Monthly Archives: October 2008

So A Funny Thing Happened On The Way Home From Work Tonight…

I went for a coffee with a friend after leaving the office. As we walked out of the cafe it became pretty clear that Something Big was going on in Leicester Square, so we wandered over for a look. It was the premiere of a film outside the Odeon West End, but we couldn’t figure out which film because there were too many people crowding around the red carpet and hiding the signs.

We stood there for a few minutes, in the sleet, and realised that the crowd were chanting, “Colin! Colin!”

“Is it Colin Farrell?” I asked my friend.

“No, it’s Colin Firth,” said a man standing by us. “Look, there he is.”

I turned around and Colin Firth was about three metres away, signing autographs and posing for photos.

“Oh,” I said. “That Colin.”

The film turned out to be Easy Virtue, and Firth’s co-stars Jessica Biel and Kris Marshall were doing the rounds too (Jessica must have been freezing in her bare-shouldered dress). Ben Barnes was pretty popular as well…

(Nice to see he’s kept his Prince Caspian hairdo. I guess it’s popular with the ladeez.)

You know, I was brought up in Torquay, where the biggest celebrities I ever saw were Jim Davidson and Syd Little. London is a whole new ballgame, isn’t it? I mean, how many people stroll past film premieres on their way to the train station?

I love this city.

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Two Points Of Great Importance

I have much to blog about but, as is becoming more frequent these days, no time to do it. This is because I have an almighty fear of He Who Is Known As The Taxman and thus I’m taking on as much work as I can possibly fit into a day so that I can fend him off. It’s either that or I invest in stakes, garlic and silver bullets, but I’m not sure even they would work on Her Majesty’s Tax Office. Confound them!

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to post properly in the next few days, but until then know two things:

1) I wish to apologise for not mentioning “The Way Of The Warrior” in my SFX Rewind on Deep Space Nine. It’s awesome. I’d forgotten just how awesome it was until I rewatched it last week. Please accept my grovelling, humble apologies for ignoring it and pretend I raved about it in paragraph nine or something.

2) Obama is from Krypton!  Well, it explains a lot.

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Water World

So Venice was beautiful. I bet you’re surprised, eh? To be honest, it’s very difficult to write about Venice without using the word ‘beautiful’, because that’s pretty much Venice’s raison d’etre – to be beautiful.

It also means that it’s hard to talk about the place without saying things people already know. (“It’s full of canals!” “There are gondolas everywhere!” “The ice cream is amazing!”)

I guess I’ll start by answering the two questions I’ve been asked most since I got home:

1) The weather was beautiful, despite the BBC weather office predicting three days of solid rain.

2) It didn’t smell. Although I have a feeling it must honk like a rubbish tip in the summer. Which reminds me: never book a trip to Venice in the height of the season, because everybody I’ve spoken to tells me it’s too hot, too crowded and too whiffy. October was perfect.

I walked for miles and miles through tiny Venetian alleyways, and there was always something to see, no matter where I ended up (and not all of it entirely upright):

Despite the expense, I also partook of the ultimate Venice cliche, a gondola ride – but I avoided the touristy spots (where the gondolas piled beside each other like buses over Waterloo Bridge, and the tourists were herded on and off them like cattle). Instead I found a secluded canal and punted off – past Marco Polo’s house – to the Grand Canal, where other gondoliers were singing ‘O Sole Mio’ as the sun was setting the church bells rang. It was, cheesiness aside, the most amazing, wonderful moment…

And obviously my gondolier was pretty hunky, too, which helped:

There WERE a few surprises to be found, of course, such as this stone sculpture on the shores of the Lido…

But Venice was Venice the rest of the time.

All in all, a marvellous holiday, and the perfect way to spend my birthday. Hmm. Where shall I go next year? Although I think the taxman may scupper any adventures from now on, curse his eyes…

In other news: today I’m writing four DVD reviews, one SFX column and two features, which I’m hoping to finish by lunchtime tomorrow because my best mate Biddy is arriving for a week-long visit. It’s going to be wonderful doing nothing while she’s here – no writing, no subbing, no worrying. We intend to geek out about Supernatural and eat vast quantities of junk food. As far as I’m concerned, life doesn’t get much better than that!

Hope you enjoy your week too…

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Getting Literal

Had a fabulous time in Venice – expect cliched photos of me sitting with gondoliers and lots and lots of canals as soon as I get a chance to post them.

Until then, have a very literal interpretation of a-ha’s ‘Take On Me’ video…

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