Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Life Out of Pyjamas

Well, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s turning into a busy spring. Which means I am having to spend distressingly long periods of time actually dressed in real clothes and not loafing in ratty – but oh, so comfortable – attire. On reflection, sadly many of my friends might not be able to tell the difference.

I don’t really like clothes shopping; even without Nos.1 and 2 daughters in tow I find it a terrible faff - and I have lived through communal changing rooms, which might explain a lot. But this week I helped out at a ‘Boden’ party. For those who have never heard of this before, the fashion retailers Boden will send racks and racks of their latest lines and a bulk email telling their past customers where they can feel the quality at a local party and not just look in the catalogue. One gets a commission on any sale, which in our case is given to our local school. I fancied some new trousers, good cause and all that. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with a womanly rear (most of my childhood was spent being asked to get off someone’s lap as my bony bum was cutting off their circulation) and so for me if it fits the waist it’ll be bagging lower down and Boden, like most, irritatingly cut for the 99% that have a posterior. But I did splurge on two tops. One is out of stock, the other unavailable for 9 weeks. I can pick ‘em. 

The best thing about the Boden party is that I am always on teas, cakes and washing up; where I can give full vent to long abandoned W I fantasies. Next time I may even wear a pinny and take some knitting. I also crochet and embroider, get me! Last week I made a cat’s tail for No.1’s ballet show – Kirstie Allsop would be so proud.

There will be more costumes soon. No.1’s class is presenting ‘Dick Whittington’ and I am turning up to occasionally give a little light direction. No.1 is playing the title role, which came as a bit of a surprise as I was not holding a gun to her teacher’s head when it was cast. I would like to think it’s the natural talent showing through, however I put it down more to the fact that No.1 is virtually embarrassment proof, unlike her mother, and after hearing that ‘Dick’ has to get married to ‘Alice’, she was the only one who volunteered for the job. Bless her heart; she’s doing me proud, as are they all. Fingers crossed for the perf.

Fingers also crossed for Harry’s biography. It is now back from the printers and astoundingly on the shelf (there is one embarrassing typo – if you spot it you get a prize, that of being smug). More astoundingly it will soon be serialised in the Daily Mail. It will be appearing in the form of adapted excerpts, which should make for interesting reading – for you and me both.

If that wasn’t enough ‘One Cool Cat’ is being featured in this month’s Junior Magazine. If things go on like this I may have to stop spouting and start tweeting. Though I don’t think I could cope with reaffirming my existence on an hourly basis, it’s bad enough getting dressed.

You know, I really should think about changing the title of this blog. Possible forthcoming publicity has reminded me of a favoured journalists’ question. “What three words describe you?”

 “Lives in Pyjamas”


Toodle pip, as we say in the WI…

Thursday, January 5, 2012

It was 50 years ago today…..

…When Steptoe and Son first rode onto our screens. They did so in ‘The Offer’, an episode of Galton and Simpson’s Comedy Playhouse, broadcast on January 5th 1962.

The show had been rehearsed the week before and was recorded on the 4th. During the rehearsal week Tom Sloan, Head of BBC Light Entertainment, had been so impressed he was already pushing for the Steptoes to have their own series. After it went out, the Public agreed with him and a few weeks later Harry and Wilfrid Brambell signed up for 5 further episode that, alongside a repeat of ‘The Offer’, made up the first series.  

It was an instant hit and immediately repeated. By late summer, Harry and Wilf were household names and the Steptoes went on to top the ratings for the next 12 years.

2012 also sees another anniversary, in March it will be 30 years since Harry died.

If only I had got my act together in time and come up with some way of marking these occasions. “Well, (she brightly informs, smugly crossing to shiny oven) here’s one I prepared earlier…”

Having finished the first draft of Harry’s biography last spring, taken the summer to gird the loins and sent it out in the Autumn I can now report that the book what I wrote,  Harry H. Corbett – The Front Legs of the Cow will be published by the History Press this March.

Happy New Year…