July 2021 Introduction:
Welcome to another set of entries from my old journals. This isn’t a particularly exciting month, as there wasn’t a lot going on. But I did do a bit of socialising, and there are the usual mentions of TV shows, DVDs, news stories, etc. So there’s still a variety of things in here, and I hope you enjoy!
Friday March 2, 2007
Another month has arrived already. It’s been busy at work this week, with various bits and pieces as we near the end of the financial year, so there’s been plenty to do. And as for home, Dad went to the opticians the other day, and now just has to wait a while for lenses to come through before he can have new glasses. Hopefully they’ll let him see much better. Other than that though, it’s been quiet.
Nothing much has happened in the news either. The clean-up from the Cumbria train crash goes on (investigations show that parts of the points were missing), America’s tornado season has started with one hitting a school and killing one person in the process, drivers in the UK are complaining about contaminated petrol causing their cars to break down, and premium rate lines used for TV quiz shows are being investigated after mistakes were made on various shows. So there are little bits of news here and there, but nothing fascinating.
Friday March 9, 2007
It’s been another busy week at work, but we also had some cream cakes that my section manager brought in on his birthday, as is traditional. Apparently his elder kids forgot, so they’re feeling suitably guilty! And he locked himself out of the house yesterday when he took one of his daughters to school, so he had to walk to work instead of cycling. Other than that though, he had a good day.
As for us at home, things are quiet. Dad’s having some more time off work from next week, but only because he has to use up his holiday entitlement before April. As he was off sick for quite a while, he’s got a lot of days left to use.
In the news this week, John Inman has died aged 71. He had Hepatitis A, which can be caught from eating contaminated food. Inman was, of course, famous for his catchphrase “I’m Free” in Are You Being Served?, in which he played Mr Humphries. He also did a lot of pantomimes, often playing the dames.
In Devon, a girl became the first ever fatality related to the Ten Tors event. She was one of a group from her school training on the moors and bad weather, and got washed into a river. She was resuscitated and taken to hospital, but sadly didn’t survive.
The contaminated petrol in the UK was traced to its source, and found to have unusually high levels of silicon, indicating a risk of silicone being present. This particularly affected Tesco’s and Morrisons’ supplies to customers, and both retailers are offering refunds.
On the telly, the scandals over premium rate phonelines have been gathering pace. ITV and Channel 5 have suspended all their premium-rate phone lines after scandals on a number of channels, including the BBC. These include, among others:
- BBC2 – Saturday Kitchen – People were asked to phone to appear on next week’s show, but that next show was recorded only a short time after the previous show had gone on air, making it impossible for any viewer to go on it.
- ITV – X Factor – Overcharged people using its red button service to vote.
- Channel 4 – Richard & Judy’s quiz You Say, We Pay – People were asked to keep ringing in after a winner had already been chosen.
- Channel 5 – Brainteaser – The show has a daily phone-in quiz, but it seems winners were invented if there were no callers who got the right answer.
So it’s all in a right state, and there could well be more skeletons in the cupboard apparently. The regulators are meeting with TV executives to sort it out, and will bring criminal charges if they have to. ITV’s and Channel 5’s lines will remain closed while auditors double-check that everything is working the way it should, and then programmes will start using the phonelines again as they get approved. The semi-final of Dancing On Ice has been given the green light by the auditors, though, so that will still be shown this weekend. In the future, it is felt measures could be needed to restore consumer confidence, such as a kite mark. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
And in a final bit of TV news, ‘Allo ‘Allo! is coming back for a one-off special in the Spring, reuniting the original cast (well, those who are still alive that is, as Edith and Colonel von Strohm are among those who have died since it aired). After 9 series (I’m currently watching series 5 on DVD), it also became a stage show, again featuring much of the original cast. So this new episode will be exciting.
Sunday March 18, 2007
Not much to report this week really. Work’s still busy, and Mum got the flowers and chocolates I ordered from Interflora today, as it’s Mother’s Day, but that’s about it.
In the news this week:
- MP’s vote to replace Trident, Britain’s nuclear deterrent, despite some protests and a couple of ministers resigning over the issue.
- More phone line scandals have been coming out. Blue Peter is forced to apologise after faking the winner of a competition, so the competition is re-run. Another BBC kids programme – Smile – admits to pre-recording some of its live shows, even though they also have phone-in games. They had been getting kids from a local drama agency to pose as the children entering and winning, the excuse being that making the shows live would have clashed with some major sporting events. And ITV Play has closed down, although the quiz programmes in the middle of the night on ITV1 and ITV2 will still run. Replacing ITV Play is time-shift channel ITV2+1 (where programmes run 1 hour after ITV2).
- Even the picking of our Eurovision entry was marred by a blunder. The winners were a group called Scooch, dressed up as air stewardesses. The song was typical cheesy Eurovision pop, but it won’t win. Anyway, Terry Wogan announced that the other finalist, a Welsh girl called Cyndi, had won at first, then had to correct himself, so that confused things a little.
- Some phone-ins do have a happy ending though, as Comic Relief had raised over £40 million by the end of Friday night. The show wasn’t too bad either – including Mr Bean, Harry Hill’s TV Burp, Little Britain Live (including guests Russell Brand, Dennis Waterman & Dawn French), The Catherine Tate Show (with guests David Tennant, Daniel Craig, Lenny Henry & even Tony Blair), a Vicar Of Dibley version of Wife Swap, and another great song featuring Peter Kay (a cover of The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles with numerous celebrities). The Peter Kay track should be the official single again, as the cover of Walk This Way by Girls Aloud & The Sugababes is just awful. So it was good fun on the whole, and all for a good cause.
Sunday March 25, 2007
I’ve been at my friend AB’s place this weekend, hence another slightly late entry. Her boyfriend AL came down on Saturday as well. AB is doing an Open University course, so while her tutor went through an assignment with her on Saturday, AL and I went over to The Globe and had quite a few games of pool – he won 5-2! On Friday night, AB and I went to a pub in Heavitree, and on Saturday night, the three of us just stayed in at AB’s house. We were going to watch the Euro 2008 qualifier game between England & Israel, but left a bit late to get in the pubs. And as it turned out, the match was rubbish (we drew 0-0), so we didn’t miss anything!
Today, AB had booked a table at The Clifton Inn, another pub just down the road from her, so we could have a roast lunch there. AL didn’t feel like a roast, and decided to leave at 12:30, but AB & I had roast pork, and it was delicious! About 3 or 4 large and fairly thick slices, with a nice amount of fat. It was actually a carvery, so the meat was carved in front of us. And then we picked whatever we wanted to go with it – potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, vegetables and gravy.
After that, AB and I walked into town – I got some Easter cards and this week’s Radio Times, while AB got some highlighter pens. And then I decided to head home. As with the last couple of weekends I’ve been down there, buses replaced the trains. But it was easier this time, so I got home much quicker.
At home, our builder has been here this past week, finishing off various little bits and pieces, including waxing the doors, laying a new floor in the kitchen, and bringing our electrics up-to-date. And it also means we’ve actually finished the work now. There’s no major jobs left to do! Our builder’s wife took Mum & Dad out shopping for furniture as well on Thursday, so they’ve ordered some stuff that will be arriving in the coming weeks – tables, chairs, sofa, etc.
Talking of orders, I got a couple more DVDs from Amazon this week – The Simpsons: Season 9 and Dad’s Army: Series 8, plus I got a few more of the remastered Slade albums. But best of all I finally received the Freddie Mercury: Lover Of Life, Singer Of Songs box set, which I’d ordered back in September! I’d given up any hope of seeing it, but it came this weekend at last. I suppose it was popular, and I did order it from the Queen Online Store directly, but 6 months is still a hell of a long time. Still, it should be worth it.
Friday March 30, 2007
There isn’t much to mention this week. It’s been quiet at home but busy in the office, including work for the forthcoming local elections.
But I’m off work next week, to use up my remaining leave days for the year. Our manager, at his discretion, is happy for us to carry a few days over, as long as we use them pretty quickly (i.e. by the end of April). So that’s what I’ve done. I’m off from today until Tuesday 10th, as it’s allowed me to take advantage of the long Easter weekend (I obviously get Good Friday and Easter Monday automatically anyway). So I get 10 days at home, for the price of 4! Yay!
My best mate S has actually finished his spring term today, but is still at uni next week, as his friend T is popping down to see him next weekend. So I might pop up and see him for a couple of days.
In the news, the big story this week has been the capture of 15 Navy personnel by the Iran authorities. Iran claim that their vessel had strayed into Iranian waters – well, the first spot they gave co-ordinates for was in Iraq waters, but they then changed it when this was pointed out. Britain have proved, with their own data, that the ship was in Iraqi waters, and hadn’t strayed. The 14 men and 1 woman were investigated another boat when they were arrested.
The woman and one of the men have been shown giving statements on TV, in which they apparently apologise for trespassing, and to say they have been treated well, and a couple of letters from the woman (Faye Turney) also appear to say the same. But everyone else just thinks it’s a form of propaganda on Iran’s part. Britain is still negotiating their release, but Iran don’t seem to be in any hurry.
There hasn’t been much else really worth talking about on the news. What will be worth talking about, however, will be Doctor Who. That returns tomorrow for its third series, with new assistant Martha Jones (played by Freema Agyeman), and I can’t wait! The preview they’ve been showing via the red button on the BBC looks superb, the episodes sound like they’ll be better than ever, and they’ve been getting great reviews for the first episode.