Friday, April 28, 2006


I struggle to get out of bed on an ordinary work day, greedily grabbing as many extra few seconds under the duvet as possible, extending an arm to hit the Snooze button half a dozen times and only succumbing to the inevitable when I am in danger of losing bladder control or my job.

Contrarily, at weekends, or on a rare day off, such as this morning, I am often up with the lark. I'm sure there could be some deep psychological explanation for this, but I suspect it simply has much to do with the fact that I sit up too late reading and then can't fall asleep for worrying about what I've got to do the next day.

It was quite uncharacteristic of me to arrive in Leeds, then, a good 45 minutes early for my meeting. Did I say meeting? I meant to say audition. Audition? It was more like a flipping exam. Most people use their holiday entitlement carefully, wisely; there may be sun, sand or even sex involved. Me! I try to get on "Countdown"!

I am not a huge devotee. I have worked full-time for the last 18
years and can honestly say I have not seen a single episode in that time. I suppose I could have had a bit of a thing for the late great Richard Whiteley, Mayor of Wetwang, but then I seem to have a thing about older men full-stop. I am definitely not a fan of Slimey Lynam or Carole Vordetoxerman and I have no idea how the numbers round works.

It was pitiful. I shuffled into a room with half a dozen geriatrics and a spotty Maths student from Doncaster. It was only once I was seated, staring at a blank piece of paper, cruelly parodying the blankness in my mind, that I remembered I hadn't had a cup of coffee. I struggle to cope with basic motor functions until I've had at least 2 enormous mugs so I wasn't optimistic. I managed to find "FARTED" in T E F I D A R I L ( Can you spot the 9-letter word?*) which then spurred me on to get a winning 9-letter from D D E E S P I S N*. I was hopeless at the number rounds, whilst Einstein Adam to my left got each one with about 20 seconds to spare each time. I did get the first conundrum, GINGER VAN* but it was downhill from there.

I'd be amazed if I get through with such a feeble effort. The only thing in my favour is that I am unlikely to be admitted to permanent residential care before they start filming the next series.

I was on my way home by midday and didn't have a clue how to fill the rest of the day. I bought a spade and edger from Wickes with the intention of creating some decent sized borders. I couldn't really be arsed with gardening once I got home. Besides, if I did it all today, what would I have to do for the rest of the weekend? I can't afford to let myself grow idle, it's that type of thing that leads me to apply to crappy television shows in the first place. Finish all my chores too soon and I'd be trying to get on Fifteen-To-One next.

So I went to look for a bittern. I only ever get chance to visit these places at weekends and assumed that the hides were always full of tweedy twitchers with their phallic scopes. Today I had the place to myself. It was just me, Mr & Mrs Shoveller, Ruddy the Duck, and a pair of cormorants ( he had a broken wing). Not a beard in sight, unless you count the Bearded Tit I watched darting about the reed beds.

I took my new camera, thinking I might try some arty-farty wildlife shots.

It's harder than it looks.

David Bailey, Mike Da Hat and Mark Gamon have nothing to fear from me.

And then my batteries ran out so I headed back to the car, amazed to discover I'd lost almost 5 hours. I didn't see a bittern but I'm almost certain I heard one boom. Once. Ba da Ba da Ba daa de BOOOM!



Blogger homo escapeons said...

Dear Cherry,
I had a GANDER at your cool photos, very nice. Listen, were you up late cracking the Smithy code?

11:55 pm  
Blogger Boo said...

Be sure to give me a wave if you make it to countdown!

11:38 am  
Blogger Pete said...

if i make it to nth lincs this year i'll bring my phallic symbol.

2:03 pm  
Blogger andrea said...

Who needs excitement when you can write about banality with such wit and colour? :)

I enjoyed your Saturday. Now I'd better get on with mine. (and thanks for the links ~ I need to update mine, too!)

3:53 pm  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

I agree with Andrea. What I love about your blog is the way you describe an ordinary event and make it sound as though it has been two months in the planning.
Canada loves you Cherrypie!

4:58 pm  
Blogger cream said...

Countdown hasn't been the same since Richard Whiteley passed away! I do miss his "wit". Des Lynam and the witless teleprinter and Carol, getting too big for her calculating brain!

Great photos, Miss Bailey!

6:23 pm  
Blogger digi-birder said...

Shame about the Bittern, but you should be well-pleased with Bearded Tit.

10:23 pm  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

i'd like to be a phallic symbol but somehow i don't think i'd get the vote.
as for a bearded tit? what about david blunkett?

1:00 am  
Blogger CeCe said...

Hey, I totally want to go on a tv game show!!!

3:38 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

H.E - I think it's a swan but I'm a photographic novice.

Boo - I shall scratch the right side of my nose with my pen just for you.

Pete - that'll get the local bearded twits twittering

Andrea & Brian - your comments are sweeter than maple syrup. It's not easy trying to get enthusiastic about such a mundane existence

11:17 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Cream - how on earth do you have time to watch Countdown, what with your cookin' and mosaicin' and keeping all us tired old bloggers company x

Diane - I am, although now I'm starting to doubt myself as there was no venerable expert to confirm it for me

CJ - hello ( **air kisses on both sides, mmmm, like the smell and feel of the cloth) How does he do it? I've always been attracted by power and can appreciate a well-conditioned beard, but Blunkett?! Even I'm not that desperate

11:22 am  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

CeCe - one of my old boyfriends went on Krypton Factor ( years ago) and then made it his life's work to get on as many as possible. I don't think I've quite got the knack.

I'm still dreaming about those lobster and crabs

11:24 am  

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