Monthly Archives: April 2012

Does Britain really want talent?

While searching for content for the Party Lights Blog, I came across this video of Shayne Ward performing on the X Factor in 2005 and, who you may remember, went on to win the show. Despite winning a recording contract he has subsequently been dropped by the record company SyCo and the last we heard of him was performing in Rock of Ages at the Shaftesbury Theatre.

I had forgotten just what a great voice he has and it is such a shame he was another victim of the reality television genre that invades our television channels on a Saturday night and when talentless individuals (yes, I do mean Jedward!) are raking in a fortune.  Where’s the sense in that?

Are they having a laugh?

Whatever the true facts are in relation to the death of MI6 officer Gareth Williams, I cannot believe that there was ever the slightest chance that he’d padlocked himself into a sports bag, placed in the bath of his apartment!

However, at his inquest today, a so-called “expert”, Peter Faulding,  showed a video demonstrating how it was possible for someone to zip themselves up in a sports bag of the type used but that it was impossible to then padlock the bag from the outside … no shit Sherlock!

Footage played at Westminster Coroner’s Court showed Mr Faulding trying to get into the bag in an empty bath and he confirmed that he had tried and failed to lock the bag from inside 300 times.  “I couldn’t say it’s impossible, but I think even Houdini would have struggled with this one,” he said.

Another “expert”, William MacKay, who said his military career made him adept at working in confined spaces, told the inquest that locking the bag was a skill that would have required training but that once a person had done it, they could not get out.  Mr MacKay and an assistant failed in 100 attempts to lock the bag from inside, and caused damage to the zip.  However, he would not rule out that it was possible, adding: “There are people around who can do amazing things and Mr Williams may well have been one of those persons.”

How do I get a job like this?  I’ve yet to see a single job advert looking for experts who know how to zip themselves up in a holdall.  As the poor man worked for MI6, I can only assume I must have just missed this in the classified ads – BOOM!!!

Dying for your Art

Every job has its demands, and many people make sacrifices in their personal lives to advance their careers.   However, actors and actresses sometimes experience some peculiar demands on their physical appearance, well beyond the common restrictions in other professions that may simply require neatly-trimmed hair of a natural color.  There are limitations to what can be done with stage makeup and padding. When performers make real changes to their physical appearance for a part, such that they look different in the mirror in the morning, that’s commitment. That’s “dyeing for your art”.

A Brazilian actor was extremely unfortunate recently when he did, quite literally, “die for his art” after accidentally hanging himself while playing Judas in an Easter Passion play.  Tiago Klimeck, 27, was re-enacting the scene in which Judas commits suicide in repentance for his betrayal of Jesus Christ in a performance on Good Friday in the city of Itarare and was hanging for four minutes before fellow performers realised something was wrong.  He was taken to hospital suffering from cerebral hypoxia but died on Sunday.

Initial Police investigations have found that the knot may have been wrongly tied but an autopsy is still to take place.

It certainly brings a whole new meaning to the term “corpsing on stage” … ouch!!!

Something blue?

As some of you  will be aware, I write another blog on behalf of Party Lights, an event lighting hire company.  While looking for things to write about I recently came across a novel idea – there is an old Armenian wedding custom apparently, that while the bride is getting dressed, her bridesmaids sign the bottom of her wedding shoes.  It is said that the name best preserved at the end of the night will be the next one to marry – much like the familiar custom of throwing the bouquet at the reception.  If you decide to do this, why not use blue ink and take care of the “something blue” at the same time?

Singletons, might I suggest you make sure you sign the bit under the arch of the foot as that will obviously not get the wear and tear the bottom of the sole will!

Perhaps not the best possible taste?

I think it is probably safe to say that most people are aware that it is now 100 years since the Titanic hit that infamous iceberg and the results have been very well documented so there is no need for me to expand here. I am sure that most people also know that the Titanic was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast before being taken to Southampton to start its maiden (and final) voyage.

I can’t help but wonder what the councillors of Antrim Borough Council were thinking when they used an inflatable sinking ship in one of their parks on this particular anniversary? The slide was among a number of facilities provided to entertain children in Lough Shore park last Sunday.

A number of people complained that the timing was in bad taste but in an official statement the council responded by saying that it had been provided by a private contractor and no offence had been intended.

Oh well, that’s alright then!

Unlucky for some?

Today is Friday 13th April and it got me thinking about why we are so superstitious about the number 13 and why it considered to be such a problem when Friday falls on the 13th day of the month?

A fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskevidekatriaphobia which comes from the Greek words for Friday – paraskevi, Thirteen – dekatria and Fear – phobia

Unlucky 13:  It is considered unlucky to have 13 at a table or in a company. The number 13, in the Christian faith, is the number of people at the Last Supper, with the 13th guest at the table being the traitor, Judas.

So why else are people superstitious of the number 13?

  • A witches coven consists of 13 members.
  • Tarot Card number 13 is the Death Card, depicting the Grim Reaper
  • There are 13 steps leading to the gallows.
  • 13 knots in a hangman’s noose.
  • 13 feet which the guillotine blade falls.

Added to this, Fridays have been considered an unlucky day since the medieval times.  It is generally considered bad luck to start anything on a Friday – a new journey, job, marriage, business project, giving birth, moving house.  It is unlucky to cut fingernails and hair on a Friday and in Britain, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings.


  • Muslims tout Friday as the day that Allah created Adam
  • Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit on a Friday and later died on a Friday
  • Christians consider Friday as the day on which Christ was crucified by the Romans

On that basis, without wishing to tempt fate any further, I am heading back to hide under the duvet until it’s all over … till the next time!

Domestic Abuse – no laughing matter

There has been much written about domestic violence and, most recently, we have heard that Dennis Waterman had “punched and slapped” his ex-wife Rula Lenska during their marriage, giving the pathetic excuse that ‘It’s not difficult for a woman to make a man hit her’.

Too often though, we forget about the men who are abused by their female partners and this is no less of a crime. 

Violence is about control and whoever is the perpetrator needs to have that control taken away, as happened today when a woman called Tiffany Baillie was jailed for 3 years after stabbing her partner, Gregory Todd, in the back after a night out drinking.  She had admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent at a previous hearing.

So why did Mr Todd bring an engagement ring to court with him today?  Well apparently he was hopeful the Judge would allow Baillie to walk free.

Despite suffering serious injuries, including damage to his colon, a kidney and his pancreas, after Baillie plunged a kitchen knife into his back, probably while he was asleep on a bed, emergency surgery and 3 months in hospital, this poor deluded individual now wants to marry his attacker! 

One can only hope that over the next few years while she is safely locked away at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, Mr Todd can be persuaded to smell the coffee and make for the hills!

Today’s Guest Blogger

Today’s guest blog posting is short and sweet and comes from my good friend Lorraine – please take a look here!

The silence of the trams

Following on (again) from the previous post about the Edinburgh trams, I think this video sums up the whole fiasco really rather well:

3 letter acronym

Just re-read my last post and realised that the same 3 letter acronym applies for “cost/benefit analysis” and “can’t be arsed”.


Is this a coincidence or are more sinister forces at work?

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