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Happy 2011 everyone!

Mine has certainly started out well. I decided, rather late in the day, to host a New Year's gathering at my house - nothing epic, as I knew most people would already have plans by the time I announced it, but just a convivial little get-together with canapés and champagne. And so it transpired. My neighbours and their friends popped round to kick off the evening with a glass of wine, and then ms_siobhan and planet_andy arrived, shortly followed by glitzfrau and biascut . My pictures are a bit rubbish, because my proper digital camera has died, so I could only use my mobile phone which has no flash. But I hope they give some inkling of how glamorous and lovely everyone looked:

We discussed topics as diverse as false nails, plushies and how people respond to civil partnerships, punctuated by a lot of uproarious (and increasingly filthy) laughter, and then saw the New Year in with Heidsieck champagne to the accompaniment of Big Ben's chimes and seemingly infinite quantities of fireworks on BBC 1. And we'd hardly started at that point, either. More champagne and the fun of compiling this year's Death and Scandal lists kept us going until nearly 3am.

Talking of the lists, I have ended up left with the paper copies of both, so I assume it is my responsibility this year to type them up. Last year's are both available on ms_siobhan 's journal, though to friends only. The Scandal List doesn't seem to have scored a single hit, unless you count the low-level miasma of scandal which perpetually surrounds both Nick Griffin and Silvio Berlusconi. The Death List did a bit better - we correctly predicted the death of Michael Foot, who was first on the list. But otherwise I don't think we got anybody, despite taking a scatter-gun approach and listing a hundred-odd people. Anyway - can we do better this year?

Scandal List
  • George Osborne - optionally to involve a dolphin, a plushie or self-asphyxiation
  • Charlie Brooker
  • David Mitchell
  • Kate Middleton - either with a footperson or Daniel Radcliffe
  • Daniel Radcliffe in his own right - possibly choking someone with his excessive pubic hair
  • Princesses Beatrice and / or Eugene
  • Prince Andrew - the scandal would have to be that he said something sensible
  • Ed Balls
  • Sam Cam's shady lesbo past
  • Michael Gove
  • Benedict XVI
  • Silvio Berlusconi in a reverse scandal - he turns out to have done it all for good after all
  • Camilla Parker-Bowles
  • Boris Johnson, again in a reverse scandal - does nothing stupid or buffoonish all year
  • Frankie Boyle
  • Nicolas Sarkozy in a hideous sewer-related incident
  • Martin Amis
  • Keith Richards
  • Cliff Richard
  • Hilary Clinton
  • Robert Kilroy-Silk
  • Andrew Brons

Death List
  • Mrs. Thatcher - I'm making sure she's at the top of the list, as it seems to have worked for Michael Foot last year.
  • Betty Boothroyd
  • Jimmy Saville
  • Anne Widdecombe
  • Norman Collier
  • Brian Lenihan
  • Barbara Bush
  • Emily Bishop - played by Eileen Derbyshire on Corrie. Apparently, it is the death of the fictional character that really counts here, although obviously if the actress died then the character would have to as well.
  • Rita Sullivan - played by Barbaraa Knox. Same rules as above, I think.
  • Bruce Forsyth
  • Lindsay Lohan
  • Pete Doherty
  • Britney Spears
  • Robbie Coltrane
  • Tom Felton - cocaine-induced, we reckon.
  • Stephen Fry - periodic mood-swing ends tragically.
  • Barbara Windsor
  • Rabbi Lionel Blue
  • Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Vivienne Westwood
  • P.D. James
  • Julian Assange - attacked in jail by a fellow inmate.
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Donald Trump
  • Benedict XVI
  • Charlie Sheen
  • Jack Nicholson
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Camilla Parker-Bowles
  • A member of Take That - any one will do.
  • Dana - not sure who this means, and Wikipedia isn't helping. Shall we just count all of them?
  • Martin Amis
  • Keith Richards
  • Cliff Richard
  • Robert Kilroy-Silk
  • Andrew Brons

Obviously there are quite a few names on both lists - so it's bonus points if they die in a scandalous manner.

ms_siobhan and planet_andy wended their way home in the early hours, but glitzfrau and biascut stayed overnight - so we had girlish dormitory-style fun getting into our pyjamas and calling out 'goodnight!' to each other, and then having coffee and chat this morning. Once both had taken advantage of my shower (a rare luxury, as theirs has turned into a 'unique water feature' which is currently unusable for its intended purpose), we headed out to a local cafe for a hearty English breakfast over a shared copy of the Saturday Guardian. And finally I was a big brave girl and gave both of my guests a lift down to the railway station - much helped by biascut's navigation and a general absence of traffic. There certainly weren't any buses to contend with, anyway, because for some reason they just don't run at all for the whole of New Year's Day in Leeds - which is a pretty rum deal if you ask me.

And now ITV 1 is thoughtfully doing a re-run of Downton Abbey, which is very kind of them, as I missed it the first time round, and it is just the ticket for sitting writing an LJ entry in front of. The characters are all a bit more spiteful and back-biting than in the lovely new version of Upstairs, Downstairs, where the household itself was largely wholesome and kind-hearted and most of the drama came from external events instead. I think I like Upstairs, Downstairs better - but that's partly because what I wanted from it was a heart-warming nostalgia-fest, and that's largely what I got. I do hope it will get a longer run with more time for slow-burning story-lines now.

All in all, then, an extremely pleasant turn to the year - and I'm sure it's no coincidence that I am feeling quite optimistic about the prospects for 2011 as a result. The only downside so far is that I had thought over the past couple of days that I was probably fighting off the first signs of a cold, and by the time I went to bed last night it had indeed settled firmly in my nose, making it rather difficult to sleep. But I don't feel too ground down by it, and don't exactly have much to do today anyway. So it could be worse.

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2011 05:31 pm (UTC)
One of my traditions is to invite a few additions to the list. These are not based on biological possibilites but instead wishful thinking on my part and of course reflect my personal tastes. My additions would be: -
a) Johnny Vaughan- popular TV/Radio personality
b) The entire Chinese government - well known crypto-Communist regime
c) Bill Turnull- well known Breakfast TV personality & raconteur
d) Hugo Chavez - quiet Venezuelan demagogue
That'll do methinks
Jan. 1st, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Add
Oh, there's no particular need to take plausibility into account - all suggestions, however unlikely, are entirely welcome! Consider your names added herewith.
Jan. 1st, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you again for a lovely evening :-)

I've not forgotten my promise to bring down the government by engineering some kind of sex scandal with George Osborne. It's a dirty job but someone has to do it ;-)

Hope your cold passes quickly.
Jan. 1st, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you for coming and helping to ensure that it went with such a swing! We will look forward to your George Osborne-related scandal with great glee. :-)
Jan. 1st, 2011 07:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you for a gorgeous evening, and more giggling than I thought was legal nowadays! Hooray for champagne, canapés and chums. And showers.
Jan. 1st, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC)
As I said to ms_siobhan, many thanks to you for coming and being such convivial guests. :-) Hope you find many more showering opportunities in the near future, and an attractive bathroom suite in the not-much-further future!
Jan. 1st, 2011 07:48 pm (UTC)
Sorry we didn't make it.

Upstairs Downstairs = <3, though. Downton a bit ITV for me.
Jan. 1st, 2011 08:55 pm (UTC)
No problem - I hope you had a lovely evening.

Downton seemed fine for what it was, which is basically an extended version of Gosford Park without (so far) a murder. That's great, as Gosford Park is a good film, but it actually meant that Upstairs Downstairs felt a bit fresher to me.
Jan. 1st, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
I saw those pictures on facebook and thought to myself that you must indeed be having a good evening! Glad to hear all about it now.

You are pessimistic about the royal family's year, aren't you? Granted, I think they must be overdue for a good scandal. I was personally hoping to see some predictions of doom and gloom for Sarah Palin!
Jan. 2nd, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC)
Royal scandals are the best kind! We're just hoping, really... And we will consider Sarah Palin added to both lists for your sake. :-)
Jan. 2nd, 2011 09:14 am (UTC)
That girly dormitory fun sounds awesome, sounds like you had a great time! coffee and breakfast too... ooh you all sound like the landed upper classes from 100 years ago! if only it was every day, although might get bored!

and to think I was just about to buy Downton Abbey, I think I have exhausted nearly every period drama available.. there are not enough classics adaptations! I know they'll be historically inaccurate but I just want to be entertained!
Jan. 2nd, 2011 01:56 pm (UTC)
I know - I was going to hire it from Lovefilm myself, but I've been saved the trouble now!

I need to catch up with Any Human Heart, too, as I managed to miss that as well. Did you see it? It looked really good from the trailers.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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