Five people that win… January

Oof my timekeeping skills leave a lot to be desired. Blame a lazy Sunday! Anyway, on with the good stuff.

1. No-one fights like Gaston, does Press-Ups like Gaston…

Ok so he may be a Disney villain and in any other month be placed in the Villain of the Month category, but this January he proved his worth on this list when a visitor to Disneyland dared question Gaston’s muscly credentials and challenge him to a Press-Up contest.

 

Who’s laughing now, Random Tourist Guy?

2.       Tina and Amy. Again for the Golden Globes. I think this is the last time they can present it (is it like the Presidency, two times and you’re out?) so of course they claim back their place on the list.

3.       Stephanie Roche

Ok ok so she didn’t technically win (the honour went to Cristiano Ronaldo), but it’s about time women’s football got more recognition on a level playing field with the men. I can’t pretend to know anything about the game – although I have seen a couple of Women’s Championship games* at Fulham**, which I loved – but Stephanie well deserves a place on this list. I’m sure she’s well touched.

Here’s the goal what did it:

*I think this is what they were/what they are called

**Who knows. There was a field. And possibly a statue of Michael Jackson. I just turned up and cheered to be honest.

4.       #thisgirlcan

I love this campaign. I love working out and don’t give a crap what I look like when I do it – the sweatier, the sexier, I say – so this isn’t really aimed at me, but I see myself in each of these awesome, knackered women.

5. The Ghostbusters

Women! All lovely, funny, sexy, awesome women! Bring it on! I can’t wait to see this. Which brings me to…

All you female-ghostbuster haters out there get the dubious honour of being joint villains of the month. Especially you, Ernie Hudson! F*&k off. Pandering, my ass.

Five people that win… December

1. The Royal Eye Roll.

Wrapping Christmas presents can be trying for the best of us.

2. Quentin Sommerville (although the video is a few years old)

3. This dog, who’s got the moves.

4. Another animal one for you – this monkey, who saved his friend’s life when he got electrocuted on the railway tracks.

5. And finally, these BBC News staff who’d perhaps had a little bit too much Christmas cheer?

But we love them for that.

Villain of the month? Guys, it’s Christmas. God Bless Us, everyone.

Five people that win… November

Happy December 1st everyone! And talking of December 1st – remember that “sew-your-own” advent calendar I lusted over at The Makery in Bath? Well my lovely other half only went and got me one! What a lovely chap! Isn’t it lovely?

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Can’t wait to see what delights that are awaiting me inside. (Spoiler: it’s chocolate coins).

Anyway, December has arrived at last, and so it’s time to look back at the winners for the month of November.

1. Amy Poehler.

yes please

For writing the utterly delightful, charming, and witty “Yes Please”, which I raced through in about two days when it arrived in the mail.

2. Philae.

And the Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (catchy name). Okay, so it might not have gone quite to plan, but it was a pretty intense ride nonetheless. Scientists, eh. Pretty clever chaps.

3. Paul Mason.

For this:

4. Christmas adverts.

First of all, it was John Lewis and those penguins, and I thought my heart couldn’t break any further. (Full disclosure – I was always highly disposed to love this advert. If I could smuggle any animal home from the zoo in my backpack, it would be a penguin. Who am I kidding, it would be ALL the penguins.)

And then, hello Sainsbury’s – you kept this one up your sleeve you little tear-jerkers, you.

Anyone else want to step up to the plate and make me cry snotty tears all over my chocolate coins?

5. Mickey Rourke.

An actual winner, following his return to the boxing ring. Good on you, Mickey!

WAIT. HOLD UP. When I was checking the links for this post, I came across the news that actually, his opponent was a homeless guy who was paid to take a dive.

So, no winner’s title for you Mr Rourke. Shame on you.

And the Villain of the Month? No, you don’t win that either Mr Rourke. This one goes to Paul Spector in The Fall. Oh god, he is the best looking absolutely most scary psychopath on TV. Gives me the creeps.

jamie dornan

And then I see this picture and I think, Well maybe he’s not so bad.

Five people that win… October.

Oh I really need to take better notice of my calendar. So here’s a very late “Five people that win…” for October. And here we are, nearly at Bonfire Night. Anyone been to any fireworks displays? Our local one was on Sunday night at the park over the road. Given Eric Pickles has just taken over my borough, that might be the last one we ever get.

Anyway, on with the winners, and if you’ll permit me, I’m going to start with a couple of personal ones

1.       William.

The first one is William, who was born 3 months earlier than planned, because he was so keen on meeting his mum Marie, and he couldn’t wait until November. And he’s done so well, that on the 24th October – still 3 weeks before he was even meant to be here! – he was allowed home to his wonderful mummy and daddy.

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2.       Flash.

Back when I lived behind Brick Lane, I often used to pass a young gentleman called Flash. A bit of a flirt, he was, following me down the street, catcalling. A cat, obviously. A very friendly one – known to all the neighbourhood, and even known from time to time to take up residence in other people’s homes for as long as he felt was convenient.

Well, poor old Flash was hit by a car a few weeks ago, and very badly injured. His friends and neighbours didn’t forget him or what he meant to them, and raised nearly £7000 to help with his vet’s fees (with the remaining money being donated to Clerkenwell Animal Hospital, who have been absolute heroes in looking after him)

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Flash, in his better days.

Despite losing an eye, Flash is doing amazingly well and has shown a remarkable recovery – you’d expect nothing less fro the local neighbourhood supercat. You can read his updates from Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium (to whom  he was a frequent visitor) here.

Get well soon, Flash!

That’s enough of the soppy stuff

3.       Daniel Radcliffe

I could have nominated him for this response to a question about the sexualisation of Harry Potter, but no. It’s for a rap (priorities, I know).

 

What with this, and Emma Stone, perhaps I should just have “celebrities who rap awesomely on Jimmy Fallon” as a permanent shoe-in for the win.

4.       Soshana B Roberts

 

I mean, we’ve seen this kind of thing before, haven’t we. But it bears repeating, until people take notice. There is no one in my group of female friends who wouldn’t recognise at least one of the behaviours in this video, if not all of them – and seeing them happen to someone else emphasises quite how unacceptable this is.

Also, props to the guys whose response was rape threats. Life – UR doin it wrong.

5.       Serial podcast

Is it even possible to award this to an entity? I dunno – my blog, my rules, I guess. Anyway, at the end of October I discovered the Serial podcast, from the creators of This American Life. It is a weekly in-depth look at a murder case in 1999, and has got me so hooked, I am re-listening to all six episodes so far to make sure I haven’t missed anything before the next episode comes out on Thursday. It’s really thought-provoking stuff, and a fascinating insight into how cases are put together.

Check it out here – then come back and tell me how to feel.

Villain of the month. Oh god, it’s got to be Those Guys from the Walking Dead (season 5). You know the ones. *Shudder*

Five people that win… September

I have totally fallen off the blogging wagon recently. I don’t know why that is – I have a backlog of sewing and knitting projects to share, and although I’ve not kept up with my GBSB challenge, I am still working my way slowly through the recipes and want to keep the blog updated. Perhaps I’m suffering from that blogger burnout talked about in the NY Times (joke – I think it’s more likely just to be laziness!). Seriously though, I’m not sure what it is. Recently when I’ve had an evening or weekend at home, rather than crafting (although I haven’t stopped completely), or getting on my computer, I’ve been staring at the TV, thumbing through updates on my phone and not really engaging with anything.

Right now though, I’ve taken a random mid-week day of leave  to sort out the flat before some friends come to stay – when you’re listless on the sofa, housework tends to go by the wayside. The kitchen and bathroom are clean, the washing and dishwasher are on, and all the floors have been mopped. I have a cup of coffee, A Star Is Born is on the TV, a new job is on the horizon and I’m feeling pretty good about things. Judy Garland and James Mason – it doesn’t get much better than that. (Remind me to do my James Mason impression next time we meet over a cocktail. It’s a classic*.)

There’s not much that Judy can’t fix.

Anyway, enough of the introspection. I have still been taking notes on who’s won (and lost) September, so let me get on with that, and let’s hope October brings more blogging!

1. This Texas floating baby spa.

floating babies

(Photo taken from The Guardian website)

FLOATING BABIES. I can say no more.

2. Oh Joan Joan Joan. You had your critics, you made your mistakes. But you were truly one of the kind. RIP you old ham.

joan rivers

3 and 4.Vivian Boyack and Alice Dubes, who got married in Iowa after 72 years together.

(Photo taken from the BBC news website)

(Photo taken from the BBC news website)

What a wonderful story – they must have quite a few stories to tell. Many congratulations, and may they have many more happy years together!

5. Emma Watson.

You who know me know my feminist leanings. And we have a new spokeswoman in Hermione no less. Check out the campaign HeForShe here, and join in the conversation – male, female or other.

And Villain of the Month this month is an actual bonafide villain (allegedly). Living in the East End, I have a fascination with the history of the area – and one of the most infamous events in the area are the doings of Jack the Ripper, and the legend has lived on and on because he was never found. You can go here to find a comprehensive summary of all the different theories about his identity.

Well, theories are no longer needed (possibly) – because he’s been found. And found guilty. All because of a scarf, and that old chestnut – DNA. Aaron Kosminski, a barber from Poland is whodunit. Villain of the month – and of the last century and a quarter or so.

*Unrecognisable.

Five people that win… August

Oh dear, am a day late with this. The kids are not only back to school, they’ve practically finished their exams. Anyway, on we go.

1 and 2. Mel and Sue (hey, that rhymed!)

Obviously, I am chuffed to bits that the Great British Bake-Off is back on our screens, and it wouldn’t be the same without these two irreverently saucy presenters. I’m not going to weigh in on Bingate, but instead leave you with a chocolate mousse chase.

BAAAAAKE.

3. Kamla Devi

Erm, hello. She fought off and killed a leopard. A leopard.

I gathered my courage to fight back. I promised myself that this is not my last day here.

A leopard. I can’t even fight off my kitten when she wants to have a go at me.

4. Kate Bush

I wasn’t one of the lucky few who got tickets, but by all accounts, Kate Bush has been storming the stage during her comeback concerts at the Hammersmith Apollo.

Here she is doing what she does best – dancing awkwardly in a field whilst singing about a 19th century literary masterpiece.

Keep doing what you’re doing Kate.

5. Ai Hin

ai hin

Ai Hin looking sheepish.

PANDA FAKES PREGNANCY FOR BUNS.

Come on, we’ve all been there. Amirite ladies?

Oh god guys I almost forgot about Villain of the Month – and no it’s not Diana.

Have you seen True Detective? Have you though? Wow. That series had its flaws (I don’t think it’s as clever as it thinks it is) – but when it was right, it was oh so right (hello episode 4 and the escape from the undercover operation), and Rusty and Martin will stay with me for a long time to come, as two of the most interesting and inventive characters I’ve seen on TV perhaps ever. All the feels.

But the bad guy. Oh, the bad guy. Gives me the creeps like no other bad guy I’ve ever come across. I was walking down the street at the weekend and saw a guy who looked just like him – my boyfriend had to practically prise my fingers away from the vice like grip I had on his arm as I was so freaked out. Nightmares forever.

Five people that win… July

1. Tunnocks teacakes.

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For their services to my belly, and their invaluable contribution to the commonwealth games opening ceremony.

2.       Caitlin Moran’s merch

I was lucky enough to score a couple of tickets to the opening night of Caitlin Moran’s book tour to promote her new novel “How to Build a Girl”. Although I have since read the novel and found it wanting*, the merchandise from the (very fun) night has continued to give me joy.

Behold, the Feminist Necklace. Wear with pride and whilst patriarchy-smashing. IMG_20140704_083740

*I may have reached Peak Moran. Although I have always loved her writing, her novel just seems to be a retelling of the tale we’ve heard before in both her articles and her previous book “How to be a Woman” (perhaps the similarly phrased title should have been a warning). I think she needs a new story.

3.       Grosvenor Light Opera Company

In other words, some light self-congratulation. We recently finished our week-long run of The Mikado in Islington Arts and Media School, and in August will be taking the show to the Harrogate International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival. I joined the company (chorus member 4 lyf) last year, when we did Patience, and I haven’t looked back since. I have so much fun doing these shows that I am considering joining the committee next year as I want to get more involved. Although the week of the show is always knackering (especially when you take into account the aftershow party), the joy of being on stage and singing your heart out/hamming it up makes it all worth it.  So, if you’re in Harrogate in August, or even fancy joining our next production, why don’t you check us out?

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4.       Zac Efron riding topless on a horse.

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Hello ladies.

I’ll just leave that there for you.

5. This Grandpa and his mad dancing skillz.

Villain of the month – well, I did waiver about awarding this to Secret Cinema for their amateur bungling about the cancellation of Back to the Future, but as I am off to see it next Sunday I thought I would wait and see what they are offering up before joining the hordes of complainers. Fingers crossed it’s all worth it!

So instead, I award this to the humble handshake. Which apparently is villainously spreading germs all over the place, and instead we should be going around giving everyone fistbumps instead like some kind of deluded 14 year old.

Will file this one under “not on my watch”.

Five people that win… June

My wifi at home is still down, and it is killing me. I didn’t realise quite how much I relied on it, until I got a message from my phone provider saying I had already used all my data, 3 weeks before the end of the contract month. Ouch.

So, as I wait in vain for an engineer to come around and huff and sigh a bit before taking another week to actually fix things, I bring you this month’s winners via the medium of 4G. Please address all complaints about spelling errors and broken links to Sky Broadband.

1. This guy, who had a night to himself in Las Vegas airport, a phone camera, and an unnatural knowledge of Celine Dion lyrics.

2. Bill Murray

Always, and forever, but this month it’s for his crashing of these engagement photos.

 

Image taken from Buzzfeed.

Image taken from Buzzfeed.

 

No one will ever believe you.

3. Mindy Kaling

Because she’s back on our (UK) screens in The Mindy Project, and because I read her book Is Everybody Hanging Out Without Me?

And because I read the following passage about marriage and drunkenly, wibblingly (I may have just made up this word), sent it to my friends and boyfriend like it was the Dalai Lama Guide to Marriage and full of all the truths.

In real life, shouldn’t a wedding be an awesome party you throw with your great pal, in the presence of a bunch of your other friends? A great day, for sure, but not the beginning and certainly not the end of your friendship with a person you can’t wait to talk about gardening with for the next forty years.

4. Weirdly, a sanitary towel company – Always.

Am ever so proud to run like a girl.

5. Dolly Parton.

For Glastonbury, and because I was reminded of this quote, which made me laugh anew.

People always ask me how long it takes to do my hair. I don’t know, I’m never there.

Villain of the Month? Biter extraordinaire, Luis Suarez. Sort it out mate. I too have buck teeth but manage not to go around tearing chunks out of people as their shoulders pass by the vicinity of my mouth. You’re giving us a bad name.

Five people that win… April

1. Victoria Coren-Mitchell

A poker fiend – who knew! Not only was she the first woman to win the European Poker Tour back in 2006, but this April she went and won it again – becoming the first person ever to win twice. Not bad going. In 2009 she published a book – For Richer, For Poorer – A Love Affair With Poker – in which she describes how she came to fall in love with, and excel at, the game. I loved this quote from it, in which she describes winning the tournament in 2006:

And it feels like the moment when Alice has worked out how to get her hands on the little golden key, she has bitten into the magic mushroom and grown larger and smaller and larger and smaller but finally found her balance and taken the key and unlocked the door and she finds herself at last in the beautiful garden, among the bright flower beds and the cool fountains.

2. Mean Girls – 10 years old on the 30th April!

We’ll gloss over just quite how old that makes me feel, and just bow down at how awesome that film is, and how no teen movie since has really come close since it came out (Although perhaps Easy A is a contender. Another red-head lead actress. Coincidence?) . There are so many articles around at the moment celebrating its genius. A look back at the fashion, perhaps? Are you an expert? Take the quiz! (I scored a quite frankly disappointing 13 out of 20. So not fetch). Can you guess the quotes? (Incidentally, the Prince Charles Cinema in London does regular Mean Girls Quote-a-longs. I think I need to get some practice in.) The news that Tina Fey wants to adapt it into a stage musical just makes my little heart dance with joy.

3. John Green.

Ok. Full disclosure. I am 33 years old. I really have no business in celebrating the awesomeness of teen movies, and sobbing my way through Young Adult novels. But that’s where I am in my life and I own it. And if you’re going to inappropriately sob snotty tears on the tube whilst reading a book written for people nearly 20 years younger than you, then you should do it to a book written by this guy.

I’ve got my timings all wrong with this one, cause the book (The Fault in Our Stars) came out years ago, I read it last year, and the movie adaptation isn’t out until June. I don’t care. I found this interview with him in Vulture, and the extended trailer came out a couple of days ago, and so to me he qualifies for an April win. (My blog, my rules).

I’m gonna need a lot of tissues for this one.

4. Prince George

Breaking Antipodean hearts wherever he goes.

I know this is the future leader of my country, but - look at his little face!

I know this is the future leader of my country, but – look at his little face!

5. Ellen Page

Again, technically I should have put her in February. But this latest interview with her in Flare magazine just reminded me, and the world, what a role model should be. So I’m flaunting my non-existent rules once again.

 

Unrelated, but. Is it just me or does she look like Rose Byrne in this picture?

Unrelated, but. Is it just me or does she look like Rose Byrne in this picture?

And, seeing as I started this last month, I thought I would continue. April’s Villain of the Month just has to be King Joffrey. I will say no more for fear of spoilers, but… Aha. Ahahaahahaha. Aha. That is all.