Monthly Archives: April 2007

Serendipity (All Over Again)

I’ve had the strangest week.

It began with me breaking a world record.

It ended with me being told I may need major surgery on my back.*

Inbetween, to my complete and utter amazement, I met the driver of that 1972 Dodge Challenger I’ve been raving about on this blog for the last few days.

I did say it was a strange week…

*I’d like to point out that the two events are in no way related.

So Total Film threw a 10th birthday bash at the Cafe De Paris in Leicester Square on Wednesday night and Nathan Fillion was a Celebrity Guest. I had ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA he was due to turn up until the day before the party, which was when I went over to someone on the magazine and asked if they’d seen any episodes of Drive yet and they said, “Isn’t that Fillion bloke in that? He’s coming to our party tomorrow.”

Now, considering that I’d just discovered Nathan’s MySpace site and friended it, fallen in love with his new show and fallen even more in love with his new car, I call that coincidence rather serendipitous. There may have been squeaking. I won’t confirm or deny it. I’m sure you’ll agree, though, that it was a fairly squeaksome moment.

The party was excellent: huge, great fun and vastly entertaining. As, indeed, was Mr Fillion himself. It’s such a cliche to say the words “Nathan Fillion” and follow them with “…is a very nice man”, but he is! He’s also drop-dead gorgeous, effortlessly charming and looks thrilled to bits if you show him you have a photo of his 1972 Dodge Challenger as your phone wallpaper. He’ll also take you to one side and regale you with the hundreds of behind-the-scenes shots from Drive on his digital camera. And then he’ll show you some pics of him and Joss Whedon, Amy Acker and Summer Glau, then a few of his house (oooh, nice) and, inexplicably, his hotel room, of which he was hugely enamoured. Well, it was rather posh.

Unfortunately for both Nathan and all fans of Drive, the show was cancelled by Fox in the US that day (possibly while its star was actually at the party). I’m not happy, and I’m sure he’s not happy, and I hope Fox will never be happy again because they don’t deserve to be. I swear, the American public do nothing except watch television but if you wave something as original and cool as Drive in front of their noses, they yawn and turn over to American Idol. What. Is. Their. Problem?

It’s not like we’re not used to it, though. Firefly, anyone? Poor Nathan. It’s starting to be a trend…

In happier news, I’m officially a record breaker!

Last week I joined 5,567 others in Trafalgar Square to, uh, bang coconuts together in full view of the Guinness Book of Records. It was on behalf of the musical Spamalot and we were egged on by the cast of the show, London’s Mayor Ken Livingstone, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam. I was right at the front and am actually visible in this picture, but sadly I’m very small so you’ll have to take my word for it:

I swear, you’ve never heard LOUD until you’ve heard over 5,000 people banging coconut shells together to the tune of “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life”. I’d also like to point out that the best part of the entire evening – excusing breaking a freakin’ world record, huzzah! – was when Terry Jones walked onstage and the guy next to me yelled out, “He’s not the Messiah!”

Ah, Monty Python quotes. I want one on my headstone. Although “Dinsdale!” might look rather incongruous.

Oh yeah, and the back surgery? Sucks. I need an MRI scan first, so it’s not 100% yet, but until then I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Bizarrely, as I limped back from my hospital appointment, my local Tescos burnt down and the sight of the firefighters cheered me up quite a bit.

Did I mention I’ve had a strange week?



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The news is Nighy…

I did something rather brilliant a few days ago and attended a particularly memorable party last night, all of which means that now I have much to blog about when I get the chance. Bear with me.

Until then, I’ll just mention that I saw Bill Nighy at Marylebone Station today, and DAMN!

That man is one dapper dude. And he’s freakishly tall…

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As you may know, in my last post I proclaimed my serious girl-love for Drive‘s stunning Dodge Challenger. I’d like to make it clear that I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT CARS unless they just happen to strike me as being hugely sexy while I watch them in TV shows. So far in my life, this has only happened three times:

Starsky & Hutch‘s 1976 Ford Gran Torino:

Supernatural‘s 1967 Chevy Impala:

And, as of this week, Drive‘s 1972 Dodge Challenger:

(Actually, this ISN’T the car from the show, but I’ll be buggered if I can find a picture of it and so this random one will have to do.)

Anyway, here’s an amusing story: yesterday I was trawling the net at lunchtime trying to find a picture of said Dodge for my computer’s wallpaper. A work colleague – who I’d just met – peered across at my screen and said, “Aha! You have good car taste.”

“Thanks,” I replied, thinking, ‘Oh cripes, he probably thinks I know loads about cars and I really don’t.’

“I like Dodges, but they’re not my favourite car,” he continued, and I waited for him to launch into a description of some car I’d never heard of in my life, knowing I’d have to nod and look like I knew what he was talking about because I didn’t want to appear to be stupid.

But do you know what he said?

“My favourite car is the ’64 Chevy Impala. I love that model.”

To which I instantly replied, “I think you’ll find the ’67 Impala is much better. Look, here’s a pic of it on my phone.”

And oh my lord, did that impress him. In one fell swoop he thought I was a genius and treated me as such for the rest of the day.

I swear, sometimes TV comes in very, very handy…

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Viva Elvis!

FACT: It’s impossible to have a bad day when you start it off by listening to Elvis belting out “Bossa Nova Baby” and “Viva Las Vegas” very loudly on your Walkman.

Just thought I’d mention it.


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Drive Time

I’ve been hugely busy over the last two weeks (writing a 10,000 word book, sub-editing in my old office, meeting people, attending pilates, having acupuncture, limping a lot and watching Spider-Man 3 and being disappointed). However, one thing I HAVE found time for is a new show called Drive. It’s currently airing on the Fox network in the US, was created by Tim Minear (I bow at his feet) and stars Firefly‘s Nathan Fillion (I bow at his feet, too). And it is, quite simply, brilliant.

I’ve seen three episodes so far and each one made me whoop like a cowgirl at a rodeo. Drive‘s intelligent, funny (yet deadly serious) and the cinematography makes me want to leap on a plane to Florida, buy a car at the airport and ride some American freeways for myself.

The show’s about an illegal road race in which the participants compete for a prize of $32 million. But they’re not all in it for the money: some have been forced to take part, such as Fillion’s character, who’s driving because his wife has been kidnapped. I won’t say any more because I’m scared of spoiling it. Just make sure you bloody watch it the MINUTE it hits UK shores.

I’m also afraid to say that Drive has done the impossible: it’s toppled Starsky & Hutch‘s Ford Gran Torino and Supernatural‘s 1967 Chevy Impala in my affections. The minute I caught sight of the jet black 1972 Dodge Challenger driven by Fillion I wanted to throw myself on the bonnet and lick it all over.


Here’s a clip (pretty non-spoilery) to show JUST HOW FREAKING COOL THIS CAR IS:

I’m in love. I am honestly, really, super-seriously gosh-darned in love with that hunk of gleaming metal. I may never be the same again…


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It’s a bit magnificent…

Well, the new series of Doctor Who is in its third week on BBC TV screens… and I’m in my third week of falling in love with the show all over again. I enjoyed year one. I even loved bits of it. I enjoyed year two. I loved bits of that, too. But neither series seems to have grabbed me quite like this one has.

I don’t know if it’s The Doctor’s new suit (not that I can see any difference between this one and the old one, but my mate Biddy assures me it’s much tighter). I don’t know if it’s Martha Jones, who delighted me in episode one and has kept it up ever since. I don’t even know if it’s that the stories seem more hilarious (the “Expelliarmus!” quip in “The Shakespeare Code” had me in tucks) and dramatic (The Doctor finally telling Martha the truth about his home world in tonight’s “Gridlock”). Whatever it is, I just know that this year’s Doctor Who is the kind of show I wanted to watch when I was a kid. I wish I was ten again…

…Although a ten-year-old probably wouldn’t have watched this scene with The Doctor adorably holding a wee little cuddly kitten and had a bit of a funny turn in her ovaries:

(Sorry for the mental image. But cute man + cute kitten = much internal squee-age!)

I must also send thanks to Iain, who responded to the sight of Father Ted‘s Ardal O’Hanlan in the show by sending me a text message that read: “Ted! It’s huge crabs, Ted!”

It was like Gigglemania in my flat tonight.


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Bad Backs & Velvet Hearts

If British schools did that thing they do in the States where they hand out high school yearbooks and give all the pupils taglines, I would’ve been voted “Girl Most Likely To Get Kidnapped By Aliens”. I would also have been voted “Girl Least Likely To Ever Attend A Pilates Class”, which makes it all the more interesting that I actually went to one the other night.

Having a bad back sucks. Anyone who has a bad back already knows this, but it can’t be said enough. Technically, I don’t have a bad back at the moment – it’s absolutely peachy – but I DO have sciatica, which stems from my back, and my left leg is well and truly buggered because the nerve running down to my foot is being compressed by my spine. Doctors, consultants, physiotherapists and x-rays all tell me one thing: I’m screwed.

Thankfully, I can still work because the moment I sit down the pain completely disappears, so I’m extraordinarily thankful for that. And there’s a chance it’ll get better with exercise, hence me signing up for a pilates class, something that’s So Not Me I can’t even begin to tell you. I really am “The Girl Least Likely To Attend ANY Exercise Class”, and something as poncy as pilates is just beyond the pale.

Naturally, I was rubbish. But I’ll get better. And so will my leg, because it bloody has to.

The reason I’ve mentioned all of this is because I was faced with a terrible choice the other night: pain or pleasure? I received a “Friend Request” on my MySpace site ( from a band called The Velvet Hearts, who just happened to be playing in Putney two days later. I listened to some of their music on their site and fell truly, madly, deeply in love. I wanted to go. I rounded up my friend Paul to come with me. I was really excited.

But the gig was standing. And I can’t stand for more than five minutes without having to swallow two lots of prescription painkillers, neither of which work. So what could I do?

I bloody well went, that’s what I did. And I sat on the floor, because I’ll be damned if I’m going to let my sciatic nerve get on my nerves. I had a brilliant night, too, because The Velvet Hearts were wonderful, and before the gig Paul and I sat by Putney Bridge and watched the sun set on the Thames and it was ace.

So if there’s a moral to this long-winded and self-indulgent story, it’s this: if you have to chose between your back or your heart, go with your heart. Or even The Velvet Hearts (

Life’s short, and if you have to limp a little to have some fun, just get on with it and limp. It’s worth it.


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