Sunday 27th March 2011

Still none of the sort of news I’m waiting and hoping to be able to share with you, but it IS nice to be able to see my book live on both Amazon and Kindle at last.

Apologies for the price.  They’ve set it at that (and I get almost nothing from it!), but at the end of the day, this time last year I was pretty-much sitting around ‘gazing’ and my book was just a ‘Word’ file, so this is indeed progress!

Week three of the Comedy Course.  We meet in a building a few yards from the nightclub where Sian O’Callaghan was last seen alive, and I live a mere six minutes walk away.  It’s been horrid in Swindon this week.  I was a student in Leeds during the Yorkshire Ripper years, and up until they made the arrest on Friday afternoon you could feel a hint of that same uneasiness in the air.  These things happen all too frequently, but when it’s on your own doorstep it’s all very different to just watching it on the news.  As I drove past at 5am this morning, the candles were still burning and the pile of flowers was bigger than ever.  The town is mourning, and it’s all very sad …

Back to the course. We’re half way through now, and have done our first 2-minute routine. We’re bonding, and all willing each other to do well. I’m really enjoying it and would recommend a stand-up course to anyone who’s ever looked at someone on TV and thought “I’d love to do that.”  Sarah’s great fun, a good teacher and we’re all having a ball!

Talking of comedy: I went to see Count Arthur Strong in Newbury last night.  I’ve got all his Radio Shows on iTunes, but it was great to actually see him live.  My stomach was hurting from laughing so much during the first half.  I was able to recover slightly in the second (as the bits with the other two guys didn’t have quite the same appeal as listening to him rant/ramble by himself), but it’s truly a unique experience … to say the least!

Here’s a very short clip I’ve just got from YouTube.  There’s loads more on there, and his CDs/DVDs are all on Amazon. If you like this clip, you’ll LOVE his Radio shows. Enjoy!

TV Times

Oh no; no Apprentice this week!  Bereft.  I’ve got the whole series of Model Agency to watch yet, but it’s too late for that, so – in the absence of anything else – let’s start on BBC1’s So You Think You Can Dance? shall we? I don’t watch Saturday night reality shows any more.  They’re all SO fixed and SO OTT that I just can’t be doing with ’em. However: I was glued to the first Series of this last year.  I don’t even LIKE dancing, but just loved this show!

I only started watching because of Nigel Lythgoe. (Hasn’t he got a bit of a look of Larry Grayson?  I remember him from being ‘Nasty Nigel’ on ITV’s Popstars in 2000 (and before that!), so that dates me.

There’s not much that I like this week, but I notice there’s a new series of Three In a Bed starting on C4 on Thursday.  I’m going to watch and discuss it next week, so if you want to check it out, then it’s like Come Dine With Me but with pyjamas!


“Can she take it from Farmhouse Kitchen to Fine Dining?” Greg gasped on MasterChef this week.  Clearly not, as it was Alice who got fired.  It’s getting more painful to watch each one leave.  They all want it so much.  Greg also didn’t seem to have a ‘problem’ with James this week. “I think James has got everything it takes to be a great chef,” he enthused. God, make your mind up.

Lots of food to see this week, but those flicky camera shots of the plates are seriously doing my head in now.  It’s a bit like flash photography. It just hurts your eyes, and PLEASE give us long enough to get a proper look at the food.  At least another couple of seconds per plate, please! I don’t like to see them travelling all over the place in their whites either.  I presume it’s just for effect – and that they change into clean ones when they cook – but it’s hardly hygenic, is it?

As per: too much banging OTT music, comments, and as for India Fisher … ooh, don’t get me started, but I can’t wait for next week though. For all its current faults, it’s still compulsive TV for foodies like me.


I’m not getting much help on this one!  I was hoping that a few of  you (on either side of the pond), might have an interesting/funny/newsworthy link that you’d enjoy sharing with the rest of us.  How about this week?  If you see something you reckon fits the bill, do send it in please.

My little brother is living in Las Olas, Florida at the moment. When I tell him the sun’s come out, he just tells me it’s 32 degrees there.  He’s like me: hates the cold.  I’m VERY envious of him not having to go out in loads of layers all the time – like I do over here.  In the UK, we get a nice day, think it’s Summer, rush outside with big smiles on our faces, and all end up burnt to a crisp. The next day, it’s usually back to freezing/raining again, and we all go straight back to being grumpy and complaining about it.  Still; we wouldn’t be Brits if we didn’t moan about the weather, would we?

Quote of the Week

“Always remember me.” – Anonymous.  (Thanks to Twitter’s EpicQuotesOrg)

“Do you feel insignificant? Try imagining you’re someone else; someone powerful with an important job. Not Prince Andrew, obviously.”  (Thanks to Twitter’s GreySkyThinking)


Horror!  Downloading problems meant I had to do Wednesday’s ironing Archer-less this week.  I ended up listening to it at 5am this morning, but am all up to date now.  Ooh dear; some poor acting from the young-uns again this week.  Jamie’s very convincing as a grumpy teenager, but never mind Cathedral School; I think Lizzie ought to do us all a favour by sending the twins to Acting School instead.

Maybe it’s because I’m overtired, but I don’t remember hearing Shula (again) this week? Perhaps I’m mistaken, but she seems to have been conspicuous by her absence at her sick sister’s bedside.  If I had more time I’d double-check, but apologies if I’ve just missed it.

So; Jamie’s found out about Kenton and Jolene?  I didn’t think he’d spill the news to Cathy quite so quickly, but cue more shouting and stomping-about from Jamie.  Like I say: Jamie plays his part so well that it makes me feel quite sorry for anyone with a teenage boy!  Nice that Eddie had a win on the horses, wasn’t it?  We didn’t see that one coming, did we? (!)  I won’t sleep for worrying until we get the results of David’s dung samples back though.

Moira’s Corna

Let’s get our minds off cow pats and turn quickly to ‘udder’ things.  Let’s see what our Moira’s been up to this week.

Raaas.  Moira’s ad busy week with da news an ting.  Stuff goin down rite roun da worl, an it keep Moira well busy readin dem bulletin out on mi Radio 2 wid da Chris Evan.  ‘Im tell Moira: “Urry up. Dat news take too long on mi show wen mi need to do mi Top Tenuous an ting,” but mi say ‘im ave to wait till mi finish mi speakin.  ‘Im too impatient, ya knaw?  ‘Im need to chill an take deep brets, or Moira tink ‘im gon go bang one day.

Moira book group readin dat Ungry Caterpillar dis week.  ‘Im nom nom all da food an get sick to ‘is stomach, but ‘im ok at endin, as ‘im turn into butterfly an ting.  Moira please wit appy endin.  Mi Vicar neighbour well cussin afta Moira trick ‘im.  Mi hear ‘im cussin when mi listen thru wall an ting.  All dis – an more – on Moira Twitter thru da week WestsideMoira.  If you like what Moira say, why you not follow mi an ting?

Soap-y Corner

Boy, it’s been a tough week.  I’ve been watching at some very strange times in an attempt to get them all in!  I used to love my Corrie and Emmerdale Omnibus, but to write this up on a Saturday/Sunday means I’ve had to give  that up and squeeze it all in by Friday!

Coronation Street

Liz was looking smart So she was, as (for the first time ever), she’d managed to dress herself in something that covered up more than just her ‘lady bits’.  Jim’s back So he is, and got himself straight into Roy’s for an ‘Ulster Fry’.  Did I tell you this story already?  My friend says it was Terry Wogan, but I reckon it was Jim who said (many years ago), Q: “What’s an Ulster Fry? A: You get some food, and you fry it.”  Still tickles me!

Any week that has Rosie Webster in it is a good week for me, so I was pleased to see her make a brief appearance at the end of Friday’s Episode.  I think we all know whose side she’ll be on when it comes to her Dad’s windfall!  Weren’t Kev/Sal’s Solicitors awful actors though?  Fancy not knowing what to do when a greasy mechanic barges in and reveals that another greasy mechanic – on the verge of divorce – has just had a 200k scratchcard win!  What on earth do they teach them at Solicitor school these days?

Loved Steve and Becky this week.  Poor Becky.  She only took the money to ‘buy’ little Max from his awful mother.  She was desperate, and she did it for the ‘right’ reasons. Stop giving her such a hard time Liz!

Corrie quotes of the week: Sean asks Eileen what time she staggered up to bed.  She replies, “About half past paralytic!”  Liz about Becky: “The only way I’ll speak to her again is through a medium.”

‘Ere: don’t Chesney and Gary look similar in a certain light?  And did you check out Tyrone/Arron’s (Emmerdale) photos from last week? Separated at birth, or what?  (See last week’s blog.)


Jackson didn’t want to be Godfather … then he did, then he wanted to die … then he didn’t.  Make your mind up mate.  It’s not like you haven’t got enough time on your hands to think about it.  You’ve got a surprise baby brother who’s appeared out of nowhere too, so that’s something to live for, isn’t it? … Isn’t it?

Do you reckon Debbie’s hair’s a wig?  It was so far over her face this week I thought she’d got it on back to front.  That’s SO not her colour either.  She could cut half of it off and give it to Paddy.  God, I’m hoping his grows back a bit – and soon – or that baby’s going to have even more to worry about if that egg’s the first thing it sees when it pops out.

Speaking of eggs: Leyla was putting Easter Eggs outside the shop.  David asked why, as it was “A month away yet.”  Er, when exactly would you suggest she puts them out then David: June?  No wonder that shop doesn’t make any money.  You need to put stuff out BEFORE an event to be able to sell it.  It’s not exactly rocket science.  Look at Tesco’s; they have Easter Eggs for sale on Boxing Day!

Notice Adam’s overalls on Thursday?  He hadn’t even started painting the window, but was already covered from head to foot in paint.  I’m not sure Declan’s got the right man for the job if that’s an example of his handiwork.  The Kelly stuff’s gathering pace.  Lucky how Bob just happened to have bought enough curry for two – and was in the middle of setting it all out nicely at the table just as she arrived, wasn’t it?  That’s not what normally happens with a take-away; it’s on the plate and stuffed in your mouth before you can say ‘Chapati’!  (I’ve looked for that quote about Kelly I promised you, but just can’t find it.  I’ll have a more thorough look this week.)

And what about that Faye then?  There’s another one with incredible packing abilities. Five minutes after getting the cheque in her hand, she’d managed to not only pack her entire house up, but also have time to go for a drink, before jumping into a cab with only a single bag (full of hair dye I suspect), and be on her way to the airport.  What a woman.


Loved that dress Abi had on when she and Tanya were talking on the stairs.  Aah, she’s fair growing up, isn’t she?  Bless.  Loved this exchange: Tanya: “I wish you’d talk to me.  Look what happened when Tiffany didn’t have anyone to talk to.”  Abi: “Oh great; so now I’m a prostitute?”  Here: doesn’t Abi look like her mum?  Can’t see much of Max in her though.  Can’t see anything of baby Oscar atall.  Where’s he disappeared to, then? Do you reckon Ronnie’s got him tucked away somewhere as well maybe?

For goodness sake though … let’s just get baby Moon back with his mum.  It’s exciting waiting for the culmination of a big plot-line (on any of the soaps), but it’s been a long time since we’ve been as desperate for one to finish as we are right now.

The chemistry between Kat and Alfie leaves me spellbound.  Whether they’re together or apart it’s electric, and I constantly think that they’re on the verge of stopping whatever it is they’re doing and just ripping each other’s clothes off!  It’s great when a soap couple has a genuine connection, and Kat and Alfie are right up there.  She’s got SUCH an amazing screen presence, and I can’t WAIT for what’s coming up with baby James.

Celebri-teeze/Handy Hints

Anyway; after Dale Winton’s contribution last week, it wasn’t long before the phone rang and I was hastily summoned up for an audience with none other than his lovely friend; the delectable Barbara Windsor.  We met in a pub.  No; of course not the Queen Vic.  She left last year, remember? Babs looked great.  She’s always been a snappy dresser – and certainly made me feel very shabby and dowdy by comparison (mind you, so can a wheelie bin).

The chat was punctuated by Bab’s trademark laughter.  Very infectious!  She soon had me creased up. “Wewwl darlin,” she chirped. “I read my lovely mate Dale’s Andy ‘Ints larrst week, an just wan-ned to ave a go meself, coz I’ve got laaaods of tips of me own’ta tell ya Jane, my darling.

Nah, where do I start?  Ooh, blimey.  I’ss a bit tricky finkin whass the bess one ta tell ya. Ok, I know: aah’s abaat this one?  You gotta awways make sure ya got’cher ‘air done nice, cause you nevva know when the caamras are gonna start snappin.  When me an me mate Boris was aaht avin our photos done tuggeva a couple a’weeks ago, his barnet was a right state.  Ee could’da done wiv’a bit uv airspway.  An tawkin of snappin … d’you rememba that scene from Carry On Campin – where me bra flew orff – darlin?  We-wwll.  It were freezin caald that day, an we all ad wellington boots on coz the graarnd were fick wiv mud an they ad to sprway it green, but we ad a right larff, an I owe me ole wonderful career to them fiwlms really.

Stiwwl.  Back to me ‘ints.  Where was I?  Oh yeah.   Me best advice to yor readers darlin, is to awways make sure you av a biig fairmlee dinna once a week, coz thass wot I did wi my boys Phiw and Gwaant, an look ow close an appy we always woar? ‘Iss weally impowtant ta keep ya fairmlee close t’ya.  I mean; once my Awrchee went – Gawd rest ‘is soul – I ad nuffink left … wewll, not till me Bingo an me Pant-o-mime, leesways.  Tha’ss ‘elped a bit, ennit darling?” (BIG dose of Babs’ trademark laughter here!)

And at that point, Barbara had to dash off to the studio, but that cheeky cackle seemed to ring happily in my ears all day.   What a nice woman; salt of the earth.

Handy Hints

Apologies, but this really has been a nightmare week for me – time-wise – so the only handy hint I can offer you today is this: don’t arrange things you know you haven’t got time for into your already crazy week, and then go out four nights out of seven when you know you’ve got your blog to write …

Foodie Corner

As you well know by now: I’m not a fan of ‘Ready’ Meals, but in a weak moment last week (that night I’d had a bad day and needed red wine), I succummed, and in a moment of desperation bought this. Ok, the meat was the ubiquitous ‘mush’ you get in ready-meals, BUT … there was actually more than one piece of pasta in it, and the sauce had a lovely hint of nutmeg.  I’d buy it again, and that’s praise from me!  (If you’ve never added a hint of freshly-grated nutmeg to a savoury white sauce, TRY IT!  It really brings it alive. Delicious!

I did have another couple of things for you, but they involved chopping and taking photos, so I’m going to hold them over till next week, so am reminding some of you newer readers of another quickie: Polish Bread.  There’s so many Polish shops springing up that it’s quite easy to get hold of, and most of the Supermarkets stock it now too.

The half wheat/rye tastes just like  a good white bread, and it’s not full of chemicals either.  Makes THE BEST – and crispiest – toast ever.  Perfect with marmalade!

If you like looking at pictures of food and you’re on Twitter, picsfood post up two or three photos a day, and they’re all gorgeous and beautifully photographed!


Loads of stuff her re Twitter spamming, and a nifty little bit down the bottom. (Thanks to Carol_Stephen)

4 useful little Twitter tips for engaging your community (Thanks to TweetSmarter for that.)

131 amusing tweets to read!

Any Other Business

Thanks to Twitter’s HeilGrammarNazi (standing up for the use of proper grammar), for this funny photo.  DO click this link.  It’ll make you smile!

If you’ve got the inclination to post a comment, then please do!  If you’ve been meaning to buy “Just Good Friends?” then now it’s on Amazon it’s dead easy, so do please take the plunge.  If you’ve only ever read the blog, then I’d love you to go and have a little read of that part of my site.  That’s where this whole blog sprung from!

If you fancy getting in contact with Sarah Archer re the comedy course, it’s, or email her at

Even though I’ve spent every available waking moment on this week’s blog, the lack of actual time I’ve had has left me feeling a bit frustrated.  I’ll certainly never be daft enough have four nights out in one week again, that’s for sure!  See you all next week.



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