Discover my sagas and cosy crimes

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coronation Street Weekly Update, November 28 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 in Corrie, a little scene with Rita just about broke my heart.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Balls to Christmas

It's that time of year so I shouldn't be too surprised that I've gone through it again. I blog about it every year too.

In Mid-November I have a hissy fit and go into bah-humbug mode about not wanting to get caught up in the commercialism and cynicism of Christmas.

And then, before you know it, it's almost December and I've done all me shopping and planning to go out and buy a tree up this weekend.

It's like I have to go through that grumpy patch to get to the good stuff. Mind you, I still hate the commercialism and could well do without it. But I do love the good stuff, the family stuff, the food and the drink stuff, the watching telly stuff, going out stuff, being off work stuff. And it's all that I'll concentrate on this Christmas, as always.

Warning - contains strong language and sexual reference

Giving this a blog plug as my brother is Director. It's Alan Ayckbourn's must unusual and funny play - Awaking Beauty. And it's being shown in Sunderland every Saturday and Sunday during December 2011 at the Infinity Theatre Restauarant - well worth a night out to support local theatre.

Join us for a brilliant night of festive entertainment. A Christmas three course dinner, and an excellent musical show written by Alan Ayckbourn.

Ever wondered what happened to Sleeping Beauty as she was woken up in the 21st century? Come along for a brilliantly fun entertaining evening. Tickets cost £24.95 inc. show and 3 course meal


◦A scrumptious 3-course Christmas dinner
◦An entertaining festive show, (Tue, Wed, Thu: “Selection Box” – Fri, Sat: “Awaking Beauty”)
◦A star prize for one lucky ticket holder on the night (prizes inc. a PS3, X-Box 360, Nintendo Wii, Mountain Bike, iPod, etc.)
◦Runners-up prizes
◦Special offers on drinks
◦Aftershow disco
£24.95pp for a super night out including a 3-course meal!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Selling the scent of Christmas

It's coming up to Christmas and the telly ads have started. I have a sort of love/hate relationship with Christmas telly ads. Not the ones for sherry and chocolates, for jumpers and games. It's the ads for perfume and aftershaves I have the problem with. Both sell a hyper-realistic femininity and masculinity that only ever appears in ads for scent, and only ever at Christmas. A flight of stairs and a wind machine are usually involved.

So let's cut the crap and tell it like it is. Perfume and aftershave won't make you  more desirable, even at Christmas. If you're lucky, they might make you smell nice, that's all.

Anyway, while Googling for an image to use on this post, I came across a facebook group I'll blog here too. It's called "Angered by Christmas Perfume Ads" so I guess I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Coronation Street Weekly Update, November 21 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 in Corrie Lloyd cried, and cried, and cried.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coronation Street Weekly Update, November 14 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 in Corrie Schmeichel died.

Friday, November 11, 2011

More books I read on holiday

Just back from a week in the sun where in between some quality sightseeing, lazing, eating and drinking I got through a few books.

I love autobiographies because I enjoy reading about the private lives of public people.  Therefore, I especially bought for this holiday a book that I'd wanted to read for a very long time. It was Bill Tarmey's autobiography, Jack Duckworth and Me.  The Coronation Street actor's book wasn't what I expected, however, and I've blogged about it in depth at the Coronation Street Blog.

Another light and fluffy life story I read was Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel-Horwood's autobiography, All Balls and Glitter. Quite interesting but nowhere near enough backstage gossip from Strictly as I would have liked (and to be honest, what I bought the book for).

Onto more weighty work with the release of a hidden gem from 1928, Patrick Hamilton's Twopence Coloured. It's been released by Faber Finds and if you've read any of his work before, then you must read this one too.  It's about a young woman from Brighton who tries, succeeds and then fails, in her quest to Become Someone on the London Stage.  Wonderful book.

And then I read The Slap by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas. This is a book that I'd picked off the shelf in Waterstones loads of times, reckoned it was going to be middle-class angst over whether one should or not slap a child, and then I'd always put it back on the shelf, dismissing it.  But this time I didn't put it back and it was well worth a read.  The Slap of course, isn't what the book is about in the end and as it's set in Australia was a great deal more interesting than I had first thought it might be.  A good read.

Finally I started on Skippy Dies by Paul Murray which I'm still reading now and enjoying a lot. It reminds me of John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meaney in it's style, so far, and it's set in a boy's boarding school in Dublin.  So far, so good.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Coronation Street Weekly Update, October 31 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 in Corrie John Stape died.

Truth about Tripadvisor

Very interesting TV programme last night about Tripadvisor reviewers who 'destroy' the livelihoods of small hoteliers and resaturanteurs by posting damaging reviews.

I watched and enjoyed the programme because I'm a big fan of Tripadvisor and have used it for many years, reading and writing hotel reviews each time I go on holiday or a short break.  But although I watched and enjoyed the programme I didn't agree with it all.  It tried to give Tripadvisors a bad name but there are hundreds of thousands of us who use it responsibly and what exactly is wrong with putting an opinion online when you're paying hard-earned cash for a business service you deem to be lacking?

But anyway, I try always to use Tripadvisor responsibly, For instance,  I have recently stayed in two mediocre B&Bs, which were run by their owners. I could have nitpicked about both of them on Tripadvisor but because I knew that they were small places, livelihoods of their owners, I didn't post a review on Tripadvisor at all using the adage that if you have nothing good to say, say nothing. I could have put a snarky review about both B&Bs as neither of them were great and there was room for improvement in both, but it would have ben very unfair to the owners, whose life depends on getting customers in.  I just won't go back or recommend them to friends.

However, last week I stayed in a big, posh hotel where the service was abyssmal and I did post on tripadvisor about that one. Big, corporate hotels are fair game, especially when they're charging up to £200 per night and offering all sorts of promises on their website that they fail to live up to, and indeed, this one came mightily close to helping ruin the most special day of my life.  It was the first negative review I've ever posted to Tripadvisor and I actually felt guilty afterwards but it had to be done.

Anyway, I really do like Tripadvisor and will continue to use it, always, responsibly.
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