The Olive Press welcomes our new blogger Belinda Beckett. Journalist, Wordsmith & Mistress of Sizzle!
AS we settle into the New Year (most of us wishing it didn’t end in a ‘13’), what are your indelible memories of 2012? Here are my own Sizzling Top 10.
1 Look Before You Leap
Girls, did you take advantage of Leap Year to propose to your man on February 29th? More than one third of British women did, according to a survey by the British Heart Foundation. For their sakes, I hope none of them lived north of the border where 1 in 5 Scotsmen said they would rather run a mile than say ‘yes’ if their girlfriend popped the question.
But would you seriously propose to your boyfriend live, on air, before you’d sussed out his likely reply?
Romantic Aimee Parker clearly didn’t before deciding to spring a surprise proposal on her live-in lover, Oz radio DJ Ben Jones, in a phone call to the station.
The Man from the Land Down Under refused to make an honest woman of her then and there, telling her in front of several thousand listeners, “Aimee, you might as well get up off your knee.”
You can listen to his heartless kiss-off here:
Never mind Aimee, tell him to go off and wrestle a crocodile.
2 A Right Royal Washout
Not the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant itself (although it rained on the royal parade in Biblical proportions) but the cringe-worthy BBC coverage of the spectacle.
As Tweeted by inveterate social networker, Stephen Fry, it was ‘mind-numbingly tedious’ and ‘eggier and cheesier than a collapsed souffle’.
My own favourite eye-watering moment was seeing Anneka Rice (the one with the MA in Enforced Jollity) ‘interviewing’ (sic) a water colour artist on one of the Thames bridges as the heavens opened – then walking off with the artist’s umbrella, leaving her morning’s work to dissolve in the downpour!
Nor will I forget the stalwart expressions on the faces of Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, 86 and pushing 91 respectively, as they stood to attention on the royal barge for four butt-freezing hours.
You wouldn’t put your own grandparents through it!
The Duke was subsequently taken ill with a bladder infection, exacerbated by being unable to desert his post to relieve himself all that time.
Who’d be a royal?
3 Past His ‘Shell-by’ Date
On 24 June we said a fond farewell to the world’s last Pinta Island Galapagos tortoise, Lonesome George, aged 100+. The gentle giant, who weighed in at some 90 kilos in his prime, had many friends but no lovers. So disinterested was he in sexual encounters that he even refused to provide scientists with a sperm sample.
His demise marks the extinction of the sub-species but George still has ‘shell-f- life’. He’s been embalmed as a tourist attraction!
4 Patriot Games
Who can forget the Summer Games in London? Not only for team GB’s success at the London Olympics which made us proud (for once) to be British; but for the awesome blade-running performances of disabled athletes at the subsequent Paralympics.
As a non-sporty person, my take-away memory will be the sight of the Olympic cauldron as its 204 copper petals rose to become one single torch. Nothing short of spectacular!
5 Fifty Shades of Great
Would you buy a book that lists ‘Laters, baby’ as one of its famous quote lines? Not unless you’re a meerkat is the Simples answer.
Yet, despite being rubbished by the critics, in August Mommy porn novelist E.L. James wrote herself into the annals of history to become the world’s best-selling author ever for Fifty Shades of Grey. Her tale of a virginal heroine who falls for a kinky billionaire has become the guilty pleasure of millions of women worldwide.
It may not be great literature but do the math and I think most writers (if they’re honest) would agree, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
6 Rocket Man
On October 14th, fearless Felix Baumgartner completed a 24-mile human skydive from the edge of space, becoming the first man to break the sound barrier without mechanical help. Asked what he was thinking about as he stood on top of the world, he said it was “not about breaking records. I was thinking about coming back alive. You do not want to die in front of your parents and all these people….I thought ‘please God, don’t let me down’.”
Maybe he shouldn’t be thanking God yet awhile… What long-term damage the force of travelling at 1,342 kph has done to his internal organs, only time will tell. But this adrenalin junky is clearly a hopeless addict. Either that or, as one wag Tweeted, ‘It’s one hell of a way to get a facelift.’
7 J.R. Bows Out (nobody shot him)
As a member of the Dallas generation who was gripped by the weekly Texas soap and its iconic villain, J.R., I was saddened to hear of Larry Hagman’s passing. He died on November 23, aged 81, from complications related to cancer. The show became a mega-hit with the Who Shot J.R.? plot line that had a staggering 350 million viewers worldwide tuning in to see whodunnit.
Kristen Shepherd, the sister of J.R.’s wife Sue Ellen, pulled the trigger but it wasn’t fatal for Hagman, who had become the star of the show by default. He refused to film the sequence without a suitable pay rise and returned to work, alive and kicking, with a new contract for $100,000 per episode!
That’s what I call true Texas Hold ’Em style.
8 A Peace of Bullsh*t
In December, the European Union was officially awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.
Looking at it from the point of view of a resident in beleaguered Spain (and the Greeks may care to join me) I have only one comment to make.
9 The End of the World was Nigh
But not that nigh. Although it seemed to be a case of Apocalypse Now on December 21st as Doomsday soothsayers predicted Armageddon for the human race, in conjunction with the end of the Mayan calendar.
Nobody believed them but it made a great Christmas Silly Season story for the media, deflecting from the very real repercussions we all still face from global economic meltdown.
10 Gangnam PSYchosis
December 21st was also symbolic for the South Korean musical phenomenon, PSY, when his Gangnam Style video became viewed for a record 1 billion times. The video (whose title I only just found out refers to the Gangnam District of Seoul and not a bunch of urban malcontents), has influenced popular culture worldwide and everyone from marketeers to meerkats are jumping up and down on his lucrative bandwagon. Cute if taken in very small doses, I’ll spare you the link to a repeat performance.
Instead, check out Google’s great video retrospective of what was hot in 2012.