Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bring me the Head of Alfredo Mallard

… that I may glue it back on with evostick.

Alfredo is my favourite of the ducks that fly across our fridge in homage to Hilda Ogden This morning I swept him to the floor with vigorous Dettox, and his head went the way of one of his long-lost little yellow feet. We’re searching still.

In England-our-old-country I used to love Coronation Street (which I think finally grew to several hundred episodes a week); even got George interested (or he surrendered). For, as opposed to deeply gloom-filled EastEnders, Corrie characters actually had Different Characters, often very funny (deliberately) and always interesting.

Since moving to France, we fickley never give it a thought. We Have The Technology to watch English soaps and I bet that I (not George) could easily become engrossed in any – it’s the joy of poking your nose into other people’s existences without guilt or consequence…

In France, the soaps generally seem to be imported from the States – The Bold and the Beautiful; The Young and the Restless (woe betide thee if you disturb our neighbours while that’s on).

Does Dallas count as a soap? Here, it has different intro music and a rousing Song! “Dallas – your universe pitiless…” (The tune’s Very different). I have always been grateful for the translations I gleaned from it: “Show him in!”, for example, or “That’s blackmail!”, are always uppermost in my French chitchat.

There are also lots of American and German detective series in France, (“Get out of the WAY!” is handy) – always fascinating to hear the voice they use to dub an actor you know. Apparently they actually have voice doubles – wouldn’t that be a great job… I’d like to be Whoopie Goldberg’s please. Of course, mine might be a bit white and squeaky, but I’d be willing to have my vocal chords tweaked…

Not everything on TV here is imported; I must put in a vote for a recent brilliant French drama about the German occupation of a French village in 1940: Un Village Français – gripping and powerful and I can’t wait till it comes on again.

But back to Coronation Street. I acquired my collection of Hilda’s Flying Ducks some years ago, when George took me on a surprise visit to the set at Granada Studios. It was fabulous, with the Rovers Return and the Corner Shop and the cobbles and the general wonderment. (In fact, it was almost as good as the surprise visit to Cadbury World, where my souvenirs filled a wheelbarrow).

Distressingly, I’ve just discovered on Google that the Corrie tours stopped when the inordinate number of episodes per week required too much actual filming. Oh dear – so many disappointed fans.

Thank Heavens I got my Ducks in time.


Expat Corrie lover said...

I just loved Coronation Street while I lived in the UK....Elsie Tanner (my kind of feisty woman!), the gorgeous young Ken Barlow, busybody and moral watchdog Ena Sharples, the Ogdens...the sheer variety of characters, as you say Dolores.

There is, and never has been, anything to compare to it on American TV for realism. Well, maybe "All in the Family" which was a groundbreaker in its own way but did not have the longevity.

But then I can't think of any program (maybe Pamorama?) that has the longevity of Coronation Street!

Hope you find the missing duck piece!!

Canary Islander said...

This is terrible news! You mean you actually LIKE television soaps? Here’s me, waxing lyrical about all the amazing things we have in common, and you choose to drop this bombshell? You could have knocked me off my perch with a feather!

I hate soaps. They are full of geographically challenged people with strange accents, who seem to delight in being horrid to each other. They are nothing but advertisements for bad language, bad behaviour and the worst possible bad taste in home furnishings.

And they are addictive. I blame soaps for the increase in people who cannot live a moment without their television set ON. Always ON, ON, ON!!!!

Yuk! (end of rant – I’m busily pulling my sound-proof cover over my cage).


Dolores Doolittle said...

Hi Expat Corrie Lover

I'm Delighted you liked it too! Thirty-odd years ago I temped briefly at Granada Studios - hugely exciting. Specially when Mike Baldwin Gave Me a Second Glance across the canteen!! - I'd always lusted after him.

Never seen 'All in the Family', but George & I both adore 'Frasier' (up till Daphne & Niles were betrothèd), and 'Cheers'

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hello CI-ranting! And you're Right to Rant; except about Corrie. (Are you suggesting a lack of taste in Flying Ducks)?! That's very harsh.

These days, it seems to be Home-Revamping and Trendy Cooking programmes that have taken over in addiction-inducing. Who could resist Grand Designs and Masterchef?

I'm Sorry, but in the evenings I often like to plodge in front of the TV - I'm some way past Nightly Rampaging. (In fact, we've just had a month of frenzied gallivanting and I might have to join our aged neighbours on their three-week Cure...

Expat said...

Relax, CI, I just said that I liked Coronation Street very much many moons ago. I don't watch any soaps these days. Haven't for years.

We actually watch very little American network TV because it's awful. And who has the time with all this blogging and commenting and stuff?

I do enjoy Masterchef and used to love that gardening program with the bra-less woman with red hair. And sometimes BBC America comes through with something decent. Mostly we rent DVDs, which I plop down to watch and promptly fall asleep!

Canary Islander said...

Well, you had me really worried there!

I too, like watching TV programmes about home revamping and trendy cooking. Alas, I’ve never watched a TV gardening programme with a bra-less redhead. You mean a bra-less redhead as in a redheaded female sans bra? Which channel? Where? Reply please toot sweet!!!

My real favourite TV is a film, particularly a romantic love story which has a happy ending. Wasn’t the ending of “A Message in a Bottle” just so depressing? You see, I want love to win, win, win - every time!

I sometimes flop at the end of day. But that is to do with my various aches and pains, not with my mind – that usually stays awake until far into the night. If you happen to be awake in the wee small hours, listen carefully, and you might just hear a feather rustling softly as my head moves under my wing . . . . .

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hi Expat & Canary

Yep, we like DVD's too, and George seems able to enjoy the same film 39 times.

A great recent one we saw was 'Collateral' with Tom Cruise about a contract killer & a taxi driver. Exciting and strangely moving.

'Message in a Bottle', don't remember much about, except that fabulous Paul Newman was in it being wryly wise dad.

We're going to a film night soon, where everyone has to take a dvd with a Train Scene in it (but not 'Fugitive', sadly), and we watch the voted favourites. Long into the night. (Last time George & I surrendered after film two, I'm afraid).

Jon said...

We will be getting English language telly for the first time in over six years on...Monday! Assuming I can get the disk fixed.

Aside from Dr Who (sent to me on DVD) I have NO IDEA what has gone on on British TV in all that time and I feel that a new world could shortly be opening up before me.

Once I can get the kids out of the way.

Expat said...

Are youe sure you want to watch English telly, Jon? The news is very depresing. And I understand the top favorite programs are American imports anyway! Yuk.

You are sorely missed on the DT blogs, by the way.

Jon in France said...

I'm not sure what's going on with the DT. I'm waiting for them to get back in touch with me about re-starting following the introduction of the new blogging system, but they seem to have lost all the stuff I wrote for them...

Dolores Doolittle said...

I second that, Expat (about you stopping DT, Jon). How merrily we used to click upon your icon!

English TV becomes much better in the autumn, in fact - lots of gritty dramas for those Dark Scary Evenings.

I can't think what to recommend at the moment, although Grand Designs is on somewhere. And we landed on 'The Hotel Inspector' yesterday, where a very likeable (sympathetically firm) woman tells people how to revitalise their hotels/b&b's etc.

Perhaps Radio Times might give an idea of what's there -

You're bound to find enough to fill your spare three and a half minutes after tea!

Canary Islander said...

Well, if there's nothing much on TV, how about a silly poem to amuse you? It's only a click away .... (and it has been ignored for over a week now (sob!!!).

Jon in France said...

I've not ignored it CI - it's just that I can't comment on it 'cos I haven't got a google ID or similar. Or, rather, I have but I've forgotten the password each time I've used it.

Can you set it up with name / url?

Expat said...

Jon, I have the same problem with CI's blog. I can read but not comment.

CI, I second Jon's suggestion! I used to have a google ID but cancelled it. Don't like having my personal ifo in all those places.

Oh, and your My T. blog is screwed up too, CI I can open your page but it's blank.

Expat said...

(sorry to hijack your space for a minute Dolores)

Jon, About the DT blogs...

The new format is bland. Hardly anyone has an avatar because it's too darned difficult now to post one. It seems that the whole thing is still a work in people complain enough, things get fixed. The moderation is bizarre. It's not the comfortable place it used to be.

I'm not surprised your stuff has been lost. Other people (like Peter Foster) are not blogging either, perhaps for the same reason as you. Shane doesn't seem to understand that "new" is not always "improved."

Keep pushing his buttons. We want you back!!

Dolores Doolittle said...

Jon - how very Silly of DT then. Thank Heavens your Vendée Blog is Packed with terrific stuff more than ever! I see there's a new one today that promises hilarity!

Canary, please mention here when you do a new post - I check every so often but am obviously not in sync!

I Have got a google ID but I'm not sure when I acquired it - would it have been when I set up my gmail account? It's jolly handy for commenting all over the place.

Dolores Doolittle said...

by the way, canary, in your blog's Settings, Comments, have you got that set to 'Just Google Id's'?
I've just found mine's set to 'Anyone' (until something makes it seem too rash).

Dolores Doolittle said...

Expat, it's not hijacking, it's important comment.

I was annoyed at avatar-lack on DT too, and haven't delved enough yet to find an enticing place.

Haven't given up on it - I'm hoping that adequate delve-time would turn up stuff one is drawn to again.

Jon in France said...

I have got a gmail account, but it is the name of Monty the Mouse, a pseudonym I use occaisonally for times when I which to conceal my true self. Naughty I know.

I shall pester the DT again next week.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Isn't it great! - I've got several hotmails for Exciting Personas that I'm not. Kind of hard to keep track of though.

If you've got a gmail, doesn't it cunningly default to your gmail ID when you go to post? you could change it to Monty in France (but a secret one)...
Expat & CI - haven't you done something of that ilk?

Yes PLEASE pester DT - many groupies will be thrilled!

Canary Islander said...

Wow! Double Wow!! Thank you (Dolores, Expat, Jon) so much!!!

I had no idea that my blog had been set up with a restriction on Comments. I’d simply accepted the standard Blogger System defaults when I first set up the account here. Am I a twit or a complete twit? Silly me to be so trusting! I’ve now explored the “Settings/Comments” tabs and hopefully the problem is now solved. You are all much more experienced at this blogging lark than me, so please let me know if there is anything more I should do (or undo)!

Yes, the DT is having problems on its website, and I have been watching aghast at the recent serious technical screw-ups on MyT – it has been a complete disaster – Comments not showing or disappearing – Blog posts not appearing – one blog remaining stuck for days on the MyT front page – etc etc. And there has also been a spate of really nasty people having blazing arguments and cursing each other – so much so that I was moved to suggest that the site impose a maximum number of blogs (and a maximum number of comments) per ID per hour! Alas, MyT has become NOT My (cup of) T !! But hopefully things will improve ….

As for multiple ID’s – when I first discovered the DT website, I set up two ID’s because I thought it would be a good idea to blog under one ID (fun stuff) and comment (serious stuff) under the other. But I soon gave up. It was too much of a hassle signing in/off/in/off ad nauseum and ending up totally muddled.

Jon, I too, miss your blog on the DT. The site is much poorer without you. The Readers Digest has it so right by saying that “Laughter is the Best Medicine”.

Thanks a bunch again – a huge Canary “TWEET” to you all!

lili b said...

Hi Dolores!
Thanks for your hilarious comments on 130 cartons! I finally suceeded in putting the award on the blog! I also made it a link to "all the days of Dolores".
Are you using twitter?

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hi lili b!

So glad you got the Golden Blog Award displayed, and it's Perfectly Positioned as well! Thank You Greatly for linking it here!

I see also on 130 Cartons, that you're in a Marie Claire France blog competition - loads of luck with that!

No, I've restrained myself from Twittering - for me, it would be too tempting to spend all day dipping in and out of Chat places!
Are you there, or pondering upon it?

lili b said...

thank you for encouraging me for the blog compétition!
I have fun reading your blog and discovering the french world with your eyes.
I opened and account on twitter althought I don't know anybody on it; I wanted to advertise my blog on it! and I find it quite entertaining and funny! But your right it may be tricky and adictive (as soap and series!)

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hi lili b!

I've always been puzzled (and therefore inactive) about advertising my blog. Twitter is probably a good idea, as might be - this seems to be a Mass Gathering of Blogs; there is much chatter and Noticing of Other Blogs.

Expat, Canary & Jon of Vendée Blog comment here - I love them all deeply, and we ran into each other via Daily Telegraph blogs.

Any other newspaper will do similar pages, and BBC radio4 includes blogs on its wonderful site. For a start try:
(marvellous drily witty 'PM' radio 4 news prog at 5pm).

Comment everywhere & be noticed (as I IntendED to). Your avatar's great to start with, so if you include your http, people will Rush to investigate!

(Excusez moi d'avoir autant Pontifié)!

Canary Islander said...

Wot's this? A Love fest? I too, love everybody really deeply! I hope you've noticed I'm a cartoon, Lili B, (but I stole it).

Congratulations on winning the Blog de Ouro!

lili b said...

thanks to all of you!

Dolores Doolittle said...

Yes, Canary - a lovefest - when shall we all be wed? (Bilby of MyT has already rejected me several times - bloglove can be So Hard).

Canary Islander said...

Dolores! I'm always available for a courtship (no strings attached)! In fact, I was hoping for more when I was in Normandie near, and yet so far (sob!).

Strange that you should mention Bilby. She gave me a passing comment on MyT this morning. Is a passing comment a pass? All this blog etiquette is so confusing.

Maybe she is using me as a go-between to attract your affections, not realising that I am also madly, deeply, and passionately in love with you (and with Ex-Pat and Jon and Lili).

Or have I been watching too much TV?

Dolores Doolittle said...

'Is a passing comment a pass?', Canary?

Certainly! Specially if there were allusions to your glistening muscles and ability to croon like Perry Como.

(Not that that's ever done me any good)

Canary Islander said...

Perry Como was so PC, wasn't he?

Dolores Doolittle said...

Indeed he was, Canary - and Perfectly Constructed springs to mind

Canary Islander said...

Passing Comments are also so PC.

Help!!! I'm getting Pretty Confused by this line of conversation....

Expat said...

Perfectly Constructed and Properly Cardiganed.... and born in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Is there no end to this CP madness?

Canary Islander said...

Alpha men are beta, and always gamma for a laugh.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hi Expat & Canary, I am Perpetually Creudled by your hilarity.

(perfectly cardiganed)!!!

That's all I have to say now...

Canary Islander said...

Creudled? As in Creudled Peanuts? Yummy!

(What do they taste like?)

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hi CI - they taste Very Like hedgehog peanuts

Expat said...


There's a new kid in town and I like her a lot. Check out Melissa Whitworth on the DT blogs. She writes about New York....light, upbeat, food, fashion, what's in etc. It's fun (although I know next to zilch about New York and I admit I have got a bit testy with other comenters once or'll work out who).

Hope to see you there!!!

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hi Expat. Just read Melissa's post on cake shops (& you were there!) and as you say, she's lots of fun.

I like her zingy style very much, and don't think I'd have found her without Years of Delving - thanks for the tip! (searched on the name, posts sorted by relevance)

Canary Islander said...

And great photos too!

I love NY - and this has made me think of another visit next summer...

Anonymous said...

You have really great taste on catch article titles, even when you are not interested in this topic you push to read it

Dolores Doolittle said...

Thank you greatly, Anonymous - yes, I've always liked the titles best...

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys! Just wanted to say hello to the new community :). Thanks for letting me in! :D

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