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An apology…

… from the crazy cat lady…

Caroline

…for being a terrible hostess (from what I can really recall, anyway – I don’t even remember saying goodbye).

I promise on 2 January you’ll find me at the airport like this:

SnoopyYippee

Sorry xx

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The Shire. Classy, eh?

Birthday drinkies, a party with friends, Christmas coming early, flat vowels and Keifer.

Gotta love weekends out of the city.

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Thank heavens for this:

Touche Eclat

It’s hiding a multitude of sins – which may or may not be alcomahol-based…

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Clubbing together

Lesson one of the Nuffield Scholarship. If you stay in a hotel full of farmers, don’t expect a lie-in.

I’m staying in Gob of the Wash’s London residence, the Farmers Club. Lucky old me is now a fully-fledged member of said establishment, thanks to being a Nuffield Scholar.

That’s right, Club lady who once asked me to wait outside on the street rather than in the lounge when I turned up early for a meeting (was it the purple shoes that upset her?), I’m a member.

I’d never been in the residential area of the club before and d’you know what, it’s rather nice. Apparently one of my heroes, Oscar Wilde, used to live in the apartment next to my room. I wonder if his mum stitched his name onto all of his belongings in the way the club has…

Pillow

Anyway, it’s so far so good on the scholarship. I passed the first test yesterday by not laughing hysterically every time someone attempted to do an Australian accent when talking about fellow scholars from overseas (Matthew, I’m never ridiculing yours ever again).

Food marketing guru Professor David Hughes popped by in the afternoon to offer his views on the future of the food industry. He reckoned health and environmental policies are going to be linked up by government in such a way that it forces people to change their diets – reducing meat and dairy consumption in favour of greenery.

He even dared to say old Macca and his meat-free Monday idea wasn’t such a bonkers idea. Maybe everyone was standing on ceremony seeing as it was only the first day, as none of the livestock farmers chased him from the room. Either that, or they’d all had a pint by that point and were too fuzzy to realise what he’d said….

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Picking a leader

This must be how catholics felt when they were waiting for the next Pope to be announced after John Paul II popped his clogs.

Not that NFU president Peter Kendall has keeled over or anything, but the union’s AGM is underway, which means in about half an hour the vote to elect a new president will begin.

I won’t go into the whole intricacies of how the voting works – you can read about that here – but we could be in for a long night. NFU conference gossip over the past couple of days suggests Peter is going to keep his title, but the jury’s out over whether Uncle Meurig Raymond will lose his deputy president post to Gwyn ‘the hair’ Jones.

There are so many people going for the vice presidency job that I wouldn’t even like to take a punt. I’m too much of a wimp for that.

I’m not sure how the vote’s going to be announced – I’m hoping there’s going to be some smoke signals coming from the AGM room once the decision’s been made.

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Video thrilled the television star

Minutes after I’d finished recording this week’s Farmers Weekly noos revoo this morning, I went to an excellently-timed company workshop on how to be a better video presenter.

The session was run by one of the stars of a rather popular 1980s TV show (as I’m about to mock him a little, I won’t reveal his name. Sorry if I seem unfair, but That’s Life).

Having been ribbed mercilessly (sorry, constructively criticised) about my video appearances, I wish I’d sat in on a session like this when I first started doing the revoos.

He had some tips that are worth remembering if you ever have the misfortune of appearing in front of camera – the most obvious but useful of which were remembering to keep a good posture and taking deep breaths to keep your voice steady and clear.

He also said you shouldn’t be afraid of stopping an interview to record part of it again if you don’t think you answered the question in the way you meant to.  Of course, you can only do that when it’s not live, eh Prezza?

Mr Video Workshop Presenter had some helpful suggestions, but he just couldn’t stop himself from illustrating his points with a spot of name dropping from his 80s hey days. Dr Miriam Stoppard anecdote anyone? A quip about Esther Rantzen? No? Hmm, thought not.

I’ll be trying out some of the things I learned on next week’s noos revoo anyway. Though rest assured I won’t be getting a bad perm, wearing shoulder pads or hunting out Alsatians with party tricks…

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