Call me Jonathan Ross

OK, Jonathan Ross no longer does the BBC film show, nor do I think the BBC even has a film show other than Front Row on Radio 4. So, you definitely need someone like me, every so often, to remind you of what’s good and what’s not so good.

Let’s face it, anything to take our minds off the train wreck that is Brexit. And have our attentions diverted from His Orangeness – who’s not having a great couple of weeks now that it’s been shown that North Korea have started working on their missile sites again, and the US trade deficit (something his tariffs were meant to be sorting) is the largest for a decade. That’s what happens when you put a talent show host in charge of the largest economy in the world. And, back in the UK, when we employ people like ‘failing Grayling’ to oversee the unnecessary (that is, if the government would rule out a no deal Brexit) additional ferry contracts. Why, oh why are the lunatics in the asylum spending my hard-earned tax paying off Eurotunnel which was, for whatever reason, not made aware of the ferry contracts – bearing in mind they ran a ferry company just a few years ago? And, as a result, they’ve sued the government and won £33 million in damages.

It’s a mad world with the unhinged in charge.

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Anyhow, back onto films and TV. Actually, mostly TV.

If you have Netflix and haven’t watched Black Mirror and Stranger Things, then what have you spending your money on? Both are fabulous. Get over episode 1, season 1 of Black Mirror (where the PM has sex with a pig – that’s put you off already) and you’re onto a real find. Stranger Things is ET, but slightly darker, and we all know how successful ET was. Also on Netflix watch Orphan Black (40-odd episodes) which is about present-day human clones. The main actress – Tatiana Maslany – plays 7 different parts/clones, including a bloke, and she is magnificent. We’ve also watched the series Designated Survivor (a less-intelligent, but watchable version of the West Wing), Travelers (set today, people come back from the future to save the world) and the brilliant The Expanse, which is about a pending war between Mars and Earth. The special effects of The Expanse are out of this world (see what I did there?).

And, staying on Netflix, if you haven’t watched The Good Life, then you’ve missed an ongoing, light-hearted hilarious comedy series about life after death.

I suppose the real reason I’ve turned film critic just now is last night we watched three things in succession which were just fab. First, and you can imagine this being right up our street, we watched episode one of BBC 2’s Race Across The World, which pits 5 couples against each other to get from London to Singapore without using an aircraft, and with only the cost of the flight ticket in their pockets … and no phones, just a map of the world. The relationship side was great, but the travelling was fascinating as they made their way to Delphi (Greece – been there!) for phase one. Next they’re off to one of the ‘Stans … so that should be good.

Next we watched the sitcom Derry Girls which is into its second series. You have to have an ear for it, and as we lived in Londonderry for a bit (it’s set in the height of the troubles) so much of it rings true. Thanks to James and Sheron for putting us onto that. Then we watched Home, another C4 sitcom, about a family returning from holiday to find a Syrian refugee in the boot of their car. You will laugh and cry at the same time … it is fabulously written.

Finally, of course, we’re into Endeavour, which always beats us. We have no idea what’s happening or who did what, but Morse was always like that. Love it.

That’s me. For the record: a couple of days work at Jen’s. Today, I lifted and refitted the kitchen laminate flooring, which I had laid about a year ago, as a case of red wine had leaked overnight and lifted a couple of boards. Shame about the wine …

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Tomorrow I’m off to Mum and Dad’s and then, on Friday, a meeting at the school I work at, all to do with the 360 review I completed last week. It’s a bit of a journey, but I feel I ought to.

And back home … Mary’s down for the weekend. Hurrah!

Wish we were feeling better …

The problem with holidays is that they come to an end. And, typically, rather than feeling refuelled and ready for 2019 we both feel below par. We took Bex and Steven to Heathrow yesterday early doors (they’re off to Poland for a couple of days before flying on to Korea) and as soon as we got back C went to bed. I managed the day but woke in the middle of the night feeling v fluey. But, hey presto, I felt better first thing and managed a full day at Jen’s where we sorted out a new bank account and looked at a couple of new items, one being a pleated collar. I made two, one of which looks like a starter. I’ll make another tomorrow which should be good enough to send to the market.

Still feeling a bit rubbish though, having popped out for a run when I got back from Gloucester. Oh well.

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work in progress

So it’s about the next 12 months. As I’ve said before I’ve committed to Cubbly’s until Christmas and we’ll see how that goes. C and I are skiing next weekend in Chatel for a week. Rather than pay someone to edge and wax our skis I put my hand in my pocket and bought some wax, a flat iron and a corner file. I had a go at the edges on Monday. I’ll wax at the weekend, keeping it away from any bodily hair.

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could do with new skis … in the meantime

I know I have some work at the school in Farnham, but I’m not sure how long that’s going to go on for. And as I don’t market that side of the business, I’m not expecting any more work. Books continue to sell (at about one a day!). I’ve started the main edit and that’s going to take me some time. C and I will aim to sit down and manage edit 2 and then I’ll put it out to a couple of Beta readers and see whether or not it’s hitting the mark. I hope so. I was thinking today that I should try doubly hard to get an agent this year, and I might do that once I’m happy with the finished product.

And, finally, we’ve got a helluva a summer planned. We aim to fly to Korea at the end of June, spend a few days with Bex and Steven, then go to China and work our way south for a couple of weeks. Bex and Steven, once school is finished, would then fly to Hanoi and we would spend 4 weeks doing ‘The Mekong’, which includes Vietnam, Laos and northern Thailand, flying back to the UK together. Hurrah!

Finally, if you have Netflix watch Orphan Black. We finished season 5 last night, which wraps it up. It’s a bit like Lost, but has an ending which is both manageable and understandable. We did Lost a couple of years ago. It took us forever and we loved it … until the end.

Anyhow, that’s all from me.