Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Leave Them All Behind


Let me quantify that statement: Fuck the Scottish.

Let me quantify that last statement: it would appear that our northern cousins are the only people in the entire British Isles that are opposed to double British Summer Time; despite the overwhelming evidence that suggests it will be extremely good for the country at absolutely no cost at all. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/20/british-summer-time-changing-clocks-accidents-daylight explains it all and has some very convincing arguments. It also has a couple of convincing arguments about NOT doing it; my favourite being: make GMT start in the middle of November and ending at the end of January - 5 weeks either side and the rest BST. I could live with that.


I did a couple of year reviews and obviously I've remembered a few things that I wanted to mention (not that any of them will ever see this, but, hey...).

Over the first nine months of the year I was involved in the Intergenerational Project that I created and as a result of that I worked with a lot of really great people. These people included: Julia Baulch, Anne Lovely, Gilly Tompkins, Holly, Paul, Chris and the too numerous to mention members of the School of Life Steering Group, which I was honoured to serve on for nearly a year. Some of these people I actually regard as friends!

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I often mention the pub quiz. What I haven't mentioned is that for some of us the pub quiz isn't regarded as just pleasure...

We started doing quizzes about six years ago now. it started at the Bold Dragoon, me, the wife, Roger and B, plus Derrick and very occasionally Kate. We were the kings of the music quiz, winning probably 20 of the 24 that were held over a year, and we also won perhaps 40% of the General Knowledge quizzes. It was never for much, £20 here and there, but we soon accumulated a big kitty and realised that we could turn these winnings into something productive. We started to use the winnings to go out for a meal once every 3 months - paid for by our general knowledge.

We then identified the Malt Shovel's monthly quiz as another potential money spinner and won that a few times in the two years we frequented. That was well worth winning, with pots of £50+. However, it was around this time that Derrick started to stop enjoying himself. What he regarded as a bit of fun had for the wife, Roger and I become massively competitive. we didn't go to quizzes to enjoy ourselves, we went to win.

Things change. The Bold's quiz died - probably because it was won by us or our rivals Mucking Fuddled and Norman and Jackie left the Malt Shovel and their fabulous quiz was replaced by a moronic idiotic jackanape. We went to one at the White Elephant for about an year, but didn't win that very often, realising that it was far too common denominator for us. The quiz was filled with questions about ITV, modern pop music and celebrities - all the things we pretty much avoid like the plague.

Then we discovered the Vic and have been going there for the last 3 years. The team has changed little, the core four still remain, but we've been joined by Mike - who despite being extremely annoying at times, has become a bit of a wag and even occasionally answers a question that in the grand scheme of things wins us the quiz. And there's Colin, who just happens to be my oldest friend, having now known him since I was 13, which equates to a grand 35 years. Colin has won us a lot of quizzes over the last year or so he's been with us. He is, to all intents and purposes, our secret weapon. A font of irrelevant knowledge and someone who has embraced the ethos of the quiz team - winning counts, losing is something to avoid at all costs!

That said, both Mike and B enjoy the social side of the quiz nights; the people at the Vic are great and my previously mentioned mate One El runs a thoroughly enjoyable evening; so when we don't win, we can still enjoy ourselves. The good thing about our philosophy is that in the six years we've been doing it, we've averaged about 4 free meals a year - and that really can't be sniffed at!


Apparently this: " I think Matt Smith is great, I want to have Karen Gillan's children, but it just didn't have that sense of fun and forget-ability that Tenant's DW had. " didn't make a lot of sense to a couple of you. Let me elucidate.

I used the word forget-ability for a specific reason; I felt RTD's DW was pretty much that, forgettable. I occasionally watch an episode on Watch or BBC3 and sit there racking my brains because I can't remember ever seeing it, despite the fact I watched them all. I have always thought of Doctor Who as throwaway Saturday night TV.
It's on and it's gone.
I rarely analyse it, despite getting involved in conversations about it and I rarely invest the same amount of emotional energy in it like I have some US TV shows.

Moffat's DW doesn't have the same affect on me. It's cinematic; looks brill; I love the actors and yet... there's something about it that isn't quite right. it isn't RTD's and RTD's was, at times, uber-shite and forgettable; Moffat's is also forgettable but also... soulless. That's what I meant. Sorry if I confused you, Roger (but you are eleventy-one now!).

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I just deleted an entire entry. Didn't want to tempt fate. Will use it on January 2nd.

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Be warned, over Christmas I have scheduled a number of blog entries. One on Christmas Eve and 3 on the big day itself, so far. These are things that have either been written and never published or in one case a reprint of something I wrote ages ago, that's worth repeating, IMHO.


Here is a funny story I got from Roger this morning...

He and B were entertaining young friends last night. "I was attempting to be sociable with the South African chap last night, the first thing I said to him was 'So, where do you hail from then?' Not having heard him speak up to that point. He replied 'Aylesbury,' so my witty riposte on hearing his accent was, 'Blimey, have they got herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically over the plains of Buckinghamshire now then?' I said this in a jocular fashion so there was no reason for him to suppose I was doing anything other than joshing, but for some reason it sailed so far over his head it went into orbit, and he actually said, 'No, I'm originally from Siff Ifrica'!?!? I did my best not to larf!"

Tee and indeed hee...

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Apparently, the Big Chill is going to start to disappear on Boxing Day. The BBC's long range weather forecast suggests that by the advent of 2011 we could be sweltering in double figures as warmer, moist air from the mid-Atlantic will begin to dominate our weather.

Now, I, being like so many others, am a bit of a weather bore (what do you mean, you'd not noticed?) and I have five different weather websites saved in my Favourites list. There's UKWeather.com that was the place that told me about winter starting today and there's Accuweather, which is rarely accurate. In fact, Accuweather appears to be contrary to every other site I frequent and is the only one that offers a 15 day forecast - which sometimes has quite hilarious comments on it. BBC says rain, Accuweather says record breaking hot temperatures and possible sandstorms!

However, Accuweather also has the best named weather forecaster in the world, one Joe Bastardi, an American who it seems lives in the USA and does all of his European forecasting from the comfort of his own office in the USA. He is pretty much removed from the day to day and as a result I avoid reading his long range weather predictions for Europe because they're likely to be like Accuweather's 15 day forecast, based on the weather musings of Hans Christian Anderson... Except, a week ago, during all this arctic conditions, I did just that, I read Bastardi's column and baulked at it. He reckoned that we'd see milder conditions in the UK by Boxing day and that Atlantic fronts would bring temperatures in double figures by the New Year.

It now appears that he might be right and a week ahead of every one else. Obviously this being the weather it can all change - for instance the BBC weather site suggests dry and cold for tonight and tomorrow, while the TV forecast is now suggesting we might see 10cm of snow overnight. That said, on Countryfile on Sunday, they gave the 7 day forecast which by Monday morning was complete fantasy.

Now, there's a possibility: Fantasy Weather Forecasting...

1 comment:

  1. www.theweatheroutlook.com has a sixteen-day forecast, and it is usually pretty accurate, at least up to four or five days away. I think they aggregate from other sites though, rather than do their own, er, whatever it is the others do.

    I find the BBC to be routinely wrong, but I think it's because we get weird weather here in Brighton, between the Downs and the Channel, and the BBC doesn't take that into account. We've not seen any of this snow, for example.