Big Little Lies

En nu afsluttet serie på HBO i syv afsnit. Det er værd at tegne abonnement på HBO (første måned gratis) bare for at se denne serie! Personligt har jeg siddet klar med fjernbetjeningen hver mandag aften, når der kom et nyt afsnit. Det er ret sjældent, jeg er så religiøs om en serie – kan normalt godt vente en uge eller to, også selvom Twitter og Facebook flyder over med spoilere.

Men denne serie greb mig – og det på trods af, at den faktisk forekommer ret misogyn i de første afsnit. Overklassekvinderne, der står i centrum, er en flok ondskabsfulde bitches, som bekræfter alle fordomme, du nogensinde har haft om rige, hvide kvinder. Det viser sig selvfølgelig, at så enkelt er det ikke, men jeg vil ikke afsløre noget her, hvis du nu ikke har set den.

Witherspoon og Kidman – et powerpar

Reese Witherspoon, som jeg ærligt talt ikke ventede mig meget af, er fuldstændig uovertruffen som blondine-über-bitch med dybder, der langsomt åbenbares. Og Nicole Kidman overgår sig selv i sart skønhed med stålkerne. Udover at spille hovedrollerne står de to bag serien, da de sammen købte rettighederne til bogen og også har produceret serien. Den er instrueret af Jean-Marc Vallée og produceret af David E. Kelley, en rutineret tv-serie-rotte. Det spås allerede, at denne serie kommer til at rende med alle Emmy‘erne i år.

Det forlyder, at Witherspoon og Kidman er i gang med at producere en sæson 2 – på samme måde som True Detective sæson 2. I dette tilfælde skulle den basere sig på endnu en roman af Liane Moriarty. Men vi er lidt på rygtebørsen her.

#BigLittleLies

Da jeg var færdig med den fuldstændig forrygende sidste episode og lige havde fordøjet den lidt og dissekeret den med en veninde, søgte jeg på #biglittlelies på Twitter.

Det gav selvfølgelig en enorm mængde hits, deriblandt finale-anmeldelser fra alle de store amerikanske medier. Nogle af dem er meget interessante og flere har endog meget feministiske agendaer. 👏🏻

*Spoiler-alert* Læs IKKE disse anmeldelser, hvis du ikke har set serien til ende.

Min favorit er fra VultureA Commentary on Gender Bias

Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Huffington Post. Vil du have mere analyse, er der masser på Youtube.

Smagsdommerne i 10 år

drk_logo

Jeg har ikke været, hvad man vil kalde en trofast seer af Smagsdommerne, men jeg har dog set en del af programmerne. For mig har kvaliteten altid været afhængig af, hvem der var smagsdommere i den pågældende udsendelse.

Jeg er ikke ude i at anmelde hverken programmet som sådan eller det specifikke jubilæumsprogram, der blev sendt forleden aften. Men jeg vil gerne komme med et indlæg i den diskussion om programmets form, der lå sidst i programmet. (Hvorfor kunne jubilæumsprogrammet ikke være længere, når nu studiet var fyldt med spændende mennesker?). Deltagerne var Politikens alt-mulig-brokkehoved Henrik Palle, Berlingskes udlandsredaktør og kulturforbruger Anna Libak og (igen!?) Politikens litteraturanmelder Lilian Munk Rösing.

Henrik Palle er sur på programmet, fordi det, stik imod sin titel, sætter folk, der IKKE har forstand på en genre til at anmelde den. Han kalder de ikke-kvalificerede anmeldere for “klarinetspillende tandlæger”. Det er jo sjovt – Henrik Palle er næsten altid sjov – men er det også rigtigt, at man ikke får noget ud af at høre en arkitekts anmeldelse af en bog? Altså, det var da sjovt at høre Bjarke Ingels anmelde opera, som han virkelig ikke brød sig om, men jeg synes faktisk ikke, det var programmets “finest hour”. Til gengæld elsker jeg, når anmelderne “investerer deres subjekt“, som Lilian Munk Rösing så akademisk udtrykte det, og oprigtigt forsøger at få en ukendt eller afskyet genre ind under huden – at gå ind på dens præmisser. Et godt eksempel var BTs Simon Andersen, der nærmest fik tårer i øjnene over den ballet, som han havde givet en chance. Med den tilgang tror jeg, der er en chance for at lokke andre kulturbrugere til at prøve noget, de ellers ikke plejer at bruge tid og penge på.

Noget andet er så, at den diskussion peger på, at vore dages kulturforbrugere- og udbydere absolut skal befinde sig i forskellige kasser, og ikke må stræbe efter at være “renaissance-mennesker”, der interesserer sig for alt muligt, både litteratur, videnskab, kunst og design. Næh, vi er enten læsere eller kunstudstillingsgængere. Jeg læser netop en biografi om Georg Brandes, en mand der var litterat først og fremmest, men som gik på kunstudstillinger, i teatret, etc.  – og skrev om det – som den mest naturlige ting i verden. Mange fra den tids kulturelite, på tværs af kunstarter, overværede Brandes’ berømte forelæsninger om “Hovedstrømninger i det 19ende Århundredes Litteratur”. Det er svært at forestille sig i dag, men derfor kan man jo godt drømme!

At “investere mit subjekt” er jo sådan set også, hvad jeg selv prøver på med denne blog, hvor jeg, der er rimelig ignorant og i hvert fald uuddannet på stort set alle områder, alligevel påtager mig at delagtiggøre uskyldige forbipasserende i min uforgribelige mening om alt fra dokumentarfilm til installationskunst. Jeg forsøger at forklare, hvorfor jeg synes godt eller mindre godt om et kulturelt produkt i det lønlige håb at inspirere andre til også at interessere sig for det. Nogle med mere forstand på de enkelte emner er altid velkomne til at forsøge at kvalificere min mening med noget indsigt!

I øvrigt fniser jeg lidt over, at Henrik Palle selv har læst litteraturvidenskab og i sin karriere har anmeldt både film, mad, øl og TV samt været IT-skribent…

1000 års kunsthistorie

En serie programmer på DRK med Peter Kær og skiftende eksperter. De kan ses indtil 30. januar.

Jeg følger ikke ret godt med i, hvad der sendes på TV – jeg er en ægte Netflixer, der næsten aldrig ser flow-tv. Måske havde jeg heller ikke opdaget denne programserie, hvis ikke jeg kendte et par af de medvirkende – nemlig de to historikere, der medvirker i de første to programmer, museumsinspektørerne Poul Grinder-Hansen og Ulla Kjær. De fortalte storgrinende om den besynderlige fotosession, hvor de skulle stikke hovederne op i en hvid æske (se programindledningen). Hvert program omhandler en periode i kunsthistorien; de første par perioder er i sagens natur meeeeget lange.

Laurits Andersen Ring (1854-1933), I høst, 1885. Statens Museum for Kunst.  Jeg var særligt glad for gennemgangen af dette billede, som jeg aldrig har kunnet lide pga det mærkelige ansigt og de lange arme. Men der kom ordentligt perspektiv på billedet med Peter Nørgaard Larsens gennemgang.

Nå, men jeg er rigtig glad for, at jeg fik set programmerne. Der var nok noget, jeg ville have gjort anderledes, men fx er ideen med at lade “almindelige mennesker” (de er vist ikke helt almindelige, men forbliver unavngivne) kommentere på de udvalgte værker ret god. Især er jeg vild med  tvillingerne, der får rystet en hel del guldkorn af sig. Peter Kær interviewer en eller flere eksperter i hver periode, som hver har udvalgt tre væsentlige værker. Det kommer der en masse interessant samtale ud af, og jeg synes eksperterne taler godt for sig og får inddraget seerne uden alt for meget akademiker-snak. Og Peter Kær udmærker sig ved at lade eksperterne tale og ikke afbryde dem hele tiden – det er vi ikke vant til på TV.

Jeg har også set det foredrag, som Peter Kær rejser rundt med sammen med dansk kunsthistories grand old lady, Bente Scavenius. De viser en serie af slides med to kunstværker, der komplementerer hinanden på en eller anden måde og causerer over dem. Det er et interessant koncept, og jeg var godt underholdt og fik også en del at vide, som jeg ikke vidste i forvejen. I modsætning til tv-programmerne dækker foredraget hele verdens kunsthistorie (selvom det mest er Europa), ikke kun Danmarks.

Back in the Native Land

Better known as Denmark. Denmark is the kind of country where one of the most publicised points in the new Plan to Save the Country from Economic Ruin is to cut child allowances for families with many children. As any idiot in this country knows, a Family with Many Children is a Brown or a Black family. To further alienate brown and black families, interpretation in hospitals and social services has now been cut to an absolute minimum. And, last but not least, Denmark’s development aid has also been cut.

I’m thinking that I have a copy of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People in the original Danish translation. I could send it to the party leader of the Danish People’s Party (yes, that’s their name, directly translated. Yukk) in the hope she would understand that making friends is much better than getting enemies and alienating people. Or maybe not.

People ask me “What’s great about being back in Denmark?” and “What do you miss about the UK?”. Ah, well… I could say the weather:


But I would be lying. The weather hasn’t been better in the UK than here.

I could say the lovely people. That would be true for both coming back and leaving. I missed my friends a lot more than I’d thought I would – always imagining that we’d talk on FB, on the phone, on Skype and send lots of e-mails. This, however, hasn’t happened. Well, it has, with a few, but with the majority I’ve more or less lost contact except when I came to Copenhagen on visits. All rather strange in these modern times!

The lovely crowd of twitter-friends that I’m leaving behind will be much missed, as quite a few of them grew into so much more than “just” twitter-friends. Some of them are actually coming to visit me over the summer and I’m sooo thrilled! However, given the nature of how I met them, we’re in frequent contact – via FB, Skype and Twitter. I can’t say how much that pleases me!

I could say that I desperately miss British telly, radio and media and that would be absolutely true! If it weren’t for the brilliant phenomenon of podcasts (have I mentioned this before? Oh, I have? Really?), I think I would despair at the loss of R4, which has given me endless hours of pleasurable learning. Now I listen to DR’s (Danish public broadcaster) P1 which is not at all bad, but has recently been very severely hit by the government’s race for privatisation. You know how experience shows that privatisation leads to much better public service, entertainment, train services, hospitals, etc. You don’t know? Well, in all honestly, I can’t say I’ve noticed it either. But right wing governments seem to have this as a mantra. The small matter of missing data/research to support the claim is brushed under the ideological carpet.

On a lighter note, all the series that are my guilty pleasures, 24, Lost, The Good Wife, etc., are months behind here, so I’m not missing anything (and avoided Twitter when season finals were on). Which is good since I’ve had almost no time to watch telly in the month that I’ve been back.

Luck has had it that I’ve hit the ground running here as far as work is concerned. That has been a bit surprising, but surprising in such a nice way…

Smile – if you can

Earlier this week Dane and I went on a tour of the CBBC. As a fantastic bonus for my little Blue Peter super-fan, we were treated to a visit in the studio where they were shooting next week’s episode of Blue Peter. All three presenters came over and said hello and Dane, who was the only one with a Blue Peter badge, got special attention. He was so, so proud and happy!

When we got home, he more or less redecorated his room with cut-out pages from the Blue Peter book which we’d bought in the BBC shop.

Briefly, to those of my readers who don’t or can’t watch Blue Peter. The programme is more than 50 years old and the concept is more or less unchanged. It’s about being a good and decent person and taking good care of the less fortunate and of animals. The three presenters are fantastic, but we’re particularly taken with Helen Skelton who last year ran 78 miles in 24 hours through the Namibian desert for charity. We followed her training and were just amazed by her bravery and stamina. For a young pretty girl with a super job, this really wasn’t something she needed to do!

This week Blue Peter has launched a charity appeal that means something special to me and thus to Dane too. It’s called Operation Smile and the purpose is to give children like this one a chance to smile at the world by giving them an operation. Please click the link and read about it.

From Operationsmile.org
From Operationsmile.org

Some of you will know why this means something special to me, some of you will not. But I’ll tell you. I was born like that little girl and have had more than 10 operations between the age of a few months and 21 to make it right. They are much better at it nowadays, though.

Me at about 2. Had already had two operations.
Me at about 2. Had already had two operations.

The amount of humiliating bullying that I suffered as a child I wouldn’t wish for anyone. And I’m not whining here – it’s just a fact. I’ve had a great life as a young person and as an adult, but what would it had been like if I hadn’t had easy free access to all those operations? And what if I’d been born in India?

So Dane and I have been busy changing t-shirts into surgery gowns. Here are the results:

They have now been delivered in the Blue Peter Smile Appeal box at our local Curry’s.

Please set to work with your own children and post links to pictures as comments to this post. If you don’t have smallish children or if you’re not in the UK, click here and see how you can help to give a child a new start in life.

Censorship not needed

when millions of people willingly watch this brainwashing TV-station every day (it’s a mash-up obviously)?

Watch the whole video, then sit back in your chair a minute and try and recall what the Republicans have called Ms. Clinton, Ms. Pelosi or Ms. Sotomayor. If you don’t recall, google it. Or use my new pet search engine Spezify. I was directed to the video from here – a link I found on Twitter, posted by @sharonKONE.

That censorship luckily becomes more and more difficult for the horrible regimes around the world is shown by this excellent article in the Washington Post.

For all the people out there who struggle to hear our voices and who struggle to make their own voices heard over the clatter of the propaganda machines and the short, short memory of the Western press, we really owe them to qualify the news we read/watch/hear and check our sources. We’re the ones who can!

To eat meat or not, is that really the question?

Tech:

This is an absolutely brilliant post by a young PR wizard about technophobia. Particularly addressing privacy issues, something I often find myself discussing with people. This young man addresses it very well. It was Jesse Newhart who twittered about him.

Google seems to be headed towards semantic search. Well explained on Mashable.

Another PR guy who knows what he’s talking about is Brian Solis. Check out his blog. He’s come up with this model of how online conversation is taking place – if you look at the prism directly on Flickr you can see Solis’ notes by moving the cursor. Quite brilliantly done. Thanks  to Gabs for pointer.

Model from Brian Solis Flickr page.
Model from Brian Solis' Flickr page.

Politics:

I like watching 24 on the telly, it’s highly addictive. But I often think to myself that the show in almost every episode indicates that torture gives results, although all research shows that it doesn’t. People will say just about anything to be freed of the pain. This guy clearly hasn’t revealed anything of any interest to anyone, but that didn’t keep the US back from holding him imprisoned in Guantanamo for almost five years… it’s so embarrassing for the free world that we’re complicit in this!

Quite a few Twitterers have pointed to Newswipe, a new programme on the BBC, and – having just finished watching it on the Iplayer – I must say it’s just fantastic! The middle part about the power of the PR agencies over the oh-so-slack media is saddeningly sobering. Likewise the last bit about a tiny demonstration, which was blown completely out of proportion by the media.

News about one of my Most Hated Organisations. NRA. Obama, don’t let them get away with it!

Feminism:

Do you love or hate chick flicks? A rather learned article on the subject. Including some depressing figures about women in the film biz.

Food:

Oh, please give me something to do that doesn’t have a downside to it? The newest environmental fad, which I’m also following, is to eat less meat. An article on BBC News tells me that that’s not an altogether good thing to be promoting, since people in the developing world need the protein they get from their livestock. The article is sort of made to look like there are two conflicting views here, but I don’t really think there are! No doubt all of us in the West could benefit from eating less meat? Healthwise and environmentally? That doesn’t mean we’re aiming at stopping African herders from eating their cattle!? Come on!

Science:

How the brain tends to switch off completely when put in front of a so-called expert. Avoid them, I say!

Ever wondered what’s on the other side of the planet? Literally? Wonder no more. For me? Ocean. Pointer from Sheamus.

Scientists are getting closer to finding the cause(s) of the demise of the honey bee. Good news, eh? Then we just need to do something about it!

Environment:

An article in Newsweek has this question:

How do you keep people interested in green initiatives and saving the environment at a time when people are concerned about their jobs?

That seems like such a silly thing to ask, when the vast majority of things you can do yourself for the environment is about being frugal? The article is interesting enough though, since it tries to answer the overlying question, which is whether there’s political will in a time of recession to invest heavily in the environment.

Growing hemp could be one of the answers to Newsweek’s question.

Where not otherwise indicated the above links are found via my own RSS feeds or via the busy, busy Nerdnews on Twitter.

Undo – it's doable now!

Politics:

Were you in favour of the war in Iraq? Check Bush’s “entry” speech here. Andrew Sullivan is embarrassed that he fell for it. I would be too! I’m proud that my sister and I actually took part in an anti-war demonstration – none of us being people normally given to demonstrations.

Bush has no regrets, apparently. Bush’s legal councel John Yoo, who wrote the infamous memo that “allowed” torture, isn’t either. Read about it here.

Obama made an appearance on the Jay Leno show. That’s a first. He managed to make a blunder and had to apologize profusely. Why is it that nobody seems to be able to take an innocent joke for what it is?

Writing/blogging:

An interesting post about why we (yeah, well, some of us) so urgently feel the need to share our thoughts with others.

Web:

Microsoft tries to explain what their new privacy settings are for. It’s close to funny.

Kottke.org has this interesting story about how much revenue the “was this review helpful to you” question on Amazon generates.

If you have heard or read any tech news today, you already know this, but here goes anyway. A Godsend to every Gmail user. Now you can un-send your messages – as long as you’re quick!

Health:

Why am I not surprised? (Why alcohol makes you feel good).

Serendipity

I just love that word, don’t you? Always looking for a chance to use it and tonight, while the boys were watching football, it presented itself. We’d just been watching episode five (on the wonderful BBC IPlayer) of a marvellous TV-series called Victorian Farm. Once the football started I looked around on my Iphone to find BBC’s page for the programme with some info about the three people who “star” in the programme. And huge was my disappointment when I couldn’t find any such page. What I did find – hence the serendipity – was a blog. As previously mentioned I’ve been looking for British blogs of interest, but have only found very few. This one, however, looks SO promising. The woman has a sense of humour, she can write and she has something to write about. AND – she’s a geek! And why did I find it – well of course because she’s written a lovely post, describing the Victorian Farm programme in detail. I’m thankful, because then I don’t have to – it’s a bit cold and I’d much rather be in bed! If you haven’t seen this programme – hurry up and do so. It’s SO good. It can still be seen for a short while on the Iplayer. And there are many other great programmes to be watched there – if you’re Danish or another kind of non-Brit, you can watch it on your computer or even on your Iphone, in astonishingly good quality. Public Service at its best! Victorian Farm has also been made into a book. It looks good.

About serendipity – my friend Gabs sent me a great link the other day, to a Wiki-type dictionary. One of the more unusual features in this dictionary is “The 100 most beautiful words in English” and Serendipity is on it. check it out – I’ll try to memorise some of the words in the list I didn’t already know. Quite a few – English is a rich, rich language!

As a non-Brit I often meet words that I’d really like to start using myself, but then hesitate because I don’t have a clue how to pronounce it. But there’s help, did you know? On Dictionary.com (and other online dictionaries) you can click the little speaker-icon and have a nice man or lady say the word out loud for you. As many times as you like. That’s nice.

Finally, we’ve been to the British Museum today. Dane has a thing a bout Egypt, pyramids and mummies, so we journeyed through the Egyptian section of the museum. I haven’t been there for a very long time, but have visited their absolutely fabulous website a number of times. Have a look and see what a museum website should REALLY look like. Here’s about the Egyptians. Read about the visionary director Neil MacGregor and his plans for the museum here.

British telly & music

In between seemingly endless news sessions about the US election (which will not be mentioned any more today…), I’ve also watched other stuff. I accidentally stumbled over a show that has had me in stitches several times and had Dane asking me what’s so funny. The show’s called “The Most Annoying Pop Song We Love to Hate” and it’s just hilarious. As anybody who can remember the eighties will testify to, there’s plenty of really horrible songs from that period to “re-discover”, but also wonderful “period pieces” to reminisce over. In between the actual songs there are comments from a mixture of people including critics, (former) popstars, music bizz pros etc. Yesterday I was reminded of Whigfield, the Danish One-Hit-Wonder who laid Ibiza bare and then went on to conquer the world. And the horrible Billy Joel song “We Didn’t Start the Fire”. And, and, and… In these wonderful www-times, you can still watch some of the episodes on the BBC I-Player even in Denmark or wherever you are. Highly recommended – the older you are the better, up to a point.

Gemma Arterton as Tess
Gemma Arterton as Tess

I’ve also watched two typical BBC drama series, both with beautiful young actresses. One’s just finished, it was Tess of the D’urbervilles. I remember this book particularly well, since it was the very first book I read in English. There are loads and loads of tears flowing in every episode – the last one has the most tears of course – but I remember crying over the book too. I’m guessing that many modern people (men?) will find Thomas Hardy a bit too touchy-feely, but I love it. And on a bit of a serious note, there really are people out there who, like Tess, don’t seem to have any luck at all in their lives. I even know or knew some of them. My heart goes out to you!

The other series is still on, it’s DickensLittle Dorrit. I’ve never read this

Claire Foy as Little Dorrit
Claire Foy as Little Dorrit

one, so the story is new, although with Dickens, you sort of know the story-line if you’ve read another one of his. The protagonist, Little Dorrit, is played by a lovely actress by the name of Claire Foy.

Back to music before I move on to the chores of the day: A month ago or so you could, if you bought the Times every day for a week, get some fantastic memory-evoking CD’s for free. So I collected the tokens and sent them in. A few days ago I received The Jesus & Mary Chain: PsychoCandy, Echo & the Bunnymen: Ocean Rain, New Order: Power, Corruption & Lies and Joy Division: Closer in the post. I’ve never gotten around to buying these albums on CD and thus haven’t heard them for a long, long time. I maintain that these four records are and will remain classics. It’s just fantastic to hear them again!

Close to home

Ripley bonfire 2008
Ripley bonfire 2008

Yesterday was Ripley Bonfire Night – one of the year’s biggest events in our neighbouring village where Dane goes to school. The entertainment starts with a procession of floats through the town. It’s not a very big town, so this year’s five floats were a record, I heard. Dane’s class at school were in charge of the school float. The chosen theme this year was to celebrate that the school has become a Primary School, so it was something with launch and rockets… The parents – some more than others (find me in the latter category) – worked hard on creating a spectacular float. Unfortunately we didn’t win the float competition. The girl scouts (called Brownies in this country) won with a float on the theme of the Narnia Chronicles.

The floats just finished - five hours before the procession.
The float's just finished - five hours before the procession.

There were around 10.000 people in Ripley, so there were a lot of spectators along the way. After the procession the bonfire was lit and then there was an impressive fireworks display. After that we were tired and went home for some tea and cheese sandwiches – with sore feat after hours of standing.

Dane with sweet teacher Mrs. G.

Today the weather has been really, really awful – although it’s cleared now and there’s the most spectacular sunset – so we’ve stayed in all day. First it was the usual – a couple of hours of Sunday Times. Dane has worked out the Catch up TV, so he spent the morning catching up on his favourite programmes on CBBC. Then we played Star Wars monopoly for I don’t know how many hours. Dane won – without cheating on anybody’s part. Now it’s time for me to get out of my chair and into my kitchen. The menu says Vietnamese prawn and cauliflower coconut curry. Hope it’ll turn out as nice as it sounds. Then it’ll be time for some serious TV watching – all the programmes we’ve recorded in the past week. First and foremost Merlin, a wonderful series for the whole family on BBC. We enjoy every minute of it!

The central cast in the tv series Merlin

American television

 I’m often a bit behind in reading The Sunday Times. It is not always that you can devote an entire Sunday to the devouring of The Times. So this morning while I was having breakfast, I read the Culture section. After an interesting article about Baz Luhrmann’s new film Australia (see trailer here), I got to the previously mentioned AA Gill commenting on British and American television. If you’re interested, you can read the bit about British television yourself here, but I’ll quote his bit about American television. I really wish I could have written it that way myself – we often thought and discussed along those lines while we were there:

 

I have spent the past fortnight in America, immersed, or submerged, in rolling news. There is something numbly comforting about the repetitious lapping of CNN. They say that, after the initial gagging and panic, drowning is quite a pleasant way to go, and that’s rather like watching Fox News — as you drift into unconsciousness, other people’s lives flash before your eyes. The rolling news channels give you the impression of being constantly informed while actually telling you very little. The world sidles past like a great river, and you never have to get wet. Disasters and basketball matches, comic animals and those strangely misshapen commentators all float away with equal inconsequence.

I was reminded again of two strange truths about American broadcasting. One is the astonishing number and variety of snake-oil medicinal commercials, not just advertising patent medicines but whole new diseases. Medical care is one of the main broken bones of contention in the coming American election, but nobody has actually pointed out that getting the halt, the flatulent, the palsied, the breathless and the hypochondriacs to pay for television is a very weird way of financing the entertainment and gaiety of a nation.

 

Brilliant powers of observation!

In a couple of hours I fly with boring Sterling to Copenhagen. Btw. if you’re NOT in Denmark, but want to fly there, Lastminute.com is always, ALWAYS, cheaper with the Sterling tickets than Sterling themselves. This particular ticket (out Thursday and back Sunday) I got for £100, whereas Sterling wanted £300. Don’t even mention SAS

Am going to participate in a 90th birthday celebration in the family. It really is something, isn’t it, to reach 90 and still have all your faculties?

So, see you on Monday…

A weakness

I’m going to admit something to you. I don’t dig entertainment on TV and usually don’t watch any of it. Honestly! But when we first came over here I was forced to watch a show on TV called Britain’s got Talent. Forced! (Gotta blame it on someone, haven’t I)…

But, nobody’s forced me to watch every programme since then!

There’s something completely irresistible about it. Every time we’ve been watching the auditions we’ve been asking ourselves what it is that makes people who are absolutely devoid of talent, charm or any other asset go on TV and showcase their shortcomings to the world. Some of them are just absolutely incredibly untalented!

But then, in between all the more or less terrible acts, come these unpolished gems right out of the sticks. Out of nowhere, wih so much talent that you’re left speechless! And sometimes some more polished gems make you think where A&R (artist & repertoire) people around the country have had their eyes and ears?

Here are some of my favourites:

George Sampson – dancer

Hoop-La-La – eh, hoolahoop dancers. Didn’t go on to the finals – much to my regret!

Flava – a street dance group way above what you usually see. And one of the boys’ mum had actually done the choreography! They didn’t go on to the finals, lost to these two little cutiepies:

Cheeky Monkeys.

Another act that didn’t reach the finals, was Tracey. I would have loved to have seen him perform in front of the Prince of Wales!!!

Some of the absolute superstars of the programme are a young girl and a young boy. They both sing and they both sing classical music. And both their voices make the little hairs on your back stand up! Andrew Johnston and Faryl Smith.

The judges of this show are national heroes, it appears. I don’t particularly like any of them… Piers has been editor of some of Britain’s worse rags, which qualifies him to absolutely nothing in my eyes. Amanda is probably a fine actress, but I’ve never seen her, so… And then there’s the world famous Simon. I think he’s horrible. Not because he’s “the tough one”, but because I think he’s got poor taste. He’s one to fall for a cleavage… (and take a look at his own haircut and open-necked shirts, sooo eighties!!!). At one point we saw a pair of dancers who were very good at what they did. It was like ice dancing without the skates. Which is to say not exactly high brow or anything. But Simon went on and on about how he preferred baked beans to caviar. Which was why he didn’t like this act??? They were exactly beans!!! Good, fine, talented. But beans. To Amanda’s credit she rolled her eyes at him!

I’d love if some of my readers (I actually know you’re out there!) would like to comment now and then. It’s quite OK to disagree. But if you do so in foul language, I’m not going to publish your comment. It saddening how many people leave horrible and obscene comments on perfectly above-board blogs. Shame on you!