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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Who's left?

I try and be sophisticated. I try and make it sound like I lead an interesting life and then it comes to this and all I can really form an opinion about is X Factor. Is it some form of defence to say that I watched it at midnight after actually being out and socialising with people? I’ve got it down to a fine art. I can watch an episode in about twenty minutes. Fast forward all the pre-performance VTs. You know the ones...Little Mix went to a film premiere this week, coincidently so did Marcus, if you are truly hanging on the edge of your seat, wondering what Misha has been up to this week then I can only assume you are the type of person who is genuinely frightened by a Jack in the Box. Next fast forward most of the judge’s comments, it’s worth having a brief look at Louis to see if he loses the plot again and calls someone ‘A little Lenny Henry’ or ‘the next Su Pollard’ but the rest you can whizz through. Gary won’t like it, Kelly will burble incomprehensibly with her caps lock on and Tulisa will try and be serious about the music, which when someone has performed a mash up of Justin Beiber and the Supremes is a bit like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube.

Oh and Janet went, she went. Sure she’s a lovely girl but she was slightly squashed in a competition where she was forced to yelp everything in exactly the same way. If forced to sing something which had a vaguely faster tempo she would forget the words. Or in the case of MmmBop dry heave all the way through it. She shouldn’t have held back, the sound of her retching and vomit splattering across the stage would have been nicer than what actually was broadcast. You don’t need the X Factor Janet, stick to your style and if anyone forces you to dance or sing the Jackson 5, heave on them.

So there are four left and they now have to sing two songs each week. Which is great news for the dancers of Britain as it seems that Marcus requires at least 40 people to do a bouncy walk behind him as he struts diagonally across the stage leading to a slight knee bend in front of the waiting camera. I presume he has it written in to his contract that he must be allowed to recreate the dances from West Side story regardless of theme.

Misha, I am would like to tell you about Misha but I was distracted by her one freaky fingernail. What is it for? It must be a nightmare for her to put moisturiser on. It must all get caught under there and she has to spend hours scooping it out. The costume budget must have gone down as well. The first week she had a crown and a throne and an Alice in Wonderland costume made out of newspapers. This week she was in a pair of Primark leggings. Next week she’ll be in her pyjamas and carry the props on stage herself.

Little Mix were dressed as diner waitresses this week because.... well just because. One day I hope these girls will be allowed to have some production money to buy some new shoes rather than being forced to wear trainers every week regardless of the rest of the outfit. It reminds me of a party I went to at junior school. What I was wearing didn’t go with my school shoes, my trainers were caked in mud and so my mum and me had a very serious conversation about whether slippers or wellies would be more appropriate. Slippers won. So I went to a party in a lovely outfit and bunny slippers.

Who’s the fourth? Oh Amelia. Not a good sign that I forgot her. She is unique as she is allowed a second name. She is Amelia Lily and the candy floss hair is slowly fading. She had to sing right in to someone’s face on Saturday. Which was as awkward as it sounds. Amelia can sing and she has a journey – she was in, then she was out, then she was back. Perhaps she should sing the hokey cokey whilst biting back tears to sum up her journey.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Lights, camera, action

I need to unpack. My suitcase from Norway is sprawled open on my bedroom floor with only the necessities taken out of it. I keep meaning to deal with the rest but I spent most of my time in thermals and horrible jumpers and so if they are not immediately washed then it doesn’t really affect me (although it was jolly cold this morning). I then followed up my jaunt to the fjords with a hen night and so have just loaded another unpacked bag on top of the other. It’s getting to the stage where it might be easier to move...at least I’m already packed.

But... I saw the lights, I saw the lights, I saw the lights. As experiences go, standing on a beach well inside the Arctic circle at 2am, drinking coffee and warmed by a campfire whilst the sky goes mental ranks up there with the best of memories. There are no words to describe it. I am going to attempt to add a photo to this post (first photo of the blog) but even that doesn’t truly represent how amazing it was. I’ve been hankering after seeing the lights for years now and been on several trips and if anything this has only fuelled the fire. I am thinking Canada next.

I would also like to go back to Norway although I would possibly plan my trip a little better. This trip was booked on a whim during an incredibly stressful day at work when I gave in to ‘let’s just run away and leave this town behind’ feelings and abused the credit card. I possibly didn’t do my research properly and work out that the only thing to do where I was staying was see the lights. Even the woman in the tourist information looked at me aghast when I said I was there for four days and said ‘What are you going to do?’ Well the answer to that is walk a lot, become incredibly confused by there only being three hours of daylight (which was more twilight) and on one strange day walk an hour to go to a museum which was all about... well I’m not too sure what it was about, it didn’t really seem themed. Luckily it was free. Unluckily I was the only person in there and was watched the whole time by the five members of staff who were drinking coffee. Therefore rather than walking straight back out again I spent an hour reading about Russian ship workers and (my favourite) ‘The Amazing Story of Ivan Ibalokvik’s Suitcase’. I read all about Ivan’s sisters life. All about his brother’s lives. I learnt nothing about Ivan and his suitcase was never mentioned again.

But it was all about the lights. They didn’t disappoint. Now where can I go next...

Monday, 7 November 2011

Native tongue

I am going to Norway on Wednesday. As always with my holidaying I have placed the fact that I am going to have to go on a plane to the back of my mind. In actual fact I am going to have to go on two planes, as I have to change at Oslo airport. I am already dreading it and eating kalms like they are smarties. Which they might as well be, I’m still crapping myself. But when I get there it should be super and I’ll have a good few days before I have to start dreading the flight home. I’m going straight from work tomorrow which means I need to pack tonight. I have no idea what is clean but the upside of travelling on your own is that you really don’t care what you look like. So horrible hooded tops and jeans a go go. In fact the fewer choices of clothes the better, then I can stuff the suitcase full of books. I’ve been to the library especially. In order to make all case space available I went to the website of the place I am staying to see if they provide towels. It was then I remembered my deep and quite useful skill.

I am spontaneously fluent in all Scandinavian languages.

This skill first presented itself when I went to Amsterdam. There I stunned and amazed my travelling companion by effortlessly understanding train announcements and reading signposts. What was really good was that the train announcements were followed by an identical announcement in English so I could check I was right. All trace of bi-linguality was instantly lost the second I returned home. Until, that is, today. Sadly the website of my hotel is only in Norweigan. I was hoping that something would leap out at me and low and behold. I spied the phrase Klikk her for mer info. Something inside me whispered ‘click here for more info’. It was like a bolt out of the blue. My gift had returned.

I am willing to admit that it helps that all the languages I am fluent in are just bizarrely spelled English. But what’s wrong with that? Hasn’t held the Americans back.

Part of the joy of going away is not having a clue what is going on. I went to Iceland in February and spent 2 hours in an art gallery watching an Icelandic film. My gifting must have failed me as I didn’t have a clue what was going on (I’d guess at a film about camping) but I watched the lot and thoroughly enjoyed it. I want to go to shops and have no idea what is inside packets. I want to walk past newsagents and have no idea what any of the magazines are about. It also helps that when people walk past me and say ‘What the hell is that girl wearing? I bet she didn’t pack enough clothes to make room in her suitcase for books.’ I have no idea what they are saying. Unless of course they say ‘Wot tha hel is that gul waring? I bit shhe didddnt pak enuf cloves to mayk rume in her sootcas for boks’ In which case I’ll understand instantly.