Why? Still reeling from the loss of Geoffrey Palmer and now Des! Usually, it is Manny who is the bearer of bad tidings pertaining to the demise of yet another beloved figure from my childhood but, this time, the words woke me with a jolt as they emanated from the radio early on Saturday morning. Des O’Connor had gone to join that party in the sky and, with him, another piece of my cherished past. My God, it is age defining! I remember my mother used to protest that, in her head, she had never aged beyond her teenage years. Now, I understand. For my part, I wanted to stay sixteen forever. Peter Pan may have gone deeper than I thought … me and Michael Jackson! In hindsight, though, I’d just call it damage limitation!
I had so many plans for a rainy Sunday afternoon but, instead, I lost myself down a rabbit hole of archive Des on YouTube – and how I laughed! I was right back in the Morning Room, curtains closed, fire lit, all cosy as we watched The Des O’Connor Show, inevitably in hysterics at the antics of Freddie Starr – a frequent guest – who was given such a free reign by the generous host, himself, unable to stem the giggling and loving every minute of it! Multi-talented, Des could sing; he could do it all but, more than anything, he was fun – and funny. Self-deprecating, he positively revelled in being the butt of other’s jokes, particularly those of Eric and Ernie for whom, it turns out, he wrote many of them! He was of that golden era, the like of which we will never see again. Up there with Bruce Forsyth, Morecambe & Wise and even the mighty Geoffrey Palmer, Des O’Connor was the proverbial comfort blanket: no matter what was going on in the world beyond that screen, he would make you forget; make you laugh. He made you believe that everything was going to be alright. What a gift! What an epitaph! What a loss in a sorry world …
Dominic Cummings? Not worthy. Close the door on your way out.
Next! Should I be loath to answer my front door? In these climes of seemingly unbridled police power, it has been suggested that the Government is not happy with those termed ‘anti-vaxxers’; in other words, those who are sceptical of this imminent, fast-tracked vaccine and questioning as to its safety. Shouldn’t we, all, be? A degree of intelligence is not an obligatory requirement in the exercise of self-preservation. Common sense, on the other hand … Regardless, it has been suggested, apparently, that anything posted on the internet not in support of a blanket acceptance of this chemical concoction should be blocked. Hold on, did I miss the memo declaring we are no longer permitted to think for ourselves or voice an opinion? Obviously, for tonight – Monday – I have just seen the following headline in The Telegraph: ‘Hancock refuses to rule out mandatory vaccination’. Forget missing the memo, it seems I have a bit part in a sci-fi movie (sounds better) of the horror variety! Thing is, I’m having a problem with the lines … For some reason, I keep wanting to say, ‘We’re doomed!’.
Moving on, while permitted. Gossip! I meant to include this gem in Friday’s post, following my sojourn chez hairdresser the day before, but veered off piste. Never mind, all practising of my French aside, the following was in the ‘Hello’ magazine (dated 16th November) so it must be true: Melanie Brown, aka Scary Spice, has filed court documents asking her former partner, Eddy Murphy, for an increase in child support for their 13-year-old daughter, Angel, claiming she has been hit financially by the impact of COVID-19. Plausible? Not a chance but reading on, it is revealed that she, currently, receives £21,000 per month from the actor plus additional health insurance and education costs. Quite honestly, my customary exclamation mark does not suffice! I repeat, she receives £21,000 per month but that is not enough for someone who, if I recall correctly, grew up on a council estate in Leeds? There one has it, human nature in all its glory! Ironically, as I write, The One Show is on in the background with Matt Baker holding back the tears as he describes how much it has meant to him raising over £5million for Children in Need alongside these incredible kids who have, each, given their all in the Rickshaw Challenge. I wonder if Mel B is watching? I wonder if it would make any difference?
Oh, my goodness. I seem to be, repeatedly, spilling over into Tuesday. Not sure why. Anyway, Monday, Tuesday, makes no difference except, perhaps, when it comes to television viewing. Permitted to go nowhere and see nobody, there is little else to do on a cold, dark Saturday night and, thus, I was there for the final of The Voice! Wish I hadn’t been. How many times do I need to be reminded that good guys don’t win; that, so often, merit comes a poor second to agenda? Thankfully, my faith had been restored, however, by a touching documentary on McFly which preceded it. Now, these guys are lovely – and lucky! Friends first, band second. Imagine being able to do what you love, with friends you love and earn a fortune along the way … sounds perfect. Who knew it wasn’t, though? Fame and fortune – life, really – took its toll on the friendship and a lack of communication was key. All married with kids, the other three missed the fact that Dougie was flailing, leading to a split in 2016. Admitting to taking Valium, he was lost but it proved the wake-up call they all needed and, in gathering round their friend, they reassured him of his importance to them – and reminded themselves of what really mattered. Heartwarming and, yes, there were tissues!
Sunday evening and I had no intention of watching I’m a Celebrity but … there I was and there were Ant and Dec, reassuringly dressed as janitors! Who is their stylist?! They looked ridiculous but nobody can deny they are funny – and adept at using the plethora of material handed to them on a plate by the increasingly Z-list ‘celebrities’. Take Hollie Arnold MBE, Paralympian javelin-thrower extraordinaire. She, herself, said it all in her introduction. Anyway, I must admit, I do like Giovanna Fletcher and Shane Ritchie seems like a nice guy but, in truth, I watch it for Ant and Dec’s outfits! Just me?
Enough about television. She of the plastic white stilettos has, apparently, spoken. More rules; more restrictions. Like most people, I have absolutely no idea what I can or cannot do anymore. Thankfully, there is common sense and Beverley Turner. Such a fan! None the wiser? She’s a woman with her own mind and a brain … Meantime, there is more hue and cry about Scottish Independence. God help us! Time and place. I thought this pandemic was supposed to be all-consuming? Someone do something about the robot. It appears to be malfunctioning. Swap the ego for perspective!
‘Often it isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, it’s the little pebble in your shoe.’
He said it!
This is Trish, signing off – late but unapologetic.