Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Wine Relief, Parties and Juicing

Of course one is more than thrilled to get the call - being asked to do anything for Comic Relief is something one secretly covets even though one doesn’t like to broadcast. As I did the first one in 1988 and haven’t been asked back except to ‘man’ the phones I was particularly chuffed. A kissing sketch with Hugh Grant perhaps? A spoof ‘Come Dine with Me’ with Miranda?

In fact I was asked to do a wine tasting for guests of Welsh chef, Richard Tasty Davies, for Comic Relief’s Great British Menu. If I can’t do comic, then I might as well do wine.

If one digs deep, a keen viewer of GBM might conclude that my wine teachings tends to stay within the Sauvignon Blanc range – but SB does go with everything apart from, maybe, jumping and yoga. 

The Welsh lad did good.

Sky news still seems keen to invite me over on a Sunday to review the papers for Sunrise. They used to put the newspaper in the car, so at 5 a.m. I’d be making myself car sick trying to ear mark four stories for the first slot, so as not to get told off by a frantic producer and still have time to get my hair teased into order. A stray sticky up hair can get a make up girl the sack, since rogue hairs in the morning is their responsibility.

Alarm! Last Sunday there were no papers in car. I didn’t get car sick but certainly got somewhat focussed in the green room with Stuart Miles as we threw papers around in a disorderly fashion. When time is of the essence, I’m ashamed to admit I find it easier to pick an animal or gender item instead of relishing the latest international fiscal outrage with an opinion on top. A twitter man this week said I was dull dull dull. On the plus side I wasn’t drunk.

Here are Stuart and I trying to look very bright and intelligent and tidy. There have been complaints from other guests that there’s nowhere to sit when we’re on, as we like to cover every possible space with newspapers. This Sunday we made an effort. Gratis Sky canteen Marmite bagels help us achieve this.

Picture: Dave Benett

Obviously it’s my duty to attend as many literary parties as possible so I can catch book envy from the other smarty pants and finish writing my novel. I seem a bit loved up at the Costa, so I must have been hiding my envy quite well. Hilary Mantel won this. But when I went along to the David Cohen Book Trust award party, I found Hilary there as well! I was so overawed by the attendees of high brow literati, such as Eleanor Bron in a sling (bandage not type of sarong) and a Very smart literary agent in a cream lace dress and shiny shoes, that I hadn’t realised the reason Hilary was making a speech was because she’d won that award as well. Blimey. Let’s hope Hilary will be at the next party. In fact I won’t go unless she’s there.

Hugely rewarding five days spent at the Obsidian Retreat.  In fact, pouring quality juices down one’s neck and being enchanted by two lovely life coaches to die for and finding very kind people everywhere one looked was a mini miracle. I was all sad and blue when I arrived and then went home very slightly tanned and optimistic. I think one could call this a result. I actually lost 8 pounds (flesh not cash) How do they do this to people? You’ll have to go. It changed me and I’m a stubborn old git. I love the juices. Here's a pic of what we could have.

A good tip I learned is to be thankful. You can be thankful for your bed or your mobile phone or your curtains – no one minds. I’m thankful for this blog. And thank you for reading it.