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Who are ya?

Mo FarahThere is a US television presenter this week who needs to go back to the drawing board and make sure she does her research before making a complete idiot of herself in front of millions of viewers.

Mo Farah, one of the most recognisable faces to have come out of the London2012 Olympics, had just won the New Orleans half marathon in a record time of 61 minutes.   Imagine his surprise to be asked by the anchor, LaTonya Norton, firstly “Haven’t you run before?” and then “This isn’t your first time?”   Surely this is on a par with asking whether the Pope is a Catholic?

Viewers were left cringing throughout the interview on local television station WDSU – she quite clearly had no idea who he was – something perhaps a quick Google search might have sorted out for her?   I thought that was what the numbers on their vests were for, to help news crews identify the individual runners.  This seems to work for most other sports.

It is unsurprising therefore that someone has taken the opportunity to update the list of anchors on WDSU’s Wikipedia page to read ‘LaTonya ‘Doesn’t know who Mo Farah is’ Norton’.

Mo Farah postboxSo Ms Norton, let me put you in the picture.  Farah secured  his place in history in London last summer, becoming the first British man to win Olympic gold in the 10,000m, and one of only five people to  also win gold in the 5,000m.   Britain’s  most successful distance runner of all time, he was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s  Honours List.

He has had two post boxes painted gold as a permanent tribute to his achievements, one  in Isleworth, where he grew up, and the other in neighbouring Teddington, in  south west London, where the athlete spent time training.   A nice touch with the one in Teddington is that it is right across the road from a Fara charity shop which has had its signwriting changed to Mo Fara as a further tribute to a local hero’s success!

Who are you, LaTonya Norton?????

What day is it?

The good folks at Google are marking St Andrew’s Day today with one of their celebrated Doodles.

Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople [wherever that might be!?]

There are some very strange customs that are associated with this day, including:

  • If an unwed girl prays honestly to St Andrew the night before (29th November), she will be granted a good and caring husband
  • At exactly midnight, unwed girls should throw a shoe at the exit of the house.  If the tip of the shoe is pointing towards the exit then she will marry a noble and caring person and will leave her house within one year
  • Unwed girls should also peel an apple in one piece and then throw the peel backwards.  The letter which the peel has formed will be the first letter of the name of her future husband
  • It was traditional to eat a single sheep’s head on St Andrew’s Day
  • In Romania the women don’t just pray for husbands, they put 41 grains of wheat under their pillow.  If they dream someone will steal the grains, it apparently means they’ll get married the following year.

The Scottish flag, the Saltire, has the white diagonal ‘cross of St. Andrew’ on a blue background and is widely flown in Scotland. It would be natural to suppose therefore that Scots would celebrate St Andrew’s Day on November 30th in a big way.   THEY DON’T.   TV and radio mention the fact that it IS St. Andrew’s Day but that is about as far as it goes for most Scots.

However, in 2006, the Scottish Parliament passed the St. Andrew’s Day Bank Holiday (Scotland) Act 2007, which designated the Day as an official bank holiday. If November 30 falls on a weekend, the next Monday is a bank holiday instead. Although that day is a bank holiday under that act, banks are not required to close (and don’t) and other employers are not required to give their employees the day off as a holiday. So it is more of a “voluntary public holiday” rather than a proper bank holiday. So far, few companies have negotiated the day as a staff holiday, though staff in Scottish government departments and a few local government authorities happily get an extra day off.

As every Scot knows, the time to celebrate Scottishness is Burns Night, January 25th. The poet Rabbie Burns holds a place of affection in the minds of Scots all over the world and perhaps this is why St Andrew’s Day passes with relatively little to mark it.

What happens in Vegas can no longer be expected to stay there

Oh dear, what were you thinking Harry???

As nude pictures of the 3rd in line to the throne have spread across the Internet this week, British websites, newspapers and television stations have been banned from showing them which, in this age of technology is pretty silly as a simple Google search provided the evidence.  There is an element perhaps of running scared following the recent Leveson Inquiry, together with the fact that Prince Charles has instructed lawyers to threaten legal action for infringing Prince Harry’s ‘privacy’.   Regardless of Codes of Conduct and legislation however, the internet will always have space for as many nude photos of Prince Harry as partygoers with mobile phones can muster.

After much thought I have decided not to include the naked pictures in this post but if you want to check them out for yourself, last night a Google search for ‘Prince Harry Naked’ produced 68,300,000 results and a search for ‘Prince Harry Naked Pictures’ generated 25,800,000 results.

Whatever your opinion on this matter we should remember that Harry is no longer a teenager, he will be 28 next month – his position as an Officer in the British Army demands his observation of their own code of ethics as well as his obvious status within the Royal Family.  So what possessed him to show off his very own “Crown Jewels” in a game of “strip billiards”?  Prince Charles probably hasn’t seen his son naked since he was a baby. Now, anyone who has looked at a Hollywood-based website has.

And another question?  Where was his security and why did they not stop him?  Earlier in the day, bare-chested and wearing sunglasses, he blended in perfectly with the rest of the pool party revellers.  But the man sharing Prince Harry’s Jacuzzi in Las Vegas is in fact his taxpayer-funded police protection officer.  The unnamed Scotland Yard officer, on the left in the picture above, was one of at least three personal protection officers tasked with guarding the 27-year-old prince round the clock on his US holiday.  His police detail is estimated to cost the taxpayer £2million a year, and the photos are bound to raise questions at the highest level.  Dai Davies, the former head of Scotland Yard’s Royalty Protection Squad, said it was a ‘very tricky situation’ for the officers.  But he added: ‘I’m not exactly sure how [protecting Harry] can be done when you are wearing your swimming trunks in a Jacuzzi. Where is his gun for a start? And if he is not deemed to need one then is there any justification for him being there?’

Harry and his entourage left Vegas on Tuesday, arriving in Los Angeles just an hour after his naked photos hit the internet.  In blue shirt, cream Panama hat and sunglasses, the prince looked apprehensive as he waited in a car park outside a restaurant in trendy Venice Beach.  While his friends ate inside, he spent much of his time on his mobile phone suggesting that the news had been broken to him that he was now an internet sensation.

Whatever the fallout is from his latest antics, I am pretty sure that when he gets home he’ll find out that Granny is not amused!!!

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