DurAnorak (duranorak) wrote,
DurAnorak
duranorak

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Sunday night rambling about TV and cars and school and shops and things.

Top Gear is, quite simply, love. What a gorgeous thing that Bugatti is. I know the fangirls of topgeartotty are currently bemoaning this week's episode and lack of general camaraderie, but as far as I'm concerned my night was made when Richard Hammond, stuck in a tiny plane variously described as 'something you'd find poking out of a skip', 'a washing machine' and 'a toaster with wings', with nothing to do but listen to James May telling him technical information he didn't understand, gave a little smile as he looked at the back of James's head and said with quiet affection, "You really love this, don't you?"

Yeah, um, Space Cadets. My opinion of this has been ricocheting all over the place - first I was outraged, then curious, then wildly entertained, then a bit embarrassed, then entertained again, then guilty...y'know. But I actually had to switch tonight's off. Why? Not because of the moment where I realised that, unbelievably, the guidelines they were being taught about onboard experiments spelled out 'PRAT'. Not because of the bit where they were asked whether they'd done homage to the monkey. I had to switch off because for the first time in the episodes I've seen, we watched them doing fitness training.
I'm only 21. School isn't that far behind me. Only a couple of weeks ago I was discussing the sheer, mindless horror of the words 'circuit training' and 'bleep test'; never has there been a better reason to pray it wouldn't rain. Ever. Watching people - however stupid, and as my dad said the other night, it's not their fault they're stupid - in pain from running, being timed with a stopwatch, doing press-ups and sit-ups while getting shouted at from someone who, in this case, is genuinely doing it for a laugh, like you always believed your PE teachers were...just, no.

I did some more Christmas shopping today - attempted it, anyway. Can I just say that the Oxford Street House Of Fraser is a tremendous, almost impressively towering pile of shite? Thank you. It was appalling - honestly appalling - when I went there last year, but I put it down to, I don't know, something or other, and so I thought I'd venture back in this year in the hope that it would be better. I don't think I've ever seen a more shambolic, more disorganised, more unfriendly department store, nor one more bewildered by the contents of its own departments. 'Christmas on floor 5' - no, it's not, though, is it? It's on floor 4, and there's only three tables' worth of it, and one of those is covered in expensive chocolate, all of which - all of which - is broken. Well done you. Incidentally, Selfridges don't win any prizes this week either, but that's just because their Christmas decorations are hideous to the point of making children cry. (I mean this - I watched it happen. This is why. They're not technically clowns - they're a family of snowflakes. They still made some kids cry. I would however like to point out that Glitterville probably can't be beaten when it comes to eccentric Hallowe'en decorations. zoo_music_girl, I hope you're watching. :)

By contrast, I know it's unbearable that I've been doing my Christmas shopping in Sloane Square and that, but the General Trading Company there really is a fantastic place, and anyone who's been as puzzled as me by Queen's in Liverpool Street refusing to be open whenever you go past can find most of their extraordinary stock much more accessibly arranged there. The King's Road is also home to Ad Hoc (costume jewellery, vintage military jackets, tiny miniskirts made out of everything in the world, wigs, fairy lights, black christmas trees, boxes and boxes of strings of fake pearls, etc, etc) and Steinberg & Tolkien, probably the best vintage clothing shop in London and certainly the one with the most to see. But I still can't bloody find a single present for my nan, my aunt and uncle are almost as impossible, and my dad isn't what you'd call easy, either. Oh well, maybe tomorrow I'll head up to Tottenham Court Road, it's the only place in central-ish London I can think of that I haven't done yet...

In other news, something really bad is happening to someone close to my family, and you can gauge how bad by the fact that I can't tell you who or what in case it ends up in the papers. Joy. Hugs not necessary but appreciated; suggestions for where to find particularly lovely scarves in jewel-like colours also appreciated, thank you. Also good and engaging books on the social history of Britain. Also really nice napkins.

Over and out,

E.
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