Tag Archives: GBBO

Grinding to a Halt

Sorry about the unexplained absence. On Monday night I felt sluggish, I followed this up with a bad night and by Tuesday morning I was close to a state of suspended animation.

I still went to work, because there were only two of us in on Tuesday, but feel a bit bad for taking the money for doing next to nothing.

When I got home I sat in the car for a few minutes to listen to the end of a radio programme and seem to have fallen asleep. I don’t remember doing it, or even feeling sleepy, but I do remember waking up so there is pretty strong evidence to suggest that is what happened.

The fact that I just had to correct six typos in that paragraph further indicates that I’m still not firing on all cylinders.

I went to bed and slept until Julia returned from a staff meeting. She wasn’t noisy but after years of parenthood you can detect the noise of key in lock from the deepest slumber. I think I managed to make conversation of an acceptable nature as she went away fairly happy and left me to sleep.

When I did drag myself from bed I was in time to see the final element of the Great British Bake Off. They have, as usual, managed to select a final three that I don’t agree with. It’s nothing to do with their baking skills, or even their worth as human beings, because you simply can’t tell without meeting them. However, two of them do exude an aura of oily smugness when viewed on TV. It’s mostly the same every year, the three or four that I like as people prove themselves to be totally incompetent within the first few episodes and I have to watch as the competition is won by sycophants, Paul Hollywood’s favourite or a fully paid up member of the jolly hockeysticks brigade.

Generally I can’t even remember them a couple of years from their win.

While I was looking up the link for GBBO I wandered into looking up what happened to past winners. While I was doing that I found an interesting new fact.

Have you ever heard of Otter Fishing?

Don’t worry, it’s not like trout fishing, it’s using otters to drive fish into your nets. I’d herad of cormorant fishing, but never otters. I also learned that in the 16th and 17th centuries we had cormorant fishing in the UK.

Wonders will never cease…

Fondant Fancy, with lesser cakes at Botham's in Whitby

Botham’s Whitby

Great British Bake Off and Other Thoughts

I’ve just been watching GBBO and shouting abuse at the TV screen. It’s amazing how worked up you can get about sponge cake.

After the change of channel following the last series I was prepared never to watch it again. I even thought I might not bother giving this series a chance. I didn’t really fancy Noel Fielding for the job because I think he’s a bit over the top, and I’ve never found Sandi Toksvig as entertaining as she seems to find herself. As she’s the same age as me and much more rich and famous it’s possible I’m in a minority here.

Having watched the series so far I have to say I can’t really tell the difference, despite the change of personnel. Despite my misgivings they seem to be doing a good job. Being a fan of light-hearted banter and cake this really is my sort of show.

One of the things that fascinates me, apart from the cake, is the careers that seem to open up for some of the bakers. Nadiya Hussein, the 2015 winner, seems to be popping up all over the place. She’s on TV, has a newspaper column, is an author and has been up for several awards. She’s even been a question on Pointless, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

Compared to the general run of TV “celebrities” she’s way ahead of most of them, as are all the GBBO winners.

It’s a tricky thing to judge, and I don’t have a clue how we’ve arrived a a situation where people can make a career from being stupid on TV. Despite my cluelessness it looks like we’re in for a long spell of exposure to people who went on Big Brother, TOWIE, Made in Chelsea and whatever other dross we seem to fall for.

I’m thinking of pitching an idea called Dancing on Thin Ice where a group of spurious celebrities is made to skate on a frozen lake as the spring thaw arrives. Depending on the audience phone-in results they will be given bricks to put in their pockets as the series progresses. It will be filmed on location in Russia, as they have the the ice, and the right sort of attitude to Health and Safety.

I’d better start rehearsing my speech for the award ceremony.