Sunday, October 05, 2014

Side-Effects of Flu Jab and Strictly Saturdays

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, Carol had her 'flu jab in Sainsbury's on Thursday evening. Mine was yesterday morning at Ashfield Medical Centre. I was beginning to think that I was getting a slight reaction to the jab with some muscle and joint pain as we sat down to eat our evening meal whilst watching Strictly Come Dancing. (I'll mention that a little later in this blog.) Carol, though, has had quite a bad reaction this morning (Sunday) and as a result we didn't go to church. I went to Lidl on Oldbrook Boulevard. I was really surprised by how busy it was in there. The first Christmas products are beginning to appear on the shelves and as a result you can't always find exactly what you want. In this case, stuffing to go with this evening's roast chicken. I then went into the Tesco just over the road, one of those 'mini' or 'convenience' branches. I was surprised how few people were in there. I'm not surprised as Lidl is so much cheaper and I could not find any Paxo (stuffing) for the chicken. I looked up and down the aisles but not a single packet could I see. I purchased a Sunday Times, using a self-service till and then walked out. I drove to the shop in Eaglestone, and sure enough, I found a packet of Paxo immediately. This must say quite a lot about the current retail situation in Britain, with Tesco once upon a time being the strongest supermarket chain, and since the financial crash of 2008 such 'discounters' as Aldi and Lidl have changed the way most people shop for groceries, being around 15% cheaper than the four major supermarkets, Asda, Morrison, Sainsbury and Tesco.

As for Strictly Come Dancing . . .  as far as I'm concerned the novelty of seeing celebrities making fools of themselves on the dance floor is beginning to wear a bit thin. The show is over-hyped and it's all over the tabloids and Facebook. You can't seem to get away from it from early September until Christmas. There's nothing at all wrong with the dancing, it's the over-heated audience that gets me. They cheer and clap at the slightest thing, cheering and making stupid noises. And why do they insist on putting people in the front row of the audience who you can see clearly behind the presenters when they are talking, a woman was on there last night who was dreadfully over made-up and kept staring at the camera. A real distraction.  Can they not just fade them into the background? Do we really need to see these non-entities so clearly? Bruce Forsyte, who didn't actually do a great deal when he was on, is sorely missed. I don't know what it is but he did add a certain élan to the proceedings, even though his jokes were somewhat tired.  Those two women, Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly really don't add a great deal. Never have, since this show began. How did the B.B.C. think that Tess Daly was a replacement for good old Sir Bruce Forsythe I can't think. She has all the talent of a shopping trolley. Though, in all honesty, there wasnt a lot for Brucie to get his teeth into in the first place, nothing to be 'hands on' as he would have been in the 'Generation Game' or 'Play Your Cards Right.' Lets be honest, an hour and a half of this is really far too much and Craig Revel-Horwood's miserable face is enough to put you off your rice pudding. Can he never say anything nice to anyone? I know he's been cast as the pantomime villain but it is wearing a bit thin by now.

The lighting and set design are really brilliant. When you compare it to the travesty of the revived Sunday Night At The Palladium, which has been done on the cheap and has all the atmosphere of a Sunday night at the local village hall, no expense has been spared. The way they can transform the set for each couple who dance is amazing. All done with lighting and digital effects. The moving digital  lighting which is used around the staircases is spectacular.

Greg Wallace got booted off the show. He deserved it. His dancing was like a flat-footed Teletubby. Judy Murray was not much better.  It must be very difficult when you are, in effect, in the shadow of a far more famous son or daughter, as she is. You can forgive her nerves, as most of the rest of the celebs should be used to the cameras, the audience and so on. But she wasn't much better. At least Tim Wonnacott made a brave stab at it, even though he wasn't a particularly brilliant. I don't expect he'll last much longer. Just have to wait and see.
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