Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Tea and daffodils

Ah, the sun is shining. The seagulls are cawing away happily. The clouds are white and suitably fluffy. It's funny how a bit of sunshine cheers everything up. The last 2 days in Cardiff it's been so cold that the skin on my knuckles was starting to crack. In fact, the skin on my hands still hurts slightly. I naively thought that as it had been getting warmer recently I wouldn't need my fleece-lined mittens. Wrong again, obviously. Of course, my happiness may also be due to my newly bought daffodils or the apple and cinnamon hot cross bun that I just ate. Yes, kids, money won't make you happy but what you buy with it in Tesco just might!

Anyways, I thought I'd update about the last few weeks as I keep meaning to do it and I've got half an hour until I need to collect my washing from the tumble drier. It's my fortnightly session of 'what will the university washing facilities do to my clothes this time'. I shrank 3 pairs of trousers before I realise that you should never tumble dry jeans there.

So...I went to be in the audience of Trisha Goddard the other week. It won't be shown for another few weeks yet but I'm hoping I'll be home to see it, as I don't have a TV here. The trip was organised by our Language and Communication society, and about 20 of us went. It's quite nice as the Trisha people put on a free coach from Bristol to Kent, where it's filmed. It was interesting to see who else was on the coach - there were people of all different ages, including couples, groups of girls, and even a family. You get a sheet when you arrive, telling you the stories that are appearing on the show. Then some guy that would have been perfectly suited to being a Red Coat at Butlins (very overenthusiastic and had obviously given the same spiel ten billion times) told us all about what was going on, and gave us strict instructions on the need to clap at any given opportunity and ask any question we could think of. What cracked me up was that during filming, there's a load of the filming crew stood at the side with their hands waving in the air, to politely remind you to ask a question. Having listened to dire threats on the subject of trying to take photos inside the studio, we went on in. My friend and I were directed to seats in the middle of the studio, on the front row. Cue slight panic. Trisha later spent most of the show stood either behind or in front of me. I suddenly became very much aware of the amount of times that I flick my hair back or shift the position I'm sitting in! Ah well.

It was great seeing all the set up and stuff that goes on, and how they move the cameras around and all that. I doubt I'd ever go into filming or something like that, but it's still enjoyable to watch how it works. I should probably mention that I don't think I've ever watched a whole episode of Trisha in my life. I've watched it while eating my breakfast a few times at home, and have always tended to ridicule it. I can't help wondering why, if your problem is that intense and personal, you would go on a public TV programme to bitch about it. In retrospect, I do still hold that view to some extent. But watching it up close does make you see it on a more personal level. I've done counselling training before, albeit at a low level, and much of what Trisha said to the couples was in keeping with the sort of stuff I was taught: encouraging people to state their arguments clearly, to consider their own behaviour, to think about how past events might have influenced their current behaviour. Of course, it's still often a case of taking sides and letting their audience chuck their opinions in. But for 2 of the 3 couples, at least, I felt that maybe they'll go on to get counselling and any other professional help that they need, and the experience will benefit them. Someone I was with said they'd heard that participants are offered free counselling after the show, and suggested that some probably make an appearance for that. And, well, counselling can be very expensive. Sure, there are ways to get it free, but it might just be that some people don't know how to go about it. That ain't so bad!

Having said this, I'm not going to become an avid Trisha fan. Even if I had a TV, I still get the unsettling feeling that some people that go on there are doing it for attention and to give their argument maximum impact. Sure, I'm glad they're gonna get help, but it doesn't mean it doesn't irritate me to watch it.

That's all for now - my washing's done and I want to go to the gym after I've collected it. More updating later.

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Hypotheticals: If you were any animal, what would you be?
A black cat. Looking sleek, curling up by the fire, being cuddled all the time...I'd be great at it.

Anything Goes: What animal do you enjoy seeing most at the zoo?
I always love the lemurs. Absolutely no idea why.

No-Brainers: What store is represented most in your wardrobe?
It's probably a tie between H&M and Primark. Affordable, and their clothes don't tend to be cut to favour uber-skinny, flat-chested women.

Personals: What is it about you that people find irresistible?
Pffft, I've never thought about it. In people that know me, maybe the fact that I'm quite WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get, for the non-geeks). Those that don't know me don't tend to get past the stage of figuring out what they're seeing.

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Listening to: The Life You Always Wanted - the Bittersweets
Drinking: Green tea and lemon
Eating:Tesco reduced fat rich tea biscuits. I used to brush them off as the fodder of middle aged christians, but now I love them. I must be growing up. (Meant in the nicest possible way...middle aged christians make up at least half of the people I respect most :)

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