Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Reason to Live

Just when I was losing the will to live - one of my favourite shows returns to British TV for season two......
CRIMINAL MINDS revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country's most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. Special Agent Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) is the FBI's top behavioral analyst, working with the Behavioral Analysis Unit lead by Special Agent Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), a family man who is able to gain people's trust and unlock their secrets. Also on the team are Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), the daughter of high-powered diplomats who recently joined the team and must prove her worth to Gideon and Hotchner; Special Agent Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), an expert on obsessional crimes; Special Agent Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), a classically misunderstood genius whose social IQ is as low as his intellectual IQ is high; Jennifer "JJ" Jareau (AJ Cook), a confident young agent who acts as the unit liaison for the team, and Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), a computer wizard who helps research the cases. Each member brings his or her own area of expertise to the table as they pinpoint predators' motivations and identify their emotional triggers in the attempt to stop them.

mm - Matthew Gray Gubler........warms the cockles of this old lady's heart.....

Insomnia and Commercials

Here we are, 5am........again and I have been awake most of the night.....again....

So - a little entertainment.

This came first:

Then this:

and then, of course, someone had to do this.....

Ah, the joy of well made, entertaining commercials!


Monday, February 26, 2007


I would love to be able to gush over the Oscars.
It would be nice to remember my favourite scenes from all the films.
I would have loved to have stayed up all night to hear all those wonderful speeches of thanks.
But the only films I saw that won were Happy Feet (Best Animation) and Pirates (Best Visual Effects).
So, no discussion, no opinions and no memories. But you can read all about it here.......
Congratulations to Helen Mirren on her win for The Queen.

And well done to the man from South Central, Forest Whitaker, on his big win!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A Song for Sunday

A Song for Sunday is a chance for me to find my favourite songs and post them on my blog.

I have always loved this man.

He was gifted, intelligent and articulate.

When he died I cried for a week........

Whenever I hear this song, I cry again.........I play this at top volume in my car and sing with tears running down my face.

This video is such a wonderful tribute to the man and his gift.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday Night at the Movies

Saturday Night at the Movies is my opportunity to chat about my favourite films. Fun, serious, noisy, violent, good or terrible - my tastes are most eclectic.

This week's choice is definitely a 'Saturday night movie'. A couple cartons of popcorn, a few beers and this is the movie you would shove onto the DVD player.......

Right up there with my All-Time Favourite Movies, Cry-Baby was Johnny Depp's (JD to his bloggerfans) first starring role. He was chosen by unorthodox film-maker John Waters to star alongside his regular actors Mink Stole, Troy Donohue, Ricki Lake and Traci Lords. Also in this fantastic rock and roll film is Iggy Pop, Susan Tyrell, Willem Dafoe and Polly Bergen.

Wade 'Cry Baby' Walker is the leader of a gang of Drapes in 50's small town America, with his sister Pepper (Ricki), and their friends Hatchet Face, Milton and Wanda. Baldwin is the defacto leader of the Squares (mainly his singing group The Whiffles), but his girlfriend Allison is bored of being a Square and dreams of being with Cry Baby. Allison gets the chance when Cry Baby sweeps her off her feet to a Drape night out, but heartbreak ensues when the police swoop and arrest the Drapes. Allison is let off because her grandmother (Polly Bergen) is 'a good and beautiful woman' [chuckle] but Cry Baby goes to juvenile detention.

Allison has to choose between sneaky Baldwin (an extremely cute Stephen Mailer) and the juvenile jailbird Cry Baby.

Sit back, put this on the DVD player. Enjoy the unusual take on Romeo and Juliet, the performances and the fabulous soundtrack....

Ah, an excellent opportunity for another photo of JD....

'Just one single salty tear is all they'll suck out of this Cry Baby'

In answer to Carli, this is not hardcore Waters. And yes, Patty Hearst was in this movie, playing Wanda (Traci Lords) Woodward's mother.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Blog Fodder #12

Firstly, good luck to Moogie's daughter, Meelie, today for the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart Program. She is jumping in honor of her Papa and has raised more than $100 over her target!

Good Luck , Meelie!!
Blog Fodder #12 is courtesy of my friend, Laquet over at Chez Le Laquet.

What do you see when you look out of your living room / kitchen / bedroom window? You can do this with photos if you would like.

I'm sitting in my armchair using my laptop. [peers out of living room window] I see bushes/shrubs which are designed to afford us some privacy (we live in a very small cul-de-sac). I can see my neighbour's car through the shrubs.....and lots of grey cloudy sky with a tiny bit of blue.

My kitchen window? That affords me a wonderful view of our lovely neighbours' new conservatory. They have it all kitted out with plants, heaters, candles and stuff and it looks amazing. Neil said recently that they have pretty much used it every day since it was completed!


Monday, February 19, 2007

Saturday Market

On Saturday I accompanied Aginoth, Mrs Aginoth and two friends to the National Living History Fayre in Warwick.

These are wonderful places, with stalls selling re-enactment and living history stuff from every possible era. Roman soldiers rub shoulders with Tudor women, dandies converse with medieval knights. I love these markets, and there is always something to see.

This season, there were duelling knights with a prize available. Wherever I walked in the huge hall, I was accompanied by the sound of clashing swords and the banging of shields. With the yells of the audience and the screaming of the umpire, all that was missing was the smell of horse manure………
Good, eh??

Anyway, we were there on a mission. The Aginoths needed cloth to make new clothes for the children and Mrs A, and Aginoth needed a new longbow (or so he said! [wink]). Our friends had various needs, and also purchased a longbow from the Dutch bowyers who have recently begun trading at the show.

My own purchasing needs were modest (they have to be, I have no money!). I found Bernie the Bolt (the cloth salesman) had my dress cloth for sale, so I bought a metre so I can drop my hem a couple of inches. No more flashing my ankles and feet and being teased by the boys!

I also needed a tapestry frame (not found anywhere at the show, so we’ll look at the next one!) and brass needles (bought two!) – I know, I know; last of the big spenders……….

While debating my backstory (widow from the Hundred Year War found on the roadside, just with the clothes on her back ‘and scratching’ – the last from my intended employer!!) I asked Aginoth if I would have a weapon to protect myself. He agreed and suggested a bollock dagger.
‘A WHAT?’ I hear you ask.
I was toying with running this as a contest, but anyone can google or wiki ‘bollock dagger’…….

So go on, google it! :-)


Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Song for Sunday

This week's song is a trip down memory lane for me.

Paper Lace were a Nottingham based band who enjoyed three weeks at #1 in 1974 with this song. Definitely a crowd pleaser, there wasn't a single teenage girl in the UK who didn't know all the lyrics to this song. Although it was released in the US, it only reached #96 so this might be new to my American Blogbuddies, even though it's 30 odd years old.

In my previous post I mentioned my favourite thing as a child was Church Camp. Well, our Church Camp had a talent night on the last night, an opportunity for young singers, comedians, monologuers and various odd talents to parade their abilities in front of their peers. Some were stunning, some were wonderful, some were downright cringeworthy.

When I was 11 I got up in front of all the guys at Camp and sang this song. Apart from school musicals, this was the first time I had ever sung in public. No music, no support, just me standing there alone on the makeshift stage in the marquee singing my favourite song.

I have always adored this song. I've always known the words and can still sing along to it 32 years later.



Saturday, February 17, 2007

Saturday Night at The Movies

This week's movie is one you can't buy or rent. You won't see it in the picturehouse and probably would miss it when it is rarely shown on TV.
Panthergirl - I checked; it isn't on Netflix either.........don't be misled by the Falk film, it's not that one!

I have a copy on video, as I casually videoed it one night because it has one of my fave actors in it. Now that video is one of my prized possessions, 'cos I can't get this film anywhere else.

What is this rare film? Roommates, starring Eric Stoltz, Randy Quaid and Elizabeth Pena. In my modest opinion, as far as AIDS films go, this beats Philadelphia hands down (sorry, Tom!).

Stoltz and Quaid play two men who have contracted AIDS. One, a gay man, was infected during casual sex, the other, a heterosexual man, was infected by a blood transfusion. Pena, who runs the AIDS hostel, puts the two men in the same apartment, thinking they will have a benefit on each other.

This is a disturbing insight into life with AIDS. It is frank and unapologetic. There is no drastic loss of weight by the main players, they rely on their incredible acting skills to convey the physical debilitation of a terminal illness, not to mention the heartache and fear.

In the middle of all this heartbreak, the two men bond and develop a deep and honest friendship, which lasts up to and beyond death. Out of necessity, the men learn to depend on each other and to reveal their deepest darkest fears.

And the final kicker? This is not only a true story, but a privately financed film by the parents and family of one of the men.


Friday, February 16, 2007

Blog Fodder #11

This week’s Blog Fodder Topic is brought to us by Suzanne, over at Contemblogging and it's one of my favourite conundrums!

Which is worse? Poor manners or poor grammar? Why?
Always - poor manners.
Poor grammar can be a result of many factors, some of which the individuals have no control over.
But it takes no effort to hold the door, say please and thank you and to be polite.
People may try to excuse bad manners, citing environment or nurture, but to me that is no reason.
There is no excuse for poor manners.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Passed to me from Bobkat :-)
Name: cq

1. What time did you get up this morning? 0630
2. Diamonds or Pearls? Pearls are supposed to make your skin glow – or somesuch.

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? I don't remember, but I finally saw The Libertine on TV earlier this week.
4. What is your favourite TV show? atm? NCIS.

5. What did you eat for breakfast? I don’t eat breakfast
6. What is your middle name? The only people who know that are my Crazies, Bobkat and Mamahog - it's a Secret.

7. What is your favourite cuisine? Thai
8. What foods do you dislike? Meat - bleurgh….!!
9. Your favourite potato chip? Roast Onion and Balsamic Vinegar – YUM!
10. What is your favourite CD at the moment? Still loving Ta Dah! By Scissor Sisters
11. What kind of car do you drive? Battered old Ford Escort but I love it!
12. Favourite sandwich? Cheese and beetroot
13. What characteristics do you despise? Arrogance, selfishness and rudeness
14. What are your favourite clothes? I adore my
Planet Earth t’shirts.
15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Work my way through the States (guided by my blogroll) and up into Canada!
16. What colour is your bathroom? Cream and dark pink
17. Favourite brand of clothing? As long as it fits…..

18. Where were you born? Small village in Devon
19. Favourite time of day? 6pm – ‘Friends’ time!!
20. Where would you want to retire to? Cornwall.

21. Favourite sport to watch? How boring is watching sport?
22. Who do you least expect to do this quiz? Anyone who doesn’t read my blog!
23. Who do you expect to do this quiz first? Maybe a blogbuddy or two might pick it up!
24. Coke or Pepsi? Neither please, I hate coke.

25. Are you a morning person or night owl? Neither?
26. Any new and exciting news you'd like to
share? News? Er – no……..
27. What did you want to be when you were little? Anyone/anything but me.
28. What is your best childhood memory? Church Camp

29. What are the different jobs you have had? Nanny, Housekeeper, Lifeguard, Clerk, Petrol Station attendant, M&S tillgirl, Office Manager, Personal Assistant, Health and Safety Officer.
30. Nicknames? CQ, craziequeen, Honeybunch, and sundry pet names by my bestest pals
31. Piercings? Two in each ear.
32. Eye Colour? Brown (boring, huh?)
33. Ever been to Africa? Yep, we holidayed in Tunisia every year for 12 years.

34. Ever been toilet papering? No, not a common pastime in the UK
35. Favourite day of the week? Sunday, most of the weekend chores are done and I can relax.

36. Favourite restaurant? Blue Ocean Thai in Weston Super Mare.
37. Favourite ice cream? Clotted Cream……..

38. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail? Naomi.
39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? I no longer have a credit card...
40. Bedtime? Anytime between 9pm and 11pm.

41. Who are you most curious about their responses to this questionnaire? I'm interested in all my blogbuddies.
42. Last person you went to dinner with? Cyberkitten – we were teambuilding in a posh hotel.

43. What are you listening to right now? The TV....
44. What are your favourite colours? Purple!!!

45. How many tattoos do you have? That would be telling……..

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


I know it's commercialised and an event created by Victorian greetings cards makers.......

But there's no getting away from it........

This Valentine's Day here is some...........

to all my amazing friends in blogdom.

And an extra-special hug and thank you to my dear friend over the sea.......

(anyone who knows her will recognise her own work of art)


Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Song for Sunday

I am loving 'Family Jewels', a close-up show of Gene Simmons (better known as Kiss' The Demon!), his beloved un-wife Shannon Tweed and their two teenage children Nick and Sophie.
I never liked Ozzie Osbourne's family show, so why do I like Family Jewels?

Unlike Ozzie, Gene is REALLY funny! Shannon is soooooo beautiful (former Playboy centrefold!) and very humorous, and their children are articulate, funny and very photogenic. I am also very pleased at the apparent lack of bad language!

I still adore Gene's crack 'That's what Gentiles are for. You hire them to fix your car!' with son Nick whispering desperately 'Dad! You can't say that!'
I'm a Gentile - I thought that was hilarious in context, with Gene looking helplessly at his SUV engine......funny guy......

So, in this second new Palace theme, I offer a song for Sunday to say 'Thank you, Simmons family, for a wonderful if brief insight into your life'. Bit of a noisy one to kick off this new Palace event. As a teen desperate to rebel but very nervous, I was a Zeppelin fan, a Quo fan - even a Deep Purple fan........ but as far as Kiss were concerned this is the only song I ever liked........and I'm still happy to bop along with the hoover to it!


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Saturday Night at the Movies

A new thing here at the Palace. An opportunity to sound off about my favourite films.

This week it's the amazing Britflick,
The Full Monty. Struggling to survive in depressed Sheffield, six unemployed steelworkers make the decision to become strippers to raise some cash. These boys decide, for one night only, to go 'The Full Monty'.

With a brilliant script which illustrates the indomitable spirit of the British enforced 'dole worker', and a stunning soundtrack including Irene Cara and Tom Jones, this is one of my all-time favourite movies.
Leading the tribe is Gaz, played by the adorable and gifted Robert Carlyle. Gaz's best friend is Dave, a wonderful characterisation by the irresistable Mark Addy. Supported by great British actors Tom Wilkinson and Paul Barber, and newcomers Steve Huison and Hugo Speer, these six men make an ordinary film extraordinary. Best bit - probably be a runaway vote for the scene in the dole office, when the music comes on the radio and all the lads in the queue begin dancing.

Unashamedly a British film, although made with US money (Fox, no less!) [snigger], this is one of those few British films that a) uses actual British actors and b) makes you proud to be British, not hiding behind the sofa with embarrassment like the Bridget Jones or Love Actually genre.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Blog Fodder #10

This week's Blog Fodder topic is brought to you by Heather, who can be found over on Blog, Blah, Blah. This is a real toughie.....

If you could go back in time and choose your career, what would it be?

Before I begin, since this is our TENTH Blog Fodder (where has the time gone?), let’s see if we can break a record and get more people to participate this week. It’s up to you to spread the word. Go on [smiles sweetly] have a go.....

OK, my fodder:

Choose my career?
When I was at school I always intended to be a teacher, although I toyed with the religious life at about 15. I definitely wanted to be around children and impart information. I had ideas of being a primary school teacher and having an impact on young minds.

Then I failed my A-levels, which was a major stumbling block to my plans of University and then teacher training.

As I was also having trouble in school on the whole, I asked if I could leave. My mother, being a teacher herself, said I could only leave if I got a job, thinking that would put me off. So I toddled off to the local newsagents and bought the evening paper. I ringed an advert for a homehelp and went for an interview. A young mother, dad absent working a lot of the time and four kiddies under ten. I got the job and left school immediately.
So, I got my youngsters, and as I discovered nearly 20 years later, all my words of wisdom and manners drummed into the children were still plainly obvious in the newly grown adults - so I seem to have taught them too!

Five families later and I am still reading to children, teaching them colours, simple math, new words, skills and manners!

So - did I actually, in a roundabout way, get my dream job? Only thing is, I don't get paid for it.....and I didn't so much choose it as had it thrust upon me - much like greatness!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I'm Ready!

Blanket - check

Warm hat - check

Thick gloves - check

Foul weather coat - check

Thermal vest - check

Topped up fluids - check

First Aid kit - check

Hot flask - check

Not for me - but for the nutters who don't know how to drive in this..............correction - who think they *do* know how to drive in this......

Britain grinds to a halt when one snowflake falls - and we are forecast several snowflakes tonight!!


Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I had my six monthly dentist check up today. Doesn't sound much, but to me each one is a milestone and a major stressor.

I am terrified of the dentist, and have been since I was a teenager. At about 15 I cracked my front teeth on the side of the swimming pool, and my then dentist fitted me with terrible crowns, badly fitted and treatment that exceeded the novocaine time limit. He also left me alone once he had removed the broken teeth and I was horrified when I touched the remains with my tongue. I had nightmares for years that my teeth were falling out.

Then I had a dentist about three years later who told me the crowns were so badly fitted that I had abcesses under them both and then, instead of just replacing them, he drilled through the back up into my root. Needless to say, the treatment was agony, the crowns crumbled, he patched them up and I didn't smile again.

About ten years after the original treatment, my mother offered to take me to her new dentist. Not many grown women walk into a dentist holding their mother's hand! I was absolutely petrified. Mr Aslett was wonderful, an old-school dentist who still used gas and air which was perfect for this total psychological wreck. In the first couple of months he had completed a lot of work, many hours in fact, putting everything right while I was sleeping under the gas. I always went with one of my teddy bears; Albert. I was so grateful to Mr Aslett and my mum for introducing us. I always credit Mr Aslett for giving me my smile back.

Imagine my horror when Mr Aslett retired and, worse!, the use of gas and air for dentistry was outlawed!!

I was still so fearful I didn't go again for a few years. Then toothache drove me to a local dentist in desperation. They offered me valium (definitely not recommended for people with depression - I was suicidal for about three weeks!) and Mr Gaffori pulled the broken tooth with no warning,

I remembered I had been prescribed beta blockers for stressful events like interviews which had me hyperventilating with fright. The dentist said I could use them, he had no problems with that. So between the beta blockers for treatment, my dentist and I agreeing no treatment at checkups and nothing without warning, and Albert always being there, even for checkups, I am managing to attend for a check up every six months.

My notes are so cool, they have written on the front 'VERY nervous patient. Always brings teddy bear.'


Sunday, February 04, 2007


Everyone is getting the decorators in.
Every time I go to a blog now, it looks new and fresh.
Is this everyone taking advantage of the easy options on New Blogger? It's supposed to be so simple to customise your template.

Should I decorate? Do I need to? I have several likely templates downloaded to play with.

But.....and this is the $64m I want to?

When's all said and done;

I like the simplicity of the Palace. I love the clean look of my undecorated blog.

So I guess it won't be getting a refurbishment any day soon.........
and to finish - possibly the MOST played record in the world, but certainly in the UK....

Big Question: Is Mika the reincarnation of the great, and still sorely missed, Freddie Mercury?
Cute, gifted, classically trained.....

ps - is anyone else struggling with new blogger photo? The uploaded pictures are such complicated URLs that they are making my Explorer freeze.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Blank Page

My mind is a blank page at the moment........

I log on to blogger with ideas to blog, then I just log off.

This week hasn't been uneventful, but I have no urge to talk.

I haven't totally abandoned my blogbuddies, I still visit, but I don't feel I have anything of any value to add to the comments.

So, go visit my blogroll and read some nice chatty blogs while I wait for my muse to return.