I am becoming increasingly aware that this blog is getting later each week. I’m sorry for this. I can assure you it is nothing to do with a lack of enthusiasm for my blog as I still enjoy typing my weekly ramblings to all of you. It is more to do with the timing of other things. Hopefully I will be back to normal with times next Sunday.

Many of you will be aware that there have been two big anniversary’s this week. The first was the anniversary of the Queen being on the throne for 60 yrs. I appreciate that many people have different views about the monarchy but my opinion is that it is a great thing for the country. We forget that the Queen is this country’s most experienced politician. She has done and seen it all and it is quite likely she has influenced things for the good of the country and we don’t even know it (a bit like Dr Who). In this day and age we see the Government as the centre of power, and yes it is, but we forget that the monarch does have the power to intervene if they felt it was nessassary. Of course this has not happened but it is reassuring to know that we have that safeguard in place. Here’s hoping she has many more years of her reign.

The other anniversary this week was the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth. Out of all the classic authors Charles Dickens is by far my favourite. Yes his books are a major task to get through but they are filled with humour and romance and such detail that as a reader you just can’t help but fall in love with. I know many big fans of Charles Dickens are trying to read all his works this year to commemorate the anniversary. As much as I would love to do this, it is just not practical. However I am currently reading David Copperfield which is large book but really enjoyable. So if like me you want to get involved in the anniversary and know that reading his entire works this year is unrealisitic then why not try at least one of his books. If you do decide to read any then please let me know which and if you read more than one then which is your favourite.

I suppose the big news for most people this week was the weather. In the last week the weather has got a lot colder and on Thursday many places had to deal with ice in particular freezing rain. Apparently this is quite rare (and having had a nightmare journey to work I am glad it is) but it is dangerous to be out in. I left for work on the morning and there was no rain. This all changed when I got to Durham. I still thought nothing of it and thought it was just normal rain. It soon became apparent that this was what they called freezing rain and all of a sudden my journey to work got very difficult and a little scary. For those of you who have been to Durham you will know that it is a beautiful city but there are a lot of hills. This adds to the beauty but during wintry weather it is quite a hazard. I was dressed appropriately and had my snow boots on but I still found it a struggle. A journey that would normally take me 20-30 minutes took me 40-50 minutes.The worst part was an attempt at crossing one of the bridges. As I approached the bridge I saw lots of people in front of me attempting with little success to get to the bridge without falling over. While I stood there trying to decide to either a) attempt to have a go, b)find another route, c)go find a taxi, d)go get  a coffee, a guy came along in a pair of converse and holding a china cup with tea in it. A few of us warned him of the conditions but he just ignored them and carried on. He of course fell over spilling the tea but remarkably keeping hold of the cup. I decided that option a wasn’t going to happen so it was on to option b. This took a bit longer but was better than me attempting the other way which would have just looked like I was taking part in Winter Total Wipeout.  Anyway I made it to work unscathed.

Regular readers of my blog may remember that before Christmas I bought a new diary. It was quite a cool diary  but last weekend when I was feeling a bit delicate it was involved in an accident which meant that I had to get rid of it.

Now it was hard to come by anyway so trying to find a replacement in the middle of February was going to prove impossible. I also had to give in and just get an ordinary diary but I managed to find the website for the makers of the diary and in a last ditch attempt I e-mailed them to see if they had any copies left. A few days later they replied and they did. This made me a very happy man probably in the same way that J R Hartley did in the BT advert in the 1980’s. I received the diary the next day which shows that it takes more than a bit of sick to stop me organising my life and stuff. So I want to say a big thank you to the people at the Really Good Shop (yeah that is its name) for such great service.

This week I also went to the cinema. This was the start of me trying to fullfill my New Years Resolution of going to the cinema more this year. The film I saw was ‘The Woman in Black’ starring Daniel Radcliffe. The film is of course based on a book by Susan Hill and there have been film and stage productions done before. I have to admit to having never seen or read any other versions so this film was my first experience of the story. It is a very creepy and chilling story and it is a classic gothic ghost story. It is the type of film you can’t say too much about without spoiling the story for others but I will say that I was surprised at the rating of 12a as i would have said 15 due to the nature of the story. Overall a good film and give it the mark of 3.5/5.

As I write this blog I am ever aware of the nearness of my most unpopular date, 14th February. Valentines Day is for me quite a miserable day. Everywhere you go at the moment I am bombarded with pink hearts suggesting ideas for presents. Even via e-mail I get bombarded with ideas for Valentines. This year is the first Valentines since coming out and although it was hoping for too much to be with someone so soon I am resenting the fact that all the adverts I seem to see are for straight couples. I understand in shops they are generic but when a well known fashion retailer send e-mails to me suggesting ideas for presents for my girlfriend I start to get even more annoyed. If you are going to target your audience at least know who your audience is and stop presuming you know them when you clearly don’t.  I know I sound like a right unromantic grump when it comes to Valentines Day but I am seriously not and if I was to meet someone or get a card off someone who likes me then I would be happy. I am sure if given the chance I can show my romantic side but I won’t limit it to the one designated day of the year. It is about doing things all year round.

On that note I will say goodbye for this week. Thank you for reading the blog and I hope everyone has a nice Valentines (I do genuinely mean that)

Top TV programme of the week : The Graham Norton Show

Top song of the week: Kiki Dee – Star

Book I am currently reading: David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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