I know you’re all waiting with bated breath to hear whether I got to meet Johnny again yesterday.

Well, yes, thank you for asking.  I did!

I am exhausted.  By the end of the day I was nearly on my knees with the combined effects of a sleepless night, the crowds, hours of standing, and incipient heatstroke, but it was all worth it. The man is incredible:  handsome, sexy, elegant, patient and generous to his fans – and just plain nice.

I had almost decided not to go because of my shoulders and the travelling, and then the standing around all day in what promised to be very high temperatures, but OH is a sweetheart and he took me down the night before and on Monday morning nice and early, he sent me into South Woodford tube station with instructions to have a good day and say hello to Heathrow Jen for him.  Now, HJ wasn’t able to get there in the morning, so her lovely friend Pinky met me in Leicester Square and stood in for her till she could come to meet us in the afternoon.


HJ very thoughtfully sent a little folding stool via Pinky for me to sit on.   So we sat, and we stood, and we sat some more, and we tried not to melt, and we watched the crews put up the decorations and security barriers, and build enclosures for the press and a little ‘stage’ area for the interviews.  And the trucks came in to get everything ready for the outside broadcasting stuff.


And eventually it was time for the fun to begin.  The ticket holders for the premiere were let through to go in and sit down and the sun beat down and time passed. Very.  Slowly.

Most of the crowd were impeccably behaved up to this point, but as the time drew near, those at the back began to inch forward, and those of us at the front had to do some pretty neat footwork to stay upright.  There was a young lady near to us who – for some reason best known to herself – wanted more space than anyone else and she leaned and pushed and leaned until I was half a yard from my handbag and getting less and less space by the minute.   There’s always one, huh?

This young lady was very sweet though.  This is Kahlie from Pennsylvania, and she and her friend were behind us at the barriers.


Kahlie managed to get the coveted autograph on that magazine, only it looked a little dog-eared by then.  I’m sure she didn’t mind.  And if only all the fans were like these two lovely young ladies, there would be never be any trouble at all!

Then a man from Johnny Depp’s security detail came along to tell us that he’d be arriving soon, but that he’d be walking right by us without stopping because he’d have to go straight to the interviews.  However, he assured us he’d be back later,  and so we went on waiting in happy expectation.

We didn’t have to worry about not noticing when the right car turned up.  A crescendo of screaming erupted when Johnny arrived.  Sure enough, he strode cheerfully along the red carpet, grinning and raising his hand in greeting, but not stopping.  Having been warned, I was ready with my camera and got a bit of video for you, and you can see how jostled we all were by the wobbliness of it as I turned to follow him.  It wasn’t just the adrenaline, honest!

And so he did his funky stuff and then began signing for the crowd, but because he was late arriving, he didn’t have time to get around more than halfway before he had to go inside the theatre for the opening he was due to give on-stage.  A collective groan arose from the crowd and I hate to tell you that there were some very rude cries of ‘Johnny – COME BACK!!’ and suchlike utterances.

But being veterans, we simply waited, and then the lady next to me called a security guy over and quizzed him and he said, yes, Johnny would be back out again, but he had no idea when, it could be ten minutes or it could be two hours.  Ha!  Those in the know are well aware that he never watches the whole movie, and sure enough it was only about half an hour before he was back out and catching up on the signing duties, bless him.


To cut a very long story short, eventually we could see him approaching, nodding, smiling, and signing autographs.  Miss PushYouAllOverSideways wasn’t done yet though, and just as Johnny arrived and was standing right there in front of me, she leaned on us once again and I nearly went flying.  And I have to admit she did me a huge favour.

A strong hand clasped mine and held me steady, warm brown eyes looked over the top of spectacles straight into mine, and a voice said:

‘Are you alright there?  Are you getting squished?’

Yes, Johnny Depp himself reached out to steady me, and expressed a proper concern for my welfare!  Isn’t that something?  I tell you, a more warm and human superstar you could not hope to meet.  Amazingly, I found my voice in time to answer and thank him, but he has that effect on people. He stuns you, but also somehow makes it easy to respond.


Anyway.  Needless to say, I don’t have a picture of this event. It’s a miracle I still have the camera after yesterday.  But here’s a picture of the delightfully pretty Marion Cotillard instead.


I thought she might go some way to placating all you jealous guys out there.

Oh – and there will be an ABC Wednesday post up later.

Watch this space.

Posted on June 28, 2009 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay11 Comments »


It’s odd how we develop a liking for a particular number, isn’t it?  Most kids do, at some point, and my favourite was always the number eight.  I have no idea why.

Some of us carry that liking into our adult lives too, but I confess I forget about my favourite number for long periods of time until something reminds me – like Petra Michelle tagging me for a meme.  This one’s fairly simple: it consists of lists of eight things. I think I can handle that … but wait!  It seems to me that to do this properly, with my usual amount of waffling commentary on the whys and wherefores, I’m going to have to spread this over several days.  Don’t worry, I’ll try not to bore you too much and it’ll be easier on you all in small bites.

So. Today’s edition of the Eight meme -

Eight things I am looking forward to

I thought this one would be quite difficult, because my life is so unexciting, but having started to think about it, I realise my life is more interesting (at least to me) than I thought!

1 – Learning to use my new phone

Now this is inaccurate. I’m really NOT enjoying learning how to use my new phone. I looking forward to having learned how to use the damn thing.  OH bought me a new Nokia E-series phone yesterday and it is driving me nuts.  Nothing is intuitive and plenty of things are missing from the tutorial.  In addition to this, it doesn’t like talking to my Mac!


However.  Once I have learned how to use it, I’m sure it will be wonderful. It has internet access and everything!


2 – Going down to London

On Monday, I’m making the pilgrimage trip down to London to be in Leicester Square for the premiere of Johnny Depp’s new movie, Public Enemies.  It will be a long day in unpredictable weather – suggestions vary from ‘the hottest day of the year’ to ‘showers all day’ – and I haven’t a hope in hell of getting near to the front because I won’t be able to stand being jostled by the many excitable young ladies who will be there all hoping for the same thing: to get near the front and meet Johnny.  Because of this, and the fact that it was a last minute decision, I haven’t even had my hair done, so if I DO get to meet the man, he’ll be confronted by a woman with red hair and a silver streak a mile wide, giving her the appearance of a startled and possibly insane badger.   But he’s a very gracious and sweet man, so he’ll probably betray no surprise at all.

3 – The next Johnny Depp movie

The aforementioned ‘Public Enemies’ – the dramatised story of one John Dillinger: bank robber and media star of the depression era.  And from the clips and trailers I’ve seen, John Dillinger was a very sexy, handsome and charming man, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Johnny Depp at his finest.  Should be fun, then!

4 – Getting Sid home

We’ve been waiting a while now, and it’s all the gardeners’ fault.  But the lawn is growing nicely, the fence is up, and there’s only a little bit left for my tormentors to complete, so Sid will likely be coming home to live with us sometime around next weekend.  To this end, I’ve been busily sorting, cleaning and tidying those doggy items which can be passed along to be used by the new boy.   Then all we’ll have to do is to walk around the house and make sure there’s nothing dangerous lying around – dog-proof it, if you like – which means putting away asthma inhalers,  bars of dark chocolate, and remote controls, cables, leads, cosmetics, medicines and mobile phones.  Although that last item might just benefit from a few tooth marks, it seems to me. Show it who’s boss, you know?

5 – Becoming more involved with greyhound adoption

When I had greyhounds before, there was no local group active around here to do things like Meet and Greets, and charity boot sales, or any kind of fundraising at all.  But now I’ve found two, and Sid has been coming with me to a few things and I’ve had a great time while he’s performed his ambassadorial duties.  So I’m hoping that Sid and I can continue parading ourselves in public to show everyone what a great family pet a greyhound can be.  It’s good training for his future as a therapy dog anyway – he’s met kids and dogs and trolleys and wheelchairs and traffic and loud music and horses and so on, and so far he’s been an absolute star, bless him.

6 – Losing some weight

Ah yes.  Well, you see, I was doing really, really well.  I’d lost over three and a half stone, which is … well, there’s fourteen pounds in a stone, US people, so you do the maths.  Anyway, the various trials and tribulations I’ve had to cope with recently – my shoulder surgery, tearing the second rotator cuff, losing the dogs, health scares, financial crisis, unhappiness, and just lately some serious conflict among some good friends that they’re looking to me to fix – well, suffice it to say that I’m not one of those people who can’t eat when they’re stressed, quite the opposite.  Today had me practically eating the plaster off the walls … but my clothes don’t fit and I feel ugly and huge and I dare not get on the scales, so I’m going to have to do something about that.  And once I start to lose a few pounds again, I will be much happier all round.

7 – My shoulders feeling better

You know, I have a suspicion that losing weight will help my shoulders too.  Shhh!  Don’t say a word.  It’s bloody helpful for me to believe it so shutupshutupshutup!   If you think I’m wrong, just don’t. say. anything.  ‘Kay?  Thanks.

8 – Going to the US

And a trip is planned!  We’ll be travelling to the US in October for the Columbus Day weekend ‘Greyhounds Reach the Beach’ event in Delaware.   It should be a great trip with good friends and lots and lots of lovely dogs and fun events and shopping, and it’s just a shame that Sid can’t be there too, because I think he’d love it.  But he can’t, so he’ll be going back to stay with his trainer again for the duration, and he’ll enjoy that too.

We’ll fit in a few other things as well, just to make it worthwhile, and we hope to see a bit more of the beautiful Utah scenery, and maybe some Tennessee too.  Details have yet to be sorted, but I’m sure we’ll have fun.

So that’s the first little list of eights!  Don’t go away now – there’ll be another one along in a minute.

Well.   A day or two, anyway.

Posted on June 25, 2009 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay10 Comments »

Many of you have noticed that CommentLuv has stopped working correctly on this blog.  I’ve been editing the comments and fixing the broken bit, but today I put in a support ticket to FiddyP and I now know why it won’t work anymore.

I’ve been using an old version of CommentLuv, apparently, and it needs updating.  The problem is that I can’t update it without updating my blog software and I actually rather like the way things work around here, so for now I’m disabling CommentLuv altogether so we won’t get those annoying error messages while I think about whether to modernise or not.

I’m sorry to lose that neat little link back to your latest post, but you will still have the link back to your home page through your name, of course.

I hope I won’t disappoint you all this week, but I have to make this quick – I’m going to be away tomorrow, and I wanted to make sure my ABC Wednesday post was up in time.

So I rushed around the house snapping pictures all over the place, and this is what I found.


Let’s face it, if I’m stuck for a letter, there are always books!  In this case, the one in the centre, which is called ‘A word in your shell-like’ and is about – as you can see – the meanings of everyday phrases, such as ‘as daft as a brush’ or ‘upset the applecart’.  I love books about language and why we say the things we do!

Here’s another ‘W‘ book


The World Handbook.  It is way out of date now, but still interesting to browse through, and there will come a time when it’s interesting because it’s out of date and we’ll be able to see how things used to be in its year of publication.

I also have this -


There.  Now I can go and buy even more books at Waterstones!  Yay!

Another thing I like to do with my spare time is making jewellery. I’m not an expert by any means, but I enjoy it, and many of my friends have been recipients of my homemade bracelets, necklaces and earrings for birthday gifts – whether they like it or not!

If you look closely, you’ll be able to see some ear wires in this box of findings -


Those pliers are essential tools for jewellery-making, particularly so if you work with wire, and I do use sterling or silver plated wire in my creations.


One buys in small quantities, naturally!

It’s nice to sit indoors occupied with some kind of craft when the weather is bad.  I’m the sort of person who never really knows what the weather is going to do, but luckily, OH is very interested in meteorology, if only with regard to what the weather is going to do where he is at the time.  To this end, he has a weather station.


So, if I want to know if it will be sunny or rainy, I can just ask him. Because frankly, I can’t make head nor tail of this thing!

Talking of wetness


… this is what happens if you come to hug your mother when she’s washing up.   Yes, I do have big hands, don’t I?

Here’s another wet thing -


It’s a washable sheepskin rug. I bought it for The Pirate when he was having trouble getting comfortable.  Up till today, it was lying in his bed with his yellow duck,  just as he left it, but since it seems likely that we’ll be bringing Sid home towards the end of next week, I thought it was time to get the last few things washed and ready to be used by the new boy.  I’m sure he’ll enjoy this .. once it’s dry, but it does take a long time, and you can’t put it in the tumble drier!

Talking of dogs, Susan was white, look!


That is a greyhound figurine which we had painted from a photograph.  This is exactly what she looked like, colourwise.  And her name?  For those who can’t quite make it out, her racing name was ‘Extra Wish‘.

I found more white things in my kitchen cupboard.  Some nice plain white porcelain jugs and ramekins and a condiment set.


Oh yes, and a Wonka bar, which a fellow fan gave me after the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory premiere which we had attended together.

You wondered how I was going to get Johnny in here, didn’t you?  Well, he did play Willy Wonka – and I have the poster to prove it!


And the other poster?  Johnny’s character in Dead Man was called William Blake.

Here’s one more -


Secret Window, in which he plays a psychopath.  With whiskers.  Mmmm!

Willy Wonka, William Blake, and Mort Rainey from Secret Window .. yes, he certainly has played some weirdos!