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All the kerfuffle over the last few weeks has brought quite a few new readers to these parts, so I sit here staring at the blank page all of a quiver at the extra pressure brought on by these newbies.

My regulars know and tolerate the quality to be expected here, so I merely wish to delay the disappointment of those brought here to read my ramblings.  Here goes…

So last week saw me undertaking “executive travel” once again, with Tuesday in London, an overnight stay in the five-star, sorry I mean 0.5 star Prince of Wales in Marlow, and Wednesday in HQ in the same town.

As I’ve often said, I do appreciate London, in short doses and usually once back on the train with it shrinking into the distance.  My meeting was in Piccadilly Circus, which as usual, saw this simple Northern Lad staring slack-jawed at the twinkly signs and all that stuff we only see on the telly.  I did my best to avoid all eye contact on the tube, and to stand on the correct side of the escalators to avoid being mown down by some swarthy investment banker as he sweeps past on the way to his next bonus.

Like most northerners I assume that the streets of London are strewn with celebrities, and I often spot one or two in those brief few hours in which I enter and retreat SAS like from it’s smoggy grip.

Alas, this time, I only saw Gyles Brandreth.  I was coming up out of the underground at Paddington to catch the train back to Marlow, and he was filming, I assume for The One Show.  No doubt it was a twenty-minute piece on some crucial story such as who invented tin foil or the percentage of the population with a third nipple, as is the norm for The One Show.

Gyles Brandreth

Almost a celeb

I sauntered through shot all casual like, trying to act all blase, like getting on TV is something that happens every day.  Do watch out for me on The One Show as I shall obviously feature heavily.

Our family of course are regulars on it!

 

The only other times I have appeared on TV were way back in earlier decades.  Whilst working for Nat West, we “volunteered” to work on ITV’s telethon programme at Granada Studios in Manchester, and my legs and shoes appeared briefly on national TV behind Richard and Judy.

The other time was a close shave in more than way, as I was handing a drink to runners in the Bolton Marathon, and having spotted a camera, I risked life, limb and my childhood innocence by dashing through an army of runners to hand Jimmy Saville a drink.  He was very gentle!

As claims to fame go, I suspect there are more impressive ones.  Oh yes, I did also used to work with Howard Donald, from Take That…….’s cousin.  I think I’ll stick with walking past Gyles Brandreth.  Not something I would want as my epitaph or on my gravestone of course, unless someone wants to pay £10 million for my funeral in which case I would have a headstone that wouldn’t look out-of-place in Vegas.

I would never do politics here, but regardless of your views on our recently deceased ex leader, do we really need to spend £10m to put a box of skin and bone into the ground?  I can think of better uses of that cash to be honest.  I need a holiday for a start!

Friday night saw a rare night out for us (minus Rebecca of course who is constantly attached to her Tom).  We went to the cinema, and it was one of those trips to the cinema which was more about having a night out, rather than seeing a particular film.  In the end we decided upon Identity Thief, and it was better than I expected. It was, I thought, going to be another gross out comedy spawned by the Hangovers and Bridesmaids we’ve seen recently, and it was I suppose, but good all the same.

Identity Thief

Better during a sugar coma

The trailers before the film though confirmed that Hollywood is struggling for an original thought, as Hangover III was shown, along with another trailer straight after that for what looked like a Hangover Junior, you know, a bit like S Club Juniors when S Club 7 were starting to implode in a haze of weight loss tablets and in fighting.

I forget what it was called, but basically the similarities leave me hoping that it is actually a spin-off, and not being passed off as a standalone effort.  Don’t get me wrong I’ll be watching Hangover III, and of course Anchor Man 2, but I wonder if we’ve used up all the original ideas in the world.  God knows, I’ve used the same seven gags in ten years of trip reports so I speak from authority.

Anyway, we enjoyed the film, and I went for the double trouble option of Ben & Jerrys and Pick n Mix.  Sugar induced nausea adds to the enjoyment of any film, and when asked to pay for my snacks, it also gave me another better use of that £10 million we’re spending on a funeral!

Till the next time….

PS – Buy my book!