Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Weekend for two in Cockermouth
This is what the sun looked like at about 6.30 last night - it's not very often you can stare straight at it without walking into a lamp-post two seconds later.
We finally got around to watching the Olympic ceremony last night, and I thought it was great. Even though I had the Industrial Revolution rammed down my throat at school to the exclusion of every other major event in British history, I thought that was the best bit, what with the chimneys, the steel workers and Kenneth Branagh hamming it up whilst striding about as if he built it all singly-handedly. If there's one thing that the man can do really well, it's HAM, as he proved in his first major role as Dracula, and subsequently as himself in 'Harry Potter'.
The whole thing seemed to piss the Americans off so much, that NBC only showed about 20 minutes of it, and other people said that it was the 'biggest in-joke' of all history. Well, tough. Americans are just as good at pissing off everyone else as the British, as they have just demonstrated by implying that the 16 year-old Chinese swimmer must be on dope to have beaten their man in the same event, breaking all previous world records. If only there was an Olympic event which involved pissing people off - the UK and the US would get more golds than anyone, including the Chinese.
I liked the Victorian cricket match going on during the opening sequence. That was probably when NBC decided to switch off. I can sort of understand it - even as a Brit, I find the way that our nation relishes the fact that cricket has such obscure, arcane and nonsensical rules and terms that you have to have been brought up with it as a native - whether it is in England, Australia, Jamaica, India or Pakistan - to stand any chance of understanding it, extremely irritating as well. Still, any excuse to rile people is fine in the long run.
I even got around to watching some of the beach volleyball on a friend's wide-screen, HD T.V. on Sunday too. Sadly, Brazil were not playing. I thought the Benny Hill music between bouts is a nice touch and rather appropriate, given the visuals.
Amazingly, Benny Hill was (and probably still is) about 100 times more popular in Texas than he ever was here in his home country. As 'slapstick with tits', he is also popular in just about every other country which does not have English as a language as well - a bit like beach volleyball.
I don't know if all the 'Carry On' films ever made it outside of the UK - perhaps some of you can tell me? I used to like them when I was a kid, but not so much now, for some reason...
A few years ago, I entered a competition via text-message, which involved sending the text, "Ooh Missus!" to a certain number. The first prize was a camping holiday for two in Cockermouth (a town in the Lake District...).
I forgot about it, but about 3 weeks later, my phone rang and a nice young lady told me I had won a prize. My heart sank, but it turned out to be the entire box-set of Carry On DVDs. Phew.
I watched one, then gave the rest to a charity shop.