Never rely on predictive text!

What do Leona Lewis and my lovely Dad have in common?   Well up until this week I would have said “absolutely nothing apart from a surname!”.  That was before I heard the story about a tweet sent by the ubiquitous Simon Cowell last week.

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Telling his 8.5 million Twitter followers about X Factor alumni Leona Lewis’ new Christmas album, he fell foul of dreaded predictive text and the message went out as Leonard Lewis instead – I’d like to think that Dad would have found that quite amusing, particularly since the Cowell and my Dad actually attended the same school in North London (albeit quite a few years apart!).

The story was also covered on the ITV2 show, Celebrity Juice, on Thursday night and was met with much hilarity from the studio guests and provided a laugh out loud moment for me in my living room too!!!

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It’s all in the name

News last week that a rare ‘zonkey’ – the offspring of a male zebra and a female donkey – has been born at an animal reserve in Florence,  Italy.

Adorable Ippo, who has the colouring of a donkey but the distinctive stripes of a zebra, is reported to be in good health.  She was apparently born after her father clambered over a fence to reach her mother.

Is it just me or have they missed a trick?  Surely she should have been called “Debra” !!!

Zonkey

And they call it puppy love!

I think cartoonist Rupert Fawcett had Sylva in mind when he drew these 2 cartoons!!!

Dog Cartoons

Simply brilliant!

I am a big fan of Strictly Come Dancing as it is great to see people pushed to their limits week in, week out and to see just how much they improve over the series. However, after watching the latest episode of the US version, Dancing With the Stars, we have long way to go before our celebs can match the brilliance of Kellie Pickler and her professional dance partner, Derek Hough. It was quite simply magical – watch it here and see if you agree!

Girl Power

Not a country often associated with female authority, I was surprised to read that the Dubai Police have decided to assign their latest high-speed vehicle, a luxury Ferrari, to the female division!

The arrival of the Ferrari FF, or Ferrari Four, follows the addition of a Chevrolet and Lamborghini earlier this month.   The Italian sports car, which has a top speed of 208 mph, will be mainly used for patrolling the tourist areas of the city.   Can someone send me an application form please – I don’t even mind wearing the green uniform!

Ding Dong!

My heartfelt thanks this morning go to ITV who decided not to cover “The Funeral” but instead to continue with their normal scheduling, largely ignoring the event.

Daybreak, Lorraine and This Morning all featured interviews with commentators and friends of the former Prime Minster, and cut away to the scene at St Paul’s Cathedral every now and again.  However, from 9.30 to 10.30 ITV was broadcasting The Jeremy Kyle Show, a controversial talkshow dedicated to sordid, embarrassing family dramas.

Jeremy Kyle

As the BBC showed David Dimbleby interviewing  Conservative grandees and political veterans, and Sky News showed scenes from  inside the cathedral, ITV broadcast a shouting match between two girls and a man  who was trying to deny that he was their father.

And while grandees filed into St Paul’s and  Lady Thatcher’s coffin was driven to the cathedral, a young woman told the  studio audience that she was trying to work out who her real father was.

Then at 10.30 This Morning was hosted as usual by Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby –  neither known for their political acumen but with a nod to the main event they were both dressed demurely in black.  As the coffin was taken into the cathedral,  This Morning ran a feature on dangerous criminals – apparently ignoring the  start of the funeral.  They also interviewed the victim of an arson  attack in a Leicester gay bar from October 2011 and then Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans joined Schofield and Willoughby on the show, discussing his own career.  The pair also interviewed a writer who said  that seeing his wife give birth gave him post-traumatic stress order, and  interrogated him on his love life

However, the BBC and Sky News each set aside hours of programming dedicated to the service so there was plenty of opportunity for those who did want to watch and I personally think it is a little unfair for people to criticise ITV for giving people a choice to not watch if they didn’t want to.

Rust in Peace

Time for bed Zebedee?

Magic RoundaboutSwindon is a town with a reputation for stupidity when it comes to town planning and their roads in general.  You need look no further than the unimaginatively named “Magic Roundabout” which was  constructed in 1972 and consists of five mini-roundabouts arranged around a sixth central, anti-clockwise roundabout.   In one opinion poll in 2005 it was voted the worst roundabout in Britain and then in 2009 in another poll it was voted the fourth scariest junction in Britain.  However the up-side is that the roundabout provides a better throughput of traffic than other designs and has an excellent safety record, since traffic moves too slowly to do serious damage in the event of a collision.

It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the local council are now under fire because of their latest initiative – a campaign to stop people illegally parking in alleyways.  Bungling contractors have painted yellow lines down a narrow alleyway, leaving a gap of just 33cm in between them.  The tiny alleyway itself is just 4 feet wide – too narrow for a car!

And the council’s excuse?  A spokesperson apparently said: ‘It seems that our contractors forgot just how big cars actually are when they painted this one.”

Oh well, that’s alright then?  No doubt the Council Tax payers of Swindon are delighted that their money is so well spent … BOING!!!!!

Newhall Street Swindon

Take a walk on the wild side

We’ve all heard of a zebra crossing – but have you ever seen an elephant seal crossing?

This is exactly the sight that shoppers in Brazil were amazed to see when a massive elephant seal hit the busy high street on Saturday.   The seal waddled out of the ocean and into the city of Balneario Camboriu where it went for a walk – even using the proper crossings.   Cars were blocked for 20 minutes whilst police officers splashed water on the seal to keep it wet.   After about an hour and a half in the city, the seal returned on the sea and swam away unharmed.

Which leaves me with one burning question.   Why did the elephant seal cross the road?  To get to the other tide of course!   BOOM!!!

Next time I’m coming back as a footballer!

Michael OwenSo this morning Michael Owen has announced his intention to retire at the end of the season at the grand old age of 33.

Owen burst on to the scene as a teenager at Liverpool and made England’s 1998 World Cup squad aged just 18. He announced himself on the world stage with a memorable solo goal against Argentina in that tournament and scored a hat-trick as England beat Germany 5-1 in Munich in September 2001.

He has scored 220 goals in his club career, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup (three times) and UEFA Cup. Owen was named European Footballer of the Year in 2001 – the first Englishman to achieve the accolade since my own particular favourite, Kevin Keegan, in 1979.

“Having progressed through the ranks at Liverpool to make my first-team debut at 17, before embarking upon spells at Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, not to mention representing my country on 89 occasions, I now feel it is the right time to bring the curtain down on my career,” Owen has written in a statement on his website.

But it’s not quite pipe and slippers time yet for Michael.  He has indicated that he would like to become involved with Chester FC in some capacity when he retires, as it was his local team growing up and the team his father used to play for.   As a professional footballer he can take benefits from his pension at his protected pension age of 35 and continue to play for, or be employed in a non-playing capacity with, any Football League club as long as he, for example, do not own or control the club.

So spare a thought for us mere mortals who will be working until we’re old and decrepit in a job we most probably despise before being eligible to retire.  All you’ve had to do is run around the park with the lads for 90 minutes on a Saturday with the odd mid-week game and a few hours training each day for less than half the years we have to work.  Am I jealous?  You bet your sweet **** I am!!!

Dry your eyes mate!

I do hope Sir Alex Ferguson has recovered this morning from Manchester United’s exit last night from the Champions League – too “distraught” to face the media apparently, the purple-nosed one declared himself to be “in no fit state to talk”.

They were beaten by Real Madrid in the second leg, having been reduced to 10 men after the controversial sending off of Nani in the 56th minute and there has been the usual outcry from United fans about the unfairness of the sending off as it changed the game entirely.  Up to that point they were undoubtedly the better side and it looked likely that they would definitely proceed to the next round.

In  any game of football, however, a player is asking for trouble by connecting with an opponent’s midriff.  Nani’s boot was definitely raised with painful consequences, accidental or not.  That said, there was still palpable shock when the red card was brandished.

Nani's high challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa that earned him a red card.

Mourinho’s decision to bring on Luka Modric straight away was a masterstroke and it was then Ronaldo, until that point largely subdued, reminded Old Trafford why he is such a formidable destroyer of defences.  Both players scored within three minutes of one another and, however impudent it was for Mourinho to shake Ferguson’s hand and set off for the dugout with the final exchanges of stoppage time still to be played, the truth is the game had already been won.

At the final whistle, with one manager unable to bring himself to talk and another contemplating another pulsating Old Trafford victory for his collection, what we are left with is the whining of the United fans who feel they were robbed of the chance of further glory in this competition and a Turkish referee who will have probably needed a police escort leaving the stadium, before a swift flight back to Istanbul this morning.

But at the end of the day, it is just a football match – no-one died.  So I leave you with the chorus to this well-known song by The Streets, [adapted to suit the gender change!]:

Dry your eyes mate
I know it’s hard to take but [his] mind has been made up
There’s plenty more fish in the sea
Dry your eyes mate
I know you want to make [him] see how much this pain hurts
But you’ve got to walk away now.

Ferguson crying

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