The High Chaparral

26 January, 2016

High Chaparral

You know how you remember a really excellent proggy from back in the 70s, but when you see it again it turns out to be very disappointing?

Well, a couple of months ago I went over to visit my father in his Nursing Home, and onto the TV came this. I was amazed and delighted! When my sister and I were little we used to love it, and on (I think it was) Monday nights we used to beg Daddy to let us watch it. He liked it too, but he almost always wanted to see the opening few minutes of Panorama first, just in case… The tension and excitement as we waited to see whether Daddy would be willing to turn over could have been cut with the proverbial knife! Almost always it was resolved in our favour.

Well these days I’m in charge of the remote control, and so when I browsed across it in Daddy’s room I stopped to look. It was good, and so when I got home I looked it up and found that they broadcast two eppies each Saturday and Sunday on CBS Action, a Freeview channel.

I’ve been watching it for a couple of months now, and it’s absolutely excellent! So extremely well written, with engaging plots and story lines. There’s the occasional dud (IMO), but I reckon that can be said of just about any otherwise excellent series.

So! If you, like me, enjoyed this Back In The Day then think about giving it another whirl. Major kudos to the writers: for me, at least, it’s more than stood the test of the intervening years 🙂

Altered Priorities Ahead

20 January, 2016

Does anybody remember A Very Peculiar Practice? One of the best things I’ve ever seen on TV, but I love just about everything that Andrew Davies has ever done. Brilliant music too!

I now work in a university, and yesterday, during my lunchtime walk in the woods, I passed a nun. I couldn’t help but smile 🙂

RIP J.R./Larry Hagman

25 November, 2012

Getting ready to decamp to bed this evening, I happened to hear on the TV news that Larry Hagman has died. It felt like a bit of a kick in the midriff because the memory of J.R. brought back the scent of my late teenage years so vividly.

Dallas became hugely popular when I was doing A Levels, and the first series induced in me the first stirrings of what later became a very bad habit i.e. staying in to watch stuff on television (translated later to staying in to play with the computer) rather than getting out and boogying with pals, as teenagers are supposed to do. Still, though, I can’t totally regret the lost time, because I enjoyed it so much.

The first series of Dallas was great fun, and–confusingly–J.R. was such an endearing anti-hero. I remember seeing Larry Hagman interviewed on television at the time, and he seemed to take great pleasure in the unexpected fame and glory that came with the role. “Good for him!” I thought at the time. I love to see people achieve unexpected success at any stage, and particularly late(ish) in life.

For some reason, J.R. is always associated in my mind with this Beatles tune: I think it’s something to do with the super-confident strutting groove of the thing.

So! R.I.P., Larry Hagman, and many thanks for all the joy you brought me such a long time ago ♥

Celebrity Masterchef — The Final!

21 September, 2012

I don’t normally watch Celebrity Masterchef (preferring Masterchef, The Professionals), but I’ve watched this series.

My money is on Danny Mills to win tonight, though it could be Emma Kennedy. I think it’ll be Danny, though. Good luck to all three of them 🙂

Wrong is the new Right!

2 October, 2011

There’s something unsettling about this advert that I find disturbingly wonderful 🙂

I’ve also been reveling in a re-watch orgy of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s excellent TV Dinners. Grab your laptop and settle down in a comfy corner to watch all four series here, with 4onDemand.

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

18 February, 2011

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Fascinating stuff! Available now on 4onDemand.

Adventures at home, abroad and in the Australian jungle

15 November, 2010

Light fades on the beach this evening

What an exciting day Piglet and I have had!

This morning we got on the cross-channel modem thingy and zipped across to commune with other Border Terriers, and their families, in La Belle France. Le français BT owners are incredibly welcoming, and bore patiently with my linguistic cockups as I first of all explained that I had une petite Terrier de Frontière (apparently they’re just called… well, Border Terriers, over there: oops!) and then told one of the other posters that her photos were absolutely HUGE when what I actually meant to say was that they were great! *blush* That led to a bit of a rumpus (as far as it’s possible for me to tell from the online translation widget), but I think I managed to expliquer the nature of my error in the end. Anyway, it looks like a great place, and both Piglet (who is now known as ma petite Louloute) and I look forward to brushing up our language skillz.

After that we went out to the woods for a run (in Piglet’s case) and a walk (in mine), and that was fun as well. Piglet was a little hyper, and barked ferociously at a large boxer which walked past with its owner. Thank goodness the boxer was on a lead, because had it run at Piglet then I know she’d have shot away screaming. Piggly then had a minor scrap with a Jack Russell, but that ended well with mutual lickings and swappings of kibble. We got down to the beach just as the sun was going down, and for a few minutes it was sublimely beautiful. Soon after that it became difficult to see where we were going, though, and I’m not sure I’d have been able to make it home had Piglet not led me unerringly back through the sandhills (quite complicated even in daylight) with the assistance of her sensitive little nose (and a small compass she conceals behind her collar).

The third exciting thing was the return of Celebrity this evening on ITV. I look forward to it all year, and this evening it didn’t disappoint 🙂 I know from past experience that things can change rapidly there, but based on this evening’s performance Brit Ekland is already looking like a front-runner to me, and I thought Kayla Collins (um… what’s a ‘playmate’?) and Stacey Solomon (from X Factor, apparently) both did well. I’m afraid that the loathsome Nigel Havers always brings out the very worst in me, and so I couldn’t help laughing with vindictive delight when he tipped out of a canoe as a result of his own idiocy in standing up while somebody else was disembarking, and then had a major sense of humour failure and tried to blame it all on the other bloke! Since the other bloke was Lembit Opik (can it really be spelled that way?) NH got away with it (politicians almost always get voted out first), but I reckon we had a brief glimpse of his true couleurs, and it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on.

Right! Must go and watch the follow-up thingy, now: hurrah for the hilarious Russell Kane, who made me laugh so much last year 🙂

Whooohoooo! The best cook won :)

3 November, 2010

Claire Lara wins Professional Masterchef, 2010

Whoohooo! Congratulations to the amazing Claire Lara on winning Professional Masterchef this evening.

Right from the first round she was in a class of her own, and it was an absolute thrill to see her win the competition tonight. The other two were brilliant as well, but Claire was extra special.


Another year to wait, then, for the next round of my favourite cookery competition. I’m already looking forward to it 🙂

Kudos to Trekmates, and good luck to Claire

2 November, 2010

Great kudos to Trekmates! Yesterday I stumbled across a fantastic offer on their website: their Amphibian Gore-Tex Shell Socks (only available in small) reduced from £29.99 to £9.99 per pair. They’ve been discontinued, apparently, but since I’m not very fond of Sealskinz (they’re bulky, they seem to spring leaks quickly and I find it virtually impossible to dry them in the tent) I decided to give the Amphibians a try.

I ordered two pairs yesterday afternoon at about 1.45pm, and they arrived this morning with the postman! When I asked, on ringing yesterday afternoon to check that the socks were in stock, how long they were likely to take to arrive, I was told that they’d probably come this morning if the dispatch man was as quick as he usually is, so it sounds as though this level of service may be typical for them. I’ve not bought from Trekmates before, but I’d be very happy to do so again.

Incidentally, Trekmates describe ‘small’ as being sizes 6-7. I have size 7 feet in most walking shoes, and I found the socks slightly large, so anyone out there with size 8s who may be wondering whether or not to give them a go may just be in luck. I plan to use them with my trail shoes on wet days.

Tonight’s the final of Professional Masterchef, so fingers crossed all round for Claire, please. She’s been hugely impressive throughout on every front, and it brings me real joy to see her do so well despite the disadvantages she faces as (i) a woman (ii) a scouser and (iii) a portly sort of person. If there’s any justice in the world then she’ll be lifting the cup tonight 🙂

Cookery programmes, music and stuff

28 October, 2010

Well, here I am typing from my real keyboard at my desktop computer for the first time since… lemme see… mid July, I think! The screen looks absolutely HUGE, I have finally have music again ♥ and the spacebar doesn’t stick 🙂

I’ve been keeping a close eye on various cookery programmes, as usual, and having endured enjoyed a whole 4 months (!) of the first series of Australian Masterchef I’m now well into the second series. This series seems to be shorter, which is a bit of a relief. Much as I enjoyed all but the preliminary stages of the first one, I did feel as the final episodes approached as though I was nearing the end of some sort of gruelling mountain marathon of the mind…

I’m also delighted to see what I think must be the third series of Masterchef: The Professionals well underway. My money’s been on Claire the Scouser from the start, and I wiped away a small tear of joy and relief to see her win her place in the Finals, which start next week. I was sorry to see young Alice go–a closely fought battle, and I felt she was a bit unlucky to lose it–but I’m sure she’ll do well, whatever she does next.

Piglet continues to thrive, along with Puss-Puss. I’ve promised her a run in the woods a little later, but I suppose we’d better get a move on if we’re not going to be stuck out in the dark again, as we were a couple of days ago. It’s hard enough to keep track of Piglet’s rabbit-chasing antics in daylight, and virtually impossible after about 6pm, now that the days have begun to close in.

Here’s something I’ve not listened to for ages. I used to do a lot of running to this song, and listening to it now brings back an echo of pre-race tummy butterflies.