Filed: This Life

Back in the USSR

I read in tonight’s Manchester Evening News that Air Baltic is to begin direct flights to Riga, the capital of Latvia, from 15 July, although this isn’t exactly ‘news’ since the company announced it on 9 June. Read more ›››

It’s Super, Man

Some of the most creative film work you see today, indeed that is where many budding directors like Ridley Scott cut their teeth. Productions, such as the Honda ad, are works of genius.

The only trouble is that if you watch them on tv, they’re usually edited down because the advertsing budget just won’t run to the full version. Read more ›››

Celebrity Stars In Our Eyes

How daft are we to be taken in by celebrity endorsements? I mean, we don’t actually believe they do this because they believe in the virtues of the product, rather than the money they are paid to do it. And it must surely add to the price we have to pay.

Take David Beckham, for example — he is reported to be paid £2 million a year to promote Vodafone on tv ads. Read more ›››

Blackpool in Black

Anyone who can be bothered to be a regular reader of SP will know that as a family we are big fans of Blackpool, particularly the Pleasure Beach, so sad to relate that its MD, Geoffrey Thompson, was buried today after his death on 15 June, and a pretty grand affair it was too.

He was the grandson of Alderman William G Bean who opened the Pleasure Beach in 1910 after a visit to Coney Island with the simple aim “to make adults feel like children again and to inspire gaiety of a primarily innocent character.” Read more ›››

The Longest Day

With all the rain we are having at the moment, it would be easy to forget that today is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. You have to admire the thousands who gathered at stonehenge for this quasi-religious event — they must have got a soaking. Read more ›››

Tempus Fugit

Ever wondered where all the years went? One minute you’re thinking, “Hey, I’m twenty — loads of time to change the world.” Then you hit thirty, and the world has happily changed itself without any help from you.

Next comes forty, and you have had some impact — paid taxes, fathered children, but you haven’t scored a goal for England, had a street named after you, invented something brilliant, changed the way that people think, written a book, directed a classic film, and the list goes on. And the world keeps spinning. Read more ›››

Hangman Ships Himself

It has been a strange day. I caught the first announcement that Harold ‘Fred’ Shipman had killed himself as I was drying my hair, or at least that which clings on.

By that, I mean that he was responsible (probably) for murdering my mother-in-law’s cousin as well as up to 260 others. Our own feelings are tempered by the fact that we never, ever, knew the aforementioned cousin. Read more ›››

‘Tis the Season

Had my first Christmas dinner today. (Don’t you hate the word ‘Xmas?’) It was in the canteen (sorry, ‘staff restaurant’) consisting of veggie soup followed by turkey (a bit dried out) with an even more dried out lump of stuffing on top. I passed on the sprouts, roasters, carrot batons etc and went for a hillock of creamed spuds. Plus the European Gravy Lake to rehydrate the offering. Only two more helpings to go before I finish for the holiday. Whoopee do. Read more ›››