All 3 entries tagged Sam West

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November 04, 2005

Much Ado About Sam West

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Faithful readers may recall, somewhere back in the mists of time, I confessed my first love to the world. And upon reading that this man had, somehow, in fifteen years, managed to reach even greater heights than the prow of the Dawn Treader, and could be seen in Sheffield in one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, there was nothing else to do but to rush off to Sheffield with precipate haste (well, waiting until Reading Week, and until I'd checked with my lovely friend in Sheffield that it was all right to descend upon her sofa for the night) to see him in the flesh. It was also semi-course-related and therefore a completely justifiable use of my student loan, naturally. I may even use it in an essay, just to prove a point.

And all went to plan. The play was pretty good, he was even better, and I had a fantastic night out with someone I hadn't seen for a while. So why oh dear, you may ask?

Well, the problem is this: Sam West is still attractive, and he really shouldn't be. I was thinking that I would have my expectations dashed by the fact he isn't quite as youthful as he was when he was wearing his plastic gold helmet, feel a little disappointed, and then console myself by returning to my Narnia tapes and thinking of better days. However, this didn't happen. Fifteen years have passed; I am twenty not five; he must be approaching forty; and he's still a very fine figure of a man, in my eyes. (At least he was once he took off the fake moustache he was wearing for much of the first act, which was not a good look.) And I suppose it didn't help that I've been in love with Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing since reading the play at age thirteen – a double whammy of impressionableness. It was then I started thinking, and realised that most actors I fancy are at least mid-thirties. He that is less than a man is not for me, apparently.

It seems I must accept the inevitable. I appear to have something of An Older Man Thing. What is even more worrying is that older men appear to have a little bit of a me thing, from time to time. This has led me into some rather interesting situations, including accidentally almost aiding and abetting a midlfe crisis on a train. Oh dear indeed. How will this fadge?

Hmm. Maybe it will all resolve itself quite happily, so by the time I'm thirty, I'll still be eyeing up thirty year olds and the balance will be restored. Just as long as it doesn't horrifically backfire, and I then become one of these shameless seventy-year-old women with pancake make-up who run around pinching young men's bottoms. And before you argue that such people don't exist, I will cite my wonderful train experience again and simply say I could tell you a tale of a journey with a Mrs Robinson From Hell.

In the meantime, the only conclusion I can draw is I still wouldn't say no to Samuel West. Come and kiss me sweet-and-twenty, indeed.

(Oh yes, and the Sheffield Crucible is bizarrely reminiscent of the Warwick Arts Centre. Make of that what you will.)

July 17, 2005

Massacre in the swimming pool

I am not best known for my maternal feelings. My attitude to children in general could probably be summed up in a sentence as 'Ahh, that's nice… keep it away from me, please.' Don't get me wrong, I have no aversion to children as a species; I'll hold sleeping babies quite happily until they wake up and start drooling/spitting/crying/peeing/projectile vomiting, and the odd spot of babysitting if a child hasn't had too many E numbers/is feeling like they want to go on a doll dismembering spree is fine. However, anything that involves closer contact than that is liable to send me running for the hills, or at least finding a happy place in my head to visit until the trauma is past. I would even go so far to say that the noise of children playing is actually a pleasant background noise, as long as you're not close enough to realise that they're actually vicious little bastards shouting 'die! die! die!' at each other.

To sum up, I do appreciate the need for their existence, as long as they don't have to exist too near me.

So imagine my distress, gentle reader, to arrive at the local swimming pool to find it teeming with foam floats, abandoned goggles, and children clonking each other over the head with punctured arm bands, screaming. It was kind of like an 17th century sea battle in minature without the attractive men in boots and britches – or maybe that's just because I've been exposed to too much Hornblower recently*. It was Sunday morning at the swimming pool. I should have realised. I felt the way I did when I was travelling home at the perilous hour of 3.40pm, and a whole school of year 9s with dripping fizzy drinks and not enough deodorant swarmed the bus.

I should have admitted defeat then and there. I should have just turned round, gone back out dry and safe, and pretended that my swimsuit was actually just the newest haute couture in gym wear. But I didn't. Like a small fisherman desperate to get home to feed his family in the middle of a great sea battle, I took a deep breath and entered the fray.

I managed a length. I passed a boy forcibly drowning his sister by the pigtails, three girls trying to board an enemy float, two howling babies being thrown in the air by their fathers, and also successfully avoided being kicked by a multitude of flailing limbs, though I had a number of near misses. When I got to the end of the pool, one father spending quality time with a little girl also tried what I think was a chat up line** but then his daughter tried to strangle him with a pair of goggles and I made my escape, to the bubbling sanity of the 'over 18s ONLY' jacuzzi, which, unsurprisingly, was completely deserted.

So, from my private throne, I watched in safety the massacre that followed, kind of like Queen Elizabeth viewing her armada (am I taking this analogy a little far? I think so). I left before the midday whistle and the body count could begin, and the mothers who had desperately tried to keep their hair dry and failed started to drag their offspring from the scene of the incident.

So, the moral of the story? Don't go swimming on a Sunday morning. Children are vicious. And a leetle bit evil and scary.

However, they can also be lovely and charming, and when my friends start reproducing this will be my official line. I also have a horrible suspicion that one day, when my biological clock has done a few more turns, I too will develop a doe-eyed smile, and will become one of those surveying the massacre and surrendering my hairdo with the patient and gentle resignation of one who loves children.


*Ioan Gruffudd and Sam "you will always be Caspian to me" West in the same period drama. Does it get any better, I ask you? Robert Lindsay was also in it, if that's what floats your boat+.

** On me. Not the little girl. Because that would just be wrong. Not that him hitting on me wasn't slightly odd. Why do I always seem to end up in these situations?

+ Horrible pun. Not intended. I apologise.

March 08, 2005

Thought I'd share too…

Writing about Due to popular demand from My name is Layla, I'm not a showgirl

All right, so I never felt like that about the fox in Robin Hood. For one thing, he was a fox. For another thing, green really isn't my colour. But seeing as Layla has seen fit to confess her first crush to the world, it makes mine look normal in comparison, and it was…

Caspian, in the 1989 BBC adaptation of the Chronicles of Narnia (i.e 20 year old Sam West, skipping round in doublet and hose and a big shiny gold helmet). Graced with such costars as a giant fluffy mouse with an earring and a couple of chubby kids straight from drama school, how could he fail to look good? He was the king, I tell you, the king, and he ruled over his clunky polysterene ship with a wonderful authority and a shiny plastic sword. Whether facing monsters made out of cardboard and stickyback plastic, or giving his all to the wooden dialogue he was given, he was the king.

But alas, his story has as tragic an end as that of Robin and Layla's – after six weeks of swaggering round in tights,within two minutes of screen time he wooed and married a lurex wearing fairy with the worst eighties hairdo in the world, and the last I ever saw of him was sipping out of a goblet evidently fashioned from empty washing up bottles, and trying not to get entangled in the mass of frizz as he kissed his bride.

And there endeth my sad tale.

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