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Thursday, 25 October 2012

Fancy Dress

I think we can all agree that the Jimmy Savile revolations have left us all feeling slightly unsettled (I was going to put 'left a nasty taste in everyone's mouths'. I bet you're relieved I only put it in brackets). It's grim, it's unpleasant, it's worrying but I don't really feel the need to discuss it. Not least because, well, what's the point? Who on earth is going to come out and argue in favour of his actions? It's like starting a discussion with the radical standpoint 'Hitler wasn't very nice' or 'setting fire to dogs is wrong', the argument is going to last about twenty seconds and that's allowing for my killer argumentative point that 'he did always look a bit rapey'.

However the outpouring of confessions and revelations (300 official victims so far - how much power did this man have?) have had a knock on effect. Will we ever be able to watch the clip of the Scouts eating their lunch on a roller coaster again, or will it have to be played in slow mo with sad music over the top? Decades of Top of the Pops performancces will be lost in case a white haired weirdo bops in to shot. It will have definitely affected the fancy dress market. Asda has withdrawn their official costume so we are already relying on home made. Ten years ago my friend went as Jimmy Savile to a party. Quite funny, mainly because she was a woman (still is). Now it wouldn't be the wisest costume choice. There's probably a brief window, ending I would imagine Feb 2013, where it will be considered satire. After that you're just dressing up as a paedo really and no one goes to a party dressed in a mac with a puppy. Unless your Inspector Gadget costume has gone horribly wrong.

I like fancy dress. Although I do like quite a narrow theme. I find things like 'the 80s' or 'the letter L' give people too many options to just drop out. Or put a scrunchie in their hair and bang on all night about their 'costume' whilst you're stood there dressed as Vince from Erasure and beginning to really regret the swimming hat/bald head look. My go to fancy dress costume is Bridget Jones. Wear your pyjamas and carry a diary. If a Christmas Party I would recommend Noddy Holder (tartan pyjama trousers, blazer and top hat). Basically if you can wear your pyjamas then it's a good costume.

It is a shame that although I have such a love of fancy dress I couldn't care less about Hallowean. As far as I'm concerned it's not a festival and it shouldn't be encouraged. If you are American I'll let you get away with it, you've been fooled in to thinking it's important. But if you're British, give it up. It's just begging and upsetting old people. It also raises the rather unsavoury notion of the undead rising and walking the earth. Not really my cup of tea. And the choice of costumes is crap. Not really a range.

As a child we weren't allowed to celebrate Hallowean (we were however regulars at a local Saints and Sausages), instead our costume making glory came at the annual Methodist Market. A church event where there were tatt stalls galore (another favourite of mine), various games and then a wonderful fancy dress parade/competition. My brother won it one year as a Morris Dancer (the way he skipped in apparenty clinched it), another brother won it when my Mother - oh this is going to take some explaining, in brief: the Methodist Church newspaper is called The Methodist Recorder, there's a copy in every Methodist Church. My Mum dressed my brother as a recorder and hung a sign round his neck saying 'I'm a Methodist'. I never won. Possibly because I was allowed to pick my own costumes and my Mum managed to rustle them up. I think my ideas are summed up by the year I went as a fried egg. I can still remember thinking this was the best costume idea ever, I was deeply proud. I didn't win. And I spent the day in a sheet with a hole cut out of it with a yellow circle drawn on the front. I like to think I was ahead of my time, there is an argument to suggest I was stupid.

On the plus side though the poncho effect of it means that it would probably still fit now. Perhaps I could bring it back for the Christmas season.

Monday, 15 October 2012


I do do other things. I promise. I was actually away this weekend but what I feel drawn to write about is....X factor. Sorry.

I managed to watch this weeks in about 15 minutes. Then I had a nap to recover. I fast forwarded all the pre-song bits, I fast forwarded all the bit about what happened last week (I watched it, I manage to get through most of my life without recapping, I rarely feel the need to sit down on a Sunday and watch high lights of my own life). Then I watched as much of each contestant as I could bear. In some cases this was just under 3 seconds. Let's have a summary....

The Over 28s.

Now mysteriously over 28. Why 28 is the cut off we don't know but this is the age after which you will not be succesful on the X facor. This group actually had four members in it rather than three thanks to the addition of a wildcard. However the world, so revolted by it's choosing of Christopher, is punishing itself Dobby the Elf style by voting off members of this group every week. They'll then vote off Gary, just to make their point. Anyway. As it stands this is the group

She got voted off last night. This could be because all she could really do was stand in the middle of a stage (or sometime, thrillingly, on a box) and go 'HURGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH'. She was deemed to be a seventies style singer and so was dressed as a navaho Indian and not allowed to brush her hair. Her VTs consisted solely of us telling her how much she missed her kids who were in Scotland. Given the 'strength' of her voice I assume she could still roar them a lullaby each night without the use of a phone. To compensate to the children for the time she has to spend away from them she allowed them to do her make up this week. She then roared... a song. Sadly this was not enough and she was in the sing off where she roared another. Then she went. Presumably to save us Christmas week when she would roar silent night.


Used to be a chimney sweep, looks like a character from Fireman Sam. Is called Kye Sones and I can only assume he has removed a letter from each of his names to make him interesting. I am willing to bet the farm that his real name is Kyle Stones. In the words of my favourite x factor contestant, the strange ginger rapper (see here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1mQ_B3Q65c ) 'Kyle Stones, yeah, he's alright' . He is Gary's only hope. He will get to the final 3.

This years Sami/Mary/80s power ballader. He should be on a cruise ship (acting as the orange safety light on the front). Instead he's on the X factor. He seems like a perfectly nice man. I just don't need to see him sing a selection of middle of the road, naff movie themes. Just leave. He is liked by people who buy albums that are produced to co-inside with Mother's Days and have names like 'Best Housework hits' and 'Music to hoover by'. He will be in a suit holding a wrapped present on the cover of his very own Mother's Day album next year. Actually, given that all his VTs feature his Nan, he will be taken on by Clinton Cards to attempt to make 'Grandparent's day' a "thing".

The Girls
Led by Tulisa, who is thankfully brunette again. When she popped up in Magaluf or wherever her judges house was she was bottle yellow, with bright red skin and a selection of bizarre strap marks. She looked like a child had drawn her. Tulisa has actually picked some decent people. And someone who I have forgotten, not a great sign.

I like her. I shouldn't as her constant speil about how she wants a garden for a child (I don't object to the notion of wanting a garden for her child I object to her crying about it in every VT). She sang an Amy Winehouse song very nicely. I could sit through her whole performance without fast forwarding.

She's very good. And seems to have stopped drawing eyeliner on quite so strangely. She's 16 and is excellent. So far we've only seen ballads (not done in a Christopher style, thank goodness) but I reckon she could do what she wants. Needs to stop with the victory roll on top of her head...you've not won it yet love.

I can't remember the third person. Therefore I predict they will go soon.

Led by Nicole Scherzinger, who is bananas. We should have known that when she vaccuum packed herself in to pvc last year to perform that she wasn't quite the full shilling (or schzilling a ho ho ho) but this year she has out performed herself. She also has two faces. One when she is enjoying it - stand up, clap your hands, mouth agape and look to Garry Balow for reassurance. Two - when she is moved - she tries to divide 3456 by 64 in her head whilst simultaneously trying to hold a pretty wet fart in. She has the most controversial group in the competition as she has included an idiot and a girl.

Held back from a young age as the spelling of his name does not match how it should be pronounced. He should be called Ja - meeeeen. Instead he's called Jah main. He has drawn his hairline on with a protractor. He wails like a cat being swung around by it's tail. It's not nice. You spend the whole song on edge waiting for him to go bananas. Tunes hold no fear for him as he doesn't sing them. He is at an advantage in this competition as he doesn't have to learn the words to any songs as he doesn't sing them. He just goes 'Biaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh'. Which actually, given he can't spell his own name could be his way of spelling out the words in the song.

James Arthur
Oh he's edgy. He's seen some shit. He's had a hard life so he wears specs like Deirdre Barlow and sings a Kelly Clarkson song. But it's OK, he's not sold out because he flaps his hands around like he's in pain/trying to get a particularly persistent lump of snot off his hand. How anyone can be so emotionally moved by singing a  song by a former American Idol is beyond me. But I would be willing to guess he sings everything the same. Probably because he's so 'edgy' and 'misunderstood'. Time can be passed quite pleasantly deciding what he looks like. Answers so far (a) Brian MacFadden on the wonk (b) a potato (c) the love child of Professor Green and a potato.

This years comedy act. Louis is devastated he didn't get him. He's everything Louis loves. He has remarkably skinny legs and likes to wear PVC leggings - he possibly borrows them from Nicole. She may have been forced to take him on so they can save money on the costume budget by sharing clothes. He's... a diversion. He's not going to win, he seems nice enough.

The Groups
Louis! Louis is out of his depth. He has two boybands who are interchangable and an 'urban group'. It is be coming increasingly apparent that Louis doesn't know what urban is. Louis scared. Louis' on borrowed time. Louis is running scared and it's effecting his voting, despite being on the show for nine years he can't work out the difference between 'I want to send home' and 'I want to save'.

Union J/District 3
I group them together as they are the same. They are attempting to be One Direction. They are failing. The harmonies are horrible and they are bland.

I assume named after the Milton Keynes post code. They were forced to ditch their accountant/third member after the first audition. Louis put them in as (he was told) they are relevant. He now doesn't know what to do with them. So the obvious answer is to have them rap Jackson 5 songs. All performances are accompanied by the cast of Playbus bounding around in the background. They are what they are. There days are numbered.

Friday, 12 October 2012


I've had a revamp. Let me know what you think. I've decided to go mad actually try and attract readers to the blog. Please leave comments I like to interact with readers. Let's see how this goes....

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

They Never Learn

The new and fairly vigorous exercise routine I have started has inevitably taken it's toll. As previously reported I inflicted upon myself leg pain and smashed a bike pedal in to my ankle. Leg pain has improved. I can now do all my classes and walk normally afterwards. Either my tolerance has improved or I am not working as hard. I think it's the latter. The ankle injury is the problem. The bruising has gone down but it still hurts and this week a rather interesting lump has sprung up.

I was discussing this with my brother the other day and we rudimentally diagnosed it as a 'ganglion'. Neither of us were too sure what this was but had the basic knowledge that I should 'smash it with a bible'. The only Bible we had handy was a flimsy paperback New Testament and so we settled on a hardback copy of 'The Girl Who Kicked  the Hornet's Nest'. Then with a little encouragement I smashed it in to my ankle.

Reader the pain was indescribable. Although I shall have a bash: It was like, slipping in the bath and landing legs akimbo on the taps but for your ankle. It was like slamming a premenstrual breast in a door (for the ankle), it was like someone smashing a huge hardback book on to a collection of nerve endings on a bone near a joint.

And I still have a lump.

It occured to me that at the age of 37 and 32 our relationship hasn't really changed all that much from when we were 9 and 4. He encouraged me to do something and I did it. I'm sure if my other older brother were there as well I would have done what he told me. This is how I have ended up with a scar on my hip - they were jumping me on bikes and 'told' me to move further out. I did and got a pedal imbedded in my side (clearly bikes of all kinds hate me). It is how I ended up with a shaved head aged 2 - they 'told' me to sit down, and I did. Similarly it is how my little brother got the blame for writing his name in show polish on the brand new freezer. I 'told' my parents that he did it and he, strangely, went along with it. It was me, of course it was me, I was particularly proud of doing the 'E' backwards for authenticity. I still left it twenty years to confess just in case.

So I have a lumpy ankle, answers on a postcard please. I would imagine 'going to the Doctors' is fairly high up there but seriously? All that effort for a lump? I'll save it up till I've got dropsy or something and mention it then.