Sunday, 31 August 2014

One X Viewer

The X Factor returned last night and I was quite looking forward to the usual parade of tone deaf no hopers. However it quickly became apparent that this was the Cheryl and Simon show.

They preened, they flirted, they were all over each other. Cheryl did exactly what she was expected to do. Play fight with Simon, stare wide eyed at the contestants and shed a convenient tear here and there. Simon on his part seemed more interested in Cheryl than the contestants and only occasionally acknowledged Louis and Mel B. In fact if you weren't careful you'd forget that there were two other judges, so firmly were they pushed to the sidelines. The camera only briefly rested on them when they gave their verdict, other than that it was only the wide shots that reminded us they were there. As for the contestants, well they barely got a look in and most were on screen of less than 30 seconds. Hardly time to stutter out their name. There were two exceptions, both involving Cheryl, of course. The boy who had the hots for her, was it just me or was he really creepy, much to Mel B's disgust. And the girl who had been booted out of boot camp previously. This gave Cheryl the opportunity to shed a tear and transform into 'the nations sweetheart'.

Maybe it is just me. I'm sure there will be many that absolutely loved it but I will not be watching again. At least not until Cheryl is sacked again.

So how did my cooking go. Well the walnut and date cake didn't as, after all the messing about with the tart, I couldn't be bothered. The tart is a real pain to make but tasted so delicious that it was sort of worth it. It took the best part of two hours and involved a lot of sticking things in the fridge to cool and raising things to room temperature before you even got the thing in the oven. It was nice though but I think I'll keep it for a special treat. The date and walnut loaf is still pending but I don't feel like it today so that has been put on the back burner for next weekend. Instead I had a lazy afternoon working my way through my DVD collection.

This time next week I'll be packing to go on holiday. I can't believe it has come around so quickly. It seems like ages since I booked. They say the weather is set to improve but I see no evidence of it as yet. Oh well it is a whole week away and a lot can happen in a week.

Talking of holidays Svet and Andrew returned from their road trip tired, hunger but very happy. They had a brilliant time and I've not doubt Wales will become a regular destination when Svet is over from Bulgaria (I got told off for spelling that with an 'e' in a past blog. I hope I've got it right this time). So sorry Svet.

Tomorrow is the first day of September and that means the start of my favourite season of the year is almost upon us. I love autumn. The colours, the weather and most of all the beautiful crisp mornings that make you feel really alive. I used to love walking on those mornings when the air smelt so clean and the frost crunched underfoot. All gone now of course and it looks as though I'm going to miss the experience again this year.

Of course there are a few things about autumn that I don't like. Shorter days for one. Busier roads in the morning because the school run is back on. And the shops selling Christmas stuff. Why they feel it necessary to bombard us with mince pies and turkey before we've even had Halloween is beyond me. And to be frank spoils things a bit. NOTHING even remotely Christmas related should appear in any shop until after November the 5th at the very earliest. No matter what your religion or beliefs Christmas is meant to be a very special time. It used to be that everything closed so that time could be spent with the family and relatives you only saw at that time of year. It doesn't have to be a lavish affair and no one is going to died because you forgot the brandy butter. Unfortunately the retail industry have got into our psyche and the world will end if we don't buy this cake or that toy.

This year I plan a very quiet special Christmas with just myself and the boys. We will exchange a few gifts, eat a good meal and spend the rest of the day playing games or watching films. No one will mind if I've forgotten the Brie, the fact that we are still all here to enjoy it will be the most important thing.

Wow, getting a little ahead of myself there. Let's get the next few months out of the way first. I've been feeling rather optimistic these last few days. I feel as though something good is coming my way. I know, I know, I've said all this before a million times. However it became extremely important to me that I got my Hudl loaded with my music this weekend. The last time I felt like that was in April when I just had to re pack my bag to make sure I had everything. I got the call a few weeks later. I'm hoping my internal predictor had kicked in and I'm right again. I'm probably not but I can but hope.

Time to get lunch ready for the hungry hoards. Next blog Friday.