Discover my sagas and cosy crimes

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Coronation Street Weekly Update

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street update has just gone live here.

This week the update comes with a review of a disappointing Christmas on Corrie.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Among all the lovely Christmas presents received this year were things were frills on them, bows in them, ladybirds around them, things that smell, things that are edible and the thing that made me laugh out loud - a bag of Jellyatrics.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas

That's me done. I've wrapped, I'm packed and I'm ready to go. There's only one thing left for me to do and that's to say Merry Christmas to both of my readers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I said no, no, no

One of the joys of blogging is to say what you want and type what you like. The success of my other blog, the Coronation Street Blog has meant this week I was been approached by people wanting to get in on the act. Yes, they tried to make me blog for money, but I said no, no, no.

First off came a flattering offer of writing for a well known telly blog that I like and read often - and getting paid for it - but I said no. I've had enough of blogging for cash after doing Corrieblog for two years. And then came an offer from an international company asking if they could give me cash in exchange for ad space on my Coronation Street blog. Again, I said no. I'm blogging for no-one but myself these days and that's the way I like it.

The Specials

Got my tickets already.

Is it May 2009 yet?


You can't beat local news for news that's not only local but guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Last night watching Look North via the magic of Sky TV in London, there was an article about a mysterious black cat roaming a forest up north. Anyway, the reporter interviewed a fella who said things may not be as they seem, it might not have been a big cat in the forest after all. He went on to qualify this by saying: "One time, I followed what I thought was an otter for miles along the river, miles, but it turned out to be a cardigan." You couldn't make it up.

Virtual puppy love

So now and I've gone and adopted a puppy on Facebook, given it a name and everything. Picked its colour, shape and size and whatnot and now it's giving me grief.

If I don't log on every day to feed and water it, it wilts and dies. Not only that, I have Facebook, er, friends, emailing me and poking me that my puppy's not well. What's a girl to do? There's too much emotion involved, it's virtual blackmail. I wish I'd never started with the blinkin' thing now.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Dogs, I love. Cats, I can live with. Budgies, a bit of a waste of space but I could put up with one if I had to. Goldfish, ditto.

But horses? Don't get me started on horses. They terrify me.


I was once much impressed by a woman who dropped the word pantechnicon into conversation, without any irony too.

And for years I thought pantechnicon meant a large removal lorry, which of course it does. But this weekend I saw the original pantechnicon. It's a building in Belgravia (one of the poshest bits of London) that is called The Pantechnicon and was built for posh people to store their posh things in, hundreds of posh years ago (*).

The lorries which carried the goods into and out of storage from the building became known as pantechnicons. I know, great eh? Anyway, that was one of the many highlights on the Upstairs Downstairs walk of Belgravia I did this weekend with The Women's Libary in London. So as well as getting to walk around a posh bit of London I'd never normally visit, I learned one heck of a lot.

(*) The building now houses a posh people's bank and a Starbucks. Boo, hiss.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas - Yes or No? (v.2)

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas. Since bah-humbugging in the blog here about it, I'm fianlly get into the Chrimbo vibe.

I've bought presents. I've bought cards. I've bought train tickets up north. And this coming weekend the tree goes up and the fairy lights switched on in our kitchen.


Olive from On The Buses is haunting my thoughts. I won't say who it is (because I'm not cruel) but there's a woman on the telly who reads our weather and she looks just like OFOTB. And on the same day I thought that, I walked out of the tube station to find a poster for a panto starring the real life Olive.

PS: If anyone can tell me why this blog's stat-counter is going into overdrive with hits to this Olive post, I'd love to find out. Leave a comment below, go on, you know you want to. And while you're here, why not take a look at my Coronation Street Blog - it's fab.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Coronation Street Weekly Update

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street update has just gone live here.

This week the update comes complete with an incomplete Minnie Caldwell quote.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Between the Covers

To one of my favourite London buildings this weekend for a study day examining one of my favourite topics.

And when the ex-editor of Spare Rib turns up to give a lecture, well, Saturdays in November don't come much better.

For my life in women's magazines, have a look here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mrs Peel

For the first time in my life I bought some leather gloves for the winter. Not only do they make me feel very grown up but while wearing them I now like to pretend that I'm Emma Peel from The Avengers. It's great fun at the bus stop.

Quantum of Solace

To the flicks this week to see the new James Bond film, Quatum of Solace. It wasn't great.

My lovely man said he felt neither shaken nor stirred by the movie, and I felt it could have been improved if Daniel Craig had appeared in his pants again. As he didn't, here's a picture from his last James Bond film instead.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Christmas - Yes or No?

I'm not looking forward to Christmas. And in my grump, I remembered feeling exactly the same thing at exactly the same time last year. I even blogged about it.

Maybe I just need to hear Slade to get me in the festive mood?

Join the Jeff Stelling fan club

One of the many joys of watching Sky Sports 1 on a Saturday as the footy results come pouring in all afternoon, is lusting after Jeff Stelling. He looks like the sort of man who would wear expensive aftershave and smell nice.

Did you know there's a Jeff Stelling fan club? There is.

Charity circle

Regular readers might remember I found this inside a book I bought in a charity shop earlier this year. I've just sold it on eBay for the princely sum of £1.71.

It seems only fair that I take my riches and desposit them in the British Heart Foundation charity shop tin next time I'm in Harrogate. The charity circle will then be complete.


Isn't it about time Channel 4* had a Brookside night? They could have lots of clips from old episodes, chats with the writers and actors and input from fans. I miss Brookside. There, I've said it.

*E4 would do. Really.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Man Who Fell Asleep

I'm now reading the book of the website of The Man Who Fell Asleep.

So if you're travelling by tube and there's a woman sitting next to you stifling a guffaw, that's me. It's the funniest thing I've read in ages.

Coronation Street Weekly Update

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street update has just gone live here.

This week the update comes with a chucky egg.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

November in the garden

Planted over 100 bulbs, raked the leaves for compost, chased the squirrels and filled up the bird feeder. Glorious autumn days like this are few and far between and although the garden's dying down for the winter, there's bags of colour still.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Roddy Doyle

Just finished reading my first Roddy Doyle book, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors. It wasn't the most comfortable of subjects to read about but it's a book I can highly recommend, all the same.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


To the theatre this week to see the daftest thing I've seen this year.

Eurobeat, where Winning is Everything, is excellent fun and comes highly recommended, especially after a few drinks. Les Dennis and Mel Giedroyc (from Mel and Sue) are hosts for the evening all the way from Sarajevo. Terry Wogan even appears too.

So buy your ticket then grab your badge, flag and don't forget your clackers. It's daft but good.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Amen for Amelia Jane

Amelia Jane was my favourite of the Enid Blyton characters and I read and re-read her stories as a child. Amelia Jane was the biggest and most clumsy of the dolls in the toy cupboard and at midnight every night, wreaked havoc. We had a lot in common, AJ and I back then and have had ever since.

Boots, shoes and the B52s

While I'll never forgive Bowie for selling his songs to the adman and the sight of Suggs advertising fishfingers gave me a wobble, there's something quite sweet about one of my favourite bands' tunes being used in a telly advert.

Yes, the B52s really are being used to advertise Clarks Shoes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blogging the Lord

To the Old Vic theatre again this week to see the second part of the Alan Ayckbourn trilogy The Norman Conquests. While the play was cracking stuff, we only had Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber of the TV and Theatre sitting in the row behind us, gamely signing autographs and taking in the stares of the audience.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oi! You! Stop nicking my blog posts

There's a person online who is making me peeved. It's been going on for months and when it started, I blogged about it in a poem right here.

It's no longer flattering and if it doesn't stop soon I will publicly embarass the blogger online because blogging another person's ideas - especially when they're getting paid for their blog posts - just isn't fair.

I rather hoped this person would have had more intelligence and creativity not to nick my ideas.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Strictly Come Dancing

I always wanted a sister but ended up with two brothers. However, that means I've got two wonderful sisters-in-law so I'm not complaining, I'm just saying, you know.

But if I could have an honorary sister, It'd have to be dancer Karen Hardy from Strictly Come Dancing. She's fab. We could do each other's hair, nails, make up and then I could show her how to string a blog post together and she could teach me how to dance.

Rose Tremain: The Road Home

I read my first Rose Tremain novel recently and can't recommend her book The Road Home highly enough so I thought I'd blog it.

It's about an outsider coming to London. I know just how he feels.

Still Looking North

One of the many joys of Sky TV is watching BBC local news programmes from other parts of the country. And so, instead of watching the London news and finding out nothing about what's really going on - well, how local can local news be in a city the size of London? - I watch the familar Look North news instead.

It's like coming home and putting a pair of comfy slippers on to be met by old friends on the telly. And it stops me getting too homesick.

Karaoke Kylie

Travelling to work by tube this week, the music was blaring from someone's iPod so loud that not only could I hear what tune it was, I could make out every word. I even started tapping my foot in time to the music as a smile spread on my face.

My fella looked at the bloke whose music was, er, brightening up the carriage.
"Strange," he said. "He doesn't look much like a Kylie fan."
"Neither do you," I reminded him.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Coronation Street Weekly Update

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street update has just gone live here.

This week the update isn't impressed by Corrie's murder week but is loving Becky Grainger.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Alan Aykbourne

Having a bit of a culture burst at the minute with theatre outings every couple of weeks planned for the next few months. The burst started with the first of three Alan Aykbourne plays at The Old Vic which was very good indeed. As you'd expect from Mr. A.

Amazing art adventure

Being a tourist when you live in London is a must otherwise it's too easy to forget why you live here. Of course, when I say you, I mean me. Anyway, my lovely man and I had a special day off work together last week when we went a bit art mad.

First to the Royal Festival Hall to see the Koestler Award 2008. Amazing art by offenders and the highlight of my day. A free exhibition highly recommended.

Then to the Hayward Gallery to see Andy Warhol which wasn't free and I only recommend if you're a huge fan of his work. If you're hoping to see screenprints of Marilyn and soup cans, they're there but some of his better stuff like the Judy Garland we stumbled across in Portugal this summer, wasn't. There was also something else going on in the Hayward but it didn't do much for me so I won't give it a plug.

Then t'Tate for Rothko at a whopping £12.50 each. A room full of big pictures that your eyes want to make sense of and your mind wants to sink into isn't done justice when said room is full of gawping tourists and crying babies.

So if you want to do just one art thing in London in the coming weeks, head to the Royal Festival Hall for the best (and free) exhibition I've seen in a long time.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Lauren Laverne is a Mackem

I've just read a post on Bloggertropolis that describes Lauren Laverne as a Geordie. Why man, she's not, pet. She's from Sunderland which makes her a Mackem, just like me and telly's Chris Cowey.

Facing up to Facebook

"I'm on it," said brother one. "So am I," said brother two when I was there at the weekend visiting family up north. I already knew niece was on it and pictures of a friend's award winning guinea pig were on there too along with a video of me mother embarassing herself in Scarborough.

Real friends were on it, people I hadn't seen in years were on it but still, I resisted. But now, I've crumbled. Yes, my name is Flaming Nora (*) and I am on Facebook.

(*) It's not really.


I took myself shopping on Oxford Street today as I needed new clothes. Well, I didn't need but you know, I wanted. Anyway, I tried on stuff that was mis-shapen, cheap, snagged, frumpy, out of fashion, too expensive, frayed and made me look fat. And then I realised something. There was nothing wrong with the clothes at all. It was me. I did buy a nice top though.

I also saw Victoria Wood walking past Selfridges. She was in disguise but the big, dark glasses couldn't hide the fact that it was definitely her.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Grand Central

If you've been following this blog for a while, you'll know that I'm fond of train travel (exhibits A, B and C) but not so keen on the tube (A, B and C).

Anyway, ever since I moved to London over seven years ago there's been talk of a rail link from Sunderland direct to London without the inconvenience of changing at Newcastle. I waited months, years, and have now been on my first rail journey from that London to up north in one easy swoop courtesy of Grand Central trains. There's only three trains a day at the moment, bless them, but they're friendly and cheap and best of all, go straight from where you are to where you want to be without having to go through that place where no self respecting Mackem ever wants to lay foot. Thank you very much, Grand Central trains. I'll be using you again.

Coronation Street Weekly Update

I've been writing Coronation Street weekly updates since 1995 and this week's Coronation Street update has just gone live here.

This week the update wonders where Weatherfield Barbie's gone.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Summer Jollies 2008

Back from a wonderful holiday in Portugal where I devoured the following books and heartily recommend them all.

Bare Faced Lies and Boogie Woogie Boasts by Jools Holland
A great autobiography of one of the nicest men in the music biz. There wasn't enough scandal or gossip, though. 8/10.

Michael Tolliver Lives by Armistead Maupin
If you were in Portugal and saw a lady of a certain age in tears as she turned the last page of this book, that was me. A fantastic read. 10/10

The Importance of Music to Girls by Lavinia Greenlaw
An autobiography of an ordinary girl written through the music soundtrack to her life. Interesting but not great with a cover that promised more than the book delivered. 7/10

What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
A fantastic first novel and well deserved winner of the Costa award. Highly recommended even if it did take two days and a nightmare to get over it. 9/10

45 by Bill Drummond
What's not to enjoy in the autobiography of the lead singer of the KLF and the guy who burned a million quid? A wonderful read with more gossip than Jools Holland dished out in his book. 9/10

Spook Country by William Gibson
The godfather of cyberpunk does it again. His female heroines are the best. A cracking story, loved it to bits. "A masterpiece" said the Guardian review. I agree. 9.5/10

Worldwide Adventures in Love by Louise Wener
The author was the lead singer with Sleeper and she's now a cracking novellist. Her finest to date, it had me in bits at the end. 9/10

The Paradise Trail by Duncan Campbell
The author is a Guardian journalist and this is his first novel. I started reading this story about hippies, journalists and murder on the plane journey home and so far, so very good indeed. Looks set to be at least 8.5/10.

Friday, September 12, 2008

On me jollies

I've gone where the sun shines brightly
I've gone where the sea is blue
I've seen pictures of it on flickr
Now let's see if it's true
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