Now we’ve moved on to fresh fields, my five-day-a-week gym routine is no more. Whereas I was once able to stroll to my city centre torture chamber, I’d now have to bus it – so that’s that. But, I still need to help my circulation by power-pushing my ageing legs, and avoid diabetes by keeping the pounds off. So we’ve invested in this monster.
No longer am I able to leer discretely (or not so discretely) at the sweaty fellas squatting and pressing around me. No. My view has been replaced by classic episodes of Coronation Street from the eighties, weekdays on ITV3. The tattooed talent in tight togs have given way to dreary Deirdre’s dreadful perm, wooden Ken’s unlikely sexual prowess, bottle-blonde Bet’s gravity-defying hair do, blue-rinsed Phyllis’ hopeless pursuit of flat-capped miserable old fart, Percy Sugden, Jack and Vera’s endless bickering and Betty’s nuked hotpot. I love it. The script is glorious and my guilty secret is out.
We’re off on our hols to sunny Greece. Seven heavenly days round a cool pool in Corfu. We’re flying out from Norwich’s very own international airstrip – small but perfectly formed, a doddle to get to and a doddle to get through. We’re not expecting the full Durrell-esque experience – no crumbling Venetian mansion overlooking the shimmering Ionian Sea and awash with exotic fauna for us. But we have bagged the next best thing for our bargain-bucket budget – a little place slightly off the beaten track. It might come with challenging plumbing but also boasts a set of five star reviews on Trip Advisor for its unpretentious, no-fuss comfort. We intend to do absolutely nothing but sleep, drink, read, drink, eat, drink, oh, and play Scrabble. We’ve packed a couple of torches and a keg of insect repellent. Happy days.
Make mine a double on ice and shove a brolly in it. Yamas!
Over the cold winter on the sofa nights, ITV, Britain’s main commercial broadcaster, ran a documentary series featuring the activities of the City of Westminster’s Register Office where births, deaths and marriages are recorded. It was a distracting little show, a funny and touching fly-on-the-wall human interest fest for a chilly midwinter’s evening that helped the digestion and wasn’t too taxing on the brain. There is something rather dignified and valiant about the ordinary people – the hatch, match and dispatch squad – who deal daily with the relentless cycle of life that we must all face and the relentless cycle of emotion that goes with it. Veteran registrar of 28 years, Patricia Gordon, confessed that she was none too comfortable with the notion of civil partnerships. But, through friendship and by example, fellow registrar Tommy helped her see the light; now she can’t wait for him to find his own soul mate so she can do the honours. And guess what? Patricia officiated at our Civil Partnership in 2008. Here is she doing the business:
Former Welsh international, Gareth Thomas, demonstrated that he’s just as nifty on ice as he is on the rugby field. The man mountain with more muscles than Atlas proved that big doesn’t mean clumsy as he lifted and glided with elegance and flair. It’s enough to make a boy go weak at the knees. Even though gorgeous Gareth had to drop out of the competition due to ill health, the boy from the Valleys did well, very well. Get well soon, Gareth.
Now the Welsh beefcake has hung up his sequins and skates, he’s got time to catch up on his reading. And guess what he’s reading?
We’ve been watching a lot more British TV these dark and damp evenings. We became a bit bored with Patsy Kensit’s woodentop acting on a continuous loop courtesy of Auntie Beeb’s international offering. This was one reason for dumping Digiturk (that, and buggering off back to Blighty). We recently caught Dancing on Ice, ITV’s trashy and less cool answer to the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. The friends of Dorothy have always loomed large on the entertainment payroll but none so obviously as Louie Spence, the campy Gatling gun judge and leading dancing queen. Louie lispily declared to one of the Z-list contestants attempting to revive their dead-as-a-dodo careers:
“You made a short but perfectly formed homosexual very happy.”
Remember, this is prime-time terrestrial TV with the little-uns watching. While I generally find Louie a bit too much of a stereotype, this short but perfectly formed homosexual loved the fact that nobody battered a moral eyelid. Larry Grayson must be turning in his grave.