Well, hello there. As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t blogged that much this year, but I still knocked out a few posts. Oh and can I just take this opportunity to thank everyone that voted for my little blog in this year’s Annual Blogger’s Bash. It was such an honour and an extremely pleasant surprise to win. Thank you, YOU BEAUTIES!
So, here are my 10 most popular posts from 2019 (links in the titles).
Unbelievably, the unbelievable has happened. I only went and scooped myself a prize at the Annual Bloggers Bash this year! My little blog won the Best Entertainment Blog category. So I’m here to say a big, fat THANK YOU to every one who took the time to vote for my blog. It means so very much and I am eternally grateful. Sadly, I wasn’t able to attend the ceremony in London to collect my prize, but I’d like to give a big shoutout to the organisers of the ceremony and thank them for all the hard work they put into the awards every year. You can see a list of the winners and nominees HERE.
As I’m taking a short blogging break, I thought it would be a good idea to put all my favourite and most popular blog posts, here in one post. So, if you so wish, have a peruse of all the best posts I’ve done since I started my blog back in December 2015.
As a matter of interest, do you have a favourite post of mine? If so, I’d love to know, so please tell me in the comments. My personal favourite will always be Dear Stephen.
Don’t forget, I’m currently writing for Talk About Pop Music website where I am reviewing every single UK Number One that has ever existed. I know. Quite the challenge, but I’m loving it. The latest ones are HERE.
It’s a question that has been posed many times before, but one I have never given much thought to. So, I asked myself, what celebrity guests would I invite to a dinner party. My dinner party is for celebrities that are still alive only (because otherwise, I’d probably only have a table full of dead people) and it’s a dinner party for 8 people (including myself), so I need to invite 7 celebrities. So, the celebrities that would be receiving this very exclusive invite would be:
Sir David Attenborough: ok yes, let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. I mean, who wouldn’t want Sir Dave at their dinner party? He would probably terrify me talking about how messed up our planet is now, BUT we all need that. We all need to be scared about our planet’s health right now.
Rupaul: YASSSSSSSS queen. Of course. Obvs. He is incredibly interesting, wise and so much fun. Rupaul would be a definite at my dinner party.
Sir Ken Robinson: Who? The very clever creativity expert, speaker and international educationalist. If you’ve ever watched his TED talk you’d understand why I’d want him at my dinner party. He’s incredibly charming and witty, but that aside he is fascinating. One of those people you could listen to all day. I bang on about my love for Sir Ken in my blog post about the importance of creativity for children HERE
Michelle Obama: Major girl crush on our Shell here. I can just imagine it: Michelle lining up the sambucca shots at 2am, regaling us all with tales of the White House and slagging off Trump and I am 100% here for it.
Danny Dyer: Why? Do I really need to explain? Because it’s DANNY FACKING DYER that’s why. He would also be sat next to me, so we can slag off David Cameron together. Twat.
Rylan: Because, well……Rylan. Also, he would clearly be excellent company, a whole lot of fun and is actually a lot more intelligent than his TV persona portrays.
Vanessa Feltz: Damn straight, I went there. Come on, she would be absolutely brilliant at a dinner party. I bloody LOVE mouthy, clever women, so Vanessa is right up my street. And if Vanessa can’t make it, I’d invite Kathy Burke.
This now begs the question, who would you invite to your dinner party?
Something to be cheerful about:
Cheerful and delicious, a 64-metre-long “fatberg” in Sidmouth has finally been removed. Workers winched down a manhole wearing special breathing gear, chipped away at the mass of congealed oils and rubbish (mmmm) and filled 36 tankers. The fatberg will now be converted into energy to use at a sewage plant. Good work!
The Duchess of York has not only embarked on writing poetry, but her best pal Will.i.am. wants to set her poetic verses to music. Apparently, he refers to her as his “homegirl” and as the “real Fergie”, and the two of them regularly take tea together. Watch out for the music collaboration the world has probably not been waiting for.
A wildlife expert, Kate MacRae, has built an adorable bird box that looks like a miniature living room inside for the birds in her garden and has set up live cams inside. It is absolutely gorgeous. You can view this live cam and others that she has set up HERE.
Rock & Pop Icons Tea Towels, £12, full range from Bold & Noble
Something to read:
Half the Sky: How to Change the World by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn.
This is another one of those books that everyone should be forced to read (I really should do a post on that), it takes you around the world meeting amazing women who have survived or are still struggling in terrible circumstances. Here’s one fact that my mind is still reeling from in the book:
More girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they are girls, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century combined.
It’s not a book to be taken lightly. It’s a difficult read, detailing female oppression across the world. What’s great about the book is that it talks about ways and initiatives that local women in these countries have been able to help themselves (and this seems to be the most effective way as opposed to the “white saviour” method). This book leaves you with a feeling of angry injustice, but also a feeling of respect, awe and hope for these women. Everyone should read this book and read it now. The website for the Half the Sky movement is HERE.
Something to watch:
I have been watching so many good programmes of late and these are the latest that I thoroughly recommend.
Derry Girls Season 2
Fleabag Season 2
Broad City Season 5 (last ever season whaaaa!)
Something to cook:
Goats Cheese & Walnut Gnocchi
Speedy and very easy dish that you can quickly cobble together for a fresh evening meal.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
1 pack of gnocchi
1 pack of green beans (or any greens you fancy)
Couple of fistfuls of walnuts
Half a lemon
Salt & pepper
Steam the greens for 6 minutes or so
Then fry the greens in a bit of butter along with the walnuts
Add the gnocchi to the water you used to steam the greens and boil for a couple of minutes
Add the garlic clove (crushed or chopped- whatever you prefer) to the greens & walnuts and fry for a minute
Juice the lemon half and chop the cheese
Drain the gnocchi
Mix the gnocchi, greens & walnuts together along with the goats cheese, lemon juice and seasoning
Shove in mouth
Again, many apologies for the terrible food photography. It’s not my forte.
Something to help save the planet with:
I’m bit of a Paperchase whore to be honest with you, so I was super pleased to hear that they have brought out their own Conscious Living stationary range. Everything is made from recycled and ethically resourced materials. They’ve used materials such as old coffee cups, recycled leather, bamboo fibre, sugar canes and old water bottles to make their products. You can view the full range HERE and read about the different materials they’ve used HERE. Prices range from 80p to £20. Well done Paperchase.
Something to enjoy from the Blogosphere:
I’ve mentioned this before, but Christine from I’m Sick and So Are You is a terrible writer and her blog is awful. This particular post of hers left me feeling absolutely nothing and definitely isn’t one of the most important blog posts I’ve ever read. If your body isn’t quite what it used to be, it might mean nothing to you too. Definitely don’t read this post called An Ode to a Broken BodyHERE.
Something to listen to:
Something to laugh at
Louis Theroux reviewing UK rap:
Just Another Monthly #4 will be back in one month’s time.
Don’t forget you can vote for Just Another Blog From a Woman to win a blogging award HERE in the Best Entertainment Blog category.
I thought I’d give you a countdown of my most popular posts form this year. What an up and down blogging year. I’ve written a total of 84 posts! I went and won myself a blogging award! But in the second half of the year, I haven’t been able to produce as many posts as normal as because….well you know…that thing called life.
So here they are, and I must say, I am very surprised at my no.1.
Whaaaaaaa? The post I quickly cobbled together in about 10 minutes and posted as a laugh along with my mate sexy Phil Taylor?! I literally didn’t think anyone would care, but there you go, folks. It’s been updated recently too!
Oh my God, please don’t make me go out on a night out. Don’t make me go out out. I’m very almost 42 year of age and I’ve finally come to the conclusion, I fucking hate going out. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an anti-social piece. I love socialising. I love my friends. I love getting together with them for a gossip discussion about world politics and down bucket loads of pinot grigio enjoy a tipple or two with them, BUT going out into the outside world and rubbing shoulders with strangers just isn’t my ideal way to spend my spare time anymore.
I’ve been thinking about my favourite social appointments that I’ve had over the last year and which ones I’ve enjoyed the most. Every single one of them has involved being inside a home rather than actually being out.
1) A Halloween party- at a friend’s HOUSE
2) A 50th Birthday party- at my cousin’s HOUSE
3) A wedding anniversary party- at my aunt’s HOUSE
4) My Mum’s 70th- at my brother’s HOUSE
5) Drinks with all my Mum friends- at one of their HOUSES
6) A dinner party- at a friend’s HOUSE
7) A New Year’s Eve party- at a friend’s HOUSE
You get the idea. Love socialising. Hate being in the real world.
Advantages to socialising in homes rather than the real world:
don’t have to queue to get a drink
nice and cosy. Ooh I do like cosy
much more comfortable. Call me boring, but I like a seat and a comfortable seat at that
I can actually hear what people are saying
not as much pressure to dress up. I think I’m done with dressing up. I can’t wear heels anyway and I’ve no interest in anyone else finding me sexually attractive and quite frankly, I just can’t be arsed.
you get to stay in one place the whole evening. No faffing about, walking from bar to bar and as this is the UK- usually in the rain.
don’t have to contend with being felt up at the bar. Some people might actually miss this special feature of going out out though.
warmer. Your evening begins inside. You stay inside.
More potential to have control over what music is played.
Advantages of going out out:
I like pub quizzes. I don’t mind going out for a pub quiz. And just staying in that pub all evening. You know, a nice cosy pub with comfortable seats and an open fire and music not too loud. Like a home from home kind of pub.
And I like eating out because you know- food. However, not too often. And I prefer eating out during the day really to be honest. A boozy lunch. I’m up for that.
Going out in the evening is good if you like going out in the evening. I don’t.
Now please understand, when I have gone out out with friends, I’ve had plenty of excellent nights. It’s just that as I get older and let’s be completely honest here more boring and much, much more lazy, I like these nights out to be few and far between. Unless you’re inviting me to your gaff for a knees up, then I’d be there in a shot. In all seriousness, I really struggle to hear what’s being said when I go out out, so increasingly it’s just not that much fun for me. The best nights I’ve had out out in recent years have been nights out with just one other person and that’s probably because everything they say is directed towards me at close proximity i.e. I get to hear most of what they say. However, hearing problems aside, I do also feel like I’m a lazy arse when it comes to going out out, so I still don’t think I could be bothered to go to the effort of going out even if I could hear perfectly.
In conclusion, going out is shit and I’m surprised it’s still a thing. Staying in is everything.
What about you? Are you team going out or team staying in?
Here’s a recent picture of me going out whilst remaining inside a house. I thoroughly recommend it.
Guess what gang? I’ve invented a new board game. It’s called (just in case you didn’t discern this from the title of this post) The School Run Game. Yes, it’s a board game based on getting your little darlings to school on time. The game will come with little mum or dad shaped counters that will smack of existential angst. There’ll also be a dice that you throw to see what fate you and the light of your life will meet during the school run. Now until the game gets the final approval from Hasbro*, I’m sharing below all the fun you can come across during the The School Run Game. With a handy dice, a pen and paper and some dried up raisins for counters you could probably play the game at home right now. Enjoy!
You bark at child until they have their coat on (never done up), shoes on (probably on wrong feet) and hopefully with their school bag. Excellent start (go forward one place)
You leave the house at 8:40am and it’s perfectly dry. Torrential downpour commences at 8:41am & continues until 9:10am when it suddenly becomes perfectly dry and sunny again. (Swear under breath)
See a parent ahead that you can’t be bothered to have a conversation with. You walk really slowly so that you don’t catch up with them (go back one place)
Look behind you and see lots of parents you know well enough to have a conversation with, but notice that they’re all walking really slowly and probably won’t catch up with you (Cry inside)
It’s winter, you’re in the UK, it’s icy, you slip and land on your arse. You sit and cry and seriously consider commando crawling all the way to school (miss a turn)
Your child slips on ice and lands on their arse. You yank them back up, tell them they’re fine and march on regardless. You ain’t going to be late for school again and a little slip on the ice isn’t going to delay you (go forward one space)
A little shit A small child whizzes past you on their scooter, whacking your hand as they do so (which fucking kills) and then they suddenly stop in front of you, causing you to suddenly stop in your tracks and you put your left knee out (go back two places)**
You arrive at the school gates and conveniently there’s an impromptu game of football taking place RIGHT BY THE GATES. The football naturally whacks you on your head, knocks your glasses off and you yell at no one in particular (go back one place)
Inside the school gates, you see a member of the PTA looking hopefully in your direction. You pull a speedy, dodging move that the best rugby players in the word would be in admiration of (go forward two places)
You see your favourite school mum and literally skip towards them for a gossip pleasant chat (go forward three places)
Your child falls and lands in a muddy puddle. The twat. (miss a turn)
Your child has an argument with another child and no one can understand what it’s about. And nobody ever does…(go back one place)
You get caught up in a horde of active wear mums about to go on a group run (go back two places)
Whilst waiting for the school to open, you get stuck with the playground bore describing in minute detail their plans for the day (Cry inside again)
You forgot your child’s pack lunch, you absolute bellend (go back to the start)
Your child for absolutely no explicable reason decides that they don’t want to go to school today and they start crying. Between you and the teacher pushing them into the classroom, you managed it. You’re heartbroken, beaten up, traumatised, but you got your child to school on time whilst keeping them alive. Congratulations. You win.
*Hasbro are actually yet to learn of my brilliant idea
**Feel free to read my further thoughts on fucking scooters here
Quite what is the point of ironing? I’ll help you out here: none.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not some kind of useless domestic failure. I love cooking, I’m one of those weirdos that actually enjoys cleaning and tidying and I’m a whizz at organising my daughter’s school/social life. However, ironing can just go swivel.
It’s times like this that I don’t feel like a proper woman. I’m fully aware that that sentence alone smacks of sexism. Just because I don’t iron, why does this make me less of a woman? Now *I* know it doesn’t make me less of a woman and you dear reader, will probably (hopefully) feel like it doesn’t make me less of woman. However, according to a recent study, women do all the ironing in 4 out of 5 households in the UK. Also, when 95% of my female friends all iron and talk about their huge piles of ironing that they have to get done, it’s usually met with either a blank look from yours truly, a slightly disingenuous “oh dear, how depressing” utterance or a hilarious suggestion that they should just get drunk to get through the ironing. In my head, it is also predictably met with “why the fuck do you have to do the ironing every time. What’s wrong with your husband’s arms?”. It is also met with “what even is ironing?”.
So confession time.
I’ve never ironed in my life.
I don’t even own an iron.
Thus, my child’s clothes don’t even get ironed. Not even her school uniform.
Yep, as I was saying. I sometimes don’t feel like a proper woman. Or at least a stereotyped version of a woman. And I definitely don’t feel like an adult, but that could be for a whole host of reasons. Probably best not to pull on that thread right now.
You see, I just don’t see the point. Ironing takes up a lot of time. According to this new study, on average, a woman will spend around 3,000 hours of her life ironing a pile of clothes that is four times taller than the height of the Shard building. Mate, life is too short for that. I can think of better ways to spend my time. Such as watching TV (yeah I know I could iron and watch TV at the same time, but call me foolish, but I like to sit and relax whilst I watch RuPaul’s Drag Race. I know us women are meant to be good at multi-tasking, but we really shouldn’t have to do it all the time), reading, baking, tickling my 7 year old until she vomits (true story, I’ve achieved this several times. It’s a mark of good parenting. Trust me*) blogging about why I don’t iron or anything but ironing.
But aren’t all your husband’s shirts creased, I hear you cry?
The state of my husband’s shirts are solely not my responsibility. If he wants pristine, crease free shirts, he can buy an iron and iron the fuckers himself.
We have found that hanging his shirts up in the bathroom whilst he has a shower, pretty much leaves them crease-free anyway. This is how lazy people try and make themselves look presentable, people. Feel free to take note.
But don’t you feel guilty sending your child to school with a creased uniform?
Nope. Next question.
No, but really don’t you?
Look, her polo shirts don’t really crease and if they are a bit creased, they tend to sort themselves out after hanging in the wardrobe for a bit. Same goes for the dresses. Her pinafore dresses cover most of the shirts anyway, so even if there are a few creases left, nobody will bloody see them anyway. Plus, she’s 7. If you can’t have slightly creased clothes at 7 years old, when can you?
But I find ironing really relaxing. It’s like meditating for me.
Good for you, but it’s not for me. I find drinking copious amounts of Pinot Grigio whilst cyber stalking ex-boyfriends meditative. We all find our peace in different ways.
Sometimes, I feel quite alone with my opinion that ironing is the biggest waste of time. I know there are kindred non-ironing spirits out there. I just feel like either I’m seriously behind society with my lack of ironing participation OR myself and other non-ironers have discovered something that others are yet to (non-iron) cotton on to. And that is, there is literally no point in ironing. In fact, I’d go as far to say that I feel it was designed purely to enslave women to their domestic chores. I’m making a serious point here guys**. Chucking your iron away is as good as burning your bra.
So, are you with me or against me? Do you love your iron or like me, do you never touch one?
So, if like me you have unruly, curly, frizzy hair there are problems that you have to deal with that only us Curly Girls can truly understand. Here’s just a handful of them.
When you’re watching Brave and Merida wakes up in the morning and you think “Mate, I feel your pain” (and you have to have been with your partner for at LEAST several decades before you let them see your morning hair).
When having your hair rained on means your hair ends up resembling Phil Spectar’s. On a good day.
When the weather is hot, your spirit animal becomes Monica Geller in Barbados.
When your straight haired friend complains of their hair getting a bit frizzy in the rain.
When you have red, curly hair and you hilariously get compared to either Merida, Rebekah Brooks or worse Spuggy from Byker Grove. No actually, the worst is Mick Hucknall.
When you look back at photos of yourself from the 80s and/or 90s and you’re just grateful that social media didn’t exist back then.
When your straight haired friend tries to give you advice on how to control your curls “Have you tried just using a bit of Frizz Ease?”.
“Genius idea, it’s not like I’ve already tried using every single product available for curly hair in a pathetically vain attempt to control my hair already. Good one. I suppose you’re going to suggest I try brushing my hair too”
Do you remember that time you had a good hair day? Yeah, you remember, it was back in 2003. In June. On a Tuesday.
When you’ve just styled your hair and you’ve done it all wrong and the only way to fix it, is to jump in the shower and wash your hair all over again.
When your hairdresser suggests cutting you a fringe (and you never go to that hairdresser again as they clearly know nothing about curly hair. Also, do they not remember Spuggy?!).
When you see all the wonderful, different hairstyles your straight haired friends can get and your choices are short or long and side parting or centre parting.
When your straight haired friends say they can use any old shampoo and conditioner off the shelf.
Even worse, when they announce they don’t even use conditioner.
When it’s been windy outside.
But when you’re pretty sure that having curly hair somehow gives you super powers.
So curly girls (and boys), is there anything that I’ve missed out? Do you love your curls or hate them?
The stress of having curly hair (it’s ok, I like my curls really)
Despite its many faults (and I ain’t just talking about the rain), Britain has many strengths and I’ve always considered our humour to be its best (along with fish ‘n’ chips, how charitable we are, our Paralympics team and David Attenborough. Obvs). We are hilarious and nobody finds us as funny as we find ourselves. It’s not often us Brits can have a conversation without subtly (or even obviously) throwing a bit of humour in. In fact, if a conversation has continued for more than 5 minutes without anything humorous having been uttered then we start to break out in a cold sweat and somebody had better mutter something self-deprecating or joke about tits and willies before all hell breaks loose and British society implodes (this isn’t an exaggeration. Trust me).
The British Sitcom is an almost poetic portrayal of our unique humour. Yes, we love our irony and how can I put this- ‘piss-taking’, but our humour is often steeped in humanity and good old fashioned silliness. So, here is my list of my all time favourite British sitcoms. I’ve provided clips or a compilation of clips for each entry too for you to enjoy. Our favourite sitcoms are a very personal thing, so much so, I fully expect people to exclaim that they can’t believe I haven’t included this sitcom or that sitcom in my list or that I put a certain sitcom above another one, but it’s MY list and you know, you’ll just have to find a way of coping (Seriously though I would love to hear which are your favourites too). Deciding which of the plethora of excellent British sitcoms make my top ten has not been easy and I could have easily have done a top twenty.
Please be assured there is NO Mrs Brown’s Boys in this top 10.
(It is my no.11 though)*
10. Toast of London (2012-?)
There was an article written about Toast of London, entitled ‘The Funniest Sitcom That Nobody is Watching” and it is indeed strangely an undiscovered gem, so many have yet to unearth. If you want a wonderfully silly British sitcom, then here is a perfect example of one. Steven Toast is an old-fashioned, failing, middle-aged actor. It features an abundance of guest stars (John Hamm, Michael Ball, an alcoholic Peter Davison and not to mention a dodgy John Nettles) and is my most recent sitcom to feature on this list. So, if you haven’t watched it, I thoroughly recommend you correct this unfortunate error. The highlight of this show is when Toast’s world clashes with the world of the hipsters that he does his voice recordings with, so I’ve selected a clip which illustrates this nicely, with the great Clem Fandango for you.
9. The Young Ones (1982-1984)
My Mum wouldn’t let me watch The Young Ones when it was first on TV (I guess I was only 6-8 years old, but I do remember begging her to no avail once). However, she did my brother and I the Comic Relief single that they did with Cliff Richard (which is, incidentally, the best Comic Relief single to date). At 15, when I became obsessed with Bottom (the TV show starring Rik Mayall & Adrian Edmondson, not people’s posteriors) and maybe in some kind of defiance, I bought and absolutely loved the Young Ones double VHS. I loved its maniacal style and post-punk insanity that rarely made much sense. It all ended perfectly with them driving themselves off of a “Cliff”. Please excuse my Rik Mayall (I loved him) indulgence with the following clip.
8. The Royale Family (1998-2012)
Here is a sitcom that one minute will have you crying with laughter and then sobbing your heart out the next. We all remember the beautiful scene where Barbara brushes her ailing Mum’s Hair or the scene when Jim sits on the bathroom floor with Denise mid-labour, don’t we? Caroline Aherne was an extraordinary talent. She seemed to know how to make us all both laugh and cry in equal measure. The key to the Royale Family is its ordinariness and its familial charm. Here’s a clip of the perfect marital argument over the TV remote control.
7. Fawlty Towers (1975-1979)
Basil Fawlty was the perfect role for John Cleese. Nobody could’ve played the permanently disgruntled hotel manager on the brink of a breakdown as well as him. Not to mention his perfect physical comedy skills. His on-screen partnership with Prunella Scales as his wife, Sybil was outstanding. The pair seemed so utterly wrong for each other, it was a wonder what they saw in each other in the first place. This wonderfully farcical (and I usually hate farces) sitcom, always seemed very theatrical to me and it is of no surprise that it has now been turned into a stage show. Please enjoy this clip of Basil reaching the end of his tether yet again and Sybil not caring (yet again). A fine example of why Sybil Fawlty will always be my hero.
6. Blackadder (1982-1989)
This historical sitcom written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, was hugely popular and featured a magnificent cast of some of our best comedy actors. An observation of Blackadder that I’ve only noticed in reason years, is how bloody sexy Blackadder was. Who could resist the ruff-clad Blackadder or the would-be-deserter Captain Blackadder? Not I now, clearly. We all remember the devastatingly poignant final moments of the final episode. They’re etched in my mind from when I first watched it with my family at 13 years old. I can still hear the whistles and Baldrick’s last claim that he has a cunning plan. I also remember Blackadder warning Hugh Laurie not to forget his stick just before they go over the top (“No, I wouldn’t want to face a machine gun without my stick” he replied). However, I wanted to show you a pure comedy clip from Blackadder and I’m sorry (completely not sorry), but my love for Rik Mayal prevails, so here’s another clip with him in for you.
5. Father Ted (1995-1998)
“Oh, but it’s an Irish sitcom”, I hear you cry. Well, I do see your point as it stars an Irish cast, was written by two Irish writers and was filmed in Ireland, BUT it is technically a British sitcom as it was made by a British television company for a British TV channel, so it’s in my top 10, so there. The genius of this show lies in Dermot Morgan playing the straight man in his role of Father Ted Crilly. The frustrations endured by his character only highlight the daftness of all the characters that surround him; the childlike and dim (but strangely sexy) Father Dougal, the perpetually inebriated Father Jack (DRINK) and the slightly unhinged Mrs Doyle (ah g’wan Father).
4. Black Books (2000-2004)
So bookshop owner, Bernard Black spends his days drinking wine, reading books and trying to ignore people. In conclusion, he’s essentially living the life I want to live. He also has a pet Manny running around doing chores for him, which is also a life goal of mine. C’mon, we could all do with a pet Manny in our lives. Black Books is set in Bloomsbury, London and considering Black’s lack of desire for customers it is a wonder how it ever managed to stay in business. Black Books won the BAFTA for best sitcom twice and features cameos from lots of the UK’s brightest sitcom stars of the time (Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes, Nick Frost, Peter Serafinowicz, Omid Djalili, Lucy Davis, Olivia Coleman and so on). Oh and did anyone else fancy Bernard Black? Just me? And what is it with me and male sitcom actors?
3. The Office (2001-2003)
What an absolute joy watching copious amounts of funny clips from the Office was. Choosing just one one was very difficult, but an excellent reminder of how funny it was. Whatever your feelings are of Ricky Gervais, I still stand by the opinion that he and Stephen Merchant were comedy writing geniuses. I’m a fan of both the British and American versions of this sitcom, but the British version is less sentimental and essentially more difficult to watch. The cringe-factor is far higher and I think it is better for it. David Brent is also a less likeable character than Michael Scott. Here illustrates the genius of Gervais and Merchant, they even manage to make an unlikeable character such as Brent likeable (it’s ok I do realise how much I’ve contradicted myself here, but bear with). You feel so much affection for this absolute dickhead. He’s literally my favourite dickhead. I would’ve even liked him as a boss. Just think of the fun you’d have had with your colleagues, mocking him behind his back. Of course I’m not one to condone such behaviour. Ahem. So here’s Brent being an absolute twat. As per. Bless him.
2. I’m Alan Partridge (1997-2002)
Talking about loveable twats, here’s another one for you. Oh Alan with your monotone voice, late night radio show, v-neck jumpers, dated hair do, questionable TV show ideas, who’s best friend is a roadside hotel barman and with your dire social skills- I love you. Partridge’s life is so empty yet full of unfortunate events and badly handled circumstances. Much like The Office, it makes you cringe at the way Partridge tries to endure life. We need characters like Partridge to remind ourselves that we’re not doing so badly ourselves and that at the very least we would have dealt with life’s blows better than Alan would have. I thank you for this Alan. At least I’m not you. At least I don’t have “Cook Pass Babtridge” written in spray paint on the side of my car.
So here it is, my all time favourite British sitcom. Much like others on my list (Fawlty Towers, The Office, The Young Ones and I’m Alan Partridge), Spaced only ran for two seasons. Two faultless seasons. Spaced was written about two people and their friends in their twenties. It was on TV at a time when myself and my friends were also in our twenties. It very much felt like Simon Pegg & Jessica Stevenson (now Hynes) had watched my friends and I, and decided to write a sitcom about us. All of the characters in this sitcom are so strong, but my favourite will always be Marsha- my spirit animal. The cinematic style, heavy cultural referencing and hilarious script cemented its popularity and left diehard fans wanting more after it ended after two seasons. I still miss it.
The one that almost made it:The Day Today (1994)
A spoof of British news broadcasting, I think now more than ever, we need the return of the Day Today. Please Chris Morris. Please. If you loved this programme, here’s a rather obvious pick, but perpetually brilliant scene with Steve Coogan.
Before we get into this, let me just clarify a few things.
I am a parent.
My child has a scooter.
My child loves scootering.
I let her scooter frequently.
This is not an altogether anti-scooter piece.
I fucking HATE scooters.
In particular when scooters are allowed on busy pavements or on the school-run. Stay with me parents-who-let-their-children-scoot-on-the-school-run. I have no beef with it if they have to walk a long way and scootering is the only way some parents can get their little darling to go the distance. It’s especially fine, if they’re considerate enough to make said child/children get off their scooters once they get near the busy pavements by the school gate. I’m totally here for considerate scootering. However, it is not fine when children on scooters are weaving between hordes of people at potentially 25mph on the pavement. It is also not fine when children are so far ahead of their parents on scooters, the parents can’t really see if they’re knocking into people.
Here is the Oxford dictionary definition of the word pavement: A raised paved or asphalted path for pedestrians at the side of a road.
Here is the Oxford dictionary definition of the word pedestrian: A person walking.
Now I’m not about to suggest that children should be scootering in the road.
(Or am I?)
No…maybe…NO, I’m definitely not, BUT if a child knocks into me at speed whilst I’m WALKING on the PAVEMENT one more time, then well, I’ll probably just mumble under my breath or say something passive aggressive, but you get my point.
There is also, the danger aspect. I have seen children speed into roads on their scooters without really looking or if they have been taught to stop and wait for Mummy before crossing (kudos for this at least) then they stop so suddenly that if you’re unlucky enough to be behind them, you almost fall over them.
Also (nope I ain’t finished yet), if one lets one’s child scooter everywhere a) have they got one leg weaker than the other? b) if they’re not regularly walking to places on their own two feet, is this not detrimental to the development of both their muscles and mental approach to walking?
I have veritably seen a parent park their car, get their child out of the car, pass the child a scooter and let the child scoot no more than 20 steps to the entrance of a building. Is it an actuality that the child couldn’t have coped walking those few steps to the entrance of the building? This was also on a busy street plus the child fell off the scooter in front of me and almost knocked me over (relax, the child was fine, but that isn’t important right now).
Worst of all, are the (albeit minority of) parents who allow their children to freely scoot through the school gates and around the school playground with no regards to anyone else. It’s the attitude being perpetuated that WALKING PEDESTRIANS had better move out of the way as a child on a scooter is coming through. For me, a busy school playground is not the place to do this. It’s crowded, lots of people are walking in all different directions, toddlers are toddling about and playgrounds contain adults and children alike with different mobility issues.
Arguments I’ve heard in favour of letting your child scoot everywhere include:
“It’s healthy exercise”. Yes it is, but do you know what else is healthy exercise for your kids? FUCKING WALKING.
“It’s fun”. Correct, but do you know what else is fun? Space hoppers. Shall we let out children space-hop into school too?
“It’s helps get them to school on time”. Tough one. I don’t know, maybe…try…GETTING UP 5 MINUTES EARLIER.
Other reasons to hate scooters; I hate the way they swing round and whack you in the shins when you try to pick them up.
Also, thank God I don’t live in London anymore as some actual grown up actual adulting adults are choosing scooters as a form of transport to get to work on. I mean ACTUAL adult human beings. Scootering. To work. KILL THEM WITH FIRE.
There’s a time and a place for scooters and it’s not on busy streets, it’s not in school playgrounds and it’s not on the way to bloody work (you gigantic, inconsiderate adult-babies). People walking on the pavement should always have priority.
Right, now I’ve clearly turned into Mary Whitehouse, I’m off to complain to the council about people parking badly (I’m not even vaguely joking, readers).
See I’m not all bad, I even let my own child scooter sometimes. (NB: This is an old picture, she’s about 900yrs old now).