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Today the World has Lost a Great Source of Laughter

By Gigs & Shows, Happiness & Joy, Inspiration, ThinkingNo Comments

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Victoria Wood Funny Image (from: ‘An Audience with Victoria Wood,’ December 1998)

It is with great sadness that I write this blog post. Today Victoria Wood died, after a short battle with cancer at the age of just sixty two.

Victoria was an exceptionally funny Comedian, Actress and Writer. I feel that we have lost a great source of laughter in the world.

Victoria came from humble beginnings, being born and raised in Rochdale, Lancashire, in the North West of England. Victoria moved down to London to pursue her dream of becoming an Entertainer. In an interview with Victoria she once said that she always knew that she wanted to be a performer.

Victoria had much success and recognition in her career working in the mediums of stand-up comedy, sketches scene comedy, musical comedy and script writing. She has worked on TV, radio and theatre shows.

Through Victoria’s TV work she touched the hearts and resonated with millions of people across the country. This was likely because of her very down to earth and human approach to the audience. In Victoria’s shows she was always ahead of the times. All of her previous work is as relevant today as the day she wrote/performed it.

When Victoria first started out in mainstream comedy, all Comedians were male. It is said by some that Victoria led the way for other female Comedians – the likes of French & Saunders.

In Victoria’s personal life, she married young and has had two children. My thoughts are with her family. Victoria also disclosed and has talked openly about having depression.

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My Victoria Wood DVD Collection, along with other DVDs by female comedians.

For me Victoria was and is a constant source of laughter. Proper laugh-out-loud laughter.

Left is an image of my Victoria Wood DVDs. Some of them I have watched so often that I could repeat them to you word by word. Yet they still make me laugh. Victoria was a clever comedian that found the fun and humour in the often otherwise ordinary. I wish she had toured in the last few years, so I could have seen her live.

Victoria Wood is also a source of connection to my good friend Sye. We have often watched Victoria Wood DVDs together and laughed. The laughter helping to cement our friendship through our shared love of Victoria’s comedy and the shared experiences of watching together.

I heard the news of her death on the radio whilst driving home from work. My initial thought was one of disbelief.

I had to check several newspaper websites when I got home from work. Then I sat down in shock. Victoria has often worked with the same people throughout her career, many of whom were older than her. Yet she has died before them. Just goes to show, you never know how much time you have on this planet.

My third feeling and the one that’s stayed is a feeling of sadness. Think of how much unfinished ideas and creative works she wasn’t able to complete. Think of the new jokes and tales of laughter she was planning on sharing. Very sad.

Write soon,

Antony

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The Life of David Bowie

By Music & Radio, ThinkingNo Comments
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David Bowie Gif, click to activate (From eBaum’s World).

On Sunday 10th January 2016, the iconic, undoubtably talented and inspirational David Bowie sadly died. But rather that mourn his death, I wanted to celebrate his life and above all his music.

I didn’t grow-up with David Bowie. I’m nearly thirty, so a bit young. Instead, I discovered him as an adult.

My all-time favourite song of his is Under Pressure. I particularly love this rendition from Madison Square Garden in 1997:

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I like many of his other tracks including:
Heroes:

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Dancing In The Street:

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Let’s Dance:

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Changes:

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Starman:

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Life on Mars:

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Young Americans:

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Rebel Rebel:

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Day In Day Out:

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Blue Jean:

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Jean Genie:

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Space Oddity:

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Ashes To Ashes:

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Absolute Beginners:

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Never Let Me Down:

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Golden Years:

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Blog soon,

Antony

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Book Review: Life And Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagan

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
life-and-other-near-death-experiences-book-cover-camille-pagan Imagine that you go to the doctors and are told that you have a rare form of cancer, one that’s terminal. Then imagine going home to seek the solace of your husband, only for him to drop his own bombshell – that he’s been seeing a therapist and thinks that he might be gay. This is exactly what happens to Elizabeth (better known as Libby) Miller in Life And Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagan.

Tom, Libby’s husband drops the I might be gay bombshell before she has chance to tell him about her cancer. So naturally her first reaction is to stab him with a fork. Libby encourages him to leave for his own safety and he obliges.

Then Libby makes some radical decisions: she quits her job working as a PA to nightmare boss Jackie, she puts the apartment up for sale and she speaks to Paul, her twin brother to get some advice about how much money she would need to live on for a year. Next she tells Tom of her intention to divorce him, knowing that she’ll probably not live long enough to go through the snail-paced legal process.

Libby knows cancer intimately. She watched it slowly take her mother from her, her brother and her father. Making her motherless at ten years old. So Libby decides not to tell anyone about her diagnosis.

After hearing about Tom and the divorce Libby’s father calls her. Libby talks about an idea she has to go to Mexico. Her father discourages her because that’s where Tom and she went on their honeymoon. Her father shares a memory he has of her mother and he going to Puerto Rico. He tells Libby that her mother loved it there. Libby decides to go there instead.

Libby has her first near-death experience getting to Puerto Rico on a small plane piloted by the sexy Shiloh. On the Island, Libby discovers what it is to live, fall in love and experience every moment fully.

Libby’s character is funny, feisty and fantastic. Pagan writes the story from Libby’s perspective and in doing so creates a character that oozes depth and realism. It’s not just Libby’s character that has depth and realism, so does love interest Shiloh, twin brother Paul (whom happens to be gay and is married to a man with two children) and all other characters.

Life And Other Near-Death Experiences is fast paced, has a fascinating plot, has beautiful description and is packed with dark humour. Pagan should be commended on this superb and captivating novel.

You can buy Life And Other Near-Death Experiences by Camille Pagan on Amazon and I highly recommend that you do. You’ll love this thoroughly entertaining read.

Review soon,

Antony

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Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

By Amazon, Books & Authors, ReviewsNo Comments
the-fault-in-our-stars-john-green-book-cover The Fault In Our Stars is the outstanding novel by John Green. The book has become a worldwide bestseller and has even been made into a film.

The concept of The Fault In Our Stars is a simple one: it’s a love story between two teenagers, both of which happen to have cancer.

Hazel is a terminal cancer patient, who has been bought a few additional years of life by an experimental cancer drug. She is encouraged practically forced to attend a regular Cancer Kids Support Group by her mother who feels she should socialise more.

Into the Support Group enters love interest Augustus Waters (Gus), who is there to support his friend Isaac and is in recovery from cancer himself. He is instantly captivated by Hazel.

As Hazel and Augustus start to get to know one another and get close, a predictable plot twist means that everything turns on it’s head for Hazel.

Hazel is no longer the only the ticking time bomb, ready to explode and hurt those close to her. She is at risk of being in an explosion herself. This role reversal was simple, yet at the same time, very clever.

The Fault In Our Stars is exceptionally well written, captivates the reader from the first page and is perfectly paced. It is a superb novel.

The reader will laugh at the many funny scenes in the book, be touched by the tender scenes and be occasionally saddened at the knowledge and recognition that Hazel & Gus’ relationship will end prematurely.

Without giving any spoilers away, there’s a great and unexpected twist at the end of the book that will leave the reader feeling uplifted and believe in true love from beyond the grave.

The Fault In Our Stars is available to buy from Amazon.

I can’t wait to read another one of John Green‘s books. I will be picking up another one soon.

Review soon,

Antony

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I aim for posts on this blog to be informative, educational and entertaining. If you have found this post useful or enjoyable, please consider making a contribution by Paypal:


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