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November 2011

Book Review: Zombie Apocalypse! by Stephen Jones

By Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
zombie-apocalypse-stephen-jones After enjoying reading about flesh-eating zombies in The Fear by Charlie Higson (see Book Review: The Fear by Charlie Higson), while in my local supermarket I saw Zombie Apocalypse! by Stephen Jones. With the stereotypical title “Zombie Apocalypse!” and front cover (depicting London is ruins in the background and zombies with bloody mouths in the forefront) I nearly put it back on the shelf. But then I read the back and it revealed the story would be told through the medium of eyewitness narratives through text messages, official reports, blogs, letters, diaries, etc. It looked interesting so I picked it up.

The opening chapter was long and dull but I read on hoping it would get better. The general storyline is that the New Festival of Britain is taking place in South London. In order to create a festival site they choose to dig up the graves at All Hallows Church. In one of the crypts fleas from the bubonic plague are released causing the reanimation virus. The storyline feels a bit disjointed and that’s because various authors wrote different chapters. It appears Steve Jones was just the person that put the chapters together.

As the story continues we are introduced to groups of characters, some of which are killed off or become zombies. The problem with this book was that the characters constantly change meaning you can’t make a connection with any of them. The characters changing is part of the story as the reanimation virus spreads from London to Mexico and various other places around the world. Apart from the odd good chapter I found this book boring in all honesty. Indeed at times I had to force myself to read on.

Towards the end of the book they find a treatment for the reanimation virus however the future of humanity remains unsure with a letter from the Zombiefied Queen of Great Britain.

I was utterly disappointed with the book. Remembering to my gut feeling in response to the cover I shouldn’t have picked it up. Next time I will make sure that I follow my gut feeling.

Write soon,


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My Minds Willing

By Friends & Family, HealthNo Comments

Dear Family, Friends & People in General,

Thank you for all your invitations. To birthday celebrations, weddings, or for a brew and a chin wag. I love spending time with you all. My mind (and mouth) is always willing to attend a social occasion, but please don’t judge me too hard if sometimes I politely decline.

It’s my body you see. With my diabetes it gets tired. Someday’s I wake up and I feel like I’ve not slept for days. Then I’ve got to do my day, which sometimes leaves me exhausted. So please don’t make me feel guilty for the limitations of my body.

I want to see you and spend time with you, after all I care for you a great deal. I enjoy your company. But I have to accept what my body needs and sometimes that’s sleep.

So if I do decline a social invitation please consider the limitations of my body and don’t make me feel guilty.

My Love,


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By PaganismNo Comments

I spent Samhain (Halloween) with my good friends Simon & Chrys. Samhain is pagan new year (see Pagan Festivals), and as part of our ritual we had an outdoor fire. We threw slips of paper with what we want to leave behind in the last pagan year or get rid of the this pagan year. Some of my slips included:

  • Grief
  • Ill Health
  • Debts – credit cards and over draft
  • Fatigue

Here’s a photo of the fire after I’d thrown one of my slips in:

Glorious! Banished in the flames.

Write soon,


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An evening seeing John Barrowman LIVE

By Gigs & Shows2 Comments

I have wanted to see John Barrowman for years. For a few years I couldn’t manage to get tickets (as he plays in more intimate venues); then I got tickets last year and was too ill to go; so this year I bought tickets again and am so glad I did.

I went with my good friend Simon. Here’s some photos (click on any for full size):

(Above: Me getting ready to meet my husband to be…John Barrowman)
(Above: Simon and me posing.)
(Above: Simon and me – I looked up instead of looking forward after I’d pressed the camera button.)
(Above: Simon and me possing.)

We decided to make a night out of it and headed in to Manchester City Centre for food, here we are well fed:

Then we headed down to The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester for the gig. On our arrival immediately we saw that we where in the right place. We saw a guy wearing a Torchwood trench coat (ironically wearing jeans and a t-shirt underneath with trainers as footwear) and several people proudly showing-off their 2011 tour t-shirts. The crowd were mostly OAP’s, grannies with curled white hair and granddads with either no hair or comb-overs. In the crowd were also stocky balled men taking their relatively tiny mothers and the occasional middle age short tubby gay couples (often with one hair so neat that it must have been a wig). The rest of the crowd were made up of stereotypical-looking housewives. It did wonders for my self-esteem as I think I was the youngest one there.

As we took our seats in the auditorium (which had a good acoustics) we saw a young cool-looking gay couple in the row in front of us. It was nice to see a happy looking gay couple among the crowd and they made me laugh we they bopped their heads trying to look cool when John sang. The show started with a bang:

(Above: John behind the curtain, before the curtain dropped.)
(Above: John singing.)

Then the J4’s (John’s four dancers and backing singers) got to do a song :

(Above: J4’s doing their stuff.)

Then it was time for Jody Prenger to sing. After her first song she had a chat with the audience. I couldn’t believe that someone which such broad northern accent could produce such fantastic vocals.

(Above: Jody Prenger singing.)

Throughout the show John told stories about himself, his family and his partner (Scott) inbetween tracks. John also used the opportunity to shamelessly promote other buisness ventures including his skin care range HIM, his music (The Very Best of John Barrowman (CD), Music Music Music, Another Side), his books (Anything Goes & I am What I am) and his DVD’s (John Barrowman Collectors Edition [DVD], John Barrowman Live At The Royal Albert Hall [DVD], An Evening With John Barrowman [DVD]). But we (the audience) didn’t mind as he’d won us over as soon as he’d come stage being his camp and lovely self. Plus he wiggled his arse rather expertly at the audience pretty early on!

Simon and I agreed that John’s vocals had vastly improved from previous years. My opinion came from his previous DVD’s I had seen and Simon’s opinion came from his experience watching him last year. Well done John! I did notice at points that he appeared out of breath with the dancing and singing, but as an all round entertainer he delivered an excellent performance. I didn’t realise that he’s forty-five years old this year, he looks really good for his age.

(Above: John performing.)

It was time for the interval and after a quick leg stretch Simon and I returned to our seats. The screen at the back of the stage was showing photos and I caught this one while playing with my iPhone 4 camera:

(Above: John on a beach in small swimwear definitely a must click for full size photo.)

The second part of the show began with John doing a few tracks before introducing his parents. His father dressed as a construction worker and his mother dressed as a police woman to which they did YMCA! Photo’s below:

(Above: John singing.)
(Above: John and his parents.)
(Above: John and his parents.)
(Above: John and his parents.)
(Above: John and his parents.)

Then John and Jody did a duet entitled So Close:

(Above: John and Jody singing.)
(Above: John and Jody singing.)

Then John did a holiday songs remix with the J4’s. The two scrumptious male dancers ended up wearing practically nothing apart from some blue swimwear which was fantastic. After the song the male J4’s bent down to pick up some props from the back of the stage showing their perk arses to the audience. John jokingly told them off for “milking” it but we (the audience) didn’t mind:

Then John performed a few slow songs before changing into a fab sparkly suit for his finale I am what I am:

Throughout the show John made good eye contact with the auidence and pointed at certain people in the auidence to make them feel special – an old entertainer trick that works. At one point in the first half John asked if there were any gay people in the audience and Simon and I whooped! John made eye contact, smiled and waved. Alas he didn’t see me, fall in love, take me on stage and get down on one knee – but hey you can’t have everything.

I throughly enjoyed the show, so thank you John Barrowman.

Write soon,


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