Category Archives: TV
Marseille: an ancient city renowned for many things, among which number its huge commercial port, a small crime problem, the legendary Château d’If and fine bouillabaisse. The city lent its name to the French national anthem, la Marseillaise, pastis was born here and Marcel Pagnol took childhood walks in the lush Parc Borély. I suggest that we add to this hall of fame the Hotel Pullman Marseille Palm Beach, where Monsieur and I splurged for a night of luxury during our South of France ‘vacances’ last year.
Even for we two inveterate travellers, it had been a long day. We’d driven up from the Camargues, lunched at a sleepy Martigues and screeched into the last boat trip of the day around the calanques near the pretty port of Cassis. The driving in the vicinity of such a natural wonder is reputed to be fraught with tempers frayed by battles fought over parking spaces; sadly, we’d found it to be exactly so, yet somehow managed to escape without a single dent in our fender. Leaving the beauty behind as we entered the messy sprawl of the outskirts of Marseille, we were intent on a night of calm and relaxation. Fortunately, once we found the Pullman Hotel, calm and relaxation is exactly what we enjoyed.
I say ‘once we found’ because the Pullman is James Bond-esque in the way that it hides behind a curve in the Corniche, sinking its storeys below the coastal thoroughfare so that it’s barely visible from the road. We, as many others must have done before us, drove straight on past the entrance before recognising our mistake and navigating a U turn – no mean feat in the early evening rush of traffic – to return to our abode for the night.
A porter swiftly separated luggage from vehicle as a valet disappeared with the car down a ramp into what could have been Hades for all we knew – via the entrance to what we deduced must be the subterranean car park - very 007 once again. Inside, a vast lobby was populated by three or four staff and one of those life-size sculptures of a cow wearing far splashier colours than might be expected in your average milking shed. Elsewhere, the furniture was über chic in the fashion of a deconstructed Mondrian (read: hard-cornered squares and rectangles in primary colours) but quite uncomfortable looking – the subliminal message being that this was not a place to get cosy, although the view across the bay was spectacular and it would be quite possible to spend a couple of hours sitting here watching ships and yachts navigating the busy bay.
Fortunately, our room had its own, private view out to sea, and a balcony from which to enjoy it at our leisure. It was a hot evening, hazy and vaguely rose-tinted. We watched stand-up paddlers taking advantage of the calm waters.
Looking to our right the Corniche snaked against the coast, a gigantic propeller blade rising in dark silhouette against the sunset; this was the 1971 oeuvre of Marseille’s sculptor son, César, honouring the repatriation of people from North Africa to France.
To wash off the day’s accumulation of salt and sweat, we took a dip in the Pullman’s pool, which looked like this:
It was big enough to accommodate pre-dinner swimmers of all ages, from pre-schooler to retiree, and the water was just the right type of cool.
Later, as Monsieur and I basked in the last of the day’s sun, we flicked through guides in an attempt to decide how and where to dine. In the end, room service won. We would sup in our bathrobes, with the unsurpassable vista visible from our balcony, gathering strength for the serious task of exploring Marseille the next day.
The doorbell rang and our evening meal arrived. Seconds later, Monsieur settled down with comfort food: a burger and plump, golden fries with a verrine of coleslaw in a nod to the possibility of fresh produce, even if it hadn’t been ordered in quantity tonight.
I stuck to lighter fare. The smoked salmon was delicious, served with mini-blinis, a dollop of taramasalata and another of soft, herbed cheese. The salad leaves were unusually unblemished, natural, sans vinaigrette.
Then I allowed myself a small plate of cheese.
A glass of crisp, chilled white wine completed the experience.
And so, when last in Marseille, Monsieur and I unabashedly enjoyed our room service supper in our own time, watching all manner of seafaring vessel criss-crossing the bay as the sun sank in the west. It was the epitome of a holiday dining experience: good, simple food, great view, the privacy of our own room and no glad rags required. Not to mention the double bill of Engrenages (Spiral) on TV. A perfect evening, indeed.
When I was about eleven, I started home ec classes at school. My classmates and I then spent the next two years fighting over ingredients in these core classes as we perfected the mangling of simple dishes such as scrambled eggs and kedgeree. The worst part of these classes, however, was post-cooking when we had to sit and EAT what we’d just burned, undercooked or over-salted. At this key time in my culinary development I learned precisely how not to cook in class; conversely I learned how better to cook at home, where I’d help in the kitchen and sit with my mother in front of afternoon TV shows of Julia Child slamming food around her studio kitchen amidst what could only be described as a slightly awkward, inelegant presentation. Part of me loved watching her infectious passion for food and admired the results, wishing she could visit our dated home ec kitchen to inspire our prematurely-jaded attempts at food preparation; another part of me sat glued to the set in awe of the hulking woman who obviously knew her onions when it came to food, but whose booming voice and giant stature were more than a little intimidating. In case you need reminding, here’s a clip of La Child in action:
Cue a bout of Julia Child amnesia, until last year, when I bought Julia Child’s memoir, My Life in France, written in conjunction with her great nephew, Alex Prud’homme. I’m embarrassed to say that it sat in my ‘to read’ pile for some time until recently, when I quite literally devoured it. Once more, I was mesmerised by this towering doyenne of cuisine as I learned that there was so much more to her own personal history than is first apparent when you think of an acclaimed author of cookbooks. For a start, she wasn’t born with a wooden spoon in her hand, nor could she bake soufflés before she could walk. Au contraire; Julia Child didn’t start cooking until she was 37 years old, when she moved to post-war France with her adored husband Paul. Once there, her love of eating and a fascination with French food led her to the Cordon Bleu school, where she studied food and its preparation. Julia also spent time getting to know the local market vendors, finding the best produce, learning French and experimenting in her own kitchen in an odd apartment on the ‘rue de Loo’, as she called the rue de l’Université. On top of all of the above, the tireless Julia somehow found the time to socialise with Paris-based foodies. She taught, gave dinner parties, helped a couple of new friends with their attempt at ‘cookbookery’, and it is this latter activity that eventually developed into Child’s weighty mega-oeuvre, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961), which brought truly French methods and cuisine into the American kitchen and subsequently revolutionised many kitchens all around the world.
This new-found passion for French cuisine changed Julia’s life, but not without hard graft did she become a published household name with her own TV show. I dare not give too much away, as this book is filled with such characters and surprises and inside knowledge of famous restaurants, critics and foods (I yelped with delight at the part where she visits the original Poilâne bakery in the name of breadmaking research) that it demands a reader’s first-hand attention, rather than a second-hand account. However, to whet your appetite, I will say that the complex politics of the time does not escape mention and honest accounts of strain on a workaholic’s interpersonal relationships, a quite unexpected picture of Julia in the bath with her husband and the down-to-earth description of universal frustrations and disappointments can only add to the admiration which Julia fans will feel on reading what she referred to as ‘The French Book’.
My Life in France was the sort of book that pained me to finish. There was only one thing to be done: I’d been bitten by the bug and now simply had to read more Julia. So, as you do, I popped onto Amazon, where Julie and Julia – My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell came to my attention. I’d heard of it; in fact, one of my grub-loving friends had recommended it to me; I just hadn’t bought it yet. One click later and the book was delivered to me at the end of last week, just in time for the May Bank Holiday weekend – a blissful three days of Nothing Planned. Julie and Julia arrived with impeccable timing because on commencing to read this book I experienced the startling result of waking up well before I would normally have roused myself on a long weekend. Why? To read The Book, of course, and for once I’m not complaining about waking early. Not at all.
So, every morning for the past three days, as Monsieur slumbered on next to me, my first waking thought was “I wonder what Julie does next?” as I grabbed the book and read as quietly as possible so that Monsieur wouldn’t wake up and disturb this precious reading time. You see, this Julie Powell person had decided on a whim to cook every single one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a mere 365 days. AND she had a full-time job, AND a tiny kitchen AND lived in Long Island City, which isn’t the best place to find some of the more unusual ingredients commanded by such recipes. To call this book entertaining is quite the culinary understatement. Refreshingly, there’s zero pretension. If the aspic doesn’t set or if murdering lobsters keeps Powell awake at night, we hear about it. Some recipes work, others don’t, and at times Powell enlists a search party to track down some strange foodstuff or other. Oh my Heavens, how I am loving this book, right down to the plumbing issues and day job and the strain that an obsession with cooking can place on a relationship.
As veteran Googlers tend to do, I’ve also spent some time reading the Julie and Julia Project blog, which is the unwitting inspiration for the book. There’s also the current Julie Powell blog to salivate over and on You Tube, there’s a trailer for THE FILM (see end of post), starring none other than Meryl Streep as Julia Child and Amy Adams as frustrated cooking-by-night-to-save-own-sanity government agency temp, Julie Powell. Now we just have to wait until it’s released on 7 August (I’m counting the days and if you know someone who can donate preview tickets to this particularly enthusiastic fan, then please please pretty please would you let me know?).
Believe it or not, you can also follow @Julia_Child on Twitter, only it’s not REALLY Julia (unless there’s a new app allowing us to tweet from beyond the grave), because she passed away in 2004, aged an astonishing 91. Following this sad date on the Child fan’s calenday, The Smithsonian was lucky enough to be given her kitchen, copper pans, units, books ‘n’ all and it’s now a crowd-drawing exhibit. (The Smithsonian has been added to my Bucket List. )
So, to sum up, unless I’m mistaken, it would seem that we’re in a mid-Julia Child revival and we just might have former government drone, Julie Powell to thank for that. Personally, I love the fact that courtesy of Powell I’ve now learned what a gimlet is and have added kattywhompus to my vocabulary.
In the meantime, here’s the trailer for the film of Julie and Julia:
Click here to read Part 1.
In the course of the evening, we learned many things, thanks to Palin himself and a keen audience full of questions. Did you know that when making travel series for the Beeb, there are six in Palin’s typical crew, including a stills photographer, whose contribution is much valued because most of the time, the others are too busy to take their own photos. One unanticipated obstacle of this profession is getting the job title right. Whatever does multi-skilled Palin write in that space on the visa form? There’s an anecdote in answer to that particular question. Palin recounted a family trip to Sierra Leone, where he was initially refused a visa because he’d listed his occupation as ‘writer’ and Sierra Leone’s government was somewhat sensitive about journalists at the time. Nowadays, Palin lists his occupation as ‘actor’, giving him issues no more complicated than having to embellish his professional relations with the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis.
Palin told us that his travels started relatively late as he grew up in post-war Sheffield and there wasn’t much opportunity to explore the world at that time. Once Python took off, however, he started taking off himself, to mostly American destinations. Of course, if you look at the past twenty years, there can’t be many countries left in the world that Palin hasn’t visited. What’s next on the list, then? Calcutta (woops, I mean ‘Kolkata’), and the glint in the speaker’s eye tells us that he can’t wait to get his hands dirty again in the manner of a truly intrepid explorer. After that? Iran. You could almost see Palin conjuring up an itinerary as he pictured Tehran, Esfahan, the Caspian Sea and the open plains. Then and there I decided to find a good Iranian restaurant so I could at least learn more about the food. By Jove, I was giving myself homework.
One question from the floor concerned the current state of humanity.
“Having travelled so extensively, what’s your view of humanity as a whole?” ventured one fan.
Palin looked up for a moment before answering. “I’m a glass half full sort of chap and when it comes to humanity, you know what I think? Not half bad.”
“In all your travels, what’s the best place you’ve visited and what’s the worst?” asked another.
Palin replied that it’s almost impossible to compare his destinations because of the tremendous differences and there are good and bad things about everywhere you go. However, he did remark that Peru is a special place, with the vibrant Cusco and the mysterious and ancient Machu Picchu.
One question concerned identifiable differences between types of travel. Is it different when he travels with his family? Palin explained that his wife, Helen, isn’t as adventurous a traveller as he, so when they plan a trip together, it’s likely to be aimed at relaxation. Then, he added that “Helen won’t be coming to Calcutta,” Judging by the audience’s collective chuckle, there was strong support for Helen’s right not to travel to the more challenging destinations. That’s another reason we all watch Palin; he can take us to Timbuktu and back without us feeling any of the journey’s pain.
As for his manner of writing, Palin told us that he jots down his experiences in a notebook, writing up the notes once he returns home. “I can’t imagine travel without writing,” he exclaims with a sudden burst of energy. For this traveller, the two are inextricably intertwined. The writing process is a long one, though. Palin locks himself away in his study and says that by the time a trip such as Eighty Days is completed and the book is finished, another two years have passed.
The question on everyone’s lips now was what were Palin’s future projects. Without hesitation, he explained that he and Helen now have a grandchild so family time is precious to him. He suggested that there may be a few single episode documentaries to come but that he’d like to spend more time at home now. “London’s a wonderful place,” he continued, “it’d be nice to experience more of it,” besides which he feels that he’s travelled so much that it’s all right to stop for a while, and, as important as travel is to his life, so is the opportunity to reflect on and consider all that he’s seen.
During question time, Monsieur nudged me hard. “Ask a question,” he urged with twinkling eye. “No, I’m too shy,” I whispered. But then, towards the end, Palin pointed at the gallery where we were sitting. “One last question from the gallery,” he called, “does anyone in the gallery have a question?” Suddenly, as if by involuntary reflex, my arm waved above my head. “Actually, yes, I do.” I said. Palin looked up at me. “Actually, yes,” he repeated with a cheeky smile. “What would be your advice to keen travellers, based on your own travel experiences?” I asked, my heart threatening to bounce out of my chest and down to the floor below. Palin recommended the following:
· It’s very important to talk to the people. Find out what they do, where they eat, what their stories are.
· Don’t go to a place with a long must-do-must-see list and don’t expect that it’s possible to cram the entire history of Egypt into a four day visit.
· Look around and observe what it’s like to really live in your destination. Watch people in the street, at the market or taking coffee. Walk around and experience the place from the ground up.
And, soon after, Palin closed the talk.
I whizzed downstairs to buy the anniversary edition of Round the World and queued up to have it signed. What surprised me most was that the queue wasn’t particularly long or cumbersome that evening. It struck me that perhaps people weren’t buying books anymore because of the credit crunch and following a £5.00 expenditure for the ticket, they considered their evening’s budget complete. In any case, I wasn’t about to complain.
“You asked me a question from up there,” Mr Palin said as my turn came,
“Actually, yes,” I replied, echoing my earlier performance and silently cursing the fact that I use that word, ‘actually’ so much. “Good voice,” he commented, as he dedicated the book. I admit it had surprised me a bit, but I put it down to years of speech and drama lessons. My teacher would be pleased to know that I haven’t forgotten how to project in a large room. We chatted a bit about one of his kids, whom I met when I was interning in Venice. At the time, I’d asked Palin The Younger what his advice for new interns would be. He kindly shared with me a suggestion that The Palin Now Sitting Right Next To Me had given him: take a poem with you when you’re guarding the galleries and learn a few more lines each day. That way, the boredom subsides and you add to your knowledge of literature.
Before leaving Mr Michael Palin in peace, I had my photo taken with him. It makes my head look like a football as I’m leaning towards the camera in embarrassing eagerness. However, it was worth a red face because now I can show it to Epic Papa, a traveller in his own time but now, for health reasons, unable to travel anywhere unless vicariously through the likes of a Palin DVD. That’s another reason why I’m such a fan of these series; they allow people to glimpse the broad world beyond their homes, even if they can’t go there themselves.
So you see, that’s why I’m smiling. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening in the company of someone I admire very much. This card-carrying fan is now the proud owner of a book signed by Michael Palin, and is considering hanging the shameless fan photo on the living room wall at home. “Okay, you can stop it now,” said Monsieur when I was still visibly thrilled with the evening, even after we got home, “or I might get jealous.” That, too, made me smile. No need to raise the green-eyed monster from the deep, Monsieur. There’s plenty of admiration reserved just for you. Having said that, I happen to know that Monsieur is quite a Palin fan himself.
I’ve never been one to idolise pop singers or paste posters of the latest Hollywood heart-throb on my bedroom wall. I don’t buy celebrity calendars and I admit to cringing whenever someone sends me pictures of Messrs Clooney, Craig or Pitt in some come-hither pose. However, last week I submitted to the ranks of groupie-dom for one particular person of whom I’m a fan, and now I can’t stop smiling.
The object of Epicurienne’s idolatry? Mr Michael Palin, and just writing his name makes me ask why he hasn’t yet been made a Knight of the Realm. (Apparently I’m not alone in wondering this; the theorists suggest it may be because of certain Python humour being taken a little too seriously by The Powers That Be.)
Mr Palin is probably best known for his acting credits and co-creation of cultish Monty Python skits and films. I started watching these when I was really too young to understand their humour, aside from the fact that the black knight in the Holy Grail really should have given up fighting when he lost the first arm. I loved The Life of Brian with its infectious ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ chorus from the cross and a healthy dose of cross-dressing holy women. Later, said Mr Palin caught my attention when, as K-K-K-Ken Pile, he stuttered his way through the hilarious film, A Fish Called Wanda, scooping up a BAFTA for his trouble. But it’s not for his acting prowess that I so admire this man; Palin has brought something different to the armchair traveller, through the BBC adventures that take him (and us) to all corners of the globe, from London’s Victoria Station to the wilds of Antarctica, from the souks of Morocco to the backwaters of Alaska or from the refugee camps of the Sahara to a meeting with the Dalai Lama or a belly-dancing class in Istanbul. I’ve watched all the shows, we have them all on DVD at home and I am therefore an official, card-carrying Palin fan so imagine my excitement to hear the man himself speak.
The venue for Palin’s talk was Daunt Books, a dangerous place for people like me whose bookshelves already groan beneath the weight of various travel tomes, lest we return home with more. The flagship store is located on chic Marylebone High Street, its carved wooden frontage harking back to Edwardian times and its windows filled with carefully selected literature, drawing customers into a bibliophile’s dream where hours can be lost in the simple act of browsing the stacks. I adore this place. If the Daunt stock were not enticing enough, the staff befriend the authors of the books they sell and, as such, there is a regular talks schedule. For a mere £5.00 customers gather to listen to an author speak as they sip on glasses of wine; in hyper-costly London, that’s what I call excellent value. Well, last week the speaker was none other than Mr Palin and, contrary to his last Daunt fixture when the tickets sold out by the time I’d called to book, this time I managed to get three. I felt just like Charlie Bucket on glimpsing gold in his Wonka wrapper.
From my seat in the gallery, I had an unimpeded view of the speaker’s platform and (ta dah) Mr Palin himself. The introduction was made by a Daunt representative, explaining that when they first opened their doors twenty years ago, the book of the first Palin travel adventure, Around the World in Eighty Days, was piled high on one of the display tables. Could it really be twenty years since Around the World in Eighty Days was on t.v.? I wondered. Yes, apparently it could. Twenty years ago, when I watched this then-brand new series on t.v., I was still a New Zealand schoolgirl, obsessed with French verb endings and the Peloponnesian War.
When Palin took the floor, he told us that in the course of the past two decades, the world had changed sufficiently that, in acknowledging this milestone anniversary of Eighty Days, the crew had decided to revisit certain destinations from that first travel series, noting differences between then and now. For instance, The Persian Gulf is now known as the Arabian Gulf in many Middle Eastern countries and Bombay is now Mumbai, but I digress.
Taking Dubai as one example of a destination appraised, in the past twenty years this city has undergone a massive metamorphosis from a moneyed but relatively characterless town to the glitzy seaside metropolis of today, replete with seven star hotels. Palin recounted for us his more recent experience of Dubai, on this occasion staying at the Burj al Arab, the luxury hotel that looks like a yacht spinnaker in full wind, where each room has a team (yes, team) of staff responsible for the welfare of its guests, and where rates can mount up to thousands per night. So what was Mr Palin’s observation of this swanky environment? That most of the guests looked dazed, sported casual gear and just seemed to want to relax. In other words, the Burj al Arab is wonderfully luxurious but a tad excessive for your regular holidaymaker.
Palin next spent some time recounting a memorable voyage on a dhow called the Al Shama that carried him from Dubai to Mumbai (no longer Bombay). A touch of nocturnal Delhi Belly (or should that be Dhow-y Belly?) saw him rushing at intervals to the basic on-board conveniences of bottomless barrels hanging over the open sea at the stern. On each run, he was greeted by the crew who were excited that he might want to spend time with them as they fished by night. On one such occasion they shouted out that they’d made him a curry, which is the last thing anyone feels like eating when experiencing digestive discomfort. The audience laughed in sympathy.
In post-production, the dhow voyage was supposed to take up a mere seven or eight minutes of film, but the editor deftly crafted it into a 45 minute episode in its own right, and in doing so, the special relationship that developed between Palin’s crew and that of the boat helped turn around some initially lukewarm reviews of the series. The public liked this new take on travel; they wanted to see the reality of far-flung lands, not a string of well-trodden tourist destinations and Hilton hotels. This episode is fondly remembered by Palin as a pivotal point in the development of his newfound reputation as an intrepid traveller and it won’t surprise you to learn that he revisited the crew as part of the anniversary catch up trip, taking a portable DVD player with him so they could see themselves on TV for the first time. Before parting again, the captain suggested that the head of the BBC might like to pay for a new dhow as the Al Shama was no more. According to Palin the request just might be awaiting attention on a certain desk at the BBC so we’ll have to wait to see if it materialises.
(To be continued)
Michael Palin’s website
Around the World in Eighty Days Amazon link
Here’s part two of Andrew Zimmern’s jaunt through Vietnam, sampling some of the more palatable options of Vietnamese cuisine (beef salad, Pho, civet coffee).
Part three involves grilled fish (come on! how tame can you get?), sparrows and scorpions, and ‘tender’ bull’s penis:
Part four sees Andrew Zimmern tucking into silk worms and snails at a Hanoi local’s home:
This is what I call eating vicariously!
All I wanted to do was find out how to eat Pho properly. So I went onto You Tube and searched for Pho. I watched and learned, then I thought I’d have a quick look at Vietnamese food on You Tube. Almost immediately, a clip of a dog being roasted on a spit came up. Cue mild nausea. Then there was a clip where two guys are eating dog while a dog yaps in the background. “Fido can come to the funeral of his friend,” they said, or something to that effect, before laughing. I thought of our late, beloved family dog and got angry. It’s not right for me to judge this, though. I know that in different countries we eat different things, and the French and Italians think nothing of eating horse meat but as I wasn’t raised to think of a horse or a dog as food, I find this more than a bit squeamish.
One Vietnamese person wrote on You Tube that even the Vietnamese can find eating dog difficult, but it’s affordable meat for them which is why dog stays on the menu. I then thought I’d better find out what else they eat in Vietnam, just so I can try to recognise it and steer clear.
This is my list so far:
- Rats, which they hunt in fields with dogs
- Turtle soup, turtle blood wine and turtle bile wine
- Snake, snake blood wine, snake wine (no blood involved in the latter)
- Chicken blood soup (by now I’m realising that there really isn’t much they don’t eat in Vietnam and they obviously use every possible part of the animal)
- Monkey balm wine, made from their bones
- Fried tarantula
- Live grubs, still squirming (like Witchety grubs in Australia)
- Lizards, which are skinned alive
- Snails – not so bad. I can eat those. Did you know that most escargots served in France were raised at snail farms in China?
- And the best by far: worms. Even though the writhing mass looks like earth worms, they are in fact fresh water things with legs so technically they’re not worms but as I can’t see the legs in the clip, they’re as good as worms to me. They’re only available at market in autumn for one month and they’re mixed with all sorts of other ingredients to make fried patties, kind of like a worm burger. It’s probably tasty if you don’t know what it is beforehand.
These menu items do not, however, shake my fascination for Vietnam. I’m still finding it absorbing in a great many ways, although I do find that sticking to fish is the most sensible option, especially as it’s so fresh. This hasn’t been hard to do because I’m semi-vege anyway.
Returning to You Tube for more gory-eating videos before we left, I found Andrew Zimmern, presenter of Bizarre Foods for The Travel Channel. This man calls the above list “exotic edibles” and will eat just about anything in the name of culinary education. He’s braver than me.
For the first in Zimmern’s series of six on Vietnamese cuisine, click on this clip. It shows that seriously, just about every part of a snake is used in Vietnamese cooking, and he says that Hanoi is a foodie culture “with attitude”. In my book, that’s a complete understatement, but I guess you need to see it to believe it!
Last weekend I spent an afternoon having fun with eighties’ retro tracks on You Tube. Out of the blue I decided to watch Toni Basil’s 1982 hit, Oh Mickey:
That in turn reminded me of Gwen Stefani’s 2005 hit, Hollaback Girl… (it’s all about cheerleaders, apparently),
which made me think about the second series of Heroes (Series 1 motto: Save the cheerleader, save the world) which was pretty disappointing compared to the first. Apparently it’s because the Hollywood screenwriters’ strike happened during the making of this series so all the good writing went flying out the window, kinda like Flying Man, Nathan Petrelli. At least the cheerleader, Claire ‘Bear’ Bennet, survives to make the third series, which will hopefully be better made than the last.
It’s amazing where one eightie’s hit will take you…
Friday is Fun Day. It’s ‘I-can-wear-jeans-to-work’ day. It’s a day to share jokes, look forward to the weekend and wind down after a week at full velocity. At least, that’s what I aim for on Fridays. It doesn’t always pan out.
When I worked for The Auction House, I used to send all my friends a special Friday e-mail. Now I think I might have to resurrect that tradition in the form of a Fun Friday post, just to make sure we remember that life isn’t all about envelopes with windows, deadlines and overtime.
Recently, I was talking to Stationery Guy whose son likes saying “I ain’t goin’ in no plane!”, just like Mr T’s alter ego, B A Baracus. Remember him? Big, black and scary with a mohawk and lots of man-bling. The terrifying thing for those of us who remember it from the first time around is that the A Team is having a revival. It’s on Sky TV in the UK and if you’re bored with your current look you might consider buying Mr T disguise sets from all the party stores. Here’s one I found earlier:
Then Wise Woman told me about a friend of hers whose friends dressed him up as Mr T for his stag night. Apparently there was a lot of “I ain’t walkin’ down no aisle!” going on. He did, however, walk down an aisle shortly thereafter, so all that talk did no lasting damage.
The A Team is even influencing fashion. The other day, a trendy guy who works in our building was wearing a tee shirt with a line-up of the four A-Team characters in cartoon form. It was seriously cool, only I was so busy staring at the tee-shirt that I can’t remember which guy he is. I’m now waiting until he wears it again so I can ask where he got it.
But most importantly, there’s the A-Team theme!
In case you still haven’t had enough, you could try a Mr T in your pocket.
Someone has even shown us what happens when Mr T meets a teapot. That must make him Mr Tea. Yes? No? Shut up, foo’…