Monday, 31 January 2011

"As free as the wind blows ..."

Who do you think the best James Bond was/is?

Personally, it all depends on which Bond film I'm watching at the time. If it's Goldfinger, then you cannot beat Connery's take on the super sleuth. If it's the opening of The Spy Who Loved Me however, it's Roger Moore all the way. I never much took to Timothy Dalton in the role (not sure why), Pearce Brosnan (too smug), nor Daniel Craig (too serious, too violent for Bond). I'm ashamed to admit I've never seen George Lazenby in his 1969 attempt (although, judging by the fact that Connery came back after George had only made one film as the spy, leads me to think that perhaps he wasn't all that great!).

Regardless of who your favourite thesp' happened to be wearing the Rolex Submariner at the time, one name featured in more of the Ian Fleming films than any of those mentioned above, albeit not on-screen.

That name is
John Barry, composer of 11 of the 22 Bond movies to date, who died today. I'm not sure why the passing of certain 'famous' people (all unknown to me, personally) is more moving than others, but the news of his death struck me as very sad.

As is often the case, news like this makes me dig through my own music collection until I find their music and when I do, listening to it takes on a new poignancy.

As Abba once said, "thank you for the music".

All of it.

Sweet dreams John.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

How does King Wenceslas like his pizza?

Deep pan, crisp and even!

Tee hee, that joke was in my Christmas book of Harry Hill jokes that I received from a colleague recently. (Is it only a month ago? It seems ages!)

Whatever, I thought it beat any cracker joke I ever read out over the years. Deep pan, crisp and even, heh heh, so good.

Ooh, talking of crisps, Joseph brought the walls of reality crashing in on my head the other evening. We had driven across to my parent's as it was my Dad's birthday. We only stayed a couple of hours as it was a school night and we were all pretty pooped. Much laughter was had by all thanks to the fact that Joseph's top front teeth are in a rather comical state right now. One of the teeth has come out, the gap has widened (to make way for the adult teeth) and the remaining tooth has kind of shuffled across into the middle of the space, hanging by a corner.

It has made him look like one of the characters from the film Deliverance!! And I don't mean Burt Reynolds or Jon Voight!

Mind you, it's driving him nuts as he can't tuck into a crunchy apple properly and I think the comedy is starting to wear thin for him. If only we knew a good dentist ........

Anyways, on the drive home, I tried to keep Joseph and Annabel awake by talking to them, asking them questions, keep talking, keep talking, nearly bed time, you'll be wide awake if you sleep now, and all that. Don't even ask me what programme was on but obviously, with my rambling, Joseph was listening to the radio more closely than I was.

He said, "Dad. What year were you born?"

I replied.

"1969. Why?"

In the rear view mirror, I could see him mulling something over, working something out.

"Because Hula Hoop crisps were introduced in 1974, so you're even older than a Hula Hoop". At this comment he burst into laughter again.

Hmmm, yes, I thought you'd had enough of laughing???

Am I really older than those small, unhealthy but undoubtedly delicious little circle of saturated fat? Surely not, they must have been going longer than I have?


In other comic news, Annabel had me laughing out loud last night following a bit of a hissy fit (hers, not mine) when I announced it was time for bed, no messing about please, time's up! She threw herself on the floor, as only she can do, wailed until her eyes forced some tears out her closed eyes and then stamped off to her room in a terribly dramatic fashion, closing her door behind her.

Well, she would have shut it, if it weren't for the big sponge finger guard at the top of the door to protect little fingers which only caused it to bounce back to almost fully open. This only enraged her further.

We tried not to let her hear us sniggering and we stopped when we heard her door open. We heard some rustling before it was pushed closed once more.

Bless her heart. She'd only opened the door to blu-tack this Post-It size note to the front of it. I could translate exactly what it says but I reckon you can figure it out for yourselves.

She really is very sweet!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Elephant in the Room

It's annoying isn't it?

Being pigeon-holed, I mean.

I always give a little 'whoop' of delight when filling in forms and my age doesn't fall into the seconds oldest (or, heaven forbid, the oldest) age range. No, when I fall into a relatively young age range, I'm invariably delighted.

No sir, I am not aged 65 or older. Neither am I 45 to 64. Ha haah, in your face, I'm not even aged between 35 and ..... oh, hang on, yes I am.

Ho hum, well, yeah, ok, I am in that range.

Whilst working at the BBC, it became apparent very quickly how specifically the Corporation targets it's radio audiences and listeners with regards to age. Not that that stopped me listening to the station I wanted to listen to.

So what if Radio 1 is aimed primarily at 15 to 29 year olds, I still like lots of the music on it. In fact, I was (secretly) mortified when I realised that some of the voices of radio presenters I liked could in fact be heard on Radio 2, a station aimed at anyone over 35, or thereabouts. The 'mortified' bit was long before I qualified to be an official listener, obviously. Now it's just par for the course!!

One of the voices I've always listened out for is the one belonging to that most 'marmite' of presenters, Chris Evans and, since he slipped into the morning slippers vacated by Terry Wogan, I have my digital radio alarm clock tuned to BBC Radio 2, set for 6.20am. (This allows me 10 minutes to "come round" before Mr Motor Mouth himself whirrs into action).

Do you like him?

As I've said, he's undoubtedly a marmite type of guy - love him or hate him - and I happen to be in the former camp. But just lately, this champion of having something fresh to say, has been repeating himself on an almost daily basis. And it's starting to upset me, not only because he has made a point in his career of always not repeating himself, but also because it's a subject close to my heart.

Or to be more precise, close to my head.

It's hair loss.

He refers to it constantly. Even the lovely M has announced that she's finding it rather boring, his incessant references to his (one assumes), increasingly visible pate.

But I understand it, can understand why he does it.

It's the same reason that women who feel they are overweight refer to being on a diet. It tells the observer, "I'm far heavier than I like to be and I'm doing something about it".

It's just a defence mechanism, you see.

Talking about the problem says to the listener, "look, it's ok, I know I'm overweight/have acne/am shy/have one leg/losing my hair, don't worry, I can handle it'.

But of course, Chris isn't handling it. Unfortunately for him, being in the public eye, I guess he feels that much more exposed about it than the average joe on the street.

Boy oh boy, it sure is tough though. Going grey, no problem, crows feet, who cares, puffy bags under my eyes, well, ok, I guess that's just part of getting older but hair loss!

Thanks a lot genetics!

One of Chris's close friend's is the actor James Nesbitt (everybody loves Nesbitt, and rightly so) who famously lost his hair, but properly lost his hair. He was very vocal about how much he hated having lost his hair (even though I thought it suited him!). He's been seen about town more recently with a very fine head of jet black hair!!

Tell me more James, tell me more!

The word on the street is that he's gone in for one of these rather expensive hair weaves but from the pictures I've seen of him, I have to say it looks like money very well spent! The guy's got his smile back so he obviously thinks it's all been worth it, if indeed that IS what he's had done.

Ooh, Chris, I've had an idea. Why don't you and I wait until we've both lost all our hair on top a la Jimmy Nesbitt, we'll wait for the clinic where he went to have a Buy One Get One Free offer on, then we'll pool our money and both get ourselves "sorted"!

Whaddya think?

Hey, hey, I've got an even better idea. Why don't you pay for both of us, eh??

Go on, I'll clean your Ferrari's for you??

Have a think about it and let me know.

And hair loss or no hair loss ...... you know what Evans?

You still got it!

Err ... the great style of radio presenting that is, not the ... umm ... the hair ... err ... thing.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

What a numpty!

I know what I'll do. When I've got loads of spare time over the Christmas period, instead of;

i) watching endless TV (some of which was good, some of which was bad, some of which was very bad)

ii) rather than stand there deciding which bottle of red wine to open

iii) which dark or milk chocolate to unwrap

iiii) whether or not to have brown or white bread with my next turkey sandwich .....

Yeah, instead of all that, I will get stuck into my new blog with aplomb. I can sit up late and talk to the masses. Hey, I could even take that glass of red wine and latest turkey sarnie up to the computer with me and just type, type, type!!

It'll be great!

Oh no, hang on a mo, maybe I won't do that, nah, that's far too sensible a way to do things.

Instead, I tell you what, why don't I laze around and do all of the above from the comfort of my sofa, killing all that precious time doing nothing, and leave the typing on these 'ere pages until I go back to work, the start of the school's Spring term, with Year 6, possibly THE most important term of their primary school lives, approximately 12 weeks to the biggest exams they've ever experienced and THEN scrabble around, trying to find the time to do the things I want to do, such as sit here typing about ... um ... stuff!

Yeah, that's the way to do it!

Y'know, I always thought that business men and women (or anyone, come to think of it) who employ a Personal Assistant were just that teensy bit pompous. I mean, how hard can it be to answer your own 'phone and put something in the diary from time to time, eh??!?

Well, I take it all back!

Life is

I'm sorry, I don't need to bore you with this, I know that, but if you are going to spend any time at all, coming here and reading my ramblings from time to time, you need to know that I ... er ... ramble.

Hmmm .....

It's nice though, wouldn't you agree?

No, not rambling, I mean getting back to work after the Christmas break. Good isn't it?

I know what you're thinking and (if you haven't sworn under your breath or thrown your monitor out of a window yet), hear me out.

Over the years, I've had a whole heap of different jobs, some of which I've liked, some of which I've disliked, others I've hated. My current job is the first job I've loved. Of course, as most of you who have only just stumbled across my "new" pages will not yet know, I work at the same primary school that my children attend. Although our paths never cross from an educational perspective (and rarely cross even to give each other a simple wave), I do catch glimpses of them running around in the playground far below me, laughing, screaming, playing tag etc.

It's making me smile just thinking about it. I know not many parents are lucky enough to experience what I do.

Still, it's not just my own children who I think are smashing. Today, a child in my class returned from spending Christmas with family in the Philippines (tut, tut, naughty, naughty, where've you been until now?) and she very kindly bought back a little souvenir for her friends and, of course, moi.

Some very tasty looking dried mango.

No no, you can scoff, but have you tried dried mango?

'Tis very delicious, you should get some.

And anyway, it's the thought that counts, right?


Saturday, 1 January 2011

Picture This

Oh no, what am I gonna do, I can't feel my fingers, the words won't come out, I'm sweating, I'm shaking, what will people think ........

It's ok, it's ok, deep breath in, deep breath out, and in again and ...... relax .....

Can you believe it, one solitary day after my new post, one day after spending nine months in the "not-writing-wilderness" and I panic 'cos I can't think what to write!

It's pathetic!

Honestly, what am I talking about, I'm not struggling to think of something to say at all! On the contrary, I've got oodles to say but all along I wanted to sum up my "missing" last 9 months in one fashion or another and, as is often the case, my pictures sometimes make a more succinct point that my fingers ever can.

If you catch my drift!!

As always, click on pics to enlarge.

Coloured (Lebanese) eggs at Easter

(and one bought for me as a gift)

Joseph, 3 months into his (our) lessons)

Spring time at our country house

(oh, alright then, a house situated in a totally random field we walked through in Wiltshire!)

Strawberry picking for my annual jam making

August on the Isle of Wight for our annual scone eating ...

... and fossil hunting ...

Annabel and me adding some personal touches to her bedroom ...

Dover Castle

Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay. We had no idea what an incredibly important and life saving role he played in WWII until we visited Dover castle.

Positano in October - 'nuff said!

Do I really need to discuss the snow?

Our neighbours handsome dog. We took him out for a walk with the devious intentions of turning some of the pictures into framed gifts. They were very well received!

Snacks for Santa and Rudolph! (yeah, yeah, in our house, Rudolph is happy with apples over carrots, alright?)


Almost an entire year of my life in just 30 photographs!

To me, it seemed busy and colourful but this post has made me realise that my 2011 must be more busier and more colourfuller.

I think.