I don’t watch an awful lot of television, the only things I tend to watch regularly are Come Dine With Me, Lewis, Masterchef, The Apprentice, Trollied and Mount Pleasant. So it’s particularly infuriating that both Trollied and Mount Pleasant seem to have been ruined.
I don’t know if it’s different writers or just bored writers but it’s ruined both of them for me.
Trollied was excellent. With the simpering Julie (played by Jane Horrocks) who has obvious and unrequited love for Gavin (played by Jason Watkins) giving a sweet yet cringe worthy love aspect and the ever funny duo of Andy (Mark Addy) and Kieran (Nick Blood) on the butchery counter, it worked really well. The rest of the cast and crew added to the whole show and it was light-hearted humour. Fun to watch.
Now however, Gavin has gone and Stephanie Beecham is in his place with a bad northern hardass accent to boot. Thus ruining the sweet crush thing that Gavin and Julie had. Mark Addy’s character has been turned into a complete arse and Kieran, who got married at the end of the last series, is still mooning around after Katie which just doesn’t work at all. Superfluous and unentertaining characters have been added in like Neville (Dominic Coleville) the pathetic divorcee, who brings no humour whatsoever to this ‘comedy’.
But the worst thing they’ve done, is create a crude relationship between disgusting shop assistant Colin (Carl Rice) and equally unappealing cashier Lisa (Beverly Rudd, who don’t get me wrong is excellent!). Their relationship is awful, degrading, horrible to watch certainly not funny.
Mount Pleasant was never as funny but it was enjoyable viewing. Dan (Daniel Ryan) and Lisa (Sally Lindsay) had a playful relationship that could seemingly withstand all external intervention; even from the unstoppable Kate (played superbly by Liza Tarbuck). Lisa’s parents were bonkers yet fun, her friends were engaging. Right up until her little dalliance with Jack (Owen McDonnell) it was pure fun.
Now however, the writers seem to have felt the need to give a gritty edge to the programme. The introduction of Kim (Claire Goose) has added a frankly crap edge to the storyline. Lisa isn’t the sort of person who would drop her existing friends for a new one, so doing that was bad enough but to then make Kim into a drug dealing mobster was neither funny nor thrilling. The whole scene at the airport was so lame that it felt a bit like watching poor amateur dramatics.
Do you agree or do you like the changes they’ve made to these programmes? I’d love to hear your view on it.
It was a cold day but the sky was a brilliant blue and the view across the cliffs was clear. With the heater turned to full in their little camper van Barbara and Eric watched the man in the red coat as he shuffled ever closer to the edge. They grew impatient as he sat for what seemed like ages but then, in the blink of an eye, he was gone. Eric lowered the window and as they heard the faintest ‘plumpf’ Barbara opened the tinfoil package in front of her and passed it to him, “Egg sandwich?” she said.
That gruesome little snippet was my entry into week 59 of the 100 Word Challenge For Grown Ups. To find out more or to enter yourself, please click on the badge above.
If you’ve ever read my blog or tweeted with me you will be aware that I am an animal lover.
As such, during a recent trip to a fun day at Wood Green I seem to have accidentally acquired a new kitten! (See here for pics of her and help us name her?!) My little kitty was found at 3 weeks old in a terrible state and with no sign of her mother. She and her siblings had clearly been dumped, incredibly distressing for them and the poor mother cat.
During the process I overhead the ladies in the cat homing section say repeatedly to callers that they were ‘full’. I asked them about it and they explained that they literally were full, they had no available pens to put cats in so they’d had to set up a waiting list.
I then noticed on facebook that the local cats protection were also full.
Ditto the RSPCA.
Even the BBC news saw fit to highlight this as a problem.
So, if they are all full, what will happen to all the abandoned cats and unwanted kittens?
If you’ve been thinking about getting a pet, now could be a really good time to visit your local rescue center and rehome an animal.
Also, if you are thinking about getting a cat, how about getting a black one? Sounds mad but black cats and black & white cats are harder to rehome. http://www.cats.org.uk/news/full-up-with-black-and-black-and-white-cats
Before you point out that my new kitten is tabby, I also have a big lump of a black rescue cat at home too – you can read more about him here.
No matter where you live in the country, a cat charity called Cat Chat has a website with a list cat rehoming shelters and often details of the currently available cats, click here to take a peak! Go on…
If you aren’t in a position to offer a home to cat there may well be other ways that you can help. Most cat shelters welcome input from volunteers – could you spare a morning to help with feeding and cleaning their pens? Could you foster a mother cat and kittens until the shelter has room for them? Or could you afford a small monthly donation?
Above all, if you’ve got cats please get them neutered.
A Room Swept White
by Sophie Hannah
TV producer Fliss Benson receives an anonymous card at work. The card has sixteen numbers on it, arranged in four rows of four – numbers that mean nothing to her.
On the same day, Fliss finds out she’s going to be working on a documentary about miscarriages of justice involving cot-death mothers wrongly accused of murder. The documentary will focus on three women: Helen Yardley, Sarah Jaggard and Rachel Hines. All three women are now free, and the doctor who did her best to send them to prison for life, child protection zealot Dr Judith Duffy, is under investigation for misconduct.
For reasons she has shared with nobody, this is the last project Fliss wants to be working on. And then Helen Yardley is found dead at her home, and in her pocket is a card with sixteen numbers on it, arranged in four rows of four . . .
I find Sophie Hannah to be an outstanding writer, her plots are often brave and touch upon subjects that most authors would leave well alone. A Room Swept White is a classic example of this as all the way through the book you have the much deeper unspoken subplot of whether or not you, the reader, believes that the three women killed their babies.
Sadly for me the book was lacking key characters to carry such an amazing storyline.
The Simon Waterhouse, Charlie Zailer and Proust relationship has become farcical. Such a shame as a few books back it was brilliant. Now Zailer is basically kept in a box until the author needs her for something, Waterhouse has become borderline psychotic but with none of the charisma which would normally accompany such a role and as for Proust, well, I’m a bit lost for words.
The worst thing for me was the way that the story seemed to jog along with lots of ‘is it this person, is it that person’ and then all of a sudden it felt as though the allocated number of words had been completed therefore, like a magician pulling a rabbit out from a tatty hat, the murderer is revealed and a few other loose ends are randomly and unbelievably tied up all in the space of about 4 pages.
In our quest to find the right name for our as yet un-named kitty, we’ve amassed quite a sizeable list of potential cat names! Still don’t know what to call her (suggestions welcome) but hopefully the list might be of use to someone else! Picture of her cuteness at the bottom of the list.
Mrs Kitty Whiskers
Cringer (then Battle Cat)
Message from Cat Welfare, Wisbech:
I NEED ALL OF YOUR HELP!!! PLEASE I need you all to pass this message on to everyone you know that has cats in the March Area. I have just had a very disturbing and distressing phone call from the Lady that runs Pet Search. PEOPLE ARE TORTURING CATS!! Cats are going missing, one has been found and the injuries to this cat are absolutely horrific and is now in the hands of the Police. Although it is hard to tell you what happened to it, I think you should be aware of its injuries and tell everyone to keep their cats under close observation until the culprits have been found. The cat was found with its head cut off, by a razor blade, along with all of its other bodily parts. Its whole body had been sliced with a blade and cigarette marks were also present on its body. I shudder to think what this cat must have gone through! It has made me go cold and in total shock that this is going on, what low-life in our society thinks this acceptable I do not know. I am so sorry to have to impart this awful news but you need to know.
By Dennis Lehane
The official blurb: Amanda McCready was four years old when she vanished from her blue-collar Boston neighborhood. Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro risked everything to find her—only to orchestrate her return to a neglectful mother and broken home.
Twelve years later, Amanda, now sixteen, is gone again.
The disappearance of little Amanda was the case that troubled Kenzie and Gennaro more than any other. Still haunted by their consciences, they must now revisit the nightmare that once tore them apart—following the trail of a lost teenager into a world of identity thieves, methamphetamine dealers, and Russian gangsters, right up to the doorstep of a dangerously unstable crime boss and his demented wife. Once again Patrick and Angie will be putting everything that matters to them on the line in pursuit of the answer to the burning question: Is it possible to do the right thing and still be dead wrong?
I had no idea what to expect of this book as it was written by the guy who wrote Shutter Island. If you’ve seen the film you”ll no doubt recall that it was slippery than a big of snakes!
With that knowledge, Moonlight Mile was more conventional that I expected. It fide have lots of clever layers and tiny subplots which all built up to create a well thought out story.
Brilliant characterisation, if a little stereotypical in places, but I have to confess I liked that.
If you are a crime thriller fan like myself I’ve no doubt that you’d enjoy this book.
I am very sad to report that the winner of these chocolates from my blog has been in touch to say she hasn’t received them. In my efforts to look into this I have found that there is some doubt regarding the authenticity of Genevie and her chocolates. The photo of her below, for example, is an istock photo and not of her at all, if indeed ‘she’ even exists.
I did email Genevie when I received my sample box and queried why there was not a ‘menu’ card, she replied with a link to the online version and I felt it was indicated that it had only been left out as it was a small sample box.
I hate the feeling that I’ve been duped and that my integrity could be in question as a result. I assure everyone who entered that I had absolutely no idea that ‘Genevie the chocolatier’ was a fake!
Have said all of that, and having read the two articles linked to below, I still don’t actually understand what the company had to gain from all this – it must have cost them a fortune to have sent out all the samples and prizes (whether hand made or bulk bought!).
It’s all a bit odd.
Here are the links that explain more: via @mummybarrow who also offered the prize – http://www.mummybarrow.com/i-dont-like-being-lied-to/
and via Fuss Free Flavours – http://fussfreeflavours.com/2012/08/chocolates-by-genevie/
My original post is below. Huge apologies to @HappyHomeBird who won the chocolates via my blog. I’ve contacted ‘Genevie’ and asked for your prize to still be sent out as I understand that other winners have received prizes.
I have recently had the pleasure of sampling some of the chocolates lovingly handmade by Genevie.
My personal favourite of this little selection was the bottom middle one which had a marzipan centre; it was gorgeous *salivates at the memory*.
Online shop owner Genevie, pictured above, says:
“Welcome to my chocolate gift shop where I hope you’ll find the perfect gift made with love by chocolatier Genevie. My Chocolate is only available from the online shop and you will not find any of the chocs in shops or on other sites. All of the chocolate boxes are delivered free post to the UK mainland.
All of the boxes are hand decorated with silk and butterfly emblems making sure that each box is special & unique. A gift card is included with all of the chocolate boxes and you can give a personal message during checkout.”
I have a gorgeous, red, heart shaped box of 32 handmade chocolates to give away to one lucky winner!
To enter, simply:
Tweet – “I’ve entered to win a box of handmade choc via @CoffeeCurls blog http://coffeecurls.wordpress.com”
And comment below to let me know that you’ve done so.
Closing date 26.8.2012. Prize as offered, no cash alternative. CoffeeCurls is not responsible for the prize, it is the sole responsibility of the prize provider. If you don’t want the chocolates I am happy to eat them for you 😉