Category Archives: TV World

3BT – 31st July

Possibly more than three

1. Went to see Carlos Acosta at The Coliseum. Was somewhat nervous by the reviews and, although it could have done with “more dancing”, I really enjoyed it. Although agreed with the critic (sorry can’t find the link) who said it could/should have been staged at the Tate Modern.

2. Hated what I was wearing yesterday. You know when you just put something on and it grows progressively more grim as the day goes on? Well, I felt so lucky that I could just pop to Hennes, buy a £12 top and feel instantly more human. Also bought a pair of shoes which weren’t entirely on the agenda but are lovely and I have bought a pair of lovely shoes until last October which is actually QUITE A LONG TIME  (well for me).

3. British athletes being fab, especially the beautiful Jessica Ennis and the passionate Mo Farrar.

4. Eating delicious food hand delivered from my parents garden (even though it’s nearly 100 miles away). And transforming courgettes (which are normally watery and a bit bleurgh) thanks to a recipe from the lovely Ruth and Rose – page 155 of The River Cafe Blue Book.

5. Sondheim at the Proms. There are few words apart from Judi Dench rocks.

6. The power of Twitter and this week’s story about Clare Balding.

7. Newly clean curtains and windows (although they need to drop about an inch – the curtains not the windows).

8. A spurt of ridiculously early morning energy counterbalanced by an afternoon nap.


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I know…I have neglected featherduster…I also have neglected my need for introspection and general self-indulgence.

I have been busy but honestly not too busy to blog. I’ve just lost the connection with being able to express myself which is sad because I’ve had so much interesting stuff going on.

I’ve been on holiday:

– Hong Kong/Vietnam – wow! Amazing holiday discovering amazing things and having a completely wonderful time.

– Marrakech – dry long weekend, beer at the airport as our flight home was delayed almost wiped me out (worrying effect of four days without booze, am I really such a lush?). Good fun exploring.

– Portugal – first trip back to hubby’s motherland since we were in the middle of marriage meltdown. Parts of it felt odd. But much sun and seafood saw off most problems!

I’ve seen films – loads of films. Mostly all good.

Read tons of books – I love my e-reader. Really enjoyed the Stieg Larsson trilogy. Much more than I thought I would. Tried to read something Twilight-ish. I just don’t get it which left me feeling rather old.

Watched Lost including getting up at 4.30 to catch the last episode. I was – on the whole – satisfied.

Had a dismal World Cup – England’s performance rather mirrored the success of my supporting record. However lots of Spanish people are happy and they’re generally a nation given to over-exuberance which is joyful when you come across them as I did last night. Waiting outside Tate Modern for my date and a group of Spanish students just sang for about half an hour. It really was fun (luckily they left before date turned up as he of the other Iberian persuasion and no love is lost).

Was mugged. At gun point. About 50 feet from my house. Not entirely pleasant. However, the police have been fantastic and I’ve met a whole new lot of neighbours which has been brilliant.

I have been tweeting and Facebooking but this is the thing: Twitter is for work, Facebook is for friends, Featherduster is for…well me largely, and – generally – I don’t like to mix my online presences.

Every single paragraph has started with “I” or a verb where I’ve just decided to omit the “I” because if I was proofreading this copy, I’d be attacking it with a red pen for starting all the paragraphs in the same way. Hmmm…am I just on the biggest ego trip known to the blogosphere? My busy-ness has been partly borne out of the usual problem of not being able to say “no” and partly self-induced. Friday nights are usually my home alone time (I am obviously officially old) but have veered towards an Ocado order and cooking enough for a small village (or enough food for a fortnight and then some in my case) whilst polishing off rather too much wine (see Marrakech…Houston we may have a problem). Why have I been avoiding myself or my blog? In blog terms, probably because I thought I ought to come back with something really interesting or important but didn’t feel I could muster anything sufficiently worthy. In terms of myself – just neglect.

Part of the reason I’ve been feeling proper feelings and stuck with my own thoughts recently is that I’ve had laryngitis for nearly six weeks. 40 days of virtually no voice. No speaking on the phone, ridiculous amounts of time off work, no meetings, no presentations, attempted conversations only to have to give up after a couple of minutes in pain and exasperation. Increasing frustration of everyone around me (but, I’m fairly convinced, nothing compared to my own frustration). Hospital next week – who knows?

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Filed under Africa, Books, Films, Football fever, Getting away from it all, Health, TV World

Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey*

Why is it that time speeds up the older you get? I can genuinely say that I have NO IDEA where the past two months have gone. On the whole I have been having a highly enjoyable time but it’s been at such a fast place that there has been precisely no time to stop and smell the roses which is a shame because I have quite a lot of gratitude going on about ‘stuff’ but the fact there aren’t at least 28 hours in every day, means that it’s zipping in and out of my life without any record.

And fast approaching is the THING. The birthday THING. The “I can’t even talk about it” birthday THING (except of course I have, just now, just here). If anyone has any advice on how to deal with extraordinarily unbelievable birthday milestones, please let me know…

* actually just an excuse to include a clip from my favouritest ever Dr Who episode

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Oh but i don’t want to give Mr Murdoch anymore money

I do have a video and I do know how to use it but, mysteriously (I don’t think), the video and the Sky box don’t like talking to each other. Plus you can only record what you watch (hmmm…bloody useless). So tonight I want to watch Secret Millionaire and the twins programme and I don’t seem to be able to manage it. I think this is a con.

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Cultural stuff

I’ve been rather out and about this week (coupled with one of the worst bouts of insomnia known to mankind, it did lead to a rather teary disintegration at one point but hey ho!). Highlights included a talk by Tracey Emin launching her book of drawings. Now I must confess I am not the biggest ‘modern art’ fan, I don’t get a lot of it (the couple of times I’ve visited The Tate Modern I’ve had to leave because I felt sick and dizzy, I tend to get on much better with Tate Britain), and don’t really know Tracey Emin’s work. However, I really really enjoyed the evening. She was so interesting and the way she speaks about things is really powerful. She said if she could only work in one medium, she would write and I certainly found her words more powerful than the art bit. So that was very enligtening.

The other highlight was going to see Rigoletto last night at The  ENO. I’ve seen this production before and loved it and second time around it had lost none of its charm. Unfortunately I was sat next to the fidgetiest woman in the world and was filled with horror as several people decided to hum and la along to La Donna e Mobile – argh! Despite this, it’s a marvellous production (made even better for me as we only paid £3 a ticket – hurrah!).

Not quite in the same cultural league but taking up rather a lot of my attention is True Blood. Only on series one in the UK and it took a few episodes to get going but now I seem to be caught up in a rollercoaster of sex, weirdness, sex, blood and oh did I mention the sex?! It’s fabulous Friday night fodder (although inevitably end up having to record it because it clashes with something else – Peep Show at the moment).

And finally…I read 1984 this week. It’s me on my ‘List of Books I Ought to Read’ for ages which always fills me with slight trepidation because Books I Ought to Read and Books I Want to Read do not necessarily marry up. However I LOVED it. Not entirely sure why I loved it so much, I obviously just hit it at the right time in the right mood. Found it totally scary and gripping. Wondered why on earth I haven’t read it before.

Apparently the next stop on this cultural adventure is Zombieland…well I’m nothing if not ecelctic!

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Of Aliens and Social Cleansing

Television has been a bit blah recently. Apart from the excellent third series of Dexter, there has been little to keep me tuned in…until last week when the BBC decided to strand Torchwood across five whole nights. I had my doubts. Largely because I pretty much hate anything that runs across a whole week as I invariably can’t watch all the episodes and have to rely on a somewhat retro video (I refuse to donate any more money to Mr Murdoch for Sky +). Anyway, as luck would have it the technology held out so I was able to catch up with the final three episodes over the weekend and OMG! It was pretty awesome.

Torchwood is – on the whole – a pretty daft programme. John Barrowman camping it up in his swishy army surplus coat, lots of Welsh accents (I’m sorry, they just make me giggle – in a good way I hasten to add) and the fact that no one in Cardiff seems to have really noticed the bloody great rift running through it from which various alien life forms emerge (makes me wonder what an average night out in Cardiff is actually like). So we settled down to daftness and yes there was Captain Jack swishing along, there were the amusing gay jokes, there were the comedy Rhys moments when the poor lamb really doesn’t have a clue. Better and better there were weirdy aliens communicating through the earth’s children – all very scary and marvellous. We even got the obligatory killing of Captain Jack. Given that Torchwood isn’t afraid of killing off some of its main characters, there is an underlying fear that one of the intrepid team might go the way of Owen or Tosh (and indeed – without giving too much away for those who haven’t seen it yet – there is one of those moments in Children of Earth). But not Captain Jack – oh no – because we he cannot die and we have seen him at the end of the universe when he’s the Face of Bo.

But in this series, Torchwood got very grown up; asking booming social questions and getting that emotional engagement just right.

Anyway, I don’t want to give away the plot because I really would urge anyone who hasn’t seen it to try and find it. The story is a ripping good yarn with a really sinister undertone courtesy of the British Government ( it does make you think how you would make the choice – which is actually even more disturbing). What I really love though is Russell T Davies’s sharp characterisations (the Prime Minister who makes Pontius Pilate look like someone who really took responsibility in a difficult situation) and the humour that runs throughout (the US getting extraordinarily uppity that aliens had chosen Britain was priceless).

Torchwood, Children of Earth hasn’t quite justified my licence fee (I cannot forgive any organisation that takes one fraction on one penny of my licence fee and spends in on Total Wipeout), but it has reminded me that the BBC makes bloody good drama from time to time. Hurrah!

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Obviously I don’t…

…have swine flu but I do have the achiest bones, the poorliest tummy and a very annoying cough. ‘Tis highly distressing and the only upside is getting to watch crappy daytime TV. However my brain also seems to have turned to mush and I can’t concentrate on anything. Even the plot of ‘Murder She Wrote’ has eluded my mental capacity.
I’m not good at being ill. I get far too grumpy.

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Filed under Getting away from it all, Life, TV World