19 October 2009

Fun fun fun in the sun sun sun with a cold cold cold

It's not long now until I'm off on holiday to Gran Canaria - five days in fact - and I'm really looking forward to it. It's 75 degrees out there at the moment, and although there is a bit of cloud around I'm hoping it's going to be nice enough to spend most of it lazing by the pool.

Unfortunately, at the moment I am ill with a cold, and so is Chris, and so is one of the friends we're going with. Which is quite a pain really, as I don't particularly relish the prospect of travelling when I'm feeling crappy. It's only Monday though and I've been ill since last Thursday, so I'm hoping it will be long gone by Saturday. I've eaten 13 satsumas in 5 days too, so that's got to have helped hasn't it?

For a little while I felt guilty at the thought I might be on a plane with a virus and give it to other people. Then however, this was overridden by the worry that there might be people on the plane with worse viruses (i.e. swine flu) who might give those to me! So I suddenly got quite irrationally twitchy that I'll get laid up in a random Spanish health centre with swine flu and miss all of my holiday.

BUT I've just looked up some details on air travel, and it seemed to say you're no more at risk on a plane on a short flight that you would be on a bus or train, unless you end up sitting next to someone who is coughing and sneezing. So I'll probably be OK and I'm going to stop panicking.

Now all I need is for the stupid AussieBums I ordered to arrive before Saturday - it's been six weeks now and no sign of them. Typical. I just know they'll turn up the Monday after we leave, and will be waiting all smugly in my post box when we get back.

12 October 2009

Tea cosies, booze and Simon Amstell

I've had a great weekend involving all of the above items. Fortunately they weren't all at once, that would have been a bit odd and probably rather confusing for Simon Amstell.

It was Chris' birthday on Friday, so we had a number of nice things planned over the weekend to celebrate this auspicious occasion. We had a nice dinner at home on Friday accompanied by a bottle of Marks and Spencer Vouvray (one of my favourite wines, try it!) and then we had a cosy night in doing SingStar on his new wireless SingStar microphones.

Then on Saturday we went for a Birthday High Tea at the Tea Cosy teashop. You may have seen it briefly on Brighton Beach Patrol on Channel 5 last week. Basically it's a camp little teashop crammed to bursting with royal memorabilia, where they do great tea and cakes and sandwiches and things. The guy who runs it is lovely and always keeps us entertained with local gossip.

I had the Princess Margaret Memorial Low Tea, which came with the most yummy lemon Madeira cake ever. It was the size of a breeze block too, so I was on a bit of a sugar and caffeine rush for quite a while afterwards and had to have a bit of a lie down in the afternoon (I'm such an old woman)

And then in the evening we had people over and then went to We Luv Pop's We Luv Movie Soundtracks at the Hanbury Ballroom. Chris had decided our evening should have a fancy dress theme, and that theme ended up being "Things you never thought you'd wear again". It was subverted a little by some people buying new fancy dress outfits for it, but they were so horrific we decided it was admissible. Chris and I went in our school uniforms, and were both quite smug that they still fitted fairly well.

The We Luv Movie Soundtracks theme was great (from what I remember), and we did quite a lot of crazy dancing to such classics as Dance Magic Dance and the Neverending Story. It was really busy in there too, which was good. It's run by Dynamite Sal who used to do Dynamite Boogaloo, so I'm glad it's doing well.

Sunday was a necessarily more subdued day, and all I really wanted to do was loaf about and watch Come Dine With Me. We couldn't do that all day though, because we had tickets to see Simon Amstell's stand up show at the Brighton Dome in the evening. We saw him there last year too, and he's been really good both times.

Lots of his act this year seemed to revolve around him being a bit lonely and crap at relationships, which made me think awwwwwww and want to give him a hug. He also said that his ideal man is one who is skinny (check), only says about three sentences an hour (check), and is rather sickly (check!). So I'm definitely in there if I ever get to meet him. I'm not 18 unfortunately, his other stipulation, but I might be able to get him to overlook that with enough vodka.

Sometimes with celebrities who seem a bit vulnerable like that, I think "aw I bet we'd be really good friends". Which is a stupid thing to think I know, because what he says on stage quite possibly bears no relation to how he is in real life. He might be horrible. He's certainly very highly strung I think. You can tell that he's quite tense about his act going well, he doesn't really like hecklers (even good natured ones), and he got quite cross in the middle of his act about the spotlight not following him properly. I imagine he's quite high maintenance. But he's so sweet, I just wanted to take him home with me.

Chris seemed to have a very good birthday weekend anyway, with all these activities to entertain him. I'm thoroughly exhausted now though and will need to try to catch up on some sleep. Particularly as we're probably having another big night out next weekend (again at the Hanbury, which seems to be taking all my money at the moment) for Boogaloo Stu's Pop Kraft.

Honestly, with all this socialising and debauchery it's getting quite difficult to maintain my shy and retiring image.

05 October 2009

Miss Amateur Pole Dance UK 2009

Yesterday I had the unusual experience of going to a pole dancing competition to see one of my friends compete for the title of Miss Amateur Pole Dance UK. It was up in Burgess Hill (it wasn't a huge event, hence the not particularly glamorous location) and my friend had come all the way from Birmingham to compete, so we felt it was only right that a few of us should go along to cheer her on.

And it was really fun! They had 11 girls compete, and they seemed to have come from various places around the country to enter. I think the only stipulations were that you had to have been pole dancing for less than a year and that you weren't a 'professional', i.e. didn't work as a pole dancer in any capacity. They kept reiterating that the emphasis was very much on fitness and fun and dance, rather than it being a sexy showcase, which is probably why it was in a leisure centre at two in the afternoon. All the girls seemed to be doing pole dancing for the same reasons as our friend anyway, as a hobby and for the fitness side.

Actually it was meant to be 12 competitors, but one foolish girl made the mistake during the introductory bit of answering "So how long have you been pole dancing?" with "Two years". "Oh," said the hostess woman. "Well you can't compete then sorry" and she was disqualified then and there on stage! Bit humiliating really, they should have asked her that question earlier... They still let her dance at the end, but only as a 'showcase', she wasn't in the competition.

The girls all performed really well, with a bit of variation in ability, and it was obvious once they got going that it's not as easy as you might think it is. I for one do not fancy trying to suspend myself in mid-air using only the power of my thighs clutching a pole.

Our friend Jennie (third picture, in the camo dress) performed really really well, and did a nice routine to Jordin Spark's 'Battlefield', with a matching outfit and everything. She didn't win, unfortunately, but there was very little in it, and she was a lot more graceful than most of the other competitors.

After the girls' competition there was a Mr Pole Fitness competition, which they touted as the first time they'd had a male competition, but they said they thought the sport was 'ready for it'. Obviously not that ready for it, as they only had four competitors, including one man who had been strong-armed into competing from among the audience. The guy who won had come all the way from France, and I think he may have been expecting a slightly larger competition than the two joke entrants (a milkman and a barbarian) and a guy in jeans. He won anyway, because he could actually dance and do some quite difficult moves on the poles.

And then the current Miss Professional Pole Dance graced us with a performance to close. She was obviously very good, and whizzed round and round on that pole in all her skinny bikinied glory.

It quite made me want to try pole dancing actually... I think the greater upper body strength that men tend to have might be quite an advantage for some of it (especially shimmying up the pole). So who knows, maybe that Mr Pole Fitness 2010 title has got my name on it...

X Factor final 12

What the fuck??? Once again the X Factor has managed to surprise us with a mixed bag of good singers, mediocre singers, and some truly unfathomable decisions. We're now down to the final 12, the selection we will be repeatedly and forcibly exposed to over the coming weeks right up until Christmas.

I could tackle this post in the same order as the last one, for consistency, but I think it is far more important that I move straight onto the groups first as I feel like I'm about to explode.

The groups - Louis Walsh, sex pest and retard extraordinaire
What the fuck??????? He put John and Edward through!!!!!!! I can't BELIEVE it. It's not that I can't believe that Louis would do it, I can very much believe that, but I can't believe he had the audacity to put through a 'group' who can't sing, who stood there like a wet fucking weekend singing off key, and who then cried about how shit their performance was, and who Ronan Keating even said "well I can't see why you like them", but who he put through ANYWAY solely because he wants to finger them. It was SO bare-faced and transparent! There was no musical justification for it, and yet he just did it anyway.

Of course, he can make the argument that putting in a group that everyone hates is 'good television'. But he won't be making that argument because he'll be too busy jiggling up and down on their cocks to think about it. He claims they "have potential". Potential is not enough by this stage of the competition! Potential is fine for the first audition, but then you boot them out at the second stage and say they're not ready or aren't strong enough. It was just ridiculous!

If they had been two black twins from Battersea with those voices, would he have put them through? No. A million times no. Louis Walsh is a racist. Not because he wouldn't put them through because they're black, but because he so blatantly favours the Irish over all others and with complete disregard for their actual ability. It'll probably come out in the papers in a few weeks that he knows their family or something, the same as it did with Simon and Leona, and that's why he's pushed them through. Or maybe he doesn't know their family but their school is near his house and he used to look at them in the playground through the railings while toying with his Irish flute.

So anyway, that was dreadful, just dreadful. Also through for the groups are Kandy Rain (meh, they'll last two weeks) and Miss Frank. Miss Frank are OK, I don't always like the rapping much, but they can sing reasonably well and aren't doing badly considering they didn't want to be a group.

I'm glad he kicked out Harmony Hood, because they were crap and were just there to make up the numbers. They thought they were good because they were all urban and 'street', but I'm sorry, this isn't Sister Act II: Back In The Habit, being from the gritty suburbs but having a heart of gold isn't enough for this competition. If that's what you're hoping for I suggest you look for a fat black woman in a nun's habit and ask her to make your musical dreams come true.

The boys - Cheryl Cole
This category wasn't toooooooo bad. Fit Lloyd got through, but is a bit young and may crack under the pressure. She got rid of equally fit Ethan, but I agree that he didn't sing all that well in his final performance. I don't know why she tortured that opera boy by making him wait, she was never going to put him through. And Rikki Loney needs to give it up with the hats, it's not a good look. Who was the other one? Oh yes, Joe. He's alright, a bit wishy washy. Suspiciously he's from South Shields like Cheryl is, so when she said "I felt like I knew you as soon as you walked in" it was a bit obviously just because he has the same accent. But anyway, I guess Lloyd is my favourite from this lot. He could do with not speaking though, he's rather too Welsh.

The girls - Dannii Minogue
As I said before, I found it hard to identify individual girls from this category, and didn't know that much about them. She's put Rachel Adedeji though, which is fine. I suspect her real reason wasn't that she liked her singing, but rather that she liked her prostrating herself before her at the end of Bootcamp (see previous photo).

I quite like the Stacey that got through, she is dippy and sweet. She talks weirdly like Frank Spencer at times, which I find rather amusing. And the Lucy girl has a good voice so I suppose that's OK.

The overs - Simon Cowell
Some odd decisions here again. Both the women got the chop, which is a shame because they had great voices. He was maybe concerned they would be overshadowed by the under 25 girls, or that they simply wouldn't get the votes. He's quite shrewd like that: he doesn't necessarily pick the best singers, because he knows the public don't vote for the best singers. Look at Eoghan Quigg: he was crap, and he had a big white face that slowly expanded through the series until he looked like Michael Myers from Halloween. But he got through to almost win it, so Simon knew what he was doing.

Annoyingly, he kept Danyl, who is so retarded he can't even spell Daniel. And this was despite his massively over-the-top performance, which included gurning and occasionally looking quite like Kermit the Frog. There is such a thing as adjusting your performance to suit your type of audience, and his monstrosity was just not suitable for two people on a sofa three feet in front of you. I don't like him, he's a knob.

Jamie Afro is through, but he has been slightly raised in my estimation because he DID adjust his performance - he toned it down a lot, and it felt much more appropriate for the setting. I still don't like him, I don't think he'll sell records, and I don't know why he always has a fucking dishcloth tucked into his jeans. I don't need my windows washed, thank you Jamie, although you could probably buff them to a nice shine with that afro.

And finally there was big cheeks Olly. He's okaaaaaaay in a hamstery sort of way. I suppose for novelty during Big Band week he could house the entire band actually in his cheeks, that might be fun. He's not great though, he has bad bad hair and his voice is only OK. He's no Austin Drage anyway.

So yes, I was mildly disappointed. I think I want Lloyd to win (he's probably not strong enough) or one of the girls (I don't mind which at the moment).

And John and Edward need to be beaten to death with a rusty rail spike.