The predominant theme for Week 5 was the family. Christmas-loving fathers, neurotic mothers and cutely chirruping toddlers all had their parts to play – whilst elsewhere, two families became awkwardly linked by loss.
Meanwhile, other bloggers were risking jail sentences, dodging panthers on the hard shoulder, welcoming the gays to the neighbourhood, humping white goods around the Norfolk countryside, watching performance artists ramming things up each other’s arses (*), and rigorously dissecting the snogging technique of one of Middle England’s best-loved heart throbs.
(*) Watch that one rise to “Most Popular Outgoing Link” over the next view days. I monitor these things; I know what you’re like.
As for this week’s winning post, it distinguishes itself from its predecessors in two notable ways, being the first to be written by a male author, and the first to receive maximum points from all three judges (myself, patita and Daisy). According to one judge:
“…it sums up the insanity, humor and discomfort of NYC in winter–things of which I have intimate knowledge.”
Oh, and this is also the first winner to be taken from a site which was already on my blogroll. It therefore gives me particular personal pleasure to award Post of the Week #5 to:
(nominated by Vaughan)Somewhere in the middle of the day it hits me like a brick wall. On the corner of Christmas-crushed Regents Street it occurs to me that all this frantic activity doesn’t change the fact that I am alone, and feeling somewhat lost. The walking and my aching feet might push away the feeling but it still follows me around like an unwelcome cousin. The fairy tale dissolves around me like a puff of smoke.
(nominated by mike)Hangovers are a crucial part of this mental cementment. The day after the night before has always induced a strange wistfulness in me. Combine this with a cosy self-snugglement, subtle horn and an unusual capacity for moments of disconnected joy, and you have the perfect conditions for Falling In Love. I blame sleep deprivation.
(nominated by mike)Christmas Day, 2005. Gary Bartlett, the organist off of Take That, has spent the morning shooting pheasant in the grounds of his 2 gazillion acre stately home with pals Gary Neville and Stan “The Jairmans, The Jairmans” Boardman…
(nominated by mike)Want to worry about whether we bought the right car? No time. The car runs fine. It has a baby seat in it. That’s all we need. Like to spend time overanalyzing that stupid comment I made in a meeting last week? I can’t even remember what it was anymore.
(nominated by mike)I have been easygoing, undemanding and on the periphery; not wanting to appear too interesting in case someone asks too many questions and realises that I’m not anyone really – I have no opinions, I’m just a cipher that experiences pass through for grammar and editing, and become anecdotes. I have made being superficially agreeable and emotionally distant an art-form. This year, all that changed.
(nominated by guyana-gyal)Too short to quote here.
(nominated by Daisy)I really like getting my hair cut. No, I mean I really love getting a haircut. It borders on fetish with me. it’s one of the few times I will just sit back and just allow things to happen. Pretty much.
(nominated by Pam)I don’t really think of Paltrow as an actress. She’s just someone who looks like a duck and occasionally annoys me by wandering onscreen and reciting lines.
(nominated by mike, via Lisa)HALF-NAKED MALE: STOP HARASSING US YOU PERVERT OR I’LL REPORT YOU!
(nominated by mike)Over the years whilst I’ve been on set, I have been approached by various actors trying to get in my knickers. From Hollywood A-list to no-name extras, they’ve all tried the come-on; from grabbing my arse to handing me their phone number. And to each and every one, I’ve smiled sweetly and declined.
(nominated by asta)It can be difficult to tell the difference between a fairy and an angel (unless you want to talk theology): both have wings, both tend to be female, both have nice frocks (generally). They are, however, differently-accessorised according to the requirements of their particular profession. Angels have halos, while fairys wave wands.
(nominated by Clare)He is not a real Rasta, I thinking, real Rastas don’t eat meat and other fatty, salty things, he too plump to be a real Rasta. “Pardon me?” I say to he.He repeat it. I still ain’t hear.
I still ain’t hear ‘cause I did too busy staring at he One Bright Tooth.
(nominated by asta)I am a book-snob in many ways. Everyone has habits they fall into, little neuroses that eventually rule their lives, and I’m about to reveal to you, if you have the time, my own shabby rules that I always follow when reading a book in public or, indeed, private. I hope I’m not alone in having certain unpleasant and stereotyping predilections…
(nominated by mike)At the root of the problem is one plain fact: market conditions are such that it’s simply uneconomical to record Christmassy songs in 21st-century Britain. Ballad production has now generally migrated to Eastern Europe, and whilst there has been some success in outsourcing rhythm and basic backing vocal tracks to the Indian sub-continent, results have been erratic at best.
(nominated by Girl; comments also good)Oh, I thought that my comedy career had hit rock-bottom before, but I was clearly mistaken. Who knew that during all those other horrible, horrible shows, I was actually hovering somewhere around rock-middle?My show last night was different.
(nominated by mike, who also liked Ad Vent Calendar)(Video Tape: Narrator to camera, walking)
Dateline Never Never Land, and a day when the future nearly pailed (brief pause) into insignificance.(VT: Jack and Jill out walking their dog)
Local sweethearts Jack and Jill had it all. Two ordinary kids with hopes and dreams, but this day turned into a nightmare.
(nominated by mike)The bloke in the grey anorak conformed to every stereotype you might expect of a serial bus spotter. His anorak was weatherproof and toggled, his spectacles were thick and functional, his rucksack was that special Milletts shade of beigey-grey and his camera was the size of a small child. I carried out a quick subconscious check to make sure that I was wearing nothing similar.