All entries for August 2006

August 16, 2006

I've been Big Brothered

It's happened. Every year I swear it won't but eventually I can't just say no.

This year I was doing so, so well, even managing to read a magazine round my friend's house whilst she was succumbing to its malign influence. Then at the weekend, so near and yet so so far, I cracked. I watched Big Brother, swallowed all the hype and … I'm planning on watching the final on Friday when I'm visiting my family for the weekend.

The first Big Brother final, back when the programme was billed as a psychological experiment for the new millennium (yeah right, that's why C4 gave the contestants lots of booze and encouraged them to indulge in a spot of naked body painting on the house walls) I watched the first final with my dad. It was new, it had been trailed to the hilt and, in a sugar–coated postscript, the winner Craig the builder (remember him?) gave his winnings to his friend with downs syndrome for a heart operation.

Then, as the series and years passed by, the contestants became more and more outlandish and clued up, and the tasks and tone became more and more cruel. Cue Davina having to whisk ousted housemates past booing and baying crowds.

Series became longer to try and hold interest and attract more high–paying advertisers in the breaks to target the 'yoof' market. But still I watched nearing the end of the series – it kept on reeling me in.

This year I swore it would be different. My lapse at the weekend came about because my friend was visiting and we switched the telly on for five minutes, only to become embroiled in the Nikki/Pete love story saga. Which frankly got rather boring after yet more footage of them clamped together in a clinch.

But still I want to find out who wins, although Pete seems a dead cert. My friend and I wasted ten minutes trying to remember who the winners of the previous Big Brothers were. Here goes: Craig, Nadia, Cameron the Scottish fisherman, Kate Lawler, Antony and er … wasn't there a guy who went on to present children's TV?

August 06, 2006

Blood, guts and rhyming couplets

Last night I went to see Henry VI part III at The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford. The Courtyard opened in July and is an intimate yet deceptively spacious venue with something that the main theatre lacked – comfy seats. Not that my attention wavered for very long during the performance. It was riveting. The visual imagery and direction (particularly of the fight scenes) were stark and arresting, with the audience able to follow the relatively complicated and fast–moving plot.

Jonathan Slinger's portrayal of Richard III to be provided some comic moments, with nuances of the 'Suits you sir' Fast Show sketches. Despite the laughs however, in a story full of vengeance and violence with trails of blood swept around the stage, it was his character that brooded with the most menace.

August 04, 2006

Taking the Dyson for a walk

I've just finished taking the Dyson for a walk round my flat as part of my cleaning sesh. Luckily my flat is so bijou that I can hoover the whole square footage without having to relocate to a different plug. My dabble with domesticity (I've scrubbed the floors and done the dusting too) is in honour of my friend's visit tomorrow. She hasn't seen my flat before and I'm taking her to see a play at Stratford as part of her birthday present.

This weekend bodes well for me not ending up looking like a complete berk, as happened a few weekends ago before my last visitors arrived. My friends from a previous job, who I meet up with about once a year, were coming to see stay for the weekend. My friend Fiona and I had emailed each other to sort out the plans. On the Friday evening I got a text from a strange number saying they would be late. So I rang Fiona's number and got a comedy, breathy voiced 'sorry I'm not able to take your call right now' answerphone message. A few minutes later I rang back and the call picked up.

Except it wasn't Fiona, it was a man who said 'Are you the person who has been sending strange texts for months and saying something about camping?" he said.

"You're not Fiona, you're a man!" I replied.

"Yes" he said.

"We're not camping, she needs to bring a sleeping bag for my sofabed" I garbled. "Have I got the wrong number in my phone? Sorry, I'll delete it. Bye!"

And then Fiona rang me again on the strange number that was her real mobile phone number. Turns out when I changed mobile phones last August I'd entered her number in incorrectly. She said she'd thought it odd that she hadn't heard that much from me for the last year. I said I felt like a complete berk.

Still, at least a good weekend was eventually had by all. And the man with the comedy answerphone message knows he hasn't really got a text stalker…

August 2006

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