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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

31 October 2002

Look at that. A declaration to make this site a bit more interesting, and then nothing happens for a week.

I'm going down to London tomorrow afternoon, if the train doesn't kill me first, and will be spending the weekend running around meeting comedians for the good of Comedy Lounge.

In the meantime, all I can offer is the following. I went to a comedy gig earlier this week, and reviewed it for the Edinburgh Evening News. For reasons that still haven't been explained to me, it wasn't published, so I'm reproducing it here.

29 October 2002
Judging by his enthusiastic performance, you would never know that fresh-faced, Lee Mack was in the middle of a UK tour. He started by throwing himself to the ground to illustrate various points, from how well he thought the gig was going to how boring an audience member’s job is. He went on to helpfully explain variations of English slang to an American member of the audience (“You say ‘faucet’. We say, ‘leave it alone you’ll break it.’”) And in between all that, he presented some of the best stand up comedy currently to be found on the UK live circuit.
His talents have been brought to a wider audience through ITV1’s The Sketch Show. Watching him live, it is obvious why he has also been chosen to take part in this year’s Royal Variety Performance, something he is quick to tell the audience. He is also proud to have recently appeared with Des O’Connor. Judging from this kind of CV, it would be very easy to label him as a light entertainment performer, but that would be distancing him from his true strengths as a stand up comedian. His act contains many affection nods to older, more traditional performers like Les Dawson and Eric Morecambe. Indeed, he has been previous compared to Morecambe, who he is not afraid to morph into when wearing another audience member’s glasses. However, his outlook on stage is very fresh, and very much his own.
He leaps from one topic to another as the ideas occur to him, or come up during one of his regular chats to members of the audience. Far from needing to crow-bar material in around forced observations, he allows his thoughts to flow freely, and runs with them as they occur. At one point during a routine about Tommy Steele, he was forced to stop completely, to allow a woman who was reduced to tears, to catch her breath.
His act contains many unexpected twists and turns, such as his story of how he was mugged in Limerick, told through the medium of limericks. Mack has a beautiful way of looking at the world and it is an absolute pleasure to join him. Towards the end of the show, he took the risk of forcing the audience to sit in silence while imparting his grandmother’s advice on love. It is a mark of his capabilities that, at that point, it was impossible to suppress their giggles.

24 October 2002

I have received an incredibly flattering review of this site from the weblog review, which I entered my site in to nearly a year ago. Thank the Lord they called round while I was in the middle of writing some actual content.

I've never really considered the proper structure of a weblog, and have basically been writing things as they occur to me, with no real consideration towards linear storylines or plotting or even introductions for people who have stumbled across it looking for something entirely different. But I guess an "About Me" page might be useful, even though I never read them on anyone else's sites - I just leap straight in, and if I like the most recent post, I might consider reading the archives.

All that said, the review has made me slightly more determined to do something more with this - considering it's nearly a year on line now, and I've not really moved past linking up to things other people have already linked up to.

The television reviews have fallen slightly behind, due to the fact that the only television shows I've watched in the last week are the three that I've already reviewed. Tonight, I will concentrate, and tomorrow you'll be treated to my overblown opinion. This weekend, I'm even going to the cinema. Bet you can't wait.

22 October 2002

It's important to keep busy.
This man has decided to collate a list of 1,000 people more annoying than Mick Hucknall. He's done okay so far, with 689 names. Can you help? Post to www.mickhucknall.com

Meanwhile, I've found something to do at work even better than sand art. Bursting bubbles. Simple as that.

18 October 2002
Friday Five

1. How many TVs do you have in your home?
We have two TVs in our flat, one in my bedroom that doesn't pick up a signal, and one in the sitting room that does. But at the moment we've only got five channels, and only three of them are worth watching.

2. On average, how much TV do you watch in a week?
I really would rather not think about that... oh, okay then. The TV is usually on in the house from 6pm until whenever the last one of us goes to bed. That doesn't necessarily mean that anyone is watching it though. We are great believers in background noise, me and my sister. We also began life in our flat leaving the television on during the day, as company for the dog, because one of the dog books suggested it, and we felt guilty enough about leaving her on her own. But then we decided that it would probably drive her mad.
But that hasn't answered the question. Probably... anything up to 30 hours a week. At the moment, an awful lot less than that, but in previous times I've watched an awful lot more. I like the fact that while it's on, your brain switches off. That's what I use TV for.

3. Do you feel that television is bad for young children?
Not particularly. What is bad for young children is their parents dumping them in front of the television, rather than making the effort themselves to interact, educate or entertain their children. A bad workman should not blame his tools. And a little of what you like does you no harm. And probably another cliche, if I could think of one more.

4. What TV shows do you absolutely HAVE to watch, and if you miss them, you're heartbroken?
I've kicked myself in the past for missing shows, but have gotten over it quite quickly, what with there being video releases for almost everything on the planet, and digital channels showing everything else. The last shows where I absolutely *had* to be in the house when it was on, and couldn't trust anyone else to tape them for me, would probably have been This Morning With Richard Not Judy. I love Buffy, and I love ER, but it wouldn't kill me to miss an episode.

5. If you had the power to create your own television network, what would your line-up look like?
My TV line up would look quite like a cross between Play UK, E4 and the Performance Channel, with some BBC4 thrown in for when I was feeling like I needed to be educated. I'd recommission Stewart Lee and Richard Herring to work together again. I'd make sure Simon Munnery was also back on telly. I'd make some more film versions of Tom Stoppard plays. Anything that Peter Seraphinowitcz or Peter Baynham wrote or appeared in would automatically get on air. Nothing American would be broadcast, other than Buffy, ER and West Wing re-runs (I do love a good snappy riposte). There would be no reality TV, fly on the wall or music programmes. I would show the entire runs of The High Life, The Mary Whitehouse Experience and Viva Cabaret back to back, and also everything Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie have ever made. The Goodies would be on twice a day.

I seem to have created a channel of repeats. That was unintentional.

16 October 2002

You Oughta Submit: The Alanis Morrisette Lyric Generator.

I've spent all day today, when not arguing with Blogger to publish my bloody posts, reading this fantastic column. "It's the Irish Version of Sex and The City!" I'd cry, if SATC was actually a column, and not just a poor excuse for a badly written and yet still fictional column on which to hang tenuous plot lines. Male Shot (for want of a better title) is written by Patrick Londra, who is a kind of a friend of a friend of mine, and it's highly entertaining. A huge archive of the last two year's worth of columns can be found here.

Part three in an ongoing project of listing off every TV show I watch, and thereby exposing what a restricted social life I have...


As soap operas go, I am a very fickle follower. Of all the soap operas on terrestrial television at the moment, I would be able to name the main characters and plot points of up to five, and still hold a passing interest in two others. That said, I never know one day to the next which show is on when, and if there is something else on at the same time that seems even remotely interesting, I will abandon the soap without a second thought. Depending on what I’ve been doing / where I've been living, in the past ten years I have moved between being a very regular viewer, to one of those viewers who keeps up with the plots through the three sentence teletext summaries. But isn’t that the beauty of the genre? To be able to dip in and out on a whim, knowing that you can leave it for up to six months, and then catch up on everything within two episodes - with the added bonus of being tipped off by the covers of women's magazines if anything of note is about to happen.

Eastenders won the Best Soap award on last night's ludicrous British Television Awards. This award ceremony seems to think that there are only two television stations in the UK today - ITV and BBC1 - and only occasionally acknowledges the presence of the rest. The parade of backslapping idiots continually looking very pleased for one another began to grate on me, and after watching the presentation of only one award - the moment when Graham Norton was handed over the crown to become the new Michael Barrymore - I switched over.

But that's beside the point. Before that ridiculous orgy of self importance began, I sat and listened to Eastenders while catching up on email. Not many of the plotlines at the moment interest me, and so I'm basically watching it on hold, waiting for something good to come along. One of my favourite characters is Sonia, although at the moment her reunion with Jamie is doing absolutely nothing for me. Tom, the new Irish guy, is also great. Uniquely in the world of soap, he is neither an alcoholic, a serial gambler or a wife beater. He doesn't have ginger hair, he isn't a travellor and he doesn't frequently break in to song. Of course, as he exists only in the world of soap, he does have a deep, dark, hidden secret that he is desperately hiding from everyone else. Poor old Tom has a pesky brain tumour, one of those ones that only activates itself when Tom finds true happiness - a plot device the writers lifted directly from Angel.

A storyline which is currently showing no sign of going away and leaving us in peace is the Trevor / Little Mo / Billy debacle. The Powers That Be have seen fit to add Stupid Sam Mitchell in to the mix, which has added less than nothing to the situation, but given the writers more opportunities to allow Trevor to growl and look menacing at a new variety of characters. The idea behind soap operas - no, not the ones about regarding ourselves and our own society on screen, or learning the dominant hegemony etc that you’re taught in media studies classes - the surface idea of soap operas is that you are supposed to get caught up in the lives of the characters. You are to become involved in their lives, their loves, their troubles, their joys. In short, you are supposed to care. Something, it seems, as gone wrong within me.

I came to this realisation last night as I watched Sam and Trevor have dinner together. To summarise a storyline that has been running for well over a year, for those of you who are unfortunate enough not to follow this nonsense: Trevor is married to Little Mo. In the course of their marriage he has repeatedly beaten and raped her. Last Christmas, she hit him over the head with an iron. He didn't die, and she was tried for attempted murder. She was (obviously) convicted but later (obviously) released. She is now with Billy. (As an aside, Billy was first introduced to the show as a very violent man who repeatedly beat up his nephew Jamie. That seems to have been forgotten now). Trevor has come to get Mo back. In an attempt to disguise his true intentions, he is currently dating Sam.

So, Trevor is controlling and short tempered, with a history of extreme violence towards women. Sam knows his background, but like many women in soap operas, she is naïve enough to think she can change him. Last night, as they ate dinner, she repeatedly and unknowingly said the wrong things to Trevor, and he constantly struggled to hold his temper, until finally he couldn't. This was portrayed over about five different scenes, until the climax where Sam threw a glass of wine over his head. And all the while, I was rooting for Trevor to give her a good slapping.

I don't condone violence towards women, or indeed violence in general. We're currently training Kesh to come back when she's called, and myself and Edel had an argument last night when I refused to agree to hit the dog if she didn't do as she was told. But watching that show, I can now only find entertainment when the caricatures they are presenting on screen live up to their cliches. When beetroot faced Phil loses his temper. When Peggy starts screaming about family. When brave, independent Sharon bursts into tears because she's afraid of being without a man for five seconds. When the gay characters leave the soap far sooner than necessary, for fear of alienating the BBC1 audience.

The soap opera in general, and this soap opera in particular, has become a cartoon. There's cartoon violence. Cartoon consequences. Forgotten back stories. Storylines changed mid-sentence to suit another change of direction. Needless "comedy" thrown in every time someone accuses them of being too miserable. At least Brookside, which is sadly to leave our screens at the end of November, recognises itself for what it is, and has some kind of explosion and mass culling of characters once every couple of months. Now, that’s entertainment.

15 October 2002
Continuing my series of self-important reviews...

The Office

Lordy. The prospect of writing a second series of something is, I would imagine, a daunting task. If your first attempt has been heaped with praise and more awards than your mantelpiece can handle, then the thought of attempting a follow up must be a very frightening thing. As I see it, you then have one of three options - you can choose to repeat more of the same, following and not diverting from the winning formula set down by the first series (the road taken by Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash when writing the second and third series of The Royle Family). You can turn the whole thing around, and change everything - situation, location etc - apart from the main characters (which worked very well for Grant & Naylor when writing Red Dwarf up until... oh, round about when I stopped caring). Or, you can up the ante on the first series, introduce more characters, exaggerate character traits, make situations more heightened, throw in more complications and challenges for the leads to overcome.

Obviously, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, when faced with the prospect of writing the second series of The Office, decided that the third choice would be the best way to go. And that way, for the viewer at least, lies embarrassing madness.

Three episodes in, and we’ve already experienced so much worse than anything the first series could have had us prepared for. The speech to the new staff and the ill judged joke telling in the first episode was bad. The discomfort in the second episode, thanks to the unfortunate trip to the pub and Dawn’s imprisonment during Brent’s poetry recital was even worse. But last night… Last night we watched the television through out fingers, occasionally covering our heads with pillows and duvets. We started by murmuring quiet “oh no please don’t”s at the television and ended by working up to a scream “Stop it, stop it. Stop. Oh, stopitstopitstopit STOP IT!” The inappropriate touching from Gareth. The constantly embarrassing eruptions from Brent. The incident in the warehouse. The horrible silences. Oh, the horror.

It’s becoming more difficult to watch than the first series ever was. The debut of the show allowed Gervais and Merchant’s unique approach to the comedy of embarrassment to catch us by surprise. To have such an idiot - a self aggrandising, morally repugnant, tact impaired idiot - as the lead character for a programme is a very brave leap. Comparisons were made to Basil Fawlty, but at least Fawlty was palatable for most of the programme. The difference, possibly, is the fact that, even if we haven’t actually worked alongside a David Brent, we all imagine that we have. There is always a difficulty in relations between any group of people when thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, and forced to get along with each other, as was so needlessly illustrated by ‘I’m A Celebrity…’ The office environment is therefore chock full of opportunities for discomfort and embarrassment on a scale never previously explored by television, comedy or otherwise.

I started this series laughing very loudly at the first episode, and giggling furiously through the second. However, as you are drawn in by the show, certain moments can become a little too much to bear, and the attention to the smallest details - Brent's habit of touching his tie when he feels he is out of control of the situation, or Dawn's increasingly frequent furtive glances in Tim's direction - brings the show even closer. The threat that Brent feels from his new boss was brought out even clearer last night, as he bought heels for his shoes and attempted to dress in the same manner. You begin by giggling, but end up just feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed by the whole situation.

Last night's was a little too much for me, and about five minutes before the end, we started yelling at the television that the programme should really have been over by then - was it possible that we'd only been watching for 25 minutes? I do love this show, but I can't say that I particularly enjoy watching it - at least not the first time round. It's rubbernecker telly, that's for certain, in that you just can't help yourself. But, like the 1.2 million viewers that dropped off between the first and second episode of this new series, I'm not sure how much more I can take of it.

11 October 2002

Unusually difficult Friday Five today…

1. If you could only choose 1 cd to ever listen to again, what would it be?
ONE?! Why do I get five people, and only one CD? Can I swap some people for some more CDs? One CD… I’d have to choose something that wouldn’t eventually get on my nerves, I suppose. Either The Marriage of Figaro, or Mozart’s Requiem then. Or Dido and Aeneas. Oh, right, choose… um… Figaro, then. It’s got a good beat.

2. If you could only choose 2 movies to watch ever again, what would they be?
1. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead would be number one. Always.
2. The other one would have to be Hard Day’s Night, probably, although I’m sure I’d change my mind a thousand times if I really thought it through.

3. If you could only choose 3 books to read ever again, what would they be?
The problem with this is that if you choose books you’ve already read, there’s no surprise or pay off. If you choose books you haven’t read, you’re taking quite a gamble. So. I’d choose -
1. The complete works of Agatha Christie (unless that’s cheating, which I think it is)
2. A collection of Jeeves and Wooster stories
3. The Ring of Bright WaterTrilogy. I’ve started that book about 6 times, but never got through it, so I think I’d probably manage it, since with these restrictions there’s no longer much choice in my life, reading-wise.

I’d like to also smuggle along the complete Lord Of The Rings, if possible. Again, something I haven’t read, and I think I might be the only blogger in the Western Hemisphere that hasn’t. I’d like to see what all the fuss is about, but I just don’t have the dedication or concentration span.

4. If you could only choose 4 things to eat or drink ever again, what would they be?
1. Crisps. If only one kind - cheese and onion McCoys crisps.
2. Potatoes, in general. I’m Irish, you know. Restricting myself to potatoes, I’ve obviously learnt nothing from the famine.
3. Toast and marmite.
4. Lord, I’d better include a drink. Um… very chilled water. And a soda stream, so that I can make cheap fizzy pop with the very chilled water.

5. If you could only choose 5 people to ever be/talk/associate/whatever with ever again, who would they be?
Good God. People I already associate with? That’s mental, that question. If I leave anyone out here, I’ll be crucified, so I’m not going to answer that, because it’s a risk to my well being. Although coming up with the answer in my head has been very entertaining.

[It's a slow day at work...]

In a stupid attempt to try and push myself on to write some actual content for this site, and also for something to do to fill the space before my inevitable death [Having just been told that I can’t have the Christmas holidays off work that I wanted, I am now resigned to the fact that I won’t have time to take the ferry, and will therefore have to fly home. Thus, dying is well up front in my mind. (If you haven’t met my phobias before - welcome!)], I was going to try and review something every day. I made that decision on Monday. It's not gone very well so far. But, onwards and upwards.

Today -
Series 3 of The League of Gentlemen (so far)

I have to first come clean and admit that, although I did enjoy the first two series, I haven't seen TLoG live since 1997, have never bought any of their merchandise, don't have either of the first two series on video, and may even struggle to identify some of their more obscure quotes or characters. I have never camped outside Reece Shearsmith's house, and despite being in the same building as all four Gentlemen at the same time, I didn't faint. What I'm trying to say here, people, is that I'm not one of *those* fans. One of those fans, I might hesitantly suggest, that were (let's say) affectionately mocked in last night's show.

The first series of TLoG came off the back of their Radio 4 series, which in turn came off the back of their Perrier win in 1997. Their aim with the television series, they have since revealed, was to have a low audience but high impact television show - one that would be vaguely recollected in years to come. A small cult following perhaps, which would allow them to play the Soho Theatre in the more quiet years of their career. What they didn't bargain on was the mass hysteria that eventually surrounded them and their every move.

As the first series was bizarrely picked up by every office wag that likes to repeat catchphrases ad nauseum, the second series was rushed into production, and the writers didn't have any way as much time to develop characters and situations as with the first, far more superior, series. This resulted in nonsenses like the "You're my wife now" rubbish being allowed to play a large part in the show. It meant that the more subtle characteristics and twists in plots were not allowed to develop in the rush to add more gore and 'darkness' into their self-styled comedy of the macabre. I felt that this affected the quality of the second series to a large extent.

So when the third series rolled along, I have to confess that I didn't exactly have high hopes. They promised old characters wouldn't be returning, but in the adverts, there they stood in all their glory - Edward and Tubbs returned from the dead. Therefore, the sight of them being killed off once and for all ("lines and lines and lines!") within the first two minutes of the show - before the opening credits had even rolled - filled me with great anticipation about what would lie ahead.

And they haven't disappointed. The first episode, centred around the worst love triangle seen on television was horribly enjoyable. The sight of poor Micky being seduced by a desperate Pauline was one thing, but to see Pauline stretched over the table while Ross... really, I still can't speak about it. It's on a par with Currie and Major. I haven't been able to sleep since.

In last week's main story, they made the bizarre decision to allow the talent of their prosthetics department to take the primary role, while story line relaxed in the background, but with something as stupid as reattached-arm-takes-life-of-it's-own, it's difficult to see what more they thought they could bring to a haggard old cliche. Please don't start emailing me in with your hate and judgement - I do realise that, more than once through the show, there may well have been a film reference that I didn't get, but I would suggest that at least four fifths of the audience didn't understand it. Unlike Spaced, this show tends to live or die on how accessible it's references are, and this time round they seemed more than usually obscure. And also - why in the world would a nun have painted fingernails?

I'm not sure if it's because I've haven't been concentrating up until now, but last night's episode (episode 3, in which Mike goes to London to become a stand up comedian) seemed to be almost bursting with back references. I was particularly pleased with the references to the old orange juice advert, and the "don't tell the one about the mau mau". This time round, I think the Gentlemen have got a better idea on which characters can hold down a storyline in their own right, and which ones should only be used in one-off appearances. The story ran on at a great pace, the twists in the tale - although not entirely unexpected - kept everyone's interest, and the arrival of Legz Akimbo with 'Vegetable Soup' was absolutely brilliant. The fag hag character will be screamed in my sister's face until she begs for mercy. I would only question the need for the car bomber's nationality to be Irish, but other than that I thought the whole show was great. We didn't see any more reveal of what is to come next week, as the final post-crash scene merely wrapped up the main plot of this episode, but judging by this, I think they've hit their pace spectacularly well, and have high hopes for the rest of the series - particularly Barbara's impending parenthood...

10 October 2002

Today is obviously a very special day. Not only is it National Poetry Day, it's also World Mental Health Day. And not just that. It's also World Sight Day. As well as that, it's both Lights On After School day and National Community Education Day. And it's just come to the end of World Space Week.

I'm not sure what the connection is.

Today is National Poetry Day. In celebration, here is a poem from John Hegley, whose show at the Edinburgh Festival this year made me cry.

Pop and me
My dad had come along to watch me
the day I came last in the cub scout sack race;
the day my glasses fell off on to the running track
and somebody behind me
deliberately hopped on top of them
and damaged them really badly.
I was that
struggling runt at the back
laughed at by everyone,
everyone, except my dad.
And not because he had
a beating in mind
but because he felt for me.
And when he came to find me
and I was melting with tears
he said 'You're the one
they'll remember in the years to come, son,
you were very funny.'
And he took me to the shop
and ordered me some pop
and we halved the humiliation
when he didn't have the money.


and another, from e e cummings

anyone lived in a pretty how town

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain


And finally, Cosy Biscuit by Roger McGough

What I wouldn't give for a nine to five
Biscuits in the right hand drawer,
teabreaks, and typists to mentally undress.
The same faces. Somewhere to hang
your hat and shake your umbrella.
Cosy. Everything in its place.
Upgraded every few years. Hobbies
Glass of beer at lunchtime
Pension to look forward to.
Two kids. Homeloving wife.
Bit on the side when the occaision arises
H.P. Nothing fancy. Neat semi.
* * *
What I wouldn't give for a nine to five.
Glass of beer in the right hand drawer
H.P. on everything at lunchtime
The same 2 kids. Somewhere to hang
your wife and shake your bit on the side.
Teabreaks and a pension to mentally undress
The same semifaces upgraded.
Hobbies every few years, neat typists
in wet macs when the umbrella arises.
What I wouldn't give for a cosy biscuit.


- Make The Pie Higher, a poem composed entirely of quotes from George Bush

- Yahoo Directory of Poetry

- Poetry Daily

- the Poetry Library

- and (completely unrelated) Sesame Street to be set in Belfast

04 October 2002

This is a really beautiful peice of web animation: the Industorious Clock

Sorry I’ve been quiet of late – not much to say, and not many ways of saying it.

I’ve made a few decisions – to give up some things and to take up others, to move on and to stay put. My pension kicks in in two weeks time. My rent goes up in two months time. I’m going to be 26 in four weeks time. I might be starting an Open University course in February. I might be moving flats. I might be moving countries. I’m going to give up smoking again. I’m going to re-dye my hair. I’m going to lighten up.

What is it about the on set of winter that makes you reassess everything?

Friday Five

1. What size shoe do you wear?
I wear a size 6, which means that usually whatever style of shoe I pick is already sold out. But I can also wear a 5 or a 7, depending on how much I want those shoes.

2. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
I only own one pair of shoes, which I keep at work and only wear in the office. I own three pairs of runners/trainers/sneakers, of which one pair has a leak, one pair is falling apart, and one pair are new and never leave my feet. They’ve got a built up sole which makes me taller. I own one pair of huge boots, which I adore and can never wear, except to parties. I own one pair of red clogs, which I never wear. I own one pair of blue doc martin boots, which I never wear. I own two pairs of sandals. I have no slippers.

3. What type of shoe do you prefer (boots, sneakers, pumps, etc.)?
I prefer no shoes at all, thanks. But given the choice, always with the runners. I hate wearing shoes. And anything with heels brings me out in a rash. I don’t do heels.

4. Describe your favorite pair of shoes. Why are they your favorite?
My favourite pair of all the things I have to put on my feet are my boots, which are knee length and black. They have a zip up the side, and a built up Spice Girls stylee sole which gives me an extra five inches in height. They are very easy to walk in, but make me nervous walking down stairs. After about five hours they really hurt my feet, but after six hours my feet go numb and don’t hurt any more. They are ideal for parties. They have been to two weddings as well.

5. What's the most you've spent on one pair of shoes?
The most would be for these boots, which was about £70 I think, but Mum paid for half. So probably £40 for my work shoes, then. But they are quite nice, and not really like shoes at all. I don’t like shoes.