Welcome to the next instalment of my journal posts. There’s plenty packed in here, including career updates, entertainment highlights, top 20 lists, little bits of news and sport, and the start of a fun little getaway. So I hope you enjoy!
Sunday May 1, 2005
My supervisor was back at work this week, so everything’s normal again, and nothing much has happened there really. And this coming week is only a 4-day week, as it’s Bank Holiday on Monday. I’m still waiting for confirmation of my extension until July, and then I’ll sort out my holiday. I’m going to the Starters Exhibition on May 25th, so that might be interesting.
I’ve ordered some more DVDs from Amazon, after getting my payslip this week:
- Ronnie Corbett Live – I spotted this in HMV in Exeter last weekend, although it’s been out for a few months. Should be good fun.
- 2Point4 Children – Series 2
- Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird: The Movie & Tribute Tour Concert
- The Strat Pack – A concert from 2004 celebrating the 50th birthday of the Fender Stratocaster guitar, featuring Brian May, The Crickets, Hank Marvin and other great guitarists. So it should be interesting.
- Peter Kay – The Live Collection – Bit of a gamble this. I’ve never got into his sitcoms, like Phoenix Nights. But I do remember that one of his stand up shows on TV was pretty good, and he’s quite funny in interviews. And his Amarillo video rocks, of course. There are 2 of his live DVDs in the set, so hopefully I’ll like them.
And talking of Amarillo – it’s now in its 7th week at #1! Yes, really! I know you don’t have to sell much to get to the top spot these days, but it still doesn’t say much for the other artists. The last person to spend 7 weeks on the chart was Cher with Believe. Wet Wet Wet’s Love Is All Around was the last song to spend at least 8 weeks at the top back in 1994, so will Peter Kay beat them? Surely not – is there really anyone who doesn’t have a copy of Amarillo by now?! Tony Christie’s Greatest Hits didn’t stay at number 1 in the album charts for as long, but it’s still been in the top 5 all that time.
I haven’t bought much stand-up comedy, so I might get some more soon. I’m tempted to try some of Jack Dee‘s stuff to start with. There’s other good stuff coming out soon too, like Dad’s Army, One Foot In The Grave and other shows. My parents have got some DVDs of old sitcoms recently as well, including On The Buses, Please Sir and Mind Your Language, which they’ve enjoyed. And they’ve also got the first season of Knight Rider, so I’ve now watched the pilot episode, which is pretty good, and I’ll continue watching the rest of the series to see what I think.
As for the TV itself, Doctor Who seems to be getting better, if that’s possible, with a cracking Dalek episode this week. Action, comedy, suspense, drama, brilliant effects, it was all there. And The Simpsons has now reached its 350th episode in the US. I’ve just seen the 100th episode on DVD, so there’s quite a way to go for me yet!
In the news, we’re into the last full week of election campaigning. We’ve done our postal vote, choosing from only 4 candidates (Labour, Conservatives, Lib Dems & UKIP). But the strangest news story this week was a car which crashed into a house – on the first floor! The BMW seems to have taken off, soared 20 feet into the air, smashed into the top floor of the house, and then fallen into the garden and burst into flames! Police are still trying to work out what happened. The men in the car are in a critical condition, but nobody was in the room that was hit, so the people inside the house weren’t hurt. They were rather shocked though, I expect!
I’ll finish for today with yet another Channel 4 list. But this time it’s not from viewer votes. It’s Britain’s Most Watched TV from across the decades, based on official viewer ratings, and has been produced with the help of the British Film Institute (BFI). It’s long, but interesting. Only the 60s to 90s were shown in detail, while the 1950s and 2000s were just skimmed by the show, as there are limited figures for the 50s and we’re only midway through the 2000s.
- Wagon Train – ITV – 30/11/1959 – 13.63 million
- Take Your Pick! – ITV – 11/12/1959 – 13.16 million
- Sunday Night At The London Palladium – ITV – 06/12/1959 – 13.08 million
- Armchair Theatre: Suspicious Mind – ITV – 22/11/1959 – 12.74 million
- The Army Game – ITV – 11/12/1959 – 12.60 million
- Double Your Money – ITV – 05/10/1959 – 12.34 million
- Concentration – ITV – 29/12/1959 – 12.31 million
- Dotto – ITV – 01/10/1959 – 12.13 million
- Emergency Ward 10 – ITV – 29/12/1959 – 12.12 million
- The Arthur Haynes Show – ITV – 12/10/1959 – 11.87 million
- Armchair Theatre: Shilling For The Evil Day – ITV – 01/11/1959 – 11.84 million
- No Hiding Place – ITV – 07/10/1959 – 11.82 million
- Armchair Theatre: Doctor Kabil – ITV – 06/12/1959 – 11.78 million
- Play Of The Week: The Last Hours – ITV – 22/09/1959 – 11.75 million
- Armchair Theatre: The Rebel And The Soldier – ITV – 29/11/1959 – 11.72 million
- Armchair Theatre: Last Of The Brave – ITV – 15/11/1959 – 11.58 million
- Knight Errant ’59 – ITV – 15/12/1959 – 11.57 million
- Play Of The Week: Sweet Poison – ITV – 15/12/1959 – 11.57 million
- Armchair Theatre: Small Fish Are Sweet – ITV – 08/11/1959 – 11.53 million
- Armchair Theatre: Thought Of Tomorrow – ITV – 11/10/1959 – 11.48 million
- World Cup Final 1966 – BBC1 – 30/07/1966 – 32.30 million
- Royal Family (Documentary) – BBC1 & ITV – 21/06/1969 (BBC1), 28/06/1969 (ITV) – 30.69 million
- Royal Variety Performance 1965: Shirley Bassey, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, etc – ITV – 14/11/1965 – 24.20 million
- News: John F. Kennedy Assassination – BBC & ITV – 22/11/1963 – 24.15 million
- Miss World 1967: Miss Peru, Madeline Hartog Bel Houghton – BBC1 – 19/11/1967 – 23.76 million
- Apollo 8 Splashdown – BBC1 & ITV – 27/12/1968 – 22.55 million
- The London Palladium Show – ITV – 03/12/1967 – 21.89 million
- Steptoe And Son: The Lodger – BBC – 18/02/1964 – 21.54 million
- Coronation Street: Charlie sees belly dancer Rita in Elsie’s bed – ITV – 02/12/1964 – 21.36 million
- Mrs Thursday: Call Me Madam & Family Reunion – ITV – 22/03/1966 & 29/03/1966 – 21.01 million
- Secombe And Friends – ITV – 13/11/1966 – 20.79 million
- Churchill’s Funeral Procession – BBC1 & ITV – 30/01/1965 – 20.06 million
- Howerd’s Hour – ITV – 12/05/1968 – 20.02 million
- Grand National 1968 – BBC1 – 30/03/1968 – 19.86 million
- Market In Honey Lane – ITV – 03/04/1967 – 19.47 million
- Double Your Money – ITV – 08/11/1966 – 19.47 million
- Take Your Pick! – ITV – 02/12/1966 – 19.36 million
- The Boat Race 1968 – BBC1 – 30/03/1968 – 19.36 million
- Life With Cooper – ITV – 16/03/1968 – 19.25 million
- Two Of A Kind: Morecambe And Wise, Millicent Martin, The Hollies & Tom Jones – ITV – 12/11/1967 – 19.14 million
- Apollo 13 Splashdown – BBC1 & ITV – 17/04/1970 – 28.60 million
- FA Cup Final Replay 1970: Chelsea vs Leeds – BBC1 & ITV – 29/04/1970 – 28.49 million
- Princess Anne & Mark Phillips’ Wedding – BBC1 & ITV – 14/11/1973 – 27.60 million
- To The Manor Born: A Touch Of Class (Series 1 Finale) – BBC1 – 11/11/1979 – 23.95 million
- Miss World 1970: Miss Grenada, Jennifer Hosten – BBC1 – 20/11/1970 – 23.76 million
- The Royal Variety Performance 1975: Bruce Forsyth, Dad’s Army, Vera Lynn, etc – BBC1 – 16/11/1975 – 22.66 million
- This is Your Life: Lord Mountbatten – ITV – 27/04/1977 – 22.22 million
- The Benny Hill Show: Cinema – The Vintage Years – ITV – 24/03/1971 – 21.67 million
- Eurovision Song Contest 1973: In Luxembourg, won by Anne-Marie David – BBC1 – 07/04/1973 – 21.56 million
- The Mike Yarwood Christmas Show – BBC1 – 25/12/1977 – 21.40 million
- The Morecambe And Wise Show – BBC1 – 25/12/1977 – 21.30 million
- Sale Of The Century – ITV – 24/12/1978 – 21.15 million
- Boxing: Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazie (Fight Of The Century) – BBC1 – 09/03/1971 – 21.12 million
- Love Thy Neighbour: Bananas – ITV – 01/04/1974 – 21.01 million
- Coronation Street: Len & Rita’s wedding – ITV – 20/04/1977 – 20.90 million
- Oh No It’s Selwyn Froggitt – ITV – 07/03/1977 – 20.88 million
- Doctor On The Go – ITV – 13/03/1977 – 20.71 million
- The Cuckoo Waltz: Alternations (Series 3 Finale) – ITV – 14/02/1977 – 20.70 million
- The Sweeney: Sweet Smell Of Succession – ITV – 08/11/1976 – 20.68 million
- George And Mildred: Best Foot Forward – ITV – 25/10/1976 – 20.57 million
- Eastenders: Den divorces Angie – BBC1 – 25/12/1986 – 30.15 million
- Prince Charles & Lady Diana Spencer’s Wedding – BBC1 & ITV – 29/07/1981 – 28.40 million
- Coronation Street: Alan Bradley arrested – ITV – 19/03/1989 – 26.93 million
- Dallas: Who Done It (J.R. Ewing’s killer revealed) – BBC1 – 22/11/1980 – 21.60 million
- To The Manor Born: Vive Le Sport (Series 2 Finale) – BBC1 – 09/11/1980 – 21.55 million
- Bread – BBC1 – 04/12/1988 – 20.97 million
- Neighbours – BBC1 – 04/04/1989 – 20.92 million
- Just Good Friends – BBC1 – 25/12/1986 – 20.75 million
- News – BBC1 – 25/11/1984 – 20.42 million
- Only Fools And Horses: The Jolly Boys’ Outing – BBC1 – 25/12/1989 – 20.12 million
- The Benny Hill Show: WonderGran Meets Dr. Jackal & Mr. Hyde – ITV – 07/01/1981 – 20.00 million
- This Is Your Life: Andrew Sachs – ITV – 02/01/1980 – 19.75 million
- Porridge (Repeat) – BBC1 – 27/12/1984 – 19.36 million
- My Wife Next Door (Repeat) – BBC1 – 18/01/1980 – 19.30 million
- Jim’ll Fix It – BBC1 – 01/03/1980 – 19.20 million
- Mastermind – BBC1 – 09/11/1980 – 19.15 million
- A Question Of Sport – BBC1 – 05/02/1987 – 19.05 million
- Blankety Blank – BBC1 – 26/12/1980 – 19.05 million
- Open All Hours: The Mystical Boudoir of Nurse Gladys Emmanuel (Series 4 Finale) – BBC1 – 06/10/1985 – 18.96 million
- Wish You Were Here…? – ITV – 02/01/1985 – 18.95 million
- Princess Diana’s Funeral – BBC1 & ITV – 06/09/1997 – 32.10 million
- Only Fools And Horses: Time On Our Hands – BBC1 – 29/12/1996 – 24.35 million
- Eastenders: Mark urged to tell Michelle about his HIV – BBC1 – 02/01/1992 – 24.30 million
- Winter Olympics 1994: Torvill & Dean – BBC1 – 21/02/1994 – 23.95 million
- World Cup 1998: England vs Argentina – ITV – 30/06/1998 – 23.78 million
- Panorama: Princess Diana Interview – BBC1 – 20/11/1995 – 22.78 million
- Coronation Street: Ken & Deirdre finalise divorce – ITV – 08/01/1992 – 21.60 million
- Neighbours – BBC1 – 26/02/1990 – 21.16 million
- National Lottery Live: Launch Show – BBC1 – 19/11/1994 – 20.17 million
- One Foot In The Grave: One Foot In The Algarve – BBC1 – 26/12/1993 – 20.00 million
- The Second Worst Of Alright On The Night (Repeat) – ITV – 01/02/1992 – 19.90 million
- Birds Of A Feather: It Happened In Hollywood – BBC1 – 25/12/1993 – 19.39 million
- You’ve Been Framed! – ITV – 19/01/1992 – 19.30 million
- Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? – ITV – 07/03/1999 – 19.21 million
- London’s Burning – ITV – 01/12/1991 – 18.86 million
- Inspector Morse: The Day Of The Devil – ITV – 13/01/1993 – 18.77 million
- The Trouble With Mr Bean – ITV – 01/01/1992 – 18.74 million
- Heartbeat: Unfinished Business – ITV – 19/11/1995 – 18.68 million
- More Auntie’s Bloomers – BBC1 – 27/12/1992 – 18.40 million
- The Darling Buds Of May: When the Green Woods Laugh (Part 1) – ITV – 21/04/1991 – 18.35 million
- Only Fools And Horses: If They Could See Us Now – BBC1 – 25/12/2001 – 21.34 million
- Euro 2004: England vs Portugal – BBC1 – 24/06/2004 – 20.66 million
- Eastenders: Lisa confesses to shooting Phil – BBC1 – 05/04/2001 – 20.05 million
- Coronation Street: Richard confesses everything to Gail – ITV – 24/02/2003 – 19.40 million
- Tonight With Trevor McDonald: Major Fraud – ITV – 21/04/2003 – 16.10 million
- Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? – ITV – 19/01/2000 – 15.90 million
- Tonight With Martin Bashir: Living With Michael Jackson – ITV – 03/02/2003 – 15.32 million
- Heartbeat: A Shot In The Dark – ITV – 23/01/2000 – 15.20 million
- I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! Series 3 Final – ITV – 09/02/2004 – 14.99 million
- A Touch Of Frost: Benefit Of The Doubt (Part 1) – ITV – 14/01/2001 – 14.69 million
- Inspector Morse: The Remorseful Day – ITV – 15/11/2000 – 13.70 million
- Pop Idol: Series 1 Final – ITV – 09/02/2002 – 13.34 million
- Emmerdale: Lorry crash aftermath – ITV – 22/03/2000 – 13.30 million
- One Foot In The Grave: Things Aren’t Simple Any More – BBC1 – 20/11/2000 – 12.80 million
- Rugby World Cup Final 2003: England’s Victory – ITV – 22/11/2003 – 12.66 million
- The Vicar Of Dibley: Merry Christmas – BBC1 – 25/12/2004 – 12.59 million
- Golden Jubilee: Party At The Palace – BBC1 – 03/06/2002 – 12.54 million
- Auf Wiedersehen, Pet: Bridging The Gap – BBC1 – 28/04/2002 – 12.41 million
- Popstars: Hear’Say members announced – ITV – 03/02/2001 – 12.36 million
- Casualty: Coming Clean– BBC1 – 02/12/2000 – 12.34 million
Friday May 6, 2005
Nothing much to report at work this week, other than the fact that I’ve booked my holiday. I’ve built up 9 days, so I’m booking the Bank Holiday week at the end of this month (i.e. Tuesday-Friday), plus the following week.
As for the General Election, Tony Blair won for the third time, although with a much smaller majority (66 compared to 160). That’s what most people seemed to be expecting and wanted. Michael Howard is going to step down as leader from the Conservatives at some point. The Lib Dems are happy, as they say we are now in an era of three party politics. UKIP didn’t do very well at all, and the BNP didn’t make much progress either, thankfully. The Lib Dems won where I live as usual, but it was quite close. And the average turnout across the country was just over 60%, so there are still a lot who aren’t voting. At least it’s all over now though.
That’s been the main news really. The 60th anniversary of VE Day is the other big event, and there’s a concert this weekend with acts like Will Young, Cliff Richard and Daniel Bedingfield, etc. So it won’t be too exciting, but it’s a good way to say thanks to all the veterans, and it might be the last time for some of them. Apart from that though, there aren’t any other big stories right now.
Sunday May 15, 2005
Just a couple of weeks to go before my holiday, and my best mate is definitely coming down to Exeter in the Bank Holiday week, so that’s good. I’ve got the DVDs I ordered a couple of weeks back as well. 2Point4 Children is still as good as I remember it, including an appearance by Anneka Rice, who I haven’t seen for years. Challenge Anneka was a great show. Doctor Who was yet another great episode this week too, about Rose mucking up the fabric of time by saving her dad’s life in the past.
Amarillo was finally knocked off the charts last weekend by a song called Lonely by Akon, which sounds like Pinky and Perky were involved, it’s terrible! Still, 7 weeks at the top must have raised a fair amount of cash for Comic Relief, which is good. And talking of Peter Kay, I’ve watched his Top Of The Tower DVD now, and he’s very funny. The reviews on Amazon said that some people were crying with laughter, and I was a few times! So I’m very glad I gave it a go.
Sunday May 22, 2005
We’ve been getting quite a bit done on the new financial system at work this week, which is good. Next week is the Starters Exhibition, and then the week after I’m on holiday. And so are others. On the Tuesday, it seems there’ll hardly be anyone in our room. Which isn’t good really, but it’s not my problem. Nobody said I couldn’t take my holiday, so I’m taking it!
The new BBC weather maps have been causing a storm (excuse the pun, which no doubt many reporters have used this week). They’re now in 3D, flying across the country from the south. You get to see the rain sweeping over the different areas, which is clearer than just having the odd cloud graphic splatted on to a rough area near you. But, there are a fair few complaints.
Some are saying that Scotland has now been made smaller because of the zoom in from the south. Others don’t like the fact that wind speeds and isobars are missing, but it was felt from research that only a minority of people understood them and used them. And some don’t like the country being brown instead of green, but the BBC say that the brown enables clarity when looking at the rain and sun. Still, the map is ‘ultra-flexible’, meaning the designers can change and add things if necessary. And it is only week 1, so everyone’s still getting used to it. I don’t mind them personally.
In the music world, the following has been happening:
- I’ve been watching the Strat Pack DVD, and it’s pretty good, there’s a nice variety of tunes on there.
- Kylie Minogue has got breast cancer, but an operation over the weekend was hailed a success, thankfully..
- That bloody Crazy Frog ringtone advert has been dominating the TV, usually twice in each ad break! It’s a ringtone, which is from a single out soon, which has a weird video associated with it. Not only does the frog sound irritating, but they’ve remixed it with Axel F. Stop ruining decent tunes! I know it’s only a bit of fun, but it is quite annoying!
- The 50th Eurovision Song Contest took place this weekend. Javine did our entry (Touch My Fire), but we only got 18 points, ending up 3rd from bottom. The favourites, Greece, won the contest.
And as for films, Star Wars III: Revenge Of The Sith is now out, with fairly good reviews compared to the previous two episodes. I’ve started to watch the other 5 now, in case I go to the cinema with my best mate and see it while he’s visiting.
Sunday May 29, 2005
I’m finally on holiday, so I’ve got 2 weeks off! It’ll be good to have a break, and I’m looking forward to meeting my best mate next week. At work this week, it was another colleague’s turn to get the cream cakes in for his birthday, so that was nice.
I’ve also made an application for a job with the company my Dad works for, as one of my Council colleagues pointed out an advert on their website for 2 accounting technicians. The closing date was Friday, and I found out on Wednesday, so that was lucky. I wasn’t able to ring the guy for a chat, as he was out of the office, so I’ve just applied for it and we’ll see what happens.
The salary’s better than what I get at the Council, and there’s the opportunity to study for the AAT qualification. One issue I have got is that the job is based in Exeter, but positions closer to home may be considered depending on circumstances, which would be better for me. That’s if I get the job, or even an interview! But it’s worth a go, that’s the main thing. You don’t know if you don’t try.
I’ve done another couple of Amazon orders. For CDs, I’ve ordered the first 4 Status Quo albums (which brings me up to the start of the recent reissues), another 2 albums by The Who, and the new I Feel Free compilation by Cream, brought out to celebrate their reunion. For DVDs, I’ve ordered Dad’s Army – Series 3, One Foot In The Grave – Series 2, Yes Prime Minister – Series 2 and The Brittas Empire – Series 7. Plus, on my parent’s recommendation, I’ve ordered Volume 1 of The Tube, a unique music show from the 80s.
One event has dominated the news this week – Liverpool have won the UEFA Champions League final, making them European champions. I don’t often pay attention to football, but this is pretty exciting. As this is the fifth time they’ve won it, they get to keep the trophy, only the third team to do so. The last time they won the final was about 20 years ago, so Liverpool are understandably ecstatic. And this time it looked like they would lose against opponents AC Milan. By half-time they were 3-0 down. But they soon came back with 3 great goals in less than 10 minutes during the second half. Trouble is, they didn’t get any more.
So, with it being 3-3 at the end, they had to play extra time. They nearly lost then, but they stayed in thanks to Liverpool’s goalie doing a spectacular double save at the end. That meant only one thing – penalties. Liverpool were much better than AC Milan here, and it didn’t take long for them to win. Liverpool fans are now in delirium over the result, and an open-top bus parade took place on Thursday night after they arrived back in Liverpool, with thousands of fans out to greet them. Well done Liverpool!
Anyway. I’m going to be meeting a couple of friends over the next week, and possibly one or two others at some point. We’ll probably do bowling and see the new Star Wars movie (I’ve now watched the other 5, so I’m ready). What else we’re going to do I’m not sure, but it should be a good week.
Tuesday May 31, 2005
I met up with my friends S & A in Exeter today. We went down to a party shop and met a friend of A’s called L. She’s a lesbian, like A, and has got purple hair and a crazy personality. She apparently likes to enjoy herself, even if it means nearly getting arrested. One tale involves her and a friend stripping off and swimming in a paddling pool about a foot deep. Police came to the area, they hid, and the searchlights went over the area and their clothes. They weren’t caught or arrested though. Another time a policeman talked to her in London because she was a bit drunk, but on telling him she lived in a fairly posh area he let her go. I don’t know how true all of that is, but it wouldn’t surprise me now I’ve met her.
It seems that L’s friends are just as mad too. Her friend D (who we didn’t meet) has bright pink hair apparently, described as “a flamingo with a neon light up its arse”, an interesting way of putting it that we won’t forget in a hurry! She also gave us ideas for what to do – get a piercing, get a tattoo, or get arrested. Or all three. We never took any of those ideas up, obviously!
Me, S and A all went back to A’s flat after that. A had brought a £3.99 England football during our trip out, so we all had a quick game in the park near her home. There’s big netting at one end, so we used that for goals. Trouble is, it does go a bit out of that area. In trying to pass it back after a long kick, I managed to kick it the wrong side of the netting, sending it over the hedge! So that game was over pretty quickly!
I then needed to make a move to get home, but was invited to stay with A for the week as well as S. I can’t refuse that offer now, can I?