Category Archives: Favourites

Comedy Programme


I think that comedy is probably my favourite genre of television programme. There have been so many over the years that I have enjoyed, such as Friends, Only Fools and Horses, Dad’s Army, Benidorm, Miranda and Are You Being Served? So, as you can see, quite a time range there. But my absolute favourite has got to be Everybody Loves Raymond.

The show is centered on the life of Raymond Barone, who is a sportswriter for Newsday, he lives with his family on Long Island. Raymond often avoids responsibilities around the house and with his kids, leaving this to wife Debra. The Barone children are regular characters but not a major focus.

Raymond’s parents, Marie and Frank, live across the street with older son Robert, who frequently make their presence known to the annoyance of mainly Debra;  Debra’s complaints about Raymond’s family is one of the show’s comedic elements.  Marie is an insulting, controlling and manipulative (although ultimately caring) woman who criticizes Debra passive-aggressively and praises Ray, clearly favouring him over other son “Robbie”.

Raymond and Debra’s marriage is fraught with conflicts. Raymond prefers sports television over discussions with Debra on marital matters. One of the show’s recurring elements finds the couple having a discussion in bed each night before going to sleep.

My favourite episode has to be Season Nine, Episodes One and Two, entitled “The Home” and “Not So Fast,” where Frank and Marie decide to move into a retirement community, much to everyone’s joy.  I love it when Raymond, Debra, Robert and Amy find out and they go into the kitchen:

Unfortunately things do not go as planned and whilst Debra and Ray go to visit them, they are summoned into the office and are told that Frank and Marie have to leave as they have upset all the residents. Of course, they end up back at their old house, much to the despair of Raymond and Amy, who had bought it for $26,000.

Fun Facts:

Frank in Taxi Driver


In the episode, “Halloween Candy,” Frank gives the same speech about morality he gave to Robert Di Niro’s character in Taxi Driver, (1976).



The plate of food in the end credits is different for every episode. amy

Phil Rosenthal, who was the creator and writer of Everybody Loves Raymond is married to Amy (Robert’s wife) in real life and he would often transfer their arguments to the show.





Ever since Abba’s appearance on The Eurovision Song Contest singing Waterloo and of course, winning it, I was hooked on Abba. I was ten years old and desperate to be Agnetha (the blond one), even though my voice probably suited the dulcet tones of Anni-Frid much better.

I used my pocket money I had saved to buy their albums and singles, playing them constantly over and over again. My parents must have been heartily fed up with the melodies filtering down into their living room, but to their credit, they never said anything.

I learnt every lyric, every backing vocal to every song, my bedroom was filled with their posters, I read everything I could about them and joined their fan club.

My favourite Abba poster

I even wrote a story, a musical, one that included all their songs. (Yes, I did it WAY before Mamma Mia, though I admit, mine wasn’t as good!) and was that person singing into the hairbrush, performing at imaginary concerts.

I often wondered about the relationship between the two women, was there a rivalry with who sings what? Was Anni-Frid annoyed at the attention focused on Agnetha’s behind? Was Agnetha jealous of Anni-Frid’s dancing ability?

The band were masters at hitting the market just right, during the early days there was Fernando, SOS and Mamma Mia, in the disco years you had Voulez Vous, Lay All Your Love On Me and obviously, Dancing Queen. Later on, they showed a more mature side with songs like The Winner Takes It All, which was a reflection of Agnetha and Bjorn’s divorce and The Day Before You Came. There has been much discussion about TDBYC, theories have varied from it’s the day before she meets the new love of her life or it’s the day before she commits suicide and is talking from the grave.

Their final song, Under Attack, was filmed in a warehouse and the very last shot is the group walking through the doors, into daylight, presumably a metaphor for the group walking into the sunset of their time together as a group.

Each of the group has moved on to other projects: Agnetha and Frida bringing out solo albums and Benny and Bjorn penning musicals. But the unrivaled success story has been the two films, Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, which include all the hits and some album tracks.

My biggest regret is never seeing them play live and recently there have been rumours they have met up in a studio and recorded some songs together, so maybe the story of Abba hasn’t quite ended yet…

“I was in your arms
Thinking I belonged there
I figured it made sense
Building me a fence
Building me a home
Thinking I’d be strong there
But I was a fool
Playing by the rules.”

Abba, 1980

TV Show

Please note: If you have not watched The Walking Dead (first of all, why haven’t you?) or are halfway through a box set, there may be information in this blog that contains spoilers. You have been warned!

The Walking Dead


One day I was sat at work discussing the fact that I had binge watched Game of Thrones with my husband for the last three weeks, we had now caught up and needed something to fill in that void in our life. Someone in my office suggested I gave The Walking Dead a try, “What’s it about?” I joked, “People walking around who are dead?”  “That’s about the sum of it,” was the reply and I dismissed this programme out of hand.

Fast forward about a week and hubby has gone to a meeting and I’m sitting on the sofa aimlessly flicking through channel after channel in the desperate search for something to watch. I suddenly thought back to my conversation at work, “Maybe I will give this programme a go,” I found the box set and settled down to watch the first episode, Days Gone Bye.

I watched a couple of episodes that night and I was hooked, so whenever my husband was out for a meeting or had to work on a weekend, I would try and watch as many episodes as I could. “Why,” I can hear you ask, “Didn’t you watch it with your hubby?” Well, after 33 years of marriage I knew that he didn’t like horror movies or blood and gore, so I naturally assumed he wouldn’t be interested in it.

It got to the stage where I couldn’t wait for hubby to go out, as soon as the front door closed, I hit the play button and escaped into the apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead.

Rick Grimes

Rick, of course, was my favourite, but it wasn’t easy being a Rick fan, as much as I thought to myself, “They would never kill him off,” there were some close shaves.

You would have thought that after the world is infected with a virus which renders somebody ‘undead’, that that was the fight for survival, but no, as the series progresses you learn that once the survivors have learnt how to fight the walkers (zombies) then the next war is raged against fellow human survivors.

Cue the villains:

Terminus itself wasn’t a good place, where the Dish of the Day was Flambé Human Flesh! The Governor, whose leadership style was a lot to be desired!  Negan, who managed to kill two of my favourite characters and whose best friend is a baseball bat called Lucille and last but not least, Alpha, the leader of the new enemy, The Whisperers. I have only seen a couple of episodes with her in it, but already I think she’s shaping up to the worst of a very bad lot!

I never thought I would see the day when Rick left the show, I really thought he would be Old Rick, sitting in a rocking chair on the porch, dishing out his wise knowledge to his grandchildren, but no, Rick has gone! Not dead (thankfully), but gone away in a helicopter to heavens know where, to do heavens knows what. It was strange watching the new series without him, it felt leaderless, especially as Maggie did a vanishing trick as well! But we soon had some new characters introduced,


it usually takes me a while to get used to new people, but one of them has caught my attention, Luke. I hope he lasts a long time in the series, but you never know with The Walking Dead, no-one is safe, just ask Glenn, Abraham, Jesus, Shane, Lori………

As a footnote, I persuaded a reluctant husband to watch the opening episode with me, he watched it and then proceeded to watch four series in the space of three days! So now we watch it together, discuss it together and enjoy it together!!