Sunday 20th March 2011

Not much sleep this week!  Too much to do, and the only way I’ve been able to fit it all in is to actually get up even earlier than normal.  I’ve done 16 hour days every day this week, but it’s been fun so I’m ok for now, but next week’s looking even worse (as I’m out FOUR nights), but that’s next week, so let’s get back to today. A photo of me looking tired would probably give you all nightmares, so instead, here’s a picture I took (in the kitchen at my Wednesday cleaning job), of duck and chook’s freshly-laid eggs.  Isn’t that lovely?

Right after I put last week’s blog out I was excited to receive an email from someone asking whether they could sell my book on their site and do a blog for their up-coming National web launch/tour.  I got that done on Friday, and I’ll be able to tell you more about it when it’s all gone ‘live’ in a couple of weeks time.  Talking of live, “Just Good Friends?” is now officially ‘live’ on Amazon, and will be on Kindle by this time next week too!

Tuesday saw (or heard), Sarah Archer and I do our little spot on Graham Mack’s breakfast show on BBC Wiltshire Sound.  I’d got up at 4.30 to start my Tuesday cleaning job (luckily they were away), and broke off to go to the studio.  Ooh, it was great fun, and even funnier for it all to be over in an hour and to be back at work cleaning again!  I might be on the radio again this week too, but that’ll be in next week’s blog.

Week Two of the Comedy course was fun.  Lack of time meant I hadn’t really done my ‘Homework’, and hadn’t learned my script properly, but it was great doing (and seeing everyone else doing), a short routine.  I hadn’t had time to do my Bathroom Cabinets topic out of the Argos catalogue either, so instead expanded on the toilet roll stuff I’d done the week before.  I can think of half a dozen things to say on that subject now, but they’re all a bit ‘Toilet-roll humour’, so I’d better not!  Did you know that Simon Cowell’s got black toilet rolls?  There’s a picture of them too – on a page I was looking at on the net a couple of weeks ago.  (I don’t really reckon he thought that through, do you …)

TV Times

From toilet rolls to tissues.  It was the last 2 Eps of The Apprentice USA on BBC1 this week. What I’ve loved about this show is how it’s just ‘Got on with it’, and at how Donald Trump’s got rid of exactly the right person each week, right up until the penultimate Episode, which threw up a surprisingly poor performance from one of the three hot favourites – who had to be fired – and which then led us to a different final four than we might have imagined.

Didn’t Ivanka look good in that black dress in the final show?  She’s looked the image of her dad the whole way through, but looked just like her mom in this Episode!  That’s the most I’ve heard Don Jnr talk too, and he came across as SO much nicer than how I’ve ever thought of him before. “I know this is a reality show, but we do this every day,” he explained to the candidates; reminding them that this is a REAL job – not just a publicity stunt – and that choosing the right person is ultimately what it’s all about.

Don’s a man SO focussed on his business.  He’ll do his old Dad proud when it comes to carrying on the Trump dynasty!  As for the final two though: when Mr Trump went to Stefani first I thought it was curtains for her, so it was a real shock when he turned round and fired James instead (he was looking way too smug – as if he knew he had it in the bag).  I cried at the end, and when I watched the ending again on Friday night I cried then too. What a baby!  Didn’t Surya’s new hairstyle look better?  He just looked weird before.

His summing-up to Nicole: ‘You love Tim … but I want you to love me more.’  Love it, and just love DT!  It was a great finale, and nice for it not to have been as much of an extravaganza as in previous years.  It’s been a blast, and I’m so sad for it to have finally finished.  Wonder how long it’ll be before we get another one over here?


I SO want to say lots of nice things about it, but I can’t.  BBC1’s MasterChef continues to irritate the hell out of me.  WHAT was that build-up for Yotam Ottolenghi all about?  It was a genuine Harry Hill moment “… Who?”  Years ago I used to subscribe to both The Grocer and Caterer magazines, and knew pretty-much everything about everything that was going on in the foodie world.  I admit that I don’t follow it like I used to (due to never going out any more!), but I wonder how many people outside of London had ever heard of Yotam?  If they’d announced Rick Stein/James Martin etc, then fair enough, but the fanfare he got was just ridiculous. They didn’t even tell you where he was from; presuming we’d think he didn’t need any introduction I suppose?

Granted – looking like the love-child of David Schwimmer and Ruud van Nistelrooy – he was very pleasing on the eye, but not sure his first words to a contestant: “Don’t burn it,” were up there as one of the greatest bits of advice ever given …

Greg continued to talk rubbish.  A greasy puri given to the guys who put up the Circus Tents prompted: “Give that to your rigger?  Not if you want him to put a tent up tomorrow.”  Why?  What do they normally eat?  No offence, but I reckon that was probably the healthiest meal they’d ever had!

As I watched, I thought at one point “You’ve got to hand it to Greg.  When he likes something (Jackie’s dahl), you can really see it in his face, bless,” but moments later took it all back as he said of James’ dessert “That syrup: it’s just sugar and water.”  Er … that’s what a syrup is Greg.  His reaction was so OTT that I wondered if he’d actually been told to say it for ‘dramatic effect’, as John then went straight on to say ominously to James, “You’ve divided the judges here,” (cue more dramatic music).

As for the REAL part of the show; the contestants are so determined, and you really are starting to feel for some of them now (apart from all the crying), but WHAT was that with the ‘flicking’ cameras whenever we saw their plates of food about?

India was droning out the description, and as I looked at the food … FLICK; it did a sort-of double-take and flicked to another angle.  I tried to focus and … FLICK; it did it again (up to four times, depending on the components on the plate), and all in the space of a few seconds.  I’ve never known them do this before, and it was just plain crazy.

We mostly watch this show for the food.  We want to LOOK at the food, NOT have it flickering in front of us like something off a ‘What the butler saw’ machine on a pier. STOP IT, and just leave the camera on the plates long enough for us to get a proper look at the food. It’s as if they’re taking everything that previously ‘worked’ and are deliberately changing it.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  You’ve broken it.  Ooh, don’t get me started …


On to less stressful things.  Wasn’t it moving when Lizzie finally broke down this week?  My tears dripped all over Mr S’s shirt as I ironed.  We’ve all been waiting for it coming, haven’t we?  And what a cliff-hanger to end on: Lizzie rushed to Hospital (don’t forget, I don’t listen to the Omnibus until Wednesday afternoon, so you’ll probably already know the outcome).  Don’t tell me … she survives?  That’s my wild guess anyway!

Heard my favourite Archers line (perhaps ever?) this week.  Tony – to the three-month-old (world’s cleverest), baby – Henry. “You’re never too young to learn tractor servicing.” He’s SO right.  Now, where’s that manual gone?

News of the ‘Spin-off’ doesn’t seem to be going down too well – judging by the comments on the Archers site.  I agree with a lot of the comments: that the writing/plot-lines have been a little bit thin lately, and maybe this is why?  I don’t hold with it all myself, and have never watched any of the TV Soap spin-offs.  I feel torn between worrying whether I’m ‘Missing Something’, or thinking that if it was that ‘Worth Watching’, they’d have had it in the main show …


Was hoping for a couple of contributions!  If you’re in the US and see ANYTHING that might be of interest to us (or vice-versa if you’re in the UK), please send me the link.  Either click on my email via the site, or directly to, so that we can all share in our twinned-Sunday-Ameri-corner-ness!

Lots to read here with a coffee.  Thanks to Judy Grundstrom (Twitter justjudycreate) for this. and something else:

Ooh, a late entry just spotted from my nice mate Jim (Twitter Jim_Montgomery) Site:  http://A4Magic.Com on shutting out child porn on the net

Moira’s Corna

I had a lot of good feedback after Moira’s first week with us.  You’d never think to listen to her (reading the bulletins on the Chris Evans show), that she had this whole other side, would you?  She’s been very keen to give us some more.

Reespek Jane for da big up dere.  Moira’s well jovial wit dem comments an ting.  Mi done special groomin for dat Comic Relief wit vadge an leg wax.  Moira well smooth afta, but mi bath look like chin of dat Ryan Gigg an ting naw.  Ad mi sharp threads on, spray mi joop an ad a tiny Morgan Rum – or tree or faw – for nite out wit mi crew, an we grind da nite away down at da BBC canteen an ting.  Well nice, but Moira raaas dis mornin from avin ead like tumpin an ting, an from steppin in dog water on floor – an mi don’ mean mi dog’s drinkin water neitha (if ya catch mi meanin)?

Was sun dis weeken, so Moira ditch mi mutton cardigan an get mi flip flops an shades on an ting to go to Ideal Home Show, but was well chilly so mi left afta one hour – but not ‘fore mi ad lunch by stoppin by at all da stalls an ting. Moira like flapjack but not dat muffin wit dem cranberry in.  Dem WELL sharp; make Moira stomach clench, an mi rush into street as mi feel well sick an ting, but is ok agin after few deep breath an swig of dat Red Stripe drink.

Well, dat’s bout if faw naw. Moira readin book bout cats dis day an restin up for readin news for im – dat Chris Evan one – in mornin an ting.  Yaaw.

Fantastic.  What a marvellous insight into Moira’s weekend there.  You can follow Moira on Twitter WestsideMoira and read more gems like “Mi put cat food in Evans sandwich! Him like nom nom corned beef nom nom! It fine cos it wa tesco finest cat food! Mi tel him afta him eat it’all up an ting,” right throughout the week!


It was a thrill to reach my 200th follower this week.  It’s like having friends close by all the time – especially as I spend SO much time alone in this office.  Helps me feel a part of the world again, as the second anything happens in the news it’s there, and I also get to read funny, interesting and useful stuff the whole day inbetween working like mad.  It’s great!

I’ve been following Twitter’s Help Teams Support and MobileSupport and it came in handy this week.  People were tweeting that they were having problems, but I’d seen this and was able to re-tweet it.  “We’re doing some routine maintenance on SMS services. Users will not be able to Tweet, add phones, or change settings for about an hour.” A useful ‘follow’ (especially if you’re out and about).

Thanks again to Carol_Stephen for more useful stuff: How to save time on Twitter and How to be a jerk on Twitter

Twitter Quotes of the Week:
EpicQuotesOrg “It was an accident officer. I was cleaning my fingernails. With a hunting knife.  And he ran into me. Backwards. 17 times.”
AudraWynter0511 “We’re not in a recession, but rather a pre-boom.”

Celebrity’ Handy Hints

I was asked this week how I’d managed to get an interview with both Simon Cowell and Michael Winner.  When I told him that it was just me ‘In the style of’, he said he’d thought it was real.  I can’t tell you how chuffed that made me feel.  If you haven’t read them yet, just follow the pages down from this blog.  On to this week’s ‘Celebrity’ then.

Now that the sun’s come out, most people start to think about Summer/tanning etc.  (Not me – what with my singeing tendencies), so who better to share a few of his secrets (apart from David Dickenson, who was in the middle of a re-varnish and was still a bit tacky), than the ever-glowing Dale Winton? I bumped into Dale in Tesco on Tuesday morning and we had a jolly good moan about bananas and the price of plug-in air fresheners, and then he kindly gave me a quick interview before rushing off to … well, he’ll tell you in his own words (and there’s a LOT of them)!

Ooh, Jane my darling, it’s LOVELY to see you, and really super of you to ask me to do one of your lovely Handy Hints spots.  I’m always up for a bit of hinting and tinting. Don’t you think my hair’s looking particularly gorgeous today by the way?  You’re looking gorgeous and lovely too my darling.  Where do you get your tinting done? Ooh, it’s NATURAL?  Well, I’d never have thought it.  Aren’t you lucky … although I think you could do with a little bit more colour on that skin – if you don’t mind me saying – my sweetheart?  You’re looking a little bit pale, and the lighting in here isn’t doing you any favours is it; let’s be honest.

This is what you need (grabs a large tub of tanning cream from his trolley).  This one’s a super shade, look: burnished oak.  It’s a real hit with all my showbiz pals you know, and one of my lovely chums is coming round later to help me apply … you know – in all those awkward little places?  We’re going to have a really good session and then pop on over to see my bestest friend – the lovely Babs Windsor – and have the teeniest little glass of shampoo (gotta watch the weight you know?), while we have a look at who’s in ‘Hello’ this week.  Have you seen that dress of Kate Middleton’s?

Darling, you’ve gotta have the figure for it – and hasn’t she?  But I’m a little bit worried about how she’ll look on the day, aren’t you sweetheart?  If she hasn’t got the right skin colour, it’ll simply ruin the photos.  D’yu know; I think I’ll give her a little showbiz call and talk it over with her – just to give her a few pointers.  She won’t mind.  Did you see … no, I can’t say, but he’s one of my closest chums.  I saw him on TV last night, but I’ll let you into a little secret about him … if you get up close, he can be a touch streaky – if he’s not been patient enough when he’s applying.  Not enough cream on first you see.  I keep on reminding him Jane, but does he listen?

Oh, and that’s what I’m meant to be doing now isn’t it?  Giving you some hints.  Sorry m’ darling, I just get sooo carried away sometimes. “Bring on the Wall!” (laughs) Oh, I can’t help but ‘Shout it Out’ sometimes sweetheart.  My excitement just completely gets the better of me!  Ok, now.  Where were we?  Ah yes; tanning.

Sweetheart; there’s only ONE golden rule when it comes to tanning: brown sheets m’darling.  There’s nothing worse than getting up and looking down at nasty brown stains all over the bed, so go and invest yourself into something lovely and dark. Brown, orange, or – if you’re really daring – how about a lovely set of black silk?  Luxury AND practicality, all rolled into one.  You know Dale; always one for a bit of money-saving, especially as I’m … (cough) … between projects just now … but I’ve got LOTS of fabulous new ideas in the pipeline, so it won’t be long before there’s another Supermarket Sweep or a Pets Win Prizes to get old Dale right back up there!  Do you like my slacks, by the way?  They’re gorgeous, and they wash-up a dream, you know?

Well, it’s been lovely to talk to you my darling.  I’ve had a super time, but I’ve just got to nip round to pick up a bit of salad – got to watch the weight you know – and then get off to the studio.  I’m on This Morning talking about my lovely new book ‘Dale’s Diary’.  It’s a super read.  Tons of stuff in it.  Don’t forget to tune in, will you?  I’ll be giving that Silver Fox a few pointers before the show on how to look as good as poss in front of those cameras.  He’s one of my closest pals you know?  Well, bye my darling, LOVELY talking to you!”

And he was gone.  He set off up that aisle at a speed last witnessed in an episode of his own DALE’S Supermarket Sweep.  Brown sheets … maybe he’s right on that one.  Brown towels too.  I’ve washed many a beautiful white fluffy  bathtowel for my clients over the years, and they never come up quite as lovely once they’ve had fake tan on them!

Handy Hints

Getting serious now.  Firstly: I got this off the Jeremy Vine Show this week.  To help prevent your home being burgled if someone gets your car/house keys (because we all keep them on the same keyring, don’t we?), don’t have your home address set into your Sat-Nav (I’ve heard of those … that’s what modern cars have, isn’t it?), as it’ll lead the thief straight to your house!  Make it for a road a couple of streets away/the Police Station etc instead (if you feel you need to have  your home address in there).

Also, don’t have your own phone number on your keys, as they can also trace your address from it.  Use a relative/friend’s number (but NOT your next door neighbour, as they’ll always try a few houses either side of it, apparently).  Lastly; have a distinctive key fob, so that if your keys ever get handed in at a Police Station it’ll make identification/authentication easier for everyone when you go to collect them.

Secondly: don’t lose your keys …

Foodie Corner

Even though there’s a Tesco Metro/Sainsbury’s Local on every corner these days, it’s a real pain to run out of milk (it’s always when it’s cold, dark, raining or when you’re in the middle of something too, isn’t it?). That never happens to me any more; not since I started buying Moo Milk.  Keep a few in the cupboard and you’re laughing!

Most tetra-pak milk is pretty gross and artificial, but not this one.  You’d never tell it’s not fresh.  It’s not ‘watery’, has no aftertaste and once open, keeps fresh for days in the fridge.  Can’t speak for the Semi-skimmed, but I can’t recommend this highly enough.

These Peppadew Peppers are always in my cupboard.  There’s two sorts: hot (which I haven’t tried) and mild. These have quite a kick, and they’re just the ‘mild’ ones!  Drain and stuff them with a bit of any sort of soft cheese as part of a Tapas/Antipasti plate, or once you’ve stuffed them, poke a cocktail stick through each one for a handy instant ‘nibble’.

Just found this recipe while I was looking for something else. I’m going to give it a go when I get a moment (in about 2014, the rate I’m going!), but thought it looked yummy.

Soap-y Corner

It’s been a struggle to have to watch all the soaps every day so that I can bring you this week’s events on Soap-y Corner.  God knows how I’ll manage next week.  Guess it’ll mean a bit less sleep (can I get by on 5 hours?), but hey, it’s for my blog, so I’ll manage!

Coronation Street

The week’s ended with it looking as if ‘UnderWorld’ might be going under as Frank pulls out of his big knicker contract.  Sophie’s out of hospital and she and Sian look to be back on safer ground now – bless.  Even though he was such a bad boy, it still seems wrong that Sally and Kevin haven’t patched things up (and aren’t about to, if you read the ‘spoilers’).

Loving Chesney and Katy’s romance/baby storyline.  It’ll end in tears I suspect, as her evil father’s determined to stop it if he can.  Talking of romance: Graham and Xin?  She’s up to something, that one, and poor Graham will pay.  I can ‘Feel it in me waters’.  Tina and Graham are great actors, aren’t they?

My favourite part of this week’s shows have been over at the Rovers.  (Doesn’t Steve McDonald look like his mum?)  Some fantastic lines this week:

Steve to mum Liz: “Don’t get upset.”  Liz: “What d’ya expect me to do?  The birdie song.”

Liz: Asked why she’s angry and looking over at Steve and Becky: “Ask ‘Same Difference’ over there.”

Liz: After hearing yet-another revelation: “I should like down in a darkened room.”  Kylie: “Uh, you’re not that ugly.”

Maria to Frank about camp  barman Sean. “Sean’s gay.”  Sean: “I know I don’t look it.”


Isn’t Tiffany a scream?  “That was nearly real tears that was,” she wailed as she snitched on her little brother.  Fatboy too, is great as he’s spouting his verbal diarrhoea.  “Speak English, Lauren cried in exasperation after one such outburst (how does he manage to get it all out without fluffing it?).  The next second though, he’s showing us a completely different and moving performance as we see his serious/vulnerable side come through.

Whitney’s been lured into prostitution.  Notice ‘Smooth Operator‘ playing at one point? Think of the words. They do that a lot in Eastenders: coindidentally just happening to have ‘relevant’ toones playing in the background.  Clever, or too clever?


Val’s hilarious. Pauline Quirke too.  I hope she stays and gets together with Bob (Doesn’t Jackson look the image of his mum and dad?)  Doesn’t Aaron’s face have a look of a slimmer Tyrone from Corrie in a certain light? Twice this week I’ve thought that.  What do you think?

Tom King must have had some funny genes. None of his four sons look(ed) remotely like him – or each other. Especially Jimmy.  He’s great, but I just can’t see any likeness atall between him and Carl – apart from their accents!  I’m not really buying this whole memory-loss thing you know?  Can you really remember so much, yet not remember your wife?  (You can’t blame him for that one.  A lot of people would probably love to be able to forget their partner!)  I’m even starting to feel a bit sorry for wicked witch Nicola now, but it’s good to see Kelly back.  Wow, they put her make-up on with a trowel this week though, didn’t they?

What was that quote I read about Kelly a while back?  Nope; can’t find it.  Will find it for next week.  I’m a huge fan of ‘One-liners’, but Jackon’s are starting to wear me down. (He’s got a surprisingly mobile head and shoulders for someone paralysed from the neck down, don’t you think?)  Every time anyone says something to him, he comes back with some barbed quip about his disability.  He wants to be careful: someone’ll be pushing him into the road at this rate, and you know what happens if you step out into the road in Emmerdale …  There’s a thought.  He’s been saying he wants to end it all …

Wasn’t Lisa great again this week?  SO believable.  How she didn’t wallop that creep I don’t know!  Doesn’t Aaron look like his mum and dad?  He looks a bit like that Jason off Corrie too, doesn’t he?  (Hee hee, just joking with you – I know they’re brothers in real life!)

Any Other Business

“Just Good Friends?” is now ‘officially’ live on Amazon.  The ‘blurb’ isn’t up yet – it’ll be a few days before it uploads, apparently – and the Kindle version is hopefully going up on Monday.  If you’ve been wanting to buy it but been put off by having to go through ‘Completely Novel’, then it’s now “A mere click away, so buy it today”! Go on: make my day!  (There’s probably a really simple way of putting a shorter link than this on, but I don’t know how to do it!)

Don’t forget: I LOVE to get comments, so do add one if you fancy it (especially if there’s something you like)!  If you like these blogs, then PLEASE tell your friends!

This Tsunami footage just stopped me in my tracks:


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