Monday, 30 June 2008

Micro Fiction: Arthur’s Destiny?

In a medieval town centre in the heart of Olde England, a couple of burly young men have just taken their turn in trying to pull a huge, ornate sword from a stone, to no avail. Next in line is a bent old man, using a tree branch to support himself as he shuffles slowly forward. Behind him in the queue, a teenage boy stamps his foot and huffs; next to him, Merlin, an old, wise wizard says:

“You must learn patience, Arthur. Fear not: it is your destiny; only you can claim the sword and then the throne of all England.”
“Where’s that potion you were brewing?” The youth turned to face the old man, his arms folded.
“What potion?” asked Merlin, cagily.
“The purple one in the titchy green bottle.” Arthur’s voice rose an octave.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Unfortunately, it’s impossible for a knowledgeable man of that age to feign innocence.
“I knew this would happen!”
“Knew what …”
“Oh, don’t give me that, you old fraud. You’re gonna take it yourself, aren’t you? No intention of letting me pull that stupid thing out from there.”
“You’re being ridiculous. I promised your father …”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Gimme the potion …”
A scuffle ensues, Arthur succeeds in knocking the wizard to the ground and sits on him, while searching through the many deep pockets in Merlin’s robes, pulling coloured scarves from one and releasing a white dove from another.
The old man finally reaches the stone. He looks quizzically at the ground around it and stoops to retrieve something he sees there. With a surreptitious glance towards the two fellows arguing behind him, he fumbles with a small, green bottle before finally loosing the stopper. He holds it shakily to his lips and allows a few purplish drops to splash onto his tongue, which erupts into fizzy white froth. He staggers momentarily. Then he throws aside his tree branch. Grasping the sword with both hands, he pulls it cleanly from the stone, its blade long and carved with runes. The assembled gathering clap and cheer - and drop to their knees reverentially. Merlin and Arthur stop struggling to stare in astonishment.
The old man tries the sword out for size - it’s almost at tall as he - sparring an imaginary enemy, before he turns to accept the crowds’ adulation and cries of ‘Your Majesty!’ Then he fits the hilt snugly under one arm as a crutch, and uses it to limp away a helluva lot quicker than he arrived.
“That was your fault, you imbecile.“ snarls Merlin and waves his hand in a complex sigil.

“Baa!” said Arthur.

Saturday, 28 June 2008


Archery: Nichola Simpson is assured of at least a silver medal, having won through to the women's compound gold medal match at the latest World Cup event in France. This should also clinch her place at this year's World Cup Grand Final in Switzerland.
Britain's women’s team of Alison Williamson, Naomi Folkard and Charlotte Burgess, collected their second World Cup medal of the season, adding a bronze to April's gold.

Mountain Bike World Championships, Val di Sole: Gee Atherton won gold, with team mate Steve Peat taking silver in the men's elite event, whilst Rachel Atherton, Gee’s sister, secured gold in the women‘s race, almost twelve seconds clear of her nearest rival. Josh Bryceland made it three golds for Britain, in the junior men's downhill, with compatriot Sam Dale taking the silver behind him.

Rowing: Five more medals for Team GB in the Olympic-class finals at the World Cup in Poland. Gold Winners were Zac Pruchase and Mark Hunter in the lightweight doubles, Laverick and Babington in the women's double sculls and the men's eights. The men's four of Tom James, Steve Williams, Peter Reed and Andy Hodge, the chosen team together for the first time this season following injury, took silver while the women's eight claimed bronze. The performances meant Great Britain won the overall title at the final World Cup of the season.

Sports Leaders, fire engines, tarantula

The Community Sports Leader Award Presentation took place, so now teenager Brad has qualifications in First Aid and Coaching. It was the culmination of ten months hard but enjoyable work; all fourteen young people that took part stood bravely in front of a hall full of family and friends to tell us how much it meant to them. In an age where our teenagers are so maligned, it was wonderful to hear them talk of teamwork, confidence, learning new skills and of friendships that will stay with them for life. I personally think kids like these far outnumber the scummy kids - we just don’t hear about them.

Matt had his School fete today - the Krispy Kreme doughnut stand (yum), the second hand book stall (this year I picked up Sam Bourne’s ‘The Righteous Men’) baton twirlers, karate display and Matt, having paid attention during his bowling coaching, smacked a coconut clean off its stand and into the back fence. They left me admiring the jewellery and disappeared. Where could they be? I know, I thought, I’ll see if they’re over by the fire engine. Unfortunately, I bumped into them before I made it that far, and Matt couldn’t be persuaded that he really, really wanted to look around the engine. Spoilsport!
Probably the highlight of the school fete is the visit of the local arachnid society - wander into a very warm classroom and you have the chance to pet the python, cuddle a corn snake, maul a millipede and tickle a tegu. And this year, I fulfilled a life long ambition - I held a tarantula: The Mexican Red Rump, so light, lively too - nearly lost her up my arm. I think the handler was more concerned for her than me.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Three Barmy Things

Those cats on Graham Norton - check out I-Player later if you missed it! ROTFLMAO.

3BT: Curry, spelling, culture

I'm hearing on the radio this morning, just before driving off to the WW weigh-in, that a Indian restaurant’s chicken tikka masala contains 23g of saturated fat! Oops! (see Saturday 21st). Only half a pound off - but times that by 52 weeks and it’s two stone! And it’s been a couple of months since I had an Indian. There are room for treats, that’s the whole ethos of WW - don’t deny yourself. *helps self to a Ripple (5pts)*

I’ve spelt ‘balked’ wrong somewhere - I thought it was ‘baulked’. That’s really going to bug me because I don’t know where it is.

Have received confirmation that my accommodation is booked, for a trip to London on Tuesday. I wasn’t panicking, truly I wasn’t. I’ll be meeting a few fellow ‘case studies’ for a publication launch: ‘Edutainment’ and attending a National Conference on Wednesday. One of the workshops covers the cultural side of the 2012 Olympics, I hope I was quick enough to grab a place on that one.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Three slightly batty things

Leaving the school this morning, there’s a dog - looks like a cross between a Doberman and a Boxer - he’s straining at his leash, trying to chase the cat that ran past him and barking his head off. Only, he‘s actually the size and colour of a Cocker Spaniel and sounds like that dog saying: “Sausages!” It sets the day up brilliantly, sunshine and laughter.

I’m trying on new trousers and they seem nice, but I’ve a nagging feeling, there’s something not quite right. I finally twig it: One leg is slightly longer - or shorter - than the other (the trouser leg, not mine, thanks very much).

I think I’ve I lost my sunglasses; I suddenly realise they’re not on top of my head as I leave the shopping centre to slum it in the street. They’re not in the changing rooms I’ve visited, I’m resigned to their loss. You know how it is though, when you leave home and you’re halfway down the street and think: Did I lock the front door? And you drive back round the block and you did, but it’s so automatic you forgot you did it? No? Oh.

Anyway, I find the sunglasses. In their case. In the side pocket of the car door. Could’ve sworn blind I never took’em off.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Kwik Cricket Fun

We had to be up and out early with the now not-so-little’un yesterday. Bit cumbersome that, so it will be ‘Matt’ from now on in. I love Kwik cricket, it’s the perfect combination of an inclusive game for every child, whilst retaining the competitive nature of sport they need out there in the real world.

It’s June, in a field. So what to pack? Sunhats, sunglasses, sun cream, picnic rug, cold drinks and, because we’re also in England, raincoats, brolly, coffee, fleece, windbreaker. First thing, it’s half and half - big black scurrying clouds over that side, white fluffy cotton wool wisps floating across blue sky on this side.
The commentator told the non believers the rules: There are two teams. One in and one out, when the ones that are in are out then the ones that are out are in until they’re out … Then he played Time is Tight by Booker T and the MG’s and asked what the connection with cricket was. I was beaten to it - Soul Limbo by the same Booker T is the BBC Test Match theme. I’m just glad chocolate wasn’t on offer.
The kids had the time of their lives, only winning the one match out of their four but the tournament was incorporated into the school fete, so there was a bouncy castle and penalty shoot outs for them to enjoy; Matt won a water blaster. Deep joy.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Growing up too fast ...

Littl’un isn’t so …well, little any more. It was his eighth birthday party today; we took him and eight friends (pure coincidence, I’m not that anal) ten pin bowling. The practice on the Wii has paid off, he averaged 10 points per go and was joint winner of the first game. I noticed it was much quieter than previous parties - like last year’s nine-a-side football party. Take my advice, don’t even think about it. *comes over faint at the recollection*.

They grow up so fast now, don’t they? We’re having the family tea tomorrow night and I ask him what he’d like:

“Indian, please,” he says, “we’ll walk down to the village and have it in the restaurant there.”

Ah, ok - but no, you’re not having a pint of Cobra! Honestly, what’s he like? What happened to hot dogs and Coke? Eight going on sixteen, I’m in a panic.

Then he tells me he's taking his scooter! *sighs with relief*

One small observation during the Russia-Holland game tonight …
The commentator said: “He kicked him on the back of the shin.” Isn't that called the calf? Or did the kicker break through all the muscle tissue and the tibia …

Thursday, 19 June 2008


In the Pre-Paralympic Regatta in Poznan, Poland, Great Britian won two Golds - reigning world champion Tom Aggar in the single scull and the mixed adaptive coxed four. There was a silver medal for Karen Cromie and James Roberts in the mixed adaptive double scull.

British flat water canoeist Tim Brabants won a bronze medal at the World Cup event in Hungary.

British wrestling was upbeat about its chances in the 2012 Olympics, following the GB Cup in Sheffield. Nine medals were won against a world class field of seventy athletes from many strong wrestling nations. Krasimir Krastanov won gold, while silver medals found their way to Leon Rattigan and Olga Buktevych. The six bronze medallists were Scott Gregory, Oleksander Madyarchyk, Sergei Latyshev, David Sweeney, Oleg Druzhynets, and Chinu Chinu. With no wrestlers in this years Olympics, Team GB see this new event as a building block to London 2012. Full story

3BT: Lazy Thursday

Tea, Capuccino, advice shared and feedback given on various pieces of work; Peter is a much funnier writer than he gives himself credit for.

My mouth watering as I spread mustard pickle on my sarnie.

Littl'un singing in the shower; hubby thought he'd hurt himself. "No" says I, "that's normal!"

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Challenge: Write a script derived from a snippet of news.

A silhouetted figure is dragging a large carved stone into the front garden of a house in the middle of the night. The stone shows a face and a symbol, which appears to spell the word 'Paradox '. The figure attaches a note whispering ''Twinkle, twinkle little star, does love blaze less from afar ..."

Figure. (continuing the rhyme) Up above the sky so bright, all in place for sacrificial rite.

Cut to: A village police station, mid afternoon. A woman sergeant bustles around, settling down at a desk covered with files and flips through sheaves of paperwork. A young PC tries to place a cup of tea on the desk but gives up trying to find space and puts it on the window sill behind the sergeant.

Sarge. How many's that now?

PC. (grinning) Only your 3rd today.

Sarge. (good naturedly) The stones, idiot.

PC. Number twelve. Gave old Ted palpitations when he saw it. Stubbed his toe an'all.

Sarge. Might cure his gout.

PC. Same rhyme?

Sarge. Every time.

PC/Sarge. Boom boom.

Sarge. You know who we're going to have to see, don't you.

PC. Aw, no, can't you take Jerry?

Sarge. I want someone with a bit less beer gut.

PC. You what? A bit less? A lot less, if you don't mind.

Sarge. Come on. Daresay she'll be picking foxglove or something.

They leave the station and drive a couple of miles up a hill outside the village.

P.C. Was she really head of a coven?

Sarge. Yep. Her and half our grannies. Always found up at the Knott come Halloween, dancing naked round the dead Oak.

PC. You are kidding!

Sarge. ‘Course I am . Kids never trick or treat up here though, just in case.

They arrive at a ramshackle cottage. Green smoke issues from the chimney. The PC baulks at entering the gate.

Sarge. You daft pansy.

She knocks on the door and walks straight in. An old woman is stooped over a cauldron in a large filthy fireplace. A broomstick is propped against the hearth. She turns and raises her chin in the universal greeting, then resumes stirring the pot.

Sarge. You all right. 'Tilda.

Matilda. What's it to you?

Sarge. Gotta look out for our ageing population now, haven't I?

Matilda. Don't need no help.

Sarge. Ah, well, see. I think I need yours.

Matilda. Why didn't you say so (she turns and straightens and becomes jovial) What d'you need? A potion for your bunions is it? Or (she casts an appraising eye over the Sarge 's hair) lot of grey creeping in there, Sally my dear. (Then, swinging around quickly and making the pc jump) Or is it for you?

He gulps. shakes his head and retreats a step.

Sarge. These stones. 'Tilda. You seen 'em?

Matilda. Bloody hard to miss ain't they. There's one over there.

Sarge and PC turn to where she 's pointing past them. Sure enough, the stone face is staring back at them.

Sarge. D’you make 'em then, Tild?

Matilda. I'm a witch, not a bloodv sculptress, woman.

Sarge. So no idea where they came from?

Matilda. Didn't say that, did I. (She turns again to the cauldron) Bloodv grandson. He 's the sculptor.

Sarge. But why's he dotting them round the villages?

Matilda. Would you pay good money for one of them?

(Cut to the the P.C who silently considers then shakes his head at the stone.)

Sarge. Er . . .

Matilda. There you go then.

Sarge. So he's giving them away?

Matilda. There'll be worth a fortune when he's famous. Or dead.

PC. (shaking his head slightly) I still don't get it.

Matilda (pretending to jump) Oh, still there, are you? I believe he called it 'publicity '. The Art Centre in town’s displayin’ his stuff soon.

Sarge. Worked a treat then, didn't it. Everyone's talking about’em. What you cooking there, 'Tilda?

Matilda. Nettle soup. Not that it's anythin’ to do with you. Will you take some over to Ted?

Cut to PC and Sarge back in the car.

Sarge. Lesson No. 1 - you want answers to anything, Matilda's the one.

PC. Alone?

Sarge. Preferably not. Just in case it's not all for show.

Cut back to Matilda, bending over the cauldron, throwing in more ingredients.

Matilda. Hubble bubble, toil and trouble. Police come up here at the double. Fob 'em off with easy answers. Conjure up the naked dancers!

The final ingredient produces a bang a puff of purple smoke and some yellow sparks.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Three Beautiful Things on a Summer Weekend

Catching up with relatives unseen for years, including the new baby cousins and new other halves, at a family reunion.

Meeting the new additions at my brother in-law's house: Pupppies Skye and Nelly, border collie/cocker spaniel crosses and both completely loopy.

Coming home to find the candy-floss coloured bud in the lilac pot is now a rich fuscia lily in full bloom.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

In the news this week ...

The woman who tried to have her neighour bump off her husband, using the funds from a Home Improvement Loan! There's logic there, from a certain point of view. But how to sell it to the bank?

A pest infestation needs clearing.

New bedroom furniture required.

All the locks need changing.

The patio needs relaying.

Just a few bonafide reasons she could have used ...

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Three Beautiful Things, coming soon to a TV or radio near you!

Gethin presenting the Saturday morning show on Radio Five Live ...

Gethin presenting the 'Deadly Weather: Fear Junkies' show on Virgin 1 ...

Gethin hosting 'Proms in the Park' at Swansea's Singleton Park ...

For more info and interviews click here.

And yes; it was a struggle restricting it to just three beautiful things about Gethin ...

Friday, 13 June 2008

Stay on target ...stay on target ...

Smoked salmon and cream cheese sarnie: 5 points

Curly Wurly: 2 1/2 points

Weight Watchers Choccie Eclair: 1 1/2 points

Still losing 1lb at the weigh in: Priceless! (It will be; only 2lbs to go, that's a beautiful thing ...)

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Three Bizarre Things

The drivers who can only fill up their car when the petrol cap is on the same side as the pump ...

Finding a Flake* hidden in the gravy boat ...

Strictly bosses not renewing Nicole Cutler's contract: Click
here to sign the petition and here to send a complaint to the Beeb ...

* also an extremely bee-yoo-tiful thing ...

Wednesday, 11 June 2008


More highlights from the world of BBC Sport

Athletics: At the British Open in Manchester, Paralympian Chris Martin set a new world record in the Discus to cement his chances of a fourth appearance at the Paralympics. He threw 28.91m, beating the distance of 28.73 in the F33 category and will be looking to add to the gold and silver medals he won in the Sydney Games in 2000.

Swimming: At the Seven Hills meeting in Rome, Fran Halsall came first in a new British record and Caitlin McClatchey third, with the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team also winning gold in a new British record. The team, comprising Hannah Miley, Jo Jackson, Becky Adlington and McClatchey came in ahead of Italy and Sweden. In all, British swimmers won a total of 11 medals at Saturday’s meeting.

Triathlon: Helen Tucker won the World Championship finishing four seconds ahead of America’s Sarah Haskins and Samantha Warriner of New Zealand. Breaking away during the bike leg she then out-sprinted Haskins to win, buoyed no doubt by the fact she’d already secured her place at the Olympics, after a second place at the World Cup event in Madrid.
Fellow Brit Alistair Brownlee won the men's under 23 title, dominating the international field in his race and coasting to victory over last year's champion Gregor Buchholz.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Three Beautiful Things Today

The Funny one: I’m driving through town, following a Group 4 Security Van. Presumably in front of the Police Car that’s supposedly following. In which case, you’d think they’d have called them: OI, THE BACK DOOR’S OPEN!!!

The ‘Oh, Dear! Not another craze’ one: I finally find a shop selling ‘Gogos’ or ‘Crazy Bones’ you might know them as. Littl’un will be so pleased. Let’s see - five packets = him doing as he’s told until at least Saturday.

The EEK! What have I let myself in for? one: The BVFC Chairman wanted a Press and Publicity Manager - and I volunteered! This will involve …wait for it …updating the website! Oops. Should I tell him? You know, the bit about being a (whispers) technophobe? And, he said, I’m sure we can find a spot for you to share your ideas at the AGM. *Yikes*

Sunday, 8 June 2008

3BT: 2008 Cricket debut

First beautiful sunny day of the season to watch Hubby and Teen playing for the Firsts. Who said the Firsts were desperate? Wasn't me, I swear!

Littl'un and me have our own game during the Tea Break. Guess who spends the whole time bowling? Which is fine by me. It's a very genteel game we play: I bowl, he hits it. I have a leisurely stroll to retreive, while he runs himself to an early night, between stumps comprising a football at one end and a block of wood containing three varyingly sized sticks at the other. Just before the end of tea, I stump him and I get to bat. Just the once but at least it's a four. He wins by 149 runs!

The battle for boundaries
Soft leather on strong willow
Scorching sun dries the crease yellow
Clouted cover flies overhead
Index finger rises skywards
Lower order, steadfast at stumps

Fuse Festival Dance Day 3BT

I follow the sounds of whistle and drums from the car park and am just in time to Samba along the High Street with Bloco Fogo.

Lovely to meet up with Marilyn again; haven't seen her for ages, since Weight Watchers coincides with the writing group coffee morning. We wander along to the Capoeira workshop, to offer our support to a friend taking part.

There are spaces available but unlike a certain Mr Jones on Blue Peter, I'm not brave enough to take part, so I content myself with taking the mickey out of Pete. Actually, he's very good - soon a dab hand at cartwheels and very pleased with himself! And I was wearing a skirt, so ...

We see the Chinese Dragon Dance but a few timing and signposting issues are threatening my chances to see everything I want. I have to cut short watching the tightrope walker to dash back for the
Senzala's Capoeira demonstration; mesmerising, both music and movement, so worth the wait.

Friday, 6 June 2008

The Hei People Return

Reijo Kela's peace-loving community are back in Medway for the Fuse Festival, surveying the Brook from the Theatre and Contact Point. They may be peaceable, but I find them incredibly eerie, so silent: The last time they were here, I'd just seen the episode of Dr.Who involving the nasty scarecrows; frightened the life out of me as I drove past Fort Amherst.

80's 3BT

The kids are laughing at me again, sitting in the car until the song has finished (Player's Association 'Turn the Music Up' - I did, of course).

My turn to laugh at them - they don't even realise they're singing along to 'Love Plus One' by Haircut 100.

The neighbours must be thinking we're nuts; all four of us are trying to compete with Jocelyn Brown and 'Somebody Else's Guy'; failing quite embarrassingly, actually. We should invite them in for coffee and introduce them to the record collection - when we've brought it down from the loft. And bought a turntable.

Challenge: Marion suggested a story about a candle, this is it.

Candlewick Dreams

A glow in the dark, coming closer, burning brighter. I’d shuffle up a bit on the dressing table but there are too many of us, crammed together on an assortment of plates, dishes, tea - light holders and platters. And still she brings more. Christmas was a nightmare. Instead of her usual mixture of pastels and patterns - I‘m proud to say I‘m a purple and aqua twisty affair - I had to budge up to make way for the tacky gold and silver ones, with crinkled pieces of ribbon tied loosely around them, as though they were too shy to be seen in all their glory. A little bit of a nod in the direction of the snooty thin one next to me soon rid us of it. As the ribbon burnt and shrivelled, she doused it with water from her gym bottle. It must have sensed it would never be lit again; it’s lip drooped, it’s wick bowed, as she swept it out of the bedroom. It was relegated to the top shelf of the kitchen cupboard, the place where all old candles go to die.
She returned to re-arrange us again. She never seemed to think it odd, why she had to do this. I guess she believed she decided where we all stood, but of course, we all pushed and shoved our way to the front or the middle or the sides, fighting for position depending on her mood. Reading was accompanied by a solitary, scented job - usually the cinnamon and apple dip-dyed effect terracotta-to-saffron coloured square block. Don’t know what she sees in it, really. It’s quite ugly. Make-up application required all of us, we never bothered to fight over that one. But when she was er …let’s see, how can I put this delicately … entertaining …well, pandemonium! Stampede! Total complete bitching! What can I say? It’s not like we get out much, is it? A candle needs to have something to look forward to, doesn’t it? And being chosen to adorn the bedside cabinet exclusively - well, that’s my idea of heaven!

Wii 3BT

Littl'un boxing on the wii is like a marionette being operated by an octopus, legs and arms flying in all directions.

I take the age fitness test - and I'm younger than the kids! Respect!

I take it again to prove it isn't a fluke - and I'm even younger, by another nine years. Read that figure and weep, boys!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

I'm not a critic, I'm not looking for the joins - I thought it was brilliant. All action, trademark humour, excellent cast, a nod here to the first film, a nod there to Harrison Ford's 'other' hero, littl'un needing the loo halfway through (I told hubby not to get him a drink) Indiana Jones meets Close Encounters; Lucas and Spielberg must have been like kiddies in a playground.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

It only took me four months ...

but I finally discovered how to use the bold and italic button, and, even put some colour into the posts. And change the font. Now I can't decide which one to use. You'll have to ignore this post, it's a guinea pig. I've find out how to make it bigger, yippee!

It's worrying me now, that my title of 'Chief Technophobe' may be slipping away from me ... I thought I should do something though, as when I had a quick check at my brother in law's house over the weekend - he with the 30 inch widescreen monitor - I could barely see it from the chair four feet away.

Shall I go back and amend every post? Hm, toughie.

On the whole, no. Maybe. Depends if I find a spare few hours. LOL.


Cycling: Shanaze Reade won gold at the BMX World Championships.

Diving: At the World Diving Series in Nanjing, China, Ben Swain and Nick Robinson-Baker won the silver medal in the 3m synchro event.

Modern Penthathlon: Katy Livingston secured the bronze medal at the World Championships in Budapest, virtually securing her place in Beijing. Heather Fell was fourth, which helped the GB team of Livingston, Fell, Mhairi Spence and Georgina Harland to win the silver medal. They then won a second silver when Livingston, Fell and Spence were second to Hungary in the team relay.

Rowing: At the second World Cup event in Lucerne, Mark Hunter and Zac Purchase won the the Lightweight Men’s Double Scull, while Matt Wells and Steve Rowbotham took silver in the openweight double scull. Bronze medals were captured by the World Champion women’s quad and the Men’s Eight.

Sailing: Olympic 49er sailors Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes won gold in the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Holland. In the Finn class, Ed Wright won bronze, as did Britain's Yngling World and European champions Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

4,5,6 BT's: Hay, Girls!

A great, hassle free location;

Wonderful, fun company;

A personal, filmed message from Gethin to the GG's at their GGGG, hoping we have a lovely time and he's sorry he couldn't be there. HE'S sorry! Bless him, not half as sorry as us!

1,2,3 BT's

I'm feeling like Miss Marple, as I investigated a particularly juice query at work and am well on the way to solving the mystery.

Am just 4lbs away from target weight, after which I can factor in some chocolate (officially!)

Driving North West into a blaze of golden red.

I'd Do Anything: The Final

They’re all teary eyed before we begin! Phone lines open all ready? What’s that all about?

A carnival atmosphere for the past, present and future Nancys and Olivers ‘I’d Do Anything’, even Graham getting in on the act. I’m saying nothing about him wanting to be Nancy. You didn’t hear it from me.

I’ve supported Samantha the last couple of weeks - ‘Defying Gravity’ for me has been the showstopper. However, I’m shall strive to be impartial tonight. Cameron is perfectly clear what he wants: Showstopping...heartbreaking...heartwarming...everfizzincoolwalkingfasttalking...ah, ok, not those last bits really.

Jodie - ‘Son of a Preacher Man’. Bit too ‘Americanised’ for me but gives it everything and very likeable. John adores her.

Samantha - ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’. Another strong vocal, I didn’t think she had it early on, but her confidence has grown throughout. I agree with Denise though, she needs emotional direction; this competition possibly came a touch too soon for her.

Jessie - ‘First time Ever I Saw Your Face’. So natural, effortless almost, didn’t seem to be long enough. Cameron: “I think Jessie was born to play Nancy!” Wow! Followed by Andrew: “The sacred flame of star quality.” John and Denise disagree - the panel are split. Again.

Graham introduces Bullseye the dog: That’s one ugly mutt. (My words, not Graham’s!)

Duets with the Olivers:

Laurence and Jodie ‘Getting to Know You’. Lovely stuff, really together. Good speech, she wants this the most out of the three. Being ten years older, it may be her last chance.

Harry and Samantha ‘Singing in the Rain’. Terrible song choice - no chance of the interaction we need to see. That could’ve just cost Samantha her place in the final, showed off neither her nor Harry. Her speech not as passionate as Jodie’s.

Jessie and Gwion ‘Truly Scrumptious’ The Gaelic/Celt connection working well. Brilliant. Her plea spoken from the heart. Cameron once again singles Jessie out, he’s desperate for her to win.

I do feel Sam was unfortunate there, she should have had a well known kids musical song; surely something like ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ from Mary Poppins would have been better?

Trio: Maybe This Time - coaching by Liza Minnelli *whispers: I’m not a great fan of the legendary LM* But she’s been there, done it; they can’t fail to learn from her. They can give this some welly. Awesome. They deserve the standing ovation. A great final three.

The phone lines are closed!

Lee Mead drops in, between his own shows - we’ll never tire of him performing ‘Any Dream Will Do’. His choice is Jodie! That will probably get her more votes in the final section if she makes it through.

They’re bracing themselves - 1st through: Jessie! Yay.

3rd Place: Samantha! Reticent, not expecting to go this far. A fantastic future beckons. I thought Graham was going to cry then; John is! Andrew unsurprised. Her version of ‘As Long As He Needs Me’ is the best exit I’ve heard throughout. Somebody needs to bring Jodie down from the ceiling.

Final Results Show

All the Nancys are back; Samantha still looks thrilled to be a part of it.

‘As Long as He Needs Me’: Jodie: Intense, feisty, strong. Jessie: Vulnerable, more intensely passionate. She would have had my vote, had I been able to.

Former Nancys and Olivers: ‘Never Forget’. Funny, I’d forgotten the others. Oops, sorry! (didn’t think that quite came together).

Best solo performances: Jodie revisits ‘ I Have Nothing’. I normally find Jodie ‘safe’ however, I did just get goosebumps there. Jessie laments over ‘The Man That got Away’. Raw class, pure class. They closed the phone lines immediately she finished singing, that seems a little unfair.

The panel have to name their Nancy: John and Denise plump for Jodie - Barry and Andrew for Jessie. Cameron: “Jessie IS Nancy!”

They’re both going to go ‘Pop’ if Graham doesn’t get on with it!

JODIE!!! The Nation’s Nancy. But you get the impression Cameron and Andrew will be keeping Jessie closely involved somewhere! Maybe it’s time for Andrew to write a new musical!

‘As Long As He Needs Me’ - the complete version. Jodie gives an emotional performance and whilst her voice isn’t to my taste, she’ll do a great job I’m sure.

So, what’s next? Did I hear rumours about a Phantom?

Monday, 2 June 2008

Did you miss me?

The teenager has been banned! I've been offline since Friday, before I left for the GGGG and we were still off on our return Sunday night. I beg him and after much tutting and Kevin and Perry impressions, he finally gives in and checks all the wires - to find he's disconnected the phone line from the PC when he tried to plug in his lap top. Grrrrrr!