Monday, 21 October 2013

Budgie, a parrot and some hens.

When I told some of my friends I was going to try and write some blogs, they looked at me as if it was the worst idea since Savile’s Travels. In fact a lot of my friends that I told greeted it with a look somewhere between confusion and boredom, but despite their lack of any kind of interest or enthusiasm, I thought I’d have a go at providing you lucky people with my view of some of the less interesting things that have happened this last week or fortnight or so (depending on when I actually get round to writing something)

At this time of year that favourite British past time of being surprised when the weather turns cold even though it’s October begins. Think how many times you’ve heard someone say ‘Oh it’s got so cold’ or 'isn't it dark in the mornings' this week, as if this is a rare occurrence in the autumn. Why, as a nation are we repeatedly surprised by and unprepared for the change of season? The weather forecasters really try and build their parts up these days too. When they show the headlines on BBC Breakfast and similar news based shows, they always do this ‘coming up in the weather today...’ tantalising preview as if people are somehow on the edge of their seats waiting to see if there might be a bit of a breeze today. We know you are going to show the weather, you don’t need to use it as a hook. You also don’t need to spend the licence payer’s money on sending them to various locations in Britain to do these over hyped forecasts. We do believe you, we don’t need to see proof of what the weather is doing and if we did, we could quite easily just look out of the window. Or look on Facebook of course, providing weather reports for people is pretty standard on there. The other thing that bothers me about weather forecasters is their apparent ability to guess exactly how you want the weather to be. ‘The good news is it’s going to be mild’ or ‘you’ll be pleased to hear there is a thunderstorm on the way to clear the air’. That’s not good news. I hate thunderstorms, they make me hide and cry, why would that be good news for me? I’m happy to have unclear air actually, if it means no more electric death rays bursting randomly from the sky, seeking out their next unsuspecting victim (I’m not odd, you are). Stop trying to be a man/woman of the people, just tell us what the weather is going to be, not your opinion of it!

It’s also been quite a footbally couple of weeks for me, with three home matches in a row – the good, the bad and the Johnson’s Paint Trophy, which never quite managed to be as entertaining as singing Erasure songs in the car on the way there and back with my friend Joff. In the supporters bar, I also had the pleasure of a ‘reunion’ (that’s a little joke for the Erasure purists there) with John Byrne, one of my most favourite Oxford players of all time, who managed to turn me from confident, chatty lady to shaking, blithering idiot with one look. Sadly the scenario where he takes one look at me and realise I was the love of his life as I hoped that he would when I was a teenager didn't materialise. Oh well, keep your fingers crossed for me if I ever bump into Jim Magilton.

This week saw the national side finally qualify for the world cup in a tense match against Poland which was made considerably more unbearable by having to watch it on ITV. ITV football coverage has many levels of irritation, from the rarely-funny quips of Adrian Chiles, with his Yorkshire pudding face, to the camera hogging interviews by Gabriel Clarke. Clarke is the only post match interviewer that anybody can actually recognise, the reason for this being that he stands so close to the players whilst interviewing them that he is always in shot. Clearly failed the audition to be presenter. Then we have the commentating team of Clive ‘crap facts’ Tyldsley and Andy ‘tactics truck’ Townsend, with not and interesting fact nor anecdote between them. During one Champion’s League game involving Barcelona, I remember Tyldesley announcing to the not-so eager public that in fact, his neighbour comes from Barcelona. Do we need to know this? Why would any commentator consider that to be of any interest to anybody other than himself? Even dull-as-dust Townsend would struggle muster up any enthusiasm for that little snippet. 

My four year old son Finlay, has rather annoyingly resurrected his love of Postman Pat recently. Now I’m obsessed with Postman Pat. Not in weird way, I don’t sit outside his house waiting for him or have his picture on my wall or his name upon my scarf, but I’m fascinated by certain aspects of his self titled show.  For starters, he is clearly a useless buffoon. Not a day goes by when he doesn’t lose someone’s special delivery, or he opens it up and it jumps out/flies away/rolls on to the floor or some other completely avoidable catastrophe. And then when he retrieves that delivery and eventually gets it to its destination, the rest of Greendale are all over him like he’s some kind of hero, never occurs to any of them to ask what the hell he was doing opening the fucking parcel in the first place, the nosey, incompetent bastard. And why the balls does a local village postman, with seemingly only about 8 houses to deliver to, need a bloody helicopter? Particularly when he also has his trusty old bright red van, a transit van, a motor bike with side car and now a convertible four wheel drive thing (I don’t know what it’s called, I’m not James May). It’s not just Pat who bothers me though, Dr Gilbertson the resident GP who is never at work, in fact doesn’t even seem to have a surgery, is another one. ‘Alf’s got a cold’ ‘The twins have got chicken pox’. Clearly never heard of patient confidentiality, bloody blabber mouth. I’m also intrigued by the surprising amount of single parents there are in a relatively middle class country village and how many of them seem to have ginger hair, not that I’m starting rumours or casting any aspersions on the apparently absent Mrs Pringle, mum to Pat lookalike Charlie. Jeff Pringle has not been seen since 2006 so I am completely confused as to where Charlie resides now both of his parents appear to have buggered off. Mr Pringle’s position of only teacher at the school has now been taken by Lauren Taylor, whose name is nowhere near northern enough to appear in this series in my opinion. I also doubt her teaching ability though. In one episode, she decides to take the children on a nature trail, which sounds very nice until you realise they have gone to Pencaster town centre. Who the hell goes on a nature trail in the middle of a busy town? Funnily enough the only “wildlife” they spotted was the fucking parrot that Pat had let escape due to previously stated incompetence.In another episode Pat has a race around Greendale with Ted and Alf, amongst others, and gets lost! How do you get lost in a village that you have lived in since you were a child? Ginger twat.

 Last Friday, I managed to have a rare evening out, where I got to wear a dress and heels and all that jazz, for a night of dancing like a dick. The theme for the evening was ‘decades of disco’ or something of the like, and whilst I had a good evening there is something about these discos that I can’t help having an issue with. The DJ. Whenever you go to any kind of ‘retro’ disco, you can always predict exactly which songs they will play and any request you put in for something slightly different will probably be denied. As previously mentioned, I’m a bit of an Erasure fan but they always play A Little Respect, which is a great song, but the only one they ever play. So I asked the Rod Stewart-a-like DJ if he could play Victim of Love for me.
‘No, sorry’.
‘Ok, how about Sometimes?’
‘No,’ve got A Little Respect?’
Ironically, I have little respect for a party DJ who has no room for manoeuvre on his to-be-expected playlist. How can he only have one Erasure song, surely if you are frequently working in a party disco environment, you would at least have bought the greatest hits album of one of the most popular acts of the time? We’ve all been dancing to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and the diabolical Love Shack for so many years now, isn’t it time those type of songs took a step back and let some of the others have a go? Do we still want to be dancing to the same old songs in 20 years time or will anyone be brave enough to buck the trend and play Victim of Love for me or stick on a bit of (not the) Pet Shop Boys?
There is a hen party who have been on table next to us all evening, looking miserable and overweight in their 80s getup of luminous tutus and fingerless gloves. I would talk more about hen parties, but that’s a whole other blog on its own. DJ Rod announces that the stripper will be arriving later, so I expect he has You Can Leave Your Hat On lined up already, the predictable little twat.  The hen party are lucky enough to have their requested song played, not so lucky for the rest of us though as it's Mistletoe and Wine that they have chosen to be blasted out with a volume it doesn’t deserve. My disbelief that he only has one Erasure song on him and has no problem playing a fucking Christmas song on the 11th October has obviously turned my stomach and after 3 hours of It’s Raining Men, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and Build Me Up Buttercup, I head home and throw me dinnerup. And I missed the bloody stripper..

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