About Me

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Shopping and TV

 I went a bit mad this afternoon buying accessories and costume jewellery at Salford Quays. I've been so busy lately, focused on work or slumped on the settee watching drama of varying quality that, apart from a trip to the hairdressers, I've hardly bothered treating myself till last week, when I bought a Betty Jackson top in Kendals. That day I  also indulged in some expensive eye make-up, which looked great on the palette but made me look ill when I wore it. Retail therapy gone wrong.

On a totally different note,  I have really  enjoyed  the BBC 2 documentary 'Our Secret Streets', which takes a look at streets in London that were surveyed by Charles Booth in 1866. I like the way it show how economics and class still shape our lives. Although the first  programme may have misrepresented a former Deptford councillor by setting him up as a bogey man for wholesale house clearance policies, it's been really fascinating.  It focuses on real life characters in a way that adds a dramatic element to what would otherwise be a rather sober socio-historical appraisal of the issues. It's good to see history, education and entertainment so well blended. Much better than mediocre drama.

The Secret History of Our Streets

(This image is  from wikipedia)

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


 I'm very ambivalent about the Royals. I don't toast them, unless it's embarrassing to do otherwise and I rarely find myself in a situation where, as Irene Ruddock in Alan Bennett's 'A Lady of Letters' more or less puts it, 'I am called upon to do so.'

In 1989 I performed in  a scene from a community show, which was watched by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, in our local town centre as part of a celebration of 150 years of local government. I painted on a moustache in the hope I might  not be recognised. I helped organise a street party for a community project in 1977 and once waved a Union Jack, whilst listening to Land of Hope and Glory at an open air concert with my dad's Lions' group in Kent at some point in the noughties. The latter  took place far enough away from home to avoid me being  spotted by numerous Republican associates.

I didn't attend any street parties but watched the flotilla of boats float down the Thames on the telly; likewise the concert - which will hopefully not be remembered for Gary Barlow and Cheryl's lamentable duet.  The boats looked great and would have been a sight to see no doubt but I really can't get my head around all that cheering.

The Queen, however, seemed as modest and reserved and unassuming as usual and in this noisy, brash culture in  which everyone- myself included -  is keen to more or less publicly share their 'journey', her inscrutability is a rare thing indeed.

I was rather hoping Paul McCartney would sing this little ditty at the concert  but I guess he may have thought it disrespectful.

Her Majesty

I love the beacon lighting. We should do it more often.