Discover my sagas and cosy crimes

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Coronation Street Weekly Update, January 24 2011

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 says "Nighty Night, petal."

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Girl who went to the pictures

To the flicks this week to see the final film adapated from the Steig Larsson trilogy: "Girl with the dragon tattoo / Girl who played with fire / Girl who kicked the hornets' nest."

Having loved the novels, now I've seen all three films in their original Swedish with English sub-titles, I've got closure. All of them read, all of them seen, all of them enjoyed a huge amount.

It's hard to know how the Hollywood versions of the three films, currently in production, will beat these Swedish originals as they've been so damn good and true to the books.  Actress Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander will be impossible to beat.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Personal pebbles

Growing up in a British coastal village, summer sunny days at the beach were the norm.  The beach was sand and shingle with some large, smooth, white rocks at one end that my brother and I nicknamed Polar Bear Island. I can't remember why and we never saw any.  At the beach, after egg and sand sandwiches, warm lemonade and a splash in the freezing north sea, I became fascinated by, and collected, the small glass pebbles that littered the shore.

My favourite colours were the turquoise and the pinks but I just as easily loved the navy blues, the transparent ones and even the dull brown and greens. Pebbles collected on the beach would end up in an old, clean, marmalade jar that I kept by my bed so I could wake up and marvel at the colours, shapes and sizes of this wonderful glass. I know, I was a dreamer as a child. I think I still am. I also kept another marmalade jar with ladybirds in it, but that's another story, and yes, there were airholes in the lid and things for them to eat.

Anyway, my fascination with glass as a creative medium and art form springs from picking those pebbles off a north-east beach on the edge of a pit village. I adore glass art and when I'm up in Sunderland I always try to pop into the National Glass Centre to see what's going on and what's new in the shop. 

On my last visit there I went a bit woah! There were pebbles for sale, made into jewellry and art, only there were calling it seaglass. Seaglass? Never heard of it! They're pebbles, surely?  But seaglass it is. It's doing a roaring trade and it's not exactly cheap. I've just spent too much on a pair of pebble ear-rings and it's made me more than keen to start collecting again next time I'm on a beach. And this time I'll keep the pebbles in an empty, clean, marmalade jar by the side of my bed until I move back up north, back when I'm near the Glass Centre again, where I'l take my treasure to someone who knows about these things. Someone who'll help me make my very own jewellry from the jewels I find. Problem is, with so much glass recycling going on these days, will there be any seaglass pebbles left?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


A good bandstand is great, isn't it? It cheers the soul and brightens the heart, especially when there's a band playing in it. Even empty ones have a joy of their own.

Some of the best bandstands I've seen were in Ostend, Belgium where there was a brass band playing on the bandstand in the market in the middle of town. Shoppers bought fruit and veg and oversized pants from the market stalls to the sounds of the band. 

And another Ostend bandstand in the beautiful Leopoldpark was the stage for commuity salsa dancing on a Friday night. Bandstands, they're magic.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Coronation Street Weekly Update, January 17 2011

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 has gone all Sound of Music as it waves so long, farewell, to Claire Peacock.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mad Men

Santa Claus brought me Mad Men series 1 for Christmas just gone. Series 2 was ordered post-haste and Series 3 is on its way this week.

I haven't enjoyed a TV programme so much since this one.

Although this one, is the only TV programme I've ever thought worth paying the telly licence for.

Rock around the clock

I'm having trouble sleeping. Major trouble sleeping. And it's because every night for the past 10 days, I've woken up at exactly:

And then when I do eventually go back to sleep I wake up again at exactly:

And when I say exactly, I mean exactly. I'm waking up every single morning at 1.00am and 3.00am on the flaming dot.

I wish it would stop 'cos I'm tired.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Coronation Street Weekly Update, January 10 2011

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 loves the Renshaw twins.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

When We Are Married, Garrick Theatre

To the thee-ay-ter this week to see JB Priestley's When We Are Married.

A stellar cast included some of the best comedy actors in the country- Roy Hudd, Maureen Lipman, Susie Blake, Lynda Baron, Michele Dotrice, Sam Kelly - all on stage at the same time.


Thursday, January 06, 2011

Me Cheeta by James Lever

Highly recommending another book: Me Cheeta by James Lever.

You're never quite sure what it is. Is it a novel? Is it a spoof? But one thing's for certain, it's a fabulous read. 

If Blanche Hunt from Corrie was a monkey, she'd have written this book.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Coronation Street Weekly Update, January 3 2011

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 reckons it was Mrs Peacock with the frying pan in the back yard.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Echo Beach

After more than two weeks holiday, I'm right looking forward to getting back to the five days a week travelling to work on an under the ground metal tube to spend eight hours a day grind of staring at a computer screen that gives me migraines and sore eyes.

Never mind, look on the bright side. It's only 20 years till I can retire.

PS: If you're not sure why I've chosen those two words for this blog post's title, listen up.

There are some things you can't cover up with lipstick and powder

A while ago I blogged The Second Worst Gig of My Life.  And in that blog post,  I said that the worst gig of my life was another blog post for another time. Now is that blog post. Now is that time. Well, you know, there's nothing on telly and I'm at a loose end.

So the worst gig of my life was going to see Dave Edmunds, whose music I've always loved.

And the reason for the award of worst gig of my life is simply this. He came on stage and sang each song as if he couldn't be bothered. He also sang them all way, way too fast, as if he not only wanted to get off stage as fast as he could but that he really didn't want to be there in the first place. Which perhaps, he didn't.

See also, the legend who is Nick Lowe

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Green shoots of recovery

Woke up New Years Day without a hangover or even a hint of a bad head so have spent much of the morning in our garden, cutting back, pruning, tidying, sweeping.  And there in the pots of bulbs we'd planted months ago are the first signs of spring.

I took this picture especially to send to my niece who, after months of chemotherapy is winning her battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She kicks off her 2011 with a a month of intensive radiotherapy, but just as these bulbs shoot and grow, by the time they're in flower, she will be well once again.
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