Wednesday, 31 December 2008

3BT: Resolutions, Knighthoods, New Year Greetings

1.The usual diet, although I‘m pleased to say I haven‘t strayed too far this Christmas. 2. To learn how to use Facebook properly (Brad’s going to help me in exchange for driving lessons). 3. To make sure I do my homework in a timely fashion (only ten weeks left) and then use the course-less time to actually write stuff and, more importantly, send it off to someone! And to keep up with the Daily Scatter as much as possible - it may have to become the Weekly Scatter, if I’m serious about the scripts.

Congratulations to Sir Terry Pratchett, now an even more officially recognised genius and my total, favourite author of all time; Sir Chris Hoy, awesome displays this year, as ever - more to come? Commiserations to Brucie: Stop worrying everyone, he’ll get it when he retires from Strictly.

Have a fantastic night tonight; I hope all your dreams come true in the New Year.

Jaye xx

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

3BT: A Winter’s Tale

We took a stroll through the local country park and were amazed to find the lake frozen over; never seen that before. The seagulls didn’t mind but the ducks were all herded together up the one end where the ice had been broken. After traipsing along various paths we reached the ski centre - but the toboggan run was closed! Possibly because the brakes were frozen or, bizarrely, the track was too slippery! We didn’t hang around for long, the sun was already dipping below the tree line.

Spotted on our travels apart from the ducks, seagulls and sundry squirrels were a greenfinch, a robin, a hedge sparrow and a titchy little browney-orangey bird we couldn’t identify.

Back at the lake, we tried breaking the ice with various stones and half a branch Matt had dragged back with him. Then we broke ice near the sides and skimmed the pieces across - some of them went a hundred yards at least. And despite numerous warnings about staying away from the edge just in case, guess who ended up with a wet foot. Yep. Me.

Monday, 29 December 2008

3bt: foreshadowing, quickest, lookalikes

Watching the new dramatisation of ‘The 39 Steps’ last night and an example of foreshadowing: When Victoria remembers exactly where they vacated the car, illustrating her photographic memory, which leads to Richard believing she was the traitor, before realising it was hereditary on her father’s side, thus leading to Uncle George!

I got Heart FM’s Time Tunnel this morning within the first bar of the first song, which was Shalamar, 1982.
I didn’t hear the end, but it says it here, along with the two I remember most with it. The Clash and The Steve Miller Band No relation to David.

Driving home along the high street and there are two miniature Zammos bowling along, hands in pockets!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Music Choices

I had great fun with the lovely like minded people on the SCD forum, under the thread of the same name and I’m going to carry on with anything I hear throughout my day: George Michael’s latest I think would make a wonderful foxtrot. Or waltz, maybe Viennese Waltz. I hope Foxy or Ale turn up to confirm! :) They might be able to come up with something for this Manhattan Transfer song. I heard it for the first time in ages and had forgotten how much I loved it. All I can think of is a bamba (ballroom samba) 1983? Could have been yesterday!
And I still can't stop watching Tom and Camilla's showdance! This is the fixed camera angle from the SCD website - listen out for a very excited man towards the end! I've heard it's been likened to Torvill and Dean's Barnum and I can't argue - what a compliment! It's all in the timing and musicality, something T&D excelled at. Mack and Mabel was probably my favourite, specially the 'train' bit. Stunning. I could watch them all day. In fact, that's what I seem to be doing right now!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

101 Uses for Party Poppers #57

Our old game, when the mother-in-law used to criss-cross decorations across the living room, consisted of us taking aim and popping the small poppers as far as we could over them, all from the comfort of our armchairs. With the advent of the huge spring loaded poppers, she very sensibly stopped criss-crossing anything. But boys will be boys (all aged over 40!) and they resorted to reloading the springs, firing chocolates across the room into each others mouths.

We’re hoping she doesn’t notice the smudge marks on the wall. And the ceiling. And the TV…

Friday, 26 December 2008

The Morning After …

And the best dances for me were Tom and Camilla’s foxtrot show dance, followed by Suzanne and Matt, then Zaraah and Fred, with Kyran and Melanie in close attendance. Craig pointed out any mistakes. Or was it Jason? He did too, quite rightly, in the face of overmarking. But at least the judges on Dancing on Ice stated quite clearly they overlooked any mistakes because it was Christmas! The SCD judges marked Tom and Camilla down because it wasn‘t a foxtrot as such, although it was perfectly OK for illegal lifts in other dances. I’ll say no more! Alesha and Matthew’s VW was eagerly awaited, but unfortunately the vocal arrangement spoilt the magic. I love Tommy and Lance, whichever it was, but it just didn’t suit a VW, they should have stuck to the Bing Crosby version. Lisa and Brendan tried to inject a bit of TomCam stylee into their quickstep, but they lacked the panache to carry it off and it was a very messy affair. I was expecting Great Things from Jill and Darren but again, very bitty, frantic - I was disappointed, expecting something a lot classier. Again the arrangement of Favourite Things was too much - for listening to, not for dancing an AS to (the original would have been better). So far, I’m not blown away. Rachel and Vincent did the rumba again, but the dress seemed more suited to a cha cha. And I wondered if everyone else knew they were allowed lifts. Kelly and Brian take the floor and I’m thinking, that’s a big dress for a jive - there’s going to be a Bucks Fizz moment. More illegal lifts and again, I found it too bitty and also Brian way out danced Kelly. Love the bloke, but he needs to learn from Camilla on how to show off your partner, like she totally did again with Tom. They knew no matter what they did, they weren’t going to top score with the judges in this and why should they care? So they served us up another treat in the shape of a fun, entertaining and humorous routine that had me smiling involuntarily all the way through and the audience clapping along. Although, to be fair, they clapped along with everything.

So there’s a four way tie at the top of the leader board - M&A, J+D, R&V and K&B with T&C in fifth, L&B in sixth. After deliberation the judges ranked them in that order for the scoreboard and the audience vote pitted Jill and Darren against Kelly and Brian with the glitter star going to Jill and Darren. Now call me old fashioned - the judges and producers must have known this would be a tight one - so why not leave it to the studio audience to vote for their favourite of the night? Kelly clearly must have been top or second to leap frog over Rachel and Alesha. And it would have been interesting to see whether Tom would have beaten the girls.

Dancing on Ice starts 11th January, a much less stressful affair of course, since we don’t get to know the celebrities like we do on Strictly. And I’m strangely in agreement most of the time with most of the judges, even Jason. Probably because I can see for myself who’s better on the ice (on account of the wobbling, falling over and panic stricken faces!) but no doubt there’ll still be less technically perfect performances I enjoy regardless. And I've yet to get the feeling that the judges are in any way biased for or against any of the contestants. I thought they put on a terrific show tonight - splitting them into boy/girl teams, five judges scoring so they all spaced out well, with the audience then voting for their individual favourite couple. Very close and what d'you know - Mrs Joe Public does it again, I thought Team Torvill would take it and I'm right! SCD, are you paying attention!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Tracking Santa

We're on the NORAD Google Earth site at the moment and Matt has now firmly started believing again - we've never got him off to bed so easily; he can actually see how close Santa's getting and didn't want to take any chances!

Have a Merry Christmas everyone and thank you for taking the time to read both blogs this year.


Jaye xx

Short Story Challenge "Cinnamon"

She picked up her mug of hot chocolate and shuffled through into her cosy lounge, where the fairy lights on the tree cast a multi-coloured glow over her plain magnolia walls.

Pulling the tattered Swiss Chocolate box towards her, she lifted the pretty pictured lid with the red silk ribbon bonded to the front. Her heart leapt as his crinkly eyes stared up at her from inside, the first snap she’d ever taken of him. Her dedicated unofficial memento featuring him, just him. In a chocolate box. It couldn’t be more perfect. She gazed dreamily at the thick dark hair, with just a hint of a curl at one temple and then at the broad, open smile she could never resist.

If only he could be with her now. Sometimes, life conspired against you. Why had she suddenly thought to bring this box out from it’s hiding place; the pictures were ancient, the box even more so. The waft of her cinnamon scented hot chocolate reminded her: The first time they met. The village pub, bedecked with all the trappings of a traditional Christmas, it’s roaring, welcoming fire and bunches of cinnamon sticks hanging above on the mantelpiece. She’d never felt so giddy or so girly as she did then, completely smitten with this charming, wonderful, man. She’d known immediately; she would feel this way for ever.

Christmas wouldn’t be the same, alone. There was normally so much joy and laughter in the cottage. Now, all was quiet, apart from her favourite, Bing Crosby, singing ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ - she smiled wryly, it couldn’t be less apt at this time.

The shrill ring of the telephone gate-crashed her daydreams; it made her jump, then she calmed herself and reached for the receiver.

His voice was like a river of molten gold to her.

“Ellie, you’ll never believe it! I was able to get the morning flight after all! I’ll be home before the Queen’s Speech …”

She slid contentedly back onto the sofa, his lilting tone warming her more than any fire ever could, with the cinnamon smelling memories of forty years of Christmases together.

Stocking up on the important stuff

And I did most of it today ...

After Eights
Turkish Delight (the proper stuff covered in chocolate mind, not that dusted rose flavoured stuff)
Terry's Chocolate Orange (it ain't his any more)

Oh, and some other foodie type stuff too!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Strictly Come Dancing -The Final

Not so much a running commentary since I was far too engrossed to write anything - what a night! All three couples did their foxtrots and all would have scored top marks had Tom not had a little stumble. But we weren’t going to punish him for that were we? On to the Latin round where Rachel and Vincent’s rumba scored same as before but Lisa improved her Cha cha apparently for the judges to score it perfect - better than Alesha’s? I’ll leave that for you to decide. Tom’s and Camilla's salsa was blistering, my heart was pounding - in my mouth - and still they couldn’t give him top score. Thankfully, the scoring system meant Tom and Camilla only had to win the public vote. Again. Well, they won it last week so I hit the redial button along with all the other Tom fans and he and Camilla made it through to the second stage. At that point I was told off for screaming. Rachel and Vincent also went through - and the final stage is public vote only, so it seems like a foregone conclusion BUT - many voters decide following the show dance.

Lisa and Brendan did their show dance to Meat Loaf, a bit of a slow number and I remember some rolling around the floor. A lot of clambering around each other and not particularly elegant. They should have stuck with something a bit livelier, I’ve enjoyed her ballroom dances, something like a glorified American Smooth may have had more appeal, but it’s immaterial anyway.

Previous champions Darren, Alesha, Jill and Mark with their professional partners gave us the second biggest treat of the night, with all four taking to the floor to ‘Let Me Entertain You’, showcasing bits of their best dances and it was awesome. And we were treated to Brian and Kristina and then James and Ola, dancing a cha cha.

Rachel and Vincent’s show dance was a Latin medley with lifts to ‘What a Feeling’ from Flashdance and it was Rachel’s turn to have a little stumble. Again, no-one is going to punish the dancers at this stage in the competition, the judges all praised her - Craig pointed out the mistake, as is his wont.

So it just remained for Tom and Camilla to pull out all the stops and give us what we’d been hoping for - and be under no illusion, after the tap dance in the quickstep, T&C fans wanted to see a proper Hollywood showbiz number - and boy, did they give us it! If My Friends Could See Me Now’ from the musical ‘Sweet Charity’ - must credit the band and the singer, who were awesome, as were T&C - the best show dance I’ve ever seen in any SCD final IMO ( I’ve seen them all). Absolutely brilliant and a deserving winner, following a series where Tom and Camilla were never out of the top three in fourteen weeks of competition, bar one week (4th) but still weren’t in the dance off and would only have been there when the judges made it impossible for them not to be - not the spirit of the show, and hopefully the Beeb will now realise it (it’s not like we didn’t all tell them last year).

A brilliant and rightful end to a controversial series. I hope they now drop the dance off when it gets to the final six couples - so the public can actually choose who they want to see in the final instead of having finalists foisted upon them by four judges. And next year, hand the judges a dictionary open at ‘unbiased’, ‘consistent’ and ‘polite' and make sure they read and understand what they mean!

Friday, 19 December 2008

British World Champions you may not have heard of

I found them when browsing through the books in Smiths. When I say I found them, I saw a sports review book and had a thoroughly good read in the shop, and that was the title of page 158 or thereabouts. Congratulations and all the best for 2009.

Kirsty Jones - Kitesurfing
Alex Marshall - Indoor Bowls
Bruce Goldsmith - Paragliding
Women‘s Canoe Polo

Chris Clarke - Croquet
Colin Jeff - F2 Power Boating
Charlotte Cornwallis - Real Tennis

Daryl Peach - Nine Ball Pool
Nicole Arthur - Slalom Water Ski-ing

I remember Alex Marshall got a mention on the BBC Sports Review, don’t recall any of the others though!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Too late or too early?

All I know is, I should be sleeping soundly snuggled up in a cosy bed, but OH is snoring. And when I say snoring I mean SNORING.

It's like sleeping next to an elephant with a tuba strapped to his trunk. I'm not trying to get rid of my eldest son, but I can't wait till he leaves home so I can have my own room. Bliss.

I'll give it another few minutes - I can just stick my head out of the lounge; even with the bedroom door shut, I'll be able to hear him :(

I haven't even got any Christmas chocolate in the house yet ...except on the tree!!! They won't miss one, maybe two. G'night.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Voting, voting - is there no end to it?

SPOTY08 - what a great show last night, they kept it moving thankfully, they have been known to pad it out a bit sometimes. Too much to celebrate this year though. Rebecca Adlington should be given another award frankly, for making it down that ramp in those heels. I needed more tissues following the Helen Rollason and Unsung Heroes awards, but that’s nothing new. Didn’t I say cycling would be the National Sport by 2012? Team of the Year, Coach of the Year and the main award for Chris Hoy.

Call me Sybil, even though I don’t live at Delphi but I predicted the final three in the right order. In fact, I do quite often predict the winner: My choice for Xfaxtor was Alexandra (won). My choices for the first three series of Strictly that I watched were Jill, Darren and Ramps (all won). My choices in Dancing on Ice were Gaynor, Kyran and Suzanne (all won). Just call me Mrs Joe Public. So my choice for Strictly last year was Gethin (although with Alesha in the final and happy whoever won) and Tom/Austin this year. Now, hands up who can tell me the difference between those first few and the last two? Hm? Anyone? I’m sure you can work it out. Clue: Six letters, begins with a ‘J’ and ends in ‘S’.

The SCD director was as clear as mud tonight on ITT. My understanding is either: The scores and the votes are carried over, so the leader board stands at 75 apiece for the girls and 67 for Tom and the phone votes will be added to next weeks phone votes. Then they dance their two dances and these scores are added to the previous scores to make up the final leader board, which could look like this: Girl 1: 3 points; Girl 2: 3 points; Tom: 1 pt. Which is fine because the public vote will hopefully go: Tom 3 pts, Girls whatever and Tom would be tied with one of the girls on 4 points and will proceed to the next stage as the public vote carries more weight.

OR - Mr. SCD Man made it sound like the OTHER points would be carried over, in which Tom is already 2 points down! Then, bearing in mind the judges could do the same again, the girls would both be on 6 points and Tom on only 2pts. So, since Tom can only get a maximum of 5 pts after the public vote - THEY’RE MAKING THE SAME MISTAKE AGAIN!!!!!!!!! Jesus H.Christ Almighty - I’m a dumbarse when it comes to Maths but even I can work it out! Unless they’re adding the public votes to the judges votes before they start on Saturday? Which would hopefully make it Girl 1:5 pts; Girl 2:4 pts; Tom: 4 pts. So if the judges do the same again and the girls get a maximum 3 pts each - are you still awake, come on, keep up - they would be on 8/7 pts before the viewer vote, after which Tom could only get a maximum of 8 pts, which can only equal one of the girls. So we have to tactically vote? What if, like me and my friend Trish, you didn’t vote for Tom on Saturday because you knew it was pointless? How many other Tom fans didn’t vote because it was pointless. If he wasn’t top with the public this week, he's not even going to be on 7pts is he?

Don’t blame me for making it confusing. I’m emailing It Takes Two. This dance off business has been more trouble than it’s worth - just to keep the judges favourites safe. Why should they choose the finalists over the hundreds of thousands of us that vote?

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Running Commentary SCD: Week Thirteen - Semi Final

Lisa and Brendan - great music, good interpretation. I felt Lisa actually led it more than Brendan though, but passionate. Len: I loved the start, into character, intensity; Bruno: Lisa’s legs reaching to the outer limits; Craig: Like the spiky nature , the passion. (Something) could have been led more by Brendan; Arlene: Those legs were made for wrapping. Judges: 35. Quickstep: I preferred their earlier one, this didn’t have the same pizazz, lovely though it was. Len: Maintained the movement, produced two fantastic dances tonight; Bruno: Moved with the radiance of a shooting star; Craig: Velcroed together. Fab-U-Lous; Arlene: Mastered the Quickstep, you‘ve come a long way baby. Judges 40. 75 combined.

Tom and Camilla -jiving to ‘Waterloo’ - an inspired choice I feel, what with the Mamma Mia film being the soundtrack of the year! I loved it, full of bounce, energy and FUN! Craig: More energy, improved sharpness; Arlene: More exciting than the Woolies sale (Well, you’d hope so!); Len: Fun, energy, loved the Miami special (the knee thing)Brilliant!; Bruno: Could this be your Waterloo! Judges: 33?? Scores don’t seem to match the comments - that’s what he got before. AT: Complete connection, much more with the feeling and less of the flicky bits. Bruno: You went for performance; Craig: Loved the routine, believable; Arlene: A lot of story…moving through mercury; Len: Chemistry and passion, brilliant. Judges: 34 Again,
better comments than the score suggests. Combo 67. In trouble. It’s them I’d rather see in the final though - Tom’s a natural dancer, you get the heart and soul in what he does.

Rachel and Vincent and a very technical AT, which lacked soul - maybe some traditional music would have helped? Arlene: Burning a hole in the floor; Len: Technical Tour de Force, could have done with a bit more drama; Bruno: Couldn’t see where Rachel started and Vincent started; Craig: You did that absolutely brilliantly (maintained upper body stillness) Judges: 39. Their chemistry is no better than anyone else’s - nowhere near Ramps and Karen’s AT. American Smooth to Barry Manilow - Mandy. I’m sorry but she’s just going through the motions, there’s no engagement with me at all. Where was the pizazz - they just seemed to wander around. It's not like me to be cruel, but they may as well have danced to this . Arlene: Return to the Hollywood movies with Rachel as Ginger Rogers; Len: Wasn’t a foxtrot, just wandering around (now he’s nicking my lines) Bruno: Quality of a beautiful dream (you forget it as soon as you wake up?) Craig: Gorgeous. I loved it. Judges: 36 Combo 75.

Well, that’s it then. The girls are tied at the top - there’s no way Tom can escape the dance off, even if the 10 million viewers in their entirety vote for him. Tess says it’s up to us - no, it isn‘t. There’s nothing we can do and no point in voting for Tom. Shut up Tess - we can’t save him. After losing Austin last week, we’ll now have a final with two of the least popular dancers in the competition, who between them will have been in six dance offs this series.

Results Show

Tom and Cam putting on brave faces. The one who goes through will be the one who wins - which is why a three couple dance off is so ridiculous. What? They’re freezing the vote as one couple would always have gone into the dance off? Well it wasn’t bloody rocket science was it? Oh, of course - the lawyers have been on to them - asking people to vote to save Tom when it was impossible constitutes obtaining money by deception! I hadn’t thought of that! Obviously plenty of other people had though and no doubt the complaints are already rolling in! Now will they accept that the dance off is a bad thing and scrap it? Quote from Bruno: “Both my girls did me proud” *Ahem * no bias there then! A show dance which was more rhythmic gymnastics - impressive but not dancing. So not interested. Bored now. The pro dancers group jive - that’s more like it: Karen and Matt; James and Ola; Darren and Lilia. Great value as ever. Tess talking to Austin, he’s still gutted: “The sun didn’t come up, birds didn’t sing, phone calls to the Samaritans, I’m never dancing again.” LOL Johnny Vegas just behind - now that would be fun. And Austin still rooting for Tom, Yay! The cast of ‘Chicago’ ’All That Jazz’ with some of our Pros - Matthew and Flavia, Ola/James, Hayley/Ian.

The Moment of Truth: They’re all through!!! Votes carried over to next week - thank God, a three couple final, back on track. They had to - all the people who don’t realise how the scoring works (and you’d be surprised how many there are - just take a look around the forum) were wasting their money voting for Tom and the Beeb cannot afford another phone scandal. It was the only thing they could do. Of course, a look around the forum will tell you that Lisa and Rachel fans aren’t happy of course - but the neutrals (and Tom fans) are! And I read on a news website that 200 viewers had complained but it didn’t say what about exactly - considering there are ten million viewers - Pffft!!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

3BT: Shopping, career, cold

Did a little bit of Christmas shopping - cards, mainly - couldn’t face Woolies! And I’d forgotten to bring back the coat I’d bought there Tuesday for Matt. I wonder if they can refuse to exchange now? Ah, well - he’ll just have to grow into it!

Coffee morning and the writing talk turned to careers, or lack thereof. If I only knew then what I know now! My careers interview consisted of the following recommendation by the teacher:
“You’re tall - be a policewoman. Next!”

We’re all wrapped up since it’s normally chilly in this cafe, but they’ve found out they do actually have heating - so now we’ve all got headaches. I know - any excuse not to write.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The things they say ...

Matt, circa 7.30pm, wearing his sunglasses around the house.

"I see great darkness coming."

Yes, dear - that would be bedtime!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Parents' Evening

Don’t you just love them? The Daily Scatter story today is based on my experience last week. And I’m also thinking of using it for the five minute assessment piece on my course. (Thinks: Events, inciting incident, characters, conflict, crisis, more conflict, conclusion, and oh, some more conflict, just for luck.) It’s perfectly true that they hadn’t stated which school it was in and that the poor cleaner was being interrupted constantly (but was very nice and didn’t abuse anyone really) and that they’d put half the teachers in some other hall, out of sight from the main one with no signs. And whilst there weren’t really any fisticuffs, I was mightily tempted!

Picture, if you will, a table, in a corner of the hall, with the Head of Sixth Form sat behind it. A couple are sitting with her, I follow another couple across the hall, who stand in the space just behind, to wait. Other teachers are either side of her, each with their own queues. I await my moment and as the seen couple get up to leave and are replaced, I, along with Matt, glide smoothly into the empty space. No one else is nearby. Ten minutes pass.

So far, so good. There’s movement to my left. A couple I noticed follow me over have moseyed on in next to me; she, by my side; he slides behind the teacher, opposite. I gird my loins, ready for action. The seen couple stand up - and blow me down if that bloke opposite didn’t just dive straight into my seat!

Me: Er - excuse me?

Him: We were here first.

Me: I think not, actually.

Him: We were over there (Points); you walked straight past us.

Me: Did I? Into this empty gap here, you mean.

Him: We were before you but we were just over there.

Me: Behind those people waiting for that teacher over there? (points)

Sixth Form Head (diffusing situation): I know them, we’ll be very quick, I promise.

Matt: I need the toilet! (mum rolls eyes)

Me: Right, I’m taking him to the loo - don’t you dare start talking to anyone else. (Wags finger)

Matt and I arrive back to our empty space and …some other woman starts creeping her way forward.

Me: You do know I’m next, right?

Her: Well, actually, I’ve been here since 5pm (Pan camera to show clockface set at 6pm)

Me: Not here you weren’t. Because I’m here. Before them, in fact.

Six more women edge forward: We were here first.

Me: Where? Not here, it was empty - I followed the previous couple to them over here.

Woman 1: I’ve been sat there since 5pm

Me: You want to pay attention then, loads of people have gone in front of you.

Woman 2: I’ve been queuing there since 5pm.

Me: Should’ve tried queuing in the right place then.

Woman 3: We were all sat over there, queuing.

Me: So where’s the signpost?

Woman 4: But that’s where we were queuing.

Me: What am I, psychic? I’ve been here fifteen minutes and you’ve only just noticed.

Woman 5: But we were all here before you.

Me: Over there, in front of that teacher. I.e. in the wrong place - your tough luck I’m afraid. I’m going next, I’ve got him (indicates child) to get home and give tea to.

Happily, they backed off. Bloody cheek. I was furious, probably not helped from the lack of organisation and because I was stressing over the car, which had begun to play up on the way - I was pretty convinced I was going to break down halfway home. It made it and is booked back into the garage again on Wednesday morning. They really did see me coming.

If there is anyone reading this, feedback on the dialogue would be gratefully received! This is the first draft, though - be gentle :)

Sunday, 7 December 2008

The Results Show SCD: Week Twelve

Am I the only one who‘s glad the old Brendan is back - it’s just been too quiet :D. Have to say that is Tess’ best style; stunning. Ooh, a disco dance from the 70’s - now we’re cooking! Bring it on! LOL. The Hustle (check out 1 minute in, me and my mates at our local club that is) must have been one of the first singles I ever bought. Brian and Kristina giving it some welly to Boogie Wonderland, though I’m guessing this may have been put together quite quickly. Group Viennese Waltz - twirly twirly gorgeous twirly. The Argentine Tango - er, isn’t the girl on girl action on the table a little bit too, well, you know - at this time of night? It’s dramatic and all that but I prefer a nice big swing or fast Latin number. What else will they do next week - surely not just the AT? Barry Manilow sings ‘Copacabana’ without moving his lips - and he’s not miming ;) Cam and Ian, Lilia and Darren whip it up. Cheesy it might be, almighty fun it surely is.

The Moment of Truth
Safe: Rachel and Vincent; Tom and Camilla. Doesn’t reveal anything we didn’t already know about how the voting might go. Austin and Erin, first dance off - go for it. I don’t think the judges can deny Lisa and Brendan’s waltz though but I’m still not comfortable with the fact that the publics’ possibly 1st or 2nd favourite can be voted off. It’s unanimous - but under the old rules I’m sure Austin and Erin would have gone through. Craig is gutted, you can see; he was governed by the dance off rules so fair play to the bloke. Standing ovation. Oh, for goodness sake - am I destined to end every results show in tears?

Running Commentary SCD: Week Twelve

And Tess nearly took a tumble then! Fancy having a train on the dress, how daft! Ha ha at Bruce - I certainly didn’t know about the Killers!

Austin and Erin up first for their American Smooth, which I’m sure will knock us out. If ever you needed points, the AS is a surefire thing, always entertaining Hollywood style with lifts. Matt Dawson in training passing on a few tips. Top Bloke! The Best is Yet To Come, they promise and spectacular lifts do follow, although the transitions weren’t too smooth. A quiet performance actually, not a lot of pizazz. Len: A great job, fantastic (in hold); Bruno: Light and airy quality; Craig: Very smooth, lot of control, safe, slightly bored (that’s a turn up!); Arlene: Come out and dance for England. (Seems the judges are a little bit under whelmed with that.) Judges: 34 - normally a good score but low compared to recent efforts. Salsa and WOW - what an entrance! Ok, upper body not so fluid but he lets himself go, really enjoyable, lots of fun elements. Should bring him back in touch. Len: Come back stronger, more vibrant. Great; Bruno: Pushed the entertainment value, sold it; Craig: Very entertaining, some of it a bit awkward; Arlene: Electric, masterful (when with Erin) Be fearless (on own). Judges: 36 excellent score, the others will have to be on top of their own Latin. Combined: 70

Lisa and Brendan take to the floor for a beautiful waltz in the most gorgeous dress (Lisa, not Brendan). The song and whole feel is magical (a word I later hear a lot)Bruno: The ballroom dream continues, exquisite; Craig: The genius of the dance was its simplicity; Arlene: Every breath you took matched the flow of the dance and the footwork; Len: Beautiful, majestic, a true delight - commend Hayley Sanderson, the singer. (Nice one, Len). Judges score: 39 Deserved again I think. Jive: Brilliant song choice - Crocodile Rock, one of mine on the Song Choices thread. The training looks good but judges unconvinced. She tried her best - I‘ve seen worse, but again, she’s enjoying herself and that engages me more than technical perfection. Bruno: Why was I worried - you did it!; Craig: A brave endeavour, a fine job; Arlene: You tackle everything , you go for it; Len: Acted the dance, legs quite good, bit loose. Judges: 33 - not as good as Brendan was hoping, he’s taken a hike. Aw, bless Tom - he stepped in to give Lisa a cuddle. What a sweetie pie :) Combined: 72

Tom and Camilla - Here they Come Again, for a foxtrot. Not a song I’d have thought of but it’s completely and utterly beautiful, magical choreography and so emotional. The end sequence was simply divine. What a peach - their best to date - and that’s a tough choice for me. They surely won’t deny him top marks for that? Craig: Swing and sway, in complete control; Arlene: Dancing your way into the final; Len: You absolute beauty! Knocked my socks off!; Bruno: The golden couple - aimed high and hit the spot. Judges: 39 Wooohooo!! Only Craig with a 9,but, well, that’s Craig! They’re like a couple of spaniels given their Xmas dog stockings early! Brendan and Austin can’t stop grinning at them - hope it had the same effect on the voters! Rumba time - Arlene “I’ll show him how to do a rumba!” Watch yourself Tom! Rumba not my favourite of dances, but he did a credible job there - let anyone dare say they lack connection, I certainly felt it. Craig: There is sign of improvement, fell in love with it, it was great; Arlene: Not a lot of content but I found my heart beating faster; Len: far too hectic, too many lines; Bruno: A hard dance to nail. Judges: 34 - I’d been very hopeful after Craig’s comments - not usually him outscoring Len! If he hasn’t been feeling the Latin till now though he’s a bloody good actor, because I’ve been convinced since the week 1 Cha cha. Combined: 73 - doesn’t sound huge but it puts him second on the leader board, a great result - if he has the public support I think he has.

Rachel and Vincent - I swear they just replayed her interview from her first dance off. Vincent likes his Eurythmic songs for the Tango, excellent choreography, I didn’t see any mistakes but the dress is long again! Competent as ever. Arlene: Most erotic tango I’ve ever seen; Len: Light and shade, wish I had an eleven; Bruno: A performance that sends a chill down my spine; Craig: Commend choreography, displaced balance, kick ball changes slightly ahead. (Nice to see Craig is actually unbiased - I have been a bit concerned this series) Judges: 39. Cha cha. Well executed, unexciting, nice song. Arlene: Sparkled like the shine in your dress; Len: Two fantastic dances tonight; Bruno: One thing is plain to see, you are a great dancer; Craig: Compact, tight. Judges: 37

Austin in trouble - If he gets top score with the public though and Rachel bottom, and Lisa 2nd from bottom with public, he'll escape the dance - off. It's feasible.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Sports Day

It’s all a bit quiet on the sporting front - apart from these and, of course, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. There are ten nominees listed, six are on my list. Personally, it’s got to be Hoy, Adlington and Hamilton for the top three. Andy Murray has had a great season apparently - but until he wins a grand slam event, I fail to see how he can live with the company on that list, frankly.

Cyclists still on top form
More cycling!
Paralympic Swimmers set world bests.
Bowls success

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Apparently, 'HP and the PS' is in the English 'A' Level now ...

I lent a friend my ‘The End of Harry Potter’ book by 'Hugo' Award winning author David Langford, but got it back when I realised how useful it would be for examples of plot structure in the essay, since it points out devices used by JK Rowling. And the first page I open it to illustrates foreshadowing. Perfect!

If only the 'A' Level purely featured Harry Potter, I might be tempted.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The things they say …

Matt’s in the kitchen, helping himself to ham. “Mum, mum - we’re running out of soil, you need to get some more.”


“Yeah, you know - the silver soil you use to wrap the ham …”