Friday, 21 June 2013

15 years

When I heard that James Gandolfini had died this week of a heart attack at 51 my dad was all I could think about.  Dad died aged 52 of a massive heart attack on 21st June 1998.  That makes today the 15th anniversary of his death.

15 years seems so significant, such a big number.  I feel like it was yesterday.  I feel like it was forever ago.

I was 24 (almost 25) when he died and his passing no doubt shaped me into who I am today.

It was Father's Day & for once we were all together at my sister's house for lunch.  For once we had made a really big fuss of him.  We sat & had Mexican food, we talked, we laughed.  Dad then went upstairs for a nap, the rest of us were going to go for a walk, it was a gorgeous day.  My mum went up to talk to him before we went out and then called down to us, she was panicked.  And I knew that something awful had happened from the tone of her voice. I knew.

We went upstairs & he wasn't really conscious, he was a horrible colour and he breathing was laboured.

My sister called for an ambulance, I shouted at him to breathe.  My other sister waited outside for them to arrive.  The ambulance came & we all decamped to the living room.  They didn't want us to see them trying to revive him, and then to try and get my father, a large man, down the narrow stairs.  My older sister kept on saying 'whatever happens it's for the best'.  

My mum went in the ambulance with dad & my soon to be brother in law.  I followed with my sisters. 

They took us through to a family room off A&E.  He was in crash.  "He wouldn't like that" Mum said "anyone who goes into crash on Casualty is a gonner he says".  Turns out he was right.

 The next few hours was a blur of phone calls ringing people to tell them.  I volunteered to break the news to my grandparents and their reaction will haunt me forever.

I can't really put into words how my world crashed down around me when he was gone.  My Dad.  My Daddy.  I kind of lost focus for a while

But life does go on and time does make things a bit easier to bear.  Anniversaries and special occasions bring it back. And music.  I can't hear The Beatles without thinking of him.

So much has happened in the past 15 years.  Me & my sisters have all got married since he died.  We've had 7 children between us.  My mum has had breast cancer twice.  We really could have done with having him around.  Even if he was a pain in the arse sometimes and told embarrassing stories and naff jokes and made me rub his feet all the time.  I miss him.

My heart goes out to James Gandolfini's family and their loss.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Blurred lines

I have a song completely stuck in my head.  I wake up humming it.  Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke (who?) & Pharrell Williams. 
I love love LOVE the song but hate hate HATE the video.  Rated or Unrated versions feature the very handsome Misters Thicke & Williams suited & booted and looking very hot dancing with 3 very beautiful & young models who are scantily clad in the rated version or topless in the unrated one.

I saw an interview with Robin Thicke in which he said the fact that he, Pharrell & T.I. (the guy rapping) are all married make it perfectly OK.  He thinks that having 3 middle aged men (can you believe that Pharrell Williams was born in 1973?) with near naked young girls is funny like Benny Hill.  I think the mistake that Mr Thicke is making is that Benny Hill was from the 70s where casual sexism was the norm. And lets not forget Benny Hill was not really very funny.

So it's meant to be funny or tongue in cheek.  I read that they wanted to make it as outrageous as possible, Mr Thicke has said about it "It is mostly throwaway fun, but naturally Pharrell and I - being in love with our wives, having kids and loving our mothers - we have a lot of respect for women.". 

I can't say that really comes across Robin with the naked dancing girls and the helium balloons spelling out 'ROBIN THICKE HAS A BIG DICK'   

The only really blurred line here being whether this is funny or grossly sexist

To me it smacks of a cynical marketing ploy.  How many hits has it received?  And the "unrated" version has been "banned" from YouTube - however is extremely easy to find as if you find the video on YouTube there is a link attached to take you to Vevo to view it.  Along with the hash tags plastered across it all (I haven't searched for it on twitter yet but as sure it's at saturation point.  

Robin Thicke has said that his wife OK'd him doing the naked video & even came up with some of the ideas for it, and that having half-naked women pouring themselves over him is in no way sexist and he jokes that “If that’s sexism then so is everything inside the Louvre.” 

Hmmmn.  I'm not entirely sure that, that argument washes.  He can't possibly be suggesting (even in jest) that this pop promo is art can he?

I really am not a prude but come on it's 2013.

Like I say I love the song, it's fun, it's catchy, it is a real earworm.  I would rather have just looked at Robin & Pharrell for the duration of the song.  Or would that be objectifying them?

 Hey hey hey

Monday, 10 June 2013

Listmania continues. Bands I've seen

I found this lurking around in my draft posts.  Yet another list born out of the Listography exercise we had done at my writing group. I definitely should buy this book, such a unique form of diary.  The thought of future generations reading all about my claims to fame or drunken moments makes me smile.  The idea that I won't just be a photo in a album but a rounded person appeals to me.  

So today is Bands that I've seen.  So in no particular order & also including individual artistes..  

1) PULP at the BIC, Finsbury Park, Brixton Academy (amazing venue but the sloping floor kill your calf muscles), Wireless Festival in Hyde Park, Brixton Academy (again) - I kind of love them. Jarvis Cocker; funny, clever, slightly odd but damn sexy (even with a beard)

 I was closer to the front than this!
2) Summer XS at Wembley Stadium the bill included Debbie Harry in fishnets & with a whip.  I was always a huge Blondie fan.

3) The Hothouse Flowers

4) Jesus Jones

5) Jellyfish - I loved that album

6) and INXS.  Amazing.  When they came on stage I heard someone screaming their head off.  Turns out it was me.  Michael Hutchins was sex on legs.  Beautiful.

7) Went to see U2 at Wembley Stadium for the Zoo TV tour.  They were amazing.  We ended up in corralled in a standing section at the front.  I went with a friend who was a huge fan & his face lit up like a small boy when they came on stage.  We missed the last train home & so I had to call my dad who got to Charing Cross in about 20 minutes (from the 'burbs) & then ended dropping everyone home.

8) They were supported by Big Audio Dynamite 2 (yeah me neither) who started every track with their back to the audience & then turned round.  I was really gutted because Bjork supported on one of the other nights.

9) PJ Harvey whilst she was still grungy & had very hairy arm pits.

10) Dodgy played at a ball at university.  Thinking about this makes me smile as a) whenever my parents back out of our drive at home onto the busy road they always said "Shhhh.  DODGY" and also because someone I know got caught shagging up against their van at the ball.

11) The drummer from The Fratelli's played at a wedding I was at

12) I went to see Cliff Richard when I was about 10.  I wasn't really a fan but my friend's mum was a huge fan.  We liked the laser show.

13) Have seen loads of bands at Proms in the Park (besides the BBC orchestra).  Lionel Ritchie who was fab

14) Jools Holland with his big band (& Sam Browne) who get everyone up & dancing on a freezing cold evening in Hyde Park

15) Simply Red - "Simply awful" we said

16) The Bootleg Beatles - it amused me that they stayed in character in between songs

17) Bjorn again - ditto

18) The Tide - a covers band at a pub at Stockwell.  They were great. We were very drunk.  They left the stage like rock stars grabbing people's hands.

19) James performing at the BBC

20) Natalie Imbruglia at The Town & Country Club (not sure if it still was called that then).  I sat next to a very strange middle aged man who called out "Natalie!" to himself and whenever she said "Thank you" he said "No, thank you"

21) Kylie Minogue at Wembley Arena.  I was 18.  It was during her faux Madonna phase.

22) At the Pulp Finsbury Park gig Catatonia - supported.  I love Ceris.  I sang along to all the songs in a dodgy Welsh accent (well you have to don't you)

23) Bernard Butler also supported Pulp.  He got really pissy as he was on earlier on in the day & people were just sitting around and not paying full attention to him.

24) Grace Jones supported Pulp at Wireless.  She was amazingly nuts, hoola hooping in a leotard.

25) I went to the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party in 1991.  I can't remember who performed apart from Carter USM as one of them rugby tackled Phillip Schofield

26) Went to see Jason Donovan in Joseph (not sure if that's cheating)

27) Prince at Earls Court.  He was AMAZING.  Midget man oozed sex appeal.  Diamonds & Pearls

28) Blur at the Town & County club, early days when they had only released one single.  I went with my friend who I was secretly in love with.  We watched several really shit support bands, my friend's friends drank too much cider & threw up, my friend came out to me & we left before Blur came on.

29) S Club 7 - my friend got tickets.  We were the oldest ones there without kids.

30) S Club Juniors did their first performance there

31) Badly Drawn Boy at an Amnesty International gig.  He was brilliant & very funny.  He started a Mexican wave.

32) Kelly Jones also performed at that gig. Gorgeous voice, handsome man.

33) Lick who were a 90s band, in a place in Camden

34) Freak Power played at my Fresher's Ball at university.  

I couldn't remember what this track was called until I googled it

35) Take That as a 4 at the Milton Keynes Bowl.  Went with 2 other friends we got horribly lost on the way there and couldn't believe the ice cream van there charged £3.50 for a 99!!

36) They were supported by Beverly Knight 

37) and the Sugababes who did a cover of Obsession which is probably my favourite 80's/one hit wonder ever

 (obviously not the Sugababes but I love love this song)

38) Take That as a 5 at Wembley Stadium.  AMAZING

39) Robbie Williams performed a set on his own. Always my favourite but a bit of a Sweary Mary that night

40) Supported by The Pet Shop Boys who were camp, quirky & fabulous.

41) Roger Walters performing The Wall at the O2.  The night before all of Pink Floyd joined him on stage.  Seats so high in the gods I was afraid I would fall.  Went with Mr D his thing really, if I'm honest I found it a bit dull (but shhh don't mention that to him)

When I first started doing this I was under the impression that I haven't been to many gigs, but on reflection maybe I have seen one or two. Undoubtedly I've missed some off the list and there are still gigs I would love to go to.  I think this list proves that my taste in music is eclectic.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Moral Conundrum

Is it wrong for me to dislike a child? Not hate as hate is too strong a word, but be really really irritated by them?  And this isn't even my own child (god knows I can be irritated by them when they don't listen or leave toys all over the floor or kick off when you're in the supermarket...)

No, this is a friend of my biggest girl, lets call her Sally.  A year older than my gorgeous girl, Sally seems to throw her weight around as she "is the oldest".  Divisive & manipulative I watch this child coercing my girl into games or situations I can tell that she would rather not be involved in.  She tells tales on my youngest daughter which grates on me a lot as I keep pointing out to this girl, my smallest girl may not be the best behaved child but she is half her age so she needs to cut her some slack.

Girl 1 comes home with stories of how Sally has sent people over to ask her to play with her or declared that she has no other friends & demands that my girl stops what she is doing / who she is playing with and fall in with whatever this other girl wants.  The emotional blackmail sets me teeth on edge.  I am trying so hard not to say anything negative about this girl, I know she is not my friend so I don't necessarily have to like her but still...

I have tried to talk around the point that maybe it's not very fair that Sally wants her to drop her other friends whenever she clicks her fingers & I think it's sinking in a bit.  My girl recently negotiated with Sally that either she join in with the existing game or she would play with her another day.  A very proud mummy moment there. 

But disliking a child makes me feel like a bad person.  She is after all 9 and therefore 30 years younger than me.  Maybe I should cut her some slack?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

All my best stories start with I hadn't had much for tea & then I started drinking....

If you are my mother you might not want to read the following...

So hello, I've been a bit slack of late with my blogging as real life or RL keeps getting in the way (can you tell I've been reading fan fiction recently - a post about which is brewing....).  My writing group has kind of petered out of late which I was sad about, I'm missing that outlet.  But today I had lunch & a catch up with my writing mentor/teacher/friend.  We were chatting & I mentioned I'd made loads of notes recently for my blog based on the Listography exercise we had done which started all my Claims to Fame posts  but not written stuff up. So when I got home I had a flick through my notes & found this..

So the idea of the list was drunken moments but I realised that all my best stories begin with 'I hadn't had much for tea (& then I started drinking)...' so I compiled a top ten (in no particular order).
1) ... I went to a party at my ex boyfriends house.  I drank a litre of wine in about 20 minutes (he was ignoring me/I was bored/ I was REALLY thirsty).  Feeling slightly unwell he escorted me to the bathroom whereby I turned away from the toilet at a crucial moment & vomited on him (classy eh?).  And I wondered why it didn't last?

2)...I had a few drinks and ended up dancing on a table at a wedding in a very short dress.  (A dress that my mother deemed OK as long as I didn't raise me arms above me head.  Cue me on table dancing arms above head.)

3)...I got drunk at my leaving drinks from a job, my then boyfriend (Now Mr D) took me for food to try & sober me up.  I fell asleep in Pizza Hut, head on table so we had to take the pizza to go.  When I woke up the next day I found the pizza on the kitchen table & asked my bf why he hadn't given it to a homeless person.  Apparently I had actively stopped him from doing that.

4) ...On my way home tipsy from '1 drink' after work (no such thing), I hiccuped & puked down myself.  I immediately sobered up & agreed with everyone around me who were giving me 'you're disgusting' looks.

5) ...when I woke up the morning after a party in a room full of people wearing only my pants & a sheet. (luckily innocent explanation for this)

6) ...had the same conversation with a friend at a party 3 times word for word.  By the end he was finishing my sentences & I thought he was psychic.

7) ...I conceived a 2nd child. (that was a good holiday)

8) ....I was seen drooling against a cab window by a work colleague.  A very handsome work colleague.

9) ....I kissed a (girl) friend as a dare.  Hilarious photographic evidence discovered recently whilst going through a box of old photos.  You can see we are cracking up, the funny thing is the male friend who is gazing on intently

10) ...I kissed a gay man.  I had no idea he was gay.  I was introduced to him several weeks later & I pointed out we had 'met' before he said "Oh, so you're the one!"

I am in no way advocating this sort of behaviour, I was very lucky that nothing really untoward happened to me, but I think it's quite common to go through a faze like this when you're younger & exploring your limits.  Of course I don't do that kind of thing these days* I am a grown up.

However, I will ensure that my children never hear about these stories & if anyone tried to tell them I will deny all knowledge. 

What are your best stories?

* well very rarely

** Mum I told you not to read this!**

Sunday, 26 May 2013

tape girl

I was having a clear up (again) in my bedroom & found a bag of cassettes (I was going to write stumbled across but that made it sound like I'd fallen over them - "I'm not surprised" I can hear my mum saying "the state of your bedroom")

Now for any young drama queens out there cassettes are an audio format (a bit like a CD but older) & if you wanted to record anything to you to press record & play at the same time on your tape recorder.  You could record tape to tape at high speed on fancy stereos (think old school ipod) & the music sounded like Pinky & Perky (...oh never mind).

This treasure trove of nostalgia included:

The original Now That's What I Call Music - which reminded that side B of cassette 2 was always the dodgy side

A tape of some friends from university's band - which I still love & I wish I had the kit & know how to digitize it as I would share it as they are great.

A cassette of Mick Brown dedicating 'Rush Hour' to me & my sister number 10 in my last claim to fame list

A load of compilation tapes that I made years ago & although it's a dead format I cannot bear to throw them away.

It reminded me that I used to cut out photos from magazines for covers for my tapes

but I also used to name my compilations

this one is called Jason Donovan's Chest because that's what's on the cover (going for the Ronseal approach)

Lurking at the bottom of the pile were two tapes which I knew even before looking at the track list were heart break tapes.  

The first one 'Emotions' is your standard fare of weepy mix tape; some early Beatles tracks, Everything But the Girl (before they  went all dance on us), Crowded House & Simply Red.  I barely remember what heartbreak it was over (but think I can guess because of the inclusion of the Simply Red track).  But if it was that guy I'm wondering, why was I tormenting myself over him?  He was a dick.  I didn't love him, I liked him, he made me laugh (sometimes), but he was definitely not worthy of my tears.

The other one is just labelled Summer 95 and this one is properly sad.  I know by the date (as well as the contents) what this one is all about). 
I can just picture that poor sad little drama queen listening to her tape weeping into her pillow, nursing a broken heart.  A good cry can be so cathartic to get it (them) out of your system, but there is a fine line & I'm sure on occasion I crossed over to wallowing in it. 

Being that I probably unkindly dissected a mix tape an old girlfriend made for Mr D I thought I would share the track list:

Side A
Return to Innocence - Enigma (I know but that would fall into one of the songs HE liked)
Cross My Heart - Everything But The Girl
Love is Here Where I Live - EBTG
Apron Strings - EBTG (obviously working my way through the Everything But The Girl back catalogue)
Everybody Hurts - REM (guaranteed weepy.  I want this song at my funeral.  I want EVERYONE to cry)
No Need to Argue - The Cranberries
Jealous Guy - John Lennon
You've Got Me Thinking - The Beloved (classic of the time)
Favourite T - The Lemonheads
Bell Bottomed Tear - The Beautiful South
Linger - The Cranberries
Caroline - Misty Oldland (yeah, me neither)

Side B
I Need Your Loving - Baby D (original is better)
Badhead - Blur
Take a Bow - Madonna
No More I Love Yous - Annie Lennox
Back For Good - Take That
Sour Times - Portishead (got to love a bit of Portishead)
Driving With The Brakes On - Del Ametri
Across The Universe - The Beatles (another on the list for my funeral - love love this song)
Heaven Help Me - EBTG (again!)
The World Is Stone - Cyndi Lauper
They Dance Alone - Sting

I did say I have eclectic taste in music (Mr D insists that means it's a mix of good & shit). An unusual mix I'll admit but the odd gem in there.

Just in case you need a good cry. 

 Hopefully it falls under the 'good' music in my collection x

Monday, 6 May 2013

Claims to fame part 3 (this has surely got to be the last one...)

Well hello, it's been a while hasn't it?  Life has been getting in the way a bit but thought I really should get back into this blogging malarkey.  

I've realised I'm getting nowhere with my 40 before I'm 40 challange & so I've spent the last few days looking into how I'm going to organize a kick ass party. That's a huge headache isn't it as trying to co-ordinate dates with friends holidays & I think some people that I really want to be there aren't going to be able to make it.  And then there's the whole dilemma of kids/no kids?  My biggest girl gave me sad eyes when I floated the idea of a grown ups only party but I'm really liking the idea of taking off my mummy badge for a night & letting my hair down...

Anyway, following my claims to fame part one & two I have managed to scrap the bottom of the barrel and dredge up some more claims to fame to complete my trilogy of blog posts

1.  Joan Collins was in front of me in a queue in the food hall in M&S Marble Arch.  Well technically she was 2 people ahead of me but the woman in front of me freaked out when she saw who it was & ran off (leaving her shopping on the conveyor belt).

2. Saw Willem Dafoe in a dim sum restaurant in Soho looking like himself.

3.  Peter Purvis refused my offer to iron his shirts

4. Buster Bloodvessle from Bad Manners going into a bank.

5. Nicky Campbell - took himself too seriously

6. Alasdair Stewart - loud & very friendly

7. Carol Volderman -she did her own make up (& was very orange)

8. I saw Geoff Capes open a May fair when I was a kid

9. Ruby Wax & Gary Rhodes who were filming a sketch together for comic relief.  You could tell she hated him.

10. Met Mick Brown who played "Rush Hour" by Jane Wiedlin as a request for me & my sister

 remember this one?

11.  I was factious to Andy Crane when I was about 15

16.  Saw the band James in a BBC tea bar

17. Met Stephanie Lowe (Mrs Phillip Schofield), Andi Peters & Simon Parkin who used to present 'But First This'

18. Jimmy Carr took the piss out of me because I laughed too loud & too long at a joke about cystitis.

19. Ben Shepherd said hello to me on some rushes I was transcribing

20. I ignored Caroline Aherne in reception at ITV

21. I saw Brenda Blethyn outside a pub in South East London

22. I worked with Ricky Grover who was an audience warm up man but he later played Andrew Cotton in Eastenders

23. A actress who auditioned for a student production of mine & I didn't cast for the project went on to be in  Queer as Folk & Spooks (obviously crushed by my rejection).

I think that has got to be that for now.  But what are your claims to fame?  The dodgier the better as far as I'm concerned xx

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

picture perfect

I've been having a sort out at home.  On Sunday me & my mum started sifting through 2 huge cardboard boxes of photos I have with the view to putting them into albums. What a strange outdated concept that is these days, the only albums I've put together in recent years is on Facebook.  

It's amazing how many I have not in albums & I kept thinking how did I afford to buy film/get them processed when I was a student?  But am glad I did or I would be without the photographic evidence of our Vicars & Tarts party (so much blackmail potential for so many people) and other drunken moments.
So we looked & remembered & laughed.  I did throw away some (out of focus, blurry self portraits, I even was daring enough to throw away a photo of my sister's ex boyfriend who I hated).  

I then pulled out a pile of great photos and packed the rest back into the boxes (now only a box & a half, see some progress!) and put them away.  Albums will wait for another day.

I then took photos of the select few & posted them on Facebook.  Cue reminiscing & anecdotes from friends.  A productive afternoon then. ;)

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

6pm? but in old money it's really only 5pm

So the clocks went forward on Sunday and I don't know about you but when the clocks change in our house we tend to spend he next few days justifying not being hungry/being hungry, being tired/not being tired with pointing out what the time would have been the day before "ah, yes but it's only 6.30 really so that's why the kids don't want to go to bed...".  

It reminds me of how my parents, having lived though the change to the metric system would always tell you the price of things in 'old money'.  "25p that's 5 shillings" and my dad would forever tell us about how "we were done" as 2 old pence and 2 new pence changed in value.  

I was quite relieved when the UK opted out of the Euro as I feared I would forever be telling my children 10 € that's about 8, 7, 6, 5....(well who knows the way things are going) pounds in old money.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Today has been really sad for me.  I had to say goodbye (for now) to my lovely friend Lakota who is moving 60 odd miles away tomorrow.  

I have known her for 8 years & for the past 5 our youngest offspring have been inseparable.  My smallest girl maintained that she was going to marry her son for a long time (although she has now moved on to make 'goo goo eyes' at a different boy in her class).

Any one who reads her blog Faith Hope & Charity Shopping will know how funny & clever & bright she is.  I will really miss her & her sage words of wisdom & listening ears when I carp on about my shit.  She inspired me to start blogging.  And her pithy assessment of things (& people) have me in fits. 

I have been a bit of a soggy mess the past few days.  I could barely speak to her about it before today.  I set several other friends off at school today (& got a hug from my daughter's teacher).  My biggest girl comforted me earlier & my smallest drew me a memory book of things we've done together (like having 'coffy' & 'dinur')

I know, I know it's not the other end of the world & that we will still see each other (a hour or so on the train or quicker if we meet in the middle in London).  I'm really pleased for her & her family as the process of moving has been arduous & they'll be where they want. But for me I am sad.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

My life is like Eastenders...

...well what I mean is there are so many moments I can think of when I have expected the duff duff drums & the theme tune to start

There are things that have happened in my life that if I share with other people I have to fight the urge to add the myself (but maybe that's the drama queen in me).  
My life is fairly dramatic but not quite as dramatic as this...

there was once a 'he's not my father' (but that's another story).

This past few weeks I have kind of had my fill of drama.  My mum has had a cancerous lump removed from her breast & today embarked on a course of chemo.  The thought of this all has filled me with dread as I know how hard it is going to be for her & how little I can do to help.  Seeing her being unwell is going to be hard, if she is unwell, if she reacts to the medication, who knows?  More waiting to see I guess. 

She's been amazing though.  She went to get her hair done last week as she wanted it to look good before starting the treatment, and she's already planning a spray tan to give a nice bit of colour.  She reassured me the other day that it'll be OK, we'll get through this, which was too topsy turvy for words. I should be the one comforting her but I'm a bit lost for words at the moment, yes a chatterbox like me, I'm grasping for the right thing to say.  I know we will get through this, we're strong.  We have to.

I kind of wish my life was like Eastenders.  I'd really like someone to shout 'cut' and to be able to have a break from it all.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Claims to fame part 2

So on thinking about my previous post about famous people I've encountered I realised that I have missed a few so here is part 2 of my shameless bragging (although to be honest it isn't meant that way - celebrity does not impress me much).

1. Matthew Vaughn & Claudia Schiffer checking in at LAX (they were going 1st class, we were going coach)

2.  Billy Connolly sat 3 seats along from me at a screening of a David Thewlis film during a London Film Festival

3. David Thewlis was also sitting there in the dark.

4. A sparkly suited Ben Elton followed me down a corridor.

5. Len Goodman chirped 'Good evening ladies' at me & a group of friends gate crashing Strictly Come Dancing drinks

6. Scott Maslen (Jack Branning from Eastenders - you know, the one who buggered up his lines in the live episode) posed for a photo with me & my friends at said Strictly Come Dancing drinks we crashed.  I seriously didn't want to be in the picture.  As the photo was taken he squeezed my shoulder & I physically cringed.  (I have photographic evidence.) 

7. I rode Victoria Alcock's horse when I was 10 (she is an actress who has been in Eastenders twice, The House of Elliott & was one of the Julie's in Bad Girls)

8. I was made to drink beer with Eric Knowles

9. I made sandwiches & squash for Johnny Ball

10.  Kerry Katona leaned into an office I was working in & said 'Hiya girls'

11.  I shook Paul Gambocini's hand (he had his eyes shut)

12.  At the National Theatre Brian Blessed queued behind me (he was holding a plastic bag)

13. Floella Benjamin gave me advice about marriage before I got married (never go to bed on an argument)

14. I took phone messages from Ainsley Harriet & Laurence Llewelyn Bowen

15. I talked animatedly with writer Tim Moore (after several lunchtime glasses of red wine) about Footballers Wives & Hollyoaks.

16. I saw Katie Price across a hotel foyer (v orange)

17. Said hello to Peter Andre who is incredibly handsome in real life way more than he appears on tv.

18. Saw Chris Evans across a pub in Belsize Park back in the day.  He was wearing sunglasses indoors.

19. Saw Ant or Dec in the ITV canteen

20.  Went to school with the 2nd girl to play Sam in Eastenders.

Monday, 18 February 2013

40 things to do before I'm 40

The other week I saw an article in the Sunday Times about '40'.  I turn 40 in September so this definitely interested me.  

With the big 4 Oh looming on the horizon (a mere 6 months away) I thought I should set myself some goals.  40 is kind of grown up so what grown up things should I be attempting in the next few months. 

1. Go & see This is 40 (OK start with an easy one & seems an obvious choice)
2. Visit Stockholm.  I have been promising myself this for the past 2 years so better get organised.
3. Lose weight.  I want to be wearing significantly smaller knickers for my birthday party
4. Arrange a kick ass party
5. Write a letter to myself
6. Spend a night in a hotel by myself
7. Drive on the motorway without fearing I'm going to die
8. Climb a mountain
9. Get something published
10. Do a yoga class
11. Learn to make profiteroles (choux pastry scares me)
12. Stop caring what other people think of me
13. Learn to walk in heels
14. Find a 100 movies to watch before you die list & make sure I've watched at least half of them (well I'm middle aged, I have another 40 years to see the rest)
15. Read the all books on my bookshelf
16. To learn to make caramel shortbread
17. To start writing letters again.
18. To start doing sit ups every day. (see no 3)
19. To start reviewing my photos, printing them off & organising them in photo albums (& make an album of my youngest daughter's 1st year as I did for my eldest)
20. To write something every day. (see no 9)
21. Learn to meditate
22. Accept a compliment
23. Sleep under the stars
24. Do an evening class
25. Employ a cleaner
26. Go to the theatre more
27. Buy a piece of art that I love
28. Get a decent pair of jeans that make my bum look great
29. Visit tourist attractions in London that I have never been to
30. Go dancing/ Pull an all-nighter (it's been a few years since I've done that)
31. Go & visit a psychic (they'll be expecting)
32. Cull my facebook friends list & have no guilt in doing so
33. Blog more regularly (see no 20, well maybe not every day)
34. Learn to like myself
35. To be able to fit back into the pelmet skirt I wore when I was 18 (see no 3) & then throw it away as I am too old to wear it!
36. I will buy a full length mirror for my house
37. Go ice skating & not cling on to the side
38. Try something new every week (food/ activity/outlook)
39. Swim in the sea.
40. ???

I am now truly stuck.  Help please, I need suggestions, what do I NEED to do before September?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Claims to fame

Today at writing we were doing list exercises from this book, writing list poems.

I love the idea of this book, a diary consisting of lists.  We were told to chose one & it took me forever to make a decision.  I poured over it. I need to buy this and try to find the time to fill it all in.

I opted for Famous People I've encountered & came up with the following.  

1. Paul McCartney squeezed past me in a crowded Green room.  As he passed me he winked at me.  Not my sister standing next to me.  It was at me.

2. Richard Herring paid for my chicken korma & boiled rice when a group of us went out to eat. He emptied his pockets of change when I refused the £20 for my cab home but gave me all the shrapnel from his pockets

3. Gordan Ramsey, Michael Rosen, several Tory MPs & Paul from Big Brother 2 signed release forms for me

4.  I spoke to Davina McColl to check that a fax I'd sent her husband to be had arrived at their house.

5. I queued for hours with my sister at HMV to get Buck Fizz's autographs

6. I fetched Armando Iannucci Yop from the BBC tea bar

7. I showed Germaine Greer the way to the loo and then heard her pee as I waited for her

8. I said hello to Yvette Fielding, mistaking her for someone I knew & then giggled in the lift for 5 floors when I realised who she was

9. Saw Miranda Hart across the BBC bar.  Was too embarrassed & afraid that I'd morph into her character if I tried to approach her.

10. The bloke from Brookie who I bored senseless droning on & on about how much I loved Barry Grant.  Knowing he was wishing he hadn't mentioned he'd been in Brookside but not being able to help myself.

11. Edd the duck who was a girl

12. Gordan the Gopher who was a man so shy he couldn't look me in the eye when he spoke to me

13. Wilson the Butler who was gorgeous & funny & apparently gay.

14. Countless people I ignored in reception at work being too cool for school

15. Terry Hall who no one in my office had heard of & then I felt about 100.

16. The girl from Press Gang, Kelda something, on the tube reading her book.

17. Bloke that used to be in The Bill drinking tea in my sister's kitchen.

18.  Peter Duncan ran past me in a green & white suite when we went to watch The London Marathon

19.  Nigella Lawson signing in at security.  Beautiful & tiny.  Like a doll.

20.  Media scrum in NYC which had Madonna on the other side.  I didn't even see her.

I've just started to compile a 40 things to do before I'm 40 list.  I'd better get a wriggle on as I've only got until September.  Any suggestions would be gratefully received xx 

I realised tonight that this list is by no means exhaustive as just in my head I added Katie Price, Peter Andre, Nicky Campbell, Alastair Stewart, Kerry Katona, Andy Crane, Andi Peters, Simon Parkin (remember him?), Mick Brown at Capital FM & my sister's friend Vicky who has been in Eastenders (twice) who's pony, Mr Tweedy, I had a ride on when I was about 10.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Rolling in the Deep

I heard this on the radio the other morning and it reminded me how much I love it.  I know this album has been flogged to death on radio playlists but that's hardly Adele's fault.

Someone Like You can still make me cry. Rolling in the Deep was the first single from 21 and I remember the 'yay she's back' feeling when I first heard it.

I remember Mr D asking me what this song was about and I couldn't believe he couldn't tell just by listening.  It is so obvious about a boyfriend who sold a story about her.

There's a fire starting in my heart  

Reaching a fever pitch and it's bring me out the dark  

Finally I can see you crystal clear

Go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your ship bare

See how I'll leave, with every piece of you  

Don't underestimate the things that I will do

There's a fire starting in my heart

Reaching a fever pitch and it's bring me out the dark 

It's such a gorgeous depiction of a woman scorned

'You're gonna wish you never had met me...''Tears are gonna fall'

Unless you live in a cave you everyone knows that this album was written by Adele about an ex boyfriend and I guess the album shows the many emotions experienced during heartbreak.  You are sad & desperate and then extremely pissed off.  This song is about the moment when you stop wishing you were dead and start wishing they were.

I love Adele. I love her attitude, that she doesn't put on airs & graces.  Loved her speech at the Golden Globes last week where she said her & her friend were new mums and just gone for a night out. 

I want to be her friend, I think we'd get on.