Discover my sagas and cosy crimes

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

At the flicks

Reading Kaz's post here about Saturday mornings at the cinema prompted a rather disturbing memory of my own. I used to go along quite happily each Saturday morning with my mates, my brothers, my brother's mates, to the now long-gone ABC cinema in Sunderland's Park Lane each week to watch Children's Film Foundation films back in the late 1970s. But the disturbing memory was of being pelted on the back of the head by the bad lads who sat at the back of the cinema and threw the shells from whelks (or willeks, as we used to call them) everywhere. The bloody things didn't half hurt if they caught you on the back of the head. Which they often did.


There’s something very decent and right about a Tunnocks caramel wafer. Could they be the only biscuits that warrant their own Appreciation Society?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ballad of the Londoner

On the tube this week, I read one of the Poems on the Underground stuck on a poster in the carriage. It was called Ballad of the Londoner by Flecker and you can read it here. It was good, it was old but it wasn’t relevant any more. So I thought I’d put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and write one myself. It’s called:

Ballad of the Londoner (2007), With Apologies to the Flecker Fella.

In the Piccadilly Line carriage
Where I’m sat
I can’t tell if that woman is just fat
Or heavily pregnant and in need of my seat
For which I’d happily stand
To my destination
Final station
As long as I don’t get
Mugged or bombed
Or make eye contact with anyone

Hot Fuzz

To the flicks this week to see Hot Fuzz. While it wasn’t side-splitting fantastically funny, it was chuckle-able, although I laughed out loud more at this week’s episode of Shameless. Speaking of which, the actor who plays Frank in Shameless turned up in Hot Fuzz. As did Anne Reid who played Valerie Barlow in Coronation Street.

Tim Winton

It’s always a joy to discover a new author and I did that last week when I read Tim Winton. I picked his book off the table in Waterstones simply because it was next to The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton, a book I adored. My eyes jumped from Patrick Hamilton’s book to Tim Winton’s Dirt Music, I flipped it over, read the back cover and was hooked from page one. Dirt Music is set in Australia, all sweeping plains and wide open spaces contrasting with the claustrophobic human relationships within. Ignore the quote from the Sunday Mail on the front cover, it really is a cracking read. And today I bought another Tim Winton, Cloud Street.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Feeling Fruity

How come I used to like apples but now I don't? Why do oranges bring me out in a rash? Pineapples are too difficult, bananas are boring and pomegranates are only in the shops for 27 minutes once a year (I know this is true as I have timed it). Strawberries are flown in from outer space, I've got raspberries in the garden so there's no point buying them in the shops and I've never liked pears. What's a girl to eat to get her five portions of fruit and veg a day?

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Heading north on the train, I’m leaving London in a smug of itself for a while. As a northerner in London, leaving has become necessary every couple of months. It clears my head, realigns my inner spirit level after London has knocked it out of kilter. I take joy in walking on streets empty of people, of taking deep, deep breaths of sea air and of not being scared. And each time, before I head up north, I wonder if I’ll want to come back. So far, I always have.

Samuel Johnson is my soul boy

"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

Samuel Johnson

“Yes well that’s all well and good, Sammy boy, but what about the times when I long for open space, the sea, fresh air, fields, trees and smiles?”. Flaming Nora

Monday, February 12, 2007

Coronation Street Podcast

Far be it for me to recommend you tune in to listen to my monthlies, but I've now podded my cast and am available for your listening pleasure each month at The Soap Show.

And if you're a fan of Coronation Street, why not have a peek at Corrieblog, which I highly recommend (and edit).

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fox footprints

Another snowfall in London today, much heavier than the last one the other week. Here’s a picture of fox footprints in our garden. By the time we grabbed the camera, the fox had disappeared through the trees. Most bizarre sight of the day was seeing an underground train pulling into our local station, covered in snow. I wasn’t the only one on the platform, with a smile on my face, taking photos.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Notes on a Scandal

Went to the flicks to see Notes on a Scandal. I’d read Zoe Heller’s book so long ago that I couldn’t remember the story but it didn’t matter as this was a very good film standing on its own merit. It was dark, intense and moody and whatever you think of Judi Dench (and I know my boyfriend doesn’t rate her and took some persuading to come and see this film with me) there’s no denying what an amazing actress she is. Our shared bag of Revels were well lovely too. I liked this film a lot although not as much as I enjoyed this one last year which won’t half take some beating.

Only the crummiest, flakiest adverts

It’s with little joy that I read that the Cadbury flake girl is on her way back to telly ads. What’ll it be this time? Another dozy mare in a field of opium poppies, off her head with chocolate delight painting flowers in the rain, like the last flake girl did? Maybe she’ll hide her chocolate stash under the sofa in a tin box (Galaxy bar) or be too doped up on choc not to know whether her husband’s going down the pub with his mates or philandering with his floozy (Cadbury Hot Chocolate). She could always imprison herself in her bedroom to snack up alone behind a locked door (Galaxy again). What is it with advertising chocolate to women as a drug?. Choc-o-holics? There’s no such thing, except in the mind of the chocolate men, pushers of a bar of brown fat and cocoa to female sugar addicts. It all sounds a bit Willy Wonka to me.

Capital Woman

Being firmly of the opinion that there’s no point living and working in London unless you grab with both hands all of the goodies it offers, I heartily recommend to all London female readers Capital Woman day.

This year it’s Saturday March 3 and includes a morning of speeches from the Mayor, leading female lights in politics, sports, finance and so on. In the afternoon there’s all sorts of seminars on different issues such as Women and Transport in London, Safety, Food, Families, Jobs, etc. There’s a marketplace where you can pick up leaflets on women - and wimmin - friendly forums, events in the city, lectures, training, talks, loads of good stuff and if that gets too much and you feel leaflet-ed out, there’s a building across the road from the conference centre full of clothing and jewelry to browse around. You can even learn how to fix your bike or watch some excellent female stand-up comedy. It’s such a good day out that it’s a shame, in some ways, it’s for women only. Perhaps there should be a Capital Person day where men are encouraged to attend? But for now, it’s ladies only who can be inspired, informed and entertained on the day - and you even get a free lunch.

The Capital Woman 2007 website is here

Monday, February 05, 2007

Amy Winehouse

This week I have mostly been listening to Amy Winehouse. Her new CD Back to Black is fab and I’ve learned a new swear word. Her first CD Frank is great too. The sound she makes when she sings is that of a cherished, scratched 1960s vinyl 45rpm.

On the Tube

London Underground is one of the best - and one of the worst - things about living in London. The Tube will take you anywhere you need to go, quickly, smoothly, usually. Sitting so close to your neighbour on the Tube is the hard part. If you’re unlucky, you can smell and tell what they’ve just eaten. If you’ve very unlucky, you can tell if their stomach has disagreed. And if you’re having the journey from hell, then your neighbour will be going swish, boom, crackle, static from their Ipods-a-go-go as you try to blank out their bleedin’ headphone noise to enjoy Alan Bennett on the Piccadilly Line.

*I nicked the picture from here, pictures of real London

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Poetry from spam

Spam, spam, email spam. It all goes into a special filter which I check occasionally, just to make sure the latest Popbitch news hasn’t gone in there by mistake. So, I was checking to retrieve Popbitch from the spam and realised there’s something quite poetic about spam email titles. I thought I’d take the titles, exactly as they were and turn them into a poem. The title and the poem are all from spam, exactly as they arrived. Nothing has been changed. It’s called…

Three Steps to the Software You Need at the Prices You Want

Play Online Casino
Quicky Birds here
Have you liked writing yet?
Re: ?

She will love you more than any other guy
Time is unfair
Fast secure Easy
Re: ?

Jacob & Co. Watches
Generic medications the only way it goes
Re: ?
Fwd: deal

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wot? No Chads?

Where have all the chads gone? Why don’t we see them any more, anywhere? Although I did find some online.
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