Thursday, 23 May 2019

Not Quite Goodbye For One Of Us ........

We had such a wonderful time staying with Hugh for Eurovision at Le Chicken Coop ..........
..... but I always sort of dread the goodbyes when it's time to leave as they can often get a little emotional, what with Hugh being a theatrical and all that. 
But, it was all agreed that it would be a case of same time, same place next year for Eurovision 2020, come what may and as soon as the official dates are announced Hugh will insist othat his PA clears his diary completely   ....... unless, of course, he was asked himself to advise. At the moment he is of the very strong opinion that Robbie Williams should be bought on board with Adele being asked to help co-write the "winning" entry with said Mr Williams.  If Hugh then becomes part of UK Eurovision team in the Netherlands he says he will absolutleyinsist on us all being part of his entourage (Hugh's not Robbie's).  We shall see.........
A few last minutes pictures were insisted upon ..........
......... several, it has to be said, including interlopers .............

However, I could see Darrell start to well up during the morning and then some serious looking conversations going on between Hugh and Darrell followed by Hugh and his "man that does" just as our bags were about to be put in the car.

It was then, at the very last minute Darrell announced that, if it was alright with Nigel and myself, he wouldn't be returning immediately to Evesham with us as Hugh had kindly invited him to stay for a few days in London. Well, who were we to say no, it would mean making a couple of changes to the school/nursery run rota .......... but we could easily sort something out ........
....... but the sight of Hugh's crestfallen face when Nigel teasingly said no ...... well, it was heartbreaking, so it was all settled ........
....... and happy faces all round.

Nigel Enjoys More Company Of Hugh's "Man That Does"

Hugh's "Man That Does" had such a lovely time with Nigel at the village plant sale on Saturday, that he wondered if Nigel might also like to join him at the local car boot sale on Sunday.  Again, he was looking for a few more plants, but was sure Nigel would have fun mooching from table to table to see what treasures were availing themselves.

Well, it goes without saying that Nigel was ready and waiting with several bags for life and his wallet when Arthur came to pick him up at the crack of dawn.  There is absolutley nothing Nigel likes better than a good delve amongst other peoples unwanted bits and pieces.

It was hard to know what direction to go in first, Nigel wasn't looking for anything in particular, but ..............
...... as soon as he saw a wonderful pot of cactus's/cacti, brimming with babies, that Arthur said he could, if he wanted, split up and separate for just £1 Nigel couldn't contain himself.  He wasn't going to split them, not unless the pot got too crowded, he was just going to admire it.  It was turning out to be a bit of a cactus fest type weekend for him. There were other treasures abound and therefore much excitement when the little fella returned to Le Chicken Coop for us all to admire his considered purchases.
It goes without saying that his cactus's/cacti were much admired. In Harolds, London's emporium to the stars, Hugh exclaimed a pot such a Nigel's would have had a designer price tag slapped on it that would have made your eyes water, he had really struck de rigueur gold.
There was homemade damson jam for me, a crystal cut decanter (the real thing, not pressed glass) for Darrell's bubble bath collection in his "designer bathroom" for £1 ..........
........ and some tiny farm animals for Hugh's latest moss garden projects.
Nigel also found a vintage beaded iguana and crocodile, that he bought for just 30p each and which Darrell and Hugh immediately started enviously cooing over and coverting.  These Nigel thought, would be best put away safely and then given as birthday or Christmas presents after seeing their reaction.
It was, again, a wonderful trip out for Nigel, especially after seeing everyones reaction to his thoughtful buys...........
........ carbooting in the Worcestershire countryside was just too brilliant he declared!

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Nigel Goes All Prickly

On Saturday afternoon (prior to Eurovision) Hugh's "man that does" asked Nigel if he would like to accompany him to the local village plant sale, there were a couple of plants he fancied for Hugh's herbaceous borders, the company would be much appreciated and having someone to stand over the bags in all the melee would also be most welcome.
As Nigel had been in previous years he was no stranger to the fact that it could get pretty rough as people jostled into postion, ready to grab the last lesser spotted begonia, tripled headed lupin or box of tomato plants ...... but the opportunity to spend time with a man who tilled Hugh's soil and discuss provocation propagation and cross population pollination made it all worth while. 
Plus..... there was also the promise of some "village ladies cake", as Hugh had asked him look out for a large walnut and coffee  to which he was very partial and a cherry bakewell, if they hadn't all gone.  Nigel was well chuffed as he managed to secure both. plus a rock bun for himself and Hugh's "man that does" to eat in the van on the way back.
Nigel guarded the purchased plants with great aplomb, a few people did caste admiring glances at them, but Nigel stood firm, saying that they were all spoken for.

And then, while Hugh's man that does was loading up the van, Nigel had a little mooch around too and duly purchased a cactus's something he's always, always wanted .......  way before he'd heard Hugh and Darrell discussing how en-trend and "must have" they were at the moment.  At 50p it was a considered and emotional purchase for the little fella. 
Then, as a small detour on the way back to Le Chicken Coop Hugh's "man that does" asked Nigel if he's like to see the "monument" the local hostelry had erected in honour of Hugh's custom! What can we say, except that it was an .....erm....... impressive accomplishment.
Needless to say Hugh was over the moon with all the treasures that his "man that does" and Nigel bought back with them .......
.......... and then followed a wonderful afternoon of endless chatter, celbrity gossip  .......
........ talk of our eurovision dreams and so much laughter it hurt  .....................

....... while Hugh's "man that does" did all the planting while listening to a podcast of Gardener's Question Time.  Happy Days.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Three Days Later

When we put together our Eurovision post, with not a little haste, on Sunday so that we'd at least have something waiting for you by Monday morning re: our most favourite night of the year, (other than Christmas), it was with extremely delicate and fuzzy heads. Hugh's fabled Baileys infused chocolate trifle was, let's just say, was both fabbbbuuuuulous and potent,  as were his flaming cocktails ........ and smogasbord of international nibbles.
However, as a result, it seems that we may have started to celebrate very early on in the proceedings, peaking well ahead of schedule, because after Darrell had sucessfully downloaded the Eurovision App .........
....... I can't be entirely sure who exactly we voted for, all I remember was that there was a lot of button pressing and 12ps adding up!
As you will no doubt know by now The Netherlands were the joyous triumphants..........
...... despite their never being on any of our own euro-radars ..........
But now, in the cold light of a Tuesday day, three days after the event, we realise that Madonna, after all the hype was a very huge disappointment, in fact she was total pants (even Hugh, a lifetime fanclub member and despite his own celebrity status, had to sadly agree) .....  and that the rest of Europe was nochalant to the fact that the UK was left languishing right at the very bottom of the scoreboard with 16 points. Believe me, that was enough to sober us all up very, very quickly.  What can we say except that questions must now be asked in Parliament as to what went so wrong. Next year we say that we either send in Robbie Williams .........
........ or claim Mans Zelmerlöw (Swedish winner in 2015) as our own (since he now lives in London), everyone adores him and would never dream of tactically voting against him!

Monday, 20 May 2019

Another Year To Wait Until Eurovision 2020

What can we say, except that Saturday night and our most favourite televisual event of the year, the Eurovision Song Contest was just tooooooooooooooo tooooooooo wonderful for words .......... it was everything we hoped for and more. It was emotional, but there again it always is, not only for the contestants but also for us, there are always a few muffled sniffs.  All I can say is thank goodness for the very ample mugs of Horlicks presented to us before we each wended our way to bed from Hugh's "man that does", before he finished his evening shift. I am sure they helped us all massively to calm down after all the rampant excitement of the evening.
What no pictures? Sorry but no, as we are still very much guests of Hugh at Le Chicken Coop, where internet access, as it's out in the wilds, isn't that brilliant at the best of times ...... and, to be honest, it would just look downright rude if we started to pore over our laptop while Hugh is entertaining us in his usual flamboyant Hello Magazine type way, so, if it's OK with you, we will be posting our post Eurovision analysis and our weekend together when we get home ........ 

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

This Week We Are Mainly Living The Eurovision Dream

What can we say, last might was just brilliant. 

Darrell made us special Eurovision cocktails using an intoxicating infusion of liqueurs native to some of the countries taking part in this years competition with a just a splash of Vimto and a hint of Umbongo and has promised something similar for Thursday night. There was also Maltesers, Kit Kat Sensations and a couple of Twix on heat ice to keep our energy levels up.  

Anyway, some of the songs we loved from their promotional videos were a little disappointing in real life .......
..... like Mrs Serbia ..... I am afraid we don't rate her anymore, she promised much but alas is no longer our tip for the top, although she qualified for the final.

As for Australia, who got through and now heavily tipped as a favourte to win the whole thing...... we just don't get it and only got our vote for the most anoying song of the night, acrobatics or not!

Portugal, as we predicted,  did not disappoint but for all the wrong reasons ......... and did not quaify for Saturday night, no great loss there.

Mr San Merino, we thought was very out of key but still got through!  Perhaps he was supposed to sound like that, or was it the affects of Darrell's Eurovision cocktails playing havoc with our auditory systems?
Anyway, ten acts got through and the other eight or so are probably now packing their bags and bidding farewell to Tel Aviv as you are reading this.

But now, we have the second semi final to look forward to, we think it could be a very close run thing as there are no entries that we think are just blatantly too awful for words.

Well perhaps for Angelina Jolie who seems to have stepped down a little from her humanitarian efforts and begging Brad Pitt to go back to her by representing Moldova with a song called Stay!

We very much like Azerbaijan's "Truth" because in our opinion it has one of the catchiest tunes in the contest and we also think that the singer Chingiz has a certain allure and charm that some ladies will very much appreciate.
Albania, though not really our cup of tea is nevertheless very dramatic and a strong contender that will definitely go straight through to Saturday's Grand Final and then probably get in to the top ten at least.
Our Eurovision dark horse of the year is without question Denmark's "Love Is Forever". It has a very fresh feeling to it, is incredibly cute and is a million miles away from all the power ballads and overly choreographed and costumed entrants.
The young lady also sings in two different languages which is never a bad thing in Eurovision. We think, if it gets through, it should be in the top five of the Grand final.

Well, here's to a fabuuuuuuulous Thursday night and then our wonderful, wonderful, much anticipated Euro weekend with Hugh a la Chicken Coup, where we really hope one of his man that does's boozy chocolate trifles is on the menu.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Eurovision Look-a-Likies?

Yesterday afternoon Nigel just happened to pass Derek’s Hair Studios, our most favourite hairdressers in Evesham, for whom time appears to have stood still ………
……. and he couldn’t help but stop to take a closer look at the model photographs carefully arranged in amongst the always seasonal window display ……
……. and realised that one or two of them could easily pass for contestants in this years (and indeed many, many past) Eurovision Song Contests as they had a certain familiarity about them. 

It seems that Monsieur Derek hasn't had much call to reproduce the young ladies style below as we've never seen anything remotely like it during our three years in Evesham, but let’s be honest, it would certainly not go a miss on the Eurovision stage.
However, from Nigel's chance remarks when he got back to The Towers has spawned a new game for us to play during the Eurovision proceedings, as devised by Darrell ……… "Spot the Derek Look-a-Likie" to spot which contestants most resemble one of Derek’s models. What are we like?