Sunday, 31 August 2008

Have a nice trip?

I was out last night and only found out about Gethin's little mishap due to the ribbing his guests were giving him today on FiveLive!

It could've been worse - I won a raffle prize once and had to cross the dancefloor to collect it. Being very excited I was practically running, got to within ten feet, slipped and slid the rest of the way on my bum! Probably because the prize was a humungus box of chocolates nearly as big as me ...

Just found out, there's a Strictly Come Dancing preview show on Saturday 13th September, including a review of last year and previews of the couples this year. Don't miss it!

Friday, 29 August 2008

And we're off... Strictly Come Dancing Series 6! Yay!

The line up is released and the live show starts on 20th September! Hee hee, I’m excited already. Now then, if you lost all communication with the outside world yesterday, here they are. I’ve watched the trailer a few times, these are my first impressions …

Ian Waite and Jodie Kidd: Two time finalist and the model turned racing driver/polo player. The action girl of the show? They look great together, a real sense of partnership already.

Brendan Cole and Lisa Snowdon: Official bad boy and Series One winner partnered with the glamour puss again! Model and TV presenter, I dunno - but looks a bit posey to me, in the still photo and the video. And, strangely there are fleeting clips of her in between the other couples 2 or 3 times though the video. Now why’s that? Subliminal advertising? It’s put me off, quite frankly.

Vincent Simone and Rachel Stevens: The Argentine Tango King with former S-Club singer. They seem very nice, bit brother and sister- ish.

Erin Boag and Austin Healey: Series 3 runner up Miss Whiplash bags herself a fit lad in the rugby player. We know he can Morris Dance, but can he Salsa? Assured, respectful.

Ola Jordan and Andrew Castle: Ola did brilliantly playing to Kenny’s strengths last year, can she help break the curse of GMTV? They seem at ease and happy.

Kristina Rihanoff and John Sargeant: A new pro, unknown quantity but seemed happy enough on The One Show, she has the charming, witty newsman and they seem very chilled.

Hayley Holt and Mark Foster: 2nd new lady Pro - and she ain‘t complaining, paired with the super fit Five time Olympian. They looked relaxed, smiley.

Karen Hardy and Gary Rhodes: Series 4 winner meets TV Chef - and to me it looked like they were on the same wave length, a very mischievous look about them. He’s a local lad - we have Buckmore Park in common, so a bit predisposed towards them already.

Lilia Kopylova and Don Warrington: Series 3 winner and distinguished actor. It didn’t look like there were sparks between them, but it’s early days.

Anton Du Beke and Gillian Taylforth: Mr ‘I can say what I like and get away with it’ looking good with the experienced actress, big grins all around.

James Jordan and Cherie Lunghi: Last year’s Pro I’d love to have seen more of - on the face of it, a completely different partner but then you realise that Cherie’s about 56 and to look like that she’s taken care of herself - could be a dark horse.

Brian Fortuna and Heather Small: The new male Pro partners the M People singer, who surely can carry the rhythm through. She can‘t keep the grin off her face; he reminds me of Leonardo di Caprio - only looks about 12.

Darren Bennett and Jessie Wallace: Series 2 winner has another ex-Eastenders actress and they do look fun together. Can’t wait to see Darren in leopard print …

Flavia Cacace and Phil Daniels: Last year’s finalist dancing with the on-screen dad of last year’s partner. Flav doesn’t mind; he looks a bit “Why am I here?”

Matthew Cutler and Christine Bleakley: Last year’s winner coupled with the popular hostess of The One Show - both assured of a lot of support, but she’ll have to back it up with the moves. She’s excited, he’s wondering “ Can I do it again?”

Camilla Dallerup and Tom Chambers: Always the bridesmaid - hopefully not this year, Cam’s landed the Holby City actor with more than a little showbiz in his blood! I’m biased towards Cam, anyway, I hope he can live up to this for her sake! And I hope they give her better outfits than what’s on that video!

The SCD Message Board is open for business, there’s a lot of familiar names returning. The GG’s, mindful that we may have been seen as sore losers last year, decided against starting a ‘reunion’ thread of some kind, however, someone else saw fit to! So if you see Gethin’s name on a thread, pop in and say hello, as you may find me there.

3bt: Last holiday day together.

Matt is old enough now for the toboggan on his own - which means no more free rides for me unfortunately :( He loved it though!

Saw two foxes on the way home, separately. They're more common now but we still jump and point.

My annual Pitch and Putt outing: Actually driving the ball to the green and sinking some decent putts. Next time, I'm determined it'll happen on the same hole ...still only eight shots behind Brad though!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

3bt: Final cricket training (already??? Where did summer go?)

Last in, first up for a hotdog off the barbecue. I don't mess about.

Showed a 21 year old how to make the perfect cuppa. You know, he nearly put the water in first! The Youth of Today *rolls eyes*

Matt and his friend Josh, pretending to be Dr.Who fighting the Daleks. They must have covered the entire field three times over.

*picks up eyes and dusts them off*

Monday, 25 August 2008

Olympics 2008

So it’s all over! The golden nosed plane touched down to a reception committee comprising mainly press and Heathrow staff and the rest of us have to wait till October for the open topped bus. The 'Roll of Honour' was four times longer than I expected it to be, then again, I was optimistic regarding the so-called minority sports I've been following, who once again brought us home the bulk of the medals. What’s the betting there’ll still be an overpaid, underachieving footballer on the Sports Personality of the Year list, even though, let’s be honest, how can you even contemplate putting anyone on the list who hasn‘t achieved at least world champion status this year, considering the Olympic Champions who have? (see World of Sport, below left).

On to London and an earnest plea to the organisers - reasonably priced tickets, is it too much to ask? And let us, the public, have the majority of them so we don’t end up with half empty stadiums, whilst the sponsors’ guests stagger around their hospitality tents. And ensure the funding is in place and targeting the right areas ie. the grass roots, facilities, medical back up and the coaches and performances directors whose policies, combined with the talent and dedication of the athletes brought about these results - other countries are already trying to poach cycling’s Dave Brailsford. I found a very interesting quote from him:

"You look in other sports and the more money involved the less loyalty there seems to be.”

Which isn’t to say he doesn’t need to earn a living - but he’s spot on there, when you look at our national game (which I’m guessing could well be cycling by 2012, especially with the ongoing environmental issues and petrol prices!)

As ever, when it comes to track and field athletes who medalled, I’m always left with a sense of: Have they achieved because of the system in place, or in spite of it? Is it just the occasional talented individual’s own big heart and commitment that produces the desired result? I think the athletics chiefs have to look closely at the set up of the cycling team and see how they can adapt the policies to their own sport. Kelly Holmes actually said that maybe they should bring the throwers together, the jumpers together and so on. It might help the relay teams too …

I only recently found out that the Performance Director for Team GB is Sir Clive Woodward, read this excellent interview here
and pray that the FA see sense after 2012.

I seem to have had a bit of a rant when all I really wanted to say was: Congratulations, fantastic job Team GB! Good luck to all of you up to and beyond 2012.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

3bt: So my era!

They do like to liven things up a bit in the office, and this week, some insane person decided we needed an 80’s day! And with £80 of vouchers on offer for best outfit, I raided my cupboard. I’m comfortable with my look; this is the most confident I’ve felt leaving the house for over 20 years! And for once the weather was conducive to the occasion: Humid makes the hair go frizzy.

My team were on top form - we won the quiz; Sue won a photo quiz and I won the fancy dress!!! For my ’authentic’ outfit - the tee-shirt is actually about 24 years old, so is the hair scarf. It was shared with another 80’s reject - who’d managed to find a big frilly blouse to match her headscarf - but £40’s not bad for getting dressed is it?

As they say - been there, done that, bought the tee-shirt, yes, really - that’s them, just there; you can't even see the snakebite stains. I never bought programmes from gigs, just something practical I could wear! Maze, New York Skyy, Bobby Womack, Roy Ayers, plus my Caister and Bournemouth weekender ones too.

At least I’d moved on slightly from the frilly season ... songs of note for this particular era were Patrice Rushen's 'Forget Me Nots' and Leprechaun - 'Loc-it-up', probably with some Spandau Ballet thrown in ...

Saturday, 23 August 2008

3bt: Saturday night in

Watching the very scary woman on X Faxtor -you know the one - but Alexandra worth the wait for. Swapping chocolate, Matt doesn't like Twisteds. Where did I go wrong? Hubby had to give him an assortment of raisins, maltesers and coatless minstrels from the family bag of Revels. (Don't forget to vote). Settled back then for Have I Got News For You and Mock the Week, a solid hour of mirth.

A story on teletext: From a mining town in Australia, where the men outnumber the women five to one. Someone suggested bussing in the less attractive women from outer lying areas to even things up a bit! A local woman stated: "We've got a saying here, that the odds are good but the goods are odd!" Classic.

BRACE YOURSELVES!!!!!! Saturday Nights in till Christmas.

The BBC are releasing teasers for the next series of Strictly Come Dancing. The message boards have gone into overdrive, the usual rag reckons it has an exclusive, the line up will be confirmed next week. Check out the trailer here and see if you can identify anyone!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

3bt: More sporty stuff

Credit to Johanna Jackson, for a new British Record in the Olympic 20km walk.

Playing Badminton with Matt - outdoors first, then when the rain came we moved into the front room/toy store/laundry/spider cultivation ranch whereupon he staggered back for a forearm smash and fell over into his lego box.

Discovered the recent WIKF Karate World Championsips - more table topping, from Team England this time: 12 Gold, 8 Silver, 8 Bronze. Plus a Gold and a Silver for two Northern Irish Swimmers, were it Team GB. That's a third of the available Golds! I hope the BOA have the power to include Karate in 2012, it's one of the the biggest participation sports in the UK; wouldn't it be nice if they got a little bit of coverage - even BBC Sport let me down on this occasion.

WIKF Karate World Championships

Gold: Andy Michaelides, Chloe Walsh, Jamie Carrol, Charlie Collins, Ben Coward, Gavin Baley, Ben Hackett, Katie Hurry x 2, Initiate Female Kumite Team, Juvenile Female Kumite Team, Juvenile Male Kumite Team, (N.I- Janet Forie)

Silver: Yuki Price, Jay Kirton, Tegan Walsh, Barry Batson, Kevin Mcauslan, Tanto Dori Team, Initiate Male Kumite Team, Cadet Female Kumite team, (N.I - Michael Keenan)

Bronze: Hannah Lewis, Jerome Brown, Chole Clifton, Shauna Carrol, Tom Waters, Daniel Hollister, Cadet Male Kumite Team, Senior Male Kumite Team

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Another String To His Bow

My latest report for Strictly Gethin Jones is now on the website, feel free to mosey on in. Just go to 'Fun' and then 'GG Reports' and there it is!

3bt Sportsnight

Usain Bolt decided to put some effort into it and slashed 2/10th off Michael Johnson's 12 year old world record, winning the 200m title in 19.30.

And the British aren't confining themselves to Beijing you know!

Bowls: Alison Merrien, current World Champion of Champions, won the World Indoor Cup Final in Australia.

Darts: Phil Taylor won the Stan James World Matchplay title in Blackpool.

So tell the Aussies - we do win some standing up!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Stupid dog breeders - Pedigree Dogs Exposed BBC1

I can't believe what I'm seeing and hearing on the TV at the moment - how these people can continue to defend what they do in the face of the overwhelming evidence of pain and illness in their supposed pride and joy.

If ever we were considering buying a dog, this programme just made our minds up to avoid any pedigree pups and stick with a cross breed.

The national breed, the bulldog, in some cases can't even mate or give birth naturally, they're so deformed. The Rhodesian Ridgeback - perfectly healthy pups are destroyed for not having the ridgeback. White boxer pups and white German Shepherds too, destroyed because they're not the right colour. Sound familiar?

The breeders and The Kennel Club should be ashamed of themselves. Carole Fowler has been campaigning for years to change the ideals of affected breeds, refusing to be fobbed off. Let's hope this programme helps and that we as a nation stop lining the pockets of these greedy, selfish breeders. I doubt I'll be watching Crufts again.

Monday, 18 August 2008

They call me Scatty...

...with good reason.

The PowersThat Be at work had their quarterly rearrangement of teams again six weeks ago. I'm now occupying the same position in my team, but in the bank of desks one row back. I knew it would happen and following my holiday, when I conveniently forget all my passwords and what floor I'm on (top floor at Xmas, now bottom) I wandered in today, threw my bag down and tried to unlock my drawer, whilst admiring the new screensaver on my pc. Then, suddenly, there's this woman I've never seen before flapping her hands at me and interrupting my cursing as I try the usual assortment of passwords but fail to log on. She fair leapt across the desk to grab the mouse from me: "Who are you? What do you think you're doing?"

Cue much hilarity from my team, all sniggering behind me in the next row back.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Holiday Bingo

Brad's first time in a proper bingo game, believe it or not and he was incredulous at the amount of player participation. I knew a few of the sayings “66, clickety click” Cue everyone clicking their fingers. “Number 4, knock on the door.” Knuckles on the tables. “3 and 5 ...” “Aye Aye chicken pie!” they all shouted. Eh? What's all that about? Legs 11 we knew – everyone wolf whistles; Kelly's Eye “Spit in it!” they shout. “Thank you spitters!” replies the caller. There's the usual “Two little ducks, 22” (Everybody quacks), two fat ladies has been replaced with two 'wobblers', even holiday camps having succumbed to the pc brigade. There were gasps and mutterings when a little boy calling out the numbers for the kids game reverted to 'two rotundly challenged persons'. Mostly people sniggering, of course. The Entertainments officer quickly stepped in when a single wobbler turned up. In the end, I was woo-wooing and tapping to “59, Brighton Line” just to wind Brad up. No sense of occasion, teenagers.

3bt Holiday memories

Food – lovely cherry tomatoes, we needed to buy a bigger box as they dont normally go that quickly - cream teas - The Rising Sun pub, Bashley, on the B3098. A perfect place for kids, reasonably priced and very tasty.

The boys clearing up - washing and drying!!! And not just because I had a headache. Brad even ran the hoover over the caravan.

It's hazy but I can see the Needles from Highcliffe, the one at the front with the lighthouse looks like a swan heading out to sea with a couple of youngsters in tow. Skimming stones in the sea.

Holiday competitions

Won 'Best Party Mum' one night during Sammy the Seahorse's party dances - and have a certificate to prove it! I'd love to say Matt was so proud * basks in the reflected embarrassment of 8 year old*. The song we were dancing to was called 'Chocolatte' - the other mums didn't stand a chance!

It took me back to my childhood holiday camp years. My Dad and my brother used to win anything target related – darts, golf etc. Me and mum won anything swimming related.

For years one or other of us won the Fancy Hats competition with a packet of Ex-Lax pinned to a sun visor. It's a song, an oldie from the sixties I think, possibly Matt Monroe. Got it yet? No? Give in? Ok, it's called 'Softly as I Leave You.' No-one ever got it, they always went for the obvious – Please Release Me!

The Presentation night at the end of the week was a real family affair. We must have been hated by other holidaycampers. I even won Miss Sinah Warren one week – not because I was prettier – it was 1981;big hair and a bagful of slap was all that was needed, trust me.

Holiday - the talent show!

Is it just me or is there something slightly disturbing about 11 year old girls draping themselves over chairs in a 'dance' routine in skimpy outfits? Thankfully, the rest were just the usual cringeworthy bad singing - and a young girl dancing the rumba, accompanied on vocal by a little boy, who wasn't bad, to be honest. You'd think I would have liked that, but Professional Mum was partnering daughter and I didn't think having mum on the floor talking you through the performance was quite in the spirit of an under 10's talent show. Just my opinion of course. They didn't win.

3bt Holiday 2: The things they say and those best left unsaid

An elderly lady in front in the queue for the carvery sounded just like Eric Idle as Brian's mum in 'Life of Brian'. We fully expected to hear “He's not the Messiah he's a very naughty boy!” any second. Similarly, in the 'Shout Out' bit for the kids in the ballroom, they were asked what their favourite film was. In amongst the calls of 'High School Musical' (very popular) and 'Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World' (Confused looks from anyone under the age of forty) we held our breath in case ours yelled out “Life of Brian!”

Driving past a turning called 'The Meadow' we all do our best 'Bambi' impression. (You'll need to have seen the film!)

An armoured vehicle was driving down New Milton High Street! Soldiers in full gear poking out the top of it. One wag shouts: "We're being invaded! I surrender!"

A boy running past us after a bunch of others, with what looked like a handful of wood chips: "I don't know what you're doing but I wanna join in!”

Hi Di Hi Campers: Holiday 3bt

We went to Weymouth for the day – the scenic route. Which rapidly became 'Retail parks I have known and could really have done without meeting, thanks.' A bit of a funfair, karting and amusements, an Italian meal and finally, fireworks on the open water before hubby began marching us back to the one big car park in Weymouth – and then back the other way after I asked the kind lady in Tescos where the car park actually was.

Talking of apt names, as I did in the previous post, the Hampshire colloquialism for a seagull is 'Shitehawk'.

Matt, in the soft play area. Dad asked: "You all right, son?"
"The girls keep chasing me with the balls, Dad."
"Do you want to come out?"
"No." He reappeared a little later: "It's alright Dad, they haven't caught me yet!"
At what age do the boys start chasing the girls?

Playing catch up...

I've just come back from my hols, which is why I've been neglecting you! (Apart from the solitary trip to a local library last week, I've been spending Quality Family Time with hubby and the kids). And we're in the middle of the Olympics, trying to keep up with Team GB this weekend. How fantastic has it been! I've given our medal winners a permanent home over there on the left, but felt there were a few special mentions required:
Gemma Spofforth, 4th in her backstroke final but setting a new British and European Record; Mara Yamauchi, 6th in the Womens Marathon but only around 40 seconds away from Gold; Mens 4x100 freestyle relay team taking over five seconds off their British record, the mens 4x200 slicing over three seconds off theirs and the ladies 4x100 medley relay setting a new British and European record.

Mens 100 metre final: Watched Usain Bolt busting a gut to make it to the line first. Or not. He had it won at 60 metres, popped over the road for a cup of tea and a slice of cake, stopped by the press tent for a bit of banter, before arriving back at the line just in time to break the world record. Unbelievable. Never was an athlete more aptly named.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

3bt: Three bizarre things

The lady who became separated from her husband in a shopping centre and asked for them to put out a call: Well, we can but we can't give out his name due to the Data Protection Act!

The establishment who, when offered cash, said: Haven't you got a card, please?

The hospital department that won't let you make an appointment in person. So my friend's dad stood in front of the receptionist and called her on his mobile - whereupon she made the appointment!

Pathetic, isnt it. That's England today for you. Thank God the vast majority of us are normal.

The Righteous Men by Sam Bourne

Finally had a chance to sit down and finish this - if you didn't like the Da Vinci Code, you might wish to steer clear - if you did then this is well worth your attention. Into the last third and I couldn't put it down. An excellent read, pacey and exciting. And an insight into a world I knew nothing about is revealed as the text unfolds.

3bt: Respect

8 year old Matt taking dad to the cleaners in Texas Hold'em! Dad is down the grand total of £1.96.

Me, after a complete nightmare in the first game of pool, potting four yellows on the trot to set up Brad and me for victory in the second.

My lot beating my brother's lot in both games of bowling - the second one though by just one point!

Friday, 1 August 2008

The Barack Brown AGM 2008

Upon listening to the rest of Geth’s Five Live show today, I couldn’t help laughing when the programme cut to the statement read out by Barack Obama at 10 Downing Street - it sounded like he was reading the minutes from the meeting with Gordon Brown.

Those in Attendance
Barack Obama, Gordon Brown, Security Experts, the World’s Press. That really fat cat, if it’s still there.

John McCain, George W. Bush (like that’s ever going to happen)

Barack thanked his host for a wonderful visit, it was lovely to meet the folks and next time though, he’s going first during charades because Gordon is far too good at it now.

The staff of both parties discussed a wide range of topics, including the colour co-ordination of the wives luncheon outfits.

Emphasis was placed on the Special Relationship, since Barack isn’t sure if Gordon prefers marmite or peanut butter.

Climate change was discussed, with both parties agreeing it’s turned out nice again.

Financial markets were reviewed, particularly in the agricultural world and it was decided they’d knock something up out of last night’s leftovers, rather than sending out for a Pizza.

It was decided to try to set up international institutions to solve worldwide issues, so the blame can be shared equally around the world.

Barack stated that the people were worried about gas prices and this was agreed - well, they would be; those staff jollies cost a bloody fortune, don’t they.

On environmental issues, a motion to wake up, walk through the park and smell the flowers was raised and seconded. However, the Prime Minister got a stone in his shoe and this plan was subsequently abandoned.

Any other business was held by the Secuity Experts behind closed doors, in case Tony tried to interrupt again.

The meeting closed when Sarah called them in for dinner.