What has REALLY happened to Saturday night TV?

This piece (edited) I wrote for a thread on a TV forum site. I thought it SO good, I decided to extend it a little and add it as a post in its own right on my blog.


I’ve been turned off by the “same old format” tripe of X Factor (singing reality contest in the vain of Pop Idol). The sob stories, the “average” singers that get through, the groups always being booted out never to win.

I watched some of the opening shows, but as soon as it got to “boot camp”, I well and truly tuned out.

I was excited by the return of Strictly Come Dancing (the original UK format of the new worldwide “Dancing With The Stars” franchise), but only watched the 1st week of mens and the 1st week of ladies. Now I’m equally sick of that and haven’t watched it since!

Why DOES reality TV dominate Saturday nights so much now? And WHY oh WHY are we going down this American route of if you have a successful show, you should churn it out season after season with no changes in format to keep it interesting?

Thank goodness there’s going to be a break from the “Maria/Joseph/Nancy – search for the next musical theatre star” Andrew Lloyd Webber lead shows next year.

As soon as Strictly Come Dancing and X-Factor are finished we’ll get Dancing On Ice in January.

I wish I could shout from the roof tops “Reality TV is dead, long live Variety!” But no one can even do a good variety show anymore.

There are still aspects of Saturday nights at certain times of year to look forward to, thank goodness, like when Doctor Who is on air. But Saturday nights USED to be a TV entertainment shining beacon! Now the light is flickering and almost extinguished.

R.I.P. Saturday night TV. It was good while it lasted.

Where Are My Tits?

I’m a keen – never leave home – twitcher. It was partly what got me through my depression in 2006. Normally, through the year we get a range of varying types of birds visit the garden. Various types of tits, blackbirds, robins, dunnocks, sparrows, wood pigeons and collared doves, even the odd greenfinch. But the one bird we get with a dizzying degree of regularity is the goldfinch.

Until now.

As of this week, I don’t think I’ve seen ONE goldfinch for about three weeks. This is just unheard of. The only bird I HAVE seen in the last few days has been a robin. Not even the doves and pigeons are hanging about.


With winter coming on and us putting food out, I should be seeing MORE of them, not LESS of them!

As I type, I can hear Mr Robin chirping his pee-d off song. Will he be the only visitor today?

Stay tuned…


Your result for The Commonly Confused Words Test…

English Genius

You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 87% Expert!

You did so extremely well, even I can’t find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don’t. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you’re not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: <a href="http://shortredhead78.blogspot.com/.


Take The Commonly Confused Words Test at HelloQuizzy

This Is SO True, It’s Scary!

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz…

You Are an Audrey!


You are an Audrey — “I am at peace”

Audreys are receptive, good-natured, and supportive. They seek union with others and the world around them.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * If you want me to do something, how you ask is important. I especially don’t like expectations or pressure
  • * I like to listen and to be of service, but don’t take advantage of this
  • * Listen until I finish speaking, even though I meander a bit
  • * Give me time to finish things and make decisions. It’s OK to nudge me gently and nonjudgmentally
  • * Ask me questions to help me get clear
  • * Tell me when you like how I look. I’m not averse to flattery
  • * Hug me, show physical affection. It opens me up to my feelings
  • * I like a good discussion but not a confrontation
  • * Let me know you like what I’ve done or said
  • * Laugh with me and share in my enjoyment of life
  • What I Like About Being an Audrey

  • * being nonjudgmental and accepting
  • * caring for and being concerned about others
  • * being able to relax and have a good time
  • * knowing that most people enjoy my company; I’m easy to be around
  • * my ability to see many different sides of an issue and to be a good mediator and facilitator
  • * my heightened awareness of sensations, aesthetics, and the here and now
  • * being able to go with the flow and feel one with the universe
  • What’s Hard About Being an Audrey

  • * being judged and misunderstood for being placid and/or indecisive
  • * being critical of myself for lacking initiative and discipline
  • * being too sensitive to criticism; taking every raised eyebrow and twitch of the mouth personally
  • * being confused about what I really want
  • * caring too much about what others will think of me
  • * not being listened to or taken seriously
  • Audreys as Children Often

  • * feel ignored and that their wants, opinions, and feelings are unimportant
  • * tune out a lot, especially when others argue
  • * are “good” children: deny anger or keep it to themselves
  • Audreys as Parents

  • * are supportive, kind, and warm
  • * are sometimes overly permissive or nondirective
  • Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

    Music I was Listening To Yesterday.

    I was clearing away the kitchenware out of the dishwasher yesterday when I was thinking my usual thought (that is: that I don’t really listen to half as much music as I’d like to). Then suddenly a wave hit me. Our mac mini doubles up as a “media centre” with a little remote control that means you can control it without sitting in front of it. So once I was finished with the dish washing, I fired up iTunes, got the remote for the mac mini, brought up the media centre interface and sat on the lounge to listen to some TOONS!

    I’d been going to sleep the previous few nights with Bowie songs in my head, so first off I listened to a few tracks from the Low album…

    Sound and Vision
    Always Crashing In The Same Car
    Be My Wife
    A New Career In A New Town

    Then went to a few tracks from “Heroes”…

    Beauty and The Beast
    Joe The Lion
    Sons of The Silent Age
    The Secret Life of Arabia

    Then more recent Bowie, from Heathen…

    I Would Be Your Slave
    5.15 The Angels Have Gone
    A Better Future
    Heathen (The Rays)

    Then it got a bit melancholy.

    Jimmy Ruffin – What Becomes of The Broken Hearted
    The Carpenters – Superstar

    Then Em came home…luckily…’cos I think I’d have ended up in the fetal position on the floor had I kept going with what I was listening to!

    Still, it was lovely to listen to some stuff and I am determined to do it more often.

    I Am Spock.

    Your result for The 4-Variable IQ Test…


    15% interpersonal, 20% visual, 30% verbal and 35% mathematical!


    Brother-from-another-mother! Like mine, your highest scoring intelligence is Mathematical. You thrive on logic, numbers, things representing numbers, and sets of things that are sets of other things, with numbers nowhere in sight. You probably like the online comic called XKCD, and if you don’t, check it out.

    You probably knew you’d score “Mathematical” as you took the test, and mathy types are usually super-high scorers on this axis, and low on the others. Why? Because you (we) yearn for math.

    Anyway, your specific scores follow. On any axis, a score above 25% means you use that kind of thinking more than average, and a score below 25% means you use it less. It says nothing about cognitive skills, just your interest.

    Your brain is roughly:

    15% Interpersonal




    Matching Summary: Each of us has different tastes. Still, I offer the following advice to the world.

    1. Don’t date someone if your interpersonal percentages differ by more than 20%.

    2. Don’t be friends with someone if your verbal percentages differ by more than 25%.

    3. Don’t have sex with someone if your math scores differ by over 40%. You might kill them.

    Take The 4-Variable IQ Test at HelloQuizzy



    Phew. I was worried I was going to have to fork out another £30 to replace it.

    It was hiding in the wardrobe between two bed sheets. WHY it was there and HOW it got there will remain a mystery.

    Dude, Where’s My Bra?

    We’ve hired a car for the weekend. And while Em was off collecting it, I was having a shower. Once I got out the shower, I was getting dressed. I went to my underwear draw to get my best bra, but oh, my bra wasn’t in the draw? No matter, I thought, it must be around here somewhere…

    I searched in EVERY place feasible to no avail. I was starting to get flustered. IT’S MY BEST BRA! I’ve only had it a few months. I had some not very suitable “back up” bras – one too small for me, the other with a hook that had snapped.

    Well I had no choice, so I wore the one with the about to bust hook.

    I have a ritual, see. I don’t wear my bras when I’m at home. It’s a thing I got from my mum. It just helps to lengthen the life of the bra. So, when I *do* go out and wear my bra, when I come home, I take it off. I normally leave it on the end of the bed to “air off” a while, then put it back in my underwear draw later. The last time I wore it was about a week ago (yes, I go out that often). I remember coming home, taking it off and draping it on the end of the bed, and then…

    I’VE LOST MY BRA!!!!

    Have you seen it?

    On to the car. We’d planned a trip to Cambridge and then perhaps Whipsnade Zoo the next day. But I think we’ll change tack to Hitchin tomorrow and then perhaps a trip to Shepreth on Sunday.

    We’ve spent a bit of dosh today, spoiling Chrissy and myself. I’ve got an early birthday present.


    As for Chris, these are her spoils…



    Thanks to Ikea for Chrissy’s things.

    Sickness and Quiet.

    I’ve been ill the last few days, so sort of been away the last few days (off the Internet that is). Have spent my first full day on Plurk.com in about 4 days and the site is SSSOOO quiet.


    Fruity Mascarpone “Cheat”cake

    This is a “cheats” cheesecake that’s no bake and can be made in short time. Prepare the fruit compote before making your evening meal to allow time for cooling.


    250gm Mascarpone Cheese
    4 tablespoons of icing sugar
    4 Digestive biscuits
    150gm of berry fruits of your choice (I’ve used blackberries)
    2 tablespoons of castor sugar
    Juice of one lemon
    A knob (I used a heaped teaspoon) of butter/margarine – melted


    Crush the digestive biscuits either by putting them in a small food bag to crush with your hands, or in a bowl with the back of a dessert spoon. Crush into finely crumbed. If food bag was used for crushing biscuits, transfer to bowl and add melted better and mix well. Set bowl aside for the moment.

    Line 4 small or two larger sized ramekins with cling film (I used 2 of the empty Mascarpone containers when doing the recipe). Set aside. **please see note below

    In a bowl empty contents of Mascarpone, add the icing sugar and fold into Mascarpone gently until well blended. Spread the mix into the lined ramekins/moulds. Smooth the biscuit mix in top. Put in fridge to set.

    For the fruit compote:

    Put the the berries, castor sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Heat gently for 3-4 minutes, or until berries start to burst. Leave to cool.

    When ready to serve, gather the corners of the cling film, lift out mix from ramekins, moulds and invert into a serving bowl. Drizzle with a tablespoon or two of fruit compote.

    **NB: Will add a picture shortly. Also had a bit of a disaster with the Mascarpone on second make. It went runny. I was hoping that it would “reset” and harden, but it didn’t. Only put in moulds if Mascarpone stays firm, If it doesn’t, obviously serves as a messy dessert, with biscuit base, then the Mascarpone, then the fruit compote.