Monday, 31 July 2017

Darrell and Nigel Do Liberty’s

This post was planned by Darrell and Nigel while they were in London, especially for Dianne our beloved friend and daily commenter who lives in torridly hot, but still romantic Florida, knowing that she would just love a little peep in Liberty’s, be it in a second hand type way.
And, we have to say, it is just a very, very, very beautiful and unique shop…….
……. with soooooooooooooooo many beautiful things to stroke and imagine where you might put them in your own humble abode.
IMG_0043Inside it is truly stunning and robustly sigh inducing for someone as aesthetically in touch with his inner erudite self as Darrell!
Before entering through the portals Darrell had to warn Nigel if there was anything he quite fancied but it didn’t have a price on, then he most probably couldn’t afford it ……
…. finding anything for a pound was highly unlikely, but perhaps, he might be able to find a postcard perhaps as a souvenir………
……. but to be honest just looking was a wonderful experience to embrace, especially on behalf of Dianne.
IMG_0050Darrell wouldn’t have been Darrell if he hadn’t made a couple of notes on possible interior design tweaks for The Towers  ………
…….. if money was no object …….
……. and the said Towers was at least ten times bigger!
IMG_0064Nigel said that Darrell sighed a lot …… and then completely out of the blue asked him if he fancied breakfast, his treat ……..
IMG_0067 ……. “life was just too short” he said “not to partake in the finer things in life …….and then be left wondering”
Well, what could Nigel say to such the unexpected offer of “Breakfast at Liberty’s”, but “Mais oui!” ………..
IMG_0069…….. it would have been just too rude not to.
IMG_0072So a pot of proper tea served with buttermilk pancakes, maple syrup, blueberry compote, crispy bacon, fresh blueberries, was duly partaken of and eaten in most demure and gentile type fashion ……..
IMG_0071 …… with Darrell promising to try to replicate something similar one Sunday morning while we listen to the omnibus edition of The Archers when they got home, if he could find the recipe. He had to admit he wasn’t really 100% about the feline cruet set (other animal cruet sets available on other tables) not being a pussy sort of person …… but perhaps a tasteful novelty cruet set might be something they could look for on a future adventure.IMG_0065But, it was agreed, that it had been perhaps, quite possibly, one of the nicest breakfasts they had ever had …… and then Nigel said, Darrell did some more sighing.  

Sunday, 30 July 2017

The Morning After The Afternoon and The Early Evening Before!

Well, Darrell’s X Factor dreams have finally come true and from what I gather from Nigel, it was emotional …… it was also something of a feat of endurance ……WP_20170722_14_54_48_ProAs per instruction, Darrell and Nigel returned to Wembley and the arena at 3.30pm on the absolute dot, Darrell clutching the tickets as if his very life depended on them. I am not sure if they expected to just stroll in as said tickets were marked Priority, but what followed was a very slow snake up, down and around the arena for about an hour/hour and a half, before they arrived at the appointed South East Entrance, but the crowd were buoyant and just as palpably and tangibly excited as Darrell and Nigel.
WP_20170722_15_57_27_ProThe reason for the long queues was evident as they entered the arena portals, security was tight!  Trays were provided, bags thoroughly searched and everyone had to pass through an x-ray machine and then frisked if necessary.  Poor Darrell had to go through twice and then a laser wand waved over him, before it was found that the zips on his boots were setting the machines off.  In the light of recent events in London it was all very, very reassuring and everyonene felt very safe.
WP_20170722_15_57_29_ProOnce through, Darrell and Nigel found their seats, Nigel had to tell Darrell once or twice to breathe, but at last, there was the stage with it’s huge throbbing X background and there were the judge’s seats all laid before them.
WP_20170722_16_10_56_ProOne teensy wincey niggle ….. Darrell had been diligent and followed all his instructions to the letter, and so had left his camera behind at the hotel, the taking of photos not being allowed and Nigel, though tempted to secrete his M & Ms and Super Sour Jelly Beans under his jumper was also forbidden to do so by Darrell …….. but once settled in their seats, it was soon evident that it was phone and tablet akimbo as far as pictures were concerned, as was the eating of popcorn, pick n mix, plus burgers etc., which was a touch annoying!  So our apologies for Darrell’s rather limited snap shots  taken on his phone, which he had been lead to believe had to be switched off, and of which neither he or Nigel are very adept in a capturing the moment type nature ….. but as I have so often told them, you should experience special events through your eyes and not through the lens of aforementioned devices.
WP_20170722_16_12_01_ProBefore the show a gentleman came out to warm the audience up, but Nigel said that he thought the audience was already pretty hot.  They were told they needed to do silence applause, to look as if they were cheering and clapping for all they were worth but were in fact making no noise at all! Nigel thinks he and Darrell excelled at this.
WP_20170722_16_10_52_ProThen, after what seemed to be forever,  it was time for the show to begin, Dermot O’Leary appeared in the audience to the side of them and did his bit, all three/four minutes of it, walking down the steps, saying a few words, then sitting down and eating his popcorn …… but this took about 15 minutes as he kept on fluffing his lines.  Darrell also noted how skin tight Dermot’s jumper was, accentuating his honed upper torso …… and then he disappeared.  He had done his bit.
WP_20170722_16_11_23_ProWith that the music and X Factor pounding introduction took over, the whole building, Nigel said, erupted  ……… and then, the judges appeared …….. Nicole in a body hugging turquoise floor length gown, Sharon in a black suit with a white blouse, Louis in a greyish shirt and Sir Lord Simon Cowell in his signature white shirt, unbuttoned not as low as Darrell and Nigel anticipated.   On the big screen Simon’s face did look a little crumpled, and you could see the gum in his mouth …… but Darrell still got the tingles when he saw him, even if it was from afar!
The “auditions” then began, what they don’t show on tele is when the judges all huddle up to make their decision and leave the “artiste” standing there for what seemed ages and ages, this was when Darrell said he felt for them.  Simon put his hand up quite a few times to stop the acts and ask if they could sing anything else in Acapulco acapella …… which was awful.  One poor girl went through it three times, Nigel thought he saw Darrell surreptitiously dab his eyes a couple of times and try to sniff in a nonchalant manner.
WP_20170722_16_11_28_ProThere were frequent breaks, and Sir Lord Simon was very patient and lovely with all the people who wanted to have their picture taken with him (also against the rules, Darrell noted) and his little boy Eric came in for a cuddle a couple of times too. Sharon didn’t really acknowledge the crowd much, Louis was sweet and waved if you shouted his name and Nicole was just flaky and rambling!!!!
But it was all too wonderful for Darrell. It will be very interesting to see how it is all edited and if we get the slightest glimpse of Darrell and Nigel.  They weren’t chosen to be miked up, so their sage comments went unrecorded. It’s hard to say much about the acts …… but when the show starts have a real look out for a girl named Lemon ……. name says it all, ‘nuff said, Darrell and Nigel reckoned Simon liked her a lot …… but all Darrell and Nigel will divulge was think not Honey G but think erm ….. “individual” ….. she wasn’t really their cup of tea!!!!!!!!
They think they got out at about 8.30, which was a bit disconcerting as the second show was supposed to have started at 7.30!!
They said that they were absolutely shattered but still dined out in style, partaking in a Long Island Iced Tea, their cocktail of choice to round off the day, before retiring very happily to bed, perchance to dream of Sir Lord Simon one day telling one of them that he was sorry, but they would HAVE to go to the live shows with him!!!

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Tangible And Palpable Excitement

I think that Darrel and Nigel have quickly realised that having tickets for a large, pre-recorded TV show requires a steadfast and focused patience of  a long queue type nature! 
WP_20170722_14_55_06_ProI understand that they got up early, so that Darrell could study his information sheet yet again.  They had to report with said much read information sheet to the North East entrance of the Arena by no later than 12.30, Darrell made sure that they were there for 11.30am.  When they got to the appointed door there were only a few people there, mainly ticketing staff, but were still told that they would have to walk right to the bottom of the road and then follow the snaking barriers back until they were back at the self same spot they were currently standing at!
WP_20170722_10_35_29_ProSo, after about twenty minutes of snaking Darrell and Nigel arrived back to find a queue of about ten in front of them, Darrell’s information street was the duly scanned, photo identification inspected  …. and then ……. they finally got their tickets, Nigel said it was “emotional”!
boot.mThey were then told to return, this time to the South East entrance for 3.30pm but at this moment in time they don’t actually know when the show will start. This gave them a little time in which to occupy themselves, they did moot going into London for a few hours but Darrell really didn’t want to risk anything that may cause them to be late for their 3.30pm rendezvous, so I gather they are currently in Finchley (??? don’t ask me why?) mooching in Habitat, several charity shops and Flying Tiger …….
WP_20170722_12_07_02_Pro ……. before finding a fine establishment for a lazyish lunch.  Nigel said that he has had to take Darrell to task about being too excited to eat, saying that after seeing all the snaking barriers they would have to negotiate on their return to the arena it would be just too heart-breaking to even contemplate Darrell passing out through low blood pressure blood sugar at the final hurdle. Nigel has also told me that I probably won’t hear from them again now until it’s all over as he doesn’t want to be the one on the phone, in the queue, saying “Hello, can you hear me ….. I’m in the queue!”, what is he like?
WP_20170722_14_54_48_ProMeanwhile …….. back at The Towers I am just enjoying the deafening peace and quiet, save for the occasional crunching of my third hob nob …. bliss!

Friday, 28 July 2017

Darrell And Nigel FINALLY Embark On Their X Factor Adventure

Darrell and Nigel left Wembley Arena Bound first thing this morning, they were like two bottles of vigorously shaken but as of yet unopened and unexploded bottles of pop!  If Darrell had checked his X Factor information once, he had checked it a thousand times, insisting on sleeping with it under his pillow for fear it got lost or even worse, stolen!  What is he like?
IMG_0023I had offered to make them a full and robust, all encompassing lunchbox but they just couldn’t wait to go, with Darrell even wondering whether he would in fact be able to swallow anything until it was all over, heaven help me!
However, via the magic of WhatsApp I was able to see that eventually they did avail themselves of some refreshment, even if Darrell did say that he could only manage a tiny sip at a time and even that gave him hiccoughs.
To be honest, at the moment  I am getting more sense from Nigel, he says that their Premier Inn is perfect, right next to the underground so no lengthy walking and with a view right across to Wembley Arena and it’s famous arch from their window.
WP_20170722_08_56_43_ProThe art work is perhaps not entirely to Nigel’s taste, and he doesn’t think Darrell has even noticed it yet.
And I am not to worry, as there is a small Lldl across the road, so while Darrell was “resting”, Nigel had toddled over to get a few provisions.  I know I shouldn’t worry, but I do! 

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Darrell and Nigel’s First Forage Of The Season …….

My tactic yesterday to distract Darrell from all things X Factor seems to have worked, because this morning he woke up distracted, not by the thought of what is in the bowl that Simon constantly picks at while he is judging, but by the thought of making jam …….………….IMG_3709………. and so in afternoon he persuaded Nigel to join him in a little foraging for blackberries for said delicacy.
Armed with a Tupperware box off they trotted, however, I think that they had both forgotten that blackberry picking can be quite a prickly affair as Darrell had to untangle Nigel several times from the clutches of rampant rogue brambles.
I think they have picked enough to make two jars of jam, with a few left over to freeze for crumbles etc. They decided it might be best not to run before we can walk in the jam making stakes, as we are absolute notices at the art, better start off small and then increase with confidence after a little success.
The blackberries are now soaking in salty water to remove all the bugs, it would be just too embarrassing, should our jam be good enough to share, to proffer it to a guest only for them to find a “creature” splayed out inflagranti on their breakfast toast …………we like to do things just so at The Towers!!!