loved this! How civilised are those auditions - that David bloke is a sweetie isn't he?
Thought the Olivers were terrific and they’ve a tough job whittling down to just twelve out of a very talented bunch of Nancys.
It made such a refreshing change from the Xfactor audtitions - not a big fan but caught it occasionally and made me cringe. They showed a few that couldn't sing tonight, but they didn't linger or embarrass them.
I don’t recall the names of many but there were a couple of Olivers that stood out for me. And of the Nancys, first impressions were Eastenders Nancy and Cleopatra and the ‘young Shirley Bassey'. Looking forward to hearing them again next week.

Rising to the Challenge

A few highlights for me from last night’s Sport Relief, firstly though - did we really need to see the cyclists peeing? Did we? A more wonderful sight - the whales swimming along with David Walliams and James Cracknell (also a verrry nice sight, might I say!). Jimmy Carr and the eyeliner - not a good look - was he sponsored for that? And discovering Russell Brand is a West Ham fan - he shot up in my estimation, I might try listening to his show. Cat Crash telly (not a spelling mistake - think about it) Top Gear does Ground Force. As usual, the boys displayed a complete lack of respect for nature and for our nations most treasured sportsman, and reduced a once peaceful and serene environment to a scene of unrivalled vandalism.
It was the funniest sketch I’d seen in ages!
I love the comedy and the entertainment, but the films make me cry. And I don’t think it’s always just from sadness - sometimes it’s anger. Anger at the situations those children find themselves in, anger at some kids in this country who think they’re so bloody hard done by.
The Blues Brothers, Ray Stubbs and James Toseland - they wuz rockin’! And LOL at Paddy Kielty calling them Stubbsy and Toesy. Did he mean to do that? I don’t think he did. Or am I the only person making the connection here?
Of course, my major highlight was Strictly - they all seemed pretty terrified, which made some performances a little stiff - great seeing the Ramps shaking his booty again, he actually seemed the most relaxed. But the triumph for me was Matt and Elaine’s Tango - a fantastic choice of song, I’d never have thought of that, so whoever did *stands up and claps*. I watched it again, not just for that tremendous chuckle of Elaine’s - what drama, what passion and what a great sense of humour. I hope they sign her up for the next show.
The Boxing - completely undecided as to who to cheer for, initially veering towards Lemar a) it’s a music thing b) he used to do the same job as me for the same company. But then they said Ben was a West Ham fan - sorry Lemar! Not so sure about the mean streets of Epping though! And, I have to say, after making me laugh at the start, Spoony really got the hump when his man started to lose - he wore the same expression as Matt Di Angelo’s brother after Alesha was crowned Strictly champion - that of a smacked arse. We in the GG Lounge were upset about Gethin, but we wore our usual sunny smiles and were happy for Alesha. It is for charity you know! And speaking of Geth, there he was, in the audience! Right behind Lemar’s girlfriend and Fiona Phillips, couldn’t miss him!
Have to ask: Why Davina McCall when they could have had Gethin? Pair him up with Claudia next time please!
Finally, James Toseland may just be responsible for me becoming an motorcycling fan - he's far too young and good looking to be such a rocker - and Zoo Nation, how brilliant were there? Loved the jazzed up 'Human Nature' section. Nessum Dorma to close, I think the GBP are actually all closet opera fans you know, judging by the response Jonathan Ansell received!

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Oops - Sportsnight just changed to Thursday!

This weeks pick of the Brit Champions:

British gymnasts Beth Tweddle and Marissa King both claimed gold in the finals of their events at the Glasgow Grand Prix. Tweddle won gold on the floor from Czech Nicole Pechancova and King added the Grand Prix vault title to her British crown.
Meanwhile, Louis Smith took silver on the pommel horse and Kristian Thomas claimed bronze in the floor exercise.

Great Britain won two golds and three more bronzes on their most successful day ever at the World Rowing Championships in Munich.
The women's quad sculls led the field from the start to win their third consecutive world title.
The men's lightweight four took gold for the first time, while Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter clinched a bronze in the lightweight double sculls.
There were also unexpected bronzes for both the men's and the women's eights.

Sailors Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson have retained their Yngling World Championship title with a day to spare in Miami.
The Beijing-bound trio won gold after gaining an unassailable lead going into the final day in Biscayne Bay. The world title is Great Britain's third of the year after Ben Ainslie won the Finn Gold Cup and Elliot Willis and Nic Asher triumphed at the 470 Worlds in Melbourne last month.

Great Britain's taekwondo team won a total of eleven medals at the recent German and Dutch Opens. In Hamburg, Stella Whitehead won -63kg gold, while Romaine Bailey (-54kg) and Jordan Gayle (-59kg junior) and both won silver. At the Dutch tournament, Sarah Stevenson beat Nina Solheim in the -72kg category final, while Louise Mair won gold in the -47kg final. Michael Harvey and Adam Corrigan took silver, Davoud Etiminani and Aaron Cook bronze while Jordan Gayle and Bianca Walkden won gold at junior level.

Congratulations to all, roll on the Olympics!

Did you hear the one about ...

... the couple who complained to their waiter because there were worms in their food. Naturally, they weren't charged for their meal. However, the lady forgot her handbag and on checking inside it for address details, the restaurant manager found -a jar of worms! The manager called the police - I doubt the couple managed to worm *groan* their way out of that one!
Joking aside, sneaky dishonest people like them could have cost that restuarant it's licence and how many people their jobs? To save a lousy £30? The restaurant should send their picture to every other eaterie in their town!

Sunday, 9 March 2008

What a weekend to be English ...great if you're Welsh though!

(And seeing as my nan was Welsh, I can still celebrate.)
It looks like it may be Geth's year, first his homeland win the Triple Crown, then his hometown win through to the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup! Shouldn't faze them, they've been there before, winning it about 90 years ago - the only non-English club ever to do so! Other fave celebs of mine that will be happy bunnies - Darren Gough's a Barnsley boy and Adrian Chiles will be cheering on West Brom as I type.
A great weekend for neutrals!

Saturday, 8 March 2008

The Perils of Message Boarding

The above report is now available to view in! (See'Fun' then 'GG Reports')

I should point out, it's my interpretation of postings I read on the SCD message board during the last series.(And my view seemed to be shared by many others!)

Primary Surrealism

No2, playing football indoors (I know, I know) is chatting away: "Van Persie to Fabregas... (doesn't even support Arsenal - unless they beat Man.Utd, obviously)...then the Tweenies came..."

Call Centres

On behalf of call centre staff everywhere, let me take umbrage with a certain TV programme. I didn't watch it myself (I knew it would just wind me up) but one of my colleagues was upset at such a blanket slating of our chosen vocation. It can be a tough job, but someone's got to do it and 99.99%(recurring) of both staff and customers have civilised, productive conversations because we're there to answer enquiries and provide a service. Which we do. At least, in our centre we do! We even have opportunities to move forwards and no-one, I repeat, NO-ONE, throws anything. Neither are we in a warehouse. Most of our calls are answered within 20 seconds (by a person) who is generally able to deal with the query immediately. So there! Just needed to get it off my chest. (Might help the dress fit better!)

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Micro Fiction: Tenuca

The water was leaking steadily through the house, seeping into his trainers and making his towelling sports socks soggy. He needed to move fast but didn’t know what else he could try.
The PC was as high as he could have it off the sodden floor. The air around him had a momentary glitch, as did the computer screen. He cursed once more, the “There is a script error” message refusing to budge. Then magically, gone. It was all the fault of those greedy 21st century materialistic humans with too much they didn’t want to lose, too much they could have quite easily done without, to save their dying planet. But no, why should they give up their gadgets and leave the gift of life to their descendants? I want it bad and I want it now. And this is where we were. Humanity, with their homes being swallowed by the sea, with nowhere to run to, no dry place to survive. The adults had long since given up. It was his generation now, those like he, Tenuca, left to find a solution. There was no stopping Nature. She was fearsome and she was taking back what was hers. Bizarrely, the very thing that contributed to the earth’s demise seemed to be it’s one chance of salvage. The PC. To create a program so intense, so advanced with the virtual reality software on offer, that Tenuca could hold back the sea. They were working furiously to create a life for those that escaped. That they could use to rebuild. He tapped furiously on the one option he had left. Enter. Hold Breath.

“This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.”


It always was on a Wednesday, I see no reason to change it. Know what I mean, 'Arry?

Latest achievers lifted from The BBC Sport website are:

The Great Britain women's recurve team struck gold at the Archery World Cup tournament in Dover.
Alison Williamson, Naomi Folkard and Charlotte Burgess added victory to the bronze medal they won at last month's World Championships in Leipzig.
In the men's recurve, British trio Alan Wills, Simon Terry and Larry Godfrey beat China 219-213 to claim the bronze.
It adds to their World Championship silver last month and the World Cup series gold in the Varese, Italy.
British compound archers Nicky Hunt and Liam Grimwood are into the semi-finals in Dover.
Hunt, 22, now faces Jamie Van Natta of the US after beating world record holder Gladys Willems. Her previous World Cup best was 13th in Korea.
Grimwood, 20, is the only archer not in the top four rankings after qualifying to make it to the semi-finals.
Next up for him is the current World Cup series overall leader Jorge Jimenez of El Salvador.

Was this the guy on Blue Peter? A triple world champion no less and we only hear of him because I’m watching Blue Peter. I mean, my kids are watching Blue Peter. Not me, of course. Really, why on earth would I be watching Blue Peter at my age? Actually I think it was an older lad whose name I missed, still David deserves a mention. There doesn't seem to be a mention on Zoe's blog, even though she bravely stuck with the training and skied barefoot for the required 15 seconds.
David is studying environmental architectural engineering at Nottingham University. He has just become the World Overall Barefoot Champion for the second time, as well as being the World Jump Barefoot Champion and the World Trick Barefoot Champion. And he has won sponsorship through the TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) which will allow him access to top quality coaching and physiotherapy.


Wolverhampton's Craig Fallon has continued his excellent form ahead of this year's Olympic Games by taking gold at the Vienna World Cup. Fallon won his pool and overcame young French star Dimitri Dragin in the semi-final. That win set up a rematch with Paischer, whom Fallon beat in the final of the 2005 World Championships in Egypt. Despite having the home crowd against him, Fallon repeated his victory of three years ago winning by waza-ari, to continue his gold-medal winning run. The former World and European champion has now won gold in the last four tournaments he has competed in and leads the European Olympic rankings for his weight category. The latest victory will prove particularly sweet after battling back from a shoulder injury sustained in January.
Fallon is now favourite to seal his place in the British team for Beijing.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

It's Mother's Day ...

... and seeing as I'm a hayfever sufferer on a diet, the boys had to think laterally.
My old Escort went 'Kaput' and I had to buy a new(er) car. Hence my gifts today:

A magnetic tax disc holder

Boot holdall

Back of seat holdall

Air fresheners

Although no.2 also said: Buy me some chocolate and 'cos it's Mothers Day, I'll let you share it.

Only if you insist - I'd hate to deprive you in any way!

Here's a Special Thought for all Mums: A balanced diet consists of the five main food groups: Dairy, meat, wheat, fruit and veg, chocolate.

Book Review: ‘Pretty Maids All In A Row' by Christopher Golden

“Into each generation a Slayer is born. One girl, in all the world, a Chosen One".

One of our favourite characters from the popular TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike is the most bloodthirsty, vicious, nasty vampire. Nevertheless, he has a great British sense of very black humour. And you know you shouldn't like him but you can't help yourself. He's pretty unique amongst the demons in the Buffy series: he doesn't want the end of the world. Rather, he likes being here; ".. .it's got Manchester United and 'Love Boat'... " and ".. .billions of people, walking around like Happy Meals with legs..." In BTVS of course, he becomes a trusted ally of the Slayer, thanks initially to a computer chip lodged in his head by a secret government agency, which prevents him from harming humans, then subsequently, painfully, regaining his soul to prove to Buffy how much he loves her.

In 1940 however, there are two battles being fought on the Home Front - "Pretty Maids..." brings Spike to us long before his dabbles with the Scooby Gang, when his sole purpose for existing is to please his sire, Drusilla, who turned him into a vampire and became the love of his (after)life. With her eightieth re-birthday fast approaching, he pledges to procure the perfect gift for her - Freya's Strand, a necklace so magical it provides the wearer the means to shape shift at will. And in order to own it, Spike deals with an ice demon called Skrymir, who wants nothing less than - you've guessed it - world domination. To achieve this, Skrymir needs to be rid of the bane of his life, the Watchers Council. The Council exists to train and watch over the current Slayer and all the potential slayers - Skrymir and Spike's plan is a simple one: Spike kills all the potentials before killing the current Chosen One, so Skrymir can attack the Watchers Council; Skrymir will then give him Freya's Strand.

Could this be the end of the Chosen One - of all of the Chosen ones - forever? Since we know the TV series is an ongoing phenomenon, it's a pretty high premise. However, this is essentially a story of Spike and Dru and is a great vehicle to show them off in all their fiendish glory!

Christopher Golden is a very talented author; this is one of his many novels based on the BTVS series, written either singly or in conjunction with other authors - check out 'The Lost Slayer' and 'Monster Island' (with Thomas E. Sniegoski). Here, he captures the essence of the series without the familiar scenery and slang that are so integral to the TV show. Setting the attack on the Watchers Council in wartime London at the time of the blitz and sending the vampires hunting across the killing fields of Europe is a masterstroke. Spike and Dru as both heroes and villains is an unlikely and bizarre scenario. Considering the gory, destructive mission they are on, how can you possibly root for them? Is it Spike's fit of patriotism when torpedoed by a U-Boat, perhaps?

Prepare to be shocked; Golden doesn't flinch from portraying graphically what monsters the vampires are - but he does it so eloquently, your heart will be racing along with the prose.