Tuesday, November 15, 2011

From The Red Carpet

Okay. I'll admit it, I'm fascinated:

I've been wondering for over a year now what the deal is with From The Red Carpet. What is it... doing? I understand the Orange ads (especially now the Rio one's gone forever) - but I can't see the point of From The Red Carpet. Nice lady in a frock yells pleasantries at celebs from a distance cut together with bits of the trailer.

In the early days, it was just Kim Taylor Bennett and us -

In many ways, those were the golden days, when Kim would ask Gerald Butler if he'd like to take her down, and he'd blush, while everyone else in the cinema would wonder how much longer their popcorn would last.

But those golden days are no more. Episode 21 was when it all changed. When From The Red Carpet sold out. All of a sudden, they were sponsored by M&Ms. Kim was relegated to sidekick with all the grace of a kidnap victim putting on a brave face for the hostage video while two CGI chocolates banter at her.

The two elements are grafted together with all the subtlety of the American version of Battle Of The Planets - in the latest episode, Kim is left sat alone in a sidecar, mugging emptily away while her M&M masters work out what to say to her. She doesn't even have a name any more. She's now just "Woman In Frock Who Jamie Bell Can't Wait To Get Away From".

No. I just can't work it out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Electricity in my teeth

Man In seaside cafe: "There's something in my house. They've been using my electricity, I think it's the Police at nights. It's the television. It gives me ailments. If you use the national health dentist they put pellets in your teeth which the satellites pick up. I am suing the government for two billion pounds. I've been reckoning it up."

Woman behind counter: "Yes, well, you won't mind paying £2.85 for that tea, then."

Monday, November 07, 2011

How to miss a train

I used to be very angry. It's probably because I had a very stressful job and let it get to me. These days, I'm not really angry, unless I've got a deadline or I've discovered a mug from the dishwasher has been unloaded incorrectly.

And then... on Saturday, I made myself miss a train. I left my flat to get to Paddington. I had an hour before my train. You can walk it in that time.

I had several opportunities to catch that train. When I got onto the underground and realised they were running that special Saturday service where they switch off most of the lines - I could have turned around and walked away. Got a cab. Walked. Hired a rickshaw.

Instead I tried to get to Paddington using the Metropolitan Line. Not since Sherlock Holmes found the Bruce Partington Plans has anyone used the Metroplitan Line to get anywhere. But I had a go. Sitting next to me on the train was a woman rocking and crying "I'm going to miss it, fuckit fuckit fuckit". She was actually sobbing. I nearly comforted her, but she glared at me.

Oddly the time I'd reached Baker Street, I was in almost the same state. Like I'd caught it off her. I still had half an hour. I could still walk to Paddington in half an hour. But no. I decided, against advice from a nice man on the platform... I decided to catch a bus.

You know those people... on buses... who the driver makes an announcement about "We're not moving until the man with the ikea bag gets off"... I was that person. Suddenly, my Oyster card had expired, or something. And I was just stood there, like an angry mad thing, saying "Honestly!" and rolling my eyes. At an empty bus stop. As though I expected London to care. London doesn't care. That's its charm.

So I tried to catch a tube to Paddington again. And I missed my train by a minute.

The lesson here is that, next time it all gets a bit much, I'll either get a cab, or actually just try, rather than simply start shaking like a washing machine full of stress and socks.

The other thing that puts it into perspective - slow train journey, changing at Bristol Parkway and all, is that I was trying to get to Taunton. Which - the night before - had just had a horrific traffic pile up.

"Sorry I'm late," I said to my Dad on the phone. "It's been a nightmare."

"No, no it hasn't," said my Dad, and got on with banging nails into his new shed.