Archive for July, 2008

The week of The Bob

Monday, July 28th, 2008

Right, just time for a quick update:
Film of the week/month: Not a difficult choice - The Dark Knight.

There’s really very little I can say that hasn’t already been said by some fanboy on the Internet somewhere, so I’ll keep it simple. It is really good. My only perhaps slightly controversial comment would be that while Heath Ledger is outstanding as the Joker, it seemed more like an ensemble piece to me. Christian Bale manages to be a convincing Batman and Bruce Wayne, which is something that none of his predecessors ever managed for me. Michael Caine could have been a terrible choice as Alfred, but I just think he’s marvellous in this (as he was in Batman Begins). Maggie Gyllenhaal manages to be Not Katie Holmes, which is a good start, and is neither pathetic nor the plunky comic-book girlfriend that sometimes appears in these films. Morgan Freeman is just Morgan Freeman, and that is always spot on; Gary Oldman always pretends that he’s not Gary Oldman (I never seem to recognize him…) and that’s even better.

But it was Aaron Eckhart who for me who was outstanding, or perhaps I should say surprisingly outstanding. His character of Harvey Dent could have been nauseatingly All-American and entirely one-dimensional (Justice is good, let’s all be nice to each other, look at my shiny white teeth) as an obvious counterpoint to The Bat’s good-guy-with-issues routine. Having a quick peek at IMDB shows me that Mr Eckhart hasn’t had a glittering career up to this point, but I’m willing to bet that he might have a few more parts heading his way soon after that performance.

Hopefully I’ll see it at the IMAX sometime soon - apparently it’s so good people were actually gasping at certain points (and how often do you actually hear a crowd gasp?)

Place of the week: Edinburgh Botanic Gardens. I lived in Edinburgh for 9 years and never made it to the Botanics, but spent an enjoyable afternoon there yesterday. The great weather helped of course.

DVD release of the week: Spaced has finally been released in the States on DVD. If you know any Americans who you think would enjoy such comedy gold, why not send them a copy. Or at least a link to an appropriate online shop. Apparently, commentary includes contributions from such people as Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino. Weird world.

Personal victory of the week: Getting quoted on Radio 4. I shit you not. Check out Sunday’s Broadcast House about 20 minutes in. The bit with John Culshaw; when they read out the entry from Bob, Glasgow - that was me!

Okay, there are probably lots of Bobs in Glasgow, so I can’t actually prove this is me. But if you go to the BBC News website’s Magazine and then go to the Monitor pages (here’s a link in fact) you’ll see that actually the comment was left by The Bob, Glasgow. Huzzah!

Neither seen nor heard…

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Hey kids! Do you hate adults? Do you find that they’re too happy and content in their own lives? Then why not try Annoying the Crap out of Them!

Yes, Annoying the Crap out of Them - the new fun game from Wee Shites ™, the company that brought you Life: Ruining it for Everyone Else and Your Parents and How to Break Them.

Annoying the Crap out of Them

is a 2 week course that will teach you all the skills you need to effectively ruin someone’s day. Key skills include screaming for no reason at inappropriate times, randomly hitting things off other things really loudly, and putting strangers off their food.Annoy your friends! Annoy your enemies! Yes, even your parents will find you insufferable when you know how to Annoying the Crap out of Them!

—————————————————————————

Harsh? Maybe. Fair. Oh yes indeedy. Twice this week I’ve to endure noisy children; once in the cinema and once on a train, and I feel the need to vent my spleen dear reader.

Okay, so maybe the cinema one was partly my fault. I went to see Wall:E on a Sunday afternoon, so there were always going to be loads of kids in there. Standard rule of cinema-going: if you want to avoid the screaming hordes while seeing a film rated lower than 15a, go to a late show.

However, this was worse than usual. I don’t mind a bit of random commentary from the kids - in fact it can be quite funny sometimes. When I went to see Spiderman 3, the moment Thomas Hayden Church appeared on-screen, loads of kids in the cinema said “It’s Sandman!” under their breath (even though at this point he wasn’t - he was just some bloke). They no doubt recognised him from all the merchandising and such like that they had been surrounded by for weeks before the film came out. “I hope he’s as cool as he looks on the side of my trainers/cereal box/mobile phone” they were probably thinking. The adults were probably thinking “Oh, it’s that bloke from Sideways - I hope this is as good.” I’m fairly sure both age groups were sorely disappointed…

Anyway, I will begrudgingly admit that kids have just as much right to be in cinemas as I do (although, they did pay less for their tickets for exactly the same film, same size of seat, same air…) But if they aren’t even going to watch the film then they should get the hell out!

On Sunday there was a family sitting a few seats along from me that consisted of 2 adults and 3 kids: one wee girl (I’d guess she was about 1-ish) didn’t even look at the screen and spent most of the time singing to herself; another slightly older girl seemed to be fairly quiet throughout, but eventually got taken outside by the father as she was crying. Finally, there was a boy of about 4 (at a guess) who said at one point “Mum, I don’t like this!” and later “Mum, I’m bored”. From my point of view the first of these was the worst - she was only 3 seats along from me and pretty much kept up as a secondary soundtrack for the whole film. ARGH! But it seems that the other two were hardly enamored to be there, and surely the parents weren’t enjoying the film either? I would have thought in that situation that at some point the parents would have realised that this was a lost cause and they were just ruining it for everyone else?

As you might have guessed (and hoped) from all this, I don’t have children myself. And yes, it’s easy for me to judge other people with their kids. So easy in fact that I’m going to do it again right now.

I was heading back to Glasgow from Aberdeen earlier in the week, slightly hungover and rather tired. The first hour or so was nice and peaceful, and I dozed away while listening to various things on my iPod. That is until Burt Raccoon woke up… Actually, that is until we got to Dundee.

A mother got on the train with her 2 kids, a boy and a girl of about 6 and 4 respectively (at a complete guess, but they may well have been younger). For a while they seemed to be sitting nicely (ie quietly) and doing, well, something. I didn’t really pay them any attention as I was still in my dreamland, being sung to sleep by Joni Mitchell (or somesuch). The first time I really noticed them was when they all started noisily tucking into various foodstuffs, which may well have contained large amounts of sugar. Or possibly cocaine. Whatever it was, trouble wasn’t far behind.

The first crime was the wee boy playing his Gameboy (DS) without any earphones, with the sound turned up (he was playing a Star Wars game as I could hear the Mos Eisley Cantina music). I myself have often played my own Gameboy (Advance) on trains and am ridiculously paranoid about making sure no one can hear the tinny music coming out of it. My annoyance wasn’t just that he has a DS and I don’t (I bet he has a Wii as well, the git) but the fact that the mother didn’t tell him to turn it down. As it turned out he only played it for about 5 minutes and then got bored…

The two kids started screaming, purely to annoy the mother. She reacted by hissing at them to be quiet, which just made them laugh more and scream all the louder. They then started hitting each other, and not just little play fighting, but what looked like full-on beatings. What was Super-Mum’s great way to handle this? By hitting them. Mmm… healthy rolemodels…

The kids didn’t really seem to care about this very much, and reacted against it by playing-up even more. This included more screaming, banging various things off the table and running up and down the aisle. The mother did some more hitting, shouting, and general exceptional parenting. This went on for about 45 minutes I reckon until we finally arrived back in the Weeg.

So let’s pass some judgement here. I guess in both stories it’s clearly the parents who were mostly at fault, and if I wasn’t such a coward then perhaps I would have said something in the cinema. I don’t think there was anything constructive I could have done on the train, and hey - they might all have turned on me (like I say, I’m a coward).

Still, especially in regard to the two on the train, let’s not go too easy on the little ones. While there is something to be said for nature and nurture, there’s also something to be said for just being a wee shite.

Rant over. Next week - why kittens and puppies should all fuck off and die.

Gone, but not forgotten

Friday, July 18th, 2008

In response to a comment left by Richard in my post about Heroes, I thought I would explain the N.E.R.D. concept.

No-one Ever Really Dies.

That’s pretty much it. It’s the idea that in any story, no matter how dead someone seems to be, there is always the possibility that they could come back in one form or another.

I think it was originally said in relation to comic books, but it can happen in any story.  It tends to be in sci-fi more than any other genre because, let’s face it, if you’re dealing with time-travel, magic, or ridiculous technology you can pretty much do what you want. I was about to start listing some of my favourite examples but it’s a bit tricky - I don’t want to spoil the party for anyone else by revealing something I shouldn’t. But here are some examples you all probably know about:

Sci-fi

Superman - He was actually killed off around the mid-90s, probably in an attempt to get some new readers. They bought him back within a year…

Pretty much any/every Doctor Who baddie - Davros and The Master are good examples. They always seem to be left in a burning spaceship, or trapped in time or somesuch. Although when John Sim’s Master got shot it seemed sort of permanent. But it wasn’t, let’s be honest. (I always thought that in the recent series instead of saying “Activate Temporal Shift”, the Daleks should have just said “Activate plot device”).

Buffy - she died at the end of series 5, (”Devoted Sister, Beloved Friend. She saved the world. A lot.”) only to be resurrected at the beginning of the next series. Wasn’t the shark-jumping moment it could have been… Just remembered that Buffy actually died at the end of series 1 as well, but came back to life in the same episode.

Gandalf - I don’t need to explain this one. If you haven’t read Lord of the Rings or seen the films then get the hell off my blog and don’t come back until you’ve at least watched the films.

The soaps do it all the time as well.

Harold Bishop - about five years after being swept into the sea (”Haaaaarooold!”), he came back as Ted, the Salvation Army shop assistant.

Dirty Den - ‘Ello Princess. Don’t know or care much about this one…

Bobby Ewing - a whole series of Dallas turned out to be a dream just so they could bring back a popular character. Awesome.

Others:

Jesus of Nazareth - allegedly. I should probably leave that one there for now.

And from the same book - Lazarus. I wonder if his wife was still able to claim on his life insurance?

Gary Barlow - I won’t say that he’s back for good, but I’ll think it…

Wispas - they went, then came back, supposedly for a limited time only. Are they still about?

There are also those characters that do actually die but still remain integral to the plot either in as ghosts or visions, or through vision, time-travel, or whatever other excuse the writer can come up with. Obi-Wan, various Harry Potter characters (I ain’t spoiling nothing…), Darnell in Heroes.Kosh in Babylon 5 (oh dear, I’ve hit an all-time geeky low…)

I’m sure there are thousands more. So hey! Why not tell me your favourite one - click on the comment tab below. Maybe you’ll spoil some really good book, film, or TV programme for someone…

Calling all Joss Whedon fans…

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

You must all watch this now (click on the banner):

Mr Whedon, I salute you! I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s instalment already…

Funny how?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

People of Britain, heed my warning! I’ve just had the misfortune of watching some of the worst TV comedy I’ve ever experienced. In fact, 2 of the worst TV comedies I’ve ever experienced. Not since that ITV sitcom, you know the one, it was on ITV and it was shite - yeah, that one - have I seen such horrifically base, uninspired, insipid, and all-round easy comedy.

The programmes in question were Since You’ve Been Gone - a Nicolas Lyndhurst vehicle in which is in its second series somehow - and Lab Rats - a new offering from BBC2. Both are “traditional” sitcoms; filmed on a set, with an audience (or at least a laughter track) and, well, a situation.

Come with me now reader as we travel back to those fateful meetings where these abortions of common taste were conceived…

————————————————————————————-

[In a boardroom somewhere in London. Some Suits sit round a table]

“Right, the BBC want something new, something funny, yet something safe; different, but still appealing to a traditional BBC audience.”

“Great! Let’s make another series of My Family.”

“We are making another series of My Family. No, this has to be different. Fresh. Innovative”

“Hmmm… well, how about instead of a normal family… we do a sitcom with an dysfunctional family.”

“Yeah, like The Simpsons?”

“No no no, a weird family.”

“Yeah, like the Munsters? Or the Addams Family?”

“No, I mean, an abnormal family structure. A family that, and I realise this is a bit out there, a family that isn’t made up from a mother and father and 2 or 3 children!!!”

[A shocked silence follows...]

“You mean, there’s something odd about the family? Maybe… they’re aliens!”

“Yes!”

“Yeah, like Third Rock from the Sun.”

“Oh. How about… 2 mums living together?”

“Yeah, like Birds of a Feather? Or 80’s US sitcom Kate and Allie?”

“Oh. Then how about… there are 2 dads living together?

“Yeah, like in 80s US sitcom My Two Dads?”

“Right, so how about one dad looking after his kids on his own?”

“Yeah, like 90s US sitcom Blossom?”

“Sure, why not. We just need something extra… a foil for the dad to bounce off…”

“His wife?”

“Interesting, but I think that’s what we started with.”

“Hmmm… how about… his wife’s mother?”

“His mother-in-law? Brilliant! We’ve got it! With the mother-in-law, the dad, and the kids there could be all sorts of humourous misunderstanding due to the generation gap. Genius! That surely hasn’t been done before?”

“Right, we’ve only got 3 minutes before our next meeting, so let’s finish this off. The main guy is an everyman to appeal to the masses, we’ll get in Nick Lyndhurst or someone. But should we make his mother-in-law nice too?”

“Hey! I’ve got a great idea - let’s make her all stuck up and snooty. That would be hilarious!

“Great! And 2 kids, a boy and a girl for balance. Let’s make him wise-cracking and a bit geeky, and her a bit moany and slutty.”

“er… isn’t that the same as My Family again?”

“Yeah, but on one will notice as they’ll be too busy laughing at all the mother-in-law jokes. Wow… I really can’t believe that no one’s thought of this before…”

———————————————————————————–

[It's now 2 minutes later. The same group of Suits are sitting round a different table...]

“Right, BBC2 are looking for a new sitcom. Any ideas?”

“Well, BBC2 viewers like things that are smart, but weird…”

“How about scientist geek types? They’re smart but weird?”

“Yeah, like in The IT Crowd or The Big Bang Theory?”

“Yes. Like in them. But it’s lunchtime now so it will have to do…”

Weakly, round-up

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Hello

Well, I’ve not written much this week, but I thought that I would do a quick summation to keep things ticking over:

Song of the week: The version of The Night they drove ol’ Dixie Down from the Last Waltz soundtrack. I’ve just wanted to listen to it a lot this week, but not sure why. Awesome every time…

Film of the week: Wanted - Possibly the only film I’ve watched, but still excellent, if you’re looking for some slightly ridiculous action. There’s loads of great fight sequences, not too much plot to get in the way, and yet it still manages to be smarter than your average Hollywood action film. I’m no film reviewer, but I put this down to the director Timur Bekmambetov. Okay, I’ve only seen one of his films, Nightwatch, but there were lots of familiar tricks and styles in Wanted. But I’m going to stop pretending I know what I’m talking about before I embarrass myself further. Basically, if you’ve ever enjoyed a violent, shooty, hitman film before, then you should really enjoy Wanted. Go and see it before all the cinemas replace it with Mamma Mia…

Worst trailer of the week: The Guru - Mike Myers takes one aspect of the Austin Powers character (ie the sex jokes) and tries to make an entire film around it. If the trailer doesn’t have a single funny moment, the film must be painful…

TV highlight of the week: I saw the episode of South Park when Chef gets killed. Funny, poniant, and really disturbing; what they do best I guess.

Fake of the week: Showing potential new flatmates round my flat, even though the room had gone half an hour earlier. I’d advertised online and a few people were due to come round on Tuesday night and take a look. However, by the time they arrived one of my mates had already agreed to move in. Oops.

Well, this left me with 3 options:

  1. Tell them when they turned up.
  2. Show them round and pretend that the room is still available, saying exactly what I would have said if this was the case.
  3. Show them round and pretend that the room is still available, while freaking them out so much with what I say and do that they have no interest in the room anyway.

Well the first option was out as I’m far too polite/chicken-shit to do this. I’d love to say that I went for the third option and could therefore write screeds about all the funny fake stuff I told them about the flat and myself (haunted bathroom, the drug den upstairs, my naked sleepwalking) but I was too scared to do this too. So I showed these people round, being all enthusiastic about the flat, telling them all about deposits and rent, the quiet neighbours and how great it is to have a cleaner. I felt rather guilty afterwards - all three of them genuinely seemed to really like the place (it is a very nice flat!) Aw well, only one of them would have been able to take it anyway, so I didn’t do anything that bad really. Honest.

Beetle bums

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Recently my flat seems to have been invaded by a small number of beetle-like creatures. Now, I’m not a big bug fan and I have a strange subconscious pecking order of fear built into my psyche. From least to most scary this roughly goes:

flies,
beetles, earwigs, and other ground-based wee insects,
daddy long legs (crane-flies)
bees and wasps,
butterflies and moths,
snakes,
spiders,
bigger spiders,
Aragog and Shelob having a “who can catch The Bob” contest.

There are perhaps a few things of note here. Flies don’t bother me at all; in fact, in a previous flat one of the rooms became infested with flies for a few weeks (it was actually my flatmates bedroom - not sure what she had hidden under the floorboards…) I didn’t find it disturbing in the slightest and my only worry was that all that free food might attract an entire legion of spiders. However, I am aware that flies carry many diseases, and generally don’t bode well for your general hygiene (seriously, what had she been doing in there?) But flies disturb me not.

Now Daddy Longlegs are surely just giant flying spiders, and that should be my worst nightmare (apart from the 50 foot tall Pat Butcher, eating everything in her path - but that’s another story…) But for some reason they don’t faze me in the slightest. Is it merely the number of legs? I’m I really afraid of those 2 extra arachnoid appendages? I think not.

Some, though not all, will be surprised to see butterflies and moths ahead of bees and wasps. Yes the latter pairing can sting you and it hurts like buggeration, but there’s something truly gross about moths and butterflies flapping in your face that really gets to me. Of course, butterflies get a good press purely because they are well dressed compared to most of the animal kingdom, but really they’re just moths with more money.

I won’t go into the whole spider thing for now as I’m sure it will come up again, but let’s just say that some of the most pathetic moments of my life have been caused by trying to dispose of, hiding from, or just generally worrying about spiders. For now all I’ll say is that even thinking about them gives my feet a cold sweat…

Anyhoo, I was talking beetles. I think I’ve made my point that I’m not particularly worried about beetles loitering around my bathroom if that’s where they really want to be. However, in the last few days they seem to be getting bigger and more frequent so I’ve taken to do the unnecessary thing of picking them up in a bit of bog (bug?) roll and flushing the poor bastards.

Not only is this unnecessary, but it’s given me a strange guilt. A quick check of Wikipedia tells me that estimates “put the total number of species [of beetles], described and undescribed, at between 5 and 8 million”. So who’s to know that what I’m flushing isn’t some very rare species, the weegius irnbrutus perhaps, with some amazing hang-over curing properties or some such. In fact, although I’ve not exactly studied them I’m pretty sure there are a few types kicking about; so who can say what effect I’m having on the ecosystem?

On the other hand, they’re on my land and I want rid of ‘em. Wikipedia also tells me that beetles, according to recent research, “may have entered the fossil record during the Lower Permian, about 265 to 300 million years ago.” So I reckon they’ll survive my wrath.

Two notes of interest: I didn’t like to mention it, but a couple of these beasties may well have been cockroaches. I blame my cleaner for not working hard enough…

I would also like to say how proud I am of making it through this entire post without making a single reference to the Fab Four. You don’t know how much effort it took.

Summary of the week…

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

This week:

I have mostly been watching Huff: it’s pretty good, but doesn’t quite have the cleverness of something like Six Feet Under. I guess I’ll save my full judgement until the end of the series.

I have mostly been eating Bran Flakes.

I have mostly been avoiding any spoilers about the final episode of Doctor Who, which I managed to do. And it was worth it. Cracking stuff!

I have mostly been worrying about meeting potential flatmates next week.

I have mostly been reading the text commentary for Wimbledon on the BBC website. Very enjoyable, and a pity it’s over already. Good on Nadal, but I really wanted Federer to come back and win it at the end.
I have mostly been referencing the Fast Show. Mostly.

In a half-shell…

Friday, July 4th, 2008

So season 2 of Heroes finished last night on BBC2. And it was… alright really. I guess I better say at this point that if you haven’t watched seasons 1 and 2, and have any intention of doing so, look away now. SPOILERS AHEAD as they say…

Right, where was I? Ah yes, my pointless thoughts on season 2:

I quite liked the stuff with Hiro in medieval Japan. I wasn’t really sure where it was going at first (except guessing straight away that he would end up being the real Kensei) but the introduction of the always entertaining David Anders was a welcome addition. (for the record, he’s from Oregon - if you thought he was really British then shame on you, shame!) This did, of course, all come together beautifully with the big plot twist that he was (seriously, look away now) Adam. This lead him to hook up with Peter…

The best thing I can say for Petrelli jr this year was at least he had cut off that annoying fringe. But he was still a complete wet, even when kicking arse. I get that he’s meant to be like the anti-Sylar; he has all the power but doesn’t want to use it. He just wants to be a real boy. All the stuff in “Ireland” was kind of slow and just felt like another bunch of episodes featuring Milo Ventimiglia’s “confused” face. “What do you mean I’ve can heal/shoot lightning/fly/dance like Michael Jackson? ” Maybe that last one didn’t happen…

Anyway, the reason I put Ireland in brackets above wasn’t just because of the horrible stereotyping, but also because of the terrible accents. Just woeful. Now, I’m no good at doing accents at all (in fact, I’ve just bought a book to help me with that very thing, but more on that later…) but I’m not in a million-dollar-an-episode show. I don’t understand why they couldn’t get actual Irish people to play the Irish people. That must be one or two good out of work Irish actors kicking around Hollywood who would have jumped at the chance. Equally, Mohinder is played by an American and Ando by a Korean who can’t speak any Japanese. Weird.

Back to the show. Mohinder was nearly alright, considering how bad he was in the first series, and at least got his rage on a bit. I liked all the stuff with Parkman finding out about his Pa being a baddie, while trying to be a good surrogate dad to to Mollie. But then I think Greg Grunburg is the man (and if any of you are Alias fans I’m sure you do too; a factoid about Mr Grunburg - he’s in a band called “The Band from TV” with, among others, Terri Hatcher, Jesse Spencer, and Hugh Laurie!)

Nikki remained to be really pointless. I kind of hoped that Mika would somehow be involved in the main storyline as he’s a good wee actor, and has an interesting character. But Nikki remained as pointless as ever. Mika’s cousin Monica started well, but as she didn’t get involved in the main plot it was kind of hard to care. When Peter et al were trying to stop the virus from spreading it didn’t really seem to matter whether or not this one girl lived or died at that moment. Maybe I’m just heartless…

Right, this is another monster post, so I’ll summarise:

Claire/Flying boy: It got better once things turned rough, but it was a bit painful at first.

Liked the way Hiro dealt with Adam (made sense with the character, was rather amusing, and of course means that he could still be brought back if the writers feel like it);

Nathan: Didn’t actually do much, but will be sorely missed if he’s really gone (N.E.R.D. - that’s all I’m saying…)

Bob and Elle: Good additions, hopefully they’ll still be in it next year.

HRG: He’s a legend, he makes the show for me. 9.5 out of 10, with half a point deducted for the ridiculously bad overlay to make it look like he was in Minsk.

Maya: A strange one. Her power is kind of random, but it was a good new direction. And of course led to…

Sylar: When I saw the end of season 1 I was slightly disappointed they went for the Sylar surviving plot. I thought they had done all they needed to do with him, and that a new villain would have been good. But I was, of course, entirely wrong. Next season should be a hoot if he’s just going about causing trouble again. Zachary Quinto should be an awesome Spock too.

One final point to consider: Peter wanted to stop the spread of the virus to save Caitlin. But she was still in that future when he stopped Adam. So my question is this: was she magically transported back to her present when Peter changed the time-line, or was she still there in what was now an alternative future to Peter’s? If that’s the case then neither he nor Hiro would be able to go forward in time to save her. Or was she still a year ahead but in what would become Peter’s future?

Mmmm… confusing time-travel geekery.

Summertime (and the living is sleezy)

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Bloomin’ ‘eck - I can’t believe it’s July already! So much so that the last sentence originally read “I can’t believe it’s June already” until I realised I that wasn’t quite right.

So it’s definitely Summertime. While summer brings certain images to mind, invariably involving hot weather, this really isn’t the accurate anymore. It’s been raining in Glasgow for about a week (stopping only, for the sake of irony, during the “Rain Down” bit in Paranoid Android on Friday night) although I guess it always rains at this time of year. If both Wimbledon and Glastonbury are on at the same time, it has to rain. It’s tradition, or an old charter, or something.

Anyhoo, for me Summertime isn’t about the weather, it’s about the following:

Nothing good on TV. This happens for a couple of reasons; first of all, most of the quality America shows that run for 22/24 episodes per season start in January, and thus finish in May or June, until this year when the Writers’ Strike screwed things up even more. Equally, Dr Who finishes on Saturday (but more on that later…)

The second reason is the return of Big Brother - thus ultimately means that there is very little on C4 or E4 apart from repeats and spin-off shows. I must confess that I used to love Big Brother and watch it avidly, but I now find (and I’m sure you all think it too) that the people on it are such horrific examples of our nation/species/planet that it makes me want to become a Siberian yak from Mars. (hey… that’s not a bad idea for a cartoon…)

So summer means that you can’t even rely on the endless repeats of Friends or Scrubs when you’ve got nothing else to watch.
Putting on weight. I won’t ramble on about my weight loss (a few years ago now I lost 4 stone) but I now am fairly careful about what I eat. However, I find that I tend to put more on over the summer than at any other time (well, maybe not the week or so after Christmas when I can raid my mum’s fridge). I think this is caused by a mixture of it being too hot to exercise (what a great excuse) and I probably drink more. And I’m really greedy.

Thinking every day for a month: wow, I can’t believe how light it is at… I guess I’m a bit late with this one now as Midsummer has past, but I am just as guilty as lots of other people for making the completely banal comment above. Yes, it’s 11 in the evening and it’s not completely dark. Wow, that’s not happened every year previously. Come back here in October and I’ll no doubt be saying how much it annoys me when people say “I can’t believe how dark it is in the evenings”. We’ve all been on Earth for a few years now, and we should really be used to this phenomena by now.

Feeling even more guilty than usual about not leaving the house.
It’s alright when it’s cold outside, but on a beautiful summers evening I do feel bad that I’m stuck in front of my computer/TV instead of being outside interacting with real people. Oops.

Watching sport
. Most people (ie those who follow club football) are probably less interested in summer sports, but I seem to watch far more of it. First of all Euro 2008 was good (see previously on The Bob…), I’ve been following the tennis (especially via the wonders of the live text commentary on the BBC website) and I might, bizarrely for a Scottish person (who is able to change the channel or leave the room at any time), watch some cricket. I’ll also no doubt see bits of the Olympics, but that would be pushing it.

Hot girls. Now I don’t want to sound like a perve (although I fear it’s too late) but there just seem to be more attractive women about when the sun is shining. I realise this is partly because it means that they are wearing less, but let’s face it there are plenty of women around who should definitely wear more than they do. And even more men ( I don’t care how hot it gets, I’m never going to wander the streets with no top on…) But there really do seem to be more hotties per square mile than usual. Rather depressing actually…

So, my fine reader (and yes, there’s only one of you) what does Summertime mean to you?