Hitchin and The Latest DVD’s.

We’re going off to Hitchin today. It’s one of very few towns left in this country that has managed to retain some of its identity.

Keeping an eye on Chrissy today. She used her litter tray this morning. When I went to clean out her faeces from the tray, I noticed her stool was bloody. She’s NEVER passed a bloody stool, ever, so I’m slightly worried – especially so that now (for about the past 12 months) she has no pet insurance covering her. I’ll just have to keep an eye on her and hope there are no further signs of illness.

The DVD’s arriving in the post today are:

Series 2 of Blackadder. I LOVE Blackadder – but not the first series. It’s too Mr Bean, whereas the second series, the character develops into the Edmund Blackadder we love to hate to love. And I just LOVE Miranda Richardson’s Queenie! And of course, Stephen Fry as Lord Melchett.

Jekyll Series 1, starring James Nesbitt, written by new executive producer of Doctor Who, Steven Moffat. It was on when I was in Oz and Em told me it was very good.

Last is Brigadoon. I’d always heard the word bandied about, but never really knew of the story. It fascinated me once I’d read about it and so thought I’d get the film. I love Gene Kelly as well, so any excuse will do!

Anyway, Hitchin calls.

Wildlife Update.

The bird scene has been a bit sparse lately. I think since the breeding season is over, most of the adult birds have gone off to recover. I think I *did* confirm the blackbird that died wasn’t our resident Mr B, as there was a male blackbird in the garden with white flecks on the left wing, so it must’ve been Mr B. For about a week now there’s been no presence of either he or Mrs B.

The goldfinches have been away for a while too, but have just started to come back in the last few days. The robin and dunnock have been absent from the garden as well. The only birds that have been frequenting the garden have been doves and pigeons. As much as a I was happy to save the baby pigeon some weeks back, the daily sight of doves and pigeons isn’t exactly a twitcher’s delight! I mean, look at them!

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Collared Dove (L),
Woodpigeon (R)

But I’m glad to see the goldfinches back. I hope it means the others are to return shortly too.

As for the hedgehog…

I’ve been seeing him around at night. Last night he was out in the garden, nosing around with that little cute pointy snout of his. I watched him for about 10 minutes. We have a ground-feeding bird tray in the middle of the garden. He made his way over there. Em had given our regularly interloping cat, Kitty (the tortoiseshell one – the cat terrorist as she’s come to known – I’ll explain in a minute) some ham outside and Kitty had left some behind, so little hoggy might’ve been getting that. After a few mins he slowly made his way over to the direction of the compost bin. I lost sight of him then ‘cos he was in the shadows. I hope he found something to snack on. It was a warm, dry night last night, so I can’t imagine too many slugs were around.

Why is Kitty called The Cat Terrorist? Well, about a week ago, she came to visit. Normally we know she’s arrived, because she climbs up on the rubbish bins outside and sits on them looking into the living room windows. This day, she decided to take bold action. Em was downstairs on her own (I was having a shower, or upstairs doing something, can’t quite remember). When she’s sitting in front of a computer, Em can blot out all kinds of stuff, so the fact Kitty had arrived outside had (funnily enough) escaped her attention. Being ignored wasn’t going to stop Kitty! We have the living room window open most days. It’s surrounded by black mesh, to keep insects out and help keep Chrissy in. ANYWAY…Kitty decides it’s no barrier for her, uses a paw and makes a parting in the mesh and busts her way in!!! Em only then turns around to see on the lounge what she thought was Chris, was actually Kitty and nearly has an eppy!! Thank goodness Chris was upstairs with me, otherwise their would’ve been one holy cat war if Chris had seen Kitty in the house!

Another reason Kitty is called The Cat Terrorist – if you don’t get her her ham fast enough, she just helps herself to the food in Chris’s bowl! Naughty Kitty!!! She’s starting to get sick of ham though, so we’re going to have to buy her some other kind of deli meat.

The bats come and go. Sometimes I see them, sometimes I don’t. They are little masters of the air though. The way they fly about just on sonar just amazes me.

David Tennant: Part 2

After last nights Doctor Who and Doctor Who Confidential on BBC3, I had even MORE dreams of Mr.T overnight. I feel like I’m going back to 2005.

Here’s the back story. When I was in Australia in 2005, The Ashes series was on. I like cricket and so got into watching the game. Then I got into Kevin Pietersen in a BIG way. I was totally obsessed, for MONTHS. I just thought he was sublime. It was really worrying. I hadn’t been so obsessed about someone for YEARS. I felt 14 years old again.

I’m probably quite mentally unhinged when I get to like a guy in the spotlight, because it becomes all-consuming for any period from a few weeks, to a few months, to a few years. I scare myself just how much these guys remain in my thoughts constantly through the obsessions. I know it’s VERY unhealthy. And it’s what’s starting to happen to me with David Tennant. And it just came like a bolt from nowhere. I mean, I used to think he was alright. I could see why chicks were attracted to him, but I used to just think “Yeah, nice, but a bit too gangly for me”. But now, it’s like “Woah, mama!” “Hot diggity” “Hell fire!” “Where have you been all my life?”

I think he is going to be obsession number 4. I’ve had 3 before him. Kipples (Kevin P, lasted about 6 months), Steve Waugh (which lasted about 10 years – I KNOW) and Bono (lasting about 3 years).

God, help me. I thought I was past all this sh*t. Oh, but DT is gorgeous!!!!!

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Monkey Dust

Oh how I miss this show. It was so “close to the bone” and SO dark, but I loved it! I can’t even believed the BBC showed something like this, even if it WAS on one of their cable channels!! Subjects such as cottaging are not things you expect to see on the Beeb. It’s rude, but I do LOVE the character Jeff, The First-time Cottager and my favourite was Ivan, The Meatsafe Murderer and Mr Hoppy.

Here’s a couple of clips for your entertainment.


Embedding is disabled on this clip – sorry.

Dreams

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For the second time in as many weeks I’ve had a dream about David Tennant.

The first dream I had a few weeks ago was highly sexual with me in bed with said Mr. Tennant (in my dreams exactly!). That was quite nice. It has been said by his colleagues that he’s referred to as David Ten-inch – whether that’s actually true or not, who knows?

Anyway, the second dream was a bit more generalised and ephemeral. It was basically just me saying “David Tennant – PHWAR!” I was dreaming that I was back home and visiting my sister-in-law who only lives a few streets away from my mums house. I actually DID think to myself, before waking up proper and remembering I was in Luton “I must actually go and visit my sister-in-law. It’s been bloody AGES since I walked to her house.” Well it would be wouldn’t, living some 12,000 miles away! I felt like a right div when I actually woke up.

Firstly for the David Tennant part of the dream. I find myself coming round thinking “Man, I’m really getting “into” this bloke ain’t I?” And secondly for my predictability for going for a weedy guy. I’ve always been attracted to tall, thin guys, but only ever ended up dating short-asses. Roger was barely 5 foot 5. Em’s only slightly taller at like 5′ 7″ (not that she’s a guy as such). But really it’s always been tall weedy blokes. I’m not attracted to real muscle-bound types at all. I think blokes with muscles look hideous.

Now I’m finding myself REALLY looking forward to next weeks Doctor Who 🙂

Burger Overkill!

I saw this on TV the other night and thought, “My Lord, no wonder we’re a national of lard arses!”

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This is the Angus 6 pack…YES, 6 mini burgers in one!!! I have to admit, to my bad, BAD, evil junk food-loving mind it looks VERY good (and I do prefer BK to Micky D’s). And I think I’d be sad enough to keep it in one piece to make it feel like I’m having a GIGANTIC burger. 

I assume if BK are trying to promote “responsible” eating with this that this would be shared by a minimum of two people? I can’t see any evidence on the web site of any notion of “sharing” this burger with others. Perhaps the MINI burgers look deceptively big. I didn’t see a price for it, but considering a normal BK burger can be about £3 or £4, this will on doubt be about £3.99 or even £4.99 perhaps…maybe I’m wrong.

All I know is, it’s overkill!! Having this 6 pack won’t keep your body’s “6 pack” for long!

Big Brother 9 – The Circus Has Come To Town!

Oh, my Lord. Another fantastic array of bimbos, himbos, nerds, geeks and freaks have “gone in” for the summer.

Here’s the rundown:

Dennis

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Camp as! Is a dancer (supposedly). Reminds me of an ugly, fat version of Rufus Wainwright. Oh man, this guy thinks he is SO all that! The man is a troll!

Darnell

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Brit born, but grew up in America. Albino. Has been arrested 5 times (like it’s something to brag about) and never watched Big Brother (reportedly). Despite being albino looks really simian. And he is WHITE, I mean REAL WHITE. When he stands next to the rest of the housemates, woah! So far, the only interesting thing about him seems to be his albino-ness.

Dale

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A true knob! The man said in his VT and I quote “If there is fanny in the house, I’ll nail it”! Eeeewwww, repulsive little sh!t! Gives himself 10/10 for looks (dream on buddy) but 4/10 for generosity – no shit Sherlock! Four is probably scaling it up a bit!

Kathreya (pronounced without the H, so Kat_reya)

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Calls herself the “Cookie monster” as she LOVES cookies. Very bubbly, but kinda infectious. Wants to have her gravestone made of cookies so her family can eat it(!) Originally from Thailand, moved to the UK 7 years ago. A bit Little Britain Ting Tong Macadangdang.

Luke

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20 and a politics student. Knob, but in a different way to Dale, geeky knob. Sexually ambiguous, he likes wearing suits, especially ones he’s bought from ASDA (discount supermarket chain owned by Wal-mart).

Mario (real name Shaun)

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The whole (real name, Shaun) tickles me. Why not just BE Shaun?! He is a serial TV whore. Been on more audience participation shows than you can shake a stick at. Been described by BB fans as looking like a cross between Joey from Friends and Sylvester Stallone. The oldest member of the house at 42. Entered the house with his gf Lisa.

Michael

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Token disabled guy. Was partially blind from the age of 8, been totally blind for the last 10 years. Not sure how he’ll cope in the house and does appear to have a totally unintentional direct way with people. I think he might get himself into trouble/arguments.

There are nine other housemates, most of the female and are either chavs, bimbos or chimbos and I can’t be bothered wasting time on them all. The ones I’ve mentioned are the “stand-outs” for me.

Anyway, I’ve spent more time on this than I planned to and I doubt I’ll be watching any more of it, so that’ll probably be your lot. I’d like to watch it…just for some reason I cannot really fathom. But most of them are SO wafer thin (not as in physically but mentally), I doubt I’ll be able to bring myself to do it. We’ll see.

Goldfinch Chicks!!! ***Cuteness Alert***

OMG!

As I type I can see two goldfinch chicks outside my lounge room window. About an hour ago mum and dad arrived to feed from the nyger seed feeders (goldfinches are constant, daily visitors to our garden), shortly followed by one baby. A young baby, newly fledged, still fluttering his wings, begging his mum to feed him. He sat there on the bird bath next to the feeder, flapping furiously, pleading, BEGGING his mum to feed him. In the meantime brother/sister showed up and copied what mum and dad were doing and got on the feeder next door and started to feed him/herself. All this time, baby number one was STILL begging to mum. He begged for MINUTES, then, finally, she relented and fed him!

He settled after that, and gingerly got himself onto the feeder mum and dad were on. He fluttered his wings some more, but mum was taking no notice, so he settled and finally started to feed himself.

IT WAS JUST TOO CUTE!!

After about 10 minutes, they all flew off. Then, about 15 minutes ago, they returned. Mum, dad and the two babies. Baby number one fluttered his wings for a few seconds, then remembered about feeding himself, got onto the feeder and chomped away. Baby number two was on the other feeder looking after himself. Then after a few minutes, mum and dad flew off and the babies stayed behind. They were out there until just after I started typing this out. They looked a bit lost at times, but kept feeding themselves. Oh, they are just too adorable.

We’ve also seen baby blue tits today as well.

I even saw a chaffinch as well! When we first moved to where we live now in 2003, we had a regular visiting pair of chaffinches. But, after a year or two, they stopped coming. So to see a chaffinch visiting again is brilliant. The visits have been fleeting so far, but I’m hoping they’ll become more frequent as the summer goes on.

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And just to keep you informed, no hedgehog in the box for the last few weeks. We keep on putting food out which gets eaten, but the hog isn’t staying in the box. As for the bats…no sightings since that first night however long ago it was now…4-5 weeks ago?? But I keep a look out every night at dusk. The weather hasn’t been the best though lately, so I’m hoping the bat scene will improve from tomorrow onwards (when finer weather is due).

Photo supplied by: foxypar4 under Creative Commons license.

Can you be British AND Happy?

There was an article on the Daily Express web site yesterday about 40 reasons to be British and happy which tickled me. Some of the suggestions of WHY would should be happy seemed either lame or outlandish – most didn’t even pertain to anything quintessentially British. The forty reasons fall under ridiculous categories as well, which you will see in a moment.

Here’s a run down:
(My replies to the ridiculous ideas are in blue.)

SUMMER FUN

1 Sweaty Betty is offering free running and yoga clubs. All you have to do is check times on its website and turn up! 



Wow! Exercising is NOT my idea of fun, and definitely NOT a reason to be British and happy?!

2 England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 has guaranteed a whole summer free of tabloid hysteria and WAGs’ antics.



That’s a load of hogwash. Did they forget that it’s Wayne Rooney’s and Coleen McLoughlin’s wedding in June? WAG’s a plenty I reckon!

3 The opera season at Glyndebourne begins this Sunday with the inaugural performance of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea. 


The venue nestles in a fold in the South Downs and an evening spent at this eccentric private opera house is one of the highlights of the social season. 


Enjoy a picnic on the lawn in evening dress before you disappear back into the modernist interior for a perfect second half. 


Please, give me a break! And what has “enjoying the opera” got to do with being British anyway? Man, these reasons are sssooo lame!

4 It’s less than six weeks to Wimbledon. If you want to go, you’ll have to enter a public ballot, but you can queue up for one of 6,000 daily ground tickets from £5 a person. 

Well, I suppose if you love tennis, it could be construed as ONE valid reason, but you don’t necessarily have to be British to be happy about it. Who came up with this lame list? Oh, Helen Dowd and Jane Warren – neither of which I can find any real info about on the Internet, so why are their opinions so highly rated?


5 Tickets for Royal Ascot – June 17-21 – are on sale and it’s possible to experience all the tradition, pageantry, fashion and style from just £15 per person. Call 0870 727 1234

WTF?

TRAVEL


6 It’s the perfect time to plan a camping holiday or car-free trip the weather can’t spoil at Center Parcs. Race bikes through hundreds of acres of woodland, splosh in the pools and try everything from abseiling to zip wires. Harassed mothers can relax in the Aqua Sana spa. Book one of the chic woodland lodges. 



Oh hell, camping holidays! Since when have they been quintessentially British? I suppose if you count “Carry On” films as a true reflection of Britishness, that might be construed. But Center Parcs? The spelling of “center” alone sounds American. Perhaps if it were to a REAL British holiday (concentration) camp like Pontin’s or Butlin’s, then it may just be more British, but it certainly WOULDN’T make you happy. Staying in a complex with loads of families, screaming kids, dirty pools, canteens that serve breakfast between 8am and 8.10am all served up in bomb-shelter areas of the British “countryside” – does THAT sound like fun to you?

7 Visit the world’s best urban beach on Paris’s River Seine: three nights from £188. 


Excuse me, wasn’t this meant to be reasons to be British and happy? Since when did it change to being French and happy?

8 The pound is still very strong compared to the dollar, so there’s still time to fly out to the United States for that shopping trip of a lifetime. This summer, British Airways is offering return flights to the Big Apple from £318.

Have you guys not seen the state of the economy? There’s a little thing going on in the world called “The Credit Crunch”. Who can afford a ” shopping trip of a lifetime” trip to NY? Maybe they should have changed the title of this piece to be “Reason’s to be posh, British and happy”?

FASHION AND BEAUTY


9 It’s the bathing suit over which every woman will be breathing a sigh of relief as she heads for the beach. The Miraclesuit, £135, has hidden underwire, detachable straps and the Miratex fabric will pull in the wobbliest of tummies. 



I’m sorry, but spending £135 on a bathing suit would NOT make me happy. Not unless it could actually make 135 pounds off my body disappear! Geesh!

10 Actress Gwyneth Paltrow might have hailed a revival for vertiginous heels but flats and Grecian sandals are just as trendy for summer. Slip into something much more comfortable from £120.

Again, why would spending £120 on a pair of sandals (when I could get a pair for £6 at Priceless Shoes). That wouldn’t make me happy either!

11 Here’s one fashion relaunch the gents will love as much as the ladies. Wonderbra is releasing a new summer version of its iconic plunging bra, £26. 


Why on Earth would that make me happy? And what’s flippin British about it? Most women have such plastic friggin boobies these days they’d probably A) not be able to fit into a Wonderbra, or B) probably ACTUALLY not need a Wonderbra. And I’m sure that at £26, you’d find them cheaper elsewhere, say like on that “shopping trip of a lifetime” in NY perhaps?


12 There is nothing better than a handbag to make you happy. Primark has brought out a sunshine bright evening bag that not only looks like Chanel but also costs just £6.



Wow! A true bargain, but you are actually promoting counterfeit goods here. Is that right? Maybe it’s quite Brit to wear Von Ditch (I know it’s Von Dutch, but I like the idea that the knock offs would be called Von Ditch) and Blueberry knock-offs? I thought it was Chav, not Brit, maybe Chav and Bit are one and the same these days. 

13 For men, keeping cool in  hot weather will be easier with a pair of Coolers’ pants, designed to keep ­body temperature down. Canterbury Coolers Boxers, £12.99.

Erm, I’m sure if there are any men left reading this article by this point, they have fallen off their computer chairs with ecstasy with the idea of buying a pair of “cool” boxer shorts. I’m sure they have been totally inspired by the article writers’ imagination!

14 Smother yourself in happiness with miracle cream from Guerlain. The Happylogy UltraPenetrating Skin Essence, £51.50 stimulates the release of anti-ageing hormones in skin to plump and smooth your complexion. Details: 01932 233887.



Oh, you seriously ARE taking the biscuit now! You guys obviously didn’t see the Dispatches programme the other night highlighting the total waste of finances that “beauty” creams are? I might as well light a £50 note and watch it burn, it would be more fun!

15 For beauty lovers who want to bag a bargain, Balaton’s face mask comes with a freebie – buy a 100ml pot and get a free Balaton spa travel bag with six travel products worth £24.99.

Oh, Hallelujah! Watch me spin myself round til I’m dizzy with this fantastic piece of information. Again, I hate to state the obvious, but what does this have to do with being either A) British, or B) happy?

Btw, at this point, is it just me, or is there a STRONG marketing thread to this piece? Surely this has now become an advertising editorial, no?

ASTROLOGY


16 In astrological terms, an auspicious August beckons. “The next new moon eclipse on August 1 in Leo should be really fun,” says Deike Begg from the Association of Professional Astrologers International. 

“Leo is the sign of fun, it will make everyone happier and herald the start of a new adventure. Futhermore, between August 13 and 14, Jupiter – the planet of good fortune – and Venus – the party planet – are forming a 120 degree angle which will be very good fun, and especially so for Capricorns and Virgos.” 

This is followed on August 16 by a full moon eclipse. “A great day for celebrations, such as weddings and christenings,” she adds. 


OK, I’ll wait and see what happens in August. Maybe we WILL have a reason to be British and happy, but I dare guess by the predictions only if you ARE a Leo, Capricorn or Virgo. I’m a Scorp, go figure!


17 Cardiff University researcher Cliff Arnall reckons June 24 is the happiest day of the year because of the likelihood of good weather coupled with the prospect of some time off. 


Hhmm, I think I might just let you have that one. It took until number 17 to get what could actually be a valid reason to be British and happy. Will there be any more?

FOOD AND DRINK
18 What would summer be without strawberries? Get some expert guidance on growing your own. For new and interesting recipes, visit www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes. 


It’s pretty shit if you hate strawberries or are allergic to them. Ian Hislop hates them (and he’s pretty damn British and smug (IE: most likely happy too). My niece is allergic to strawberries (not that she’s British, but she’s happy).

19 For veg lovers, British asparagus is in season. The British Asparagus Association is holding a festival to celebrate on May 25-26.


Well, again, like the strawberries. But it’s almost good for me, as I do like asparagus, I just can’t afford to buy them :-(


20 It’s picnic time once again and Tio Pepe is offering the adventurous an opportunity to ditch the dull cucumber sandwich. Chef Mark Hix has created the Gourmet Grazing Box with a delicious combination of chorizo, wild boar prosciutto, olives and manchego cheese. 

Sounds nice, but how much is it?



21 Who can resist a cool glass of Pimm’s? The classic summer drink has had a revamp with a host of new recipes on the Pimm’s web wite.

Who can resist a glass of Pimm’s? Me! That’s who.

22 The National Taste Festivals kick off on May 29 in Edinburgh and continue through June and July. Gary Rhodes, Antony Worrall Thompson and Tom Aikens are among chefs appearing.

Well, another thing that sounds alright, especially if it’s free (that I highly doubt). Ok, you’ve got two now (possibly three)…not 22!

BEST BUYS


23 Curry’s sale is on with HD ready digital LCD TVs reduced by up to £200 and free delivery on orders over £150 – all ready for a sporting summer. 



WTF? What has this got to do with anything. Oh, yes, of course. I keep forgetting this is an advertising editorial.

24 Superdrug has cheap suncream on sale at £6.99, with a buy-one-get-one-free offer. 




£6.99 is NOT cheap suncream. ASDA have a 200ml 15+ SPF sun lotion for £1.11, now THAT’S cheap. Shit, I keep forgetting it’s an advertising editorial. I wonder how much Superdrug paid for their mention here…?

SCIENCE


25 Happy people are healthier than pessimists, says a study of 3,000 adults by University College, London. Upbeat folk have lower levels of cortisol, a “stress” hormone that can contribute to higher blood pressure, obesity and lowered immune function.


A useful piece of information. Can’t you be happy AND a pessimist though? Being pessimistic doesn’t necessarily mean you are stressed. 
Anyway, I like to consider myself an optimistic realist. Perhaps you can have 4, but maybe not if you are truly ill, you can’t just “snap out of it” as the suggestion implies here. It’s like they are saying, “just be happy for f*ck sake!”

26 A daily dose of chocolate is good for your heart. British scientists have developed a bar that can lower cholesterol. A team at the University of East Anglia has created a sweet treat that retains higher levels of antioxidants, called flavonoids, which are healthy.



Now you are actually beginning to talk my language. But why I need to be British for this baffles me. I know it’s not what the article says but it’s what it implies. Why not just have called it “40 reasons to be happy, or British or happy”? I don’t know, I just don’t get the whole Brit side of it so far.

27 Ninety will soon be the new 60 thanks to medical advances that will transform the diseases of old age. Alzheimer’s may soon be curable and most cancers are likely to be treatable. 


Pardon? We’re going to live longer. We should be happy about that? I’m really not getting this list sometimes. If they’d found the secret to the fountain of youth, I could understand. My mum has been in pain for years, people have health problems at 60. If that means it stretches out for another 30 years, why on Earth should that make people happy? I don’t get it! And as for medical advances, if we still can’t cure the cold…


28 It will soon be possible to replace old, worn out organs with custom-grown ones. “Within a few decades, we are likely to be able to slow ageing itself, which could even lead to life beyond 120,” says futurist Peter Schwartz. 



That sounds like my absolute idea of hell. Who’s going to look after all these “old fogey’s”? Certainly not the youth of today.

CHILDREN


29 It’s the time to plant sunflower seeds and see who can nurture the tallest. 

Oh, FFS!!!
This has got to be the lamest one so far. Especially for kids. They don’t want to be planting sunflowers. They want to be playing GTA4 for 28 hours of the day.


30 London’s West End theatres are opening their doors to children aged five to 16 for free shows, activities and workshops. The Kids Week event in August will encourage youngsters to get involved. 
 

God, that’s almost a good one. Try dragging your kids along to one though…


31 The Playhouse Disney Live! tour kicks off in London on May 29 at the Hammersmith Apollo. Mickey, Goofy and their friends will be travelling the country until late June. 



Yawn…and what, prey tell, does this have to do with Britishness again?


OUTDOORS


32 It’s the village fete season. Drinks company Innocent is holding one in Regent’s Park in London on August 2-3 and has compiled a list of others going on around the country. 



Lord help me. Again, it costs money. When has it ever cost money to go to a fete? And the word fete? Not British, but French. So fete’s, as a rule, are not uniquely British…

33 Britain’s beaches are the cheapest places to hire a sunlounger in Europe, costing an average of £2.50 a day compared to £10 in French hotspots, according to The Expedia Deck-Chair Index. 


And why would you need a sunlounge? And why not just take your own? And, have you thought they are cheaper to hire here, ‘cos no-one wants to go to “our” beaches?! A nice little advert for Expedia though…”Let yourself go!”  – sang in a Felix the Cat meets Ethel Merman style (a bit of an in-joke for me and Em).


34 Late spring transforms hedgerows, meadows and woods. Foxgloves are about to appear, caterpillars are emerging and will soon turn into butterflies, and swallows and woodpeckers can be seen. 



Friggin hell! Amazing! I think this might actual be number 4 or 5 on the TRUE reasons to be British and happy list! I can’t fault this one…

35 The National Gardens Scheme is encouraging us to get out into the garden this Spring bank holiday. More than 200 gardens across the country will be throwing open their gates to the public from May 24-26.  



Again, one I actually cannot fault. Number 5-6 on the true list.

36 The days will keep getting longer until June 21, the summer solstice, when summer begins. 

Another true reason to be thankful.




CULTURE


37 The Royal Shakespeare Company’s summer season includes performances of The Taming Of The Shrew, The Merchant Of Venice and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Stratford-upon-Avon, with Romeo And Juliet being toured throughout the country.  


Woah! They’re on a role here. Not my cup of tea (something not mentioned but wonderfully British), but Will’s IS as Brit as they come and Shakespeare in the park in summer is an overtly British thing to do, and probably something to be happy about.


38 May is Museums And Galleries Month in Wales and there are events happening across the country to celebrate it. Many are letting visitors in for free. 



Why is this restricted to Wales? Good though…

39 Liverpool’s annual Summer Pops, running from June 28-July 31, will be the biggest yet this year. Artists such as Blondie, Duran Duran and the Sugababes will be performing as part of the city’s European Capital of Culture celebrations. 



If it’s free, it’s good.

40 Tickets are now on sale for the Hampton Court Palace Festival from June 3-21, set in the magnificent surroundings of the palace. Forget muddy music festivals, at Hampton Court there will be picnics and classical music performances. Call 0844 412 2954.



Hhhmm, sounds OK. I think I’ve tallied up less than 10 actual true, valid, good reasons to be British and happy there. The rest is an old load of codswallop!!!