13 things we learned watching the Great British Bake Off

  • It can sometimes happen that yeast can’t reach it’s full potential. Who knew? Obvs it goes without saying – you might be in trouble if it doesn’t.
  • No matter how pissed off you might get do not (I repeat DO NOT!) bin your cake. No matter how messy it might be.
  • Having said that – never ever leave your frozen baked alaska unattended.
  • Also – never ever leave your custard unattended.
  • It is possible to cry over an éclair. And any other baked good for that matter.
  • Make double and triple sure you haven’t mixed up your salt and pepper.
  • That said – the terror of soggy bottom can keep you up at night.
  • Your baked goods might look like a total mess and still taste good (am guilty of that one).
  • That brown stuff? It means your baked goods are burning and you might want to take them out of the oven. Just saying.
  • Look you might want to avoid – the Mary Berry death stare. That said – scrummy, scrumptious, yummy – all good things when coming from Mary Berry.

Image via Adam the Fish

UK shows I love at the mo.

Dear ladies and gents,

UK shows are oddly comforting and soothing to watch. Maybe because I grew up on the stuff and it reminds me of childhood. Maybe it’s because when we are in the UK and we get back to the hotel, there is always something interesting on. Yes, I’m the idiot that finds shows like Dickinson’s Real Deal interesting.

Be as it may… UK shows I’m watching at the moment.

Chasing Shadows

Chasing Shadows is produced by ITV and it stars Reece Shearsmith as DS Sean Stone. I don’t know what’s ailing Stone, but it’s one of those he’s-brilliant-but-awkward-with-people type of conditions? Anyhow. Stone gets demoted and transferred to the Missing Persons Bureau where he works with Ruth Hattersley (played by Alex Kingston. Who, if you are old enough, you might remember from ER. Anyone?) So Stone sees patterns (will ignore the obvious Sherlock rip off here, don’t let that put you off) and decides one missing girl was in fact abducted by a serial killer. And so it goes… solid crime drama.

Great British Bake Off

Please. It’s Mary Berry (sweet baby Jesus, that lady! I wish I was half as cool when I get to that age. Or even now?). And Paul Hollywood (to get the shallow out of the way, kinda foxy, no? Also stuff that dude can do with dough. Pffffft). And all the tarts, sponges, rolls, cakes and breads you can take. Yes, gimme more of that. Word of caution – you might want to watch it AFTER you’ve eaten. Otherwise you’ll eat everything and the kitchen sink.

Scott and Bailey

In third season now and still good. Another solid crime drama with two strong female leads.

The Trip

Because OMG how come I didn’t watch this before?

So ladies and gents, anyone have any additional recommendations? It would be much obliged.

Things I learned watching the Trip (and the Trip to Italy)

  • Everything can be made better with a Michael Caine impersonation.
  • That said – did you know it’s possible to get into a pissing contest over a Michael Caine impersonation? Men. Sheesh.
  • She was only 16 years old… You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off? That line? I still don’t know which movie it is from.
  • Also? Small man in a box makes everything better.
  • Did you know you are not having sex, but having a summit? Or a congress? Yes, well, there you go.
  • Did you know some old people, not all old people mind, seek aggravation? Anyone who has ever tried to fight them for a seat on the bus/tram/metro can vouch for that. Not that I have. My mum would be displeased. Manners and all.
  • Did you know that between looking like Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond it’s worse to look like Hammond? Also – hm NO (have you seen Clarkson’s pouch lately?)
  • It takes a really confident restaurant to serve something with spew in it.
  • Also conversely – did you know you can be introduced to cheese?
  • Number of thank yous per episode? Round about a million. Same for grazie and grazie mille.
  • I don’t know why this makes me laugh so hard. But it does.

  • Greatest gift for any actor? Sparkling blue eyes.
  • Also conversely – did you know it is possible to be a reasonable villain?
  • I disagree with the statement that anyone over 40 who amuses themselves by doing impressions needs to take a long look in the mirror. Because where would get our funnies otherwise?
  • The correct answer to where do you stand on Michael Bauble would be – on his wind pipe.

Things I learned watching Only Fools and Horses

Dear ladies and gents,

I have mentioned this before, but I grew up on a steady diet of British comedy. If there ever was a comedy that ruled them all it was Only Fools and Horses. If you haven’t watched it, all I can say – you lucky, lucky devil you. And what are you waiting for? It is so funny, you’ll bust your spleen laughing. And even though the first episode ever aired in 1981, all these years later, the show is still relevant.

Down below is the list of things I learned watching Only Fools and Horses. It is by no means a definitive list, so feel free to share your contributions in the comments.

  • he who dares wins. You know, eventually.
  • in case you were wondering – any and all French phrases Del Boy is using? Wrong.
  • did you know that they have moved the bit on the side? Well there you go. And neither did Rodney.
  • rule of thumb before you go to a nightclub – it might look good on the outside, but that’s what the Christians said of the Colosseum.
  • in case you were wondering – no, you can’t smoke astroturf.
  • Del Boy’s and Rodney’s mum said a lot (A LOT) on her deathbed.
  • it is possible to give your arse a headache. Also to sit down and keep your brains warm.
  • Trigger’s dad died a couple of years before he was born. Yes, took me a second too.
  • it is possible to have a black belt in origami. That one took me a second.
  • there is a karaoke version of Mozart’s Concerto No.5 in D-Minor.
  • alternatives to the sentence “during the war” – “during the 1939 – 1945 conflict with Germany”
  • Rodney’s trouble is he insists on thinking.
  • it might not be the best idea to sell Trigger a computer. He is still struggling with the light switches.
  • if you might by chance sink a aircraft carrier, make sure to have your excuse ready. Like that the said aircraft carrier was at battle stations and had no lights on. Obvs if the incident happens in broad daylight, you are kinda screwed. So yes, it is possible to miss 42 thousand tons of steel. In broad daylight. Because you aren’t close enough.
  • mark of a good salesman – you can sell a black cat to a witch.
  • in case you were wondering – no, you can’t get the Dukes of Hazzard on a microwave oven.
  • it’s Spanner Ballet and Duram Duram. Well who bloody knew?
  • if you are wanted by the authority and you go on the run, make sure to bring a tin opener with you. Because desperate men on the run do not pop home to borrow the tin opener.
  • how to know if your overcoat is made out of genuine camel hair? It will have a big lump in the back.
  • the only hole Uncle Albert hasn’t fallen in is the black hole of Calcutta.
  • wally, plonker, pranny, git, dipstick – all terms of endearment really.
  • Rodney would never make it as a prostitute. He can’t give it away, let alone flog it.