My few days away on the Gower peninsular were spent with my sister, her 12 year old daughter and my daughter who is now 16. What they have in common, which I do not share, is a love of the X Factor. (Strictly Come Dancing every time for me - though I have hardly managed to see any of the current series due mainly to the fact that it clashes with Simon Cowell and co.)
The weekend was dominated by concern over the tele in the cabin we were staying at - it was a little temperamental and what WOULD we do if it went wrong during their programme?, and whether whatever we did would leave us enough time to get back in good time for the show - which is on both Saturday and Sunday (not to mention numerous repeats and a gossipy type programme about it too). Anyway - upshot of all this is that I have gained a certain amount of knowledge about this year's X Factor, especially that weekend as it was unavoidable, but also over the other weeks it has been on.
First things first - have to say John and Edward MUST win. Obviously they are totally without talent, but the reason they must win - apart from Simon Cowell promising to leave the country if they do - is that my eldest put 20 quid on them to win when the odds were 66-1 against that eventuality. Think of what a great Christmas present I could be in for if they do in fact win and vote for them on that basis people (Never let it be said I am too proud to beg).
Naturally I thoroughly enjoyed the dress Cheryl Cole was wearing at the weekend.
What's not to love when a celebrity looks so daft? But what really made it for me was that as if the dress itself wasn't enough - she had to stick a poppy on it. Indeed there was clearly a three line whip on wearing a poppy even though it is not Remembrance Sunday till next week, and even Bon Jovi had to wear one. I thought it was silly - but now I have read that viewers of MY programme (ie the one I never get to watch but wish I could - SCD) are ringing up the BBC complaining that the dancers are not (shock horror) wearing poppies. When exactly did it happen that not wearing a poppy - whilst taking part in a dancing competition for goodness sake - became beyond the pale?
For the record, as a young leftie I had a problem with wearing a poppy, having been sold the line about it glorifying war blah blah, but when I had sons of my own and got to thinking about how so many families lost their own sons during the World Wars my attitude changed and I did start to buy one. I am rarely to be seen wearing one mind you, but that is solely due to the fact that I have never mastered the pinning them on securely part and I lose them over and again. It is probably a deliberate ploy on behalf of the poppy appeal organisers which ensures they makes a fortune out of people like me.
It seems that the wearing of a poppy competition is getting out of hand. I spotted my first one in September, but how long will it be before the politicians and broadcasters wear them all year round? (I have heard Nick Griffin does just that, but to me that is just another indication of what a twat he is.)
So let's be sensible about this. Cheryl Cole's 'interesting' creation did not need a poppy - nor does that fact that she wore one prove to me how deeply that particular young lady thinks about war and the pity of war. Nor should we have reached the stage where a celebrity whose ballroom dancing costume scarcely covers her bits anyway, needs to wear a poppy with the outfit as an illustration of her respect for our war dead. Before someone hideous like that awful David Duff (is he still around? One hopes not) turns up here to accuse me of not caring, I can't make it through a two minute silence without dissolving into tears, but I don't feel the need to wear a poppy every time I venture out the house to indicate the depth of my own feeling. And I would not actually have been offended if our so called nation's sweetheart, Mrs Cole had thought a poppy an ornamentation too far with that very entertaining dress.
Outcrops - I love to visit stone outcrops on my rambles. The one above lies to the west of Sheffield, overlooking the A57 road near Hollow Meadows. It is called The ...
1 day ago