Well, I’m home, have changed my clothes, and had not a bath or a shower but both.
It was a great weekend. One of the parents has told me that her daughter did not stop talking about it for absolutely ages. Despite some niggles over politics and organisation it was fantastic being at Bramham park with so many members of my half of the Scout & Guide movement.
One pet peeve was the minority of adults who saw fit to tell people off at the drop of a hat, some having no intermediate stage between saying nothing, and bellowing. Some cubs from I know not where were told off for walking down the edge of a site. The leaders of the unit had crammed their tents down one side of their pitch leaving an area that to everyone else resembled a walkway. So it wasn’t the cubs fault that they treated it as such and yet they got yelled at.
Another leader was seen muttering that others “weren’t talking care of their kids” apparently under the impression that cubs and scouts should be kept virtually on baby reins, even in a safe environment like a county camp. It’s good for Scouts development to give them some freedom, and a bit sad that some can’t appreciate this.
Just doing a small tourist language course. My teacher is of course excellent!
My only concern is that the people I encounter may not have rehearsed the role of “helpful passers by” as I’d hope!
Stephen Tall teaches us all something.
It’s a mistake any blogger could have made. Let’s learn from it.
One way I am keeping my health and sanity is by not watching this weeks Panorama.
Last week we had a fascinating expose on the “Church” of Scientology. During the filming of which a spokesman of the Church caused the reporter to snap by a verbal form of Chinese water torture. This week the worthwhile/stupid balance is restored with an expose on the dangers of WiFi.
Even before the programme was broadcast, it was being slated for its dodgy use of science. Now respected scientific commentator Ben Goldacre (bookmark his column, it’s great) has blown apart its impartiality.
This weekend like Paul Walter we watched Friday night with Jonathan Ross and Parkinson.
Jonathan Ross was anarchic. I find the programme, and his Radio 2 show, entertaining,
It started off well with one of my favourite comedians Eddie Izzard, who was fab as usual and apparently in Ocean’s 13. Then it was Janice Dickinson, who was just OTT, and slightly crude, which set the tone for the rest of the evening.
John Barrowman and Andrew Lloyd-Webber were next and interviewing Janice seemed to take JR to a new level of smut. I do find Jonathan’s near the knuckle comments a bit much when he’s interviewing John Barrowman, but simultaneously I think Barrowman is an entertaining person to listen to. Unlike Lloyd-Webber, whose innuendo about Sarah Brightamn was just… gross…
So the next day it’s Parkinson. I’ve heard many people criticise Michael Parkinson for being sycophantic towards his guests, and that they find the programme difficult viewing. Personally I think there’s room for both the Ross and Parkinson style. Chat shows are entertainment, not investigative journalism or gladiatorial combat, and Michael Parkinson is still one of the best. He wasn’t afraid to confront Piers Morgan on his Sunday Supplement radio show the other week.
Anyway the first guest was George Michael who came across as quite sensible and agreeable. When he was interviewed on his own that was. While he can be a bit of an idiot with regards his personal life, I have to agree with him that having paperazzi camped on peoples doorsteps is a bit much. “George Michael charged by police” is news. “George Michael opens front door of own house” frankly isn’t. While I accept Piers Morgan’s point that a big sector of the public are interested in celebrity coverage and gossip masquerading as news, I don’t see how harassing people in their own homes adds anything to the coverage.
I do disagree with him on one thing, I don’t think being gay has anything to do with the treatment he has received, because I don’t think reigning in his flamboyant lifestyle would be being untrue to his sexuality.
Stephen Fry was the second guest, and we were looking forward to listening to him, but unfortunately some things he said set George Michael off, and he would not shut up. I appreciate that the press has given him a hard time, but we really wanted to hear what Stephen had to say.
On Sunday it was the Television Baftas. I think Brenda Blethyn should give a masterclass in how to present awards because some of the people were dreadful. Joan Rivers was also good- she either knows her UK celebrities or had prepared well for her 30 seconds of speach time. The worst was an award won by Jonathan Ross, where Kelly Osborne and Kris Marshall droned and mumbled their lines like a couple of schoolchildren. John Simm looked sour when he missed out on the best actor BAFTA to Jim Broadbent, but perhaps the Life on Mars team had had their hopes built up too much by the media. Maybe not, as they won the award voted for by the general public.
Managed to get an early train from work.
Trouble is that meant that my Hull train left during rush hour. It's packed!
We listened to the end of the Eurovision song contest on Radio 2 on Saturday night, having spent the afternoon in Manchester. Ken Bruce easily matched Terry Wogan’s commentary, but I found the songs all blurred into each other.
It was depressing to see Scooch get so few points, and even more depressing to read the vitriol of those in the media. While I don’t believe Flying the Flag deserved to win, compared to the rest of the field it was fun, melodic, and contrary to Justin Hawkins moans, it was an actual song.
Mike Reed, former radio 1 disk jockey, comments that the song was weak with appalling choreography. Yes it wasn’t the pop equivalent of Stoppard, but did any of the detractors listen to the stuff it was up against?
I think though the fact the Ukraine and Turkish entry scored so highly in the UK illustrates our predicament with Scooch. We selected Scooch because of their silly campness, and how that fits in with our opinion of the contest. And perhaps rightly so. We voted for the Ukraine, whose song was awful (yes I agree Will) because of the extremeness of the drag act. And we voted for Turkey because of the British belly dancers.
You can’t eliminate the voting for your neighbours aspect, without getting into a silly level of blind voting that will spoil the whole thing, or looking like a petulantly sore loser. We all have our prejudices and that will affect how we perceive the quality of the entrants. There is also the argument that cultures blend across borders and that neighbouring countries will have similar tastes in pop music. Indeed if a country put up an act with an existing high profile, they will be instantly popular with the voters just across the border.
At least Serbia won and not that silly act from the Ukraine. Even if that means someone lost money.